Guillermo Vilas

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Guillermo Vilas
Vilas-1975.jpg
Guillermo Vilas in 1975
Country  Argentina
Residence Buenos Aires, Argentina
Born (1952-08-17) 17 August 1952 (age 61)
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Height 180 cm (5 ft 11 in)
Turned pro 1969
Retired 1992
Plays Left-handed (one-handed backhand)
Prize money $4,923,882
Int. Tennis HOF 1991 (member page)
Singles
Career record 929–286 (76.5%)
Career titles 62 (ATP)
Highest ranking No. 2 (30 April 1975) by ATP
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open W (1978, 1979)
French Open W (1977)
Wimbledon QF (1975, 1976)
US Open W (1977)
Other tournaments
Tour Finals W (1974)
WCT Finals F (1976)
Doubles
Career record 217–150
Career titles 16
Highest ranking No. 175 (3 January 1983)

Guillermo Vilas (born 17 August 1952, in Buenos Aires, Argentina) is a retired professional tennis player from Argentina. Although he peaked at world no. 2 on the ATP rankings in 1977, several sources and publications ranked Vilas as the world no. 1 that year (often ranked equally with Björn Borg).[citation needed] Vilas was the second Latin-American to win a Grand Slam tournament and is considered one of the greatest South American tennis players ever.[citation needed] He is the first male player to win more than 900 matches (923), since surpassed by Ivan Lendl (1071), Jimmy Connors (1243) and Roger Federer.

Career[edit]

Raised in the seaside resort of Mar del Plata, Vilas was a southpaw and played his first tour event in 1969. He was in the year-ending top ten from 1974 through 1982. He was a clay-court specialist but also played well on hard, grass, and carpet surfaces.

He won four Grand Slam titles: the 1977 French Open and the 1977 US Open (both played on clay) and the 1978 and 1979 Australian Open (both played on grass). He was also the runner-up at the French Open three times (1975, 1978, and 1982) and at the Australian Open once (January 1977).

In 1974 he won the year end Masters Grand Prix title. In addition he won seven Championship Series titles (1975–80) the precursors to the current Masters 1000.

Best year[edit]

A left-handed baseliner, Vilas's best year on tour was 1977 when he won two of the four Grand Slam singles tournaments and 16 of the 31 Association of Tennis Professionals tournaments he entered.[1] His playing record for 1977 was 145 wins against 15 losses (ATP win-loss record was 130–15). Not including the Masters year-end championship, he won 72 of his last 73 ATP matches in 1977. The highest point during this phenomenal run was winning the last US Open played at Forest Hills against Jimmy Connors 2–6, 6–3, 7–6(4), 6–0 in a match where Vilas surprised his American rival by attacking the net.[2]

Winning streak, most titles in a single year[edit]

In 1977 he won seven consecutive titles after Wimbledon – Kitzbühel (clay), Washington (clay), Louisville (clay), South Orange (clay), Columbus (clay), US Open (clay) and Paris (clay) – and set up a 46-match all-surface winning streak, third all-time behind Björn Borg's records of 49 and 48 consecutive matches won. He also had a record 57-match winning streak on clay courts (including both Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and unofficial tournaments), which stood until the record was broken by Rafael Nadal in 2006. Both his winning streaks were terminated in October 1977 by Ilie Năstase in the final of the Aix-en-Provence tournament. In that best of five-set final, Vilas dropped the first two sets by 6–1, 7–5 and then retired in protest of Năstase's use of a spaghetti strung racquet (which was banned by the ATP shortly after).[3] After that he won a further 28 matches in a row with titles at Tehran, Bogotá, Santiago, Buenos Aires (all on clay) and Johannesburg (hard). That run was ended in the Masters semifinals by Björn Borg

Even though he won 16 ATP singles titles, including the French Open and the US Open and was the runner-up at the January edition of the Australian Open in 1977, he was never ranked by the ATP as World No. 1 during 1977. He was instead year-end World No. 2 in those rankings, below Jimmy Connors (who won the Masters and six other titles and was the runner-up at Wimbledon and the US Open in 1977). There is some controversy regarding his status as No. 2 ranked player for that year, but no official statement has been given by ATP.

