WTA Montreal – Venus Williams: “Once I'm done I can look back and say, I didn't make a fool of myself” - UBITENNIS
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WTA Montreal – Venus Williams: “Once I'm done I can look back and say, I didn't make a fool of myself”

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TENNIS WTA MONTREAL – 8th of August 2014. V. Williams d. C. Suarez Navarro 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. An interview with Venus Williams

 

Q. What are you doing well out there? What do you like about your game that you’ve made it to the semis?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think more than anything what’s happening well for me is just competing. I think my movement has been very helpful to me, as well, covering a lot of court.

Yeah, mostly the competing. I’ve been playing some stellar opponents, so it hasn’t been easy.

 

Q. Long matches, too.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Long matches. Long days. But that’s, I guess, par for the course.

 

Q. Do you feel the long matches you had to play this week will be a disadvantage against Serena that had shorter games?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I don’t think so. I hope it won’t be a disadvantage. I never look at it that way because after you win a long match, it’s really satisfying. I do look at it that way and just try to take positives from it.

 

Q. I was wondering if you remember the first time you played Serena on the circuit, it was ’99, and what you remember about that?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I totally remember. We had a tough match back then. That’s the trend that started and it hasn’t changed. I suspect tomorrow will be another tough match.

 

Q. How have you guys changed since then?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Not much (smiling).

 

Q. I think she won the last five matches. What do you have to do to beat Serena?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I have to play well. That’s pretty much it. There’s no secret or science to it. I think that’s anyone who has gotten any wins against her, they’ve pretty much played the match of their life.

Granted, I’d like to imagine that I hopefully won’t have to play the match of my life. That’s tough to do. But I know I need to play well.

 

Q. She said she didn’t like facing you. What are your thoughts on facing her?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think it’s, you know, more exciting when we get to face each other for us in the final. Semifinals is better than first or second round, yeah, but the finals is a lot more exciting I think for both of us. It’s more climatic. It’s more of a climax.

 

Q. Could you talk about today’s match, how you felt on the court. You must be pleased with your game overall.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, in the first set we had a couple breaks, but our intensity I think was high. She just seemed really determined. She was playing so well, not missing a lot of balls, really throughout the whole match.

After the first set I tried to do my best to maybe control the point a little more because she had me on a string running side to side. It’s very difficult to win matches like that when you’re not in control.

So as much as I could, which wasn’t always possible, I tried to stay in control of the point.

 

Q. You and Serena have had so much impact on women’s tennis for so many years. When you reflect on that, what are you most proud of?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I think what I’m most proud of is that so far I’ve come this far without falling on my face, doing something stupid (smiling). I want to try to keep that up. So once I’m done I can look back and say, I didn’t make a fool of myself.

That’s actually, you know, true. I think at the end of the day life is about what you can give, not really about what you can get. I think in a lot of ways the work that we’ve put in on the court has been able to give so much to so many different people in so many different ways. That was a result that we, as sisters or as a family, never saw coming.

I think for me, and I think I can probably speak for her, I don’t know, that’s to me the most satisfying, is how much you find out you can give.

 

Q. In what ways? Inspiration?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Just so many young women who start playing tennis, or young men, older people who are inspired. People who inspire you because of what they’re doing because you inspired them. The opportunities that get created just by being out there playing, like people you never even get to meet. Those are the impacts I never could have foreseen, which really makes me the most proud.

 

Q. At what age did you think you would retire, 30?

VENUS WILLIAMS: At 30 you don’t think about the end so much. I still don’t. At this point I’m still playing well, so why should I think about the end?

When it happens, it happens. I’d like to think I’d go gracefully into the shadows.

 

Q. When we talked to Serena before, she told us she wanted to spend the night with you anyway. What are your thoughts on that? Is that what you’re doing tonight, going to hang out and talk about the match for tomorrow?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No. I’m actually going to dance a little bit. I actually am.

 

Q. You are?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. It’s very relaxing for me. I love to dance.

 

Q. By yourself?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No.

 

Q. Would you care to elaborate?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Not at a club. No, I just do a little jazz and a little ballet. I’m not great, but I love to dance. I’ll just dance a little and see what happens.

