October 5, 2015

British Qualifier Johanna Konta Stuns No. 2 Simona Halep at Wuhan Open

Johanna Konta_270915

(September 30, 2015) British qualifier Johanna Konta earned herself a thrilling 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 win over top seed and current World No.2 Simona Halep at the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open on Wednesday.

Konta came from 1-5 down in the third set to tee up a quarter-final on Thursday against Venus Williams and said afterwards that playing the American would be “kind of a childhood dream”.

“She (Halep) is No. 2 for a reason, and that is an incredibly humbling experience for me, that I can compete with such a player,” said 24-year-old Konta. “But in terms of the result, I’m just really happy I get to come back tomorrow and play against someone like Venus. It’s actually a bit of childhood dream I guess. I grew up watching Venus.  So as a child, I’m like, Wow.  But as a competitor now, I’m just looking forward to the challenge.”

Williams was too strong for Carla Suarez-Navarro in their third round encounter. “We’ve had some great matches, and when I play her I always have to stay concentrated because she’s a great competitor who’s always played well against me,” said Williams. “It’s not just her single handed backhand, she just hits it so well. I was lucky because she missed a few today and gave me some openings.”

Roberta Vinci is keep up her form which saw her reach the US Open final earlier this month. She knocked out Wuhan’s defending champion Petra Kvitova with a 76(3) 62 and takes on Karolina Pliskova in Thursday’s quarter-finals.

Wimbledon finalist Garbine Muguruza earned her quarter-final spot with a 46 61 60 comeback win against Ana Ivanovic and can now look forward to a last eight meeting with Anna Schmeidlova of Slovakia on Thursday.

Angelique Kerber wasted no time in dispatching Camila Giorgi and will be up against Coco Vandeweghe in the quarter-finals.

Singles – Third Round
[Q] J. Konta (GBR) d [1] S. Halep (ROU) 63 36 75
[15] R. Vinci (ITA) d [3] P. Kvitova (CZE) 76(3) 62
[5] G. Muguruza (ESP) d [9] A. Ivanovic (SRB) 46 61 60
[6] A. Kerber (GER) d C. Giorgi (ITA) 62 64
V. Williams (USA) d [7] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) 63 64
[8] K. Pliskova (CZE) d [12] E. Svitolina (UKR) 26 64 64
A. Schmiedlova (SVK) d K. Mladenovic (FRA) 64 62
C. Vandeweghe (USA) d B. Strycova (CZE) 36 62 76(3)

Doubles – Second Round
I. Begu (ROU) / M. Niculescu (ROU) d [3] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) 62 62
[5] R. Kops-Jones (USA) / A. Spears (USA) d X. Han (CHN) / N. Melichar (USA) 46 61 10-7
[6] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE) d C. Dellacqua (AUS) / A. Tomljanovic (CRO) walkover
[7] G. Muguruza (ESP) / C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) d A. Kudryavtseva (RUS) / O. Savchuk (UKR) 76(3) 62

CENTRE COURT start 11:00 am
[6] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE) vs G. Dabrowski (CAN) / A. Rosolska (POL)

Not Before 1:00 pm
[15] R. Vinci (ITA) vs [8] K. Pliskova (CZE)
[5] G. Muguruza (ESP) vs A. Schmiedlova (SVK)

Not Before 6:30 pm
[Q] J. Konta (GBR) vs V. Williams (USA)
[6] A. Kerber (GER) or C. Giorgi (ITA) vs C. Vandeweghe (USA) or B. Strycova (CZE)

COURT 1 start 1:00 pm
[1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) vs K. Jans-Ignacik (POL) / A. Rodionova (AUS) 12
after suitable rest – J. Goerges (GER) / K. Pliskova (CZE) vs A. Medina Garrigues (ESP) / A. Parra Santonja (ESP)
after suitable rest – [1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) or K. Jans-Ignacik (POL) / A. Rodionova (AUS) vs [5] R. Kops-Jones (USA) / A. Spears (USA)

