One of the final six countries to qualify for the inaugural ATP Cup was Moldova, led by World No. 46 Radu Albot. The 30-year-old, who claimed his first ATP Tour title this year in Delray Beach, is the highest-ranked player in his country’s history as well as its only titlist.
Albot speaks to ATPTour.com about how important Moldova’s participation in the ATP Cup is for tennis in his country, what the opportunity means for his teammates and what he loves most about Moldova.
What would it mean to you to lead your country into the ATP Cup?
I think it’s pretty big for Moldova because bigger countries like Ukraine and Romania, which border Moldova, did not get in. It is cool for our country and for me also of course, being No. 1 in Moldova and playing matches against top players. It will be very interesting, so it will be good for the country, good for me. Only positive things to get from that.
Speaking of how important it is for you to start the year against top competition, so how much of an opportunity is it for you to face those tough matches right away?
I don’t mind. It’s good to play against the top guys. It’s good that you have a chance to get matches against them… I don’t mind to play with the top guys, for sure.
I guess I’ll be playing both matches, both matches, singles and doubles. You have to play and if I’m No. 1, I need to go on the court to compete.
You’re not on a team too often, so what will that experience be like for you?
I think I just need to focus on my matches because my matches will be much stronger playing against the top guys in the world. From there, we’ll see who we’re going to play, how we’re going to play and so on.
What do you love most about your country?
I like that in Moldova, people are very simple. They are very hospitable. They will invite you in your house, invite you for dinner, for a glass wine, something like that. These two characteristics are for most of the Moldovan people. That’s what I like the most from my country and my people.