José Luis Clerc and his sadness for the health of Guillermo Vilas, the idea of ​​suicide and the “betrayal” of Sebastián Báez

Jose Luis Clerc He is 63 years old and 36 years ago he thought of committing suicide. His therapist considered his words but told him that whoever talks about it is actually on time because that idea, in severe cases, is not spoken, but executed. His was anxiety and it was understandable: he had stopped doing what he had done all his life, playing tennis, and now it was time to face “real life”. Their 25 individual titles, his ranking as No. 4 in the world in the 1980s, the stardom and success of the athlete were already history. Now you have to live.

On this and other transcendental issues such as his relationship with William Vilashis health and the betrayal of Sebastian BaezI speak “Sweet potato” In an interview he gave to the program Everything happensOf the radio Urban Play.

Being Clerc in the world and being Clerc in Argentina

“I played 10 years at Roland Garros and then I did about 15 or 16 more years of broadcasts of that tournament, which is the one that I saw when I was a child and the dream of being a tennis player woke me up. When I had stopped playing and hadn’t been there for many years, suddenly I was very lost inside one of the tournament stadiums, I went through a very small door and suddenly a big man tells me: ‘monsieur Clerc’ (Lord Clerc), and here when I go to see a tournament they tell me: ‘Your ticket?’”.

Former tennis player José Luis Clerc.

you have to dream

“My old man worked in the L’Aviron, a regatta club in Tigre and my old woman was cooking, that was my social and economic condition. But at 8 years old I stood in front of a poster that said Roland Garros and I asked myself: ‘What is this? Where is?’ Because the image was a stadium full of people. He wanted to be there ever since and at the age of 17 he was there, in that stadium. I had fulfilled my dream.”

believe it

“I was 12 years old and at my old man’s club they only gave me half an hour of tennis on Thursdays, that was all I had, but every time my old lady told me ‘you have to go buy bread or milk’I was running and dreaming, I was the Rocky”.

The Vilas documentary is not the Vilas documentary

“I didn’t see it because was not Vilas’s documentary but that of a person who made his (underline the possessive) documentary. I know everything, I know what happens and what happened. For me, Guillermo was number one in the world, only that at that time the computer of today was not there. If that documentary had another title, if instead of being called Vilas it was called La ventura de Puppo (NdR: the documentary was made based on an investigation by journalist Eduardo Puppo), for example, maybe it would have been good, it sure had many hours of I work because he is a very entrepreneurial guy…”

His relationship with Guillermo Vilas

“I miss him so much, I love him, I adore him. He is living in Monte Carlo. Look: life often puts things on the table that are welcome, like my daughter Sophie, whom I love (NdR: she is hard of hearing). She is happy, she listens and speaks perfectly and Vilas helped me in the worst moment of our relationship. He surprised me because we weren’t talking to each other, we were very, very fighting, I didn’t even want to see him, and when I called him and summoned him he told me: ‘Go’”.

“To that point the jealousy of the competition took us, our coaches (NdR: Ion Tiriac was Vilas’s coach and Pato Rodríguez Clerc’s), in addition to The Argentine never tolerated at that time that there was a boy named José Luis Clerc who was overshadowing a Guillermo Vilas. Obviously I don’t compare myself to him because what he did was tremendous, impressive”.

I also read: “Batata, I’m a little sick”: José Luis Clerc broke down when talking about the health of Guillermo Vilas

“When my daughter Sophie happened (she lost her hearing when she was very little) I called him to tell him that I needed him, I told him about the problem I had because the school she had to go to only had 77 boys who had 45 teachers and It takes a lot of silver, a lot of money to sustain itself. So I called him, told him that my wife was organizing an event and he replied: ‘Go’. I was frozen.”

The health of Guillermo Vilas today

“Today I say ‘what a pity, what an asshole’because he is sick, I would like to be by his side. Guillermo Vilas is part of my life, he is not just any tennis player. For me he is the brother that I never had or that I had and he left me very quickly. So that’s why I love him, that I love him, I say how many stupid things that many times when one is involved in a sport as competitive as tennis one does not realize it… it is a hunchbacked sport”.

Tiger 12/13/2012.  Argentine tennis players Guillermo Vilas and José Luis Clerc, during an exhibition match (DYN/PABLO AHARONIAN).
Tiger 12/13/2012. Argentine tennis players Guillermo Vilas and José Luis Clerc, during an exhibition match (DYN/PABLO AHARONIAN).

Retirement, such a delicate instance for an elite athlete

“I can give anxiety classes to anyone. I suffered it when I played, but the remedy was to play. The problem came after I retired, at the age of 27: the next 16 I had panic attacks”.

Suicidal thoughts

“I had them, yes, but I took it as a life lesson because I didn’t know what life was, everyday life, I mean. I remember that the first time I had a panic attack after the retreat I had a tachycardia, and my coach, who was my ground wire, was not there, he had passed away. I snuggled into it, which was my coach but also my friend, my father. What happened to me is that I had nothing to think about, I was at the divine button and I actually thought too much.

Clerc fired Pato Rodríguez, his iconic coach (@JoseLuisClerc).
Clerc fired Pato Rodríguez, his iconic coach (@JoseLuisClerc).

“These are difficult times but when I talked to a therapist they told me not to worry about it because suicide is not talked about, but executed. But at that time I was so bad that I couldn’t see my children because I thought I was going to do something to them, I took it as a life lesson. In the United States I met a psychiatrist who gave me medication and I said ‘this is life’because I couldn’t even enjoy watering a plant. Today I am a happy guy cutting the grass, watering it, talking to people. Before, if I had to go to the bathroom I would ask for company, I needed company 24 hours a day, someone always by my side in case something happened to me. What is anxiety? it is death, that is what happens in the head when in reality absolutely nothing happens, they are just ideas”.

The money of tennis before and today

“Today’s kids are millionaires a year. Look at the Vilas case: he had won 65 tournaments and the official tournament earnings do not even reach 4 million dollars. If someone today did what he did, he would have 300 or 400 million dollars”.

The betrayal of Sebastian Baez

“I had Báez from the ages of 10 to 18 at my school… I worked with a team of people, among whom, of course, there were coaches, and well, he left with one of them (NdR: Sebastian Gutierrez). I don’t see it today, I don’t come across it, actually, but the largest number of matches that touch me in the transmissions that I do from a booth whose are they? From Sebastian Baez. What happened shouldn’t have happened.”

But what happened? Can you tell? Let’s continue with the note, let’s move on to another topic.

I also read: “Why not me?”: Sebastián Báez’s message after beating Marin Cilic at the Estoril ATP

The tennis player from Chaco Sebastián Báez at the Australian Open (REUTERS / James Gourley).
The tennis player from Chaco Sebastián Báez at the Australian Open (REUTERS / James Gourley).For: REUTERS