Viajó por todo el mundo para cubrir tenis, entrevistó a los mejores jugadores y fue testigo de momentos épicos, pero jamás olvidó las raíces echadas en el predio de Caracas y Griveo. El ex vecino de Villa Urquiza, de gran trayectoria en Clarín y ESPN, recibió la distinción “por su incondicional apoyo a la imagen y difusión de la entidad”. “Cada rincón me trae un recuerdo”, dijo, emocionado.

Por Marcelo Benini

Su infancia y adolescencia transcurrieron en ese vértice luminoso de Villa Pueyrredon, hasta que se enamoró del periodismo y la profesión le robó los fines de semana. Pero el pibe de Monroe y Bucarelli, que desandaba las siete cuadras de distancia con su bolsito a cuestas, jamás olvidó esa época feliz en el Urquiza Tenis Club. De larga trayectoria en Clarín y ESPN, estuvo presente en las grandes citas del deporte blanco durante las últimas tres décadas. Viajó por todo el mundo, entrevistó a los mejores jugadores y fue testigo de momentos épicos, como el histórico triunfo argentino en la Copa Davis. Pero jamás olvidó las raíces echadas en el predio de Caracas y Griveo, su segundo hogar.
Ahora, a los 50 años, a Mariano Ryan le llegó el tiempo de cosechar lo sembrado. La comisión directiva del UTC lo nombró socio honorario “por su incondicional apoyo a la imagen y difusión de la entidad”. La distinción, corolario de una cena realizada en el buffet del club durante la lluviosa noche del martes 26 de septiembre, pareció tomar algo desprevenido al ex vecino de Villa Urquiza. Ryan fue invadido por la emoción al recibir el diploma y el abrazo afectuoso de Carlos Beillard, presidente de la institución decana del tenis argentino. Todo se volvió borroso para el periodista durante unos instantes, hasta que recuperó el aliento y pudo agradecer el homenaje.

Recuerdos imborrables
En el medio hubo una divertidísima reunión entre amigos, donde abundaron las carcajadas al recordar las travesuras de la juventud y también hubo tiempo para el reconocimiento a los grandes momentos tenísticos. Como el día que vino a jugar un chico de contextura pequeña y corte taza, al que se subestimó pero terminó despachando a todos sus circunstanciales rivales: su nombre era Franco Davín. O los habituales y disputados enfrentamientos por interclubes entre la mejor jugadora local, la urquicense Verónica Platz, y una morochita peinada con dos colitas llamada Gabriela Sabatini. “Jugaba con una raqueta Topper de color verde”, agrega para más datos Ryan.
Párrafo aparte para las tablas de quesos y fiambres, el lomo relleno con salsa agridulce acompañado de papas españolas -obra maestra de Eduardo, el cocinero del club- y los vinos que regaron la comida. Aunque el plato principal fueron las imperdibles anécdotas sobre glorias del tenis compartidas por el agasajado, que dejó en claro su sentimiento por el UTC. “Cada rincón de este club me trae un recuerdo. Tuve que dejar de venir a la fuerza, porque cuando empecé a laburar de periodista a los 18 años se me terminaron los fines de semana”, contó con cierto pesar Ryan, quien a partir de ahora tendrá el honor de poder ir cuando quiera a jugar o simplemente pasar un rato agradable entre amigos.

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