Manolo Santina, Wimbledon champion and four-time Grand Slam winner, has died at 83.

After hearing the sad news, Rafa Nadal from Spain was one of the many fans and friends who paid tribute.

Marcos Garcia Monttes, Marcos Garcia-Montes’ lawyer for the father of five said that his client had died this morning in Marbella after succumbing to heart failure.

In his initial skepticism about grass courts, he once said that grass was for cows. After defeating Dennis Ralston (the USA’s sixth world ranking), he won Wimbledon 1966 in straight sets.

He had also won two French Opens, and one US Open.

Santana was awarded the gold medal for singles at the 1968 Olympic Games, Mexico City. Tennis, however, was a demonstration sport.

Wimbledon winner and four-time Grand Slam champion Manolo Santana (pictured) died aged 83 on Saturday

Manolo Sanna, Wimbledon winner and four time Grand Slam champion (pictured), has died at the age 83.

Manolo became the first Spaniard to win Wimbledon in 1966 (pictured) after he beat the USA's world number six Dennis Ralston in straight sets

Manolo, who beat Dennis Ralston of the USA to become the number 6 world tennis player in 1966, became the first Spaniard winner at Wimbledon.

Rafa Nadal has 20 Grand Slam singles titles. He reacted to the news on Twitter, writing: “I just received the horrible news about the passing of our great Manolo Sanana.

As I’ve said before, “A Thousand Thank Yous” for your country and making the path possible for so many.

“You were always a reference, a friend, and a close person to us all.

Manolo will be missed. Your uniqueness and individuality were unmatched.

“A big hug for your loved ones and lots of strength during this difficult time. You will be remembered forever.

Another of Spain's great tennis players paid tribute to Santana. Rafa Nadal posted this photo of the pair together on Twitter and said, 'We will miss you Manolo. We will never forget you'

Santana was remembered by Spain’s best tennis player, Rafa Nadal. Rafa Nadal shared this picture of them together via Twitter, and wrote: ‘We will not forget you Manolo. We won’t forget you.

Manuel Santana during his semi-final match against Owen Davidson at Wimbledon in 1966

Manuel Santana playing Owen Davidson in Wimbledon’s semi-final match.

Santana during the 1966 Wimbledon championships on June 29, ahead of the final three days later

Santana in 1966 Wimbledon Championships. This was three days before Santana’s final.

Santana plays a return to Ken Fletcher of Australia during their Men's Singles Quarter Final match at the Wimbledon on June 28 1966. Santana wore a Real Madrid football shirt as a show of his love for the club

Santana played a part in a match against Ken Fletcher, Australia’s Men’s Singles Quarter Final match. It took place at Wimbledon on the 28th of June 1966. Santana was seen wearing a Real Madrid football shirt to show his affection for the club.

After his 1964 and 1965 Grand Slam victories in France, Santana became an icon of Spanish tennis.

After being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in Madrid, the Madrid-born athlete is believed to have “picked up” tennis after starting as a boy, back when Spanish tennis was still an elitist game.

In 1966, he did not attend the French Open. Instead, he focused on Wimbledon. Years later, in an interview: “Wimbledon was probably the most important of all four.”

“I trust you’ll agree that this is the tournament all players dream of winning. I’m sorry for all the Wimbledon winners, including Ken Rosewall and Ilie Nastase. It was a great experience.

Santana in action against Italian Nicola Pietrangeli at the men's French Open final at Roland Garros stadium , May 28, 1961. Santana won the match

Five years later Santana was number four in the world and beat the USA's Dennis Ralston  6–4, 11–9, 6–4

Santana against Nicola Pietrangeli in action at Roland Garros Stadium’s men’s French Open Final, May 28th 1961. Santana won that match. Five years later Santana was number four in the world and beat (right) the USA’s Dennis Ralston 6–4, 11–9, 6–4

Santana embraces Dennis Ralston after his crushing win more than 50 years ago

After his win over 50 years ago, Santana embraces Dennis Ralston

He skipped the 1966 French Open to concentrate on winning Wimbledon, saying in a subsequent interview years later: 'Wimbledon was the biggest of the four. 'I hope you will agree with me, this is the one all the players want to win'

In 1966, he did not attend the French Open. Instead, he focused on Wimbledon. “I’m sure you will agree, it’s the one that all the players desire to win.”

