His first game on turf? Sitting in a small room in the TC Weissenhof complex, Oscar Otte is now thinking for a moment. He remembers “2017 Wimbledon Qualifiers”. His look reveals: There’s another punch line. And come. “I got a nice applause from Danielle Brands,” says Ooty with surprised eyes. “I felt nauseous on the surface.” Already during the training he “was stunned and mad”, “he simply did not know what to do” on the lawn. In general, his emotions earlier. It was unbridled. “I just gossiped, only texted. Even if I took a double break in the third set and only gave up one break.” In that sense, today he is a different person. “I managed really well with the outbreak.”
This is how he showed off with two impeccable victories so far at the ATP Championships in Stuttgart. On Monday, he beat his German colleague Daniel Altmaier, this Thursday until the world number 16, Denis Shapovalov of Canada, 7: 6 (6), 7: 6 (4) in the round of 16. Although Ooty still has a knack for writing original texts.
At the press conference, when asked how he thinks he is now the best active German tennis player since Alexander Zverev was missing out at the French Open after his fall, he replied: “Honestly, it sounds quite sick to me.” And if someone had told him ten years ago that he would be number one in Germany or even number two, “I would have said: Dude, what’s wrong with you?”. You have to ask: What’s going on with Oscar Otte, 28, from Cologne and living in Essen? Is this any good all of a sudden?
Working with the indicated joint made Oscar Otti famous on the Internet
Zverev is number two in the world rankings, and even if the 25-year-old, who is recovering from ankle surgery, leaves for much longer, Otti will not be able to catch him. But among those well-fitted German pros who are currently competing in the President’s Open in Kielberg, none is superior to Ooty. At least 53 will be after the event. If he defeats France’s Benjamin Ponzi (ATP-58.) in the quarter-finals on Friday, he’ll move up to the top 50, and he’s never been this high. “It feels great to almost reach the top,” he says, emphasizing, “But that’s no reason to go.”
This shouldn’t be a problem with the 1.93-meter winch. Because since he entered the bigger and bigger stages of his sport for the first time last year, having previously worked in the Challenger Championships, one thing is clear: Shows like these have not overshadowed him, nor have they intimidated him. His impressive five-set defeat at Wimbledon to three-time Grand Slam winner Andy Murray (who defeated Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik 6:3, 7:6 in Stuttgart on Thursday) was nothing short of legendary.
His reaction when he slipped during a walk with the Scotsman turned into a meme, one of those acclaimed photos on the internet. Then Ooty lay flat and pretended to be smoking marijuana, i.e. knuckle. In such a situation, you have to come to this first. “I accepted the penalty for that,” said Otti, enjoying the tournament in Munich at the end of April, where he also played an exciting match and reached the semi-finals.
The German championships suit him, he says, and get along well with them. In Stuttgart, as in Munich, this transformation of spectators can be felt: first they looked at this Zwirbler in peace, and suddenly they became addicted to this man.
Ooty seems like a give-and-take person, creating an entertaining style of play. “I see myself as an intuitive player,” he describes himself and says in one step: “My coach doesn’t gossip before the game, he knows me well. I don’t do it anyway. I decided to draw how I’m going to play the next ball. Sometimes I don’t even know myself. Graduation me the way he spoke to me.” He never compared himself to his role model Roger Federer, but to Croatian Marin Cilic, only: “I also do chops, stops and trallala.” By the way, Murray was also excited about Ooty, on the net at Wimbledon, telling him: Stay tuned!
Otti stuck to that, repeatedly citing his many years working with his coach Peter Moraing as the main reason for his relatively late rise in the rankings. The 60-year-old was ranked 142 in the world rankings. Even after the phases where things didn’t go well, Ooty trusted him. At some point it “clicked”. Especially in the head. Matches like Murray showed him: “Hey, I can really keep up with that.” Now, of course, Ooty wants more, he sees no burden at all in suddenly representing German men’s tennis as the number one in the transition. “To be in this role is incredible, and that of course drives me even more.” Then he concludes in his own way: “I will not be lazy now.”