US Open 2014 – Novak Djokovic: “This is where I want to play my best tennis. I haven't done as well in leadup tournaments” - UBITENNIS
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US Open 2014 – Novak Djokovic: “This is where I want to play my best tennis. I haven't done as well in leadup tournaments”

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TENNIS US OPEN – 30th of August 2014. N. Djokovic d. S. Querrey 6-3, 6-2, 6-2. An interview with Novak Djokovic

 

Q. Would you explain the point near the end of the first set that you kind of gave away. What happened there?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I didn’t give it away. I stopped to play. The chair umpire hasn’t heard me, hasn’t seen that I stopped the play. And Sam, as well.

Q. Nobody else in the place knew it. You hit it back…

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It was obvious in the replay. People could see it that I hit the ball and I stopped and I said challenge before he hit the ball.

Q. You came into the tournament with not the best leadup. A lot of things going on in your life, but you don’t look too distracted. What’s going on in your game right now?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: What is supposed to go on in my game? It’s peaking at the right time, at the right tournament. This is where I want to play my best tennis. I haven’t done as well as I wanted in leadup tournaments, Toronto and Cincinnati. I didn’t know how emotionally drained I was in a way until I played Tsonga in Canada and played some great match and I didn’t feel I could deliver my best. That’s something that when I analyzed, you know, what I had two months before was normal in a way. I was expecting of myself, and I always am expecting from myself, the best and to go as far as I can. But obviously emotionally wasn’t ready for those tournaments. But the upside of me losing early in Cincinnati is that I had more time to prepare for US Open, last Grand Slam of the year. Over the years I played some of my best tennis on these courts. four finals and one title is quite impressive record. I feel very comfortable playing on Arthur Ashe stadium. The New York give me a lot of energy. It’s a pleasure to perform, to play in front of them.

Q. He has a big first serve, and you were into every one of his service games. How much confidence do you take out of this for the next round?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: A lot. I can play Isner in the next round, or Kohlschreiber, whoever wins that match. In case I play Isner, I have a good feel about my return. I positioned myself well. I prepared myself with the team tactically very good. But, again, when you’re on the court in important moments, clutch moments when it’s 30-All, a break point, that’s where most of the time you have to follow your instincts and try to react well, and, you know, kind of be aggressive as much as can you. But, you know, sometimes when somebody is serving as well and as strong as Sam or John, over 130 miles, best you can do is block the serve and get into the rally. That’s where my chances were, and that’s where I was looking for my chance to move him around the court, get into a rally, always get another ball back into play. So I think I have done that particularly well today.

Q. When you said you were emotionally drained before Cincinnati and Canada, was that just family stuff or was something else wrong?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, no. It was just overwhelming moments. Going back to the clay court season, had an injury that I didn’t know with the wrist how far it’s going to stay there, if it’s going to be an obstacle for me to play Roland Garros, and that has taken a lot of energy from me emotionally. Then Roland Garros, losing another final against Nadal and then bouncing back and winning Wimbledon the way I wanted and had becoming No. 1 and then few days later a wedding. So these things together are very overwhelming in every way. Of course, it gave me a lot of positive energy, but of course it was very demanding. You know, I tried to enjoy that and worked pretty good before the leadup tournaments to US Open. I was physically ready, but obviously emotionally I was still not out there.

Q. Your fellow countryperson, Alexandra Krunic, revealed a secret that yesterday she actually kicked you out of the…

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes.

Q. Was that the most humiliating moment of your career?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, absolutely not. I hope she kicks me out every single day so she keeps on winning (smiling). If that’s the lucky charm. Actually, we joked around this morning that I knew she was in one of the six rooms up there next to the gym, in private physio room. So I was in the first one. I left the door open just in case she comes and her team and if they want to use that room also as well as the room where they were. You know, I let them be the way they are. She’s doing tremendous work and tremendous job here in US Open winning against Kvitova today, reaching first time in her career fourth round. She’s still very young. She has a lot of variety in her game and she battles. I think that’s something that people respect with her. You can see the brave heart.

Q. You were talking a little bit earlier about your childhood development and education. Did you have any classroom experiences that you feel were particularly formative in terms of your ongoing intellectual curiosity now that you have to kind of learn on your own?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, you know, going to the school obviously gives you these basic knowledge and education about many fields, many things in life and many fields of life. Jelena has kind of focused on certain things that she believed are helpful from our tennis career, and from very early stages of my life I already had vision that — you know, I want to be the best in the world in tennis already when I was eight, nine years old. She was one of the persons that contributed the most to this vision, because she believed strongly in my talent and my potential. She was assuring my parents that they should support me and try their best, you know, for me to kind of chase my dream. Reading poetry, listening to the music, analyzing the top players at that time, my own game, many things that we have done had its purpose.

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Auger Aliassime overcomes slow start to beat Seppi in Washington

The Canadian looked down and out early in the match but bounced back to avenge a loss he suffered at the French Open in June.

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Second seed Felix Auger Aliassime survived a huge scare in his opening match at the Citi Open in Washington.

The Canadian was on the verge of being upset by the Italian Andreas Seppi but battled back to beat him 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 in one hour and 59 minutes. Blasting a total of 25 winners and nine aces in the win.

 

“In my mind, I wanted to find a way to come back. To get that early break in the second really helped me a lot and I think I served a little bit better and I put more volume and height on my shot,” said Auger-Aliassime. “I was more patient and in the first set I was missing too quickly in the rallies so digging deep physically and mentally allowed me to come back nicely in the match and to finish strong in the third set. I am happy with the way things turned around for me today”.

