Andrés Gimeno

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Andrés Gimeno
Internationale Tenniskampioenschappen Melkhuisje, Andres Gimeno in aktie, Bestanddeelnr 926-5506.jpg
Country (sports)Spain
Born(1937-08-03)3 August 1937
Barcelona, Spain
Died9 October 2019(2019-10-09) (aged 82)
Barcelona, Spain
Height1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Turned pro1960
PlaysRight-handed (one-handed backhand)
Int. Tennis HoF2009 (member page)
Career record787-473 (62.4%) [1]
Career titles41 [1]
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian OpenF (1969)
French OpenW (1972)
WimbledonSF (1970)
US Open4R (1969, 1972)
Other tournaments
Tour FinalsRR (1972)
Professional majors
US ProF (1967)
Wembley ProF (1965)
French ProF (1962, 1967)
Career record94–60
Career titles3
Grand Slam Doubles results
French OpenF (1960)
WimbledonQF (1959)
US OpenF (1968)

Andrés Gimeno Tolaguera (3 August 1937 – 9 October 2019) was a Spanish tennis player. His greatest achievement came in 1972, when he won the French Open and he remains the oldest first-time Grand Slam champion of the Open era at 34 years of age.[2]

Early years[edit]

Andrés came from a family which loved tennis, and his father Esteban supported his efforts to play the game. Esteban had been a good tennis player and he became Andres' coach. They practiced at Real Club de Tenis Barcelona. At an early age Andres started to become a really good tennis player, winning some important tournaments in his region. At age sixteen, he won the U-18 Championship of Spain. In 1954, he won the Championship of Spain in the doubles category playing with Juan Manuel Couder.[3] At the same time, he stopped studying to focus on his tennis career.[citation needed]

He was not only a successful tennis player in Spain, but also represented his country throughout Europe. He played in the Galea's Cup, the European Championship U21, and won it in 1956 and 1957.[4] He was the runner-up in 1958. After that, he decided to go to Australia to play with the man who was considered the best tennis coach in the world, Harry Hopman.[citation needed] He improved his tennis level and soon, he had two important victories in the championships in Perth and in Sydney.[citation needed]

Tennis career[edit]

Gimeno went back to Spain in 1960 where he then had his best year as an amateur, winning the titles in Barcelona, Caracas, Monte Carlo, and at Queen's Club.[3] In Barcelona, he became the first Spanish player to win the Torneo Conde de Godó, beating the Italian player Giuseppe Merlo. That same year he reached the doubles final of the French Open too, losing to an Australian duo.[3] After that year, he joined the professional group World Championship Tennis,[5] where Jack Kramer offered him $50,000 for three years, and more money for each victory. The group consisted of some of the best tennis players in history such as Rod Laver, Pancho Gonzales and Ken Rosewall.

Gimeno won the Poertschach pro tournament in August 1963 beating Rosewall and Frank Sedgman.[6] He also won the Genoa Pro in September 1963 beating Laver and Rosewall. Gimeno won the College Park Pro in May 1964 beating Lew Hoad in the final.[7] He won tournaments in Noordwijk and Munich in August and September 1964 beating Laver and Rosewall in both events.[8] Gimeno won the Milan Pro in September 1965 over Laver and Rosewall and beat Laver in the final of the pro event at Port Elizabeth in October 1965.[9] Gimeno won the US Pro hardcourt event at St. Louis in June 1966 beating Laver in the final.[10] He won the World pro championships in Oklahoma City in July 1966 beating Laver and Rosewall.[11] He also won the Geneva and Barcelona pro tournaments in September 1966 (both over Laver).[12] He won the Cincinnati Pro in July 1967 beating Laver and Rosewall.[13] In September 1967, Gimeno won the Border Pro at Selborne (over Rosewall and Fred Stolle) and the Eastern Province Pro at Port Elizabeth (over Laver and Rosewall).[14]

Gimeno's best Grand Slam results as a singles player came in 1968 when the Open era started and the professional could participate in Grand Slams. His first good result was the final in Australian Open[15] in 1969, where he lost to Rod Laver in three sets.[16] Gimeno won events at Barcelona, Cologne and New York in 1969, Dallas in 1970 and Hamburg in 1971.[17]

Gimeno's best year was in 1972, when he was a finalist in Brussels and in Paris, and he won in Los Angeles, in Eastbourne,[18] in Gstaad, and the French Open. The Catalan won his first and only Grand Slam in 1972. He holds the record for the oldest male player to win the French Open (at the age of 34). In the final, he beat the French player Patrick Proisy in four sets. In addition, he reached the semifinals at Wimbledon in 1970.[19] In 1973, he reached the final of the Dutch Open in Hilversum, where Tom Okker beat him in five sets.[20]

