General Manuel Martinez
Santana
Male
Spain
1938-05-10
Madrid, Spain


About

One of the masters of legerdemain, Manuel Martinez ‘Manolo’ Santana was the first post-World War II European to gain universal respect because of his ease not only on Continental clay, but the way he took to grass. As well as his winning the most difficult clay event, the French singles in 1961 and 1964, both over Nicola Pietrangeli, he also captured the greensward gems, Wimbledon of 1966 and the U.S.
Championship of 1965 at Forest Hills. In doing so, the engaging Spaniard was the first European champ at Forest Hills since Frenchman Henri Cochet in 1928.
“He was a magician on clay,” says Rod Laver. “Manolo could hit the most incredible angles, drive you crazy with topspin lobs or drop shots. And he improved his volleying so that he was dangerous on grass, too. He toyed with me a couple of times in Europe, letting me know I had a lot to learn about clay.”
In 1965 Santana became a national hero in Spain and was decorated by the country’s leader, Francisco Franco, with the coveted Medal of Isabella, qualifying for the title Ilustrissimo. That year Santana spearheaded the 4-1 upset of the U.S. at Barcelona during the Davis Cup campaign and led Spain all the way to the finale for the first time. Although the Spaniards were turned back in Australia, 4-1, Santana gave Roy Emerson his only defeat in 12 title-round singles. Two years later he drove Spain to the finale again, salvaging the only point in a 4-1defeat by beating John Newcombe. Only Pietrangeli (164 singles and doubles in 46 series) and Romanian Ilie Nastase played more Davis Cup than Santana. Manolo worked 120 singles (69-17) and doubles (23-11) in 46 series between 1958 and 1973.
He set Cup records by winning 13 singles matches in 1967 (equalled by Nastase in 1971), and also by winning 17 singles and doubles in 1965 and 1967 (topped by Nastase’s 18 in 1971). Born May 10, 1938, in Madrid, he worked as a ball boy at a local club and picked up the game. He was very appealing, a slender 5-foot-11 right-hander, who frequently flashed his warm, toothy smile at play and was an admirable sportsman. His racket control was phenomenal, enabling him to hit with touch and power. He had great flair, the ability to improvise and to inspire himself and his partners and teammates. Never losing heart in the doubles of the 1965 Davis Cup against the U.S., he rallied partner Luis Arilla as they stormed back to beat Dennis Ralston and Clark Graebner, 4-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 11-9, in an emotional battle that clinched the decision. Cushions showered down on the two Spaniards as they were carried about the stadium court of the Real Club de Tenis in the manner of bullfighters. Santana and Arilla wept with joy at the most tremendous victory in Spanish tennis annals. Manolo had given the home side a 2-0 lead by beating Frank Froehling, after Juan Gisbert upset Ralston. Less than a month later a similarly jubilant celebration was staged at Forest Hills after Santana jolted Cliff Drysdale in the U.S. final. A troupe of dancers from the World’s Fair’s Spanish Pavilion toted him from stadium to clubhouse, whereupon they serenaded him. The following year was Santana’s at Wimbledon, where he beat Ralston in the final and enthralled the gallery with his point and counterpoint thrusts. But 12 months later, beaten by Charlie Pasarell, he made an historic footnote as the lone top-seeded defending champion to lose in Wimbledon’s first round. Beginning in 1961, Santana was in the World Top Ten seven years, No. 1 in 1966. His career was virtually over when the Open Era arrived, but he did elate his countrymen by winning Barcelona in 1970, his last singles victory, plus three pro doubles titles. Overall as amateur and pro he won 72 singles titles. Santana came out of retirement briefly in 1973 to play his last season of Davis Cup, and again in 1974 to act as player-coach for New York in the new World Team Tennis League.

He was named the second Spaniard to the Hall of Fame, following Manuel Alonso, 1977. His successes spurred the rapid development of tennis in Spain, where the sport was not much noticed prior to 1965, but is booming today. His protégé was Manuel Orantes, called Manolito (Little Manolo), who won the U.S. Championship at Forest Hills a decade after his own, beating Jimmy Connors though the surface had by then been transformed to clay. He spent time as Spain’s Davis Cup captain, and has long been a friend to aspiring young players. But despite Spain’s important current standing in tennis today, none of its fine players has yet measured up to his four major singles. Call him the Godfather of the Groundstrokes.

Manuel was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1984.

