Benoit Paire: “There is a region in the knee that's inflamed and I have to be careful” - UBITENNIS
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Benoit Paire: “There is a region in the knee that's inflamed and I have to be careful”

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TENNIS 2014 ROLAND GARROS – 28th of May 2014. R. Bautista Agut d. B. Paire 6-4, 7-6, 6-2. An interview with Benoit Paire

 

Q. Physically what happened on the court?

BENOIT PAIRE: It was a bit tough. So physically it was a bit tough, as I was saying. I practiced only three days before the first round, and yesterday I played doubles, but it was a bit difficult. My knee is hurting a little but not today. No knee that’s hurting, so I’m very happy to be able to play again.

The feelings come and go and come and go. Sometimes it’s unforced mistakes, sometimes winning shots. But the most important thing is I’m back 100%. So I have to practice again so I’m in the rhythm of this competition.

But, you know, to me, it was very important to play here at Roland Garros. I’m happy. I managed to come to that stage. Of course, I could have done better. My knee was not hurting too much, but physically it was a bit tough.

When I lost the second set it was a blow on the head. But I’m happy to have played. Not to have any pain. And I will be happy to practice again on the practice courts.

I’m very eager during the second half of the season to be able to play more matches and win points and all that. You know, I’m very happy, frankly. And I’m very much looking forward to the competition in the months to come.

 

Q. Do you have a schedule that’s very precise, or will it vary depending on your physical ups and downs?

BENOIT PAIRE: No. I know that I will have to have an MRI, and there is a region in the knee that’s inflamed and I have to be careful. I shouldn’t use it too much. It’s healing at present. So there is going to be physiotherapy and also I will have to practice.

But I’m very happy, very happy to play on grass and play tournaments this summer, as well.

Of course, my ranking is going to go down, but that doesn’t really matter. The best thing is to be there 100%, and I think I can do that.

Against Bautista, you know, if I can play a bit better I could have defeated him. It was a near miss for me. But then during the third set, it was really tough.

 

Q. You discussed with the referee or the umpire on the court. What did you say?

BENOIT PAIRE: Nothing special. We discussed, you know, it’s between the referees or umpires and the players. You know, we were playing and then there was music, like a band.

You know, you have to be back and into the competition to feel you’re in it, because sometimes, you know, he had poor shots and then he said, We have to wait between the first serve, second serve. He says, Take time. And I like to be quick. I’m a quick player. These are small things, the details.

To me, it has a great impact on me, because, you know, it’s difficult for me to focus for two hours in a row and I have to focus.

These ups and downs and focus and my concentration, it’s such that sometimes I get lost. So to win the second set, these are usually very important moments for me in a match that I manage usually really well.

It was Love 40 for me, so I thought I was controlling at the beginning of the match, but then I made too many mistakes, unforced errors, and I didn’t have enough focus. Physically, I had to be really present on the court. It’s a bit difficult, but I will manage. I have no worries about it.

 

Q. You felt you could have defeated Bautista, but you have never defeated him. How come?

BENOIT PAIRE: I think I’m playing better than him. I have all the weapons to beat him. I have been suffering from this injury for three months. Last time we played was in Australia, and I defeated him in the inter club matches. Look at the statistics. That’s true. That’s important.

But look at what I do when I play against him. Look at the match. I don’t think he was hurting me that much. I felt that I was doing the whole game. Then sometimes when I make fewer direct or unforced errors, I’m leading sometimes.

These are these moments when, you know, I have not practiced enough. I have not played enough. I missed the match I was defeated, but later on you will see I’ll fix this and my results will be excellent.

My objective was to be 100% focused. I’m not ready yet for a five set match. I tried. It was okay today. My knee was not hurting. I have to practice again. As I said before, I’m back on the right tracks. The tracks leading to the tennis courts. Then everything is going to be okay again.

Yesterday I felt I was better than Bautista. I can’t say to the contrary. When I’m the courts I feel I’m on top of him. Sometimes for other players it’s different. You have the impression he’s weaker than you are.

Bautista, that’s true, he’s 29, but I have all the weapons to defeat him. The only thing is the unforced errors. I made too many of those, and that’s why I lost the match today.

