Tomas Berdych - 14th of November 2014 - UBITENNIS
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Tomas Berdych – 14th of November 2014

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TENNIS ATP FINALS 2014 – Novak Djokovic d. Tomas Berdych 6-2, 6-2. Group A

Q. Just a few words about Novak, if you can, sealing the year end No. 1 spot today.

TOMAS BERDYCH: Well, definitely he deserves to win. There was no question about it. He just secure his spot for the No. 1 player in the world. I think it just show how great he is, how well he played during the whole season. Yeah, that’s it.

I mean, there was not much doubts that the match could go the other way. There was nothing the way I can challenge him better than this.

Q. A little disappointing end of the year, but what is your opinion of having this event move to another city in the future or staying here more years?

TOMAS BERDYCH: Let’s separate the question a little bit. Yes, the season was solid, was very good. Was another year to finish in top eight, that’s great. The other one is the last week of the season was terrible. That’s how it is.

If moving or not, really I’m probably not the one who can decide that and can have the powerful word.

I think it’s been already pretty a while here. Who knows. Maybe the change can bring something else, you know, bring some new spectators or just a different part of the world.

But I think it’s quite still open in that. But there is definitely nothing that we can criticize that we are missing or they are not doing well here.

Q. Can you say anything about why it’s so hard for players to stay in the matches once they fall behind?

TOMAS BERDYCH: Well, I don’t know what’s the explanation. But there could be also something about the surface, you know. I’ve been asked many times if it’s the same or not. But it’s always hard to judge when you go during the year, and every single indoor tournament is a bit different.

It’s hard to remember how was the surface one year ago when you play 15 tournaments in between on the hard courts.

But I find the court very tricky, very challenging. It doesn’t allow you for any mistakes. In my word, I think it’s very slow. You know, for us who wants to hit the serve and try to play aggressive, it’s very difficult. So that’s why we kind of struggle with that.

You facing the best players in the world. So when you put these things together, then the scissors opens too much and then it creates the scores how it is.

Q. Marin Cilic said the other day how tough playing Djokovic in the first match of the tournament. You played him in the last match of the round robin. Do you think it’s even tougher to handle because you are under pressure to try to many games as you could?

TOMAS BERDYCH: Well, you are under pressure from the beginning of the tournament, no matter if it’s the first or last match. If you play Novak first or last, it’s pretty much the same. There is not much difference.

Especially here, you know, he’s been fighting for being No. 1 in the world. This match just secures him that. Really, I don’t see a big difference between the first or last.

Yeah, I mean, it’s extremely tough to play him.

Q. Talk a little bit about your off season, what you’re going to be working on. Is it an important one for you to try to make some big changes or not?

TOMAS BERDYCH: Well, it’s hard to say ‘big changes’. First of all, there is going to be time just to get myself rest, prepared, relaxed. You know, that’s the first step to try to start it all over again.

Then my main goal definitely is going to be, I would say, fitness and movement. It’s still becoming more and more important in the game.

No matter how challenging are those guys, it’s always very important how my game is. If I’m able to move well, hitting the ball nice and clean, which goes very well together, then that’s the beginning of the success. So that’s going to be definitely the start up.

Yeah, I mean, follow up on the other things, as well. You know, I think it’s too soon just now to talk what’s going to be my plans in off season basically like what to work on and what to do.

But, yeah, I’m going to have, I would say, maybe one week more because the last two years play always Davis Cup. That was extremely tough. But, yeah, the good thing is that I’m not 20 year kid that needs more time, can work on much more things. But there is still a lot to improve.

Q. You’re older than Nadal, Murray and Djokovic. You’re four years younger than the No. 2 player in the world. Where tennis is going, do you think you’re around your prime age? Is your peak still to come? Are you already past your prime given where the sport is now?

TOMAS BERDYCH: Well, okay, so let’s forget the last one that you said because he is not from this world. That’s really no question about it.

Well, for myself, I take every year as a new challenge. It’s how it is. I just try to push it as far as I can, get myself as close as possible to my limits. Probably you can find it out when you are done. It’s really hard to say in the middle    not anymore in the middle of the career, but in the career or during your play if that was the best or if you are still able to bring something more.

I mean, you can always come up with matches that you can handle a different way. You can have more experience and you can still winning a big matches or you can lose them also because of maybe, I don’t know, your fitness is not so great like it was when you were 20 or something like that. Just examples.

But hopefully this is not the case. It’s always a matter of having some goals and having some plans and just go for it.

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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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