Novak Djokovic: “Courts or the balls, something out of these two elements have speeded up the game here in Australia” - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

ATP

Novak Djokovic: “Courts or the balls, something out of these two elements have speeded up the game here in Australia”

Avatar

Published

on

TENNIS AUSTRALIAN OPEN – 26th of January 2015. N.Djokovic d. G.Muller 6-4, 7-5, 7-5. An interview with Novak Djokovic

 

Q. Strange that you’ve never played him before, you’ve both been on the tour for years. Was it difficult for a little while to work him out?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, it was. I got the crucial three breaks at the important moments, especially in the second and third at 5-All, managed to play some good passing shots. I was trying just to make him play an extra shot. He takes away the time from the opponent. His serves and volleys, very difficult serve to read. Nice slice serve. I approximately knew what was expected of me. I tried to analyze his game. I did watch him many times. But it’s different when you haven’t played somebody on the court. On the court you actually get to feel what his rhythm is and style of play. So it took me some time. But, you know, overall was a good performance and I think I have to take the positives from tonight and definitely what stands out is the serve. I got a lot of aces, got a lot of free points there. That’s something that obviously encourages me for the rest of the tournament.

Q. What is serve and volley’s future in your opinion? Because he did it tonight successfully.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Him?

Q. Yes.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I go to the net to shake hands (smiling).

Q. What is the future of the tactic?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: That’s a good question. It really depends how the technology is going to advance, what are we going to do with the balls as well. Are they going to become faster or slower? My subjective feeling for the Australian Open, I talked to many players, the last two years the courts or the balls, something out of these two elements have speeded up the game here in Australia. It plays faster. It allows the servers to have more free points, come to the net. On a cold night like tonight, the ball didn’t bounce very much. He tried to chip and come in. He played smart. Made me uncomfortable in some moments on the court. That’s what serve-and- volley players do. You don’t get to see that many serve-and-volley players these days. The future, it’s hard to say if it’s going to go back to what it was 20, 30 years ago. I highly doubt that. Depending on technology and certain changes, if the game becomes a bit faster, the players will adjust to it.

Q. Four matches into your Australian Open campaign, is it fair to say you’re going as well as you would hope for? What is your feeling?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Generally is a positive feeling. I haven’t dropped a set, I’m in the quarterfinals. Yes, I had tough matches the last two rounds, but I had quality opponents. I think I dropped serve only once during the whole tournament. That is a very encouraging fact. I have to motivate myself and obviously use the off days to work on a few things. There are a few things I think I can do better. Overall it’s a positive feeling going into the quarters.

Q. Seven of the top seeds are in the quarterfinals. Only guy missing is Roger. Does that surprise you in an age of great depth and talent?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It’s not the first time. Most of the big events you expect the top players to go far. So I don’t think it’s that surprising a fact. But obviously it’s surprising not to have Roger in that mix because he’s been there for basically every Grand Slam last 10 years. But, again, all the players who are in quarters have been playing great tennis and they deserve to be there. It’s going to be a good last eight.

Q. Rafa senses that the younger generation coming up are taller and they’re just focusing on serving big and they’re not thinking much. Do you agree?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I don’t think only with the serve you are able to be consistently successful and a top player, honestly. Of course, it does help a big deal in your game. Of course it is an advantage if you are able to serve as well as Milos does or Karlovic or Isner, these guys that have big advantage. But again, depending on which surface you play, you got to have at least another shot that is kind of a weapon in your game. I think serve and forehands, those are the two shots that some of the guys like Milos is focusing on. Obviously, if he serves as well as he does, 20, 30 aces average per match, puts a lot of pressure on the opponent’s serve. You take a chance, you double-fault, the set is gone. These kind of matches are very challenging mentally for us to play against servers like that.

