José Luis Clerc

José Luis Clerc (born 16 August 1958) is a former Argentine professional tennis player, and one of the most important Argentine players in history. He is nicknamed Batata. He reached a career-high Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) world No. 4 singles ranking on 3 August 1981, following a run of 25 consecutive match wins after Wimbledon.

José Luis Clerc
Country (sports) Argentina
ResidenceMiami, United States
Born16 August 1958 (age 60)
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Height1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Turned pro1977
Retired1986 (from full-time playing)
1995 (last match)
PlaysRight-handed (one-handed backhand)
Singles
Career record378–152 (71.32%)
Career titles25 (listed by ATP)
Highest rankingNo. 4 (3 August 1981)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open2R (1980)
French OpenSF (1981, 1982)
Wimbledon4R (1979)
US Open4R (1979, 1981)
Other tournaments
Tour FinalsQF (1982)
WCT FinalsQF (1982)
Doubles
Career record110–99
Career titles2
Highest rankingNo. 30 (8 October 1979)
Grand Slam Doubles results
French OpenSF (1981)
Wimbledon2R (1977, 1979, 1981)

Tennis career

Clerc represented Argentina for the Davis Cup from 1976 to 1989. With fellow top player Guillermo Vilas, they led Argentina to her first Davis Cup final in 1981 to set up a tie against United States in Cincinnati. After Vilas lost the first rubber in straight sets to John McEnroe, Clerc defeated Roscoe Tanner in straight sets in the second rubber to level the tie. During the third rubber, partnering Vilas, the pair lost to Fleming/McEnroe in doubles, 9–11 in the fifth and deciding set. Clerc then played McEnroe in the fourth rubber and eventually lost in 5 sets.

Clerc, along with Vilas and Carlos Gattiker, made the final of 1980 World Team Cup in Düsseldorf. Clerc defeated former French Open champion Adriano Panatta 7–6, 6–3. Argentina eventually beat Italy 3–0 to claim the title.

In 1981, Clerc entered the French Open off an 11-match win streak, and defeated Jimmy Connors in an epic 5-setter in the quarterfinals to extend it to 16. The streak ended when Clerc lost in 5 sets against Ivan Lendl who advanced into his first Grand Slam final, despite being up 2 sets to 1 and had a match point in the fourth set. Later that year, starting after Wimbledon, Clerc won another 28 consecutive matches before losing in the third round of the US Open.

In 1982, Clerc reached the semifinals of the French Open for the second consecutive year, and was looking to create the unprecedented all-Argentine final at the French Open, but was however upset by a 17-year old Swedish teenager Mats Wilander in four sets.[1] Wilander would go on to beat Vilas in the final in 4 sets to become the youngest winner of a Grand Slam at the time.

Injuries began to plague Clerc since 1984 and his consistency dropped. Clerc never recovered and only played sporadically after 1985.

He received the ATP Sportsmanship Award in 1981, and Argentine Konex Awards in 1980 and 1990 for Merit in Tennis.

ATP career finals

Singles: 35 (25 titles, 10 runners-up)

