Santiago Giraldo Salazar (American Spanish: [sanˈtjaɣo xiˈɾaldo salaˈsaɾ], born 27 November 1987) is a Colombian professional tennis player. He plays on the ATP tour and represents Colombia in the Davis Cup competition. His best tournament result is reaching the final in the 2014 Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell. He is the number one tennis player from Colombia’s history. Giraldo's career-high singles ranking is World No. 28 and world No. 77 in doubles modality.
Through his career he has beaten several ex world number one players like Lleyton Hewitt, Juan Carlos Ferrero and Andy Murray as well as some “top tens” like, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Kei Nishikori, Marin Cilic, Milos Raonic and Dominic Thiem. He has also beaten golden-generation players from Argentinian tennis such as; Gastón Gaudio, Guillermo Cañas, Mariano Puerta, Juan Martin del Potro and David Nalbandian. This includes other players who reached the top ten including Gilles Simon, Jürgen Melzer, Rainer Schüttler, Tommy Robredo, Janko Tipsarević and Nicolás Lapentti. Giraldo is the best ranked Colombian in the history making it through the world top 30.
During 2003, Giraldo became the youngest player in his country to join ATP’s ranking, getting his first point with the “future” tournament in Medellín in October being just 15 years old. In 2005, He won his first professional tournament in Medellín, within “ITF Future” category with 15.000 dollars at stake. In 2006, being 18 years old he managed to get the “Challenger de bogotá” title and reached the “Challenger de Medellín” final. In March 2007, he won the Challenger de Bogotá title, beating the Brazilian Flávio Saretta, and won the Challenger de Quite against the local Giovanni Lapentti. He also reached two finals from the same Challenger category. Although he lost against the Spanish Fernando Vicente in the Challenger de San Luis Potosí, he was close to the Top-100 reaching position 115, and also entered the Roland Garros’ main draw as a lucky loser. In October of the same year he reached the Challenger de Bogotá’s final, losing to Marcos Daniel. His only ATP triumph in 2007 was beating the Venezuelan Yohny Romero in the Davis Cup, winning the series for Colombia 3-1 versus Venezuela.
He completed a record of 19-17 Challenger tournaments during 2008, he got to Challenger de Furth’s final (losing against Daniel Kollerer) and Challenger de Cali’s semifinals. He classified to final draws five times, including the tournaments ATP World Tour Masters 1000 from Indian Wells and Miami. Moreover, by second consecutive time he joins Roland Garros’ main draw, he lost the first round facing Florent Serra. In 2009, he finished his best year out of the top-100 (105) with three Challengers titles and a 38-14 record. He opened this year with the Challenger de Salinas title (defeating Michael Rusell in the finals) and his sole triumph at ATP level in March with the Davis Cup match versus Uruguay. Giraldo then qualified to the Indian Wells-Masters 1000’s main draw and lost the first round to Nicolás Lapentti.
One month later he won Challenger de San Luis Potosí’s title against the Italian Paolo Lorenzi. In the third consecutive year, Giraldo entered the Roland Garros’ main draw losing to Denis Istomin by five sets in first round. In the final stretch of the season, Giraldo won 19 out of his 26 last matches, reaching the Challenger de Cali and Quito semifinals and winning the Sacramento title (defeating the Canadian Jesse Levine in the finals) but lost again to Nicolas Lapentti in Guayaquil’s final, but entered the Australian Open main draw for the first time in regards to the previous results. He gathered US$96,412 during 2009.
At the 2010 Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome, a Masters 1000 event, he produced a heavy ground game to crush down 12th seed Juan Carlos Ferrero 6–0, 6–3 in the first round, followed by a 6–3, 6–2 win over Michaël Llodra in the second round. However his run was ended at the hands of World No. 10 and 7th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 3–6, 4–6 in the third round.
