Chris Lewis (tennis)

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Chris Lewis
Chris Lewis, New Zealand Tennis Player (February 1980) (24874283479).jpg
Country (sports) New Zealand
ResidenceIrvine, California, US
Born (1957-03-09) 9 March 1957 (age 65)
Auckland, New Zealand
Height1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)[1]
Turned pro1975
PlaysRight-handed (one-handed backhand)
Prize money$647,550
Career record237–196
Career titles3
Highest rankingNo. 19 (16 April 1984)
Grand Slam singles results
Australian Open3R (1977Dec, 1981)
French Open3R (1977)
WimbledonF (1983)
US Open3R (1982)
Career record183–161
Career titles8[1]
Highest rankingNo. 46 (14 January 1985)
Grand Slam doubles results
Australian OpenQF (1980)
French OpenQF (1982)
WimbledonQF (1981)
US Open2R (1981)

Chris Lewis (born 9 March 1957) is a former professional tennis player from New Zealand who reached the 1983 Wimbledon final as an unseeded player. He won three singles titles and achieved a career-high singles ranking of world No. 19 in April 1984. He also won eight doubles titles during his 12 years on the tour. Lewis was coached by Harry Hopman and Tony Roche.

He became the third player from New Zealand to reach the finals of a Grand Slam singles title after the second player from New Zealand, Onny Parun, had reached the finals of a Grand Slam singles title ten years before at the Australian Open. Lewis is the last player from New Zealand to reach the finals of a Grand Slam tournament (as of 2021).

Early life[edit]

Lewis was born in Auckland, New Zealand, and received his secondary education at Marcellin College and Lynfield College. He is the eldest of three sons. His brothers are David Lewis and Mark Lewis who also had competitive tennis careers.[2]

Tennis career[edit]


Lewis reached the No. 1 junior world ranking in 1975, winning the Wimbledon boys' singles title (def. Ricardo Ycaza) and reaching the final of the US Open boys' singles (lost to Howard Schoenfield).

Pro tour[edit]

In reaching the 1983 Wimbledon final, after a five-set win over Kevin Curren in the semifinals, Lewis became the seventh unseeded man and only the second New Zealander after Anthony Wilding (who won four times between 1910 and 1913) to reach a Wimbledon singles final. He lost the final to John McEnroe in three sets. He also reached the final at the Cincinnati Masters in 1981, again losing to John McEnroe in straight sets.

After tennis[edit]

In the 1999 New Zealand general election, Lewis unsuccessfully stood for parliament as a list candidate for the Libertarianz party. Now a resident in Irvine, California, Lewis is the co-founder of the Brymer Lewis Tennis Academy, based at the Orange County Great Park Sports Complex in Irvine. His daughter Geneva Lewis, born 1998, is a violinist.[3]


Lewis was the first man in history to reach the final of one of the four tennis majors (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, US Open) while using an oversize racquet, a Prince original graphite (second only to Pam Shriver in the 1978 US Open). He was also one of the early players equipped with custom made shoes designed for the grass surface.

Grand Slam finals[edit]

Result Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Loss 1983 Wimbledon Grass United States John McEnroe 2–6, 2–6, 2–6

ATP Masters Series finals[edit]

Result Year Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Loss 1981 Cincinnati Masters Hard United States John McEnroe 3–6, 4–6

Career finals[edit]

Singles: 10 (3 titles, 7 runner-ups)[edit]

Winner – Legend (pre/post 2009)
Grand Slam tournaments (0–1)
ATP Masters Series /
ATP World Tour Masters 1000 (0–1)
ATP International Series Gold /
ATP World Tour 500 Series (0–1)
ATP International Series /
ATP World Tour 250 Series (3–4)
Finals by surface
Hard (1–2)
Clay (2–1)
Grass (0–4)
Carpet (0–0)
Result W/L Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Loss 0–1 Dec 1977 Adelaide, Australia Grass United States Tim Gullikson 6–3, 4–6, 6–3, 2–6, 4–6
Win 1–1 Jul 1978 Kitzbühel, Austria Clay Czechoslovakia Vladimír Zedník 6–1, 6–4, 6–0
Loss 1–2 Mar 1981 Stuttgart Indoor, Germany Hard (i) Czechoslovakia Ivan Lendl 3–6, 0–6, 7–6, 3–6
Win 2–2 May 1981 Munich, Germany Clay France Christophe Roger-Vasselin 4–6, 6–2, 2–6, 6–1, 6–1
Loss 2–3 Aug 1981 Cincinnati Masters, United States Hard United States John McEnroe 3–6, 4–6
Loss 2–4 Oct 1981 Brisbane, Australia Grass Australia Mark Edmondson 6–7, 6–3, 4–6
Loss 2–5 Dec 1981 Sydney Outdoor, Australia Grass United States Tim Wilkison 4–6, 6–7, 3–6
Loss 2–6 Apr 1982 Hilton Head WCT, United States Clay United States Van Winitsky 4–6, 4–6
Loss 2–7 Jun 1983 Wimbledon, London Grass United States John McEnroe 2–6, 2–6, 2–6
Win 3–7 Jan 1985 Auckland, New Zealand Hard Australia Wally Masur 7–5, 6–0, 2–6, 6–4

Grand Slam singles performance timeline[edit]

(W) winner; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (DNQ) did not qualify; (A) absent; (NH) not held; (SR) strike rate (events won / competed); (W–L) win–loss record.
Tournament 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 SR
Australian Open A 2R 1R 3R A 1R 1R 3R 3R 3R 2R 2R 0 / 10
French Open Q2 A 3R 2R 2R 2R 2R 2R 1R 1R 2R 0 / 9
Wimbledon Q3 2R 1R 1R A 2R 2R 3R F 2R 2R 0 / 9
US Open A A A 1R 1R A 2R 3R 2R 1R A 0 / 6
Strike rate 0 / 0 0 / 2 0 / 4 0 / 3 0 / 3 0 / 3 0 / 4 0 / 4 0 / 4 0 / 4 0 / 3 0 / 34

Note: The Australian Open was held twice in 1977, in January and December.


  1. ^ a b Player Profile
  2. ^ Joseph Romanos, Chris Lewis: All the Way to Wimbledon, Rugby Press, Auckland, 1984, p. 43, ISBN 090863014X.
  3. ^ Thomas, Robert D. (16 March 2015). "16-year-old violinist to perform with Pasadena Symphony". The Pasadena Star-News. Retrieved 25 July 2015.

External links[edit]

Preceded by New Zealand Sportsman of the Year
Succeeded by