Exclusive Interview with Marco Chiudinelli
November 26, 2009 · Print This Article
Chiudinelli, who is 28-years-old, currently resides in Fuellinsdorf, Switzerland and is ranked No. 54 on the ATP World Tour.
Chiudinelli was kind enough to answer the following questions after returning from his off season trip to the Dominican Republic.
1. Coming into the 2009 season, what were your expectations in terms of ranking position and results?
As I started the year only being ranked No. 603 and just having a few more tournaments left where I was able to use my protected ranking, my goal was to end the season at least around the No. 160th spot, so I could be seeded in the qualifying of the Australian Open ‘10.
I knew this was already going to be quite difficult, but it seemed [like] an OK goal to me for the ‘09 season, and then I was planning to try to make the top 100 in the ‘10 season.
2. What component of the game did you find most difficult to regain when coming back to competition after an injury plagued 2008 season?
I struggled quite a long time with my backhand which was one of my best weapons before my surgery. It took me a long time until I regained full confidence in it again and only tried to keep the ball in play at the start of the ‘09 season.
3. What motivated you to gain your highest career ranking of No. 54 in the world after starting the year ranked No. 603?
Reaching the top 100 was always my goal since I started to play as a pro. In ‘05 I came quite close, reaching a ranking of No. 129 but then was stopped by a major shoulder injury. After a 9 month break due to shoulder surgery, I dropped back to No. 795, and then made it back to No. 130 within 9 months of playing after my comeback.
So it was my second time that I got very close to breaking the top 100 but once again I was forced to stop playing, this time for 18 months due to a knee surgery.
I was never giving up on my dream and worked hard for my comeback as I always had belief that I can achieve my goals. I am very happy and proud that in ‘09, in my 10th year on tour and after all the big setbacks, I finally made my dream come true and now it’s time to set myself a new goal.
4. What players supported you the most when you were sidelined for the majority of the 2008 season?
The player who supported me the most during my injury break was definitively Yves Allegro, who is my best friend at the same time, not only on tour.
5. What would you consider your highlight moment of 2009?
I had quite a few, first winning my first challenger in Tenerife in April, which made me re-enter the top 300. Then one of my best moments ever was definitively winning my first doubles title together with Michael Lammer in Gstaad. The other highlights were getting to the 3rd round of the US Open, entering the top 100 by playing my first ever quarterfinal on tour in Bangkok, and last but not least my first semifinal ever at my home tournament in Basel.
6. It is widely known that Roger Federer is your good friend on Tour. Is this type of friendship common on Tour, or is if more of every man for himself?
I think almost every player has a few very good friends on tour. Mine are Yves Allegro, Roger Federer, Michael Lammer and Ivo Klec.
7. Now that you have reached a high enough ranking to enter a majority of the Tour-level events, what are you goals for the 2010 season?
First of all, I need to put all my efforts into keeping my position inside the top 100. If I can maintain my position for the first few months of the ’10 season, then I can set myself new goals, maybe getting to the top 50 and trying to win a singles title.
8. Finally, if you could disclose one locker room story that the public doesn’t know about, what would it be?
There isn’t any particular story in my mind. Talking of locker rooms, a Challenger in India comes to my mind. As this was the only tournament I have ever played where there wasn’t even a locker room…
Picture courtesy of John Anthony