December 3, 2016

Serena and Venus Williams Cruise into Fourth Round; Murray, Wawrinka Also Advance at US Open

(September 3, 2016) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Serena Williams moved into sole possession of most match wins at majors at 307 over Martina Navratilova when she defeated Johanna Larsson 6-1, 6-1 in a third round match at the US Open on Saturday.

Williams is seeking her 23rd major title and seven US Open title. She came into the tournament with questions about the health of her shoulder. Those questions have seemed to have been answered by her dominant play.

“Definitely feels solid,” Williams said of her shoulder. “I’m doing a lot of work on it so I can keep it in this position. Definitely not going to stop doing all the rehab and therapy, so I don’t want to go down. It’s pretty good.”

The world’s top player will play No. 52 Yaroslava Shvedova, who beat Zhang Shuai 6-2, 7-5.

Venus Williams opened up the evening session with a display of dominance over No. 26 Laura Siegemund 6-1, 6-2.

“I’m happy with putting wins under my belt,” Venus said. “I’m always in search for perfection. If it’s not perfect, I’m back to the drawing board, so…

“Today was a more straightforward win, but not perfect. So I’ll be working on perfection.”

Venus will play her fourth round match on Monday against big server No. 10 Karolina Pliskova.

“Each match is different,” Venus said. “I approach them differently. We play kind of a similar game. So it’s about one of us playing that game better.

“I haven’t played her that often. So go out there and put the ball in the court, try to win.”

I’ve had the experience of playing her. There’s people, like today I never played Laura. You never know what to expect. You have to see what happens. You never quite know what to expect.”

Match ups for the other women playing the fourth round on Monday include: No. 5 Simona Halep against No. 11 Carla Suarez Navarro and No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska versus Ana Konjuh.

On the men’s side of the draw No. 2 Andy Murray had to battle in the first two sets against Paolo Lorenzi 7-6 (4), 5-7, 6-2, 6-3 to move into the round of 16.

“He’s ranked 40 in the world,” Murray said. “He’s pretty good. So I expected a tough match. I expected long rallies. I’m just disappointed with the amount of errors I made. I was quite impatient at times. That cost me in the first and second sets.

“When I did sort of play like I was planning on when I went out there, to be more patient, wait for the right balls to go for, you know, played much, much better, dictated more of the points. I wasn’t going for too much.

“The unforced errors came down significantly and the winners went up. The third and fourth sets were comfortable. Obviously the first two were extremely, extremely tough.”

Murray will play No. 22 Grigor Dimitrov for a spot in the quarterfinals.

Juan Martin del Potro came back from 2-5 down in the first set to beat No. 11 seed David Ferrer 7-6 (3), 6-2, 6-3. The 2009 US Open champion, a wild card entry in the tournament, ranked 142nd, last played the US Open in 2013 due to wrist surgeries.

“Well, I got stronger mentally after the first set,” said Del Potro. “Against David you never know when is going to finish the match. He never give up. He’s a really fighter. Also it’s a pleasure to play against him because he puts me all the time in pressure. I should play my best tennis today. I think I did really well in the second and the third one.

“I’m so glad to be in the second week on the Grand Slam after three or four years. That’s means a lot of good things to myself. Of course, I’m looking forward to keep winning. But my next opponent will be really difficult.”

Del Potro will take on No. 8 Dominic Thiem, who beat Pablo Carreno Busta 1-6, 6-4, 6-4, 7-5.

Stan Wawrinka won the most dramatic match of the day, coming back from two set to one and saving a match point in the fourth set tie break to beat Dan Evans 4-6, 6-3, 6-7(6), 7-6(8), 6-2.

“I was frustrated, for sure, to be down two sets to one because I wasn’t playing my best tennis,” Wawrinka said. “But still had a chance. So I was trying to find the right way, how to keep fighting, how to stay in the match, and how to make it break.”

“In general, I think the second tiebreak was a little bit better from both sides. He was coming a lot to the net to try to finish the point. I had to play better, be a little bit more aggressive, more tough with myself. And I took it. I was, for sure, happy to took it.

“But I had the feeling in the fourth set that I was starting to play a little bit better. He was starting to be down a little bit, but still playing really well in those important points, still being there, still being tough.

“It wasn’t easy to stay calm with myself. But in general I think that was the key for the match. Was tough condition, windy against a talented player who is playing really well, who was pushing me a lot. He was coming with the right shot in the right moment.

“Yeah, the court was a little bit faster than normally, than the other big court. So I’m happy to get through. It’s an important win for me.”

Wawrinka will play next face llya Marchenko who was leading 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 when Nick Kyrgios retired with a hip injury.

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Day 4 of the US Open – In Their Own Words

Juan Martin Del Potro

Juan Martin Del Potro

(September 1, 2016) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Posting player interviews throughout the day when allowed.

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

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.

Simona Halep

Press Conference

S. HALEP/L. Safarova

6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Pretty quick turnaround from match to your press. Is there any reason why?
SIMONA HALEP: No. I had just to do something straight from the court, and I said I wanted to finish and then I can recover myself.

Q. A short recovery. How do you feel about the way things went out there today?
SIMONA HALEP: It was not an easy match. It was difficult. At one point I lost the rhythm a little bit because she’s left handed, not easy to play against. I knew that she’s very tough. She’s fighting till the end.

I played many times against her, and all the matches were very close. So I expected that. I’m not the happiest with my game today, but I’m really — you know, I have the good mood that I could win the match in two sets and I could finish in the important moments.

Q. What weren’t you happy with?
SIMONA HALEP: Like I said, I lost a little bit the rhythm and I didn’t know where to stay, how to hit.

But in the important moments I found the rhythm. I found the way that I have to hit. And also the serve helped me a lot in important moments.

Q. You and Safarova are both really wonderful off the baseline. There are a lot of breaks in that match. Do you have a different kind of attitude thinking through those?
SIMONA HALEP: I knew that I have to be strong on my legs because she is there and she hits the ball pretty strong.

I think I was very, very good on my legs and I could return every ball. I missed some, but also, I did some good points.

You know, always it’s a good match against her. Gives me confidence that I can beat her. It’s a nice match against her. Hopefully for the next round I can be better. I will be like more confident on court.

Q. Any difficulties in adjusting to the roof?
SIMONA HALEP: It was a little bit, but I had the chance to warm up in the morning before the match. For her was first time, so was the same situation. I don’t want to say anything bad because it wasn’t bad.

I had a nice feeling. It was a great experience to be there. I didn’t have to wait for the rain, so that’s a good thing.

Q. Maybe you’ll find my question strange, but do you think external factors like a parent who is sick or something could have a way to influence on the way a player plays?
SIMONA HALEP: What is it about? About what?

Q. Did you think like adding personal issues have an impact on the way players are playing or they are able to like not think about that during the matches because they are pro players.
SIMONA HALEP: I don’t understand the question.

WTA REP: If a person has a personal issue.

SIMONA HALEP: Each other?

WTA REP: Like with their family. Do you think it affects their tennis.

SIMONA HALEP: I think, yes, it affects. If you have some problem in your family or personal problems, of course.

But I didn’t have, thanks God, till now. And sometimes I am bothered a little bit from some problems, but usually I can separate things. When I have to work, I go to work.

Tennis is my job. I do it with pleasure, but still is my job.

Q. I don’t know if you saw after Bondarenko won yesterday, a fan came out of the stands on the court to take a picture with her.
SIMONA HALEP: I didn’t see.

Q. Do you have ever have any concerns regarding security when you’re out there?
SIMONA HALEP: No. I feel safe. Nothing happened to me till now.

I feel that no one can — no one wants to hurt you, even if someone is coming to take a picture with you.

But I feel safe. I had no problems till now.

Q. Do you use the stringing service here to string your racquets?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah.

Q. What do you think of that operation? Looks like a little bit of a factory setup back there.
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, it’s a factory. They are very fast. They are very good. All the racquets are made in time and very well done.

I’m happy with them.

Q. How did you spend your day off? Do you have any special New York traditions whenever you’re in the city?
SIMONA HALEP: No. Just resting in my room, watching the TV, watching tennis. Now I can listen to my coach because he’s working at ESPN. Nothing special. Just relaxes.

Q. Is it surreal talk listening to Darren and other players?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I can learn. You know, everything he says I take it with a good vibe. I understand everything he wants to say about tennis. I like to listen to him.

It’s nice. It’s a relaxing time when I’m in the room and listening to the TV.

Q. Are you still in search of cheesecake on a daily basis?
SIMONA HALEP: I had. I had yesterday and I will have one now after the lunch.

I like to have some nice routine with this food. I’m not eating much, but just to taste it.

Q. But it’s a particular fork New York sort of thing? Have you found it…
SIMONA HALEP: No. Here. Upstairs. We have the dining, player restaurant, and they have cheesecake there. (Smiling.)

Q. I was just wondering, do you and Darren watch a lot of film together?
SIMONA HALEP: No. I’m not watching. Film about me?

Q. Yeah.
SIMONA HALEP: No.

Q. Or your opponents.
SIMONA HALEP: No. I’m not doing that. Maybe he does. I don’t know. We have to ask him.

Andy Murray

Press Conference

A. MURRAY/M. Granollers

6-4, 6-1, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How difficult was it to play both before and after the rain started?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I don’t think it was too different to the other night when I played, but when the rain came it was certainly loud.

I mean, you can’t here anything, really. I mean, you could hear the line calls, but not so much when the opponents — you know, when he was hitting the ball or even when you’re hitting the ball, really, which is tough purely because we’re not used to it. That’s what makes it challenging.

Q. Could you explain a little more how it might affect you, maybe make things more difficult if it does, if you can’t hear the ball coming off?
ANDY MURRAY: Because we use our ears when we play. It’s not just the eyes. You know, it helps us pick up the speed of the ball, the spin that’s on the ball, how hard someone’s hitting it.

You know, if we played with our ears covered or with headphones on, it would be a big advantage if your opponent wasn’t wearing them.

You know, it’s tricky. You know, you can still do it, but it’s harder, for sure.

Q. Have you ever played under a roof or like an indoor court where the rain has been battering down like that?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, yeah, I have played when it’s been loud, for sure. Sometimes on the — you know, a lot of the stadiums that have, you know, temporary roofs, they can be pretty loud when it rains.

But, I mean, it apparently was raining unbelievably hard outside. It seemed that way anyway.

Q. Can you compare it to playing under the roof at Wimbledon?
ANDY MURRAY: In what respect?

Q. What you just talked about, playing under this roof and playing under the Wimbledon roof.
ANDY MURRAY: Well, it’s definitely louder. You know, I don’t think it changed the conditions on the court as much as it does at Wimbledon.

You know, I think we are also probably more used to playing on it — we are used to playing on indoor hard court than indoor grass, obviously.

But, yeah, I don’t know. You maybe don’t notice it as much here I think as much as Wimbledon. When the roof is on the humidity picks up significantly; whereas here it’s always humid really, you know, when the roof is open.

When I played the other night I was dripping. I mean, it was so, so humid. Doesn’t change too much. It’s a lot cooler in there than it is, you know, during the day; whereas at Wimbledon sometimes it gets warmer when the roof goes on.

Yeah it’s definitely quieter at Wimbledon, though.

Q. Could you summarize what it is that you believe that makes Ivan an effective coach? Secondly, emotional player interacting with his boss, is there ever a time you got a rise out of him during the match?
ANDY MURRAY: No, not really.

Why I think he’s a good coach? I mean, it’s hard to give like one thing. There is a lot of things that go into being a good coach and a successful coach. There is not one thing that you can pick up.

I mean, obviously, you know, tactics or something that’s important, the way you set up the practices and the training, the level that you expect, you know, and effort in training sessions I think is important.

I think he’s professional, very disciplined. Probably things that made him very successful as a player, so they are a few of the reasons. But many things go into making him a good coach. There is not just one or two.

Q. Do you think the noise at the tournament is something you have to look at, or will you just have to deal with it?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, the players will deal with it. You get used to stuff. As an athlete, that’s what you do. We adjust to conditions, different conditions every week. Playing in the day to playing in the night is totally different from one day to the next.

We change balls. I played the Olympics with one ball; Cincinnati with a different one; a different ball again here.

We change stuff all of the time, but it takes time to adjust and then get used to that. I think that’s why everyone is talking about it now, because it’s something new. Yeah, it’s just going to take time to adjust.

I’m sure if the feedback is that, you know, the TV or the spectators aren’t enjoying the match as much then they will look into it and try and change it. But if it’s fine on TV, which from what I have heard it is fine on TV — I don’t know what the fans have said about it yet, but the players will adjust.

Q. I don’t know if you saw last night after Bondarenko won, but a fan jumped out of the stands and got a picture with her on the court. I was wondering how much do you worry about security here?
ANDY MURRAY: I didn’t see that. I was made aware of it before I came in here, but I didn’t see it. And, yeah, it’s not something I think about when I’m on the court or when I’m playing.

Actually sometimes more when I am out in the streets and stuff I think more about that. Not just because of the things that have happened in the world, like in the big cities over the last 15, 20 years. I sometimes think about those kind of things, that safety.

When I’m at a tennis tournament, I don’t know, I just feel comfortable when I’m on the court. I have never had any issues, any problems like that.

Really, a kid jumped on the court after actually one of our matches at the Olympics and ran onto the court and asked for his pen back because I had signed his hat and then gone away with his pen. He jumped onto the court and asked for the pen back.

But that’s really the only thing I have had. Obviously yesterday was — I mean, it seemed like everything turned out okay. Yeah, never had any issues.

Q. You didn’t face Rafa in Rio, but from what you saw, what’s your assessment of his performance? Seems to come back strong from layoffs.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, obviously he played very well there. I think the last match he played I think he was extremely tired, but I watched quite a lot of the end of his match with Del Potro. You know, it was a very, very good match.

I didn’t see any of his other matches there, but he obviously played good tennis there after a long layoff. I practiced with him a little bit in Mallorca before going there and he was practicing well and playing good in practice.

And, yeah, you know, like with any great player, once you build up momentum and get matches and gain confidence, there is no reason why they can’t win the major events again.

Sometimes take a little bit of time after an injury layoff to build that back up. For some it’s a little bit quicker. Just have to wait and see.

Q. Just the general takeaway after the match today? The form? The fitness? Where you are at this stage in the tournament?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I felt I did pretty well. It was a 20-, 25-minute period in the match where it was tough and, you know, tricky. Got myself in a situation that maybe, you know, I could have avoided if I had taken one or two of the set points that I had at 5-2 or 5-3.

But, you know, I thought I did pretty well. I thought there were some good points in there. Yeah, that period of the match was very tough. I didn’t play that well during that period and managed to come through it thankfully and play some good stuff in the second and third sets.

You know, I served at like 40, 42% first serves or something and still won in straight sets. I must have been doing other things well than serving. I was obviously hitting the ball pretty well and returning pretty good. Could serve better, for sure. Only got broken once in a game where I had game points. It was all right.

Q. I think it’s fair to say that few other players really in history have made more of a striking or stunning run than you have had in the past months both on court and off court: Davis Cup, becoming a father, the finals, Melbourne and Paris, obviously Wimbledon and the Olympics. Even just going to support your country in Serbia. Do you sense you have blossomed a bit, coming into a new period? Could you explain your great success? Do you think love and fathering have anything to do with it?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, it’s hard to know exactly what to out it down to. Yeah, it’s tough to know. I think there is many things that have gone into obviously becoming a parent. Well, for me anyway it’s changed my perspective a bit on things. I feel a little bit calmer than maybe I did in my past about my tennis and how important tennis is in my life.

It’s still extremely important, but it’s not the most important thing. I think having Ivan back on my team has been great and has helped me a lot.

You know, I have capitalized on, you know, a few opportunities. You know, when some of the other top guys maybe hadn’t played or struggled or lost, you know, I have taken those chances, you know, when they have come my way which is good.

But, yeah, it’s really hard to say like one thing, you know, definitively. Like this is what’s made the difference. There has been a number of changes this year, and I think all of them come together at the same time has, you know, has made for a successful few months.

