Monday, September 7, 2015
K. ANDERSON/A. Murray
7-6, 6-3, 6-7, 7-6
An interview with:
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. How good did that shower feel tonight?
KEVIN ANDERSON: Yeah, you know, obviously knowing I was playing Andy in the fourth round a couple days ago, it’s sometimes tough not to wonder and think about the match, think post the match and what it will be like. Obviously sitting here having played the match and winning it, it’s hard to describe how I’m feeling. I felt I played one of the best matches of my career. To do it at this stage, at this round, obviously to get through to the quarters the first time in a slam definitely means a lot to me.
Q. Were you able to read all the texts from the University of Illinois alumni players?
KEVIN ANDERSON: I turned my phone onto flight mode before. It’s interesting. I think my phone kind of froze. I got so many. It was awesome to see all the support and actually amazing to see how many people were watching the match.
Q. To what degree does your demeanor play into your success?
KEVIN ANDERSON: I’m not sure. Especially in a match like that where I felt there was so much energy out there, you know, I was just really trying to focus on the basics as much as I could. I mean, I was feeling it a lot.
I guess I wasn’t showing a whole lot. But, you know, I was just really taking it one point at a time, taking care of my serve games. Yeah, especially I think in that instance where there is so much, you can easily sort of get caught up. I mean, I was definitely feeling it in terms of fatigue. It was a very physical match. I was trying to balance conserving energy but at the same time showing some emotion.
I felt, you know, at least I found a good balance there. Maybe I wasn’t ecstatic, all sorts of jumping up and down, but inside I definitely found a really good balance.
Q. What was your key to your dominance in the tiebreaker at the end?
KEVIN ANDERSON: Yeah, you know, at that point having lost that third-set breaker, in the fourth I was just like, you know, really focused just one point at a time. Obviously winning my first point on my serve, then going 2-Love up, hitting a really good return winner to go 3-Love up, like just let me get one of these next serve points. To get both of them, now I’m suddenly 5-Love up. I was able to swing a little bit on that next point, grinded out a good point.
I think always with breakers, it’s really just about not getting too far ahead of yourself. I mean, not many times you are going to win it 7-0. So obviously switching in at 6-0, it’s a lot more comfortable than being 5-All, 6-All, something like that.
Q. I know you have a Green Card, but how close are you to U.S. citizenship? Is there any chance you would ever play Davis Cup for the United States?
KEVIN ANDERSON: I have my Green Card. Right now I’m getting it through my marriage. There’s like a three-year time you have to have your Green Card for. But within that three years you have to spend a certain amount of days in the U.S. It’s like 50%. I’m like at 45%. I think maybe I’ll be eligible sometime next year, I think.
In terms of Davis Cup, no, I’m not going to be playing for the U.S.
Q. You haven’t had a ton of success against Andy in the past. What sort of tactical adjustments did you make coming into this match?
KEVIN ANDERSON: I think obviously quite a few things. I played him a few times. Just in this matchup, I think there’s more than just a couple tacticals for the match. It goes way back in my preparations. I’ve got a great team behind me, all the work that they do and the support, you know, from obviously my coach to my fitness trainers, my physical trainers. I’ve been working with a sports psychologist, as well. Obviously I think that’s been a big benefit for me, just being more comfortable in these big positions.
I feel like the last while I’ve put myself in that position, obviously being in the fourth round a few times but falling a little bit short. Today it feels good to take a little step and actually beat one of the best guys in the world in the fourth round of a slam, as well.
Q. How does this register at home?
KEVIN ANDERSON: It will be interesting to see. Over the last couple years, I feel like there’s been quite a bit of press following my results on the tour. Obviously there’s been a lot of Davis Cup questions regarding my participation. I’ve just always tried to point out I just feel like wins like this, at least when I was growing up, would mean a lot to see somebody from South Africa. I was looking at Wayne Ferreira. I know that the coverage has been great, so I’m pretty sure there will be quite a bit of press back home. That definitely feels good to see that. Obviously tennis is struggling a bit, so obviously the more the better.
Q. That crowd was pretty rough on you for a while there. Was there a moment you wanted to say, I’m kind of American here?
KEVIN ANDERSON: It was so much fun playing out there. It was packed from the first point right till the end. The crowd was really getting into it. Playing Andy, who is a champion here, obviously he’s always going to have so much support.
I felt I had quite a bit, as well. There were quite a few chants going on. I’ve never really been somebody who’s been affected by the crowd even if I’m not the favorite for the match, but I must say playing out there will be definitely one for the memory bank.
Q. Without going into any personal detail, how has this sports psychologist helped you?
KEVIN ANDERSON: Yeah, I mean, I think on numerous fronts. I think especially at this level, there’s such fine details. I think a lot of the physical side, obviously I’m working on that. But I felt just from the mental side, being as neutral as possible in these big matchups, somebody just to talk through, you know, sort of understands how I think and stuff has definitely been a huge benefit for me.
I definitely feel even though it’s a gradual process, I feel like I’m on the right path and making good decisions.
