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”




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.


‘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.




Karen Khachanov - Credit: AELTC/Ian Walton

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.

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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.




Image via (Alexander Scheuber)

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.

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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.




Alexander Zverev (GER) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

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.

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