First-Time Winner Spotlight: Peter Gojowczyk
After 11 years of fighting for his professional tennis dreams, Peter Gojowczyk became an ATP World Tour champion, capturing his maiden title on Sunday at the Moselle Open. The 28 year old defeated Benoit Paire 7-5, 6-2 in the Metz final.
The German qualifier claimed seven matches in eight days to triumph, completing a stunning run to the title with 14 of 15 sets won. His victory is the first for a qualifier in an ATP World Tour final since Nicolas Mahut in 's-Hertogenbosch in 2015.
Gojowczyk is also the sixth first-time champion on the ATP World Tour in 2017. Damir Dzumhur added a seventh maiden title with his triumph at the St. Petersburg Open just hours later on Sunday.
First-Time Winners In 2017
|Damir Dzumhur||25||St. Petersburg|
Afterwards, Gojowczyk spoke to ATPWorldTour.com:
How does it feel to be standing with the trophy, and as a first-time ATP World Tour winner?
It feels great to win my first ATP World Tour title. This was the goal this week.
Was this something you dreamed of growing up, and playing tennis as a junior?
My dream was always to be in the top-50, then the top-30; the top-15 if it's possible.
What was your approach going into your first ATP World Tour final against Benoit, who was playing in his fifth final?
I was trying to move well, hit the ball clearly and play aggressively.
This was your seventh match of the tournament (including two rounds of qualifiers). How are you feeling?
I feel quite good; I only played one three-set match this week (first round win against Norbert Gombos, 3-6, 7-6 , 6-3). I was playing amazing this week.
How did you manage to put together seven match wins in a row?
My game was to play aggressive from the baseline; groundstrokes, forehands, backhands -- hit the ball hard and clear, and to move well. It's always tough to play against me when I’m feeling good on the court.
Now that you've won your first ATP World Tour title, what goals do you have for the rest of the season and into 2018?
That's always tough to say; you go from point-from-point, match-to-match. I'm speechless because I won my first title on the ATP Tour. It feels great; right now, I'm around 60 or 70 (in the Emirates ATP Rankings). Maybe I can manage a top-50 ranking for this year; for 2018, I’m not thinking about that right now.
You started the season by winning the Happy Valley Challenger in Australia, ranked No. 189; and now you will be ranked in the top 70. Talk about your ranking jump and what you've done to get to this level.
I've changed where I train, I'm traveling with my own trainer and I'm trying to stay in shape. In 2014 I was a career high No. 79; then I injured my left foot. This year, I had an operation on my right foot. Now, I travel with my physiotherapist to keep my fitness level up.
You've had a lot of support in your career. Who are the people that have helped you get to this level and whom would you like to acknowledge?
A lot of people; my parents, of course. They've helped me a lot from the beginning on the Tour. Also, my coach right now, Alexander Satschko.
Is there a player or players you looked up to or admired growing up?
My dream was always to play against Roger Federer. It hasn't happened yet but we'll see; maybe in Australia next year. I've played twice against [Rafael Nadal], once in the semifinals in Doha [in 2014]. I lost in three sets [4-6, 6-2, 6-3]. That was also the point where [I] believed in myself. Now, I have my first ATP title.
When you're not playing tennis, what are your other interests?
I'm interested in soccer; my favorite team is [Bundesliga defending champions] Bayern Munich. My second interest is to cook; I do that very often at home and I love it.