Tag Archive: Guillermo Rivera-Aranguiz

The Past In The Futures

One of the pleasures of the alleged “off-season” (a scandalous misnomer) is that we are provided ample opportunity to learn about new players and places. After all, when you’re a rabid professional tennis fan, and there are only a few ITF tournaments happening around the globe, what else is there for you to do? (Work with me, here.) (And that involves: not answering my rhetorical question, and just merrily reading on.)

Cases in point:

Ricardo Urzua-Rivera, Chile F9 Futures Quarterfinalist: The 21 year-old from Rancagua, Chile, (about 90 km south of Santiago), is a former Top Ten-ranked junior in the world, the erstwhile champion of the Banana Bowl (not quite the Orange Bowl, but close), and once juniordubs partners with Challenger Tennis faves Milos Raonic and Harri Heliovaara, that intrepid Finnish blogger.

Today, he is an unseeded 940th-ranked combatant in Concepcion, squaring off against an almost-as-equally-unheralded Guido Andreozzi of Argentina. To the winner goes the spoils: 190 bucks and 3 ATP ranking points. It’s a hard-knock life sometimes, and success in the juniors is only alchemized into future fortunes a fraction of the time.

I wish Ricardo the best today, and I also hope he continues to indulge in his personal interest of “Football Ping pong”, if only because it conjures up mental images of someone playing table tennis using the oblong pigskin ball of American Football, bouncing all higgledy-piggledy and every which way. You thought pro tennis was difficult? That’s nothing compared to football ping pong. (Look, I told you to work with me; and if the frequent lack of commas in ITF profiles leaves me to indulge in desperate acts of comedy then so be it.)

Guillermo Rivera-Aranguiz, Top Seed and Chile F9 Futures Quarterfinalist*: The 21 year-old’s penchant for “Cycling Singing” has already been well-documented here. But did you know: he was once the stalwart juniordubs sidekick of one Ricardo Urzua-Rivera? I know! Small world, innit? Together they played 25 tourneys in all, in South America, Central America, North America and Europe, enjoying great success, outdueling the dual Ryans – Harrison and Lipman – in the Grade 1 Kentucky International Finals and losing a close three-set battle to Rhyne Williams and Ricardas Berankis in the finals of the 2007 Yucatan World Cup in their final match together as juniors. (Incidentally, Urzua-Rivera must have nightmares to this day about the wee Lithuanian, against whom he was 0-4 in singles and in doubles.)

Today, the fifth-ranked Chilean opts to pair up with the much-higher-ranked Cristobal Saavedra-Corvalan instead (he’s the 2nd seed in the Chile F9. I know! Small world again!). Beginning in February of 2009, Rivera-Aranguiz ditched Urzua-Rivera and since then has played 18 tournaments with his now-7th-ranked Chilean counterpart. They played the F9 together as well, losing in the quarterfinals and thus having to split their $180 bounty between them.

There’s an untold saga, here. A tale of separate levels of success for two 21 year-old friends who’ve traveled the world together, quarreled and laughed, won and lost, come together and fallen apart. But you won’t find it in Nic Brown’s Doubles, nor will you find it here. For I do not know the facts: I can merely create my own imagined narrative sown from a wild imagination and a brain that’s watched The Motorcycle Diaries too many times. (Yes, I know that was Argentina. You said you would work with me.)

*6 Chileans made the quarterfinals of the Chile F9, bettering the total of 4 last week at the Chile F8 in the club across town.

The Futures Are The Future

Or the present. Or something. Either way, I have it on good authority.

Because, believe it or don’t, there are still three $10,000 ITF Futures tourneys taking place this week, so deep into the so-called “off season”. They are:

Chile F9: like last week’s Chile F8, this one is also happening in Concepcion, albeit at a different club. So: travel savings ahoy for the players, I guess!  The top seed for this particular shindig is 21-year-old Chilean Guillermo Rivera-Aranguiz, owner of a #361 singles ranking, a nifty 44-14 win/loss record, and even niftier personal interests; according to his ITF bio, he enjoys “Cycling Singing”, you see.

Now, I’m not sure if this means singing while riding a bicycle or if it means he likes the kind of singing that goes in a round, like when one person starts singing, “Row row row your boat,” and then another person starts in with a “row row row” rendition while the first singer has continued gently down the stream.  Either way, it’s bound to be a fascinating tournament. 

Other entrants include: 20 y/o Chilean up-and-comer Christobal Saavedra-Corvalan, the musically-named former #20 combined junior in the world, who defeated 2nd seed Roberto Ortega-Olmedo handily, 6-2 6-3 in the first round; 8th seeded Tandilese Nicolas Pastor, the Chile F7 finalist, who beat Martin Rios-Benitez 6-7(0) 6-1 6-4 in R1; 7th seeded Roland Garros Boys’ champ Agustin Velotti; and the even-more-musically named Joaquin-Jesus Monteferrario, the Argentinian 6th seed who beat Chile’s Nicolas Gustavo Kauer 6-4 0-6 6-3.

Brazil F37: Jeez, just how many F’s per year does Brazil get anyway? (A: 38) They’ll be lucky if they don’t have to attend summer school over the holidays.  Anyway, this ‘un takes place in Guarulhos, a suburb of Sao Paulo. Featured future luminaries include (but may not be limited to): Second seeded Daniel Silva of Brazil, who is the de facto top seed now that erstwhile top-seed Argie Facundo Bagnis had to withdraw.  Silva, a 22-year-old lefty ranked #315 in the world (and formerly ranked #18 in juniors), defeated yet another Argentinian up-and-comer (how many are there anyway?) (A: 38), 18 y/o Facundo Mena 6-1 7-6(4) in the first round; last week’s Brazil F36 finalist Eduardo Ribeiro-Neto, who meets Brazil’s Ciao Nunez in R1; and last week’s Brazil F36 semi-finalist Danilo Ferraz, the Brazilian 8th seed who took out Marcos Remondegui 3&3 today.

Cuba F1: Cuba’s first and last Futures tourney of the year, which takes place in Havana. Top seed Victor Estrella of the Dominican Republic is looking to complete an inspired end-season run, coming into the tournament having won 15 straight matches and 3 straight tourneys.  A good showing here would put the 30 year old into the Top 200 for the first time in his career.  Estrella actually outranks the second seed Julien Dubail of Belgium by almost 300 places on the ATP Rankings list.  So I think Estrella has a pretty good shot at doing this.  But I’ll keep you posted.

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