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Simon John Arthur Youl
b . 1 July 1965
Introduced by his family at the age of 8 to the game of tennis, Simon showed a natural aptitude for the game and later private lessons enhanced that raw talent. Significant support from his family enabled him to progress through school, club and state under age ranks. That wonderful support followed him throughout his career.
He went on to receive a junior scholarship under the Custom Credit support scheme, moved to Sydney at the age of 14 and came under the influence of John Newcombe and Tony Roche. He then earned a scholarship to the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra where Ray Ruffels was one of his coaches.
As a junior his career was outstanding. He won a national under 13 singles title, but in 1983 he made his mark on the international scene in an exceptional year of achievements. In singles, he won the Canadian Junior Title and was runner up in both the United States & Australian titles and was a quarter finalist at the Wimbledon Juniors.
With his partner Mark Kratzman, they won the French, Wimbledon, United States and Canadian Open junior titles. At the end of the year, he was ranked No. 5 junior player in the world and not unexpectedly, No.1 (with Mark) in the doubles.
Moving out of the juniors at the beginning of 1984 he joined the tough A.T.P circuit mainly playing the Challenger series. In that open field, Simon recorded his first singles win in the 1984 Australian Hardcourt Championships. In later years he won titles in Singapore, Schevingen, & Newcastle. He never forgot his Tasmanian connections and one of his most pleasing wins was the 1990 Challenger Title in Hobart.
With many different doubles partners over the years, Simon won events in Casablanca, Nagoya, Christchurch and Bucharest and was a quarter finalist at Wimbledon in 1986 and again in 1989. Simon has twice been selected in the Australian Davis Cup squad.
He was forced to retire in 1994 because of persistent knee and back injuries – leaving with a legacy of 13 years on the professional circuit. Regarded as one of Tasmania's best ever tennis players, Simon, since his retirement, has given back to the game a significant amount of his undoubted expertise by coaching many of the states' current elite players - both juniors and seniors.
Simon is a very worthy addition to the Tasmanian Sporting Hall of Fame.