Ken Fletcher, former doubles champ, dies at 65

BRISBANE, Australia -- Ken Fletcher, whose 10 major doubles
titles in the 1960s included a mixed doubles Grand Slam, has died.
He was 65.

Fletcher died of cancer on Saturday in Brisbane, Australian
Tennis said in a statement Monday.

Along with Margaret Smith Court, Fletcher won the mixed doubles
Grand Slam in 1963, then the pair claimed the Australian title in
1964 and the Wimbledon mixed doubles titles in 1965, '66 and '68.

Court described Fletcher as an "awesome doubles and mixed
doubles player.

"Fletch had great reflexes, very good anticipation and an
awesome forehand," she said Monday. "Because of the time he was
born in with so many great players, he wasn't as recognized as he
should have been, but he was a very good doubles and mixed doubles
player -- better than anything you would see today."

He won a Wimbledon men's doubles crown with John Newcombe in
1966 and the 1964 French men's doubles with Roy Emerson, but was
unable to win a grand slam singles title, losing to Emerson in the
final of the Australian championships in 1963.

Fletcher was a member of the Australian Davis Cup team
throughout the 1960s with players such as Emerson, Rod Laver and
Neale Fraser, but didn't play because of the strength of the team.

Wimbledon champion Ashley Cooper, a close friend, said Fletcher
was a unique character whose achievements were largely unsung.

"Ken had a wonderful forehand and an imagination for playing
doubles," Cooper said. "He was one of the game's great
characters, on and off the court, and he had a colorful life. He
was a wonderful storyteller. News that Ken is no longer with us
will knock around the tennis world."