IT WAS FIFTY YEARS AGO TODAY–SEPTEMBER 9, 1968– ARTHUR ASHE AND VIRGINIA WADE WIN FIRST EVER U.S. OPEN

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It was fifty years ago today- September 9, 1968- the first ever U.S. Open Tennis Tournament at the West Side Tennis Club came to and end with Arthur Ashe  a 25 year old African-American amateur who was a Lieutenant in the US Army- defeating Tom Okker of The Netherlands 14-12, 5-7, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 to win his first Grand Slam title. On the women’s side Virginia Wade of Great Britain defeated Billie Jean King 6-4, 6-2. This was the first time the US Open was open to both amateur’s and professionals- previously it was an amateur tournament. In those days they played on a grass surface. 96 men and 68 women entered the tournament.

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