Grigor Dimitrov: “I take all the confidence from Queen's out on the court” - UBITENNIS
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Grigor Dimitrov: “I take all the confidence from Queen's out on the court”

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TENNIS WIMBLEDON 2014 – 30th of June. G. Dimitrov d. L. Mayer 6-4, 7-6, 6-2. An interview with Grigor Dimitrov

 

Q. Andy Murray next in a Wimbledon quarterfinal. How does that sound?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: Sounds great. Sounds good. You know, first of all I’m happy that I’m in the quarterfinal match, you know. Just going to give credit to myself for that. But my job isn’t over yet.

So I’m excited to get on the court tomorrow. Just go through my regular routines, through all the gears, you know, come on Wednesday.

 

Q. Obviously you’re coming in here fresh from your victory at Queen’s. How have you felt on the grass so far in this campaign and what sort of levels of confidence do you take into the match?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: I take all the confidence from Queen’s out on the court on the grass here. I think it’s been a great first week for me. The grass has been changing also a little bit around the baseline. It’s getting a little tricky, which is a nice thing.

You know, just looking for every match that I got to play. At the moment I don’t think of anything else except what’s ahead of me and the opponent. So there’s nothing else that’s on my mind right now.

 

Q. You said your job is not done yet. What targets did you set yourself when you arrived to start Wimbledon?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: Well, every tournament I enter is to win the whole event. I think that’s the whole point of competing and having those tournaments.

Of course, it’s not an easy task. I mean, it’s a lot to ask. You’re going to be asked a lot of questions from your opponent, so you’ve got to have the answers. So far I think I’ve been performing on a good level for me. I’m expecting to raise up my level in the next match.

It’s not a new opponent for me. I know him. There’s nothing major for me that I need to be aware of.

 

Q. You’ve beaten Murray once. Was it in Mexico you beat him? What can you remember about that match?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: It was a hard court, night match. What can I say? I think we played a great match. I think it was one of the best matches for me this year so far.

I mean, I know him. I’ve practiced against him many times. We kind of know our game pretty well. That match in Acapulco, you know, was really long and exhausting match. Another thing is to play best of three, another thing is to play best of five.

I think we’re both load up and ready to come out on that court.

 

Q. From a tactical standpoint, what are the keys on grass for you to challenge Andy Murray here?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, that’s a good question.

Well, we know, first of all, it’s his home basically here. So, you know, he’s been playing a lot of matches on the Centre Court. He knows his way around the grass pretty good. He’s a great mover.

I’m just going to play my game. I’m not going to step back. I just want to come out with my big game and play my aggressive tennis.

I mean, I don’t want to adjust to my opponent, so to speak. I’m focusing on my game and what I can bring to the court. The rest is, you know, going to come.

 

Q. Andy said that maybe it was a big burden for you to have, an unfair burden, to be compared to Federer at such an early age. Can you put in perspective what that has done to the way you’ve handled things psychologically as you’ve developed?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: Well, I think, as I said at the beginning, it was kind of easy to hear that. It was kind of funny. We were all laughing about it.

But, you know, at some point when I started to establish myself as a player on the tour, this thing was starting to get a bit out of hand. Of course, at the time it put a little bit of pressure on my shoulders.

But I think now all that thing is starting to fade away. I’ve proved myself not once, not twice, that I’m a different person, a different player. So that’s something to add up.

 

Q. How tough will it be, the fact of him being defending champion? Also, what about the influence of Amélie might have on his approach?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: As I said, he’s obviously feeling comfortable playing out here, especially on that court. All the crowd is behind him. Basically everyone is with him. That gives you, of course, an extra edge to whoever you play on the other side.

But I think at the same time that adds a little bit of pressure. But I don’t think that’s going to be an issue during the match.

On the other hand, there’s no point for me or there’s no value of me to give any comment about his coaching situations. Obviously it works out and that’s the most important thing.

 

Q. Andy hasn’t dropped a set yet in this tournament. If you can be the first person to take a set off him, do you think that will put him under the kind of pressure he hasn’t experienced for a while?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: Well, Andy, he’s a great defender and a great returner. It’s not the easiest thing to do, especially when you play against him.

