First-Time Winner Spotlight: Guido Pella
NEWS SOURCE: ATP News
Guido Pella was just two games away from winning his maiden ATP Tour title earlier this month at the Cordoba Open. He eventually lost that final, however, his fourth on the ATP Tour.
But the Argentine didn’t stay discouraged, and on Sunday at the Brasil Open, playing in his fifth tour-level final, the 28-year-old won his first ATP Tour title. Pella spoke with ATPTour.com about what it means to him in this “First-Time Winner Spotlight”.
How does it feel to be an ATP Tour champion?
In the Cordoba final, you were up a set and 4-2 [and lost], and you were up the same score today. How did you rebound from Cordoba and get to this point?
When I was up 5-3 I thought that I was going to go for it, and after that who knows. But I think I was very calm… I finished with a winner, and it was the best match point I could have ever imagined.
You went 11-3 during the Golden Swing and didn’t lose a set in Sao Paulo. What would you say is working in your game right now?
All of your finals have come on clay but the two biggest wins of your career have come on other surfaces. You beat Marin Cilic on grass (Wimbledon 2018) and Dominic Thiem on hard court (2017 Chengdu). Do you expect that you’ll be able to carry this momentum to the other surfaces this year?
It’s been a very good year so far so I will try to do my best every week. When the U.S. hard-court swing comes, I will hope to play good and maybe try to win a tournament.
You’re working with Jose Acasuso, a former Top 20 player. As a coach, he seems so calm, doesn’t get too excited. How has he helped you?
That’s one of the best qualities he has, and he knows a lot about tennis. He’s a very good coach for me, and it’s very important for the team that we can win some matches, to play finals, semi-finals, so it’s very good momentum for us and I hope to keep playing like this.
You fell to No. 166 in the ATP Rankings in February 2017. What caused you to fall like that, and how difficult has it been to get back up?
Tennis is like this – if you don’t play good, you can’t win matches… But I think after that I learned a lot about myself, about how I felt on court, and I think that was the key for me to be in this position now, to be playing more consistent on the tour. That’s a very good feeling for me because it’s really tough to win matches on the tour, and I’m doing a very good job.
After enduring that slump, how satisfying is it to be back in the Top 40 [projected to be No. 34 on Monday]?
I just focused more on my game, how to improve… I wasn’t thinking about anything else, and I think that was the key.
You’ve played at least three tournaments in the Golden Swing eight straight years. What do these events mean to you?
What were your expectations coming onto the clay this year? Were they high?
It was very bad for me because I was 25 hours from home, the Australian Open was two weeks after Doha, so it was not the best beginning of the year for me. But after that I said, it’s OK. I’m going to play at home for two weeks. It’s a very good chance for me to play good, to get the rhythm and I think I did a very good job.
POSTED ON March 3, 2019