(August 31, 2016) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Posting player interviews throughout the day when allowed.
Note from the US Open Media Operations Guide as why Tennis Panorama News is allowed to post transcripts:
R. NADAL/A. Seppi
6-0, 7-5, 6-1
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. What was it like playing out there before and after the roof closed? Did you notice any change?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, is good. Is great to be the first player to play with the roof closed, on the competition, because I was the first player to hit in the center court with the roof closed.
Just happy. The difference is not many. No big difference. With the roof open there is no wind at all, so is not a big change. And the roof is so high you don’t feel that you are closed, no? That’s my feeling. Today I didn’t feel the change.
Is great. Is an unbelievable, unbelievable court. So nice.
Q. Garbine and some other players were talking about the noise. Did you notice the general noise?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, that surprised me. Was a little bit more noise than usual. No, I didn’t feel the difference when the roof was closed and when the roof was open, but is true that for the first… You get used later.
But in the beginning, in tennis, normally you are used to play with silence.
I don’t know, with the new court, even if the roof is open, there is more noise out there. Normally probably is not the fault of the people, because I have been playing here for so many years and I don’t remember that noise when you are playing, no?
Was little bit strange. For moments was little bit too much during the points. I always love the energy and the noise of the New York crowd. Is just fantastic. You know, I feel very close to them because I play with a lot of passion, and they give me that electricity, that passion, no?
But is true that was a little bit more noisy than usual.
Q. Was it frustrating at times with the noise? Do you feel like it can be a distraction moving forward for you and for other players at this tournament?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. The only thing they have to control a little bit better when the gates are open and when the gates are closed. They have to close the gates not when finish the minute, you know, when the change. They don’t have to close the gate when that minute is finish, they have to close few seconds before.
Every time you waiting. I know is so difficult because the court is very big. Is so difficult.
Yeah, but from the people who are inside, should be a little bit of rules that, you know, they cannot leave his seat during the game. They have to leave the seat when is a changeover, no? That’s all. That’s not a big deal. Is not a big distraction. That’s the rules of tennis that normally happen. That’s all.
Q. Would you say there is much more difference in Australia and Wimbledon when the roof is closed than here?
RAFAEL NADAL: I feel it’s little bit different because here the roof is higher. How much higher is the roof, less feeling of indoor court you have.
Q. Talk about how you felt out there tonight, your second match, how the wrist felt, the forehand, how it feels to be back in the third round of a major.
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I was in the third round on Roland Garros, but I didn’t play.
The real thing is not big thing be in the third round again. But for sure every match is important. That’s my philosophy. That’s my way to play every tournament, no?
Every round is important. Every point is important. Today was a good win. I think first set was unfair because 6-0 was not the right result. Had been lot of chances for both of us in lots of games, so should be much closer.
I feel that I played little bit more aggressive than the first round. I feel myself better than in the first round. That’s always a positive thing, feel you are improving a little bit during the event. That’s the way I need to keep improving.
Next round is very tough opponent. I know him well. I played him this year I think at the beginning of the season in Doha. He’s aggressive player. He has lots of big shots from the baseline and he’s very dangerous. I need to improve, playing longer, playing higher, changing speeds, changing the rhythm of the ball with the slice, and then every time I need to hit more forehands winner.
The last forehand of the match was great. I hit some good forehands down the line again. That’s important shot for me, no? It’s important for me to hit that cross high forehand, but then change the forehand down the line. When I am able to change the forehand down the line, then the cross high with lot of spin, cross-court forehand, have a bigger impact.
Q. Who do you expect to play in the finals?
RAFAEL NADAL: In the finals?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t expect. I don’t think about finals when I am in the third round, no? That’s the real thing. I didn’t have been in the finals for a while. I’m coming back from an injury. For me is impossible now to think about these kind of things.
I’m going day by day. I’m happy to be back on the tour. I’m happy that the wrist is improving. Now I am focused on trying to practice well tomorrow morning.
Q. Milos Raonic lost. How does that change your outlook in the draw?
RAFAEL NADAL: My draw is Kuznetsov. That’s the real thing. Probably is a negative thing for the tournament that Milos lost, because he is the number third on the race. He is one of the stars of the world. Is true that is one competitor of me during the season, especially because I have been out for two months. He is higher than me on the race.
If I am able to play a good tournament here is going to be a positive thing, but the real thing is I am going day by day, no? Sorry for Milos. Happens. I think he felt bad on the court. I saw him little bit. Probably was cramping little bit. From the end of the second set I feel he could not move much.
The day was very heavy, very humid. Was not very hot, but very humid. That’s always dangerous.
M. KEYS/K. Day
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Was it kind of a surreal moment to be playing Kayla at a Grand Slam?
MADISON KEYS: It was funny because everyone kept saying I was the veteran on court. I really didn’t like that title.
But, no, she was a sweetheart. She obviously worked really hard to get the wild card and she beat Madison in the first round. I definitely think we’ll see a lot of Kayla.
Q. After the late finish the other morning, relieved to get this businesslike performance in and out and prepare for the third round?
MADISON KEYS: Yeah, for sure. It’s funny because this is still technically a late finish, but I’ll take this one over the 2:00 a.m. any day. I was really happy that I got on the court, kind of went out there and did what I wanted to do from the start, and was able to get off the court as a semi-decent hour.
Q. What was your recovery like after that late match? What time did you get to bed? What was the day afterwards like?
MADISON KEYS: When I got home I had a little bit of treatment done and all that. By the time I was getting in bed it was almost 4:00. Then I came out and I practiced at like 2:30 the next day maybe, so didn’t get a ton of sleep.
But then went back that afternoon, got some more treatment, and napped. Then I slept for like 10 and a half hours last night. So felt a little bit better this morning.
Q. Kayla said you and she have known each other for a few years now. What kind of relationship do you have and what do you think of her game?
MADISON KEYS: Yeah, I’ve known her for a couple of years. She was kind of always the younger group when I was in the older group, I guess. It’s funny. She used to make fun of my music. She’s like, It’s so old.
It’s not, though. You’re just a baby.
Q. Anything specific she made fun of?
MADISON KEYS: ’90s music, early 2000 music. She’s like, I never heard of this band.
Oh, my God, you’re so young.
No, but she’s a total sweetheart. She’s always been really nice. It was great to see that she won the wild card tournament.
Yeah, I definitely think we’ll see her around. I think she has a great serve and a really solid forehand. No doubt that she’ll be around.
Q. Your next opponent is Naomi Osaka. How much do you know about her?
MADISON KEYS: I know her a little bit. I’ve practiced with her in Boca a couple of times. She’s an aggressive player. She’s been playing well. She’s steadily been moving up the rankings. She’s going to be a tough opponent.
I don’t know a ton about her game. I’m definitely expecting a tough match.
Q. You are usually the younger player on court. When you play against a player younger than you, do you feel some pressure or…
MADISON KEYS: No. I think it’s eventually kind of how it goes. Yeah, she’s definitely going to be playing with no pressure and going to be going for her shots a lot more. That’s expected.
But I think I can kind of draw more on my experience and I guess be the veteran on the court again.
Q. When you practiced with Naomi in Boca, how does that come about? Who sets it up? Do you interact at all, or is it businesslike: we hit on court, sit and drink water, hit again, call it a day?
MADISON KEYS: No. I actually worked with her fitness trainer, Mark Wellington. I don’t know if she’s still working with her. He asked. I was in Boca. I love hitting against other girls sometimes and mixing it up.
I mean, we definitely talked. We didn’t sit down and like braid each other’s hair or anything, but there was definitely some conversation.
Q. Happy medium between those two?
MADISON KEYS: Yeah, a happy medium between BFFs and not speaking.
She always seemed nice enough, always friendly, but I don’t know her super well.
Q. Does it get easier for you now that the tournament progresses? You look so fresh. It’s different than last week, because I think there were some tough days in the heat.
MADISON KEYS: Yeah, my fitness especially is usually tough the first couple of days the week before a slam, and then it tapers off. Thursday, Friday there’s definitely some heavy legs, not moving great, but it’s just so that I peak at the right moment and feel really good once the tournament starts.
Q. How different do you feel coming into the US Open this year compared to last year?
MADISON KEYS: I feel pretty good. Last year I felt like I was a little bit rushed getting into the tournament, practicing, all that. This year I feel I’ve done everything I can. I feel really fit right now. So I feel pretty good.
Q. Kayla said she was pretty thrilled by the court change. It was floated like an idea to her, and all of a sudden she was going. How did they notify you? How much time did you have?
MADISON KEYS: I had a feeling it might have happened just because that court was going long. But I guess maybe an hour and a half before we saw that it was a potential court change. Then the WTA came to me and said, If they split sets, you’ll probably be moved to Armstrong.
So, I mean, it was pretty normal.
Q. Is it more fun chasing than being chased? You’re in the top 10 now, kind of a veteran. Maybe people feel a little bit less pressure when they play you.
MADISON KEYS: I think so. I think getting to this point is always really fun. There’s a lot less pressure, but obviously you want to be here.
So I think I look at it as a positive and think of all the hard work I did to get here, and then just think now it’s a different aspect of it. I think that’s just as much fun. That’s part of the game. That’s kind of the next step.
Q. You talked about the happy medium before. You wouldn’t consider yourself a veteran, but you’re not one of the new kids on the block. How important is that in your weekly routine to have that experience under your belt?
MADISON KEYS: I definitely think it helps a lot. It’s something that — after tough losses everyone was like, Don’t worry. This will help you with the experience. All that. I thought they were crazy. It would have been so much better to win.
No, it definitely has helped. Having lots of I guess you could say Grand Slam matches now has been really beneficial. I’m more comfortable playing every week, being in these same tournaments, and just kind of knowing what to expect a little bit more.
Q. Was there a specific moment where you felt like you belonged?
MADISON KEYS: I think it’s baby steps in a way. Like when I broke into the top 50, it was, Okay, now I feel like I belong in the top 50.
Then top 20, it took a little bit of time to feel like I really belonged in the top 20.
You know, I think it’s a learning process. Knowing that you belong there is something that you go out and you work for every day. I think for me it’s just feeling really confident in my fitness and all the preparation off of the court and on the practice court that helps me feel like I do belong once I’m in the match setting.
A. SEVASTOVA/G. Muguruza
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. How does it feel to win this one?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: I don’t know. It still hasn’t settled in. I mean, I’m tired mentally and it’s late. Normally I go to sleep at this time.
It feels great, but it’s still not like I won the tournament. It’s only second round. Yeah.
Q. When you were deciding to come back from retirement, what were all the reasons? You mentioned on court wanting to play matches like this. Were you feeling better physically?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: Yeah, I was playing a little bit. I was doing some sparring. It was better, I mean, physically. I was still playing okay. That’s why I think I decided to try again to come back.
But you never know. I mean, a lot of people are trying to come back, and sometimes it doesn’t work out. Yeah, that’s why I wanted to start from the beginning, from the easiest — not the easiest, but the lower future level.
Q. You mentioned having more calm in this stage of your career. Do you feel like this paid off as you were trying to close out that match today?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: I don’t think so. (Laughter.) I didn’t feel calm inside. I mean, 5-1…
Maybe it helped me at 5-4 to break her because I was still leading. But serving out, I don’t know why. There were a couple close calls on the serve and close points.
I mean, she was playing better, but still I think I earned to win that match.
