Andy Murray: “I asked my box why they were making the noise. They said that Kyrgios had just finished” - UBITENNIS
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Andy Murray: “I asked my box why they were making the noise. They said that Kyrgios had just finished”

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TENNIS AUSTRALIAN OPEN – 25th of January 2015. A.Murray d. G.Dimitrov 6-4, 6-7, 6-3, 7-5. An interview with Andy Murray

 

Q. That match had a little bit of everything. Can you possibly try and sum up how it went for you, your performance overall?

ANDY MURRAY: I thought I played well. I thought he started the match extremely well. He came out very aggressive, very explosive. But, you know, it’s tough to keep that sort of level of intensity up. And then, yeah, once I got myself into the match, I felt like I was able to dictate a lot of the points. I thought tactically I played a good match. I was disappointed with the 6- 5 game I played in the second set. Also the tiebreak I made a few bad decisions. Third set was good. And fourth set, I just fought hard at the end and he played a loose game when he served for the set. That was it.

Q. What was the crucial factor in turning it around? You were 5-2 down and then went on to win 7-5.

ANDY MURRAY: Well, momentum.

Q. Was there one point?

ANDY MURRAY: Well, I won quite a long game at 5-2 on my serve, and often, you know, if I win that game to love the momentum doesn’t really change. But sometimes if you can have sort of a long game, you know, where maybe he feels like he had some opportunities to win the set there, then that game where he goes to serve it out becomes a little bit harder. And, yeah, I think that that maybe helped. Yeah, that’s really all I could think of. But he didn’t play a good game at 5-3, and then after that, I barely made an error really. From really 5-3, I didn’t make any mistakes at all.

Q. You talked about your physical shape after the training block. Did that come through with how accurate you were at that stage?

ANDY MURRAY: I felt like he, in the fourth set, was trying to shorten a lot of the points. If you went back and watched it, especially when he got ahead, he was trying to come forward a lot. Then on my service games he was going for broke a little bit off my serves. First and second serves he was going for big returns. So I felt like maybe he was tired. I don’t know if he was, but that was the feeling I got with the way he was playing at that stage. So I tried to, towards the end of the set, extend the rallies. And physically I felt completely different to how I felt at the US Open last year or even here last year when I played a long match, especially in cold conditions. It was like night and day.

Q. There’s going to be a groundswell of support for Nick; Australia Day today. Does that come into it at all how it might play out on Rod Laver, 15,000 people?

ANDY MURRAY: I think it obviously will change the atmosphere. Obviously the crowd will be right behind him. Understandably so. They’re going to watch him play a lot of matches like this over the next 10, 15 years probably. And, yeah, that’s just something that I’ll have to deal with in my way. I’ve played a lot of matches. I’ve played in French Open against French players where the crowd can be very difficult. I’ve experienced it before, so hopefully I’ll deal with it well.

Q. In terms of sustained quality, might that be as good as you’ve played since the back surgery?

ANDY MURRAY: It’s very difficult for me to say right now. But in terms of how my body felt, if it was the best I played, my body allowed me to play that way for the whole duration of the match. I didn’t feel tired. I felt fresh. My back felt good. I wasn’t feeling stiff at all. I don’t normally say stuff like this, but for me the compression garments that I’m wearing just now are genuinely exceptional. In these condition over the last couple years I struggled a little bit, and I felt absolutely fine this evening. Whether or not, you know, it was the best match I played is definitely — for a match that went three and a half hours, physically I felt way better than the last year or so.

Q. Have you seen much of Kyrgios’ matches over the last week, and are you able to relate to what he’s going through as a 19-year-old at a home slam?

ANDY MURRAY: I’ve seen a little bit of his matches. I watched the whole of his match last week in Sydney. I saw him a little bit at the IPTL. I played against him last year after Wimbledon. Saw some of his matches at Wimbledon, as well. I enjoy watching him play. I think he’s entertaining. And, yeah, I obviously didn’t see loads of today’s match, but he’s done extremely well to turn that match around.

Q. A young player playing his home slam, you’ve been through that. Can you relate to that when you see him this week?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, I don’t know. Maybe it’s a bit different when I was 19. I would say maybe he’s more confident than I would have been at that age. I didn’t feel like I was going to win these events when I was that age, but I read that he felt like he could win the Australian Open this year a few weeks ago. So he obviously backs himself a lot. Yeah, when you have the crowd behind you, obviously helps. You know, makes a difference. Especially if you’re tired and a bit fatigued, you know, the crowd can give you that extra lift and help, as well. Yeah, he’s obviously handled everything very well so far.

Q. Can you explain at what point when the crowd started cheering during the second set that Kyrgios had won?

ANDY MURRAY: Well, I asked my box why they were making the noise. They said that Kyrgios had just finished. So it was immediately — not immediately – but about 10 seconds after they started making the noise. Then obviously when we sat down at the change of ends, which was only a few points later, and it came up on the screen. So, yeah, pretty soon after.

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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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