October 8, 2015

Davis Cup: US Takes 2-1 Lead Over Uzbekistan



(September 19, 2015) Sam Querrey and Steve Johnson, who were both making their Davis Cup doubles debuts, needed just one hour and 33 minutes to defeat Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin and Farrukh Dustov, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2, in Saturday’s doubles match. Querrey and Johnson are coming off a successful summer, reaching the men’s doubles semifinals at the US Open, while Querrey also reached the mixed doubles final at the US Open with Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Istomin and Dustov are now 8-9 in Davis Cup doubles together.


“They were sharp from the beginning and we were rock solid overall,” said US Davis Cup Captain Jim Courier. ”They put a lot of pressure on their serve, particularly Dustov’s. He had a hard time holding serve today because our guys were just returning really well and controlling play.


It has been great run for them,” Courier said of the doubles team. “They played a lot of doubles this season, but they have found their best success here recently. Today is a byproduct of the confidence they gained at the US Open. There’s no doubt about that. Winning just leads to more winning. This was a good set-up for them. There is a lot of time for them to run around and hit forehands on this surface. It was a good situation for them to make their Davis Cup debut, that’s for sure.”

The U.S. Davis Cup Team is 36-2 when leading 2-1 after Saturday. It is 27-11 in the third singles match.

Sunday’s matches are scheduled to feature each country’s top player—world No. 29 Jack Sock vs. world No. 62 Denis Istomin, followed by world No. 47 Steve Johnson vs. world No. 158 Farrukh Dustov. With the U.S. leading, 2-1, Sock could clinch the tie with a victory over Istomin in Sunday’s first singles match. In that case, if Sock wins in three sets, the dead fifth rubber between Johnson and Dustov will be played best of three sets. Should Sock win in four or five sets, the dead fifth rubber likely will not be played.


Sock and Istomin have never met on the ATP World Tour. Sock won his singles match on Friday in his Davis Cup debut, becoming the first U.S. player to win a live singles match in their debut since Robby Ginepri in 2004 against Austria. Johnson will be looking for his first Davis Cup singles win and playing in his third match for the U.S. in this tie. Johnson and Dustov have also never met on the ATP World Tour.



“Confidence is one thing, overconfidence is another,” Courier said of the matches on Sunday. “We have to win a match tomorrow one way or another. Obviously we prefer to be 2-1 then 1-2. Jack has a big match tomorrow. He has a huge match against Istomin, who I am sure took some confidence from his win yesterday and is an experienced player. Jack is going against a guy who has been in this situation quite a lot. We can’t take anything for granted. We have to come ready to play. We have to be ready for a fifth match and to go all day and get the job done one way or another.”



The winner of this tie qualifies for the 2016 Davis Cup World Group and is eligible to compete for the Davis Cup title next year. The losing nation will compete in its respective Zone Group I competition in 2016.



Jack Sock Victory Levels Davis Cup Tie Against Uzbekistan at 1-1


(September 18, 2015) Making his debut as a member of the U.S. Davis Cup team, Jack Sock, ranked 29th in the world, defeated No. 158 Farrukh Dustov, 7-5, 6-3, 6-2 to level their Davis Cup tie against Uzbekistan at 1-1 in the World Group Playoff.


Sock beat Dustov in just under two hours in Tashkent. This was Dustov’s 24th Davis Cup tie and he now holds a 10-18 singles record in Davis Cup play.


“It felt great,” Sock said in regard to leveling the tie and playing Davis Cup. “It has been a big goal of mine. To come here and represent the team has always been a dream of mine growing up, watching Roddick and Blake and all of those guys play, hearing all the great stories about it, being a practice partner. It’s an unreal experience. Anytime I can rep the USA is always a good time.”


“It actually gave me more motivation. It didn’t make me more nervous. I knew I had to buckle down and try and try and get us a win. I was able to do it, thankfully in three sets—get in and get out.”


In the opening singles rubber, another U.S. rookie Steve Johnson made his debut, but with the opposite result. Top Uzbek player, No. 62 Denis Istomin defeated Johnson 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-7(3), 7-5 in a back-and-forth match which lasted three hours and 33 minutes.


Istomin rallied for the win after first serving for the match at 6-5 in the fourth set and after Johnson also served for the match at 5-4 in the fifth set. Both players were two points from victory prior to Istomin breaking serve in the 12th game of the final set to close out the match. Johnson and Istomin had never met on the ATP World Tour prior to this tie. Istomin is now 27-10 in Davis Cup singles play.


“It was a tricky day with our two players making their debuts in singles and Jack playing impressively and Steve fighting exceptionally hard,” noted U. S. Davis Cup captain Jim Courier.


“It could have gone Uzbekistan’s way in the fourth set or it could have gone the USA’s way in the fifth,” Courier said about the Johnson-Istomin match. “There were a lot of twists and turns in that match. Credit obviously goes to Denis and his captain for sticking in there when he could have easily put the flippers on and gone away.”


Johnson said: “This one stings. I‘m not going to lie. It’s a tough lesson to learn. I left it all out there on the court….I don’t think I did anything wrong and I was lucky to get into a fifth set. It’s a tough lesson to learn but credit to him, he played well in the end. He played well at the end to break back a couple of times (in the fifth set) and sometimes you have to say ‘Too good.’”


“That’s the funny thing about tennis – an hour before I was 5-4, 30-0, he was up 6-5, 30-0. I found a way to get back. That’s tennis. It comes down to a matter of points here or there. It’s unfortunate that I was at the losing end of that.”


As the U.S. Davis Cup Team moves into the weekend, it is 25-11 when tied 1-1 after the first day of play.


Sam Querrey and Steve Johnson, both making their Davis Cup doubles debuts, are scheduled to take on Denis Istomin and Farrukh Dustov in Saturday’s doubles match. Querrey and Johnson reached the men’s doubles semifinals at the US Open this year, upsetting the world No. 1 doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan in the first round. Querrey also reached the mixed doubles final at the US Open with Bethanie Mattek-Sands this year. Querrey and Johnson played together in doubles 11 times this year, including at each of the Grand Slam events. Querrey is currently ranked No. 46 in the world in doubles, while Johnson is ranked No. 67.


Istomin and Dustov have played doubles together in Davis Cup 16 times, holding an 8-8 record, but have never played together on the ATP World Tour. Istomin is currently ranked No. 103 in the world in doubles, while Dustov is ranked No. 633. Istomin holds an 11-12 Davis Cup record in doubles, while Dustov is 8-8.


“There is no doubt we’d like to win the doubles,” Courier said. “We certainly don’t feel like if we lose the doubles we are out of it by any means. We like our guys on Sunday, as well. We know we are going to have to play some hot matches on Sunday no matter what. We will be ready to go. Our doubles guys are coming in razor sharp from New York, feeling good and hopefully Steve will wake up feeling good.”


“Sam and I have played well the last couple of weeks,“ Johnson said. “We know how we are going to play and we know how we play best. It’s going to be fun to go out there with Sam and compete. That’s why you compete in these events to try and get a win for your country.”




USA Set To Face Uzbekistan in Davis Cup World Group Playoff


(September 17, 2015) The United States will face off against Uzbekistan for the first time ever in the 2015 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Playoff. The best-of-five match series will be played on an outdoor red clay court at the Olympic Tennis School in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.


Friday’s singles play will first feature world No. 47 Steve Johnson against world No. 62 Denis Istomin. Johnson will be making his Davis Cup debut, while Istomin will be competing in his 24th Davis Cup tie (he holds a 26-10 singles record in Davis Cup competition). Johnson and Istomin have never met on the ATP World Tour.

“I’m excited,” Johnson said. “I’ve had a lot experience watching the Davis Cup a couple of times as a practice partner. Growing up as a kid, watching it on TV, I’ve always wanted to be on the team. I’m excited to go out there on Friday against Denis. He’s a great player and I’m excited to get out there and try to get a win.

“It’s something that we have to get used to,” Johnson said about playing the tie on a clay court. “I was kind of mentally unprepared to play on the clay again after the French. It’s not my game style. I’m excited to get back out there and play Denis. I’ve never played him before so it will be a fun experience to play someone new.”

“Steve is a great player, but of course Davis Cup is different than other tournaments,” Istomin said. “It will be a tough match for us. For Uzbekistan, this is a match for the history. For us, it will be a big opportunity and big chance.”

Defeating team USA will be a big ask for the Uzbeks. It would take Istomin to win all three of his rubbers for them to beat the US. “I’m ready for it,” he said. “Against, the USA, it will be really, really tough. It is a small chance for us. It will be difficult for us. I hope I have energy to play in my two singles and the doubles. It will be the most successful tie for us if we passed the USA and we go to the World Group for the first time. It will be a big for the country and the young players as well. It would be amazing.”

In the second match on Friday, world No. 29 Jack Sock and world No. 158 Farrukh Dustov will face off. Sock is also making his Davis Cup debut, while Dustov has played in 23 Davis Cup ties and holds a 10-17 singles record. Sock and Dustov have never met on the ATP World Tour, but played each other last year at the $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit Challenger on clay in Savannah, Ga., with Sock winning in three sets.

“I feel good,” Sock said about making his debut for the US Davis Cup team. “Obviously this was a big goal of mine to play Davis Cup. I love the team atmospheres. I always love representing my country any way that I can. (I’m an) All American guy from the Midwest – there’s no better feeling that putting on the red, white and blue and playing for your country. The debut here in Tashkent will hopefully be a good one for us. Hopefully I will play well and contribute to the team. I’m looking to play some good tennis. Hopefully we can get a win.”

Sock responded to questions about his health  which forced him to retire from a match at the US Open due to the heat. “That was very unfortunate,” he said. “The US Open is my favorite tournament of the year, my favorite two weeks of the year. It was never easy to go out there and playing in front of the home crowd and go out like that, especially when I was in a good position and playing well. I tried to put it behind me the best I can and I’m doing things I need to do off the court and with doctors and my team to get that situation under control. I think I will be okay here. I love the clay and I feel like if I was able to go four sets with Rafa (Nadal) in Paris, I think I can come out here and be able to put in what I need to physically out here.”

The United States Davis Cup Team will be playing in Asia for just the sixth time and holds a 5-0 record in the country. The U.S. fell to Great Britain, 3-2, in the World Group First Round in March in Glasgow, Scotland. The U.S. is 77-46 when playing on the road.


Uzbekistan has never competed in the World Group, while the U.S. is 7-1 in World Group Playoffs. Uzbekistan has reached the World Group Playoff on eight occasions, in 2009, 2012, 2014, 2015, and also between 1998 and 2001. The U.S. is 7-1 in World Group Playoffs, with its only loss coming in 1987 to West Germany.


The U.S. leads all nations with 32 Davis Cup titles and owns the longest uninterrupted run in the World Group, dating back to 1989. The U.S. holds a 214-69 all-time Davis Cup record and has a winning record against 35 of the 39 countries faced and a level record with one country. The U.S. is undefeated versus 21 countries and holds an active winning streak against 34 nations. Founded in 1900, Davis Cup is the world’s largest annual international men’s team competition with 126 nations entered in 2015.


The winner of this tie qualifies for the 2016 Davis Cup World Group and is eligible to compete for the Davis Cup title next year. The losing nation will compete in its respective Zone Group I competition in 2016.

Order of play

DAY/LOCAL MATCH TIME                  EVENT                    DETAILS/PAIRING

Friday, 10:00 a.m.                                   Singles A:                Steve Johnson (USA) vs. Denis Istomin (UZB)

                                  Singles B:                Jack Sock (USA) vs. Farrukh Dustov (UZB)

Saturday, 12:00 p.m.                               Doubles:                  Sam Querrey/Steve Johnson (USA)

                                                                  vs. Denis Istomin/Farrukh Dustov (UZB)

Sunday, 10:00 a.m.                                 Singles C:  Jack Sock (USA) vs. Denis Istomin (UZB)

                                  Singles D:                Steve Johnson (USA) vs. Farrukh Dustov (UZB)

The tie will air on Tennis Channel in the United States.

Tennis Channel to Air Davis Cup Semifinals and USA-Uzbekistan Tie


Kevin Anderson Upsets Andy Murray to Reach US Open Quarterfinals


(September 7, 2015) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Andy Murray lost for the first time before a major quarterfinal since 2010 when the third seed was toppled by 15th seed Kevin Anderson 7-6 (5), 6-3, 6-7 (2), 7-6 (0) in the fourth round of the US Open on Monday.

“Obviously something that is disappointing to lose because of that (record)” Murray said of the loss. “Obviously that’s many years’ work that’s gone into building that sort of consistency. To lose that is tough.

“Also to lose a match like that that was over four hours, tough obviously after a couple of tough matches earlier in the tournament, as well, it’s a hard one to lose, for sure.”

The 6’8” South African who his 81 winners broke a 0 for 7 string of losing in the fourth round of majors. Most recently at Wimbledon to Novak Djokovic, whom he led by two sets to none.

“Sitting here having played the match and winning it, it’s hard to describe how I’m feeling,” Anderson said in press. “I felt I played one of the best matches of my career. To do it at this stage, at this round, obviously to get through to the quarters the first time in a slam definitely means a lot to me.”

“I was playing against an excellent player,” Murray said. “He served extremely well. And I would say, you know, the service game I played at 4-1, I was up 40-Love in the second set, got broken there. Then that was really around the time when I was starting to get the momentum a bit back on my side.

“I obviously broke him straight after that, held serve, then had breakpoints the next game. You know, maybe if I’d held serve there at 40-Love, I might have been able to snatch that second set but obviously didn’t. Then fought hard through to the end.”

Anderson will face Stan Wawrinka next. The world No. 5 bested American Donald Young 6-4, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4.

“It’s going to be just a tough matchup in my next round, Anderson said. “I mean, it’s definitely not going to be any easier than it was today. As I was saying, I think Stan is a terrific player. Especially at majors he’s really stepped it up, I think one of the people you really have to watch out for.

“I’m just so pleased to get through the quarters for the first time here. Got tomorrow to prepare. Right now it’s nice to think about from today’s match. It really meant a lot to me. There’s a lot of good feelings here.”

The South African holds a 4-3 record against the Swiss.

Roger Federer straight setted the last American man in the singles draw, No. 13 John Isner 7-6 (0), 7-6 (6), 7-5. The first set tiebreaker was the first time that Isner has ever been shutout.

Federer will play world No. 12 Richard Gasquet, who defeated No. 6 Tomas Berdych 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-1.

