Friday, 1 July 2011

It happened on another July 1st ...

Manuel Santana, the first Spaniard ever to win at Wimbledon, did so on July 1, 1966. Until the arrival of Rafa Nadal (up against Andy Murray at Wimbledon today), Santana was Spain's top tennis star. He won the French Open in 1963, age 23, and repeated that the following year. When Spain's Davis Cup team lost against Britain, on grass in Bristol by 4-1, he famously said, "Grass is for cows." Nevertheless, he won at Forest Hills in 1965, and Wimbledon the following year. Another thing that happened on this date: The Beatles arrived for their first tour of Spain in 1965, with massive, hysterical concerts in Madrid and Barcelona that alarmed the Franco regime, who had succumbed to pressure. You can see some of their concert at the Madrid bullring here.

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