Ken Rosewall: Tennis, Wife & Net Worth

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In making a progressive graph of someone’s life, there are always ups and downs in data. And it’s even hard to maintain stability. But here’s a world recorder in tennis history from Australia, Ken Rosewall, making a graph of progression consistently moving upward.

Not only as a player, but Ken served as a squash instructor on the tennis court. Besides all, he played earlier than other players and announced his retirement later than the players of his age.

Despite having guts of involvement in retirement, he had also won over many young players.

Ranking top of the topper, Ken Rosewall had such an astonishing kind of energy to perform under the humidity of Australian air.

Besides all, he is a successor to make up for international honors and awards multiple times.

Ken Rosewall Tennis
Ken Rosewall, a former Australian Tennis player

Knowing more and more about Ken Rosewall, below is the quick facts as follows:

Quick Facts

Full Name Kenneth Robert Rosewall
Known as Ken Rosewall
Nickname Muscles
Birth Date 2nd November 1934
Birth Place Hurstville, Sydney, Australia
Residence Turramurra, New South Wales, Australia
Religion Christian
Nationality Australian
Ethnicity N/A
Education Kogarah High School in Kogarah, Australia
Horoscope Scorpio
Father’s Name Robert Rosewall
Mother’s Name Vera Rosewall
Siblings N/A
Age 89 years old
Height 5’7″ (170 cm)
Weight 68 kg (150 lb)
Eye Color Brown
Hair Color Grey
Body type Athletic
Profession Tennis Player
Marital Status Married
Spouse Wilma Mclver
Children 1
Name of Children Glenn Rosewall
Beginning of Professional Career 1945
Retirement 1982
Playing style Right-handed (one-handed backhand)
Sports team N/A
Coach N/A
Honors Appointed as a member of the order of the British Empire (MBE) (1980), Appointed as a member of the order of Australia (1979),  Inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport (1980), inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame (1985)
Victory N/A
Net Worth $15 million
Prize Money N/A
Merch  Sportscaster Card, Muscles: The Story of Ken Rosewall(Book), Tennis HOF Signed Card
Last Update July, 2024

Ken Rosewall | Early Life

This Australian tennis star, Ken Rosewall, was born on 2nd November 1934 in Hurstville, Sydney. Ken was raised by his mother, Vera Rosewell, and his father, Robert Rosewall, a grocer at Penshurst, New South Wales.

Later, they moved to Rockdale. As father Robert himself was so interested in tennis, he made the clay tennis court available for Ken.

Since then, from the age of three, Ken started to play with shortened rackets. Despite using both hands for forehand and backhand shots, Ken also got into it day by day.

Though Ken was naturally a left-hander, his father made him use right the most.

Similarly, Ken developed a powerful and effective backhand with a completely accurate and relatively soft serve with the pace of practice.

Now, talking about his education, Ken joined Kogarah High School in Kogarah, Australia.

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Ken Rosewall | Career Statistics

Early Career

With a knack for tennis from a very early age, Ken played his first-ever tournament at nine. Similarly, at the age of eleven, Ken won the Metropolitan Hardcourt Championships under 14 groups.

For a while, Ken also played with Lew Hoad and was known as Sydney’s “twins” despite having differences in physique and playing styles.

At the age of 12, both Ken and Lew played their first match in Sydney in 1947. Eventually, they played as an opener of an exhibition match between Australia and America.

With experience and time, Ken also acted aggressively in court, becoming a hard-hitting rival.

Later at the age of 14, in 1949, Ken received the junior championship at the Australian Hardcourt Championships in Sydney.

Not to mention, Ken was the youngest player to win the title.

Amateur Career

Earlier in the year 1950, Ken made it to the New South Wales Metropolitan hard court championships and semi-finals of New South Wales Metropolitan grass court.

Likewise, in 1951, Ken won his first-ever men’s tournament against Gilchrist as the youngest player.

Ken was moving further, trying to improve himself though he missed a number of the match’s smash. Other than that, he almost played flawlessly. 

Ken Rosewall Muscles
Ken Rosewall, aka Muscles

In the same year, Ken made up to the semi-final of the Brisbane exhibition tournament losing to Lew Hoad.

Similarly, he lost against George Worthing in the final of the Metropolitan Hardcourt championships.

Afterward, at the age of 17, Ken made it to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Championships.

Additionally, the British tennis expert Lance Tingay gave his thought on Ken Rosewall and Lew Hoad, ranking them as his equally youthful doubles partner.

Progressing more and more, Ken won his first-ever Grand Slam at his 18, as singles in the Australian Championships’ final.

Likewise, he won the French Championships against Seixas with all of his perfect shots.

Further, Ken was so much expected for Wimbledon but lost the match in the quarterfinals. In fact, in 1953, Ken beat Trabert and Seixas, but they beat him in different matches.

Thus, Tennis de France magazine’s editor ranked Ken third beyond Hoad and Trabert for a whole season ranking for 1953.

Accordingly, Ken won over Trabert in the semifinal of the Wimbledon later on. Later he lost against the crowd-favorite Jaroslav Drobny in the final.

On the other side, he lost in the semi-finals of the U.S. Championships. In 1955, because of the Australian team for the Davis Cup, he could not participate in French Championships.

Relation with Lew Hoad, Gonzales, and Laver

Since so early, Ken and Hoad started their career at the same age. Meanwhile, they defeated each other more than any other same player could have.

