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Farewell to Manolo Santana, the great rival of Nicola Petrangeli

Farewell to Manolo Santana, the great rival of Nicola Petrangeli

He died at the age of 83, at his home in Marbella, one of the European tennis giants of the 1960s and the first great Spanish tennis player, Manuel SantanaFor everyone “Manolo”, a great competitor but also a great friend to Nicolas Petrangelli.

Manolo Santana, the ancestor of Spanish tennis

born in Madrid On May 10, 1938 from a poor family, he, like many children of his time, began to take up tennis as a ball boy in the velasquez tennis club. He debuted in the Grand Slam tournament in Wimbledon In 1958, the same year he debuted Davis Cup, at a time when there was a distinction between professionals and amateurs and the great tournaments we know today were reserved for amateurs, while professionals had their own independent circuit made up of exhibitions but also tournaments. It was Loans From an almost endless line of great Spanish tennis players who have conquered the Open Championships after him.

Manolo Santana: The rivalry with his great friend Petrangelli is legendary

He won twice in Roland Garros In 1961 and 1964, he twice beat Nicolas Petrangeli in the final, his great rival for supremacy in Europe, but also, as mentioned, his great friend. Also in 1965 he was awarded the i United States Championship, which corresponds to the current US Open But which was then disputed on the lawn, always a New York and forest hillsIn 1966, he entered the legend by winning Wimbledon. did not play in hello australians. In total, he won between amateur and open 72 championshipsFrom 1961 to 1967 he was considered one of the Top Ten Tennis Players From the world, even number one In 1966, although there was no official classification at the time. In the doubles, Roland Garros won 1963 with the Australian Roy Emerson.

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Manolo Santana: A career spanning more than 20 years

He retired in 1970 but returned in 1973 to play again in the Davis Cup SpainWith which he lost two finals for Australia in 1965 and 1967, then appeared sporadically until he finally quit in 1980, when he was named Davis captain until 1985, a role he also held from 1995 to 1999. He also won an Olympic gold medal. Mexico City 1968 But his victory is not in the records because tennis was an incredibly showy sport. Finally, since the first edition, he has managed Masters 1000 from his hometown.

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Fonte: Getty Images