Alumni 1965

Alumni 1965 2 days with Rod Laver (Australia) , Andres Gimeno(Sp), Butch Buchholz(US), Alex Olmedo (Peru-US)

  • This was the only occasion in which Beirut fans could at last admire the legendary Rod Laver who had turned pro end of 1962 after completing a true Grand Slam in 1962, and been world no 1 for at least 2 consecutive years. Laver was also way ahead of his fellow Kramer Pros touring stars, regularly beating Rosewall, Hoad, Gonzales, Trabert, etc…

  • The participants in this Beirut exhibition were also the 1959 Wimbledon champion Olmedo (Peruvian born, USA Davis Cup star) and the regular Spanish pro Gimeno, + of course Earl (Butch) Buchholz who had reached world ranking no 4 in 1960 before turning pro, Gimeno would win Roland Garros during the Open era in 1972.

  • There was some delay in the matches, as the organizers were late in coming up with the minimum guarantee that the Pros had required. The (small) crowd of 300 people had to wait almost 2 hrs before enjoying Laver, who so many historians of sport considered the very best player ever in Tennis, and that was at dusk for just one set!

  • The modest clay courts of the Alumni where the Pros performed in 1965 were a pale replacement of the prestigious club that shone in the 50's and early 60's, which had been demolished and replaced by the huge new building of the American University Hospital.
Rod Laver (photo by the author)