Ken Rosewall Net Worth 2024, Biography, Age, Height

By Alice Moreno

Ken Rosewall, born on November 2, 1934, in Sydney, is a legendary Australian tennis player with a career spanning from the early 1950s to the 1970s. He amassed 147 singles titles, including 15 Pro Majors and 8 Grand Slams and 15 Pro Majors and 9 Grand Slam titles in doubles. Known for achieving a Pro Slam in 1963, he was ranked multiple times as the world’s No. 1 tennis player. 

Despite his modest height of 5 ft 7 in and weight of 148 lbs, Rosewall earned the ironic nickname “Muscles” due to his agility and stamina. Trained by his father to play right-handed despite being naturally left-handed, he developed a formidable backhand. He was also the first man to win a Grand Slam without dropping a set in the Open Era, a feat he accomplished in 1971.

Rosewall’s financial success is outstanding as well. He accrued $1,602,700 in prize money and has a net worth of $15 million. His endorsements include prominent brands like Slazenger and Seamco, adding to his financial achievements. 

Off the court, Rosewall is a family man, a father to two and a grandfather to five. Currently a widower, he resides in northern Sydney. His enduring skill, longevity, and influence make him a true icon in tennis.

Quick Facts About Ken Rosewall

NameKenneth Robert Rosewall
NicknameMuscles
Age89 (1934.11.02)
Weight135lbs(61kg)
Height5’7″(170cm)
BirthplaceSydney, Australia
ProfessionAustralian Tennis Player (retd.)
Turned Pro1957
PlaysRight-Handed, Unknown Backhand
Singles Career High2 (1975.04.30)
Doubles Career High33 (1978.01.02)
Prize Money Singles & Doubles Combined$1,602,700
Net Worth$15 million
EndorsementsSlazenger, Seamco
FatherRobert Rosewall
MotherVera Rosewall
Marital StatusWidower
SpouseWilma McIver
Children2

Ken Rosewall Biography

Kenneth Robert “Muscles” Rosewall, born on November 2, 1934, in Sydney, Australia, is a retired tennis player known for his exceptional skill and longevity. Son of Robert and Vera Rosewall, he was trained by his father to play right-handed despite being naturally left-handed. Standing at 5’7″ and weighing 135 lbs, Rosewall turned pro in 1957 and achieved a career-high singles ranking of No. 2 in 1975. He also attained a doubles ranking high of 33 in 1978. Over his career, he amassed $1,602,700 in combined singles and doubles prize money. Off the court, he endorsed brands like Slazenger and Seamco, contributing to his net worth of $15 million.

Rosewall’s career highlights include winning 18 major titles in singles, doubles, and mixed, making him one of the most accomplished players of his era. His singles titles span from his teen years, starting with the Australian and French singles in 1953, to his early 40s. His adaptability to various surfaces and impeccable volleying skills were crucial to his success. Rosewall was at home both at the baseline and the net, a testament to his all-court game.

Despite facing competition from legends like Lew Hoad, Pancho Gonzalez, and Rod Laver, Rosewall maintained a consistency and competitiveness that few could match. His Davis Cup contributions were significant, helping Australia win in 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1973, and 1975. His record in Davis Cup singles was an impressive 17-2. One of his most memorable matches was against Rod Laver in the rich World Championship Tennis finals in Dallas in 1971 and 1972, where he came out victorious, surprising many.

Beyond his professional accomplishments, Rosewall led a full personal life. He was married to Wilma McIver and is a widower with two children. His commitment to tennis was recognized with several honors, including his induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1980 and the Australian Tennis Hall of Fame in 1995. Despite the high level of competition and the physical demands of the sport, Rosewall’s career is a testament to his skill, resilience, and love for the game.

Ken Rosewall Early Life

Ken Rosewall was born in Hurstville, Sydney, on November 2, 1934. He was the son of Robert Rosewall, a grocer in Penshurst, New South Wales. When Ken was just a year old, the family moved to Rockdale, where his father purchased three clay tennis courts. On these courts, Ken, a natural left-hander, began playing tennis at the young age of 3 using a shortened racquet. His father trained him to play right-handed, leading Ken to develop a highly effective backhand.

