John Lloyd (tennis)

John Lloyd (tennis)

John Lloyd (born August 27 1954, in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, England) is a former professional tennis player and commentator for BBC from the United Kingdom.

During his career, he reached one Grand Slam singles final and won three Grand Slam mixed doubles titles. He was the first husband of the former top woman player Chris Evert and the younger brother of the former British Davis Cup captain David Lloyd.


At the Australian Open in 1977, Lloyd became the first British male tennis player in the Open era to reach a Grand Slam singles final. He lost in five sets to America's Vitas Gerulaitis 6–3, 7–6, 5–7, 3–6, 6–2.

A thoughtful, intelligent, and somewhat temperamental player, Lloyd found the pressures of the fanatically patriotic Wimbledon crowd hard to handle. Despite grass courts being his best playing surface, he was unable to gain strength from "home advantage" and never progressed beyond the third round in singles play at tennis's most famous tournament. On the grass in the more laid-back atmosphere of the Australian Open, 12,000 miles from home, he was able to relax and express himself to much greater effect. A classical serve-and-volley player, Lloyd had superb "touch" and a range of volleys that made him deadly close to the net. His flowing stroke play was a pleasure to watch, being technically excellent and seemingly effortless. Like many a top athlete, he often made the most difficult shots look easy. By the elite standards of top-level tennis, the rest of his game was average. His serve was only ever adequate. The mental side of his game was never a strong point, and against the very best he had a tendency to over-analyse and "choke" under extreme pressure.

Though he never won a Grand Slam singles titles, Lloyd did win three Grand Slam mixed doubles titles. Lloyd won the French Open mixed doubles in 1982, partnering Australia's Wendy Turnbull. The pair finished runners-up in the mixed doubles at Wimbledon that year, and then went on to win the Wimbledon mixed doubles crown in both 1983 and 1984.

Lloyd's career-high singles ranking was World No. 21 in 1978. His career-high doubles ranking was World No. 34 in 1986.

Somewhat unexpectedly for a modest and shy man, Lloyd found himself transformed from a national to international celebrity in 1979 when he married the World No. 1 woman player and American tennis legend Chris Evert (who became Chris Evert-Lloyd). The media-styled "golden couple" of tennis enjoyed several years in the limelight before a separation, a short-lived reconciliation, and eventual divorce in 1987. Lloyd was obviously never happy being a celebrity, despite his good looks and easy charm. Ever the gentleman, after the divorce he refused offers of very large amounts of money from the British tabloids eager for the "dirt" on his ex-wife.

As his playing career came to an end, Lloyd stayed within the tennis world, finding work as a coach and television commentator, and remaining a popular figure on the veterans circuit. As a player, he competed the British Davis Cup for 11 years, and after retirement he has served as the team's non-playing captain.

While Lloyd lacked the mystical "something" that distinguishes the best players from the very-good, at his peak in the late 1970s he was equal to almost anyone across a tennis net, especially on grass.

In 2006, Lloyd was appointed the captain of Great Britain's Davis Cup team, replacing Jeremy Bates. []


Since the 1990s, Lloyd has been a commentator and analyst for the BBC's tennis coverage, particularly at Wimbledon. Lloyd is known for his trademark catchphrases, using the analogy of food and drink to describe tennis shots. For example, if a shot is too weak he will claim that it was "undercooked" or "needed more mustard." Conversely, if a shot is overhit he will describe it as "overcooked," having "too much juice," or "having too much mustard."

Career statistics

Grand Slam finals (5)

ingles (1)

Runner-ups (1)

Mixed doubles (4)

Wins (3)

*1982: French Open (w/Wendy Turnbull)
*1983: Wimbledon (w/Wendy Turnbull)
*1984: Wimbledon (w/Wendy Turnbull)

Runner-ups (1)

*1982: Wimbledon (w/Wendy Turnbull)

External links

* [ Official ATP Profile]

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