Arthur Ashe

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Arthur Ashe

Significant MomentsArthur experienced many significant moments. These are just a few. Throughout his career he has won 818 matches and won 53 titles (35 singles 18 doubles). In 1960, he was awarded a scholarship to UCLA for winning the National Indoor Junior tennis title. In 1963, Ashe was the first black tennis player asked to be on the United States David Cup team. In 1965, he was ranked number 3 in the US, and won the NCAA singles title and doubles title. 1968 was groundbreaking for Ashe. He 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 and the only player to have won both the amateur and open national championships in the same year. After winning the first US Open, Arthur wasn't able to keep the $14,000 prize due to him being an amateur, leaving the runner-up Tom Okker to claim it. He was also ranked number 1. In 1969 team USA won the Davis Cup and in 1970, Arthur earned his second Grand Slam title in the Australian Open. In 1974 Arthur was elected president of ATP (Association of Tennis Proffessionals). In 1975 Arthur won his 3rd Grand Slam singles Title at Wimbledon. For his family life, Arthur had a wife named Jeanne Moutoussamy, a photographer, and an adopted daughter named Camera, after Jeanne's proffession.

Character TraitsArthur Robert Ashe Jr. was born on July 10, 1943 and was the older son of Arthur Ashe Sr. and Mattie Cunningham. His parents forbade him to play mostly any sport, due to him being extremely skinny. But he had a drive and determination to play tennis, winning many titles. He was an African American, and he was also an activist. Arthur sadly died on February 6, 1993 from AIDS-related pneumonia. He was 49.

InfluencesAround 1950, Arthur's inspiration to play tennis was Ronald Charity, one of the best African American players in the nation. He would sometimes play in the blacks only tennis courts near Arthur's house and he would watch him. Ronald gained an interest in him and started teaching Arthur regularly, teaching him techniques and strokes. Arthur then had an obvious talent to play tennis, but he needed a proper coach in order to prove it, so Ronald introduced Arthur to Dr. Walter Johnson, who will end up being his lifelong coach and mentor.

Major ObstaclesArthur endured many obstacles. Just before his 7th birthday his mother Mattie died from surgery complications. During high school, he was limited to playing tournaments because he was black, so he moved to St. Louis. During Arthur's proffessional years, in 1969, He applied for a visa to travel to South Africa for the South African Open, but was denied due to his race, despite his current no. 1 ranking. He kept applying and numerous times, he was denied. This started his activism. In 1979, Arthur had a heart attack while holding a tennis clinic in New York. Later that year he underwent quadruple- bypass surgery. He continued to suffer chest pains, which led to his retirement. In 1983, he went through a second bypass surgery, and after the operation, he got a blood transfusion. Due to the transfusion, he conracted HIV. After feeling numbness in his right hand, he was again hospitalized in 1988. Tests showed that he had a bacterial infection called toxoplasmosis, which most people with HIV could have. They kept it private for a time. In 1992 Arthur announced he had AIDS and in 1993 he died from AIDS related pneumonia.

Arthur Ashe with Tom Okker after winning the first US Open.

Ronald Charity inspired Arthur to play tennis.

Young Arthur (right) and his younger brother Johnnie (left).

Arthur promoting heart health.

Arthur AsheThe man who broke the color barrier in tennis.1943-1993Born in Richmond, Virginia


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