Nick Kyrgios: “I think I'm just managing my emotions a bit better out there. I thought I was pretty composed for the whole match” - UBITENNIS
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Nick Kyrgios: “I think I’m just managing my emotions a bit better out there. I thought I was pretty composed for the whole match”

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TENNIS AUSTRALIAN OPEN – 25th of January 2015. N.Kyrgios d. A.Seppi 5-7, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6, 8-6. An interview with Nick Kyrgios

 

Q. How disappointing was it to be two sets to love down not having done a lot wrong?

NICK KYRGIOS: Not disappointing at all. I knew it was going to be a tough battle. He’s playing some of the best tennis he’s played ever since coming off that win against Roger. I knew it was going to be tough from the get-go. I just had to draw on my experiences of coming back from two sets to love. Paid off in the end.

Q. What’s the overwhelming emotion for you right now?

NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, it’s crazy. I don’t think it’s sunk in yet. When I saw I had finally won the match it was incredible. It was the best feeling I ever had. To know the body could come back from two sets to love, knowing I haven’t had matches, it’s just massive confidence.

Q. You lost a five-setter when you were two sets up. You said you wanted to learn from that match. You’ve won all five-setters since then. What are you doing differently now?

NICK KYRGIOS: I think I’m just managing my emotions a bit better out there. I thought I was pretty composed for the whole match. When I needed to get into the crowd, I did that. They were unbelievable tonight. I think they were a massive part of that win. I’m just learning every time I step out on the court when to show emotion, when not to.

Q. Were you struggling halfway through the second set? How is the body?

NICK KYRGIOS: As you all know – you’ve been asking about my back a fair bit – that’s a bit sore. Physically I thought my legs pulled up well throughout the whole match. I got a bit tired halfway through the fifth set, you know, I guess just by being out on the court. Being in that atmosphere is pretty tiring, but I knew he’d be feeling the same way. He’s never reached a quarterfinal before. All those thoughts going through his head. I think I had to draw on that. I just stuck in there.

Q. What do you think was the key point of the match? When you broke him in the beginning of the third set or just before the match point he was not very brave? You took initiative before the match point. Do you remember that?

NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, I think the turning point was definitely the break in the third set. That just established that I wasn’t going to go away. I was just going to compete till the very end. When I got to the third set, I started playing really well in the third set. I knew if I could just hang on some way and take it to a fifth set, it’s anyone’s match. I think that was the turning point then.

Q. How does this compare to Wimbledon?

NICK KYRGIOS: I think this one, it feels a bit better, honestly. There was a lot of expectation coming into this tournament. I was obviously out for a couple weeks before Sydney. I wasn’t expecting, you know, anything, especially not quarterfinals. And, yeah, it’s just massive, especially to do it in front of your home crowd. Hisense is an unbelievable court. I’d never played on it before. It’s definitely my favorite court now.

Q. 4-1 to 4-All you lost 12 points in a row in the fifth set. What were you thinking at that moment of the match? Why did it happen that you had those three games of, I don’t say blackout, but almost?

NICK KYRGIOS: It’s pretty tiring, you know, staying out there for three hours, coming down from two sets to love, pushing yourself. That’s tennis. That’s the scoring system. You lose points. That’s a silly question.

Q. You were emotionally flat the Wimbledon quarterfinal, understandably, after beating Nadal. How do you think you’ll pull back up for your second Grand Slam quarterfinal?

NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, I think I’ll be pulling up better than I did at Wimbledon. I know what to expect now, now what I am going to be feeling, especially after a five-set match like that. I need to do everything I can: nutrition, get a good night’s rest tonight, do some mobility, get a hit out tomorrow. Yeah, I just got so much more confidence in my body now. You know, I was feeling fine. My legs were feeling really good towards the end of the fifth set. It’s massive confidence being 19 knowing that you can last matches like that. It’s massive.

Q. Some players get very tense at their home slam. Are you most relaxed at this one?

NICK KYRGIOS: Well, I was definitely nervous out there before I went out for the match tonight. This is actually the most nervous I’ve ever been, going out against Seppi in the fourth round. I am definitely feeling the pressure, but at the same time I had so much fun out there. It was a really good experience.

Q. You talked about containing emotion. Do you think this was a night where emotion helped you a little bit because of the crowd, the way they fed off you?

NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah. I thought maybe if I didn’t stay composed as well as I did in the first couple sets, you know, I didn’t waste much energy, I felt, so that probably played in my favor. Towards the end of the fifth set as well. The fourth, I was definitely feeding off the crowd in the fourth, especially in the tiebreak it was massive. That was a momentum builder going into the fifth set. The crowd I thought played a massive part, yeah.

Q. You talked to yourself a fair bit out on the court. Do you feel your game actually lifts the more you talk to yourself out there?

NICK KYRGIOS: It’s debatable, I think. I am going to have those. Being an emotional player, I’m going to have those negative and positive patches in my matches. Talking to myself is sometimes not so productive. Sometimes it gets me up and I can start producing some pretty good tennis.

Q. The point that went around the net, is that one of the best points you ever played?

NICK KYRGIOS: That was ridiculous. Never seen anything like that. That’s the first time it’s ever happened to me. But, yeah, it’s going to happen. I have no explanation for it.

ATP

Dominic Thiem Rules Federer Out Of GOAT Debate

The Austrian puts forward his theory on who should be regarded as the best player in history.

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Dominic Thiem; e-motion/Bildagentur Zolles KG/Martin Steiger, 27.10.2022

The honour of which player deserves to be regarded as the greatest of all time (GOAT) should be decided based on one factor, according to Dominic Thiem. 

 

The former world No.3 has weighed in on the debate by suggesting that the argument should be settled by the number of Grand Slam titles a player has won as they are the most prestigious tournaments in the sport. In tennis, the four major tournaments are the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open. 

Thiem’s GOAT criteria have therefore ruled Roger Federer out of contention. The Swiss maestro was at one stage the frontrunner due to the numerous records he has broken throughout his career. However, he retired from the sport last year with 20 Grand Slam trophies under his belt which is less than both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic who are currently on 22 each. 

“In my opinion, the Grand Slam titles should be the defining criteria when determining the best of all time, they are the four most important tournaments in tennis,” Eurosport quotes Thiem as saying. 
“Everything else is fine, but it’s not the same. The Slams are what counts, so the GOAT will probably be the one with the most Grand Slams.”

Others will argue that more factors should be taken into account in the subjective debate. For example, Federer has won 103 ATP titles which are more than his two rivals, Djokovic holds the record for most weeks as world No.1 and Nadal has won more tournaments on clay than any other player in history. Furthermore, there is the players’ win-loss rate on the Tour and their records against the top 10 players. 

Recently at the Australian Open Djokovic won the men’s title for a historic 10th time in his career. An achievement that has been hailed by Thiem who was runner-up to the Serbian at Melbourne Park in 2021. 

“I am not very surprised, Djokovic still looks young,” he said. “Physically and mentally, because of the way he moves on the court. It’s like he was 25 years old.
“We have to be honest, he is the best, so his victory was not very surprising.”

Thiem has won one Grand Slam title which was at the 2020 US Open when he became the first man in the Open Era to come back from two sets down to win in the final. He has also been runner-up at the French Open twice, as well as the Australian Open once. 

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Novak Djokovic’s Australian Open Injury ‘Hard To Believe’ In The Eyes Of His Opponent

Some details surrounding Djokovic’s battle with a hamstring issue ‘doesn’t make sense,’ according to Enzo Couacaud.

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Image via Adelaide International Twitter

The only man to take a set off Novak Djokovic during the Serbian’s run to a historic 10th Australian Open title believes there are unanswered questions over his injury. 

 

France’s Enzo Couacaud took a set off the world No.1 before losing their encounter in the second round at Melbourne Park. At the tournament Djokovic was dealing with a hamstring problem which he picked up at the Adelaide International earlier this year. Throughout the tournament, he was wearing strapping on his leg and there was uncertainty about if he would be able to continue playing in the Grand Slam event. 

Despite the issue, Djokovic claimed a record-equalling 22nd Grand Slam title by disposing of Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets in the final. Afterwards his coach, Goran Ivanisevic, claimed that 97% of players would not have played if they were in a similar situation. The exact diagnosis of Djokovic’s injury hasn’t been addressed by his team but Australian Open director Craig Tiley said he suffered a 3mm tear. 

However, Couacaud has questioned the significance of the injury to begin with. During an interview with Tennis Actu, the world No.172 believes that some of the details appear to be ‘far-fetched’ as he draws parallels with Rafael Nadal, as well as footballer Kylian Mbappe.  