As for his match-up against the Frenchman, Federer said: “I’m not sure if I’ve seen maybe Gasquet play as well as he has right now. I really like the way he played in Wimbledon, and also now here. I haven’t seen that much. But the match I saw that he played against Stan and Novak at Wimbledon was impressive. He had a good attitude. He was fighting. Good shot selection. I don’t know, it was nice, you know.

“Now he’s backing it up. I’m sure he gained confidence from Wimbledon. That’s why I expect it to be tougher than maybe in previous years against him or previous times. I know he can play much better at Davis Cup. I know I played very well, as well. Still I expected him to be tougher there, because I beat him in straight sets. I don’t know, he kind of went away. In Dubai, of course, he was injured. That doesn’t count. I don’t remember when I played him the last times.

“I feel like this could be one of the tougher Gasquets I’ve played in previous years, so I expect it to be difficult.”

Two of the women’s quarterfinals match-ups are set. It will be No. 2 Simona Halep against No. 20 Victoria Azarenka, and No. 5 Petra Kvitova versus No. 26 Flavia Pennetta. Halep defeated 24th seed Sabine Lisicki 6-7(6), 7-5, 6-2, fifth seed Kvitova stopped qualifier Johanna Konta 7-5, 6-3, 20th seed Azarenka topped Varvara Lepchenko (USA) 6-3, 6-4 and 26th seed Flavia Pennetta defeated 22nd seed and 2011 champion Samantha Stosur 6-4, 6-4.


In Their Own Words – Kevin Anderson, Andy Murray, Roger Federer, Donald Young and Johanna Konta



Monday, September 7, 2015

Kevin Anderson

Press Conference


7-6, 6-3, 6-7, 7-6

An interview with:


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How good did that shower feel tonight?
KEVIN ANDERSON: Yeah, you know, obviously knowing I was playing Andy in the fourth round a couple days ago, it’s sometimes tough not to wonder and think about the match, think post the match and what it will be like. Obviously sitting here having played the match and winning it, it’s hard to describe how I’m feeling. I felt I played one of the best matches of my career. To do it at this stage, at this round, obviously to get through to the quarters the first time in a slam definitely means a lot to me.

Q. Were you able to read all the texts from the University of Illinois alumni players?
KEVIN ANDERSON: I turned my phone onto flight mode before. It’s interesting. I think my phone kind of froze. I got so many. It was awesome to see all the support and actually amazing to see how many people were watching the match.

Q. To what degree does your demeanor play into your success?
KEVIN ANDERSON: I’m not sure. Especially in a match like that where I felt there was so much energy out there, you know, I was just really trying to focus on the basics as much as I could. I mean, I was feeling it a lot.

I guess I wasn’t showing a whole lot. But, you know, I was just really taking it one point at a time, taking care of my serve games. Yeah, especially I think in that instance where there is so much, you can easily sort of get caught up. I mean, I was definitely feeling it in terms of fatigue. It was a very physical match. I was trying to balance conserving energy but at the same time showing some emotion.

I felt, you know, at least I found a good balance there. Maybe I wasn’t ecstatic, all sorts of jumping up and down, but inside I definitely found a really good balance.

Q. What was your key to your dominance in the tiebreaker at the end?
KEVIN ANDERSON: Yeah, you know, at that point having lost that third-set breaker, in the fourth I was just like, you know, really focused just one point at a time. Obviously winning my first point on my serve, then going 2-Love up, hitting a really good return winner to go 3-Love up, like just let me get one of these next serve points. To get both of them, now I’m suddenly 5-Love up. I was able to swing a little bit on that next point, grinded out a good point.

I think always with breakers, it’s really just about not getting too far ahead of yourself. I mean, not many times you are going to win it 7-0. So obviously switching in at 6-0, it’s a lot more comfortable than being 5-All, 6-All, something like that.

Q. I know you have a Green Card, but how close are you to U.S. citizenship? Is there any chance you would ever play Davis Cup for the United States?
KEVIN ANDERSON: I have my Green Card. Right now I’m getting it through my marriage. There’s like a three-year time you have to have your Green Card for. But within that three years you have to spend a certain amount of days in the U.S. It’s like 50%. I’m like at 45%. I think maybe I’ll be eligible sometime next year, I think.

In terms of Davis Cup, no, I’m not going to be playing for the U.S.

Q. You haven’t had a ton of success against Andy in the past. What sort of tactical adjustments did you make coming into this match?
KEVIN ANDERSON: I think obviously quite a few things. I played him a few times. Just in this matchup, I think there’s more than just a couple tacticals for the match. It goes way back in my preparations. I’ve got a great team behind me, all the work that they do and the support, you know, from obviously my coach to my fitness trainers, my physical trainers. I’ve been working with a sports psychologist, as well. Obviously I think that’s been a big benefit for me, just being more comfortable in these big positions.

I feel like the last while I’ve put myself in that position, obviously being in the fourth round a few times but falling a little bit short. Today it feels good to take a little step and actually beat one of the best guys in the world in the fourth round of a slam, as well.

Q. How does this register at home?
KEVIN ANDERSON: It will be interesting to see. Over the last couple years, I feel like there’s been quite a bit of press following my results on the tour. Obviously there’s been a lot of Davis Cup questions regarding my participation. I’ve just always tried to point out I just feel like wins like this, at least when I was growing up, would mean a lot to see somebody from South Africa. I was looking at Wayne Ferreira. I know that the coverage has been great, so I’m pretty sure there will be quite a bit of press back home. That definitely feels good to see that. Obviously tennis is struggling a bit, so obviously the more the better.

Q. That crowd was pretty rough on you for a while there. Was there a moment you wanted to say, I’m kind of American here?
KEVIN ANDERSON: It was so much fun playing out there. It was packed from the first point right till the end. The crowd was really getting into it. Playing Andy, who is a champion here, obviously he’s always going to have so much support.

I felt I had quite a bit, as well. There were quite a few chants going on. I’ve never really been somebody who’s been affected by the crowd even if I’m not the favorite for the match, but I must say playing out there will be definitely one for the memory bank.

Q. Without going into any personal detail, how has this sports psychologist helped you?
KEVIN ANDERSON: Yeah, I mean, I think on numerous fronts. I think especially at this level, there’s such fine details. I think a lot of the physical side, obviously I’m working on that. But I felt just from the mental side, being as neutral as possible in these big matchups, somebody just to talk through, you know, sort of understands how I think and stuff has definitely been a huge benefit for me.

I definitely feel even though it’s a gradual process, I feel like I’m on the right path and making good decisions.

Q. Do you feel you’re as mentally strong as the top four guys?
KEVIN ANDERSON: Yeah, I mean, that’s my goal. That’s how I approach my tennis. Obviously I want to get to that stage. Top 10 has been a lifelong dream for me. I feel like I’m getting closer. Even top 5, I think that’s ultimately where I want to be.

So we try structure and think that way. Obviously it’s a lot of tennis and a lot of wins to get there. But I feel like over the last while I’ve definitely been on a good part and am giving myself the best opportunity to get there.

Q. The American public does not know you all that well. If there was one thing you want them to know about you, what would it be?
KEVIN ANDERSON: Oh, you know, in terms of the American public, obviously I’ve been living in the U.S. for 10 years. Obviously I’m still South African. But I have a lot of ties here. I went to college here. My wife is American. I live in the U.S. It’s one of my favorite places to play.

Even though I’m South African, I’d like people to know that it definitely means a lot what the States has actually given me over the last 10 years.

Q. What are your thoughts on facing Stan?
KEVIN ANDERSON: It’s going to be the first time at a major. Obviously I’ve played him a few times now. Had some success against him the last few times we’ve played. Very close matches. I mean, Paris last year, he served for the match. I was able to come through and get that. At Queen’s this year, I think it was two tiebreak sets, so very close. I played very good tennis.

So it’s going to be a tough match. I mean, I think especially in the last few years, he’s really put himself up there as one of the main contenders for slams. I really feel he’s playing some of his best tennis. To win two slams in the last year and a half is obviously a testament to that.

He knows what it takes. He’s been in that position. It’s my first time, but I feel like I’m hitting the ball very well. I know what to expect going into the match. It’s just about giving myself the best opportunity and obviously trying to execute as best as I can.

Q. How about contrast of styles?
KEVIN ANDERSON: I think some similarities. Both serves, I think we both have a very good serve. Obviously his backhand I think is his main shot-maker. I think he has a bit more variety than me on that. At the same time, I feel like I’m able — at least I have been in our matches — to stay with him from the back. When I’ve been aggressive, I’ve been able to keep him at bay. He’s one of the best shot makers in the game. I think I come forward a little bit more than he does. It will definitely be an interesting matchup.

Q. After you lost the third set, for a second what went through your mind? The match against Djokovic in Wimbledon?
KEVIN ANDERSON: Funny you mention that. It was definitely on my mind quite a bit there because I felt we were playing some long points. It was a long match. I mean, over four hours for four sets. I was fatiguing a little bit in the third. But I just stuck with it.

I think it was important for me going into the match, thinking back to Wimbledon, the way I played there. That’s how I wanted to play again today.

Once I was up two sets to love, I think it was important not to think about it. I was just really happy with the way I stuck the course, especially in the fourth set. I think he was really finding his way back in the match. He was getting the crowd going. I just really stuck to my guns and I think I played a great fourth set.

Q. You have a great record, 4-3, against Wawrinka. Your confidence level is raising. Since 1980, you’re going to be the first South African to reach the semifinals of the US Open. This is like pressure.
KEVIN ANDERSON: Yeah, I’m definitely not looking at it that way. It’s going to be just a tough matchup in my next round. I mean, it’s definitely not going to be any easier than it was today. As I was saying, I think Stan is a terrific player. Especially at majors he’s really stepped it up, I think one of the people you really have to watch out for.

I’m just so pleased to get through the quarters for the first time here. Got tomorrow to prepare. Right now it’s nice to think about from today’s match. It really meant a lot to me. There’s a lot of good feelings here.

Q. You said getting into the top 10 has been a dream. You are not that old, but you went to university, you started your professional career a little bit late. At any point have you ever felt you’re too old to achieve your dream or too late to reach the top 10?
KEVIN ANDERSON: Yeah, I mean, it’s obviously a very interesting question. But I think if you look — I think two things.

A, just the way I feel. My body’s holding up great. I really do as much as I can to take care of myself. Going to college and turning pro a little bit later, I always felt myself a little younger than maybe some of the other guys my age who have been on the tour a little bit longer. It takes a bit more out of you than I think it was when I was in college and not traveling as much.

Secondly, I’m looking at the guys. I mean, just watching Roger playing at 33 or 34, just moving incredible. Obviously he’s one of the best athletes of all times. Maybe tough to compare myself to him. A lot of guys, Ivo Karlovic is over 35. I definitely feel my trajectory is still going up. I’m still improving. My desire is still there. Right now I don’t think age is something to worry about.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports


Andy Murray

Andy Murray


Monday, September 7, 2015

Andy Murray

Press Conference


7-6, 6-3, 6-7, 7-6

An interview with:


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Where would you assess that went wrong for you?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I was playing against an excellent player. He served extremely well. And I would say, you know, the service game I played at 4-1, I was up 40-Love in the second set, got broken there. Then that was really around the time when I was starting to get the momentum a bit back on my side.

I obviously broke him straight after that, held serve, then had breakpoints the next game. You know, maybe if I’d held serve there at 40-Love, I might have been able to snatch that second set but obviously didn’t. Then fought hard through to the end.

Q. The kind of atmosphere playing under the lights on Armstrong, is that something that is only here in New York or do you have that someplace else?
ANDY MURRAY: Look, I played in many great atmospheres. Tonight was obviously very good, as well. You know, the match was a very long one, close. I was trying to use the energy of the crowd as much as I could to help me.

The atmosphere was very good.

Q. Did you feel you were playing at your best today or were you struggling to find your game compared to the previous tournaments?
ANDY MURRAY: It’s a tough match. That court is a lot quicker than Ashe. I felt like, you know, I was on the back foot quite a lot. Wasn’t able to play that offensively.

But, you know, when you’re playing against someone that’s playing and has the game style that he does, you’re always going to have to do, you know, a fair bit of defending, especially if he serves well.

Q. As tough as it is to lose, is there a place where you can feel good for Kevin who has been around a long time, finally in the quarters of a major?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. Obviously just now I’m more disappointed for myself. We only came off court 15, 20 minutes ago. It was obviously a big match for him. The way the match went, to come through I’m sure will be good for him in the long run.

Yeah, obviously he’s had a very good couple of weeks. The buildup here, then obviously some good wins in this event, too. It’s good for him.

Q. Different surfaces and circumstances, but how different was that Kevin Anderson to the one you beat at Queen’s?
ANDY MURRAY: I don’t think massively different. You know, obviously it’s a different surface completely. I played him in Miami earlier this year and also in Valencia last year. We played close matches there on the hard courts.

I think this is his preferred surface. And, yeah, I didn’t notice massive changes in his game.

Q. Did you sense there was a different kind of composure to him? Did you feel as if you had gotten into the fifth set he might have gotten tight?
ANDY MURRAY: From my side, like I said, the second set I felt like I was starting to put pressure on him there. When I had the breakpoint at 5-3, I had a backhand pass that I really should have made. When you’re playing against players that are at that level, like him, you need to obviously make them think and then give them a chance to get nervous.

The beginning of the fourth set, as well, I think it was his first service game, I had 15-All, hit a dropshot, midcourt forehand, then ended up winning the next couple of points.

You know, I felt like I had my opportunities there but didn’t manage to capitalize on them. When you’re playing against someone as good as him, you know, it’s tough.

Q. Can you just assess Great Britain’s chances in the Davis Cup? Also this loss earlier in the tournament than you expected may be a blessing in terms of preparation?
ANDY MURRAY: I don’t know if it will be a blessing or not. And I also don’t know what their team’s going to be. It’s quite hard for me to assess their chances until I know what team they’re going to put out and what players they’re going to select.

I haven’t seen it yet. I don’t know if it came out today yet. I don’t know who’s playing, so it’s quite tough to know.

Q. How important will the doubles be, though?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, doubles will be important. I think all of the points are. You know, you need first team to get to three. I think everyone has an opportunity to beat everyone. I don’t know if there’s one match in particular that’s more important than the others.

Q. Having played well at the other slams, how big a blow is this for you? That’s 18 quarterfinals you made up to this point in Grand Slams, consecutive.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, well, that’s obviously something that is disappointing to lose because of that. Obviously that’s many years’ work that’s gone into building that sort of consistency. To lose that is tough.