Q. The women’s tour has negotiated a heat rule which has been implemented this week. On the players council, is that something you would consider raising there? Do you think it’s valid for the men’s tour, as well?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I do think so. I mean, there is a heat rule for the men, I believe, but I don’t think anyone would be able to tell you exactly what it is. You know, in Australia — I don’t know exactly what it is. There is a lot of different things that go into it.

Yeah, I do think there should be a heat rule, because sometimes it is — especially on the hard courts it can be, you know, pretty brutal. You know, you don’t want to take any chances with, you know, a player’s health.

But it’s not something I have spoken about on the council yet. Whether it’s something that comes up I don’t know. I mean, I do think we have heat rules in place, but they are different to the women. I don’t really understand how they come up with them or who decides on what the heat rule is.

Q. (Question regarding stress on the body.)
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I think — I mean, if you ask most players that have had cramps — rarely do athletes cramp in practice or in training. That tends to come in match situations. No one really understands exactly the reasons for why cramps start.

Obviously it can be from dehydration, but most of the players would, you know, be professional enough to make sure that isn’t what the problem is. Sometimes it can be through lack of conditioning, but, you know, mostly guys are in very good shape.

You know, there is the psychological aspect of it. The stress, you know, that you might put yourself under and the nerves that you feel can cause that.

I think most players have gone through it, and for some reason it seems to happen more at this event, I think, than at the others. That’s just my take on it like from being around. I don’t know if that is because of the humidity or maybe players are coming in here more fatigued at the end of a long season, a long stretch. I don’t know.

Q. It could be Simon in the next round. Talk about him. Obviously an exhausting player to play at this stage of the year. Is that a danger for you, as well?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, yeah. I mean, he’s very good. He obviously pushed Novak extremely close earlier in the year at the Aussie Open. And, yeah, I mean, I have had good success against him in the past, but a lot of the matches have been tough, tough matches.

Davis Cup last year and the quarters, I think it was, you know, I was quite a long way behind in that match and managed to turn it around.

Yeah, I have had a lot of close matches with him in the past. He’s a tough guy to play because, you know, he makes a lot of balls. He moves unbelievably well. You know, he’s a smart player on the court. He’s tough when he’s on his game.

Q. How different is it this year, being in New York with the US Open and the baby along?
ANDY MURRAY: It doesn’t change too much, to be honest. Not much. Not much changes. Maybe get up earlier than I did in the past. But, yeah, doesn’t change. Doesn’t change loads.

Venus Williams

Press Conference

V. WILLIAMS/J. Goerges

6-2, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. From our perspective, that felt like a very measured match for you. How did you feel?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, definitely today was a lot more measured than my first round. I just felt like I had to dial it back a little bit, maybe play a little bit more percentage tennis, play within myself, keep my errors down.

Very happy that it worked out against an opponent who is seasoned, who can play, who can serve, who has a lot of big shots. So it was a nice test to come through.

Q. A lot of talk about the noise under the roof. How do you deal with that? Are you someone who is thrown off by that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, there was a lot of noise last year, as well, so perhaps I’m a little bit used to it. Over time you start to forget about the noise, after maybe like a set. So I think as a player, the higher the stakes, the less you hear.

I guess people are having some great conversations about tennis out there (smiling).

Q. Would you be able to play tennis to the best of your ability if it was an NBA-type crowd buzz? Do you thrive on the quiet?
VENUS WILLIAMS: There’s something very special about tennis in the quiet. There’s that tension that everybody feels, the sound of the ball, the sound of the footwork is very special in sports. I do enjoy the quiet. Especially the more important the moment, that silence says it all. I don’t think it should go away, personally.

Q. Talk about the different perspective of being able to not only be here, but be here and be a real competitive force after 18 years? It is remarkable.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Thank you. I’m grateful that I can still play the game I want to play right now. As an athlete, as a tennis player, that’s what you want. You want to be out there and play the game you want to play. If you get to the point where you can’t do that, that’s where you need to start to think, Okay, I need to move on. I’m not at that point yet, and hopefully I’ll be able to play the game I want to play right until the last day that I’m done.

Q. You always said how much you love playing the US Open. Do you relish it all the more this many years later? Talk about the way you perceive these opportunities now as opposed to five years ago, eight years ago.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Just to feel the crowd get behind me, even in moments like 2-1, they really want me to hold serve. That feels amazing.

I really enjoyed those moments today when the crowd was like, Get it back, get it back. That felt nice.

You don’t necessarily get that everywhere you go. So playing at home under these circumstances in a big tournament, it feels nice.

Q. One can say the two greatest arenas in tennis are Centre Court and Ashe. It’s sort of interesting that Centre Court is so serene, quiet, while here it’s totally the opposite. As an athlete who has been out there many times, talk about the two.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Are we talking about Centre Court at Wimbledon?

Q. Centre Court at Wimbledon.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, it’s a completely different atmosphere, for sure. But every tournament’s different. That’s what the challenge is, being able to play in different environments, on different surfaces, and can you still overcome it and conquer it. This is not an easy tournament to win because of the environment here. It takes a lot for people to adjust and get used to it.

So being able to come through in this event shows that you have character.

Q. I’ve heard that you don’t allow sugar in your diet anymore. Is that true?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, no, yeah.

Q. Has it helped you with your endurance? Have you seen any changes?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I feel it’s helping or else I would start eating it again. Eating sugar is really fun (smiling). As long as it’s working, I’ll be off of it.

Q. How important do you think it is for especially the top players in the men’s or women’s game to be part of the player-led organizations that have a voice on tour? Not necessarily hot-button topics but everyday stuff that the tour has to go through to make sure it works.
VENUS WILLIAMS: It’s very important because you have to have the player voice working alongside the tournament voices, the different organizations, and everyone who has a vested interest in the game.

How the tournament sees things will be different from the players, so we can all come together and create something amazing. I see it as a partnership more than anything.

Q. What do the top players offer? What sort of point of view do they have that lower-ranked players don’t have?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Everyone faces different issues depending on your ranking. That’s why there’s different levels of representation in the council. It’s important for every voice to be heard.

I personally try to represent the group that I’m in, but I also try to be open-minded for the other groups and what they need, too.

Q. Back to the sugar thing, was that a recommendation from the doctors because of your ailment?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No. It was just something that I wanted to try. Like I always said, I’m always trying something different to find a peak performance, something I started recently.

Q. What do you miss the most on that diet?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Honestly, I don’t. I can fit in my clothes, I feel good. When you’re having results, you don’t really miss the past. But if it’s not working and you still feel the same, it’s like, Why not go back?

Q. (Question about women in journalism.)
VENUS WILLIAMS: I’ve never thought about that. I think there’s a lot of women journalists. I haven’t been exposed to this side of the room, it’s been more this side, so it’s hard for me to comment on that and what the journalism world is like for women. That’s something I don’t know a lot about.

Q. Today was the first day session with the roof. You also played the second-ever match on Ashe in 1997. Do you remember anything at all from all those years ago?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, yeah, I was dreadfully nervous. It was so tough. But I just remember getting real comfortable by the time I lost the first set 6-1 or 6-0 or something. I felt like, okay, now I’m ready to play.

Obviously winning that match was a huge step in my career.

Q. I think it’s the first time in six years that you’ve been seeded in the top 10. Did you know that? Does it matter? How do you feel about it?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, it’s nice, clearly, when you put the work in to see the numbers go up. I like that. But also there have been times when I didn’t win matches against players that I felt like I should have. I was ranked higher or lower or whatever.

At the end of the day, I want to get to the next round no matter what I’m ranked.

I never focused a ton on my ranking throughout my whole career. While I like being highly ranked, it’s more important for me to win matches. If I win matches, I’ll be highly ranked. That sort of thing.

Q. When you first came out on tour, you wore some pretty basic outfits. Here at the Open, you’ve appeared in this stunning dress. Can you talk about your evolution in terms of your sense of aesthetics, beauty and knowledge of fashion, how it’s changed over the years.
VENUS WILLIAMS: That’s an interesting question. Oh, man.

Everybody likes to think that they have good taste their whole life. I look back and say, Boy, I had bad taste back in the day. There were times I had questionable things happening, especially off the court. But I was a teenager and I was innocent, definitely. It was okay to look a little bit off.

But for sure I think at this point I know who I am and I know what I want to look like on the court. That translates also to what I design and how my line looks. It has a statement. It’s very bold, very confident. It’s about creating your own path.

Q. Talk about the color.
VENUS WILLIAMS: A lot of prints are inspired by, like, watercolors because it’s one of my favorite mediums. You’ll see that motif happening. This collection is called Prism. We’re making all the colors you would see when you look through a prism of light, all the colors of the rainbow.

Q. People talk about your age, ask about it pretty much every interview. Does that ever get annoying or boring?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I’ve had some crazy questions in my life. If I don’t like the question, I’ll let people know. People are probably intrigued that myself and a number of other players are playing quality tennis at this age. It’s something that never happened before. Inquiring minds want to know, I guess.

I guess 36 is the new 26.

Q. You still come to net a lot as part of your game. The players you play against might only come to the net if you force them to. Do you ever think it’s odd that everybody still hits net shots in warmups, or do you think it’s still a good thing to practice?
VENUS WILLIAMS: You may have a point there (laughter).

Some people come in just to shake hands and do the coin toss. I’m not one of those people. I like to try to get in. It’s more challenging getting to the net these days. The courts are slow. If you don’t come in on the right one, you’re going to get killed.

We play with equipment that’s very advanced, that people can hit shots from everywhere. It’s not as easy to get to the net as now. You really have to be able to volley, come in on a good shot. Even I want to come in, but I have to be selective.

Kei Nishikori

Press Conference

K. NISHIKORI/K. Khachanov

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

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Are you happy with the way you’re playing?
KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah. Maybe not everything, but it wasn’t easy match. He served really well second and third sets. Having really tough time with my return game.

But after rain delay, you know, I change some tactics and start working really well. Yeah, it was really tough match but happy to win.

Q. How much had you played before the rain came? You played the morning and then you had to stop?
KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah.

Q. That’s nothing new, but did that affect your momentum at all?
KEI NISHIKORI: Well, yeah, it’s never easy. It took maybe two, three hours between rain delay. And that time I start playing little better, I started getting my rhythm. Then rain came. It wasn’t easy moment for me.

You know, I think I concentrated well after rain delay. I took first two games, and I got third set. Yeah, I think I recover really well after rain delay today.

Q. Mahut in the next match. Talk about what you expect in that matchup.
KEI NISHIKORI: We actually never played before, so we have to see in the match. But, yeah, he’s tough player, aggressive, comes to the net a lot, having great serve.

Yeah, it’s going to be a tough one.

Q. Where do you feel right now you are in terms of where you want to be in a Grand Slam event?
KEI NISHIKORI: I think I’m getting closer to 100%. I’m feeling good physically and also mentally. You know, tennis, I think it’s going to come after a couple matches.

Yeah, I think I’m in great shape and hope I can go second week.

Agnieszka Radwanska

Press Conference

A. RADWANSKA/N. Broady

7-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Take us through the tiebreak. What were you thinking? How important was it to get that first set?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, first of all, I’m just very happy that I could play a tiebreak in the first set, I could come back from 5-2 down.

Of course, I was 5-2 up in the tiebreak. I think I was just too slow and didn’t really come in. You know, I pay the price, a couple set points down, it’s not fun. Especially, you know, she was serving unbelievable. So every point matter in that tiebreak, especially when I could broke her at least at one point.

But, well, I was just couple points better today. Definitely she pushed me 100% today.

Q. How tough is it to play someone serving lights out?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: She was really serving great, 120 pretty much whole match. Was not easy at all. So every break matters. I was trying to do that, then of course focusing on my serve.

But, well, a lot of up and downs, a lot of tight games. But, well, in the important moments I was just better the one shot.

Q. What do you make of New York, the city? How have you been spending your time off when you’re not playing?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, of course, good recovery is the most important thing. When I have time and opportunity, always go for nice dinner, always try to find different place. Around the hotel, in Manhattan, it’s quite easy to just walk around, you can just choose whatever you want.

Q. Do you have a favorite neighborhood, Central Park or something?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yes, of course, Central Park. Broadway, as well. Having dinner in Hard Rock Cafe, as well. Enjoying New York.

Q. Do you feel your personality vibes with fast cities or do you prefer something calmer?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: I really like New York. I like cities like this. But not for the long term. I think one or two weeks, it’s enough, and then I like to be in the quiet spot.

For example, here it’s always funny. When we go to New Haven, it’s pretty quiet, calm, nothing really going on there. It’s not loud at all. Then you come to New York, it’s just opposite.

It’s good to have a mix, a little bit of everything.

Q. Did you hear that Beyonce was at Serena’s match? Did players get excited hearing stuff like that?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Really? Why not at my match? It’s so unfair (smiling).

I didn’t know that. I just play my match. It’s good to see personalities like Beyonce, of course.

Q. Talk about playing Garcia next.
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, we played couple of times. Long matches, long battles. I think the last time was in Paris, Roland Garros.

Well, a lot of really tight matches. Playing her is never easy. She’s very solid player, really hitting the ball hard, coming in. Just hitting really fast from the bounce. She’s not giving you much time. I think I will need to focus on the first ball, first shot, just not make her put everything in the middle because then I’ll be in trouble.

Q. Talk about the way you’re playing right now. Assess the match today. How do you feel you’re progressing in this tournament?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, I’ve been playing pretty good last couple of weeks. Definitely best tennis last week in New Haven, beating lot of top players whole tournament.

Of course, today was not the prettiest match ever. But, you know, you couldn’t really play all the time the best tennis. Sometimes struggle just with yourself out there. You want it too much, and it’s just not going your way sometimes.

But, well, just I think what happened also today, I was just too much backwards, didn’t really play that kind of tennis I was playing last week. But, you know, sometimes happens. Especially when you’re really under the pressure, playing someone that you really should win that match.

So just hoping the next match I’m more relaxed.

Q. Do you feel like you’re getting up to form where you can make a long run here?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, I hope so. I was really playing good tennis. I’m healthy. I’m okay. I’m in one piece. It’s good opportunity to make a good results here.

I was doing everything in my power 100% to prepare for this US Open, so we’ll see.

Q. How important were those matches in New Haven for you to build up momentum coming into the tournament?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: It was last-minute decision, but I guess it was a good one. Playing really good matches out there. Winning really strong tournament not even losing a set, that always give you a lot of confidence.

Just trying to keep it going here. You know, just hoping it’s going to be at least my first quarterfinal.

Q. Are you aware if there are celebrities in the stands?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Not really. I mean, it was pretty lot of people in the stadium. Especially when it’s so hot, you’re just sweating, using the towels all the time, you’re not really focusing who is sitting out there.

But I didn’t recognize anyone. Maybe was someone there. But maybe sometimes when they exactly sitting just on the bench just next to the chair when you’re sitting, then yes, of course. But otherwise it’s hard to see.

Q. You’ve been in the top 10 for a long time now. Every time people play you, they’re really going after you. Is it more fun chasing than being chased?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, of course, once I was the one who was chasing, and now I’m there. Always have that more pressure because someone is really pushing you. So like you’re saying, that’s why there’s always a little bit more pressure. Sometimes you’re not playing the greatest tennis.

But, well, it’s always harder when you go out there. It’s back of your head, you know you have to kind of win. I mean, sometimes it’s just not your day and it’s just not going your way. It’s always hard, especially that you know they really going to come in and play and have nothing to lose, so it’s always easier.

Serena Williams

Press Conference

S. WILLIAMS/V. King

6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You won pretty handily out there, but you didn’t seem you were pleased with your game based on your expressions. Can you talk a little bit about that.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I just think it should have been a different scoreline for me. I feel like I made a lot of errors.

But, you know, there’s nothing I can do about that now. What really matters is I got the win. Hopefully I’ll just get better.

Q. You played in most stadiums around the world. What is your impression of the noise level with the roof closed?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it was louder with it open actually in my first night match. It’s still extremely loud. But I don’t know if it’s the roof, per se, or if it’s something else.

But it’s very, very loud out there.

Q. Is it disruptive, harder to play?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It’s definitely different because everywhere you play is really quiet. Here it’s super loud. The first match, it was definitely something I got used to, so today was a little easier. So hopefully I’ll just get used to the noise.

