Tennis Prose



Biofile James Duckworth Interview

By Scoop Malinowski

Status: ATP no. 74. Just won his first two ATP main tour matches of the year this week in Newport (2-8) vs. Quentin Halys and Liam Broady).

Ht: 6-0 Wt: 181

DOB: Jan. 21, 1992 In: Sydney, Australia

First Tennis Memory: I played lots of sports early on. I found out early on my grandmother (Beryl Penrose) won Australian Open (singles and doubles in 1955). I guess that.

Inspirations: Lleyton (Hewitt) and Pat (Rafter) were the two best players when I was growing up.

First Famous Player You Met Or Encountered: Does my grandma count? (Yes.)

Last Book Read: Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis of Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Current Car: Literally like two days ago I just bought a Mazda CX5 (black).

Greatest Sports Moment: There’s a few. Probably either playing Davis Cup or the Olympics.

Most Painful Moment: I’ve had ten surgeries. So all of them have been pretty painful. (Right elbow in late-2012, early-2014 and February 2018; right foot in February 2017, August 2017 and January 2018; right shoulder in March 2017 and March 2020; and hip in January 2022.)

Favorite Tournament: Australian Open.

Funny Tennis Memory: I’m not sure about if it made me laugh but it was a cool situation. Because my last name is Duckworth, my first Australian Open I played in the second round, packed stadium Margaret Court Arena. I was playing Janko Tipsarevic, who was top ten at the time (lost match in four sets). And the whole crowd started singing the nursery rhyme ‘Old McDonald had a farm…’ Because my last name is Duckworth…so they all sang. So where they said ‘the duck’ everybody started quacking. So that was pretty cool.

Strangest Match: Last week I played a Challenger in Porto (Portugal). I had shoes ordered to the courts. Hard court shoes (adidas). And they delivered them to me on the court during the match [smiles], 2-1 in the first set. I had to get a UPS delivery at 2-1 in the first set. I had only one pair, wearing out. (Win?) I won first round (vs. Pedro Araujo).

Funniest Players Encountered: Nick (Kyrgios) is pretty funny.

Closest Friends In Tennis: I get along really well with all the Aussies – Sav (Luke Saville), Thommo (Jordan Thompson), Kubs (Jason Kubler), Kokk (Kokkinakis), Johnny Millman, Maxie (Purcell), Demon (deMinaur), all the Aussies.

Fiercest Competitor Encountered: I played Rafa at the Aussie Open. And I played Hewitt at Aussie Open as well.

Favorite Sport Outside Tennis: Rugby League.

Why Do You Love Tennis: I love the one-on-one battle. I love just constantly trying to improve. And I love just to hone my craft.

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Something with cookie dough.

Best You Ever Felt On Court: Good question actually…I would say I played really well against Jannik Sinner in Toronto last year (63 64 in R32). Just served really well, played really aggressive. Didn’t miss a whole lot. Had a good win over him.

People Qualities Most Admired: I like honesty. A good sense of humor. And like someone that you can trust.

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