I guess most of you already know it, but I couldn't find any mention of it by reading the posts of the last few days.
There was a long article about Arnaud in "Tennis Week" this week:
Biofile: The Arnaud Clement Interview
Arnaud Clement By Scoop Malinowski - 05/23/2006
Athletics have long been a family tradition for Arnaud Clement's clan. Clement grew up playing tennis with his older brother, Bruno, and their father Henri was a lifelong soccer player in France. So it was hardly surprising that Henri Clement was eager to celebrate his son's first career ATP title at Lyon in 2000 though the manner in which he chose to celebrate was memorable: he gave Arnaud some lip.
When Clement claimed his first career championship by beating Andre Agassi in the semifinals before edging Patrick Rafter, 7-6(2), 7-6(5), in the final, his father celebrated by shaving off his mustache. The celebratory shave came just three months after Arnaud sprouted into Grand Slam success in scoring victories over Gaston Gaudio, Agassi, Hicham Arazi and Andrei Pavel before bowing to Lleyton Hewitt in the 2000 U.S. Open quarterfinals.
In his next major appearance, a spirited Clement fought back from a two-set deficit and saved two match points in scoring a 5-7, 2-6, 7-6(4), 7-5, 6-2, victory over close friend Sebastien Grosjean (the pair partnered to win the 2004 Indian Wells doubles title) to become the first Frenchman since Jean Borotra in 1928 to reach the Australian Open final before bowing to Agassi, 6-4, 6-2, 6-2.
Currently ranked No. 56, Clement defeated second-ranked Rafael Nadal in the Marseille semifinals, 2-6, 6-3, 7-5, in February and remains one of only three men to beat the Spanish sensation this season. The 28-year-old native of Aix-en-Provence, France followed that win with a 6-4, 6-2, triumph over sixth-seeded Mario Ancic in the final to capture his first ATP tournament title in three years. Clement did not drop serve in dispatching Ancic to claim his first tournament title since he won the Metz championship in 2003.
"I knew I had my chances, but with the strength of the draw here this year, if someone told me I would win this tournament this week, I wouldn’t really have believed them," Clement said immediately after his title triumph. "It’s an amazing feeling to win here in front of my family and friends."
It was the third tournament title of Clement's career and all three have come on French soil. He won his first tournament at Lyon in 2000. The 2001 Australian Open finalist capped a tremendous week of tennis that saw him conquer compatriot Richard Gasquet, Spain's Fernando Verdasco, Fabrice Santoro and the second-ranked Nadal before beating Ancic, who had crushed Clement, 6-0, 6-2, in Adelaide in January.
With his ever-present sunglasses shield, Arnaud Clement looks a little bit like the tennis Terminator, but with a sharp sense of humor he is hardly an intimidating presence off the court. Tennis Week contributing writer Scoop Malinowski caught up with Clement for this Biofile interview.
Status: Clement has won two career ATP singles titles: the 2000 Lyon and the February 2006 in Marseille. Clement owns career wins over Andre Agassi, Carlos Moya, Gaston Gaudio, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Roger Federer, Greg Rusedski, Sebastien Grosjean, Thomas Johansson, Rainer Schuettler and Albert Costa.
Height: 5-foot-8. Weight: 150 pounds.
Born On: December 17, 1977 in Aix-en-Provence, France.
Childhood Heroes: "Duncan McLeod — movie hero from the film Highlander. (Any tennis heroes?) The young French guys [smiles], I didn't watch tennis on TV when I was younger."
Hobbies/Interests: "Golf. Play golf every day off I have. Every afternoon I have I'm trying to play golf. Racquetball."
Favorite Movie: "Le Fabuleux Destin d' Amelie Poulain — a French movie from three years ago."
Musical Tastes: "I like the French music. I like Celine Dion, a lot of the young singers in France — Alizee."
Early Tennis Memory: "When I qualified for the first time for the French championships in junior. In Provence. I always lost in quarters. And you have to be in semis if you want to go to Roland Garros to play the French championships. I never qualified for the French, I come from a very small community. So in my last chance to be able to qualify for the French championships, I did when I made the semifinal (age 17). Just for the first time I had the chance to be able to play against the best young guys in my age group."
Favorite Meal: "Lebanese food."
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: "I don't really like ice cream."
Pre-Match Feeling: "Before the match I'm just trying to think of the big points of my opponent, like if he has a big forehand, I try to imagine it happening during the match — a big forehand. If he has a big serve, I'm trying to imagine that. I don't want to be surprised about it during the match. I'm trying to imagine it before."
First Job: "I went to school till I was 17-years-old. Only played tennis. Tennis was my first job."
First Car: "Gray Ford Puma."
Funny Tennis Memory: "Semifinal in the 2000 Australian Open doubles. I was playing with Julien Boutter against Llodra and Santoro. During the point, Michael (Llodra) hit a forehand right at me. I was at the net. And right then, a bird flew into the ball. And the ball go right at and killed the bird. Unbelievable situation. The bird died...so is that funny [smiles]."
Greatest Sports Moment: "Was quarterfinal in Australia, playing against Kafelnikov (2001). Really tough match. I didn't think I can win this match because I really felt (leg) injury during the match. And it was so close. All of the sudden, I won the match in four sets (6-4, 5-7, 7-6, 7-6). For me it was unbelievable...my first qualification for a Grand Slam semifinal. In one sense it was a little bit big. It wasn't something I enjoyed so much. Semifinals was tough to play against (Grosjean). It wasn't a very good match. He leads two sets to love, match points on his serve. It was tough to be very happy with the match. The final was a memory to remember also...my first and my only [laughs]...Grand Slam final (lost to Agassi in three sets). So it's between the quarterfinal and the final as the greatest moment. But not the semis, for sure."
Most Painful Moment: "Was something very tough, France was in the Davis Cup final two years in a row, in 2001 and 2002. And I played lots of matches all throughout the year 2001, 2002. I missed the two finals of Davis Cup, it was tough to miss. I know we are not going to play finals of Davis Cup every year. And maybe I might not have any more chances to play in one. So to miss those two was a very painful, a very big disappointment."
Closest Tennis Friends: "How many can I give you?! (Two or three)...Sebastien Grosjean, Arnaud DiPasquale."
Funniest Player(s): "Michael Llodra. Sometimes he can be really crazy, and also friendly, so that's why."
Toughest Competitor: "Federer. Nadal. Lleyton Hewitt — definitely when he's on, really tough for me to play against him. He beat me three times in three matches. But I think I can beat him. But I think, for everybody — not only for me — but for all the players, when you play against Lleyton Hewitt, you know it's gonna be stressful, for sure [smiles]."
People Qualities Most Admired: "Fidelity. Really important, you know you can count on somebody. That person — so many things can happen if life, but they'll always be there for you, and never go against you."