Roland Garros

Sunday, 5 June 2022

Paris, France

Niels Vink

Press Conference

N. VINK/S. Schroder

6-4, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Congratulations. You won your first Grand Slam.

NIELS VINK: Thank you.

THE MODERATOR: How happy are you?

NIELS VINK: Yeah, really happy. I don't know what to say. Yeah, I'm so happy (smiling).

THE MODERATOR: Was this your dream growing up?

NIELS VINK: Yeah, since I was a little kid I watched tennis on the TV. I didn't know it was Roland Garros. Yeah, I just thought it was a tournament on the orange stuff. I really liked it.

Yeah, now I won this tournament. That's incredible.

THE MODERATOR: It hasn't sunk in yet? You haven't come to terms with what you have done?



Q. Congratulations. You are No. 1. Achieved so much already, but how does this compare to your other achievements already?

NIELS VINK: Yeah, I have achieved a lot. A lot of my dreams. But, yeah, I had one dream that I haven't completed, and that was winning a Grand Slam. Now I have one.

So, yeah, that's a dream that came true.

Q. Congratulations. You and Sam have had some tight head-to-heads. How did today's match compare to those?

NIELS VINK: Yeah, we played three times earlier this year. I lost the first one in Australia. Then I won two times in USA, but it was a big score.

But this one was a close one, because I was shaking, and I think he was also shaking. Then I had seven or eight match points, I don't know. I was really nervous. But it was a good fight.

Q. How was last night, knowing that the final was so finely poised, you had to come out and potentially get off the mark quickly?

NIELS VINK: Difficult. Yeah, I went to sleep at 9:00, I think. I woke up at 12:00. I don't know why.

This morning I woke up from the alarm, and my eyes were open. Yeah, and then I went to here, had a warmup. And then I had to start in a tiebreak with 2-Love down. So I have to be there on the first point. Then, yeah, it happened.

Q. I wanted to ask you about your support team and who are your biggest supporters and motivators in this sport, which is sometimes seen as an individual sport, but I'm sure you have some people in particular who are there for you.

NIELS VINK: Yeah, yeah, it was the first time that they were able to come to a tournament, because I played my first slam in Australia during COVID. So, yeah, I really liked it that they were here. And that, yeah, of course a special one, my coach, because, yeah, we started together. Yeah, we are now on the slams together.

Yeah, my mom, because, yeah, she said that I should start with wheelchair tennis and she helped me with everything. And even before I started playing wheelchair tennis. Yeah, they were the special ones.

But the other ones who were there are also special. Everyone is special, but those two are the most special ones.

Q. You mentioned watching Roland Garros on TV when you were younger. Did you kind of think that it would be your first slam would be on clay at Roland Garros? Were you surprised that your first win was to come here?

NIELS VINK: Yeah, that's a difficult one. It is my first time here. Last year I didn't play. Yeah, I have played three slams now. I was hoping to win it earlier. But, yeah, it's really nice to win my first time here on my favorite surface, which is clay.

So, yeah, that's incredible that I won my first one over here.

Q. Once you have had time to celebrate this really successful tournament for you, what's next? What's the next goal after this?

NIELS VINK: Today I'm going to celebrate, of course. But tomorrow I fly to Nice for another tournament, French Riviera Open, which will start on Wednesday, so I have to be focused again. Yeah, my next goal is, yeah, to win that tournament of course. Yeah, to win more Grand Slams.

Q. Dylan Alcott won the first three here. He won so many slams. Are you ready to kind of take over and be the next star in wheelchair tennis?

NIELS VINK: Yeah, I hope so. Yeah, I played final against him at the US Open last year, and I lost. Me and Dylan are going good together. We are good friends.

Yeah, if I could sign for his career, I would definitely do it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
121311-1-1063 2022-06-05 10:49:00 GMT

ASAP sports

tech 129