It took more than six months for Gonzalo Lama (417th in the ATP ranking) returned to contest a main draw of a challenger tournament, and did so successfully. It is that the Chilean tennis player had a triumphant debut in Quito, Ecuador.
The “León” defeated in a hard-fought match the guest host Álvaro Guillén Meza (1580 °), aged 18, by partials of 7-5, 4-6 and 6-2 after two hours and five minutes. With this victory, he will add 6 points that will allow him to climb to box 400, his best location since March 2018.
In the second round, Lama will have a greater challenge, since he will face the Spanish Mario Vilella Martínez (169 °), third seed, who eliminated the American qualifier Christian Langmo (659 °) by 6-3, 6-7 (5) and 6-2.
The last time Lama had played a challenger main draw was last March, in Santiago, when he reached the quarterfinals after knocking down Spanish top seed Roberto Carballés Baena.
September and October will be two months full of tournaments for the South American continent. In the Challenger circuit, the dates of eight competitions between Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Colombia and Peru are already confirmed.
Quito was the first city to give the green light. The Ecuadorian capital hosts a tournament that has the Ecuadorian Emilio Gómez (156 °) and the Argentines Renzo Olivo (207 °), Thiago Tirante (267 °) and Juan Pablo Ficovich (247 °) as top entertainers. They all passed the debut.