I have succeeded on Grand Slams to get Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal hit with Dominic, even if it was only 10 minutes. Big experience for Dominic, also important because he could learn how it feels to be on court with a superstar, to live this very special aura.
But the most important was for me the feedback from the best world’s players and their coaches. My goal was primarily to get this feedback, how was their impression about Dominic, if they found some weaknesses I could have missed. Their feedback was so important for me, that my dignity was not important at all. I needed to not fear to eventually nerve them.
I have squeezed Bob. What is the boy can right now. What is he cannot. What told Cilic about Dominic’s forehand.
I was running after Federer’s coach Severin Lüthi like a groupie: should Roger need someone for hitting, we are there in 3 minutes.
Some years ago I have recommended Gebhard Gritsch from Tirol as fitness trainer for Djokovic. Now I was begging him to do me a favor. Is it possible for Novak to hit a game with Dominic?
This feedback was so important for me, because I was the potential source of the biggest misunderstandings in our project, my eventual professional blindness.
I wanted to rule out the possibility to destroy everything because of a mistake, carelessness, a false struck against my wonderful marble block.
Bob’s answer was “You have a good boy there. Marin told, the forehand topspin was quite unpleasant. The backhand is beautiful, but here you must be patient until his shoulder and arm is strong enough. Be patient.”
I was kneeling around Pierre Paganini, the best ever fitness coach on the tour – working with Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka – until he accepted to watch Dominic over 2 days in Südstadt. I wanted to know from him only, if Dominic is fast enough for the top. If he was not fast enough, he would have no chance. The basic speed is the only thing, you can improve in training only a little bit.
On the end of those two days Pierre told me:
“Günther, the boy is not fast.”
One whole world collapsed in me.
But Pierre grinned.
“He’s as fast as an arrow.”
At the Orange Bowl 2010 in Florida, Ivan Lendl was so nice to observe Dominic. He liked Dominic so much, that still during the match he called Claus Marten, responsible for tennis marketing at adidas. And Marten was expert enough to see the whole potential of any player. Dominic did not play well in Florida, but was somehow able to find ways to win. He had shots able to hurt opponents. He played always better when the score was bad. The small boy was able to prevail on the court. This has impressed Marten.
I was just rumbling with some friends in an off-road car from Nairobi to Kilimanjaro as my phone ringed. This was Claus Marten. Some minutes later Dominic had a global adidas contract.
The most of the money from adidas was invested in January for the trip to Australian Open. Dominic lost in second round after a frightening weak performance.
The eighth milestone
Here you go to PART8
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