American Tennys Sandgren, who had a career performance in Australia but fell into the social media rabbit hole in the process, surfaced on Tuesday.
The 26-year-old from Gallatin, Tennessee returned home after reaching the Australian Open quarterfinals. And he then withdrew from his next two tournaments – the Dallas Challenger and the ATP Tour event in Quito, Ecuador.
Under normal circumstances, he’d have been eliminated from the Australian Open early enough that he no doubt would have made those dates.
But these were not normal circumstances. And Sandgren also had some reflecting to do after making some questionable calls in handling the situation when Twitter devotees put his Tweeting history under the microscope.
The American, who’s been training at the USTA facility in Lake Nona, Fla., did an interview Tuesday lasting 14 minutes, 41 seconds with a couple of guys on sports radio WNML in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Through those 14 minutes and 41 seconds, not a single question was asked about the other side of Sandgren’s Australian Open experience.
Of course, Sandgren no doubt knew that going in. It may even have been a stipulation. So it was a smart choice on his part.
They talked about a lot of things, including the weather in Australia, how Sandgren kept his cool on the court, and how you string your rackets more loosely when the weather is cooler.
Asking the tough questions
“What was it like to see so many different developments around the bracket (draw)?”
“You served terrifically, until you got to the quarterfinals, and I wonder if you think that was the most improved part of your game since you left Tennessee.”
“Does this help your confidence going forward, or does it add pressure, expectations?”
“Is it a surreal feeling to be playing in Rod Laver arena, with Rod Laver in attendance?
“(Tour life) sounds like a great travelogue. Are there parts you can’t wait to get back to to enjoy the cuisine or the culture?”
“Best surface? Hard courts, grass or clay?
“What about grass does not suit you?”
Sandgren is ramping up the tennis again. He’ll do the rest of the South American clay-court swing in Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. And then he returns to the U.S. for Indian Wells and Miami.
This time a year ago, Sandgren’s itinerary was San Francisco, Tempe, Drummondville, Guadalajara and Leon. All on the Challenger circuit.
At a career-best No. 54 in the rankings, the landscape has changed.