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Joao Sousa: “We Both Play Good Tennis Today”

– Congratulations on you win. The first set was really tough, can you figure out the key moment when you realized you’re gonna win?


– Thank you. I think, it was really tough match for both of us, the first set could be in favor of any of us. I tried to stay focused in the tie-break after losing 2/4. I served very well and it also helped me today. And I think we played a good tennis today.


– In the first set you had a discussion with the umpire, what was it?


– Misha was complaining about something and I just wanted to know what it was, but I didn’t get it, actually.


– Coric said that he hopes to stay alive after the semifinals with you. Will he managed to do it? And what do you expect from the next match?


– Well, I’m not sure whether he stays alive or not (laughter) But he’s played today a great match. I’m playing good tennis too, he also plays well, so it’s gonna be a fight tomorrow.


– When you’re playing your relatives are cheering for you here. But what do they do in their free time, what St. Petersburg sites attract them?


– I came here with my mother and a friend. They’re usually enjoying every morning some activities organized by tournament – they’ve already had a chance to visit the Hermitage, to go on a cruise boat. I think the tournament is doing a great job with this type of activities. My relatives are enjoying the city. And, of course, my mom is enjoying that I’m winning, too.


Your mother was cheering for you during the match, she was very worried as we could see it live on the screen during the broadcast. Is it her usual behavior when you’re playing?


Yes, I believe so. She is always very nervous when she is watching me playing – she so badly wants me to win, but in the end she can’t do much about it. Her support is very important to me, but as she works, it’s not that easy for her to travel with me all the time. I wish she could travel more with me, that’s why, as I said before, I’m really enjoying this week with her here in St. Petersburg.


During the changeovers there was a jazz band playing. Did you like their of performance?


– Really? I didn’t know, I was focused on the match. I did hear them when I was warming up. They were good. But I didn’t hear anything during the match, I was too focused.


– Your profile says that you are a football fan and you were to become a football player. What team do you support and are you following the Championship League or any other matches?


– I used to play football when I was young, at the same time I played tennis. So, probably, if I were not a tennis player, I would go for football. I support my hometown team Vitória Guimaraes, they just lost yesterday against Liege (Standart Liege), it was tough. But that’s life. And I follow the Championship League, I have many friends in football, I keep in touch with them as much as I can, and I enjoy watching them play.


– You played in the finals here in St. Petersburg four years ago. How did you change and how did change the tournament since then?


– I am four years older now. I didn’t change much. I think, I am the same player, maybe a little bit more experienced. Maybe I was more emotional before. But I’m the same person. I’m happy with the way my career is developing. Hopefully, I can play well tomorrow and I can win and play one more final. It’s a great tournament and I enjoy very much coming back here. I’m here for the fifth year in a row, actually sixth, but not with the same organizers. I think it’s one of the best ATP250 tournaments in the world.


– You received a special prize at the players party for your “Unparalleled Loyalty”.


– As I said, it’s a greatournament and a very special one for me.


– Is tennis a popular sport in Portugal? Is it in the Top3 or Top5 popularity-wise in your country?


– I think, it is yes. Me and my colleagues from Portugal, we are doing well trying to push tennis in our country. I think now it’s one of the best sports in Portugal. Of course, we can’t beat soccer, because soccer is our king of sports.


– So, we can call you a tennis prince?


– Oh, no. I just trying to do my best every day and enjoy playing tennis. As I said before, I’m happy with the way my career is developing and I hope I can do even better.

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