2014/04/20

Seeds Cibulkova and Hampton Overcome Inspired Opponents

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By Kevin Ware

Dominika Cibulkova [3] defeats Stephanie Voegele 7-5 7-6(5)

(July 25, 2013) STANFORD, CA – Worries about fitness and the lingering effects of an Achilles injury fell by the wayside for Dominika Cibulkova after she overcame Stephanie Voegele of Switzerland 7-5 7-6(5) in the first match of the day on stadium court.

She showed no signs of slowness or hesitation, but did sport a layer of physio tape on her lower leg. “The tape is for prevention. My Achilles will always be tough to deal with because I have this problem with the bone. That’s why my physio has to take good care of it so that I can keep playing.”

Though her leg was fine, the rust in her game was another matter. She struggled to close out the first set after leading 5-2, only doing so after breaking the Voegele serve in the eleventh game to take it at 7-5.

With the first set under her belt, Cibulkova looked poised to close out the second in more direct fashion. Voegele had other ideas, once again working her way back into the match after Cibulkova had lead 5-2.

Fittingly, the second set ended in a tiebreaker that Cibulkova won with fearless hitting from her forehand at 5-all, before serving it out on her first match point.

When asked afterward if she’d expected such a tough match from her Swiss opponent, Cibulkova was very complimentary of her Voegele’s abilities.

“I expected a really tough match because she’s playing really well at this time. I played her long time ago but remember how she’s playing close to the lines.”

“I just made it tough for myself. In the end I made it, but it could be easier for me.”

Hampton wins

Jamie Hampton [4] defeats Nicole Gibbs 7-5 6-7(5) 6-3

Fourth-seed Jamie Hampton had her hands full overcoming her own “rust”, as well as the inspired play of Nicole Gibbs; who was making her professional debut at this tournament after a stellar career at Stanford.

Rust on Hampton’s part was understandable, since this was Hampton’s first match of the tournament after receiving a first round bye as one of the top 4 seeds. “I’ve been here for a week now and I haven’t played. And I’ve never done anything like that before.”

The lack of sharpness in Hampton’s game was less of an issue, however, than the dogged determination shown by Gibbs.

Hampton might hit a harder ball than Gibbs, but Gibbs showed no sign of intimidation as she moved her opponent from side-to-side to keep the ball out of Hampton’s wheel house, and to expose any footwork weaknesses.

The first set was tightly-contested until a loose game by Gibbs at 5-all gave Hampton the crucial break, and allowed her to serve it out at 7-5.

The second set, won by Gibbs in a tiebreak, was an equally tight affair; made more so because of Hampton’s mounting unforced error total as she mixed winners and unforced errors interchangeably throughout.

After the match, Hampton was asked specifically about her serving difficulties on the day when she offered this assessment of her overall play: “To be honest, I just felt like I was struggling in general today.”

In spite of the efforts of her Stanford football team cheering section, Gibbs game began to unravel. The third set saw Hampton draw upon her experience as pro to serve bigger and hit bigger on shots that finally started to find their mark. There was little Gibbs could do than just say “too good”.

Gibbs managed a brief comeback (after falling behind 0-4) to get back on serve at 3-4. But she couldn’t sustain the momentum, and gave up one final break for 3-5. Hampton quickly closed out the match for the win.

Gibbs was remarkably upbeat after the match, and happy with the fight she showed on court. “The biggest takeaway is that I can play at this level, and that’s really exciting for me!”

Madison runs for a forehand

Other Match Notes

Daniela Hantuchova lost two straight tiebreakers to hand Urszula Radwanska a 7-6(3) 7-6(3) victory, and her second straight appearance in the Bank of the West quarterfinals. This loss is sure to stick with Hantuchova for because of the seven straight points she lost in the second set tiebreaker after leading 3-0.

Vera Dushevina beat American Madison Keys in the evening match on stadium court. Keys was unable to get any aspect of her ground game on track during the match, and was also done in by Dushevina’s strong service returns.

Keys is widely touted as one of the top prospects for future US slam success. And while it’s true that she has an immense amount of talent, she also still has a long way to go in terms of developing a more complete game to compliment her strong serve and ground strokes.

Kevin Ware is covering the Bank of the West Classic as media for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his live updates on twitter @TennisNewsTPN.  Follow his personal twitter @SFTennisFreak and site kevware.com/tennis/.

All photography by David Sweet.

BANK OF THE WEST CLASSIC
Stanford, CA, USA
July 22-28, 2013
$795,707/Premier
Hard/Outdoors

Results – Thursday, July 25, 2013
Singles – Second Round
(3) Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) d. Stefanie Voegele (SUI) 75 76(5)
(4) Jamie Hampton (USA) d. (WC) Nicole Gibbs (USA) 75 67(5) 63
(7) Urszula Radwanska (POL) d. Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) 76(3) 76(3)
(Q) Vera Dushevina (RUS) d. Madison Keys (USA) 76(0) 62

Doubles – Quarterfinals
(1) Kops-Jones/Spears (USA/USA) d. Cako/Pluskota (USA/USA) 63 62
(2) Goerges/Jurak (GER/CRO) d. Grandin/Rosolska (RSA/POL) 06 62 105 (Match TB)
Order Of Play – Friday, July 26, 2013
Stadium (from 12.00hrs)
1. Sorana Cirstea vs. Olga Govortsova
2. Urszula Radwanska vs. Dominika Cibulkova
3. Jamie Hampton vs. Vera Dushevina (NB 15.30hrs)
4. Agnieszka Radwanska vs. Varvara Lepchenko (NB 20.00hrs)
5. Hantuchova/Raymond vs. Muhammed/Will

Court 6 (NB 16.30hrs)
1. Govortsova/Kudryavtseva vs. Chan/Dushevina (after suitable rest)

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Serena Williams Survives Scare from Dominika Cibulkova

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By Amy Fetherolf

(March 25, 2013) MIAMI — For a set and half, it looked like the Sony Open was about to lose another high profile player to an upset, as World No. 14 Dominika Cibulkova cruised to a 6-2, 4-1 lead over Serena Williams. But Williams managed to find her game in time, rallying to beat Cibulkova, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2.

“Mentally I was just fried and I was just thinking about everything but tennis,” Williams said about her slow start. “Then I just had to pull myself back together. I was too stressed out and not really calm out there for really no reason.”

In the first set, Cibulkova took advantage of Williams’ shockingly lackluster serving, winning 44% of points on the Williams first serve, and 82% on the second serve. Williams hit just one ace in the set, and got broken three times.

Cibulkova kept it up into the second set, earning an early break on Williams. But suddenly, Williams loosened up and found her game, rattling off five straight games to take the second set 6-4. Once she’d forced the decider, it was mostly one-way traffic. Cibulkova broke Williams back early in the third set, but Williams broke two more times and held serve for the rest of the match.