Q. Do you think fans should try to keep conversations to a minimum? There was a guy in my row on a cell phone having a full-volume conversation.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Really? Is it the stadium that’s making it so loud? That’s what the umpire told me. It’s always loud, especially the first couple rounds. It’s always really, really loud.

I don’t know. Like, I think this umpire tonight did a really good job. But there’s only so much you can do.

Q. Were the mistakes you’re talking about of a similar nature? Were they mental or physical?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I just didn’t have a great day today. But it’s always good to get a win when you’re not — I definitely don’t think I played the way I did in my first round. But it’s all right.

Q. Today you tied Martina Navratilova for most slam match wins with 306. Did you know that and what’s your reaction to that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I knew it was on the horizon. I knew at Wimbledon that I wanted to get there. Obviously I’m excited about that. Would like to take one more step, several more steps.

Q. Is it good that your service game was good in terms of your recovery from the first round?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think so. That was the best part of my game today. So seeing that’s what I did the least coming into this tournament, it’s a really good sign of me being able to serve well and hopefully gain momentum on that.

Q. When you hit those milestones, when you tie those records, whether they’re big records or small ones, are there some that you kind of shrug at or do you feel the achievement, do you let yourself?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, sometimes I don’t even know that I’m hitting these milestones. But some of them I’m really proud of. Like this one’s kind of cool, to win 306. That’s really a cool milestone.

Q. How is the shoulder generally? Quite a concern coming into the tournament. Two matches in, where do you feel like it is?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It’s stable (laughter). It’s stable. I just got to keep it like that. It’s two matches in, and usually you want to be able to play seven matches. It’s not even close to the halfway point.

I definitely want to keep it as good as it can be.

Q. Is there anybody you could imagine playing in front of that could make you nervous? Has there been in the past?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I’m sure I would get nervous. But usually when people are there, I try to play better, especially if they’re famous and they’re doing so great at their job. It’s like I want to show them that I’m good at my job, too – minus today.

Yeah, so that’s usually how I think about it, look at it.

Q. Is that why you might be harder on yourself sometimes?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I’m always hard on myself.

Q. What sort of treatment do you have to do for your shoulder?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Just tons of treatment, tons of rehab, tons of ice. It’s constant, so…

Q. There’s so much involved in a tennis player’s life. What is it about tennis that you love the most?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, I think what I love about tennis the most is being out there, usually being by yourself, and just having to problem-solve.

You know, tennis is one of the few sports where most of the time you’re on your own. It’s just totally different than I think any other sport.

Q. Is there a problem solved that you can think of that you particularly feel good about that you’ve done in your career?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I’ve solved a lot of problems. Now none of them can come to my mind right now. But I know many a time I’ve been down and out, many times, and was able to come back and play better.

Q. In Montreal, Olympics, Cincinnati, usually you have to play back-to-back matches, no days off. Here obviously there’s a day off between your matches. Do you think it would have been made a difference at the Olympics if you had time between to rest the shoulder, recuperate, that physically or mentally it would have been an easier task?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don’t know. Maybe. I don’t know. I don’t know. Probably not, actually.

Q. Your tying Martina brings her to mind. She brought a lot to the game. What do you appreciate most about Martina Navratilova?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Wow, she was just an incredible legend. For me, one of the best players to ever play tennis. Someone that I never even thought I could be as good as numbers-wise. So, yeah, that’s what I think of her.

Q. You’re saying you don’t even know when you’re breaking these milestones. You also say you don’t look at the draw. Have you looked at the draw and do you know when you play Venus?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. She’s 6, so that puts her at least at the quarters.

Q. Semis.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Semis, quarters.

Q. Did you watch any of her match today?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think I saw maybe one point because I was warming up, so…

Q. When you watch a live tennis match, where do you like to sit and why?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Definitely not on the side. Preferably in the back so I don’t have to move my head as much. So, yeah.

Q. Nike unveiled that Greatest Athlete Ever campaign. What goes through your mind when you see those billboards, that whole ad campaign?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I just feel really overwhelmed and appreciated. I think it’s a wonderful campaign because I think a lot of times a lot of female athletes have to live with this, Oh, she’s a great female athlete, instead of, She’s just a great athlete. None of the male athletes have to live with, Oh, he’s a great male athlete. They always just say athlete.

I really feel almost vindicated that a company so big as Nike can recognize just athletes and not put a sex behind it. I think that’s really important for that young girl that’s growing up. She wants to be a great athlete. She wants to be the greatest. She doesn’t want to be only labeled as a female athlete. I don’t think there should be labels.

You know, I’m here and I’ve been playing sports and I’m an athlete.

Q. When someone talks about you as being an idol, how much pride do you take? How much do you appreciate having Beyonce and Jay Z?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It’s weird to have the Simones; Simone and Simone, I should say, to have them so influenced by me. I’m still influenced by people. I’m still in this sport and I just never take that moment to kind of look back and see all the things that I’ve done because I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to become complacent.

So I’m still a little bit in a bubble. Sometimes I just forget all the accomplishments because I’m trying to make so many more accomplishments and trying to do so much more.

It’s always good to have Beyonce and Jay in the box.

Q. Following up on the female athlete and athlete thing, Sheryl Sandberg talks about that in her book. Have you discussed that with her?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, we discuss that all the time. We just had dinner not too long ago with friends. We had such big discussions about that. It got really interesting and really funny, just even in her industry how there’s still a lot of barriers that need to be broken down.

She’s someone who is so amazing. She still has to deal with female versus male things, as well.

It’s always good to kind of realize that you’re in the struggle together and you’re trying to make everyone aware together.

Q. You’ve spoken so many times about human rights situations, from slavery, women’s rights. There’s a nice piece in USA Today where you mention how you grew up with Mexican kids, Mexican people. Does it ever trouble you that many of them may now be deported if there’s a turn in our politics? Is that of a concern to you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don’t really know what’s going on with that, so I can’t really speak to that.

I know my best friend is Mexican, and I’m really close to that culture, like super close. So obviously it doesn’t sit well with me.

But, again, I can’t really speak to what I don’t know the full facts on.

Q. Let me put it a different way. What do you think the Mexican, Hispanic culture brings to American culture and life?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, that’s what makes America America. It’s a plethora of so many different types of people where you can come and live the dream. You have immigrants coming from all parts of the world, from Eastern Europe, from Africa, from Australia, from Latin America, from South America, from Mexico. Then their second generations become American.

That’s kind of how America got started, from England, so from a different country. I totally lost where I was going with that, but I think I was going somewhere pretty amazing (laughter). I started talking too much and forgot, so…

Jared Donaldson

Press Conference

J. DONALDSON/V. Troicki

7-5, 6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Very mature match you played out there. A lot going on with Viktor’s injury timeout. How did you manage to keep it together?
JARED DONALDSON: I just felt that I had to keep focused, because obviously definitely an amateur thing would have been to kind of lose focus at that moment. Obviously I got broke the first game out. I think I just missed a couple shots. It’s not because I lost focus or anything.

I know being up two breaks that he wasn’t going to quit. Definitely not in the second being down two breaks and up two sets to Love, so I tried to stay focused and play my game. Thankfully that was enough tonight.

Q. Your backhand tonight was on pretty much from start to finish, going down the line with it. Is that what you say is your most comfortable shot?
JARED DONALDSON: Yeah. I mean, I was hitting my backhand really well, especially changing direction. I felt at the beginning of the third set he started to try to cover the down-the-line a little bit more. I was able to open up the court with my backhand cross-court, which was also very effective.

I knew that I needed to play offensive against him and take time away from him. Obviously my backhand is pretty compact. I can take it early. I can put spin on it. So it’s a pretty versatile shot. It’s definitely a weapon in my game.

I just try to move the ball around the court as much as I can.

Q. Overall your thoughts on how well you played today. The key game of the match was the 3-2 hold you had in the second game. Did you think that was the critical point?
JARED DONALDSON: Yeah. I mean, I think every game is important obviously, right? But I think a lot of times the big points come, and you just have to do the same thing. That’s what I have been doing this tournament really well. When I kind of don’t put an emphasis on one point over another, I just play my game every point of every match I played so far.

You know when the big point is coming, it’s important to play within yourself, play what you know, what you know works. I feel when you try to go outside your element or you get nervous, that’s when errors pop up in your game that don’t normally happen.

Again, I just try to play the big points well.

Q. The 4-2 hold, stabilizing things.
JARED DONALDSON: Definitely a stabilizing moment. Came out and got broken at 3-Love. I think he had a fairly easy hold game. I knew I was up a break and I was serving pretty well, I was playing well from the back of the court. Even if I got broken there, I knew it was still a long set to go.

Yeah, I might have given up an opportunity there. That’s what happens in tennis sometimes. You think you have it; then the next moment you don’t. That’s why you’ve got to make sure you stay focused on every point and every game. You never know when your opponent might start playing better or you might start playing a lot worse or vice versa. You have to be in the moment 100%.

Q. There’s been talk about some of your peers more than you. Flying under the radar. Do you have any feelings about that?
JARED DONALDSON: Well, I mean, I think sometimes my peers have done better than I have. I mean, obviously Taylor kind of has the best ranking among other Americans, especially teenagers. He definitely deserves a lot of the attention. Frances played well for a long time, had a better junior career than I did, played better in junior tournaments than I did. I think the other guys deserve a lot more attention than myself.

Honestly, whether or not I get a lot of attention, I’m still 120 in the world. That’s not amazing. That’s not where I want to end up. It’s 120 in the world. I want to be top 10, top 5, No. 1. Eventually, if I get to that ranking, I’ll have enough attention, almost too much attention. I just have to make sure that I stay focused on my game, try not to let the outside factors kind of dictate how I play or act. I just have to keep improving.

Q. You’ve had a great summer, though. Lost to quality players.
JARED DONALDSON: Definitely. I’ve been playing well this summer. I’ve also had kind of an average beginning of the year. It’s kind of fortunate that I’ve been able to play so well through the hard courts. Obviously playing well here at the US Open, which is my favorite tournament, my favorite slam, it’s really special to be able to culminate the summer and play really well at this event.

I remember coming here when I was 12. It was really cool to watch all the best players in the world play here. Now I’m thankful that I’m one of those players now.

Q. Troicki played a tough five-setter before. Did you take that into account? Were you trying to move him around?
JARED DONALDSON: Yeah, no doubt. I knew he played a tough match before that. It was 4 hours, 50 minutes. It works both ways. It motivates you, keeps you aware that, hey, he came back from two sets to one two days ago. I better make sure I’m 100% focused in that third set. Even though I’m up two sets to love or I’m up a set or I’m up a set and two breaks, he’s obviously not gonna quit.

I knew I had to stay focused and in the moment because he was certainly capable of coming back. He’s a tough opponent. I think I did a good job of moving him around the court, taking time away from him, playing my game.

I think I did all that well tonight.

Q. When you were here when you were 12 years old, do you remember a particular match that impressed you? Who is here from your hometown to support you?
JARED DONALDSON: I can’t really point to a specific match or player that impressed me. Obviously I liked all the close matches. I loved coming the first week because there were a lot of really good, close matches. I got to get so close to the courts and so forth. So that was a really cool experience.

I think that the biggest takeaway I’ve had is I didn’t understand how brutal a five-set or four-set match was. Now I understand how tough it is physically and emotionally. Everybody wants it so bad. Nobody’s going to give it to you. You have to make sure you’re 100% in the moment and playing your game because it’s really tough out there.

Q. Something particular that you like about Argentina? Your favorite soccer team?
JARED DONALDSON: My favorite soccer team is Boca Juniors. I loved training in Argentina. It was a great experience for me. Really, I took a lot away from it.

I would say from a cultural aspect, the biggest thing that I took away, besides the fact that in Argentina it took them two hours to drink a small coffee, where it takes 20 minutes for a big coffee in the United States…

I think the biggest takeaway from me in Argentina was how focused and dedicated those guys were training. They were so serious. I think it was really eye-opening for me. The fact that they work so hard even when they were tired. Clay court is so physical. It put me in a pro mentality when I was very young, 14 years old. All the players down there were trying to be pro, working really hard.

It kind of put me, even though I was 14 years old, I was doing a pro schedule just like it was my job. Even though I was 14, I was doing fitness two-and-a-half hours a day, hitting four hours a day. I mean, I had a pro schedule when I was 14 years old. I was training with guys who were 18, 19, 20 years old. It was a big takeaway. It taught me how to work really hard.

Q. Did you pick up any Spanish?
JARED DONALDSON: A little bit. A little bit.

Q. Particular words? Favorite Argentinian expression?
JARED DONALDSON: Todo tranqui.

Q. What does that mean?
JARED DONALDSON: All relaxed, all cool. That’s kind of what I remember. I remember all the guys down there made me sing, I forget it now, but made me sing a Boca Juniors anthem song. One day I sang it in the gym.

Q. You’re going to be playing a Labor Day weekend match at the US Open, which is a huge thrill. Donald Young or Karlovic. Your thoughts if you play either one of them.
JARED DONALDSON: I played Donald twice before, once on a challenger in clay, once earlier this summer in Newport. We split the first two.

Obviously I know Donald is really tough. He’s got a great forehand, solid backhand. Tough tricky lefty serve. Really fast, great athlete. So he brings a lot. He’s got great intangibles. He’s a tough match. He has a great forehand, will try to take time away from me.

Obviously Karlovic, he’s got a monster serve. That’s going to be its own challenge. Two different players at opposite ends of the spectrum.

But I have to be ready for both. I think I will be ready for both.

Q. Given this is unprecedented territory even before today, what did Taylor talk to you about, given his experience?
JARED DONALDSON: For this tournament specifically?

Q. Yes. What has he talked to you about the past couple days?
JARED DONALDSON: I think the big thing that he tells me before every match is just go out there and control the things you can control. I know I’ve said that before. That’s really what we’ve been focusing on, what he tells me before every match. Focus on things you can control.

There’s so many things out of your control that it’s almost a waste of time to even think about it. You have to focus on fighting, competing, how points are going during the match. Because tennis is very fluid. One moment you could play great; the next moment you could be playing not so well or your opponent could have changed something.

It’s important to stay in the moment and figure out how you’re winning points and try to adjust if you feel you need to.

Q. There’s so much talk in tennis about the sport being older, 30-somethings dominating the sport. What’s the advantage of being young right now in tennis?
JARED DONALDSON: So I think this speaks for all young players is that since now maybe a lot of other guys haven’t seen how I play so much, they don’t have as much experience against me. The first two guys I played, they’re established pros.

I’ve been able to kind of go in there with an understanding of their game where maybe they haven’t come in with an understanding of my game because they haven’t seen me or played me that much.

I think that’s kind of what young players bring to the table in terms of playing more experienced players. The experienced player might not have seen the younger player play, so that gives me a slight advantage at least at the beginning of the match. Obviously once they kind of see what’s going on, it’s kind of a dogfight from there.

Nick Kyrgios

Press Conference

N. KYRGIOS/H. Zeballos

7-5, 6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How is the injury?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, it was obviously bothering me a little bit. But, you know, I’m doing everything I can for it. I’m getting a lot of physio for it.

Obviously, yeah, I’m doing everything I can. But my serve sort of got me out of trouble tonight.

Q. Didn’t seem to affect your serving at all.
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, obviously.

Q. Are these conditions tailored to your liking?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah. Guys with big games, guys that obviously can serve well, I think these courts favor them a lot. I feel comfortable playing here. I think I’m returning really good on these courts. I’ve always felt comfortable coming here.

Q. With your injury, happy to be on and off court quickly?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, just under two hours. Still relatively decent match.

Yeah, I’m happy. It could have gone on a lot longer. I’m happy I got off quickly.

Q. I think Marchenko is up two sets to love. What do you know about his game?
NICK KYRGIOS: Pretty solid. Pretty solid competitor. Always takes pride in his work ethic. Loves to stay back and grind.

It’s not over. Dzumi can play good tennis and can definitely fight back and win that match. I know them both pretty well on the court. They’re both tough players.

