General Rafael Herrera
Osuna
Male
Mexico
1938-09-15
Mexico City, Mexico
1969-06-04
near Monterrey, Mexico


About

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.



Media


Archive statistics 1956 - 1969
25
464
330


Tournament wins 1968 - Mexico International (Amateur)
1968 - Olympic Exhibition (Amateur)
1967 - St. Moritz Suvretta (Amateur)
1966 - Central American and Caribbean Olympic Games (Amateur)
1966 - Quebec International Round Robin (Amateur)
1966 - Fort Worth (Open)
1966 - Balboa Bay Club Autumn Invitation (Amateur)
1965 - Florence International (Amateur)
1964 - Swiss International Championships (Amateur)
1964 - Mexican Championships (Open)
1964 - Fort Worth (Open)
1963 - US Open (Grandslam)
1963 - Tucson Racquet Club Invitation (Amateur)
1963 - Pacific Coast Championship (Amateur)
1963 - Portuguese International Championships (Open)
1962 - Intercollegiate Championships (Amateur)
1962 - Central California Championships (Open)
1962 - US Hard Courts (Open)
1962 - Southern California Championship (Open)
1960 - Ojai Championships (Amateur)
1960 - Colorado Invitation (Amateur)
1959 - Santa Ana (Amateur)
1959 - La Jolla Summer Tournament (Open)
1958 - St. Moritz (Amateur)
1958 - San Luis Potosi Open (Open)


Tournaments Cannes Carlton - 1969 River Oaks Tournament - 1969 Mexico International - 1969 Olympics, Olympic Games - 1968 Pacific Southwest Championships - 1968 US International Indoor Championships - 1968 River Oaks Tournament - 1968 Philadelphia Open - 1968 Concord Indoor Championships - 1968 Mexico International - 1968 New York Indoor - 1968 San Luis Potosi Open - 1968 US Hard Courts - 1968 Olympic Exhibition - 1968 Wimbledon - 1967 US Open - 1967 Swiss International Championships - 1967 Pacific Coast Championship - 1967 Queens Club Tournament - 1967 Pacific Southwest Championships - 1967 River Oaks Tournament - 1967 Conde de Godo - 1967 Kulm Carlton - 1967 Altamira International Invitation - 1967 Curacao International - 1967 Antwerpen International - 1967 St. Moritz Suvretta - 1967 US Open - 1966 River Plate Championships - 1966 Pacific Southwest Championships - 1966 US International Indoor Championships - 1966 River Oaks Tournament - 1966 Altamira International Invitation - 1966 Mexico International - 1966 Central American and Caribbean Olympic Games - 1966 Fort Worth - 1966 Philadelphia Indoors - 1966 Quebec International Round Robin - 1966 Balboa Bay Club Autumn Invitation - 1966 Wimbledon - 1965 Roland Garros - 1965 US Open - 1965 Pacific Coast Championship - 1965 Queens Club Tournament - 1965 River Plate Championships - 1965 Italian International Championships - 1965 Pacific Southwest Championships - 1965 US International Indoor Championships - 1965 River Oaks Tournament - 1965 Dixie Championships - 1965 West of England Championships - 1965 Conde de Godo - 1965 Florence International - 1965 Fort Worth - 1965 Quebec International Round Robin - 1965 Dallas Indoor Invitation - 1965 Barbados - 1965 Wimbledon - 1964 Roland Garros - 1964 US Open - 1964 Swiss International Championships - 1964 Pacific Coast Championship - 1964 Queens Club Tournament - 1964 Mexican Championships - 1964 River Plate Championships - 1964 Italian International Championships - 1964 Pacific Southwest Championships - 1964 US International Indoor Championships - 1964 River Oaks Tournament - 1964 Dixie Championships - 1964 German International Championships - 1964 Championships of Berlin - 1964 Southampton Invitation (Long Island) - 1964 Madrid - 1964 Pan American Championships - 1964 Caribe Hilton Championships - 1964 Good Neighbor Tournament - 1964 Altamira International Invitation - 1964 Colombia International - 1964 Masters Invitation - 1964 Kitzbühel - 1964 Charles Farrell Invitation - 1964 Midland Invitation - 1964 Fort Worth - 1964 Philadelphia Indoors - 1964 Tucson Racquet Club Invitation - 1964 Wimbledon - 1963 US Open - 1963 Pacific Coast Championship - 1963 Southern California Championship - 1963 Mexican Championships - 1963 Pacific Southwest Championships - 1963 River Oaks Tournament - 1963 Midland Counties Championships - 1963 Portuguese International Championships - 1963 Pan American Championships - 1963 Coupe Pierre Gillou - 1963 Fort Worth - 1963 Tucson Racquet Club Invitation - 1963 Wimbledon - 1962 US Open - 1962 Victorian Championships - 1962 Pacific Coast Championship - 1962 Southern California Championship - 1962 Pacific Southwest Championships - 1962 Central California Championships - 1962 Mexico International - 1962 Intercollegiate Championships - 1962 US Hard Courts - 1962 Bastad - 1962 Antwerpen International - 1962 Fort Worth - 1962 US Open - 1961 Pacific Coast Championship - 1961 Southern California Championship - 1961 Pacific Southwest Championships - 1961 US International Indoor Championships - 1961 Pan American Championships - 1961 Wimbledon - 1960 US Open - 1960 Pacific Coast Championship - 1960 Southern California Championship - 1960 Sugar Bowl - 1960 Queens Club Tournament - 1960 Pacific Southwest Championships - 1960 Kent Championships - 1960 Ojai Championships - 1960 Antwerpen International - 1960 Colorado Invitation - 1960 Southern California Championship - 1959 Pacific Southwest Championships - 1959 Central California Championships - 1959 La Jolla Tournament - 1959 Santa Ana - 1959 Pan American Championships - 1959 Ojai Championships - 1959 West Hollywood - 1959 San Luis Potosi Open - 1959 Charles Farrell Invitation - 1959 Shadow Mountain - 1959 La Jolla Summer Tournament - 1959 Mill Valley Invitation - 1959 Balboa Bay Club Autumn Invitation - 1959 Roland Garros - 1958 St. Moritz - 1958 German International Championships - 1958 West of England Championships - 1958 Hungarian International Championships - 1958 Kulm Carlton - 1958 Pan American Championships - 1958 San Luis Potosi Open - 1958 Antwerpen International - 1958 St. Moritz Suvretta - 1958 Mexican Championships - 1957 Pan American Championships - 1957 Pan American Championships - 1956

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