Tabilo, second Chilean to knock down a No. 1: “It’s surreal”

The Chilean defeated Novak Djokovic in Rome

May 12, 2024

2024 Getty Images

Alejandro Tabilo surprised Novak Djokovic in the third round of the ATP Masters 1000 in Rome.
By Staff

Alejandro Tabilo has had a dream debut against a Top 5 player. In an ATP Masters 1000 and facing the No. 1 of the PIF ATP Rankings, the Serbian Novak Djokovic, the Chilean has won with sets of 6-2, 6-3 , a result that places him in the history of tennis in his country.

Now he is the second Chilean with at least one victory against tennis players at No. 1 in the PIF ATP Rankings (created in 1973), equaling his compatriot Fernando González, who obtained three victories of this type in his career: against Lleyton Hewitt in Hamburg 2003, Andre Agassi in Washington 2003 and Roger Federer at the 2007 Nitto ATP Finals.

“To be able to beat Novak today, being number one in the world, is surreal right now,” the 26-year-old left-hander said in his post-match press conference. “Hopefully I can move forward and maintain this confidence.”

Not even Marcelo Ríos, who was No. 1, had victories against players with that status. But players like Ríos, González and Nicolás Massú have inspired Tabilo’s achievement this Sunday. “From a very young age I saw Massú and González. And my dad showed me videos of Ríos on YouTube,” recalls the Canadian by birth, but a representative of the country of his parents.

“When I started living in Chile, I got to know González and Massú better. They have always been a great help, they have always been there watching my matches, giving me advice, especially Massú who is the Davis Cup captain. Even Ríos sends me messages from time to time, to see how I am, always congratulating me. It is always good to have that support from everyone.”

The truth is that Tabilo is the first Chilean to defeat a No. 1 in straight sets, and he has done so against the tennis player with the most weeks in this position in the history of the ranking. It is an achievement so elusive that it has only been recorded 35 times in Djokovic’s career on clay, and the first in Rome against a tennis player outside the Top 30.

The victory even acquires the qualification of a feat at the South American level, since the last one from this area of ​​the world to win against Djokovic on clay had been Guillermo Coria at Roland Garros 2005.

You May Also Be Interested: Tabilo knocks down No. 1 Djokovic in Rome

This score catapults Tabilo to No. 29 in the live rankings. This year’s champion in Auckland, who will now clash with Karen Khachanov for a place in the round of 16 in Rome, is close to his debut in the Top 30.

“It’s been a pretty crazy journey. I made it to the Top 100 about two years ago, but I got injured. So it’s been a tough ride since then. I had to stop playing for a couple of months, then every once in a while I had to stop for a few weeks and stuff like that. It’s been difficult to get that consistency. Lately I have been trying to work a lot on the physical and mental aspects. I think that has helped me be able to close these types of games.”


Leave a Reply