Carlo Tränhardt was one of the world’s best high jumpers in the 1980s, his record is 2.42 meters. But his great love is tennis. A very relaxed conversation on the sidelines of the ATP Tour 250 tournament in Munich.
by Jens Huiber
last edited: 29/04/2022, 07:27
Tennis net: Sir. Tranhardt. What was your impression of Philipp Kohlschreiber on what might have been his last appearance in Munich?
Carlo Tranhardt: Logically, at the age of 39, you ride into the sunset. I watched the match against Daniel Altmaier and I think Kohli played really well. He needs to win the first set, he was better there. When he lacked the ultimate consequence. And a little mishap with net reels has also occurred. But that’s part of it. I loved watching him play. Philipp will make the right decision when it’s time to stop.
Tennis net: You accompanied Philipp Kohlschreiber personally, but also in your capacity as part of the support team for the German Davis Cup team. Germany drew with France, Belgium and Canada on Tuesday. How do you view this constellation – also provided that Alexander Zverev will play for Germany in Hamburg?
Tranhardt: With Sascha you can win the case. It’s that simple. Last year in Innsbruck we reached the semifinals without Sascha, but with a fantastic Struffi, a great doubles match and a great team performance. The feeling of togetherness with us is truly amazing. If we can lead it into September and then into the final, anything is possible. And Sascha is always good for two points. He was amazing in Rio, for example. After a difficult journey from Acapulco. He immediately integrated into the team, everyone was happy that he was there with Sascha.
Tränhardt on the Davis Cup team: “It’s a great team”
Tennis net: What’s your role during Davis Cup Week?
Tranhardt: I’m only seeing the Davis Cup folks for a few days. Then we discuss their physical and mental condition, what they did last week, etc. You do not have much time. It is primarily about getting the muscles to the best possible status for the fights. That everyone feels fresh, is in the mood and hungry for victory. And we try to achieve this homogeneity of individuals in a team. And there I am a little piece of the mosaic.
Tennis net: The impression from the outside is that Alexander Zverev feels very comfortable on this team.
Tranhardt: Yes. It’s also a great team with great people. We all treat each other with respect and have a lot of fun. The trick is to have it on all day and into the weekend. But the players do it very well on their own.
Tennis net: You also like to look beyond national borders. So: When you jumped the eight feet, ie 2.40 meters, it must have been like reaching a goal in life. Dominic Thiem has reached his life goal with the US Open. And fell into a mental hole shortly after. Can you understand that?
Tranhardt: I really appreciate Dominic, I know him pretty well. For me, it was like this: I just had the feeling that I could jump even higher. And would not stop without reaching my potential. I think Dominic could have won more Grand Slam tournaments, like the Australian Open 2020. But he needs a lot of strength for his game. I hope he recovers completely and wish him all the best.
“I think Alcaraz is cool”
Tennis net: In the last few weeks, Carlos Alcaraz has really kicked off the ATP tour. What is your impression of him?
Tranhardt: I think Alcaraz is amazing. The match against Tsitsipas in Barcelona is incredible. Tsitsipas plays a forehand longline at 300 km / h – and Alcaraz plays a backhand longline at 400, which was no longer possible. And he also seems like a nice guy, even though I do not know him personally. When Tsitsipas wanted to shoot him, he just grabbed his nose, which in Spain means, “It was not that nice of you.”
Tennis net: One often hears that the German school system prevents talented people like Alcaraz or Holger Rune from developing so wonderfully. Do you agree with that? What are the parallels to your sport, athletics?
Tranhardt: In athletics you can unite it. You do not need a partner to play with. In tennis, the organization is much more complex. And with our school system, scopes like in other countries can not be implemented.
“I wish there was more humility among footballers”
Tennis net: And the risk is high. After all, relatively few tennis players in the world can really make a living from their jobs.
Tranhardt: A few days ago I participated in a TV discussion on Bayerischer Rundfunk. So I tried to get a connection to football. I think tennis players train much more energetically and in more detail. This is not the case in football. Football is more trivial. It is the mass of people who bring this huge income to football, where anyone who can go roughly straight earns three or four million in the Bundesliga. We must not discuss that there is no justice in the distribution of funds. But I would sometimes wish for a little more humility among the football players.
Tennis net: Finally, give us a player that you are willing to pay the most admission for. Whether it is young or old.
Tranhardt: I even play a one-handed backhand. I think Musetti is very cool. But for whom would I go to the stadium again: for Roger Federer. I was so lucky to see him in training sometimes, spent a few days with Peter Gojowczyk in Zurich. Just fantastic. Watching tennis on TV with Roger Federer is a world experience. How he analyzes the beats, how he makes jokes: a humorist par excellence.
Tennis net: Federer watches tennis matches on TV?
Tranhardt: He looks at every shit. He watches more tennis than us.
Tennis net: How well are you doing on the tennis court?
Tranhardt: I was allowed to play a ProAm double here with Stan Wawrinka and Marin Cilic. I served Cilic an ace on the outside. It was an incredible feeling.
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