Milos Raonic: “I don't think Hisense and Margaret Court are that quick. They're much slower than the outside courts” - UBITENNIS
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Milos Raonic: “I don’t think Hisense and Margaret Court are that quick. They’re much slower than the outside courts”

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TENNIS AUSTRALIAN OPEN – 24th of January 2015. M.Raonic d. B.Becker 6-4, 6-3, 6-3. An interview with Milos Raonic

 

Q. You must be pleased to get off the court with such a great performance so quickly.

MILOS RAONIC: I’m happy that I played better than my second round, and that’s all I can really ask from myself. I focused and executed on what I needed to do.

Q. Is it maybe the most controlled first week you had in a Grand Slam?

MILOS RAONIC: Yes and no. I think I know how to control things better. So I think it might come off that way. But at the same time it was difficult situations I sort of had to fight my way through. I was fortunate enough that I was doing well. From the start of the match I had the focus, right focus, right intentions. I just think my level has increased, so therefore it just sort of carries through.

Q. The courts are quicker this year. Is that better for your game?

MILOS RAONIC: Well, I don’t think Hisense and Margaret Court are that quick. They’re much slower than the outside courts, the practice courts. I heard that Laver is a little bit quicker compared to Margaret Court. I haven’t had a chance to hit on it. For me, honestly, the quick courts is not necessarily always a good thing. I like to sort of have time to find myself and organize my game.

Q. Would you have liked to have played in Rod Laver by now?

MILOS RAONIC: It’s not a big deal. You sort of take things as they come. You forget the would have, could have, should have kind of scenarios.

Q. Two years now with Ivan. How would you say you’ve evolved with him over that time?

MILOS RAONIC: I’ve made great progress. I understand much better what I need to do, how I need to do things. Think that’s what him and Ricardo have added to my game the most, is just that peace of mind, how to go about things, especially when it comes to matches. Practices are always changing, but I have my routine, things I follow, things I believe I need to do. Even when things get out of control, I can sort of direct myself back to that and start from there. It’s been great with the progress we’ve been able to make. I think I’ve improved in all other aspects as well.

Q. What sort of off-season did you have? Anything different from past years?

MILOS RAONIC: Just a little bit shorter than I would have necessarily liked. It’s a good problem to have because I was able to qualify for the World Tour Finals in London. Anytime that’s an issue, I’ll be happy with that. I got much fitter. I improved much more on testing when it comes to fitness results. I spent time away from tennis, just spending time talking with coaches, with my staff around me, on what I need to do to improve my mental game because I felt a lot of the times throughout 2014, I was my biggest enemy. Then we made progress in development. We put a lot of focus on my serve this off-season. I think that’s why my first-serve percentage numbers are up and so forth. I’m happy with the way things are going. I feel comfortable and confident.

Q. You’ve lost a fair bit of weight in the last year.

MILOS RAONIC: The last few weeks actually, yes. Since the end of the year.

Q. Do you know how much weight you’ve lost?

MILOS RAONIC: If you ask me right now after I ate a sandwich, probably six, four kilos. If you ask me first thing in the morning, probably six. Somewhere in that range. I try to keep myself really at a constant number, but I tend to fluctuate two kilos, plus or minus.

Q. Gluten free?

MILOS RAONIC: No. I’ve been gluten free for about two, two and a half years now. I think it’s just more an understanding. I would get a little bit greedy when it would come to going to restaurants and stuff. I would always go by I have a craving for this thing, this thing, this thing. I would order three things and eat until I couldn’t eat no more. Now I have a better moderation, understanding of getting the right amount of food in me, so I can sleep much better, digesting much better. What ended up happening is I lost weight after.

Q. Towards the end of your match you had a conversation with the umpire. Can you tell us what that was about.

MILOS RAONIC: I think it was on a return of serve or something, I guess he hit the ball with the bottom part of the racquet, his shock absorber, many ways to call it, but the little thing on the racquet, fell off. I saw it go off. I thought it should be a let. She told me that if it happens on his side, it’s not a let, which didn’t make sense to me from the aspect that it’s something I see. So I asked her, What if his hat fell off or a ball goes on his side? Why it’s not a let, because it’s a visual disturbance to me. I thought it should have been replayed. I was fine with how the point went because it was a small thing. I just wasn’t necessarily understanding of the reasoning behind it. That’s it.

Q. What do you mean, If it happened on his side?

MILOS RAONIC: The shock absorber stayed on his side. I see it. It could go across. If it hits me in the eye, obviously I think it should be (smiling). But I didn’t necessarily understand because she differentiated if a ball is on his side as opposed to a shock absorber, both are hindrances in my mind.

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Denis Shapovalov Battles Back To Reach The Quarterfinals In St Petersburg

The Canadian got off to a slow start in his first match but was able to recover nicely for a big three-set win.

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Denis Shapovalov (CAN) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Second seed Denis Shapovalov needed to go the distance at the St Petersburg Open to beat his Spanish opponent Pablo Andujar 2-6, 6-3, 6-0 in one hour and 49 minutes.

 

The Toronto native didn’t have the best start to the match but was able to recover and pull off a comeback to take the win. Serving a total of 11 aces to reach the quarterfinals.

” It’s very tough to play Pablo (Andujar) first round of a tournament, he’s a great player and it was a tough start to the match,” said Shapovalov. “I didn’t feel so great but I just told myself to keep going because obviously there is still a lot of tennis to be played and I wanted to turn it around in the second set and I did a really good job.”

