Italian Adriano Panatta won the men's singles at the French international tennis championships in Paris on Sunday (13 June) and completed the double of Europe's two major clay court titles.
GV PAN FROM Crowd TO Solomon and panatta planing; Panatta (in blue) wins point PAN TO crowd
GV Panatta serves and wins point (2 shots)
GV Crowd applauding
GV Solomon serves and wins point as crowd applaudes (2 shots)
GV Panatta serves; Solomon wins point as crowd applauds (2 shots)
GV Panatta serves and wins point and match; crowd converges on court
Panatta is rivalled only by Ilie Nastase as the most complete player in the modern game. Solomon had been driven to near exhaustion the day before as he came from behind twice to beat Raul Ramirez in a semifinal match that lasted three hours and 18 minutes. Solomon was the first American to reach the final in the French international for 19 years. In the other semi-final, Panatta beat another American, Eddi Oibbs.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Italian Adriano Panatta won the men's singles at the French international tennis championships in Paris on Sunday (13 June) and completed the double of Europe's two major clay court titles. Panatta defeated American Harold Solomon 6-1, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 in the final at the Roland Garros stadium to add the French title to the Italian one which he won in Rome two weeks earlier.
SYNOPSIS: A large crowd watched as Panatta chased after the 9,000 dollars crime money in sweltering neat that reached 120 degrees fahrenheit. It took Panatta -- in dark shirt -- four sets and two hours and 48 minutes to beat Solomon.
After winning the first two sets and losing the third, Panatta built up a 5-2 lead in the fourth. He said later he became very nervous when he had victory in his grasp. But he continued to play well and the spectators showed their appreciation each time he won a good point.
Solomon's service was sometimes weak. He was undoubtedly tired by his three and a half hour semi-final against Mexican Raul Ramirez. Nevertheless, Solomon fought doggedly and ran indefatigably.
Solomon finally forced Panatta to drop 12 straight points to level 5-5 in the fourth set. The tie-break became inevitable and Panatta finally served for the match.
Game, set and match to Panatta.