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Kohlschreiber fancies his chances this year at Dubai Tennis Open.

Summary: German refuses to live off past glory after starting off with a win

Alaric Gomes, Chief Reporter

Dubai: Former top-20 Philipp Kohlschreiber doesn't want to live off past glories as he still wants to maximise his potential as a professional tennis player.

The 34-year-old German, who reached his best ranking of No. 16 in July 2012, played a highly entertaining match on centre court before losing 6-7 (4), 7-6 (18), 6-1 in the quarter-finals to eventual champion Andy Murray last year.

"That [win] really doesn't count now. I know it was a very great or entertaining match. It was great atmosphere, I think one of the best I ever experienced. But at the end I also lost in the quarter-finals. I couldn't say it was a great success from the tournament side, but it was a great success how I played tennis," Kohlschreiber told media after his first round match on Monday.

"Of course, I know I can play really great tennis, especially here in these conditions. That gives me a lot of confidence for this year that I do well and I can go deep. I have to find my game to beat the other guys," he added.

Kohlschreiber opened the 2018 edition of the Dubai Duty Free Men's Open while brushing aside French qualifier Gleb Sakharov in straight sets 6-4, 6-2 in 73 minutes to set up a second round meeting with Greek Stafanos Tsitsipas.

As someone who has traditionally done well on the fast courts of Dubai, Kohlschreiber fancied his chances this week, though without any expectations. "I have no expectations. Maybe everybody is talking about Roger [Federer], the really big names in tennis, they aren't here. But still I think we have a very competitive draw. Of course, it's a good opportunity in a big tournament for everybody to go deep. On the other side, you have to play well to do that. If you play well, you always deserve it," he said.

"I think I improved my game. In tennis or in sport maybe generally a lot of things have to do with the confidence. My year so far was a little bit rough. I had not a good start. I think I found my game in Rotterdam. Second round is not a great success, even if I played a good match against Roger [Federer] there. I have to play a lot of matches. I try to do it here, as many as possible," he pointed.

"For sure, there are always aspects in the game you can improve. Also today I will find a few things [to improve on]. Overall, it was a very solid, convenient win. It's the first round and I can raise my level for the second round," he added.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Feb 26, 2018
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