“Novak claimed he was playing with an injury, a big injury,” said Couacaud. “When athletes are injured in combat sports, they often can’t continue. When Rafael Nadal is injured, he can’t run. Kylian Mbappe, for example, is out for two weeks.
“And those are the greatest athletes, not those who don’t have access to top-notch care. It is therefore difficult to believe that only one man in the world can continue with an injury.
“When you take the examples of Nadal or Mbappe, but especially Rafa, with an injury to Wimbledon, he couldn’t even serve. When you see the greatest who can’t set foot on the pitch and another who wins a Grand Slam by playing every day for 15 days. It still seems a bit far-fetched.
“There are little things that don’t make sense to me. I was always told not to stretch with an injury. You saw Novak stretching all the time. You say to yourself, either they have a new method in Serbia, or it’s weird. Little things like that, he has his staff, but I’m too far to judge the authenticity of anything. It is true that it seems hard to believe.”

It is not the first time Djokovic has faced accusations that he has in some way exaggerated the significance of an injury. He encountered a similar situation during the 2021 Australian Open where he suffered an abdominal injury. After winning the tournament, he confirmed that he sustained a tear in the region. 

Speaking to journalists at Melbourne Park last month, the tennis star once again hit back at his critics and claimed that he was being singled out. 

“I leave the doubting to those people – let them doubt,” Tennis Majors quoted Djokovic as saying in Serbian following his fourth round win over Alex de Minaur. “Only my injuries are questioned. When some other players are injured, then they are the victims, but when it is me, I am faking it. It is very interesting… I don’t feel that I need to prove anything to anyone.
“I am not really interested at this point what people are thinking and saying. It is fun, it is interesting to see how the narrative surrounding me continues, narrative that is different compared to other players that have been going through similar situation. But I am used to it, and it just gives me extra strength and motivation. So I thank them for that.”

Djokovic has won 93 ATP titles during his career which is the fourth-highest tally in history. Only Ivan Lendl (94), Roger Federer (102) and Jimmy Connors (109) have won more. 

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Novak Djokovic ‘Hurt’ By Father’s Absence From Australian Open Final

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Novak Djokovic - Roland Garros 2022 (foto Roberto dell'Olivo)

Novak Djokovic said he mutually agreed with his father that he did not attend his latest Australian Open match but admits it was a bitter pill to swallow. 

 

Srdjan Djokovic had attended his son’s matches throughout the majority of the tournament but has recently been caught up in controversy. On Wednesday a video surfaced on social media of the 62-year-old posing for a photo with pro-Russian supporters with one of the fans waving a flag with the face of Vladimir Putin on it. Another fan was also wearing a t-shirt with the ‘Z’ symbol on it which is used to support the Russian army. 

The Russian and Belarussian flags were banned from the tournament this year following an incident in the first round. A Russian flag was shown during a match between Ukraine’s Kateryna Baindl and Russia’s Kamilla Rakhimova. Prompting anger from Ukraine with its ambassador to Australia calling for a ‘neutral flag’ policy to be implemented. 

Srdjan has since issued a statement saying the incident was ‘unintentional’ and said his family ‘only wish for peace in the world.’ He subsequently also missed Djokovic’s semi-final match to avoid any possible ‘disruption’ before doing the same for Sunday’s final.

“I thought things would calm down in terms of media and everything, but it didn’t. We both agreed it would probably be better that he is not there,” Djokovic said after beating Stefanos Tsitsipas to win a record-equalling 22nd Grand Slam title
“That hurts me and him (Srdjan) a lot because these are very special, unique moments. Who knows if they repeat again? So it was not easy for him.”

Whilst he was not in the stands, Djokovic was reunited with his father shortly afterwards. Although the tennis star said Srdjan ‘was not feeling his best’ due to the situation. 

“It is what it is. I think in the end also what he told me is that it’s important that I feel good on the court, I win the match, and he’s here for me,” Djokovic continued. 
“If it’s going to be better for me as the outcome of the match so that he’s not in the box, then so be it. That was the whole conversation.’
“In a way, I’m also sad that he was not there, present, in the stands. But he was throughout the entire tournament, so it’s fine. In the end, we have a happy ending.”

Djokovic has now won five out of the past seven Grand Slam tournaments he has played in. At the Australian Open alone he has won 28 matches in a row.

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