Milos Raonic - 11th of November 2014 - UBITENNIS
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Milos Raonic – 11th of November 2014

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TENNIS ATP FINALS 2014 – Andy Murray d. Milos Raonic 6-3, 7-5. Group B

Q. Are you good in mathematics? Do you know you still can qualify? Do you know what you need to do in order to qualify?

MILOS RAONIC: There’s a slim possibility. I have to win the next match in straight sets. I’m not going to start counting games now.

Q. Your first serve percentage against Roger was low. Today was about 50%. Something you can put your finger on why playing indoors? Is it the pressure of facing Roger and Andy back to back?

MILOS RAONIC: No. To be frank, my first serve percentage at this moment, at least today, shouldn’t have been above 40%. I started hitting serves 115 miles an hour to get it past 50%.

Whatever the reason is, I have 24 hours to solve it, and I’m going to need to if I want to have any hope. There’s no way around that. It’s something I got to do.

Q. Overall what do you think has been not working for you at this tournament?

MILOS RAONIC: Haven’t served well. I’ve been too passive on the court. I’ve been trying to beat the two guys playing their tennis, and that’s not going to work for me.

Q. You said you played the two matches with the tactics of your opponents. How do you think you need to play your next match if it’s to reflect your game?

MILOS RAONIC: I have to be more aggressive. I have to go for more rather than just play relatively down the middle.

I’m getting short balls, but I’m developing them if I go hard down the middle. I’m not stretching my opponents most of the time. I don’t know exactly what the stats are, but I’m sure I have a terrible minus record unforced errors to winners at this moment. That’s not how I’m going to give myself a possibility to win.

Q. In the last game you hit a couple really fantastic shots and a couple real clunkers. That must be frustrating for you. Do you have any explanation or is it that you’re going for it?

MILOS RAONIC: I had to go for it. There was no time to lose. I had my back up against the wall. I had to sort of put all my cards down and go and play.

There was too much up and down. It was poor of me to lose that 1 All, my serve, being 40 Love up. After that point I started going for it. I created a few Love 30 possibilities doing that. I just didn’t make the most of them.

Q. For yourself, along with Kei and Marin, this is a whole new experience, playing the season ending championship. I think Kei is the only one who scored one win. How much does that have a bearing on the way you’ve approached this or the way you’re playing?

MILOS RAONIC: You go out there and you treat every match like it’s a single elimination tournament. There’s no other way to do it. If you go out there hoping that, okay, you can lose a match and maybe still get through, things can only go poorly from there on.

So obviously I think if I can put myself in this situation again, I hope I can do better. But I don’t think that’s been nearly as much of an issue as the way I’ve executed my game and the way I’ve stepped up to play.

Q. Intrinsically the speed of the court would be the same. How does the huge area around the court play with the speed? At the French Open, people say that center court plays slower because the area around the court is so big. Is that a factor?

MILOS RAONIC: I think it’s a visual factor. I don’t think it really makes a difference on numbers. When you sort of have more of a space to work with, you never feel like you’re sort of pressed up against the court and so forth. Just visual and optic space, you feel like there is more space, you feel there is more time.

In Paris you feel you can go further back if need be, buy yourself time that way. Whereas if you’re playing on Court 7 or any other court in Paris, you feel like you have to sort of stay up closer. Obviously the further back you are, naturally you have more time ’cause the ball’s got to travel a longer distance.

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Wrist Injury Threatening To End Holger Rune’s Olympic Dream

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Holger Rune will have a second medical opinion on Monday before deciding if he is fit enough to play at the Olympic Games, according to his team. 

The Danish world No.17 recently retired from his quarter-final match at the Hamburg Open due to a knee injury. The hope at the time was that his withdrawal would be just a precautionary measure ahead of the Olympics. However, he is also dealing with a second issue that appears to be more serious.

According to TV 2 Sport, Rune has been struggling with a wrist issue and underwent a scan on Sunday which his mother Aneke says ‘doesn’t look promising.’ Aneke is also the manager of her son’s career. Rune’s Olympic dreams now rest on the outcome of a second medical expert that he will visit tomorrow who has a better understanding of the sport. 

“Unfortunately, it does not look promising after the first medical opinion after the review of the scan of the wrist,” Aneke Rune told TV 2 Sport.

“We are waiting for two tennis-specific doctors who will give a second opinion tomorrow (Monday). Tennis wrists look different from regular wrists, so we’ll hold out hope for one more day.” 

Rune is one of three Danish players entered into the Olympic tennis event along with Caroline Wozniacki and Clara Tauson. The country has only won one medal in tennis before which was at the 1912 Games when Sofie Castenschiold won silver in the women’s indoor singles event. 

So far this season, the 21-year-old has won 27 matches on the Tour but is yet to claim a title. He reached the final of the Brisbane International and then the semi-finals of three more events. In the Grand Slams, he made it to the fourth round of the French Open and Wimbledon. 