Retirement[edit]

Vilas retired from the ATP tour in 1989 but still played ATP Challenger Series until 1992.[4] He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1991.[2] Vilas was in the stands at Flushing Meadows to cheer on his countryman, Juan Martín del Potro, who beat Roger Federer in an upset in the US Open finals in 2009.[5]

Guillermo Vilas at the 1974 Dutch Open

Distinctions[edit]

  • Players with most titles in a season: 16 in 1977.
  • Players with most wins in a season: 134 in 1977.
  • Won the Grand Prix in 1974, 1975, and 1977
  • Held the open era male record for the longest winning streak on clay courts at 53 matches, set in 1977, until it was bettered by Rafael Nadal in 2006. Nadal later extended this to 81 matches.
  • Won 62 ATP singles titles (sixth highest during the open era) and was the runner-up in 40 singles tournaments (plus two unfinished finals). Won 16 doubles titles with other 10 doubles finals.
  • He took Argentina to its first-ever Davis Cup final in 1981 (lost to the United States), together with José Luis Clerc, who was also a top-ten player. The Argentine press often referred to the tensions between the two of them, which even reverberated to the 2004 French Open awards ceremony, in which Vilas presented Gastón Gaudio with his trophy over Clerc's objections.
  • Vilas's success on the court led to a surge in popularity of tennis in Argentina and throughout Latin America. Guillermo Cañas and Guillermo Coria were named after him.
  • In 2005, TENNIS Magazine put Vilas in 24th place in its list of the 40 Greatest Players of the Tennis Open Era (women included).
  • The only player to win ATP Tour singles titles in five different continents in the same year, 1977 – Europe, South America, North America, Africa, and Asia.

Career statistics[edit]

Grand Slam tournament performance timeline[edit]

Tournament 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 SR W–L
Australian Open[a] A A A A A A A F A W W SF 3R A A A A NH A A A 2 / 5 23–3
French Open A A 5R[6] 3R 3R F QF W F QF QF 4R F QF 1R 2R QF 2R 2R 1R 1 / 18 58–17
Wimbledon 1R A 1R A 3R QF QF 3R 3R 2R A 1R A 1R A A 1R A A A 0 / 11 15–11
US Open A A 2R 1R 4R SF SF W 4R 4R 4R 4R SF 3R 3R 2R 1R A A A 1 / 15 43–14
Win–Loss 0–1 0–0 5–3 2–2 7–3 15–3 13–3 21–2 17–3 14–3 10–3 8–4 11–2 6–3 2–2 2–2 4–3 1–1 1–1 0–1 4 / 49 139–45
Year-End Ranking 31 5 2 6 2 3 6 4 4 4 11 28 39 22 71 126 408
Finals: 8 (4 titles, 4 runners-up)
Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
Runner-up 1975 French Open Clay Sweden Björn Borg 2–6, 3–6, 4–6
Runner-up 1977 Australian Open Grass United States Roscoe Tanner 3–6, 3–6, 3–6
Winner 1977 French Open Clay United States Brian Gottfried 6–0, 6–3, 6–0
Winner 1977 US Open Clay United States Jimmy Connors 2–6, 6–3, 7–6(4), 6–0
Runner-up 1978 French Open (2) Clay Sweden Björn Borg 1–6, 1–6, 3–6
Winner 1978 Australian Open Grass Australia John Marks 6–4, 6–4, 3–6, 6–3
Winner 1979 Australian Open (2) Grass United States John Sadri 7–6(4), 6–3, 6–2
Runner-up 1982 French Open (3) Clay Sweden Mats Wilander 6–1, 6–7(6), 0–6, 4–6

Year-End Championship performance timeline[edit]

Tournament 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 SR W–L
Masters A A A A W SF SF SF[b] A RR[b] RR[b] RR[b] SF[b] A A A A A A A 1 / 8 16–11
Finals: 1 (1 title)
Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
Winner 1974 Melbourne Grass Romania Ilie Năstase 7–6, 6–2, 3–6, 3–6, 6–4

