by Neha Aggarwal (Interview by Iulia Necula)
In the second Men’s Singles preliminary round on Wednesday 19th April, he overcame Korea Republic’s Kim Minhyeok with an impressive straight game win (11-3, 14-12, 11-4, 11-5); the legendary Timo Boll assisting as his coach.
Returning to international stage after an injury can be both physically and mentally challenging. Although it was evident that Franziska was a little nervous, with Timo Boll’s constant guidance, he managed to calm down and focus on the game.
“I am very happy with the result not only because I felt good but because I was able to move at the table much better than I expected. It’s good to be back in competition, especially here in Korea it’s always a pleasant experience.”- Patrick Franziska
Four months back, Franziska became the victim of a sudden hip injury. Although he did not experience any pain, the doctors detected a bone anomaly in the hip region during a MRI. They immediately suggested complete rest.
He has been working on his recovery since then. “I had a hard time during the recovery break, I was unable to practise or do physical exercise,” recalled Franziska.
Now that he has achieved full recovery, the delighted Franziska said,
“Everything seems to be going well and improving very fast and I am already playing and training for a month now, the last time I got injured it took almost half a year to get back on the track. It’s great to be back!”
The Liebherr 2017 World Championships is approaching; Franziska will be competing in the Men’s Singles and Men’s Doubles partnering Jonathan Groth from Denmark. Together they have been a successful pair winning the ITTF World Tour Austrian Open and European Championships in 2016.
Thus, along with doing well on home soil in singles, he has an added opportunity to shine in the Men’s Doubles. However, the fear of injury still haunts him. “I hope everything will be fine so that I can prepare and get into the right shape just in time for Düsseldorf,” he said.
Düsseldorf is special for Franziska:
“For me this edition of the World Table Tennis Championships in Düsseldorf will be very special as I used to play in Borussia Düsseldorf team until last year. It will be very nice playing in front of my friends and fans, definitely a highlight of my career.”- Patrick Franziska
Commenting on whom he thinks would win the World Championships, Franziska honestly confessed, “If I had to choose a winner, I think Ma Long has the most chance, but personally I think would be amazing if one of us seven Germans could win the World Championship title on home soil.”
While Düsseldorf awaits the magic of Franziska, he awaits a healthier and injury free body.
“Although the main objective for this year is getting back in top 50, probably my biggest wish is not getting injured anymore.”- Patrick Franziska
Once in a life time opportunity to create wonders the World Championship on home soil, Franziska certainly is determined to grab the opportunities. But the 25-year old German has a lot of thinking and work to do in the next few weeks to make that happen.