Mutua Madrid Open 2014 Interviews. Rafael Nadal: “The ranking is lying a lot of times. The ranking is not fair a lot of times.” - UBITENNIS
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Mutua Madrid Open 2014 Interviews. Rafael Nadal: “The ranking is lying a lot of times. The ranking is not fair a lot of times.”

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TENNIS Mutua Madrid Open 2014 – An interview with Rafael Nadal.

 

Q. You’re in a little bit weird month because it’s been a time that you didn’t go in Monte Carlo on a Friday, Barcelona you left on a Friday. You’ve got a lot of the time to rest. Do you think that’s good for Madrid?

RAFAEL NADAL: No. It’s not good for me. The good thing is when you’ve been winning it’s good for you. You have momentum and you can keep doing things well.

Well, when you lose, you have a hard moment, you have more doubts. Well, yes, I have a little bit time. I need more time to move, choose where to strike the ball.

But no, no, that’s what happened. I’ve already said it several times. I didn’t pretend to win Monte Carlo 12 times or Barcelona 12 times. Maybe that may not be normal. This is the reality of the situation.

Maybe it’s normal to lose three times on the quarterfinals. Maybe what’s not normal is what happened during the past nine years.

But we’ll be here to fight and to try to play even better. I don’t think I have to change many things. I think I can change very small things, and the change can be quite drastic and quite big.

That’s what I’m working on right now.

 

Q. These small changes that you’re talking about, what do you think they are? What are the changes you’re talking about?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, they’re pretty simple. In the end, tennis doesn’t have a lot of capacity of analysis. It’s not a really complicated sport. It’s pretty simple. I have to move a little bit better on the court. I have to be better in my drive with a little bit more decision.

I think the backhand, I’ve been doing it pretty well. I just need a little bit more authority when I’ve been training with my drive. Just a little bit more authority on my drive. The backhand was working well. If I work on my drive well, the backhand is going to be better on its own.

I just need to win. I think that in Barcelona I had a good opportunity. I think I was pretty close. I think that in many moments I deserved to do it, but that tennis is a fair game. The game all the time was on my side.

So, you know, I was playing    my attitude was pretty well. So I think I cannot have a better attitude than what I had in Monte Carlo, for example. The attitude I wanted to win in Monte Carlo, it’s not something about wanting ir or not wanting it. It’s about momentum. I’m feeling better.

I feel really good to play here. It’s a very special tournament for me, and the energy this tournament gives me is something a little bit different to others.

I’ve been training trying to do things properly, as I’ve been doing always. I hope that it just works out.

 

Q. I don’t know what does Madrid have, but in the past editions nobody managed to win the title again. In your case you could do it this time. You have a third opportunity. Do you think it’s because people normally don’t win twice?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, no, it’s not because of nothing. To repeat is really difficult in every single place. We’re talking about tournaments we have the top players every single year. It’s obvious when the best players are working. It’s really tough that the same guy wins from year to year.

You look at the history of our sport, it’s something that be doesn’t happen very often in our sport. It’s true the last few years some players have been winning tournaments year after year.

If we look at the history we can see that few players have been able to do this year after year, and that just shows how difficult the sport is in general.

In this case, in tennis, many matches are decided in a small points. Well, sometimes the balls always fall on the side of a guy. It’s something special that has happened several times during the past years.

It’s happened several times for some players, but it’s not very logical. It’s not very logical what happens in the last five, six years that the same players have been playing for the really important tournaments.

This can happen three times, but during so many years it’s something pretty different. I think that these things don’t happen many times during the history.

 

Q. I would like to talk about your defeat in Australia. What did that leave on you? Physically talking because a problem in your back that you couldn’t train for a week, or mentally because of the fact of not being able to win?

RAFAEL NADAL: The defeat in Australia is the past. We don’t have to talk anymore about Australia. It’s gone. We will go back in 2015 to try to be well there again and try to compete well in Australia.

Just another defeat with a problem. That maybe leaves you afterwards a little bit more insecurity to that loss. Because you always have that moment that you’re just dreaming about it and then you have a problem.

But this is sport. You know, the sport is just to accept, to feel done, and wake up again and stand up and try to recover.

You know, when you compete at this level, when you’re playing at the limit, sometimes you crash. You crash against the wall.

All the crashes you get during your career, you just have to survive. You just to have try not to be a mortal kick. I don’t think that’s the case in Australia.

After Australia it’s been a little bit difficult for me to get back in the rhythm for the competition, but also there are some other things over there.

