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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Andrea Gaudenzi recognizes the contribution of the Italian Tennis Federation in staging the Internazionali d’Italia

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ATP President and former Italian tennis player Andrea Gaudenzi spoke in an interview to Italian TV channel Supertennis about staging the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome before the French Open and recognised the contribution of the Italian tennis Federation (FIT) in staging the tournament in the Italian capital. 

 

The Rome ATP Masters 1000 and WTA Premier 5 tournaments will be held from 20th to 27th September one week before the French Open (27th September to 11th October). 

“We are grateful to everyone, holding an event this year is difficult from an organizational and financial point of view. We thank the Italian Federation and those who organize the Challengers. Italy is making a great contribution. I think the players are waiting for the BNL Internazionali d’Italia. The Foro Italico is among the most beautiful venues in the world. Rome is splendid in September”, said Gaudenzi. 

During his tennis career Gaudenzi scored wins over Roger Federer in Rome 2002, Pete Sampras in the first round of the 2002 French Open, Jim Courier in the 1994 US Open, Goran Ivanisevic, Thomas Muster, Michael Stich and Yevgeny Kafelnikov. Gaudenzi claimed three ATP titles in Casablanca in 1998, St. Poelten and Bastad in 2002. He graduated in law at the Bologna University and obtained a MBA with Honours at IUM.

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The Trial Has Ended: David Ferrer Is Now A Head Coach Of Alexander Zverev

The former French Open finalist is set to become a regular face on the men’s Tour once again but in a differnt capacity.

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By Emil Evtimov

David Ferrer is the new head coach of Alexander Zverev alongside his father Alexander Sr. The news was revealed by the world No.7 after his win against Felix Auger-Aliassime at the Ultimate Tennis Showdown in Nice.

 

In the beginning of July Zverev announced that he and Ferrer will work together on a trial basis for two weeks in Monte Carlo. Now the German confirmed that the former world No.3 and Roland Garros finalist will be on his side as a coach at least until the end of the year. 

“The trial period is over. We are together. We understand each other great and now we are a team,” said Zverev.

Ferrer won’t be the first prominent name in team Zverev. Previously the three-time Masters 1000 champion worked with Juan Carlos Ferrero and Ivan Lendl. Since the end of his relationship with Lendl, Zverev has been trained mainly by his dad.

“David and my father are both my head coaches now. My dad doesn’t get any younger. Both are extremely important for the team.”

For Ferrer this will be the first coaching experience. His playing career ended in May 2019 during the ATP Masters 1000 in Madrid with his last opponent on the court being none other than Zverev.

For quite a long time Zverev was considered the big star from the young generation but in 2019 was a bit overshadowed by players such as Stefanos Tsitsipas and  Daniil Medvedev.

The German began 2020 with a great performance at the Australian Open reaching the semifinals where he lost to Dominic Thiem in four sets.

Zverev is on the entry list for the first tournament after the pandemic – the Western & Southern Open which will be staged in New York to create a “protective bubble” for the US Open. The 23-year old talks also about the Grand Slam tournament, saying he would prefer it not to happen, although he is going to play at this point.

“It is a bit crazy to play the US Open now. I would prefer if it would not happen and we just restart in Europe. Because of the pandemic it is not the right time to fly. But when they host the open – what shall we played do? Especially when everyone plays’ it is about ranking points, too. At this point I didn’t think about withdrawing. If everyone reacts within hygiene rules and it will be similar to the NBA bubble it could work out.”

Zverev was one of the tennis players most criticized for his behaviour during the pandemic. The reason was his participation in the Adria Tour where he and his colleagues weren’t following the social distancing rules very strictly. The German gave a negative test for COVID-19 after finding out about the positive test of Grigor Dimitrov. He promised to be in quarantine for safety reasons but was seen partying a few days after. This caused a criticism from Nick Kyrgios, as well as a Twitter war between the Australian and German legend Boris Becker.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas opens up: “I Wasn’t Sure If I Was Good Enough”

Stefanos Tsitsipas reflects on how hard it was in the beginning of his pro career.

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BY EMIL EVTIMOV

 

In the latest instalment of “Behind the Racquet” world No.6 Stefanos Tsitsipas has shed light on the personal struggles he encountered whilst breaking into the sport.

Tsitsipas had a great 2019 season, climbing from N.15 to N.6 at the end of the year after winning the Nitto ATP Finals, as well as two ATP 250 tournaments in Estoril and Marseille. He also reached the final of the Madrid Open.

However, life wasn’t always so easy for the charming Greek. In his “Behind the Racquet” post, he recalls the times when he was playing Futures while doubting that he was good enough to play professional tennis. He admitted he was feeling “very lonely” and not having many friends on the ATP tour.

Here is the Tsitsipas story in the “Behind the Racquet”:

“In 2018, I broke into the Top 15 and was seeded in Grand Slams. That’s when I understood my potential. In the beginning, I traveled with only my dad. Now, I travel with my dad, mom, and three siblings. I’m the main source of income for my family. 

I have hobbies that keep me interested in different aspects of life. These activities keep me creative and are reflected in my tennis game and presence on court. Sometimes, I post things on my social media that not many people understand. These posts express my inner creativity. I’m just trying to be different from the rest. I put Stefanos’ twist on life. I am philosophical, I come from a country with a history of philosophy and I don’t know if I was Pythagoras or Socrates in my previous life, but I wouldn’t mind being either one. 

There was a time when I wasn’t doing well. I started to play futures and was doubting myself. I wasn’t sure if I was good enough to play professional tennis. My country was going through hard times. Greece was on the verge of bankruptcy. The entire population was suffering. My father’s siblings were unemployed and couldn’t feed their families. People looked at me like I was the one ruling the country and they thought I was part of the problem. 

I felt isolated. I wasn’t home to see what was going on because I was traveling. I needed support. My mental coach shared his wisdom and inspired me. Then I said to myself, ‘You’ve dedicated your entire life to tennis, you can’t just give up. You’ve got to keep going.’ I play tennis to prove that my country has a great history and can achieve success. Tennis is a very introverted sport and we face everything alone. We have a team that follows us all over the world but I have spent countless sleepless nights on my own. All the traveling and competing causes a lot of stress and I grew very lonely.

I was an introverted child and I didn’t have many friends. When I first started playing on tour, I thought I would develop friendships but it turned out to be the opposite. Most players keep to themselves. I feel like players don’t want to become friends because they think someone will grab a secret from you to beat you. I guess they’re just too serious about the whole thing. Friends would make traveling less lonely.”

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