John Alexander (Australian politician)

John Gilbert Alexander OAM (born 4 July 1951) is an Australian politician and former professional tennis player.

John Alexander

Alexander in 2010
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Bennelong
Assumed office
16 December 2017
Preceded byHimself
In office
21 August 2010  11 November 2017
Preceded byMaxine McKew
Succeeded byHimself
Personal details
John Gilbert Alexander

(1951-07-04) 4 July 1951
Sydney, Australia
British (1951–2017)
Political partyLiberal Party of Australia
Spouse(s)Rosemary Brown (div.)
OccupationPolitician, tennis player, businessman

Tennis career
Country (sports)Australia
Height1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)
Turned pro1969 (amateur tour from 1967)
PlaysRight-handed (one-handed backhand)
Prize money$1,214,079
Career record579–428 (57.5%) in Grand Slam, Grand Prix and WCT level, and Davis Cup)
Career titles7
Highest rankingNo. 8 (15 December 1975)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian OpenSF (1974, 1977Jan, 1977Dec)
French Open4R (1975, 1978, 1983)
Wimbledon4R (1969, 1978)
US Open4R (1971, 1973)
Other tournaments
WCT FinalsSF (1975)
Career record451–300 (Grand Slam, Grand Prix and WCT level, and Davis Cup)
Career titles28
Highest rankingNo. 15 (23 August 1977)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian OpenW (1975, 1982)
French OpenF (1975)
WimbledonF (1977)
US OpenQF (1972, 1973, 1974)
Team competitions
Davis CupW (1977)

As a tennis player, Alexander reached a career-high singles rank of No. 8 in the world in 1975. He reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open singles on three occasions, and won the doubles in 1975 and 1982. He also played in the Australian team that won the 1977 Davis Cup. After the end of his playing career, Alexander worked as a tennis commentator and managed various sports-related businesses.

Alexander won the Division of Bennelong for the Liberal Party at the 2010 election, and retained the seat in 2013 and 2016. He resigned effective 11 November 2017 due to constitutional ineligibility arising from his dual citizenship of the United Kingdom. He renounced his UK citizenship and stood as the Liberal Party candidate at the by-election, held on 16 December 2017, which he won.

Early life

Alexander was born in Sydney. His father, Gilbert Alexander, was born in Essex, England, in 1907 and moved to Australia at the age of three.[1]

Tennis career

John Alexander at the 1970 International Dutch Championships in Hilversum

During a tennis career spanning the late 1960s to mid-1980s, Alexander won seven tour singles titles and 27 doubles titles, and earned a total of $1,214,079 (USD) in prize money.[2] He achieved a career best singles ranking of World No. 8 in December 1975. Alexander is the youngest player to represent Australia in the Davis Cup. He was also one of Australia's longest serving Davis Cup players, representing his country from 1968 to 1983. From 1974 to 1986, Alexander served as the resident tennis professional at Lamar Hunt's World Championship Tennis Peachtree World of Tennis Club in Peachtree Corners, Georgia US.

Alexander served as captain of the Australian Fed Cup team and worked as a sports commentator for Australian (Channel 7) and British (BBC) television networks for over 20 years.

Business career

As managing director of Next Generation Clubs Australia, Alexander designed and built sport and fitness clubs; including the Ryde Aquatic Centre in Sydney to host the 2000 Summer Olympic Games water polo event, the development of Memorial Drive in Adelaide into a multi-function health and fitness facility, and Royal King's Park in Perth.

In 1995 Alexander served as referee during the first series run of the Australian adaptation of the television series Gladiators.[3][4]

Shortly before his election to Parliament in 2010, Alexander's Tennis Professionals won a High Court case for the right to redevelop the White City Tennis Centre in Sydney.

Alexander also managed a variety of small businesses in the retail and sporting sectors.

Political career

As a Liberal Party candidate, John Alexander won the seat of Bennelong from the Australian Labor Party in the 2010 election with a swing of 4.52 points, giving a two-party-preferred margin of 3.1 points.[5]

Alexander delivered his maiden speech to parliament on 28 October 2010,[6] detailing his particular interest in areas of preventative health, infrastructure, transport and sustainable growth. During his first term Alexander was put in charge of several internal policy committees, with a particular focus on regional development and policies to tackle urban congestion.

