Last year, Victor Estrella Burgos became the first player from the Dominican Republic to break the Top 100 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. The 34 year old remains a constant force on the ATP Challenger Tour with five titles to his name, Scoop Malinowski reports for the ATP World Tour.
Now in the quarter-finals at the Ecuador Open Quito, the World No. 73 recalls his greatest career moments, favourite athletes and best tennis memories in this Biofile with Scoop Malinowski.
First Tennis Memory: I played a regional tournament in Santo Domingo. I remember in the final I beat the No. 1 seed, who at this moment was 10 years old; I was nine. I won 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. This was my first tournament.
Tennis Inspirations: My dream and inspiration was to be in the Top 100 [of the Emirates ATP Rankings]. Now I try to get better and better every day with the ranking and be in better tournaments.
First Famous Player You Met Or Encountered: Was Pat Cash at a tournament in North Carolina. I met also Marcelo Rios in 2003 at Pan-American Games in Dominican. I met him in the locker room. We were talking, he was very nice.
Last Book Read: I read a book about Pele about two years ago.
Current Car: I have a Dodge Charger in Santo Domingo.
Greatest Sports Moment: I have a lot of greatest moments. Like when I won the Challenger in Salinas. Because I knew if I won this match in the final, I would make the Top 100. And I became No. 97. This was my greatest moment because I finally made the Top 100. The dream came true. I waited for this moment so much. After the Mexican Challenger (a week before Salinas), I knew if I won this tournament, I was going to make Top 100 for sure. Match by match, I won, I won. Then when I get to the finals…[I thought] this day is gonna be my day. I remember when I won the match (def. Collarini), I lay down on the court. That was a very great moment for me.
Most Painful Moment: I had a great pain in Davis Cup 2012 against Mexico. I got an elbow injury in the doubles – I tore cartilage. We were 2-0 up then we lost in the doubles. Then on Sunday I had to play the singles. After the singles match I could not play anymore. I tried to go to the Quito Challenger and I got to the quarter-finals but I had to retire. I could not play for eight months. Eight months out of tennis. This is my big pain. Eight months out of tennis – September 2012 to July 2013.
Strangest Match: I have strange matches in Davis Cup especially. I have matches when I was down two sets and a break in the third. Like three times. I was very tired. I don’t know how I won these matches.
Favourite Tournament: US Open.
Three Athletes You Like To Watch And Follow: I like so much David Ortiz. I like so much LeBron James. In our sport the only guy I like so much how he plays is Roger (Federer). He plays unbelievable, he makes everything look easy.
Favourite Sport Outside Tennis: Baseball. I can play baseball all day every day. I enjoy it so much.
Best You Ever Felt On Court: In Bogota I played unbelievable against (Richard) Gasquet. I remember I made some very huge passing shots with my backhand, which is not my big shot. This happened to me like two times in the last game. Hit two very good passing shots. This is my best match.
Why Do You Love Playing Tennis: I love tennis because I love to play. I enjoy hitting my forehand. I enjoy this work. I enjoy running around the court and everything.
Embarrassing Tennis Memory: No, I don’t think so. I don’t remember. I don’t care about the score. I’m enjoying the moment. I don’t remember any embarrassing thing about tennis.
People Qualities Most Admired: Happy people. I love when someone is happy, no matter even if they have no money.
For the original report go to http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/Tennis/2015/02/5/Biofile-Estrella-Burgos.aspx