Q. About the top seven of the eight coming through, the one that isn’t a seed is Nick Kyrgios. It was Australia Day. What have you made of his progression?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Fantastic job he has done here in the tournament first round, going through some physical pain on the court, then managing to win in five last match against Seppi. I watched a little bit. It was high-quality tennis. He’s showing some emotion on the court and the crowd gets into it. He has a lot of support. He’s also showing some mental strength in the tough moments. That’s a virtue that he possesses and he’s got to nurture that in order to be where he wants to be. I’m sure he has high ambitions in his career, in his life. He’s got the shots. He’s got the game. Especially here in Australia, he’s got home-court advantage. Anything is possible with Nick.

ATP

Andy Murray Surging In Confidence After Reaching First ATP Quarter-Final Since 2019

The 34-year-old believes he is getting better with every match played on the Tour as he eyes a spot in the final later this week.

Avatar

Published

on

Andy Murray (image via https://twitter.com/ATPTour_ES)

Former world No.1 Andy Murray says he is starting to gain more belief in his game after reaching the quarter-finals of the Moselle Open on Wednesday.

 

The three-time Grand Slam champion rallied to a 6-3, 6-3, win over Canada’s Vasek Pospisil in the French city. Murray dropped serve only once at the start of the second set but broke his opponent four times en route to the victory. It is the first time he has registered back-to-back wins on the ATP Tour since Wimbledon and it is the first time he has reached a quarter-final since winning the 2019 Antwerp Open.

Murray showed glimmers of his best tennis recently at the US Open where he took Stefanos Tsitsipas to five sets in the first round before losing. However, in his following tournament on the Challenger circuit he lost in the second round to world No.154 Roman Safiullin. Despite the mixed performances, the Brit says his fitness continues to improve and he believes he is heading in the right direction.

“For me, this period of the last few years has been the most I have played really,” Murray said following his win over Pospisil.
“My body feels good and I am starting to gain just a little bit of confidence with each match, starting to see the points and how I want to play them, which is great.
“There have been times in the past year where I have been a little bit confused and not seeing how the points are developing which was always a strong part of my game.
“It made me feel quite uncomfortable on court when I was feeling that way, so I am starting to get that back and the results are coming, my tennis is getting better.”

The 34-year-old, who now plays on the Tour with a metal hip after undergoing two operations, is targeting a return back into the world’s top 100 for the first time since 2018. He came agonisingly close in July when he reached 102. At present, he is currently ranked 113 but will climb at least four places following his run in Metz this week.

In the next round Murray will play either top seed Hubert Hurkacz or former top 10 player Lucas Pouille. Both players are likely to be a stern challenge for the three-time Grand Slam champion who is hoping to reach the final for the first time since 2007.

“I would love to get another opportunity to play here in the final, but there is a lot of tennis to be played before then potentially against the number one seed in the next round,” he reflected.
“It is not going to be easy if I want to reach the final, but I am playing well and have an opportunity.”

Murray has won 42 ATP titles and has earned more than $62M in prize money so far in his career.

Continue Reading

ATP

Diego Schwartzman Receives Threats On Social Media Following Shock Davis Cup Defeat

The world No.15 is the latest player to speak out about recieving abusive messages on social media.

Avatar

Published

on

The weekend has been an emotional rollercoaster for Diego Schwartzman, who suffered ‘one of the worst’ losses of his career before helping secure victory for his country in their Davis Cup tie against Belarus.

 

On Saturday the world No.15 was stunned by unranked 18-year-old Daniil Ostapenkov who is yet to play a professional match on the pro Tour. Ostapenkov is currently ranked 63 in the world on the junior circuit. The comprehensive victory shocked the Argentinian team who was hosting the tie at the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club.

Despite the shock upset, Schwartman managed to redeem himself the following day when he defeated Alexander Zgirovsky 6-1, 6-2. That victory handed his country an unassailable 3-1 lead in their tie and secured their place in the 2022 Davis Cup qualifiers which will take place next March.

