Fourteen months can be a long time. For a tennis player, who is not able to compete in tournaments, it must feel endless. This is what happened to 22-year-old Javier Martí, a talent regarded as future of Spanish tennis. Last Sunday, the youngster gained his first ITF Pro Circuit title since losing the ATP Challenger final in Prague against Oleksandr Nedovyesov in June 2013. One week later, the youngster lost in the third round of the qualification in Wimbledon, suffered an elbow injury in the following and had to undergo two surgeries, as his recovery proceeded slower than expected.
“I didn’t have a good feeling. My right arm bothered me but fortunately later there was a radical change,” Martí told at that time and received help from Dr. Angel Ruiz Cotorro, a renowned sports physician from Barcelona, who has been responsible for the physical well-being of world class athletes such as Rafael Nadal. The uncertainty concerning his recovery made the waiting especially hard for Martí. “When I stopped the first time, I was told that in three or four weeks I would be able to play tournaments again. I was just wondering when I would play. Early estimates anticipated the return date in a year,” the man from Madrid said when he was still off-court. In 2014 Martí prepared his return at Club Chamartín under the supervision of his father and current coach.
Finally in August this year, the former world number 170 from Madrid returned to the Tour without any ranking points, played two Future tournaments in Italy, where he received a wild card but could only gain one victory. “I’ll be on the Future Circuit for one or two months. Then, according to the results and the points you have in the rankings, playing Challengers will hopefully raise my position. Each victory will have a special meaning and is helping you,” Martí is confident. The Spanish tennis player must dispense the nine tournaments, in which he is able to use the protected ranking helping to avoid qualification rounds. He will also focus on clay. “Playing on hard courts can have a lasting negative effect,” says Marti.
Last week, in a hidden place and in the shadow of the US-Open, his third tournament of the season took place in Osijek in Croatia. After he had battled through the qualifying, the world number 1859 reached the final with victories over fourth-seed Mike Urbanija, Jan Kuncik, Antonio Sancic and sixth-seed Jan Satral before he faced Dominik Suc for the title. In Sunday’s final, Martí was in total control, capitalized on six of his fourteen break points and at half past six in the afternoon, the Spanish youngster converted his first match point winning 6-0, 6-4 to take his eighth Future career title. Of course, this is going to represent a special one for the 22-year-old, who hopes that some more will follow in the nearer future.