Rafael Nadal: “Rome, Monte-Carlo, Madrid, Barcelona is past now” - UBITENNIS
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Rafael Nadal: “Rome, Monte-Carlo, Madrid, Barcelona is past now”



TENNIS ROLAND GARROS 2014 – Rafael Nadal pre-tournament interview.


Q. How do you feel now that you’re in Paris? Mentally and physically how do you feel today here?

RAFAEL NADAL: During the clay court season I get a little bit better week by week. Last week in Rome, how you said, it was tough physically. I played a lot of time, but in the end sometimes you need these things, no?

And I think I played a little bit better during the whole tournament, and especially after the first two rounds, quarterfinals, semifinals, final. I think I got a positive step for me, and happy the way that I finished in Madrid and Rome.

Not that happy about what I did in Monte Carlo and Barcelona, but that’s the sport.

We are here in Roland Garros, and just happy to be back in a place that give me so much. It’s a very special place for me, and just enjoying the first few days here. Hopefully the weather will be better.


Q. Rafa, is the clay any different this year here at Roland Garros?

RAFAEL NADAL: I only practiced one day. I only practiced yesterday, and the center court was a little bit different. I think they make the court new, so it’s like the clay get a little bit more fixed. It was moving a little bit too much around and some small stone that makes the movement a little bit more difficult.

But probably they will be ready for the tournament now. Remain a few days, and probably they can fix it. They are specialists, no?


Q. When you come back to Paris to this stadium, are the sensations, feelings, memories, always coming back to you, or is it now more of a routine?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, never going to be a routine to play here, no? Is always a big emotion have the chance to play here in Roland Garros. For me, as I said before, this place is the most important place in my career.

Just always very emotional when I have the chance to be back here and always going to be a great news when I will be in Paris to play Roland Garros. Very excited.


Q. Earlier in the clay season you said that you were maybe struggling a little bit with your confidence. So after now all of the leadup tournaments, where do you think your confidence is as you start here?

RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know. Rome, Monte Carlo, Madrid, Barcelona is past now. We are here in Roland Garros, and the only thing that matters now is have a good practice when I will be able to finish with the press. I will practice today, will practice tomorrow, good practice on Sunday, and try to be ready for the competition, no?

The dynamic is positive, is true, so that’s always important for the confidence. I felt that in Rome I was able to play with not that nerves, that anxiety that I played in the first two tournaments and some moments in Madrid, too.

So that’s always a positive thing, but now is very important tournament for me. At the end is another tournament, no? And just happy to be here in Roland Garros. Happy to fight for the challenge to play well again here.

And I gonna try. That’s it. That’s the only thing that I can say. I gonna try.


Q. If you’re winning against Ginepri in the first round and Dominic Thiem is doing the same against Mathieu, could be a possible matchup with Dominic Thiem, one of the rising stars on the tour. What do you think about Dominic Thiem?

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, he’s doing great, no? He’s playing very high level for this year. I didn’t have the chance to see him play a lot, but I heard very positive things about him. Everybody says that he’s a future top, top player. And I will see. I play against Ginepri first.


Q. There is the Championships League final tomorrow. Where are you going to watch the game?

RAFAEL NADAL: Here, Paris. I don’t know yet. (Laughter.)

Q. At your hotel?

RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know yet. I need to find the right place to see it.

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Svetlana Kuznetsova upsets Ashleigh Barty in Cincinnati to reach the 42nd final of her career



Russian wild card Svetlana Kuznetsova edged top seed this year’s Roland Garros champion Ashleigh Barty 6-2 6-4 in the semifinal of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati to reach the 42nd final of her career.


Two-time Grand Slam champion Kuznetsova, who is now ranked world number 153, scored her third win against top 10 players this week  after beating former US Open champion Sloane Stephens and Karolina Pliskova.

Barty missed her chance to regain world number 1 spot from Naomi Osaka, who was forced to retire from her quarter final.

Barty earned the first break of the match in the second game of the opening set, when Kuznetsova netted a backhand. Kuznetsova broke back in the third game with a smash winner and earned another break at 2-2 when Barty netted a backhand. Kuznetsova hit a return winner to build up a 5-2 lead. Barty asked a medical time-out to treat he right leg. Kuznetsova held serve at 15 to close out the opening set after 30 minutes.

Kuznetsova went up a break in the first game of the second set. Barty won just three points on return in the second set. Kuznetsova closed out the second set with three winners in the 10th game.

“I am really happy. I am not really an analyzing person, but on my intuition, I am doing so much better, not repeating so many of my mistakes, just playing smarter and wiser now. It’s been so many different things when I was off, so I just enjoyed time off. Honestly, I was not missing at all the travelling and all the stress when you play tournaments, but now I have missed it and I feel good. I feel joy staying here and being here. It definitely helped me to have some time off to see other things outside tennis”, said Kuznetsova.


Kuznetsova set up a final against Madison Keys, who beat Sofia Kenin in straight sets. The Russian 34-year-old veteran player has qualified for her first final since last year, when she beat Donna Vekic in Washington.


“Madison is extremely tough. When she is on fire, it is really hard to play against her. It’s going to be a difficult match-up”, said Kuznetsova.  

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David Goffin reaches his first Masters 1000 in Cincinnati



David Goffin beat Richard Gasquet 6-3 6-4 on an overcast afternoon to reach the first Masters 1000 final of his career and his 13th title match at ATP Tour level at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati. Goffin has dropped just one set en route to the final.


Goffin is returning to his best form this summer under the guidance of former Swedish player Thomas Johansson. He reached the final in Halle and his first quarter final at Wimbledon. He received a walkover after Yoshihito Nishioka was forced to withdraw from the match due to food poisoning.

The Belgian player started the match with two consecutive holds before breaking at love to open up a 4-1 lead with a backhand winner down the line.

Goffin held his next service games to seal the opening set 6-3. Gasquet earned an early break to open  2-0 lead, but Goffin won five of the next six games with two breaks. The 2017 Nitto ATP Finals runner-up served out the win at love in the 10th game after 1 hour and 16 minutes, as Gasquet sent his backhand long.

Goffin reached the semifinal in Cincinnati last year, but he was forced to retire due to an arm injury.

“I am very happy. It’s a tournament I like and I have played the best tennis in the past few years. I am really happy to reach my first Masters 1000 final here. It’s a great moment for me.”



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Richard Gasquet reaches his first Masters 1000 semifinal since Miami 2013



Frenchman Richard Gasquet edged past this year’s Wimbledon semifinalist Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-2 after 2 hours and 12 minutes to reach his first Masters 1000 semifinal since the 2013 Miami Open.


 Gasquet missed six months of action after undergoing groin surgery last January.

The French player set up a semfinal against David Goffin, who reached the semifinal after his Japanese opponent Yoshihito Nishioka withdrew from the match due to illness.

The first set went on serve with no break points en route to the tie-break. Bautista Agut hit a backhand wide at 1-2. Gasquet sealed the tie-break when Bautista Agut hit a forehand long.

Bautista Agut earned two breaks of serve in the second set and sealed it, when Gasquet made his third double fault on set point.

Gasquet broke serve with a volley in the third game of the decisive set. The French player went up a double break to race out to 4-1 lead. He saved two break points to hold his serve at deuce before serving out the third set on his first match point.

“I know how tough it was to come back. I know the moments I had at the start of the year, so I just wanted to enjoy, to fight. It is not easy to come back after six months out, but I am here. I am in semis tomorrow”,said Gasquet.



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