Tennis Prose



Biofile Sander Groen Interview

By Scoop Malinowski

Status: Former ATP doubles champion. Highest doubles ranking was 61. Highest singles ranking was 177. Competed on ATP World Tour from 1989-2019.

DOB: June 16, 1968 In: Amsterdam, Netherlands

First memory of tennis: Watching Wimbledon finals with Borg and McEnroe.

Tennis inspirations: My father was a very dedicated regional player and head coach of three small clubs at the same time.

First famous player you me or encountered: Probably my teenage idol Jonny Mac watching me practice in Rosmalen after Larry Stefanki told him to check me out, probably because they thought I was copying Mac.

Greatest moment of your career: Playing on Wimbledon Centre court and winning the Dubai Open in doubles (1997 with Goran Ivanisevic).

Most painful moment: Twisting my ankle when I was 6-5 against Peter Lundgren after hitting twelve aces.

Favorite tournaments: Halle, Dubai, Moscow, Long Island. Long Island was amazing food. Tough luck it is not on schedule anymore. Free everything all week. Huge golf course and gifts every day; cell phones, CD players, cameras, etc etc.

Best you ever felt on court (match or matches in the zone): Beating Andrew Richardson 6-0 6-1 in the final of Satellite Masters in Croydon on fast carpet.

Funniest players encountered: Menno Oosting, Raemon Sluiter.

Funny tennis memory: The parents of one of my best friends asking me why they had to watch me play on Wimbledon Centre court after paying big money for tickets when they already get to see me in their house every day.

Embarrassing tennis memory: Turning Kafelnikov down to play doubles with him in Dresden Challenger because I was not planning to play there at all so I did not. He never forgot and turned me down every time I asked him later. He would always reply with his typical Russian accent, “You can not play tennis.” He loved to have me for playing golf though because nobody else liked him.

Closest tennis friends: Currently – none. During career – Ivanisevic, Prinosil, Thoms.

Fiercest competitors encountered: My father.

Why do you love tennis: It’s my life.

Favorite players to watch: Djokovic, Rios, Mecir, McEnroe.

Favorite doubles partners: Too many. If you mean the best in level: Michael Llodra.

Winning Segovia With Federer: We won Segovia Challenger title together. It was his first ATP title.  I was supposed to play with Christophe Rochus but he was pissed off to be scheduled on Monday for singles after coming late from another event so he said,  “Better look for another partner because I will tank singles.” Right after that I saw Roger with Peter Lundgren and asked if he was set already. They said no and Peter thought it would be a great idea for Roger to play with someone with so much experience. It was in a Challenger so the draw was not really tough although we lost some sets on the way to the finals. Roger mixed playing brilliant with playing okay, quite up and down. A few weeks later we beat Safin-Ljubicic in Washington qualifying.

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