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Alejandro "Alex" Rodríguez Olmedo (born March 24, 1936 in Arequipa) is a former tennis player from Peru, who was ranked as the top amateur player in the world in 1959. Although born and raised in Peru, he graduated with a business degree from the University of Southern California (USC) in the U.S. While at USC, he won the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) singles and doubles championships in 1956 and 1958.[1] (In 1957, USC was excluded from NCAA competition.)

Olmedo represented the U.S. in Davis Cup in 1958 and 1959, winning in both singles and doubles -- achieving 2 of the 3 points required to win the cup.[2] Even though he was not a U.S. citizen, he was technically eligible to represent the U.S. in Davis Cup because he had lived in the country for at least five years and because his country of citizenship, Peru, did not have a Davis Cup team. His participation was very controversial, however. Sports columnist Arthur Dailey at the New York Times wrote, "This would seem to be the saddest day in the history of American tennis. A few more such rousing victories and the prestige of this country in tennis will sink to a new low." Olmedo himself refused to file for U.S. citizenship, said he was content to remain a Peruvian citizen, and denied he was ducking U.S. citizenship to avoid being drafted into the Army. Still, many Americans "took a dim view of the largest nation in the competition stooping to borrow a little player from Peru to win the Cup".[3]

He won the Wimbledon and Australian Championships singles titles in 1959 and was the runner-up at the U.S. Championships in the same year losing to the same person he defeated in the Australian Championships. At Wimbledon, he defeated Rod Laver in 71 minutes 6–4, 6–3, 6–4.

He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987.[4] Olmedo was the first Latin American to win the Wimbledon men's singles title.

Contents

Grand Slam finals (6)

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Singles (3)

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
Winner 1959 Australian Championships Grass Australia Neale Fraser 6–1, 6–2, 3–6, 6–3
Winner 1959 Wimbledon Grass Australia Rod Laver 6–4, 6–3, 6–4
Runner-up 1959 U.S. Championships Grass Australia Neale Fraser 6–3, 5–7, 6–2, 6–4

Men's doubles (2)

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents in the final Score in the final
Winner 1958 U.S. Championships Grass United States Ham Richardson United States Sam Giammalva
United States Barry MacKay
3–6, 6–3, 6–4, 6–4
Runner-up 1959 U.S. Championships Grass United States Butch Buchholz Australia Roy Emerson
Australia Neale Fraser
3–6, 6–3, 5–7, 6–4, 7–5

Mixed doubles (1)

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents in the final Score in the final
Runner-up 1958 U.S. Championships Grass Brazil Maria Bueno Australia Neale Fraser
United States Margaret Osborne duPont
6–3, 3–6, 9–7

References


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