September 27, 2016

Red Rock Pro Open To Feature Rising Stars Of Women’s Tennis With Annual Pro Event

 Michaella Krajicek and Mike Copenhave


Michaella Krajicek and Mike Copenhave

 

(Sept. 15, 2016) SUMMERLIN – Several top American women’s tennis players and the defending champion lead a talented group of players entered in this year’s eighth annual Red Rock Pro Open, taking place at the Red Rock Country Club in Summerlin.

 

This year’s Red Rock Pro Open, a USTA Women’s $50,000 Pro Circuit tournament with WTA players ranging in the world rankings from No. 110 to No. 275, will include 64 singles players (32 qualifying and 32 main draw), and a 16-team doubles draw, according to tournament director Mike Copenhaver.

 

“Once again this year we will see the best and brightest of the USTA Pro Circuit, including some of the rising stars in women’s tennis,” said Copenhaver, who is the director of tennis at Red Rock Country Club. “The players love coming to Las Vegas, and our fans in this community can’t wait to welcome them and see some high-level professional women’s tennis.”

 

Mandy Minella from Luxembourg will be top-seeded and is ranked 110 in the WTA world rankings. She will be followed by No. 2 Alison Van Uytvanck of Belgium (No. 112), No. 3 Veronica Cepede Royg of Paraguay (No. 123), No. 4 American Jennifer Brady (No. 124), No. 5 American Julia Boserup (No. 127), and No. 6 Amra Sadikovic of Switzerland (No. 131).

 

Minella has won two doubles titles on the WTA Tour, as well as nine singles and five doubles titles on the ITF tour in her career. Her career high in singles is No. 66. She has played in the main draw of each of the Grand Slams, and she reached the third round of the US Open in 2010 and 2012.

 

Van Uytvanck is 22 years old and achieved a career-high ranking of No. 41 last year. She has won one WTA singles 125,000 title on the WTA tour, as well as nine singles titles and one doubles title on the ITF tour in her career.

 

Brady is a former NCAA singles champion from UCLA, and Boserup turned heads this summer when she advanced to the third round at Wimbledon. She recently competed in US Open qualifying.

 

American’s Jessica Pegula (No. 138 in the world), Taylor Townsend (No. 146) are also expected to play in Las Vegas once again.

 

Last year’s Red Rock Pro Open singles champion Michaella Krajicek of the Netherlands is in the main draw, and is currently ranked No. 156 in the world.

 

American teenager C.C. Bellis is now a freshman at Stanford, but is scheduled to make a Las Vegas appearance. She qualified for the US Open last month, before falling in the third round. At the age of 15 two years ago, Bellis won the USTA Girls 18s national championship and became the youngest American to win a match at the US Open in nearly 30 years.

 

American Sachia Vickery returns to the main draw, as does Las Vegas resident Jovana Jaksic, who represents Serbia.

 

Notables in qualifying include American Maria Sanchez, 2013 Las Vegas winner Melanie Oudin, top American junior Raveena Kingsley and Japan’s Ayaka Okuno, who is coached by musical icon Redfoo.

 

Formerly the Party Rock Open in conjunction with Redfoo, the tournament returned in 2014 to the intimate setting at Red Rock Country Club.

 

Premier Sponsors include: Gaudin Porsche of Las Vegas, Storage One, Sunrise Hospital, Lotus Broadcasting, Cox Communications, WG Communications, Char Luxury Realty, USTA Nevada, SNH Inc., Rachel’s Kitchen, Marquis Aurbach Coffing, FedEx, and Harris & Harris Injury Lawyers.

 

Support sponsors include: Darren Cahill, Marcy Saxe, Guild Mortgage Company, Allstate Insurance agent Dwain Frazier, State Farm insurance agent Kate Lowe, The Massage Advantage, Wolf Rifkin Shapiro Schulman and Rapkin, Marty Hennessy Inspiring Children Foundation, Dr. Mir Majeed, Juverest and Sleep Master.

 

Copenhaver said a FREE Kid’s Day event will take place one again on Sunday Sept. 25th sponsored in part by Sunrise Children’s Hospital with guest by Celebrate Kid’s, Popcorn Girl and Kona Ice.

 

A sponsor Pro-Am will be held on Monday, Sept. 26, and the always popular Players’ Party is Tuesday night, Sept. 27. There will also be a tournament wild card tournament Sept. 17-18.

 

For ball kid information or to volunteer, go to: redrockproopen.com/volunteer; to sponsor the tournament, go to: redrockproopen.com/sponsors or contact Copenhaver at:  mcopenhaver@redrockcc.com. For a complete schedule of events, go to: redrockproopen.com/schedule.

 

The tournament’s official website is www.RedRockProOpen.com.  Follow along on Twitter @RedRockTennis and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/redrockproopen.

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WTA – Quebec City Results and Schedule

COUPE BANQUE NATIONALE PRÉSENTÉE PAR MAZDA – QUEBEC CITY, CAN
$250,000
SEPTEMBER 12 – 18, 2016

RESULTS – SEPTEMBER 14, 2016
Women’s
Singles – Second Round

J. Boserup (USA) d [7] E. Rodina (RUS) 64 63
[Q] L. Davis (USA) d [8] S. Crawford (USA) 64 61
[Q] T. Martincova (CZE) d E. Alexandrova (RUS) 64 16 64
C. Bellis (USA) d [Q] D. Lao (USA) 64 46 63
First Round
[1] E. Bouchard (CAN) d M. Minella (LUX) 63 64

Women’s
Doubles – Quarterfinals

[1] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE) d [WC] F. Abanda (CAN) / E. Bovina (RUS) 64 67(4) 10-5
[3] A. Kudryavtseva (RUS) / A. Panova (RUS) d A. Weinhold (USA) / C. Whoriskey (USA) 67(1) 62 10-7
First Round
J. Jaksic (SRB) / B. Stefkova (CZE) d A. Beck (GER) / E. Rodina (RUS) 64 26 13-11

ORDER OF PLAY – THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2016
COURT BANQUE NATIONALE start 11:00 am
A. Van Uytvanck (BEL) vs [LL] B. Stefkova (CZE)

Not Before 12:30 pm
O. Dodin (FRA) vs S. Vickery (USA)
J. Jaksic (SRB) / B. Stefkova (CZE) vs [2] M. Irigoyen (ARG) / B. Krejcikova (CZE)

Not Before 7:15 pm
[1] E. Bouchard (CAN) vs A. Kudryavtseva (RUS)
J. Pegula (USA) vs [WC] F. Abanda (CAN)

COURT 1 start 12:00 noon
[4] Y. Bonaventure (BEL) / M. Sanchez (USA) vs V. Cepede Royg (PAR) / E. Kostova (BUL)

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USTA Claremont Club Pro Classic Pro Circuit Futures Results

CLAREMONT, Calif., (Sept. 14, 2016) – A day after UCLA’s top player, who is known widely within tennis circles having played in the US Open main draw just three weeks ago, upset the top-seeded player at the USTA Claremont Club Pro Classic Pro Circuit Futures tournament, Wednesday belonged to a future Bruin from Southern California who wants nothing more than be a household name soon, too.

 

Eighteen-year-old Evan Zhu of Irvine won his fifth consecutive match in Claremont, never dropping serve in a 6-3, 6-4 first-round win over unseeded Federico Moreno of Argentina. Zhu, who has spent the past two and a half years training with the Dent Academy in Fountain Valley, won four qualifying matches before his main-draw victory and joined future UCLA teammate and Tuesday’s big upset winner Martin Redlicki in the Round of 16 on Thursday.

 

“Sometimes I think it’s good to have to qualify because you get used to the courts and the overall atmosphere and get some more matches,” said Zhu, a UCLA freshman who moves onto campus in Westwood on Saturday and starts school a week from Thursday. “I’m excited to be here and to be winning.”

 

Zhu, who will be studying business at UCLA and considered Stanford and Harvard University before deciding on staying close to home, will face a former UCLA Bruin in the second round on Thursday as No. 2-seeded and former No. 1 player in college tennis Clay Thompson also advanced to the second round. “He’s going to be tough,” said Zhu. “His serve is huge and I expect him to give me a great match.”

 

Thompson beat former UCLA teammate and Weil Tennis Academy player Ryoto Tachi, a qualifier from Japan, 6-4, 6-4, on Wednesday. Another qualifier also advanced as University of San Diego freshman Guus Koevermans from the Netherlands did not drop a game in his double-bagel, 6-0, 6-0, win against fellow qualifier Pedro Iamachkine from Peru.

 

For more information, check on the web at: www.procircuit.usta.com, www.claremontclub.com; Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/The-Claremont-Club/236147226396

 

Wednesday’s First-Round Singles Results

wc: wild card; q: qualifier; ll: lucky loser

Alex Blumberg, Brazil, def. Isaiah Strode, U.S. (wc), 7-6 (5), 7-6 (8)

Lucas Gomez, Mexico (3), def. Gary Kushnirovich, U.S. (ll), 6-0, 6-4

Sebastian Fanselow, Germany (4), def. Michael Genender, U.S. (wc), 7-6 (2), 6-3

Florent Diep, France (8), def. Lucas Catarina, Monaco, 6-4, 7-5

Farzin Amiri, U.S., def. Elmar Ejopovic, Germany (6), 7-6 (5), 6-3

Alexi Popyrin, Australia (q), def. Federico Bertucci, Argentina, 7-6 (2), 6-2

Evan Zhu, U.S. (q), def. Federico Moreno, Argentina, 6-3, 6-4

Guus Koevermans, Netherlands (q), def. Pedro Iamachkine, Peru (q), 6-0, 6-0

Gage Brymer, U.S. (wc), def. Jake Douglas, U.S. (q), 6-4, 6-2

Clay Thompson, U.S. (2), def. Ryoto Tachi, Japan (q), 6-4, 6-4

 

Wednesday’s Quarterfinal Doubles Results

Max Cressy, France/Romain Sichez, France, def. Alex Blumenberg, Brazil/Patrick Daciek, U.S., 7-6 (2), 6-4

Alexios Halebian, U.S./Luis Patino, Mexico (1) def. Alan Kohen, Argentina/ Taverna Santiago, Argentina, 7-6 (0), 6-2

Sebastian Bader, Austria/Sebastian Fanselow, Germany (2), def. Lucas Catarina, Monaco/Florent Diep, France, 6-2, 6-3

Gary Kushnirovich, U.S./Isaiah Strode, U.S., def. Hunter Callahan, U.S./Martin Redlicki, U.S., 7-6 (4), 7-6 (3)

 

Prize Money/Points – $10,000 Men

 

SINGLES:                   Prize Money                Points

Winner                         $1,440                         17

Runner-up                   $848                            9

Semifinalist                 $502                            5

Quarterfinalist             $292                            2

Round of 16                $172                            1

Round of 32                $104                            —

 

DOUBLES:                 Prize Money (per team)

Winner                         $620

Runner-up                   $360

Semifinalist                 $216

Quarterfinalist             $128

Round of 16                $0

 

Claremont Past Champions

Singles

Year    Winner                                    Runner-Up

2015    Deiton Baughman                   Mackie McDonald

2014    Dennis Nevolo                        Salvatore Caruso (ITA)

2013    Marcos Giron (USA)               Dennis Novikov (USA)

2012    Daniel Kosakowski (USA)      Prakash Amritraj (IND)

2011    Steve Johnson (USA)             Darian King (BAR)

2010    Gary Sacks (RSA)                 Devin Britton (USA)

2009    Matej Bocko (SVK)                 Bradley Klahn (USA)

2008    Tigran Martirosyan (ARM)      Adriano Biasella (ITA)

2007    Carsten Ball (AUS)                 Robert Yim (USA)

2006    Dudi Sela (ISR)                       Sascha Kloer (GER)

2005    Benedikt Dorsch (GER)         Tyler Cleveland (USA)

2004    Bobby Reynolds (USA)          Huntley Montgomery (USA)

2003    Glenn Weiner (USA)               Jimy Szmymanski (VEN)

2002    Dmitry Tursunov (RUS)         Raven Klaasen (RSA)

2001    Marq Foster (USA)                 Huntley Montgomery (USA)

2000    Geoff Abrams (USA)              Daniel Andersson (SWE)

1999    Ryan Wolters (USA)               Jordan Kerr (AUS)

1998    Ville Liukko (FIN)                    Michael Mather (USA)

1997    Ofer Sela (ISR)                       Daniele Bracciali (ITA)

1996    Glenn Weiner (USA)               Cecil Mamiit (PHI)

 

Doubles

Year     Winner

2015    Jean-Yves Aubone (USA) – Gonzales Austin (USA)

2014    Jeff Dadamo (USA) – Dennis Nevolo (USA)

2013    Carsten Ball (AUS) – Daniel Garza (MEX)

2012    Devon Britton (USA) – Reid Carleton (USA)

2011    Alexandre Lacroix (FRA) – Sanam Singh (IND)

2010    Taylor Fogleman (USA) – Chris Kearney (USA)

2009    Brett Joelson (USA) – Ashwin Kumar (USA)

2008    Marcus Fugate (USA) – Nima Roshan (AUS)

2007    Nikita Kryvonos (USA) – Michael McClune (USA)

2006    Ryler DeHeart (USA) – Dennis Zivkovic (USA)

2005    K.C. Corkery (USA) – James Pade (USA)

2004    Nick Rainey (USA) – Brian Wilson (USA)

2003    K.C. Corkery (USA) – James Pade (USA)

2002    Chris Magyary (USA) – Mirko Pehar (USA)

2001    Sebastien Jaeger (GER) – Alexander Waske (GER)

2000    Levar Harper-Griffith (USA) – Robert Kendrick (USA)

1999    Mark Loughrin (USA) – Ryan Wolters (USA)

1998    Simon Larose (CAN) – Jocelyn Robichaud (CAN)

1997    Lars Hjarrand (NOR) – Ross Loel (USA)

1996    Sascha Bandermann (GER) – Glenn Weiner (USA)

 

UCLA’S TOP PLAYER MARTIN REDLICKI UPSETS NO. 1-SEED

AT CLAREMONT CLUB USTA PRO CLASSIC

 

He later teams with Hunter Callahan to Beat Musical Icon

and Tournament Wild Card RedFoo In Doubles

 

CLAREMONT, Calif., (Sept. 13, 2016) – UCLA’s top player and reigning NCAA doubles champion Martin Redlicki upset the top-seeded player on Tuesday in first-round singles action at the 21st annual Claremont Club Pro Classic, a $10,000 USTA Pro Circuit Men’s Futures Tournament.

