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Alejandro Davidovich, the highest ranked Malaga tennis player ever

The local star ultimately came unstuck in Rome against Dušan Lajović on Tuesday.
The local star ultimately came unstuck in Rome against Dušan Lajović on Tuesday. / SUR
  • In a week in which he reached the highest ATP ranking of any local player in history (70th), the 21-year-old also qualified for his first Masters 1000 event

Alejandro Davidovich is a force of nature. In what is the high point of his career so far, he rose to 70th in the latest ATPrankings published on Monday - the highest ever for a player from Malaga (the previous best was Emilio Álvarez who ranked 81st in June 1997).

Davidovich overtook Corentin Moutet (69th) after beating him 6-1 6-2, in an hour and twenty minutes, to progress to the tournament proper in the Masters 1000 in Rome. Another milestone in his career.

After a month in New York where he reached the last 16 of the US Open, Davidovich has not suffered from jet lag or problems adapting to the clay. Despite the level of competition in the qualifying stage being the most difficult in living memory due to the level of the participants, Davidovich got past three top-100 players - all with better rankings at the time of play: Juan Ignacio Londero (62nd), Yuichi Sugita (88th) and Moutet (69th).

However, his opponent in the first round on Tuesday proved one obstacle too many. Sitting 24th in the rankings, Dušan Lajović wasn’t in the best form coming into the game but showed his pedigree, defeating Davidovich 6-4 6-4 in what was a closer match than many might have expected.

Davidovich was competitive and demonstrated that he is no longer overawed by more experienced professionals, fighting until the end in a match that lasted an hour and forty minutes.

This was the first time that Davidovich had qualified for a Masters 1000. He didn’t get past the initial rounds in Cincinnati a few weeks ago (against Ričardas Berankis) nor in Madrid in 2018 (against Taylor Fritz). He did compete in the latter tournament in 2019 by invitiation, however, but was eliminated in the first round by Richard Gasquet.

Now, the 21-year-old, resident in Fuengirola must prepare to take part in another Grand Slam, at Roland Garros, where he hopes he can continue his climb up the rankings.