Stan Wawrinka: “The back is good. I had two days off with treatment” - UBITENNIS
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Stan Wawrinka: “The back is good. I had two days off with treatment”

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TENNIS ROLAND GARROS 2014 – Stan Wawrinka pre-tournament interview.

 

Q. You come into that Grand Slam as a Grand Slam champion. How has had a changed coming into this tournament.

STAN WAWRINKA: More press to do (smiling). But, no, it’s been great so far. You know, it’s more about my game. I’m really happy with the way I’m playing. I’m really confident for the tournament. I had good preparation, and I’m excited to play, to start the tournament.

I’m ready now, so we’ll see when I’m going to play.

 

Q. Just wondering how the back is feeling and physically how are you coming into this tournament?

STAN WAWRINKA: The back is good. I had two days off with treatment and arrive Wednesday here, first practice here Wednesday. I’m 100% fit. I’m really happy I’m playing good.

Physically I’m ready, and mentally also, so that’s why I’m happy and I’m excited to start.

 

Q. The title in Monte Carlo, how big was that in terms of your confidence for clay, specifically, coming into here?

STAN WAWRINKA: It was really big. Not only for clay but in general, you know, after winning Grand Slam it was important for me to win a Masters 1000. It was something really difficult, but I did it in Monaco, first tournament on clay against Roger, so it was even more special.

But for sure the confidence, that’s something big for me, to know that I can beat the top guys even on Masters 1000, on clay courts.

And now I’m ready for here. We’ll see. I had two quick loss in Madrid and Rome, but I’m okay. I was playing good tennis. I’m happy the way I’m playing in practice, and I know for me that’s the most important.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

 

Q. I like Stanislas.

STAN WAWRINKA: Well, you can call me Stanislas.

 

Q. Why did you ask ATP to change your first name? Why should we say Stan and not Stanislas?

STAN WAWRINKA: Because everybody calls me Stan apart from you, and no, kidding. It’s just to simplify everything on the draw, my name during the press reference. That’s the only reason.

Of course I’m STAN WAWRINKA. That’s all right. Andy did it, as well. It’s to simplify the whole thing. That’s all. Nothing important.

 

Q. Well, you know, in terms of quick math, people say you’re the favorite here in Paris. How would you feel about this, to be the favorite?

STAN WAWRINKA: Well, it’s going on well, I must say. I have repeated this here and again. I’m one of the favorites. I understand this, by the way.

But I’m far behind Rafa and Novak. They are really above the other players. You know, when they are really on the courts they are difficult to fight against.

But I have played well. I won the Masters 1000 and a Grand Slam. I’m playing good tennis. I can win against all players.

But the way I look at this Grand Slam is not different. You know, I’m not looking where I am on the draw. It’s the first match, the first round, that counts. Who I’m going to play against, that’s how it starts, how you get started in the tournament.

 

Q. Apart from this Grand Slam title, which changes the whole deal, what’s the main difference between STAN WAWRINKA last year here in Paris and this year in terms of your tennis, in terms of your physical preparation?

STAN WAWRINKA: Well, I play better at a high level. My confidence mainly, it’s different. I know that whoever I’m going to play against, I can defeat them all.

It depends very much on me. Then, you know, at the end of the day, it’s small details that make the biggest differences in terms of rankings and results.

 

Q. Do you think you have become a model for all the outsiders on the tournament? Maybe you’re going to give other players some ideas about it.

STAN WAWRINKA: A model? Well, no. For sure no. But maybe I have given them ideas, that’s true. But, you know, it’s not because I have won this Grand Slam that the others will do the same. You know, it’s not by watching people play or win that you’re going to win yourself.

And yet I have shown that things are possible. It’s possible, yet it’s very difficult. It’s tough and complicated to go for it and fight against the best.

 

Q. Was it easy with these two losses in the last two tournaments? What about the days after Rome, the first few days after Rome?

STAN WAWRINKA: Well, no problem, you see, no big deal. I know why I lost these two matches, as I said, and also in Madrid. It was the first round. The other player played well, and I was not really there playing a good match.

It might happen, you see, but no problem as far as I’m concerned. During practice I play well. I do my best during the match. I fight hard. In Rome I was playing a very good tennis style before my back hurt. It might happen. You have to do with it.

Then I took a good rest and I practiced for the French Open and I practiced a lot this morning and well this morning. So I think I’m ready at a high level for this Open.

 

Q. You won the Australian Open, the Grand Slam. Would you look at this tournament differently psychologically, I mean? Because now, you know, people look at you differently on the courts or also off the courts.

STAN WAWRINKA: Yeah, I look at this Open differently. I had to adapt after Australia. When I’m here now, I know that I can go far. I have done that before. So the way I look at it is quite different.

