“Partying from time to time it’s good for the soul” – interview with Facundo Diaz Acosta

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Although Facundo Diaz Acosta loves the life of a professional tennis player, a part of him would like to taste a bit of the “normal” life of a 23-year-old.

“I would like to be able to go to university and all the things that happen in campus, groups of friends, parties, everything that a guy my age goes through,” confessed the champion of the ATP 250 of Buenos Aires, shortly after winning his first professional title, in an interview with CLAY in Santiago de Chile.

The Argentine talked about his idolatry for Gabriela Sabatini, the memory of those training sessions in the pandemic with a mattress as a rival, and his desire to be in Paris 2024 to complete the Olympic route that began in the Youth Olympic Games in 2018.

Interview with Facundo Diaz Acosta

– That photo of you with the Argentina Open trophy and a big smile next to Gabriela Sabatini? Was your happiness more for having won in Buenos Aires, or for being posing next to such a legend of tennis?

– Gaby is a wonderful person. What she did with tennis is also spectacular. I had the opportunity to meet her several years ago. Gaby is an icon of Argentine sport and to be able to talk to her and have contact with her is something incredible, really. We usually talk from time to time, in some tournament, when I do well she sends me messages and it’s great to receive news from her. The truth is that she leaves me a little shocked. Yes, yes, you realize that she follows all the Argentine players. It is spectacular that an icon of the sport is supporting us all to the fullest. She radiates something special, everybody loves her, and with that I can tell you everything. She is tremendously loved, she is a ten out of ten kind of person and she generates a lot in people.

– Did anyone else special for you wrote you after winning the title in Buenos Aires?

– Yes, yes, I received many nice messages from tennis players, ex-tennis players. A lot, really a lot. It’s good because you can tell that they follow tennis and that they support it. Delpo, Rey David (Nalbandian), El Mago (Guilermo Coria), a lot, a lot. I don’t want to forget any of them.

Facundo díaz acosta
Facundo Diaz Acosta takes a selfie for the interview with CLAY / FACUNDO DÍAZ ACOSTA

– Any top ten player?

– Carlitos (Alcaraz) congratulated me, yes. It’s something that motivates you to keep on playing.

– And now you are sharing the locker room with all the top players.

– Hopefully this is the beginning of something good. To start sharing with them and to be able to run into them many times.

– Did the kid who was hitting the ball in front of a mattress during the pandemic imagine that he was going to be top 50 in the world and champion of one of the most important tournaments in the region?

– I think a little bit I did imagine it because if not it is very difficult to get there. But well, at that time everything was very difficult, at least in our country. In my area, I think it was one of the areas of the city that took the longest to open up to play again. You always imagine yourself playing the best tournaments, the ones you like the most. And winning. I think that’s also why everyone of the top guys are where they are. They always dream, they imagine being up there. But well, yes, the truth is that those were hard times, but I always imagined being there.

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Díaz Acosta
Facundo Diaz Acosta practicing during pandemic times.

– How is the celebration of the first professional title in your tennis career? A house full of friends? Does fernet flow everywhere?

– You can’t do much, but yes, an night out with friends or in a house a little bit of fernet to celebrate. It was not possible because I had to leave for Rio de Janeiro the other day. We had dinner with my team, with my family, and we went to pack our bags because we had to think about the next tournament. When I come back I will have a good celebration with my group of friends, we will do something nice.

– Can a tennis player permit a night of unbridled partying and a lot of alcohol, as most of the world does? Can you?

– Yes, you can, but I don’t know if it’s the healthiest thing to do. But well, I think that everything in its measure and with a certain balance, I think that from time to time it is good for the soul. To clear your head a little bit, to do something different, if you have that time available. Obviously, if you play the following week and you go and break your head, maybe it’s not the best thing to do. But well, if you find the time and you have a weekend to do something, a quiet day, I think it’s fine.

– In general, do you prefer to party in a place surrounded by friends, or anywhere nobody knows your name so that whatever you do, only you know it?

– I prefer to be with friends all the time. I am very friendly, very familiar, I really like to be at home. Since we spend very little time at home, I like to take advantage of it when I can. I would always choose to party with friends.

Facundo Díaz Acosta
Diaz Acosta was close to achieve the best career win in Barcelona. He lost in the third-set tiebreak to Stefanos Tsitsipas // @bcnopenb

– What would you like to have from someone with a normal life?

– I would like to be able to go to university and all that you experience in a campus, groups of friends, outings, everything that a young man of my age experiences, I think we lose a little bit of it. I didn’t live it and it would be nice. But well, we can’t complain either. I’m doing what I like, obviously. The normal life of a guy of my age would be nice to try it for a while.

– Would you like to study something in particular?

– I would pick to study something related to sports, because I think it could help me in what I do.

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– Do you think about in the future? I mean, do you already visualize your life in 25 years time? Or is it something that in general high-performance athletes don’t even think about?

– Well, I do think about it in my case. Maybe later on I would really look at something to start studying. I would like to continue to be linked to sports. I don’t know from what point, from what place.

– You love Olympic events. The route you have done is kind of rare on a tennis player. You started at the Youth Olympic Games, then you played the South American Games, Pan American Games… you won medals in all of those events. And now in a few months Paris 2024 is coming, you are holding a hand to hand fight with Mariano Navone to represent Argentina.

– Yes, when I was a kid I already liked everything that the Olympic Games represented. I remember I used to get up before going to school to watch Beijing 2008 and I watched any sport, even those who did not even know the rules, and I think I fell in love with it little by little, I liked it when I was very young, and well, now that I had the chance to participate in all the competitions prior to the Olympic Games, I am even more enthusiastic about Paris. I had very few chances to play for Argentina, and the few I had, I tried to take advantage of them and enjoy them.

Facundo Díaz Acosta
Facundo Diaz Acosta grabbed the gold at the Pan American Games Santiago 2023

– Beyond what happens on the court, do you like being able to share in an Olympic Village with athletes from other disciplines?

– Yes, yes, just like that. You get to know a lot of athletes’ stories, how they train, how they eat, how they live their daily lives, many of them work in something apart from the sport they do. They compete at the highest continental level and also have to work, others study and train at the same time and are champions. It is also good to have those stories in your head to also value a little bit what you do and also to get a lot of things that other athletes do that can add to you.

– Tennis players have a privileged status. Not all sports allow you to make a living from it when you are among the 100 best in the world.

-Yes, it is not easy because there are very few who can make a living from it, but yes. We are lucky that we travel all over the world, we get paid for doing what we like, we do the sport we are passionate about. It is a privilege.

If you liked this interview with Diaz Acosta, don’t miss, in this link to our site, many other interviews to the great protagonists of tennis.

COVER PHOTO: Diaz Acosta with the Argentina Open trophy, next to Gabriela Sabatini // Marcelo Endeli, Getty

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