Q. Do you feel you’re as mentally strong as the top four guys?
KEVIN ANDERSON: Yeah, I mean, that’s my goal. That’s how I approach my tennis. Obviously I want to get to that stage. Top 10 has been a lifelong dream for me. I feel like I’m getting closer. Even top 5, I think that’s ultimately where I want to be.
So we try structure and think that way. Obviously it’s a lot of tennis and a lot of wins to get there. But I feel like over the last while I’ve definitely been on a good part and am giving myself the best opportunity to get there.
Q. The American public does not know you all that well. If there was one thing you want them to know about you, what would it be?
KEVIN ANDERSON: Oh, you know, in terms of the American public, obviously I’ve been living in the U.S. for 10 years. Obviously I’m still South African. But I have a lot of ties here. I went to college here. My wife is American. I live in the U.S. It’s one of my favorite places to play.
Even though I’m South African, I’d like people to know that it definitely means a lot what the States has actually given me over the last 10 years.
Q. What are your thoughts on facing Stan?
KEVIN ANDERSON: It’s going to be the first time at a major. Obviously I’ve played him a few times now. Had some success against him the last few times we’ve played. Very close matches. I mean, Paris last year, he served for the match. I was able to come through and get that. At Queen’s this year, I think it was two tiebreak sets, so very close. I played very good tennis.
So it’s going to be a tough match. I mean, I think especially in the last few years, he’s really put himself up there as one of the main contenders for slams. I really feel he’s playing some of his best tennis. To win two slams in the last year and a half is obviously a testament to that.
He knows what it takes. He’s been in that position. It’s my first time, but I feel like I’m hitting the ball very well. I know what to expect going into the match. It’s just about giving myself the best opportunity and obviously trying to execute as best as I can.
Q. How about contrast of styles?
KEVIN ANDERSON: I think some similarities. Both serves, I think we both have a very good serve. Obviously his backhand I think is his main shot-maker. I think he has a bit more variety than me on that. At the same time, I feel like I’m able — at least I have been in our matches — to stay with him from the back. When I’ve been aggressive, I’ve been able to keep him at bay. He’s one of the best shot makers in the game. I think I come forward a little bit more than he does. It will definitely be an interesting matchup.
Q. After you lost the third set, for a second what went through your mind? The match against Djokovic in Wimbledon?
KEVIN ANDERSON: Funny you mention that. It was definitely on my mind quite a bit there because I felt we were playing some long points. It was a long match. I mean, over four hours for four sets. I was fatiguing a little bit in the third. But I just stuck with it.
I think it was important for me going into the match, thinking back to Wimbledon, the way I played there. That’s how I wanted to play again today.
Once I was up two sets to love, I think it was important not to think about it. I was just really happy with the way I stuck the course, especially in the fourth set. I think he was really finding his way back in the match. He was getting the crowd going. I just really stuck to my guns and I think I played a great fourth set.
Q. You have a great record, 4-3, against Wawrinka. Your confidence level is raising. Since 1980, you’re going to be the first South African to reach the semifinals of the US Open. This is like pressure.
KEVIN ANDERSON: Yeah, I’m definitely not looking at it that way. It’s going to be just a tough matchup in my next round. I mean, it’s definitely not going to be any easier than it was today. As I was saying, I think Stan is a terrific player. Especially at majors he’s really stepped it up, I think one of the people you really have to watch out for.
I’m just so pleased to get through the quarters for the first time here. Got tomorrow to prepare. Right now it’s nice to think about from today’s match. It really meant a lot to me. There’s a lot of good feelings here.
Q. You said getting into the top 10 has been a dream. You are not that old, but you went to university, you started your professional career a little bit late. At any point have you ever felt you’re too old to achieve your dream or too late to reach the top 10?
KEVIN ANDERSON: Yeah, I mean, it’s obviously a very interesting question. But I think if you look — I think two things.
A, just the way I feel. My body’s holding up great. I really do as much as I can to take care of myself. Going to college and turning pro a little bit later, I always felt myself a little younger than maybe some of the other guys my age who have been on the tour a little bit longer. It takes a bit more out of you than I think it was when I was in college and not traveling as much.
Secondly, I’m looking at the guys. I mean, just watching Roger playing at 33 or 34, just moving incredible. Obviously he’s one of the best athletes of all times. Maybe tough to compare myself to him. A lot of guys, Ivo Karlovic is over 35. I definitely feel my trajectory is still going up. I’m still improving. My desire is still there. Right now I don’t think age is something to worry about.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Monday, September 7, 2015
K. ANDERSON/A. Murray
7-6, 6-3, 6-7, 7-6
An interview with:
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Where would you assess that went wrong for you?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I was playing against an excellent player. He served extremely well. And I would say, you know, the service game I played at 4-1, I was up 40-Love in the second set, got broken there. Then that was really around the time when I was starting to get the momentum a bit back on my side.
I obviously broke him straight after that, held serve, then had breakpoints the next game. You know, maybe if I’d held serve there at 40-Love, I might have been able to snatch that second set but obviously didn’t. Then fought hard through to the end.
Q. The kind of atmosphere playing under the lights on Armstrong, is that something that is only here in New York or do you have that someplace else?
