Ken Rosewall Marks 50 Golden Years Since 1968 Roland-Garros Win

TA Press Release, May 22, 2018

One of the greatest tennis players of all time Ken Rosewall AM MBE was honoured at Melbourne Park on Tuesday, 50 years since his historic win at Roland-Garros in 1968.

The 83-year-old was congratulated on his golden anniversary by Craig Tiley, Tennis Australia CEO, and Australian Open ballkids Emma Wong and Aidan Chu, who will travel to Paris on Thursday to join the official Roland-Garros ballkid squad.

Rosewall went down in history as the first man to win a Grand Slam singles title in the Open Era. Fondly known as ‘Muscles’, Rosewall’s tennis career spanned an incredible 27 years, from 1951 to 1978.

“I’m thrilled to congratulate Ken on the 50th anniversary of his win in Paris,” Craig Tiley said.

“Ken is a true representative of Australia’s golden age of tennis and one of our most outstanding legends of the game. He’s made an enormous contribution to our sport and I’m delighted he will have the opportunity to celebrate this milestone in Paris next month.”

In 1953, aged just 18, Rosewall won his first Grand Slam title, the Australian Championships, and went on to win both the singles and doubles titles at Roland Garros that same year.

In 1968, 15 years later, he hoisted the fabled trophy in Paris again, defeating fellow Australian Rod Laver in four sets, and partnered with Fred Stolle to also win the doubles crown.

Rosewall amassed an incredible 18 Grand Slam singles and doubles titles during his career and reached 18 Grand Slam finals.

This outstanding record was achieved despite Rosewall being ineligible for Grand Slam competition for 11 years after turning professional in 1957, and missing at least 44 Grand Slam title opportunities.

He still holds the record for being the oldest man, at the age of 37, to win a Grand Slam singles title in the Open Era.

Rosewall played 11 Davis Cup ties for Australia with a win-loss record of 19-3 and was a member of the winning Australian teams in 1953, 1955, 1956 and 1973. He played his last match for Australia in 1975, 22 years after his debut.

Rosewall was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1980 and the Australian Tennis Hall of Fame in 1995. 

In 2008 centre court at Sydney’s Olympic Park Tennis Centre was named Ken Rosewall Arena in his honour. 

Rosewall is also patron of the Australian Tennis Museum, based at Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre. 

Career highlights

Singles champion

Australian – 1953, 1955, 1971, 1972

French – 1953, 1968

United States – 1956, 1970

Doubles champion

Australian – 1953, 1956, 1972

French – 1953, 1968

Wimbledon – 1953, 1956

United States – 1956, 1969 

Mixed doubles champion

United States – 1956

Davis Cup

1953-56, 1973, 1975