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March 15, 2014

Alexandr Dolgopolov


R. FEDERER/A. Dolgopolov
6‑3, 6‑1

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  3‑3 and started to lose a little bit of your range.  Talk about what happened at that point in the match.
ALEXANDR DOLGOPOLOV:  I think the main problem was I didn't adjust to the conditions today as well as he did.  I was just getting away with that until he was starting the match and also getting used to it.
Then I just missed too many shots today, the shots that you don't miss in these matches.  It was flying a little bit.  It was sunny.  It was windy.
So, I mean, I felt perfect on the court, actually.  I was ready physically, mentally.  I wasn't nervous much, but I wasn't sharp enough.  My concentration was going away for maybe one, two points every game, and you can't afford to have that in these matches.

Q.  The wind, did it pick up as the match went on?
ALEXANDR DOLGOPOLOV:  I don't know if it picked up or it was the same.  But I mean, he defended obviously well.  A lot of shots that were standing on the service line, I missed those, and, I mean, gave him away the break.
And after that he just got more and more confidence and pushed more and I was still at the same level.  I mean, the match was pretty simple because of that.

Q.  You talk about how he got more and more confident.  Is there a point during a match where you can kind of sense that it's slipping away and you say to yourself, How do I get this back?
ALEXANDR DOLGOPOLOV:  No.  Actually, as I said, I was really feeling good physically and mentally, so I was just trying to play every point.  Even the second set, even when I was two breaks down, I was trying to play every point.
From the start of the match I was just not good enough to compete with him today.
He was, as I said, playing better and better, so that wasn't helping me at all.  He wasn't giving me any free points.
I mean, my serve wasn't there, a lot of things that‑‑ I mean, with those things I didn't deserve to win today.

Q.  Amazing performance this week with the win over Rafa and your run.  Congrats.  Amazing including because of what's happening in your homeland.  How were you able to put that out of your mind?  Now that the tournament is over, are you concerned?  What are your concerns about what's happening both in the Ukraine and in Crimea?
ALEXANDR DOLGOPOLOV:  Well, I mean, as I said every day almost in the press, I can't do much there.  And there is no really sense every day to talk about the politics, because it's their work and not mine.  I can just support the people.
There is no sense of me saying what I think about it, I mean, because it's political.  I don't want to get into politics.  I am a tennis player.  It's the politics' work to solve those problems.
Of course, it's not nice it's not calm now in the country, but hopefully it will get past and we're going to be safe and living there fine.
But, I mean, there's nothing more to say really.

Q.  Having seen Federer from afar, he seems to be doing much better at the start of this year.  What are the changes I guess you could notice from watching him last year compared to what you saw today that looks better?
ALEXANDR DOLGOPOLOV:  I mean, it's quite simple:  He's playing more solid, playing more like he did before, moving well, pretty confident, good on defense, good on offense.  I mean, good all over the court.
So that's what brings you results.  I think he was not moving as well last year.  He was a bit not as confident.  I mean, it's really not much you need to lose to drop your game.
You know, with the competition these days it's just a few little things, and that's enough for you to start losing matches.
I think he's more sharp this year.

Q.  What do you think you need to do to sustain this success for the rest of the next several tournaments?
ALEXANDR DOLGOPOLOV:  Well, stay healthy.  I mean, nothing.  Just keep on working like this and not relax.  I'm feeling good.  I think my strokes were good today.
As I said, I was losing my concentration a little bit, but I think I was overall hitting the ball well.
Maybe I'm a little concerned with my serve, but it was a concern all week.  My percentage was lower than the start of the year because I improved it from last year.  This week the balls were a little bit flying on me and I couldn't put as much first serves as I wanted.
But I don't think that's a giant problem.  I can practice and get that better.

Q.  You returned so well against Raonic with his velocity.  What was the difference in terms of what Roger's serve was doing with you down at 100, 110 most of the match and as you were returning so well at 140 against Raonic?
ALEXANDR DOLGOPOLOV:  As I said, today it was sunny and today it was windy.  I return flat and quite fast, so today you could see a lot of balls that were out by not much.  I wasn't getting used to those conditions.
Plus Roger's serve is really accurate.  It' close to the line, and if you're not perfect with those conditions, it's not easy to return that way.
I don't think I returned bad.  I couldn't also attack a lot his serves because of the winds, and I was missing a lot.
So I think all together that's what was the problem.  Yesterday was perfect conditions for me.  I mean, it was different.

Q.  Midway through the second set you hit a couple of overheads in the wind.  He retrieved the first one and hit that crock forehand winner.  Are you ever sort of, as a pro, just sort of amazed with his shot making?  Talk about that point.
ALEXANDR DOLGOPOLOV:  Well, I mean, over the years we have seen a lot of him playing points like that, defending unbelievable.
He's good at it.  I knew that, and he made me play a lot of shots seeing I'm not comfortable with the wind.  When you're not comfortable, you don't go for the full power overhead.
So I gave him a chance, which he is really good at reading where you hit.  He played that point.
I mean, I didn't see anything surprising.  Playing in the semis with a great player, so that happens.  If you are not finishing the point, not taking your points, that happens with players like that.

Q.  You have played and beaten a lot of top 20 guys and top 5 guys in the last few weeks, here and some other tournaments.  Can you compare Roger's level with some of these other top guys you played?
ALEXANDR DOLGOPOLOV:  It's tough.  As I said, it wasn't the day that I played like I played with them.  So if I would, you know, win those 8, 9, 10 points that I missed, easy points, maybe I could take him to the point where he would be a little bit nervous.
But that didn't happen.  The match was one way.  So it's kind of tough.  Second set he was just so confident that he didn't miss.  Maybe gave me one or two free points.
So it's tough to say.  It was different days.  I mean, for sure he's playing good.  You can see the results.  He's really playing good this year.  I think he's up there.
I mean, I can't compare it to the wins I have, to the players I beat, but he's a different player.  He's up there, he's doing the results, so obviously he's playing good now.

Q.  Tough loss today, but you have been on a good trend.  Just talk about your week reaching the semis at what some people say is the fifth most important tournament in the world.
ALEXANDR DOLGOPOLOV:  It's been great, you know.  You know, I have come here, I didn't have too much time after Acapulco.  I had a few days off, and then practicing again.  In three days I played already my match, even though I was already seeded.
So it's been great.  I had some good matches.  Really confident on the court.  Clean strokes.  Healthy.  So I think I'm in a good position.
Even though the match was easy today.  The score‑‑ I mean, the score was easy.  A lot of games I was, you know, leading or I had chances, but I can't say I'm really frustrated from the loss.  I did what I can.  I was fighting every point.  I'm looking forward for Miami.
A little bit, of course, tired already because I had a long swing.  I didn't go home since Chile, which was six weeks ago.  So a little bit tired, but I'm ready to play.  I think I'm in a good position.  I need to fight and try to do good in Miami, you know.
Once you're on a roll, why not take those chances?

Q.  Are you going to do anything to celebrate in week?  Is it worth celebrating?
ALEXANDR DOLGOPOLOV:  I don't think so.  As I said, I'm quite tired.  I will just take a few days off and relax.  I mean, it's been, you know, three weeks I have been playing, playing, playing matches.  I don't have much emotions now, so I need to save those for Miami (smiling).
Then maybe when I come home I will see my friends and celebrate the whole swing, you know.  I did quite good, I think, already.  We'll see how I do in Miami, and I think coming home I will for sure celebrate a bit.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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