TENNIS Internazionali BNL d’Italia – R. Nadal d. A. Murray 1-6, 6-3, 7-5. An interview with Andy Murray.
Q:You played a hell of a match, what’s your feeling about this match: are you proud of the level?
ANDY MURRAY: I expect to play well, that’s pleasing, obviously I am disappointed about the game I play on the 4-2, after that game I was still in a good position but against him he didn’t give you a lot of chances: that was my chance, I play a poor game and I am disappointed about that. He finished the match incredibly well, the last three games, he was physically a little bit stronger than me at the end. Apart from that it was a good match. I did pretty well, he changes his tactics a little bit and when he did that I went in a period in the 2nd set where I had I few mistakes and I cannot correct them in the 3rd. I would have liked to have done a little bit better, but I did pretty well for the majority. The things is frustrating because I played him a lot of times and my record is not so good but I think I played good matches giving him a lot of problem. I would have liked to have won the match of tonight because I had the opportunity. I didn’t feel his game changed, there are few things he does differently than before.
Q:You played incredibly well compared to how you played Fognini in Naples, but then what happens on the 4-2 game?
ANDY MURRAY: He definitely finishes the match strongly and I respect, but I played a poor game at 4-2, I rushed a little bit. I had to be patient and wait for the right shot.
Q:How this match change your confidence before the French open?
ANDY MURRAY: It didn’t change my confidence too much because I felt like I have started playing better for a couple of weeks. I felt my game is getting there, I don’t feel people respect the severity…what is like to have back surgery. It’s a hard thing to come back, it takes time. I feel like now I am getting close to where I want to be and that’s pleasing with a couple a big months ahead. To be honest at the start of the match I didn’t expect to go out there and be 5-0 in 25 minutes. But after the 1st set I started the 2nd fairly well: I had break points on his serve. That was the tough period of the match for me for 15-20 minutes. Tonight was the best on hit the ball for a while and it’s the best I felt physically since the surgery as well. The beginning of the year was tough for me and I expect this kind of feeling process, I feel like now I am hitting the ball clearly, there are few thing that I can do better and I am going to work on it for the next 10 days. To be honest, play Rafa is quite a big challenge like play tennis: I want to play those matches, want to be very competitive in those match. For everyone else seems that I have nothing to lose, but against Rafa is one of the toughest to do in our sport. I was pretty pumped to try to win and this also put pressure on yourself performance.
Q:Do you think you have enough time to regain the strength to play a Slam at the best of five?
ANDY MURRAY: I hope so. The thing about tonight’s match was the weather conditions that was extremely heavy. You had to put a lot of effort in every shot to get the good pace to the ball and was quite tough for the legs. I expect to feel better in 10 days, I trained hard for the last couple of weeks before Madrid and here. Now I’ll take few days rest and be ready for the French and feel good
Filip Krajinovic To Skip Australian Open If Required To Quarantine For More Than Five Days
The world No.34 says he ‘sees no reason’ why vaccinated players should have to go through a long quarentine in Australia.
The second highest-ranked Serbian player in men’s tennis says it would be ‘unacceptable’ for organisers of the Australian Open to require players to quarantine for more than a week if they have been fully vaccinated.
Filip Krajinovic has become the first player to publicly state that they will not be prepared to travel to Melbourne at the end of this season if they have to go through strict quarantine measures once again. All the players who participated in this year’s Australian Open were required to be quarantined in a designated hotel for 14 days upon arrival in the country. During their stay they were allowed to use training facilities but that was the only time they could leave the premises unless there was an emergency.
There is no final decision regarding the travel requirements for the 2022 tournament but there are concerns that unvaccinated players may not be allowed to enter the country. The Victorian government recently issued a mandate ordering all essential workers to be vaccinated, including athletes. However, the regional government will not have the final say concerning tennis players arriving in the country with the national government being the ones in charge of that decision.
“They are very rigorous there and honestly, if I have to be in quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Melbourne, I will not go to Australia,” Krajinovic told Serbian newspaper Blic.
“I was vaccinated, I did everything in my power to protect myself and the people around me, so I really see no reason to sit there for 14 days in a room.’
“If they (the organisers) say that after arrival I need, say, five days to be in isolation, that’s OK for me, but anything beyond that is unacceptable to me. With the season ending late, I will have 20 days to get ready and go. Charter flights will be organized again and the last one is planned for December 28 for the players and that is the final date when I can go to Australia. I will see what the final decision from Melbourne will be, so I will cut what is the best thing to do.”
