Charlie Pasarell

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Charlie Pasarell
Full name Charles Manuel Pasarell, Jr.
Country  United States
Residence Indian Wells, California, USA
Born (1944-02-12) February 12, 1944 (age 70)
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Turned pro 1968 (amateur tour from 1960)
Retired 1979
Plays Right-handed (one-handed backhand)
Int. Tennis HOF 2013 (member page)
Singles
Career record 201-220 (Open era)
Career titles 23
Highest ranking No. 11 (1966, World's Top 20)[1]
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open 3R (1976, 1977Jan)
French Open 3R (1973)
Wimbledon QF (1976)
US Open QF (1965)
Doubles
Career record 236–201 (Open era)
Career titles 30
Highest ranking No. 22 (August 23, 1977)
Last updated on: July 7, 2013.

Charlie (Charles Manuel) Pasarell, Jr. (born February 12, 1944, San Juan, Puerto Rico) is a former Puerto Rican tennis player, Tennis Administrator and founder of the current Indian Wells tournament. He has also commented for the Tennis Channel and with Arthur Ashe and Sheridan Snyder formed the National Junior tennis League. He ten times ranked in the top ten of the U.S., ranking U.S. No. 1 in 1967 and World No. 11 in 1966.[1] Representing the United States as a player, he has been heavily engaged in the administration of the professional game from the inception of the ATP in 1972 and has been Vice President when he was still playing and until recently on the Board of Directors representing the Americas tournaments. In 2013 Pasarell was elected into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.[2]

Tennis career[edit]

He is also known as Charlito ("Little Charlie") because his father had the same name and was also a gifted tennis player, being the champion of Puerto Rico six times in the 1950s.[3]

Pasarell was a prestigious junior and first appeared on the cover of World Tennis Magazine at the age of 11 in 1955. He won over half dozen Orange Bowl titles and five U.S. Junior titles including the U.S. Juniors in Singles and Doubles with Clark Graebner in 1961. He first appeared in the U.S. Championships at Forest Hills in 1960 and was first ranked nationally that year. In 1962 he played at the Caribe Hilton Championships in San Juan, Puerto Rico. This was arguably the biggest tournament in the whole of Central, Caribbean and South America. Charlie was only just 18 and beat U.S. No. 7 Ron Holmberg, followed by Mexican No. 1 Mario Llamas 6-0, 6-0 in the quarter finals (avenging a similar 6-0, 6-0 defeat of his 14 year old brother Stanley earlier in the tournament). In the semi finals Charlie met Rod Laver, who would later win his first Grand Slam that year and he took the first set 6-0 before finally losing 6-4, 6-2. World Tennis reported that "The newspapers and magazines in Puerto Rico have put Khrushchev (Soviet leader behind the Cuban Missile Crisis) on the second page and Charlito on the first".

He attended the University of California, Los Angeles, where he won the NCAA men's singles and doubles with Ian Crookenden of New Zealand in 1966, one year after his friend and teammate Arthur Ashe. He reached #1 in the rankings of American men's players in 1967, also in 1967 he became the first man for over 30 years to win the U.S. National Indoors in successive years; this tournament was the biggest indoor tournament in the world and second only to the U.S. Championships in the U.S.A.

Pasarell competed in major tournaments from 1960 through 1979, with his most successful showings coming in doubles. He reached the finals in Men's Doubles at the U.S. Championships in 1965 with Frank Froehling and 1969 with Dennis Ralston, the French Open with Arthur Ashe in 1970, and the Australian Open in 1977 with Erik Van Dillen. He was a quarter finalist at the U.S. National Championships in 1965 and Wimbledon in 1976. Pasarell was also a member of the U.S. Davis Cup team in 1966, 1967, 1968, and 1974. In doubles Pasarell's most significant wins were the 1967 U.S. National Indoors with Arthur Ashe; the inaugural American Airlines Games in 1974 with Sherwood Stewart which evolved to the current tournament in Indian Wells and the Alan King Classic in 1976 with Arthur Ashe. The latter two at the time were two of the richest most prestigious tournaments in the world.

In 1969, Pasarell played Pancho Gonzales in what was, until 2010, the longest match in Wimbledon history in terms of the number of games played. The 41-year-old Gonzales finally defeated the 25-year-old 22–24, 1–6, 16–14, 6–3, 11–9 after a battle that lasted 5 hours and 12 minutes.[4] Pasarell was also the first man to beat the reigning champion in the first round at Wimbledon, when in 1967 he beat Manuel Santana. In 1968, he played the first great match[5] on centre court of open tennis when he narrowly lost to Ken Rosewall in the second round. Rex Bellamy, the celebrated tennis correspondent of The Times of London, started his article the next day by stating that "The first open Wimbledon produced its first great match", and further stated: "Among the men who climb to high places there is a saying that the mountains bring you three things - men, battle, and beauty. The men are true, the battle is the only kind worth fighting, and the beauty is life. Rosewall and Pasarell took us to the mountains yesterday - and the air was like wine." Finally, after covering other matches, the article ends, "Yet the abiding memory will be of Rosewall and Pasarell. If they show films in Valhalla, this is a match the gods will want to see." Pasarell achieved his best result at Wimbledon in 1976, when he lost in the quarter finals to former world No. 1 Ilie Năstase, after wins against Jun Kamiwazumi, Vijay Amritraj, Adriano Panatta (then ranked No. 6 in the world, having just won both the Italian and French Opens), and Phil Dent.