Q. What was going through your mind as it went from 5-1 to 5-4?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: Then I stopped thinking, I think. I was thinking too much at 5-2, 5-3. Then I said, Okay, I have one more chance at 5-4. She’s serving. I broke her before enough times, so I will try this one more time.
And still, then it’s 5-All. It’s still open match like the first set, so…
Q. When you saw you were going to play Garbine Muguruza on Arthur Ashe Stadium, what was your reaction to that? Did you think you would have preferred an easier draw? Were you looking forward to it?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: I thought, Why do they put me on Ashe at 7:00 p.m.? I mean, I think they thought it should be a good match. It was kind of surprise to play at 7:00 night match on Ashe.
But still it’s an experience. I think it will help me in the future.
Q. Was that your first time stepping onto that court, Ashe?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: Yes.
Q. Did you take a moment to kind of look around? What was going through your mind?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: I was warming up in the morning there. The roof was closed. So, yeah, it’s a huge court.
It was so loud. We were warming up. There was nobody. It was quiet. But tonight it was really loud. It was tough to play. Yeah.
I think she was also having problems in the beginning. I mean, you have to get used to it. I think I managed pretty well in the second set.
Q. Does it sound different?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: Yeah, yeah. I find it’s much different. I mean, sometimes you don’t hear the ball hit, so it’s coming to you and you think it’s still somewhere there.
Yeah, in the second set it was easier to manage to not hear all the noises.
Q. Is it distracting?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: Would it distract you when the crowd is full?
Q. It was loud during points and everything.
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: For sure it’s distracting in the beginning. I mean, you don’t expect it. But it’s Arthur Ashe. I mean, how many thousand people are there?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: Yeah. You have to accept it.
Q. Does this validate the comeback?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: Yeah, for sure. It’s not like it’s my last match. It’s still going on. It’s not like it’s over, the tournament. It’s only second round. Now it’s the third round in two days. Tomorrow I have to play doubles, so…
Yeah, it’s a good feeling. We can enjoy it today, but tomorrow is a new day. There are other matches. Nobody thinks about the previous match. You have to think forward. Tonight I can enjoy. Yeah.
Q. That’s a pretty grounded perspective. A lot of people in your position might think far ahead. Is this something you had to work on?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: I think I had to work on it when I took the time off. I think I manage it better now that I stay in the moment. I mean, sometimes it’s tough to stay in the moment. It’s tough to not look ahead. Like when I play now 5-2 I was looking ahead. I had matchpoints.
Yeah, you have to have it under control.
Q. When you weren’t playing, when you took the break, what were the best and worst parts of that time?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: The best part’s you’re staying in one place. You have home. You can meet friends. You can do normal stuff.
Yeah, you’re not traveling that much, but you still have more time for everything, for family, for boyfriend, studying, just enjoying. Yeah.
Q. And the worst part?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: The worst part? I don’t think there’s a worst part. There is no worst part. There are good things in every job.
Q. You play Bondarenko next.
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: Great head-to-head. Head-to-head is not good. (Laughter). I remember I played Wimbledon against her. Oh, and in Dubai this year. Great match. Great match.
I came from Taiwan on the night flight, and then I step on the court the next day. That was great, great feeling. (Smiling.)
So, yeah, it’s tough to play her. She’s tough competitor. She hits the ball hard. I have to play a good game.
Q. You’re going to enjoy it tonight and then move on. What does ‘enjoying it’ mean?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: I go to Five Guys maybe, eat a burger. (Laughter.)
I don’t know. Maybe have some drinks. My mom is here but she’s leaving tomorrow. It’s her first Grand Slam. And my best friend. We’ll maybe go somewhere. They will drink; I will watch. (Laughter.)
Q. You spoiled your mom. She’s going to think this is how all Grand Slams…
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: She’s like, I’m staying here. I’m staying here. I don’t want to go to work.
Q. You’ve been playing for a while at Grand Slams. Why was this her first one?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: What do you mean?
Q. Why this one?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: I don’t know. She likes to be at home. She likes her work. She’s an English teacher, so I have to be careful how I talk. I don’t know why she didn’t. It hasn’t worked out because she has always school at that time of the year. She cannot miss that much.
But now I think she’s, like, I’m stopping. I’m not going anymore. I’m traveling with you.
Q. Earlier this year you made in the final in Mallorca. I heard you were in the hospital at the start of the tournament and then went on to make the final. Here you get this crazy draw. A few years ago you were retired. Life can be a little funny.
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: Can be tricky. I was speaking with Ronnie, (phonetic) my boyfriend. We were talking like, Yeah, last year you were in the quallies US Open. You were so pumped to be in the quallies, to have a chance to be again on that stage. I lost first round quallies.
This year playing on Ashe, life can be funny sometimes, yeah.
Q. If I have it right, Latvian players are famous for their wealthy parents. Is your mother as rich as Gulbis’ father?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: No. She’s working as an English teacher.
Q. Does she have a good salary?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: You want to hear it or what? No, I won’t tell you.
A. SEVASTOVA/G. Muguruza
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. You started coming back in the second set. Did you feel like the match was starting to swing back into your favor?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: Well, I think it was a very tough match. I think I didn’t play well today. I think she also played well. Everything she was doing was kind of working. Maybe at the last part of the match we could feel we can have a chance to come back, but, in fact, was like 50/50.
So at the end she played well, and that’s it.
Q. What did you make of the conditions? It seemed loud in the arena.
GARBINE MUGURUZA: Yeah. I felt a lot of noise, a lot of noise on the court.
Q. Did you ever experience that before this match?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: Not that noisy.
Q. What was the main problem with your game today?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: Well, I think, first of all, I’m not playing my best level. It’s very rare also when you play your best. I’m just trying to look, What else can I do, how to work more the match, how to find more resources.
I think today was just very difficult. Everything I was trying to do she was coming back and doing incredible shots. She was moving very well also.
Q. How nervous were you out there today? Any more nervous than any other match when you take the court? Was it a little bit more?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: Well, I think I’m always nervous, even if I play not on the center court. No, I was nervous, I don’t know, like other matches, but for sure playing against someone that is nervous, but is not the same. Is different kind of nerves.
Like, Let’s go out and play on center court and see if I win. It’s different feeling. C’mon, you got to go for the match. It’s a little bit tricky sometimes.
Q. You played a lot of tennis, a lot of different tournaments this year. That adds up. She’s someone who took two years off in the middle of her career and came back and had good success in her comeback. Do you ever wish there was a way to slow down tennis and get more time to rest? Do you think that can be helpful?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: Well, not right now for me. I think this is something personal. When you’re tired you say, Hey, I need to rest from tennis or something. So far I always want to keep, like, playing and continue, I don’t know, the tour. Keep having chances to win matches and tournaments and everything. I don’t really want to stop right now for anything.
Q. Do you count this loss as part of the New York mojo? It’s not been a tournament you’ve been really able to get your hands around here. Is it something that you see consistently year to year that is an issue for you at this tournament, or is it just bad luck or bad draws?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: I don’t know. I try to give all. I try to fight on court. She was just better. I don’t know if it’s bad luck.
No, I don’t think so. But, well, I did my best result again. I’m just saying that. (Smiling.)
Q. People have talked for quite a few years before you about how tough it is to follow up a Grand Slam. Do you feel you’re still at all in a French Open hangover of some sort, or is that not the case anymore?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: You know what? I don’t think about the French Open any second. It’s past. Everybody’s looking forward to the next one, the next tournament. Of course you have in your mind it’s a great achievement. No matter what, it’s a Grand Slam trophy.
I’m not thinking at all when I come here that I won the French Open. This is new tournament. I’m like, Let’s see how far I can get. Hopefully is like French Open. But no.
Q. Anything you have decided to work on especially hard since this loss? Anything you want to improve for the end of the season?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: I mean, a lot of things. Maybe to prepare a little bit more the matches.
I don’t really know exactly. I think hopefully have better days. I don’t know, just play perfect. I don’t know what to tell you, something specific.
Q. Here there is almost a constant buzz, noise. Did that interfere with the play of tennis? Could you comment about the sound?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: I didn’t feel silence at any moment. It was continuously a noise. I think it’s very big, this stadium, also. It’s kind of echo. It’s just like continuously. But it’s the same for the other player, you know.
But, yeah, I felt like this is — when I was serving I was like, It’s not quiet. People are like — it’s okay. It’s just like that.
Q. Since Paris it’s been non-stop tennis. Even before Paris, Madrid, Rome. Are you looking forward to being able to get back to Europe and also take a little bit of a time out before the Asian swing begins? How long do you think you’ll have before you can reset?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: Yeah, for sure I will rest a little bit, but I think the best is just to keep playing. I mean, I’d rather keep playing and have more chances in other tournaments than taking a long break.
Even though today is not my favorite match, this is not going to stop me of resting some days and going back in Asia and trying to do like last year.
Q. When you talk about preparing for matches more, in terms of preparing for opponents more, doing more scouting, or physical preparation?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: Well, I think a little bit of everything. I mean, I don’t know really exactly what is. But, I don’t know, maybe being less nervous. Sometimes when you go into the match you want it so badly. I think sometimes is tricky. It makes you a little bit like tense and nervous.
I guess it’s normal.
Q. Petra earlier today was saying she genuinely has no idea how she’s going to play on any given day, no matter what her level is. Is that something that you relate to at all or is that foreign to you? You kind of know when you’re in a good way?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: Oh, I think I know way before how I feel. You can have a couple of games where you play bad or very good. I think I’m a type of player that days before I know how I feel, if I’m playing good, if I’m playing bad. This is not like lottery here.
C. BELLIS/S. Rogers
2-6, 6-2, 6-2
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. A great win. How did you turn that second set around? Then the third set looked like you were fired up.
CATHERINE BELLIS: Yeah, I think in the first set I didn’t have a lot of rhythm. The points were kind of quick. Couldn’t really get my feet involved in my game very much.
In the second, I just told myself from the beginning my feet need to be way fast faster, I need to be way sharper to comeback and win that. Obviously she’s such a great player. I lost to her before.
I think just being really focused and getting my feet involved and getting really pumped up is how I did it.
Q. You mentioned having lost to her before. In your mind, what was the biggest change, the surface or…
CATHERINE BELLIS: Yeah, I think the surface did today, played to my strength. I think I played a little bit better today than the last time, too. A little bit smarter.
Q. You played with a lot of emotion out there today, played off the crowd, especially the group in the corner. How does the crowd help you?
CATHERINE BELLIS: It makes me play better. When I get them involved — I mean, today was the turning point of the match when I started winning a couple points, started stringing a few together, got them involved, and that just kept pumping me up even more and made me play better.
Q. Did you know the group in the corner?
CATHERINE BELLIS: They came out to first-round qualifying and have been to every single one of my matches since. One of them messaged me on Instagram and asked for tickets, and so I got them into my box today. Yeah, I guess we’re getting closer. Yeah, they are a great group. Oh, my god. They call themselves Team CiCi, so it was fun.
Q. Are they from California?
CATHERINE BELLIS: I think they’re from Rhode Island. I think I read that in one of their Instagram bios. I don’t know much about them at all. (Laughter.)
Q. You’re likely to keep moving up in size as you go along. Is it likely to get you more charged, or do you think it might be a different story if you were on Ashe?
CATHERINE BELLIS: I’m not sure. I never played on Ashe before. I’ll have to see. I think it would just be even better for me, more fun for me.