It was the world number 88 with the better start to the match and after both players held their opening service games he had two chances to get the early break and took a 2-1 lead. After consolidating the break, the Italian set up another breakpoint with a stunning forehand winner, broke again for a 4-1 lead, and served out the first set.

Auger-Aliassime was keen on getting back into the match and wanted to avoid a second straight upset loss to the Italian. After holding serve in the first game of the second set he had two chances to take an early lead and broke for the 2-0 lead with a forehand up the line of his very own on breakpoint. That was enough for him to serve out the second set and send the match into a decisive third set to decide the winner.

It was the Canadian who repeated what he did in the second set holding the opening service game and breaking Seppi’s serve with a sublime passing shot. The Italian responded the next game by breaking right back but failed to consolidate the break as the world number 15 broke again with his powerful backhand winner.

At 5-2, the Auger-Aliassime found himself at match point and it took him five attempts before being able to convert and seal the match. Avenging a loss he suffered at Roland Garros.

After the match in his post-match press conference, the Canadian was asked if he had the loss to Seppi at the French Open in the back of his mind during the match.

” In a way yes of course because we played once and he beat me and as a player, you never want to go down twice in a row against a player but it happens but in my case, I really wanted to find a way to win that match and get revenge just for myself to try and get the win”. he said.

Auger Aliassime will now face the winner of the second-round match between Jenson Brooksby or Frances Tiafoe in the third round.

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Vasek Pospisil survives scare at Citi Open

The Canadian battled back from a set down in what was a tricky opening encounter.

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Vasek Pospisil was pushed to limits by qualifier Emilio Gomez in his opening match at the Citi Open.

The Canadian required three sets to beat the Ecuadorian qualifier 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 after two hours and 11 minutes of play. He hit a total of 10 aces en route to the second round.

 

” It’s always good to get through a tough one and I felt dialed in during the second set,” said Pospisil. “I was a little bit distracted during the first set but I am glad to get match play and getting the win is important so I am happy I got it done”.

The first three games of the opener went on serve and at 2-1 the Canadian had three chances to take an early break but the world number 165 saved all three and held serve. At 3-3, Pospisil played a poor service game and Gomez took full advantage by breaking him at love. That one break of serve was enough for him to serve out the first set.

The Canadian was determined to stay alive in the second and broke the Ecuadorian early to take a 2-0 lead and managed to turn it into a double break for a commanding 4-0 lead. Gomez got one of the breaks back but it wasn’t enough as the world number 61 would serve out the second set to force a decider.

The third set started with three breaks of serve but it was the Canadian that was finally able to hold serve and consolidate a break. That break was enough for him to serve out the match and complete the comeback.

Pospisil will next face the young American Sebastien Korda in the third round who is the 12th seed this week in the American capital.

” It’s going to be a tough one because he is playing some great tennis this year and he is an up and comer and a great player,” he said of Korda. “I will have to play really well to win that one because he is a dangerous player so I will have to serve well and return well”.

Other results

It was a busy day one at the Citi Open being held at Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC with some thrilling matches. Kei Nishikori beat Sam Querrey in straight sets 6-4, 6-3 and Marcus Giron pulled a three-set comeback against Ilya Marchenko 4-6, 6-4, 7-6.

In the battle of the Belorussians, Ilya Ivashka beat Egor Gerasimov in straight sets 7-5, 6-4. Meanwhile, Jenson Brooksby avenged a loss to the South African Kevin Anderson by beating him in straight sets 7-5, 6-3.

Andreas Seppi needed three sets to dispatch Yasutka Uchiyama of Japan 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, Ricardas Berankis beat the American qualifier Mitchell Kreuger in straight sets 7-6, 6-2, and Daniel Elahi Galan beat another American Tommy Paul in straight sets 6-4, 6-3.

Finally, in the last match of the day an American favourite, Jack Sock advanced to round two after his Japanese opponent Yoshito Nishioka was forced to retire due to injury during their match.

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John Isner Wins 16th ATP Title In Atlanta

The 6ft 10 American got revenge on his American opponent for the loss he suffered last week in Los Cabos.

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John Isner has continued his love affair with the Atlanta Open by ousting Brandon Nakashima to win the tournament for a record sixth time.

 

The sixth seed beat the American teenager 7-6, 7-5 in one hour and 57 minutes. Firing a total of 21 aces and winning 81% of his first-serve points en route to the victory.

“I think if you count the last two weeks playing singles and doubles I played 12 matches in about 10 or 11 days so I have played a lot which is exactly what I need,” Isner said following his win. “Hopefully I can take this and go forward and build some momentum for tournaments ahead.’
This tournament has meant everything to my career it’s amazing”. He added.

The first set was extremely tight and neither player gave an inch in their respective service games. The opener was decided by a tiebreaker which Isner is accustomed to. Whilst the first set was tight, the tiebreaker was an even tighter affair Isner squeezing out a 10-8 win to take the first set 7-6.

Again the second set was competitive and again neither player got an edge on their return game. It was only at 5-4 that the Dallas, Texas native found himself at triple match point but the world number 115 saved all three.

Nakashima would save a fourth before holding serve and at 6-5, the world number 35 earned a fifth match point. That’s where he closed out the match and sealed the win and the title.

After the match, Isner was asked about his history of playing numerous tiebreakers throughout his career.

” I play a lot of those and it’s a situation I am comfortable in since I have been on tour forever,” he explained. “Honestly I think today (Sunday) I was just a little bit luckier and that’s what It really came down to. It’s amazing to be out here again playing on a Sunday and it was awesome”.

Isner confirmed that he will not be making the trip to Washington, DC for the Citi Open and instead he will take a week off after playing back-to-back tournaments in Los Cabos and Atlanta. He is next scheduled to be in Toronto for the National Bank Open.

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