#NextGenATP youngster Roman Andres Burruchaga comes from a family that holds a piece of Argentine sports history.
Burruchaga’s father, Jorge, scored the game-winning goal in the 1986 World Cup Final, sealing an Argentina 3-2 victory over West Germany. 36 years later, fans still awe over the memorable moment.
“In Argentina, he’s a very famous person,” Roman said of his father. “They love him a lot because of that goal, I think the most important goal in the history of Argentina.”
After retiring from professional football, Jorge spent time as a coach and served as general manager of Argentina’s national team during the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Now it’s the 20-year-old Roman’s turn to have a pro career of his own, except in tennis. Since claiming two ITF Futures titles in 2021, Burruchaga is making a sudden impact on the ATP Challenger Tour.
This past week, the Buenos Aires native reached the semi-finals at the Lima Challenger, where he eventually fell short to countryman Tomas Martin Etcheverry. Four days later, Burruchaga avenged the loss to Etcheverry, defeating the second seed 6-7(3), 7-5, 7-5, in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Burruchaga needed three hours, 36 minutes to earn the highest-ranked win of his career (No. 83).
Burruchaga hopes to build upon his six Challenger quarter-final appearances, including two semi-final runs (Corrientes and Lima), to lift a trophy of his own and add to Argentina’s rich tennis history.
“We [Argentina] have a lot of Challenger Tour players that are so good,” Burruchaga said. “We have to keep going. We have a lot of past history in Argentina and I think in the future we are going to have more great players.”
Roman Andres Burruchaga at the 2022 Lima Challenger, where he reached the semi-finals. Credit: @igmachallengers
Growing up, the #NextGenATP youngster was involved in multiple sports. Burruchaga, who still enjoys using his athleticism to play padel, felt no family pressure to choose the sport his dad made a living from.
“When I was younger I started to play table tennis in my home and that was easy for me,” Burruchaga said. “So I started playing tennis… I used to play football, but my father said to 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 skillset helped lead to his first Challenger doubles title (w/ Facundo Diaz Acosta) at the Seville Challenger (September).
“I think I’m solid from 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 Roman will aim to follow in his father’s footsteps as a sporting icon in their home country.