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”



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.


ATP RANKINGS UPDATE: Novak Djokovic, No.1 once more



After the US Open the Serbian champion reclaims top spot. Alexander Zverev is back in the Top 10


By Roberto Ferri

Don’t ever underestimate the heart of a champion”

Rudy Tomjanovich coined this maxim just after his Houston Rockets won the NBA championship in 1995. He was paying homage to Akeem Holajuwon. It perfectly suits the heart of Daniil Medvedev, who proved 99% of tennis fans in the world to be wrong, convinced as they were that he would lose the semifinal to former No 1 Carlos Alcaraz.

But his dream to win a second US Open, after his triumph in 2021, was shattered by another champion, whose heart and class is even greater: that’s Novak Djokovic, who affixes his seal on his return to No.1, equalling Margaret Court Smith’s record of 24 majors.

Djokovic dethroning Alcaraz is not the only change in the top 20: Sascha Zverev is back in the top 10 after almost one year and Ben Shelton, great protagonist of the Us Open, debuts in the top 20 best players in the world.

TOP 20

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A few comments:

Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrei Rublev and Alexander Zverev gain 2 positions.

Ben Shelton devours 28 positions.

Sinner, Tiafoe, Norrie and Dimitrov lose one.

Casper Ruud and Karen Khachanov, runner up and semi-finalist respectively  at the 2022 US  Open, drop 4 positions.

One step forward for Fritz, de Minaur, Paul, Auger-Aliassime and Hurkacz.


From 12 to 19 November the 8 best players of the ranking based on the points earned in the ongoing solar season will be playing the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin.

Will Novak Djokovic succeed in winning a second straight title? He appears to be heading in the right direction.


Thanks to his triumph at the US Open the Serbian overtakes Alcaraz also in the Race to Turin.

Jannik Sinner holds fourth spot while Andrei Rublev overtakes Stefanos Tsitsipas and is now fifth.

The eighth position is occupied by Alexander Zverev.

Last year runner up, Casper Ruud is currently 10th. This means he would feature in Turin as a reserve.


The Next Gen Finals, dedicated to the best under 21s, (8 effectives and 2 reserves) of the season will take place this year in Gedda, Saudi Arabia.

The 2022 winner, Brandon Nakashima, will not be defending his title, since he was born in 2001.

PositionPlayerCountryPtsYOB ATP rank
6Van AsscheFrance597200469
12Llamas RuizSpain3702002133

Taking for granted that Alcaraz and, most likely Rune, will be playing the ATP Finals, we have included in the chart the 12 current top under 21s.


Besides Ben Shelton, other 11 players have achieved their career highest this week.

We tribute a double applause to the four players who are making their debut in the top 100.

The 25-year-old Croatian Borna Gojo, 22-year-old Australian Rinky Hijkata and the Swiss next gen Dominic Stricker all reap the reward for their brilliant runs at the US Open. Seyboth Wild, the Brazilian who stunned Medvedev in the first round of Roland Garros leaps to No.76 after winning the Challenger in Como last week.

Seyboth Wild76Brazil30

Translated by Kingsley Elliot Kaye

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COMMENT: Novak Djokovic Proves His Greatness At US Open



Love him, or hate him. But respect him.


No tennis player has ever been better than Novak Djokovic.

Even Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer have to take their hats off to Novak, and admire him.

Now that Rafa and Roger have left Djokovic on his own stage at least for now, tennis fans love Novak.


Djokovic’s performance on Sunday evening in the U.S. Open final was simply amazing. Daniil Medvedev also played his heart out, but Djokovic went one step further. He was sensational.

It was a thrill-a-minute three-set match. It lasted well into the night after starting at mid-afternoon. The second set alone lasted 104 minutes.

Djokovic was the winner, 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-3, but New York still loves 2021 champion Medvedev.


At 36, the oldest U.S. Open men’s champion ever, Djokovic obviously has a special place in his heart for the number four. It’s the number of times he has won this tournament and the 24th time he has won a Grand Slam title.

The number 24 also was displayed prominently on the white jacket. Novak, his team members and family wore for the victory celebration as a tribute to the No. 24 jersey of deceased friend Kobe Bryant.

Djokovic lost his footing at least three times in the tight second set, stumbling to the surface once, apparently due to the length of the rallies.

Djokovic could look like he was almost completely wiped out of it physically one minute, and then play like Superman the next minute.


Both men played great tennis, especially in the thrill-a-second second set in which Medvedev gained one set point in the 12th game before Djokovic recovered to force a tiebreaker.

Medvedev appeared to be in charge after out-playing Novak to win one of his drop shots to take a 5-4 lead in the tiebreaker. The match may have been decided on the next three points, all won by Djokovic on errors by the 6-6 Russian.

The big question now is what happens next January in the Australian Open. Right now, Djokovic probably wants to play . . . and win what has been his favorite tournament as far as success. But things can change quickly for players in their mid-30s. Just ask Roger or Rafa.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at

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Alcaraz Fell Victim To Unbeatable Medvedev

Carlos Alcaraz was no match for Daniil Medvedev in the US Open semi-finals.



(@RelevantTennis - Twitter)

A star had to fall. There was no other way.


This time, Carlos Alcaraz was the victim. Daniil Medvedev was unbeatable.

The 6-6 Russian was everywhere, playing almost perfect tennis in a 7-6 (3), 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 win over Alcaraz.

So, one former champion went down while one advanced to Sunday’s final at the U.S. Open.

And then there was Novak Djokovic, another former champion headed for the title match.


The U.S. Open couldn’t lose once Djokovic dominated young American Ben Shelton, 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (4).

Djokovic appeared to be content with just winning while getting the preliminaries over with. He seemed to be a little miffed by Shelton’s cockiness. There were no hugs or embraces when the match ended. Just a handshake.

Shelton has huge potential, but it’s going to take some time before he’s ready to join the likes of Djokovic, Medvedev and Alcaraz. He’s a better athlete than he is tennis player.

Novak is ready to go for a record 24th Grand Slam title.

Believe it or not, Medvedev will be playing in his fifth Grand Slam final.

Sunday should be a great day in Arthur Ashe Stadium, with two former champs, Djokovic and Medvedev, going against each other.


The women’s final will be interesting. Can Coco Gauff compete with Aryna Sabalenka?

Sabalenka looked helpless against Madison Keys’ big strokes and serves in the first set of their semifinal on Thursday.

Sabalenka couldn’t win even one game in that set. She looked helpless.

But she obviously felt all along that she could beat Keys anytime she wanted. Or why else would the powerful Sabalenka go for broke on almost every shot? And it almost cost her.

Amazingly, Sabalenka waited almost to the final moments to decide to play within her game and stop the wildness.

Once Sabalenka decided to settle down and play to win, Keys went just the opposite way, similarly to her one-sided loss to Sloane Stephens in the 2017 U.S. Open final.

Keys appeared ready to win this time as she held a 6-0, 5-4 advantage over new world’s No. 1 Sabalenka, who seemed to be stumbling all over the court as she repeatedly hit wild shots in every direction.

Just like that, everything changed. Sabalenka started hitting winners everywhere as Keys reversed roles with Sabalenka. Not only did Sabalenka win the second set while dropping just one point in a tiebreaker, she stormed through a decisive 10-point third-set tiebreaker to win the match.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award. 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at

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