Also to lose a match like that that was over four hours, tough obviously after a couple of tough matches earlier in the tournament, as well, it’s a hard one to lose, for sure.

Q. Glasgow be the perfect pickup back home in Scotland?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I’m looking forward to the tie, yeah. But right now I’m not thinking about that.

Q. Jamie has had a good year. Look like he’s in good shape to qualify for the World Tour Finals. Will you stick around and watch his quarterfinals tomorrow?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it’s possible. I haven’t thought about what I’m going to do yet. I haven’t spent loads of time at home this year. I’ve been away for quite a long time this summer, as well. I’m not sure exactly what I’m going to do.

But I’m looking forward to getting a few days home, as well.

Q. You played a lot of tennis recently. Do you think the matches last week or the number of matches you played in recent months played any factor today in terms of fatigue?
ANDY MURRAY: I don’t think so. I felt like, you know, I was able to fight as I wanted to through to the end of the match. So I don’t think the amount of tennis I played, you know, played a part.

It was more playing against Kevin on the court of that speed, and with him serving as well as he does, it’s a tricky match. It comes down to a few points in each set. He managed to get them today.

Q. You mentioned the speed of the court, the previous match you played on Armstrong. When you find yourself scheduled on there…
ANDY MURRAY: No, I didn’t think about it today at all like that. I mean, I practiced on the court before the tournament and practiced very well on it. Obviously I had some tough losses there, some tough matches. But I’ve also had some good wins on that court, as well.

But it’s tricky. I’ve been playing on Ashe. Because of the conditions, Ashe is sheltered from the wind now, a bit slower. Armstrong is a tighter court which is very open. You get a lot of wind in there. It’s different conditions and something you need to just try and adjust to.

228 Federer smiles-001


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Roger Federer

Press Conference


7-6, 7-6, 7-5

An interview with:


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. He hadn’t been broken in over a hundred games here. He never lost a tiebreaker 7-0 before. How proud are you of that?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, no doubt I’m very pleased because I knew of the toughness of the matchup. I think it happened very quickly how tough it was going to be because we were not really getting that many chances. You could sense if John really hit his spots and I would do the same, it would be tough for either one of us to break through.

I think the first-set tiebreaker, when you win a tiebreak 7-Love, things have to go your way. You need to make some right decisions; he needs to take some bad ones. Needs to match up nicely.

Of course, I think that first set is always going to be key, especially in a serving contest. I think especially the second one was massive just because I wasn’t feeling that good going into the second-set tiebreaker like I was going into the first. I had to fight off some tough serves. I thought John was going really big then, like with some massive pace. It was just tough, you know.

I picked the right sides. I think confidence helped me to get through that one. Then the break clearly was nice. But I kind of felt it was coming. He was maybe not having as much energy anymore. But still it was nice to break and win at the same time.

Q. Taking into account what you’re saying now, when he recovered from Love-40, did you feel like you were going towards a third tiebreak?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, probably. Even though I had a Love-30 game when he was serving against the match and then another Love-30 game when I finally broke, I mean, I see it positive in the sense that I made it work. Okay, I didn’t get the break. I took a decision that game to hit more slices. It matched up maybe the wrong way at Love-40 with his serving. Then at 30-40 when I hit the chip, you know, I just gave it not enough margin because I think that would have been a tough shot for him to hit.

Credit to him for, you know, just going really big on the second serve. It’s unbelievable with how much ease he’s able to hit those big second serves time and time again. I think he only double-faulted once. He’s going on an average of 115, 120 miles an hour. It’s impressive to say the least.

Q. You made the conscious choice this summer just to play Cincinnati. Deep into the tournament, you’re into the quarterfinals, do you feel a difference in your body? Do you feel fresher? If so, how?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, honestly it’s hard to remember how I felt last year this time around. I definitely also think the Monfils match took some emotional energy out of me because, I mean, it was razor’s edge, you know. It was a fun match, don’t get me wrong. I didn’t feel tired going into the Cilic match necessarily, but maybe somewhere deep down you’re a little bit tired somewhere. You don’t know exactly how and where and what, but I had definitely played a lot.

This year that shouldn’t happen. I will tell myself it cannot happen. Even if I play five sets, it doesn’t matter. I think I’ve had a great preparation now with Cincinnati, now here playing great, not dropping sets. Clearly I feel really good about my chances in the quarters now.

Q. You finished him off in three sets like you did the previous three matches. How much does that affect the rest of the tournament considering you only have to run half the kilometers than guys like Wawrinka?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, like I explained, it could be a difference. I hope it will be. But if it’s not, then I’ll battle through tough matches. I’ve worked hard in the off-season. I gave myself that extra week to be in the gym, be on the practice courts. Thankfully it was nice and hot in Switzerland that time around. We also had around 90 degrees as I was practicing. So I feel like I could work on my game a little bit, I could rest up as well, so I come into now sort of the business end of the tournament with a good mindset and a good body.

Q. When you face somebody like John whose serve is different in part just because it’s coming at a different angle, do you do anything in practice before that match differently to prepare for that?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I don’t. I mean, no, I didn’t. You could, of course. You could have somebody serve these big serves.

I don’t know. I think I win the match through his second serves, even if he’s serving that big. I’ve seen 120 serves every single day of my life. But the 135s from that angle, no, not so much. But there you just try your best, in my opinion.

Q. Have you ever seen the ball spin back onto the opponent’s court before in a match that you played?
ROGER FEDERER: I would think I have. I’m not sure on breakpoint (smiling). But it was a nice shot. I was thinking, That was good, that was nice, John. Not so nice against me, but nice nevertheless.

Q. You were serving down Love-40 in a crucial game in the second set. In general, what is your mindset when you get into that big of a hole?
ROGER FEDERER: Not feeling great about my chances then. Seeing sort of the second set evaporate sort of thing. I’m thinking the same, like just make it difficult for him, don’t just give it to him, make him work for it. I don’t know, it sounds so cheesy, but it’s the way it is.

Try to get the first serve in. Then, of course, you miss it. I think I made them all. Then you fight back to deuce. I think I gave him another breakpoint. That’s really disappointing, to be broken that way potentially, it’s rough. If you lead 40-Love and you get broken, same thing if you fight back from Love-40, get to deuce, then get broken again. It’s pretty rough on the confidence. I’m happy I was able to get through that one. If we would have all taken our chances, it probably would have looked like two sets to one rather than three sets to love. I’m aware margins are extremely tight playing someone like John.

Q. What is it like to watch when Venus and Serena play each other, especially when the stakes are high like at a major?
ROGER FEDERER: What I’m thinking?

Q. What it’s like to watch. What goes through your mind?
ROGER FEDERER: Like I’ve seen this before, yeah. Serena’s the favorite. That’s probably what I’m seeing. I hope for a good match.

Q. Novak said last night that it’s very uncomfortable for him to watch, the idea of siblings playing against one another. What emotions or feelings do you have when you see Venus against Serena and think about a sibling rivalry on the grandest of stages?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, not easy to play, no doubt about it. I agree with Novak. I’d have a hard time playing a brother. I’m happy I don’t have a tennis brother.

Q. You talked about keeping a good mindset. Could you offer any tip or thought that you return to to deal with the mental side of the game when you’re digging deep for some of those points that are a real struggle?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I think this time of my career, I see, you know, like a dropshot when it comes back. It’s obviously just one point. Like an ace is just a point. Like a horrible error is just a point. When you lose it, you see it as, All right, this point was a great shot but it didn’t count 10.

When you win it or you lose it, I feel like I take it pretty relaxed these days. I’m obviously aware of what’s more important, which are less important, which points. The scoring system is awesome in tennis. It’s like you can switch in a heartbeat. That’s why you have to stay calm at all times, in my opinion. I feel like if I conserve energy by not fist pumping every single point, looking at the big picture, I feel like I can play better throughout.

Q. Can you recall a particular time or even a mentor where it helped drive those lessons home?
ROGER FEDERER: I think it definitely grew within me, finding myself and my right attitude on the court, what I feel comfortable with. I think once you find that peace, that place of peace and quiet, harmony, I don’t know what you want to call it, and confidence, that’s when you start playing your best.

I tried to turn the corner in 2001 in Hamburg when I lost to Scolari. I was so angry I lost that match. The attitude was wrong. So much was wrong about it. The match point was wrong. I squeezed the ball between the racquet and the court and the volley. I looked where had the volley gone, and the ball was like lying on the ground. I was looking, What the hell is going on here? He was in the back fence trying to hit pass. I couldn’t make the valley. I got so angry, I smashed the racquet. I was like, This is enough. I can’t take this attitude anymore? To me that was a changing moment in my career and my attitude.

Q. Had you not broken John’s serve there at the end, even if you had still won in straight sets, would you have left the match feeling a little disappointed not to have been able to break his serve?
ROGER FEDERER: Seriously, no. Would have put me to even have felt better, to be quite honest. To win three tiebreakers against John would have been probably a better feeling than breaking him. I don’t know if it makes sense for you, but for me it does (smiling).

Q. Do you remember such a good streak on your serve in your career? Is there anything particularly working well for holding serve?
ROGER FEDERER: I guess I got good focus. I got confidence. It’s easier probably on the faster courts to do it, to get on streaks like these. What else? I mean, I don’t know. I think I’m taking the right decisions at the right times. I mean, there’s many moments where it’s close. I think the focus is where it needs to be. Like I said, I think the racquet is helping me, easier power. Now having played with it for over one-and-a-half years, I feel like I’m really finding the zones, where to hit them. I can place it more accurately right now than I ever could. So I think that’s also part of the success.

I don’t know when is the last time I served like this. You got to check those stats, please, but not me.

Q. What do you foresee as the biggest challenge in Gasquet’s game and what will be your approach?
ROGER FEDERER: I’m not sure if I’ve seen maybe Gasquet play as well as he has right now. I really like the way he played in Wimbledon, and also now here. I haven’t seen that much. But the match I saw that he played against Stan and Novak at Wimbledon was impressive. He had a good attitude. He was fighting. Good shot selection. I don’t know, it was nice, you know.

Now he’s backing it up. I’m sure he gained confidence from Wimbledon. That’s why I expect it to be tougher than maybe in previous years against him or previous times. I know he can play much better at Davis Cup. I know I played very well, as well. Still I expected him to be tougher there, because I beat him in straight sets. I don’t know, he kind of went away. In Dubai, of course, he was injured. That doesn’t count. I don’t remember when I played him the last times.

I feel like this could be one of the tougher Gasquets I’ve played in previous years, so I expect it to be difficult.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports


Donald Young


Monday, September 7, 2015

Donald Young

Press Conference


6-4, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How do you sum up this last week or eight days? Do you feel like that’s something that was unexpected or this is a breakthrough you were waiting for?
DONALD YOUNG: A little bit of both, but more so what I was kind of waiting for or wanted to happen. I feel like I’m working hard lately, but just, you know, hadn’t come yet. It’s come in spurts.

But like I say, I’m looking to be a little bit more consistent. This was a good step in the right direction for me.

Q. How do you feel about your play today specifically?
DONALD YOUNG: It wasn’t bad. I mean, Stan is a quality opponent. I mean, 5 in the world. Most of the year he’s been 3 or 4. He’s won two slams including the French this year. He’s competed at the highest level consistently.

He’s playing well. He’s definitely a different player than I played in 2011. It was a different situation.

Q. How far away do you think you are from consistently playing at the level of someone like Wawrinka?
DONALD YOUNG: Couldn’t tell you, really. I mean, I hope not far. You know, I feel like I should be playing these matches more often, but it hasn’t happened lately.

But I would like to say, you know, the rest of this year and next year can start being somewhat consistently. To be playing at his level is going to take a little more than what I’m doing currently. He’s won a couple slams and playing consistently in the second week of slams.

That’s quality right there.

Q. You said he’s not the same guy you faced back in 2011. If you do feel differently about yourself, in what ways are you maybe not the same guy you were then? And, you know, sort of same result fourth round at the US Open but do you feel like the trajectory might be different?
DONALD YOUNG: Yeah, for sure. I think I’m a little more ready to be a little more consistent than it was then. At that point it was a shot, and, yeah, I just feel better about myself.

I feel like things are coming around. I really feel like, you know, I’m ready to do it on a consistent level and not just do it for a while or work hard for a little bit and then relax. I’m looking forward to keeping it going.

Q. Do you look at a guy like Stan who achieved great success kind of in his later 20s and think, you know, maybe that could be a model for you, as well?
DONALD YOUNG: I mean, seems to be how guys are doing it quite a bit lately. Obviously the top guys started quite young. They are doing it — he’s one of the top guys now, but definitely you gain confidence with something like that.

He’s always been like a quality player. That’s the thing. He just, as of recently, became stable, steady person in the top, like, 5, but he’s always been a top 20 or top-10 player earlier in his career, as well.

Q. With the Williams sisters preparing to meet tomorrow night, what does their rivalry, their matchups, what does all that stuff mean to you and to the sport, do you think?
DONALD YOUNG: It’s awesome any people from the same family be competing at the highest level. They played a lot of matches when they were both 1 and 2 in the world and in finals.

So that is super rare. Doesn’t happen. I don’t know if it’s ever happened before or will happen after.

It’s great. I mean, they are both extremely awesome competitors and athletes and champions, so for what they are doing and their family and everyone who is behind the scenes helping them get there, it’s awesome.

Kudos to them all.

Q. As you know, tennis can be a brutal endeavor. Your play today in Ashe, crowds behind you all week, now you turn around and go to Uzbekistan. Talk about how you’re going to tough it out and be a leader there in front of a hostile crowd.
DONALD YOUNG: I mean, this week is awesome. Uzbekistan, it’s going to be the same thing where I am playing for the U.S. and we’re going to be trying to beat Uzbekistan to get back in the World Group.

We are going to have our team of support and look to that. If it’s hostile or not, I don’t know. I know it’s not like the best place to be going, but I’m excited to be part of the team and get the call and do whatever is need.

Q. What have you learned from your previous two Davis Cup appearances?
DONALD YOUNG: Yeah, they were both totally different even though they were the same opponents. One was my first one. I wasn’t expected to play. John unfortunately couldn’t go at the last minute, so I got told a day or two before I was going to play.

I really wasn’t ready to play. I was at home. It was my first one against Andy Murray of all people. It’s not like I went out and played someone exactly my ranking or whatever.