Starting young, Ken played his first tournament at age nine and lost to the eventual winner. By age 11, he had clinched the Metropolitan Hardcourt Championships for the under-14 age group. At 14, he made history by becoming the junior champion at the Australian Hardcourt Championships in Sydney, earning the distinction of being the youngest player to win an Australian title. 

Ken was often pitted against Lew Hoad during his youth, and the two became known as the Sydney “twins” despite their contrasting playing styles and physiques. Their first encounter was when they were both 12, and Rosewall defeated Hoad 6-0, 6-0. Rosewall’s consistency from the baseline was usually enough to counter Hoad’s aggressive play, marking him as a rising star in Australian tennis.

Despite standing at just 5 ft 7 in and weighing 148 lbs, Ken was nicknamed “Muscles,” ironically due to his lack of them. However, he was quick, agile, and had great endurance. His most potent shot was his sliced backhand, a skill perfected under the tutelage of his father. While his serve was not overwhelmingly powerful, it was precise, making him a formidable opponent on any court.

Ken Rosewall Career

Ken Rosewall Career

Ken Rosewall’s tennis career took off early. At just 15 years old, he reached the semifinals of the 1950 New South Wales Metropolitan Championships. This success led him to leave school to focus on tennis.

In 1951, at 16, he clinched his first men’s tournament win in Manly, New South Wales. The 17-year-old Rosewall stunned the tennis world a year later by reaching the US Championships quarterfinals, defeating top-seeded Vic Seixas.

By 1953, Rosewall had already made a significant mark. At just 19, he won the Australian and French singles and doubles titles. He also became the top-seeded tennis player in the world at 18.

Despite his youthful age, Rosewall was a key player in Australia’s Davis Cup team, although he lost to Tony Trabert in Melbourne. Rosewall continued to dominate over the next few years, reaching multiple Grand Slam finals and semifinals. His frequent opponent was Lew Hoad, and the two were often called the “Gold Dust Twins.” In 1956, Rosewall’s wins included defeating Hoad at the US Championships.

In 1957, Ken Rosewall entered the professional tennis circuit and faced off against Pancho Gonzales in his first match. Despite losing, Rosewall soon scored a victory against Gonzales. That year, he struggled to match the top pros like Gonzales, Frank Sedgman, and Pancho Segura but claimed the Wembley Pro title in September. In 1958, he competed in high-profile tournaments like the Kooyong Tournament of Champions and Forest Hills Tournament of Champions but fell short of winning. However, he clinched the title at the French Professional Championships, defeating players like Jack Kramer and Frank Sedgman.

Moving into 1959 and 1960, Rosewall faced stiff competition from Gonzales and Lew Hoad, among others. In 1959, he secured a few titles but was mainly in the shadow of Gonzales and Hoad. By 1960, Rosewall had improved his gameplay, winning six tournaments, including major titles like the French Pro at Roland Garros and Wembley Pro. Throughout these early professional years, Rosewall’s primary opponents were Pancho Gonzales, Tony Trabert, Lew Hoad, and Pancho Segura.

In 1961, Ken Rosewall took a break from competition to be with his family but returned in the summer to win major titles like the French Pro and Wembley Pro. According to various sources, he defeated opponents like Pancho Gonzales and Lew Hoad, cementing his status as the world’s No. 1 pro player. 

From 1962 to 1966, Rosewall maintained a dominant form, especially against Rod Laver. He won multiple titles, including repeating wins at the French Pro and Wembley Pro tournaments. However, he faced tough competition from players like Laver and Gonzales. 

By 1967, Rod Laver had gained momentum, but Rosewall still won six titles. Throughout this period, Rosewall was recognized for his all-court mastery and faced key opponents like Gonzales, Laver, and Andres Gimeno. 

From 1968 to 1971, Ken Rosewall was a prominent figure in tennis. In 1968, Rosewall won Bournemouth’s first open tennis title and triumphed over Rod Laver in the French Open, establishing himself as a top clay court player. Despite strong competitors like Laver and Arthur Ashe, Rosewall ended the year ranked as the world No. 3. 

In 1969, he slipped a bit, losing to Laver in the French Open and Ashe in the US Open, but still managed to capture three tournament wins.

1970 marked a resurgence for Rosewall. He missed the Australian and French Opens due to conflicts between professional tennis organizations but reached the Wimbledon final and won the US Open. By the end of the year, he was considered by some rankings to be the world No. 1. 

