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Wednesday, 15 May 2013
Page: 3259


Mr ALEXANDER (Bennelong) (13:50): Last week, former Australian tennis player Brad Drewett, lost his fight to the cruellest of opponents, motor neurone disease. Brad had twice been Australian Junior Champion, represented Australia in the Davis Cup and at 17 won his way through to the quarter finals of the Australian Open to play his idol, Ken Rosewall. Brad lost the match but won a lifelong friend. Last Friday Ken was at Brad's funeral, along with his childhood coach, Keith Walker; the Chairman of the All England Club at Wimbledon; his schoolhood friend, Phil Gardner; and a thousand other friends.

As president and executive chairman of the ATP, Brad earned the respect of all players. On learning of his passing, the world of tennis stopped in silence. In Barcelona, Rafael Nadal stood alongside Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and all other competing players to pay their respects to their friend and their champion.

Brad was great company. He was passionate: he loved wine and music with his friends. Most of all, he loved Jo and their beautiful children: Jack, Alice, Joseph and Thomas. Brad was a champion player, but a greater champion to players. He was a champion friend and, most of all, a champion husband and father. Whilst we, his friends, might selfishly miss him, this does not bear comparison to the loss suffered by Jo and their children.