"It's as if it were yesterday, I see myself running through the club, going out to the street to look for a taxi to a partner, if I gave me five peetas of tip, I was four from my mother." This remembered Manolo Santana did something more than three years ago, in an interview with this newspaper, the first illusions of him with the racket, when he came out of Club Velázquez and hurried around the corner with María de Molina. Then it was only Manolin, collection and guy for everything, careful apprentice, a pioneer project of a sport that then in Spain was only rich thing. Always open, friendly and good conversationalist, Santana maintained several meetings with this newspaper, in which he reviewed the genesis of him as a tennis player and the formidable adventure of an extraordinary race.
"It's the tournament that everyone wants to win, when I got it I felt totally realized, I began to look a lot in the Australians when they took and overwhelmed, I thought: 'I have to make friends with them'. And I was lucky to get it. I lost With Ralston in Queen's the week before the final. I told myself: 'How has this guy won, if I have better blows than him! He was a great player, but not a champion. I had a great serve and a tremendous volley. I took a head. It may seem presumption, but I thought: 'This uncle does not win, I am at the opportunity to fulfill the dream of my life. "Until Wimbledon, I trained every day as a horse, often with Emerson and Stolle. I was an intruder between Anglo-Saxons. The frustration was very great because on land he earned with relative ease he had to win, even the Australians. Four Grand Slams, three were played on grass and Roland Garros was not what it is today " .
"When I was collection, I started looking for a way to play, I won José López's confidence, who was a teacher, I said: 'I have never played with a racket like yours. Do not you care if I occasionally Notice that you have a phone call, you leave your racket and I stay playing with your student? '
"My father was a great electrician, when he was imprisoned for being in the republican side, we were going to see him once a month, he left the sick prison and only lived two more years, my mother was the real champion. With four children at home And how badly we were passing, he had all the right to get against the government of that time, but he never spoke of politics, he was an extraordinary woman, without whose delicacy in education may have come out an enraded young man. His attitude He helped a lot to move in the world of tennis, who as well as the golf was one hundred percent of the right. "
"Álvaro and Aurora gave me life, I ate with my mother and, then, I went back to her house, where a teacher gave me private lessons and then left me for a while for tennis. They never thought if it was going to be good or bad. I was educated at all levels. In his house, he served me a maiden, when until then I almost did not know what it was to eat with knife and fork, I adapted to a life that was not used to. Facilitated my studies and elementary baccalaureate . I was 14 years old and I examined with those of nine or 10, with much smaller children. It was logical to feel a little embarrassment. "
"When I won Roland Garros people in Spain did not know if the ball was round or square. In 1965, a year after my second triumph in Paris, I won the United States Open. He gave me the trophy Robert Kennedy and asked me : 'How can you live in Spain with the regime that is? Being a US Open champion could live in another country, think what it does, it will be a great tennis player. "
"In 1965 it was when the tennis was discovered in Spain, we won the United States in Barcelona and put the final of the Davis Cup in Sydney, on grass, before the Australia of Newcombe, Roche, Emerson and Stollie. It was very well accompanied, with Star, Gisbert and Couder, but our success depended to a good extent that my parties take ahead. Although we could not bring us the salad bowl, I won Roy Emerson, something that nobody had achieved before in the Davis Cup. That led me to believe In my chances about grass. 'What I have to do is go long enough to prepare Wimbledon', I decided. "
"I went with my wife, María Fernanda, to play the previous tournaments and heal me about the grass. We rented an apartment in the center of the city. The taxi cost eight or 10 pounds, so I went by subway to Southfields. From there he walked With my raquette the kilometer that was from the station to the club. "
Manolo kept playing almost until the last years of his life. "One of the teachers is placed on the net and throws me balls on the right and the reverse. And he hit the ball in front, not like Djokovic, who now hits him further," he commented with humor.Date Of Update: 11 December 2021, 21:14