Jairo Velasco Sr.

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Jairo Velasco Sr.
Country (sports) Colombia Colombia
Residence Barcelona, Spain
Born (1947-05-09) 9 May 1947 (age 69)
Bogotá, Colombia
Height 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Plays Right-handed
Career record 115–156
Career titles 0
Highest ranking No. 49 (21 March 1983)
Grand Slam Singles results
French Open 2R (1969, 71, 75, 82, 83)
Wimbledon 1R (1972, 1975)
US Open 4R (1976)
Career record 99–110
Career titles 2
Grand Slam Doubles results
French Open 4R (1971)
Wimbledon 2R (1974)
US Open 2R (1972)
Mixed doubles
Career titles 0
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
French Open SF (1973)
Wimbledon 3R (1973)
US Open 1R (1972)

Jairo Velasco Sr. (born 9 May 1947) is a former professional tennis player from Colombia.[note 1]


Velasco team up with Iván Molina to reach the fourth round of the 1971 French Open, before the pair lost to eventual champions Arthur Ashe and Marty Riessen. The right-hander bettered that effort in the 1973 French Open, this time in the mixed doubles, partnering countrywoman Isabel Fernández de Soto, with whom he made it into the semi-finals, where he were defeated in three sets by Patrice Dominguez and Betty Stöve. He became the first ever Colombian to reach the fourth round of the singles draw at a Grand Slam when he beat three players at the 1976 US Open, Ferdi Taygan, Barry Phillips-Moore and Bill Scanlon. His run ended when he lost to Dick Stockton.[1] He remained the only player from his country to go that deep in a Grand Slam tournament until Alejandro Falla made the four round at the 2011 French Open.

The Colombian made seven doubles finals on the Grand Prix tennis circuit, winning two, at Kitzbühel and at home in Bogota. He also made the singles final at Bogota, in 1979, but lost to Víctor Pecci.[2]

He won 24 singles rubbers for the Colombia Davis Cup team, a national record. In all he participated in 21 ties and won a total of 33 matches, having also been victorious in nine doubles rubbers. He was most notably a member of the side which defeated the United States in the North & Central America Zone final of the 1974 Davis Cup, beating both Harold Solomon and Erik Van Dillen in his two singles rubbers. In the Americas Inter-Zonal final, which curiously featured the South African team, Velasco lost his first match to Bob Hewitt and was also defeated in the doubles, to surrender the tie. He then beat Ray Moore in a dead rubber. The Colombians, with Velasco in the side, made the Inter-Zonal final again in 1981, but were defeated by Chile.[3]

Early in his career, Velasco relocated to Barcelona in Spain, where he still lives.[4] He married a local and had three children, including Jairo Velasco Jr., who played Grand Slam tennis and Gabriela Velasco Andreu, who has been in the world's top 400.[5]

Grand Prix career finals[edit]

Singles: 1 (0–1)[edit]

Outcome No. Year Tournament Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
Runner-up 1. 1979 Bogotá, Colombia Clay Paraguay Víctor Pecci 3–6, 4–6

Doubles: 7 (2–5)[edit]

Outcome No. Year Tournament Surface Partner Opponents in the final Score in the final
Runner-up 1. 1974 Calgary, Canada Indoor Colombia Iván Molina West Germany Jürgen Fassbender
West Germany Karl Meiler
4–6, 4–6
Runner-up 2. 1974 Salt Lake City, United States Indoor Colombia Iván Molina United States Jimmy Connors
United States Vitas Gerulaitis
6–2, 6–7, 5–7
Winner 3. 1974 Kitzbühel, Austria Clay Colombia Iván Molina Czechoslovakia František Pala
Hungary Balázs Taróczy
2–6, 7–6, 6–4, 6–4
Runner-up 4. 1977 Florence, Italy Clay Colombia Iván Molina New Zealand Chris Lewis
New Zealand Russell Simpson
6–2, 6–7, 2–6
Runner-up 5. 1979 Quito, Ecuador Clay Colombia Iván Molina Chile Jaime Fillol
Chile Álvaro Fillol
7–6, 3–6, 1–6
Winner 6. 1979 Bogotá, Colombia Clay Mexico Emilio Montaño United States Bruce Nichols
United States Charles Owens
6–2, 6–4
Runner-up 7. 1981 Mar Del Plata, Argentina Clay Spain Ángel Giménez Australia David Carter
Australia Paul Kronk
7–6, 4–6, 0–6

Challenger titles[edit]

Singles: (3)[edit]

No. Year Tournament Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
1. 1979 Le Touquet, France Clay Spain Fernando Luna 4–6, 6–3, 6–3, 6–1
2. 1981 Tarragona, Spain Clay Spain Eduardo Osta 6–4, 6–2
3. 1982 Porto, Portugal Clay Spain Juan Avendaño 6–7, 6–3, 6–3

Doubles: (1)[edit]

No. Year Tournament Surface Partner Opponents in the final Score in the final
1. 1979 Le Touquet, France Clay Spain Antonio Muñoz France Éric Deblicker
France Georges Goven
6–0, 3–6, 6–3


  1. ^ ATP sources erroneously have him representing Spain during his career