Steve Johnson

Press Conference

J. DEL POTRO/S. Johnson

7-6, 6-3, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What do you think went wrong out there tonight?
STEVE JOHNSON: I didn’t play my best tennis. You know, that happens. I don’t think I played my best tennis this week while I’ve been here, but I found a way to get through day one.

It’s tough, play your best tennis against a guy as good as Juan. He played great, served great. Had a bad 10 or 15 minutes where shots were kind of going sideways in the second when I was up a break. Kind of unfortunate timing for a bit of a dry spell on my side.

Q. How did it feel playing on Ashe?
STEVE JOHNSON: I felt fine. I didn’t feel nervous at all, which is a good thing. I felt nervous at Wimbledon this year playing on Centre. I didn’t feel nervous at all. I just didn’t execute what I needed to execute tonight.

Q. How were you seeing his serve throughout the match?
STEVE JOHNSON: Clearly not very well.

Q. They were saying Ashe is very loud this year with the roof. Did you feel that when you were out there?
STEVE JOHNSON: Yeah, it was definitely louder than most courts. But the atmosphere was great. I didn’t have a problem with it.

You watch as a kid night matches on Ashe. Finally got a chance to play in one. Pretty happy I was out there. Definitely not my last time, so I’ll learn from this experience and get better.

Q. Both forehand dominant guys, slice a lot of backhands. Playing someone who plays similar, did that similarity play into the match?
STEVE JOHNSON: No. Look, you have a game plan going out playing anybody regardless of which wing is better. I just didn’t execute the game plan tonight. Had a chance to do well in the second. Had my chance to get back on serve in the third.

I’ve been winning a lot of those points in the past three months. Unfortunately today I didn’t win those points to get back in it.

You know, not going to hang my head. Going to take a few weeks off and get ready to finish the year strong.

Q. You faced a lot of forehands on the tour. Where does his rank?
STEVE JOHNSON: His is good. Look, I think everybody’s got a great forehand. I think he relies on his more obviously than some guys, like myself. He’s a great player. Look, he’s 6’6″, great serve, can move well, long wingspan, gets his racquet on a lot of balls. That’s why he’s a Grand Slam champion. He’s no slouch.

Q. Doesn’t feel like it’s coming at you any differently?
STEVE JOHNSON: I think everybody has a different style. You look at Jack’s forehand, my forehand, Rafa’s forehand. Everybody has a different forehand. Hard for me to say which one is better. They’re all very strong parts of their game and very unique.

Q. How do you feel about your performance in big tournaments this year?
STEVE JOHNSON: I feel like half the year has been pretty good, half the year has been not so good. Thank goodness it’s a long year. Glad I turned it around on the grass.

Yeah, I’ve still got a lot of big tournaments. There’s a lot of big tournaments at the end of the year in Asia and back in Europe. Look forward to get the body right, the mind right, getting ready to go.

Q. Does it feel different as the American No. 1?
STEVE JOHNSON: Last I checked John was No. 1.

Q. You were higher seed.
STEVE JOHNSON: But look, I mean, I’ve said it the last three weeks knowing it was going to happen. John is still No. 1 in my eyes. I still look up to him, both physically and in tennis.

He’s our No. 1 guy in my eyes. We’re doing all we can to help him out, hopefully push everybody higher and higher. I’m not trying to beat John by any means. I want myself and I want John to push each other from 20 to 15 and 15 to 10.

It was great while I had it. That’s tennis. You know, things are going to happen.

Q. Because you had a good summer, do you feel more mentally exhausted at this point than you have in other seasons?
STEVE JOHNSON: No. You know, I play a lot of events in the summer. I love playing in the States. Good and bad, I won a lot of matches. You know, that’s okay. Look, I felt fine here. I didn’t feel tired. I didn’t feel out of gas. Was a little bit emotionally gassed from day one here. But I put a lot of pressure and nerves into my own game. It was kind of my fault. But I’m glad I found my way out of that one and had a chance to play today.

Q. Behind-the-back shot, is that something you practice?
STEVE JOHNSON: Usually I hit 30 to 40 of those a day in practice, so…

No, I mean, I don’t know. I didn’t want to hit a backhand, so I hit it behind the back.

Q. What did you see in del Potro? Did you see the 142nd player in the world, did you see a former champion, a potential champion?
STEVE JOHNSON: He’s not 142 in the world by any means? Off the top of my head since Wimbledon, he beat Stan, had a great Olympics. I mean, the guy’s a tennis player and a damn good one at that. I think it’s only a matter of time if he can stay healthy, and hopefully he does, because he’s good to have around on the tour.

Q. What are you looking forward to doing most?
STEVE JOHNSON: Going home and not playing tennis. Just being on the beach doing nothing. That’s about it. When I get off the tennis court, I don’t think about tennis. I probably won’t watch this tournament much.

Hopefully Sam and I do well in doubles. After that, I won’t watch much of this event unless John is doing well, those guys. That’s about it. When I go home, tennis will be the last on my list until I get ready for Asia.

Q. Did anyone from the organization give an answer to you about your complaint about the wild card for del Potro?
STEVE JOHNSON: That’s a stupid question. Not once did I say he didn’t deserve it. Everyone here, just get that clear. That was a really stupid question because, look, the guy won here. Never said it. Just kind of a bummer I played him today. That’s about it.

But, no, he deserved the wild card. Finalist in the Olympics and had Andy on the ropes. That’s about it.

Stan Wawrinka

Press Conference

S. WAWRINKA/A. Giannessi

6-1, 7-6, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. After all these years struggling mentally, now you got to a place where others see you as a big threat. Are you convinced that you are a threat?
STAN WAWRINKA: I’m where I am right now. I’m No. 3 in the world with a great career so far. I’m happy with what I’m doing so far in my career. I’m happy the way I’m playing so far in this tournament. Let’s see what can happen.

Q. Can you talk a bit about the match today. It was kind of a tough match on Armstrong against a opponent I suppose you don’t know so well. Can you talk about it.
STAN WAWRINKA: I think in general was a great level. I’m feeling well, playing some good shot. Armstrong I think is a little bit faster than what used to be, a little bit faster than the other courts.

But, yeah, I never play against him, but I watch before, and I talk with Magnus. I knew what to expect. Is great player. He has some great shots. He’s feeling the ball well.

Was a tough match, as I expect. But I think I’m quite happy to have won in three sets.

Q. Crucial moments in the second set. Were you happy you were able to turn it around, to finish it in three?
STAN WAWRINKA: It’s always better to win in three sets, that’s for sure. But I was ready to go even longer in that court. Was not as hot as the other day, but was really humid.

But, yeah, I think except that little moment when I got broken in the second, a few games when I was a little bit out mentally, not focused as I wanted. But I came back. In general, I think was a great level.

Q. Was it tough today with the rain and the waiting to stay focused?
STAN WAWRINKA: Not really. We are used to that. We know that here it’s far from the hotel. We used every year to have some raining day. I arrive at 3:00 at the stadium. Wasn’t that bad at the end.

Q. Doesn’t mean with your bright outfit that you looked at the pictures and you liked it so you switched to black?
STAN WAWRINKA: No, it’s okay so far.

Q. You’ll stick with it?
STAN WAWRINKA: So far, yeah, it’s okay.

Juan Martin Del Potro

Press Conference

J. DEL POTRO/S. Johnson

7-6, 6-3, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Obviously you’re a past champion here. Are you ever surprised at how much support you get from the crowd here not being an American player?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I feel that for sure. The people with me are making crazy, and I cannot believe that. I think they are proud to see me playing tennis again after all my surgeries. They know what has been through to get here to come back on tennis.

That’s amazing when I get into the court and the people likes just to see me. I’m having great days at the US Open.

Q. What was the key to winning tonight?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: I think I serve much better than my first-round match. I played focusing on the important moments of the game. I played great at the tiebreak. At the end I saw him physically little tired, so I took all my chances to close the match in three sets. I did much better than my first round.

Q. The first set was very close. What was your mindset in the second set?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Nothing. Just trying to keep there and never give up. I did a good job with my serves during all game. I had a few breakpoints at the first set of the match, and I couldn’t take it. Then in the second one, I did very, very often.

I think when you see your opponent little tired, you must take all the chances. That’s what I did today.

Q. You had a lot of support throughout the match. They were singing. Does it surprise you that you can get that kind of sport against an American in America?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: That could be strange for you guys. But I like when I heard these songs to me. It’s like a soccer stadium when they make something like that. I really enjoy it with the fans around the world when that’s happens.

It’s amazing for me having this love from there. I just want to show my tennis as I did in the past. And hopefully I can go far to keep winning matches.

Q. I know you’re in the middle of the tournament here, but can I ask you about Davis Cup against Britain. Do you want to play in that tie? Have you spoken to your captain about it?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Yes, yes, I am still waiting to be decided for being there. I would like to go to Glasgow. Hopefully I can play better than here in that semifinal because it’s very important for me, for my team.

Of course, I want to be prepared for that challenge.

 

Daniel Evans

Press Conference

D. EVANS/A. Zverev

6-4, 6-4, 5-7, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Would that rank amongst your best wins?
DANIEL EVANS: Yeah, it was probably the best one, the situation and circumstances, late, difficult mentally. Yeah, to come back in the fourth and get on top was good.

Q. You seemed to accelerate as you got towards the finish, more aggressive, get it done.
DANIEL EVANS: It wasn’t so much I wanted to get it done. In the third, I was a bit passive. He sort of took control. It was pretty evident that’s what he was going to do for the rest of the match. Needed to stay on top of him.

Q. Appeared to be a lot of distractions out there, movement. Quite difficult to keep focus?
DANIEL EVANS: Yeah, it was tough again. I played on that court the other day, so I sort of knew it was going to happen.

Q. Seemed to be not too happy with celebrating line calls?
DANIEL EVANS: It was a tough match. It was nothing personal against him or anything. Yeah, just fired up, as was he, I think. Was nothing bad. I don’t have any sort of anything against him. I wouldn’t think he’s got anything against me.

Q. Do you think he got distracted by the line calls?
DANIEL EVANS: He had one bad one, I’ll give him that. The rest, I would say, were normal calls.

Q. He’s an emotional player. You looked very focused out there. The crowd seemed to be pull a little bit for him. How did you keep so focused?
DANIEL EVANS: It’s the only way I could really win. I needed to focus all the way through, especially in the fourth where the momentum was definitely with him.

Just stayed focused, eyes down, ready to go, yeah.

Q. Do you think it’s the most focused you’ve been in your career? In the first set you were down 2-5, came back to 5-All. Double-faulted. Bounced back straightaway.
DANIEL EVANS: Yeah, I needed to get a good start in the fourth, just try to get on top again. I sort of felt it was slipping away a bit. I did feel that. It was pretty important to get on top again.

Q. A lot of money to win here. Is that any kind of incentive?
DANIEL EVANS: No, only you guys mention it. A lot of people tweet about it. I don’t really know. It is a big amount of money, but I don’t have a look at that sort of stuff. It’s more the points, sort of looking ahead to what the points can do for me. Obviously it’s a good chunk again so far.

Q. You play Wawrinka next. A major step up in class.
DANIEL EVANS: Hopefully that will be on Court 4, yeah (smiling).

It’s going to be good fun. Yeah, obviously a bit like Wimbledon. Had a good win and then played Federer. It will be on a good court. Look forward to it. Never hit with him, never played against him. It’s going to be interesting, yeah.

Q. With that said, first time in eight years three British men in the third round. Can you talk about British tennis at the moment, general feeling between everyone.
DANIEL EVANS: I think everyone’s obviously doing pretty well at the minute. It could easily have been different. Kyle played Gasquet. I played Ram. We both could lose those matches. Would have sat here with only Andy again.

It just happens in certain tournaments, doesn’t it, where you get through. Other tournaments, none get through.

Like this week, there’s a feel-good factor. Me and Kedders have got tough matches now. See what we can do.

Q. Do you think the way you’re playing you could cause him problems?
DANIEL EVANS: I played pretty well tonight. But he’s a big step up in class. I’ve got to go out there, just like Wimbledon, believe I can win. But I’m pretty realistic about it. I’m nowhere near favorite to win that match.

Q. It’s pretty hard to play the top players. How much pressure do you feel to play a player like Zverev, to feel you should be winning the match?
DANIEL EVANS: I didn’t think I should win today, to be honest. Obviously he was a better player than me at the minute. He was favored to win that match. A bit of an upset. Obviously a good win.

But I still believed I could win the match going into it. Just because he’s favorite doesn’t mean I don’t think I can win.

Q. You said if he did hit it like he can hit it, he’d hit the racquet out of your hand. How hard was he hitting the ball at you?
DANIEL EVANS: I did think that he could just hit it through me. There was a chance he could just put it, yeah, hit the racquet out of my hand. Big serve, big forehand. He didn’t actually do that that much today. I returned pretty well. I don’t think he felt comfortable hitting off my return. It was definitely one of the things which helped me win.

Q. One point in the last 12, 15 minutes when you’ve been on this positive trajectory, one specific tournament or moment where the switch flipped, you thought that you can really do this?
DANIEL EVANS: There’s not really been one point. I mean, the Asia trip was pretty big. I didn’t really like it there. I sort of kept busy by winning matches. I did pretty well out there. Sort of that kept me busy by winning the matches.

Yeah, that trip, I was dreading going there, to be honest. I hadn’t been there before. The second tournament was awful. I didn’t like it.

Q. Which one was that?
DANIEL EVANS: Busan. Yeah, it was the middle of nowhere. I didn’t like it. Yeah, I made final. That give me a lot of confidence. It wasn’t that bad that I thought it was going to be. Wasn’t that good either.

But that week definitely helped that I was pretty comfortable and came through.

Q. You’re going to be up near 50 now. That’s going to get into pretty much any tournament you want. Has that been a particular aim so you’re in the field for Masters Series tournaments?
DANIEL EVANS: To be in the Masters is where the good points are. So, yeah, hopefully main draw of Paris at the end of the year was a small goal once I got through against Ram. So we’ll see what happens.

Q. You constructed some really good points out there. Both of you were patient. But you were also aggressive. Was that a strategy that you came in with?
DANIEL EVANS: Yeah, like I said, he could have hit me off the court if I give him a chance. It was my sort of game to go at him. That was the game plan from the start.

Q. I think you said the other day you were about ready to go home. I assume having won here, you’re not ready to go home.
DANIEL EVANS: Not yet. Yeah, I’m ready to go. But a few more matches hopefully. Still got doubles, as well. I’m enjoying it. Hopefully not here just before Davis Cup so I get to go on holiday.

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Murray, Williams Sisters and Del Potro Advance to US Open Third Round

Andy Murray

Andy Murray

(September 1, 2016) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – The sound of rain loudly pelting the roof of Arthur Ashe Stadium prevented Andy Murray from hearing the sounds of the ball. That did not stop the 2012 US Open champion from beating Marcel Granollers 6-4, 6-1, 6-4 to reach the third round on Thursday.

“You can’t hear anything, really,” Murray said. “I mean, you could hear the line calls but not so much when the opponents — you know, when he was hitting the ball or even when you’re hitting the ball, really, which is tough purely because we’re not used to it. That’s what makes it challenging.”

“We use our ears when we play,” Murray continued. “It’s not just the eyes. You know, it helps us pick up the speed of the ball, the spin that’s on the ball, how hard someone’s hitting it.

“You know, if we played with our ears covered or with headphones on, it would be a big advantage if your opponent wasn’t wearing them.”

Rain delayed play all over the rest of the courts, with Day session matches on the outer courts ending well after the Night session.

Serena and Venus Williams had little trouble advancing to th third round of Flushing Meadows. No. 1 Serena aiming for her 23rd major beat Vania King 6-3, 6-3 to open the night session. The win equaled Martina Navratilova’s Open-era record of 306 major match wins. Roger Federer holds the record with one more win.

“I knew it was on the horizon,” Serena said. “I knew at Wimbledon that I wanted to get there. Obviously I’m excited about that. Would like to take one more step, several more steps.”

 

Older sister Venus stopped Julia Goerges 6-2, 6-3.

