I always wanted to be a footballer, but my dad played tennis. One year, we were on holiday, my father took me to play. I hit a few shots and the hotel’s coach said “Jürgen looks like he has talent, he’s moving well, he has good co-ordination. When you get home, get him some lessons.” So we did.
Soon I became regional U10 champion. I still loved football, but I played tennis because I was good at it. Kids like things they’re good at. I turned 12 and came third in the Austrian championships. As I got better, it got difficult to combine the two sports. At 14 I had to choose one. I chose tennis because I felt I had to use that talent.
I love that it’s an individual sport and it’s fair. If you’re good, you make it, if you’re not you won’t. I was lucky, my parents sent me to the right tennis school. I became Austrian U18 Champion and a few months later I won Wimbledon Juniors. The rest is history.
I still play because I love it. I’ll play as long as my body allows me to play. It’s great to be on court in front of a crowd trying to beat the guy on the other side with what you’ve got on that day, both physically and mentally.
My aim is to leave the game at a level I’m still proud of. Being 36, this could come soon, but hopefully I can play a few more years of doubles.
In life, my aim is to give opportunities to my wife, my kid and the whole family. I’ve had a good career and I want to pass that onto my family. That’s what drives me.
I still play because I love it. I’ll play as long as my body allows me to play.
Tennis has given me so much. My greatest achievement in singles was reaching the 2010 French Open semis, beating Djokovic in the quarters from two sets and a break down. That’s never been done before. I was fortunate enough to win two Grand Slams in doubles with one of my best friends. Holding that Wimbledon doubles trophy was a big moment. Also, I’ll never forget winning twice in my home town of Vienna. But being world number 8 in singles and world number 6 in doubles at the same time, that’s probably the best moment.
Left handed, two handed backhand
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