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Tennis in Argentina – A Successful Tennis History
The origin and history of Tennis in Argentina can be traced back to the development of the country’s railway system.
The Argentine railway system was developed by British avid to ensure the delivery of goods from Argentina to the UK. During that time, British immigrants working 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 institutions in Argentina is the Buenos Aires Tennis Club. Established in 1892, the Tennis Cathedral has hosted many Davis Cup matches and ATP tournaments. Players like Guillermo Vilas, Jose Luis Clerc and Victor Pecci trained, practiced and played tennis on the same courts that Gaston Gaudio does today, for example.
Since 1921, Tennis in Argentina is regulated by the Argentine Tennis Association (Asociación Argentina de Tenis). In Argentina, tennis is played on red clay like the French Open.
Compared to Hardcourts (US Open, Australian Open), Grass (Wimbledon) and Carpet surfaces; Red Clay is slower and has a much higher ball bounce. These 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 rebound that are otherwise difficult to hit the ball.
For almost ninety consecutive years, Argentina has competed for the Davis Cup trophy. With more than fifteen years in the World Group, Argentina was a semi-finalist in 1980 finishing as runner-up twice (1981 and 2006). For the past seven years, Argentina has competed in the World Group, reaching the quarterfinals each time and becoming number two in the ITF Davis Cup rankings. In September 2008, Argentina is again in contention for the Davis Cup finals. Argentina vs Russia.
Although Enrique Morea during the 40s and 50s was one of the best Argentine tennis players of all time, it was not until the 70s 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 defeated the USA Davis Cup team and played the semifinals for the first time. It was the time of the big names in tennis history like Bjon Borg, Jimmy Connors, Yannick Noah, Vitas Girulaitis and John McEnroe.
The tennis achievements of Guillermo Vilas and Gabriela Sabatini resulted in both being inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame!
In recent years Argentina has become an international powerhouse of professional tennis players in both the ATP and Sony Ericsson WTA. Besides having two Hall of Fame players, Argentine tennis players such as David Nalbandian, Guillermo Cañas, Juan Mónaco, José Acasuso, Gisela Dulko, Maria Emilia Salerni, Guillermo Coria, Gastón Gaudio, Paola Suarez, Mariano Puerta, Agustin Calleri, Del Potro, Ignacio Chela and Eduardo Schwank are good examples of such Argentine tennis power.
Training in Argentina is also very important. In addition to the best professional tennis players, Argentina also has many successful and well-known 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).
No less important are the victories of players like David Nalbandian and Guillermo Cañas over the best tennis player of all time Roger Federer.
With almost a century played, Tennis in Argentina has a long and successful history full of trophies and medals making this country a great place for wonderful and unforgettable tennis holidays in the heart of South America.
The history of Tennis in Argentina is evolving as the sport is developing. New players, new techniques, new materials and newer technologies combine together to make tennis what it is.
See you in court!
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