 

Redlicki, who came back to beat No. 1 Jan Choinski of Germany, 2-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4 in singles, recently competed in the main draw of the US Open Men’s Doubles main draw with former Bruin teammate Mackenzie McDonald. The pair fell to the world’s top-ranked team and No. 1 seeds in New York at the year’s final Grand Slam, Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut of France, 7-6 (8), 6-1, and had set points in their favor in the first set.

 

Later in the day on Tuesday in Claremont, Redlicki and his doubles partner, American Hunter Callahan, beat the wild-card team of Stefan Gordy and Chris Wettengel, 6-1, 6-1, to advance to the Round of 16 in doubles.

 

Chair umpire for the match John Bramlett announced the teams as, “Chris Wettengel and Stefan Gordy, aka Redfoo!” Redfoo of course is the tennis-loving founding member of the musical group LMFAO, which has had such hits as “Party Rock Anthem” and “Sexy and I Know It.”

 

“I think that was the best win of my year,” said Redlicki after his singles victory. “I had to battle back and was down 1-3 and 5-6 with him serving in the second set. Nothing against his play, but seriously in the first set I could not hit a ball into play.”

 

Redlicki is a former US Open Junior Boys doubles champ and reigning NCAA doubles champion, but enjoyed his time on the court with Redfoo as the two exchanged numbers after the match and said they would enjoy a future hit as they live nearby each other.

 

Redfoo served well in the doubles match, acing Redlicki once and winning his serve to open the first set for a 1-0 lead. “Yeah, the serve was my big shot tonight, for sure,” Redfoo said after the match. “And then my forehand. I know I need to improve, and this just inspires me to work hard and get better.

 

He added: “I’m just excited to be here, and want to thank tournament director Barry (Friedman) for the opportunity. I love the Claremont Club and want to live on these courts and play here every day. It’s a great club and I just love it here.”

 

For more information, check on the web at: www.procircuit.usta.com, www.claremontclub.com; Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/The-Claremont-Club/236147226396

 

Tuesday’s First-Round Singles Results

Taverna Santiago, Argentina, def. Luis Patino, Mexico (7), 6-4, 6-1

Gustav Hansson, Sweden (q), def. Shahin Khaledan, Iran, 7-5, 3-6, 6-2

Alexios Halebian, U.S. (5), def. Hendrik Jebens, Germany (q), 7-6 (6), 4-6, 6-2

Martin Redlicki, U.S. (wc), def. Jan Choinski, Germany (1), 2-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4

Patrick Daciek, U.S., def. Fernando Yamacita, Brazil, 7-6 (6), 1-6, 6-3

Ty Trombetta, U.S., def. Hunter Callahan, U.S., 6-2, 6-4

 

Tuesday’s First-round Doubles Results

Max Cressy, France, Romain Sichez, France, def. Keanu Ellen, U.S./ Jan-Michael Gambill, U.S. (wc), 4-6, 6-4, 10-5

Sebastian Bader, Austria/Sebastian Fanselow, Germany (2) def. Skyler Butts, Hong Kong/ Connor Hudson, U.S. (wc), 7-6 (0), 6-2

Alexios Halebian, U.S./Luis Patino, Mexico (1) def. Alexei Popyrin, Australia/Anthony Popyrin, 6-0, 6-4

Alan Kohen, Argentina/ Taverna Santiago, Argentina, def. Federico Bertucci, Argentina/Federico Moreno, Argentina, 7-5, 7-5

Hunter Callahan, U.S./Martin Redlicki, U.S., def. Stefan Gordy, U.S./Chris Wettengel, U.S. (wc), 6-1, 6-1

Lucas Catarina, Monaco/Florent Diep, France, def. Jan Choinski, Germany/Elmar Ejupovic, Germany, 6-3, 5-7, 16-14

Alex Blumenberg, Brazil/Patrick Daciek, U.S., def. Milen Ianakiev, Germany/Alejandro Figueroa, Mexico (3), 6-3, 4-6, 10-8

Gary Kushnirovich, U.S./Isaiah Strode, U.S. def. Marcelo Tebet Filho, Brazil (4) / Fernando Yamacita, Brazil (4), 6-7 (6), 7-5, 10-3

 

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Claremont USTA Pro Classic Begins This Week, RedFoo to Play Doubles On Tuesday

Chris Wettengel and RedFoo at US Open

Chris Wettengel and RedFoo at US Open

CLAREMONT, Calif., (Sept. 12, 2016) – The Claremont USTA Pro Classic will celebrate its 21st year, and once again will feature some of the rising stars in pro tennis.

 

The first of three consecutive $10,000 USTA Pro Circuit hard-court men’s events held in Southern California following the US Open, the Pro Classic is run by tournament director Barry Friedman and USTA Tour Supervisor Peter Kasavage.

 

Qualifying concludes on Monday with main draw singles and doubles matches starting on Tuesday. The doubles final is scheduled for Friday, the singles semifinals Saturday and the final on Sunday.

 

Former LMFAO frontman and musical artist Redfoo has been granted a doubles wild card into the tournament along with his partner Chris Wettengel, a former University of Minnesota player who currently resides in Las Vegas.

 

Germany’s Jan Choinski will be among the top-seeded players, and is currently ranked No. 457 in the ATP World Tour rankings. Former UCLA player Clay Thompson is behind him and, hovering just inside the world Top 500. Former Pepperdine star Sebastian Fanselow is expected to earn a top eight seeding, as will young Americans Christian Harrison and Alexios Halebian.

 

Harrison is the younger brother of former Top 50 player Ryan Harrison. Harrison made his Grand Slam main draw debut by qualifying for the 2016 US Open. He also won his first USTA Pro Circuit singles title this summer at the $25,000 Futures in Champaign, Ill. Thompson, who graduated from UCLA in 2014, won his first ITF-level singles title, in Mexico, last year and reached the quarterfinals or better at three consecutive USTA Pro Circuit events in July of 2015.

 

Halebian is a former top junior and two-time doubles champion on the ITF Pro Circuit from Glendale. Halebian reached the singles quarterfinals of the 2011 junior US Open and climbed as high as No. 24 in the ITF World Junior Rankings.

 

Notable Americans in qualifying include Ty Trombetta, former USC player Connor Farren, UCLA’s Martin Redlicki and Max Cressy, Stanford’s Michael Genender and top SoCal junior Jacob Brumm.

 

Redfoo will be making his Pro Circuit debut. A passionate tennis player and the son of Motown Records Berry Gordy, Redfoo’s legal name is Stefan Gordy and he grew up playing the Southern California junior circuit. He has competed in two US Open National Playoff Opens, and has played in The Ojai Tennis Tournament qualifying tournament.

 

“I just love to compete, and I love to play this game,” said Redfoo. “My overall game has really improved and I’m much more consistent now. It’s going to be fun to play in my first professional event.”

 

Redfoo met Wettengel in Las Vegas after a show, and the two became hitting partners and friends. Both were in New York this weekend for the US Open. They skipped out on a chance to watch the women’s singles final to get in some more doubles drills at the John McEnroe Academy in Manhattan.

 

“I thought I was the most passionate person I knew when it came to tennis, then I met Redfoo,” said Wettengel, a former University of Minnesota player who runs a tennis academy in Las Vegas called Wettennis. “This isn’t going to be an exhibition. We hope to be playing on Wednesday and Thursday and Friday.”

 

Redfoo is best known as part of the musical duo LMFAO, whose hit “Party Rock Anthem” and “Sexy and I Know It” dominated the music charts. Redfoo also sponsored a USTA Pro Circuit

women’s event in 2012 and 2013, titled “The Party Rock Open” after his Party Rock clothing line.

 

For more information, check on the web at:www.procircuit.usta.com, www.claremontclub.com; Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/The-Claremont-Club/236147226396

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In Their Own Words – Stan Wawrinka and Novak Djokovic

Stan Wawrinka

Stan Wawrinka

 

(September 11, 2016) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Posting player interviews from day 14 of the US Open.

Note from the US Open Media Operations Guide as why Tennis Panorama News is allowed to post transcripts:

Transcripts of player interviews cannot be posted until one (1) hour after the interview has ended. Player transcripts can only be posted on the website of the publication that was accredited.

Stan Wawrinka

Press Conference

S. WAWRINKA/N. Djokovic

6-7, 6-4, 7-5, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You look like a happy man.
STAN WAWRINKA: Yeah, hopefully I’m happy after a win like that. Thank you.

Q. Congratulations. What does this victory mean, especially against an opponent like Novak who you attributed your success to?
STAN WAWRINKA: Yeah, this is amazing, for sure, amazing two weeks. I spend so much time on the court. Today I knew it will be a really tough battle again playing the No. 1 player, Novak Djokovic, who always push you to play your best tennis if you want to beat him.

That’s why I start to do, and I try to do. Was not only in the tennis side but physically and mentally was really tough, again. Honestly after the match I was completely empty. I put everything on the court. Not only today, but the past two weeks.

Today I was trying to stay with him. I was trying to be tough with myself. Trying not to show anything. Not to show any pain. Not to show any cramp. Not to show anything. I was suffering on the court, but I’m happy and proud with what I have achieved today.

Q. He called you the more courageous player. How much did courage come into play?
STAN WAWRINKA: Yeah, for sure. But there is no secret. If you want to beat the No. 1 player in the world, you have to give everything.

As I said the other day, you have to accept to suffer and you have almost to enjoy to suffer. Because I think this Grand Slam was the most painful, physically and mentally, Grand Slam that I ever played.

As I said, I was feeling tired already at the beginning of the match. I was feeling the cramp coming in the third set. In the fourth set I had some pain, but most important was what was clear with Magnus before was not to show anything. Not to show anything. Give everything and keep fighting and go try to win it.

Q. Every player has dreamed of winning a Grand Slam, but I think your dream is going a little bit further down. Maybe a career Grand Slam. Is it a coincidence in the last two years to collect these three Grand Slams or there is any, can I say a systemic plan with Magnus, focus on Grand Slam?
STAN WAWRINKA: So what? Are you saying next year I focus only on Wimbledon? (Smiling.) There is no plan. The only plan is trying to push myself the maximum to be the best player I can. I’m not good enough to start and say, Okay, I’m going to win a Grand Slam this year. No.

I’m trying every day, day by day, practicing hard, trying every match to win. And, again, I think the result will come because I’m doing that every day, because I’m fighting with myself to improve, to be a better tennis player, because I have a great team behind me pushing me every day to try to be a better tennis player.

I think this year I’m playing way better than last year. As you said, at the beginning, for me, I never dreamed to win a Grand Slam until I won the Australian Open. It was never a dream because for me it was way too far.

And, again here, I arrive here without putting goal to win it. Arrive here, take match after match. Every time I step on the court I know I can beat my opponent. Even today.

But when I start the tournament, I’m not seeing the draw and say, Okay, my goal is to win the tournament.

Q. You have had so much success now against No. 1 players in these finals at Grand Slams. What is it you’re able to do here and why hasn’t it so far translated — obviously these are the biggest matches, biggest wins. What is it that needs to happen to transcend to other matches?
STAN WAWRINKA: Well, I think I take confidence every time I win a match. In Grand Slam you play every two days five-set match. You have a little bit more time to make mistake. That’s what happen with me. I always try to be at my top in every Grand Slam.

As you can see, I don’t play my best tennis in the first round, but I’m trying to find a way to improve each match. Every match I won in a Grand Slam I take confidence of that, and when I arrive in the final I know that my game is there.

Today, before the final, I was really nervous like never before. I was shaking in the locker. When we start five minutes before the match talking, last few things with Magnus, I start to cry. I was completely shaking.

But the only thing I was convinced with myself that my game was there. Physically I was there. My game was there. Put the fight on the court and you will have a chance to win.

And that’s what happen after few games when I start to believe in myself, start to be in the match. I was only focus on the match, not what can happen if I win the match. Is it the final of the U.S.? No, I’m just focused what I’m doing in the court.

Q. You described the physical pain you endured and how you did not want to show it. What was going through your mind when your opponent called for an injury timeout in the fourth set?
STAN WAWRINKA: Yeah, I saw he was struggling. I saw he was struggling physically. I knew also before the match that when I play against him I have to push the limit. When he took the timeout for injury I was just trying to stay calm, trying to stay warm. I didn’t want to get cold because I was also struggling a lot physically. I was cramping few times.

So I just wanted to make sure my body will be ready when we start again. Because sometimes we’re sweating. If you stop for five or seven minutes, then your body can react differently.

So I was really focused on my body.

Q. But what about the fairness of the timeout and the timing of the timeout? What were your thoughts about that?
STAN WAWRINKA: For me, I just ask the umpire because he asked the physio when he was serving and we played maybe seven more points and everything. I just wanted to know exactly what was the rule.

