There was recently an interview with Thomas Muster here: http://www.nachrichten.at/sport/tenn...;art106,144986
I thought to translate it as some might be interested in it:
Thomas Muster: ATP is making huge mistakes
Thomas Muster talks in a sportnet.at-interview about the crash in Key Biscayne, mistakes of the ATP, the development of Austrian tennis and the rescue of the tournament in Kitzbühel
Sportnet.at: In these days you probably get asked a lot about the crash in Key Biscayne. What did the crash in retrospect mean for your career?
Thomas Muster: “One can only speculate about it. I tried then to stop a car with my knee, but didn’t managed (laughs). I accomplished a comeback a few months later and it wasn’t a bad one. But in the following years I had to struggle with a kind of burn-out syndrome because of all the many hard training.”
What did the sport gave you for your life?
“The sport is the best school you can have in life. I have learned so much through it and can only recommend it to everyone.”
You have mentioned many times failures of the ATP. Which concrete mistakes made the ATP?
“The ATP omit it to do the right marketing. It was wrong to reduce the tv broadcastings. The promotion of the players is missing. Even I as someone who isn’t a layman have difficulties to associate a name to a face and I think other people will have even more problems with this. The ATP has to do more and to take an example of other sports as Formula One or golf. They have to invest money, which they haven’t clearly done. Even the ITF has managed to get the Davis Cup and the Grand Slams to a new level in marketing.”
Who is going to rule the internatinal men tennis in the next years?
“I can only say two names: Federer and Nadal. Federer however has realised that there are other things in life. He is establishing a family and has other thoughts in his head. It’s possible that he doesn’t give 100% of his energy to tennis. That is a danger, but that doesn’t mean that he can’t be #1 again. With Nadal we have to see if he can maintain the intensity of his game physically. He meanwhile has the potential to win nearly each match with 60 or 70 % and therefore has the capability to perform economically. He has improved his backhand tremendously, also his serve and is dangerous on both sides.”
How do you see the development of the Austrian tennis?
“The development is the same as 5 years ago, that’s why I have stopped working as Daviscup captain. I couldn’t have made things happen in the job. Anyone else can do the job.”
“Jürgen Melzer still can’t really close out a match. He had his chances, the question is whether they will come back again. Stefan Koubek is a phase-out model and it has to be seen how long he is going to play. I have to raise my hat to Julian Knowle. It takes courage to abandon the singles in order to mainly concentrate on the doubles. His accomplishments in the last years, especially at the Grand Slams, were highlights, but that the important doubles in the Daviscup against Germany was lost, hurts twice.”
Is Austrian tennis approaching a valley bottom after Melzer and Koubek?
“For a valley you have to have mountains, but we don’t have the big mountains or hills. Maybe you mean pits?”
To phrase it different: Do you see any promising young players in Austria?
“Of course there’s potential in Austria, a lot of good young players. But there are two leaps, between 15 and 16 and with 20, when to sort the wheat from the chaff. You can’t say that much before.”
Would you as Daviscup captain have nominated Daniel Köllerer against Germany?
“No, I still wouldn’t have done so.”
How important is it that Kitzbühel is remaining in the ATP calendar?
“Of course that’s important. In the current form it is only a bridging to keep the date, not a real solution. The free entrance is the best they can do in this situation. It isn’t negative to go back to the roots. But everyone knows that in the long run they can’t hold and finance the tournament like this.”
“To have two ATP tournaments, one in Kitzbühel in the summer and the other one in autumn in Vienna, that was perfect. With the third tournament it was always difficult. In Kitzbühel they did the mistake to take out the tournament of the week with the city festival. The Kirtag has always been a guarantee for a full house in the weekend. But they have become to greedy and wanted to cash up two times. Players as Boris Becker have always been a guarantor for a huge crowd. Meanwhile it isn’t that easy with topplayers. It would have been important to take countermeasures in time, for example with a hardcourt tournament.”
Which projects is Tomas Muster running at the moment?
“No new ones. You can’t do something wrong then (laughs). The TOMS products are running good, we are contented. We are fighting, but having lots of fun.”