Alexander Bublik: "I came here to present tennis to my city"

- Alexander, you got a point to the ‘Lions’ team and leveled the tournament score – 1-1. What do you think about the tournament?

- I already said it on the court that it’s very important for me to perform in my hometown. I've always loved the St. Petersburg Open but unfortunately in the current situation it is impossible to held it. But it’s nice to perform at home, to perform in front of the people I grew up with, to show them my tennis. Unfortunately, tennis in our city is not very popular but at least those people who are interested in tennis came here today. I would like to use my tennis as a tool to make people interested in our sport. I remember there were a lot of tournaments and a lot of children on the courts when I was growing up but now when I there is nothing like that, so I try to be here whenever possible. We organized a workshop and a lot of children came. I am very grateful to them because they are the future of tennis in our city. I would really like one of them to play at the level we are playing at and make our city famous for its players.

- What are the activities organizers suggest? Maybe you have something in your plan?
- We did a kids clinic here at the Arena but I also did my own master class. I organized it by myself. More than 200 children attended during two days. We have a lot of activities organizers suggest. The list of activities is quite long, I don’t even remember everything. Unfortunately, I’m here only for a couple of days but I’ll try to spend them usefully.

- How important is it for the tournament that you (the players) have some free time so you can visit some museums and get familiar with the cultural heritage of the city?
- If we are talking about these tournaments, then we must dedicate ourselves to it, since we only have two or three short days. Do everything to win. I say this because I consider St. Petersburg my hometown. I was born in Gatchina. I will try to bring maximum benefit for little St. Petersburg residents.

- We saw you on the red carpet of the Cannes Film Festival and also big event in Monaco. Would you like to attend Cannes Film Festival as an actor or film director? Do you have this kind of thoughts?
- No, I don’t think about it. To attend the Cannes Film Festival as an actor you need to be a part of the film that is nominated. That is the rule. I think my acting skill is not good enough. I don’t mind attending it as a tennis player, I’m happy with it.

- We saw that everyone had a different level of preparation for the match. As far as I understand, you took the match as an exhibition match while Roberto Bautista Agut took this match more seriously. Did it help you win?
- I came to show all the people who came today, all who are used watching us on TV today, a person who was born and raised here, and this may have inspired them. And maybe they wanted to play tennis, or maybe, on the contrary, they wanted to finish tennis after looking at me. But the main thing is to attract the attention of the audience. And we still have to remember that this is an exhibition tournament, not a professional event. We have professional events 45 weeks a year. I came here to give people good tennis.

- You said that you would like to instill a love of tennis in children. Maybe you could say a few words to the younger generation? What advice would you give to the kids just starting to play?
- We often say the words about tennis like “to start playing well” or “don’t start playing well”. But I really don't like when they say that. It seems to me that anyone who has the desire to play can do it. Of course, it is impossible without financial support. There is a great chance to play if the child really wants it and the if parents want it, support him, help him. The most important thing is when the child has a dream. Because dreams come true. I wish all children to have a dream that they would believe in, they would fall asleep with, they would wake up with and believe that it will definitely work out! I said it today that I changed my attitude throughout my career. I remembered that I once stood in front of the mirror in my apartment, my parents gave me a green Rafael Nadal’s uniform, and I looked at my reflection and had a dream that one day I would find myself at these big stadiums, just like him. And when I got there, I was a little bit lost.

- Do you have a plan to raise your son Vasily as a future champion?
- He’s tiny but he already attracts so much attention. I answer this question because it's his choice. If he has a goal and a dream, then, of course, I will help him and do everything I can so that he ends up where I am or even higher in the ranking. But everything will depend on him. If a person does not have the desire, he will not be able to study. I don't care, I want him to be happy. The first years of his life he still has the opportunity to enjoy life until he grows up. And then we’ll work, do something, maybe in tennis, maybe not.

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