BNL Internazionali D'Italia. Interviews. Stanislas Wawrinka: “ I like the conditions, I know I can play well here. I’ve been practising since Thursday” - UBITENNIS
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BNL Internazionali D'Italia. Interviews. Stanislas Wawrinka: “ I like the conditions, I know I can play well here. I’ve been practising since Thursday”

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TENNIS BNL Internazionali D’Italia – An interview with Stanislas Wawrinka

 

Q. You’ve won the Australian Open, then Montecarlo, but everyone here talks about Federer, Nadal and Djokovic.

STANISLAS WAWRINKA: I think it’s normal. Nadal is the big favourite, as usual, and Novak is coming back after a small injure so it’s normal. They’re the 3 big favourite for here and the French Open. For me there’s no problem: I’ve to practising well and get ready for the tournament, I know how is it. The first matches are always important but if I can play well I can do some damage.

Q. Do you still feel clay is your best surface?

STANISLAS WAWRINKA: In the past it was my best surface, that’s where I had all the result I won. Now it’s a little bit difference, you have to play on all court: hard court, clay court. I just think on the clay court there are less player I am afraid to play with, I have more control against the top guys.

Q. What did you take from the tournament of last week in Madrid?

STANISLAS WAWRINKA: Not much (laugh…). First round loss was not a great result, but I was happy with my attitude. I was not playing my best tennis, Dominique was playing really good tennis. I accepted it but I just tried to fight for all the match and that was the most important thing for me. I hope I can keep that for the rest of the year.

Q. Do you have some extra motivation for this week?

STANISLAS WAWRINKA: Maybe, for sure. After you loose first round you want to do better. Here it’s a great tournament on clay: I like the conditions, I know I can play well here. I’ve been practising since Thursday, I am happy with my level and I am confident with myself.

Do you think there are more injured player this season compared to the last two or three?

I think at the beginning of the season there are more injures, and even still now it’s not easy. I don’t know why, the season is very long and if you don’t have a good schedule soon or later you’ll have injuries. That’s why I am not playing all the tournament, take some weeks off for practice and that’s why I am so strong this year.

Q. The way you’ve been playing suggests that this could be one of the more unpredictable season heading to Paris.

STANISLAS WAWRINKA: For myself yes, I know that when I am playing my best games I have good chance against them. For the others I don’t know. I think this is not because I won a Grand Slam or a Masters in Montecarlo. It’s not that easy. If you look at the result Rafa is there, will win Madrid, and let’s see who is going to win here. If you take the 3 guys, from me a way better than all the others and me, they still win everything. So it’s going to be an interesting season but I still think they are going to be there and win a lot of tournament.

Q. Do you like Rome, do you like plying here?

STANISLAS WAWRINKA: I like to play here, it’s great site to play. People cheer a lot for Italian players but it’s nice, even 3 years ago when I lost from Seppi there was a great atmosphere. I am really lucky to be here for a week or a little bit more.

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Richard Gasquet reaches his first Masters 1000 semifinal since Miami 2013

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Frenchman Richard Gasquet edged past this year’s Wimbledon semifinalist Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-2 after 2 hours and 12 minutes to reach his first Masters 1000 semifinal since the 2013 Miami Open.

 

 Gasquet missed six months of action after undergoing groin surgery last January.

The French player set up a semfinal against David Goffin, who reached the semifinal after his Japanese opponent Yoshihito Nishioka withdrew from the match due to illness.

The first set went on serve with no break points en route to the tie-break. Bautista Agut hit a backhand wide at 1-2. Gasquet sealed the tie-break when Bautista Agut hit a forehand long.

Bautista Agut earned two breaks of serve in the second set and sealed it, when Gasquet made his third double fault on set point.

Gasquet broke serve with a volley in the third game of the decisive set. The French player went up a double break to race out to 4-1 lead. He saved two break points to hold his serve at deuce before serving out the third set on his first match point.

“I know how tough it was to come back. I know the moments I had at the start of the year, so I just wanted to enjoy, to fight. It is not easy to come back after six months out, but I am here. I am in semis tomorrow”,said Gasquet.

 

 

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Danil Medvedev cruises past Jan-Lennard Struff to set up an all Russian quarter final against Andrey Rublev

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Ninth seed Danil Medvedev cruised past Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3 6-1 in 66 minutes to reach the quarter final at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati.

