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Old Apr 16th, 2013, 05:17 PM   #166
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Re: Mona Barthel News & Opinion

Here is the translation of Mona's interview with abendblatt.de. I have improved the google translation so that it should be more understandable.

Quote:
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.
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Old Apr 16th, 2013, 05:26 PM   #167
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Re: Mona Barthel News & Opinion

Heiko, you are awesome. Thank you.
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Old Apr 16th, 2013, 05:39 PM   #168
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Re: Mona Barthel News & Opinion

Quote:
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.
Was it necessary to ask this question?
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Old Apr 16th, 2013, 05:42 PM   #169
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Re: Mona Barthel News & Opinion

Anyway, it was a good interview. Perfect answers from Mona.
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Old Apr 16th, 2013, 05:49 PM   #170
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Re: Mona Barthel News & Opinion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leyla. View Post
Was it necessary to ask this question?
I don't think that this was necessary but at least we do know now how well Mona handles this issue. She gave the perfect answer in my opinion.
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Old Apr 17th, 2013, 12:52 AM   #171
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tecumseh View Post
Here is the translation of Mona's interview with abendblatt.de. I have improved the google translation so that it should be more understandable.
Thank you! Then I will translate it into Chinese for the Chinese fans in the Chinese forum.
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Old Apr 17th, 2013, 05:44 AM   #172
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Re: Mona Barthel News & Opinion

Quote:
Originally Posted by yoite View Post
Thank you! Then I will translate it into Chinese for the Chinese fans in the Chinese forum.
Does Mona have a lot of fans in China?
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Old Apr 17th, 2013, 06:05 AM   #173
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tecumseh View Post
Does Mona have a lot of fans in China?
Actually not a lot. You know almost all the Chinese fans are focus on Li Na. Compared with the quantity of Li's fans, the quantity of Mona's is smaller. But there are also more then 100 fans of Mona in our forum.
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Old Apr 17th, 2013, 06:15 AM   #174
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Re: Mona Barthel News & Opinion

Quote:
Originally Posted by yoite View Post
Actually not a lot. You know almost all the Chinese fans are focus on Li Na. Compared with the quantity of Li's fans, the quantity of Mona's is smaller. But there are also more then 100 fans of Mona in our forum.
I think that's quite a lot. It's good to see that Mona has some international fanbase.
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Old Apr 17th, 2013, 08:43 AM   #175
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Re: Mona Barthel News & Opinion

Thanks a lot for the interview and doing the translation job, Heiko.

The authenticity of interviews of course is always questionable.
But Mona is doing remarkably well here and is showing once again that she is not just very nice and confident but also a pretty smart person.
As Heiko said her answer in the Akne question was "perfect".
And also the way she curved around the Facebook/twitter issue shows it.
After all Mona seems to be fine and that`s great news.

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Old Apr 18th, 2013, 06:21 AM   #176
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Re: Mona Barthel News & Opinion

Mona in the fed cup live-chat:

Quote:
17.04.2013 12:38
Jeffrey Carbillet: @Mona What does it mean for you to be part of the Fed cup team and to play for your country ?

17.04.2013 19:04
Mona Barthel: It\'s a great honour for me to be part of the Fed Cup Team...I\'m really excited to have such a fun week with the girls!!!
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Old Apr 18th, 2013, 04:45 PM   #177
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Re: Mona Barthel News & Opinion

Von Ulrike Weinrich | SID

Quote:
Fed Cup - Mona Barthel: Die etwas Andere

Mona Barthel hat ihren eigenen Kopf. Das war schon früher so, als sie auf die Frage nach ihrem Namen wie selbstverständlich antwortete: "Steffi Graf". Das ist zwar fast zwei Jahrzehnte her, aber sie sticht auch heute noch aus der Masse der Spielerinnen auf der Tour hervor. Mona Barthel, die im Relegationsspiel gegen Serbien in Stuttgart wohl als zweite Einzelspielerin antreten wird, tickt anders.