ANDY MURRAY: Look, I played in many great atmospheres. Tonight was obviously very good, as well. You know, the match was a very long one, close. I was trying to use the energy of the crowd as much as I could to help me.
The atmosphere was very good.
Q. Did you feel you were playing at your best today or were you struggling to find your game compared to the previous tournaments?
ANDY MURRAY: It’s a tough match. That court is a lot quicker than Ashe. I felt like, you know, I was on the back foot quite a lot. Wasn’t able to play that offensively.
But, you know, when you’re playing against someone that’s playing and has the game style that he does, you’re always going to have to do, you know, a fair bit of defending, especially if he serves well.
Q. As tough as it is to lose, is there a place where you can feel good for Kevin who has been around a long time, finally in the quarters of a major?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. Obviously just now I’m more disappointed for myself. We only came off court 15, 20 minutes ago. It was obviously a big match for him. The way the match went, to come through I’m sure will be good for him in the long run.
Yeah, obviously he’s had a very good couple of weeks. The buildup here, then obviously some good wins in this event, too. It’s good for him.
Q. Different surfaces and circumstances, but how different was that Kevin Anderson to the one you beat at Queen’s?
ANDY MURRAY: I don’t think massively different. You know, obviously it’s a different surface completely. I played him in Miami earlier this year and also in Valencia last year. We played close matches there on the hard courts.
I think this is his preferred surface. And, yeah, I didn’t notice massive changes in his game.
Q. Did you sense there was a different kind of composure to him? Did you feel as if you had gotten into the fifth set he might have gotten tight?
ANDY MURRAY: From my side, like I said, the second set I felt like I was starting to put pressure on him there. When I had the breakpoint at 5-3, I had a backhand pass that I really should have made. When you’re playing against players that are at that level, like him, you need to obviously make them think and then give them a chance to get nervous.
The beginning of the fourth set, as well, I think it was his first service game, I had 15-All, hit a dropshot, midcourt forehand, then ended up winning the next couple of points.
You know, I felt like I had my opportunities there but didn’t manage to capitalize on them. When you’re playing against someone as good as him, you know, it’s tough.
Q. Can you just assess Great Britain’s chances in the Davis Cup? Also this loss earlier in the tournament than you expected may be a blessing in terms of preparation?
ANDY MURRAY: I don’t know if it will be a blessing or not. And I also don’t know what their team’s going to be. It’s quite hard for me to assess their chances until I know what team they’re going to put out and what players they’re going to select.
I haven’t seen it yet. I don’t know if it came out today yet. I don’t know who’s playing, so it’s quite tough to know.
Q. How important will the doubles be, though?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, doubles will be important. I think all of the points are. You know, you need first team to get to three. I think everyone has an opportunity to beat everyone. I don’t know if there’s one match in particular that’s more important than the others.
Q. Having played well at the other slams, how big a blow is this for you? That’s 18 quarterfinals you made up to this point in Grand Slams, consecutive.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, well, that’s obviously something that is disappointing to lose because of that. Obviously that’s many years’ work that’s gone into building that sort of consistency. To lose that is tough.
Also to lose a match like that that was over four hours, tough obviously after a couple of tough matches earlier in the tournament, as well, it’s a hard one to lose, for sure.
Q. Glasgow be the perfect pickup back home in Scotland?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I’m looking forward to the tie, yeah. But right now I’m not thinking about that.
Q. Jamie has had a good year. Look like he’s in good shape to qualify for the World Tour Finals. Will you stick around and watch his quarterfinals tomorrow?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it’s possible. I haven’t thought about what I’m going to do yet. I haven’t spent loads of time at home this year. I’ve been away for quite a long time this summer, as well. I’m not sure exactly what I’m going to do.
But I’m looking forward to getting a few days home, as well.
Q. You played a lot of tennis recently. Do you think the matches last week or the number of matches you played in recent months played any factor today in terms of fatigue?
ANDY MURRAY: I don’t think so. I felt like, you know, I was able to fight as I wanted to through to the end of the match. So I don’t think the amount of tennis I played, you know, played a part.
It was more playing against Kevin on the court of that speed, and with him serving as well as he does, it’s a tricky match. It comes down to a few points in each set. He managed to get them today.
Q. You mentioned the speed of the court, the previous match you played on Armstrong. When you find yourself scheduled on there…
ANDY MURRAY: No, I didn’t think about it today at all like that. I mean, I practiced on the court before the tournament and practiced very well on it. Obviously I had some tough losses there, some tough matches. But I’ve also had some good wins on that court, as well.
But it’s tricky. I’ve been playing on Ashe. Because of the conditions, Ashe is sheltered from the wind now, a bit slower. Armstrong is a tighter court which is very open. You get a lot of wind in there. It’s different conditions and something you need to just try and adjust to.
Tuesday, September 8, 2015
R. FEDERER/J. Isner
7-6, 7-6, 7-5
An interview with:
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. He hadn’t been broken in over a hundred games here. He never lost a tiebreaker 7-0 before. How proud are you of that?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, no doubt I’m very pleased because I knew of the toughness of the matchup. I think it happened very quickly how tough it was going to be because we were not really getting that many chances. You could sense if John really hit his spots and I would do the same, it would be tough for either one of us to break through.
