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Francisco Javier Clavet González (Spanish pronunciation: [fɾanˈθisko xaˈβjeɾ klaˈβet ɣonˈθaleθ];[a] born 24 October 1968), known as Pato Clavet (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈpato]), is a former professional tennis player from Spain. He won eight singles titles, reached the semifinals of the 1992 Indian Wells Masters and the 1999 Miami Masters, and achieved a career-high singles ranking of World No. 18 in July 1992. He reached No. 16 at the Champions Race (now called ATP Race to London) after winning in Scottsdale in 2001.

Francisco Clavet
Full nameFrancisco Javier Clavet
Country (sports) Spain
ResidenceAranjuez, Spain
Born (1968-10-24) 24 October 1968 (age 50)
Madrid, Spain
Height1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)
Turned pro1988
Retired2003
PlaysLeft-handed (two-handed backhand)
Prize money$4,278,632
Singles
Career record388–340 (53.3%)
Career titles8
Highest rankingNo. 18 (13 July 1992)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open3R (1996, 1998, 2000, 2002)
French Open4R (1991, 1996, 1998)
Wimbledon4R (1998)
US Open3R (1991, 1995)
Doubles
Career record53–84 (38.7%)
Career titles0
Highest rankingNo. 89 (1 January 1990)
Team competitions
Davis CupW (2000)

During his career, he defeated some current, future and past number-one ranked players, including, among others: John McEnroe, Mats Wilander, , Andre Agassi, Lleyton Hewitt, and Roger Federer. In his only meeting with Federer Clavet won playing at the 2000 Cincinnati Masters. Clavet told Swiss newspaper Blick his defeat of Federer was one of his most important win as he considers Federer "the greatest tennis player of all time".[1]

Clavet was coached by his brother, José Clavet, until 1999. From 2001 until his retirement in 2003, he was coached by Uruguayan Bebe Pérez.

Contents

1988-1999: Debut on the professional tour, early career, middle careerEdit

Clavet turned pro in 1988 and won his first ATP singles title two years later at the Dutch Open in Hilversum. He won five consecutive matches to capture the title. He is one of the few people to accomplish this since 1978.[2] (Leonardo Mayer is the last player to win five matches in a row, doing so at the 2017 German Open in Hamburg.)

In 1991, he was among the top 30 players, and reached the semifinal round in five different tournaments.[3]

Despite not winning a tournament, his best year was 1992, and resulted in his best ranking (No. 18). That year he reached the finals in Gstaad and San Marino, the semifinals in Philadelphia, Indian Wells, in Madrid, in Palermo and Athens, and the quarterfinals in Indianapolis, and in Schenectady. In 1993, his best result saw him reach the semifinals in Genoa. He lost to the eventual champion (Thomas Muster). He reached the quarterfinals three times in clay court tournaments.

He played two finals, losing to the Basque Alberto Berasategui. in 1994. In addition, he reached two semifinals in Athens and Buenos Aires, losing, again to the eventual winners (Alex Corretja and Alberto Berasategui). He also reached the quarterfinals in four clay court tournaments.

In 1995, he won the tournament of Sicilia (now played in the city of Palermo) and reached the semifinals in Mexico, Porto, Umag and Montevideo.

He won the Amsterdam Open in 1996 (defeating Younes El Aynaoui), and reached the semifinals in Mexico and Bologna. He also reached the quarterfinals in: Antwerp, Estoril, St. Pölten, Gstaad, Stuttgart, Bucharest, and Sicilia. He had won in Sicilia the year before, but this year lost to Karim Alami)

In 1997, he won two consecutive titles: Mexico and Bogota, which gave him a record of 19 wins / four losses from the US Open. He also played the final in Estoril, losing to countryman Alex Corretja. The same year he also reached two semi-finals: Tashkent and Bucharest, but lost to Tim Henman and Richard Fromberg, respectively. The Tashkent tournament was played on a carpet surface, and his was the best performance of a Spanish male tennis player on this surface in 1997.