Legend
Grand Slam tournaments (0–0)
Year-End Championships (0–0)
Grand Prix Super Series (1–1)
Grand Prix / WCT Tour (24–9)
Titles by Surface
Hard (3–1)
Clay (21–9)
Grass (0–0)
Carpet (1–0)
Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Winner 1. 21 May 1978 Florence, Italy Clay France Patrice Dominguez 6–4, 6–2, 6–1
Runner-up 1. 10 July 1978 Gstaad, Switzerland Clay Argentina Guillermo Vilas 3–6, 6–7, 4–6
Runner-up 2. 31 July 1978 South Orange, New Jersey, U.S. Clay Argentina Guillermo Vilas 1–6, 3–6
Runner-up 3. 14 August 1978 Toronto, Canada Clay United States Eddie Dibbs 7–5, 4–6, 1–6
Runner-up 4. 25 September 1978 Aix-En-Provence, France Clay Argentina Guillermo Vilas 3–6, 0–6, 3–6
Winner 2. 26 November 1978 Buenos Aires, Argentina Clay Paraguay Víctor Pecci 6–4, 6–4
Winner 3. 4 December 1978 Santiago de Chile, Chile Clay Paraguay Víctor Pecci 3–6, 6–3, 6–3
Winner 4. 16 April 1979 Johannesburg, South Africa Hard South Africa Deon Joubert 6–2, 6–1
Runner-up 5. 19 November 1979 Buenos Aires, Argentina (2) Clay Argentina Guillermo Vilas 1–6, 2–6, 2–6
Winner 5. 10 March 1980 San José de Costa Rica, Costa Rica Hard United States Jimmy Connors 4–6, 2–6, retired
Runner-up 6. 21 July 1980 Washington D.C., US Clay United States Brian Gottfried 5–7, 6–4, 4–6
Winner 6. 28 July 1980 South Orange, New Jersey, U.S. Clay United States John McEnroe 6–3, 6–2
Winner 7. 4 August 1980 Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S. Clay United States Mel Purcell 7–5, 6–3
Winner 8. 29 September 1980 Madrid, Spain Clay Argentina Guillermo Vilas 6–3, 1–6, 1–6, 6–4, 6–2
Winner 9. 3 November 1980 Quito, Ecuador Clay Paraguay Víctor Pecci 6–4, 1–6, 10–8
Winner 10. 17 November 1980 Buenos Aires, Argentina (2) Clay West Germany Rolf Gehring 6–7, 2–6, 7–5, 6–0, 6–3
Winner 11. 11 May 1981 Florence, Italy (2) Clay Mexico Raúl Ramírez 6–1, 6–2
Winner 12. 18 May 1981 Italian Open, Rome Clay Paraguay Víctor Pecci 6–3, 6–4, 6–0
Winner 13. 13 July 1981 Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. Clay Chile Hans Gildemeister 0–6, 6–2, 6–2
Winner 14. 20 July 1981 Washington D.C., US Clay Argentina Guillermo Vilas 7–5, 6–2
Winner 15. 28 July 1981 North Conway, New Hampshire, U.S. Clay Argentina Guillermo Vilas 6–3, 6–2
Winner 16. 3 August 1981 Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S. (2) Clay Czechoslovakia Ivan Lendl 4–6, 6–4, 6–2
Runner-up 7. 12 October 1981 Basel, Switzerland Hard (i) Czechoslovakia Ivan Lendl 2–6, 3–6, 0–6
Winner 17. 8 February 1982 Richmond, Virginia, U.S. Carpet (i) United States Fritz Buehning 3–6, 6–3, 6–4, 6–3
Runner-up 8. 12 April 1982 Houston, Texas, US Clay Czechoslovakia Ivan Lendl 6–3, 6–7, 0–6, 4–1, retired
Winner 18. 7 June 1982 Venice, Italy Clay Australia Peter McNamara 7–6, 6–1
Winner 19. 5 July 1982 Gstaad, Switzerland Clay Argentina Guillermo Vilas 6–1, 6–3, 6–2
Winner 20. 12 July 1982 Zell am See, Austria Clay Switzerland Heinz Günthardt 6–0, 3–6, 6–2, 6–1
Winner 21. 15 November 1982 Sao Paulo, Brazil Clay Brazil Marcos Hocevar 6–2, 6–7, 6–3
Winner 22. 24 January 1983 Guarujá, Brazil Hard Sweden Mats Wilander 3–6, 7–5, 6–1
Winner 23. 11 July 1983 Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. (2) Clay United States Jimmy Arias 6–3, 6–1
Winner 24. 18 July 1983 Washington D.C., U.S. (2) Clay United States Jimmy Arias 6–3, 3–6, 6–0
Runner-up 9. 12 September 1983 Palermo, Italy Clay United States Jimmy Arias 2–6, 6–2, 0–6
Winner 25. 25 July 1983 North Conway, New Hampshire, U.S. (2) Clay Ecuador Andrés Gómez 6–3, 6–1
Runner-up 10. 16 July 1984 Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. (3) Clay United States Aaron Krickstein 6–7, 6–3, 4–6

Performance timeline

Singles

Tournament 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 SR W–L
Grand Slam Tournaments
Australian Open 1R 2R NH 0 / 2 1–2
French Open 2R 2R 2R SF SF 2R 2R 3R 1R 0 / 9 17–9
Wimbledon 1R 4R 3R 3R 1R 0 / 5 7–5
US Open 3R 4R 1R 4R 1R 1R 1R 0 / 7 8–7
Win–Loss 0–0 3–4 7–3 4–4 10–3 5–2 1–3 1–1 2–2 0–0 0–0 0–0 0–1 0–0 0 / 23 33–23
Year-End Championship
Masters Did Not Qualify RR RR QF 1R Did Not Qualify 0 / 4 2–6
Career statistics
Finals 0 7 2 7 7 6 5 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 35
Titles 0 3 1 6 6 5 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 25
Overall Win–Loss 1–3 50–17 56–22 73–23 58–14 65–22 31–15 16–14 24–14 0–0 0–0 0–0 1–4 0–0 375–148
Win % 25% 75% 72% 76% 81% 75% 67% 53% 63% 20% 71.70%
Year-End Ranking 278 15 17 8 5 6 8 33 28 514

Notable rivalries

Clerc vs. Vilas

Regarded as two of the most important Argentine male tennis players, José Luis Clerc and Guillermo Vilas played each other 14 times in their careers, with Vilas leading 10–4. Vilas was 6 years older than Clerc, making it a clash of generations. Vilas being a dominant force on clay for much of the second half of 1970s, Clerc was considered a rising star on clay during that time. All of their 14 meetings came after the quarterfinal stages (with one exception, which was at the Masters Grand Prix) and included 8 finals. Vilas won their first 6 encounters before 1980, including 4 finals and only lost 1 set to Clerc during that time. However, since 1980, they had a tied record of 4–4, with Clerc winning all 4 of the finals.