I think the first-set tiebreaker, when you win a tiebreak 7-Love, things have to go your way. You need to make some right decisions; he needs to take some bad ones. Needs to match up nicely.
Of course, I think that first set is always going to be key, especially in a serving contest. I think especially the second one was massive just because I wasn’t feeling that good going into the second-set tiebreaker like I was going into the first. I had to fight off some tough serves. I thought John was going really big then, like with some massive pace. It was just tough, you know.
I picked the right sides. I think confidence helped me to get through that one. Then the break clearly was nice. But I kind of felt it was coming. He was maybe not having as much energy anymore. But still it was nice to break and win at the same time.
Q. Taking into account what you’re saying now, when he recovered from Love-40, did you feel like you were going towards a third tiebreak?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, probably. Even though I had a Love-30 game when he was serving against the match and then another Love-30 game when I finally broke, I mean, I see it positive in the sense that I made it work. Okay, I didn’t get the break. I took a decision that game to hit more slices. It matched up maybe the wrong way at Love-40 with his serving. Then at 30-40 when I hit the chip, you know, I just gave it not enough margin because I think that would have been a tough shot for him to hit.
Credit to him for, you know, just going really big on the second serve. It’s unbelievable with how much ease he’s able to hit those big second serves time and time again. I think he only double-faulted once. He’s going on an average of 115, 120 miles an hour. It’s impressive to say the least.
Q. You made the conscious choice this summer just to play Cincinnati. Deep into the tournament, you’re into the quarterfinals, do you feel a difference in your body? Do you feel fresher? If so, how?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, honestly it’s hard to remember how I felt last year this time around. I definitely also think the Monfils match took some emotional energy out of me because, I mean, it was razor’s edge, you know. It was a fun match, don’t get me wrong. I didn’t feel tired going into the Cilic match necessarily, but maybe somewhere deep down you’re a little bit tired somewhere. You don’t know exactly how and where and what, but I had definitely played a lot.
This year that shouldn’t happen. I will tell myself it cannot happen. Even if I play five sets, it doesn’t matter. I think I’ve had a great preparation now with Cincinnati, now here playing great, not dropping sets. Clearly I feel really good about my chances in the quarters now.
Q. You finished him off in three sets like you did the previous three matches. How much does that affect the rest of the tournament considering you only have to run half the kilometers than guys like Wawrinka?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, like I explained, it could be a difference. I hope it will be. But if it’s not, then I’ll battle through tough matches. I’ve worked hard in the off-season. I gave myself that extra week to be in the gym, be on the practice courts. Thankfully it was nice and hot in Switzerland that time around. We also had around 90 degrees as I was practicing. So I feel like I could work on my game a little bit, I could rest up as well, so I come into now sort of the business end of the tournament with a good mindset and a good body.
Q. When you face somebody like John whose serve is different in part just because it’s coming at a different angle, do you do anything in practice before that match differently to prepare for that?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I don’t. I mean, no, I didn’t. You could, of course. You could have somebody serve these big serves.
I don’t know. I think I win the match through his second serves, even if he’s serving that big. I’ve seen 120 serves every single day of my life. But the 135s from that angle, no, not so much. But there you just try your best, in my opinion.
Q. Have you ever seen the ball spin back onto the opponent’s court before in a match that you played?
ROGER FEDERER: I would think I have. I’m not sure on breakpoint (smiling). But it was a nice shot. I was thinking, That was good, that was nice, John. Not so nice against me, but nice nevertheless.
Q. You were serving down Love-40 in a crucial game in the second set. In general, what is your mindset when you get into that big of a hole?
ROGER FEDERER: Not feeling great about my chances then. Seeing sort of the second set evaporate sort of thing. I’m thinking the same, like just make it difficult for him, don’t just give it to him, make him work for it. I don’t know, it sounds so cheesy, but it’s the way it is.
Try to get the first serve in. Then, of course, you miss it. I think I made them all. Then you fight back to deuce. I think I gave him another breakpoint. That’s really disappointing, to be broken that way potentially, it’s rough. If you lead 40-Love and you get broken, same thing if you fight back from Love-40, get to deuce, then get broken again. It’s pretty rough on the confidence. I’m happy I was able to get through that one. If we would have all taken our chances, it probably would have looked like two sets to one rather than three sets to love. I’m aware margins are extremely tight playing someone like John.
Q. What is it like to watch when Venus and Serena play each other, especially when the stakes are high like at a major?
ROGER FEDERER: What I’m thinking?
Q. What it’s like to watch. What goes through your mind?
ROGER FEDERER: Like I’ve seen this before, yeah. Serena’s the favorite. That’s probably what I’m seeing. I hope for a good match.
Q. Novak said last night that it’s very uncomfortable for him to watch, the idea of siblings playing against one another. What emotions or feelings do you have when you see Venus against Serena and think about a sibling rivalry on the grandest of stages?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, not easy to play, no doubt about it. I agree with Novak. I’d have a hard time playing a brother. I’m happy I don’t have a tennis brother.
