The leading voices of Mexican women’s tennis impose their name based on results and a long-term process that began from their own source: resources, will, priority of time and the good support of a sponsor, which is often the family.
Mexico celebrates the triumphs of the most outstanding Mexican tennis players of today and that opens the way to analyze the full movie. How much is known about how the beginning of a tennis player’s career is managed? How much is women’s or men’s tennis a priority for the current administration? The reality is that tennis is located before a presidential term.
“The president asked that we go more towards popular sports, that we have a plan for the integration and readaptation of a social fabric that is fragmented and the most effective and inexpensive tool is sports,” said Ana Gabriela Guevara when taking over the title of the Count.
Let us remember at the opening of the women’s tennis path the names of Yolanda Ramírez, Angélica Gavaldón, Melissa Torres, Giuliana Olmos, Renata Zarazúa and Marcela Zacarías.
“In my time, my parents paid for everything, I had the great fortune to always have their unconditional support and advice. After winning, the Wilson brand approached and began to give me rackets and uniforms, but I never had a scholarship or knew of any Federation program,” says Yolanda Ramírez, the best female tennis player in our history.
Ramírez has a place in the Roland Garros and Wimbledon Hall of Fame, in addition to having appeared in seven Grand Slam finals.
The offer of tournaments is now greater than it was a few decades ago when the WTA did not exist. However, in the modern era, after almost 60 years, support and programs remain minimal for this elite sport in Mexico.
“I trained in the mornings and afternoons, they were 100% focused training sessions, no distractions were allowed, I think that helped me achieve good results,” recalls Yola.
In the nineties, Angélica Gavaldón was the prominent name when talking about a Mexican racket. On two occasions, in 1990 and 1995, she reached the quarterfinals at the Australian Open, her best result ever in a Grand Slam tournament and her best ranking of 34 singles. Another leading name in Mexican women’s tennis broke out at the beginning of the year 2000: Melissa Torres, who reached her best position at 227 in the ranking.
But 20 years later, we frequently pronounce three names: Giuliana Olmos, Renata Zarazúa and Marcela Zacarías. Renata, at 24 years old, is positioned (as of May 2022) as number 174 in the WTA singles ranking and became the first Mexican woman to appear in the main draw at Roland Garros after two decades.
“I think that the work that Giuliana Olmos and Renata Zarazúa are doing is very good, they can give excellent results, if they asked me for advice I would only tell them to train as much as they can to improve, that is the key to success, make an effort and train a lot. ”, emphasizes Yolanda Ramírez.
Giuliana made a huge jump in the doubles modality in the ranking. This 2022 she reaches her best place in May, 11th in the world, with four WTA titles, the most recent, the Madrid Open Masters 1000.
“I don’t receive any support, they only give me rackets, clothes, but money, nothing, for us it is very difficult, you have to pay for your flights, meals, stays, coach, you travel about 30 or 40 weeks a year, we need more support from the government, from the Federation. The difference with other countries where there are better players is the support, they don’t give them everything, but they do give a free coach, a scholarship during the year and I think that in Mexico that is not done, “said Giuliana Olmos.
‘Gugu’ is confident that Yolanda Ramírez’s results can be repeated, “it’s clear that it’s very difficult, but we’re doing well and we always support each other. For Mexican tennis players, the pressure is to have a budget to continue playing, you hope to win every week to pay for your flights for the next tournament, if you lose you have to pay for the hotel, then that’s where the pressure comes from, but from Mexico itself, since they don’t support us as much We don’t feel as much pressure. I think everything is improving, I feel that the Federation is trying to support us a little more, but the truth is that it is a very difficult sport”.
White sport pushes and argues with results and merits the well-deserved attention that the names of the most outstanding generations in the women’s branch are gaining, although there are still requests to resolve.
LinkedIn: Marlene Cedillo
* Marlene Cedillo has a degree in Communication and Journalism from UNAM. She is in charge of Press and Public Relations for the Zapopan WTA Open. Her mission is to help spread the white sport in Mexico.