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June 16, 2015

Alexandr Dolgopolov


6‑3, 6‑7, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Must be very satisfied with that, especially having the match point in the second‑set tiebreak to come back and turn it around in the third.  You must be very happy?
ALEXANDR DOLGOPOLOV:  Yeah, for sure.  Overall I'm really happy with the match.  You know, not even because I beat Nadal but the way I played and the way I fought back after a disappointing second set.
I think overall I had a really good match.

Q.  How does that compare with the win you had against him in Indian Wells last year?
ALEXANDR DOLGOPOLOV:  I would say now it's more important for me.  You know, I had a rough end of the last year.  I had surgery.  I didn't have a really good start of this year.  I had some injuries.  So it's important, you know, confidence‑wise and to get back on the level I would like to be on.
In Indian Wells, you know, I had a really good run, so I was more waiting for that win, you know.  I was more believing that I could do it.
Here I think it was more important for me.

Q.  With grass being a little bit of a tricky surface and unpredictable, and your game being a tricky game to face, how much do you, when you put the two together, how much do you like playing on grass and how much damage do you think you can do when you're up against somebody?
ALEXANDR DOLGOPOLOV:  I like it more the last few years.  You know, the first years was not easy.  I didn't play in my junior life on grass, so the first years was tough for me to figure out the movements.
Now I'm moving better.  I'm serving quite well.  So the last few years I had really good matches on grass.
I lost five sets to Grigor last year in Wimbledon.  I lost to David Ferrer, also five sets in the third round, so I was playing quite decent.
I start enjoying the surface much more.  You know, I'm getting more wins.  I'm playing some nice tennis.  So for sure I'm enjoying it.

Q.  You have beaten Rafa in consecutive matches now.  Have you seen something in his game different in those two matches to the previous times you have played against him?  Any part of his game you think might be lacking?
ALEXANDR DOLGOPOLOV:  I think he's serving better for me.  I think he's serving more aggressive.  I was more comfortable on the return when we played in Indian Wells and the matches before.  I think he's serving stronger.  Maybe I feel that because of the grass court and because of the faster bounce.
But for me he's improved his serve and obviously playing more aggressive here because it's different tennis.  It's grass court.

Q.  What about his forehand?  Do you think his forehand has as much bite in it as before?
ALEXANDR DOLGOPOLOV:  Yeah, I think so.  I don't think he had big problems on the forehand today.  He missed a few, but here ‑‑ it's, you know, tough to say also because the grass court doesn't give you that bounce.
I was quite comfortable on my backhand.  You know, he didn't expose it as much as he does on the clay court or hard courts.
So obviously that's the better part to play him on grass that the forehand doesn't bounce as high as it does on the other surfaces.

Q.  You pulled out last year?
ALEXANDR DOLGOPOLOV:  Yes, there was actually a tear, a little tear, and I had to pull out of the quarters here and Eastbourne.  I just got back ‑‑ one day before Wimbledon, I just stepped on court for the first time.  So it was a rough grass court season.

Q.  Do you feel like there is any kind of sense of unfinished business here because of what happened last year?
ALEXANDR DOLGOPOLOV:  Not really.  I think it's a new tournament, it's a new year, so it's completely different.  Maybe I was a bit more cautious stepping on grass this year than I was last year, because I remember I was running for all the balls, tripping and sliding and that made me injured.
So this year I was really careful in Stuttgart.  I took my time to adjust my footwork.

Q.  Do you find it hard, the transition from clay to grass?
ALEXANDR DOLGOPOLOV:  For me, it's very hard because of ‑‑I mean, I played all my life on clay court.  I practiced on clay court as a child.  For me, sliding is like natural.  I do it on hard court, as well.
Coming to the grass, you can't afford that.  You just fall down, so the footwork is completely different.  It's tough for me.

Q.  Do you find things hurt the first few days?
ALEXANDR DOLGOPOLOV:  Yeah, a little different muscles work, you know.  The inside of the legs work more because you need to stop and then start and do it softly.
So it's a little bit.  Not really bad.

Q.  Your backhand, it's kind of a side‑spin backhand play.  Is that a shot you developed yourself, or was it you watched somebody else playing it?  Was it just a natural shot?
ALEXANDR DOLGOPOLOV:  Not really.  I just know it's uncomfortable.  Sometimes I use it to change up the pace.
My father tried to teach me all my shots.  Then I try to use them as I need to win matches, so it's a little bit of both.

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