Better Be…

By Hanya El Ghetany

While we take a break until our next 1000-level event, I thought of playing a Harry Potter game and sorting some of the ATP players into houses based on their characters on the tennis court and during interviews. I don’t know them personally, obviously. So, this is just based on what we see on TV. 

Let’s remind ourselves of some of the qualities of the houses. Gryffindors show bravery, helping others, and chivalry. Hufflepuffs exhibit hard work, patience, loyalty, and fair play. Ravenclaws display intelligence, knowledge, planning, and wit. Slytherins are ambitious, cunning, and resourceful. They also value heritage. As wizards and witches like to always remind muggles, Slytherins are not all bad and Hufflepuff are not all useless. 

This is just my personal opinion so feel free to share yours!

HUFFLEPUFF 

“You might belong in Hufflepuff,

Where they are just and loyal,

Those patient Hufflepuffs are true,

And unafraid of toil”

Grigor Dimitrov 

Screenshot: U.S. Open

There is a video that was circulating where ATP Tennis players described Dimitrov in one word. Nadal said “elegance”, Djokovic said “friendly”, Berrettini said “flexible”, and Sinner said “style”. Thiem said “beautiful” (I mean, who wouldn’t agree?). It’s clear that Dimitrov is well-respected and loved on the tour. His game is one of the most visually appealing on tour. His enormous, goofy smile and his comedic regret when he misses an easy shot are always fun to watch. Remember when he said “you’re welcome” to Jordan Thompson? If there’s ever a charming supporting protagonist, it’s him. 

Alexander Bublik 

Screenshot: Tennis TV

If Hufflepuff were created for a player, it would be Bublik. Bublik is just so fun to watch because his facial expressions after a crazy point almost always mimic that of the viewers at home and on the court. If we think that he hit the best serve in his life, he instantly says “that’s the best serve I’ve ever hit.” His personality makes his matches enjoyable. He is hard-working, talented, and plays to win but also enjoys the game. I honestly always look forward to his exchange with his opponent after any of his matches. Hilarious. 

Taylor Fritz

What’s more Hufflepuff than signing a question mark on the camera after winning a big tournament? Taylor strikes me as a humble, good, honest guy who calmly continues with his business, preparing for his chance at greatness. *Hint: Diggory* He also went for In-N-Out Burger for a celebratory meal after the win. If that isn’t proof…

Dominic Thiem

Thiem is a Harry Potter fan himself! That said, the only evidence I have to put him in Hufflepuff is his fun personality on Instagram during his Q&A sessions. He once said he’d rather talk to animals than learn all the languages in the world. I have a feeling, though, that he would put himself in Gryffindor. Tough to argue given some of the shots he goes for under pressure.

SLYTHERIN 

“Or perhaps in Slytherin,

You’ll make your real friends,

Those cunning folk use any means,

To achieve their ends.”

Novak Djokovic 

Screenshot: U.S. Open

“When the crowd chanted ‘Roger’ I heard ‘Novak’.”

“Knowledge can be a curse if you don’t use it.” 

“I’m constantly looking for the right formula to be the strongest of all.”

Novak, in my opinion, is the good side of Slytherin. He is able to use the house’s qualities to his advantage. He manages hostile crowds superbly and frequently converts them into enthusiasm. This shows resourcefulness. His perseverance and mental discipline are admirable. He has expressed an interest in becoming a coach and passing on his expertise of the sport toward the next generation of tennis players – this shows heritage. He always wants to be the best and that shows ambition.

Nick Kyrgios

Screenshot: Australian Open

“Are you good at tennis? Exactly, so why are you speaking? Do I tell him [Ben Stiller] how to act?”

While I will respectfully choose to ignore the recent incidents that clearly put Kyrgios in Slytherin, the quality that strikes me the most about Nick is his cunningness. He tries to distract his opponents sometimes in clever ways and other times in deceitful ways to win the game. He is also clever in winning the crowd with his debatably funny personality. However, we saw what happens when this kind of Slytherin personality meets a nerve of steel like Sinner. *Wink-wink*. 

GRYFFINDOR 

“You might belong in Gryffindor,

Where dwell the brave at heart,

Their daring, nerve and chivalry

Set Gryffindors apart”

Rafael Nadal 

“I enjoy a lot of times playing with wind because for me it’s a challenge”

“For me, it is important to win titles and for that I need to work hard, stay healthy and be able to compete. The rest, I always say, it comes” 

Putting aside all of his career, Nadal’s remarkable comeback at the Australian Open this year and winning the tournament after dealing with a tough injury is enough to put him in Gryffindor. He loves a challenge and does not run away from a test, and he not only loves to win but needs to win. That showcases Gryffindor qualities. 

Carlos Alcaraz 

Screenshot: Tennis TV

Alcaraz screams Gryffindor. I do not have much evidence on Alcaraz except his runs in the Sunshine Swing. Winning his first Masters 1000 at just 18 just takes nerves of steel and a daring personality. 

RAVENCLAW 

“Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw,

If you’ve a ready mind,

Where those of wit and learning,

Will always find their kind.”

Andy Murray

Ravenclaws place a high priority on knowledge. We all know that Murray is one of the few outspoken tennis players out there – not just in tennis, but in politics as well. This indicates that this guy loves to read and educate himself. Whether you agree with him or not, he’s a guy who is opinionated and that is a clear Ravenclaw. He supports women’s tennis greatly and is known to shut down reporters’ sexism. He is also someone who understands where he is and what he needs to work on as a tennis player. He knows his strengths and weaknesses – that’s wit. 

Roger Federer 

Screenshot: Tennis TV

Federer, my favourite player, was particularly difficult to put in a house. I initially thought he would be an easy Gryffindor but then giving it a second go, I thought, hang on, he makes a great Ravenclaw. Nadal and Alcaraz are Gryffindors, but Federer’s Gryffindor qualities, though well-articulated, are hidden underneath a smart mind and a shrewd outlook. Ravenclaws are undoubtedly Hogwarts’ nerd house. To even go into the dormitories, you have to solve a puzzle. That’s a tremendous amount of commitment and knowledge. I can see Federer passing the test but not Alcaraz or Nadal. Roger definitely has courage and chivalry but chooses how to show them to the fans, and I think that shows intelligence. 

If you enjoyed reading this, I’m willing to go for part two!

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