In memory of Marcelo ‘Chino’ Rios’ successful passage through Indian Wells in 1998: the first South American player to win the mythical American tournament.
The new edition of the BNP Paribas Open, also known as the legendary Indian Wells, kicked off this week in California, USA. A special tournament in world tennis, he is the only two South Americans to have won it in history. Argentina’s Juan Martindel in 2018 with his Potro and the Chilean player who won the championship ten years ago. Marcelo Rios.
It was March 15th when the “Chinese” lifted the beautiful crystal trophy. It’s the day he beat the Englishman in the title fight. Greg Rusesky owner of one of the best services in history.
The tournament victory moved Rios to No. 3 in the ATP rankings and nearly ended Sampras’ reign. He would accomplish this by sealing his “double” on North American soil 14 days after him. Before Lipton, Miami and Andre Agassi.
Marcelo Rios sweet revenge against Petr Korda
The Indian Wells 98 was nothing special for a Chilean racquet. ‘Zurdo de Vitacura’ reached the championship in his 7th place on the planetary ladder, making him one of the seeds.
Therefore, after beating the German “al Trote” in the first round, Hendrik Dreckmann (6-4 and 7-6), Ríos had to face another German in the round of 16, but more famously. Nicholas Kiefer
‘Chino’ had a dreamy afternoon against Kiefer and once again didn’t give up on partial shots to advance to the quarterfinals with 6-4 and 6-3 victories.
Already in the quarter-finals there will be a rival that Ríos cannot sympathize with. peter coda The Czech had beaten the National two months earlier in the Grand Slam final in Australia, so Marcelo was desperate for revenge.
Rios took the match as a personal matter as he built a “wheel” with his body to celebrate on the pitch when Korda beat him in Melbourne. He took it as a humiliation and didn’t let it go.
In this way, the Chilean showed his best shot in the semi-final match. He moved the compromised Korda left and right. Rios, on the other hand, was smiling at each of his magical plays: short, long, passing… it was a feast.
in the end, The “Chinese” eventually beat the Czechs 6-4 and 6-2. After shaking hands with rivals, Marcelo went to his side and returned the ‘wheel’. He got his full revenge.
Final with Ruszesky: ready for the service of the “gunboat” at 250 km / h
After celebrating the rematch with Korda, Rios had to recuperate to continue his title fight. The South American, who had never won Indian Wells, wanted to be first.
In the semi-finals, Marcelo Rios had to face his rival who surprised everyone by defeating Andre Agassi: Jan-Michael Gambill.
Known for his two-handed backhand and forehand, Gambir battled Rios hard in a rain-interrupted first set. But the Chilean took it 7-6.
Meanwhile, in the second set, Ríos was able to take the lead and close everything out 6-3. Marcelo eliminated the last American in the competition.
Thus, as “villains”, the natives of Santiago have reached the British definition. Greg Rusesky Possessor of a powerful serve and one of many all-time greats.
Despite his rival Parchment, Ríos managed and broke him well in the first set, eventually winning 6-3.
Of course, the highlight of the duel was experienced in the second set. They lasted more than 30 minutes of him and went to a tiebreak that is considered one of the best he’s ever had. The sleeve was taken by the British 17-15 with peculiarities when they were 10-10 The whole stadium stood up and applauded both of them. .
At a time when Marcelo Rios was thought likely to go down, the Chilean showed maturity and determination to recover. If his immense talent was added to the above, the result was predictable. Ríos was left with sets 3 and 4 (7-6 and 6-4) to be declared champions. As he dreamed, he made history.
Historic Press Conference: “Don’t You Like Yourself? – Not at All”
After showing the trophy to the public and celebrating with his inner circle, Marcelo Rios had to go to a press conference.
Rios had already had some issues with journalists, so there was fear in the organization. But this time it was different. He seemed calm, mature, and even confident in his future.
“I am more focused and play smarter. Losing a set 7-6 makes me depressed, but I try to improve again. Now you can stay focused until the match is over. ” Explain to attendees.
Later, before closing the meeting with the media, the “Chinese” had a relaxing time with the historic Gazzetta dello Sport journalist Vincenzo Martucci.
Nelson Flores, author of Rios’ biography The Long-Haired Stranger, recreated it in his work.
– I don’t know if it’s the right word. Can you help me tell people who you really are?
“I have nothing to say about it…I find it unlikable.”
– Does it give you the same?.
“I do not care”
– Don’t you like yourself?
“not at all”.
– Do you think the media misunderstands you?
“I have never had so many problems with the media, except for those who try to discourage me. do well, they screw us. I don’t really know what your business is.”
– Do you think you have a chance to become the next best in the world?
“Yes, I think so. Clay season is coming and we can do well there.”
Thus Marcelo Rios successfully passed Indian Wells. An unforgettable memory for fans of our country’s field.