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Novak Djokovic Survives Almighty Sinner Scare to Reach Wimbledon Semis

The dramatic encounter featured a fight back, multiple breaks of serve and even an injury scare.

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Reigning champion Novak Djokovic staged an epic comeback to keep his hopes of winning a seventh Wimbledon title alive after ousting Jannik Sinner in a five-set thriller.

 


Djokovic, who only dropped six games against Sinner in their previous Tour meeting, was forced to battle back from two sets down to prevail 5-7, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2, in a roller-coaster encounter on Center Court. The triumph marks Djokovic’s 84th win at the tournament which is the joint-second highest tally in history alongside Jimmy Connors. Only Roger Federer has won more.

“Huge congratulations to Jannik today for a big fight. I’m sure that there are going to be a lot of opportunities for him on the big stage. He’s mature for his age and is already an established top 15 player over the last few years,” said Djokovic.
“He was unfortunate today but he has plenty of time.”

Taking on one of the most promising future prospects of men’s tennis, Djokovic’s latest encounter was a match of two halves. Initially, he appeared as if he would suffer a shock loss to world No.13 before he managed to conjure up an emphatic comeback. Breaking Sinner’s spirit who was bidding to become only the third Italian man to reach a Wimbledon semi-final in history.

“We had two different matches. He was the better player for two sets. (Then) I went out for a toilet break, had a little pep talk (with myself) in the mirror,” the 20-time major winner revealed.
“Sometimes in these circumstances where not much is happening positively for you on the court in terms of tennis. These things are necessary – a little break and pep talk to try to recuperate.’
“I was fortunate to start well in the third set by breaking his serve and that gave me the confidence boost. I saw a bit of doubt in his game and my experience of these kinds of matches helped me.”

The first set was a roller-coaster encounter between the two tennis titans on Center Court. Reigning champion Djokovic started out guns blazing by winning seven points in a row before Sinner got onto the scoreboard after prevailing in a 17-shot rally. The top seed looked to be in full control until a double fault on break point enabled his rival to bounce back. Continuing to play some inspired tennis with blistering shot-making, a cross-court winner enabled the Italian to break once again and this time had the chance to serve the opener out. A task he passed with flying colors.

Continuing to take his game to Djokovic, Sinner appeared unfazed about trying to become the youngest men’s semi-finalist at SW19 since 2007. Producing powerful hitting from the baseline, the 20-year-old extended his lead two games into the second frame. A stunning backhand volley followed by a Djokovic error elevated him to a 2-1 advantage. Spurred on by the crowd, the unprecedented onslaught continued with the help of some costly errors from the Serbian. He sealed the double break with the help of a successful Hawk-Eye challenge before securing a two-set lead in his favor with the help of a 122mph service.

Facing a swift exit, Djokovic once again illustrated the fighting spirit that he is renowned for. Capitalizing on a blip in form from Sinner, he cruised through the third set to resurrect his chances. 

Steaming rolling his way into a decider, Djokovic continued his dominance during the fourth frame by winning four straight games. However, closing that set out was full of drama. First, Sinner suffered an injury scare after going over his ankle before continuing. Then Djokovic fended off a break point and squandered two set points before closing it out. 

A stunning sliding passing shot in the decider set Djokovic up with a chance to break and move to a game away from victory. Something he did with the help of a Sinner error which the Italian instantly regretted by putting both his hands on his head. After that mishit, Djokovic ended the clash with a love service game. 

“I’ve been blessed to play professional tennis for 20 years but nevertheless I go through those doubtful moments like everybody else. The inner fight is always the biggest fight. Once you win the fight the external circumstance is more likely to go in your favor. I knew I could turn this match around. I have done that a few times in grand slams.” Djokovic concluded.


 

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(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE) Why Rafael Nadal Faces His Biggest Test Yet

Tennis Hall of Famer Steve Flink joins UbiTennis to reflect on the highs and lows of day 8 of Wimbledon.

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Will the upcoming quarter-final be Rafael Nadal’s hardest match yet? How will Nick Kyrgios’ shoulder recover?

