Loose strings and tequila to forget: welcome to Adrian Mannarino ‘s curiosities
When Adrian Mannarino sees that he has been scheduled for Rod Laver Arena under the Melbourne sunshine, he will have a hint about the opponent he will face. Perhaps it will be against one of the title favourites? Novak Djokovic expects him and he doesn’t know. Mannarino isolates himself from the internet and social networks. He asks interviewers not to ask him about his next rival.
“I don’t want to know, although let’s say on average I find out an hour before. The other day I was looking where my friends Mahut and Roger-Vasselin were playing, and while I was checking the screen, I saw my match. Or when I was coming from the hotel, the driver just wanted to be nice and told me: ‘good luck against Mr. Munar’. I don’t need to know, but people don’t know,” said Adrian Mannarino after beating Ben Shelton in the third round of the Australian Open.
Does it mean a disadvantage at the high level of professional tennis not to study the opponent beforehand?
“I don’t think I have to prepare especially for those matches, if my opponent plays serve and volley, or if he is left-handed. Many players prefer to train with a left-hander after playing with a left-hander, the same with right-handers. I just think it’s bullshit,” he said at a press conference in Melbourne.
Minutes before the match, cameras in Melbourne Park captured him sitting in a chair, relaxed, chatting with a member of his team, while the North American was warming up intensely in the pre-competition area. A very characteristic image of how the Frenchman manages his career: he takes it easy and prioritizes the rest above all.
The formula is working, because at the age of 35 he is living the best moment of his career: for the first time he got into the top 20 of the world, and he has won four of his five titles in the last two years.
Another secret to eternal youth?
Tequila. Mannarino has a recipe that makes him, even more particular: “I started with tequila…. it helps you not to think too much and just go for it. Sometimes you need to just clear your brain, stop thinking about the past.”
Intriguing recovery mode that, Mannarino assures, helps also to relax his muscles.
The Frenchman is an accumulator of many more curiosities. He is one of those who uses less tension in his stringing, a factor that requires him to have much more control over the ball and at the same time does not require him to put so much power in his strokes. It is still a very rare detail: the 11 pounds that he strings correspond to half of what is considered the standard on the tour.
He also has no sponsors on his clothing. He said in conversation with Tennis Legend Podcast that he worries about wearing the clothes that suit him the most, and prioritizes that instead of signing a contract with a clothing brand that does not suit him.
In an interview published by L’Equipe in early January Mannarino spoke candidly about his chances at the top of the rankings. “You have to be realistic, I have the impression that the top 10-15 players have something extra. Some move faster than me, others see the game better, others serve like donkeys…. I feel my ceiling is the top 15.”
What about the Grand Slams?” Mannarino says he soon realized that winning a Grand Slam is out of his reach.
A one-of-a-kind tennis player.