Source:Bud Collins



Media


Archive statistics 1956 - 1979
93
1034
798


Tournament wins 1971 - Las Palmas (Open)
1971 - Zaragoza (Open)
1970 - Madrid (Open)
1970 - International Championships of Egypt - Cairo (Open)
1970 - Conde de Godo (ATP)
1970 - Coupe Faulcombridge (Open)
1970 - Sevilla (Open)
1969 - Spanish National Championships (Open)
1969 - Real Madrid International (Open)
1969 - Austrian International Championships (Grand Prix Circuit)
1969 - Bastad (Open)
1969 - Madrid (Open)
1969 - Portuguese International Championships (Open)
1969 - Barcelona De La Salud (Amateur)
1969 - Coupe Faulcombridge (Open)
1968 - Helsinki International (Amateur)
1968 - Coupe Faulcombridge (Open)
1968 - Olympics, Olympic Games (Olympic Games)
1968 - Spanish National Championships (Open)
1968 - Philadelphia Open (WCT Circuit)
1968 - Tampa Dixie International Invitation (Amateur)
1968 - Madrid (Open)
1968 - Championships of Berlin (Amateur)
1967 - Zaragoza (Open)
1967 - Lys International Grass Championships (Amateur)
1967 - Mediterranean Games (Open)
1967 - South African Championships (Grand Prix Circuit)
1967 - Canadian International Championships ()
1966 - Wimbledon (Grandslam)
1966 - Monte Carlo (Grand Prix Circuit)
1965 - Barbados (Amateur)
1965 - Dixie Championships (Amateur)
1965 - US Open (Grandslam)
1965 - Coupe Faulcombridge (Open)
1965 - Caribe Hilton Championships (Amateur)
1965 - Mexico International (Amateur)
1965 - Colombia International (Amateur)
1965 - Madrid (Open)
1965 - Portuguese Autumn Championships (Amateur)
1965 - Trinidad International (Amateur)
1965 - Bastad (Open)
1965 - Barcelona Fall - Real Turo (Amateur)
1964 - Baden-Baden (Amateur)
1964 - Deauville (Open)
1964 - Bavarian International Championships (ATP World Tour 250 series)
1964 - Madrid (Open)
1964 - Santander (Amateur)
1964 - Pacific Coast Championship (Amateur)
1964 - Bilbao International (Open)
1964 - Roland Garros (Grandslam)
1964 - Spanish National Championships (Open)
1964 - Coupe Faulcombridge (Open)
1964 - San Sebastian (Amateur)
1963 - Dixie Championships (Amateur)
1963 - Caribe Hilton Championships (Amateur)
1963 - Masters Invitation (Amateur)
1963 - Altamira International Invitation (Open)
1963 - Colombia International (Amateur)
1963 - Barcelona International (Amateur)
1963 - Madrid (Open)
1963 - San Sebastian b (Amateur)
1963 - Barcino Club (Amateur)
1963 - Spanish National Championships (Open)
1963 - River Oaks Tournament (WCT Circuit)
1962 - Bastad (Open)
1962 - Spanish National Championships (Open)
1962 - Cordoba (Amateur)
1962 - Dixie Championships (Amateur)
1962 - Mexico International (Amateur)
1962 - Conde de Godo (ATP)
1962 - Madrid (Open)
1962 - San Sebastian (Amateur)
1961 - Barcelona De La Salud (Amateur)
1961 - Portuguese International Championships (Open)
1961 - Colombia International (Amateur)
1961 - Roland Garros (Grandslam)
1961 - Venezia (Venice International Tournament) (Amateur)
1961 - Baden-Baden (Amateur)
1961 - Blau-Weiss Club (Amateur)
1961 - Spanish National Championships (Open)
1961 - Brumana International (Amateur)
1961 - Bilbao International (Open)
1961 - Portuguese Hard Courts (Amateur)
1960 - Bilbao International (Open)
1960 - Spanish National Championships (Open)
1960 - San Sebastian (Amateur)
1960 - Moroccan International (Amateur)
1959 - Buenos Aires Mini Championships (Amateur)
1959 - Argentina International Championships (Open)
1958 - Barcelona International Christmas (Amateur)
1958 - Madrid Cup (Amateur)
1958 - Real Madrid International (Open)
1958 - Spanish National Championships (Open)


