Former Davis Cup tennis star Peter McNamara, who has died from cancer, is being hailed as a great Australian.
McNamara’s death, at the age of 64, has been met with widespread tributes from Australia’s tennis fraternity.
McNamara won five singles titles and is best remembered for his successful doubles partnership with Paul McNamee – the duo dubbed the ‘Super Macs’ who twice won Wimbledon, in 1980 and 1982, as well as the 1979 Australian Open.
McNamee spoke to his great mate a couple of days ago, saying McNamara kept his illness private.
“He was at peace. And he left as well as you can,” McNamee said in Melbourne.
“He was still trying to hit a few balls, believe it or not.
“It’s still sudden, what happened in the end. But he still had his spirits.
“He never wanted anyone to feel sorry for him, he was very private about it all so not many people knew what he was going through.”
Rest in peace, Peter McNamara.
Among many things, he was an excellent coach. Enjoyed his OCCs with Wang last year. pic.twitter.com/xn8GsDyiXc
— Ashish TV 🎾🎥 (@Ashish__TV) July 21, 2019
Other Australian greats took to social media platforms to pay tribute to McNamara, who enjoyed a successful coaching career after retiring in 1987stev.
“As a young guy growing up in Melbourne you were an inspiration … That backhand was one of the greatest tennis has seen,” Pat Cash posted on Instagram.
“You were always encouraging to me, a great team mate and always up for a laugh. A true no nonsense Aussie right to the end.”
R.I.P. Peter McNamara ! One of the good guys in tennis !
My condolences to his family
— Boris Becker (@TheBorisBecker) July 21, 2019
So sad to wake up & hear the news of Peter McNamara’s passing 😢 he was always one of the coaches I could sit down with on tour & be able to have a great chat with. Mostly about life & our kids. I will never forgot him telling me to live my life & be happy with who I am #RIPMacca
— Casey Dellacqua OLY (@caseydellacqua) July 21, 2019
Really saddened to hear of Peter’s passing. We had such battles over the years especially at @Wimbledon during the seniors. Tennis lost another great ambassador. So sad… #RIP #PeterMcNamara https://t.co/hkaSS8LrgQ
— Johan Kriek (@johankriek) July 21, 2019
Todd Woodbridge described McNamara on Twitter as an inspiration, as did Darren Cahill.
“A great player, great coach that improved every player he worked with, and gun of a person,” Cahill tweeted.
Boris Becker said McNamara was “one of the good guys in tennis”, a common theme from those reacting to his death.
McNamara died peacefully at his home in Germany on Saturday night after a long battle with prostate cancer.
He is survived by wife Petra, his children and grandchildren.