COURT 4 start 1:00 pm
[4] H. Chan (TPE) / Y. Chan (TPE) vs L. Kichenok (UKR) / N. Kichenok (UKR) 54
after suitable rest – [7] G. Muguruza (ESP) / C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) vs I. Begu (ROU) / M. Niculescu (ROU)
after suitable rest – [4] H. Chan (TPE) / Y. Chan (TPE) or L. Kichenok (UKR) / N. Kichenok (UKR) vs J. Goerges (GER) / K. Pliskova (CZE) or A. Medina Garrigues (ESP) / A. Parra Santonja (ESP)


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

ASAP sports

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Birmingham Day 3 – Seeds Blow in the Breeze

By Ros Satar

(June 17, 2015) BIRMINGHAM, England – After the sunshine of the second day, the clouds, the rain and the drizzle brought a little bit of havoc to the draw on Wednesday.


After her battling win on Tuesday, Victoria Azarenka had to withdraw with a left foot injury, handing Zarina Diyas a walkover into the third round. It completed a pretty dismal day for the organisers as defending champion Ana Ivanovic was edged out in a deciding set tie-breaker against Michelle Larcher de Brito, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (6), despite serving for the match in the decider, and saving two match points.


Ivanovic said, after her match: “It’s tough playing someone who already had few matches on the grass. Today I started really bad until I found my rhythm and so on. Her ball was staying very, very low, so I struggled with it a little bit at times.


“I was really disappointed I couldn’t hold my serve in the third set. I think getting a win and moving on to the next one, it would be different game next match. But it’s always tough, that change.”


Swiftly following her out of the tournament was Victoria Azarenka, before she had even taken to the court, withdrawing from the final planned match of the day with a foot injury.


She said, in a statement: “It’s very disappointing for me to make this decision but I tried to practice and it just doesn’t feel 10-0 percent. I don’t think it’s the best time for me to take a risk right now, especially right before Wimbledon, and I need to make sure I have the best preparation possible.”


Eugenie Bouchard

Eugenie Bouchard

Eugenie Bouchard continued her troubling lack of form, despite a spirited attack after a rain delay, which helped her cause somewhat when it came to the second set, where she leveled the match. However, that relief was short-lived, after Kristina Mladenovic steamed through the final set without letting up a game 6-3, 4-6, 6-0.


“I think I played okay,” said the despondent Canadian. “A little bit up and down. I was trying to be more aggressive than I’ve been in the past, so I felt I did that okay in the first and second set. Then I don’t know what happened in the third.”


When asked how she would describe her mood overall: “Every negative adjective you could think of, I would use that. Just very, very frustrated.”


It was not all doom and gloom on a day disrupted with drizzles over day. 2007 champion Jelena Jankovic was not following Ivanovic on the train down to London, as she advanced to the third round, where she will meet Angelique Kerber.


We caught up with the German after her victory over Tsvetana Pironkova, as she assessed her performance so far this year after collecting titles in Charleston and Stuttgart.


Kerber said: “After Stuttgart and Charleston, and the clay season, I think I’m playing good again, I’m really comfortable, and I’m looking forward now to playing the grass season.


“Of course I was a little bit disappointed after my third round loss in Paris, but clay was never my favourite surface, so in the end I think played a good clay season, and so overall I was happy.”


Kerber has a decent track record on the grass, and feels ready for the new season, saying: “I play very well the last few years. I reached the semis of Wimbledon, twice Eastbourne the finals, so it’s always nice to play on grass some tournaments, but of course the first matches on grass is always a little bit tricky but that’s why I’m here, to have a lot of matches before Wimbledon.”


Home hopes lay with British No. 2 Johanna Konta, as she carried on her strong momentum from reaching the Nottingham quarter-finals with another Top 100 win in the opening round against Jarmila Gajdosova, before starting well against sixth seed Karolina Pliskova. With the rain causing havoc to the schedule, it suited the Czech a little more, as she leveled the match, before the players came off once more.


As the clouds darkened, they came out once more in an attempt to finish, with Pliskova taking an early lead, but the heavens opened one more time with the Czech serving at 4-3 15/30.


Play will resume at 11am BST on Thursday.


Ros Satar is a British sports journalist covering tennis, and can also be found at Britwatch Sports.


