The Austrian 20-year old recently competed in his first three singles finals on the ITF Pro Circuit and emerged triumphant from all three and earlier this month he reached a career high of 467 in the ATP Singles World Rankings
Here ITF Pro Circuit finds out more about the young Austrian player.
ITF Pro Circuit : Can you tell us where were you born and maybe describe the area where you grew up?
Gerald Melzer : I was born in Vienna and I’m living in Deutsch-Wagram, Deutsch-Wagram is a city with 8000 people, it’s 10-minutes away from Vienna.
ITF Pro Circuit : Do any other members of your family play sport?
Gerald Melzer : (laughs) my brother, I think you know what he is doing! [his brother Jurgen has just reached a new career high ATP singles ranking of 12]. My father was a football player and also plays tennis (not professionally) whilst my mother was a really good handball player.
ITF Pro Circuit : So how did you get started in tennis? How old were you? Where did you first play?
Gerald Melzer : I started playing tennis when I was around 8-years old in our home club Deutsch-Wagram (our first team is playing in the Bundesliga); in the beginning I preferred football. I played on a team until the age of 13, also in Deutsch-Wagram. Then I had to choose between tennis and football and I hope I made the right decision
ITF Pro Circuit : Do you have a favoured playing surface?
Gerald Melzer : My favoured surface is clay.
ITF Pro Circuits : What can you tell us about your current coach?
Gerald Melzer : My coach’s name is Ingo Neumüller, he was born on 30.3.1979. He also travels sometimes with my brother. He is a really good tennis player and a really good coach. He really helps me to work on my game.
ITF Pro Circuit : Who were/are your tennis idols?
Gerald Melzer : (smiling) Of course, it’s my brother!
ITF Pro Circuit : What is your greatest tennis memory both as a player and as a fan?
Gerald Melzer : My greatest tennis memory is, when I qualified for Umag this year, and when I won my first ITF Futures. Also the challenger in Graz 2008 when I won with my brother in the doubles event. As a fan, when my brother won the tournament in Vienna and when he played semis in Paris, I was so happy for him, it was amazing.
ITF Pro Circuit : Apart from tennis do you have any other interests?
Gerald Melzer : Of course, my girlfriend! I’m also addicted to carp fishing, that’s my big hobby.
ITF Pro Circuit : Had you not become a tennis player what career path would you have liked to have followed?
Gerald Melzer : That’s a good question, honestly I have no idea. So I hope I will make my money with tennis.
ITF Pro Circuit : What are the best and worst aspects of being a professional tennis player?
Gerald Melzer : The best, it’s just a great feeling to win an important match, also in front of a big crowd (for me big, I have never played with really big crowd). It’s also great to make your hobby your profession. The worst aspect, I think for every player is travelling, being away from home so many weeks a year, but that’s the job!
ITF Pro Circuit : What has been the most bizarre venue that you have played at?
Gerald Melzer : It’s hard to say but I think I have never played at a really bad venue, I played once in Uganda with lines made of chalk but I really liked it.
ITF Pro Circuit : What is the best experience that you have had on the ITF Pro Circuit?
Gerald Melzer : My best experience was definitely my Africa trip this year, not because I won all 3 tournaments, it was also good for my personality.
ITF Pro Circuit : Does any particular match stand out and why?
Gerald Melzer : A really important win was the quarterfinals in Burundi against Roy Rupesh, I was down a set and a break and I came back in the second set. I was down again with break twice, at 45 he served for the match but I won 57 76 75. That gave me a lot of confidence.
ITF Pro Circuit : Which player(s) do you hang out with?
Gerald Melzer : My best friend on the tour is Philip Lang, two Belgians Bart Govaerts and Marco Dierckx are also really good friends. Also player friends are Nico Reissig, Pascal Brunner and Marc Rath.
ITF Pro Circuit : What has been the nicest venue that you have played at?
Gerald Melzer : I really don’t know, I like the tournaments in Austria
ITF Pro Circuit : What has been the funniest thing that has happened when playing the ITF Pro Circuit?
Gerald Melzer : Almost at every tournament some funny stuff happens but I can’t say anything special.
ITF Pro Circuit : How has competing on the ITF Pro Circuit helped you as a player?
Gerald Melzer : I just look at myself and try to do my best in every match.
ITF Pro Circuit : Many thanks Gerald for your time.