Mentally speaking I have more confidence. Mentally I know what it takes, what I have to do to be ready. The way I start the tournament has not really changed. You know, I’m not looking at the draw too much because I know how difficult it is to last two weeks and to play five set matches.

So many things can happen.

And there is also the conditions, the weather, and you have to be ready from the first match.

Apart from the general aspect of the tournament, that is, I know I can have a good draw and go far and deep, but each match is a new challenge and you have to take them as they come.

 

Q. You are not saying you’re a favorite. How come? Is it because you feel there is too much pressure on your shoulders? Is it because you’re hiding away?

STAN WAWRINKA: (Smiling) Well, it’s reality, you know. You know, what I said is very clear. That is the favorites, there is Nadal and Djokovic. They are far above the rest.

You can tell me what you want. It’s always going to be the case. When they’re on the courts, nobody else can beat them.

You know, I’ll be with Rog just afterwards, just after them. I’m one of the favorites, but I wouldn’t said I’m the top favorite. I’m so far from Nadal, so far from Djokovic.

As I always say, these players are outstanding, they’re exceptional. But the difference is if I were to play against them, I know that when I’m on the courts I can defeat them.

It’s not because they are well above where I stand that I’m going to lose against them.

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Rafael Nadal Returns To Cincinnati With Shot At No.1 Ranking

This is what the king of clay has to do to reclaim the top position.

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ATP RAFAEL NADAL OF SPAIN - PHOTO: DIEGO SOUTO / MMO

It has been over a month since Rafael Nadal last played a match on the Tour but in the coming days, he will have a chance to return to the top of the ATP rankings.

 

The 22-time Grand Slam champion has been absent from action ever since pulling out of his semi-final match at Wimbledon due to an abdominal tear. He was set to play at this week’s National Bank Open in Montreal but withdrew after feeling a ‘slight bother’ in his abdominal region following training. Nadal decided not to play after consulting with his doctor.

Instead, the Spaniard will return next week at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati. He confirmed his return in an Instagram post, where he wrote: “Very happy to play again in Cincy. Flying there tomorrow (Thursday).”

Whilst the Spaniard will be finding his feet in the coming days, in Cincinnati he has a chance to dethrone Daniil Medvedev from the world No.1 position. Medvedev lost his opening match in Montreal to Nick Kyrgios. To do this he would need to win the Masters 1000 event for the second time in his career and hope that Medvedev doesn’t make the quarter-finals. Nadal won Cincinnati back in 2013 after defeating John Isner in the final.

So far in his career, Nadal has spent 209 weeks as world No.1 with his longest streak being 56 weeks in a row (2010-2011). In total, he has been at the top of the rankings for eight separate periods and last held the position in February 2020.

Nadal’s No.1 stints
-Aug 18 2008 – Jul 5th 2009 (46 weeks)
-Jun 7 2010 – Jul 3rd 2011 (56 weeks)
-Oct 7th 2013 – Jul 6th 2014 (39 weeks)
-Aug 21 2017 – Feb 18 2018 (26 weeks)
-Apr 2nd 2018 – May 13th 2018 (6 weeks)
-May 21st 2018 – Jun 17th 2018 (4 weeks)
-Jun 25th 2018 – Nov 4th 2018 (19 weeks)
-Nov 4th 2019 – Feb 2nd 2020 (13 weeks)

At present nine out of the world’s top 10 players will participate in the Western and Southern Open. The only exception is Novak Djokovic who is currently banned from entering America because he isn’t vaccinated against Covid-19.

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Jack Draper Considered Skipping Montreal Masters Before Getting Biggest Win Of Career

The rising star completes a trio of British players who have booked their places in the third round of the Masters 1000 event.

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Image via https://twitter.com/OBNmontreal/

British qualifier Jack Draper says his decision to play in Montreal this week has paid off after he scored his first-ever win over a top 10 player on Wednesday.

 

The 20-year-old stunned world No.5 and third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-5, 7-6(4), in what is only his fourth appearance in the main draw of a Masters 1000 event. Draper, who is currently ranked 82nd in the world, won 74% of his first service points and blasted 21 winners past his Greek rival. Recovering from a 1-3 deficit in the second set en route to a straight sets victory.

Leading up to this week, Draper and his team considered not playing in Montreal following his 6-4, 6-2, loss to Andrey Rublev in Washington. However, their decision to do so was the right one. After coming through two rounds of qualifying, he beat France’s Hugo Gaston in the first round before knocking out Tsitsipas.

“This is why I put in all the hard work, for nights like this on stages like this,” Draper said in an on-court interview. “Last week [after] Washington, me and my coach probably were thinking we weren’t even going to come here. We were going to maybe train a week, get a bit of confidence. But it paid off coming.”
“I didn’t really have much of a game plan. I just thought I needed to play good tennis to beat Stefanos. He’s at the top of the game for a reason. [He’s] someone I’ve looked up to the last few years. It’s just good to be out here and try to express myself on this stage.” He added.

