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.
Daniil Medvedev Ousts Former Quarter-Finalist Tiafoe, Kyrgios Reigns Supreme At Australian Open
Both players endured a testing start to their campaigns at Melbourne Park.
Two players tipped to fill in the void when the big three of men’s tennis departs from the sport have got off to a winning start at the Australian Open.
US Open runner-up Daniil Medvedev manoeuvred his way past a tricky encounter with Frances Tiafoe. Who reach the last eight of the tournament 12 months ago in what is his best grand slam performance to date. Despite the threat posed, Medvedev held his nerve to prevail 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, on the premier Rod Laver Arena. The night-time encounter saw the Russian fired 13 aces and 42 winners past Tiafoe en route to the second round.
“It was a really tough match. I think it was a bit up and down from both of us.” Medvedev said during his on-court interview.
“I’m really happy to win because the first round is never easy. Especially against Frances, who was in the quarters last year.”
Medvedev, who turns 24 next month, has been labelled as one of potential players who can end the reign of Roger Federer and Co by winning a grand slam title this season. Last year he claimed 59 wins on the ATP Tour, which was more than any other player. During his breakthrough season he clinched his first two Masters titles as well as a duo of ATP 250 events.
Despite his victory, the world No.4 was far from contempt when it came to his latest performance. Medvedev dropped serve at least once in every set played and also leaked 35 errors. The same amount of mistakes as Tiafoe.
“There were many moments during the match where I felt I was getting momentum and then he came back.” He reflected.
“I think I can do many things better, but for the first round it’s a big win and I’m really happy.’
“I didn’t like my serve today to be honest. But hopefully I can do better in the next round, otherwise I will be in trouble.”
Kyrgios Topples Italian rival
Taking to the court at the same time as Medvedev, Nick Kyrgios also experienced a tricky start to his title bid in Melbourne. Seeded 23rd in the draw this year, the home favourite roared his way to a 6-2, 7-6(3), 7-6(1), win over Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego. Claiming his fourth tour win of the season following his trio of singles victories at the ATP Cup earlier this month.
“I was just excited to get out here. It has been a pretty emotional couple of months for all of us,’ Kyrgios commented in reference to the ongoing bushfire crisis in Australia.
“I just wanted to come out here and put on a good performance.”
Kyrgios has been one of the driving forces behind Tennis Australia’s series of fundraisers to support the bushfire appeal. He has pledged to donate $200 for every ace he produces during the Australian Open. Working out at $2800 from his latest match along after firing 14 past Sonego. Overall, Kyrgios won an impressive 87% of his first service points during the 135-minute clash.
“I feel good. I’m not looking ahead in the draw at all.” Kyrgios stated.
“Everyone can play in the draw, they are all capable. So I’m just going to take it one match at a time.” He added.
During his on-court interview, John McEnroe make an unexpected announcement. The former world No.1 has said he will donate $1000 for every set Kyrgios wins in the remainder of the tournament to the bushfire appeal. Prompting a huge cheer from the crowd.
Both Medvedev and Kyrgios will play their second round matches on Thursday.
Ernests Gulbis upsets Felix Auger Aliassime to advance to the second round in Melbourne
World number 256 Ernests Gulbis upset Canadian Next Gen star Felix Auger Aliassime 7-5 4-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 to reach the second round at the Australian Open at Melbourne Park.
Auger Aliassime was the second Canadian Next Gen player to lose in the first round at this year’s edition of the Australian Open after his compatriot Denis Shapovalov was defeated by Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics on Monday.
Auger Aliassime started the 2020 season with just one win in four matches at the ATP Cup, but he reached the semifinal in Adelaide last week, losing to eventual champion Andrey Rublev in three sets.
Auger Aliassime earned the first game in the ninth game at 30 to take a 5-4 lead, but Gulbis broke twice in the 10th and 12th game to win the first set 7-5. In the second set Auger Aliassime saved three break points in both the eighth and tenth games and broke in the ninth game at deuce to seal the second set 6-4.
In the third set Auger Aliassime saved four break points to hold his serve at deuce in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. Gulbis fended off a break point in the fifth and eleventh games before winning the tie-break 7-4.
Gulbis earned an early break in the first game of the opening set. Auger Aliassime broke back in the third game and held his serve at deuce to draw level to 2-2 after saving two break points. Gulbis broke for the second time in the fifth game and held his next service games to close out the fourth set 6-4.
“Every time you come to Australia the main goal is the Aussie Open, so it’s not good. That’s what the result show, but at the same time I am staying calm and positive because I feel I am not far from playing well and winning matches”,said Felix Auger Aliassime.
Dominic Thiem beats Adrian Mannarino to reach the second round in Melbourne for the fifth consecutive year
Fifth seed and last year’s Roland Garros finalist Dominic Thiem beat Adrian Mannarino 6-3 7-5 6-2 to extend his winning record in his head-to-head against the French player to 8-0. The Austrian player hit 36 winners to 34 unforced errors. Thiem set up a second round match against either Albert Ramos Vinolas or Australian wild card Alex Bolt.
Thiem earned the first break in the fourth game to open up a 3-1 lead. Mannarino fended off two break points in the eighth game while he was serving at 2-5, but Thiem sealed the first set 6-3 on his third set point after a 27-shot rally.
Thiem went up a set and a break in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead, but Mannarino pulled the break back to draw level to 4-4, as Thiem sent a forehand long. Thiem got his second break in the 11th game to take a 6-5 lead after a 28-shot rally and reeled off 12 of the last 14 points to clinch the second set 7-5.
Thiem started the third set with an early break and won 16 of the first 20 points to seal the win after 2 hours and 21 minutes. The 2019 ATP Finals runner-up reached the Australian Open second round for the fifth consecutive year.
Thiem leads 2-1 in his three head-to-head matches against Ramos Vinolas, but the Spaniard won their only clash on hard-court in Chengdu four years ago.
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