Novak Djokovic: “I came with the exact level of intensity that I was looking for before the start of the match” - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic: “I came with the exact level of intensity that I was looking for before the start of the match”

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TENNIS 2014 ROLAND GARROS – 1st of June 2014. N. Djokovic d. J. Tsonga 6-1, 6-4, 6-1. An interview with Novak Djokovic

 

Q. Actually, I have a question that I’m sorry to intervene at this moment. It doesn’t have to do with the match, but you wrote your great book, which was very moving about the war situation. I just wanted to ask you a question about something you wrote in there where you said describing the bombing during the war. You said: “Once you realize that you’re truly powerless, a certain sense of freedom takes over to truly accept your own powerlessness is incredibly liberating.” I find that pretty powerful. Could you talk about that experience, please.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, to put it in simple words, it’s truly incredible and something I don’t wish for any human being to experience, the power of war and the power of being just helpless out there.

There is nothing that you can do, basically, if you have an air strike like we had for two and a half months. So we were just praying for that to be finished and for this agony to go away as quickly as possible, because many civilians were killed, many people lost their homes, lost, you know, many things that still even today they couldn’t recover.

But from my personal experience, as much as it was devastating, it was also very helpful in terms of my mental strength. It shaped up my personality incredibly in such way that I didn’t have much fears after that, you know, after being afraid for your own life and with your close ones. There is not many things that you can fear after that.

 

 

Q. I guess you’re pretty happy with the performance today. It was clean and smooth.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: The performance was great from the start till the end. I came with the exact level of intensity that I was looking for before the start of the match.

Two years ago was kind of a similar situation where I started very well, won the set 6 1 and I was 4 2 up two years ago and then he managed to come back, and then we had the tough match and that ended up in five sets.

I didn’t want the similar scenario. Obviously I wanted to win that second set, because I knew that Jo is a kind of a player that feeds off the energy of the crowd, and he loves playing in Roland Garros. He started very slow. He made a lot of unforced errors. I was very solid from back of the court, and then I knew what I needed to do.

Then, you know, being 5 2 up and then losing the serve 5 4, that was a very important game that I played very well to finish the second set 6 4. It was a mental relief in the end. The match went great in every single way for me.

 

Q. I know you used to know Ernests Gulbis quite well since you were kids. I was wondering if you watched the match he played against Federer. If you did, do you think he’s on his way to become the top 5 player that everybody expected him to years ago? I wanted to hear your thoughts on that.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I think he played the French Open quarterfinals in 2008 already. He’s very talented player with a lot of power. His attitude on the court shows that he’s confident.

You know, I know him since long time. When I was 14, 15 is when he showed up in anything Niki Pilic tennis academy. So we know each other really, really well. I congratulated him on his win today, because I thought he played courageous and aggressive when he needed to, and he deserved to win.

I saw quite a bit of the match, because I was playing after them. He played really well.

Obviously more matches you win, the more you build confidence, the better your ranking will be.

But again, he’s aware, I’m sure, that, you know, not only one win can get you to where you want to be, and he wants to be at the top of the game, so he needs to be consistent with the results. But this surely can serve him as a great confidence booster.

 

Q. I know you know Maria Sharapova pretty well from doing the Head commercials and before that, also. What do you like most about her on court and off?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: What makes her different on and off the court?

 

Q. No, what makes her so good on the court and you having watched her and knowing her off court as well, I guess.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: First of all, she’s a great champion. She’s somebody who is hard worker, committed to the game, and has been around for many years.

I even practiced with her a couple of times, so I know how committed she is to practice hard and she practices hard as she plays in official match.

You can see her concentration. That’s why she’s at the top of the women’s game for so long. She has a mindset of a champion.

The other hand, off court she’s a different person than on court. You know, I think people get maybe a wrong idea, because they see her so serious and so focused, you know, doesn’t have much of ups and downs in concentration during the match. She doesn’t show her personality as much on the official matches.

