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.
‘I Know How To Get There’ – Karen Khachanov Targets Return To Top 10
The world No.31 has showed signs of his talent this season with a run to the Olympic final but a lack of consistency and changes to the ATP ranking system has hindered him too.
It wasn’t that long ago when Karen Khachanov was the highest-ranked Russian man on the ATP Tour and billed as the next big thing from his country.
A breakout 2018 season saw Khachanov claim three Tour titles with the biggest of those being at the Paris Masters which remains his most prestigious trophy to date. He also reached his first major quarter-final at the French Open during the same season and scored five wins over top 10 players. Those triumphs helped elevate him in the ranking to a high of eight.
However, since that breakthrough Khachanov has found himself on a a rollercoaster journey. He is yet to win another title since Paris but came agonisingly close at the Tokyo Olympic Games where he finished runner-up to Alexander Zverev. In his nine previous Grand Slam tournaments his best run was at Wimbledon this season where he reached the last eight before losing to Denis Shapovalov.
Now ranked 31st in the world, the 25-year-old is aiming to claim back up the ladder after the ATP changed their ranking logic to the method used prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The rankings turned out to be a big pun, it was frozen for a year and a half, only now normal counting has begun. I am not fixated on this,” Khachanov told reporters in Moscow on Wednesday. “My main goal is to get back to the Top10. I know how to get there. And the intermediate goals are to be healthy and motivated.”
Khachanov has been ranked outside the world’s top 20 since February and hasn’t been in the top 10 since October 2019. He is currently coached on the Tour by Jose Clavet who has previously worked with a series of top Spanish players such as Feliciano Lopez, Alex Corretja, Tommy Robredo and Carlos Moya.
“He travels with me everywhere, for which I am grateful to him. I trust him as a specialist, as a coach and as a friend,” Khachanov said of Clavet.
Khachanov has returned to his home country this week where he is playing in Moscow at the Kremlin Cup. A tournament he won three years ago by defeating Adrian Mannarino in the final. Seeded third in the draw this time round, he began his campaign on Wednesday with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-1, win over James Duckworth. In the next round, he faces another Australian in the shape of John Millman which he believes will be a far from easy task.
“He is a fighter, a complete player, he does everything well, forehand and backhand with good intensity. He does everything at a good level, but the main quality is that he fights till the end, so it will be hard for me,” he said of his next opponent.
Moscow is the seventh tournament this year where Khachanov has reached the quarter-final stage.
Filip Krajinovic To Skip Australian Open If Required To Quarantine For More Than Five Days
The world No.34 says he ‘sees no reason’ why vaccinated players should have to go through a long quarentine in Australia.
The second highest-ranked Serbian player in men’s tennis says it would be ‘unacceptable’ for organisers of the Australian Open to require players to quarantine for more than a week if they have been fully vaccinated.
Filip Krajinovic has become the first player to publicly state that they will not be prepared to travel to Melbourne at the end of this season if they have to go through strict quarantine measures once again. All the players who participated in this year’s Australian Open were required to be quarantined in a designated hotel for 14 days upon arrival in the country. During their stay they were allowed to use training facilities but that was the only time they could leave the premises unless there was an emergency.
There is no final decision regarding the travel requirements for the 2022 tournament but there are concerns that unvaccinated players may not be allowed to enter the country. The Victorian government recently issued a mandate ordering all essential workers to be vaccinated, including athletes. However, the regional government will not have the final say concerning tennis players arriving in the country with the national government being the ones in charge of that decision.
“They are very rigorous there and honestly, if I have to be in quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Melbourne, I will not go to Australia,” Krajinovic told Serbian newspaper Blic.
“I was vaccinated, I did everything in my power to protect myself and the people around me, so I really see no reason to sit there for 14 days in a room.’
“If they (the organisers) say that after arrival I need, say, five days to be in isolation, that’s OK for me, but anything beyond that is unacceptable to me. With the season ending late, I will have 20 days to get ready and go. Charter flights will be organized again and the last one is planned for December 28 for the players and that is the final date when I can go to Australia. I will see what the final decision from Melbourne will be, so I will cut what is the best thing to do.”
Earlier this week Victoria’s Sports minister Martin Pakula urged players to be vaccinated because it give them ‘the best opportunity to play in the Australian Open.’ It is expected that if unvaccinated players are allowed to attend, they will be subjected to stricter restrictions. This might include a longer quarantine period upon arrival and limitations of where they can go during their stay.
“Last year, all of those players had to do their 14 days of quarantine. Right now there looks like there will be different rules for people who enter this country who are vaccinated as against unvaccinated and I don’t think the tennis will be any exception to that.” Pakula told the Sports Entertainment Network (SEN).