In 1971, Rosewall continued his solid performance by winning the Australian Open and finishing third in the World Championship Tennis (WCT) circuit. However, he did not play in several other major tournaments due to conflicts between the International Lawn Tennis Federation (ILTF) and WCT. Still, he ended the year by winning the WCT Finals. Rosewall’s primary opponents during these years included the likes of Rod Laver, Arthur Ashe, Tony Roche, and John Newcombe.

In 1972, Ken Rosewall won his last Grand Slam at the Australian Open, defeating Mal Anderson. He became the oldest Grand Slam male champion of the Open Era at 37 years and two months. He also won the WCT Finals against Rod Laver in a match hailed as “the match that made tennis in the US.” Rosewall couldn’t compete in Wimbledon due to an ILTF ban. He was ranked as high as No. 1 by Rino Tommasi and lost to Mark Cox in the second round of the US Open.

1973 saw Rosewall lose early at the Australian Open but make a Davis Cup return after 17 years. He also reached the semifinals at the US Open. In 1974, at age 39, he reached the finals of Wimbledon and the US Open but failed to win a title that year. His Wimbledon run was remarkable, beating John Newcombe and coming from behind to defeat Stan Smith before losing to Jimmy Connors in the final.

In 1975, Ken Rosewall was still a top-10 player, winning five tournaments and performing well in the Davis Cup. His last Wimbledon attempt that year ended in the fourth round against Tony Roche. In 1976, he slipped out of the top 10 but remained in the top 20, winning three titles, including one against Ilie Năstase, the world’s third-ranked player.

By 1977, Rosewall played his final year in the top 20, reaching the Australian Open semifinals and winning his last two titles at 43. He faced players like Vitas Gerulaitis and Jimmy Connors, losing to Connors in the Sydney Indoor Tournament final. After gradually retiring, he had brief comebacks in 1980 and 1982, even reaching a non-ATP tournament final at 47. Rosewall had intense rivalries, mainly with Rod Laver and Pancho Gonzales during his time. He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1980.

Career Stats

DisciplineCareer StatsDetails
SinglesCareer Record1811–710 (71.8%)
Career Titles147 (40 listed by the ATP)
Highest RankingNo. 1 (1961, L’Équipe)
Australian OpenW (1953, 1955, 1971, 1972)
French OpenW (1953, 1968)
WimbledonF (1954, 1956, 1970, 1974)
US OpenW (1956, 1970)
Tour FinalsRR – 3rd (1970)
WCT FinalsW (1971, 1972)
US ProW (1963, 1965)
Wembley ProW (1957, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963)
French ProW (1958, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966)
Other Pro EventsF (1958FH)
DoublesCareer Record (Open Era)211–113
Career Titles14 listed by the ATP
Australian OpenW (1953, 1956, 1972)
French OpenW (1953, 1968)
WimbledonW (1953, 1956)
US OpenW (1956, 1969)
Mixed DoublesCareer Record21–6
Career Titles1
French OpenSF (1953)
WimbledonF (1954)
US OpenW (1956)
Team CompetitionsDavis CupW (1953, 1955, 1956, 1973)

Ken Rosewall Honors and Achievements

He named as an Australian Living Treasure.

Honors and Awards
1971Appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)
1979Appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM)
1980Inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame
1985Inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame
2023Presented the Men’s Singles trophy at the Australian Open Championship

Notable Mentions

  • Ranked number 13 in the Tennis Channel series “100 Greatest of All Time” in 2012
  • Sydney’s Olympic Tennis Centre’s central court, named Ken Rosewall Arena

Records

  • Won the calendar year Professional Grand Slam in 1963
  • 23 combined Major titles overall, tied with Novak Djokovic
  • 35 combined Major finals overall, tied with Novak Djokovic
  • 52 combined Major semifinals stands alone
  • Won a Grand Slam title in three different decades, tied with Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal

Pro Slam Tournaments

  • 15 titles overall, stands alone
  • 19 finals overall stands alone
  • 85.54% match win percentage stands alone

Grand Slam Records

  • Youngest player to reach each Grand Slam final
  • The 19-year gap between the first and last Australian Championships singles title stands alone
  • 15-year gap between first and last French Championships singles title, tied with Rafael Nadal

U.S. Championships

  • The 14-year gap between the first and last singles title stands alone.

