ATP Monte-Carlo interviews, Nadal: “I didn't play the right way. I didn't play with the right intensity with my forehand.” - UBITENNIS
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ATP Monte-Carlo interviews, Nadal: “I didn't play the right way. I didn't play with the right intensity with my forehand.”

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TENNIS ATP Monte-Carlo – D. FERRER/R. Nadal 7-6, 6-4 An interview with Rafael Nadal

 

Q. Can you explain what happened? Was it a bad day for you? Just a great day for him? How do you feel in general after this match?

RAFAEL NADAL: Was a tennis match. When you play tennis, you can lose, you can win. When the opponent is doing the things better than you, the normal thing is lose. That’s what happen today.

I didn’t play the right way. I didn’t play with the right intensity with my forehand. I played too short. I give him the chance to have the control of the point almost all the time.

He did much better than me, so just congratulate him

Q. Does losing here hurt more than losing at another tournament to you?

RAFAEL NADAL: No. Losing hurts everywhere. On clay always little bit more.

Is not lose, is the feeling on court was not the best one. So not happy today about what I did. Not very happy about the way that I played the second set after losing the first. I didn’t play with the right intensity at the beginning of the second. I give him big opportunity at the beginning of the second. I cannot do it.

Q. You had 44 unforced errors today. It’s very unusual for you. What reason do you see behind all those mistakes you had?

RAFAEL NADAL: The reasons is I am not playing enough well. That’s the main reason. I am not playing with the right intensity with my legs. When that happens, the unforced errors are there more often.

Is true that I started the year great in Doha and during Australia. But, I don’t know, I don’t have to lie to nobody. After what happened in Australia was little bit harder for me to find again the intensity, the confidence, the inside power that always I have.

Even if I won Rio, I played the final in Miami, you know, remains something in my mind and in my game. I going to fight to try to find that solution soon.

Q. You mentioned about confidence inside. Is there a problem with your confidence? Is there something that’s maybe affecting your confidence? You were 4‑1 against Gabashvili.

RAFAEL NADAL: Forget it. Is a completely different history. Doesn’t matter what happened in the first and second match. Is true if I lost that point at 4‑1 in the first game, will be hard to come back in the set. But is a different history. I think I still have little bit of room to win that match, even with the 4‑1.

Yesterday, too, I played good, with confidence. But is not that problem. The problem is when the match became little bit more to the limit, and not answering the right way as I normally do. So that’s it.

Q. A player like Ferrer, he doesn’t give you anything. He fights for every point. It’s very hard to stay in every point and find the intensity?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, is not very hard. That’s tennis. That’s the sport. Fight for every point: that’s the way to win.

With my style of game, I don’t know another way. I am not a player who will win in two shots. I can do it when I am playing very, very well. But normally I play the points. I fight for the points. I’m playing with no mistakes. I’m playing with a very regular level. Is something I was not able to do. He did much better than me.

That’s my feeling, my personal feeling. I’m talking from a tennis player from inside the court. That’s my view of what’s going on. But I can be wrong.

Q. Did David surprise you in some way with something he did, something which was new or strange that he did this match?

RAFAEL NADAL: No. David always plays great. He’s a fantastic player. He’s top, top player. To win against him, you have to be at the top level, no?

Last year I played with him in Madrid. I was two points away to lose the match. I played against him in Rome. I won very long match in three sets. And is true in the final of Roland Garros, I won in straight sets.

But always a big challenge play against him. Is not surprise. Only difference is you’re not playing very well, you’re not in a good position when you’re playing against him. I didn’t play well today.

Q. Regarding confidence, is what happened in Australia still in the back of your mind?

RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know. I don’t know. I think after what happened, not only the lose, the same time, too, the pain in my back that I had, I had to do treatment after Australia, not playing for three weeks. I played in Rio. After Rio I had to stop for 10 or 12 days again because the back still hurt me.

But after that I feel the back much better. So I already have since Indian Wells to here I am doing a regular work. Should be okay for that.

No, no, is not an excuse on the back. No, the back is in good shape. Physical performance is in good shape. No problems about that.

Just keep working to try to find the solution for next week in Barcelona. I going to try to play well in there and fight for the matches.

Q. What is your state of mind right now? Is it more frustration, anger, doubting, surprise?

RAFAEL NADAL: Lose against David Ferrer is not surprise. Frustration? I cannot be frustrated to lose a tennis match. In the life there is much more important things than a tennis match.

But I am not happy with it. I feel that I have to do more than what I did today. So when you feel that you can do more, always you come back home or to the next tournament with not the best feeling. That’s my feeling today.

I didn’t find the solution. Not talking about winning or losing, but the solution of my game at the right time. You can lose because David is a fantastic player.

No frustration, no drama. Just tennis match. But at the end I prefer to win (smiling).

ATP

Lukas Kubot and Marcelo Melo come back from one set down to beat Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek

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Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo came back from one set down to beat Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek 4-6 6-4 10-5 in one hour and 40 minutes at the Nitto ATP Finals at the O2 Finals in London. Kubot and Melo moved to 1-0 in the Group Jonas Bjorkman.

 

The Polish and Brazilian team join Michael Venus and and Raven Klaasen at the top of the Group Bjorkman with a 1-0 lead.

Dodig and Polasek rallied from 3-4 down by winning three consecutive games to claim the opening set 6-4. Kubot and Melo saved a break point in the fourth game before getting the first break three games later to take a 4-3 lead.

Dodig and Polasek did not convert a break point before dropping serve, but they earned two consecutive breaks to claim the first set 6-4. Dodig and Polasek were broken in the first game of the second set and did not convert any of their two break points in the next game.