“In terms of what rules apply for people to enter Australia, whether unvaccinated people are allowed in at all, I don’t the answer to that yet. That’s going to be the subject of discussion at national cabinet and among the federal cabinet … those rules are not set by state governments.” He added.
Krajinovic is currently ranked 34th in the world and has a win-loss record this season of 18-18. At the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells he reached the second round before falling in straight sets to Daniil Medvedev. His best run so far this year was at the Hamburg Open where he reached the final.
“When we look at the whole of 2021, I played one final, one semifinal, there were good victories, but also worse results,” the 29-year-old commented.
Krajinovic is currently without a coach but is currently in ‘negotiations’ with somebody without elaborating further about who that person is.
Alexander Zverev Secures Place In ATP Finals With Indian Wells Win
Zverev will be seeking to win the season-ending extravaganza for the second time in his career.
Germany’s Alexander Zverev has become the fourth player to officially qualify for the ATP Finals after reaching the third round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.
The world No.4 defeated America’s Jenson Brooksby 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, in his second round match on Sunday which pushed him over the points threshold to secure his spot in the end-of-season event. It is the fifth year in a row he has qualified for the ATP Finals which he won back in 2018. He is one of only three German players to ever win the title after Boris Becker and Michael Stich.
This year’s tournament will take place in Turin, Italy for the first time in history after being held at The O2 Arena in London for more than a decade. Only the eight highest ranked players are eligible to play in the round-robin tournament which has on offer up to 1500 rankings points for an undefeated champion.
“My first time in Turin. I’ve been to London four times before. London is obviously very special to me because I won there, as well. I think the stadium is incredible, one of the most special events that we had,” Zverev told reporters on Sunday.
“But I also love playing in Italy. I had great success in Italy. I won my first Masters in Rome. I’m looking forward to being there. I’m looking forward to playing in front of the Italian fans. It’s going to be a great week.”
The 24-year-old approaches the final quarter of this season with four titles already won this year. He has won two Masters 1000 trophies, an ATP 500 event in Mexico and a gold medal in singles at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Zverev, who has recorded seven wins over top 10 players, also reached the semi-finals at both the French Open and US Open.
Zverev joins Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas as the players who have qualified for the ATP Finals so far. It is the third straight season the quartet has qualified for the event.
This year’s ATP Finals will get underway on November 14th. Medvedev is the defending champion.
Daniil Medvedev Backs Djokovic’s Refusal To Disclose Vaccination Status
Andy Murray Blasts Own Performance Following Antwerp Exit
Maria Sakkari qualifies for the WTA Finals for the first time in her career
Diego Schwartzman edges Andy Murray to reach the quarter final in Antwerp
Adrian Mannarino saves one match point to beat Andrey Rublev at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow
REPORT: Unvaccinated Players Set To Be Banned From Playing Australian Open
Novak Djokovic Undecided Over Playing Australian Open, Slams Speculation Over His Vaccination Status
EXPLAINED: Why Novak Djokovic’s Latest Trip To Bosnia Has Caused Controversy
Roger Federer Says ‘Revolution’ Needed To Help Next Generation Of Tennis Players
Roger Federer Eyes Laver Cup Captaincy Role Post-Retirement
US Open, Steve Flink: “Djokovic’s loss had more to do with fatigue than pressure”
US Open, Steve Flink on the Murray-Tsitsipas Controversy
(VIDEO) Dominic Thiem, Juan Martin Del Potro Gathering Momentum In Comeback Bids
Steve Flink On Wimbledon: “Bautista Agut would be a tough semifinal test for Djokovic”
Wimbledon, Flink: “Djokovic Will Beat Zverev in the Final”
Hot Topics2 days ago
Flavia Pennetta Believes Raducanu’s US Open Win Is A Bad Sign For Women’s Tennis
Focus3 days ago
Kim Clijsters Still Capable Of Top-Level Wins, Says Former world No.1 Murray
Hot Topics2 days ago
Only Double Vaccinated Players Will Be Allowed To Play Australian Open – Government Minister
Latest news2 days ago
Simona Halep cruises through to the second round with a straight-set win over Anastasia Potapova in Moscow
Latest news2 days ago
Andrey Rublev feels that he is working on the mental aspect
Latest news3 days ago
Ekaterina Alexandrova moves into the second round at the Kremlin Cup after Ons Jabeur’s retirement due to injury
Latest news3 days ago
Jenson Brooksby upsets Reilly Opelka to boost his chance to qualify for the Next Gen Finals in Milan
Latest news2 days ago
Andy Murray battles past Frances Tiafoe in a marathon match in Antwerp