ATP Monte-Carlo interviews, Federer: “I think I've seen Jo play different kind of quality matches lately. So not quite sure he's going to play” - UBITENNIS
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ATP Monte-Carlo interviews, Federer: “I think I've seen Jo play different kind of quality matches lately. So not quite sure he's going to play”

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TENNIS – ATP Monte-Carlo R. Federer/ L. Rosol 6-4, 6-1. An interview with Roger Federer

 

Q. How would you judge your game today? It started off a little bit difficult but then got smooth.

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I think you summed it up. I think it was a bit rocky in the beginning. I was able to find my way into the match. After four games you usually kind of know what’s going to work, what’s not going to work.

At the end I think I had good variation. I also came to the net some. I was effective on breakpoints. My first serve started to work better. So I just think it was a more difficult start to the match.

I thought Rosol was going to play much more aggressive early on than he did, and he didn’t. I was expecting the rallies to be shorter. When they extended, I made too many mistakes.

As long as I found a way to turn it around and stay calm, it was good. So I was very pleased.

It’s clear for me that not every match can be like the one I had yesterday. It’s not realistic. A match like this is sometimes what you need, as well, get that little fright going early on.

 

Q. How special is it for you to be here after not playing here the last few years?

ROGER FEDERER: It’s nice. Look, I’ve always considered playing in Monaco. Sometimes it was the good preparation. Sometimes I didn’t feel like it’s what I needed. I needed to work, stay home and do a proper buildup.

This year I don’t need necessarily a buildup because I was able to work hard in the off season in December. I’m going to have another buildup I guess after Wimbledon.

So I’m going to work hard after this tournament. Sometimes getting on the clay early is also something you’re looking for so you actually know what you really need to work on and practice. Whereas if you don’t play this tournament, an early clay court tournament, you just think what you need for what’s to come. I’m not saying sometimes you work on the wrong things, but it’s nice getting some information and playing with the other top players on the tour.

So I’m happy to be back. I kind of enjoy this tournament. It’s quite busy, a lot of people. It’s kind of stressful being on site. That’s why I try to escape as quickly as I can.

 

Q. You played Tsonga many times, different surfaces. Are you looking forward to the match tomorrow?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I think I’ve seen Jo play different kind of quality matches lately. So not quite sure he’s going to play, how aggressive, how passive. I’m going to have to have a bit of an open mind when it comes to that.

I didn’t play a very good match against him at the French last year. That was a bit of a disaster for me. On the other side, I played a really good match against in the Australian this year. So kind of excited to see what’s going to happen this time around.

I think he did a good job of being tough through the second set today. I think as much as Fabio kind of went away, I still think it’s his credit as well to put Fabio into that position, and he started to play actually really well and really aggressive.

I think Jo played the semis here last year, so he’s played here well in the past. I have to make sure I play aggressive myself and not become too passive just because we’re on clay.

 

Q. Do you see him as an inconsistent player? He lost to a 112th ranked player in Davis Cup recently. He’s a Grand Slam finalist. Do you see him as a bit inconsistent?

ROGER FEDERER: Look, he had a change in coaching, as well. I’m not quite sure what exactly they’re working on, if it’s a work in progress at the moment, if they’re telling him to do quite a few things differently. From that standpoint, I guess he only knows and he can only answer that question.

I mean, he’s still at a high level. I think at the moment he’s just missing that big tournament where he goes deep and beats some of the top ranked players. That’s maybe not quite what he’s been able to do as of late.

Losing against a guy ranked outside of the top 20, top 50, top 100, at the end of the day that doesn’t tell me much, as long as he can play up. He’s put himself into that position again now. That’s why it’s an important match for him and for me tomorrow.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

 

Q. Did you follow the match between Jo and Fognini? What do you think about it?

ROGER FEDERER: Saying he lost 17 points in a row is totally unfair to Jo. You can’t put everything on Fabio’s side. You have to show some respect for Jo, who played well. It is not as if Fabio didn’t play any more.

