Tennis Prose



Biofile with Alexander Dolgopolov

Status: ATP #15. Has career wins over Clement, Stepanek, Tsonga, Soderling, Gonzalez, Tomic, Seppi, Lu, and Youhzny. Member of Ukraine’s Davis Cup team.

Ht: 6-0 Wt: 192

DOB: November 7, 1988 In: Kiev, Ukraine

First Tennis Memory: “Probably traveling with (Andrei) Medvedev when my father (Oleksandr) coached him, being on court and having fun. We were friends. I was always there, he was winning some tournaments, I was there. When I took the balls and the racquet I was small, sitting there watching him play. I don’t remember the cities. One tournament, I got lost at the tennis courts. I remember I was surrounded one time. I couldn’t really write – I was just writing my name as a signature, because they know I was always on the court with him. I was really a popular kid then. Because all the players played with me. And I was having some fun.”

Tennis Inspirations: “Thats’s a tough one. I just enjoy the game. I want to be the best – one time – in the world. So I’m just going to that goal and having fun on the court. We have some small goals with records, but not any in particular, win any tournaments. I just go out and try to show the best game and beat the guys in the game.”

Nicknames: “Some players call me Dolgo. And Dog.”

Hobbies/Leisure Activities: “I really like to drive my car. I like racing – not professional – we have some tournaments, they’re like drag racing. I have a Subaru. So I like to do that. Just hang out with my friends, but I don’t have much time to do that. I come back for a week maximum. Just rest, go to movies, meet my friends, that’s it.”

Last Book Read: “Was a Russian book.”

Favorite Movies: “I actually like all the movies. I watch all kinds of stuff. When I’m at home, every two days I go to the cinema. So I like to watch movies. I don’t have a movie that I like the best, I have a lot of them.”

Musical Tastes: “I listen to all sorts of music in my life, now I’m into club music, dancing music, something like that.”

Pre-Match Feeling: “Just happy to go on the court. Think about the player I’m going to play. I think about how I’m going to play him. It’s all different, depends on the player I play.”

Favorite Meal: “That’s a tough one. Probably spaghetti and Russian meat.”

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: “Coffee.”

Current Car: “Subaru Impreza WRX STI (black).”

Greatest Sports Moment: “Well, probably that’s the first point in the ATP (age 16 or 17). I remember I was really happy to do that. That happened in Ukraine, I got a wildcard. I got my first ATP point. That was a big moment. Now, I haven’t won some big events. Probably, as well, I remember winning a Challenger, winning my first ATP title (Umag in 2011). That was pretty big. Every moment I got was special but the first ATP point was pretty big. I mean, I didn’t win a Grand Slam yet. Or any Masters Series, so I can’t say anything about big wins. So that was probably the biggest moment I remember now. And I’m getting higher now, so it’ll come.”

Most Painful Moment: “Losing final qualies Australian Open when I was 18. From a triple match point and four match points in the match, with 5-4, love-40, his serve, third set, and lost (vs. Sam Warburg).”

Favorite Tournament: “Well, for now, I like the clay. Roland Garros would be my favorite.”

Closest Tennis Friends: “All the USSR countries, all the Russian guys. But I’m really well with everyone. I know most of the players. I’m not preferring the Russian guys because I speak the language better, I mean, I’m friends with everyone. Everyone is nice on the Tour. There’s not like guys who are not nice off the court, so.”

Funniest Players Encountered: “That’s a tough one. Daniel Koellerer on the court, is really doing some stupid **** on the court [smiles]. There’s a lot of players you can see doing fun stuff.”

Toughest Competitors: “I had a lot of tough matches. Probably the toughest matches were Tsonga and Clement two years ago. I had five sets with them. That was the toughest matches I had. I played Nadal in Madrid. That was really tough to play him, clay court especially.”

Strangest Match: “Nothing in particular.”

Funny Tennis Memory: “I remember in a practice I was running for a drop shot and I was sliding on the clay courts. Then I couldn’t get my balance and I just fell over the net [smiles] and that was the funniest.”

Embarrassing Tennis Memory: “Losing from four match points – that was embarrassing for me. But nothing I would want to change or anything.”

Favorite Players To Watch: “Well, it used to be Marcelo Rios. He was really fun to watch. He was really improvising on the court. Now, I don’t know, tennis has gotten more monotone and everything. Running and physical. Because everyone is hitting so fast, you can’t really play that style. I mean, Roger’s got some of that still in him. He still does that playing style – volleys and drop shots, slices. I like to watch his game the most probably. (Did you meet Rios?) I met him when I was small. Not really in person, that I remember. The second time my father was with Medvedev was in 1998, that time when Rios won in a row Indian Wells and Miami. I was at the tournaments and I was always killing my parents to go to the matches. He was always playing night matches and I was, Let’s go watch him. Let’s go watch him [smiles]. I really like to watch his matches. I was crazy about him that time. The style of his game was incredible. He could pull out any of the shots in any moment. It was really fun. You don’t know what the guy can do. He wasn’t playing the same game all the time. He was really variative, tough to play, I think.”

People Qualities Most Admired: “Well, for me, it’s most important, it’s people are honest. Say what they think about you. I don’t like people who come and go, depending on your successes. So, I mean, the people who are with me from the small age or people who don’t care how I do, are the best people that I really want them with me.”

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