Photo: Alireza Karami - Optcircuit.comToni Androic (CRO)
After winning the OPT Circuit ITF Iran F5 and F6 Futures tournaments, Toni Androic is delighted to have secured enough points to be eligible for French Open qualifying next month.
The 22-year-old Croat, who loves to play on clay courts, has gained most of his points in 2014 at OPT Circuit Futures events, and now aims to shine at Roland Garros and Wimbledon.
With nine ITF Futures titles, Androic is eager to contest the Grand Slams and will do his best in upcoming OPT Circuit Futures tournaments to gain as many points possible in order to qualify for the US Open qualifying event.
In an exclusive interview with optcircuit.com he talks about his targets in the sport he loves so much.
Opticourt.com: With OPT Circuit ITF Iran F5 and F6 Futures titles, you have gained enough points to play at this year’s qualifying event for Roland Garros. That is a big step!
Toni Androic: Yes. I think with those titles my points are enough to play at Wimbledon as well. That is a big step and I will do my best.
How does it feel to play in Grand Slams after winning most of your points of 2014 in OPT Circuit ITF Pro Circuit Iran Futures?
It was my goal when I came to the OPT Circuit tournaments for the first time back in February. I wanted to achieve something like this since then; to secure a qualifying spot at Roland Garros and Wimbledon, and hopefully the US Open. I did my best here in Iran and I’ll keep trying to earn as many points as possible and we will see what more I can do.
How many points do you need to be sure that you can play in qualifying at these Grand Slams?
I think with around 200 points and being in the Top 235 in the ATP Rankings, I can qualify to play in the qualification stage of the Grand Slams.
What is your goal at those tournaments?
I played at the Australian Open this year so this is not my first Grand Slam. In Melbourne I won my 1st round of qualification before losing in the 2nd round. I’ll be happy to achieve something like that again and although I know how difficult it is I will try to do better at Roland Garros.
Would you recommend that juniors go on to play the ITF Pro Circuit?
It is amazing to play on the ITF Pro Circuit. There are lots of experiences to gain there and it is the best way to improve yourself as a tennis player. And remember; all of the top players once played on the ITF Pro Circuit.
This is your second stay in Iran playing on the OPT Circuit Futures. What do you like about Iran?
Actually this is my third time in Iran. Right after the Australian Open I was here for club matches. Last time I was here for OPT Circuit tournaments and now I’m back here in Kish Island which is a lovely place. I like the people that work here too. Amir Sadri, the Tournament Director and CEO of the company that organises the events, is a very nice and helpful person.
Will we see you again at OPT Circuit events some day?
Maybe. I hope not because it would mean I’m playing at the next tournament level - hopefully on the ATP Tour - but if I’m going to be on the ITF Futures tournaments I really hope it will be in Iran.
What do you think of the Iranian players?
Some of them have a lot of potential, especially my best friend here Hamidreza Nadaf. He has a lot of potential if he just believes in himself. There are good facilities here in Iran and I believe we will see more of Iranian tennis players in the future.
What is your main target in your career?
I would like to be in the Top 100 of the ATP rankings.
And in 2014?
To reach the Top 200. I hope to achieve that by the end of the year.
Who is your idol in tennis?
When I was kid it used to be Andre Agassi, but now it’s Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer.
What has been your favourite tennis match?
I played against Thiemo de Bakker of Netherlands, who was ranked in the Top 100 at the time. I also played against my compatriot Marin Cilic. These games gave me lots of good experiences.