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Guillermo Vilas
Vilas-1975.jpg
Guillermo Vilas in 1975
Country  Argentina
Residence Buenos Aires, Argentina
Date of birth 17 August 1952 (1952-08-17) (age 57)
Place of birth Buenos Aires, Argentina
Height 180 cm (5 ft 11 in)
Weight 75 kg (165 lb)
Turned pro 1969
Retired 1992
Plays Left-handed; one-handed backhand
Career prize money $ 4,923,882
Singles
Career record 923–284
Career titles 68 (including 62 listed by the ATP)
Highest ranking No. 2 (30 April 1975)
Grand Slam results
Australian Open W (1978, 1979)
French Open W (1977)
Wimbledon QF (1975, 1976)
US Open W (1977)
Major tournaments
Tour Finals W (1974)
Doubles
Career record 216–149
Career titles 15
Highest ranking No. 175 (3 January 1983)

Guillermo Apolinario Vilas (born 17 August 1952, in Buenos Aires, Argentina) is a retired professional tennis player from Argentina.

Career

Raised in the sea resort of Mar del Plata, Vilas was a southpaw and played his first tour event in 1969. He was in the year-ending top ten from 1974 through 1982. He was a clay-court specialist but also played well on hard, grass, and carpet surfaces.

He won four Grand Slam titles: the 1977 French Open and the 1977 US Open (both played on clay) and the 1978 and 1979 Australian Open (both played on grass). He was also the runner-up at the French Open three times (1975, 1978, and 1982) and at the Australian Open once (January 1977).

Vilas got his first big break in the 1974 Masters tournament (played on grass), where he defeated Ilie Năstase in the final.

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Best year

A left-handed baseliner, Vilas's best year on tour was 1977 when he won two of the four Grand Slam singles tournaments and 16 of the 31 Association of Tennis Professionals tournaments he entered.[1] His playing record for 1977 was 145 wins against 15 losses (ATP win-loss record was 130–15). Not including the Masters year-end championship, he won 72 of his last 73 ATP matches in 1977. The highest point during this phenomenal run was winning the last US Open played at Forest Hills against Jimmy Connors 2–6, 6–3, 7–6(4), 6–0 in a match where Vilas surprised his American rival by attacking the net.[2]

Records: Winning streak, most titles in a single year

He had a 46-match all-surface winning streak (still unrivalled) and won seven consecutive titles - Kitzbühel (clay), Washington (clay), Louisville (hard), South Orange (hard), Columbus (hard), US Open (clay) and Paris (clay) after Wimbledon in 1977. He also had a record 53-match winning streak on clay courts (including both Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and unofficial tournaments), which stood until the record was broken by Rafael Nadal in 2006. Both his winning streaks were terminated in October 1977 by Ilie Năstase in the final of the Aix-en-Provence tournament. In that best of five-set final, Vilas dropped the first two sets by 6–1, 7–5 and then retired in protest of Năstase's use of a spaghetti strung racquet (which was banned by the ATP shortly after).[3]. After that he won a further 28 matches in a row with titles at Tehran, Bogota, Santiago, Buenos Aires (all on clay) and Johannesburg (hard). That run was ended in the Masters semifinals by Bjorn Borg

Even though he won 16 ATP singles titles, including the French Open and the US Open and was the runner-up at the January edition of the Australian Open in 1977, he was never ranked by the ATP as World No. 1 during 1977. He was instead year-end World No. 2 in those rankings, below Jimmy Connors (who won the Masters and six other titles and was the runner-up at Wimbledon and the US Open in 1977). However, the magazine World Tennis and Michel Sutter gave Vilas the World No. 1 ranking. It is clear that the way the current ranking is assembled, Vilas had been number one in the ATP in 1977.

Retirement

Vilas retired from the ATP tour in 1989 but still played ATP Challenger Series until 1992.[4] He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1991.[2] Vilas was in the stands at Flushing Meadows to cheer on his countryman, Juan Martin del Potro, who beat Roger Federer in a surprising upset in the US Open.[5]

Distinctions

  • Players with most titles in a season: 16 in 1977.
  • Players with most wins in a season: 130 in 1977.
  • Won the Grand Prix in 1974, 1975, and 1977
  • Held the open era male record for the longest winning streak on clay courts at 53 matches, set in 1977, until it was bettered by Rafael Nadal in 2006. Nadal later extended this to 81 matches.
  • Won 62 ATP singles titles (sixth highest during the open era) and was the runner-up in 40 singles tournaments (plus two unfinished finals). Won 16 doubles titles with other 10 doubles finals.
  • He took Argentina to its first-ever Davis Cup final in 1981 (lost to the United States), together with José Luis Clerc, who was also a top-ten player. The Argentine press often referred to the tensions between the two, which even reverberated to the 2004 French Open awards ceremony, in which Vilas presented Gastón Gaudio with his trophy over Clerc's objections.
  • Vilas's success on the court led to a surge in popularity of tennis in Argentina and throughout Latin America. Guillermo Cañas and Guillermo Coria were named after him.
  • In 2005, TENNIS Magazine put Vilas in 24th place in its list of the 40 Greatest Players of the Tennis Open Era (women included).

