Andy Murray: “I didn't watch any of the match last night. I'll watch some of it this evening and then chat to Amélie” - UBITENNIS
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Andy Murray: “I didn’t watch any of the match last night. I’ll watch some of it this evening and then chat to Amélie”

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TENNIS AUSTRALIAN OPEN – 31st of January 2015. An interview with Andy Murray

 

AO2015: Interviews, Results, Order of Play, Draws

Q. What did you make of last night’s semifinal?

ANDY MURRAY: I didn’t watch any of the match last night. I’ll watch some of it this evening and then chat to Amélie about it tomorrow. But I haven’t watched any of it yet.

Q. How are you feeling having had a lot of the extra things? Enough rest? Practice?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I feel good. I felt good after all of the matches and recovered fairly well from the two fairly long matches that I had against Dimitrov and with Berdych. So, yeah, I pulled up pretty well. But, yeah, it’s slightly different preparation obviously with the extra day. You get the extra day rest, but then also you’re in a rhythm of playing every day or so, so it changes the way you prepare a little bit. But, yeah, I feel good.

Q. Do you have any thoughts on the fairness of that? Do you believe semifinals should be played on the same day?

ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I do, yeah. You want the players all to have the same opportunity. But, I mean, I was told that the player that’s played the second semifinal I think has won like five or six of the last seven years, so I don’t know exactly who it favors more. Obviously if you have an extremely long match you would think the person that had the extra day’s rest, it would favor them. But a couple years Novak recovered from — I don’t know how he did it, because I played against him in the semifinal and I could barely walk a couple days later. But he recovered from a five-hour match and then won the final in six hours. I don’t really know who it favors, to be honest.

Q. Is there a danger of having too long to think about it?

ANDY MURRAY: I think that comes down to each individual really and how you handle the situation. I’ve tried — like I said, didn’t watch the match yesterday, so I tried not to spend too long thinking about it and try and just do the same sort of routine as I’ve been doing in the other matches and use yesterday as more of a recovery day. Then I practiced slightly harder than I would have normally the day before a slam final today.

Q. Is this the best you’ve felt mentally and physically on the eve of a Grand Slam final?

ANDY MURRAY: I don’t know. To be honest, it’s always very difficult to answer those questions. I don’t know. I know that I played well so far this event. Each time I’ve been in difficult situations I’ve done a good job mentally of finding my way to get out of them. And, yeah, my tennis has been good, as well. So I hope that will be the case again tomorrow.

Q. You played Novak here three times and lost all three. How confident are you that can change tomorrow?

ANDY MURRAY: Well, I know it’s going to be extremely difficult to win the match tomorrow. I know if I want to win, it will probably be very, very tough and challenging physically. So I need to prepare myself mentally for that. But he has a fantastic record here. He obviously loves the court and the conditions. And, yeah, it would be a big upset if I manage to win tomorrow.

Q. You talk about a big upset if you were to win tomorrow night. Novak said there was no clear favorite. Do you disagree with that?

ANDY MURRAY: Well, I’ve never won against him here before. I’ve lost to him each time that we’ve played. I think I’ve lost to him the last four or five times we played against each other, as well. Maybe only won one set in those matches. Yeah, I mean, it would be a big turnaround. I played him a couple times very close the end of last year and lost pretty comfortably. For me it would be a big turnaround in a few months if I was able to win. I’m not saying it’s not a possibility, but it’s going to be very, very tough.

Q. Was there any sense of curiosity last night about what was going here last night?

ANDY MURRAY: Knew exactly what the score was. I was at dinner checking the result to see what was going on. I spoke to Leon, as well, who was commentating on the match. But I’m going to watch the parts of the match that I want to watch this evening, get all of the stats from the match that I think will be beneficial and go over it, just like I have done every other match since I have been here this event. But I didn’t really want to sit for three, three and a half hours last night worrying about the match. I’d rather save that for this evening and try and conserve a little bit of energy and mental energy, as well, you know, for the match.

Q. Guaranteed back in the world’s top four regardless; No. 3 with a win. Do you feel like you’re back where you belong?

ANDY MURRAY: I feel like I’m playing well again. I think this tournament’s been obviously important for me just because of some of the results I had at the end of last year. Yeah, it’s been an important week for me. Obviously anytime you’re moving up the rankings suggests you’re doing something well. Yeah, it shows as well that last year, although it was a tough year, it wasn’t that bad. With one good tournament here I could move back up the rankings again. Hopefully the beginning part of this year where I maybe didn’t play my best last year, if I can try and have some consistent, solid results, reestablish myself back at the top of the game, and hopefully have another good year.

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Mikael Ymer overcomes Richard Gasquet to advance to the second round in Marseille

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Swedish 21-year-old Next Gen player Mikael Ymer edged past Richard Gasquet 6-3 3-6 7-5 after 2 hours and 22 minutes to reach the second round at the Open 13 in Marseille.

 

Ymer fended off 7 of the 10  break points he faced and broke serve in the third match point in a marathon third game setting up a second round clash against Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Ymer raced out to a 4-0 lead with two consecutive breaks. Gasquet pulled back one break in the seventh game to close the gap to 2-5, but Ymer served out the first set in the ninth game with an ace.

Ymer saved three break points in the sixth game, but Gasquet earned the break on his third chance in the eighth game to win the second set 6-3.

Ymer got an early break in the second game of the third set to open up a 3-0 lead. Gasquet broke back in the ninth game and held serve to draw level to 5-5. Ymer converted his third break point at deuce to seal the third set 7-5 in the 12th game.

