(January 19, 2015) A few of the more off-beat questions and answers from Day 1 news conferences at the Australian Open.
We’ve seen Milos Raonic debuted a new haircut. Nick Kyrgios has quite the interesting haircut himself. Have you ever thought of doing something like that with your own hair?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I think I’ve past that phase. I’ve had a lot of haircuts, but I think it’s — visually it looks pretty good. Let’s see how the guys or the people would rate that. I like it. (Smiling.)
Gajdasova broke an 0-9 streak at her home major to get her first win.
Did you ever think this day would come?
JARMILA GAJDOSOVA: If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be playing, would I? Yeah, I thought it would, I thought I been playing well, so one of these years it had to come. As I said on the court, I guess I was fortunate for the first time I actually had a draw that I didn’t have a seed in the first round. As much as it was difficult match and every match is hard to win, doesn’t matter if there is a seed or not, at least I had a big opportunity to get through. As I say, it was my ten-year anniversary, so there was going to be celebration or one for the sadness. I’m glad it’s a celebration.
Hradecka knocked off fifth seed Ana Ivanovic
Looks like you can’t wipe the smile off your face. Happy knocking off the fifth seed?
LUCIE HRADECKA: Yeah, definitely. I’m happy. I still don’t believe that I am true. So probably in a couple hours I will know that I am in second round in Australian and I beat Ana. Yeah, whole times, it’s two hours after match, and I’m still smiling.
What did you think after losing that first set where you hadn’t won any of your service games, serving at 40%, then you came out a completely different player?
LUCIE HRADECKA: In the first set I was so nervy. Of course, I have the feeling on the court that the court is so big. I couldn’t hit any balls in the court. When I went outside, I started the serve in second set, I think, Okay, it cannot be the worst. Let’s play every point and let’s see what will happen.
Your shorts seem a lot shorter this year than before. Is that a decision you’ve made or something that’s come from your sponsor?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. To make the shorts shorter is something that I like. I feel more comfortable this way. We make it shorter already last year, and this year a little bit more. I like. I feel more comfortable here, more fresh. Sometimes is good to have some changes, to try different things. But seriously, I prefer this way.
You had a bit of an exchange with some of your fans there. Talk us through that.
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, no, they kept saying, Australia’s No. 1. But they got it wrong, you know. I’m 2. So I just told them, You know I’m 2 (smiling).
Does that mean you feel like there’s less pressure on you not being the No. 1 given there’s so many other Australians in the draw, as well…
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I don’t think about those things. It’s always different. Obviously now it’s changed a bit. Like I said, I probably don’t think about those things. They don’t come across my head. Today I played good. I’m happy. The Fanatics give good support. I’m happy they came out there. They’re really nice guys, those people. They support me really well. That’s the main thing.
Did you notice a difference in the crowd at Hisense, a general-admission crowd?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, there is more energy. It’s more louder. Does it fit more or not?
Couldn’t tell you.
BERNARD TOMIC: I thought Hisense fits more than Rod Laver. No? Maybe upgraded seats or something. Someone told me that a few years ago. I don’t know. But it’s a different court. It’s a different surrounding, so it’s not easy. Maybe I felt like I should have practiced on that before. But, yeah, you know, it’s not a bad court. I really enjoyed playing on it. The crowd was huge today. It was positive support.
You may remember that article from David Foster Wallace years ago in the New York Times where described you as a religious experience, and then I read, a human beings reconciliation with the fact of having a body. What do you think? Do you recognize yourself? An exaggeration?
ROGER FEDERER: Just a slight exaggeration (laughter). But I guess in sports we have a tendency to — there’s no end. You know, it’s just so unbelievable sometimes, like it’s never been seen before. So I’ve been through this entire phase where I got so many compliments, you just thought, Wow, this is the best feeling in the world. But very quickly you get the feeling as well that not everything’s so great sometimes when you don’t play very well. I’ve been on both sides. That’s why I have no problem accepting criticism, because I’ve gotten so many compliments over the years. It’s part of the game. But clearly some unbelievable pieces have been written about me, about tennis, about other players. It’s interesting to read them. Sometimes just slightly exaggerated, but everybody can judge that the way they want.
A lot has been made about Milos Raonic’s haircut. Have you seen it? Thoughts from you?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I have not seen it. I made fun of his hair last year. I don’t know how it’s different now. I just think he spends way too much time worrying about his hair.
More than you?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Yes. Clearly (laughter).
|Q. What do you make of Li Na’s announcement tonight that she’s expecting? What sort of mom do you think she might be?MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think she’d be a great mom. Yeah, I think it’s a really exciting new chapter in her life. Yeah, it’s something that I believe she’s wanted for a really long time. It’s really nice to be able to settle down and focus on her family and her husband and her future child.Q. Is that something you eventually would like?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, definitely. I grew up being very close to — my mom had me when she was very young, but I grew up having her as my best friend. It’s a special — I wish that hopefully one day I’ll be able to have that type of relationship with my mom and with my parents, because I know when you’re younger you’re a bit more rebellious. But I’ve always enjoyed spending time with my parents, even though my dad was a coach of mine for many years. Still is when I’m home. I love having them around. I’m an only child, so they get to spoil me a little bit. But, yeah, it’s a special feeling.
Kokkinakis saved four match points in defeating No. 11 seed ERnests Gulbis in five sets.
Q. You had some flashy clothes to match the flashy plays today. Were you inspired at all by Andre Agassi with that outfit?
THANASI KOKKINAKIS: I don’t know. You’ll have to ask Nike. They gave me that package. They were like, We only give this to a few. If you’re up for it, wear it. I was like, Yeah, whatever, I’ll do it. I wore the stripes last year, but that was nothing compared to what I wore this year. So I was out there, and I was like surely in this outfit I’ve got to get the win.
Q. Were the shorts comfortable or not?
THANASI KOKKINAKIS: It was a bit annoying. I saw it dangling at the bottom there, so I tried to flick it over. No, that felt fine. I prefer shorter shorts. It makes me run easier.
Q. It will probably be on the front pages of the newspapers. Or you don’t care about it?
THANASI KOKKINAKIS: It was exciting. I know it was a good win. There’s more to come. I don’t want to win just one round. Obviously it was my best win yet. I’ll enjoy it for the rest of the night, but tomorrow I’ll need to get prepared for the next match two days away against Sam.
Q. Are you going to have a quiet word to Nick about trying to upstage your match?
THANASI KOKKINAKIS: I saw him in the changing rooms. We congratulated each other. It’s a good win for both of us. Hopefully we can go further in the draw.