Nicolas Kiefer

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Nicolas Kiefer
Nicolas Kiefer at the 2008 BNP Paribas Masters.jpg
Country (sports)  Germany
Residence Sievershausen, Germany
Born (1977-07-05) 5 July 1977 (age 39)
Holzminden, West Germany
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Turned pro 1995
Retired 30 December 2010
Plays Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
Prize money US$ 7,480,465
Career record 366–274
Career titles 6
Highest ranking No. 4 (10 January 2000)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open SF (2006)
French Open 4R (2005)
Wimbledon QF (1997)
US Open QF (2000)
Other tournaments
Tour Finals SF (1999)
Olympic Games 3R (2004, 2008)
Career record 92–123
Career titles 3
Highest ranking No. 56 (17 February 2003)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open 2R (2004)
French Open 1R (2001, 2003, 2004)
Wimbledon 2R (2003)
US Open 1R (2002)

Nicolas Kiefer (born 5 July 1977), is a former German professional tennis player. He reached the semifinal of the 2006 Australian Open and won a Silver medal in Men's Doubles with partner Rainer Schüttler at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. Kiefer's career-high singles ranking was World No. 4, achieved in January 2000.

Tennis career[edit]


Kiefer was taken notice of as an outstanding junior. He won the Junior Australian Open, US Open and was a finalist and semi-finalist at Wimbledon and the French Open finishing as the No. 2 junior behind Mariano Zabaleta when he was 18 in 1995.

On 10 January 2000, he reached his second quarter-final at the Australian Open and afterwards was ranked World No. 4, his highest position to date.

Nicolas has been known to have a few tennis superstitions. He is sometimes seen tapping his racquet on the corners of the court after a point,[1] although the reasons behind this are not clear. He also, when serving, frequently asks for the ball with which he has just won a point to re-use it in the next one.


Kiefer became infamous for an incident on 25 January 2006, during the quarter-finals of the Australian Open. While facing Sébastien Grosjean late in the fifth set of a marathon match, Kiefer threw his racquet midpoint. Grosjean lost the point, hitting the ball into the net. Grosjean protested that the racquet distracted his shot. The umpire Carlos Bernardes said he did not believe the act was intentional and noted Grosjean had already hit the ball before the flying racquet could have had any effect on his shot. Grosjean eventually lost the fifth and final set to Kiefer. Kiefer went through to the semi-finals where he was defeated by the 2004 champion Roger Federer.

Kiefer injured his wrist while playing at the 2006 French Open, and announced his return on 5 July 2007, having fallen to the 404th position on ATP. He announced that he was "tired of waiting and anxious to start traveling again and to see his name on scoreboards". Kiefer returned at the 2007 Gerry Weber Open, losing in the first round to eventual champion Tomáš Berdych. At Wimbledon, he made the third round after defeating No.30 seed Filippo Volandri and Fabrice Santoro, both in straight sets, before losing in 4 sets (3 of which were tiebreakers) to Novak Djoković. At Newport, however, he ended up losing in round 1. At Los Angeles, he reached the semifinals in only his 4th tournament since coming back from injury; he had to default against Radek Štěpánek, another player coming back from injury, because of an injury sustained during his quarter-final win. He also made an impressive showing at the 2007 Madrid Masters, where he beat number five seed Fernando González in the quarterfinals before losing in the semifinals to world number one Roger Federer 6–4, 6–4.


