US Open 2014 – Gael Monfils: “Suddenly he start to mix everything. You know, that's why he's the greatest player” - UBITENNIS
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US Open 2014 – Gael Monfils: “Suddenly he start to mix everything. You know, that's why he's the greatest player”

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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.

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Injured Rafael Nadal Ousts Fritz In Wimbledon Thriller

The world No.4 is through to the semi-finals but there are new doubts over his current health.

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Rafael Nadal has kept his chances of achieving a calendar slam alive by defeating American Taylor Fritz in a dramatic quarter-final match at Wimbledon where he struggled with injury. 

 

The second seed took a medical time out during the second set but continued to battle to a sensational 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6(10-4), win over Fritz. Two days ago Nadal was seen wearing tape on his abdomen but refused to go into details when asked by reporters. Although it was clear that this issue is ongoing with the Spaniard crouching over a couple of times after serving in pain. 

“The body is generally fine. Of course, in the abdominal area, something is not going well. I had to find a way to serve a little bit differently,” said Nadal. “I was thinking during a lot of moments that I would not be able to finish the match but the energy (of Center Court) was something else.”

In the roller-coaster encounter, 19 breaks of serves occurred throughout the marathon match. During the gut-busting 260-minute showdown Nadal saw plenty of chances come and go. In each of the first two sets, he had a break advantage before losing them. He also failed to maintain a break advantage in the decider before coming through in the tiebreak. Nevertheless, he managed to come out on top with the help of 5 aces and 55 winners. 

“I enjoy playing these kinds of matches in front of you guys (the crowd),” the Spaniard continued. 
“It has been a tough afternoon against a great player. All the credit to Taylor, he has been playing great the whole season.’
“From my side, it was not an easy match and I am happy to be in the semifinal.”

The triumph is a bitter pill for Fritz to swallow who was bidding to become the youngest American man to reach the last four at Wimbledon since 2005. Until now he had been on an eight-match winning streak.

As for Nadal, he is through to his eighth Wimbledon semi-final and 38th at a major event. He is now 8-0 when it comes to playing quarter-final matches at the tournament.

Amid concerns over the abdomen, Nadal now has only two days to recover in time for his blockbuster showdown against the formidable Nick Kyrgios who came through his match in straight sets against Cristian Garin. Nadal leads their head-to-head 6-3 and has won their two previous meetings at SW19.  

“I hope to be ready to play it,” he said of the semi-final.
“TNick is a great player on all surfaces, especially on the grass. He’s having a great grass-court season and it’s going to be a great challenge. I need to be one hundred percent.”

At the age of 36 Nadal is seeking to reach his first Wimbledon final since 2011.

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“I Thought The Ship Had Sailed’ – Nick Kyrgios Reaches Maiden Wimbledon Semis

The 27-year-old reacts to achieving a new milestone in his career.

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Nick Kyrgios (AUS) - Credit: AELTC/Jonathan Nackstrand

Nick Kyrgios has achieved his best-ever result at a Grand Slam tournament after beating Cristian Garin in straight sets in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon. 

 

Kyrgios, who was playing in the last eight of the tournament for the first time since 2014, rallied to a 6-4, 6-3, 7-5(5) win over his Chilean rival. Becoming the first player from his country to reach the last four of the men’s draw since Lleyton Hewitt did so back in 2005.  


”I felt I was playing on the back foot a lot. He’s a hell of a player,” Kyrgios said afterward. “He’s obviously very confident. Hell of a tournament for him to make the quarter-finals. I got lucky on a couple of break points here and there. It could have been him standing here (giving the winner’s interview).”

In what was a largely controlled match from Kyrgios, he produced a total of 17 aces alongside 35 winners against 29 unforced errors. There were the occasional outbursts and criticism of the lines officials but it was by nowhere as controversial as his previous encounters against Stefanos Tsitspas in the third round and Paul Jubb in the first.

The breakthrough comes during what has been a turbulent career. Kyrgios has been a player involved in many controversies and was at one stage issued with a suspended ban from the Tour due to unsportsmanlike conduct. However, his talent was never doubted but many were unsure if he could be consistent enough to have a deep run at a major event. He once was at a pub until 4 am on the same day he was due to play Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon.

