Photo: Hanna LandenerHanna Landener (GER)
Who are Hanna's tennis idols? How did an on court warning result in laughter? Read our interview with the German teenager making her way up the WTA rankings in this early stage of her professional tennis career to find the answers to these and other questions we put to her recently.
ITF Pro Circuit: Can you tell us where were you born and maybe describe the area where you grew up?
Hanna Landener: I was born and grew up in Herne, a city of about 160,000 inhabitants in the north-west industrial region of Germany. I still live there.
Do any other members of your family play sport?
My parents both played sport, my Mum played basketball and tennis and my Dad soccer and tennis. My elder brother Christoph also played soccer as a goalkeeper.
So how did you get started in tennis?
When I was five years old, my parents and I were on a bicycle-ride and passed a tennis club. We stopped and watched the players practicing. I was attracted immediately. One of the coaches came towards us and asked if I wanted to have a free trial on tennis. I at once agreed, so did my parents and a week later I was a member of the club “TC Parkhaus Wanne-Eickel”.
What can you tell us about your current coach?
Right now I have got two coaches, Dieter Davidsen and Mariusz Zielinski. Dieter Davidsen is the head coach and responsible for match tactics and mental strength. Mariusz Zielinski is a former Polish Davis Cup player and responsible for the daily practicing on the court. My club has got a team in the German first league (seniors above 30-years) and Mariusz plays on number two.
Who were/are your tennis idols?
[Roger] Federer and Kim Clijsters (pictured) are the players I admire the most.
What is your greatest tennis memory either as a player or as a fan?
As a fan I really enjoyed Roger Federer winning the French Open. For me as a player I have a vivid memory of the moment when I won the third match on the ITF Tour to get my first WTA ranking last year.
In your opinion, what would you say are the best and worst aspects of being a professional tennis player?
Last summer I played tournaments in six different European countries and I found out that I really like travelling around. On the other hand expenses for this are high and without a sponsor it’s not easy to bear them.
Have there been any amusing on-court incidents that you can share?
Last year, when warming up before a match, the referee asked me to shoot a ball that had dropped on our court back to a remote court. After I had done so he looked at me and said “Warning for ball-abuse!” I was astonished and looked at him – but he of course laughed…
If you could only have one Grand Slam title, which would you choose?
As you can imagine, I dream to win them all. But if I had the choice I’d take the US Open. If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere! (smiles)
Away from the tennis court do you have any other interests?
When I’m not playing or practicing you can often find me at my PC, playing games or surfing the internet. I also like a wide range of music and reading books.
If you had not become a tennis player what career path would you have liked to have followed?
I like to draw and to work with programs like “Photoshop” so maybe I would have done something in relation with design.
Have you set yourself any specific goals for 2013?
Last year I put much pressure on myself to reach the WTA ranking list. I reached that goal, but maybe I could have played better and more successful without that pressure. I talked about it with my new coach and this year I haven’t got specific goals but want to have fun playing tennis on the tour.
Hanna, thanks for taking the time to answer our questions and best wishes for the 2013 season.