Is your statemtent from the press conference at the end of September still valid that you are not a favorite for the tournament title?
A lot has happened since then, but I’m certainly not a favorite. Gijon and Antwerp were 250 tournaments – with good players, no doubt, but Vienna is a different beast. If you take a closer look you can see that I was about to be eliminated by Giron in Gijon and it was also a close shave against Cereundolo in Antwerp. There were a lot of close matches. In Vienna, there are almost only top 40 players. I’m not that far to see myself as a favorite.
How important is it for you right now to win these close matches?
It’s always a good sign. Often, you also need luck, which I had against Hurkacz. The next day, not so much. On this level you need a bit of luck, but it’s always positive when I win more than I lose.
Often it’s all about consistency.
That’s true, and there I’m still missing some percent. I need to reduce my ups and downs during a match and the only thing to do so is to have lots of matches in a row. The past weeks were perfect for me. That’s just what I need to get back my consistency.
Could it be that this is your last tournament in 2022?
I have asked for a wildcard in Paris next week. Depending on that I will see how much I will still play. It also depends on how I do in Vienna. If I manage to crack the top 100 here, I will probably finish the season. If not, I will most likely have to play one or two challengers later.
There were a lot of critics when you started your comeback. Did you ever doubt yourself?
The French Open were the absolute low and I can understand all the critics. The way I played there was cruel. There, I really doubted myself because I was practicing so hard in the weeks before. But I already saw during training that I wasn’t able to win sets against good players. The long practice sessions after Paris were extremely important. There it all started to click and I felt better, a bit like in the past. The first win on the tour in ATP was also important, then reaching the quarter-finals. That’s when I knew that I was again able to win against the good players. From then everything started to go into the right direction.