Arthur Ashe born on July 10,1943 , in Richmond, Virginia. He was the oldest of Arthur Ashe, Sr. and Mattie Cunningham's two sons, Arthur Ashe, Jr. blended finesse and power to forge a groundbreaking tennis game. He became the first, and still only, black player to win the men's singles at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, or the Australian Open. Ashe's childhood was marked by hardship and opportunity. Arthur his life was turned upside-down two years later, when Mattie passed away. Arthur's dad was very strict with him and his younger brother because he did not want his boys fall into trouble without their mother's discipline.
About a year after his mother's death, Arthur discovered the game of tennis, picking up a racket for the first time at the age of seven, at a park not far from his home. Ashe eventually caught the attention of Dr. Robert Walter Johnson, Jr., a tennis coach from Lynchburg, Virginia, who was active in the black tennis community. In his first tournament, Ashe reached the junior national championships. Ranked the fifth best junior player in the country, Ashe accepted a scholarship at UCLA, where he graduated with a degree in business administration.
Ashe continued to refine his game, gaining the attention of his tennis idol, Pancho Gonzales, who further helped Ashe hone his serve-and-volley attack. The training all came together in 1968, when the still-amateur Ashe shocked the world by capturing the U.S. Open title. Two years later, he took home the Australian title, and in 1975 registered another upset by beating Jimmy Connors in the Wimbledon finals.
With his unique pulpit, he pushed to create inner city tennis programs for youth; helped found the Association of Men's Tennis Professionals; and spoke out against apartheid in South Africa even going so far as to successfully lobby for a visa so he could visit and play tennis there.
Ashe's causes were shaped by both his own personal story and his... [continues]
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