Q&A with Jerzy Janowicz
Originally published on: 01/07/13 00:00
Poland is guaranteed a first-time male Grand Slam semi-finalist after both Janowicz and Lukasz Kubot came through their round of 16 matches, beating Jurgen Melzer and Adrian Mannarino respectively. The compatriots, who have yet to meet on the ATP Tour, will face off in Wednesday’s quarter-final.
Tennishead sat down with Janowicz earlier in the year. Here’s what the entertaining 22-year-old had to say…
Last year you became the first player from Poland to finish in the top 30 for 30 years. What does a stat like that mean to you? Actually, I am a really strange person and I don’t really care about that kind of thing. I don’t really care who was the best Polish tennis player and when. I really don’t care about this. What is most important for me is my game and to have fun and enjoy every single match.
How did you get into tennis? My parents used to be professional volleyball players and my mother was on the national team. She was a Polish champion so she was really good. I started playing tennis when I was five and from that time I had already started having private lessons.
Who were your idols growing up? My idol was of course Pete Sampras and when he finished his career I told my Mom I will also stop playing tennis – and she was laughing at me. I was so broken because of this. But finally I did not finish my career and luckily I’m still playing.
What would you do if you weren’t a tennis player? A computer hacker. I like computers. I like to work with some strange programmes. I like also to play some games on the PlayStation so for sure something with computers.
Do you take a games console on tour with you? Not really. I travel with a small PlayStation but I am not traveling with the PlayStation 3 that I use normally at home. So I have to wait a little bit before I can play.
Do you ever challenge other players to games? We hear Andy Murray and Juan Monaco are into their FIFA… No, I hate FIFA so much! I don’t play that kind of game. I like shooting games like Battlefield or Call of Duty. I didn’t have any opportunity to take on anyone [on tour] yet._ь
How has life changed since your breakthrough in Paris? I am in the top 30 in the world so this for me was the most important change. The second one is that I found a main sponsor from Poland because I was struggling with the money a little bit. And in Poland I am already, actually, a little bit more famous.
What was the reception like for you back in Poland after your run in Paris? The worst for me was the first week after Paris because I was going from one TV show to another TV show. I was really busy and I didn’t really have much free time for myself but, you know, if someone is making that kind of success you have to cooperate a little bit with TV from time to time. I hope the media will not destroy me in Poland. Because, as you know, after some stupid losses they are sometimes against you so I am hoping this does not happen.