First-Time Winner Spotlight: Nicolas Jarry
Chilean lifts first tour-level trophy in Bastad
The 23-year-old Jarry joins his grandfather, Jaime Fillol Sr., as a tour-level titlist. Fillol Sr. lifted six tour-level trophies between 1971 and 1982, including four crowns on clay, and reached a career-high No. 14 in the ATP Rankings in 1974.
Afterwards, Jarry spoke exclusively to ATPTour.com.
What did it feel like lifting your first ATP Tour singles trophy?
It felt amazing, the sensation of being in the middle of the court is impossible to describe. It’s unique. I’ve been really close two times, and I’ve seen other guys do it in front of my eyes, but in Bastad it was my turn. I’m really happy for the work behind it, and that I finally achieved it.
What did you learn from your two previous ATP Tour final appearances at 2018 Sao Paulo and 2019 Geneva?
The most important thing that I learned that I was able to do it. I was really close, it wasn’t that I’d been swept aside in the two previous finals. It was also three sets and in my second final, I had match point [against Alexander Zverev at the Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva Open in May]. If I’d had a chance, I knew I was going to take it. I was 100 per cent sure that I was going to take it.
Did you do anything differently ahead of the Bastad final?
No, I didn’t do anything differently. I think the consistency of doing the same things are what helps you achieve big things and that you’re confident you’re doing the right thing. I just woke up better, because I knew I’d been twice in that position. I knew all the nerves I was going to go through, and tried to control them, playing as smoothly as I could.
You come from a tennis background, what did winning mean to your family?
It meant so much, they felt really happy and I think they celebrated more than I did. I had a great time and spoke with them. I hope it’s the first of many and I hope many happy moments come in the future.
What was the first ATP tournament you remember watching growing up and your route to professional tennis?
That’s an easy question, as it’s the tournament my grandfather [Jaime Fillol Sr.] used to run in Vina del Mar in Chile. It was amazing to be a part of the organisation, part of the whole tournament and see how it runs, see how the players were on and off the court. It was really amazing. Since then, every year, I was with the players and always wanted to be one of them. I took the sport more seriously every year, a little bit more, until I finished school and then I went for it. I went straight to professional tennis, rather than go through college.
Is there anybody growing up, who you’d like to thank today?
There isn’t one specific person that I’d like to thank, but every member of my family is responsible for me playing tennis and growing up to being a better person. Everyone has supported me since I was a kid, pushing me and supporting me in the bad moments, and now in the good moments.
What was your journey from juniors to the ATP Tour?
It’s been an amazing journey since the beginning. When I was a junior it was tiny steps and I ended up being No. 8 in the junior world rankings. At the beginning, I didn’t win one match in juniors and when I played ITF Futures, aged 18 in my first professional year, I made it to a final at my first tournament. That was amazing. I also made the semi-finals and, I think, a first final at ATP Challenger Tour level. It was really quick, but I got injured and had to return to Futures and Challengers. Like any tennis player, there has been a lot of ups and downs. Last year, in my first year on the ATP Tour, reaching my first final [in Sao Paulo], then a couple of semi-finals. Things have happened to push me, and to keep fighting. Today is one such instance to make me work harder on and off the court.
What was your dream growing up?
My goal was to be a professional since I was around the Tour. I never had a ranking goal, but to be around the greatest of all and to play a sport that I like so much. I would like to keep improving, and there is so much you have to improve every year. If I can finish better than the year before, that will be a huge achievement.
Who were your idols growing up?
I didn’t follow anyone regularly. I watched all the big names and saw what they did or didn’t do to get better. I knew I was going to be a tall guy and I watched Fernando [Gonzalez] and Nicolas [Massu] a lot. But it’s been really fun growing up with tennis in my life.