Five Things To Know About Yannick Maden, Nadal's Next Opponent
ATPTour.com takes a look at five things to know about the German:
1. It Began With A Garage
Maden began playing tennis when he was three years old, hitting a ball against his garage door. Twenty-six years later, the Stuttgart-native has climbed as high as No. 104 in the ATP Rankings (this April).
The German owns eight tour-level wins, and his first-round victory was his second of the season, having defeated Frenchman Adrian Mannarino at the Sofia Open in February. Maden has reached two ATP Challenger Tour finals this season.
2. An Injury Delayed His Pro Career
Maden suffered from a reoccurring right wrist injury after graduating high school that would not go away. Originally, he planned to turn professional immediately, but the injury sidetracked his plans.
“It wasn't horrible but I just didn't manage to play fully,” Maden said. “When you're not incredibly good at 18, 19, going on Tour, some Futures, here and there, still struggling with some pain, and then I actually didn't win much. Then I was actually out for a while.”
3. Maden Competed At Clemson University
In spring 2013, Maden was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Tennis Scholar-Athlete of the Year. The German was ranked eighth nationally in doubles with his brother, Dominique Maden, and he was ranked 31st in the country in singles.
“I chose a different route than maybe most of the tennis players here in the Slams. I was injured right after graduating from high school, when my plan was to turn pro,” Maden said. “I was just having a tough time staying at home not actually doing anything, trying to rehab but not really getting better for awhile. In the end it was a good thing looking back at it like this because then I took the decision to go to college, try to mature a little bit, get better tennis-wise, do my degree, but mostly I still always wanted to play tennis. That was the main goal, and in the end I graduated with a degree from Clemson and then I came back and went to the pro circuit, and managed to find my way now to get better and better.”
4. Maden Has Never Played Or Practised With Nadal
Maden has faced one Top 10 opponent in his career: World No. 10 John Isner, at Wimbledon last year. The American won that match in straight sets. Maden, a qualifier, has not practised with Nadal, either, but he is bringing a positive attitude to the court for their encounter.
“I did already play a great tournament, so I can go in there with some confidence and also with some certain degree of achievement that I've had, so I'll try to take it as lightly as possible and see what I can do and hopefully my game can annoy him a little bit,” Maden said. “Hopefully I can find some ways to really put a good match on court, and then let's see what's going to happen.”
5. Batman & LeBron Are His Favourites
Favourite Movie: The Dark Knight
Favourite Television Show: Californication
Favourite Actor: Denzel Washington
Favourite Basketball Player: LeBron James
Favourite Tennis Players: Andre Agassi & Boris Becker