Arthur Ashe def. Tom Okker
14-12, 5-7, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
Walls were torn down and history written as the Open Era began.
Ashe fought his way to the final with a four-set win over Clark Graebner that became the subject of John McPhee’s “Levels of the Game.”
In the final, Ashe racked up 26 aces and won an exhaustive first set to survive Okker, becoming the first native-born champion in 14 years.
Ashe also set a mark that can never be equaled.
Two weeks before the Open, Ashe had won the U.S. Amateur final, thus becoming the only amateur to ever win that title and the US Open.
As an amateur, Ashe was unable to collect the $14,000 prize money, instead receiving $20 a day in expenses.
He also served a mean alphabet game.