In Australia where I was playing well, after Australia I stop for three weeks, then I played Rio. Even though I win Rio, I didn’t play with really good feelings. I played the tournament, but doesn’t matter. In the middle I have to leave because they have to treat my back, put something on my back, syringes.

That happened in Rio and then I cannot train after 12 days. So, you know, there I was a little bit close. And all of this in general, well you create    you need continuity in order to play well.

In Indian Wells I managed to play well against Dolgopolov. I tried to win that match. These things happen.

We went over it and just have to work on it. You have to start from zero.

In Miami, was that really positive tournament for me.

Afterwards, I lost two matches here in Spain and I think I could have won.

Ferrer was much better than me, especially in the second set. The first set was really close. I think it’s a match that I should have won, but I didn’t.

In this case I have to work for here, for Madrid. That’s what I’ve been doing. I been working since I lost in Barcelona. I tried to train well to come here. If things don’t come out well, we will go to Rome; if things don’t work out there, we will go to Paris.

That’s everything. You have to continue and continue and continue, and think that things are going to work out for you. That’s what I’m going to try to do all of these days.

 

Q. These two defeats, do they create on you more doubts?

RAFAEL NADAL: You know, they create you doubts. That’s what happens in the defeat. That’s why if someone tells you the opposite he is lying to you. The defeats create doubts. Not more be will to play. What creates will to play is that you’re feeling well on the court.

When you come from tough moments like this or injuries or whatever, you don’t manage to be on the positive line, well, you know, you then come back with a little more intensity to try to be back as soon as possible.

I just to have try to be back on that line. That’s what I’m trying to do right now.

 

Q. Are you surprised to see Andy Murray ranked No. 8? And you know what it’s like to recover from injuries. Do you think he’ll be able to come back after his back surgery and get back to the top of the game?

RAFAEL NADAL: You know, the ranking is lying a lot of times. The ranking is not fair a lot of times. Having one year ranking when you get injury for a while, when you lose just a few tournaments or you have some problems and you are not able to play your 100%, it’s very easy to lose ranking.

So it’s not an issue for a player Andy that already won Olympics, Grand Slam, Masters 1000s. The ranking probably is not his priority. It’s to play well and have the chance to win the most important tournaments and feel himself healthy and competitive.

I don’t have any doubt that he’s fighting again for the best tournaments of the world. It’s always natural and normal that after an injury it’s tough to be back on the top of your game very soon.

So for me, it’s not an issue. He’s there. He will be fighting for the best tournaments and he will be in the top positions of the ranking if he wants to be or if he’s able to do.

When you get injury and you have some physical problems and you are not able to play all the tournaments at your 100%, then I repeat: having the ranking just one year on the calendar, you know, it’s not enough to be at the top if you were not able to play all the tournaments at your 100%.

 

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Matteo Berrettini Frustrated By Curfew Delay At French Open

Due to French law Roland Garros had to remove spectators from the venue at 11pm which angered many fans in the crowd.

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Matteo Berrettini (image by Ray Giubilo)

Italy’s Matteo Berrettini said the pause in his match against Novak Djokovic at the French Open disrupted his momentum and hopes situations like this will ‘end soon.’

 

The world No.9 was taking on Novak Djokovic in the quarter-final in Paris on Wednesday evening. Trailing by two sets, Berrettini clinched the third in a tiebreaker as he was cheered on by the crowd. However, the atmosphere took a dramatic change during the fourth frame with fans having to be removed from the venue. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, France has a 11pm curfew in place which means any tennis matches after this time have to be held behind close doors.

The decision to stop the match at 11pm (when spectators were already breaking curfew) infuriated many with a series of booing coming from the stands. It is unclear as to why organisers didn’t evacuate the arena after the third set, which was 30 minutes before the curfew came into place.

“I’ll tell the truth. I think it’s a shame. It’s something that I didn’t like,” Berrettini commented on the situation afterwards. “But it’s (the law) bigger than us.
“It’s not that you can do something about it. You have to adjust. Hopefully this COVID and these bad situations are going to end soon. It’s not the worst thing that happened in the last year.”

The 25-year-old says the pause to the proceedings had a negative impact on his physicality, but didn’t go into the specifics as to why.

“I was feeling the momentum. I was playing good. Stopping wasn’t the best thing I think for my tennis, but I had to take it,” he continues. “Also physically I think didn’t help me. I got back on court and I wasn’t feeling great.
“But again, tennis players always say they have to adjust to everything. Next time I’m going to try to be better.”