That’s it. If your opponent is struggling, if he has blood coming out, you have to stop. So when the umpire and the referee came to me saying, It’s like that. It’s just happening. We have to stop for him because there is blood coming out. We have to make sure he’s going to be okay.

For me I was fine. It was just have to focus on my body and make sure that I was going to be ready for the first point we play after that.

Q. Maybe you don’t remember eight years ago you were down two sets to love to somebody called Cipolla.
STAN WAWRINKA: I do remember. He never shake my hand. He’s Italian. He never shake my hand. I do remember on Court 11 or 14. Yeah, of course I remember. (Smiling.)

Q. Okay. I remember too. (Laughter.)
STAN WAWRINKA: Good.

Q. What were your goals at that time? What were you thinking that you could have become as a player? Were you thinking, Well, I’d be top 10, top 20 or whatever? That was one question. And the second one is very brief. Won three slams and only one Masters 1000. How?
STAN WAWRINKA: I don’t care. I’m happy. But I agree. I agree.

First question, my career was always the same. Always been step by step. First I wanted to be a professional tennis player. That’s mean living with your passion, with your sport. Then was to be top 100, then top 50. It’s always been like that.

That’s always how I deal with my goal. I never start anything I want to be No. 1. I want to win Grand Slam. For me, no. It’s always step by step. The only thing I want to do it’s to push the limit. That’s mean when I stop playing tennis I have no regrets. I cannot come back and say, Why you didn’t practice more? Why you didn’t did that or that?

No. I just want to push myself to the limit and see where I can go.

For the other question, there is no answer. I cannot tell you why do I have three Grand Slam and only one Masters 1000. I can only say I’m happy with that trophy tonight.

Q. Tomorrow in a few hours the people will wake up in Switzerland, home country, and they will be very proud and say, Stan is our man and very convinced about this. What I want to ask you, you’re very often struggling against players ranked 64 in this tournament. For example, Evans. Then when the tournament continues and you face the really tough opponent like Nishikori and of course today, Novak you getting better and better. So you have won out of the three Grand Slams two against Novak. What’s the secret that you can beat obviously the No. 1 player in the world easier than a player ranked No. so-and-so?
STAN WAWRINKA: Ah, as I say, before the tournament I tried to do everything to be ready. Before we started the tournament I was feeling good physically, mentally. My tennis was there. I was playing one of my best practice weeks so I was confident with myself.

But then when you start the tournament, you know you’re not gonna play your best tennis. You know you’re not gonna play your best game at the beginning. Also, you have to see that playing on Armstrong, on center, and now it’s completely different.

The day I play, the three match I play there was quite windy. I was struggling with my game. I was hesitating.

In general, the only pressure that I feel in a Grand Slam is the pressure I put on myself. When I play player like Evans, for example, I put too much pressure on myself. I don’t want to lose. I want to win. I want to keep advancing in the tournament.

So I’m not relaxed enough to play my best tennis, and that day was playing really well. I think you need to also understand that there is no easy match. Doesn’t matter the ranking. Evans was playing really well. He was making me play not my best game. I had to fight. I had to stay positive. I had to find solution. I did. I save match point.

For sure you get a little bit lucky when you save match point, but that’s tennis. The more I win in a Grand Slam, the better I feel. As I said yesterday, I practiced. I was feeling the ball. I could close my eyes. I was feeling the best tennis I ever played.

So I was sure that in the final I would be ready for that.

Q. You remember the last year Novak Djokovic beat Roger Federer in the final of this tournament. How did you face him today? Any chance to chat Roger about how to, you know —
STAN WAWRINKA: To lose?

Q. — to face Novak today?
STAN WAWRINKA: (Smiling.) No, I didn’t have a chance to chat with Roger. I think Roger is one of my closest friends on the tour. It’s not the first time I play Novak. It’s not the first time that I play Novak in the big final or important match.

In the past we talked many times with Roger. He ask me advice. I ask him advice. But, no, I didn’t ask him anything. I think I know exactly what I have to do when I play Novak, especially in final of Grand Slam. I need to be ready. I need to be focused and go for it.

Q. In your career we have seen a lot of determination, a lot of perseverance, and we saw a lot of that tonight. You hung in there and came back after losing the first set. Talk about perseverance and determination. Is that an important part of your game and was it important tonight?
STAN WAWRINKA: Yeah, it’s important in my career in general. For sure tonight was important, but if you look, I have to be always like that. That’s why I saved match point against Evans. I wasn’t playing my best tennis, but I keep trying, keep fighting. Do the right thing.

If I go on court and I do the right thing, the things that I think can help me to win and I lose, then I say congrats to my opponent. I push myself.

Tonight, for sure, when you play Novak he’s a beast mentally. He’s gonna stay there. He’s gonna push you. Normally he always find solution. He’s No. 1 player. He won so many title, so many trophy, and it’s always the biggest challenge to play against him.

Q. Congratulations, Stan. I want to ask you, after your match against Evans on Armstrong, underneath there was a great moment when you were walking off and applauded by the ball boys and girls. I want to ask you what that sort of love and affection you get from the people and the fans, how that impacts you?
STAN WAWRINKA: I love it. I love the fans, but especially also the person working the tournament every day. Every day you arrive you see them. I love the ball kids. They always there. It was great to see them being happy for me after the match on the Armstrong against Evans.

If I can sign or give picture or anything, I’m always happy. I think all the person, I see them every day. Every day I come here. Every day I’m leaving. They always take care of me, my team, of everybody.

So I really enjoy spend time with them.

Q. You had mentioned Roger just before. Have you heard from him at all across the tournament or even…
STAN WAWRINKA: Yeah, a few message, yeah. Congrats, good luck. Things like that. Yeah.

Q. Was it encouraging…
STAN WAWRINKA: What I just said. (Laughter.) Few message.

Q. You mentioned before that you wouldn’t focus on trying to win Wimbledon. What do you think your chances are of winning there eventually?
STAN WAWRINKA: It’s too far. Too far to think about Wimbledon. I think I can play my best tennis on grass also, but so far I didn’t pass the quarterfinals. There is way better tennis player than me on grass.

I’m trying. I’m trying every year to improve. I’m trying every year to find solution. This year I had someone in my team to help me to understand a little bit better the game, but I didn’t play my best tennis yet there. Hopefully it will come.

Q. You mentioned earlier being so nervous tonight that you shook and cried in the locker room. Is this the most nervous you have ever been before a match? If so, why more tonight than, say, the French or Australian?
STAN WAWRINKA: I think the most close to that was the French Open final. I was also — because I don’t want to lose the final in a Grand Slam. That simple. That’s the only reason.

The pressure, I was feeling amazing after the semifinal. I was feeling great yesterday. Really happy. But this morning it start to be there, the feeling of you don’t want to lose. I don’t want to come to the court and lose a final. So close, so far.

So maybe it’s the reason why I was feeling so nervous.

Q. What did you do to quell your nerves?
STAN WAWRINKA: I had to put my shit together. (Smiling.) Sorry. That’s how I say it.

Q. You have always declined to say that you felt you were one of the Big 4.
STAN WAWRINKA: But I’m not.

Q. In his press conference, Novak was asked about whether it should now be a big 5 and he said you deserve consideration. What is your feeling on that? Are you saying you’re not?
STAN WAWRINKA: Okay, let’s — Novak is always so nice with me. I love him. He’s a good friend. He always say a lot of nice thing about me.

The Big 4, I’m really far from them. Just look the tournament they won, how many years they been there. If you look, yes, I have three Grand Slams. How many Masters 1000 have Murray? They have been there since ten years.

They have not only been winning, but being in semifinal, final every time. That’s why I’m not there. I don’t want to be there. For me, there is no question about that. But I’m trying the best I can with my career.

I’m really, really happy with what I’m doing so far. I’m proud of myself by winning three Grand Slam. This is something I never expect and dream about it, but I have them and I’m happy to take the trophy back home.

Q. Is the No. 1 ranking a goal for you at all?
STAN WAWRINKA: No.

Q. What do you think you have to do to achieve it?
STAN WAWRINKA: That question come every time I won a Grand Slam. But my best ranking was No. 3 in the world. It’s simple. I’m way too far to even think about being No. 1. Look at Novak is No. 1. He’s winning two or three Grand Slam a year. He’s winning five Masters 1000 minimum. He’s winning everything or being in the final.

I’m winning four tournaments a year. I’m happy with that. I’m really happy with that. Four tournaments, one Grand Slam. It’s amazing. It’s huge. It’s big. But I’m way too far to be No. 1.

Q. You were saying that the only pressure what you put yourself. Do you think that pressure is gonna diminish or decrease? You like be expected to do better every time?
STAN WAWRINKA: I think my first Grand Slam final I was winning really well. I was not feeling nervous; I was feeling good. I was basically already happy with the final. I came on the court to win it, but I knew it will be okay to lose it, also.

But then… Then… Then I’m not that young anymore. Then you start. You’re in another final of a Grand Slam. You don’t want to lose it. You don’t want to lose the opportunity to win that trophy there, especially a Grand Slam.

So I think for sure the pressure in general during the year go down, but when I play final the pressure go up. Because the trophy of winner finalist is not the same.

 

 

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

 

Novak Djokovic

Press Conference

S. WAWRINKA/N. Djokovic

6-7, 6-4, 7-5, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Does this match mean that tennis officially now has a big 5?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I mean, he deserves to be in the mix, no doubt about it. Stan won three Grand Slams now and three different ones; Olympic medal. Been around for so many years, and he plays best in the big matches.

I mean, he definitely deserves to be mentioned in the mix of top players.

Q. You called him a big match player just now and said it the other day. You said today he was the more courageous player out there tonight. What did Stan bring to you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Simple as that, you know. I just didn’t capitalize at all on my opportunities. I had plenty of them, break points. It was a terrible conversion of the break points. Just terrible from my side.

You know, in the matches like this, if you don’t use the opportunities, the other guy comes and takes it. And that’s what he did. That’s why I said he was more courageous, because he stepped in and played aggressive where I was kind of more waiting for things to happen.

And that’s it.

Q. You sometimes had matches where you’re the one saving lots of break points, including the final here last year. Do you remember a match like this for you before where you weren’t able to capitalize?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: To be honest, I don’t know. I’m not sure. You know, obviously Grand Slam finals are different than any other match. I have lost a few Grand Slam finals, some close matches.

You know, this has been one of the worst stat on the break point conversion for me, that’s for sure.

Q. What exactly was your fourth-set injury? What effect was it having on you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Just the toenails were off and bleeding. Yeah, it was quite painful to move around.

You know, I tried.

Q. The past few years we have been used to you being focused and keeping your cool under pressure. After the first set it seemed like there was a lot of anger towards your box. Can you explain?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, you know, I lost my nerves in the important moments. He kept his cool. I think that’s what decided the match.

I guess sometimes it happens, even though you have the experience and know what to do. Just the heat of the moment and importance of the match, I guess, you know, was too strong for me at certain periods of the match. Just if you lose your cool, the match can go away.

Q. You mentioned on court that you considered not playing in the Open I guess after Rio. How seriously did you consider that, and was the toe injury something that bothered you at all before today? Was that more the wrist?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, no, it wasn’t the toe. The toe just happened today. Some other injury that was, you know, very serious at the time. I really didn’t know whether or not I’m going to come, to be honest. Decided like eight, nine days before the start of the Open just to try.

To play finals, it’s quite amazing.

Q. You lost two Grand Slam finals now against Stan. What makes it so difficult for you especially to beat him in strong moments like Grand Slam title?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, he just steps in. He loves to play in the big matches. He comes up with his best game. He’s so solid from both corners. He’s got a good slice and amazing one-handed backhand, all corners. Big serve. Moves well.

He’s a very complete player. Sometimes if he feels right he doesn’t miss much and makes a lot of winners and it’s hard to play him. That’s what happened today.

Q. Was there any cramping going on in the last set from you or just the toe?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No.

Q. And what was the effect of the toe having on your game?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I don’t think it’s necessary for me to talk about that now, you know. He won the match. He deserved to win this trophy, and that’s it.

I don’t want to talk about this and you guys think I’m finding excuses. It’s just not necessary.

Q. Can you talk about the weight of his shot? Seems like he hits just a really heavy ball, heavier than others, compared to, say, a Rafa and Roger and Andy.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, he hits a very heavy ball, especially from the backhand corner. Forehand is very flat. You know, he goes for his shots from the forehand side. Backhand, you know, great chip, great slice. He uses that when he’s defending and then he comes up, you know, and can get you off the court with a backhand crosscourt.

That’s probably one of his best shots in the game. Physically he’s very strong, so he can endure a lot.

Q. Were you surprised that you were allowed to take a timeout before Stan’s serve? Do you think that was fair?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I was allowed, so I took it.

Q. Were you surprised that you…
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Why would I be surprised if I was allowed?

Q. Because the rules say it should be a key medical condition.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It was.

Q. Of course in a match that lasted for almost four hours there are many moments which could be decisive. Do you think there is one more than the others or some more than the others? I remember, for instance, when you were up — when Wawrinka was 2-1 in the second set, long time ago, you made two double faults. I don’t know if you were nervous, but two doubles in the same set is not usual for you.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I made a lot of double faults throughout this tournament. I was struggling with that shot and with, you know, with the motion, with the movement and on the serve, with the technique because of what I carried into this tournament.

So, you know, I was working a lot on it and trying to find that rhythm, but my body has kind of compensated and, you know, made some different things to protect the problem I had with the arm.

