Arthur Ashe

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Arthur Ashe
C9186-21Reagan-Ashe.jpg
President Reagan greets Arthur Ashe (left) in 1982
CountryUnited States
ResidenceRichmond, Virginia, U.S.
Born(1943-07-10)July 10, 1943
Richmond, Virginia, U.S.
DiedFebruary 6, 1993(1993-02-06) (aged 49)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Turned pro1970
Retired1980
PlaysRight-handed (one-handed backhand)
Prize money$1,584,909 (according to the ATP)
Int. Tennis HOF1985 (member page)
Singles
Career record818–260 (in Grand Prix tour, WCT tour, and Grand Slam main draw play, and in Davis Cup)[1]
Career titles35 (Grand Prix, WCT and Grand Slam)
Highest rankingNo. 1 (1968, Harry Hopman)[2]
No. 2 (May 12, 1976) by ATP
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian OpenW (1970)
French OpenQF (1970, 1971)
WimbledonW (1975)
US OpenW (1968)
Other tournaments
Tour FinalsF (1978)
WCT FinalsW (1975)
Doubles
Career record323–176 (in Grand Prix tour, WCT tour, and Grand Slam main draw play, and in Davis Cup)
Career titles18 (14 Grand Prix and WCT titles)
Highest rankingNo. 15 (August 30, 1977)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian OpenW (1977)
French OpenW (1971)
WimbledonF (1971)
US OpenF (1968)
 
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Arthur Ashe
C9186-21Reagan-Ashe.jpg
President Reagan greets Arthur Ashe (left) in 1982
CountryUnited States
ResidenceRichmond, Virginia, U.S.
Born(1943-07-10)July 10, 1943
Richmond, Virginia, U.S.
DiedFebruary 6, 1993(1993-02-06) (aged 49)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Turned pro1970
Retired1980
PlaysRight-handed (one-handed backhand)
Prize money$1,584,909 (according to the ATP)
Int. Tennis HOF1985 (member page)
Singles
Career record818–260 (in Grand Prix tour, WCT tour, and Grand Slam main draw play, and in Davis Cup)[1]
Career titles35 (Grand Prix, WCT and Grand Slam)
Highest rankingNo. 1 (1968, Harry Hopman)[2]
No. 2 (May 12, 1976) by ATP
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian OpenW (1970)
French OpenQF (1970, 1971)
WimbledonW (1975)
US OpenW (1968)
Other tournaments
Tour FinalsF (1978)
WCT FinalsW (1975)
Doubles
Career record323–176 (in Grand Prix tour, WCT tour, and Grand Slam main draw play, and in Davis Cup)
Career titles18 (14 Grand Prix and WCT titles)
Highest rankingNo. 15 (August 30, 1977)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian OpenW (1977)
French OpenW (1971)
WimbledonF (1971)
US OpenF (1968)

Arthur Robert Ashe, Jr. (July 10, 1943 – February 6, 1993) was an American World No. 1 professional tennis player. He won three Grand Slam titles, ranking him among the best tennis players from the United States.

Ashe, an African American, was the first black player selected to the United States Davis Cup team and the only black man ever to win the singles title at Wimbledon, the US Open, and the Australian Open. He retired in 1980. He was ranked World No. 1 by Harry Hopman in 1968 and by Lance Tingay of The Daily Telegraph and World Tennis Magazine in 1975.[2][3] In the ATP computer rankings, he peaked at No. 2 in May 1976.

In the early 1980s, Ashe is believed to have contracted HIV from a blood transfusion he received during heart bypass surgery. Ashe publicly announced his illness in April 1992 and began working to educate others about HIV and AIDS. He founded the Arthur Ashe Foundation for the Defeat of AIDS and the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health before his death from AIDS-related pneumonia on February 6, 1993.

On June 20, 1993, Ashe was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by former United States President Bill Clinton.