Other Records

  • Most matches played (2282) stands alone
  • Most matches won (1665) stands alone

Open Era Records

  • Oldest singles champion in Australian Open and US Open, stands alone
  • Two consecutive WCT Finals titles, tied with John McEnroe

Ken Rosewall’s career is dotted with numerous records and honors, emphasizing his contribution to tennis.

Ken Rosewall Net Worth

Ken Rosewall Net Worth

Ken Rosewall, a renowned tennis player, has a net worth of $15 million. This information comes from multiple online sources like Wikipedia, Forbes, and IMDb. His earnings from singles and doubles combined amount to $1,602,700 in prize money.

In addition to his winnings, Rosewall has endorsement deals contributing to his net worth. He has been associated with brands like Slazenger and Seamco. These endorsements have likely played a role in boosting his overall financial standing.

Ken Rosewall Endorsements

Ken Rosewall had endorsement deals with well-known brands in the sports industry. One of his main sponsors was Slazenger. He even had autograph models with them, known as early challenge #1 models.

He was also linked with Seamco. They produced an aluminum model tennis racket that featured his autograph. This association helped boost his brand and likely contributed to his net worth.

Ken Rosewall Personal Life

Ken Rosewall married Wilma McIver in a grand ceremony on October 6, 1956. The wedding was significant in Brisbane, with 2,000 people outside the church and 800 guests inside. They settled in Turramurra, Sydney, where they raised their two sons, Brett and Glenn, who attended Barker College in Hornsby. Sadly, Wilma passed away on April 27, 2020.

Today, Rosewall lives in the same Turramurra home they moved into right after their wedding. He has been in this house for 48 years. Brett and Glenn, his sons, now have five children between them.

In his later years, Rosewall was a non-executive director of BBY, a failed stockbroking firm. His son Glenn was the company’s executive director.

Ken Rosewall Education

Ken Rosewall attended Rockdale Public School and Kogarah High School for his education. During his time at Kogarah, his classmates called him “muscles” as a joke because he had a slight build.

Ken Rosewall Philanthropy

Ken Rosewall operates a Kids Tennis Foundation program through the Ken Rosewall Regional Project (KRRP). This program offers training to children in regional and remote areas of Australia. The project gets funding from organizations like CQS, YULGILBAR FOUNDATION, and ICP.

Conclusion

Ken Rosewall is a tennis legend with numerous awards and records. He has made a significant impact not only in sports but also in his community. His career achievements include being inducted into multiple halls of fame and holding various tennis records, some of which still stand today.

Rosewall has faced both triumphs and challenges in his personal life but continues to be a heroic figure in the tennis community. His influence extends beyond the court, as seen in his philanthropic efforts to help children in regional and remote areas through his Kids Tennis Foundation program.

Overall, Ken Rosewall’s legacy is that of an exceptional athlete, a committed family man, and a charitable individual. His name is synonymous with excellence in tennis, and his contributions to the sport and society are enduring.

FAQs

Did Ken Rosewall ever win Wimbledon?

The only big one Rosewall missed out on was Wimbledon singles, but he won the doubles twice. Nineteen years after his first major title, the Australian, over Mervyn Rose, he won it again in 1972 over Mal Anderson.

How good was Ken Rosewall?

Rosewall won 147 singles titles, including a record 15 Pro Majors and 8 Grand Slam titles for 23 titles at pro and amateur majors. He also won 15 Pro Majors in doubles and 9 Grand Slam doubles titles.

Who was Ken Rosewall’s doubles partner?

With his rival and partner, Ken Rosewall, Hoad led Australia to win the Davis Cup in 1953 over the United States. The two were formidable in the cup competition and helped Australia regain the trophy in 1955 and 1956. Hoad and Rosewall won the Wimbledon, French, Australian, and Italian titles as a doubles team in 1953.

What are some of his significant awards and honors?

He was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1971 and a Member of the Order of Australia in 1979. He is also inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.

Alice Moreno
About the author

Hi, I'm Alice Moreno. I've been writing about celebrities since 2005. I love sharing stories about famous people and finding out how much they're worth. I studied Journalism and enjoy digging for facts to make sure everything I write is true.

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