ATP Toronto – Stefan Edberg: “I think it's been good to be back on the tour in many ways” - UBITENNIS
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ATP Toronto – Stefan Edberg: “I think it's been good to be back on the tour in many ways”

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TENNIS ATP TORONTO – 4th of August 2014. An interview with Stefan Edberg

 

Stefan Edberg is one of our 2014 inductees into the Rogers Cup Hall of Fame. He will be inducted in a center court ceremony that has actually just been changed to tomorrow night. He is a six time Grand Slam singles champion and a two time finalist in singles here at Rogers Cup and also the 1987 doubles champion.

 

Q. Is there anything either on or off the court that has surprised you since you have started coaching in regards to Roger Federer? What has been the most rewarding aspect of your partnership thus far with him?

STEFAN EDBERG: Well, I’ve said it in the past, what is great is he still have the determination to go out there and work hard and still have the motivation, which I think is something that’s really, really important as he sort of gets towards the end of this stage.

And the way he is as a person, you know, on and off court, it’s been a great experience.

 

Q. Are you enjoying being a coach more than you thought you would?

STEFAN EDBERG: Let’s say it’s nothing that I thought that I ever would do, but obviously being around Roger and the way he is as a person on and off court has actually been a very, very good journey so far.

The great thing is that he had a lot of troubles with injuries last year, and he’s been healthy. I think that’s really been a key factor why he’s playing so much better than he did last year.

So it’s been good to see him making some progress this year. As we all know, he was very, very close winning at Wimbledon. There was one or two points that made a difference in that final, which was one of the better finals I have watched in the past in the many, many years.

But that’s the way it is in tennis. But I still believe the way he’s playing, and if he can keep working and stay healthy, he’s got a shot of doing very well here going forward. But it’s an important week this week as well here.

 

Q. We are seeing that tennis is such a mental game. Is there anything on the mental side that you help him out with?

STEFAN EDBERG: Well, I think through experience there are certain things, and sometimes they can be things you don’t think about. And it’s also about improving at this stage of your career. There is still room for improvements.

There are certain things that we have sort of been talking about within the group that we have sort of been working on and the way he plays.

So there are certain things still to work on, which is always keep things in check, so to say.

 

Q. When you played in the ’90s, you had a lot of Swedish players that were traveling as a group and played as a group. Can you make any parallels to Canadian tennis at this time as to the ’90s?

STEFAN EDBERG: Well, we were a lot more (smiling). But I think looking back I think we had a great time, you know, during the ’80s and ’90s, and it was really easy traveling being a lot of Swedes around.

As a group, I think we’re pretty tight. We practiced a lot together, we are supporting each other, so I think it’s very unique time. I think there is a chance now with the guys in Canada here that they can do the same journey, and hopefully you can fill in with some new youngsters taking up the game of tennis.

It should be a very exciting time for Canadian tennis going forward now and get some momentum, and usually it feeds on. It should be good.

 

Q. Was Borg your idol growing up?

STEFAN EDBERG: Yes, he was, definitely. There couldn’t be anybody else (smiling). I think what he did for Swedish tennis is quite incredible. He really was the one that broke through, and then obviously that made us play tennis.

He sort of was the idol of many of us and he was a hero, and he was somebody that you could look up to. He was of great importance for Swedish tennis. And then we all know about the generation that came after him, which was quite incredible if you think back, because I have had that question so many times, why we were so good at the time in the ’80s, and I didn’t really have the answers back then. But now, when I think back, I think it had a lot to do with we had great coaches at home, we had a great environment, we had a lot of indoor facilities being built.

It was just a lot of momentum at the moment doing the right things and maybe working a bit harder than other nations. I didn’t realize it at the time when it was happening, but now, when I think back, it was the best of all times.

Those things probably are never gonna come back in a hundred years. We’re still going to produce some great players but not to the extent. It was just a unique period of time.

 

Q. I think tennis fans from the 1980s find it really something to see you and Boris coaching two of the top players in today’s era.

STEFAN EDBERG: And who would have believed that? (Laughter.)

 

Q. What are your thoughts on resuming that sort of rivalry with Boris? And what was it like to be back at Wimbledon but from a coach’s perspective against him?

STEFAN EDBERG: Well, I think it’s been good to be back on the tour in many ways, A, to work with Roger, which is fantastic, and be part of the game which I have sort of been away from, and at the same time having some of the former players doing a job out there, and obviously Boris.

It was quite a day when you think about it, you know, being on Centre Court again in the player’s box, sitting in the final and Boris on the opposite side.

It was a good feeling to be back in the final again, but it’s so much different now because, you know, I don’t feel it like a rivalry when you did at the time when you were playing. It’s very different this time around.

 

Q. What’s more nerve wracking for you? You mentioned being Roger’s coach. Sitting in the box during a Grand Slam final when he’s on the court or when you yourself are playing in a Grand Slam final?

STEFAN EDBERG: I think for many ways it’s worse sitting in the stands, because you can’t really do anything sometimes. You wish you could.

But it’s actually been okay, but I think the final there was a lot of feelings there because it is a Wimbledon final.

But it’s okay. I think sometimes because I have my son playing tennis, that’s been even tougher (smiling).

But apart from that, it’s quite good, but you want him to do well and so it’s a different feeling, but it’s good so far.

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Filip Krajinovic To Skip Australian Open If Required To Quarantine For More Than Five Days

The world No.34 says he ‘sees no reason’ why vaccinated players should have to go through a long quarentine in Australia.

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Image via twitter.com/atptour (Alexander Scheuber)

The second highest-ranked Serbian player in men’s tennis says it would be ‘unacceptable’ for organisers of the Australian Open to require players to quarantine for more than a week if they have been fully vaccinated.

 

Filip Krajinovic has become the first player to publicly state that they will not be prepared to travel to Melbourne at the end of this season if they have to go through strict quarantine measures once again. All the players who participated in this year’s Australian Open were required to be quarantined in a designated hotel for 14 days upon arrival in the country. During their stay they were allowed to use training facilities but that was the only time they could leave the premises unless there was an emergency.

There is no final decision regarding the travel requirements for the 2022 tournament but there are concerns that unvaccinated players may not be allowed to enter the country. The Victorian government recently issued a mandate ordering all essential workers to be vaccinated, including athletes. However, the regional government will not have the final say concerning tennis players arriving in the country with the national government being the ones in charge of that decision.

“They are very rigorous there and honestly, if I have to be in quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Melbourne, I will not go to Australia,” Krajinovic told Serbian newspaper Blic.
“I was vaccinated, I did everything in my power to protect myself and the people around me, so I really see no reason to sit there for 14 days in a room.’
“If they (the organisers) say that after arrival I need, say, five days to be in isolation, that’s OK for me, but anything beyond that is unacceptable to me. With the season ending late, I will have 20 days to get ready and go. Charter flights will be organized again and the last one is planned for December 28 for the players and that is the final date when I can go to Australia. I will see what the final decision from Melbourne will be, so I will cut what is the best thing to do.”

Earlier this week Victoria’s Sports minister Martin Pakula urged players to be vaccinated because it give them ‘the best opportunity to play in the Australian Open.’ It is expected that if unvaccinated players are allowed to attend, they will be subjected to stricter restrictions. This might include a longer quarantine period upon arrival and limitations of where they can go during their stay.

Last year, all of those players had to do their 14 days of quarantine. Right now there looks like there will be different rules for people who enter this country who are vaccinated as against unvaccinated and I don’t think the tennis will be any exception to that.” Pakula told the Sports Entertainment Network (SEN).
“In terms of what rules apply for people to enter Australia, whether unvaccinated people are allowed in at all, I don’t the answer to that yet. That’s going to be the subject of discussion at national cabinet and among the federal cabinet … those rules are not set by state governments.” He added.

Krajinovic is currently ranked 34th in the world and has a win-loss record this season of 18-18. At the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells he reached the second round before falling in straight sets to Daniil Medvedev. His best run so far this year was at the Hamburg Open where he reached the final.

“When we look at the whole of 2021, I played one final, one semifinal, there were good victories, but also worse results,” the 29-year-old commented.

Krajinovic is currently without a coach but is currently in ‘negotiations’ with somebody without elaborating further about who that person is.

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Alexander Zverev Secures Place In ATP Finals With Indian Wells Win

Zverev will be seeking to win the season-ending extravaganza for the second time in his career.

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Alexander Zverev (GER) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Germany’s Alexander Zverev has become the fourth player to officially qualify for the ATP Finals after reaching the third round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

 

The world No.4 defeated America’s Jenson Brooksby 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, in his second round match on Sunday which pushed him over the points threshold to secure his spot in the end-of-season event. It is the fifth year in a row he has qualified for the ATP Finals which he won back in 2018. He is one of only three German players to ever win the title after Boris Becker and Michael Stich.

This year’s tournament will take place in Turin, Italy for the first time in history after being held at The O2 Arena in London for more than a decade. Only the eight highest ranked players are eligible to play in the round-robin tournament which has on offer up to 1500 rankings points for an undefeated champion.

“My first time in Turin. I’ve been to London four times before. London is obviously very special to me because I won there, as well. I think the stadium is incredible, one of the most special events that we had,” Zverev told reporters on Sunday.
“But I also love playing in Italy. I had great success in Italy. I won my first Masters in Rome. I’m looking forward to being there. I’m looking forward to playing in front of the Italian fans. It’s going to be a great week.”

The 24-year-old approaches the final quarter of this season with four titles already won this year. He has won two Masters 1000 trophies, an ATP 500 event in Mexico and a gold medal in singles at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Zverev, who has recorded seven wins over top 10 players, also reached the semi-finals at both the French Open and US Open.

Zverev joins Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas as the players who have qualified for the ATP Finals so far. It is the third straight season the quartet has qualified for the event.

This year’s ATP Finals will get underway on November 14th. Medvedev is the defending champion.

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Denis Shapovalov Advances After Pospisil Retires In Indian Wells

The battle of the two Canadians didn’t go as planned…

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Denis Shapovalov (CAN) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Vasek Pospisil faced off against his fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and it was the world number 13 who got the win after the Vernon native pulled out due to an injury whilst trailing 0-3.

 

It was a rough start for Pospisil who seemed to struggle with his serve in the opening game of the match and double-faulted twice in a row to give the early break and Shapovalov had no issues consolidating the break.

Shapovalov continued to apply pressure on the Pospisil serve and after saving two breakpoints the world number 68 pulled up after a serve and stopped play, calling for the trainer. He ended up taking a medical timeout off the court and a couple of minutes later returned to court. Pospisil was broken once again and the following game after a couple of returns decided to call it quits.

” It was pretty awful…and if I’m being honest I am shaking a bit…It really sucks I hope it’s nothing serious…He’s a great guy he’s a real warrior he’s fought back from some injuries surgeries to such a great level.” Shapovalov said of his compatriot.

Shapovalov will face 19th seed Aslan Karatsev in the next round after the Russian thrashed Salvatore Caruso 6-2, 6-0.

In the other results of the day sixth seeed Casper Ruud dominated Roberto Carballes Baena 6-1, 6-2, Roberto Bautista Agut beat the Argentine Guido Pella 7-5, 6-3 and Sebastien Korda won an all American battle with Frances Tiafoe 6-0, 6-4.

Finally, Diego Schwartzman needed three sets to beat another American in Maxime Cressy winning 6-2, 3-6, 7-5.

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