Tennis Prose



First & Last Pro Matches: Andrei Cherkasov

We resume the First and Last Pro Match series with former ATP no. 13 Andrei Cherkasov…

First Match: “Never forget. I was in US. I was fifteen years old and I played. I went to watch how my older friends play like (Andrei) Chesnokov, Zverev Sr, (Alexander) Volkov. The tournament was in Chicago, ATP. Somehow – I don’t remember if I got a wildcard or there was not enough players. Somehow I get in the tournament. I played Ken Flach, he was no. 1 in doubles, top 100 in singles. He passed away last year… (moment of silence)… I was like Oh my God, what should I do? I was nervous in the beginning. I lost 62 76. I played a good match. So that was my first experience. Then I play Satellites in Sarasota, Tampa, Orlando. I qualified once.”

Last Match: “Good question. Because I still played some when I was coaching [laughs]. I never forget. Three years ago I played a Futures tournament with another coach. We entered doubles. It was fun. We got beaten easily. We lost badly. I was watching Stefan Kozlov. I was very excited during the match. I was trying to help him. I couldn’t play after that match. All my steam went to Kozlov. I was flat. I played Futures once in a while. I qualified (for a main draw in Russia) when I was 45. I lost 6 in the third to Pavlyuchenkova’s brother. He is a good player. He was a very good junior. On a very fast court. I almost got a ranking back.”

Today Cherkasov lives in Bradenton, Florida and coaches at IMG Academy. He won two career ATP singles titles, both in Moscow, and reached the quarterfinals of French Open, Australian Open and US Open. He won a bronze medal at the 1992 Olympics where he defeated Pete Sampras from two sets down.



  • Andrew Miller · April 26, 2020 at 9:41 pm

    Always liked Cherkasov. Never saw his contemporary live – Chesnokov. I did see Cherkasov. Will always be impressed by how solid these two were. They are good models for US players. They had a lot of patience.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 26, 2020 at 10:13 pm

    Cherkasov backhand one of the best I ever saw. Jack sock should study it. Two ATP titles is a pretty decent haul.



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