Unlike his rival, Djokovic says the break was a blessing in disguise for him as he sealed a place in his 40th major semi-final. Becoming only the second player in history to reach that milestone after Roger Federer. He ended up winning the match 6-3, 6-2, 6-7(5), 7-5 after converting his third match point.

“I didn’t mind actually leaving the court because I felt like I needed a little bit of a break and reset,” he said. “It’s unfortunate for the tournament, for the crowd, to have that curfew. But we knew it before the match.”

Despite losing, Berrettini has still made history at the tournament. He has become the first Italian man in history to have reached the fourth round of all four Grand Slam tournaments.

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Curfew Drama Overshadows Novak Djokovic’s French Open Win

After being taken to five sets in his previous match against Lorenzo Musetti, Djokovic was in fierce form throughout his latest encounter at Roland Garros.

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Top seed Novak Djokovic battled his way into the last four of the French Open after overcoming some stern resistance from Italy’s Matteo Berrettini.

 

The world No.1 produced some emphatic defensive skills throughout his roller-coaster 6-3, 6-2, 6-7(5), 7-5, win on Court Philippe Chatrier. Against the world No.9 he blasted 44 winners and broke four times en route to winning his 79th match at Roland Garros. The latest win has also secured another historic milestone for Djokovic with him being only the second man in the Open Era to have reached a 40th Grand Slam semi-final after Roger Federer.

“He was playing some really powerful tennis. Especially in the third and fourth he served tremendously strong and precise. It was just very difficult to read his serve and play someone like him,” Djokovic commented on Berrettini’s performance.

Although the talking point quarter-final concerned the controversial decision by organisers to start the match at 8pm local time which allowed just a three-hour gap before Paris went into curfew. Five games after Berrettini clinched the third set, fans were left furious after being evicted from the venue with players being taken off the court. Even more baffling was the decision by organisers to halt proceedings at 11pm when those attending had already broke curfew instead of stopping it 30 minutes or so before.

“I didn’t mind actually leaving the court because I felt like I needed a little bit of a break and reset,” said Djokovic. “It’s unfortunate for the tournament and for the crowd to have that curfew. But we knew before the match. Referee came up to us and said, If it comes close to 11:00, we’ll have to empty the stadium. That’s what happened.’
“I’m happy that I had that experience of playing in front of the crowd in the night session.” He added.

The Wednesday night showdown was a historic occasion at the French Open with it being the first time a night session had been played in front of a crowd following a relaxation of national restrictions on the same day. Taking to the court Djokovic looked determined from the onset as Berrettini provided him with plenty of challenges early on. In both of his opening service games the world No.1 fended off break points as he tamed a series of thunderous shots from the Italian with some sublime defensive play. Djokovic secured his first breakthrough four games in after a Berrettini forehand drifted wide which enabled him to break for a 3-1 lead. That single break was enough of a margin for him to close out the set, which he did with a love service game.

Gaining momentum, the 18-time Grand Slam champion continued to apply the pressure in the second frame as he won eight consecutive points behind his serve. Berrettini, who had the support of an animated crowd, was unable to find any answers. The former champion surged to a 5-2 lead with the help of a double break. Serving for a two-set lead, he sealed it with a forehand shot which prompted an unforced error from his rival.

It looked as if Djokovic was on course for a straight sets triumph but a resurgent Berrettini had other ideas. Edged on by an highly animated crowd, the Italian rediscovered the power of his serve as he matched him game-by-game until a nerve-stricken tiebreaker. Djokovic moved to just two points from victory with two serves at his disposal. However, a tight backhand crashed into the net handed Berrettini set point, which he converted with a blistering forehand down the line. Prompting an almighty roar from him.

The tussle between the two caused a headache for officials. The fourth frame started 30 minutes before the curfew was imposed, meaning fans would have to evacuate the venue before the match finished. Eventually the match was halted amid booing and jeering from fans angry they had to leave in what was one of the most unusual situations to ever occur at the tournament.

Returning to the court in almost silence after a 20-minute delay, both players continued to valiantly battle. A nasty fall failed to deter the Serbian as he edged closer towards the finish line. Leading 6-5 he had his first match point but failed to convert due to a Berrettini serve out wide. Then on his second failed attempt a furious Djokovic screamed at his team out of frustration and then kicked one of the boards at the side of the court. Two points after that mini meltdown he prevailed with the help of a Berrettini shot going into the net.

