I’m getting back to the Southern Cone, near to my people and a town of so many contrasts. Viña del Mar is so beautiful, From my window, I can see how the city spreads along the embossment.
To me, Chile is a country of good fortune. Just some years ago, I was able to reach the finals of 2011 Santiago ATP, my best records on that level. It was a tough match on which I defeated Italian Potito Sarace during the semifinals. But I was beaten in the finals by Tommy Robredo by 7-6 during the third round. Now I am reaching a semifinal again, during the 2014 Viña del Mar ATP 250. I was really close to dispute the title. During that match, I showed off my new jersey bearing Colombia’s national emblem. I was so proud to have it with me.
But the good news doesn’t stop there. I achieved my 100th victory on a ATP level circuit, defeating during quarterfinals the Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. A worthy opponent. My staff had a very nice gesture to me, they brought me a birthday cake to the play court! I was excited as if it was my birthday and so I blew the candles. I was so happy that I instantly uploaded a pic to my Instagram account. There is a lot of hard work to do in order to get far and high.
I am so happy for achieving 100 won matches on a ATP 100 circuit. To get and to hold such a competitive level on the best international circuit makes me feel so proud, for my career and the people that has always supported me along the way. I share the podium with two legends of the Colombian tennis: Ivan Molina and Jairo Velasco. It’s such a great honor to be the third Colombian tennis player that has won 100 matches in this category.
One of my memories from that trip, was that the Royal Guard Open Chile and our friends at TECHO —Andres Salazar among them— set up a space right at the middle of the ATP 250, just before the quarterfinals in which they invited me and Chilean player Nicolas Jarry to hang out with the children of the Granadillas IV, part of 54 local families.
I have a strong conviction to work with TECHO association because their work is oriented to improve the poverty situation for many people in Latin America and the Caribbean that lives on a precarious economic situation. So, we enjoyed some tennis initiation training with our new friends. Also with Jaime Filol, the director of the tournament.
It is time now to say goodbye to Chile and continue my travel along the Souther Cone. Thanks for everything! Now its time to visit Buenos Aires. Here we go!