Winner of the ITF Futures tennis tournament Marin Bradaric is now unstoppable… G. PRASAD
Croatian tennis player Marin Bradaric’s maiden visit to India has been a “big adventure.” Marin, winner of the $10,000 ITF Futures tennis tournament in Tiruchi recently, feels the tourney was the toughest in his career yet. “Not just the level of competition, but the hot and humid conditions were also challenging. After a layoff for more than a year due to injury and an ailment, I resumed playing competitive tennis only this February. It is indeed a great feeling winning the title.”
In his defence
The Croat prefers to play attacking tennis and says that he was more aggressive while playing in Tiruchi for the simple reason that he did not want to spend extra time under the sun. “Thankfully, it worked for me,” he chuckles. Off the court, he has been fascinated by India’s culture and people. “Never before have I seen an elephant on the streets. It is just unbelievable,” he says.
Marin loves to drive but he prefers to stay away from the wheel in India. “I think it is very difficult to drive in this traffic,” he adds. The 26-year-old savours Indian cuisine, but also has a small grouse: “It is too spicy.”Marin took up tennis inspired by compatriot Goran Ivanisevic, the former Wimbledon champion. “Goran is the most-liked sportsperson inour country. He is such a colourful character. When he won the Wimbledon in 2001, it was a very emotional moment for us.”
He, though, quickly admits that no sport could match the popularity of football in Croatia. “With the Euro 2012 round the corner, football fever has gripped our country. Our football team is very good and we are sure that it will do well in the tournament,” he feels.
IPL and travelling
Does he know about the most popular sport in India? “Yes. It is cricket. I watched a match (an Indian Premier League game) for the first time on television in my hotel room. I was amazed when I learnt that there are three formats in cricket and that in one of them (Test cricket) two teams play for five days.”
Thanks to tennis, Marin has visited quite a few countries. But two cities which stand out for him are Prague (Czech Republic) and Munich (Germany). “These are very organised cities,” he says. Marin loves hanging out with friends spending time by thecrystal-blues seas back home, reading and watching Hollywood movies. “I also like to spend time in my family-owned restaurant”
Does he intend to visit India again? “Yes. I would love to play in the Chennai Open. I will certainly work hard to improve my ranking to gain eligibility for the tournament’s qualifying rounds next year,” he signs off hoping for the best.
- Tennis players: Goran Ivanisevic and Roger Federer.
- Actors: Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie.
- Cuisine: Italian.
- Book: Romance.
- Cities: Prague and Munich.
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