STARNBERG, July 21, 2022
Arthur Rinderknech had a great start into the season by reaching his first final on the ATP Tour in Adelaide. The 26-year-old Frenchman cracked the Top 50 but has struggled with injuries since then.
Rinderknech, a four-time titlist on the Challenger Circuit, was forced to pull out from the mid-season clay swing in Europe. We spoke to the World No. 55 on Wednesday.
Tennis TourTalk: Hello Arthur. You cannot compete in the Swiss Open Gstaad this week? What happened?
Arthur Rinderknech: I was scheduled to play Bastad, Gstaad and Kitzbühel. I arrived at Bastad and everything was fine and I was getting ready for my first match. However, during the last point of my practice session I fell down on the court and I twisted my big toe. It hurt and I went to see the physio and the doctor. When I woke up the next morning my toe was totally blue and red. I could have tried to play with painkillers but it was simply too risky. So, I didn’t play and went back to France for MRI and nothing was broken but it is a solid twist. I have to take about 10 days off. I also withdrew from Kitzbühel because going there without any practice doesn’t make sense and I will be back for the hard-court season in Canada.
In particular not playing Kitzbühel must have been a hard decision for you, as you made it to the semis there last year?
I really like all of these three tournaments and look forward to playing there every year. It’s bad luck.
How do you see this short clay-court season between the grass swing and the start of the hard-court swing in North America?
It is a tricky month, where many guys not really know what schedule to go for. You have three different choices: you can have another week on grass, start your preparation for the hard courts very early or you can stay in Europe on clay. I like playing on clay and like all of the three tournaments here. I played well last season and that’s what I wanted to do again this year but unfortunately my body didn’t let me do it.
It’s halftime of the season. What have been your highlight of 2022 so far?
My Australian swing and that’s pretty much it. I had to withdraw from my second-round match at the Australian Open because of my wrist and since then I have been struggling with my body. I haven’t been seriously injured in my entire career but now I am dealing with my wrist and it’s taking quite a long time to get rid of it. I hope it will become better soon that I can play without any pain. I has been a tough season. I was climbing slowly but surely in the Rankings but can’t really continue like this because of the injuries. I will try to get back on track and play good tennis again.
You won your ATP Challenger title on home soil in Rennes 2020. Did it help to kick-start your career?
Yes, of course. It was my first main step in the Top 200 of the ATP Rankings. I have great memories of this tournament. Just before the start of the event, I moved to Rennes and it was a nice welcome in a great atmosphere.
What did you do better in that year compared to the seasons before?
I changed my practice base. I came back from the college in the United States in December 2018 and practiced for a year and a half at the Federation in Paris. In January 2020 I decided to get my own coach, Sebastien Villette, who lived in Rennes. We practiced for 10 days and the Open Rennes Challenger was our first tournament together. I won it and it was a big change for me and the right decision.
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You also play Tennis Bundesliga in Germany. How is the experience?
I played at Paderborn last year. I didn’t play too many matches but is a nice club and a good team. However, we got relegated to second division and I changed the club to TC Großhesselohe close to Munich in order to play at the highest level. I played once this season and the atmosphere was great. I am really happy to be part of the club and will do everything to win the title in the next few years.
Is Bundesliga comparable to playing college tennis in the United States?
It’s close. It’s not the same format but both are team matches and it’s great for me.
What are you goals for the rest of the season?
Getting healthy and keeping able to play weeks in and weeks out. I just hope to get my body back and playing matches again.
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In the meantime, you seem to enjoy the nice weather in Brittany?
Yes, we have had about 30 degrees Celsius for about 10 days in row, which is exceptional here. I am taking a week off in this nice landscape with the beach and the sea. It’s close from home so I just try to enjoy this time.
Thank you and wishing you a speedy recovery!
Interview: Florian Heer