I’ve seen a couple of his matches, the previous matches, so I kind of know how he’s dealing with some of the serves.

You know, I just got to go out on the court and perform and play my game. Just go through that, you know.

 

Q. Today you have achieved what no other Bulgarian male tennis player has achieved so far. How does this make you feel?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: It feels good. It obviously feels good. You know, I don’t want to stop here. Again, I hope there’s going to be a lot more first times for me. I’m just aiming to be better and better every time.

 

Q. In terms of fitness, do you think you can go five sets with Andy?

GRIGOR DIMITROV: Oh, yeah. I mean, I’ve been working for all those moments. And I think it’s a great feeling to get into that kind of a match.

I mean, of course, best-case scenario is straight sets. In the end of the day I’m not playing against a mediocre player, so I just need to be on my best behavior and in the same time just go out there and try to put every ball back.

 

Q. Can you talk a moment about your own coach, Roger Rasheed, what he’s brought to your game. I know he has an Aussie Rules background. Is there anything from that sport that…

GRIGOR DIMITROV: I haven’t played that yet. It’s not the best thing to run into him, that’s for sure (smiling).

What can I say? Discipline. Better shot selections. You know, there’s just bunch of things that are top of my head. But, as I said, we never focus on one thing in particular. We always try to work on things.

I think the most important thing is to really give 100% from each other every day because I think this is what we both deserve and what we owe to the game.

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Kei Nishikori In Doubt For The Australian Open

Asia’s highest ranked male tennis player is contemplating when he should return to the tour following surgery.

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Kei Nishikori (photo by chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

World No.13 Kei Nishikori is refusing to rule out the prospect of skipping the first grand slam event of 2020 as he continues his recovery from surgery.

 

Nishikori hasn’t played a match on the tour since his third round loss at the US Open back in September. A month later he underwent a procedure on his right elbow in a move that brought his season to an early end. Currently undergoing rehabilitation, it is unclear as to when the Japanese player believes he will return to the ATP Tour.

“The prospect of a return from surgery on right elbow in January. Maybe February. In the second half of next year I want to be able to play well.” Nikkan Sports quoted Nishikori as saying.
“I don’t want to overdo it,” he added.

The Australian Open will get underway on January 20th in Melbourne. Should he miss the grand slam, it will be the second time he has done so in the last three years. Nishikori also withdrew from the 2018 edition due to a wrist injury. In January he reached the quarter-finals and therefore has 360 points to defend next year.

During his time away from the court, the 29-year-old has been kept busy making changes to his team. Recently it was confirmed that he has started working alongside Max Mirnyi, who is a former world No.1 doubles player. Mirnyi, who has won 10 grand slam titles in men’s and mixed doubles, will be working full-time with Nishikori alongside existing coach Michael Chang.

“I’m getting closer to retirement. I want to be cured and come back to play good tennis in the second half of next year.” Nishikori stated.

Despite the injury setback, Nishikori has enjoyed success in 2019. Reaching the quarter-finals in three out of the four grand slam tournaments. The first time he has ever done that in his career. He also claimed his 12th ATP title at the Brisbane International. Overall, he won 29 out of 43 matches played.

Nishikori will turn 30 on December 29th.

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Family Of Venezuelan Doubles Star Launches GoFundMe Page For Cancer Treatment

Roberto Maytin was playing on the Challenger tour less than a month ago, but now faces a new battle.

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One of Venezuela’s highest ranked players on the ATP Tour is facing challenges off the court after being recently diagnosed with cancer.

 

Roberto Maytin, who currently has a doubles ranking of 136th, is undergoing treatment for testicular cancer Non-Seminoma. Non-seminomas are made up of different types of tumour, such as teratomas, embryonal tumours, yolk sac tumours and choriocarcinomas. Maytin’s brother Ricardo has launched a GoFundMe page to help cover the costs. The tennis player made $19,441 in prize money this season, which doesn’t factor into account numerous expenses such as travel, accommodation and paying for his coaching team.

