José Luis Clerc
José Luis Clerc (born 16 August 1958) is a former Argentine professional tennis player, and one of the most important Argentine players in history. He is nicknamed Batata. He reached a career-high Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) world No. 4 singles ranking on 3 August 1981, following a run of 25 consecutive match wins after Wimbledon.
|Residence||Miami, United States|
|Born||16 August 1958|
Buenos Aires, Argentina
|Height||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|Retired||1986 (from full-time playing)|
1995 (last match)
|Plays||Right-handed (one-handed backhand)|
|Career record||378–152 (71.32%)|
|Career titles||25 (listed by ATP)|
|Highest ranking||No. 4 (3 August 1981)|
|Grand Slam Singles results|
|Australian Open||2R (1980)|
|French Open||SF (1981, 1982)|
|US Open||4R (1979, 1981)|
|Tour Finals||QF (1982)|
|WCT Finals||QF (1982)|
|Highest ranking||No. 30 (8 October 1979)|
|Grand Slam Doubles results|
|French Open||SF (1981)|
|Wimbledon||2R (1977, 1979, 1981)|
Clerc represented Argentina for the Davis Cup from 1976 to 1989. With fellow top player Guillermo Vilas, they led Argentina to her first Davis Cup final in 1981 to set up a tie against United States in Cincinnati. After Vilas lost the first rubber in straight sets to John McEnroe, Clerc defeated Roscoe Tanner in straight sets in the second rubber to level the tie. During the third rubber, partnering Vilas, the pair lost to Fleming/McEnroe in doubles, 9–11 in the fifth and deciding set. Clerc then played McEnroe in the fourth rubber and eventually lost in 5 sets.
Clerc, along with Vilas and Carlos Gattiker, made the final of 1980 World Team Cup in Düsseldorf. Clerc defeated former French Open champion Adriano Panatta 7–6, 6–3. Argentina eventually beat Italy 3–0 to claim the title.
In 1981, Clerc entered the French Open off an 11-match win streak, and defeated Jimmy Connors in an epic 5-setter in the quarterfinals to extend it to 16. The streak ended when Clerc lost in 5 sets against Ivan Lendl who advanced into his first Grand Slam final, despite being up 2 sets to 1 and had a match point in the fourth set. Later that year, starting after Wimbledon, Clerc won another 28 consecutive matches before losing in the third round of the US Open.
In 1982, Clerc reached the semifinals of the French Open for the second consecutive year, and was looking to create the unprecedented all-Argentine final at the French Open, but was however upset by a 17-year old Swedish teenager Mats Wilander in four sets. Wilander would go on to beat Vilas in the final in 4 sets to become the youngest winner of a Grand Slam at the time.
Injuries began to plague Clerc since 1984 and his consistency dropped. Clerc never recovered and only played sporadically after 1985.
ATP career finalsEdit
Singles: 35 (25 titles, 10 runners-up)Edit
|Win||1.||May 1978||Florence, Italy||Clay||Patrice Dominguez||6–4, 6–2, 6–1|
|Loss||1.||Jul 1978||Gstaad, Switzerland||Clay||Guillermo Vilas||3–6, 6–7, 4–6|
|Loss||2.||Jul 1978||South Orange, New Jersey, U.S.||Clay||Guillermo Vilas||1–6, 3–6|
|Loss||3.||Aug 1978||Toronto, Canada||Clay||Eddie Dibbs||7–5, 4–6, 1–6|
|Loss||4.||Sep 1978||Aix-En-Provence, France||Clay||Guillermo Vilas||3–6, 0–6, 3–6|
|Win||2.||Nov 1978||Buenos Aires, Argentina||Clay||Víctor Pecci||6–4, 6–4|
|Win||3.||Dec 1978||Santiago de Chile, Chile||Clay||Víctor Pecci||3–6, 6–3, 6–3|
|Win||4.||Apr 1979||Johannesburg, South Africa||Hard||Deon Joubert||6–2, 6–1|
|Loss||5.||Nov 1979||Buenos Aires, Argentina (2)||Clay||Guillermo Vilas||1–6, 2–6, 2–6|
|Win||5.||Mar 1980||San José de Costa Rica, Costa Rica||Hard||Jimmy Connors||4–6, 2–6, retired|
|Loss||6.||Jul 1980||Washington D.C., US||Clay||Brian Gottfried||5–7, 6–4, 4–6|
|Win||6.||Jul 1980||South Orange, New Jersey, U.S.||Clay||John McEnroe||6–3, 6–2|
|Win||7.||Aug 1980||Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.||Clay||Mel Purcell||7–5, 6–3|
|Win||8.||Sep 1980||Madrid, Spain||Clay||Guillermo Vilas||6–3, 1–6, 1–6, 6–4, 6–2|
