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January 5, 2016

Illya Marchenko

Doha, Qatar


6-7, 6-3, 6-2

An interview with:


THE MODERATOR: How are you feeling?

ILLYA MARCHENKO: I feel great, obviously, beating a guy that high ranked. And I have really huge respect for David. I enjoy his matches, how he fights on court, and it's huge moment for me.

Q. You were leading in the first set, and then it was a long tiebreak and he took it. Many players can sometimes let the disappointment take over. What did you tell yourself to keep up the fight?
ILLYA MARCHENKO: Well, the only problem in the first set was that I couldn't believe that I can make it, and I improved that side of my game a lot last year. So I was just continuing fighting for every point, and then when I got break, it was early in second set, I got my confidence back that I can actually fight and can actually turn it around still.

Q. Obviously you won't have much time to relish this match because you will play again tomorrow. A lot of players, after a big win, it's hard to calm down. You don't have experience in that. What do you think you'll do?
ILLYA MARCHENKO: Well, for sure it's really difficult to handle that stress. I'm having like such emotions what I didn't have before, and obviously it's not much time for the second match. It's tough opponent for me. We had good matches with him and tough matches. I'm not expecting easy win tomorrow because, you know, when you beat those guys, your confidence goes up and you expect that you beat now everyone like he did before.

No, I'm not expecting that, and we will see tomorrow how I stay concentrated and everything. It's difficult to say what's gonna happen tomorrow. It's gonna happen tomorrow. Then we'll see.

Q. You are experienced in the Challenger Tour, and I was just wondering, when you come to a place like Doha, with all the facilities that you have here, can you walk us through the differences between a tournament in a Challenger Tour and then you come here and then you beat David Ferrer, how does it feel? How is the difference?
ILLYA MARCHENKO: Well, if you could see on my profile I was top 100 player in 2010 and I was here, I made second round, so I'm familiar with the event. Of course the difference is huge, and of course here in Doha it's even more than usual on the ATP Tour.

Most of the time I'm trying to play half and half, ATPs and Challengers. Yeah, I'm really enjoying this tournament in Doha, and beating such guy the first match of the season, it's great start.

Maybe just one thing helped a lot: the win against Gaël in US Open. That helps a lot. So, okay, it's still not top 10 but pretty similar. And, yeah, I was really well prepared for that match today. My tactics were working good. That was the key.

Q. Can you talk a little bit more about your tactics? What was your plan against David?
ILLYA MARCHENKO: With David, you cannot play a short ball to his backhand because he will run around. Then you're gonna run a lot.

So tactic was to play deep to his backhand and to stay in the points and try not to overhit, because with him it's really easy when he's not giving you that many free points, that many mistakes. Yeah, from the beginning of the game, I was really happy with the way I played, the way the tactic works, and I think that brings me the confidence through the whole match.

Q. Have you called home or had any reaction from home, from friends, family?
ILLYA MARCHENKO: Well, I got a lot of texts from a lot of people, from some people I didn't even talk to for years, and of course it happens when you get some results like that. I'm used to it.

Q. When you start your year like that, do you, in a way, shoot for something bigger, looking ahead, or you're just keeping your focus?
ILLYA MARCHENKO: Well, I was always trying to improve every year. It's not always working well, you know, but last season was one of my best seasons in career, and to start the next one with such a big win, I have hopes for even better results.

It's important to stay healthy and to stay focused on what you have to do back home during practices and what you have to do here at the tournaments, how to stay focused and to be as much professional as you can do.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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