Five Things To Know About Juan Ignacio Londero, Nadal's Next Opponent
Juan Ignacio Londero defeated home favourite Corentin Moutet 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 in three hours and 28 minutes on Friday to reach the fourth round of Roland Garros. The Argentine, who won his maiden ATP Tour title at the Cordoba Open in February, hit 53 winners and broke serve six times to move past the 20-year-old Frenchman.
Next up for the 25-year-old is 11-time champion Rafael Nadal, the second seed. It will be Londero's second match against a Top 10 opponent, having lost to 2018 Nitto ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev this year in Munich.
Here are five things to know about the 25-year-old Argentine:
1. This is Londero’s first Grand Slam main draw.
Before this event, Londero had competed in a Grand Slam qualifying draw eight times. Twice, at the 2014 US Open and 2018 Roland Garros, he made the final round, but was unable to advance to the main draw. The Argentine did not need to go through qualifying for this tournament because his ATP Ranking gained him direct entry.
Londero has taken full advantage of his Roland Garros debut, becoming the first man to reach the fourth round on his major debut since David Goffin reached the Round of 16 at 2012 Roland Garros. Londero is the fourth man to reach the fourth round on his Roland Garros debut since Goffin in 2012, following Dusan Lajovic (2014), Karen Khachanov (2017) and Maximilian Marterer (2018).
2. He began the year without a tour-level win.
Entering the Cordoba Open, Londero was 0-3 in tour-level matches. But as a wild card, he reached the final without dropping a set. Then, in the championship match against countryman Guido Pella, Londero trailed by a set and a break before pulling off a massive comeback to win his first ATP Tour title.
Few players have celebrated such runs. Belgian Steve Darcis was 0-2 entering Amersfoort when he qualified and won the title in 2007. Spain's Santiago Ventura had never played a tour-level match when he qualified for Casablanca in 2004 and then captured the crown.
3. Londero never believed he would win a title.
There is no doubt that Londero’s run in Cordoba was one dreams are made of. But the Argentine himself didn’t even dream that big.
“I'll speak from the heart: I never expected to win a tournament, not even close. Never thought about it. But I knew I could reach a semi-final, a few quarter-finals maybe. The truth is that I had doubts, but it is not that [the title] fell from the sky,” Londero said after his triumph. “I have done a great job. I have been playing very well and working hard… it was not a coincidence that I had this result. But still, I did not expect it.”
4. The Argentine began working with a yoga teacher this year.
After lifting the trophy in Cordoba, Londero thanked his team, and added that he began working with a yoga teacher in 2019. The Argentine also credited his psychologist in addition to his coaching staff.
5. He loves The Rock.
Londero’s favourite ______ is…
Movie: The Fast and the Furious
Actor: Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson
Book: Romeo and Juliet
Guilty Pleasure: Food