Sad news from Australia as former ATP Tour player and coach Peter Doohan passed away at 10 p.m. Friday night in Australia.
Doohan was 56.
The funeral will take place Aug. 5 at noon, at Sacred Heart Cathedral at Hamilton, Newcastle, Australia, followed by a reception for family and friends. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donated be made to mndsw.asn.au.
Doohan was diagnosed just over two months ago with what’s called Motor Neuron Disease (MND) in Australia. The disease progressed at lightning speed.
In North America, it’s referred to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. And it’s more commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, for the legendary New York Yankees ballplayer whose life the disease took in 1941.
Just a few days ago, Tennis Australia held an International Club dinner at the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club in Melbourne, the former site of the Australian Open. It offered a tribute to Doohan led by former Davis Cup captain John Fitzgerald (Doohan was unbeaten in Davis Cup) and support for his unwinnable battle in the form of a fundraising auction.
Doohan reached No. 43 in the ATP Tour singles rankings, and No. 15 in doubles, with five titles.
His epic moment came almost exactly 30 years ago, when the unseeded Aussie upset defending champion Boris Becker in the second round at Wimbledon. He looks back on that in this Vice Story in Feb. 2016.