At the 2011 Heineken Open in Auckland, New Zealand, Giraldo made it to the semi-finals, where he lost to David Ferrer 3–6, 5–7. At the 2011 Australian Open, he reached second round where he lost to Marin Čilić 3–6, 6–7, 1–6. He also reached the final of the 2011 Movistar Open where he lost to Tommy Robredo 2–6, 6–2, 6–7 despite serving for the championship at 5–3.
In the first round of 2014 Heineken Open, Giraldo beat Spaniard Albert Montañés in straight sets 6-1, 7-6. His Tournament ended in the second round, losing in a thrilling 3-setter against Guillermo García-López losing 7-6(7), 2-6, 3-6. He beat Marcel Granollers and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez at Viña del Mar to reach semi-finals, where he was defeated by Leonardo Mayer. The Colombian upset Tommy Robredo at the 2014 U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships and reached semi-finals, after which he lost to Fernando Verdasco.
At the 2014 Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, he reached his second ATP final, and the first one of an ATP World Tour 500 series. On the way, he defeated 3rd seeded Fabio Fognini, 10th seeded Philipp Kohlschreiber and 6th seeded Nicolas Almagro. He lost the tournament against Kei Nishikori in straight sets 2-6, 2-6.
In May 2014, Giraldo surprised Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the second round of the 2014 Mutua Madrid Open beating the 11th seeded Frenchman in straight sets 6-4, 6-3. Then he achieved his first win against a top 10, after defeating the World No. 8 and two-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray in straight sets 6-3, 6-2. He advanced to the quarterfinals but lost to Roberto Bautista-Agut.
At Wimbledon, the Colombian defeated Granollers in second round and lost to Roger Federer in third round. At Washington he was defeated by Vasek Pospisil in quarter-finals. At the US Open he was beaten by Teymuraz Gabashvili in first round. The player reached semi-finals at Shenzhen, where he lost to Tommy Robredo.
Giraldo lost to 32 seed Joao Sousa in the second round of the 2016 Australian Open. Giraldo lost in the first round of the 2016 French Open. Giraldo lost in the first round of 2016 Wimbledon Championships to Gilles Muller a match that went to 5 sets eventually Muller prevailed 15-13 in the last set. Giraldo won the Advantage Cars Prague Open, which included an impressive win in the quarter-finals against world number 26 Martin Klizan.
Giraldo entered the new tournament 2016 Los Cabos Open and he brushed past Amir Weintraub in straight sets, he then faced 4th seed Sam Querrey who he beat in straight sets. He will face wild card Pablo Carreño Busta in the quarter finals.
Giraldo is known to have an extremely powerful and devastating forehand that he uses to move his opponents around and end points quickly. His forehand has been likened to that of Fernando González's (incidentally his coach), with a huge back swing, coming into contact with the ball with extreme speed while flattening it out. Giraldo also uses this technique to hit balls out wide at an acute angle, which is a signature shot of his. His forehand is known to reach speeds of up to 110 mph. While his backhand is generally his weaker shot in terms of pace, he uses an identical technique, which makes his backhand flat and low. He is known for his flair in shot-making with both his forehand and backhand, often hitting balls with extreme pace or angles. His best shot is the running forehand.
Giraldo has one of the most powerful and extreme returns of serve in the tour. Unlike traditional good returners such as Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic or Andre Agassi who use anticipation and footwork to take serves early and efficiently, Giraldo uses a different style. He usually stands further behind the base line, especially on second serves, and winds up a huge back swing on either wing and takes the ball later, injecting a sudden amount of pace. He is also adept at controlling serves such that he can hit them at acute angles with speed to finish off the point early. This makes his return of serve especially devastating to his opponents. Giraldo's serve is not one of his strengths, but he possesses a decent flat and strong first serve and a top-spin second serve. His first serves can reach up to 120 mph.