 

Q. Even after these two days of really tough matches, long matches, it’s actually good for you to do that?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I just love it. It makes me happy. It’s a hobby. Not for long. Maybe like half an hour. Trust me, it’s not like running back and forth on a tennis court. I know it can be very intense, but that’s hard.

Just a little bit and try and relax. Definitely rest, so…

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Playing Clay Events After Wimbledon Was A Mistake, Says Diego Schwartzman

The former French Open semi-finalist is seeking to win his first title since March 2021 at the Tel Aviv Open this week.

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Diego Schwartzman (Roberto Dell'Olivo)

Diego Schwartzman will likely reevaluate his schedule for next year after admitting that part of his plans for this summer backfired. 

 

The world No.17 enters into the final quarter of the season with 31 wins against 22 losses on the Tour but is yet to win a title. Although he did reach back-to-back finals back in February in Argentina and Brazil. He has won two out of eight matches against top 10 opposition, defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas at the ATP Cup and Felix Auger-Aliassime in Barcelona. 

Reflecting on his performance, Schwartzman admits that his decision to return to European clay after playing at Wimbledon was a mistake. He lost his second match in Gstaad to Pablo Carreno Busta and then his first in Hamburg to Emil Ruusuvori. 

“It’s difficult to play at the same level every tournament, I’ve made a bad decision playing clay tournaments after Wimbledon, I didn’t have time to rest,” he said during his pre-tournament press conference at the Tel Aviv Open. “I paid the price and had some bad losses. But I started to feel much better in USA hard court season, lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas who reached the final in Cincinnati and to Frances Tiafoe at the US Open. Now I am feeling very good, I really love playing indoor tournaments.”

The 30-year-old has headed straight to Tel Aviv from the Laver Cup where Roger Federer played the last match of his career. Despite Schwartzman’s Team World winning the title for the first time, his only contribution to the tie saw him lose 6-1, 6-2, to Tsitsipas. 

Retirement was very much the topic of conversation during the Laver Cup with others such as Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic questioned by reporters about their plans in the sport. As for Schwartzman, he stayed coy about how much longer he would continue playing after saying in the past he might stop at the age of 33. 

“33 — is a good age to retire, isn’t it? South Americans are in different situations compared to European players. We travel too much, and sometimes we are not coming back home for 2-3 months, while Europeans can fly home every week. It’s tough,” he said. 
“As for Roger — he’s a special player, I think he is just the greatest in our sport.”

The Argentine is seeded third this week in Israel and will begin his campaign against Arthur Rinderknech who defeated qualifier Marius Copil in his opening match. 

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Laver Cup Daily Preview: Team Europe Goes for a Fifth Straight Laver Cup

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The lineup for Day 3 (twitter.com/lavercup)

Heading into Day 3, the 2022 Laver Cup is feeling extremely familiar.  Team Europe has an 8-4 advantage, and only needs two wins on Sunday to secure their fifth consecutive Laver Cup.  Team World needs to win three matches to pull off the upset and obtain their first. 

 

Sunday’s play gets underway in London at 12:00pm local time.  And each match on Sunday is worth three points.


Matteo Berrettini and Andy Murray (Team Europe) vs. Felix Auger-Aliassime and Jack Sock (Team World) – 12:00pm

Berrettini was victorious in both singles and doubles on Saturday, defeating Auger-Aliassime in singles, and teaming with Djokovic to overcome Sock and de Minaur in doubles.  So Matteo gained victories over both of his Sunday opponents on Saturday.  Murray lost to de Minaur in singles on Friday.  Andy and Jack are the most accomplished doubles players in this match, as Sock is pretty much Team World’s doubles specialist.  If he and Felix cannot pull of the victory on Sunday, it could be a pretty short day.


Novak Djokovic (Team Europe) vs. Felix Auger-Aliassime (Team World)

Like Berrettini, Djokovic won in singles and doubles on Saturday, comfortably dispatching of Tiafoe in singles.  While it was his first match in over two months, Novak showed no rust whatsoever.  Auger-Aliassime’s loss to Berrettini on Saturday will not help his confidence against the 21-time Major champion.