|Win||9.||Nov 1980||Quito, Ecuador||Clay||Víctor Pecci||6–4, 1–6, 10–8|
|Win||10.||Nov 1980||Buenos Aires, Argentina (2)||Clay||Rolf Gehring||6–7, 2–6, 7–5, 6–0, 6–3|
|Win||11.||May 1981||Florence, Italy (2)||Clay||Raúl Ramírez||6–1, 6–2|
|Win||12.||May 1981||Italian Open, Rome||Clay||Víctor Pecci||6–3, 6–4, 6–0|
|Win||13.||Jul 1981||Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.||Clay||Hans Gildemeister||0–6, 6–2, 6–2|
|Win||14.||Jul 1981||Washington D.C., US||Clay||Guillermo Vilas||7–5, 6–2|
|Win||15.||Jul 1981||North Conway, New Hampshire, U.S.||Clay||Guillermo Vilas||6–3, 6–2|
|Win||16.||Aug 1981||Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S. (2)||Clay||Ivan Lendl||4–6, 6–4, 6–2|
|Loss||7.||Oct 1981||Basel, Switzerland||Hard (i)||Ivan Lendl||2–6, 3–6, 0–6|
|Win||17.||Feb 1982||Richmond, Virginia, U.S.||Carpet (i)||Fritz Buehning||3–6, 6–3, 6–4, 6–3|
|Loss||8.||Apr 1982||Houston, Texas, US||Clay||Ivan Lendl||6–3, 6–7, 0–6, 4–1, ret.|
|Win||18.||Jun 1982||Venice, Italy||Clay||Peter McNamara||7–6, 6–1|
|Win||19.||Jul 1982||Gstaad, Switzerland||Clay||Guillermo Vilas||6–1, 6–3, 6–2|
|Win||20.||Jul 1982||Zell am See, Austria||Clay||Heinz Günthardt||6–0, 3–6, 6–2, 6–1|
|Win||21.||Nov 1982||Sao Paulo, Brazil||Clay||Marcos Hocevar||6–2, 6–7, 6–3|
|Win||22.||Jan 1983||Guarujá, Brazil||Hard||Mats Wilander||3–6, 7–5, 6–1|
|Win||23.||Jul 1983||Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. (2)||Clay||Jimmy Arias||6–3, 6–1|
|Win||24.||Jul 1983||Washington D.C., U.S. (2)||Clay||Jimmy Arias||6–3, 3–6, 6–0|
|Loss||9.||Sep 1983||Palermo, Italy||Clay||Jimmy Arias||2–6, 6–2, 0–6|
|Win||25.||Jul 1983||North Conway, New Hampshire, U.S. (2)||Clay||Andrés Gómez||6–3, 6–1|
|Loss||10.||Jul 1984||Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. (3)||Clay||Aaron Krickstein||6–7, 6–3, 4–6|
|Grand Slam Tournaments|
|Australian Open||1R||2R||NH||0 / 2||1–2|
|French Open||2R||2R||2R||SF||SF||2R||2R||3R||1R||0 / 9||17–9|
|Wimbledon||1R||4R||3R||3R||1R||0 / 5||7–5|
|US Open||3R||4R||1R||4R||1R||1R||1R||0 / 7||8–7|
|Win–Loss||0–0||3–4||7–3||4–4||10–3||5–2||1–3||1–1||2–2||0–0||0–0||0–0||0–1||0–0||0 / 23||33–23|
|Masters||Did Not Qualify||RR||RR||QF||1R||Did Not Qualify||0 / 4||2–6|
Clerc vs. VilasEdit
Regarded as two of the most important Argentine male tennis players, José Luis Clerc and Guillermo Vilas played each other 14 times in their careers, with Vilas leading 10–4. Vilas was 6 years older than Clerc, making it a clash of generations. Vilas being a dominant force on clay for much of the second half of 1970s, Clerc was considered a rising star on clay during that time. All of their 14 meetings came after the quarterfinal stages (with one exception, which was at the Masters Grand Prix) and included 8 finals. Vilas won their first 6 encounters before 1980, including 4 finals and only lost 1 set to Clerc during that time. However, since 1980, they had a tied record of 4–4, with Clerc winning all 4 of the finals.
Despite their insurmountable contribution to Argentine tennis, the pair did not get along, the tension between them even reverberating at the 2004 French Open awards ceremony, in which Vilas presented Gastón Gaudio his trophy over Clerc's objections.
Coincidentally, both players' final Grand Slam appearance was at the 1989 French Open where both received a wild card entry.
José Luis Clerc in 1980 married to Annelie Czerner and has two sons & a daughter: Juan Pablo Clerc (born 23 September 1981), Dominique Clerc (born 12 January 1984), and Nicolás Clerc (born 19 October 1990). In 2005 they divorced, Clerc in 2008 married with Gisela Medrano MD, with whom they had a daughter named Sophie (born 7 April 2011).
Clerc runs a tennis school in Argentina, participates in Senior tournaments, and regularly serves as a tennis analyst for ESPN Latin America and ESPN Deportes. He also coaches Sebastian Baez, a top Argentinian junior player.
- "Exclusive interview with José Luis Clerc alias Batata who is a part of history". DB4Tennis.com. 13 September 2015.