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September 29, 2019

Sander Gille

Joran Vliegen

Zhuhai, China

S. GILLE, J. VLIEGEN/ M. Demoliner, M. Middelkoop

7-6, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Congratulations. Actually, this is your first time playing on center court. So what is it like to play on this court? What is your impression of this court, this stadium?
SANDER GILLE: Oh, it was an unbelievable stadium. It was really nice. Yesterday we try tried to practice a little bit for 30 minutes, because it's very different, obviously, it's completely covered, it's very hot in there.

So yesterday we had 30 minutes to get used to it a little bit. But it's an amazing stadium especially with the people cheering for us also today. It's just very beautiful, very big, but very hot. So it make it's tough, tougher conditions than outdoors, but it's an amazing stadium to play and we were really happy to have a match in there.

Q. This is your third title on tour this year. You two have paired up in 2013, that's been a long time. So what do you think is the secret of breaking through this year?
JORAN VLIEGEN: Yeah, you're right, we have been playing together for a long time, we known each other for a long time as well. I don't know, I think it's knowing exactly what the other person is going to do at a certain time in the match, trusting each other a hundred percent and knowing that each one of us is willing to work hard a hundred percent every day to get better. And I think that we have never expected this when we started in 2013, of course, but I think gradually just progressing throughout the future as Challengers and ATP tournaments I think we knew we hadn't reached our ceiling yet and we just keep working hard and see where we end up.

Q. You're both from Belgium, from the same country. Do you think that doubles team coming from the same country that helps with your game and the travels and the tournaments?
SANDER GILLE: I think, yes, in one way it's already a lot easier for practice, so we live close by in Belgium and we practice in the same place, that already helps. So every time between playing tournaments we have the ability to practice together, which helps, you can work on things together, you can take the same flights, the travel is easy, so in that regard it's very easy.

Another thing I like is that you can speak the same language. Obviously everybody speaks very good English, but like there are details and there are little things that I like to do and speak in Dutch, with him, so I think that's a little extra. And just the feeling maybe like, for example, playing matches like Davis Cup, because you do it for the same country, it gives an extra special feeling and I think that helps in the overall team building.

Q. You guys are already top 100 players and it is unusual in the tournaments, especially in doubles. Do you think it is an advantage for you guys to play doubles?
JORAN VLIEGEN: What was the first part? With the 100s?

Q. You guys are already top 100 players, I suppose.
JORAN VLIEGEN: Like left-handed and right-handed or what do you mean?

Q. Just --
JORAN VLIEGEN: One-handed?

Q. Yes.
JORAN VLIEGEN: That he has one-handed backhand and I don't?

Q. Are you?
JORAN VLIEGEN: No, I have two hands.

Q. Do you think it's an advantage for you guys to play in the doubles?
JORAN VLIEGEN: I'm not sure. I think it's more an advantage for us that I'm left-handed and he's right-handed. I think we complete each other very well. But if a player is a one-hander or two-hander I don't think that matters a lot, but I think the left-handed part and the right-handed part can help us, yes.

Q. Belgium is not particularly famous for big tennis players on for the top 100 singles, I think you only have one and you two are the only top 100 doubles players in your country. Of course it's much better than in China, we don't have any. But so what things do you think that Belgium can do to nurture more great tennis players for your country?
SANDER GILLE: It's a tricky question. I think actually Belgium is a very small country, we only have 11 million people. So then if you look at the results, we have had a lot of like Kim Clijsters, you've seen her, she's been up there, No. 1. The females have had many top hundred players, guys also in the past. Now currently there's only one, but I think we should not forget that Belgium is a very small country and we have actually very good results. But it's true, you can always strive to be better and I think they're doing a good job trying to develop with the younger guys, with the juniors and the kids and I hope in the future there will be many more than just one in the top 100. Also I think we're giving a good example that doubles is also a very fun discipline, but also you can make it far in doubles. So maybe in the future people will try to follow our path and hopefully it will be like that for Belgium.

Q. Obviously you have been successful week here in Zhuhai, did you have any chances to go outside of the stadium or overall what's your experience here with the tournament organization?
JORAN VLIEGEN: Yeah, it's our first time in China, so we didn't really know what to expect. But this has been a great event, it's been a very good week for us, everything was well organized.

This facility is almost Grand Slam worthy, I feel like, with all the facilities that they have. They help us here, so we have been mainly on-site and in the hotel, but, yeah, it's a great week and I want to thank the sponsors and everyone involved for putting together such a great event for the first time, which is never easy. So, yeah, we really liked it here and we hope to be back next year.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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