National Hispanic Heritage Month, Charlie Pasarell vs. Pancho Gonzales. The final set and missed opportunites

A room key from the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club that features a picture of Pancho Gonzales.

A room key from the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club that features a picture of Pancho Gonzales.

Charlie Pasarell had built a Hall of Fame life after his playing days, as an early board member of the ATP Tour and builder of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif.

But what people most remember from Pasarell, a Puerto Rican native, is his match against Mexican-American legend Pancho Gonzales, one that he jokes that he’s trying to forget. Pasarell saw his two set advantage evaporate in the second day as Gonzales rallied for a 22-24, 1-6,  16-14, 6-3, 11-9 at the 1969 Wimbledon.

Even if people didn’t bring up the match, Pasarell probably would still have a hard time forgetting the six match points he had against Gonzales, including two that wrote off as bad luck.

Pasarell recalled his marathon match as part of National Hispanic Heritage Month for Ginn & Topics.

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