Alex Olmedo, the Peruvian who dominated the world of worldwide tennis in 1959 when he gained the Australian and Wimbledon males’s single championships and reached the ultimate of america Nationals at Forest Hills, died on Wednesday in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 84.
The Worldwide Tennis Corridor of Fame in Newport, R.I., stated the trigger was mind most cancers. Olmedo was inducted into the corridor in 1987.
Olmedo took his first steps towards tennis acclaim on the membership in Arequipa, Peru, the place his father, Salvador, who oversaw the courts, gave him pointers. He was additionally guided by Stanley Singer, an American tennis coach working in Peru. He made his main championship debut in 1951 when he was 15, dropping in a preliminary spherical at Forest Hills.
After settling within the Los Angeles space, he was coached on the Los Angeles Tennis Membership. Enjoying for the College of Southern California, he gained the N.C.A.A. singles and doubles championships in 1956 and 1958.
Olmedo gained his two singles matches and a doubles match, teaming with Ham Richardson, to guide america to victory over a robust Australian crew within the 1958 Davis Cup last, at Brisbane.
His choice for the American squad proved controversial, since he was not a United States citizen. However laws permitted a participant to compete for a rustic after no less than three years of continued residence. And Peru didn’t have its personal entry in Davis Cup play.
Allison Danzig, the longtime tennis author for The New York Occasions, wrote that Olmedo’s choice confirmed that U.S. tennis authorities gave “equal alternative to each participant, to the international born in addition to the homebred.” However Arthur Daley wrote in his column, Sports activities of The Occasions, that Olmedo’s participation “has to make American tennis the laughingstock of the remainder of the world.”
Don Budge, the 1938 Grand Slam champion, responding to a Sports activities Illustrated survey of sentiment amongst main tennis figures, wrote: “Deciding on Olmedo isn’t saying there’s something flawed with our tennis. Nevertheless, we should always stimulate extra curiosity right here to match Australia’s.”
Olmedo, who held a scholar visa whereas enjoying for U.S.C., stated that if he determined to stay within the nation completely he would turn out to be a citizen. He did, a few years later.
Late within the 1958 season, Olmedo teamed with Richardson to win the lads’s doubles title at Forest Hills.
Olmedo was at his finest on quick surfaces, the place he may show his quickness and forge an aggressive recreation.
His extraordinary 1959 season started when he defeated Neale Fraser of Australia in 4 units for the Australian championship. He downed one other Australian, Rod Laver, who on the time was solely 20 years previous and unseeded, in straight units within the Wimbledon last, including lobs to his customary serve-and-volley recreation together with sturdy groundstrokes.
Olmedo misplaced to Fraser within the Forest Hills singles last.
After solely two seasons as an newbie (and lengthy earlier than the Open period, when professionals had been allowed to compete alongside amateurs), Olmedo joined Jack Kramer’s touring professional circuit. He defeated Tony Trabert for the 1960 U.S. Professional Tennis title.
Olmedo retired from aggressive play within the mid-Sixties. He was a longtime instructing professional on the Beverly Hills Resort, a magnet for Hollywood stars, the place his pupils included Katharine Hepburn and Robert Duvall.
Alejandro Olmedo was born on March 24, 1936, in Arequipa. His survivors embody his son, Alejandro Jr.; two daughters, Amy and Angela; and 4 grandchildren. His marriage to Ann Olmedo led to divorce.
Olmedo was the second Worldwide Tennis Corridor of Fame inductee to die in latest days. Dennis Ralston, additionally a star at U.S.C. and a five-time doubles champion in majors, died on Dec. 6 in Austin, Texas.
Whereas honing his expertise on the Los Angeles Tennis Membership, Olmedo acquired pointers from George Toley, the membership’s head professional and the coach of the usC. tennis crew.
However above all, he was assured in his personal instincts and court docket savvy.
“I’ve a philosophy,” he informed Sports activities Illustrated in September 1959. “I’ve heard a lot from so many. I by no means hear precisely. I imply, I hear, however I don’t. I study most from the gamers I play towards. That’s the massive approach you study tennis.”