Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies are relaxed, the narrow opening victory in Munich against Hans Hach Verdugo and Philipp Oswald was less than two hours ago. For the German double, also known by the “brand name” KraMies, every victory counts at the moment, no matter in which round, no matter what competition.
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Krawietz and Mies also find critical words. For example, when it comes to crossing boundaries on the field. They do not condemn mind games with their opponents in themselves, but it depends on how.
Tobias Laure conducted the interview
Is a comeback harder in doubles than in singles? Not only must the individual performance be right, but also the interaction with the partner.
Kevin Krawietz: In any case. Double is a team sport. You need to work on your things individually and hope that your partner does the same. And then you need a common tactic without which nothing works. At least not if you want to play consistently.
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In football, people like to talk about teams that are not well-trained. Did you feel the same way and what was the main problem in the beginning?
Andreas Mies: We got off to a good start to the season with the semi-finals in Sydney and the quarter-finals of the Australian Open. But then a couple of unfortunate circumstances came together without trying to use it as an excuse. But shortly after Australia, I became infected with the corona virus in Dubai. I was feeling really bad back then. I flew home. The disease kept me busy for six weeks. I was not boosted at the time, had a vaccine from Johnson & Johnson and one from Biontech. I sometimes still feel on the devices that I am lacking energy. Kevin had a long season last year, no vacation and no preparation. It was hard at first. And that’s not all.
Bad: I had dropped down the rankings because of my break and we were suddenly no longer seeded. It gave us difficult draws. As a result, we always got big chunks in the first round. Mahut / Martin in Rotterdam, Ram / Salisbury in Indian Wells and Hurkacz / Isner in Miami were the later tournament winners. We played well and of course we can beat them, but if we are both five percent down, it will be difficult.
In the meantime, according to the outside impression, it looks easier again. In Barcelona, you have your first joint title since your French Open coup in October 2020.
Bad: First in Monte Carlo we tried to force it with a koben. But it did not work. In Barcelona we again got a good mix.
It’s extremely cool that we were able to contribute to the increasing popularity of doubles, especially in Germany. But the huge successes of the Grand Slam tournaments were also necessary for this.
Double competition often plays only a minor role in the media, if you think about them at all. They managed to break through the shady existence, not least with two French Open titles.
Krawietz: It is a great honor for us that we unleashed a little hype after the first and also after the second success in Roland Garros. You feel the effects in the clubs, and we feel a change when we enter the facility. It’s nice that the doubles are being pushed and getting more airtime on TV. We are, of course, aware that the individual is in the foreground, but the relationship could be different. I also understand that it’s harder because double matings keep breaking up. So who are you a fan of? So I’m glad Eurosport, for example, gives doubles more importance and also shows the matches in Eurosport Player. ATP is also doing something, but more could be done …
Bad: … and I would like to join. It’s extremely cool that we were able to contribute to the increasing popularity of doubles, especially in Germany. But the huge successes of the Grand Slam tournaments were also necessary for this. It helped that after 82 years there was a title for a German doubles team in Paris.
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Which has changed the way you look at your discipline.
Bad: Yes. We want to get away from this image, this ‘We only play doubles right away’. Our message is: “Great, we serve doubles.” We would especially encourage children and young people to play doubles and train specifically for this. If we can be a role model, then we are very happy.
Krawietz: The double thrives on emotion, and it makes sense that the two Australians are so celebrated as crowd favorites in Melbourne. But I also think sometimes it’s too much.
Does it mean concrete?
Krawietz: When Kyrgios does not show respect for other players, it is unsportsmanlike behavior for me. We all know he’s an entertainer and fans love him for it. But again: If he shows disrespect for his opponents, it’s very bad.
Now mind games are a part of it to some degree. How are you two doing with it?
Bad: Basics: It’s cool that we have characters like Nick on the tour who help tennis – even if you can argue about whether he’s a good guy or not. We can all agree that he is a talented tennis player who could consistently be in the top 10 in singles. But he does it differently and does his little tricks. Sometimes our fuse jumps, then the bat flies, or people swear. It can happen. During matches, I raise my voice every now and then to push ourselves and signal to the opponents: ‘Hi, we are here and we get this today.’ But I make sure it never gets ugly or unsportsmanlike to our opponents.
Would you like to meet Kyrgios and Kokkinakis in Melbourne?
Bad: Clear. We would love to have played against them both in the final – and beat them. That would have been an absolute highlight. With his gestures and insoles, Kyrgios pushes the boundaries. Sometimes he goes a little further and sometimes even a lot.
Let’s consider another bold thesis: Krawietz and Mies French Open Champions 2022 – realistic?
Krawietz: This is now far advanced. We come from a stage that was not so good and then we won Barcelona. Paris means good memories for us, but it’s not really an advantage that we won the French Open twice …
bad (laughs): … and I would like to state that we can not automatically start in the quarterfinals just because we have won the title twice.
From the dream: Krawietz / Mies defeated by Peers / Polasek – highlights
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