This year marks the 50th anniversary of Manolo Santana’s Wimbledon victory and the Spaniard met up with members of the press to look back at that iconic moment in the tournament’s history.
Now the tournament director of the Madrid Open, Santana was the first-ever Spaniard to capture the title at Wimbledon when he beat American Dennis Ralston in straight sets in the final.
Chatting to a journalist from Catalan newspaper La Vanguardia at the All England Club, Santana points to his wrist watch saying: “This is the Rolex they gave me when I won. It has my name engraved on the back and it shows me the days of the week in Castellano (Spanish). I wear it on special occasions and it has never stopped working.”
Santana recalls his prize money at the time – it was before men’s tennis entered the professional era – was less than £20 and he had to redeem it from the clothing store Lillywhites.
“I took the metro the day of the final because there was no official tournament transport at the time and the taxi was very expensive,” said Santana.
“I got off at Southfields station and walked up to the tennis club with my bag and three racquets.”
Oh how times have changed.
There’s a fleet of Jaguars and Land Rovers transporting players, their coaches and even us journalists to and from the tennis club every day now and the singles champions each receive two million pounds.
Meanwhile, Bernard Tomic had to apologise for making an inappropriate comment after he failed to arrive at the court alongside Fernando Verdasco, as is customary, in the first round.
I challenge Bernard Tomic and Nick Kyrgios to go one day without a controversy.— Daniel Cherny (@DanielCherny) June 30, 2016
“He was up in the locker getting something taped on. Yeah, I did get to the court prior to him very early, and unfortunately I had to stand on court like a retard,” Tomic had said.
After an understandable backlash, Tomic apologised after his second round win over Radu Albot.
“Look, I apologise if I offended anyone. I’m sorry. It just came out the wrong way,” said Tomic.