Major finals

Grand Slam finals

Singles: 8 (4 titles, 4 runner-ups)

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
Runner-up 1975 French Open Clay Sweden Björn Borg 6–2, 6–3, 6–4
Runner-up 1977 Australian Open Grass United States Roscoe Tanner 6–3, 6–3, 6–3
Winner 1977 French Open Clay United States Brian Gottfried 6–0, 6–3, 6–0
Winner 1977 US Open Clay United States Jimmy Connors 2–6, 6–3, 7–6(4), 6–0
Runner-up 1978 French Open (2) Clay Sweden Björn Borg 6–1, 6–1, 6–3
Winner 1978 Australian Open Grass Australia John Marks 6–4, 6–4, 3–6, 6–3
Winner 1979 Australian Open (2) Grass United States John Sadri 7–6(4), 6–3, 6–2
Runner-up 1982 French Open (3) Clay Sweden Mats Wilander 1–6, 7–6(6), 6–0, 6–4

Year-End Championships finals

Singles: 1 (1 title)

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
Winner 1974 Melbourne Grass Romania Ilie Năstase 7–6, 6–2, 3–6, 3–6, 6–4

Records

  • These records were attained in Open Era of tennis.
Grand Slam Years Record accomplished Player tied
Australian Open 1978-79 2 consecutive wins Ken Rosewall
Johan Kriek
Mats Wilander
Stefan Edberg
Ivan Lendl
Jim Courier
Andre Agassi
Roger Federer

Singles titles (68)

Singles titles listed by the ATP Website (62)

