TENNIS US OPEN 2014 – 28th of August 2014. S. Querrey d. G. Garcia-Lopez 6-3, 6-4, 6-4. An interview with Sam Querrey
Q. It was a pretty comfortable win for you. Did you feel that coming after the first match? It was a lot more straightforward.
SAM QUERREY: Sometimes the first matches are always the toughest ones. Usually play better as the tournament goes on. I felt like I played great today. Serve felt good, forehand felt good, I was making the right decisions. Hope I can keep playing like that.
Q. Is that the best you have played all year?
SAM QUERREY: Yeah.
Q. What do you think has been the problem keeping you playing like that so far this year prior to that?
SAM QUERREY: You know, I don’t know. I got some confidence right now. I had momentum after last week, you know, putting together four wins. I’m just committing to hitting the forehand big and serving well, and it seems to be working.
Q. Simplifying things?
SAM QUERREY: Yeah, I guess so.
Q. Patrick McEnroe was talking when the tournament started it would be great if we could get a couple of guys into the second week. Do you think he was referring to you in particular as the guy that could maybe do that with the draw you had?
SAM QUERREY: I mean, possibly. There is not many American men in the draw to begin with. He was kind of referring to all of us. You know, if Novak wins next round I have to play him; that will be a tough one. I hope we can have a few guys in the second week. That would be great for men’s tennis here.
Q. Seeing a couple of the guys have had a tough go of it; Jack and Steve retiring. Seeing six already out and John is playing now, is it disappointing?
SAM QUERREY: Yeah, I mean, we’re all friends. You know, we’re all cheering for each other, so it’s tough to see those guys go out with retirements. Hopefully they can bounce back. You know, this is a big tournament, but it’s only one during the year. They have other events, so hopefully — Stevie has had a great year and a great summer, so hopefully he can continue to build on that. Same with Jack. A lot of times when you are put of the singles – both are still in doubles – Stevie with me and Jack won this morning – that can help your confidence a lot for singles. Hopefully they can make deep runs in doubles.
Q. John was saying you’re a much better player than your ranking. Do you feel that? Especially with how you played today. I know you have had some fluctuations over the last few years.
SAM QUERREY: I feel I’m much better than my ranking. If I keep playing like I played today I will keep going in the right direction and hopefully get back up in the top 20. I have played now seven good matches in a row, and so if I just continue do that, my ranking will keep going the right direction.
Q. Do you hope that you’re going to get a big crowd support when you play someone like a Novak at the US Open?
SAM QUERREY: Yeah, definitely. The crowd here seems to be pretty pro-American, so I’m sure they will be behind me. They like the stars, too. They will be cheering for him, as well. I feel like they are going to be behind me quite a bit when we play.
Q. What kind of strategy do you have when you play someone like him?
SAM QUERREY: I usually just worry about myself and try to focus on my game and not change up my strategy too much. I’ll pretty much just try to serve big and be aggressive and take my chance was some big forehands.
Q. Does the narrative of the Americans and getting asked those questions ever get tiring for players?
SAM QUERREY: A little bit. I mean, question is fair enough, though. At the end of the day it’s an individual sport. I don’t really care too much. I mean, I want all the Americans to do well, but I want them to do well for them. I don’t really — you know, they are doing it for themselves. I don’t really know where I’m going with this answer right now, to be honest (smiling).
Q. Just around tis time of year it ends with these questions of…
SAM QUERREY: We are all working as hard as we can and doing everything we can. We all want to win and we all want to be in the second week, and hopefully that can be the case in the years to come.
Intriguing Team-Ups Lure Eyes Doubles’ Way. Will They Stay For The Problems, Too?
Will the recent surge in high-profile double partnerships have any impact on the long term future of the discipline?
In one of his press conferences at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati, Andy Murray said he would not be playing the US Open. His announcement came a day or so after his initial declaration that he would be playing only the two doubles events in the final Major of the season. A few things came out of Murray’s remarks. The first and the obvious was that the former world no. 1 was ready to give it his all (yet again) to play singles. The second, the understated aspect, was that doubles while seeming easy vis-à-vis singles required just as much focus, if not more. Then, there was a third.
In tennis’ continuity though, the relevance of the doubles game is not a recent epiphany. However, the last few tournaments of the 2019 season that featured some eclectic partnerships – Stefanos Tsitispas and Nick Kyrgios, Andy Murray and Feliciano Lopez, the Pliskova twins, Andy and Jamie Murray, and so on – has made doubles slightly more prominent than singles.
Singles has become monotonous with the same set of players making it to the final rounds. On the other hand, doubles has brought in more verve to the existing status quo of the Tour, with each player’s individuality adding to the dynamics of the team. After his first outing as Kyrgios’ doubles partner at the Citi Open in Washington in July, Tsitsipas pointed this out.
