TENNIS US OPEN – 4th of September 2014. R. Federer d. G. Monfils 4-6, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-2. An interview with Gael Monfils
Q. What were your thoughts and emotions when you had the two match points?
GAEL MONFILS: You know, nothing special, you know. I was like saying to myself, Keep it simple, you know, and try to make him play them. Because I knew that he will force it, like he will put the first ball in and then for sure come to the net very quick. So it was more like, you know, I be relax and just lean a bit more on my forehand return and try to make it. And then we just played those two points, and, you know, well done.
Q. How would you describe what happened from then on?
GAEL MONFILS: Well, then it was tough, because I think then my serve was not good, so it let me a bit down again at 5-All. I think maybe I hit a double fault. I think I had a point for 6-5 and could not really quite use my serve. I think the side I was was tougher because it was against the wind, so it was a bit tougher. Then rush me with his long return, so it was very tough. But then he play good. He played good. He had the set. Then physically I had a drop, five minutes. But maybe come from mentally also, because I thought that I could have play better this fourth set. For five minutes I think I had — I was a little bit, yeah, tired and mentally also tired. So then it came quick. I think then he start to be very offensive. So then it was very tough to handle it.
Q. You were saying yesterday that you wanted to try to keep your head clear, and I’m quoting you, not give a shit. But do you think maybe after the two match points you maybe gave a shit, if you will? Maybe he got into your head?
GAEL MONFILS: Not really, because actually, you know, it happens. When you have match point and I had easy forehand, maybe that. But I think was cool. I think he hit two big serves and good forehand volley and then good forehand down the line. I think, you know, I did my best, so it was okay. Then I think, you know, what happened in the fifth is more that during the match I was focused like from the first point to the fifth, and then sort of I have a little drop. Because I will say not really used to do this. Sometimes, as I told to you, to keep my emotion is fatigue me a little bit. It’s tough to handle it. And then it’s a matter of five minutes. You know, I think I was down five minutes. Roger just jump on me. He could easy. I don’t know, maybe be relax for those first two games and then maybe it would be another story. Those two games came like so quick, and then, you know, it’s tough.
Q. You were saying also talking about being able to tell your grandchildren that you played against perhaps the greatest player of all time. Speaking reverentially about him. You took the first two sets from him and made it a hell of a match out there. Do you take a lot of positives away from tonight?
GAEL MONFILS: Yeah, for sure, you know. I think, as you said, I come strong. I played good, you know. I was stick to my tactic, you know. I was happy that I could do it. I was happy that also — you know, sometime when you want to do good, it’s tough to deliver, and I think did. So I was happy. You know, I was expecting a big crowd like this. At the end I’m frustrated, but I’m happy, you know. I think I gave my best. Simply Roger was too good at the end. You know, it’s okay. I need a bit of time to forget this, but then, you know, it give me more motivation, you know, that, you know, I could make it. I think it’s very positive.
Q. How does this tournament and this summer, how does this help moving forward? How do you sort of sustain this form?
GAEL MONFILS: As I say, you know, it’s tough, because this summer I think been very tough for me. I was very close the all the matches, you know. Novak twice, Roger. You know, it just show me that I’m not far. I need to keep believe on myself, keep believe that I can do better. I see that I can play a high level for months, and, you know, the best part on that is more that I not get injured. That’s the best part. It’s been a while I play high level like with 100% healthy. So, you know, I’m more than happy for that.
Q. What do you think now you’re tell your children about what happened?
GAEL MONFILS: I will tell them like, Dad had a very good opportunity and he did well. He did well. I think he believe. You know, it’s like so far, but he did believe, and that’s positive. I will say that’s positive and I will make sure that my children will win this one.
Q. You really were in control of the match. You outplayed him the first two sets, no question about it. Then he just finds that extra gear and hangs on, you know, and obviously gets to the fifth set. I mean, you know, as the guy on the other side of the court, what does it feel like when all of a sudden Roger Federer becomes the Roger Federer that we all know and that he clearly played better as the match went on?
GAEL MONFILS: You know, at the beginning I feel good, because when you have a tactic or plan, a game plan, stick with. That’s why he’s Roger Federer, because he change so many times. He start with chipping very low. I think I handled it good. So then he stick with longer points. It was 50-50, and then he try to come to the net like very often. It was a bit better for him. Then suddenly he start to mix everything. You know, that’s why he’s the greatest player, because he can do everything. You know, he just feel good. The answer is he feel good. Now the last part is, you know, like I need to find a way that I be answering. Every time he do something, I will answer. At the end, as I told you, I think I will keep working, believe in myself, and I will find it.
