Marin Cilic: “I don't know if that comes with playing several years on grass, but year after year I was feeling better” - UBITENNIS
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Marin Cilic: “I don't know if that comes with playing several years on grass, but year after year I was feeling better”

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TENNIS WIMBLEDON 2014 – 30th of June. M. Cilic d. J. Chardy 7-6, 6-4, 6-4. An interview with Marin Cilic

 

Q. Obviously you had a pretty good match on your serve; 33 aces in three sets. It is the most satisfying thing of the match for you?

MARIN CILIC: I would say so. I mean, I would say first part of the match before the rain break was extremely high-quality tennis from both of us, especially from Jeremy, who was serving very, very good.

I didn’t have any opportunities on his serve. That was a really, I mean, causing a lot of trouble on the return games. When I came into that tiebreak was not easy to prepare. I didn’t know what to expect. Especially with his big shots he was not giving my too much rhythm.

I think when we came back he was not serving as big as in the first part. That allowed me to get more in his service games.

Overall, I would say I was serving really well and putting more pressure on him with that. He didn’t have too much freedom to make any mistakes on his serve. I think that made a huge difference in the end.

 

Q. Last year you had to pull out; you’re the first one through now to the quarterfinals. Quite a turnaround. How do you feel compared to last year mentally and physically?

MARIN CILIC: Last year I felt that I was in a pretty good form as well. This year I just felt that I’m one step further with my form. I don’t know if that comes with playing several years on grass, but year after year I was feeling better and better.

But, you know, sometimes it’s difficult to prepare your form exactly for these two weeks. Over here I think we had really good preparation week before Wimbledon, and it’s paying off in the matches, obviously.

 

Q. Chardy said that the most difficult thing with your serve is to read it because you vary it a lot. Would you say that is the biggest improvement with Goran?

MARIN CILIC: Yes. Overall, the serve became bigger weapon, and I can rely on it during the matches. Over here I feel I’m keeping it on a good level. Even percentage is high and I’m hitting a lot of aces.

I even felt in some points that Jeremy was guessing where the serve was going to go and he was, I mean, obviously making some mistakes.

That gave my a little bit more confident that the serve is in a good position and I have to just keep going.

 

Q. You served your suspension shortly after Wimbledon last year. Have you learned your lesson from how that came about, and what was that time like for you?

MARIN CILIC: For me, most important part was that I found some mental toughness out of all of that. When I came back, it sort of gave me more motivation to work and use every opportunity I have to be prepared for every tournament.

Obviously I use that time as well for physical preparation. I was doing a lot. I had some time off. I didn’t practice, let’s say two, three weeks maximum, four months.

Overall, I use it very, very good in a physical part and I am feeling very well. I think my game is on a high level. Plus, it’s becoming much more consistent performances day after day.

 

Q. Goran was such a big character. He played here and when he won here, and when he did, he was talking about the different sides of his personality that he would bring out at different times. Does any of that rub off on you, his sort of larger-than-life approach?

MARIN CILIC: I mean, main part that is coming from Goran to me and what I feel in this relationship is big confidence from my own side towards Goran.

All the things we are working on, they’re working for me on the court. That’s huge confidence for me when I come step on the court, that I’m seeing on own my season that things are working well, and I feel like that. It’s improving a lot.

Having him obviously over here beside me is definitely another plus, big plus to have him in my box. He’s been many times in the second week of Wimbledon, so of course I’m leaving up to him all the small details to give me some advices. It’s working very well.

ATP

Rival Backs Dominic Thiem To Win Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award

Only two players have won the award since 2004.

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For the past 15 years only two players have managed to get their hands on the prestigious Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award, but one player thinks there could be a brand new winner this year.

 

Diego Schwartzman has lent his support behind world No.4 Dominic Thiem. The award recognizes those who have conducted the highest level of professionalism and integrity on the ATP Tour throughout the season. Established in 1977, Roger Federer has won the honour in 13 out of the past 15 years. The only other player to triumph during that period was Rafael Nadal, who won it in 2010 and 2018.

“I think Thiem can win it, he showed throughout the year a competitiveness and a respect with everyone that was spectacular,” Schwartzman told ole.com. “On top of that he is having great years of his career and this season was even better for the achievements he had.’
“He has a good chance of winning it.” He added.

Schwartzman, who reached the quarter-finals of the US Open earlier this year, has also been shortlisted for the award. Along with regular nominees Federer and Nadal. Only once has an Argentinian player won the title, which was José Luis Clerc back in 1981. At that time it was known as the ATP Sportsmanship award before getting renamed in 1996.

“I learned first (of getting nominated) through social networks rather than the official designation that the ATP sends you by mail.” The 27-year-old revealed.
“It is more spectacular than anything for the players I have next to me. It is a very important prize that recognizes a little what you do off the court, not only hitting the ball.”

Whilst he is dreaming of winning the honour himself, Schwartzman is just happy that he has been nominated.

“If I won this award, it would be spectacular. Now I am on that payroll that is very good and represents the values ​​that I try to maintain on a day-to-day basis and that (my coaching teams over the years) have taught me. It is very nice to be recognized for that. “ He concluded.

The four nominees for the Stefan Edberg Award was shortlisted by the ATP. However, it will be the players who will decide the winner. The result will be revealed later this month.

Multiple winners of the Stefan Edberg/ATP Sportsmanship award

Roger Federer – 13
Stefan Edberg – 5
Pat Rafter – 4
Alex Corretja – 2
Todd Martin – 2
Paradorn Srichaphan – 2
Rafael Nadal – 2

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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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