1977 was Pasarell's last full-time tour on the circuit and he started the year very well with a last 16 appearance in the Australian Open losing to eventual runner up Guillermo Vilas. A semi final at the South Australian Open including a win over Arthur Ashe (in their last match) and a Quarter Final at the American Airlines Games (a for runner of the Indian Wells event) with wins over Balazs Taroczy, Vijay Amritraj and Roscoe Tanner before losing narrowly to then world no.4 Brian Gottfried in 3 sets. He then had a bad run of form signalling the slow down of his career. He finished ranked 77 on the ATP Computer and 25 in the USA. He had also started the year well in doubles with Erik Van dillen. In 1978 Pasarell's career continued to wind down he was not given a wild card to Wimbledon and lost in the 1st round of Qualifying to Jan Simbera 7-5, 6-4. In 1979 he qualified for both Wimbledon and the U.S. Open and started to play veterans events. He actually made his last attempt to qualify for the main draw at Wimbledon in 1984 aged 40 when he was not invited to take part in the Over 35's singles event and lost in the first round to Jeff Turpin. He continued to play regularly on the seniors tour until the end of 1985 and then stopped playing completely in 1988. He returned in 1992 to play regularly in the U.S. Open Seniors events until his last appearance in 2002, he also played in a veterans event in Puerto Rico in 1993.

Singles titles[edit]

The following is a list of the singles titles that Pasarell won in his career - Template:Source World Tennis Magazine


YEAR  TOURNAMENT                                FINALIST
1961  Riverside Enterprise, California          Dave Reed U.S.
1962  West Hollywood                            Roger Werksman U.S.
1962  Westerns, Indianapolis                    Marty Riessen U.S.
1963  Phoenix Thunderbird                       Allen Fox U.S.
1964  UCLA Championships                        Dave Reed U.S.
1964  Phoenix Thunderbird                       Dennis Ralston U.S.
1966  Philadelphia Indoors                      Ian Crookenden N.Z.
1965  Ojay, California                          Stan Smith U.S.
1965  Pennsylvania Grass Courts                 Roy Emerson Aus
1966  Philadelphia Indoors                      Arthur Ashe U.S.
1966  U.S. National Indoors                     Ron Holmberg U.S.
1966  U.S. NCCA (Intercollegiates)              Stan Smith U.S.
1967  Richmond Invitation                       Arthur Ashe U.S.
1967  U.S. National Indoors                     Arthur Ashe U.S.
1967  Pacific Coast Championships               Cliff Richey U.S.
1968  Eastern Grass Courts                      Clark Graebner U.S.
1969  All Services Championships                Brian Cheny U.S.
1971  Lagos Classic                             Marty Riessen U.S.
1971  Ivory Coast Classic                       Arthur Ashe U.S.
1972  Clean Air Classic, New York               Pancho Gonzales U.S.
1973  Glennwood Manor Inv, Kansas City          Tony Roche Aus
1974  Altamira, Caracus Venezuela               Eddie Dibbs U.S.
1976  San Jose International                    Andrew Pattison U.S.

Post retirement[edit]

Pasarell has been instrumental in the development of a premier professional tennis event, the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California.[6] He has been a longtime director of the tournament until retiring from that position in 2012. Pasarell is also a commentator for The Tennis Channel television. He is a member of the Intercollegiate Men's Tennis Hall of Fame and the Southern California Tennis Association Hall of Fame.

In 2001, a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs, California, Walk of Stars was dedicated to him.[7]

Pasarell was voted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame in 2012.[8]

In January 2013, Pasarell was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Playing style[edit]

Pasarell was a very stylish player, and was coached by the celebrated Welby Van Horn (the Runner-Up in the 1939 U.S. Championships) at the Caribe Hilton Hotel, San Juan, Puerto Rico. In his 1988 book Open Tennis: The First Twenty Years, British news correspondent, radio commentator and sports writer Richard Evans wrote that "Lack of speed and a less than energetic attitude towards training probably prevented Pasarell from doing full justice to his ability. When we were on tour together in Africa in 1971 (for the $25,000 Marlboro African Grand Prix, along with Marty Riessen, Tom Okker and Arthur Ashe, and his [Pasarell's] new bride Shireen née Fareed), Ashe would tell the kids, 'Watch Charlie play and copy his strokes. He's got the best strokes in the world.'" Pasarell also had a very good service, and in 1967 at the U.S. National Indoors, the celebrated writer and player Eugene Scott gave the opinion that Pasarell and Ashe had the two hardest serves in the world.

