Published on June 14th, 2014 | by Daniel Boyle0
Lama to Become Chile’s New Top Man
Gonzalo Lama will shoot up the rankings following an impressive performance in the Caltanissetta Challenger tournament. After reaching the semi-final, he will leap ahead of Hans Podlipnik at the top of Chile’s tennis players.
Ranked at 249 coming into the tournament, Lama defeated Italy’s Potito Starace in the quarter final to set an appointment with Argentina’s Facundo Bagnis. The South American Games gold medalist is ranked 121, having defeated second seed Pablo Andújar in straight sets in the quarter final.
The winner of the all South American clash will face either Spain’s Pablo Carreño (73) or Brazil’s Joao Souza (150).
Lama took just over an hour and a half to defeat the former world number 27, winning the first set in a tiebreak before carrying on to take the second 6-4. Starace, who won the doubles in Viña del Mar in 2013 alongside Paolo Lorenzi, has slid down the rankings to 176.
Having already jumped 17 places in the ATP ranking, the next time the rankings are published, Lama will be close to the top 200, and if he continues his form could be able to player in ATP events later in the year. The Chilean youngster knocked off Pere Riba earlier in the tournament, the best victory of his career.