Tennis Birthdays – Feb. 12, 2016

A solid birthday day today, from France, Spain, Poland and the U.S.

Juan Carlos Ferrero (ESP), 36

Mullet ... sleveless. Not sure about the look.

Mullet … sleeveless. Not sure about the look.

A former No. 1, Juanqui has just 16 career titles, but one of them is a big one: the 2003 French Open.

Of the 16, 13 came on clay. Not too surprising.

An elegant champion, Ferrero’s career just sort of faded out – the arrival of Nadal on the clay front – especially the French Open front – sort of closed the doors for the other strong clay-courters, particularly his countrymen, to aspire for that title. He also got hit with injuries.

Now, he owns the Equelite Academy (which was in place before he was done), and they’re working hard on developing young players.  He also was part of the ownership group for the ATP Tour stop in Valencia, and was the tournament director. But the event officially sold out to a group that will move it to Antwerp, after a lot of struggles – particularly with the local government – to keep it afloat.

There was talk, after Carlos Moyá left the captaincy of the Davis Cup squad, that Ferrero was an obvious replacement. But the Spanish federation went with Gala Leon, with all the attendant drama, and that remains kind of a mess.

Jérémy Chardy (FRA), 29

chardy-wimb_new

A flashy shotmaker, Chardy stands at No. 28 in the rankings, which is more or less around the area he tends to be at his best, even though you look at him and think he should be better.

That’s true of many French players, though. Or seems to be. His career high so far came three years ago after the Australian Open, and it’s No. 25.

Chardy has one career title, in Stuttgart on clay back in 2009, but he’s closing in on $6 million in career earnings, so things are going well. He also looks awesome in Lacoste.

The mastermind digs him. And the chicks dig him, too. He’s diggable. Also – nice.

Chardy-Zvonareva_new

Chardy-Mouratoglou_new

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charlie Pasarell (USA), 72

pasarell-young-uclabruinsBorn in Puerto Rico, living in Indian Wells, Pasarell’s hair continues to be as impressive as his game was.

He turned pro in 1968, when it first became okay for professionals to compete in a truly open era. He played the Pasarell-olderUS Open from 1960-1979, missing just one year, and Wimbledon from 1963-1979 except for three editions. He made the quarter-finals once at each.  In doubles, he made three Slam finals (including in Australia, where he played only three times), but never pulled off a title.

He was also a college champ, starring for UCLA in 1966 and played Davis Cup for five years, including one championship season. He also was one of the founding player members of the ATP and before that, the Men’s pro council. He was on the ATP board for 20 years, until 2010.

After his playing days, Pasarell was one of the biggest impetuses behind the now-huge event at Indian Wells, which went through a few incarnations and a few locations before settling down and thriving in its current location. He was an owner, a tournament director, everything good about the event until he stepped aside in 2012. His work was done there.

(vintage photo from UCLABruins.com)

Magda Linette (POL), 24

Magda Linette_new

At 24, Linette seems to sort of be coming into her own. Currently ranked No. 97, her best ranking so far was No. 64 back in September.

She represented Poland against the US in Fed Cup last weekend in Hawaii, but couldn’t make a dent against either Venus Williams or Sloane Stephens. She has 18 combined titles on the ITF circuit.

 

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