“I was not feeling my game today, you know, but for me it’s getting through those matches when you don’t feel great and then you’re still able to come through them and survive and play for another round,” Williams said. “This particular time I just thought to myself, Well, I’ve been down worse. It’s nothing new. Just keep fighting. I never give up. Doesn’t matter whether it’s in life or on the tennis court, I keep fighting. That’s what I kept doing today.”

Williams hit 14 aces, 40 winners, 41 unforced errors in the match to Cibulkova’s two aces, 12 winners, and 19 unforced errors.

Williams will face Li Na in the quarterfinals.

Pictures from the match:

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Amy Fetherolf‏ is covering the Sony Open as media for Tennis Panorama News (@TennisNewsTPN). She is a co-founder of The Changeover. Follow her on Twitter at @AmyFetherolf.

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Radwanska Extends Streak to Eight to Move into Sydney Final

Agniezska Radwanska

(January 10, 2013) World No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska has moved into the Sydney International final, extending her 2013 winning streak to eight matches with a 6-3, 6-4 victory on Thursday over former French Open champion and No. 7  Li Na.

So is Radwanska feeling pressure to keep the streak alive? “Actually when I was going on court, of course if I win, great; if not, I mean, not that big deal because I really had a lot of matches here and in Auckland,” she said. “I’m really ready for the Australian Open. It’s always hard to say, but I think of course winning two tournaments in a row is a good thing.”

Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia  will meet Radwanska in the final on Friday. Cibulkova stunned second seed Angelique Kerber of Germany 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.

Bernard Tomic of Australia advanced to the semifinals with a 6-7 (6), 6-4, 6-2 win over Jarkko Nieminen of Finland.

“It’s really good to win a match like this. Physically I’m still pretty good. I’m getting ready for tomorrow right now,” said Tomic.

 

“This is a big chance for me to do well here. Hopefully I can keep going.”

 

APIA INTERNATIONAL SYDNEY
Sydney, Australia
Hard/Outdoors

Results – Thursday, January 10, 2013
Singles – Semifinals
(1) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. (4) Li Na (CHN) 63 64
Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) d. (2) Angelique Kerber (GER) 62 46 63

Doubles – Semifinals
(1) Errani/Vinci (ITA/ITA) d. Jurak/Marosi (CRO/HUN) 75 64
Petrova/Srebotnik (RUS/SLO) d. (2) Hlavackova/Hradecka (CZE/CZE) 64 63

RESULTS – THURSDAY, 10 JANUARY, 2013

Singles – Quarter-finals
[3] A Seppi (ITA) d [8] M Granollers (ESP) 64 75
J Benneteau (FRA) d [Q] R Harrison (USA) 64 62
K Anderson (RSA) d D Istomin (UZB) 64 63
B Tomic (AUS) d J Nieminen (FIN) 67(6) 64 62

Doubles – Quarter-finals
[4] M Mirnyi (BLR) / H Tecau (ROU) d M Bhupathi (IND) / D Nestor (CAN) 63 64
SCHEDULE – FRIDAY, 11 JANUARY, 2013

KEN ROSEWALL ARENA start 11:00 am
[4] M Mirnyi (BLR) / H Tecau (ROU) vs D Marrero (ESP) / F Verdasco (ESP) – ATP

Not Before 1:30 PM
J Benneteau (FRA) vs K Anderson (RSA) – ATP

Not Before 3:00 PM
[3] A Seppi (ITA) vs B Tomic (AUS) – ATP

Not Before 7:30 PM
[1] A Radwanska (POL) vs D Cibulkova (SVK) – WTA
[1] S Errani (ITA) / R Vinci (ITA) vs N Petrova (RUS) / K Srebotnik (SLO) – WTA

GRANDSTAND start TBA
Not before 4.00pm
[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) vs [3] M Granollers (ESP) / M Lopez (ESP) – ATP

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Top Seed Isner Falls to Harrison in Sydney

Ryan Harrison

Ryan Harrison

(January 9, 2013) Top-seeded John Isner, who has been battling a knee problem since the beginning of the season lost 6-4, 6-4 to fellow American Ryan Harrison in the second round of the Sydney International on Wednesday.

Injuries have hit the tournament hard. Sydney has suffered withdrawals of the original top seeds Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet pulled out before the tournament.  More injuries took out Giles Simon, suffering a neck injury and Radek Stepanek a back injury.

Isner withdrew from the Hopman Cup mixed-team competition in Perth last week with a right knee injury but still played Sydney.

On the ladies side, Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland moved into the semifinals with a 6-4, 7-5 win over Italy’s Roberta Vinci and Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia beat third-seeded Sara Errani of Italy 6-2, 6-1.

Radwanska has a seven-match winning streak in 2013.

“So far I feel good and I’m very happy that I can play good matches, already seven in a row,” she said. “I think this year is the first time that I played two tournaments before (the Australian Open). I never did that before. So far it’s good and I’m going to keep going.”

Australian  Bernard Tomic is into the quarterfinals with a 7-6 (4), 6-2 upset over German No.28 Florian Mayer..

 

“I’m serving really well and my groundstrokes are really good, too. I’m moving really well. There is nothing much more I can ask myself at this stage,” said Tomic.

 

“I think whereas before I got carried away; I started over-thinking. Now it’s just who I play on that day. I don’t look too much ahead now and just focus on who I have to play and play as best as I can. That’s what I’m doing.”

 

 

Fourth seed Li Na overcame in a hard-hitting quarterfinal against American qualifier Madison Keys  4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-2 to open the night session on Ken Rosewall Arena. Second seed Angelique Kerber stopped Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3, 7-5.

 

RESULTS – WEDNESDAY, 9 JANUARY, 2013

Singles – Second Round
[Q] R Harrison (USA) d [1] J Isner (USA) 64 64
[3] A Seppi (ITA) d [WC] J Millman (AUS) 62 36 63
D Istomin (UZB) d [4] F Verdasco (ESP) 63 63
B Tomic (AUS) d [5] F Mayer (GER) 76(4) 62
J Benneteau (FRA) d [6] R Stepanek (CZE) 0-0 40/15 ret. (back)
[8] M Granollers (ESP) d F Fognini (ITA) 62 76(4)
K Anderson (RSA) d F Lopez (ESP) 63 64
J Nieminen (FIN) d *[LL] I Klec (SVK) 63 61

*[LL] I Klec (SVK) replaced [2] G Simon (FRA) – neck

Doubles – Quarter-finals
[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) d J Benneteau (FRA) / M Llodra (FRA) 63 62
D Marrero (ESP) / F Verdasco (ESP) d [2] L Paes (IND) / R Stepanek (CZE) W/O (Stepanek – back)
[3] M Granollers (ESP) / M Lopez (ESP) d J Chardy (FRA) / L Kubot (POL) 36 64 13-11

Doubles – First Round
M Bhupathi (IND) / D Nestor (CAN) d [WC] M Ebden (AUS) / M Matosevic (AUS) 36 76(2) 10-8

SCHEDULE – THURSDAY, 10 JANUARY, 2013

KEN ROSEWALL ARENA start 11:00 am
M Bhupathi (IND) / D Nestor (CAN) vs [4] M Mirnyi (BLR) / H Tecau (ROU) – ATP
[Q] R Harrison (USA) vs J Benneteau (FRA) – ATP

Not Before 2:30 PM
[1] A Radwanska (POL) vs [4] N Li (CHN) or [Q] M Keys (USA) – WTA
D Cibulkova (SVK) vs [Q] S Kuznetsova (RUS) or [2] A Kerber (GER) – WTA

Not Before 7:30 PM
B Tomic (AUS) vs J Nieminen (FIN) – ATP
[8] M Granollers (ESP) vs [3] A Seppi (ITA) – ATP

GRANDSTAND start 12:00 PM

Not Before 12:00 PM
D Istomin (UZB) vs K Anderson (RSA) – ATP
[1] S Errani (ITA) / R Vinci (ITA) vs D Jurak (CRO) / K Marosi (HUN) – WTA
N Petrova (RUS) / K Srebotnik (SLO) vs [2] A Hlavackova (CZE) / L Hradecka (CZE) – WTA

 

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Cibulkova Nets Carlsbad Title

Dominika Cibulkova added a second winner’s trophy to her collection with her victory over friend Marion Bartoli 6-1, 7-5 in the final of the Mercury Insurance Open in Carlsbad, California.

 

After a straight forward first set which saw the Slovak knock multiple winners past Bartoli, with the 6-1 set ending on a Bartoli double fault.  The second set proved to be much more of a contest. Cibulkova rallied past the Frenchwoman, coming back from two breaks down at 1-4 to win six out of the last seven games to clinch the match in 95 minutes.

 

“I was enjoying the final so much,” Cibulkova commented. ”I just played my game and in the first set everything was going my way. My forehand was working today 100% and also my service return. I’m also really happy that I turned it around in the second set and I didn’t give it up and I was still fighting for the set and I won.”

Bartoli came into the match having been on court four more hours than her opponent.

“She played extremely well and made me feel uncomfortable.” Bartoli said. I really fought extremely hard on the court, and being back in another final this year obviously means a lot to me and it’s good to have some wins before heading to Montréal and Cincinnati.”

“I lost, but Dominika played a great match,” said Bartoli.

“I wish her good luck at the Olympics.”

Bartoli will not be participating in the Olympic Games due to an ongoing dispute with the French Tennis Federation.

Cibulkova will rise to 13th in the world when the rankings come out on Monday. Her career high is 12th.

Cibulkova did not drop a set in her title run.

 http://youtu.be/yNY-uzaWe-Q

Results – Sunday, July 22, 2012
Singles – Final
(2) Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) d. (1) Marion Bartoli (FRA) 61 75

Doubles – Final
(3) Kops-Jones/Spears (USA/USA) d. (2) King/Petrova (USA/RUS) 62 64

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Cirstea upsets Cibulkova at Bank of the West Classic

 

By David Sweet

STANFORD, California- Sorana Cirstea won the final 10 games, including a third-set bagel, to beat Dominika Cibulkova in their quarterfinal match at the Bank of the West Classic.

Cirstea avenged her 6-1 6-1 trouncing by Cibulkova at this year’s Barcelona tournament.

Cirstea said in her news conference that she her solid serving was the key to her win.  Cirstea talked about the long road back from a 2009 back injury that compromised her game throughout the past few years.

Cirstea will take on  Serena Williams who defeated Chanelle Scheepers.

David Sweet is covering the Bank of the West Tennis Classic at Stanford University for Tennis Panorama News July 9 -15, 2012. Follow his live updates on @tennisnewsTPN and personal twitter account @davidsweetphoto, and ‘like’ his Facebook page “David Sweet Photography.” ‘Like’  the Tennis Panorama News Facebook page.

 

 

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Paszek tops Wozniacki, Cirstea upsets Li Na at Wimbledon

Tamira Paszek

WIMBLEDON – Add seventh seed Caroline Wozniacki and 11th seed Li Na to the list of seed casualties on the Ladies’ side of the Wimbledon draw. Austria’s Tamira Paszek eliminated Dane Wozniacki 5-7, 7-6(4),  6-4  while Romania’s Sorana Cirstea defeated China’s Li 6-3, 6-4 at the All England Club on Wednesday.

“It was a good match, good tennis, but that doesn’t really help me, Wozniacki said. “I lost in the first round.

“Tomorrow no one will remember how great a match it was, they’ll just remember who won.

“You know, obviously, yeah, it’s not a nice feeling.  Those are some of the matches that it’s really great when you win them, but also really sucks when you lose.  Especially after having two match points and not taking them.  It wasn’t because I played badly.  You know, she just went for it, and that’s it.”

The last time Wozniacki lost in the first round of a major tournament was the 2007 French Open.

“I didn’t think it was a bad match today,” Wozniacki said. “You’re going through periods where you’re lucky, the luck is turning your way, you’re not playing great, but you win the matches anyway.

“You go through periods where it’s just not going your way. You just need to get through this. Hopefully, sooner than later, it will start turning my way.”

A total of  five seeded women lost on Wednesday including (5) Sam Stosur, (7) Caroline Wozniacki, (11) Li Na, (13) Dominika Cibulkova and (23) Petra Cetkovska.

Stosur Stunned by Rus at Wimbledon

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Bartoli, Cibulkova, Lisicki and Jankovic Lead Carlsbad Field

World No. 8 Marion Bartoli, World No. 10 Angelique Kerber, World No. 13 Sabine Lisicki, World No. 16 Dominika Cibulkova and former World No. 1 Jelena Jankovic lead the player field for the Mercury Insurance Open presented by Tri-City Medical Center, a Premier WTA tennis tournament which is also part of the summer’s Emirates Airline US Open Series to be held July 14 – 22, 2012 at La Costa Resort and Spa, it was announced today by Steve Simon, tournament director.

“I’m extremely excited to play the Mercury Insurance Open again,” said Bartoli. “I’ve always loved Carlsbad and I want to see the new renovations at the resort. I heard it’s even more beautiful. The fans are always great there and I look forward to another exciting tournament this year.”

