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Benjamin Bonzi enjoys playing Nintendo Switch and PlayStation.

Gamers: Why Bonzi Says 'You Have To Disconnect From Tennis'

Frenchman will play Kyrgios at the US Open

Benjamin Bonzi has a big opportunity on Wednesday evening in the second round of the US Open, where he will play Nick Kyrgios.

Like Kyrgios, Bonzi enjoys video games. ATPTour.com caught up with the Frenchman to discuss his favourite games, e-sports and basketball. It is safe to say Bonzi and Kyrgios will not agree on their favourite team!

Tell us about your love of video games. When did you start playing, and what are some of the earliest games you remember playing?
I started around maybe 10 or 11 when my parents bought me the Game Boy. I started with that. This is pretty old, but I remember this. I played a lot of Pokemon on this one, like every kid. I think Pikachu is the best. I liked it.

Now this is different. Now we have PlayStation. This is not the same games, but I used to play a lot.

Of course you played a lot of tennis as a kid, but was it nice to have other hobbies like playing video games to not only focus on tennis?
I think it’s important not to be focussed too much on tennis. We have a lot of hours on the tennis court. Then we have fitness and everything. We have maybe five, six, seven hours of focus on tennis every day and at a moment you have to disconnect from it, just try to relax, try to chill and there is music, video games, TV, whatever. But you have to disconnect from tennis.

What systems do you have now?
I do have one PlayStation and the Nintendo Switch as well to play Mario Kart. We played a lot of Mario Kart in Davis Cup in France, but I don’t travel every time with it. Maybe on long travel. I think this is better now with the quarantine. We have some countries where if you are positive you have to wait, so it helps.

Who is the best French tennis player at video games?
It depends on the game. Mario Kart, me for sure. No question, it’s me. [My favourite character] is Yoshi.

You’re used to long flights by now, but how much do video games help make the time go by?
With the Switch, you can take it on the flight and play Zelda or whatever you want. You have so many hours to spend on travel, so you have to find something to be patient and spend it.

Do you follow e-sports?
Actually I’m watching a lot of Twitch players, French players of course like in Warzone, Call of Duty. This is my main streaming on Twitch and I have some friends on the game now because I wrote them and they answered me.

What do you think about the rise of e-sports?
They are so good. You can play video games for fun. You can try to be good, but those guys are taking the level so high in their games. This is crazy. I play a think of Warzone, but I am so bad in comparison to those guys. Even if you play a lot, they play more, and they are doing this for maybe six, seven, eight, nine years on different games. But this is always the same and they are so good.

Is there a streamer you enjoy in particular?
A French one. His name is Chow H1. He is a friend of Gael Monfils as well. I met him in Montpellier this year. He is living in Montpellier, so it’s not so far from my home and there is a tournament there, so I met him this year.

You know how much it takes to be a professional athlete, so how much do you appreciate the work they put in to do what they do?
If you want to be good on Twitch, be a good streamer, you have to find something. It’s very difficult because random guys can say okay Twitch is easy, you’re just playing video games and that’s it. But this is not as simple as that and you have to be maybe in the one per cent of the best players to have a chance. And even if you are the best, maybe you are not a good streamer and have a community. You have to be focussed, you have to think about every detail. I think this is close to a professional athlete.

What are your favourite games now?
Warzone was pretty good the past two years, but they destroyed the game with everything they put in. Now I think the best is NBA 2K, the NBA game.

Which NBA team is your favourite? How much do you follow it?
The [Golden State] Warriors. For the past two years, I tried to be follow more results, to follow more teams, trades and everything. I am not the best, I am trying to improve on that, but I love the game.

Who is your favourite player and why?

Steph Curry. This is crazy to see all his pre-match routines when he’s shooting. It’s crazy.

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