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Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies exclusively: “We want to break this image”

Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies are calm, less than two hours ago was Munich’s opening victory against Hans Hach Verdugo and Philipp Oswald. For the German double, also known by the “trademark” KraMies, every victory counts at the moment, no matter in which round, no matter what competition.

Upper Franconia and the Cologne native are still in the process of being identified. Last year, 31-year-old Mies suffered a knee injury and was out long after an operation.
The shared dream of the Tokyo Olympics exploded, so Krawietz competed with Tim Pütz. In January, the first KraMies performance in almost 13 months, in difficult conditions. “Suddenly we weren’t seeded anymore. That gave us difficult draws,” he recalls Mies in conversation with Eurosport.de.

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The turning point just under a week ago: the Germans won the title at the ATP tournament in Barcelona. The two double stars are not only proud of their achievements, but also of the effect they have.

Krawietz and Mies also find critical words. For example, when it comes to crossing the boundaries of the field. They don’t condemn mind games with their opponents per se, but it depends on how.

Tobias Laure conducted the interview

Is the comeback more difficult in doubles than in singles? Not only the individual performance must be correct, but also the interaction with the partner.

Kevin Krawietz: In any case. Doubles is a team sport. You have to work on your stuff individually and hope your partner will do the same. And then we need a common tactic, without which nothing works. At least not if you want to consistently play successfully.

Krawietz and Mies joke: “Like you broke up with your girlfriend”

In football, people like to talk about teams that aren’t well prepared. Did you feel the same and what was the main problem at the beginning?

Andrea Mies: We had a good start to the season with the semi-finals in Sydney and the round of 16 at the Australian Open. But then some unfortunate circumstances occurred without trying to use them as an excuse. But shortly after Australia I was infected with the corona virus in Dubai. I felt really bad then. I flew home. Illness kept me busy for six weeks. I was not boosted at the time, I had a vaccine from Johnson & Johnson and one from Biontech. Sometimes I still notice in the units that I am lacking energy. Kevin had a long season last year, no holidays and no training. At first it was difficult. And that’s not all.

Good?

Mies: I had fallen in the standings due to my hiatus and suddenly we weren’t seeded anymore. This gave us difficult draws. As a result, we’ve always had big pieces in the first round. Mahut / Martin in Rotterdam, Ram / Salisbury in Indian Wells and Hurkacz / Isner in Miami were the last winners of the tournament. We played well and of course we can beat them, but if we are both five percent down, it will be difficult.

Meanwhile, according to the impression from the outside, things seem easier again. In Barcelona you have your first joint title since your coup at the French Open in October 2020.

Mies: At the beginning in Monte Carlo we tried to force it with a crowbar. But it did not work. In Barcelona we found a good mix again.

It is extremely interesting that we have been able to contribute to the increase in the popularity of the double, especially in Germany. But also for this the great successes in the Grand Slam tournaments were necessary.

Double competition often plays only a minor role in the media, if it can get attention. They managed to break through the dark existence, not least with two French Open titles.

Krawietz: It is a great honor for us to have sparked some hype after the first and also after the second success at Roland Garros. The effects are noticeable in the clubs and we feel a change as we enter the facility. It’s nice that doubles are pushed, resulting in more airtime on TV. We are obviously aware that the individual is in the foreground, but the relationship may be different. I also understand that it is more difficult because doubles pairings keep breaking apart. So who are you a fan of? So I’m happy that Eurosport, for example, gives more importance to doubles and also shows matches in Eurosport Player. The ATP is also doing something, but more could be done …

Mies: … and I’d like to get involved. It is extremely interesting that we have been able to contribute to the increase in the popularity of the double, especially in Germany. But also for this the great successes in the Grand Slam tournaments were necessary. He helped that after 82 years there was a title for a German doubles team in Paris.

The match ball: this is how Krawietz / Mies won the 2020 French Open

Which has changed the way you look at your discipline.

Mies: Yes. We want to get away from this image, this ‘We will only play double now’. Our message is: “Great, we’re serving twice as much.” We want to encourage children and young people in particular to play doubles and train specifically for it. If we can be a role model, then we are extremely happy.

The season got off to a very exciting start for doubles fans as Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis rocked Melbourne Park on the way to the Australian Open title. However, it was from The club of players also criticized Kyrgios to be listened to, which he provoked with his behavior. Does it cross borders?

Krawietz: The double thrives on emotion and it makes sense that the two Australians are so celebrated as public favorites in Melbourne. But I also think it’s too much sometimes.

Does it mean concrete?

Krawietz: When Kyrgios doesn’t show respect to other players, it’s unsportsmanlike behavior for me. We all know he’s an entertainer and fans love him for it. But again: if he shows disrespect for his opponents, he is very bad.

Mind games are now a part of it to some extent. How do you feel about it?

Mies: Basically: It’s nice to have characters like Nick on tour, who helps tennis, although you can argue whether he’s a good guy or not. We all agree that he is a gifted tennis player who could consistently be in the top 10 in singles. But he’s going differently, doing the little tricks of him. Our fuses sometimes blow, then the bat flies or people swear. It can happen. During the games I raise my voice every now and then to push ourselves and signal to the opponents: ‘Hey, we’re here and today we take this thing.’ But I make sure he never gets bad or unsportsmanlike towards our opponents.

Would you have liked to meet Kyrgios and Kokkinakis in Melbourne?

Mies: Clear. We would have liked to have played against both of them in the final and beat them. It would have been an absolute highlight. With his gestures and interludes, Kyrgios pushes the boundaries. Sometimes it goes a little further and sometimes a lot.

Let’s consider another bold thesis: Krawietz and Mies French Open Champions 2022 – realistic?

Krawietz: This is now much further. We come from a phase that didn’t go so well, then Barcelona won. Paris is good memories for us, but it’s not exactly an advantage to have won the French Open twice …

Mies (laughs): … and I would like to point out that we cannot automatically start in the quarter-finals just because we have won the title twice.

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