Tomas Berdych - 10th of November 2014 - UBITENNIS
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Tomas Berdych – 10th of November 2014

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

Q. How much of that is just a bad matchup for you? What about your general level of play today?

TOMAS BERDYCH: Well, unfortunately it was my worst match of the whole season, and I kept it for the start here in the World Tour Finals. So that’s not the best one at the start.

But, yeah, there are days like that. Now it’s over of that. Really, I mean, it’s just matter of, you know, looking forward, trying to find a way for next few days. Just try to leave this somewhere very far and try to come up with some better tennis.

Q. How much of it is just your own mental state of mind, late in the season, tired, mentally, physically? What’s going on?

TOMAS BERDYCH: No, there are some things that, you know, you can judge it from. But I felt really good. It’s not the way of, you know, being tired, even physically or mentally. That’s definitely not an issue. We have enough time between the last tournament in Paris coming here. So really this is not the problem.

This is just a bad day. That’s how it is.

Q. You lost the first four games very quickly today, like 15 minutes. How surprised were you at that start? Did you feel you were starting to panic? Did you try to work your way out of it?

TOMAS BERDYCH: Well, doesn’t look like, but I was trying to find something, some way how    not even find a way how to get from it, but find a way how to feel the ball.

My game is about hitting the ball nice, clean, then you can create something. But that’s the beginning what I didn’t have today at all. I hit so many frames. You know, just was not there. It’s the thing that I have to sit with my team and find out and make the right things for the future days.

But, yeah, as I said, today nothing works out for me, and that’s the result.

Q. Did you feel like you were hitting the ball well during practice all week or even during the warmup before today’s match? When you stepped on the match court, it just wasn’t there?

TOMAS BERDYCH: Well, I mean, you have places where you come and you can hit the ball almost with the closed eyes and everything is perfect and everything is set up.

But for me I think it’s, you know, just a bit different here. You know, it’s always a bigger challenge to me to find a right rhythm to my game. Sometimes I’m able to do that. Sometimes it’s not the right way. Today was actually the worst way.

So, you know, but as you asked, no, there hasn’t been any, like, huge troubles or difference in the practice. I felt good. My body’s good. So that’s how it is.

Q. You and Ivan Lendl are the only two Czechs to have played the Finals five times. I wondered if you admired him when you were a kid. Was he one of your idols? Do you still think about working with him in the future?

TOMAS BERDYCH: Well, actually I never had a name that I would really see as a idol or one player that I would like to be like or follow up. I mean, I like the tennis generally.

Yeah, I would say it’s more likely that some of the small occasions, like we are five times a year probably, but he probably five times won it, so it’s a bit different story.

Then the people starting to put more and more together, you know. But, no, I think working with him, that’s over for now definitely. I mean, I don’t know what has to be the change to change his mind. But it’s how it is.

I just respect his decisions. There is no reason to still be, you know, looking back. But you always have to look forward and keep moving.

Q. Can you tell us a few words about the game of Marin Cilic this season and how you’re going to prepare to play against him? You have to win that match to have a chance to go through.

TOMAS BERDYCH: Yeah, exactly. I mean, I’m definitely not going to count that my score can be helpful, definitely not. I mean, I’m in the worst possible situation that I can ever be.

You know, I’m going to face Marin or Novak first, in the end playing both of them, and the only chance to qualify is to beat them, it’s almost a mission impossible.

But, I don’t know, let’s try. Let’s prepare for the next day. Let’s do my work, my preparation. Whoever it is for the next day, if it’s Marin or Novak, just need to be ready for it, need to be prepared, try to play better.

Q. Are you surprised with the level of his game this season?

TOMAS BERDYCH: No, I’m definitely not surprised. I mean, when there is a player who improved during the whole season that much, then it’s definitely not surprise. It’s a guy who has a great season. He won a slam, took his way all the way up.

You know, it’s a great season. It’s a really dangerous player.

Q. How did you find the court surface today? How does it compare to the previous four years you qualified?

TOMAS BERDYCH: Well, honestly, I don’t know if I’m in the right mood, the right feeling just to judge the court. Because today I didn’t really feel anything right.

But I don’t think there is any difference between that. The courts are pretty much every year very same. If there is a small difference, it’s very little. It’s really hard to judge.

I don’t know what are the others saying or what are the opinions of other players. But I found the surface quite challenging. When you hit the ball very flat, it stays flat. When you put a lot of spin or some spin, it taking the spin quite a lot, too.

Yeah, it’s different than the courts, I don’t know, in Paris or the weeks before. But, you know, it’s always when you are building a temporary court, it’s nearly impossible to make it exactly the same all the way around.

But, no, I mean, in the end, the court itself is well prepared.

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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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