Giraldo's weaknesses include his consistency and agility. Because of his shot-making and hyper-aggressive style of play, he is more than prone to making unforced errors on his ground stroke rallies(surprisingly more often than his returns of serve). Also, because he often goes for hard, flat shots, he hits the ball into the net more often than other players. His play-style relies on dictating points and winning quickly, so he is affected by quick counter-punchers who can move him around and return his shots consistently, such as David Ferrer, Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal. Giraldo occasionally exhibits clumsy footwork as well, and sometimes is simply not fast enough to retrieve directed or drop shots.
|Runner-up||1.||6 February 2011||Movistar Open, Santiago, Chile||Clay||Tommy Robredo||2–6, 6–2, 6–7(5–7)|
|Runner-up||2.||27 April 2014||Barcelona Open, Barcelona, Spain||Clay||Kei Nishikori||2–6, 2–6|
|Runner-up||1.||22 July 2012||Swiss Open, Gstaad, Switzerland||Clay||Robert Farah|| Marcel Granollers
|ATP Challenger Tour (8)|
|ITF Futures (3)|
|Winner||1.||9 October 2005||Medellín, Colombia||Clay||Luciano Vitullo||2–6, 6–4, 7–5|
|Winner||2.||7 May 2006||Cali, Colombia||Clay||Carlos Salamanca||6–4, 6–2|
|Winner||3.||25 June 2006||Sorocaba, Brazil||Clay||Eduardo Portal||7–6(8–6), 6–2|
|Winner||4.||23 July 2006||Bogotá, Colombia||Clay||Bruno Echagaray||6–3, 1–6, 6–2|
|Winner||5.||18 March 2007||Bogotá, Colombia||Clay||Flávio Saretta||7–6(7–4), 6–2|
|Winner||6.||14 October 2007||Quito, Ecuador||Clay||Giovanni Lapentti||7–6(7–4), 6–4|
|Runner–up||7.||2 June 2008||Fürth, Germany||Clay||Daniel Köllerer||6–1, 6–3|
|Winner||8.||17 January 2009||Salinas, Ecuador||Hard||Michael Russell||6–3, 6–2|
|Winner||9.||17 April 2009||San Luis Potosí, Mexico||Clay||Paolo Lorenzi||6–2, 6–7(3–7), 6–2|
|Winner||10.||11 October 2009||Sacramento, California, USA||Hard||Jesse Levine||7–6(7–4), 6–1|
|Runner–up||11.||9 November 2009||Guayaquil, Ecuador||Clay||Nicolás Lapentti||6–2, 2–6, 7–6(7–4)|
|Winner||12.||18 April 2010||Pereira, Colombia||Clay (Red)||Paolo Lorenzi||6–3, 6–3|
|Runner–up||13.||9 July 2012||Bogotá, Colombia||Clay||Alejandro Falla||7–5, 6–3|
|Winner||14.||25 March 2013||Pereira, Colombia||Clay (Red)||Paul Capdeville||6–2, 6–4|
|Runner–up||15.||1 July 2013||Todi, Italy||Clay||Pere Riba||7–6 (7–5), 2–6, 7–6 (8–6)|
Current till 2017 US Open.
|Grand Slam Tournaments|
|Summer Olympics||NH||A||Not Held||2R||Not Held||A||NH||1–1|
|Davis Cup Singles|
|Americas Zone Group I||A||A||2R||2R||1R||2R||2R||2R||2R||2R||14–5|
|ATP World Tour Masters 1000|
|Indian Wells Masters||A||2R||1R||A||2R||3R||1R||2R||2R||1R||1R||5–9|
|Monte Carlo Masters||A||A||A||A||1R||A||A||A||A||Q2||A||0–1|
|Year End Ranking||538||163||107||64||55||57||69||32||70||91|
This table is current through Australian Open 2016.
|Grand Slam Tournaments|
|Summer Olympics||Not Held||1R||Not Held||0–1|
|1.||Andy Murray||8||Madrid, Spain||Clay||3R||6–3, 6–2|
|2.||Marin Čilić||10||Geneva, Switzerland||Clay||QF||7–5, 6–3|