Seven Keys Quotes From The Men’s Semifinals At The French Open - UBITENNIS
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Seven Keys Quotes From The Men’s Semifinals At The French Open

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Rafael Nadal (zimbio.com)

After two contrasting semifinal matches in Roland Garros on Friday, the men’s final has been decided. Rafael Nadal will bid for an historic tenth title at the French Open against former champion Stan Wawrinka. On the other hand, Andy Murray and Dominic Thiem will now switch their attention to their upcoming grass court season. On a day full of highs and lows, below are some of the things the players said following their match.

“Maybe the lack of matches hurt me a little bit in the end today. That was a very high intensity match. A lot of long points. When you haven’t been playing loads over four, four-and-a-half hours, that can catch up to you a little bit. So I only have myself to blame for that, for the way I played coming into the tournament.”

Murray after losing a four-and-a-half hour marathon match against Wawrinka. At this year’s French Open, he won five consecutive matches. This is more than what he won in all four tournaments prior to Roland Garros combined.

“Today I was not able to produce my best tennis at all. But it doesn’t have to do anything with this stage or with the occasion, because I also played bad matches in different tournaments in earlier rounds. So it doesn’t have to do anything with the occasion or that it was a Grand Slam semifinal here on the centre court.”

Thiem tries to play down the motion that he crumbled under the pressure of playing in a grand slam semifinal. Against Nadal, the Austrian produced three double faults and 34 unforced errors.

“We had some crazy points with some good rallies, with some good level of tennis. And to play a semifinal here, French Open against Andy, No. 1 in the world, that’s something really special, so for sure I enjoy it.”

Wawrinka on why he relished playing the world No.1 in the last four of the tournament.

“I don’t care about the games I lost or not, or sets or these kind of things. The only thing I care is I have been playing very well during the whole event, and I was able to win all the matches. That’s the only thing that really matters.”

A somewhat blunt response given by Nadal when asked if he was surprised about dropping only 29 games on route to the final. Bjorn Borg holds the all-time record of dropping just 27 games on route to the 1977 final.

“I don’t know how close I am to that. I played pretty well these last few matches. Even when you’re playing well, you’re not going to win every match you play, but I put myself in a position to reach a slam final, so I’m obviously playing pretty good.”

Murray’s upbeat response when asked about his current form. So far this year he has only managed to win one title on the ATP Tour. This is a sharp contrast to 2016, where he won eight trophies within a six-month period (June-December).

“I think to play Rafa on clay in French Open in a final is probably the biggest challenge you can have in tennis. He’s the best player ever on clay.”

Wawrinka on facing Nadal, a player he has only beaten three times in their 18 meetings.

“I do not want him to play his game, which means I need to make sure I don’t let him be in that position where he can hit hard. I will have to do everything I can to keep him from playing aggressively. If I can play long balls, if I can hit hard, if I can do that, well, I think I will be hopefully able to control him.”

Nadal’s plan for his final showdown against Wawrinka.

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Novak Djokovic Withdraws From Masters 1000 Event In Madrid

Novak Djokovic will miss the Masters 1000 event in Madrid and will look to build up his Roland Garros preparations in Rome.

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Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the Masters 1000 event in Madrid as he aims for quality over quantity in his bid for Roland Garros glory.

The world number one has had a rough start to the season by his standards as he is yet to win a title this season after a semi-final defeat to Jannik Sinner at the Australian Open.

Djokovic was hoping a change of surface would bring a change of fortunes but the Serb was defeated in three sets in the semi-finals of Monte-Carlo.

Now it seems that result has made Djokovic rethink his schedule as the current Roland Garros champion has withdrawn from Madrid.

No official reason has been given although the news seems to be not that surprising given Djokovic’s history in the Spanish capital.

The Serb hasn’t played since 2022, where he was beaten by Carlos Alcaraz in the semi-finals, and has now won the title there for five years.

It looks like Djokovic will be putting his faith into more favourable conditions in Rome, which is the most similar to Roland Garros in terms of conditions.

Djokovic is a six-time champion in the Italian capital and will aim for a seventh title when he plays there on the 8th of May.

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Thanasi Kokkinakis Questions ‘Insane’ Drug Testing

Thanasi Kokkinakis has been tested three times within the last six days.

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Thanasi Kokkinakis has questioned persistent drug testing after he revealed he was tested three times in six days.

The Australian is in good form at the moment having won the Sarasota Challenger in Florida.

Kokkinakis claimed glory with a three set win over Zizou Bergs in the final as he continues to climb the rankings.

However that glory has been overshadowed by the fact that Kokkinakis has revealed he was drug tested three times within a six day period.

The world number 94 described it as ‘insane’ and it comes after Alexandre Muller complained of persistent drug testing after his recent defeats.

Doping has been a huge topic of conversations with Simona Halep losing two years of her career after testing positive after the US Open before the Court Of Arbitration For Sport shortened her case.

Kokkinakis will be hoping that this is the last time he has to deal with persistent drug testing as he continues his clay court season.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas Saves Two Match Points To Extend Winning Streak In Barcelona

Stefanos Tsitsipas survived a scare to reach the Barcelona semi-finals.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas saved two match points to defeat Facundo Diaz Acosta 4-6 6-3 7-6(8) in Barcelona.

The former finalist saved two match points against the inspired Argentinian as Tsitsipas reached the semi-finals.

It means Tsitsipas is 9-0 in the clay court season and has the chance to set up a potential rematch with Casper Ruud in the final.

The duo met in last week’s Monte-Carlo final where Tsitsipas claimed his third title in Monaco.

Speaking after the match Tsitsipas admitted it was difficult to sustain his level, “I was coming close [to losing] at certain moments in the match. It seemed like a mountain,” Tsitsipas stated to the ATP website.

“I reminded myself that I have a headband that I wear here that has a mountain and that I need to climb it, so it kept me going. It was difficult. It was extremely difficult to sustain the same level throughout the entire match and I think he played incredible.

“I think he left everything out there. He is a good clay-court player. He has a title on the ATP Tour for a reason and today it was a level he was able to bring out on the court that made it quite obvious.

“I got a little bit tense on my serve, I won’t lie. I think I started decelerating a lot, but once I got a hold of that I was conscious of that, it went back to where it belonged and helped me a lot in the tie-breaker because if I didn’t figure it out, I don’t know. It was very mental in general. I really had to go to uncomfortable places mentally and go over the limit at some point.”

Tsitsipas is currently seven in the world in the live rankings as the Greek is looking to claim his first title in Barcelona.

Next up for the Greek will be either Dusan Lajovic or Arthur Fils while Tomas Martin Etcheverry takes on Casper Ruud in the other semi-final.

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