‘I am actually not my idol any more,’ says 18-year-old Anton Matusevich.
A year since the precocious Brit boldly declared at Wimbledon that he was his own tennis idol, he has been replaced on the pedestal in his mind.
Now, that spot is shared by three people – his grandfather, the mathematician Leonhard Euler, and the composer Johann Sebastian Bach.
But while he may now have other idols, Matusevich – who is through to the third round of the boys’ singles – has not dropped these big opinions, about himself or life.
By way of an example, he told Sportsmail after his win on Tuesday: ‘I don’t believe in ice baths. Cold water, so what? I don’t think it helps at all. I just stretch and roll and get a massage.’ Then he admitted that when 0-40 down on an opponent’s serve he occasionally stops trying.
‘I am actually pretty tired so I mean on some games, even yesterday, if I feel like I wasn’t actually going to take a serve, when I was like 40-0 down, I was like “OK let’s just let him have the game” and I’ll just focus on my serve.’
Matusevich is a bright lad who plays grade 7 piano and attends Judd School in Kent. It’s predicted he will gain two A*s and an A in his A Levels in Maths, Further Maths and Economics.
On Wednesday, Matusevich, who reached last year’s quarter-finals at Wimbledon, will face the world number one and junior French Open champion Holger Rune. And the Brit characteristically did not hold back in his view’s of the 16-year-old Dane.
‘He is one of the strongest guys in the draw. The guy has no life, he just plays tennis every bloody day. He is just going to make so many balls, lock in every point, he’s got nothing in his life apart from tennis to do.
‘All I see on Instagram is him feeding a bunch of balls. The guy is good at tennis, you’ve got to give him credit for that, but I’ll try to mentally get in his head, that is the key.’
Matusevich and Arthur Fery are the only British boys through to the third round, while only one Briton has got through in the girls’ singles – Matilda Mutavdzic. Eight British boys and seven British girls were knocked out before the third round.