Friday, February 7, 2014

Peter Gojowczyk: Making a Name for Himself

After Peter Gojowczyk defeated Dustin Brown in a third-set tiebreaker in the quarterfinals in Doha to begin his 2014 campaign, he entered his press conference, where, according to Neil Harman, he told reporters, "Hello everybody. My name is Peter. I'm from Munich."

Entering his first tournament of 2014, the 24-year old German had only made two appearances in the main draw of a grand slam and had only one tour-level victory to his name. After winning his first five matches in Doha, including three in qualifying, and his win over Brown, Gojowczyk had caught the attention of fans in Doha. However it wasn't until the next day that he caught the attention of fans around the tennis world.
In his first career tour-level semifinal, Gojowczyk won the first nine points of his first match against world No. 1 Rafael Nadal. Gojowczyk took a 3-0 lead, and despite having his break lead taken away, broke again to win the first set 6-4. Although the German eventually lost the match, he earned 102 ranking points that week, which was a personal best.
"It is the best week of my career," he said. "I'm really happy and I hope I learn from it and gain confidence. I have to play qualies in Melbourne on Wednesday, so it's close but it's tough. But I will give my best there."

In Melbourne, Gojowczyk qualified easily, dropping just 15 games in his in three matches. In the main draw, Gojowczyk dropped two narrow tiebreak-sets to start the match against Victor Hanescu, who eventually won the match in straight sets.

Gojowczyk didn't give himself a break as he hopped on a plane and flew to Heilbronn, Germany for a 100k challenger event. There, unseeded Gojowczyk won all five of his matches without dropping a set to claim his second challenger title and first 100k title. When the rankings came out the following Monday, Gojowczyk was featured in the top 100 in the world for the first time in his career at No. 99.

The German is now 14-2 in all matches he has played in 2014, winning 13 of those matches in straight sets, and has a year-to-date ranking of 14 in the world. His 14 wins, including challenger events and qualifying is the most of any tennis player so far in 2014.

Success hasn't always come so easily for Gojowczyk, who had to wait over eight years after earning a ranking for the first time to reach the top 100. Through the first six years of his professional career, he earned $89,486 in prize money. Gojowczyk, did however, win eight futures events and reached the final in a challenger in Manerbio, Italy as a qualifier in that span.

Gojowczyk has already earned six-figures in just one month this year, while quadrupling his career total in tour level wins. This weekend, he will try to qualify for his first main draw appearance in an ATP World Tour 500 event in Rotterdam, Netherlands. He is the No. 6 seed and will face Adrian Sikora in his first qualifying match as he tries to earn one of four of the remaining spots in the main draw.

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