Today I start with Leonardo Mayer, the current world no. 76 and 5th ranked Argentine singles player.
At age 26, Mayer certainly fits into the journeyman category more than either of the others. It was in 2009 that he really became part of the ATP World Tour, competing in 35 main draw matches, including his first grand slam event at Roland Garros, where he came through qualifying. After reaching the 3rd round in Paris the following year, Mayer achieved what remains his career-high ranking of 51. He emulated his run to the last 32 on the French clay in 2011 and 2012, also reaching the same stage of the US Open in the latter year.
His 2014 So Far
Mayer has enjoyed a mixed year, to say the least, with a win/loss record of 8-8 in main draw competition. Opening his account with a comfortable win over Albert Montanes in the first round of the Australian Open, the Argentine was then unfortunate enough to be faced with three-time defending champion Novak Djokovic in the next round, who dismissed him in straight sets. Entering the clay court event at Vina del Mar a couple of weeks later, Mayer overcame Robredo and Giraldo to reach his first ATP World Tour final, losing to Fabio Fognini in straight sets. Leonardo fell to the Italian once more at his home event in Buenos Aires, and failed to win another match until the Portugal Open in April, where he came through qualifying to reach the quarter-finals, losing in three sets to top seed Tomas Berdych.
With the only clay grand slam event of the year in sight, Mayer will be aiming to emulate his previous best result of reaching the French Open third round and use this as a springboard to have a go at breaking the top 50 for the first time in his career. Encouraging runs at Vina del Mar and Oeiras this year prove that he can be a force on the red stuff, but if he remains so sorely lacking in consistency, it's difficult to see him breaking new ground this year, either in the rankings, or in winning his first main tour title, given the limited number of clay court tournaments in the remainder of the year.
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