Then to go to Scotland in Andy’s home and it was his first time playing there for a long time or whatever the situation may be in front of not a hostile crowd but a crowd that was pretty much 100% for him, it was another tough situation.

But I was able to play well in that match even though I lost. Those experiences were two totally different, but they gave me a lot of confidence and experience, for sure.

Q. Jack Sock and Stevie Johnson making their debuts with Davis Cup team. What would you say to those guys about what to expect out of a tie like this?
DONALD YOUNG: I don’t think I’m in any situation to be giving like advice to Stevie and Jack. But as far as the young guys, it’s going to be fun. As a hitting partner, those were some of the best weeks for me. When I was able to go as a hitting partner in 2007 and Winston-Salem for the quarters against Spain then for the finals against Russia.

Those memories stick with me as a junior growing up more than almost any. To be with the top American guys and be there, play cards and hear what they talk about, and, you know, what they talk about — whatever they talk about, it’s just new to you. It’s all new to you. It’s awesome.

For Stevie and Jack, I’m excited for them to play for their first time. It’s just a great honor to be chosen to play for your country.

Q. You obviously had two really big comebacks this week. I’m wondering, after a really good second set and you fall behind Love-5 in the third, was it a different process for you, given the opponent and the situation and everything, how you were going deal with that to just hang in there or whatever needed to be done?
DONALD YOUNG: Yeah, every match is different. This one the first set kind of got away. The second I was surprisingly up that much and he got quite frustrated pretty early, and I won that set pretty easily.

Then I think it was a little mental lapse early in the third and he took advantage. He stepped his game up again and started hitting pretty big. I got down 5-0, won three games, but from 5-0 it’s tough to come back in a set.

And then again he jumped on me early in the fourth and it went on from there. I have been playing a lot of tennis this week, but I was feeling good physically, to be honest. It just didn’t go my way.

Q. Was there a lot going through the head and everything or just trying to stay in the moment of each point?
DONALD YOUNG: No. You know, at this point I was just trying to stay in the moment of each point and play each point as an individual point and focus on the point in front of me. I didn’t play the best tennis of my life, but it wasn’t awful, either.

Q. It’s been a while since an American didn’t reach a Grand Slam semis. Why is that, and do you think what should be changed by the USTA?
DONALD YOUNG: I don’t know. I mean, you’ve got to look at the top four guys. They are taking everything.

You have Roger and Rafa and Novak and Andy and then you have Stan in there now, Berdych. Those guys are quality opponents. It’s not like — I mean, it’s just tough. I think the ranking and the seeding plays a big play in the draws. Because if you’re not seeded in the top, like, eight or whatever and you’re playing one of those guys in the third, fourth round, it’s tough to beat them.

I don’t think the USTA really needs to change anything. I think the next crew of young kids are great and are going to be really good.

Q. You have been mentioning Tony Dungy, and one of the things he says is, It’s all about the journey; few have had more interesting journeys in tennis. What’s been the one thing you like the most about your journey and the one thing that you like least about your journey?
DONALD YOUNG: Really the whole journey I got to learn myself quite a bit and learn what, you know, what I’m about and, you know, what I have in me, what I don’t, what I like and what I don’t like.

Just growing up and maturing quite a bit. To go from winning everything to not winning much to having some success to having no success. It’s been a lot of back and forth. Just the resilient part for me, because I could have easily stopped a while ago and done something else, gone back to school.

I have said a bunch of times I was going to do that. At the end of the day I don’t play tennis for a few days and I miss it. I love tennis. Without it I don’t know what I would do. I’m sure after I’m finished playing professionally I’m going to do something in tennis, as well.

And what I dislike the most probably was losing those 14 matches in a row from 15 to like 17.

Q. It was tough?

Q. How did you finally end up procuring sneakers today?
DONALD YOUNG: That’s a good question. (Smiling.) Actually, Asics was nice enough to bring me two pair over. My mixed doubles partner contacted them and kind of got some shoes. I wore them. I was excited to have something on my feet. (Laughter.)

Q. What happened exactly?
DONALD YOUNG: Unfortunately, I came to the locker room yesterday and I opened it up and it was clean. Like a couple shirts missing, all my shoes were gone, and apparently someone said I was out of the tournament so the guys thought I went home. They were taking some souvenirs.

Q. They stopped watching after the second set?
DONALD YOUNG: Yeah, I guess so. (Laughter.) I was still in three events, as well, so…

Q. Have they returned the stuff?
DONALD YOUNG: Yeah. I got a pair of them back. They made it back. They magically appeared back in the locker.

Q. When was the last time you played on Ashe?
DONALD YOUNG: Mixed doubles semis last year was the last time I played. Singles match was 2012 against Roger.

Q. How do you feel like it played differently with the roof structure? What about that crowd getting behind you?
DONALD YOUNG: Yeah, it was totally different. A lot more shade than I’m used — well, it would have normally been at this time of day. It kind of — whatever it is, it kind of covers up part of the court, and then certain times of day shade was on the whole court for the end of the match.

By the second set it was sunny the whole match court, which was great for me. It’s a lot more intimate. People have been saying it’s cool, like it echos, and you can almost see everybody at the top.

Before he’d just get lost up there and couldn’t see anyone. Now if you look around I feel like I can kind of see.

Q. One follow-up about the locker. What was your reaction when you were told the person thought you were out of the tournament?
DONALD YOUNG: I shook my head. Wow, I guess they weren’t watching anything.

I really don’t know what the reason was. Maybe that was an excuse or whatever the situation may be. I don’t know.

Q. The real question that I want to ask you is: How is your perspective on your future our, on your potential? Perhaps different today than it was at the beginning of this tournament?
DONALD YOUNG: Yeah, for sure. I feel like I’m playing well. I feel like if I’m playing like this and competing, I’m going to put myself in chances to win a lot of matches in almost every match I play. If I can keep doing this and build upon it, I don’t know what can happen. Hopefully it will be at least winning, and that’s what I want to do.

Q. Gladys Knight was in the crowd today. Do you notice celebrities? Does it motivate you?
DONALD YOUNG: I see everything. Looked at the Jumbotron. They put her name up and the crowd went wild. It was cool to see her out there. Just any time those type of people show up and you’re playing on the court, you kind of feel special.

Q. Being that you still have a bit of tennis still left in you, still relatively young, do you think like once this is all said and done for you, you will follow in your father’s footsteps and go into coaching tennis?
DONALD YOUNG: A bit of tennis left? I hope I have more than a bit. (Laughter.) I don’t know. I really haven’t thought about the end. I feel like I’m kind of in the middle now. I do enjoy like helping people out, so maybe one day that might be something I would like to go into.

Yeah, definitely. I enjoy helping people out and whatever I can do around tennis. I just love the sport.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports





Monday, September 7, 2015

Johanna Konta

Press Conference


7-5, 6-3

An interview with:


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. I guess it’s probably not the result you would have chosen, but were you pleased with your performance?
JOHANNA KONTA: Yeah, obviously not the result I wanted. It would have been nice to have kept my run here going.

But I played against an incredibly tough player today. She doesn’t give you much rhythm. She definitely doesn’t give you many chances to be able to take control in a point.

So it was very difficult for me out there. But I had an amazing time on Ashe, to be honest. You know, my mum actually reminded me when I was speaking to her yesterday that when we were here back like 2007 for juniors, I said, This is like the most amazing stadium. I completely forgot about that.

Yeah, I guess I had a little childhood dream come true, so that’s pretty special. Yeah, I’m just obviously looking forward to a little bit of recovery now, you know, heading over to Asia.

Q. Have you ever played anyone who hits the ball as hard as Petra?
JOHANNA KONTA: Obviously Sharapova hits it quite hard, and Muguruza hits it quite hard and Petkovic hits it quite hard. A lot of girls hit it quite hard.

I think what Kvitova does really well is she keeps very good depth on her ball, as well. That’s why it’s quite difficult to be able to take charge in a point. Yeah, she gave me very few chances to do that.

Yeah, no, good luck to her for the rest of the tournament because I thought she played quite well.

Q. What were the keys to your run? What did you do so well here?
JOHANNA KONTA: You know, I think I stayed true to how I wanted to play out there. I felt that I competed really well, just stayed calm. Really rolled with the punches. There’s a lot of things going on here. There’s a lot of emotions from a lot of players. It’s a high-pressured environment. I felt I did a reasonable job at just dealing with that.

Yeah, no, I’m just looking forward to the next time I can go out onto the match court.

Q. How proud are you that you proved at this level in a Grand Slam?
JOHANNA KONTA: Obviously I’m really happy that I got some rewards for my hard work. But the hard work’s not by all means over. You know, I’m not blown away by my performance here. I’m just satisfied that I get a little bit of candy for doing well.

Yeah, no, to be really honest, I’m just really looking forward to heading already to my next tournament. Obviously I need to take a little bit of a break now, just a couple days’ rest. But I’m looking forward to the next plane I’m on to head to Asia.

Q. How important is the next bit of candy to be the British No. 1? Very, very close.
JOHANNA KONTA: Oh, to be honest, that’s always (indiscernible) at the end. I haven’t looked at that. I don’t know. I don’t even know what Heather is ranked right now. That’s not something I actively look at.

It’s always a nice bonus to hear that from you guys. Yeah, no, it’s not my, I guess, most important goal.

Q. When you look back over the whole tournament, are you surprised at all the way you’ve handled it? Nothing seems to have fazed you in any match you played. The quality of the opposition going out on Ashe, you seem to have taken it all in your stride.
JOHANNA KONTA: I’m not surprised, to be honest. Because if I would be, I wouldn’t be thinking very highly of myself.

Like I said, I’m humble with coming up against any opponent knowing that I can beat them but they can beat me. I can lose, they can win. I’m humble in that way. But I’m an ambitious person. I do believe in my ability, and I wouldn’t be playing in this sport if I didn’t think that I could do well.

So I’m just really looking forward to getting back out on court with my coaches and my team and training and just keep enjoying the battle of just getting better every day. When things don’t go my way, keep enjoying that, as well.

Q. Your run here will put you into the top 60. You won’t have to qualify for Australia. How much of a relief is that to go straight into the main draw?
JOHANNA KONTA: Obviously it’s another bit of candy. Yeah, no, I was anticipating — I wasn’t anticipating anything really, to be honest. My coach was actually saying, Oh, it’s a nice bonus to be able to go to Australia next year and go into the main draw.

But, yeah, you know, things keep going. I don’t want to stop here. It’s not something that I sit back now, and, Oh, that’s nice. Like I keep saying, I’m an ambitious person, so I’m just looking forward to keep working hard and keep trying my best every time I step out onto the court.

Q. In the first set you had three breakpoints. You lost both your serves on double-faults. Can you call it a little bit of a case of stage fright? Were you nervous in those pivotal moments of the match?
JOHANNA KONTA: I wouldn’t call it stage fright. I think if it were stage fright we would have seen it at the beginning of the match. I actually settled quite quickly and enjoyed being out there. It sounds silly to say it was a great court to play on, because that’s just so obvious. But it really was. It was a great court to play on.

I think she played really well when she was breakpoints down. Obviously, you know, I’m not that happy with how I double-faulted the two times I was breakpoint down. But in all fairness, whether it was a conscious thing or not, she puts pressure on my serves, on any servers. She looks to step in. She really does take some swings at the ball. A lot of them do go in. That’s why she is top five.

Maybe I consciously, subconsciously felt that. But honestly I felt I was trying to serve the same and just trying to do my best out there.

Q. Who was here watching you tonight? There were some kids in your box.
JOHANNA KONTA: To be honest, I don’t know. I put my agent in charge of all the tickets. It was at her discretion who was getting them. I pretty much just only look at my coach if I’m looking at anyone. Obviously I’m aware that my boyfriend and my agent were next to him. Otherwise, I don’t actually know. I didn’t even look there.

Q. What will your program be the next few weeks?
JOHANNA KONTA: I’ll be going home. Dad will be cooking, yeah. A few days’ rest. Some training. Then I’ll probably be heading to Wuhan and Beijing.

Q. You’ve been getting a lot of questions about your win streaks and all that. Sorry. How does that feel? Is there part of you to be somewhat relieved?
JOHANNA KONTA: I’m dead honest when I said you were the ones updating me on that. I wasn’t really counting myself. Actually, I’m okay. Like I said, it was not going to go on forever. So, you know, everyone loses sometimes. There will be many more matches that I’ll lose and hopefully many more that I’ll win. Hopefully I’ll have another streak someday.

To be honest, I’m really happy I’m leaving this tournament after so many matches and coming in here healthy. My body’s in a good state. That’s not always the case when you’ve played so many matches. I’m taking the positives from that, and really, if I wasn’t a bit kind of sleepy tired, I’d be looking forward to getting on the court when I got home.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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Note from the US Open Media Operations Guide as to 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.

Steve Johnson, Sam Querrey, Jack Sock and Donald Young Named to USA Davis Cup Squad


WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., September 7, 2015 – The USTA and United States Davis Cup Captain Jim Courier today announced that world No. 28 Jack Sock, world No. 38 Sam Querrey, world No. 47 Steve Johnson, and world No. 68 Donald Young will represent the U.S. in the 2015 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Playoff against Uzbekistan. The best-of-five match series will be played on an outdoor red clay court at the Olympic Tennis School in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Sept.18-20.


The United States has never faced Uzbekistan in Davis Cup competition. The U.S. fell to Great Britain, 3-2, in the World Group First Round in March in Glasgow, Scotland. The U.S. holds a 214-69 overall record in Davis Cup play and 77-46 when playing on the road. The winner of this tie qualifies for the 2016 Davis Cup World Group and is eligible to compete for the Davis Cup title next year. The losing nation will compete in its respective Zone Group I competition in 2016.


Play begins at 10:00 a.m. local time (1:00 a.m.) on Friday, Sept. 18, and Sunday, Sept. 20. Play will begin at 12:00 p.m. local time (3:00 a.m.) on Saturday, Sept. 19. Friday will include two singles matches featuring each country’s No. 1 player against the other country’s No. 2 player. Saturday’s schedule features the pivotal doubles match. And the final day of play on Sunday features the two “reverse singles” matches, when the No. 1 players square off followed by the No. 2 players meeting each other in the final match. All matches are best-of-five sets until one nation clinches the tie. A revised schedule for Sunday may take place if a team clinches in the third or fourth match. Tennis Channel will provide live daily coverage.