 

The second Monday at Wimbledon was one full of intrigue in the men’s draw. Whilst on the women’s side, Simona Halep was in impressive form against Paula Badosa but tennis commentator Flink explains why he thinks her upcoming clash with Amanda Anisimova will be tougher.

Alongside Ubitennis CEO Ubaldo Scanagatta, Flink also looks at Jannik Sinner’s chances of causing a huge upset against reigning champion Novak Djokovic. 

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WIMBLEDON: Rafael Nadal Coy Over New Injury Speculation

After the foot problems in Paris, there is a strong possibility the Spaniard could be experiencing another injury issue.

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image via twitter.com/atp

There are fresh concerns surrounding Rafael Nadal after he declined to go into the reason why he was wearing abdominal taping during his fourth round match at Wimbledon. 

 

The 22-time Grand Slam winner was seen wearing some kind of protection in the abdominal area after changing his t-shirt during one of the breaks. In recent weeks Nadal has been dealing with physical issues due to a long-term foot condition he has. At the French Open he revealed that he had to undergo injections in order for him to continue playing en route to winning the tournament for a 14th time.

Playing 21st seed Botic van de Zandschulp, Nadal battled his way to a 6-4, 6-2, 7-6(6), win. Speaking to reporters after his latest win at The All England Club, the Spaniard sidestepped a question about a potential abdominal problem he could be experiencing. 

“I am a little bit tired of talking about my body. It’s not that I don’t want to answer your question, but at the same time sometimes I am tired of myself, all the issues that I am having. I prefer to not talk about that now,” he replied.
“I am in the middle of the tournament and I have to keep going. All respect for the rest of the opponents. I am just trying my best every single day. For the moment I am healthy enough to keep going and fight for the things that I want.”

Continuing to stay coy about his form and health, Nadal offered an alternative perspective when asked if he was nearing his best level once again. He has dropped just two sets in four matches played so far at Wimbledon which is his first grass-court event since 2019. 

“It’s always the same here. It’s not about how close I am to the level or not. I don’t know that. I can’t predict what can happen.” He said.
“But the positive thing is the first two matches haven’t been good. Then two days ago I played at a high level for the first time. And today most of the matches, again, at a very positive level.”

The straight sets scoreline failed to tell the true story of Nadal’s roller-coaster win on Center Court. Taking on Zandschulp, a player who burst onto the main scene last year by reaching the US Open quarter-finals as a qualifier, the 22-time major champion engaged in a match of two halves. Nadal looked on the verge of an easy victory after breaking once in the first set, twice in the second and storming to a 5-2 in the third. However, the Dutchman refused to go down without a fight by displaying his best tennis of the match to draw level. 

Now engaged in his first real test, Nadal was under intense pressure to close it out in three. If he didn’t there would have been an inevitable delay for the roof to come on due to poor light. If that occurred, there would be less than two hours of play left before the 11pm curfew began.

Nevertheless, Nadal didn’t need the roof as he squeezed through the tiebreaker. After squandering three consecutive match points, he prevailed on his fourth with the help of a lob that triggered Zandschulp to smash the ball out. 

Nadal is through to his 47th major quarter-final and is only the third man in the Open Era to do so at Wimbledon after celebrating his 36th birthday. In total, he has won 309 main draw matches at Grand Slam tournaments.

In the last eight, the Spaniard has a shot of revenge when he takes on Taylor Fritz who ended his 20-match winning streak earlier this year in Indian Wells. During that match, Nadal had a rib injury and he had beaten the American earlier that month in Mexico. 

“That last match (in Indian Wells) was zero because I had a stress fracture on my rib, and it was difficult to learn many things because the pain was terrible playing that match.” He said. 

As for Fritz, he believes their upcoming clash will be at a higher standard given the form both players are currently in. Fritz is currently on a eight-match winning streak after recently claiming the Eastbourne Open title. 

“It’s going to be a lot different match obviously. Indian Wells was kind of crazy with both of us being extremely beaten up before the final. This time I think we’ll get healthier versions of both of us, we’ll see.” Fritz previewed.

The question for nadal, is how healthy is the current version of him really is? Only time will tell. 

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