"There will be time to think about whether I play next year, right now I’m just with the bitter flavour of defeat."
— Juan Martin Del Potro
Spaniard Nicolas Almagro reveals the last time he…
Had to pay for a tennis court?
That one is tough! I don’t remember. Maybe I was 12 years old.
Lost something important?
I lose my wallet every day. I lost my passport one day before travelling to Australia. I was at the airport and couldn’t find it, so I had to return home to get a new one. I ended up flying out a day later. I never found the old passport.
Missed a flight because he was running late?
I am lucky, that has never happened to me.
Being recognised helped him?
In London, [during the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals] we went to a Spanish restaurant without a reservation. We ended up getting very good seats.
Forgot a close friend or family member’s birthday?
I forget every birthday and special days. I don’t have a good memory for that.
Cooked for himself?
Never! But sometimes I have fried an egg or something like that.
Visited a country for the first time?
Kuala Lumpur, in September. The Petronas Towers [the tallest twin buildings in the world] were very impressive.
Had a row of seats to himself on a long flight?
A long time ago! Maybe two or three years ago.
Played a sport other than tennis, which carried the risk of injury?
When I am home, I play football every week on Wednesdays, with Juan Carlos Ferrero at his academy.
Asked someone for their autograph?
It must have been with Rafa van der Vaart [the Tottenham Hotspurs footballer], in the players’ lounge at The O2.
I kind of digg the fact that he and Juan Carlos have a football date every Wednesday, sweeeeeeet!
"I played well enough in doubles, but Stanislas not so much,” Federer said, adding that Wawrinka “didn’t have his best match in singles. It’s a shame, because of that defeat we weren’t able to put the U.S under pressure."
-Roger Federer on Switzerland’s loss to the U.S. in Davis Cup
Seriously Roger wtf kind of attitude is that? You blame Stan for the loss? I’m sorry but aren’t you suppose to be one of the greatest players of all time? Yet you couldn’t manage to win a match. But instead of making comment on that you point out others mistakes…so classy
This has got to be one of my favourite tennis player photoshoots ever.
The way the pictures are presented, the sets he is on, they all look so good. hell i even like the watches his modelling!! But the overall look of the photos is beautiful, and of course it helps when the subject is as easy on the eyes as dear Daveed ;)
“We’ve always wanted a voice. Unfortunately, “We’ve it hasn’t come,” Andy Roddick said Sunday night. “We’re not sure what we’d do. Whether it means a stoppage for a major tournament, that’s something we’ve got to talk about.”
With that, the American veteran threw down the “S” word, adding his voice to those to those of Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal as the top players in the men’s game foment a potential uprising.
Spaniard Fernando Verdasco reveals the last time…
I missed a flight?
I’ve never missed a flight. It’s been tight, but I’ve never actually missed one.
I flew economy class?
I flew many times. Whenever I fly inside Europe or short 2-3 hour flights, I go economy. I am not high maintenance, so I don’t go business class.
I cooked for myself?
I’ve never cooked for myself! I’m so lucky to have three restaurants in Madrid and they always cook for me. I’ve never tried to learn how to cook because my family owns three restaurants in Spain. I really want to learn how to cook, but I haven’t had enough time to do it.
I lost something important?
I have lost many phones, many sunglasses. They are not really important. Not in the past two or three years though. The last time I lost my wallet was probably when I was 15. That was really important.
I hired a court and strung my own tennis racquet?
I’ve never had to pay to hire a court! Stringing a racquet? I can’t remember. I was maybe 14 or 15 years old.
I visited a country for the first time?
I went on holiday to Hawaii for five days in February 2010, I had never been before. It’s not a country, it’s a state, but it’s the last new place I’ve been to for the first time.
I asked someone for their autograph?
I have a collection of tennis racquets from players, such as Federer, Henman, Agassi and Srichaphan, which I got them to sign because I am like a fan. When I was younger, I asked players for their autographs.
I forgot a family member or close friend’s birthday?
I’ve never forgotten the birthday of someone really close to me because all my family and friends are so close to me, so it’s hard to forget. I did forget the birthday of one of my friends last November. But it’s tough to remember all birthdays!
I walked my dog?
I think it was in April 2010. I have a very big family and my Dad is the one who takes care of the dogs. When I’m at home I’m always kind of busy, so I don’t even have time to go with my dogs and walk around. I have six dogs, two small ones at home – one maltese and one small jersey – and then we have a big mastiff and three dogs for hunting.
I watched Real Madrid play?
Four months ago at the Bernabeu stadium, but I don’t remember which match it was. I watch them when I can. My favourite players are the Spanish ones, Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Xavi Alonso, Arbeloa. They are also my friends. Cristiano Ronaldo is a great player, but I would always choose a Spanish player as my favourite.
Alexandr Dolgopolov is a breath of fresh air. The giggly Ukranian with the long hair and longer last name has been in the spotlight since making the quarterfinals of the Australian Open this year, charming fans with his perma-smile and refreshingly diverse game.
He’s had a bit of an up and down year since then but is currently sitting just outside the Top 20. He was nice enough to sit down with us after he won an exhausting match against Grigor Dimitrov 6-4 1-6 7-6(7) in the Third round of the Winston-Salem Open. Once he got going he pretty much smiled and giggled throughout the interview, I’ve just highlighted the particularly intense giggle-fits.
That was a really tough match today. How do you feel?
Feels good, I got some matches. Because I was sick in Cincinnati it feels nice to win a match like that. I was match point down and somehow got a bit more luck in the end so I got the win and I’m happy.
What was wrong in Cincinnati?
