Manolo Santana, Fred Stolle Honored with ITF Philippe Chatrier Award
March 31, 2020
The International Tennis Federation announced that Spain’s Manolo Santana and Australia’s Fred Stolle have both been awarded the ITF’s highest honour, the ITF Philippe Chatrier Award.
The ITF Philippe Chatrier Award, named after the former ITF President, was introduced in 1996 and is awarded to individuals or organisations that have made significant contributions to the sport of tennis both on and off the court.
Fred Stolle is a 19-time Grand Slam champion, including two singles (1965 French Championships and 1966 US Championships), ten doubles and seven mixed doubles titles. He also helped Australia win three successful Davis Cup titles in 1964-66, with a 13-3 overall win-loss record.
Since retirement, Stolle has enjoyed a successful career as a coach and as a commentator and analyst. He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1985 and the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1988; received the Australian Sports Medal in 2000; and earned Office of the Order of Australia distinction in 2005.
Santana, a four-time Grand Slam singles champion, is widely considered a pioneer of tennis in Spain as the first Spaniard to win a major title at the French Championships in 1961. He regained the French title in 1964 before going on to win the US Championships in 1965 and Wimbledon in 1966. He also won the 1963 French doubles title.
Santana has an outstanding Davis Cup record, representing Spain from 1958-73, and with 92 total wins, is the fifth most successful player in Davis Cup history. He currently holds or jointly holds every Spanish Davis Cup record, including most years played (14) and most ties played (46).
Following a legendary career, Santana retired in 1980 and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1984. He has continued to significantly contribute to the sport throughout his life, captaining the Spanish Davis Cup team, and establishing the Manolo Santana Racquet Club in Marbella and the Sport Centre Manolo Santana in Madrid.
Santana and Stolle, contemporaries on the circuit and now both aged 81, have remained mentors to many Spanish and Australian players throughout the years and have been a constant presence at Davis Cup ties and Grand Slam tournaments.
Manolo Santana said: “It is a great honour to receive this award at this stage of my life as it is recognition for my years dedicated to tennis. It is lovely to win it alongside Fred [Stolle]. Before we were rivals, we were friends. Our friendship endures.”
“Overall, I am proud and happy knowing that all the pain and perseverance was worthwhile. People still say, ‘Santana is tennis and tennis is Santana’. I think my success in those days is one of the big reasons we have so many good players in Spain since then.”
Fred Stolle said of receiving the award: “It’s a very prestigious award. Philippe was a very special guy and a very good friend and it’s a thrill. It’s a great honour because I know who’s gone before, and it’s pretty neat to share it with Manolo.”
David Haggerty, ITF President, said: “The ITF Board of Directors are delighted to award the ITF’s highest accolade to Manolo and Fred, two true greats of the game. In particular, I would highlight their enduring commitment and passion for Davis Cup. They both exemplify all of the values of the competition. We look forward to honouring these two champions in the near future.”