- About the tournament
Congrats on your win! Could you please tell us what was the toughest match for you during the St. Petersburg Open 2020?
Edouard Roger-Vasselin: I think that the toughest may be not on the paper but when we played on the court was the second match against Russian duo. They played great and we were a bit tight. We did not play our best tennis but we managed to win that second match. The score was 10-8 in the super tight break but it was really close. After that we played much better in the semi-final and much better in final so the second round against Russian team was a really tight match.
Tell us please how did you decide to team up? How did that happen?
Edouard Roger-Vasselin: We both did not have regular partner in 2012 so we just tried to play together. In doubles sometimes partnership sometimes break up and new partnership develop so we had a talk exactly this week last year and we decided to play 2020 season together. We thought it will be a little bit different but I’m happy with 4 tournaments left. We still have chance to go to London. It was our goal when we started a year and it is still possible so I’m very happy about that.
You mentioned the fact that we are living throw different times right now because of this coronavirus situation. How did you feel to be playing here in front of spectators for a chance? Not all the tournaments can afford to fill in the stands at 30% capacity?
Jurgen Melzer: It’s great! It’s really great to have fans in the stands. We missed the crowd, we missed the fans. We are really happy to play and to have fans. We love to have the fans. Protocol in St. Petersburg is really good. Unfortunately we can’t explore the city but safety of the players is a priority and its really good organized here. We are really happy.
What have you heard about the main beauties of the city and what about the view you are getting from your hotel?
Jurgen Melzer: We have a really good view in the hotel. Unfortunately as Eduard said we can’t go out and visit all those beautiful sights. It’s a pity because St. Petersburg is a definitely a city worth coming back to. Hopefully next year or in the future we will have the opportunity to have a sightseeing tour and visit all the beautiful places.
Who is the leader and who is the cheer-leader in your pair?
Edouard Roger-Vasselin: It’s all about the communication. In doubles little details can make the difference. I’ve played together maybe at 10 tournaments for now, so we know each other very well on the court. We know what’s going to work and what’s not going to work. We know exactly how to perform well together. For example, on clay we were switching sides and back and now back indoors I’m back on returning on deuces. So it’s little details that can help us. Of course, this week was a great week for us.
Jurgen Melzer: I don’t think we need a leader. I’m turning 40 next year and Eduard is no spring chicken anymore. We don’t really need a leader. Both of us we play really well and we are very dangerous team, because we make a lot of very solid returns. I think I’m a little bit more of a cheer-leader than Eduoard, would you agree on that?
Edouard Roger-Vasselin: Yes, I agree (laughter).
Was it a little bit shaky at 6/5, when you miss those 2 opportunities to convert the match point or did you still believe in yourself?
Jurgen Melzer: I was more frustrated and pissed off at myself, when we lost serve early in the second set. I missed too easy smash – that should have happened. At 6/5 at 40/30 they played 2 break-points, so there was nothing we could do about it. There were great rallies on the first match point and a great return on the second one. But I had a feeling that overall if we keep ourselves together and if we play well, we were the better team – that was shown at the end of the tie-break.
Speaking of spring chicken, until what age do you think it’s possible to play successfully in doubles these days?
Jurgen Melzer: I think in general it depends on your body and health. Any have proven in the past, Bob and Mike Bryan played until almost mid 40s. So I think it all depends on your body. When your body is healthy you can play as long as you are still winning. It’s the whole different story in singles, when you have to cover the whole court. But covering half of the court is possible until 42, 43, I think.
Question to Jurgen, as he won the title back in 2005 and was playing several times in finals after (2006, 2007) here in St. Petersburg. Could you please compare your impressions from those days and your impressions from this tournament now?
Jurgen Melzer: I have always had great memories of St. Petersburg as I said on the court. I won my first tournament here with the fella from Austria beating Jonas Bjorkman and Max Mirnyi in the great finals in doubles. It was 15 years ago. I liked the tournament back then, but I don’t think it’s really comparable. But 15 years later what we see here, if you can imagine I didn’t play in front of full stadium here, but I think there is great atmosphere, it’s well organized. The hotel is amazing. To me it’s one of the best tournaments indoors of the year. I think players should be happy to have this tournament.
Is it true they are serving caviar at breakfast?
Jurgen Melzer: I’m not the right person to ask this question, as I’m not the caviar kind of guy in the morning. I haven’t seen it, but we can’t complain about the hospitality that we get here.
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