Rafael Matos and David Vega Hernandez captured their fourth tour-level title of the season as a team Sunday when they overcome Fabian Fallert and Oscar Otte 3-6, 7-5, 10-8 at the Sofia Open. Matos and Vega Hernandez now hold a 28-10 record on the season, having also lifted trophies together in Marrakech, Mallorca and Bastad and kept their hopes for making the Nitto ATP Finals.
The crowd was very sympathetic to you. Congratulations! What are your emotions now?
Matos: Well, it is always nice to play on a court like that. My partner here likes the show, and normally the people are with us. Really, really special week. Today we had a really tough match. We are happy with this title on hard court – it is not our best surface, but we did good in the semis today too. Two tough matches, so we are happy with that.
Vega Hernandez: For me also – I am happy to win here. I prefer to play on clay. And when we reached the semi-final, Rafa told me that too – that I prefer to play on clay. So it is very special to win this tournament on a hard court, on the indoor court. We will keep going. We will play next week in Tokyo – hard court also. So now we will have our confidence to play the next weeks.
It was you both the most successful year. What makes your partnership so successful, and why didn’t you start earlier to play together?
Matos: I think our connection on the court, but outside the court, is the key. We are very good friends. So, I think this connection makes the difference in playing all the matches and the important moments. And if the day is not the best for the other, we are always supporting us. So, it makes the difference. Before that, I have always played with a fellow from Brazil. I don’t know. I wrote to him in march this year. We tried the first tournament; we lost the first round. And then by luck, we played the next week again because we were not supposed to play. And we won – it was our first ATP together, and we won in Marrakesh. So, we are now together, and this is going on.
What do you think about Sofia Open, the organization, the crowd? And do you plan to come back in February for the next Sofia Open?
Vega Hernandez: It was really nice this week. All the organization was great. From the food, the transportation to … everybody was paying attention to the players. I hope to come back and defend the title. Maybe we will play in more bigger tournaments, in ATP 1000. But if we have the opportunity to come back here, we will come for sure.
You played against the Bulgarian debutants – Petr Nesterov/Yanaki Milev. What would you tell for them?
Vega Hernandez: It was a very noisy match for us because all the crowd supported them. On this day, I didn’t play really good. But finally, we stayed positive for the match. They both played good. It was a nice match. Finally we won. It was not good for us to play such matches, because it was supposed to win easy. In these tournaments, all the matches are difficult.
Do you believe you have a chance for Nitto ATP Finals?
Matos: At this time, I think it is really, really hard, but I still do have hope. Before the hard-court season, we were trying to go there. We lost three first rounds in a row in the USA, so it was not the best season. But now, we still have four or five tournaments, and if we do this really good, we will have a chance.