Matteo Arnaldi is one of three Italians competing at the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals this week after enjoying an impressive season.
The 21-year-old, who captured his first ATP Challenger Tour title in May, has shown promise in his opening two matches in Milan, pushing Brandon Nakashima and Francesco Passaro to five sets.
Ahead of his final round-robin match against Jiri Lehecka, Arnaldi spoke to ATPTour.com about his love for skiing, his idols and much more…
If you weren’t a tennis player, what job would you want and why?
A swimmer, for sure. Every time I go to a hotel with a swimming pool, I always go swimming. It’s the first thing I do. When I’m home at the beach, I swim. I don’t like to watch [swimming] but I like to swim.
If you could have dinner with three people, who would they be and why?
One is my best friend because we eat so much [together]. Maybe Valentino Rossi and Charles Leclerc. I would like to use that time to speak about what they do and their experience.
Describe your perfect day if you are not playing tennis?
When I’m home in Sanremo, I like to go to the beach with friends and enjoy time off. I like MotoGP and Formula One, so I would watch. Valentino Rossi has always been my favourite but now he is retired. There are a lot of Italians going up. This year [Francesco] Bagnaia won the title so it’s been a good year for us [Italy]. Also Ferrari is starting to become better. I hope next year maybe we’ll become world champions.
Who has had the greatest impact on your life and why?
My dad gave me a lot of advice and because he was a swimmer, he was in sports. The way he has stayed on court helping and practising outside, I think that’s helped me a lot during my young career. If you win or lose, it doesn’t matter, you go to the gym and continue.
What is the most interesting thing you have ever done in your life?
I like to ski. I went many times to one of the biggest slopes in Italy and Frances. That is one thing I like to do. I love to go down quickly!
If you had a superpower, what would you choose?
Being flexible [laughs]. That would be nice, like the fantastic four. If I could stretch five meters, that would also help me on court.
Do you have a hidden talent?
I don’t know if it is a talent, but I’m the most easy going guy [laughs]. I don’t take everything seriously. I do everything with a smile.