Sorry, my english was really crap today, but I did do my best to make a good translation fo this interview.
Kristof Vliegen, ended 2006 as best Belgian man. He made a big jump in 2006. Tennisinfo.be asked him what 2006 has brought him and what he would like to reach in 2007.
Hello Kristof. Congratulations with your win (in the final of Oostende Exhibition), will you have some days of holiday now?
I have had my holiday already, I’ve been back on training, but didn’t play tennis yet, just some condition training. Wednesday I will leave to the Dominican Republic, where I’ll also work a bit on my condition, so I’ll be used to the warm weather as in Australia. After that I will come back home and will start 100% training again.
Did you have a good holiday the past days?
I had quite some obligation the past days: the interclub in France, condition training, moving to a new house. Quite different things, but it was quite busy. I didn’t have a lot of time for my girlfriend, but there will come a change in that the coming weeks.
At the www.atptour.com there is a lil film of a Players Party. Did you have fun there, or was it a obligation?
That is a good question, as I know which lil film you mean. (laughs) For me it was the first time to visit such Players Party. The players are obligated to be there. Roger Federer had to be there for about half an hour, actually only for an “acte de pr
ésence’. I had to go there because the organization of the US Open asked me, because the ATP says I am the revelation (is that the English word?
) of the year. When I am there, I try to have fun and I had fun there. It was held the fridaynight before the Grand Slam started and I don’t think anyone left before 2am.
Is this typical for the US Open, such parties? Or does the organization of any other Grand Slam dare to schedule them?
I actually have no idea about that, I have only done one. I know there are Players Parties, but I don’t pay attention to that. It just happened that I was in New York already. It si nice, you can see the other players in a different way. It just belongs to tennis.
You played soccer on Wednesday. How was that?!
Ah yes! I’ve done that this week as well. I even had totally forgotten about it. Last year we had to play versus Tubeke. That was hard, but now we had to play old men (red. The ex-Red Devils of Mexico 86), this was definitely fun! For the kids we really tried to make something nice of it and I think that worked out well. I played the first 45 minutes. I did get some nice passes from the midfielders, Zetterberg and Walem, but I didn’t have to do a lot. What helped us is that we are quick. The fast men had we put in the first line: Malisse, me and Olivier Rochus. With this we tried to show some good game.
Is it coincidence that tennis players can also play well with a ball on a soccer field?
Yes I think so. Personally I have always been into soccer. I am a supporter of Racing Genk and I often go there with my friends. In my tennisbag is always a small ball to play soccer with.
Today we saw you using a lot of drop shots. Was this amusement or a new tactic?
That is no new tactic, it is something I’ve been trying to use for a few years. My forehand and my drop shot are usually my strongest points and I try to use them. For a lot of people a drop shot is seen as show, especially the way I played them here, but for me it’s common in my game
Where will you start in 2007?
I will start in Doha, after that the tournaments of Auckland and Melbourne. I have no idea yet where I will play after those tournament.
What are your goals for 2007?
I definitely want to reach the second week of a Grand Slam. On which surface, I am not thinking about it. Just reaching the second week of a Grand Slam is most important for me.
Which surface is best for your game?
At some surfaces, my game is better. I have played a few semi finals outdoor, indoor and on grass and I’ve played a final on clay.
Which part of your game can be improved?
I think everything can be improved. Personally I think that if I go further like this, it will go better in the future. By having trainings, my shots will improve. But it has to be more constant.
Good luck Kristof and enjoy your holiday!