He won two other titles in 1998: Santiago and Bucharest. He managed to reach two other semifinals: Mexico and Kitzbühel. He also performed well in Grand Slams tournaments. He repeated his best achievements at Roland Garros and the Australian Open (fourth and third round, respectively) and reached the fourth round at Wimbledon, delivering a surprise upset by defeating the second-seeded, and World No. 2, Chilean Marcelo Rios in an five-set match in the first round. Rios underestimated Clavet and lamented the lost match by attacking the grass surface[4]

In 1999, after the success of the previous past two years and winning at least one tournament during the past four years, he ended the year without winning a tournament. He reached the semifinals in the 1999 Miami Masters and Barcelona Open, which were his best performances. He also reached the quarterfinals in Dubai (losing to eventual finalist Nicolas Kiefer. He defeating hard court specialists including Wayne Ferreira and Greg Rusedsky), at St. Pölten, Gstaad, Umag and the Majorca Open. Clavet began improving his hard court game and was called to play for the Davis Cup for the first time, facing a difficult qualifying round but playing well.

He came close to defeating his nemesis Pete Sampras, who was top-ranked for most of Clavet's career, in the 1999 Paris Open. Sampras finished the match injured and was forced to withdraw from the tournament after winning at the tie break of the final set in a very tough match.

He was considered (along with Sergi Bruguera) the best male Spanish player on hard and indoor courts in the early 90's,[5] and also the best male Spanish player on grass courts during the 90's and the early years of the 2000s.[6] He was the best male Spanish player at Wimbledon during the 90s, reaching the fourth round in 1998, with victories over second-seeded (Marcelo Ríos) in the first round in five sets and Thomas Johansson in the third round. He also reached the third round in Wimbledon 1999 and played an excellent match in 2001 against Pete Sampras, losing the second set due to a controversial point that Clavet saw out, but was awarded to Sampras.[6]

2000-2003: Twilight years and retirementEdit

Of his eight ATP singles titles, seven were won on clay. But he showed, especially in his last years of career, that he could also play well on hard surface and grass courts.

In 2000 Clavet had poor results. His best result was the final in the Estoril Open, where he lost to his countryman Carlos Moya. He also reached the semifinal in the Austrian Open Kitzbühel and the quarterfinals in the Hamburg Masters (Tennis Master Series) and at Rosmalen.

2001 was the year with his best performances on hard courts. He reached the final at the ATP Auckland Open losing to Dominik Hrbaty. He won in Scottsdale, defeating Agassi in the first round, Lleyton Hewitt in the semifinals and Magnus Norman in the final (ranked number four, six and five respectively by this date in the ATP Tour). After winning in Scottsdale he declared: "I think this is the happiest day of my life as a tennis player. I am living a dream. I am a clay court player, and I have won all I have could in that surface, so winning a tournament at hard court aged 32, and winning over three top ten during this, is something very special. I will save this moment in my heart for all the rest of my life".[7] That year, on hard courts, he also reached the semifinal in Shanghai and the quarterfinals in Japan losing both to the eventual champions. Clavet holds the record for the fastest ever ATP Tour victory when he beat Shan Jiang 6–0, 6–0 in only 25 minutes at the Shanghai Open in 2001.[8]

In 2002 Clavet's career began to decline. Even though he had a good start to the year reaching third round at the Australian Open defeating number five seed Sebastien Grosjean, he only reached the quarterfinals at three minor tournaments for his best results of this year.

At age 34, Clavet decided to retire at the end of the 2003 season. Clavet lost all of his matches that year. But at Key Biscaine, entering at the tournament as a qualifier ranked 178th, and the oldest player in the draw, he defeated then-current number one ranked Lleyton Hewitt, who suffered from food poisoning the previous day.[9] Clavet established the record for the lowest ranked man to defeat a number one ranked player until Thanasi Kokkinakis defeated Roger Federer in 2018.[10] He lost the next round to Lee Hyung-taik. Finally, his official retirement came at the second round of the Spanish challenger tournament of Open Castilla y León, one of his favourite tournaments due to his relationship with the organization.

Following his retirement, he worked as a coach with Thomaz Bellucci, Feliciano López, Alejandro Falla and Santiago Giraldo. He occasionally works as a commentator for Spanish television, including the broadcast of the 10th French Open won by Rafael Nadal.