Djokovic will next lock horns with nemesis Rafael Nadal for a place in the final. The Spaniard has won more matches at Roland Garros than any other player in history and is bidding to win the men’s title for a record 14th time. He narrowly leads their head-to-head 29-28 but lost their most recent clash at the Italian Open earlier this year.

The quality and the level of tennis that I’ve been playing in the last three, four weeks on clay – Rome, Belgrade and here – is giving me good sensations and feelings ahead of that match. I’m confident. I believe I can win, otherwise I wouldn’t be here,” he said.

It is the 11th time in Djokovic’s career that he has reached the semi-finals of the French Open.

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Updated Entry Lists For Queen’s, Halle

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photo by atptour.com

Two ATP 500 tournaments will be played in London at the Queen’s Club and in Halle (Germany), as the grass-court season is set to continue.

 

Two of the most prestigious grass-court events on the ATP Tour will take place from the 14th to the 20th of June: the Cinch Championships in London (Queen’s Club) and the Noventi Open in Halle are going to be the crucial steps of the Wimbledon warm-up.

Matteo Berrettini, Diego Schwartzman, Denis Shapovalov, Milos Raonic and Jannik Sinner will be some of the seeds at the Queen’s Club, where Andy Murray plans to come back with a Wild-Card. Spain’s Feliciano Lopez is the defending champion.

Four top-ten players are committed to play Halle: Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev, Andrey Rublev and the defending champion Roger Federer will start their grass-court season in Germany. Roberto Bautista-Agut, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Kei Nishikori have entered the tournament as well, while the promising Swiss teenager Dominic Stephan Stricker has received a Wild-Card for the qualifying draw.

NEWS: Diego Schwartzman has withdrawn from Queen’s, he’s been replaced by Alexei Popyrin.

NEWS: Stefanos Tsitsipas has been awarded Wild-Card entry into Halle.

NEWS: Milos Raonic has pulled out from Queen’s, Frances Tiafoe takes his place.


ATP 500 Queen’s (GBR, Grass), entry list:
Berrettini, Matteo (ITA)
OUT Schwartzman, Diego (ARG)
Shapovalov, Denis (CAN)
OUT Raonic, Milos (CAN)
Sinner, Jannik (ITA)
OUT Wawrinka, Stan (SUI)
De Minaur, Alex (AUS)
Karatsev, Aslan (RUS)
Evans, Daniel (GBR)
Sonego, Lorenzo (ITA)
Fognini, Fabio (ITA)
Opelka, Reilly (USA)
Mannarino, Adrian (FRA)
Bublik, Alexander (KAZ)
Ramos-Vinolas, Albert (ESP)
Paire, Benoit (FRA)
Krajinovic, Filip (SRB)
Millman, John (AUS)
OUT Davidovich Fokina, Alejandro (ESP)
Norrie, Cameron (GBR)
Cilic, Marin (CRO)
Djere, Laslo (SRB)
Bedene, Aljaz (SLO)
WC Murray, Andy (GBR)
WC Broady, Liam (GBR)
WC Draper, Jack (GBR)
OUT (WC)
OUT (SE)
Alternates:
OUT Kyrgios, Nick (AUS)
IN Chardy, Jeremy (FRA)
IN Lopez, Feliciano (ESP)
IN Popyrin, Alexei (AUS)

OUT Moutet, Corentin (FRA)
IN Lu, Yen-Hsun (TPE)
IN Tiafoe, Frances (USA)
IN Travaglia, Stefano (ITA)

Alt.1 Albot, Radu (MDA)
Alt.2 Caruso, Salvatore (ITA)


ATP 500 Queen’s (GBR, Grass), qualifying:
OUT Popyrin, Alexei (AUS)
OUT Moutet, Corentin (FRA)
OUT Tiafoe, Frances (USA)
OUT Tsonga, Jo-Wilfried (FRA)
OUT Herbert, Pierre-Hugues (FRA)

Pouille, Lucas (FRA)
Zapata Miralles, Bernabe (ESP)
OUT Broady, Liam (GBR)
Van de Zandschulp, Botic (NED)
Huesler, Marc-Andrea (SUI)
Jung, Jason (TPE)
Marchenko, Illya (UKR)
Tabilo, Alejandro (CHI)
WC Peniston, Ryan (GBR)
WC Parker, Stuart (GBR)
WC Ward, James (GBR)
Alternates:
IN Ofner, Sebastian (AUT)
OUT Karlovic, Ivo (CRO)
OUT Safiullin, Roman (RUS)
IN Rosol, Lukas (CZE)
OUT Gulbis, Ernests (LAT)
OUT Muller, Alexandre (FRA)

