US Open 2014 – Kei Nishikori: “I didn't expect nothing coming here. Yeah, there is so many positive things for sure” - UBITENNIS
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US Open 2014 – Kei Nishikori: “I didn't expect nothing coming here. Yeah, there is so many positive things for sure”

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TENNIS US OPEN – 8th of September 2014. M. Cilic d. K. Nishikori 6-3, 6-3, 6-3. An interview with Kei Nishikori

 

Q. Obviously disappointment for tonight, but when you look at the run you have had, the matches against Raonic, Stan, Novak, I mean, making a Grand Slam final, can you also be happy tonight? I know it’s disappointing, but can you take a lot of satisfaction on what you have accomplished in this two-week period?

KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah, for sure. There is a lot of things, positive things, that I learned from these two weeks. Yeah, it was one of worst match I played today, but also he was very aggressive and very fast. You know, I was, I have to say, a little bit nervous. A little bit, you know. First final. I mean, even semis. But very excited these two weeks. You know, I didn’t expect nothing coming here. Before I was, you know, injured and little practice. Yeah, there is so many positive things for sure that I can have from these two weeks beating Stan and, you know, Novak again. You know, disappointed of course today, but very good two weeks.

Q. What have you learned? You said you learned several things. What have you learned about your potential, your possibilities in Grand Slam tournaments, moving forward?

KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah, first of all, I think play, you know, long three matches. You know, play two five sets and another three hours, two hours, against Novak. And now I’m here with, you know — my body is heavy still, but I can able to play. I don’t think few years ago didn’t happen like this. I think I showed, you know, my potential I can beat anybody now. So if I can keep train hard and, you know, also practice hard, I think I have more chance coming up.

Q. Do you think that the really long matches you had caught up with you a little bit today?

KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah. I mean, I guess. It’s not always easy to play two five sets and coming here final. But, I mean, hopefully next time I don’t have to play a lot of five sets. But still, you know, I beat top 5 guys. Milos is almost top 5. It’s a great feeling after beating those guys.

Q. Third set you seemed to have some chances in the later games, couple break points. Nervousness? Something about the way he served? What happened there?

KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah, I got a little bit lazy in the third set. But, I don’t know, still there was so many unforced errors that I usually don’t have. It was windy. I mean, it was tough to play both of us. But he served great and very aggressive, you know, both forehand, backhand. Really tough to get confidence from today’s match.

Q. Have you spoken to Michael? If so, what did he share with you?

KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah. You know, we all disappointed for today. But he also, you know, congrats me because, you know, I didn’t have enough practice and nobody — I guess nobody was expecting to coming to the final. And even me also, you know, when the tournament starts. Yeah, he tell me, you know, Keep working hard, you know, like this. Like I said, you know, there are so many things, so many positive things you can get from these two weeks. Yeah, try to, you know, working hard and try to concentrate again for next tournament.

Q. Were you aware Tanaka of the Yankees came to support you? Do you know him at all? Are you a fan of his in baseball?

KEI NISHIKORI: I didn’t know. Yeah, I know he’s been doing great here. You know, very good to see, you know, Japanese doing well outside of Japan. Yeah, really want to thanks to his team, you know, to come and cheer for me.

Q. Years from now, what do you think you’ll remember most from your experience during these two weeks?

KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah, for sure the experience will help. You know, I was a little bit tight and nervous, you know, playing first final. But, you know, to get, you know, this experience gonna help for this season and next season, too. Hopefully I can make Masters this year. That’s gonna be my next goal.

Q. What do you enjoy most that you’ll remember from being here?

KEI NISHIKORI: I mean, you know, beating top guys this week. It’s always fun to play here. A lot of people, you know, very loud. It’s always exciting to play here.

Q. Naturally a lot has been made about the fact that this is the first Grand Slam final without Rafa, Roger, Novak, or Andy Murray, that this may be a changing of the guard, the fact that you guys beat two of these players. You know, do you see it that way, what you and Marin have been able to accomplish? Do you really see this as sort of a changing of the guard, in a way? How much hope and belief does it give not only you, but players like yourself who are working hard and wanting to get maybe those Grand Slam titles themselves?

KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah, I think it’s bring good news for the tennis. A lot of young guys are coming up. Dimitrov, Raonic did semis in Wimbledon. I think it’s great for the tennis. For me, I’m not that young anymore, so I have to — I put my pressure on myself, you know, to do well. For me, I didn’t do well in Grand Slam this couple years. You know, never make semis or quarters. So that was the goal for this year, to make semis. So even high, and I did it this year. Yeah, for sure it’s going to be a lot of changes for this couple months. Cilic and, I don’t know, Del Potro is not here, but he’s still top player. I hope I see more changes, and I hope I can make more good results.

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Diego Schwartzman Receives Threats On Social Media Following Shock Davis Cup Defeat

The world No.15 is the latest player to speak out about recieving abusive messages on social media.

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The weekend has been an emotional rollercoaster for Diego Schwartzman, who suffered ‘one of the worst’ losses of his career before helping secure victory for his country in their Davis Cup tie against Belarus.

 

On Saturday the world No.15 was stunned by unranked 18-year-old Daniil Ostapenkov who is yet to play a professional match on the pro Tour. Ostapenkov is currently ranked 63 in the world on the junior circuit. The comprehensive victory shocked the Argentinian team who was hosting the tie at the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club.

Despite the shock upset, Schwartman managed to redeem himself the following day when he defeated Alexander Zgirovsky 6-1, 6-2. That victory handed his country an unassailable 3-1 lead in their tie and secured their place in the 2022 Davis Cup qualifiers which will take place next March.

Not only playing Davis, but in Buenos Aires, with a lot of people you don’t see, it’s not easy. My level can be and has to be much better. After the game on Saturday I had a difficult day in the spirit of being able to get up and enjoy with the group,” La Nacion quoted Schwartzman as saying.
“The most normal thing was that we won the series. It’s what everyone expected. But when you have a very difficult day at work like it was on Saturday and then you win, it excites you because you have some internal things withheld.”

Between those two matches, Schwartzman revealed that he was trolled on social media by some people unhappy about his loss in the tie. The 2020 French Open semi-finalist said he received criticism and even threats from some asking him to leave his home country. Something he admits affected him at times.

“It was one of the worst days of my career,” Schwartzman commented on his loss to Zgirovsky. “I lost to an unranked, inexperienced player. All that already affects (me) a lot. Although 80 or 90 percent of the people are always encouraging (me), there was a minority who criticized me with bad intentions.’
“I received threats, insults and requests not to return to Argentina. More or less, it affects (me)”.

Schwartzman is not the first player to speak out about online abuse. During the US Open Shelby Rogers said she was expecting to receive ‘death threats’ following her loss to Emma Raducanu who went on to win the title. Sloane Stephens has also previously spoken out about being the victim of racism online.

The 29-year-old says he has previously tried to interact with those who have trolled him on social media to find out why they are doing so.

Sometimes I start to answer some messages and I ask those people if they realize what they are sending,” Schwartzman said during his press conference. “The vast majority apologize and say they had not realized it. But at the moment it hurts. That very ill-intentioned criticism is the only bad thing about social networks.”

Schwartzman has won four ATP titles and earned more than $10M in prize money so far in his career.

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Spanish Veteran Feliciano Lopez Addresses Future On The Tour

23 years after he played his first main draw match on the ATP Tour, Lopez says his longevity in the sport has been achieved with the help of of some luck.

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Feliciano Lopez of Spain is pictured during the semi-final of ATP Fever-Tree Championships tennis tournament at Queen's Club in west London on June 20, 2019.

Feliciano Lopez has dismissed any speculation that he could retire in the coming weeks after saying he is taking life on the Tour in his stride.

