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Old 10-13-2008, 08:55 PM   #829
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Default Re: Philipp Petzschner

First Time ATP Winner Spotlight: Philipp Petzschner
© AFP/Getty Images
German Philipp Petzschner (pictured) broke into the Top 100 of the South African Airways ATP Rankings after becoming the third qualifier to win an ATP title this year, following a 6-4, 6-4 win over No. 8 seed Gael Monfils of France in the Bank Austria-Tennis Trophy final on Sunday. Match Report

The 24-year-old Petzschner became the third qualifier to win an ATP title this season and he climbed from No. 125 into the Top 100 for the first time at No. 73.

ATP Profile: Philipp Petzschner

ATPtennis.com caught up with Petzschner following his maiden ATP triumph.

At the start of the week did you ever think you would be standing here with your first ATP trophy?
To be honest, no way! I was already happy when I qualified and when I saw [Stanislas] Wawrinka beside my name in the first round I knew it was a tough draw. I just wanted to go out and do my best. I would never have thought this was going to happen.

After beating Wawrinka, how much confidence did it give you?
Of course, after beating a Top 10 guy it helps you a lot. You see the draw is getting easier, because in the second round you cannot play another seeded player. He gave me some confidence and I worked my way through.

What did you do so well to play five good matches in a row this week?
I was just really focused and was concentrating on the things I needed to do on the court. I did the thing I wanted to do, nothing more nothing less and it worked out.

You’ve broken into the Top 100 for the first time. Was it a goal for you at the start of the year?
At the beginning of the year I was No. 170-175, I think. The goal was of course to be Top 100 this year – I almost made it in July reaching No. 107. But now I am even happier it happened now. I now have three or four more tournaments this year and I just want to keep focus on them and keep my form at a high level, so that I can prepare well for next season.

Your first title has come in Vienna on a fairly slow hard-court, would you consider hard courts as your best surface?
I think I always play my best tournaments on hard courts. Indoor hard is good, I really do like it. Here in Vienna, it is a little slower than at other tournaments but that helped me put my game together more.

Can you talk about your game: what are your strengths and best shots?
I think my best shots are my serve and my forehand. I can do a lot at the net as well and I don’t miss many backhands. So I think my game comes together pretty well. My forehand from the baseline is my strength.

Do you have any hobbies or interests off the court?
I love playing golf; I do it as often as I can. When I’m at home, I practice once a day and play a round once a day as well. I have a handicap of 14, but I am trying to improve. Of course as a German, soccer is a big.

How often were you when you first started playing tennis?
I started tennis at the age of four or five. My Dad had his own tennis school, his own courts and one day he handed me a racquet really the day I could walk. Then I started playing and at 12 or 13 I thought I’d try and practice a little bit more. At 18 or 19 I turned pro.

Did you have any tennis idols growing up?
Definitely! My two idols were Goran Ivanisevic and Stefan Edberg. I loved watching them, especially Edberg because of the way he played: he was so smooth and great to watch. I also enjoyed the craziness of Goran, you never knew what was going to happen on the court.
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