Nicola Kuhn: “The Love For Sports Is Very Strong In Spain!”

Nicola Kuhn (photo: Florian Heer)


Nicola Kuhn has been competing on the ITF World Tennis Tour in Spain in recent weeks. The 24-year-old German, who lives on the Iberian Peninsula and represented Spain from 2016 to 2021, has faced several setbacks due to injuries after winning two ATP Challenger titles in Braunschweig in 2017 and Segovia in 2019, reaching a career-high ranking of 174.

Currently ranked 404, Kuhn aims to work his way back into the top 200 through consistent performances. He has already achieved some success this season, with a tournament win in Reus and a final appearance in Valldoreix.

We caught up with Kuhn for an interview during the third edition of the ITF M25 event in Mataró in Catalonia.

Tennis TourTalk: You set a goal to complete the season injury-free. Unfortunately, there have been a few minor pauses. Is this goal already in jeopardy?

Nicola Kuhn: No, not really. I started my season on January 6th and have played many tournaments since then. I haven’t had any issues and didn’t have to skip any tournaments. We just had a long series of tournaments in Spain, and it’s normal for the body to need a break after a final.

Many players are complaining about the balls.

That’s true, and many good players have already mentioned it. It became a topic, especially after the pandemic. There are now some top 100 players who organize their schedules based on the type of balls used. This wasn’t the case before. Previously, it was more about other criteria like travel effort, organization, or how comfortable one felt at a particular tournament. Skipping a tournament because of a certain ball brand is new and currently happening. Additionally, at the Futures level, the balls aren’t changed as often during matches as they are at Challenger events. That could easily be changed, but it’s a budget issue.

We’re in Spain, where you also live and practice. How do you assess the tournament series here?

I still have good contact with the Spanish federation and congratulated them on the swing. There are supposed to be 48 tournaments this year. It’s not easy. The clubs are committed, and hosting these tournaments is very good. For me, it’s convenient to play here as I can travel by car. It’s a pleasant preparation. However, the fields here are very strong. There are no easy rounds. You have to fight your way through from the first round. The level is similar to Challenger tournaments.


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There were more international tournaments held in Catalonia until May than in all of Germany. Why is that the case?

The love for sports is very strong in Spain. There are many clubs organizing national tournaments, making the jump to the international level not as daunting. The Spanish Tennis Federation has also invested a lot of money this year to support the tournaments. This support gives younger players more opportunities to compete in events every week. It seems to be working very well.

You’ve had a good season so far. What is still needed to move up further in the rankings?

I can’t complain much. I also need a little more time. Last year, I was able to win two ITF M25 events and then had to undergo another surgery. This season, I reached one final and won in Reus. I started outside the top 800 and was back under the top 400 by mid-May. In tennis, things can go down or up quickly. My priority is to build my tennis game and improve consistently.

Do you also have plans to play team events this summer?

I’m still playing for BASF Ludwigshafen. I’ll try to get plenty of matches there. It’s not only financially interesting but also positive for the rhythm. It fits well with the Futures tour since I often start the tournament on Tuesday or Wednesday. Planning for Challenger qualifications would be more difficult. I also play for Padua in Italy.

What is your current training situation?

I’m currently traveling alone on the tour but I am back with my team from 2017 when I achieved my best ranking. I live in Torrevieja and practice in Alicante. My coach is the Argentinian Pedro Caprotta. Since then, things have been going great, and I feel very comfortable. We have a good relationship on and off the court and we also like to go out together. It’s a bit like family. I also try to avoid pressure and play for myself. Standing on the court with a smile and being able to enjoy tennis is very important.

Thank you and all the best.

Interview: Florian Heer