Nomadic Life

The Nomadic Life… with Alejandro Tabilo

Chilean will square off against Djokovic on Sunday in Rome
May 12, 2024
ATP Tour
By Staff

One of Alejandro Tabilo’s favourite countries is Italy, and tennis has given him the perfect excuse to visit it. During his junior career, he became one of the 30 best players in the world and competed in Prato and Milan. As a professional he has played in Bologna, San Benedetto del Tronto, Francavilla al Mare, Cordenons, Genova, Como, L’Aquila, and Manerbio . This week he is in Rome.

“Its cities hold great memories for me,” says the Chilean.

This Sunday at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia will surely provide some of his most valuable memories in Italy when he faces a No. 1 in the PIF ATP Rankings for the first time. He will take on Novak Djokovic in the third round at the Italian ATP Masters 1000.

Before the pair’s maiden Lexus ATP Head2Head clash, the World No. 32 Tabilo spoke to about his nomadic lifestyle, his routines when he travels, and his talent for avoiding jet lag.

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What are two essential non-tennis items you always pack for trips?
Lately I’ve been travelling with my console for days off. I play FIFA and Call of Duty to distract myself and do something different, competition permitting. I also bring a small photo of my girlfriend.

Have you ever forgotten anything important?
So many times! The one I remember the most is when I lost my wallet in Brazil on the way to a tournament. We were on a layover in Sao Paulo, and I left my wallet at the security booth. Luckily, I’d given my coach a card beforehand so that he could pay for the luggage, so we still had money.

Then they found my wallet and I had to go back to Sao Paulo a month later... just to pick it up. They kept it for me. I’ve had problems losing things, but we’ve always managed. My team bug me a lot because I’m very forgetful. They’re always checking to see if I’ve left something behind.

What is your favourite tournament city to visit and why?
I really like all the cities in Italy. I have great memories of when I was a boy and I still played for Canada (his country of birth). I was in this country for several months playing matches. So, I’ve travelled around it a lot. Its cities really hold great memories for me.

What is your favourite holiday destination?
I haven’t had that many holidays because when I’m not competing, I prefer to stay at home and rest with my people, or at the very most go to a city close to Santiago. But last time I went to Mar de Plata (Argentina) with my girlfriend and family. I really liked it. It was great to be with the people I love.

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How do you get over jet lag and acclimatise to the local time zone?
Fortunately, I’ve never suffered from it. My first day in Australia, for example, was perfect. In fact, when I won in Auckland, I arrived on a Thursday morning and trained. I played qualies on Saturday and ended up winning the tournament. It was incredible. To avoid jet lag, I simply keep an eye on the time on the flight. Depending on that I will sleep or distract myself so that it doesn’t hit me when I arrive.

Watching series or films can provide a welcome distraction when flying. What are your favourites?
Friends. I’ve seen it several times and I’ve been watching it for a long time. My favourite characters are Chandler and Joey.

Caring for your body is fundamental for a tennis player. How do you look after it when travelling?
As well as sleeping as much as possible and checking with my fitness coach if I have to do stretches, I travel with compression boots that help me take care of myself. I take that aspect very seriously.

What’s your craziest travel story?
It was with Tomas Barrios Vera. In Italy, as it happens. We’d gone to Lugano for a couple of days, and we were going to Como at night. We got on a train, and we didn’t know it was one of the ones that separates. Ours went on the wrong side and we arrived in the middle of the night in another city we were unfamiliar with. We had to get on another train and figure out how to go back.

Do you normally go to the airport early or do you arrive as late as possible?
I barely leave any time. I’m a disaster. I’m trying to improve because I really stress out my girlfriend when she travels with me. She’s used to getting there three hours early and I get there about an hour and a half before. Always on the limit. We’ve arrived a minute before the gate closed. But we just made it.

Editor's note: This interview has been translated from

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