Novak Djokovic: “It was a great match to be part of, and I enjoyed it and hope the crowd did, too” - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic: “It was a great match to be part of, and I enjoyed it and hope the crowd did, too”

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TENNIS 2014 ROLAND GARROS – 30th of May 2014. N. Djokovic d. M . Cilic 6-3, 6-2, 6-7, 6-4. An interview with Novak Djokovic

 

Q. After the first two sets, it became a bit more complicated, the conditions and March rain playing very good. How did you feel out there?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I felt great. First two sets and beginning of the third I had some chances to break him and kind of get the job done in straight sets, but he started playing a little bit better.

I didn’t use this opportunity that were presented, and, you know, gave him a chance to come back to the match. He played great, the end of the third, especially in the tiebreak.

In the fourth, you know, 3 Love, Love 40, 4 1, Love 40, didn’t use that. And again, I complicated my own life there in the fourth. But generally it was a difficult match from different aspects.

Physically I had to work very hard, because he was very aggressive, and I could expect that. I came into the match knowing that he’s gonna take his chances.

You know, some shots, I mean, he was hitting really well. Second serve he was attacking and, you know, returning deep in the court and kind of pulling me back from the baseline, and then, you know, trying to dominate the rallies.

So it wasn’t easy, because, you know, once you start being passive, you know, you lose kind of the confidence to step in. That’s    that’s what happened maybe in the end of the third and, you know, a little bit of the fourth.

In important moments I held my nerves and, you know, I’m very happy that I went through.

 

Q. Being on Lenglen maybe did it have any influence, the court, not being used to it or sliding a bit?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It’s different from the center court. Two things: First, it’s quicker, so it’s suitable more for servers like Marin and the players who play very aggressively; and it was kind of slippery a little bit.

But the quality of the court just looking at this year is a little bit better from the center.

You know, I expected that I’m going to play on Suzanne Lenglen, you know, there is nothing    there is no excuses. It was a great match to be part of, and I enjoyed it and hope the crowd did, too.

 

Q. Can you say some words about your work with Boris Becker here in Roland Garros. How is he helping you? What are you guys working on and what does his presence mean for you?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, his presence means a lot for me and, of course, for the sport in general for such a legend and the player that has made a mark in the tennis history to be part of the sport again officially as a coach is really    I think it brings a lot of positives to tennis.

I started feeling the benefits of our relationship and cooperation. And the start of the year it was obviously    it took a little bit of time for us to get to know each other, and now I’m glad that it’s all working well.

In Rome he was there, together with Marjan Vajda, he is here in Paris. So both of them they have their own contribution, their impact on my game. I’m not going to discover exactly what, but generally it’s working, and I’m glad that it all goes in the right direction.

 

Q. If I could, I’d like to ask you: What do you consider the biggest win of your career? What loss was sort of the toughest, most brutal to take?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: The biggest one is Wimbledon in 2011, I won against Nadal and won the title and became No. 1. That was the probably the biggest day of my career.

And also the Davis Cup in 2010. That’s also very special, special title in my career.

I had tough losses, a lot of tough losses. It’s all sport. Probably    I can’t pick one, but there were a few in Grand Slam finals that were quite…

 

Q. Have you heard about Gulbis’ sexist comments today? He said he hopes his two sisters won’t become professional tennis players because women need to think about having kids and they need to enjoy life. And he said also having kids    he thinks they can’t have kids until they are in their late 20s, which is tough. What is your opinion?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I don’t know what to say, really. Everybody is entitled on their own opinion. I respect his opinion, and I respect everybody’s opinion, but I can’t say more than that, really.

I respect everybody individually and their opinions and their rights and freedom to say what they want.

 

Q. This is a question from fans. Your brother, who is trying to be a successful tennis player, is    is that the case? Marko?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes.

 

Q. What will happen the day you play him in a tournament and he will beat you?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I hope this day comes, to be honest. I really do.

What I’m going to do? I’m going to hug him, kiss him, and say, Yes, you’ve done it. I would love this day to come.

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Next Gen Star Alexei Popyrin Fears He May Be Forced To Play US Open Despite Health Concerns

Like many other lower ranked players on the Tour, the 20-year-old finds himself in a tough situation.

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One of Australia’s rising stars has said he is worried that he may have to play at the US Open against his will or risk losing a chunk of ranking points.

 

Alexei Popryin has raised his concerns about travelling to the New York major in August amid a surge of COVID-19 cases in some areas of the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention there were 52,228 New Cases of the virus on July 5th compared to 24 hours before. Furthermore, the governor of New York recently announced that people travelling from 16 different states in America are now required to self-quarantine for 14 days if they visit the city. According to USA Today this ruling applies to roughly 48% of the entire American population.

Despite the concerns, the organisers of the US Open have insisted they will be able to hold the tournament in a safe manner and will be implementing various restrictions. Including holding the event without fans for the first time and conducting frequent testing of players. However world No.103 Popryin admits that he still has his concerns about attending.

“There are talks regarding the US Open but I really don’t want to go with the situation in America right now,” Popyrin said at the Ultimate Tennis Showdown over the weekend.
“But we have to see if we would be forced to go because of ranking points.
“If the ranking points won’t be frozen, then most of us would be forced to go play cause our ranking will drop and we wouldn’t have any say in it.
“But if the rankings are frozen, then I am staying here.
“I will stay in Europe where it’s safe with my family.”

