Born: 15/9/1938 Died: 6/6/1969
US Open 1963
Rafael Osuna was Mexico's greatest ever player. He was very quick around the court and was a shrewd tactician, which compensated for his lack of strokes. Osuna made his Grand Slam debut at the 1958 French Open, where he lost in the second round. At the US Championships in 1961 Osuna beat fifth seed Bob Mark in the fourth round and unseeded Whitney Reed in the quarters before losing to Roy Emerson in the semis 9-7 in the fifth set. At Wimbledon in 1962 Osuna beat John Newcombe in the second round before losing to third seed Neale Fraser in the quarters in five sets. At the US Open later in the year Osuna beat Ulf Schmidt and Whitney Reed before losing in the semis to Laver in straight sets. Seeded four at the US Open in 1963, Osuna beat Tony Roche in the third round and top seed Chuck McKinley in straight sets in the semis before bamboozling unseeded Frank Froehling in the final in straight sets. At Wimbledon in 1964, Osuna lost in the quarters to Wilhelm Bungert in straight sets. Defending his title at the US Open, Osuna beat Owen Davidson, Cliff Richey and Mike Sangster before losing easily in the semis to Fred Stolle. At Wimbledon in 1965 Osuna beat a young Stan Smith in the second round and a youthful Arthur Ashe in the fourth round before losing to Stolle in the quarters in four sets. At the US Open he beat Charlie Pasarell in the quarters before losing to Cliff Drysdale in a four set semi final. He made his last Grand Slam appearance at the US Open in 1967, where he lost in the fourth round. He died tragically young less than two years later in a plane crash at the age of just 30.
© GRAND SLAM TENNIS ARCHIVE
HEAD TO HEAD Win-Loss: A.Ashe 1-0, R.Emerson 0-1, N.Fraser 1-1, R.Laver 0-1, C.McKinley 1-0, J.Newcombe 1-0, T.Roche 1-0, M.Santana 0-1, S.Smith 1-1, F.Stolle 0-2
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