Daniel Altmaier reflects on ITF Tour in Egypt and prepares for clay season
By Mark Ashenden
Last Updated: 09/04/19 4:29pm
After long-term injury woe, Daniel Altmaier is back getting stuck into competition and learning to love playing tennis again.
The 20-year-old Sky Sports Scholar is back from a month competing in Egypt.
He opens up on some crucial lessons as he plots his rise up the rankings ahead of a busy summer on clay and grass....
"First of all I'm still massively happy to be healthy and fit.
My goals after my first two months of competing weren't that high. The main thing was to get as many matches as possible again to find a good rhythm in tournaments.
I wanted to win roughly eight matches in singles and I also wanted to play doubles to work specifically on my serving and returning game during the month.
When I start to look back I'm quite positive about my trip.
I made one final in singles, one semi-final and won one more round, so in total I played 12 matches and won eight which was also roughly the goal.
Also in doubles I made one final, one semi-final and one quarter-final. In total I played 22 matches including singles during the trip. I feel that's pretty good after everything I've been through.
Tennis-wise I still have the feeling that some things need time to connect again. For example, reading the game, seeing where the ball comes next and which shots I should play in what position.
It's something I will get with just playing matches. This experience I can feel is missing because I have been not playing for a year. That's why I'm very patient and also not too hard on myself because it really takes time.
There's also the feeling that I want to do things accurately and perfect and that doesn't always help!
It's advice I'm getting from my team about a lot at this time. I need to enjoy it more and being on court not to play with my head but more to play with instinct. I think that's the most important thing for me right now.
The expectations or results shouldn't bother me, I actually need to block it away and see the long-term process and that's what I have to work for.
As soon as some of these points start clicking again, I will be on the up and I will make good steps forward.
Now I'm back in Germany and I've had enough time to reflect and analyse what went well and what to work on. Also now it's in the past and I look forward to what's coming up next.
I'm currently preparing for the clay season which I really like. It's a surface I feel really comfortable on because I have played a lot on it.
I am doing my first sessions together with Dustin Brown (former ATP No 60 and conqueror of Rafa Nadal at Wimbledon) followed by a training block with Jan-Lennard Struff (current ATP No 45).
They are super guys to practise with because It always helps to train with more experienced players. I haven't played with top-ranked players for a long time so it's something I really look forward to and I'm happy to have such good preparation.
My next tournament is in Antalya in Turkey where I will play two events on the ITF Future Tour.
Then I'm off to Berlin for another practice week to get ready for a hopefully 'highlight of the month' ATP event in Munich.
April should be a very exciting month and hopefully with great moments."