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.
Daniil Medvedev Ousts Former Quarter-Finalist Tiafoe, Kyrgios Reigns Supreme At Australian Open
Both players endured a testing start to their campaigns at Melbourne Park.
Two players tipped to fill in the void when the big three of men’s tennis departs from the sport have got off to a winning start at the Australian Open.
US Open runner-up Daniil Medvedev manoeuvred his way past a tricky encounter with Frances Tiafoe. Who reach the last eight of the tournament 12 months ago in what is his best grand slam performance to date. Despite the threat posed, Medvedev held his nerve to prevail 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, on the premier Rod Laver Arena. The night-time encounter saw the Russian fired 13 aces and 42 winners past Tiafoe en route to the second round.
“It was a really tough match. I think it was a bit up and down from both of us.” Medvedev said during his on-court interview.
“I’m really happy to win because the first round is never easy. Especially against Frances, who was in the quarters last year.”
Medvedev, who turns 24 next month, has been labelled as one of potential players who can end the reign of Roger Federer and Co by winning a grand slam title this season. Last year he claimed 59 wins on the ATP Tour, which was more than any other player. During his breakthrough season he clinched his first two Masters titles as well as a duo of ATP 250 events.
Despite his victory, the world No.4 was far from contempt when it came to his latest performance. Medvedev dropped serve at least once in every set played and also leaked 35 errors. The same amount of mistakes as Tiafoe.
“There were many moments during the match where I felt I was getting momentum and then he came back.” He reflected.
“I think I can do many things better, but for the first round it’s a big win and I’m really happy.’
“I didn’t like my serve today to be honest. But hopefully I can do better in the next round, otherwise I will be in trouble.”
Kyrgios Topples Italian rival
Taking to the court at the same time as Medvedev, Nick Kyrgios also experienced a tricky start to his title bid in Melbourne. Seeded 23rd in the draw this year, the home favourite roared his way to a 6-2, 7-6(3), 7-6(1), win over Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego. Claiming his fourth tour win of the season following his trio of singles victories at the ATP Cup earlier this month.
“I was just excited to get out here. It has been a pretty emotional couple of months for all of us,’ Kyrgios commented in reference to the ongoing bushfire crisis in Australia.
“I just wanted to come out here and put on a good performance.”
Kyrgios has been one of the driving forces behind Tennis Australia’s series of fundraisers to support the bushfire appeal. He has pledged to donate $200 for every ace he produces during the Australian Open. Working out at $2800 from his latest match along after firing 14 past Sonego. Overall, Kyrgios won an impressive 87% of his first service points during the 135-minute clash.
“I feel good. I’m not looking ahead in the draw at all.” Kyrgios stated.
“Everyone can play in the draw, they are all capable. So I’m just going to take it one match at a time.” He added.
During his on-court interview, John McEnroe make an unexpected announcement. The former world No.1 has said he will donate $1000 for every set Kyrgios wins in the remainder of the tournament to the bushfire appeal. Prompting a huge cheer from the crowd.
Both Medvedev and Kyrgios will play their second round matches on Thursday.
Ernests Gulbis upsets Felix Auger Aliassime to advance to the second round in Melbourne
World number 256 Ernests Gulbis upset Canadian Next Gen star Felix Auger Aliassime 7-5 4-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 to reach the second round at the Australian Open at Melbourne Park.
Auger Aliassime was the second Canadian Next Gen player to lose in the first round at this year’s edition of the Australian Open after his compatriot Denis Shapovalov was defeated by Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics on Monday.
Auger Aliassime started the 2020 season with just one win in four matches at the ATP Cup, but he reached the semifinal in Adelaide last week, losing to eventual champion Andrey Rublev in three sets.
Auger Aliassime earned the first game in the ninth game at 30 to take a 5-4 lead, but Gulbis broke twice in the 10th and 12th game to win the first set 7-5. In the second set Auger Aliassime saved three break points in both the eighth and tenth games and broke in the ninth game at deuce to seal the second set 6-4.
In the third set Auger Aliassime saved four break points to hold his serve at deuce in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. Gulbis fended off a break point in the fifth and eleventh games before winning the tie-break 7-4.
Gulbis earned an early break in the first game of the opening set. Auger Aliassime broke back in the third game and held his serve at deuce to draw level to 2-2 after saving two break points. Gulbis broke for the second time in the fifth game and held his next service games to close out the fourth set 6-4.
“Every time you come to Australia the main goal is the Aussie Open, so it’s not good. That’s what the result show, but at the same time I am staying calm and positive because I feel I am not far from playing well and winning matches”,said Felix Auger Aliassime.
Dominic Thiem beats Adrian Mannarino to reach the second round in Melbourne for the fifth consecutive year
Fifth seed and last year’s Roland Garros finalist Dominic Thiem beat Adrian Mannarino 6-3 7-5 6-2 to extend his winning record in his head-to-head against the French player to 8-0. The Austrian player hit 36 winners to 34 unforced errors. Thiem set up a second round match against either Albert Ramos Vinolas or Australian wild card Alex Bolt.
Thiem earned the first break in the fourth game to open up a 3-1 lead. Mannarino fended off two break points in the eighth game while he was serving at 2-5, but Thiem sealed the first set 6-3 on his third set point after a 27-shot rally.
Thiem went up a set and a break in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead, but Mannarino pulled the break back to draw level to 4-4, as Thiem sent a forehand long. Thiem got his second break in the 11th game to take a 6-5 lead after a 28-shot rally and reeled off 12 of the last 14 points to clinch the second set 7-5.
Thiem started the third set with an early break and won 16 of the first 20 points to seal the win after 2 hours and 21 minutes. The 2019 ATP Finals runner-up reached the Australian Open second round for the fifth consecutive year.
Thiem leads 2-1 in his three head-to-head matches against Ramos Vinolas, but the Spaniard won their only clash on hard-court in Chengdu four years ago.
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