The fourth edition of MARCA Sport Weekend It ended great, as it began. lilian thuram opened the fire last Friday with an exquisite talk with 60 children about racism in sport and closed it with the emotional and well-deserved tribute in the same room of the Pompidou Center to one of the best and greatest athletes that this country gave, Manolo Santana.
Juan Ignacio Gallardo, director of MARCA, delivered to the tennis player’s widow, claudia rodrgueza hyperenhatic art print of Antonio Menchn to recognize the enormous figure of the former tennis player for Spanish sport. “Manolo has given many things to us Spanish fans. We are indebted to him and the best thing is to give you a gift, Claudia, to give you back a small part of everything he has given us to Spanish sport. This is the brooch of gold, is the perfect culmination for this MARCA Sport Weekend”, pointed out the director of MARCA. Claudia closed the MARCA Sport Weekend, although she could barely speak with emotion and between tears: “He was a man who lived as he wanted, with tennis. With Manolo forever, he will be remembered today, tomorrow and forever. For me he is always here. I am excited to see what will happen to him.” wants anywhere in the world. I have been invited to Wimbledon in honor of Manolo, “commented his widow.
Clavet and Solsona praise his figure
Duck Clavet, deputy director of the Davis Cup finals, was the guest at this table, Santana in memory, to discuss with the MARCA presenter Jose Rodriguez and our specialist Joan Solosona what awaits the national team in this next edition of the Davis cup, which cannot be understood without the figure of the ill-fated Spanish tennis player, both as a team player and in his role as captain. the spanish team, six times Davis champion, debut, within group B, in Valencia against Serbia on September 14 in the final group stage. Their next matches, all at four in the afternoon, will be on Friday the 16th against Canada and on Sunday the 18th against South Korea. The best two of the group will qualify for the final, which will take place in the José María Martín Carpena Sports Palace in Malaga from November 21 to 27.
“We hope that in the Davis Cup in Malaga we will take over and it will surely be a success. I had the immense luck of knowing Manolo from a very young age and the first racket I had was given to me by him. The friendship between the families has endured over time. I had a great relationship with him and he gave me the opportunity to debut in Davis at that crossing with New Zealand and I will be eternally grateful. It is difficult to find someone like him”, recalls Clavet.
Wimbledon, his home
“When you talk about a pioneer, it’s hard to understand the figure of Manolo if you haven’t lived with him. I remember the first time I met him to do a report on Wimbledon. Every time he arrived he gave bottles of wine to all the doormen. You never know the people you’re going to need. He was not only going to pick up Federate or Nadal. And that is what made him so special,” says Joan Solsona.
Clavet adds that “he was loved by everyone. Manolo was the one with the greatest reach, the one who was best known everywhere, among the great tennis players. Federer, Jokovic… Others who have been very good have not had that charisma that Manolo had”.
“The best image to understand what Santana meant is the Wimbledon finals. When all the legends stand up to greet the new champion of the tournament, the first one they hugged was Manolo Santana”, recalls the MARCA journalist.
“Funny, close, honest, always cheerful”, They were the qualifiers that Clavet highlights. “Sometimes we had to stop him a bit in that tie. “Manolo, they’re going to understand you. We told him,” adds the former tennis player wistfully.
His incalculable influence on Davis
About the figure of Manolo in Davis, Clavet also highlights his role: “He is an indispensable person at Davis, I don’t know if more than Wimbledon. He made tennis better known in Spain, with those deeds against Australia, which was like going to conquer the Americas. Even though she didn’t win it, with what she did and what she achieved it’s almost more than if she had won it. He had a decisive role and is the one who has influenced this competition the most.”
“I want to point out that all the records we have in Davis still belong to Manolo, so that its dimension is understood,” Solsona points out.
For the next edition, Clavet dreams of giving Manolo the best gift: “We have to respect and wait for it to happen, but hopefully we can pay homage to Manolo. In three days we have sold around 7,000 tickets and we have no doubt that the Malaga edition will be a xtio”.