. By Ellen Zoe Golden . Photos courtesy: Edgar Marín
Edgar Marín was 13 years old when he started playing tennis in San Jose. He was better at soccer, but “wanted to do something other than my dad did.”
Dad, is Edgar Marín Sr., a forward for Saprissa who retired in 1977 and still to this day is recognized when he is out and about. So, tennis it was for Edgar Jr. From the start he was a professional, ranked as a junior when he was at school and college.
After University, he became a coach, and even a high-performance one when he left his home of Costa Rica and moved to Walnut Creek, California, where he started a family of 3 kids with his wife.
“Playing was more of a hobby at first in California,” Marín recalled “But five years ago, I decided to be a full-time coach. Then three years ago, I moved back to Costa Rica and became the tennis pro at Mar Vista (development in Flamingo).”
Even though he currently has 60 clients of vacationers and locals who want to learn or improve their game, he made the decision return to the professional tennis circuit. Marín felt he just had to get back to competing having put it aside for 15 years.
The new goal was to become one of the Top 50 tennis players in the world. To do so, he had to start with International Tennis Federation (ITF) tournaments. One of those was he participated in was Acapulco, México, where he did well enough to score the points needed to go ITF Seniors World Championships in Umag, Croatia. Surprisingly, Marín found the town on the other side of the world to be all about tennis, with 12,000 people and 50 courts within 5 miles.
Joining him at the tournament to play in Croatia was another Tico, Esteban Ramírez, a film director known for “Caribe” and “Presos,” both submitted by Costa Rica for consideration of Academy Awards.
Ramírez lost in Round 1 of the consolations, but Marín was happy with his results: semi-finals in the consolation round. And he beat the #33 and #49 ranked guys. The World Championship drew people from all around the world; as a matter of fact, #33 was from Siberia and #49 was from England. His loss was to a guy from Austria.
“It was a great experience,” he explained. “I thought it was a check back to reality that I need to play more. These were the top 200-300 guys in the world. I need to be exposed to better players, play more matchs and play better. In the tournament I did well, and I’m going to keep doing this because I want to be able to do what I like. I am motivated now, to train, and be the best I can be.”
The only downside for the players, according to Marín, was that the Costa Rican government does not offer financial support for the sport of tennis.
All of their travel expenses came out Edgar Marín the USPTA Tennis Pro at Mar Vista makes a leap in Croatia.
Fortunately, Croatian locals who spend part of the year in this area of the country caught wind of Marín’s tennis Facebook page and showed up at Mar Vista to offer him a place at their home, coincidentally, in Umag during the tournament.
In their free time, Marín and Ramírez explored Umag, which they described as beautiful and safe.
They were stunned to see people leaving their keys in the cars without fear of theft. As a matter of fact, they didn’t even notice one policeman on the streets while they were there.
After only two international tournaments, and then the World Championships, Marín is ranked #361 in the world.
Next year, he plans to compete in Toronto, San José and Acapulco to up the ranking position, and go to South Africa next May to once again represent Costa Rica in the next World Championship.