Off court she’s very intelligent. She’s a very nice girl. Yeah, I know her also for quite many years.

 

Q. Coming back to Jo. You had a pretty close head to head at the start of both your careers, and then you took over. Can you pick some reasons why you have figured it out so well now.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I think after playing so many times and different occasions and surfaces, you start figuring out the game of your opponent. The amount of matches that I have played against him, he’s one of my biggest rivals, that’s for sure.

I played the first Grand Slam final against him. We do have something special about our rivalry, about our matches.

I just feel as I won so many matches, consecutive matches against him, different surfaces, more confident coming into the matches and knowing what I need to do, I have a clear game plan in my head.

 

Q. I’d like to ask you if you have talked to Dusan Lajovic very much who will face Nadal next round. I know he’s young, he talked to you and all you guys to get advice. Do you have any advice for him for this match?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, of course, we talk. He is generation of my younger brother. So I know he’s very talented and he’s showing his full potential right now.

I’m really glad that Serbia has a new up and coming tennis star that obviously is performing now at his best on the Grand Slam, which is great to see.

He has made a record of his career now in Grand Slams reaching the fourth round playing against Nadal. As he said, it’s going to be a dream come true for him playing on the center court.

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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beats Lorenzo Sonego to advance to the second round in Antwerp

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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga broke once in each set in his 6-3 6-4 win in his 6-3 6-4 win over Lorenzo Sonego after 1 hour and 20 minutes improving his win-loss record over the Italian player to 2-0.

 

Tsonga got the first break at 15 in the fourth game and never looked back to win the opening set 6-3 after 31 minutes.

Sonego earned his only break in the fourth game of the second set, but Tsonga saved it before earning the decisive break. The Frenchman held on his service games to take the second set 6-4.

Tsonga will face either Gilles Simon or Steve Darcis in the second round.

Guido Pella fought back from one set down to beat Peter Gojowczyk 5-7 6-4 7-6 (7-2) setting up a second round match against either Richard Gasquet or Soonwoon Kwon from South Korean Soonwoo Kwon.

Tipsarevic beats Moutet in Stockolm

 Serbia’s Janko Tipsarevic broke serve four times in his 6-2 6-4 win over Corentin Moutet in 73 minutes. Tipsarevic, who will retire at the end of the season, will take on top seed Fabio Fognini. Tipsarevic went up a 3-0 lead with a double break. Moutet pulled back a break in the fourth game, but Tipsarevic broke for the third game to clinch the first set 6-2. Tipsarevic converted his third break point chance in the seventh game and held his final two service games to win the second set 6-4.

Great Britain’s Daniel Evans battled past Bernard Tomic 6-4 1-6 6-3 setting up a second round match against either Casper Ruud or Filip Krajinovic.

Italy’s Stefano Travaglia stunned US giant Reilly Opelka 7-5 4-6 6-4 securing his spot in the second round, where he will face either Yuichi Sugita from Japan or Elias Yimer from Sweden. Opelka had to save a break point in the first game with five aces. Both players went on serve until the 11th game when Travaglia got the break before serving out for the set at love. Travaglia saved a break point at 4-5 15-40 but Opelka converted his second chance to seal the second set 6-4. Travaglia got the decisive break in the ninth game and sealed the win on his first match point.

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Andreas Seppi fends off two match points to beat Christian Garin in Moscow

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Italian veteran Andreas Seppi came back from one set down to beat Chile’s Christian Garin 3-6 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-4) in 2 hours and 45 minutes at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow.

 

Garin broke serve twice in the second and ninth games to win the opening set 6-3.  Seppi converted his second break point chance in the first game of the second set, but he wasted two break points at 5-4 and dropped his serve. Seppi saved two match points in the 12th game at 5-6 15-40 in the second set before winning the tie-break 7-2.

Garin broke serve in the fifth game to open up a 4-2 lead. Seppi broke straight back to draw level to 4-4, but he did not convert four match points at 6-5. Seppi won five of the final six points in the tie-break of the third set to close out the match.

