Peliwo: My week as Rafa’s hitting partner
Originally published on: 06/11/13 00:00
The 19-year-old is in London this week for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, where he has been training with the likes of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.
“One day after I hit with Rafa I actually hit with Roger! Two of the best ever in the game it doesn’t really get much better than that,” Peliwo said.
“It is a good motivator, seeing what it is all about, seeing the locker rooms, it makes a big difference. You see what the players do between their matches, how they go about preparing, and relaxing afterwards.
“It’s an unbelievable experience and shows me what I am working for as a player. This is where I want to be, winning this tournament and being No.1 in the world.”
Peliwo, who won the Wimbledon and US Open junior titles in 2012, beat world No.39 Jarkko Nieminen as a wild card at the Rogers Cup in August in his first match on the ATP World Tour, and has climbed to No.245 in the world rankings.
The Canadian has been first-choice hitting partner this week for Nadal, who is bidding to win the year-end championships for the first time.
“I have played with him once before, so I knew what to expect but I think I am handling things pretty well,” Peliwo said. "Rafa seems to bring out my best game because I have to go 100% with my intensity and that brings my game up.
"Rafa forces you to play 100% or even 110% – over your maximum. At first it was a bit difficult because I hadn’t been playing with players like Rafa but once I got used to it I am not missing too much.
"My legs are a little bit sore – I definitely have to see the physio! Your legs get tired you are running around a lot but it’s a good kind of sore – you put in the work, it’s enjoyable playing with him. I think that it’s beneficial to my game.”
"It is good to have a player like him," Nadal said of Peliwo. "I always like to play with players that play with passion, goes for every ball, players who really try his best in every practice. He's a great guy. I wish him all the best because the way he practises, he deserves to be in the professional tour very early."
Filip Peliwo was speaking to tennishead at the launch of the Tecnifibre T-Flash. For more information visit tecnifibre.com