 

Medvedev committed just 12 unforced errors and won 18 of Struff’s 25 second serve points.

 Medvedev broke twice in the second and eighth games to win the first set 6-2. The young Russian player got two consecutive breaks in the second and fourth games to race out to a 4-0 lead and held his service game at deuce after saving a break point in the fifth game. Struff held his serve to get his first game on the scoreboard, but Medvedev sealed the win on his first match point. The Russian player has improved his head-to-head record to 3-0 againt Struff.

Medvedev has won 11 of his past 13 matches during the North American hard-court season. He has a solid 41-16 record this season. He finished runner in two consecutive finals to Nick Kyrgios at Washington and to Rafael Nadal in Montreal.  In the quarter final the Russian star will face his compatriot Andrey Rublev, who upset Roger Federer 6-3 6-4.

Recent Wimbledon semifinalist Roberto Bautista Agut cruised past Miomir Kecmanovic 6-1 6-2 in just under an hour setting up a quarter final against Richard Gasquet, who beat Diego Schwartzman 7-6 (8-6) 6-3.

Japanese qualifier Yoshihito Nishioka beat Australian player Alex De Minaur 7-5 6-4 in 83 minutes with one break in each set. Nishioka rallied from 4-6 down in the tie-break of the first set to edge Adrian Mannarino 7-6 (8-6) 6-2 in 1 hour and 37 minutes.

“It was a great match and I got better as it went on. I am feeling sharp. I am feeling great now and I am looking forward to the quarter finals of a Masters 1000. I have nothing to lose”, said Goffin.

 

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Roger Federer Crashes Out Of Cincinnati Masters

The seven-time champion has suffered a blow to his preparations for the US Open.

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World No.3 Roger Federer has been knocked out of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati after falling in straight sets to Russia’s Andrey Rublev.

 

The 20-time grand slam champion struggled to find his range as he was overwhelmed by his fearless opponent during the 6-3, 6-4, loss. Despite the huge disparity in experience between the two, 21-year-old Rublev managed to dominate the majority of rallies with the help of some heavy hitting. Producing 17 winners to six unforced errors, compared to Federer’s tally of 19 and 20.

“I respect him a lot, I respect all the top players a lot, but today when I was going to court I was going there to win.” Rublev said during an interview with Amazon Prime.
“I was not going (to the match) to enjoy. I was going to fight, try to win and do my best.”

Rublev’s shock win saw the underdog outdo the Swiss maestro in almost every area of the match. Winning the most first serves (85% to 63%), second serves (57% to 63) and a bigger majority of points at the net (5/6 to 7/19). Breaking him twice in the opening set and once in the second. The Russian, who is 70th in the world, is the lowest ranked player to defeat Federer on the tour since Thanassi Kokkinakis at the 2018 Miami Open.

The loss leaves a mark on Federer’s impressive record in Cincinnati, which he has won a record seven times. It is the first time he has failed to reach the quarter-final stage since losing to Ivo Karlovic in the third round back in 2008.

“He was playing well. I was maybe struggling especially on the offensive, because overall I didn’t think I was feeling the ball badly.” Federer reflected during his press conference. “It’s just, you know, sort of fast-court conditions and when you sometimes then can’t rely on that serve to go or on the one-two punch, which I didn’t think was excellent today from my side, you need an opponent that maybe lets you get by some tougher moments, but he didn’t do that.”
“He was super clean. Defense, offense, serving well. Didn’t give me anything. He was everywhere. So it was tough for me, but excellent match by him. I was impressed.”

Rublev now has a meeting with compatriot Daniil Medvedev in what will be his first quarter-final at Masters level. Medvedev has reached the final of tournaments in Washington and at the Rogers Cup since Wimbledon. He is yet to drop a set this week and brushed aside Jan-Lennard Struff 6-2, 6-1, in his third round match.

“It’s going to be an interesting match for Russia.” Rublev previewed. “It will be a tough match for me because the way he plays. Nobody likes to play him.”
“I lost to him in a Challenger a few years ago, so it’s going to be interesting tomorrow.” He added.

The latest victory is only Rublev’s second over a top five player in his career. His first was against Dominic Thiem at the German Open last month.

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