Tennis Prose



Biofile Andrea Gaudenzi Interview

By Scoop Malinowski

(Note: This interview was done at US Open 1994.)

Status: ATP Chairman since 2020. Former ATP player from 1990-2003, achieved a career best ranking of no. 18 and won three ATP singles titles (Casablanca 1998, St. Poelten and Bastad in 2001). Holds career wins vs Roger Federer, Jim Courier, Pete Sampras, Michael Stich, Thomas Muster, Goran Ivanisevic, and Michael Stich. A 1996 Olympian (lost 3R to Agassi). Graduated from law school at University of Bologna.

DOB: July 30, 1973 In: Faenza, Italy

Childhood Hero: Bjorn Borg. His mental attitude. Mental behavior. The way he behaves on the court. I’d rather be like him, more consistent. You lose concentration when you have outbursts.

Favorite Movies: Basic Instinct. Let It Ride – Richard Dreyfus, great movie.

Childhood Dream: Always tennis player.

Early Tennis Memory: My father put the racquet in my hand when I was three. I played around with the plastic racquet and a soft ball all day around the house. Broke a lot of flowers and windows [smiles]. Later people told me I had a very good eye, good technique, natural talent. They tell me keep doing it, keep doing. And I enjoy it very much.

Hobbies/Interests: Snorkeling, scuba diving. I love to be underwater. Very quiet. No sound. Fantastic to be with fish. I like nature underwater. Like you’re in another world.

Pre-Match Feeling: Relax by myself. Stay cool. Think about nothing. Most of the time listen to music. Visualize trying my best, having fun, trying my best. If I visualize winning and things don’t work you, you get angry. If you try your best you can feel good no matter what happens. Things will work out.

Nickname: Gaudio – happiness in Italian. Always been called that because I’m always kind of happy, in a good mood.

Favorite Meal: Ravioli with cream sauce (Panna), pizza bread, with Sprite.

Favorite Breakfast Cereal: Cocoa Pops.

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Banana.

Greatest Sports Moment: Final in Stuttgart (1994). Lost to Berasategui. Beat Stich and Chesnokov. Felt very excited, great. It’s what I wanted – to play in the finals of a big tournament. What I was waiting for for ten years. What I was fighting for every day. After that my ranking went up to 21, my best ever.

Interesting Fact: Difficult to say. I’m quite normal. I’m not someone extreme, not one to act strange, to wear earrings. Don’t like extreme things. I don’t drink or smoke. Don’t dress strange or go out much. I like to be normal.

Favorite Athletes To Watch: Michael Jordan. Linford Christie. I love his body. Not that I’m gay or anything. It’s almost perfect. I like his attitude – very positive, very happy. I like to see athletes that age that are still very eager. Michel Platini. My favorite soccer player. For Juventus. After Maradona I think he was the best player. Very quiet. Not a big showoff like Maradona. Simple. Reserved.

Closest Friends In Tennis: Thomas Muster.

Toughest Competitors Encountered: Muster. One of the biggest fighters on the Tour. Physically very strong. Achieved a lot of things – three times top ten – by fighting, hanging in there. Very intense.

Funniest Player Encountered: Yevgeny Kafelnikov. We’re good friends. He’s very funny, very happy every day.

Worst Injury: Operation in my elbow. Woke up in morning and couldn’t move my arm. Locked up. Problem with bone. In 1991. Three months to recover.

Musical Tastes: Prince, Madonna.

Favorite Vacation Spot: Australia Barrier Reef. Because I love snorkeling, the water is great there.

People Qualities Most Admired: People that love what they do, their sports or profession. Love… it’s the only way to be happy in life. People with a lot of money who still like to work for something. Not sit around easy from what they did. Ivan Lendl is a fine example. He’s still out there, eager, practicing every day. Not playing for money, for the love of the game. I admire anyone who loves what they do. It makes me feel good to see that.

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  • Scoop Malinowski · June 26, 2023 at 6:09 pm

    Found him to be one of the nicest guys I ever Biofiled in the ATP. Great guy.

  • Matt Segel · June 27, 2023 at 8:23 am

    Well this biofile is certainly one of the more thoughtful ones. He seems to love life in a good way.

    ATP has certainly gone through changes in his first term, and I like almost all of them.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 27, 2023 at 8:33 am

    Matt, thanks, a Biofile can only be good if I get the player at the right time without any interference or time pressure, which is what happened with Gaudenzi plus he’s a really good guy. This was one of my early pro tennis Biofiles, second year as a reporter (when I wasn’t very good yet, still learning the ropes), but Gaudenzi carried me to a great Biofile by being very honest and giving thoughtful responses. ATP is in a great place now, my only complaint is the bias against Djokovic and the threat of pickleball.



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