On September 20, 1974, two and a half years after becoming the oldest player to win a Roland Garros with 35 years, Andrés Gimeno Tolaguera founded, together with a group of friends, the tennis club that bears his name. For this he needed the advice of different professionals, among them the Brothers Plans, together with whom he had founded in 1972 the joint-stock company Plans Gimeno, owner of the land where the club would be located in the future. The love he felt for this sport and the enthusiasm that his father showed from the beginning, Esteban Gimeno, one of the first professional trainers in this country, made possible this ambitious project that occupied just over 20,000 square meters located on the side of the highway of Castelldefels, in the neighborhood of GranVia Mar, where in the 50s a military recruits camp was located. The first president of the club was D. Sebastian-Jorge Vidal.
In 1975 the Club had 17 courts of clay tennis, an outdoor pool and a social building of two floors plus loft of 1720 m2 with social lounges, Bar and Restaurant. To this we had to add the parking lot, the landscaped areas and those that, a little later, became eight other tennis courts, which raised the total to 25. The official inauguration was attended by the then Minister of Culture and Sports, D. Juan Antonio Samaranch. At this time it was the second club in Spain in number of tracks, behind the Real Club de Polo. The sporting activity began from the first day, although the works were not completed and it was necessary to shower in a barrack.
A REVIEW OF THE HISTORY
As the project grew, there was a need to obtain more own resources from Plans Gimeno, a patrimonial company, which led the promoters to successive capital increases and the sale of shares to club members. They put on sale 3000 shares, selling these in a record time at a price that was then around 125,000 ptas. Therefore, at the end of the 70s the club had just over 1,600 members. The majority of members belonged to the city of Barcelona with a second residence in Castelldefels. The Andrés Gimeno Tennis Club had become a sports and social point of reference in the whole area of Barcelona, but on many occasions he lived with his back to his real city: Castelldefels. In the year 1977 he was proclaimed president of the club D. Arquéalo Vergara in a disputed election. In 1980 he was replaced by the then president, D. Juan José Roig.
After a few years of bonanza, in which sporting and social events gave the club a great life, a decline began, mainly due to economic problems arising from the difficulty of maintaining a facility of this magnitude. In addition, the economic situation of the country was not going through a good time either. To this must be added the uncertainty that was created between the partners due to the situation of the shares held by the Banco Industrial de Bilbao, around 1300, as a guarantee of Plagimsa’s pending payments. In these years the number of partners decreased alarmingly which affected all sections of the club. In 1988, thanks to the contribution of an extra quota by the partners, the share package held by Banco Industrial de Bilbao was rescued. These actions became part of the Club’s assets, in addition to those held by the members, guaranteeing total control, to the detriment of Plans Gimeno or external entities, through the General Assembly of Members and the Board of Directors.
In 1989 there were elections to the Presidency of the club, proclaiming D. Francisco Díaz club president. Improvement works began that affected the entrance hall and the construction of a sports court and a paddle tennis court, pioneer at that time. A rebound in the number of partners began little by little. During this time the club absorbed two important groups, one emerged from the club environment of Castelldefels and Gava, called Peña +20 and the other, of greater importance, emerged from the demise of the Llavallol Tennis Club.
The next important change occurred from 1998, with the entry of a new Board of Directors chaired by Mr. Joan Querol and who replaced Mr. Ramón Gonzálvo, interim president for the death of Francisco Díaz. On this date, the General Membership Meeting of the Club was approved. As of this moment all the new partners made the financial contribution in their entirety to the Club as entrance fees. Therefore, the need to acquire an action of Plans Gimeno to be a member of the entity disappeared. This further strengthened the club and led to an ambitious investment plan that was carried out since 2001 and that has led to the opening of a new fully equipped gym, three new paddle tennis courts, a general conditioning of the tennis courts and the remodeling of the changing rooms, the pool and the restaurant.
In 2012, a new investment process began in the club, through which the gym was expanded, a new room for guided activities was opened and the construction of 6 new paddle courts was undertaken. With all this, the club currently offers 22 tennis courts, 11 paddle tennis a fully equipped gym and more than 75 classes run a week. In addition, we have a tennis school with more than 400 students and a paddle tennis school with about 200 players.
