Gonzalo Bueno, the child prodigy who wants to mark the history of Peru

Gonzalo Bueno, the child prodigy who wants to mark the history of Peru

Everyone knows that playing tennis in South America This requires particular patience and tenacity. The remoteness of the great places of world tennis, the geographic location dealing with a lot of touring in a certain region and economic difficulties are all factors that make life difficult for many Latin American promises. If in the countries with the biggest academy and surface it can already become expensive (Argentina or Brazil), imagine in other nations with less tennis tradition. This of course has other positive aspects: if there are not many references, it is time to create some. Each tournament is an opportunity to write the history of your country… tell good gonzalo.

At the beginning of the week, surely very few knew the name of this player. natural from Trujilloa town located northwest of Peru, Bueno started playing tennis when he was only 3 years old, motivated by the adventures of his older brother. The history of tennis in the South American country has two great exponents to Jaime Yzaga (He became No. 18 in the ATP rankings and won 8 titles) and Lucho Horna (former world No. 33, winner of two titles and champion of Roland Garros in doubles). They are the two great references of a country that has wandered for decades without having a mirror in which to shape its great promises, a situation that has not prevented Gonzalo, with the also junior Ignace Busebecame one of the best juniors in the world.

And it is that the trujillano was born #5 worldwide in the junior rankingproclaiming himself champion of the tournament Bonfiglio, one of the most prestigious events on the circuit. In Italy he gave his first taste of what he is capable of, although it was only this year that he started his career as a professional. Along the way, he was a junior finalist at Roland Garros in doubles with Ignacio Buse, the other pearl of Peruvian tennis and a great friend of Gonzalo. Precisely the person in charge of molding them is Lucho Horna himself, responsible for the development of the Peruvian Tennis Federation, who oversees their career and who has come to the Lima Challenger, played this week, with the sole purpose of seeing the two enjoy the best tennis on the circuit. He didn’t know what to expect.


Bueno started the week with a paragon victory: he knocked out the Argentinian John Paul Ficovich (#127 in the world) by 7-5 and 6-3. You have to remember that there was 810 positions difference in the ATP ranking between the two, always a sign of Gonzalo’s low mileage at the pro level. This did not prevent him from repeating the feat in the round of 16 by eliminating Romain Burruchaga. However, the victory that went around the world took place yesterday against a classic on the circuit, the Portuguese Gastao Elias: Bueno saved a match point in the second set (with an absolutely insane point) and turned things around, physically sinking a much more experienced player than him (2-6, 7-6(2), 6-0) . He reached his first semi-finals at the Challenger level…in only his second main draw at this level.

He never got past that instance. Well, not even at the futures level. Today you will have before Thiago Tirante a new opportunity, but it’s time to analyze one of the great promises of world tennis. To start, two facts that say it all: he is Peruvian younger by reaching the semi-finals of a Challenger tournament since Jaime Yzaga in Bahía in 1985. Yes, more than 35 years apart and new parallels with the legends of his country. And that’s not all: he is only the third player in the 2004 category to reach the semi-finals of a Challenger tournament. The two others? Neither more nor less than two junior Grand Slam champions: Luca Van Assche (French, won Roland Garros) and Mili Poljicak (Croatian, won Wimbledon).

“I am someone who leaves everything on the pitch, who does not give up a point for losing and who has a lot of courage. I really like to play with the rightI feel comfortable when I can attack from there.”confessed Bueno sport on his playing style, in an interview in which he also revealed that Raphael Nadal (internationally) and Jean Paul Varillas (at the national level) are its two major references. Just by taking a look at it we can corroborate such a statement: the Peruvian is a great defender, a tennis player who forces you to play one more ball and who has an extraordinary physical condition, going from defense to attack with ease. The forehand is the shot he unlocks everything with, although he still needs to get a lot more ball rhythm on the backhand side, which he will over time. In his tennis there is pride, a predisposition to suffer and a privileged physique, tools that can go a long way.

“Gonzalo is very consistent and a great fighter, someone who goes for every ball and plays aggressively when he can. I think his greatest strength is his fighting ability, said of him Roberta Burzagli, head of the ITF’s Grand Slam development program, a program in which Bueno and Buse participated. Everyone who knows him praises his tenacity: Ignacio himself, compatriot and friend too. “Gonzalo’s greatest strength is his mentality, 100%. He is very good. His forehand is impressive and the things he does off the pitch are also very good”. He’s the new face of Peru, the big name of the week and a junior who wants to earn his place on the circuit through fighting, hard work and tenacity. Maybe in a few years they will remember to read this article and discover a young Peruvian who does not give up… or not. Everything in its time, but for now, write the name of Gonzalo Bueno.

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