Internazionali BNL D'Italia Interviews. Rafael Nadal: “I don’t want to be 100% ready for the Roland Garros, I want to be ready for Rome” - UBITENNIS
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Internazionali BNL D'Italia Interviews. Rafael Nadal: “I don’t want to be 100% ready for the Roland Garros, I want to be ready for Rome”

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TENNIS Internazionali BNL d’Italia – An interview with Rafael Nadal.

 

Q: How do you feel here in Rome? People say that the real Nadal is the one seen in Madrid and not the one of Barcelona or Montecarlo?

RAFAEL NADAL: I always have a great feeling here in Rome since I won the first game in 2005, that final was of the best memories that I have on the tour. And sure, after that I had a good success winning here 7 times, losing 1 final, playing lot of matches here important for my career. It’s a tournament I really like. I practice all yesterday and it’s true the feeling are different than in Madrid, not completely, but different. Today it’s raining and the conditions…I didn’t practice yet and makes the conditions a little bit tougher. I feel happy to be back in Rome. I won in Madrid, is in altitude, so it has been a little more surprising than winning at the sea level. It was my 5th final on clay in Madrid, so 6 participations, nothing crazy since last year. They make the court (non udible), so it’s easier to compare Madrid to another clay tournament. The court in good shape make the game better for the crowd and more normal for the players.

Q: Looking to changes, is there anything different between Madrid and Rome?

RAFAEL NADAL: Coming here playing well and winning is more easy, it’s true that there is a change, you need to hit the ball more here than in Madrid. Nothing really crazy but need to adjust a little bit mentally and talking about the shot when you have to hit the ball.

Q: Are you happy with the level you’re playing now? Are you 100% looking to the Roland Garros?

RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t want to be 100% ready for the Roland Garros, I want to be ready for Rome. So I am here to try to do well here, and the end Roland Garros is a very important tournament but it’s not the only tournament on the tour and I don’t think about it when I am playing in Rome. I am happy to be here, I play week by week, day by day. After that we can talk of Roland Garros. But now we’re here in an historic tournament, all the best players are here, I want to prove everything of my game as I always did throughout my career, nothing changed.

Q: You won here 9 years ago. How is different this Nadal compared to the young boy of 9 years ago?

RAFAEL NADAL: You can check the video (laugh). I cannot explain about feelings. For something I am not happy to be 9 years later, but on the other hand I am happy with all that happens during these 9 years in my life, in my career. I had the chance to be happy doing what I did. I am talking of result, but happiness, life: I had good 9 nine years of my life, I enjoy a lot of things. I am still here and that’s always make me feel happy because during my career lot of people talk that with my style of game I would have had a short career, but at the end I already have 12 years on tour so 100% this is not a short career.

Q: What is like to defend a big title for the first time? I am thinking about Andy Murray who next month in Wimbledon is going to defend his title. So, for example at the Roland Garros, when you came in the second year after you won your first one?

RAFAEL NADAL: Less difficult than the first. When you’re winning you know you can do it again. Is much more difficult the things for the first time than when you already did because you believe that you can do it again, you were in that situation already and you know what to do. This didn’t mean that winning or defending any title is easy: it’s a very difficult thing.

Q: Saturday in the last game of the Liga – your Real Madrid Is out – but who would you prefer to win, Atletico or Barcelona?

RAFAEL NADAL: I am a sport fan and I want to see a good emotions there, and it’s going to be a very great end of the league, probably the best league in the world (laugh)

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Pierre Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut claim their first ATP Finals title in London

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The French team formed by Pierre Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut claimed their first men’s doubles title with a 6-3 6-4 win over Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus in 70 minutes at the ATP Finals at the O2 Arena in London ending the 2019 ATP season on a high note with back-to-back titles in Paris Bercy and London. They remained unbeaten during the whole week at the ATP Finals in London winning all five matches in straight sets.

 

Herbert and Mahut fended off all four break points they faced scoring their ninth consecutive match win. The French doubles specialists have become the first team to win the doubles ATP Finals title without dropping a set since Jean Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau in 2015.

Herbert and Mahut fended off break points in the third game of the match before earning the only break of the opening set in the next game. The Frenchmen saved a break point in the sixth game before breaking serve in the seventh game.

They have become the French team to win the ATP Finals doubles title since Michael Llodra and Fabrice Santoro, who triumphed in Shanghai in 2005.

Herbert and Mahut have won 15 doubles titles as a team during their career. This year they became the eighth men’s doubles team to complete the career Grand Slam at last January’s Australian Open and also won the Rolex Paris Masters in front of their home fans.

Last year they came within one point of winning the ATP Finals title against Mike Bryan and Jack Sock after holding a match point.

