Tennis Prose



Biofile with Cedric Pioline

Status: Former ATP #5. Winner of Five ATP singles titles including 2000 Monte Carlo Masters Series. Member of France’s Davis Cup winning teams in 1991 and 1996. Currently is the tournament director of ATP Masters Series Paris event. Played in finals of 1993 U.S. Open and 1997 Wimbledon. Competed on ATP Tour from 1989-2002.

Ht: 6-2 Wt: 190

DOB: June 15, 1969 In: Neuilly-Sur-Seine, France

First Tennis Memory: “Ooof. Long time ago. It’s probably Wimbledon, McEnbroe-Borg. I was a kid watching on TV.”

Tennis Inspirations: “I like guys like Nastase, Peter McNamara – I like his style. He make it look so easy for him. I like his style.”

Favorite Movies: “First one comes to mind is Russell Crowe Gladiator.”

Last Book Read: “Oooh, nothing lately.”

Pre-Match Feeling: “Nothing special. I like to be relaxed at the lockers. Talking to other players. Relax. And right before the match, I was thinking about it.”

Hobbies/Interests: “I like watching every sport, like soccer, athletics, Formula I or motor bike.”

Nicknames: “Ceds [laughs].”

Greatest Sports Moment: “I think here when I played finals U.S. Open. There are three – two slam finals. And there are four actually. When I won Davis Cup twice. That was the biggest.”

Most Painful Moment: “I had really bad loss in French Open and I was really, really disappointed. (Against who?) Against Corretja when I played semifinal. I felt like I could go all the way. So it was really painful (1998).”

First Job: “I was cleaning windows [smiles]. For my mom [laughs] I got paid.”

Current Car: “At the moment I have a Porsche Cayenne (gray).”

Favorite Meal: “Probably I’ll have a good plate of pasta with some white truffle. I’ll be happy.”

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: “Nuts.”

Favorite Tournament: “I really like Monte Carlo. Because the site is unbelievable, the atmosphere is nice and it’s a big tournament, not as big as the Slams but more like a normal site.”

Closest Tennis Friend: “Is probably Yannick Noah.”

Funniest Player Encountered: “I liked really Tim Henman. He was like English sense of humor.”

Toughest Competitors Encountered: “For me it used to be Andre Agassi. (He was harder than Pete?) It was different with Sampras. His serve was very good but I think you can play. You could hold your serve and play with him and go to tiebreak or go to end of set and try your best. Agassi’s game was really different because he was putting pressure on you from the baseline. The speed of the game was really fast.”

At Your Best: “I have a few. Probably the year I played Gustavo Kuerten here, quarterfinal. It was a very good match and it was a great feeling. (Not when you won Monte Carlo? I saw you there, you were playing incredible.) Monte Carlo was also a very nice week for me because I went all the way. Hrbaty (in final), Kuerten was top 3, so it was different.”

Funny Tennis Memory: “Oh yeah. We had some big laughs during Davis Cup – but that I cannot say [laughs].”

Embarrassing Tennis Memory: “I played some really, really bad matches and one year I played Lyon. And the week before I had a back problem and when I stepped on court for the first round I was out of shape. Completely. And people start killing me and it was really embarrassing (vs. Escude).”

Favorite Players To Watch: “Federer of course. Nadal. Murray is really interesting on court. Jo Tsonga is really interesting on court.”

People Qualities Most Admired: “Honesty is something important for me. And sense of humor. Because I think life is too short to have too many problems.”

Family: Wife, Mireille; son, Andrea.

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  • Andrew Miller · February 4, 2011 at 1:58 am

    Ha Pioline is a good guy! I think the game today is great – I do like the tennis from the 1990s. Some of the most under-rated players.

  • Richard Pagliaro · February 4, 2011 at 3:37 am

    It was maybe 10 or 11 years ago Sir Cedric played Greg Rusedski at the U.S. Open (“Gregory” as our own Dan C. Weil calls him) and it was terrific tennis from two attacking players. In fact, I think I was watching the match with Dan that day. Pioline could really leap and he snapped of some smashes off a back-pedal launch that were pretty impressive.
    A lot of the French guys have good overheads – Noah, Leconte, Forget, Tsonga, Llodra – Pioline very rangy and agile player.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 4, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    That was back in the day on ESPN when Cliffy would tell us every time Pioline was on ESPN that his parents were good athletes and his mom was a volleyball player. How many times did Cliff tell us Guga liked to surf. Cliff is the best.

  • Dan Markowitz · February 4, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    Favorite ice cream flavor? Nuts!!!

  • Andrew Miller · February 5, 2011 at 5:21 am

    I like Cliff Drysdale. I was watching a match with Sharapova and Tatiana Golovin (miami 2006), where Golovin was down 2-6, 1-5, and began to string together a few points. Drysdale saw it happening and told Mary Joe Fernandez and Brad Gilbert that it looked like there was a subtle shift and hint of something about to happen. Mary Joe and BG kept playing up Sharapova (of course a champion, indisputable) but Drysdale noticed that the diminished crowd was slowly getting behind Golovin and Golovin herself had started playing just a little bit better. Drysdale was right! It ended up being a heck of a match.

    Reason I like Drysdale: he trusts his eyes more than he does history or backstory or anything else – he’s watching the tennis. He’s got to be one of my favorite announcers. I grew up on Stolle and Drysdale, I enjoy Pat Mac’s analysis too. But Drysdale is great – I trust his announcing and his view on what unfolds on the court.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 7, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    Cliff is still as good as ever to listen to, wish they utilized his talents more at Australia.



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