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post #409 of (permalink) Old 12-16-2007, 09:52 AM
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Re: Philipp Petzschner

(…) But his appearance on the main tour only was a flying visit. Maybe also because of the void left by Kühnen when he became Davis Cup captain and couldn’t take care of him anymore. “I wore out a lot of coaches afterwards”, Petzschner recalls. Sometimes it wasn’t working on the human level, sometimes the coaches were expecting a discipline he wasn’t willing to follow. “When I had a craving for a steak, I ate it”, he says. To adapt – or rather: to submit – was tough for him. His idol was Goran Ivanisevic and like the Croat, he sometimes tanked a match when he didn’t feel like playing anymore.

His game wasn’t improving. At one point, Petzschner was about to give up a career which hadn’t really begun yet. The turning point was in Wimbledon 2006. He asked Klaus Langenbach whom he knew from his time at the tennis camp in Oberhaching: “Do you still believe in me? I’d like to give it another try, I don’t want to remain a journeyman ranked #190 in the world at the age of 29.” Langenbach answered: “Okay, let’s work together.” Meanwhile, the individualist is part of a group. The training group consists of 12 members (Björn Phau, Dominik Meffert and Lars Übel among others) and trains in Leverkusen in the summer and in Pulheim next to Cologne in the winter.

Very convenient since Petzschner is also living there with his girlfriend Dewi and her 6-year-old son Aziz - “in the country”. Petzschner, a family man? “Sure”, he says, “the weekend we go to the cinema or to the zoo.” And when he’s playing tournaments, he calls home every night via webcam.

Another important person in Philipp Petzschner’s life is Werner Krass, the doctor who treated him in his consulting-room of Aschaffenburg last year when he had a double torn ligament. Krass told his astonished patient: “You’re not a sportsman. Do five weeks physiotherapy with me and you will become one.” Petzschner agreed, woke up at 6 o’clock in the morning, worked out, pedaled, strengthened his condition. “I was fitter than ever” says the man with so much touch whose serve can reach 230 km/h.

How good can he get? “My goal is to play Davis Cup in singles”, Petzschner says. Robert Orlik, who is coaching him together with Langenbach and came with him to Eckental, speaks of a huge potential. He doesn’t want to set a target to reach rankingwise.

By the way, Petzschner did win that night at poker. Like so often lately. Hopefully a good omen for 2008.
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