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March 19, 2011

Alexandr Dolgopolov

Xavier Malisse


6-4, 6-7, 10-7

THE MODERATOR: First ATP world doubles title. He and X will move up to about No. 5 in the ATP doubles team ranking. Questions.

Q. How did you find Xavier? How did you guys find each other?
ALEXANDR DOLGOPOLOV: We actually just -- we weren't like talking all around. We just said hi before this tournament, and we weren't like really close.
But, yeah, he just ask me, Do you want to play like 15 minutes to the deadline of the doubles, because I wasn't planning playing doubles here, and, yeah, here we are, winning the tournament. So it's pretty amazing.

Q. And you talked about any future tournaments?
ALEXANDR DOLGOPOLOV: Yeah, we're actually gonna probably play the clay court season together, pretty much all the tournaments that we play in singles. So, yeah, we're gonna play a few.

Q. For the rest of the year then? You've committed?
ALEXANDR DOLGOPOLOV: Well, for clay court for now, and I think maybe for the rest of the year I think we were playing singles both, so it depends on the health, as well.

Q. When was the deadline? What day last week?
ALEXANDR DOLGOPOLOV: For this tournament?

Q. Yeah.
ALEXANDR DOLGOPOLOV: I don't remember. It was Sunday or something like that. I wasn't planning to play, and his coach just came to my coach. Then they asked me, and I said, Okay. Let's play.

Q. What made you guys click and play so well together?
ALEXANDR DOLGOPOLOV: I don't know. I think we just fit each other's games and we understand each other. We're having fun there, so that's the main thing.

Q. Anything in the ponytail?
ALEXANDR DOLGOPOLOV: No, I don't think so. (Smiling.)
Q. Were you nervous in that final set tiebreak, or were you thinking, We have had nothing to lose; we've had nothing to lose all tournament; just swing out and see what happens?
ALEXANDR DOLGOPOLOV: Yeah, for sure we were doing that the whole tournament, so I wasn't really nervous in the final. I mean, we got a lot of luck throughout the tournament.
I mean, you don't want to lose it because you're nervous or something. I mean, you get lucky, you win; if not, you lose. We just went for it and got a bit of luck as well in the finals.

Q. Can you describe the point where you were running backwards and did sort of a nose lob shot and ended up winning that point?
ALEXANDR DOLGOPOLOV: No, that's pretty tough, because I think Stan hit an overhead, and at first it looked like it's going to my right, like forehand, and then I had to turn around and hit some stupid backhand. I don't know.
It was like I had to turn around, and I didn't see the court. I just hit the ball somewhere, and it ended up in the court and we won it. Yeah, that was a lucky point.

Q. There has been a lot of talk about your serving. It was really good in Australia and here. You have kind of a low toss and quick delivery. Is that something that a coach taught you when you were younger? Is that something you just picked up on your own?
ALEXANDR DOLGOPOLOV: I would say probably on my own, because I was pretty low. I started growing like 14 or 15, so I had to jump out more and use my legs to serve. I think just the motion just went that way, and we didn't change it.

Q. You earned quite good prize money, extra money, because you didn't really plan it. Are you going to buy yourself a present now?
ALEXANDR DOLGOPOLOV: Not really. I'm planning to buying an apartment in Kiev, so I need money for that.

Q. Did you know Xavier before?
ALEXANDR DOLGOPOLOV: Yeah, we knew each other by tour, but I can't really say we were like close friends or anything. With most of the players on tour you have a chat sometimes about something, but not like, you know, like now, where we got a lot closer.
We went for a few dinners, and, yeah, we're like friends now.

Q. Obviously your priority is in singles, but at the end of that match when you won that last point you had that big incredible smile. How did it feel when Roger went out on those two shots and you got them both back? How did that feel for you in that last point?
ALEXANDR DOLGOPOLOV: Well, you know, he always, when he went at me, was pretty tough because he made the ball pretty low. So, I mean, I know it's match point, but I was just thinking how to play it, and I got a bit lucky as well on the last shot.
Of course it felt really good because it was a pretty tense like tiebreak. Yeah, it felt really good. It's my first title, so I was happy.

Q. Are you surprised at your first title came in doubles versus singles?
ALEXANDR DOLGOPOLOV: Yeah, I would say I'm a bit surprised, because, you know, in doubles I don't give it that much like in singles. It just happened, and I'm happy it came at least somewhere. Yeah, it's nice.

Q. How is your game going to translate to clay when we move to the clay court season?
ALEXANDR DOLGOPOLOV: Well, I would say I play a bit more for the percentage there, and I move well. I use more dropshots and variative [sic] tennis.
Yeah, it's easy for me, because lately, the last month, I didn't feel my serve really well. You know, on hard court, even 10% of your first serve, like you can really feel it. On clay it's easier.
If I'm not serving well, I can, you know, change up my game and still be pretty competitive.

Q. The second match you played you played the Bryan brothers. You were down in the super-tiebreak...
ALEXANDR DOLGOPOLOV: No, we weren't actually down. That was with the Murrays. We were down a set and 3-Love. With the Bryans we won the first set, and we were up a break in the second, and then two match points happened in the second. We were always up in the tiebreak, in the third-set tiebreak.
THE MODERATOR: Any questions for X now?

Q. Was it a quiet day for you?
XAVIER MALISSE: Yeah, until tonight, yeah, pretty quiet. No, it was quiet. You know, easy day. We warmed up a little bit, played a little soccer, just the things we've always been doing.
It was just fun. It was a good doubles. It was fun doubles today. Every doubles has been really fun. It's nice to win.

Q. How have you two gotten closer over the past week?
XAVIER MALISSE: Well, I mean, obviously you get to know each other better, because we -- of course, we know each other from seeing each other, but, you know, now we can actually laugh and make jokes and go to dinner too.
It changes, but it's so much better and so much nicer. I have had a really great week with Alex. It's been fun.

Q. Why do you think your games came so well together in just your first tournament together?
XAVIER MALISSE: I think we just go out there and have fun. That's the main reason. That's what we said in the beginning.
And, you know, we return really well, so, you know, we make the other guys play all the time. You know, at the net we can manage, and I think we serve well.
So, you know, those are the things that you need in doubles, I guess. Especially the return, which is every time second serve we make them play and it makes a big difference.

Q. So many more dinners together now?
XAVIER MALISSE: Yeah, maybe we could do it after singles, too. We'll see. It's not because all of a sudden we won a tournament it's gonna be pressure or anything.
We are going out there and having fun. Obviously we're not going to win every match we play. But if we play like this, it will be tough for other guys to beat us.
And if they do it, that's too good. But I think our main goal is still singles and just have fun in doubles.

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