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Andrés Gimeno Tolaguera (3 August 1937 – 9 October 2019) was a Spanish tennis player. His greatest achievement came in 1972, when he won the French Open and he remains the oldest first-time grand slam champion of the open era at 34 years of age.[2]

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
Barcelona, Spain
Died9 October 2019(2019-10-09) (aged 82)
Barcelona, Spain
Height1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Turned pro1960
Retired1974
PlaysRight-handed (one-handed backhand)
Int. Tennis HoF2009 (member page)
Singles
Career record787-473 (62.4%) [1]
Career titles41 [1]
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)
Doubles
Career record94–60
Career titles3
Grand Slam Doubles results
French OpenF (1960)
WimbledonQF (1959)
US OpenF (1968)

Early yearsEdit

Andres came from a family which loved tennis, and his father Esteban supported his efforts to play the game. 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.[3] At the same time, he stopped studying to focus on his tennis career.[citation needed]

He was not only 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.[4] 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.[citation needed] He improved his tennis level and soon, he had two important victories in the championships in Perth and in Sydney.[citation needed]

Tennis careerEdit

Gimeno went back to Spain in 1960 where he then had his best year as an amateur, winning the titles in Barcelona, Caracas, Monte Carlo, and at Queen's.[3] 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 of the French Open too, losing to an Australian duo.[3] After that year, he joined the professional group World Championship Tennis,[5] 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.[6] He also won the Netherlands Open, the Madison Square Garden's Championship in 1969, the Dakar and Hamburg in 1971.[citation needed]

His best Grand Slam results as a singles player 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[7] in 1969, where he lost to Rod Laver in three sets.[8]

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,[9] 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. In addition, he reached the semi finals at Wimbledon in 1970.[10] In 1973 he reached the final of the Dutch Open in Hilversum, where Tom Okker beat him in five sets.[citation needed]

Gimeno was an active Davis Cup player, recording an 18–5 singles record and 5–5 doubles record.[11] 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.[12]

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.[13]

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.[14][15]

Personal lifeEdit

Gimeno married Cristina Corolla in 1962 and together they had three children: Alejo Gimeno, Andres Gimeno Jr and Cristina Gimeno.[16] In 2011, Gimeno lost all his money,[17][18] 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.[19]

DeathEdit

Gimeno died following a long illness, on 9 October 2019, at the age of 82.[20]

Grand Slam finalsEdit

Singles (1 title, 1 runner-up)Edit

Result Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Loss 1969 Australian Open Grass   Rod Laver 3–6, 4–6, 5–7
Win 1972 French Open Clay   Patrick Proisy 4–6, 6–3, 6–1, 6–1

Doubles (2 runner-ups)Edit

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

Career finals (Open era)Edit

Legend
Grand Slam (1)
Tennis Masters Cup (0)
ATP Tour (4)

Singles (5 wins, 5 losses)Edit

Result W/L Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Loss 0–1 Jan 1969 Australian Open, Australia Grass   Rod Laver 3–6, 4–6, 5–7
Loss 0–2 Jun 1970 Casablanca, Morocco Clay   John Newcombe 4–6, 4–6, 4–6
Win 1–2 May 1971 Hamburg Open, Germany Clay   Péter Szőke 6–3, 6–2, 6–2
Win 2–2 Feb 1972 Los Angeles, USA Hard   Pierre Barthes 6–3, 2–6, 6–3
Loss 2–3 May 1972 Brussels, Belgium Clay   Manuel Orantes 4–6, 1–6, 6–2, 5–7
Win 3–3 May 1972 French Open, France Clay   Patrick Proisy 4–6, 6–3, 6–1, 6–1
Win 4–3 Jun 1972 Eastbourne, England Grass   Pierre Barthes 7–5, 6–3
Win 5–3 Jul 1972 Gstaad, Switzerland Clay   Adriano Panatta 7–5, 9–8, 6–4
Loss 5–4 Oct 1972 Paris, France Hard (i)   Stan Smith 2–6, 2–6, 5–7
Loss 5–5 Jul 1973 Hilversum, Netherlands Clay   Tom Okker 6–2, 4–6, 4–6, 7–6, 3–6

Source: ATP[21]

Performance timelineEdit

Key
W  F  SF QF #R RR Q# A NH
(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

Source:[citation needed]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Andres Gimeno: Career match record". thetennisbase.com. Tennis Base. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ a b c Buddell, James (10 October 2019). "Pioneer of Spanish tennis was one of the sport's nicest guys". ATPtour.com.
  4. ^ "Los tenistas Españoles han ganado la Copa Galea de 1957" (in Spanish). ABC. 6 August 1957. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  5. ^ "Andres Gimeno Inked by Kramer for Pro Circuit". The Montreal Gazette. 13 July 1960 – via Google News Archive.
  6. ^ "Andres Gimeno Master en tenis". ABC (in Spanish). 12 December 2011.
  7. ^ EFE (28 January 2009). "Verdasco bate al gigante Tsonga y alcanza su primera semifinal de Grand Slam". ABC (in Spanish).
  8. ^ Serras, Manel (22 October 2011). "Andres es uno de los grandes". El País (in Spanish).
  9. ^ "Nadal, primer español en 36 años que gana un torneo jugado en hierba". ABC (in Spanish). 16 June 2008.[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ "Gimeno wins first major tennis title". The Sydney Morning Herald. 6 June 1972 – via Google News Archive.
  11. ^ Grasso, John (2011). Historical Dictionary of Tennis. Maryland: Scarecrow Press. p. 117. ISBN 9780810872370.
  12. ^ Serras, Manel (6 December 2000). "El pacto de Gimeno y la Federación Española". El País (in Spanish).
  13. ^ "Andres Gimeno Tennis Club" (in Spanish). Castelldefells Tourisme. Archived from the original on 2 March 2014.
  14. ^ "Spanish tennis legends Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario,". tennisfame.com. International Tennis Hall of Fame.
  15. ^ "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.
  16. ^ Perez de Rozas, Emilio (22 April 2013). "La escalofriante vida de Andres Gimeno". Sport.es (in Spanish). Grupo Zeta. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
  17. ^ Escorcia, Dagoberto (5 October 2011). "Andres Gimeno:"Solo quiero tener para pagar la luz."". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). Retrieved 13 October 2019.
  18. ^ "El tenista Andrés Gimeno confiesa su precaria situación económica". El Diario Montañés (in Spanish). Vocento. 8 October 2011. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
  19. ^ "Gimeno recibe el apoyo de la familia del tenis". ABC (in Spanish). Vocento. 22 October 2011. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
  20. ^ E. E. (9 October 2019). "Muere Andrés Gimeno, mito del tenis y campeón de Roland Garros". El Español (in Spanish). Retrieved 13 October 2019.
  21. ^ "Andres Gimeno – titles and finals". Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP).

External linksEdit