Wilson Next Gen player, Rhyne Williams, has stretched his success from Tennessee Volunteer to pro player on the rise. And by rise we mean RISE. Williams proved himself as a junior, winning three singles futures, but since turning pro this young player has shot up over 300 spots on the ATP rankings…and that’s just in the past year. No coincidence there, folks. That kind of tennis play takes serious training and dedication; the kind of dedication that secured him a spot in the main draw of the 2012 US Open & garnered a wild card playoff win for the Australian Open. We got a chance to catch up with Williams before he boarded the flight to Oz and he was nice enough to fill us in on his strategy going into the second Slam of his career. Read on!
Wilson: Rhyne, congrats on winning the Australian Open wildcard playoffs. This makes the second major in a row for you…any differences in strategy between the US Open & Oz?
Rhyne Williams: Thank you. I have made a few improvements in my game during the preseason training such as moving forward to close out points, taking my backhand early, and serving bigger second serves. I would like to Implement those things down here in Australia.
W: What aspects of playing (or visiting) Australia are you most looking forward to?
RW: I am looking forward to seeing a new culture and meeting new people. I also really want to visit a local zoo if I have time. As for the playing aspect, just being in the main draw of a slam will be incredible. I would like to try and get some wins before heading to Melbourne.
W: On the long flight to Oz, what will you do to kill the boredom? Do you watch movies, sleep, read, etc?
RW: I probably won’t be able to sleep too long. My legs and neck usually start hurting after 6 hours then I turn to Tv and movies. I downloaded season 3 of my show Justified and also season 10 of Family Guy. Maybe there will be someone seated next to me who is halfway interesting.
W: You’ve really blazed up the rankings in the past year. Is there anything specific you would attribute that to?
RW: I would attribute a lot to my fitness level which has increased probably 30 percent. I still have a lot of work to do but I am getting there. Also I am happy traveling with my cousin/coach Christopher Williams. He has helped me a bunch with my mental game.
W: What are your professional goals for 2013?
RW: In 2013 I just want to give myself opportunities to make the Grand Slam main draws. Either by qualifying or making main draw off of ranking. An amazing year would be finishing near the top 100. That’s a hefty goal.
W: What about personal? Any New Years Resolutions?
RW: Hmm… I have not made any New Years resolutions but I guess it’s not too late. How about I limit myself to pizza once a month. That’s going to hurt.