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Australian Open 2015: Latinos Still Alive at Tennis Grand Slam

Australian Open 2015: Latinos Still Alive at Tennis Grand Slam

Posted by Juan Gavasa on January 22, 2015

The Australian Open will soon enter the third round of play. As expected, the top three players in the world, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are still alive. Last year's Australian Open champion, Stan Wawrinka advanced to the third round after he defeated Marsel IIhan and Marius Copil.

A European born player has won every Australian Open since 2004, after Andre Agassi won the event in 2003.

For Latin America, the field is dwindling fast.

In the men's singles, six Argentinians qualified for the tournament with those six being Juan Monaco, Federico Delbonis, Maximo Gonzalez, Carlos Berlocq, Leonardo Mayer and Diego Schwartzman. All six were eliminated from contention, in the very first round.

Alejandro Falla of Colombia lost to the No. 7 seed Tomas Berdych and Dominican Víctor Estrella Burgos also fell in the first round. Brazilians Thomaz Bellucci and João Souza have been eliminated as well after first round play.

Colombia had an impressive first round showing, with 25-year-old Alejandro González upsetting No. 16 seed Fabio Fognini. Santiago Giraldo advanced to the second round as well before losing to Steve Johnson.

No South Americans remain in singles, but in doubles, numerous Latinos still have a chance at winning the tournament. Carlos Berlocq and Leonardo Mayer are participating together this year, and they have already advanced to the second round. They will have their hands full. In the second round they will face the Bryan brothers, who are the No. 1 doubles team in the world, and arguably the greatest doubles team in tennis history with 16 Grand Slams.

If the two Argentinians can defeat the Bryans, it would be one of the most shocking upsets in tennis history.

The Colombian duo of Juan Sebastián Cabal and Robert Farah Maksoud also punched their ticket to the second round. Next, they will face the French pair of Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert. Cabal and Farah are the No. 11 ranked doubles team in the world. Zeballos and fellow countryman Schwartzman are also paired together this year, and they have advanced to the second round with a victory over Jurgen Melzer and Mahesh Bhupathi.

One interesting pair that is turning heads is Uruguay's Pablo Cuevas and Spain's David Marrero. Although Giraldo was eliminated in the second round of the singles competition, he and Joao Sousa of Portugal are still alive in doubles. Cuevas previously won the 2008 French Open doubles tournament.

Brazil is also making their presence known in the doubles tournament. The No. 5 seed of Bruno Soares and Alexander Peya and No. 4 seed Marcelo Melo and Ivan Dodig still remain as well. Although a South American will not win the Australian Open in the singles tournament (last time Guillermo Vilas, 1979), there is still a very good chance we will see at least one compete for a championship in the doubles.

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