Early life[edit]

Ashe was born in Richmond, Virginia, to Arthur Ashe Sr. and Mattie Cordell Cunningham Ashe. He had a brother, Johnnie, who was five years younger.[4] In March 1950, Ashe's mother Mattie died from complications related to a toxemic pregnancy (now known as pre-eclampsia) at the age of 27.[5] Ashe and his brother were raised by their father who worked as a handyman and was also a special policeman for Richmond's recreation department.[4]

Ashe's father was a strict disciplinarian who forbade him to play football, which was a popular choice for many black children, due to Ashe's slight build. The Ashes' house was located on the grounds of Brookfield Playground, Richmond's largest blacks-only playground, which had a tennis court. Ashe began practicing on the court and learned a few basic strokes from another young player, Ron Charity.[6]

Ashe attended Maggie L. Walker High School where he continued to practice tennis. Robert Walter Johnson would later become his coach. Tired of having to travel great distances to play Caucasian youths in segregated Richmond, Ashe accepted an offer from a St. Louis tennis official to move there and attend Sumner High School.[7]

Young Ashe was recognized by Sports Illustrated for his playing.[8] He was awarded a tennis scholarship to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1963. During his time at UCLA, Ashe was a member of the ROTC which required him to join active military service in exchange for money for tuition. After a 1966 tournament, Ashe joined the United States Army. Ashe completed his basic training in Washington and was later commissioned as a second lieutenant. He was assigned to the United States Military Academy at West Point where he worked as a data processor. During his time at West Point, Ashe headed the academy's tennis program. He was discharged from the Army in 1969.[9]

Career[edit]

In 1963 Ashe became the first black player ever selected for the United States Davis Cup team. In 1965, Ashe won the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) singles title and contributed to UCLA's winning the team NCAA tennis championship.

Arthur Ashe, winning the 1975 ABN World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam

In 1968, Ashe won the United States Amateur Championships against Davis Cup Teammate Bob Lutz, and the first US Open of the open era, becoming the first black male to capture the title; his ability to compete in the championship (and avoid the Vietnam war) arose from his brother Johnnie's selfless decision to serve an additional path in his stead.[10] He also aided the U.S Davis Cup team to victory. He is the only player to have won both of these amateur and open national championships in the same year.[11] In January 1970, Ashe won his second Grand Slam singles title at the Australian Open. In September 1970 Ashe turned professional by signing a five-year contract with Lamar Hunt's World Championship Tennis.[12] Concerned that tennis professionals were not receiving winnings commensurate with the sport's growing popularity, Ashe supported the formation of the Association of Tennis Professionals in 1972. That year proved momentous for Ashe when he was denied a visa by the South African government, and was thus kept out of the South African Open. Ashe used this to publicize South Africa's apartheid policies: in the media, Ashe called for South Africa to be expelled from the professional tennis circuit.

In 1975, Ashe won Wimbledon, defeating Jimmy Connors in the final. He also won the season ending championship WCT Finals. He played for a few more years, but after being slowed by heart surgery in 1979, he retired in 1980.

Ashe remains the only black man to win the singles title at Wimbledon, the US Open, or Australian Open. He is one of only two men of black African ancestry to win any Grand Slam singles title, the other being France's Yannick Noah, who won the French Open in 1983.

In his 1979 autobiography, Jack Kramer, the long-time tennis promoter and a world no. 1 player himself in the 1940s, ranked Ashe as one of the 21 best players of all time.[13]

Retirement[edit]

After his retirement, Ashe took on many roles including writing for Time magazine, commentating for ABC Sports, founding the National Junior Tennis League, and serving as captain of the U.S. Davis Cup team. He was elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1985.[14]

In 1988, Ashe published a three-volume book titled A Hard Road to Glory: A History of the African-American Athlete,[15] after working with a team of researchers for nearly six years.[16]

Ashe was also an active civil rights supporter. He was a member of a delegation of 31 prominent African-Americans who visited South Africa to observe political change in the country as it approached racial integration. He was arrested on January 11, 1985, for protesting outside the Embassy of South Africa, Washington, D.C. during an anti-apartheid rally. He was arrested again on September 9, 1992, outside the White House for protesting on the recent crackdown on Haitian refugees.

