Mike Dickson: Novak Djokovic and Emma Raducanu pay respects after journalist’s death at Australian Open

Eurosport analyst Tim Henman and former player Laura Robson were among those to pay tribute to Dickson after his sudden passing in Melbourne

Lawrence Ostlere
Thursday 18 January 2024 07:56
<p>Mike Dickson, the Daily Mail’s long-serving tennis correspondent (pictured with Roger Federer), has died at the age of 59</p>

Mike Dickson, the Daily Mail’s long-serving tennis correspondent (pictured with Roger Federer), has died at the age of 59

Tributes have been paid to Mike Dickson, the Daily Mail’s highly respected and long-serving tennis journalist, who died while reporting at the Australian Open this week.

Dickson joined the Mail in 1990 and covered a variety of sports, most notably cricket, before dedicating himself to tennis in 2007. The paper described Dickson as “Mr Wimbledon” as it reported his sudden passing in Melbourne.

The news was announced by Dickson’s family on his social media feed on Wednesday, 10 days before his 60th birthday. His wife, Lucy, tweeted: “We are devastated to announce that our wonderful husband and Dad, Mike, has collapsed and died while in Melbourne for the Aus Open. For 38 years he lived his dream covering sport all over the world. He was a truly great man and we will miss him terribly. Lucy, Sam, Ruby and Joe.”

Tributes were paid across the tennis community as stars of the sport, including Emma Raducanu after her second round defeat to Yafan Wang, saying: “Yeah, first of all, I would say condolences to Mike. I heard the news this morning. Was pretty taken aback to be honest because he was here two nights ago, and everything was normal.

“Yeah, just shows how precious life is and puts everything into perspective. I know I came off a three-set loss, but in comparison to what just happened, I was taken aback. Yeah, condolences. I know it's a very sad day for everyone and his family. I really hope you can stay as strong as you can.”

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal also posted messages of condolence on social media. “Very sorry to hear about the passing of Mike who has been following tennis all these years,” Nadal wrote. “My thoughts to his family and to our tennis family for the loss. Rest in peace.”

Speaking on Eurosport, an emotional Tim Henman said: “It’s incredibly sad he passed away in Melbourne. He was a great friend of the tennis community. Our thoughts go out to his family.”

British tennis player Liam Broady tweeted: “Don’t know what to say. A strong, good and fair man. Cared about me when I was at my lowest ebb. Rest well Mike.”

And the former player Laura Robson wrote: “Truly devastating news. Can’t believe it. All my thoughts with Mike’s family.”

Mike Dickson with the Ron Bookman Media Excellence Award

Members of the media industry spoke effusively of their colleague. Piers Morgan, a former Mail columnist and editor, tweeted in reply to the Dickson family: “So sorry to hear this. Mike was a terrific journalist. RIP.”

The Mail’s chief sports writer, Oliver Holt, wrote: “I am so sorry for your loss. Mike was a great man. He was also a wonderful, valued colleague, brilliant, funny, laconic company and a hugely talented journalist who was admired by everyone who worked with him and read his work. x.”

The Mail’s global publisher of sport, Lee Clayton, said: “Dicko was everything you want a correspondent to be - a brilliant news hound, a terrific writer and a friend to so many in his sport. The world of tennis will join us in mourning. He was a giant of a journalist.

“It will be an impossibly difficult time for us all as we digest this huge loss. Dicko was a magnificent tennis correspondent, but he would also turn his hand to any sport, especially cricket, golf and football, and support colleagues across our team in any challenge, always in such a generous manner. He was just a brilliant bloke, a class act. It was a privilege to work alongside him and to know him.”

Tennis writers who had been working alongside Dickson in Melbourne this week expressed their shock and hailed a “brilliant reporter” and “tremendous friend”.

“Crushing news,” wrote the Daily Telegraph’s Simon Briggs. “Dicko was the doyen. More importantly, a very special human being. We will all miss him terribly.”

Dickson was a Tranmere Rovers supporter and the Wirral club posted: “The thoughts of everyone at Tranmere Rovers Football Club are with Mike’s wife and family at this extremely sad time. RIP Mike.”

The Cricket Writers’ Club said in a statement: “We are deeply shocked and saddened to learn of the sudden passing of Mike Dickson while in Australia covering the tennis for the Mail. He was 59. Dicko was a brilliant journalist, on cricket, tennis and much more besides, and a great man who will be dearly missed by so many.”

Dickson wrote the story of Emma Raducanu’s astonishing US Open win in his book Emma Raducanu: When Tennis Came Home.His final piece for the Mail was on Raducanu’s resurgence in Melbourne this week.

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