Tennis birthdays – July 20, 2015

Does the hair make the man? Today’s birthday boy is a case study.

Maximo Gonzalez (ARG), 32

Gonzalez is yet another player out of Tandil, Argentina, the town that brought tennis Juan Martin del Potro and Juan Mónaco.

Gonzalez reached a career best No. 58 back in 2009, getting to the third round of the French Open. After that, he went through what a lot of clay-courters go through. They can get into the top 100 by sticking strictly to clay-court Challengers. But then, when it comes time to take the next step, which necessarily means playing on all sorts of surfaces, the cracks sometimes begin to show a little bit.

Listed at 5-foot-9 and 154 pounds, it’s tough on the body.

Gonzalez, shorn, at the 2014 French Open

Gonzalez, shorn, at the 2014 French Open

As well, Gonzalez has been plagued by injuries. He had knee surgery at the end of 2009, and had also been dealing with a hip injury. He injured his calf late in 2011, and had a shoulder injury in 2012 that cost him some time, then the knee again in 2013. He didn’t get to his first ATP-level main draw until the U.S. Open that year, and then won his first match at that level in two years.

At the moment, he’s ranked No. 147 in singles and No. 84 in doubles. He has mostly been playing Challengers in Italy but did pop into Wimbledon to lose in the first round of qualifying.

The trademark for this player is the hair. Gonzalez has lots of it. Or he did :-).

Don’t know if there was a Samson-type thing going on there. Perhaps he needs to think about growing back the fabulous mane.

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