1.In both the men’s singles and men’s doubles, you lost a close match to the Chinese players. Please tell us what you liked and what you regretted about your play in each match.
– For me it was a very good experience to play against the worlds best players again at the highest stage possible the WTTC. When I played Liang Jingkun I knew, I had to perform good to make it a close match, since he also just recently won both tournaments held in Slovenia few weeks ago.
I did obviously very well in the single against him, I could keep up in the rallies and didn’t made a lot of easy mistakes, which made it hard for him to get points. Since we both were very safe at this match, the match took a lot of stamina and power from us and almost every rally ended in a long way. So in general I liked a lot my mental game as well, because I stayed tough and consistent through the whole 7-sets and also my body and technics could keep up with him. The only thing I regret is that I couldn’t take the chance at the end of the game when it was standing 3:3 6-6. If you made the game already so close, the only thing that is missing is to win it. But from that I will learn.
It was a very similar experience in doubles as well with my partner B.Duda against Lin Gaoyuan/Liang Jingkun. We started a bit passive so they really had a good start on us. After that I think we played our best double ever together and almost made it, we were very strong at the rallies and could win almost all spin/spin rallies. Unfortunately again it wasn’t enough and we couldn’t win at the score of 2:2 9-8, we were attacking afterwards in all 3 rallies and lost. This is also the Chinese strength to stay tough and perform the best when its the most important. We will learn from that.
2.What do you feel you have grown in this competition and what challenges have you found?
– I think mentally I grown a lot during this tournament. I already had my few years of experience on the World Tour and I was very happy I could use some of the experience gained from previous tournaments to use is there. I beat Yukiya Uda, the former Japanese Champion of Japan in the 1st round which was already a very tough draw and also after that I had a close match against a Chinese Topstar.
So therefore, my mental game was very stable to even let me perform at this high level.
On the other hand I think there is also a lot to work on. I could be more decisive and also at some points I have to take my chance earlier to play at a even higher level. Because the top players don’t give a lot of free points, so you have to be very safe to take every chance they give you.
3.What are your impressions of the first WTTC to be held in the United States?
– I liked the event a lot, it was very good organized and the venue was huge. Also the atmosphere and the spectators had a different more energetic vibe then the normal fans which we are used to, which made it very fun to play there. I think TT has a future in the US as well, since we could see that the spectators were coming almost on every day watching and celebrating each good rally.
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