Menu Nitto ATP Finals Pala Alpitour, Torino | 14-21 NOV. 2021

Koolhof Final Press Conference

Sunday, 22 November 2020
Wesley Koolhof
Press Conference

KOOLHOF-MEKTIC/Melzer-Vasselin 6-2, 3-6, 10-5

Questions, please.

Q. Congratulations on the title. I would like to ask you, what does it mean for you? How can you describe the difference in intensity between the first and the second set? Looked like the first set there was a little bit more intensity from your side.

WESLEY KOOLHOF: Thanks, first of all. Yeah, I think we started pretty good. I think Jurgen Melzer, he kind of missed the first two shots of the point, so we got a nice and easy break in the beginning.

First set, throughout the whole set I think we played pretty good. Returned aggressive. Second set it turned around a little bit. I think they were starting to serve a bit better, and better spots as well. So we were struggling a bit more.

They connected on a very good return game, so they broke us. We knew it's going to be tough because they were fighting the whole week basically already to stay alive, first of all in the group stages, and I think they faced like five or six match points down because they needed to win that set yesterday also, 7-1 down. They came back to win it.

So we knew it was going to be tough. But, yeah, I think they basically played a little bit better in the second set. And, yeah, I was trying to keep the energy alive a bit, but I think it was, yeah, tough to explain but first set, that was definitely more energy in the first than in the second, yeah, I agree.

Q. Congratulations. One of the features of your title run this week was how well you returned and how well both of you returned. How proud are you of the way that you managed that aspect of your game this week? How crucial do you think that was in the victory today?

WESLEY KOOLHOF: Yeah, I think serve and return is, especially here, it's important. It's not the fastest court. It's not that slow. But a lot of balls back in play.

I think we returned throughout the whole tournament, returned pretty good, very aggressive. I think we hit most winners of returns than any other team here.

Today actually, as well. I think Nikola started a bit better with the return than I did. I was struggling a little bit with the lefty-righty combination, and they throw a lot of slice and kick into it, so it was a bit more tough for me in the beginning.

But it's always a crucial aspect. I think if a team makes as many returns as possible and can even hit winners out of it, cross, long line, and I think we were also good at chip lobbing, yeah, it always creates a lot of pressure for the other team. So then it's more pressure for them on the serve.

And I think, yeah, today we managed to do that well. Even in the third we managed to get two or three, even more, I think, good returns off their serve. So it's a very helpful thing to have.

Q. You're the fourth Dutch player to win this doubles title at this event. You join Eltingh, Haarhuis, and Rojer. What's it mean to be a part of this Dutch history at this tournament now?

WESLEY KOOLHOF: Everything, of course. Paul and Jacco were one of the best, maybe "the" best doubles team before the Bryans started playing basically. I think they have achieved so many things.

It's always nice, when you talk to center court here, to see the names on the wall three times, and even Jules Rojer, he's up there. He was always the one, especially like my era, kind of, to look up against and to try to beat him, because he was always No. 1 in Holland.

Yeah, it means that I'm part of those three big names in Holland and that I'm the last one. Hopefully next year Jules will be back up there, as well, so we can fight some good matches.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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