NEW YORK -- Arthur Ashe, who elevated U.S. Davis Cup fortunes to Challenge Cup status, stands atop American tennis rankings today.
The U.S. Lawn Tennis Association's ranking committee recommended Ashe to be the nation's No. 1 amateur player in the men's division for 1969. Voting on the recommendations take place at the USLTA's annual meeting in Clearwater, Fla., Feb. 8 and usually follows the committee's suggested ratings.
Ashe, an Army lieutenant from Richmond, Va., is ranked second internationally. He won the first U.S. championship this year.
Clark Graebner of New York, 1968 Wimbledon semifinalist and Ashe's Davis Cup teammate, stepped up from fourth to the No. 24 spot in the USLTA rankings. Ashe was No. 2 to Charles Pasarell of Puerto Rico this year. Pasarell dropped to seventh place in the recommendations.
Others in the top 10 recommendations were: 3. Stan Smith, Pasadena Calif.; 4. Cliff Richey, San Angelo, Tex; 5. Bob Lutz, Los Angeles; 6. Ron Holmberg, Highland Falls, N.Y.; 8 Jim Osborne, Honolulu; 9. Jim McManus, Berkeley, Calif.; 10. Gene Sbott, New York.
Lutz and Smith were top-ranked in doubles. They won the U.S. Open and Amateur and clay Court championships.