Novak and Felix have only played once before, and that occurred four months ago in Rome on clay.  It was a pretty tight affair, but Djokovic prevailed 7-5, 7-6(1).  And there’s not much evidence to support a different outcome on Sunday.  Novak is surely eager to re-assert his authority after missing so much of this season due to his vaccination status.


Stefanos Tsitsipas (Team Europe) vs. Frances Tiafoe (Team World) – If Necessary

Tsitsipas easily beat Diego Schwartzman on Friday, dropping just three games.  He is 3-2 against Tiafoe, and 3-1 on hard courts.  However, Frances claimed their most recent encounter, last fall in Vienna, which was also on an indoor hard court.


Casper Ruud (Team Europe) vs. Taylor Fritz (Team World) – If Necessary

Ruud defeated Sock on Friday, while Fritz defeated Norrie on Saturday.  If this match takes place, it will be their first career meeting.


The full Laver Cup schedule is here.

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Laver Cup Daily Preview: Novak Djokovic to Play Singles and Doubles on Saturday

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The lineup for Day 2 (twitter.com/lavercup)

In the wake of Roger Federer’s incredibly emotional retirement on Day 1, the focus of this event shifts to the rest of the competitors on Day 2.  And for the first time in the five-year history of the Laver Cup, Team World goes into Day 2 without a deficit.  With both Federer and Rafael Nadal replaced by alternates for Day 2 and Day 3, is this Team World’s opportunity to capture their first Laver Cup? 

 

Each day, this preview will look at all four scheduled matches, while taking an extended look at the most notable match of the day.  Saturday’s day session gets underway in London at 1:00pm local time, and the night session at 7:00pm.  And each match on Saturday is worth two points.


Matteo Berrettini (Team Europe) vs. Felix Auger-Aliassime (Team World) – 1:00pm

These two good friends have played four times, with Berrettini winning on three of those occasions.  Matteo’s wins came three years ago in the final of Stuttgart on grass, in the quarterfinals of last year’s Wimbledon, and a year ago in this event.  Auger-Aliassime’s only win occurred last summer in Cincinnati.  Matteo is coming off a quarterfinal run in New York, as well as three victories last week in Davis Cup.  Felix was upset in the second round of the US Open by Jack Draper, and went 2-1 in Davis Cup.


Cameron Norrie (Team Europe) vs. Taylor Fritz (Team World) – Second in the Day Session

Norrie was also an alternate in last year’s Laver Cup, but did not play.  Fritz was a part of Team World in 2019, when he went 1-1 in singles, defeating Dominic Thiem during Sunday’s play in a must-win match to keep his team alive.  Cam is now 45-22 on the year, while Fritz is 36-17.  Both men achieved their best-ever Major performances two months ago at Wimbledon.  They played each other just last week in Davis Cup, with Norrie prevailing after three tight sets.  Overall they have split 10 previous meetings.


Novak Djokovic (Team Europe) vs. Frances Tiafoe (Team World) – 7:00pm

Is Tiafoe ready to upset another member of “The Big Three” on Saturday?  He earned the biggest win of his career by taking out Rafael Nadal at the US Open, and defeated Nadal and Federer in doubles on Day 1 alongside Jack Sock.  Meanwhile, this will be the first match for Djokovic in over two months, since he won the Wimbledon final over Nick Kyrgios.  The unvaccinated Novak was unable to travel to North America for the hard court summer season.

Djokovic has only played seven tournaments this year, amassing a record of 23-5.  Tiafoe is 26-19, and is coming off his exciting semifinal run in New York.  Their only previous matchup was at the 2021 Australian Open, when Novak defeated Frances in four sets.  Frances is certainly the much more match-tough player on this day.  But despite his recent inactivity, Djokovic should still be considered the favorite.


Matteo Berrettini and Novak Djokovic (Team Europe) vs. Alex de Minaur and Jack Sock (Team World) – Second in the Night Session

Novak will have only a few minutes of rest ahead of this doubles match, so the length of his match with Tiafoe could impact the result here.  This will be Novak’s first time playing doubles since last year’s Davis Cup finals.  Berrettini played three doubles matches this past January at the ATP Cup, going 1-2.  De Minaur overcame Andy Murray in singles on Friday in what was a grueling contest, while Sock was defeated in singles and victorious in doubles.


The full Laver Cup schedule is here.

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