I got some virus, it was since Montreal. I was sick and had a fever so it was pretty tough to play. It’s finished, (and I’m) trying to get my form back and to get top form for the U.S. Open.
You’re known for always being in a good mood. Does anything ever make you angry?
No. Nothing really makes me angry, that’s tough. (Smiles)
That’s amazing. So you never get pissed off?
Yes, I do get pissed off but it doesn’t last for long. (Laughs)
How do you stay so happy?
I don’t know, everything is fine so I’m happy right now.
You won a lot of fans in the U.S. when you won the Doubles Title in Indian Wells with Xavier Malisse. What are your memories from that run?
It was a lot of fun because we just had some fun. We played a lot of doubles guys and they were playing serious, so we just had a lot of good matches. I think we won all the matches on the Super Tie-break. So it was interesting and really nice to win a title.
Do you guys plan on playing any more tournaments together?
We’re not playing together now… but I think we’ll play together sometime.
Who are your best friends on tour?
I’m friends with all the players, maybe more the Russian speaking guys, because it’s easier to communicate with them, but I’m really good with anyone.
What’s your biggest hobby outside of tennis?
Cars. Fast Cars. (Laughs)
What car are you driving right now?
How fast do you drive it?
Pretty fast. (Laughs hysterically)
I noticed your family was here in Winston. Do they usually travel with you?
No, it’s actually just the Second time this year, they just had some time off and they came to support me. It’s nice.
Will they be at the U.S. Open?
A lot of tennis player have been shaving their heads lately. Do you plan on joining them?
I don’t think so! I was surprised actually, I don’t know why but yeah, there were a few guys but no, not me. (Laughs)
World No. 21 Alexandr Dolgopolov, who claimed his first ATP World Tour title in July at the ATP Studena Croatia Open in Umag, answers questions from Facebook fans. The Ukranian won his first-round match at the Rogers Cup in Montreal on Monday.
You looked very comfortable interviewing the hostesses in Umag? How were you able to remain focused on tennis and go on to win the title?
I went out for two nights, so it was not too much for me. I was still playing good and the matches didn’t start until 5:30 pm, so I was fine to play.
Are you comfortable with your nickname, Dog? How often do you hear the chant: “Who let the dogs out? Hoo, hoo, hoo!”
Haha! I haven’t heard that since Australia. I’m fine with that nickname… not many people use it
Hey Dolgo - You have a very interesting service motion, notably how quick you hit the ball after you toss. Who taught you to serve like that and how is it effective for you?
I think it’s pretty effective because because my opponent can’t really read the serve. No one really taught me. I had a normal technique growing up and I just started jumping out hitting the ball faster.
What is your favourite tennis tournament?
My favourite tournament would probably be Roland Garros.
Do you have a habitual routine before a match, like brushing your hair many times, or swaying your racquet back and forth?
Nope, no routine. I just relax before I go on court.
Who is your favourite player in the Top 10?
That’s tough. I don’t have one. I’m not in the Top 10 yet (laughter). Seriously though, I don’t have a favourite. I like all of them.
Congratulations for your first title, Do you think you’ll change your hairstyle anytime soon? If you do (or ever do), whose hairstyle among the ATP players do you think you’ll mostly want to be looked like?
I’m not sure I’d want to look like someone on the tour. It would probably be something normal but I won’t change it soon
Would you ever hold a charity benefit in which you would allow your hair to be completely shaved off if the shaver paid enough to your favourite charity?
-Michael ‘Pablo’ Weigel
I’ve never thought about it but it would be possible I guess.
What is your maximum service speed km/hr ?
-Hilton Jay Cutler
I think it was 232km/hr from what I saw.
With the US Open coming up, I want to know if there’s anything you do different to prepare for the four major tournaments as opposed to the other tournaments during the year? Congrats on the first title! I was thrilled :)
Thanks! I don’t think I do anything special for the four majors. I prepare pretty much the same and try to peak during the Grand Slams.
Winning a tournament I mean..what were you thinking perv?
How does it feel to win your first ATP World Tour title?
I’ve played pretty well for the last year, but couldn’t manage to get a win. I think it’s good because I worked hard to get to the final and then I managed to win it, so I’m really happy. I was first in the rankings in Ukraine, but I hadn’t won a title and everyone was talking about that a bit. It’s a good moment. I’ll keep on working and try and get higher and higher in the rankings.
It’s been just over an hour since you won, how many text messages have you received?
Around 20 from my friends and people I know in the Ukraine.
How did your approach to this final differ compared to the one in Costa do Sauipe?
I think I was a bit more confident because I didn’t lose a set until the final. I know my game pretty well now. The conditions suited me and it was the right day. I think my form was a bit better.
Talking about your season overall, how happy have you been with the highlights?
I’m really happy with the season. The clay-court campaign (in the spring) could have been better; I was playing pretty solid at a lot of tournaments but couldn’t win anything. I hope to get better and come back.
Did you think your first title would come on clay? What’s your favourite surface?
Pretty much clay, but I wasn’t thinking about my first title. I was concentrating more on the ranking and stuff like that.
Is your goal still to reach the Top 20 at the end of the year?
Yeah, pretty much. If you are Top 20, or better Top 15, you can really plan your year better. You are able to practise more because if you are down at No. 30 or No. 40 you need to play more than practise, which makes it tough. For sure I would like to reach the Top 15 then go from there.
What are your hobbies? What do you like to do off court?
I like to spend time with my friends and I like to race cars. That’s pretty much it. I just get back, do what normal people do - go out, go bowling, play baseball and just forget about tennis.