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An uncommon success story

Daniil Medvedev is irritated. The Russian fifth seed has simply misplaced the primary set within the battle for the semi-finals on the 2019 US Open – towards the largely unknown 25-year-old from the Black Forest the title till then. Dominik Koepfer performed himself in a frenzy again then, As a qualifier, he fought emotionally into the spherical of 16 in New York – and in order that brought on a motion within the The world of tennis actually causes a sense for the primary time.

Ultimately, regardless of main the set, it wasn’t fairly sufficient to win towards Medvedev, who superior to the ultimate. After a tricky struggle over 4 units, Koepfer’s dream run got here to an finish. Regardless of this, it’s video games like this that the tennis skilled continues to thrive on.

“These are undoubtedly good experiences that additionally offer you self-confidence should you can sustain,” stated Koepfer, now quantity three in Germany, in an unique interview SPIRITUAL1 on the BMW Open in April.

“Pitbull” Koepfer takes off within the scores

In contrast to his thrilling run in New York in 2019, the German is now richer in expertise towards gamers from the true world class. Matches towards Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray, three gamers from the “Large 4” in tennis, have now begun. He recorded at the very least one set win towards everybody – within the match towards Murray, who was exterior the highest 100 on the time, he even managed to win.

“I wasn’t that loopy (good) in juniors, and I wasn’t superb in school both. (…) At first you do not consider you can play towards such gamers and even win. And you then stand on the sphere and it is like enjoying towards different gamers,” he stated.

Within the meantime, Koepfer is attending to play massive video games like this increasingly more usually – his rise within the ranks World requirements Thanks. The 30-year-old, who can be nicknamed “Pitbull” due to his attractiveness, began the 12 months strongly. Koepfer received a match on the second-class Challenger Tour on onerous courtroom earlier than surprisingly reaching the semi-finals of the Australian Open in doubles with accomplice Yannick Hanfmann.

In March he was rewarded for his achievements with forty ninth place within the rating – The 30-year-old has by no means stood so tall earlier than. “I really feel match and have performed extra often than lately. That is why we get good outcomes and the rating comes routinely,” defined Furtwanger.

Harm leaves the German tennis star doubtful

The truth that promotion to larger standing divisions was not achieved earlier was partly as a consequence of Koepfer’s dangerous luck with accidents. Just a little over a 12 months in the past, a long-term damage to his left arm put him far behind and he even dropped out of the highest 250.

The damage brought on him ache for a very long time, particularly when he was in service. “It was silly as a result of I attempted the whole lot and it nonetheless would not go away. (…) However proper now it is good and I can practice usually,” stated the present quantity 67 on this planet.

There was no assure that he would ever attain his previous top once more for the 1.80 man. “It is not really easy to get motivated in your head as a result of it takes weeks to get again to enjoying stage as a result of then it’s important to win tournaments. (…) That is why the doubts had been already there and that is why I used to be stunned how rapidly it occurred. “

Throughout this time, Koepfer received tournaments on the Challenger Tour, which he performed as a substitute of the largest stage. ATPspherical for his approach again to the highest. These small successes additionally “gave him confidence, which then helps within the massive competitions. “

An uncommon path to an expert journey

It was nothing new for the 30-year-old to showcase himself away from the limelight: Koepfer made the soar to the skilled tour throughout school within the US – a path that different German gamers similar to Benjamin Becker had taken. beforehand taken which continues to be thought of a reasonably uncommon path to skilled life for abilities from Germany.

“Other than gamers like Sascha (Zverev) or Carlos Alcaraz, who you actually know are the abilities of the era or at the very least very gifted and significantly better than the opposite children, I undoubtedly suppose school is an effective path,” he instructed Koepfer. issues about younger expertise in German tennis.

There you’ll be able to develop additional, as a participant, however “additionally as an individual”. For the US sports activities lover, it was additionally probably the most pleasurable variant. With the standard, troublesome route by main tournaments, “many individuals would lose curiosity and motivation”.

It is not only a take a look at his skilled profession that reveals that Koepfer is somebody who generally thinks exterior the field. For instance, the Black Forest resident can be uncovered to potential rule modifications in tennis, similar to these not too long ago within the Masters doubles match in Madrid was examined.

“Tennis is a boring sport, particularly for the spectators,” Koepfer stated with fun. “All of them simply sit there and clap. In case you go to soccer or ice hockey… I do not should be harassed from the sidelines, however in Madrid the spectators are allowed to stand up and stroll round, it is similar to in school and that does not hassle him. anybody.”

The tennis professional is aware of what he is speaking about: The German quantity three often attends soccer and ice hockey matches in his American hometown of Tampa – at the very least when he isn’t he’s not on the courtroom.

Olympics in Paris as the primary aim

On the tennis courtroom, the Baden-Württemberg native has set himself a number of targets for this season, together with “moving into the highest 30 so I could be with the this season. Grand Slams and I’m additionally on the forefront of different nice competitions.”

That does not appear unattainable, as as a consequence of a weaker efficiency on grass and one other damage within the fall, Koepfer has just a few factors to defend.

A soar in rating would additionally assist in qualifying for the Olympic Video games in the summertime, which “maybe generally performs too massive a job” in Koepfer’s head, as he himself admits. The locations are restricted to a most of 4 and the competitors between the Germans is robust – particularly since Alexander Zverev is “nearly at the very least within the lead”.

For Koepfer, it might be his second participation within the Olympics after Tokyo 2021 – an occasion he repeats as a “nice expertise”. The 30-year-old will quickly have an opportunity to organize for a potential look on the video games: with the French Open (Might 26 to June 9) the subsequent occasion of the season is developing on the identical location.

Match towards Nadal? “Possibly it is higher to be on the garden”

The eyes of the tennis world will then focus particularly on the Roland Garros file winner, Rafael Nadal: The king of the clay courtroom is at the moment on a farewell tour and, if his physique cooperates, he’ll play within the “lounge in Paris” for the final time – one of many final for Koepfer Possibilities of ending fourth from video games towards the “Large 4”.

The native of the Black Forest nonetheless most well-liked to keep away from an early assembly with the Spaniard in Paris. “I’ve usually thought whether or not I actually need to play towards him or not. Possibly it is higher on grass, possibly not in Paris within the first spherical,” he admits with a smile.

The 22-time Grand Slam winner from Mallorca has all the time shone all through his profession with, amongst many different qualities, his calmness on courtroom – a high quality that the German nonetheless lacks now and again . “I’ll by no means be as calm as Rafa,” he in contrast himself to Nadal with a smile. “However issues have gotten higher.”

“On clay it’s kind of up and down. Ultimately, on the onerous courtroom, I did very properly simply keep calm throughout the match and struggle and I hope it will likely be the identical once more within the subsequent few weeks once I get some self-confidence,” he stated. 30-year-old hopeful.

In Lyon, Koepfer reached the quarterfinals. On the best way there, he beat, amongst others, the highest 20 participant Ugo Humbert in his personal nation in three units. Good preparation for the French Open, which begins on Sunday.

And who is aware of what else is feasible there and sooner or later. Barring accidents, reaching the spherical of 16 on the 2019 US Open won’t be the largest second of Dominik Koepfer’s profession for for much longer.

2024-05-23 10:23:10
#uncommon #success #story

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