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First-Time Winner Spotlight Alexandr Dolgopolov

Umag, Croatia

Dolgopolov© Getty ImagesAlexandr Dolgopolov was contesting his second ATP World Tour final.

Second seed Alexandr Dolgopolov became the seventh first-time winner on the ATP World Tour this season when he defeated home favourite and fourth seed Marin Cilic 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in Sunday’s final at the ATP Studena Croatia Open in Umag. caught up with the new champion following his victory.

Final Report

How does it feel to win your first ATP World Tour title?
I’ve played pretty well for the last year, but couldn’t manage to get a win. I think it’s good because I worked hard to get to the final and then I managed to win it, so I’m really happy. I was first in the rankings in Ukraine, but I hadn’t won a title and everyone was talking about that a bit. It’s a good moment. I’ll keep on working and try and get higher and higher in the rankings.

It’s been just over an hour since you won, how many text messages have you received?
Around 20 from my friends and people I know in the Ukraine.

How did your approach to this final differ compared to the one in Costa do Sauipe?
I think I was a bit more confident because I didn’t lose a set until the final. I know my game pretty well now. The conditions suited me and it was the right day. I think my form was a bit better.

Talking about your season overall, how happy have you been with the highlights?
I’m really happy with the season. The clay-court campaign (in the spring) could have been better; I was playing pretty solid at a lot of tournaments but couldn’t win anything. I hope to get better and come back.

Did you think your first title would come on clay? What’s your favourite surface?
Pretty much clay, but I wasn’t thinking about my first title. I was concentrating more on the ranking and stuff like that.

Is your goal still to reach the Top 20 at the end of the year?
Yeah, pretty much. If you are Top 20, or better Top 15, you can really plan your year better. You are able to practise more because if you are down at No. 30 or No. 40 you need to play more than practise, which makes it tough. For sure I would like to reach the Top 15 then go from there.

What are your hobbies? What do you like to do off court?
I like to spend time with my friends and I like to race cars. That’s pretty much it. I just get back, do what normal people do - go out, go bowling, play baseball and just forget about tennis.

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