Stan Wawrinka - 10th of November 2014 - UBITENNIS
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Stan Wawrinka – 10th of November 2014

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TENNIS ATP FINALS 2014 – Stan Wawrinka d. Tomas Berdych 6-1, 6-1. Group A

Q. Did you expect to produce that sort of performance today?

STAN WAWRINKA: I didn’t expect to win that easy in the score, for sure. But I was ready to play well. I did a great week of preparation. I did work really, really hard since few weeks with Magnus. Even if the result wasn’t there in Basel and Paris, I was feeling the ball really well at the practice court.

No, today at the start of the match was really important. That change completely the match after.

Q. It’s one against one. Obviously he didn’t have his best day, you had a good day. Is it possible for you to say which was more? Were you playing a particularly good match or did you get the sense he was there for the taking?

STAN WAWRINKA: It’s tough to say, but I think I did play a really good match. And since the beginning, I start really well on my serve. If you look, the second game, I had two time just a return and then I had one backhand and I put him directly under pressure.

At that moment he saw that I was taking the ball really early, seeing the ball really well, I was always putting him under pressure. He couldn’t really do anything except taking risk, and I was returning everything.

I’m just looking the match in general. If he play good or bad, doesn’t matter for me. I’m happy with my performance. I’m happy the way I was playing. Serving really well. Returning almost everything. It seems it’s not usual. And, yeah, feeling good on the court.

Q. You have the best record on tour against the top 10 this year, you’re 7 1. Against everyone else, you win two thirds of the time. You’re winning more against the top 10. Why is that?

STAN WAWRINKA: I had, what, six win against top 10 in the first three months of the year, then I never played them again because I lose early in the tournament, so it was a tough six months after (smiling).

Yeah, I think I show from the beginning of the year, already from last year, that my level is there. When I feel good on the court, I’m ready to beat everybody. It’s never easy, but you have to fight for it.

Normally when you play the top 10 guys, you are in the quarters or semifinals of a tournament. So the confidence is there. I’m feeling great mentally. That’s maybe one of the reason.

Q. When you and Roger won the Olympic gold medal, do you feel that changed the perception of you in Switzerland? Do you feel if you’re able to win, it will have the same effect, changing how you’re viewed?

STAN WAWRINKA: Yeah, it was a long time ago. But for sure it was big in Switzerland. It was really big for me, because I was young. Even if I was top 10 at that time, it was my first big year on the tour.

To win the Olympic, it’s something really important because it’s not only about tennis, it’s about representing your country, about sportsfans in general watching you. So it was really big at that time.

For this year, for sure, if we can win Davis Cup, it’s going to be huge. But we’ll see if we do it.

Q. You obviously know Roger as well as anybody probably on the tour. If he does do well here, are you entirely confident that at 33, he’s going to have the legs still to perform right to the end of what’s already been a pretty long, hard season for him?

STAN WAWRINKA: Yeah, on that person, sure, unless he’s injured. I think that week it’s not that bad. You play one match every two days. It start yesterday. Doesn’t matter what he’s doing, he’s going to have a day off before the semifinal.

So if you look the week, it’s not a hard week. Then you have five days to come on clay. He’s the best player ever to adapt his game on the different surface. It took him maybe like one hour or one day maximum to change the surface.

I’m sure he can take few days off and find a way how to play well on clay. But then doesn’t mean he’s going to win the two singles in Davis Cup because you play against Monfils, again Tsonga, against Gasquet. Those guys are really good on tennis.

But I’m sure physically he’s going to be ready for trying to win here and trying to win the Davis Cup.

Q. What is your relationship with Tomas Berdych? How well do you get along? How do you see him as a player or a person?

STAN WAWRINKA: We are not close friend. We don’t spend so much time. But we good friend, like we practice a lot together, especially I think the last two years we are doing a lot of practice together.

Always have fun on the practice court. I think he’s an amazing player. Fifth time he qualified for the Masters end of year. It’s quite impressive. He had the win Paris Bercy. He make some final, semifinal Grand Slam. He’s there since many years. It’s quite impressive.

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Daniil Medvedev Targets French Open Breakthrough After Rome Disappointment

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Credit Francesca Micheli/Ubitennis

Daniil Medvedev believes there will be more title contenders at the French Open than previous editions with the Russian hoping to be one of them. 

The world No.4 heads into the Grand Slam after what has been a mixed clay swing. Medvedev suffered a third round defeat in Monte Carlo before bouncing back in Madrid where he reached the quarter-finals before retiring from his match with a minor injury. Meanwhile, at this week’s Italian Open, his title defence came to an end in the fourth round on Tuesday when he fell 6-1, 6-4, to Tommy Paul. 

“Mentally I had to be much better,” Medvedev said of his latest performance.
“I started to calm myself down and focus on the match only at the end of the match, and it was too late. I had to do better. I was expecting myself to play better.’
“It’s disappointing, but that’s how sport is. You lose and you go for the next tournament, which is a pretty important one.” He added. 

28-year-old Medvedev recently stated that he is seeing improvements in his game when it comes to playing on the clay. A surface which he has struggled on during stages of his career. Out of the 38 ATP Finals he has contested, only two of those were on the clay. Barcelona in 2019 when he finished runner-up and Rome last year which he won. 

As for the French Open, he has lost in the first round on five out of seven appearances. But did reach the quarter-finals in 2021 and the last 16 the following year. So could 2024 be his year?

“Now it’s maybe a little bit more open than it was ever before,” he said of this year’s event. 
“Good for me, too, because usually in Roland Garros I don’t play that well. The more open it is, the better it is for me.”

