(August 31, 2015) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – In qualifying for the US Open, Sweden’s Elias Ymer became only the second man to qualify at all four Grand Slams in a single season. The world No. 144 on the ATP World Tour lost in his first round main draw match to Diego Schwartzman of Argentina 6-3, 6-2, 6-2. He took time out after his loss to speak to Tennis Panorama News.
Tennis Panorama News: Can you talk about the rare feat of making all for major main draws through the qualies in the same year? Can you talk about your road through the qualies?
Elias Ymer: Of course it’s a big effort. I was really motivated in the qualies. I played every slam I wanted to make the main draw. I was really working in the qualies, focusing on every match. I had good structure before every match, planning, everything was good. I earned it, I was winning every match. I really played good in the qualies.
TPN: Most challenging qualies?
EY: I think in Australia when I was playing my first qualies. When I qualified it was really like, I felt the most in Australian because the others, I feel of course but it’s not the same feeling. The first one is an unreal feeling.
TPN: How did you get into playing tennis?
EY: My father was a professional runner and my parents come from Ethiopia and my father wanted me to be a runner but I don’t like running so much you know. In Ethiopia everyone running and when we came to Sweden. In Sweden tennis is a big sport, they have so many great players.
TPN: There has been a bit of a tennis player drought in Sweden, do you feel pressure because of it?
EY: No. I wish I had some players coming up with me, so I was not the only one. They could challenge me and I could challenge them we would move up together. It is what it is now and I have to see some other young guys coming up. I try to focus against them and challenge them.
TPN: Who were your tennis idols? Did you mimic them in your style?
EY: Not really because I haven’t see many players who play like me I play really different because, sometimes when I try to watch and see who I’m playing like, I cannot find the guy.
TPN: Describe your playing style.
EY: Aggressive from both sides. I need to be a little bit more consistent. When I’m playing really good, everything works for me sometimes when I’m little off I can be up and down. I use my forehand a lot to move the players side to side, trying to come to the net, I know it’s going to come, my game.
TPN: So who were the tennis players you admired?
EY: Of course Sweden has a lot of players… I was always too young, we never really had one to look up to. (Robin) Soderling was a Swedish player we were watching quite young. What he has done is unbelievable. It was sad when he had stopped playing.
TPN: Do you speak to any of the former Swedish pros?
EY: I speak a lot with Magnus Norman and Stephan Edberg. Twos guy who I really admire, really admire. They know a lot about tennis and they are a big help.
TPN: You are only 19, what’s been the highlight of your career so far?
EY: When I qualified for all four slams is a big highlight and I have to say when I qualified in Australia, it was a dream come true, actually to play in the main draw. Because I’ve been wanting to play in Grand Slams, it’s what you dream of.
TPN: Do you have any goals set for you within the next year?
EY: I think this loss for me was very important. I saw a lot of stuff I need (to work on), I have a lot of work ahead of me, I’m going to need to put my head down and work my a** off because it’s not coming easy. This job is like really tough and I have a lot of work.
TPN: What are your plans for the rest of the year?
EY: I’m going to Turkey, then I’m going to stay in Europe playing some ATPs mixed with Challengers.
Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama News at the US Open