ATP Monte-Carlo Interviews Wawrinka: “When you win a match like this, it's only one or two points, especially in the tiebreak” - UBITENNIS
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ATP Monte-Carlo Interviews Wawrinka: “When you win a match like this, it's only one or two points, especially in the tiebreak”

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TENNIS ATP Monte-Carlo – S. WAWRINKA/R. Federer 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 An Interview with Stanislas Wawrinka.

 

Q. A great day for you and Swiss tennis. How would you analyze the match?

STANISLAS WAWRINKA: Well, I think at the beginning we were both nervous. The first set we were not moving so well because we were hesitating a lot, looking at each other both. But he did better than me. He was serving a little bit better.

Then for me was important to fight with myself. It’s never easy to play him   especially in a final.

But I did see I was playing good tennis. It was few little change to take the advantage. I start to play more aggressive, trying to push him more.

Yeah, when you win a match like this, it’s only one or two points, especially in the tiebreak. But I think I did a great tiebreak. I was serving big and being really aggressive.

Then I took the advantage at the beginning of the third set. I saw that he was a little bit tired. Me, I was playing better and better, especially moving better.

 

Q. What happened when you got the warning? Normally in the match you were relaxed, or tense and relaxed at the same time. Not many ‘C’mons’ because too much friends or what?

STANISLAS WAWRINKA: I did get the warning for stupid word, so was not like a big, big problem for me. I was trying to find the solution to play better tennis, not to be too much nervous.

It’s always special to play Roger. We know it’s always a strange match, especially being in the final here. He’s my best friend on the tour. We respect each other so much. I’m just trying on the court to win the match. Before and after, we still very good friend. During the match, we just try everything to win.

Today I’m really happy to take that one.

 

Q. How much confidence does your performance not just today but this week give you for the remainder of the clay court season?

STANISLAS WAWRINKA: A lot, for sure. I can see that when mentally I’m there and I’m fighting, I can play tennis, I can beat all the player. That was important for me after Davis Cup to play well, to be ready for a tough match, to be ready to fight with myself.

But I did amazing job. I’m really happy after winning my first Grand Slam to win a Masters 1000 so quick. I didn’t expect. When I came here, for me it was more like a test. I knew I was playing good tennis, but I didn’t expect to win because the draw was so strong.

Yeah, again, I can see that when I’m moving well, when I’m there fighting with myself, strong with myself, I can beat all the players.

 

Q. After Australia, you were in the U.S., you had a few tough matches. But the match in Davis Cup that you won, it seems that was a turning point for you to be in this position. How do you feel about that? Do you feel more confident?

STANISLAS WAWRINKA: I feel great. Winning Grand Slam, first Grand Slam, it’s never easy after because a lot of things change. I did only two tournaments so so. I did lost two matches not that great.

But Davis Cup was really important for me. It’s always the goal for me to play well in Davis Cup. Playing at home, playing with Roger, playing against Kazakhstan, we knew we were favorite, but it was tough for me, especially the first two day.

After I was happy with the win. I was happy with the Sunday. It was good for me mentally to go straight to the clay and to come early here straight after Davis Cup and to be ready for the first tournament on clay.

 

Q. This year you won your first Grand Slam, your first Masters 1000. What changed in you, in your mentality, to be a good player, to be a winner?

STANISLAS WAWRINKA: Well, it already change last year when I start to first make my first quarter in French Open, final in Madrid, my first semifinal in US Open. I start to realize I be able to beat all the players. That’s what I am doing this year and I’m doing well.

I’m surprised where I am, but I’m not surprised when I see how I play on the court, how I move, the way I’m winning those match.

 

Q. For a long time we talked about the top four. Can we now talk about the top five with you?

STANISLAS WAWRINKA: I just think the big four will always be the big four: Rafa, Novak, Roger and Murray. They won all the tournaments since many years and you cannot change that.

Now it’s a little bit different. Last year Roger was struggling a little bit. Murray, his back, it’s tough for him to come back. The ranking is different, but the statistics are the same: they won all the tournaments since many years.

