Javier Marti – Another One to Watch


Today’s One to Watch from the Challenger Tennis blog is Javier Marti.

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The 18 year-old from Spain made an early name for himself by winning the European Championships (U12) at age 11.   As with the course of many a Spanish prodigy, he largely left juniors behind in his mid-teens (he had always played up a level in juniors anyway), posting two quarterfinal and one semifinal showing in 2008 and finishing the year ranked #847 at age 16.

He started 2009 a rickety 9/15 but had twice the success in the second half of his season, going 18/15 to finish at 27/30 for the year. This year, Marti overcame an 0-5 start to his 2010 campaign to win his first pro tournament at the Bulgaria F3 Futures event in May.

But he didn’t stop there; the speedy-wiry Spaniard with the liquid backhand went on to take titles in Romania and Portugal as well, finishing at a 54/28 pace, gaining 350 spots on the ATP ladder and slicing his ranking in (more than) half, from #685 to #335. He’s now the fifth-youngest player in the Top 400, behind Bernard Tomicyesterday’s profilee Facundo Arguello, Ryan Harrison andFilip Krajinovic.

Though he didn’t have much success at the Challenger level, going 6/9 on the year, he did post wins over Sam Groth and Alex Ward, and I strongly suspect that his results will only continue to improve has he fills out and gets stronger. According to his coach, Oscar Burrieza, there’s a lot he can do to get better mentally as well. I’ll have the opportunity to see him play in a few weeks, as he’s on the entry list for the USA F2 Futures in Tamarac, FL. I’m very much looking forward to my first chance to see him play in person.

OK, I got some vids for ya. This first one, which I trust you skipped right to (per my instructions), is of Collarini and Marti facing off in a U16 battle in Palafrugell Spain. I won’t spoil the outcome for you – you’ll just have to watch and see. What I will say, is that – with its hilariously epic music and descriptive documentation – I hope and expect this holcombBrook masterpiece to one day be looked back upon as a vital document of two talents who have since made it big. Their games may have changed a bit since then, but this vid provides terrific audiovisual insight into the sometimes awkward and hard-to-read lefty game of Collarini, as well as the tremendous racquet head speed of the Marti forehand and his comparatively compact and smooth swing off the backhand side. Great stuff! (Marti is the one in blue the blue top).

CLICK HERE for the whole article

CLICK HERE for his ATP page

Marti finished up last year ranked #335. Since then he has moved all the way up to #188. His doubles ranking went from 296 to 254. His ranking has risen consistently throughout the year. I look forward to seeing how far he can go.

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