Czech qualifier Lukas Rosol fended off two match points to beat Argentina’s Juan Ignacio Londero 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (9-7) 6-3. Rosol came back from 4-6 in the tie-break of the second set by winning five of the next six points. The Czech player broke serve in the eighth game to win the third set 6-3.

Adrian Mannarino edged past Damir Dzumhur 7-6 (7-2) 6-0 to improve his record in their head-to-head matches to 3-1. Dzumhur got the first break of the match in the opening game. Mannarino broke back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Dzumhur broke serve for the second time to take a 4-3 lead. Mannarino pulled the break back in the 10th game to draw level to 5-5 before winning the tie-break 7-2. The Frenchman cruised through to a 6-0 win in the third set with three consecutive breaks.

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Daniil Medvedev Dismantles Zverev To Win Shanghai Masters

It was another clinical performance from one of the sports rising stars.

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World No.4 Daniil Medvedev has continued his unbeaten streak since the US Open after disposing of Germany’s Alexander Zverev in straight sets to win the Shanghai Masters.

 

The 23-year-old, who hasn’t lost a set in his past nine matches, brushed aside his hot and cold opponent 6-4, 6-1, to add to his rapidly rising trophy tally. Medvedev has now won three out of the last four ATP tournaments he has played in. Including two at Masters level. In his latest conquest, he hit 19 winners to 14 unforced errors and saved four out of the five break points he faced.

“This win is also amazing because I think Shanghai is one of the most prestigious Masters events on the tour.” Medvedev told TennisTV. “Especially over the last 10 years with only three players managing to win this.”
“It’s really special to have my photo out in the corridor for many years.” He added.

The clash in Shanghai was somewhat of an historic occasion. For the first time since 2009 two finalists of a Masters 1000 event are under the age of 24. Medvedev was contesting his sixth consecutive final in what has been a sensational second half of the year for him. Meanwhile, Zverev was bidding to win his biggest title since his triumph at the ATP Finals almost 12 months ago.

Billed as a meeting between two players who could take over the reign when the Big Three retire from the sport, it was Russia’s Medvedev who got off to a better start. Breaking the Zverev serve immediately with the help of a backhand drop shot as he eased to a 3-0 lead. However, Zverev managed to regain his focus with an elevation in his game to fight back and draw level at 3-3. Paving way for what was a tightly contested opener. Only a couple shots separated the two and they were a duo of costly errors from Zverev at the worst possible time. Serving at 4-5 30-30, back-to-back double faults from the fifth seed cost him the opening set. Moving Medvedev closer to his second Masters title.

The US Open finalist continued to weather the storm with the help of more errors from across the court. Two games into the second set, a seemingly straightforward Zverev service game collapsed as he lost five straight points after leading 40-0. Rewarding Medvedev another break in the match. Firmly in control of the final, he breezed towards the finish line with little difficulty as his rival grew more frustrated. Serving for the title, Medvedev clinched victory on his first match point with an ace down the line. Although he was rather blasé when it came to his celebration.

“I said that during the US Open, it was going to be my thing because everybody was talking about that they need new guys and something new. So I gave them something new. I don’t celebrate my wins. I just stay calm, do my job and done.” Explained Medvedev.

The world No.4 has now won 59 matches on the ATP Tour this season. Which is 11 more than his nearest opponent (Novak Djokovic has 48 wins). Eight out of his nine wins over top 10 players have taken place over the last six months. He has now overtaken Roger Federer into third place in the ATP Race to London.

“I said yesterday after my victory you’re probably the best player in the world right now. How you’re playing is unbelievable and I wish you nothing but the best.” Zverev said to Medvedev during the trophy ceremony.

Sunday’s win is Medvedev’s first over Zverev after losing to him on four previous occasions. He exits Shanghai with 1000 ranking points and $1,374,995 in prize money.

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