Jaume Munar is a rising star of the ATP and the number 1 seed for the Lisbon Challenger. Here’s why 2021 is going to be a bright year for the Spaniard.
Jaume Munar‘s name may not be heard by many, particularly with the recent final of the Roland Garros taking place and the spotlight once again being stolen by the members of the top 3. Behind the scenes however, the rising youths of the ATP are working relentlessly to stay alive in a brutal era of tennis, and 23-year-old Jaume Munar may just be what the new generation of tennis needs.
Currently ranked 112 in the world, Jaume Munar has come from Spain and with a strong junior ATP record and a career-high ranking of no. 3. Now, he has proven to be a threat in the Men’s Open, contending with the likes of Stefanos Tsitsipas and Dominic Thiem, and earning the number 1 seed at the present ATP Challenger Tour in Lisbon.
Exiting the US Open early due to an in-game injury, the young Spaniard showed a remarkable performance against Dominic Thiem in the first-round match, pushing the world no. 3 to a tie-breaker in the first set before conceding defeat 7-6(8-6) 6-3. Nevertheless, Munar was reported to have been moving slower and less efficiently after he tumbled in the 2nd game of the 2nd set, scraping his knee and undergoing a lengthy medical timeout.
Jaume Munar’s performance, or what was left of it, at the US Open was no doubt something to be reckoned with, as we may have seen a very different outcome if not for his knee injury in the 2nd set. He showed a strong fighting spirit combined with great technique and high-class shot-making to push Dominic Thiem to his limits, who later went on to win the championship title.
More recently, however, Munar displayed a strong performance in his first-round match at the Roland Garros, conceding defeat to Stefanos Tsitsipas, but not before taking the first 2 sets and pushing the world no. 5 to a 5-set thriller. This proved to be a great achievement for the Spaniard, as Tsitsipas continued to win all his French Open matches in straight-sets until succumbing to the world no.1 Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals in yet another 5-set thriller.
These instances were not the first time Munar showed an incredible fighting spirit, and this can be evidenced back to the 2018 French Open, where he came back from 2 sets down to defeat his fellow countryman David Ferrer in an intense first-round match. Unfortunately, Munar would face Novak Djokovic in his very next match, but not going down without a fight and producing a respectable score of 7-6 6-4 6-4 to cap off a solid French Open performance.
Currently, Jaume Munar is producing great results at the Lisbon Open in Portugal, besting Sebastian Ofner in straight sets as he moves into the round of 16. Munar is unlikely to be challenged for the rest of the tournament, as his form as well as his constant improvement to his game is likely to overshadow the other lesser-known competitors.
From winning the 2013 Junior Davis Cup to now competing against the big guns of tennis, Jaume Munar has shown no signs of derailing performance as he seems to get better every year and in every tournament, he competes in. As he dominates the ATP Challenger Tour with the absence of many of the world’s top players, he has the opportunity to further polish his game and build up his name on tour to once again challenge tennis’ very best in the majors to come. The 2021 ATP Tour is sure looking bright for Jaume Munar.