 

“Yeah, definitely today was a lot more measured than my first round,” said the 7-time major champion I just felt like I had to dial it back a little bit, maybe play a little bit more percentage tennis, play within myself, keep my errors down.

“Very happy that it worked out against an opponent who is seasoned, who can play, who can serve, who has a lot of big shots. So it was a nice test to come through.”

 

2009 US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro, in the tournament as a wild card beat 19th seed American Steve Johnson 7-6(5), 6-3, 6-2 to advance the third round. The Argentine was very happy to have crowd support playing an American in America.

 

“I feel that for sure.” Del Potro said. “ The people with me are making crazy, and I cannot believe that. I think they are proud to see me playing tennis again after all my surgeries. They know what has been through to get here to come back on tennis.

“That’s amazing when I get into the court and the people likes just to see me. I’m having great days at the US Open.”

 

“It’s amazing for me having this love from there. I just want to show my tennis as I did in the past. And hopefully I can go far to keep winning matches.”

US qualifier ranked 122 in the world, Jared Donaldson is now 2-0 in his career in majors. The 19-year-old who knocked out 12th seed David Goffin in the first round, took down Viktor Troicki 4-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-0 to advance to the third round.

“I’m still 120 in the world,” he said. That’s not amazing. That’s not where I want to end up. It’s 120 in the world. I want to be top 10, top 5, No. 1. Eventually, if I get to that ranking, I’ll have enough attention, almost too much attention. I just have to make sure that I stay focused on my game, try not to let the outside factors kind of dictate how I play or act. I just have to keep improving.”

 

Other surprises in the tournament on Thursday included 2011 champion Sam Stosur losing to Shuai Zhang 6-3, 6-3, Joao Sousa beating 16 seed Feliciano Lopez, Daniel Evans knocking out up-and-comer Alex Zverev, the 27th seed and Paolo Lorenzi stopping 30th seed Giles Simon in five sets.

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Day 2 of the US Open – In Their Own Words

Madison Keys

Madison Keys

(August 30, 2016) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Posting player interviews throughout the day when allowed.

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

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.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Alison Riske

Press Conference

M. KEYS/A. Riske

4-6, 7-6, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Where did you think the match kind of turned a little bit on you?
ALISON RISKE: It’s 2:00 a.m. Maybe that has something to do with it.

She played very well. I did the best I could. Yeah.

Q. It was the latest finish ever for a women’s match here. Do you think being in that sort of unfamiliar territory of playing after 1:00 a.m. was tough for you?
ALISON RISKE: No. I thought I had a high level out there, I really did. I was just joking about the fact that it was 2:00 a.m.

I didn’t feel like it was, you know, anything different than what I’m used to. You know, no, it didn’t feel different.

Q. Are you a night person?
ALISON RISKE: No.

Q. When you went out there, you really took it to her and played a good, aggressive style. When is the last time you remember being consistent and hitting the ball that consistently that deep in a match like this?
ALISON RISKE: Two weeks ago at Cincinnati when I was playing against Kuznetsova. I feel like I’ve been bringing this level pretty consistently, and I think it’s only a matter of time before things start turning my way.

Q. When you’re out on a night session on Ashe, is that most dominant for you, or that you’re playing a friend of yours?
ALISON RISKE: Neither. I played on Ashe before, so I’ve had a couple matches under my belt. Tonight I felt the most comfortable I have, so I feel it’s a step in the right direction.

Madison obviously is an unreal player. She was able to pick it up in the end. That’s why she won the match.

Q. Did you actually notice what time it was?
ALISON RISKE: No, no. I had no idea. I had no idea.

 

Madison Keys

Press Conference

M. KEYS/A. Riske

4-6, 7-6, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Do you enjoy having the record of latest match ever or…
MADISON KEYS: Now that I’m a part of it, yay. Let’s try not to break it. (Laughter.)

Q. What was she doing well in the first set?
MADISON KEYS: I think she played really well. I think errors started kind of creeping in a little bit at the end. I wasn’t totally expecting her level to be as high.

I mean, especially her forehand. She was hitting it really well. You know, she was pushing me back. She was dictating. Normally I would get a ball I could be aggressive on she was handling really well for the first set and 12 games.

I was really happy that I just kind of stuck in there and was able to eventually kind of break her down.

Q. First set at a slam, dropping it, it can be a bit of a panic moment for many players. How close did you get to that panic mode and how did you claw it back?
MADISON KEYS: I feel like I actually handled it really well. Being down a set and a break first round of the US Open is never a comfortable feeling. I knew if I let that panic set in then it would just go downhill, so it was a very conscious effort to stay really mellow and be clear thinking.

Q. What is that panic like? Are you thinking, Oh, my god. I lost first round. Everyone is going to think I’m slumping. Transcribe some of your inner dialogue for us.
MADISON KEYS: It’s more I want to do so well. I have been training so hard. I don’t understand why this is happening. And then it spirals. If you let it, it can get very bad very quickly.

I think a big key, especially for me, if I start feeling it, take a step back and take a couple seconds and try and regroup and get back to level so that it doesn’t start spiraling.

Q. (Question regarding the shoulder.)
MADISON KEYS: Just a little bit of shoulder pain. I think it was a little bit heavier out there tonight. Yeah, I think with some treatment it will be fine Wednesday.

Q. At any point during the match, down a set and a break, did the stage, opening night on Ashe, start to creep in?
MADISON KEYS: It didn’t actually, surprisingly. I feel really comfortable out on Ashe. That was only my third match on Ashe, but it felt just like another court. The occasion didn’t really ever feel daunting.

It was more of an excitement factor. This is something to kind of rise to the occasion.

Q. How would you describe playing at that hour?
MADISON KEYS: It’s not that bad. I mean, we both knew we were going to be on late today. I slept till almost 11:00 this morning, so I definitely wasn’t awake at like 6:00 a.m. and at the courts at 8:00.

I didn’t show up until like 6:30, so it wasn’t that bad.

Q. You play Kayla Day next. Do you know anything about her at all?
MADISON KEYS: She was in the junior program at the USTA in Carson when I was there. I officially am starting to feel old because she was like the young group. I guess now she’s winning Kalamazoo and stuff like that.

I don’t know her. I mean, I know her, but I don’t know how she plays or anything like that. So we’ll get Thomas to watch some videos.

Q. You were two points away from losing. Is that a thing you realize in the match, that it’s that close, or are you so zoned in that you don’t notice?
MADISON KEYS: I didn’t really think about it honestly. Obviously I knew it was really close in the tiebreaker, but it never really sunk in that it was two points.

I knew when we had that long rally and she missed the swing volley, that was when I was like, That was really close. Let’s not do that anymore.

Other than that, it didn’t really come into my mind.

 

Ana Ivanovic

Press Conference

D. ALLERTOVA/A. Ivanovic

7-6, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What do you think made the difference in the tiebreak today?
ANA IVANOVIC: Probably confidence. You know, I had that set point, you know, and I went for my big forehand and it was quite a bad miss because I was a little bit in two minds what to do with it.

I think it was just, yeah, a little bit of confidence at that moment to close out the set.

Q. How important is it then for you to continue to keep going for it if maybe you’re not feeling as confident as you should feel?
ANA IVANOVIC: I think that’s what happened in the second set. I tried to go less for it because I tried to make less errors, basically, and I ended up making more.

It was really hard to find the balance between striking and staying in the points. A lot of times in the second set my ball was dropping short of my backhand and she was in control.

Q. How disappointing is it second year in a row going out first round?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, it is very disappointing. You want to try and do best at the biggest events. I really felt I did everything I could. It is very, very sad.

Q. What do you attribute it to?
ANA IVANOVIC: I mean, it’s a lot of things. Also, my wrist inflamed again.

Yeah, it’s just like I talked about, you know, confidence in these important moments throughout the matches. I feel like I put myself in a position to close out the set or, you know, a break, and then I don’t.

This is what has been really frustrating, so this is something that I really have to reassess and work on.

Q. You have been at the height of the women’s game. How hungry are you to get back and attain that level?
ANA IVANOVIC: Of course that’s what we work for. I really feel like I have a talent to do that. You know, there is a lot of hard work and a lot of health as well involved. This is what I need to do.

I feel like I have been putting a lot of work on court and in the gym over the year. It’s been very frustrating not getting anything in return, because I really feel like I invested my heart and also the work.

You know, it’s really disappointing in that way, so I really have to try and, you know, stay a little bit positive even if it’s very hard.

Q. Where do you feel like you are emotionally and mentally? This has been I think a struggle of a year on court for you. A lot has happened off the court. But do you feel like you have to step back and re-evaluate things?
ANA IVANOVIC: I think so. You know, it’s been very frustrating that throughout the year I felt like my forehand has actually been letting me down, and that’s something that’s my biggest strength.

I really feel like I have to, yeah, reassess, because like I said, I have been putting so many hours on court and in the gym in particular trying to get my body healthy.

Last year I ended up with very, very bad back, and this year it hasn’t been coming back because I worked so hard at it. It’s just like I said, I haven’t been really rewarded for my hard work.

This is something that I have to sort of accept it and, you know, try to actually see why is that happening, you know, and what I can do differently.

Q. Going back both to that answer and to the prior answer, when you said you’d step back, reassess, and address it, reassessing is easy. How do you actually address it? How do you fix that?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well I spoke with my team, What should I do? What can you do differently? You know, it’s sometimes maybe there are new answers.

I try to really play a lot more matches leading up to the US Open, sparring matches, because that’s what I felt I miss. This is maybe something I have to keep at, and then hopefully that can turn it around, sort of get that confidence in the big, important points.

Q. You’re not thinking about walking away from it, though, are you?
ANA IVANOVIC: No, not at all. I just need to really see why is this happening, you know. Because, I mean, I had struggles throughout my career; I had some tough times. This is not the first time I’m going through this.

It just hurts because I know what I invested.

Q. Sometimes in sports they talk about the concept of wanting it too much. Seems like in theory maybe a difficult thing to think about. Is that something you feel like you have ever struggled with?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, all the time. I feel like I have potential and game, but it hasn’t really been coming together. Like I said, it’s not like I don’t work. I really put a lot of hard work. I had four people traveling with me trying to make sure I’m on the right path and doing the right things.

Before when I traveled with one or two persons I was doing much better. You know, these other things that can I have these are the things I have to think about.

Q. When you said you dealt with doubt in the past and you have had struggles and successes, what do you remember from those periods to get out of that?
ANA IVANOVIC: It was a process. It was a process. Nothing happens overnight. You really have to keep at it and keep pushing and having the right approach, day-to-day basis, for it to turn around.

You know, I remember in 2014 when I had a great year. It took me five to six months to actually get in the right shape physically and mentally to be able to do that and to back myself up.

Q. It’s also more difficult, isn’t it, when your seeding starts to fall you start to play tougher players?
ANA IVANOVIC: This actually I don’t really consider, because it’s always a tough draw, so for me doesn’t matter.

Q. Your husband is having a big night tomorrow. Will you be able to watch that special night with him or will you meet afterwards?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, unfortunately I can’t make it there.

Q. On TV?
ANA IVANOVIC: Definitely.

Q. Will you meet here afterwards or…
ANA IVANOVIC: No. Let’s see how my wrist goes and what the next plans are.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Rev #1 by #179 at 2016-08-30 16:50:00 GMT

 

Simona Halep

Press Conference

S. HALEP/K. Flipkens

6-0, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. I think a lot of people had this match as being tricky. She’s had a good week in New Haven and the score doesn’t reflect that. How do you feel you were playing today?
SIMONA HALEP: I think it was a very good match for me. I started nervous a little bit, but I managed very well. I hit the ball. I took the time to open the court more, because I knew this very difficult to hit from her slice.

She hit a lot of slices today and was not easy, but I like that kind of the game. When it’s slow I have enough time to do everything I want.

I finished some good points, winners, and then the confidence was very high and I could finish in two sets.

Q. How ready did you feel for this tournament?
SIMONA HALEP: 100% ready. I feel good. I feel confident.

I had two good tournaments before coming here. I have no expectations still, but I’m here just to do my job, to enjoy the moment, and to give everything for every match.

Q. You had your best run here last year. You have been going very far in Grand Slams, getting to the final. How ready do you feel you are right now to achieve a title?
SIMONA HALEP: Oh, it’s tough to speak about that.

Q. I know it’s a little early.
SIMONA HALEP: I wish I could win it, but is not easy to think about that. It’s just the first round. I have many matches ahead, and the next round is going to be very tough.

Maybe in my career I will win a Grand Slam. I’m not sure and I don’t know if it’s gonna happen, but I’m here just to work hard, to get better, and to dream for it.

Q. Your results have been very, very good coming into the US Open, so talk about the level of confidence that you can draw from the recent results that you have been having.
SIMONA HALEP: I can say I’m very confident in myself. I feel the game. I move very well on court. I am positive all the time. Sometimes I get upset on myself, but still helps me to stay motivated and to stay focused.

I try to improve day by day, even if I’m playing a tournament. I’m not thinking about this tournament just; I’m thinking in a big picture.

All my thoughts are just through improvement, not to win the match, just one match.

I think helps me this attitude, and I think that it’s important I’m healthy now and I can give everything I have during the matches.

Q. 6-Love, 5-Love match point and —
SIMONA HALEP: You remind me that… (Laughter.)

Q. Was that just concentration?
SIMONA HALEP: Like I said on court, I was nervous to finish the match. 6-0, 5-0 match point against a top 50 player is not that bad. Maybe I was scared that it’s too good.

Then I just wanted to do too much at that point, to hit maybe an ace, which is not my favorite shot. I tried too much and then I got a little bit upset with myself and I was rushing.

But then I just said that I had to calm down and to finish the game.

Q. You also said just now that you had no expectations going into this. Has that always been how you approach Grand Slams, or is that something you have tried to make yourself do?
SIMONA HALEP: I tried this thinking just before Montreal. I tried just to think that I have no expectations. I’m playing good tennis. It’s normal to win; it’s normal to lose. Every player is playing well.

So I have just to keep focused for what I have to do on court and to improve my game.

Q. Is that easy to do?
SIMONA HALEP: It’s not easy, because the desire is very big to win and to think that you have to win or you want to win.

But I’m at the big level now of relaxation. I’m relaxed, and I try just to keep that.

Q. You were talking about finishing the match today. Here when you finish the match and you hit the ball up into the stands, are you aiming? You personally, do you aim at anything in particular, or what goes through your mind when you do that?
SIMONA HALEP: Just to hit it right and someone can catch it. Because sometimes I do wrong and it’s not nice.

But this court is huge, so I cannot hit very high level. But I tried today. I was pretty strong. (Smiling.)

Q. As you look ahead to the next match, when you’re here in New York, is there a particular time you like to play, your favorite time of the US Open?
SIMONA HALEP: I don’t believe last year — last year I played night session. I don’t remember if I played, but I like during the day, even if it’s hot. On center court is the best feeling. Now we don’t have wind and it’s perfect atmosphere to play.

Doesn’t matter when I play, I just want to play and to make like nice atmosphere down there, to play good tennis.

Q. Normally most players during practice they practice wearing shorts. Normally when they play their matches —
SIMONA HALEP: You like my outfit?

Q. I don’t know. I’m asking.
SIMONA HALEP: I love it.

Q. Okay. Fair enough. Do you feel a difference when you play a match not in like a tennis dress or tennis skirt and tennis shorts instead?
SIMONA HALEP: Today I didn’t feel different. I was not paying attention on my outfit, to be honest.

But I like it and I love it. I can say I feel very comfy on it and I will ask adidas to make more shorts for me (Smiling.)

It’s nice and it’s something different so I take it like a very beautiful thing.

Q. A question I always wanted to ask you. So today you’re in such a good mood. Something totally different. Tennis, when you started, when you were young and you started tennis, playing tennis and to become a professional, I want to ask you, did you always — did you ever feel motivated by the old good times of Romanian men’s tennis? Of course I know you know Tiriac well, and Nastase. Was this motivation for you?
SIMONA HALEP: I started when I was very young, around four and a half, but to think I want to be professional tennis player it was around 14. It was not easy for me to get the motivation from them because I didn’t know them. I never met them before.

