Vilas-Connors: the final that did not have a champion


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Vilas-Connors: the final that did not have a champion

The recent coronation of the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas (5th) against the Russian Andrey Rublev (8th) closed a new edition of the Monte-Carlo Masters 1000, a tournament that has been held since 1986 at the Montecarlo Country Club, located in the Principality of Monaco . The funny thing is that, perhaps, one of the finals that is most engraved in the collective imagination, is the one they played Guillermo Vilas and Jimmy Connors in 1981 and that it did not have winners or losers.

It is necessary to go back 40 years, more precisely, we must go back to April 19, 1981 and place ourselves in the Monte-Carlo final. At that meeting, came Guillermo Vilas from Mar del Plata, winner of 62 titles and winner of the contest twice (1976 and 1982), and American Jimmy Connors, former world number one and holder of 109 coronations throughout his career.

On Sunday, the day set to settle the champion, inclement weather forced the organizers to postpone the match until the next day: on Monday there would be a champion. But things did not turn out as planned. 55 minutes after the actions began among the left-handed tennis players and when the scoreboard reflected 5-5 0-15 with Vilas on serve, the rain was once again present in the Principality. The game had to be finally suspended.

With the impossibility of resuming the final that same day, they were shuffled different alternatives. The first option, ruled out almost immediately, was that they play on Tuesday. But it was impossible since Connors had to travel to the United States to play a series of tournaments. The other alternative was for the match to be completed the day after the Roland Garros final, on June 7.

But things were still twisted and fate seemed to say that he did not want there to be a winner for the 1981 Monte-Carlo edition. Vilas’s early elimination in the round of 16 at the hands of Frenchman Jannick Noah and the American’s defeat in the quarterfinals. in the final against the Argentine José Luis Clerc, they did not help the calendar. There was no possible date for the crash. The days passed, the weeks passed and the years left an open ending. The decisive match was never completed.

The history of the season’s first brick dust Masters has seen great champions. The surname of Nadal, the one that appears 11 times engraved in the champion’s trophy is, without a doubt, the most brilliant. But others also stand out: in addition to the aforementioned Vilas, there are that of Nastase, Borg, Wilander, Muster and that of Djokovic himself, among others. But the last name that will never appear will be that of the 1981 edition. The one that Vilas and Connors could not define. That final without winners or losers.


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