Rex Bellamy of The Times made the following observations in regard to the 1968 Rosewall match mentioned above: "Pasarell has a straight back and broad shoulders. He is splay-footed and walks with a drawal, repeatedly pulling at his trousers as if adjusting a gun belt. His arms swing menacingly and seem to itch for a challenge to a fast draw. He has the slow, casual assurance of those poker-faced heroes in films about the old West. And his game is a gambler's, with explosive services and ground strokes. He gambled now, and he often won." In regard to Pasarell's 1976 win over Panatta at Wimbledon, Bellamy wrote: "Pasarell moves so slowly between points that at times he seems to be flirting with reverse gear. He has fast eyes and hands, but is otherwise designed exclusively for leisure. His shots are like the lashes of a whip, or sudden flashes of lightning across a muggy, drowsy landscape."

Joel Drucker included in his article in the Tennis Channel published on March 14, 2014 after Pasarell was appointed to the Hall of Fame the following description:

"But Pasarell was also a superb player, ranked number one in the U.S. in 1967. The Pasarell motion defines so much. There was a profound hip turn as he swung his racquet back. The toss was accurate, the body coiled, the delivery powerful and adept at hitting all corners. Says the man he partnered with at Indian Wells for a quarter-century, current BNP Paribas Open CEO Ray Moore, “It was one of the best service motions you’ll ever see – fluid, natural.” All fitting in with a principle Pasarell has followed his whole life: Shoot for the moon."

Long matches[edit]

Pasarell's match with Gonzales was the longest at Wimbledon until beaten in 2010 by the match between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut which lasted 11 hours and 5 minutes over three days and comprised 183 games. However in 1968 on February 17 Allison Danzig of the New York Times reported that Pasarell played 9 hours and 12 minutes of tennis in the U.S. National Indoors (the second biggest tournament in America) in just over 24 hours. He played a 6 hour 20 minute doubles with Ron Holmberg losing to Mark Cox and Bobby Wilson 26-24, 17-19, 30-28. Then less than 15 hours later the reigning two time champion lost in front of a capacity crowd to Clark Graebner in a semi final that lasted 3 hours 12 minutes the score being 16-14, 4-6, 8-6, 4-6, 6-3. Danzig wrote "In all, Pasarell played 217 games in just over 24 hours, and that must stand as a record in a National Championship Tournament". In addition it should be noted these matches were played when the game was slower and also no seats were allowed on court.

Family[edit]

Charlie is a descendent of one of the great Puerto Rican writers Manuel Zeno Gandia. His family's name has been synonymous with tennis in Puerto Rico since the 1930s. Apart from his father Charles Senior and mother Dora who were both island champions; Jose Luis Pasarell, Charlie's uncle was island champion in 1939, and his other uncle Nat was also highly ranked. His Auntie Maggie Pasarell de Kliess won the ladies doubles title in the 1950s. Charlie's brother Stan (Stanley Juan) who is now developing a world class golf course in Puerto Rico along with Charlie, was a very useful player, he won the U.S. Junior Doubles title with Alberto Carrero in 1966. Stan played in the U.S. Championships at Forest Hills six times between 1965 and 1971. In 1967 the Pasarell family won the USTA Family of the Year award. Charlie married Shireen Fareed in 1971 the daughter of the esteemed U.S. Davis Cup Doctor Omar Fareed, they have two children Farah and Charles (who represented Choate University at Tennis).

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Charlie Pasarell, new Hall of Fame member, keeps building his legacy", Los Angeles Times, March 5th, 2013.
  2. ^ "Hingis elected to International Tennis Hall of Fame". ITF Tennis. March 4, 2013. Retrieved March 6, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Campeones de Puerto Rico". caribbean.usta.com. Retrieved July 16, 2011. 
  4. ^ BBC News article on Pasarell/Gonzales match "Classic Matches: Gonzales v Pasarell". BBC. May 31, 2004. 
  5. ^ The Times of London Friday June 28, 1968, by Rex Bellamy, Tennis Correspondent. The article begins "The first open Wimbledon produced its first great match", and ends after covering other matches "Yet the abiding memory will be of Rosewall and Pasarell. If they show films in Valhalla, this is a match the gods will want to see." The match was also covered in both Bellamy's books "The Tennis Set" (1972) and "Game, Set and Deadline: A Tennis Odyssey" (1986). Also, Richard Evans highlights the match in his acclaimed book "Open Tennis" (1988).
  6. ^ Biller, Steven; Kleinschmidt, Janice (October 2007). "The Influencers". Palm Springs Life. 
  7. ^ Palm Springs Walk of Stars by date dedicated
  8. ^ UCLA Athletics Announces 2012 Hall of Fame Class, UCLABruins.com, May 4, 2012

External links[edit]