The start to his 2008 season did not start out well, losing in the first round of the Australian Open to former world No.1 Juan Carlos Ferrero, first round of 2008 Indian Wells Masters to Dudi Sela, third round of 2008 Miami Masters to world No.2 Rafael Nadal, second round of 2008 Monte Carlo Masters to Philipp Kohlschreiber, first round of 2008 Rome Masters to Ferrero. His first notable result was the quarterfinals of the 2008 Hamburg Masters with victories over world No.10 Stanislas Wawrinka and world No.4 Nikolay Davydenko before losing to Andreas Seppi in three sets. He would lose in the third round of 2008 Wimbledon Championships to Nadal. During the 2008 Canada Masters, at age 31 and ranked #37, he made his first Masters final after 73 previous tries, previously finishing as a semifinalist at the 1999 and 2004 Canada Masters (lost to Thomas Johansson and Andy Roddick respectively) and 2007 Madrid Masters (lost to Federer). Along the way, he defeated Mardy Fish 7–5 7–6(4), No.15 seed Mikhail Youzhny 7–6(4) 7–5, No.4 seed Nikolay Davydenko 4–6 6–4 6–4, No.7 seed James Blake 6–1 6–2, and Gilles Simon 6–7(4) 6–3 7–6(5); the win over Simon was especially notable because Simon had defeated world No.1 Roger Federer in the second round. He lost to Nadal in the final 6–3, 6–2. Because of his run, he broke back into the top 20 at #19.


In 2009, he represented Germany in the 2009 Hopman Cup together with 19-year-old Sabine Lisicki. In the first match he lost against Australia's Lleyton Hewitt 6–7(6) 6–3 6–2 – who had been six months inactive due to an injury. In the second singles match Kiefer lost again, this time to USA's James Blake 7–6(4) 6–7(8) 6–4. Nevertheless, Kiefer won both of the doubles matches together with Sabine Lisicki against both Australia and the United States. On the third singles match, Kiefer twisted his ankle against Slovakia's Dominik Hrbatý in the first set when Kiefer was 3–1 up and serving for 4–1. This injury impeded him to participate in the 2009 Australian Open. He re-appeared in the 2009 Davis Cup match against Austria in which he won in the doubles match together with Philipp Kohlschreiber against Julian Knowle and Alexander Peya in 4 sets 6–3 7–6(6) 3–6 6–4. Kiefer also played a singles match, the fourth match, against Jürgen Melzer in which Kiefer won in straight sets 7–6 6–4 6–4 and gave Germany the victory against Austria. Kiefer then participated in the 2009 BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells in which he beat Bobby Reynolds in straight sets 6–4 6–2 in Second Round, but he then lost in Third Round to Andy Roddick 6–4 7–6(4).

Kiefer at the 2009 French Open.

In the 2009 Sony Ericsson Open in Miami, Kiefer beat "the magician" Fabrice Santoro 5–7 7–6(5) 6–2 in Second Round. In Third Round Kiefer was defeated by World No.2 Roger Federer 6–4 6–1. At the 2009 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters Kiefer lost in his first match against qualifier Andreas Beck 1–6 7–6(1) 6–4. At the 2009 Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome Kiefer lost again in the first match against Juan Mónaco in straight sets 6–2 6–3. In the 2009 BMW Open Kiefer was down against Ernests Gulbis 2–6 0–2 but eventually won 2–6 6–3 6–2. Kiefer said after the match, "Clay and me, we will never be the best of friends". Kiefer suffered from problems in his back which eventually made him lose against Jérémy Chardy in the next round 6–4 7–6(9). At the 2009 Mutua Madrileña Madrid Open he lost against Tommy Robredo 3–6 6–2 6–2. Kiefer then played the 2009 ARAG World Team Cup in which he played the doubles matches together with Mischa Zverev. They won all of their matches and Germany reached the final but lost against Serbia as Germany lost both of their single matches. Despite Germany losing, Kiefer won the doubles match in the final against Viktor Troicki and doubles World No.1 Nenad Zimonjić 7–5 4–6 10–7. Kiefer then participated at the 2009 French Open in which he beat qualifier Ilija Bozoljac in 4 sets 7–6(4) 3–6 7–5 6–4. However, Kiefer lost in the Second Round against World No.14 David Ferrer in 5 sets 6–3 5–7 6–4 3–6 6–2. Despite this loss, Kiefer claimed that he was proud that he had played up to a fifth set against one of the best tennis players of the world in clay, since clay is Kiefer's least favourite surface. The clay season had now ended, and the grass season started with Kiefer's participation in his favourite tournament, the 2009 Gerry Weber Open. In the first match he trashed Viktor Troicki 6–2 6–1, but retired in the Second Round against Jürgen Melzer when he was down 6–1 since he had a muscular strain in his abdomen which forced him to retire not only from the match but from the doubles where he had reached the semifinals with Mischa Zverev. Kiefer participated at the 2009 Wimbledon Championships despite having not fully recovered from his abdomen injury. This was reflected in his match against Fabrice Santoro where Kiefer lost in straight sets 6–4 6–2 6–2. Kiefer then played for Germany in the 2009 Davis Cup quarter-finals against Spain. He did so in the doubles match together with Mischa Zverev against Spain's doubles players Fernando Verdasco and Feliciano López. Kiefer and Zverev lost the match 6–3, 7–6(1), 6–7(6), 6–3. In the 1st round of the U.S Open he beat Michaël Llodra 6–3, 6–4, 6–4, but in the second round he lost to number 3 ranked Rafael Nadal 0–6, 6–3, 3–6, 4–6.