Was nicht immer von Vorteil ist. Als die 22-Jährige im Februar überraschend das hochkarätig besetzte Hallenturnier in Paris gewann, gab es im sozialen Netzwerk viele Glückwunsche für die große Blonde aus Neumünster.

Der Haken: Barthel ist weder bei Twitter noch bei Facebook angemeldet. Anders als der Rest des Fed-Cup-Teams um die Nummer eins Angelique Kerber, der sämtliche Plattformen nutzt, um die Fans am Alltag teilhaben zu lassen.

Barthel ist stolz darauf, dass sie zum Beispiel ihre Tennis-Kleider zum Teil selbst näht. Kreativität ist ihr wichtig, sie macht eben lieber ihr eigenes Ding. Mainstream? Nicht ihre Sache. Das wird auch in den Tagen von Stuttgart deutlich. Wenn sich Kerber, Andrea Petkovic, Sabine Lisicki, Anna-Lena Grönefeld und Teamchefin Barbara Rittner scherzhaft necken, hält sich die introvertierte Barthel lieber im Hintergrund.

Was nicht heißt, dass sie die Gesellschaft der anderen nicht zu schätzen weiß - im Gegenteil: "Ich genieße es. Wir haben ein tolles Team und viel Spaß. Sonst ist man auf der Tour ja meist alleine unterwegs", sagte die Einser-Abiturientin (1,9) mit der unaufgeregten Stimme und fügte an: "Es ist ein Traum von mir, hier zu spielen."

Dieser Traum wird sich am Wochenende wohl erfüllen, denn hinter der Weltranglistensechsten Kerber ist Barthel als Nummer 28 des Rankings zweitbeste Deutsche. "Mona hat viel Potenzial. Ihre Rückhand ist super, ihre Reichweite wahnsinnig gut", lobte Rittner die 1,85 Meter große Rechtshänderin, die viele Experten als kommende Top-Ten-Spielerin sehen.

Im Ringen mit Lisicki um den zweiten Einzelplatz sprechen für Barthel ("Ich mag die Big Points") auch die Zahlen. Zweimal in diesem Jahr konnte sie bereits die serbische Nummer eins Ana Ivanovic bezwingen - die Bilanz gegen Bojana Jovanovski lautet 1:0.

Keine Ansprüche

Ansprüche will Barthel aber nicht stellen, nachdem sich die Wogen gerade erst wieder geglättet haben. Im Februar hatte sie ihre Teilnahme an der Play-off-Partie in Frankreich (3:1) aus persönlichen Gründen abgesagt. Was im ohnehin ersatzgeschwächten Team für Unverständnis sorgte. Nach einem Gespräch mit Rittner am Rande des Turniers in Miami vor ein paar Wochen zählt nur noch die Zukunft. "Der Fed Cup ist mit sehr wichtig. Ich könnte mir vorstellen, jetzt immer dabei zu sein", meinte Barthel.

Es passt ins Bild, dass die eigenwillige Frau mit dem blonden Zopf auf einen festen Trainer verzichtet - dafür mit ihrer Mutter Hannelore zu den Turnieren reist. Den Matchplan tüftelt die passionierte Mathematik-Liebhaberin ohnehin am liebsten selbst aus. "Das habe ich von klein auf gemacht. Das logische Denken mag ich", berichtete Barthel. Mittlerweile greift sie ab und an auf die Hilfe der Coaches Robert Orlik und Jacek Szygowsky zurück.

Die Chefin auf und abseits des Platzes bleibt aber Mona Barthel, die sich früher als "allergrößter Steffi-Graf-Fan" bezeichnete. Damals, als ihr die Mutter Schläger und Outfit der früheren Weltranglistenersten schenkte - in Originalgröße. Das Racket der damals Dreijährigen hatte bald eine große Delle, "weil ich es nur hinter mit herziehen konnte." Doch Klein-Mona zog. Schon damals hatte sie ihren eigenen Kopf.
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Old Apr 18th, 2013, 04:54 PM   #178
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Re: Mona Barthel News & Opinion

And here is an improved google translation of the article.