Approach Shots – Judy Murray Q & A Part Two




(September 18, 2013) NEW YORK, NY – During the US Open, Great Britain’s Fed Cup Captain Judy Murray, mother of ATP players Andy Murray and Jamie Murray, sat down to do an interview with Tennis Panorama News.

In part two of our Q & A, the former top Scottish women’s tennis player spoke about the current women’s tour and some of her proudest moments.


Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama News: What are your thoughts on the women’s tour? Do you think there is more depth or is it just Serena(Williams) and everyone else?

Judy Murray: When Serena is at the top of her game is very, very tough to beat because she’s just so strong and she’s just fabulous to watch when she’s playing well and I love watching her when she’s on top of her game. And just behind her is obviously (Victoria) Azarenka and (Maria) Sharapova. So the top three are very much power players – there’s not a huge amount of variety there. You don’t see too much, not too many drops shots or changes of pace, it’s really all about the power.

Then there’s sort of a pack of players behind that that are all very solid. The players that I miss are the (Amelie) Mauresmo’s and the (Justine) Henin’s. I like watching (Sara) Errani and (Flavia) Pennetta. I like watching the Italian’s creativity and variety.

I think you know, you need personalities. I think that’s the thing you kind of feel that tennis, is just to try and create more personalities out of the players so fans can start to identify with them as people. And I think that I think Serena is a huge personality and I think Sharapova probably is as well, but we need try and get that with more of them. I guess it’s up to the WTA tour to find a way to be able to do that so that fans can really identify them and want to come out and watch and support.

It’s tough on the women’s tour – this year I’ve noticed it’s more difficult getting into a lot of the tournaments. A lot a tournaments that have been lost and maybe the sponsors withdrawing, so they’re not so many options open to the girls on the calendar. I think that the last three weeks on the women’s tour (during the summer) from New Haven, Toronto and Cincinnati. I think cutoffs of the main draw were 40? It’s very, very tough. The girls are having to pay out a lot of money every week to travel.

KP: No secondary tournaments going on.

JM: That’s right. There used to be a lot more so. It’s not just at that time of the year, it’s just very noticeable just lately. There’s not so much choice now.

If the women’s tour calendar is losing tournaments because it’s harder to get sponsors, then you have to look at why is that. Why are sponsors not coming forward, are they not getting crowds? Why are they not getting crowds? Not getting TV showing it. Why are they not getting TV showing it? You need to ask those questions and find out what people want and the tour. The WTA has to find ways to help players to market themselves better so that people do want to come and watch women in the same way they want to watch the men. I think the events that are mixed, where they have both at the same time, have been fantastic. There is huge, huge buzz about those tournaments. May be they need to have more of those if that’s possible, but if it isn’t….

I have this theory that if it’s more women who come and watch women’s sports, so you need to create an army of tennis fans from women to come along and support women’s sport.  It’s like I went to watch the British Women’s Open golf a few weeks ago and I had the same feeling there. You know, that there were not a lot of young people, girls watching that. There were a lot of older people that and I was thinking, golf was one of those sports that women are more likely to take up when they’re older than when they’re younger. That’s a challenge to golf.

I do think that tennis needs to ask itself questions about why, and I’m sure they are, asking questions about why they’ve lost so many tournaments and how they can make the calendar more busy. But also it needs to be a bit smarter, I think in terms of where tournaments are placed so that you could have a run of three tournaments without having to travel from one side of the world to the other. I think that makes a lot of sense because the expenses for the players are getting bigger and bigger all the time and especially if you’ve got someone travelling with you and you probably need two rooms and two flights, food every week.

Or maybe finding ways where they can help the girls to supplement their income. I don’t necessarily mean the top ones ‘cause they don’t need it. The other girls you know, some more pro-ams or little exho matches before tournaments start and things where sponsor might need to have some of the girls play with their clients. You see things like that at Indian Wells. I always think, you know that’s one of few venues that do that sort of thing really well.

And for the doubles guys, because of Jamie, it’s a great help to go off and do a few of them. It helps to pay for your hotel bill for a week, but they probably need some help in trying to encourage people to put more of that on for the women’s side.


KP: What have been your proudest moments in tennis?

JM: There’s been absolutely loads.

