Thelma Coyne Long
Australian tennis legend Thelma Coyne Long passed away on 13 April aged 96.
Coyne Long won a total of 19 Grand Slam titles across singles, doubles and mixed doubles - 18 of which came at the Australian Championships - in a career that spanned more than two decades from 1936 to 1958.
Coyne Long remains the oldest Australian women’s singles champion, having won the 1954 event aged 35 years and eight months, and the oldest women’s doubles champion, claiming the 1956 title aged 37 years 7 months. She also remains the only player (man or woman) to have won 12 Australian doubles titles).
In total, she won two singles titles, 12 doubles titles and four mixed titles at the Australian Grand Slam with her only major triumph away from Australia coming in mixed doubles at Roland Garros in 1956.
Coyne Long's tennis career was interrupted by army service - she served her country with the Red Cross and the Australian Women’s Army Corps, rising to the rank of Captain. In recognition of her efforts throughout World War II, she was awarded both the Australian War Medal and Australian Service Medal for 1939-1945.
A trailblazer for women’s tennis, Coyne Long was a driving force for the ITF to establish the Federation Cup in 1963 to match the Davis Cup in 1963. Upon her retirement from tennis Coyne Long mentored many junior players in her home state of New South Wales.
Patrice Dominguez passed away while surrounded by his family at Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris on 12 April. He was 65.
Domniguez held many important roles in tennis during a career in the sport that spanned over 40 years. As a player, he was a seven-time Tour-level titlist in doubles and also reached the round of 16 at the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon in singles.
He put together a 15-9 record in Davis Cup by BNP Paribas, and went on to captain France in the international team competition before enjoying coaching roles with renowned French players Henri Leconte and Fabrice Santoro. Dominguez was also a tournament director at Tour events in France, including Monte Carlo, Tolouse, Metz and Montpellier, and was an accomplished broadcaster, contributing to both television and radio.
“Everyone at the ITF was saddened to learn of the death of Patrice Dominguez,” said ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti. “Patrice played many important roles in tennis – player, administrator, coach, tournament director, commentator, author – and he did them all very well. He represented France in Davis Cup for five years in the 1970s and was captain for one year in 1990. We send our sincere condolences to his wife, Cendrine, his children and to all of his many friends in tennis.”
Gary Au Yeung
Gary Au Yeung passed away on 7 March. Au Yeung was a highly regarded and accomplished international tennis referee and Hong Kong’s only ITF Gold Badge Referee, which he obtained in 2013.
Au Yeung first became a tennis official in 1973 and has been involved in tennis both in Hong Kong and internationally ever since. He was the tournament referee at the inaugural Prudential Hong Kong Tennis Open and was still actively refereeing women’s circuit events as recently as January.
Former American tennis player Whitney Reed passed away on January 9 aged 82.
Reed served in the Air Force during the Korean War, before going on to hold the American No. 1 ranking in 1961. Reed’s highlights include winning the Canadian National Championships and the Cincinnati Masters (today known as the Western & Southern Open). He was selected for the US Davis Cup team in 1958, 1961 and 1962.
While he was never inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, he enjoyed wins over Hall of Famers Rod Laver, Neale Fraser and Alex Olmedo.
Jean Claude Gasigwa
Jean Claude Gasigwa passed away on 8 January during a training session. He was just 31 years of age.
One of the best
tennis players in Rwanda, Jean Claude holds two Davis Cup records for his nation having played the most ties (32) and the most years (8).