Australian Tennis icon dies aged 93

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An icon of Australian tennis has died at the age of 93.

Former Australian Tennis player, administrator and president of the International Tennis Federation Brian Tobin died at the age of 93 on Monday, April 22.

A former Grand Slam competitor, his first major tournament came in the form of the 1949 Australian Championships. He mainly played at domestic level, but he also made an appearance at the French Championships in 1964. He played in the Australian Open in 1957, 1960 and 1961. In 1961, he reached the third round, before being defeated by Fred Stolle.

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Credited with the ‘revitalisation’ of the Australian Open, helping to put it on a level playing field alongside Wimbledon, the US Open and the French Open after years of relative obscurity and irrelevancy.

A statement on Tennis Australia’s official website following Tobin’s passing reads: “As the tennis community mourns the passing of former professional player Brian Tobin, its members are also fondly reflecting on the long-time administrator’s powerful legacy in the sport.

“He had previously been inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1991, acknowledging his contribution in administration to tennis. He was appointed a member of the Order of Australia in 1986 and Olympic Order in 1999. Tobin is survived by his wife Carmen, and sons Geoff and Alan. A private funeral will be followed by a celebration of Brian’s life at a later date.”

Former Tennis Australia president Geoff Pollard said: “Brian Tobin will always be remembered as the President who successfully moved the Australian Open from Kooyong to Melbourne Park and established a relationship with the Victorian Government that enabled me and the Presidents that followed to grow the Australian Open to equal status with the other Grand Slams.

“As a player and then as an official, Brian spent a lifetime leading the development and promotion of tennis in Australia and then worldwide as President of the International Tennis Federation.”