Gimeno was an active Davis Cup player, recording an 18–5 singles record and 5–5 doubles record.[21] His debut was in the match that Spain played against Egypt with one of the most important players in Spain, Manuel Santana. He could not play the competition while he was a part of the professional group, but he participated as coach in 1966. In 1973, he injured his meniscus and decided to quit playing tennis. He became the tennis coach in the RFET, Tennis’ Spanish Federation and then in the Suisse Federation.[22]

After retiring from tennis[edit]

After his professional career, he decided to join the tennis circuit for retired players called Legends Championship. He also founded a tennis club in 1974 called "Club de Tenis Andres Gimeno" in Castelldefels, Barcelona.[23]

He was elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2009, becoming the fourth Spanish tennis player in it, after Arantxa Sánchez Vicario, Manuel Alonso and Manuel Santana.[24][25]

Personal life[edit]

Gimeno married Cristina Corolla in 1962 and together they had three children: Alejo Gimeno, Andres Gimeno Jr. and Cristina Gimeno.[26] In 2011, Gimeno lost all his money,[27][28] and some of the best Spanish tennis players such as Rafael Nadal, Tommy Robredo, Feliciano López and David Ferrer played an exhibition tennis tournament in Palau Blaugrana to raise funds for him.[29]


Gimeno died following a long illness, on 9 October 2019, at the age of 82.[30]

Grand Slam finals[edit]

Singles: 2 (1 title, 1 runner-up)[edit]

Result Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Loss 1969 Australian Open Grass Australia Rod Laver 3–6, 4–6, 5–7
Win 1972 French Open Clay France Patrick Proisy 4–6, 6–3, 6–1, 6–1

Doubles: 2 (2 runner-ups)[edit]

Result Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Loss 1960 French Championships Clay Spain José Luis Arilla Australia Roy Emerson
Australia Neale Fraser
2–6, 10–8, 5–7, 4–6
Loss 1968 US Open Grass United States Arthur Ashe United States Bob Lutz
United States Stan Smith
9–11, 1–6, 5–7

Career finals (Open era)[edit]

Grand Slam (1)
Tennis Masters Cup (0)
ATP Tour (4)

Singles (5 wins, 5 losses)[edit]

Result W/L Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Loss 0–1 Jan 1969 Australian Open, Australia Grass Australia Rod Laver 3–6, 4–6, 5–7
Loss 0–2 Jun 1970 Casablanca, Morocco Clay Australia John Newcombe 4–6, 4–6, 4–6
Win 1–2 May 1971 Hamburg Open, Germany Clay Hungary Péter Szőke 6–3, 6–2, 6–2
Win 2–2 Feb 1972 Los Angeles, USA Hard France Pierre Barthes 6–3, 2–6, 6–3
Loss 2–3 May 1972 Brussels, Belgium Clay Spain Manuel Orantes 4–6, 1–6, 6–2, 5–7
Win 3–3 May 1972 French Open, Paris Clay France Patrick Proisy 4–6, 6–3, 6–1, 6–1
Win 4–3 Jun 1972 Eastbourne, England Grass France Pierre Barthes 7–5, 6–3
Win 5–3 Jul 1972 Gstaad, Switzerland Clay Italy Adriano Panatta 7–5, 9–8, 6–4
Loss 5–4 Oct 1972 Paris, France Hard (i) United States Stan Smith 2–6, 2–6, 5–7
Loss 5–5 Jul 1973 Hilversum, Netherlands Clay Netherlands Tom Okker 6–2, 4–6, 4–6, 7–6, 3–6

Source: ATP[31]

Performance timeline[edit]

(W) Won; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (A) absent; (NH) not held. SR=strike rate (events won/competed)
Tournament Amateur Pro Open Era SR W–L Win %
1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961–67 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973
Grand Slam tournaments
Australian Championships/Open A A A QF A banned F A 2R A A 0 / 3 6–3 66.67
French Championships/Open 1R 3R 4R A QF banned SF QF A A W 2R 1 / 8 24–7 77.42
Wimbledon 3R 1R 2R 3R 2R banned 3R 4R SF 1R 2R A 0 / 10 17–10 62.96
US National Championships/Open A A A A A banned 1R 4R 1R A 4R A 0 / 4 6–4 60.00
Win–Loss 2–2 2–2 4–2 4–2 4–2 n/a 7–3 14–4 5–2 0–2 11–2 1–1 1 / 25 53–24 68.83
Year-end championships
The Masters not held A A RR A 0 / 1 0–3 0.00
Win–Loss n/a n/a n/a 0–3 n/a 0 / 1 0–3 0.00

