Tennis Prose



Biofile Greg Rusedski Interview

By Scoop Malinowski

Status: Former ATP pro tennis player who won 15 career singles titles and reached No 4 in the world in 1997. (This interview was done in 2004)
Height: 6-foot-4 Weight: 200 pounds.
Born On: September 6th, 1973 in Montreal, Quebec.
Childhood Heroes: “John McEnroe – great attitude, always exciting to watch him. Michael Jordan.”
Nicknames: “The Joker, from Pete Sampras, because I was always smiling all the time at Wimbledon in 1995.”
Favorite Movies: “Braveheart, Gladiator, Raiders of the Lost Ark, James Bond movies.”
Childhood Dreams: “Winning Wimbledon, having a nice life and doing well for myself.”
Early Tennis Memories: “I just liked to watch Borg and McEnroe in the Wimbledon finals when I was younger. I think starting out and learning to play the game – those were the reasons you really started to play. So then you usually go to the park with your friends, then the summer holiday starting – and that’s how you really get started. (Also) Winning my first Tour title (defeated Javier Frana at Newport in ’93). And winning my first match on Centre Court Wimbledon, beating Guy Forget in ’95.”
Favorite Meal: “Steak, chips.”
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: “Banana.”
Funny Tennis Memory: “Probably when Shuzo Matsuoka got to the quarterfinals at Wimbledon (’95, d. Michael Joyce in three sets). He did a lap around the court after he won the match and he was, like, bowing in every direction. Most of the guys in the Wimbledon locker room were laughing as he was so excited, he was bowing in every direction. And it was funny and nice at the same time. Because it was such a big thrill for him – it was like he won the tournament. And no Japanese player had ever done it before. And I watched it with all the guys in the locker room. What happened was, he dropped the racquet and fell to the ground. And then he ran a full circle around the court. Then he shook hands again, then he fell to the ground again. You should get a replay on that, it’s quite amusing. It was funny but it was nice to see at the same time.”
First Car: “Red Rover with a black top.”
First Job: “Tennis player [laughs].”
Pre-Match Feeling: “Usually nothing. That’s the best thing. Relaxed. Then, on the court, I play one point at a time. So just try and stay in the present. So that’s the most important thing. Before and after the match…don’t think too much about it.”
Greatest Sports Moment: “The best moment hasn’t happened yet. (What’s been tops so far?) Maybe winning the Tennis Masters Series Paris final against Pete Sampras in 1998. Or beating the number one player in the world, Gustavo Kuerten, on stadium court at the 2001 Australian Open (9-7 in the fifth set, in the second round). I wasn’t expecting to win because Gustavo had been playing so well. And the year before wasn’t my best year. I had never beaten a number one player in the world on stadium court before. That was probably my greatest victory. Those moments don’t come along too often.”
Most Painful Moment: “The year 2000. I had foot problems and was predominantly injured. I started the year off number six and dropped all the way to No. 69. Not such a good drop.”
Closest Tennis Friend: “Sjeng Schalken”
Funniest Player: “Christo van Rensburg. He used to do magic tricks.”
Toughest Competitors: “Sampras and Thomas Muster in Grand Slams. When you’re not in Grand Slams, everyone seems about the same. It’s a different motivation when you’re in the Slams.”
Favorite Athletes To Watch: “Thierry Henry, plays football for Arsenal. Striker. I’m an Arsenal supporter. He’s a very talented player. He could score five goals without trying. He makes it look easier. (Michael) Owen and (David) Beckham – the two guys you watch when you watch soccer in England. Lennox Lewis, Evander Holyfield – great boxers. McEnroe. Sampras. Agassi – amazing. I don’t know if any other player can emulate what he did – getting to number one at 33-years-old. And still playing at such a high level. I always like Martina Hingis. Now that she’s retired, I guess it’s Venus and Serena.”
Favorite Vacation Spot: “Anywhere on a nice, quiet deserted island [smiles]. (You’ve been to one?) I’ve been to a few places – Barbados is more populated. I’m not giving away all my holiday secrets!!”
People Qualities Most Admired: “People who are responsible role models and professional and treat people the way they want to be treated. So if you do bad things to people, expect the same thing to happen to you. So, in other words, be good to people and they’ll be good to you.”

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