Still the oldest Roland-Garros men’s singles champion in the Open era
In 1972 he became the oldest Roland-Garros men’s singles champion in the Open era at 34 years and 10 months old. That record still stands today despite the era of longevity in the modern game.
Gimeno was also dedicated to flying the flag for Spain, posting an impressive 18-5 Davis Cup singles record, alongside 5-5 in doubles action.
Such success combined with compatriot and close friend Manolo Santana (1961 and 1964 Roland-Garros champion) prompted sustained silverware for their homeland. For example, since Santana’s initial title tilt in 1961, the Roland-Garros men’s trophy has been won 20 times by a Spaniard.
“Without doubt one of the pioneers of tennis in Spain,” reigning Roland-Garros champion Rafael Nadal posted on Twitter. “A great athlete. A heartfelt greeting to your family.”