NewsUSAMartin Landaluce, a partner for Alcaraz

Martin Landaluce, a partner for Alcaraz

Martin Landaluce (Madrid, 16 years old) bursts into an outside terrace of the Arthur Ashe and impresses with his physique. There is no trap or cardboard, he says that it comes as standard. His crown is 1.91 tall and from his appearance it could be said that he is an associate of Casper Ruud or one of the vikings Nordics who perform discreetly on the circuit, but it is not like that. Blue eyes, but scrambled and golden, like the eyebrows; thin, very long arms and legs, and three chains around his neck.

“My parents are Spanish and the rest of my family too, so I don’t know where this comes from… Fate, or something like that,” he says the afternoon before winning the US Open in the junior category, after winning the final (7-6(3), 5-7 and 6-2, in 2h 13m) to the Belgian Gilles Arnaud Bailly, second seeded in the tournament and whom he had already defeated in the round of 16 at Wimbledon a couple of months ago. “I am from Tres Olivos, which is near Montecarmelo, next to the Federation, which is where I train. I have little to grow. I think I’m stuck, but I’m fine like this. It is a good height ”, he thanks.

The boy talks with a lot of self-confidence, after having managed perfectly with the journalists who questioned him earlier in English. He says that he started playing tennis “at the age of three” because his family instilled in him a passion for the racket and that he began under the orders of his father Alejandro, when he rehearsed at the Chamartin Tennis Club and entered the Federation. “I started going to tournaments when I was 10 years old and I was gaining a level and doing fairly well, so little by little until here. Here I am”, he points out before mentioning that two years ago he started working with the Galician Oscar Burrieza and that he is accompanied in New York by Esteban Carril.

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In addition to his physical size, Landaluce is singled out as the best player of his generation, that of 2006. Reports about the Madrilenian were already circulating behind the scenes of Spanish tennis since he was a child, with the technicians and specialists attentive to a modern skipper talent, dexterous and powerful backhand; also, sure of himself and with personality. “Yes, the truth is that I have a lot of confidence and I like challenges. I like to face difficult things ”, he specifies before proceeding to X-ray.

Zverev, sacrifice and the new page

“My style is quite aggressive. I like to be on the line and be the one in charge and the one who directs the game. I like to play fast and do damage, resolve in a few shots. For years I have followed Zverev a lot, because I think we have a very similar mold, and since Alcaraz is breaking it everywhere, I have been paying attention to him; In addition, he is a very good person too, so they are both good references”, says the Madrid native, who has already become the third Spaniard to win the junior at Flushing Meadows after Javier Sanchez Vicario (1986) and Daniel Rincon (19), winner of the course past.

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Regardless of the success, Landaluce appears as a good travel companion for Alcaraz, with whom he shares representation –both supervised by the multinational IMG– and with whom he has already made good friends. Despite being only three years younger, a 2003 vintage in the case of the Murcian, the man from Madrid is inspired by his friend – “he does incredible things, I hope I will be there in four years too” – and anticipates that he is ready to give a new step: “I think this is going to be one of my last junior tournaments and now I am going to get into it a bit. pro [profesional]in the futures [la categoria inicial]. I’ll play and see how it goes, and at 18 I’ll decide: be a professional or go to university”.

Landaluce has two siblings, a boy and a girl, who also play tennis and are on scholarships in the United States: “He in Georgia and she in Texas, San Antonio.” Personally, the boy describes himself as “a guy who enjoys the little things” and who has just started high school, which he plans to finish in two years online. He listens to rock, reggaeton, techno, “a bit of everything”, and says he is very aware of what it means to dedicate himself to the racket and the toll that it entails: “I have been sacrificing some hangouts and birthdays for years. I’m clear about how things are going and I’m willing to sacrifice myself for it”.

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He spends two or three hours a day on the track, and an hour and a half on the physical, strikingly developed for a young man of 16. He rests one or two days a week, “depending on how his body is”, and begins to leave a mark with the flash in Corona Park. This year, his file reveals five trophies in the under-18 youth world: Valencia, Cap d’Ail (France) and Plovdiv (Bulgaria), Roehampton and Nottingham (England).

Now that Spanish tennis is definitely turning the page, with the progressive goodbye of various symbols (Ferrer, Almagro, Robredo…) and others on the starting ramp (Feliciano, Verdasco…), Alcaraz picks up the baton and invites the player from Madrid -who has come to link 23 consecutive wins this campaign – to get on the elite train. “I follow Martin closely, he is a great and hard-working boy. I have been able to train several times with him and I think he is very good. He makes me happy to know that I am an example and that I can help him in his career”, comments the brand new finalist, who reserves a place for Landaluce.

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Source: EL PAIS


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