Alexandr Dolgopolov: The Tennis Scene's Breath of Fresh Air

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Alexandr Dolgopolov: The Tennis Scene's Breath of Fresh Air
Julian Finney/Getty Images

A quick backward glance at the last 12 months gave plenty of clues to the arrival of the slight figure with the unconventional game.

The young man from the Ukraine has enjoyed a variety of names. Oleksandr changed to Alexandr to differentiate from his father. Amongst family and friends he is Sascha, and to fans and colleagues he is Dolgo or simply, The Dog.

But the name engraved on his first ATP trophy will say Dolgopolov.

The landmark win for the 22-year-old came at the Croatian Open in Umag where he beat defending champion, Juan Carlos Ferrero, in the semis and former top-10 Marin Cilic in the final.

Judging by his previous four tournaments—which produced just a single win—it might have been seen as unexpected. But take that backward look.

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