Mayer Continues Comeback At Meerbusch Challenger
German rides nine-match win streak into final
When Florian Mayer made a return from injury this spring, not even he could have anticipated how successful his first few months back would be.
The 32-year-old German began competing again this April after missing seven months due to a torn right adductor tendon. Prior to that, a hip injury took him out for nearly a year before he returned to tennis in April 2015. But now that Mayer is fully healthy, he’s showing the form that once took him inside the Top 20 of the Emirates ATP Rankings.
After winning his first ATP World Tour title in five years at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle in June, Mayer prevailed last week at the ATP Challenger Tour event in Portoroz, Slovenia. Coming in as the top seed at this week’s Challenger in Meerbusch, Germany, Mayer has raced to the final without losing a set, only dropping an average of five games per match.
“I’d never heard of Meerbusch before coming here, but the conditions here are really good,” said Mayer. “It’s like family here. I like it when it’s quiet and not so hectic.
Although Mayer admitted his previous injuries woes were frustrating, the time off has given him renewed energy. His most recent stint away from the tour was the first time since turning pro in 2001 that he was able to take his thoughts away from tennis or rehabbing an injury.
“It was the first time I could come down completely. I took a lot of vacations and spent time with friends. For three or four months, I had nothing to do with tennis. I didn’t even look to see what was happening at the tournaments. But it was what I needed.”
Currently ranked No. 73 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, Mayer can only continue to climb since he has no ranking points to defend for the next eight months. But the German said that while his Emirates ATP Ranking is in a good place, he can’t take anything for granted when he plays Challenger events.
“Working your way back up is brutal,” said Mayer. “Everyone in these tournaments has a powerful serve and huge groundstrokes, so you sometimes have to endure the early losses.”