Catching up with the champion of the 2011 China Open
4 September 2013
What was it like to win the China open?
WelI, I have great memories of the China Open. In Beijing, the field is always very strong, but I was able to come out on top as the winner. So it was a really great week for me and I played really good tennis through all that time.
How does it feel, trying to become the third player – after Novak Djokovic and Michael Chang – to win in Beijing twice?
It would be really great to be part of Djokovic’s record and his winning streak [at the China Open]. I’m going to start in the first round and try to go as far as I can, play my best tennis, and let’s see what happens. If I’m able to win a second title this year, it would be just amazing.
What was it like to play in the 2010 Wimbledon final?
The Wimbledon Final is completely different [from any other match I’ve played]. I mean, from the first moment of stepping on court, you have a guy to carry your racquet bags for you, which is different. Just small details like this make a big difference, and the crowd on Centre Court is really unique. You have 15,000 people there, but when you bounce the ball before a rally, it’s completely silent. And then when the point is over, they really appreciate it, they’re so loud. There is nothing that can be really compared with Wimbledon.
Earlier this year, you played in the longest-ever ATP doubles match against Swiss duo Stanislas Wawrinka and Marco Chiudinelli. That must have been gruelling. How do you feel about it now?
It was an incredible match. I mean, I’ve played a lot of games, but this one stands out a little, because [partner Lukas Rosol and I] spent seven hours out on the court playing just that one match. Especially since it was Davis Cup [the premiere international team tournament in which the players represent their countries, rather than playing for themselves], the atmosphere was noisy, I had a headache, and you only have a limited number of bathroom breaks, and we ran out. It was very sweet in the end because we won the match, but the next day I had to get ready to play again against Stan.
What are your ambitions in the game before you retire?
Tennis teaches you to be very patient. I think this is very important. Of course, I’m aiming to win a Grand Slam title, but it’s extremely tough, with all those guys at the top. So, just to be patient, and to work hard every day.