FIRST TIME ATP WORLD TOUR WINNER SPOTLIGHT: JEREMY CHARDY
by Greg Sharko | 20.07.2009
Jeremy Chardy captured his first ATP World Tour title and became the first Frenchman to win the MercedesCup in Stuttgart since Henri Leconte in 1984, after defeating fourth seed Victor Hanescu of Romania 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 on 19 July. Chardy is the fourth first-time ATP World Tour titlist in 2009. The 22-year-old Chardy rose 11 places to a career-high No. 32 in the South African Airways 2009 ATP Rankings.
ATPWorldTour.com caught up with Chardy after his maiden title.
How does it feel to capture your first ATP World Tour title?
It’s so good. My form this year has been very good. I was very nervous at the start and found it difficult to close out in the third set. It was tough at the end.
As a youngster growing up was it a dream of one day winning an ATP World Tour title?
Yes, of course, for every player it is a dream to win one title. I have had a good week for my first victory and I want to add other titles.
Did you prepare any differently going into today from your first final in Johannesburg in February?
This final was different to [Jo-Wilfried] Tsonga in Johannesburg [at the SA Tennis Open] and it was a very tough match. Today, I had beaten Hanescu already this year so I was more nervous prior to the Stuttgart final. [It was] the anticipation of what might happen.
You started slowly against Hanescu and then you were able to turn it around. What did you change in your game that enabled you to come back and win?
After I lost the first set, I changed my tactics to go to the net more. The match definitely changed in the second set.
You played Hanescu twice before, winning earlier this year on hard courts and then losing last year to him on clay. What was your approach going into the match with him today?
With Victor, he is a very good player from the baseline on clay courts. I thought I needed to make different types of shots, slow and fast shots. I also needed to attack the net to win points.
After winning your first ATP World Tour title, what are your goals the rest of the season? Would you like to reach a certain ranking by the end of the year?
Now my first goal is to reach the Top 32, to ensure I am seeded for the US Open. I would also like to win another title!
You are the second French winner on the ATP World Tour this year behind Tsonga, and you are one of eight French players in the Top 50. What are your thoughts on the state of French tennis?
French tennis is very strong at present. We help and motivate one another to play and train better. With [Gilles] Simon and Tsonga at the top, it is good for everybody.
Who were the players you admired and liked to watch growing up?
My favourite player was Pete Sampras, I liked his game. Now, I admire Roger Federer – I like him so much.
You play well on all surfaces, do you have a favourite surface and why?
I don’t know which one I prefer. With my coach, I have worked hard to play on every surface. I think I play well regardless of the surface.
Is there anyone you would like to acknowledge for helping you get where you are today in tennis?
I would like to thank my coach of ten years, my family, girlfriend and friends.