Novak Djokovic: “Of course, there is plenty of motivation to win this Grand Slam final after losing last three out of four” - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic: “Of course, there is plenty of motivation to win this Grand Slam final after losing last three out of four”

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TENNIS WIMBLEDON 2014 – 4th of July. N. Djokovic d. G. Dimitrov 6-4, 3-6, 7-6, 7-6. An interview with Novak Djokovic

 

Q. What do you think of facing Roger Federer here in a final, knowing that in all of your matches all through these years you’ve only faced him once on grass here two years ago?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, we only played once. It was a four-set win for him in semis of Wimbledon, so it’s a good chance for me to, you know, try to win against him on his favorite surface, on his favorite court.

This is where he has the most success in his career, winning many titles. He’s been looking very good throughout the whole tournament, very dominant with his matches. You know, I’m sure that he wants to win this title as much as I do.

 

Q. What’s the key?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, we know each other’s games. We played many matches on different occasions. As you said, only once on grass court, but we played so many times in semifinals and finals of Grand Slams, different surfaces, big matches over the years. They were very exciting.

And, of course, most of the matches we play against each other went the distance. So I’m going to be, of course, physically ready and fit to go the distance this time. Of course, there is plenty of motivation from my side to win this Grand Slam final after losing last three out of four.

Of course, I want to try to, you know, get the title. It would mean a lot mentally for me. The key against him in the game, of course, is trying to not allow him to dictate too much because he likes to be very aggressive, he likes to come to the net.

I’m going to have to be able to get as many returns back in the court and try to also stay closer to the line, protect the baseline.

 

Q. You seemed to be slipping a fair bit today, as did Grigor. Are the courts more slippery at the back of the court? Wrong shoes, or what?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, I feel like they’re a little bit more than last year. But maybe it’s because of the fact that we had some very warm days last five, six days or so.

Also, you know, if you sweat in your feet the shoes get wet, and that can also influence the sliding and slipping on the court.

That’s why I always take the extra shoes, and it helped.

 

Q. Were your occasional looks to your box triggered by frustration of the slipping or by the fact that he was hitting some incredible shots, just driving you crazy?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, you know, you’re going through different emotions during the match. Of course, at certain stage of the match I was frustrated because I, again, allowed my opponent to come back to the match. I was a set and a break up and, again, made some unforced errors and gave my opponent today a hope that he can win the match.

That’s something that I definitely cannot allow myself in the finals against Roger. They have a similar game, so it was, of course, good to play today a longer match and to understand also the way I need to prepare for Roger.

That’s it, you know. I have been going through some tough matches during this tournament. But there is a reason, of course, for me going through these experiences and fighting through it. I’m going to try to use that experience in a positive way and encourage myself to get a title.

 

Q. Your matches throughout this Wimbledon, they sort of had a pattern. You start well and then hit a tricky period. It happened again today. Is there a reason for that?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, there is a reason for that obviously. But, again, I’m working on it. I identified the problem. I know what’s going on. Sometimes it just happens. It happens not just because you play a bad game but sometimes your opponent plays well.

It’s important to, even though if you lose a set or two sets, you know, be able to bounce back and recover from that. I’ve done that, and that’s a positive that I’m taking from these matches.

 

Q. On a similar subject, do you just not think about those finals, or do you try and learn from them going on?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Of course I try to learn from those. Those are the big matches. I’m not by myself. I have the team of people around me that are experts in their own fields. They try to all help me out and analyze my game, as well as my mental approach and state in which I am.

So we will try to understand, you know, what I did wrong in French Open final from a mental perspective, and to make it better in two days.

 

Q. My question is fairly similar. You said something interesting. You said it would mean a lot to you mentally to win the title here. Is that because post 2011 when you were the man to beat and three out of four slams you won, you dipped by your very own high standards? Is that what you mean when you say mentally?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: You know, I always had a high expectations for myself. You’re right, in a way. I set up high standards for myself, and ambition when I start a season is to, of course, win as many majors as possible.

I don’t downgrade any tournament really. I always try to give my maximum.

But we all know that Grand Slams are the four biggest events we have in this sport. This is where I want to win the title. Not winning a title, but being in several finals since, you know, two years or three years, this is something that I want to undo. I want to try to have a fresh start and have a title.

From that perspective, it definitely can help.

 

Q. Your rivalry with Roger seems to have a bit more of an edge to it than with Andy or Rafa on court. Do you sense that when you’re out there? Why do you think that is?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Every rivalry that I have with these three guys is special and unique in its own way.

Of course, I respect Roger and everything he has achieved in his career as a player. To come back and play finals of Wimbledon again, it’s incredible what he’s doing.

But, again, when we come to the court, that ends. I’m there to win whoever is across the net.

 

Q. Boris must be a pleased and a relieved man. Pleased that you won, and relieved because had your match gone on much longer he might have missed Germany in the World Cup.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: That’s why I haven’t seen him for last hour. I saw him after the match and he said, Let’s speak later. I didn’t realize, but then I saw the TV.

 

Q. So he made it clear he wanted to get straight off to watch the football?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, you could see he was a bit stressed after the match. I said, Well, the match is over. He said, See you later. I said, Okay.

 

Q. When you played Roger here two years ago, you said afterwards you weren’t at your best for reasons you didn’t want to go into at the time. Do you remember what they were? Can you share them with us now?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Interesting. I can’t recall that I said that. I’m sure you heard me say that. I don’t know why. I don’t remember, to be honest.

But this is another year. I feel differently, of course, each year. This is going to be the third final of Wimbledon in the last four years, so this is a great achievement for me.

Just being part of the finals is, of course, a great success. But this time I want to go and try to win the title, as every time. You can never predict or guarantee what’s going to happen on the court results wise, but you can always prepare yourself for the battle.

 

Q. How much have you seen Roger play this tournament? Are you sensing that his level has been good?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: His level has been very high, I have to say. I’ve been watching him in a few matches. You know, he didn’t have many tough matches up to quarterfinals. Against Stan he played well. He recovered from a set down.

I mean, with his immense experience of winning this title so many times and, of course, from being so dominant in men’s tennis for over a decade, of course that helps in the approach of the Grand Slam final.

Hopefully I can tactically prepare myself and execute well to not allow him to be at his top shape on Sunday.

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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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