Alex Dolgopolov’s run at Wimbledon came to an end and while he was disappointed at not being able to go further he was encouraged at the same time with the tennis he has been playing, and the type of tennis he played in the third round against Grigor Dimitrov.
The match lasted two hours 55 minutes and the first four sets were of a very high standard but in the fifth set Alex’s recent lack of match play because of his leg injury robbed him of some much needed energy and Dimitrov was able to close out the match 6-7, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, 6-1.
“My tennis is still there and most of the match I was in control but he did a great job to keep on going,” said Alex. “I guess I didn’t use my chances. He got me to the point where I got tired; I had to get down to the ball a lot and it was tough because I had not played on grass a lot.
“He did not give me a lot of free points and he anticipated a lot but, still, I am happy with my game and I am going in the right direction.”
Alex said he is very enthusiastic about the second half of the year. Certainly he will take a couple of days off and catch up with friends but then it is straight into the work he wants to do to be prepared for the American hard court season.
His next event is Hamburg and then Umag during which time he will also be undergoing his hard training. There is no doubt he is knocking on the door of the top 10 and you can sense the excitement in his voice about the months ahead.
Alex Dolgopolov has secured his place in the third round of Wimbledon and that has equalled his best result at the All England Club which he also achieved last year.
Alex knew it was going to be a tough match playing Benjamin Becker; the German has defeated him before so Alex had an idea of what to expect when they went out to Court 8. Becker took the first set even though Alex didn’t drop serve but then Alex rebounded with the next set and after that the match started to fall Alex’s way. He advanced 6-7, 7-6, 6-3, 6-4.
“It was tough; I needed to wake up in the first set,” he said. “I don’t like playing in the first part of the day and he played very good with the first two sets.”
It is well documented that Alex injured his right leg at Queen’s Club a couple of weeks ago but all is well now. He said the injury is feeling much better than it did in the first match and the injury has healed. It certainly showed with his movement about the court.
“I tried to keep serving well and from the middle of the second set things were getting better and better with my game even though I didn’t drop serve in the first two sets,” said Alex. “I was serving close to the lines … I don’t serve like that every day.”
There is no doubt that Alex is looking very relaxed. He is generally a laid back kind of guy but he is also looking comfortable with his surroundings and what he is now doing on the court.
“I don’t worry too much and I don’t have big expectations on myself,” said Alex who would rate himself with an 8 or 9 on the mental side of things and a 7 or 8 on the tennis side of things.
In the third round he will face Grigor Dimitrov. They should have played in the quarters of Queen’s Club but that’s when Alex had to withdraw.
“He is an aggressive player but the pressure will be on him, he’s higher ranked than me now,” he said.
Their head-to-head is 1-1