Halle 2012: Florian Mayer Interview after his win against Tim Smyczek
Q: Are you happy with your first match on grass?
MAYER: Yes, for sure. I think when you don’t allow any break points, then you have to be happy. It was a decent performance. On grass the player categories are much closer. Therefore, it is much more dangerous. Especially the courts here are a bit faster than in Wimbledon so you really need to be careful no matter who you play.
Q: You only lost six points on your own serve. In your last service game you didn’t lose a single point. Sounds like an early peak?
MAYER: Yes, I’m really happy with my serve today and also the rest was decent. I am happy with the way I played today.
Q: Did you benefit from the self-confidence you gained by winning the Challenger at the weekend?
MAYER: Yes, sure, that helps. Although I won the title on clay. That doesn’t matter. It’s only important that I’ve started winning matches again. Sometimes things are really jinxed. You just need to win matches somehow and things start going smoothly.
Q: When did you decide to play the Challenger?
MAYER: I had planned to play the Challenger in case I lost early in Paris. The main reason was that I needed points to be seeded in Wimbledon. So, I did everything correctly. You get 125 points for a victory. Here you get 150 points for the final. I think it is much easier to win a Challenger than to get to the final here – given the draw.
Q: Apart from that you are Germany’s No. 1 again since yesterday. Is that of any importance?
MAYER: No, not at all. I don’t think I feel like Germany’s No. 1 the way I’ve been playing. I’m just happy that I’ve started playing well again and that I’m having fun. That is important.
Q: Now, you’ll face an opponent on grass against whom you never won a set?
MAYER: Yes, I was twice up a break four years ago (laughs). No, for sure that is unlucky if you are ranked 30 and you need to face Federer in the second round of a 250 event. For sure there are easier draws. Nevertheless, I’m looking forward. I don’t have anything to lose. It’s his first match, that’s always a bit difficult. Of course, he is the absolute favourite. But I intend to give him a hard time and I think that I have a small chance even if it’s really tiny to keep up with him. For sure.
Q: Did you analyse why the last weeks and months didn’t really work?
MAYER: Yes, there are reasons but I don’t really want to discuss them publicly. I had a lot of matches this year where I couldn’t give 100% and was really unhappy with myself. But I don’t really want to discuss the reasons. Things have been getting better since Rome. I’ve been playing better although I lost a few stupid matches: World Team Cup where I didn’t really have the self-confidence and the match against Schwank in Paris. These are defeats that shouldn’t happen. But this is the way the cookie crumbles in sports. There are a lot of good tennis players. If you are not 100% focused on the court it’s difficult to win, the level is just too high.
Q: Roger wasn’t at the top of his form in Paris and had difficulties. Did you realize? Or do you think that things will be different once you go on grass?
MAYER: Yes, of course people realised but in the end it’s just his achievements which count and he made it to the semis. I think he could and partly should have won against Djokovic. But in tennis you are up, get broken and things change. Nobody knows how well he will play his first match here. We will see.
Q: So you do realise in the back of your mind and might think that your chances are better?
MAYER: Let’s put it that way, four years ago I would not have thought that I can beat him. Now, I face the top guys with a different approach. If you go on the court thinking that you can’t win, you’ll never be able to win.
Q: Do you already know whether you will be nominated for the Olympics?
MAYER: No idea.
Q: But you would like to participate?
Q: Is it an advantage that you had your first match today? Okay, Federer could rest but you got to play.
MAYER: For sure, it’s an advantage because changing from clay to grass it’s better you already played a match. That is why my opponent, a qualifying player, was so unpleasant to play. He had already played three matches on grass. That’s always an advantage. For sure.
Interview from tournament website