Records[edit]

  • These records were attained in Open Era of tennis.
  • ^ Denotes consecutive streak.
Event Years Record accomplished Player tied
US Open 1977 72.1% (106–41) games winning percentage in 1 tournament Stands alone
Grand Slam 1973–88 75 clay court match wins Stands alone
Grand Prix Tour 1977 16 titles in 1 season Stands alone
Grand Prix Tour 1977 13 clay court titles in 1 season Stands alone
Grand Prix Tour 1973–83 46 clay court titles Stands alone
Grand Prix Tour 1973–88 632 clay court match wins Stands alone
Grand Prix Tour 1977 145 match wins in 1 season Stands alone
Grand Prix Tour 1973–83 794 outdoor matches won Stands alone
Grand Prix Tour 1973–82 8 titles overall at a single tournament (Buenos Aires) Rafael Nadal^

Career Finals:104* (*including 2 unfinished Finals)[edit]

Singles Titles:(62)[edit]

Legend
Grand Slam (4)
Year-End Championships (1)
Grand Prix Championship Series (7)
Grand Prix / WCT Tour (50)
Titles by Surface
Hard (6)
Clay (46)
Grass (4)
Carpet (6)
No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
1. 25 November 1973 Buenos Aires (1) Clay Sweden Björn Borg 3–6, 6–7, 6–4, 6–6 retired
2. 14 July 1974 Gstaad (1) Clay Spain Manuel Orantes 6–1, 6–2
3. 21 July 1974 Hilversum (1) Clay Australia Barry Phillips-Moore 6–4, 6–2, 1–6, 6–3
4. 4 August 1974 Louisville (1) Clay Chile Jaime Fillol 6–4, 7–5
5. 18 August 1974 Toronto (1) Hard Spain Manuel Orantes 6–4, 6–2, 6–3
6. 27 October 1974 Tehran (1) Clay Mexico Raúl Ramírez 6–0, 6–3, 6–1
7. 24 November 1974 Buenos Aires (2) Clay Spain Manuel Orantes 6–3, 0–6, 7–5, 6–2
8. 15 December 1974 Masters, Melbourne Grass Romania Ilie Năstase 7–6, 6–2, 3–6, 3-6, 6–4
9. 11 May 1975 Munich (1) Clay West Germany Karl Meiler 2–6, 6–0, 6–2, 6–3
10. 20 July 1975 Hilversum (2) Clay Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Željko Franulović 6–4, 6–7, 6–2, 6–3
11. 27 July 1975 Washington, D.C. (1) Clay United States Harold Solomon 6–1, 6–3
12. 3 August 1975 Louisville (2) Clay Romania Ilie Năstase 6–4, 6–3
13. 16 November 1975 Buenos Aires (3) Clay Italy Adriano Panatta 6–1, 6–4, 6–4
14. 22 February 1976 St. Louis WCT Carpet India Vijay Amritraj 4–6, 6–0, 6–4
15. 29 February 1976 Fort Worth WCT Hard Australia Phil Dent 6–7(4–7), 6–1, 6–1
16. 18 April 1976 Monte Carlo WCT (1) Clay Poland Wojciech Fibak 6–1, 6–1, 6–4
17. 22 August 1976 Toronto (2) Hard Poland Wojciech Fibak 6–4, 7–6, 6–2
18. 21 November 1976 São Paulo Carpet Spain José Higueras 6–2, 6–0
19. 28 November 1976 Buenos Aires (4) Clay Chile Jaime Fillol 6–2, 6–2, 6–3
20. 13 February 1977 Springfield Carpet United States Stan Smith 3–6, 6–0, 6–3, 6–2
21. 17 April 1977 Buenos Aires (5) Clay Poland Wojciech Fibak 6–4, 6–3, 6–0
22. 24 April 1977 Virginia Beach Hard Romania Ilie Năstase 6–2, 4–6, 6–2
23. 5 June 1977 French Open, Paris Clay United States Brian Gottfried 6–0, 6–3, 6–0
24. 17 July 1977 Kitzbühel (1) Clay Czechoslovakia Jan Kodeš 5–7, 6–2, 4–6, 6–3, 6–2
