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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Wrist Injury Threatening To End Holger Rune’s Olympic Dream

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Holger Rune will have a second medical opinion on Monday before deciding if he is fit enough to play at the Olympic Games, according to his team. 

The Danish world No.17 recently retired from his quarter-final match at the Hamburg Open due to a knee injury. The hope at the time was that his withdrawal would be just a precautionary measure ahead of the Olympics. However, he is also dealing with a second issue that appears to be more serious.

According to TV 2 Sport, Rune has been struggling with a wrist issue and underwent a scan on Sunday which his mother Aneke says ‘doesn’t look promising.’ Aneke is also the manager of her son’s career. Rune’s Olympic dreams now rest on the outcome of a second medical expert that he will visit tomorrow who has a better understanding of the sport. 

“Unfortunately, it does not look promising after the first medical opinion after the review of the scan of the wrist,” Aneke Rune told TV 2 Sport.

“We are waiting for two tennis-specific doctors who will give a second opinion tomorrow (Monday). Tennis wrists look different from regular wrists, so we’ll hold out hope for one more day.” 

Rune is one of three Danish players entered into the Olympic tennis event along with Caroline Wozniacki and Clara Tauson. The country has only won one medal in tennis before which was at the 1912 Games when Sofie Castenschiold won silver in the women’s indoor singles event. 

So far this season, the 21-year-old has won 27 matches on the Tour but is yet to claim a title. He reached the final of the Brisbane International and then the semi-finals of three more events. In the Grand Slams, he made it to the fourth round of the French Open and Wimbledon. 

It is not known when a final decision regarding Rune’s participation in Paris will be made.

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Hubert Hurkacz Undergoes ‘Knee Procedure’ Ahead of Olympic Bid

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Poland’s top player on the ATP Tour is not giving up on his dream of winning a medal at the Olympic Games despite recently undergoing a medical procedure.

World No.7 Hubert Hurkacz suffered a knee injury during his second round clash at Wimbledon against France’s Arthur Fils. In the fourth set tiebreak of their clash, Hurkacz dived for a shot but landed badly on his knee and required on-court medical attention. He then played two more points before retiring from the match. 

In a social media post published on Wednesday, the  27-year-old confirmed he underwent a procedure on his knee earlier this week but didn’t provide any further details.  Although Hurkacz has stated his intention to play at the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris, where the tennis event will be held on the clay at Roland Garros. 

“I had a knee procedure this Monday, but I’m feeling better already and my team and are dedicating extensive time each day to the rehab process.” He wrote on Instagram. 

“It’s a dream for every athlete to represent their country at the Olympics, and I want to make sure I am fully fit and ready before making the final decision to step on court. The aim is not only to participate, but to win a medal for my country.”

So far this season Hurkacz has won 34 out of 48 matches played on the Tour. He won the Estoril Open in April and was runner-up to Jannik Sinner in Halle. 

The Olympic tennis event is scheduled to begin a week Saturday on July 27th. Poland is yet to win a medal in the event but expectations are high with women’s No.1 Iga Swiatek also taking part. 

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Motivation, Pressure And Expectations – Novak Djokovic Targets History At Wimbledon

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image via x.com/wimbledon

Novak Djokovic has broken numerous records throughout his career but he still feels the pressure of trying to make history in the sport. 

The world No.2 is through to his 10th Wimbledon final where he will play Carlos Alcaraz, who beat him at this stage of the tournament 12 months ago. There is plenty on the line for the Serbian who could equal Roger Federer’s record for most men’s titles won at SW19 and break the overall record for most major singles won in the sport if he triumphs over the Spaniard. Djokovic currently has 24 Grand Slam trophies to his name which is the same as Margaret Court, who won some of her titles before the Open Era started. 

“Obviously I’m aware that Roger [Federer] holds eight Wimbledons. I hold seven. History is on the line.” Djokovic said on Friday after beating Lorenzo Musetti.

“Also, the 25th potential Grand Slam. Of course, it serves as a great motivation, but at the same time it’s also a lot of pressure and expectations.”

Coming into Wimbledon, there had been doubts over Djokovic’s form after he underwent surgery to treat a knee injury he suffered at the French Open. However, he has defied the odds to reach the final. His run has also seen him beat Alexi Popyrin and Holger Rune before getting a walkover in the quarter-finals from Alex de Minaur, who sustained an injury during the tournament. Then on Friday, he overcame a spirited Musetti in three sets. 

Despite the challenge, Djokovic has insisted that his expectations to do well are always high no matter what the situation is. During what has been a roller-coaster first six months of the season, he is yet to win a title this year or beat a player currently ranked in the top 10. Although he will achieve both of these if her beats Alcaraz on Sunday. 

“Every time I step out on the court now, even though I’m 37 and competing with the 21-year-olds, I still expect myself to win most of the matches, and people expect me to win, whatever, 99% of the matches that I play.” He said.

“I always have to come out on the court and perform my best in order to still be at the level with Carlos [Alcaraz] or Jannik [Sinner] or Sascha [Zverev] or any of those guys, Daniil [Medvedev]. 

“This year hasn’t been that successful for me. It’s probably the weakest results the first six months I’ve had in many years. That’s okay. I had to adapt and accept that and really try to find also way out from the injury that I had and kind of regroup.”

Djokovic hopes that a Wimbledon win will help turn his season around like it has done in the past for him. 

“Wimbledon historically there’s been seasons where I wasn’t maybe playing at a desired level, but then I would win a Wimbledon title and then things would change.” He commented.

“For example, that was the case in 2018 when I had elbow surgery earlier in the year, dropped my rankings out of top 20, losing in fourth round of Australian Open, I think it was quarters of Roland-Garros, and just not playing the tennis that I want to play. Then I won Wimbledon and then won US Open and then later on became No.1 very soon.”

Meanwhile, 21-year-old Alcaraz is hoping to stop Djokovic in his tracks. Should he defend his title at Wimbledon, he would become the first player outside the Big Three to do so since Pete Sampras more than 20 years ago. He has won their only previous meeting on the grass but trails their head-to-head 3-2. 

“I’m sure he knows what he has to do to beat me,” said Alcaraz.

“But I’m ready to take that challenge and I’m ready to do it well.”

When the two players take to the court to play in the Wimbledon final, Djokovic will be 15 years and 348 days older than Alcaraz. Making it the largest age gap in a men’s Grand Slam final since the 1974 US Open. Whoever is victorious will receive £2,700,000 in prize money. 

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