There were times when press conferences with Philipp Kohlschreiber were short affairs. He answered questions from journalists verbally, sometimes he could not be gone fast enough. Basically, he was just consistent. External representation was not so important to him. It also witnessed a shocking cell phone video in which he once announced his retirement from the Olympics as if it were a tape tournament.
Another time, he contributed to Patrik Kuehnen having to go as team manager for the German Davis Cup team. He did not really avoid Zoff. But since the two meet this week at the MTTC Iphitos facility, where the BMW Open is played and Kühnen is a competent tournament manager, they are really kind to each other. Times have changed for a long time, and yet this bow, which Kohlschreiber, one of the best professionals in the German Tennis Federation for an incredible 20 years, now strikes, is remarkable: He started as an uncomfortable loner, became a team player and is now evolving into a reminder of the future of German men’s tennis. You have to do it first.
On Monday, he held a press conference that was special in many ways. The 38-year-old did not announce the end of his career, although he, the triple winner in Munich, admitted: “The chances are very good that I played here for the last time in singles.” He had previously lost his first round match in three sets against Daniel Altmaier from Kempen, this is 23rd, 67th on the ATP rankings and a bit like Kohlschreiber. Self-willed, purposeful. Kohlschreiber praised Altmaier in an almost fatherly tone, and a lecture developed in which he reflected quite a bit. Although there was a limit to pondering: he would not appear sentimental, he included from time to time jokes and, accompanied by laughter, he provided the appropriate self-description: “I am not the typical German, I” I am also a bit of a Spaniard. I play a lot of topspin, I stray and fight. “
Kohlschreiber also plays doubles with the young Rehberg – he wants to pass on some of his mentality to him
God, what a public voice of reason, Señor Kohlschreiber could have been in this traditional tennis country a long time ago if he had lived out the charming side that is in him much, much earlier. Of course, he has been respected and valued for a long time, being alone in the top 50 for ten years is something that very few manage to do. But maybe Kohlschreiber will soon be someone to listen to in German tennis. More than before.
He unequivocally and for the first time expressed that he would like to pass on his experience to younger people. “I would definitely have fun doing it,” he said. “I’ve always said it’s my way, my philosophy, how I was as a professional, I want to see if it can be implemented on others who can understand and also do it.” It’s essential that he competes in the doubles tournament in Munich with 18-year-old Max Hans Rehberg, and he hopes that Rehberg “might take one or two things from me, this mentality, with him”.
Kohlschreiber also presented concrete thoughts on the topic of talent training. “I could imagine that we need to give a little more help to the whole big tennis apparatus, the state associations, but also DTB,” he said. If the players are good enough and then maybe have a sponsor, says Kohlschreiber, “they might even be able to afford a one-on-one coach”. “One can not expect the association to say we send a coach every time.” It all sounded a lot like a plan, though Kohlschreiber was careful not to seem too demanding. He also knows that in the world of officials, who may overhear his words, every word has weight.
DTB President Dietloff von Arnim praises: Kohlschreiber is “an inspiration for any talent”
“It’s also easy for me to analyze things from the outside,” Kohlschreiber did so little less. “But the implementation is always the big problem. I can also be a good football coach in the critical area, but how can I teach it to the players or implement it in the team? One has to be more involved to understand the whole structure I would definitely be a friend to break things up. ” For him, it is also clear: “We have too few tennis players for our tennis Germany. Whether it is women or men, more can happen.” Whether consciously or not: With phrases like this, you naturally bring yourself into play. But no one from the association has spoken to him yet, he admitted, but it is very possible that this press conference will trigger something.
The first response was very positive. “Of course we will always sit down with players who want to get involved,” DTB president Dietloff von Arnim said Tuesday about SZ, “Philipp Kohlschreiber is an ingenious tennis player and has always been an incredibly hard worker.” Should he pass on his knowledge, it would be “an inspiration to any talent.” Michael Kohlmann was also open, the head of men’s tennis and Davis Cup team manager said: “From the DTB side, we are always interested in involving our top players. I will of course sit down with Philipp and talk about his ideas.”
Kohlschreiber is now 132nd in the world rankings. He slips off week after week and constantly loses points. He admits, “I’m not quite the pro I used to be.” Maybe you can still see him in Stuttgart and Halle, certainly at the qualifiers in Paris and Wimbledon. Back on the Challenger Tour? “I do not like it anymore,” he says. We now know that Kohlschreiber is interested in new tasks. This Monday, he has already built a bridge – for the time after his career.