Salute to a legend's first coach


  • Janet Young Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia
  • Alan J. Pearce La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia



Margaret Court, First Coach


Australia boasts an enviable record of Grand Slam champions. Of these, two are further enshrined in sporting history as having won all four Grand Slam singles titles in a calendar year. Of course, we are referring to Margaret Court and Rod Laver. Interestingly, but not surprisingly, both have written books about their journey to legendary status (Court, 2016; Laver & Writer, 2013). A reading of their stories reveals a number of similarities in relation to their introduction to, and early years in, tennis. In this context, both legends give considerable praise and recognition to their first coach. This paper reviews the recognition Margaret gives to her first coach, Wally Rutter. How important was he and how did he shape her career? Before doing so, let’s briefly review Laver’s acknowledgment of his first coach, Charlie Hollis, and specifically the approach adopted by this influential coach and mentor.


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Court, M. (2016). Margaret Court: The autobiography. Macmillan.

Laver, R., & Writer, L. (2013). Rod Laver: A memoir. Macmillan.

Young, J. A. (2020). Pearls of wisdom from Rod Laver, AC, MBE. ITF Coaching and Sport Science Review, 82, 17-18.



How to Cite

Young, J., & Pearce, A. J. (2021). Salute to a legend’s first coach. ITF Coaching & Sport Science Review, 30(86), 4–6.