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QUEENS, NY – The fourth and last Grand Slam Tournament of the year is held just across the way from Mets Stadium, at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. For two weeks at the end of August through September, the US Open Tennis Championships draw in enthusiasts from all over the world.
It was the second day of the tournament and I was really excited, wondering around the busy grounds through the maze of courts, activity centers, and restaurants. To my surprise, playing in the Grandstand Stadium that evening was Victor Estrella Burgos, a right handed tennis player from Santiago, Dominican Republic.
Tennis is a sport I’ve followed from a young age, as I have been fascinated by its acceptance of the world and the individual skill sets of its global athletes. Yet, in all this time I have seen very few Caribbean tennis players making their presence at prime events. This year, is an exception as I discover more about who Burgos is and what he represents.
Deviating from DR’s main sport, Victor Burgos has been hitting major milestones in tennis and making history. In 2014, he became the first Dominican to reach the top 100 in the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) rankings and the first Dominican to participate in all four Grand Slams. Burgos also received a title at the Ecuador Open announcing him as the oldest ATP tour winner of the Open Era.
It wasn't surprising to find out that that Victor is the most successful player in the Dominican Davis Cup team. What astounded me was learning that the Dominican Republic has participated in the Davis Cup since 1989 and are presently ranked in the top 30 out of 132 participating countries! In late September, the “Dominican Republic and Germany will meet for the first time in the 2015 World Group playoffs. It will be the Dominicans’ first ever opportunity to be promoted into the competition’s elite”- Davis Cup. The Davis Cup is the premier international team event for men’s lawn tennis, dating back to the year 1900, so this is HUGE for Dominican Republic and my fellow Dominicans.
Be sure to look out for Burgos at the first Grand Slam of 2016, the Australian Open, broadcasted live in January from Melbourne...Let's make history Victor!
Ana P. Montes