Jean-Julien Rojer: The Biofile
by Scoop Malinowski|
Fresh off winning his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 doubles title with Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi at the Sony Open Tennis in Miami, Jean-Julien Rojer reveals his first tennis memory, closest tennis friends, the three athletes he likes to follow and more for this Biofile with Scoop Malinowski...
First Tennis Memory: "Watching my brother Jamil play when I was maybe five years old. We had a club next to our house, growing up."
Tennis Inspirations: "My brother, to begin with. Then, once I could play a little bit better, I used to love watching Stefan Edberg play. I loved watching Jonas Bjorkman play - I tried to emulate my game style to his. And then, of course, Pete Sampras. I got to practise with him when I went to UCLA for three years, so that was great."
Last Book Read: "Think And Grow Rich by Napolean Hill."
Greatest Sports Moment(s): "I've had a few. Different at different times. Davis Cup was big for me - I beat Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka there playing for Holland (with Robin Haase). That was a big one. I beat the Bryans in Madrid, the best team ever, that was a big one. Winning Miami (2013). Then a few other achievements that I had, that I value."
Most Painful Moment: "Probably at the ABM AMRO World Tennis Tournament, in the qualifying rounds, because I got a wildcard - the first wildcard that I've ever gotten into a tournament. It was into the Rotterdam tournament qualifying. I beat Michael Russell in the first round then I lost to Peter Wessels in the qualifying round - to play Jonas Bjorkman in the first round. And I lost having two match points in that match."
First Famous Tennis Player You Met Or Encountered: "The first real one that I got to know a little bit, spend some time with was Pete Sampras. Towards the end of his career, I'd go over to his house and hit or he'd come over to UCLA and we would hit. It's just one of those things that I don't know if he would remember that but it stands out for me."
Closest Tennis Friends: "The good thing about me is I speak four languages (English, Dutch, Spanish and Papiemento), so I have American friends, European friends, South American friends. But some of my closest are definitely the Brazilian friends. I grew up with them. I'm from the Caribbean. There aren't too many players from the Caribbean. Definitely, the Brazilian guys are my closest friends on the tour."
Favourite Tournament(s): "I have a thing for Sweden. It would have to be the Swedish tournaments, Bastad or Stockholm. Those are the ones that make me feel the most at home and are great tournaments run by great tournament directors - Thomas Johansson and Jonas Bjorkman does one of them. Just great tournaments all around. All the players on the tour love those tournaments."
Funniest Player Encountered: "I don't know, there aren't that many funny funny guys on the tour anymore. I think Novak (Djokovic) is a pretty funny guy. I don't know. And I'm one of these guys who has a good time with everyone. I don't know if there's a funny funny guy. We have a few Polish guys on the tour but they have horrible jokes always. They think they're funny [smiles]."
Embarrassing Tennis Memory: "I've had my phone ring once during a match. But it wasn't that big of a stage so I just ran over and turn it off. That was in Bastad, my mind was in so many places and in so many different things that I left my phone on. (Who called?) I didn't check actually, it was a flip phone, I just turned it off."
Strangest Match: "I think the French Open a few years back playing Dlouhy and Paes in the first round, we had about four, five or six rain delays. It was ridiculous. It kept raining. We kept going back, in and out. And last year, playing the Wimbledon champions Freddy Nielsen and Jonny Marray. We stopped that match about four times as well."
Current Car: "I don't have a car. I rent. I live in Miami. I'm not here that often but I don't have a car so I rent every time. That way I can throw my sweaty self, clothes, everything into the rental car and not worry about it [smiles]."
Favourite Sport Outside Tennis: "I love basketball and baseball."
Three Athletes You Like To Watch & Follow: "LeBron James right now is at the top of the list. Mike Trout in baseball. And baseball players from Curacao - Andruw Jones and Roger Bernadina, centerfielder for the Washington Nationals."
Funny Tennis Memory: "None, except for sometimes you play so badly and I just have a giggle at myself. You get some of those days sometimes where you can't make a volley, you try really hard and you just can't make it. You just gotta laugh at yourself a little bit."
People Qualities Most Admired: "I like people that are considerate. That's the best quality that I can see in someone, someone that is considerate."
Courtesy of Scoop Malinowski, tennis-prose.com