Chilean tennis player Alejandro Tabilo says he used to look up to Rafael Nadal in every aspect while growing up and it feels surreal to have a chance to play the Spaniard in his home country. For November, Nadal plans hold an exhibition tour around South America.
Nadal, a record 22-time Grand Slam champion, plans to make stops in Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, and Argentina. "For me it is incredible. Since I was little I have always tried to do everything like [Rafael] Nadal; he is my idol and playing with him in Chile is a dream, it will be unforgettable.
So to have this opportunity to play an exhibition here with him makes me very happy," Tabilo told La Tercera. "When they first named me to compete against Nadal, I didn't think much of it. It took me a while to react and already, a week ago, when they confirmed me, I couldn't believe it.
Guille (Gómez) called me on the phone and was happy. My eyes widened with happiness."
Tabilo aims to break into the top-50
Last Monday, Tabilo reached his career-high ranking of No. 68. Before the season ends, 25-year-old Tabilo wants to break into the top-50.
"I think the top-50 would be the goal, since at the beginning of the year the goal was the top-100, but since it happened more or less quickly, we had to change the calendar a little, the goals and everything. So, the ideal would be to reach the top 50.
If we do a good planning and it goes more or less well, it is possible," Tabilo added. Earlier this year, Tabilo fell just short of winning his first ATP title as a qualifier in Cordoba. In Cordoba, Tabilo won a total of six matches before losing to Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the final.
It remains to be seen if Tabilo can win his first title in the rest of the season and also accomplish his goal of breaking into the top-50.