Tennis world mourns death of legendary Hall of Fame champion

Australian Associated Press
·3-min read
Seen here is tennis Hall of Fame member Alex Olmedo and on the left with legendary Aussie Rod Laver.
Tennis Hall of Fame member Alex Olmedo has died at the age of 84. Pic: Getty

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.

Pictured herd, former tennis rivals and friends Alex Olmedo and Rod Laver.
Alex Olmedo famously beat Rod Laver in the Wimbledon final of 1959. Pic: Getty

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.

With Yahoo Sport staff

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