 

Q. Did Magnus Norman say to you something special about clay? Did he say to you, You have to do this special on clay, you can win Roland Garros, something like that?

STANISLAS WAWRINKA: We start last year with Magnus. The first few days was on clay before Estoril. We start to practice there. For sure he’s saying few things different than on grass or on hard court.

But it’s all about the work we’re doing together. We’re not expecting to win tournament after one week of practice. We doing every day a good job. We trying to focus on every day to practice well, to try to win every matches. That’s it.

I won my Grand Slam on hard court, so doesn’t mean that I can only play on clay. I won my first Masters 1000 here on clay. I grown on clay. For me it’s easy to come back on clay and to play well on clay. I need one or two days and I know that my level is there.

 

Q. About clay and the movement, it seems you embrace it. Is that easy for you?

STANISLAS WAWRINKA: Yeah, clay, it’s natural for me. It’s easy. I’m always happy to come back on clay. It’s always easy. As I say, I need one or two practice and I feel great on clay. I feel I can slide well, I can use the position, I can use my spin, I can use the power from the back. I can stay really back and come back to the court.

It’s really easy and normal for me to play on clay court. Maybe that’s why I’m playing great tennis.

 

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French, please.

 

Q. On the court you were talking about overcoming a barrier. Can you tell us which ones and how you did it?

STANISLAS WAWRINKA: I’m experiencing the best emotions ever during the past year or so. It’s incredible. This is why I’ve been practicing all those years. It’s to live those moments.

Today it was a personal challenge. Playing against Roger is always very special. He is the one who is really able to mix it up. For me, winning a match is already complicated, but against him it’s even more difficult. He always had that advantage on me. He’s used to those situations. That why the beginning of the match was a bit tough. But it was for both of us.

I saw he was tense, too. We were looking at each other. But then I was able to lead and use the conditions today. They were good for me. I was able to block his backhand by being aggressive, and I was able to control the rhythm of the match.

I believe that was the difference.

 

Q. With your good results here on clay, you will be a favorite in the French Open. How are you going to deal with that?

STANISLAS WAWRINKA: Well, before that there’s Rome and Madrid. After this I believe I’ll be top three. I play well on clay. It’s normal that I would be a favorite for the French Open, but I don’t think so because I’m very far from players like Rafa, Novak and Roger.

Anyway, I will not change anything in the way I approach the tournaments.

 

Q. This final was different from any other final. You didn’t seem to be enemies on the court. Roger was so happy to be able to congratulate you immediately after the match.

STANISLAS WAWRINKA: Yes, this is pretty rare in sport, in a very selfish and very individual sport, not just tennis. We are friends. We are not enemies on the court. We are there to try to win, but we have a lot of respect for each other. We don’t overdo it.

Before the match we had lunch together. After the match we were laughing together in the locker rooms. That’s why also we did well in the Olympics because we did that together.

 

Q. If you’re more confident, is it okay for you to start thinking you might be the next No. 1?

STANISLAS WAWRINKA: No, I’m too far from that right now. The No. 1 this year last won two Grand Slams and five Masters 1000s in a year. You have to win almost every tournament you play to be No. 1. So when I will play Rome or Madrid, I’ll think about trying to go as far as I can in the tournament and nothing else. Anyway, it’s too early in the season to tell.

 

Q. Are you thinking about your game on grass?

STANISLAS WAWRINKA: Although I don’t have my best results on grass, it’s a surface I always liked. I might have better results this year because I will prepare well for this with Magnus, and I’m not afraid of that surface. I believe it’s a nice challenge.

 

Q. You’re saying you’re far from the top players, but don’t you think you can beat them?

STANISLAS WAWRINKA: When I go into a match against them, I always think I can beat them. I’m on the court to win. Now I’m more consistent and I have better results, but I still can’t compare myself with Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic. My career is different.

I have my own career. I’m happy with my career. I’m just trying to do well.

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Novak Djokovic Survives Almighty Sinner Scare to Reach Wimbledon Semis

The dramatic encounter featured a fight back, multiple breaks of serve and even an injury scare.

