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First Time Winner Spotlight: Carlos Berlocq

Bastad, Sweden

Berlocq© AFP/Getty ImagesCarlos Berlocq celebrates winning his first title.

Carlos Berlocq became a first-time ATP World Tour titlist at the SkiStar Swedish Open on Sunday after he beat eighth seed Fernando Verdasco 7-5, 6-1 in the Båstad final.

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Prior to starting an eight-hour drive with Albert Ramos to Hamburg, for the bet-at-home Open – German Tennis Championships, which starts on Monday, the 30-year-old Argentine spoke to

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How does it feel to be standing here with the trophy while becoming the first Argentine to win the title here since Mariano Zabaleta in 2004?
I'm really excited with my achievement this week. I've been working hard to fulfill this dream and today I made it.

You lost only one set en route to the final, how did you put it all together?
I've been working for a long time to improve day-by-day and this week I had good results. I could show it in several games this week. You have to be patient to get a title. I think the key was the mind-set I had from the first to the last match. Mental toughness was the key.

With so many players 30-over doing well this year (14 players 30-over reaching finals, nine winners), what does that say about older players?
Each player has his own process. Some things can be done and others not. But without a doubt, experience helps a lot to win an ATP World Tour title. After so many years of competition and playing at this level, you just need the right time to make it. It was my in case and for [Nicolas] Mahut, for example. I think perseverance helps. I went through hard times, but I kept working hard and finally I did it. You have to never give up. It was my dream week.

It was your second ATP World Tour final. Did you have a different approach going into this final and were you nervous?
There was not much difference with the first final [2012 VTR Open in Vina del Mar]. The other one was a great match and my rival that day, "Pico" [Juan] Monaco, played better. Then I also fought hard. Today I had my chance and I took it.

You’ve finished in the Top 50 for the past two years. Do you have a ranking goal for this year?
I don't have any specific goal in mind. Now I have to enjoy this great week and continue working on my tennis. Whatever comes will be fine.

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