Shinoji; I have heard from Chilean people that Rios is still the all time #1 sportsman in Chile's history, more so than Massu and Gonzo, eventhough they won gold medals at the Olympics. TV and newspapers followed him while he was still even a junior. Look at his resume on wikipedia, all the scrapes with the law, he was almost like a Tyson character. I mean one time he was in the wash room of a nightclub doing his business and the guy next to him taking a wizz, suddenly noticed it was Rios pissing at this side and began to tell him how much he liked him, blah blah. What does Rios, do? He turned and pissed on him. The alleged gambling away of his Australian Open earnings. This guy as an artist on the court and also a wildman off it. This equals huge popularity and notoriety. Tennis was a dead sport pre-Rios but when he came along the public courts filled up, people began to play. I remember on TV they said Rios dominated Guga in the juniors and for the first few matches in ATP but then Guga won in Paris and lost to Rios badly the next time they played on clay. But later Guga was able to beat Rios Both were huge inspirations for S. American tennis, in their own ways. So was Vilas. Gaudio is kind of forgotten now almost, though his French Open win was one of the best miracles in a slam final we will ever see.
I still think getting to #1 is a monumental achievement, in a way it's better than winning a slam. It shows you are the best player in the world. How many slam winners have their been in modern history compared to the total of #1s? A LOT more slam winners. Getting to #1 is more difficult.
Riosresigned, it is surprising that Rios made such an impact in Chile or South American Tennis. Didnt they have someone more accomplished than Rios. Like Kuerton or Gaudio or Villas from History. They are surely more successfull and got a more solid accomplishment than Rios. No disrespect to Rios and his supporters but at the end of the day ATP Number 1 is just a parameter for the success players have on court and not vice versa.
Like a Wozniacki, number 1 but no slams.
Its surprising that they look up to Rios so much when they likes of Kuerton,Gaudio and Vilas around.
Again retiring at 28 is rather strange. Seems to be he had a lack of motivation than fitness issues. You have so many examples of the Top Blokes and Girls who defied their age and carried well over the normal retiring age. Like Sampras,Connors,Navra,McE,Agassi .
Also i will take someone like Gonzales over Rios anyday. A Player who always gave his all on the tennis court.