Tournaments La Moraleja Trophy - 1979 Bahamas International - 1979 Serramar - 1979 Marbella Invitation - 1979 Hall of Fame Championships - 1978 US Open - 1977 Hall of Fame Championships - 1977 Netherlands International Championships - 1976 British Hard Court Championships - 1976 Bavarian International Championships - 1976 Bastad - 1976 WCT - Barcelona - 1976 WCT - Mexico City - 1976 Copo Marlboro of Uruguay - 1976 Copo Marlboro of Paraguay - 1976 Copo Marlboro of Buenos Aires - 1976 River Plate Championships - 1975 US International Indoor Championships - 1975 Swiss International Covered Courts - 1975 Mallorca - 1975 Caribbean Cup - 1975 Boca West International - 1975 US International Indoor Championships - 1974 Indian International Championships - 1974 South Orange Open - 1974 Caribbean Cup - 1974 Rafael Osuna Cup - 1974 Pacific Coast Championship - 1973 Sao Paulo International - 1973 South African Championships - 1972 Las Palmas - 1972 Clean Air Classic - second meeting - 1972 Championships of Berlin - 1971 South African Championships - 1971 Conde de Godo - 1971 Natal Championships - 1971 Madrid - 1971 Las Palmas - 1971 Bastad - 1971 Vigo - 1971 Real Madrid International - 1971 La Coruna - 1971 Saltsjoebaden - 1971 Santander - 1971 båstad Champions Cup - 1971 Zaragoza - 1971 Clean Air Classic - 1971 Johannesburg Round Robin - 1971 Roland Garros - 1970 US Open - 1970 US International Indoor Championships - 1970 International Championships of Egypt - Cairo - 1970 River Oaks Tournament - 1970 Belgian International Championships - 1970 Conde de Godo - 1970 Madrid - 1970 Philadelphia Open - 1970 Coupe Faulcombridge - 1970 Charlotte - 1970 Real Madrid International - 1970 Sevilla - 1970 Midland International Indoors - 1970 Monte Carlo - 1969 Roland Garros - 1969 US Open - 1969 Austrian International Championships - 1969 Italian International Championships - 1969 Spanish National Championships - 1969 North of England Championships - 1969 Portuguese International Championships - 1969 Conde de Godo - 1969 Madrid - 1969 Coupe Faulcombridge - 1969 Thunderbird Invitation - 1969 Bastad - 1969 Real Madrid International - 1969 La Coruna - 1969 Garden Challenge Trophy Open - 1969 Oviedo - 1969 Concurso International - 1969 Sevilla - 1969 Barcelona De La Salud - 1969 Wimbledon - 1968 Olympics, Olympic Games - 1968 Championships of Berlin - 1968 Spanish National Championships - 1968 Madrid - 1968 Caribe Hilton Championships - 1968 Philadelphia Open - 1968 Coupe Faulcombridge - 1968 Richmond Indoor Championships - 1968 New York Indoor - 1968 Tampa Dixie International Invitation - 1968 Long Island Indoor - 1968 Bastad - 1968 Real Madrid International - 1968 La Coruna - 1968 Saltsjoebaden - 1968 Quebec International Round Robin - 1968 Helsinki International - 1968 Wimbledon - 1967 Canadian International Championships - 1967 Swiss International Championships - 1967 Queens Club Tournament - 1967 River Plate Championships - 1967 German International Championships - 1967 Championships of Berlin - 1967 South African Championships - 1967 Northern Lawn Tennis Association Tournament - 1967 Mediterranean Games - 1967 New York Indoor - 1967 Real Madrid International - 1967 King's Cup - Semi-Final a - 1967 Quebec International Round Robin - 1967 King's Cup - Second Round c - 1967 King's Cup - Consolation -Third Place - 1967 Lys International Grass Championships - 1967 Zaragoza - 1967 King's Cup - Quarter Final b - 1967 Wimbledon - 1966 Monte Carlo - 1966 US Open - 1966 Swiss International Championships - 1966 Pacific Coast Championship - 1966 Queens Club Tournament - 1966 Pacific Southwest Championships - 1966 US International Indoor Championships - 1966 Kent Championships - 1966 Madrid - 1966 Bastad - 1966 Real Madrid International - 1966 Fort Worth - 1966 Philadelphia Indoors - 1966 Quebec International Round Robin - 1966 Salamanca - 1966 båstad Champions Cup - 1966 Roland Garros - 1965 US Open - 1965 Italian International Championships - 1965 US International Indoor Championships - 1965 Dixie Championships - 1965 Spanish National Championships - 1965 Conde de Godo - 1965 Madrid - 1965 Caribe Hilton Championships - 1965 Good Neighbor Tournament - 1965 Coupe Faulcombridge - 1965 Altamira International Invitation - 1965 Colombia International - 1965 Mexico International - 1965 Bastad - 1965 Portuguese Autumn Championships - 1965 Barcelona Fall - Real Turo - 1965 Trinidad International - 1965 Barbados - 1965 Wimbledon - 1964 Roland Garros - 1964 US Open - 1964 Pacific Coast Championship - 1964 US International Indoor Championships - 1964 Dixie Championships - 1964 German International Championships - 1964 Argentina International Championships - 1964 Kent Championships - 1964 Deauville - 1964 Spanish National