Alex Olmedo, who won the Wimbledon and Australian Championships singles titles in 1959 and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987, has died. He was 84.
Olmedo died of brain cancer on Wednesday, the Hall of Fame said on Thursday.
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Alejandro "Alex" Olmedo was born in Peru in 1936 and moved to the United States as a teenager.
He went to the University of Southern California where he won NCAA tennis championships in singles and doubles in both 1956 and 1958.
Olmedo played in the Davis Cup for the United States and led the team to the trophy in 1958, when he also paired with Ham Richardson to win the doubles title at the US National Championships - now known as the US Open.
That was followed by Olmedo's historic 1959 season, when he beat Australia's Rod Laver in the Wimbledon final and his triumph at the tournament now called the Australian Open, before reaching the final at the US National Championships.
That was when grand slam tournaments were closed to professional players. Olmedo turned pro in 1960.
"Alex Olmedo came from humble beginnings and he made sacrifices and worked hard to chase his dreams of a tennis career, ultimately becoming a major champion and Hall of Famer," International Tennis Hall of Fame President Stan Smith said in a statement.
"He was a terrific player and a Davis Cup hero. ... He was a great champion, a great friend, and he will be missed."
Olmedo is survived by his children, Amy, Angela and Alejandro, Jr.
Tennis world mourns loss of popular champion
Renowned for his humble nature, good sportsmanship, big serve and on-court artistry, Olmedo's death has led to a raft of tributes on social media.
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) December 10, 2020
From Arequipa - Peru !!
The best in our history.
— El Iconoclasta (@Alejoaqp) December 10, 2020
RT TennisHalloFame: Remembering Hall of Famer Alex Olmedo, a major champion, @DavisCup champion and world No. 2.
Few have made such sacrifices to pursue a love of the game. Born in Peru, he immigrated to the U.S. alone at age 17, enrolled at USC, and la… pic.twitter.com/0L6TWVofB1
— WTS Player Services (@PlayerTransport) December 10, 2020
This week we have lost two great tennis legends. Dennis Ralston of the US and Peru’s Alex Olmedo. Both in their own way were great champions. Fortunate to have known them. We have also lost South African tennis champion Gordon Forbes. RIP my fellow tennis players. One family.
— Vijay Amritraj (@Vijay_Amritraj) December 10, 2020
Rest in Peace, Alex Olmedo. We will always remember you! pic.twitter.com/65YcKTrR1a
— Matthew Segura (@seguratennis) December 10, 2020
Alex Olmedo died of cancer on December 9, 2020 at his home in Los Angeles, at 84 years old.
We're looking back on the life and legacy of the 1987 International Tennis Hall of Fame inductee, Grand Slam champion, and teaching pro to the stars.https://t.co/Go1UB4auSx
— Tennis Channel (@TennisChannel) December 10, 2020
With Yahoo Sport staff
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