Sock, 22, is ranked a career-high No. 28 and is making his Davis Cup debut. Sockwon his first career ATP singles title this year at the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championships in Houston, defeating Querrey in the final. He then reached the fourth round at the French Open and the semifinals of the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport, R.I. Also this year, Sock reached the fourth round in Indian Wells and the third round in Miami. Sock has also thrived in doubles, winning the 2014 Wimbledon doubles title and the 2015 Indian Wells crown with Vasek Pospisil and peaking at a career-high No. 6 in the individual doubles rankings this May; he also reached the doubles quarterfinals of the French Open this year. In 2011, Sock won the US Open mixed doubles title with fellow American Melanie Oudin. As a standout junior player, Sock won the 2010 US Open boys’ singles title (defeating Denis Kudla in an All-American final) and qualified for the main draw of the US Open in 2010 and 2011 by winning the USTA Boys’ 18s National Championships.


Querrey, 27, is ranked No. 38 and will be competing in his ninth Davis Cup tie. Last year, Querrey played in both the Davis Cup first round in San Diego against Great Britain, as well as the World Group playoff in Chicago against Slovakia. He holds a 6-8 singles record in Davis Cup and made his Davis Cup debut against then-world No. 1 Rafael Nadal on clay in Madrid in the 2008 World Group semifinal, losing in four sets. Querrey holds seven career ATP singles titles and has been ranked as high as No. 17 in the world. He reached two ATP finals this year—the grass-court event in Nottingham, where he faced Istomin in the final, and the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship in Houston.


Johnson, 25, is ranked No. 47 and also making his Davis Cup debut. Johnson peaked at a career-high No. 37 in the world last November after competing in all four Grand Slam events in 2014 and reaching the quarterfinals or better at five ATP events. This year, Johnson advanced to the third round of the Australian Open and French Open, losing to eventual champion Stan Wawrinka, and reached two ATP semifinals (Washington D.C. and Winston-Salem, N.C.). Johnson turned pro in 2012 after completing an outstanding college tennis career at the University of Southern California, winning the 2011 and 2012 NCAA singles championships and leading the Trojans to team titles all four years he played for the school. Johnson has had an impressive professional debut following USC. He reached the third round of the 2012 US Open, becoming the first reigning NCAA champion to advance to the third round of the men’s singles since Sargis Sargisian in 1995.


Young, 26, is ranked No. 68 and will be making his third appearance for the U.S. Davis Cup team after competing in this year’s first round against Great Britain in Glasgow. Young advanced to the final of the ATP event in Delray Beach, Fla., this year—his second ATP singles final (2011 Bangkok). Also this year, Young reached the singles semifinals and doubles final of the ATP event in Memphis and the third round in Indian Wells. Young broke into the Top 40 in February 2012 and qualified for the 2012 U.S. Olympic team.In 2011, he reached the fourth round at the US Open, upsetting two Top 30 players en route. And last year, he reached the third round at both the Australian Open and French Open. Young was a standout junior player, winning the 2005 Australian Open and 2007 Wimbledon boys’ singles titles. And at age 16 years, 5 months, he became the youngest-ever year-end world junior No. 1 in 2005.


Additionally, U.S. Captain Jim Courier announced the practice partners for the U.S. Davis Cup team—top juniors Taylor Fritz and Michael Mmoh. Fritz, 17, was the No. 1-ranked junior in the world this summer (the first U.S. boy since Young in 2005). He reached the French Open boys’ final this year and the boys’ semifinals at Wimbledon. Fritz was also the 2015 USTA Boys’ 18s national doubles champion (with Reilly Opelka), earning a doubles wild card into this year’s US Open. Mmoh, 17, was a 2015 French Open boys’ semifinalist and ranked No. 3 in the ITF World Junior rankings this summer. Last year, he was a Junior Davis Cup champion.


Founded in 1900, Davis Cup by BNP Paribas is the World Cup of Tennis. It is the largest annual international team competition in sport, with 126 nations entered in 2015. The U.S. leads all nations with 32 Davis Cup titles. The U.S. holds a 214-69 all-time Davis Cup record and owns the longest uninterrupted run in the World Group, dating back to 1989. For more information, including access to player and historical Davis Cup records, please go to www.usta.com/daviscup or www.daviscup.com. Follow the U.S. Davis Cup team on Twitter @USDavisCupTeam. Wilson is the official ball of the U.S. Davis Cup team.


In Their Own Words – Donald Young, Roger Federer, Philipp Kohlscheiber, Victoria Azarenka and Andy Murray


Donald Young

Donald Young



Saturday, September 5, 2015

Donald Young

Press Conference

D. YOUNG/V. Troicki

4-6, 0-6, 7-6, 6-2, 6-4

An interview with:


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You mentioned on court you’ve been working more and more on your conditioning, which has shown in the last three matches. When you say you’re working more, is it more hours, better quality?
DONALD YOUNG: I think it’s a combination of both. But it’s just actually going a little harder. I mean, doing it consistently, not just for a period of time and then stopping for a while. I can kind of tail off and go away.

It’s just keeping it up and kind of topping off every once in a while when I’m home. It’s just doing it on a more consistent basis, I would say.

Q. How do you feel physically after what you went through? How much gas do you have left in the tank?
DONALD YOUNG: Yeah, no, right now obviously I’m slightly tired. But I have a day off, just mixed doubles tomorrow. Hopped in the ice bath. The legs are feeling pretty good already. I’m looking forward to going out there and battling again. I’m sure it’s going to be a battle. Every match is going to be one. I’m happy to be able to push forward. This is what you put the hours in the gym for.

Q. Emotionally? Some unbelievable tennis you’re playing out there.
DONALD YOUNG: No, I’m feeling great. Honestly I’m choosing not to look at the phone much. It’s vibrating in my pocket as we talk. I’m trying to keep focused, stay with the people that are around, that have been here the whole time, not get too caught up in everything else.

At the end we can all talk about it, talk to my friends. Right now it’s business, work to do. I’m looking forward to it.

Q. Giving the Grandstand a final send-off before they rip it down.
DONALD YOUNG: That’s what it turned out to be. I was kind of disappointed I was out there at first. I was pretty upset the first two sets.

Things turned around. The crowd was awesome. They made the court feel like home, like 17 to me. Those fans honestly are the reason I was able to win. If that match would have probably been somewhere else, we probably wouldn’t be sitting here talking.

Q. You’re not afraid to express your emotions out there. Do you feel like that helps you get better?
DONALD YOUNG: I don’t know. I’m trying to work on being a little more even-keeled. But me not showing any emotion is not the best for me. I’ve tried that. It kind of bottles up, and then at some point explodes. So to let it out every once in a while and not in too-harsh or crazy ways, it’s been something that I’ve been working on. I’ve been working on the mental part as well. It’s definitely improving. It’s not where I want it to be, but it’s on the way, on the track I want it to be on.

Q. Do you have to do anything going forward with your back?
DONALD YOUNG: No. Every once in a while it needs a little adjusting. It kind of like shifts a little bit. But nothing that can’t be fixed and nothing I haven’t been on top of before.

Yeah, I think I’ll be fine.

Q. You weren’t just down two sets. You were coming off of a second set where you got bageled and you had 13 points in the whole six games. What are you telling yourself before the third set starts?
DONALD YOUNG: Honestly, those two sets were over. I just kind of had to keep feeling. I felt like I was in the first set. Even though I lost 6-0, I had game points in the games. I felt like I still had more to give. The body allowing me to go ahead, a lot more to give. I was going to give it. If that was enough, I would win. If it wasn’t, I would be satisfied with going out there and competing my butt off.

Q. For people that haven’t heard your name in a couple years, what do you feel you’ve shown about Donald Young in this tournament so far?
DONALD YOUNG: Improvement. Resilience. I’ve kind of been beat up. I’ve beat up myself. I’ve kind of been down. I’ve had good times, bad times. Just some resilience and fighting. Hopefully it’s not over and there’s more to come.

Q. Earlier in the season before you got the Davis Cup call, you talked about how you were feeling like you were peaking. Do you still feel like that?
DONALD YOUNG: Yeah, I still have a while to go. Look at the guys that are doing well. They’re like 33. I’m 26. I feel kind of good, even though I’ve been playing quite a while.

Definitely feeling good about myself. I’m finally feeling like really good overall about everything. I’m still not where I want to be, like I said. But it’s definitely an improvement. I’m feeling quite good.

Q. As a black man, how did it feel to be out there during the match, after the match, to hear the USA chant?
DONALD YOUNG: First of all, as an American, it felt good, not just as a black guy.

To your question, it’s awesome to see the fans, multicultural, all different walks of life out there cheering for you, chanting the U.S. and the wave. You feel great to be an American. I love playing here. I love hearing my name called.

Again, to be a black guy is great. I appreciate everything and all the fans that come out to support me. But it definitely was a group effort out there today of everyone. I appreciate it and I hope they all come back the next rounds.

Q. The book on you for a long time was that you had a lot of skill and talent but you were a little bit short in power on the weapons side. You’ve been talking about working in the gym. You’ve bulked up a little bit. Tell us a little bit about how that’s impacted your game, your shots, what you think that might have done for your game, what we can expect from you in the future.
DONALD YOUNG: The basis of my game has been outmaneuvering the guy, putting him in awkward positions. When I was younger, even in juniors, I was 10 years old playing the 14s, or 12 playing the 16s. I was always smaller than the guys so I had to find a way to defuse the power, do something different.

I’m never going to be one of the guys like Isner or some of the guys who are a lot taller than me. I’m not going to be hitting a ton of aces, I’m not going to be slapping you off the court. I’m going to have to find other ways.

Fitness was a way that could actually give me an edge or something that would let me compete with the guys. I’ve definitely been working on that. That’s something you can definitely control 100% yourself. You can’t control what the other guy does, but you can control how your body is, how much work you put in, how strong you can be, and that’s what I’m trying to do.

Q. Do you feel like you’re hitting a heavier ball?
DONALD YOUNG: Definitely. For a longer period of time. I’m able to do it not just for an hour or two but three hours, and four if I have to go that long. That’s what I have to do. I’m not going to hit a guy off the court. I’m going to have to use some guile and come in and use some different shots.

Q. You love self-help books. Talk about some of the ones you picked up.
DONALD YOUNG: It’s kind of a secret. Can’t really give those away.

But I did get a Christmas present. It was Tony Dungy’s book. It was great. I’ve been reading that. I’ve had it two years. I’m kind of in the middle now. I’ve been saving it. But it’s an awesome book about being a great human being, respectful, competing. He talks about his life, family. I’m enjoying that quite a bit. The other ones, they helped me out quite a bit, but I don’t want to give them away.

Q. Talk about your practice sessions with Sampras years ago. Did that change things for you?
DONALD YOUNG: That was great. Anytime you can get on the court with one of the best players ever is awesome. For him to hit with me — I was actually late, and apparently he never stays for anyone when they’re more than five minutes late. He kind of waited for me. I got there, and as soon as he got out of the car he called me a princess. We were playing points. I beat him in a couple of baseline games. The serve hasn’t gone away.

He said he expected to see some really big things from me. That was big to hear from a guy like that. Those things haven’t come yet. Hopefully they will arrive. I’m going to give it all I have. At the end of the day I can look myself in the mirror and say I’ve given it all I have.

Q. I’ve seen the hashtag before. What does it mean?
DONALD YOUNG: It just means Young in Motion. Something me and my friends came up with. I want it to move to the point where it helps kids stay active. Right now it’s a hashtag, us talking. It’s almost like young people traveling the world doing things that most people aren’t privileged to do. I’ve been extremely blessed. My friends have as well. I really appreciate it. It’s kind of something that has caught on.

Q. The organization is forever trying to find the next, the next, the next always. Are they going about it the right way? If you were the emperor of tennis, how would you go about finding the next one, going into the city?
DONALD YOUNG: I thought they moved on from me (laughter).

I don’t know. Honestly I think it’s doing a good job. We have a great young crop of kids coming up. You have the Frances Tiafoes, you have the Taylor Fritz, the Reilly Opelkas, Stefan Kozlov, they’re doing well. Then you have guys a little older than that.

As many kids that can get a racquet in their hand, it seems like a cool sport, it gets on TV more, you see people that are cool playing it, it doesn’t seem so much as a country club sport, it will be pretty cool.

When guys see someone they can relate to, whatever demographic they come from, that brings kids to come to play.

Me growing up, my parents were around. I wanted to hit and play. I was in a good environment. A lot of kids don’t even get introduced to it. I think it’s about introducing the kid to it, playing a bunch of sports when you’re young. Whatever one you enjoy the most you keep playing.

Q. You’re doing a great job of fighting hard. Where is the fighting coming from?
DONALD YOUNG: I don’t want to go home actually. I mean, more matches, more money, it’s a lot of things to fight for. I’ve kind of had a lot of times when I didn’t fight. I’ve done that. Why keep doing that? Do something else.

I’m working hard to keep fighting. I’m actually enjoying it. I’m enjoying it.

The battle here, the crowd, it’s awesome. It’s actually quite fun. Not going down two sets to love, but showing you can fight and come back is a great feeling at the end of the day.

Q. You and Isner going into the second week of the slam, first time two American men are in the second week for a long time. A lot of women on the other side. Is that cool? Does that matter? Is it helping the crowd?
DONALD YOUNG: I mean, that’s great. We’re in the U.S. Americans want to see Americans on TV. That’s the thing. I know growing up, I wanted to see Americans on TV, which were Agassi, Sampras, Courier, McEnroe, those guys.

It’s awesome for John and I. He’s been doing it longer than me and more consistently. For me to get in there every once in a while and hopefully become consistent, it’s awesome.

The women are holding it down pretty well. You have Serena, Venus, Madison, Sloane. You have a ton of really good girls.

For the guys to get in there, it’s definitely great.

Q. When you’re down, what do you draw upon to bring yourself back within a match? What are the qualities that you think are most important for that?
DONALD YOUNG: My box, my team, the crowd. I mean, here it’s really the crowd, everyone. They really don’t let you like go away. They kind of keep you pumped up. Grandstand and 17, such an intimate environment. Once the crowd gets going, you start playing better. It’s almost like the other guys playing two versus one. They jump on him, boo him if he’s taking an extra five seconds, lifting you up, getting a rub on the back. It’s an awesome feeling.

It’s really the fans honestly. They’re amazing. They really are tennis savvy, know what they’re watching and what they’re doing.