With Mr. Tiriac I started to talk two years ago so, yeah, not long again.

With Mr. Nastase I’m not talking very often. Just when I see him, just hello and something like that.

But Virginia Ruzici I have since I was 16, 17 like a manager. Yeah, I can say that it was a motivation because she could win a Grand Slam. That is my dream. And I feel that everything is possible when I have her next to me.

Yeah, it’s good motivation, and I try just to keep these people around me to give me motivation and inspiration.

Q. You have said you try to eat a little dessert every day.
SIMONA HALEP: I just have cheesecake. Every day. Yesterday I had a big ice cream on the street.

Q. Any baked goods, bakeries in New York City you’re excited about or looking forward to trying?
SIMONA HALEP: Like a dessert?

Q. Yeah, bakery.
SIMONA HALEP: Cheesecake I am eating here and the chocolate ice cream at the machines on the street. It’s amazing. (Smiling.) I had double yesterday.

Q. You recently posted some pictures at an amusement park on Instagram.
SIMONA HALEP: Cincinnati. I tried a roller coaster.

Q. First time?
SIMONA HALEP: First time in my life and never again. (Laughter.)

I felt that I’m dying. Darren said he was going on all the machines, and I said I’m not going to do that. But he said it was a white one, and I didn’t see completely. Like I just saw the end, and the end was straight. He said, Come on. It’s pretty easy. It’s the lightest one.

I said about what is that? He said, just the speed, but straight. I said, Oh, I love speed, so I can go.

When I went there and that machine was going down, I felt that I’m dying. I said, Darren, never again. He was laughing when I said. It was tough, but it was nice. Good experience.

Q. Are you a screamer or were you silently scared?
SIMONA HALEP: Nothing. I didn’t say anything. I couldn’t breathe. No, I didn’t scream.

 

Kei Nishikori

Press Conference

K. NISHIKORI/B. Becker

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

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Cruising right along there and hit a snag in the third set and were able to turn around in the fourth and final set. Assess the match, what happened in the third, and generally how satisfied are you with the result?
KEI NISHIKORI: Actually, I’m very satisfied with tennis today. You know, I think third set he start playing much better, little more aggressive, you know, that he didn’t do it in the first and second.

I think that the one game I didn’t do well is the last two games. I kind of slow it down, and, you know, when I give him little chance then he was attacking really well.

So, you know, I think, you know, credit to him, you know, that he played really well third and fourth.

But I step it up last two games. I play little more aggressive. You know, I took the little chance.

Yeah, like I said, it was great match, and I think good start of this week.

Q. Obviously you’re two years removed from being in the final. You knocked off some of the top players. You know you can do it and you’ve done it on this stage before. Coming into this tournament with good results. How confident are you that you can get back on that stage again?
KEI NISHIKORI: Well, yeah. I think there is a lot of chance, for sure, if I can play good. Well, yeah, I got a lot of confidence from Toronto and this summer in Olympics, too. I played some good tennis. You know, beating Rafa, it was great experience I had in Olympics.

So I think I’m feeling pretty good. I took some days off after Cincy, and mentally, physically, I’m ready for these two weeks. I hope I can, you know, come back, you know, later these two weeks.

Yeah, it’s going to be a big goal for me to get this title.

Q. You have played in the Grandstand. How do you like it?
KEI NISHIKORI: It was good. You know, a lot of people show up. I feel very big, you know, huge, huge court. They make a lot of great courts.

Yeah, it was good feeling.

 

Timea Bacsinszky

Press Conference

T. BACSINSZKY/V. Diatchenko

6-1, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Your thoughts on that match and her play. I know she’s had a lot of injuries and things and hasn’t played that much. Your thoughts on her effort and how you were able to get through pretty easy.
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: Well, when you get to play a girl which is entering with a protected ranking you never know what to await exactly. You don’t know how in shape she’s going to be.

This was the difficult part of the day. Not knowing what would be just in front of me, which answers she would give to all the questions I’m asking her.

So I figured when you’re not playing for a while, maybe intensity-wise you cannot, like, handle it like maybe for three sets. So I was trying — I told myself, Okay, anyway, just try to put as much intensity as you can and try to make a long match if, let’s say, she’s leading or winning the first set.

Because I didn’t know actually how she was really playing. I asked a little bit around, but no one saw her for last year.

Q. After you won the first set, did the second set feel easier?
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: Yeah, because then tactic-wise I found some things which were bothering her, so then it’s easier. But really right at the beginning when you step on court you never know what’s going to come, and that was the difficult part for me.

But then it was easier, let’s say, in the second set, but then she calls the physio. It’s not that easy because you have to stick to the game. You just have to get your mind really set on what you have to do and not like is she gonna run? Is she not gonna run? What is is she gonna do? Is she gonna hit harder? Make dropshots?

So I tried just not to think too much. Just okay, I — I decided I’m going to run no matter what. Yeah, that’s what helped me, yeah, to get through this match.

Q. What do you make of your summer so far? Like post Wimbledon, having a little bit of a break, into the Olympics, fantastic result there in doubles, now we’re back on tour and the grind and the slams. What do you make of the last two months?
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: Well, I was supposed to get a week of holiday the same week of — like the week of Gstaad, but it was like home tournament so I couldn’t — was tough for me because at one point I knew it would be a tough year and I would need to rest at one point.

But I chose to play Gstaad because it was home, and I was all the time complaining there were no tournaments in Switzerland. So I had to assume my status and assume everything what I said in the past, so I played it.

And then so maybe I said that in an interview already. A bought a small boat, motor boat.

Q. Boat?
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: Yeah, boat, so you can go like on the lake. I’m living next to a lake, so… I mean, in Lausanne, beautiful city of Lausanne, Olympic capital, by the way. Really proud to win a medal as coming from the Olympic capital.

Well, my boyfriend just passed the boat riding/driving or — I mean the boat license. That’s why he didn’t come with me for the last couple of weeks, but then we went with friends. I discovered wake surfing, as well. I’m a big fan of that, as well. It’s not the same the wake board.

You have your feet unattached, and you just have to — you like hang on to a thing, like to come out of water, but then you surf the wave actually created from the boat.

So you put all the — in French it’s (Speaking French) the weight on one side. If you’re goofy it’s on one side; if you’re regular it’s on the other one.

Then you just like ride the wave which the boat is creating. So it was really fun, so I just loved it.

So that was my summer plans.

Q. So that was after Gstaad, before the Olympics?
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: It was after Gstaad, yeah. So those were just a couple of days. Then I decided to practice again.

Yeah, well, I went to Swiss tennis, practiced a couple of times with Victorija Golubic, as well. You know she’s one of my best girlfriends definitely on tour. That’s when this whole thing happened, when we were so happy that we were going together to the Olympics and then Belinda doesn’t come. Then she’s at practice with me and Martina says, yeah, well, I’m going to play with Timea. Me, I’m like, What? What? No, no. Not now. No.

Yeah, well, it was kind of strange, but then, yeah, well, Olympics, and it happened the way it happened and it was just like unreal.

Yeah, probably lost — I mean, I had so many unbelievable moments over there, but probably lost a lot of energy, as well.

But, yeah, well, I don’t know if I completed. Like I answered the question more or less.

Q. What did you learn from playing doubles with Martina?
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: Oh, many things. I mean, many things. For sure tennis-wise the touch, what she has or like the way she can put the ball there or here.

I mean, it’s something that it’s her own thing. Tactic-wise, I didn’t learn much, because on myself I’m playing — using many tactics in my singles, and I played a lot of doubles before, too.

But just now when I came back three years ago I decided to play less and less doubles, because I figured I spare my energy for singles because it’s hard already to do that.

So it’s not something that you can learn or, I mean, for sure she had – she still has – an unbelievable career. But I think I didn’t go there to try to learn something. I went to play the Olympics, to go as far as we could, and try to create something.

I think it worked quite well.

Q. What was going through your mind as you’re standing on the podium and they’re giving you the medal, and, you know, the flags are going up?
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: I’m going to cry. (Laughter.) Sorry.

To be honest, I still did not celebrate it really, the Olympics, so sometimes I still cannot realize it. But, you know, like growing up in Lausanne you have all the Olympic committees around. I practiced next to the IOC, the house of the IOC. You have the Olympic museum over there.

As a kid at school, every school of the region goes there to visit at least — probably in the whole scholarship, probably at least three times the Olympic museum.

We went with friends from Hungary, for example. It’s a highlight in Lausanne. You have many things to do, but for tourists, it’s just amazing.

Well, I mean, for me it means like so much. I mean, I was watching the Olympics, and I would never ever really think that I would win a medal one day. That we did it together against all odds.

It was really like not something like that would just work, and it’s gonna be there. Like how it happened that we ended up playing together, and then also feeling like if something is happening between us two, can we create something, trying to lift the other one up.

Like playing like next to Martina sometimes it’s not easy position, as well. But I’m super proud of myself because I held her up sometimes during this event, as well. She was maybe less motivated at the beginning. She was like, Oh, crap, I cannot — I mean, I feel like everyone is letting me down, but you’re the only one who stands here with me. So, like, okay, let’s do it.

I mean, it’s many, many things.

So it means just a huge thing. And like we have accomplished something amazing, but myself, too. Yeah, well, I really never never ever thought that I would be, yeah, coming back home with a medal one day.

So, yeah, it really made me dream a lot when I was a kid even though tennis is not really in history of the Olympics, but — sorry. I continue speaking. You guys know I speak a lot.

Something which was really amazing, and sometimes it was tough even to come back on tour, because over there it’s some — I mean, it’s — how you say in French? (Speaking French).

Q. Temporary.
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: No. It has like no — you’re like, how do you say?

Q. Intangible? Temporal? Like it’s just not… Continue.
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: Yeah, it’s not connected to anything. Like you get there, you get to meet people, you don’t know them and probably you’re never going to see them again, but at least in the Village you just feel respect which is like around everyone there.

There’s no aggressivity. Like really almost like — with me everyone was nice. I mean, and I myself, probably I was shining more than usually. I was laughing more because I really felt like the energy of it.

Okay, it’s only two weeks in a year or three weeks in a year and that’s sad, because it should be — every competition for me should be like that. Because you’re not — it’s not like — even in tennis we use sometimes, Oh, what are your weapons? Oh, come on, guys. You’re not doing that for war. We use weapons for war. But why do we use that also in our vocabulary?

And really, at the Olympics I really felt like you meet an athlete, you just talk for five minutes or even two or you trade a pin. This is the best invention ever for myself, or for what I really think, because otherwise maybe people would be too shy to talk with each other.

But like that, you can go to any country in the world and say, Ah, Palau. Didn’t even know it existed. Or Tuvalu. Where is it on the world map?

Yeah, like you get curious and then you’re like, Oh, which sport are you in? What are you doing? Oh, I lost to her or I got injured. Then you really feel like it’s how sad it is and how much it means to people. Then, okay, you say, bye-bye, good luck, all the best for you, and you’re probably never going to meet him or her again.

But the human contact, the exchange, is just natural, simple, and it’s nice. And all the images that you see from the Olympics are usually full of positive emotions of sportsmanship, of — you try to give really your best. For sure sometimes sadness or like you lost or you didn’t get the bronze medal, and there are only nice images for me.

Yes, for sure in Judo you had this poor, poor guy which did not to salute his opponent, which is like terrible. But it’s one. One out of how many nice things.

Yeah, as I came back on tour it was not like — you feel like sometimes the tension that people have in their eyes, like even on the tennis tour. You’re like, Guys, I didn’t do anything. Like calm down. You feel the aggressivity sometimes, which I was sincerely not feeling at the Olympics.

You go back to the Swiss house and all the other Swiss athletes, they are really like 100% sincere that they are so happy for you that you got a medal, because they know how tough it is and how much you work all year long for that and how big it means to everyone.

I really felt — it’s the first time in my life I really felt like 100% of sincerety out of people or other athletes which were like, Oh, wow. I saw that you won a medal. Oh, how amazing. Do you have it? Can I just see it?

And this like — I think the world just should be like. Unluckily there are no Olympics every week. It wouldn’t be that special probably. But it made me realize that it’s, yeah, many things.

 

Stan Wawrinka

Press Conference

S. WAWRINKA/F. Verdasco

7-6, 6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Your buddy Roger isn’t here. How does it feel without him around to talk to and discuss things with? How is it not to have Roger here to talk to and as a friend to discuss things?
STAN WAWRINKA: No. It’s hard for the tournament, for the fans, for the tennis, for everybody.

Roger is so important for the tennis, and it’s unfortunate he’s injury for the rest of the year. It’s not the best for the tournament, but now that the tournament started I’m focused on my game.

Q. Does it matter to you at all just as a personal thing?
STAN WAWRINKA: No.

Q. Focusing on your match today, obviously facing a difficult first-round opponent, getting through in straight sets. How happy are you with the result?
STAN WAWRINKA: Yeah, I’m really happy. I think it was a great match, especially for first round. You never expect to play your best game and full of confidence, but I think the level was quite high.

Fernando is a tough player to play. He can be really aggressive. He don’t give you so much rhythm, so it’s not easy. But I think in general I’m happy with what I did. I was really focused on myself. I was moving really well for first one. I’m getting some confidence from that match.

Q. Your fitness or condition coming in, do you feel confident that you can once again go far here?
STAN WAWRINKA: Pretty, yes, but it’s a Grand Slam. You need focus match after match. In general, I’m really confident with my preparation, with the way I’m playing in practice court, the way I’m moving.

I think everything has been really well. I had almost 10 days here in New York to do great preparation. Again, now, I’m focused on the tournament, match after match.

But the way I started today, I’m really happy with that. Let’s see what’s gonna happen the next few days and weeks.

Q. You have won both of these Grand Slam meetings. Is it something about the mental edge in the big tournaments or is it best of five or do you elevate your game a little more, do you think?
STAN WAWRINKA: Yeah. I think also last few years I have been way better tennis player in the court, especially on big events.

Today, again, I knew I was ready physically to get there. Tough condition at the beginning, but, yeah, I think in general I’m better than few years ago. That’s make the difference.

Q. One of the traditions is when you hit the balls into the crowd after the match, how do you determine where you’re going to hit them? If you were playing in Ashe, would you ever try to hit the ball out?
STAN WAWRINKA: I don’t think you can. (Smiling.) But the good thing here is you can send a ball as hard as you can. That’s always good.

No, it’s depends. I look out in the crowd. I look where are the people who really are making some noise. I look where are the Swiss fans and the young people. It depends. That’s why I give a little bit to each side.

Q. This season it looks like you’re going with very bright colors that you are wearing. Do you like your outfit here and compared to the other two Grand Slams where you already have the bright colors?
STAN WAWRINKA: Yeah, it’s a bright year so far for me, in Grand Slams especially. No, it’s okay. I can also put some more black if I want. First time I’m going with the pink shirt and short. We’ll see how it looks on the picture, and then I will decide if I go back to the black one.

Q. A lot of errors in the tiebreaker. You made fewer of them. What was your assessment of that? In the tiebreaker were you worried?
STAN WAWRINKA: No. I think I’m really happy with the tiebreaker. Was important, especially first set, to take that set. He had more opportunity during the set. He had some break points, but I was trying to find little by little my game.

Was important for the rest of the match to take the tiebreak. I start to play way better after that.

Q. The focus has been on Roger, Rafa, Novak, Andy, but you’re right up there. Expectations are high for you. People come out to see your matches. Do you feel that? Do you feel that, say, compared to a few years ago? How do you handle sort of the elevated expectations?
STAN WAWRINKA: Yeah, for sure it’s different than few years ago. Everything is different. I have been winning some Grand Slam, my ranking is No. 3 in the world, I’m seeded 3 here. Playing first round on Ashe everything is different.

But also for myself. My expectations for myself are more higher than before. For me, the most important thing is to focus on what I can control, all the practice, all the schedule, giving everything every practice being ready for the tournament.

Right now I know I’m ready for here, for the tournament. And now I’m going to see how I’m going to deal with the pressure, with the match, and trying to play the best I can until as far as I can.

