Stats for 1966 Wimbledon Final(Santana-Ralston)

Santana d. Ralston 6-4, 11-9, 6-4

Santana served at 62%(83 of 133)
Ralston served at 53%(60 of 114)

Santana won 63 of 83 pts on 1st serve(76%)
He won 28 of 50 on 2nd(56%)

Ralston won 44 of 60 pts on 1st serve(73%)
He won 31 of 54 on 2nd(57%)

Santana had 35 non service winners(10 fh, 5 bh, 6 fhv, 7 bhv, 7 ov)
Ralston had 51(14 fh, 10 bh, 10 fhv, 12 bhv, 5 ov)

Santana had 12 passing shot winners(8 fh, 4 bh)
Ralston had 21(11 fh, 10 bh)

Santana had 6 aces, 1 double fault
Ralston had 6 aces, 9 double faults

Santana had 33 unreturned serves, 4 I judged service winners
Ralston had 29, 7 I judged service winners

Santana was 4 of 8 on break points
Ralston was 1 of 6
^yeah, he doubled twice to get broken at 9-9 in the 2nd, after holding pretty easily the entire set.

Had a set point on Santana's serve at 6-5.


So did Santana claim recently that he won Wimbledon from the baseline? I think I've read that here on TT, but what was he doing in this match, how was he playing?
Santana served and volleyed on all but 3 points the entire match. He also didn't hit one drop shot, despite being so famous for that today.

I thought I read a quote from Santana around '07 or '08 saying that he won Wimbledon from the baseline, but now I'm not sure. Maybe it was just Bodo claiming that he did. Some posters here have said that as well.

came across a Ralston interview with Bodo in 2007:

I went out there thinking, I’ll never forget this. This is cool, I’m in the Wimbledon final! I’m going to win this thing. I was a little tired, because I had to go to 10-8 in the fifth set to beat Cliff Drysdale the day before, and I had nobody to tell me to forget that – I had to go out and do it again. I had nobody, no coach, kicking my butt, telling me I had better be ready, mentally and physically. So that’s something I always stressed with players I’ve coached (that group included Chris Evert, who Ralston says was the one player who never needed to be told that.)
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It would be strange if Santana himself had said that, but then again players do sometimes mis-remember their matches to a surprising degree.

Possibly he said something and it was misunderstood or misquoted.

Anyway I found a report on the final, from the AP, with this interesting line: "Santana proved during the two weeks tournament that delicate artistry can still hold the whip hand over modern power play."

Article here.


Santana no just won on grass Wimbledon, he´d also win Forest Hills, over Dridsale.He was a far greater champion in his mind , and in his command of the game than Ralston or Drisdale.

That´s it.Just as simple as that.


Santana came out as a clay courter. But he could be dangerous on grass. In 1962 he played, what he called in a Nestle Book on Tennis, his best match, a quarterfinal against Laver at Wimbie, when he had a 5-1 lead for a 2-0 lead in sets. Laver defended 4 or 5 setpoints with miraculous saves. In the mid 60s, Santana deliberately skipped his domain RG, to focus on Wimbie and Davis Cup on grass. He won Forest Hills and Wimbledon - Emerson was handicapped by a fall against Davidson - and beat Emerson in the Challenge Round on grass 1965. Legend says: There was a famous scene in or after the Wim 1966 final, when Santana jumped for joy and hugged the Duchess of Kent and gave her a handkiss.
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Semi-Pro Dennis lost his leg due to a staph infection after surgery and was fitted with a prosthesis.
Still teaches tennis out there!!! Amazing commitment to his craft.

I feel bad he lost this final in 66. His best showing at a GS.....never reached that pinnacle in a GS again but a solid career otherwise.
Listened to a couple podcasts with him recently. He was taking an insane amount of painkillers. I think 6 to 12 80mg pills a day at one point. He thinks Pancho Gonzalez was the greatest player ever.