Djokovic, Check. Nadal, Check. Next? The Missing Selfie In Zeballos' Album
After a second-round loss to Novak Djokovic at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in 2017, Horacio Zeballos, who won his opener at the BNP Paribas Open on Thursday, approached Djokovic and asked if he could take a selfie with his opponent to remember their encounter.
Eehhh sorryy. Creo que tengo la mejor selfie del dia jejeje. Que groso Nole.un genio!! Y yo figuretiiii.. Me encanto!! pic.twitter.com/lMXDqKdcyl— horacio zeballos (@HoracioZeballos) January 4, 2017
A few months later, Zeballos made the same request of Rafael Nadal after falling to the Spaniard in the semi-finals of the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell. Nadal obliged and posed for a photo with the Argentine before both headed to the changing rooms.
Zeballos wasn't about to pass on another selfie opportunity, or the chance to let a potential memory fade into oblivion.
“It's not the norm, but it's just a way to capture these beautiful moments,” Zeballos told ATPWorldTour.com. “I'm getting older; I know I don't have many more years left to play professionally, so this a way of taking small gifts with me along the way.”
“Obviously, I have a lot of memories of my time playing stored in my head, but you have to immortalize those memories in some way, just like I did when I played Novak in Doha, and against Rafa in Barcelona last year. I uploaded the photos to social media, but I also kept them for my own reasons, just to remind myself of this life I'm experiencing.”
When it comes to who is next on the list for a selfie, Zeballos doesn't hesitate to respond: Roger Federer.
As for selfies with athletes outside of tennis? Zeballos has a clear answer for that as well: a photo with fellow Argentine and FC Barcelona star Lionel Messi. “I'd love a selfie with Messi,” he said.
At 32 years old, selfies, while fun, are hardly Zeballos' top priority. After several years of competing on the ATP World Tour, the Argentine has set goals for himself as he reaches the latter stages of his career.
“I want to continue playing at this level and try to maintain it for as long as possible,” said Zeballos. “I want to continue enjoying myself, traveling and maintaining the desire to compete. And if I can, I would like to continue traveling a lot with my family.”
“When you're younger, you’re more aware of the results, of wanting to win, of getting up for those ‘big’ moments. But with time, you enjoy the little things like just being healthy, getting the opportunity to travel around the world and to play in these events, year after year. I see things differently now that I’m more mature.”
Perhaps 2018 will bring the Argentinian player those things he wants most: success on the court, travel opportunities with his family and, of course, that selfie with Federer.