Benoit Paire beat Gregoire Barrere 6-4 7-6 (7-1) in the all-French match. Paire earned his only break of the match in the third game of the opening set. He saved two break points in the fourth game of the second set. Both players went on serve en route to the tie-break, where Paire cruised through to a 7-1 win.

Ilya Ivashka overcame Alexei Popyrin 6-1 3-6 6-4. Ivashka broke twice in the second and sixth games to win the first set 6-1. Popyrin earned one break in the fourth game to clinch the second set 6-3. Popyrin got an early break at deuce in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. Ivashka broke back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Both players went on serve until the 10th game when Ivashka sealed the win with a break.

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Alexander Zverev Going In The Right Direction, Says Becker

The German tennis legend gives his verdict on Zverev’s current form following his grand slam breakthrough.

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Former world No.1 Boris Becker believes Alexander Zverev’s recent run at the Australian Open was confirmation that he belongs at the top of men’s tennis.

 

Last month the 22-year-old achieved his best ever grand slam performance by reaching the semi-finals in Melbourne Park before losing to Dominic Thiem. At the tournament he scored wins over Andrey Rublev, who won two consecutive titles prior to the event, and former champion Stan Wawrinka. Zverev has been tipped as a future world No.1 in recent years and remains the only active player outside of the Big Four to have won three or more Masters trophies. Although he has previously struggled to shine in the biggest events of the sport.

“Alexander Zverev has made a great step forward with his first participation in a grand slam semi-final.” Becker told reporters in Berlin on Sunday. “Although he had difficult weeks before, for which there were reasons.”

At the start of the year it looked as if the world No.7 was in trouble. At the ATP Cup he lost all three of his matches played. A performance Becker blames on his off-season training. During November and December Zverev played a series of exhibition matches with Roger Federer across South America and China.

“He didn’t train enough during the winter break and came to Brisbane unprepared.” He said.
“We exchanged some serious words off the court and he took them to heart.’
“Of course I’m happy he had such success. This is also a confirmation for him that he belongs at the top of the world (in tennis).”
“But the competitors never sleep, that’s a never ending story. He has to confirm this again and again.”

So far in his career, Zverev has won 11 ATP titles and has been ranked as high as third in the world. His biggest triumph occurred towards the end of 2018 when he won the ATP Finals in London.

Reflecting on his Melbourne run last month, Zverev believes he managed to achieve the milestone thanks to a new approach he took to the event. Instead of looking at the whole tournament, he narrowed his focus to match-by-match.

“I went here in a different way. I went match by match. Didn’t look very far. I just knew I had opponents in front of me. I had to play well to beat them. That was it.” He said last month. “Whenever I won, I’d sit down in the locker room and somebody told me who I’m playing next.’
“I went step by step, match by match. Usually I [haven’t done] that in Grand Slams.”

Zverev will return to action next week at the Mexican Open in Acapulco. A tournament where he finished runner-up 12 months ago. Becker believes his compatriot could do some damage on the hard courts over the coming weeks with two prestigious North American events taking place next month in Indian Wells and Miami.

“The next tournaments are on hard courts in America. He will play there as well. There he can take a lot of points.” Becker concluded.

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New York Open Sunday Recap: Kyle Edmund Wins His Second Career ATP Title

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Kyle Edmund raising the trophy at the New York Open (newyorkopen.com)

And in an exclusive interview with UbiTennis, runner-up Andreas Seppi of Italy reveals he is pulling out of Delray Beach next week due to an injury suffered in the final.

 

In Sunday’s championship match, neither player faced a break point until 6-5 in the first set.  In that twelfth game, Seppi struggled to make first serves, with Edmund hitting winners off both sides to break and secure the first set 7-5.

Kyle would break again to open the second, as Seppi played another loose game with neutral ball errors and a double fault. Up a set and a break, Edmund began to swing freely. Despite that, Seppi was able to survive a barrage of Edmund groundstroke winners to save multiple break points at 0-3. Edmund would then hold at love to make it 4-1, when Seppi left the court for a medical timeout. When Andreas returned, Edmund broke again by outlasting Seppi in the longest rally of the match. Kyle then closed out the match 7-5, 6-1 to win the second ATP title of his career.

When I spoke with Andreas after the match, he told me he felt something in his left hamstring as he was running for a drop shot in the fifth game of the second set.  Seppi shared he will be skipping the Delray Beach event next week due to the injury, and will head home a week earlier than expected to rest and await the arrival of his first child.

“I just felt like I could really never put him under pressure today,” Seppi told me, when asked about how difficult it was to get into Edmund’s service games.

Edmund had a great serving day, striking 11 aces and facing no break points.  He won 94% of first serve points in the match (31/33), against a player in Seppi who had won 36% of his return games this week prior to today’s final.  I asked Kyle about how crucial his serving was in Sunday’s victory.

“When I got my first serve in I lost a couple points on it, so it really worked well for me. When you get that first strike in- I mean that big first serve in- when I can get on my forehand, that’s where I want to be, and I was winning a lot of points like that this week,” said Edmund.

Kyle also spoke about how important this title is to him.

“When you’re young and training, or playing tennis, these are the sort of things you imagine: wanting to win professional titles,” said Edmund.

In the doubles final, Dominic Inglot and Aisam-ul-Haq-Qureshi won their first title as a team, defeating Reilly Opelka and Steve Johnson 7-6(5), 7-6(6). Inglot and Qureshi initially served for the championship at 5-4 in the second, yet failed to close out the match. In the eventual second set tiebreak, Johnson narrowly missed a forehand down the line at 6-6. On the next point, an unreturned Inglot serve ended the American team’s quest for a title on home soil. Inglot and Qureshi were also finalists last week in Montpellier.

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