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Getting To Know... Annika Beck

German tennis has a new star. She's a Roland Garros champ already, has her sights set on the Top 10 and is called Annika Beck.

Published December 07, 2012 11:35

Getting To Know... Annika Beck
Annika Beck

Tennis in Germany is enjoying something of a renaissance at present, with five players inside the Top 100 and several more knocking on the door.

But while it was Angelique Kerber, Julia Goerges and Sabine Lisicki that dominated the headlines in 2012, next season they could be vying for column inches with a new name.

Annika Beck started the year well outside the Top 200, but 62 wins - two more than World No.5 Kerber managed - and six ITF titles later, she was perched at a lofty No.78.

And this winning form was not just reserved for the ITF circuit, with the 18-year-old impressing on her handful of WTA appearances as well as picking up the girls' singles title at Roland Garros.

Next stop Down Under, but before that wtatennis.com tracked her down to find out a little bit more about the latest product off Germany's tennis production line.

How did you get into tennis?
AB:
I first played tennis when I went to a summer camp at a local tennis club after moving from Giessen to Bonn when I was five. I enjoyed playing right from the start, but I was also interested in other sports too, like athletics and ballet dancing. But I focused more and more on tennis and when I was 11 I stopped playing other sports seriously.

Can you tell us about your family?
AB:
My parents are really not from a tennis and sports background; my father, Johannes, is a professor in chemistry at the University of Bonn, and my mother, Petra, is also an academic chemist and does scientific research. My parents helped me a lot with my career and they still do. In the early years my mom or my dad accompanied me to tournaments and even now they organize much of my traveling.

Can you tell us about your current coaching situation?
AB:
My coach is Robert Orlik. We have been working together for a little more than three years and I really respect his experience and knowledge of tennis. My fitness coach, Michael Diehl, and my mental coach, Andreas Prause, are also really important, as is another coach, Neil McAffer, who also often accompanies me to tournaments - it's important to have a good team!

What are the strengths in your game?
AB:
I'm an aggressive baseliner, but also a good counter-punching player. My strengths are my groundstrokes and my footwork. I'm also strong mentally.

Did you have a tennis idol growing up?
AB:
Roger Federer was always the player I looked up to in my childhood. Even today, I admire his incredible elegance on the court.

What has been you best memory in tennis so far?
AB:
I have two: winning the French Open juniors in 2012 and also a few months later when I reached my first Grand Slam main draw, at Wimbledon.

Who has been your toughest opponent to date?
AB:
There have been several tough opponents and hard matches. In recent times I remember really well a few matches against Eleni Daniilidou. She is such a fighter and all our matches lasted over three hours. I had also hard matches against Klara Zakopalova, Aleksandra Wozniak and Kirsten Flipkens.

What are your goals in tennis?
AB:
To become a Top 10 player.

What is your favorite surface?
AB:
I love to play on fast surfaces like the grass at Wimbledon and Flushing Meadows' hardcourts.

How far did you go in your education?
AB:
In 2011, I finished school and achieved university entrance qualification (in Germany it's called 'Abitur'). It was quite hard to do both school and tennis, especially in the last two years when the final exams came nearer. But I loved school and did everything to manage my two parallel lives!

What do you like to do to for fun?
AB:
In the periods between tournaments, I love staying at home, just doing normal things like shopping, meeting friends and going to the cinema.

Do you have a favorite book, film or singer?
AB:
My favorite movie is Inception with Leonardo DiCaprio. My favorite singers are Jennifer Lopez and David Guetta.

If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?
AB:
One word only? Uhhh… that's difficult or even impossible! Maybe I'd call myself, 'competitive'?

If you could meet anyone in the world who would you like it to be?
AB:
President Obama and Steffi Graf, two very charismatic people.

If you hadn't been a tennis player, what would you be doing now?
AB:
I think I would be a student and study medical science.

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