Marinko “Mad Dog” Matosevic, one of the most hot-headed tennis players in the world, drew Roger Federer in the first round of the U.S. Open.
After losing his first 12 Grand Slam matches, Matosevic won in the first rounds of both this year’s French Open and Wimbledon Championships.
Here’s what you need to know about the 29-year-old Australian:
1. He Bashed Andy Murray for Having a Female Coach
Matosevic, ranked 76th in the world, caused a stir in June when he said he would never copy Andy Murray’s decision to hire a woman as his coach.
Matosevic’s comments about Murray, who appointed French former world No.1 tennis player Amelie Mauresmo as his coach, overshadowed one of the biggest wins of Matosevic’s career, when he upset ninth-seed Croatian Marin Cilic in an opening-round 6-4 6-4 win at the Queen’s Club Aegon Championship in London.
It’s all equal rights these days. Got to be politically correct. So, yeah, someone’s got to give it a go. Won’t be me.
The Australian added that he “doesn’t think highly of the women’s game.”
2. He Has Weird Celebrations
Matosevic finally won a Grand Slam match on his 13th try, defeating Dustin Brown 7-6, 6-4, 6-7, 7-5 in the first round of this year’s French Open. To celebrate, Matosevic rolled around in the clay.
Previous to that match, Matosevic, who turned pro in 2003, failed to qualify for nine majors, and then compiled an 0-12 main-draw record.
Matosevic then lost to Murray in the second round, before adding his second Grand Slam win at Wimbledon.
3. He’s Known as ‘Mad Dog’, But Says the Nickname Came From an ‘Idiot’ on Wikipedia
Matosevic has a cult following in Australia for his full-blooded passion, earning him the nickname, “Mad Dog.” In this year alone, Matosevic was condemned for kicking at a courtside camera and abusing an umpire in Cincinnati.
But ask him about the nickname, and it really gets his blood boiling.
Because it’s not my nickname. Some idiot put it on Wikipedia.
Even though he said the name is “stupid,” his personal website (marinkomatosevic.com.au) also makes reference to the name, saying: “Marinko Matosevic is one of Australia’s leading pro tennis players. A tenacious, determined player, earning him the nickname ‘Mad Dog Matosevic’, Marinko has etched his name firmly on both the Australian and world tennis playing stage.”
4. He Was Born in Bosnia and Herzegovina but Later Moved to Australia
Matosevic, who started playing tennis when he was 10 years old, also played soccer after he and his family moved from Bosnia and Herzegovina to Melbourne.
In addition to being a fan of the Socceroos, he is also a fan of the Sydney Swans in the Australian Football League.
5. He’s Won 7 Career Titles
Matosevic has five futures titles and two ATP Challenger titles. His biggest title was in July 2010 at the $75,000 Comerica Bank Challenger in Aptos, California, where he beat American Donald Young in straight sets.
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