Tennis Prose



Patricio “Pato” Rodriguez 1938-2020

Chilean tennis great and two-time ATP doubles champion Patricio “Pato” Rodriguez passed away this week in Key Biscayne, FL. He was 82.

Rodriguez was one of the early greats from South America, playing in all the Grand Slams and reaching a career high 133 in the world in 1973.

He won two ATP doubles titles – in 1968 and 1969 in Barcelona with two different partners – Manuel Orantes and Carlos Alberto Fernandes.

Rodriguez also played Davis Cup for Chile and in his post-playing career years he helped coach players like Marcelo Rios and Nicolas Lapentti. Pato is perhaps best know for coaching Andres Gomez to win the 1990 French Open and to no. 4 in the ATP rankings.

Pato’s last match was played in 1983 at Forest Hills at age 44, he and Jose Luis Clerc played the best doubles team in the world John McEnroe and Peter Fleming, losing 63 60.

Overall, Pato recorded a career ATP won-loss record in singles of 39-73. He played McEnroe in singles in Toronto in 1978, lost 26 67, he also played Bjorn Borg in 1973 in Barcelona, losing 26 26.

Rodriguez played Guillermo Vilas three times in the 70s losing a three setter in London and a five setter in Argentina.

He played Roy Emerson in Aix-en Provence France losing in three sets in 1969.

In 1968, Rodgriguez played Rod Laver in Buenos Aires, extending the Aussie great to four sets, 36 63 06 46.

“Pato was one of the most beloved people on Tour. I reach to share almost my entire career with him and on more than one occasion he gave me excellent tennis and life tips. Rest in peace and I will miss him very much,” wrote Marcelo Rios about Pato in an Instagram tribute.

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