Quote:
Fed Cup - Mona Barthel: The somewhat Other

Mona Barthel has her own head. This has always been the case when she naturally responded to the question about her name: "Steffi Graf". Although this is almost two decades ago, she still stands out from the crowd of players on the tour. Mona Barthel, who will probably take part in the relegation match against Serbia in Stuttgart as the second singles player, thinks differently.


And this is not always to her advantage. When the 22-year-old surprisingly won the star-studded indoor tournament in Paris in February, there were many congratulations on the social network for the tall blonde from Neumünster.

The catch: Barthel is not signed in on Twitter or Facebook, deviating from the rest of the Fed Cup team around the number one Angelique Kerber, who uses all kind of platforms in order to let her fans participate on her everyday life.

Barthel is proud that she partially sews her tennis clothes herself. Creativity is very important to her; she just prefers to do her own thing. Mainstream? Not her business. This is evident even in the days of Stuttgart. When Kerber, Andrea Petkovic, Sabine Lisicki and Anna-Lena Grönefeld jokingly tease team boss Barbara Rittner, the introverted Barthel prefers to stay on the sideline.

This does not mean that she does not appreciate the company of others - on the contrary: "I enjoy it. We have a great team and a lot of fun. Usually you are on the tour so often traveling alone," said the A grade high school graduate ( 1.9) with the unagitated voice and added: "It is a dream of mine to play here."

This dream will possibly come true this weekend, because behind the world number six Kerber, Barthel as the number 28 in the ranking is the second best German. "Mona has a lot of potential. Her backhand is great, her reach insanely good," Rittner praised the 1.85 meter right-hander, who many experts see as the next top ten player.

In competition with Lisicki for the second spot in singles the arguments for Barthel ("I like the big points") are the numbers. Twice within a year she could already beat the Serbian number one Ana Ivanovic - the balance against Bojana Jovanovski is 1-0 (in reality it is 2-1).

No claims

But Barthel doesn’t want to stake out a claim, after the dust has only just settled again. In February she had canceled her participation in the play-off game in France (3:1) for personal reasons what had caused some incomprehension within the injury-hit team. But after a conversation with Rittner during the tournament in Miami a few weeks ago it is only the future that counts from now on. "The Fed Cup is very important. I could imagine now to always be there," said Barthel.

It is quite fitting that the maverick woman with the blond ponytail forbears to travel with a permanent coach and instead travels with her mother Hannelore to the tournaments. To work out the match plan is something that the passionate lover of mathematics likes to do herself, anyway. "I've done that since my childhood. Logical thinking is something that I like," Barthel said. Meanwhile she resorts to the help of the coaches Robert Orlik and Jacek Szygowsky every now and then.

But the boss on and off the pitch remains Mona Barthel who previously described herself as the "greatest Steffi Graf fan." Back then when she got the racket and the outfit of the former world number one from her mother as a present, she got those in original size. The racket of the back then three-year-old soon had a big dent, "because I could just trail it behind." But Little Mona trailed. Even then she had her own head.
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Old Apr 18th, 2013, 06:21 PM   #179
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Re: Mona Barthel News & Opinion

^ A bit melodramatic. Some of the stuff the article tried to meta-analyze is pretty much down to Mona being the 'new kid on the block' (a rookie doesn't act the same way as an experienced routinier).
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Old Apr 19th, 2013, 08:43 AM   #180
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Re: Mona Barthel News & Opinion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tecumseh View Post
Von Ulrike Weinrich | Mona Barthel hat ihren eigenen Kopf. .

Minstream? Nicht ihre Sache. Das wird auch in den Tagen von Stuttgart deutlich. Wenn sich Kerber, Andrea Petkovic, Sabine Lisicki, Anna-Lena Grönefeld und Teamchefin Barbara Rittner scherzhaft necken, hält sich die introvertierte Barthel lieber im Hintergrund.
Das alles ist klar, aber immerhin sehr schön in der Zeitung nachelesen zu können.
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