Alex Olmedo

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Alex Olmedo
Full name Alejandro Olmedo Rodríguez
Country (sports)  Peru
 United States
Born (1936-03-24) March 24, 1936 (age 82)
Arequipa, Peru
Height 1.79 m (5 ft 10 in)
Turned pro 1960
Retired 1977
Plays Right-handed (one-handed backhand)
Int. Tennis HoF 1987 (member page)
Career record 401-358 (52.8%) [1]
Career titles 21 [1]
Highest ranking No. 2 (1959, Lance Tingay)[2]
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open W (1959)
French Open 2R (1972)
Wimbledon W (1959)
US Open F (1959)
Professional majors
US Pro W (1960)
Wembley Pro SF (1960, 1963)
French Pro QF (1962, 1964)
Career record 26–35
Grand Slam Doubles results
US Open W (1958)
Mixed doubles
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
US Open F (1958)

Alejandro "Alex" Olmedo Rodríguez (born March 24, 1936) is a former tennis player from Peru with American citizenship. He helped win the Davis Cup for the USA in 1958 and was the No. 2 ranked amateur in 1959. Olmedo won two Majors in 1959 (Australia and Wimbledon) and was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987.


Although born and raised in Peru, he moved to Southern California and was mentored by Perry T. Jones, President of the Southern California Tennis Association[3] at the Los Angeles Tennis Club (LATC). George Toley recruited him to play for the University of Southern California (USC), as he wrote in his book "The Golden Age of College Tennis, 2009". Olmedo graduated with a Business Degree from USC. While there, he won the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Singles and Doubles Championships in 1956 and 1958.[4] (In 1957, USC was excluded from NCAA competition due to a financial contribution violation involving the football program which also suspended the tennis team.)

Olmedo was ranked Amateur World No. 2 in 1959 by Lance Tingay of The Daily Telegraph.[2]

Perry T. Jones became Davis Cup Captain in 1958 and recruited Olmedo from Modesto Junior College to play on the team. He represented the U.S. in Davis Cup competition in 1958 and 1959, winning in both singles and doubles – achieving all 3 of the 3 points required to win the Cup in 1958 (two singles & one doubles). His teammates were Ham Richardson and Barry MacKay, when they won the Cup in 1958.[5] Though he was not a U.S. citizen, he was technically eligible to represent the U.S. in Davis Cup because he had lived in the country for at least five years and because his country of citizenship, Peru, did not have a Davis Cup team. His participation was very controversial, however. Sports columnist Arthur Dailey at The New York Times wrote, "This would seem to be the saddest day in the history of American tennis. A few more such rousing victories and the prestige of this country in tennis will sink to a new low." Olmedo himself refused to file for U.S. citizenship, said he was content to remain a Peruvian citizen, and denied he was ducking U.S. citizenship to avoid being drafted into the Army. Still, many Americans "took a dim view of the largest nation in the competition stooping to borrow a little player from Peru to win the Cup".[6]

Olmedo won the Australian Championships and the Wimbledon singles titles in 1959 and was the runner-up at the 1959 U.S. Championships, losing to Neale Fraser, who he defeated in the Australian Championships earlier that year. At 1959 Wimbledon, he defeated Rod Laver in 71 minutes 6–4, 6–3, 6–4. Olmedo turned professional in 1960, and that year won the US Pro title by beating Tony Trabert in the final

Olmedo was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987.[7] He spent over 40 years teaching tennis at the Beverly Hills Hotel in California.

Grand Slam finals[edit]

Singles (2 titles, 1 runner-up)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Winner 1959 Australian Championships Grass Australia Neale Fraser 6–1, 6–2, 3–6, 6–3
Winner 1959 Wimbledon Grass Australia Rod Laver 6–4, 6–3, 6–4
Runner-up 1959 U.S. Championships Grass Australia Neale Fraser 3–6, 7–5, 2–6, 4–6

Men's doubles (1 title, 1 runner-up)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Winner 1958 U.S. Championships Grass United States Ham Richardson United States Sam Giammalva
United States Barry MacKay
3–6, 6–3, 6–4, 6–4
Runner-up 1959 U.S. Championships Grass United States Butch Buchholz Australia Roy Emerson
Australia Neale Fraser
6–3, 3–6, 7–5, 4–6, 5–7

Mixed doubles (1)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Runner-up 1958 U.S. Championships Grass Brazil Maria Bueno Australia Neale Fraser
United States Margaret Osborne duPont
3–6, 6–3, 7–9


  1. ^ a b Garcia, Gabriel. "Alex Olmedo: Career match record". Madrid: Tennismem SL. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  2. ^ a b United States Lawn Tennis Association (1972). Official Encyclopedia of Tennis (First Edition), p. 427.
  3. ^ "Hall of Famers – Perry Jones". International Tennis Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on July 21, 2012. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
  4. ^ "Alex Olmedo, Tennis Champion". Sports illustrated. September 7, 1998. Archived from the original on January 2, 2013. Retrieved July 28, 2009.
  5. ^ "Hail to the Chief". Time. January 12, 1959. Retrieved July 28, 2009.
  6. ^ "While Critics Cry, He Wins", Lakeland Ledger, August 23, 1959, page 19.
  7. ^ "Alejandro Olmedo". International Tennis Hall of Fame. Retrieved November 17, 2010.

External links[edit]