TENNIS AUSTRALIAN OPEN – 27th of January 2015. T.Berdych d. R.Nadal 6-2, 6-0, 7-6. An interview with Tomas Berdych
Q. Nobody can beat Tomas Berdych 18 times in a row?
TOMAS BERDYCH: Well, no (smiling). I heard that already. I did, so…
Q. How was it? What were your feelings when you were playing? Did you expect him to come back? You thought it was in your hands?
TOMAS BERDYCH: No, I mean, I start pretty well. I start with the plan that I set up before the match, and then it turns that it was the right one. I was able to keep going with the same plan all the way through the match. Even though that it was the first two sets kind of looks easy, you know, but you’re playing Rafa and you know what kind of opponent he is and you have to be ready for anything. So, you know, that’s why I keep myself really focused and was keep going all the way till the end and trying to make my chances. Even though he just changed a couple of things – he gets better in the third set – but still I was able to finish it and close it up in three sets.
Q. What did he change?
TOMAS BERDYCH: He changed the style and the way how he’s played. He starts maybe quite defensively from the beginning, but then, you know, he see that that’s probably not the way how to do it. So then he starts to be a little bit more aggressive, go for the shots a little bit more. But, yeah, I mean, it was a way that he’s been making more points. But still I was able to handle it pretty well.
Q. Tell us a little bit more about how much Dani has changed your preparation? Anything specifically he has done that you hadn’t been doing before?
TOMAS BERDYCH: Well, I mean, we set up before the match the right tactics. Then I was able to execute that on the court. That’s what I’m really happy. I was playing a really good game. But, you know, I just need to look forward. The tournament is still long way to go, and that’s it. Really, I mean, that’s the preparation that we are doing for every single match. That’s our job. You know, I think I’m going to keep it a bit secret. That’s basically what the chemistry of each team is. That would be really like, you know, pointless to setting up the tactics and the way how we want to prepare for the matches if I just open up everything here. But he changed a lot of things. He changed a lot of positive things. And the best is I’m really able to execute them really, really quickly. That’s how it should be.
Q. Did you ever think that after not being able to hook up with Ivan you would have such great coaching success with another coach?
TOMAS BERDYCH: Well, I learned in the past, especially from the tennis, really mostly the things are changing really quickly. So, I mean, everything was placed in order. I mean, after the Shanghai, I get home. I approach Ivan, we have some talk and things didn’t work out. Then I need to refocus myself for the end of the season and finish up the year quite in the good level. And once I done my season, I was just finally taking off, because really the end of the season was like really hectic and tough. I set it up to myself that that’s the thing I would like to do, like to change, so let’s move on and do something. Yeah, that was the opportunity and the possibility, so that’s why we end up together.
Q. When you were out there really taking it to Rafa, what were you saying to yourself? Must have felt great.
TOMAS BERDYCH: Oh, it feels great. I mean, really the good thing is, as I said, the plan that we put together was the right one. Everything was working. I was able to execute it really well. But still, I mean, until the last point you can’t think about anything else. You have to really keep going till the last one. When it’s done, it’s done. It’s great. But I might be thinking about it and enjoying the time probably till tomorrow morning. When I woke up, I need to get myself ready for another one. As I said, I mean, there is a still long way to go in this tournament and I need to be ready for it.
Q. Are you watching the match tonight or do you prefer to enjoy your win doing something else?
TOMAS BERDYCH: No, actually, I’m going to keep Dani watching that match. I think that’s the job for him. I don’t have to spend really all the time to looking at that. But, yeah, I mean, I’m going to see something definitely. I mean, I’m interesting in that. I want to see something from it. But, as I said, you know, today I have the only time I can enjoy the victory. Since I wake up tomorrow morning just all the focus goes for the next opponent and my next match.
Q. For many years players didn’t have a coach. Now they all have a coach – most of them. How important is it to have a coach? 10%? 15%?
TOMAS BERDYCH: It’s a very important part of the team because really, I mean, you’re spending such a long time on the tour. It’s a guy, really, that is very important to yourself. I think the tennis just gets to such a high level that without the team around you it’s almost impossible to be successful for long time, you know, long period of time. I mean, okay, you can have a good time of the year, a few couple of months, but it doesn’t work. I mean, it’s all about the routine, all about really the hard work. You definitely need somebody who is experienced. On such a level like I am right now, you really need someone who can bring just a little bit to add to your game, to give you that little difference compared to the others, to make a difference on the court.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Maria Sakkari beats Jelena Ostapenko to reach the quarter final in Ostrava
Roger Federer Eyes Laver Cup Captaincy Role Post-Retirement
Novak Djokovic ‘All In’ For History After Outlasting Zverev In US Open Semis
ATP Moves Closer To Staging Five More 12-Day Masters 1000 Events After Board Approval
Boris Becker Hits Out At ‘Unacceptable’ Treatment Of Novak Djokovic
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US Open, Steve Flink: “Djokovic’s loss had more to do with fatigue than pressure”
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