The local hero, Adriano Panatta, won the finals of the men's singles in the Italian Open Tennis Championships in Rome on Sunday (30 May).
The local hero, Adriano Panatta, won the finals of the men's singles in the Italian Open Tennis Championships in Rome on Sunday (30 May). Panatta became the first Italian in fifteen years to capture the men's title in the Italian Open. He won two tie-breakers in a tense three-and-a-half hour final to beat the top-seeded Argentinean, Guillermo Vilas, 2-6, 7-6, 6-2, 7-6.
The 25-year-old Roman played stylishly and had the 8,000 centre court spectators roaring their approval as he wore down Vilas - who had convincingly won the first set. The second set was decided by a tie breaker. Panatta had a good win the third, and won the final set only after and hour's play and another tie breaker. His first prize was 30,000 U.S. dollars (GBP 17,000 sterling).
The men's doubles final was abandoned because of bad light. Raul Ramirez of Mexico and Brian Gottfried of the United States faced Australians John Newcombe and Jeff Masters. The score stood at two sets each when the match was stopped. The game could not be resumed because the players had to fly to Paris for the start of French Open Championships. The prizemoney of 9,500 U.S. dollars (GBP 5,300 sterling) was divided equally among the four players.
Ramirez and Gottfried had been rated as the world's top doubles pair. They were aiming for their third consecutive title in the match against the Australians.