You know, unfortunately it wasn’t — the serve wasn’t there. When it was needed it wasn’t there, and in the big matches like this you need the serve. I lost decisive games in second and third set. Just handed him over with some unforced errors and bad serves.

But, you know, I guess I was trying to protect the serve, I guess, with other shots, but it wasn’t to be today.

Q. I guess your schedule means that you next play or are due to play in Asia. Are you concerned these injuries you have been worried about before the tournament and the injuries you suffered during the tournament, they have an impact on you maybe not playing there?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I sincerely doubt that this is going to prevent me from playing there. I think I’m going to be ready.

Q. Obviously just stepped off the court after a tough loss, but it is the end of the Grand Slam year; there are still major tournaments. You had that great triumph in Paris. (Indiscernible) What’s your assessment?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, winning four Grand Slams in a row for me was an incredible achievement. I’m very proud of it, so this loss today cannot overshadow the great moments I have had in Australia and especially in Paris.

So winning two out of four Grand Slams is pretty good year, and playing another final. I have no complaints. Obviously I wish that I could win another title, but this is what it is. You have to shake hands and accept the loss from a better player and move on, you know.

It’s not the first time. It’s not the last time I’m going to lose a match, big match. Hopefully I can learn from it. Hopefully I can get better, because, you know, that’s the cycle of life, I guess, for us athletes.

Q. Not just tonight, but this whole tournament there has been a lot of debate about injury timeouts, toilet breaks, whatever. You’re obviously a big guy now on the player council. Do you think tennis needs to look again at the rules? Do you think the game needs to look at trying to clarify what’s allowed and what isn’t?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: We’ll talk about it, sure. If players bring that up to the table, you know. You know, I didn’t have any I guess major complaints about that against me or me against any other player.

If there are — if this is a debate and players think there should be something changed in the rules, of course we are there to discuss. Will bring this up to the council soon I guess if this is a big deal.

Q. When you’re talking about your mindset coming into the tournament on court, another thing you added is if anyone would say you’d play finals you’d take it. Now you have played the finals and obviously disappointed in…
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: In this moment I don’t take it, but…(Smiling.)

Q. That’s my point.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, sure. Of course. Just coming off the court, it’s never easy to lose Grand Slam finals, big matches, playing four hours, of course.

Of course everybody wants to be victorious, but at the end of the day, sometimes you win, you lose, and you’ve got to accept it, gotta accept it and gotta let it go. From a larger perspective, why I said I’ll take it because it was really, you know, in doubt whether or not I’m going to come here and up to really last day.

So I came in here, you know, struggled first couple of days with practice and first match and so forth, and then to get the finals, I mean, it’s a big result. Of course I set up a high standard for myself with great results I have had in last couple of years. I’m really successful and I’m grateful for that.

But, you know, again, I have to try tomorrow to look from this different perspective and say, Wow, I played finals. I mean, that’s not too bad.

Q. You sound pleased to get to the final, but I’m just wondering if you feel like the lack of match play on the way through the tournament took its toll.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Not really. You know, I don’t feel like the lack of match play affected my performance today. I just felt all right. You know, I was hitting the ball well in quarters, fourth round, quarters, semis I was playing good. Today I started off well, but down the stretch he was the better player. As simple as that.

You know, sometimes in sport these things happen.

Q. Sorry to come to the question of medical timeouts, but I just wanted to clarify. You said if other players are concerned it’s something you would talk about on the player council. Can I clarify what your personal opinion is? Do you feel the present rules are okay?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I’ve gotta check the rules even better, I guess, after you guys brought it up. Obviously there is a bit of a concern from, I don’t know, media or players. You know, there is speculations whether the rules are accurate or not.

So I’ve got to first check all the rules, because I don’t know every single rule to, you know, perfection. First I have to inform myself before I make any kind of statements.

For now, I know we out the inability for a player to ask for a medical timeout of he has cramps, for example. That was a big debate couple years ago. That’s effective right now.

Other than that, I didn’t hear too many complaints, to be honest. But again, maybe I just haven’t heard. Now I have to speak with other players and get myself informed and see what it takes.

Q. In light of your doubts about coming to the tournament, thank you for your dedication to this hard-working city and those around the world who respect such courage as well as entertainment. Why and how do you give so much of yourself in defeat as well as in victory in the sport of no substitutes or penalty serves after 235 minutes? Is it the way you grew up or have you evolved into such a champion in all outcomes?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, thank you for your nice words and compliments. I have to speak on my own behalf because obviously everybody is different. But the way I see things in life, you know, my kind of mindset and ideology I guess is that whether or not you win or lose, you know, in the end of the day you have to be very respectful towards the opponent, towards the sport, towards the occasion, to those people who come to see you.

Of course in the heat of the moment your emotions are here or there. You’re tense. You’re trying your best to win. Of course everybody is playing the sport because you want to make some kind of success in life. You know, what defines success now, that’s different for each one of us.

For me, success is not just winning tennis matches and winning trophies, you know. It’s more than that. I guess my main source of playing tennis, main source of motivation for playing the sport, is because I really like it. It’s my choice to do it.

But, you know, once you get to the top and you have that privilege, status, and position, then I guess the importance of what you say, how you behave, what you do, is much larger. Just not comparable to any other position in the rankings or so forth.

So I guess that kind of privilege, status, taught me a lot of lessons in life, and I got experience. I learned a lot about myself, about who I should be, who I should become, and it’s an everyday evolution for me and for everybody else.

That’s the way I take it.

Q. You have had moments on this court, including today and in some of the big semifinals against Roger, where you kind of call for the crowd to get behind you. Do you feel like that could have helped you in the fourth set? I mean, you were injured, but also had your chances to have break points against him. Did you want that support from the crowd?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I heard crowd chanting my name many times, so I’m very thankful. I don’t feel that that lacked on my side.

Of course Stan was getting support. I was getting support. The crowd was really enjoying the match and was really into it. I saw a full stadium for four hours. It was amazing. Amazing atmosphere.

Q. A key stat was the break point stat. Why do you think you had such troubles specifically on break points today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I was saying before, you know, I didn’t take my chances. I had many break points where I was in the rally, where I had a second shot, where I just missed some easy balls. That’s it.

Sometimes you get that kind of uncomfortable feeling and you’re not able to, you know, let everything flow as you want it. You know, you don’t have things working the way you want them. That’s it.

Q. Being a protagonist of this match, can you compare the quality of this match with the one in Paris? In Paris you were strong favorite before. This time a little bit probably less because of your condition, situation, and so on. At the end, what do you think you played better? What do you think he played better?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Similar matches. You know, I started well and won the first set in both finals, and then, you know, close second set.

Then he managed to kind of make this breakthrough, you know, in the second and third. Then just both matches I think in the fourth set he was just playing his best where he was just swinging from every shot and every corner, going through the ball and being aggressive, taking his chances.

That’s how I can, I guess, explain and maybe compare the same.

Q. Quality?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Quality, I mean, quality was there I think from both of us. We both tried. When you have top two players — I mean, two top players playing against each other in a Grand Slam final, you expect good quality, of course. We played four hours here and Roland Garros was almost the same, so I thought the tennis was good.

Q. Given the high standard you set for yourself and the great start that you had for this year, how are you going to look back on this summer from a physical and a psychological standpoint?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, there is a lot to learn. You know, life is a big lesson. It’s a big book. You know, we keep writing the stories. There is another story to be written.

Of course, the end of this story for US Open. I wish that it was a bit different, but again, I think — and I will mention it again: we learn much more from the losses like this than from wins. Because when you’re winning, everything is fine and you maybe, I guess, shadow certain things that are relevant for you to face and to tackle and to work on.

But when you lose, then all of a sudden, you know, you just start questioning yourself whether, you know, you have done things right or not and what can you do to be better as a person, as a player.

So that’s where I’m at right now, and that’s what I will think about for the rest of this season and next year.

 

 

Felix Auger Aliassime

Press Conference

F. AUGER-ALIASSIME/M. Kecmanovic

6-3, 6-0

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You’re out there, have two of the best players in the game right now playing on the stadium. Kind of a short dropshot away from you. Emotions there with you with them? What’s it feel like here and what’s going on there and you’re finishing up your match?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Yeah, it was kind of funny. It was not the same atmosphere as yesterday, I would say. Yesterday was pretty packed up and it was good atmosphere on the court.

Today was a bit dead because at the same time they had the men’s final. I really had to push myself. You know, sometimes you’ve got to play by yourself. I look around and find solutions outside. It can help, but I really try to focus and win my match, yeah.

Q. After what happened in Paris, how satisfying is this for you to win this?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Yeah, it’s obviously really great. Yeah, obviously I’m not gonna lie. I had some nightmares about this heartbreaking final. You don’t really want it to happen again.

So I was really focused on going into this match. I really wanted that win. Yeah, it’s obviously a great feeling. Yeah.

Q. Your opponent said you just played too good. How do you rank your performance today in all the performances you’ve had in your career?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Yeah, I think it was one of the best performance I have had. And also in the final you never know what can happen. You know, you don’t always play your best level because you’re a bit nervous and there is something big to go get.

But, yeah, I just stayed really steady. My serve, first-serve percentage, was really high today. I had a few aces, so of course it helps.

And in the second set I think I was really going through him and putting a lot of pressure on him, yeah.

Q. I think you were serving at 4-2 in the first set and you were down 15-40, I think. I think that might have been the only break points that he had.
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Yeah.

Q. How important do you think it was for your confidence and for maybe his, you know, for you to get back in that there?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Yeah, I think there was a pretty good, pretty big game to go get. After, you never know what’s gonna happen. Maybe he gets back in the match and he gets more pumped.

Anyway, I would have been on the — on the next game would have been mentally prepared, so I didn’t put too much importance on that game. Because you didn’t want to get nervous at 4-2 in the first set because you’re down a break point.

Yeah, it was great to fight and get that game.

Q. And it was your serve that kind of bailed you out of that, would you say?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Yeah. I had two good first serves, if I remember well.

Yeah, of course the serve was there today. I didn’t really hesitate. I didn’t look at the score that was down. I just went for my shots, and that’s what I do best, yeah.

Q. In theory, you’ve got another two years of junior career ahead of you.
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Yeah.

Q. Is this win gonna change anything in your future plans?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Yeah, it might. It might, because I have already had some good wins at the pro level. I know I can compete with these guys.

And now being able to win a slam, make a final on two different surface, I think it might be time to go to the next level. But you never know what’s gonna happen next year. If I want to go back and play the junior Grand Slams, I will. Yeah, we’ll see how it goes, yeah.

Q. How exciting a time is it for Canadian tennis? Obviously Denis had a good win a couple months ago, and now you. What’s the general fight like at the moment?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Yeah, it’s pretty cool for the Canadian tennis. I’m happy for all of us. I’m happy for the people that work with us. They have put in so much work.

Obviously I was very proud of Denis’ win. I’m sure he probably texted me already to congratulate me because he’s one of my good friends.

But, yeah, it’s great to see us having success like this. I hope we can reach the highest stage.

Q. When you’re looking at turning pro, how much do you follow what other guys, other teenagers, have been able to do at the next level? Casper Ruud just won a challenger today. Do those sort of things influence you or you think differently about yourself, or is it all just about you?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: I mean, I think everyone has his own path. Some guys, they win early in juniors but it doesn’t go as well in the pros.

A guy like Taylor won the US Open last year and was top 100 the year after. No, everyone is kind of different. We’ll see how my body feels after this year. We’ll make the adjustments that we need to do, yeah.

Q. Is being No. 1 junior, does that have any significance for you?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Not so much, I would say, honestly. I think the junior level is really great to play the Grand Slams. You know, you kind of get the feeling of the environment and you see the big guys next to you and you have the chance to see these unbelievable tournaments.

But after all, it’s really in the pro circuit that that is really important. Obviously I would want to be No. 1 in the world. It would be a big bonus, but that’s not what we are aiming for here.

Q. After the French Open you said you had to go back to school. Is that the same thing now?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Yeah, same thing. Not quite, because I’m leaving for junior Davis Cup in a few days in Hungary. Yeah, obviously school’s gotta keep going. Yeah.

Q. Can you explain to us what you have experienced during the week leading up till today, till your win?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: Yeah, it wasn’t an easy week. I have had some tough matches in the first rounds. It’s never easy to come to a Grand Slam. You know, you’ve reach a final before, but every opponents are still going to be tough. You still have to go win and win every match. There is no free rounds.

Yeah, it was tough. Also with the heat and my health it was kind of difficult at some points, but that’s where you have to mentally stay calm, stay on your feet, and just take it one day at a time. Yeah.

Q. Can you tell us how tall you are?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: 1 meter 88, so 6’2″, 6’2.5″. Not 6’3″ yet.

Q. Have you been growing lately?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: I haven’t looked at it so much, but yeah, obviously I have been growing. Yeah, I feel it in my game, I feel it in everything.

But, yeah, I have been growth a few inches in the last year, yeah.

Q. You have played a whole week with the serve clock. Do you have any impressions on that, whether that’s good for the game or whether it made any difference to you?
FELIX AUGER-ALIASSIME: I don’t know. Maybe I’m not the right person to ask because I don’t really look at it. It’s kind of — I try really not to look at it, because it’s kind of in weird places. Sometimes you have to look up, so I’m not really comfortable with that.

It’s good. I think it helps everyone around and I think it helps the umpire to make the calls. Yeah, it’s not bad.

 

Bethanie Mattek-Sands

Lucie Safarova

Press Conference

MATTEK SANDS-SAFAROVA/Garcia-Mladenovic

2-6, 7-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You like that?
BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS: We were just looking at the names.

