First Time Winner

First-Time Winner Spotlight: Pedro Cachin

The 28-year-old shares his biggest passion outside of tennis
July 23, 2023
Pedro Cachin celebrates winning the ATP 250 event in Gstaad, Switzerland.
AFP/Getty Images
Pedro Cachin celebrates winning the ATP 250 event in Gstaad, Switzerland. By ATP Staff

Pedro Cachin capped a dream week Sunday when he collected his maiden ATP Tour title at the EFG Swiss Open Gstaad.

Following his triumph, the Argentine is set to debut inside the Top 50 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings at No. 49 on Monday. The 28-year-old caught up with to reflect on being crowned champion at the ATP 250 clay-court event.

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Pedro, congratulations. What does it mean to win your first ATP Tour title?
It really means a lot. I fought my whole life for this. I left home when I was very young to try and be a tennis player. I never imagined that I’d win an ATP event. As you grow, you see that you are good and you can aspire to win things and between leaving home and today, a lot of things have happened — a lot of injuries, a lot of changes in my life. And here I am. I worked hard. I think I really deserve it and I’m very happy.

Could you take a moment to talk about the key figures in your life, the people who helped you to reach this key milestone?
There are a lot of people who have helped me. Family is the most important thing, the most important of all, loved ones. Then, in terms of tennis, at different stages of your life one person helps you, then another helps you. So I don’t want to take credit away from anyone because it’s very important from when you’re small to when you’re an adult.

I started playing tennis in Belle Ville, at the academy there, then I went to Villa Maria in another academy near Belle Ville. From there, I went to Barcelona, where I met Alex [Corretja] and he was my guide. But he wasn’t my only coach. There were many coaches in between who helped me so much and I learned from all of them. Sometimes it went well, sometimes it didn’t, but I learned and that, I think, is the most important thing as you go through the stages of your career and you see that you can reach the top of tennis.

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Alex is also the last player to have won this tournament three times. They changed the trophy because he got to keep the trophy. What did he tell you about Gstaad before you came here?
I came with him in 2015 and I lost in the final round of qualifying here against [Horacio] Zeballos, I was very young and it was my first ATP experience, and the court was so fast for me. I remember the qualies were played in another club. But I always felt good at altitude so I think at that time, playing ATP, I was very young. Despite having a ranking that meant I could play it, I wasn’t ready mentally.

So as time went by and I always watched Gstaad on TV, I knew I’d come back at some point because I like altitude. I don’t love it, but I really like this altitude of 1000 metres. So I knew I’d come back to a tournament like this and Kitzbühel. This morning, he sent me a message and told me to keep trying until the end and he’d be proud no matter what.

With today’s win, you will also move into the Top 50 for the first time. Your career high was 54. What does it mean now to be inside the Top 50?
Well, it really means a lot. Last year, I felt I had unfinished business about being at 54 but I couldn’t find anything bad about 2022 because everything was good. But you start to play in other tournaments, the tour starts to respect you a lot. When you don’t play tennis anymore, I think being able to say you are an ex-Top 50 player is also significant. Right now it means a lot of changes, both in terms of tournaments I can play, financial changes, everything, so I’m very happy.

You are playing some of your best tennis at 28 years old. What are you doing better now compared to before? How does experience kick in at those important moments?
Your head. Totally your head. Consistency. Today was a reflection of that. I think there were difficult moments in the match. Above all, at the start I was nervous. I’d played very well all week, and I got to Sunday and I started playing badly. It’s difficult to accept it but I said, ‘Look, it’s the final, you have to accept it, and you have to keep going’. I think when I was very young, I was unable to slow down and say, ‘Forget about what has happened, it’s done’. So I think that failing and failing...

I’ve seen [Stan] Wawrinka and he has that phrase as a tattoo and I think it’s completely right. It gives you maturity. I got it at 27, 28 years of age, I’m happy it happened at this age. If it didn’t happen before, it’s because I didn’t know. The only thing I try to say to kids is dream big, work hard and surround yourself with people who want the same as you, or more, and to be patient.

You, Francisco Cerundolo, and Tomas Martin Etcheverry are all having very strong seasons. What is it like to see Argentine tennis in such a good place at the moment?
Argentina has always been a country with excellent players, always, whatever the situation. Economically, we’re far away... so I came to live in Europe because I think I wouldn’t have coped with the travelling they do. I think it’s very admirable what the Argentines do. We try to fight for everything we can. Of course, we have talent too and we’re hard workers. So I think that Argentina never lost that.

We were spoiled with [Juan Martin] Del Potro, [David] Nalbandian and [Guillermo] Coria. I think no country in the world had that. So the truth is, Argentina always provides something to talk about and today luckily, it’s down to me. We’re all doing a great job.

What do you consider your biggest passion outside of tennis? What do you like to do with your time off the court?
Being at home with my dogs and my family. We travel a lot so normally when I have to choose where to go on holiday, I don’t want to fly. So the same thing always happens, we say, ‘This year let’s go to...’ some other country. But, ‘No, please, no, let’s stay here’. And that always happens to me. So my biggest hobby is my dogs. Today I have one [with me] but we have another at home who couldn’t come.

Are your two dogs similar?
No, it’s a poodle [at home]. A little cuddly one. And I enjoy them so much with my girlfriend and my sister. We live together and they are very loyal and I think that’s the most important thing.

This is a very special moment in your career. You said that your sister came here with your girlfriend by car from Barcelona. How are you going to celebrate?
In 30 minutes I have to go [to Hamburg]. But that’s tennis. I think this is an important moment in my career, I have made a big leap, I think I can take another big step. There will be plenty of time for celebrations. I’m in the middle of a tour. Of course it’s not ideal not being able to celebrate it, but we’re used to that. So I, more than anyone, need to understand that, but also the people that are close to me understand it. So we’ll certainly have a lot of barbecues and my whole family will come to New York so this will certainly change my life a lot.

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