“You beat five top 10 players to win your first Masters 1000 title. Do you realize what you’ve accomplished?
Now yes (laughs). I was overwhelmed with emotions after the game, really. It’s the best feeling of my life, of my entire career. It’s a dream come true. It’s one more step than winning a match like this, against one of the best players in the world, against Novak. Winning that last game was one of the biggest reliefs of my life. I was so stressed, you know. I’m so glad I got out of it.
You did not hide that Novak Djokovic was one of your models. How does it feel to beat him? And did you approach the match differently, knowing that you were playing against him?
Before each match, I always tell myself that I can win. But I knew that today, I would have to put even more. He has over 100 ATP titles if I’m not mistaken (90, actually). I had to use my youth, my willpower, to put pressure on him. You had to be there when it mattered. That’s what made the difference. He is very hard to beat. I think it was the most difficult match I had to play in my life.
“My season is officially over, but if I can have a few more matches with the very best, that’s good for me”
This match, you win it on the technique, on the attitude, the courage?
On courage, I would say. It was the biggest final of my life and you had to be strong and pugnacious. I was nervous before playing, it was stressful and I had to calm down, that I believe in myself to let go of my shots. I wasn’t going to win just by putting the ball back in the court… I had to be creative and I tried to be. I did a few drop shots, tried to tire him out and it worked enough for me to win.
You are qualified for the Next Gen Masters in Milan, but also a replacement for the Masters in Turin as the new world No. 10. So, Milan or Turin?
I do not know (laughs). Of course, I will go to Turin. I want all the qualifiers to be in good shape, it’s okay if I don’t play. My season is officially over, but if I can have a few more matches with the very best, that’s good for me. But here, I just want to sleep, eat and relax. »