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Andrés Gimeno Tolaguera (born 3 August 1937) is a retired Spanish tennis player. His greatest achievement came in 1972, when he won the French Open and remains the oldest first-time grand slam champion in the open era at 34 years of age.[3]

Andrés Gimeno
Internationale Tenniskampioenschappen Melkhuisje, Andres Gimeno in aktie, Bestanddeelnr 926-5506.jpg
Country (sports) Spain
ResidenceBarcelona, Spain
Born (1937-08-03) 3 August 1937 (age 81)
Barcelona, Spain
Height1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Turned pro1960
PlaysRight-handed (one-handed backhand)
Int. Tennis HoF2009 (member page)
Career record787-473 (62.4%) [1]
Career titles41 [1]
Highest rankingNo. 3 (1962, Károly Mazák)[2]
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian OpenF (1969)
French OpenW (1972)
WimbledonSF (1970)
US Open4R (1969, 1972)
Other tournaments
Tour FinalsRR (1972)
Professional majors
US ProF (1967)
Wembley ProF (1965)
French ProF (1962, 1967)
Career record94–60
Career titles3
Grand Slam Doubles results
French OpenF (1960)
WimbledonQF (1959)
US OpenF (1968)


Early yearsEdit

Andres came from a family that loved tennis and his father Esteban supported him to play tennis. Esteban had been a good tennis player and he became Andres' coach. They practiced at Real Club de Tenis Barcelona. At an early age Andres started to become a really good tennis player, winning some important tournaments in his region. At age sixteen he won the U-18 Championship of Spain. In 1954 he won the Championship of Spain in the doubles’ category playing with Juan Manuel Couder. At the same time, he stopped studying to focus on his tennis’ career.

He was a successful tennis player in Spain, but also represented his country throughout Europe. He played in the Galea's Cup, the European Championship U21, and won it in 1956 and 1957. He was the runner-up in 1958. After that, he decided to go to Australia to play with the man who was considered the best tennis coach in the world, Harry Hopman. He increased his tennis level and soon, he had two important victories in the championships in Perth and in Sydney.

Tennis careerEdit

Gimeno went back to Spain in 1960 where he then did his best year as an amateur, winning the titles in Barcelona, Caracas, Monte Carlo, and Queen's. In Barcelona, he became the first Spanish player to win the Torneo Conde de Godó, beating the Italian player Giuseppe Merlo. That same year he reached the doubles final too, but failed to win in that category, losing to an Australian duo in the final. After that year, he joined the professional group “World Championship Tennis”,[4] where Jack Kramer offered him $50,000 for three years, and more money for each victory. The group consisted of some of the best tennis players in history such as Rod Laver, Pancho Gonzalez, Ken Rosewall. Gimeno won the World Championship in 1966, beating Rod Laver in five sets and the same tournament in doubles.[5] He also won the Netherlands' Open, the Madison Square Garden's Championship in 1969, the Dakar and Hamburg in 1971.

His Grand Slam's results came in 1968 when the Open Era started and the professional could participate in Grand Slams. His first good result was the final in Australian Open[6] in 1969, where he lost to Rod Laver in three sets.[7]

Andres Gimeno's best year was in 1972, when he was a finalist in Brussels and in Paris, and he won in Los Angeles, in Eastbourne,[8] in Gstaad, and the French Open. The Catalan won his first and only Grand Slam in 1972. He holds the record for the oldest male player to win the French Open (at the age of 34). In the final, he beat the French player Patrick Proisy in four sets (4–6, 6–3, 6–1, 6–1). In addition, he reached the semifinals at Wimbledon.[9] In 1973 he reached the final in Hilversum, where Tom Okker beat him in five sets.

Gimeno was an active Davis Cup player, recording an 18–5 singles record and 5–5 his doubles record.[10] His debut was in the match that Spain played against Egypt with one of the most important players in Spain, Manuel Santana. He couldn’t play the competition while he was a part of the professional group, but he participated as coach in 1966. In 1973 he injured his meniscus and decided to quit playing tennis. He became the tennis coach in the RFET, Tennis’ Spanish Federation and then in the Suisse Federation.[11]

Gimeno was ranked World No. 6 for 1961 by L'Équipe, World No. 4 for 1964 by Joe McCauley and World No. 3 for 1962, 1963, 1966 and 1967 by Károly Mazák in his amateur-pro combined rankings.[2]

After retiring from tennisEdit

After his professional career, he decided to join the tennis circuit for retired players called Legends Championship. He also founded a tennis club in 1974 called "Club de Tenis Andres Gimeno" in Castelldefels, Barcelona.[12] He also worked as tennis commentator in Television Espanola and in Telecinco, both Spanish televisions.

He was elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2009, becoming the fourth Spanish tennis player in it, after Arantxa Sánchez Vicario, Manuel Alonso and Manuel Santana.[13][14]

He got married to Cristina Corolla in 1962 and together they have three children: Alejo Gimeno, Andres Gimeno Jr and Cristina Gimeno.[15] In 2011, Gimeno lost all his money and some of the best Spanish tennis players such as Rafael Nadal, Tommy Robredo, Feliciano López and David Ferrer played an exhibition tennis tournament in Palau Blaugrana to raise funds for him.[16][17][18]

Grand Slam finalsEdit

Singles (1 title, 1 runner-up)Edit

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Runner-up 1969 Australian Open Grass   Rod Laver 3–6, 4–6, 5–7
Winner 1972 French Open Clay   Patrick Proisy 4–6, 6–3, 6–1, 6–1

Doubles (2 runner-ups)Edit

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Runner-up 1960 French Championships Clay   José Luis Arilla   Roy Emerson
  Neale Fraser
2–6, 10–8, 5–7, 4–6
Runner-up 1968 US Open Grass   Arthur Ashe   Bob Lutz
  Stan Smith
9–11, 1–6, 5–7

Singles titles (Open era)Edit

Grand Slam (1)
Tennis Masters Cup (0)
ATP Tour (4)
No. Date Championship Surface Opponent Score
1. 17 May 1971 Hamburg Open, Germany Clay   Péter Szőke 6–3, 6–2, 6–2
2. 14 February 1972 Los Angeles, USA Hard   Pierre Barthes 6–3, 2–6, 6–3
3. 22 May 1972 French Open, France Clay   Patrick Proisy 4–6, 6–3, 6–1, 6–1
4. 19 June 1972 Eastbourne, England Grass   Pierre Barthes 7–5, 6–3
5. 10 July 1972 Gstaad, Switzerland Clay   Adriano Panatta 7–5, 9–8, 6–4

Performance timelineEdit

(W) Won; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (A) absent; (NH) not held. SR=strike rate (events won/competed)
Tournament Amateur Pro Open Era SR W–L Win %
1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961–67 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973
Grand Slam tournaments
Australian Championships/Open A A A QF A banned F A 2R A A 0 / 3 6–3 66.67
French Championships/Open 1R 3R 4R A QF banned SF QF A A W 2R 1 / 8 24–7 77.42
Wimbledon 3R 1R 2R 3R 2R banned 3R 4R SF 1R 2R A 0 / 10 17–10 62.96
US National Championships/Open A A A A A banned 1R 4R 1R A 4R A 0 / 4 6–4 60.00
Win–Loss 2–2 2–2 4–2 4–2 4–2 n/a 7–3 14–4 5–2 0–2 11–2 1–1 1 / 25 53–24 68.83
Year End Championships
The Masters not held A A RR A 0 / 1 0–3 0.00
Win–Loss n/a n/a n/a 0–3 n/a 0 / 1 0–3 0.00

Professional Grand SlamEdit

Tournament 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 SR W–L Win %
US Pro Championships A SF A A SF A SF F 0 / 4 4–4 50.00
French Pro Championship QF QF F 1R SF QF SF F 0 / 8 10–8 55.55
Wembley Championships QF QF QF QF QF F QF SF 0 / 8 8–8 50.00
Win–Loss 2–2 2–3 4–2 1–2 2–3 2–2 2–3 7–3 0 / 20 22–20 52.38


  1. ^ a b "Andres Gimeno: Career match record". Tennis Base. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  2. ^ a b Mazák, Károly (2010). The Concise History of Tennis, p. 90-95.
  3. ^ Dorish, Joe (8 May 2013). "Youngest and Oldest Men to win the French Open in Tennis". Yahoo. Archived from the original on 2 July 2013.
  4. ^ "Andres Gimeno Inked by Kramer for Pro Circuit". The Montreal Gazette. 13 July 1960 – via Google News Archive.
  5. ^ "Andres Gimeno Master en tenis". ABC (in Spanish). 12 December 2011.
  6. ^ EFE (28 January 2009). "Verdasco bate al gigante Tsonga y alcanza su primera semifinal de Grand Slam". ABC (in Spanish).
  7. ^ Serras, Manel (22 October 2011). "Andres es uno de los grandes". El País (in Spanish).
  8. ^ "Nadal, primer español en 36 años que gana un torneo jugado en hierba". ABC (in Spanish). 16 June 2008.
  9. ^ "Gimeno wins first major tennis title". The Sydney Morning Herald. 6 June 1972 – via Google News Archive.
  10. ^ Grasso, John (2011). Historical Dictionary of Tennis. Maryland: Scarecrow Press. p. 117. ISBN 9780810872370.
  11. ^ Serras, Manel (6 December 2000). "El pacto de Gimeno y la Federación Española". El País (in Spanish).
  12. ^ "Andres Gimeno Tennis Club" (in Spanish). Castelldefells Tourisme. Archived from the original on 2 March 2014.
  13. ^ "Spanish tennis legends Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario,". International Tennis Hall of Fame.
  14. ^ "Arantxa Sánchez Vicario, Manolo Santana y Andrés Gimeno recibirán el anillo de oro del 'Hall of Fame' en el Conde de Godó". MARCA (in Spanish). 23 March 2011.
  15. ^ Perez de Rozas, Emilio (22 April 2013). "La escalofriante vida de Andres Gimeno". Sport (in Spanish).
  16. ^ Escorcia, Dagoberto (5 October 2011). "Andres Gimeno:"Solo quiero tener para pagar la luz."". La Vanguardia (in Spanish).
  17. ^ "El tenista Andrés Gimeno confiesa su precaria situación económica" (in Spanish). El Diario Montañés. 8 October 2011.
  18. ^ "Gimeno recibe el apoyo de la familia del tenis". ABC (in Spanish). 22 October 2011.

External linksEdit