 

Janko Tipsarevic

Press Conference

J. TIPSAREVIC/S. Querrey

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

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What does a win like today tell you about where you are in your comeback?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: I always celebrate a little bit more in tennis than I should. But, you know, two years and three months not competing kind of takes a lot from you (smiling).

Beating a very good player on a big court means a lot, a lot. I feel the challenger that I won prior to come to the US Open two weeks ago, even though it was on clay, it wasn’t that strong, gave me confidence because I won it from quallies, and I won seven matches in a row. It’s just nice to hear, Game, set, match, Tipsarevic.

When you have practice and wins behind you, hopefully this will help me go deep into the tournament.

Q. How do you rank Armstrong in terms of courts?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: I like Armstrong. I don’t think I ever lost a match on that court. I didn’t play many, maybe five, six, but I don’t think I ever lost a match on that court.

It’s a good court. It’s very wide, so if it’s not completely full, it looks half empty. It’s not fair. We have a similar situation with Belgrade Arena, which is like 20,000 people. It happens to us sometimes when we play Davis Cup and 10,000 people come to watch us, and it looks half empty, but there’s a lot of people there.

So it’s not really compact, so it kind of looks like it’s half empty, but there’s a lot of seats. It’s a very, very big court.

Q. What is your favorite court?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: Grandstand. It’s a very weird court. All of the courts here at the US Open have a lot of space, left, right and behind. And Grandstand is quite small. It’s kind of like if you remember the Memphis center court, it’s really, really compact and small. A lot of players take time to get used to it. But I played a lot of matches on that court and I’m prepared from the very beginning.

Q. You have an active mind and a lot of interests. What has kept you focused on tennis these years that you’ve had all these injuries and struggles?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: You know, at the beginning it was a little bit of a relief because in 2013 I was playing half injured. For the amount of painkillers I was taking in 2013, the enzymes of my liver went four times more as they should be. So I was really screwed up.

So in the beginning it was a little bit of a relief, saying, Okay, I’m going to take two, three months even off, skip to Australian Open, be hungry, come back. Since the first injury was a benign tumor, it was way more complicated than anybody thought. Even in the first six or seven or eight months, it wasn’t that bad.

But then after I did the second surgery, and part of the recovery which didn’t go as planned, which we are already a year and something into this, I was really struggling a lot mentally.

My family helped me. We had a beautiful little daughter at that time, so I had something to keep my mind busy. The worst part is at that point I couldn’t even really practice because I was basically four months in an actual bed, like not being able to walk on crutches or wheelchair or whatever.

If you can practice or run or go to the gym, it’s kind of easier. I even played tennis for a while sitting on a chair because I couldn’t stand. I’m not crying you a river here; I’m just telling you how it actually was.

To answer your question shortly, I hated tennis at that point and I hated actually other sports. I couldn’t watch other sports because I felt jealous of all the other athletes. They could run and do what they like, and I’m just sitting at home and watching TV.

I didn’t think about tennis that much.

Q. In the match today, your defense was really outstanding. Do you feel that’s a sign you’re back from injury?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: Thank you for noticing. This was the biggest, biggest change which I’m finally starting to feel in the last three or four weeks only. Getting my forehands, backhands back, even serve, I don’t want to say piece of cake, but was quite easy.

Being mobile like I was in my prime was the toughest thing. A big part of that is my new fitness coach, Professor Dusch Covilic, who is a professor of biomechanics. We are working on very specific movements. He has helped me a lot to improve my defense. We have only been working for a month, so he hasn’t had a lot of time.

I am injury-free for quite a while now, so I am finally starting to feel confidence in my body to defend in some of the more crucial moments of the match.

Q. When you were in your prime before you were injured, how do you think your game has changed from that point to now coming back?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: I know this will sound funny, but I believe even when I was in my prime, I still didn’t play my best tennis. When I was in my prime, I believe I served outstandingly well and I was very disciplined as a player, meaning I wasn’t making stupid, unforced errors, I wasn’t going for winners from the position that I shouldn’t. I was trying not to be this kind of flashy player. I was a very disciplined player, with obviously weapons which I was using on the court.

I didn’t feel that I used my aggressive tennis to the fullest potential. Hopefully I will be the old Janko next year at the Australian Open. I mean, only in the last three or four weeks I’m able to do stuff even on fitness without thinking what might happen with the knee or with the hip or with the foot or whatever. So this gives me a lot of confidence towards the end of the year where I’m highly motivated to hopefully make enough points not to be needing wild cards or protected rankings for next year.

Q. How much confidence did you take from winning the challenger in China a couple weeks ago?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: A lot. I mean, I know the cutoff was really low. It was a big challenger, 125 plus eight, so winner was getting basically same amount of points as a final of the ATP.

But I got back playing few weeks before the French Open. I was playing well, but I was always – I know this sounds very bad, but I was really having bad draws. Even challengers, I was playing against like first round Jiri Vesely, who beat Djokovic in Monte-Carlo. Then I played, in a challenger, Carlos Berlocq, who was a top-30 player. On big events I end up playing first round Raonic, first round Cilic, first round Simon, guys who even if I’m playing well I don’t like playing.

I feel like I needed a few of the wins to get the confidence back. I was even offered to play a wild card, I refused, I wanted to grind and win my way through quallies. So it really did help a lot.

Q. Has anyone’s particular journey back from being away from tennis or injury or something else inspire you as you’ve tried to come back, any other player you can point to?
JANKO TIPSAREVIC: I had a very turbulent career, you know. Good junior, bad junior, great junior, good senior, bad senior, up and down, up and down. I never had a comeback. I was, up until 2013, generally a very healthy player.

I don’t have a person who motivates me to say, I want to come back like Andre Agassi or something like that. I want to do this because of myself.

The only guy on tour who can actually really relate to the pain and suffering that I went through is Juan Martin del Potro. We ended up on a practice court at Wimbledon actually more talking than practicing about everything that’s been. Both of us had three surgeries. For both of us it happened when we were playing great tennis. We were basically interrupting each other with what was going on through our minds in this, like, moments of depression and sadness, just not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

Injuries are part of the sport. I know Rafa and all the other guys, they were injured a lot. To have this amount of injury for this significant period of time, he’s the only player that can actually relate to what happened.

 

Jared Donaldson

Press Conference

J. DONALDSON/D. Goffin

4-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-0

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What does that feel like to beat the No. 12 player in the world and get your first US Open win?
JARED DONALDSON: Obviously it was a really, really exciting atmosphere out there. I thought that I played really well. It was tough conditions. It was hot. I think we were both trying to move each other as much as possible and take time away from each other.

So I think that, you know, I just was able to win a few more of the key points today. Obviously that fourth set I played really well.

I think it was a really, really special victory for me.

Q. Seemed like your backhand was the thing that was giving you the most trouble the first set and a half, then you turned it around.
JARED DONALDSON: Yeah. I mean, I think out there it was flying a little bit. I was missing a couple more balls deep than I normally do. That could be because it was a little bit hotter than I played recently. Maybe wasn’t getting quite enough spin on the ball. But I also wanted to make sure I was hitting an effective ball against David because if not I knew I was going to be in trouble and he was going to move me. It could have been that. It could have been a few different factors out there for why it wasn’t going in.

But I just, you know, kept fighting, and eventually things started to go my way.

Q. Talk about your serve, how much that’s been a factor in what you’ve been able to do this summer.
JARED DONALDSON: Certainly my serve has improved a lot since working with Taylor and I feel that is a big key to my game, especially when I’m able to hold easier, not have to grind out so many points.

First set, I served really weak. I think I served like 26% or something, it was pretty poor. But, again, I just kept fighting and things started to turn my way. Once I got a little bit of confidence, kind of got my teeth in the match, I think I really went out and did everything I was supposed to do on the serve, not only on from the serve but from the groundstrokes. Obviously serving well is key, not only for me, but for a lot of guys.

Q. Was there a point in the match where you actually could feel that you were gaining confidence, becoming more aggressive? Was there something that happened that turned that for you?
JARED DONALDSON: I think that after the second set, I felt honestly like I kind of stole that set. Broke back I think at 4-2 or something like that. Then kind of just kept holding, kept fighting. Then at 6-5, me, I felt that he just maybe had — he let me into the match a little bit playing not an amazing game.

Then I felt like that kind of started to get the ball rolling for me. I got a little bit of confidence. I said, Hey, I won the first set, I can definitely win another, and if I can win another, I can win the third.

I think after winning that second set, it gave me a little bit of confidence, especially after being a break down.

Q. How big was getting the break back to get yourself back into the match, back on serve?
JARED DONALDSON: Yeah, it was big because I was trying everything in the wrong direction. Obviously being down two sets to love is not where you want to be. Normally it’s over for you. Obviously in a slam you play a third.

But I knew if I was down two sets to love, that was going to be a tall order. But, again, I just kept fighting and kept doing what I try to do every match, control things I can control. And eventually, just when the big point game, things just seemed to kind of fall in my direction.

I think that’s kind of the position you have to put yourself in as a tennis player. The big points are going to come. You just have to be ready when they do. Sometimes you win more of them, sometimes you don’t. It’s a very fine line between winning and losing out there.

Q. The mental thing, there’s so many ups and downs in a match, in your career. Is it forcing yourself to have a short memory and move on? How do you deal with all that stuff?
JARED DONALDSON: Well, I think obviously today I kind of had a short memory. It wasn’t something I was focusing on. I was just trying to focus on what I needed to do at that point to win.

I kind of learned that playing against better players, you can’t really dwell on the past. The past is the past. It’s kind of next point, you know. You just got to focus on the next point.

I felt like I did that really well today. There were times when I didn’t play great games; there were times he didn’t play great games. When the big moment came, I just seemed to play, you know, good tennis.

I served obviously really well. Got a lot of cheap points on my serve. That definitely helped.

I felt like I just put myself in positions to make it close, then obviously to win the match and the sets.

Q. Does that apply as well to wins and losses, to move on, not get too down?
JARED DONALDSON: Sure, yeah. I mean, obviously right now it’s great. During the match, just briefly after, it was great to win. Now it’s only the first round. In a lot of other sports you get maybe a little bit more longer breaks to enjoy the moment.

But, I mean, now it’s kind of on to my next round. I have to get ready for my next opponent, just do all the right things to be 100% ready mentally, physically for Thursday.

Q. Taylor Dent, big serve, tennis heritage, real courage. Talk to us about what he’s like.
JARED DONALDSON: Taylor has kind of crafted my game since I just turned 17, for all the kind of things I’m doing out there now is a reflection of his influence on me, coaching with me, working with me. I owe a lot to him.

I think that his influence and how he believes the game should be played is how I play the game and what I believe. I think we work really well together because we see things maybe not — we have the overall picture of what we see, but we don’t arrive at the same conclusion the same way. You know what I mean?

We see the same overall picture the same, which I think is really important for a coaching relationship. I think that he’s done a good job and I’ve done a good job also of kind of listening to him and then working really hard at doing what he said.

Q. Be a little bit more specific on the overall picture. What areas of the game?
JARED DONALDSON: I mean, so I started working with him to work on the serve. That was the main reason I went out there. But he’s also added so much more to my game than just the serve. He changed my technique on the serve when I went out there at 17. Changed my technique again a little bit ago, right before this hard court swing.

That’s obviously his influence. My serve is basically because of Taylor and Phil. But also just trying to play aggressive, take time away from the opponent. That’s also an influence of him as well.

The serve is maybe the biggest thing, but everything you see out there has been influenced by Taylor and so forth.

Q. You’ve been here a couple times before. Did you go into this match thinking, Now it’s time?
JARED DONALDSON: I don’t really go into matches thinking, Now it’s time, or I have to do something. Obviously when I saw the draw, I was thinking, Okay, this is my third time here, second time playing I think a top player. So I knew that going in. I’m not oblivious to those things. You’re human. You run through so many scenarios in your head.

I knew I think playing recently that everybody’s good, but there’s fine lines in tennis. So I think it’s important to remember that big points come for both players. You just have to keep focusing on what you can control and not kind of let outside distractions distract you. That’s what I did out there. I think I did that pretty well today.

Q. He double-faulted 17 times today. He said it got mental with him towards the end, which of course happens. You seemed to be attacking his second serve as the match went on. Were you cognizant that he was just trying to get it in? What’s going through your mind as he’s double-faulting? Are you thinking, I’m going to be aggressive on every second serve?
JARED DONALDSON: Especially in the fourth set, I was trying to be very aggressive on the second serve, make points quick. I think in general that’s kind of how I play.

Sometimes, especially against him, where he plays such good defense and keeps the ball so deep, the second serve might be the weakest shot you get during the whole rally. I knew I had to take my chances and play aggressive when the opportunity presented itself because I wanted to take time away from him and rush him, not have it be the other way around. Where in the first set, I felt I didn’t do a great job returning. Also I think when I left the ball too weak for him, he was really hurting me. So, again, I knew I had to play the point on my terms and be aggressive and so forth.

Obviously, yes, I think that him double-faulting did benefit me, of course. But I also think it was kind of a two-way street where maybe he lost a little bit of confidence or knowing that he needs to put a good second serve in so he’s not moving so much. I think both things kind of came into play.

 

Bernard Tomic

Press Conference

D. DZUMHUR/B. Tomic

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

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Pretty frustrating day for you out there.
BERNARD TOMIC: No, it wasn’t that frustrating. I think he just played a good match. I think everyone sort of looked far ahead and prospected me and Nick in the third round. I think everyone wanted to see that. The media was too focused on that.

I think I didn’t give everyone what they wanted. So full credit to the player I played today. It’s a match I lost. But it’s been a good U.S. season for me the last four or five weeks. I played some good tennis. But unfortunately today I was a little bit tired and I played a quality player.

Q. Did the media expectations distract you today, make you lose focus?
BERNARD TOMIC: No. I was a little bit tired. I played a lot of tennis, especially last few weeks. I played quality tennis. Today was tough for me. I knew I had to play a lot of balls against him. He’s beaten a few players in the top 10, Berdych, et cetera. I knew it was going to be tough because I played him here last year in the first round.

For me to play this match tonight, I knew I had to use my feet, my legs, and be on every ball. I just couldn’t find the energy. I just needed to find something. Even my serve was off.

But he was playing very, very good. I spoke to him in the locker after. He said he played a very, very good match.

Q. What was the situation with the heckler in the crowd?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I think he was just baiting me a bit. You know, I don’t want to get into it. I apologized for what I said to him. I think after he left the first set, I think the crowd got happy he left because he was a bit annoying. But it’s okay.

Q. He was actually kicked out?
BERNARD TOMIC: I have no idea. I just saw he left and the crowd clapped a bit. But I have no idea who he is. I apologized for what I said to him. I just continued to play after the second, third set and fourth.

Q. What was the exchange you had with the chair umpire?
BERNARD TOMIC: The chair umpire? When was that?

Q. Did he talk to you about what you said?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, no, he just asked me who was that, what was this. I just said some guy. I don’t know who it was. The whole time I didn’t know who it was. I’m focusing on the court. That’s my priority.

There was some stuff in the background as I was playing balls and returning. It’s tough. I watched a little bit today of Tipsarevic also and Querrey. There were some similar situations with the crowd yelling and people talking in between points. Big points, I should say. It was maybe not good that the crowd got too excited or sometimes speaking in the points, it’s not fair. I think we’re here to all play and everything has to be equal.

Nothing was really said with me and the umpire. He just asked me what was the problem.

Q. Is what he was saying to you similar to what you said back to him?
BERNARD TOMIC: I don’t know. I just turned around. It was the same sort of voice. He was just sort of saying negative stuff. I didn’t know who it was because I was just focusing on the court. It was tough to figure out in the background.

It’s passed and I don’t really care who this guy is.

Q. What sort of things were said?
BERNARD TOMIC: I can’t remember at the moment. I don’t want to talk about it anymore because I do not remember what he was saying to me. It was just in that moment. But it’s okay.

Q. What you said was picked up on camera, is on YouTube already. What do you think of that?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I think obviously — you know, I apologized to what I said to him. He definitely baited me the whole set for me to say that. But I do apologize. If there were people around that heard, yeah, that’s all I can say.