I think when I first started coaching, I was just a volunteer coach at the club, I had been doing it for a few years. Our high school team at Dunblane High School won the Scottish schools championship, the boys team and that was my first success in coaching and I can remember being very emotional when they won that because it was just great. It’s your local town, just something that you helped out and these kids have managed to win this big thing.

But anytime when the boys (Andy and Jamie) have played together, on Davis Cup teams for Great Britain, watching them play together and that’s a huge thing, seeing both of your children, side by side. Any time they play together – I think the Olympics and Davis cup are very special. In 2008 here (US Open) Andy was in the singles final and Jamie was in the mixed doubles final, that was a great time. And obviously the two Wimbledon wins – Andy winning the singles and Jamie winning his mixed doubles. They were huge. The Olympics, US Open last year.

I have proud moments that have nothing to do with the tennis – they’re good kids. They do good things. They’re good with people and they’re still very normal through everything that’s happened.


In the part three, the final part of the interview, Murray discusses tennis and twitter, and her sweet tooth.

Related articles:

Approach Shots – Judy Murray Q & A Part One


Approach Shots – Judy Murray Q & A Part One



(September 17, 2013) NEW YORK, NY – During the US Open, Great Britain’s Fed Cup Captain Judy Murray, mother of ATP players Andy Murray and Jamie Murray sat down to do an interview with Tennis Panorama News.

In part one of our Q & A, the former top Scottish women’s tennis player spoke about her introduction to tennis and coaching, Fed Cup, women coaches and those women coming up the ranks of British tennis.

Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama News: How did you get involved in tennis?

Judy Murray: I started playing tennis when I was about 10. Back in those days, when racquets were wooden and balls were heavy, the courts were all just one size. It was actually quite tough to start tennis younger than that unless you were quite big because the equipment was heavy.

My Mom and Dad both played, they played for the county, played a lot down at the local club. When I was big enough, I started to join in. I just learned from playing with my parents.


KP: With your sons, did they naturally want to play because you played?

JM: Probably, we lived about 300 meters from the tennis courts and when they were very small, we didn’t have much money and I didn’t have a car. I went round to our local club and did some work just as a volunteer and started working with some of the older juniors because I was still playing at a good level. I was the Scottish No. 1 for quite a number of years.

I started working as a volunteer coach when they were very small and some of the kids that I started working with, they started to get quite good and that is when I realized that my initial coaching qualification that I had done when I was a student wasn’t really helping me to help them particularly, so I was just teaching them from a tactical base, which was based on my own playing experience. In my day you didn’t have coaches. You learned how to play the game by playing the game.

I upgraded my qualification when Jamie and Andy were six and seven and then a couple of years later I upgraded it again, because I realized  that a lot of the kids I was working with, were becoming pretty good at the Scottish level and I wanted to help them to be the best that they could be. And I realized that my knowledge of playing the game was all about playing the game, it wasn’t too much about teaching them from a technical base, so I wanted to learn about that. I haven’t up graded my qualification since then. That was the highest level of coaching qualification at the time in Britain. It was a year-long course that was a big thing for me to take on when the boys were quite young, the workshops were all down south.

Also what I remember about that course is that there was a lot of information but not enough about how to actually use the information. And what I have learned in my 20 years or so of coaching is that it doesn’t matter how much information you’ve got if you are not able to communicate it effectively and in the right way with the kids or the adults in front of you, you are not going to get the job done. I think a lot of it comes down to how well you communicate, how much you can enthuse the kids by the way you behave with them. I keep saying kids because I’m so used to working with juniors but now I’ve started working more on the women’s side, but it’s the same thing – you need to have a good rapport. You need to have some fun. You need to get your point across. The other thing is that the better you know your player as a person, the more chance you have at doing a good job with them because understand what makes them tick and what makes them react badly and you’ve started at the best way to get them to do things.

KP: Speaking of working with different players, how challenging is it to be the Fed Cup Captain?

JM: That’s quite a challenge. It’s certainly was a challenge the first year because I had never worked on the women’s side before. I’d worked with juniors and obviously on the men’s side. But working with girls is quite different than working with boys and working with women is quite different from working with girls. Had to learn a lot about that but like throughout my coaching career, I speak to people. I speak to people who have been there and done it before and have lots of experience and then you form your own opinion. You form you own view or philosophy. So I picked a lot of people’s brains. It’s mostly men on the women’s tour, mostly male coaches.


