Melbourne - This is my sixth year covering the Australian Open. Every year I spend a significant amount of time with a Polish journalist, Tomasz Lorek (with Polsat Sport TV), in the media centre.
To describe him as entertaining would be an understatement!
He has a number of stories that are unique, risqué and colourful. He’s not afraid to ask questions that no one else would even dare to ask.
The majority of these stories involve the "out of the box" questions he asks tennis players during their press conferences or in one-on-one interviews.
In his own words: “I’m the Mozart of sports journalism!”
Over the years, the following questions have raised many an eyebrow - and laugh:
To Serena Williams - “One day we’re all going to die. In a second life would you like to be a tennis racquet or a tennis ball?”
Serena replied “I don’t want to be beaten.”
In the coming days, Lorek is planning on interviewing Poland's Davis Cup captain, Mariusz Fyrstenberg. Fyrstenberg is a doubles legend having won 18 titles.
One of the questions Lorek has in mind is: “If you were transported in a time machine back to the 19th century to Port Arthur (former prison colony) in Tasmania, would you eat your great friend and doubles partner Marcin Matkowski (current Polish ATP Cup captain) to survive and ultimately escape the island?”
It's important to highlight that Fyrstenberg is very thin, while Matkowski is significantly overweight!
Another question posed to American star Andy Roddick: “When you see Travis Pastrana (American stunt performer and freestyle motocross icon) undertaking a crazy stunt, what goes through your mind?”
Roddick: “To me when I look at him Pastrana is both a genius and an idiot.”
Lorek interrupted a period of silence during one press conference with Roger Federer to ask the GOAT: "How’s your cow Juliet going?”
Federer had received a cow as a gift from the people of the Alpine village in Gstaad, Switzerland, after he won his first Wimbledon title in 2003.
Federer’s reply: “You live in the past, Juliet is dead and her daughter is dead too!”
Lorek, being a fan of motorcycle racing, asked Italy's Sara Errani after her Australian Open doubles title: “Do you think Valentino Rossi will be back to his best?”
Errani, somewhat taken aback, replied: “This is the most awkward question I’ve ever heard. I love Valentino, but I’m not sure if he’s going to be back to his previous high standards.”
Fabrice Santoro, known in tennis circles as “The Magician”, was asked by Lorek: “Do you consider yourself as the Miles Davis of tennis?”
Santoro's reply: “I know who Miles Davis was, but even after a terrible night of sleep, I don’t consider myself Miles Davis!”
Lorek recently interviewed former Grand Slam doubles champion Robert Lindstedt and asked him: “Would you rather be Jimmy Hendrix’s guitar or a tree?”
Lindstedt, thinking quickly on his feet, replied: “I’d love to be a part of the eco-system and save the planet, so I’d prefer to be a tree!”
Last year during an interview with Brazilian doubles maestro Bruno Soares, Lorek asked: “In 2008 you won your first ever doubles title and later that year you married your wife. Of these two events, which was more challenging?”
Soares replied with a big grin on his face: “Of course my marriage proposal in 2007 was way tougher, as I was under pressure to pay the bills!”
In typical Lorek style he once asked Maria Sharapova “If she was courageous enough to wear a hoodie during a grand slam tennis match?”
Sharapova smiled and responded: “My dad wears a hoodie, it’s enough for our family!”
Sharapova then fired back: “Would you wear a hoodie in these hot conditions?”
Lorek in his typically outrageous style replied: “Of course I would if Nike would pay me a fortune!”
Thanks for the great memories to date Tomasz. I look forward to many more of these moments in the days and years to come!