First-Time Winner Spotlight: Albert Ramos-Vinolas

Ramos-Vinolas speaks to after winning his first title

Albert Ramos-Vinolas beat fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-4 on Sunday at the SkiStar Swedish Open to capture his first ATP World Tour title. Former World No. 1 Bjorn Borg was on hand to present him with the trophy.

The 28-year-old Ramos-Vinolas, who beat two-time former champion David Ferrer in the semi-finals, had the best winning percentage in second serve points won (64 per cent) and return games won (48 per cent) during the ATP World Tour 250 tournament. It was his second ATP World Tour final, having finished runner-up at Casablanca in April 2012. spoke to Ramos-Vinolas after his victory in the Swedish beach resort.

How does it feel to be holding your first ATP World Tour singles trophy?
I cannot be more happy, after a long time waiting. I have been working very hard.

Was this a goal as a junior to win an ATP World Tour title?
Everybody wants to win, or dreams of winning a title. It was the same for me. It was important for me to win one ATP World Tour title.

If you look back on your 2012 Casablanca final appearance, did you have a different approach this time around?
I think I have more experience now. I think today I concentrated more on myself, rather than thinking about playing in the final.

You beat two seeds this week in David Ferrer and Fernando Verdasco. What did you do especially well this week?
Both of the players were Top 10, winning a lot of titles. When you beat great players like this, you build your confidence.

What do you make of your year so far?
This year is going very well, especially the past two months. I think I was playing well before I reached the Roland Garros quarter-finals, but I didn't have a big result. I think my hard work is paying off, particularly in winning two matches on grass at Wimbledon. Hopefully, if I keep working hard I can produce more good results later in the year.

Now you're in the Top 30 of the Emirates ATP Rankings, do you have any new goals for the rest of 2016?
I still have the same goals, to work hard and to play as much as possible. I would like to concentrate on every practice and each match. I will then see where I am in the [Emirates ATP] Rankings.

What have you improved on this season?
I think I am playing better on my backhand side, which has given me more confidence and it has helped me to play better in defence and also when it comes to attacking. I think my forehand is the same.

Who were the players you looked up to growing up?
A lot of Spanish players. I can't tell you one, but I remember watching Sergi Bruguera and then Alex Corretja. They were two of my favourites. But we have had a lot of players to watch. I remember watching tennis all the time when I was young.

Tell us something about yourself that maybe people don't know?
When I am home, I relax with my girlfriend, friends and family. I train in the club where I first started to play. My coach, Jose Maria Diaz, is the director of the tennis school there. I also do my physical conditioning there.

Who have been the most important people in your career?
My parents, obviously, and my girlfriend, who I have been with for nine years. My coach, Jose, who isn't here this week, but he normally travels with me for 20 weeks of the year. He helped me when I was young and he always helps me find a way to improve. He is probably the most important person in my career.