Published on May 4th, 2014 | by Daniel Boyle2
Gonzalo Lama Wins First Challenger Title
An extremely successful weekend for Chilean sport was capped with Gonzalo Lama winning his first Challenger final, taking out the tournament in Cali, Colombia.
At 21 years old, Lama is part of Chile’s new generation of players, that is looking to rebuild the Chilean tennis scene. Following on from Christian Garín’s victory in Brazil’s F4 Futures tournament, as well as Jorge Aguilar winning the doubles at the F12 in the USA, there is light for Chilean tennis fans, who have suffered a drop in recent years after the retirement of the “golden generation”.
Hard hitting Lama, who himself slid down the rankings last week, will rise up the charts thanks to the 80 ranking points for winning the Cali event.
Lama (315) went in the higher ranked player, facing Marco Trungelliti (Argentina, 384), who had not dropped a set in reaching the final. Both players had appeared thanks to victories over more fancied players, with the Argentinian beating countryman Facundo Bagnis (155), having already accounted for top seed Paolo Lorenzi (85) along the way.
Lama’s victory over Victor Estrella (100) was the a key part of his tournament, and went some way to avenging Chile’s loss to the Dominican Republic in the Davis Cup.
The Chilean rushed to a 5-1 lead in the first set, eventually closing out for 6-3. Trungelliti fought back to take the second set 6-4, while Lama gathered strength in the decider to win 6-3. He becomes the youngest Chilean to win a Challenger tournament since Nicolás Massú won the Santiago Challenger at 20 years old in 1999.
While the ranking points will prove valuable, the prize of $5,750 will also give a helping hand. Lama will return to the top 300 players in the world, and will be well on his way to reaching his goal of entering the 200 best players.
Hay tanta gente que quiero agradecer en este momento que no creo que tenga espacio aca, así que lo resumire… GRACIAS TOTALES!esto sigue!
— Gonzalo Lama (@Glamafeliu) May 5, 2014
Lama’s victory capped a phenomenal week for Chilean tennis, with the good news likely to be reflected on Monday’s ranking table.