Javier Marti: One of the Best Players on Tour You've Never Heard of

Shane LambertAnalyst IINovember 13, 2011

Javier Marti
Javier MartiJasper Juinen/Getty Images

Javier Marti is among the "no photo provided" contingent at the ATPWorldTour.com website but that is something that could change in the next 12 months. Every season sees new players make names for themselves and perhaps Marti will be on the radar in the next year.

I've only seen Marti play one time but at least it was live in-person action. I was actually interested in the match more because of his opponent, Ryan Harrison.

However by the end of the match the better clay courter was apparent to me as Marti defeated Harrison in straight sets in the final round of qualifying at the 2011 French Open. The result led to Harrison throwing a temper tantrum and he threw his racket into a nearby tree on the outer courts at Roland Garros.

Marti is ranked just 183rd on tour at the moment but, to my knowledge, he is the only teenager on tour right now in the top 200. He's still just 19-years-old, he reminds me a bit of Richard Gasquet, and I think the Spaniard will see much more tour level action in 2012 (he's just 1-5 on tour in his career).

You never truly know when the young guns are going to break out and Marti was able to capture Jo-Wilfried Tsonga's attention in a match in Valencia recently as Marti took a set off of Tsonga.

Look for Marti to finish with futures events in 2012 and to play more matches at the challenger level, the tour level, and even at the Grand Slam level.

I think he's a significant clay court talent who will at least make it to a clay court Master Series 1000 semifinal in his career. His skills on other surfaces are not clear however as nearly all of the events he entered in 2011 were clay court events.