25. 24 July 1977 Washington, D.C. (2) Clay United States Brian Gottfried 6–4, 7–5
26. 31 July 1977 Louisville (3) Clay United States Eddie Dibbs 1–6, 6–0, 6–1
27. 7 August 1977 South Orange (1) Clay United States Roscoe Tanner 6–4, 6–2
28. 14 August 1977 Columbus Clay United States Brian Gottfried 6–2, 6–1
29. 11 September 1977 US Open, New York Clay United States Jimmy Connors 2–6, 6–3, 7–6(7–4), 6–0
30. 25 September 1977 Paris Clay France Christophe Roger-Vasselin 6–2, 6–1, 7–6
31. 9 October 1977 Tehran (2) Clay United States Eddie Dibbs 6–2, 6–4, 1–6, 6–1
32. 13 November 1977 Bogotá Clay Spain José Higueras 6–1, 6–2, 6–3
33. 20 November 1977 Santiago Clay Chile Jaime Fillol 6–0, 2–6, 6–4
34. 27 November 1977 Buenos Aires (6) Clay Chile Jaime Fillol 6–2, 7–5, 3–6, 6–3
35. 4 December 1977 Johannesburg WCT Hard United Kingdom Buster Mottram 7–6, 6–3, 6–4
36. 21 May 1978 Hamburg Clay Poland Wojtek Fibak 6–2, 6–4, 6–2
37. 28 May 1978 Munich (2) Clay United Kingdom Buster Mottram 6–1, 6–3, 6–3
38. 16 July 1978 Gstaad (2) Clay Argentina José Luis Clerc 6–3, 7–6, 6–4
39. 6 August 1978 South Orange (2) Clay Argentina José Luis Clerc 6–1, 6–3
40. 1 October 1978 Aix-en-Provence Clay Argentina José Luis Clerc 6–3, 6–0, 6–3
41. 29 October 1978 Basel Hard United States John McEnroe 6–3, 5–7, 7–5, 6–4
42. 31 December 1978 Australian Open, Melbourne (1) Grass Australia John Marks 6–4, 6–4, 3–6, 6–3
43. 14 January 1979 Hobart Grass Australia Mark Edmondson 6–4, 6–4
44. 22 July 1979 Washington, D.C. (3) Clay Paraguay Víctor Pecci 7–6(7–4), 6–6 retired
45. 25 November 1979 Buenos Aires (7) Clay Argentina José Luis Clerc 6–1, 6–2, 6–2
46. 30 December 1979 Australian Open, Melbourne (2) Grass United States John Sadri 7–6(7–4), 6–3, 6–2
47. 25 May 1980 Rome Clay France Yannick Noah 6–0, 6–4, 6–4
48. 27 July 1980 Kitzbühel (2) Clay Czechoslovakia Ivan Lendl 6–3, 6–2, 6–2
49. 14 September 1980 Palermo Clay Australia Paul McNamee 6–4, 6–0, 6–0
50. 8 February 1981 Mar del Plata Clay Paraguay Víctor Pecci 2–6, 6–3, 2–1 retired
51. 15 March 1981 Cairo Clay West Germany Peter Elter 6–2, 6–3
52. 12 April 1981 Houston Clay United States Sammy Giammalva Jr. 6–2, 6–3
53. 7 February 1982 Buenos Aires (8) Clay Argentina Alejandro Ganzábal 6–2, 6–4
54. 21 March 1982 Rotterdam Carpet United States Jimmy Connors 0–6, 6–2, 6–4
55. 28 March 1982 Milan Carpet United States Jimmy Connors 6–3, 6–3
56. 11 April 1982 Monte Carlo (2) Clay Czechoslovakia Ivan Lendl 6–1, 7–6, 6–3
57. 2 May 1982 Madrid Clay Czechoslovakia Ivan Lendl 6–7, 4–6, 6–0, 6–3, 6–3
58. 18 July 1982 Boston Clay United States Mel Purcell 6–4, 6–0
59. 25 July 1982 Kitzbühel (3) Clay Brazil Marcos Hocevar 7–6, 6–1
60. 13 February 1983 Richmond WCT Carpet United States Steve Denton 6–3, 7–5, 6–4
61. 27 February 1983 Delray Beach WCT Clay Czechoslovakia Pavel Složil 6–1, 6–4, 6–0
62. 24 July 1983 Kitzbühel (4) Clay France Henri Leconte 7–6, 4–6, 6–4

