ATP Monte-Carlo, interviews Wawrinka: “I know that on clay courts if I play my best tennis I can beat those guys” - UBITENNIS
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ATP Monte-Carlo, interviews Wawrinka: “I know that on clay courts if I play my best tennis I can beat those guys”

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ATP Monte-Carlo – S. WAWRINKA/M. Raonic 7-6, 6-2 An interview with Stanislas Wawrinka.

 

Q. Looks like you’re really quite comfortable here. Milos is a tough opponent.

STANISLAS WAWRINKA: Is or is not?

 

Q. Is.

STANISLAS WAWRINKA: I was going to say, if this guy is not a tough one…

The match was tough. I think I play a great match. I was really focused on my serve to be really aggressive from the first shot, to make him move, to make him work every balls.

The match can change completely. He was up two times with a mini break in the tiebreak. It’s never easy to play him. He’s a big server. He’s strong. He’s tough to play. He can play fast.

Now, I just think that I play a solid match.

 

Q. With your break right away in the second set, things went smoothly. I have the feeling that he couldn’t play up to his level against you.

STANISLAS WAWRINKA: You know, I just think I show him every point that the match will be tough for him. Even in the first set he was staying with me. He was close to win the tiebreak. But it was a tough set for him because he had to play his best, he had to always try something.

I just feel strong from the baseline. I feel good physically. I know that on clay courts if I play my best tennis I can beat those guys. I know it’s never easy, but I’m really happy the way I did today.

 

Q. Which part of your game do you think you have to improve to reach your best level in this moment?

STANISLAS WAWRINKA: I’m still working a lot on my game outside the tournament. I’m trying to still improve my forehand, trying to still work on the serve. It’s the same thing I’m doing since many years. Maybe that’s why I’m so good now. During the last four, five years I didn’t change. Like when things went wrong, I focus on what I want to improve, try to be more aggressive, but not be extreme, to be tough with myself every time.

I know on clay I have a little bit more time. It’s better for me. I can always make one more shot.

Yeah, I still trying to improve a lot of part of my game.

 

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French, please.

 

Q. Do you think a match like today’s match shows the gap there is between players coming up like Raonic or Dimitrov, and you and the best players, the top players?

STANISLAS WAWRINKA: Well, I believe Raonic has improved considerably since a year ago or so. He’s winning many matches. Although he lost today, Milos has improved a lot. He won more matches than before. He used to give up in those matches, and he doesn’t do that anymore.

Today I pushed him. The first set was the decisive set because he had to fight extremely hard to stay in that set. He reached the semis in Miami. I believe he is really improving a lot in the last year.

 

Q. After Indian Wells and Miami where you had a little letdown, you seem to have recovered your best form.

STANISLAS WAWRINKA: Well, since I’ve been here I have cleared up my head. The Davis Cup also helped me. It helped me, especially now that Roger is playing in the team. I had very positive conversations with my coach and now I know exactly what I’m looking for.

I know I am supposed to be among the favorites, but every time I play a match I am in the state of mind of a challenger who is trying to win an additional match.

 

Q. You will play either Federer or Nadal next round. What do you think?

STANISLAS WAWRINKA: I think the further you go in the tournament, the better players you’re going to have to play.

Rafa would be perfect for me because it would be a good test to know where I am right now and what I have to work on. And Roger, though I beat him last year, he seems to be in better shape this year.

 

Q. Can we say clay is the surface you have in your heart more than any other?

STANISLAS WAWRINKA: Let’s say that on clay there are fewer players that scare me. Of course, the hard court season is longer so I have more results on that surface. But on clay I’m not afraid of the other players, and that is a positive point for me, especially if I am confident.

ATP

Jannik Sinner beats Norbert Gombos to set up second round clash against Danil Medvedev in Marseille

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Last year’s Next Gen Finals champion and world number 68 Jannik Sinner beat Slovakia’s Norbert Gombos 6-4 7-6 (7-5) at the Open 13 Provence in Marseille.

 

Sinner went down 1-4 in the tie-break of the second set. The Italian player saved all six break points he faced and did not face any break points in the 2-hour and nine-minute match.

Last week Sinner scored his first top 10 win against David Goffin in Rotterdam to reach his maiden ATP 500 quarter final.

The first set went on serve until the 10th game, when Sinner earned three consecutive set points with a backhand lob and sealed the opening set 6-4 with a break at love.

Sinner saved a break point in the first game of the second set with an ace. He saved another break point with an ace. Gombos earned two two more break points, but Sinner saved them with a forehand and and an ace. Sinner saved two break points to force to set up a tie-break. Gombos went up a 4-1 lead in the tie-break, but Sinner came back by winning six of the next seven games to win the tie-break 7-5.

