February 21, 2021
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Talk us through the match. Must be a massive thrill despite everything going on that you can all leave Australia with this trophy.
IVAN DODIG: Yeah, I think today was one of our better match. Even though through the whole tournament we played great tennis, every match was better and better. Final was I think one of our better matches through all this one and a half years we are playing together. That's most important.
It's always very satisfying and we can be happy if we can produce great tennis on most important matches like a Grand Slam final. Yeah, myself and Filip must be happy and proud of this one.
Q. Filip, you retired from tennis 2013 and had five years away from the sport. Does that make the victory more special for you or emotional because you were away for so long?
FILIP POLASEK: I wouldn't say, like, it's more emotional. I mean, it was nice when I come back. Straightaway, a year after my comeback, I play semifinal of Wimbledon. If that would end up this way, that would be like highly possible.
Now it's like I get used to it. It helps me. It helps me also the last year experience here the semifinal, and other big matches we played. I think all those experience we put together today and we were able to play our best tennis when it matter most, which is nice. That's by itself pretty satisfying, I have to say.
Q. Could you tell us what you did in the time that you were away from tennis.
FILIP POLASEK: I was coaching, mostly like kids eight to 13 or 14. I had the problems with the back. I couldn't really move, I couldn't play like the pro level or even as a coach.
Q. Did you ever think you may not come back onto the tour?
FILIP POLASEK: Yeah, I always thought. I never really tried to come back. It was the accident, a nice one. Yeah, I mean, it wasn't like I was mentioned to come back. It's just happened somehow.
Q. How did you come back?
FILIP POLASEK: The friend of mine convince me to play, like, club matches in Germany. Then I realize I don't have the problems that I had before. Also, I mean, then I hit with Mike Bryan at the same time as I was playing the club matches. He was kind of making fun I should come back. I was like, No, c'mon, buddy, no way.
Then a few things put together, I felt healthy. I said I try to come back. Yeah, I mean, I took a month off, kind of no pay one month off. It turns for another two, two and a half years from now.
Q. Joe and Rajeev have had an 11-match winning streak. What was it about your combination today that was too strong for them?
IVAN DODIG: We knew last year they won here. We know they're playing great in Australia. I think the surface this year is very fast. They are always very dangerous especially on the faster surface.
But we played against them. We also knew that we are playing good. The key, like I said, we just didn't give them any free points. Normally in doubles, in this high level, the team who makes more easy mistakes normally is losing. Today even from their side, there was not so many easy mistakes. It was just we were having better quality I would say on the return. They didn't I think have any breakpoint on our serve.
It was our day, I would say. Things was much better. It was a good match level. Today we just had it a great day and things was going to our way.
Q. Can you tell us about your daughter. What is the situation?
FILIP POLASEK: I mean, the fiancée was pregnant. We didn't know. Originally the day was 19th of February. With the original day, Australia would be kind of nice. Aussie usually end up end of January, pretty much no worry. Aussie was postponing, we didn't know what was going on. Once they decide they go on and they move the weeks, we were discussing that. We had some discussions.
I am happy that she said, Okay, I can go. We make the deal. She said, I will hold it up, and if you make final, then you can miss it. Actually she holds it together, I have to say, absolutely up. Because on Thursday we made through the final, on Friday it came then.
Yeah, it's the second daughter. It's nice. I been with the first one, the delivery. I mean, this one I missed it. It's quite sad. But to end it up this way here, it's very nice. I'm also pleased they are both healthy. I going to see them soon.
Q. Where was it born and have you seen it?
FILIP POLASEK: Yeah, I have the pictures and videos. Good thing these days there is, like, easy communication. It get born like Australian time midnight from Friday to Saturday. That night I didn't have much sleep, I have to say. I was quite thrilled. Yeah, I went to bed, like, at 2 a.m. and woke up at 6 already.
The good thing was we had another day extra and I can sleep well before the final.
Q. Filip, coming back from the injuries you were having, was there anything you had to do to work on rehab or healing yourself or was it with time?
FILIP POLASEK: I mean, at that time it was more like the time. The body kind of find itself. But after I come back, I knew it. I mean, I have to do it something for myself. Since I come back, I was working quite hard on the rehab stuff. I'm still now. I mean, the usually warming up routine, now we cut it thanks-fully for a bit like 20 minutes. At the beginning it was 30 to 45 minutes, just the warming up routine before I step on court.
