Five Things To Know About Challenger Star Mats Moraing
German has risen more than 100 spots in ATP Rankings in 2018
(1) Mats Moraing is the ATP Challenger Tour's breakout star in 2018
The World No. 155 won his maiden Challenger title at home in Koblenz, Germany last month after reaching the final in Bangkok as a qualifier to open his 2018 season. After the biggest win of his career over former World No. 6 Gilles Simon in Cherbourg last week, Moraing took a moment to address the reasons behind his success, and how he feels about his early form in 2018.
“I have been playing without injury since last year and practising hard. I think that has been the big difference and I'm playing consistently now. It was very special for me to win in Koblenz. It was my first big title and it came on home soil. I will always remember it,” said Moraing.
(2) The 25-year-old is making the transition look easy
The Koblenz champion, who only turned professional four years ago, aged 21, won 46 matches and three titles at the Futures level in 2017. Moraing has continued his progression this year, rising 119 spots in the ATP Rankings already to a career-high No. 155. The Mulheim-native has compiled a formidable 16-5 record on the ATP Challenger Tour in 2018, but was keen to stress the difficulty of success at the Challenger level.
“I think it's tougher on the Challenger Tour because everyone plays more consistent here. You have to fight for every point and no one is giving you any gifts on court,” added Moraing.
Photo: Andreas Walz
(3) He has a standout weapon
The 6’6” German has a massive serve. En route to the title in Koblenz, Moraing won 83 per cent of all points behind his first serve. The Challenger circuit star navigated a tough path to the trophy, which included Marco Cecchinato, Sergiy Stakhovsky and Kenny De Schepper, hitting 69 aces in 11 sets.
“My biggest weapon of course is my serve. I think it's dangerous on every surface. And, also, my forehand. I like to play on any surface, especially if it is fast.”
(4) He is inspired by the recent success of his countrymen
A citizen of one of the most famous nations in tennis history, Moraing has many compatriots to turn to for inspiration. After a 2017 season which saw Maximilian Marterer, Oscar Otte and Yannick Hanfmann all break into the Top 150 of the ATP Rankings, the German has plenty of reason to believe he can follow in their footsteps and continue rising further.
“They are all good friends of mine,” revealed Moraing. “I know them from playing Futures. We always talk and when I saw that they did so well last year, I thought that if they could do it, I could do the same. It has helped me a lot.”
(5) The Top 100 is in sight in 2018
In fact, it may be time for Moraing to re-assess his goals. After finding himself outside the Top 400 of the ATP Rankings just one year ago, the World No. 155 is already on the verge of achieving his initial goal for 2018: breaking into the Top 150.
“I wasn't expecting this great of a start,” admitted Moraing. “My initial goals were to be on the Challenger Tour full time by the end of the year, and be in the Top 150 or close to that. I'm already not far from that now, so maybe I can get to the Top 100. We'll see how it goes.”