At 23 years old, Fede Chingotto has managed to position himself as one of the 15 best players in the WPT. The Argentinean player began to stand out in the sport in 2016 along with his partner Juan Tello, with whom he managed to be number 1 in his country’s ranking.
After reaching the final in the Cascais Padel Master and reaching the semifinals in the Logroño Open and Alicante Open, in 2020 the couple formed by ”mouse” (Chingotto) and ”cat” (Tello) separates from the one who had been his coach until now, Matías Ortiz.
Now with their new coach, former world number one Gaby Reca, the promising Argentine pair are training to return to the competition after several months of confinement.
- How was the return to the courts after the quarantine? What is it like to train without your partner and at home?
The return to the courts has been very hard. It was a strange feeling to be back after so long. I hope everything keeps getting better. In a few days we played the first WPT tournament so we are training twice as hard to try to get as good as possible to the first tournament after the sports break.
Training at home was also hard as the apartment is very small. I’m lucky enough to live with another professional player, Juan Restivo, which has made the experience a little more bearable.
- Now that the public will not be able to be present during the matches, what do you think it will be like to play without spectators?
This is a question all players ask themselves. The feeling is going to be weird. To score a big point and not get applauded by anyone is going to be a little hard. Anyway, we’re looking forward to competing and we’re going to give it 100%.
- What was the moment when we were told we had to stay at home until further notice? What went through your mind regarding training?
Very hard. When I found out I wanted to go back to Argentina to spend the quarantine with my family, but then I thought better of it since my grandparents live in my house and I didn’t know if I had the virus and it was dangerous for them.
On the other hand, for professional reasons it was also better for me to stay in Spain. I spoke to the team, the psychologist, the coach and the trainer. It was a unanimous decision, so I stayed in Madrid to spend the quarantine.
- So many years playing with Tello, what would you highlight about him as a partner? What do you bring to each other?
I think this is the fifth or sixth year we’ve played together. We get along very well both on and off the court. Tello is a great person. The truth is that we both respect each other a lot and we have the same enthusiasm as the first day we met on the court.
- What are your expectations for this year? Is the change in coach benefiting the couple?
We want to continue to move up the rankings, the goal is to be as high as possible. Our main goal is to reach the final rounds of the tournaments and try to get into the first four pairs.
As far as the change of coach is concerned, I think Gaby Reca will bring us a lot as a couple. We’re very excited about the new team and we’re looking forward to competing again.
- In difficult or tense moments, who do you think will play the leading role in the couple the most?
In those moments of tension there is no definite leader as it depends on the trust that one has in the other at that moment. The one who feels better will take the baton and try to give his partner confidence to get the best out of him.
- Can you tell me which of your previous partners, or the current one, has made you better on the court?
All the colleagues I’ve had have taught me something, they’ve all done their bit.
“Matias Ortiz has been the coach who trained me and made me the player I am today”Fede Chingotto
The one who was my coach until this year, Matías Ortiz, has contributed a lot to my sporting career. We’ve been training together for six years, we’re separating our careers now, but I have to say that Mati has been the one who trained me and created the player I am today.
- How do you see the professional circuit? Which couples have surprised you in this first tournament of the year? Which couple do you see as favourites to win the number 1 this season?
The WPT is very close, anyone can win. I think it was seen last year with some surprises in the tournaments. Honestly, I think the possible candidates for number 1 are Paquito and Lima or Lebron and Galan.
“For game, Tello and I could be in the fight for world number one”Fede Chingotto
Even so, I bet on Tello and me, since we trained for that, to try to be the best. I think, for game, we could be in that fight for the number one in the world.
- Finally, how would you define the team you form with Juan Tello?
We are a very fighting couple, very warlike on the court. We leave everything in every game. I would highlight the power of my partner and my arming and control of the game. But I think we’re both very feisty padel players.