“It’s the joy of being with a person who thinks differently and reacts differently. I would characterise him (Kyrgios) as someone who likes to amuse. I’m very serious and concentrated when I play, but he just has the style of speaking all the time. It’s good sometimes to have a change,” the Greek had said.
These changes – as seen with Murray’s recent decision – may not extend for a longer period. The culmination of these short-term team-ups does – and should – not mean the end of the road of doubles piquing attention, per se. At the same time, these transitory partnerships also reroute the discussion back to the financial side of the doubles game.
In a recent interview with Forbes, Jamie Murray – a doubles specialist – shared how conducive it had become for players to take up doubles as the sole means of a tennis career these days, as compared to in the past.
“Because the money is always increasing in tennis, it is a much more viable option to go down the doubles route a lot earlier than previous generations. Before, people would play singles and then when their ranking dropped, they played an extra few years of doubles. Now it is a genuine option to start off much younger and have a career in doubles,” the 33-year-old said.
Despite Murray’s upbeat attitude, these increases have not exactly trickled towards doubles, especially at the Slams including the upcoming edition of the US Open. For 2019, the USTA showed-off yet another hike in the prize-money coffer. The men’s and women’s singles champions will be awarded $3.8 million. In comparison, the men’s and women’s doubles teams winning the respective title will get $740,000. This sum gets further diluted for the mixed-doubles’ titlists who will get $160,000 as a team.
This is the third and final takeaway that emerged from Murray’s US Open call. For several of these singles players, intermittent doubles play is an option. For those who play only doubles, that is the only option they have. The doubles game requires similar effort – travel, expenses and fitness – the costs continue to outweigh the benefits. These momentary team formations are a gauge revealing the disparity of tennis’ two sides, visible yet obliviated beyond tokenism.
Svetlana Kuznetsova upsets Ashleigh Barty in Cincinnati to reach the 42nd final of her career
Russian wild card Svetlana Kuznetsova edged top seed this year’s Roland Garros champion Ashleigh Barty 6-2 6-4 in the semifinal of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati to reach the 42nd final of her career.
Two-time Grand Slam champion Kuznetsova, who is now ranked world number 153, scored her third win against top 10 players this week after beating former US Open champion Sloane Stephens and Karolina Pliskova.
Barty missed her chance to regain world number 1 spot from Naomi Osaka, who was forced to retire from her quarter final.
Barty earned the first break of the match in the second game of the opening set, when Kuznetsova netted a backhand. Kuznetsova broke back in the third game with a smash winner and earned another break at 2-2 when Barty netted a backhand. Kuznetsova hit a return winner to build up a 5-2 lead. Barty asked a medical time-out to treat he right leg. Kuznetsova held serve at 15 to close out the opening set after 30 minutes.
Kuznetsova went up a break in the first game of the second set. Barty won just three points on return in the second set. Kuznetsova closed out the second set with three winners in the 10th game.
“I am really happy. I am not really an analyzing person, but on my intuition, I am doing so much better, not repeating so many of my mistakes, just playing smarter and wiser now. It’s been so many different things when I was off, so I just enjoyed time off. Honestly, I was not missing at all the travelling and all the stress when you play tournaments, but now I have missed it and I feel good. I feel joy staying here and being here. It definitely helped me to have some time off to see other things outside tennis”, said Kuznetsova.
Kuznetsova set up a final against Madison Keys, who beat Sofia Kenin in straight sets. The Russian 34-year-old veteran player has qualified for her first final since last year, when she beat Donna Vekic in Washington.
“Madison is extremely tough. When she is on fire, it is really hard to play against her. It’s going to be a difficult match-up”, said Kuznetsova.
David Goffin reaches his first Masters 1000 in Cincinnati
David Goffin beat Richard Gasquet 6-3 6-4 on an overcast afternoon to reach the first Masters 1000 final of his career and his 13th title match at ATP Tour level at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati. Goffin has dropped just one set en route to the final.
Goffin is returning to his best form this summer under the guidance of former Swedish player Thomas Johansson. He reached the final in Halle and his first quarter final at Wimbledon. He received a walkover after Yoshihito Nishioka was forced to withdraw from the match due to food poisoning.
The Belgian player started the match with two consecutive holds before breaking at love to open up a 4-1 lead with a backhand winner down the line.
Goffin held his next service games to seal the opening set 6-3. Gasquet earned an early break to open 2-0 lead, but Goffin won five of the next six games with two breaks. The 2017 Nitto ATP Finals runner-up served out the win at love in the 10th game after 1 hour and 16 minutes, as Gasquet sent his backhand long.
Goffin reached the semifinal in Cincinnati last year, but he was forced to retire due to an arm injury.
“I am very happy. It’s a tournament I like and I have played the best tennis in the past few years. I am really happy to reach my first Masters 1000 final here. It’s a great moment for me.”
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