Despite their insurmountable contribution to Argentine tennis, the pair did not get along, the tension between them even reverberating at the 2004 French Open awards ceremony, in which Vilas presented Gastón Gaudio his trophy over Clerc's objections.

Coincidentally, both players' final Grand Slam appearance was at the 1989 French Open where both received a wild card entry.

Personal life

José Luis Clerc in 1980 married to Annelie Czerner and has two sons & a daughter: Juan Pablo Clerc (born 23 September 1981), Dominique Clerc (born 12 January 1984), and Nicolás Clerc (born 19 October 1990). In 2005 they divorced, Clerc in 2008 married with Gisela Medrano MD, with whom they had a daughter named Sophie (born 7 April 2011).

Clerc runs a tennis school in Argentina, participates in Senior tournaments, and regularly serves as a tennis analyst for ESPN Latin America and ESPN Deportes. He also coaches Sebastian Baez, a top ArgentinIan junior player.

References

  1. ^ "Exclusive interview with José Luis Clerc alias Batata who is a part of history". DB4Tennis.com. 13 September 2015.

External links

1978 Grand Prix (tennis)

The 1978 Colgate-Palmolive Grand Prix was a professional tennis circuit held that year. It consisted of four Grand Slam tournaments, the Grand Prix tournaments and the Nations Cup, a team event. In addition eight World Championship Tennis (WCT) tournaments, a separate professional tennis circuit held from 1971 through 1977, were incorporated into the Grand Prix circuit. Jimmy Connors won 10 of the 84 tournaments which secured him the first place in the Grand Prix points ranking. However he did not play enough tournaments (13) to qualify for largest share ($300,000) of the bonus pool, which instead went to third–ranked Eddie Dibbs.

1978 South American Championships (tennis)

The 1978 South American Championships was an men's Grand Prix tennis circuit tournament held in Buenos Aires, Argentina and played on outdoor clay courts. The event was held from 20 November through 26 November 1978. José Luis Clerc won the singles title.

1979 Grand Prix (tennis)

The 1979 Colgate-Palmolive Grand Prix was a professional tennis circuit held that year. It consisted of four Grand Slam tournaments, the Grand Prix tournaments and the Nations Cup, a team event.

1979 Nations Cup (tennis)

The 1979 Nations Cup, also known by its sponsored name Ambre Solaire Nations Cup, was a men's team tennis tournament played on outdoor clay courts. It was the third edition of the World Team Cup and was part of the 1979 Grand Prix circuit. It took place at the Rochusclub in Düsseldorf in Germany from 7 May through 14 May 1979. Total prize money was $250,000 and in total 44,500 people attended the event. Spain were the defending champions but did not compete that year. Australia defeated Italy in the final, which was delayed by one day due to rain, to win the title for the first time.The draw consisted of eight teams divided over two round-robin groups. The two best ranked teams from each group proceeded to the semifinals. Each match consisted of two singles and a doubles.

1980 Grand Prix (tennis)

The 1980 Volvo Grand Prix was a men's professional tennis circuit held that year. It incorporated the four grand slam tournaments, the Grand Prix tournaments. The Grand Prix circuit is a precursor to the ATP Tour.

Volvo became the new tour sponsor of the Grand Prix circuit after Colgate-Palmolive decided to end its sponsorship.

1980 South American Championships (tennis)

The 1980 South American Championships was a men's tennis tournament held in Buenos Aires, Argentina that was part of the 1980 Volvo Grand Prix. The event was played on outdoor clay courts and was held from 17 November though 23 November 1980. José Luis Clerc won the singles title.

1980 U.S. Clay Court Championships

The 1980 U.S. Clay Court Championships was a men's Grand Prix and women's Colgate Series tennis tournament held at the Indianapolis Sports Center in Indianapolis in the United States and played on outdoor clay courts. It was the 12th edition of the tournament and was held from August 4 through August 10, 1980. Eighth-seeded José Luis Clerc and top-seeded Chris Evert-Lloyd won the singles titles.

1981 Davis Cup World Group

The World Group was the highest level of Davis Cup competition in 1981. The first round losers went into the Davis Cup World Group Play-offs while the winners progressed to the quarterfinals. The quarterfinalists were guaranteed a World Group spot for 1982.

