Cedrik-Marcel Stebe: “I don’t want to regret not having tried everything” | ATP tour
The tennis world shared their love for Juan Martin del Potro on Tuesday night following the Argentine’s emotional return to Buenos Aires. Few people can understand what Del Potro has been through as much as Cedrik-Marcel Stebe, who is competing at the Dallas Open this week.
The German reached a career-high No. 71 in the ATP rankings in 2012 and made his first ATP Tour final in 2019 as world No. 455. But the southpaw has spent much of his career dealing with injuries.
“I may have been in the same position as him. Mentally it’s really difficult if you’re injured for a very long time. You try to come back and you work hard and every time you have to come to terms with the fact that you can’t really play or compete at your best anymore,” Stebe said. “It’s really frustrating at some point. But for him, he has accomplished incredible things. He did the best of his career. I always felt like I didn’t reach my full potential.”
Three years ago, the German told ATP Tour.com that it was like someone had a voodoo doll of him and stuck needles in various random body parts. Before the pandemic, Stebe had already suffered injuries to his hip, lower back, pubis, pelvic region and right wrist. Since then, it hasn’t been much better.
“I just felt like something was completely out of balance with my body. [Since the pandemic started] I had several abdominal tears or strains. I had a few quadri muscle fiber tears and calf muscle fiber tears. It was pretty much everywhere,” Stebe said. “I dislocated my right shoulder. It was literally everywhere and it made me think there must be something wrong.
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Stebe admitted he sometimes struggles to find motivation. But the world No. 231 qualified this week in Dallas and won his opening match in the main draw to earn a second-round clash against second seed Reilly Opelka. Despite all the struggles, he continues to move forward.
“I don’t want to stop until I feel like I’ve given 110 or 115%. Your career is so short and I don’t want to stop and regret not trying everything,” Stebe said. “I still want to do my best. I know some guys are playing their best in their mid-30s, so it’s good to see people can still do it. It gives me the belief that I can do it too. .
For now, Stebe’s biggest goal is to stay healthy and get back into the Top 100. For the first time, he had off-season training outside of Germany (in Florida at the IMG Academy). The 31-year-old plans to create a ‘smart’ schedule and still believes his best is yet to come.
“I know I can play good tennis. It has always motivated me in one way or another. I was still trying to figure out how not to get hurt,” Stebe said. “I just try to do the best I can. I hope it works out in the end and I can play for a few more years and still play tennis and enjoy life on the Tour.