Induction Year: 2015
Owen Davidson (1943-2023) competed and made contributions to the sport of tennis beginning in the1960s. He held the honor of being the first player to win a match in the open era of tennis when he defeated John Clifton in the first round of the British Hard Court Championships in April 1968. Davidson won 11 Grand Slam mixed doubles titles. Eight of those titles came alongside arguably one the greatest women tennis players in the history of the sport, Billie Jean King. He was a men's doubles Grand Slam champion twice, partnering with Ken Rosewall to win the 1972 Australian Open and John Newcombe to win the 1973 US Open. In singles, Davidson advanced to the Australian Championship quarterfinals five times (1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1967), the Wimbledon semifinals in 1966 and the US Open quarterfinals twice (1966, 1967). At the peak of Davidson’s game he was ranked No. 8 in the world (1967). He finished with an overall career record of 242-181.
Davidson served as the Director of Tennis for the Houston Racquet Club as well as the Director of Tennis for the John Newcombe Tennis Ranch. He tutored over a 1,000 Texas tennis players including time spent as 2010 Texas Tennis Hall of Fame inductee Sammy Giammalva Jr.’s personal coach on the pro tour.
Davidson was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island in 2010 and the Australian Tennis Hall of Fame in Melbourne, Australia in 2011.