Fernando Verdasco: “Pascal is very peculiar. Sometimes he will take things in a certain way” - UBITENNIS
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Fernando Verdasco: “Pascal is very peculiar. Sometimes he will take things in a certain way”




TENNIS 2014 ROLAND GARROS – 2nd of June. A. Murray d. F. Verdasco 6-4, 7-5, 7-6. An interview with Fernando Verdasco


Q. You lost after a very tough match. Did you have problems of like you expected to win the second set maybe? You put lots of energy. Did you have a lack of concentration after losing, after being two sets down in the beginning of the third? And do you think that Murray has improved on clay? How did you find his game regarding his chance for the tournament?

FERNANDO VERDASCO: Well, about the first question, I didn’t expect nothing about winning the second set or anything. You know, I was just trying every point to win, every point, next point, next point, next point.

But I think I didn’t have my best day. He played better than me. He played very deep.

Also I need to say that the court, I didn’t like it. It was much faster than Philippe Chatrier, so for his flat shots was I think a good advantage.

So it was    you know, he had played I think very deep, very good shots, very good control, close to the lines, but the court was very fast compared to the Philippe Chatrier. Completely a different tournament.

And I don’t think that one tournament like Roland Garros must have two courts that different. So for that part, I’m not happy at all.

And for my part, I didn’t play a good match, of course. I played short, many shots. He was able to step in, and he did it pretty well.

He have also big part of his win he played well. And I cannot say like much more. I tried, I fight till the end, but it was not my day. He had a good day.

About his chances for the tournament, I don’t know. I think the favorite is still Rafa for me, and he will always be the favorite here, because the final is in the Philippe Chatrier, not in the Suzanne Lenglen. Like I said, it’s a different court. It’s a different tournament. One court from another.

This court is much slower. So I think that it’s going to be different once he play in this court.

We’ll see, but, yeah. I cannot really say nothing else.


Q. You have been working with Thomas Enqvist for a couple of months now. What are your thoughts on your cooperation so far? Will you continue to work together throughout the year?

FERNANDO VERDASCO: Well, I said two days ago    or yesterday, sorry, about my relationship with him. I said that I’m very happy and we are working many things.

You know, I cannot really say nothing different that I said yesterday, so about keep working together. When we start we said that we would speak again in Roland Garros, because we didn’t know each other. We were gonna be together for this clay court tournaments. And after here, after Paris, we will talk and we will see if it was worth it for him or it’s worth it for me.

So I cannot really tell you anything else, because I didn’t speak yet with him.


Q. In the third set you had an amazing run of saving break points, and then on the last point you had a service winner that was overruled by the chair umpire, and then there was some argument going back and forth. Can you explain to us what exactly happened? What you said, what he said, what Andy said when he got involved.

FERNANDO VERDASCO: I think it was just a thing, just a thing of the game. I don’t really want to talk about that kind of stuff, because I don’t think it’s worth it.

I don’t think it’s worth it for me, I don’t think it’s worth it for anybody, so it’s better to just forget about it. That’s it.

I was just fighting for the ball because I just thought that once I served to the line and Andy returned with the frame to the crowd, Pascal was saying that the lineman was calling out. I said, I don’t care because it was    he didn’t miss the serve because the lineman call out. He missed the serve because, the return, because my serve was to the line and he couldn’t hit it with the strings.

So it was completely out of sense to serve a first serve again. I said to call the supervisor, and Andy said that it was fine, and it was a point for me.

So just, you know, just normal thing, something that can happen. Nothing more important than that.


Q. When you talked to Pascal Maria, did that provide motivation? Starting to play very good tennis?

FERNANDO VERDASCO: Well, it didn’t happen that much. Room to maneuver, I had to give it up, it was either now or never, otherwise I was being ousted from the tournament, and Pascal Maria agreed.

As I said during the questions in English, I don’t believe that the fact that the serve ball hit the line led to my defeat. On the other hand, I did not want to give that point away for free. In that case, I said, I should call the supervisor.

And, you know, Pascal is very peculiar. Sometimes he will take things in a certain way, and I said, Look, in that case, I want to talk to the supervisor.

Because several times I had bad experience was Pascal Maria. He’s not the kind of umpire I get along with. I can tell you that.


Q. So that means you’re going to get a sanction?



Q. Because you talked badly to the umpire?



Q. Well, they said you called him stupid.



Q. Because you said, I don’t want to talk to you because you always steal points from me?

FERNANDO VERDASCO: No, I don’t think I said that, and if I said that it was a slip of the tongue.


Q. Talking about Pascal, Rafa also complained about him. He said that every time that Pascal Maria was on court Rafa got one or two warnings. What’s going on?

FERNANDO VERDASCO: Well, I just told you. There is nothing else I want to tell you about Pascal Maria.

I had many different experiences with him. He is an umpire that many players remember vividly and not because of his qualities.


Felix Auger-Aliassime Reaches Quarters In Cincinnati After Three-Set Win Over Sinner

The world number nine reached the quarterfinals after battling back to beat the Italian in three sets.




Felix Auger-Aliassime (Roberto Dell'Olivo)

Felix Auger-Aliassime is into the quarterfinals of the Western and Southern Open after beating Jannik Sinner 2-6, 7-6, 6-1 in two hours and 26 minutes.


The Canadian served 14 aces and hit 29 winners in a match where he had to fight back from losing the first set on his way to sealing a spot in the final eight of the tournament.

“Jannik was just playing too good. I didn’t have a great start, I was missing a lot. But I just had no time. He was playing so fast, so precise, serving well. For a set and a half, it was just too good,” atptour.com quoted Auger-Aliassime as saying during his on-court interview. “That game he broke me in the second, returning on the baseline for three returns in a row, you can’t do much better, so I had to give it to him.
“But at the end, I was still on the court trying to find ways, trying to fight and trying to see how I could make him miss a few more balls and to put myself in a competing position and I did that well… To come back and play that way in the tie-break and the third set, that means a lot to me going forward.”

Sinner got the early break in the first set to take a 2-0 lead and broke a second time with the Montreal native serving to stay in the first set to seal it.

The second set stayed on serve until 3-2 when once again the Italian got the break of serve to take a 4-2 lead but Auger-Aliassime broke right back the following game. The set was eventually decided by a tiebreaker in which the world number nine raced out to a 4-0 lead, hitting some solid forehands and it looked like he had turned the match around. He won the breaker only losing a single point and sent the match into a deciding set.

The number seven seed kept the momentum going by breaking in the first game of the third set. He then earned a double break lead and was up 3-0 and broke a third time for a 4-1. Auger-Aliassime served out the match to book a date with Borna Coric who beat the Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut in straight sets 6-2, 6-3 in one hour and 21 minutes.

The pair have met twice before in 2019. Auger-Aliassime won their encounter in Miami but Coric triumphed in Rome.

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Cincinnati Daily Preview: Quarterfinals Featuring Medvedev/Fritz and Alcaraz/Norrie




Daniil Medvedev this week in Cincinnati (twitter.com/cincytennis)

Friday’s ATP singles quarterfinals feature six of the top 13 players in the world.  By contrast, in the WTA singles draw, the top five seeds have all been eliminated, and only two seeds remain.


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

Daniil Medvedev (1) vs. Taylor Fritz (11) – Not Before 1:00pm on Center Court

Medvedev has earned both his wins this week in straight sets, while Fritz came back from a set down on Thursday to defeat Daniil’s close friend Andrey Rublev.  The 24-year-old American is having the best year of his career, with a record of 35-13.  Taylor is on the verge of breaking into the top 10, and would be even closer to doing so had he received points for his run to the Wimbledon quarterfinals.  He earned his first Masters 1000 title at another North American hard court event earlier this year in Indian Wells.  In their first career meeting, Fritz has the firepower to pull off the upset, especially with a partisan crowd behind him.  But on a hard court, Medvedev remains the favorite to reach his third semifinal in Cincinnati.