Q. You talked about keeping a good mindset. Could you offer any tip or thought that you return to to deal with the mental side of the game when you’re digging deep for some of those points that are a real struggle?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I think this time of my career, I see, you know, like a dropshot when it comes back. It’s obviously just one point. Like an ace is just a point. Like a horrible error is just a point. When you lose it, you see it as, All right, this point was a great shot but it didn’t count 10.
When you win it or you lose it, I feel like I take it pretty relaxed these days. I’m obviously aware of what’s more important, which are less important, which points. The scoring system is awesome in tennis. It’s like you can switch in a heartbeat. That’s why you have to stay calm at all times, in my opinion. I feel like if I conserve energy by not fist pumping every single point, looking at the big picture, I feel like I can play better throughout.
Q. Can you recall a particular time or even a mentor where it helped drive those lessons home?
ROGER FEDERER: I think it definitely grew within me, finding myself and my right attitude on the court, what I feel comfortable with. I think once you find that peace, that place of peace and quiet, harmony, I don’t know what you want to call it, and confidence, that’s when you start playing your best.
I tried to turn the corner in 2001 in Hamburg when I lost to Scolari. I was so angry I lost that match. The attitude was wrong. So much was wrong about it. The match point was wrong. I squeezed the ball between the racquet and the court and the volley. I looked where had the volley gone, and the ball was like lying on the ground. I was looking, What the hell is going on here? He was in the back fence trying to hit pass. I couldn’t make the valley. I got so angry, I smashed the racquet. I was like, This is enough. I can’t take this attitude anymore? To me that was a changing moment in my career and my attitude.
Q. Had you not broken John’s serve there at the end, even if you had still won in straight sets, would you have left the match feeling a little disappointed not to have been able to break his serve?
ROGER FEDERER: Seriously, no. Would have put me to even have felt better, to be quite honest. To win three tiebreakers against John would have been probably a better feeling than breaking him. I don’t know if it makes sense for you, but for me it does (smiling).
Q. Do you remember such a good streak on your serve in your career? Is there anything particularly working well for holding serve?
ROGER FEDERER: I guess I got good focus. I got confidence. It’s easier probably on the faster courts to do it, to get on streaks like these. What else? I mean, I don’t know. I think I’m taking the right decisions at the right times. I mean, there’s many moments where it’s close. I think the focus is where it needs to be. Like I said, I think the racquet is helping me, easier power. Now having played with it for over one-and-a-half years, I feel like I’m really finding the zones, where to hit them. I can place it more accurately right now than I ever could. So I think that’s also part of the success.
I don’t know when is the last time I served like this. You got to check those stats, please, but not me.
Q. What do you foresee as the biggest challenge in Gasquet’s game and what will be your approach?
ROGER FEDERER: I’m not sure if I’ve seen maybe Gasquet play as well as he has right now. I really like the way he played in Wimbledon, and also now here. I haven’t seen that much. But the match I saw that he played against Stan and Novak at Wimbledon was impressive. He had a good attitude. He was fighting. Good shot selection. I don’t know, it was nice, you know.
Now he’s backing it up. I’m sure he gained confidence from Wimbledon. That’s why I expect it to be tougher than maybe in previous years against him or previous times. I know he can play much better at Davis Cup. I know I played very well, as well. Still I expected him to be tougher there, because I beat him in straight sets. I don’t know, he kind of went away. In Dubai, of course, he was injured. That doesn’t count. I don’t remember when I played him the last times.
I feel like this could be one of the tougher Gasquets I’ve played in previous years, so I expect it to be difficult.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Monday, September 7, 2015
S. WAWRINKA/D. Young
6-4, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. How do you sum up this last week or eight days? Do you feel like that’s something that was unexpected or this is a breakthrough you were waiting for?
DONALD YOUNG: A little bit of both, but more so what I was kind of waiting for or wanted to happen. I feel like I’m working hard lately, but just, you know, hadn’t come yet. It’s come in spurts.
But like I say, I’m looking to be a little bit more consistent. This was a good step in the right direction for me.
Q. How do you feel about your play today specifically?
DONALD YOUNG: It wasn’t bad. I mean, Stan is a quality opponent. I mean, 5 in the world. Most of the year he’s been 3 or 4. He’s won two slams including the French this year. He’s competed at the highest level consistently.
He’s playing well. He’s definitely a different player than I played in 2011. It was a different situation.
Q. How far away do you think you are from consistently playing at the level of someone like Wawrinka?
DONALD YOUNG: Couldn’t tell you, really. I mean, I hope not far. You know, I feel like I should be playing these matches more often, but it hasn’t happened lately.
But I would like to say, you know, the rest of this year and next year can start being somewhat consistently. To be playing at his level is going to take a little more than what I’m doing currently. He’s won a couple slams and playing consistently in the second week of slams.
That’s quality right there.
Q. You said he’s not the same guy you faced back in 2011. If you do feel differently about yourself, in what ways are you maybe not the same guy you were then? And, you know, sort of same result fourth round at the US Open but do you feel like the trajectory might be different?
DONALD YOUNG: Yeah, for sure. I think I’m a little more ready to be a little more consistent than it was then. At that point it was a shot, and, yeah, I just feel better about myself.
