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Locker Room: Alexandr Dolgopolov


 

Originally published on: 11/10/13 00:00

When you were small you used to travel quite a bit on the tour with your father. Can you tell us about that?
I can’t really remember much. I was about four or five years old and my father was working with [Andrei] Medvedev so I was just always around the courts and I travelled a lot.

Can you remember meeting or playing with any players when you travelled with your dad?
Yeah, I played with a lot of players that would be nice. That’s normal on the tour if there are kids who are with certain players, other players will play with them all the time on the court and off the court. So yeah, I played with some legends, I don’t remember much only what my parents told me. They say that Thomas Muster always played with me and was nice to me.

Your game style is so unpredictable and your opponents often don’t know what’s coming next. Do you think that’s your biggest strength?
Well it’s tough to say but I guess it’s a good thing for me because I’m not physically as strong as maybe Nadal or Djokovic, I can’t run for as long as them but I have other plusses. I need to try different ways to win matches so I need to be improvising and hitting a lot of different shots and giving trouble to the opponent. Of course, it’s great that I am able to do that.

Does your coach ever tell you, ‘Alexandr! Stop hitting so many trick shots!’
Mmm, no. Actually the opposite because a few years I was top 20 and I believed maybe I needed to get my game more conservative and every time I started doing that I started losing to more and more players. Players are so good these days and players were getting so used to my game easily and now I understand that my game is my game and I need to risk a lot and that’s why I am winning matches because some players don’t know what to do. Once I start to play more conservative I started to get more trouble from players that are much lower ranked.

Do you still make computer games?
No, that was a long time ago now, maybe when I was 16 or 17 years old. Now there’s not enough time and I have grown up from the games. I wrote it on my first interview on the tour when I was 18 and it has [stayed with me]. The cars have stayed but the games are a long time ago.

How many cars do you own now?
I have three. A Porsche Cayenne and two race cars. One is a Subaru and one is a Nissan GT-R.

Do you pimp them up yourself?
Yes. The Nissan GT-R is four times the horsepower that it has normally. It’s one of the fastest legal street cars that you can make in the world. I sent it to America and it was half a year there and I got it back last year. I race it in the Ukraine in the drag race championships and [various] other championships. That’s the hobby that I have off the court.

If you could have one superpower what would it be?
I would pick flying. I have no idea why! I just like it.

If you could change one thing about professional tennis what would it be?
I would change having men and women’s tournaments together. I would have them apart because it’s always tough when we have a tournament together. Usually there’s not enough courts, everybody wants to practise alone, singles, doubles and it becomes a little bit of a mess. The girls don’t like to play with each other, they only play with their coaches and then you see four top 20 guys playing four on one court and a girl in the top 100 playing with a coach on the other court. It’s a mess and I think for the guys they don’t enjoy those tournaments. It’s tough to play well and to practice a lot because there are too many people. There are not a lot of sites in the world that can hold men’s and women’s so usually it’s a bit tough.

This article originally appeared in Volume 4 Issue 5. To get your hands on our October issue, click here.

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