Legend
Grand Slam (4)
Tennis Masters Cup (1)
ATP Tour (57)
Titles by Surface
Hard (5)
Clay (46)
Grass (4)
Carpet (7)
No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent in Final Score in Final
1. 2 December 1973 Buenos Aires II, Argentina (1) Clay Sweden Björn Borg 3–6, 6–7, 6–4, 6–6 retired
2. 24 July 1974 Gstaad, Switzerland (1) Clay Spain Manuel Orantes 6–1, 6–2
3. 28 July 1974 Hilversum, Netherlands (1) Clay Australia Barry Phillips-Moore 6–4, 6–2, 1–6, 6–3
4. 11 August 1974 Louisville, U.S. (1) Clay Chile Jaime Fillol 6–4, 7–5
5. 18 August 1974 Toronto, Canada (1) Hard Spain Manuel Orantes 6–4, 6–2, 6–3
6. 3 November 1974 Tehran, Iran (1) Clay Mexico Raúl Ramírez 6–0, 6–3, 6–1
7. 1 December 1974 Buenos Aires II, Argentina (2) Clay Spain Manuel Orantes 6–3, 0–6, 7–5, 6–2
8. 15 December 1974 Masters, Melbourne, Australia Grass Romania Ilie Năstase 7–6, 6–2, 3–6, 6–4
9. 11 May 1975 Munich, West Germany (1) Clay West Germany Karl Meiler 2–6, 6–0, 6–2, 6–3
10. 20 July 1975 Hilversum, Netherlands (2) Clay Yugoslavia Željko Franulović 6–4, 6–7, 6–2, 6–3
11. 27 July 1975 Washington D.C., U.S. (1) Clay United States Harold Solomon 6–1, 6–3
12. 10 August 1975 Louisville, U.S. (2) Clay Romania Ilie Năstase 6–4, 6–3
13. 16 November 1975 Buenos Aires II, Argentina (3) Clay Italy Adriano Panatta 6–1, 6–4, 6–4
14. 22 February 1976 St. Louis WCT, U.S. Carpet India Vijay Amritraj 4–6, 6–0, 6–4
15. 29 February 1976 Fort Worth WCT, U.S. Hard Australia Phil Dent 6–7(4), 6–1, 6–1
16. 18 April 1976 Monte Carlo WCT, Monaco (1) Clay Poland Wojtek Fibak 6–1, 6–1, 6–4
17. 22 August 1976 Toronto, Canada (2) Hard Poland Wojtek Fibak 6–4, 7–6, 6–2
18. 21 November 1976 São Paulo, Brazil Carpet Spain José Higueras 6–3, 6–0
19. 28 November 1976 Buenos Aires II, Argentina (4) Clay Chile Jaime Fillol 6–2, 6–2, 6–3
20. 13 February 1977 Springfield, U.S. Carpet United States Stan Smith 3–6, 6–0, 6–3, 6–2
21. 17 April 1977 Buenos Aires I, Argentina Clay Poland Wojtek Fibak 6–4, 6–3, 6–0
22. 24 April 1977 Virginia Beach, U.S. Hard Romania Ilie Năstase 6–2, 4–6, 6–2
23. 5 June 1977 French Open, Roland Garros, Paris Clay United States Brian Gottfried 6–0, 6–3, 6–0
24. 17 July 1977 Kitzbühel, Austria (1) Clay Czechoslovakia Jan Kodeš 5–7, 6–2, 4–6, 6–3, 6–2
25. 24 July 1977 Washington D.C., U.S. (2) Clay United States Brian Gottfried 6–4, 7–5
26. 31 July 1977 Louisville, U.S. (3) Clay United States Eddie Dibbs 1–6, 6–0, 6–1
27. 7 August 1977 South Orange, New Jersey, U.S. (1) Clay United States Roscoe Tanner 6–4, 6–1
28. 14 August 1977 Columbus, U.S. Clay United States Brian Gottfried 6–2, 6–1
29. 11 September 1977 US Open, Forest Hills, New York Clay United States Jimmy Connors 2–6, 6–3, 7–6, 6–0
30. 25 September 1977 Paris, France Clay France Christophe Roger-Vasselin 6–2, 6–1, 7–6
31. 9 October 1977 Tehran, Iran (2) Clay United States Eddie Dibbs 6–2, 6–4, 1–6, 6–1
32. 13 November 1977 Bogota, Colombia Clay Spain José Higueras 6–1, 6–2, 6–3
33. 20 November 1977 Santiago, Chile Clay Chile Jaime Fillol 6–0, 2–6, 6–4
34. 27 November 1977 Buenos Aires II, Argentina (5) Clay Chile Jaime Fillol 6–2, 7–5, 3–6, 6–3
35. 4 December 1977 Johannesburg WCT, South Africa Hard United Kingdom Buster Mottram 7–6, 6–3, 6–4
36. 21 May 1978 Hamburg, West Germany Clay Poland Wojtek Fibak 6–2, 6–4, 6–2
37. 28 May 1978 Munich, West Germany (2) Clay United Kingdom Buster Mottram 6–1, 6–3, 6–3
38. 16 July 1978 Gstaad, Switzerland (2) Clay Argentina José Luis Clerc 6–3, 7–6, 6–4
39. 6 August 1978 South Orange, U.S. (2) Clay Argentina José Luis Clerc 6–1, 6–3
40. 1 October 1978 Aix-en-Provence, France Clay Argentina José Luis Clerc 6–3, 6–0, 6–3
41. 29 October 1978 Basel, Switzerland Carpet United States John McEnroe 6–3, 5–7, 7–5, 6–4
42. 7 January 1979 Australian Open, Kooyong Park, Melbourne (1) Grass Australia John Marks 6–4, 6–4, 3–6, 6–3
43. 14 January 1979 Hobart, Australia Grass Australia Mark Edmondson 6–4, 6–4
44. 22 July 1979 Washington D.C., U.S. (3) Clay Paraguay Víctor Pecci 7–6, 7–6
45. 25 November 1979 Buenos Aires II, Argentina (6) Clay Argentina José Luis Clerc 6–1, 6–2, 6–2
46. 6 January 1980 Australian Open, Kooyong Park, Melbourne (2) Grass United States John Sadri 7–6, 6–3, 6–2
47. 25 May 1980 Rome, Italy Clay France Yannick Noah 6–0, 6–4, 6–4
48. 27 July 1980 Kitzbühel, Austria (2) Clay Czechoslovakia Ivan Lendl 6–3, 6–2, 6–2
49. 14 September 1980 Palermo, Italy Clay Australia Paul McNamee 6–4, 6–0, 6–0
50. 8 February 1981 Mar del Plata, Argentina Clay Paraguay Víctor Pecci 2–6, 6–3, 2–1 retired
51. 15 March 1981 Cairo, Egypt Clay West Germany Peter Elter 6–2, 6–3
52. 12 April 1981 Houston, U.S. Clay United States Sammy Giammalva Jr. 6–2, 6–3
53. 7 February 1982 Buenos Aires, Argentina Clay Argentina Alejandro Ganzábal 6–2, 6–4
54. 21 March 1982 Rotterdam, Netherlands Carpet United States Jimmy Connors 0–6, 6–2, 6–4
55. 28 March 1982 Milan, Italy Carpet United States Jimmy Connors 6–3, 6–3
56. 11 April 1982 Monte Carlo, Monaco (2) Clay Czechoslovakia Ivan Lendl 6–1, 7–6, 6–3
57. 2 May 1982 Madrid, Spain Clay Czechoslovakia Ivan Lendl 6–7, 4–6, 6–0, 6–3, 6–3
58. 18 July 1982 Boston, U.S. Clay United States Mel Purcell 6–4, 6–0
59. 25 July 1982 Kitzbühel, Austria (3) Clay Brazil Marcos Hocevar 7–6, 6–1
60. 13 February 1983 Richmond WCT, U.S. Carpet United States Steve Denton 6–3, 7–5, 6–4
61. 27 February 1983 Delray Beach WCT, U.S. Clay Czechoslovakia Pavel Složil 6–1, 6–4, 6–0
62. 27 July 1983 Kitzbühel, Austria (4) Clay France Henri Leconte 7–6, 4–6, 6–4