Singles runners-up: (42*)[edit]

  • 1972 (2) – Buenos Aires, Cincinnati
  • 1974 (1) – Washington D.C.
  • 1975 (3) – San Francisco, Boston, French Open
  • 1976 (3) – Rome, Dallas WCT, São Paulo WCT
  • 1977 (6) – Aix en Provence, Nice, Palm Springs, Baltimore, Australian Open (Jan.), Johannesburg*(*unfinished)
  • 1978 (1) – French Open
  • 1979 (5) – Sydney Indoor, Indianapolis, Rome, Stuttgart Indoor, Richmond WCT
  • 1980 (4) – Barcelona, Madrid, Hamburg, Monte Carlo
  • 1981 (7) – Buenos Aires, Barcelona, North Conway, Washington D.C., Kitzbühel, Boca Raton, Monte Carlo*(*unfinished)
  • 1982 (5) – Johannesburg, Baltimore WCT, Barcelona, Gstaad, French Open
  • 1983 (4) – Barcelona, Hilton Head WCT, Rotterdam, Detroit WCT
  • 1986 (1) – Forest Hills

Other singles titles not listed by the ATP website (6)[edit]

No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
1. 12 March 1972 Buenos Aires, River Plate Championships, Argentina Clay Argentina Héctor Romani 6–2, 6–4, 6–2
2. 10 March 1974 Buenos Aires, River Plate Championships, Argentina Clay Argentina Julián Ganzábal 7–6, 4–6, 6–3, 6–3
3. 20 April 1975 Buenos Aires, River Plate Championships, Argentina Clay United States Clark Graebner 6–2, 6–1, 6–4
4. 28 August 1977 Rye, Westchester Country Club, US Clay Romania Ilie Năstase 6–2, 6–0
5. 28–30 October 1977 Caracas, The Super Tennis 77 Tournament, Venezuela Clay Romania Ilie Năstase 6–2, 6–2
6. 25–26 July 1979 Aix-en-Provence, Invitational Tournament, France Hard Romania Ilie Năstase 6–4, 6–4

Doubles titles (16)[edit]

  • 1973 (1) – Buenos Aires
  • 1974 (4) – Buenos Aires, Tehran, Toronto, Hilversum
  • 1975 (3) – Barcelona, Louisville, Hilversum
  • 1977 (4) – Buenos Aires, Tehran, Nice, Baltimore
  • 1978 (2) – Aix-En-Provence, Munich
  • 1979 (2) – North Conway, San Jose (Costa Rica)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The Australian Open was played twice in 1977, in January and December. Vilas played only in the January event.
  2. ^ a b c d e The year-ending Masters tournament was actually played in January of the following year.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Player Activity. Guillermo Vilas". ATPtennis.com. 1977. Retrieved 12 November 2008. [dead link]
  2. ^ a b "Guillermo Vilas "Young Bull of the Pampas"". Hall of Famers. International Tennis Hall of Fame. 1991. Retrieved 12 November 2008. [dead link]
  3. ^ Dicker, Ron (30 August 2004). "With Few Exceptions, the String Remains the Same". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 12 November 2008. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Player activity. Guillermo Vilas". ATPtennis.com. 1992. Retrieved 12 November 2008. [dead link]
  5. ^ Federer stunned by del Potro in US Open final By HOWARD FENDRICH – AP Tennis Writer Published – 13 September 2009 07:55PM PDT
  6. ^ "1972 French Open draw". Retrieved 11 September 2012. 

External links[edit]