Q. How different is this moment now compared to two years ago?
CATHERINE BELLIS: It means so much more to me. I think now that, like, I got through two rounds — a couple years ago I got through one, but getting through two, and also, like I said the other day, passing qualifying was huge for me. Getting through the last two rounds was really, really big.
Q. The other day you spoke about your situation with prize money, expenses, so forth. You already moved up to a suite. What do you think can you do now? Buy the hotel?
CATHERINE BELLIS: I think I just moved up to a regular suite. Maybe the presidential suite this time. (Laughter.)
No, I think I’ll just stay in the room I’m in now. I don’t know what I’m going to do with the rest of it.
Q. Next match, Angelique Kerber. What are your thoughts on her?
CATHERINE BELLIS: I’ve never played her before. She’s 2 in the world obviously and an amazing player. It will be a lot of fun for me. I haven’t put much thought into it yet. I’ll think about it tomorrow or in a couple days when my match is closer.
Q. If that match is on a show court, will that be a positive for you? Will you feed off the crowd playing in a bigger environment?
CATHERINE BELLIS: Yeah, I think that will definitely be a positive for me. I don’t think it would be any different than today or my past couple matches.
Q. Is it safe to say you go out and just swing for the fences and play with no pressure, or is that too easy to say because of your age?
CATHERINE BELLIS: I don’t feel like I ever played like that. I feel like I always put pressure on myself to not necessarily win, but always to play well, play my game. That’s never been a part of my game. I don’t think I’ll do that.
Q. We know you like to play in front of a crowd. It fires you up and gives your best tennis. When that dynamic happens between player and crowd, do you feel like you’re shifting into almost a performance, or is it just that it amps you up? It’s almost like you start performing.
CATHERINE BELLIS: That’s actually a really good question. I think both a little bit. I think it puts me in like a different world. I feel like I’m not even here when I hear people like that group we were talking about. It’s surreal to me. But it’s so amazing.
I think it’s a little bit of both.
Q. Does college feel further away with another US Open main draw win?
CATHERINE BELLIS: I’m not sure. I think it’s the same for now. But, you know, we’ll see how the rest of the tournament goes for me.
Q. Do you go in really expecting to win against Angie? Is that what you put on yourself?
CATHERINE BELLIS: Oh, I mean, I definitely can’t say that, but I always want myself to play well. I always put — I wouldn’t say pressure on myself to play well, because that’s a harsh word. I think it’s more I know that I can and I know that, you know, all my hard work is going to pay off.
I think that’s more me playing well. I’m just going to focus on myself.
Q. You’ve never played Angie?
CATHERINE BELLIS: No, I have not.
Q. Did you see her on her great run at Stanford a couple years ago or on television at the Australian?
CATHERINE BELLIS: Oh, yeah. I think everyone has pretty much seen her move up the rankings in the past year. Yeah, definitely Australia. Watched her there. Yeah, great player. Unbelievable.
Q. Did you see her at Stanford in person?
CATHERINE BELLIS: Yeah.
Q. Obviously she’s really had this great arc in her career where, through hard work, she’s emerged to become No. 2. Is that something that impresses you, inspires us?
CATHERINE BELLIS: Oh, definitely. That just motivates me to work harder. I think seeing that it’s possible, you know, hard work being able to pay off I wouldn’t say this quickly because she’s always been really good, but in the past year she’s just done even better. I think that’s definitely inspiring for me, yeah.
Q. Going back to today’s match, last time you played Shelby she came out on top. Today you did. What was the difference?
CATHERINE BELLIS: I think I played a little bit better today. Obviously, like we talked about, the court surface was different. I played her on clay a couple months ago. Today was on hard court.
Yeah, I think obviously the emotions out there and everybody that was cheering for me, that really helped me, too.
Q. You were able to get a connection going with the Grandstand Court. What do you like about it?
CATHERINE BELLIS: It’s amazing. It’s so amazing. My coach and one of my friends and I, we snuck on and hit before the qualifying started. I think we might have been the first people who hit on it, I want to say. I don’t know.
But, yeah, I think we were one of the first people to hit on it. It’s so amazing. I mean, oh, my God.
Q. You said you played smarter this time around. Could you be more specific? Was it things you learned from that match or between then and now? What did you do that was more intelligent than the first time?
CATHERINE BELLIS: I think it wasn’t necessarily strategy or strategical, but I think it was just different shots and shot selection. Last time I played her it was three sets, too. It came down to — I mean, I can’t say a couple points in the last match because she beat me pretty bad in the third set.
Yeah, it was just a few shots that I think I’d — say, like she had me on the run. Say I went for a down the line in the last match; I’d go for a cross-court heavy in this match and then would end up winning that point just because I played that shot a little bit smarter this time.
Q. What are your off days looking like while you’ve been in New York? The last five or six days or so, what have you been doing?
CATHERINE BELLIS: Not very much. I’ve been pretty tired on my off days. I think tomorrow actually I have doubles, so it’s not a full off day for me.
I’ve just been hanging out with my friends that have been here, seeing them, going out for dinner, doing fun stuff. But not too much. Nothing crazy. Just kind of relaxing.
Q. In California you lost to Venus. It must have been an incredible experience to play a legend. Talk about that experience. How does that help your game?
CATHERINE BELLIS: Oh, my God, it’s helped me so much. I was just thinking about it the other day. I was talking about it with one of my friends. I’ve played both of the Williams sisters. That’s so amazing to do at my age. I’m so honored to have played against both of them.
When I played against Venus it just taught me so much about — what she’s doing at her age is unbelievable. She’s done it for so long. It’s just amazing. It taught me a lot about my game, where I could improve on certain aspects of my game.
Q. When she said those kind words about you, did that inspire you?
CATHERINE BELLIS: Yeah, for sure, definitely.
M. CILIC/S. Stakhovsky
6-1, 6-2, 6-3
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Three straight sets. Feel good?
MARIN CILIC: Feel good. I feel good, for sure. I played really well today from the start till the end. I didn’t have too many ups and downs in the game. I felt that I was controlling the match. I felt that I was really mixing up the game well. Came to the net several times. I was feeling good there.
Returned really, really good today. Didn’t miss many returns, so that was, I guess, very important, as Stakhovsky is a player that can be tricky. He can play, you know, even at the net well or mix it up the game with his slice.
He can be tricky obviously from the baseline, but I felt really good from the rallies. I think that was really, really, high-quality match.
Q. Was there a moment in the season where you felt it was clicking back to the level you are playing now? Seems like you are playing like when you won here.
MARIN CILIC: When I had my break in the clay court season, when I start playing back, I had a good week in Geneva. I felt I was playing well there.
Then I had a little bit of a disappointment in French Open.
Grass court season was actually pretty good. Played well in Queen’s. Played well in Wimbledon.
Actually, during the summer I was more or less playing really good. I lost matches to Karlovic and to Monfils, and so matches that I can lose anytime of the year, for sure. In both of those matches I felt that I was playing actually pretty good.
So that was giving me good confidence for the other tournaments. You know, just feeling on the court I’m playing well. When I’m feeling like that, that’s always giving me nice feedback on the court.
Q. Do you pay attention on which court you’re scheduled on? You were changed today. As a former champion, were you surprised?
MARIN CILIC: Not really. There were a lot of American players today obviously playing. It was tough with the scheduling. I think they were also trying to put me in a similar schedule as Jack so that one of us don’t play earlier in the day and the other one later. That was, I guess, a bit difficult.
I didn’t have a problem changing from Court 5 to 17. More or less it was quite enough time to get ready.
Q. What do you expect facing Jack next?
MARIN CILIC: We played in Portland few weeks ago. Over there was tough match, five-setter. Jack played really well. I was even 3-Love in the fifth and he came back and won.
Definitely expecting a tough matchup. Jack can be very dangerous on the court. He’s athletic guy. He can run down many balls. In the U.S. I guess that he plays even a bit better. He gets inspired with the crowd.
Hopefully I can keep my level of player.
Q. As a former champion here, do you feel the crowd remembers and was getting behind you today?
MARIN CILIC: Yeah, yeah, for sure. I mean, obviously they always want to have little bit of spice and excitement in the matches, so that’s always understandable. It was actually fun to see them giving support a little bit to Stakhovsky.
I felt they were giving me pretty good support and felt it was a really nice match today.
Q. Talking Davis Cup, do you think Ivo Karlovic will come back in the group? He seems to think he won’t ever get a call.
MARIN CILIC: I don’t know. I actually didn’t talk with our captain about that. Hopefully Borna recovers. He had last two weeks tough time. Pulled out in Cincy and pulled out here. It’s not easy.
I don’t know, his knee is hopefully going to get better. We’ll see with Ivo. Ivo hasn’t played already for a while for our team. It’s tricky, I guess, situation.
In one way you still want to keep the team that came to the semis and that did well so far in the season. But in the other way, obviously Ivo is playing great.
I mean, I think our captain needs to think about that a bit.
J. SOCK/M. Zverev
6-1, 6-1, 6-2
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. What is the feeling at this point in your career of getting to the third round of a major? Is it an accomplishment? Happiness? Where do the emotions lie with the two wins?
JACK SOCK: I mean, those Grand Slams were not in singles. Obviously singles is my priority and focus.
Q. I mean two wins at a Grand Slam, two rounds.
JACK SOCK: Oh, two wins at a Grand Slam.
Yeah, I mean, a couple years ago I would have been very satisfied with that and excited to be in the third round. Not that I expect to be there, you know, dissatisfied if I’m there, but, you know, I’m 24 next month. This is my sixth or seventh US Open. I’ve played a lot of Grand Slams.
I feel like my tennis is right there to be playing in the second week. I’ve only been able to do that a couple times at the slams. For me it’s just more motivating getting through the first couple rounds, getting your feet wet at the slam.
More exciting than anything. Hopefully for me, my goal is to be playing in the second week of every slam that I’m playing now. I feel like my tennis is there. If I can just go out and keep producing, then good things will happen.
Q. Coming off of the Olympics, has it been a harder turnaround or has it differed from any other tournament versus what you’ve experienced in the past? Does it feel like there’s any hangover, moving on you’ve needed to do since Rio?
JACK SOCK: I think, if anything, it’s helped me in a lot of ways. You know, you’re satisfied in other events if you make a semi or final, in whatever, singles, doubles, whatever you’re playing well.
But there was something about the Olympics. I feel like my attitude and mentality since actually changed fairly drastically. I’ve enjoyed being out there more. Not necessarily less pressure, but I’m just having more fun out there.
I think, I don’t know, there is something about being there, being part of Team USA, bringing home a gold medal and a bronze medal. Having that, I had an unreal week at home practicing and working out. Getting healthy with my lungs, but also practicing and working out.
Came this week very, very excited. Didn’t know if I’d be tired from that or, like you said, have a little hangover, as they say, of the excitement.
But, if anything, I felt much more motivated, you know, excited to get out here since.
Q. You get a pinnacle four times a year. Some athletes get one pinnacle every four years. Did you talk to anybody about that in Rio?
JACK SOCK: Yeah. I actually became pretty good buddies with a guy on the fencing team, Miles Chamley-Watson. Lives here in NYC. Supposed to come to my match Friday night. If he doesn’t, we’re no longer friends.
I spent a long time talking to him. It is crazy being there. Obviously being a tennis player for us was massive and exciting to be there, but we also had the mentality of, for me, my biggest slam, my biggest tournament of the year in two weeks.
For every other athlete there, I think for him, he has a couple months off now. He trains and works out and gets ready for their next big competition. That’s the same with a lot of athletes there. So it is definitely different in a lot of ways.