Other singles titles not listed by the ATP Website (6)

No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent in Final Score in Final
1. 12 March 1972 Buenos Aires I, Argentina Clay Argentina Héctor Romani 6–2, 6–4, 6–2
2. 10 March 1974 Buenos Aires I, Argentina Clay Argentina Julián Ganzabal 7–6, 4–6, 6–3, 6–3
3. 20 April 1975 Buenos Aires I, Argentina Clay United States Clark Graebner 6–2, 6–1, 6–4
4. 28 August 1977 Rye, Westchester Country Club, U.S. (8-man draw) Clay Romania Ilie Năstase 6–2, 6–0
5. 28-30 October, 1977 Caracas, The Super Tennis 77 Tournament, Venezuela Clay Romania Ilie Năstase 6–2, 6–2
6. 25-26 July, 1979 Aix-en-Provence, France Hard Romania Ilie Năstase 6–4, 6–4

Doubles titles (16)

  • 1973 (1) - Buenos Aires II
  • 1974 (4) - Buenos Aires II, Toronto, Tehran, Hilversum
  • 1975 (3) - Barcelona, Hilversum, Louisville
  • 1977 (4) - Baltimore, Buenos Aires II, Nice, Tehran
  • 1978 (2) - Aix-En-Provence, Munich
  • 1979 (2) - North Conway, San Jose

ATP singles runner-ups (42)

  • 1972 (2) - Buenos Aires II, Cincinnati
  • 1974 (1) - Washington D.C.
  • 1975 (3) - Boston, French Open, San Francisco
  • 1976 (3) - Dallas WCT, Rome, São Paulo WCT
  • 1977 (6) - Aix en Provence, Australian Open (Jan.), Baltimore, Nice, Palm Springs, Johannesburg (not held)
  • 1978 (1) - French Open
  • 1979 (5) - Indianapolis, Richmond WCT, Rome, Stuttgart Indoor, Sydney Indoor
  • 1980 (4) - Barcelona, Hamburg, Madrid, Monte Carlo
  • 1981 (7) - Monte Carlo (not finish, final abandoned because of rain), Barcelona, Buenos Aires II, Kitzbühel, North Conway, Boca Raton, Washington D.C.
  • 1982 (5) - Baltimore WCT, Barcelona, Gstaad, Johannesburg, French Open
  • 1983 (4) - Barcelona, Detroit WCT, Hilton Head WCT, Rotterdam
  • 1986 (1) - Forest Hills

Grand Slam / Masters singles performance

Tournament 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 Career
WR
Career
Win-Loss
Australian Open1 A A A A A A A F A W W SF 3R A A A A NH A A A 2 / 5 23–3
French Open A A 3R 3R 3R F QF W F QF QF 4R F QF 1R 2R QF 2R 2R 1R 1 / 18 56–17
Wimbledon 1R A 1R A 3R QF QF 3R 3R 2R A 1R A 1R A A 1R A A A 0 / 11 15–11
US Open A A 2R 1R 4R SF SF W 4R 4R 4R 4R SF 3R 3R 2R 1R A A A 1 / 15 43–14
Grand Slam WR 0 / 1 0 / 0 0 / 3 0 / 2 0 / 3 0 / 3 0 / 3 2 / 4 1 / 4 1 / 4 0 / 3 0 / 4 0 / 2 0 / 3 0 / 2 0 / 2 0 / 3 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 1 4 / 49 N/A
Grand Slam Win-Loss 0–1 0–0 3–3 2–2 7–3 15–3 13–3 21–2 17–3 14–3 10–3 8–4 11–2 6–3 2–2 2–2 4–3 1–1 1–1 0–1 N/A 137–45
Masters A A A A W SF SF SF2 A RR2 RR2 RR2 SF2 A A A A A A A 1 / 8 16–11

1The Australian Open was played twice in 1977, in January and December. Vilas played only the January event.
2The year-ending Masters tournament was actually played in January of the following year.
NH = tournament not held.
A = did not participate in the tournament.
WR = the ratio of the number of Grand Slam singles tournaments won to the number of those tournaments played.

References

External links


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