How Ugo Carabelli Became A Tennis Natural

  • Posted: Oct 06, 2023

How Ugo Carabelli Became A Tennis Natural

The 24-year-old is a four-time Challenger champion

A native of Buenos Aires, Camilo Ugo Carabelli grew up doing what many young Argentine boys enjoy: playing football. At age seven, Ugo Carabelli would finish football practice and then ride alongside his mother to pick up his brother, Jeremias, from the tennis courts.

When Jeremias invited Camilo to try tennis, they both were met with surprise.

“My brother said, ‘Come hit with me,’” Camilo recalled to “The first time I hit the ball, it was perfect and he said, ‘Whoa, I think you can play tennis better than football,’ because me and football are very bad.”

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Despite being a natural from the start, it was not until a decade later, when Ugo Carabelli was 17, that he had pro tennis aspirations. The Argentine wanted to enjoy being with family and friends while also focussing on school as a teenager. Those values still live with Ugo Carabelli, who is taking classes at the University of Palermo and has each of his family member’s names [Gustavo Ugo, Maria Marta and Jeremias] and their dates of birth tattooed on his body.

“I really like tattoos. I got my first tattoo, my mom’s name, when I was 15,” said Ugo Carabelli, who has 20 tattoos. “I think I will finish my arm tattoo and then start on my leg, but not for two years I think.”

<a href=Camilo Ugo Carabelli wins the Challenger 100 event in Antofagasta, Chile.” />
Camilo Ugo Carabelli at the Antofagasta Challenger. Credit: Challenger Dove Men+Care Antofagasta
Ugo Carabelli’s latest mark came on the ATP Challenger Tour two weeks ago, when he triumphed at the Challenger Dove Men+Care Antofagasta in Chile, claiming his fourth title at that level and first since August 2022. Returning to the winners’ circle was a welcome sight for Ugo Carabelli, who dealt with a hip injury earlier this season.

“It was very important because this year I’ve had many injuries, first in my hip,” he said. “After Roland Garros, I did not play for two or three months. I haven’t played too much this year, so winning a Challenger is very special for me.”

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Now coached by former World No. 37 Carlos Berlocq, Ugo Carabelli and his team did not know the root cause of the hip injury that kept him away from competition, only growing the frustration for the 24-year-old, who cracked the Top 100 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings last August.

“One day, I’m good. Then I would wake up another day and I’m very bad, I can’t walk, I can’t hit the ball,” he said. “Me and my team, we didn’t understand anything like, ‘Where is the problem?’”

Since returning to action, Ugo Carabelli has made two Challenger finals, including his title run in Antofagasta, and is now aiming for another deep run at this week’s Campeonato Internacional de Tênis in Brazil, where he is seeded eighth.

<a href=Camilo Ugo Carabelli wins the 2023 Challenger Dove Men+Care Antofagasta.” />
Credit: Challenger Dove Men+Care Antofagasta

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