The other day, with my editor of Ser Argentino we were bouncing issues for these columns and, at one point, like an epiphany, which is the only way these things happen, he told me “what power did Batata have.” At first, I'm not going to deny it, it confused me a little. It took me about fifteen seconds (strangers and very long, almost an experience to Levrero) to understand that he was referring to José Luis Clerc and that with “power” he was talking about the strength with which he gave the ball and not about another type of performance.
Not always the one who plays best has to be the leader. That's why I say nobility obliges, once I understood what he was saying to me, I couldn't but agree. And in fact, and this is what led me to write this text, what I started to think about is: how much does sports change as technological changes are introduced? The answer, as always, as almost faced with any question in life, is: it depends. From what?
In principle, sports. In boxing, for example, practically nothing. It is still very true to its essence: two types in short pants giving themselves mamporros. I'm not a specialist, but I imagine that the material and clothing of gloves will have changed a little, but not much more.Instead, for example, in motorsports, technology somehow IS sport, there is almost no split in concepts, one thing is also the other.
“Batata” Clerc today is a professional former player but at the time he was magical within the Argentine and world tennis circuit, one could say. It became the 4th of the ATP ranking. First comes Juan Martín Del Potro and then “Batata” as the second Argentine with the most titles. He reached the semifinals of the French Open a couple of times ('81 and '82). And in the list of “the most winners” is among the 10 athletes with the most titles.
Going back to the topic of technology, I think tennis is one of the most changing innovations. The weight and tension of the racket ropes are absolutely decisive not only for power but also for the way of play, for strategy and tactics and, of course, the technique. What would tennis have been like if Vilas or Clerc or even Connors had had the technology there is today? Actually, it's an unanswered question, because it's a counterfactic, but what I can assure is: what power did sweet potato have...
I add a color data that very few know since we are talking about large. Listen to this (lean). Vilas-Clerc were two phenomena. Like Messi and C. Ronaldo. That's how grosous they were. They were two guys who came to the top and didn't talk to each other. They were protagonists of the incredible legend of two tennis players who were top ten, contemporary and once about to win the Davis Cup without addressing the word. They lived together in the Davis Cup and faced on the international circuit, but the relationship between the two was marked by a fierce fight sustained for many years.
From power to power
In the book of journalists Eduardo Puppo and Roberto Andersen, he tells “Batata” himself, that the rival from the “initial beep” “spent every match insulting Vilas on the net. He knew that decentralized him and he continued his attitude until I and William got angry and started to insult them. The match got hot.” With all that implies, we deserve more of these two, Cler and Vilas, Messi and Ronaldo and all the talents that convey so much to us.
Today, Batata and Guillermo are great friends. After hanging the racket, our character put on a talent academy in his own country, USA, and also in Mexico. From time to time he collaborates as a commentator for the international network ESPN.
Hipólito Azema nació en Buenos Aires, en los comienzos de la década del 80. No se sabe desde cuándo, porque esas cosas son difíciles de determinar, le gusta contar historias, pero más le gusta que se las cuenten: quizás por eso transitó los inefables pasillos de la Facultad de Filosofía y Letras de la Universidad de Buenos Aires. Una vez escuchó que donde existe una necesidad nace un derecho y se lo creyó.