When Neale Fraser, the tall, muscular 25-year-old from Melbourne, Australia walked off the stadium court at Forest Hills last Sunday afternoon he was the fourth Australian in a row to take home the U.S. singles championship. By doing so, he joined Rene Lacoste, Henri Cochet, Fred Perry, Frank Sedgman, Ken Rosewall, Mai Anderson and Ashley Cooper as the only foreigners to win the American title. Three weeks ago he won both his singles matches (against Alex Olmedo and Barry MacKay) and also teamed with Roy Emerson in the doubles to send the Davis Cup back to the antipodes.
Fraser started playing tennis at 13. He spent hours developing his twisting, spinning, high-bounding serve, which is the basic strength of his game, but somehow he always seemed to be playing third fiddle—to Lew Hoad and Ken Rosewall, then to Cooper and Anderson. At 19, in line with the Australian practice of providing good athletes with an honorable living, he became allied with the Slazenger sporting goods firm as their part-time representative, and he has since been around the world six times (traveling more than 250,000 miles). A former cricket player, Fraser is one of three sons of Archibald Fraser, a county court judge in Australia. A sturdy six-footer who keeps in marvelous condition, he looks as if he weighs much more than his 168 pounds. Although Fraser's ground strokes are not as strong as many former singles champions, he compensates for this by his eagerness and recently acquired ability to play percentage tennis. Before the championships Fraser said, "Alex Olmedo is the best amateur tennis player in the world, but he is not my master yet." And he was right. Whether this handsome bachelor will turn pro depends on the plans of Promoter Jack Kramer, who seems anxious to retire to another occupation.