Tennis Hall of Famer Dennis Ralston dies at 78

Aug 11, 2018; Mason, OH, USA; A view of the Penn tennis balls on the racket of Marcos Baghdatis (CYP) as he prepares to serve against Feliciano Lopez (ESP) in the Western and Southern tennis open at Lindner Family Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Five-time Grand Slams double champion and Hall of Famer Dennis Ralston died Sunday at age 78.

The death was announced by his alma mater, Southern California. The university said Ralston died in Austin, Texas, after a battle with cancer.

Ralston was a four-time individual NCAA champion at USC, winning the NCAA singles and doubles crowns in both 1963 and 1964. He also was part of three straight national championship teams from 1962-64.

He won U.S. Open doubles titles in 1961, 1963 and 1964. Ralston also won the Wimbledon doubles title in 1960 and the French Open doubles title in 1966.

Ralston didn’t win any Grand Slam singles titles but reached the 1966 Wimbledon final before losing to Manuel Santana.

Ralston had a 576-251 record and won 41 singles titles. His highest singles ranking was No. 5 in 1966. He also had a 125-87 record as a doubles player.

Ralston was a member of the U.S. team that won the Davis Cup in 1963 and later served as captain of the squad from 1972-75.

He retired in 1977 and later moved into coaching, including six years as coach of legendary women’s player Chris Evert.

Evert paid tribute to Ralston on Twitter.

“It’s a sad day as my former coach of six years, Dennis Ralston, has passed away. A deeply religious man, a devoted family man, and a superb player and coach…. he will be missed. RIP Dennis,” Evert said.

Ralston was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987.

–Field Level Media