The best of the great career of the legend Vilas, on his birthday

The best of the great career of the legend Vilas, on his birthday

Legend. Yes, Guillermo Vilas is the great reference of Latin American tennis and not to mention the Argentine. This Tuesday, the great “Willy” turns 69, with a huge legacy in tow. He won 62 singles titles, including four Grand Slam and one Masters final. He was N ° 2 in the world and should have been the leader, since for example in 1977 he was the best of the ATP professional circuit.

The famous left-hander from Mar del Plata was born in the city of Buenos Aires on August 17, 1952 and a few days later his parents returned to that city with the baby, who finally grew up there and was forged tennis on the brick dust courts of the city. Nautical Club.

Fighter and intelligent, Vilas shone on the circuit, being a specialist on the slow surface, but he also excelled on other courts. The best Argentine of all time was champion of the 1974 Masters, then he won at Roland Garros in 1977 and that year he repeated the feat at the US Open, with victory included in the grand final against local Jimmy Connors. On grass, at the Australian Open, he was champion in 1978 and 1979 and thus achieved four Major as a professional.

In 1977, his top year, it should have been No. 1 in the world ranking, but another system used did not allow it. That season he won no less than 16 official singles competitions, including the two aforementioned Grand Slam. He went unbeaten in 46 games that year, cut only by Romanian Ilie Nastase and his double-strung racket, in the Aix-en-Provence final.

In total, Vilas played 104 individual finals, as he lost another 42, including another four at Grand Slam. The Argentine added 951 victories, with 681 on clay, and suffered 297 defeats. Without a doubt, a great one, respected by all rivals. And, in the Davis Cup, his great thorn, he lost the final in 1981 in a duo with José Luis Clerc, the first definition of Argentina, which this time yielded to the United States in Cincinnati.

Even today Vilas maintains a record on slow courts: he achieved 681 victories on that floor and has a huge advantage over the other players, current and already retired. On clay he won 49 titles and was surpassed only by the Spanish Rafael Nadal, who has 62 on brick dust.

The detail of the 62 Vilas titles, year by year:

In 1983: 3
Kitzbuhel, Delray Beach and Richmond.

In 1982: 7
Kitzbuhel, Boston, Madrid, Monte-Carlo, Milan, Rotterdam and Buenos Aires.

In 1981: 3
Houston, Cairo and Mar del Plata.

In 1980: 3
Palermo, Kitzbuhel and Rome.

In 1979: 4
The Australian Open, Buenos Aires, Washington and Hobart.

In 1978: 7
The Australian Open, Basel, Aix-en-Provence, South Orange, Gstaad, Munich and Hamburg.

In 1977: 16
Johannesburg, Buenos Aires, Santiago, Bogotá, Tehran, Paris, US Open, Columbus, South Orange, Louisville, Washington, Kitzbuhel, Roland Garros, Virginia Beach, Buenos Aires and Springfield.

In 1976: 6
Buenos Aires, São Paulo, Toronto, Monte-Carlo, Fort Worth and St. Louis.

In 1975: 5
Buenos Aires, Louisville, Washington, Hilversum and Munich.

In 1974: 7
The Masters, Buenos Aires, Tehran, Toronto, Louisville, Hilversum and Gstaad.

In 1973: 1
Buenos Aires.

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