Vasek Pospisil arrived in the city on Wednesday after training at the Nick Bollettieri Academy in Florida, and he didn’t waste much time in coming to the Nungambakkam Stadium to spar with his coach Frederic Fontang for the Aircel-Chennai Open.

“It’s nice to return to the city. I love it. The atmosphere is really nice and the courts here suit my game,” says the Canadian, whose jump in the ATP rankings this year has been nothing short of phenomenal.

From being 140 in the world at the start of 2013, the 23-year-old, with some good performances on the Tour, has risen to a career-high ranking of 32.

Infectious disease

All this would not have been possible if he had not recovered on time from an infectious disease, mononucleosis. “From December 2012-February 2013, I was in bed. Though I was confident that I would return to active tennis, at the back of my mind, I was a bit scared. ‘What if it relapses?’ I am happy that I have completely recovered now,” says Pospisil, in a chat with The Hindu.

The Canadian knows the severity of the disease for he has seen Robin Soderling who is still struggling to recover fully from mononucleosis, and to a lesser extent Mario Ancic from the same disease.

“I am lucky in that sense,” he says.

Pospisil considers his qualification to the main draw of the 2012 Chennai Open as good under the circumstances.

“To be honest, I like the tournament. At that time this was one of my first few main draw performances. Given my rankings then, I think I played well,” he says, on his debut at the Chennai Open.

Credits coach

Coach Fontang, according to Pospisil, should take a large part of the credit for his sensational performance this year.

“From my five years, for the major part of my life, my father has been my coach. After Fontang took charge, I have become more aggressive and a dangerous player,” says Pospisil.

Pospisil feels Louis Borfiga, Director of Coaching in Canada, played a huge role in Canada’s gradual rise in tennis.

It was his hard work behind the scenes that enabled the national team reach the semifinals of the Davis Cup for the first-time ever in 2013, he says.

“He (Borfiga) has done a very good job with the boys,” he observes.

At the moment, all his focus would be on the first round match.

“I know expectations are high but the pressure is the same for everybody.

“I hope I can do better this time,” says Pospisil.

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