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Jeremy Chardy beat countryman Julien Benneteau in straight sets to reach the second round of the BNP Paribas Open on Thursday.

ATP Firsts: Jeremy Chardy

Jeremy Chardy reflects on his first proud moment, first prize money purchase and the first time he met his idol

After navigating his way through a tricky first-round clash against countryman Julien Benneteau 6-4, 7-6(9) on Thursday, World No. 100 Jeremy Chardy took a moment to look back at some notable first time moments in his life with ATPWorldTour.com:

First time I realised I loved tennis
It was not at the beginning, because at the beginning I preferred to play football rather than tennis and I think it was [when I was] around 14-years-old because I had to decide if I continued to play tennis or football. I was good at both and I decided to play tennis. I think that was the moment.

First coach and the most important lesson he taught me
The first time I went on the tennis court I remember I could not do a backhand and my coach said 'Okay, if you cannot do a backhand, only do forehands. Run around, do forehands. Your forehand is your best shot, so always believe in that.' I still do the same thing. It was an easy [piece of] advice, but a good one.

First time I was proud
My first trophy. When I came home, I was small, I think I was eight years old and I won the tournament. I got my first trophy and I came back home with it, put it next to my bed and it is still one of my favourite trophies. It is still at home and I don't know why, but it is still a really important one for me.

First 'pinch me' moment on the ATP World Tour
When I had a wild card at Roland Garros in 2008, I was around No. 180 in the ATP Rankings and I played the first round and I beat David Nalbandian in the second round, I was two sets down and beat him in five sets. I beat good players, lost in the fourth round and came into the Top 100 of the ATP Rankings for the first time in my life.

First time I was recognised
When I was a junior, I won Wimbledon juniors. I am from a small town, so everybody talked about it and after Wimbledon I started to play good and the people started to recognise me. It was a little bit strange, but when you are young, you are really happy too.

First thing I bought with prize money
I went with my brother and we bought the biggest TV in the shop for our parents. They always sacrificed a lot for me, because we are not from a rich family, so to pay for my tennis [meant] a lot of sacrifices from them. I knew it, and the first time I had an opportunity to give them something back, I did it and it was a special moment for me… It is not something really big, but it was special for me and I think they appreciated it too.

First idol
Pete Sampras. I loved tennis and, I don't have many people that I admire, but Pete Sampras was always someone special for me. I was lucky to meet him once... I was like a kid, I did not know what to say or what to do. I took a picture with him. I was completely lost, really nervous, more than on court, so I would like to meet him again because I was so happy and too nervous at the same time.

First pet
I had a cat and a dog at home. The dog was called Lassie, it was a cartoon in France... The cat, I remember because she was so small. I wanted to call her Mickey, but she was a girl, so I called her Mickette.

First time I met my wife
It was in Miami. I lost in Indian Wells and went to Miami earlier and I went with some friends to a restaurant and she was there having dinner with two of her girl friends. I went to sit with them and we started to talk and we kissed that night, we started to date and now she is my wife.

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