Davis CupEdit

His Davis Cup debut came in 1999 in New Zealand in a playoff that Spain had to win to stay in the World Group. That year, due to several injuries and some refuses, the top Spanish players did not participate in the Davis Cup and Manolo Santana called Felix Mantilla and Clavet to play the singles matches on a difficult surface than Spanish tennis: hard indoor. Clavet won easily over Brett Steven in three sets, showing a powerful and accurate style, and had favourable results in the playoff (4–0) defeating Mark Nielsen in straight sets, losing only four games.[11]

In 2000, Clavet played for the Spanish Davis Cup Team in the first round of the Davis Cup against Italy in Murcia. He gave Spain a 4–1 definitive result with a victory over Vincenzo Santopadre.[11] Eventually, Spain was the winner of the championship. The was Clavet's last Davis Cup match, finishing his contribution with a 3–0 career Davis Cup record and two ties.

National competitionsEdit

In national competitions, Clavet played in singles finals from 1994 to 1997 at the National Tennis Masters competition in Spain (national version of ATP World Tour Finals), losing all of them. In 1999, in Madrid, the region where he was born, he defeated Alex Corretja, the previous champion, recovering from a 1–6 loss in the first set, to claim the trophy.[12] He also won the National Championship of Spain twice—1995: Juan Antonio Marín and 1999: Juan Carlos Ferrero) , and reached the final in 2000 losing to Àlex Corretja.

Playing styleEdit

Clavet used to play in the back of the court behind the baseline, but he often used his drive to move his opponent out wide with balls that took the opponent off the court. He used to finish the point by approaching the net and volleying or smashing. His best shot was his powerful, open stance forehand drive. His backhand was also quite good and consistent, but not as powerful as his drive. He was known as an exceptional fighter on the court. Former tennis player and commentator for Spanish public television Andrés Gimeno said about him: "Clavet never gives up, he reaches all the balls, you must beat him each point".[citation needed]

It is said,[who?] but this is not official, that Clavet was the inventor of the two-handed backhand while jumping in the air. While for some, this is considered only an aesthetic hit with no relevance, other people opine that, with the hip rotation, it can help the player hit with a wider angle, and therefore, it could be useful while attacking. This has been used by players like Sébastien Grosjean, Marcelo Rios and Thomaz Bellucci.

Clavet is a reference[clarification needed] in tennis in the capital of Spain, Madrid. Spanish player Daniel Muñoz de la Nava sees in Clavet a reference to keep fighting in the ATP World tour: "Francisco Clavet has always been my idol. I practised with him a lot when I was 20–23 and he was at the end of his career. He inspired me because he was always focused, professional and working hard. I have to work hard at every point and he really taught me a lot about how to be a professional player."[13]

Career finalsEdit

Singles (8 titles, 7 runners-up)Edit

Legend
Grand Slam (0–0)
Tennis Masters Cup (0–0)
ATP Masters Series (0–0)
ATP Tour (8–7)
Result No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Win 1. 23 July 1990 Hilversum Clay   Eduardo Masso 3–6, 6–4, 6–2, 6–0
Loss 1. 6 July 1992 Gstaad Clay   Sergi Bruguera 6–1, 6–4
Loss 2. 27 July 1992 Saint-Marin Clay   Karel Nováček 7–5, 6–2
Loss 3. 24 October 1994 Santiago Clay   Alberto Berasategui 6–3, 6–4
Loss 4. 31 October 1994 Montevideo Clay   Alberto Berasategui 6–4, 6–0
Win 2. 25 September 1995 Palermo Clay   Jordi Burillo 6–7(3–7), 6–3, 7–6(7–1)
Win 3. 29 July 1996 Amsterdam Clay   Younes El Aynaoui 7–5, 6–1, 6–1
Loss 5. 7 April 1997 Estoril Clay   Àlex Corretja 6–3, 7–5
Win 4. 20 October 1997 Acapulco Clay   Juan Albert Viloca 6–4, 7–6(9–7)
Win 5. 27 October 1997 Bogotá Clay   Nicolás Lapentti 6–3, 6–3
Win 6. 4 September 1998 Bucharest Clay   Arnaud Di Pasquale 6–4, 2–6, 7–5
Win 7. 9 November 1998 Santiago Clay   Younes El Aynaoui 6–2, 6–4
Loss 6. 10 April 2000 Estoril Clay   Carlos Moyá 6–3, 6–2
Win 8. 5 March 2001 Scottsdale Hard   Magnus Norman 6–4, 6–2
Loss 7. 8 January 2001 Auckland Hard   Dominik Hrbatý 6–4, 2–6, 6–3

