Christian Garín has made people talk for over a year, when he played a very tight Davis Cup match against Simone Bolelli, at only 16 years of age, in September of 2012.
Last year, in Viña del Mar, the eyes of the tennis world were on him, when he became only the fifth player of 16 or younger since 2000 to win an ATP World Tour-level match, joining Rafael Nadal, Richard Gasquet, Ryan Harrison, and Bernard Tomic, in a straight-set victory over Dusan Lajovic. A few months later, the Chilean won the Junior title of Roland-Garros.
This week, 17-year-old Garín is taking part in the qualifications of the Copa Claro, in Buenos Aires, where we had the chance to chat with him after his second-round qualifications win.
Get to know… Christian Garín.
BATennis World: Tell me, do you have any favourite ATP player, or one that you see as a model?
Christian Garín: I think that David Ferrer is a model for everyone, as he is a player who fights for every point, is very intense, very professional, which makes him a great example for many players like me, those who are on the rise. Obviously I would like to be able to do what he does.
BATW: Do you feel a little of pressure with people labelling you as a promise, as someone who might go far in the game?
CG: I think pressure is unavoidable. Tennis is a sport with a lot of pressure and I want to go and manage it little by little, to continue learning to manage it. So in the short time of my career so far, I’ve learnt to know a little how to manage it and I think I’m pretty happy with the progress I’ve made, with how I’m rising, with how I’ve improved. I’m enjoying it a lot. The fact of being here in this tournament is something very good for me. Late year, I’ve never imagined that I would be playing here this year, so I’m very happy and I’m hoping to keep on competing in this tournament.
BATW: To come out of tennis a little… What is your passion? What do you admire? What do you follow?
CG: I’m a huge football fan. I like to watch a lot of football matches, Chilean football. Also… I don’t know… I like playing on the Play Station or hang out with my friends. I do a lot of things. When I’m not on a tennis court, I try to forget about tennis for a bit, because it’s very exhausting. But I’m very happy on a tennis court.
Garín will be facing Gerald Melzer for a main draw spot.