Not only playing Davis, but in Buenos Aires, with a lot of people you don’t see, it’s not easy. My level can be and has to be much better. After the game on Saturday I had a difficult day in the spirit of being able to get up and enjoy with the group,” La Nacion quoted Schwartzman as saying.
“The most normal thing was that we won the series. It’s what everyone expected. But when you have a very difficult day at work like it was on Saturday and then you win, it excites you because you have some internal things withheld.”

Between those two matches, Schwartzman revealed that he was trolled on social media by some people unhappy about his loss in the tie. The 2020 French Open semi-finalist said he received criticism and even threats from some asking him to leave his home country. Something he admits affected him at times.

“It was one of the worst days of my career,” Schwartzman commented on his loss to Zgirovsky. “I lost to an unranked, inexperienced player. All that already affects (me) a lot. Although 80 or 90 percent of the people are always encouraging (me), there was a minority who criticized me with bad intentions.’
“I received threats, insults and requests not to return to Argentina. More or less, it affects (me)”.

Schwartzman is not the first player to speak out about online abuse. During the US Open Shelby Rogers said she was expecting to receive ‘death threats’ following her loss to Emma Raducanu who went on to win the title. Sloane Stephens has also previously spoken out about being the victim of racism online.

The 29-year-old says he has previously tried to interact with those who have trolled him on social media to find out why they are doing so.

Sometimes I start to answer some messages and I ask those people if they realize what they are sending,” Schwartzman said during his press conference. “The vast majority apologize and say they had not realized it. But at the moment it hurts. That very ill-intentioned criticism is the only bad thing about social networks.”

Schwartzman has won four ATP titles and earned more than $10M in prize money so far in his career.

Continue Reading

ATP

Spanish Veteran Feliciano Lopez Addresses Future On The Tour

23 years after he played his first main draw match on the ATP Tour, Lopez says his longevity in the sport has been achieved with the help of of some luck.

Avatar

Published

on

Feliciano Lopez of Spain is pictured during the semi-final of ATP Fever-Tree Championships tennis tournament at Queen's Club in west London on June 20, 2019.

Feliciano Lopez has dismissed any speculation that he could retire in the coming weeks after saying he is taking life on the Tour in his stride.

 

The 39-year-old Spaniard is currently the second oldest player in the world’s top 200 after Roger Federer, who is a year older than him. Lopez made his ATP Tour debut at the 1998 Barcelona Open which was before the birth of Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz. In June he became the 10th active player to record his 500th win on the Tour.

Currently ranked 111th in the world, some are starting to wonder how much longer Lopez will continue playing. So far this season he has achieved a win-loss record of 9-19 with his best performance being a run to the quarter-finals of the Mallorca Open which was held on the grass. It was in Mallorca where he defeated Karen Khachanov who is the only top 30 player he has beaten so far in 2021.

I play year-by-year, the last 6-7 years have been like this, a tennis player at that age cannot think about extending his career. After turning 30 I have been lucky, I have obtained the best results of my career,” Lopez told reporters on Friday.
It is not very common for players my age, at (almost) 40 years to continue playing in the best tournaments.” He added.

Throughout his career, Lopez has impressively played in a record 78 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments dating back to the 2002 French Open. During that period he has reached the quarter-finals of a major tournament on four occasions.

“I don’t play to break records, what makes me most excited is to continue playing Grand Slams. For me, maintaining that record (78 consecutive Grand Slams played) is very nice, but more to follow. Being competitive,” he commented on the milestone.
“It is difficult for someone to overcome it because it is 20 years in a row without missing a great one. I have had continuity and enormous luck. Those of my generation are practically all retired.”

Away from the court, the former world No.12 is the current tournament director of the Madrid Open. Making him one of a few players historically to both be playing on the Tour and managing a tournament at the same time. Recently it was confirmed that Madrid will continue hosting it’s combined event until at least 2030 following a renewed agreement between the city council and the Madrid trophy promotion.

Lopez has won a total of seven ATP titles so far in his career and has earned more than $18M in prize money.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending