John Shea Jr and The History of The Otosclerosis Group
Bellucci: very excited to be back in the World Group
This year Thomas Bellucci came to the Kremlin Cup for the first time in his career. The Brazilian showed up in two ranks, but paired with Tatsuma Ito had already lost the quarterfinals to Alex Bogomolov and Carlos Berlok. In singles, Thomas started only on Thursday, having won a landslide victory over Teimuraz Gabashvili's offender Flavio Cipolla (6: 1, 6: 4) and reaching Jerzy Janovic in the quarterfinals. Shortly after his victory, the Brazilian gave an exclusive interview to Championship.com, talking about his impressions of Russia, the next opponent, the Davis Cup, the Olympics, football, motorcycle races and more.
- Thomas, you not for the first time in Russia, but for the first time in Moscow. Why did you decide to come to the Kremlin Cup this year and what are your impressions of the city, of the weather?
- It's very nice here. I was in Russia last year during the Davis Cup match [in Kazan], played well there and decided to return this season [to the Kremlin Cup]. The conditions are good here, and I feel very comfortable here.
- And how do you like the coverage in the Olympic and the ball rebound from the court? Some players complain that the hard here is very slow and the ball bounces differently in different places of the court.
- Yes, sometimes the bounce in different places of the court is slightly different, but I can't say what I'm experiencing in this regard, some problems. The coverage is about the same as at the Davis Cup [in Kazan]. In a word, I cannot say that I am experiencing any problems in this regard.
- Your next opponent is Jerzy Janovic. What do you know about him and what do you expect from this match?
- He has a very good serve. He is also quite strong on the back line. I can't say that I know much about him; however, this week I trained with him once. But I saw that he works well on hard, often goes to the net and acts confidently there. I need to show good tennis and use my break chances wisely, because, as I said, he serves well.
- Regarding the Davis Cup - until this year, Brazil was defeated seven times in a row in playoffs, and you've played five of those lost matches. Tell me, how did you and the other Brazilian players feel after finally returning to the World Group after 10 years away?
- Of course it was something special for me and for other Brazilian players. Indeed, we had many chances to return to the World Group, and finally we succeeded. We are very happy. We have a strong team - and even though we are facing a very difficult away confrontation with the United States, it is good for Brazil that we will have the opportunity to play against such cool tennis players.
- А do you have a feeling that Brazil should have returned to the top earlier? In any case, in 2010 your team was leading India with a score of 2: 0, and in 2011 you lost to Mikhail Youzhny with a double matchball in a duel that could lead Brazil to the World Group.
- Of course, two years ago the whole team wasbut very disappointed with what happened. In the confrontation with Russia, as well as against India, we were very close to victory - but it happens. Almost all matches in the Davis Cup turn out to be very stubborn, and it would not be easy to beat Russia in Kazan. So we don't think about the fact that we should have made it to the World Group earlier - we are just glad that we managed to do it now.
- Moving on to your current season - you have had several ups and falls in the ranking. You started the year in the top 40, by the beginning of the year you were the 80th racket in the world, and now you occupy the 41st line of the rating list. What, in your opinion, is this connected with?
- I didn’t play the best part of the season on clay, I lost too many matches on this surface, and this was the reason that I dropped in the rating list. I needed to get more wins on the sand. But I will try to play better at the end of this year and raise my rating. Of course, I'm not 100% satisfied with this season, although I, for example, won the title in Gstaad, so it was not so bad. Now I'm trying to find my best game again, and hopefully next year I will be able to perform better.
- Without a doubt, you are a very interesting and talented player, but not very stable. In addition, in many matches in which you have a chance of winning, it feels like you are in a hurry and, because of this, make too many unforced mistakes. What do you see as the reason for this and what are you doing in order to rectify the situation?
- Of course, I try to be more stable and avoid making mistakes. My coach and I are working on such game moments, we train a lot. I hope that in the offseason we will be able to fix this problem and next year I will play much better. Let's see how things go; so far I can only train hard
- This year you competed at the Olympics, but in the first round you lost to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Did you manage to feel the atmosphere of the tournament and how much you look forward to the next Games to be held in Brazil?
- Of course, the opportunity to compete in the Olympic Games was something special for me. However, it was not easy for me to play on the grass, as there are few grass courts in Brazil. But I am very glad that I was able to play the match at the Olympics on the center court. Tsonga and I had a stubborn fight, but I did not manage to win (7: 6 (7: 5), 4: 6, 4: 6. - Approx. Championship.com) . Hopefully I won't retire before the Brazilian Olympics. I will already be 28, almost 29 years old. I would like to believe that by that time I will still be in the top 50. Of course, if I play at home Olympics, it will be something special.
- The ATP website says that you love football very much. How often do you manage to follow the matches?
- As you know, I, like other tennis players, travel a lot, so it's not easy for me to watch the broadcasts of these matches. But I try to keep track of the results - especially when some importantfights. And being in Brazil, I go to the stadium whenever possible and support my favorite team Palmeiras. We're not doing our best this season, but I still go to the stadium and enjoy it.
- It also mentions that you like video games. What genres do you prefer?
- Yes, I always play them when I am at home. I also take the Play Station with me from time to time on my travels and play it with other tennis players. I like playing soccer simulators, Formula 1.
- So you prefer sports simulators?
- What about tennis games?
- No, no, I don't like them (smiles) .
- There is enough tennis in real life?
- Yes, that's for sure. So I prefer football.
- Tell us how you won Ducati in Shanghai 2010. As far as I understand, some kind of video game tournament with such a solid prize was organized there?
- Yes, that's right. The best player received a motorcycle. I managed to win because I have this game at home, I spent a lot of time playing it. In a word, it was not so difficult for me to defeat all the rivals.
- Accordingly, it was some kind of race?
- Yes, yes. A play-off tournament was organized. There was one race of three or four laps, the winner went to the next round, the loser was eliminated. As a result, I beat, it seems, four opponents and won the main prize.