First-Time Winner Spotlight: Denis Istomin
Denis Istomin becomes the first player from Uzbekistan to win an ATP World Tour title
The 28 year old from Uzbekistan is the fifth first-time champion on the ATP World Tour this year, joining Jiri Vesely (Auckland), Victor Estrella Burgos (Quito), Jack Sock (Houston) and Dominic Thiem (Geneva).
Istomin spoke with ATPWorldTour.com after his victory.
How does it feel to win your first ATP World Tour title?
It’s tough to say now. I’m just happy. I’m happy that I’ve done it. I’m happy for myself and for my mom as well.
What does it mean to be the first singles champion from Uzbekistan on the ATP World Tour?
To represent my country is very good. A lot of people support me from my country and maybe for a younger generation it’s a big step there; they think they can do it as well. For tennis in Uzbekistan it’s also very important. It’s not just for me; it’s for my country. This win is very important.
Was winning an ATP World Tour title a goal you had growing up as a junior?
Of course it was one of my goals. My goal – like 100 per cent of players – was to be World No. 1 and win a Grand Slam. I try to do everything to make myself better and better.
You put together six wins to win your first ATP World Tour title against some tough competition, losing only one set. What did you do well?
I’ve been practising hard since after Roland Garros – ‘s-Hertogenbosch and Queen’s Club – I’ve been already two weeks on grass with practice and preparation. I think it’s worked as well. I was prepared for these long matches. Every match I was focused – good serve, good return. On grass it’s the most important things.
You saved a match point in the quarter-finals against Leonardo Mayer? Did that give you extra confidence to go on and win the title?
When I was playing, I wasn’t feeling that it’s match point so I just played each point and then I realised it was match point. During the match I don’t think about it. To win 7-6 in the third [set] and today in two tie-breaks brings big confidence.
Your mother has been instrumental helping in your career as your coach. What did she say to you after the match?
I didn’t see her after the match yet but she’s probably also so happy… For me it’s great [to have her as a coach] for a couple reasons. She’s always my mom and I don’t have to pay to the other coach. Maybe for her it’s more difficult because I’m her son and she cannot push me so much like the other players, but we have a good combination and I’m happy that we are together.
What are your goals for the remainder of the season?
I like the grass and I’ll try to do my best each match at Wimbledon. I feel good now, a little bit tired but I have a couple of days to recover. The goal for the end of the year is to come back to the Top 40 and if everything is good and I play like this week, maybe the Top 20.