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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‘He Did Everything I did, Only Better’ – Pat Rafter Names The Toughest Rival Of His Career

The two-time grand slam champion opens up about his toughest rivalry as he predicts a bleak outlook for the 2020 tennis season.

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Former world No.1 Pat Rafter has named an American tennis legend as the player who he struggled the most against throughout his professional career.

 

The 47-year-old was a star of Australian tennis during his playing days after achieving a series of milestones. His accolades include becoming the first player from his country in 28 years to reach the top of the ATP rankings in 1999 and becoming the first man to win the Rogers Cup, Cincinnati Masters and US Open within the same year. Rafter is also the last player outside of the Big Three to have won back-to-back US Open titles after triumphing in 1997 and 1998.

Despite his successes, there was one player that caused him difficulty. Rafter played Pete Sampras 16 times on the ATP Tour, but could only win four of those encounters. At one stage he lost to the 14-time grand slam champion eight times in a row.

“The toughest player I played against was definitely Pete Sampras – he did everything I did, only better.” Rafter told Eurosport.
“His record was the best so there’s no doubt about it Sampras the stand-out. I enjoyed playing Andre Agassi the most – I thought we had a really good battle, I really enjoyed playing him.”

The rivalry between the two was tense at times. Highlighted best by their encounter in the 1998 US Open semifinals. Sampras complained of a quadriceps injury following his loss to the Australian. Prompting Rafter to famously say ‘he’s becoming a bit of a crybaby.’ A few months before that comment, he admitted that his relationship with the American wasn’t solid by saying ‘We’re not the best of mates. I wouldn’t go out for a beer with him, put it that way.’

22 years on from the verbal exchange between the two, Rafter now describes it as a thing of the past. Insisting that his rival never took what he said to him ‘personally.’

“I can’t remember the exact words, but we had a run-in in Cincinnati one year – I probably told him to grow up.” He recounted.
“He cracked it when I beat him one time. But that was back in the old days, emotions were running high and don’t take it personally. It’s all good.”

No tennis in 2020

Besides reminiscing about his playing career with Eurosport, Rafter has also predicted a bleak outlook for this year’s tour. All professional tournaments have been suspended until July 13th due to the Covid-19 pandemic. For the first time since 1945 Wimbledon has been cancelled due to the situation.

Many are now speculating as to when it will be possible for the tour to resume. The US Open is still optimistic that they can hold their tournament as scheduled later this summer. Meanwhile, the French Open is set to be played during the later part of September. However, Rafter doubts that either of those tournaments will happen.

“No, I think this (the virus) is going to be around for a long time.” Rafter commented on the chances of the 2020 season resuming. “Until they get a vaccine I can’t see how anyone is going to be playing.’
“Personally, I think it’ll be like the flu and we’ll have to get used to it.”

Potentially one solution for the tournaments would be to host matches without spectators. In order to minimise the risk of the virus spreading. An approach that has already been taken by other sports such as football. However, Wimbledon refused to consider that option this year.

“I think they could. No spectators. Sure. No ball-boys – I’d love to see the players pick up the balls themselves!” he concluded.

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‘Don’t Be Afraid’ – Nick Kyrgios Offers Support To Those Struggling During Covid-19 Pandemic

The bad boy of tennis says he will support those in need by delivering essential supplies.

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Former top 20 player Nick Kyrgios has urged members of the public to reach out to him if they require any help during the covid-19 pandemic in a social media post.

 

The two-time grand slam quarter-finalist has offered to deliver food to those who are struggling during the current crises, which has suspended the ATP and WTA Tours until at least July. It is estimated by economists that more than 500,000 people in Kyrgios’ home country of Australia will lose their jobs due to the outbreak. There have been more than one million cases of the coronavirus worldwide with many countries currently placed in a lockdown in a bid to halt the spread of the virus.

‘If ANYONE is not working/not getting an income and runs out of food, or times are just tough… please don’t go to sleep with an empty stomach,’ Kyrgios wrote on Instagram.
‘Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to send me a private message. I will be more than happy to share whatever I have.
‘Even just for a box of noodles, a loaf of bread or some milk. I will drop it off at your doorstep, no questions asked.’

In Australia there have been 5687 cases of Coronavirus as of Sunday which has resulted in 34 deaths. This is according to figures provided by chief medical officer Professor Brendan Murphy.

It is not the first time Kyrgios has offered to support those in need. Earlier this year he was an instrumental figure in helping raising money for the Australian bushfire appeal. Donating AUS$200 for every ace produced during the first month of the season and participating in a series of exhibition matches. According to 7 News, Kyrgios raised in the region of AUS$100,000 for the bushfire fund.

Kyrgios is currently ranked 40th in the world and has won six out of his nine matches played earlier this season. At the Australian Open he reached the fourth round before falling in four sets to Rafael Nadal.

 

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Diego Schwartzman On Playing The Big Three And Who He Believes Is The Best

The top-20 player pays tribute to the three tennis legends as he cast his vote in the greatest of all time debate.

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When it comes to taking on the Big Three in tennis, Diego Schwartzman is perhaps one of the best players to provide an insight into how frustrating it can be.

 

The Argentine world No.13 has played a member of the illustrious trio no less than 18 times in his career, but is yet to gain a single victory to his name. Consisting of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, the big three have dominated men’s tennis in recent years. Between them, they have won the last 13 grand slams and at least one of them has featured in 58 out of the past 60 major finals. Since February 2004, Andy Murray is the only player outside of the group to have held the No.1 position.

Schwzrtman’s record against the big guns has seen him lose to Nadal nine times as well as succumbing to both Djokovic and Federer on four occasions. Nevertheless, the three-time grand slam quarter-finalist isn’t bitter as he hails their achievements in the sport.

“Against Nadal you always come in hope of giving him a fight on any day and on any surface, but you quickly realize that it is almost impossible to defeat him.” Schwartzman said during an Instagram live chat with journalist Danny Miche.
“Djokovic makes me feel that in the second game of service I no longer have lungs. It’s unbelievable.’
“Federer gives you more air (time), but you don’t seem to know how to play tennis. It’s amazing how he hits the ball.’
“The three are unbelievable, in different ways.”

There is also the ongoing debate as to who should be named the greatest of all time. Each player has their own credentials. Federer currently has the all-time lead for most grand slam titles at 20. Nadal has won more ATP tournaments on the clay than any other player in history. Meanwhile, current world No.1 Djokovic has won more prize money in the sport than any other player – male or female.

Weighing on the debate, Schwartzman has given the edge to Djokovic. Prior to the suspension of the tour due to covid-19, Djokovic started 2020 by winning 18 matches in a row. Claiming titles at the ATP Cup, Australian Open and Dubai Tennis Championships.

“At his best, Djokovic has beaten Rafael Nadal many times on the clay and Roger Federer many times on the grass. So maybe I would say that he is slightly above the other two.” He explained.
“Let’s see if you can reach the records, now it was packed and saw that pace being broken. But Djokovic knows that he has to keep the level, because if he doesn’t win he will win the other two.”

Schwartzman started the year by winning nine out of 14 matches played. His best performance of the season so far took place on home territory when he reached the final of the Cordoba Open before losing to Christian Garin.

The Big Three head-to-head

Djokovic

Nadal

Federer

Djokovic

N/A

29-26

27-23

Nadal

26-29

N/A

24-16

Federer

23-27

16-26

N/A

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