Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai
Tunisian wild card Malek Jaziri in action against Filip Krajinovic of Serbia on Day 1 of the 2022 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. How does it feel that you know this was your last match? Is it emotional? Are you chilled about it?
MALEK JAZIRI: I don’t know. Released or something. I don’t know. Something different, very strange.
I had some emotion, yeah, sure, even before I play, when I was preparing in the room. Like, I had it in my mind I know it going to be my last one.
Same time was not a (indiscernible) handed person, so I know it going to be very tough. I have to keep my serve in the beginning. I was sure it was going to be very tight beginning of the match.
Start of the match was good, very good. After 2-All, I had 40-15. Then that serve, he released. He was playing very good then. He was playing much better physically for sure. I’m not in my best. He try to make me move a little bit. That’s it.
Q. This city and this tournament must have meant a lot to you during your career.
MALEK JAZIRI: Yeah, Dubai have a special place for me. I have a lot of good memories. That’s why I wanted to finish here in Dubai. I would like to thanks the tournament, Dubai Duty Free, and Salah Tahlak for the opportunity to play here for my last competition ATP.
A lot of emotion. It’s like all my memories for last maybe 12 years, they come back in three seconds, all the match I play here (smiling). I played most of the No. 1 of the world, most seeded No. 1s of the tournament. I have flashback, wow.
When you know that it going to be your last tournament, it’s very special. I cannot describe it because it’s not only emotional, it’s something you don’t know what’s next actually, after.
Not easy, like, really. But same time is good to finish the great tournament here. I always wanted to finish here. Mean a lot to me. Mean a lot to a lot of people because Dubai give me a lot, not only for this year, for many years I been here playing, a lot of Tunisian fans, a lot of Arab world.
I happy that I finish here. The next will be…
Q. Which is the best game that you played here or most memorable?
MALEK JAZIRI: For sure 2018 I made semifinal here. Always it will be one of my best tournament I played here in Dubai. I made quarter before, as well, but that year I beat Dimitrov, I beat Tsitsipas. For sure I had a very good tournament.
For sure I remember the matches against Novak. Full house. It’s amazing. I played Roger, the year I took a set. It is special as well. This tournament been very, very special for me.
Before they make the draw, actually I’m surprised I don’t play seeded 1 or No. 1. The year I wanted to play Novak, it doesn’t come (laughter).
All good. I’m very thankful for everything. Thank you for my family, for the fans. Thank you for you guys. All the coaches that been… For everyone help me from my beginning of career. I’m very thankful for everyone. Let’s see what’s next (smiling).
Q. Heartfelt congratulations from Serbia. With your impeccable character, lifestyle, role model, inspiration on and off the court, what do you think is the next step in your life? Would it be coaching or maybe a role at this tournament? Have you given it any thought?
MALEK JAZIRI: Few month ago I’m having an experience with coaching Vasek Pospisil. We start end of the year last year. I’m having an experience with him. Very good player. I’m happy to be with him on court sharing my experience and give him hopefully going in the right way, that he improve in his ranking and making great results.
In the same time I have some ideas, but let’s see. Maybe I surprise you (smiling).
Thank you for all the Serbians. ‘Hvala’ for everything when I going to be in Belgrade.
Q. Do you remember what was said by Roger Federer after that match when you took the first set? Do you remember what he said to you?
MALEK JAZIRI: No, really I don’t remember. I don’t remember that. Been 10 years ago, so…
It was great match, that match. A lot of emotion. Like I was saying, I will say it now that I’m done: that match, I didn’t play for four month, then I played Roger. I just come back from injuries. That match, I had the wild card here that year.
Was crazy because I was hoping to have the same today, but was little bit tougher with age, with everything. Is a little bit tougher.
With all the moment, every moment I play in Dubai, was special for me. All the matches, no exception, all the matches. I wanted to do really much better today, but that’s how was the end.
One more time thank you, Dubai. Thank you to the tournament, for his confidence for last few years. Thanks to my parents who give me the opportunity to do my dream, to do the things that I really wanted to do it.
It’s not easy in the Arab world, take decision stop studying, take pro, especially when nobody in Tunisia did it before me. You don’t know the way where you going.
But I made a lot of good things. Like my first think when it come back to my mind, when I was kid, what I achieved. I did more things than what I expected really, be honest.
I want to be top hundred. I don’t have no one before me that say I want to be top 20, top 10 or No. 1. I dream to be top hundred. I made top 50. I made it.
Really I don’t have regrets. I did everything by myself. I take my bag here, I was traveling, I did the circuit.
That’s it. All good (smiling).
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports