An Interview With Ruben Bemelmans (@rubenbemelmans) From the Glasgow Challenger
Niall Clarke, Tennis Atlantic
During my time in Glasgow I caught up with world number 163 Ruben Bemelmans. We discussed the Glasgow tournament, Davis Cup, and much more.
Of course you are playing Glasgow this week. How are you finding it thus far?
“As a city I haven’t been able to go around, but I have been here for Davis Cup and it was very nice. As for the tournament, I believe that organisation with the shuttles could be a bit better for transportation. But it’s been a great tournament with a lot of players and a good level, and it’s always good to play in the UK.”
In your first round match against Adam Pavalsek you were a set and a break down. Tell us your thoughts on the match and how you adjusted to come from behind and win?
“I just kept fighting. I didn’t feel my best because I played a tournament last week and came in on Monday, so I had to adjust to the balls and the courts. But I just kept fighting and I think I played more solid on the important points than him (Adam).”
How confident are you in taking home the title this week?
“Title? I have to play second round first, so I am looking at it round by round. Obviously I have to play better to go further, but I am feeling good and confident. If I can keep raising my game and fighting round by round, who knows what will happen.”
You made the main draw at the Australian Open, but lost to Ivo Karlovic in the first round. How was your experience in Melbourne?”
“To play Ivo isn’t as much fun as playing the other guys. He’s got a big serve, and he was on fire that day because he played amazing from the back. I played him a few times and I was a bit better from the back on them occasions, but in that match he smacked forehands everywhere so I had little chance. But I qualified with a lot of confidence, and now I am playing good so it was a good start to the year for me.”
You will be competing with Belgium in the Davis Cup next month and you will be facing Switzerland. What are your thoughts on that upcoming tie?
:A lot depends on if the two big names will come (Wawrinka and Federer). It’s always a big question mark if they will come, but the latest news I heard was that Federer isn’t playing, but you never know he might decide to play the week before. If they both come it will be really tough for us. Of course we have David Goffin, Steve Darcis and myself as the number three, so it will be interesting if only one or neither of them come.”
Goffin of course has had a lot of recent success. How is that inspiring you as a fellow Belgian player?
“I think what he achieved last year was unbelievable. I won’t say I will be able to do that, but it certainly pushes you for me, and makes it possible. We have practiced together and a lot of the time it was even, so I think you need to strike at the right time and be lucky, but you also need a lot of skill. But of course, David’s success is pushing everybody in Belgium to get better.”
What do you feel you have to do to become a consistent ATP main draw player?
“I think I proved yesterday that if you keep fighting you are never done. The key for me is to keep going for every shot and not be afraid to make mistakes. It’s no secret in tennis that you have to keep going and work hard, so that’s what I need to do.”
What are your main goals for the 2015 season?
“My first goal is to make the main draw at Roland Garros. I have no points to defend until the summer so everything I take now is a bonus. I picked up some points last week which will take me to around 150 in the world, so I think it’s a fair goal. My overall of course is to make the main draw in all the grand slams though.”
Thanks to Ruben for taking time out of his day to chat with Niall in Glasgow!