Day 3 as the Media Guy: Interview upon, Interview upon Interview
While timing my drive this morning, and avoiding traffic, we kicked off Day 3 at the International Tennis Hall of Fame Open. The second round of matches are set for tomorrow and we have a lot of entertainment waiting for us. Even the rain held out until after the 2 and a half hour match between Alex De Minaur and Ivo Karlovic (by the way, they are separated by 20 years of age...).
Gilles Muller Interview - Retirement?
The 35 year old tennis veteran fought a tough battle today against Marcos Baghdatis (fat-datis if you ask others). The lefty played tough and was able to get the upper hand on the former Top Ten player in the world. After the match, he was asked multiple questions about his retirement at the end of this season. While he is retiring at the end of the season, he is taking the opportunity to travel to tournaments with his family and show them the spots where he usually visits while on tour. Having that experience with his family seems like one that most of the fathers do on tour now. Look at Novak, Roger and the others that travel with their family, its fun to watch. Muller's wife watches the children while they play tennis on some of the hard courts on the grounds. Let me tell you, both of them have better groundstrokes then I did at that age but I guess thats the talent they get from their father.
This brings up another point about the older generation on tour. While some of them have families to look after, most of them have a lot to deal with not only their team, but their families as well. Gilles spends most of his time off court with his family on the grounds and I wonder if most fathers do that as well. The family has to play a big part in turning their heads towards the path of retirement and yet they can give you the motivation to keep going.
Tomic vs. Dudi Sela - Ha ha Dudi...
Yes, I did make a joke about Dudi Sela's name. And yes, I am a child. But I am not writing about his 3 set victory, I am here to write about his opponent, Bernard Tomic. This guy needs to reconsider another occupation. I could tell you the play by play of what actually happened but it really is not worth it. The most nonchalant player I have ever seen in my entire life. While he has no desire to play the game because he loves the game, it looks like he just doesn't want to be on the court. Sure, he is a nice guy but usually he is just an a*!. I saw him turn away a kid who was asking for an autograph. I turned to the reporter next to me and asked him if he will ever get back into the Top 20, "No". "What about the Top 40" "No".
Nicholas Mahut - Seeding Doesn't Matter
Unfortunately the fifth seed, Ryan Harrison, pulled out of his match against Nicholas Mahut due to a minor back injury he had suffered just a couple of days ago. He seems to be fine, he just needs a couple of days of rest and recover. After the match, I had the opportunity to talk to Mahut about his future going forward in the tournament. I asked him about the possibility of getting intimidated when it comes to playing a seeded player. His response was,
"Not anymore. I played Ryan [Harrison] when he was Top 100 and I played him when he was 30 [in the world]. You don't look at the ranking when you are playing someone. You just try to focus on them in the match"
With that in mind, it should really be advice for younger players that are trying to compete at this level. Tennis is an individual game and someone can be beaten on any day and on any surface. It does not matter if they are ranked higher than you or if they have a better seed in the tournament. You just need to focus on your own game and how your opponent plays that day.