A long illness did not give him respite, especially in the last period which ended up being fatal. All of Spain is in mourning for the death of Manolo Santana, who will always remain a tennis legend for the country, having been practically the first Iberian to emerge on the circuit and to really take away a lot of satisfaction.
The former player passed away on Saturday 11 December and immediately the social networks exploded with messages of closeness and condolence towards Manuel, who has definitely left his mark on the hearts of all fans (Spanish and otherwise).
A splendid career, probably culminating in 1966: in addition to the conquest of Wimbledon (the first to succeed in his land), he reached the top of the standings. But the Madrid native was able to win a total of 5 Grand Slams, including three Roland Garros (one in doubles), US Open and the aforementioned London tournament.
In 1968 he added a prestigious gold medal to the collection at the Olympic Games in Mexico. He has been captain of his nation's team in the Davis Cup and director of the Madrid Master 1000 since the very first edition. A long degenerative illness progressively worsened his health, until he had to give up as a great fighter.
At the Mutua Madrid Open in 2021 one of the last appearances of the Spanish icon, who died in his residence in Marbella at the age of 83. A terrible news, which recorded many fans, former players and current tennis players dedicating a message to the Iberian legend.
Among these was the winner of 20 majors and king of red clay Rafael Nadal, who wrote on his social channels: "As I have said many times in the past: thank you very much for what you have done for our country and for having marked the path of many."
Tursunov opens up on Nadal
A great architect of Anett Kontaveit's recent success since he became his head coach this summer after coaching Aryna Sabalenka, Dmitry Tursunov gave a long and very interesting interview to the Russian site Vedomostisport.
And when asked which Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic will end up as the best player of all time, the former 20th world player acknowledged an advantage for the Serbian. “I find it hard to assume that Novak won't win another Grand Slam.
He will break the record for the number of wins, that's not a problem for him. Roger has very little chance of winning another Major, considering his age, style of play and condition. Rafa's game is too energy intensive, he plays every game as if it was his last.
Considering his age and health, this is a disadvantage. Although over the years he changed his game: he became more aggressive, stopped going too far behind the back line. The three complement each other. Djokovic has become such a strong player thanks to Federer and Nadal.
He tried to find ways to beat them, and he relied on physical preparation. He looks like a triathlete right now, he's very meticulous."