From pretty much an unknown at the start of the year, Canada’s Vasek Pospisil is now one of the most exciting of newcomers.
In 2013 he beat top-10 players, achieved Davis Cup success and almost etched his name alongside those who spoilt many a Roger Federer party (he lost in three sets at Basel).
Now ranked 32 in the world, the 23-year-old dwelt on the year gone by in an email interaction with The Hindu, ahead of the Aircel Chennai Open.
What were your goals when you were young?
To be a professional tennis player though not very specific in terms of rankings or achievements. It seemed like a long shot from my ‘small’ town [Vancouver]. I watched the Grand Slams on TV and dreamed that it would be me one day.
From being ranked in the 300s in 2010 to 140 at the start of 2013 to No. 32 now, how has the journey been?
Amazing. There have been a lot of sacrifices, tons of hard work, and lots of patience. It's extremely satisfying to see myself improve the way I have.
At the Montreal Masters you beat John Isner and Tomas Berdych and reached the semis. Is that your most memorable moment of the year also considering that it was there in 2011 you won your first tour match too?
Absolutely. I would say it was the most memorable one of my career. It was incredible to play so well at my home tournament and to have my breakthrough there.
How was it being a part of the Canada team which was a semifinalist in the Davis Cup?
Canada had never made it past the first round of the World Group and to accomplish that was a moving experience.
For a tennis player, there’s really no other feeling quite like representing your country. It’s an adrenaline rush unmatched by other competitions and always makes you a tougher competitor.
Your compatriot Milos Raonic [now world no. 11] won here in Chennai in 2012. What are your expectations?
I go into every tournament wanting to do well. It would be really special to go deep in Chennai. Of course, I would love to win the tournament, but I’m sure the other 31 players would like to as well.
Your goal so far has been “to be a consistent Top 30 player”. Now that is going to change for 2014 right?
Yes! It’s human nature to want more when you achieve something and now that I am ranked where I am, my goal is to be a top-10 player.
From Twitter we learn that you are addicted to coconut water. Tell us about that.
I truly am. The first time I had it, it was disgusting. I’m not sure if it’s because I drank it warm but I refused to drink it for a few years after that.
Then one day I tried it again and it was delicious. The more I drink it now, the more I want. It’s starting to get out of control!