Earlier this week Victoria’s Sports minister Martin Pakula urged players to be vaccinated because it give them ‘the best opportunity to play in the Australian Open.’ It is expected that if unvaccinated players are allowed to attend, they will be subjected to stricter restrictions. This might include a longer quarantine period upon arrival and limitations of where they can go during their stay.
“Last year, all of those players had to do their 14 days of quarantine. Right now there looks like there will be different rules for people who enter this country who are vaccinated as against unvaccinated and I don’t think the tennis will be any exception to that.” Pakula told the Sports Entertainment Network (SEN).
“In terms of what rules apply for people to enter Australia, whether unvaccinated people are allowed in at all, I don’t the answer to that yet. That’s going to be the subject of discussion at national cabinet and among the federal cabinet … those rules are not set by state governments.” He added.
Krajinovic is currently ranked 34th in the world and has a win-loss record this season of 18-18. At the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells he reached the second round before falling in straight sets to Daniil Medvedev. His best run so far this year was at the Hamburg Open where he reached the final.
“When we look at the whole of 2021, I played one final, one semifinal, there were good victories, but also worse results,” the 29-year-old commented.
Krajinovic is currently without a coach but is currently in ‘negotiations’ with somebody without elaborating further about who that person is.
Alexander Zverev Secures Place In ATP Finals With Indian Wells Win
Zverev will be seeking to win the season-ending extravaganza for the second time in his career.
Germany’s Alexander Zverev has become the fourth player to officially qualify for the ATP Finals after reaching the third round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.
The world No.4 defeated America’s Jenson Brooksby 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, in his second round match on Sunday which pushed him over the points threshold to secure his spot in the end-of-season event. It is the fifth year in a row he has qualified for the ATP Finals which he won back in 2018. He is one of only three German players to ever win the title after Boris Becker and Michael Stich.
This year’s tournament will take place in Turin, Italy for the first time in history after being held at The O2 Arena in London for more than a decade. Only the eight highest ranked players are eligible to play in the round-robin tournament which has on offer up to 1500 rankings points for an undefeated champion.
“My first time in Turin. I’ve been to London four times before. London is obviously very special to me because I won there, as well. I think the stadium is incredible, one of the most special events that we had,” Zverev told reporters on Sunday.
“But I also love playing in Italy. I had great success in Italy. I won my first Masters in Rome. I’m looking forward to being there. I’m looking forward to playing in front of the Italian fans. It’s going to be a great week.”
The 24-year-old approaches the final quarter of this season with four titles already won this year. He has won two Masters 1000 trophies, an ATP 500 event in Mexico and a gold medal in singles at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Zverev, who has recorded seven wins over top 10 players, also reached the semi-finals at both the French Open and US Open.
Zverev joins Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas as the players who have qualified for the ATP Finals so far. It is the third straight season the quartet has qualified for the event.
This year’s ATP Finals will get underway on November 14th. Medvedev is the defending champion.
Denis Shapovalov Advances After Pospisil Retires In Indian Wells
The battle of the two Canadians didn’t go as planned…
Vasek Pospisil faced off against his fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and it was the world number 13 who got the win after the Vernon native pulled out due to an injury whilst trailing 0-3.
It was a rough start for Pospisil who seemed to struggle with his serve in the opening game of the match and double-faulted twice in a row to give the early break and Shapovalov had no issues consolidating the break.
Shapovalov continued to apply pressure on the Pospisil serve and after saving two breakpoints the world number 68 pulled up after a serve and stopped play, calling for the trainer. He ended up taking a medical timeout off the court and a couple of minutes later returned to court. Pospisil was broken once again and the following game after a couple of returns decided to call it quits.
” It was pretty awful…and if I’m being honest I am shaking a bit…It really sucks I hope it’s nothing serious…He’s a great guy he’s a real warrior he’s fought back from some injuries surgeries to such a great level.” Shapovalov said of his compatriot.
Shapovalov will face 19th seed Aslan Karatsev in the next round after the Russian thrashed Salvatore Caruso 6-2, 6-0.
In the other results of the day sixth seeed Casper Ruud dominated Roberto Carballes Baena 6-1, 6-2, Roberto Bautista Agut beat the Argentine Guido Pella 7-5, 6-3 and Sebastien Korda won an all American battle with Frances Tiafoe 6-0, 6-4.
Finally, Diego Schwartzman needed three sets to beat another American in Maxime Cressy winning 6-2, 3-6, 7-5.
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