STARNBERG, April 18, 2020
All professional tennis players are back at home, but they’re finding plenty of ways to stay active. World No. 250 Daniel Masur of Germany is keeping busy with his studies in financial management at a private distance university and he also started to offer online coaching via social media.
Masur, nicknamed “Wally” after former Australian professional Wally Masur, is a regular competitor on the ATP Challenger Tour and has lifted eight singles titles on the ITF Pro Circuit. Andreas Thies of meinsportpodcast.de and Florian Heer spoke to the 25-year-old in the latest episode of their tennis podcast “Challenger Corner”.
Challenger Corner: Hello Daniel. How are you?
Daniel Masur: Thank you, I am fine. I still enjoy the free-time during the coronavirus crisis at home and I haven’t been bored so far. Friends and family are fit and doing well.
Where are you right now?
I am at home with my girl-friend. We live together close to Tutzing at Lake Starnberg, which is not the worst place to be right now.
You competed in one of the last tournaments of the season so far at the ATP Challenger in Potchefstrom. How did you experience the days when the suspension of the tour was announced?
It was foreseeable that the coronavirus outbreak will affect the tennis tour. You could read about in the papers in South Africa but at the venue itself everything was calm. At this time the country only had one confirmed case of COVID-19. However, we also noticed the cancellation of the tournament in Indian Wells. Through the tennis network we got informed that a couple of players competing in the ATP Challenger event in Nur-Sultan the same week had some problems to enter and leave Kazakhstan. Thursday’s play in Potchefstrom was pretty normal but in the evening the ATP sent out an e-mail and announced that all tournaments at all levels will to be stopped with immediate effect. At this time I was pretty surprised by that action. In hindsight the decision is definitely understandable. We only had one goal to leave the country as soon as possible before the boarders will be closed or we will experience problems to re-enter Germany.
Further read: Yannick Maden and his his exciting journey to Kazakhstan
You’re currently ranked World No. 250 and you have played a pretty solid season so far. Did the break come at the wrong time?
I felt pretty good and have played some good tennis over the last six months. Nonetheless, I was hoping for some better results at the beginning of the new season. I felt that I played well, only the results didn’t really show it. I didn’t have to defend many points and I had good shot to get into Roland-Garros, so the moment to suspend the season was obviously not the best for me, but all players will be affected in a similar way. The break is reasonable and it doesn’t make any sense to complain about it right now. I just hope to return to action in even better shape.
Do you currently have the chance to practice?
No, I haven’t held a tennis racket in my hands for four weeks. Some players might have a special permission to practice but I am still working on my fitness and I hope to return to the courts in about three of four weeks.
You seem to use your free-time wisely, as I saw on the internet that you offer online-coaching. Can you tell us about it?
I started to promote my offer via Facebook and players of different classes were interested in it. I try to give support in terms of technical aspects, analyzing particular shots. I also help to develop individual training plans. As it is currently not possible to meet on the court, using the digital platforms seems to be a good solution.
How will the next couple of weeks look like for you?
I will continue to work on some basic things. To do some running, bike tours and work on my fitness at home.
As we do not really know when play on the tour will resume, how difficult is it to do all these things without heading for a particular target?
It is not too difficult for me practicing without having a particular goal at the moment. I will try to be prepared the best possible way when the tour will resume in about 12 weeks as of today. I just try to do the best out of the current situation.
What are your goals for the next couple of years in terms of your professional career?
I would like to get into the qualifying of the Grand Slams in the short term, which means you need to be ranked around No. 230 to 240. I am very close at the moment. This will also allow you to play the qualifying of some ATP Tour tournaments and then it has to go step by step. In the long term I would like to crack the Top 100 and to play Tour-events as well as Grand Slams on a regular basis.
Thank you and all the best.
Listen to the complete interview in our podcast “Challenger Corner” (in German).