Novak Djokovic: “(Boris) is my coach and we're working daily on all possible aspects of my mental and physical, emotional preparation” - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic: “(Boris) is my coach and we're working daily on all possible aspects of my mental and physical, emotional preparation”

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TENNIS WIMBLEDON 2014 – 30th of June. N. Djokovic d. J. Tsonga 6-3, 6-4, 7-6. An interview with Novak Djokovic

 

Q. You must be delighted with that victory. It looked pretty emphatic.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes. I was aware of his qualities, especially on this surface. He looked, before the match, very determined to play his best and very focused.

I think I did really well from the start to the end, especially in the third set where I thought he elevated his level of game and he started serving very high percentage first serve, very strong, all angles.

It was difficult to get the return back in play, but managed to save a couple break points, crucial ones, get myself in the tiebreak and wait for the opportunity to be presented.

We both served very well in the tiebreak, and the only opportunity I had was on second serve on 6-5, and I used it. I went for the shot.

Yeah, I’m just glad that I didn’t allow him to go into the fourth set, because he started to use obviously the crowd support. And, you know, I knew that he’s going to do that because he’s the kind of player that feeds off the energy, so it was very important for me to get this done in straight sets.

 

Q. Yourself and Andy both benefited from playing under the roof today. There is a bit of a backlog. Stan Wawrinka was complaining about the scheduling. He will have to play back to back. Is it beneficial to you going forward in this tournament?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, in my own case, yes. I mean, I had a couple of days off and then scheduled to play today on the Centre. No interruptions, played the whole match under the roof, didn’t think about the rain. This is advantage of being scheduled on Centre Court.

But I understand why Wawrinka was complaining, because, you know, we have this tradition here of the middle Sunday not being played any match. This tradition was broken a couple of times, and I remember a few years ago it was the case when they actually had to play a few matches.

So I think, you know, we have to rethink about this Sunday in between, because the day was beautiful. It was no rain, and the whole day there was no match played. No other Grand Slam has this particular rule.

We all know that tradition is something that is nurtured here in All England Club, and we respect that. But there are some rules that I believe should be, you know, updated, changed, you know, for the better of the schedule and for the better of the players.

 

Q. Didn’t play a warmup tournament here, and then you had three very tight matches and only dropped one set. Are you where you want to be at this stage of the tournament?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes. Especially after the match today, beating Tsonga who is very good player overall, but especially on the grass. He won in the Centre Court against Federer a couple years ago, so he knows how to play on the big stage. He has been winning against all the top players in different, various, big occasions and big tournaments. He was in a couple of Grand Slam semifinals, finals.

So he’s a top player, established top-10 player, and he loves the big stage. So to be able to win against him in straight sets on the surface that I said that I feel like it suits him the most is a great result. I was very happy with consistency today, mental consistency, and variety in my game. Played very good from back of the court. Good serve.

So all in all, it was a very good match, and hopefully I can continue keeping the same level.

 

Q. What about the left upper arm? You pinched that a couple times in the third set.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, just happened in the tiebreaker in the third set that I felt it a little bit.

But it’s good.

 

Q. You face Marin in the next round, which pits your coach, Boris Becker, up against Goran Ivanisevic. Do you expect Boris to be working especially hard the next couple days to make sure…

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I expect him to come into the court and play instead of us (Laughter).

Well, you know, there is no difference in our approach in terms of practice and what we work on, and I will try to stick to the kind of a game plan that I had against Marin in the previous occasions.

I am aware of the fact, as well, that since he started working with Goran that he has improved, especially in his service department, where for his height I thought that he didn’t use his full potential up to now work with Goran, where it’s evident that it works well for him.

Especially on the grass it serves as a great weapon. He won here in straight sets against Chardy and Berdych and some very good players.

So it says enough about his quality play in this tournament.

 

Q. Is this the point in the tournament where Boris’ impact comes into its own?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Of course. I mean, he’s my coach and we’re working daily on all possible aspects of my mental and physical, emotional preparation and trying to get myself in the best possible shape.

You know, of course he can dedicate himself and help as much as he possibly can, but I need to execute the same work that we are doing.

But we do have a much better understanding now, and it shows on the court.

 

Q. You’re obviously very good friends with Marin. Whenever we ask about you two friends playing each other you say, Yeah, but we’re professionals on the court. Is there some intensity that perhaps gets lost on both sides because you have so much respect and liking for each other off court?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, not in my case, to be honest. There was few times that I felt – that’s a good question – that I felt this particular sensation when I would play somebody, especially somebody from my country, like Troicki or Tipsarevic, if I should go for this shot. It seems a little bit strange because you don’t want to express your emotions.

But in the end of the day, it’s not a cliché. This is actually how it should be. The mental approach should be that we are both professionals and we want to win against each other. I played Radek the other day and we had a tough match. We both showed, expressed emotions. We wanted to win. We fighted through. One hour after the match we were joking around in the locker room and we were practicing today and tomorrow as well.

