Internazionali BNL d'Italia Interviews. Novak Djokovic: “Half of my country is in danger not having electricity, immobilization, and where are talking about cities not small village” - UBITENNIS
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Internazionali BNL d'Italia Interviews. Novak Djokovic: “Half of my country is in danger not having electricity, immobilization, and where are talking about cities not small village”

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TENNIS Internazionali BNL d’Italia – N. Djokovic d. M. Raonic 6-7, 7-6, 6-3. An interview with Novak Djokovic.

 

Q:How tough and maybe frustrating and important was that win for you?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It is a big win because it gives a lot of strength and belief that I can carry into tomorrow’s final and also to the continuation of the season. He played on a very high level throughout the match especially with his serve that, I can say, is the best in the world. I can’t recall the last time when I was feeling so helpless on the return game, and also his second was brutal. It was a very tight match decide in the first two set for very few points, I could have won the first set tie break. He put pressure on my serve because when you serving like this and win comfortably your game then you don’t have much pressure on your return game. I got myself regrouped in the second tie break when I was 3-2 and him serving and at the end I won and that’s why it is important for my game and my confidence.

Q:What was that you wrote on camera?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I wrote for Serbian in Cyrillic ‘I love you’ to my people.

Q:Looking at the Roland Garros, do you think play against a player like this in 5 set is better or worse?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: In a way is better because you expect he drops his level of service and get tired because the clay is demanding physically. But he did surprise with his movements around the court, he improved his backhand down the line and moving very well. The variety in his shot, he play aggressively and you can feel the improvements in his game. It isn’t easy to play against these guy on any surfaces: you think clay is the slowest compared to the others, but the ball bounces so high when you hit it from the 4th floor…

Q:Both you and Rafa had tough matches this week. But looking at Raonic, Dimitrov, Nishikori, do you think there is change going on, more players who are challenging you guys at the top?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: You name the 3 guys who are the leaders of a new generation of young and potentially very successfully tennis player. Obviously there is few transition in a tennis player career, coming to the top 15, top10 and then becoming a top5 is definitely one of the toughest competitors. You have to play on high level during all the season, be injury free. Dimitrov, Raonic and Nishikori are very talented players and they are a big challenge for the top guys.

Q:How much are you following what’s going on in Serbia and how those facts affected your concentration?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I followed it as much as I can, I am on the phone, following the news online. It’s the nature, higher force, a flood like hasn’t been remembered in all the story of my country, it’s a total catastrophe of biblical proportion. Half of the country is in danger not having electricity, immobilization, and where are talking about cities not small village. I enjoy be here and play but on the other hand I feel a little bit uncomfortable, so many sportsmen back in the country because of this situation, they stop playing and I am here to do this. I hope this little event we organize go viral cause unfortunately there is not enough awareness of what’s going on. There’s non coverage and this is the biggest flood Europe have ever seen. I hope people can find a common sense and spread the awareness about this flood. We need help. After that there will be a period of minimum several months of recovering, and we need as much as help possible in all the possible.

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(VIDEO) Novak Djokovic Makes Tearful Tribute To Mentor Kobe Bryant After Australian Open Win

The world No.2 pays his respect to ‘one of the greatest athletes of all time’ on the Rod Laver Arena.

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Novak Djokovic posing for a photo ahead of his quarter-final match with Milos Raonic at the Australian Open (image via https://twitter.com/AustralianOpen)

World No.2 Novak Djokovic shed tears following his quarter-final win over Milos Raonic after paying tribute to NBA legend Kobe Bryant.

 

The 16-time grand slam champion took to the Rod Laver Arena wearing a green zip-up top. On the top right of his jacket with Bryant’s initial along with the numbers 8 and 24. The jersey numbers Bryant worn throughout his 20-year NBA career with the LA Lakers. A love heart was also placed under the numbers on Djokovic’s top.

