Manuel Orantes presented Hall of Fame ring in Barcelona
BARCELONA, April 26, 2013 – In 1975 Spanish tennis star Manuel Orantes was elevated to the status of national hero when he upset world No. 1 Jimmy Connors to win the US Open title. In 2012, Orantes was awarded the world’s highest honor in the sport of tennis, enshrinement in the International Tennis Hall of Fame. This week, Orantes’ tremendous sports career was celebrated among his fellow Spaniards once again, as he was presented his official Hall of Fame ring in a special ceremony at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell.
Hall of Fame President Stan Smith traveled to Barcelona to present the ring, and Spanish Hall of Famer Andres Gimeno joined in the celebration.
“I had the great privilege of introducing Manolito at his Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony last summer in Newport, and it’s such a pleasure to be here today to celebrate this honor with him once again, here with his Spanish fans,” said Smith. “Manuel earned a celebrated position in tennis history when he won that incredible US Open, but his legacy far exceeds that one tournament. His peers have always held him in high regard as one of the kindest players in the sport, and he was clearly one of the best – Grand Slam champion, world top-10 player, and a great Davis Cupper. Manuel is a true legend of our sport, and I’m so glad to be here to honor him by presentation of the Hall of Fame ring today.”
The personalized rings are being presented to Hall of Famers at tennis events around the world over the next few years as a special symbol of their Hall of Fame enshrinement. The one-of-a-kind rings bear a green stone set in gold, to complement the Hall of Fame's brand colors, and are etched with each honoree's name and the Hall of Fame logo crest.
A dominant player of the 1970s and 1980s, Manuel Orantes reached the world No. 2 ranking in 1973, and he remained in the year-end world top-10 for five consecutive years. He amassed an impressive 33 singles titles and 22 doubles titles during his lengthy career.
Orantes’ run for the 1975 US Open trophy goes down in history as one of the greatest Grand Slam matches ever. In the semifinals, Guillermo Vilas was leading two sets to one, and 5-0 in the fourth set, when Orantes made his move, winning seven games in a row and saving five match points to go to a fifth set. More than four hours after the match began, Orantes triumphed 6-4 in the fifth set and qualified for the finals well after midnight.
The next day he faced the seemingly invincible Jimmy Connors, a fan favorite who was No. 1 seed and defending champion. Not intimidated, Orantes decisively defeated Connors in straight sets to claim the US Open title.
A dedicated Davis Cupper, Orantes was a member of the Spanish team for fourteen years. He was integral in leading the team to the 1967 challenge round against Australia. In all, Orantes netted a winning record of 60 and 27 for his country, and he was also a member of Spain’s victorious 1978 World Team Cup team.
After retirement, Orantes remained dedicated the sport, opening a tennis school, Future Pros, where he teaches all levels of tennis players to succeed. “I created the tennis academy Future Pros SL in Barcelona so we could transfer all our experiences and knowledge to help future professionals,” said Orantes.
Honored with Hall of Fame enshrinement in 2012, Orantes was the fifth Spanish player elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. The other Spanish legends who have been enshrined are Manuel Alonso, Andrés Gimeno, Arantxa Sánchez -Vicario, and Manuel Santana. Gimeno, Sanchez-Vicario, and Santana all received their rings at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell in 2011.
Additional International Tennis Hall of Fame rings will be presented at tennis events around the world in the next few years.
Located in Newport, Rhode Island, the International Tennis Hall of Fame is a non-profit institution dedicated to preserving the history of tennis and honoring the game's greatest heroes. Since 1955, the International Tennis Hall of Fame has inducted 224 individuals from 19 different countries-a testament to the global reach of the game. In addition, the Hall of Fame provides a landmark for tennis enthusiasts, offering an extensive museum that chronicles the history of the sport and its stars, historic grass tennis courts that date back to 1880 and are open to the public, an ATP World Tour tournament and the annual Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony in July, and numerous public events year-round. To learn more, visit tennisfame.com.
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About the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum
Established in 1954, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is a non-profit institution dedicated to preserving the history of tennis, inspiring and encouraging junior tennis development, providing a landmark for tennis enthusiasts worldwide, and enshrining tennis heroes and heroines with the highest honor in the sport of tennis- induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. In 1986, the International Tennis Federation, the governing body of tennis, officially recognized the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum as the sport's official Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame is located in Newport, Rhode Island, USA, on a six-acre property that features an extensive museum chronicling the history of the sport and honoring the 224 Hall of Famers; 13 grass tennis courts and an indoor tennis facility that are open to the public and to a club membership; a rare Court Tennis facility; and an historic 297-seat theatre. Annually in July, the venue hosts the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships for the Van Alen Cup, an ATP World Tour event. The buildings and grounds, which were constructed in 1880 by McKim, Mead & White to serve as a social club for Newport's summer residents, are renowned for their incredible architecture and preservation. The facility was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987. The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is supported by Official Partners including Chubb Personal Insurance, EMC, Alex and Ani, and Rolex Watch USA. For information on the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum and its programs, call 401-849-3990 or visit us online at www.tennisfame.com.