Player Features

Jarry and Tabilo make history for Chile in Rome

Two Chilean players are in the semi-finals of an ATP Masters 1000 for the first time
May 17, 2024
Nicolas Jarry and Alejandro Tabilo compete in the semi-finals in Rome on Friday.
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Nicolas Jarry and Alejandro Tabilo compete in the semi-finals in Rome on Friday. By Staff

Chilean tennis is flying high at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia as Nicolas Jarry and Alejandro Tabilo enjoy the runs of their lives in Rome.

The South American pair has done something unprecedented as two Chileans have never before reached the semi-finals at the same ATP Masters 1000 event. This is also the first time more than one player from their nation has reached the last four of any tour event since 2006 in Vina del Mar and the first time outside of Chile since the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens (Gonzalez and Massu).

However, long before earning themselves a place among the elite of world tennis and forming part of the select group that have a chance of going deep in any tournament, there was already a connection between the two compatriots.

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In 2016, Tabilo took the life-changing decision to represent Chile, when he could have continued to play under the flag of Canada, the country he was born in. Coincidentally, he did so just after a match against Jarry. Tabilo’s father, Ricardo, had told his son that when he broke into the Top 400 of the PIF ATP Rankings, he could play for Chile if he so wished. The breakthrough came after Tabilo defeated Jarry in a Futures event in Halifax in 2016, on indoor hard court.

At the time, by way of motivation, Tabilo senior said he would take care of the paperwork that would enable his son to play for Chile. The result was 7-6 (6), 6-4 to the left-hander, who was ranked No. 856 in the world at the time, while his opponent was already homing in on the Top 400.

The following day, his mother contacted the Chilean consulate in Canada to start the process for changing Alejandro’s nationality. Fast-forward eight years, and his parents have made the trip to Rome to watch him play his first ATP Masters 1000 semi-final, and Jarry has reached the same round.

The duo are now dreaming of an all-Chilean final, but first, on Friday, Jarry must find a way past Tommy Paul and Tabilo will have to beat Alexander Zverev. Despite the magnitude of the challenge that lies ahead, at the ages of 28 and 26, respectively, they are intent on continuing to cause a stir in the Italian capital.

Did you know?
Jarry currently sits at No. 18 in the PIF ATP Live Rankings, matching his peak, while Tabilo is guaranteed to at least climb into the Top 25 in the world. They may go higher still.

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