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May 12, 2024

Alejandro Tabilo

Roma, Italia

Press Conference

A. TABILO/N. Djokovic

6-3, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: First of all, congratulations.


THE MODERATOR: This must be a memorable win for you today on center court in Rome. Are you still taking everything in? What is going through your mind now?

ALEJANDRO TABILO: Right now just trying to believe it a little bit. I've been talking with my family, my girlfriend, all my friends in Chile right now. Just can't believe it. Soaking it all in with my team. Still trying to process. It's been incredible. So hopefully we can just refresh and then come back on Tuesday with everything.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. This is the first time you've gotten to play someone of this caliber. When you found out you were going to play Novak, what was your reaction and your plan going into today?

ALEJANDRO TABILO: I mean, this year I've been climbing the rankings. I've been playing with these higher-ranked players, the top 10s, top 20s. Been struggling there a little bit trying to get a win.

Just being able to beat Novak today, him being No. 1 in the world, it's surreal right now. Just got to keep working, trying to stay with this momentum, with this confidence, try to finish off the year in top form.

Q. The Chilean players who were important in the history of tennis - Fillol, Gonzales, Massu - do you know any of them, have any chance to meet them, practice, get advice? How important were they for you when you were growing up, if they were?

ALEJANDRO TABILO: They were very, very important with my family. I remember always from a young age watching Massu, Gonzales, my dad showing me YouTube videos of Rios. It helped me from a young age.

Now when I started living in Chile, got to know better Gonzales and Massu, they've always been very helpful, always been there watching my matches, giving me tips, especially Massu who is Davis Cup captain. He's always very into watching us and how we're developing.

Even Rios sends me messages every now and then, see how I'm doing, always saying congratulations. It's always nice to have that support from everybody.

Q. Are we seeing a new generation, golden era, of Chilean tennis? Looking ahead to the Olympics, do you think Chileans can dream of an Olympic medal after Massu and Gonzales?

ALEJANDRO TABILO: Yeah, I mean, it's an honor to maybe people thinking that the generation is coming up higher. It's always tough to compete in some form with Massu and Gonzales that were incredible for the country. Rios also. They put Chilean tennis up there. It's an honor to be able to be with them in the court, training and everything.

Now I think we're all just trying to start building our tennis. We're still a pretty young team. Hopefully we can do something good also in Davis. Especially in the Olympics now, very, very excited to play that. It's going to be an honor, especially after what Massu and Gonzales have done for Chile.

Q. You've obviously been rising steadily for a while now. Could you explain your journey so far, what the biggest challenges have been. When did you move from Toronto to Chile?

ALEJANDRO TABILO: Yeah, I started off, I was born in Toronto. I moved to the United States when I was 13. When I was around 18, I moved to Santiago. There basically my whole journey started there with a new team. Almost start from zero. There was like the change of rankings and stuff like that.

Yeah, it's been a pretty crazy ride. We were able to crack top hundred I think like around two years ago. I got injured, so it's been a tough journey since then. Had quite a few injuries that I had to stop playing for a couple months, then every so often would have to stop for a few weeks and stuff like that. It's been tough to get that consistency.

Lately have just been trying to work a lot on the fitness and the mental side. I think that's been helping me a lot, being able to in some ways close these kind of matches.

Q. You played against a legend today. Is there a special moment in the match that you understand you can win this match?

ALEJANDRO TABILO: Yeah, my team was asking me that just now, asking me, When did you realize you could maybe win?

Honestly in no moment was I like, Okay, I can win this.

After the first set, I was pretty happy. I was playing incredible tennis. Just wanted to keep that level. With Novak, it's always so tough with the physical side. I knew perfectly it could go for a third set in any moment.

I don't know. I think I started to kind of believe bit by bit when I was 3-2, 4-3 there, almost trying to close out the match. The whole match I was just trying to take it point by point, not think about the score. Every point was like the start of the match. I think that helped a lot, let me play a little bit more relaxed.

Q. You said at the beginning you spoke to your family, your girlfriend. What did you say?

ALEJANDRO TABILO: At the beginning I couldn't say anything. It was an unbelievable feeling. I had no words. There with my girlfriend and my family, they were both kind of emotional, a little tearing up.

It's been crazy. It's been a crazy ride, especially with my family. So many sacrifices. I left at such an early age. They know what it's taken to get here.

Hopefully I can just keep going and keep with this confidence.

Q. Gonzales was the last Chilean player to be the No. 1 in the world. What were you thinking when you were going up? You started 4-Love in the first set. Did you believe maybe you were playing out of your mind or Djokovic is a little down, didn't seem to fight as usual, not bouncing his ball before the serve 16 times. It was a different Djokovic from the press box. I don't know on the court. What were you feeling?

ALEJANDRO TABILO: I mean, I was just trying to focus on myself. I just came out there trying to be as loose as possible, swinging at everything. Thankfully everything was going in at the beginning.

Yeah, I mean, at the beginning I was just thinking I'm playing unreal right now. Hopefully I can keep this up for the entire match. I think that's what made me very, like, concentrated and not give so many loose points.

I think just being able to get out there and swing like that I think gave me confidence and made me just play relaxed almost the entire match.

Q. There is Chilean press following all over the world or you don't see them? Do you feel alone? How important is tennis in Chile compared to other sports, forgetting about football probably a different level?

ALEJANDRO TABILO: Yeah, I mean, I haven't seen many Chileans lately, at least this year. I haven't seen many of the press. In Chile it's very big. After football, I think it's like the number one sport in Chile. After Massu and Gonzales, they made tennis very known there.

Yeah, I mean, the press is also kind of very tough there also when you lose. When you win, obviously everybody is there with you.

Yeah, it's a love-and-hate relationship I think sometimes with them. It's nice still that they always showing tennis in the world and showing everybody how we're doing in Chile.

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