With his movement and perfect shot selection, one can confuse him with Diego “Shorty” Schwartzman. Or, with his mental toughness and desire to win, he can be mistaken for Guillermo “El Mago” Coria. But no, he is neither. He is Juan Ignacio Londero, an Argentine tennis player from Jesus Maria, a city that is approximately 50km away from the capital of the province, Cordoba. His passport says he was born in 1993 but, for the competitive and exclusive world of tennis, he has only just appeared this year.
Juan Ignacio, like many, began his professional career playing Future events dating all the way back to 2010. In 2013, he started to produce good enough results that he could enter Challenger tournaments. In that same year, after winning three qualifying rounds, he qualified for the Bogota draw to make his ATP debut – he fell in the first round to the veteran, Ivo Karlovic.
After struggling for years and years on the lower level circuit – training in poor conditions, traveling by car and sharing rooms on site to cut costs, along came 2018: the year of takeoff. Ignacio ranked No. 363, started to considerably rise in the rankings due to fantastic performances in the months of March and April. He reached the semifinals in Panama and later won his first Challenger title in Mexico City with a defeat over Roberto Quiroz in the final. Soon after, he went on to win his second Challenger title in Marburg, Germany against the Bolivian Hugo Dellien.
Decisively, these performances catapulted him to No. 118 in the rankings. This new ranking allowed him to qualify for ATP 250 tournaments. Londero was granted a wildcard into the main draw of a tournament in his home country, The Córdoba Open. The 25-year-old had never won a main draw match on the ATP tour prior to this tournament. He stunned Jarry, Sonego, Cachín, Delbonis and Pella on his way to take win the championship. Along with that, he entered the Top 100 of the ATP Rankings for the first time in his career.
The new (well deserved) ranking gave him the chance to enter directly into the main draw of Roland Garros, where he clinched three victories (Basilashvili, Gasquet and Moutet) to “give himself the pleasure” of losing in the Round of 16 to Rafael Nadal on Center Court.
Now, placed at No. 58 in the rankings and with big wins against several Top 100 players, Londero is currently competeting on the grass in England; he is off to a great start as he has already locked in his first ever win on this surface in Eastbourne against the British Jay Clarke.
Juan Ignacio Londero is a player who is known for his humility and dedication; he will be worth observing at the Abierto de Tenis Mifel presentado por Cinemex.
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