TENNIS 2014 ROLAND GARROS – 27th of May 2014. R. Gasquet d. B. Tomic 6-2, 6-1, 7-5. An interview with Bernard Tomic
Q. Obviously a tough one for you. Are you happy with the third set?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, it was tough match. Difficult for me to come out in this match. He’s the favorite; he’s playing at home. It’s a different feeling to me playing back home.
But he played very good. The first set, set and a half I think I played very, very bad, and it was difficult for me to get in because I wasn’t moving quite good because he was giving me different balls and pushing me out.
I really struggled with his game, especially on clay. He really gave it to me today, and I could not do anything in the first few sets.
Q. Lleyton was saying before when he had his hip surgery it took him months and months get back to full range of motion. Can you tell us how it is out there for you, how it’s affecting your play, and how long it will be until you sort of get back the level you were at?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, it’s not easy. He had one done and I had two in one week. I don’t know. You need time. I felt good last week; felt a little bit strange the last few days. It’s all time and matches, I guess. Obviously I’m playing on my worst surface, clay, and it’s difficult for me to move and find my feet.
But now I have grass coming and I have the next ten days that I can use. It’s going to be important for me, and hopefully get back to the surface that I love playing the most on.
Q. Last year you couldn’t have your father by your side; this time he has been allowed to be with you at the French Open. Does that make a difference, and was that easy to have that accepted by the French Tennis Federation?
BERNARD TOMIC: It’s good to have him back. It’s been one year and it’s been difficult for me. I’m happy to have my dad back and supporting me and by my side.
You know, it was a difficult year, like I said. To get this opportunity to have him back the past few weeks is good for me. Now my biggest priority is to get back 100% with the condition I have and the surgeries that I’ve had in January.
I’m going to remain positive and hopefully get back on track soon.
Q. Expectations for the grass?
BERNARD TOMIC: Like always on grass I look forward because grass is my favorite surface. I believe I can switch it on and anything can happen on grass with me.
Hopefully I can settle with my hips. The next ten days are very important to me to build and train differently on grass, because the movement is completely different.
Now I’ve been moving a lot laterally and been moving to balls out wide really high; on grass they’re much lower. I prefer this, but I’ve got to get settled in the next ten days.
Q. How do you feel when you walk through the gates at Wimbledon? Is it a different feeling to walking in here?
BERNARD TOMIC: It is. You know, here is just I really don’t like this I mean, Paris is a beautiful city, but I really don’t like this tournament. I’ve never played well. I’m happy that I have played four or five French Opens and I’m only 21 now.
Hopefully I can change in the next seven, eight years.
Q. And what about walking into Wimbledon, what’s that feeling like?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, it’s different. I don’t know. Just brings everything out of me to play any tournament on grass, especially Wimbledon. I seem to get switched on there. I maintain my focus, and that’s where it brings out the best tennis in me.
I think that’s why I’ve done fourth round and quarterfinals there the last few years.
Q. When you think back a couple of months, would you rethink what you did and try to play in Miami, that maybe it was too soon to try and come back?
BERNARD TOMIC: Absolutely. You know, I wanted to pull out of Indian Wells, which I did.
But it’s compulsory to play the Masters, one of the reasons I went there and played. I happened to be in Sarasota anyway, which is two hours away.
So that week I decided to play. I stayed at my friend’s house on the island in Miami, so I thought I would play because it was compulsory.
There was nothing I could do, because some of the ATP rules and systems are messed up. They need to change a lot of things. They expect me to have two surgeries, play in a Masters Series, and it’s compulsory.
I told them, but it was stupid of me to play this tournament, but I had no choice.
Q. It’s only compulsory if you’re fit. You just get zero points. Did someone tell you that you had to play?
BERNARD TOMIC: I felt like I just needed to come on court and give it a shot and just to it was eight weeks prior of having any matches, so I just felt like I wanted to get out there, whether it was to lose 6 1, 6 2 or 6 Love, 6 1, I knew I wasn’t going to win that match. I got out there with a mindset of using it as rehab sort of thing.
That was okay. I knew I wasn’t going to win. I was happy I got out there and just gave it a go sort of thing.
Alexander Zverev Deserves More Respect According To Boris Becker
According to Boris Becker, Alexander Zverev deserves more respect from tennis journalists.
Boris Becker has claimed that Alexander Zverev deserves more respect despite Zverev failing to live up to his potential at Grand Slams.
Zverev has only reached one Grand Slam final in his career despite being a regular inside the world’s top ten as well as performing at regular ATP events.
This season Zverev played a limited schedule after recovering from an ankle injury but still managed to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals.
However most critics have been loud when judging Zverev’s career as it was looking likely that he would be a regular Grand Slam champion.
The German has failed to live up to expectations but former Grand Slam champion Boris Becker believes Zverev deserves more respect.
Speaking to Eurosport Becker also said that Zverev’s father being the coach is a more than successful approach when it comes to the former US Open finalist’s career, “In my opinion, he doesn’t get enough respect from the tennis experts internationally,” Becker explained.
“They’re all talking about the young three or four, but don’t give Zverev, Medvedev or Rublev enough respect. He’s playing with his fist in his pocket a little bit, wants everyone show that he is not a thing of the past, but that his best time is yet to come.
“Surely his father knows best what is good for his son, but if you look into the box at the competition, you can also see changes.”
Becker has followed Zverev for most of his career so knows that the best is yet to come from the German.
