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Tennis in Argentina – A Successful Tennis History
The origins and history of Tennis in Argentina can be traced to the development of the railway system in the country.
The Argentine railway system was developed by British enthusiasm to ensure the transport of goods from Argentina to the UK. During that period British immigrants who worked on the railway system brought Tennis (Polo and Golf) to Argentina. As a result, most if not all Tennis clubs in Buenos Aires are on the side of the train lines.
One of the most traditional Tennis organizations in Argentina is the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club. Founded in 1892, the Cathedral of Tennis hosted many Davis Cup matches and ATP tournaments. Players like Guillermo Vilas, Jose Luis Clerc, and Victor Pecci used to train, practice and play Tennis on the same courts as Gaston Gaudio does today, for example.
Since 1921, Tennis in Argentina has been regulated by the Argentine Tennis Association (Asociación Argentina de Tenis). In Argentina, Tennis is played on Red Clay as in the French Open.
Comparison with Hard Courts (US Open, Australian Open), Grass (Wimbledon) and Carpet surfaces; Red Clay is slower and with a much higher bounce of the ball. Those features help players have more time to reach and return each shot making it more difficult to hit winners during a Tennis match.
In addition, Red Clay surfaces allow players to slide and retrieve balls that are otherwise difficult to hit.
For almost ninety consecutive years, Argentina has been competing for the Davis Cup trophy. With more than fifteen years in the World Group, Argentina was a semi-finalist in 1980 and twice finished second (1981 and 2006). For the past seven years, Argentina has been competing in the World Group, progressing to the quarter-finals each time and becoming number two in the Davis Cup ranking by the ITF. In September 2008, Argentina once again competes for the finals of the Davis Cup. Argentina against Russia.
Although Enrique Morea during the 40’s and 50’s was one of the best Argentine Tennis players of all time, it was not until the 70’s that Tennis became a popular sport in Argentina. Guillermo Vilas changed and transformed Tennis forever in Argentina. In fact, along with Diego Maradona, Vilas is one of the most important sports figures in Argentina.
Vilas inspired many other players who follow his success such as José Luis Clerc and Gabriela Sabatini. In 1977, Vilas won 12 titles including Roland Garros and Forest Hills. In the same year, Argentina beat the United States Davis Cup team and played in the semi-finals for the first time. That was the era of big names in the history of Tennis such as Bjon Borg, Jimmy Connors, Yannick Noah, Vitas Girulaitis and John McEnroe.
Guillermo Vilas and Gabriela Sabatini’s Tennis achievements led to both being inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame!
In recent years Argentina has become an international powerhouse of the best professional Tennis players in the ATP and the Sony Ericsson WTA. In addition to having two Hall of Fame Players, there are Argentine tennis players such as David Nalbandian, Guillermo Cañas, Juan Mónaco, José Acasuso, Gisela Dulko, Maria Emilia Salerni, Guillermo Coria, Gastón Gaudio, Paola Suárez, Mariano Puerta, Agustin Calleri, Juan Martin Del Potro, Ignacio Chela, and Eduardo Schwank are good examples of such Argentine Tennis powerhouses.
Training in Argentina is also very important. In addition to top professional Tennis players, Argentina also has many successful and recognized Tennis coaches. Some of them are Carlos Rodríguez (Justin Henin), Martín Jaite (David Nalbandian), Hernán Gumy (Gustavo Kuerten, Marat Safin) and Horacio de la Peña (Fernando González).
Equally important are the victories of players like David Nalbandian and Guillermo Cañas over the greatest Tennis player of all time Roger Federer.
With almost a century of being played, Tennis in Argentina has a long and successful history full of trophies and medals making this country a great place for great and memorable Tennis Holidays in the heart of South America.
The History of Tennis in Argentina evolves as the sport does. New players, new techniques, new materials, and newer technologies all combine to make tennis what it is.
See you on the courts!
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