El Pelón" (The bald), was a former World No. 1 tennis player and the most successful player in the history of Mexico. No one can forget highly esteemed Rafael tragic death in an air crash at age of 30.He was born in Mexico City, and is best remembered for his singles victory at the U.S. Open Championships in 1963, winning the 1960 and 1963 Wimbledon Doubles championships, the 1962 U.S. Open Championships doubles, and for leading Mexico to its only Davis Cup Final round appearance in 1962.
His first successes as an athlete occurred before he was ten years old, when he competed in the open category of the Mexican National Table Tennis Championships. In the course of the tournament, he upset the Mexico City Table Tennis Champion in singles, a feat remarkable both for Osuna's young age and the fact that it was his first tournament. Osuna also won the Doubles Championship, with Alfredo Ramos Uriarte as his partner. From age 10 to 14 he was ranked in the top 10 in Mexico's Open singles in table tennis.
He was awarded a full scholarship to attend the University of Southern California (USC) in the U.S.A., by Head Coach George Toley, who quickly identified Osuna as a major talent. Toley had to literally reteach Osuna how to play tennis because of his poor technique but, in Toley´s own words "he moves on the tennis court like a God". Osuna participated in the 1960 Wimbledon championships, competing only in the doubles category with Dennis Ralston (soon to be his roommate at school).
The two unknown youngsters soon made history, as the first unseeded pair to win the men's doubles at Wimbledon. Osuna’s quickness and sharp skills at the net helped them to win twice this Trophy.
Osuna was known for his footspeed, touch, and tactical awareness. And as an enormously popular star and an elegant court stylist, Osuna thrilled the galleries at Forest Hills when he won the U.S. Championships, neutralizing the power of American rival Frank Froehling with a vast array of spins and his astonishing foot speed.
He is the only Mexican to date to be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, in 1979.
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