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Andreas Seppi: New Trainer, New Perspective

Seppi© Getty ImagesSeppi broke into the Top 20 after his fourth-round showing in Melbourne this year.

Andreas Seppi has been playing tennis professionally for 11 years, but at 29, the World No. 18 is enjoying the best stretch of his career right now.

In 2011, he captured his first ATP World Tour title in Eastbourne and went a step further in 2012, winning two more trophies and reaching the round of 16 at a Grand Slam event for the first time at Roland Garros. There, he pushed World No. 1 Novak Djokovic to five sets to affirm his status as a serious threat to his opponents.

At the start of this season, Seppi reached the fourth round of the Australian Open to crack the Top 20, the first Italian to do so since Renzo Furlan on 22 April 1996. As part of Compeed's Form & Fitness series, Seppi discusses his change in trainers, increase in confidence and more…

Compeed 

You changed trainers this past season. Talk about what went into that decision and the impact you’ve seen thus far through the first three months of the season…
I think it was a good change for me to see something different and work on different things. I think I’ve learned that in the past, I did too much with weights and work on strength. So we’ve changed that and worked more on balance and flexibility for my shoulders, to open them up more, because I was always pretty locked there. I’ve felt more comfortable on the court and have seen positive results.

In two of your past four Grand Slam events, you won back-to-back five-set matches. To what do you attribute to your ability to come through these close contests the past 12 months?
I didn’t play very well in the majors before. I think with the work I’ve done the past two winters, I feel much more confident on the court. I feel I have more energy and don’t get tired fast. That’s why I’ve felt comfortable in these five-set matches.

You broke into the Top 20 for the first time in January. How important was it for you to attain this milestone?
It was always one of the goals for my career. That’s why I was working hard every day as it was a big achievement for me to get there. But I don’t want to stop here. I hope I can improve even more and reach higher goals. We’ll see how far it can go.

Athletes are always looking to get better. Is there anything you’re looking to improve in 2013 or have you targeted any new ranking goals?
I don’t have a ranking in mind to reach. I’m looking to stay fit and healthy. I would like to win another title this year. I just have to keep trying my best.

What is an exercise or stretch you’d recommend a recreational player add into their training programme?
What I always do before I play is warm up my shoulders and arms with the elastic bands. I think this is a good thing to do before a match.

Which player on tour do you think…
Has the strongest core?
David Ferrer
Has the best footwork? Roger Federer
Has the greatest muscular endurance? Rafael Nadal
Is the most flexible? Novak Djokovic or Gael Monfils
Is the quickest? Bjorn Phau
Has the best balance? Roger Federer

- COMPEED is an official supplier of the ATP.

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