1981 Grand Prix (tennis)

The 1981 Volvo Grand Prix was the only men's professional tennis circuit held that year. It consisted of the four Grand Slam tournaments and the Grand Prix tournaments. The World Championship Tennis (WCT) Tour was incorporated into the Grand Prix circuit. The WCT tour consisted of eight regular tournaments, a season's final, three tournaments categorized as special events and a doubles championship. In total 89 tournaments were held divided over 29 countries. The circuit was administered by the Men's International Professional Tennis Council (MIPTC).

1981 Italian Open (tennis)

The 1981 Italian Open was a combined men's and women's tennis tournament that was played on outdoor clay courts. For the second time in the history of the tournament the men and women competed in different locations. The men's event was held at the traditional location of Foro Italico in Rome, while the women played in Perugia. It was the 38th edition of the tournament. The men's tournament was part of the 1981 Volvo Grand Prix while the women's tournament was part of the Toyota Series (Category 3). The women's event was played from 4 May through 10 May 1981 while the men's event was organized from 18 May through 24 May 1981. Third-seeded José Luis Clerc won the men's singles title and the accompanying $24,000 first-prize money. The women's singles title was won by first-seeded Chris Evert-Lloyd, her fourth Italian Open title after 1974, 1975 and 1980.

1981 U.S. Clay Court Championships

The 1981 U.S. Clay Court Championships was a men's Grand Prix and women's Toyota Series tennis tournament held in Indianapolis in the United States and played on outdoor clay courts. It was the 13th edition of the tournament and was held from August 3 through August 9, 1981. Second-seeded José Luis Clerc and top-seeded Andrea Jaeger won the singles titles.

1981 Volvo International

The 1981 Volvo International was a men's tennis tournament played on outdoor clay courts in North Conway, New Hampshire in the United States and was part of the 1981 Volvo Grand Prix. The tournament ran from July 28 through August 3, 1981. José Luis Clerc won the singles title.

1981 Washington Star International

The 1981 Washington Star International was a men's tennis tournament and was played on outdoor clay courts. The event was part of the 1981 Grand Prix circuit. It was the 13th edition of the tournament and was held at Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C. from July 20 through July 26, 1981. Third-seeded José Luis Clerc won the singles title.

1982 Grand Prix (tennis)

The 1982 Volvo Grand Prix was a professional tennis circuit held that year. It incorporated the four grand slam tournaments, the Grand Prix tournaments. The circuit was administered by the Men's International Professional Tennis Council (MIPTC). On 30 April 1981 World Championship Tennis (WCT) announced its withdrawal from the Grand Prix circuit, which it had been incorporated into since 1978, and the re-establishment of its own tour calendar for the 1982 season. To counter the threat of player leaving the Grand Prix tour for the WCT the MIPTC introduced a mandatory commitment to play at least 10 Grand Prix Super Series tournaments.

1982 World Championship Tennis circuit

The 1982 World Championship Tennis circuit was one of the two rival professional male tennis circuits of 1982. It was organized by World Championship Tennis (WCT). On 30 April 1981 WCT announced its withdrawal from the Grand Prix circuit, which it had been incorporated into since 1978, and the establishment of its own full calendar season for 1982. According to WCT owner Lamar Hunt the reasons for the withdrawal were the restrictions placed on them by the Men's Professional Council, the administrators of the Grand Prix circuit. The 1982 WCT circuit consisted of a Spring Tour, with nine tournaments, a Summer/Fall Tour, with five tournaments, and a Winter Tour with six tournaments. Each tour segment had its own finals tournament (Dallas, Naples and Detroit respectively).

Total prize money, including bonuses, for the circuit was $7,933,000 which represented an increase of approximately $5 million compared to 1981.

1983 Davis Cup World Group

The World Group was the highest level of Davis Cup competition in 1983. The first-round losers went into the Davis Cup World Group Play-offs, and the winners progress to the quarterfinals. The quarterfinalists were guaranteed a World Group spot for 1984.

1983 Sovran Bank Classic

The 1983 Sovran Bank Classic was a men's tennis tournament and was played on outdoor clay courts. The event was part of the 1983 Grand Prix circuit. It was the 15th edition of the tournament and was held at Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C. from July 18 through July 24, 1983. First-seeded José Luis Clerc won the singles title, his second at the event after 1981.

1983 Volvo International

The 1983 Volvo International was a men's tennis tournament played on outdoor clay courts in North Conway, New Hampshire in the United States and was part of the 1983 Volvo Grand Prix circuit. It was the 11th edition of the tournament and was held from July 25 through July 31, 1983. José Luis Clerc won the singles title.

Fernando Luna (tennis)

Fernando Luna Vicente (born 24 April 1958) is a former tennis player from Spain.

The right-handed achieved his highest ATP singles ranking of World No. 33 in May 1984 and finished runner-up in two Grand Prix finals during his career: Aix-En-Provence in 1984 Madrid in 1988. Luna reached the fourth round of the 1983 French Open, defeating José Luis Clerc en route.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.