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Andy Murray: “He was the better player from start to finish”

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TENNIS WIMBLEDON 2014 – 2nd of July. G. Dimitrov d. A. Murray 6-1, 7-6, 6-2. An interview with Andy Murray

 

Q. In his post match Grigor said he could tell something was wrong even in the warmup. Did you feel that as well?

ANDY MURRAY: No, I didn’t. Right at the beginning of the match I had breakpoints in the first game.

But my start to the match was poor. I started the match badly. And I think that gave him confidence.

You know, I should have done a better job at the beginning of the match of making it tougher for him, and I didn’t manage to do that. Also, when I got back into the second set, the end of the set, you know, that was my opportunity there.

He’d been up in the set a break and I’d come back. Momentum was starting to shift a little bit. Couldn’t quite do it.

 

Q. In your reckoning so far   I mean, you haven’t had time to analyze   would you say you lost today and he won or he won outright?

ANDY MURRAY: He was the better player from start to finish.

 

Q. Can you describe the difference between the pressure this year and last year, defending champ, and how that might come into play whatsoever in a match like this?

ANDY MURRAY: No. To be honest, I handled the pressure fine. I mean, I started the tournament well. I was playing good tennis. Today was a bad day, you know, from my side. I made many mistakes, unforced errors, and then started going for too much and taking chances that weren’t really there.

I think I hit maybe one backhand winner the entire match, which isn’t normally what I do   especially on this surface.

So it was a tough day all around.

 

Q. Only four players have successfully defended their title in the open era after winning it for the first time. Now that you’ve actually gone through that whole experience yourself, can you identify with why that’s such a small number?

ANDY MURRAY: Well, to start with, I mean, it’s an incredibly difficult tournament to win. You know, quite a lot of the players that have won have come back and won the tournament in the future.

But, yeah, to win, you know, any tournament back to back, never mind a Grand Slam on a surface like this which, you know, rests sometimes on a few points in a set, you know, it’s not always going to go your way.

So I would say grass, you know, it’s a tough surface to do it on. But I didn’t feel like that had any bearing on the outcome of my tournament.

 

Q. Is this the toughest loss of your career, would you say?

ANDY MURRAY: No. Toughest loss of my career was losing in the final here in 2012. But I need to go away and make a lot of improvements in my game. I’ve lost a couple of matches in the last few slams where I’ve lost in straight sets and, you know, played poorly.

So I need to have a think about things, what are the things I need to improve, and get myself in better shape and work even harder. Because everyone’s starting to get better. The younger guys are now obviously becoming more mature and improving all the time.

I need to make some improvements to my game.

 

Q. How would you describe Dimitrov’s game and what your appraisal is of his potential?

ANDY MURRAY: It’s very hard to know what someone’s potential is because, you know, there’s a lot of factors involved in how someone’s career goes.

But he plays well on all of the surfaces; he moves well; he’s a very good athlete; he has variety in his game, which helps him play on all of the surfaces.

Yeah, he’s a talented guy. He has a talented hand, so he can dig himself out of tough situations and points. You know, when you think the point’s won, he can come up with some great shots.

Yeah, I don’t know his exact potential. It’s impossible to say. But he’s obviously made some big improvements over the last 12 to 18 months and he’s getting better.

 

Q. Do you believe your best tennis is yet to come?

ANDY MURRAY: I don’t know. But if I’m going to play better tennis than I am just now, the only way to do that is by working even harder than I have before. Getting in the gym, getting stronger, becoming physically better.

But, yeah, the only way that I can improve is by getting myself on the practice court and working harder than I have done in the last 12 months. Hopefully that will help.

 

Q. With what you said about Dimitrov being young, did the performance   with no disrespect   make you feel a bit old out there today, that he’s coming through like that?

ANDY MURRAY: No, I don’t feel old. I mean, like I said, I still played some very good tennis this tournament. I’ve had a good run here at Wimbledon over the last few years. Obviously it’s disappointing for it to end like that.

But, you know, now we’ll see whether I can come back stronger and come back better. And, yeah, no one knows, but I’m going to try.

 

Q. How will it work now with Amélie? Would you like to carry on working with her?

ANDY MURRAY: We’ll sit down and chat about that maybe tomorrow or in a few days. But, yeah, it has to come from both sides.

I’ve really enjoyed the last couple of weeks. I’ve found it good fun. I found it calming. Tactically, you know, I feel like the chats have been good. Also the direction that I would like my tennis to go in.

So I hope so, but we’ll need to sit down and chat.

 

Q. Did you feel this morning at all that it might be a flat day, or was it out of the blue to you?

ANDY MURRAY: It’s not necessarily about being flat. The fire was still there. My game was just not where I would have liked it to be.

I hit the ball well in practice the last day or two. I hit the ball well, fine in the warmup this morning. That wasn’t a problem.

Yeah, I just played badly today. I’m disappointed with that. Obviously, you know, I have to have a think about maybe why that was. But often I think people overanalyze things and look at things in too much detail.

