SANTIAGO – Chile’s Davis Cup squad is ready to go against Ecuador in Americas Group I and has its sights set on advancing to the World Group, the team’s captain, Nicolas Massu, said on Tuesday.
“We’re here because we have a commitment to Chile and dream of reaching the World Group someday soon. We’ve made a name for ourselves in tennis at the global level, we’ve earned the right to get respect,” said Massu, a former world No. 9 who came out of nowhere to win singles and doubles gold for Chile at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Chile and Ecuador will square off Friday and Saturday in Santiago, with the winner advancing to play Argentina in April.
The 38-year-old Massu, who has served as Chile’s Davis Cup captain for four years, said having to pick from among a promising group of young players was a “good problem” to have.
“They always used to ask me what happened with the (generational) shift in Chilean tennis, and it turns out that we didn’t see it coming, but in a couple of months we have a player in the top 100,” Massu said, referring to Nicolas Jarry.
The 22-year-old Jarry is the Chilean No. 1 and is ranked 95th in the world.
Jarry “has really good shots, great potential. Nico has no limits, he plays tennis that is different,” Massu said.
Joining Jarry on Chile’s Davis Cup team are Hans Podlipnik, who is ranked 51st in doubles; Gonzalo Lama, the world No. 405; Tomas Barrios, who is ranked 513th in the world; Juan Carlos Saez, the world No. 469 in doubles; and Alejandro Tabilo, the world No. 464 in doubles.