But it was definitely interesting to get to know other athletes and kind of see their schedules and hear about what they do. But it is different for tennis players knowing that we got a Grand Slam a week and a half later.
Q. I don’t know if you got to watch Ryan Harrison today. What is your reaction in his 20th main draw in a Grand Slam, his first third round, the rollercoaster he’s been on in his career?
JACK SOCK: First of all, incredible win. Obviously Milos has been playing some insane tennis, very, very good tennis. I ran into him at Wimbledon. He was playing really well. Made finals there and is playing with confidence for a while now. That’s why he’s been in the top 10 also for a while now.
For Harry, reached top 40 at a pretty young age and has had some ups and downs. I think for myself and I think for the other American players, in general American tennis, we’re obviously ecstatic to have another guy advancing, especially a guy who works hard week in, week out and doesn’t leave anything out there.
So for him, I’m definitely happy for him to be able to get through and get another win and string them along and help him with confidence. We know he can be a top 50, top 30, top 40 player. It’s stringing those matches along, getting that confidence back. This will be a big one for him. Hopefully he can keep it going.
Q. You mentioned on the court of the fluorescent yellow outfits that some of the players are wearing. You’ve had some success. Your opponent was wearing a loud outfit. What do you think of these colors? Is this going to be a new superstition for you to wear?
JACK SOCK: I mean, not sure. We wear what we’re given. I think it’s a very cool outfit. Seeing the pictures, seeing other players playing in it, playing in it yourself, I think it looks really good.
Seems like a lot of companies have trended towards that. I think maybe because it’s New York City and there’s that electric feeling and a lot of buzz and excitement, anticipation, and I think the outfits fit perfectly with the day sessions, the night sessions. Crowds are really into it.
I think loud audiences and loud matches go with loud outfits.
R. HARRISON/M. Raonic
6-7, 7-5, 7-5, 6-1
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. When did you first get a sense you were in the match? When did you start gaining confidence throughout the match?
RYAN HARRISON: I broke first at 2-All in the first set. I hit a pretty great return, was able to get an early break, and unfortunately got broken right back.
But, you know, was just really focusing on that not being a tipping point in the match where all of a sudden next thing you know he’s reeling off four, five games in a row and I’m down a set and a break before I blink.
I just was really going to focus hard on taking care of my service games as much as possible. Then the opportunities to break him are kind of few and far between when you get ’em. Whenever they did come, I was trying to play as composed and aggressively as I could.
Fortunately I was able to get that break back in the third set. It kind of was pivotal.
Q. So many ups and downs in your career. Do you sense there’s some movement again? If so, why?
RYAN HARRISON: Yeah, you know, I guess that’s a good thing, that I started so young, when I did, because we’re not sitting here having the conversation about me playing well right now and I’m 30. I’m still young. I’m 24. I’ve got a ways to go, especially with guys playing well into their 30s now.
It’s mental maturity, a little bit of stabilization with everything around me that is allowing me to play with a sense of calm and also with excitement. My personality is a very fiery one. I like to be really intense when I’m competing. Flirt with that line of getting so intense that it’s taking me away from what I was trying to accomplish out there.
It’s kind of a hard balance to work through, because I definitely went through phases where I would try to calm down so much that I lost that competitive edge and competitive fire that was my personality out there.
So right now I feel like I’m in a good emotional state where I’m competing really well. I’m not monotone, but I’m also being selective about when I get fired up.
Q. You look across the net and you see a guy same age as you. He came out of nowhere as a pro; shot up high; you’ve had all those struggles. Do you think about that?
RYAN HARRISON: Well, he is a couple years older. He’s a full two years older than me. He’s a 1990 birthday; I’m 1992. That’s not exactly the same age. We did play together in juniors. Up until 2011, 2012, we were back and forth. I played him a few times in juniors. I got him a couple times; he got me a time or two. I think we were 1-1 at the pro level. I hadn’t played him in four years.
I knew going in I was going to be in a position to be in the match. Toronto was a big one for me, because after qualifying there and having a good win the first couple rounds. I played Berdych, and after I got off the court I looked back and felt like I left a lot out there. I still only lost 4 in the third with a guy who is a top player and been in the finals of majors.
I was looking back at that match this summer and saying, I don’t need to try to do anything more than I’m capable of doing. I just need to do what I’m capable of and trust that that gives me my opportunities.
Q. What was your approach when you saw how immobilized he was?
RYAN HARRISON: It’s really hard initially, because first of all you’re a little concerned. He’s a good guy and you don’t want him to be seriously hurt. I wouldn’t say I was happy to hear that it was cramping once I heard from the chair that he was getting cramping treatments, but you’re certainly happy that it’s not like a tear in the hamstring or something like that where he’s in jeopardy of being out for a long time. I saw him fall at Wimbledon one year and had to get hip surgery. That was scary. You don’t want to see that for anybody.
Once I realized it was just the cramping, and you see a guy who’s kind of laboring out there, it becomes tough initially, especially because when I first started to pick up on it it was still him up a break in the third.
He still has arguably the most live arm on tour. His serve is not going to go away because he still has that upper body sort of strength.
It was a really important game at 4-3 there when he served in the third to break back and give myself a chance. All I was thinking once I got to the third set was I really want to make this feel like a long way back for him. If he’s not already feeling physically good, I want it to be a long way back.
I hope he recovers. I hope that his body’s all right and I hope he has a great rest of the year. He’s a good guy. I’ve always enjoyed playing him.
Q. Some of the great players generations ago, when they played years ago, they would say, I was seeing a bigger ball. Did you notice anything along those lines?
RYAN HARRISON: No. That’s the thing, you know. Everyone hits these two- or three-game patches at some point in time in matches where you’re just like, Everything I’m touching right now is going near the line and going off like a rocket.
The cool and exciting thing was that I had a great win today, and there was no point where I felt like I was red lining or playing a level that wasn’t consistent. Kind of like going back to the first question I answered, when I broke early in the first set, I got broken back, there was no panic because I didn’t feel I was playing above my level to get up the break.
That’s when I was just focused on staying the course. Lose a tight first set. Obviously a lot of people are going, you know, long, tight first set. The first couple games of the second are really important. I saved like four or five breakpoints in that first game of the second set. That was a huge hump, because you don’t want to be down a set and a break to that guy because he can just take the racquet out of your hand at times.
That was another pivotal moment. I’m sure looking back there were plenty of times where it could have gotten away from me. I’m excited that emotionally and from an execution standpoint I was able to put enough in play and be aggressive enough to take the win.
Q. Why and how do you think you achieved that stabilization you were speaking about earlier?
RYAN HARRISON: Well, you know, it didn’t start just here at the Open. I had a rough match in Newport. Was not playing well. Was kind of a mental midget out there in my match. I just was, you know, kind of like in this frame of mind. It was, Listen, you know, something’s got to change right now. I’ve got to make a commitment to do this.
I met with my family. I met with my dad, my fiancée, people close to me. Talked to them just about starting to develop sort of a series of matches in a row where emotionally I was able to be selective about when I was getting excited.
If I did get irritated, it wasn’t at the wrong times and it wasn’t taking me out of the match. It was just a decision to be resilient out there in the moment.
Now it’s two months later. If you include World TeamTennis, I played probably, I don’t know, 30 consecutive matches since then. Now you start to build that good habit where you have good memories, good things to reflect on. It’s hopefully going to be a continuous thing.
Q. Second rounds have been a roadblock for you. You’ve had rough draws along the way. Are you satisfied that you made this breakthrough against the guy who is a No. 5 seed, you didn’t get a draw that broke your way?
RYAN HARRISON: Yeah, I mean, the excitement of knowing that you didn’t get a win over — I mean, everyone’s a quality player. I don’t want to be someone who is sounding like I have an easy draw ever. But you know that a guy who just reached the finals of Wimbledon is obviously going to be a tough opponent.
It’s exciting to have a big win like this at a slam. I’m trying to approach it, you know, just like I would any other match right now. I’m trying to stay in the moment, go through my routines tomorrow, I guess the rest of tonight, like I would any other match.
Not really a whole lot of time for reflection in this sport because things change so quickly. You play a bad match on Friday, all of a sudden today the win feels a long ways away.
That’s a good thing about it. You get to go out there and it’s a new match every time you compete. So I’m looking forward to the challenge on Friday and hopefully going to be able to repeat it.
Q. Given what you went through as a 19-year-old kid, what advice would you give or have you given to guys like Fritz and Tiafoe about what they can expect or what things are going to be like for them?
RYAN HARRISON: Whenever you’re dealing with something for the first time, any new kind of emotional situation, a lot of different areas could apply to that. But everything feels like it’s a really big high and a really big low.
Whenever you hit a slump or a rough patch it feels like you’re never going to find it again. When you have a good match early in your career, you feel like you’re on cruise control early to the top.
I think it’s pretty important to say in this more kind of controlled range where you understand, like I just talked about, a good win is a good win. But everyone is going to be coming for you in the next match. Doesn’t matter who you play. They’re looking to do damage also.
When you’re down, things change really quickly. It’s a short-term sport. You have to have a short-term memory, because if you think back to the matches that you had rough matches or even exciting matches, you’re not in the moment of where you are right now.
That’s the most important thing to executing in the moment.
Q. Obviously there are a lot of positives to take away from today’s match. Looking at how it all unfolded — you got broken three times, twice he double-faulted, you ended the first set tiebreak with a double-fault — do you think this may be an area of the game you need to work on?
RYAN HARRISON: The biggest thing I need to work on on my second serve is my second-serve percentage of points won. The double-faults are not something that you want to become a problem. But if you’re winning a high percentage of second serve points, a guy like me, I go for my second serve a lot.
I’m not somebody that throws it in at 70 miles an hour in the middle of the box and it starts the point. All the times I double fault there is a lot of times where I get service winners on second serves or a short reply off of a second serve, where someone who is just spinning it in, they’re not going to be getting that benefit.
As long as I’m getting a high percentage of second serve points won I’ll continue to serve the way I’m serving. With some double-faults coming here and there that’s going to be expected, but I want to make sure that I’m always having a high percentage.
Q. Shaping up to be a really good tournament for Americans. Are you conscious of that kind of thing? Can you feed off each other’s momentum?
RYAN HARRISON: It’s cool. John, Jared, Jack and I and Stevie, we’re all within five feet of each other’s locker. We’ve been able to feel the excitement. I saw Johnson this morning when he walked in. You’re smiling for him, happy for him.
Isner was the first person I saw when I walked in the locker room. He’s excited for me. That’s the good thing about all of us guys that are playing for America right now. We all have pretty good relationships.
It’s cool. I think the winning does become contagious. It’s something where someone achieves something or someone that you’re close to has a big win. You think it’s a lot more achievable for you.
I certainly have a big belief that we’re all able to continue winning. I don’t think that we’re done right now.
Q. Good things seemed to start happening with World TeamTennis. Do you see World TeamTennis getting bigger than what it is? Did it help you?
RYAN HARRISON: There were some benefits for me from World TeamTennis, for sure. I’ve had notably some issues in the past with staying focused, not letting distractions get ahold of me when I’m playing.
When you’re playing World TeamTennis, you’ve got no ushers. You have people moving left and right. There is music in between points. You’re playing on a colored court. You’re paying lets. You can get substitutes in the middle of a match. All sorts of crazy things are happening.
