At a commencement of a year, Stephane Robert had set himself dual targets. First was to play a Grand Slam compare conflicting a tip actor on a uncover justice – something he hadn’t managed before in his long, emptied career. The 35-year-old ticked that box when he played associate Frenchman Gael Monfils in a third turn of a Australian Open during a Hisense Arena (where he also won a indicate magnifique in a second set, that has generated scarcely 100,000 YouTube hits).
The second was to win a Challenger contest on a tough court. Robert has half-a-dozen Challenger titles to his name yet all have been on clay. Having toiled all his career on a circuit, this was something he was desperately anticipating for. On Sunday, he checked that box as well, unconditional aside home favourite Saketh Myneni 6-3 6-0 to win a Delhi Open.
Having achieved what he set out to, a universe series 161 knows accurately what to demeanour brazen to for rest of a year. And it’s not a wins on justice or ranking points to pierce adult a ladder. “No targets now. I’ll only go and enjoy, see new cities, accommodate new people. For me, tennis is not many important,” says Robert, who plays a competition during a rival turn for some-more than 30 weeks a year. “There is life over a competition as well,” he goes on.
Robert has been on a highway for scarcely 15 years, spending nights on a airfield and waking adult in a new city roughly each week. He comes conflicting as a quintessential journeyman – struggling in a reduce rungs of general tennis, perplexing to make a vital by slugging it out in a second tier of a sport. He has also managed an peculiar large scalp – Tomas Berdych in a 2011 French Open.
Not a standard journeyman
But he is conflicting from your standard journeyman. Unlike many players, he doesn’t devise his calendar according to ranking points on offer or a history, solely of march a Grand Slams. Instead, he chooses where to play depending on surrounding attractions. His diary resembles a transport guide, carrying sensibly remarkable all a places he has to revisit this year. “I try to transport and play during places that are pleasing and friendly. In Europe, it’s selfish. In India, Vietnam, Thailand…people are friendly. It’s a bit disorderly on a streets yet people are friendly,” he says, adding that there are several destinations still on his bucket list to finish his universe tour.
He loves his globetrotting life and does not skip home for a elementary reason that he does not have one. His mailing address, according to French website, is his parents’ house. And instead of profitable rent, he chooses to reinvest all of his his gain in tennis and travelling a world.
While many players cite spending time during a hotel perplexing to safety energy, Robert is utterly a opposite. In a final one week in Delhi, he ventured out each dusk after his matches along with his physio. In his progressing outing to India, he ‘hired a tuk-tuk’ and roamed around Bangalore and did a same when he was in Pune.
“Players generally like to stay in their hotels possibly sleeping, reading or examination movies. But we like to be in a center of people, knowledge a city as many as he could,” he says, adding that he visited Delhi’s many famous traveller spots – Qutab Minar, Humayun’s Tomb and Lodhi Gardens – after his matches while rueing that he couldn’t revisit a Taj Mahal after being sensitive that it’s sealed on Fridays. “That was one of a reasons we came here so it’s a empathize we couldn’t see Taj. But it will also be an forgive for me to lapse to Delhi again,” he says.
That’s still a year divided though. Next week, he is looking brazen to exploring another new country. “I have never been to China before. Always wanted to see that place, knowledge a food and a people. So that’s another one off my list,” he smiles.