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January 14, 2017

Wesley Koolhof

Matwe Middelkoop

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


6-3, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Congratulations, guys. How does that feel? What are the emotions?
WESLEY KOOLHOF: Well, tough to describe, actually, I think. First of all, amazing that we were in the final, because like we said, we were last in on Saturday. We were ready to go to play a challenger in Canberra.

We got in, played three amazing matches. Made it to the final playing the top team from last year, without expectations, actually. Then we played an amazing match.

Yeah, the emotions is, yeah, just happiness and joy at the moment. But, yeah, it's an amazing week.

Q. That's your third title together; is that right?
MATWE MIDDELKOOP: Yes. Third final and third title. (Laughter.)

Q. So they are all 250s, but does this one feel bigger?
MATWE MIDDELKOOP: Yeah, in a certain way, yeah, it feels bigger, because you challenge opponents. We went opponents that are far higher than we play before. For example, we played against Rojer/Tecau, former No. 1 team. They won the World Tour in London.

Then we beat these guys, obviously No. 1 world team last year. I mean, that feels so bigger. Then you prove that you not only can win titles, but you can also win against good teams and teams that are way higher than you and teams that you look up to.

So we have proven to everybody, also in Holland, that we are not just some guys who try to survive but we are here to win. It's a big difference in last years before.

Q. So being the last accepted team into the draw, do you think you played with maybe no expectations? Did you play with nothing to lose?
WESLEY KOOLHOF: Maybe, but in the beginning we were, like, thank God we can stay here, because obviously the city is great, the hotel is amazing, the venue is great.

First of all, we were actually happy just to be in the tournament, and then we just lived day by day and played amazing tennis throughout the whole week.

Maybe because every team was ranked higher than us, of course, there is just expectations are maybe going a little bit down because you are the underdog every time.

Yeah, we played three, four matches like this on this high level. It's amazing.

Q. So what did you do well? What clicked for you this week?
MATWE MIDDELKOOP: Well, it's not only this week. We started two years ago, pretty much, and we had amazing run from -- we started with zero, and within a year, we were top 50, both. That doesn't happen that much.

Then you see always that's happening there is always a period you have to adjust a little bit, and things are not falling your way, and you have to see where you have to practice more.

I think these things, we did really well to practice that. We know each other better and better. We start to have more mutual respect to each other. We know to keep distance sometimes; when we need to be closer to each other.

All these things in this process, we are learning, we start to learn. This is a result of that, that we know things will fall into place if you do the right thing.

He made some good choices; I made some good choices in my life. These combinations made us to win this one. I'm very curious what's going to happen next week, actually.

Q. So planning to play the Australian Open together?
MATWE MIDDELKOOP: Yeah, of course.

Q. In the tight second set, when they had a break point -- or was it a set point?

Q. So what was the discussion at that point and how did you see off that challenge?
MATWE MIDDELKOOP: Well, I mean, he was serving, and his side was really tougher to serve than my side. His side was really windy. The only thing that I thought, when I was there, was, Put it in. (Laughter.)

WESLEY KOOLHOF: The same feeling I had. (Laughter.)

MATWE MIDDELKOOP: But I know Wesley, and, you know, some things are just so automatic, like breathing, so automatic that I know exactly when he's putting where and which ball.

That's the whole thing about doubles. You need to know blindly where you're going. I think this thing we really master with ourselves. That's a good thing.

That's what other teams don't have, because they split, and we stick together. That means that's something you have, what you cannot practice on.

Q. What you said earlier about the reaction in Holland, thinking you're just guys traveling around, has that really been the case, that there is not that much faith in you?

WESLEY KOOLHOF: Well, in Holland, it's more like you have to prove yourself first. Obviously, in tennis, singles is first; doubles is second. In Holland, it's the case, as well.

We are playing now two years together, making good success, actually. We got selected for Davis Cup last year, which is already big step forward from the Dutch Federation, signaled that we are on the right track.

But, yeah, of course we need the help sometimes from the Federation, and hopefully this awakens them more that we are on the right track and making success by beating former World Tour -- Tecau/Rojer in 2015, and 2016 Murray/Soares. So I hope they wake up in the morning, and see the result and are happy for us.

MATWE MIDDELKOOP: Yeah, I want to add to that, because what he says is totally true. The feeling that you get when you're playing in Holland, you know, we get the respect of the people, but we don't get the support, the proper support, if I might say, from the Federation and also the sponsor, because singles and doubles is already difference, plus they don't support us the way it should be, you know. Because there are not so many top 100 players in Holland. Actually, there is only Haase at this moment and us as a doubles team.

I wish they could do a little bit more than just say, Nice shot, nice match. You know, I want they could follow up with some support, not only financial but maybe with thoughts but with somebody traveling with us.

And that lack of support, yeah, that's tough to accept. I hope that we opened their eyes that we are more than just no one-time flier, I would say.

Q. I wonder what the schedule is for you guys now beyond the Australian Open, what you plan to do for 2017? Davis Cup, I suppose?
WESLEY KOOLHOF: No, we're not playing Davis Cup until April, I think, June, maybe. Yeah, it was kind of open, because we have to defend challenger title in Bangkok from last year. We won Sofia last year in February. Like, if you lose those points, we will drop, obviously.

But now we make 250 points again, so we can look forward. On the schedule normally should be Australian Open, Sofia, and then we need a wildcard into Rotterdam, our home tournament. So hopefully by beating these four amazing couples, they will give us the wildcard.

But we don't know for sure. It's always -- we have to see where the rankings are at which moment, and then we can either enter the tournaments or play a lower tournament.

Q. How much contact do you have with guys like Paul and Jarkko and Tom Mjissen (phonetic) or any of the other guys?
MATWE MIDDELKOOP: Tom Mjissen, wow. I just had...

Rarely, I would say. I know Paul pretty good. I practice with him. We were from the same academy. Obviously we wanted more support from them or that they could give us more advice.

But they have a busy schedule, as well. It's not only their focus on us. They have to focus on their own things, as well.

Paul is next week in Australian Open. I'm sure that he will help us wherever he can. Jarkko is there, also. They saw some matches from us. Also Jan Siemerink, former Davis Cup.

So when they are there, when they are on the spot, they are amazing people and always try to help us with anything. Yeah, that's a good thing.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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