Novak Djokovic: “Very special. Most special Grand Slam final I've played” - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic: “Very special. Most special Grand Slam final I've played”

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TENNIS WIMBLEDON 2014 – 6th of July. N. Djokovic d. R. Federer 6-7, 6-4, 7-6, 5-7, 6-4. An interview with Novak Djokovic

 

Q. You looked very surprised to me at the end that you won. Were you? Was it different than other wins in that respect?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I was just overwhelmed with the emotions, positive emotions, that I was experiencing in the match. I was not surprised, I was just trying to enjoy the moment, rethink what I’ve been through during the match.

Sincerely, this has been the best quality Grand Slam final that I ever been part of. I’ve had a longest final against Nadal in the Australian Open 2012.

But quality-wise from the first to last point, this is definitely the best match.

Roger played very well, I thought, in a very high level. He showed why he’s a champion. He showed a fighting spirit, composure in important moments when he was a break down.

When I was serving for the match, he came in and played his best game. I didn’t think I did much wrong there.

Was disappointing losing the fourth set after being so close to win it and match point. But the only way I could have won the match today is by believing that I can make it all the way until the end and staying mentally strong. That’s what I’ve done.

I didn’t allow my emotions to fade away, as it was probably the case in Roland Garros final a couple, three, four weeks ago.

Just very glad to win a Grand Slam final after losing the last three out of four.

 

Q. What were you thinking and what were you feeling when you weren’t able to close it out in the fourth set?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, those are the critical moments that a tennis player goes through in his own mind. Obviously the moment shifted to his side. He started playing better. Crowd got involved.

It was important to start well in the fifth, consolidate my service games, try to put pressure on him. I was the first serving in the fifth set, so he was always behind and trying to catch up.

That’s something mentally that was in my mind. Just hold your serve and work your way through in the return games and try to wait for the opportunity. When it’s presented, you have to grasp it.

I had 4-3, 15-40, but again he played some great shots, great points. Didn’t do much wrong there.

But I was very close in several occasions, even in the fourth, to win the match. But, you know, I could have easily lost my concentration in the fifth and just handed him the win.

But I didn’t, and that’s why this win has a special importance to me mentally. Because I managed to not just win against my opponent but win against myself as well and find that inner strength that got me the trophy today.

 

Q. How has the flavor of the grass changed in the three years since you last dined on Centre Court?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Very good question (smiling).

It didn’t change much. Actually I didn’t feel anything, to be honest. So I had a nice bite. I thought that there was less grass today than it was few years ago, so I had a little bit of a spoil, as well.

But nevertheless, it tastes like the best meal that I ever had in my life probably.

 

Q. I read a tweet by Ivo Karlovic who said you should have won all the sets you played today. Do you agree with him?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Ivo has always the best comments. Very criticizing over me. I’m kidding.

But, yeah, I felt like all the sets were very close for me to take. But, again, first set, you know, could have gone either way but went his way. He deserved to win it because it was just one or two points that decided the winner of the first set.

Second set I felt like that break that I made and held it towards the end very well.

The third, again, was very close. Won in a tiebreak.

In the fourth, should have won but he came back.

All in all, it was just incredibly high quality of tennis from both of us. We didn’t give too much one to another. We didn’t make a lot of unforced errors, so I think there was a lot of winners.

He served very efficiently, was using all the angles, was making it difficult for me to return.

5-4 in the fifth set he made I think only one first serve in in the whole game. That obviously helped me to prevail.

 

Q. Given everything you said about the mental side of it and how the match went today, is this the Grand Slam title you’re most proud of?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, yes, definitely. Very special. Most special Grand Slam final I’ve played. At the time of my career for this Grand Slam trophy to arrive is crucial, especially, as I said, after losing several Grand Slam finals in a row. Started doubting of course a little bit. I needed this win a lot.

I’m going to try to use it in the best possible way and for my confidence to grow for the rest of my season and the rest of my career.

