Dennis Ralston
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Dennis Ralston

Dennis Ralston
Top Tennis Toernooi 1969 in Amsterdam D. Ralston , aktie, Bestanddeelnr 922-4467.jpg
Full nameRichard Dennis Ralston
Country (sports) United States
BornJuly 27, 1942
Bakersfield, California, US
DiedDecember 6, 2020(2020-12-06) (aged 78)
Austin, Texas, US
Height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Turned pro1967 (amateur from 1958)
Retired1977
PlaysRight-handed (one-handed backhand)
Int. Tennis HoF1987 (member page)
Singles
Career record576-251 (69.6%) [1]
Career titles41 [2]
Highest rankingNo. 5 (1966, Lance Tingay)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian OpenSF (1970)
French Open4R (1966)
WimbledonF (1966)
US OpenSF (1960)
Professional majors
US ProSF (1968)
Wembley ProQF (1967, 1968)
French Pro2R (1968)
Doubles
Career record125-87
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian OpenSF (1971)
French OpenW (1966)
WimbledonW (1960)
US OpenW (1961, 1962, 1963)
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
WimbledonF (1962, 1966)
US OpenF (1969)

Richard Dennis Ralston (July 27, 1942 - December 6, 2020) was an American professional tennis player whose active career spanned the 1960s and 1970s.[3]

As a young player, he was coached by tennis pro Pancho Gonzales. He attended the University of Southern California (USC) and won NCAA championships under its coach George Toley. He and partner Bill Bond captured the NCAA doubles title in 1964.[4] He was the highest-ranked American player at the end of three consecutive years in the 1960s; Lance Tingay of The Daily Telegraph ranked him as high as world no. 5 in 1966 (Ralston was ranked world no. 3 by the magazine Reading Eagle in 1963).[5]

His best result at a Grand Slam singles event came in 1966 when he was seeded sixth and reached the final of the Wimbledon Championships, which he lost to fourth-seeded Manuel Santana in straight sets.[6][7] At the end of that year he turned professional.[8]

Ralston was a member of the Handsome Eight, the initial group of players signed to the professional World Championship Tennis tour.[9][10] He won 27 national doubles and singles titles, including five grand-slam doubles crowns.[11]

Ralston, a Davis Cup winner with the US Davis Cup team in 1963, continued to serve in the team as a coach from 1968 to 1971 and as a captain from 1972 to 1975, winning the title in 1972 over Romania.[12]

Ralston was the men's coach at Southern Methodist University between 1981-89 and 1991-93 (split when he helped Noah in 1989-90), being named the NCAA Coach of the Year in 1983, when SMU finished second nationally.[13]

Dennis Ralston, Wimbledon, circa 1987

Ralston was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987.[14] In 2016, he was inducted into the Texas Tennis Hall of Fame.[15]

Grand Slam finals

Singles, 1 final (1 runner-up)

Result Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Loss 1966 Wimbledon Championships Grass Spain Manuel Santana 4-6, 9-11, 4-6

Doubles, 9 finals (5 titles, 4 runners-up)

Result Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Win 1960 Wimbledon Championships Grass Mexico Rafael Osuna United Kingdom Mike Davies
United Kingdom Bobby Wilson
7-5, 6-3, 10-8
Win 1961 US Championships Grass United States Chuck McKinley Mexico Rafael Osuna
Mexico Antonio Palafox
6-3, 6-4, 2-6, 13-11
Loss 1962 US Championships Grass United States Chuck McKinley Mexico Rafael Osuna
Mexico Antonio Palafox
4-6, 12-10, 6-1, 7-9, 3-6
Win 1963 US Championships Grass United States Chuck McKinley Mexico Rafael Osuna
Mexico Antonio Palafox
9-7, 4-6, 5-7, 6-3, 11-9
Win 1964 US Championships Grass United States Chuck McKinley United Kingdom Mike Sangster
United Kingdom Graham Stilwell
6-3, 6-2, 6-4
Win 1966 French Championships Clay United States Clark Graebner Romania Ilie N?stase
Romania Ion ?iriac
6-3, 6-3, 6-0
Loss 1966 US Championships Grass United States Clark Graebner Australia Roy Emerson
Australia Fred Stolle
4-6, 4-6, 4-6
Loss 1969 US Open Grass United States Charlie Pasarell Australia Ken Rosewall
Australia Fred Stolle
6-2, 5-7, 11-13, 3-6
Loss 1971 Wimbledon Championships Grass United States Arthur Ashe Australia Roy Emerson
Australia Rod Laver
6-4, 7-9, 8-6, 4-6, 4-6