Q. When you see Serena Williams continually come back, what are your observations of what she does to bring herself back?
DONALD YOUNG: She’s just a beast. I think she turns it on whenever she wants to. It’s tough. It’s a lot of pressure. I don’t know exactly what that feels like. I know what pressure feels like. The way she’s handling it is like a true champion. I have nothing but admiration for her and respect the heck out of her. She’s just an awesome player. She can come back. She’s done it so many times in her career. She’s been there. Once you’ve been in a place, you know what it feels like. Once you know what it feels like, you can repeat it.

Q. Roger Federer has decided to go to some new equipment. Have you made any changes in equipment or things like that?
DONALD YOUNG: I switched my racquet at the end of last year. I love the racquet, Tecnifibre 315 TFlight. Honestly, I switched and it’s more of a player’s racquet. I’m enjoying it. Gotten used to it. They’ve been great, giving me whatever I need.

As far as other equipment, clothes are clothes. Racquet is very important. It’s your wand, your weapon, what you go on the court with. I switched that.

Other than that, I’ve just changed me quite a bit. That’s the biggest equipment change.

Q. You mentioned so many players now are peaking in their early 30s. 26 these days is young in the men’s game. It does feel like you’ve been around a long time. Was there a moment when you had that realization that you were still young?
DONALD YOUNG: Yeah, I mean, I never really forgot the fact that when I was 19, I wasn’t going to be good ever. When I was 15, I was supposed to win Wimbledon the next year.

Yeah, it’s always felt like that. I tried to keep it in perspective. The results at a younger age kind of change the perspective a little bit. That’s fine. That’s what happens when you kind of do things at an accelerated pace.

I’m here now, I’m 26. I’m right in the thick of things. That’s when a lot of people start to play well. I’m playing better. I want to continue it. Not just focus on that, focus on myself, constant improvement, little things. I feel like if I can improve things a little bit, it can be more consistent and I can keep moving up.

Q. In all sports, confidence is vital. What do you think it will take for you to win this tournament?
DONALD YOUNG: I’m looking at the next round. I’ll trying to play Stan again (smiling).

But for me ever to win this tournament, it would take, you know, a heck of a lot more than I did today. To do it consistently, not get down two sets to love. Constant improvement.

I’m not there yet to the point where I would even be thinking about sitting here saying that right now I should be winning the tournament. But I’m working on it. Constant improvement. This is improvement for me. If I can keep doing that, hopefully I can put myself in positions in any tournament to get to the final weekend.

Q. As you do your clinics and work with people, you mentioned the country club before, do you think the sport is seen far less as a country club sport than when you were 15 or 16?
DONALD YOUNG: I mean, it’s definitely coming around. The USTA is doing a good job getting it out there to a lot of different communities. I think they have like a real initiative with Hispanics and Latinos. It still could be better. I know people where I’m from, from Atlanta, never held a tennis racquet. The first thing put in their hands is a basketball or a football. It’s just easier. You can go out there and do that anywhere. Soccer ball, you can just go out in a field.

Tennis, you need instruction and some coaching which isn’t free. Tennis is very expensive sport. That holds back a lot of people, the cost. I was lucky enough to have two parents that played. I didn’t really have the cost that it takes for lessons and join the club and pay the membership fee, which is tough. But they’re definitely doing a good job and it’s starting to be a lot better.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports



228 Federer with trophy 2-001


Saturday, September 5, 2015

Roger Federer

Press Conference

R. FEDERER/P. Kohlschreiber

6-3, 6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. In your post-match interview, you spoke a little bit about facing John Isner’s serve. How would you describe that serve and the biggest challenges about it?
ROGER FEDERER: For some reason I feel like I don’t know it as well. I don’t know how many times we have played against each other. Played Karlovic more and Roddick and Raonic it seems like almost.

But John it’s been once every two years maybe, so I don’t know it that well. He’s got the power. It needs to be, and then clearly because he’s so tall clearly he finds the impossible angles for us, really.

And he’s got a great second serve, as well. Obviously best-of-three-set match he’s even more dangerous. Best-of-five you feel like you have a bit more time, but clearly he can also run three, four, five sets serving great. It’s going to be a tough match.

Q. And how does that power affect your newfound strategy, and to what degree you might employ it?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, the idea is not to use it very much against a player like that. I have done pretty well over the years against big servers, so, I mean, clearly I will think about it, but I don’t think that’s going to be the turning point of the match, to be quite honest. I need to make sure I protect my own serve first.

Q. On the court Pam Shriver addressed this. If I may address it again, you’re keeping a balance with family, social, sightseeing, and playing these great matches. How relaxed do you feel right now?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, I feel good. I have had a nice schedule. Played, what was it, early the first day. It was a fast match. So also afternoon and nice evening there.

Then the other day when I played at night I played the first slot. Also fast match. Didn’t get to bed too late. I’m still in a normal schedule, which is good to be. Because if you finish a match like Fognini and Rafa like last night, it’s hard to go to sleep right away. Plus you need treatment and press and everything.

It can be 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning until you fall asleep. Thankfully I haven’t had that. And then today again we are running early, which is great. Plus, still in the tournament, so clearly I am very happy.

Q. Your own serve has been wonderful, and it’s a great contrast to John’s serve. How do you think it can help you in a matchup against him?
ROGER FEDERER: My own serve you mean?

Q. Yes. The way you have been serving, what can it do for you playing him in terms of being able to take care of your serve?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, it’s focusing, you know, point by point serve. It’s in a way that simple. And then clearly taking the right decisions and understanding as you move along in the match. Same for him or for any good server, is to sort of understand the percentages, what has and hasn’t worked so well throughout the match.

You know, in the beginning you try to find the rhythm. Then once you found it, how much do you mix up speeds and slices and big serves, you know, to keep him off balance.

Yeah, I mean, I tend to like the body serve as well. Sometimes against John maybe that’s not a bad play just because he’s very long, and if he picks the right side he has long arms so with easy contact he generates a lot of power.

But like I said, I haven’t played John in a while. I have to look back a little bit at what I have done against him, what he likes to do, and then I can go from there. I still need to talk about it with Stefan and Severin.

Q. The way you serve, can you put pressure on him with your ability to hold, do you think?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I think that’s always the goal. Obviously John can hold easy, that we know. That I can hold my serve a lot and stay very focused, that I know as well. That’s part of trying to beat him, as well, is just to stay with him. He also wants to break, and he gets frustrated. Like any other big server, as well, if they can’t get a break, because they also dont want to play breaker after breaker.

We will see how it goes.

Q. I haven’t had a chance to ask you about this new rushing forward on returns.

Q. Can you explain about the derivation of how you came up with it, whose idea it was? I have also seen some people worried about what you all called it, if you could explain that a little.
ROGER FEDERER: So when I arrived in Cincinnati, I arrived, I don’t know what time it was, maybe after lunchtime, and then I went for a hit. It was Benoit Paire. He had like an ear problem. I was tired from jet lag. We were tired and practicing on center court, which was great.

Last year I couldn’t practice on center court before my first match. This time I had plenty of time. I think it was Friday and Saturday, I guess. So I put in a lot of hours on center court.

But that time I was very tired and he was tired, and at the end we said, Well, let’s still play some games just because it feels like it’s the right thing to do.

I was going to stop already, but Severin said, Play a few games get used to the conditions. I said, Whatever. Let’s play some games.

And, yeah, at the end we were just kidding around almost, and that’s when I said, Okay, I’m going to chip and charge and just keep the points short. I’m tired. I want to get off the court soon anyway. That’s when I started to run in and hit returns. I hit a couple for a winner. They were like ridiculous. He laughed, I laughed, Severin laughed.

Then I did it again in the next practice just to see if it actually would still work again. Then I tried it the next practice and it still worked. That’s what Severin said, Well, what about using it in a match? I was like, Really? (Laughter.)

So he pushed me to keep using it and not shy away from using it on big moments, and not just because you don’t know how you look with a full stadium. He was actually the one who pushed, you know, pushed me to it.

And because we were always talking about that tactic, as well, we sort of came up with that name, you, know, sneak attack by Roger, ^ saber. I don’t know. Call it Fed attack, call it whatever you want, but I thought it was kind of funny.

And, yeah, today again it worked a couple of times. I didn’t get that many second serves when I thought I could use it, but moving forward it’s an option. Clearly I’m very happy it worked so well in Cincy.

Q. We have not talked about today’s match that much. You had some difficulty with him the last time you played against him. Tell us what you did right or better today against him on court.
ROGER FEDERER: Well, last time was grass. First match on grass for me, and I think he had played Stuttgart earlier. He was more in a grass rhythm already, which made it difficult.

Of course it was the first round for him, as well, in Halle, but he had some matches on grass. Yeah, it was just a close match there. Today I got off with a good start and held my serve throughout the first set.

Then, I don’t know, I lost a little bit on my serve. There was hardly any rallies anymore. I couldn’t play as many rallies as I was hoping to, especially on the return games, because I thought he was doing a good job doing the 1-2 punch. Then that’s not much rhythm, to be quite honest.

I think because of my serve and no rhythm, I might have gotten broken as well a couple of times in sets two and three. It’s exactly those kind of matches I need to win. Especially if I drop serve, I still find a way and I don’t want to say comfortably, but I get maybe a little bit lucky at times, but also push luck on my side.

When I had the opportunities I was effective again. I think I won the big points better than he did today. He’s a quality player, so at the end of the day it’s a really, really good win for me.

Q. You’re always such a big fan favorite here in Flushing, but considering the terrible state of American men’s tennis, do you think it will be even…
ROGER FEDERER: Possibly. I don’t know. I’m looking forward to find out. Played John here in the past. Also I think it was Labor Day weekend. Third round maybe? The crowds were really pumped up to see how massive he was clocking the serves. It was a joke in the first set. I remember that.

Yeah, I expect the crowd to be on his side. If they are on my side, clearly very happy and appreciate that.

That goes also into my preparation, to be quite honest. But I love playing here. People know that. We will see how it’s going to be.

Q. I’d like to know if you had the chance last night to watch a little bit of Fognini and Nadal, if you know that Fognini played 70 winners, and what is your reaction about it? Are you five years younger or five years older than Nadal?
ROGER FEDERER: So the longer the match the more chances to hit winners. That’s No. 1. I’m sure he did a great job, you know. I mean, we know he can hit forehands and backhands huge, you know, Fabio. Same crosscourt, especially when he steps into the court. I’m sure he did that a lot.

I saw, like I said I said on court, I went to see Hamilton. I came back and saw some of the third and then the break in the fourth. So I came I think when Nadal had just broken to go up 3-1 in the third maybe. I didn’t see that much.

When I went to bed clearly thought Rafa was going to bring it home and that was it. Then I heard the news when I woke up. I wish I did see the match because I didn’t expect it to be this thrilling, but that would have been bad preparation for my match today.

So sometimes you have to take those decisions, you know. (Laughter.) Last night I decided to get an hour more sleep or one and a half. I’m happy I did.

Yeah, from what I heard it was very exciting. Yeah, tough for Rafa, but what a great win for Fabio, you know. He’s a great shot maker.

Q. I will ask the same thing. You had said once that Hewitt-Baghdatis taught you never to go to bed during a match.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I missed the end there, too, because at 3:30 I bailed, I think. We do travel far away from home to come here. I love watching tennis, but sometimes you just have to decide, you know, to be professional.

It hurts, but just gotta do it. You don’t want to lose the next day and have regrets. I have done mistakes when I was younger, you know. Play, I don’t know, video games until too late and feel tired the next day, whatever it was.

So I don’t really want to do that anymore. (Smiling.)

Q. When you beat Darcis in the second round he said afterward he felt a bit ridiculous on the court because you reached such a high level. What do you do to challenge yourself to keep improving to reach that level?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, for me it’s about then varying my game, enjoying myself out there. I mean, you know, honestly that’s very important to me, as well, see how aggressive or not can I play, and then really just also work on the concentration. Just make sure you get through the match, no surprises anymore.

Because of the unique scoring system we have in tennis, there is always a reset after each set. You always feel like something could happen and you’re only safe once you get over the finish line.

Everything before that you have to be careful, and that’s kind of how I see it, even sometimes the scoreline is in your favor. It helps to play more freely, but not more than that, really.

Q. Is it also in practice that you really focus and say you don’t get…
ROGER FEDERER: Well, in practice you can do a lot of things. You can actually train harder than what the matches are in terms of — you know, you can decide on the exercises you can do, but you can never quite recreate the intensity.

That’s why you see sometimes guys cramping after two sets or after one set in Davis Cup or in a Grand Slam or in their home tournament, just because they are so excited and they are so tense that it’s not about fatigue or anything. That’s mental stress, you know.

That you cannot recreate in practice, and that’s why it’s important for players to play matches. Even if it’s an exhibition match, sometimes that can just help have people in the stadium, linesman, umpires, ball boys, the whole thing. It creates this unique environment really we like so much.

Philipp Kohlschreiber-001


Saturday, September 5, 2015

Philipp Kohlscheiber

Press Conference

R. FEDERER/P. Kohlschreiber

6-3, 6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You have obviously played Roger for many years on many different surfaces. Is he playing as well right now as you have ever seen him play?
PHILIPP KOHLSCHREIBER: Well, I thought today the match wasn’t that great. Obviously we had many quick points, also some great rallies, but in general, I didn’t feel that he was unbelievable today.

I felt more that I wasn’t on my best and he was solid and using his knowledge to play the big points well.

Q. So he didn’t seem any different to you in his play style as when you have played in the past?
PHILIPP KOHLSCHREIBER: Oh, he always is very aggressive player, of course. Yeah, more solid. He’s attacking, of course, but I didn’t see so many special things today.

Q. He seems to be rushing the net on the returns, though.
PHILIPP KOHLSCHREIBER: He tried, but I didn’t felt he did it too much today. I thought it was twice maybe. One was with a let, went over, and one whatever.

But, yeah, he’s aggressive player, aggressive style. Like I mentioned, I thought it was not the best match. That’s how I felt on the court.

Q. Next up Davis Cup. Dominican Republic has never even been in the World Group.
PHILIPP KOHLSCHREIBER: So we hope it’s not gonna happen against us. We try to win, of course. Obviously we are the stronger team. We are the favorite in this tie.

It’s tough conditions away from home, but, yeah, we have the chance to stay in the World Group. We have to fight for it, and it’s gonna be not that easy, I would say.

Q. Is it tough when you go in and the expectations are for your team obviously far more experienced and having been in a World Group plenty of times and all that?
PHILIPP KOHLSCHREIBER: Well, I’m not thinking about — I mean, on the paper, everything is always very easy, but we all know that, like I mentioned, I mean, we play with the crowd behind them, we play in a different stadium and I have never been there. I hear it’s very high humidity and very hot, so we have to see how we handle the situation, you know.

