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Jairo Velasco Sr.

tennis player
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Bio Velasco team up with Iván Molina to reach the fourth round of the 1971 French Open, before the pair lost to eventual champions Arthur Ashe and Marty Riessen. The right-hander bettered that effort in the 1973 French Open, this time in the mixed doubles, partnering countrywoman Isabel Fernández de Soto, with whom he made it into the semi-finals, where he were defeated in three sets by Patrice Dominguez and Betty Stöve. He became the first ever Colombian to reach the fourth round of the singles draw at a Grand Slam when he beat three players at the 1976 US Open, Ferdi Taygan, Barry Phillips-Moore and Bill Scanlon. His run ended when he lost to Dick Stockton. He remained the only player from his country to go that deep in a Grand Slam tournament until Alejandro Falla made the four round at the 2011 French Open.

The Colombian made seven doubles finals on the Grand Prix tennis circuit, winning two, at Kitzbühel and at home in Bogota. He also made the singles final at Bogota, in 1979, but lost to Víctor Pecci.

He won 24 singles rubbers for the Colombia Davis Cup team, a national record. In all he participated in 21 ties and won a total of 33 matches, having also been victorious in nine doubles rubbers. He was most notably a member of the side which defeated the United States in the North & Central America Zone final of the 1974 Davis Cup, beating both Harold Solomon and Erik Van Dillen in his two singles rubbers. In the Americas Inter-Zonal final, which curiously featured the South African team, Velasco lost his first match to Bob Hewitt and was also defeated in the doubles, to surrender the tie. He then beat Ray Moore in a dead rubber. The Colombians, with Velasco in the side, made the Inter-Zonal final again in 1981, but were defeated by Chile.
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