Newport, RI – Former Spanish star Manuel Orantes has been elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
Orantes, who starred on the ATP World Tour in the 1970s and 1980s, defeated a top-seeded Jimmy Connors to capture the 1975 U.S. Open title and also played an instrumental role in Spain's Davis Cup efforts for many years.
"Manuel Orantes' 1975 U.S. Open victory is in the books as one of the most impressive in tennis history," said Tony Trabert, a 1970 Hall-of-Famer and chair of the Enshrinee Nominating Committee. "That achievement, as well as his many other victories, and his leadership as a dedicated Davis Cup player for Spain, make him a true legend of tennis. He is well deserving of induction to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. We look forward to celebrating with Manuel at the induction ceremony in July, along with honoring the additional inductees, the remainder of whom will be announced shortly."
Orantes reached the world No. 2 ranking in 1973 and remained in the year-end top 10 for five consecutive years. In addition to his notable U.S. Open victory over Connors, he was also runner-up to Bjorn Borg at the 1974 French Open.
In all, Orantes captured 33 singles titles and compiled a record of 647-247. He also has a career doubles record of 298-155, which includes 22 titles.
Orantes was an integral member of the Spanish Davis Cup team from 1967-1980. In his first year of playing Davis Cup in '67, his team advanced to the final, only to fall to Australia. His Davis Cup career resulted in 60 wins and 27 losses, including 39 singles victories. In 2009, Orantes was presented the Davis Cup Award of Excellence by the Tennis Hall of Fame and the International Tennis Federation. He was also a member of the victorious Spanish team that won the 1978 World Team Cup.
The 63-year-old Orantes is now the third member of the Class of 2012 and the only inductee in the Master Player category. It was previously announced that tennis administrator and promoter Mike Davies had been elected in the Contributor category and that Randy Snow had been elected in the Recent Player category for his achievements as a wheelchair player.
Additional members of the Class of '12 will be announced within the next month. The induction ceremony will be staged July 14 at the International Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum in Newport.