Singles performance timelineEdit

Tournament 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 Career SR Career W-L
Grand Slams
Australian Open A 2R 2R A A A 3R A 3R 1R 3R 2R 3R 1R 0 / 9 11–9
French Open 1R 4R 1R 2R 2R 3R 4R 2R 4R 2R 2R 1R 1R A 0 / 13 16–13
Wimbledon A 1R 1R A A A 1R 2R 4R 3R 2R 1R 1R A 0 / 9 7–9
US Open A 3R 1R 1R 2R 3R 1R 1R 2R 1R 1R 1R 1R A 0 / 12 6–12
Grand Slam Win-Loss 0 / 1 6 / 4 1 / 4 1 / 2 2 / 2 4 / 2 5 / 4 2 / 3 8 / 4 3 / 4 4 / 4 1 / 4 2 / 4 0 / 1 0 / 43 40 / 43
ATP Masters Series
Indian Wells A 3R SF 2R A 2R 1R 3R 2R 2R 2R 2R 1R A 0 / 13
Miami A 2R 3R 2R A 2R 1R 3R 3R SF 1R 3R 2R 3R 0 / 12
Monte Carlo A A 1R 2R A A 1R 2R 2R 3R 1R 1R 1R A 0 / 9
Hamburg A 3R 3R 3R A 2R 1R 2R 3R 3R QF 1R A A 0 / 10
Rome A A 2R 2R A 1R 2R 1R 1R 2R 3R 2R 1R A 0 / 10
Canada A A A A A A 2R A A A A 2R A A 0 / 2
Cincinnati A A A A A A A A A A 2R 1R A A 0 / 2
Madrid1 A A 2R A A A 1R A A 1R 1R 1R 1R A 0 / 6
Paris A A 1R A A A 1R A A 2R A 1R A A 0 / 4
Year End Ranking 90 30 22 100 38 49 34 33 30 38 49 51 113 358 N/A

1This event was held in Stockholm through 1994, Essen in 1995, and Stuttgart from 1996 through 2001.

NotesEdit

  1. ^ In isolation, González is pronounced [gonˈθaleθ].

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Benson, James (29 August 2018). "Roger Federer: Francisco Clavet reveals Swiss star's 'noble gesture'". Express.co.uk. Archived from the original on 28 August 2018. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  2. ^ "Why losing can be lucky in tennis". Archived from the original on 3 October 2015. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  3. ^ "Francisco Clavet | Bio | ATP World Tour | Tennis". ATP World Tour (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 11 September 2016. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  4. ^ "BBC News | latest news | Defeated Rios ridicules Wimbledon". news.bbc.co.uk. Archived from the original on 8 November 2016. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
  5. ^ "Tenis. PATO CLAVET". archivo.marca.com. Archived from the original on 1 October 2018. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
  6. ^ a b S.A.P., El Mercurio (25 June 2001). "Wimbledon: Sampras inicia la defensa con éxito | Emol.com" (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 28 August 2016. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
  7. ^ País, Ediciones El. "Clavet, la felicidad, a los 32 años". Archived from the original on 3 October 2015. Retrieved 9 August 2015.
  8. ^ Cianfarani, Rob (7 May 2015). "Why losing can be lucky in tennis". Tennis Canada. Archived from the original on 3 October 2015. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  9. ^ "American men roll; Hantuchova, Seles out". espncdn.com. Archived from the original on 7 August 2016. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  10. ^ "Double fault: Fed loses to No. 175, out as No. 1". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on 2 April 2018. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  11. ^ a b "Davis Cup - Draws & Results". www.daviscup.com. Archived from the original on 17 August 2018. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  12. ^ "ABC (Madrid) - 22/11/1999, p. 81 - ABC.es Hemeroteca". hemeroteca.abc.es. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 10 September 2015.
  13. ^ "Challenger Tour Finals Preview Munoz de la Nava | ATP World Tour | Tennis". ATP World Tour. Archived from the original on 2 February 2016. Retrieved 11 January 2016.

External linksEdit