Mexico is better known for a wide range of sports before tennis. There are Mexican tennis players. The issue is that they aren’t very notable by world standards. Despite this, there have been some very formidable Mexican tennis players, most of whom played in the past rather than in the present.
Here are 10 of the best Mexican tennis players to ever play:
10. Marcello Lara
Marcello Lara was born in Mexico City. That is something interested individuals will see more than once on this list. After all, Mexico City had a large population before it was Mexico City because it was founded on the site of Mexico-Tenochtitlan.
Its population surged during the second half of the 20th century because of domestic migration, though that has given ground to natural growth as the main source of the city’s continuing population increase in more recent decades. Regardless, Lara is on this list because he won a decent number of victories over his career, which enabled him to secure two doubles titles in the 1970s.
9. Bruno Echagaray
For instance, Bruno Echagaray is another Mexican tennis player born in Mexico City. In his case, he was born in 1983, meaning he played from 2000 to 2010. Echagaray did well enough during that time. He peaked at number 156 for singles and number 162 for doubles. Moreover, he earned more than $223,000 even though he never won any titles.
8. Santiago Gonzalez
Santiago Gonzalez has been playing ever since he turned pro in 2001. He peaked at the number 155 position for singles, which isn’t much higher than Echagaray’s performance. In contrast, he peaked at the number 22 position for doubles, which is a much more impressive number.
Gonzalez managed this because he is genuinely a formidable force in doubles and mixed doubles tennis. He isn’t quite top-tier. Even so, it is telling that he has reached the finals of a Grand Slam tournament on three separate occasions. Thanks to these performances, Gonzalez has earned more than $2.7 million in prize money.
7. Joaquin Loyo-Mayo
Joaquin Loyo-Mayo was a member of a much earlier generation. As such, he played in the 1960s and 1970s. That is important because Olympics.com mentions that ATP rankings started seeing use during the mid-1970s, which would have been towards the tail end of his career. Despite this, Loyo-Mayo reached the 99th position in the world in April 1976.
6. Leonardo Lavalle
Leonardo Lavalle played from 1985 to 1998. He never won any Grand Slam titles, but he did win a singles title plus five doubles titles. His victories propelled him to number 51 in the world for singles in March 1986 and number 23 in the world for doubles in April 1992. Lavalle even competed in the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. Unfortunately, he was defeated in the quarterfinals by Spain’s Jordi Arrese, who went on to win the silver medal for the event.
5. Luis Herrera
Luis Herrera started playing a bit later than Lavalle in the late 1980s rather than in the mid-1980s. He never won any titles. Curiously, he managed to reach the number 49 position for singles anyways. Herrera was a frequent sight at Grand Slam tournaments in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
The issue is that he never managed to get very far in them. Specifically, the furthest Herrera ever got was the third round at Wimbledon in 1992. Other than that, he reached the second round at the French Open in 1989, though that was in the doubles competition rather than the singles competition.
4. Yola Ramirez
Yola Ramirez seems to be the best-known female Mexican tennis player. She was active during the 1950s and 1960s. In that period, her victories enabled her to become the sixth-highest-ranking female tennis player in the world. Titles-wise, Ramirez did quite well.
She made it to the finals of the French Open on two separate occasions but never won a Grand Slam singles title. However, she had better luck with the doubles competition where she won one Grand Slam doubles title and one Grand Slam mixed doubles title.
3. John Doeg
John Doeg is a bit of an edge case. He was born in the city of Guaymas in the state of Sonora in 1908. Later, he became an American citizen in 1933, which was midway through his tennis career from 1927 to 1940. In any case, Doeg reached the number four position in 1930.
One can question about how comparable being high-ranked in the 1930s is to being high-ranked in more decades. Still, Doeg did win both a Grand Slam singles title and a Grand Slam doubles title in the same year, which gives him a great deal of credibility no matter what people think about that issue.
2. Raul Ramirez
There can be no doubt that Raul Ramirez was one of the best tennis players of his time during the 1970s and the 1980s. After all, he peaked at the number four position for singles. Furthermore, he peaked at the number one position for doubles. On top of these things, Ramirez managed to consistently win tournaments.
He won 19 singles titles and 60 doubles titles, which made it very clear that his rankings were no flukes. He even managed to win not one, not two, but three Grand Slam doubles titles. The first was the French Open in 1975. Then, he followed up by winning Wimbledon in 1976 and a second French Open in 1977.
1. Rafael Osuna
Rafael Osuna is the undisputed choice for the best Mexican tennis player to emerge so far. Indeed, he is the only Mexican tennis player who has been admitted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, which is no small honor.
As for how Osuna earned that honor, he won four Grand Slam titles and two Olympic gold medals in exhibition events. Sadly, Osuna could have achieved even more as a tennis player if it wasn’t for the airplane crash that killed him when he was just 30 years old in 1969.
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