Friday, June 5, 2009

Life on tour with Mats Wilander

Mats Wilander

Joining the ATP or WTA circuit is something akin to embarking on an endless world tour. asked some of tennis’s major stars for an insight into their life as a perennial sporting backpacker. Today we chat to former world number one Mats Wilander, who triumphed here at the French in 1982, 1985 and 1988.

Which is the most relaxing city on tour?
Melbourne. It’s beautiful, there are lots of open spaces and the people are really nice.

Which is the most stressful city?
New York. It’s so fast-moving and there are loads of traffic jams. But it’s a nice city - I even lived there for a while. Tokyo and Beijing are also stressful for me because I can’t read any of the signs!

Which city has the best nightlife?
Paris. It’s really lively. There are always bars and restaurants open. I really like it here.

Name an amazing place you’ve visited.
The Badlands National Park in South Dakota.

In which city would you most like to buy a house?
London. And Paris, if I spoke better French.

Where are the best beaches?
The Bahamas. There are also some nice beaches in Sweden, but you have to wear your woollies!

What’s your favourite food?
My mum’s cooking.

Who are the friendliest people?
The Australians.

What’s the worst thing about travelling?
Not knowing whether the bed will be comfortable. That really stresses me out! As long as I have a good mattress, I’m happy.

What item do you always have in your suitcase?
Socks and underwear. But I always take a tennis racket too, even on holiday…just in case I find a court to play on.

Which is your favourite tournament?
Roland Garros.

Where are the best spectators?
At Roland Garros.

Who is your best friend on the tour?
Mikaël Pernfors and Joakim Nyström.

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