Cameron Norrie (9) vs. Carlos Alcaraz (3) – Last on Center Court

This will be their fourth meeting within the past year, and thus far, all three have gone to Alcaraz.  That includes straight sets wins at the US Open and Indian Wells, and a three-set victory in Madrid on clay.  As impressive as Norrie has been across the past 18 months, no one has skyrocketed to new heights this past year like Alcaraz.  The 19-year-old is now 44-8 in 2022.  However, the sheer amount of tennis the youngster has played this year is concerning, despite his high level of fitness.  And many of those matches have been grueling, dramatic affairs.  Given his recent history with Norrie, Carlitos should be favored, though an upset by the British No.1 would not be a shocking result.

Other Notable Matches on Friday:

Madison Keys vs. Elena Rybakina – Keys upset world No.1 Iga Swiatek on Thursday.  Both Keys and Rybakina are yet to drop a set this week.  When they played at this year’s Roland Garros, Madison prevailed in a third-set tiebreak.

Ajla Tomljanovic (Q) vs. Petra Kvitova – Tomljanovic has survived four consecutive three-setters, going back to the last round of qualifying on Sunday.  Kvitova took out Ons Jabeur on Thursday. 

Stefanos Tsitsipas (4) vs. John Isner – Tsitsipas lead their head-to-head 4-2, and has taken their last four meetings.  Stefanos is vying for his third consecutive semifinal at this event.  Isner was a finalist here in 2013.

Jessica Pegula (7) vs. Caroline Garcia – Pegula is now No.3 in the year-to-date rankings, with a record of 30-15.  However, Garcia has slightly bested that record, as she’s now 32-15 this season.  Jess is 2-1 against Caroline, though the Frenchwoman claimed their only meeting in 2022.

Felix Auger-Aliassime (7) vs. Borna Coric (Q) – Auger-Aliassime saved two match points on Thursday night in a comeback victory over Jannik Sinner.  Coric followed up his upset of Rafael Nadal by defeating another Spaniard, Roberto Bautista Agut.  Felix and Borna split two encounters back in 2019. 

Friday’s full Order of Play is here.

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Andy Murray Outlines ‘Big Concern’ About His Current Fitness Ahead Of US Open

The 35-year-old is looking to see if he can find a reason behind his latest problem on the Tour.




Andy Murray (GBR) - Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Britain’s Andy Murray has admitted that he is alarmed about the frequency of cramping he is experiencing during matches played in North America this season.


The three-time Grand Slam champion crashed out of the Western and Southern Open on Wednesday after losing in three sets to compatriot Cameron Norrie. During the closing stages of their encounter, it was visible that Murray was once again struggling with cramps. A condition that occurs when a muscle shortens and causes a sudden pain that can make it hard to move.

It is usual for athletes to experience cramps but for Murray the issue is a ‘big concern’ for him. Saying that this year is the first time in his career he has suffered from the issue on a regular basis.

“I think pretty much every tennis player in their career has cramped usually in these sorts of conditions,” Murray said during his press conference.
“But the consistency of it for me is a big concern. It’s not something that I have really experienced. I have experienced cramping but not consistently like over a number of tournaments.
“It’s a big concern for me because it’s not easy to play when it gets bad like it was at the end (of his match against Norrie). I feel like it had an impact on the end of the match.”

Murray says his cramping occurs ‘predominantly’ in his legs but different parts. The former world No.1 is now looking into seeing if he can find a possible explanation as to what might be triggering the cramps. The issue comes less than two weeks before the start of the US Open.

“It’s a big concern for me that and something that I need to address and find a solution for,” he said. “No one knows exactly why cramps happen. There are many reasons, whether its hydration, whether it’s the food that you have taken in, whether it’s fatigue and lack of conditioning, stress.’
“I need to try and understand what’s going on there.”

Since Wimbledon, Murray has achieved a win-loss record of 3-4 on the Tour with his best run being to the quarter-finals in Newport. He is currently ranked 47th in the world.

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