Tennis Information: Challenger First-Time Winner Highlight: Timofey Skatov

#NextGenATP teen Timofey Skatov made his ATP Challenger Tour breakthrough this previous week, when he lifted his maiden Challenger trophy in Parma, Italy.

The 21-year-old defeated Slovakian Jozek Kovalik 7-5, 6-7(2), 6-4 within the Parma Challenger ultimate to develop into the primary Kazakh Challenger champion this season. Skatov has reached a minimum of the semi-finals in 4 of his previous 5 Challenger tournaments and the title in Italy launched him to a career-high No. 152 within the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. spoke to Skatov following his title to study extra in regards to the rising star.

ATP Challenger Tour 

Timofey, congratulations on profitable your first Challenger title. Are you able to describe your feelings?
I used to be actually completely happy after I gained the match, I didn’t even count on to win it. I performed only one Challenger ultimate earlier than and I misplaced it. This one was a bit shocking for me. Perhaps due to that, I used to be extra completely happy as a result of if you find yourself having powerful occasions after which lastly you win a Challenger, it feels good.

The ultimate was simply over three hours lengthy, had been you nervous?
I used to be kind of okay, I used to be feeling nervous however I used to be additionally feeling assured as a result of the previous few matches I used to be taking part in nicely. I used to be comfy on court docket. There have been some powerful moments, particularly within the first set, I used to be 5-0 up after which all of a sudden it was 5-4. For certain I used to be nervous although, in a three-hour match, you get tense.

What’s the greatest factor you have realized stepping as much as the Challenger stage?
Laborious work at all times pays off. Particularly this summer season, it was powerful for me, I used to be dropping many first rounds. However I used to be at all times believing in myself. However then I obtained some wins which gave me some confidence and I simply know you need to work, no matter it takes, doesn’t matter for those who’re profitable or dropping, you need to at all times maintain the identical perspective.

Has your success come as a shock to you in any respect?
I used to be feeling that I used to be taking part in nicely and I used to be getting near a ultimate. Just a few occasions within the semi-finals, I used to be like, ‘Okay, that is actually good’. However in my final semi-final, I stated, ‘Now, the semi-final will not be sufficient! The aim is to go full!’ Ultimately, I used to be taking part in rather well for a month and on the finish of these few tournaments, I obtained the win.

Kazakhstan's Timofey Skatov is crowned champion at the Parma Challenger.
Kazakhstan’s Timofey Skatov is topped champion on the Parma Challenger. Credit score: Daniele Combi

You are approaching the High 150, was {that a} aim initially of the yr?
After I began the season, I didn’t assume something about that. All of a sudden, two months in the past, I stated to myself, ‘It will be good to complete the season within the High 150!’ I used to be sort of fascinated by it and I feel it additionally helps me realise what I’ve to do to get thus far. It’s sort of humorous that I’m at 152, the bounce is close to and I’ve many extra tournaments to work.

How would you describe your recreation?
Earlier than I began to apply on the Lozano-Altur Tennis Academy in Valencia, Spain, I used to be practising in Russia, taking part in with Russian gamers and we had been taking part in loopy, the place you do no matter you take note of. Then I moved to Spain, the place I began working with my coach, Jose Altur. He gave me some guidelines, like fundamentals that I’ve to make use of, and the previous three years I’ve actually been studying about them.

Now, I’m making an attempt to combine what I had from my youth and what I’ve realized in Spain, with a bit extra management. Many occasions I play sort of totally different, I run loads, I prefer it, typically it’s humorous. It’s a mixture of every little thing however for certain I’m not an enormous server.

In your opinion, what is the significance of the ATP Challenger Tour?
It’s sort of a transition tour, from ITF to ATP. First, you get the expertise, after which additionally you see how sturdy you might be. The Challenger Tour is sort of like college, for those who move it, you then go to ‘actual life’.

What’s your greatest ardour exterior of tennis?
Earlier than I’d say soccer however now I don’t have a lot time, it’s actually powerful to say. I like trend issues, like garments and sneakers. If I’ve the chance in massive cities, I prefer to buy groceries.

Is there a second you look again on the place you realised you wished to be knowledgeable tennis participant?
First, after I was like 12 years previous, it was time to decide on between extra college and tennis. After which my first time I went to the USA to play the Orange Bowl junior match, I used to be actually shocked to see many gamers taking part in a lot better than me. After that, I sat with my mother and father and my coach and I stated, ‘Okay, I like tennis and I don’t like college!’

After I moved to Spain at 17, this was the purpose the place I needed to go away from residence and develop into extra like a person, and take extra duty myself, like begin practising and dealing tougher than I used to be.

You’ve stated that Roger Federer is your idol. What was your response to his retirement and did you watch his final match on the Laver Cup?
I didn’t see the match however I feel everybody was anticipating it when he didn’t play for a couple of yr. I used to be on Instagram and I all of a sudden noticed a put up from Roger and I noticed, ‘To my tennis household…’ I used to be like, ‘Okay, he’s saying bye-bye.’ It’s sort of unhappy however he performed so long as potential.

Whenever you’re at Challenger tournaments, do you get a lot time to sightsee? And if that’s the case, what’s a memorable spot you have been to whereas on the street?
After I performed on the Seville Challenger, Sevilla FC was taking part in Barcelona and we went to see the match. Then a pair days later, on Tuesday, they had been taking part in a Champions League recreation towards Manchester Metropolis. So, I watched extra soccer in two days than I’ve up to now three years.

from Tennis – ATP World Tour

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