In cooperation with Giulio Gasparin
Kathinka Von Deichmann, currently at her best ranking at #240, is one of the stars of ChiassOpen, ITF tournament ($25.000). She reached semifinals, so far, after beating Lina Gjorcheska in a very peculiar but entertaining match. After last “Komm jetzt” that closed her quarterfinal match, she talked with us about her tennis, her dreams and the tennis world.
Let’s talk about today’s match against Lina Gjorcheska. It was a rollercoaster I would say…
I was very nervous at the beginning, I couldn’t hit the ball the way I wanted to, but then I started to hit faster and faster and I was pushing more. I wasn’t giving her the rhythm and I was dictating the game and she was missing a lot. All of sudden in the second set I was only pushing and putting the ball on court and she started to play better and better, hitting many winners because I allowed her to play her game. Because of that I started to feel the pressure and the tension, but then in the 3rd set I started to push more, go for my shots more and started pumping myself with come on’s and that… I started to play smarter and she was struggling with that, so it was the key to the win.
How tough is to regroup after losing a set with a 6-0?
It is very difficult, but I knew what to do and I did it in the first set very good, so I knew I could do it. I had to do the game and not let her do it, so I wanted to be the “leader” of the game and that’s what I did. So I kept this in my mind with positive thoughts and it was the key to find my focus again.
You had a positive start of 2017 season. Where do you see yourself in singles ranking in the short period?
I have been playing very good matches and tournaments already this year, so I am very motivated to keep climbing the rankings, but I want to think match by match, or even point by point. I don’t want to think too much about the future or the rankings: I want to focus on my game, on improving and becoming a better player and a better personality, the rest will follow.
You still have to play your first slam and I read your favourite surface is grass. What about debuting in Wimbledon?
I am thinking about Wimbledon qualies and I’d love to make my Grand Slam debut there, but I am not putting myself pressure to do it: if it comes, it comes, if not, I will make it next year. I take everything step by step, as I said.
You come from a small nation. Do you think coming from Liechtenstein gave you a tougher path to come where you are now?
It’s actually pretty cool to play for Liechtenstein: I love playing for my country and it’s an honour really. We have everything there and the Olympic federation is so nice, they do a lot for us athletes… we are not too many but everything is absolutely perfect for us to improve.
Tell us a bit more about yourself.
I think I am quite a funny person, I like to laugh a lot and to do stupid things. I love to enjoy life and do silly things from time to time.
It is not that common in WTA, but you “chose” to play with one handed backhand. Why not two handed?
I was playing my backhand two-handed until I was 13 or 14, but it wasn’t my favourite shot at all and I was struggling a lot to hit it. Out of nothing I decided to try and play it one handed and immediately it felt so much better: I like to slice it and I like to hit it, so we started to learn that… definitely a good choice!
Many say WTA level is not as high as in the past. What you want to say about this?
I think the level is getting better and better, so I don’t agree with whom says otherwise. The level of fitness especially is very strong and girls have to take care of their bodies more. It is tougher and tougher, the girls have to play more matches and are on the road for longer, so if anything, it is getting tougher to get to the top.