In October 2011 Alexander ran the inaugural Bennelong Cup Table Tennis Test match, involving players from China, Korea and Australia playing in a formal competition in Ryde, a suburb within his constituency. In October 2012 the opening games were played in the Great Hall of Parliament House, Canberrathe first competitive sporting event ever played there. The Ambassadors for China and Korea participated in a friendly competition with Alexander and Minister for Sport Kate Lundy. The Bennelong Cup is the celebration of Alexander's Bennelong Schools Table Tennis Program which has put tables in all 40 Bennelong schools to encourage social interaction between students of different cultural backgrounds, together with a healthy activity. The Bennelong Cup has continued every year since with an interschool tournament followed by international competition in Ryde, preceded by exhibition matches in Parliament House, Canberra.[7]

Alexander has also established a range of other local programs including Bennelong Gardens, which provides work opportunities for people with disabilities in specially designed market gardens, and Bennelong Village Business program which promotes the benefits of local small business shopping and negotiates discounted advertising rates for small businesses in the local newspaper. John Alexander received much publicity for his 100 km charity walk around Bennelong to raise money and awareness of motor neurone disease after the loss of two close friends to the disease.[8]

Alexander was not challenged in Liberal preselection in 2012. In the 2013 election Alexander was re-elected as Member for Bennelong, increasing his two party preferred margin to 7.8 points.[9]

In September 2013 Alexander was appointed chair of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Tax & Revenue, a role in which he worked on improving access to 'light touch' tax returns for individuals with simple tax affairs. Following this he was appointed chair of the House Standing Committee on Economics, where he instigated an inquiry into home ownership and opportunities for tax reform.[10] Following Malcolm Turnbull's ascension to Prime Minister John Alexander was appointed chair of the newly formed House Standing Committee on Infrastructure, Transport & Cities, where he commenced an inquiry into transport connectivity, regional development, high speed rail and the use of value capture as an innovative funding mechanism.[11]

Alexander also served as chair of the Coalition Policy Committees on Infrastructure & Regional Development, and on Tourism, of the Sydney Airport Community Forum, and of the Australia-East Asia Parliamentary Network.

As a strong proponent of high-speed rail linking Australia's eastern seaboard,[12] Alexander delivered the keynote speech at a high-speed rail conference at University of Melbourne in February 2014, highlighting the resultant opportunities for regional development and reduction in traffic congestion in major cities.[13]

Alexander was not challenged in Liberal preselection in 2016. In the 2016 election, he was re-elected as member for Bennelong.

During the Australian parliamentary eligibility crisis, on 6 November 2017, it was reported that Alexander might also be a British citizen and so had never been eligible for election to the Parliament.[14] On 11 November 2017, Alexander resigned from parliament after conceding that he was likely a dual citizen,[15] necessitating a by-election in Bennelong. He renounced his UK citizenship and stood as the Liberal Party candidate at the by-election, held on 16 December 2017, which he won.

Tennis career finals

Singles: 27 (7 titles, 20 runner-ups)

