It was a question that was asked very often: is Andrea Collarini playing for the United States or for Argentina? For the 20-year-old was born in New York from Argentine parents and the family moved back to Argentina when Andrea was very little, and that’s where he started playing tennis, and developed as a player.
A few months before losing Roland Garros Junior to his friend Agustín Velotti, Collarini had accepted to represent the United States, which he did for almost three years. He has trained in Florida for some time before coming back to Argentina, where he played many Futures and Challenger events, and where his family, of course, still lives.
Today, the Asociación Argentina de Tenis (AAT) emitted a release that rejoiced many: Andrea Collarini will, from now on, once again represent Argentina on the ATP Tour, “a very important decision” for the young lefty:
“I was born in the United States, but I lived and developed my tennis in Argentina for as long as I can remember, and have even represented what I feel is my country. I value the experience I gained in the United States, but my place is here.”
Andrea Collarini is one of the many players who are now known as the “Class of ’92”, one of the (if not the) most talented classes of young players developing at the moment, of which the most successful examples to date on the ATP Tour are Aussie Bernard Tomic and American Ryan Harrison.
In Argentina, the Class of ’92 is slowly starting to emerge with the progress of players such as Facundo Argüello, Diego Schwartzman, Agustín Velotti, and Renzo Olivo, to name only a few.
All these young Argentine players form a very united brotherhood, to which many others come to add themselves (for instance, Guido Pella). Three of those players (all from the Class of ’92) expressed their joy at the announce of Collarini’s decision, the first one of doing so being the one who had defeated “Colla” in the 2010 Junior French Open final, Agustín Velotti:
“It makes me very happy, Andre is a great person and I’m glad that he is back representing Argentina, for himself and for all.”
For Diego Schwartzman, it never made any doubt:
“We never looked whether he had ARG or USA next to his name. Andre always was one more Argentine for us.”
There was never a doubt for Renzo Olivo, either:
“We always felt he was Argentine. But it’s really good. The ’92 is really strong now and with Colla, it will become even stronger and that is great.”
A very happy day for Argentine tennis! Let’s just hope that, this time, the United States Tennis Association will not make the fuss and issues they made in Alex Bomolov Jr’s case, although I have been told that they were fine with Collarini’s decision.
Many thanks to Marcos Zugasti for allowing me to use and translate the reactions he had received from Velotti, Schwartzman, and Olivo.