The Spanish tennis legend added: 'I feel very sorry for the great players like Ken Rosewall, Ilie Nastase, and Ivan Lendl who never won Wimbledon. I am very happy I did it once'

Spanish tennis legend Carlos Gonzalez added that he felt sorry for great players such as Ken Rosewall and Ilie Nastase who have never won Wimbledon. It was a great experience and I’m very glad I got to do it.

Santana won in Paris (1961, 1964), in Forest Hills (1965) and at Wimbledon (1966). He also won 119 games in Davis Cup between 1958 and 1973

Santana was a winner in Paris (1961 and 1964), Forest Hills (1965), Wimbledon (1966) and in Paris (1964, 1964). Between 1958 and 1973, he also won 119 Davis Cup games

In 1980, he retired but kept in touch with the tennis world as a Senior Circuit player, trainer and tournament promoter. 

Manolo had four children and was married twice. He owned Marbella’s tennis and paddle-tennis club. He also had a daughter, who was a flight stewardess.

In 2014, he married Claudia Ines Rodriguez from Colombia, who was only 20 years younger than him. Claudia Ines Rodriguez died at the age of 75. 

Pedro Sanchez, Spanish Prime Minister, tweeted that he won Roland Garros and the US Open, Wimbledon and Wimbledon. He also received an Olympic Gold. This made him a legend in tennis and one of our best athletes.

“My deepest condolences to Manolo and his family.

Spanish Olympic Committee stated that Manolo Santina was “a legend, and a pioneer” of tennis.

Manolo, ‘Sports owes it a lot. You will be remembered forever.

Real Madrid is the La Liga leader, which Santana supported. In a statement, Real Madrid FC’s President and Board of Directors said that they deeply regretted the loss of Manolo Santana. He was a great tennis legend and Spanish sportsman, having won four Grand Slams and many other trophies.

“Real Madrid” would like to send condolences to his loved ones and extend its love and affection.

Manolo Santina, a legendary tennis player and passionate madridista, is an example of what our values have been all throughout his career.

“His passion for tennis inspired him to win Wimbledon 1966 wearing the Real Madrid shirt. This made him the first Spanish player to win the Grand Slam.

Wimbledon’s history, and how tennis championships evolved

Spencer Gore, who won the first gentlemen's singles at Wimbledon in 1877

Spencer Gore won the first gentleman’s singles match at Wimbledon in 1877. 

On July 9, 1877 the first Wimbledon Championship was held. The only tournament that day was the gentlemen’s singles. The winner was Spencer Gore, an old Harrovian who won the event from 22 players. Around 200 people paid one shill each to view the final. 

In 1884, the club added ladies’ singles and gentlemen’s doubles, with ladies’ doubles and mixed doubles joining the mix in 1913. 

The reigning champion was only allowed to compete in the finals against anyone who had defeated them before 1922. 

Recent developments also include the 1986 introduction of yellow balls, which were now collected daily by approximately 200 girls and boys. Since 1902, Slazenger is the official supplier of ball. 

While it’s not clear when strawberries and cream were first served, in 2019, vegan cream was introduced as an alternative. 

The Championship was first broadcast on television in 1937. More than 26 million people now view it every day via the BBC.  

Wimbledon, like the three Grand Slam Majors and Grand Slams events, was only contested by amateur top-ranked players. Professional players could not participate. The open era was introduced in 1968. This change changed.

No British man won the singles event at Wimbledon between Fred Perry in 1936 and Andy Murray in 2013, while no British woman has won since Virginia Wade in 1977 – although Annabel Croft and Laura Robson won the Girls’ Championship in 1984 and 2008 respectively.