As the men’s tennis team opens its fall tournament season this weekend, get the chance to get to know one of its top players, junior Alistair “Ali” Felton. In this exclusive interview, Felton reveals his coach’s addiction to a sandwich store, how tennis has prepared him for Quidditch, and his thoughts on the 2008 women’s French Open champion. Every week, The Full-Court Press will give you the sort of personal scoop that you’re not likely to hear at a typical press conference.
Name: Alistair Felton
Stats: Last year, Felton went 6-8 in tournaments and 11-10 (6-2 Ivy) in dual play; he was positioned as high as the No. 2 court during the season. In doubles, Felton went 11-7 in fall tournaments, and 15-6 (5-1) in the spring. He will begin this season at the Northeast Invitational in Providence, R.I., this weekend.
Now, to the questions!
1. Typical pre-game meal.
For home matches, it'll be pasta and whatever HUDS cooked up. If it's an away game, we usually end up at the sandwich shop Jimmy John's, as our coach has a mild obsession with that place.
2. Songs you listen to before games to get pumped up.
I like to listen to some Scandinavian rock music whilst I'm walking over the river to the courts.
3. Favorite team to play against and why.
Columbia, because our matches are always very close and incredibly loud. Since I've been on the team, we've beaten them twice and they've beaten us twice, so a big rivalry has developed between us.
4. Most ridiculous thing that has taken place in your team's locker room.
Nothing much happens in our locker room, as it is so small that fitting more than four people in there at once is pretty ridiculous.
5. Most embarrassing moment you've had on the court.
After missing an easy forehand in a match last year, I shouted, "I could have made that shot when I was 15!", which looking back was pretty pathetic.
6. Animal that best represents your style of play and why.
A raccoon, as it can be both aggressive and cunning.
7. The most ridiculous thing you've heard a fan yell at a game you were playing in.
Against Yale last year, some fans cheered wildly and hung a letter 'A' from the viewing balcony every time our number one player hit an ace. There were 15 A's up by the end of the match, so I thought that was awesome.
8. If you could play for another sports team at Harvard, which would it be and why?
Definitely the soccer team. It's the best sport in the world, and I love the atmosphere at the matches.
9. Position you'd play in Quidditch.
Erm, I guess a beater, as my skills at hitting a tennis ball might translate to batting away a flying bludger.
10. If you could go on a date with any professional athlete, who would it be?
The Serbian tennis player Ana Ivanović; she's just beautiful and I think she'd be quite fun, too.