All through the World TeamTennis season I had fun with it. I played at a really high level the whole time.
After the season, I was like 8-1 record. Obviously all the things I yell about when someone is moving in the stands are not that big of a deal if I decide to just focus in and block it out. Whenever you know it’s going to happen you just don’t think about it. That’s going to happen. It’s part of it.
There’s been times in my career when someone drops a ball, someone does something, and my first reaction is, What did you do? It’s not as big a deal as you think it is.
Q. You just talked about having some fun with World TeamTennis. Are you as happy as you’ve been ever with your life?
RYAN HARRISON: Yeah, this is really fun.
Q. Life is good?
RYAN HARRISON: Life is great. This will be a US Open to remember on so many different occasions. First one, being engaged. First one me and my brother both competed in. How cool is it to have him with me at the Open? We’re both playing in the main draw. We weren’t the tennis family that was just kind of like immediately at a big academy from the time we were eight, nine years old.
My dad started in a private club in Shreveport, Louisiana. Went to Newcombe’s academy. Eventually we got to Bollettieri’s academy. Talking about my dad, normal club pro, right? He’s teaching six hours, from like 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. at night.
I’m getting practices with him at 9:30 at night till 11:00 as an eight-year-old, you know. So you look back at all those moments with my brother and my dad, and I know it’s a special US Open, especially with all the injuries to boot.
Q. (Question regarding qualifying.)
RYAN HARRISON: Yeah, you know, the heat, I can thank qualifying all summer for my physical fitness today. I started playing qualifying in D.C. I played qualifying in Toronto. I played obviously a lot of qualifications this year.
Just that match count of being in the heat for as many matches as I was, I certainly wasn’t feeling as tired as I would have been otherwise.
The good news about qualifying at a slam, especially the Open with the way the schedule is, you finish on Friday. You have Saturday and Sunday to recover. Whereas in other tournaments, if you qualify on Saturday, Sunday, you play Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.
All of a sudden your third-round match is your fifth match in a row. That can be physically taxing by the end of a normal tournament, but at a slam you have the luxury of having two days to get your feet back up under you.
After that you are just excited that you’re a little bit more used to the conditions than someone who hasn’t played that. It’s a first match for the guy that played the first round and it’s my fourth. If your body is not hurting, that’s going to be an advantage.
R. HARRISON/M. Raonic
6-7, 7-5, 7-5, 6-1
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. I guess it’s safe to say injuries are the reason why you lost.
MILOS RAONIC: No. Cramping.
Q. When did it first start?
MILOS RAONIC: Halfway through the second set.
Q. Any particular reason? Nerves?
MILOS RAONIC: A little bit of stress. I don’t think hydration was an issue. I think I always take that precaution. Probably just nerves and stress, a mental sort of overexuberance rather than — probably more than it should.
Q. Coming in as a Wimbledon finalist, expectations of your own, other people, how did that factor in?
MILOS RAONIC: I don’t think that really factored in other than the fact it’s sort of happened to me before. I didn’t serve well to start this tournament. That’s normally my go-to. That can keep me out of situations.
I think that sort of added a little bit more than I normally have to deal with.
I think that just sort of caught up to me throughout that match.
Q. Was it just your left thigh or was it other things?
MILOS RAONIC: Numerous things, yes.
Q. Was it the wrist also?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, the left arm; right forearm there towards the end of the third; both quads; a little bit hip flexor on the left.
It was just catching me all over.
Q. Did you max out on what you could try to do?
MILOS RAONIC: Sort of the really painful cramps started to pass at some point in the third set, but then I started getting small ones where I couldn’t hold the racquet.
I couldn’t switch grips from one point to the next. There were a few points where I would hold the racquet with my left and trying to stretch out my right hand in between shots, and that’s not going to work.
Q. John McEnroe announced he wasn’t going to be with you during this tournament. Did that have anything mentally to do with it?
MILOS RAONIC: No, I don’t think so. I think today I put a little bit too much on me. I think I was able to put that aside pretty efficiently.
Q. I know the match ended roughly an hour ago or so. Could you go out and play now?
MILOS RAONIC: No. I still can’t carry my bags on my shoulder. Even after the match I stayed there for maybe 30 minutes. I started — just from carrying the bag started cramping a little bit on my back.
Q. (Question regarding history of cramping.)
MILOS RAONIC: I can’t remember a single time where I’ve lost a match because of cramping.
Q. You came up with him more or less. A lot was made of him as maybe the next big thing in American tennis. You punched through almost with no fanfare whatsoever. He’s really struggled. Have you followed his career? Do you have a history with him?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, I followed it from afar. The year I broke through in 2011 he did pretty well. In 2012 he got up to top 40 for a brief period of time. Since then he hasn’t really been around the big tournaments; he struggled.
But this summer I got to see him. He played well in Toronto. He played well in Washington. He’s been having sort of a resurgence of a summer. Hopefully he can make it count further on through this tournament. I don’t know who he plays next, but it’s up to him to make it count.
Q. Do you feel for a guy like that when you see how much your stock can rise and a guy like that struggles so much?
MILOS RAONIC: Do I feel for a guy? I think what you put in you get out. I can’t say there’s any kind of sort of bad feeling for it. It just didn’t seem to work out for him on a constant basis.
I have my own way I go about things to try to get the most out of myself. I think I put in every single hour of each day the best I can to get the most out of myself.
Q. You said it was just cramping. You’re used to high expectations; cope pretty well with pressure. Any reason why today it came back to you like this?
MILOS RAONIC: I think I didn’t start off well in the match. I started off feeling a little bit heavy, which has happened to me before. You sort of get through the first set. You pull that one out and you sort of start to relax a little bit. I didn’t do that today. I just sort of compounded the stress. I kept trying to force the shots. I was hesitating mentally on the shots. I just felt a little bit a step slow.
The sort of expectation of pressure on myself to get out of that situation like I normally would in a situation like that, like happened to me in the beginning of Wimbledon, I didn’t do that.
Then all that kind of forceful play caught up to me there in the end.
Q. In hindsight, if you could go back 12 hours, what would you do differently?
MILOS RAONIC: I don’t know actually, to be honest with you. Maybe try to be a bit more active at the beginning of the match.
But every single thing I do, I do with a very careful sort of, as much of possible, calculation. I count how many glasses of water I drink. I pay specific attention to what I eat, what I consume, what’s going to be the best for me. How much before I consume it. All these kind of things. I try to be on top of it as much as I can.
Q. You wrote about John McEnroe’s conversation in the locker room, you wrote in the Tribune. Do you think that could have helped?
MILOS RAONIC: Well, I don’t believe so. I was my own worst enemy today. I tried the best I could to find my way out of it. My body didn’t let me.
Q. When you went off the court at the end of the set, was there anything there you did? Hydrating?
MILOS RAONIC: No, I was hydrating well before. I just tried to sort of take deeper breaths, take more oxygen in, if that was the lack of the issue. Maybe I was having short breaths because of the stress I was putting on myself.
I just tried to incorporate all those little things I know how to do in that kind of scenario.
Q. Aside from your struggles, how do you feel he played?
MILOS RAONIC: He’s been playing well. He played well. He did a lot of things well. I think he stepped up and he played a solid match. There was a few breakpoints. I can’t remember if it was in the second or third. Hit three aces down the T; won three out of four of them.
At the beginning of the second, a breakpoint. I hit a good forehand cross. He went for it down the line and made it. A reaction volley, made it as well. He stepped up and got through those important moments.
I didn’t create this pressure for myself or this kind of stress on myself. He did that.
Q. Seems like your focus for this summer was to try to win this tournament, even at the expense of the Olympics. You’re capable of winning it. Do you think maybe you put too much on yourself to try to do that? That’s a different level of pressure for you.
MILOS RAONIC: No, because I think I put it on myself the same way in London. I think I put it on myself the same way the beginning of the year in Australia. I believe a lot in myself. I try to get the most out of every single time, out of all the important tournaments.
Now I have a bunch of tournaments left to play with specific goals in mind of what I would like to do for the rest of the year. I’m going to try to get every inch out of maximizing that as well.
Q. In Australia you hadn’t made a slam final yet.
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah. Maybe that sort of adds to the aspect of it.
But, I mean, I don’t think of a significant kind of magnitude. I think it adds 1%, but I don’t think that 1% is the reason for today’s mental stresses.
Q. You had a lot of unforced errors today. Was that mental or physical?
MILOS RAONIC: Well, depends at which point and which unforced errors.
I think I hesitated at the beginning. I forced a little bit. I wasn’t moving that well. Then later on, a bunch of those were sort of out of my hand. There were points there that I could barely hold the racquet.
I was just sort of trying to get through, either hope it subsides after a certain amount of time or gets better. It just didn’t happen.
Q. Will Davis Cup be next for you?
MILOS RAONIC: Yes.
A. KERBER/M. Lucic-Baroni
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Angie, it got a little bit dicey there in the second set. Talk through the match a little bit. Seems like you played well and things got a little complicated.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I played very well in the first set. I moved good; I played good; I played my game.
In the second set I was 4-1 up. It was still good for me, but I think she was playing better and she was going for it. Then she was not making too many mistakes like in the first set. For me, I was a little bit short then, so she had the chance to go for it.
Yeah, the last two games was not easy, but I was trying to staying focusing and staying, yeah, a little bit in my rhythm and in my game with my mind.
Q. You had obviously played her in Montreal. That was a much more complicated match than today. Do you think about that match at all when you prepare for this match? Is it brand-new, it doesn’t matter?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Of course, I was thinking about this when I talk with my coach before the match. I was watching a little bit of the match on YouTube, as well.
But it’s a new days and we are playing here on new court, so it was a little bit different. There was a little bit difference because we played also night session. Of course on court I’m not thinking about the match we played in Montreal.
But still I knew how she is playing. I know that I have to play really good in my defensive and, like, moving good, because this is what was the key I think today.
Q. We’ve had a few players have issues with the heat and the humidity today. How did you find the conditions? Were they particularly more difficult than Monday?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: It was a little bit difficult, but for me it was okay. I mean, I think I played also little bit later and it was little bit cloudy. For me it was fine. I had no problems with the weather today.
Q. How much do you know about your next opponent?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Not too much. I don’t know if I played against one of them. I don’t think so. I think my coach will watch the match now and then I will talk with him tomorrow and we will see.
But it’s the third round. It will not be easier. But, yeah, I’m looking forward to being again in the third round here.
Q. At this point in the tournament, how much of a benefit was having that tougher second set going forward for your confidence?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Of course when you win a set like this you know that you can win like sets and games when it’s really close. She had also like few set points. This is what actually makes me like believing in my game again and in my fight spirit.
I know still if I’m like down I can turn around the match. Yeah, it’s good to have a set like that.
Q. You are playing an American next at the US Open. What do you expect out of the crowd?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Actually I’m looking forward. I mean, the crowd, it’s great here. They are supporting everybody. To play against an American it will be a challenge, but I’m looking forward. Let’s see who will win today.
Yeah, at the end it’s nice to play against an American right now.
Q. Earlier I was talking to Petkovic. She said one of the things she’s noticed with you is your decision making on the court has improved a lot in 2016 compared to previous years. Can you talk about that? How does one improve decision making? Is that pure experience? How does that switch get flipped?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think with all the experience I had the last few months and years. I think when you go out and you know you’re making the right decision, you know you have success with this, then you are like believing in yourself and your decision.
