Mutua Madrid Open 2014 Interviews. Kei Nishikori: “I tried to change my tennis a little bit, a little more aggressive than before.” - UBITENNIS
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Mutua Madrid Open 2014 Interviews. Kei Nishikori: “I tried to change my tennis a little bit, a little more aggressive than before.”

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TENNIS Mutua Madrid Open 2014 – K. Nishikori d. D. Ferrer 7-6, 5-7, 6-3. An interview with Kei Nishikori.

 

Q. Congratulations again for a great match. It was wonderful to watch. Just like to ask if you were as nervous as you looked in the last game when you were serving for the match?

KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah, I tried not to think too much because I knew how important that last game, and especially I was 40 Love up and he came back.

Yeah, inside of my mind I was confusing and so many stuff is going on. But I was trying to be calm and try to focus on the next points. Took like ten minutes to finish the match, but very happy to finish the way I finished today.

 

Q. Just like to ask you how is your back feeling? Saw you having treatment last night and tonight. Will you be okay to face Rafa tomorrow?

KEI NISHIKORI: I don’t know. I have to see how I wake up tomorrow. Yeah, these two days been not so great. I cannot say too much, but hopefully I can play another good match tomorrow. (Smiling.)

 

Q. Congratulations. You were always a good player, but seems like in the past couple months or this year you are going one step further in the rankings, in the games, in the tournaments. Why do you think is that?

KEI NISHIKORI: Um, I tried to change my tennis a little bit, a little more aggressive than before. My serve is much better. Like today I had so many free points with my first serve, and that’s also helping my game, too.

I think all the strokes more confidence and not much, you know, easy mistakes and more solid at the baseline. But everything is, you know, going better way for me.

But it’s a little bit surprise. You know, I didn’t think these final Masters and Barcelona wins. It’s been like ten straight winning on clay, so it’s a little bit surprise for me.

But it’s a great opportunity for me to get my ranking higher. If I do well in clay court season, I think I have more chance to get higher ranking.

 

Q. Playing Rafa Nadal here in Madrid where he’s won so often, he’ll have the crowd behind him. What do you think is going to be the key for to you win tomorrow?

KEI NISHIKORI: For sure I have to step up and play better tennis than before, you know, a little more aggressive than before.

But I been feeling really confidence on clay. He’s going to be different player, but…

He’s the king of the clay, so hopefully I can hang in there and try to play another good match.

 

Q. Do you take anything out of the Australian Open? There were three really tight sets. Even though you lost, there was a couple tiebreakers in there and a 7 5. Do you take anything out of that coming into the final tomorrow?

KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah, a little bit. I’m feeling for sure more comfortable than before to play Rafa, but it’s going to be a different situation on clay court. I lost him in French last year pretty bad, so…

But I learn a lot of stuff from that Australian Open. I kind of know how to, you know, play to beat him. It’s not going to be easy to beat him, but I have to do whatever I have to do.

 

Q. When you were serving today, because of your back, did you think a second to give up, or never?

KEI NISHIKORI: I try not to. It was very tough. Even before the match I wasn’t perfect and 100%.

You have to think when you’re hurt or something to try to win the match. It was a little bit tough to play today. But if you step on the court, you have to fight and try to win.

It was okay after when I stepping on the court.

 

Q. What would it mean for people back in Japan for you to have reached a major final in a Masters 1000? What do you think the feeling in Japan would be right now?

KEI NISHIKORI: I don’t know. Hopefully it’s big, big news in Japan. But it’s not like Europe. Tennis is very big here. Japan or Asia it’s not one of the biggest sports yet, so I don’t know if everybody knows how important this tournament is.

But hopefully I can, you know, do well these Masters and Grand Slams and hopefully the tennis get more bigger in Japan.

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‘He Needs To Bulk Up’ – Tennis Great Cast Doubt On Alex De Minaur’s French Open Chances

John Newcombe believes it will be a few more years before the world No.27 reaches his peak.

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One of Australia’s most decorated Grand Slam champions of all time believes compatriot Alex de Minaur still has a way to go before he poses a threat at the French Open.

 

Former world No.1 John Newcombe believes the 21-year-old needs to improve on his physicality before reaching his peak on the surface. De Minaur comes into the Grand Slam high in confidence after reaching the quarter-finals of the US Open in what was his best performance at a major so far in his career. He was knocked out of the tournament by eventual winner Dominic Thiem.

Although De Minaur’s preparations for the clay took a blow last week after he lost the first round of the Italian Open to German qualifier Dominik Koepfer. The world No.27 had a set and 3-0 lead over Koepfer before losing. He is not playing in any tournament this week leading up to Roland Garros.

“I’d have to see the draw, how it comes out, but it will be hard work for him,” Newcombe told the Australian Associated Press about de Minaur’s chances in Paris.
“He’s going to have to do a hell of a lot of work. If he got to the quarters, it would be a terrific effort.
“He’s not going to be physically where he needs to be, just bulking up a bit, until he’s 25, 26.
“But he’s got a good all-court game and he understands the game well, so there’s no reason he can’t be a pretty good late maturer (on clay).”

This year’s clay-court major will be the fourth time the Australian has played in the main draw. In his three previous appearances, de Minaur has only won one match which was against Bradley Klahn last year.