 

Q. At the end of the match on court you said to Roger, Thank you for letting me win. Sounded like it was a joke; also sounded a little bit apologetic. Was it partially because the crowd was so in his favor, or was it respect for your opponent?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, first of all it was a joke. I think we didn’t have that kind of agreement before the match. Let me assure of that (laughter). Especially 6 4 in the fifth set, first of all. If we had that agreement, it would be much shorter.

No, as I said on the court, I respect him and his achievements, his career. He’s a great champion on and off the court.

To be able to win against him as one of my greatest rivals on this occasion on a court that he’s been dominating for so many years makes it a very special trophy for me. I had tears of joy. I was overwhelmed by the moment and the occasion.

And the second question was? Sorry.

 

Q. How did you feel about the crowd?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: The crowd? It’s normal to expect that after so many years of dominance and success that he had on this court, and courts around the world, for the person he is, to have the majority of the support.

But I wasn’t focusing on that. I was focusing on what I need to do on the court. I was also hearing the positive support that I got, as well, from the crowd, which I thought was not a small number.

All in all I thought the crowd was enjoying this match. It was a fantastic match to be a part of.

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US Open Must Allow Entourages Of Three Or Four People, Says Thiem

The world No.3 says he is feeling good ahead of the return of professional tennis next month.

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Dominic Thiem has come out against proposals to restrict the number of coaching staff that can travel to this year’s US Open amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

This year’s New York major will be held behind closed doors for the first time in history and will be implementing a series of measures to help minimise the threat posed by the virus. Part of their plan is to limit how many people a player can bring with them to the tournament. It was originally reported that only one team member per player would be allowed to travel, but it has emerged that the limit has since been extended to three.

Speaking about the limits, three-time Grand Slam finalist Thiem said the idea of only allowing one member of his team to travel with him would be a risk for some players on the Tour.

*”I do not think so. Three or four people must be allowed. It would be extremely risky to travel without your own physio. You need a local coach for this,’ Thiem told The Kronen Zeitung newspaper on Sunday.

Thiem last played a match on the ATP Tour at the Rio Open in February where he lost in the quarter-finals. However, throughout the lockdown he has still managed to maintain his match fitness by participating in numerous tournaments. In total he has played 24 matches across three different countries, including one named after him called Thiems 7.

“Right now I feel very good,” he said. “I have played a lot of exhibition games in the last two months and I am not tired at all. I really wanted to play tennis again, since my start of the year was very good.’
“During This period of confinement at home I have been crushing myself a lot in the physical aspect and already when I returned to training. I have decided to improve the backhand and the serve a little more.”

The ATP Tour will resume next month with Thiem hoping that he can continue his form generated from earlier this year. At the Australian Open he reached the final for the first time in his career before getting edged out by Novak Djokovic. Although when he returns, tournaments will not be the same as before due to the ongoing pandemic with strict safety measures and reduced crowds in place.

“When the circuit returns, the matches will be exactly the same as we had previously, but the atmosphere will be different,” he said.
“All tennis players will miss playing tournaments where many people travelled to see us every day. In New York, Paris or Melbourne there are between 60,000 and 70,000 people every day in the facilities. That previous life we ​​had will not be the same and we may have to get used to this new normal for a few years.”

Thiem is one of only four men to have already made more than $1 million in prize money so far this year on the ATP Tour.

*NOTE: Since the publication of this article quotes have been edited following a translation mix-up.

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Nick Kyrgios Slams Thiem Over Defence Of Controversy-Stricken Adria Tour

The world No.40 has accused the Austrian of lacking an ‘intellectual level’ to understand his view.

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Australian star Nick Kyrgios has continued his public criticism of the Adria Tour by taking aim at two-time French Open finalist Dominic Thiem.

 

The 25-year-old has repeatedly hit out at the exhibition event, which Thiem participated in. Organised by world No.1 Novak Djokovic, the event took place in Belgrade and Zadar before it was scrapped following an outbreak of COVID-19 among both players and coaching staff. Djokovic, Grigor Dimitrov and Borna Coric all got infected. The outbreak came after the Adria Tour was criticised for a lack of social distancing and players attended various public events together. Although at the time, all of their actions were done in accordance with local regulations. Something the Serbian Prime Minister now admits was a mistake.