I feel like things are coming around. I really feel like, you know, I’m ready to do it on a consistent level and not just do it for a while or work hard for a little bit and then relax. I’m looking forward to keeping it going.
Q. Do you look at a guy like Stan who achieved great success kind of in his later 20s and think, you know, maybe that could be a model for you, as well?
DONALD YOUNG: I mean, seems to be how guys are doing it quite a bit lately. Obviously the top guys started quite young. They are doing it — he’s one of the top guys now, but definitely you gain confidence with something like that.
He’s always been like a quality player. That’s the thing. He just, as of recently, became stable, steady person in the top, like, 5, but he’s always been a top 20 or top-10 player earlier in his career, as well.
Q. With the Williams sisters preparing to meet tomorrow night, what does their rivalry, their matchups, what does all that stuff mean to you and to the sport, do you think?
DONALD YOUNG: It’s awesome any people from the same family be competing at the highest level. They played a lot of matches when they were both 1 and 2 in the world and in finals.
So that is super rare. Doesn’t happen. I don’t know if it’s ever happened before or will happen after.
It’s great. I mean, they are both extremely awesome competitors and athletes and champions, so for what they are doing and their family and everyone who is behind the scenes helping them get there, it’s awesome.
Kudos to them all.
Q. As you know, tennis can be a brutal endeavor. Your play today in Ashe, crowds behind you all week, now you turn around and go to Uzbekistan. Talk about how you’re going to tough it out and be a leader there in front of a hostile crowd.
DONALD YOUNG: I mean, this week is awesome. Uzbekistan, it’s going to be the same thing where I am playing for the U.S. and we’re going to be trying to beat Uzbekistan to get back in the World Group.
We are going to have our team of support and look to that. If it’s hostile or not, I don’t know. I know it’s not like the best place to be going, but I’m excited to be part of the team and get the call and do whatever is need.
Q. What have you learned from your previous two Davis Cup appearances?
DONALD YOUNG: Yeah, they were both totally different even though they were the same opponents. One was my first one. I wasn’t expected to play. John unfortunately couldn’t go at the last minute, so I got told a day or two before I was going to play.
I really wasn’t ready to play. I was at home. It was my first one against Andy Murray of all people. It’s not like I went out and played someone exactly my ranking or whatever.
Then to go to Scotland in Andy’s home and it was his first time playing there for a long time or whatever the situation may be in front of not a hostile crowd but a crowd that was pretty much 100% for him, it was another tough situation.
But I was able to play well in that match even though I lost. Those experiences were two totally different, but they gave me a lot of confidence and experience, for sure.
Q. Jack Sock and Stevie Johnson making their debuts with Davis Cup team. What would you say to those guys about what to expect out of a tie like this?
DONALD YOUNG: I don’t think I’m in any situation to be giving like advice to Stevie and Jack. But as far as the young guys, it’s going to be fun. As a hitting partner, those were some of the best weeks for me. When I was able to go as a hitting partner in 2007 and Winston-Salem for the quarters against Spain then for the finals against Russia.
Those memories stick with me as a junior growing up more than almost any. To be with the top American guys and be there, play cards and hear what they talk about, and, you know, what they talk about — whatever they talk about, it’s just new to you. It’s all new to you. It’s awesome.
For Stevie and Jack, I’m excited for them to play for their first time. It’s just a great honor to be chosen to play for your country.
Q. You obviously had two really big comebacks this week. I’m wondering, after a really good second set and you fall behind Love-5 in the third, was it a different process for you, given the opponent and the situation and everything, how you were going deal with that to just hang in there or whatever needed to be done?
DONALD YOUNG: Yeah, every match is different. This one the first set kind of got away. The second I was surprisingly up that much and he got quite frustrated pretty early, and I won that set pretty easily.
Then I think it was a little mental lapse early in the third and he took advantage. He stepped his game up again and started hitting pretty big. I got down 5-0, won three games, but from 5-0 it’s tough to come back in a set.
And then again he jumped on me early in the fourth and it went on from there. I have been playing a lot of tennis this week, but I was feeling good physically, to be honest. It just didn’t go my way.
Q. Was there a lot going through the head and everything or just trying to stay in the moment of each point?
DONALD YOUNG: No. You know, at this point I was just trying to stay in the moment of each point and play each point as an individual point and focus on the point in front of me. I didn’t play the best tennis of my life, but it wasn’t awful, either.
Q. It’s been a while since an American didn’t reach a Grand Slam semis. Why is that, and do you think what should be changed by the USTA?
DONALD YOUNG: I don’t know. I mean, you’ve got to look at the top four guys. They are taking everything.
You have Roger and Rafa and Novak and Andy and then you have Stan in there now, Berdych. Those guys are quality opponents. It’s not like — I mean, it’s just tough. I think the ranking and the seeding plays a big play in the draws. Because if you’re not seeded in the top, like, eight or whatever and you’re playing one of those guys in the third, fourth round, it’s tough to beat them.
I don’t think the USTA really needs to change anything. I think the next crew of young kids are great and are going to be really good.
