Editor’s note: This story was translated from ATPTour.com/es
The 2023 ATP Tour season is just three and a half months old, but Francisco Cerundolo has already hit an important milestone. On 13 February, the 24-year-old leapfrogged Diego Schwartzman to become the highest-ranked Argentine in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings for the first time.
A strong start to his main-draw debut at this fortnight’s BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells means Cerundolo will meet eighth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime on Monday for a spot in the last 16. Yet there are some aspects of the World No. 32’s tennis journey that might surprise fans…
Until how recently did he string his own racquets on Tour? How has becoming more well-known helped him (and his friends!) when out on the town in Buenos Aires? Why did he ask his practice partner Fabio Fognini for a selfie? ATPTour.com caught up with the Argentine for the latest edition of our ‘Last Time’ Q & A series.
When was the last time you missed a flight?
I actually don’t remember… I’m not one for missing flights. I’d say I never have, if it has ever happened to me, it was because a flight was delayed and I missed the connection, but not something that was my fault.
When was the last time you lost something important?
This one I have done. I remember in 2019, I lost my passport at the airport in the USA. I had to go to the embassy in Chicago, where they made me an express one so that I could get on the plane and return to Argentina.
When was the last time you paid to rent a tennis court or bought tennis balls?
This one’s tough… Maybe when I was a boy, but because my dad had an academy, we always had tennis courts, or he paid for it and I didn’t know!
When was the last time being famous helped you out?
When I go out and have fun with my friends, it’s them more than me. They use my name, and [sometimes] it makes things easier, we get good service!
When was the last time you strung a racket?
I used to do restrings when I was a boy… In fact, until 2019, I think, I used to string my own rackets with a portable machine that I would take everywhere.
When was the last time you cooked for other people?
In November, I rented a house for me and all my friends. That was my holiday, and several times I had to do the asado (barbeque).
When was the last time you met a childhood hero?
In tennis, in 2021, when I started to play ATP and I crossed paths with Djokovic, Nadal and Federer.
When was the last time you asked someone for a selfie?
I’m not one for taking many selfies. At Wimbledon in 2022 I was training with Fognini and my mum wanted a photo of me with Fabio and I asked him, but it was just for her.
When was the last time you went to a concert?
In December I went to see Duki, Bad Bunny and Lit Killah in Buenos Aires. It was amazing.
When was the last time you went to a live sports event that wasn’t tennis?
Football matches at River [Plate]. Last time was in 2022, and whenever I’m in Buenos Aires, I like to go and watch a match.
When was the last time you visited an ATP Tour event for the first time?
It wasn’t the last time, but the most special was in Buenos Aires, a few years ago… I remember it was a match with Zeballos on centre court. I was a boy, and we were with my dad.