Of course, sometimes you’re going out and you’re making like not this decision, not the right ones, but in the end it’s on your hand. You’re going out there to win the matches or to lose it. It’s not like you just try to hope.
I lost a lot of matches like this, yeah, few years ago, so this is what I really try to change now. Just trying to go for it when I have the chance and making the decision by myself.
Q. Do you use tape to improve that? Do you watch your matches?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Actually, no. Actually, I’m not looking too much on my matches. I’m trying, you know, to have the feeling. When I’m feeling confident and I’m practice really hard, I know how to do on court.
If you had a lot of matches like I had in the last few weeks, that gives me like much more confidence with the decision on court.
J. KONTA/T. Pironkova
6-2, 5-7, 6-2
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Jo, can I ask you, how are you feeling?
JOHANNA KONTA: I’m feeling a little embarrassed (smiling), but I’m doing everything that I can to recover well and try to get myself into a state to be ready to compete again on Thursday, Friday. I don’t know what day it is.
Q. Has anything like this happened to you before?
JOHANNA KONTA: I’ve actually had it happen once before four years ago in similar conditions. It was hot and humid. Although this may have been for slightly different reasons, but, yeah, once before, so…
Q. Tell us exactly what was going on. Was it a shortness of breath? Heat?
JOHANNA KONTA: Well, basically I was feeling a little bit the conditions, and also, you know, my own energy levels. I was just managing the best that I could with what I had today. Basically my heart rate spiked and I couldn’t really control my breathing. I started hyperventilating. I started shaking.
So, yeah, basically that’s why I went down on the ground, because I was quite violently shaking. So…
Q. Must have been pretty worrying, wasn’t it?
JOHANNA KONTA: Because I’d experienced it once before I didn’t start crying. I don’t know if anyone’s had a panic attack, but that’s basically what it feels like except my muscles are shaking as well.
But, yeah, so I knew straightaway I needed to get ice on myself, try to get my breathing down, start just really, yeah, calm myself down and in turn my muscles and my heart calmed down as well.
That’s basically what happened. It was basically very embarrassing.
Q. Pironkova said you did nothing against the rules, but she thought the toilet break was a bit excessive. Did you feel you were exercising your right within the rules?
JOHANNA KONTA: The way it worked out with the medical timeout it was right at the end of that second set. I guess it worked out that way, but I needed to get changed out of my clothes. I was soaked through.
Yeah, I mean, I’m not a fan of drama. I’m not a fan of these sort of things. I did the best that I could with the cards that I had. My opponent, she was gracious, and she was also very, I felt, understanding of the situation that was going on.
But, yeah, I did the best that I could.
Q. Is there a cause of it? Will it happen randomly? Is it something you can offset by better hydration or…
JOHANNA KONTA: Quite honestly, I’m doing the best that I can with everything that I’m doing. I think it was just something that was on the cards for me today. It was something that happened.
I’ve definitely played a high volume of matches in the last few weeks, so I’m doing the best that I can to keep recovering for each match that I get to play.
I feel quite certain that with some TLC I’ll be good to go again in a few days’ time.
Q. Extremely puzzling that you’re extremely fit; played the three-and-a-half-hour match against Muguruza in conditions hotter than that. You must be puzzled by it.
JOHANNA KONTA: I’m not necessarily puzzled by it. I think it’s something that’s happened. I did the best that I could dealing with it on court. I’m also doing the best that I can now recovering and dealing with it off court. That’s basically as simple as I can keep it.
If I get too bogged down with the ins-and-outs of it it’s only going to add stress and unnecessary worry.
Q. When did you actually start to feel yourself going downhill? In the first set you were dominant.
JOHANNA KONTA: It’s hard to feel the difference between general tiredness, general fatigue, once you cross over to where your body starts shutting down a bit.
I think all athletes kind of play a very fine line with that. We push our bodies to the limits that they can go. I definitely hit, you know, one of my limits. That was the way my body reacted.
Good thing that mentally I was able to stay as calm as I did and to really just keep trying my best.
Q. How close were you to pulling out? Also, in the third set were you back to 100%? You were playing pretty well again.
JOHANNA KONTA: I did not think of whether I was pulling out, whether I was continuing to play. I was taking it basically each second, each minute as it came. I think I just did good management in the third set. I was definitely just playing with what I had energy level-wise, feeling-wise, everything-wise. I just played with what I had.
Yeah, that’s it.
Q. Were you still feeling uncomfortable in the third set? Were you still feeling ill at all? Did you recover pretty quickly?
JOHANNA KONTA: I’m continuously recovering right now, so…
Q. Right now, is it a general sense of relief to get through a match like that? Is it concern about the rest of your tournament? Is it just exhaustion? What is your take right now?
JOHANNA KONTA: My take right now is that I’m happy with how I was able to deal with the situation that I had today, just the challenges that I had, my own challenges I had. I faced them and I did the best that I could.
I feel very fortunate enough that I have one more chance to play here, to give my best again. Between then and now, it’s just about getting my body to a state of — you know, the best state that I can.
Q. The last time it happened to you were you able to recover and play on like you did today, or last time did you have to stop?
JOHANNA KONTA: No, last time it happened I actually played on. I recovered reasonably well.
Q. In the back of your mind today you knew it was possible to get through this and you could come back and continue?
JOHANNA KONTA: I was not thinking forward. During the match, honestly in the whole third set, I was just focusing on my breathing, making sure I was keeping my breathing as level as possible.
Q. Where was the last time it happened? What was the actual tournament?
JOHANNA KONTA: I can’t remember, but I remember it was about four years ago.
Q. In the States or in Australia?
JOHANNA KONTA: No, it was in the U.S. It was in the U.S. I just remember it was hot and humid conditions.
Q. How was the conversation with the trainer and doctor when you got out there? They quickly attended to you.
JOHANNA KONTA: They’re brilliant. We are very fortunate with the medical staff that we have here.
But I think, firstly, once they came out I did panic a little bit. They kind of calmed me down. They did all the necessary checks to see how I was doing immediately then. Since then I’ve done all the necessary checks, as well.
So, yeah, all should be good.
Q. The woman doctor walked back with you. She kept track of you.
JOHANNA KONTA: Yeah, she’s one of our physiotherapists on the tour. No, she’s been shadowing me.
Q. Bearing in mind what you said while you’ve been sitting here about how happy you are with how you handled the situation, it’s interesting that you started off by saying you felt embarrassed. What do you feel embarrassed about?
JOHANNA KONTA: It’s not a situation that I’d want to be in. It’s not a situation I’d want anyone to be in. I’m out there to play my sport, to showcase my sport. I’m not an actress. I’m not a drama queen.
To be in a situation where it’s quite a vulnerable situation, yeah, it’s not a humbling experience, but it does kind of take you back a bit. Yeah, it’s a bit of a shock to the system. That’s all.
Q. I don’t know if you’ve spoken to the doctors or anybody else. How important was the prompt action of the umpire while you were waiting for the medics to arrive?
JOHANNA KONTA: Well, I think everybody actually. The ball kids were great. They knew I needed two ice towels. They were just really good. They were giving them to me straightaway.
But like I said, because I’d been in the situation once before I knew I needed ice straightaway. I told that to the umpire. She called the trainers, as well.
I mean, I’m definitely not the first person to have these sort of struggles on court. I’m definitely not going to be the last. It’s part of our sport. It’s part of the conditions that we play in.
All any of us can do is just deal with it the best that we can.
J. ISNER/S. Darcis
6-3, 6-4, 7-6, 6-3
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
JOHN ISNER: That’s the first time I’ve seen them, especially here at the US Open. I thought they were incredible. Good to have a group like that on my side. I really appreciated that.
Q. Not that that was an easy match, but after the first round, is there a little bit of a get-out-of-jail-free sort of feeling when you get out of a match like that?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, it is. You see a lot of times in tournaments guys that do well, make the finals, sometimes win the tournaments, have a match like that where they sort of escaped and easily could have lost.
Yeah, certainly feel like you’re playing with house money at that point. My opponent, I was told, saved a couple match points in the final round of quallies and in his first-round match. We were both playing with house money out there.
Q. Can you feel that?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah. You feel a little freer out there. It’s just nice taking the court knowing I was so close to being out I could have been home on my couch. Instead I was walking out on the court for my second-round match, so that’s a good feeling.
Q. A couple fans described you as the marathon man. I wonder how you take that. Other than your huge serve, what gives you the edge in these long matches?
JOHN ISNER: Well, yeah, that name has been brought up a lot around me. Rightfully so, with the one match I played. I played a lot of long matches after that, as well.
I think just with my serve, at the very worst, that’s what will keep me in the match. That’s why sometimes some of my matches can drag on a bit.
But, yeah, I mean, look, I’ve played a lot of five-setters. I’ve probably lost more than I’ve won. I did win that one ridiculous match in 2010, but I’ve certainly lost my fair share of very close matches.
Q. Caroline Wozniacki, who ran the marathon a couple years back, was talking about marathons today, hitting the wall. She said it was harder to hit the wall in a marathon than in tennis. When you are deep into the matches, spent physically, is there a quality of hitting a wall? How do you deal with that?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, everyone’s been in that situation before, you know, being in a match — especially in tough conditions like this out there. It’s very humid.
You just sort of have to conserve energy when you can. Don’t get too emotionally high or emotionally low, because that can drain you, as well.
For me, it always looks like I’m a lot more tired than I am out there. Sort of playing a bit of possum out there. I’m not breaking the rules or anything, but always look like I’m tired. I always have something left in my tank.
The important thing is when you feel like you’re hitting the wall, the match is still going on, try to conserve as much energy as you can. When you do get to the change of ends, it’s important to keep drinking and keep yourself cool as best you can, especially in conditions like this.
Q. In the Wimbledon marathon, when it was getting so deep into the match, what were the one or two things you did to keep yourself going?
JOHN ISNER: What kept me going was just wanting to get to the change of ends and sit down for 90 seconds or whatever it was.
One of the reasons we were able to go so long was it was like 65 degrees and no humidity. The conditions in London are a lot more tame than they are here.
Q. When you first started playing tennis, started serving, were you immediately knocking holes in walls and stuff? Was your serve always that big or is it something you developed?
JOHN ISNER: Oh, no. I certainly developed it over time. For me, I guess it’s pretty fortunate. I’ve never really ever tinkered with my serve. Luckily it came pretty natural to me as far as the motion goes and whatnot. Of course, being tall helps so much.
But my motion and my toss and how I do serve, that has never changed. No one ever, I guess, taught me that. I sort of developed it over time.
But, of course, when I was younger, when I started to grow into my body, that’s when I started seeing my serve improve a lot.
Q. When you first started hitting serves, did they go in automatically?
JOHN ISNER: Oh, gosh, I can’t — I saw some clips of me playing. I was like a junior in high school. My serve wasn’t that good, so…
I don’t know. Probably got to be really good in college.
Q. How tall were you then?
JOHN ISNER: I grew a lot. Believe it or not, I was like 6’2″ or something. I grew, like, my senior year.
Q. With Kyle Edmund next, have you seen much of his recent matches or successes here?
JOHN ISNER: I didn’t see any of his match today. I know he won in straight sets. I know he had a very good win in his first round as well. He’s certainly been on the court less than me.
He’ll come into this match with a good bit of confidence. I’m going to expect that. But same goes for me.
It will be a fun match. He’s improving a lot. He’s still very young. He’s got an extremely bright future. But I’m going to do everything I can to try to win that match.
