Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. What do you think went wrong today?
KAREN KHACHANOV: In general, I mean, it was little bit strange conditions. He’s a tough opponent. I give all credit. He play really well when he’s on. Yeah, it’s a little bit of everything, conditions. All the week, like I said, I was really feeling well hitting. But today was some strange shots because of wind, plus he was hitting super aggressive. Sometimes I couldn’t come to offense really. I was, like, all the time kind of defending, not playing from myself. Just have to accept it then. That’s it, yeah. But he played well. At the beginning was everything more or less equal. I had some breakpoints. If I would have breaked, maybe the match could go another way.
Q. Obviously you had a bit of a momentum interruption because you got ill. Mentally, does that affect you at all in the sense that you couldn’t string a few matches in a row together heading into Indian Wells?
KAREN KHACHANOV: Of course, it’s not nice to lose in some tournaments. I think nobody likes to lose. Maybe the results are not as I was expecting. Okay, I had some issues. I had some, let’s say, problems. I just have to accept it and really to keep working. At the end of the day nothing change and nothing stops. Here, beginning of the season, I have to really believe that I need to get to the level what I was playing basically, not like something that I am dreaming about, but where I was playing, winning. It’s true, I can be self-confident and saying that I’m feeling well. Still, matches, they give you extra confidence that maybe you are looking for after certain loses that I really want to feel well. Yeah, like I said, I need to really keep believing. Nothing change. Keep believing in myself. I believe I can be where I want to be. This doesn’t have to stop me. Loses unfortunately always will be. Not as I wanted these three tournaments. Again, now there are two Masters Series that I really hope that I will be better.
Q. You obviously finished last season on a high. Do you think you may have put pressure on yourself unconsciously coming into the new year, expectations, people around you? Do you feel maybe something like that is affecting you?
KAREN KHACHANOV: Again, yes, I am fourth seeded here, for example. I was playing against a guy who is basically 19, seven positions lower than me. I’m talking about today, not the other tournaments. It’s not like I was playing against somebody who is lower. I was really preparing as a tough match. It’s a tough draw for the first round for both of us. Yeah, expectations? On the other side, there always will be. Even when you are, let’s say, lower ranked, I would say you put maybe yourself higher expectations because you want to really succeed and go higher, I would say from my perspective, from my career what I was having, let’s say, last year or the previous year. Yeah, right now maybe didn’t start the way I wanted, the way I was expecting. Maybe there were, like, higher expectations from myself. Again, there are so many tournaments ahead of me that I hope I will be better. If not, (expletive) it. Sorry.
Q. Are you going to stick around here for a bit or think of going to the States right away?
KAREN KHACHANOV: I’m playing doubles tomorrow with Daniil. I really have desire to play. It’s not like I am mentally completely out, I don’t like tennis. I’m not like that. Now I’m feeling maybe I’m a little bit out of maybe more matches. In these last weeks, I didn’t play as many as I wanted to really get more confidence in playing matches and winning. That’s why I am really thinking why not to play doubles, continue to practice, then we’ll see how we do in doubles. Depending on that result, we’ll think when to leave to Indian Wells. We’ll stay here these days, why not, it’s pretty similar conditions.
Q. At some point was your residence Dubai? Do you spend time here?
KAREN KHACHANOV: It’s still in Dubai. Nothing changed. I’m still in Dubai. Yeah, it’s really tough to say where I’m spending the most time. Obviously the most time that I’m spending is travelling. Let’s say depends which time of the year, which surface, which swing we’re having. I was here for a tournament obviously, then after I’m coming in summer. For pre-season, for sure. Abu Dhabi, I was here after that. We will see how much time. Maybe I will spend even more time here. Always depending on the schedule mostly. For sure when I’m in Europe for clay, honestly, I don’t know if there are clay courts here, so… It’s obviously not a choice. When it’s hard court outdoor, yeah, definitely I’m coming here. I will come even more.