Sanyo to Padel Alto: ”I would have waited for a solution until the end of the year”
After the loss in the Barcelona Masters, Sanyo Gutierrez went to bed with a thousand thoughts. The following day came the call from Fernando Belasteguin. He wanted to break.
Now Sanyo Gutierrez talks to Padel Alto about the breakup with the world's all-time best padel player and his new motivation with Agustin Tapia.
— I really see it as a failure, he says to Padel Alto.
Before the season came the bomb. Fernando Belasteguin, the best padel player of all time broke with Agustin Tapia. At the same time, Sanyo Gutierrez and Franco Stupazcuk's failed project came to an end.
Now came the call that all Argentina's padel supporters had been waiting for. Bela called the magician from San Luis. Together, they would seriously take up the fight against Spaniards Juan Lebron and Alejandro Galan to become number one in the world.
And the pair seemed to enjoy each other. Already in their first tournament, the prestigious competition in Madrid, the team won. And when the team finally faced Juan Lebron and Alejandro Galan for the first time in the final of the Valencia Open, the Argentinians emerged victoriously and won the title.
World Padel Tour
Then something happened. Bela sustained an injury to his calf, and the results failed to appear.
For the first time since Fernando Belasteguin left Argentina for Spain 21 years ago, he was knocked out in the first round of a Masters tournament in Cascais. That was followed by a first-round loss in Sardinia the following week.
After the quarter-final loss in Barcelona came the call. From Bela to Sanyo. He wanted to cancel the project.
— We never talked about separation. After Barcelona, I went to sleep thinking about solutions and thinking a thousand times, and the next day he called me and told me that maybe the best thing to do was separate, Sanyo Gutierrez says to Padel Alto.
— I really see it as a failure. The expectation was to fight for nr 1. Not only did we not achieve it, but we also split before the end of the year.
Breaking in the middle of the season is not uncommon. But for Fernando Belasteguin, it is unusual; he often talks in interviews about finding stability and solidity in the game that it takes time for something new to settle in.
But Sanyo says that he thinks the partnership was already broken and that neither Bela nor himself gave each other what they needed.
— If it had been up to me, I would have waited for a solution until the end of the year and then changed. Because of the image issue and sponsors that I guess they didn't like this very much. But he made the decision, and I believe that it is the best for both of us.
World Padel Tour
Many have speculated how it could be that the pair are already breaking despite their three titles this season, how the team went from playing such good padel to barely looking like they want to be on the court with each other anymore.
— Our relationship, and I speak for myself, will continue to be as it is today. He is neither my best friend nor my worst enemy.
— There was always respect, and we got along well being direct rivals for many years, Sanyo Gutierrez says.
When a team of Belasteguin and Gutierrez's level breaks, it sparkes questions among other pairs. Should I leave my current partner to play with Sanyo or Bela? And that, in turn, creates new waves in different constellations. So too now.
The separation has created a circus on the World Padel Tour where one switches up, and the partner gets left behind.
When Bela decided to leave Sanyo, he took charge of the situation and contacted another younger Argentinean, Agustin Tapia. The player Fernando Belasteguin left for Sanyo and who played with Bela last season.
— I wrote to him when Bela told me he wanted to change. I didn't know how he was with his partner, but I asked him, and he told me that he was separating, and he decided to bet on me, Sanyo says.
The next day came the news from Agustin Tapia. Via Pablo Lima's Instagram, the Brazilian announced that Tapia had chosen another partner and that the Lugo Open was their last tournament together. The pair had mixed and matched this season, with the absolute highlight this summer when Tapia and Lima won two tournaments in a row. Las Rozas Open and Malaga Open.
— Playing with Agustin is a very nice thing for me. He's young, he's very good, he has a great future, and he agreed to play with me. What more can I ask for?, says Sanyo Gutierrez.
— Well, how we complement each other, I can't answer you yet. We will try to have an identity on the court and match our games as best as possible.
Many have thought that 37-year-old Sanyo has looked a little unmotivated on the pitch with Bela lately, but he assures that the switch gives him more energy.
— A new project is always a motivation to keep giving everything.
Sanyo during IcanIwill Invitational. Padel Alto
The next tournament, Menorca Open, is exciting. Now the circus has died down, and the pairs have found new partners. In addition to Sanyo Gutierrez/Agustin Tapia, Fernando Belasteguin will play with Spanish super talent Arturo Coello, Pablo Lima will play with the stable Javi Ruiz.
Together they will take on Juan Lebron and Alejandro Galan to become number one in the rankings. Add in Paquito Navarro and Martin Di Nenno in great form that has moved past Fernando Belasteguin and Sanyo Gutierrez in the rankings after the last tournament, the Lugo Open.
— Winning Menorca is very, very difficult. We are a new pair with almost no time for training, and the level that is being played today is very high. Let's first prepare ourselves to play well, and then there will be time to think about winning.