LUCIE SAFAROVA: Pretty good company.

Q. Your names will join those names. How does that feel?
BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS: That’s pretty cool.

LUCIE SAFAROVA: Amazing.

BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS: Some greats on there. I just noticed that Martina Hingis won it in ’98. That’s pretty impressive for her to be No. 1 right now, or 2.

Q. So talk about, first of all, you guys were down. What a turnaround in the second set; obviously carried it right into the third. Talk about the match.
BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS: Yeah, you know what? It was a little bit of a slow start, but I’ve gotta give credit to our opponents. They came out playing big, serving big, making all their rolls, ripping returns.

You know, I think one of the things that we do really well is we don’t get too down no matter what the score is. We’re really positive.

It was funny. I think Lucie had more energy than me. She was carrying me on her back and getting me pumped up.

LUCIE SAFAROVA: Any time.

BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS: But that’s what good friends and partner do. It happens sometimes. You play a team that’s playing good or you might not be making all the shots, but any match can turn around in a couple of points.

That’s just a matter of sticking to it.

Q. You guys seem like you’re genuinely good friends.
BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS: Or we’re really good at faking it. I don’t think we’re that good of actors, otherwise I might have to consider a career switch.

Q. Talk about the chemistry between the two of you. How much does that contribute now, just your third Grand Slam title?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: It’s amazing. Third.

No, I think the chemistry is great. We complement each other so well. Our games just fit. We have done so well in all the tournaments, and now this year has been tough year for us because I have been out for half a year with my sickness and missed Australia.

Then Bethanie broke her finger just before French Open, so that kind of like…

But we both stick together and believed that once we are again strong, healthy —

BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS: Feeling good.

LUCIE SAFAROVA: — and feeling that we can do this, and we did, so it’s amazing.

Q. Going forward, are you sniffing a career Grand Slam?
BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS: We actually just got asked that on the court now. They were talking about Wimbledon. I was like, We have so many tournaments before Wimbledon. I don’t even know if we can start to think about it.

I mean, really, we’re enjoying the moment. I mean, this is a huge win. I mean, we both looked at each other and we said, We have a US Open trophy right now. I think especially being 9/11, it’s really a big thing to enjoy the people you’re with, enjoy the moment. I get a little emotional.

LUCIE SAFAROVA: No, our thoughts and prayers are with the families. I know it’s a tough day for everyone.

BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS: So it was really special to win it today, I think.

Q. Can you talk about how you first got together?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: My coach Rob.

BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS: Yeah, it was a blind date, actually. We both didn’t have partners for Australia.

LUCIE SAFAROVA: You were coming back after injury.

BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS: I hadn’t actually played a lot of doubles. I actually didn’t have a ranking. Lucie took a chance on me. (Smiling.)

It was like, all right, come on.

LUCIE SAFAROVA: Knew here before but not so well and never played obviously together. Then I asked her if we should do like Sydney before the Australian Open. She’s like, No, I’m playing with Sania already.

BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS: I was like, We’ll be good. We’ll just roll with it in Australia. All good.

LUCIE SAFAROVA: And then we won the Grand Slam.

BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS: That’s pretty good.

Q. It’s an Olympic year and so any teams that are like different countries, I’m sure you maybe would have thought, maybe I should play, like, Bethanie, full time with Coco theoretically or Lucie practiced with Barbora, and even with injuries and everything, you stuck together as a tour team. Can you talk through that decision? Was it ever tenuous at all?
BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS: I don’t think so. I mean, I played with Coco at Indian Wells. I think just kind of with my track record, I feel, you know, either I mesh with a partner or I don’t.

I don’t feel like I need, you know, 50 tournaments to get used to. I was really confident going into the Olympics with Coco. And if something happened to Lucie where she couldn’t play, you know, playing with Coco was fun.

Me and Lucie talked about our schedule and we really stuck to that, because that’s what we had talked about. It wasn’t — I didn’t feel like I needed to kind of play a guessing game, you know, whether it was with Coco or with Lucie.

I felt confident with both of them by me. Me and Lucie, had a lot of fun here. (Giving dap.)

Q. As an American, 9/11 has touched people from all nationalities around the world. As an American, to be playing on this very heavy, significant day, winning a Grand Slam in your home country, I mean, I can only imagine the emotions that you must have felt.
BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS: Yeah, and actually when we got to the locker room the news was on when they were reading all the names. You know, it kind of put things in perspective. As much fun as we’re having and as much joy as we get out of competing and all of the glitz and glamour of, you know, playing the finals of the US Open, it’s humbling to know that you don’t know what’s going to happen in the future.

You know, it’s something where I just — I really appreciate the moment, my family, and my friends, because you don’t know what’s going to happen.

You know, I really — it is an emotional day. And it was funny. I was going to retire my American flag socks after the gold medal match. I said, You know what? For the final of the US Open, 9/11, have to bring them out. Had a great crowd and great support. It was really special for me to win it here today in New York.

 

Kayla Day

Press Conference

K. DAY/V. Kuzmova

6-3, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. It was tough for you after last night to come back. Got off to a really good start. How did you do that? How were you able to recover after that late night last night?
KAYLA DAY: I think I was really able to mentally set aside what had happened last night and just move on, because I knew I had a really important match today.

I knew I had to forget about it, and that’s what I did.

Q. Is that something you have had success with to this stage in your career, or is this like something that you really summoned the focus to do it?
KAYLA DAY: No, I think I’m pretty good about, you know, leaving the past behind me and just focusing on being in the moment. And, yeah.

Q. Congratulations. You played in the main draw in the women’s event and the juniors. What’s the transition like going back and forth mentally? Or is it the same?
KAYLA DAY: Well, I think mentally it was a little bit hard just because it’s such a long time being here. I have been here for I think over three weeks.

But my coach told me I needed to separate the two tournaments, like to really make sure when I come back to play juniors like I’m coming to play a new tournament.

Q. You missed a chance to go up 5-1, I think it was in the first set, and then you got down Love-40 on your serve. Holding on in that game must have been a huge confidence boost for you.
KAYLA DAY: Yeah, that was a huge game. I got down Love-40 and then I served some really good serves. I was a little bit — getting a little bit nervous at that point, but after that game I felt really confident.

Q. You had a tough semifinal against Bianca and you kind of turned that around. What enabled you to turn that around? And then after the break for the heat, I know this is a few days ago, after the break for the heat you came out storming. Why do you think that was?
KAYLA DAY: I think I was definitely nervous in the first set and I didn’t fully believe in myself. Then at the beginning of the second and after like the heat break, I really believed in myself that I could do it.

I was really confident and going for my shots more and being more aggressive.

Q. You had a tough match against Madison earlier in the main draw. Have you spoke to her or any of the American women on tour since then? Any words of wisdom?
KAYLA DAY: No, I haven’t talked to any of them since.

Q. What does the rest of the year look like for you?
KAYLA DAY: I think I’m going to play a lot of pro circuit tournaments in the U.S. I haven’t decided if I’m going to play the junior tournaments at the end of the year, but definitely a lot of pro circuits to build up my ranking to be able to make the Grand Slam quallies next year.

Q. Where does school fit in?
KAYLA DAY: Um, I find a way to fit it in. I haven’t started school yet this year, so that’s nice. I start a little bit later than normally like other people do, I guess.

But whenever I have like a free day or like a weekend when I don’t have anything I do it then and try and get — either catch up before — get ahead before a trip or, you know, catch up after. (Smiling.)

It’s hard, but I manage to do it.

Q. What does it mean to you to sort of add your name to the illustrious list of Grand Slam junior champions?
KAYLA DAY: It means so much. It’s really great. I knew that coming into the match like an American or like somebody from outside of Europe hadn’t won — a girl hadn’t won a junior slam in like four years, so it means so much to me to be able to play for America and win.

Q. The ITF tells me you’re the No. 1 junior player in the world now after winning today. Did you know that?
KAYLA DAY: No, I didn’t know that.

Q. How important would that be, you know, to finish the year? Will that change your schedule to make sure that you finish No. 1?
KAYLA DAY: No. I haven’t really thought about that. I know that there is some type of rule that if you finish a certain ranking or if you get to the finals of a slam you get more tournaments.

I think that would be the most beneficial thing for me since I’m still quite young and I can’t play a full pro schedule.

Q. Where does this win rank obviously in your young career? And when you look back on all the different things that have happened these past few weeks, how do you see these two weeks how they unfolded?
KAYLA DAY: These were like the best two weeks of my life. Every day was great.

I had so much fun every single day, and it was just a great experience overall.

Q. How will you celebrate? Do you have any plans for that?
KAYLA DAY: No, not yet. (Smiling.) I’m sure I’ll think of something.

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Stan Wawrinka Beats Novak Djokovic to Win US Open Title for Third Major Championship

Stan Wawrinka

Stan Wawrinka

(September 11, 2016) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Stan Wawrinka stands just a Wimbledon title away from a career Grand Slam. The Swiss, ranked No. 3 beat 12-time major champion and No. 1 Novak Djokovic 6-7(1), 6-4, 7-5, to win the US Open on Sunday evening for this third major championship.

Wawrinka, coming into the match was 4-19 against Djokovic, but last beat the Serb in last year’s French Open final. The Swiss is now 3-0 in major finals.

Djokovic took a 3-0 lead to begin the match, but Wawrinka broke back in the ninth game when Djokovic was serving for the set at 5-3. The set went to a tiebreaker in which Djokovic destroyed his opponent 7-1.

The next set saw the Swiss go up a break first and take a 4-1 lead, but the Serb fought back to get even on serve to get to 3-4. Serving at 4-5, the two-time US Open winner double faulted to give back the break and lose the set to Wawrinka 6-4.

In the third set Wawrinka broke serve at 5-6 from 30-0 down to win the set.

Wawrinka struck early in the fourth set breaking Djokovic in the second game and holding for 3-0. Djokovic fought valiantly in the fourth game to gold his serve for 1-3. Djokovic took a medidal time out to have the trainer look at his feet. Wawrinka was very upset by this, saying that Djokovic should have done this on his own serve. Djokovic apologized to Wawrinka as he was getting treatment saying that he couldn’t stand. It was a six minute delay in play due to the mediacal time out.

Djokovic had three break points to draw even, but Wawrinka fought off the world No. 1 to hold for 4-1. Djokovic had an easy service game holding at love for 2-4. Wawrinka held on to win the set and the match 6-7(1), 6-4, 7-5, 6-3.

During the trophy ceremony, Wawrinka made note of Sunday being the anniversary of 9/11: “It’s been a big battle on the court … four hours,” Wawrinka said. “But I just want to remember what happened 15 years ago.”

“Yeah, this is amazing, for sure, amazing two weeks,” 31-year-old Wawrinka said in his news conference. “I spend so much time on the court. Today I knew it will be a really tough battle again playing the No. 1 player, Novak Djokovic, who always push you to play your best tennis if you want to beat him.

“That’s why I start to do, and I try to do. Was not only in the tennis side but physically and mentally was really tough, again. Honestly after the match I was completely empty. I put everything on the court. Not only today, but the past two weeks.

“Today I was trying to stay with him. I was trying to be tough with myself. Trying not to show anything. Not to show any pain. Not to show any cramp. Not to show anything. I was suffering on the court, but I’m happy and proud with what I have achieved today.”

“If you want to beat the No. 1 player in the world, you have to give everything,” he admitted.

“As I said the other day, you have to accept to suffer and you have almost to enjoy to suffer. Because I think this Grand Slam was the most painful, physically and mentally, Grand Slam that I ever played.

“As I said, I was feeling tired already at the beginning of the match. I was feeling the cramp coming in the third set. In the fourth set I had some pain, but most important was what was clear with Magnus before was not to show anything. Not to show anything. Give everything and keep fighting and go try to win it.”

Asked in press if Wif should be the “big 5″ instead of the” big 4″, Djokovic said,”Well, I mean, he deserves to be in the mix, no doubt about it. Stan won three Grand Slams now and three different ones; Olympic medal. Been around for so many years, and he plays best in the big matches.

“I mean, he definitely deserves to be mentioned in the mix of top players.”

When Wawrinka was asked about he said: “The Big 4, I’m really far from them. Just look the tournament they won, how many years they been there. If you look, yes, I have three Grand Slams. How many Masters 1000 have Murray? They have been there since ten years.

“They have not only been winning, but being in semifinal, final every time. That’s why I’m not there. I don’t want to be there. For me, there is no question about that. But I’m trying the best I can with my career.

“I’m really, really happy with what I’m doing so far. I’m proud of myself by winning three Grand Slam. This is something I never expect and dream about it, but I have them and I’m happy to take the trophy back home.”

Wawrinka has won his last 11 straight finals.

Wawrinka has now beaten Djokovic  from a set down on three occasions in majors – the 2014 Australian Open quarterfinals, the 2015 French Open  final and this year’s US Open final. Djokovic holds a 19-5 lead in their head-to-head records.

Looking at the match statistics, Wawrinka hit 46 winners to 51 unforced errors, while Djokovic hit 30 winners to 46 unforced errors. The Swiss was 6 for 10 on break points and the Serb was only three for 17.

“I just didn’t capitalize at all on my opportunities, said the 28-year-old Djokovic. “I had plenty of them, break points. It was a terrible conversion of the break points. Just terrible from my side.

“You know, in the matches like this, if you don’t use the opportunities, the other guy comes and takes it. And that’s what he did. That’s why I said he was more courageous, because he stepped in and played aggressive where I was kind of more waiting for things to happen.

“And that’s it.”

 

More to follow….

