ATP Toronto – Andy Murray: “I started to feel good just before the French Open” - UBITENNIS
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ATP Toronto – Andy Murray: “I started to feel good just before the French Open”

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TENNIS ATP TORONTO – 6th of August 2014. A. Murray d. N. Kyrgios 6-2, 6-2. An interview with Andy Murray

 

Q. Was there an aspect of your game you were particularly happy with out there today?

ANDY MURRAY: I thought I did most things like pretty solid. I didn’t make too many errors. I moved well. High first serve percentage.

And, yeah, it was a solid match for a first match back after sort of four and a half, five weeks. I was happy.

 

Q. With the back surgery that you had, are you starting to kind of feel like your old self again? How long did that take really to kind of…

ANDY MURRAY: I started to feel good, actually, like just before the French Open. My back started to feel good. Back felt fine throughout the French Open and through the grass court season.

The only problem was that kind of before that I was able to practice but not sort of train off the court, do the stuff in the gym that, you know, makes you physically strong. That’s something that, you know, these days you need.

So when I was coming up against the better players, I was just lacking a little bit. But after Wimbledon, I went over to Miami and I really trained like I used to for the first time since the surgery and I felt much better.

 

Q. Is there an appreciation for just how tough it is to remain in that kind of top 4, top 5? Did you maybe gain an appreciation for that just kind of, like you said, that if you’re not able to do everything off court training and all that, it’s kind of easy to maybe slip it down a few spots?

ANDY MURRAY: Well, to be honest, I knew how hard it was because I knew the amount of work and effort to get there. I was there for the last five or six years, and, you know, it was tough to stay there. It’s one thing getting there, but staying there is challenging.

Then, yeah, with the way that, you know, tennis works, you know, with the ranking system and stuff, if you miss periods of the year it’s incredibly difficult to maintain your ranking.

And on top of that, the players get better. The time that you’re away from the court everyone is improving, and, you know, the younger guys are getting a little bit older, more experienced and better. So it’s tough. That’s why it’s so important to stay healthy.

 

Q. How optimistic are you about this hard court season leading to the US Open as compared to the first part of the season? I mean, do you feel like you’re reaching a new level?

ANDY MURRAY: Like I said, I felt I played pretty well at the French Open. The semis of the French is a very good result for me.

You know, Wimbledon, you know, I was obviously disappointed to have not done better, but I did play some very good tennis at Wimbledon and especially in the first week.

But then, yeah, then all of the tournaments I was having a bit of a letdown or playing one bad match, and I just need to find that consistency again.

But, you know, if I can get myself physically stronger, then, you know, even when you aren’t playing your best it’s, you know, easier to tough matches out and to track more balls down. You can’t feel great every single day, so on your bad days, that’s when it’s important to really try and find a way to win. I haven’t done that so much this year.

 

Q. Novak commented on the draw when it was made that it was a terrible section, partly obviously because you were in his quarter. I know you’ll say that you only look one match ahead at a time, but do you ever allow yourself to look at the overall picture of the draw? And do you agree with him, that it is a very difficult segment?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, well, for me, as well. I mean, I’m in the section with the No. 1 player in the world.

But upsets happen, so, you know, I could lose my next match and then maybe Novak thinks the section is better or, you know, vice versa.

You know, it only becomes relevant if we end up playing each other in the quarterfinals, because if one of us loses, then you might say, Well, this section is more open.

But, yeah, I mean, being in the section of the draw with the No. 1 player in the world, that hasn’t happened the last few years based on the seeding and being in the top three or four players.

Yeah, I have had a couple of times this year    like in Miami we played in the quarters, as well, so it’s a tough draw, but, you know, it’s also good to play against someone, you know, like a Novak if you get that opportunity in the buildup to the US Open. You really see where your game is at.

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Andy Murray won’t travel to Australia

Andy Murray will miss next month’s Australian Open after testing positive for COVID-19 a couple of weeks ago.

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Andy Murray (@the_LTA - Twitter)

Andy Murray has made it official, he won’t be making the trip down under after working with Tennis Australia to find a viable solution to make it work.

 

“We’ve been in constant dialogue with Tennis Australia to try and find a solution which would allow some form of workable quarantine, but we couldn’t make it work.”

Murray was scheduled to fly to Australia with one of charter flights but due to a positive Covid test wasn’t able to make the flight and put his tournament in jeopardy.

Although he missed the chartered flights there was still a small chance he would play but had to workout an agreement with Tennis Australia to make it work. However it didn’t work and was gutted with the news.

“I want to thank everyone there for their efforts, I’m devastated not to be playing out in Australia. It’s a country and tournament that I love.”

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‘If I knew, I Wouldn’t Come’ – Victor Troicki Slams Hard Quarantine In Melbourne

Troicki, who will head the Serbian ATP Cup team next month, says his career has been thrown into ‘chaos.’

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Former top 20 player Victor Troicki says his ‘Grand Slam is failing’ after implying that he felt that he was misled about the quarantine rules ahead of the Australian Open.

 

Troicki, who is currently ranked 202nd in the world, is among 72 players who have been placed in a strict quarantine where they are not allowed to leave their room for a 14-day period. Those affected have all been deemed as a ‘close contact’ of somebody who tested positive for COVID-19. A series of positive tests was detected on flights en route to the country.

