I am writing this after the outcome of the Quito Final. But I will say now that no matter what happens from now til the end of his career, it does not change the fact that Victor Estrella Burgos is my hero and deserves the title of GOAT. In this post I will start with stating why he is my hero, why he should be all of ours
, and why he is the greatest example in tennis today of prevailing against human suffering. My other big piece of this post will be about why he, more than anyone else deserves the title of GOAT.
Simply put, Victor is my hero because he has overcome struggles. But much more than me, is that he has proved the naysayers wrong. While it is true that he has limited talent and initially was confronted by the problem that he was for a long time, much shorter than many of the other players in tournaments. When he was 14, he was turned away from a tournament. “The first time I played an adult tournament, I was 14 years old,” Victor said. “They don’t want to let me play because I’m so short, so small. I was like 5 feet, maximum. They don’t want me to play because the tournament had an alcohol sponsor, Heineken. They said, ‘No, he cannot play.’ I was crying; I was fighting with them, ‘Please, I want to play.’
Prior to this, there were many that doubted whether a boy so short could win a point against boys so much taller. After all, 8-12 inches makes a huge
difference. The biggest moments in Victor’s career came when he overcame those alcohol pushing naysayers to make the semi final of his home event. “And then they let me play in my city. I made the semifinals, in Santiago. After that, they let me play all the alcohol tournaments.”
In 2005, after three years as a pro tennis player and going nowhere, his own father said that he may need to choose another sport. But overcome this negativity Victor did. In 2014, when with a talent level that would cripple many an aspiring player (caused by being poor and not having a coach as a young boy), Victor made the 100. People had thought that Victor had reached his peak, but as we saw in 2015, he swept aside the star-studded Quito field to take home the title.
The frequently used point to the reason as to why Victor cannot be classified as the GOAT (Greatest of All Time) is that he doesn't have any Slams, or 1000 titles or even a 500 title. But what now needs to be taken into consideration is that Victor has often been hampered by his lack of skills. He has therefore missed playing in a lot of Slams, and he has been taken out early in some others, due often to said lack of skills.
If Victor had not won Quito, I don't think he would deserve so much discussion in the GOAT argument. But as he sits on a total of one 250 title, this is not too shabby. He has built up a very respectable haul, despite being hampered by a lack of height and skills. There is the fact that he has won 44 APT World Tour and Grand Slam matches and only lost 22, with a FEDEX Index of 0.647. In fact, I would argue that winning a first title after such a long time on tour, places him in an unique and elite company. When it comes to deciding on him vs. Federer as the GOAT, Federer’s Grand Slam and Masters Series titles I think is balanced out by Victor’s unique feat. I think that his even head-to-head record against Federer and his ability to win titles at the advanced age of 34 (something Federer has not managed) places him in the better position. When you add to this the factor that the common man can find more in common with Victor than in Federer, this adds further weight to the Victor argument. After all, how many of us are as naturally talented as Federer clearly is? It is said that Federer doesn't have to train as much as the other players. Wouldn't we all love to hardly train, and just be great?
I'm sure we would, but the fact is that for 99.999999 percent of us, we struggle to keep the ball in court after five rallies. Every time he goes out on the court we can all see Victor having the same problem.
Whether he wins another title or not, as a fan, I still and always will regard him as a personal hero of mine. He is in my eyes, the Greatest Player of All Time.
Author: SaddIsUs McCrappy