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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Daria Kasatkina And Alejandro Davidovich Fokina Lead Calls For VAR In Tennis

There have been calls for VAR to be introduced into the sport.

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Daria Kasatkina and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina have called for VAR to be implemented in tennis.

The calls have came after Andrey Rublev was disqualified from his semi-final with Alexander Bublik in Dubai.

As Bublik lead 6-5 in the final set, Rublev shouted in the face of an umpire allegedly swearing in Russian which was picked up by one of the officials.

This saw Rublev be disqualified from the event with Bublik reaching the final in Dubai.

However as a result of the incident players have called for a VAR review system with the video showing inconclusive proof of whether Rublev did swear in Russian.

Leading the calls for such innovation are Daria Kasatkina and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina as the duo called for VAR to be introduced on twitter, “So you can just disqualify a player, take away all his points and money, without even checking the video? What a joke, yet another confirmation that we need VAR in tennis and an electronic appeal system in all tournaments,” Kasatkina said on social media.

VAR has been implemented in football and also a similar system in rugby with mixed results.

It’s clear though that more technology would help umpires identify whether a grounds for disqualification would be necessary.

So far VAR has been trialled at the Next Gen Finals and the Nitto ATP Finals.

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Casper Ruud Overcomes ‘Tough Start’ To Set De Minaur Final In Acapulco

Casper Ruud is into his first ATP 500 final after defeating Holger Rune in three sets.

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Casper Ruud is into his second consecutive final in Mexico after defeating Holger Rune 3-6 6-3 6-4 in Acapulco.

The Norwegian had to overcome an electric start from Rune to prevail in 2 hours and 24 minutes.

It was a clinical performance from Ruud who is now into his second consecutive final in Mexico after reaching the final in Los Cabos last week.

Speaking after the match Ruud admitted it was a tough start but he’s pleased to be in another final, “It was a tough start,” Ruud told the ATP website.

“Holger just came out firing bullets from the forehand, from the backhand and I had not too much time to play my game. I was frustrated at times, especially at the end of the first set, beginning of the second.

“I didn’t really feel like I got to play any points how I wanted to, so there was some frustration towards myself, towards my box, because I didn’t feel like we were doing the right thing.

“But luckily with one break in the second, it turned around a bit and in the third set it got a little physical. I think maybe Holger seemed like he was struggling a little bit and started firing even more and a couple of games it went in and he broke me, which is frustrating.

“Some unforced errors crept up on him and I served really well in the last game to close it out.”

Ruud is now into his first ATP 500 final in Acapulco where he will face defending champion Alex De Minaur.

De Minaur overcame Jack Draper after the Brit retired at 4-0 down in the deciding set.

Heading into Saturday’s final, De Minaur leads the head-to-head 1-0 although that was in a completely different scoring format in the Next Gen Finals.

Whatever happens on Saturday, Ruud will return to the world’s top ten.

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Andrey Rublev Disqualified In Dramatic Dubai Semi-Final

Andrey Rublev was disqualified from his semi-final in Dubai.

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Andrey Rublev was disqualified from his semi-final with Alexander Bublik after being accused of swearing in Russian.

The event took place in Dubai where Rublev had more than enough opportunities to win the match having been 4-2 40-0 up in the deciding set.

However Bublik came back into the match as he caught up with Rublev in what was turning into a fascinating contest.

The score was at 6-5 Bublik when Rublev’s frustrations boiled over when he allegedly told the official at the side of the court that he was a ‘f****** moron’ in Russian.

One of the officials on the sidelines at the side of the court reported the incident and the supervisor ruled that Rublev should be defaulted.

The incident below means that Rublev will now lose all his ranking points and prize money, resulting in Rublev exiting the world’s top five.

An ending that didn’t warrant the dramatic contest and after the match Bublik agreed that the consequences, “I highly doubt Andrey said something crazy,” Bublik was quoted by Sports Illustrated.

“He’s not this kind of guy. But I guess that’s the rules. That’s what they did, they just follow the procedure.”

Bublik will hope for a smoother finish to the final when he takes on Ugo Humbert for the title.

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