It is 46 years since Guillermo Vilas beat Romanian Illie Nastase to become champion of the Masters Grand Prix. He came to Melbourne as a rookie in this tournament and won the first major title of his successful career.
1974 was the year of the international takeoff of the Mar del Plata. The year he achieved worldwide recognition and the Masters, which was played in Melbourne, Australia, between December 10 and 15, on grass was his emblem title.
This tournament began to be played in 1970. The first edition was played in Tokyo and was won by Australian Stan Smith. The next three editions, played successively in Paris, Barcelona and Boston ended up in Nastase’s hands.
He Tournament format was almost the same as it is currently played: two groups of four tennis players each, played all against all. The first two of each group met those of the other group in the semifinals and the winners played the final. The difference was that in those years all matches were five sets.
He Blue Group It was made up of Vilas, the Australian John Newcombe, the New Zealander Onny Parun and the Swede Bjorn Borg. At White Group Nastase, the Mexican Raúl Ramírez, the Spanish Manuel Orantes and the North American Harold Solomon remained.
In the semifinals, the Mar del Plata beat Ramírez 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 and 7-5. Meanwhile, the Romanian did the same with the Australian Newcombe in straight sets: 6-3, 7-6 and 6-2.
The definition for the title of Master was left for the Argentine with a final result of 7-6 (6), 6-2, 3-6, 3-6 and 6-4. For the books. For the history.