It was the Spaniard who got off to a better start, earning a breakpoint in the first game of the match before grabbing the early break and he was able to consolidate it. At 2-0, Andujar had two chances to go up a double break but the Canadian saved both and it stayed on serve until 4-2 when the world number 92 was able to earn another breakpoint. This time converted for the double break lead and served out the first set.

The second set stayed on serve until 2-1 when Shapovalov broke to love and that one break of serve was enough for him to serve it out and send the match into a decider.

The Canadian continued pushing as his level improved. In the first game of the final set, he broke the Spaniard with a perfectly timed cross-court winner to take an early 1-0 lead. After consolidating the break he was hungry for more and broke Andujar’s serve once again to go up a double break. Shapovalov closed the match out with a bagel set.

During his on-court interview, Shapovalov was asked how happy he was back to be in St Peterburg and he mentioned the amazing memories he had playing in the event last year.

” It always feels great to be back and I remember last year playing Andrey (Rublev) in the semifinals. I was one set up and I lost this match but I am happy to be here due to the fact I always get great support from the fans here”. He said.

Shapovalov will face Jan-Lennard Struff in the quarterfinals after the German upset seventh seed Alexander Bublik in straight sets (6-4, 6-3).

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Former World No.8 And Grand Slam Champion Jurgen Melzer Retires

Melzer ends a career which has seen him crack the world’s top 10 in both singles and doubles.

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Jurgen Melzer (AUT) - Alexander Zverev (GER) vs John Peers (AUS) - Filip Polasek (SVK), (Erste Bank Open 2021 #glaubandich Court); Copyright: e-motion/Bildagentur Zolles KG/Martin Steiger,

After more than two decades on the Tour, Jurgen Melzer has played his final match after bowing out of the Vienna Open on Wednesday.

 

The 40-year-old confirmed earlier this year that he would end his career at his home tournament. Teaming up with Alexander Zverev in the doubles, the duo lost in straight sets to third seeds Filip Polášek and John Peers. Melzer is a two-time champion in Vienna after winning back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010. He later went on to win the doubles title in 2014.

I was a bit afraid that not so many would come after all. Thank you very much, it was a huge honour for me to leave here,” Melzer said during his on-court interview.
“He (Zverev) didn’t hesitate five seconds to play here with me, that is not a matter of course when you’re at number four and you’re close to the Masters. Unfortunately, it was a short undertaking, but thank you.” He added.

Melzer first rose to prominence as a junior when he became the first Austrian to win the Wimbledon boys’ title back in 1999. He would go on to play in a total of 53 Grand Slam main draws during his professional career with his best run being to the semi-finals of the 2010 French Open. On the ATP Tour he claimed five titles with his most prestigious being at an ATP 500 event in Memphis during the 2012 season.

Against top 10 opposition, Melzer has beaten every member of the Big Three at least once. The most notable being against Novak Djokovic where he battled back from two sets down to stun the Serbian at the 2010 French Open. Overall, he recorded 13 wins over top 10 players during his career.

“My career started here (in Vienna) on an international level almost 22 years ago, in 1999 here in the town hall, where for the first time I was allowed to dream of really going the way as a professional tennis player. 22 years later and I would have signed everything, what I have achieved. It was an unbelievable journey that ends today. That I couldn’t have dreamed of.”

It wasn’t just in the singles where Melzer enjoyed success on the Tour. As a double player he achieved a ranking high of sixth and won two men’s Grand Slam titles with Philipp Petzschner, as well claiming the 2011 Wimbledon mixed doubles trophy with his ex-wife Iveta Benešová. More recently, Melzer reached the final of the 2020 ATP Finals alongside Édouard Roger-Vasselin. That was to be the last Tour final of his career.

“Of course you still hope to be at the top, but at some point you will be realistic enough to be able to assess that it will not be enough. It was an unbelievable journey that was a lot of fun. It is over, but it is also good that way.” He concluded.

Whilst his time on the Tour has come to an end, Melzer will remain involved in tennis. He is currently working as the Sports director of the Austrian Tennis Federation (OTV). A role he has held since January.

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Carlos Alcaraz Gets Revenge On Andy Murray To Reach Vienna Last Eight

Carlos Alcaraz is into the Vienna quarter-finals after beating Andy Murray in straight sets.

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Carlos Alcaraz (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

Carlos Alcaraz got revenge on Andy Murray after beating the former grand slam champion 6-3 6-4 to reach the Vienna Quarter-Finals.

 

The Spaniard lost to Murray in a three set battle at Indian Wells earlier this month but was victorious in Austria.

Despite being a break up in the second set, the three time grand slam champion couldn’t consistently out-power the aggressive Spaniard.

Alcaraz will now play Nikoloz Basilashvili or Matteo Berrettini in the last eight.

Alcaraz was aggressive from the very first ball as he controlled rallies behind the baseline and punished Murray’s weak second serve.

After being broke in the first game, the Brit got his revenge in the fourth game as he converted in his sixth break point of the game to seal the break back.

However Alcaraz’s firepower was too much and the Spaniard’s consistent firepower was too much for Murray as two hard-fought breaks followed as he sealed the opening set in 65 minutes.

Murray utilised a more attacking style of play in the second set and was rewarded with an early break of serve as he would take a 4-2 lead.

But Alcaraz displayed too much power and accuracy as he reeled off four games in a row to complete his victory and progress into the Vienna quarter-finals.

Alcaraz will now play Basilashvili or Berrettini in the quarter-finals as he looks for a strong finish to a career-best season.

As for Murray that will be the end of his season unless he gets a wildcard into Paris next week or makes the Davis Cup Finals team for Great Britain.

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