So the last two Players to Watch in this series were both lefties, eh? I say we continue this non-righty, rockin’ roll and feature our third straight southpaw!
Folks, our next PTW has a massive amount of tennistical history, even though he’s only 17 years old. (Witness this article from World Tennis Magazine three years ago that presciently proclaimed “Remember The Name!” when he was merely fourteen.)
He’s had a scholarship to the Nick Bollettieri Academy since he was eight years old. He qualified for his first Futures tourney in 2010 at age fourteen, though it was another year before he’d win a main draw Futures match at the ripe old age of 15 (a practical geezer). Along the way, he took a set off of then 22-year-old and current Top 100 Challenger Tour Finals finalist Alejandro Gonzalez.
If you haven’t guessed it already (and even if you have), our sixth Player to Watch for 2014 is none other than Italian Gianluigi Quinzi.
When he wasn’t coming up just short against guys almost twice his age in the Futures (like then-26-year-old Guillermo “The Hormdog” Hormazabal), he was keeping up a perfect record against guys three years older in the ITF 18s junior tourneys, taking four straight Caribbean Grade 5 events before totally titling at the ITF Grade 2 Uruguay Bowl in March of 2011.
He had some growing pains (most likely literally) for the rest of 2011, before really starting to assert himself last year as a 16-year-old in 2012. At the Italy F9 in May of that year, playing someone literally twice his age, he claimed his best-ranked scalp to date, topping off then-#220-in-the-world Victor Estrella.