Championships - 1964 Baden-Baden - 1964 Conde de Godo - 1964 Madrid - 1964 Caribe Hilton Championships - 1964 Bavarian International Championships - 1964 Good Neighbor Tournament - 1964 Coupe Faulcombridge - 1964 Altamira International Invitation - 1964 Colombia International - 1964 Bastad - 1964 Gstaad - 1964 San Sebastian - 1964 Fort Worth - 1964 Philadelphia Indoors - 1964 Santander - 1964 Bilbao International - 1964 Trinidad International - 1964 Wimbledon - 1963 Roland Garros - 1963 Queens Club Tournament - 1963 Italian International Championships - 1963 US International Indoor Championships - 1963 River Oaks Tournament - 1963 Dixie Championships - 1963 Barcelona International - 1963 Southern Transvaal Championships - 1963 Spanish National Championships - 1963 Midland Counties Championships - 1963 Conde de Godo - 1963 Madrid - 1963 Pan American Championships - 1963 Caribe Hilton Championships - 1963 Mediterranean Games - 1963 Good Neighbor Tournament - 1963 Altamira International Invitation - 1963 Colombia International - 1963 Masters Invitation - 1963 Vigo - 1963 San Sebastian - 1963 Border Championships - 1963 Barcelona Fall - Real Turo - 1963 Johannesburg Invitation - 1963 San Sebastian b - 1963 Barcino Club - 1963 Natal Sugar Circuit Championships - 1963 Wimbledon - 1962 Roland Garros - 1962 Swiss International Championships - 1962 Queens Club Tournament - 1962 Italian International Championships - 1962 US International Indoor Championships - 1962 Dixie Championships - 1962 German International Championships - 1962 Argentina International Championships - 1962 Spanish National Championships - 1962 Conde de Godo - 1962 Madrid - 1962 Eastern Province second edition - 1962 Caribbean Championships - 1962 Caribe Hilton Championships - 1962 Bavarian International Championships - 1962 Düsseldorf International Tournament - 1962 Good Neighbor Tournament - 1962 Altamira International Invitation - 1962 Colombia International - 1962 Mexico International - 1962 Bastad - 1962 Masters Invitation - 1962 Vigo - 1962 San Sebastian - 1962 Chile International - 1962 Caracas - Consolation - 1962 Cordoba - 1962 Varberg - 1962 Wimbledon - 1961 Monte Carlo - 1961 Roland Garros - 1961 Queens Club Tournament - 1961 French Covered Court Championships - 1961 Italian International Championships - 1961 Venezia (Venice International Tournament) - 1961 German International Covered Court Championships - 1961 Barcelona International - 1961 Spanish National Championships - 1961 Mediterranean Championships - 1961 Portuguese International Championships - 1961 Baden-Baden - 1961 Conde de Godo - 1961 British Covered Court Championships - 1961 Scandinavian Championships - 1961 Caribbean Championships - 1961 Caribe Hilton Championships - 1961 Altamira International Invitation - 1961 Colombia International - 1961 Gstaad - 1961 Turkish International Championships (Turkey Open) - 1961 Brumana International - 1961 Moroccan International - 1961 Blau-Weiss Club - 1961 Bilbao International - 1961 Portuguese Hard Courts - 1961 Barcelona De La Salud - 1961 Wimbledon - 1960 Roland Garros - 1960 Paris International Championships - 1960 Queens Club Tournament - 1960 French Covered Court Championships - 1960 US International Indoor Championships - 1960 Argentina International Championships - 1960 Kent Championships - 1960 Spanish National Championships - 1960 Conde de Godo - 1960 Madrid - 1960 Caribe Hilton Championships - 1960 Altamira International Invitation - 1960 Colombia International - 1960 Cologne International - 1960 San Sebastian - 1960 Moroccan International - 1960 Blau-Weiss Club - 1960 Santander - 1960 Bilbao International - 1960 Oviedo - 1960 Barcelona Fall - Real Turo - 1960 Barcelona De La Salud - 1960 Wimbledon - 1959 US Open - 1959 Pacific Coast Championship - 1959 Queens Club Tournament - 1959 French Covered Court Championships - 1959 Pacific Southwest Championships - 1959 Casablanca - 1959 Argentina International Championships - 1959 Spanish National Championships - 1959 Conde de Godo - 1959 Chilean National Championships - 1959 Chile International - 1959 Buenos Aires Mini Championships - 1959 Wimbledon - 1958 Monte Carlo - 1958 Spanish National Championships - 1958 Coupe Marcel Poree - 1958 San Sebastian - 1958 Real Madrid International - 1958 Macomber Cup - Monte Carlo 23's - 1958 Coupe Albert Canet - 1958 Barcelona International Christmas - 1958 Madrid Cup - 1958 Canary Islands - 1958 Monte Carlo - 1957 Spanish National Championships - 1957 Coupe Maurice Bivort - 1957 Monte Carlo - 1956 Spanish National Championships - 1956 Conde de Godo - 1956 Macomber Cup - Monte Carlo 23's - 1956 Barcelona Fall - Real Turo - 1956 Coupe Maurice Bivort - 1956 Valladolid - 1956

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