 

The 39-year-old Spaniard is currently the second oldest player in the world’s top 200 after Roger Federer, who is a year older than him. Lopez made his ATP Tour debut at the 1998 Barcelona Open which was before the birth of Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz. In June he became the 10th active player to record his 500th win on the Tour.

Currently ranked 111th in the world, some are starting to wonder how much longer Lopez will continue playing. So far this season he has achieved a win-loss record of 9-19 with his best performance being a run to the quarter-finals of the Mallorca Open which was held on the grass. It was in Mallorca where he defeated Karen Khachanov who is the only top 30 player he has beaten so far in 2021.

I play year-by-year, the last 6-7 years have been like this, a tennis player at that age cannot think about extending his career. After turning 30 I have been lucky, I have obtained the best results of my career,” Lopez told reporters on Friday.
It is not very common for players my age, at (almost) 40 years to continue playing in the best tournaments.” He added.

Throughout his career, Lopez has impressively played in a record 78 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments dating back to the 2002 French Open. During that period he has reached the quarter-finals of a major tournament on four occasions.

“I don’t play to break records, what makes me most excited is to continue playing Grand Slams. For me, maintaining that record (78 consecutive Grand Slams played) is very nice, but more to follow. Being competitive,” he commented on the milestone.
“It is difficult for someone to overcome it because it is 20 years in a row without missing a great one. I have had continuity and enormous luck. Those of my generation are practically all retired.”

Away from the court, the former world No.12 is the current tournament director of the Madrid Open. Making him one of a few players historically to both be playing on the Tour and managing a tournament at the same time. Recently it was confirmed that Madrid will continue hosting it’s combined event until at least 2030 following a renewed agreement between the city council and the Madrid trophy promotion.

Lopez has won a total of seven ATP titles so far in his career and has earned more than $18M in prize money.

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ATP Moves Closer To Staging Five More 12-Day Masters 1000 Events After Board Approval

Changes are coming to the men’s Tour which includes a brand new ‘profit-sharing formular’ for players.

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Masters tournaments in North America, Europe and Asia are set to be expanded over the coming months after the ATP Board recently approved some ‘key aspects’ of their strategic plan.

 

In a letter issued to players, ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi said an agreement has been reached concerning a variety of topics, which include the expansion of various Masters 1000 events. It is understood that the plan is for Rome, Madrid, Canada, Cincinnati and Shanghai to be increased to 12-day events instead of just one week. Putting them more in line with Indian Wells and Miami. Tennis.com reports that under the new structure, ATP 250 events will also take place during the second week of those tournaments and they could receive a subsidy from the ATP Tour, provided by extra fees paid by the Masters tournaments.

Masters 1000 events are the third highest-ranked category events in men’s tennis after Grand Slams and the ATP Finals in terms of prize money and ranking points on offer. The series was first introduced back in 1990 but it wasn’t until 2009 that the name ‘Masters 1000’ was born. The number represents how many ranking points the winner receives.

Besides the proposed changes to the Masters series, the Board has also given a green light to “a new Profit-Sharing formula” and “long-term prize money levels.” The prize money increase is reportedly said to be 2.5 percent of a base level, plus a bonus pool with a 50 percent share of the collective profit of the Masters events.

“This represents significant progress for our sport and the way our player and tournament members operate under the equal partnership of the ATP Tour. It is only through the spirit of this partnership, transparency, and alignment of interests that we can truly maximise your potential and switch our focus to the competition we face in the border sports and entertainment landscape,” Gaudenzi wrote in his letter to players.

Part of the plan also include making changes to ATP Media, who are in charge of broadcasting the events. At present it is currently jointly owned by the Tour and each of the Masters 1000 events. However, in the future it has been proposed that those tournaments trade in their ownership rights for shares in ATP media. Exact details about this process have not been publicly disclosed and it is unclear if all of the tournaments would agree to such a move.

The ATP also wants to create a ‘Tennis Data Innovations’ which will be an independent entity.

All of these proposed changes are still subject to further agreement around additional matters. The ATP have been working on details of their strategic plan for the past 18 months.

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