Despite having different speeds and playing styles, they were named ‘Twins’ or ‘The Gold Dust Twins. 

Within less period of time, even before both of their professional career, from every match, till the end, they had to face each other.

Truly, they were defeated multiple times for Grand Slams, Wimbledon, and the Australian Championships.

And in accordance with the world’s top best, editors or rankers usually ranked them one after another.

Consequently, they both won Davis Cup Challenger Rounds and other awards for several times either singles and doubles.

Likewise, with Gonzales, Ken played at least 182 matches, and all of them were professionals. On the other side Laver, his meetings are better documented and detailed.

Further, against Gonzales, he won 85 and lost 116 matches and played 135 matches against Lew Hoad, winning 84 of them.

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Ken Rosewall | Professional Tennis Career

Despite having both Ken and Hod accepting the professional contracts by Jack Krammer that were offered in late 1955, only Ken signed it in late 1956.

Just after declaring himself as a professional player, he fearlessly competed for a decade on the circuit.

In fact, he won eight French Pro-Championships (1958, 1960-68) and five Wembley Pro (1957, 1960-63), and two US Pro (1963, 1965).

The choice to turn proficient cleared out Ken’s incapable to compete in major competitions.

Still, when Open tennis made a big appearance in 1968, Rosewall won the primary accessible major at the French, overcoming Laver 6-3, 6-1, 2-6, 6-2. 

Furthermore, in 1971 and 1972, the duo play made Ken quite recognizable, especially in the World Championship of Tennis.

For once, Ken even earned the sweet $50,000 purse while playing in Dallas.

The most interesting match in the entire history of Ken’s play was against Laver, that outlasted with a score of 4-6, 6-0, 6-3, 6-7, 7-6.

The game was aired for 3-1/2 hours and seen by millions on television. With lots of bread and butter shots, two huge backhand returns ended as a tension-filled final tiebreaker. 

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Maybe both players got tired but agreed not to give up; there were ten easy points. And from Ken’s point of view, he did not expect something like that would happen though he wanted to.

Furthermore, Ken won several Australian titles, French, Wimbledon, and U.S. Championships.

Consequently, Ken won overall 133 tournaments, maintaining his ranking top of the world multiple times. 

Ken Rosewell | Open Career

In 1972, US Open created the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), where players could participate in almost all of the tournaments they wanted for.

There, just in the opening year, he won seven tournaments, becoming the older Grand Slam male singles champion in the open era.

During the same year of ATP, Ken faced the worst defeat of his whole career. Additionally, he received only two minor titles.

Since the beginning of his career, 1974 was the only year Ken did not win any tournament. Despite having strong cheers from the crowd, he lost the Wimbledon title to Jimmy Connors. 

Keeping aside the actual age, Ken gave continuity to tennis. In 1974, he even coached the Pittsburgh Triangles.

Meanwhile, Ken gave his last try at Wimbledon at 40 but still lost against the same player.

With his climbing age, his ranking position of Ken also kept on slipping. In 1977, Ken again made up to the top 20, winning a few tournaments. 

Further, at the age of 46, Ken still defeated American Butch Walts and ranked World No. 49.

Undoubtedly, every core of his body was dying for his retirement, but then again, in 1982, he made his participated in South Wales Hardcourt Championships in Grafton.

As expected, he lost to Brett Edwards in the final two sets.

Ken Rosewell | Playing Style and Assessment

Maintaining one of the longest tennis careers, Ken Rosewell remained virtually injury-free, energetic, and still made up to tournaments at 43.

Meanwhile, Kramer included him on his list of the 21 greatest players of all time.

Ken is a person to rank 13 among all-time male tennis players according to the 2012 Tennis Channel series “100 Greatest of All Time.”

Ken Rosewell | Personal Life & Wife 

Besides world records, matches, and stats, Ken Rosewall was married to Wilma Mclver. The two lovebirds tied the knot on 6th October 1956 at St. John’s Cathedral, Brisbane.

Afterward, the couple resided in Turramurra, New South Wales. 

Ken Rosewall with his wife Walma Mclver
Ken Rosewall with his wife, Walma Mclver

Later on 27th April 2020, his wife’s sudden death shocked him to the core. Meanwhile, Ken Rosewall was a non-Executive Director of the failed stockbroking firm BBY.

He also has a son Glenn Rosewall, the company’s Executive Director.

Ken Rosewell | Honors and Achievement

In 1971, on the day of the Queen’s Birthday, Ken was awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).

Then, in 1979, Ken Rosewall was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia.

Similarly, in 1980, Ken was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island. Moving onto 1985, he was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.

In fact, the Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre’s central court is named Ken’s arena.

Ken Rosewell | Net Worth

Being a world-famous player, Ken’s net worth is estimated to be $15 million, but the exact net worth is not recorded for now.


How many Grand Slams does Ken Rosewall have?

Ken Rosewall has 8 Grand Slams altogether.

From the year 1962, why was Ken Rosewall banned?

Ken has already captured six amateur Slams, including calendar Slams, unlike other players who had already turned pro.

Pratima Gurung
Pratima Gurung
Hello there! I am Pratima Gurung, currently a bachelor's running student. Besides that, I have so much interest in traveling. Additionally, I love to dance and watch rom-com movies during my spare time.

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