Alexander Zverev will look to prove himself next season when he starts his 2024 season when he represents Germany at the United Cup.
Juan Carlos Ferrero Analyses Key Areas For Carlos Alcaraz’s Development
Juan Carlos Ferrero has outlined the next steps in Carlos Alcaraz’s development.
Carlos Alcaraz’s coach, Juan Carlos Ferrero has analysed the key areas for the Spaniard’s development heading into the 2024 season.
The former world number one’s season has come to an end after a successful year which saw him win the Wimbledon title as well as winning two Masters 1000 titles.
Alcaraz capped off an incredible season by reaching the semi-finals at the Nitto ATP Finals, where he lost to Novak Djokovic.
However there is a long way for the Spaniard to go if he wants to consistently go toe-to-toe with Novak Djokovic.
Speaking to Marca Alcaraz’s coach Juan Carlos Ferrero spoke about the Spaniard’s development and said that Alcaraz is too emotional, “Be more regular in games, not open doors. Sometimes there are mistakes and it is something that we have to improve a lot,” Ferrero commented.
“Although it is true that he opens doors, he always competes well and at the highest level. He knows it, the other day he already said that Novak doesn’t give you one. He has to improve his decision making and he will achieve that with experience. Carlos is very emotional and that sometimes helps him and other times not so much.”
It’s clear Alcaraz’s high-quality is there but to consistently do it against Djokovic is another task altogether as the Spaniard looks to go from strength-to strength next season.
One area that is clearly a priority for Alcaraz is physical conditioning especially considering what happened against Djokovic at Roland Garros earlier in the season.
Ferrero said that will be a clear focus heading into 2024 but couldn’t guarantee that Alcaraz will play a tournament before the Australian Open, “Because of the year and the fatigue he has been in, what he needs is rest and disconnecting for 8-10 days with his friends,” Ferrero stated.
“From there, the thinking must go back to working really hard, strong and well to start very strongly in Australia. One can never be sure of that. Sometimes you play a tournament and it doesn’t go well, you left home too early. There are many ways of thinking.
“This year we haven’t played Australia and he finishes number two. That means there is no urgency to play a tournament early. Carlos is a player who enters competition quickly, you don’t usually see him without rhythm.
“Although it is true that he becomes more dangerous from the round of 16, from the quarter-finals. I am confident that the two exhibition matches and the training sessions will help us play a good tournament.”
Alcaraz will be looking to play the Australian Open which starts on the 15th of January after the Spaniard missed last year’s tournament due to a leg injury.
Australian Open Chief Confident Nadal Will Play But Kyrgios’ Participation Uncertain
The tournament director of the Australian Open says he is ‘certain’ that Rafael Nadal will play at the Grand Slam even though the Spaniard has yet to outline his comeback plans.
Craig Tiley told reporters in Melbourne on Thursday he hopes to receive some clarity over Nadal’s intentions in the next couple of weeks but is confident he will play. However, the tennis official had previously claimed in October that the former world No.1 had already committed to play in the event before his team denied that statement.
Nadal, who has won 22 Grand Slam titles, hasn’t played a Tour match since his second round defeat at the Australian Open in January due to a hip injury. He was originally expecting to take an eight-week break but the recovery didn’t go to plan and he ended up having surgery. In May he confirmed that he will take an extended break from the sport to heal his body and admitted that retirement next year is a possibility.
“Rafa has been training, I follow him closely, probably every day because he’s a massive drawcard for us,” the Reuters News Agency quoted Tiley as saying.
“He wants to play, he’s obviously planning on playing. It all depends on how he pulls up.
“Hopefully in the next week or the next two weeks, we get some specific confirmation of that. I’m certain Rafa will be here because he’s not going to want to miss the opportunity to repeat what he did a couple of years ago.”
Earlier this month Nadal confirmed that he intends to return to the Tour but admits that he will continue to experience a degree of pain. Although he has yet to give any information about which tournament he will begin his comeback at. The 2024 season begins during the first week of January.
“I’m well, training, and happy. I’m at a good stage of my life,” atptour.com quoted Nadal as telling reporters in Barcelona.
“Until now I didn’t know if I would play tennis again someday, and now I genuinely believe I will. I’m still not ready to say when, but I’m able to train increasingly longer, and the progress is good.’
Will Kyrgios play?
Another player Tiley is eager to welcome back is home player and former Wimbledon Finalist Nick Kyrgios who has only played one Tour-level match this season due to injury. He underwent knee surgery in January and then tore a ligament in his wrist during the summer. As a result, the Australian currently doesn’t have an ATP ranking due to his inactivity.
“We have spoken to Nick, and he obviously wants to do the best he possibly can to give him the best chance to play in January,” Tiley said of Kyrgios.
“Whether he’s playing, whether he’s doing something else, Nick will be here in January and to get him to play will be great. But we’ve got to take it as it comes and he’s got to make sure he takes care of his health …”
Kyrgios recently worked as an analyst for the Tennis Channel during this year’s ATP Finals in Turin and gave a brief update on his ongoing recovery during a segment.
“After last year, I had such a great year, and I’m so hungry to get back out there,” the 2022 Wimbledon finalist commented.
“So I’m doing everything I can to get back out there. Obviously, you know how injuries are every day, just doing the rehab, doing the gym work.”
The Australian Open will begin on Sunday 14th January. Novak Djokovic and Aryna Sabalenka are the defending champions.
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