The mental work behind Tabilo’s success in the season

The 26-year-old right-hander is in the quarterfinals of the Rome Masters 1000

May 14, 2024

Tiziana Fabi/AFP via Getty Images

Alejandro Tabilo greets the fans in Rome, where he is in the quarterfinals.

One of the most important factors in Alejandro Tabilo’s great season, which has included a title at the ATP 250 in Auckland and a run to the quarterfinals this week in Rome, leaving Novak Djokovic in the way, lies in the constant work with his psychologist. since last November.

“We tried many different psychologists, but this one worked. It helped me a lot in the part of overthinking everything, maybe also in the stress level,” Tabilo told at the Aix-en-Provence Challenger, held a week before Rome.

Shortly after he started with his new psychologist, he won a pair of ATP Challenger Tour titles to close out the year, and began the next year by winning Auckland, where he qualified before becoming the first Chilean to win an ATP title on hard courts. since Fernando González in 2007.

“It has been a great help to stay calm. We keep working [juntos]. Right now it’s been a little less, once or twice a month. Last year it was almost every week. As everything has been better, we have been taking it more calmly.”

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And precisely that calm has led him to shine this year, and especially this fortnight in Rome. The biggest win of his career, against world No. 1 Djokovic 6-2, 6-3, followed by Tuesday’s hard-fought victory against No. 16 seed Karen Khachanov, is just the harvest of his hard work after He battled an edema injury to his arm for the last two years.

Tabilo first felt pain in his arm in early 2022, two months before his Top 100 debut, and the discomfort refused to subside.

“The bone was hurt badly and it was almost a stress fracture in the arm,” Tabilo said. “For a few months I played with constant pain but I didn’t know it was that bad. We had to stop for two, three months. It was a bit difficult that whole year and I missed quite a bit of the season. I just had to be patient and try to recover as quickly as possible.”

His biggest triumph in his return to the elite came on the ATP Challenger Tour at the end of 2023. “I think the title in Guayaquil was more important than the one in Auckland [en 2024] because we were not doing so well this year,” Tabilo said. “That title, after so many injuries, was like a feeling of great progress, like we were back on track.”

Since that time it does not stop. Even this Tuesday he has guaranteed his debut in the Top 30 from next Monday. On Wednesday in her Masters 1000 quarterfinal debut, against Zhang Zhizhen, she will look for more. “It’s an incredible feeling. It has been very hard work with the team, many ups and downs,” Tabilo said after beating Khachanov in the fourth round.


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