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Matt Hetherington
02-27-2012, 10:06 AM
Original content and mmmmuch more at http://matthetherington.blogspot.com

I was lucky enough to score an interview with one of the table tennis greats of Europe, Jorg Rosskopf a.k.a Rossi. I always felt Rosskopf was a player who had great success but lived in the shadow of players like Persson and Waldner and got less recognition for his achievements. Retiring in 2010 he became the National Coach of Germany and has continued his great success in that role. Thanks for the interview Rossi!

Full Name: Jörg Roßkopf
Date Of Birth: 22.5.1969
Nation represented: Germany
Highest World Ranking: 4


Equipment Used?
Blade: Joola
FH Rubber: Joola Explode
BH Rubber: Joola Explode


http://www.ittf.com/stories/pictures/rossi_10_04_10.jpg
Jorg celebrates victory over Robert Svensson in his last ever German League match
Image courtesy of ITTF



Your Career

How long did you play table tennis for, when and how did you start?
I started when I was 5 years old and played until I was 40.

What was the highlight/best memory of your table tennis career?
Winning the 1989 WTTC gold medal in mens doubles with Steffen Fetzner and winning Olympic medals in both 1992 and 1996.

You played in an era with some of the most reputable and respected players of all time (yourself included). Who was the player you enjoyed playing the most?
The best player ever is Jan-Ove Waldner and he was the most difficult to play against.

How does it feel to have the opportunity to go from being Germany's leading player of the time to now having the opportunity to be their national coach?
It is a big pleasure to work with such a strong team and I hope I can improve them a little bit more.

How do you think Germany will perform at the WTTC team event in 2012? Do they have the potential to equal or better their previous silver medal result?
That is our target to go to the final

The young French players have been making a big impression on the World Tour lately with some big wins. Patrick Franziska also shocked followers with wins over Persson, Tokic and Chuang Chih-Yuan at the recent Qatar Open, do you think Patrick will be the next prospect for the top German player?
He have the power but it is very difficult to say what he will acieve in the future, but he has the chance and a good background to became a good player.

What does Germany (and Europe) need to change in the way of training in order to compete with the Chinese National Team?
They have to work more and spend more time training and less time with breaks.

http://www.spox.com/de/sport/mehrsport/sonstiges/0909/Bilder/joerg-rosskopf-514.jpg
Jorg in his recent role as German National Mens Coach
Image from Spox.com

Do you think the change in your era from the 38mm ball and games to 21 to the 40mm ball and games to 11 improved the sport of table tennis?
The ball has no affect, but to change to 11 was a good idea because now there is more and earlier tension in the game.

Have you or the Germany National players had the opportunity to try the new material table tennis ball prototype expected to be released after the Olympics? If so, how do you think that will change the game?
No

Which European players do you think will pose a threat to the Chinese at the Olympic Games? Perhaps Ovtcharov, Skachkov etc?
Now Boll and Ovtcharov from Germany, Mizutani from Japan and Joo Se Hyuk from Korea and in the future Ovtcharov, Baum and some french players I think also.

What would you like to achieve as German National Coach while you are in that position? I.e your biggest goal.
To win against China in a final.

What is your opinion on the careers of Ma Lin and Wang Liqin? Do you think they will be in the Chinese National Team much longer?
No, I think after London Olympics they will stop and the Chinese will push the new generation of players.


Off the Topic Questions
Who’s your favourite sportsperson of all time?
Federer

Favourite food?
Italian

Dream Car?
No dream car.

Ideal holiday destination?
I love New York

First thing you would do if you won $1million?
I will change nothing, I would invest in the future of my family and friends

Your Team Mates

Who trained the hardest in the training hall?
Roßkopf, now Filus, Mengel and Franziska

Who’s was the funniest team player?
Dani Heister

Who had the best nickname?
Rossi

Describe each of these players in ONE word:

Jan-Ove Waldner: Gambler
Jorgen Persson: Nice Person
Zoran Primorac: Moneymaker
Jean Michel-Saive: Fighter
Timo Boll: Talent
Werner Schlager: Chess Player


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UPnhgbAD_Q&feature=player_embedded
Rosskopf's final DTTL match against Robert Svensson in 2010
And Lastly

Would you like to add one last tip, or an inspirational message for other table tennis players looking to succeed?
Live your dream and fight till the end

Michal_Z
02-27-2012, 11:09 AM
Great interview!
I hope they will be able to defeat china some time!

Matt Hetherington
02-27-2012, 11:10 AM
hmm it's a long shot for at least the next few years I think, something big has to change for Europe to compete with China

Dan
02-27-2012, 11:23 AM
hmm it's a long shot for at least the next few years I think, something big has to change for Europe to compete with China

Fantastic interview Matt!

I personally think Japan have the best chance against China at the moment and than Germany second.

Japan were fantastic in the recent Asian Championships team final, I personally think Jun Mizutani vs Ma Lin could of gone either way, and Koki Niwa had a chance against Zhang Jike. It was possible, a bit of pressure on China could have rocked them to.

As for Germany, Timo Boll at his best can still beat anyone in the World I believe, we would then need Dimitrij Ovtcharov to be flying to! Would be a big ask, I cannot wait for the World Teams next month! :)

WiWa
02-27-2012, 11:29 AM
Great interview! Less breaks haha good idea from Rossi :) I think Germany can have a few players that beat Chinese players, like Dima and maybe Franziska or other youngsters. But players like Steger and Süss and Baum will never be a threat I think. Japan and Korea have some strong youngsters, they could produce more players that beat Chinese players I think. Also I'm curious how the development of the French and Russian guys will proceed.

Matt Hetherington
02-27-2012, 12:08 PM
Skachkov is pretty epic. I think him and Franziska are rising with the young French players at the moment. I think Franziska has huge potential. Personally I don't know what to make of Boll at the moment. WTTC will be one to observe ;)

Anders
02-27-2012, 02:00 PM
Fantastic interview Matt, you did it again! :)

Haha, love the inspirational message from Rossi :D

ttmonster
02-27-2012, 03:22 PM
Great Job Matt!! This is one of the good ones !

Matt Hetherington
02-27-2012, 10:56 PM
He was a little short on reply so it's good I asked more questions this time I think.

UpSideDownCarl
03-08-2013, 02:31 PM
Bump.........