Gomez, career can start at 27

Federico Agustin Gomez wins the ASPRIA Tennis Cup – BCS Trophy. Starting from the qualifiers, he showed a disruptive tennis that also knocked out Romanian Jianu. After graduating in the United States, he began to work as a teacher, then decided to try at 25. “Some friends lent me money to play: they don’t even want it back”.

It was obvious. Already last Sunday, during the first qualifying round, under the leaden sky of Milan, Federico Agustin Gomez was hitting the ball in a fantastic way . Few people knew him, he was certainly not among the most accredited of the ASPRIA Tennis Cup – BCS Trophy (€74,825, clay) , instead he collected seven victories and sealed the week of firsts. First semifinal, first final and first victory on the Challenger circuit. The icing on the cake, a ranking at number 224 ATP that will guarantee him the qualifications for the US Open. Science fiction, until some time ago. Sparkling reality seeing a big boy with an imposing physique (191 centimeters and 95 kilos) and gifted with a very powerful serve, which in the final against Filip Cristian Jianu reached peaks of 229 km/h. “ They say he resembles Agustin Calleri, it seems he even resembles him in the way he walks, ” says Gomez, delighted with a success that can change a career with a very particular path. He studied, graduated, quit and dedicated himself to teaching in Miami. Then he chose to give himself a second chance and today he laughs, because at 27 and a half he can become a very interesting player . The years spent in the United States have shaped a tennis player who is very different from the typical South American standards. Gomez hits hard, very hard. And he does it with discernment, also thanks to the advice of coach Cesar Chiappari, with whom he started working just this week. “ I would say we didn’t do a bad job, ” he said during the awards ceremony. He had taken an hour and twenty-six minutes to beat Jianu, showing superior quality. His ball travels much faster, and the outcome of the final was never in doubt. Ready, steady, go, 2-0. Jianu had his only break point at 2-1, but it was erased by a great serve from Gomez. The Argentine then broke again at 5-3, while the second set was more balanced. Only a clear decline from Gomez, however, could have turned the tide. He found himself 0-40 at 4-3 and Jianu saved himself. The same scenario at 5-4, and the second match point was the good one. After the last volley winner he dropped his racket on the ground.


“ I certainly didn’t expect to win the tournament – ​​he says – obviously you want to do things well, but it was also the first week of working with my new coach. We decided to think about one match at a time, improving the details match after match .” Going into the final, Gomez is convinced that the mental part was the key. “ He is playing excellent tennis, and in any case every match has had his problems. I remained calm, I knew that if I played my game there was a good chance. I owe a lot to Cesar for this tranquility, he was able to pass it on to me throughout the week .” Gomez attended university in the United States, representing the Louisville Cardinals franchise. Complete career, complete with degree, and useful for learning to manage pressure: the NCAA Championship forces you to play in difficult contexts. “ In reality they are two different sports: here you play for yourself, while in the University Championship you are in a team. Sometimes you win but the team loses, and you’re still sad. But it helped me manage pressure, making me understand what can be controlled and what cannot. It was the ideal school to define my priorities ”. The way he expresses himself, his attitude towards others and many small details outline a cultured person, who at the age of eighteen left tennis after obtaining his first ATP point. “ My parents always pushed me to study – He says – at the beginning I didn’t want to, I thought that having an ATP ranking would solve my life. I soon realized that this wasn’t the case, and in hindsight I’m glad I went to the United States. I did the whole cycle, finishing at 22 ”. Ok, but the times don’t add up. He only started playing again in September 2021: what happened in the meantime? “ Due to life issues I stopped playing tennis after graduation. I taught in Miami for two and a half years, then I decided to give myself a chance. I didn’t have any goals, also because I didn’t have many financial resources. I was able to play because some friends lent me some money. They are friends, not investors: I’m trying to pay the money back gradually, but they’ve already told me they don’t want anything back. I’m lucky, because in South America it’s very difficult to start playing. I am grateful for this possibility: I look back and realize that it was worth putting so much effort into in the last two and a half years ” says Gomez, who like about half of Argentines has Italian origins: his grandparents left from Varese in the last century, seeking his fortune in Argentina. They were called Clerici, a surname that is not so banal in tennis.


“ This success changes my perspective a bit ,” says Federico Agustin, whose older brother is a chef in Brazil. “ They told me that qualifying for the US Open is almost guaranteed, but now I will continue to play and compete to improve every day. You will see me in Modena and then in Trieste. At that point I will have to return to base, in Miami or Argentina, to prepare for the season on hard courts. No ranking goals, I would just like to play as many matches as possible without getting hurt .” It will be exciting for him to play his first Slam in New York, where his dream court is located: when we asked him – given his particular origins – on which surface he would play the match of his life, his eyes light up. “My ideal match, or at least the one I would like to play, would be on Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York. It would be magical .” In the meantime, he will set foot in the facility dedicated to Billie Jean King, where his first idol, Marat Safin, won in 2000. “ I grew up during the Legiòn years, but I didn’t have a real favorite player. I liked Nalbandian, Coria, Gaudio… but my favorite was Safin ”. If he continues to play like this, perhaps confirming the chemistry with Chiappari, he can really get to the major circuit, confirming the goodness of the NCAA school. “ University shaped me as a person – he says – I lived alone for a long time. My parents supported me, but they were far away. I think it’s a good path because it teaches you to be organized. Before I played well, but I was very messy off the court. In Louisville I learned to respect schedules, study and be disciplined. You have no alternative: the coaches establish the rules. It helped me learn to manage time, alternating work and rest in the right way ”. With Gomez’s success, Argentina becomes the most successful nation in the history of the ASPRIA Tennis Cup. With five titles it surpasses Italy and Spain, stuck at four . An edition that has overcome the weather difficulties with flying colors is archived: from the persistent rain of the first days to the scorching heat of Friday and the muggy heat of the final day. Despite the difficulties, the ASPRIA Harbour Club staff gave their all and allowed the tournament to end regularly on Saturday, to the satisfaction of the sponsors and the public that crowded the Central Court in good numbers, despite the absence of Italian players in the final. Because the ASPRIA Tennis Cup – BCS Trophy is now one of the symbols of the Milanese summer, as well as one of the key events of one of the most beautiful clubs in Italy.


Singles Final
Federico Agustin Gomez (ARG) b. Filip Cristian Jianu (ROM) 6-3 6-4

Doubles Final
Andre Begemann-Jonathan Eysseric (GER-FRA) b. Petr Nouza-Patrik Rikl (CZE-CZE) 2-6 6-4 10-6