34-year-old Troicki travelled to Australia from Doha after successfully qualifying for the Australian Open with wins over Cedrik-Marcel Stebe, Ulises Blanch and Jurij Rodionov. This year’s two qualifying tournament’s took place in the Middle East due to the pandemic.

“If I knew, I wouldn’t come,” Troicki told Sportski Zurnal earlier this week.
“Total chaos, horror as far as everything is concerned. I’m locked up for 14 days, I can’t leave the room. No training, nothing. My Grand Slam is failing, I can’t get ready for five sets in the room.”

In recent days there has been some dispute over whether players knew about the conditions regarding going into a strict quarantine. Carlos Martinez, who is the coach of Daria Kasatkina, told UbiTennis that players were initially under the impression that sections of a plan would have to be isolated if there was a positive case and not the entire plane. Ultimately the decision was up to the Australian health authorities.

“Tennis Australia was doing a great job in my opinion. The only thing that was a bit unclear was about the quarantine when somebody gets infected on the plane. They were talking like they were going to make sections inside the plane so if they found somebody in a section (who tests positive) they would isolate those people,’ said Martinez.
“But in the end the government didn’t want to do this and they preferred to isolate all on the plane because it was safer for everyone.”

Amid the debate over whether Troicki and his peers knew the full story or not, Spain’s Paula Badosa has become the first Australian Open player to contract the virus during quarantine. She had previously criticised the procedure before later apologising.

As for Troicki, he says the current situation is creating ‘chaos’ in his career.

“All preparations are failing,” he said. “Two weeks of lying in bed, it is certain that I will have to get back in shape for the next month and a half. All this is creating chaos in my career.”

Troicki is the team captain of the Serbian ATP Cup team. The tournament will start a week prior to the Australian Open on February 1st.

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No Advantage For Those Quarantining In Adelaide, Says Dominic Thiem

The 27-year-old dispute claims of unequal treatment ahead of the first major of 2021.

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Dominic Thiem has dismissed allegations of special treatment for top ranked players going through quarantine ahead of the Australian Open next month.

 

The World No.3 is among a series of players who are staying in Adelaide instead of Melbourne where an estimated 1200 players and their teams have travelled to. Under an agreement struck by Tennis Australia, the top three players on both the men’s and women’s Tour’s have been allowed to quarantine in Adelaide along with their hitting partners, family and team members. The move is to help ease the flow of people into Melbourne.

Some players have claimed that special treatment is being provided to those in Adelaide with the use of a private gym among other extras. However, Thiem has insisted that he is no better off than his peers.

“It’s a privilege to be here in Adelaide. But it’s not that huge an advantage,” Thiem told The Guardian. “We get the same amount of practice time as the guys in Melbourne. It’s just not that busy on-site. It’s just that we are [fewer] players here. Compared to the players who are not in hard quarantine in Melbourne, we have pretty similar conditions.”

Earlier in the week Tennis Australia boss Craig Tiley openly admitted that those in Adelaide had gotten a better deal. Speaking to Nine News of Melbourne he said ‘My general rule is if you’re at the top of the game, a Grand Slam champion, it’s just the nature of the business. You are going to get a better deal.’ Meanwhile in a recent interview with UbiTennis, world No.44 doubles player Marcelo Demoliner pointed out that the disparity in treatment between the top names and other players is a common trait in the sport.

“I do believe they are receiving preferential treatment, quite different from us. But this is part of the tour,” he said.
“The top tennis players always had these extras, we are kinda used to it. We came here knowing that they would have better conditions for practicing, structure, hotels… they also have merits to have achieved all that they have to be the best players in the world. I don’t know if it’s fair, but I believe the conditions could be more similar than they are in this situation.”

Strict quarantine woes

Perhaps those most frustrated with Thiem and Co are the ones currently placed in strict quarantine. 72 players are not allowed to leave their rooms for 14 days after being deemed a close contact of somebody who has tested positive for COVID-19. A series of positive tests occurred on flights en route to Melbourne.

Speaking about the group, US Open champion Thiem admits they face a struggle in the coming weeks but stress that it was a risk they took. There have been arguments over the quarantine rules and whether they were clear enough upon arrival. Carlos Martinez, who is the coach of Daria Kasatkina, told UbiTennis that players were unaware that if somebody tested positive on a plane all passengers would be required to isolate.

It’s going to be really tough to play a good ATP Cup or good tournament before the Australian Open and then a good Australian Open,” said Thiem.
“They have a huge disadvantage, but that’s the risk we take when we go on to a plane nowadays.”

Novak Djokovic has previously sought to help out those in strict quarantine by writing a letter to Tiley outlining a series of suggestions including the increased use of testing to reduce the isolation period. However, government officials rejected calls for any changes to their system. Djokovic issued a statement on Thursday outlining his motive was made with ‘good intentions’ after he received backlash from some.

“He received unnecessary criticism a lot in the past. This topic, I don’t really know,” Thiem commented.
“He tried to help the other players in Melbourne but in Australia they did a great job with corona. It almost doesn’t exist here any more so Australia wants to keep it that way.”

The Australian Open will get underway on February 8th. Thiem is aiming to go one step better than last year when he finished runner-up to Djokovic.

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