Tennis Prose



Biofile Wayne Ferreira Interview

By Scoop Malinowski

Status: Coach of Jack Draper. Former two-time Australian semifinalist and quarterfinalist at US Open and Wimbledon. Best ranking was no. 5 in 1995. Winner of 15 career ATP singles titles and $10m in career prize money. Played in 56 straight Grand Slams from 1991-2004.

Ht: 6-1 Wt: 187

DOB: September 15, 1971 In: Johannesburg, South Africa

Childhood Heroes: None. I didn’t really find any.

Nickname: Freckie’s about it.

Hobbies/Interests: I enjoy playing golf. Most of the time when I’m traveling, I just enjoy going home, being with my family.

Early Tennis Memory Traveling. The first few times that I went overseas. Getting to see new things, new countries. I remember my first trip was to the (United) States when I was eight, to Florida to play some tennis. Then when I started traveling I was fourteen. I used to go to Italy every year for about eight weeks.

Favorite Movies: Chariots of Fire. Sort of an inspiring movie. Lately, nothing really of interest. Nothing that special.

Greatest Career Moment: Had a few…Playing at Wimbledon for the first time (1990). Semifinal of Australian Open (1992). Walking out and representing my country at the Olympic Games ’92 (in Barcelona. I guess playing on Center Court at Wimbledon – I don’t remember who it was against. A long time ago. Walking out there was more important that it was playing against him.

Most Painful Moment: Painful… I guess I’ve lost a lot of matches that I shouldn’t have. I guess most painful would be just falling over in my match, twisting my (right) ankle pretty badly (Roland Garros 1997). Painful as in physically. But the rest… losses are losses.

First Job: Actually did a bit of photographic modeling – magazines and TV commercials, between the ages of six and nine, in South Africa.

Favorite Meal: I enjoy food a lot. But if I go out and have something special – probably lobster.

Favorite Breakfast Cereal: Cheerios.

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Strawberry.

First Car: 1988 Volkswagen Golf (silver).

Pre-Match Feeling: Depends. On various days, various feelings. Who I’m playing against… generally just try and think about who I’m playing and what’s necessary and what to do to win.

Closest Tennis Friends: Most of them, my friends are from South Africa, we generally stick together. I’ve known them all since I was really young and we’ve stuck together through everything – Brent Haygarth, Lan Bale, Grant Stafford, David Nainkin, Marcos Ondruska, Kevin Ullyet, Piet Norval.

Funniest Player: Funny one to watch is Andrew Ilie. A little crazy. But I don’t know about being that funny in the locker room. Locker room funny… not too many jokesters around. Everyone’s pretty serious on the job.

Toughest Competitors: Well, out of everyone I’ve played, Agassi is the one person I’ve never beaten (0-11). I’ve beaten everybody else except for him (2-1 vs Federer, 6-7 vs. Sampras). So he’s the only one.

People Qualities Most Admired: Caring. Thoughtful. Kind.

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