After every match on the ATP Tour there is discussion around keys to the action. Jean-Julien Rojer added a new one to that list Tuesday at the Nitto ATP Finals: a haircut.
“I wanted to get a haircut that I usually don’t wear and a little bit more aggressive of a cut. Maybe it helps me be more aggressive on the court,” Rojer told ATPTour.com. “But the funny part is yesterday when I went to fix my hair, my barber here, Gianmarco, [told] me if I wanted to play well, I should touch my hair when I walk out to the court or in important moments.
“If you watch the match back, I’m just touching the hair the whole match. But nothing behind the haircut, just a little bit of fun and a different haircut than what I normally would have.”
It worked for the Dutchman, who with the power of a fresh mohawk partnered El Salvador’s Marcelo Arevalo on Tuesday to a 6-1, 6-7(3), 10-7 win against Spaniard Marcel Granollers and Argentine Horacio Zeballos.
From Sunday to Tuesday, fans could see a noticeable difference in the 41-year-old’s hairstyle. Rojer on Monday visited Gianmarco Tessier, the tournament hairdresser, who buzzed the hair off the sides of his head.
“I went first to a guy who does my hair in Amsterdam and then when I came here, Gianmarco at La Stampa [practice courts] ended up fixing it,” Rojer said. “My guy in Amsterdam didn’t quite do it the way that I wanted to and I wanted it a little bit more of an aggressive look, so I went to this guy to tweak it for me.”
Photo Credit: Gianmarco Tessier
Sure enough, Rojer heeded Tessier’s advice. If you rewatch the match, you can see Rojer patting his head as he walked on centre court at the Pala Alpitour.
“I wanted a different haircut and a different vibe,” Rojer said. “It worked today. I was touching my hair on the court, thinking about my barber Gianmarco and it worked.”
Tessier’s family owns two salons in Rome, and he has dressed hair at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia since 2015. A former junior tennis player who said he once defeated Matteo Berrettini in the juniors, Tessier has enjoyed helping the competitors feel their best in Turin.
“All the players are fantastic… Rojer is very funny,” Tessier said. “I like my job. It’s fantastic to be here.”
Look good. Feel good. Play good. The Dutchman is feeling positive vibes leading into his team’s last match of round-robin play.
“[It was] important to get in the win column for sure and give ourselves a chance to hopefully go through to the semis depending on what happens. It’s just good that we’re here, we’ve had a good year,” Rojer said. “I think we’re deserving to be there with a chance for the semi-finals, so we’re happy with the win today. We worked hard for it and I think it’s fitting with the kind of year that we’ve had.”