#NextGenATP youngster Román Andrés Burruchaga comes from a family that has a piece of Argentine sports history.
Burruchaga’s father, Jorge, scored the winning goal in the 1986 World Cup final, sealing Argentina’s 3–2 victory over West Germany. 36 years later, fans are still in awe of the memorable moment.
“In Argentina, he is a very famous person,” Román said of his father. “They love him a lot for that goal, I think the most important goal in the history of Argentina.”
After retiring from professional soccer, Jorge spent time as a coach and served as general manager for the Argentina national team during the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Now it’s 20-year-old Roman’s turn to have his own professional career, except in tennis. Since claiming two ITF Futures titles in 2021, Burruchaga is making a sudden impact on the ATP Challenger Tour.
Last week, the Buenos Aires native reached the semi-finals at the Lima Challenger, where he ultimately fell short to compatriot Tomás Martín Etcheverry. Four days later, Burruchaga avenged the loss to Etcheverry, defeating the second seed 6-7(3), 7-5, 7-5, in Guayaquil, Ecuador. It took Burruchaga three hours and 36 minutes to earn the highest-ranked win of his career (No. 83).
Burruchaga hopes to build on his six Challenger quarterfinal appearances, including two semifinal runs (Corrientes and Lima), to lift a trophy of his own and add to the rich history of Argentine tennis.
“Us [Argentina] I have a lot of Challenger Tour players that are so good,” Burruchaga said. “We have to move on. We have a lot of past history in Argentina and I think that in the future we will have more great players”.
Andrés Burruchaga in the Lima Challenger 2022, where he reached the semifinals.” />
Román Andrés Burruchaga at the Lima Challenger 2022, where he reached the semifinals. Credit: @igmachallengers
Growing up, the #NextGenATP young man was involved in multiple sports. Burruchaga, who still enjoys using his athleticism to play paddle tennis, did not feel any family pressure to choose the sport from which his father lived.
“When I was younger I started playing table tennis at home and that was easy for me,” Burruchaga said. “Then I started playing tennis… I used to play football, but my father told me that I should choose what I want. I prefer tennis, and he likes tennis too.”
At a career-high No. 281 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, Burruchaga is one of 27 Argentines, and the second youngest (Juan Bautista Torres), in the Top 300 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. Burruchaga’s skill set helped him to his first Challenger doubles title (with Facundo Diaz Acosta) at the Seville Challenger (September).
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“I think I’m solid on both sides [groundstrokes]Burruchaga said. “I like to dictate with my forehand and I like to close points at the net.”
Many Argentines remember the name, ‘Jorge Burruchaga’, and Román will try to follow in his father’s footsteps as a sporting icon in his home country.