Personal life[edit]

On February 20, 1977, Ashe married Jeanne Moutoussamy, a photographer he met in October 1976 at a United Negro College Fund benefit. Andrew Young, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, performed the wedding ceremony in New York City.[17]

In December 1986, Ashe and Moutoussamy adopted a daughter. She was named Camera after her mother's profession.[18]

Health issues[edit]

Ashe promoting heart health after his heart attack.

In 1979, Ashe suffered a heart attack, which surprised the public in view of his high level of fitness as an athlete. His condition drew attention to the hereditary aspect of heart disease. Ashe underwent a quadruple bypass operation, performed by Dr. John Hutchinson on December 13, 1979.[19] A few months after the operation, Ashe was on the verge of making his return to professional tennis. However, during a family trip in Cairo, Egypt, he developed chest pains while running. Ashe stopped running and returned to see a physician and was accompanied by his close friend Douglas Stein. Stein urged Ashe to return to New York City so he could be close to his cardiologist and surgeon.[19] In 1983, Ashe underwent a second round of heart surgery to correct the previous bypass surgery.

In September 1988, Ashe was hospitalized after experiencing paralysis in his right arm. After undergoing exploratory brain surgery and a number of tests, doctors discovered that Ashe had toxoplasmosis, a parasitic disease that is commonly found in people infected with HIV. A subsequent test later revealed that Ashe was HIV positive. Ashe and his doctors believed he contracted the virus from blood transfusions he received during his second heart surgery.[20][21] He and his wife decided to keep his illness private for the sake of their daughter, who was then two years old.

In 1992, a friend of Ashe's who worked for USA Today heard that he was ill and called Ashe to confirm the story. Ashe decided to preempt USA Today's plans to publish the story about his illness and, on April 8, 1992, publicly announced he had contracted HIV. Ashe blamed USA Today for forcing him to go public with the news but also stated that he was relieved that he no longer had to lie about his illness. After the announcement, hundreds of readers called or wrote letters to USA Today criticizing their choice to run the story about Ashe's illness which subsequently forced Ashe to publicize his illness.[22]

After Ashe went public with his illness, he began to work to raise awareness about AIDS and advocated teaching sex education and safe sex. He also fielded questions about his own diagnosis and attempted to clear up the misconception that only homosexuals or IV drug users were at risk for contracting AIDS.[20]

Ashe later founded the Arthur Ashe Foundation for the Defeat of AIDS. Two months before his death, he founded the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health to help address issues of inadequate health care delivery and was named Sports Illustrated magazine's Sportsman of the Year. He also spent much of the last years of his life writing his memoir Days of Grace, finishing the manuscript less than a week before his death.

Death[edit]

On February 6, 1993, Ashe died from AIDS-related pneumonia at New York Hospital. His funeral was held at the Arthur Ashe Athletic Center in Richmond, Virginia, on February 10.[21] Then-governor Douglas Wilder, who was a friend of Ashe's, allowed his body to lie in state at the Governor's Mansion in Richmond. Andrew Young, who had performed the service for Ashe's wedding in 1979, officiated at his funeral. Over 6,000 mourners attended.[23] Ashe requested that he be buried alongside his mother, Mattie, who died in 1950, in Woodland Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia.[24]

On February 12, 1993, a memorial service for Ashe was held at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in Manhattan.[25]

Grand Slam singles tournament timeline[edit]

Tournament1959196019611962196319641965196619671968196919701971197219731974197519761977119781979Career SRCareer Win-Loss
Australian OpenAAAAAAAFFAAWFAAAAAQFASFA1 / 626–5
French OpenAAAAAAAAAA4RQFQFA4R4RA4RA4R3R0 / 825–8
WimbledonAAAA3R4R4RAASFSF4R3RAA3RW4RA1R1R1 / 1235–11
US Open1R2R2R2R3R4RSF3RAWSFQFSFF3RQF4R2RA4RA1 / 1853–17
Win-Loss0–11–11–11–14–26–28–27–25–111–113–315–315–46–15–29–310–17–33–110–42–2N/A139–41
SR0 / 10 / 10 / 10 / 10 / 20 / 20 / 20 / 20 / 11 / 20 / 31 / 40 / 40 / 10 / 20 / 31 / 20 / 30 / 10 / 40 / 23 / 44N/A