Draper’s win comes during what has been a solid season for the Brit who has won four Challenger titles. A former top 10 junior player, he won his first main draw Grand Slam match in June at Wimbledon and reached the semi-finals of the Eastbourne International.

Awaiting the youngster in the third round will be French veteran Gael Monfils who is playing in his first tournament since May. Monfils defeated Maxime Cressy 7-6(10), 7-6(8).

Draper is one of three British players to have reached the last 16 in Montreal. Ninth seed Cameron Norrie will next play home favourite Felix Auger-Aliassime and Dan Evans faces Taylor Fritz.

According to the Pepperstone live ATP rankings, Draper will break into the world’s top 70 for the first time next week.

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Canada Daily Preview: Two Clashes Between Top 10 Seeds in the Third Round

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Felix Auger-Aliassime practicing this week in Montreal (twitter.com/OBNmontreal)

On Thursday, all third round matches will take place in both Montreal and Toronto, making for another extremely busy day of tennis.  And two of those third round encounters see top 10 seeds collide.  In Montreal, Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime faces Cam Norrie in a rematch from last Friday’s Los Cabos semifinals.  In Toronto, Aryna Sabalenka plays Coco Gauff, who survived an extended battle on Wednesday against Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina

 

Each day, this preview will analyze the two most intriguing matchups, while highlighting other notable matches on the schedule.  Thursday’s play gets underway at 11:00am local time in Toronto and 12:00pm local time in Montreal.


Aryna Sabalenka (6) vs. Coco Gauff (10) – 11:00am on Grandstand in Toronto

Gauff’s second-round victory on Wednesday was a grueling affair.  After failing to convert four match points in the second-set tiebreak, Coco finally prevailed in a third-set tiebreak.  And she did so despite striking 13 double faults, a part of her game that continues to trouble her.  Sabalenka spent over an hour less time on court, defeating Sara Sorribes Tormo in straight sets.  Gauff leads their head-to-head 2-1, though all three meetings have been rather tight.  And of late, Coco has been the much stronger performer.  Going back to her run to the French Open final, Gauff has claimed 15 of her last 19 matches.  By contrast, Sabalenka arrived in Toronto having lost three of her last four.  While Coco will surely feel a bit tired on Thursday, she’ll also feel relieved having escaped what would have been a heartbreaking loss a day earlier, and should play a bit more freely.  And most importantly, she’s currently feeling much more confident than Sabalenka.


Cameron Norrie (9) vs. Felix Auger-Aliassime (6) – Not Before 4:00pm on Court Central in Montreal

Last week in Los Cabos, Norrie took out Auger-Aliassime in straight sets.  However, that was Cam’s first victory over Felix in five tries.  The previous four had all gone the way of the Canadian, including another hard court matchup earlier this year in Rotterdam.  Auger-Aliassime pulled out a dramatic first-set tiebreak on Wednesday night over Washington runner-up Yoshihito Nishioka in thrilling fashion, eventually prevailing in straights.  Earlier in the day, Norrie advanced comfortably, allowing Botic van de Zandschulp only three games.  Just six days removed from their last encounter, Felix will be eager for revenge, especially at his home country’s biggest event.  But playing at home comes with a lot of pressure, and Auger-Aliassime is only 3-4 in his last seven matches.  Cam is the more in-form player, and should be favored to earn his second win over Felix in less than a week.


Other Notable Matches on Thursday:

Jessica Pegula (7) vs. Camila Giorgi – Giorgi is the defending champion, and is yet to drop a set through two matches.  Last year in the semifinals of this same event, she defeated Pegula in three.  But overall the American leads their head-to-head 5-2 at all levels, and has twice defeated Camila since that semifinal.

Nick Kyrgios vs. Alex de Minaur – It’s Australian versus Australian, and the Washington champ against the Atlanta champ.  Kyrgios upset world No.1 and defending champion Daniil Medvedev on Wednesday, and has now won 13 of his last 14 matches.  De Minaur has already defeated Denis Shapovalov and Grigor Dimitrov this week. 

Iga Swiatek (1) vs. Beatriz Haddad Maia – In typical Swiatek fashion, she required just over an hour to prevail over Ajla Tomljanovic in her opening match.  Haddad Maia eliminated Canada’s Leylah Fernandez on Wednesday, and won 13 straight matches on grass in June.

Bianca Andreescu vs. Qinwen Zheng – Andreescu outlasted Alize Cornet on Wednesday night in a tight three-setter.  Qinwen benefitted from Ons Jabeur’s retirement due to abdominal pain during their second round matchup. 


Thursday’s full Order of Play is here.

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