US Open 2014 – Andy Murray: “I lost to guys who had won the events, and had quite big opportunities” - UBITENNIS
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US Open 2014 – Andy Murray: “I lost to guys who had won the events, and had quite big opportunities”

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TENNIS US OPEN 2014 – 24th of August 2014. An interview with Andy Murray

Q. Does coming into a tournament you have already won take a little bit of the pressure off your shoulders?

ANDY MURRAY: I think it helps if anything, yeah. I don’t think it’s a negative in any way. I don’t know if that’s due to pressure or, you know, experience or whatever, being comfortable in these surroundings and having good memories. I think it’s a combination of everything really.

Q. Obviously you spent a lot of time in Miami. How has the departure of LeBron James changed your status as a season ticket holder?

ANDY MURRAY: Status is the same. We don’t do that. In the UK you don’t change teams when someone leave.

Q. How are you feeling form- and confidence-wise?

ANDY MURRAY: I feel good. I have had a great practice week, had good fun on the court, enjoyed it, and worked hard. Yeah, been playing well. I feel good.

Q. You have obviously played a lot of Grand Slam finals and finals before breaking through with the title. For other players who are trying to break through, too, do you see them probably needing to get a lot of experience before they win a title the way the field is now, or do you see someone winning at all without first getting in the semifinals and finals?

ANDY MURRAY: You never know, to be honest. Everyone is different. You never know what’s going to happen in sports, especially individual sport. You know, someone could easily break through at this tournament. But, yeah, I could also see why it might take a bit longer for some guys. But you never know. No one knows what’s going to happen. You just have to wait and see.

Q. Your first match, playing on Monday, in the past sometimes you have had to wait until Wednesday. Will that be a good thing, to get underway straightaway?

ANDY MURRAY: Again, you never know. I mean, I have been here long enough to be used to the conditions and stuff now. I think for some guys that are coming in late, you know, playing on the Wednesday may help, but I have had enough time on the courts now to practice and prepare. So to get underway on Monday is good.

Q. You’re playing a guy that’s kind of familiar, especially here. What do you remember about him?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it was a tricky match. Windy conditions that day, and, yeah, very up and down. He obviously started well. I think maybe — did I win the fourth set 6-Love, third or fourth set 6-Love? Yeah, I was a break up and he came back. It was a strange match. It wasn’t a particularly clean tennis match, but I found a way to get through.

Q. What do you think about your mum on Strictly Come Dancing?

ANDY MURRAY: I mean, if it makes her happy, then I will support her. I’m not really into those shows, but she loves it. I mean, she watches it all the of the time, talks about it all the time (smiling). So, yeah, if she enjoys it, then I’m happy for her.

Q. Do you think the only thing missing from your game right now is the confidence of having back-to-back big wins?

ANDY MURRAY: Maybe. I mean, I have been playing well the last few weeks. You know, I lost to guys who had won the events, and had quite big opportunities in both those matches. I feel like I’m playing well. This week has been very good preparation. I’m happy. I feel ready to start the tournament. Yeah, we’ll see what happens when we get underway.

Q. When was the last time you felt this ready, this prepared, this content?

ANDY MURRAY: For a slam, probably, I mean, any of the ones — I mean, Australian Open last year, Wimbledon last year, you know, would have been the last two. Obviously I missed the French last year. My back was not great during this event last year. Yeah, this year would be the best prepared I have been coming into a slam. I got a great training block over in Miami done, so physically I’m where I would want to be. My body is pain-free, which is good. Yeah, I feel ready.

Q. You mentioned those missed opportunities against Tsonga and Federer. Do things like that stay with you after matches? Do they carry over into the next tournament?

ANDY MURRAY: I think one of the most important things in sport is to not be too hard on yourself after matches, to be able to move on. You know, I was obviously not happy with how the matches ended. I was very disappointed. But it’s something that you need to learn to be able to move forward and not be too hard on yourself. You know, make sure it doesn’t eat into your sort of preparation time or any sort of mental energy or that you might need going into a tournament like this. So, you know, I was very relaxed when I got on the practice court here. Like I said, I have had good practice, had good fun on the practice court, and worked hard. I feel ready for the tournament. Obviously I would have liked to have won those matches. I can’t do anything about them now. Gotta look forward.

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Daniil Medvedev Targets French Open Breakthrough After Rome Disappointment

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Credit Francesca Micheli/Ubitennis

Daniil Medvedev believes there will be more title contenders at the French Open than previous editions with the Russian hoping to be one of them. 

The world No.4 heads into the Grand Slam after what has been a mixed clay swing. Medvedev suffered a third round defeat in Monte Carlo before bouncing back in Madrid where he reached the quarter-finals before retiring from his match with a minor injury. Meanwhile, at this week’s Italian Open, his title defence came to an end in the fourth round on Tuesday when he fell 6-1, 6-4, to Tommy Paul. 

“Mentally I had to be much better,” Medvedev said of his latest performance.
“I started to calm myself down and focus on the match only at the end of the match, and it was too late. I had to do better. I was expecting myself to play better.’
“It’s disappointing, but that’s how sport is. You lose and you go for the next tournament, which is a pretty important one.” He added. 

28-year-old Medvedev recently stated that he is seeing improvements in his game when it comes to playing on the clay. A surface which he has struggled on during stages of his career. Out of the 38 ATP Finals he has contested, only two of those were on the clay. Barcelona in 2019 when he finished runner-up and Rome last year which he won. 

As for the French Open, he has lost in the first round on five out of seven appearances. But did reach the quarter-finals in 2021 and the last 16 the following year. So could 2024 be his year?

“Now it’s maybe a little bit more open than it was ever before,” he said of this year’s event. 
“Good for me, too, because usually in Roland Garros I don’t play that well. The more open it is, the better it is for me.”

All of the top three players on the men’s tour are currently experiencing problems. Novak Djokovic crashed out of the Italian Open and recently underwent a medical assessment after getting hit in the head by a bottle in a freak accident. Jannik Sinner is reportedly on the verge of withdrawing from the French Open due to a hip issue and Carlos Alcaraz has been hindered by a forearm injury in recent weeks. 

“I’m feeling much better on clay,” Medvedev commented. “What is tough for me on clay sometimes is getting used to conditions. Every court – in every tournament in the world – is a bit different.
“On hard courts it’s the same: every court is different. On hard courts I have this ability to kind of quite fast get used to it. On clay, I need more time.”

Medvedev aims to become only the second Russian man in history to win the French Open after Yevgeny Kafelnikov in 1996. The tournament will begin a week on Sunday. 

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Stefanos Tsitsipas Says Expanded Masters Events ‘Playing A Massive Role’ In Player Injuries

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Credit Francesca Micheli/Ubitennis

Stefanos Tsitsipas has slammed the decision to extend the length of Masters 1000 tournaments to two weeks by warning that more injuries could occur in the future as a result. 

This week’s Rome Masters is taking place without two out of the world’s top three players. Jannik Sinner pulled out of his home event due to a hip injury and Carlos Alcaraz has been troubled by a forearm issue in recent weeks. Other players missing from the draw include Tomas Machac (Illness), Ugo Humbert (Left Knee) and Stan Wawrinka (Right Wrist). 

The tournament is taking place immediately after the Madrid Open which is also a Masters event that has been expanded to a two-week format in recent years. Supporters of the move argue that a bigger draw provides lower-ranked players with more opportunities to play in these events whilst others will have a day off between matches. 

However, world No.8 Tsitsipas isn’t completely happy with the schedule which he openly criticised on Monday following his 6-2, 7-6(1), win over Cameron Norrie. The Greek has won 12 out of 14 matches played on clay so far this season. 