 

Q. The question was rather about Fabio’s behavior.

ROGER FEDERER: We see that too rarely on the tour nowadays because now the game has become extremely professional. Seeing players who seem not to care about anything is something that doesn’t exist anymore. I believe it shows we are humans. I can relate to him, and I believe it shows we are not machines.

 

Q. You’re saying that the game now does not allow players to show some strong personality and be good at the same time?

ROGER FEDERER: I believe having a strong personality is not the problem. The rules are more severe. You throw your racquet or you say a word you shouldn’t say, you get a fine. But this doesn’t mean that if you don’t do that you have no personality.

More personality is your capacity to concentrate because, after all, the show is the tennis shots, not the discussions with the umpire. And with Hawk Eye, it’s almost absolute. There’s no more discussions with the umpire.

When I started playing, there was a lot of communication between the player and the umpire that no longer exists today. So you can have a strong personality and keep focused.

 

Q. You played 15 times against Jo. You are far ahead in the head to head. Last time was on clay in the French Open. Do you feel vulnerable right now?

ROGER FEDERER: I feel good. It’s just the beginning of the season. Both of us had the same preparation. We played indoors and we played two matches on clay. So it’s fair. I’m playing well, but I don’t know how he’s going to play.

Our match in Australia, I played good. But in the French Open, I missed that match and he played very good. So I will try to play like in Australia and he’s going to try to play like in the French Open.

I will try to use the clay to my advantage. But I don’t know what weather we will have, whether it’s going to be sunny or windy.

I’m glad he won today because it was not easy against Fognini. He put himself now in a position to go further. In Masters 1000 tournaments, the toughest thing is to go through those first rounds, and now he really is in a position of making that next step. Normally it’s after the first three rounds that we start playing better.

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John Isner eases past Alex Bolt to reach semis in Los Cabos

John Isner will face Brandon Nakashima in the Los Cabos semi-finals.

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John Isner (@AbiertoLosCabos - Twitter)

The number two seed only needed an hour to get the win against his Australian opponent.

 

John Isner is into the semi-finals of the Abierto de Los Cabos in Mexico after beating the world number 148 Alex Bolt 6-3, 6-4 in 66 minutes firing 21 aces and winning 79% of his points off the first serve.

“I played a bit better tonight and it was more straightforward forward but I think that’s because I was playing more comfortable out there”.

The beginning of the first set remained on serve and it was the American setting up the first breakpoint of the match with a stunning return forehand winner at 4-3 and got the break to serve out the first set in only 28 minutes.

Isner kept the momentum into the second set and once again got the early break to take a 1-0 lead. At 3-1 he had two chances to go up a double break but the Aussie managed to save both and hold serve.

The world number 39 would serve out the match to set up a semifinal match with Brandon Nakashima on Friday night.

After the match Isner said he’d never played Nakashima but is looking forward to the challenge:

“I’ve played Jordan 3 or 4 times and I have never played Brandon but either way I will be ready for it”.

In the other matches of the day, the number one seed Cameron Norrie dominated Ernesto Escobedo the American qualifier 6-1, 6-1, and in the all-American matchup, Taylor Fritz beat Steve Johnson 6-4, 6-4.

The semi-finals will be played on Friday night and two players will be looking to book their place in the final on Saturday night in Los Cabos.

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John Isner battles to reach quarter-finals in Los Cabos

The American was pushed to the limits by his Russian opponent beating him in three tight sets.

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John Isner (image via https://twitter.com/AbiertoLosCabos)

John Isner was made to work in his first match at the Los Cabos Open in Mexico.

The second seed battled his way to a marathon 7-5, 3-6, 7-6, win over world No.157 Evgeny Donskoy in two hours and 12 minutes on Grandstand Caliente. Isner was impressive behind his serve as he fired 25 aces and won 91% of his first service points.

