Lleyton Hewitt

30 Years of Big games and Bigger names

Posted on December 19, 2017

The 2018 Priceline Pharmacy Kooyong Classic will mark the 30th Anniversary of the much-loved event. For 3 decades, the world’s best players have graced the famed courts of the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club to play their heart out and entertain the country.

We take a trip down memory lane and pay homage to the great players of the past.

1988 – Pat Cash
Fresh off his Wimbledon win in 1987, Cash also championed the very first Kooyong Classic in 1988. Defeating fellow Australian Wally Masur, there couldn’t have been a more fitting outcome than having an Aussie take out the top title of the new tournament. Cash reached world No. 4 in May 1988, which was his highest ATP singles ranking. Remembered as one of the greatest net players of all time, the Melbourne born pro started the tradition of climbing into the stands to celebrate his win, a legacy which many players have upheld.

Pat Cash
Images: Getty Images   

 1995 – Michael Chang
Three time Kooyong Classic champ Michael Chang saw consecutive victories on the Kooyong Lawn in 1995, 1996 and 1997. Born in New Jersey, USA Chang won 34 top-level professional singles titles during his career, including the 1989 French Open at the young age of 17. During his hot streak at the Kooyong Classic, Chang reached his career best ranking of world No. 2 in 1996. Chang and fellow American, Pete Sampras met twice in the Kooyong Classic Final (1995 & 1997) with Sampras finally taking out the title in 2002 against Andre Agassi.

2000 – Andre Agassi
As much as we wish he’d kept his long hair and fluro headbands, Andre Agassi became a household name at Kooyong (if he wasn’t already). All good things come in threes, and Agassi’s Kooyong Classic track record is testament to that. Agassi celebrated wins in 2000, 2001 and 2003 and was a runner up for the title race in 1998, 2002 and 2004. Given “The Punisher” as a nickname, the Las Vegas local and former world No. 1 was the first male player to win all four Grand Slam tournaments on three different surfaces (hard, clay and grass). The world loves a good comeback story, and that’s exactly what Agassi gave us. Hitting world No. 1 for the first time in 1995, Agassi dropped to No. 141 in 1997 only to return to the No. 1 seat in 1999 and the most successful run of his career.

Andre Agassi
Image: Getty Images     

2006 – Andy Roddick
The Kooyong Classic must have a thing for threes… American pro Andy Roddick is another 3-time champ at the iconic tournament. Roddick defeated Tommy Haas, Roger Federer and Marcos Baghadtis to claim his 2006, 2007 and 2008 wins. Roddick reached world No. 1 shortly after he won the title at the 2003 US Open, his only Grand Slam triumph. Defeating Federer at Kooyong was one for the books as the four other Grand Slam finals Roddick played against the Swiss resulted in loses.

The beloved Federer is no stranger to the Kooyong court. His loss to Roddick came in between his wins in 2005 and 2009.

Andy Roddick
Image: Getty Images

2011 – Present
Showing a little love to our Aussie heroes, Lleyton Hewitt has claimed two championships at Kooyong. In 2011, Hewitt defeated French pro Gael Monfils 7-6 6-3 in the final. His second win in 2013 was against Argentinian Juan Martín del Potro.

Lleyton Hewitt
Image: Getty Images

Belgium pro and current world No. 7, David Goffin defeated Spaniard, Feliciano Lopez 6-4, 6-2 at the 2016 Kooyong Classic and trumphed over Ivo Karlovic (CRO) in 2017, 6-7. Goffin, affectionately known as “LeGoff” and will be returning to the courts this January. Can Goffin join the ranks of our three-peat winning men?

David Goffin
Image: Getty Images

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