"You can't be named like a sport if you suck at it" - Tennys Sandgren



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"You can't be named like a sport if you suck at it" - Tennys Sandgren

American Tennys Sandgren is set to make his main-draw debut at the French Open, which begins on Sunday. The 25-year-old was rewarded with a wild card into the season’s second Grand Slam. Sandgren will be part of the French Open for the first time since 2013, when his ranking was a lowly 278.

Sandgren won the Challenger tournament in Savannah—defeating Joao Pedro Sorgi in the final—earlier this month to earn a spot at Roland Garros. Sandgren, who grew up in Tennessee, decided to drive from Nashville to Sarasota—rather than fly—for the Challenger event there in April.

It was cheaper, and necessary. "It's taking some time to sink in," Sandgren recently told ESPN "It's a wild card, but it means a lot because it was earned. The thought process now is, which would be better? Playing a big name on a big court or something more manageable? That argument ends if the big name is Rafael Nadal.

I don't want to play him, period." Sandgren knows the person he speaks about. He had his best result in the junior event of a Grand Slam at Roland Garros in 2009. That year, in a practice session, he got a taste of the lethal Rafael Nadal forehand.

About the funny coincidence of his name with the sport he plays, he says, "I figured that, with my name, I can't be bad at the sport,” Sandgren said. “I didn't think I had to be particularly good, but at least functional.

You can't be named like a sport if you suck at it. No added pressure to be sensational. But I think I've done my job.” He’s currently ranked No. 112 in the ATP world tour rankings. Also Read: Wawrinka: 'I'm not going through a crisis'