“It was an amazing atmosphere out here (on court one). I never thought I will be in the semifinal of a grand slam. I thought my ship had sailed.” He admits. 
“I didn’t go about things earlier in my career great and I may have wasted (time).’
‘I’m really proud of the way I’ve come back out here with my team and with that performance.”

As one of the few top 100 players who travel without a coach, Kyrgios paid tribute to those around him. 

“I don’t have a coach I would never put that burden on someone,” he jokes.
“Each and every one of my team plays an important role. I feel like nobody knows my tennis better than I do. I’ve been playing this sport since I was seven and to be in the semi-final of a slam I am pretty happy.”  

Kyrgios is the lowest-ranked Wimbledon semi-finalist since 2008.

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Novak Djokovic Survives Almighty Sinner Scare to Reach Wimbledon Semis

The dramatic encounter featured a fight back, multiple breaks of serve and even an injury scare.

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Reigning champion Novak Djokovic staged an epic comeback to keep his hopes of winning a seventh Wimbledon title alive after ousting Jannik Sinner in a five-set thriller.

 


Djokovic, who only dropped six games against Sinner in their previous Tour meeting, was forced to battle back from two sets down to prevail 5-7, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2, in a roller-coaster encounter on Center Court. The triumph marks Djokovic’s 84th win at the tournament which is the joint-second highest tally in history alongside Jimmy Connors. Only Roger Federer has won more.

“Huge congratulations to Jannik today for a big fight. I’m sure that there are going to be a lot of opportunities for him on the big stage. He’s mature for his age and is already an established top 15 player over the last few years,” said Djokovic.
“He was unfortunate today but he has plenty of time.”

Taking on one of the most promising future prospects of men’s tennis, Djokovic’s latest encounter was a match of two halves. Initially, he appeared as if he would suffer a shock loss to world No.13 before he managed to conjure up an emphatic comeback. Breaking Sinner’s spirit who was bidding to become only the third Italian man to reach a Wimbledon semi-final in history.

“We had two different matches. He was the better player for two sets. (Then) I went out for a toilet break, had a little pep talk (with myself) in the mirror,” the 20-time major winner revealed.
“Sometimes in these circumstances where not much is happening positively for you on the court in terms of tennis. These things are necessary – a little break and pep talk to try to recuperate.’
“I was fortunate to start well in the third set by breaking his serve and that gave me the confidence boost. I saw a bit of doubt in his game and my experience of these kinds of matches helped me.”

The first set was a roller-coaster encounter between the two tennis titans on Center Court. Reigning champion Djokovic started out guns blazing by winning seven points in a row before Sinner got onto the scoreboard after prevailing in a 17-shot rally. The top seed looked to be in full control until a double fault on break point enabled his rival to bounce back. Continuing to play some inspired tennis with blistering shot-making, a cross-court winner enabled the Italian to break once again and this time had the chance to serve the opener out. A task he passed with flying colors.

Continuing to take his game to Djokovic, Sinner appeared unfazed about trying to become the youngest men’s semi-finalist at SW19 since 2007. Producing powerful hitting from the baseline, the 20-year-old extended his lead two games into the second frame. A stunning backhand volley followed by a Djokovic error elevated him to a 2-1 advantage. Spurred on by the crowd, the unprecedented onslaught continued with the help of some costly errors from the Serbian. He sealed the double break with the help of a successful Hawk-Eye challenge before securing a two-set lead in his favor with the help of a 122mph service.

Facing a swift exit, Djokovic once again illustrated the fighting spirit that he is renowned for. Capitalizing on a blip in form from Sinner, he cruised through the third set to resurrect his chances. 

Steaming rolling his way into a decider, Djokovic continued his dominance during the fourth frame by winning four straight games. However, closing that set out was full of drama. First, Sinner suffered an injury scare after going over his ankle before continuing. Then Djokovic fended off a break point and squandered two set points before closing it out. 

A stunning sliding passing shot in the decider set Djokovic up with a chance to break and move to a game away from victory. Something he did with the help of a Sinner error which the Italian instantly regretted by putting both his hands on his head. After that mishit, Djokovic ended the clash with a love service game. 

“I’ve been blessed to play professional tennis for 20 years but nevertheless I go through those doubtful moments like everybody else. The inner fight is always the biggest fight. Once you win the fight the external circumstance is more likely to go in your favor. I knew I could turn this match around. I have done that a few times in grand slams.” Djokovic concluded.


 

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