MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australia’s Peter McNamara, who won three doubles Grand Slam titles and became a prominent coach after hanging up his racquet, has died at the age of 64 after a quiet battle with cancer.
Melbourne man McNamara won five singles titles and 19 in doubles and teamed up with compatriot Paul McNamee to win the Australian Open doubles in 1979 and Wimbledon twice in 1980 and 1982.
After retiring in 1987, the former world number seven singles player enjoyed a successful coaching career, mentoring Mark Philippoussis, Grigor Dimitrov and Wang Qiang, among others.
He died peacefully at his home in Germany on Saturday after a long battle with prostate cancer, Australian media reported.
News of his death plunged Australian tennis into mourning and triggered a slew of tributes on social media for a popular tennis figure renowned for his warmth and generosity.
“Hard to believe that after 50 years of friendship Macca is gone … you lived life to the full mate and will be missed by your loved ones and many more … a toast to the great times mate,” McNamee wrote on Twitter.
Prominent Australian tennis coach and TV analyst Roger Rasheed described McNamara as “one of the greats”.
“He gave his all to everything he did, respected life & always had a smile & time for you,” Rasheed tweeted.
“He’s someone you wanted to be in the trenches with. He fought in silence and now he can rest peacefully . #RIPMacca”
(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Sudipto Ganguly)