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Reigning champion Novak Djokovic staged an epic comeback to keep his hopes of winning a seventh Wimbledon title alive after ousting Jannik Sinner in a five-set thriller.

 


Djokovic, who only dropped six games against Sinner in their previous Tour meeting, was forced to battle back from two sets down to prevail 5-7, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2, in a roller-coaster encounter on Center Court. The triumph marks Djokovic’s 84th win at the tournament which is the joint-second highest tally in history alongside Jimmy Connors. Only Roger Federer has won more.

“Huge congratulations to Jannik today for a big fight. I’m sure that there are going to be a lot of opportunities for him on the big stage. He’s mature for his age and is already an established top 15 player over the last few years,” said Djokovic.
“He was unfortunate today but he has plenty of time.”

Taking on one of the most promising future prospects of men’s tennis, Djokovic’s latest encounter was a match of two halves. Initially, he appeared as if he would suffer a shock loss to world No.13 before he managed to conjure up an emphatic comeback. Breaking Sinner’s spirit who was bidding to become only the third Italian man to reach a Wimbledon semi-final in history.

“We had two different matches. He was the better player for two sets. (Then) I went out for a toilet break, had a little pep talk (with myself) in the mirror,” the 20-time major winner revealed.
“Sometimes in these circumstances where not much is happening positively for you on the court in terms of tennis. These things are necessary – a little break and pep talk to try to recuperate.’
“I was fortunate to start well in the third set by breaking his serve and that gave me the confidence boost. I saw a bit of doubt in his game and my experience of these kinds of matches helped me.”

The first set was a roller-coaster encounter between the two tennis titans on Center Court. Reigning champion Djokovic started out guns blazing by winning seven points in a row before Sinner got onto the scoreboard after prevailing in a 17-shot rally. The top seed looked to be in full control until a double fault on break point enabled his rival to bounce back. Continuing to play some inspired tennis with blistering shot-making, a cross-court winner enabled the Italian to break once again and this time had the chance to serve the opener out. A task he passed with flying colors.

Continuing to take his game to Djokovic, Sinner appeared unfazed about trying to become the youngest men’s semi-finalist at SW19 since 2007. Producing powerful hitting from the baseline, the 20-year-old extended his lead two games into the second frame. A stunning backhand volley followed by a Djokovic error elevated him to a 2-1 advantage. Spurred on by the crowd, the unprecedented onslaught continued with the help of some costly errors from the Serbian. He sealed the double break with the help of a successful Hawk-Eye challenge before securing a two-set lead in his favor with the help of a 122mph service.

Facing a swift exit, Djokovic once again illustrated the fighting spirit that he is renowned for. Capitalizing on a blip in form from Sinner, he cruised through the third set to resurrect his chances. 

Steaming rolling his way into a decider, Djokovic continued his dominance during the fourth frame by winning four straight games. However, closing that set out was full of drama. First, Sinner suffered an injury scare after going over his ankle before continuing. Then Djokovic fended off a break point and squandered two set points before closing it out. 

A stunning sliding passing shot in the decider set Djokovic up with a chance to break and move to a game away from victory. Something he did with the help of a Sinner error which the Italian instantly regretted by putting both his hands on his head. After that mishit, Djokovic ended the clash with a love service game. 

“I’ve been blessed to play professional tennis for 20 years but nevertheless I go through those doubtful moments like everybody else. The inner fight is always the biggest fight. Once you win the fight the external circumstance is more likely to go in your favor. I knew I could turn this match around. I have done that a few times in grand slams.” Djokovic concluded.


 

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(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE) Why Rafael Nadal Faces His Biggest Test Yet

Tennis Hall of Famer Steve Flink joins UbiTennis to reflect on the highs and lows of day 8 of Wimbledon.

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Will the upcoming quarter-final be Rafael Nadal’s hardest match yet? How will Nick Kyrgios’ shoulder recover?