All of the top three players on the men’s tour are currently experiencing problems. Novak Djokovic crashed out of the Italian Open and recently underwent a medical assessment after getting hit in the head by a bottle in a freak accident. Jannik Sinner is reportedly on the verge of withdrawing from the French Open due to a hip issue and Carlos Alcaraz has been hindered by a forearm injury in recent weeks. 

“I’m feeling much better on clay,” Medvedev commented. “What is tough for me on clay sometimes is getting used to conditions. Every court – in every tournament in the world – is a bit different.
“On hard courts it’s the same: every court is different. On hard courts I have this ability to kind of quite fast get used to it. On clay, I need more time.”

Medvedev aims to become only the second Russian man in history to win the French Open after Yevgeny Kafelnikov in 1996. The tournament will begin a week on Sunday. 

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Stefanos Tsitsipas Says Expanded Masters Events ‘Playing A Massive Role’ In Player Injuries

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Credit Francesca Micheli/Ubitennis

Stefanos Tsitsipas has slammed the decision to extend the length of Masters 1000 tournaments to two weeks by warning that more injuries could occur in the future as a result. 

This week’s Rome Masters is taking place without two out of the world’s top three players. Jannik Sinner pulled out of his home event due to a hip injury and Carlos Alcaraz has been troubled by a forearm issue in recent weeks. Other players missing from the draw include Tomas Machac (Illness), Ugo Humbert (Left Knee) and Stan Wawrinka (Right Wrist). 

The tournament is taking place immediately after the Madrid Open which is also a Masters event that has been expanded to a two-week format in recent years. Supporters of the move argue that a bigger draw provides lower-ranked players with more opportunities to play in these events whilst others will have a day off between matches. 

However, world No.8 Tsitsipas isn’t completely happy with the schedule which he openly criticised on Monday following his 6-2, 7-6(1), win over Cameron Norrie. The Greek has won 12 out of 14 matches played on clay so far this season. 

“It’s a type of thing that hurt the sport a little bit, to have these types of things happen to the highest of the players,” Tsitsipas commented on his rival’s injuries.
“Without them, the show is not kind of the same. You have obviously the guys behind them (in the rankings). These kinds of tournaments deserve names like this to be playing and have the opportunity to play in front of these big stadiums and crowds.
“I’ve spoken about the fact that the schedule has a big toll on our bodies. It starts from the mental side, and it follows to the physical side. The extension of the days in the Masters 1000s I think plays a massive role and contributes a lot to the fact that these players are getting injured.”

The ATP’s extended format is set to be applied to seven out of the nine Masters 1000 tournaments from 2025. The only two yet to make or plan for such changes are Monte Carlo and Paris. However, Tsitsipas has called for changes to be made to the schedule.

“It was perhaps already a lot the way it was before with the seven-day events. Adding more days to that, well, you got to be some type of superhero to be consistent back-to-back 10 days in each event getting to the very end of it.” He commented.
“It’s not a very easy thing to do. Some people need to try it first to get an understanding and how it is to pull that off. Then they should make decisions based on that.
“I think this is not going to be the first time we see these types of things (player injuries). If these types of things continue with the same schedule not being adjusted or customized to the needs of the players, we might see more of these things occur in the future.”

It is not the first time a player has raised concerns about the extended format. Alexander Zverev previously said that the schedule is a disadvantage for the top players. Meanwhile, on the women’s Tour Caroline Garcia has criticised the move to expand WTA 1000 tournaments whilst Maria Sakkari said achieving the Madrid-Rome double has become harder to do

On the other hand, Daniil Medvedev has spoken in favour of the new format and describes injuries on the Tour as ‘part of the sport.’ The former US Open believes the issue is related to the quick surface changes players face and not the duration of tournaments. 

Tsitsipas will play Alex de Minaur in the fourth round of the Italian Open on Tuesday. 

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Novak Djokovic To Undergo Medical Check After Rome Thrashing, Bottle Incident

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Novak Djokovic – ATP Roma 2024 (foto: Francesca Micheli/Ubitennis)

Novak Djokovic has indicated that he will speak to doctors following his lacklustre performance at the Italian Open where he crashed out in straight sets. 

The five-time champion was far from his best against Chile’s Alejandro Tabilo as he struggled to generate any rhythm in his tennis or a single break point opportunity. Djokovic’s below-par performance caught many off guard, including the tennis player himself who admitted afterwards that he was ‘completely off’ his game. 

Trying to find the reason behind his latest performance, the world No.1 isn’t ruling out the possibility that it might be linked to an incident that took place at the tournament two days ago. Following his win over France’s Corentin Moutet, Djokovic suffered a blow to his head after a fan accidentally dropped a metal bottle from the stands. Immediately afterwards, he experienced nausea, dizziness and bleeding for up to an hour but was checked by medical officials.

“I don’t know, to be honest. I have to check that.” Djokovic replied when asked if the incident affected his form on Sunday.
“Training was different. I was going for kind of easy training yesterday. I didn’t feel anything, but I also didn’t feel the same.
“Today under high stress, it was quite bad – not in terms of pain, but in terms of this balance. Just no coordination. Completely different player from what it was two nights ago.
“It could be. I don’t know. I have to do medical checkups and see what’s going on. “

The tennis star said he managed to sleep fine after his head blow but did experience headaches. He looked to be in good spirits the day after it happened and even turned up to practice in Rome wearing a safety helmet.

Djokovic’s concerns come two weeks before the start of the French Open where he is seeking a record 25th Major title. He will undoubtedly be one of the contenders for glory but admits there is a lot of work that needs to be done in the coming days. 

“Everything needs to be better in order for me to have at least a chance to win it,” he said.
“The way I felt on the court today was just completely like a different player entered into my shoes. Just no rhythm, no tempo, and no balance whatsoever on any shot.
“It’s a bit concerning.”

The French Open will begin on Sunday 26th May. 

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