Since January of this year, and with a lot of effort, Iñigo Cervantes has managed to climb more than 130 positions in the ATP tour rankings and is close to the Top 100.
At the end of 2012, at 22 years old, Iñigo was placed at the 130th position in the ATP ranking after starring in a season filled with great results, including the one achieved in Wimbledon 2012, where he was not only able to overcome the previous phase, but reached the second round of this historic Grand Slam. At that crucial moment of his tennis career and after reaching the final at the ATP Challenger in Szczecin (Poland), an injury to his right elbow, which ultimately would make him undergo surgery, prevented Iñigo from entering the select group of the ATP Top 100 in late 2012 and early 2013.
When he was recovered from this slight elbow injury and enjoying the protected ranking, Iñigo returned to play the preliminary round of Roland Garros. What seemed to be a dreamlike comeback, became a nightmare, because in Paris he began to notice certain and disturbing hip pains.
After visiting Dr. Ángel Ruiz Cotorro and other specialists, he was diagnosed with a double fracture of the labrum in both hips, which forced him to undergo surgery and be placed in the hands of the prestigious Canadian surgeon Marc Philippon. It was July 2013 and Inigo was facing more than a month and a half in a wheelchair and a recovery of no less than nine months. His dream of entering the Top 100 looked traumatically postponed.
During the recovery process, the tennis player from Hondarribia worked hard in endless sessions in the swimming pool and in the gym, with the only goal of returning to compete at the highest level and achieve his goals as a sportsman. In that period of time, Iñigo had a lot of time to think and to become even stronger mentally, facing the most difficult situations in his life with courage and serenity.
In March 2014 he returned to compete at a professional level, but from the ground up, having to face the previous phase of various ITF Futures in Croatia. In the first tournament, played in Umag, Iñigo could not get through the last preliminary round. In the second week, at the ITF Futures in Rovinj, Iñigo not only passed the preliminary, but reached the quarterfinals. And in his third week of competition at the ITF Futures’ level, in the tournament played in Pula, he managed to win the championship title. But the joys did not stop there, because only a week later he received an invitation to participate in the main draw of the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell (Conde de Godó Trophy). His great mental state and shape allowed him to get rid of 2 Top 100 players, Aleksandr Nedovyesov (72) and Dmitry Tursunov (34), and stand at 1/16 of the final of this prestigious ATP 500 tournament that is played in Iñigo’s Club, the Royal Tennis Club of Barcelona (Real Club de Tenis Barcelona). A great result that, despite his ranking at that time, made him feel a tennis player again and certified the comeback of Iñigo Cervantes to the tennis elite.
In spite of the happiness of having returned and playing at a good level, Iñigo was not satisfied with what he had achieved and with his performance. His enormous ambition and passion for his profession, made Iñigo take a step forward and seek new methods of training that would take him to the next level. In his determination to achieve his dream of a foothold among the tennis elite, Iñigo made a very difficult decision in his life. At the end of 2014, Iñigo Cervantes decides to leave Barcelona after nearly 10 years and head to Javea to train at the Ferrer Tennis Academy, under the technical direction of Javier Ferrer and Israel Vior with Jaume Ros as a physical trainer.
After a pre-season in which he could not complete 100% of the preparation, due to some unusual injuries without a lot of importance, he began the year playing in the preliminary of the Australian Open. The first months of 2015 went by without achieving great results and when he was at 275 of the ATP, Iñigo and his coaches decided it was time to bet on him, travel more weeks with him, work more aspects of his game and kick it up a notch. Iñigo made a great effort, one more, and did everything in his power to achieve a leap in quality in order to achieve his goals.
All these efforts resulted in better feelings inside the court, growth as a player that allowed him to begin to achieve better results, going through a preliminary and reaching the later rounds of the always hard ATP Challenger tournaments. His ranking and game level began to rise.
On the first week of May he obtained the first of the rewards for this hard work and commitment to this sport, by winning the ATP Challenger tournament in Ostrava (Czech Republic), where he beat players like James Ward, Rubén Ramírez Hidalgo or Adam Pavlasek to win the title.
That was just the first step in what was to come. After training and preparing the following tournaments he traveled to Eskesehir (Turkey) where he made it to the tournament final, and lost to the Italian Paolo Lorenzi (94 ATP) by 7-6 / 7-6.
With no time to rest, the same Sunday after losing the final in Eskesehir, he traveled to Vicenza (Italy). There he completed a great week, which would lead him to win his second ATP Challenger of the season, defeating the Australian Millman in the final.
Two weeks ago, on July 5th 2015 to be exact, Iñigo completed 2 months full of good results by winning the ATP Challenger in Marburg (Germany), going through extreme conditions since, in the quarter-finals match, he suffered dehydration and heat stroke and did not know if he could get into the semi-finals. Once again, with his courage and bravery, he managed to enter the court and defeat Karen Kachanov to reach the final and lift the champion’s trophy before the local Nils Langer. With this title Iñigo equaled Hyeon Chung and Teymuraz Gabashvili as the players that have earned the most ATP Challenger titles in 2015 until that date, with three.
With these results Iñigo has achieved, so far, his best ATP ranking of all times and is now placed in the 117th ATP position.
Iñigo has proven that he is a candidate to be among the best in the world in the following years.
“I am very happy with the obtained results, but there is still a lot to be done to achieve the goals I set for myself as a child”.
Javier Ferrer :
“Iñigo is an excellent person, with whom it is a pleasure to travel and to train. As a player he has great potential, which he has already been showing in the last few months, but I think he can raise his level a lot more in time and he can position himself among the best”.