Professional Grand Slam[edit]

Tournament 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 SR W–L Win %
US Pro Championships A SF A A SF A SF F 0 / 4 4–4 50.00
French Pro Championship QF QF F 1R SF QF SF F 0 / 8 10–8 55.55
Wembley Championships QF QF QF QF QF F QF SF 0 / 8 8–8 50.00
Win–Loss 2–2 2–3 4–2 1–2 2–3 2–2 2–3 7–3 0 / 20 22–20 52.38

Source:[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b "Andres Gimeno: Career match record". Tennis Base. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  2. ^ Dorish, Joe (8 May 2013). "Youngest and Oldest Men to win the French Open in Tennis". Yahoo. Archived from the original on 2 July 2013.
  3. ^ a b c Buddell, James (10 October 2019). "Pioneer of Spanish tennis was one of the sport's nicest guys".
  4. ^ "Los tenistas Españoles han ganado la Copa Galea de 1957" (in Spanish). ABC. 6 August 1957. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  5. ^ "Andres Gimeno Inked by Kramer for Pro Circuit". The Montreal Gazette. 13 July 1960 – via Google News Archive.
  6. ^ "The Times-News (Twin Falls), 5 August 1963".
  7. ^ The History of Professional Tennis, Joe McCauley (2003 reprint), p. 231
  8. ^ The History of Professional Tennis, Joe McCauley (2003 reprint), p. 233-234
  9. ^ The History of Professional Tennis, Joe McCauley (2003 reprint), p. 238-239
  10. ^ "St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 20 June 1966".
  11. ^ "The Daily Oklahoman, 5 July 1966".
  12. ^ "The Miami Herald, 26 September 1966".
  13. ^ "The Cincinnati Enquirer, 10 July 1967".
  14. ^ The History of Professional Tennis, Joe McCauley (2003 reprint), p. 248-249
  15. ^ EFE (28 January 2009). "Verdasco bate al gigante Tsonga y alcanza su primera semifinal de Grand Slam". ABC (in Spanish).
  16. ^ Serras, Manel (22 October 2011). "Andres es uno de los grandes". El País (in Spanish).
  17. ^ "Andres Gimeno Open era titles".
  18. ^ "Nadal, primer español en 36 años que gana un torneo jugado en hierba". ABC (in Spanish). 16 June 2008.[permanent dead link]
  19. ^ "Gimeno wins first major tennis title". The Sydney Morning Herald. 6 June 1972 – via Google News Archive.
  20. ^ "Tom Okker Player Activity 1973".
  21. ^ Grasso, John (2011). Historical Dictionary of Tennis. Maryland: Scarecrow Press. p. 117. ISBN 9780810872370.
  22. ^ Serras, Manel (6 December 2000). "El pacto de Gimeno y la Federación Española". El País (in Spanish).
  23. ^ "Andres Gimeno Tennis Club" (in Spanish). Castelldefells Tourisme. Archived from the original on 2 March 2014.
  24. ^ "Spanish tennis legends Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario". International Tennis Hall of Fame.
  25. ^ "Arantxa Sánchez Vicario, Manolo Santana y Andrés Gimeno recibirán el anillo de oro del 'Hall of Fame' en el Conde de Godó". MARCA (in Spanish). 23 March 2011.
  26. ^ Perez de Rozas, Emilio (22 April 2013). "La escalofriante vida de Andres Gimeno". (in Spanish). Grupo Zeta. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
  27. ^ Escorcia, Dagoberto (5 October 2011). "Andres Gimeno:"Solo quiero tener para pagar la luz."". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). Retrieved 13 October 2019.
  28. ^ "El tenista Andrés Gimeno confiesa su precaria situación económica". El Diario Montañés (in Spanish). Vocento. 8 October 2011. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
  29. ^ "Gimeno recibe el apoyo de la familia del tenis". ABC (in Spanish). Vocento. 22 October 2011. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
  30. ^ E. E. (9 October 2019). "Muere Andrés Gimeno, mito del tenis y campeón de Roland Garros". El Español (in Spanish). Retrieved 13 October 2019.
  31. ^ "Andres Gimeno – titles and finals". Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP).

External links[edit]