Ask me anything

Last week, I asked my LinkedIn followers what questions they had for me: here are the ones I felt most inspired to answer.

Drawing on your experience as an athlete, what’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone running a company?

Make it a top priority to hire good people: the team you put together is the basis for everything. And when I say “good people”, I don’t necessarily mean superstars or big, impressive personalities. When I hire someone for my own team, I try to evaluate them through the lens of delegation: is *this* the person who I feel I can trust the most with *this* responsibility? Their CV shouldn’t be everything. Meet them, talk to them, try to understand them as a person; you’ll get a better sense if they’re on the same wavelength as you. One other piece of advice that I use in my game: prioritize developing your strengths over correcting your weaknesses. 

Is there something you wish you’d done differently so you could have won a Grand Slam?

I know this isn’t the answer you’re looking for, but… unfortunately not! The truth is, if I was going to win a Grand Slam, I’d have already done it. I’m proud of my achievements as a player, and I’ve come very far in this world. People call me a “tennis superstar” – and while I like to think that’s true, there are superstars, and then there are legends. (You know their names.) We live in a world that’s obsessed with “potential”. I totally get it. But there’s also something to be said for being happy with where you’re at.

What advice would you give to someone looking to get into tennis training/coaching?

Be passionate. A coach who’s passionate is a coach players want to listen to, want to follow. Develop your patience and tolerance—they’ll help ensure you really try to understand this specific needs of each athlete. Because a good coach knows how to adapt to each client rather than just applying the same “winning technique” to every single one. 

If you weren’t a pro tennis player, what job would you have liked to do?

I think I’d have liked to work as a banker, or in the watchmaking industry. I like the idea of working closely with a team and developing close relationships with clients and colleagues. 

Why do you think players without Grand Slam titles don’t get the recognition they deserve?

Easy one: we have an overly simplified idea of what ’success’ looks like.

What’s your biggest fear?

Oof! I think it’s a pretty common one: that something bad happens to my family or loved ones.

What’s your relationship to data? Do you just play on instinct or do you use match data to your advantage?

I do pay attention to data! Both my own and my opponents’. Trajectories, first serve percentages, net ball percentages. Knowledge is power, right?

Until next time,

Read to