Daniil Medvedev Backs Djokovic’s Refusal To Disclose Vaccination Status
The Russian shares his view about comments made by Djokovic to a Serbian newspaper earlier this week.
US Open champion Daniil Medvedev says he agrees with Novak Djokovic that players shouldn’t be forced to disclose information about their medical history amid speculation over the vaccination status of the world No.1.
During a recent interview with Blic newspaper Djokovic refused to reveal whether or not he had been jabbed against COVID-19 which has raised questions over his ability to participate in next year’s Australian Open. According to a government minister, It is expected that only fully vaccinated players will be allowed to enter the country but an official confirmation is yet to be issued. The 20-time Grand Slam champion has hit out at the media over what he believes has been an unfair portrayal of those who have some reservations about the vaccine. Djokovic, who contracted COVID-19 last year, had previously said he didn’t want to be in a situation where he would be forced to have a vaccination.
“There is a lot of division in the society, not only in sports, but in the whole society, between those who have not been vaccinated and have been vaccinated. And that’s really scary. That we fell for discriminating against someone if he wants to decide for himself one way or another, whether he wants to be vaccinated or not,” he told Blic.
“It’s really…I am very disappointed with the world society at this moment and the way in which the media transmit and put pressure on all people. There is too much ambiguity, too much information that is not valid, so it turns out that it is, so it is not, everything changes a lot.”
Medvedev, who beat Djokovic in this year’s US Open final, says ‘likes’ the view of his peer. Speaking to reporters at the Kremlin Cup on Thursday, the world No.2 also said he would not be disclosing his vaccination status publicly. Medvedev was due to Moscow this week but withdrew due to fatigue.
“I liked what Novak said about this. He said the vaccination was a personal matter and he would not be making it public. And I also decided not to disclose medical things,” he said.
“As for Australia: there everyone will see who is vaccinated and who is not. Of course, the players can say that they are injured, but this will be a play on words.’
“I want to play in Australia, that’s all I can say.” He added.
According to Djokovic, Tennis Australia are set to confirm their rules for players wanting to play at the Australian Open at some stage next month.
So far this season Medvedev has won 50 matches and four trophies on the ATP Tour. Besides the US Open, he was also victorious at Marseille, Mallorca and Canada. Earlier this year he became the first player outside of the Big Four to crack the world’s top two since Lleyton Hewitt back in 2005.
The next couple of weeks will be a challenge for the Russian who will be aiming to defend his title at both the Paris Masters and ATP Finals. Looking further ahead, he hopes to one day dethrone Djokovic at the top of the rankings.
“The goal is to win more Slams, become world №1 and be in the top for many more years. For this I train and will continue to do it with even greater dedication,” Medvedev stated. “But again, the main goal is to improve and be demanding of yourself. It’s impossible to win everything, no one won 60 matches in a row, but if you play well, there will be victories.”
However, one obstacle in Medvedev’s way continues to be the Big Three who are a trio made up of Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer that has dominated the men’s Tour in recent years.
“Like everything in life, their dominance will also pass,” he commented. “Roger and Rafa finished the season early, they had injuries, they didn’t play the US Open, that’s a fact. But still, out of the last 20 “slams” 17 or 18 were taken by those three guys. The three of them are the greatest tennis players in history. Due to the fact that they are getting old, it became a little easier for us to play with them, in this regard we were lucky.”
Medvedev is currently 1800 points behind Djokovic in the ATP rankings.
Andy Murray Blasts Own Performance Following Antwerp Exit
The Brit was far from happy about his latest match in Austria.
Former world No.1 Andy Murray said he had a ‘poor attitude’ during his second round defeat at the European Open on Thursday.
The three-time Grand Slam champion was knocked out of the tournament in straight sets by second seed Diego Schwartzman who prevailed 6-4, 7-6(6). Murray started the match on good footing by opening up a 4-1 lead before losing five games in a row. The second set was a closer encounter between the two as they exchanged breaks before the Agretianian edged his way to the victory in the tiebreak.
“Mentally, today (Thursday) I was poor,” Murray told reporters after the match. “My attitude was poor on the court and those are two things you can control. If they’re not there, that also will make the decision-making harder.
“You’re not going to get every single one (decision) right in the match, but you also have to be present enough to acknowledge what is actually happening in the points and why you are winning and losing points.”
