The Last Time... With Childhood Rafa Fan Botic Van De Zandschulp
Botic van de Zandschulp has enjoyed a breakthrough 12 months, rising from outside the Top 150 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings to a current career-high No. 29.
The Dutchman is now into the third round at Roland Garros for the first time, where he will meet 13-time champion Rafael Nadal in Paris. The 26-year-old, who admitted he was a big fan of the Spaniard when he was younger, recently spoke to ATPTour.com for the newest 'Last Time' Q&A.
I missed a flight?
I think I missed a flight five years ago. I was going from Holland to Estonia. I had to drive to Germany because that was the only plane going to Tallinn and then there was a car crash on the way. I was going to a tournament. I give myself some time to get to the airport. I am currently living 10 minutes from the airport in Amsterdam. I normally arrive about one hour, 45 minutes before and in Amsterdam you can walk straight to the gate in about 10 minutes, but I leave early.
I lost something important?
I lose my iPhone every time I sit in a cab because it doesn’t stay in my pocket. It drops down the car and then I leave the car and go ‘Oh no, I have lost it’. And then the car has already gone. It is so annoying having things drop from my pocket.
I paid money to hire a court or buy tennis balls?
That was not a long time ago. The week before Marrakech. In Holland it was snowing and at the Federation I can use the courts, but they only have outdoor clay. It was two degrees and snowing, so we had to go somewhere inside, so I paid for my own court.
Being famous helped me?
No, not yet! People don’t care sometimes. It would be nice if it happened in the future at one time.
I strung a tennis racquet?
I have my own stringing machine at home. The last time I used it was two years ago. It is boring, but I do string while watching a show. Now I am coming back from a tournament and my racquets get strung and then I go to the next tournament.
I cooked for myself or others?
I cooked this morning. I made scrambled eggs. Hopefully that is cooking? I had it with toast, just some nice breakfast. My girlfriend complains I can’t cook many things, but I am good cooking rice with chicken and vegetables. It is pretty easy. I did some salmon with pasta and cream sauce. I also make chicken wraps. In Holland, a lot of people eat vegetables with potatoes, it is quite traditional.
I met a childhood idol?
I was a fan of [Rafael] Nadal when younger, but he hasn’t played many of the same tournaments as me yet. I haven’t met any of my idols from when I was younger. I looked up to [Andre] Agassi, I liked him a lot. [Andy] Roddick I liked a lot, but I am yet to meet them, so hopefully my time will come.
I asked someone for a selfie?
I have not asked. I am not a selfie guy! In the offseason I went to Dubai and took some pictures in the desert when we were quad biking, so that was the last time I posed for a picture properly. But not a selfie.
I went to a concert?
I think eight years ago. I went to see Red Hot Chili Peppers. They were playing in Holland, so I went to see them.
I attended a live sporting event other than tennis?
I never went to the basketball in the United States. I go to Ajax, but that was some time ago. Sometimes I go to the hockey field as my girlfriend plays hockey, for a team in Holland. I watch that sometimes. It is not professional, but it is another sporting event.