Status: 01/09/2023 10:27 am

    Jan-Lennard Struff has big plans for the upcoming tennis year. After a preseason messed up by an injury, he wants to get back to his old strength at the Australian Open. And put a lot of work into it.

    Jan-Lennard Struff had already arrived in Melbourne on Saturday (01/07/2023). After all, the 32-year-old starts on Tuesday at the Australian Open (16th to 29th January) with the qualification. The Sauerland from Warstein has to go the rocky road through the preliminary round this year.

    Struff has fallen back to world number 150

    Due to a protracted toe injury last year, the 32-year-old Struff fell back to 150th place in the world rankings, which is why he is no longer directly in the main draw at the Grand Slam tournament Down Under.

    Struff had his best placement at the end of August 2020 when he was listed as number 29 in the world. “The qualification is peppered with a lot of very good and young players who are pushing upwards. The performance density is very high, that’s a difficult path,” Struff told WDR on Sunday.

    Intensive work in Tenerife

    His opponent will be Alexander Alexandrovich Shevchenko, a 22-year-old Russian. Both are good friends. In the two-week pre-season on Tenerife in December, Struff and Schewtschenko trained together from time to time. “I like him, but that won’t matter on Tuesday. Of course I want to win,” said Struff.

    On the holiday island in the Atlantic Ocean, the German laid the foundations for as successful a season as possible. High training intensities, a lot of match practice, intensive fitness work.

    Struff feels well prepared and sees himself at 100 percent performance. At a Challenger tournament in Canberra, Australia last week, he reached the semifinals. “The goal is to get back into the top 100, and more if you like,” said Struff.

    Love of the game drives Jan-Lennard Struff

    The young family man is highly motivated for the upcoming season. Supported by his family and his coaching team and driven by his high degree of self-motivation, he wants to reach old performance limits and keep up-and-coming young players in check.

    “The last few years are slowly approaching, although I’m not even thinking about quitting,” said Struff. What still drives him? “It’s the love of the game. I want to have fun with tennis, that’s always been the case. You have the most fun when you win more and are higher in the world rankings, that’s relatively simple,” said Struff.

    Great anticipation for the Ash season at Struff

    Physically, he still sees himself as fully competitive compared to the young players. “Of course I have more experience now and I’m still fit.” The physical component of tennis is particularly important on his favorite surface, the red clay.

    This part of the season comes in the European early summer months. “I’m looking forward to the Ash season because I could hardly play on this surface last year. Especially at my favorite tournament, the French Open. I actually always played well there,” said Struff. But now he has to clear the first hurdle in Australia.