Following the steps of a champion
After a tough tennis match this morning I spotted Argentine tennis legend Guillermo Vilas (b.1952) playing with his 12-year-old daughter Andanin on center-court at the Monte-Carlo Country Club. I did not hesitate and went to greet my countryman and his wife and met his lovely daughter who has a promising tennis career in front of her.
It was inevitable that Andanin would follow the steps of his champion father, because it is in her blood. “My daughter plays tennis very well.” The youngster is ranked 54 in the Argentine Tennis Association in her age group. She trains everyday and studies. Her favorite players are Rafael Nadal and in the women Maria Sharapova, Ana Ivanovic and the Williams sisters.
Andanin’s mother Phiang (33) was also on the court accompanying her family, as well as Marco Capitini (b.1960) former Italian tennis player and member of the International Tennis Federation. Guillermo Vilas was 47 and Phiang 17 when they met in Bangkok and it was love at first sight. After publicized romances with Caroline of Monaco, ex Miss Argentina Mirta Massa and top model Maria Lina Gianetti, Vilas left his bachelor life behind and tied the knot with the love of his life, becoming the father of three daughters: Andanin (12), Lalindao (6) and Intila (5). Willy recognizes that paternity gave a different sense to his life. “Being a father is the best thing I do.” he confessed. The family lives between Buenos Aires, Paris and Bangkok.
Honoring the Bull of the Pampas
On February 9, 2016 a host of past and present Argentine tennis greats gathered at the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club to unveil the newly named Court Central Guillermo Vilas. Grand Willy, a red clay specialist, made the sport popular in Argentina in the 70’s.
Argentine’s most decorated player, Vilas reached a career-high No.2 in the world in 1975 and won 62 ATP World Tour titles, including the Tour Finals in 1974. Vilas won four majors – the Australian Open in 1978 and 1979, as well as the French and US Opens in 1977. “I feel very happy and it is an honour to have this court named after me, and I’m very grateful,” Vilas said.
He was joined on his namesake court by current ATP World Tour player Juan Monaco and former players: Alberto Mancini, Guillermo Coria, Gaston Gaudio, Jose Luis Clerc and Martin Jaite, as well as former WTA Tour players Paola Suarez, Gabriela Sabatini and Norma Baylon.