Thanks to these investments, the diversification of sports activities, the implementation of a professional management, its approach to the city of Castelldefels and the enthusiasm shown by the partners to the different activities that are organized has led to a change of direction without precedents It is also true that the very development of the city of Castelldefels, with a large increase in resident population, has led to many people looking for a place to practice sports and socializing. At present the club has reached the figure of 1450 members, not reached in the previous 25 years of history. Even today the club is still immersed in this investment plan with the desire to become again, as it was in the years immediately after its creation, in a club of reference in the field of Barcelona.
But if for something the Andrés Gimeno Tennis Club should be remembered, it is because of its ability to organize large sporting events and because of the spirit of promoting the sport of tennis. A large number of important Championships has been held at its facilities. Perhaps the two most important were the Cup of His Majesty the Queen, held in 1986 and the Nec World Youth Cup in 1992. The first was an antecedent competition to the Federation Cup. On that occasion the Czechoslovakian national team was proclaimed champion, thanks to the help of a very young Jana Novotna. The Nec World Youth Cup is the Team Cadet World Championship. 16 world teams participated, winning the French team over the Swedish team. In her it was possible to see habitual players of the ATP such as Nicolas Escude, Magnus Norman or Nicolás Lapentti. As for individual Championships, it is worth noting the organization that already in 1978 the Club was part of the Costa Dorada Grand Prix, along with other clubs in adjacent regions. This tournament led to the Open Villa de Castelldefels. Since then, this tournament has won international players such as Arantxa Sánchez Vicario, Felix Mantilla, Francis Roig and Marcos Górriz.
The Andrés Gimeno Tennis Club has also lent its facilities to the Royal Spanish Tennis Federation and the Federació Catalana de Tennis for the dispute of different official Championships. Twice it has hosted the Spanish Junior Championship, being the first in 1992, where Galo Blanco defeated Carlos Moya. In the second edition organized by the club could see a young David Ferrer, who has now reached the No. 4 ATP. In 2005 the Spanish Veterans Championship was organized, with an influx of more than 400 players. As for the Championships of Catalonia, there have been many of them, making the club a regular venue.
In addition to these important tournaments, the annual competition calendar is extended to different categories, from junior to senior +55. Illustrious names have played these tournaments before or after becoming international figures: Marcel Granollers, Marta Marrero, Albert Costa, Juan Balcells, Feliciano Lopez, Beto Martín, Jairo Velasco … Also the organization of clinics has been a fundamental pillar in the promotion of tennis among our youngest players. In this section is where the club has enjoyed unforgettable presences: Marcel Granollers, Arantxa Sánchez, Mª Joe Fernández, Conchita Martínez, Emilio Sánchez, Alex Corretja, Sergi Bruguera, Albert Portas, Manolo Santana, Manuel Orantes, Lis Arilla, Juan Mª Couder Illie Nastase …
The Club de Tennis Andrés Gimeno has a tradition with which it intends to pay tribute to great people from the world of tennis. This tradition consists of giving them a plaque on one of our tennis courts as a tribute to the successes achieved. These are the players and coaches who have received this tribute:
– Court 2: Esteban Gimeno
– Court 3: Luís Bruguera
– Court 9: Marcel Granollers
– Court 10: Sergi Bruguera
– Court 11: Álex Corretja
– Court 14: Arantxa Sánchez
– Court 15: Conchita Martínez
– Court 19: Antonio Muñoz
– Court 20: Juan M. Couder
– Court 21: Manolo Santana
– Court 22: Manuel Orantes
– Court 23: Alberto Arilla
– Court 24: Luis Arilla
This is the current composition of the Board of Directors of the Club de Tennis Andrés Gimeno, arising from the electoral process of March 2016.
Joan Querol i Maria
Enric Folch Yánez
Mauricio Martín Valdelvira
Antoni Andrés Esteban
Fina Aguilar Pozo