Winter 2020 Catalog Auction Ending Feb 22
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 2/23/2020

Highly esteemed by all of his colleagues, Rafael “Rafe” Osuna met with a tragic death in an air crash when he was 30.  An enormously popular star and an elegant court stylist, Osuna thrilled the galleries at Forest Hills when he won the U.S. Championships, neutralizing the power of American rival Frank Froehling with a vast array of spins and his astonishing foot speed. Osuna’s quickness and sharp skills at the net helped him win two Wimbledon Doubles Championships.  He was a grand slam winner, a former world number one and one of the most innovative doubles players in the sport's history.  He is the only Mexican tennis player ever ranked World No. 1 and was elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1979. 

Following up on his Wimbledon Doubles Championship in 1960, when he and his USC Doubles teammate Dennis Ralston shocked the Tennis World as the only unseeded pair to win the tournament, Osuna partnered with fellow Mexican compatriot Antonio Palafox to compete in the following years US Lawn Tennis Championships, known now as the US Open.  Many believe that had Osuna maintained his college partnership with Ralston, his success might have been even greater in grand slams, but it was with Palafox that the pair experimented with a new formation that is commonly used today.  When serving, the other player would straddle the center line, keeping hunched down low to avoid being hit, before springing up to intercept their opponent's return.  It's called the "I-formation" and Osuna and Palafox were the first to use it.

Making their way to the finals, Osuna and Palafox would wind up facing Osuna’s current collage teammate and previous years Doubles Partner Dennis Ralston.  Unfortunately, in this contest Osuna and Palafox would fall just shy of victory after dropping an exhausting four set contest that ended with an 11-13 set.  This however was the beginning of a New era for Mexico and tennis that would see Osuna and Palafox soon dominate the doubles grand slam circuit in the following years to come.

The offered sterling silver plate is manufactured by renown Jeweler B & M, Baldwin and Miller, and was awarded to Rafael Osuna for his efforts in the 1961 US Lawn Tennis (US Open) Championship for his Men’s Doubles Runner Up finish.  The plate measures 8.5” in diameter and is engraved, “United States Lawn Tennis Association, Men’s Doubles Championship, 1961, Runners-Up, Rafael Osuna and Antonio Palafox”.  This award comes to us directly from Mexico where it was purchased from a family member of the great Rafael Osuna.

1961 Rafael Osuna US Open Men’s Doubles Runners-Up Sterling Silver Plate Award
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $1,500.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $1,800.00
Number Bids: 1
Auction closed on Sunday, February 23, 2020.
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