Peruvian-born Alex Olmedo, who won Wimbledon and the Australian Championships in 1959, becoming the first Latin American man to win a Grand Slam singles title has died died aged 84.
Olmedo passed on December 9, of brain cancer, his son Alex Jr said.
Known as “Cacique” or “Chief” because of his Inca heritage, Olmedo, an amateur, was a classy right-hander in the late 1950s, winning big tournaments and considered the top amateur in the USA at the time, ranked at No. 2 in the world.
Olmedo grew up playing at a local club in Arequipa, Peru, the son of the local club groundskeeper. Local supporters raised $700 to send him to the US in 1954 via a boat to Havana, Cuba, a plane to Miami and bus to Los Angeles. At the time he spoke no English.
He won his first Grand Slam singles championship in 1959, beating Neale Fraser in Australia, then defeating a 20-year-old Rod Laver in straight sets at Wimbledon months later.
He passed away three days after another US Hall of Famer, California tennis star, Dennis Ralston died.