Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Players to Watch in 2012: Agustin Velotti (’92)

This former junior Roland Garros champion has been showing steady progress throughout his short pro career. Standing at 1.64 he lacks the physical characteristics to win short points and therefore quicker matches. However, this wonder kid keeps finding ways to improve as reflected by his ranking.

Velotti had a record of 36-15 in 2011 and improved his ranking by more than 200 spots, jumping from 558 to 338. For being a full time pro, 51 matches in a year seems like on the lazy side for such a young player. However, it is common for South American players to lack the funds to travel, even within their own continent. Velotti’s only trip to Europe was to Paris, where he was granted a wild card into the French Open qualy due to being the previous year’s junior champion.

The diminutive Argentinean played mainly at home for the first half of the year with modest results. However, he exploded into the scene in Peru, where he won back to back futures events in mid-August. After that, he ventured into the world of the Challengers. There he also had modest results, with a quarter-final showing at the Cali challenger being his best result.

Velotti defeated some interesting players in 2011. He defeated Wayne Odesnik, Rogerio Dutra da Silva, Victor Estrella, Alexander Folie and Facundo Arguello among others.

I expect Velotti to play at the Challenger level more often in 2011 now that his ranking allows it. He will likely venture to Europe for the first time, which will give him the experience needed to defeat more experienced rivals. Depending on how well funded his 2012 season is, I expect Velotti to crack the top 200 by year’s end.

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