US Open 2014 – Novak Djokovic: “I have nothing to complain about, I wanted to get my job done as quick as possible” - UBITENNIS
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US Open 2014 – Novak Djokovic: “I have nothing to complain about, I wanted to get my job done as quick as possible”

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TENNIS US OPEN 2014 – 28th of August 2014. N. Djokovic d. P. Mathieu 6-1, 6-3, 6-0. An interview with Novak Djokovic

 

Q. You made pretty quick work of your first few matches in this campaign. Is that the way to start a Grand Slam campaign?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Since I have nothing to complain about, I wanted to get my job done as quick as possible. I don’t feel like I need to play long matches to get into the groove. I mean, I feel that I’m hitting the ball very well. Second match even better than the first one. Under the circumstances I think I came up with a very good performance. Stayed mentally tough and not allowed myself to get frustrated because of the wind and conditions that were obviously very tough for both of us.

Q. Maybe Sam Querrey next round will be the maybe first real test for you.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it’s logical to expect that, you know, every next match that you play in a Grand Slam will get tougher. I mean, Sam is playing in front of his crowd. I’m sure that he’s going to have some good support. But on the other hand, if we get to play on center court maybe night session, that’s where my experience kicks in, I think. I have had a lot of matches, night sessions if we get to play, as I said, and try to neutralize his serve that is his big weapon. If he serves well he’s very dangerous. I saw a little bit of his match today and he played great. He’s in good form, good shape, and has nothing to lose. It’s going to be a tough one.

Q. You were talking the other day about a shift in priorities when you have a family. Now you’re in a Grand Slam campaign. Talk about the experience of trying to maybe return that focus for at least a fortnight to the job at hand.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, my focus is there. I don’t understand how the people really got what I said, but I don’t think there is anything wrong. Actually, I think it would be much wrong if my tennis is in front of my baby and my wife. I think there is no question about it. You know, my full priorities and commitments and energy goes to my family as much as I need to, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not gonna play tournaments or not going to continue on doing what I was doing so far. Of course I’m doing everything that I can, respecting the same daily routines that I had for many years with my team. And it’s working well. Of course this is what I want to do well. I have big support from my wife, from my family, from my team. We are all on the same page. There is nothing significant that is going to change. But of course baby comes, and now when I’m married – if you were married, you would understand.

Q. Several players yesterday were cramping and withdrawing. Is that different this year? Hotter? Can you explain this?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, Monday when I played my first match, night session on center court, it was very, very humid. I changed four, five shirts, T-shirts, and today only one the whole match. I didn’t feel it was as humid. I think, you know, the humidity varies. The weather is kind of unpredictable this time of year in New York, and you have to be ready for anything, really. And, again, it’s the best of five for us guys. Of course, you know, if you’re playing during the day and if you don’t get much wind then you have a lot of sun, you know, with the pressure and expectations and long rallies, can get the best out of you. I mean, it’s not easy, definitely, to play at your best throughout the whole match.

Q. In the past you have spoken obviously highly of your coach, Jelena. My understanding is some Yugoslavian agency told her go up in the mountains and do a summer camp or clinic. If she hadn’t been told to do that, how do you think your life would have been different?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, there was one tennis camp at a city in Serbia, not Belgrade, that came with a few coaches and about 15 kids to Kopaonik before her. So I was hitting a few balls there and trying to get to know the sport. I was a local boy in the mountains and I was participating in construction of these tennis courts, so I felt like my home court there. But I believe that everything happens for a reason. She was there for a reason. I met her for a reason. We started working for a reason. So it’s all these things came together. Of course I was lucky. I was fortunate. That’s why I don’t take anything for granted. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to work with such a passionate person who is very knowledgeable about the sport in general and tennis specifically at those times when we went through I think biggest embargo in the history and wars and so forth. So it was not easy. But I remember my childhood in a very positive light.

