26th GERRY WEBER OPEN 2017 June 18–24

Tickets +49 5201 8180 Mon – Fri. 9am – 5pm and Sat. 9am – 1pm.

Interview with Philipp Kohlschreiber

You must be delighted with that comeback but how frustrating was it to break down that serve?
Philipp Kohlschreiber: Yes, very happy. I think the match was as we all expected very tough, not too much rhythm. I was very concentrated. Unfortunate a little bit in the first set, I think I had good chances, especially the set point on my serve but he showed some good shots there and well deserved to win the first. And, yes, it was a good comeback. The strategy changed a little bit with stepping further back to return his serve and I would say I read or was touching the ball more and more and put more pressure on his service games. And I think it was a good match from my side.
You said earlier that you have to look after your own service games as well. You did a pretty good job with that, didn’t you?
Philipp Kohlschreiber: Yes, it was quite easy today I have to say. I think, I looked at the statistics, I only lost twelve points in three sets which is unbelievable I would say. So, I never really had some tension in my service games which helps a lot of course. I mixed it up really good, played some good shots in my service games and tried, of course, to bring back as many returns as possible. It worked out quite well at the end in the second and third set. I am very happy. That was a very mentally tough game, you know you don’t get many chances or even if you have a chance you face maybe an ace and, of course, that’s frustrating.
And the celebration at the end showed what it meant to you to play well here?
Philipp Kohlschreiber: Of course. You know also tough of course but also at the end the other box tried to get in my head a little bit, you know trying to push him with German words. So, I was kind of showing them not today, not in Germany. And it was a very positive reaction of course with a very long match before with good shots but not the right story at the end and I’m happy that I managed to hold all my serves and break him.
You almost answered my question but I noticed that you were standing further back in the deuce court than you were in the ad court. Now I just wondered whether the service was different or whether the surface itself was causing you difficulties?
Philipp Kohlschreiber: On which side was I further back?
I believe you were further back on the deuce court.
Philipp Kohlschreiber: Oh, really? I would say actually maybe … I thought it was different because I had to cut down the angle, the short angle on deuce side so I thought I maybe got closer to the line at the end but well, of course, it’s different angles. You cannot create the same angle on the ad side. But I think I did a quite good job. I think I had three, four, five break chances which is a lot and this actually happened after I changed to step back. So, the first set I struggled more I would say, especially also with the second serve. I was too close, it was too fast to react and also after I think I had a good record also returning second serves. Because it was the key, he’s a big guy, all the time playing serve and volley, maybe he gets a little bit tired and it was good to put as much pressure on his service games as possible.
160 miles or 160 kilometres serve goes from baseline to baseline in one second. No, Ivo's serve goes faster than that and makes it more difficult. You were holding serve really well today. Did it ever cross your mind, hey, this game I’m going to try and just take a guess, 50:50?
Philipp Kohlschreiber: Well, of course, you always have the chance 50:50 but during a match you try to figure out the pattern, maybe you try to read, you think you can read some. Well, I think it worked out quite well in the end. I had much more weight in his service games and I was guessing right, maybe reading right. It’s a combination I would say. Sometimes it’s a little bit of luck. So, I think I deserved it because I was also sometimes unfortunate to miss a very important shot by just a little inch. So, I’m very happy.
From a German perspective only Boris Becker and Tommy Haas won more matches on the ATP Tour than you. Did you know that before?
Philipp Kohlschreiber: I will definitely catch up with them (laughs). Of course, I don’t know things like that. I also don’t know when Boris stopped, but I’m still feeling good and want to play for a few more years. But the difference should still be quite big, isn’t it?
Approximately twice as much.
Philipp Kohlschreiber: That is going to be difficult I think (laughs).
What do things like this mean to you?
Philipp Kohlschreiber: (laughs). Nothing at all.
Statistic mean nothing to you? Because Roger sometimes says that he is aware of the statistics, tournament victories?
Philipp Kohlschreiber: If I could participate in Grand Slam victories I would also keep an eye on that a bit but whether I won six hundred, seven hundred matches and am the number two or three in Germany… I will keep on doing what I’m doing and every match I'll win is great. I think I will always have a positive record on the ATP Tour because there is a bit of a gap between me and others now. So, I will carry on collecting victories and see what can still happen.
Your next opponent Dominic Thiem, you still have a score to settle?
Philipp Kohlschreiber: Has he already won?
No, no. I wanted to ask or Teymuraz Gabashvili. Can you say something about both of them?
Philipp Kohlschreiber: Let’s start with the underdog, Gabashvili is well known on the Tour, a dangerous player who can beat a lot of players, including top ten players because he takes so many risks, can play with a lot of pace and is also dangerous on grass I think. I played Dominic twice this year, practiced with him a lot last year, doubles. I would look forward to it although there is no need to say that it wouldn’t be a revenge because you can’t bring the finals here but I would be happy to see him on the other side of the court. I hope he will get tired at some stage, I also try and let him do all the work in the doubles (laughs). We all know how Dominic plays, he is super self-confident, whacks the balls, plays with a lot of pace, tactically smart, with a lot of top spin on his forehand, with the backhand he tries to take out the opponent’s pace in order to increase it again, he has an unpleasant serve. I think they are both different on grass but both dangerous or that I have to expect a tough match.
So you would prefer to play Dominic?
Philipp Kohlschreiber: No, I’d prefer Gabashvili because he can also have a bad day. Dominic only had very few bad days this year. But, of course, I would wish for Dominic to win but as opponent I’d rather wish for the supposedly weaker player.
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