Interview about fitness
Today I found this interview with Jurgen about his fitness. I hope you enjoy reading it.
When preparing for the European clay-court season, what do you do different with your fitness training?
You try to work a little bit on your abductor and adductor, because thatís probably the area that changes the most. You have to do a lot of sliding. You want to try and do some sliding and work on your legs before you start playing on clay courts. The first hours you have, itís always going to be tough, but after a while, you adjust to it and are fine.
Youíve had great success on both hard and clay courts. You beat Novak Djokovic at Roland Garros to reach the semi-finals in 2010, took out Roger Federer last year in Monte-Carlo and won the title in Memphis this year. What do you need to do to find positive results early on in the surface switch like you did in 2011?
We have the Davis Cup against Spain right after Miami, so thereís not a lot of time. Spain has the best clay court players in the world, so I better get ready quickly. Usually, it takes me a little bit to adjust. I like to have two weeks of just practice on clay courts, but thatís not an option this year. I probably have five or six days. But itís nice to have the Davis Cup, to get match fit on clay early on.
With clay-court matches generally running longer in comparison to the other surfaces, how much emphasis do you put on training your endurance?
Endurance is very important. I started working on it in Indian Wells. Whenever you have time off between tournaments, you have to work on it, because the matches are going to be longer and physically more demanding, so you need that extra level of endurance. I always try to get ready in the preseason, looking to get my endurance level high, and then try to maintain it during the season. Between Indian Wells and Miami, there are four or five days where I try to focus on it. But you canít do much when you play a tournament, as itís the most important thing.
Which part of your body feels the effect of changing surfaces the most and what do you do to make sure it doesnít get overworked or injured?
This varies. Usually with the sliding, itís the abductor that gets most of the damage. When you win a lot of matches on clay, itís actually better on the body as you have less stress. So it comes with winning that makes it a lot easier.
What sorts of exercises do you do to ensure your footwork maintains its level during long matches?
Since I grew up on clay, itís a lot easier for me to adjust to sliding. There are players that grew up on hard courts and itís probably more difficult for them. But for me, itís just natural, so I donít do anything in particular.
What you are you most proud of about your fitness and why?
I know I can run at least as long as the guy across the net. Iíve put a lot of hours in on the bike, so itís nice to be able to walk on the court and know Iím at least as fit as the guy on the other side.
How would you advise recreational players to effectively and safely change surfaces?
The first hours you play, take your time. Get used to the sliding and the surface. Thatís more important than trying to go out there from the first point and giving 100 per cent. Donít push the limit too early.
Which player on tour do you think...
Has the best footwork? Gael Monfils
Has the strongest core? Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Has the greatest muscular endurance? Roger Federer
Is the most flexible? Novak Djokovic
Is the quickest? Bjorn Phau
Has the best balance? Roger Federer
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