STARNBERG, March 14, 2017
Germany’s women’s tennis is currently headlined by Angelique Kerber, who is set to return to the World No. 1 spot in the WTA Rankings after Serena Williams was forced to withdraw from the BNP Paribas Open held in Indian Wells this week.
However, there is also a squad of young talents, who group together in the Porsche Talent Team Germany. One of them is Katharina Hobgarski. The 19-year-old from Neunkirchen enjoyed an impressive run on the ITF Pro Circuit last year, clinching eight singles title to improve to a new career high World No. 329.
“I can’t say that ranking positions are not of interest to me,” Hobgarski told the German Tennis Federation (DTB) this month. “Yet, I am more interested in developing my own game. If this happens in a positive way, I will automatically climb up the rankings. I will gain more confidence and act more calm on the court.”
In 2017, she finished runner-up to Isabelle Wallace at the $15,000 event in Palmanova, Mallorca. The German teenager only set to fail a new ITF Pro Circuit record for consecutive singles match wins, which came to an end in January in Stuttgart. Hobgarski defeated Emina Bektas in the second round to equal the record of 36 match wins held by Maria-Teresa Torro Flor, but fell to Greet Minnen in the quarterfinal.
“It means a lot to me (equalling the record), even though I couldn’t take that record for myself. It’s a big achievement for the work I’ve put into it,” she told afterwards. In general, Hobgarski seems to be pretty happy with her performance this season.
“Together with Katharina Gerlach, I won the doubles title in Mallorca and also made it to the singles final. I am very pleased with the outcome, as it was my first tournament on clay this year. During the practice sessions, I try to focus on variability. I still struggle a bit with the drop shots but I keep working on it.”
Hobgarski is coached by Dirk Dier, who is also working with the German Davis Cup as well as Fed Cup team. “We are both from the Saarland and he lives in Saarbrücken. So it made sense to intensify our cooperation. As the results have shown in Mallorca, it seems to work quite well,” Hobgarski told with a smile and added: “Dirk himself was a tennis player. I benefit enormously from his experience.”
The right hander, who admires Maria Sharapova for her powerful game, has already started to make plans for her life after her professional tennis career. “I have recently started to study psychology. However, I am still in the first semester, so I am at the beginning. My brother Philipp studied fitness economics. That would be nothing for me. I have been interested in psychology for a long time. Perhaps I can benefit from it even later on the court. However, as long as I am still dealing with the book “Introduction to Psychology”, I can not really judge it,” she laughed.