Indian Wells Media Day: Radwanska Talks Food, Federer Unfazed By Draw - UBITENNIS
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Indian Wells Media Day: Radwanska Talks Food, Federer Unfazed By Draw

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By John Horn (@sportshorn)
Indian Wells, CA

Every year media from around the world gather in a small room at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells as the ATP & WTA parade in the top players competing at this years tournament.

One after the other in no particular order, players gather at a small table and field all sorts of questions on a variety of topics. From on court to off court, positives and negatives, politics and drug tests and even questions about food.

Here are some of the best responses to the questions the players faced on Wednesday

Simona Halep:

On changing one rule in the sport of tennis

“To start the year a little bit later to have a New Year’s party at home”

On her coach Darren Cahill

“He is too relaxed for me. Sometimes I get pissed that he is too relaxed and he looks like he doesn’t care when I lose but he tries just to keep me positive”

On good friend Petra Kvitova:

“I sent her a message and today (Wednesday) is her birthday. She’s trying to come back. We miss her, I’m sure she will come back. She is okay”

Agnieszka Radwanska:

On how her life is these days

“I’m just getting old. Indian Wells reminds me of my birthday. I don’t feel old though”

On her love of American restaurant chain The Cheesecake Factory a place she visits every year while at this tournament

“Of course it’s a tradition. 10th year at the Cheesecake Factory” (Q: What’s the best cheesecake ) “Oreo

On Eugenie Bouchard going on a Twitter date with fan

“To be honest, some of the people want to be on the radar all the time some of them not. I am not the one that would do something like that. Her choice”

Svetlana Kuznetsova:

On the world class chefs who have restaurants here on the Indian Wells grounds for both the fans and players

“I think it’s great, it means that the tournament is huge. They allow us to eat their great food. I was just having lunch in the players area and I just got four boxes of sushi and it cost me $80.00 (US) and I was like what? But I’d rather pay for quality food”

On what it’s like being a Russian in America these days

“In Russia we have every second joke is about Trump…like Trump being sent to here by Putin.

That Putin sent Trump to be the President of the United States.”

On her tattoos

“Tattoos are very personal thing it’s the worst thing to ask someone (smiling)”

Kei Nishikori:

On whether it’s more difficult to be a tennis star in Japan or in Great Britain like Andy

“Well, he’s doing better so it’s a different story (laughs). If I lived in Japan I would go crazy, for sure. I wouldn’t be at this type of level”

Andy Murray:

On the “Group of Death” bottom quarter of the draw

“Amazing, amazing draw really. I’ve never seen anything like that, one of the toughest sections of a draw of all time. It’s exciting for tennis fans, there will be some good matches early on in the tournament. There’s even guys like Verdasco in there, dangerous dangerous players like that, it’s definitely tough on the guys that are down there”

Karolina Pliskova:

On turning down photoshoots or sponsor events

“I usually say no to everything (laughing) I don’t need this stuff. I do a few press conferences after some wins and that’s it. It’s my choice”

On whether she dreamt of doing magazine shoots as a young player

“I was not raised this way, I just want to play good tennis for me that’s the main goal I just don’t need to be on every magazine”

Roger Federer:

On the ”Group of Death” bottom quarter of the draw

“First message I got was Dudi Sela or Stéphane Robert and I’m like ‘okay fine.’ Then I heard that Rafa was in my section and I was like ‘okay.’
“And then that maybe Novak’s in my section and I’m ‘okay fine,’” he said smiling. “It doesn’t matter. I’ve gone through so many draws. I came here to Indian Wells to play against those guys, so it doesn’t matter if it’s the semis, the finals or actually a fourth round….I think it’s good for me to play those guys early. I look forward to it.”

On whether he has seen anything like that portion of the draw

“I’ve definitely had a lot of tough draws. I remember playing, in 2004, in Dubai after winning against (Marat) Safin in the finals of the Australian Open. I played him in the first round in Dubai because he was still unseeded. That was tough, that was probably tougher than Dudi Sela – Stéphane Robert.”

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal were not on hand for today’s media session. Both players are expected to speak on Thursday ahead of their first matches at Indian Wells.

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Alexander Zverev Continues To Struggle After Jarry Defeat In Barcelona

Alexander Zverev’s poor recent form continues as he goes out in Barcelona in three sets to Nicolas Jarry.

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Alexander Zverev (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

Alexander Zverev continues his poor 2019 season after losing 3-6 7-5 7-6(5) in Barcelona to Nicolas Jarry.

 

The German battled back from a double break down in the final set however after wasting a match point, couldn’t beat the powerful Chilean.

It means that Zverev has only won three matches in five tournaments since reaching the Acapulco final, where he lost to Nick Kyrgios.

It was a positive start for the recently turned 22 year-old after he played fairly aggressively and took the first set 6-3 with some great play.

After a consistent first set, the German failed to control the match to his tempo as Jarry rallied back in the second set with some aggressive play of his own.

The Chilean brings an aggressive game to the court and has the confidence to beat anyone on his day although he is yet to win an ATP title.

