Delray Beach Open: Adrian Mannarino might be the coolest player
Feb 05, 2024
The Delray Beach Open announced that ATP world no. 19, Adrian Mannarino, will be back at the tournament for the 11th time. Mannarino recently cracked the Top 20 for the first time at age 35 after winning three titles last season.
And Mannarino might be the coolest player to watch at this year's DBO. Mannarino brings a brand of french finesse rarely seen in tennis these days. With his short backswing, the lefty uses the other players' power — sort of like tennis jui-jitsu. Part of his secret is his extremely low string tension.
Above: Adrian Mannarino. Photo: ATP Tour.
Giri Nathan explains in Racquet Magazine, "Mannarino reportedly had his sticks strung at a hilarious 19 lbs for the Delray Open [last] year. Tension that low turns the string bed into a trampoline, granting him easy power from baby swings. This combo of gear and technique is easy on the body, and he has the rare timing to pull it off, taking every ball early and placing it with care."
At the Australian Open, after dispatching tennis phenom Ben Shelton, Mannarino didn't drink Gatorade, a protein shake, or vegetable juice. No. Instead, he explained, "I started tequila. That helps [me] to not think too much. You just keep going. Sometimes, you need to clear your brain and stop thinking... it relaxes the muscles, man!"
Above: Mannarino is renowned on tour for some stunning trick shots. YouTube: US Open Tennis Championships.
In another strange turn, Mannarino apparently has no apparel sponsor and he's incredibly superstitious about avoiding the draw during a tournament — the Frenchman does not want to know his opponent until about an hour before the match.
“I don't think I need to prepare special for these kind of matches,” Mannarino told ATPTour.com. “Many players like to play with a lefty before playing a lefty, practicing with a righty before playing a righty. I just think that's bulls*%!" He adds, "They want everything to be perfect. For me, doesn't really matter."
Mannarino's easy going, flat-hitting, old-school style is really fun to watch — especially in an era of heavy topspin power baseliners who love to demolish the tennis ball. Don't miss the Frenchman nicknamed "Manna" at this year's Delray Beach Open. He's someone who could prove to be dangerous for any opponent.