It is not known when a final decision regarding Rune’s participation in Paris will be made.

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Hubert Hurkacz Undergoes ‘Knee Procedure’ Ahead of Olympic Bid

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Poland’s top player on the ATP Tour is not giving up on his dream of winning a medal at the Olympic Games despite recently undergoing a medical procedure.

World No.7 Hubert Hurkacz suffered a knee injury during his second round clash at Wimbledon against France’s Arthur Fils. In the fourth set tiebreak of their clash, Hurkacz dived for a shot but landed badly on his knee and required on-court medical attention. He then played two more points before retiring from the match. 

In a social media post published on Wednesday, the  27-year-old confirmed he underwent a procedure on his knee earlier this week but didn’t provide any further details.  Although Hurkacz has stated his intention to play at the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris, where the tennis event will be held on the clay at Roland Garros. 

“I had a knee procedure this Monday, but I’m feeling better already and my team and are dedicating extensive time each day to the rehab process.” He wrote on Instagram. 

“It’s a dream for every athlete to represent their country at the Olympics, and I want to make sure I am fully fit and ready before making the final decision to step on court. The aim is not only to participate, but to win a medal for my country.”

So far this season Hurkacz has won 34 out of 48 matches played on the Tour. He won the Estoril Open in April and was runner-up to Jannik Sinner in Halle. 

The Olympic tennis event is scheduled to begin a week Saturday on July 27th. Poland is yet to win a medal in the event but expectations are high with women’s No.1 Iga Swiatek also taking part. 

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Motivation, Pressure And Expectations – Novak Djokovic Targets History At Wimbledon

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image via x.com/wimbledon

Novak Djokovic has broken numerous records throughout his career but he still feels the pressure of trying to make history in the sport. 

The world No.2 is through to his 10th Wimbledon final where he will play Carlos Alcaraz, who beat him at this stage of the tournament 12 months ago. There is plenty on the line for the Serbian who could equal Roger Federer’s record for most men’s titles won at SW19 and break the overall record for most major singles won in the sport if he triumphs over the Spaniard. Djokovic currently has 24 Grand Slam trophies to his name which is the same as Margaret Court, who won some of her titles before the Open Era started. 

“Obviously I’m aware that Roger [Federer] holds eight Wimbledons. I hold seven. History is on the line.” Djokovic said on Friday after beating Lorenzo Musetti.

“Also, the 25th potential Grand Slam. Of course, it serves as a great motivation, but at the same time it’s also a lot of pressure and expectations.”

Coming into Wimbledon, there had been doubts over Djokovic’s form after he underwent surgery to treat a knee injury he suffered at the French Open. However, he has defied the odds to reach the final. His run has also seen him beat Alexi Popyrin and Holger Rune before getting a walkover in the quarter-finals from Alex de Minaur, who sustained an injury during the tournament. Then on Friday, he overcame a spirited Musetti in three sets. 

Despite the challenge, Djokovic has insisted that his expectations to do well are always high no matter what the situation is. During what has been a roller-coaster first six months of the season, he is yet to win a title this year or beat a player currently ranked in the top 10. Although he will achieve both of these if her beats Alcaraz on Sunday. 

“Every time I step out on the court now, even though I’m 37 and competing with the 21-year-olds, I still expect myself to win most of the matches, and people expect me to win, whatever, 99% of the matches that I play.” He said.

“I always have to come out on the court and perform my best in order to still be at the level with Carlos [Alcaraz] or Jannik [Sinner] or Sascha [Zverev] or any of those guys, Daniil [Medvedev]. 

“This year hasn’t been that successful for me. It’s probably the weakest results the first six months I’ve had in many years. That’s okay. I had to adapt and accept that and really try to find also way out from the injury that I had and kind of regroup.”

Djokovic hopes that a Wimbledon win will help turn his season around like it has done in the past for him. 

“Wimbledon historically there’s been seasons where I wasn’t maybe playing at a desired level, but then I would win a Wimbledon title and then things would change.” He commented.

“For example, that was the case in 2018 when I had elbow surgery earlier in the year, dropped my rankings out of top 20, losing in fourth round of Australian Open, I think it was quarters of Roland-Garros, and just not playing the tennis that I want to play. Then I won Wimbledon and then won US Open and then later on became No.1 very soon.”

Meanwhile, 21-year-old Alcaraz is hoping to stop Djokovic in his tracks. Should he defend his title at Wimbledon, he would become the first player outside the Big Three to do so since Pete Sampras more than 20 years ago. He has won their only previous meeting on the grass but trails their head-to-head 3-2. 

“I’m sure he knows what he has to do to beat me,” said Alcaraz.

“But I’m ready to take that challenge and I’m ready to do it well.”

When the two players take to the court to play in the Wimbledon final, Djokovic will be 15 years and 348 days older than Alcaraz. Making it the largest age gap in a men’s Grand Slam final since the 1974 US Open. Whoever is victorious will receive £2,700,000 in prize money. 

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