Q. You have been mentioning Tony Dungy, and one of the things he says is, It’s all about the journey; few have had more interesting journeys in tennis. What’s been the one thing you like the most about your journey and the one thing that you like least about your journey?
DONALD YOUNG: Really the whole journey I got to learn myself quite a bit and learn what, you know, what I’m about and, you know, what I have in me, what I don’t, what I like and what I don’t like.
Just growing up and maturing quite a bit. To go from winning everything to not winning much to having some success to having no success. It’s been a lot of back and forth. Just the resilient part for me, because I could have easily stopped a while ago and done something else, gone back to school.
I have said a bunch of times I was going to do that. At the end of the day I don’t play tennis for a few days and I miss it. I love tennis. Without it I don’t know what I would do. I’m sure after I’m finished playing professionally I’m going to do something in tennis, as well.
And what I dislike the most probably was losing those 14 matches in a row from 15 to like 17.
Q. It was tough?
DONALD YOUNG: Yeah.
Q. How did you finally end up procuring sneakers today?
DONALD YOUNG: That’s a good question. (Smiling.) Actually, Asics was nice enough to bring me two pair over. My mixed doubles partner contacted them and kind of got some shoes. I wore them. I was excited to have something on my feet. (Laughter.)
Q. What happened exactly?
DONALD YOUNG: Unfortunately, I came to the locker room yesterday and I opened it up and it was clean. Like a couple shirts missing, all my shoes were gone, and apparently someone said I was out of the tournament so the guys thought I went home. They were taking some souvenirs.
Q. They stopped watching after the second set?
DONALD YOUNG: Yeah, I guess so. (Laughter.) I was still in three events, as well, so…
Q. Have they returned the stuff?
DONALD YOUNG: Yeah. I got a pair of them back. They made it back. They magically appeared back in the locker.
Q. When was the last time you played on Ashe?
DONALD YOUNG: Mixed doubles semis last year was the last time I played. Singles match was 2012 against Roger.
Q. How do you feel like it played differently with the roof structure? What about that crowd getting behind you?
DONALD YOUNG: Yeah, it was totally different. A lot more shade than I’m used — well, it would have normally been at this time of day. It kind of — whatever it is, it kind of covers up part of the court, and then certain times of day shade was on the whole court for the end of the match.
By the second set it was sunny the whole match court, which was great for me. It’s a lot more intimate. People have been saying it’s cool, like it echos, and you can almost see everybody at the top.
Before he’d just get lost up there and couldn’t see anyone. Now if you look around I feel like I can kind of see.
Q. One follow-up about the locker. What was your reaction when you were told the person thought you were out of the tournament?
DONALD YOUNG: I shook my head. Wow, I guess they weren’t watching anything.
I really don’t know what the reason was. Maybe that was an excuse or whatever the situation may be. I don’t know.
Q. The real question that I want to ask you is: How is your perspective on your future our, on your potential? Perhaps different today than it was at the beginning of this tournament?
DONALD YOUNG: Yeah, for sure. I feel like I’m playing well. I feel like if I’m playing like this and competing, I’m going to put myself in chances to win a lot of matches in almost every match I play. If I can keep doing this and build upon it, I don’t know what can happen. Hopefully it will be at least winning, and that’s what I want to do.
Q. Gladys Knight was in the crowd today. Do you notice celebrities? Does it motivate you?
DONALD YOUNG: I see everything. Looked at the Jumbotron. They put her name up and the crowd went wild. It was cool to see her out there. Just any time those type of people show up and you’re playing on the court, you kind of feel special.
Q. Being that you still have a bit of tennis still left in you, still relatively young, do you think like once this is all said and done for you, you will follow in your father’s footsteps and go into coaching tennis?
DONALD YOUNG: A bit of tennis left? I hope I have more than a bit. (Laughter.) I don’t know. I really haven’t thought about the end. I feel like I’m kind of in the middle now. I do enjoy like helping people out, so maybe one day that might be something I would like to go into.
Yeah, definitely. I enjoy helping people out and whatever I can do around tennis. I just love the sport.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Monday, September 7, 2015
P. KVITOVA/J. Konta
An interview with:
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. I guess it’s probably not the result you would have chosen, but were you pleased with your performance?
JOHANNA KONTA: Yeah, obviously not the result I wanted. It would have been nice to have kept my run here going.
But I played against an incredibly tough player today. She doesn’t give you much rhythm. She definitely doesn’t give you many chances to be able to take control in a point.
So it was very difficult for me out there. But I had an amazing time on Ashe, to be honest. You know, my mum actually reminded me when I was speaking to her yesterday that when we were here back like 2007 for juniors, I said, This is like the most amazing stadium. I completely forgot about that.
Yeah, I guess I had a little childhood dream come true, so that’s pretty special. Yeah, I’m just obviously looking forward to a little bit of recovery now, you know, heading over to Asia.
Q. Have you ever played anyone who hits the ball as hard as Petra?
JOHANNA KONTA: Obviously Sharapova hits it quite hard, and Muguruza hits it quite hard and Petkovic hits it quite hard. A lot of girls hit it quite hard.
