This article is dedicated to the 110th anniversary of the first Australian Championship
Written by Karoly Mazak
Years after WWII…1946-1956
In 1946 John Bromwich wins his second Australian Championships beating Dinny Pails 5-7 6-3 7-5 3-6 6-2 in Adelaide. Nancye Wynne Bolton defends her third title after a 5 year hiatus due to World War II. In December the USA takes away the Davis Cup beating Australia 5-0 in Melbourne.
Dinny Pails wins the 1947 Australian event in Sydney, beating defending champion Bromwich 4-6 6-4 3-6 7-5 8-6 after saving a match point at 5-6 in the fifth. Nancye Wynne Bolton defends her fourth title, her third in a row.
In 1948 Adrian Quist wins his third Australian Championships defeating Bromwich in five sets. World No. 4 Nancye Wynne Bolton defends her fifth title, her fourth in a row. In November Doris Hart from America travels to Australia and defeats twice Wynne Bolton, for the New South Wales and Victorian titles.
World No. 4 Doris Hart wins the 1949 Australian title, her first Grand Slam crown, in Adelaide beating defending champ Wynne Bolton 6-3 6-4. Frank Sedgman collects his first title. In November Czecholovakian exile Jaroslav Drobny travels to Australia where he hopes to attain citizenship and wins the Victorian title.
In 1950 Drobny is the top-seed, but loses early to Ken McGregor, who is stopped by defending champ Frank Sedgman in the final in Melbourne. World No. 2 Louise Brough overcomes defending champ and No. 4 Doris Hart 6-4 3-6 6-4. In August Australia with Sedgman takes away the Davis Cup beating the USA 4-1 in Forest Hills.
At the 1951 Australian Championships in Sydney Dick Savitt overcomes defending champ and top-seed Sedgman 2-6 7-5 1-6 6-3 6-4 in the semis and Ken McGregor in the final. Sedgman and McGregor win the doubles dethroning Bromwich and Quist who had won eight doubles title in a row. Nancye Wynne Bolton wins her sixth title. In December Australia with Sedgman retains the Davis Cup beating the USA 3-2 in Sydney.
At the 1952 Australian Championships in Adelaide Ken McGregor defeats Sedgman in four sets. Thelma Coyne Long collects her first title. In December Australia with Sedgman and McGregor retains the Davis Cup beating the USA 4-1 in Adelaide. To the dismay of many Australians, both of them turn professional after the Davis Cup match.
Ken Rosewall wins the 1953 edition of the Australian Championships in Melbourne. World No. 1 Maureen Connolly easily collects the women’s title and achieves the Grand Slam later in the year. With the help of teenagers Rosewall and Hoad, Australia retains the Davis Cup beating the USA 3-2 in Melbourne in December.
Merv Rose overcomes defending champ Rosewall 6-3 6-3 3-6 1-6 7-5 in the semis and wins the 1954 Australian title in Sydney. Thelma Coyne Long collects her second title. In December the USA takes away the Davis Cup beating Australia 3-2 in Sydney. At the 1955 Australian Championships in Adelaide Ken Rosewall wins his second title against Hoad. Beryl Penrose collects the women’s title. In August Australia takes back the Davis Cup beating the USA 5-0 in Forest Hills. Top-seeded Lew Hoad wins the 1956 Australian Championships in Brisbane beating defending champ Rosewall in four sets. Mary Carter overcomes Thelma Coyne Long 3-6 6-2 9-7 after saving a match point at 5-6. In September Ken Rosewall becomes the US champion beating Hoad, destroying Hoad’s Grand Slam dreams. Australia retains the Davis Cup against the USA 5-0 in Adelaide. Rosewall turns pro to tour with Pancho Gonzales, but Hoad decides to remain amateur and go for the Grand Slam again next year.