Tennis Prose



Biofile: Tennys Sandgren Interview



By Scoop Malinowski

Status: ATP ranked 96.

Ht: 6-2 Wt: 185

DOB: July 22, 1991 In: Gallatin, TN

First Tennis Memory: “Playing with my family. I have a court at home. Playing with my mom and brother and my dad. On the court we have in the backyard. I was young, about five or six. Barely getting balls over the net.”

Tennis Inspirations: “My father (David), he was a player. He played some Satellite tournaments. He just loved the game. And he enjoyed playing and he never liked how frustrated I got on the court. He thought it was about enjoyment, finding enjoyment on the court. My younger years I wasn’t necessarily my biggest fan on the court. He sometimes wouldn’t watch because it was a little too much. I remember that. I try to keep that with me. I try and find some enjoyment. I try to enjoy my time on the court. Find something to hold on to. Have some fun with it. He’s still one of my biggest inspirations.”

Last Book Read: “I’m reading The Wheel Of Time series by Robert Jordan. It’s a fourteen book fantasy series and I’m on book eight. I read a lot of fantasy.”

Current Car: ‘I drive a Chevy Cruz, navy blue.”

First Famous Player You Met Or Encountered: “When I was ten, at Cincinnati Masters and I was watching Richard Krajicek play. I can’t remember who he was playing. But Todd Martin was playing him the next day. He was with his coach, kind of behind the court watching. We were watching too. So I throw my ball up to Todd to sign. My big ball. While we were watching the match. So he gave it a quick sign. I think that was my first interaction with a pro.”

Greatest Career Moment: “I think winning the Tempe Challenger last year (beat Milojevic 63 in the third). I won two Challengers. The one before that was in 2013 in Champaign, Illinois (beat Sam Groth 76 in the third). And that was coming back from a lot of injuries. From a lot of disappointment. A lot of disappointment before that. And to keep going and to hang in there. Trying to get the best out of myself. To win that Challenger and get to a career high ranking, it set me up to playing in the US Open main draw on Ashe Stadium, beating Nick Kyrgios in Washington DC and reaching the top 100. Those were the best feelings I’ve had on a tennis court.”

Most Painful Moemnt: “There’s been a couple. I would say every time I lost in qualifying of a Grand Slam. Because there’s so much opportunity. You feel like you’re so close to your dream. You’re very close to your goals. So losing first or second round of qualifying, you haven’t really done anything [smiles]. It’s cool to make it there and say I got to play in a Grand Slam. But you’re so close to a lot of points and money, and not that you think about it, but you’re very close to ‘making it.’ To lose in qualies is a hard feeling, it’s a tough feeling. I’ve had some tight matches that I’ve lost. It’s disappointing. It’s disappointing.”

Favorite Tournaments: “I love the Australian Open. They do a great job with the players. Transportation is awesome. They’re super friendly. I love Melbourne as a city. I really enjoyed Houston. Houston is a beautiful place and the club we played at is one of the best in the US, maybe the world.”

Embarrassing Tennis Memory: ‘Nothing really stands out. Sometimes I am a little embarrassed if I let my emotions get the best of me. And I don’t behave at the standard that is acceptable. Those are times I leave the court when I don’t get the most out of myself or I get mad at a ref, or, God forbid, a ballkid or something ridiculous. Those are the times I’ll leave the court and feel shameful and embarrassed. I’ll feel embarrassed for myself. I didn’t conduct myself in the proper way. There’s a limit. There’s a little that you can do. People give players a lot of leeway. There’s that line you’re not supposed to go over. I’ve gone over it a few times. Those are times when I’m pretty embarrassed with myself.”

Favorite Sport Outside Tennis: “I like hockey. I’m not a big sports guy but I do like going to live hockey games. Very entertaining.”

Why Do You Love Playing Tennis: “I love the one-on-one-ness. Love the mano a mano, where it’s on your shoulders. Just the non-physical boxing. I think that makes it entertaining. It keeps it fresh and fun and challenging. It wouldn’t be fun if it wasn’t super challenging where it’s all on you. To figure it out. No coaches. You can’t sub in that three-point shooter to make that last-second shot to get you over the hump. It’s on you. That makes it fun at practice because you have to make sure all your skills are sharp. In the gym – you gotta be fit. There’s definitely a lot of bases that you have to cover. But that’s what makes it a full day and entertaining sport to play.”

People Qualities Most Admired: “I like to see empathy in people. To understand what the other people are going through. Trustworthiness. Self-respect. Respecting others.”



  • Dan Markowitz · January 17, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    This is the best bio-file I can remember reading. Tennys seems like a great guy, real regular guy.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 17, 2018 at 2:57 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Thanks Dan, we did it after his 76 in the third epic win vs Opelka in the 1R of Sarasota Open last year and updated at US Open. Great guy, regular guy. I ran him down when he was leaving the venue behind the fence of center court while the last match of the day was going on. He was pretty pumped by that win vs Opelka and it seemed to jump start his career as he went on to final in Sarasota and win in Savannah, earning the French Open WC. I like how he explained the suffering of losing in qualies. He has endured a lot of disappointments as he says. It's really an inspiring story. I was lucky to see his first ATP main draw win in Citi Open last year, a tough three setter vs Sugita I believe, late at night on an outside court. And also the win vs Kyrgios on stadium court at Citi, in which he played an incredible match.

  • jg · January 17, 2018 at 6:49 pm

    He has a good chance tonight as Stan is not one hundred percent, if he gets a lot of balls back who knows?

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 17, 2018 at 7:39 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    jg; Sandgren is an superb mover and defender. His best tennis will surely threaten Stan tonight. I smell an upset also.

  • Matty · January 18, 2018 at 3:21 am

    You nailed it. Nicest player on the tour, answers everything honestly. No corporate crap or mgmt surrounding him. Just real… I’ve hung with him a time or two and he’s real deep, college educated. He was a few points from leveling the Citi match vs Sacha at 1:00 am and he was IN THAT MATCH 4-7, 5-7) — and that’s when Sasha was on his Rome, D.C, Montreal crazy run.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 18, 2018 at 9:15 am

    Matty, Yes he is a great guy and a little different than most players. I really believe his breakout began in Sarasota with that big comeback win vs Opelka, three close sets, Opelka won the first but Sandgren kept battling, it was like a three hour war. Been rising ever since.

  • Joe Blow · January 18, 2018 at 10:48 am

    Change the name of this site for one day to Tennys-Sandgren

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 18, 2018 at 11:33 am

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    If he beats Marterer next we will launch a new spinoff site 🙂

  • Joe Blow · January 18, 2018 at 5:14 pm

    If he beats Marterer, you will nominate him for DC

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 18, 2018 at 5:55 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    I'd put Sandgren on the Davis Cup team right now. With Harrison, McDonald and Isner.

  • herios · January 21, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    I am sure nobody would have guessed before the AO that Tennys would be the last man standing among the Americans.
    Good for him. I hope he will be more than a flash in a pan

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 21, 2018 at 5:52 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    herios, you are correct. I just scoured the internet for the last seven hours and not one single expert or pundit predicted Sandgren would be the last American left in the mens draw. 🙂 And let me add it was no fluke, or soft draw. Sandgren is playing much better than every other American player right now. He's in THE ZONE. And if he beats Thiem he will enter The Twilight Zone.

  • herios · January 22, 2018 at 8:07 am

    Talk about "being in the zone". For a 26 y old who just broke in the top 100 a few months ago, to make it all the way to a slam QF is an excellent accomplishment.

  • herios · January 22, 2018 at 8:09 am

    Also, was there an American on the QF at the AO since Roddick?



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