Miomir Kecmanovic, who entered the Australian Open, had reached the second round on a major seven times, but never progressed. On Wednesday, the Serb defeated American Tommy Paul to reach the third round at this level for the first time.
Learn about Kecmanovic’s life off the field in this edition of ATPTour.com’s ‘Nomadic Life’ series, before taking on 25th-seeded Lorenzo Sonego in the third round.
What are two essential non-tennis items that you always take with you when you travel?
A face mask, hand disinfection, those are the two most important things at the moment. I need my phone, iPad, headphones, maybe some snacks, something like that. The neck pillow. Those are the essentials.
What item did you forget to bring that worried you?
Nothing big. Actually I once packed the wrong strings for the trip, but otherwise maybe some clothes or something.
Do you enjoy traveling the world or do you just think it’s something you have to do to become a professional tennis player? If you like it, what do you like about travel?
I don’t enjoy it as much as before [the pandemic], but i like to travel. You get to see so many cool places, so many different things. It’s pretty cool to see so many things at such a young age.
Can you tell us about a time when you decided to play a specific tournament, partly because you wanted to travel to that city?
I’ll save that for later in my career as I get older and closer to retirement. Then I will choose where to go because of the sites.
What is your favorite tournament city to visit and why?
I liked Acapulco, it was pretty good. The big ones are Miami, Paris, New York, Melbourne. All major cities are great.
Is there a landmark or somewhere on the road that was super cool?
Maybe the Colosseum or the Eiffel Tower. I haven’t been to many of the wonders of the world, but I definitely want to go to Machu Picchu, it’s on the bucket list.
Where is your favorite holiday destination?
Just somewhere where the sea is. Acapulco was great. I used to go to Croatia a lot. The coast is great there. I also went to Montenegro once, it was great, but I want to go to the Maldives. That’s next.
What is your craziest travel story?
[Last year] to get to Cordoba I took a 50 hour journey so that is now at the top of my list. It took forever to get there. [That took] lots of movies, lots of sleep and just trying not to sit for the whole 50 hours. The journey was Melbourne-Doha, then three hours waiting, then Doha-Amsterdam, six and a half hours, then Amsterdam-Buenos Aires, we waited six hours in Buenos Aires and then to Cordoba.
There was the one time we came to a Futures event in Florida, we rented a house, Airbnb, everything looked great. The house looked big and then we got there and the guy had just rented out the garage and he was just posting pictures of the house to get some people there. We slept in the garage for two weeks.
As a tennis player, taking care of your body is paramount, so how do you take care of it on long journeys?
I try to lie down as much as possible, because sitting is starting to hurt. I try to lie down if I can and maybe stretch a little when I get out to maybe loosen up a bit.
How do you try to overcome jet lag and acclimate to the local time zone?
I’m just trying to get through it. The first few days are crucial. When you get there and it’s 5:00 PM and you want to sleep, you have to resist. Just go to those 10 o’clock and you’ll be fine.
Do you prefer the feeling of newness and excitement of a tournament in a city you’ve never been to or the comfort and familiarity of cities you know well?
I like to go to places I already know, where you know everything. Even the new places, once you get everything figured out, it’s always great.
Do you have any tips for feeling comfortable during a flight? And how do you pass the time?
The good chance I have is that I can afford to fly business on the longer flights, so that’s a really big plus. But when I travel in economy, as soon as there is a free seat I try to take one where there are two to three seats. I always have to have the neck pillow, the socks that go up for the veins, for pressure. [You have to] wear comfortable clothes – no jeans.
Are you someone who has a lot of time to spare at the airport or are you unable to get out?
early. I get nervous there might be a lot of people, maybe a queue. “What if we miss it?” So I always like to be a little early. I missed a flight, but because of the connection, not because it was my fault.