TENNIS WIMBLEDON 2014 – 2nd of July. M. Raonic d. N. Kyrgios 6-7, 6-2, 6-4, 7-6. An interview with Nick Kyrgios
Q. How much did yesterday impact on today?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, I think it had a pretty big impact. You know, I was struggling physically about halfway through the second set. I was feeling sore in a couple places.
But I’m not going to take any credit away from him. He served unbelievable. You know, I thought I came out strong on his first return game. I made him earn that.
All the other service games it looked like he was in such a rhythm that I just couldn’t do anything out there.
Q. Did you get an appreciation for how Rafa must have felt yesterday?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, it was extraordinary. I woke up this morning and it had sunk in. It was such a great achievement. That’s something that no one can take away from me. I’m always going to have that now.
I drew a lot of confidence out of that. I thought I played a strong first set today. I just couldn’t maintain that level. What he brought today was something special, I thought.
Q. Could you give us an idea what the last 24 hours have been like.
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, it’s been really exciting. It’s been a special week for me. At the same time, it’s been so exhausting. I got nothing left to give.
You know, that’s what Grand Slams do to you. If I was to go further, I’m going to have to get stronger. I’m going to have to get so much better in so many areas.
Q. What does the past nine days tell you about what you can achieve in the future?
NICK KYRGIOS: Tells me there’s a lot of room for improvement. But at the same time, there’s something special I have that can make it deep into Grand Slams. I’m doing it at 19.
I think in the future there’s going to be something there that, you know, of course I can go a bit further.
Q. Are you aware that in terms of public awareness of you, money, the players now are aware of you, that your life is totally changed over the last two days and it will never be the same again?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, I think I’m pretty aware of that. I’ve noticed the change, especially from yesterday to today. In the first day I was walking around the crowds and no one noticed me at all.
Then I was walking around the crowds yesterday and this morning and everyone’s noticing me.
So, yeah, I’ve noticed a change.
Q. How do you plan to deal with the pressure that comes with expectation, having made the quarters here?
NICK KYRGIOS: I’m just going to do whatever I can. Do whatever I can that I can control. Work hard, give great effort. When I’m back home, I’m going to spend about a week and a half at home now and do a training block in Melbourne. I’m just going to do whatever I can.
Q. There’s been talk about you changing coaches and what the future holds for you. What are your short term plans and what is the situation with the coach?
NICK KYRGIOS: You know, I’ve had the best week of my life. He’s done a great job there. I haven’t really thought too much about it yet. Obviously, you know, this week he was my coach.
Yeah, I haven’t thought about it too much at all. Obviously we’ll have some discussions about that with my whole team. At this stage, there’s nothing.
Q. Having measured yourself against the best in the world, what are you going to work now? What have you seen about your game that needs improvement?
NICK KYRGIOS: Well, if you look at today, I think Milos was far better physically than I was. He looked fresh by the end of the match. It was noticeable that I was struggling a little bit.
I’m going to work on my physical side of things. I’m just going to get better in many areas. My serve can improve, forehand, backhand, volleys, transitioning. I can name millions of things that need to get improved.
Q. Did you sleep much last night or were you still playing half volleys through your legs at half past 3:00 in the morning?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, I actually did get a bit of sleep last night. It wasn’t easy. I was so exhausted after yesterday’s match. I was just lying there trying to sleep. It was hard. So many thoughts running through my head.
I was eventually so exhausted that I just fell asleep.
REPORT: Grigor Dimitrov Appoints New Coach
The former ATP Finals champion appears to have found a new mentor.
Former top 10 player Grigor Dimitrov has found a replacement following the departure of Radek Stepanek, according to one Bulgarian news source.
TennisKafe.com has reported that the world No.20 is now working alongside Christian Groh. A German-born coach who has worked with a number of top players on the men’s tour. Including Tommy Haas and Taylor Fritz. It is his work with Haas that Groh is best known for. During their 24 months together, he guided him from outside the top 200 to 11th in the ATP rankings.
The development comes a month after the 28-year-old stated that he was in no hurry to find a new mentor on the tour. Back in May he ended his collaboration with Dani Vallverdu after almost three years working together. He made the decision shortly before he exited the world’s top 50 for the first time since 2012.
“I’m not in a panic right now to find a coach. I always think that when I don’t have someone beside me, it’s hard to train. However, in the past months, I have done things myself that I have not done.” Dimitrov told reporters in November.
“You need to have freedom, to find yourself, to become closer to yourself.” He added.
Despite Stepanek stepping away, Dimitrov is still in contact with eight-time grand slam champion Agassi. Agassi is not a coach to the Bulgarian, but has agreed to a sort of consultation role where the two talk with each other regularly.
Dimitrov has experienced a roller coaster run on the tour this season with a win-loss record of 22-21. At one stage he failed to win back-to-back matches at six consecutive tournaments over the summer. However, his form surged during the last quarter of 2019 where he reached the semi-finals at both the US Open and Paris Masters.
Neither Dimitrov or Groh has yet confirmed their new partnership on the tour. Groh has recently been working as a consultant for the United States Tennis Association (USTA).
Heading into the new season, the first test for the duo will be at the ATP Cup in Australia. As well as playing, Dimitrov is the captain of the Bulgarian team.
Groh’s coaching CV
- 2011: Michael Berrer
- 2012-2013: Tommy Haas
- 2014: Bradley Klahn and Taylor Fritz
- 2015: Tommy Haas and Taylor Fritz
- ATP/WTA Players and United States Tennis Federation Player Development since 2015
Since the publication of this article, Ubitennis has received some additional details on Dimitrov’s work with Groh. The editor of TennisKafe.com, Borislav Orlinov, confirmed it was Dimitrov’s manager (Georgi Stoimenov) who revelled the two will be working together. They are currently training in Monte Carlo, but will head to Australia before the New Year.
Rival Backs Dominic Thiem To Win Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award
Only two players have won the award since 2004.
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
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.
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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