The first week of Australian Open 2017 is nearly over and the players are entering the round of 16. The players who have sailed into the next week will all set their eyes upon the championship trophies. The men’s singles trophies is known as the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup and the women’s singles trophy is called the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup. So who are Norman Brookes and Daphne Akhurst?
Norman Everard Brookes was an Australian tennis player, a former World No.1, who became the first left handed player to win the Wimbledon. He won the Wimbledon twice in 1907 and 1914. In 1911 he won the Australasian Championships which are now popular as the Australian Open. He also won the doubles grand slam titles once at the US Open and Australian Open and twice at Wimbledon. Brookes was a part of the Australian Davis Cup team from 1905 to 1920. He was instrumental in Australia’s victory in 1907,1908,1909,1914 and 1919.
Brookes became the first president of the Lawn Tennis Association of Australia in 1926. The following year he played a vital role in the establishment of Kooyong stadium as a tennis center. In 1928, Brookes retired from tennis. Kooyong became the venue of Australian Open from 1972 to 1987. Kooyong stadium was the last venue where the Australian Open was played on grass.
Daphne Jessie Akhurst Cozens was an Australian tennis player who won the Australian Open singles five times (1925, 1926, 1928, 1929, 1930), the ladies doubles five times(1924,1925,1928,1929,1931) and the mixed doubles four times (1924,1925,1928,1929). She was ranked as high as World No.3 in her career.
Daphne Akhurst retired from competitive tennis in 1931. In 1933 tragedy struck as the tennis world learnt about the death of Daphne Akhurst. She died from an ectopic pregnancy, aged only 29. In her honor, from the following year, the winner of the ladies singles champio was awarded the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup. In 2013, she was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.