Spanish tennis hero Manolo Santana has passed away at the age of 83. The former Wimbledon Champion won four Grand Slam titles and Olympic Gold in 1968 during a stellar career. He famously objected to grass tennis courts, declaring ‘grass is for cows’ but went on to become the first Spaniard to win Wimbledon in 1966. Fellow countryman Rafael Nadal considered Santana a ‘friend’ and led tributes on social media. He transformed Spanish tennis and became a national hero when he guided Spain to a surprising victory over the United States in the 1965 Davis Cup.

Santana retired in 1980 but stayed close the sport as a trainer and member of the senior circuit. He went on to marry four times and have three children. Santana lived out his retirement in Marbella on the Costa del Sol and was a huge Real Madrid FC football fan.