08:46 PM GMT September 13, 2020
Following in the footsteps of Santiago champion Thiago Seyboth Wild, Miomir Kecmanovic on Sunday became the second #NextGenATP player this year to capture his maiden ATP Tour crown. The 21-year-old claimed his fifth victory of the week against Yannick Hanfmann to capture the Generali Open trophy in Kitzbühel.
Kecmanovic had already shown signs that he was ready to claim his first tour-level crown earlier this year. The 2019 Antalya runner-up reached semi-finals at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha and the New York Open.
ATPTour.com caught up with the World No. 47 after his victory to talk about his title run, what he learned after his first final appearance last year and what he got up to during his time away from the ATP Tour.
What does it mean to you to win your first ATP Tour title?
It means a lot [to win my first ATP Tour title]. I worked so hard for this. I am definitely happy that I was able to achieve it so quickly.
Did the experience of already playing an ATP Tour final in Antalya help you at all today?
Mentally it was a tough one [in Antalya]. I had match point and didn’t end up winning so it was really a heartbreak. I have had a lot of experiences since then, played a lot more tougher matches and I think that definitely paid off.
Your best results have typically come on faster surfaces. Are you doing anything differently on the clay this year?
I am surprised. Usually I play a lot better on faster surfaces. Here it is a little bit faster than normal clay courts, because we are at altitude. I think that worked to my advantage a little bit. I am really happy that I am able to win my first title on clay.
Are you surprised to pick up where you left off with your game after six months of no matches?
Maybe a little bit, because two months ago I broke an arm. I didn’t think I was going to come back so quickly and play such good tennis. I am really happy that I was able to bounce back from that in a relatively short period of time.
Has the time away made you view your career or life on Tour any differently?
I think it made me just appreciate it a bit more because, when we play, everything happens so quickly and you don’t really think about it. We had such a long time of not doing anything and you really appreciate the opportunities we get as tennis players.
Talk about what you did during the ATP Tour suspension. How did you manage to keep working on your game and fitness?
I just practised the whole time. I took some breaks between, but I was usually just practising. Nothing too crazy, just keeping in shape and staying ready for when the Tour resumed.
Did you pick up any new interests or skills during those five months?
I have done a lot more reading back home than I normally do. I tried to do as much of the things that I couldn’t do while I was playing, from cleaning up the house to random things like going outside and learning how to ride a motorcycle. Some crazy stuff.