Q. How do you feel you played today compared to the first round? How good was it to get out of that in four sets?
JOHN ISNER: I feel like I played pretty well. I had a handful of chances, and for the most part I took them in the first two sets.
Third set probably would have liked to have had that back. Serving at 6-4 in the tiebreaker, lost that point; went into a bit after shell; did not play aggressively from that point forward in that tiebreaker.
Getting off in four sets, I was very happy. After I lost the third obviously I was disappointed, but I needed to change clothes. I had a few minutes to myself in a room with no one around. Sort of collected myself and went back out there.
Q. Not that any match is easy, but do you ever allow yourself to project and look at the draw and think about how far you go before you meet a top seed?
JOHN ISNER: No. I’ve done that before and it never works out. I mean, I didn’t know I played Kyle until, I don’t know, as soon as I got off the court really.
I don’t look at the draw. I mean, I know who I play. I knew my first-round opponent. But I don’t look forward from that. I have no idea what the draw looks like.
Q. Have these long matches caught up to you in tournaments in the past? Has that ever happened?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, certainly. The one we speak about all the time, that one caught up to me for sure. Again, in other events — in Australian Open I played a few five-setters. I had to try to turn back around two days later, and it did catch up to me, for sure.
Q. You mentioned the relief factor of coming out of a match like this, playing with house money. When did you feel more pressure, serving for the match over trying to hit Chris Fowler on TV?
JOHN ISNER: I didn’t feel much pressure serving for the match. I was happy I was able to break at 4-3. I played a very good service game as well. I was pretty tired.
But trying to hit that ball into that small area, I failed three times. I want to get another shot at that.
Q. Ryan Harrison is up two sets on Raonic. Thoughts on him?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, he did break through a few years ago and has struggled since. He would say the same. Certainly has been resurgent this summer. He’s playing much better. He’s playing with a lot of confidence as well. You can sort of just see it. You see him in the locker room and he’s just more confident, the way he’s going about things.
Right now he’s up two sets to one on one of the best players in the world. He seems to be back to his old form. Good thing for Ryan. He has been around for a while, but he’s still very young. He turned pro at 16. He’s still very young. Good thing he’s figuring it out again.
Q. There’s so many great things about tennis. What is the one thing you love most about the sport?
JOHN ISNER: I think it has to be playing in front of tennis fans. I mean, every athlete will say without the fans we wouldn’t be out there competing. It feels good to play well in an atmosphere in front of fans that appreciate your effort. That match in the first round was incredible. It’s one match I won’t soon forget.
Just playing in great atmospheres in professional tennis matches is incredible. You’re out there one v. one and you got thousands of people watching you. It’s pretty special, something that won’t keep happening forever. I try to enjoy those moments when they come around.
Q. Imagine that Athens would be your number one place to play in front of a crowd. What would be number two?
JOHN ISNER: I would say the US Open. Here, having the fans on your side. It’s very important. This place is awesome.
J. TSONGA/J. Duckworth
6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Hard-fought match. You got through it. Your thoughts on the match and how you’re playing right now.
JO-WILFRIED TSONGA: Today was a good match. I played well.
I don’t know what he will say, but I think it was a good level. I saw the statistic after the match, and, yeah, I served well. I returned well. The only thing, I had — I did only four breaks on my 25 break points. That is the only dark things on my statistics.
Today I’m pretty happy the way I played.
Q. Talk about your form coming into the tournament and expectations. You had a great run here last year. Do you feel like you have a deep run in you?
JO-WILFRIED TSONGA: Yeah, I feel great physically. That’s the most important for me. Last couple of months I had few little things that make me play bad.
Yeah, today I cross fingers. I hope it’s going to continue in this way, but I’m feeling good. I have expectation.
Anyway, my tennis is there. I hope I will improve and improve match after match.
Q. You say expectations. What is that expectation?
JO-WILFRIED TSONGA: Oh, the expectation is of course to try to do as good as I did in the past, and even better, of course, if I can.
K. EDMUND/E, Escobedo
7-5, 6-4, 6-4
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Did you talk to Ryan before about the challenge of going out against a wildcard? Having had such a great result and coming back and backing it up? Did you talk about that?
KYLE EDMUND: Yeah. I mean, I definitely wasn’t going to go out there and think it’s an easy match now because he’s a lower-ranked player. You’d be inexperienced to do that and a bit naive. You definitely respect him.
Yeah, I just had to go out there and, yeah, play my game first. There’s no point doing anything different to what I was doing because I felt really good on court.
Yeah, I think today was a tougher match in terms of physicality and stuff, longer rallies and a lot more close points to tough out. So that was a real positive, that I got through that and the way I did in straight sets.
I thought I probably played a little bit better against Gasquet, but it felt better to come through this one because I knew I really had to tough it out. That was a very — that was a positive, basically.
Q. Did you relax a bit after you played that set point in the first set? Felt like you played better after that.
KYLE EDMUND: To be honest, I can’t really remember. Yeah, I don’t know. Obviously I remember the first set being — first part of the first set being a bit tensive.
Well, I got the break but wasn’t just flowing the way I wanted to and the way I was doing against Gasquet. Yeah, it was important just to keep tough.
I was pleased when I broke him and served out the set. It was almost then I got really going in that second set. Was a good battle.
So it was a big difference going one set all and two sets love up. That was good. But every set was close in its own way. I was pleased each time it got to a nitty-gritty situation.
I did pretty well, I thought.
Q. In the second set you had a lot of break points which you didn’t convert. How tough is it to keep your composure at that point? And if you were playing Isner in the next round, how important is it to take those chances?
KYLE EDMUND: Yeah, it’s important to definitely take your chances when you get them. That’s what everyone wants to do, is when they get that chance they want to take it.
At the same time, you know, you’re not going to get bundles of chances every time. You know that.
But at the same time I was creating a lot of chances quite often. In my head I was thinking, You’re creating good pressure here. Just keep patient. You’re going to get him.
Some of the break points he was playing really well. I almost thought, you know, he hit some winners and was, you know, taking the ball on, so sometimes you thought you might not make it.
And to break him in the third, he missed the forehand long. That was obviously because he was going for his shots.
So I was just keeping patient. In my head I was thinking, It will come. Don’t panic.
So, yeah, I was pleased. It was good that you’re creating lots of opportunities. You just want to take them as quick as possible.
Q. Are you really looking forward to the Davis Cup semifinal?
KYLE EDMUND: Absolutely. Yeah. I’m not really thinking about it too much just because I am here trying t play these matches. But of course, I’m not not looking forward to it, that’s for sure. You know, it’s not often you get to play a semifinal of a Davis Cup, so you’re always pumped to play them.
That’s if I get picked. That’s Leon’s decision. That’s the whole — that’s what comes with team competitions, is that it’s a team that is picked. Individual competitions are just about you and you know you’re going to play. We’ll see if I get picked or not. If I get picked, I’ll obviously give it my best.
I loved playing in the final. Even though I lost, I enjoyed the experience. And obviously playing the quarters, I enjoyed being on court competing and getting a result for the team.
If it comes round, then I’ll definitely look forward to it for sure.
Q. They both played very long matches. How important could the freshness or fitness be when it comes to playing your match?
KYLE EDMUND: Obviously getting through your matches in straight sets is always important, I think, and definitely helps, you know. At least you can play six sets, and that’s what I have done. I’m happy with that.
I think everyone is different in terms of if it’s important, some people have better fitness levels than others and are more efficient and more able to go longer.
So, yeah, depends who your opponent is. Some guys don’t mind playing long matches. Some guys struggle to recover after long matches. Just depends who you’re playing. From my point of view, I’m happy that I have done it in straight sets. It’s always positive doing that.
Q. Have you watched how Andy has obviously improved his fitness, his techniques for doing that over the years? If so, have you been able to take anything on board from that?
KYLE EDMUND: Do you mean like what has he done to…
KYLE EDMUND: Yeah, well, he does a lot of hours on court. I think that’s no secret, that doing the hours and putting in the hours is going to help you on court.
I found when I’ve grown up that it is good getting in a gym and doing like track intervals or doing weights, but nothing properly replicates doing hours on court. Tennis movements are very specific. Tennis — being match tight and tennis fitness is something different, in my opinion, anyway.
I think he’s done a lot of hours on court. He’s obviously put in a lot of the physical work off court which helps you on court. But, yeah, I mean, I have always — when I’m not doing tournament weeks I have always tried to, or my coach has, to get me on court long hours. You know, a few hours each day. If you’re getting three hours each day with maybe a lighter session in the middle of the week just to keep it fresh, then I think you’ve got a good base physically going into five-set matches.
Q. Do you think that you’re playing some your best tennis ever? And do you think that that has anything to do with the sort of environment around the US Open, something to do with a relaxed…
KYLE EDMUND: Yeah, I think I’m playing well. It’s tough to say you’re playing your best just because of different conditions and situations, different surfaces. But I’m playing well. I feel good on court. Trying to take it one match at a time.
But, yeah, I think being at Grand Slams definitely, don’t know, maybe gives you an extra bit of a lift. I definitely find there is more attention and more people, first of all, around, so it can get quite busy.
Sometimes I do find those situations quite energy-zapping, just because there is a lot to do. It’s not so — everything has to be a bit more planned out, a bit more structured. That’s what I found anyway being at the slams.
So I have learned you need to manage your energy levels better, your emotions. So, yeah, I think the main thing is it’s just exciting being at a Grand Slam in New York. I think it’s obviously once every year. It’s a big event. So it probably does give you a bit of an extra lift even if you don’t think it.
Q. There will be a lot of attention on the next match. It is against John. He’s completed his match. There will be a lot of eyeballs watching that one, for sure. Talk about your anticipation of that matchup.
KYLE EDMUND: Yeah, I mean, he’s got a good serve so it’s going to be getting about as many balls back as much as I can and getting in the rallies. Yeah, I don’t know. I have not really thought about it. I have just finished my match now.
It doesn’t — to be honest, doesn’t matter if there is people watching or not people watching. I just have to go about myself and do what I do and what I have been doing in terms of my process and how I want to go out on court and play.
You know, nothing changes in terms of that aspect. So, yeah.
Q. The Argentine players, you are watching them.
KYLE EDMUND: Argentine? Yeah.
Q. And especially about Juan Martin. You know, he’s coming back after a long injury. How do you see that? What are your thoughts on that?
KYLE EDMUND: Yeah, I mean, they have good depth as a nation. I think their record in Davis Cup over the, you know, past 10-odd years has been very good. They have consistently been in the World Group and stuff. Shows they have always had players playing at a high level.
Obviously Del Potro is the best player because he’s got a very big game, very dangerous game. So you saw at the Olympics how well he was playing and stuff, and, you know, how much — what’s the word? Outcome he was getting.
Like, you know, shots were very penetrating and it’s a big game, basically. You have to play well against him, because if he’s on form then it’s difficult to play.
But I have never played him. It’s just from what I have been watching. I have played a few Argentinian players in challengers and stuff. Schwartzman, played Pella at Indian Wells. Practiced with Delbonis a little bit.
So, yeah, I know them a little bit, but not a huge amount. We’ll see. Probably Andy probably knows a bit more about Del Potro than I do in that sense.
Q. Did you play Isner in Paris?
KYLE EDMUND: Yes.
Q. Do you remember that?
KYLE EDMUND: I don’t remember. Yeah, I remember playing okay. I didn’t play as well as I wanted to, but of course I guess when you lose you always want to play better.
