A QUESTION OF SPORT: OSCAR AND MATA

Professional footballers have spent the majority of their lives focused on mastering their art but, away from the beautiful game, which other sports do they take an interest in?

The official Chelsea website continues to survey the squad to get a brief insight into their other sporting passions, and with Wimbledon reaching its climax today, tennis takes centre stage.

Oscar
'Apart from football my favourite sport has to be tennis. I like playing it and watching it. I was quite good when I was young and played to a reasonable standard until the age of 16. I still like to play now when I have the chance, although it's not as often as I would like.

'I mainly watch it on television but luckily there was a big tournament at the O2 in London earlier this year and I watched Andy Murray play against Jo Wilfred Tsonga, although Roger Federer is my favourite player.'

The match Oscar watched between Murray and Tsonga was part of the ATP World Tour Finals, which is held annually at the O2 in London, and features the top eight singles and doubles performers from the ATP rankings.

Last year's competition was won by Novak Djokovic, who overcame Roger Federer in the final in straight sets, while Federer himself had won the two previous events. The 2013 tournament is in November.

Gustavo Kuerten (pictured below) is Brazil's most successful player of recent times, becoming world No. 1 and winning three out of five French Open men's singles titles between 1997 and 2001.

Kuerten



Juan Mata
'
I've always been a massive tennis fan, but I also enjoy playing table tennis as well and Oriol Romeu and I often play against each other at Cobham.

'When I was young I used to play tennis against my uncle and I really enjoyed it. I was quite good and used to train pretty hard but I was a bit better at football. I went to see the masters in the O2, and I follow the likes of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic, I really like it.'

Spain is a country with a rich tennis pedigree, and has produced a number of world-class players over the years, none more so that Rafael Nadal (pictured below), one of the game's greats. Arantxa Sanchez Vicario won four women's grand slam titles in the 1990s, and Carlos Moya and Juan Carlos Ferrero have also enjoyed grand slam success.

Spain have also won the Davis Cup on five occasions, most recently in 2011.

Nadal