Belgian Xavier Malisse, who started the new year on the ATP tour with a super performance in the Chennai Open culminating with the title win here said his semi-final victory against World no 2 Rafael Nadal infused a lot of confidence in him.
"But I was aware that I had to win another match, the final today," Malisse, seeded No 3 and seen as the dark horse for the title triumph said at the post-match press conference.
"Stefan had been playing well in the week. But today may be he was not getting his momentum," Malisse said, adding 'I was able to get on top from the beginning'.
"I broke him twice. It's difficult to take it when you are broken at the start of the match in a final," the new Belgian talent in the tour said.
He agreed that it has taken time for him to realise his potential. "It takes time. Last year, I played well but I was unlucky with the draw. I got to play against players like Roger Federer. But I could not win a title. But I have been in the top 50 for seven years," he added.
Malisse said only winning titles puts a player in the top 10.
Asked about his goals for 2007 tour, Malisse said "to win titles and break into the top 10."
"But I have to play for 25 weeks more although winning a title is a great start to the new season," he added.
About his second successive clash with Nadal in Chennai Open in the doubles, Malisse said he was keen on winning against Nadal in the doubles too.
Stefan Koubek said Malisse played unbelievable tennis in the final. " I didn't have a real chance until the last game although he gave me a few. But I failed to take them," he averred.
Koubek said nothing that he tried against Malisse worked in the match today. "Whatever I tried-playing higher and shorter, he had an answer," the Austrian from Vienna explained.