“It’s a job syndrome. I don’t generally watch tennis matches,” begins Slovenia’s Aljaz Bedene, in his chat with The Hindu during the 2014 Aircel Chennai Open.
On a rare occasion, when he watched Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland play that epic five-set match against Novak Djokovic in a fourth round Australian Open match in 2013, he became a big fan of the Swiss.
It was only a few weeks earlier that the Slovene put it across Wawrinka in the 2013 Chennai Open quarterfinals to advance to his first-ever ATP Tour semifinals.
“After (David) Nalbandian, I am a big fan of Wawrinka’s double-handed backhand. I always wanted that backhand,” he says.
In a repeat of last year in Chennai, Bedene clashes with Wawrinka on Friday. “I will do my best. My objective is to win every match,” he says.
But Bedene, ranked 95 in the world, is not completely fit as he has an injury on his left wrist incurred while practising in London in September last year.No problems
“I still have problems,” he says. “It’s high risk. Not 100 per cent fit.”
Fortunately, in his pre-quarterfinal match of the Chennai Open, Kudryavtsev of Russia pulled out midway citing an injury.
So, will he play? “I will fight till the end,” Bedene claims.
The 2013 outing was memorable not because he reached the semifinals, but also because he was with his twin brother Andraz. “We used to be together in our early days. Then, after a long time we got together here. It was nice,” says Bedene.Lack of support
However, Bedene is not happy with the Slovenian national federation. Lashing out at the federation for not providing proper facilities, he said, “I am sorry to say, that there is no support, no money from the federation. There is no good junior talent coming up. That is one of the main reasons I moved to London three years ago. Nobody wants to invest in tennis.”
Bedene brushed aside his first round exit in the four Grand Slams last year, saying: “I am better prepared and fitter than last year.”
The 24-year-old won two Challenger titles in 2013, but is yet to win an ATP title.
When asked about it he replies, “If I can be in the top 50, which is my goal, I will definitely win one.”