1The Australian Open was held twice in 1977, in January and December.
A = did not participate in the tournament
SR = the ratio of the number of Grand Slam singles tournaments won to the number of those tournaments played

Grand Slam finals[edit]

Singles: 7 finals (3 titles, 4 runner-ups)[edit]

OutcomeYearChampionshipSurfaceOpponent in the finalScore in the final
Runner-up1966Australian ChampionshipsGrassAustralia Roy Emerson4–6, 8–6, 2–6, 3–6
Runner-up1967Australian ChampionshipsGrassAustralia Roy Emerson4–6, 1–6, 4–6
Winner1968US OpenGrassNetherlands Tom Okker14–12, 5–7, 6–3, 3–6, 6–3
Winner1970Australian OpenGrassAustralia Dick Crealy6–4, 9–7, 6–2
Runner-up1971Australian OpenGrassAustralia Ken Rosewall1–6, 5–7, 3–6
Runner-up1972US OpenGrassRomania Ilie Năstase6–3, 3–6, 7–6(5–1), 4–6, 3–6
Winner1975WimbledonGrassUnited States Jimmy Connors6–1, 6–1, 5–7, 6–4

Doubles, 5 finals (2 titles, 3 runner-ups)[edit]

OutcomeYearChampionshipSurfacePartnerOpponents in the finalScore in the final
Runner-Up1968US OpenGrassSpain Andrés GimenoUnited States Bob Lutz
United States Stan Smith
11–9, 6–1, 7–5
Runner-Up1970French OpenClayUnited States Charlie PasarellRomania Ilie Năstase
Romania Ion Ţiriac
6–2, 6–4, 6–3
Winner1971French OpenClayUnited States Marty RiessenUnited States Tom Gorman
United States Stan Smith
6–8, 4–6, 6–3, 6–4, 11–9
Runner-Up1971WimbledonGrassUnited States Dennis RalstonAustralia Roy Emerson
Australia Rod Laver
4–6, 9–7, 6–8, 6–4, 6–4
Winner1977 (Jan)Australian OpenGrassAustralia Tony RocheUnited States Charlie Pasarell
United States Erik Van Dillen
6–4, 6–4

Grand Slam, Grand Prix and WCT Tour titles[edit]

Singles (33)[edit]

