The irruption of Juanma Cerúndolo and Báez, the salient of Argentine tennis in an auspicious 2021

(By Christian Frigerio) .- The impetuous emergence of Juan Manuel Cerúndolo and Sebastián Báez, with presence on the circuit and surprising results, plus the permanence of Diego Schwartzman in the lot of the best 15 on the planet were the salient edges of Argentine tennis in an extremely auspicious 2021.

In a light review of the season for the sport of rackets in Argentina, two ATPs were conquered, one in Córdoba and the other in Buenos Aires, the world record for Challengers titles was reached with 20 trophies in the same season, it became to talk about the Davis Cup with a victorious series in the country and a WTA date recovered after 34 years.

The advanced players in the group of young tennis players who accelerated the generational change, in a season that fired a Davis Cup champion after the retirement of Leo Mayer, and that still does not count on the “width of swords”, Juan Martín Del Colt, were the youngest of the Cerúndolo and Báez brothers, perhaps the best exponents of what will be seen in the immediate future.

Cerúndolo, Francisco’s younger brother, was born in the Federal Capital on November 15, 2001 and his rise during the year was dizzying.

In this context, “Juanma” began the year at box 341 and currently ranks 90, although at the beginning of November it featured 85 in its best location.

Cerúndolo conquered an ATP, the Córdoba Open, he also won three Challengers, two in Italy, in Rome and Como, and the other in Banja Luka, Bosnia, and reached two finals, in Meerbusch, Germany, and in Lima.

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A fallback.

These outstanding performances reached him to participate last November in the Next Gen Finals, a sort of Under 21 Masters that took place in Milan and summoned the eight best youth players of the year.

His baseline tennis and variety of shots on a brick dust surface leave the credit open for what is to come, although he will have to adapt his game to also be able to achieve results on fast courts.

Báez, for his part, born on December 28, 2000 in Billinghurst, San Martín district, and trained by Sebastián Gutiérrez, began the year in position 308 and in the last ranking he appears 99.

The Buenos Aires native conquered six Challenger tournaments, a total record, with three coronations in Chile, in Concepción and twice in Santiago, another in Zagreb, one more in Buenos Aires and the last one in Campinas, Brazil, in addition to having reached three finals, in the Chilean capital, in Kiev, Ukraine, and in Bratislava, Slovakia.

As if that were not enough, Báez achieved his first ATP victory in Hamburg, where after having crossed the classification he beat Frenchman Corentin Moutet 6-1 and 6-2 in the initial round, but then he could not appear in the next match against him. Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili for having contracted coronavirus.

Those performances helped Báez compete in the Next Gen Finals in Milan, where he reached the semifinals proving on fast courts that his tennis can be perfectly adapted and that he does not just compete on brick dust.

As for “Peque” Schwartzman, he conquered the Argentina Open in the fourth title of his career, also enabling the Argentines to cut an adverse streak of 12 consecutive foreigners coronations in Buenos Aires, since it had been obtained by David Nalbandian from Cordoba in the 2008 edition.

On the circuit, “Peque” could not repeat the good of 2020, when he had been a semi-finalist at Roland Garros, and had a presence in the Davis Cup series that Argentina beat Belarus 3-1 at the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis and made it possible to advance to the 2022 playoffs where the Czech Republic will be received to try to win and be in the elite group again, in the finals next year.

In Davis, in 2021 he took the cycle of Gastón Gaudio as captain, marked by abulia, and he was replaced by Guillermo “Mago” Coria, who longed for the position and will propose something different, with a more open personality that will allow a dialogue fluent with the tennis players and with the commitment that the previous management did not have.

Women’s tennis in Argentina has the face of Nadia Podoroska, but the Rosario starred in a kind of involution, she moved away from the radar of the best on the planet as quickly as she had been captured in 2020 with her access to the semifinals of Roland Garros.

A hip injury that causes her to abuse prevented her from competing as equals and deprived her of playing the Argentina Open, which returned to the country after 34 years (the 1997 edition had been the last and was won by Gabriela Sabatini) and crowned Hungarian Anna Bondar champion.

In the doubles circuit, the Mar del Plata player Horacio Zeballos remained in the elite, finished the year in sixth place on the planet and together with his Catalan partner Marcel Granollers won the Masters 1000 in Madrid and Cincinnati, in addition to being a finalist in Wimbledon and Semifinalists at the Masters played in Turin.

The final paragraph is taken by Del Potro from Tandil, one of the best Argentine tennis players in history, who at the age of 33 still suffers from injuries, has not competed since June 2019 and is trying to rehabilitate himself after four right knee surgeries.

The 2009 US Open champion and double Olympic medalist, in London 2012 and Rio 2016, just touched a racket again last November and announced that he has the illusion of competing in 2022 to close his brilliant career as he deserves: on a tennis court. tennis.

The great expectation is that “Delpo” will be able to participate in the South American tour on brick dust, with sources close to his surroundings who left a door open for him to be in Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro, with the chance that he will also compete in Santiago , Chile, while its presence in Córdoba is almost ruled out. (Télam)

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The irruption of Juanma Cerúndolo and Báez, the salient of Argentine tennis in an auspicious 2021

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