Yaroslav Demin: "I enjoyed playing golf"

The 18-year-old Yaroslav Demin became the champion of the junior Northern Palmyra Trophies tournament defeating Egor Pleshivtsev in a decisive tiebreak 6/7(9), 6/3, 10-5.

- Congratulations on your victory! Tell us about your two matches in the North Palmyra Trophies tournament, how did the game go, and was it an easy victory for you?

Unfortunately, I haven't finished a match on the center court yet [the end of the meeting was moved to Court No. 1 - ed.]. The first match was tough because I played against my good friend [Daniel Khazime]. Plus, it was the center court, the first match. I have more experience playing on big courts, and it was more challenging for my opponent. The first set was quite tough. We were going game by game, and at 4/4, I made a break, it became 5/4, and then they moved us to another court.

Later, I read in the comments that no one could find that court to watch the match. Anyway, I won the first set 6/4, and the second 6/1.

Today's match was quite challenging, but in a different way. I had to gather myself 100% because my opponent [Egor Pleshivtsev] was also serious. I've said before that when a professional plays not his best tennis, he still finds a way to win. I found that and won this match! I have experience playing against such opponents.

- Tell us, who accompanies you at this tournament? Who is your active support group?

My parents came with me: Alexander and Julia. I am very grateful for their support, traveling with me. I love them very much. My sister was supposed to come too, but she couldn't.

- Who is your biggest fan in the family? Who never misses any of your matches?

Both. Mom and Dad can't go to sleep before they watch me play. They worry a lot. My sister Ekaterina also cares a lot.

- You were at the newlyweds' celebration yesterday. Tell us about that evening.

We just had dinner. We all sat together in a very pleasant company. Alexander is a very good friend of mine. I met Anastasia at Wimbledon. We warmed up together before her match. I'm very happy for Alexander and Anastasia, they both did a great job planning this. I wish them happiness and long-lasting love.

- Tell us, what kind of tennis player is Yaroslav Demin? From a character standpoint. Are you different as a person and as a professional tennis player?

100% different. Off the court, I'm very cheerful, possibly funny, but not serious. But in matches, it seems like I'm ready to kill someone when I play (laughs). I get very angry. But I think it's even good. In tennis, you need to have character. I definitely have that.

- If we asked you to create the image of the perfect tennis player, taking different components of the game from different players, what would it be?

Serve - Daniil Medvedev, forehand - Andrey Rublev, backhand and court movement - Novak Djokovic, slice - Daniel Evans, and character, I also think, Novak Djokovic.

- When you step onto the court, do you associate yourself with a certain character? Or a superhero?

When I play, I feel like Novak Djokovic. How I move on the court, how I play.

- Who was your idol when you were just starting in tennis? Was it Novak?

No, it was Rafael Nadal. I train at his academy.

- Abdul Shellybay and Coleman Wong are graduates of Nadal's academy who have performed well this year. Does their example inspire you?

Yes, we are good friends. It's nice to see that they are growing in their tennis careers. Abdul is in the top 200, and Coleman is just beyond 200, but he has risen recently. I'm very happy for them. They are doing great. I'll catch up to them and surpass them soon.

- Yesterday Svyatoslav Gulin played in Maspalomas, did you follow the match? How do you evaluate his progress?

Yes. Especially how he celebrates his victories. It's great! He's a good guy; he's rising. He definitely has the game; he just has some mental issues. But he's working a lot on it now. Everything is working out for him. Everyone has their own path in tennis.

- What hobbies do you have in life? What helps you switch off and relax?

I'm the kind of person who is ready to lie in bed all day and do nothing, just relax. I don't have many hobbies, but I enjoyed golf. I played once. I'm still very bad, but I like golf.

- Did you manage to see anything in Saint Petersburg? Perhaps there are some plans?

Last year we visited the Yusupov Palace. This time I haven't been anywhere yet because I was focused on the tournament.

- Are you going to Basta's concert?

Yes, I am.

- What music do you like? What's on your playlist?

I love rap, hip-hop, both American and Russian, whatever I like.

- Is there any artist whose concert you would like to attend and maybe even meet in person?

50 Cent, he recently performed in Kazakhstan.

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