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|Residence||Buenos Aires, Argentina|
19 September 1978 |
San Francisco, Córdoba, Argentina
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|Plays||Left-handed (one-handed backhand)|
|Prize money||US$ 1,695,028|
|Highest ranking||No. 9 (15 August 2005)|
|Grand Slam Singles results|
|Australian Open||2R (1999)|
|French Open||F (2005)|
|Wimbledon||1R (1998, 2001, 2003,
|US Open||2R (1999,
|Tour Finals||RR (
|Highest ranking||No. 68 (2 August 1999)|
Mariano Rubén Puerta (born 19 September 1978) is a former Argentine professional male tennis player. His best performance in a Grand Slam was reaching the final of the French Open in 2005, where he lost to Rafael Nadal in four sets. He won 3 singles titles and reached a career-high singles ranking of World No. 9.
Puerta made his debut on the ATP Tour in 1996. He won his first ATP title in 1998 in Palermo, Italy. In 2000, Puerta achieved his highest year end ranking of World No. 21, making it to five finals, and winning one of them (Bogotá). That same year, however, he underwent wrist surgery, which kept him off the circuit for several months.
Besides not recovering his previous playing level, he was suspended from tennis for 9 months from October 2003 onwards for a doping offense (see section on doping controversies). Owing to the suspension he missed most of the 2004 season, and by August 2004 his world ranking had dropped to No. 440. He was reduced to playing Challenger-level tournaments for a while until he had earned enough points to return to the ATP Tour.
In 2005, Puerta made an eye-opening comeback on the Tour by winning the title in Casablanca and then making it to the final of the world's most prestigious clay court tournament, the French Open, where he eventually succumbed to Rafael Nadal in a close match (7–6(6), 3–6, 1–6, 5–7). By August 2005 he had climbed to a career-best World No. 9 in the ATP singles rankings, an advancement of 431 places in one year.
In December 2005, he was, again, suspended for a doping offense, this time for 8 years, effectively ending his professional career. This suspension was later reduced on appeal.
Puerta is left-handed and uses a single-handed backhand. He is a clay court specialist with a game that revolves around groundstrokes with heavy topspin. On fast surfaces his game is compromised by his comparatively weak serve and slow court speed. His three ATP titles were all won on clay.
In 2003, Puerta received a two-year doping suspension after testing positive for clenbuterol at Viña del Mar. In his defence, he argued that the substance had been administered to him by his doctor to combat asthma and that it had no performance-enhancing effect. The sanction was subsequently reduced to nine months suspension, effective from October 2003, and a $5600 fine.
In December 2005, Puerta was once again banned, this time after it was revealed that he had tested positive for the use of the cardiac stimulant, etilefrine, following his 2005 French Open final loss to Rafael Nadal. The suspension was for 8 years, the longest in tennis history at that time. As a result, Puerta was forced to forfeit all his rankings points and prize money from the 2005 French Open onwards, and had all his 2005 results from after the French Open, annulled. Puerta's runner-up finish at the 2005 French Open was allowed to remain on the record books.
The International Tennis Federation tribunal noted, however, that "The amount of etilefrine detected in the positive drugs test was too small to have any effect on his performance". Puerta appealed against the ban, claiming on his web site that he only ingested trace amounts of it accidentally left over by his wife in a glass. On July 12, 2006 his suspension was reduced to 2 years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, making him eligible to restart his career on June 5, 2007.
On June 6, 2007 Puerta returned to the professional circuit with a 6–4 6–3 victory over Australian Joseph Sirianni at the Sassuolo Challenger, a tournament to which he was invited as a wild card since he had no ranking. In the second round, Puerta lost 6–3 6–0 to Spaniard Marc López. Since returning to the ATP, Puerta has only played on the ITF circuit, reaching the quarterfinals of the Trani and Puebla challengers, the semifinals of the Belo Horizonte and Medellín challengers, and the final of the Cordenons challenger.
Grand Slam finals
|Year||Championship||Opponent in Final||Score in Final|
|2005||French Open||Rafael Nadal||7–6(8–6), 3–6, 1–6, 5–7|
ATP Tour Singles finals
Singles: 10 (3 titles, 7 runners-up)
|Outcome||No.||Date||Tournament||Surface||Opponent in the final||Score in the final|
|Runner-up||1.||10 August 1998||San Marino Open, San Marino||Clay||Dominik Hrbatý||2–6, 5–7|
|Winner||1.||5 October 1998||Campionati Internazionali di Sicilia, Palermo, Italy||Clay||Franco Squillari||6–3, 6–2|
|Runner-up||2.||21 February 2000||Mexican Open, Mexico City, Mexico||Clay||Juan Ignacio Chela||4–6, 6–7(4–7)|
|Runner-up||3.||28 February 2000||Chile Open, Santiago, Chile||Clay||Gustavo Kuerten||6–7(3–7), 3–6|
|Winner||2.||6 March 2000||Bancolombia Open, Bogotá, Colombia||Clay||Younes El Aynaoui||6–4, 7–6(7–5)|
|Runner-up||4.||10 July 2000||Swiss Open, Gstaad, Switzerland||Clay||Àlex Corretja||1–6, 3–6|
|Runner-up||5.||17 July 2000||Croatia Open, Umag, Croatia||Clay||Marcelo Ríos||6–7(1–7), 6–4, 3–6|
|Runner-up||6.||7 February 2005||ATP Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina||Clay||Gastón Gaudio||4–6, 4–6|
|Winner||3.||4 April 2005||Grand Prix Hassan II, Casablanca, Morocco||Clay||Juan Mónaco||6–4, 6–1|
|Runner-up||7.||5 June 2005||French Open, Paris, France||Clay||Rafael Nadal||7–6(8–6), 3–6, 1–6, 5–7|
- Bogotá (with Diego del Río)
Singles performance timeline
|Grand Slam Tournaments|
|ATP World Tour Finals||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||RR||A||A||A||0–0|
|Summer Olympics||Not Held||A||Not Held||A||Not Held||A||Not Held||A||NH||0–0|
|ATP World Tour 1000|
|Indian Wells Masters||A||A||A||A||A||1R||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||6–6|
|Monte Carlo Masters||A||A||A||A||A||A||2R||1R||A||A||A||3R||A||A||A||A||3–3|
|Shanghai Masters||Not Held||NMS||Not Held||NMS||A||0–0|
|ATP Finals Reached||0||0||0||0||1||0||5||0||0||0||0||2||0||0||0||0||19|
|ATP Tournaments Won||0||0||0||0||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||19|
|Year End Ranking||786||764||424||141||39||101||21||254||116||118||133||56||N/A||261||195||311||N/A|
Walkovers are neither official wins nor official losses.
- The Associated Press (December 22, 2005). "Puerta Is Facing the Longest Ban in Tennis History". NYTimes.com - Sports. The New York Times (nytimes.com). Retrieved 28 July 2011.
- "Puerta: "Espero terminar el año entre los 100 mejores", Clarín.com, 7th June 2007.
- "Year End Singles Rankings for 2005", atpworldtour.com, 26th December 2005.