However, Thiem has called out Kyrgios over his vocal criticism of fellow Adria Tour competitor Alexander Zverev. The German attended a party in southern France less than a week after the COVID-19 outbreak despite issuing a statement saying he would go into self-isolation.

“It was his mistake, but I don’t why a lot of people want to interfere. Kyrgios has done a lot of mistakes. It would be better for him to come clear instead of criticising others,” Thiem told Tiroler Tageszeitung.

Continuing to defend the actions of his fellow players, Thiem also jumped to the defence of Djokovic. Who has been under heavy criticism over the event with some going as far as questioning his position as president of the ATP Players Council.

“He didn’t commit a crime. We all make mistakes, but I don’t understand all the criticism. I’ve been to Nice and also saw pictures from other cities. It’s no different from Belgrade during the tournament. It’s too cheap to shoot at Djokovic.”

The comments have now been blasted by Kyrgios, who stands by his previous criticism of players. Accusing Thiem of lacking an ‘intellectual level’ to see his point of view.

“What are you talking about @ThiemDomi? Mistakes like smashing rackets? Swearing? Tanking a few matches here or there? Which everyone does?” Kyrgios wrote on Twitter.
“None of you have the intellectual level to even understand where I’m coming from. I’m trying to hold them accountable.”
“People losing lives, loved ones and friends, and then Thiem standing up for the ‘mistake,'” he added.

The COVID-19 pandemic has killed more than 500,000 people worldwide and some players have voiced concerns over travelling to America which has recently seen a rise in cases. On Wednesday Alexi Popyrin became the first player to say he won’t play the US Open due to health concerns.

The ATP Tour is set to resume next month but it is unclear as to what events Thiem and Kyrgios will be playing in.

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Roger Federer Eyeing Olympic Glory At The Age Of 39 In 2021

The Swiss tennis star isn’t ready to step away from the sport just yet.

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20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer has vowed to play at next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo after undergoing two surgeries on his knee.

 

The former world No.1 hasn’t played a competitive match since his semi-final loss to Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open in January. Since then he had twice undergone arthroscopic surgeries which is a minimally invasive procedure that is used to diagnose and treat problems with the joints. Federer announced shortly after having the procedure done for a second time that he will not be returning to the Tour again this year.

Despite the setbacks, the 38-year-old has vowed to return to action at the start of 2021 with Olympic glory one of his main targets. He is already a two-time Olympic medallist after winning gold in the men’s doubles back in 2008 followed by silver in the singles draw at the 2012 London Games.

“My goal is to play Tokyo 2021. It’s a wonderful city. I met my wife in my first Olympics in 2000. It’s a special event for me,” Federer said on Monday during the launch of ‘The Roger’ shoe with Swiss brand ON.
“I had two surgeries and I can’t hit at the moment, but I’m very confident I will be totally ready for 2021.
“I do miss playing in front of the fans, no doubt. Now, I think if tennis comes back we know it won’t be in a normal way where we can have full crowds yet.”

Federer will be 39 when he returns to action, but is yet to speculate as to when he may close the curtain on his record-breaking career. He is currently the second oldest man in the top 200 on the ATP Tour after Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic, who is 41.

Besides the Olympics, the Swiss Maestro is also setting his eye on Wimbledon where he has claimed the men’s title a record eight times. However, he hasn’t won a major title since the 2018 Australian Open. The Grass-court major has been cancelled this year for the first time since 1945 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Of course I miss Wimbledon, of course I would like to be there currently playing on Centre Court for a place in the second week,” he said.
“Clearly, one of my big goals, and that’s why I do recovery work every day and work so hard, and why I’m preparing for a 20-week physical preparation block this year, is because I hope to play at Wimbledon next year.”

Even though he is not playing for the rest of the year, Federer incredibly still has a chance of qualifying for the ATP Finals due to recent changes in the rankings calculations. Due to the pandemic, players are now allowed to use their best results at 18 tournaments based on a 22-month period instead of 12 months. Something that could enable him to remain inside the top eight until the end of 2020 depending on how his rivals fair.

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