- About the tournament
Could you, please, share with us your emotions after reaching your first final in St. Petersburg which offers you an opportunity to win your first indoor title?
– Of course, I am really happy. I played a good match today. It was my first victory against Roberto and that is also great, I think. The finals will be tomorrow and I have an opportunity to win my first indoor title that means a lot for me. Because hard is the only surface that is missing. It is always a lot to lose in the finals, because you were fighting all week long to be in this final and you really want to win it. It is going to be a very interesting match tomorrow.
– What was that new thing you added to your game to beat Roberto?
– The thing that I did better during today’s match was my serve. I lost to Roberto Bautista Agut 3 times before today’s match and I think that my serve helped me to win today. I was serving really well today. There were some critical games in the first set and in the second set there were a couple critical games when I was down 0:40. I saved myself with a really good serve. That was the main difference.
– Tell us, please, what are your thoughts about your next opponent – Martin Klizan?
– I lost to Klizan 3 times. I hope that I can turn the table tomorrow. He is also very good in finals. I think that he never lost in the finals. I need to show my best tennis to succeed.
– Today is a Saturday. Did you notice that there are more fans on «SIBUR ARENA» than it was during week days? Is it important for you?
– Of course. I always watch how the crowd is. It’s also nice to play in front of a big crowd than at an empty stadium, so I think it’s normal when more people are coming. When there are more fans, the atmosphere is good and the stadium is full.
– From match to match you’ve been improving your game. Is it true?
– It’s true. It’s is normal. I was coming off a Davis Cup tie on clay, so I had to get used to this surface and to playing on an indoor court again, but actually I am happy with all the three games I played here. My level was high from the first game. I have to play well against Struff because otherwise I could have lost in the first round.
– Do you have some special preparations before the finals? Do you usually play your best tennis in the finals?
– I don’t have special preparation because if you are in the finals it means that you played well all week long. There is no need to change anything. It depends. Sometimes the finals are the best matches of the tournament, but sometimes finals are pretty bad matches because sometimes both players are nervous and tired, so they are not playing their best tennis, but I think that Klizanand me, we both already played some finals, so we should be fine with this situation. It should be a good match tomorrow.
– From season to season you keep on improvingyour tennis. What do you need to add to be in the Top3?
-This season was pretty special. There were some new situations. I had an injury at the beginning of the season. After Wimbledon, after the clay court season, I was ill. In general, I think that I improved my game again. Of course, I want to go higher and higher in the rankings. I do not want to be world №7 or №8 forever. I want to be №1 one day, of course. It’s very tough to reach and it’s going to take some time.
What exactly are you going to work on?
I think that on clay I always played well, so it’s a very important part, but I think that the US Open this year was a little bit of a milestone, especially the match against Rafael Nadal. It showed there are also other surfaces – other than clay – where I can compete or even beat the best players. So I think it was a big thing. If I’m able to play more consistently the whole year on all kind of surfaces, then the ranking will also rise.
What are your relations with Thomas Muster?
First of all, he is the best tennis player in Austria of all times. We are not in contact a lot, but from time to time we meet. I’ve just seen him at the Davis Cup in Graz. We like each other, we have a special relationship because we played his last match on the ATP tour against each other in 2011, so I think it will always connect us. I also have to be thankful to him for making tennis big in Austria. Tennis in Austria became famous and popular because of him, because of his great success.
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