Little Pancho: The Life of Tennis Legend Pancho Segura
It was his first major appearance on the national tennis circuit, a moment he had been working toward for years. But he was made to pay a painful price for his acceptance.
His teammates were not at all pleased at being told to play with this social upstart, and they expressed themselves in the subtle and not-so-subtle ways of class superiority. Pancho may have been part of the team, but he was absolutely not a member of the club. They would not let him sit with them on the train trip to Quito, forcing him to travel by himself in a third-class compartment.
He was not allowed to eat with them, either. The club players went out for pork chops, leaving him behind. Since, unlike them, he had no money, he was reduced to buying plantain chips from a street vendor. Pancho accepted this treatment without bitterness. His job was to play tennis for Guayaquil, and with typical focus, he responded fervently to the challenge. On the way home, his teammates were more respectful of the little cholo ball boy.
He could win matches for them, it appeared. On the train back to Guayaquil, he was allowed to sit with the rest of the group. After this triumph, Pancho was no longer an unknown player.
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Many people had watched him play in Quito, and they were not about to forget him. The speed! The anticipation!
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The unheard-of, two-handed forehand! Spectators were astonished at this phenomenon.
Pancho Segura - Wikipedia
One man in particular was startled by the talent shown by the dark little teenager from Guayaquil. Plaza had been educated at Georgetown University in the United States and was an imposing, fair-haired man of considerable elegance. Once more, there was resistance.
Plaza went so far as to threaten to boycott the games if Pancho were banned. The Peruvians withdrew their objection, and Pancho was accepted as part of the Ecuador delegation. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email.
Little Pancho: The Life of Tennis Legend Pancho Segura By Caroline Seebohm
Notify me of new posts via email. She is a keen tennis player, but her only title is the singles championship at her boarding school in England. She now lives on the Delaware River in New Jersey. Share this: Twitter Facebook Pinterest. Like this: Like Loading Francisco Olegario Segura was born on June 20, , the eldest of 10 children of Domingo Segura and his wife, the former Francisca Cano.
She gave birth to him aboard a barge on a river while trying to reach a hospital in Guayaquil, Ecuador, from the family home in Quevedo. In addition to rickets, he also had malaria as a child, but doctors said that tennis would strengthen him. He began playing while a ball boy at an exclusive club in Guayaquil, getting the job through a wealthy businessman who employed his father as a caretaker. As a youngster, Segura was too small he grew to 5-foot-6 and pounds or so as a pro and too weak to use the orthodox one-handed forehand so he developed his two-fisted shot.
He was a prominent player in South America before winning national collegiate titles at Miami.
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In addition to his strong showings at Forest Hills in the forerunner of the United States Open, Segura won the United States clay-court championship and the national indoor championship in the mids. He won that when he bested Gonzalez in Australia. But he played with royalty and with celebrities in settings he could hardly have imagined while growing up in Ecuador. Errol Flynn used to send a car to pick me up.
He lived at the resort. In addition to his son, from his marriage to his first wife, the former Virginia Smith, which ended in divorce, Segura is survived by his second wife, the former Beverley Moylan; his daughter, Maria Segura, from that marriage; his sisters Catalina, Olivera and Eleanor Segura; a brother, Andres, and four grandchildren.
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