Getting to know: Santiago Giraldo
If JMDP has a thread, I think Santiago Giraldo from
Colombia deserves one as well. I am happy to be a
founder of this thread and I hope to update it, as I
see I'm not as busy as I thought I would (at least at
the beginning of schoolyear).
Santiago Giraldo was born on 27th November (ahh a
November child!!!!) 1987 in Pereira, Colombia, but now
lives in his home country capital - Bogota and works with Team Colsanitas. He has been seen practising with people who used to be responsible for Fabiola Zuluaga preparation.
My interest on Santiago Giraldo occured when I was
preparing materials for the website I used to have,
about players from Latin America. I wanted to pick up
some promising juniors and follow their developing
careers. It was September 2003. Giraldo had 7 won
tournaments in Boys-16 age category in singles and
doubles that time. In that moment, his junior career
stopped, but it doesn't mean he decided to give up
tennis. He started showing up in local futures events.
Continuing about his junior career, he played only 3
events in Boys-18 category. Two of them were really
successful. Given in January a Wild Card to G-1
tournament in Bogota, he won the event. Then, in May, he
entered Roland Garros main draw after quallies and
lost in straight sets to eventual quaterfinalist Juan
Martin del Potro (Argentina). Surprisingly, the Colombian was
seeded 4 in another Grand Slam event for juniors, the
US Open. He took an advantage of that fact, reaching
the semifinal, where he lost to eventual finalist,
Jeremy Chardy of France.
Aged 15, he became a tennis professional. Beginning of his career wasn't easy, like in most of the cases for young players. There was no need to panic after being bagelled in first appearance in main draw of futures (in Colombia) by Carlos Avellan from Ecuador. Just one week after, he overcame Avellan in the quallification. How it happened? Giraldo got a walkover. He started playing futures more seriously in 2003, when he earned his first ATP point, after few attempts. As he received a WC to national ITF event, he defeated Erasmo Vasquez from Mexico. It took few big months for Giraldo to get really noticed in seniors tour. Where could it be? No other place, but in Bogota challenger in April 2005. The Colombian made a benefit of another wild card, reaching the quaterfinal. Even though he has never been above that level, he repeated challengers quaterfinals in Gramado in August, and in Bogota 3 this week. Impressive victories over no3 seeded Boris Pashanski and a hyped Argentinian junior player Juan Martin del Potro can give hope to Giraldo and his supporters give the hope he will be able to take the revenge on Marcos Daniel, his next opponent. This year young Colombian already has lost to Daniel. Neverthless, our hero is still on the run, continuing his winning time. Taking the crown in Medellin futures (15.000$) and winning two more matches in a challenger, he made it into seven match victories in a row.
Favourite surface for Santiago Giraldo is clay, however he knows how to play on hardcourt as well. He's right-handed, plays double-handed backhand. He started his adventure with tennis at the age of 6 or 7, following steps of his whole family, especially mother. I am not sure about this, but I suppose Daniel Giraldo, who unsuccessfully tried himself as a pro player is his older brother, and talented Andrea Giraldo is his younger sister. As far as they are not his cousins or they are not related at all. The Bogota's inhabitant likes listening to music (mainly merengue, salsa and vallenato) and using computer, so he's got rather typical hobby for teenagers all around the world. What makes him different to many others, is his goal: he wants to be ranked in top ten between senior players. As for now, he's ranked at 358 ATP, which is his highest position. The admirer of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal can be soon the one, on which eyes of Colombian tennis fans will be turned on as Fabiola Zuluaga retired and Alejandro Falla cannot fight back against injuries.
Good luck Santi!
all rights reserved, Nathaliia M.