Arthur Ashe Was The Best Tennis Player Ever
by Lisa Williams
The best all time tennis player is Arthur Robert Ashe, Jr. He was the first African-American to compete at the highest level of international tennis. While he was playing, he used his strong influence to help promote human rights, public health, and education. Unfortunately, he was forced into early retirement due to the fact that he had to undergo heart surgery.
Ashe’s father, Arthur Ashe, Sr., worked in a park called Brook Field in North Richmond, Virginia, as a caretaker. On the grounds of the park where he and his family lived, there were three baseball diamonds, four tennis courts, and a pool. This enabled Arthur Jr. to start his development into a future inspirational athlete at an early age.
Ashe started playing tennis when he was six years old. One of his instructors, R. Walter Johnson, would welcome players into his home during the summers. He believed that military-style teaching worked best. He had a special code of sportsmanship that included respect, sharp appearance, and no cheating, ever.
In 1961, Ashe was awarded a full scholarship to the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). At this time he had already been give the title of being the first African-American to get a U.S. Lawn Tennis Association national ranking. We was on his way to becoming the best all time
As a professional tennis player, there was one event which changed Ashe’s life. The event was a protest by African-American athletes based on their objections to separation because of race or apartheid. This took place in Mexico City. In 1972, he helped found the Association of Tennis Professionals.
Beating the defending champion Jimmy Conners as the first African-American player to win the men’s singles at Wimbledon made 1975 Ashe’s best and most consistent season. He was ranked number one in the world and was one of the Association of Tennis Professionals’ Players of the Year.
1n 1977, Ashe married a professional photographer, Jeanne Moutoussamy. They later had a daughter named Camera Elizabeth. Soon after he almost defeated John McEnroe in the Masters’ Final, and was a semi-finalist at Wimbledon, he had a heart attack that ruined his career. After his surgery he announced his retirement from competitive tennis.
After Ashe’s heart surgery in 1983, he became the Chairman of the American Heart Association and was the only non-medical member of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council.
After he underwent brain surgery, it was discovered that he had HIV. He got this from a blood transfusion after his second heart surgery. He later died on February 6, 1993, going down in history as the best all time tennis player.