Bartoli will be joined by one of the hottest players in the WTA, Angelique Kerber, who was ranked just inside the top 70 at this time last year, but a surprise run to the 2011 US Open semifinals, two titles in 2012 and a quarterfinal appearance in the French Open this past week have catapulted the German to the top 10 for the first time in her career. Fellow German Sabine Lisicki will be returning to the Mercury Insurance Open after reaching last year’s quarterfinals. At the 2011 Wimbledon Championships, Lisicki became only the second wiIdcard in the history of the event to reach the semifinals.

Cibulkova is playing exceptionally well and recently defeated world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka in straight sets to reach the French Open quarterfinals. The Slovakian captured her first WTA title at Moscow last year. In addition, former World No. 1 Jelena Jankovic, who reached the pinnacle of the sport in 2008 prior to her run to the final of the US Open will also be a strong contender for the title and will look for strong local fan support. The Serbian is building a home in the San Diego area and is looking forward to playing her “home” event.

Joining these three WTA stars are two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, world No. 29 Nadia Petrova, who is only one of six active players to have won more than 100 Grand Slam matches, and Americans Christina McHale, Sloane Stephens, Varvara Lepchenko and Vania King.

Over the course of the last year McHale has defeated then-World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki, No. 4 Petra Kvitova, Bartoli and Kuznetsova, while rising inside the top 36 of the world rankings. Last year at the Mercury Insurance Open, Stephens reached the quarterfinals, while this past weekend she reached the fourth round of the French Open, the best Grand Slam finish of her young career. Also reaching the fourth round of the French Open was Lepchenko, who will climb to a career-high ranking next week. King, a Southern California native, excels on both the singles and doubles courts winning Wimbledon and US Open doubles titles in 2010.

“We are thrilled with the depth of the Mercury Insurance Open singles draw that will include top 10 players, a former Grand Slam champion, a former World No. 1 and a contingent of rising stars,” said Simon. “It is only appropriate that in an Olympic year, we have a diverse international field who will make the quality of tennis outstanding for fans in attendance.”

In addition, the La Costa Resort and Spa has just completed more than $40 million in upgrades throughout its world class property and the event has invested in enhancements to make the tournament site even more fan friendly. Seating will be upgraded on Stadium Court, and the north end of the stadium has been redesigned to feature the Terrace Club, a premier ticketed area featuring courtside seating, a shaded patio, private dining and restrooms. Four video walls will also be added to provide spectators an easier view of scores, match updates, and Hawkeye replays, while two video walls will be added to the reconfigured and updated Tournament Village. Finally, practice courts will become more accessible for fans, and inevitably become a favorite spot at the event.

A new amateur event, the Mercury Insurance Open Mixed Doubles Challenge, has been added to the special events calendar and will offer $5,000 in prize money. The 16-team tournament, which will take place alongside the WTA main draw (July 14-22), is open to teams consisting of tennis teaching professionals with at least one partner who teaches at a tennis club or public facility in San Diego County. In addition, the Pre-Qualifying tournament, a 16 player singles draw, will be held July 7-12 and award the winner a wildcard into the Mercury Insurance Open qualifying draw (July 14-15). Both the Pre-Qualifier and Qualifying tournaments will be free admission.

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Notes and Quotes from Day 10 of the 2012 French Open

JO-WILFRIED TSONGA

 

Well, I’m disappointed.  I am disappointed.  But now it’s over.  Nothing I can do.  I can’t play the match again, so I’m eliminated.

It’s a bit of a shame because I was pretty close.  I’m not going to regret many things in that match.  I gave everything I had.  I fought as much as I could.

Unfortunately at the end I had no energy left in my legs.  That’s it.  That’s the way it is.  I’ll have to close that chapter and start practicing on grass.

I’ll try and remember this match and this loss so I have more confidence in tournaments like Wimbledon.  Because if I can hurt top players on clay, I can do worse on grass.

Well, no, I mean, the first set he was playing real well.  He was playing real fast.  He was hitting the ball very early.  I had no time to get organized.

You know what?  Tennis is a sport in which you have two players and you can feel very well and you can still be defeated 6-Love if the guy on the other side of the net plays far better than you do.  This is what happened.

He played far better than me; he was hitting very early on the rebound.  Then, you know, sometimes you’re down 6-2, 6-Love, but I decided to fight back.  There’s no shame being dominated like that.  It’s tennis.  That’s sports.

All I know is that I’m not going to give him any point for free.  Had I been defeated 6-Love, 6-3, 6-1 fighting all along, it would have revealed my level.

But I fought, and I had match points.

 

This is probably the most difficult defeat or loss in my career.  I haven’t lost that many matches after such a big fight.  If I remember well, I think I lost one, a match in which I had match points.  I can’t remember which one it was, but I think there was just one.

It’s very rare for me to have match points and not win the match, so I remember that because it was Roland Garros; it was a quarterfinal.

But then for the match points, there is I feel nothing I can feel sorry about.  There was a passing shot, I played a passing shot and he ran on the good side.

It was like in Australia when he was on the right side.  That’s it.

 

Q.  Could you say a few words in English for your fans in the UK?

JO‑WILFRIED TSONGA:  (In English.)  Now is time to have a cup of tea.  (Laughter.)

 

ROGER FEDERER

 

Asked about the difference in the beginning of the match and the end of the match:

Conditions are slow, particularly on clay.  That makes it hard for a lot of variation.  You don’t get any free points on the serve.

Anything that’s maybe short rallies and chips and down the line shots, it’s a better match for me.  He obviously like to go back into backhand and then rip the forehand once he gets the chance.

I thought it was very good conditions for him.  I knew it was going to be tough anyway.  I have still been struggling to find my rhythm.  I did feel it in the first set, even though he was up two sets two breaks.  I was finding a way back and starting to feel better.

Just trying to figure out how to play a guy who returns from so far back on a slow court.  Do you try to serve through him?  Which I tried; didn’t work.  Or do I try and move it around a bit.  And that worked a bit better, but it was really in the mix‑up that, you know, I found success.

Second set was a tough, you know, set for me to lose, but he played a really good breaker and got the better of me.  But I was happy that the first two sets took some time, because I did favor myself once the match got longer.  That’s kind of how it came.

So I’m very happy with the way I fought and started in the third set, fourth set, and even in the fifth set where obviously it was the toughest, because that was his last chance and his resistance maybe was the biggest there.

I knew it was going to be a tricky match, I knew that margins were not on my side anymore.  That’s where I just tried to keep playing tough, make him understand how far he still had to go, as well, because I had a very long way.

I was able to do all of those things, and I was very happy the way I played, you know, starting the third set.

 

Obviously I was emotional and I was, you know, sometimes upset.  Sometimes just trying to push myself on.  Push harder and try harder and move faster, all those things, because I knew it could be crucial to the match.

Thank God it wasn’t, but in the moment itself you don’t know.  So you wait and see.

