Last five NCAA Division I champions to win a tennis major
January 25, 2023
As we approach the second day of the quarterfinals of the 2023 Australian Open in Melbourne, one of the final six players left in the men’s draw is reigning NCAA champion Ben Shelton of Atlanta, Georgia. Shelton, who won the 2022 NCAA Singles Championship while representing the University of Florida, is facing fellow American Tommy Paul of Voorhees, New Jersey. One must realize that Shelton is trying to be the first player since 1978 to win a grand slam singles final and a NCAA men’s singles championship in a career. Here are the last five NCAA champions to accomplish the feat.
5) Alex Olmedo–
Alex Olmedo, represented his native Peru and then the United States internationally in men’s tennis. He won the 1958 NCAA Singles Championship while representing the University of Southern California, before winning the 1959 Australian Championship and 1959 Wimbledon.
4) Arthur Ashe–
The native of Richmond, Virginia won the NCAA Championship with UCLA (University of California-Los Angeles) in 1965. He went on to win the 1968 U.S. Open, the 1970 Australian Open and 1975 Wimbledon.
3) Stan Smith–
The native of Pasadena, California won the NCAA Championship with USC in 1968. He went on to win the 1971 U.S. Open and 1972 Wimbledon.
2) Jimmy Connors–
The native of Belleville, Illinois won the NCAA Championship with UCLA in 1971. He went on to win eight grand slam titles. He won the Australian Open in 1974, Wimbledon in 1974 and 1982, and the U.S. Open in 1974, 1976, 1978, 1982 and 1983.
1) John McEnroe–
The American tennis legend won a NCAA Championship with Stanford in 1978. He then won the U.S. Open in 1979, 1980, 1981, and 1984, and Wimbledon in 1981, 1983, and 1984.
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