On September 7, 1975, Spanish tennis player Manuel Orantes defeated top-seeded Jimmy Connors 6–4, 6–3, 6–3 in the finals of the US Open at Forest Hills in New York.
Before winning his first Grand Slam, he came up second to Björn Borg (former world no. 1 tennis player from Sweden) in France at the French Open in the final, giving the Swedish a run for his money by winning the first two sets before Borg bounced back to win the title 2–6, 6–7, 6–0, 6–1, 6–1.
Orantes’ efforts over the years in WTA competitions and his contribution to the Spanish Davis Cup team between 1967-1980, has been recognized and rewarded by the tennis world with an induction to the International Tennis Hall of Fame scheduled to take place at the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum in Newport, R.I on the 14th of July.
Orantes, a native of Granada and resident in Barcelona, will be inducted in the Master Player Category, with more members of the class of 2012 expected to be announced in March. The criteria for selection into the category includes competitors who have been retired for at least 20 years prior to consideration; a distinguished record of competitive achievement at the highest international level, giving integrity, sportsmanship, and character taking the highest priority.
According to Tony Trabert, 1970 Hall of Famer and Chair of the Enshrinee Nominating Committee, Orantes victory over Connors in 1975 counts as one of the best in the history of the beautiful game. An with Tennis Channels’ historical countdown of “all-time top 100 Tennis players” just around the corner (March 19-23), we expect Orantes achievements to feature.
“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,” Trabert said.
“He is well deserving of induction to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. 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.”
A summary of Orantes achievements are as follows;
33 singles titles;
22 doubles titles;
career doubles record of 298-155;
world no. 2 in 1973;
winner of the 1978 World Team Cup.