Milos Raonic: “Important thing is from the same position pretty much, same toss, to be able to serve wherever you want” - UBITENNIS
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Milos Raonic: “Important thing is from the same position pretty much, same toss, to be able to serve wherever you want”

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TENNIS WIMBLEDON 2014 – 1st of July. M. Raonic d. K. Nishikori 4-6, 6-1, 7-6, 6-3. An interview with Milos Raonic

 

Q. Your last match was the best you’d ever served. Was this better than that, the last three sets?

MILOS RAONIC: Yeah. I’ve been serving in general well this tournament, and even throughout the clay court season. But obviously here it sort of gets exemplified a little bit more. It’s a little bit more on display.

That’s helping me, taking a lot of pressure off me and putting more so on my opponents.

 

Q. Speaking of your serve, Kei just said he couldn’t read your serve at all. You are very intelligent player. Maybe that’s why he couldn’t read your serve. Can you talk about mixing up different kinds of shots. Talk about what is the key of making that many aces.

MILOS RAONIC: Well, the most important thing is when you decide to go somewhere that you hit the spot and you hit it, for me, pretty big. So it’s important to be able to hit your spots close to the lines and sort of keep it out of reach.

Another important thing is from the same position pretty much, same toss, to be able to serve wherever you want. And also, to have the confidence in all the serves, that when the important moments do come up, you don’t sort of go to a habit, you can always keep changing it.

 

Q. I think there were seven breakpoints in that first game. I think we’d only seen you face one breakpoint. Tell us a little bit about what it’s like to try and regroup after each one, sort of how you felt after losing the first game in the first set.

MILOS RAONIC: Well, each one, doesn’t matter if it’s triple breakpoint or if it’s a single breakpoint, you just treat it as one at the time.

For me, the most important thing is I focus on what do I need to do with my serve pretty much. And then after that, I always have sort of the game plan try to take a forehand no matter where it goes.

I just stick to a routine. It’s pretty basic in my mind probably because I’ve done it so much. I don’t really have to think too much about it.

But after that, it’s the first game. The next game I had another close game. But then after I started finding a rhythm, so I sort of calmed down pretty quickly. I wasn’t able to create any chances on his serve.

Knowing it’s three-out-of-five, the way I was able to hold at the end of the first set, it gave me a little bit of peace of mind if I could sort of keep going that way.

 

Q. You’re the first Canadian to reach the quarters here for 102 years. Do you feel you’re a part of history, on the verge of a breakthrough in a major? Will you be joining a Canada Day celebration anywhere tonight?

MILOS RAONIC: To the second one, no, just because I have to play tomorrow. It’s a quick turnaround.

To that first question, it is what it is. Unfortunately, to this point there hasn’t been as much Canadian success, especially on the singles side in the men’s.

So all the things sort of come and go and you appreciate them, but you don’t give them too much value because it’s ambitions that are beyond doing what no Canadian has done before. It’s about really trying to become the best player in the world.

 

Q. Earlier in the week you talked about how you watched the big four and how you learned from them. What did you learn from Nadal on court and off court also?

MILOS RAONIC: You see his habits, his tendencies. You see on court and off court, through training, the professionalism, the discipline that comes with it. You see how he goes through his stuff very diligently, but at the same time he exerts himself physically throughout tournaments.

He doesn’t really, outside of matches, exert himself mentally or psychologically. So he’s always fresh mentally for matches.

And then just the way he deals in the middle of matches. He can smell opportunities. He knows when he needs to pick it up.

When I played him in Miami, in that third set until 3-All, he made a few mistakes in the beginning of the third set, but you could see he was trying to find his range to be a bit more aggressive.

He sort of found it and was able to get past me towards the end of that third set.

Just those sort of habits you pick up. You know when you need to step up. You know what kind of things you’re looking for. You just try to incorporate as much as you can into your own game.

 

Q. Should we be surprised that you’re not serve and volleying that much? You almost do it more on clay courts. You’re not coming to the net all that much. Is it a specific plan that you have to work points from the baseline, or does it depend on the situation?

MILOS RAONIC: It depends on the situation. I know with Kei, he’s very quick. If you don’t get behind a good approach or if you don’t do enough with that first volley, you can be in trouble. He can sort of dig it out from both sides.

Previous matches, Lukasz didn’t put that many returns in, so I found a rhythm there. It’s whatever way I find the rhythm. Today at the end of the match I needed to do it because he was standing a little further back. To make him see something else, to not make him get comfortable. I wasn’t putting first serves in.

But I think on clay, the guys have the tendency of – maybe their first instinct is to return from further back. This way you just take time away from them.

 

Q. A lot of high-profile players have complained about the scheduling because of the rain delays, having to play consecutive days. Does that give you encouragement? Do you want to take that momentum forward knowing they’re unsettled?

MILOS RAONIC: To tell you the truth, it doesn’t really mean anything. Everybody, when they step on the court, they’re going to fight. They’re not going to hold a grudge against the scheduling or whatever. They know they have to play that match in that moment. It is what it is.

You just have to make the most out of the situation. Everybody’s really going through it. Really the only way you avoid that issue is if you’re a top 1, 2, 3, or 4 seed this week that’s been on Centre Court and you know you’re going to play the day you’re expected to play.

Everybody else, 200 however many players, singles, doubles combined, everybody’s got that issue. Everybody makes it disappear mentally as soon as the match starts.

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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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