No.DateChampionshipSurfaceOpponentScore
1.August 1, 1968U.S. Amateur Championships, Boston, USAGrassUnited States Robert Lutz4–6, 6–3, 8–10, 6–0, 6–4
2.August 29, 1968US Open, New York City, USAGrassNetherlands Tom Okker14–12, 5–7, 6–3, 3–6, 6–3
3.January 19, 1970Australian Open, Melbourne, AustraliaGrassAustralia Dick Crealy6–4, 9–7, 6–2
4.September 28, 1970Berkeley, CaliforniaHardUnited States Cliff Richey6–4, 6–2, 6–4
5.November 8, 1970Paris, FranceCarpetUnited States Marty Riessen7–6, 6–4, 6–3
6.April 18, 1971Charlotte, USAHardUnited States Stan Smith6–3, 6–3
7.November 1, 1971Stockholm, SwedenHardCzechoslovakia Jan Kodeš6–1, 3–6, 6–2, 1–6, 6–4
8.November 8, 1971Paris, FranceClayUnited States Marty Riessen7–6, 6–4, 6–3
9.July 29, 1972Louisville WCTClayUnited Kingdom Mark Cox6–4, 6–4
10.September 11, 1972Montreal WCTHardAustralia Roy Emerson7–5, 4–6, 6–2, 6–3
11.November 18, 1972Rotterdam WCTCarpetNetherlands Tom Okker3–6, 6–2, 6–1
12.November 26, 1972Rome WCTCarpetUnited States Bob Lutz6–2, 3–6, 6–3, 3–6, 7–6
13.February 26, 1973Chicago WCTCarpetUnited Kingdom Roger Taylor3–6, 7–6(11–9), 7–6(7–2)
14.July 23, 1973WashingtonClayNetherlands Tom Okker6–4, 6–2
15.February 11, 1974Bologna WCTCarpetUnited Kingdom Mark Cox6–4, 7–5
16.March 3, 1974Barcelona WCTCarpetSweden Björn Borg6–4, 3–6, 6–3
17.November 4, 1974StockholmHardNetherlands Tom Okker6–2, 6–2
18.February 17, 1975Barcelona WCTCarpetSweden Björn Borg7–6, 6–3
19.February 24, 1975Rotterdam WTTCarpetNetherlands Tom Okker3–6, 6–2, 6–4
20.March 10, 1975Munich WCTCarpetSweden Björn Borg6–4, 7–6
21.April 21, 1975Stockholm WCTCarpetNetherlands Tom Okker6–4, 6-2
22.May 7, 1975Dallas WCT FinalsCarpetSweden Björn Borg3–6, 6–4, 6–4, 6–0
23.June 23, 1975WimbledonGrassUnited States Jimmy Connors6–1, 6–1, 5–7, 6–4
24.September 15, 1975Pacific Southwest, Los AngelesHardUnited States Roscoe Tanner3–6, 7–5, 6–3
25.September 22, 1975San FranciscoHardArgentina Guillermo Vilas6–0, 7–6(7–4)
26.January 7, 1976Columbus WCTCarpetRhodesia Andrew Pattison3–6, 6–3, 7–6(7–4)
27.January 12, 1976Indianapolis WCTHardUnited States Vitas Gerulaitis6–2, 6–7, 6–4
28.February 4, 1976Richmond WCTHardUnited States Brian Gottfried6–2, 6–4
29.February 17, 1976Rome WCTHardUnited States Bob Lutz6–2, 0–6, 6–3
30.February 23, 1976Rotterdam WTTHardUnited States Bob Lutz6–3, 6–3
31.April 17, 1978San JoseCarpetSouth Africa Bernard Mitton6–7, 6–1, 6–2
32.August 7, 1978ColumbusClayUnited States Bob Lutz6–3, 6–4
33.September 18, 1978Los AngelesCarpetUnited States Brian Gottfried6–2, 6–4

Honors[edit]

The Arthur Ashe Stadium at the 2007 US Open
The Arthur Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center, on the campus of UCLA

Video[edit]