Yeah, I need to take care of. I mean, always after the long trips, like this ones, I need a few days off to see the physio. It's not even close to the problems what it was before, which I'm happy about it.
Q. You were hitting an incredible number of return winners. What were you seeing so well?
FILIP POLASEK: I would say it was a good feeling. I mean, usually I am the one who is more up and down. Ivan, he's always putting on our team the consistency. He always brings so many returns. Always he brings all the balls in and helps me a lot. He gets me through the moments when I am not hitting great.
But today I pick it up from beginning. It was good. I mean, I was just trying to keep going as long as possible.
Q. Ivan, when you won Roland Garros 2015, how did you keep believing you could one day still have another Grand Slam?
IVAN DODIG: Yeah, I always believe. I'm playing doubles for last 10 years. I'm one of the best doubles players for many years. I know that I have level.
The thing is through my career I played singles mostly and was always combining with doubles where doubles was not in beginning my priority. But once I decide to play more doubles, of course, was not easy to change. I knew that I have a good quality which my results always showed through every year that I am one of the best. Yeah, I needed also to work on some things.
Many guys think that good singles players can also be good doubles players, but that's for me mistakes. It's completely different tennis. You have to adjust the style of your game to the doubles, try to improve things where you need more for doubles, some things from the singles you cannot use in the doubles court.
Yeah, I had it always good results. I didn't have doubles Grand Slams, but I won three mixed doubles. I played finals, played a lot of semifinals. Just didn't make that final step. But I always believe I have that level.
When I start to play with Filip, first Grand Slam we played semifinals, I knew that we have good chemistry. It's just a matter of time like when we will achieve that. We are great combination. We are playing good tennis. I think we have good team around us. This is the great reward for all of us. This should also motivate us to pushing for more.
Q. Was your brother in Croatia watching you play the final?
IVAN DODIG: Yeah, we have early in the morning our final. They was all there early on the feed. Even my kids was on the TV. Everybody was watching, all the family were supporting. I am happy that we deliver great tennis most important on the court, to win the Grand Slam. It's great for me personally, for my family, for everybody, for all Croatia, the people who love the sport and supporting us.
I am really happy the way how we ended up this Grand Slam.
Q. Ivan, you were talking about how different the doubles skills are. By the quarters, I think it was only Herbert of the last 16 guys in the tournament as a singles player. In the rankings, there's less and less top hundred singles players. Do you think the doubles players are getting better at the doubles side of the game to make that distance?
IVAN DODIG: Yeah, that's the key I think. I have those experience where I was playing for many years singles. I knew when I play singles I think on that moment while we are playing singles you are still playing good doubles if you like to play doubles because you have a quality.
I would say when you play singles, you are not so much bothered with doubles so you don't have so much pressure when you are going to play doubles matches. That's how I felt when I played singles, because you always was feeling my singles is priority, and doubles play. I always play doubles. I never had fun on court, I always wanted to win. But I definitely had less pressure than when I played singles.
When I switched to play doubles, then everything is different because the thing is doubles improved a lot. You can see in last five, six years we have so many coaches in doubles. Now every good team, even top-50 guys, they have coaches in doubles, fitness guys. Doubles change completely than 10 years ago when I start to play. You need different skills than before.
That's why I think the singles guys who are not playing often doubles I would say for them it's kind of not easy to win tournaments, to win big tournaments. You can see those, even the top-10 guys when they play some Masters Series, they have huge quality, they are unbelievable players, probably every of them is better player than doubles players, but that's not the point. The point is they don't play doubles. We know how to escape the good parts of the game. We don't want to play what they want to play. That's the key.
You will not see so many singles guys playing end the tournaments very often. But of course if they play consistency like Herbert is playing for many years, then he will be always great player. But this is not happening so much.
Q. (Question about if this feels like a dream or magical moment.)
FILIP POLASEK: I mean, definitely. I mean, to get the slam is always the dream come true. As Ivan said, since we starts playing together, after I have to say the first Wimbledon for me was really like kind of the fairytale. After we won the Cincinnati title, we kind of confirmed we really are in the group of the top doubles players. Since that I pretty much start believing, like, we can really win the slam. We did it everything for it.
It's tougher when you have that kind of mark on you, like you want to win a slam. Especially in Slovakia, we never had the male who would win any slam, any competition. I mean, I'm the first male winning the slam, which was even more pressuring. I mean, the guys were asking me after Grand Slams how it was. Yeah, definitely it's a great achievement. I'm so proud of it.
We don't want to stay on one. We now try to push, to get even more.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports