Cristian Garín, the “clay courter” who asks to make way
Among the many candidates to occupy the podium of the best tennis players on clay, next to the undisputed Rafa Nadal and Dominic Thiem, there is one player that stands out this beginning of the season: Cristian Garín. His victory on Sunday in the final of the Cordoba tournament against a huge rival of unquestionable talent in Diego Schwartzman places him among the best "clay courters" of the moment with four disputed finals and three ATP titles in to his name.
“I have won three titles in 11 months. Not bad at all! ”Exclaimed on Sunday at the Mario Kempes stadium in the city of Cordoba with the trophy in his hands. In 2019 he premiered as a finalist in Sao Paulo and luck was elusive, but since then he was crowned in Munich, in Houston and now in Cordoba, in a match that spun in his favour midway through the second set: 2-6, 6-4, 6-0
At 23, Garín, whom is known on the circuit as El Tanque, Gago or Tatan, is emerging as one of the greats of clay tennis. This week he will be able to prove his status in the second clay tournament of the year, in Buenos Aires, and again with Schwartzman as the top seed (Garín is the fifth seed).
Up until now, the year 2020 had not gone very well for the Chilean, who considers Argentina his second country since he trains regularly in Buenos Aires. He lost his three matches in the first tie of the ATP Cup, fell in the first round in Adelaide and second in the Australian Open and began his participation last week in Cordoba with numerous doubts and staged comebacks in three sets against Pablo Cuevas (quarterfinals) and Andrej Martin (semifinals).
He made his debut at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell in 2016, when he had not yet turned 20, but did not succeed to pass the qualifying draw. Last year he returned to Barcelona and was eliminated by Roberto Carballés in the round of 16.
Since yesterday he can already be proud for being in the top-30 of the ATP ranking (he is 26), another great moment of his young career.