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Remembering Texas sports history, July 3: Trinity's McKinley makes Wimbledon run

Remembering Texas sports history, July 3: Trinity's McKinley makes Wimbledon run

From the Today in Texas sports history: A look back at Lone Star glory series
Chuck McKinley

Chuck McKinley leans backward to keep balance after returning shot to Herbert Fitzgibbon, II of Garden City, N.Y., in their semifinal match in the National Clay Courts tennis tournament in River Forest, Ill., in 1963.

July 3 – Chuck McKinley enjoyed a brief and amazingly successful tennis career that saw him play in world class events during and immediately after his college days at Trinity University in San Antonio.

A native of St. Louis, Mo., McKinley enrolled at Trinity in 1960 and joined a thriving tennis program. He then became its star following his freshman year.

On July 3, 1961, McKinley won his Wimbledon quarterfinals match against Bobby Wilson of England, 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. But McKinley didn’t stop there. He defeated another Brit, Mike Sangster, 6-4, 6-4, 8-6, in the semifinals to reach the final at the All England Club.

Australian Rod Laver ultimately bested McKinely in the championship match, 6-3, 6-1, 6-4.

Undeterred, McKinley returned to the Wimbledon finals in 1963 and beat Australian Fred Stolle in the final, 9-7, 6-1, 6-4, to claim a grand slam singles title. However, McKinley remained an amateur and chose a career as a stockbroker instead of going pro.

This day in Texas sports history is a daily feature by Trib staff writer Chad Conine, paraphrased from his book “Texas Sports: Unforgettable Stories for Every Day of the Year” (University of Texas Press, 2017).

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