Mike Davies, Welsh tennis player, Died at 79

  Business, Sports

Michael Grenfell “Mike” Davies was born on January 9, 1936, and died November 2, 2015.

He was a Welsh professional tennis player.

Michael has had a 60-year career in the tennis business, first as a tennis player, including a period as the number one ranked player in Great Britain and a member of the British Davis Cup team, then as an entrepreneur and one of the pioneers of the professional game.

Michael was born in Swansea, Wales. He took up tennis at the age of 11, and was discovered by Fred Perry and Dan Maskell.

He played on the British Davis Cup team with Bobby Wilson, Billy Knight and Roger Becker.

In 1952, Michael went to Australia for the first of three winter visits to work with Harry Hopman, the Australian Davis Cup Coach, and Australian players like Lew Hoad, Ken Rosewall, Roy Emerson, Fred Stolle.

It was there that Michael developed his game.

From 1958 to 1960 Michael was ranked number 1 in Great Britain.

He played on the Davis Cup team for Great Britain from 1956 to 1960 and had a 15/8 match record.

In 1960 he reached the final of the Men’s Doubles at Wimbledon with Bobby Wilson; the last time a British male reached the final of Wimbledon’s Men’s Singles or Men’s Doubles until 2012.

After that double final, in 1960, he was invited to turn professional with Jack Kramer for a two-year guarantee of £4,500-a-year.

He joined a select group of players considered to be the best in the world such as Pancho Gonzales, Tony Trabert, Lew Hoad, Ken Rosewall, Pancho Segura, etc.

Michael retired in 1995 and moved back to the United States.

In 1997, he and Butch Buchholz, took over control of the Pilot Pen Tennis tournament in Connecticut and are still managing it today.

The tournament is played the week before the US Open in August and is owned by the USTA.

Mike has been inducted in 2012 to the International Tennis Hall of Fame for his role in the transformation of the sport into a world-wide concern.

Mike passed away at age 79 on November 2, 2015 after an illness.