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.
Anett Kontaveit beats Petra Martic to reach the final in Palermo
World number 22 Anett Kontaveit from Estonia upset number 1 seed Petra Martic 6-2 6-4 to reach the final at the Ladies Open in Palermo.
Martic has scored her third win in her seven matches against top 20 players after beating Belinda Bencic and Elina Svitolina.
Kontaveit avenged her defeat against Martic in their only previous match played in Dubai last February before the lockdown.
Kontaveit had to fight to hold her serve in the first game of the opening set at deuce and took control of the match by breaking in the fourth game to open up a 4-1 lead.
Martic won only 56% on her first serve in the opening set. Kontaveit came back from 0-30 down to hold serve in the seventh game before breaking for the second time in the eighth game to win the first set 6-2.
Martic earned an early break in the first game of the second set at deuce, but Kontaveit broke straight back to draw level to 1-1. The Estonian player saved a break point before holding serve to take a 2-1 lead. Kontaveit saved five of the six break points she faced. Kontaveit broke for the second time in the fourth game to open up a 4-1 lead. Martic held serve at 2-5 down before breaking serve at 15 in the ninth game to claw her way back to 4-5. The Croatian player received a medical time-out before Kontaveit for the third time in the tenth game at love to close out the second set 6-4.
Kontaveit will chase her second title in tomorrow’s final three years after winning in S’Hertogenbosch in 2017.
“I felt like I played a very good match today. I was quite aggressive, consistent, and I served especially well in the first set. It got a bit close in the end, but I played a good game at 5-4 and I am happy to be in the final”, said Kontaveit.
Petra Martic comes back from one set down to beat Ludmila Samsonova in Palermo
Top seed Petra Martic from Croatia came back from one set down to beat qualifier and world number 117 Ludmila Samsonova 5-7 6-4 6-2.
Martic saved six break points in the 10th game of the opening set, but Samsonova converted her third break point in the 12th game to win the first set 7-5.
Martic earned an early break in the first game to open up a 2-0 lead. Samsonova broke back at love in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. Martic broke for the second time in the ninth game to win the second set 6-4. The Croatian player broke twice in the third and seventh games to close out the third set 6-2.
Martic will face world number 50 Aliaksandra Sasnovich from Belarus in the quarter finals. Sasnovich came through the qualifying round before beating Jasmine Paolini in straight sets.
Former top 30 Camila Giorgi rallied from losing the first set to beat Slovenian teenager Kaja Juvan 3-6 6-2 6-4 after 2 hours reaching her second WTA quarter final of the season. Before the outbreak of the Covid-19 outbreak Giorgi reached the top 8 in Lyon. Juvan qualified for the Main Draw at the Australian Open and beat five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams in three sets at the Abierto Mexicano in Acapulco.
Giorgi started with an early break at deuce at the start of the first set and opened a 2-0 lead. Juvan broke twice to take a 4-3 lead. Giorgi dropped serve for the third time after a double fault on the set point.
Giorgi came back from 1-2 down by winning five consecutive games with two consecutive breaks in the fifth and seventh games.
Giorgi broke twice to race out to a 3-0 lead at the start of the third set. Juvan pulled one break back at love in the fourth game but Giorgi got another break to race out to a 5-1 lead. Juvan broke at 30, when Giorgi was serving for the match at 5-2. The Italian player earned two match points and sealed the win on her second chance.
“I think I was more solid in playing my game. I was moving more forward, so it was much for me. At the start of the match, I was making too many tactical mistakes because I was trying to finish points for no reason. I started to adopt better tactics in the second set and that’s when things started working for me”, said Giorgi.
Number 4 seed Anett Kontaveit from Estonia came back from one set down to beat Laura Siegemund 3-6 6-2 6-2 after 2 hours and 20 minutes booking her spot in the quarter finals at the Palermo Ladies Open.
The Estonian player has reached her third quarter final this year after the Australian Open and Dubai.
Kontaveit set up a quarter final against Elisabetta Cocciaretto, who became the youngest Italian player to reach the quarter final of a tournament since Sara Errani in 2006.
“I am quite happy about the way I was handling close situations, playing the close games and turning the close games around. I thought I actually handled that sort of pressure, that I didn’t think I would be used to, quite well”, said Kontaveit.
Andrea Gaudenzi recognizes the contribution of the Italian Tennis Federation in staging the Internazionali d’Italia
ATP President and former Italian tennis player Andrea Gaudenzi spoke in an interview to Italian TV channel Supertennis about staging the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome before the French Open and recognised the contribution of the Italian tennis Federation (FIT) in staging the tournament in the Italian capital.
The Rome ATP Masters 1000 and WTA Premier 5 tournaments will be held from 20th to 27th September one week before the French Open (27th September to 11th October).
“We are grateful to everyone, holding an event this year is difficult from an organizational and financial point of view. We thank the Italian Federation and those who organize the Challengers. Italy is making a great contribution. I think the players are waiting for the BNL Internazionali d’Italia. The Foro Italico is among the most beautiful venues in the world. Rome is splendid in September”, said Gaudenzi.
During his tennis career Gaudenzi scored wins over Roger Federer in Rome 2002, Pete Sampras in the first round of the 2002 French Open, Jim Courier in the 1994 US Open, Goran Ivanisevic, Thomas Muster, Michael Stich and Yevgeny Kafelnikov. Gaudenzi claimed three ATP titles in Casablanca in 1998, St. Poelten and Bastad in 2002. He graduated in law at the Bologna University and obtained a MBA with Honours at IUM.
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