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.
|Full name||Alejandro Olmedo Rodríguez|
|Country (sports)|| Peru|
|Born||March 24, 1936|
|Height||1.79 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|Plays||Right-handed (one-handed backhand)|
|Int. Tennis HoF||1987 (member page)|
|Career record||401-358 (52.8%) |
|Career titles||21 |
|Highest ranking||No. 2 (1959, Lance Tingay)|
|Grand Slam Singles results|
|Australian Open||W (1959)|
|French Open||2R (1972)|
|US Open||F (1959)|
|US Pro||W (1960)|
|Wembley Pro||SF (1960, 1963)|
|French Pro||QF (1962, 1964)|
|Grand Slam Doubles results|
|US Open||W (1958)|
|Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results|
|US Open||F (1958)|
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 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. (In 1957, USC was excluded from NCAA competition due to a financial contribution violation involving the football program which also suspended the tennis team.)
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. 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".
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
Grand Slam finalsEdit
Singles (2 titles, 1 runner-up)Edit
|Winner||1959||Australian Championships||Grass||Neale Fraser||6–1, 6–2, 3–6, 6–3|
|Winner||1959||Wimbledon||Grass||Rod Laver||6–4, 6–3, 6–4|
|Loss||1959||U.S. Championships||Grass||Neale Fraser||3–6, 7–5, 2–6, 4–6|
Men's doubles (1 title, 1 runner-up)Edit
|Win||1958||U.S. Championships||Grass||Ham Richardson|| Sam Giammalva
|3–6, 6–3, 6–4, 6–4|
|Loss||1959||U.S. Championships||Grass||Butch Buchholz|| Roy Emerson
|6–3, 3–6, 7–5, 4–6, 5–7|
Mixed doubles (1)Edit
|Loss||1958||U.S. Championships||Grass||Maria Bueno|| Neale Fraser
Margaret Osborne duPont
|3–6, 6–3, 7–9|
- Garcia, Gabriel. "Alex Olmedo: Career match record". thetennisbase.com. Madrid: Tennismem SL. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
- United States Lawn Tennis Association (1972). Official Encyclopedia of Tennis (First Edition), p. 427.
- "Hall of Famers – Perry Jones". International Tennis Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on July 21, 2012. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
- "Alex Olmedo, Tennis Champion". Sports illustrated. September 7, 1998. Archived from the original on January 2, 2013. Retrieved July 28, 2009.
- "Hail to the Chief". Time. January 12, 1959. Retrieved July 28, 2009.
- "While Critics Cry, He Wins", Lakeland Ledger, August 23, 1959, page 19.
- "Alejandro Olmedo". International Tennis Hall of Fame. Retrieved November 17, 2010.