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Rios shows a softer side



FROM THE INTERNATIONAL TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS IN DELRAY BEACH, FLA. – Maybe it’s maturity, maybe it’s being a married man, maybe it’s fatherhood, or maybe it’s having experienced the hard knocks of life after being on top of the world.

Any way you want to analyze it, the bottom line is that former world No. 1 Marcelo Rios has developed a slightly different perspective on his career these days.

“I’m just trying to play day-by-day,” Rios said. “I’ve been struggling with my tennis the last two years. Now I just want to continue to play and enjoy it and, of course, do as good as I can.”

While it would be foolish to believe that the 27-year-old Rios has totally lost his ornery ways, he seems to have settled down quite a bit. In the past, Rios would spend most of his time in press conferences muttering incomplete answers, but here at the International Tennis Championships he’s actually answering questions with complete sentences.

Back in 1998 when he was one of the hottest players on the road Rios had real “attitude.”

ONLY NO. 1 PLAYER WITHOUT A GRAND SLAM TITLE
He briefly stood atop the charts that March having reached the Australian Open final and winning back-to-back trophies at the Pacific Life Open and NASDAQ-100 Open. But on his way he made quite few enemies. The press reviled him and according to his own reports, he wasn’t that popular in the locker-room – he once admitted he wasn’t well liked with his colleagues and he didn’t really care.

By 1999, despite finishing the season just within the Top 10, Rios was starting to experience injuries cropping up quickly. By late 1999, Rios had a year that sounded ideal for the medical journals – hamstring strain, stress fracture in his back, thigh, hip and groin problems. In November of that year, he had abductor surgery on both legs and even the other day in Delray, he admitted he isn’t always pain-free since the operation.

This season started late for Rios, at the Davis Cup first round against Ecuador in early February. He then went all the way to the final of the Vina Del Mar tournament in Chile, but to date has never won a tournament on his home country soil. He followed the final appearance in Chile with a quarterfinal showing at Acapulco before he moved onto the hard courts this week in Delray Beach.

“It’s never a problem for me to go from clay to hard,” Rios said. “The clay in Acapulco plays pretty fast.”

Since the birth of his daughter, Constanza in June 2001, Rios occasionally seems to let down his guard and show his softer side. He admits that bad days at the office seem to melt away when he gets back to the hotel and plays with his child.

Nevertheless, his desire to be in charge hasn’t declined to oblivion.

A large tattoo adorns Rios’ left upper arm and while it looks like a large mosaic to the layman’s eye. According to the Chilean, it is a turtle, which is very important because the reptile is symbolic of power. Rios had the inspiration to go for a tattoo while on vacation in Papette, Tahiti.

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I love him. His magic touch and lovely angles ;)
 

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We can´t forget that when he become first south american #| a reported asked him
- ¿Are you the new Guillermo Vilas? - and his answer was:
- Vilas never was #1.......

Now he´s another Marcelo:
Luis Lobo (great argentinian doubles player, he was Rios´s coach and he´s a good friend) is commenting Wimbledon iat ESPN and he was asked about Rios.
He said "Marce is playing his roll of sweed daddy these days. Just give him some time, he does what he feels every day when he wokes up".

Come back Marce!
Thank you for the article Vaiva
 

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Rios :kiss: :kiss: he's always had a softer side. the media are only now reporting it.
 

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A softer side of Rios? :confused: As John McEnroe would say, "You cannot be serious"! ;)

Thanks for the article Vaiva! :angel: That was nice.

But Rios is such a wizard with a tennis racquet in his left hand! :D It's a shame injuries have taken such a great toll on his great talent! :(
 

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Yep Vaiva, I feel sorry for him that he can't stay competitive for long with so much talents. :( Hope for the best for Rios. I don't want to see him retires. Go Rios :)
 
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