Top 5 Argentinian Tennis Players
In honor of Diego Maradona’s untimely passing, we dedicate this post to him. Diego Maradona was not only known as a mercurial soccer talent; he also loved to watch and play tennis. He was a vocal supporter of Argentinian tennis players, routinely providing support on social media for players such as Diego Schwartzman and Juan Martin Del Potro. Argentina has historically produced highly talented tennis players that have been synonymous with Grand Slam championships throughout the years. Here’s my top five Argentinian players of all time.
5. David Nalbandian
Nalbandian had five top ten finishes, one ATP Finals win, one Grand Slam finals appearance, and four Grand Slam semifinals appearances. It will be the 2005 ATP finals appearance that he will be most remembered for, where he would take Federer to a fifth set and beat him in that final. In 2005 Federer was virtually unbeatable. However, he would go down to the gritty Argentine.
4. Gaston Gaudio
Gaston would not be on this list if it were not for his 2004 French Open title. Instead Gillermo Coria would be in his place. As many can remember, it was Gillermo Coria who was the King of Clay right around this time, and the number three seed at the French Open. Gaston Gaudio would come in as the 44th ranked player in the world and shock the world by beating his country man 8-6 in the fifth set. From there he would finish top ten twice in his career. But it’s the French Open which enshrines him among the best Argentinian players of all time.
3. Juan Martin Del Potro
If not for persistent injuries throughout his career, Del Potro may very well have been the best player Argentina has ever seen. That being said, he has still had an incredible career given the many setbacks. This career includes two US Open finals, with one US Open title, five top ten finishes, a Davis Cup, a bronze and silver Olympic medals, and an Indian Wells Masters win. Also, keep in mind that his career is not over yet. He’s currently recovering from knee surgery and is expected back in 2021 (fingers crossed!).
2. Gabriela Sabatini
Sabatini was one of the most consistent top players in the eighties and nineties, finishing 10 years in a row in the top ten of women’s tennis. She claimed the US Open title in 1990 and the 1988 Wimbledon doubles title. In addition, she made the Wimbledon final in 1991 and has 15 Grand Slam semifinal appearances. Finally, she won two Year-End Championships, and a silver Olympic medal. Sabatini is a true Argentinian legend.
1. Guillermo Vilas
There is no question Vilas is the greatest Argentinian tennis player of all time. He finished in the top 10 nine years in a row, capturing four Grand Slam titles along the way, two Australian Opens (78’ and 79’), a US Open title (77’) and a French Open title (77’). He also captured the ATP finals in 1974. In all, he captured 62 ATP singles titles. Nobody has captured more singles titles than Vilas in a single season (16 titles). It is a record that may never be broken. Although Rafa Nadal is considered the King of the French Open with his 13 titles, he still hasn’t broken Vilas’ record of 49 clay court titles. Vilas was a monster on the tennis court.
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