 

Yeah, of course I did think of the Tommy Haas match.  Of course I thought about the five-setter I had here with Juan Martin in 2009.

Maybe I drew some inspiration off it.  But then again, completely different place, you know.  Suzanne Lenglen; it’s raining.  It’s a different situation, really.

But, you know, you just try to push further and it’s not easy, you know.  But at the same time you are happy it’s a Grand Slam, because any other tournament I would have been out of the tournament.

This way, you know, the road to victory is much longer and it’s not a sprint; it’s a marathon.  I’m happy I came through.  I feel great, you know, after the five‑setter.

So I’m obviously happy I get two days, but it’s not necessary.  Looking forward to a big semifinal.

 

On playing Novak Djokovic:

I mean, it’s helpful if you’ve won the last three, four, five, maybe.  Obviously it helps to win one like he did in Rome, I would think.

But then again, this is the best situation.  It’s the best‑of‑five.  It’s something we’re not ‑ I don’t want to say accustomed to anymore as much, because we did play many more best‑of‑five set matches, let’s say, seven to ten years ago when all of the finals or many of the tournaments like in Basel, for instance, Gstaad, Vienna.  You name it, they were all best‑of‑five set finals.  The Masters 1000, most of them, were best of‑five‑set finals.

So you used to play many more.  Now all of a sudden you can go six months and not play almost any five‑setter, and even three years, let’s say.

So it’s a different approach, and I think we’re both aware of that.  We’re looking forward to it.  Give us more time to find our range, and once we find our range, it’s going to be tough for the opponent.

 

Doesn’t matter if it’s Novak or any other player really.  You just want to be well prepared; you want to be mentally ready for a long day.

Obviously over five sets, as well, the rain or the sunshine could come and go.  You have more possibility of interruption just because you’re out there for a longer period of time.  It’s a different kind of approach.

Obviously the start to the match is important, but then again, we saw that it didn’t matter at the US Open when we played each other; it didn’t matter this time when we played; to Del Potro it didn’t matter.

So that sometimes just keeps you honest to the very, very end, and you have to play as hard as I can every single point against him and see how it goes.

Well, I’m very disappointed for Jo.  I would have loved to play him here in Paris.

It’s like in Bercy.  He missed two match points against Isner; he missed four here.  I have a feeling that the crowd would have loved to see such a match.  For him, it’s a disappointment.

As for me, it’s nothing different as from last year.  I’m playing Djokovic in the semifinal.

 

Photo From Juan Martin Del Potro Twitter Page

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO

 

No, I think anyways I play a great match, even the third and fourth set.  He start to play much better than in the beginning of the match and I feel his ball more in the baseline.  He put me to run a lot in the third and fourth set.

He made better match than me after the second set.  I don’t have any chance to win until the first game in the fifth set when I had break point.  He play well points and he take the opportunity in the fifth set and he win.

Yeah, I feel, like you say, I serve really bad in the fourth set, also.  And if I serve bad against Federer or the top guys, you don’t have too many chance to win points.

I serve bad in the fourth set, and then in the fifth set he broke me very early to take the advantage.  He was playing with more confidence the fifth set than me.

When he had the chance to close the match, he made it.

 

I don’t know now.  I would love to play Queen’s.  I supposed to play Queen’s.  I just finish and I don’t know what I’m going to do in the next hours, so I can’t tell you that.

Well, the tournament was a great tournament for me.  I’m very happy I made it to this level.  I played four Grand Slams, and I’m amongst the eight players in the world who can make it to the final on a great tournament.

So when I win sets, when I win games against big players, against those who have a better ranking than mine, there’s always something to learn.  There is positive and negative, and I have to work on the negative aspects.

 

Well, until the very last ball I thought I could win, even if I was down 5‑2 during the fifth set.  I have enough experience now and I can come back even when the match is very complicated and we’re in the fifth set.

That’s why I was never discouraged.  Well, I always think that Federer has far more experience than I have and he can win a match more quickly.  Against another player I could have won a break and I could have won perhaps, but it was Federer.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC

 

Asked about an exhibition that he’s playing in Brazil in November:

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, yes, it’s the first time now that I talk about it.  It’s confirmed.  I’m really excited because I never been in Brazil.

I heard all the best things about your country.  Of course, Guga is the biggest tennis legend there.  I would like to play with him.  It’s still not decided.  Even if I play with Thomaz will be great.

Just the experience of being in Brazil makes me very happy.

On the win and saving 4 match points:  There is really not any rational explanation or a word that can describe what you’re supposed to do when you’re match points down or when you’re losing and you’re very close to lose the match.

It’s, I guess, trying to be mentally tough and believing in your shots.  Obviously a little bit of experience that I had playing on this level for last five, six years.  I did have some matches similar to this one when I was match points down and managing to come back.

So I don’t want to be wise now and say, Okay, I know you how to play when I’m match points down.  Because as I said, there is no explanation.  I’m just going for the shots.  I’m glad I was aggressive in these moments and, you know, it paid back for me.

Well, look, this level, this level of tennis is very mental, you know, lots of emotions.  If you’re playing top player and home favorite and you have a crowd that is supporting him incredibly so, you have to face all these things.

Physically, we are all ready, we are all fit, and we are all hitting the ball well.  But it’s a matter of, you know, just couple of points here and there will decide winner.  That was the case.

I mean, if he would win he would deserve the win, no doubt.  But, you know, that’s sport.  The one that mentally, I think, pushes more maybe in some moments and obviously gets also a bit lucky and gets the win, you know, that’s how it goes.

You know, ones you win, ones you lose, but the more important thing is to try to take the best out of these matches and enjoy them, you know, because as a tennis player, this is what you live for.  This is what you practice for all these years, you know, to be part of incredible performance, incredible match encounter here in Roland Garros, you know, with the home players.

I’m really glad that I could win today.

 

So, you know, I think I felt good on the court.  Then I played one bad service game, and that’s when the momentum changed, you know.  He got crowd on his side, big support.  He started serving whenever he was in trouble.

Break balls second, third, fourth set, he always served it out, and really big, which is not something that happened for the first time.  He tends to play always his best when you know, when the pressure, he comes to the net and hits the ball.  That’s why he’s one of the top players.

Yeah, it was incredible.  I mean, at some stages, even though I thought I was returning really well and I was in the point, he just went for everything.  He was playing, in my opinion, incredibly well.

But in the end, I managed to breakthrough.

 

On Federer’s 5 set win over Del Potro:

Well, another great semifinal.  I don’t want to talk too much about Roger.  We all know his quality and can always expect him to perform his best at this stage of the tournament.

He came back from two sets down today.  We both played tough matches in last two rounds.  Now we’re going to have two days off and expect exciting semifinal.

