The main key for me is, of course, just staying healthy, working hard and working very smart. If I do all that, everything else will take care of itself.
In a way I’m not that much of a thinker. I’m just kind of more instinctual out there(on court).
I love competing for other people. It is so much bigger than myself.
I’m always working on my ball toss, as well. There is a lot of things that go into making my serve a very good one besides me just being a very big guy. But, again, I work on my strengths. Of course I work on my weaknesses, as well.
As far as performance goals, I don’t really set too many for myself. I believe in my ability to beat anyone in the world.
I always work on my serve. I do. Just as everyone does. It’s not something I take for granted. Of course, being a big guy it helps so much, but for me, you know, my motion is pretty fluid. Regardless if I wasn’t as tall, I think I would still have a pretty good serve.
Even though I’m at 30, it’s still a process for me. I know I can still play some very good tennis ahead in the future.
I enjoy Davis Cup, and I really enjoyed college tennis. It’s very special. You want to go out there and compete your hardest, because you don’t want to let anyone down. You want to absolutely give it your all for your team. And that’s sort of the mentality I’ve taken to pro tennis.
I want to have great results all throughout the course of the year, not just in the U.S. I mean, I certainly am most comfortable in the States, because it’s what I’m used to. But going to Europe, I know I’m capable of playing my best tennis no matter where I’m at.
I have gotten better at losses now. I think I have realized that you do learn a lot from losses. When I was younger, it was sort of hard to see that right away. But losing stinks. I still take it pretty hard. Maybe now not as bad as I did maybe five, seven years ago.
Annual charity event in Charlotte is very important to me because I give back to a wonderful cause in my opinion – the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, which was the hospital that treated my mother when she came down with colon cancer 10 years ago. For me, it was an easy choice. I guess I started making a name for myself a little bit to give back to them, because they gave so much to me and to my family in treating my mother.
The most important thing for me is that I know I have a pretty distinct shelf life on my career. I have had a lot of very good moments, more good moments than bad moments in my career, so I try to focus on those more so than the bad moments.
Of course I’m going to lose a lot of matches. You know, when I do lose, of course when I win, as well, I always need to keep reminding myself how lucky I am that I do what I do. That’s what I always try to do. It puts a pretty good perspective on things.
The goals are just to work smart. Of course work hard, but working smart is a lot more important for me. I’m not going to be on the practice court three, four hours a day.
That’s not how I’m built. I need to spend as much time in the gym as I do on the practice court, take care of my body, eat well, so all those things. Stay fit and stay healthy, which I have done for the most part throughout my career.
As long as I am, you know, feeling healthy and feeling fit and strong, which I pretty much do, I can be a very big force, you know, out on the tour. I feel like I can beat anyone.
I’m doing all the right things. Even though I’m 30, approaching 31, I still feel really good. I feel strong and fit, and that’s extremely important. It’s also encouraging for me to see that guys are playing into their mid-30s now and playing very well. I don’t think I’m any different as far as that goes. I’m looking forward to a lot of good years ahead.
I’ve always eaten fairly healthy, I know what to eat and what not to eat and I love to cook. That is another passion of mine. If I am home for a week, I cook every night.
That would be a huge honor, if I ever were to become the No. 1 American. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to, you know, achieve that. For me, if were to happen, it’d be great. I’d try to hold onto that spot as long as possible, but I know there’d be a lot of people nipping at my heels to try to get to that No. 1 spot.
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