Not many know that Chilean Nicolas Jarry's family has been into tennis for several generations. His grandfather was a former tennis player himself - and a pretty good one at that. Jaime Filllol Sr., his grandfather was World No.
14 in 1974 and won 6 ATP titles during his career, which ended in 1985. Fillol's brother, Alvaro Fillol and son, Jaime Fillol, also played on the ATP Tour but did not achieve the same success that Fillol Sr. did. Speaking to the ATP Tour website, Fillol Sr.
says, “For us as a family, it’s really beautiful to have a member in the world of tennis. Obviously, I hope that Nico beats me. But I’m already history. My only interest is his happiness and that he enjoys all the opportunities this sport offers”.
Fillol Sr., who is now 73 years old, was the one who encouraged Jarry to play tennis as a youngster. “When he was very small, I would give him a racquet or something made of wood and play at my house. We would go to the garden and I would explain that the courts at Wimbledon were like that.
We played in the hallways and I told him it was an indoor court. I talked to him all the time about tennis." Jarry, who is now 24 years old and won his first ATP title in Bastad earlier this year, says, "On beach holidays, they would take suitcases filled with different balls that we could play with.
We even liked surfing. My granddad gradually convinced me to get into tennis. Little by little, he became my role model”. Jarry was certainly influenced by his grandfather, who took him to ATP tournaments, helped him take his photo with the legends of the game and made him meet the greats of Chilean tennis.
Jarry's grandad also played in the World Team Cup, the earlier version of the new ATP Cup event where Jarry will be representing Chile in January. “I’m maybe at the best point of my career. It’s good for me.
Everything has been positive recently and I want to continue in the same vein. To me, events where you play for your country have always been special. Playing tennis in Chile is a really beautiful thing for me”.