During a recent interview with atptour.com, the Next Gen star gave little away about his expectations for the clay this year given the revised schedule. The French Open is taking place just two weeks after New York due to the COVID-19 pandemic which brought the sport to a five-month standstill earlier this year.

“Realistically, you never know until you step out and play matches. It’s a very quick turnaround, something that has never happened to play such an important event after a slam. I’m taking it all in, doing as best as I can and we will have to see,” he said.

De Minaur has won three ATP titles and has scored four wins over top 10 players so far in his career. He is currently the only player from his country ranked in the world’s top 40 on the ATP Tour.

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Novak Djokovic claims his 36th Masters 1000 title in Rome

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Novak Djokovic came back from 0-3 down in the first set to beat Diego Schwartzman 7-5 6-3 after 1 hour and 53 minutes in the final of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia at the Foro Italico in Rome. Djokovic claimed his fifth title in the Eternal City and his 36th Masters 1000 trophy and his 81st career title. Djokovic has become the oldest Rome champion. 

 

The World number 1 player extended his record in 2020 to an impressive record of 31 wins in 32 matches, including four titles at the Australian Open, Dubai, the Western and Southern Open in New York and Rome. 

Djokovic dropped his serve three times and earned five breaks of serve. 

Djokovic wasted a game point and dropped his serve, when he netted his backhand. Schwartzman hit four service winners in the second game to consolidate the break for 2-0. 

Djokovic made a backhand error to face a break point in the third game. Schwartzman earned his second break to open up a 3-0 after 18 minutes, as Djokovic netted another backhand.  Djokovic earned a break point chance and conveted it after a double fault from Schwartzman. 

Djokovic held serve at 15 with an ace in the fifth game to claw his way back to 2-3. The Serbian star forced an error from Schwarzman to earn a breka point in the sixth game and got the break, when the Argentine netted a forehand. Djokovic held serve at 15 to take a 4-3 in the seventh game. Schwartzman hit a forehand down the line winner at 30-15 in the eighth game and held serve with a service winner to draw level to 4-4. 

Djokovic saved a break point in the ninth game with a volley winner and held serve to take a 5-4 lead. Schwartzman saved a set point with a forehand winner and drew level to 5-5 after two deuces with a backhand the line winner. 

Djokovic held serve after a deuce to take a 6-5 lead forcing Schwartzman to serve to stay in the set for the second time. Djokovic converted his third set point to win the opening set 7-5 after 70 minutes. 

Schwartzman earned an early break at the start of the second set. Djokovic got the break back to draw level to 1-1 when Schwartzman sent a forehand wide. 

Djokovic hit a winner at the net to hold serve in the third game. Schwartzman hit four winners in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2.

Djokovic saved two break points in the fifth game and held serve with a service winner to take a 3-2 lead. Schwartman held serve with a drop shot. Djokovic won his service game at love to take a 4-3 lead and broke serve at love in the eighth game with a backhand down the line winner. Djokovic held serve at love to close out the final. 

“”It was a great week. A very challenging week. I don’t think I played my best tennis throughout the entire week, but I think I found my best tennis when I needed it the most in the decisive moments today, yesterday and in every match. That definitely makes me very satisfied and proud that I managed to find that fifth gear when it was most needed. Turning to Paris, I could not ask for a better tournament here in Rome. Another big title and i super pleased with it”, said Djokovic. 

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Stan Wawrinka Parts Way With Long-Time Coach Norman

Stan the man is on the look out for a new coach for the first time in almost a decade.

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It is the end of an era for three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka after he announced his split from coach Magnus Norman.

 

The former world No.3 confirmed on Monday that the two have decided to end their collaboration with ‘mutual consent’ following eight years working together on the Tour. Norman was last with Wawrinka at the Italian Open last week where the Swiss player lost his opening match to rising star Lorenzo Musetti. It is unclear as to exactly when the decision was made.

“After 8 great years together Magnus Norman and I have decided to part ways by mutual consent. We have had an amazingly strong, enjoyable and hugely successful partnership. We reached the height of this sport together and I want to thank him for helping me win everything that I could ever dream of winning,” Wawrinka said in a statement posted on Instagram.

44-year-old Norman is a former world No.2 player himself who reached the final of the French Open back in 2000. During his coaching career, he guided Wawrinka to various milestones in his career that includes 13 ATP titles with three of those being at Grand Slam level. The Swede has also been recognized by the ATP for his work with Wawrinka after winning the inaugural Coach of the Year award back in 2016.

“He’s been a great coach, friend and mentor and will always be a dear friend,” Wawrinka said in a tribute.
“I want to publicly thank him for all his hard work, dedication and commitment in making me a better player over the years. Winning three grand slams have been a life changing experience for me and I could not have done that without him. I wish him all the best in his next chapter in his life.”

The announcement from the world No.17 comes a week before the French Open starts. Wawrinka has been training on the clay for the past few weeks after deciding against travelling to North America to play in the US Open. Instead, he played in a couple Challenger events and won a trophy in Prague last month. Overall, he has achieved a win-loss record of 15-3 so far in 2020.

It is unclear as to who will be replacing Norman in Wawrinka’s team.

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