Here is the translation of Mona's interview with abendblatt.de. I have improved the google translation so that it should be more understandable.
Tennis pro Mona Barthel: "I'm living my dream"
The 22-year-old from Bad Segeberg will belong to the German team in Stuttgart against Serbia. In the interview she talks about her idol, team spirit and insults.
Hamburg. A year has passed since Mona Barthel joined the Fed Cup squad for the first time. But before the match against Australia, which the German tennis ladies lost and thus descended from the world group, the 22-year-old was only training partner. This week Barthel, born in Bad Segeberg and residing in Neumünster, will be for the first time part of the four German tennis aces who want to pull off the reemergence against Serbia in Stuttgart.
Hamburger Abendblatt: Congratulations, Mrs. Barthel, you can finally celebrate your Fed Cup debut. You are currently the german number two behind Angelique Kerber. Do you expect to be nominated for the singles?
Mona Barthel: Of course not. I would be very happy if I could play. But the impressions of the training week will be decisive. I am very glad that I am allowed to be there. For me it is a great experience, no matter if I will play or not.
This experience you already could have had back in February. But you cancelled the first round encounter against France because it did not fit into your tournament schedule. Why does it fit now?
Barthel: It has been a bit messed up. I cancelled for personal reasons that I do not want to explain. It was a difficult decision, especially because I had won the tournament in Paris just before the encounter and I was in a good shape. And that’s why my refusal was discussed so much in public.
Were you surprised by the negative response, and were you afraid that head coach Barbara Rittner therefor wouldn’t nominate you for some time?
Barthel: No, it was not a decision against the team. On the contrary, I love to play in the team in order to feel this special atmosphere and a group behind me, supporting me. Barbara always wants to compete with the best possible team. I'm in a good shape and I think that I can help. So I think that she is glad to have me in her team. And I'm glad that I am an option.
Tennis players are lonesome wolves. How difficult is it to suddenly switch into team mode at one time and subordinate oneself?
Barthel: That’s not hard for me at all. Because we are all year alone, I love the variety that brings a team competition. I have always enjoyed playing Bundesliga.
The Fed Cup team gives a very homogeneous impression for years. Is it difficult to get integrated into the team as a new member?
Barthel: I would not say that I am a newbie. We constantly see each other at tournaments and we all get along very well with each other.
It is hard to believe that it is so easy to create a good working cooperation with people with whom you compete throughout the year.
Barthel: Why not? Such a team creates strength, which can be beneficial for each member. Competition is a beautiful situation. We currently have such an overflow of good players in Germany that we can even cope with the absence of a top player like Andrea Petkovic. It's at most a luxury problem. And we have so many more players that come into question for the team.
Doesn’t it set you under pressure? Does it annoy you sometimes, that you do not play tennis at a time at which you were the number one with your performance?
Barthel: More than anything I think not. I do not care that five years ago I might have been the best German, because it is hypothetical. I am very excited about the success of the other Germans, for me it is a motivation. On the other hand I never try to compare myself with others, but always with the player who I once was. I just look at my development and not on my ranking.
Your development was rapid in the past 15 months. 2012 You played your first full year on the WTA Tour and won the tournament of Hobart at the beginning of the year. Was this the moment when you felt that you've arrived in professional tennis?
Barthel: Whether this was a moment I do not even remember. To win in Hobart was great of course, but at that time many opponents did not know me well so I had perhaps the element of surprise on my side. Therefore, I believe that the victory in Paris this year, at a much higher prized tournament, was the step, with whom I have shown that I belong. To prove that I can compete with the best in the world, was a confirmation that I made the right decision. I had to defend a lot of points early this year, because I had played strongly in the beginning of 2012. Nevertheless, I bettered my performance again. That indicates to me that the potential is there to improve myself further.
You said you compare only with the player who you were. How have you changed with regard to athletic and personal aspects in the past months?
Barthel: With regard to my sport I have learned a lot. Above all I have more routine, and that gives me peace of mind to stay focused and calm in difficult moments, because I know what may come. Personally I have not changed. I'm motivated as ever to improve myself. I ventured into regions, of which I have previously only dreamed about. But now I want more.
In the regions in which you are playing now, the steps forward are naturally smaller. Are you patient enough to stay satisfied even if you are only able to hold your position for some time?
Barthel: Yes, of course. I'm always aware of how much luck I have to have the talent to be able to live my dream. As a little girl I was dreaming of becoming a professional tennis player. Steffi Graf was my idol, I wanted to do what she did. On the whole, I am on the right track, I think.
However, you have made your high school to have a plan B in your pocket. Did you sometimes doubt whether tennis is the right way?
Barthel: It was very important for me to make my high school, because as a result the doors are open in case the career suddenly would be over for some reason. But at the moment I feel that what I'm doing is absolutely right for me.
Your father was a European champion in shot put, your mother has studied sports. Was it predestined with such sports parents that you would also live a life in professional sports?
Barthel: Not at all, my parents let it open for my sister and me what we wanted to do. Even today they ask me sometimes if I feel comfortable with tennis. But they were certainly glad that I've always liked to do sports. This is simply a way of life, an attitude to life.
Is it good for a young adult when the mother is a constant companion like in your case?
Barthel: I think it's nice to have someone from the family to be with me when I travel. After all, I travel ten months a year. It's certainly not my mother’s dream, she would much rather have remained a teacher. But due to her early retirement, it has evolved, and it is my decision that she is always with me. My parents are certainly not the tennis parents, we all know from the cliché.
Do you fear the day when you will be cutting the umbilical cord?
Barthel: Not at all, we already take our freedom today, I live my own life. But right now my mother is very helpful for many things for which I don’t have time.
When you won in Paris, many colleagues have congratulated you on Twitter but they did not reach you because in contrast to most other German players you do not communicate via Facebook or Twitter. Why are you afraid of social networks?
Barthel: It's nothing that I am afraid of. I run my own website for years on the Internet. My mother was a computer science teacher, I had the subject in school, and that’s why we started to create the site some years ago. Up to this day, we do it all alone, I write the lyrics myself completely. At the moment I think that I do not need Facebook and Twitter because I would only repeat myself.
Could it be that you are worrying the viciousness of these networks? After all, your acne is often discussed there.
Barthel: No, I don’t think so. I'm happy with myself, but of course there are people who gossip about you. That's part of your life, especially when you are standing in public. I don’t find it that badly. I think that these insults are saying more about the person who insults than about me. The important thing is that you have family and friends who are able to help you, and I have. In addition, the dream of being a professional tennis player is much greater than the fear of insults.
Finally please tell us what would make you happy, when you compare yourself at the end of the year with the Mona Barthel of today.
Barthel: I want to improve my game, get higher consistency in my first serve and I want my second serve to be more dangerous.