Denis Istomin: I always represent my country, never lose an opportunity
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Istomin said there was no question of missing the Games, a rare chance to win a gold medal for his country - and automatic qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

"I think it shows it means a lot to me and to my country. I always represent my country, never lose an opportunity," he said.

"I'm always struggling with the clay and to be in the final - for me, it's a big, big tournament. I was really happy with this result," said Istomin.

"I think the most important thing is that I don't have to pay extra to another coach!" he joked. "I have a good relationship with Mum... to be mother and coach at the same time is great and I'm happy with that."

One notable absentee at both the Asian Games and the US Open is Istomin's coach and mother, Klaudiya Istomina.

She has been at his side - at least during training at home in Moscow - since he turned professional in 2004.

"I think the most important thing is that I don't have to pay extra to another coach!" he joked. "I have a good relationship with Mum... to be mother and coach at the same time is great and I'm happy with that."

However, his mother's aversion to long-haul flights means Istomin often travels and plays alone - which he admits can be an advantage.

"Sometimes we need a rest from each other as well," he said.

Source: The Straits Times

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