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.
Alexander Zverev Deserves More Respect According To Boris Becker
According to Boris Becker, Alexander Zverev deserves more respect from tennis journalists.
Boris Becker has claimed that Alexander Zverev deserves more respect despite Zverev failing to live up to his potential at Grand Slams.
Zverev has only reached one Grand Slam final in his career despite being a regular inside the world’s top ten as well as performing at regular ATP events.
This season Zverev played a limited schedule after recovering from an ankle injury but still managed to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals.
However most critics have been loud when judging Zverev’s career as it was looking likely that he would be a regular Grand Slam champion.
The German has failed to live up to expectations but former Grand Slam champion Boris Becker believes Zverev deserves more respect.
Speaking to Eurosport Becker also said that Zverev’s father being the coach is a more than successful approach when it comes to the former US Open finalist’s career, “In my opinion, he doesn’t get enough respect from the tennis experts internationally,” Becker explained.
“They’re all talking about the young three or four, but don’t give Zverev, Medvedev or Rublev enough respect. He’s playing with his fist in his pocket a little bit, wants everyone show that he is not a thing of the past, but that his best time is yet to come.
“Surely his father knows best what is good for his son, but if you look into the box at the competition, you can also see changes.”
Becker has followed Zverev for most of his career so knows that the best is yet to come from the German.
Alexander Zverev will look to prove himself next season when he starts his 2024 season when he represents Germany at the United Cup.
Juan Carlos Ferrero Analyses Key Areas For Carlos Alcaraz’s Development
Juan Carlos Ferrero has outlined the next steps in Carlos Alcaraz’s development.
Carlos Alcaraz’s coach, Juan Carlos Ferrero has analysed the key areas for the Spaniard’s development heading into the 2024 season.
The former world number one’s season has come to an end after a successful year which saw him win the Wimbledon title as well as winning two Masters 1000 titles.
Alcaraz capped off an incredible season by reaching the semi-finals at the Nitto ATP Finals, where he lost to Novak Djokovic.
However there is a long way for the Spaniard to go if he wants to consistently go toe-to-toe with Novak Djokovic.
Speaking to Marca Alcaraz’s coach Juan Carlos Ferrero spoke about the Spaniard’s development and said that Alcaraz is too emotional, “Be more regular in games, not open doors. Sometimes there are mistakes and it is something that we have to improve a lot,” Ferrero commented.
“Although it is true that he opens doors, he always competes well and at the highest level. He knows it, the other day he already said that Novak doesn’t give you one. He has to improve his decision making and he will achieve that with experience. Carlos is very emotional and that sometimes helps him and other times not so much.”
It’s clear Alcaraz’s high-quality is there but to consistently do it against Djokovic is another task altogether as the Spaniard looks to go from strength-to strength next season.
One area that is clearly a priority for Alcaraz is physical conditioning especially considering what happened against Djokovic at Roland Garros earlier in the season.
Ferrero said that will be a clear focus heading into 2024 but couldn’t guarantee that Alcaraz will play a tournament before the Australian Open, “Because of the year and the fatigue he has been in, what he needs is rest and disconnecting for 8-10 days with his friends,” Ferrero stated.
“From there, the thinking must go back to working really hard, strong and well to start very strongly in Australia. One can never be sure of that. Sometimes you play a tournament and it doesn’t go well, you left home too early. There are many ways of thinking.
“This year we haven’t played Australia and he finishes number two. That means there is no urgency to play a tournament early. Carlos is a player who enters competition quickly, you don’t usually see him without rhythm.
“Although it is true that he becomes more dangerous from the round of 16, from the quarter-finals. I am confident that the two exhibition matches and the training sessions will help us play a good tournament.”
Alcaraz will be looking to play the Australian Open which starts on the 15th of January after the Spaniard missed last year’s tournament due to a leg injury.
Australian Open Chief Confident Nadal Will Play But Kyrgios’ Participation Uncertain
The tournament director of the Australian Open says he is ‘certain’ that Rafael Nadal will play at the Grand Slam even though the Spaniard has yet to outline his comeback plans.
Craig Tiley told reporters in Melbourne on Thursday he hopes to receive some clarity over Nadal’s intentions in the next couple of weeks but is confident he will play. However, the tennis official had previously claimed in October that the former world No.1 had already committed to play in the event before his team denied that statement.
Nadal, who has won 22 Grand Slam titles, hasn’t played a Tour match since his second round defeat at the Australian Open in January due to a hip injury. He was originally expecting to take an eight-week break but the recovery didn’t go to plan and he ended up having surgery. In May he confirmed that he will take an extended break from the sport to heal his body and admitted that retirement next year is a possibility.
“Rafa has been training, I follow him closely, probably every day because he’s a massive drawcard for us,” the Reuters News Agency quoted Tiley as saying.
“He wants to play, he’s obviously planning on playing. It all depends on how he pulls up.
“Hopefully in the next week or the next two weeks, we get some specific confirmation of that. I’m certain Rafa will be here because he’s not going to want to miss the opportunity to repeat what he did a couple of years ago.”
Earlier this month Nadal confirmed that he intends to return to the Tour but admits that he will continue to experience a degree of pain. Although he has yet to give any information about which tournament he will begin his comeback at. The 2024 season begins during the first week of January.
“I’m well, training, and happy. I’m at a good stage of my life,” atptour.com quoted Nadal as telling reporters in Barcelona.
“Until now I didn’t know if I would play tennis again someday, and now I genuinely believe I will. I’m still not ready to say when, but I’m able to train increasingly longer, and the progress is good.’
Will Kyrgios play?
Another player Tiley is eager to welcome back is home player and former Wimbledon Finalist Nick Kyrgios who has only played one Tour-level match this season due to injury. He underwent knee surgery in January and then tore a ligament in his wrist during the summer. As a result, the Australian currently doesn’t have an ATP ranking due to his inactivity.
“We have spoken to Nick, and he obviously wants to do the best he possibly can to give him the best chance to play in January,” Tiley said of Kyrgios.
“Whether he’s playing, whether he’s doing something else, Nick will be here in January and to get him to play will be great. But we’ve got to take it as it comes and he’s got to make sure he takes care of his health …”
Kyrgios recently worked as an analyst for the Tennis Channel during this year’s ATP Finals in Turin and gave a brief update on his ongoing recovery during a segment.
“After last year, I had such a great year, and I’m so hungry to get back out there,” the 2022 Wimbledon finalist commented.
“So I’m doing everything I can to get back out there. Obviously, you know how injuries are every day, just doing the rehab, doing the gym work.”
The Australian Open will begin on Sunday 14th January. Novak Djokovic and Aryna Sabalenka are the defending champions.
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