I just didn’t play well today and he played much better than me from the beginning to the end. That’s not going to add up to a good day at the office.

 

Q. Rafa said yesterday he was looking forward to going to the beach. What are you going to look forward to be doing in the next few days?

ANDY MURRAY: I don’t know. Yeah, for me, like I said, I need to make some improvements in my game. I need to get on the practice court soon, because now there’s time before the next bunch of tournaments to do that, to make improvements. You know, it’s not often in the year you get that much time.

But I’ll also need to have a think for a few days about how it is I’m going to go about that, how it is I’m going to go about improving and trying to get better again.

So, yeah, I’ll definitely take a few days away from the court. Probably won’t be on a beach. I’ll then start practicing fairly soon.

 

Q. You spoke a minute ago about a day at the office. Are you enjoying playing tennis at the moment?

ANDY MURRAY: The last few months, yeah, I’ve really enjoyed it. I’ve enjoyed being on the practice court. I’ve enjoyed, you know, especially the last few weeks with Amélie. It’s been different. I’ve enjoyed it a lot. That’s the most important thing.

In terms of moving forward, I think when you stop enjoying practicing and training, you know, and traveling, then you have to have a think about what you actually want to do with yourself. Because, you know, you don’t want to make yourself miserable when you’re doing something that you’ve loved since you were a kid.

But there’s been periods where I’ve struggled, but right now isn’t one of them.

 

Q. You seem particularly philosophical after that. Are you still 100% confident in your own game, and would be looking to go on and try to win the title here in the future?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, when I stop thinking I have a chance of winning these tournaments I’ll stop playing tennis. This is what I play for. I love these events. You know, I’ve had a lot of hard losses in them in my career, but also with some big highs, as well.

Yeah, this is obviously one of the hard ones. But, you know, I need to gain some motivation from it. The only way for me to, like I say, to get better or win these tournaments again is to make improvements because other guys are getting better now.

 

Q. Over your career have you gained most motivation from victories or defeats?

ANDY MURRAY: Well, I gained a lot of motivation when I lost in the final of Wimbledon in 2012. But, yeah, I mean, after the US Open I was pretty pumped and motivated because, you know, it took me such a long time to do that. It was nice to feel what it was like to win one of them. I gained a lot of motivation from that, too.

But the reality is you lose in most tournaments that you play. You don’t win even 30%, 40% of them. In tennis, most weeks you end up being one of the losers. Sometimes it’s in the final; sometimes it’s a bit earlier. You need to be able to deal with defeats and move on from them. That’s what the best players do.

 

Q. I was wondering how you found the crowd on Centre Court? Do you have a message for people who gathered on Murray Mound, as well?

ANDY MURRAY: The crowd have been great the whole event. It was obviously nice for me to come back and play the first match on Centre Court on the opening Monday.

Yeah, I mean, the crowds have been packed from the beginning. The support’s been fantastic. You know, obviously not everyone can get in to watch on the Centre Court, but I know there’s many more people out there that have been supporting and have been behind me.

I appreciate it. It always makes a big difference. That’s why I love coming back here.

 

Q. You had a very good first week. Did you ever believe that you would go all the way to the final? Did you have that belief in you when you started?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. Well, because of the way I was playing, yeah, I felt like I had a good chance of doing that. I was moving well. I was hitting the ball good. Yeah, I had not used up much energy. I had beaten some tough players. I had played well in my last match, too.

So, yeah, there was no reason for me to think    I’m aware of how difficult it is to get to the latter stages of these events and to win them. I’m aware of that. But I felt like if I played well, I would have given myself a good opportunity.

 

Q. You played so well on Monday; today you say you didn’t play well. How can it change so quickly?

ANDY MURRAY: It’s a high skill sport. So your timing is slightly off, you know, that can make a huge difference. When you’re playing team sports, you know, one player    five players have a bad day, and, you know, six players in football can make a difference.

In an individual sport, you know, you can wake up and the ball doesn’t feel as good on the racquet as it did two days beforehand. That’s just the way this sport is. That’s one of the things that makes it extremely challenging. It’s one of the things I enjoy about it. You never know how you’re going to feel when you wake up.

But, you know, obviously for me I’m just disappointed that today was one of those days and I wasn’t able to find a way to get better during the match.

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Anett Kontaveit beats Petra Martic to reach the final in Palermo

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World number 22 Anett Kontaveit from Estonia upset number 1 seed Petra Martic 6-2 6-4 to reach the final at the Ladies Open in Palermo. 

 

Martic has scored her third win in her seven matches against top 20 players after beating Belinda Bencic and Elina Svitolina. 

Kontaveit avenged her defeat against Martic in their only previous match played in Dubai last February before the lockdown. 

Kontaveit had to fight to hold her serve in the first game of the opening set at deuce and took control of the match by breaking in the fourth game to open up a 4-1 lead. 

