|A number of tennis commentators now refer to the ‘deuce’ and ‘ad’ courts. Perhaps you could explain what that means?
Tim says: “No problem – the ‘deuce’ court is the right court; the one that you start serving to at the beginning of the game, whereas the ‘ad’ court is the left court and they are referred to like that because you always serve to the right court when the score is deuce and you always serve to the left court when it is either your advantage or your opponent’s advantage, or ‘ad’.”
I’m in the process of booking tickets for the BlackRock Masters and was wondering of you were still planning on playing on 4 December?
Tim says: “Yep, I’ll be there. I’m not sure who I’ll be playing against on the night yet but as soon as I do I’ll let you know here on the site.”
I just wondered if you will still play some exhibition matches in the future as I love watching you play?
Tim says: “The last few weeks have been very busy what with the US Open and more recently the birth of our third child so I haven’t had much of an opportunity to really sit down and plan much for the future; I think initially I’ll be just glad to have a bit of a break! I’m sure I’ll play some matches as long as I remain fit and healthy but I don’t have anything set in stone as yet.”
With Ivo Karlovic not selected for the Croatian Davis Cup team do you think we are now favourites to win the tie?
Tim says: “I don’t think you can say we’re favourites given the fact that [Ivan] Ljubicic has such a good record in the Davis Cup and their number two Marin Cilic has beaten me in the past and also had a great win against Nikolay Davydenko last week in Beijing. But we’ve got home court advantage and if Andy and I remain fit and healthy then I think we have every chance of winning the tie given we’re playing on grass and will have the crowd very much on our side, but I think Croatia are still favourites. Also, don’t forget that the nominations can be changed up until one hour before the draw, which is made on Thursday, so they might still include Karlovic in their team after all.”
Is there anybody in the game that you didn’t get to play that you would have liked to before you retired?
Tim says: “I’ve been pretty fortunate to be able to play against most of the great players from my era; and I’ve been fortunate enough to have beaten most of the players that have been ranked number one recently, like Federer, Sampras, Agassi, Hewitt, Roddick, Ferrero, Safin, Kuerten and Moya so I certainly can’t complain! I even got to play against McEnroe in an exhibition so I’ve been very lucky and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed testing myself against the very best in the world throughout the course of my career – it’s been a real treat.”
I’ve always loved tennis and had a passion for it! I’m just wondering if it’s too late to consider playing professionally as I’m already 22. I played tennis for a few years when I was a teenager and loved it but had to stop as the courts closed down. Is it even worth pursuing or am I too old?
Tim says: “I think it would be difficult to become good enough to make a living professionally at this late stage, but I would definitely urge you to take it up again as you obviously enjoy the game and you will be able to get so much enjoyment out of it irrespective of the standard that you reach.”
Will you still be performing at the Royal Albert Hall in December?
Tim says: “Yes I will – I’m not sure who my opponent is going to be yet but I’ll definitely be there for an exhibition match on December 4.”
Do you think it’s unfair that the ‘Hawk-Eye’ system is not in use on the outside courts at the major tennis events?
Tim says: “In an ideal world they would be able to use the official review system on all of the match courts but I think the logistics of doing that and also the cost make it very difficult at the moment. I’m sure this will change over time as it is an advantage for players like Federer who tend to play all of their matches on the big courts.”
Now you have decided to retire from professional tennis I was wondering if you have ideas to write a book on your career and the aspects that tennis has to offer?
Tim says: “I do enjoy reading the occasional autobiography but I don’t have any plans to write my own at the moment!”
Now that the US Open has finished, and your retirement is looming, do you think you will look back on your career with any regrets?
Tim says: “None whatsoever. I feel that I’ve given it my best shot and I’ve done a pretty good job of maximising my talent. Obviously I would’ve liked to have achieved more in terms of my results but that’s probably true of everybody; I’m sure Pete Sampras wishes he had won even more Grand Slam titles than he did even though he won more than anybody else in the history of the game!”