Tony Roche, the 74-year-old Australian who once coached the likes of Roger Federer, Lleyton Hewitt, Patrick Rafter and Ivan Lendl, was presented with the Tim Gullikson Career Coach award on Saturday evening before the Australia-Spain ATP Cup semi-final inside Ken Rosewall Arena.
Former World No. 1 Hewitt presented Roche with the award. This is the inaugural Tim Gullikson Career Coach award, recognising coaches who, throughout their careers, have had a major impact on the sport of tennis, both on and off the court.
“I started with the juniors and worked my way up. The whole thing is, you try to get the best out of your player, have a bit of fun and enjoy,” Roche said. “I was lucky enough to work with some of the great tennis players of all-time and yet still remain very good friends with those guys and that’s very important to me.”
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Roche was unanimously selected as the winner of this new award. The recipients will exemplify excellence, leadership, respect, and a true love for the sport of tennis and the art of coaching. Named after the late Tim Gullikson, the award showcases someone who has inspired generations of young players and fellow coaches to grow the sport of tennis.
Roche climbed as high as No. 8 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, winning 12 tour-level singles titles and lifting 18 tour-level doubles trophies. He won 13 Grand Slam men’s doubles championships (all eras) and triumphed at Roland Garros in 1966.