Manuel Alonso Areizaga

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Manuel Alonso
Manuel alonso.jpg
Full name Manuel Alonso de Areyzaga
Country Spain
Born (1895-11-12)November 12, 1895
San Sebastián, Spain
Died October 11, 1984(1984-10-11) (aged 88)
Madrid, Spain
Height 1.75 m
Turned pro 1920 (amateur tour)
Retired 1938
Plays right-handed (one-handed backhand)
Int. Tennis HOF 1977 (member page)
Singles
Highest ranking No. 5 (1927, A. Wallis Myers)[1]
Grand Slam Singles results
Wimbledon F (1921)
US Open QF (1922, 1923, 1925, 1927)
Other tournaments
WHCC SF (1920)
WCCC 3R (1923)
Olympic Games QF (1920)
Doubles
Olympic Games QF (1924)
Team competitions
Davis Cup F (1922)

Manuel Alonso de Areizaga (12 November 1895 – 11 October 1984) was a Spanish tennis player. He was the first Spanish tennis player of international stature.[2]

Biography[edit]

Alonso was born at San Sebastián on 12 November 1895.[2] He won the Spanish tennis championships in 1915, 1919 and 1920.[3] He frequently played doubles with his elder brother José María (b. 1890) who also was a successful tennis player.

In 1920, Alonso took part at the Summer Olympics at Antwerpen. In singles, he reached the quarterfinals losing to British Noel Turnbull. In doubles, he teamed with his brother José María but the pair lost its initial match. In the same year, Alonso reached the semifinal at the World Hard Court Championships. At the 1924 Summer Olympics at Paris, Alonso reached the fourth round in singles. In doubles, again along with his brother José María, both could advance to the quarterfinals.

In the early 1920s, Bill Tilden wrote about Alonso: "Seldom have I seen such wonderful natural abilities as are found in this young Spaniard [...] Alonzo has a terrific forehand drive that is the closest rival to W. M. Johnston's of any shot I have seen [...] His overhead is at once severe, deadly and reliable. He smashes with speed and direction. It is not only in his varied stroke equipment that Alonzo is great but in his marvellous footwork. Such speed of foot and lightning turning I have never before seen on a tennis court [...] I look to see Alonzo, who today loses matches through lack of resource, become by virtue of experience and tournament play the greatest player on the continent."[4]

In 1921, at his first appearance at the Wimbledon Championships, Alonso made his way through to the all-comers final where he was eventually beaten by Brian Norton in five sets. He played at Wimbledon in 1922 and 1924 again, but couldn't repeat this success and dropped out of the competition in early rounds. From 1921 to 1925, Alonso was a member of the Spanish Davis Cup team and reached the final in 1922 partnering Manuel de Gomar. Both were called "Los Dos Manolos" ("the two Manuels"), a reference to the American "two Bills", "Big Bill" Tilden and "Little Bill" Johnston.[5]

Alonso moved to the United States in 1923[6] which made him eligible for a U.S. ranking. He regularly played at the U.S. Championships until 1927 and reached the quarterfinals in 1922, 1923, 1925 and 1927. He was three years in the U.S. Top 10 (No. 4 in 1925 and 1927, No. 2 in 1926).[2] In 1927, he was ranked World No. 5 by A. Wallis Myers of The Daily Telegraph.[1] In 1931 and 1936, Alonso made two short appearances for his country in the Davis Cup again. Soon thereafter, he retired from tennis.

In 1977, a few years before his death, Alonso was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame. He died on 11 October 1984 at Madrid.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b United States Lawn Tennis Association (1972). Official Encyclopedia of Tennis (First Edition), p. 424.
  2. ^ a b c d Collins, Bud (2010). History of Tennis (2nd ed.). New York City: New Chapter press. pp. 541–542. ISBN 978-0942257700. 
  3. ^ "Campeonata de España absoluto" (pdf). www.rfet.es (in Spanish). Real Federaciòn Española de tenis. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  4. ^ Tilden, William T. (1922). The Art of Lawn Tennis. New York: George H. Doran Co. p. 199. 
  5. ^ "'Los Dos Manolos' Are the Two 'Bills' of Spain's Tennis Team" (pdf). New York Times (New York City). 13 August 1922. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  6. ^ Manuel Alonso Areizaga at the International Tennis Federation

External links[edit]