You know, last year we were part of a great match that went the distance, and he played incredibly well.  I thought I played on a very high level.  I just hope we can have another good match for us and for the crowd to be a part of.

I think for me it’s crucial to be very focused and aggressive from the first moment, because that’s something that you can always expect Roger to have, you know, that control over the opponent from the start.  I will try to be out there believing I can win.

Now there is no really favorite for that match.  It’s semifinals, so everything is open.

 SARA ERRANI

 

A big change for me really was the racquet.  Was a big change that make me feel much better in the court.  Make me feel with more power and not too difference with other players on power and these things.

But also physically I worked very good this winter.  But I’ve worked also very good the other winters, so is not a change.  Is just work every day harder that I can and physically in tennis, so maybe the big thing is mix of everything.

I’m very happy for how I play.  I’m very happy the fight, of course.  I’m happy for that, but I used to make that every match.  I want to fight every match, every point.

So I’m happy more maybe for the tennis, because normally the other things I feel that I do the maximum every time.

But of course she’s a really strong player to beat her in a Grand Slam, in Roland Garros.  I don’t know.  Is good.

 

On Sam Stosur:  She’s amazing player, of course.  She’s very strong.  So I play against her in Rome last tournament and was tough match.  We play also another tight match.

I don’t know.  If I’m here is because I’m playing good, so I want just to think about that and think to fight and make my best.  How it goes, we will see.

 

Inspiration from Francesca Schiavone:  Yes, of course she won here.  I remember that very good.  I don’t know.  Is inspiration, but I’m not thinking about that.  I want to play.  I think about make the good things that I usually try to do and just playing, just keep going until where I can arrive.

 

DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA

 

On playing Sam Stosur:

I mean, I have to say that she played unbelievable today.

You know, her topspin and her serve, I mean, she played like a man, and it’s really hard to play against a man.  It was driving me crazy on the court today.  So it was really, really hard.  Really tough.

I mean, for me for sure, because she’s putting the ball so high.  Her kick she gets me out of the court so much so then I cannot do nothing.  So if I want to go against the serve I go here, and if I want to go back I’m like three meters behind the baseline.

It was not easy.  Today in tough moments she gave me so many good winners, so many lines, and it was just everything going her way today.

SAMANTHA STOSUR

 

Errrani surprise semifinalist:

She’s had a very good year; won some tournaments.  She’s very tough to play against.  She’s a tough competitor and makes you work for it.

You know, I think this is probably the breakthrough year for her, making quarterfinals Australian Open, and now here, French Open.  You know, she’s having a good year.  You’ve got to respect that and be aware of that.

 

On topspin and kick serve which give opponents trouble:

I don’t know, because I guess that’s the way I play.  I find it a lot easier to play that way than the way that most of the girls play.  So I think that a big part of the serving factor is when I was young, I had a coach that maybe saw the potential in me to be able to hit that kick serve.

From 10, 11, 12 years old worked on it worked on it and worked on it.  As you get older and you get stronger and get bigger it becomes more and more effective.  So I think that probably was ingrained in me probably from a young age.  At that age, who knows if you’re ever going to make it to this point?  I guess that’s just good looking ahead from the coach I had at that time.

And then the spin and all that, just kind of growing with my game and working with David really improved that the last, you know, four or five years that we’ve been together.

 

I think even the girls that you look at on tour that you don’t necessarily think they’re very big or very strong, they can hit the ball very hard.  That’s all through technique and timing of the ball.  It’s probably a bit of both.

 

Q.  This is a question from fans to you.  They’ve noticed that your results at the Australian Open weren’t as good as here in Paris.  The question is:  Would you like the Australian Open to be played in Paris?  (Laughter.)

Sure, but I do love playing in Australia.  I never want to, you know, say I don’t enjoy it or anything like that.

But I guess it’s just the way it is.  It’s a totally different surface and time of the year.  It’s always tough coming out playing, you know, straight up at the start of the year.

And being Australian there is a little bit more pressure playing there, but hopefully one day I’ll be able to handle it better.

 

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Notes and Quotes from Day 8 of the 2012 French Open

Victoria Azarenka

Pretty much everything, really.  I don’t know how to describe my performance really today.  It wasn’t satisfying at all.  It wasn’t satisfying being out there playing that way.

But I guess it happens, you know.  I don’t know even what to find positive really in my performance today.  But, well, it’s been too little time.  Maybe in a few hours I’ll find something that I can be happy with.

I’m gonna kill myself.  What am I going to do recovering?  I’m just gonna go on the practice court and practice again.

This tournament is over for me.  What’s to recover from?  It’s to really look forward and improve.  That’s it.

 

Yeah, she’s a dangerous opponent.  She had big wins before, and it was no surprise that she was going to be playing well today.

 

But right now I’m just really, really unhappy with the way I played.  And I’m gonna look for what I do wrong, you know, so make sure it doesn’t happen again.

 

I mean, the beginning of the year couldn’t have been possibly better for me.  It happened, you know.  Today I lost a match.  I’m not trying to look back, you know, what happened in January right now, what happened in February.

I need to learn from what I did today because there is still a lot more tournaments to play, and I have to be ready.

 

Well, for sure I’m going to go back home.  I haven’t been home in a while, and it’s something that I for sure need just to get rested mentally, definitely, and, you know, just to get out of the tennis field a little bit.

And once I have my passion and desire back on the court, I’ll be on the grass.

 

 

Dominika Cibulkova

 On kissing/smelling the tennis balls:

No, I’m not kissing the balls.  I really like the smell of the balls, of the new balls.  (Smiling).

I was just smelling the balls all the time.  I do the same things.  Yeah.

 

I don’t need to do it, but it’s just my habit, what I do on the court when I have new balls.  I just smell them.  It’s maybe also for the luck, and I do it all my life, so it’s just, you know, something, what I do on the court.

 

On giving credit to her former coach:

We split with Zeljko after Miami.  We split with him after that match  not after the match, but whatever.  We split after Miami, and it was maybe a little bit too much for me, you know.

I mean, I have to give him the credit.  He gave me a lot on the tennis side.  You know, he helped me change my game.  He showed me what is my weapons.

But maybe after it was a little bit too much pressure, you know.  I just I just couldn’t handle it, you know.  He was maybe too much pushing.  It was, I would say now, the best thing what could happen to me that we split with him.  And actually now I’m just more relaxed on the court, and I just don’t need to go for everything, you know.  I go what I feel, and, you know, it’s really so, so much better.

I just feel relaxed and I’m again love tennis.  You know, we love to go on the court, and I’m enjoying it on the court.  That’s what’s the most important.

I think that’s why I play much better now.

 

Kerber photo Courtesy of WTAtennis.com

Angelique Kerber

 

I think after the US Open I start to believe in me more.  And also I continue my practice and do a lot of fitness things.  So I think that’s the things to… yes.

