Spanish tennis great Manuel Orantes to be inducted to the International Tennis Hall of Fame

Spanish tennis great Manuel Orantes to be inducted to the International Tennis Hall of Fame

Manuel Orantes, a Spanish tennis star of the 1970s and 1980s, who defeated top top-seeded Jimmy Connors to capture the 1975 US Open title and played an instrumental role in Spain’s Davis Cup efforts for many years, will be inducted to the International Tennis Hall of Fame this year. Manuel is the third member of the Class of 2012 to be announced, and he is the only inductee in the Master Player Category.

"Manuel Orantes’ 1975 US Open victory is in the books as one of the most impressive in tennis history,” said Tony Trabert, 1970 Hall of Famer and Chair of the Enshrinee Nominating Committee. “That achievement, as well as his many other victories, and his leadership as a dedicated Davis Cup player for Spain make him a true legend of tennis. He is well deserving of induction to the International Tennis Hall of Fame and we look forward to celebrating with Manuel at the induction ceremony in July, along with honoring the additional inductees, the remainder of whom will be announced shortly.” 
 

Class of 2012 - Click to learn more about an inductee!

Jennifer Capriati

Former world No. 1, Olympic gold medalist & 3-time Grand Slam champion

Guga Kuerten

Former world No. 1 & 3-time French Open champion.

Randy Snow

Wheelchair tennis star & 3-time Paralympic medalist.

Manuel Orantes

Spanish tennis great
& US Open champion.

Mike Davies

Tennis industry
promoter and innovator.

A gentleman through and through, Spain’s Manuel Orantes, 62, was generally regarded as one of the kindest, friendliest players on tour. While there’s no questioning his congeniality, woe to the opponent who may have dismissed him as too kind. Beneath his heart of gold, lay the heart of a champion, and this Spanish tennis great certainly knew how to fight back for the win.

A dominant player of the seventies and eighties, Manuel reached the world No. 2 ranking in 1973, and 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.

Manuel’s 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 Manuel 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, Manuel 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, Manuel decisively defeated Connors in straight sets to claim the US Open title.

A dedicated Davis Cupper, Manuel 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, Manuel 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.

With his genuine sportsmanship, remarkable success on the courts, and devotion to the game, Manuel has truly earned his place among the greatest legends of tennis as a member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame’s Class of 2012.

Since 1955, the International Tennis Hall of Fame has inducted 220 people from 19 countries. Manuel Orantes is the fifth Spanish inductee to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. The other Spanish legends who have been inducted are Manuel Alonso, Andrés Gimeno, Arantxa Sánchez -Vicario, and Manuel Santana. 
 
Eligibility & Voting
 
Inductees to the International Tennis Hall of Fame are elected in the categories of Recent Player, Master Player and Contributor.
 
Manuel Orantes has been elected to the Hall of Fame in the Master Player Category. Eligibility criteria for this category is as follows: competitors in the sport who have been retired for at least 20 years prior to consideration; a distinguished record of competitive achievement at the highest international level, with consideration given to integrity, sportsmanship, and character.
 
The International Masters Panel, which consists of Hall of Fame inductees and individuals who are highly knowledgeable of the sport and its history, votes on the Master Player. To be inducted in any category, an affirmative vote of 75% is required.
 
Induction Ceremony
 
The Class of 2012 Induction Ceremony will be hosted on July 14 at the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum in Newport, R.I. The ceremony is held in conjunction with the Campbell's Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, an ATP World Tour event. Tickets for that day include seats for the Induction Ceremony and the tournament semi-finals, and tickets are available now on tennisfame.com or by phone at 866-914-FAME (2363).
 
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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 220 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 Campbell's 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 BNP Paribas, Campbell Soup Company, Chubb Personal Insurance, Kia Motors 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.

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