Australian former tennis player Rod Laver is widely regarded to be one of the greatest tennis players of all time. He was ranked world No. 1 in nine different years. He holds 200 singles titles--the most in tennis history. He excelled on a variety of court surfaces: grass, clay, hard, carpet, and wood/parquet. The Laver Cup Tournament is named after him.
Cathy Freeman is a former sprinter known for her achievements in the 400 meters events. Her personal best of 48.63, set at the 1996 Olympics, makes her the eighth-fastest woman of all time. She gave Australia an Olympic gold at the 2000 Olympics. Also a humanitarian, Freeman is credited with founding the Cathy Freeman Foundation.
Shane Warne was a former Australian cricket player, best known for his leg-break bowling. Widely regarded as one of the greatest spin bowlers of all time, Warne was the second-highest wicket-taker in test cricket. He was also one of the most controversial cricketers. In 2013, Shane Warne was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.
Legendary Australian tennis player Evonne Goolagong Cawley was once world number 1 and the world’s first mother to earn a Wimbledon win in 66 years. A Wiradjuri Aborigine, she is now part of the International Tennis Hall of Fame and also became the Australian of the Year in 1971.
Kostya Tszyu is a former boxer who held multiple light-welterweight championships. Renowned for his punching power, Tszyu is considered one of the hardest-punching boxers in the history of light-welterweight boxing. He represented the Soviet Union at the 1991 World Championships, where he won a gold medal. In 2010, Tszyu was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Australian cricketer, Sir Donald Bradman, is widely acknowledged as the greatest batsman of all time. He started playing cricket as a young man and scored numerous records within a few years. In a career spanning around two decades, he retired with a career test batting average of 99.94. He retained a pre-eminent position in the game for decades following his retirement.
Pat Rafter became the first Australian male in the Open Era to win consecutive US Open titles. The former ATP singles number 1 is also the only person with an undefeated record against tennis legend Roger Federer and is remembered for his politeness and his habit of saying “Sorry, mate.”
Throughout his 25-year illustrious career, Australian tennis legend Ken Rosewall has won 18 Grand Slams, including 8 singles titles. Known for his 5’7” lean frame, he was nicknamed Muscles by his teammates, apparently, for the lack of them. The son of a grocer, he had begun playing tennis at age 3.
Jack Brabham was an Australian professional racing driver best remembered for winning the Formula One World Championship thrice during his illustrious career that lasted 15 years. He is credited with founding the eponymous Formula One racing team and racing car manufacturer. Early in his career, Brabham contributed immensely to the design of racing cars introduced by the Cooper Car Company.
Legendary Australian cricketer Allan Border, also popularly known as AB, remains to be regarded as one of the best batsmen the game has ever had. Under his captaincy, Australia didn’t just win a World Cup but also brought back the Ashes in 1989. He is also one of Australia’s 100 National Living Treasures.
Roy Emerson is a former tennis player from Australia. A former world No. 1, Emerson won 16 Grand Slam doubles titles and 12 Grand Slam singles titles, which includes a career Grand Slam in both singles and doubles. Emerson went on to achieve another career Grand Slam, becoming the first man to complete a double career Grand Slam in singles.
Pat Cash is an Australian retired tennis player renowned for popularizing the act of climbing into the stands to celebrate. The celebration, which has been carried on as a tradition, was first showcased by Cash in 1987 when he won the men's singles championship title at Wimbledon. Cash was also part of the Davis Cup-winning team in 1983 and 1986.
Dawn Fraser is an Australian freestyle champion swimmer. She won the Olympic individual event the women's 100-meter freestyle three times in her career. She also won six Commonwealth Games gold medals. Much respected for her athletic abilities, she was also known for her controversial behavior. She became a swimming coach after her retirement. She is also a former politician.
Alan Stanley Jones is an Australian retired professional motor racing driver best known for winning the first Formula One World Championship in 1980 and only the second Australian to achieve the feat after three-time world champion Jack Brabham. In 1989, Alan Stanley Jones was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.
Australian former professional footballer Timothy F. Cahill was known for "his aggressive and powerful approach and his ability to head the ball in the penalty area" during his playing years. Having scored 50 goals in 108 caps, he is the all-time leading goalscorer for the Australia national team. Currently, he works as a pundit for BBC Sport and Sky Sports.
Tour de France-winning Australian cyclist Cadel Evans is also a four-time Olympian. His career took off when he earned a scholarship to the mountain biking program of the Australian Institute of Sport. An avid philanthropist, he has an adopted son from Ethiopia, along with a son from his second wife.
Australian kickboxer and boxer John Wayne Parr, known as The Gunslinger to his fans, began his martial arts training at age 11 and won his first title at 17. He was also the first Western boxer to make it to the cover of the popular Muay Thai magazine of Thailand, Muay Siam.
Three-time Olympic gold medalist Shane Gould was 15 when she participated in the Munich Olympics. She stunned everyone with her early retirement at 16 and stayed away from the limelight for 25 years, eventually re-emerging after raising her four kids on an Australian farm and then breaking records at the 2000 Sydney Games.
Australian former tennis player Mark Philippoussis is nicknamed The Scud for his missile-like deliveries. The former world number 8 singles player has two Davis Cups in his kitty and is now a famous reality TV star. He once went bankrupt but has since recovered and now owns a clothing brand.
In her 19-year stint as a basketball player, Penny Taylor has mostly represented the WNBA team Phoenix Mercury. She also won gold medals as part of the Australian women’s national team. Though she had a heterosexual marriage earlier, she is now openly lesbian and married to fellow basketball player Diana Taurasi.
Glenn McGrath is an Australian former international cricketer. A fast-medium pace bowler, he is considered one of the greatest Australian international bowlers of all time. He played international cricket for 14 years and was a leading contributor to Australia's domination of world cricket in the 1990s and 2000s. He is currently the director of MRF Pace Foundation.
Peter Norman was an Australian athlete who won a silver medal in the 200 meters event at the 1968 Summer Olympics. He is remembered for supporting fellow athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos by wearing the Olympic Project for Human Rights badge during their medal ceremony; he is the third athlete seen in the popular Olympics Black Power salute photograph.
Brett Lee is an Australian former cricket player best known for his ability to bowl fast. In 2003, Lee played a prominent role in Australia winning the ICC Cricket World Cup. Widely regarded as one of the greatest fast bowlers of his generation, Lee finished his One Day International and Test career after having picked 380 and 310 wickets, respectively.
Peter Brock was an Australian professional racing driver best remembered for his association with Holden. A three-time Australian Touring Car champion, Brock was honored with the prestigious Australian Sports Medal in 2000. In 2001, he was made an inductee of the V8 Supercars Hall of Fame. Also known for his humanitarian efforts, Brock was awarded the Centenary Medal in 2001.
Greg Norman is an Australian retired professional golfer and entrepreneur. One of the greatest Australian golfers ever, Norman was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2001. In 2009, he was named in Queensland's Q150 Icons list as a sports legend. Also a philanthropist, Norman established the Greg Norman Golf Foundation, which provides guidance to students.
Though born in Hungary, boxer Joe Bugner later gained citizenships of Australia and the UK, too. Known for fighting bouts against the likes of Muhammad Ali, he also won the European heavyweight championship. He later gained popularity as an actor, too, with films such as Street Fighter.