Martic won only 56% on her first serve in the opening set. Kontaveit came back from 0-30 down to hold serve in the seventh game before breaking for the second time in the eighth game to win the first set 6-2. 

Martic earned an early break in the first game of the second set at deuce, but Kontaveit broke straight back to draw level to 1-1. The Estonian player saved a break point before holding serve to take a 2-1 lead. Kontaveit saved five of the six break points she faced. Kontaveit broke for the second time in the fourth game to open up a 4-1 lead. Martic held serve at 2-5 down before breaking serve at 15 in the ninth game to claw her way back to 4-5. The Croatian player received a medical time-out before Kontaveit for the third time in the tenth game at love to close out the second set 6-4. 

Kontaveit will chase her second title in tomorrow’s final three years after winning in S’Hertogenbosch in 2017.

“I felt like I played a very good match today. I was quite aggressive, consistent, and I served especially well in the first set. It got a bit close in the end, but I played a good game at 5-4 and I am happy to be in the final”, said Kontaveit. 

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Petra Martic comes back from one set down to beat Ludmila Samsonova in Palermo

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Top seed Petra Martic from Croatia came back from one set down to beat qualifier and world number 117  Ludmila Samsonova 5-7 6-4 6-2. 

 

Martic saved six break points in the 10th game of the opening set, but Samsonova converted her third break point in the 12th game to win the first set 7-5. 

Martic earned an early break in the first game to open up a 2-0 lead. Samsonova broke back at love in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. Martic broke for the second time in the ninth game to win the second set 6-4. The Croatian player broke twice in the third and seventh games to close out the third set 6-2. 

Martic will face world number 50 Aliaksandra Sasnovich from Belarus in the quarter finals. Sasnovich came through the qualifying round before beating Jasmine Paolini in straight sets. 

Former top 30 Camila Giorgi rallied from losing the first set to beat Slovenian teenager Kaja Juvan 3-6 6-2 6-4 after 2 hours reaching her second WTA quarter final of the season. Before the outbreak of the Covid-19 outbreak Giorgi reached the top 8 in Lyon. Juvan qualified for the Main Draw at the Australian Open and beat five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams in three sets at the Abierto Mexicano in Acapulco. 

Giorgi started with an early break at deuce at the start of the first set and opened a 2-0 lead. Juvan broke twice to take a 4-3 lead. Giorgi dropped serve for the third time after a double fault on the set point. 

Giorgi came back from 1-2 down by winning five consecutive games with two consecutive breaks in the fifth and seventh games. 

Giorgi broke twice to race out to a 3-0 lead at the start of the third set. Juvan pulled one break back at love in the fourth game but Giorgi got another break to race out to a 5-1 lead. Juvan broke at 30, when Giorgi was serving for the match at 5-2. The Italian player earned two match points and sealed the win on her second chance. 

“I think I was more solid in playing my game. I was moving more forward, so it was much for me. At the start of the match, I was making too many tactical mistakes because I was trying to finish points for no reason. I started to adopt better tactics in the second set and that’s when things started working for me”, said Giorgi. 

Number 4 seed Anett Kontaveit from Estonia came back from one set down to beat Laura Siegemund 3-6 6-2 6-2 after 2 hours and 20 minutes booking her spot in the quarter finals at the Palermo Ladies Open. 

The Estonian player has reached her third quarter final this year after the Australian Open and Dubai. 

Kontaveit set up a quarter final against Elisabetta Cocciaretto, who became the youngest Italian player to reach the quarter final of a tournament since Sara Errani in 2006. 

“I am quite happy about the way I was handling close situations, playing the close games and turning the close games around. I thought I actually handled that sort of pressure, that I didn’t think I would be used to, quite well”, said Kontaveit. 

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Andrea Gaudenzi recognizes the contribution of the Italian Tennis Federation in staging the Internazionali d’Italia

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ATP President and former Italian tennis player Andrea Gaudenzi spoke in an interview to Italian TV channel Supertennis about staging the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome before the French Open and recognised the contribution of the Italian tennis Federation (FIT) in staging the tournament in the Italian capital. 

 

The Rome ATP Masters 1000 and WTA Premier 5 tournaments will be held from 20th to 27th September one week before the French Open (27th September to 11th October). 

“We are grateful to everyone, holding an event this year is difficult from an organizational and financial point of view. We thank the Italian Federation and those who organize the Challengers. Italy is making a great contribution. I think the players are waiting for the BNL Internazionali d’Italia. The Foro Italico is among the most beautiful venues in the world. Rome is splendid in September”, said Gaudenzi. 

During his tennis career Gaudenzi scored wins over Roger Federer in Rome 2002, Pete Sampras in the first round of the 2002 French Open, Jim Courier in the 1994 US Open, Goran Ivanisevic, Thomas Muster, Michael Stich and Yevgeny Kafelnikov. Gaudenzi claimed three ATP titles in Casablanca in 1998, St. Poelten and Bastad in 2002. He graduated in law at the Bologna University and obtained a MBA with Honours at IUM.

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