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Manuel Santana

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Title: Manuel Santana  
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Subject: 1967 Davis Cup, 1965 Davis Cup, Barcelona Open (tennis), 1970 Davis Cup, 1969 French Open – Men's Singles
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Manuel Santana

Manolo Santana
Full name Manuel Martínez Santana
Country  Spain
Residence Marbella, Spain
Born (1938-05-10) 10 May 1938
Madrid, Spain
Turned pro 1968 (amateur tour from 1956)
Retired 1977
Plays Right-handed (one-handed backhand)
Int. Tennis HOF 1984 (member page)
Career titles 16
Highest ranking No. 1 (1966, Lance Tingay)[1]
Grand Slam Singles results
French Open W (1961, 1964)
Wimbledon W (1966)
US Open W (1965)
Other tournaments
Olympic Games W (1968, demonstration)
Grand Slam Doubles results
French Open W (1963)
Wimbledon SF (1963)
Other Doubles tournaments
Olympic Games F (1968, demonstration)
Team competitions
Davis Cup F (1965Ch, 1967Ch, 1970)

Manuel Martínez Santana, also known as Manolo Santana (born 10 May 1938), is a former amateur tennis champion from Spain who was ranked World No. 1 in 1966.[1] He was born in Madrid.

Before winning Wimbledon he was quoted as saying "Grass is just for cows."[2] He thought that tennis should be played on artificial surfaces as opposed to lawn tennis courts like the ones at Wimbledon. This statement has been echoed throughout the years by numerous players including Ivan Lendl, Marat Safin, Marcelo Ríos, and, despite his 1973 victory at Wimbledon, Jan Kodeš.


Santana was born in Madrid, and began his career as a ball boy and "picked up" the game. In 1965, Santana led Spain to unexpected victory over the US in the Davis Cup, and he became a national hero. Despite his previous Grand Slam successes in the French Championships (1961, 1964) and the U.S. Championships (1965), Santana's win at the 1966 Wimbledon lawn tennis championships was a surprise, where he defeated the sixth seed Dennis Ralston 6–4, 11–9, 6–4. This was his last Grand slam title. His last big tournament win was in 1970 by winning Barcelona where he defeated Rod Laver 6–4 6–3 6–4. He also captured the doubles title in Barcelona that year when he teamed with Lew Hoad to defeat Laver/Andrés Gimeno 6–4 9–7 7–5. He was named to the Hall of Fame in 1984.

At the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, Santana won the Gold medal in Singles, though tennis was only a demonstration sport at that time. It became a medal sport in 1988 (after another demonstration event in 1984).

He later was captain of the Spanish Copa Davis Team twice, once in the '80s and again for four and a half years in the mid-'90s, until he was dismissed in 1999. Currently, he is the organizer of the Madrid Masters.[3]

He manages the Manolo Santana Racquets club, a tennis club in Marbella, and the Sport Center Manolo Santana, in Madrid.

Santana and Lleyton Hewitt are the only Wimbledon Men's Singles champions to lose in the first round in the following year; Hewitt's loss was during the Open Era, while Santana's was before the Open Era.

He appeared at the 2011 Wimbledon Championships in London, England in the Royal Box to watch the Men's Final which was between his fellow countryman Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic (who had just become World No. 1 after winning his semi-final match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga).

Grand Slam record

Tournament Amateur career Open career Titles / Played Career W-L Career Win%
'58 '59 '60 '61 '62 '63 '64 '65 '66 '67 '68 '69 '70
Grand Slam Tournaments 2 / 44 95–40 70.37
Australian Open A A A A A A A A A A A A A 0 / 0 0–0 00.00
French Open A A QF W SF SF W 2R A A A 4R 4R 2 / 8 35–6 85.36
Wimbledon 1R 3R 3R 2R QF SF 4R A W 1R 3R A A 1 / 10 26–9 74.28
US Open A 2R A A A A 2R W SF A A 4R 4R 1 / 6 20–5 80.00

Grand Slam finals


Wins (4)
Year Championship Opponent in final Score in final
1961 French Championships Nicola Pietrangeli 4–6, 6–1, 3–6, 6–0, 6–2
1964 French Championships (2) Nicola Pietrangeli 6–3, 6–1, 4–6, 7–5
1965 U.S. Championships Cliff Drysdale 6–2, 7–9, 7–5, 6–1
1966 Wimbledon Championships Dennis Ralston 6–4, 11–9, 6–4

Personal life

Manolo Santana was married to María Fernanda González-Dopeso, they had four children (Manuel, Beatriz, Borja, & Bárbara), their marriage ended in 1980. He also married reporter Mila Ximénez de Cisneros, with whom he has a daughter, Alba. The divorce was not friendly. He's currently divorced from Otti Glanzelius.[4]


  1. ^ a b "Stolle Ranked Second", The Sydney Morning Herald, 5 October 1966.
  2. ^ "Manuel Santana: The first and last Spanish sorcerer backs his apprentice". The Independent. 9 July 2006. 
  3. ^ "Masters Series Madrid – Manolo Santana". Retrieved 17 May 2011. 
  4. ^ "Mila Ximénez se lanza a cuchillo contra la mujer de Manolo Santana". 20 June 2006. Retrieved 17 May 2011. 

External links

  • International Tennis Hall of Fame
  • Manolo Santana Racquets club
  • Sport Center Manolo Santana
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