So, you know, we are good friends. We are both aware of the fact that that’s our work, it’s our life, and we need to do what we need to do on the court.

 

Q. Goran was such a force of nature as a player, such a strong character. Do you think that will naturally have an impact on Marin and how he approaches it on the court?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I think it already does. It shows with the results that he has in this tournament and lately their relationship helps Marin, for sure.

I mean, he’s definitely feeling, you know, privileged to have Goran on his team because Goran is a legend of our sport, and especially in Croatia and in our ex-Yugoslavian countries. He’s somebody that we respect a lot. He always had this personality, this great drive about him.

He’s tall, as well as Marin, so I’m sure that he helped him out and improved his serve and also his mental approach to this big tournaments and big matches.

I have played him last two times a tough three-setter in Indian Wells, and also a tough four setter in Roland Garros a couple of weeks ago.

No easy matches, really. I feel like he has improved, and I’m sure he’s going to try to go for his shots and try to win the match.

ATP

Dominic Thiem Downplays US Open Chances

The world No.4 has given a frank assessment about his hopes at the New York major shortly after the draw was made on Thursday.

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Dominic Thiem may be a top four seed in next week’s US Open, but the Austrian has played down the prospect of him winning his first grand slam title at the event.

 

The 25-year-old has experienced a setback in his build up to the tournament. Since winning the Kitzbuhel Open on clay, Thiem has only managed to play three matches on a hard court. Reaching the quarter-finals of the Rogers Cup in what what was his best-ever run at the tournament. However, more recently Thiem has been sidelined from action due to a virus and pulled out of the Cincinnati Masters.

Thiem’s first round opponent at the US Open will be Italy’s Thomas Fabbiano, who has suffered two consecutive first round losses on the tour. Fabbiano reached the third round in New York back in 2017, but has missed the two most recent editions.

“Without a doubt, there are much tougher rivals than Thomas Fabbiano in a first round, although I must say that, after overcoming this viral disease, I do not expect miracles.” Thiem told Sky Sport Austria on Thursday.

Heading into the event, Thiem has said he has set out no goal. He will be defending 360 ranking points after reaching the quarter-finals 12 months ago before losing in a five-set thriller to Rafael Nadal. Overall, Thiem’s win-loss at the US Open is 15-5 heading into this year.

“Right now I do not consider reaching a quarterfinals or a semifinal. I want to go round to round, looking beyond would be presumptuous.” He said.
“In the next few days I will keep my training to a minimum, the goal is to be in perfect shape on Monday.”

https://twitter.com/ZahrerLukas/status/1164574948528132097

Despite his recent setbacks, 2019 has been a season of success for the world No.4. In March he won the biggest title of his career at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. He would then go on to win trophies in Barcelona and Kitzhbuel. However, in the grand slams he has been less consistent. At the French Open Thiem reached the final, but has failed to win back-to-back matches at both the Australian Open (second round) and Wimbledon (first round). Although at the Australian Open he was forced to withdraw from the tournament due to illness.

The US Open will get underway on Monday.

Dominic Thiem at the US Open

2018
Round Rank Opponent W-L Score
Quarter-Finals 1
Rafael Nadal ESP
L 60 46 57 764 675
Round of 16 5
Kevin Anderson RSA
W 75 62 762
Round of 32 74
Taylor Fritz USA
W 36 63 765 64
Round of 64 31
Steve Johnson USA
W 675 63 57 64 61
Round of 128 81
Mirza Basic BIH
W 63 61 64
2017
Round Rank Opponent W-L Score
Round of 16 28
Juan Martin del Potro ARG
L 61 62 16 671 46
Round of 32 34
Adrian Mannarino FRA
W 75 63 64
Round of 64 108
Taylor Fritz USA
W 64 64 46 75
Round of 128 186
Alex de Minaur AUS
W 64 61 61
2016
Round Rank Opponent W-L Score
Round of 16 142
Juan Martin del Potro ARG
L 36 23 (RET)
Round of 32 39
Pablo Carreno Busta ESP
W 16 64 64 75
Round of 64 89
Ricardas Berankis LTU
W 64 63 62
Round of 128 66
John Millman AUS
W 63 26 57 64 63
2015
Round Rank Opponent W-L Score
Round of 32 14
Kevin Anderson RSA
L 36 673 673
Round of 64 70
Denis Istomin UZB
W 64 64 10 (RET)
Round of 128 76
Daniel Gimeno-Traver ESP
W 75 63 75
2014
Round Rank Opponent W-L Score
Round of 16 7
Tomas Berdych CZE
L 16 26 46
Round of 32 21
Feliciano Lopez ESP
W 64 62 63
Round of 64 12
Ernests Gulbis LTA
W 46 36 64 63 63
Round of 128 84
Lukas Lacko SLO
W 63 63 62

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Denis Shapovalov wins Next Gen clash against Miomir Kecmanovic to reach the quarter final in Winston Salem

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Denis Shapovalov beat Serbian Next Gen Miomir Kecmanovic 6-2 6-3 after 1 hour and 16 minutes in Winston Salem winning two consecutive matches for the first time since he reached the Miami Open semifinal last March.

