Andy Murray: “It was good progress in Rome, and the goal here is to keep that going” - UBITENNIS
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Andy Murray: “It was good progress in Rome, and the goal here is to keep that going”

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TENNIS ROLAND GARROS 2014 – Andy Murray pre-tournament interview.

Q. James Ward has just qualified. You maybe were just watching it. What do you make of his achievement?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it was great. I think especially the way the match went, as well. Yeah, they are the sort of matches you need to win, to fight through and find a way to win.

There were a lot of tough moments in that third set obviously serving for it and sort of saving match points. It was a long tough match.

But, you know, if you want to breakthrough and get on to the tour, you know everyone goes through them. Big win for him.

 

Q. When we spoke to you obviously very late at night after the Rafa defeat, very narrow defeat, you obviously were very tired. But reflecting back on that, do you maybe see that as possibly a turning point for you, that kind of quality of performance? Is that how you sort of come to look at it in time?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. Well, I think, you know, at the time it was obviously still it was a good match for me. It was good progress in Rome, and obviously, you know, the goal here is to keep that going and remain at that level as often as I can for the rest of the year.

But, yeah, right now obviously got a big focus on these next couple of weeks, and hopefully I can have a good run.

 

Q. What do you like to do when you’re in Paris like this? Do you have a special routine or restaurant, stuff you like to do?

ANDY MURRAY: No. I mean, I have stayed in a different hotel almost every year I have been here. Never really stayed in the same place. Been to a lot of different restaurants. I normally eat around the hotel, you know, wherever I’m staying, yeah.

I mean, I like walking around here. It’s a nice city with a lot of stuff going on.

Yeah, no special routine, no.

 

Q. What’s the situation now with your coach search? How close do you think you are? Have you approached anybody yet?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. Hopefully I’m fairly close. You know, I wouldn’t expect anything over the next few days obviously. But, yeah, closer than I was in Rome.

Yeah, would I hope to have someone in place.

 

Q. Would that be by Queen’s or might it be here?

ANDY MURRAY: Whenever it’s right, basically. For me it’s not about rushing into something. It’s about getting it right, getting the right person. Until that’s the case, you know, I’ll keep doing what I’m doing with, you know, the guys I’m working with.

Still also people that I can speak to, as well, about things. I have met a lot of good people that I respect and stuff and listen to their opinions on my travels, on the tennis tour. So, you know, I’m not in a panic to get someone, but it’s a lot closer than it was.

 

Q. Are you pretty much calling the shots on the coaching decisions? Are you consulting with a lot of people around you?

ANDY MURRAY: I chat to a few people about it, but ultimately it has to come down to the player/coach relationship’s, you know, very important. You know, if you speak to a lot of people about it, you know, everyone can have a completely different opinion on a certain individual.

You know, that can then also become confusing. You need to trust sort of your instincts on whether something’s going to work or not. That’s what I have done in the past, and it’s worked fairly well.

 

Q. Just considering, you know, where you are, how satisfied with your season are you so far considering you’re coming from the surgery and all this, looking at the next few weeks which are, you know, the meat of the tennis calendar?

ANDY MURRAY: Well, I was fairly happy with the start of the season with, you know, how I responded from the surgery in Australia. I thought I did pretty well there. I thought I played a fairly high level in the quarterfinals against Roger and, you know, physically probably endurance wise probably wasn’t quite ready, you know, to go the whole way there.

And then Davis Cup was fairly good for me. But then, yeah, since then it was very patchy. Some good stuff mixed in with some bad tennis.

Yeah, Rome was a good step forward. Like I said, I need to build on that, take confidence from it, and I need to try and keep that consistency for the next four or five months if I can.

 

Q. Having played Rafa in Rome, what’s your sort of take on the favoritism for this title? Rafa, as always, or Novak? Is it you as a big favorite? What do you think?

ANDY MURRAY: I don’t know. I also really don’t care, to be honest. For me, anyway, it really doesn’t matter. It’s stuff that everyone talks about.

But, you know, when, you know normally when the tournament starts, you know, whether Rafa has been playing well or not, I would expect him to play great tennis here.

I would expect Novak to play great tennis here.

Roger, you know, I would also expect to play very well.

That’s what they have done. So there is nothing there to suggest that they are all of a sudden going to stop performing well in the slams and struggle. I would expect them to all have great tournaments.

But who wins depends who plays the best at the end of the event really, and we don’t know that because we can’t predict the future.

 

Q. How much do you know about Golubev? I think you played him once before about five years ago or something like that.

ANDY MURRAY: I played him in the finals of St. Petersburg quite a while ago when he was just coming through. Yeah, he’s obviously been playing on the tour pretty much ever since then.

He’s had some good wins. You know, beat Wawrinka in the Davis Cup this year. He’s a very dangerous player, big forehand, goes for his shots. Yeah, he doesn’t hold back. When he’s on, he’s a very tough guy to beat.

But, you know, his form has been a bit inconsistent I think just because of his game style, really. He plays exciting tennis, goes for big shots, and when he’s on makes it very difficult.

 

Q. Going back to the coach briefly, before you appointed Lendl it was apparent your target was to win Grand Slams. Has it been more difficult this time working out what you want to get from a coach?

ANDY MURRAY: No, because the target is the same. The target is to win Grand Slams. That’s what I want to do. I will pick the person I feel is best able to help me with that.

The Ivan situation obviously worked out well. At that stage I obviously hadn’t won a Grand Slam, but the goal was still to win Grand Slams. That’s still the same goal now.

It’s just obviously being in the same position in his career where he hasn’t won a slam first, whatever he lost, first four or five finals, and that was probably why that one worked very well.

 

Q. Can you just tell us what you have been doing since Rome when you arrived here, where you’ve been practicing?

ANDY MURRAY: I went home for a couple of days, and then we got here on Tuesday evening. Practiced at Wimbledon and trained on Sunday after Rome well, two days after Rome.

Yeah, got here on Tuesday evening and have been practicing here for the last three days. Yeah, that’s it.

 

Q. James, his getting through, what do you think of his attributes? He’s a teammate of yours on Davis Cup. What his qualities are and what he can sort of achieve in his career, do you think?

ANDY MURRAY: Well, I mean, to be honest, what he can achieve is kind of really up to him and how much he wants to achieve. Because if you look at his results, he’s beaten very good players. He has the form in big matches to suggest that, you know, he could be a 50, 60, whatever, 70 in the world player with the guys he’s beaten.

And even in some of the matches he’s lost, he lost to Dodig at Queen’s last year with match points, and he’s put himself in a position to win quite a few big matches, as well.

He serves well. He has a good serve. He wins free points on his serve, which helps in today’s game a lot. Has a very, very good backhand crosscourt, world class maybe. Very few mistakes and very good.

But, yeah, just    yeah, he’s just been a bit inconsistent with his results really. That’s probably why it hasn’t got him to the top 100, because for probably two or three months a year he probably has played top 100 tennis, and then for the rest of the time it’s been a bit up and down.

But his results that he’s had and qualifying for, you know, for a slam on his worst surface. You know, it would suggest that with the grass court season coming up he’s going to have chances there that he could make a push in the next few months.

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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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