The Improbable Title Streak of Estrella Burgos In Quito
The numbers defy anyone's logic.
In Quito, Victor Estrella Burgos has been unbeatable, literally. The 37-year-old has won all 16 of his matches at the Ecuador Open. That run includes three ATP World Tour titles – the only three of his career and every edition of the Ecuador Open (2015, 2016, 2017) – and his first-round victory on Monday, his fourth win against Thomaz Bellucci in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, all of which have come in Quito.
But outside of the Ecuadorian capital, Estrella Burgos has struggled to play up to his “King of Quito” label. The Dominican Republic native is 29-59 (.330) in ATP World Tour and Grand Slam matches held in every city not named Quito, Ecuador. He remains the only player in ATP World Tour history with three or more titles at one tournament and zero titles at all other events.
“Quito has become a very special spot for me... The altitude suits my game, it’s an important factor for this tournament,” Estrella Burgos said of Quito, which has an elevation of 9,350 feet (2,800 metres) above sea level.
“Also, I always feel the love from the fans, they bring to me lots of energy and support... The most special thing about Quito is that it brought my maiden ATP title. It was a dream come true. Being able to conquer it three times in a row is unbelievable for me.”
It was an unexpected trio of titles for Estrella Burgos. He entered the 2015 tournament with an ATP Ranking of No. 73 and as the eighth seed. Before February 2015, he had been to only one tour-level semi-final, 2014 Bogota, when he lost to eventual titlist Aussie Bernard Tomic.
But Estrella Burgos won 10 of his 11 sets that week and beat Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 6-7(5), 7-6(5) in the final to win his maiden title. The next year, Estrella Burgos, the fifth seed, beat Bellucci in a tight three-set match to win back-to-back titles, and last year, he twice saved match points, including in the final against Paolo Lorenzi of Italy, to win his third consecutive Quito crown.
“There are many good memories. Lots of fans come and create an special atmosphere,” Estrella Burgos said.
DID YOU KNOW?
Estrella Burgos saved match points in two different matches during his 2017 Quito title run. In his second-round match, Estrella Burgos saved three match points against Ivo Karlovic, and in the final, he saved a match point at 5/6 in the third-set tie-break to beat Lorenzi.