 

Shapovalov won 80 % of his service points and fended off four of the six break points he faced.

The Canadian Next Gen player earned six break points in the second game of the first set, but Kecmanovic saved them. Shapovalov earned the break in the fourth game at 15 to build up a 3-1 lead.

Shapovalov went up a double break in the next game after a forehand error from Kecmanovic. The Canadian player wrapped up wrapped up the first set 6-2 with two winners and two double faults from Kecmanovic after 37 minutes.

Shapovalov went up a 3-0 lead with a break, but he wasted three break points in the fourth game. Kecmanovic broke back to draw level to 3-3 and earned two break points in the seventh game, but Shapovalov saved them with two winners. The North American star broke serve in the next game to open up a 5-3 lead. Shapovalov hit four winners in the ninth game to close out the match.

Shapovalov is currently working with Mikhail Youzhny, who returned in St. Petersburg last September and is sitting in his coaching box in Winston Salem.

“Miomir is a very tough opponent. I have played him a lot in the past. We have had some crazy battles. I am really happy with the way I am playing”,said Shapovalov.

Shapovalov set up a match against Andrey Rublev, who battled past Sam Querrey 7-4 (7-4) 7-6 (12-10). In the tie-break of the second set Rublev saved three set points and Querrey fended off two match points. Rublev hit a forehand winner at 10-11 on Querrey’s serve to seal the win after 1 hour and 54 minutes. Rublev took a re-match against Querrey, who beat the young Russian player at Wimbledon in straight sets.

“It’s a special win for me. He just destroyed me, and now we had a great fight, and we were so close and I was a little more lucky”, said Rublev.

 Frances Tiafoe advanced to his fourth quarter final and his first since May when Filip Krajinovic had to withdraw from the match after losing the first set 6-2. Tiafoe went up a double break to race out to a 5-0 lead.

Hubert Hurkacz got three breaks to build up a 6-3 3-1 lead, when Feliciano Lopez was forced to retire from the match after 55 minutes.

Pablo Carreno Busta cruised past Lorenzo Sonego 7-6 6-0 after 1 hour and 40 minutes to reach his fourth quarter final of the season. Sonego got an early break to open up a 4-1 lead in the first set. Carreno Busta broke back in the sixth game before converting his sixth set point in the tie-break. The Spaniard broke three times to cruise to a bagel win in the second set after 25 minutes.

Benoit Paire came back from losing the first set to beat French Next Gen player Ugo Humbert 3-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-3. Paire broke serve, when Humbert was serving for the match at 6-5 in the second set. Paire went up a double break to a 4-1 lead. Humbert converted his third break-back point in the eighth point, but Paire broke for the third time to seal the win.

John Millman cruised past Robin Haase 6-3 6-4 setting up a quarter final match against Steve Johnson, who beat Casper Ruud 6-2 7-6 (7-5).

 

 

 

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Andy Murray To Play Rafa Nadal Open

The former world No.1 has announced where he will play next as his comeback from injury continues.

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Three-time grand slam champion Andy Murray is returning back to the Challenger tour for the first time since the year he turned professional back in 2005.

 

The Brit is set to take to the court in Manacor next week to play in a hard court tournament named after his rival Rafael Nadal. Murray is currently in the process of stepping up his comeback from a second hip operation earlier this year. The Rafa Nadal Open will be only his third singles tournament since January. Murray has previously lost in the first rounds at Cincinnati and Winston-Salem to Richard Gasquet and Tennys Sandgren.

Murray, who is currently ranked 329th in the world, had previously hinted that he may return back to the lower levels of competition in order to help regain his form. It will be the first time he has played a Challenger tournament since the 2005 Mons Open.

“I’m quite aware of sort of where I’m at just now and what my level is. It’s competitive at this level but it needs to be better,” Murray told atptour.com last week.
“Maybe I need to play a level down to get some matches and build my game up a little bit before I start playing on the Tour again.”

The 32-year-old had declined a wild card invitation to play at next week’s US Open due to concerns that he wouldn’t be fit enough to contest best-of-five set matches. He reached the second round of the tournament last year before losing to Fernando Vertdasco.

Murray’s return to the Challenger Tour is expected to be short lived. He has already confirmed his intention to play a duo of ATP Tournaments in Zhuhai and Shanghai. On Wednesday he added the European Open in Antwerp to his schedule, where a maximum of 250 ranking points will be on offer.

“With Andy Murray on our tournament poster, we are now reaching absolute world class and taking the European Open to an unprecedented level in Belgium.” Said tournament director Dick Norman.

Since his comeback in June, Murray has won one title on the ATP Tour. Doing so alongside Feliciano Lopez in the men’s doubles at The Fever-tree Championships.

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