“Thank you Nicolas for sharing the court, for having so much enjoyable moments and giving me so much joy, when I am with you on the court. You played an unbelievable final, so thank you for that”, said Pierre Hugues Herbert.

 

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Jannik Sinner wins his third ATP Challenger in Ortisei

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Jannik Sinner won the ATP Challenger in Ortisei adding another title to his impressive collection of trophies he lifted during a memorable 2019 season.

 

The 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals champion beat world number 173 Sebastian Ofner from Austria 6-2 6-4 in 1 hour and 6 minutes in the final of the Sparkasse Challenger Val Gardena Sudtirol at the Tennis Center in Ortisei.

Sinner won his third ATP Challenger title in 2019 after his previous wins in Bergamo and Lexington. He also reached the final in Ostrava. During the tournament the 18-year-old player from San Candido beat Lucas Miedler in the first round, Roberto Marcora in the second round, Federico gaio in the quarter final and Antoine Hoang in the semifinal without dropping a set.

Sinner will improve his ranking to his career-high at world number 78 in the ATP Ranking becoming the sixth best ranked Italian player after Matteo Berrettini, Fabio Fognini, Lorenzo Sonego, Marco Cecchinato and Andreas Seppi.

Sinner broke serve in the fifth game of the opening set to take a 3-2 lead. Ofner missed two game points in the seventh game. The Austrian player faced another break point after his third double fault. In the next game Sinner saved the first break point he faced. Sinner closed out the first set 6-2 after two backhand errors from Ofner in the eighth game.

Sinner went up a break to open up a 2-0 lead, but Ofner broke back in the fourth game and held on his serve to take a 3-2 lead. Ofner saved three break points in the seventh game to take a 4-3. Sinner converted his fourth break point in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead and served out the win with two consecutive aces.

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Tomas Berdych: It Is Up To Others To Decide My Legacy

The former top-10 player spoke with reporters for the first time since officially retiring from the sport

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Tomer Berdych (far left) among group of recently retired player's attending special presentation at The 2019 ATP Finals

LONDON: Tomas Berdych has said his future plans is ‘to not have a plan’ after officially retiring from tennis on Saturday at the age of 34.

 

The former Wimbledon runner-up joined a series of other former players to celebrate their careers in a special on-court presentation at the ATP Finals. Also present was Radek Stepanek and David Ferrer. News of Berdych’s decision to walk away from the sport surfaced earlier this week after a Czech newspaper spoke with his father Martin.

Speculation has mounted in recent months about Berdych’s future in the sport after struggles with injury issues concerning his back and hip. He hasn’t played on the tour since the US Open. Overall, he has only managed to play 22 matches this season. Winning 13 of them.

“I was able to train, practice, prepare, and then you get to the tournament, and then I play three games, the problem came back.” Berdych explained during a press conference about his decision.
“You put all the negative stuff on the one side, and then the positive is to go on court, fight, win the match, and there was no chance to achieve that. There is really no point to continue.”

Playing in the shadows on the Big Four contingent, the Czech still managed to establish himself as a household name. Albeit on a smaller scale. As of this week, he is ranked as the 11th highest-earning player on the ATP Tour in history with more than $29 million in prize money. His achievements include winning 13 ATP titles and spending 794 consecutive weeks in the top 100. At his peak, he was fourth in the world rankings and finished seven seasons inside the top 10.

Like any other player, it hasn’t always been a smooth journey for Berdych. One example was during the 2012 Australian Open where he was booed off the court after defeating Nicolas Almagro during what was a bad-tempered encounter. However, fortunately, most of his career has been free from controversy.

“Do I have any regrets? No, I think even the bad things or the negative experience that I went through or I experienced or I have done, I think they were there for the reason. I think without them, I wouldn’t be as good as I was.” Berdych stated.
“I think even the bad ones were there for a reason.”

Now he has stepped away from the sport for good, what does the future have in store? According to the Czech, he is in no intention of rushing into anything else soon. Although he admits that it may not be tennis-related.

“The plan is actually not to have any plans. The last 15, 20 years was so hectic and so demanding that I just need to just to breathe out easily after all those years.”

As the chapter closes on the career of one of the Czech Republic’s most successful male players in the Open Era, he leaves the sport with high respect from both his fans and fellow rivals. As for his legacy, he says that it is not for him to decide.

“I think I’m not the correct one to judge that. I was trying to do the best I possibly can, and I think this is something that you created with your achievement and with your behavior.” He concludes.

Berdych’s career in numbers

2 – number of Davis Cup titles won
4 – highest ATP ranking achieved
13– number of ATP titles
53 – number of wins over top 10 players
342 – number of losses on the ATP Tour
640 – number of wins on the ATP Tour
2002 – the year he turned pro
2019 – the year he retired
29,491,328 – career prize money (in US dollars)

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