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Manuel Martínez Santana, also known as Manolo Santana (born 10 May 1938), is a former tennis player from Spain. He was ranked as amateur world No. 1 in 1966 by Lance Tingay.[5]

Manolo Santana
Full nameManuel Martínez Santana
Country (sports) Spain
ResidenceMarbella, Spain
Born (1938-05-10) 10 May 1938 (age 81)
Madrid, Spain
Turned pro1968 (amateur tour from 1956)
PlaysRight-handed (one-handed backhand)
Int. Tennis HoF1984 (member page)
Career record556–190 (79.7%) [1]
Career titles69 [2][3][4]
Highest rankingNo. 1 (1966, Lance Tingay)[5]
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open
French OpenW (1961, 1964)
WimbledonW (1966)
US OpenW (1965)
Other tournaments
Olympic GamesW (1968, demonstration)
Career record20–22
Grand Slam Doubles results
French OpenW (1963)
WimbledonSF (1963)
Other doubles tournaments
Olympic GamesF (1968, demonstration)
Team competitions
Davis CupF (1965Ch, 1967Ch, 1970)

Before winning Wimbledon he was quoted as saying "Grass is just for cows"[6]; 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 Davis cup Team twice, once in the '80s and again for four and a half years in the mid-'90s, until he was dismissed in 1999. Until 2019 he was the organizer of the Madrid Masters.[7]

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 semifinal match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga).

Grand Slam recordEdit

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 4 / 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 finalsEdit

Singles (4 titles)Edit

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

Doubles (1 title)Edit

Result Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Win 1963 French Championships Clay   Roy Emerson   Gordon Forbes
  Abe Segal
6–2, 6–4, 6–4

Personal lifeEdit

Manolo Santana was married to María Fernanda González-Dopeso, they had four children (Manuel, Beatriz, Borja, & Bárbara), their marriage ended in 1980. He later 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.[8]


  1. ^ "Manuel Santana: Career match record". Tennis Base. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
  2. ^ "Manuel Santana: Career match record". Tennis Base. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
  3. ^ Archives, Tennis. "Manuel Martinez Santana:Career results". Tennis Archives. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
  4. ^ Kramer, Edited by Max Robertson. Advisory editor: Jack (1974). The encyclopedia of tennis. New York: Viking Press. p. 321. ISBN 9780670294084.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  5. ^ a b "Stolle Ranked Second", The Sydney Morning Herald, 5 October 1966.
  6. ^ "Manuel Santana: The first and last Spanish sorcerer backs his apprentice". The Independent. 9 July 2006.
  7. ^ "Masters Series Madrid – Manolo Santana". Archived from the original on 11 May 2006. Retrieved 17 May 2011.
  8. ^ "Mila Ximénez se lanza a cuchillo contra la mujer de Manolo Santana". 20 June 2006. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 17 May 2011.


  • Robertson, Max. Ed. Advisory editor: Kramer, Jack (1974). The encyclopedia of tennis. New York: Viking Press. ISBN 9780670294084.

External linksEdit