Alexei Popyrin finally started playing as expected of him. The Australian is in great shape and also reached his first ATP title in Singapore. In an interview with tennis majors, he revealed how he feels after winning his first ATP title, and what are problems he faced in tennis.
"The feeling is good. It’s what we worked for so hard during the pre-season. It doesn’t stop at this, though. I have more aspirations; more goals." "But it’s definitely a really good feeling. It shows that the hard work is paying off slowly.
The last couple of years I’ve had slow starts to the years — good results at the Aussie Open but that’s about it." "I don’t think I expected that I would win a tournament at the start of the year.
I didn’t expect it, but it shows I put the hard work in during the preseason.
Interestingly, Popyrin did not have high expectations from this tournament. On the contrary, Popyrin did not want to come to the tournament at all "I wasn’t even planning on playing the tournament, but we decided to when people started withdrawing and I got directly into the main draw.
We thought if I got the opportunity to get to play in the main draw of an ATP tournament, why not fly over there and play? " "At first I didn’t want to go because of the 22-day quarantine you would have to do if you were a close contact or were positive.
But my Mum did the convincing, saying that there is basically zero Covid cases in Australia and zero Covid cases in Singapore, so it was very unlikely that I would be a close contact or test positive." "So after she said that I decided to go.
The first couple of days were hard. It was a hard bubble. You could only go to the courts and then back to the hotel; there and back and that’s it." "I just wanted to go home; I didn’t expect anything from the tournament.
But I took it one match at a time and I kept the focus: ‘I’m here for one thing and that’s to win the tournament’." "I told my physio: ‘Look, we’re here for one thing. We’re not going to risk 22 days in quarantine to lose in the first round.
We’ve got to make it pay off’. And it paid off. Popyrin thinks that this is the best tournament he has played, but also what is the main problem he has faced so far in his career. It was the best tennis of my career — not because of the level, but because I kept the high level for a long period of time.
I kept it for five matches in a row. That’s something we worked on in the pre-season." "The level was always there (even in Australia), I was just trying to string a lot of matches in a row at that level. I did that in Singapore."
"The problem with my tennis was I’ve always had the level to take out top players, but it was doing that on a weekly basis in every match. It’s something we’ve been working on. It’s slowly getting up there.