The day Vilas won the US OPEN
Guillermo Vilas was the first Argentine to win the US OPEN. He achieved it in 1977 and, until 2009, when Del Potrowon it, he was also the only one. Because sometimes we get nostalgic and like to revive the most glorious pages of our sport, we put together a special of that unforgettable day. Let’s see.
Vilas had just been champion in the Columbus tournament and added the impressive record of 35 victories in a row in brick powder. That streak included the title of Roland Garros of 77, which, until 2004, when Gaudio won it, was also the only Argentine to have won the victory. No minor fact: the 77 was the last US OPEN to be played on clay, from 78 the courts were transformed into the hard surface we now know as Flushing Meadows.
The strategy of Vilas
The plan was to repeat a little what they had done in Paris (they had gone quite well): abstract from everything. Be hosted (and trained) away from the tournament venue and without any contact with potential rivals. I listened to a lot of music (in particular, Radio-Activity from Kraftwerk) and read. In addition, he wore a kind of diary in which I was writing down what was going on in the day, both tennis issues as personal and even metaphysical. I wasn’t talking to No one. I was 25 years old.
Something. of all this certainly had its reward: such a level of concentration made the physicist respond to him like never before. Experts say Vilas’s performance in that tournament was inhuman, heat and moisture, which seemed to faint his rivals, not had consequences on Vilas’s body. It was just September and William already had played 100 games in 1977. A gifted man.
It of the physicist, added to the mental power and the outstanding technical level that flaunted managed to make it to the final without losing sets and with an average of 40 minutes per game (it crushed rivals). In the first 5 games he lost only 16 games (no rival came to all 4 games in any set). In the final he was going to meet another star: Jimmy Connors. It was time to use all the energy contained in previous matches.
The two finalists were 25 years old, both were left-handed and both reached the final without losing sets. It was all set for an unforgettable ending. Count the legend that the day before the match was able to sleep very little. He started losing. 2-6. But the beast woke up and won 6-3, 7-6 and an unforgettable 6-0 final set. The legend was consolidated . An pity that because of the famous technical error of counting has never become number 1 in the ATP ranking. No doubt, I deserved it.
Hipólito Azema nació en Buenos Aires, en los comienzos de la década del 80. No se sabe desde cuándo, porque esas cosas son difíciles de determinar, le gusta contar historias, pero más le gusta que se las cuenten: quizás por eso transitó los inefables pasillos de la Facultad de Filosofía y Letras de la Universidad de Buenos Aires. Una vez escuchó que donde existe una necesidad nace un derecho y se lo creyó.
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