Basilashvili Inspired By Father's Passion & Drive
Nikoloz Basilashvili leads Team Georgia at ATP Cup for a second time this week in Sydney, aiming to continue his momentum from last season, when he won tour-level titles in Doha and Munich and reached his maiden ATP Masters 1000 final in Indian Wells.
The World No. 22, who defeated Pablo Cuevas at the 16-team event in 2020, speaks to ATPTour.com about Georgian culture, his tennis development and much more.
If you could take one shot from any member of your team and add it to your game what would it be?
Oh, it would be Saba’s serve, for sure. He has a very good serve, good speed, good biomechanics, and technique, I would love to have the speed.
Who on the team would most likely be late for practice or a team dinner?
Probably me. I am always late. Always late everywhere.
Can you describe the personality of the other players in the team?
Aleks [Aleksandre Metreveli] is a serious guy, very professional. Zura is more of a funny guy. Aleksandre Bakshi was in university in the U.S., so he’s kind of an American-style guy. Saba [Purtseladze] is also a really fun guy to be around. The captain David is a very good, more serious type of guy – we’ve had him already for a couple of years with us, with the Davis Cup team.
Can you describe the first tennis court or club that you played tennis at?
Yes, I started playing tennis at the Leila Meskhi Tennis Academy in Tbilisi in Georgia, I was there until I was 10 years old. Then I moved out… my first hit was in the academy. My father put me there, he was very passionate about the sport so that’s where I started.
Tell me three things you love about Georgia?
The food, the wine, and the people. And the landscape as well, it’s really beautiful.
If you were recommending a great place to visit if someone was coming to Georgia for the first time, where would you send them?
To the capital Tbilisi probably, at the beginning, and then we have many small cities that are very interesting historical places. Georgia is a very historical country. We have many old churches and other interesting stuff.
Is there a sport played in Georgia that isn’t played anywhere else in the world?
No, we don’t really have anything like this, but traditionally we are good at wrestling. In judo and wrestling we have had many Olympic champions, and we have a strong tradition in these sports.