Tennis Prose



Biofile: Damir Dzumhur Interview

By Scoop Malinowski

Status: ATP no. 93. Winner of three career ATP singles titles. Highest ranking in singles was 23 in July of 2018.

Ht: 5-9 Wt: 150

DOB: May 20, 1992 In: Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina

First Tennis Memory: My father already had a tennis club when I was a young kid. I was just three or four. I remember the first time when I went to the court. It was at a school hall for sports. And it wasn’t really a tennis court, it was just an improvised court with a net in a half sports hall. I remember I came there together with my grandmother and hold the racquet for the first time. And since then I play tennis and really love tennis.

Tennis Inspirations: Well, what inspires me is my family and my father, who was my first tennis coach. And when I was really really young, there were a few players who inspired me playing tennis – my first idols were Carlos Moya and Patrick Rafter. Couple of different players but in some ways I loved the way they played. And since Roger (Federer) came, he became famous. He was my idol on an off the court. And he is still.

Last Book Read: Was by a Norwegian writer, a thriller about the inspector who is doing the investigation about the serial killer. He has series of ten books. I read all ten.

Current Car: I drive BMW 4 and GLC Couple Mercedes Benz.

First Famous Player You Met Or Encountered: It was in a Challenger in Sarajevo. In that time I was still a ballboy. First year of the Challenger in Sarajevo. I was ten or eleven. I met Richard Gasquet in that stage he was just getting in top 100. But he won the Challenger. The first seed of the tournament was Tomas Berdych, who was no. 17. After he went to top ten. I played many, many players that I met at that tournament, I had a chance to play in the future.

Greatest Sports Moment: The best moment is definitely winning my first ATP title in St. Petersburg (2017).

Most Painful Moment: When we lost at Davis Cup against Netherlands. So we couldn’t go way up in the World Group which is definitely our biggest success in Davis Cup.

Favorite Tournaments: Roland Garros, Australian Open, Monte Carlo, Miami.

Favorite Sports Outside Tennis: I love football and skiing.

Three Athletes You Like To Watch & Follow: Roger, Messi and it was Kobe Bryant.

Strangest Match: I had a really strange match with tight sets 76 67 playing against Thomas Fabbiano. And it was third set 4-1 up with a double break 40-15 on my serve. Thomas came to 5-4. We went to the tiebreak in the third set. I was 5-0 down in the tiebreak. I won 7-5 [smiles]. It’s enough strange [laughs]? (Where?) In Marseille (2018).

Funny Tennis Memory: One of the really funny players is Illja Bozoljac, who was my coach last year. I used to play with him when I was really young when I first start my professional career. I played him in Futures in Turkey. We had a lot of fun on court. And I know he’s a really funny guy.

Embarrassing Tennis Memory: When I was first time coming on big stage. I was always thinking losing to someone with the easy results is embarrassing. And I was always afraid of that. Luckily I never experience that.

Why Do You Love Tennis: I love because it’s individual sport. It’s up to you. You are the one who can change something on the court. Besides your opponent. And you are the one who can go one way or the other way. It’s a lot about mental. I think tennis today is about physical – everybody today is really well prepared physically – but it’s also about mental and how strong you are going to be in the important moments and how actually strong you are as a person, you’re strong mentally on the court.

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: It’s a kind of vanilla with chocolate pieces.

People Qualities Most Admired: I like people with respect. People caring about the others. Like fair people and honest people.

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  • Andrew Miller · December 1, 2019 at 10:56 pm

    Dzumhur, pound for point or kilo for kilo one of best players on tour. Thank you for writing this biofile and for interviewing Dzumhur! Like Vesely, who Doogie followed, one of best performers on challenger circuits and I think King of non U.S. challengers. I think I remember correctly Bozoljac was literally a giant, as in a huge player like Opelka. Memory failing.

  • Scoop Malinowski · December 2, 2019 at 8:20 am

    Dzumhur is an underrated marvel, three titles so far and counting. Not bad for 5 ft 9. Bozokjac was his coach and he and I go way back. Super nice friendly guy. Beat Bryans in Davis cup in Idaho. Giant win but he’s about 6-2. He helped get Dzumhur to be so open in this biofile, he put in that I was a good guy and Dzumhur have a first class biofile.

  • Andrew Miller · December 4, 2019 at 4:17 pm

    Dzumhur, recommend watching his matches. Does all well, only problem is he’s a little guy with low power! Schwartzmann another little guy, has a better return of serve I think.

  • Andrew Miller · December 10, 2019 at 9:48 am

    No love for Dzumhur. He’s a keeper. Encourage anyone to see him play.

  • Scoop Malinowski · December 10, 2019 at 10:07 am

    Dzumhur sounds so intelligent in his second language, imagine how smart he is in his first language? Three ATP singles titles and counting.



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