ROME – Beppe Merlo died at the age of 91, entered the history of tennis for having started one of the most enduring revolutions of the game: the two-handed backhand. Twice a semi-finalist in Paris, twice a finalist in Rome and four times a tricolor in the 1950s, in that decade and the next, together with Gardini, Sirola and Pietrangeli, he brought the name of Italy high.
As written before, he was among the first in the world to perform the two-handed backhand, thanks to which he built a highly effective game, integrating it with natural qualities of precision, resistance and recovery. The results and its technical characteristics, however, did not prevent him from being fiercely criticized as "frail dongiovanni della racchetta", in the satirical cartoons of the magazine "Il Guerin Sportivo".
The class of this tennis player emerges from this definition by Nicola Pietrangeli: “Beppe never stole a spot on a tennis court. It even went against the judgment of the referees. Playing with Remy, champion of France, on the Central of Roland Garros, on the fifth set he corrected the chair judge and gave the fifteen that he sent the French to serve for the match. Until that moment he had had the public against him. When Beppe won the stadium came down ".
Beppe Merlo, the results obtained during his tennis career.
Results in the Grand Slam tournaments. Merlo arrived for two consecutive years in the semifinals at Roland Garros (in 1955 and 1956). At Wimbledon, in the prestigious English grass tennis tournament, he finished in the fourth round in 1955. At the US Open he reached the maximum in the first round in 1955. In the double, he arrived twice in the third round of Roland Garros ( in 1951 and 1969) and once in the second round at Wimbledon (in 1953) (sources Ansa and Wikipedia).
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Source: Blitz Quotidiano