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Colin Stubs, the former player, manager and tournament official, was a highly influential tennis figure.

Colin Stubs, Former Australian Open Tournament Director, Dies Aged 81

Influential businessman who understood all aspects of the sport

Colin Stubs, the long-time former Australian Open Tournament Director, passed away on Wednesday aged 81 due to pancreatic cancer.

"The tennis community lost a very likeable and good man in Colin Stubs," former doubles World No. 1 Paul McNamee wrote on Twitter. "He was honest as the day is long, and made a great contribution to Australian tennis," added the former Australian Open Tournament Director.

Tennis Australia Chief Executive Officer, Craig Tiley, who is also the current Australian Open Tournament Director, said: “He put players first and gained their trust. He was an astute and widely respected tennis businessman who invested everything in showcasing the sport and staging tennis events of the highest order. He was an excellent player and very much his own man.”

Melbourne-born Stubs won the under-19 Victorian Championships aged 16 and went onto complete a four-year degree in pharmacy. He travelled on the international tennis circuit between 1961 and 1970, prior to becoming a pharmacist.

In 1975, Stubs’ good friend, the then Tennis Australia President Wayne Reid, encouraged him to work as a consultant. He sold his Wheelers Hill pharmacy three years later and expanded his sports marketing and management company.

Stubs not only shaped the early careers of Todd Woodbridge, Richard Fromberg and Jason Stoltenberg, but was a leading figure in the growth of the Australian Open in the late 1970s until 1994, when Pete Sampras and Steffi Graf captured the singles titles.

Colin Stubs Enterprises founded the Kooyong Classic in Melbourne in 1988, working in partnership with the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club until 2014, when the event was sold to IMG. He also helped the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in the mid-1990s and was Tournament Director in Adelaide until 2003.

Stubs, who later worked as a gardener in Sherbrooke Forest, east of Melbourne, is survived by his wife, Sue, and children Tom, Georgia and David. Another son, Richard, passed away in 2019.

Colin Stubs, player, promoter and tournament director, born 27 February 1941, died 13 July 2022.