Translation of article in German from Tennis Magazin by Florian Vonholdt 19 March 2015
Florian Mayer exclusive: “I’ve got the desire back for tennis!”
After more than a year away from the game through injury, Florian Mayer (returned) to the tour in early April at Monte Carlo. As preparation for this, he (played) in a Futures tournament from Monday in Rovinj, Croatia. The 31-year-old spoke to tennismagazin.de about his time on the side-lines, any thoughts about ending his career and his objectives for the 2015 season.
Florian, you’re (made) your comeback on 13 April at the ATP tournament in Monte Carlo on clay. Why there in particular?
Mayer: After my long lay-off, I’d like to get started in particular during the clay court season, and Monte Carlo is the first major tournament on clay.
Why did you delay your return so long? You were out of the tour for a year.
Unfortunately, the injury was even more prolonged than originally thought, which means that the rehab and work to build up my strength could only happen slowly and gradually.
You were diagnosed last March with pelvic swelling. How do you get an injury like that? Is it from overexertion?
I’ve been on the tour for 12 years now. And although I’ve been largely injury free for that time, your body is still subject to strain. The injury that I had is not uncommon in sport. It occurs fairly frequently in football, for instance.
What treatment did you receive for it? Was it conservative or did you also have to undergo surgery?
Only conservative treatment was given. The most important thing was that I needed to be patient.
Was it painful during everyday activities or only when you exerted any strain on it?
To begin with, I felt pain everywhere, no matter whether I was moving about or lying in bed. Then it gradually got better over time, to the extent that I could, for instance, start slowly doing things, such as cycling.
How did you spend your time during your enforced break? Could you do any kind of training or was it complete rest that the doctor ordered?
At the start, it was very important for me to rest. Then I began some gentle cycling. Later on I could do power training for my upper body, and I also began to do some slow jogging. What was important was not to overdo things, but to build up my strength rather slowly.
Was it clear from the outset that your injury break would last so long or were there setbacks during the healing process?
No one could have expected that it would last so long. But the doctors had told me already early on that I should come to terms with the fact that it might take a whole six months for the injury to heal completely.
During that difficult period, did you also have any thoughts about possibly ending your career?
No. Obviously, it wasn’t always easy to have the patience that was needed. But I was basically optimistic as the doctors’ prognosis from the start had been positive, which was that I’d make a full recovery from the injury.
In the meantime, was there any contact between you and your “fellow patient” Tommy Haas?
No, we weren’t in touch.
Was the operation you had on your groin in January a consequence of the pubic bone injury or was there no connection at all with it?
No. The one injury had nothing to do at all with the other.
When was the first time you got back on the training court with a racquet in your hand?
End of January. Before that, I was constantly training to build up my strength.
What objectives have you set yourself for 2015?
Basically, I’d first like to get through the season healthy and fit. I’d like to simply enjoy playing. At the moment, I don’t have any specific objectives, such as reaching a particular ranking.
What protected ranking have you been given? And in which tournaments will you be using it?
My protected ranking is 34. I will definitely be using it in the Grand Slams and Masters Series tournaments like Monte Carlo or Shanghai in the autumn. I also hope to get the odd wild card for tournaments in Germany.
There was quite a bit of controversy surrounding the Davis Cup team during your absence. What’s your view of the events between Carsten Arriens and Philipp Kohlschreiber? (translator: Arriens dropped Kohlschreiber from German team last year for refusing to play a dead rubber)
I followed everything that went on just from the outside and don’t know the background to what happened. So, I can’t make any comment about it.
You know them both well. Did you speak to either of the men involved about the situation?
What do you think about the new management set-up, with Michael Kohlmann as team captain and Niki Pilic as an adviser?
I know Michael Kohlmann very well. He offers a good solution and is very popular with the players. And what can we say about Niki Pilic? He has an incredible amount of experience, especially when it comes to Davis Cup.
How do you feel about getting back into the Davis Cup team?
At the moment, I’m not giving it any thought yet, quite frankly. I need to be fully fit again and wait to see how things go for me. If I stay healthy and my performance is at the right level, I’ll be available again for the team in the future.
In 2008 you also had to have a break for different reasons and for a longer period of time, and you came back even stronger, getting into the top 20 for the first time. How confident are you that you’ll manage to make a similar comeback yet again?
Top 20 is still a long way off. My first target is to get into the top 100 again by the end of the year. Then, we’ll see what happens from there. But, I’m optimistic and I’ve really got the desire back for tennis.
Translated by Gerry.