This is another “category” of players you can meet out there on the ATP Challenger Tour. Guys that make everyone gasp with the pure elegance of their strokes, the perfect technique. Competitors that look so much better than their ranking would suggest. Yet, they can’t break through to the ATP Tour. Jeremy Jahn is a classic example.
The German is currently ranked 308th in the ATP Rankings and has never played an ATP main draw match. Watch him for a minute or two and you’ll be asking yourself the question – how is it possible?
A well-balanced game
Jahn’s service motion is flawless. The pretty high ball toss is unreadable when it comes to the direction. He mixes up flatter deliveries with kick serves and can come up with great speeds for his height.
The one-handed backhand of his is an absolute work of art. The South African commentator Robbie Koenig has been using a phrase “an oil painting of a backhand,” referring to the most aesthetically pleasing single-handers on the ATP Tour. There’s no way of telling if Koenig will ever see Jahn on the court, but that expression would surely come in handy.
Despite a long wind-up, it’s vintage in a good way. The ease with which the German can go down the line is uncanny for people playing single-handers. Jahn feels best playing aggressively but he’s a very good mover and can chase down a lot of balls if needed. His repertoire of shots is very wide and the volley technique is quite impressive.
It has to be the brain game then, right? It probably is. The ball toss can get a bit shaky at moments of intense pressure, leading to double faults and missed first serves. He sometimes finds it hard to find the right balance between taking matters into his own hands and allowing the opponent to make an error.
Steps for the good
Nevertheless, the German is clearly one of the players to watch on the Challenger circuit. His form has been getting better recently, capped off with a maiden final at this level of the competition (Cordenons, lost to Christopher O’Connell). Jahn has also scored one of his best career wins this summer, beating Kamil Majchrzak at the Sopot Open, 6-7 6-1 7-5. Australian Open 1978 Men’s Doubles Champion Wojtek Fibak, who was watching from the stands, said that the German played top 20 level tennis.
On Tuesday at the Pekao Szczecin Open, Jahn beat Vit Kopriva 7-5, 6-4. His second-round clash against Rudolf Molleker should be one of the matches of the day. It might tell us more about why the German isn’t able to unleash his potential.
Main Photo Credit: Jeremy Jahn’s Facebook