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Kayla Day Wins US Open Junior Girls’ Title

September 11, 2016 - Kayla Day in action against Viktoria Kuzmova in the girls' singles final during the 2016 US Open Junior Championships at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, NY.

September 11, 2016 – Kayla Day in action against Viktoria Kuzmova in the girls’ singles final during the 2016 US Open Junior Championships at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, NY.

(September 11, 2016) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Southern Californian Kayla Day celebrated two milestone achievements on Sunday.
The 16-year-old Day, the No. 5-seed from Santa Barbara, defeated the No. 13-seed Viktoria Kuzmova of Slovakia, 6-3, 6-2, on the Grandstand Court at the USTA Billie Jean King Tennis Center to capture the US Open Junior girls singles title at the year’s final major.

 

In her post-match news conference, Day was notified that on Monday she would be the new International Tennis Federation No. 1 world-ranked junior girls player.

 

“These were like the best two weeks of my life,” said Day after the match. “Every day was great. I had so much fun every single day, and it was just a great experience overall.”

 

Day showed amazing resiliency coming back from a tough three-set semifinal win in singles on Saturday, and then falling in the doubles final later that evening after holding two championship points.

 

“I think I was really able to mentally set aside what had happened last night and just move on, because I knew I had a really important match today,” Day said. “I knew I had to forget about it, and that’s what I did.”

 

She added: “I think I’m pretty good about, you know, leaving the past behind me and just focusing on being in the moment.”

 

Day, who also reached the second round of the women’s draw talked about the mental side of playing in both the junior and pro tournaments.

 

“I think mentally it was a little bit hard just because it’s such a long time being here,” she said. “I have been here for I think over three weeks.

 

“But my coach told me I needed to separate the two tournaments, like to really make sure when I come back to play juniors like I’m coming to play a new tournament.”

 

Day became only the seventh American girl to win the US Open Junior singles title since Lindsay Davenport in 1992, a span of 24 years. She is also the first American to win here since 2012 (Samantha Crawford) and joins a list of champions that includes Grand Slam women’s champions Victoria Azarenka, Davenport and Jennifer Capriati.

 

Day is the first from Santa Barbara to win a junior singles title since Tim Trigueiro did it back in 1985 winning the boys title.

 

Day talked about her schedule for the rest of the year:”I think I’m going to play a lot of pro circuit tournaments in the U.S. I haven’t decided if I’m going to play the junior tournaments at the end of the year, but definitely a lot of pro circuits to build up my ranking to be able to make the Grand Slam quallies next year.”

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Felix Auger-Aliassime Wins US Open Boys’ Crown

(September 11, 2016) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Felix Auger-Aliassime became just the fourth Canadian ever, and the youngest, to win a junior major singles title on Sunday after defeating Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic 6-3, 6-0 at the US Open. Auger-Aliassime lost in the final of the Junior French Open in the final.

Auger-Aliassime hit 22 winners in the 58-minute match.

“It’s a pretty unbelievable feeling,” said Auger-Aliassime after the match. “I know what it’s like to lose in a Grand Slam final and I’m happy I was able to get a different result this time. I’ve had the most incredible support from everyone here all week and from my family and my coach. I want to thank everyone who helped me get here.”

“I think it was one of the best performance(s) I have had,” said the winner. “And also in the final you never know what can happen. You know, you don’t always play your best level because you’re a bit nervous and there is something big to go get.

“But, yeah, I just stayed really steady. My serve, first-serve percentage, was really high today. I had a few aces, so of course it helps.

“And in the second set I think I was really going through him and putting a lot of pressure on him.”

This is the second major junior title for the Canadian as he and fellow countryman Denis Shapovalov captured the Junior US Open doubles title last year. It is also the second consecutive major singles championship won by a Canadian this season as Shapovalov won Junior Wimbledon in July. With the win, Canada becomes the only country with multiple junior major singles champions in 2016.

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Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova Rally to Win US Open Women’s Doubles Title for Third Major Together

(September 11, 2016) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Number 12 seeds Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova were a game away from losing the US Open women’s doubles final to top seeds Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic of France down 6-2, 5-4.

The American and Czech pair broke serve at love and won a second set tiebreak to propel them to a 2-6, 7-6(5), 6-4 win for the title, their first US Open crown and third career major.

“It was a little bit of a slow start, but I’ve gotta give credit to our opponents,” said the American. “They came out playing big, serving big, making all their rolls, ripping returns.

“You know, I think one of the things that we do really well is we don’t get too down no matter what the score is. We’re really positive.

“It was funny. I think Lucie had more energy than me. She was carrying me on her back and getting me pumped up.”

They are just a Wimbledon title away from completing a women’s doubles career Grand Slam. They won the Australian Open and French Open titles in 2015.

“We actually just got asked that on the court now,” Mattek-Sands said at the pair’s news conference. “They were talking about Wimbledon. I was like, We have so many tournaments before Wimbledon. I don’t even know if we can start to think about it.

“I mean, really, we’re enjoying the moment. I mean, this is a huge win. I mean, we both looked at each other and we said, We have a US Open trophy right now. I think especially being 9/11, it’s really a big thing to enjoy the people you’re with, enjoy the moment. I get a little emotional.”

The French pair let errors creep into their game in the second set making 25 unforced errors to nine for the American-Czech duo.

Mattek-Sands and Safarova broke Garcia’s serve to open the third set and held on for the win.

The pair talked about hiw they first got together as partners.

“Yeah, it was a blind date, actually,” said Mattek-Sands. “We both didn’t have partners for Australia.”
“You were coming back after injury,” said the Czech.

“I hadn’t actually played a lot of doubles,” Mattek-Sands said. “I actually didn’t have a ranking. Lucie took a chance on me.”

 

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Day 13 of the US Open – In Their Own Words

Angelique Kerber

Angelique Kerber

(September 10, 2016) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Posting player interviews throughout the day as allowed.

Note from the US Open Media Operations Guide as why Tennis Panorama News is allowed to post transcripts:

Transcripts of player interviews cannot be posted until one (1) hour after the interview has ended. Player transcripts can only be posted on the website of the publication that was accredited.

Jamie Murray

Bruno Soares

Press Conference

MURRAY-SOARES/Carreno Busta-Garcia Lopez

6-2, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Congratulations. You won a second major. Can you talk about that? And talk about how you first got together as a team.
JAMIE MURRAY: Yeah. Yeah, I started talking to — I was speaking about playing last year during — actually after this tournament kind of during the Asian swing a bit.

Yeah, then obviously we started playing this year, which worked out great, in Australia, to kind of hit it off so well so quickly.

And for us to come here again and to win a Grand Slam, you know, is an awesome feeling. I think we are both super excited about the partnership and what we can do in the biggest tournaments.

You know, keep working hard to make sure that we have success in the future, as well.

Q. Do you feel like that was one of your best performances?
JAMIE MURRAY: I think we were clinical in what we did, yeah.

I think we didn’t really let them play very much. You know, I think Bruno returned very well. When he was very aggressive on the return, you know, I could get right on top of the net and guys didn’t have anywhere to play the ball, I think.

I think we did a good job on our serves. After the first game it was big for us to get the break back straightaway, I think, and kind of settle ourselves into the match.

Yeah, I think we just did a really solid job, I think.

Q. You had treatment on your neck and you were flexing it a bit again just then. In light of what’s happening come next Saturday, how is it?
JAMIE MURRAY: Well, I think the physio said it’s probably going to be sore for a couple of days. I did it like third, fourth point in the match serving. I don’t really know quite what I did, but did something.

It’s not that comfortable now, but thankfully it didn’t really affect me playing. I imagine I’ll be absolutely fine for next week.

Q. It’s not a long-standing…
JAMIE MURRAY: No, I don’t know. I obviously did something that it didn’t like. Yeah, honestly, I don’t really know. The physio didn’t really know quite what I had done. Starts and stops of adrenaline, stepping up a bit, as well.

No, I will be fine for Davis Cup.

Q. Give me your thoughts on what it means to have that trophy in your joint possession.
BRUNO SOARES: It means a lot. Every title means a lot. I think Grand Slam is extra special. For me, New York has been amazing to me. I won the mixed here twice.

I had a very tough run in 2013 when Alex, we won the semis, but he got injured so we weren’t able to compete in the final. So for me to be able to come back here and win the whole thing is just amazing feeling. I mean, the year has been incredible, our first year as a team.

I mean, to win two slams, it’s tough to explain how good the feeling is.

Q. Jamie?
JAMIE MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, to be honest, I mean, I couldn’t ask for anything more, really. You know, I lost two Grand Slam finals last year. You know, I felt like I was ready to win. I felt good about my game, where it was at.

I felt like Bruno was a partner that could get me over the line. I think we were validated under our decision obviously to come together.

Yeah, I mean, it means so much. For us, these are the biggest tournaments and these are the ones we want to win at the start of the year.

To have two in the bag, yeah, it’s a huge achievement for us both, and we should be really proud of ourselves, I think.

Q. A pretty tough early round, but it has been obviously a two-week project winning a slam. Has this been sort of the best two weeks, the most comfortable?
JAMIE MURRAY: I mean, me personally, it’s a weird thing to say. I don’t feel like I played my best tennis these two weeks. I honestly don’t. I feel like I have been grinding a bit with my serve. I didn’t feel so comfortable on my return.

But, you know, we found a way to get through the first match. We could easily have lost the first match. We were fighting really hard in the third set.

You know, after that, we kept going one match at a time, starting to play better. I think in the semis we played a great match. In the final I think we came in with a clear game plan of what we needed to do and what was going to work well against those guys.

Yeah, we did a great job.

Q. From a strategy standpoint, both of you guys like to get to the net in traditional doubles. A lot of teams, like Spaniards, have done well staying back. What do you focus on to take out the strengths from the back of the court and bring the battle more to the front of the court like you did today? You did so well today.
BRUNO SOARES: Yeah, it’s not easy. It goes a lot with how you return. Like Jamie said, we had a clear plan in that Jamie is very fast on returning and coming in, especially with the forehand. He chips. I feel guys that serve and stay back, they are not really used to the shot, so we can really take advantage of that.

On my side, it’s a bit different. I don’t really return and come in, but I can be aggressive on the return. I mean, today I had a special day. I was hitting the ball big on the return. I almost didn’t miss a return. Then when I’m able to return like this, Jamie puts so much pressure on the guys.

So it’s what we had to do, like to not let them hit one shot from the back, being comfortable. Just getting in their head. I think we did that extremely well. If you let these guys rally and hit comfortable shots, they’re just going to kill you.

They are so consistent and so aggressive from the back. But once you get in their head, it’s where we can take advantage of them. I think we managed to do that very well today.

Q. When Andy won Wimbledon the second time he kind of said he enjoyed it much more than the first time because he could sort of see a more relaxed kind of way and the satisfaction was maybe more instant euphoria. Compare it to how you were in Australia.
JAMIE MURRAY: Well, I think it’s a different situation. For him, Wimbledon is a huge pressure. The spotlight is all on him. For me it’s not like that here at all.

I think for me it’s both equally special. I mean, I was obviously super happy to win in Australia, win a first Grand Slam, especially, you know, the previous year doing two finals back to back and losing both.

You know, here, I mean, I think like we know what it takes to do well in these events. You know, for me, the final, like I felt good. We had a great chance to win. I felt our game style was going to match up well today.

You know, as Bruno said, it did. Yeah, we’re really excited to obviously lift this trophy, albeit for a small time. (Smiling.)

Q. We all know doubles partnerships can change a lot. Would you say that this is the best-ever partnership you have had? Is it one that you would envisage staying together for a long time?
BRUNO MURRAY: I hope so. (Smiling.)

JAMIE MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, of course.

BRUNO SOARES: Can’t do much more. Keep him with me.

JAMIE MURRAY: Look, we had the best year of our career, whatever way you look at it. Neither of us had won a Grand Slam before and we come together and we have won two.

So, yeah. Of course I could never disagree with that, yeah.

Q. You beat the No. 1 partnership in the world in the semifinals. Is that a new goal? Is that a goal to become the No. 1 partnership in the world?
BRUNO SOARES: I think so, yeah. Right now, yeah. Before this tournament we were pretty far behind, even though we are No. 3. They had an amazing year. Now I think we are pretty close in the race again. It’s definitely a goal.

From the beginning of the year, No. 1 goal is to qualify to London, and we did that pretty early. I mean, officially it was before this week, but, I mean, unofficially we know we had a very good chance to be there.

Now we are in a chance to win it. I think we put ourselves in a very good spot right now. Gotta keep performing well and keep performing well in the big tournaments. We’ve got two Masters 1000 to come and then London. Big points. We’ve got to play our best there again.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about how often during a Grand Slam two weeks like this do you speak to your brother? Do you guys talk tennis at all? Just that interesting dynamic of even though you’ve got your own thing going on, keeping an eye on what he’s doing.
JAMIE MURRAY: Yeah, often we don’t spend that much time with each other because you’re on your own schedules. But we were actually next to each other in the lockers this year. I probably saw him quite a bit more than normal.

But, I mean, you know, we didn’t go to dinners. We were staying in different parts of the city. I mean, it is what it is. Everyone’s got their own schedules. You’re kind of focused on what yourself is doing.

I mean, I watched pretty much all his matches on TV either in the hotel or when I was just in the physio room getting treatment after my matches or whatever.

Yeah, I don’t really — I mean, normally I don’t tend to spend that much time.

Q. After your message to Andy on court he respond at all?
JAMIE MURRAY: Haven’t looked at my phone actually since we came off court, so see what he says. (Smiling.)