Yeah, just the main challenge is trying to get the balls back in court as much as possible, just dealing with his serve.
I didn’t feel I hit my serve as well as I could, especially against his. You want to be taking it to tiebreaks, and I don’t think there was one tiebreak in that match.
It would be important to serve well, make sure I control what I can. Just taking care of my own service games. That’s probably one thing I learned from that.
But, yeah, he’s got a big explosive game because he’s a big guy, so I’ve got to deal with that. But, you know, I’m feeling good on court, so hopefully I can make some inroads.
Q. What does it mean to be in the third round?
KYLE EDMUND: I’m obviously very pleased. Yeah, my first third round of a Grand Slam. You know, it’s great to do that. You’re obviously still in the moment, so you want to keep winning and stuff.
I’m pleased the way I have gone about it, not dropping a set. I think that’s very positive.
Yeah, just happy. I think the experiences I’ve gathered over time have really helped me in these situations.
So, yeah, keep going, basically.
P. KVITOVA/C. Buyukakcay
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Tough first set, but you got through and did well in the tiebreaker; took care of business in the second. Are you happy with the way you played and the way the match went?
PETRA KVITOVA: Yeah, for sure. I’m happy how I handled the first set, especially when I was up and I couldn’t really make it in on the first set.
So I was really focusing on the tiebreak. I was down 2-Love, and it wasn’t really easy for me to still keep going. A few serves helped me, and I think whole tiebreak was pretty good job for me.
And the second set I know that she can still play, and she did at the end of the first set. I was trying still to be focused.
I think the serve was a little bit better in the second set, but still I think my forehand helped me a lot today. I was just waiting for the chance to break her then.
Q. Can you talk about your coming in this year after the success of last year? Can you take some momentum with that and kind of what are the expectations here this year?
PETRA KVITOVA: Yeah, I mean, I think I have a good experience from last year from the center court, which I was today, as well. So it was nice to be back there.
And the expectations, I know how difficult the season is for me this year. To be honest, I’m not really have any expectation to here. I played good in Rio and in New Haven, so I’m happy that I can still show it here.
But every match it’s, you know, difficult and really tough to see what I’m going to be. If I can make the second week, I would be very happy.
Q. You were under the weather a little bit in New Haven. How are you feeling here? There is a lot of air conditioning here. Probably doesn’t help.
PETRA KVITOVA: Yeah, I got sick in Rio when I was staying there for a few days. I was still sick in New Haven, which is wasn’t really nice, but I was happy I was playing during the night most of the time.
So it helped me a bit; tough to breathe. I still have a little bit cold, but it’s getting better. Air conditioning never really helps, of course. But it’s the U.S.; always getting sick here.
So, for me, just normal routine (Smiling.)
Q. What were the conditions like in the stadium with the new roof? It wasn’t closed, but was it any different than last year?
PETRA KVITOVA: I didn’t feel any difference, to be honest. The shades was there same as last year, so I knew what I should expected.
The shade is a little bit, you know, dangerous for both of us, but it’s getting used to after few games. You just know that it’s there and you are not really thinking about.
And I didn’t really feel the roof, unfortunately. Of course when it’s on it will much better for me. I love to play indoor, but no rain, so we will see how it’s going.
It feels great to be there definitely. It’s a great court and the atmosphere is always nice. Especially in the night, of course.
But today I felt many people came during the match, so it was great.
Q. You were saying, joking on court that you never know when you’re going to play well, same as anybody else. Was that a joke or is that really true?
PETRA KVITOVA: It’s true, unfortunately. (Smiling.) Yeah, I mean, for me it’s difficult. I think I’m kind of person who always, you know, stressing how I gonna play. I know that I’m playing well or I’m in a good wave, but every time you step back on the court something can happen. Especially to me, I think.
And so far it’s okay, but I was struggling in the beginning of this season. I think that I kind of unfortunately bring something with me and to my mental side and everything.
But last couple of three weeks — I even play well in Montreal. So I think it’s getting better and I’m getting to the good rhythm.
But still, I have to be still, you know, worry how everything gonna be. I have to just focus on the thing which come, which is next round.
Yeah, I will be very happy to say one day, Okay, I’m going to play well tomorrow, but I don’t think it will come. (Smiling.)
Q. We were talking Roberta. She comes in seventh seed; wasn’t even seeded last year. You come in here in a great seed position. Just coming off of successful campaign your last year, how different is it to in terms of expectations maybe being higher? Talk about the difference.
PETRA KVITOVA: Who are we talking about?
Q. Roberta Vinci.
PETRA KVITOVA: Oh, yeah, Robby.
Yeah, it’s difficult, but she’s handled it well. I saw that she won today. I know how difficult it is when you’re somewhere and suddenly you’re top 10 and playing a final of a Grand Slam, which she did last year and she beat Serena, which was big, big, win for her.
I think that she has a lot of experience already, so I think that it’s good for her that she’s playing still well and she love it here.
I was struggling a bit when I won the first Grand Slam for the two, three years. It was difficult time for me, but finally probably I know how to handle it somehow.
But it’s about experiences and everything which is coming with that.
Q. You were talking about kind of an up-and-down season, but the last few tournaments you played well and. Can you also say you don’t know how you will play in two days? Is there anything you can identify from Montreal, Rio, Connecticut to here that you think is going particularly well that maybe is the spark as to why you’re playing a more consistent level over the last month and a half?
PETRA KVITOVA: I think that I didn’t play badly before. I just didn’t really have anything to click together.
It was match with Makarova in Wimbledon, for example. It was so close and it was my mistakes that I lost. I just didn’t really put easy balls to the court.
That’s the thing that’s help me, kind of that I was working on it. I was trying to serve and playing the aggressive game again, which when you didn’t have a confidence you are just worried to play because you just didn’t want to miss it.
I think I changed in my mind that I’m going more forward and playing more aggressive. I know that otherwise I don’t really have a chance, so I really had to change it again and be more confident in that.
That’s what I’m doing probably. Of course sometimes you are not feeling 100% and it’s difficult to really play Svetlana, for example, or Aga in New Haven.
So I think that’s improved. I think my fitness improve, too. I’m just, you know, trying to really going forward and playing more down the lines, which was always my game but I didn’t really play before.
So I think there is a few small things which I think it’s getting better.
Q. Do you have any New York traditions?
PETRA KVITOVA: I do. I didn’t practice yesterday. I had a day off, so I didn’t come on-site. So that’s a new tradition I think from last year.
Q. So only match days?
PETRA KVITOVA: Only match days.
Q. So you avoid the traffic and the hecticness of getting to site?
PETRA KVITOVA: Yeah.
Q. You’re more calm?
PETRA KVITOVA: For me it’s really exhausted to still be in the car and it’s a lot of people here. You just practice like 45 minutes. I didn’t need anymore anyway.
When I feeling okay in the match court it’s fine, and I don’t really need the practice like that. I played good in New Haven as well, so I do have matches, and I don’t really have practice.
So, yeah, that’s my new tradition. And some coffees, as well. Some shopping. And so that’s really enjoying time for me. I’m starting to love New York.
Q. So then in your off day when you’re staying back in Manhattan, what is Petra Kvitova doing?
PETRA KVITOVA: Almost nothing. Well, I do have a fitness, of course. I have to do something otherwise it’s bad.
And then I did a shopping yesterday a little bit. I had a coffee with Katie. I’m just trying to rest and sleep. I’m not sleeping the best during the night, so I just need more energy.
It was difficult for weeks for me so far from Rio, so I know that my body needs more time to relax, as well.
R. VINCI/C. McHale
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Talk about the match. You have been playing straight sets to start off here first two matches. Great way to get going?
ROBERTA VINCI: Yeah, start much better than the first round. First set so quick, easy.
Second set a little bit tough, but it’s normal. Save two or three back-to-back points.
At the end I won a great set. Christina is tough opponent. She has a good kick and also a good forehand, so for me it was a tough match. But I play good today. Very focused, very consistent.
At the beginning a little bit tight, a little bit nervous, but is normal. But on the second set I managed to stay calm, focused, and try my best every single point.
Q. Players often talk about the difficulty of a first match in any tournament, but especially in a Grand Slam tournament. Just getting the feel, getting your rhythm, and so forth. Now you’re two matches in. Do you feel like you’re really getting back to — you handled this tournament very, very well just last year. Do you feel like you’re getting…
ROBERTA VINCI: Well, now I’m feeling better. The first round is always the toughest one.
But, yeah, step by step you can play more confident. Yeah, the atmosphere, the courts, you can play better.
Now I’m just keep going. I’m so happy that I won two matches here, tomorrow rest, and then focus for the next round.
Q. Two different years, but last year you were ranked 43rd in the world, not seeded. Now you come in here as a finalist from last year, the seventh seed. Right away you get to play on the big courts. Talk about the difference of what it’s like to come back.
ROBERTA VINCI: Yeah, it’s nice. It’s nice of course to come back. But of course you have a lot of pressure.
Now I’m 7 in the world; a lot of points to defend.
But probably the key is don’t think about this. Just play every single match. Stay positive. Just think about the opponent, about my game. Don’t think that I have points.
And then, of course, it’s better to be No. 7 than 43 in the world, of course. (Smiling.)
That’s it. Just play and don’t think too something else.
Q. With pressure, obviously players talk about how pressure can be bad and they don’t play well under it. Do you remember a time when pressure helped you, when it was good to feel pressure?
ROBERTA VINCI: Never. No.
Q. Not at Fed Cup or anything?
ROBERTA VINCI: Well, I don’t remember, but of course when you feel pressure you have to think that it’s normal. Is normal. Like here I have a lot of points to defend, a lot of pressure. But I just think that I can play my game. Don’t think about this and try my best. If I lost, it’s okay. I go home and practice more.
But is normal to have pressure, I think.
Q. We were talking about last year versus this year. Obviously you got to seventh in the world by succeeding. You’re a young woman, 33. I mean, that’s getting up there in the tennis world. What do you attribute the success that you have been having as of late? Working harder? Is it your team?
ROBERTA VINCI: Yes, more experience, working hard. Nothing special.
Yeah, same theme, same things. Nothing special, no. Just playing hard and work hard. Yes.
ROBERTA VINCI: Experience, si.
Q. Have you played Putinseva before?
ROBERTA VINCI: Yes, I play.
Q. What’s it like to play her? She’s a very unique energy.
ROBERTA VINCI: I played against her in Brussels, I think, on clay court, but long time ago.
She’s funny. She’s funny on the court. (Smiling.) So will see. I think she’s losing right now, so I don’t know if I’m playing against her or the other one. But we will see. I don’t know. We will see. Maybe I don’t have to play against her.
Q. And if you don’t you’ll play a young German, Witthoeft.
ROBERTA VINCI: Yeah. She’s good player. She’s young player. She play strong. She’s strong. She serve good, I think. I have to do my game.
I cannot play backhand on top. Just the normal way. Some slice. Always the same thing. Try to play aggressive.
Is the third round. I’m so happy that I won two matches, but I want to continue and keep going.
Q. Have you ever, when you played players that hit a big ball, try to be aggressive and — maybe you do it less now because you’re older and more experienced – but maybe when you were younger get sucked into that type of game where you tried to play more…
ROBERTA VINCI: It’s not easy to be aggressive against that kind of player, but I have to do. With my serve, with her second serve, try to play aggressive, but sometimes is not easy, of course.
Not tomorrow, the day after, I will try my best on that.