Major finals[edit]

Olympic finals[edit]

Doubles: 1 (1 silver medal)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Silver 2004 Athens Olympics Hard Germany Rainer Schüttler Chile Fernando González
Chile Nicolás Massú
2–6, 6–4, 6–3, 6–7(7–9), 4–6

Masters Series finals[edit]

Singles: 1 (0 titles, 1 runner-up)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Runner-up 2008 Toronto (Canada) Hard Spain Rafael Nadal 3–6, 2–6

Career finals[edit]

Singles (19)[edit]

Wins (6)[edit]

Grand Slam (0)
Tennis Masters Cup (0)
ATP Masters Series (0)
ATP International Series Gold (1)
ATP Tour (5)
Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Winner 1. 22 September 1997 Toulouse, France Hard (i) Australia Mark Philippoussis 7–5, 5–7, 6–4
Winner 2. 12 April 1999 Tokyo, Japan Hard South Africa Wayne Ferreira 7–6(7–5), 7–5
Winner 3. 7 June 1999 Halle, Germany Grass Sweden Nicklas Kulti 6–3, 6–2
Winner 4. 13 September 1999 Tashkent, Uzbekistan Hard Switzerland George Bastl 6–4, 6–2
Winner 5. 7 February 2000 Dubai, United Arab Emirates Hard Spain Juan Carlos Ferrero 7–5, 4–6, 6–3
Winner 6. 2 October 2000 Hong Kong, China Hard Australia Mark Philippoussis 7–6(7–4), 2–6, 6–2

Runners-up (13)[edit]

Grand Slam (0)
Tennis Masters Cup (0)
ATP Masters Series (1)
ATP International Series Gold (3)
ATP Tour (9)
Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Runner-up 1. 13 October 1997 Singapore, Singapore Carpet Sweden Magnus Gustafsson 6–4, 3–6, 3–6
Runner-up 2. 15 February 1999 Dubai, United Arab Emirates Hard France Jérôme Golmard 4–6, 2–6
Runner-up 3. 19 October 1999 Vienna, Austria Carpet United Kingdom Greg Rusedski 7–6(7–5), 6–2, 3–6, 5–7, 4–6
Runner-up 4. 8 October 2001 Moscow, Russia (1) Carpet (i) Russia Yevgeny Kafelnikov 4–6, 5–7
Runner-up 5. 17 June 2002 Halle, Germany (1) Grass Russia Yevgeny Kafelnikov 6–2, 4–6, 4–6
Runner-up 6. 16 June 2003 Halle, Germany (2) Grass Switzerland Roger Federer 1–6, 3–6
Runner-up 7. 16 February 2004 Memphis, United States Hard Sweden Joachim Johansson 6–7(5–7), 3–6
Runner-up 8. 1 March 2004 Scottsdale, United States Hard United States Vince Spadea 5–7, 7–6(7–5), 3–6
Runner-up 9. 19 July 2004 Indianapolis, United States Hard United States Andy Roddick 2–6, 3–6
Runner-up 10. 12 July 2004 Los Angeles, United States Hard Germany Tommy Haas 6–7(6–8), 4–6
Runner-up 11. 10 October 2005 Moscow, Russia (2) Carpet (i) Russia Igor Andreev 7–5, 6–7(3–7), 2–6
Runner-up 12. 24 October 2005 St. Petersburg, Russia Carpet (i) Sweden Thomas Johansson 4–6, 2–6
Runner-up 13. 27 July 2008 Toronto, Canada Hard Spain Rafael Nadal 3–6, 2–6

