SANTANDER, August 27, 2022
Inigo Cervantes Huegun has been going through some very tough times. The 32-year-old Spaniard, who reached a career-high ranking of World No. 56 in March 2016, had to deal with a lot of injuries in recent years. Playing an entire season without any pain, almost impossible for Cervantes.
Now, he is on a comeback trail once again. On home soil at the 73º Torneo Internacional RST La Magdalena in Santander, the Hondarribia native was seeking his first final on the Pro Circuit in almost five years. It was in September 2017 when Cervantes finished runner-up to Canadian youngster Felix Auger-Aliassime at the ATP Challenger Copa Sevilla.
The current World No. 1059 battled his way from the qualifying to the stage of the final four of the ITF World Tennis Tour M25 clay-court event in Cantabria but lost a tough three-set battle against fifth-seeded Frenchman Titouan Droguet.
We met the six-time ATP Challenger Tour singles champion, who lifted his last trophy at the 2015 ATP Challenger Tour Finals in Brazil, after the match for an interview.
Tennis TourTalk: Inigo, obviously not the outcome you were hoping for. It was a tough match today. What made the difference in the end?
Inigo Cervantes Huegun: I had a good start into the match and could take the first set with my service. I was twice a break up in the second set but couldn’t serve it out. It’s been my first semi-final for a long time and I had some doubts. He also played very well and had a good serve. I think that I could have been more aggressive but I fought until the end. Anyway, it has been a good week for me. I had some tough seasons in the past three years. Let’s see if I can keep playing like this.
You had to cope with a lot of injuries in recent years. How do you feel physically?
I haven’t been able to play a full season for four years now. It is impossible to feel good mentally, which also makes it difficult on the court with my tennis. This is the moment to keep playing tournaments. I am going to play two more in a row now and let’s see how many I will be able to play until the end of the season. I had two matches in the qualifying and four in the main draw this week. This is what I need. I hope it will help me.
You were seeking your first final since finishing runner-up to Felix Auger-Aliassime at the Copa Sevilla 2017.
I didn’t think about it during the match, as I was too focused and it was very close. I was only one game away. Hopefully it will work out next time.
Santander is a special place. It is close to your hometown. What are your impressions of the city and the tournament?
The truth is that this is my first time here in 15 years. I was 17 when I played here the last time. It is very nice to have a 25K Futures event here. The city is very nice. I think everyone is happy to play here. I am also glad to be back, just a bit angry that I couldn’t make it into the final.
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You played team competition in Germany in the second division for TV Reutlingen over the last couple of weeks. How was the experience?
It was very nice. As I didn’t play many tournaments this year, it was great to get some matches in Germany. I played my last four matches there and won all of them. It helped me a lot, also to arrive here in better conditions. The club was also happy with my performance that I could help to avoid the relegation.
I read that you kept yourself fit by using an e-bike?
Yes (laughs). I stayed there for a couple of days between the matches and I went for the mountains. It was fun.
Thank you and all the best.
Interview: Florian Heer