Q. First US Open with Becker.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: We had two out of three Grand Slams that I was only with Becker this year. This is, again, third — it’s something that we agreed is going to be like that. We spoke about how we see this partnership and relationship working. At the end of last year when Boris agreed to be part of the team, Marián stepped down as a head coach. He’s still of course going to travel with me. He’s going to be in Beijing and Boris in Shanghai. So Marián is going to travel on some tournaments, but on Grand Slams I am going to be mostly with Boris. Sometimes Marián is going to join us depending on his commitments with family and with his daughters. His daughters are playing tennis as well, so he’s traveling with them. He’s devoting more of his time to his family right now.

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Wimbledon: Quarter-Finalist Cristian Garin loves The Event But Not So much The Surface

The South American reacts to reaching his first major quarter-final.

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Cristian Garin (CHI) - Credit: AELTC/Ben Solomon

Just over a week ago, Cristian Gain admitted that he was ‘upset’ when he saw his draw for Wimbledon this year. 

 

The world No.43 was set to take on the formidable Matteo Berrettini in the first round who has won two grass-court titles in a row in recent weeks. However, the Italian was forced to withdraw after testing positive for COVID-19. Instead, his opponent was the much lower-ranked Elias Ymer from Sweden who he defeated in straight sets. Since then, Garin hasn’t looked back.

On Monday at The All England Club, he staged an audacious comeback to defeat Alex de Minaur 2-6, 5-7, 7-6(3), 6-4, 7-6(10-6). Not only did Garin bounce back from two sets down, he also saved two match points in the process. Becoming the first player from his country to reach the last eight of the tournament since Fernando Gonzalez in 2005 and only the fourth in history to do so. 

“It is something very special for me. Wimbledon is my favorite tournament. Every time that I play this tournament is something special I feel,” said Garin.
“To be in the quarterfinals is a dream. I will try to enjoy it. I will try to give my best in the next round.”

Ironically Garin comes from a country where there are no grass courts. This year is his fifth appearance at Wimbledon and it was at the event where he made his Grand Slam debut back in 2017. However, like many other South Americans, clay is still his preferred surface.

“I said Wimbledon is my favorite tournament, not my favorite surface,” he jokes. 
“I think the grass is very fun for me. I have to change a little bit the way that I play. I think here on this surface you have to be aggressive.

Garin is one of only five ATP players from Chile currently ranked in the world’s top 500. Since April he has been coached by Pepe Vendrell who previously worked as a mentor to Roberto Bautista Agut and served as Spain’s captain in the ATP Cup. 

The next test for Garin will be a showdown against the formidable Nick Kyrgios who defeated Brandon Nakashima in his fourth round match.

“He is for me one of the guys that I like to watch. He’s very good for tennis,” he said of Kyrgios.
“In these rounds, you play the best. For me, Nick is obviously one of the best on grass.”

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Last Brit Standing Cameron Norrie Urges Fans ‘To Get Behind Him’ At Wimbledon

The Brit says he is feeling more comfortable on the Tour.

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Cameron Norrie (GBR) - Credit: AELTC/Simon Bruty

Cameron Norrie had the pressure of being the British No.1 at Wimbledon this year and now even more eyes will be on him following his milestone win. 

 

The world No.12 defeated Tommy Paul 6-4, 7-5, 6-4, in his fourth round match on Sunday to reach the last eight of a major for the first time at the age of 26. In doing so he remains the only home player left in the singles draw of either men’s or women’s draws. Heather Watson lost her last 16 match earlier in the day to Jule Niemeier 6-2, 6-4.

“To play the way I did and to handle the occasion, I felt really comfortable the way I was hitting the ball this morning. Definitely more comfortable than my other matches.” Said Norrie.
“It was good to get through that one in the fashion that I did. I was up the whole match, which definitely helped.”

Norrie’s run is the best by a British man at The All England Club since Andy Murray back in 2017. He is coached on the Tour by Facundo Lugones who first got acquainted with him at college in America. The two were teammates with Lugones being a senior and Norrie a freshman. Last year he achieved a win-loss record of 52-25 and won the biggest title of his career in Indian Wells.

