AAP Tennis

Tennis star Peter McNamara dies aged 64

By AAP Newswire

Former Davis Cup tennis star Peter McNamara, who has died from cancer, is being hailed as a great Australian.

McNamara's death, at the age of 64, has been met with widespread tributes from Australia's tennis fraternity.

McNamara won five singles titles and is best remembered for his successful doubles partnership with Paul McNamee - the duo dubbed the 'Super Macs' who twice won Wimbledon, in 1980 and 1982, as well as the 1979 Australian Open.

McNamee spoke to his great mate a couple of days ago, saying McNamara kept his illness private.

"He was at peace. And he left as well as you can," McNamee told reporters in Melbourne.

"He was still trying to hit a few balls, believe it or not.

"It's still sudden, what happened in the end. But he still had his spirits.

"He never wanted anyone to feel sorry for him, he was very private about it all so not many people knew what he was going through."

Other Australian greats took to social media platforms to pay tribute to McNamara, who after retiring in 1987 enjoyed a successful coaching career.

"As a young guy growing up in Melbourne you were an inspiration ... That backhand was one of the greatest tennis has seen," Pat Cash posted on Instagram.

"You were always encouraging to me, a great team mate and always up for a laugh. A true no nonsense Aussie right to the end."

Todd Woodbridge described McNamara on Twitter as an inspiration, as did Darren Cahill.

"A great player, great coach that improved every player he worked with, and gun of a person," Cahill tweeted.

Boris Becker said McNamara was "one of the good guys in tennis", a common theme from those reacting to his death.

McNamara died peacefully at his home in Germany on Saturday night after a long battle with prostate cancer.

He is survived by wife Petra, his children and grandchildren.