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Locker room: Viktor Troicki

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Originally published on: 21/09/11 10:18

Let’s talk about 2010. Your first ATP title in Moscow and then a Davis Cup winner’s medal. Not bad…
The Davis Cup is the best moment of my career – maybe my life. It was very emotional. To win it for the first time in our country’s history, in Belgrade, was an amazing feeling and I will remember it for the rest of my life.

It was a great team effort from Novak Djokovic, Janko Tipsarevic, Nenad Zimonjic and yourself…
We’re all great friends, we all live in Belgrade and when we’re not at tournaments we call each other, hang out. That’s why, I guess, we had so much success as a team. We love to play together and we always have great fun and that’s why it’s always so special to play for our country. We always enjoy it.

How does playing for your country affect you?
You have more pressure than playing just a normal tournament but you just try to focus on your game.

Has Serbia gone tennis-crazy in recent years?
Four, five years ago nobody even knew what tennis was. There was literally nobody watching it, there were no players inside the top 100 and then Novak and Ana [Ivanovic] and Jelena [Jankovic] did well in women’s tennis and really fast went towards the top. Ana and Jelena were number one, Novak has won Grand Slams – and is now No.1 – so already tennis has become really, really popular. You can see kids playing on the streets, all the courts are booked, people trying to find rackets, taking an interest in our sport. For me, it’s a big surprise.

Why did you choose to play tennis?
I played football when I was younger and preferred football, but also played tennis, but luckily I chose tennis which I don’t regret obviously. I loved playing football and I still do – but just for fun!

Andre Agassi was your idol growing up. Is that right?
He was my biggest idol. I had to have everything that he had on court – bandanas, same rackets, same clothes. I was an Agassi freak!

What was it that you liked about him?
His attitude on court. He was cool – none of the other players were like him at the time. When he was finishing his career I was just starting out on the tour. I’ve met him, I don’t know him that well, but he seems like a great guy.

Any other idols as a kid?
Michael Jordan when I was growing up, but nobody could really come near Agassi!

You did a photoshoot for Elle magazine in Serbia last year. Do you enjoy that kind of off-court activity?
Not really, no! Me, Janko and Novak did it together, but I don’t really like that kind of thing to be honest. It’s not interesting for me. I admire people who can do that, standing there for hours is amazing! I always dreamed when I was younger of becoming a tennis professional and right now I’m living the dream. I really enjoy being on the tour and being on the court and I can’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing right now.

You’re just outside the top ten these days. What have you improved?
I’ve been working hard for the last couple of years with my coach, Jan De Witt. I’ve taken it step by step, getting more experience, getting better and better and hopefully I’ll continue to do that.

You’ve been with De Witt since 2005. What makes that relationship work so well?
I think he’s the most professional person I’ve ever met. I try to listen to and to obey his advice, everything he tells me to do. I think that’s one of the keys to our success.

We heard you’re a bit of a gamer. Correct?
Yes, PRO Evolution Soccer is my game – most of the guys play it – but I play all kinds of games. I love it – I have a lot of games. I have a portable console that I take everywhere!

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