Q. Reached two Grand Slam finals. Thought you were going to get to the next step eventually. (Indiscernible) When you split up, did you feel it was a gamble at all? Was it a dilemma deciding whether to take this forward with Bruno now?
JAMIE MURRAY: Well, I think there is always — well, there is always that risk, because you never know what’s going to happen. Of course, last year I had my best year on the tour. But I decided that I wanted to — I wanted to try to play with Bruno, basically.

I felt like he was the guy that was going to help me achieve what I wanted to achieve on the doubles court. Yeah, it was still a big decision to, you know, commit to not playing with John because we had a lot of success.

Yeah, I feel like I’ve vindicated my — vindicated? Is that the right word? My decision. Yeah, sitting here four Grand Slam later and we have won two of them, so, yeah, it’s good news for me, I guess. (Smiling.)

Q. Totally lighthearted comment on court. Emerging from Andy’s shadow. He’s done well this summer. Has his status sort of driven you on a bit?
JAMIE MURRAY: I wouldn’t say necessarily this summer, but I guess over the last few years, seeing him do so well all the time. You know, wanting to have some of that success, as well. You know, I think the last kind of 18 months have started to really kind of show what I can do on the tennis court.

Yeah, I hope that it will continue. Yeah.

Q. Is it easier to play with Bruno than it is with Andy?
JAMIE MURRAY: Um, yeah. Probably, yeah. (Smiling.)

Q. Can you expand?
JAMIE MURRAY: I think we — I mean, like we talk more. I mean, they are doing similar stuff on the court, like the way — their strengths and stuff. So for me it’s not like a difficult switch to go and play with Andy. I mean, he’s a great player.

But I think, you know, we are with each other every day. We are working on our games and communicating all the time. You know, I find it easy to do that with Bruno. I mean, obviously sometimes, you know, with Andy it’s not always so easy because great players, you know, they do things the way they do.

You know, if I kind of come in and start saying, you know, I think you need to serve there or, you know, hit your return there, you know, they are not used to hearing that. That can be a bit problematic sometimes. (Laughter.)

I think for me and Bruno we are kind of on an even keel and both have the same goal. We’re both trying to do the best for each other and for the team.

Q. On the same issue, how much of it becomes a friendship and how much is a business and how much of it is achieving your goals in sport? Do you become better friends over a period of time, for instance?
JAMIE MURRAY: When you win.

BRUNO SOARES: Exactly. When you lose, you just hate each other. (Smiling.) No, we have been good friends for a long time, me and Jamie. We have been on the tour. We get along super well.

For me, it’s very important to get along off court. I can’t do this well with someone that like I don’t get along well, I just don’t like. For me it’s important.

We have had an amazing year, but we lost so many times so many tough ones and with match points. You got to be able to, you know, go to dinner with the guy after a tough loss and talk like friends. You know, have the same mentality, hard work, and enjoy the ride.

It’s a very tough one. We get special moments like this, but we have brutal moments, as well. We have to be able to share that and just take it easy, you know. Like for me, it’s impossible to do that without a friend.

Q. Talk about the experience of this tournament. Was this match the hardest one out of the duration of the tournament, or was it another standout where you thought you guys had to battle harder or were in a difficult position?
JAMIE MURRAY: Well, I think the first round for us was a really hard match. You know, for me, I don’t know what Bruno was feeling that day, but some moments I was just thinking, you know, just doesn’t seem like it’s going to be our day. Then I would kind of be walking to the net when he’s serving, and just, Come on. Find a way. Find a way.

Eventually we did. We were in the tournament after that. That was huge win and could have easily been gone in the first round and would not have had a chance to sit here.

Then obviously for us to get through — again, quarterfinals was a big match. Tough for Bruno to play Andre, best friends. You know, it’s not easy. You know, also lost to him a couple times this year already. Mentally it was not an easy match to play.

I think for us the semis was obviously a big win. To beat the French guys was huge. I think I played my best match of the tournament there, I think. Yeah, I think for us the final, you know, I think we were favorites going into the match.

I mean, I was confident going in. I really felt like we had a good game to be there. I didn’t feel so stressed about it because I knew what I was going to come up against. I quite like playing against that style of play.

But, yeah, I mean, that’s the thing. Two weeks is a lot of time. A lot of tennis gets played. A lot of tough moments. You have to find a way to get through them if you want to get to the finals and have a chance to lift the trophy.

Q. If you look at your achievements alongside Andy, I think you both, between you, have what now, six Grand Slam titles, two Olympics golds, and a Davis Cup? That’s not bad for two kids from Dunblane, is it? What’s your thought on that body of work?
JAMIE MURRAY: Yeah. I mean, look, yeah, I think we have been able to do a lot of amazing things in our lives on a tennis court. Yeah, I guess when you’re kind of living in a moment you don’t always think about all that stuff.

But, I mean, yeah, I mean, you kind of take a moment and look at — yeah, it is amazing what we have been able to do from a country of no history of tennis at all.

Yeah, it’s just — yeah, it’s quite amazing thing about it. I get quite emotional kind of talking about it. And, you know, I think, you know, my mum especially has done some amazing things, and I hope that for everything that she’s done for us and for tennis in Scotland, you know, that she’s able to get the tennis club built. You know, I think if we want to kind of leave a legacy of what we’re doing, you know, it’s the best way to do it.

I really hope that, you know, the Scottish government back her plans. You know, I guess we’ll probably find out in a few days, I think.

 

Karolina Pliskova

Press Conference

A. KERBER/K. Pliskova

6-3, 4-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Obviously the final, talk about the emotion. What are you feeling? Sadness? Are you upset with yourself for your performance?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, no. I think I did a great job. It was my first final. Still was close to winning. I mean, she has more experience to play those finals than me so probably decided in this match.

I’m so proud of myself. If someone would tell me I’m going to play finals in this tournament before two weeks I would take it. Not sadness.

Q. How nervous did you feel when you went out there? Did your nerves surprise you at all? How do you feel you dealt them?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I wasn’t nervous at all. Not even during the match. Not even in the beginning. I said already once I’m on the court I feel fine. A little bit before the match I felt nervous, but I think that’s normal.

I was enjoying the match. It was very tough for me physically. We all know she’s tough to play and she’s putting so many balls back. I was expecting very tough match.

In the end, in the third set, I was very close, but, you know, she’s just playing some good tennis this year. It’s never easy to beat her.

Q. You said you weren’t nervous on the court, but you also said that Kerber’s experience was probably better for her today. What about her experience do you think got her over the line as opposed to you?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, definitely. I don’t know if it, you know, had any influence on the win her, but definitely she played few finals of Grand Slam already. I would say she maybe felt a little bit, at least in the beginning of the match, better. I did few mistakes.

But then it was very close. I was still trying to be aggressive. You know, it’s never easy for the player who is attacking and is doing more mistakes.

For her I would say it’s, I mean, not easier. She was running a lot. But for the one who is attacking I would say in the end it’s more tough to do the points, especially if it’s close and you really have to push it really hard to make the winner in the end.

Q. Despite being left handed, what makes her serve difficult?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I didn’t play a lefty girl in this tournament so far, I think, so it’s always different to play lefty, you know. She’s always serving to the backhand. You cannot do much from it.

Then she has the whole court open. I have twin sister. She’s lefty, so it’s always tough to play against lefty girls. There is not much of them in the top 100. You always play right girls, so there is no time where you can practice against lefty. There is no time where you can have some matches against lefty girl. It’s always tough to play them.

Q. She’s had a spectacular year. What lesson could you take from that, especially when you look at what the other women have been doing? Garbiñe struggling a bit, and the others. What do you think from the way she’s been playing?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, she has totally different game than me so I will not take a lot from her, but definitely from her as a person, she’s taking all those results. It’s not easy to be, you know, on the top and still be playing tournaments. You have some kind of pressure, and Angie, she’s handling this pretty well.

I’ll just take this, you know. It’s totally different. I don’t know how I will feel in the next tournament after this. Everyone is going to talk different and everyone is going to look at you different that you have to win.

So Angie did really good job in this one. You see a few girls struggling after they did a good job. I mean, Garbine, after she win Paris she’s been playing maybe a little bit different. I’m not sure how she feels, but she’s still a good player, so I’m sure she can get up back.

Q. Did you feel that your serve, which has been so effective throughout this tournament, let you down a little bit today?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: No. I would not say it was because of my serve, because obviously it’s tough to play someone who is, you know, still every ball putting back. It’s never easy to play. I didn’t have much easy points from the serve, because she’s just playing so well and putting every ball — even if it’s like not aggressive from her side, but still she needs to put the ball back.

You have to play one more shot than normally. Compared to the other girls what I have played in this tournament, they are missing so much the returns, but she’s not. So then it’s also tough for me to serve, you know, because I don’t have any free points from the serve.

Q. And second to that, I know your sister is in China where it was 4:00 a.m. Do you know if she saw the match?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I don’t think she’s watching. She’s playing final in the morning, I think, so I think she’s sleeping. (Smiling.)

Q. Did you feel at all maybe she had a little more pressure on her because of the No. 1 ranking going into today? Obviously she just got it the other day because of Serena.
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I don’t think she felt any pressure today. So far one of the best matches what she played against me.

I think what I have played, as well. It was high-quality match. There was not that many mistakes and I really had to play every point to win a game or to win those points.

Q. Pretty concerted effort in the second set; tried to get more effort and come to the net a bit more. Is that something you knew you had to do after the first set?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, I have been playing her quite a few times and there is a lot of ways how you can beat her.

Today I had the feeling she’s not missing much from the baseline. I just had to step up into the court a little bit and to be more aggressive and closing into the net with the volleys obviously.

I think I did a good job on the net and I did so many points there. That was probably the key why I won the second set. Unfortunately in the third one I didn’t have that many chances to go there. I mean, in the last game I missed something. (Smiling.)

Q. Do you think this tournament will be the turning point for you in Grand Slams, where we’ll see you in the quarterfinals, semis, finals, more consistently? Do you think this could be the turning point moment?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Well, I cannot say now. We can talk maybe next year. (Smiling.)

After some tournaments I’ll just, you know, don’t think about any other tournaments right now. I just finish US Open. Let’s see how is it gonna be. Maybe something will change; maybe not. I just want to take all the positives from this tournament.

Q. A similar question: What do you think you can take away from an incredible performance in Cincinnati where you have won so many big matches and this incredible run?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, I beat very good players. To win in Cincinnati was — I was just so happy to get the biggest title of my career. I was thinking, Okay, now I can even lose in first or second round of US Open, but I was able to take the game from Cincinnati here, which is never easy after you win a tournament, to play the same game in other tournaments.

So I was just happy that I made it here even far. It was always my goal, like I said, to pass the third round, and I made it to the final. I’m still proud of myself. I’m not gonna think about losing, because could be other way, as well. I could be the winner today. Was about few points. I will just take positive from this tournament and still try to move forward.

Q. Congratulations on a great fortnight. Next time you’re in a slam finals, how much is this going to help? How much have you grown in the last four hours?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, I would say a lot, because you don’t have much matches like this in your career or in the whole year. So I definitely take on a positive. The next Grand Slam I’m trying — I’m going to try to play like I was playing here from the first round to the last one.

So doesn’t matter what happen. I’m just gonna take it tournament by tournament and try to play the game what I was playing last three weeks. I think I really did a good job. I improved in a lot of things, especially the game what I have been playing, not only against the players which are under me, but with the top players which are in front of me.

I think that’s the key how I can, you know, be even better than I am.

Q. Angie wasn’t giving you very many free points today. You were saying you feel the pressure as the aggressive player to end the points. Can you talk about what that’s like to be an offensive-minded player and play against a defender of her quality? What pressure is that on you?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, there is always some pressure. You have the pressure that she’s gonna ace you four times in a game. But here it’s different pressure, that you cannot miss much, but you still have to be aggressive and do winners, otherwise I cannot be the one who is running with her there.

I don’t know any other player, Simona or those girls, which are running. I cannot play really 30 times across the net. It’s gonna just kill me, and I will not in the end even win it.

I just have to go for my shots, and that’s what happen in the first set. But she was playing very good tennis in the first set, a lot of first serves, so then it’s hard to attack. She had really good depth in the shots.

I just was waiting for my chance, and I got it in the second set. I was still, you know, aggressive, even I didn’t get it in the third set. I still think I was, you know, aggressive in the third one, but did a few mistakes. That’s why I lost it obviously.

I was maybe a little bit more tired in the end of the third set. That’s also why maybe I just, you know, needed a little bit more power. (Smiling.)

Q. You were playing so well in the third set up until the last game. It seemed like it quickly got out of hand. Have you been replaying it in your mind, or is it too soon still?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: No, I would not say it was because of the last game, obviously. I could do better. We all know that the last game wasn’t great, but like I said, it’s so hard against her because she still needs to play — to push you to play one more shot.

So I just went twice to the net and was going really for the shot. So it could go the other way, as well. So I think I just did a great move to go into the net. I did so many points on the net.

So I would not change it. Just it didn’t happen, but this is the way how I have to play.

Q. Angie becomes No. 1 on Monday. What’s been the impression among the girls on tour of what she’s been able to accomplish, this season especially?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, definitely I would say now that she deserves to be No. 1 because she did so well. She has two Grand Slam titles, one final, few other titles. She’s been just playing great this year, and, you know, constant. She deserve to be No. 1.

And after years what Serena was there, I think it’s a nice change.

Q. Coming off defeating Serena, who was previously No. 1 and now Angelique, losing to her who is now current No. 1 — obviously you beat Serena, Angelique. What was the difference of those two types of players? What was that differences like and, what you found in those two?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, you cannot compare those two. The game is totally different. The persons as well. Serena is going for every shot. She’s serving pretty well. She’s just, you know, pushing you from the second serve. So it’s just totally different game. So there I have more chance to wait for, you know, her mistake.