Result No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Loss 1. Aug 1970 Kitzbühel, Austria Clay Željko Franulović 4–6, 7–9, 4–6
Loss 2. Jan 1971 Hobart, Australia Hard Alex Metreveli 6–7, 3–6, 6–4, 3–6
Loss 3. Jan 1971 Sydney, Australia Hard Phil Dent 3–6, 4–6, 4–6
Loss 4. May 1971 Tehran, Iran Clay Marty Riessen 7–6, 1–6, 3–6, 6–7
Loss 5. Dec 1972 Johannesburg, South Africa Hard John Newcombe 1–6, 6–7
Loss 6. Apr 1973 Gothenburg, Sweden Carpet (i) Stan Smith 7–5, 4–6, 2–6
Loss 7. Sep 1973 Seattle, United States Hard Tom Okker 5–7, 4–6
Loss 8. Jan 1974 Lakeway, United States Cliff Richey 6–7, 1–6
Loss 9. Apr 1974 Johannesburg, South Africa Hard Andrew Pattison 3–6, 5–7
Win 1. Feb 1975 Fort Worth WCT, United States Hard Dick Stockton 7–6(7–2), 4–6, 6–3
Loss 10. Mar 1975 Atlanta WCT, United States Carpet (i) Mark Cox 3–6, 6–7(3–7)
Win 2. Mar 1975 Tucson, United States Hard Ilie Năstase 7–5, 6–2
Loss 11. Jul 1975 Chicago, United States Carpet (i) Roscoe Tanner 1–6, 7–6, 6–7
Loss 12. Mar 1977 St. Louis WCT, United States Carpet (i) Jimmy Connors 6–7(5–7), 2–6
Win 3. Jul 1977 North Conway, United States Clay Manuel Orantes 2–6, 6–4, 6–4
Loss 13. Jul 1978 Louisville, United States Clay Harold Solomon 2–6, 2–6
Loss 14. Jul 1978 North Conway, United States Clay Eddie Dibbs 4–6, 4–6
Loss 15. Oct 1978 Brisbane, Australia Grass Mark Edmondson 4–6, 6–7
Loss 16. Mar 1979 Milan, Italy Carpet (i) John McEnroe 4–6, 3–6
Loss 17. Apr 1979 Nice, France Clay Víctor Pecci 3–6, 2–6, 5–7
Win 4. Jul 1979 Louisville, United States Hard Terry Moor 7–6, 6–7, 3–3 ret.
Loss 18. Sep 1979 Atlanta, United States Hard Eliot Teltscher 3–6, 6–4, 2–6
Win 5. Jun 1982 Bristol, England Grass Tim Mayotte 6–3, 6–4
Loss 19. Sep 1982 Palermo, Italy Clay Mario Martinez 4–6, 5–7
Win 6. Dec 1982 Sydney, Australia Grass John Fitzgerald 4–6, 7–6, 6–4
Win 7. Jan 1983 Auckland, New Zealand Hard Russell Simpson 6–4, 6–3, 6–3
Loss 20. Jul 1983 South Orange, United States Clay Brad Drewett 6–4, 4–6, 6–7

Doubles: 53 (28 titles, 25 runner-ups)

