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Mr. Diego Forlán is a referee of world soccer. He is well known from Ghana to Spain but his first passes in the sports were given in the Carrasco Lawn Tennis. At that time he played tennis and football and he did so well that coaches fought over him. To the point that at one moment they ought to come to an agreement in order him to be able to practice both sports in the club, which is an iconic institution in Carrasco
The Carrasco Hotel and the Lawn Tennis, two icons
The Carrasco Lawn Tennis is related with an icon of the neighbourhood: The Carrasco Hotel. Founded in 1921, the hotel had a series of tennis courts for its hosts in front of the dairy (later the Conaprole Bar). Those tennis courts and a stadium -built by the end of the 1930’s which was later demolished – gave birth to the institution, told to Uruguay Properties Mr Eduardo Vitale, club’s general manager. The Municipality of Montevideo, Education and even The Tennis Circle, handled the tennis courts untill in the end a group of young people founded the Carrasco Lawn Tennis on January 9th 1943.
The institution was growing with the neighbourhood. In 1962 Mr. Vitale began working in a bank in Carrasco and remember that in those days the neighbourhood “was more like a resort” to the point that people “talked of going to Montevideo”. What is more, there was a great influx of tourists who come to settle in the Carrasco Hotel. “It was a city resort, it was safer and the means of transportation was the bicycle”, he told.
Vitale remembered that by the end of 1970s Carrasco began to grow, specially because there was more transport and services in the neighbourhood. At that time tennis began to grow in Uruguay too. During the decade of the 1970’s the phenomenon of Guillermo Vilas appeared. “Tennis was a white sport, silent and Vilas coloured it” said Mr. Vitale. The Argentinean Vilas visited several times the Carrasco Lawn Tennis. On one of the photographs on the Vilas visits appeared a young Marcelo Filippini, who later on came to the post number 34th in the world ranking. Fiorella Bonicelli, José Luis Damiani and Diego Pérez also passed through the courts of the Lawn. The latter reached the post number 27th in the world ranking in1984. In those days Carrasco developed and in the decade of the 1990’s the “explosion” came, said Vitale. Banks, colleges, hotels, and all kind of services improved the neighbourhood.
Now it is the time of expectations to see how the reopening of the Carrasco Hotel would impact. “I believe that we are seeing some consequences now”, Mr. Vitale told.
As examples Vitale mentioned the great number of shops that are being installed on Arocena street - from the rambla and beyond of Rivera Avenue- and he remarks that houses are being bought to turn them into shops. “The Hotel will impact because it would surely attract high income people”, he expressed.
Carrasco Airport and foreigners
Vitale also refers to the amount of foreigners that choose Carrasco. “That is clear, we have in the club many foreign people as associates”, he explained. As an example he mentioned to Europeans, Argentineans and Brazilians, who arrived in Uruguay for business or because there is more safety than in other countries. He pointed out that many of them opt for the neighbourhood because they work in the Free Trade Zone or simply because there are good hotels or because it is near Carrasco Airport. The new airport was designed by famous Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly and inaugurated in 2009.
“The Carrasco concept is much broader today”, said the Lawn Tennis Manager. He explained that in the past Carrasco´s boundaries could be Bolivia, the rambla, Cooper and a little beyond the East, but due to the development when talking today of Carrasco it is also includes Miramar Park, Avenue of the Americas, part of Punta Gorda and Carrasco North. Vitale also emphasizes the phenomenon of urban concentration that implies the building of blocks of flats in the neighbourhood. “There were practically no flats before and there are a lot of blocks now” he said.
Although Vitale recognizes that the growth has provoked some changes in the neighbourhood, such as some lose of privacy, he explains that the neighbours of the zone should adapt to these new circumstances. And there are many who choose Carrasco, like Forlán, who when is in Uruguay lives in the neighbourhood and sticks around for the Lawn Tennis.
Source: Uruguay Properties
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