With Angie, you cannot wait for mistakes. She doesn’t give you anything. I have to be the one who is aggressive.

It’s sometimes more difficult to be the one who is playing aggressive and going for the winners.

So that’s the difference between them.

Q. Along those lines, you just started to answer that, but you came to net, as you were talking about, 38 times in the match. You served and volleyed 10 times. Showing such courage as you did throughout the tournament. Can you describe a little bit your thought process? Any transition in your career over the recent months that’s allowed you to be so calm and courageous in this fashion?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, I wasn’t before the match really planning to go to the net so many times, but it just — you know, I had to change something because she was winning all the rallies in the first set.

I just, you know, was going after the first serve, and it always help me when I go after the serve. The serve is better than if I just stay on the baseline.

I was really going for my shots, and actually it was working. Obviously I missed few, but I win more than I missed. That’s impressive.

And, you know, we have been working on this, my game on the net, so much. Even in the doubles it improved a lot. So I’m really proud of this.

I believe like this, I can win matches like this next time.

Q. What was going through your mind as you saw Angie hold up the championship trophy?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Nothing. (Smiling.)

Q. What do you think the impact of this experience will be on you?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Like I said, I just try to take only positive, even if finish with a loss. I think – still think – it wasn’t a bad loss to lose to girl which is No. 1 in the world.

I played a good matches. Even this one was very good, high quality. So I just, you know, take it into my next tournament and into my life. It’s my biggest success so far into my career. Only positive from New York.

Q. Everything changes in life. For years we have been seeing the Williams sisters, and maybe Sharapova and Azarenka come to mind. But this year we have seen your great performance, Angie’s great performances, Garbiñe. In the locker room, is there a sense that maybe things are shifting?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I don’t feel it in the locker room, and I’m not really taking care of those things. But, yeah, there is almost every Grand Slam different winner except those two with Angie. This one could be a different winner, as well.

I mean, yeah, maybe it’s time changing and different players are coming up. Younger players are coming up, which is normal. They are always dangerous.

Great to see some other girls winning the title, not only the same person.

 

Angelique Kerber

Press Conference

A. KERBER/K. Pliskova

6-3, 4-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How would you describe the Angie Kerber who was on the tour before 2016 and the Angie Kerber who has been on the tour this year?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think a lot of things change. I mean, it’s just incredible what I did this year. I’m really so happy and so proud about everything what’s happened now about my team, about my game, and about my improvement, as well.

I think I improved a lot in a lot of ways. To being here with my second trophy, it’s just the best feeling ever.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about the ways you improved.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I was really trying to improving a lot of things. First of all, of course, my fitness and then to being more aggressive and go for it when I have the chance. Not just hitting the balls over the net. Just playing my game. Because I know that when I practicing I can be aggressive.

Just make the transfer on the match court, that was the challenge. And also, mentally to being more positive, a little bit more stronger, and just focusing on the moment I am on court.

Q. In line with that, at the end of the second set, beginning of the third, looked like you were slipping back to the negative mode. Body language wasn’t great and you were making some errors. How did you adjust and what was going on in your mind?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: That’s true. In the second set my body language was not the best. I was trying to change it in the third set, but it was not so easy because Karolina is a tough opponent. She was one break up very soon in the third set.

I just told myself, Okay, stay positive. Believe still in your game. I was thinking a little bit on the final in Australia where I was also in the third set. I believed then my game, and I did it today, as well.

So that was in my mind to stop the negative emotions and change it again in a positive way.

Q. What did work in your game today that allowed you to win a tight match like that? What do you think the difference was?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think first I really start really strong in the first set. I was trying to making her move.

In the second set there was just one break. I think I was just believing in myself in the third set and just going for it. I was not too much like hoping. I think that was the key at the end of the third set, that I was trying to take the chance when I was feeling, okay, now, I have the chance to go for it; just go for it until the end.

Q. I know the No. 1 ranking is a title. Was there any part of that that made you believe a little bit more today, and do you feel like the way you gutted this thing out it validated to some degree that ranking you just earned?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I mean, of course it’s better feeling to win now my Grand Slam and being the No. 1 player in the world on Monday.

This what’s happened in the last two weeks, it’s just incredible. Also, how I was dealing with the pressure when I came here and everybody was asking me about the No. 1 number, actually. This was what I was trying to improving with the pressure.

And also, today, I mean, it’s always tough to going in the final when I know the opponent beats me like two or three weeks ago. That was also a challenge what I told myself, Okay, I will do everything on court today to win the match against Karolina.

Q. Sports is a very concrete thing. You’re always in the moment. But I have never seen a great champion talk about dreams so much. In Australia you talked about it. You said dreams come true. Very much the same sentiments today, talking about a dream. Talk about that a little bit more. Is it just beyond belief? Does it seem a little bit unreal? How important have your dreams meant to your success?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I mean, I was always dreaming to being one day to being No. 1 and to be in the Grand Slams. I’m not 18, so I was always trying to improving my game. I knew that I have the game to beat the best players and just being patient and working really hard.

And now to see that the work pays off, this is actually the best feeling. Because I was a lot of hours on the practice courts, sweating and everything, and you are just playing for this moment to being on the center court in the final and with the amazing crowd.

So this is what I was always dreaming for. That’s why I’m talking a lot about that.

Q. Does it still feel a little bit unreal to you?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Actually, I don’t know if it’s unreal. I was feeling it in Australia that everything is really unreal. But right now I think I can also enjoy it. I’m really trying to take every single moment with me and all the positive emotions what I get now, and in the last few months.

Q. You spoke about a couple of the things that you have improved this year: your fitness and being more aggressive during matches. With the fitness, could you tell us a little bit about what specifically you might have changed or done differently this year? In terms of the aggressiveness in the match, was there a particular loss or a moment at some point maybe last season where either you or your coach said to you, Hey, you’re losing because of this, or, To take the next step you need to change your game that way?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: First of all, with the fitness I’m really trying to playing more intense when I’m practice and not playing like maybe two, three hours just like that. I just go to court to being intense and spending a lot of hours as well on gym or like just making a lot of sprints and movement.

So this is what I change, especially in the preseason.

With aggressive, I played a lot of tough matches last year like three sets and especially here, as well, against Azarenka last year. That was also one match what I remember where I really just pushed the balls and I was not going for it.

So there were a lot of matches last year where I knew that I have to be aggressive to win it. This change also in my mind. To making the transfer is not so easy, but I think I did it well. I will try to improve this, as well, in the next steps.

Q. A lot of emotion when you sat down and you buried your face in the towel. Can you talk about that a little bit? Was it more joy or more relief?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: It was everything, I think. Because all the pressure on the last few months. I mean, to win here it’s really special for me, because like I said, everything starts here for me 2011. This Grand Slam is, yeah, really, really special.

That’s why, when I sit there, when I came back from my box, it was everything. I had just positive emotions. To being there like a champion this year, to hold this trophy, it’s — I don’t know. I mean, I can’t say it in words, actually.

Q. Did you ever wonder if you didn’t have enough power or enough weapons in your game to be No. 1? Did you wonder about that and worry about it?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: No, I was always believing in myself. And like my team, as well. They are always believing in me. They are always telling me when I was also down, You are a really good player. You played tough matches against the best players in the world few years ago.

It was just the next step to beat the best players. To being consistent like I am right now, I think that was my next step after last year.

Also, when I sit down with my team and we spoke about 2016 to playing better in the majors and in the bigger tournaments and playing consistent. I’m fifth year in the top 1o, so this is what I’m doing good: being consistent but playing better in the bigger ones. This is what I changed this year. I was always believing in my weapons and about my tennis.

Q. Congratulations. Today some former No. 1 players, such as Navratilova and Arantxa Sanchez, had press conference, and they said when you are chasing for No. 1 position you don’t feel much pressure. But once you became a No. 1 you feel it, because everybody wants to beat you and everybody expects you to win. I don’t want to ruin this… (Laughter.) Talking about pressure…
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think I’m ready, yeah, to have this pressure on my shoulder, because I think I get used to all of this, especially after my first Grand Slam in Australia. I had so much pressure after the title.

And to being No. 1, of course now everybody will try to beat me and have nothing to lose. I will try to take this challenge, because it will be a little bit new situation for me. But at the end, I was always practicing and working hard to being No. 1.

Now I can also taking the next step and trying to staying as long as I can there.

Q. What did you see in that Cincinnati final, reviewing video of it? What did you change tactically?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Of course I know that Karolina is a tough opponent. She beat Serena two days ago, yesterday, and she played amazing tournament here.

So I knew she is, yeah, hitting a lot of aces during a match and I have to be ready for the very strong shots from her.

But I was trying to looking at the match yesterday as well with Torben and we watch the match a little bit. I was prepared actually for that.

I know I had to play my best tennis in the important moments. Yeah, just go for it when I have the chance. I mean, I was a little bit tired in Cincinnati, as well.

Here, I was just trying to take all my energy that I have left on this last match here.

Q. The tour is so relentless, and you’ll have a number of commitments now being the US Open champion. When do you think you’ll get a moment just to be on your own, actually absorb what you achieve?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think in the airport in the airplane. I mean, when I will sit in the airplane and have like few minutes for myself. Going back home in a few days and sitting together with my family and my friends, I think this is the moment where I can really think about everything what’s happen in the last few months, few days here, and just try to, yeah, enjoy every moment then at home.

Q. I think people in general have trouble improving their confidence. It’s really hard to do. Sounds like you’re saying the fitness element was the most important part. Like in Australia you actually felt like a stronger person and stronger body.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yes. And I felt this was one of the biggest things, when you know you can run forever on court and you’re not worried that you can play three sets. I think this is really important for your confidence that you can play like two, three hours and you can go for it.

I think I was working a lot on these things. This gives me a lot of confidence, especially also in Australia where it’s really hot. Today the conditions are actually the same: really humid. I was trying, you know, to believe in my fitness, believing in myself, actually.

I mean, I’m here in the final. So I played really good matches in the last few days. Yeah, that gives you a lot of confidence when you know you work very hard.

Q. 12 years since winning your first junior title; turning pro, another 15 years to win your first Grand Slam final and become a Grand Slam champion. Now upon becoming No. 1 in the world and achieving your dreams, what may you tell your children one day and others about what it takes to achieve dreams and persevere?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, you have to believe in your dreams. You have to go with a lot of patience. Yeah, working hard. Just have a great team around you and really love what you are doing. This is when you do everything and everything comes together one day.

I see it this year. I don’t know. I think I will show a few videos my childrens in a few years, and just, yeah, I don’t know, just tell them, you know, everybody — just believe in yourself and do what you really love.

Q. I think you’re the first female player, apart from Serena, to win two in a year. Winning two and being world No. 1 now, are you the rival to Serena that we have all been waiting for?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I don’t know. I mean, Serena, for me, is one of the best players in the world. She is a great person and a great champion.

So, I mean, what she did for the sport, it’s just incredible. For me, I’m trying to go my own way and trying to enjoy now every single moment with my second Grand Slam. It’s one of my best years, so I will just try to continue this and just trying, as well, to improving my game and my personality, as well.

Just taking the next steps in the next tournaments.

Q. You went for the forehand, big forehand down the line. Do you think last year you would have had the conviction to go for such a shot at that moment?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think this shot was the key for the third set. When I was going down the line I knew, Okay, now I have to risk a little bit, because this is the only chance I can get. I took it, so I think this was really the shot of the match from my serve.

Yeah, when I won the point I knew, Okay, I have the feeling. Now just to go for it and making the mistakes I make like a lot of times before. I was not thinking too much that this is a final. I was just trying to take the challenge, third set, it’s 3-All, and just go for it.

Q. Seeing what you did today and all year — we saw what Pliskova and what Garbiñe did in Paris. Many new faces. Are you excited? Do you think there could be a new landscape to women’s tennis?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I’m really excited because I’m seeing as well a lot of new and good players on tour. There are a lot of, yeah, players and they are working hard. They are playing great tennis.

I think, yeah, let’s see what’s happen, how they will play in the next few tournaments and the next Grand Slams. I think, yeah, it’s good to have so many good players on the tour.

Q. Have you heard from Steffi Graf at all? What inspiration has she given you recently? Lastly, what did you watch of her when you were a little girl?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I watch a lot of matches, and I remember that all the matches were very fast. This is what I remember. (Smiling.)

Yeah, I mean, I heard from her yesterday or like two days ago. She was, yeah, wishing me luck for the final. Right now I don’t know because my phone is somewhere, so I don’t know how many messages I get now.

But, yeah, she was always my idol, and I told her so many times. She’s a great champion, as well. For me it’s really important to go on my own way. And to have her like in Germany with all the things she did also for the tennis, it’s just amazing.

Q. Heard by text or phone?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Text.

Q. After you won the Australian Open, you were up and down until after the French Open. Did you ever doubt or think, Oh, my gosh; maybe I took off more than I can chew? How did you pull out of that and end up with a spectacular rest of the year?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: After Australia I had a little bit up and downs, but also because a lot of things happen and change. I think I had to take the time to get used to everything.

In Paris I had so much pressure on my shoulder. I couldn’t deal this with me. After Paris I was sitting down at home and I told myself, Okay, just go for it and just practicing hard again. You did it once in Australia. You have still two Grand Slams in front of you.

That was actually trying to enjoying the tennis on court again and not, yeah, making too many things too complicated. Just trying to relax, enjoy every moment on and off court, and get used to everything.

 

 

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