So advantage for them. We have maybe more the knowledge about the World Group and Davis Cup ties, but, yeah, never should underestimate your opponent. We are aware of that and it’s going to be a tough one.

Q. If I could just add, do you know much about any of their players? Maybe Estrella.
PHILIPP KOHLSCHREIBER: Yeah, he’s the only one. Pretty late start in tennis. Very good forehand. He’s playing quite tricky. He’s playing a lot of slice and the powerful forehand. Obviously he’s big No. 1 player. We have to beat him and we have to make the point in doubles against the other opponents.


Azarenka 10 5 2012


Saturday, September 5, 2015

Victoria Azarenka

Press Conference


7-5, 2-6, 6-4

An interview with:


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. When you were out injured, how much did you miss some of the feelings that you experienced on the court today?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: A lot. Probably the most you can miss when you’re an athlete, not just a tennis player. That intensity, that feeling of the battle, you know, heat of the moment. I don’t know, personally that’s what I live for.

Q. So how did it feel out there experiencing it today?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: It was great. You know, every moment was really intense and tough. I just tried to stay focused and tried to give my best at every point.

You know, she was playing incredible. She was pushing me. I was pushing her. So, you know, from both sides it was just head-to-head. It was amazing, I think.

Q. At what point out there, or did it ever cross your mind, you were a part of something special there?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: You know, every moment to me is special. Just being able to go out there and fight hard and compete, it’s exciting.

I don’t ever want to take it for granted that I go on Arthur Ashe Stadium and I play no matter which round it is. It’s just that feeling of competition, making yourself better, to improve, you know, really hustle, battle. Whatever it takes, it’s my home. I don’t know, I feel at home when I’m in that moment.

Q. Have you thought about your next match yet against Varvara?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I haven’t thought too much about it, honestly, because I’m just trying to a little bit enjoy this moment.

But, you know, she’s a really tough competitor. She’s obviously playing great tennis, you know, reaching the second week here. Another lefty for me. At least I had some practice today (smiling).

I’m just looking forward to play that match. Every match from this point is just getting tougher and tougher. I want to stay focused. I want to take it one match at a time, actually one day at a time. Today recover, tomorrow practice, then let’s go.

Q. I notice over the changeovers you were looking at some papers. I don’t know if that’s something you have done in the past.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I have done it. Started doing it not too long ago. It’s just something that I feel will keep me a little bit entertained during changeovers. Sometimes it gets a little quiet, so I just want to make sure I’m focused on what I have to do.

I write different things for me, you know, sometimes something to make sure I stay focused. I wrote this thing which was hilarious to me yesterday. It was so stupid, but it made me laugh so hard. I just wrote it, you know, to keep me relaxed sometimes.

Q. What does a win like that mean to you? High-quality match, three sets, tough fight, opponent not giving you anything.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: It means that I’m strong and I can go through whatever is happening on the court. To me, you know, I’m going to stay there as long as it takes for me to win that match. That’s what I did today.

What it means is that I’ve just been consistent and I know what I want. It happens that today it was on my side. That’s what I want to just take it as a positive and give myself, I guess, confidence going into the next match, that this is what I have to do to win tough matches.

Q. When you were trying to come back, was the mental part of it just as challenging as the physical part?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I think on a tennis court when it’s such a tough battle, most of it is about mental toughness, the will to win, however you want to call it. Because everybody know how to play forehand, how to play backhand. But being sometimes courageous and go for your shots, be courageous to adapt to a situation, that’s something that is most challenging part, I would say.

In those tight moments, it’s all up to you to make a difference.

Q. It was such a high-quality match. You won. Even when you lose a match like that, does it make it easier because of the fact it was so entertaining?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, for me, I’m all about winning. I don’t know. I’m not on that side today. But I think it’s great for our sport to be able to produce this kind of high-quality match.

I applaud Angelique because she really pushed me to give my best, really to dig deep and find resources to make it happen.

Q. Back to the mental toughness. After a match like that, is that sort of mental effort something that takes a toll? Is it something that going into the next match actually builds?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I mean, it’s up to you really. I think it’s something you have to go out again and do it again. It’s not going to be there magically appearing all of a sudden. It’s something that you just have to go and work hard to do.

So my point is definitely to keep this ability steady and then see what happens.

Q. When you say it’s good for the sport, is there still a lot of convincing that women’s tennis has to do to sort of prove that you are high quality like that?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I think it goes beyond tennis. It’s just in general in life, woman have to always prove a little bit more. In business, in other sports.

But, you know, I just want to show it on the court and not talk about it. I think today everybody saw what’s been happening out there. I hope they can appreciate that.

Q. It’s been a pretty incredible 24 hours on the court you played on, as far as the quality of matches. What was the atmosphere like out there?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Amazing. Absolutely amazing. It’s a little bit difficult to describe with words because it’s a mixed feeling of adrenaline and then I want to just stay out there as long as possible, but also you want to win and get out of there. It’s bunch of mixed emotions.

But just to be out there and battling hard, people were amazing. The crowd get into the match. You know, they scream. They clap. Even during the points sometimes they go, Whoa, when somebody hits an amazing shot.

To see support for both players, really pushing us, motivating us to get even better at the matches is absolutely fantastic.

Q. When Lepchenko was here before you, she said her approach to facing you would be, Well, she’s the higher-ranked player, I have nothing to lose. When you hear things like that, the whole mentality going into a match, what is the first thing that comes to mind?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, first of all, everybody has something to lose. You have points to lose. You have money to lose. You have opportunity to lose.

I guess it’s the way to take a pressure off yourself. And for me, I love pressure. It makes me better. I don’t wish to have pressure, but it’s something that, I don’t know, I think I love to rise to the occasion. It’s challenging and motivating for me.

But also when I go out on the court, I focus on my effort and what I can do to improve or what I can do to give my opponent the worst possible time, and the rest takes care of itself.

Q. How much do you work on psyching yourself up? When you’re on the court, you have more gestures than many players, you speak a lot, you do things a lot. How much of that is to convince yourself of things?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I’m just being me, you know. You watch my practice, I do a lot more probably gestures. They’re awkward gestures, clumsy gestures, fist pumps. I just do whatever I feel like is right in the moment. If I need to be hyped, I’m hyped. If I need to talk to myself, I talk to myself. Whatever it takes to win, I’m going to do it.

Q. Some people gave you the second-best odds of winning this tournament. Do you hear stuff like that? How do you feel?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I hear it, I just don’t care about it. Not that I don’t appreciate that people speak highly about me. It’s irrelevant to me. I have to go out there and win matches. Odds are just odds.

Murray in press-001


Saturday, September 5, 2015

Andy Murray

Press Conference

A. MURRAY/T. Bellucci

6-3, 6-2, 7-5

An interview with:


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Probably happy to have that be shorter after a few extra sets in the first two rounds?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I think, I mean, conditions were so much nicer to play in today, as well. Like after long rallies and stuff, you weren’t really struggling for breath as much. I also think, conditioning-wise, the first couple rounds, it really doesn’t get much harder than that. Maybe it will get bad again, but they’re some of the toughest conditions you’ll play in during the year. To get through those matches, especially the second one, was important. Yeah, much easier tonight.

Q. Is it correct that you asked for as late of a match as possible, bearing in mind the aftermath of playing with that cold in the last round?
ANDY MURRAY: I asked to play later. I didn’t ask to play as late as possible. I just asked if I could play slightly later rather than first or second.

But, yeah, I didn’t ask to play last on.

Q. How are you feeling both in terms of getting over the cold and in terms of whether there are any aftereffects from the second-round match?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, today I felt much better. When I woke up this morning — I slept like during the day yesterday two or three times. Today I got up, and I slept again before coming out to the courts. Today I felt much, much better.

My voice feels like normal again. Still dull obviously, but it feels more normal today and not blocked up or anything anymore, which is good.

Yeah, that’s very positive.

Q. What did you feel today about the quality of your tennis?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I felt like I played well. I mean, in these conditions, it’s a bit easier to control the ball. The ball was not bouncing as high. It was a bit sort of flatter. You know, like in the conditions the other days, when you tried to flatten the ball out, it was quite easy for it to sail on you. The ball was flying a lot more. Whereas today when you flattened the ball out, it was a bit easier to control. Harder to serve. It was much slower conditions to serve in. So less aces. The speed of the serve was a bit lower.

But then obviously returning’s a little bit easier, as well. So I felt like I played well. But the conditions helped that, too.

Q. In theory would it be easier to play Kevin at night in similar conditions than daytime conditions?
ANDY MURRAY: I don’t know really. More depends like the humidity. I feel like in most places, when it’s humid, it kind of slows the ball down a little bit. Obviously it’s been hot, which speeds the ball up. But the humidity felt like it made the balls bouncier, more bouncy than usual. Obviously against a tall guy who serves well, it will be a little bit harder to return the serve when it’s like that.

But we’ll see what happens.

Q. Can I throw a kilt on a question for Scotland. The football team lost the crucial game the other night. Hopefully you can deliver in the days ahead for them.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I hope so. You know, I obviously don’t think about kind of that stuff when I’m in the middle of the tournament. I try to give my best effort in all of the events I’m at during the year.

I do feel like I represent the UK and Scotland when I’m playing in any event, you know, regardless of how well the football team’s doing. I still try my best to represent the country well.

Q. You’ve obviously been asked and talked a lot in the last year about having a female coach. Have any of the WTA players approached you to talk to you or appreciate what you’ve been saying about women’s sports over the last year?
ANDY MURRAY: No, not really, to be honest. I mean, I’ve spoken to a couple of people about it but not players on the tour. I mean, I’ve seen little bits and pieces that they’ve said over the last few months, last year, but I haven’t spoken to any of the players directly about it.

Q. Your mindset approaching the second week? Is your game where you want it to be?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, tonight, like I said, the conditions were extremely different. It was a bit easier to control the ball. I felt like I played better. Obviously I finished the match the other day pretty well. In the first match I felt like I played some good stuff, as well.

But I was also playing against two extremely good players in the first couple rounds. Both just missed out on seedings. You know, it was a tough, tough start to the tournament for me.

So, you know, was very testing couple of rounds. Obviously managed to just get through them.

And today played a little bit better. I feel better, as well. You know, I wasn’t feeling great the first few days. You know, now that that’s cleared up, I felt much better on the court tonight.

Q. (Indiscernible.)
ANDY MURRAY: I played some good matches against him in the past. I only lost to him once in Montréal. It was a very quick, easy match. I lost to him there. But apart from that, I’ve normally played quite well against him.

You know, he’s obviously playing some good stuff. He won the tournament last week. He’s had a couple of good wins here. Thiem is going to be one of the top players in the future. That was a pretty good win tonight. It will be a tough one, for sure.

Q. Six wins in a row against left-handers, other than Nadal. You grew up playing with Jamie. Is that still a streak you’re quite impressed by?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I don’t think about it, like, that much. I don’t mind playing against left-handers. I quite like it. It’s almost more natural for me to play against a lefty because the first sort of six, seven years of my tennis life was playing with my brother really and predominantly with him. In those years, you obviously do a lot of learning. That’s what I learnt to play tennis against. I don’t mind. Like, maybe some players when they see a lefty, they think, Oh, it’s going to be much harder. But I don’t mind it as much as some players.

Q. You have a good record against Anderson but also against big servers in general. What do you put that down to? Do you take particular satisfaction sort of picking these big servers off?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, they’re always tricky matches. But getting a lot of returns in play is something that throughout most of my career I’ve been good at. Often the big servers, they come into matches used to getting a lot of free points. It changes their mindset a little bit in the way they play the match and play the points.

That’s why I think I’ve had good success against them in the past. But they’re always tough matches because you don’t get loads of opportunities normally.

Q. You’re not the only British players to the Round of 16. What are your thoughts on Konta’s efforts here?
ANDY MURRAY: It’s great. I didn’t see much of her last match against Muguruza. I watched most of the match today in the hotel. She played very well. She played very good. She played a very good tiebreak, obviously the second set played some good stuff until she got into the winning position. That’s always tricky. I believe that’s the first time she’s made the fourth round of a slam.

But, yeah, even with the sort of struggles closing it out, she managed to get there. That’s a good sign. She’s obviously been on an excellent run lately. Very close to being the No. 1 in Britain. Kind of shows how high she could get, which is exciting, beating two players like Petkovic and Muguruza. It suggests she has the potential to go very high if she continues on the right path.

I think that’s very, very exciting.


Note from the US Open Media Operations Guide as to 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.

Donald Young Overcomes Two-Set Deficit to Win, Federer, Murray, Wawrinka and Azarenka Advance at US Open

(September 5, 2015) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Day six of US Open featured a second come from behind victory from two sets down by Donald Young over 22nd seed Victor Troicki 4-6, 0-6, 7-6 (3), 6-2, 6-4 to reach the round of 16 on Saturday. The American ranked 68th in the world pulled off a similar come from behind stunner against No. 11 seed Gilles Simon on Tuesday in the first round.

“It was 90 percent you guys,” Young told the fans on the Grandstand court, “10 percent me.”

“I was pretty upset the first two sets,” the 26-year-old told media. “Things turned around. The crowd was awesome. They made the court feel like home, like 17 to me. Those fans honestly are the reason I was able to win. If that match would have probably been somewhere else, we probably wouldn’t be sitting here talking.”

“Those two sets were over. I just kind of had to keep feeling. I felt like I was in the first set. Even though I lost 6-0, I had game points in the games. I felt like I still had more to give. The body allowing me to go ahead, a lot more to give. I was going to give it. If that was enough, I would win. If it wasn’t, I would be satisfied with going out there and competing my butt off.”

Young will face fifth seed and two-time major champion Stan Wawrinka for a place in the quarterfinals. The No. 2 Swiss behind Roger Federer defeated the Belgian Ruben Bemelmans 6-3, 7-6(5), 6-4.

Wawrinka discussed his upcoming match with Young at his news conference: “It’s going to be exciting match for sure. I watch a little bit his match today. He came back again. After the first round he came back two sets to zero down.

“He’s a tough player. He improved a lot. Especially his attitude on the court, he’s fighting way more. He’s always trying. He has a nice game to watch. He try to get the crowd with him. So it’s going to be, for sure, a great match to play against him.

“I lost a few years ago against him in five sets. I was playing well. I’m waiting for a tough one.”

