What is missing for Latin American tennis players to stay with the elite?

More WTA tournaments in Latin America would make it more common to see tennis players from the region among the elite, Colombia’s Camila Osorio, Argentina’s Nadia Podoroska and Mexico’s Fernanda Contreras assured EFE.

“Being in Latin America is a big help, to feel closer to home, it’s a big plus. We benefit from being together with people of the same language and a similar culture,” explains Osorio, the head of second best Latina in the WTA. ranking, in 61st place, only behind the Brazilian Beatriz Haddad, 12th in the world.

Eight WTA tournaments were played in Latin America in 2022, including four in Mexico, where the 125 category was held in Tampico, the 250 in Zapopan and Monterrey, and the Masters 1,000 in Guadalajara.

“Now there are more tournaments, but not before and that will make more Latin American players grow. You also have to work on the mental part, believe more and trust that you can do it, that not only Asian, Northern American, European can It is fundamental,” added Osorio, who won her only WTA title in 2021 at the Bogota Open, in her native Colombia.

Podoroska, the highest-ranked Argentine in the WTA at 109th, admitted more tournaments in Latin America would close the gap to European and American tennis players who regularly dominate the women’s circuit.

“There are many differences in playing in Latin America. The first is that a European or an American playing in their country trains at home, goes to the tournament, which is an hour or two away, and they return home to to train when they are now I left before Christmas, it’s been two months since 2023 and I still haven’t returned home,” he said.

If there were more tournaments in his country or in the region, Podoroska assured that he would not get so mentally tired, since he would not go several months without seeing his closest people.

“The economic part also has an impact. It’s not the same who has a short flight than someone who has to go to Europe or the United States and back. All these things affect the performance one can have while touring and being surrounded by people who doing the same as you and being on the same level. In South America we are a few players who are more involved in the WTA these days,” she added.

Contreras believed that sometimes it’s not just about having tournaments, but also having the support of institutions such as local tennis federations.

For example, the Mexican is experiencing a crisis that prevented the best local tennis players from participating in the Davis Cup match against Taiwan due to the lack of organization and professionalism of the managers.

“We need to develop more, get more support or be more united with the federation. I know it’s complicated and the politics get in the way, but Mexico has a lot of potential and in the future we can improve,” said the Mexican.

Osorio, Podoroska and Contreras met this week in Mexico, where they were eliminated in the first round of the first edition of the Mérida Open, a WTA 250 hard-court tournament with the final on Sunday.

Source: El heraldo