Mutua Madrid Open 2014 Interviews. Andy Murray: “I love hard courts. I think it's a challenging surface for the joints.” - UBITENNIS
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Mutua Madrid Open 2014 Interviews. Andy Murray: “I love hard courts. I think it's a challenging surface for the joints.”

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TENNIS Mutua Madrid Open 2014 – An interview with Andy Murray.

 

Q. Could you give us a sense of what you’ve been up to in the last couple weeks and how practicing has been going in Valencia and the conditions here.

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I took like 10 days off after Davis Cup and then, yeah, I practiced a bit on the clay courts at Wimbledon. Practiced with quite a few of the doubles guys: Ross and Colin; practiced with my brother and Jamie Delgado and John Peers a little bit. Just did some drilling there and worked on sliding and the movement a little bit.

Then, yeah, headed over to Valencia to start practicing. I practiced with Andujar, Battista, Ferrer a little bit. Donskoy. So some good guys to practice with there in perfect conditions.

 

Q. You feel confident to come back to the Top 4 in short future and to compete with Nadal and Wawrinka once again?

ANDY MURRAY: Well, the most important thing is that I show it on the court and at the major events. That’s what I train for.

So, yeah, I mean, we’ll obviously to have wait and see what happens over the next sort of six or seven months.

Yeah, that’s it. We’ll have to wait and see.

 

Q. Can you tell us something about maybe future prospective coaches you’ve considered?

ANDY MURRAY: No. I don’t want to go into any names because that would cause me a lot of stress over the next week or so. A lot of questions. So I won’t go into that.

But it’s something I did start to think about a lot the last couple of weeks. Hopefully getting closer to making a decision in the next month or so.

Neil, other thing, I went to Paris for a couple days and practiced at Roland Garros with Tsonga. Forgot about that. Spent a couple days in Paris as well.

 

Q. Just like to ask, do you think the game is getting more and more physical and that’s why there are more injuries, or is it the schedule that’s getting tougher and tougher?

ANDY MURRAY: I think the hard courts make a difference to that. I love hard courts. Probably my best surface. But we do play a lot of the tournaments on the hard courts.

The whole of the sort of winter stretch when we play over in Asia and back to Europe at the end of a long year, that’s tough on the hard courts.

And then the whole buildup to the US Open is also hard courts.

From the Australian Open, for me any way, from the Australian Open through really until Monte Carlo is, again, all hard courts. I think it’s a challenging surface for the joints.

For me, not so much my muscles, but when I finish playing hard courts the joints hurt: hips, knees, back.

Yeah, you’ve seen a lot more surgeries. A lot of guys that have finished playing later in life have had quite a lot of issues with knees and hips and stuff.

I think it’s probably something to do with the hard courts.

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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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