Alex Olmedo

ALEX OLMEDO (PERU / U. S. A.)

Born: 24/3/1936

Australian Open 1959

Wimbledon 1959

US Pro 1960

Peruvian Indian Alex Olmedo was nicknamed ‘The Chief’, but he emigrated to the US and played Davis Cup for his adopted country. After helping win the Davis Cup for the US in Australia at the end of 1958, Olmedo stayed on to play in the 1959 Australian Open. After winning his opening match in the singles event, Olmedo tore a stomach muscle in a first round doubles match and considered withdrawing from the tournament. He scraped through his second round singles match against John Pearce 6-2 in the fifth set in a match in which he couldn’t get any power on his serve and resorted to serving under arm on several occasions. In the quarters Olmedo faced the Swede Ulf Schmidt. Despite facing an ailing opponent, Schmidt seemed reluctant to press home his advantage and after a long five setter Olmedo triumphed 7-5 in the fifth. The injury was improving match by match and in the semis against the American Barry MacKay, Olmedo started to show what he was made of. Olmedo won his third five setter in a row 6-3 in the fifth to reach his first Grand Slam final, where he met Neale Fraser. Fraser was woefully off form as Olmedo took the opening two sets 6-1,6-2. Despite fighting back to take the third set 6-3, Fraser was undone by the supreme lobbing skills of his opponent and Olmedo took the fourth set 6-3 to win his first Grand Slam title. Later in the year Olmedo hit form at Wimbledon, beating Roy Emerson in the semis before overwhelming Rod Laver in the final to take his second Grand Slam title of the year. At the US Open, Olmedo beat Chuck McKinley and Emerson before losing to Fraser in the final. Olmedo turned professional at the end of the year. In his first year as a pro in 1960, Olmedo embarked on a four man World Championship Series tour with Pancho Gonzales, Ken Rosewall and Pancho Segura and finished last. The same year he won the US Pro against a slightly depleted field. In 1961 Olmedo finished sixth out of seventh in the World Championship Series. Olmedo was then relegated to the ranks of also-rans on the pro circuit. Olmedo returned to play in the major events when the game went open but he was past his best. At the Wimbledon 2000 Champions Parade, the sprightly Olmedo stepped forward to a round of applause.

© GRAND SLAM TENNIS ARCHIVE

HEAD TO HEAD Win-Loss: J.Connors 0-1, R.Emerson 2-1, N.Fraser 1-2, R.Laver 1-0, C.McKinley 1-0, T.Roche 0-1, M.Rose 0-1

PRO SLAM HEAD TO HEAD Win-Loss: M.Anderson 2-1, A.Cooper 2-1, A.Gimeno 0-3, P.Gonzales 1-0, L.Hoad 0-1, R.Laver 0-3, K.Rosewall 0-4, F.Sedgman 1-0, T.Trabert 1-1

Alex Olmedo's Grand Slam record
Alex Olmedo's Pro Slam record

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