Jurgen Melzer Comments On His Relationship With Myskina
Posted 03/04/2007 @ 5 :39 AM
Jurgen Melzer may rate Las Vegas the “coldest week of my tennis life”, but he’ll remember it warmly.
The talented left-hander from Austria is through to the final here, and he’ll be trying for his second tournament win when he faces Lleyton Hewitt on Sunday. Melzer reacted with intense and public joy after winning his first career title last September in Bucharest.
“Of course it’s emotional when you get your first title,” he said in an interview this week. “I have played three finals before and lost all of them close in the third set. It’s never easy to get your first title, so I’m really happy because the press back in Austria, they had already been asking,’when is the first title coming?’
“The only bitter thing was that I was completely alone there – was no coach, no girlfriend, no nothing there. You like to share those kind of moments in your life.”
Though Melzer returned home to Vienna the next day, the celebrations had to be further postponed because a Davis Cup tie required him to leave again almost immediately. “We celebrated after Davis Cup,” he said. “We had nice dinner with some friends and then went to a nightclub, I had some tables organized. It was a good evening.”
At the time, Melzer was going out with fellow player Anastasia Myskina, though the two have since split and Melzer is in Vegas with his new girlfriend. “We still keep in touch. She’s injured at the moment, she had surgery,” he said of Myskina, who has been off the tour since October with toe problems in her left foot.
“We had a tough time at the end of last year and we just decided for the better that we split. It was kind of her not playing that much anymore, and staying more in Moscow. Vienna-Moscow was probably the biggest problem – where to go, how to see each other more often.”
With his variety and all-court game, Melzer has long been considered a dangerous floater by his peers on the men’s tour, but struggled to take his results to the next level. His nickname on the circuit is Jo-Jo (‘yo-yo’), thanks to his up-and-down form.
“He’s awkward for a lot of guys, and he’s pushed a lot of higher-ranked guys in the past,” said Hewitt. “He’s a very underrated player.”
After a promising rise in 2004, Melzer went through a lengthy slump in 2005. “I struggled after having two sets to love up against Coria in the third round of Wimbledon,” said Melzer. “I lost that match and lost completely my confidence. Didn’t win many matches for almost a year.”
Forced to re-examine his career, Melzer decided he wanted to start living up to his potential. He hired a new fitness coach, and focused on developing mental toughness.
When about 12 years old, Melzer had to make a choice between pursuing soccer or tennis, and went with tennis because it was an individual sport where he could control his own destiny. But it took longer for him to start doing so.
“God gave me a lot of natural talent - thanks for that. I started when I was eight, basically nine, that’s very late,” he said. “There were times when I was ranked around 50 or 70, when I thought, ‘I’m not using it at all.’ The talent alone [isn’t enough], you have to work hard, and I started doing that basically one and a half years ago.”