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Marinko Matosevic: The Biofile

Matosevic© Getty ImagesMatosevic will finish 2012 as the top-ranked Australian.

Marinko Matosevic enjoyed his best season-to-date in 2012, finishing the year as the No. 1-ranked Australian. Matosevic, who reached his first ATP World Tour final as a qualifier at Delray Beach in February, talks with Scoop Malinowski for this Biofile...

First Tennis Memory: "Was watching Goran Ivanisevic play when I was living in Croatia. Watching him on TV."

Tennis Inspirations: "Goran Ivanisevic. And then later on Marcelo Rios and Marat Safin. And then when I was living in Australia, where my family moved, Lleyton Hewitt, obviously."

Last Book Read: "Boris Becker's tennis book, I enjoyed it."

Greatest Sports Moment: "Probably playing Davis Cup for Australia and reaching an ATP World Tour final (Delray Beach 2012)."

Most Painful Moment: "Grand Slam losses, definitely, they're the ones that hurt the most."

First Famous Tennis Player You Met Or Encountered: "Yes, Michael Chang. Australian Open when I was a kid, he spoke to me. I was 11 or 12. He was doing some stretches and I asked him what it was for and he told me. He was in a calf stretch, it looked complicated but it was pretty simple, looking back on it."

Best You Ever Felt On Court: "It happened this year actually. I was playing Florent Serra in his hometown tournament, big Challenger in Bourdeaux, France. And I beat him 6-0 6-1. And he was a former top 30-40 player."

Closest Tennis Friends: "A lot of the Croatians I get along well with. And some of the Australian guys."

Funniest Player Encountered: "Brendan Evans is pretty funny, I don't know if he still plays. Off the court, the Croatian guys have a good sense of humour. And the British guys have a good banter."

Embarrassing Tennis Memory: "Many of those, like air-swinging a ball. Cramping during a match. Stuff like that."

Strangest Match: "This year, Delray Beach, the semi-final. I was up 4-1 in every set, couple match points, and then I managed to win 7-6 in the third at 5-all, love-40 down on my serve. It was just a crazy, rollercoaster match, many ups and downs."

Current Car: "Volkswagen (white)."

Favourite Sport Outside Tennis: "Definitely football - soccer."

Three Athletes You Like To Watch & Follow: "Definitely Lionel Messi. Just a genius, couple of levels above everybody else. He broke every record last year, 50 goals in the League, 14 in Champions League, the guy is only 24, he's a phenomenon. I love watching YouTube clips of Maradona. And in basketball, I like to watch Kobe Bryant."

Funny Tennis Memory: "Just when guys lose the plot out there, because I know how it feels to go crazy. I love it when guys go nuts, smash racquets and go crazy [smiles]."

People Qualities Most Admired: "Honesty. Good morals. And people who love to have a good time."

Courtesy of Scoop Malinowski,

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