The Rebirth of Nicolás Jarry, the Chilean Tennis Player Who Overcame a Harsh Sanction
Nicolás Jarry lived through some quite difficult last years, but he knew how to overcome it on time and this 2023 has started it by staying with the Chile Open 2023 after an impeccable tournament. We tell you his story.
LatinAmerican Post | Nicolás Donoso Álvarez
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Leer en español: El renacer de Nicolás Jarry, el tenista chileno que superó una dura sanción
They say that the road to success has many difficulties, and this is precisely the case of the 27-year-old Chilean tennis player, Nicolás Jarry. The man born in Santiago was at the time one of the main promises of Chilean tennis, reaching two ATP 250 finals and two ATP 500 semifinals, keeping seven Challengers in doubles and winning the gold medal at the 2015 Pan American Games. He even offered his best level in 2019, when he achieved his best position in the ATP ranking at 40. His story intersected with the success of another national tennis player, Christian Garín. However, a sanction in 2020 kept him away from the courts and ostracized him until the rebirth that he had in 2023, when he was crowned champion of the Chile Open.
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Nicolás Jarry Fillol was born on October 11, 1995, in Santiago de Chile, he is the grandson of the historic Chilean tennis player Jaime Fillol (who reached fourteenth place in the ATP ranking in 1974). His parents were also athletes, although they chose to dedicate themselves to volleyball. In his youth stage, he had important achievements, the highlight being his participation in the youth Roland Garros Tournament in doubles, where he reached the final. What it meant to him to finish in the eighteenth place at the world youth level.
After that, his professional stage already positioned him as one of the main hopes of Chile, a country that throughout history has had outstanding tennis players such as Marcelo Ríos (he became number 1 in the ATP ranking), Nicolás Massu (winner of two Olympic gold medals) and Fernando González (winner of three Olympic medals). He reached the Challenger finals, being runner-up and champion between 2015 and 2017, and in 2018 he reached his first ATP final, becoming doubles champion, along with his compatriot Hans Podlipnik. 2019 was his consolidation and when he reached his best level, taking first place in the 2019 Geneva Tournament, he achieved his best victory to date, after defeating the German Alexander Zverev, ranking 40th in the ATP ranking.
A sanction that "clipped his wings"
However, his career received an unexpected blow. On January 14, 2020 (before the WHO declared COVID-19 a global pandemic), his doping was confirmed due to the presence of ligandrol and stanozol in the urine tests that were performed. Although the International Tennis Federation (FIT) confirmed his innocence, he was punished for 11 months, disqualifying him from the courts for eleven months and reinstating himself on November 23, which led him to lose competitive rhythm, level, and points in the ATP rankings.
At that time, and after learning of the sanction, Jarry commented on his social networks that "There have been months of deep pain and, although sometimes it feels somewhat unfair, I am trying to learn as much as possible from this situation." And it is that the return was difficult, both because of the pandemic and because of the long period in which he had not played. However, he knew how to overcome adversity little by little, with victories in tournaments of a lower level that would be a harbinger of what he was about to achieve.
At the end of 2022, and after an increase in his performance, Jarry again referred to the doping that complicated him. He said, among other things, that he was "lucky to find a very good team that has helped me to get ahead, to fight and to work very hard to get back to where I was at the beginning, that is, before the punishment."
They say that everything bad at some point comes to an end, and it did. This 2023, Jarry started in position 154 in the ATP Ranking, quite far from his best times, but already in the Davis Cup, when he was decisive for Chile to beat Kazakhstan, and after reaching the semifinals of the ATP 500 in Rio, he confirmed his rise. In The Chile Open, a tournament organized by his family, in his country and with all the local public, Jarry would end up consummating his return to the top 100.
With victories against the Peruvian Juan Pablo Varillas (77), the Argentine Diego Schwartzman (37), the German Yannick Hanfmann (152), the Spanish Jaume Munar (66) and beating the trans-Andean Tomás Etcheverry (76) in the final after getting the long-awaited comeback by 6-7, 7-6 and 6-2. This is how Jarry got his second ATP title in Chile, climbing 100 places in less than two months and reaching 52nd place in the ATP ranking; very close to returning to the top 50 that it once was.
Because his is a story of resilience, improvement and determination, and the best thing for him is that 2023 has just begun and there are almost ten more months ahead. At some point, Jarry was considered one of the main promises of Chile in tennis, then he declined, and the sanction seemed to sink him; Despite this, he did not give up, he was reborn as the phoenix, and now he aspires to once again leave his name at the top of world tennis.