Translation of a recent German interview with Kiwi:
Nicolas Kiefer about the end of his tennis career
Tennis professional Nicolas Kiefer has finished his career as active player. Soon he is going to give advices to tennistalents near the Maschsee [lake in Hannover]
Nicolas Kiefer doesn't regret the end of his career a little bit. He is only missing the warm weather on the tour.
Mr. Kiefer, one month ago you announced the end of your career. Have you regretted your decision when you watched the Australian Open on TV?
No, I didn't regret it at all. The only thing which makes me a bit sad is the warm weather in Melbourne with 30 degrees. I have always been there were the sun was shining and we had good weather. No matter if it was Australia, Indian Wells or Miami - I always travelled behind the sun. But it was natural that this decision would have to be made one day and I don't regret it at all.
Has the birth of your daughter Mabelle in last August been the last kick which you needed to stop after so many injuries lately?
What does kick mean? I always recovered quite good from the injuries and was able to fight back. But it is for sure that after the birth of my daughter many things habe become minor. The whole life got new priorities. Therefore it is important for me that the tennis association of Lower Saxony accepts it that I'm only doing a time-limited engagement and that it isn't a fulltime job. I see all the time how important I am as a father for my daughter. I really like it to look after her and I spend many time with her.
You played 640 singles in your career on the ATP tour, won 6 tournaments and about 7,5 Million Dollar prize money. What has been a highlight for you when you look back now?
The Olympic Games 2004 in Athens without a doubt. To get the silver medal there, even though it was unlucky. But it was the biggest success in my career nevertheless. Of course there have been many great moments on the tour. You can't really describe this experience in words. It's a lifeexperience to have the chance to make your hobby to your job. Being able to travel and compete with the best players of the world - may it be Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal. That has truly been a gift. But everything has an end one day.
Do you sometimes have the 4 missed match points of the Olympic doubles final in Athens in your mind?
I have them in mind, yes, and I also have videos. This is one thing which will connect me and Rainer Schüttler for a whole life (laughs).
You said you can't really describe the feeling of being part of the tour with words. How do you want to bring these experiences near to talents in Hannover now?
I want to convey them that they have to live this sport maybe a bit more. It's about practicing in other aspects as well - to spend much time on the court but also to watch tactical videos. Tennis is like chess somehow: You make a move and checkmate your opponent then. It isn't about just ballbashing. The best example is to look at Rafael Nadal. Or Lleyton Hewitt - he builds everything up and then there is the final hit. When you get the children into this kind of thinking it is already a big success.
It will take a few years but would you advise your daughter one day to become a tennis professional when she would like it?
(laughs) I like golfing and so I don't know if she should better became a tennis- or golfprofessional.
So you wouldn't advise your children to stay away from a career as a professional athlete even though you once compared the tour with a shark tank...
That it is indeed. It's a difficult decision for sure but I haven't really thought about it yet seriously.
Then let us talk at the end about your second career as a football player: Do you aim to bring yourself up into discussion of Mirko Slomka [coach of Hannover 96] when you play in the "Over 32" team?
(laughs) No. I have always looked for new challenges and see football as recreational sport. We have a great team there and lately I got an invation of a traditional team of Hannover. When my time allows it I would like to take part.
Interview by: Björn Franz
German source: http://www.paz-online.de/Nachrichten...Tenniskarriere