Mutua Madrid Open 2014 Interviews. Rafael Nadal: “Here I have to win three matches. It's easier that Real Madrid wins the Champions League.” - UBITENNIS
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Mutua Madrid Open 2014 Interviews. Rafael Nadal: “Here I have to win three matches. It's easier that Real Madrid wins the Champions League.”

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TENNIS Mutua Madrid Open 2014 – R. Nadal d. J. Nieminen 6-1, 6-4. An interview with Rafael Nadal.

 

Q. For the quarterfinals match, Tomas Berdych. It’s been a long time since the last time he beat you. In Rome, 2013, 2 0 for you. What are you expecting from him tomorrow? It’s going to be in the morning, so we’ll see.

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, in the morning, I think it’s going to be at 3:00. On the your time, right?

Well, it’s always the same thing: I think that Berdych today played an important match. He beat Dimitrov when he came from playing really well. Dimitrov is also doing very well, and that’s a lot of merit for Berdych.

I saw the first set. I saw a little bit of the second, one but not a lot because I was getting ready. He’s a very dangerous player on every single surface. Here even more with the altitude. The ball flies very fast and the serve is very difficult to break.

My goal is to try to be aggressive. I know that to play against him I don’t have to leave many spaces on the court. If he strikes the ball in comfortable positions I’m nearly dead, because he has a really high ball speed.

And I have to try to see what he does a little bit better. Maybe his movement is not as good. You know, perhaps when I’m good and a little bit stronger than him on that side moving from side to side on the court.

But all the rest, it’s really difficult to stop him if you’re not on your best level. Today I did a good match. During perhaps an hour I played at a really high level. Also, it’s true that after that I didn’t play such a high level. I had something in my head.

 

Q. What do you think, you will lift the trophy on Sunday or Real Madrid wins the 10th Champions League on the 24th?

RAFAEL NADAL: Real Madrid just needs to win a match, and over here I have to win three matches. It’s easier that Real Madrid wins the Champions League.

They have days to go, and I have only hours in front of me before my next match. And that’s are we have. I have to be ready. It’s an important match for me. I have been two weeks losing in the quarterfinals, so let’s see what happens.

Hopefully I can make it to the semifinals. I hope that I have the energy and the intensity required to be able to play against Tomas since the beginning in a proper way.

I hope that the fact that I’m playing at home it’s going to be an extra help.

 

Q. I want to talk a little bit about your answer. Last thing you said before about the good timing that you had to play on the court. Perhaps you played your best match on clay. Today you said you were playing well, but you said at the end of the match you had something on your mind. Was that a good thing or not?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, no, whatever you have on your mind, it’s not a good thing. Completely opposite. It’s true that during the first hour I played better than yesterday, more dynamically and with more intensity. I knew what I was doing with each ball with no surprises.

I was defending properly and knowing what was happening in every single moment. I could defend properly. Perhaps that’s something I wasn’t able to do in the last weeks. Perhaps today with more energy and I was more dynamic than before.

So I think I did that pretty well today. After that, well, when I was attacking I was doing it properly with no anticipation. I wasn’t going for the winner straightaway, but always having the initiative of the point.

When I was saying with no surprises, well, I was saying that if the ball came long, then the ball came long. If I wanted to do a short ball, I did a short ball. Things I didn’t do last week.

For example, last weeks if I wanted to play a long ball I maybe put it in the net. So those are things that get you out of the court.

Perhaps today things were more controlled than other days. That builds confidence for you whenever you’re moving and playing very well. Those margins of error give you confidence without having to go behind the tramlines a lot to win the point.

 

Q. When you said you had something on your mind, what are you talking about?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, that I committed some errors and didn’t play with the intensity that I was at the beginning. I don’t know how many unforced errors I made after the 2 0 in the first set or something like that, or 2 0, 3 0. I think very few. I think I didn’t commit nearly any unforced errors.

I would like to know how many I committed, but I felt I hardly committed any errors. You know, when you’re for a long time without missing anything, sometimes you can commit an error that I shouldn’t.

You know, I’ve done it in two consecutive games, one with his serve. I committed perhaps some errors one after the other. Perhaps another one also with my serve I committed some consecutive errors.

So, you know, he cannot go 3 2 when I have such a good dynamic. I have to go ahead again. When I am 3 1 I have to be 4 1, not 3 2.

After that, another game which I think I should have done the break at 4 3. That was a complicated moment because we were 3 3. I think that was the moment to go back in and break again, and I started with a good point and then I think I committed two errors.

So I think what i have to avoid in order to be competitive, in order to play well against the player that I have now.

 

Q. Accepting that your two opponents have been very hard, do you think tomorrow’s match is really a test to see if you’re playing better?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, instead of a test, it’s just another important match. Perhaps it’s the most difficult of all week without any doubts. I think I’m playing against the 6th in the world? 5th? Where he is?

 

Q. 6th.

RAFAEL NADAL: 6th. Well, you know, he’s a player that has been playing really well. He made it to the semifinals in Australia, he won in Rotterdam I think, and he’s a player that has a capacity to play at the maximum level.

I don’t know if it’s an exam, but it is a big test. We have to be ready to face it with the proper attitude. We have to be mentally strong for the moments that we have out there, because there’ll be complicated moments.

It’s never going to be an easy match. It’s going to be very equal, I hope. We just have to be ready to assume that and to keep on playing bravely.

 

Q. Last time that he beat you was here in Madrid in 2006. Can you remember anything of the feelings that you had back then? Do you remember something of that match?

RAFAEL NADAL: In 2006? Yeah, sure. Of course I do.

It’s not a match that I have good feelings about because it was a lot of years ago. It’s the past. It was one of the few times I had problems inside a court in my life.

It’s the past. All of us learn with the years. Me the first, and nothing. I think that tomorrow’s match has nothing to do with what happened in 2006. It’s a completely different history, different surface.

Unfortunately we’re pretty old now.

 

Q. The match against Pico was a little bit short. This one was a little bit longer. Do you think you have good rhythm here with the altitude in order to have a victory tomorrow?

RAFAEL NADAL: Tomorrow at 5:00 or 6:00 I’ll let you know. I don’t know what can happen in the future. Only thing I know is that I won two matches, which is always important.

I’ve won them more or less with continuity, which is also positive. Now the complicated part of the match comes. You have to go the step forward and play happily and bravely and I think with determination.

This is what I have to do if I want to have options.

 

Q. Congratulations today. Your analysis of the match today? It was going pretty well in the first set and he pushed you in the second set. Did you always feel in control of the match today?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, no. When you are 4 All and breakpoint for the opponent you are not in control always. But it’s true that for one hour probably I was playing the best tennis that I played for the last three weeks.

One of the first days that I felt that I was doing with the ball what I really want to do. So that’s a very positive thing.

And the negative thing is in the match I had an opportunity to close the match with great feelings and I made few mistakes in a row. That makes the match more complicated. I gave the opportunity to Jarkko to play more aggressive and with more determination.

For me it was a mistake to give him that option because I had the match completely under control with 6 1, 3 0. Tomorrow is another is history against one of the best players in the world. I need to be at my 100% to have any chance.

I am going to try. I know I have to play better and better every day if I want to have chances.

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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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