Years have passed since the last time that Latin America was at the top of world tennis. The times of Gustavo Kuerten, Marcelo Ríos, Guillermo Vilas and Luis Olmedo have passed. Fernando González or David Nalbandian already decided to end their tennis career as well. Moreover, Latin American women are not either in a great moment.
To this date, no Latin American tennis player is at the top ten of ATP. However, the time is short for Juan Martin Del Potro to be there again, he is currently in the 11th position. Del Potro was away from the field eleven months due to a serious injury. He returned to the world stage in 2016 and from there the player has achieved to recover the bright he had a few years ago. This year he won his number 20 tournament in Stockholm. There is no doubt that Del Potro is one of the best Latin American tennis players in history. His most important titles are: United States Open in 2009, Davis Cup of 2016, and his bronze and silver medals in the Olympic Games.
Following Del Potro, there is also Argentina's Diego Schwartzman in 26th place. Schwartzman’s record is still low; however, he has won the Istanbul Open against Grigor Dimitrov at. It is likely that the year 2018 will be good for Diego, since, in the last official tournaments of the year, he defeated Top 10 players.
Pablo Cuevas is in the 32nd place. For many, Cuevas is the best tennis player in the history of Uruguay. Cuevas has six ATP singles titles, and he has been a champion in doubles nine times, one of them at Roland Garros. He had a good year and it is hoped for him to improve in 2018.
Leonardo Mayer and Guido Pella, follow Cuevas, respectively. Mayer, who was absent most of the year, managed to get the ATP 500 of Hamburg against Florian Mayer in the middle of the year. Thus, he was placed at the end of the year in the 52nd position. He expects this 2018 to return to the level he had in 2015. In meanwhile, Guido Pella, located in the 64th position, is in an important tennis growth, so 2018 augurs a better year for him.
In terms of women's tennis, the panorama is bleak; only two Latin American tennis players are within the top 100 of the WTA ranking. The first is the Puerto Rican Mónica Puig, who with only 24 years has managed to mark her name at the top, by defeating Angelique Kerber in the Olympic Games of Rio 2016. Puig is the first Puerto Rican person to get an Olympic gold medal. Puig, considered as "faster and stronger", expects 2018 to bring good things.
The Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia, with 21 years old, is in the 71st place and this year she achieved to win her first Grand Slam match. Although the Spanish-Venezuelan Muguruza, number two in the world, was born in Caracas she represents Spain. Next to the Brazilian, the Colombian Mariana Duque is in the 107th. She won 7 years ago the Bogota Tournament against Kerber. Chile's Daniela Seguel is still far behind in 209th position, and Mexican Renata Zarazúa positioned in the 246th.
LatinAmerican Post | Helber Rojas
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