Outcome No. Year Tournament Surface Partner Opponents Score
Runner-up 1. 1970 Australian Open, Melbourne Grass Phil Dent Bob Lutz
Stan Smith
3–6, 6–8, 3–6
Runner-up 2. 1970 Hilversum, Netherlands Hard Phil Dent Bill Bowrey
Owen Davidson
3–6, 4–6, 2–6
Winner 1. 1970 Kitzbühel, Austria Clay Phil Dent Željko Franulović
Jan Kodeš
10–8, 6–2, 6–4
Winner 2. 1971 Sydney Outdoor, Australia Hard Phil Dent Mal Anderson
Alex Metreveli
6–7, 2–6, 6–3, 7–6, 7–6
Winner 3. 1971 Hamburg Masters, Germany Clay Andrés Gimeno Dick Crealy
Allan Stone
6–4, 7–5, 7–9, 6–4
Winner 4. 1971 Gstaad, Switzerland Clay Phil Dent John Newcombe
Tom Okker
5–7, 6–3, 6–4
Winner 5. 1971 Los Angeles, United States Hard Phil Dent Frank Froehling
Clark Graebner
7–6, 6–4
Runner-up 3. 1971 Vancouver WCT, Canada Hard Phil Dent Roy Emerson
Rod Laver
7–5, 7–6, 0–6, 5–7, 6–7
Runner-up 4. 1972 Quebec WCT, Canada Hard (i) Terry Addison Bob Carmichael
Ray Ruffels
6–4, 3–6, 5–7
Runner-up 5. 1972 St. Louis WCT, United States Carpet (i) Phil Dent John Newcombe
Tony Roche
6–7, 2–6
Winner 6. 1972 Bretton Woods, United States Hard Fred Stolle Nikola Pilić
Cliff Richey
7–6, 7–6
Winner 7. 1972 Louisville WCT, United States Clay Phil Dent Arthur Ashe
Bob Lutz
6–4, 6–3
Runner-up 6. 1973 Australian Open, Melbourne Grass Phil Dent Mal Anderson
John Newcombe
3–6, 4–6, 6–7
Winner 8. 1973 Toronto WCT, Canada Carpet (i) Phil Dent Roy Emerson
Rod Laver
3–6, 6–4, 6–4, 6–2
Runner-up 7. 1973 Brussels WCT, Belgium Carpet (i) Phil Dent Bob Lutz
Stan Smith
4–6, 6–7
Winner 9. 1973 Cincinnati, United States Clay Phil Dent Brian Gottfried
Raúl Ramírez
1–6, 7–6, 7–6
Runner-up 8. 1974 Richmond WCT, United States Carpet (i) Phil Dent Nikola Pilić
Allan Stone
3–6, 6–3, 6–7
Winner 10. 1974 Miami WCT, United States Hard Phil Dent Tom Okker
Marty Riessen
4–6, 6–4, 7–5
Winner 11. 1974 Monte Carlo WCT, Monaco Clay Phil Dent Manuel Orantes
Tony Roche
7–6, 4–6, 7–6, 6–3
Runner-up 9. 1974 San Francisco, United States Hard (i) Syd Ball Bob
Stan Smith
4–6, 6–7
Winner 12. 1975 Australian Open, Melbourne Grass Phil Dent Bob Carmichael
Allan Stone
6–3, 7–6
Runner-up 10. 1975 Fort Worth WCT, United States Hard Phil Dent Bob Lutz
Stan Smith
7–6, 6–7, 3–6
Winner 13. 1975 San Antonio WCT, United States Hard Phil Dent Mark Cox
Cliff Drysdale
7–6, 4–6, 6–4
Runner-up 11. 1975 Tokyo Indoor, Japan Carpet (i) Phil Dent Bob Lutz
Stan Smith
4–6, 7–6, 2–6
Winner 14. 1975 Las Vegas, United States Hard Phil Dent Bob Carmichael
Cliff Drysdale
6–1, 6–4
Runner-up 12. 1975 French Open, Paris Clay Phil Dent Brian Gottfried
Raúl Ramírez
4–6, 6–2, 2–6, 4–6
Winner 15. 1975 Chicago, United States Carpet (i) Phil Dent Mike Cahill
John Whitlinger
6–3, 6–4
Runner-up 13. 1975 North Conway, United States Clay Phil Dent Haroon Rahim
Erik van Dillen
6–7, 6–7
Winner 16. 1976 Atlanta WCT, United States Carpet (i) Phil Dent Wojtek Fibak
Karl Meiler
6–3, 6–4
Runner-up 14. 1976 St. Louis WCT, United States Carpet (i) Phil Dent Brian Gottfried
Raúl Ramírez
4–6, 2–6
Winner 17. 1976 Denver WCT, United States Carpet (i) Phil Dent Jimmy Connors
Billy Martin
6–7, 6–2, 7–5
Runner-up 15. 1977 Houston WCT, United States Hard Phil Dent Ilie Năstase
Adriano Panatta
3–6, 4–6
Runner-up 16. 1977 Wimbledon, London Grass Phil Dent Ross Case
Geoff Masters
3–6, 4–6, 6–3, 9–8, 4–6
Winner 18. 1977 Cincinnati, United States Clay Phil Dent Bob Hewitt
Roscoe Tanner
6–3, 7–6
Winner 19. 1977 Washington, D.C., United States Clay Phil Dent Fred McNair
Sherwood Stewart
7–5, 7–5
Winner 20. 1977 Louisville WCT, United States Clay Phil Dent Chris Kachel
Cliff Letcher
6–1, 6–4
Runner-up 17. 1977 Adelaide, Australia Grass Phil Dent Syd Ball
Kim Warwick
6–3, 6–7, 4–6
Winner 21. 1977 Sydney Outdoor, Australia Grass Phil Dent Ray Ruffels
Allan Stone
7–6, 2–6, 6–3
Runner-up 18. 1977 Australian Open, Melbourne Grass Phil Dent Ray Ruffels
Allan Stone
6–7, 6–7
Winner 22. 1978 Forest Hills WCT, United States Clay Phil Dent Fred McNair
Sherwood Stewart
7–6, 7–6
Winner 23. 1978 Atlanta, United States Hard Butch Walts Mike Cahill
Marcello Lara
3–6, 6–4, 7–6
Winner 24. 1978 Los Angeles, United States Carpet (i) Phil Dent Fred McNair
Raúl Ramírez
6–3, 7–6
Winner 25. 1978 Brisbane, Australia Grass Phil Dent Syd Ball
Allan Stone
6–3, 7–6
Runner-up 19. 1979 Houston, United States Clay Geoff Masters Gene Mayer
Sherwood Stewart
1–6, 7–5, 4–6
Runner-up 20. 1979 Adelaide, Australia Grass Phil Dent Colin Dibley
Chris Kachel
7–6, 6–7, 4–6
Runner-up 21. 1981 Mexico City, Mexico Clay Ross Case John Newcombe
Tony Roche
7–6, 3–6, 1–6
Runner-up 22. 1981 Maui, United States Hard Jim Delaney Tony Graham
Matt Mitchell
3–6, 6–3, 6–7
Winner 26. 1982 Australian Open, Melbourne Grass John Fitzgerald Andy Andrews
John Sadri
6–7, 6–2, 7–6
Winner 27. 1982 Sydney Outdoor, Australia Grass John Fitzgerald Cliff Letcher
Craig Miller
6–4, 7–6
Winner 28. 1983 Bristol Open, England Grass John Fitzgerald Tom Gullikson
Johan Kriek
7–5, 6–4
Runner-up 23. 1984 Rome, Italy Clay Mike Leach Ken Flach
Robert Seguso
6–3, 3–6, 4–6
Runner-up 24. 1984 Bristol, England Grass John Fitzgerald Larry Stefanki
Robert Van't Hof
4–6, 7–5, 7–9
Runner-up 25. 1985 Bristol, England Grass Russell Simpson Eddie Edwards
Danie Visser
4–6, 6–7

