Sporting Legend & Coach
Tony Roche is a legend of Australian sport. As a player Tony became one of the world’s best players, achieving a ranking of No. 2 in the world behind Rod Laver in 1969.
However, Tony Roche’s singles career was hampered by a chronic elbow injury which required three operations, finally being healed by a Filipino faith healer in 1973. Many of the games experts feel Tony would have been the world’s No. 1 at some stage if it hadn’t been for his elbow injury.
Tony Roche’s career highlights were winning the French Championships in 1966; being runner-up at the US Open in 1969 and 1970; plus runner-up at Wimbledon in 1968. In 1975 Tony was a semi-finalist at Wimbledon and was winner in 1978 at Queens (the major lead up tournament to Wimbledon) where he defeated John McEnroe in the Finals.
In doubles Tony Roche and John Newcombe formed what many experts describe as one of the best doubles teams of all times, winning Wimbledon five times, along with all the other major titles. Tony throughout his career, also represented Australia on five winning Davis Cup teams.
After retiring from professional tennis, Tony Roche turned to coaching and has again achieved amazing success. He taught Tracy Austin, Ivan Lendl and Pat Rafter and took them all to No. 1 in the world. His partnership with Lendl was incredible as Lendl achieved the all time record for total weeks at No. 1. Tony also coached the Australian Davis Cup team throughout the nineties and was responsible for working with Pat Rafter, Lleyton Hewitt, Mark Philippoussis, the Woodies and many other Australian players.
Today, Tony Roche works with Australian juniors and is helping to bring Australia’s next big stars through the ranks. He is constantly sought by many of the games superstars to work with them full time, as well as by numerous corporations and charities for clinics, appearances and corporate functions.
Awarded an MBE by the Queen and inducted into the International Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island, Tony Roche is without doubt one of Australia’s true sporting legends.