A run of five games saw Zverev’s confidence get knocked as Jarry levelled the match and stormed into a double break lead in the decider.

If there is a positive to take from the ATP Finals champion’s play today, it’s the fight he showed to rally back and show some much-needed energy.

After breaking in three consecutive games it was a controlled match from both as this was a big match for both in their respective seasons.

A simple backhand miss on match point didn’t help Zverev as the world number 81 forced a final set tiebreak to settle the match.

In the end after a nervy 12 points, it was Jarry who kept his cool to earn one of the biggest wins of his career as Zverev continued his bad run of form.

Since falling ill in Acapulco, the German has only won three matches in five tournaments and admits he is in a dilemma, “I’m in a hole and I don’t know how to get out of it,” the German explained.

“I just play bad, it’s not a secret. I’m missing backhands all over the places, which is my best shot. I cannot make one impressive shot. I’m double faulting.”

The German now has titles in Munich and Madrid to defend before final points in Rome as he goes through the toughest time of his career.

As for Jarry he will now play Grigor Dimitrov or Fernando Verdasco in the third round.

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Tough draws for Naomi Osaka, Karolina Pliskova and Simona Halep at the Porsche Indoor Grand Prix in Stuttgart

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Reigning US Open and Australian champion and world number 1 Naomi Osaka has been drawn in the same quarter as two-time champion Angelique Kerber and Hsieh Su Wei at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, which features six of the top 10 players of the WTA Ranking. The tournament takes place on indoor clay at the Porsche Arena in Stuttgart.

 

Osaka will make her second appreance in the star-studded Stuttgart tournament after losing to Great Britain’s Johanna Konta in the opening round in 2017. The Japanese player, who is receiving a bye from the opening round, is on a collision course for a possible second round match against Hsieh Su Wei, who will make her debut in the Stuttgart tournament against Qiang Wang in the first round.

Last year’s Roland Garros champion Simona Halep could face crowd favourite Andrea Petkovic in the second round. The Romanian player could meet either Kiki Bertens or this year’s Dubai champion Belinda Bencic.

Defending champion and this year’s Miami champion Karolina Pliskova will take on the winner of the blockbuster match between Garbine Muguruza and Victoria Azarenka. In this section Caroline Garcia has been drawn with Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit, who reached the semifinal in Stuttgart last year and in Miami in 2019. Garcia contributed to the win in the decisive doubles match alongside her teammate Kristina Mladenovic in the Fed Cup semifinal against Romania in Rouen.

In the bottom half of the draw this year’s Australian Open finalist and Sydney champion Petra Kvitova could meet the winner of an all-Latvian first round clash between 2017 Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko and Anastasjia Sevastova.

 

 

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Fabio Fognini lifts his maiden Masters 1000 title in Monte-Carlo

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Fabio Fognini beat Dusan Lajovic 6-3 6-4 in the final of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters to win the maiden Masters 1000 title of his career. Fognini has become the first Italian to win in the Monte-Carlo Country Club since Nicola Pietrangeli in 1968.

 

Fognini, the first Italian player to reach the final in the Principality since Davis Cup captain Corrado Barazzutti lost to Bjorn Borg in 1977, is the lowest player to win the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters title since Gustavo Kuerten in 1999. Fognini was on the verge of defeat in the first round when he trailed 4-6 1-4 during the second set against Andrey Rublev.

In the next rounds Fognini went on to beat 2018 Nitto ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev in the third round, Borna Coric in the quarter final in another three-set match after trailing 1-6 0-2. 11-time Monte-Carlo champion Rafael Nadal in the semifinal and Dusan Lajovic in the final.

Fognini is the first Italian champion in the Masters series since 1990. Since 2005 the only three other champions in the Monte-Carlo champions have been Rafael Nadal (eleven times from 2005 to 2012 and from 2016 to 2018), Novak Djokovic (twice in 2013 and 2015) and Stan Wawrinka (2014)

In his first head-to-head match against Lajovic Fognini saved two of the four break points he faced and broke serve four times. The Italian player hit 19 winners to 23 unforced errors, while Lajovic produced a ratio of 16 winners to 36 mistakes.

Lajovic earned the first break of the match in the third game to take a 2-1 lead, but Fognini broke twice in the fourth and sixth games to win five of the next six games.

Both players traded breaks in the first and second games of the second set. Fognini earned the decisive break to take a 3-2 lead, when Lajovic sent a forehand long. Fognini received a medical time-out to treat his ankle, but he held his next three service games to close out the match with a service winner on his second match point.

Fognini will reach his career high of world number 12 just 5 points behind Marin Cilic. He is just 250 points away from the top 10.

“I was born near Monte-Carlo and it’s awesome to win this tournament. Congratulations to Dusan. You have a great team. your coach José Perlas trained me in the past. Continue to work hard. It will be your time soon. I thank my team. This year I started badly. Thanks to my wife Flavia for her support. Thank to my town Arma di Taggia. I want to thank the Tournament Director Zeliko Franulovic. I dedcate this trophy to my mother, who will celebrate her birthday tomorrow”, said a delighted Fognini during the award ceremony.

 

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