Interview : Alexandr Dolgopolov: it was a good match against Tsonga
Alexandr Dolgopolov has recently entered TOP-50 of ATP ranking. This time he was able to play not worse than one of the strongest players in the world. After the match against No. 10 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga Ukrainian Tennis Portal asked Alexandr to tell about his impressions after the battle.
- Alexandr, the match was unbelievably tough physically. You called for a trainer during the match. What was going on? How do you feel now?
- From the very beginning I had pains in my elbow. That’s why I had problems with the serve. And in the 4th set, when I played well on Tsonga’s serve, I pulled my hip muscle. I had pains after that and I couldn’t move normally.
I had to finish points faster, played risky in the moments, where it was better to play rallies. At the moment I don’t know if I’ll play the doubles match. If no, I’ll start my recovery before next tournaments.
- What did the doctor say you after he checked your injury?
- He told me that I simply pulled the muscle and that he couldn’t help me somehow. He put the ice. After the doubles match I’ll have a more precise inspection.
- Let’s go back to the match. To play the match against a top-player in five sets, having good chances for a win, means a lot for your personal progress. In the last couple of matches opponents were of a lower class, did you feel your limit today against Tsonga?
- At start I didn’t do my best. My serve didn’t work well. At the same time Tsonga served stably and confidently took games on his serve. Then I started to serve better and was good at the baseline. The game evened, but there were lots of ups and downs. But generally, the match was very good, I liked my level.
- Do you feel reserves for a progress? In what elements can you improve your game?
- Of course I have on what to work. For example I showed good tennis only in three of five sets. I need to work hard in order to improve my ranking and to polish my game.
- Did the situation around the court influence your game? You played on Court 2, the stands for almost 4 thousand spectators were almost full. Did you hear support of your team, your coach?
- I feel myself comfortably on big stadiums. It is always nice to play in front of a large crowd. So conditions were good. The coach supported me, but there were no advices, because I played according to the game plan and lost the points only with errors or when the opponent played with a winner.
- In the first two sets you didn’t play worse and you lost your games only on little errors. What happened in those moments?
- Actually, Tsonga played unbelievably. When I didn’t serve with the first serve, he attacked aggressively and my previous tactics didn’t work well, he moved fast and played risky even after my slices. Then he was a bit tired and my tactics was more effective.
In the 5th set he didn’t play so confidently. But in the first two sets he used my mistakes and made breaks. He is a TOP-10 player, so I expected for his level of play. Comparing to my previous opponents, he was faster and played more variably. Actually, he can play with a winner with his forehand to every spot of the court. But as I said, I had expected this game from him and tried to get used to his speed and pressure.
- He returned well with his forehand, but from the backhand he just tried to return the ball into the court. What was your tactics on the serve?
- He returns actively with the forehand, but makes more errors. From the backhand he just tries to hit into the court. If I felt myself ready to play the rally, I served to the backhand, and if I wanted to finish the point faster – I tried to serve fast to the forehand so that he risked and made errors.
- By the 5th set amount of mistakes increased dramatically. Both of you lost a couple of chances. Was it tiredness or you just lost concentration?
- It wasn’t because of tiredness. I pulled the muscle and it stopped me of playing points better, I had to finish them faster and risked.
- What are your plans for the following 2-3 weeks? Are you going to change something in your plans after performance here and after the injury?
- No, everything will be as we have planed. I’ll have a recovery during a week, then preparation and then I’ll perform in Stuttgart.
- Thanks, Alexandr, good luck!
Source : http://www.sapronov-tennis.org/?p=pr...erview&id=1164