Defending the Net: Hockey's Henrik Lundqvist Talks Up Tennis

by: Ed McGrogan | August 21, 2013

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On Monday, tennis fan and National Hockey League goaltender Henrik Lundqvist joined defending U.S. Open champion Andy Murray in New York City to announce next year's BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden, part of World Tennis Day. The seventh edition of the event will pit Bob and Mike Bryan against John and Patrick McEnroe in doubles, followed by a singles match featuring Murray and Novak Djokovic.

I caught up with the New York Rangers' All-Star netminder to ask him about a favorite sport of his played in warmer temperatures: Did you play a lot of tennis growing up? What is your history with the game?

Lundqvist: A little bit growing up. My sister was a big tennis player; she played a lot in the States and played for a college here. But I did play. I would say it's more the last five, six years I've really played.

I play a lot during the summer. That's kind of my workout—I go into the gym and try to play four to five times a week. Singles, doubles, or both?

Lundqvist: Singles. I like to get a good workout. And I love the competition, being one-on-one. The workout is perfect for me, as it works pretty much the same muscles I use on the ice. You put Bjorn Borg on your goalie mask during the NHL playoffs last year. Have you met him before?

Lundqvist: Yeah, I've met Borg. I just felt like, when it came to the mask—the top Swedish athletes of all time—Borg is an easy pick. He's definitely up there for sure. Who are some of your favorite current tennis players?

Lundqvist: I love Roger. I think the way he plays the game and the way he carries himself is outstanding. This guy [looking at Murray], he's coming hard. We were just talking about Wimbledon and how amazing he played.

It's impressive when you look at the top three, four guys, how well they play and how hard they work out there. They almost look like machines. Will you be coming out to the U.S. Open for a day or night session?

Lundqvist: Sure, I'm always out there. I go every year. I think it's a great event for a lot of reasons, but number one is there are a lot of great tennis matches, so I love it.

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