By Lisa-Marie Burrows
Mutua Madrid Open, Madrid – After a busy day on court with a singles match win and a defeat in his doubles match with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, world No.20 Alexandr Dolgopolov was kind enough to have a chat with Tennis Grandstand about how he relishes the sport he lives, his lack of passion for football and his friendship with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga:
Congratulations on your win today, how did you find the conditions out on court?
I found the conditions pretty well. It is tough to move a bit and it is a bit more slippery. It’s tough to get a start and also when you slide it’s harder than normal clay to recover because there is a bit more clay and it grips you a bit more, but it’s a playable court and I’m fine with it and I think you can play a tournament on it!
You were using a lot of drop shots out on court today, particularly in your doubles match, is this something you have worked on with your trainer for this surface to mix it up a little?
My father taught me all the shots when I was younger and after I just learnt to use them, I try to get my best game with different shots.
You always look like you’re having fun out there on the tennis court and today during your doubles match you were laughing a lot with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, are you good friends? How is your relationship with him?
We have a good relationship, we always joke. He is close to me and he is a fun guy. He enjoys his tennis and enjoys being on the court; I think that there are guys who are too serious sometimes. I think that we fit together well in doubles and we’re for sure having fun out there.
Is it important for you to have fun in the matches?
Well that’s a bit of my personality, I always have fun in my life and I have managed to have fun in a game and concentrate to make my best tennis. I think that is good because I enjoy it and [tennis] is not hard work for me. I like to go on court and compete and that is the big thing for me.
Your game is constantly improving, what goals have you set for yourself over the next few months?
For sure the clay court is big for me and I try to do my best on that. I didn’t do well last year, I was a bit sick during these months so [this year] I have a good chance of getting some points and getting closer to the top ten. Pretty much that is the goal, of course the minimum is to stay where I am, top twenty and that is a good result but of course I want to get better and improve to top ten this year.
Are you going to be supporting your team in the Euro Cup?
If my team doesn’t win… I don’t care who wins it actually. I guess it’s good for Spain if they win it again but since the Ukraine doesn’t have the teams, they have got worse, so I’m not watching soccer too much. I’m a bit out of soccer, but I will watch some interesting matches…
Lisa-Marie Burrows is currently in Madrid covering the Mutua Madrid Open and will be at the Rome Masters next week. Catch her as a regular contributor for TennisBloggers.com and on Twitter: @TennisNewsViews.