U.S. Open 1968

In 1968 the first United States Open took place and Arthur Ashe emerged the victor. Sydney Poitier narrates this video that looks back to that first U.S. Open and examines the lasting impact Arthur Ashe left on that Grand Slam tournament.

The video features clips of Arthur Ashe discussing his vindication upon winning, the turbulent current events surrounding that win and the shift in tennis thereafter. Also included is footage of the opening of Arthur Ashe Stadium at Flushing Meadows, NY.

Diversity on the Tennis Court

CNN’s T.J. Holmes talks with the widow of Arthur Ashe at the U.S. Open about diversity in tennis. Talk Transcipt

Soweto, South Africa 

The Arthur Ashe Tennis Center and Library, located in Soweto, South Africa was rededicated on March 31, 2007. Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe was present and recorded this footage that shows the refurbished facilities while Wire Zondi, now a Ward counselor, recalls what Ashe and the facility mean to him.

Erected in 1974 during the Apartheid era by Arthur Ashe, it was intended as a facility for black South Africans at a time when it was illegal for races to mix in South Africa. During the Soweto riots in 1976 it was severely damaged and remained in disrepair for years. Recently, funds were allotted to fix the center, which is unprecedented in South Africa due to its combination of tennis courts and learning areas. Programs at the center focus on both tennis and academics—which Arthur always stressed in conjunction with each other—so that a new generation of student—athletes can have access to these tools to help them succeed in life.

Wimbledon Finals – 1975
Ashe vs Connors


This is Gerald Williams’ original radio broadcast from the finals of Wimbledon in 1975. The defending champion Jimmy Connors was heavily favored to win the match. Instead, Ashe upset him 6-1, 6-1, 5-7, 6-4. The audio footage includes a post-victory interview with Ashe as well.

This audio broadcast from Wimbledon in 1975 is effective because it captures the mood of the time. What in these times is an unsurprising victory is reinvigorated because of the excitement and uncertainty being voiced by the commentators.

Ashe outplays Connors by keeping his cool, which succeeded in tiring an impatient Connors and letting him commit errors. In the interview, Ashe talks about his sense of destiny surrounding his game play that year and being the first black male to win Wimbledon.

WNYC-New York Public Radio Interview

On the right side of this page is an audio interview from a 1993 taping of the Brian Lehrer show on WNYC-New York Public Radio featuring guest James Cone, a professor at Union Theological Seminary in New York City.

The topic of the show was the legacies of civil rights leaders Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, twenty-five years after King’s assassination.

At the beginning of the audio clip, Brian Lehrer announces a surprise caller and that caller is Arthur Ashe. Ashe shares his views on how King and Malcolm X affected his youth and their continuing influence in ’90s popular culture.

— Also on the right side of this page, there is a
Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe interview with Brian Lehrer,
which is a prelude to the above noted WNYC New York Public
Radio interview with Arthur Ashe.

Did You Know?


Arthur Ashe – Career Review

Singles Record: 640 – 205
Singles Titles: 33
Doubles Record: 323 – 176
Doubles Titles: 14
Prize Money: $1,584,909

Singles Titles
1960 – Wins the National Interscholastics
1963 – U.S. Men’s Hardcourt championships
1965 – NCAA singles champion
1967 – U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship
1968 – U.S. Amateur Championships; US Open (Grass)
1970 – Australian Open (Grass); Berkeley; Paris Indoor
1971 – Charlotte; Paris Indoor; Stockholm Open
1972 – Louisville WCT; Montreal WCT; Rome WCT; Rotterdam WCT
1973 – Chicago WCT; Washington
1974 – Barcelona WCT; Bologna WCT; Stockholm
1975 – Barcelona WCT; Dallas WCT; Los Angeles; Munich WCT; Rotterdam WCT; San Francisco; Stockholm WCT; Wimbledon
1976 – Columbus WCT; Indianapolis WCT; Richmond WCT; Rome WCT; Rotterdam WCT
1978 – Colombus; Los Angeles; San Jose

Singles Finalist
1966 – Australian Open
1967 – Australian Open
1969 – Indianapolis
1970 – Stockholm Open; Washington
1971 – Australian Open; Bologna WCT; Chicago WCT; Dallas WCT; Richmond
1972 – Chicago WCT; US Open
1973 – Boston; Charlotte WCT; Dallas WCT; Denver WCT
1973 – Johannesburg; Las Vegas; Washington WCT
1974 – Denver WCT; Johannesburg; Philadelphia WCT; San Francisco; Sao Paulo WCT; Tuscon
1975 – Bologna WCT; Indianapolis; Paris Indoor; Richmond-WCT
1976 – Lagos WCT; Los Angeles
1978 – Masters
1979 – Memphis; Philadelphia

Doubles Titles
1965 – NCAA doubles champion
1970 – Indianapolis; Stockholm Open
1971 – Roland Garros
1972 – Philadelphia WCT
1973 – Johannesburg; Denver WCT
1974 – Barcelona WCT; Denver WCT
1975 – Barcelona WCT; Johannesburg WCT; Stockholm WCT
1976 – Las Vegas
1977 – Australian Open
1978 – Washington

Doubles Finalist
1968 – US Open
1969 – Cincinnati
1970 – London / Queen’s Club; Roland Garros; Philadelphia WCT
1971 – Stockholm Open; Montreal / Toronto, Toronto WCT; Wimbledon
1972 – Boston WCT; Louisville WCT; Rotterdam WCT
1973 – Houston WCT; London WCT; Paris Indoor; Washington WCT
1974 – Bologna WCT; Houston
1975 – Bologna WCT; Monte Carlo WCT
1976 – Washington; Columbus WCT; Richmond WCT; Rotterdam WCT’ Los Angeles
1978 – Washington Indoor

Other Honors

  • National College Athletic Association (NCAA) All-American, 1963-1965
  • U.S. Davis Cup Tennis Team member, beginning 1963
  • Won the Davis Cup in 1963, 1968, 1969 and 1970
  • Winner of 1964 Johnston Award, prestigious honor awarded annually to the American tennis player who contributes the most to the growth of the sport while exhibiting good sportsmanship and character.
  • U.S. Intercollegiate Championships, 1965
  • Was ranked number 1 in the U.S. both in 1968 and 1975
  • Named Player of the Year, Association of Tennis Players, 1975

Did You Know?

Arthur Ashe – Career Review
Singles Record: 640 – 205
Singles Titles: 33
Doubles Record: 323 – 176
Doubles Titles: 14
Prize Money: $1,584,909