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ATP 500

In 2011Dodig had wins over players like Soderling and Nadal last year and also won his first ATP Tour event in his hometown of Zagreb. Having suffered the second year syndrome and a bad back injury his rankings dropped to 110 . Having to claw his way back to the top from the grind once again , Dodig wants to do it slowly but steadily.

From great year in 2011 to the grind of Challengers and qualies at ATP tour events ?

Yes I had the best year of my career last year 2011 , it was great in terms of experience and also wins over some very good players , also enjoyed my best ranking . I suffered from a back injury at the beginning of the year 2012 and could not play to my potential , but I had a lot of points to defend and hoped that my back would recover during the course, but it just got worse and I had to stop playing for some time and suddenly my rankings came down.

About your Challenger journey so far?

It's a new experience for me and I can plan my next year better that I'm fit and fine and feel healthy now, playing such high level challengers makes you sharper and help on the journey . I'm happy to have made it back, I'm playing well and winning .

It must be tough to go back to the regimen from playing Tour events to playing ATP challenger events and opposit?

Actually every player who makes it quick to the top 50 suffers from the second year syndrome , in which it becomes tough to defend points one made last year and the pressure becomes tougher to handle , it happens to nearly all the players . these ups and downs are part of every sportspersons life. But how one handles the situation is important.

There is a lot of frustration , one loses confidence and stops believing in one's self . It happened to me too. But I have found my confidence after the Olympics in Londin.

I realized I have a chance if I work hard , I motivated myself and back to doing what I like - that is playing tennis

Your story to the top has been amazing and highlighted , but is the universal story of struggling young tennis players ?

Yes my tennis journey till here has been a tough one , I had no money and had to face numerous hardships , I remember that I have slept on railway stations, bus stations and in back of cars to save money so as to be able to play the next event. It's just not my story but a story of many players from across the globe. .

Some countries give tremendous support for their players and some countries don't support their players and they have to fight on their own, many a times the failure percentages are high , but I was lucky to have come so far through this ruthless journey.

Some countries pay everything for their players, so there is a scenario that you have nothing and have to fight for every penny with lot of motivation , and on one hand you have everything and no motivation to fight and do well.

Your goal for the year end ?

I hope that I will the points back to play maindraw at the Australian Open Januery 2012.

Good luck.

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