Dominik Koepfer on playing Novak Djokovic: Playing No. 1 really special experience

Koepfer played well against Djokovic in Rome and now he aims a win over Stan Wawrinka at the French Open.

by Dzevad Mesic
Dominik Koepfer on playing Novak Djokovic: Playing No. 1 really special experience

German tennis player Dominik Koepfer admitted playing world No. 1 Novak Djokovic a "really special experience" as that was his first-ever clash against a player ranked at No. 1 in the world. Koepfer, who won three qualifying matches to make the Rome Masters main draw, eventually made the Rome quarterfinal before losing to Djokovic in three sets.

"It’s been amazing,” Koepfer told “Coming into Rome, I was struggling a little bit with my confidence. Got a win in the first round and beat some good players and once you start rolling, you stop thinking and everything just goes on its own, and that’s what’s been happening the last few weeks.

“The tournament could have been over in the first round but then I moved on to the quarter-finals. Played a No.1 for the first time, which was a really special experience you don’t get every day. All these small steps help you to build confidence and experience, too”.

Koepfer ready for Stan Wawrinka

Koepfer, who climbed up to a career-high ranking of No. 61 on this week's updated ATP list, beat French Antoine Hoang in the French Open first round to set up a clash against three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka.

"It’s exciting,” he said. “I’ve got no pressure, got nothing to lose. I’m healthy, I’ll be able to play freely and hopefully give him a hard time. And if I have the chance to win, just take it.

I’m looking forward to it”. Koepfer grew up in Furtwangen near the Swiss border so he has no problems playing in the tricky French Open conditions. "I grew up in the Black Forest, literally in the middle of the forest,” he said with a smile.

“Lots of snow, very cold there”. When Koepfer met his current coach Billy Heiser in the United States, his coach was immediately impressed with what he saw from the German. "Inremember our first day on court together and he was hitting with John Isner,” Heiser told

“It was the first time I had ever met him. I was very impressed, very good ball-striker, very good athlete, super live arm, just very, very raw. "I could tell he had a love for the game but just hadn’t been around enough at a high enough level so needed that experience and a little fine-tuning and refinement but very, very talented athlete for sure”.

Dominik Koepfer Novak Djokovic Stan Wawrinka