 

Yeah, today it was a tough match.  I mean, I am not playing my best tennis, and it was not the best match I played.

But, I mean, I just try to stay in the match and try to play a little bit aggressive, but it’s not working the whole two sets.

But, yeah, I mean, I just try to play point by point, and at the end it was just two, three points what decide the match.

 

Paris is one of my favorite places.  I mean, I won here my first WTA tournament.  So I have a lot of good weeks and days here, and I hope the next week and days will continue.

 

 

I’m not thinking to win this year.  I mean, I just thinking to play round by round, and because now I know that I need to improve and play better like today to win like the quarters against Errani, because, yeah, today  like I say, I didn’t play my best, and the matches will be tougher, and we will see.

 

I don’t know why, but it’s good for Germany that we have a lot of top players right now.  After Steffi Graf, there was a long break, and now we are, I don’t know, five or six good players.

And it’s good.  I mean, we know each other and we are friends, and, yeah  yeah, we practice like from the beginning together.  But everybody goes her own way, and it’s good to see that, yeah, the girls you practice from the young age are also good and playing very well.

Svetlana Kuznetsova

On Paris run:

I mean, as I said from the start, I didn’t expect a lot.  But then I didn’t expect a lot from the tournament, but then when I started to play better and better, of course I know my possibility.  I knew of my chances.

As I said, I didn’t use them.  Yeah, again today was really tough day.  I didn’t play a good game, far away from it.

Really disappointing.  Again, it was no expectation.  I did fourth round.  It’s all right for me for the moment.  I just have to go back and just to work on my game.

It’s already starting it’s like the drawing is already getting better, but still lots of works to do still.

Yeah, I mean, first set was just horrible.  Today the weather was so bad.  I felt cold like during whole match.  For me to move was really complicated.  I could not make my feet just go and moving.  I couldn’t get myself on the roll.

Then in the second set I started to play better, the right points at the right time.  But at 5-3 I just didn’t play the right thing.  Maybe I rushed too much.

Sara, for her game, it’s the best I’ve seen her play.  Her ball is very good on clay.  I’m far away from my best form yet.

 

On the aspects of her game that she working on:

Well, on defense and passing to attack, playing more spin, forehand.  Change few things with the serve, which I’m really happy about it.

But still have to adjust some things.  You cannot just start to work with coach one week before French Open.  You cannot change really big things.  We are not looking to change big things, but still have to add little by little some changes.  And I didn’t have any time for that.  And I’ll have to adjust to the schedule, so I’ll see what it’s going to be.

 

On her new hairdo:

It’s my hair?  I don’t know.  My friend does this for me.  My coach was really pissed after second match because my  these things were falling off the way I made it and I was taking it all the time and pulling it back.  So he was really mad at me.

He said, If you don’t do something good for next match, I will give you the kitty whatever is the baby’s of his daughter’s he’ll put on my head and I will play with Hello Kitty things.

I had to make up something interesting.

 

Well, my friend offer me to do that.  I said, Okay, let’s try.  I always love the cornrows or whatever.  It’s good.

Novak Djokovic

Well, you’re always happy and relieved when you win.  So that’s what matters the most today.

All the congratulations for his tournament and performance today.  I think, you know, he was a better player for first two sets, definitely.  I was very fortunate to come through to this match.  I was fighting.  When I was two sets down, I believed I could win the match, and I think, you know, that’s the only positive I can really pick up from today’s match.

 

Well, it’s one of those days where you don’t feel just  nothing is working, you know, really.  My serve was well.  But aside that, I could not get into the rhythm, you know.  I was fighting, and I think because of the fight I won the match.

 

You know, I’m not worried.  I’m just hoping that I can wake up tomorrow knowing that I’m in a quarterfinals, and I just want to deliver my best performance in the next challenge, forget this match today, take the best out of it, you know.

I’m proud that I’ve been fighting and coming back from two sets down.  That’s all I can say now.

 

I was most worried about my game.  You know, I wasn’t really worried about the match itself.  I mean, his game, he played well.  That’s a fact.

But, I mean, I wasn’t managing to get into the rhythm.  I had my kind of flashes, you know, positive flashes where I was winning games in a row, and I felt that I actually can hit it now.

But most of the match I was defensive, and so that was it.

 

Look, you know, I think it’s just a bad day, you know, for my game, for my rhythm in general.

But, look, I won.  So I don’t need to be disappointed or, you know, think, okay, you know, I’m gonna be worried now or whatever.

I’m in the quarterfinals.  I won the match.  That’s what matters the most.  That’s something that gives me, of course, always motivation to continue on and trying to, as I said, wake up tomorrow, you know, hoping for a better day, you know.

It was just not a good day.  That’s what’s happen in sports.  You have good days; you have bad days.

It has to be much better performance from me in order to try to win against the next opponent, because both of these guys are great quality players.

Jo is a home favorite, crowd favorite.  He has big support, obviously.  I think he’s a big match player, you know.  He loves the big stage, the pressure and everything.

Stan is one of the most consistent players we have on tour in the last couple of years.  And he loves playing on clay.  He loves playing best of five and upsetting some favorites.

It’s a quarterfinals now.  There is no more clear favorites anymore.

Roger Federer

Rating David Goffin:

I thought he played really well.  Great impression.  You know, he took the ball early every time.  Don’t hit a very good shot, he can take advantage of that.

I guess for his size and, you know, he’s not the heaviest guy out there, it’s natural he’s gonna be a good mover, and his strengths lie sort of in the baseline game, right?  That’s what he showed today.  He’s got great potential in terms of his touch and the way he reads the game.  I thought it was an interesting match.

Obviously in some ways I guess it’s tough for me coming out not knowing exactly what his favorite patterns are in the game, the way he serves, when he does what.

But, no, he impressed me, and I enjoyed the match today.

Obviously the way he, you know, I think he takes a backhand early and he absorbs pace really well, as well, from the baseline.

You know, I had a very hard time getting control from the baseline.  Obviously the wind wasn’t helping, and maybe I wasn’t playing all that great early on, but that was due also to his great playing.

But what I enjoy very much about this story, about David and the way he played today, it’s nice to see someone do it at a Grand Slam again for a change again, because back in the day we were used to seeing Becker winning Wimbledon, Chang winning the French Open at very young ages, even in the women’s game.  It just doesn’t happen so often anymore.

On his first week of the French Open:

Yes, of course I’m very happy that I went through the first four rounds, because I may have thought that I was playing too different a game compared with my opponents, starting from the second round.

Physically I feel well.  I’m not tired.  I don’t have any source of pain anywhere, so that’s very positive.

And regarding my level of play, everything is fine.  Could be better.  But, again, I’m still adjusting.  Sometimes I’m not so sure.  So I may miss something, but usually I prepare for the rest of the tournament.

