Stan Wawrinka: “I'm both very confident and not confident enough” - UBITENNIS
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Stan Wawrinka: “I'm both very confident and not confident enough”

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TENNIS 2014 ROLAND GARROS – 26th of May 2014. G. Garcia-Lopez d. S. Wawrinka 6-4, 5-7, 6-2, 6-0. An interview with Stan Wawrinka

Q. Can you talk about the match and how you were feeling on the court.

STAN WAWRINKA: Not as good as I would like, but the match wasn’t good at all. I was trying to find my game, trying to find to be aggressive, trying to find anything, and I didn’t, you know.

For me, it’s not about the game. I don’t have all the answers for why I didn’t play that good. I feel some I need to take a few days off to see exactly what’s happen.

It’s a tough loss, for sure. But it’s like that. Sometimes you need to have some tough one to see exactly where you want to go and how you’re gonna do it.

 

Q. How much did nerves or pressure play into that performance?

STAN WAWRINKA: I was feeling okay. I was practicing well. I was feeling okay with the pressure, for sure. For myself I always put a lot of pressure on myself. But before the match and during the match it was not really about only the pressure.

I think it’s just a different story. Now it’s a different picture for my career. I need to put the puzzle back together, but differently than in the past, because now it’s, after winning Grand Slam, Masters 1000, being No. 3 in the world, everything is different, and I still didn’t find all the pieces.

 

Q. What are some of the things that are different? This is your first slam playing as a slam champion. How does that change your mindset or your preparation at all?

STAN WAWRINKA: The mindset and the preparation was the same, but it’s just that my level is different. So I’m playing so good in the practice, so sometimes in the match I expect more from myself. I’m not happy with small things. With little things, even when I’m playing okay, I’m not really happy because I know how well can I play.

So it’s more about that, the way I’m dealing with that, the way I want to put it together, and find a way how to be happy, how to play well, and how to win matches.

 

Q. Is that something that you’ve talked much to Roger about, sort of how to deal with the process of becoming a big favorite like that?

STAN WAWRINKA: Roger is not my coach, so I don’t…

He has a lot to deal with with his family, with his career, with everything. I’m not talking at all to Roger about that, you know. First, he doesn’t have time and I don’t have time, and I have a good team around me and I think I will be fine.

 

Q. How big of a disappointment is this for you? Were you expecting a lot from yourself this fortnight?

STAN WAWRINKA: It’s a big disappointment, for sure. I’m really sad with that loss, but cannot change. I have to accept. I have to see what was wrong, to see what I want to change, the way I want to do it, and now think about the future and not about that match anymore, because I can’t change the result.

For sure I would have loved to have won, to win a lot of matches here, but it’s not for this year. So now I need to think about the rest of the year. Not only the grass court season, but also the rest of all the year, because it’s still a lot to play and we will see.

 

Q. What did Magnus tell you before, during, and after the match?

STAN WAWRINKA: Before the match, we talked about the match, Magnus and I, as usual we talked about my opponent, how we would play. And then the story is not as funny, but we had a discussion, but I think we will have further discussions in the upcoming days.

 

Q. You said you are not at the level of Djokovic, Nadal, Federer. Does it mean that you understand the pressure they can feel when they walk on big tournaments year after year?

STAN WAWRINKA: No, not today. But since I won a slam, I realized that what they have been doing for years is just incredible. I think everyone knows it, but sometimes you don’t actually realize how difficult it is to do what they do, because sometimes journalists are sometimes tired to see them in final, especially Federer, because he’s been in so many finals for so many years.

But come on, it’s fabulous. And I know that I’m not at their level, because I didn’t win my first Grand Slam at the age of 20 like they did. I was 29. So things are different, and now I need to find a way to put the pieces back together for the end of the season, and tonight it’s a difficult loss.

I thought I had everything I needed to play a beautiful Roland Garros, but so far I had a very beautiful beginning of season, but I always want to have more and you’re never happy when you lose.

 

Q. You’re not back to the level you had in Australia? Are you afraid you might never get back to that level?

STAN WAWRINKA: No, I’m not afraid. Well, it’s difficult to have all the answers to your questions right now, but I’m both very confident and not confident enough.

I don’t want to walk on the court playing overly confident. What I’m saying is a bit messy, but I have to think about it.

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Olympic Qualification Is Not the Only Goal For French Veteran Gael Monfils

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Gael Monfils (image via https://twitter.com/atptour)

Gael Monfils admits he doesn’t have too many years left on the Tour but this doesn’t mean his targets are any less ambitious. 

The 37-year-old has enjoyed a rapid rise up the rankings over the past 12 months following battles with injury. At his lowest, he was ranked 394th last May but is now in 40th position. As a result, he is closing on securing a place in the Olympic Games which is being held in his home country of France for the first time since 1924. The tennis event will be staged at Roland Garros. 

“When I was 400, I was thinking the Olympics would be great, but it’s going to be tough,” Monfils told reporters on Tuesday. 
“There are younger players playing well. If I don’t qualify, I don’t mind. It will just mean I’m very close to the ranking I want to be. That ranking will allow me to find another goal.”

Monfils is already a three-time Olympian but has never won a medal at the event. He reached the quarter-finals of the singles tournament twice in 2008 and 2016. 

Another goal of Frenchmen is the Wimbledon championships which concludes just three weeks before the Olympics begin. The proximity of these tournaments will be a challenge to all players who will be going from playing on clay to grass and then back to clay again. 

“I really want to go and play Wimbledon. I don’t have so many Wimbledons to play in the future. The Olympics is one goal, not the only goal.” Monfils states.
“My dream is of course to be part of the Olympics. I played three times at the Olympics. I’d like to be there again. But I also really want to do well in Wimbledon this year. To reach my goal, it has to be including Wimbledon.” He added. 

Monfils is currently playing at the Monte Carlo Masters where he beat Aleksandar Vukic in his opening match. In the next round, he will take on Daniil Medvedev in what will be their first meeting since 2022. He leads their head-to-head 2-1. 

Medvedev has openly spoken about his roller-coaster relationship with playing on the clay. He admits it is not his favourite surface but how much of a factor could this be in his upcoming clash with Monfils?

“Of course, it’s not his favourite one, but he’s still Daniil Medvedev, and whatever the surface, it’s always very complicated to play him,” Monfils concludes. 

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Matteo Berrettini wins in Marrakech displaying quality tennis

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Matteo Berrettini - Marrakech 2024 (photo X @ATPTour_ES)

Matteo Berrettini defeats Roberto Carballes Baena in straight sets, 75 62, and proves that his comeback is well grounded  

If life is often considered a continuous narrative, it may be no coincidence that today Matteo Berrettini’s comeback journey intersescted Carballes Baena, a player he had faced twice in straight tournaments, Florence and Naples in October 2022, shortly before plunging into his annus horribilis, an injury-plagued 2023.

Just like resuming the story from where it was left.

Carballes Baena, the defending champion, got off to a sharper start, holding serve with ease and earning a first break point in the second game. Berrettini averted the threat by hammering down three serves but lost his service two games later.

Doubts on the Italian’s recovery from his energy-draining semifinal may have been starting to come afloat. However Berrettini broke back immediately, unsettling the Spaniard’s consistency with changes of pace and alternating lifted and sliced backhands.

The next six games neatly followed serve. Figures witness how close the match was. After 45 minutes the scoreboard read 5 games all, and stats reported 27 points apiece.

The eleventh game was to be crucial. Carballes Baena netted two forehands, while trying to hit through the Italian’s skidding spins and conceded a break point. Berrettini followed up two massive forehands with a delicate, unreachable drop shot and secured the break.

Carballes Baena was far from discouraged, and fired two forehand winners dashing to 0 40  with the Italian serving for the set.

Berrettini was lucky to save the first break point with a forehand that pinched the top of the net, and trickled over. Then he hit two winning first serves to draw even. Then again two first serves paired with their loyal forehand winner: Berrettini’s copyright gamepattern sealed a 59 minute first set.

The match seemed about to swing round at the very start of the second set when Carballes Baena had three break points and was winning all the longer rallies. Once more Berrettini got out of trouble thanks to his serve. Carballes Baena’s disappointment turned into frustration after he failed to put away two quite comfortable smashes and lost his service immediately after.  

Unforced errors were seeping into the Spaniard’s game and when Berrettini won a 16-shot rally with a stunning crosscourt forehand on the stretch and went on to grab a two-break lead, the match appeared to have taken its final twist.

Berrettini did not falter when serving for the match at 5 2, despite an unforced error on the first point. Three first serves chauffeured him to two match points.

Carballes Baena only succeeded in bravely saving the first, well steering the rally. But the 2021 Wimbledon finalist produced a massive serve out wide and joyfully lifted his arms to the sky, for a most emotional victory. It means so much to a player whose talent and career have been incessantly diminished by injuries.

It’s been a tough last couple of years” Matteo Berrettini said, holding the trophy. “Thanks to my team I was able to overcome all the tough moments my body didn’t allow me to play. I thank you and all the people that made my comeback possible: all my friends and my family, the people that were with me all the time when I was sad, injured and I didn’t think I could make it.”

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Andrey Rublev Reflects On Recent Struggles Ahead Of Monte Carlo Title Defence

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Andrey Rublev admits he continues to struggle to maintain his emotions on the court after his disqualification from a tournament earlier this year.

The Russian world No.6 hopes to get back on track after a disappointing American swing where he won just one out of three matches played. In Indian Wells, Rublev beat ex-No.1 Andy Murray before falling in straight sets to Jiri Lehecka. Then in Miami, he lost his opening match against Tomas Machac. 

“At Indian Wells, I was so focused on trying to control my movements that I was completely stuck,” the 26-year-old recently commented
“I had no energy left, I had no strength. And in Miami, I exploded. I could no longer control myself, my actions, my nerves. I felt paralyzed, I couldn’t move.”

As to why Rublev felt so paralyzed, he acknowledges it could be linked to an incident that happened earlier in the season. At the Dubai Tennis Championships he was defaulted from his semi-final clash against Alexander Bublik for unsportsmanlike conduct after he was accused of saying an obscenity in his native language at an official. He then successfully appealed against the penalty and retained the ranking points and prize money he earned, barring a fine of $36,400 for a code violation.

“Maybe what happened in Dubai remains in my mind,” said Rublev. 

Rublev’s focus now switches to his title defence at the Monte Carlo Masters. It is the only Masters 1000 event he has won so far in his career. 

“I feel better. These last two weeks I have been training a lot. But it’s one thing to train well, it’s another to play well in a match.” He evaluated of his current form. 

Rublev has yet to defend a Tour-level title so far in his career. Should he do so, he will become only the fifth player in the Open Era to win multiple Monte Carlo trophies. 

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