Getting Acquainted With... Oliver Marach
by Matt Fitzgerald|
Oliver Marach is one-half of one of the more consistent doubles teams the past two years on the ATP World Tour – his other half being Lukasz Kubot, who is not here in Miami. Marach, winner of nine tour-level titles, knows when to take his chances in changing tactics, and it’s paid dividends, especially this week at the Sony Ericsson Open.
Two days ago, the Austrian earned his first win against World No. 1 Bob and Mike Bryan in the second round of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Miami with Janko Tipsarevic. The two followed the victory up by taking out Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi 6-4, 7-6(8) today to advance to the semi-finals.
We caught up with Marach after his win against the “Indo-Pak Express.”
Tell us about that win against the Bryans in the second round. It was your first win in seven tries against the twins. What made the difference?
OM: I started so nervous. I always do, just with my history against them, never winning and getting killed quite often. It was a very special win for me. I was up 6-0, 2-0 with Lukasz two years ago in Cincinnati and we lost, so it’s definitely a good feeling to beat them. I tried a different tactic, going for more and it gave them some problems with it being a faster surface. Janko played really well too.
I’m good friends with the Bryans and I respect them so much, especially as they are one of the greatest if not the best doubles teams ever. I played in their Pro-Am event here in Miami last week…their dad is also involved with it. I know that they will be back strong and hungry in their next tournament, so I have to enjoy it while I can.
Can you talk about your partnership with Lukasz Kubot and what’s made you click so well? You guys really came out of nowhere in 2009, reaching the semi-finals at the Australian Open, and have become one of most consistent teams on the ATP World Tour.
OM: Well I used to play singles and got inside the Top 100, near 80. He’s been as high as 40 in singles as well. It was a tough arrangement at first as he was playing challengers and I was trying to play tour events so we didn’t play as much as we wanted to. But after my injury a few years ago, I started concentrating solely on doubles and played some higher level challengers with Lukasz. We noticed that our rankings weren’t moving up very much despite our titles at the challenger level, so we entered the 2009 Australian Open and were one of the last four teams to get in. And then we had a fantastic run – we beat the No. 1 seeds Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic in the second round and carried our form to the semi-finals. That’s what really helped us establish ourselves.
I’d say our games are different. Lukas has great returns and plays very aggressively, taking a risk versus reward approach. I play a bit smarter, going for consistency. We’ve won some 250 and 500 level ATP events but haven’t broken through at a Masters 1000 event yet, so I wouldn’t say we’re a dangerous team. We’re consistently solid which has helped us qualify for the [Barclays ATP] World Tour Finals but I don’t think we can declare ourselves as one of the top teams.
It’s my understanding that your wife Jessie is your coach. How do you separate tennis and your personal life, as you two spend so much time together?
OM: It hasn’t been a problem at all. She’s not a regular tennis coach… by that I mean, she’s not out there telling me to hit the ball differently or trying to get me to take a different strategy. She’s more of a mental coach. She helps me get in the right mind set and calls me out when I’m not behaving professionally. But yes, she’s been very helpful and I love her a lot.
Beverage: Dessert Wine with my wife, even as part of a main dish.
Gadget: Computer, so I can look at real estate! I’ve spent more than 24 hours this week already browsing.
Tennis Shot: Topspin forehand
Workout Routine: Speed program. It’s for endurance and includes quick sprints.
Getaway Place In Austria: Pörtschach on the Wörther Lake
Get the VIP treatment and go behind the scenes with the 2013 Priceless Experiences Program Presented by MasterCard. Go
This exclusive venue features an upscale restaurant, trendy bar and lounge area which allow guests the opportunity to escape the heat.Go