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Charlie Pasarell

Charlie Pasarell

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Charlie Pasarell, Jr. (born February 12, 1944, San Juan, Puerto Rico
San Juan, Puerto Rico
San Juan , officially Municipio de la Ciudad Capital San Juan Bautista , is the capital and most populous municipality in Puerto Rico, an unincorporated territory of the United States. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 395,326 making it the 46th-largest city under the jurisdiction of...

) is a former Puerto Rican tennis
Tennis
Tennis is a sport usually played between two players or between two teams of two players each . Each player uses a racket that is strung to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over a net into the opponent's court. Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society at all...

 player and commentator. Representing the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 as a player, he has been heavily engaged in the administration of the professional game from the inception of the ATP
Association of Tennis Professionals
The Association of Tennis Professionals or ATP was formed in 1972 by Donald Dell, Jack Kramer, and Cliff Drysdale to protect the interests of male professional tennis players. Since 1990, the association has organized the worldwide tennis tour for men and linked the title of the tour with the...

 in 1972 and has been Vice President when he was still playing and until recently on the Board of Directors representing the Americas tournaments.

He is also known as Charlito ("Little Charlie") because his father had the same name and was also a gifted tennis player, being the champion of Puerto Rico six times in the 1950s. The younger Pasarell won over half dozen Orange Bowl titles and five U.S. Junior titles including the U.S. Junior in Singles and Doubles (with Clark Graebner) in 1961. He attended the University of California, Los Angeles
University of California, Los Angeles
The University of California, Los Angeles is a public research university located in the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, USA. It was founded in 1919 as the "Southern Branch" of the University of California and is the second oldest of the ten campuses...

, where he won the NCAA men's singles and doubles (with Ian Crookenden of New Zealand) titles in 1966, one year after his friend and teammate Arthur Ashe
Arthur Ashe
Arthur Robert Ashe, Jr. was a professional tennis player, born and raised in Richmond, Virginia. During his career, he won three Grand Slam titles, putting him among the best ever from the United States...

. He reached #1 in the rankings of American men's players in 1967, also in 1967 he became the first man for over 30 years to win the U.S. National Indoors in successive years; this tournament was the biggest indoor tournament in the world and second only to the U.S. Championships.

Pasarell competed in major tournaments from 1960 through 1979, with his most successful showings coming in doubles. He reached the finals in men's doubles at the U.S. Championships in 1965 with Frank Froehling and 1969 with Dennis Ralston, the French Open
French Open (tennis)
The French Open |Roland Garros]]) is a major tennis tournament held over two weeks between late May and early June in Paris, France, at the Stade Roland Garros. It is the premier clay court tennis tournament in the world and the second of the four annual Grand Slam tournaments – the other three are...

 with Arthur Ashe in 1970, and the Australian Open
Australian Open
The Australian Open is the only Grand Slam tennis tournament held in the southern hemisphere. The tournament was held for the first time in 1905 and was last contested on grass in 1987. Since 1972 the Australian Open has been held in Melbourne, Victoria. In 1988, the tournament became a hard court...

 in 1977 with Erik Van Dillen. He was a quarter finalist at the U.S. Championships in 1965 and Wimbledon
The Championships, Wimbledon
The Championships, Wimbledon, or simply Wimbledon , is the oldest tennis tournament in the world, considered by many to be the most prestigious. It has been held at the All England Club in Wimbledon, London since 1877. It is one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments, the other three Majors...

 in 1967. Pasarell was also a member of the U.S. Davis Cup
Davis Cup
The Davis Cup is the premier international team event in men's tennis. It is run by the International Tennis Federation and is contested between teams of players from competing countries in a knock-out format. The competition began in 1900 as a challenge between Britain and the United States. By...

 team in 1966, 1967, 1968, and 1974.

In 1969, Pasarell played Pancho Gonzales
Pancho Gonzales
Ricardo Alonso González , generally known as Richard "Pancho" Gonzales was an American tennis player. He was the world no. 1 professional tennis player for an unequalled eight years in the 1950s and early 1960s...

 in what was, until 2010, the longest match in Wimbledon history
Isner–Mahut match at the 2010 Wimbledon Championships
The Isner–Mahut match at the 2010 Wimbledon Championships is the longest match in tennis history, measured both by time and number of games. In the Gentlemen's Singles tournament first round, the American 23rd seed John Isner defeated the French qualifier Nicolas Mahut after 11 hours, 5 minutes of...

. The 41-year-old Gonzales finally defeated the 25-year-old 22–24, 1–6, 16–14, 6–3, 11–9 after a battle that lasted 5 hours and 12 minutes. Pasarell was also the first man to beat the reigning champion in the first round at Wimbledon, when in 1967 he beat Manuel Santana
Manuel Santana
Manuel Martínez Santana, best known as Manolo Santana, is a former tennis champion from Spain. He was born in Madrid....

. In 1968, he played the first great match on centre court of open tennis when he narrowly lost to Ken Rosewall
Ken Rosewall
Kenneth Robert Rosewall AM MBE is a former world top-ranking amateur and professional tennis player from Australia. He won 23 Majors including eight Grand Slam singles titles and before the Open Era a record fifteen Pro Slam titles . Rosewall won 9 slams in doubles with a career double grand slam...

 in the second round.

Pasarell is currently the tournament director of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California
Indian Wells, California
Indian Wells is a city in Riverside County, California, in the Coachella Valley , in between Palm Desert and La Quinta. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 4,958....

, and a commentator for The Tennis Channel
The Tennis Channel
Tennis Channel is an American speciality channel with programming devoted to the game of tennis. Founded in 2003, the network is owned by a group of investors including sports marketing firm IMG. Well known tennis professionals Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi are two of the many investors in this...

. He is a member of the Intercollegiate Men's Tennis Hall of Fame and the Southern California Tennis Association Hall of Fame.

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