Sinner set up a second round match against 2019 US Open finalist Danil Medvedev, who reached the quarter finals on his tournament debut in 2017.

Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz cruised past France’s Antoine Hoang 6-4 6-1 in just 64 minutes. Hurkacz dropped just points on his first serve to set up a second round match against Canada’s Vasek Pospisil.

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ATP

Mikael Ymer overcomes Richard Gasquet to advance to the second round in Marseille

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Swedish 21-year-old Next Gen player Mikael Ymer edged past Richard Gasquet 6-3 3-6 7-5 after 2 hours and 22 minutes to reach the second round at the Open 13 in Marseille.

 

Ymer fended off 7 of the 10  break points he faced and broke serve in the third match point in a marathon third game setting up a second round clash against Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Ymer raced out to a 4-0 lead with two consecutive breaks. Gasquet pulled back one break in the seventh game to close the gap to 2-5, but Ymer served out the first set in the ninth game with an ace.

Ymer saved three break points in the sixth game, but Gasquet earned the break on his third chance in the eighth game to win the second set 6-3.

Ymer got an early break in the second game of the third set to open up a 3-0 lead. Gasquet broke back in the ninth game and held serve to draw level to 5-5. Ymer converted his third break point at deuce to seal the third set 7-5 in the 12th game.

Benoit Paire beat Gregoire Barrere 6-4 7-6 (7-1) in the all-French match. Paire earned his only break of the match in the third game of the opening set. He saved two break points in the fourth game of the second set. Both players went on serve en route to the tie-break, where Paire cruised through to a 7-1 win.

Ilya Ivashka overcame Alexei Popyrin 6-1 3-6 6-4. Ivashka broke twice in the second and sixth games to win the first set 6-1. Popyrin earned one break in the fourth game to clinch the second set 6-3. Popyrin got an early break at deuce in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. Ivashka broke back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Both players went on serve until the 10th game when Ivashka sealed the win with a break.

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ATP

Alexander Zverev Going In The Right Direction, Says Becker

The German tennis legend gives his verdict on Zverev’s current form following his grand slam breakthrough.

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Former world No.1 Boris Becker believes Alexander Zverev’s recent run at the Australian Open was confirmation that he belongs at the top of men’s tennis.

 

Last month the 22-year-old achieved his best ever grand slam performance by reaching the semi-finals in Melbourne Park before losing to Dominic Thiem. At the tournament he scored wins over Andrey Rublev, who won two consecutive titles prior to the event, and former champion Stan Wawrinka. Zverev has been tipped as a future world No.1 in recent years and remains the only active player outside of the Big Four to have won three or more Masters trophies. Although he has previously struggled to shine in the biggest events of the sport.

“Alexander Zverev has made a great step forward with his first participation in a grand slam semi-final.” Becker told reporters in Berlin on Sunday. “Although he had difficult weeks before, for which there were reasons.”

At the start of the year it looked as if the world No.7 was in trouble. At the ATP Cup he lost all three of his matches played. A performance Becker blames on his off-season training. During November and December Zverev played a series of exhibition matches with Roger Federer across South America and China.

“He didn’t train enough during the winter break and came to Brisbane unprepared.” He said.
“We exchanged some serious words off the court and he took them to heart.’
“Of course I’m happy he had such success. This is also a confirmation for him that he belongs at the top of the world (in tennis).”
“But the competitors never sleep, that’s a never ending story. He has to confirm this again and again.”

So far in his career, Zverev has won 11 ATP titles and has been ranked as high as third in the world. His biggest triumph occurred towards the end of 2018 when he won the ATP Finals in London.

Reflecting on his Melbourne run last month, Zverev believes he managed to achieve the milestone thanks to a new approach he took to the event. Instead of looking at the whole tournament, he narrowed his focus to match-by-match.

“I went here in a different way. I went match by match. Didn’t look very far. I just knew I had opponents in front of me. I had to play well to beat them. That was it.” He said last month. “Whenever I won, I’d sit down in the locker room and somebody told me who I’m playing next.’
“I went step by step, match by match. Usually I [haven’t done] that in Grand Slams.”

Zverev will return to action next week at the Mexican Open in Acapulco. A tournament where he finished runner-up 12 months ago. Becker believes his compatriot could do some damage on the hard courts over the coming weeks with two prestigious North American events taking place next month in Indian Wells and Miami.

“The next tournaments are on hard courts in America. He will play there as well. There he can take a lot of points.” Becker concluded.

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