736. Curaçao’s World-Class Tennis Player: Jean-Julien Rojer

Jean-Julien is second from right.

Jean-Julien is third from right. Photo borrowed from Giselle Jonckheer.

Our very own Pete Sampras look-a-like, Jean-Julien (‘Juls’) Rojer (31), and his double’s partner from Pakistan Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi picked up their first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 trophy in Miami Saturday, March 30, 2013 beating Poles Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski 6-4, 6-1.

Photo by Annelies Da Costa Gomez.

Rojer / Qureshi during their final game. Photo by Annelies Da Costa Gomez.

… And we couldn’t be more proud!

Juls is the first* yu’i Kòrsou to win a Master’s title. The first yu’i Kòrsou to reach the semi-finals of a Grand Slam tournament (Australian Open 2011, French Open 2012, US Open 2012). The first yu’i Kòrsou to break into the top 10 world ranking (he’s currently ranked #8 in doubles).

A Doubles Specialist at the height of his career, Juls’ success didn’t come easy: what we’re seeing today is 20+ years of training (moving from his dushi Kòrsou to Miami at the tender age of 13), trial-and-error (switching from singles to doubles), and persevering, through many tournaments, and several doubles partners.

Juls credits his older brother Jean-Jamil with inspiring him to play at the age of 5 and his parents, Randall and Nazira Rojer, for supporting and believing in him unconditionally. Juls’ father’s reaction to his Master’s title win sums it up: “lo ke a parse den pasado un lokura, a bira realidad” / “our crazy dreams have just come true!”

Juls keeps it all in perspective by laughing off his ‘off’ days, “you get some of those days where you can’t make a volley, you try really hard and you just can’t make it. You just gotta laugh at yourself a little bit.”

* Contrary to popular belief, our other tennis great, Iyo Pimentel, is actually from Venezuela. Pimentel, too, had an awesome professional tennis career, playing Roland Garros, US Open and Wimbledon (he reached the semi-finals in 1961). Pimentel ‘retired’ in Curaçao and taught at the Curaçaosche Sport Club (CSC) through 1999. A legend in his own right, surely Juls drew lots of inspiration from Pimentel having practically grown up at CSC!

Juls playing the Australian Open Semi-Finals in 2011.

Juls playing the Australian Open Semi-Finals in 2011.

About 1000awesomethingsaboutcuracao

I'm Carolina Gomes-Casseres, the creator of 1000 Awesome Things About Curaçao. I live in and love Manhattan, but sometimes miss my first Awesome island...

2 comments

  1. Christl

    Wow! I’m so proud! Congrats to the Rojer family for putting Curacao back on the map!

  2. Pingback: Refineria Isla helps hone Curaçao’s Awesome Athletic Ability | 1000 Awesome Things About Curaçao

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