Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies will be part of the German team at the inaugural ATP Cup, to be held from 3-12 January. They will join Alexander Zverev, Jan-Lennard Struff and Mats Moraing in Group F in Brisbane.
ATPTour.com caught up with Krawietz and Mies, who successfully transitioned from the ATP Challenger Tour to Roland Garros success and Nitto ATP Finals qualification in 2019.
What are you most looking forward to about the ATP Cup?
Krawietz: It’s great to be a part of the team and the team feeling, travelling around the world and following results of other German players. It’s great that former German players remain involved in the sport, such as Boris Becker, who will be the captain in Brisbane, plus Tommy Haas, Michael Kohlmann. It’s a big thing for us.
Who were your idols growing up? What shot would you like from a compatriot?
Krawietz: Roger Federer was one of the biggest for us, but also Marat Safin and Lleyton Hewitt for their style of play and personalities. If I could take one shot of a compatriot, it would be the Becker serve. Such power and placement.
Mies: My idol was Becker growing up, but I liked watching Roger, Haas, and the German guys. I’d certainly take the one-handed backhand of Haas, which was so smooth.
What is your favourite thing about Australia?
Mies: I like how relaxed Australia is. I went to Melbourne this year and I felt that the people were very nice. It’s completely different to Germany, where things are strict and people are stressed. Australia is more relaxed.
Krawietz: For me, Australia has great weather and beautiful cities.
Which German player do you find funny?
Krawietz: Struffi is funny, even when he doesn’t try to be. Kohli can have a dry and ironic sense of humour.
Mies: We’re Germans, we don’t joke! No, no, we like to joke around and have a lot of laughs. I once took a German player’s car key, and he was so stressed, looking around non-stop.
What are the things you love most about Germany?
Krawietz: When I come back, I always realise Germany is so structured and organised, that everything is on time. But I also see that people are stressed. I also like the football.
What sports did you play growing up?
Krawietz: I started playing tennis, football and a little bit of basketball, then I had a decision to continue with two sports.
Mies: Growing up, I played a lot of football, that was probably my main hobby until 10-11, when my parents said they couldn’t drive me four times per week for tennis and football. So I had to decide. I tried athletics and swimming too, but I stuck to tennis.
When did you first meet, and subsequently play together?
Krawietz: We met during Futures tournaments together. I was playing junior tournaments, then in 2017, I was looking for a fixed partner, as we were both changing partners a lot. We said let’s try it out.
Mies: I graduated from Auburn University in 2013, with an international business degree, and returned to Germany that summer. We played against each other a few times in doubles, then in December 2013, we played against each other in singles of the German Championships. Kevin won 7-6 in the third set and it still hurts, he was 5-1 up in the third set and I got to 6-5. He smelled the victory and beat me.
We played our first tournament in Meerbusch, a Challenger, and won. I was injured a bit after that for a few months, then we started playing full-time in 2018 and here were are.
How did your life change after you won your the Roland Garros title?
Krawietz: It was a special moment after Roland Garros. The walk from the Halle practice court to the hotel normally takes just a few minutes, but this time it took 30 minutes because we were signing so many autographs. We were very grateful and humbled. We helped conduct the singles draw and there were 200 people watching us. It was a great feeling.
Mies: Life has changed since then for sure, playing smaller events and the ATP Challenger Tour. It was a big surprise, even for us. There was a lot of attention all of a sudden, as it was 82 years since the last all-German pair (Gottfried Von Cramm and Henner Henkel) won a Grand Slam championship in 1937. There was so much attention in the first few weeks and we didn’t sleep very much the first few days as our phones were going off so much. Going to Halle and having so much attention, we weren’t used to it.
Source: ATP World Tour