- About the tournament
- Ecology Day
– You got married last week. Tell us, please, how did you propose to Daria?
– I proposed before the US Open Series which started in Washington. The series was great, maybe the best in my career, so I decided that I did the right things.
– Did you know that you would play Davis Cup the same week you scheduled your wedding for?
– Yes, I made that plan in the USA, because Moscow’s Davis Cup tie was just perfect timing for a wedding. We knew all dates in advance. I am not a frequent traveller to Moscow. Adn I’d say nothing interfered with my playing that Davis Cup tie.
– How did you manage to cope with it: two very emotional things done in one week?
– Yeah, I was afraid that the wedding could present me from playing well in Davis Cup, but then there were two good matches. In the first one the opponent was the better player. But then I brought the decisive point in the second rubber, even thoug I had won only one match in Davis Cup previously. I’m glad I could help my team.
– Is your wife Daria in St. Petersburg now? Do you have plans to go walk around the city when you have some free time?
– Yes, she is here. We have arrived right after the Davis Cup tie against Belarus. We’ve already been to a good restaurant. I love St. Petersburg. I think, this is the most beautiful city in Russia. Of course, if we have time, we will go here somewhere.
– What do you like most about St. Petersburg Open?
– First of all, the organization. Everything is at the highest level here: the food, the transportation, the hotel-, one of the best in the world. Besides, there are many off-court events. Tonight there will be a gala-dinner. I think, St. Petersburg Open is one of the best tournaments in the world.
– You won two titles right before the Australian Open and the US Open. Why didn’t you go too far in Grand Slams after such a great series?
– I don’t think the tournaments I won on the eve of the Slams can explain the results I had at those two majors. I just need to work more, because 5-setters are a different ball game, they are more physically demanding, here your fitness level is a huge factor. I’m working on it, but somebody could be better than me and could win in Grand Slams. And there is a higher level of pressure in Grand Slams. But I hope, I can go further in Grand Slams pretty soon.
– Shamil Tarpischev said that you need to be more cautious about overloading your back. Do you agree?
– When did he say that? But, yeah, I try not to overload my back (smiling).
– Last year you didn’t show a goopd result at the St. Petersburg Open. Do you want to improve it?
– Last year I was part of the season. After Washington I lost something like 7 matches in a row. Now I’m more consistent in terms of results. So I hope to show here good game and go further in the tournament.
– Your are ranked 35th now. Did you have any goals for the rest of the season – like to be in gte Top30 or may be even higher?
– I have no concrete goals, but Top30 will be good at the end of the season. At the beginning I had the goal to be in the Top50. So I made it and I had a consistent season. One of my nearest goals – to leave Karen behind and crack the Top30.
– There will be still 32 seeded players at Grand Slams in 2019. Did you get the news? Because, actually you’re so close to those seeded players at Grand Slams?
– I knew about it, I knew that they even thought about 1eaving only 16 seeded players. When I was ranked 50th-60th, I was glad that they might make it 16 because the odds for me to play against top players wouldn’t be too high. But when I rose to the 35th postion in rankings I realized that it’s bad for me, because in Australia I could be out of the list of seeded players. So it’s good that they didn’t change anything.
– You like computer games. There was a cybersport tournament at St. Petersburg Open already. Do you play cybertennis?
– No, never (thinking). If only in my childhood. There was a very popular game called “Virtual tennis”. I played till I was 8, and then there were no more good games out there, so I stopped playing.
– If you play cybertennis, whom would you choose amongst the ATP players?
– I would like to choose myself for sure, but I think I’m not among the players featured in these games.
– Ok, let’s choose Top3 players, whom would you like to play for?
– Top-1 – for myself, top-2 – for Federer, top-3 – for Sasha Zverev.
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