Things are really starting to get serious for Alejandro Davidovich. The career of the young tennis star, raised in La Cala del Moral and made in Marbella, is just getting started in earnest.
The 19-year-old, who first shot to prominence with victory at Junior Wimbledon in 2017, has been a professional for 14 months now. The original adjustment period contained more ups than downs, but the final third of 2018 and the start of 2019 have seen Davidovich take a massive step forward - reflected in a massive leap in his ATP ranking.
Currently in 181st place, Davidovich is one of Spain's greatest hopes for the future and is certainly one of the favourites for the Next Gen world championships in November.
Between the Davidovich of January 2018, when he had just started his life as a pro, and the current Davidovich, there are more than 300 places. After reaching the final of the Bangkok Challenger last week, he achieved a career-high 184th, rising a further three this week without even competing.
His progression is advancing at a steady rate, especially impressive in an environment in which players are competing well into their 30s, making a breakthrough into the top 100 more difficult than ever.
Fourteen months after finishing his junior career, Davidovich already has his first title, winning the Futures Quinta do Lago; he also reached three finals on the Challenger Tour, losing in Szczecin, Shenzhen and Bangkok. He was in the preliminary phase at Wimbledon and in the Australian Open, earning himself a call to join the Spain team for training to warm up for the Davis Cup in Marbella. To his achievements you can also add victory in the Master Futuro Nacional Mapfre under-23 tournament.
His meteoric rise so far has been managed by coach Jorge Aguirre who carefully selects the tournaments his young protégé will enter to avoid filling up his calendar and pushing him too far.
History in the making?
If just a few months ago Davidovich's participation in Challengers tournaments was in doubt, now he starts them among the favourites. He is not far behind his fellow 'malagueño' Adrián Menéndez (141st), whom he has never faced on the tour, and could become only the second player from the province to break into the top 100, following in the footsteps of Emilio Álvarez.
At present he is the 15th best Spaniard in the rankings and is younger that all of those above him. In fact, there are high hopes for him with ten players in their thirties ahead of him: Feliciano López (37), David Ferrer (36), Guillermo García-López and Fernando Verdasco (35), Pablo Andújar and Adrián Menéndez (33), Rafa Nadal and Marcel Granollers (32), Albert Ramos (31) and Roberto Bautista (30). Davidovich and Nicola Kuhn (248th and a year his junior, who missed most of 2018 through injury) are the big hopes, alongside Pedro Martínez Portero (162nd, 21 years old) and Jaume Munar (61st, also 21).
Globally there are just three higher-ranked tennis players than Davidovich who are younger: Felix Auger-Aliassime (58th, 18), Miomir Kecmanovic (130th, 19) and Alexei Popyrin (131st, 19).
Davidovich will compete in another Challenger in China this week ahead of his long-awaited appearance on clay, his preferred surface, at the Casino Admiral Trophy at the Puente Romano Tennis Club in Marbella at the end of the month. Expectations will be high.