German Mischa Zverev accomplished a lifelong goal last month at the Nature Valley International in Eastbourne when he won his maiden ATP World Tour title. But winning a title every year won’t make Zverev’s tennis career a success, at least according to what he shared in this installment of “On The Line”, a question-and-answer series about life off the court.
What’s your biggest passion outside of sport and why?
Flying. I love airplanes. I love aviation. I love flying… I’m a pilot. I have a license. That’s my passion… [I fly] not very often because my license is only good in the U.S. so I can only fly when I’m here in the States. Last time I flew was I think August last year so it’s been awhile… In Tampa, I flew from home airport to home airport, stayed in the vicinity, did a couple landings, just flew around to get a feel for it again.
Anyone else in the plane?
No, when I don’t fly very often, first couple times I have to go by myself just to make sure everything’s good, and then start taking passengers.
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What do you fly?
A single-engine, four-seater, so a Cessna 172, Piper Cherokee, something like that… I don’t have my own plane; I just rent… I always loved aviation. I like driving cars, I like driving boats and I love flying, so everything that has to do with manoeuvring and piloting, I love all that… Since I was little, I saw those big machines flying, I was fascinated.
What was the last book you read?
Russian book with a lot of short stories. I always have a few books, I try to read in Russian, German and English.
The last concert or show you attended?
Last year for my birthday (August), we went to a play, Macbeth, in New York, and it was where you are part of the play. It was this unique experience where you’re in a building, four stories, and you walk around and the actors are all around you. Sometimes they walk straight at you. You have to get out of the way.
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Favourite sport to watch besides tennis and why?
Basketball. I enjoy basketball. I’ve always loved basketball. First time I came to the U.S. [when I was 5], the first live sports I ever watched was basketball, the Miami Heat, and since then I’ve just been passionate about basketball. I do like watching fishing on TV, it’s very relaxing. It’s a good start for a Saturday morning or Sunday morning. That’s something I really enjoy.
Person, outside of significant other and your parents, whom you admire the most?
I think athletes like [Michael] Jordan and Roger Federer are the people I admire the most, for what they did on court and off the court.
My tennis career will be a success if I ________________.
Stop missing easy volleys.
After my tennis career, I want to _____________.
Fly more airplanes.