Tennis Prose



Biofile Ruben Bemelmans Interview

By Scoop Malinowski

Status: ATP no. 212. Highest ranking was 84. Turned pro in 2006. ATP match record is 30-61. Career prize money earnings are $2,197,180.

Ht: 6-0 Wt: 165

DOB: January 14, 1988 In: Genk, Belgium

First memory of tennis: When I started playing tennis as a kid, playing against the wall when my parents were playing tournaments.

Tennis inspirations: A bunch… obviously the three greats Federer, Nadal, Djokovic. Sampras, Agassi. I’m in my thirties now so I remember them. Chang. I think all the greats are inspiring for all tennis players.

Last book read: Finance book actually, how to invest.

First famous player you met or encountered: That would be Rafael Nadal. I played him twice. But the very first match against him was in Bangkok. I don’t remember the year, I think it was 2012. I held my own but I lost 75 64. It was a good match. Indoor hard – as I prefer. Those guys have something special. At the end of every set he would raise his level and show who was the boss.

Greatest career moment: The two finals in Davis Cup. I’m proud to say as a small country we made two finals in history even of Belgium. I was part of both of those, so one of my greatest memories.

Most painful moment: The two finals of Davis Cup. We lost them both…I would say… most painful… I think it’s up there. We were so close to win Davis Cup as a small country of Belgium.

Favorite tournaments: US Open. Australian Open because of how they treat the players there, it’s really, really good. At ATP level it’s Indian Wells. It’s a favorite of players. The venue itself is amazing. And Newport. It’s a great location and full of history.

Why do you love tennis: It was a passion and a hobby and it became actually where I make my money, my profession. It’s such a great game. You have to be mentally strong, physically strong, you need the whole package to become a successful player.

Best you ever felt on court: I would say Wimbledon 2018 against Medvedev. It was a second round match. He was not top ten yet. He just beat Wawrinka and was playing very, very solid. The day I played him it was a tough five set match. Fifth set I was a break down. But from that point on I saw the ball like a beach ball. It was one of my best performances.

Funniest players encountered: I would say Nick Kyrgios. He doesn’t take anything seriously. He makes fun of basically anything. Sometimes in a fun way, sometimes it’s exaggerated. I would say Nick. Then Benoit Paire. I know him very well. I know him off court as well. He’s funny as well.

Strangest match: Davis Cup again, in Australia, I’m playing Lleyton Hewitt on Friday, one set all. Then all the sudden the match got interrupted. A lady got heatstroke in the stands. The match got interrupted like 20-30 minutes. Lady was in bad shape, the ambulance was there, we were worried. Saying what was going on. We weren’t getting any updates. A lot of people around that lady. So it was a weird moment. (Did she survive?) Yes she did, everything was all right. It was pretty hot. No shade. In the end she was all right. (Ruben lost the match 67 57 62 46.)

Funny tennis memory: Afterward it was funny. At French Open I was preparing for my match. Locker door – you have to push in, it was sticking out. I was grabbing something, came up ad bumped my head so hard. Two minutes before my match I was bleeding. At the moment I was in a panic bleeding. I have to play in one minute. It was a funny moment. (Against who?) Spanish guy, three names, ten years ago.

Embarrassing tennis memory: I don’t have embarrassing moments. I’m always like paying attention to what I do and being polite on the court.

Favorite sport outside tennis: Golf.

Three athletes you like to watch and follow: Lebron James. Tiger Woods. Kevin Debruyer for Manchester City. Belgium soccer. Considered one of the best.

Favorite ice cream flavor: Stracciatella.

People qualities most admired: Honesty. Coping with other people. Not getting annoyed as quickly. These days in the world people are getting annoyed by the smallest things. Are getting angry. Just enjoy life. And chill. That would be it.

Family: Wife, Maaike; son, Rocco.

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  • Cory · January 3, 2022 at 7:58 pm

    Always liked Bemelmans’ game. Guy is skillful and tricky. He never really achieved a high ranking, to my surprise. I felt he had stuff that would land him just inside the top 50 and keep him there, but for years he’s been stuck in the Challengers. You watch his matches and the talent is there but he can’t put it together. I feel that mentally he isn’t the strongest and that might explain the difference.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 3, 2022 at 8:15 pm

    Cory, it’s one of the cruelties of pro tennis… so many great talented players do not win the big titles. So many super talented players fall short. I think anyone who gets to the top 100 or 50 is a miracle. Considering how many tennis players aspire, train and try to go pro…



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