Analysis: Why does German tennis have a youth downside?

Benito Pérez-Barbadillo smiles, his eyes twinkling behind the inexperienced frames of his glasses. “He typically involves the island of Germany, Majorca. Nadal can also be completely happy on the Academy. Maybe this may assist.”

The Spaniard, identified merely as ‘Benito’, is a revered determine in worldwide tennis. As Rafael Nadal’s PR supervisor, but in addition as an intimate connoisseur of the scene on the whole. An hour after Alexander Zverev exited within the second spherical (7:6, 4:6, 3:6, 2:6 in opposition to the American Michael Mmoh, who was on the court docket in defeat), he’s sitting on the 158th desk. press room. As a comfort donor for Spanish journalists in search of constructive tales after the departure of Nadal yesterday. But Perez-Barbadillo can also be very near German tennis. And what he noticed there may be not good.

All German males are out after the second spherical of the Australian Open. Among ladies, solely Lora Siegemund made it to the third spherical. A beacon of hope at 34? No manner. So let’s beg the query: Will German tennis in January 2023 be as unhealthy because the disastrous report on the first Grand Slam of the yr?

Perez-Barbadillo: “It’s not simply Germany after Boris Becker and Steffi Graf. Countries just like the US and Sweden additionally had a hole that remained unbridged lengthy after the massive stars retired. “Perhaps Germany will search outdoors proposals and cooperate.”

The future should have different names

With Angelique Kerber, Germany additionally had a high star within the post-Graaf/Becker period. World primary, Wimbledon champion, US Open and Australian Open winners. In addition, Olympic silver. Kerber is at the moment on maternity depart. he desires to return Yesterday, Wednesday, was Kerber’s birthday. At the age of 35, he’s additionally within the fall of his profession. Andrea Petkovic, Julia Gorges and Sabina Lisicki along with Kerber fashioned the quartet of the “golden technology”. Petkovic and Gorges retired. Suffered by quite a few accidents, Lisicki desires to assault once more.

Nevertheless: the way forward for German tennis should have different names. Jules Niemeyer, for instance: 23 years outdated, ranked 69th on the planet. In the primary spherical of the Australian Open, the Dortmund native put up a nice battle in opposition to world primary Iga Sviatek, however nonetheless misplaced in straight units. In the top, small particulars at essential moments swung the pendulum in opposition to them.

Barbara Rittner, DTB’s head ladies’s nationwide coach, all the time thought, “It’s good to have Angie, Petko and Sabina pushing one another.” Competitive strain amongst colleagues launched power and improved situations. In this unity and in opposition to one another, they realized these little issues, these nuances that decide defeat and victory.

But Alexander Zverev and Jules Niemeyer have no nationwide competitors, they’re higher than their German rivals. There is a sure expectation amongst ladies in regards to the potential growth of Eva Lees. The 19-year-old performed bravely within the qualifiers. But after taking a 1-0 lead within the first spherical, she misplaced 6-0, 6-2 to Spanish qualifier Cristina Busca. “This is a matter of the top,” mentioned Lys’s father. It’s a pity. What’s subsequent? It’s laborious to say.

Zverev is at the moment out of the highest rankings. After a seven-month damage layoff, he nonetheless has a lengthy strategy to go to achieve the world-class stage he confirmed: “I’m taking a lot of positives with me from Melbourne. But there’s nonetheless a lot lacking.” The key’s power and match coaching: “It’s good that the subsequent Grand Slam remains to be three months away,” he says. It’s the French Open in Paris. There, he suffered a critical ankle damage within the semifinals in opposition to Rafael Nadal final yr.

The cause for failure, accidents, crises and unhealthy wins?

Analyzing the woes of German tennis, Nadal’s PR supervisor Perez Barbadillo famous that at the moment gamers from international locations that may recurrently play and prepare outdoors when the climate is nice are significantly profitable. That’s why his recommendation to “come to Mallorca” was shocking, however very critical.

But is it the local weather and related coaching situations that make German tennis look so gloomy nowadays? Or is the present scenario so pathetic as a results of the rife amongst professionals and officers?

Michael Kohlmann, Men’s National Coach, meets #15 Tennis MAGAZIN on the Australian Open. Almost symbolic. At the again, offside, away from the massive matches of the massive stars. He will return to Germany on Friday. And if he must pack his worries into a suitcase, hand baggage will not do it. He will face Switzerland within the Davis Cup on February 3 and 4 in Trier.

After the ends in Melbourne, not one of the professionals represented by Kohlman are on the high stage. Not Alexander Zverev, not Oscar Otte, not Jan-Lennard Struf, not Tim Pütz. The fifth candidate has not but been recognized. “Some of our gamers have finished higher within the Davis Cup than within the huge tournaments,” says Kohlmann.

Why is that, Herr Kohlmann? He talks about lashings, setbacks, accidents, crises in type, poor traction and, and, and. But then he realizes: “In soccer, the nationwide coach Hansi Flick would not inform the coaches within the Bundesliga the way to prepare both.”

National tournaments as an necessary foundation

Coleman does not publicly criticize gamers or coaches. He even clearly praises, for instance, how effectively he takes care of Daniel Altmeier (24 years outdated) and the way a lot he subordinates the whole lot to tennis. Oscar Otte, Chinese selector Junchen Shang right here in Melbourne, confirmed in 4 sentences, “there may be a lack of a sense of accomplishment for issues to enhance once more. That’s why it is good that he is enjoying within the Challenger match now in Belgium.” So be courageous in opposition to weaker opponents.

Jan-Lenard Struf can also be a downside baby who hasn’t taken benefit of his alternatives for a while. In quick: Virtually each participant has their very own story of failure, failure, stagnation, weak point. But Kohlmann additionally sees a structural downside: “In Germany we have a good match panorama for ATP and WTA. We are lacking Challenger and Future tournaments. But it prices cash and also you want organizers.” Pérez-Barbadillo agrees: “These tournaments are a crucial basis. We have a lot in Spain, which helps a lot.”

Siegmund: “Put your ass within the face and transfer on”

Bottom line: Germany at the moment has a technology of gamers who appear to be out of attain for actually huge titles and wins. The exception is Zverev – if he recovers. In DTB, they know this shortcoming. I’m glad that not less than it seems to be good within the discipline of youth. So as much as 14 years outdated. Sometimes there are nice achievements to have fun.

However: The German workforce, which misplaced like this on the Australian Open, has at occasions raised excessive hopes as a teenager. Hopes are damaged. Laura Siegemund, the final German consultant in Melbourne, has by no means had the massive wins. But he has been a skilled since 2006 and accomplished his research in psychology. Speaking in Melbourne yesterday, he spoke about his efficiency and perspective: “Sometimes it helps – simply get your butt up and get on with it.” This is a good concept in aggressive sports activities and in life on the whole. The climate, the floor, the competitors and the workforce of colleagues don’t matter.

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