IN Marcora, Roberto (ITA)
IN Bemelmans, Ruben (BEL)

OUT Ito, Tatsuma (PR, JPN)
IN Troicki, Viktor (SRB)
OUT Krueger, Mitchell (USA)
IN Vukic, Aleksandar (AUS)

OUT Stakhovsky, Sergiy (UKR)
OUT Tomic, Bernard (AUS)
OUT Kwiatkowski, Thai-Son (USA)
OUT Ito, Tatsuma (JPN)

Alt.1 Copil, Marius (ROU)
Alt.2 Ebden, Matthew (AUS)
Alt.3 Gojo, Borna (CRO)




ATP 500 Halle (GER, Grass), entry list:
Medvedev, Daniil (RUS)
Zverev, Alexander (GER)
Rublev, Andrey (RUS)
Federer, Roger (SUI)
Bautista Agut, Roberto (ESP)
OUT Carreno Busta, Pablo (ESP)
Goffin, David (BEL)
OUT Ruud, Casper (NOR)
Hurkacz, Hubert (POL)
Auger-Aliassime, Felix (CAN)
OUT Garin, Cristian (CHI)
Khachanov, Karen (RUS)
Humbert, Ugo (FRA)
Struff, Jan-Lennard (GER)
Nishikori, Kei (JPN)
Korda, Sebastian (USA)
Harris, Lloyd (RSA)
Koepfer, Dominik (GER)
Pella, Guido (ARG)
Thompson, Jordan (AUS)
Pospisil, Vasek (CAN)
WC Kohlschreiber, Philipp (GER)
WC Altmaier, Daniel (GER)
WC Monfils, Gael (FRA)
WC Tsitsipas, Stefanos (GRE)
Alternates:
IN Querrey, Sam (USA)
IN Simon, Gilles (FRA)
IN Moutet, Corentin (FRA)

OUT Lu, Yen-Hsun (TPE)
OUT Travaglia, Stefano (ITA)

Alt.1 Albot, Radu (MDA)
Alt.2 Caruso, Salvatore (ITA)
Alt.3 Giron, Marcos (USA)


ATP 500 Halle (GER, Grass), qualifying:
Basilashvili, Nikoloz (GEO)
OUT Travaglia, Stefano (ITA)
Gerasimov, Egor (BLR)
OUT Gombos, Norbert (SVK)
OUT Caruso, Salvatore (ITA)
Giron, Marcos (USA)
Albot, Radu (MDA)
Ivashka, Ilya (BLR)
Hanfmann, Yannick (GER)
OUT Alcaraz, Carlos (ESP)
Duckworth, James (AUS)
Galan, Daniel Elahi (COL)
Novak, Dennis (AUT)
Sousa, Joao (POR)
Rinderknech, Arthur (FRA)
Barrere, Gregoire (FRA)
O’Connell, Christopher (AUS)
OUT Gojowczyk, Peter (GER)
Stebe, Cedrik-Marcel (GER)
OUT Karlovic, Ivo (CRO)
OUT (RA)
WC Molleker, Rudolf (GER)
WC Stricker, Dominic Stephan (SUI)
(WC)
Alternates:
IN Rodionov, Jurij (AUT)
IN Gulbis, Ernests (LAT)
IN Muller, Alexandre (FRA)

OUT Torpegaard, Mikael (DEN)
OUT Marcora, Roberto (ITA)
OUT Bemelmans, Ruben (BEL)

IN Maden, Yannick (GER)
IN Lacko, Lukas (PR, SVK)
IN Ito, Tatsuma (JPN)

OUT Krueger, Mitchell (USA)
IN Stakhovsky, Sergiy (UKR)
Alt.1 Masur, Daniel (GER)
OUT Kwiatkowski, Thai-Son (USA)
OUT Copil, Marius (ROU)
OUT Ebden, Matthew (AUS)
OUT Gojo, Borna (CRO)

Alt.2 Celikbilek, Altug (TUR)
Alt.3 Kuhn, Nicola (ESP)
Alt.4 Blanch, Ulises (USA)
OUT Kopriva, Vit (CZE)
Alt.5 Molleker, Rudolf (GER)
Alt.6 Choinski, Jan (GER)
Alt.7 Brown, Dustin (GER)
Alt.8 Sakamoto, Pedro (BRA)
Alt.9 King, Darian (BAR)
Alt.10 Vavassori, Andrea (ITA)

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