Germany's Nicolas Kiefer says winning the silver medal at the 2004 Olympic Games remains his biggest success, while speaking to the ITF website. Kiefer partnered with Rainer Schüttler at the 2004 Games in Athens and peaked at No.
4 in the ATP world rankings. Kiefer says that the Germans were not the favourites in the draw which helped them relax. 'If you have a look at the draw from 2004, there were unbelievable doubles teams: the Australians, the Israelis, the US team.
We beat very strong teams. In the semifinals, we beat the Indians, [Mahesh] Bhupathi and [Leander] Paes, which was amazing. We were just unbelievably happy. Before we didn’t think about a medal honestly. That’s the reason maybe why we were playing free, relaxed and just happy.
We were up two sets to one and in the fourth set we were up 6-2 in the tiebreak. We had four match points for the gold medal and I still remember the points, I was serving twice. But we also have to admit that the Chilean guys [Gonzalez and Massu] played unbelievable tennis.
But if you have four match points and you are serving… I don’t know how often it happens. Of course we were disappointed and it was very sad. On the other hand, we never dreamed about getting a silver medal."
Kiefer says while it took him time to get over the loss, he is now proud of his achievement. "When I came back to Germany after the US Open, everybody was coming and they were so happy, saying, “Hey, it’s unbelievable”.
But you still don’t recognise it because it is a silver medal, you are still disappointed. Then week by week, months later, you realise what a great accomplishment it was. I think with how the match went with the four match points we had and lost, people talk much more about it.
If we won gold, they would say “you have won a gold medal” but just not talk about it. Now, because of this scenario, they talk about it and the drama attached to it. Even now still many people are saying, “Unbelievable achievement, a silver medal in the Olympics”. I won many tournaments in my career but this is by far my biggest success."