Alex Michelsen debuted in the Top 100 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings earlier this month, at the end of a great year on the ATP Challenger Tour, in a season that also included a final in Newport in his second ATP Tour tournament.
But what is the 19-year-old American like off the court? ATPTour.com speaks to the world No. 97 in Jeddah to discover his passion for video games, American football and much more…
If you could have dinner with three people, who would they be and why?
I would say George Washington. I would choose my friend Shoda. And at number three, difficult decision… Daniil Medvedev.
Why George Washington?
Because he founded the United States, the best country in history (laughs).
And why Medvedev? You get along with?
Because he plays like me. We are both very long and play from the back, shooting a lot of balls. I’m obviously not as good as him. But maybe someday. I think we can play similarly.
If you weren’t a tennis player, what job would you like and why?
I feel like I would have been a professional gamer because I was very good at video games growing up. So he would have been a good gamer. He was very good at Fortnite.
Do you still play on the circuit?
Sometimes. I play a lot when we are at home with my colleague Learner Tien and he is even better than me.
Describe your perfect day if you weren’t a tennis player.
I would get up at 9 am. I would eat pancakes and then play video games for 10 hours. Then I would play with my dog for an hour. Then maybe I’d go swimming at night and go to bed. Sometimes I like to do nothing.
If you had to choose between attending a concert or a sporting event, which would you choose and why?
A sporting event. Probably American football. I love the Seattle Seahawks. I’d like to go see them play before any music concert.
Have you been to a game recently? Can you go to their games on your schedule?
I haven’t been to a football game since I was 13 years old. I’ve been pretty busy (laughs).
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Who are your best friends on the circuit?
I have many American companions. Learner, I train with him at home. Abdullah [Shelbayh] He’s one of my colleagues here. I’ve known him for a long time, in the summer. He’s a great guy.
I don’t really have too many friends on the circuit, because I just started. But I would say some Challengers guys like [Denis] usually, [Tennys] Sand branch.
What is one of the most interesting things you have done in your life?
I think walking through the old town [en Jeddah] Last night was a pretty incredible experience. She had never seen anything like it, had never been close to this part of the world. I saw the culture and historic buildings and it was like wow! It was an incredible experience. It has never happened to me that I was fascinated for so long.
Like every year at the Next Gen ATP Finals, the tournament will debut many rules and new features. What do you think? Are there any that you are interested in trying?
I like that there are only 15 seconds between points, when there is only serve and return or two strokes or less. I like that, because sometimes I feel like there are players who take too long and I like to play a little faster. So I think it will be good for me and good for others too.
What is the most important thing you learned from your time on the ATP Challenger Tour and ATP Tour this year, after qualifying for Jeddah?
Playing both, they are all good. Everyone can play Challenger and on the ATP Tour, and it’s very hard. You just have to prepare for each game and hope that everyone will bring out their best version.