Nicola Pietrangeli

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Nicola Pietrangeli
Nicola Pietrangeli cropped.jpg
Country (sports)  Italy
Residence Rome, Italy
Born (1933-09-11) 11 September 1933 (age 83)
Tunis, Tunisia
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Turned pro 1968 (amateur tour from 1953)
Retired 1973
Plays Right-handed (one-handed backhand)
Int. Tennis HoF 1986 (member page)
Career record 95–53
Highest ranking No. 3 (1959, Lance Tingay)[1]
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open QF (1957)
French Open W (1959, 1960)
Wimbledon SF (1960)
US Open 3R (1955, 1965)
Career record 21–20
Grand Slam Doubles results
French Open W (1959)
Wimbledon F (1956)
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
French Open W (1958)
Wimbledon 3R (1955, 1959)
Team competitions
Davis Cup F (1960Ch, 1961Ch)

Nicola "Nicky" Pietrangeli (Italian pronunciation: [niˈkɔːla pjeˈtrandʒeli]; born 11 September 1933) is a former Italian tennis player. He won two singles titles at the French Championships and is considered by many to be Italy's greatest-ever tennis champion.


Born 11 September 1933, in Tunis, Tunisia, Pietrangeli appeared in four men's singles finals at Roland Garros – winning the title in 1959 and 1960, and finishing runner-up in 1961 and 1964. He also won the Roland Garros men's doubles title in 1959 (together with Orlando Sirola), and the mixed doubles in 1958. At Wimbledon, Pietrangeli was a single semifinalist in 1960, when he lost to Rod Laver in 5 sets. He won the Italian Open in 1957 and 1961 and was ranked World No. 3 by Lance Tingay of The Daily Telegraph in 1959 and 1960 and also by Ned Potter in 1961.[1][2]

Pietrangeli represented Italy in the Davis Cup between 1954 and 1972. He played in a record 164 Davis Cup rubbers, winning a record 120. He was a player on the Italian teams which reached the Davis Cup final in 1960 and 1961. Both finals were played on grass courts in Australia, and the Italians were not able to overcome the strong Australian team which included Laver, Roy Emerson and Neale Fraser.

After retiring as a player, Pietrangeli became Italy's Davis Cup team captain and guided them to winning their first-ever Davis Cup in 1976.

Pietrangeli was inducted in the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1986. On his 73rd birthday, the old tennis stadium in Foro Italico of Rome was named in his honour; he is among the very few tennis players to have received such an honour while still living (others include Laver and Margaret Court).

Performance timeline[edit]

Tournament Amateur career Open career Titles / Played Career W–L Career Win%
'54 '55 '56 '57 '58 '59 '60 '61 '62 '63 '64 '65 '66 '67 '68 '69 '70 '71 '72 '73
Grand Slam tournaments 2 / 44 95–40 70.37
Australian Open A A A QF A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A 0 / 1 2–1 66.66
French Open 3R 3R QF 1R 4R W W F QF QF F 4R 3R 3R 1R 1R 3R 3R 3R 1R 2 / 20 58–18 79.45
Wimbledon 2R QF 4R 1R 4R 1R SF 3R 3R 3R 2R 4R 1R 2R 1R 1R 1R A 3R 1R 0 / 19 30–18 62.50
US Open A 3R A A A A A A 1R A 2R 3R A A A A A A A A 0 / 4 5–3 62.50

Grand Slam finals[edit]

Singles (2 titles, 2 runners-up)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Winner 1959 French Championships Clay South Africa Ian Vermaak 3–6, 6–3, 6–4, 6–1
Winner 1960 French Championships Clay Chile Luis Ayala 3–6, 6–3, 6–4, 4–6, 6–3
Runner-up 1961 French Championships Clay Spain Manuel Santana 6–4, 1–6, 6–3, 0–6, 2–6
Runner-up 1964 French Championships Clay Spain Manuel Santana 3–6, 1–6, 6–4, 5–7

Doubles (1 title, 2 runners-up)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Runner-up 1955 French Championships Clay Italy Orlando Sirola United States Vic Seixas
United States Tony Trabert
1–6, 6–4, 2–6, 4–6
Runner-up 1956 Wimbledon Championships Grass Italy Orlando Sirola Australia Lew Hoad
Australia Ken Rosewall
5–7, 2–6, 1–6
Winner 1959 French Championships Clay Italy Orlando Sirola Australia Roy Emerson
Australia Neale Fraser
6–3, 6–2, 14–12

Mixed doubles (1 title)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Winner 1958 French Championships Clay United Kingdom Shirley Bloomer Australia Lorraine Coghlan
Australia Bob Howe
8–6, 6–2


  1. ^ a b United States Lawn Tennis Association (1972). Official Encyclopedia of Tennis (First Edition), p. 427.
  2. ^ "Hard Won Major U.S. Title", The Milwaukee Sentinel, 25 December 1961.

External links[edit]