It was in Antwerp two years ago where Murray won his last Tour title by defeating Stan Wawrinka in the final. Since then it has been a frustrating journey for the Brit who now plays with a metal hip and has also been troubled by other issues over the past year. His win-loss for the season currently stands at 12-11 and he has only reached the quarter-final stage at one event which was in Metz. Murray also reached the third round at both Wimbledon and Indian Wells.
Outlining his plans for the rest of the year, Murray has confirmed that he will play in both Vienna and Stockholm. He also has his sight set on the Paris Masters where he could enter into the qualifying draw if he doesn’t receive a wildcard. Murray is currently ranked 172nd in the world.
“There’ll be a decision on the final Paris wildcard on Monday, but I might even play the qualis there,” he said. “Sport is a results business. Play well or poorly doesn’t really matter if you lose matches. You need to be winning. That’s what I want in the last few tournaments. They are really strong tournaments and there are no guarantees the results will come, but I want to win more matches.”
Meanwhile, Schwartzman will take on America’s Brandon Nakashima in the quarter-finals on Friday. This week the 29-year-old is seeking only his second Tour title on a hardcourt and his first since the 2019 Los Cabos Open in Mexico.
“It was a pleasure to play against Andy,” Schwartzman said in his on-court interview. “We had not played before and he is coming back and every week he is playing better and moving better. I have a lot of respect because when I grew up playing tennis, I was watching Roger [Federer], Rafa [Nadal], Andy and Novak [Djokovic] and right now playing against him, is a pleasure for me.”
Schwartzman is one of only three seeded players to make it through to the last eight along with Jannik Sinner and Lloyd Harris.
New British No.1 Cameron Norrie Inspired By Compatriot Raducanu
The Indian Wells champion believes Raducanu’s triumph will trigger a new generation of players in the country.
Cameron Norrie says he drew inspiration from Emma Raducanu prior to winning the biggest title of his career at the BNP Paribas Open on Saturday.
The world No.16 stunned the men’s field at the tournament where he had never won a main draw match prior to this year. Norrie defeated Diego Schwartzman, Grigor Dimitrov and Nikoloz Basilashvili to become the first player from his country to win the prestigious title. The run has resulted in him achieving a series of career milestones. After claiming his maiden Masters 1000 title, Norrie has broken into the world’s top 20 for the first time this week and has overtaken Dan Evans to become British No.1.
Norrie credits Raducanu’s US Open run for inspiring him and believes her success is ‘huge for British tennis.’ The 18-year-old became the first qualifier in history to win a major title in New York as she won 10 matches in a row without dropping a set. Her victories include wins over top 20 players Belinda Bencic and Maria Sakkari.
“That was utterly incredible what she did in New York. To come through qualifying and then to go out and just whack every opponent that she had,” he told Sky Sports.
“She won in straight sets and to do that at such a young age. To do it with that kind of confidence and come out and own every match was extremely impressive.
“It will definitely give the girls around her ranking where she was before the US Open a lot of confidence and a lot of belief.
“I was inspired by her triumph in New York. It’s huge for British tennis. I think for sure it’s going to put a lot of rackets in hand for the next generation of younger boys and girls to start playing tennis at home in the UK.”
Norrie himself is currently in the midst of what has been a breakout season for the 26-year-old who was a former top-ranked player in the US during his college years. He ties Novak Djokovic for most appearances in a Tour final this season at six. Three of those finals were on a hardcourt, two on the clay and one on grass. He won his maiden Tour title in July at the Los Cabos Open. Norrie has also scored multiple wins over top 10 players this season for the first time in his career – beating Dominic Thiem in Lyon and Andrey Rublev in San Diego.
“I want to get to world No 1, that’s the ultimate goal. Everyone on my team has the same target. Clearly it’s extremely difficult to do, and there’s a long road ahead. But we set high expectations and we’re going to strive towards them.” Norrie told The Telegraph earlier this week.
Norrie enters the final stretch of the 2021 season with 47 match wins to his name and is within contention of qualifying for the ATP Finals. To put that into perspective, since its inception in 1970 only three British players has ever participated in the event.
Stefanos Tsitsipas leads the line-up at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna
Ann Li clinches her first WTA Tour title in Tenerife
Aslan Karatsev claims his second title this season at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow
Emma Raducanu looking to finish the season on a high note
Jannik Sinner Becomes Youngest Player Since Djokovic To Win Fifth ATP Title At European Open
REPORT: Unvaccinated Players Set To Be Banned From Playing Australian Open
Novak Djokovic Undecided Over Playing Australian Open, Slams Speculation Over His Vaccination Status
Roger Federer Says ‘Revolution’ Needed To Help Next Generation Of Tennis Players
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