 

“Sometimes those ugly wins feel the best and that was certainly the case tonight and it was very difficult the whole match but I was able to get the win in the end”. Said Isner.

Both players did a good job holding serve in the first set and neither cracked until 5-5 when Isner American had one look at a breakpoint. He managed to take it and that break was enough for him to serve out the first set.

The second frame wasn’t as straightforward as the first and it was the Russian who earned his first three breakpoints of the match with the American able to save two before double-faulting on the third giving him the break. Again that one break was good enough for Donskoy to serve out the second set a force a third and deciding set.

Isner went searching for the early break in the third set and had three chances but failed to convert. Eventually it would be a tiebreaker which decided the winner.

In a nail-biting tiebreaker it was Donskoy who got the first break but the American responded the very next point with a cross-court forehand winner to go back on serve at 3-3. Isner then got the crucial break of serve at 5-4 and served out the match to book his spot in the quarterfinals on Thursday where he will face Alex Bolt.

After the match in his post-match press conference, he explained how tough it was to win that match.

“It was a very difficult match, it wasn’t easy and it was a struggle the whole match. I knew it was going to be tough and I didn’t have a lot of confidence going into the match and sometimes it’s hard to find that confidence on the court but I was able to win a close contest and sometimes that can be a springboard for success so I am hoping for that”. He said.

Other results

In the other matches of the day, Ernesto Escobedo beat Denis Kudla 6-4, 7-6, Alex Bolt beat Emilio Gomez 6-3, 6-1, Cameron Norrie the number one seed beat the Swede Elias Ymer 7-6 (4), 6-3, Jordan Thompson beat Sebastien Ofner in three sets 3-6, 6-4, 7-5.

Steve Johnson beat Yasutaka Uchiyama 7-6, 6-3, and in the upset of the day Sam Querrey, the number four seed was sent packing by fellow American Brandon Nakashima 6-3, 6-4.

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(VIDEO) Dominic Thiem, Juan Martin Del Potro Gathering Momentum In Comeback Bids

The two tennis stars have given an update on how their recovery is going.

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Dominic Thiem has returned to practicing on the court but there is one thing which is very different.

 

The US Open champion hasn’t played on the Tour since injuring his right wrist at the Mallorca Open last month which forced him to pull out of the Wimbledon Championships. Providing an update on his ongoing recovery, the Austrian uploaded a video on his Instagram account of him training along with the caption ‘finally back on court.’ However, he was hitting the ball with his left hand because his other hand is still in a splint.

Thiem’s wrist issues first started in Mallorca when he heard a crack during one of his matches. He then travelled to Barcelona where he was diagnosed with a ‘detachment of the posterior sheath of the ulnar side of the right wrist’ and told he must wear a splint for roughly five weeks. He is currently under the supervision of renowned doctor Angel Ruiz Cotorro who is best known for his treatment of Rafael Nadal.

The 27-year-old will be hoping to return back to full fitness in time for his title defence at the US Open later this year. So far this season Thiem has achieved a win-loss record of 9-9 with his best run being to the semi-finals of the Madrid Open and the fourth round of the Australian Open.

Another player on the comeback is Juan Martin Del Potro who himself knows what it is like to be sidelined with wrist problems. The Argentine hasn’t played a competitive match since injuring his knee at the 2019 Cinch Open in London. In March this year the injury-stricken player underwent his fourth knee surgery.

“It’s frustrating and painful not to achieve the goals, but it would hurt much more not to try. That is why I am here once again,” Del Potro wrote in June.

Providing an update on his recovery process, Del Potro said he is ‘increasing the intensity’ as he uploaded a video of him training. The 32-year-old has won 22 ATP titles and earned more than $25.8M in prize money during his career.

It is unclear as to when Thiem or Del Potro will be able to return to the Tour. Thiem is currently ranked sixth in the world but Del Potro has fallen down the standings to 746.

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