Doubles (5)[edit]

Wins (4)[edit]

Grand Slam (0)
Olympics Gold (0)
Tennis Masters Cup (0)
ATP Masters Series (0)
ATP International Series Gold (1)
ATP Tour (3)
Futures (1)
No. Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponent in the final Score in the final
1. 19 October 1998 Ostrava, Czech Republic Carpet Germany David Prinosil South Africa David Adams
Czech Republic Pavel Vízner
6–4, 6–3
2. 22 July 2002 Los Angeles, United States Hard France Sébastien Grosjean United States Justin Gimelstob
France Michaël Llodra
6–4, 6–4
3. 29 September 2003 Tokyo, Japan Hard United States Justin Gimelstob The Bahamas Mark Merklein
United States Scott Humphries
6–7(6–8), 6–3, 7–6(7–4)
4. 11 October 2010 Hambach, Germany Hard Germany Stefan Seifert Czech Republic Roman Jebavý
Czech Republic Daniel Lustig
3–6, 6–2, [10–7]

Runners-up (1)[edit]

Grand Slam (0)
Olympics Silver (1)
Tennis Masters Cup (0)
ATP Masters Series (0)
ATP International Series Gold (0)
ATP Tour (0)
No. Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponent in the final Score in the final
1. 21 August 2004 Summer Olympics, Athens, Greece Hard Germany Rainer Schüttler Chile Fernando González
Chile Nicolás Massú
2–6, 6–4, 6–3, 6–7(7–9), 4–6

Performance timeline[edit]


Tournament 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 SR W–L
Grand Slams
Australian Open 1R A QF 3R QF 2R 1R A 1R 1R SF A 1R A A 0 / 10 16–10
French Open A 1R 2R 1R 1R 1R 1R 2R 2R 4R 3R A A 2R A 0 / 11 9–10
Wimbledon A QF 3R 2R 1R 4R 3R 1R 1R 3R A 3R 3R 1R 1R 0 / 13 18–13
US Open A A 3R 3R QF 1R 1R 2R 4R 4R A 2R 1R 2R A 0 / 11 17–11
Year-End Championship
Tennis Masters Cup A A A SF A A A A A A A A A A A 0 / 1 2–2
ATP Masters Series
Indian Wells Masters A A 3R 3R 1R 3R 2R 2R 1R QF 2R A 1R 3R A 0 / 11 12–11
Miami Masters A 2R 3R QF 2R 2R 1R 1R QF 2R 4R A 3R 3R A 0 / 12 16–12
Monte Carlo Masters A A 2R A A 1R 1R A 2R 2R 3R A 2R 1R A 0 / 8 6–8
Rome Masters A A A 3R A 3R 1R A 1R 2R 2R A 1R 1R A 0 / 8 6–8
Madrid Masters A A A A A A A A A 1R A SF 1R 1R A 0 / 4 4–4
Canada Masters A A 3R SF 2R 2R 1R A SF 3R A 2R F 1R A 0 / 10 20–10
Cincinnati Masters A A 1R 3R 1R 3R 2R A 2R 2R A 2R A 1R A 0 / 9 8–9
Shanghai Masters Not ATP Masters Series A A 0 / 0 0–0
Paris Masters A A 2R A A 1R A A A 1R A 1R 2R A A 0 / 5 2–5
Hamburg Masters 1R 2R 1R A A 3R 1R 1R 1R 2R 2R A QF NM1 0 / 10 8–10
Olympic Games
Summer Olympics A Not Held 1R Not Held 3R Not Held 3R NH 0 / 3 5–3
Year End Ranking 128 32 35 6 20 42 72 58 21 22 48 49 38 116 722


  1. ^ "Strange Habits of Highly Successful Tennis Players" by Christopher Clarey, 21 June 2008 in The New York Times.

External links[edit]