Owen Davidson, Who Won 8 Grand Slams With Billie Jean King, Dies At 79

Owen Davidson, an Australian tennis player who formed a dominant mixed doubles team with Billie Jean King in the 1960s and ’70s, winning eight Grand Slam titles with her, along with five doubles titles with other partners, died on Friday in Conroe, Texas, a suburb of Houston. He was 79.

The cause was cancer, his longtime friend Isabel Suliga said.

Davidson came of age during a heyday for Australian tennis, with peers like Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall, Roy Emerson, John Newcombe and Margaret Court.

Unlike those players, Davidson did not have significant success in singles tennis, never advancing beyond the semifinals of a Grand Slam tournament. But his congeniality, sportsmanship, lob-inducing serve and adroitness in volleys made him one of the sport’s strongest doubles players.

From 1965 to 1974, he won 11 major mixed doubles titles and two men’s doubles titles. In 1967, he swept every major mixed doubles event, winning the Australian Open with his countrywoman Lesley Turner Bowrey and then winning the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open with King.

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