See also[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

Further reading[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Aurthur Ashe bio at Sports Illustrated". Retrieved 21 April 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "American Netters Rated 10-1 Favorites", Toledo Blade, 22nd December 1968.
  3. ^ "Ashe Ranked 1", The Lewiston Daily Sun, December 9, 1975.
  4. ^ a b Moore, Kenny (1992-12-21). "The Eternal Example". sportsillustrated.cnn.com. p. 2. Retrieved 3 December 2012. 
  5. ^ Ashe, Arthur; Rampersad, Arnold (1994). Days of Grace. Random House Digital, Inc. p. 58. ISBN 0-345-38681-7. 
  6. ^ Moore, Kenny (1992-12-21). "The Eternal Example". sportsillustrated.cnn.com. p. 3. Retrieved 3 December 2012. 
  7. ^ "TRAVEL ADVISORY; Black History in St. Louis", The New York Times, May 10, 1992. Accessed December 11, 2007. "Sumner High School, the first school west of the Mississippi for blacks, established in 1875 (among graduates are Grace Bumbry, Arthur Ashe, and Tina Turner)..."
  8. ^ Arthur Ashe picture
  9. ^ Steins, Richard (2005). Arthur Ashe: A Biography. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 22–23. ISBN 0-313-33299-1. 
  10. ^ http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9600431/our-latest-30-30-documentary-short-examines-how-johnnie-love-brother-arthur-changed-their-lives-tennis-history
  11. ^ "Arthur Robert Ashe, Jr.". TennisFame.com. Retrieved September 9, 2009. [dead link]
  12. ^ "Ashe signs 5-year professional contract". The Telegraph-Herald. Sep 16, 1970. 
  13. ^ Kramer considered the best ever to have been either Don Budge (for consistent play) or Ellsworth Vines (at the height of his game). The next four best were, chronologically, Bill Tilden, Fred Perry, [[Ronald Thorpe]], and Pancho Gonzales. After these six came the "second echelon" of Rod Laver, Lew Hoad, Ken Rosewall, Gottfried von Cramm, Ted Schroeder, Jack Crawford, Pancho Segura, Frank Sedgman, Tony Trabert, John Newcombe, Arthur Ashe, Stan Smith, Björn Borg, and Jimmy Connors. Kramer felt unable to rank Henri Cochet and René Lacoste accurately but felt they were among the very best.
  14. ^ "Arthur Ashe Biography". CMG WorldWide. Retrieved September 9, 2009. 
  15. ^ Ashe, Jr., Arthur R. (1988-11-13). "Views of Sport; Taking the Hard Road with Black Athletes". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  16. ^ Kupferberg, Herbert (1989-03-12). "Their Hard Road to Glory". Parade. p. 12. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  17. ^ Ashe, Arthur (August 1981). "My Introduction To Sex, Love and Marriage". Ebony (Johnson Publishing Company) 36 (10): 86, 90. ISSN 0012-9011. 
  18. ^ Steins, Richard (2005). Arthur Ashe: A Biography. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 66. ISBN 0-313-33299-1. 
  19. ^ a b Rampersad, Arnold; Arthur Ashe (1993). Days of Grace: A Memoir. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. p. 35. ISBN 0-679-42396-6. 
  20. ^ a b Sankaran, Gopal; Volkwein-Caplan, Karin A. E.; Bonsall, Dale R. (1999). HIV/Aids in Sport: Impact, Issues, and Challenges. Human Kinetics. p. 58. ISBN 0-880-11749-4. 
  21. ^ a b Finn, Robin (1993-02-08). "Arthur Ashe, Tennis Star, Is Dead at 49". nytimes.com. Retrieved 4 December 2012. 
  22. ^ Sankaran, Gopal; Volkwein-Caplan, Karin A. E.; Bonsall, Dale R. (1999). HIV/Aids in Sport: Impact, Issues, and Challenges. Human Kinetics. p. 59. ISBN 0-880-11749-4. 
  23. ^ "Friends and Fans Say Farewell to Arthur Ashe". Jet (Johnson Publishing Company) 83 (18): 12–18. 1993-03-01. ISSN 0021-5996. 
  24. ^ Macenka, Joe (1995-02-04). "Richmond still searching for way to honor Ashe". The Free Lance-Star. p. B1. Retrieved 4 December 2012. 
  25. ^ Goldman, John J. (1993-02-13). "Thousands Pay Tribute to Ashe : Memorial service: Late tennis champion is honored by friends, politicians and others in New York.". latimes.com. Retrieved 4 December 2012. 
  26. ^ Ashe induction at Virginia Sports Hall of Fame
  27. ^ http://www.notablebiographies.com/An-Ba/Ashe-Arthur.html
  28. ^ http://www.emmyonline.tv/files/Bryan_Polivka.pdf
  29. ^ "Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipients". senate.gov. Retrieved 4 December 2012. 
  30. ^ http://www.jeffersonawards.org/pastwinners/national
  31. ^ Johnson, Nuala C. (2005). "Locating Memory: Tracing the Trajectories of Remembrance". Historical Geography 33: 165–179. Retrieved 6 April 2012. 
  32. ^ Asante, Molefi Kete (2002). 100 Greatest African Americans: A Biographical Encyclopedia. Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books. p. 400. ISBN 1-57392-963-8. Retrieved September 9, 2009. 
  33. ^ "40 Greatest players of the TENNIS Era (29–32)". TENNIS Magazine. Retrieved September 9, 2009. 
  34. ^ "ITA Men's Hall of Fame". Intercollegiate Tennis Association. Retrieved September 9, 2009. 

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
None
Player of the Year
1975
Succeeded by
Sweden Björn Borg
Preceded by
United States Muhammad Ali
BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year
1975
Succeeded by
Romania Nadia Comăneci