 

The second Monday at Wimbledon was one full of intrigue in the men’s draw. Whilst on the women’s side, Simona Halep was in impressive form against Paula Badosa but tennis commentator Flink explains why he thinks her upcoming clash with Amanda Anisimova will be tougher.

Alongside Ubitennis CEO Ubaldo Scanagatta, Flink also looks at Jannik Sinner’s chances of causing a huge upset against reigning champion Novak Djokovic. 

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WIMBLEDON: Rafael Nadal Coy Over New Injury Speculation

After the foot problems in Paris, there is a strong possibility the Spaniard could be experiencing another injury issue.

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image via twitter.com/atp

There are fresh concerns surrounding Rafael Nadal after he declined to go into the reason why he was wearing abdominal taping during his fourth round match at Wimbledon. 

 

The 22-time Grand Slam winner was seen wearing some kind of protection in the abdominal area after changing his t-shirt during one of the breaks. In recent weeks Nadal has been dealing with physical issues due to a long-term foot condition he has. At the French Open he revealed that he had to undergo injections in order for him to continue playing en route to winning the tournament for a 14th time.

Playing 21st seed Botic van de Zandschulp, Nadal battled his way to a 6-4, 6-2, 7-6(6), win. Speaking to reporters after his latest win at The All England Club, the Spaniard sidestepped a question about a potential abdominal problem he could be experiencing. 

“I am a little bit tired of talking about my body. It’s not that I don’t want to answer your question, but at the same time sometimes I am tired of myself, all the issues that I am having. I prefer to not talk about that now,” he replied.
“I am in the middle of the tournament and I have to keep going. All respect for the rest of the opponents. I am just trying my best every single day. For the moment I am healthy enough to keep going and fight for the things that I want.”

Continuing to stay coy about his form and health, Nadal offered an alternative perspective when asked if he was nearing his best level once again. He has dropped just two sets in four matches played so far at Wimbledon which is his first grass-court event since 2019. 

“It’s always the same here. It’s not about how close I am to the level or not. I don’t know that. I can’t predict what can happen.” He said.
“But the positive thing is the first two matches haven’t been good. Then two days ago I played at a high level for the first time. And today most of the matches, again, at a very positive level.”

The straight sets scoreline failed to tell the true story of Nadal’s roller-coaster win on Center Court. Taking on Zandschulp, a player who burst onto the main scene last year by reaching the US Open quarter-finals as a qualifier, the 22-time major champion engaged in a match of two halves. Nadal looked on the verge of an easy victory after breaking once in the first set, twice in the second and storming to a 5-2 in the third. However, the Dutchman refused to go down without a fight by displaying his best tennis of the match to draw level. 

Now engaged in his first real test, Nadal was under intense pressure to close it out in three. If he didn’t there would have been an inevitable delay for the roof to come on due to poor light. If that occurred, there would be less than two hours of play left before the 11pm curfew began.

Nevertheless, Nadal didn’t need the roof as he squeezed through the tiebreaker. After squandering three consecutive match points, he prevailed on his fourth with the help of a lob that triggered Zandschulp to smash the ball out. 

Nadal is through to his 47th major quarter-final and is only the third man in the Open Era to do so at Wimbledon after celebrating his 36th birthday. In total, he has won 309 main draw matches at Grand Slam tournaments.

In the last eight, the Spaniard has a shot of revenge when he takes on Taylor Fritz who ended his 20-match winning streak earlier this year in Indian Wells. During that match, Nadal had a rib injury and he had beaten the American earlier that month in Mexico. 

“That last match (in Indian Wells) was zero because I had a stress fracture on my rib, and it was difficult to learn many things because the pain was terrible playing that match.” He said. 

As for Fritz, he believes their upcoming clash will be at a higher standard given the form both players are currently in. Fritz is currently on a eight-match winning streak after recently claiming the Eastbourne Open title. 

“It’s going to be a lot different match obviously. Indian Wells was kind of crazy with both of us being extremely beaten up before the final. This time I think we’ll get healthier versions of both of us, we’ll see.” Fritz previewed.

The question for nadal, is how healthy is the current version of him really is? Only time will tell. 

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