Kubot and Melo wasted four consecutive set points in the ninth game, but they served out the second set at love with a backhand passing shot down the line to force the match to the third set.

Kubot and Melo got two mini-breaks in the Match Tie-Break 10-5. Kubot hit an ace to seal the tie-break 10-5.

“It feels great to get the win. I think we played a very good match today. I think the level was high. We are very happy to play such a great set and a Match Tie-Break”,said Melo.

 In the first match of the afternoon match Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus saved four break points in his 6-3 6-4 win over Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury 6-3 6-4 in 64 minutes. Klaasen and Venus saved two break points in the opening game before breaking serve in the fourth game to open up a 3-1 lead. Klaasen claimed the break with a backhand volley after a forehand return from Venus. Klaasen and Venus sealed the opening set after 30 minutes.

Both players held serve in the first six games before Klaasen and Venus claimed the decisive break in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead after a double fault from Salisbury.

“To be the first match of the Finals is a bit nerve racking and to get off to a good start certainly puts our minds at ease for the rest of the tournament”, said Klaasen.

 

 

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Dominic Thiem Topples Six-Time Champion Federer At ATP Finals

The Austrian has continued his unbeaten record against the world No.3 this year.

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LONDON: Dominic Thiem has got off to a dream start at the ATP Finals after downing a lackluster Roger Federer in straight sets.

 

The two-time French Open finalist held his nerve throughout what was a tense encounter as he prevailed 7-5, 7-5. Hitting 21 winners alongside 22 unforced errors. Moving him into second place in the group behind Novak Djokovic, who dropped just three games against Matteo Berrettini earlier in the day.

“It’s overwhelming every single time to enter this Arena. Especially if it is completely packed like that.” Thiem commented on the 17,800 capacity arena.
“I think we had a good and close match. Of course, it is always special to beat Roger as he is an absolute legend. I love to play against him and learn a lot.”

26-year-old Thiem belongs to a very exclusive club when it comes to taking on the 20-time grand slam champion. He is one of only five players to have a winning record against Federer (5-2) after playing six or more matches. Joining the likes of Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. Both of their previous meetings in 2019 saw Thiem rally back from a set down to win.

This time around it was slightly different at The O2 Arena. A rollercoaster opener saw Federer at his best and worst as he struggled at times with his service consistency. An erratic start from the Swiss player enabled Thiem to open up a 2-0 lead before proceedings were level again. With little disparity between the two on the court, the slightest errors proved problematic to their winning chances. Eventually, it was six-time champion Federer who buckled at the worst moment. Serving at 5-5, a couple of loose shots from him enabled Thiem to break once again and this time have a chance to serve the set out. A mission he achieved with the help of a Federer backhand drifting wide on set point.

Despite securing the breakthrough he seeks, Thiem was denied the luxury of running away with the match. In a case of deja vu the second frame was once again a cat and mouse chase. However, the Austrian continued to maintain the momentum thanks to his emphatic defensive play that drew frustration from the world No.3.

It was a rare case of lightning striking twice on Sunday evening. At the exact same stage as the opening set, a dismal Federer service game featuring a series of errors enabled Thiem to break and move a game away from victory. Closing out the match was by no means an easy task as he saved two break points. Nevertheless, he clinched the scalp with the help of a serve out wide.

“It’s amazing to play against maybe the best player of all time. A real legend.” Thiem said in tribute to Federer. “Luckily I have a pretty good record against him and I try to stay positive every time I play him.”
“The game where I have to serve it (the match) out is always a struggle. You don’t get any presents from him. He will put every return in, play the rallies and of course it was a little due to nerves too.” He added.

Thiem’s win means Federer now faces two crucial matches in order to qualify for the semi-finals. One of those being against Djokovic. Federer last failed to progress out of the round-robin stages more than a decade ago in 2008. Excluding the 2016 edition, he missed due to injury.

“It’s a normal tournament from here on forward.” The visibly disappointed 38-year-old declared during his press conference. “I’m not allowed to lose anymore (in the tournament). That’s how it is every week of the year for the last 20 years, so from that standpoint, there is nothing new there.”

Federer also lost his opening match at the ATP Finals 12 months ago to Kei Nishikori.

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Medvedev Picked Nadal Over Djokovic

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This season has been so even between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Both players have shared the four grand slams titles, two for each, won two Masters 1000 tournaments and now are taking on the battle for year-end world No.1 at the O2 arena in London.

 

However, the Russian Daniil Medvedev, who makes his debut at the Nitto ATP Finals after such an amazing performance particularly in the last half of the season, thinks that the Spaniard was more consistent.

I think everyone can say Nadal was the best player of the year, since he has always been consistent and he got amazing results, winning many titles including two Grand Slams. I do not know if he is at 100 percent or not, but I know I will have to give my best” Said Medvedev

The Russian player played both of the players this season more than once. Although, he didn’t manage to have a win over Nadal in two occasions, he played such a thriller 5-sets final match in the US Open.

The US Open semi-finalist has played the 16-time grand slam champion Novak Djokovic three times so far in this season, winning two out of the three meetings with 3-2 head to head overall profile for Djokovic.

Medvedev lifts Cincinnati trophy

Daniil Medvedev has played with a very high level in last summer. After reaching Washington and Canadian Opens’ finals, he got the rewards for his hardworking in Cincinnati when he clinched his first Masters 1000 title there before he adds later his second one at Shanghai.

Medvedev will play his first match at the O2 arena on Monday when he takes on the other debutant to the Nitto ATP Finals Stefanos Tsitsipas in the afternoon. The Russian has been drawn in Andre Agassi group which features as well Rafael Nadal and defending Champion Alexander Zverev.

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