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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(VIDEO) Novak Djokovic Makes Tearful Tribute To Mentor Kobe Bryant After Australian Open Win

The world No.2 pays his respect to ‘one of the greatest athletes of all time’ on the Rod Laver Arena.

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Novak Djokovic posing for a photo ahead of his quarter-final match with Milos Raonic at the Australian Open (image via https://twitter.com/AustralianOpen)

World No.2 Novak Djokovic shed tears following his quarter-final win over Milos Raonic after paying tribute to NBA legend Kobe Bryant.

 

The 16-time grand slam champion took to the Rod Laver Arena wearing a green zip-up top. On the top right of his jacket with Bryant’s initial along with the numbers 8 and 24. The jersey numbers Bryant worn throughout his 20-year NBA career with the LA Lakers. A love heart was also placed under the numbers on Djokovic’s top.

“’I don’t know what we could say. It really caught us by surprise.” An emotional Djokovic said during his on-court interview with John McEnroe on Tuesday.
‘He was one of the greatest athletes of all time, he inspired myself and many other people around the world. I had that fortune to have a personal relationship with him over the last 10 years.’
‘When I needed some advice and support, he was there for me. He was my mentor, my friend, it’s just heartbreaking to see what has happened to him and his daughter. It’s unbelievable.’

Bryant was killed on Sunday in a helicopter crash that also claimed the life of his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others. As an athlete, he achieved numerous milestones. Including being named the 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player and two-time NBA Finals MVP. He was also a two-time Olympic gold medallist and played in 18 All Star Games.

Just days before Bryant’s death, Djokovic spoke about their friendship during an interview with ESPN. Praising him for the support he received during his elbow injury and fall in the rankings during 2017 and the start of 2018. Reflecting on the conversations the two have had, he said he received some ‘valuable guidance.’

“Kobe has been one of my mentors,” Djokovic told ESPN. “I’ve had several phone conversations with him and also of course when we see each other live in the past couple of years. When I was going through the injury with my elbow and struggling to mentally and emotionally handle all of these different things that were happening to me and dropping in the Rankings and then having to work my way up, he was one of the people who was really there for me to give me some very valuable advice and guidelines to kind of believe and trust in myself, trust the process that I’ll be back.”

Djokovic will play Roger Federer in the semi-finals of the Australian Open.

The tribute can be watched below (from 00:30 to 01:40)

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Dominic Thiem reaches his first quarter final at the Australian Open

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Dominic Thiem eased past Gael Monfils 6-2 6-4 6-4 after 1 hour and 50 minutes on the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne to reach the quarter final at the Australian Open. Thiem has extended his winning streak to 6-0 in his head-to-head matches against Monfils.

 

He fought back from two sets to one down to beat Australia’s Alex Bolt in the second round, but he won eight of his past nine sets to advance to the quarter finals.

Thiem got two breaks in the first set and never faced a single break point in the entire match. The Austrian player converted his fourth break point after three deuces, as Monfils missed a backhand volley wide. Thiem started the third set with an early break in the first game, as Monfils hit an inside-out forehand wide from the middle of the court wide. Thiem won his next service games and held his final game at love.

Thiem will face Rafael Nadal in a re-match of last year’s Roland Garros final.

“I think that I played my best match so far at this year’s Australian Open. It’s a very good feeling. The score looks way easier than the match was. I think I was lucky to make an early break in each set and I was managing to hold my serve well. I am so happy because I am in the quarter final here for the first time”, said Thiem.

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Alexander Zverev tops Andrey Rublev to set Australian Open quarter final against Stan Wawrinka

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Alexander Zverev beat his friend Andrey Rublev 6-4 6-4 6-4 in one hour and 37 minutes to reach the quarter final at the Australian Open for the first time in his career and his third at Grand Slam level.

 

Zverev broke serve once in each set. The German player has not dropped a set at this year’s edition of the Australian Open.

Zverev ended Rublev’s 15-match winning streak. Rublev had not lost a match since October, winning four matches at the Davis Cup last November and back-to-back titles in Doha and Adelaide.

In the opening set Zverev earned his first break at 3-3, as Rublev hit a forehand into the net. He held his serve to consolidate the break and wrapped up the first set after 29 minutes, when Rublev hit a crosscourt backhand wide.

Zverev started the second set with an immediate break in the first game of the second set and closed it out with a hold at love with an ace after 29 minutes.

Zverev broke serve for the third time in the match in the ninth game of the third set to take a 5-4, when Rublev made a groundstroke error, and sealed the win with a forehand volley.

“It feels amazing. I played some great matches against some great opponents. This is Andrey’s first loss of the season, having won two tournaments and getting through to the fourth round with unbelievable tennis. I have known Andrey since we were ten years old. I think he will be top 15, top 10 very soon. I am just happy and I hope I can continue”,said Zverev.

Zverev will face Stan Wawrinka in the quarter final. The German star beat Wawrinka twice in their previous two head-to-head matches in St. Petersburg 2016 and Miami 2017.

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