Andy Murray: “He was the better player from start to finish” - UBITENNIS
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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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Wimbledon: Quarter-Finalist Cristian Garin loves The Event But Not So much The Surface

The South American reacts to reaching his first major quarter-final.

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Cristian Garin (CHI) - Credit: AELTC/Ben Solomon

Just over a week ago, Cristian Gain admitted that he was ‘upset’ when he saw his draw for Wimbledon this year. 

 

The world No.43 was set to take on the formidable Matteo Berrettini in the first round who has won two grass-court titles in a row in recent weeks. However, the Italian was forced to withdraw after testing positive for COVID-19. Instead, his opponent was the much lower-ranked Elias Ymer from Sweden who he defeated in straight sets. Since then, Garin hasn’t looked back.

On Monday at The All England Club, he staged an audacious comeback to defeat Alex de Minaur 2-6, 5-7, 7-6(3), 6-4, 7-6(10-6). Not only did Garin bounce back from two sets down, he also saved two match points in the process. Becoming the first player from his country to reach the last eight of the tournament since Fernando Gonzalez in 2005 and only the fourth in history to do so. 

“It is something very special for me. Wimbledon is my favorite tournament. Every time that I play this tournament is something special I feel,” said Garin.
“To be in the quarterfinals is a dream. I will try to enjoy it. I will try to give my best in the next round.”

Ironically Garin comes from a country where there are no grass courts. This year is his fifth appearance at Wimbledon and it was at the event where he made his Grand Slam debut back in 2017. However, like many other South Americans, clay is still his preferred surface.

“I said Wimbledon is my favorite tournament, not my favorite surface,” he jokes. 
“I think the grass is very fun for me. I have to change a little bit the way that I play. I think here on this surface you have to be aggressive.

Garin is one of only five ATP players from Chile currently ranked in the world’s top 500. Since April he has been coached by Pepe Vendrell who previously worked as a mentor to Roberto Bautista Agut and served as Spain’s captain in the ATP Cup. 

The next test for Garin will be a showdown against the formidable Nick Kyrgios who defeated Brandon Nakashima in his fourth round match.

“He is for me one of the guys that I like to watch. He’s very good for tennis,” he said of Kyrgios.
“In these rounds, you play the best. For me, Nick is obviously one of the best on grass.”

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Last Brit Standing Cameron Norrie Urges Fans ‘To Get Behind Him’ At Wimbledon

The Brit says he is feeling more comfortable on the Tour.

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Cameron Norrie (GBR) - Credit: AELTC/Simon Bruty

Cameron Norrie had the pressure of being the British No.1 at Wimbledon this year and now even more eyes will be on him following his milestone win. 

 

The world No.12 defeated Tommy Paul 6-4, 7-5, 6-4, in his fourth round match on Sunday to reach the last eight of a major for the first time at the age of 26. In doing so he remains the only home player left in the singles draw of either men’s or women’s draws. Heather Watson lost her last 16 match earlier in the day to Jule Niemeier 6-2, 6-4.

“To play the way I did and to handle the occasion, I felt really comfortable the way I was hitting the ball this morning. Definitely more comfortable than my other matches.” Said Norrie.
“It was good to get through that one in the fashion that I did. I was up the whole match, which definitely helped.”

Norrie’s run is the best by a British man at The All England Club since Andy Murray back in 2017. He is coached on the Tour by Facundo Lugones who first got acquainted with him at college in America. The two were teammates with Lugones being a senior and Norrie a freshman. Last year he achieved a win-loss record of 52-25 and won the biggest title of his career in Indian Wells.

A solid top 20 player on the Tour, Norrie’s popularity back home is steadily increasing. Even more so in recent days due to Wimbledon. Now he is the last Brit standing there is added pressure but he is taking it all in his stride.

“I’m the last one standing. But I think it’s even more reason for everyone to get behind me,” he said. “Even the atmosphere was great today and definitely helped me get over the line there. Especially on that last game, I was obviously pretty nervous. I was serving for my first quarterfinal of a slam. I wanted to get it done there. They definitely helped me a lot.”

Norrie will be hoping the crowd will out in full force for his upcoming clash with former top 10 player David Goffin who defeated Francis Tiafoe in five sets. Goffin has reached the quarter-finals of a major on three previous occasions, including Wimbledon three years ago.

“He’s a very experienced player. He really likes the grass. He’s played a lot of big matches. It’s going to be tough,” Norrie previewed.
“He’s a great competitor, a really good athlete. He’s got a very complete game. He must be playing very well, so it’s going to be a tricky one.’
“One thing for sure, I know that I’m going to get into a lot of rallies with him. He’s not going to come and serve me off the court, which is good. It’s going to be another physical match, which is great for me.”
“I’m looking forward to competing. It’s going to be another huge challenge.”

The only time Norrie played Goffin was last year in Barcelona when Goffin was forced to retire from their match in the second set. 

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Roger Federer Hopes To Play One Last Wimbledon As Icons Mark Center Court Anniversary

The Swiss Maestro said it is ‘great to be back’ after attending a special centenary event alongside other greats of the sport.

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Image via https://twitter.com/Wimbledon/

On the 100th anniversary of Center Court, a special celebration took place on Sunday that saw the return of Roger Federer.

Past and present champions congregated on the premier court during a special 30-minute presentation with a couple of notable absences. Nine-time winner Martina Navratilova and Pete Sampras were absent. Each walking on one by one, the biggest cheer occurred when it was Federer’s turn to take to the stage.

The former world No.1 hasn’t played a professional match since his quarter-final loss at SW19 12 months ago due to knee surgery. He has already outlined his plans to return to action later this season at the Laver Cup and Swiss indoors. Speaking on court, Federer said he hopes to play at Wimbledon again as he unexpectedly hints at retiring in the near future. 

 

“I’ve been lucky to play a lot of matches here. Different type of role, but it’s great to be here. This court has given me my biggest moments,” said Federer.
“I hope I can come back one more time.”
“I’ve missed it here. I knew walking out here last year, it was going to be a tough year ahead. I maybe didn’t think it was going to take this long to come back – the knee has been rough on me.
“It’s been a good year regardless of tennis. We’re happy at home. I didn’t know if I should make the trip but I’m happy standing here right now.”


Federer is the only man in history to have ever won the Wimbledon title eight times and was undefeated between 2003-2007. 

One player closing in on that record is Novak Djokovic who is seeking to win his seventh title this year. Speaking about Center Court, the Serbian said the venue has a special place in his heart that dates back to his childhood.

“This court has been truly special from my childhood and the first image of tennis I’ve seen when I was four or five-years-old I saw Pete Sampras winning his first Wimbledon,” said Djokovic.
“This is where dreams come true and I was blessed in 2011, probably the highlight of my career, to win the tournament and so when I step out on this court I relive these memories. Truly an honor.”

As for the female champions of the tournament, Venus Williams, Simona Halep, Angelique Kerber and Margaret Court were all in attendance. So was Billie Jean King who is the co-founder of the WTA Tour and has won all three Wimbledon events on multiple occasions (singles – 6, doubles – 10, and mixed doubles – 4). 

“I played my very first match at Wimbledon as a 17-year-old. We started late so I had two days on this court. It was magical and wonderful and I knew I belonged here,” said King.
“I love history and I love the fact we have so many people here. Martina [Navratilova] could not be with us and she won nine women’s singles so I’d just like to say I’m sorry she can’t be here.”

In 1922 Center court was officially opened for the first time after taking just nine months to construct. At the time it was the largest-ever reinforced concrete structure. The addition of a roof didn’t occur until 2009.

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