Stan Wawrinka: “I think my game is there. I'm playing great tennis. Physically I'm there. It's going to be tough, but I need to take the positive from already being in the semifinal” - UBITENNIS
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Stan Wawrinka: “I think my game is there. I’m playing great tennis. Physically I’m there. It’s going to be tough, but I need to take the positive from already being in the semifinal”

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TENNIS AUSTRALIAN OPEN – 30th of January 2015. N.Djokovic d. S.Wawrinka 7-6, 3-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-0. An interview with Stan Wawrinka

 

Q. There were a lot of ups and downs in this match. How would you describe it?

STAN WAWRINKA: Describe the match? Strange. Not the best, for sure. I think there were a lot of up and down. Beginning conditions weren’t too good. It’s quite flying a little bit. Balls are not easy to control. Not much. It was not the best match, for sure. I don’t know. Next question (smiling).

Q. At one point you asked for eye drops.

STAN WAWRINKA: Nothing special. Just need it. Didn’t work well just after, but it was okay. Nothing special.

Q. Why do you think there were so many ups and downs? Both you and Novak seemed to have trouble keeping your best level.

STAN WAWRINKA: You know, at the beginning, as I say, was for me the first night session. Had to adapt a little bit the game. It’s quite fast this year. It’s not easy to control. Again, I think I’m physically well, playing well in general. Really happy with my level. It was mentally that I think I’m paying off the price to finish off the season with Davis Cup, not having a bigger off-season, trying to focus really well to start well the year with winning Chennai and being here trying to do the best. I told my coach before the match and already yesterday that I was mentally completely dead and no battery. Tough to focus on what I want to do. Tough to focus on my game. And that’s what happened today.

Q. Is it tough coming into this match knowing the last two times were classic epics so the bar was very high?

STAN WAWRINKA: No, for that, there’s no pressure for that. I’m surprised we went five sets again, even if the last one was 10 minutes. But, no, for sure we had some great battle here last two years. Today was strange match. He was there playing good enough to win and he deserve to win and play the final.

Q. What happened in the fifth set?

STAN WAWRINKA: Had few moments in the match that I could have take a little bit advantage in the game. I had the feeling that I was playing well. But, again, as I say, it’s tough for me to focus on what I wanted to do. In third set I had breakpoint. I should have broke the first game. I had easy backhand that the miss. In the fifth the same. With the wind, I had again chance to take advantage, but I was surprised that I came back in the fourth. I was telling my box it was tough for me to stay with him, to find a way to win points. Because I was just trying to fight and to make some good choice, but today I was just not there.

Q. You did break his serve quite a few times tonight. What was the key there?

STAN WAWRINKA: I’m not that bad as a tennis player. Maybe that’s why (smiling). I don’t know. For sure, you know, when you see the stats, I think he lost his serve once before tonight. Two years ago he didn’t lose his serve before playing, and I broke him in the second serve. It’s just that we know each other so well. We practice so many time together. In Grand Slam we had some big battle. In other tournaments he always killed me in the score. But, again, as I say, I think my game is there. I’m playing great tennis. Physically I’m there. It’s going to be tough, but I need to take the positive from already being in the semifinal.

Q. Do you think you’ll be taking a break since you’re mentally spent?

STAN WAWRINKA: I’m going to go home. I have one week before the next tournament. Should be fine. I’m going to see. I think I have a good schedule for the year. I try to have some moments when I can practice with my coach and fitness trainer, when I can have some holiday. So should be fine for the year again. I think it’s about the schedule for the year. Not what I’m going to do for the next six weeks, but how I see the next six months, nine months.

Q. Are you proud of what you’ve achieved here?

STAN WAWRINKA: As I say, as of right now I’m more disappointed to lose because I had the feeling that in the game I’m there. I’m playing well. Yeah, I have everything to win the match tonight, but I didn’t. That’s the reality. So I will see tomorrow when I wake up, when I’m going to leave. The next few days for sure. I’m happy with the way I start the season, the way I’m focused on the practice court every day, and trying to improve my game. I think I’m playing better than last year. The most important is I need to do everything possible to keep that level all the season and not only few tournaments.

Q. You had a couple of big tiebreaks in this tournament. The first two points in this one, I don’t know if you remember them.

STAN WAWRINKA: I remember my backhand.

Q. Do you think it was a crucial moment for you?

STAN WAWRINKA: In a five-set match, there are some crucial moments, for sure. It could have been crucial. But at the end of the day I lost that tiebreak. I was down very quickly. At the 4-3 break, I lost my serve Love-40. Again, I had the chance to break in the third. I had a chance to break in the fifth. I didn’t. That’s the reality.

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‘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.

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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.

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Image via twitter.com/atptour (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.

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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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