“It’s a type of thing that hurt the sport a little bit, to have these types of things happen to the highest of the players,” Tsitsipas commented on his rival’s injuries.
“Without them, the show is not kind of the same. You have obviously the guys behind them (in the rankings). These kinds of tournaments deserve names like this to be playing and have the opportunity to play in front of these big stadiums and crowds.
“I’ve spoken about the fact that the schedule has a big toll on our bodies. It starts from the mental side, and it follows to the physical side. The extension of the days in the Masters 1000s I think plays a massive role and contributes a lot to the fact that these players are getting injured.”

The ATP’s extended format is set to be applied to seven out of the nine Masters 1000 tournaments from 2025. The only two yet to make or plan for such changes are Monte Carlo and Paris. However, Tsitsipas has called for changes to be made to the schedule.

“It was perhaps already a lot the way it was before with the seven-day events. Adding more days to that, well, you got to be some type of superhero to be consistent back-to-back 10 days in each event getting to the very end of it.” He commented.
“It’s not a very easy thing to do. Some people need to try it first to get an understanding and how it is to pull that off. Then they should make decisions based on that.
“I think this is not going to be the first time we see these types of things (player injuries). If these types of things continue with the same schedule not being adjusted or customized to the needs of the players, we might see more of these things occur in the future.”

It is not the first time a player has raised concerns about the extended format. Alexander Zverev previously said that the schedule is a disadvantage for the top players. Meanwhile, on the women’s Tour Caroline Garcia has criticised the move to expand WTA 1000 tournaments whilst Maria Sakkari said achieving the Madrid-Rome double has become harder to do

On the other hand, Daniil Medvedev has spoken in favour of the new format and describes injuries on the Tour as ‘part of the sport.’ The former US Open believes the issue is related to the quick surface changes players face and not the duration of tournaments. 

Tsitsipas will play Alex de Minaur in the fourth round of the Italian Open on Tuesday. 

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Novak Djokovic To Undergo Medical Check After Rome Thrashing, Bottle Incident

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Novak Djokovic – ATP Roma 2024 (foto: Francesca Micheli/Ubitennis)

Novak Djokovic has indicated that he will speak to doctors following his lacklustre performance at the Italian Open where he crashed out in straight sets. 

The five-time champion was far from his best against Chile’s Alejandro Tabilo as he struggled to generate any rhythm in his tennis or a single break point opportunity. Djokovic’s below-par performance caught many off guard, including the tennis player himself who admitted afterwards that he was ‘completely off’ his game. 

Trying to find the reason behind his latest performance, the world No.1 isn’t ruling out the possibility that it might be linked to an incident that took place at the tournament two days ago. Following his win over France’s Corentin Moutet, Djokovic suffered a blow to his head after a fan accidentally dropped a metal bottle from the stands. Immediately afterwards, he experienced nausea, dizziness and bleeding for up to an hour but was checked by medical officials.

“I don’t know, to be honest. I have to check that.” Djokovic replied when asked if the incident affected his form on Sunday.
“Training was different. I was going for kind of easy training yesterday. I didn’t feel anything, but I also didn’t feel the same.
“Today under high stress, it was quite bad – not in terms of pain, but in terms of this balance. Just no coordination. Completely different player from what it was two nights ago.
“It could be. I don’t know. I have to do medical checkups and see what’s going on. “

The tennis star said he managed to sleep fine after his head blow but did experience headaches. He looked to be in good spirits the day after it happened and even turned up to practice in Rome wearing a safety helmet.

Djokovic’s concerns come two weeks before the start of the French Open where he is seeking a record 25th Major title. He will undoubtedly be one of the contenders for glory but admits there is a lot of work that needs to be done in the coming days. 

“Everything needs to be better in order for me to have at least a chance to win it,” he said.
“The way I felt on the court today was just completely like a different player entered into my shoes. Just no rhythm, no tempo, and no balance whatsoever on any shot.
“It’s a bit concerning.”

The French Open will begin on Sunday 26th May. 

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