Still Joyful in Defeat -
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-05-2005, 05:34 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
undomiele's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Buenos Aires
Age: 39
Posts: 1,735
Still Joyful in Defeat

A friend of mine emailed me this article from her local paper today. What a wonderful article. Its the dreams of the players that make the place so magical to so many.

Loser still joyful in defeat
May 24, 2005

PARIS - Even in defeat -- and this four-hour saga was particularly unpalatable -- Hugo Armando was overjoyed.

He dropped into a metal chair just outside the players lounge when it was over, showing no signs of fatigue after playing the first five-setter of his nine-year career, and unleashed the biggest grin in his happiness repertoire.

"It was a tough way to lose," he said after rallying from two sets down, "but I can't tell you how happy I am to be here."

Born in Miami 27 years ago of Argentine parents, Armando has been trying since 1997 to get into the main draw of the French Open, the one tournament he has dreamed of playing since he was a boy.

It didn't matter that he got in this year as the fifth lucky loser out of qualifying. It didn't matter that he and Fernando Vicente, the big, bruising Spaniard, were sent way out on Court 14, which is Siberia at Roland Garros.

The important thing was he was on the red clay in a main-draw match in Paris instead of watching on television, as he has so many times.

What a 24 hours he had here as he waited out the final day before the start of the tournament.

He had lost in the third and final round of the qualifying event, but because of his ranking (No. 152) he could still get into the French if five main-draw players pulled out.

One by one they dropped. Taylor Dent and Lleyton Hewitt. Joachim Johansson. Then, on Sunday, the Italian Potito Starace tore ligaments in his ankle while practicing, leaving Armando one away.

"Around noon, someone told me Sjeng Schalken was hurt, but officials told me, no, he hadn't pulled out," Armando said. A bit dejected, he went back to his hotel and fell asleep.

At 7:30 p.m., Andre Silva, one of the ATP Tour player relations officials, called and gave him the good news. Schalken was out and he was the fifth lucky loser.

"I couldn't believe it. I called my parents in Bradenton, my wife, my sister in Weston. Everybody."

Everything was happening quickly now. He needed sleep. He needed to get his head squared away. And he needed to be ready at 11 a.m. Monday for the first match on Court 14.

"I didn't have any nervousness," he said.

Maybe he didn't have time to get nervous. Nor was there time to sit around wondering how to play Vicente. It didn't really matter whom he was playing anyway. Anyone was going to be tough for him.

Vicente won the opening sets 7-6 (3), 6-4 and, while Armando had competed hard, he didn't have the Spaniard's weapons. At set point in the second, Armando hit a strong approach shot and swarmed to the net. Vicente sliced a ball so delicately it looked as if it were in slow motion as it dipped and curled away from Hugo's racket.

"At that point, I thought, `Just play hard -- anything can happen.'"

He won the next two sets 6-2, 6-4 but was broken early in the fifth and never equaled.

For some players, Wimbledon is the paradigm event. For Americans, it's usually the U.S. Open. But for Armando, who is American, it's the French. It's his Argentine roots and the friendships he made when he went back to Buenos Aires to play juniors. The red clay is in his fabric.

Four times he had tried and failed to qualify here and once, in 2001, he reached a career-best ranking of 100, which put him straight into the main draw. But he injured his wrist and couldn't compete.

Four years later he has realized his dream. Or at least part of it. A win would have been a happier ending. He'll turn 27 in three days, and that's getting near the end of the peak years for most tennis players.

But after what he has been able to do here this year, his appetite is re-whetted. He wants to be back in the French in 2006. And he wants to get past the first round.

MY FAVES: Coria, Nalbandian, Canas, FOXY Ferrero, Guga, Grosjean, Costa, Juan Monaco.
~"There are more people of good conscience on this planet than all the terrorists combined. We must make greater common cause by caring about each other, just as London's bystanders did by aiding the victims after the attacks. In the end, the malignancy of terrorism will be excised because of our humanity." Abramson

~"What's the matter with this embalming fluid? Did somebody spike it with coffee???"

Last edited by undomiele; 06-05-2005 at 05:41 AM.
undomiele is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-05-2005, 05:45 AM
Registered User
Gonzo Hates Me!'s Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2002
Age: 33
Posts: 3,591
Re: Still Joyful in Defeat

There's something wrong about this part: At 7:30 p.m., Andre Silva, one of the ATP Tour player relations officials, called and gave him the good news. Schalken was out and he was the fifth lucky loser.

"I couldn't believe it. I called my parents in Bradenton, my wife, my sister in Weston. Everybody."

it's kinda wrong, yet interesting when one man's injury is another man's celebration--that Schalken's disappointment is 'great news" for Armando. But I understand, I understand

With each passing season, I discover new reason
SAMPRAS --> Rios --> KUERTEN --> Kafelnikov -->
Federer --> Hewitt --> RODDICK --> GONZALEZ -->
NALBANDIAN --> Benneteau --> Davydenko --> Mathieu -->
TURSUNOV --> Mantilla --> KIEFER --> NADAL -->
Karlovic --> Odesnik --> Stepanek --> Monfils -->

Oliver Cromwell lay buried and dead. Hee-haw. Buried and dead.

Last edited by Gonzo Hates Me!; 06-05-2005 at 06:06 AM.
Gonzo Hates Me! is offline  
post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-05-2005, 05:49 AM
Registered User
robinhood's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 3,271
Re: Still Joyful in Defeat

What a nice story.
I am amazed that this reporter even thought of doing a story on Armando.
Good for both of them.
And best of luck Armando next year!

FEDERER 17 & Counting (fingers crossed)
SAFIN 2 and Out (T.T)


robinhood is offline  
post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-05-2005, 11:47 AM
bad gambler
Posts: n/a
Re: Still Joyful in Defeat

thanks for the article

hope he has some success down the track
post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-05-2005, 12:06 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 24,604
Re: Still Joyful in Defeat

Thanks for the article. Kind of puts things ino perspective...when one player who has earned his place in the draw based on 12 months results is injured and thinking of withdrawing, another is chomping at the bit to take his place. In a non-sick way I would like to see more injured players withdrawing - it is good for 2 reasons.

1 - They don't make the injury worse
2 - Sometimes their place goes to a worthy player like Armando.
Horatio Caine is offline  
post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-05-2005, 12:06 PM
MONSOON season.
CooCooCachoo's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Upstate New York
Age: 31
Posts: 78,395
Re: Still Joyful in Defeat

That's a great article, thanks

I am really happy for Hugo I think he's an awesome player on clay (saw him some years ago in Scheveningen) and I believe he can go further.


Bachinger|Basilashvili|Brands|Broady|Clezar|Cuevas |Eysseric|Giannessi|Gombos
Granollers|Grigelis|Huta Galung|Ilhan|Kudla|Al. Kuznetsov|Mannarino
Menendez|Mitchell|Naso|Paire|Peliwo|Polansky|Rober t|Rubin|Smyczek|J. Sousa|Weintraub

CooCooCachoo is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome