Andy Murray: “I served well, moved well. It's been solid so far” - UBITENNIS
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Andy Murray: “I served well, moved well. It's been solid so far”

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TENNIS WIMBLEDON 2014 – 27th of June. A. Murray d. R Bautista Agut 6-2, 6-3, 6-2. An interview with Andy Murray

 

Q. I can only assume you kept us waiting so long because you’ve been healing the rift with your brother.

ANDY MURRAY: I was just, yeah, doing all the usual stuff after a match. Obviously because it was pretty late, yeah, I just needed to make sure before I go to bed that I’m cooled down and stretched and stuff so I don’t wake up with any sore things tomorrow.

But I haven’t spoken to Jamie yet.

 

Q. Probably for a few years.

ANDY MURRAY: Maybe (smiling).

 

Q. How would you assess your first week?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it’s been good. I played well in all the matches. I mean, I was very happy with the way I played today. More in the third set, I played a bad game on my serve at 4-Love. I could have done a little bit better there.

But apart from that, it’s been good. I served well, moved well. It’s been solid so far.

 

Q. Did you get a chance to speak to Ricky Gervais?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I got to chat with him afterwards. I’d never met him before. I’m a huge fan of The Office. I mean, I’ve watched a lot of the stuff that he’s done, but when I went over to Spain when I was 15, I watched an episode of The Office almost every single night I was there. I could almost, yeah, basically remember it word for word when I was over there training.

Yeah, it was nice for me to get to meet him after the match.

 

Q. Is he a big tennis fan?

ANDY MURRAY: He said he plays some tennis now. I don’t think he’s been to watch loads. But he said he plays quite a bit when he’s back home, not so much when he’s over in America. But, yeah, he seemed to be into it.

 

Q. You’re the only Brit through to the second week in the singles. Yesterday Heather Watson said she could understand some accusation that some of the British players are a little bit spoiled with the facilities and treatment they get, haven’t put it in on the practice courts. What is your take on those accusations?

ANDY MURRAY: I don’t know. To be honest, I don’t spend day in, day out with any of the British players, so I can’t give a fair assessment on that.

When I do my training blocks, I tend to do them over in Miami. Last year I did it with Kyle Edmund when he worked very hard. I did it with Jamie Baker the year before that. He worked extremely hard.

But, yeah, like I say, I don’t see them week in, week out. I don’t see them at the tournaments all the time.

It’s easy to work hard for a couple of weeks, but you need to do it throughout the whole year. I can’t say for sure how hard everyone’s working because I don’t see it. So I don’t know.

 

Q. After the surgery last September, is this about the absolute best you could feel the way things worked out this year?

ANDY MURRAY: To be honest, I didn’t know exactly what to expect. I was happy with the Australian Open. I thought I did okay there. Just physically I wasn’t quite ready. My body just wasn’t ready for a long four or five-set match on the hard courts at that stage.

Yeah, I mean, I’d say I’m happy with where my body’s at right now. Physically I feel good. My back feels much better than it did at this stage last year, so that’s a big positive for me.

I’ve spoken to a few people that have had surgeries, ex-players and stuff. They said sort of six to nine months from when they started playing again until they actually started to feel their best. Obviously some people it can be quicker than others.

But I’m fairly happy with where I’m at just now.

 

Q. Do you think this is the best first week you’ve had at Wimbledon?

ANDY MURRAY: I don’t know. I’ve been asked that a few times when the first week’s gone well.

But I don’t know. It’s been a good start, for sure. I played well from the first game of the first match pretty much through until the end of today’s one. I haven’t used up too much energy, which is good.

But, I mean, it’s impossible to say that. I don’t know if it’s the best I’ve felt. But it’s been a good first week.

 

Q. You haven’t been on court very long.

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I think that’s a positive. You can lose a slam in the first week by playing three five-set matches or two five-set matches. They do take their toll a little bit. If you can get through the matches quickly, I obviously have a couple days off now as well, so I’ll be able to work on a couple things tomorrow on the practice court which is nice, then get ready for Monday.

 

Q. Tomas Berdych and Marin just finished their match.

ANDY MURRAY: I couldn’t see the ball on the TV. I can’t imagine what it was like with them.

 

Q. They couldn’t play with Hawk-Eye for the last few games. Do you think it’s fair that a game should continue if technology can’t actually work in the dark?

 

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it does make things interesting. I’m not sure exactly what time Hawk-Eye stops. But I’ve seen it a couple times here so far, yeah, when it gets pretty dark that Hawk-Eye stops.

From a player’s perspective, when the light starts to go, it’s tough to play good tennis, to play properly. I don’t think you want matches to be decided on someone shanking a ball because they can’t see it. You want players to be able to play their best tennis for as long as possible.

Yeah, if it was too dark to see, then they should have stopped.

 

Q. In America we talk about how Agassi evolved from being a bratty young guy into a really thoughtful, giving guy. Your journey has been a little different. A lot of people talk about your growth over the years. People are talking about your command of things. Talk about your own path. Is it something you’re aware of or something you feel good about?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, well, I think when I first came on the tour, I absolutely loved it. I enjoyed everything that went with it. It was great. I had no problems. I felt pretty free. There was no pressure.

But then obviously I had a few problems with the media. Yeah, it became hard for me. I didn’t feel like I was represented fairly. I don’t know, I went into my shell. I didn’t feel like I could express myself at all. I became very defensive because, you know, I felt like I was getting criticized about not just my tennis but my hair, the way I looked, what I was saying.

Yeah, it was a tough few years for me because my jump came quite quickly from being 350 in the world to playing in the slams and being in press conferences with a lot of people and stuff.

It was a quick transition and I had a few problems in that early part of my career. Then once I started to, yeah, grow up and understand how everything worked, I was able to handle things much better as I got older.

Obviously I’ve had good people around me, as well, that have helped me through tough moments and given me good advice when I’ve needed it.

Yeah, now I feel like I’m a grown-up so I can handle myself fine now.

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US Open Must Allow Entourages Of Three Or Four People, Says Thiem

The world No.3 says he is feeling good ahead of the return of professional tennis next month.

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Dominic Thiem has come out against proposals to restrict the number of coaching staff that can travel to this year’s US Open amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

This year’s New York major will be held behind closed doors for the first time in history and will be implementing a series of measures to help minimise the threat posed by the virus. Part of their plan is to limit how many people a player can bring with them to the tournament. It was originally reported that only one team member per player would be allowed to travel, but it has emerged that the limit has since been extended to three.

Speaking about the limits, three-time Grand Slam finalist Thiem said the idea of only allowing one member of his team to travel with him would be a risk for some players on the Tour.

*”I do not think so. Three or four people must be allowed. It would be extremely risky to travel without your own physio. You need a local coach for this,’ Thiem told The Kronen Zeitung newspaper on Sunday.

Thiem last played a match on the ATP Tour at the Rio Open in February where he lost in the quarter-finals. However, throughout the lockdown he has still managed to maintain his match fitness by participating in numerous tournaments. In total he has played 24 matches across three different countries, including one named after him called Thiems 7.

“Right now I feel very good,” he said. “I have played a lot of exhibition games in the last two months and I am not tired at all. I really wanted to play tennis again, since my start of the year was very good.’
“During This period of confinement at home I have been crushing myself a lot in the physical aspect and already when I returned to training. I have decided to improve the backhand and the serve a little more.”

The ATP Tour will resume next month with Thiem hoping that he can continue his form generated from earlier this year. At the Australian Open he reached the final for the first time in his career before getting edged out by Novak Djokovic. Although when he returns, tournaments will not be the same as before due to the ongoing pandemic with strict safety measures and reduced crowds in place.

“When the circuit returns, the matches will be exactly the same as we had previously, but the atmosphere will be different,” he said.
“All tennis players will miss playing tournaments where many people travelled to see us every day. In New York, Paris or Melbourne there are between 60,000 and 70,000 people every day in the facilities. That previous life we ​​had will not be the same and we may have to get used to this new normal for a few years.”

Thiem is one of only four men to have already made more than $1 million in prize money so far this year on the ATP Tour.

*NOTE: Since the publication of this article quotes have been edited following a translation mix-up.

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Nick Kyrgios Slams Thiem Over Defence Of Controversy-Stricken Adria Tour

The world No.40 has accused the Austrian of lacking an ‘intellectual level’ to understand his view.

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Australian star Nick Kyrgios has continued his public criticism of the Adria Tour by taking aim at two-time French Open finalist Dominic Thiem.

 

The 25-year-old has repeatedly hit out at the exhibition event, which Thiem participated in. Organised by world No.1 Novak Djokovic, the event took place in Belgrade and Zadar before it was scrapped following an outbreak of COVID-19 among both players and coaching staff. Djokovic, Grigor Dimitrov and Borna Coric all got infected. The outbreak came after the Adria Tour was criticised for a lack of social distancing and players attended various public events together. Although at the time, all of their actions were done in accordance with local regulations. Something the Serbian Prime Minister now admits was a mistake.

However, Thiem has called out Kyrgios over his vocal criticism of fellow Adria Tour competitor Alexander Zverev. The German attended a party in southern France less than a week after the COVID-19 outbreak despite issuing a statement saying he would go into self-isolation.

“It was his mistake, but I don’t why a lot of people want to interfere. Kyrgios has done a lot of mistakes. It would be better for him to come clear instead of criticising others,” Thiem told Tiroler Tageszeitung.

Continuing to defend the actions of his fellow players, Thiem also jumped to the defence of Djokovic. Who has been under heavy criticism over the event with some going as far as questioning his position as president of the ATP Players Council.

“He didn’t commit a crime. We all make mistakes, but I don’t understand all the criticism. I’ve been to Nice and also saw pictures from other cities. It’s no different from Belgrade during the tournament. It’s too cheap to shoot at Djokovic.”

The comments have now been blasted by Kyrgios, who stands by his previous criticism of players. Accusing Thiem of lacking an ‘intellectual level’ to see his point of view.

“What are you talking about @ThiemDomi? Mistakes like smashing rackets? Swearing? Tanking a few matches here or there? Which everyone does?” Kyrgios wrote on Twitter.
“None of you have the intellectual level to even understand where I’m coming from. I’m trying to hold them accountable.”
“People losing lives, loved ones and friends, and then Thiem standing up for the ‘mistake,'” he added.

The COVID-19 pandemic has killed more than 500,000 people worldwide and some players have voiced concerns over travelling to America which has recently seen a rise in cases. On Wednesday Alexi Popyrin became the first player to say he won’t play the US Open due to health concerns.

The ATP Tour is set to resume next month but it is unclear as to what events Thiem and Kyrgios will be playing in.

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Roger Federer Eyeing Olympic Glory At The Age Of 39 In 2021

The Swiss tennis star isn’t ready to step away from the sport just yet.

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20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer has vowed to play at next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo after undergoing two surgeries on his knee.

 

The former world No.1 hasn’t played a competitive match since his semi-final loss to Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open in January. Since then he had twice undergone arthroscopic surgeries which is a minimally invasive procedure that is used to diagnose and treat problems with the joints. Federer announced shortly after having the procedure done for a second time that he will not be returning to the Tour again this year.

Despite the setbacks, the 38-year-old has vowed to return to action at the start of 2021 with Olympic glory one of his main targets. He is already a two-time Olympic medallist after winning gold in the men’s doubles back in 2008 followed by silver in the singles draw at the 2012 London Games.

“My goal is to play Tokyo 2021. It’s a wonderful city. I met my wife in my first Olympics in 2000. It’s a special event for me,” Federer said on Monday during the launch of ‘The Roger’ shoe with Swiss brand ON.
“I had two surgeries and I can’t hit at the moment, but I’m very confident I will be totally ready for 2021.
“I do miss playing in front of the fans, no doubt. Now, I think if tennis comes back we know it won’t be in a normal way where we can have full crowds yet.”

Federer will be 39 when he returns to action, but is yet to speculate as to when he may close the curtain on his record-breaking career. He is currently the second oldest man in the top 200 on the ATP Tour after Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic, who is 41.

Besides the Olympics, the Swiss Maestro is also setting his eye on Wimbledon where he has claimed the men’s title a record eight times. However, he hasn’t won a major title since the 2018 Australian Open. The Grass-court major has been cancelled this year for the first time since 1945 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Of course I miss Wimbledon, of course I would like to be there currently playing on Centre Court for a place in the second week,” he said.
“Clearly, one of my big goals, and that’s why I do recovery work every day and work so hard, and why I’m preparing for a 20-week physical preparation block this year, is because I hope to play at Wimbledon next year.”

Even though he is not playing for the rest of the year, Federer incredibly still has a chance of qualifying for the ATP Finals due to recent changes in the rankings calculations. Due to the pandemic, players are now allowed to use their best results at 18 tournaments based on a 22-month period instead of 12 months. Something that could enable him to remain inside the top eight until the end of 2020 depending on how his rivals fair.

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