Olympics take back seat for German tennis duo

Germany's 15-year wait to see two men in a Grand Slam quarter-final was ended by Florian Mayer and Philipp Kohlschreiber at Wimbledon on Tuesday, an embarrassing turn of events for their country's Olympic chiefs.

Olympics take back seat for German tennis duo
Photo: DPA

The German Olympic Sports Federation (DOSB) rules had insisted that only players ranked in the top 24 would be selected for the London Games, a move which ruled out Mayer, the world number 29, and his 30th-ranked compatriot.

But after lengthy discussions, Kohlschreiber was last week included on the entry list for the Olympics although he admitted he was still waiting for confirmation.

Mayer, on the other hand, has opted out of taking part, preferring to concentrate on his build-up to the US Open, the season’s final Grand Slam event.

“That’s my decision. I know it’s maybe a tough decision to understand,” said Mayer, who reached the Wimbledon last eight for the second time, defeating Richard Gasquet of France, 6-3, 6-1, 3-6, 6-2.

“It’s a good chance to make points maybe, but we have a tough schedule. I have to play the German Open in Hamburg on clay. Then directly after the Olympics we have the two Masters Series (in the United States).

“I know my body. I cannot play five weeks in a row. That’s why I took this decision.”

Kohlschreiber reached his first Grand Slam quarter-final at the 33rd time of asking with a 6-1, 7-6 (7/4), 6-3 defeat of American qualifier Brian Baker.

The 28-year-old believes his place in the Olympics will be confirmed by the German authorities.

“We have high standards and I think tomorrow will be the final decision. It’s almost confirmed,” he said.

“But I’m not thinking about the Olympic Games right now because it’s not any more in my hands. I always said I want to play.

“Obviously I’m also putting more pressure on them because I’m doing pretty well here now.”

The last two German men to make the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam were Nicolas Keifer and Michael Stich at the 1997 Wimbledon.

Tommy Haas was the last German man in a Wimbledon quarter-final in 2009.


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What does the UK’s new ‘traffic light’ system mean for travel to Germany?

The UK government is bringing in a 'traffic light' system set of rules for travel to different countries. Here's what it could mean for travel between Germany and the UK.

What does the UK's new 'traffic light' system mean for travel to Germany?
A near empty Heathrow Airport in London in January 2021. picture alliance/dpa/ZUMA Wire | May James

Whether it’s about visiting family or taking a holiday, Brits in Germany, as well as people in the UK, are desperate to know how they can travel to and from Britain.

At present the UK rules prohibit travel out of the country for non-essential purposes, meaning holidays to Germany (and everywhere else) are not possible. Travel is only allowed for an essential reason.

However, this is set to be lifted from May 17th, and at that stage England’s ‘traffic light’ system will kick in.

This involves giving each country a designation – red, amber or green – based on data including case numbers and vaccination rates in the country.

On Friday Germany was listed as an ‘amber’ country. Although coronavirus infections are falling and vaccinations are picking up pace, numbers at the moment are still quite high.

EXPLAINED: The European countries on England’s ‘amber’ travel list and what it means

For comparison, Our World in Data shows that Germany has 210.97 daily confirmed cases per million people, while the UK has 29.9.


However, if the trend continues and numbers continue to drop in Germany in the coming weeks – it could be placed on the green list some time soon.

Not being on the green list doesn’t mean that travel isn’t allowed – it just means that people will have to quarantine and test on arrival in the UK.

Red list – arrivals have to quarantine in specially-designated quarantine hotels for 10 days. The traveller is liable for the cost of these, which is up to £1,700 (around €1,967), plus the cost of testing after arrival. A Covid test is required to enter the country. This is expected to be reserved for the highest-risk countries including India, Brazil and South Africa.

Note that it could be the case (as is currently) that anyone who’s not a British/Irish national or resident will be refused entry if they are coming from a red country.

Amber list – arrivals have to quarantine for 10 days but can do so in a location of their choice including the home of a friend or family member. Arrivals also have to pay for travel-testing kits which cost around £200 (around €232) per person. A Covid test is required to enter the country. Essentially this the regime currently in place for most arrivals.

Green list – no quarantine is necessary, but a Covid test is required to enter the country, plus another test on or before day two of their stay. 

Note that the current travel rules for entering the UK say that an antigen test meeting a certain quality standard is allowed for entry into Britain rather than only PCR tests. We don’t know if this will be allowed under the new travel rules so make sure to check the UK Government’s site before travel.

The list as published applies to England only.

The devolved nations of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales have not announced when they will lift travel restrictions but have not so far indicated that they intend to impose different rules to England’s.

The German travel rules

Currently Germany discourages all but essential travel within the country and abroad.

However, German states are putting together plans for reopening hotels and other overnight accommodation which signals that things are beginning to open up. 


At the moment, Germany has travel bans in place for areas deemed high risk due to mutations of coronavirus. That currently includes Brazil and India. Some people, such as German citizens are residents are exempt from the bans but have to comply with strict quarantine and testing rules.

READ MORE: What you need to know about the latest rules on travel to and from Germany

Everyone arriving in the country by plane, regardless of the risk status of the place they are travelling from, has to present a negative coronavirus test certificate no older than 48 hours before boarding.

The test must have been taken no more than 48 hours before entry (time of swabbing). Proof of the test result must be on paper or in an electronic document in English, French or German. The test result must be kept for at least 10 days after entry.

For information on test requirements have a look at this information sheet.

All entries to Germany must also register online prior to arrival by filling in your information on this site:

There are also strict quarantine rules for arrivals from most countries, which are set by the German state. The quarantine period typically lasts 10 or 14 days, and in some cases can be ended after a negative Covid test taken at the earliest five days into self-isolation.

You can find your local government here by entering the postcode.

We’ll let you know if and when travel rules change in Germany.

What about vaccine passports?

Neither Germany nor the UK as yet have vaccine passport systems up and running.

That means that, for the moment, even fully vaccinated people will have to abide by the testing and quarantine rules.

READ ALSO: How will the EU’s ‘Covid passport’ work for tourists in Europe?

Please keep in mind that this article, as with all of our guides, are to provide assistance only. They are not intended to take the place of official legal advice.