Thiemo likes the Davis Cup stage

Cold and rainy circumstances in Potchefstroom. The Dutch Davis Cup team prepare themselves for the meeting against South Africa at the end of this week. It is another journey for Thiemo, who collects more and more Davis Cup air miles. The Dutchman speaks about his experiences of representing his country.

Fond memories
South Africa is Thiemo’s fifth away match with ‘Oranje’ after ties against Macedonia, Belarus, Argentina and Ukraine. “I have very fond memories of Ukraine because it was a close tie, all matches were very close (2-3 victory, red.). We were very relieved afterwards because we fought very hard and it is always beautiful when you get a reward for that”, describes the former Wimbledon juniors champion.

Very special
Thiemo, who made his international debut in April 2008, has known one of his finest Davis Cup moments during the tie against France in September 2009. He defeated Gaël Monfils in four sets in front of his home crowd in Maastricht. “That was very special because you can show yourself for the Dutch fans, that is what I enjoy the most. The feeling they are yelling and shouting for you is fantastic”, according to the player who already has 15 Davis Cup matches behind his name (eight wins, seven defeats).

Fanatic crowd
The competition can be tough, especially when teams coming to South America where the word ‘tennisfans’ sometimes get a different meaning (yelling or coins throwing). It won’t be likeable these things happen in Potchefstroom. “I don’t care so much about the crowd as long things are a bit fair. You play your own match and have to be focused. I have no negative experiences so far.”

A fanatic home crowd or not, he wants to make his appearance for the upcoming tie. Impressing captain Jan Siemerink is the maximum goal. “I am here in South Africa to play and I have to prove that during practice sessions. We will see if it is enough”, shows Thiemo his determination, but sounds realistic as well. “If the other guys are doing better than me, I have to accept that. Most important thing is to win this encounter!”

Thiemo tells about the past days in Johannesburg and Potchefstroom and his special connection with South African player Rik de Voest on Wednesday.

Photo: Niels de Water