No comebacks were needed for the high seeds as No. 2 Roger Federer, No. 3 Andy Murray, No. 2 Simona Halep or Petra Kvitova.

Federer defeated the 29th-seeded Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany 6-3, 6-4, 6-4. The Swiss will take on a very tall order next, in the form of 6-foot-10 American John Isner in the round of 16.

“I have done pretty well over the years against big servers, so, I mean, clearly I will think about it. But I don’t think that’s going to be the turning point of the match, to be quite honest. I need to make sure I protect my own serve first.”

Isner reached the fourth round when his opponent Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic retired after the second set due to a neck injury. He is the 16th player to retire from a match at the US Open this year, a record for a major.

As to the thought of playing Federer, Isner said: “I haven’t thought about that too much, actually. So I have probably … I don’t know, 48 hours to think about that.”

“It’s going to be fun. It’s what I work so hard for, to get an opportunity like this. On Monday I’m going to have fun with it.

“At the same time, I’m going to go out there and believe that I can win the match.”

No. 3 Andy Murray defeated No. 30 Thomaz Bellucci 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 in the last night match.

No. 20 Victoria Azarenka and No. 22 Sam Stosur also reached the women’s round of 16. No. 2 Hallep beat qualifier Shelby Rogers of the U.S. 6-2, 6-3 and Azarenka, two-time major champion took three hours to stop 11th-seeded Angelique Kerber 7-5, 2-6, 6-4.

“I just tried to stay focused and tried to give my best at every point,” Azarenka said.

“You know, she was playing incredible. She was pushing me. I was pushing her. So, you know, from both sides it was just head-to-head. It was amazing, I think.
“You know, every moment to me is special. Just being able to go out there and fight hard and compete, it’s exciting.

“I don’t ever want to take it for granted that I go on Arthur Ashe Stadium and I play no matter which round it is. It’s just that feeling of competition, making yourself better, to improve, you know, really hustle, battle. Whatever it takes, it’s my home. I don’t know, I feel at home when I’m in that moment.”

Azarenka will face-off against British woman Johanna Konta who surprised 18 seed Andrea Petkovic 7-6, 6-3.

“Today was not an easy task,” Kpnta said, “even if she wasn’t feeling her best, she’s still one of the best competitors out there. Yeah, she definitely didn’t give it to me in the end. I’m just happy I was able to come through that.


Women’s Singles – Third Round

[2] Simona Halep (ROU) def. Shelby Rogers (USA) 6-2, 6-3

[5] Petra Kvitova (CZE) def. [32] Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK) 6-2, 6-1
[20] Victoria Azarenka (BLR) def. [11] Angelique Kerber 7-5, 2-6, 6-4
[22] Samantha Stosur (AUS) def. [16] Sara Errani 7-5, 2-6, 6-1
Johanna Konta (GBR) def. [18] Andrea Petkovic (GER) 7-6(2), 6-3

[24] Sabine Lisicki (GER) def. Barbora Strycova (CZE) 6-4, 4-6, 7-5

[26] Flavia Pennetta (ITA) def. Petra Cetkovska (CZE) 1-6, 6-1, 6-4
Varvara Lepchenko (USA) def. Mona Barthel (GER) 1-6, 6-3, 6-4

Men’s Singles – Third Round

[2] Roger Federer (SUI) d. [29] Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) 6-3, 6-4, 6-4

[3] Andy Murray (GBR) d. [30] Tomaz Bellucci (BRA) 6-3, 6-4, 6-4

[5] Stan Wawrinka (SUI) d.  Ruben Bemelmans (BEL) 6-3, 7-6(5), 6-4.
[6] Tomas Berdych (CZE) d. [31] Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (ESP) 6-7(2), 7-6(7), 6-3, 6-3
[12] Richard Gasquet (FRA) d. [24] Bernard Tomic (AUS) 64 63 61
[13] John Isner (USA) d. Jiri Vesely (CZE) 6-3, 6-4 ret.

[15] Kevin Anderson (RSA) d. Dominic Thiem (AUT) 6-3, 7-6(3), 7-6(3)

Donald Young (USA) d. [22] Viktor Troicki (SRB) 4-6, 0-6, 7-6 (3), 6-2, 6-4



More Women’s Seeds Lose, Young Beats Simon, Federer Cruises at US OPen

Lucie Safarova

Lucie Safarova

(September 1, 2015) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – The upsets continued on the women’s side of the draw at the US Open on Tuesday. French Open finalist sixth seed Lucie Safarova lost to No. 37 Lesia Tsurenko 6-4, 6-1, while 14th seed Timea Bacsinszky lost to Barbora Strycova 7-5, 6-0 Alizé Cornet 27th seed Alizé Cornet also was defeated. Ten women’s seeds have lost in the first round at the US Open, half of the Top 10.

No. 11 Gilles Simon led Donald Young by two sets to none and 3-0, when the American rallied to win the match 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.

“Down two sets to love and 3-0 actually, that’s when I decided to swing a little freer, start to, you know, push the envelope a little bit and start to come in more, just assert myself to the match,” Young said. “I was going to go down swinging. That was pretty much my mentality at that point.”

“I love playing in New York. I love playing on hard courts. It’s the last slam of the year. I haven’t had the results I wanted at the other slams. I didn’t want to go out like that.

“If I was to go out, I really wanted to go out swinging and giving him a battle and making him earn it. I didn’t feel at first I was able to do that. To be able to do that was great. Emotionally I just felt, you know, it gives you confidence to know you can come back from 2 sets to love against such a quality opponent, a top 10 guy, wins titles and, competes at the highest level every week.”

This was the first time Young had ever come back in a match from two sets to love down.

There was no such drama for high seeds (2) Roger Federer, (2) Simona Halep, (4) Caroline Wozniacki, (6) Tomas Berdych and (9) Garbine Muguruza.

Federer destroyed Argentine Leonardo Mayer 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 in 77 minutes.

“I feel good now,“ Federer said. “I actually wasn’t so confident yesterday and today. I just felt like maybe could be one of those matches I just couldn’t see it coming.

“So thankfully I took this match extremely serious. I thought at times almost I was taking it a bit too serious. I got that lucky in Shanghai, so that’s why that was just — it was just creeping around in my mind that maybe today was going to be a bad day.

“Plus I had practiced with him, you know, here, I don’t know, the day of the draw, and he was playing very well in practice, too.”

A record was set for retirements during the first round of the U.S. Open than in any round at any Grand Slam tournament in the open era.

Twelve men and women have retired during matches on Monday and Tuesday. Tuesday pull-outs included Marcos Baghdatis, Ernests Gulbis, Thanasi Kokkinakis, Aleksandr Nedovyesov and Marina Erakovic.

Andy Murray bested controversial Nick Kyrgios in four sets in the night match. The young Australian Kyrgios was playing his first match since and episode in Montreal where he verbally abused Stan Wawrinka. He’s been put on probation by the ATP, and if he misbehaves in the next 6 months at an ATP event, he could face a suspension and fine. However this would not apply for the US Open as it’s a Grand Slam.

Singles – First Round

[2] Simona Halep (ROU) def. Marina Erakovic (NZL) 6-2, 3-0 (retired – knee injury)
[4] Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) def. Jamie Loeb (USA) 6-2, 6-0

[5] Petra Kvitova (CZE) def. Laura Siegemund (GER) 6-1, 6-1
Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) def. [6] Lucie Safarova (CZE) 6-4, 6-1
[20] Victoria Azarenka (BLR) def. Lucie Hradecka (CZE) 6-1, 6-2
[11] Angelique Kerber (GER) def. Alexandra Dulgheru (ROU) 6-3, 6-1

[18] Andrea Petkovic (GER) def. Caroline Garcia (FRA) 3-6, 6-4, 7-5
[9] Garbiñe Muguruza (ESP) def. Carina Witthoeft (GER) 6-2, 6-4

[22] Samantha Stosur (AUS) def. Timea Babos (HUN) 6-3, 6-4

[16] Sara Errani (ITA) def. Mayo Hibi 6-0, 6-1
Johanna Konta (GBR) def. Louisa Chirico (USA) 6-3, 6-0
Elena Vesnina (RUS) def. Laura Robson (GBR) 3-6, 6-3, 7-5

Kurumi Nara (JPN) def. [27] Alizé Cornet (FRA) 2-6, 6-4, 6-4

Petra Cetkovska (CZE) def. Christina McHale (USA) 4-6, 6-4, 6-3

[24] Sabine Lisicki (GER) def. Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) 6-1, 6-4
Varvara Lepchenko (USA) def. Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) 6-1, 6-1

Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) def. Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 6-3, 6-1

Qiang Wang (CHN) def. Maria Sakkari (GRE) 7-5, 6-2

Shelby Rogers (USA) def. Sachia Vickery (USA) 6-2, 6-2
Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK) def. Julia Goerges (GER) 6-3, 6-4
Nicole Gibbs (USA) def. Lourdes Dominguez Lino (ESP) 6-3, 3-6, 6-4
Barbora Strycova (CZE) def. [14] Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) 7-5, 6-0
Danka Kovinic (MNE) def. Aleksandra Krunic (SRB) 4-6, 7-5, 6-1
Mona Barthel (GER) def. Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) 5-7, 7-6(4), 6-1
[26] Flavia Pennetta (ITA) def. Jarmila Gajdosova (AUS) 6-1, 3-6, 6-1
Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) def. Annika Beck (GER) 6-4, 1-6, 6-4
Evgeniya Rodina (RUS) def. Tereza Mrdeza (CRO) 6-2, 6-2
Karin Knapp (ITA) def. Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) 6-7(1), 6-2, 6-4
Olga Govortsova (BLR) def. [28] Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) 6-1, 0-6, 7-6(3)
Camila Giorgi (ITA) def. Johanna Larsson (SWE) 6-3, 6-3
Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) def. Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) 6-0, 6-3

Monica Niculescu (ROU) def. Alexandra Panova (RUS) 7-6(3), 5-7, 6-3

Singles – First Round

[2] Roger Federer (SUI) d. Leonardo Mayer (ARG) 61 62 62
[5] Stan Wawrinka (SUI) vs. Albert Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) 75 64 76(6)
[6] Tomas Berdych (CZE) d. Bjorn Fratangelo (USA) 63 62 64
Donald Young (USA) d. [11] Gilles Simon (FRA) 26 46 64 64 64
[12] Richard Gasquet (FRA) d. Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) 46 61 46 63 20 ret.
[13] John Isner (USA) d. Malek Jaziri (TUN) 62 63 64
[21] Ivo Karlovic (CRO) d. Federico Delbonis (ARG) 63 75 75
[30] Thomaz Bellucci (BRA) d. James Ward (GBR) 61 75 63
Jurgen Melzer (AUT) d. Denis Kudla (USA) 63 75 61
Austin Krajicek (USA) d. Santiago Giraldo (COL) 36 76(6) 76(6) 76(1)
Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) d. John-Patrick Smith (AUS) 61 36 75 76(4)
Jiri Vesely (CZE) d. Paolo Lorenzi (ITA) 64 64 64
Gilles Muller (LUX) vs. Ruben Bemelmans (BEL)
Aljaz Bedene (GBR) d. Ernests Gulbis (LAT) 36 64 30 ret.
Robin Haase (NED) d. Dustin Brown (GER) 46 46 63 75 64
Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN) d. Paul-Henri Mathieu (FRA) 64 26 67(7) 61 62

More to follow…


The Road to the US Open Begins This Weekend at the BB&T Atlanta Open


By Herman Wood

(July 24, 2015)ATLANTA, Georgia – The road to the US Open starts in Atlanta with the BB&T Atlanta Open this weekend with qualifying.  The BB&T is a ATP World Tour 250 event, with a 28 player singles and 16 player doubles draw.  Total prize money this year is $585,870.00.  The venue is set in downtown Atlanta, amongst the sky scrapers and shopping of Atlantic Station.  Two time champion and former University of Georgia all-time leader in singles and doubles wins, John Isner returns in search of a historic three-peat.

Arguably the best doubles team of all time, Bob and Mike Bryan make their debut in the BB&T.  They got their first tour win in an Atlanta event in 1998.  Defending doubles champ and singles semifinalist Jack Sock, along with doubles partner Vasek Pospisil, are looking to take another step in their development.  The doubles draw could be very interesting if a showdown between the Bryan brothers and “Popsock” materializes.  It was only a year ago that Pospisil/Sock denied the Bryans the Wimbledon 2014 title.

Marco Baghdatis is already turning heads in the ATL.  As he dropped off his racquets for stringing by the Prince Team at the Serious Tennis tent with Deana Buzzy Mitchell, he was reportedly, “very sweet and winked at me!”  That kind of behavior is sure to make him a fan favorite with at least half of the crowd.  Americans Steve Johnson, Tim Symzek, and Donald Young are also looking to make a statement.   In what could be a big story line, two time champion Mardy Fish is returning to the tour in this tournament.  He has struggled with health issues almost since the last tournament win in Atlanta.  He’ll also be teaming up with another former Atlanta champion, Andy Roddick.  Roddick will not play in the singles main draw, but is playing an exhibition match against another young American, 17 year old Frances Tiafoe on Monday night.  Tiafoe created a stir in the qualifying last year and has been granted a wild card into the main draw.  Other crowd favorites returning include Dudi Sela, last year’s finalist, 2013 finalist Kevin Anderson, and 2012 finalist Giles Muller.  The draw will also include 4 players from a 32 draw qualifying tournament to be played this weekend.

2015 French Open Boys’ champion Tommy Paul and this year’s Wild Card Challenge winner Trent Bryde have accepted two wild card spots into that BB&T Atlanta Open qualifying tournament.  Paul is the No. 5-ranked American junior. Bryde had to make his way through 5 matches in the Wild Card Challenge.  Georgia Tech also is providing a wild card to sophomore Christopher Eubanks.  Eubanks was named all Atlantic Coast Conference as a freshman last spring and finished ranked number 47 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings.

Ticket sales have been on a record pace according to Tournament Director Eddie Gonzalez.  Atlanta has always been a tennis town, with the largest local doubles league in the United States.  There will be several special events that are part of the tournament scene, including the above mentioned exhibition with Roddick, a kids weekend with special ticket promotions during the qualifying tournament, a Commodores concert, College Night, another concert featuring LoCash, Ladies Day, USTA member appreciation day, and a Family Zone presented by Prince at Atlantic Station where kids can play tennis.

Herman Wood is in Atlanta covering the BB&T Open action from around the grounds for Tennis Panorama News, follow him on twitter at https://twitter.com/hermanewood