Aussie legend Rod Laver has paid tribute to fellow Australian great Ashley Cooper, who passed away on Friday.
Cooper, 83, who won four Grand Slam men’s singles titles, was described as a ‘wonderful champion’ by Laver via Twitter.
“He was a wonderful champion, on and off the court. And what a backhand!,” Laver said.
“So many cherished memories. Farewell my friend. My thoughts are with Ashley’s wife, Helen, and his family.”
Cooper won the Australian Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open in 1958 as an amateur. He retired from tennis after a back injury in 1959.
The 1957 Australian Open was his first Grand Slam title and Cooper also won four Grand Slam doubles titles. He made the French Open singles semifinals three times and appeared in six Grand Slam singles finals.
Cooper became an administrator after his career as a player. He worked at Tennis Queensland, sat on the board of directors for Tennis Australia and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1991.
“Ashley was a giant of the game both as a brilliant player and an astute administrator, and he will be greatly missed,” Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley said.