Popryin has a considerable amount of points to defend in New York after reaching the third round there last year. Therefore, if he skips the event he faces dropping further down the rankings. Something which will then impact on his chances of entering the bigger tournaments later in the year. Usually the cut off for Grand Slam tournaments is around 105.

It is still to be announced as to what will happen with the ranking points system at the US Open and if there will be any adjustments made due to the pandemic. Although organisers will likely be against any idea to remove them from the event as it is a key factor to attract players to take part.

Another player to voice their concerns about the US Open is France’s Benoit Paire, who has said he would not attend the event if it was taking place today. Speaking to RMC Sport the world No.22 said he would rather not go to the event if he meant that he would be ‘taking a risk’ with his health.

“Going to the United States would be at risk of catching it. I am a great professional and I am one of those who would always like to play tennis, but your health is the most important thing,” he said.
“If going there is taking the risk of catching the disease and staying quarantined when I return, I prefer not to go, really.’
“It looks like if we play the US Open, we will have to sacrifice not to play the Mutua Madrid Open or the Masters 1000 in Rome.”

Meanwhile, world No.3 Dominic Thiem recently told Austrian media that he believes a final decision regarding the Grand Slam will be made within a week. Something that is yet to be confirmed by officials.

Should it go ahead, the US Open will start on August 31st.

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REPORT: Former Spanish Tennis Star In Talks To Coach Alexander Zverev

A former world No.3 could be returning to the Tour later this year in a new position.

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Tennis sensation Alexander Zverev could soon be mentored by somebody whose career he ended last year at the Madrid Open.

 

Spanish newspaper Marca have reported that the world No.7 is set to enter in a 15-day trial with former French Open finalist David Ferrer where the two will get to know each other better. Ferrer has reportedly travelled to Monte Carlo to start working alongside Germany’s top player. Should everything go well, the two could start a formal partnership in September ahead of the European clay-court swing of the Tour, which has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both men are already fairly familiar with each other after facing off nine times on the ATP Tour, including three times last year. Zverev was the last player Ferrer played against at the Madrid Open before officially retiring from the sport at the age of 37.

“He’s the most respectful guy for me on Tour, and one of the most loved people on the Tour as well,” Zverev told reporters in the Spanish capital following their match.

Whilst never winning a Grand Slam, Ferrer achieved numerous accolades throughout his career. Including spending 4914 consecutive days in the world’s top 50, winning 27 ATP titles and achieving a ranking high of No.3 back in 2013. Overall, he has played 1011 matches on the ATP Tour (including Grand Slams) which is more than John McEnroe.

Should Ferrer receive the green light, Zverev will be the first high-profile player he will be responsible for. The Spaniard had previously hinted at his desire to enter coaching with his long time objective being to captain the Spanish Davis Cup team. He is also currently serving as the tournament director of the Barcelona Open.

“I would be very proud to be able to be (Davis Cup captain),” Ferrer told Marca in April 2019. “I also understand that this is very far away and there are players who are ahead. First, I have to train as a professional in teaching (coaching).”

Neither Ferrer or Zverev has publicly commented on the report. At present Zverev is coached on the Tour by his father who guided him to the semi-finals of the Australian Open in January.

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Father Of Dominic Thiem Condemns Criticism Of Novak Djokovic’s Role In Adria Tour Fiasco

Wolfgang Thiem has come to the defence of the world No.1 before suggesting that COVID-19 cases among players at charity events are worth it.

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The father of world No.3 Dominic Thiem has said it is ‘too cheap’ to blame Novak Djokovic over the outbreak of COVID-19 at the controversial Adria Tour.

 

Wolfgang Thiem lent his support behind the 17-time Grand Slam champion during an interview with Austrian newspaper Die Presses on Friday. The Adria Tour, which was founded by Djokovic, was cancelled following an outbreak of the virus during the Zadar leg of the event in Croatia with Grigor Dimitrov being the first player to confirm a positive test. Shortly after, Djokovic and Borna Coric also tested positive as well as some coaching staff. Viktor Troicki also contracted COVID-19, but only played the first leg of the Tour in Belgrade.

Throughout the Belgrade and Zadar events organisers were criticised for a lack of social distancing being applied. Players were seen playing basketball matches, attending nightclubs and interacting with the public. Although all of those actions were in line with local government rules.

“I do not approve of what happened on the Adria Tour, but condemning Djokovic and saying he screwed it up is too cheap for me,” Wolfgang commented.
“Of course the dance at the disco was not optimal, but Djokovic basically did nothing wrong. They just got a little sloppy, they were euphoric,” he continued.

Djokovic, who has been at the centre of the criticism, is yet to publicly speak about the incident. On Friday it was confirmed that both him and his wife Jelena have now tested negative for the virus. 10 days after they were first diagnosed.

As for Thiem, his father said the Austrian tennis star will be donating his money from the event to charity. Although he did not say how much that would be or which cause it would go towards. It comes just days after Djokovic donated 40,000 euros to the Serbian town of Novi Pazar, who has been hit hard by the pandemic.

Speaking about the outbreak of COVID-19 among players, Wolfgang has suggested that it is worth it if it meant raising money for charity.

“I prefer that there be a few more cases of coronavirus and be able to raise a few thousand euros for a childhood cancer clinic,” he explained.

Since the Adria Tour, Thiem has played at the Ultimate Tennis Showdown (UTS) in France. He has undergone five COVID-19 tests in recent days with all of them testing negative for the virus. The 26-year-old withdrew from the UTS on Wednesday to focus on the upcoming Thiem 7 event in Kitzbuhel which will start on July 7th.

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