(1974 - )
Gaston Etlis, from Argentina
has already captured two doubles titles during his career, and is one
of the best doubles players in the world. As of July 8, 2004, Etlis
is ranked No. 19 in the world in men's doubles (the highest ranking
of his career was 18 in May, 2004) and No. 278 in singles. His highest
singles ranking was No. 114 in May, 2000. After competing as a singles
player at the 1996 Australian
Opens and in
the 1997 French Open (he reached the second round at Roland Garros in
1997), Gaston switched to doubles, which he has played in Grand Slam
events ever since. In 2000, he reached the third round of the French
Open, lost in the first round at Wimbledon, and the second round at
the U.S. Open. In 2001, Etlis was scheduled to play doubles at the French
Open, but pulled out because of a back injury.
At the 2002 U.S. Open, Etlis reached the second round
in the singles competition before losing to No. 7 seed Juan Carlos Ferrero
in four sets, 2-6, 7-5, 0-6, 5-7. Seeded No. 16 in the doubles event
with partner David Adams of South
Africa, Etlis was upset in the first round of the competition. Along
with countryman Lucas Arnold, Gaston was seeded No. 16 at Wimbledon
in 2002, but they were upset in the first round. He also competed in
the mixed doubles competition where he was seeded No. 9 with countrywoman
Paola Suarez, but they were also eliminated in the first round. In other
2002 Grand Slam events, Etlis reached the second round in doubles at
the Australian Open and the third round at the French Open.
Etlis competed in the 2003 Australian Open in the doubles
competition; he and partner Martin Rodriguez were the No. 16 seed and
reached the semifinals. After defeating the No. 9 seeded team of Leander
Paes and David Rikl (6-3, 6-3) in the quarterfinals, Etlis and Rodriguez
played No. 1 seed Mark Knowles and Daniel Nestor and lost the match,
3-6, 4-6. Nevertheless, it was the best Grand Slam result of Gaston's
Etlis also competed in mixed doubles and in the singles
qualification tournament. As a singles player, he lost in the first
round of the qualifying tournament to Ricardo Mello of Brazil.
In the mixed doubles, he and partner Silvia Farina Elia of Italy also lost in the first round.
Etlis and Rodriquez were seeded No. 16 in the men's
doubles event at the 2003 French Open. After easily winning their matches
in the first two rounds (without dropping a set), they upset the No.
1 seed Mark Knowles and Daniel Nester in the third round. In the quarterfinals,
however, they lost to No. 11 seed, Paul Haarhuis and Yevgeny Kafelnikov.
At Roland Garros, Etlis also competed in the mixed
doubles with Clarisa Fernandez. They won their first round match and
then defeated Leos Friedl of the Czech
Republic and Israeli star Anna Pistolesi in the second round. In
the quarterfinals, Etlis and Fernandez lost to No. 4 seed Cara Black
and Wayne Black, 6-3, 6-3.
Etlis and partner Martin Rodriguez were seeded No.
13 in men's doubles at the 2003 Wimbledon tournament and reached the
third round. In the first round, they defeated Richard Bloomfield and
Mark Hilton in straight sets (6-4, 6-4, 6-4). In the second round, Etlis
and Rodriguez defeated Devin Bowen and Ashley Fisher in five sets (4-6,
4-6, 6-3, 6-3, and 6-1). They then faced No. seeded Mahesh Bhupathi
and Max Mirnyi and lost in three sets, 6-7 (4-7), 3-6 and 3-6.
At Wimbledon, Gaston also competed in the mixed doubles
event with Caroline Vis of the Netherlands.
In the first round, they defeated Ashley Fisher and Catherine Barcley
of Australia, 7-6 (6-4), 3-6, and 7-5. In the second round, Gaston and
Vis lost to No. 2 seeded Mike Bryan and Lisa Raymond of the U.S., 5-7
and 5-7. At the 2003 U.S. Open, Etlis and partner Martin Rodriguez were
seeded No. 11. In the first round, they were upset by Robbie Koenig
and Petr Pala, 3-6, 4-6. Etlis also competed in the mixed doubles with
Els Callens, but they lost in the first round.
A semifinalist at the 2003 Australian Open and quarterfinalist
at the 2003 French Open, Etlis and partner Martin Rodriguez were seeded
No. 9 at the 2004 Australian Open. After defeating Americans Jan-Michael
Gambill and Brian MacPhie in the first round (6-2, 6-4), they defeated
Wayne Ferrera and Rick Leach in the second round, 6-3, 6-7 (3-7), 6-3.
Gaston and his partner continued their good form as they beat Karsten
Braasch and Sargis Sargsian 7-5, 6-2 in the third round. The quarter
finals were a difficult hurdle for the duo but they battled past favorites
Mark Knowles and Daniel Nestor 7-6 (7-3), 6-7 (8-6), 6-3. In qualifying
for the semifinals Etlis and Rodriguez had matched their achievement
in the 2003 Australian Open. The fine run came to an end in the semi-finals.
Michael Llodra and Fabrice Santoro defeated Rodriguez and Gaston 6-2,
7-5 and thus sunk their dream of reaching a grand slam final.
Etlis and Rodriguez were seeded ninth and considered
among the favorites for the 2004 Roland Garros. They defeated Irakli
Labadze and Jurgen Melzer 7-5, 6-1 in the first round. The tougher team
of Karol Beck and Jiri Novak were beaten easily 6-3,6-2 in the second
round. Gaston and Rodriguez were heavily favored to beat Alexander Peya
and Rogier Wassen in the third round and did so 6-1, 3-6, 6-1. They
fell to the Belgian team
of Xavier Malisse and Olivier Rochus in the quarterfinal 6-4,6-4. Etlis
and his partner Marion Bartoli of France were defeated 0-6, 6-3, 2-6 in the first round of the mixed doubles
Etlis and Rodriguez came into the 2004 Wimbledon mens
doubles event ranked ninth overall. They beat the British team of James Auckland and Lee Childs 6-4, 6-3 to advance to the final
32. They were outfought, however, by Nikolay Davydenko and Ashley Fisher
5-7, 6-7 in a tough match and were eliminated.
Sources: Jews in