Great success stories can come at the most unexpected moment and you can attest to it. Andrea Vavassori. This 27-year-old Italian player, ranked 164 in the ATP ranking, lived an unforgettable afternoon as an unexpected protagonist and showed that nothing is impossible. A few minutes after beating Andy Murray and experience a turning point in his peculiar sports career, the man from Turin sits with break point to describe their emotions and display happiness as endearing as it is deserved. The next stumbling block on your way will be Daniil Medvedevwho awaits in the second round the great revelation of what is going on Mutua Madrid Open 2023willing to enjoy a dream come true.
It should be remembered that Vavassori was very specialized in doubles a few years ago, but from 2022 he began to find a great level of play in singles, growing progressively in the ATP Challenger Tour and reaching two finals in 2022, specifically, in San Benedetto and Cordenons, both on clay. Many might think that it is contradictory that a player with an offensive vocation and lover of the net-serve game, being one of the few exponents of this style that survive today, has achieved his greatest achievements on clay.
In fact, just two weeks ago he debuted his ATP scoreboard by beating Jarry and Munar in Marrakech (he lost to Evans), something that shows his great shape and enormous confidence. Vavassori debuted last year in the final draw of Grand Slam, after passing the previous phase in Wimbledon 2022 and lose to Tiafoe in the first round. With these precedents, it is necessary to highlight how faithful he is to that inexorable tendency to go to the net, as well as a prodigious hand from the backcourt, with a sliced backhand that makes him look like a tennis player from another era.
What have been your feelings in that tense tiebreak to close the game?
At the beginning I played very well, but at 6-3 I got nervous, I felt the pressure of what it could mean to come out on top. I double faulted very narrowly, I tried to be brave at every point and even though I made those mistakes, I was mentally strong and ready to keep fighting. Finally, I was able to take advantage of the opportunity and I am incredibly happy about it.
What does it mean to you to beat a great world tennis legend like Murray?
It is a dream come true. Just facing a great champion like him, from whom I have seen so many matches throughout my life, was very special; Being able to win this match is unforgettable. It’s a big day for me, definitely, because I’ve never raced on a track as good as this.
You have long been an accomplished doubles player, but given these recent results in singles, are you going to combine both modalities or do you plan to focus entirely on evolving as a singles player?
I intend to combine it, play both modalities in all the tournaments I play and the fact that my individual ranking is improving so much, I think it will allow me to play qualies of ATP events in which I directly enter the final draw in doubles. I want to continue improving both in doubles and singles, although I know the effort that this requires.
If there is something that defines you as a tennis player, it is that ability to go up to the net frequently and be very aggressive. It is not the most common these days to see tennis players who do a lot of serve-volleys and walk forward with as much joy and continuity as you do.
The truth is that prioritizing doubles for a long time has helped me develop this skill. I started playing like this when I was very young because my father was a fan of Pat Rafter and we always watched his games as a family. I perfectly remember trying to imitate his shots when he was going to teach and I was always clear that this was how he wanted to play. This style is not common nowadays and I think that this benefits me since nobody is used to playing with someone like me. My goal is to get to the top-100 this year while staying true to that style of play.
Now comes Daniil Medvedev, someone against whom it will not be easy to surprise with a net serve. What a challenge! What do you expect from that match?
I’ve seen many of his matches, he’s one of the best returners in the world, but I’m going to try to do my best. I am clear that I want to continue uploading a lot to the network. That is my style and my way of understanding tennis. I think it will be a great experience to play against him.
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