“If life gives you a chance to live longer, I think nobody would miss the opportunity. In this plane, we all want to be (alive) for years however we forget that we are with a 50% chance of leaving at any time every day.” The fundraising page reads.
“My brother was diagnosed with testicular cancer NO Seminoma, at 30 years old. He now faces a crucial match that life has put him for growth as an individual, as a man and as an athlete. He is forced to undergo 4 stages of aggressive chemotherapy in order to heal at all and leave no trace of a Cancer that has been moving for months causing some damage.”

A former top 25 junior player, Maytin is one of only two players from his country to be ranked inside the top 200 in either singles or doubles on the men’s tour. This season he has won four Challenger titles across America. However, he has only played in one ATP Tour event since the start of 2018. He achieved a ranking high of 85th in the doubles back in 2015.

Once a student at Baylor University in Texas, Maytin formed a successful partnership with former world No.2 doubles player John Peers. Together they earned All-American honours with a win-loss of 36-5 and reached the quarter-finals of the 2011 NCAA tournament.

Maytin is also a regular fixture in his country’s Davis Cup team. Since 2007 he has played 15 ties and won 10 out of 16 matches played.

“I am also clear that the family is the gift of God for each one of us, so in this way and in whatever way I will put my desire and my energy so that my Brother Roberto Maytin, a Venezuelan professional tennis player, is back to the courts, which is where he belongs as soon as possible.”

Almost $25,000 has been raised so far to fund Maytin’s treatment. Click here to visit his GoFundMe page.

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John Newcombe Believes The Australian Open Will Be ‘A Big Ask’ For Nick Kyrgios

The tennis legend is unsure if the former top 20 player will be fit in time for the first grand slam of 2020.

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MADRID, SPAIN - Nick Kyrgios of Australia waking to the locked room Davis Cup by Rakuten Madrid Finals 2019 at Caja Magica on November 19, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Pedro Salado / Kosmos Tennis)

Former world No.1 John Newcombe has cast doubts on Nick Kyrgios’ chances of going deep in the draw at the upcoming Australian Open.

 

The 75-year-old, who won seven grand slam titles during the 1960s and 1970s, believes the injury-stricken world No.30 may struggle playing best-of-five matches in Melbourne. Kyrgios missed most of the final quarter of the 2019 season due to a shoulder issue. He returned to action last month at the Davis Cup, but skipped his country’s quarter-final clash with Canada due to a collarbone injury. Overall, he has won 23 out of 37 matches played this year.

“It’s a bit of a worry that he has recurring injuries, especially around where the muscles join the joints and that’s going to be an ongoing problem for him it seems,” Newcombe told The Age.
“At the Davis Cup he’d only played four sets of singles and his shoulder started to play up again and when you’ve got an injury like that it’s hard to go out and practice a lot.
“Leading into the Australian Open – five sets is a big ask for him.”

A two-time grand slam quarter-finalist, the 24-year-old has struggled to make his mark in the majors this year. Winning just three matches in three grand slam tournaments he played in. Kyrgios missed the French Open due to injury. At his home slam, he lost in the first round for the first time since making his main draw debut back in 2014.

As well as trying to get fit in time for the start of the new season, Kyrgios will continue to be playing under a probation on the ATP Tour for ‘aggravated behaviour.’ Should he violate that, he faces the prospect of a 16-week ban from the tour.

“I can’t speak for him but if it was me it would be tough having that ban hanging over you,” Newcombe said.
“But I guess you’ve just got to learn to zip up.”

Kyrgios is set to start 2020 at the inaugural ATP Cup, which is the only team event to have both prize money and ranking points available. After that, he is set to play in the Kooyong Classic in what will be his final test prior to the Australian Open.

“I am delighted that Nick has chosen to play Kooyong again, and hopefully it acts as the perfect tune up for his Australian Open (AO) campaign and sets him up for a massive 2020 season.” Tournament director Peter Johnson said in a statement.

So far in his career, Kyrgios has won six titles. Including Acapulco and Washington this year.

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