“’I don’t know what we could say. It really caught us by surprise.” An emotional Djokovic said during his on-court interview with John McEnroe on Tuesday.
‘He was one of the greatest athletes of all time, he inspired myself and many other people around the world. I had that fortune to have a personal relationship with him over the last 10 years.’
‘When I needed some advice and support, he was there for me. He was my mentor, my friend, it’s just heartbreaking to see what has happened to him and his daughter. It’s unbelievable.’

Bryant was killed on Sunday in a helicopter crash that also claimed the life of his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others. As an athlete, he achieved numerous milestones. Including being named the 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player and two-time NBA Finals MVP. He was also a two-time Olympic gold medallist and played in 18 All Star Games.

Just days before Bryant’s death, Djokovic spoke about their friendship during an interview with ESPN. Praising him for the support he received during his elbow injury and fall in the rankings during 2017 and the start of 2018. Reflecting on the conversations the two have had, he said he received some ‘valuable guidance.’

“Kobe has been one of my mentors,” Djokovic told ESPN. “I’ve had several phone conversations with him and also of course when we see each other live in the past couple of years. When I was going through the injury with my elbow and struggling to mentally and emotionally handle all of these different things that were happening to me and dropping in the Rankings and then having to work my way up, he was one of the people who was really there for me to give me some very valuable advice and guidelines to kind of believe and trust in myself, trust the process that I’ll be back.”

Djokovic will play Roger Federer in the semi-finals of the Australian Open.

The tribute can be watched below (from 00:30 to 01:40)

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Dominic Thiem reaches his first quarter final at the Australian Open

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Dominic Thiem eased past Gael Monfils 6-2 6-4 6-4 after 1 hour and 50 minutes on the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne to reach the quarter final at the Australian Open. Thiem has extended his winning streak to 6-0 in his head-to-head matches against Monfils.

 

He fought back from two sets to one down to beat Australia’s Alex Bolt in the second round, but he won eight of his past nine sets to advance to the quarter finals.

Thiem got two breaks in the first set and never faced a single break point in the entire match. The Austrian player converted his fourth break point after three deuces, as Monfils missed a backhand volley wide. Thiem started the third set with an early break in the first game, as Monfils hit an inside-out forehand wide from the middle of the court wide. Thiem won his next service games and held his final game at love.

Thiem will face Rafael Nadal in a re-match of last year’s Roland Garros final.

“I think that I played my best match so far at this year’s Australian Open. It’s a very good feeling. The score looks way easier than the match was. I think I was lucky to make an early break in each set and I was managing to hold my serve well. I am so happy because I am in the quarter final here for the first time”, said Thiem.

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Alexander Zverev tops Andrey Rublev to set Australian Open quarter final against Stan Wawrinka

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Alexander Zverev beat his friend Andrey Rublev 6-4 6-4 6-4 in one hour and 37 minutes to reach the quarter final at the Australian Open for the first time in his career and his third at Grand Slam level.

 

Zverev broke serve once in each set. The German player has not dropped a set at this year’s edition of the Australian Open.

Zverev ended Rublev’s 15-match winning streak. Rublev had not lost a match since October, winning four matches at the Davis Cup last November and back-to-back titles in Doha and Adelaide.

In the opening set Zverev earned his first break at 3-3, as Rublev hit a forehand into the net. He held his serve to consolidate the break and wrapped up the first set after 29 minutes, when Rublev hit a crosscourt backhand wide.

Zverev started the second set with an immediate break in the first game of the second set and closed it out with a hold at love with an ace after 29 minutes.

Zverev broke serve for the third time in the match in the ninth game of the third set to take a 5-4, when Rublev made a groundstroke error, and sealed the win with a forehand volley.

“It feels amazing. I played some great matches against some great opponents. This is Andrey’s first loss of the season, having won two tournaments and getting through to the fourth round with unbelievable tennis. I have known Andrey since we were ten years old. I think he will be top 15, top 10 very soon. I am just happy and I hope I can continue”,said Zverev.

Zverev will face Stan Wawrinka in the quarter final. The German star beat Wawrinka twice in their previous two head-to-head matches in St. Petersburg 2016 and Miami 2017.

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