I think what Kvitova does really well is she keeps very good depth on her ball, as well. That’s why it’s quite difficult to be able to take charge in a point. Yeah, she gave me very few chances to do that.
Yeah, no, good luck to her for the rest of the tournament because I thought she played quite well.
Q. What were the keys to your run? What did you do so well here?
JOHANNA KONTA: You know, I think I stayed true to how I wanted to play out there. I felt that I competed really well, just stayed calm. Really rolled with the punches. There’s a lot of things going on here. There’s a lot of emotions from a lot of players. It’s a high-pressured environment. I felt I did a reasonable job at just dealing with that.
Yeah, no, I’m just looking forward to the next time I can go out onto the match court.
Q. How proud are you that you proved at this level in a Grand Slam?
JOHANNA KONTA: Obviously I’m really happy that I got some rewards for my hard work. But the hard work’s not by all means over. You know, I’m not blown away by my performance here. I’m just satisfied that I get a little bit of candy for doing well.
Yeah, no, to be really honest, I’m just really looking forward to heading already to my next tournament. Obviously I need to take a little bit of a break now, just a couple days’ rest. But I’m looking forward to the next plane I’m on to head to Asia.
Q. How important is the next bit of candy to be the British No. 1? Very, very close.
JOHANNA KONTA: Oh, to be honest, that’s always (indiscernible) at the end. I haven’t looked at that. I don’t know. I don’t even know what Heather is ranked right now. That’s not something I actively look at.
It’s always a nice bonus to hear that from you guys. Yeah, no, it’s not my, I guess, most important goal.
Q. When you look back over the whole tournament, are you surprised at all the way you’ve handled it? Nothing seems to have fazed you in any match you played. The quality of the opposition going out on Ashe, you seem to have taken it all in your stride.
JOHANNA KONTA: I’m not surprised, to be honest. Because if I would be, I wouldn’t be thinking very highly of myself.
Like I said, I’m humble with coming up against any opponent knowing that I can beat them but they can beat me. I can lose, they can win. I’m humble in that way. But I’m an ambitious person. I do believe in my ability, and I wouldn’t be playing in this sport if I didn’t think that I could do well.
So I’m just really looking forward to getting back out on court with my coaches and my team and training and just keep enjoying the battle of just getting better every day. When things don’t go my way, keep enjoying that, as well.
Q. Your run here will put you into the top 60. You won’t have to qualify for Australia. How much of a relief is that to go straight into the main draw?
JOHANNA KONTA: Obviously it’s another bit of candy. Yeah, no, I was anticipating — I wasn’t anticipating anything really, to be honest. My coach was actually saying, Oh, it’s a nice bonus to be able to go to Australia next year and go into the main draw.
But, yeah, you know, things keep going. I don’t want to stop here. It’s not something that I sit back now, and, Oh, that’s nice. Like I keep saying, I’m an ambitious person, so I’m just looking forward to keep working hard and keep trying my best every time I step out onto the court.
Q. In the first set you had three breakpoints. You lost both your serves on double-faults. Can you call it a little bit of a case of stage fright? Were you nervous in those pivotal moments of the match?
JOHANNA KONTA: I wouldn’t call it stage fright. I think if it were stage fright we would have seen it at the beginning of the match. I actually settled quite quickly and enjoyed being out there. It sounds silly to say it was a great court to play on, because that’s just so obvious. But it really was. It was a great court to play on.
I think she played really well when she was breakpoints down. Obviously, you know, I’m not that happy with how I double-faulted the two times I was breakpoint down. But in all fairness, whether it was a conscious thing or not, she puts pressure on my serves, on any servers. She looks to step in. She really does take some swings at the ball. A lot of them do go in. That’s why she is top five.
Maybe I consciously, subconsciously felt that. But honestly I felt I was trying to serve the same and just trying to do my best out there.
Q. Who was here watching you tonight? There were some kids in your box.
JOHANNA KONTA: To be honest, I don’t know. I put my agent in charge of all the tickets. It was at her discretion who was getting them. I pretty much just only look at my coach if I’m looking at anyone. Obviously I’m aware that my boyfriend and my agent were next to him. Otherwise, I don’t actually know. I didn’t even look there.
Q. What will your program be the next few weeks?
JOHANNA KONTA: I’ll be going home. Dad will be cooking, yeah. A few days’ rest. Some training. Then I’ll probably be heading to Wuhan and Beijing.
Q. You’ve been getting a lot of questions about your win streaks and all that. Sorry. How does that feel? Is there part of you to be somewhat relieved?
JOHANNA KONTA: I’m dead honest when I said you were the ones updating me on that. I wasn’t really counting myself. Actually, I’m okay. Like I said, it was not going to go on forever. So, you know, everyone loses sometimes. There will be many more matches that I’ll lose and hopefully many more that I’ll win. Hopefully I’ll have another streak someday.
To be honest, I’m really happy I’m leaving this tournament after so many matches and coming in here healthy. My body’s in a good state. That’s not always the case when you’ve played so many matches. I’m taking the positives from that, and really, if I wasn’t a bit kind of sleepy tired, I’d be looking forward to getting on the court when I got home.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
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