A solid top 20 player on the Tour, Norrie’s popularity back home is steadily increasing. Even more so in recent days due to Wimbledon. Now he is the last Brit standing there is added pressure but he is taking it all in his stride.

“I’m the last one standing. But I think it’s even more reason for everyone to get behind me,” he said. “Even the atmosphere was great today and definitely helped me get over the line there. Especially on that last game, I was obviously pretty nervous. I was serving for my first quarterfinal of a slam. I wanted to get it done there. They definitely helped me a lot.”

Norrie will be hoping the crowd will out in full force for his upcoming clash with former top 10 player David Goffin who defeated Francis Tiafoe in five sets. Goffin has reached the quarter-finals of a major on three previous occasions, including Wimbledon three years ago.

“He’s a very experienced player. He really likes the grass. He’s played a lot of big matches. It’s going to be tough,” Norrie previewed.
“He’s a great competitor, a really good athlete. He’s got a very complete game. He must be playing very well, so it’s going to be a tricky one.’
“One thing for sure, I know that I’m going to get into a lot of rallies with him. He’s not going to come and serve me off the court, which is good. It’s going to be another physical match, which is great for me.”
“I’m looking forward to competing. It’s going to be another huge challenge.”

The only time Norrie played Goffin was last year in Barcelona when Goffin was forced to retire from their match in the second set. 

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Roger Federer Hopes To Play One Last Wimbledon As Icons Mark Center Court Anniversary

The Swiss Maestro said it is ‘great to be back’ after attending a special centenary event alongside other greats of the sport.

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Image via https://twitter.com/Wimbledon/

On the 100th anniversary of Center Court, a special celebration took place on Sunday that saw the return of Roger Federer.

Past and present champions congregated on the premier court during a special 30-minute presentation with a couple of notable absences. Nine-time winner Martina Navratilova and Pete Sampras were absent. Each walking on one by one, the biggest cheer occurred when it was Federer’s turn to take to the stage.

The former world No.1 hasn’t played a professional match since his quarter-final loss at SW19 12 months ago due to knee surgery. He has already outlined his plans to return to action later this season at the Laver Cup and Swiss indoors. Speaking on court, Federer said he hopes to play at Wimbledon again as he unexpectedly hints at retiring in the near future. 

 

“I’ve been lucky to play a lot of matches here. Different type of role, but it’s great to be here. This court has given me my biggest moments,” said Federer.
“I hope I can come back one more time.”
“I’ve missed it here. I knew walking out here last year, it was going to be a tough year ahead. I maybe didn’t think it was going to take this long to come back – the knee has been rough on me.
“It’s been a good year regardless of tennis. We’re happy at home. I didn’t know if I should make the trip but I’m happy standing here right now.”


Federer is the only man in history to have ever won the Wimbledon title eight times and was undefeated between 2003-2007. 

One player closing in on that record is Novak Djokovic who is seeking to win his seventh title this year. Speaking about Center Court, the Serbian said the venue has a special place in his heart that dates back to his childhood.

“This court has been truly special from my childhood and the first image of tennis I’ve seen when I was four or five-years-old I saw Pete Sampras winning his first Wimbledon,” said Djokovic.
“This is where dreams come true and I was blessed in 2011, probably the highlight of my career, to win the tournament and so when I step out on this court I relive these memories. Truly an honor.”

As for the female champions of the tournament, Venus Williams, Simona Halep, Angelique Kerber and Margaret Court were all in attendance. So was Billie Jean King who is the co-founder of the WTA Tour and has won all three Wimbledon events on multiple occasions (singles – 6, doubles – 10, and mixed doubles – 4). 

“I played my very first match at Wimbledon as a 17-year-old. We started late so I had two days on this court. It was magical and wonderful and I knew I belonged here,” said King.
“I love history and I love the fact we have so many people here. Martina [Navratilova] could not be with us and she won nine women’s singles so I’d just like to say I’m sorry she can’t be here.”

In 1922 Center court was officially opened for the first time after taking just nine months to construct. At the time it was the largest-ever reinforced concrete structure. The addition of a roof didn’t occur until 2009.

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