And I suppose it’s going to help me if, in the next round, I play somebody I’ve already played against several times.  It will be a much more straightforward sort of match.

Del Potro or Berdych, I know them, I know the way they play on their backhand, I know how they serve, I know how they return.  They have no secrets for me.

You know, sometimes you expect something, and when you’re the favorite, you end up thinking you are going to win, but you don’t exactly know how you’re going to win.  That’s probably what made things more difficult during this particular match.

I almost lost today.  It was a very tight match.  So I’m very happy that I’m still here tonight.

 

Advice to Goffin:

All in all, I think that he has many people, coaches and a full team around him, who are going to tell him what to do.

However, what matters is that he has a couple of people whom he trusts, and those are the people he needs to listen to.  He should not listen to those who are going to try to jump on the train while it’s already running.  Then he’s going to need to improve, and, you know, there’s no secret.  You work hard.  You improve.

Your talent is helpful up to a certain degree, but then it takes a bit of hard work.

You need to work on your basics, and I’m sure that that’s what he’s going to do.  And if he has any more questions, I’m available.  I’m on the tour, so he knows where to find me.

 

I’m not used to playing against an opponent who loves me or loves the way I play, loves me as a tennis player.

But, I mean, I’m aware that it had to happen someday, because it happened to me when I played against Sampras or people I admired, like Agassi.  Although it was different, because I still played a one‑hand backhand.  I missed Becker and Edberg, unfortunately, but I had a lot of fun during the very first years on the tour, so I suppose it’s going to be exactly the same for him.

 

 JACQUES DEMARTHON/AFP/GettyImages

David Goffin

Yes, it was a very nice day, very nice match.  I start very well early in the match, I was playing aggressive, and with my backhand, and, yeah, it was great.  But I give all my best during all the match.

I was a little bit tired at the end, because I play a lot of match in this tournament, but it’s okay.  No regrets.

I give all I had.

Yeah, of course, it’s the biggest match of my life, play Roger here in Roland Garros after tournaments.  It was a bonus match for me, but I took a lot of pleasure on this stadium.

I was a little bit nervous, of course, but I was feeling good.  Physically I was good at the start of the match.  So it was a great match.

 

Asked about what he will do with his big payday:

I don’t know yet, but, yeah, first I see the result and not the prize money.

But of course it’s my best prize money ever, but I don’t think about this.  First I think about the result and the moment on the court.

 

On the match:

It’s definitely the greatest moment in my life.  I had never played in such a big stadium against the best player I’ve ever had as an opponent.

This is a moment that I will not forget, and I hope I will have many more in my life.

 

Well, what is very frightening is his (Federer’s) attitude.  When he was down, I thought he’s going to show something with his face, he’s going to have a shake in his lips.  Nothing.  Poker face.  Like in every other match.  He’s very focused.

Even when he’s not playing at his best level, he continues playing and he ended up winning.  Just like anywhere else.  That’s what I find impressive.

 

About the future:

Well, of course people will expect more from me in the future.  But I’m still very young.  I’m working on the long term, and if I want to have a long career, I still have to work hard.

Of course you can’t play in the round of 16 in a Grand Slam tournament three times a year, so I’m going to work hard to go back to the same level.  It might not happen overnight, but I will give it all so that I can improve.

I still have to work a lot.  I still need to develop my play.  I’m young.  I have a long career ahead of me, so I’m going to work on the long term.

 

Thought of being sent to the Olympics to represent Belgium:

Of course.  If they ask me to go, I will go.  I will defend Belgian colors in London.

But I had not been thinking about it before I came for this tournament.  But now after this round of 16, obviously I’m on the brink of going to London.  I hadn’t really thought about it.

We’ll see after the tournament.  I still have to manage my grass season, but I will prepare for the grass season.  I really like the grass, and I will prepare and I can do some good stuff.

 

My very first match was great, and then the second match I won in five sets, and then the third match is an unbelievable result that opens the door for me for a match against Federer.  And obviously “the” match was today’s match against Federer.

That is “the” memory that I’m going to hold on to.

Sloane Stephens

 

 

So much fun to just be out there and just play, you know.  I don’t know.  Some people can’t even play tennis, so for me, it’s just like when you think about it, it’s not bad at all.

I was playing pretty well in the first set and I had my chances.  I served for the set; didn’t serve it out.

So, I mean, I was playing well, and second set made a little comeback.  Then it was a weird one, but you learn from it and, you know, take that.

I have been playing really well.  I have more confidence now and I’m kinda like coming into my own, I guess you could say.  I feel a lot better on the court, and, you know, the whole thing, the whole game is pretty much just believing in yourself.

People play well with confidence, and when you’re having fun and you’re, you know, doing the right things, everything’s all good.

So even though I lost today I played pretty well, I’d say, to play against, I guess, No. 6 seed and she’s top 10 in the world.

I thought it was okay.

 

I have had such a good time.  And even though every day I have been saying, Man, I can’t wait to get home to eat my grandpa’s curry crab, I don’t want to leave.

So it’s kind of bittersweet that I’m going home, but I had so much fun.

 

It was kind of a weird thing.  We played on a court that was  there was really no people there.  There was no crowd.  There was nothing really.

So the tennis part probably came down to experience, and I wouldn’t say that it was like, Oh, my God, she was just like overwhelmingly whatever.

But definitely things to be learned on my part.

Samantha Stosur

Yeah, for sure the start was, I guess, pretty tense, like you said.  I mean, she came out playing very well.  I felt like I was struggling to kinda get into it, like I played a good point and a couple of bad ones.

She came out playing very aggressive and kinda got me off guard, I think.  I went down that break and got a little bit mad with myself and then recomposed, and, yeah, really tough to come back from 5-3.

I think that 5‑All game was huge for both of us.  Luckily I was the one that got through and was kinda able to step it up and get on a little bit of a roll from that point.

 

No, I knew she played aggressive and the little bits and piece about her it, yeah.  Her forehand was, I thought, excellent.  She hit it very, very well.

If I didn’t hit a really good shot into that side then I was kinda getting burnt.  So I kind have had to raise just a few things and really kind of, yeah, change what I was trying to do a little bit from that point on.

 

I think she’s, yeah, got a very bright future ahead of her.

I think again at that point of maybe 5-3, 5-All, 5-4, 5-All, that inexperience probably showed through a little bit.  And then again for me to be able to run away with a string of games, I think that’s just, yeah, being young and maybe not handling it as well as you might down the track.

And, yeah, but I think like I said before, she’s got an excellent forehand and serves pretty big and moves very well.  I think, you know, as she matures and gets a little bit older that’s all going to really come together.

I think she’s, yeah, got a very good future ahead of her.

 

 

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