Newks 15: Peers breaks through
In the lead up to next week's Newcombe Medal, we review the impressive 2015 seasons of our six finalists. Today we feature breakout doubles star John Peers.
John Peers has for years now been a solid doubles player on tour.
But in 2015, he transformed himself into one of the tandem game’s dominant forces.
Combining for a third season with Great Britain’s Jamie Murray, Peers vaulted into the world’s top 10, won two ATP titles and more than 40 matches, and twice reached a Grand Slam doubles final.
As a duo, Peers and Murray were the fourth-best performed team in 2015, a feat that saw them qualify for the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London.
What has been the catalyst for the Melburnian’s stunning rise?
“I believe it’s been a result of two main reasons,” Peers told tennis.com.au.
“One being the continued hard work both on court and in the gym, ensuring I am always being very disciplined in my preparation and training. Secondly, I have been very happy off court. I can thank my fiancée, Danielle Montgomery, for this. I have been able to find a great balance on and off the court and she has enabled me to do this.”
With career-best form on court and a happy personal life off it, it’s been a year to remember for the 27-year-old. And it has gotten even better thanks to his latest accolade – nomination for the Newcombe Medal.
Peers is among six finalists for the medal, presented to Australia’s most outstanding elite player and ambassador for the sport.
“It was a great honour and surprise to get the nomination. I had not even thought that I would be considered. I was very happy,” he admitted.
Peers and Murray came into 2015 already with four ATP titles under their belts. Yet it was their performance on the bigger stages that set their season apart from previous ones.
It was their trip to the Wimbledon and US Open finals that truly established them as one of the finest men’s doubles combinations in the sport, with Peers’ textbook right-handed style fusing beautifully with Murray’s left-handed prowess. Armed with big serves, stellar net skills and great professionalism and intensity, they cut a swathe through many a tournament draw.
In addition to their breakthrough major performances, Peers and Murray won titles in Brisbane and Hamburg and reached the finals at ATP 500 events in Rotterdam, Barcelona, Vienna and Basel.
“The Wimbledon and US Open finals were standouts,” Peers said of his season highlights.
“To play on the courts you watched on TV growing up is an exciting experience. It is one I will never forget.”
Winning the Newcombe Medal on Monday night would undoubtedly be an experience that falls into the same category.
The Newcombe Medal, Australian Tennis Awards will be held at Melbourne’s Crown Palladium on Monday 23 November. Watch the live stream of the event on Tennis Australia’s YouTube channel.