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February 16, 2022

Nikoloz Basilashvili

Doha, Qatar

Press Conference


6-4, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Congrats on your first victory of the season. It comes at the tournament where you play as a defending champion. So what are your feelings after overcoming jinx, all the difficulties you had at the beginning of the season?

NIKOLOZ BASILASHVILI: Yeah, I'm feeling pretty good at this moment. Doha is one of my favorite tournaments. I'm feeling great here. But beginning of the season I had COVID, so I'm still not -- I feel sometimes in my body I'm not 100% kind of recovered, you know, physically.

But in general, I'm doing my best to be in the best shape I can and looking forward to play here my second round.

Q. Plenty of experts describe your baseline play as one of the most powerful in the tour. How far is the distance where you find the rhythm and stabilize your baseline game up to your standards?

NIKOLOZ BASILASHVILI: Well, yeah, I have probably, I don't know, one of the powerful shots from the baseline, but that's kind of naturally. My game is based a lot on this.

I'm trying to be versatile, as well, try to have new, I don't know, new game plays, new shots to come up into the game. But I think there is still a couple things I still need to improve, and, yeah, I'm trying to working on it.

Q. You're the third seed at the tournament and the defending champion, but still you had to play on No. 1 Court, not center court. Do you have anything to say about this?

NIKOLOZ BASILASHVILI: Yeah, a little bit obviously disappointed that I could not play on center court, but hopefully I'm looking forward to play again tomorrow on the center court and looking forward to play good game.

Q. The opponent is Marton Fucsovics, one of the fittest guys in the ATP Tour and someone you played against five times in 2019, so you know him really well and his game. What are the expectations against Hungarian?

NIKOLOZ BASILASHVILI: Yeah, Marton is very good player, obviously. As you said, he's physically really fit. He has a lot of kind of weapons in his game.

I played him many times. I know how he's playing. It will be interesting match. I will do my best, and let's see how it goes.

Q. You have the experience of defending the title in Hamburg already. That was 500 tournament. Now you're trying to defend ATP Doha's title, as well. When you have that kind of experience, does it make it more simple for you? Does it make it much simpler experience?

NIKOLOZ BASILASHVILI: No, definitely not. This year as well as I think many years, a lot of great players. It obviously doesn't make it easy. But what I know is I like conditions here. It suits my game, and there was a reason behind it that I won a tournament here.

I'm just going to take match by match and point by point. Just going to kind of focus on my game, and then we'll see how it goes.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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