Chris O'Neil

  • Age68
  • Born19 March 1956
  • Birth PlaceNewcastle, New South Wales
  • Playing StatusRetired

A serve-volleyer, Chris O’Neil came from long odds to upset American Betsy Nagelsen 6-3 7-6(3) in the Australian Open 1978 final at Kooyong.

For 44 years she held the distinction of being the most recent local player to win the Australian Open singles title, until Ash Barty re-wrote the history books at AO 2022.

O’Neil peaked at a career-high ranking of world No.80 in the same year.

Her best Grand Slam singles result outside of Australia came at Wimbledon, where she advanced to the third round in 1974.

In the mid-1970s, O’Neil reached at least the quarterfinal stage of all four major tournaments in women’s doubles; her best showings were semifinal finishes in Australia in 1976 and 1978.

She was an Australian Open girls’ singles champion in 1973.

Chris O'Neil in the news

Chris O’Neil happy to hand over Australian Open history
Chris O'Neil with Billie Jean King at Australian Open 2018; Getty Images
29 January, 2022

Chris O’Neil, the last Australian player to triumph at the Australian Open 44 years ago, is delighted at the possibility of world No.1 Ash Barty taking that mantle.
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Ash Barty in elite company with Australian Open quarterfinal run
Ash Barty during her fourth-round win at Australian Open 2021. Picture: Tennis Australia
17 February, 2021

Ash Barty is creating history at Australian Open 2021 and reaffirming her status as one of Australia's best-performing players over the past four decades.
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