Tennis Legend Pancho Gonzales Receives Posthumous HonorsSeptember 6th, 2009 - 6:42 pm ICT by GD
By Meena Kar
Posthumous honors were bestowed on the legendary Pancho Gonzales, on his 60th Anniversary of his 2nd straight U.S.title, on Saturday in New York.
He had the credit of winning the U.S.Tennis Championships in both years 1948 and 1949; and being a major player in the 1970s. Had he been present at the U.S.Open 2009 in flesh and blood, he would be a charming icon of 81 years. He remained the No.1 player for a span of 7 years, and faced challenging major rivals, Jack Krammer and Jimmy Connors.
Pulitzer-prize winner Dave Anderson, an eminent sports journalist wrote of Gonzales as ,”the best tennis player not enough people saw..” Charlie Pasarell, of Puerto Rico, for whom having lost to Gonzales in a cumbersome Wimbledon match spanning 312 minutes, where the scores ran 22-24, 1-6, 16-14, 6-3, 11-9 would be an unforgettable day.
Pasarell said, “He was my idol. But that day he was my enemy.” Certainly the event of a 41 year old champ beating a 25 year old talent, became an embodiment of tennis classic that all Americans would remember in the days to come. Pasarrell told sources that he was enamoured by Gonzales and recounted how he would pose questions to his ideal when Pasarell was much into the sport, listed as the No.1 in his college career.
He revealed to sources that he was enthralled when one fine day Gonzales offered to play a match with him and invited him to the L.A.Tennis Club early morning. Pasarell surely fell short in front of the powerful tennis champion,just when he began to be tutored in the last set how to improve his shots by Gonzales. He surprisingly won the last set and evoked Gonzales temper!
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