Grand Slam singles performance timeline

(W) Won; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (A) absent; (NH) not held. SR=strike rate (events won/competed)
Australian Open 1R A 2R 2R 3R 1R SF 3R QF A SF SF QF 1R 1R 3R 4R 2R 1R 1R
French Open A 3R 1R 1R 2R A 1R A 4R A A 4R A A A 1R 4R 2R A
Wimbledon A 2R 4R 2R 2R A A 2R 2R 1R 2R 4R 3R A 1R 2R 2R 1R A
US Open A A 2R A 4R 2R 4R 3R 2R 3R 2R 1R 2R A 1R 1R A A A


Alexander was briefly married, while in the United States, to a Canadian model and later married to Rosemary Brown, a former Olympic swimmer, for almost ten years. He and the former Ms. Brown have three children: Emily (1990), Georgia (1991) and Charles (1994). Today, Alexander lives in his electorate in Epping.[16][17]


On 26 January 1992, he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia.[18]

On 30 August 2000, he was awarded the Australian Sports Medal.[19]


  1. Liberal MP John Alexander checking possible dual citizenship – report, The Guardian Australia, 6 November 2017. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  2. "John Alexander | Overview". ATP World Tour. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  3. Australian Gladiators, Karen Alley, Linda Byrnes, Alistair Gibb, retrieved 11 November 2017CS1 maint: others (link)
  4. "Australian Gladiators |". Gladiators. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  5. Commission, Australian Electoral. "House of Representatives Division First Preferences". Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  6. "Address-in-Reply: 28 Oct 2010: House debates (". Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  7. "Projects – John Alexander MP". Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  8. "Bennelong 100km WALK for MND comes to triumphant end". 23 November 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  9. Commission, Australian Electoral. "House of Representatives Division First Preferences". Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  10. Commonwealth Parliament. "Terms of Reference". Parliament House, Canberra, ACT, 2600. Retrieved 11 November 2017.CS1 maint: location (link)
  11. "Australia needs High Speed Rail". 12 April 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  12. JONES, HOWARD (9 February 2013). "Fast train 'to bring boom'". Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  13. Gartrell, Adam; Shields, Bevan (6 November 2017). "Citizenship crisis: Turnbull government MP John Alexander may be a dual citizen". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  14. "Liberal backbencher John Alexander to resign after raising citizenship concerns". ABC News (Australia). 11 November 2017. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  15. Deare, Steven (24 October 2017). "Liberal MP John Alexander defends leaving Bennelong". Northern District Times. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  16. Macken, Lucy (11 June 2017). "Liberal MP John Alexander buys $4.8 million Iona Park in Moss Vale". Domain. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  17. "John Alexander OAM". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  18. "John Alexander". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Maxine McKew
Member for Bennelong
2010–2017, 2017–present
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