KP: Why do you think there are so few female coaches?

JM: I think there is not a great career pathway for female coaches. I think it doesn’t matter whether you work in clubs or whether you are working with better level players. I think it’s you know, that natural thing is for women to get married probably in their twenties and have their kids and then the life of a coach is actually very difficult because if you are coaching in a club for example or a domestic program, your busiest times are going to be after four o’clock and on weekends. So you’re working in the evenings and on weekends, if you’ve got family it’s very difficult. I think if you get to the stage where you want to work with a full-time player then you need to be prepared to be on the road for probably about 30 weeks of the year and that’s very tough as well.

But I think there are one or two things which come into play too. It’s tough to make a living in the game unless you are probably 70, ranked 70 and above. And really anyone ranked below that, it’s tough to have to pay for a coach and a coach’s expenses on the road with you and your own expenses too. Most girls, I think will try to pick a coach who can also work as a sparring partner, and that tends to lend itself more to males who play at a decent level and who can fill that kind of dual role. I think that has something to do with it as well.

Of course there is nothing wrong with having male coaches, but I think we could do with having more females because I do think that female coaches understand the needs and feelings of girls a lot better than guys do and I’ve been saying this for some time now. In our country we need to get more little girls playing tennis and taking up tennis. Tennis has become very attractive now since Wimbledon and since the success of Laura (Robson) and Heather (Watson), very young and exciting prospects and they’re great role models for young girls and for women’s tennis. But once we get little girls into tennis, we need to make sure they are having a lot of fun, doing what they are doing. We need to have a lot more female coaches working with little girls, for exactly the same reasons – to ensure we can retain them in the sport because little girls tend to generally be not as competitive, not as boisterous as boys and can be put off by being in a mixed group or being with a male coach who finds it easier to deal with the boys, because the boys kind of do all the competitive things because they enjoy doing that sort of thing. Building a stronger female coaching workforce in our country is important to us to retain more girls in the game.

KP: Beyond Heather and Laura, who are the women coming up behind then in Great Britain?

JM: Some of the girls have started to do quite well pushing themselves up the rankings. Johanna Konta was at a career-best ranking at 112 before the US Open, I think she’ll drop a little bit. She won a 25 and a 100K back-to-back during the summer which was very good progress for her. So she’s moving in the tight direction. She’s 22 now.

Tara Moore is the same age as Heather Watson and she is very, very talented and she has started to show some good signs of progress. She still needs to work at being able to put good performances in on a consistent basis, and so much of that being able to perform consistently well is down to how emotionally stable you can be for longer periods of time and that always doesn’t come quickly to every player. I think sometimes you have to let them grow into themselves a bit. But she has a huge amount of potential – a very, very skillful player. I think that if she can get herself together I think she can go places over the next couple of years.

And we have Sam(antha) Murray who was playing in the qualies here (US Open). She was at a US college on a scholarship and she has started to push herself up the rankings. Very hard worker, good all-court game, plays good doubles as well, big first serve.

Elena Baltacha had a surgery on her foot in the off season last year, so she’s just playing again full-time, but she has produced good performances as well. It won’t be long before she’s back at her best. Beyond that we are starting to look at the juniors.

We have three very good juniors born in 1998.  Maia Lumsden who won the 14s Orange Bowl in December, Gabby (Gabriella) Taylor who trains in Spain and Jazzy Plews who also trains in Spain. All have been ranked within the top ten at the end of last year in the 14s. So they are all in a good place as well.

But certainly, from my point of view we need to use this opportunity now where tennis is the kind of buzz word among sports in Britain just now. We need to use the opportunity to get more girls playing and to develop a stronger female coaching workforce to retain more of them in the early stages, and then to educate more coaches to be able to do a better job through all the development stages. There’s quite a big job to be done but there’s a huge opportunity at the moment. I will always argue that more better coaches, produce more better players. We need to, in my opinion, to invest in our coaching workforce.


In part two of our interview, Murray talks about the women’s tour and some of her proudest moments.