Mixed Doubles, 4 finals (4 runners-up)

Result Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Loss 1961 US Championships Grass United States Darlene Hard Australia Margaret Smith
Australia Bob Mark
default
Loss 1962 Wimbledon Championships Grass United Kingdom Ann Haydon United States Margaret Osborne duPont
Australia Neale Fraser
6-2, 3-6, 11-13
Loss 1966 Wimbledon Championships Grass United States Billie Jean King Australia Margaret Court
Australia Ken Fletcher
6-4, 3-6, 3-6
Loss 1969 US Open Grass France Françoise Dürr Australia Margaret Court
United States Marty Riessen
4-6, 5-7

Grand Slam tournament performance timeline

Key
W  F  SF QF #R RR Q# A NH
(W) Won; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (A) absent; (NH) not held. SR=strike rate (events won/competed)

Singles

Tournament 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 SR
Australian Open A A A A A A A A A A A A SF 3R A A A A A A A 0 / 2
French Open A A A A A A A A 4R A A 3R A A A A A A A A 0 / 2
Wimbledon A A 2R 3R 3R 2R 1R SF F A QF 4R 4R 3R A A 1R A A 2R 0 / 13
US Open 1R 1R SF A 1R QF QF QF 4R A QF 4R QF 2R A A A 1R A A 0 / 13
Strike Rate 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 2 0 / 1 0 / 2 0 / 2 0 / 2 0 / 2 0 / 3 0 / 0 0 / 2 0 / 3 0 / 3 0 / 3 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 0 0 / 1

Note: The Australian Open was held twice in 1977, in January and December.

References

  1. ^ "Dennis Ralston: Career match record". thetennisbase.com. Tennismem SL. Retrieved 2017.
  2. ^ "Dennis Ralston: Career tournament results". thetennisbase.com. Madrid, Spain: Tennismem SL. Retrieved 2017.
  3. ^ "Dennis Ralston, 78, Doubles Champion in Tennis Hall of Fame, Dies". The New York Times. December 8, 2020.
  4. ^ Norcross, Dan (August 22, 2013). "Famous La Jolla tennis player dies". U-T San Diego. Archived from the original on April 7, 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  5. ^ "Emerson, Ralston Win Net Tests", Reading Eagle, 2 September 1963.
  6. ^ Harman, Neil (June 23, 2008). "'I see Rafa playing tennis I do not believe'". The Times. Retrieved 2010.
  7. ^ "Santana Defeats Dennis Ralston In Wimbledon Finals". Reading Eagle. AP. July 1, 1966.
  8. ^ "Ralston Turns Tennis Pro". The Tuscaloosa News. AP. December 27, 1966.
  9. ^ Atkin, Ronald (March 5, 2000). "Britain turn to passion of the handsome one". The Independent. Retrieved 2010.
  10. ^ Wind, Herbert Warren (1979). Game, Set, and Match : The Tennis Boom of the 1960s and 70s (1. ed.). New York: Dutton. pp. 65-70. ISBN 0525111409.
  11. ^ Porter, Ross. "Dennis Ralston". Real Sport Heroes. Archived from the original on March 11, 2012. Retrieved 2010.
  12. ^ Dennis Ralston at the International Tennis Hall of Fame
  13. ^ Harman, Neil (December 7, 2020). "'I see Rafa playing tennis I do not believe'". ATPTour. Retrieved 2020.
  14. ^ "Hall of Famers - Dennis Ralston". International Tennis Hall of Fame.
  15. ^ "Texas Tennis Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2016". Texas Tennis Museum and Hall of Fame. August 22, 2016.

External links


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