Q. You had a discussion with Dzumhur at the handshake. Anything related to that?
BERNARD TOMIC: No, Dzumhur is a good friend of mine. I respect him a lot. I just wished him the best and encouraged him to continue his great form this week. Hopefully he can do well for himself here.

Q. (Question regarding Davis Cup.)
BERNARD TOMIC: I haven’t thought about anything yet. I’m just tired lately, last month, two. Especially after Wimbledon. I went to Washington straightaway. Was playing pretty okay. Then Toronto. Was flying a lot.

It’s tough. Tennis, you have to be really fit and stuff. I’m one of those guys if I’m 100% and fit and ready for the tournament, I play very good tennis.

But now I think definitely I’ll go back to Davis Cup we have. It’s a little bit further away we have, maybe two weeks. Maybe I’ll relax now a little bit.

Q. Do you feel the Old Grandstand that you hear a lot more from the crowd than you would other courts?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, for sure. It’s, what do you call it, everything is near and compact. Yeah, surprised there was no challenge. I obviously played on that court where I beat Lleyton and lost to Gasquet in the third round. There was a challenge. This year there was no challenge. I was fascinated. But obviously they moved the New Grandstand to the new position and it’s a great court, for sure. I’ve seen it.

Q. Are you saying you will play Davis Cup?
BERNARD TOMIC: Of course. It’s a stupid question. I always play Davis Cup. I’m there 100%.

Q. You seem to expect the questions about what got picked up on microphones. How did you hear about that after the match?
BERNARD TOMIC: What do you mean?

Q. How did you hear this was out and online and everyone heard what you said?
BERNARD TOMIC: I just heard from you. You just told me then, or whoever said. I couldn’t care less. I apologized right now if anyone heard around, but I directed it specifically to him.

Q. (Indiscernible.)
BERNARD TOMIC: I couldn’t care less where he went. I think the crowd clapped that he went, so…

Q. Have you been told that you might get a fine for it or not?
BERNARD TOMIC: No. I mean, he was for sure in the moment saying a lot of stuff to me. But it’s okay. It’s just sometimes the crowd need to be respectful, especially at a big major tournament, the US Open, for example. Like I said before, I saw it in the Tipsarevic match, too. The crowd get too into it, too against an opponent, too on one person’s side. It creates energy. The crowd really get into the match. It sometimes can cause problems.

I had problems on the other end, as well, with a few people in the corner. But it’s just they were saying some negative stuff to me, in my language of Serbian-Croatian. The microphones didn’t pick that up. But I obviously caught the blame for that.

Q. Was it something about playing a Bosnian that made this match more heated?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah. My mother is Bosnian. Obviously I understand the language. Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, it’s all the same.

I had a bit of problem with the other side of the end with a few people. But that’s okay. They apologized as well to me and they started supporting for me in the fourth set. I was happy to see that as well.

Q. It’s tough for athletes traveling the world. You’re out there all by yourself in hostile settings. Do you think athletes nonetheless have a responsibility to have basic decency and respect or anything goes?
BERNARD TOMIC: I think, you know, we’re in a sport where it’s so respected. Golf, tennis, I think we respect one another and the crowd. If you see golf tournaments, as well, on the side, no one’s yelling, no one’s talking. There’s a lot of quiet there before someone is hitting the swing or stroke.

So is tennis. It’s a very respectful sport. We’re not boxers or MMA fighters that we rip into each other’s throats before the fight. It’s a very respected sport. I think it should be that way.

Q. Do you feel you crossed the line with what you said?
BERNARD TOMIC: I’d like to see what the microphone picked up what he said. But that might not be possible.

 

Venus Williams

Press Conference

V. WILLIAMS/K. Kozlova

6-2, 5-7, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How would you assess your play today?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, today, the first round is never easy. You’re trying to find a rhythm, get used to the court, you know, play an opponent I never played before.

But it was great to be challenged and to be pushed because I had to get in those situations that you know you’re going to face in the tournament early on. So that felt good to come through.

Q. You looked like you were pretty agile today, all over the court. Has your dancing helped that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No one’s going to pay me to dance (laughter). They’ll pay me to play tennis. I’m going to keep it at that. If it is helping, thank God.

Movement was important today. Of course, courts are a little slow, so you have to have that little extra in the movement or something.

Q. 18 US Opens. You’ve never lost in the first round. How tough is that first match to come out and to be at your peak and make sure you win through against an opponent that you didn’t know much about?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I didn’t know much about her game at all, literally zero. And it’s hard. The first round is hard. I haven’t played a single match in, like, three weeks. Just getting out there and trying to play perfectly.

I definitely had a lot more errors than I wanted. If I could cut those in half, it’s definitely a different story.

The good part is I’m playing the game I want to play, I’m playing aggressively and moving forward. It’s just about making a few less errors and it’s a completely different story.

Q. When you walk off the court after that second set, what goes through your mind having lost it the way you did, probably wanting to regroup a little bit for the third?
VENUS WILLIAMS: After the second set, I was so motivated, honestly I was ready to play an even more aggressive game. I was ready to play even more aggressively. I think in the beginning of the second, I was just too eager so I had to kind of pull back and try to play smart but still aggressive because the game she plays is just pure defense, it appears, and she does well with it.

Q. It’s been five years since you told us you have the Sjogren’s syndrome. You’ve had a pretty good year. You have to be happy with the year you’ve had.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Of course. Then as an athlete, you’re always aiming for perfection, you want more and more and more. It’s never enough. That’s what I’m looking forward to, to peak every time I get on the court. That pretty much doesn’t happen ’cause I’m always wanting to be better.

Q. What would you say that you love the most about tennis?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I love that I love it. So when you love something, you put the work in. I love the challenge. Definitely I like the pressure. I like the high stakes. All of that makes it just perfect for my personality.

Q. 72 Grand Slam appearances. It’s a record.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Record for people playing?

Q. I think it’s the all-time record.
VENUS WILLIAMS: For what?

Q. 72 Grand Slam appearances.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Hmm (smiling).

Q. In the main draw.
VENUS WILLIAMS: That’s crazy.

Q. What are your thoughts on that? What does it say about your career?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I’m grateful and I’m blessed. All I’m hoping for is just health that I can keep that record going. I don’t know when I’m going to stop playing. I don’t have plans now. I’m playing too well to be thinking about stopping. I appear to be getting better each and every month.

So I’d like to make that record hard for someone to break (smiling).

Where is Serena at? Not far behind?

Q. Not far behind.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Not far behind.

Q. You talked about coming off the court after the second set and feeling really motivated. Obviously when you came off after the third and won, you looked very happy. You were hitting the balls up. What goes through your mind at a time like that? Do you think about where you’re hitting them?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, not really. I was just trying to hit them high. Those fans deserve it. They really put in the time. They really were behind me. Definitely grateful the match was over.

She seemed to play her best from behind. I just wanted to finish that out and use my experience to try to dominate the last game.

Q. You play the game with such joy. Is there any extra sense of excitement when you and Serena are taking Ashe on the same day?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Not necessarily because when you’re in the thick of it, you are so focused on that moment. In a lot of ways, you don’t have time to celebrate the moment. You’re, like, focusing because if you don’t, then you will lose the moment and be out of the tournament. So it’s just laser focus the whole time.

Q. You look so elegant, there’s grace there. Today when we asked your mixed doubles partner from Rio what was the quality that most struck him. He said your fierceness, you’re such a fierce athlete. Could you talk about that. Where did that come from?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I told him when we got on the court, I said, It looks like I’m really nice but I’m not (laughter). I think he learned that. Of course, I’m nice, but… I’m an inward person but I’m extremely competitive. I think when you’re a doubles partner with me that’s when you really get to know that side because of the way we’re strategizing and the way we go into the match. I think he got to know that I don’t take a loss for an answer.

Q. Do you think because you’re so inward that somehow helps you? Your fierceness is a little hidden?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Everyone’s different. It’s just how I operate. Some people are outward, and they need all that. For me, it works for me. It’s just my personality.

Q. Do you take particular note when there are other siblings in the men’s or women’s draws? The Harrisons, for example, may be the brothers to come through qualifying. Thoughts on that. Do you take particular note?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It’s really wonderful to have a sibling on tour. I know that Serena and I’s experience is extraordinary, but for us it feels normal. Then we always have our whole family here with us, and that feels normal.

It’s wonderful to know that someone knows exactly what you’re going through. Of course, when you’re playing your opponents, they know what you’re going through. But there’s not an aligned interest, so to speak. Our interests are always aligned. When I’m sitting there in the box, I’m like, I’ve been in that moment. I know what she’s feeling.

Q. At this point in your career do you think you sign more autographs or take more selfies with fans?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Selfies have become an epidemic. You are getting off a plane at 1 a.m., Can I take a selfie? Please, I’m so tired, I don’t want to take a picture right now. I never thought I’d be here in my life. I got to say.

I’m a tennis player, but somehow I’m famous. It’s strange.

Q. There are times when fans struggle to actually get the photo off.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Every time. Every time (laughter).

Q. In the New York Times profile on you, there was one line that struck me, that you’re learning AutoCAD. How does a professional tennis who is pretty busy all the time do that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I did learn AutoCAD, but then I forgot it because I didn’t use it for five years. So then I learned Revit, which is a completely different system. So I probably could work AutoCAD now, but I need to kind of go backwards.

In any case, it’s a random thing in my life. I’m very, very much immersed in the industry.

Q. The commentators were talking about the crowd support tonight. Is that something you recognized as well?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Once I came back from illness, it seemed like the crowd was really, really there for me, on my side. Maybe they related to what I was going through. I definitely saw a big difference once I came back from taking time off and being ill.

Q. Ryan Harrison yesterday said an interesting thing, that he would rather face Novak Djokovic in the tournament than his brother. I presume you have a similar feeling in terms of facing Serena. When there’s a draw, how quickly do you notice where you are in relation to Serena?
VENUS WILLIAMS: So you’re saying I would rather play Novak Djokovic (laughter)? I think the chemicals in our body are completely different. I don’t think I need to be in that position, but…

I don’t know. We’ve been playing each other since day one. I don’t know what their experience has been, but we know we have to play each other. If we didn’t want to play each other, one of us should have ran track or something. So we know it’s going to happen when we get out there. We just get ready for it.

Q. When Serena won here in 1999, she came out and just hit the cover off the ball for seven matches. How different of a player tactically was she in ’99 versus now?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I always admired her game. Just so fearless. You can’t teach that. Not only fearless, but execution as well. I had an interesting question for her because, you know, I got to the finals in ’97. I thought, I want to ask her, does she think she could have won that final, because I didn’t even come close. So I wonder if my experiences beforehand helped her to be ready for those sorts of positions. That’s a question I have to ask her.

But I wouldn’t bet against her. Honestly, I wouldn’t want to do that.

Thank you, guys. Good night.

 

Juan Martin Del Potro

Press Conference

J. DEL POTRO/D. Schwartzman

6-4, 6-4, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you describe what it was like to be out there again in front of a crowd that was cheering so loudly for you?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, that’s means big things to myself. I am so glad to be part of this tournament once again after three years. I really appreciate the wild card who give me to have the chance to play, and that’s important for me.

Always, in every match here at the US Open, the crowd make me feels special. I really like the atmospheres down there. They create another things in every court.

It’s amazing for me just having the chance to play here once again.

Q. After the Olympics, how long afterward did you still feel tired from the Olympics? What did you do to try to recover to play here?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, to be honest, I’m still feeling tired, for sure. I couldn’t recovery after Rio because I was at home doing many things, in my hometown as well. We decide to came here on Tuesday, trying to stay focused in this tournament, because is a big tournament as well.

It’s not easy after a big, big challenge like I did in Rio. But this tournament is very special for me. I’m trying to keep calm, to keep focuses, and look forward to go far.

Q. Would you say the reception in Argentina was maybe bigger than when you won the US Open?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: I think was different because the people in Argentina, in my hometown, they know what has been through to get there after my surgeries. It was a special moments for me. They really appreciate what I did to come back on tennis. They are proud to see me playing tennis again.

I’m very proud to represent my hometown, my country. It was amazing for me at Rio.

Q. I spoke with Diego Schwartzman. He said you hadn’t played that many games before. What did you know about his game?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: I think he plays well. In the end he started to play much better than at the beginning of the match. It was tough to play because it was really, really hot down there.

He’s a smart player. You know, he runs really fast. I think for this surface, if you don’t have a good serve, you couldn’t take the chance to win the match. And that’s what I did today. Basically in the tiebreak I played smart points and I closed the match there.

Q. Last year before your surgery, could you tell us how close you were to quit or retire? Did you have the time to imagine your life without tennis?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I was really close to quit tennis because after the first surgery, the second one, and in the end the third one, it was really, really sad moments for me. Nobody knows what should I have to fix my problem.

My family and friends help me a lot to never give up. And I think I’m doing well now. The worst part of my life is totally in the past, and I’m living a good present and looking forward for a good future.

Hopefully I couldn’t think what I’m going to do the rest of my life after tennis because now I’m trying to play tennis again. I would like to do this for a few years.

Nick Kyrgios

Press Conference

N. KYRGIOS/A. Bedene

6-4, 6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How did you fell about that overall?
NICK KYRGIOS: I’m really pleased with that one. He’s a good competitor. He makes a lot of balls. He’s not going to give it to you.

Yeah, I was nursing a little bit of an injury, and I how I responded was really well. I’m really happy. I thought I played solid, returned well, served well, hit the ball well. That was a pretty good all-around performance.

Q. What’s the nature of the injury?
NICK KYRGIOS: It’s my hip. It’s fine at the moment, which is really good.

Q. Is that just after Cincinnati you felt it?
NICK KYRGIOS: I actually upped my training a little bit. Went to Miami, Boca, did a lot of training. Obviously with the US Open I wanted to find my form, and I don’t know, just a bit of a load but it’s okay. It’s nothing to worry about.

Q. How did you find the court compared to last year?
NICK KYRGIOS: I didn’t play on that court last year.

Q. The speed of the courts this year compared to last year?
NICK KYRGIOS: I played on Arthur Ashe last year against Murray, so I don’t think it was the speed of the court, really. I thought the conditions were — you know, I thought they were great serving conditions on that particular court. I like how sort of the barriers are close. Big servers get a lot of confidence.

I thought I had a lot of rhythm, as well. Slow, medium, fast. I don’t know. I’m the worst person to ask that stuff, to be honest.

Q. Do you like when the fans are that close? Bernie was having trouble with a spectator in the crowd. Do you like having a crowd close to you?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, I think the courts are really good. I had my first title in Marseilles, and that was sort of the same sort of setup and I had some good results. Even Atlanta was like that.

I think those courts favor big servers and guys who play big, the court seems a bit slower, for some reason. Have a lot of confidence with the game.

Q. When you hear what people are saying, how much do you have to zone that out?
NICK KYRGIOS: I don’t really zone it out, to be honest. Some guy was like, Change your clothes, that’s an awful outfit.

I was trying to come up with a comeback. I didn’t want to say anything. He was an old man. He got me this time.

Q. Next opponent. Have you had a chance to check your record when you played him before?
NICK KYRGIOS: Who won? Zeballos?

I haven’t. You know, he obviously beat Florian Mayer, who isn’t an easy player to beat. The guy has been around for a long time, obviously had a couple of injuries or illnesses. I’m not too sure.

He missed a couple years or year or something. Before that he was a guy who was dangerous. He won a title this year, so he can definitely play. I’m guessing it was a hell of a match. I’m not going to do anything different.

Q. If you play on your terms, you think you’ll probably get through?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah.

Q. You mentioned playing Murray on Ashe. Conditions didn’t matter. Do you feel like you have more of a draw to work with your seeding? You should be able to make your way into…
NICK KYRGIOS: My head space last year wasn’t the greatest. I was obviously going through a lot of stuff last year through that whole Montreal thing.

I’m seeded 14 here, so I won’t meet Murray until I’m a hell of a lot further through the draw. I feel comfortable in general on the tennis court. I feel more comfortable in my game against whoever I play. I know what I can do on the tennis court. I have beaten quality players. I’m not afraid of these guys, but I’m aware they all can play some really good tennis.

Q. A random question: Have you ever gotten your haircut at the tournament salon? If not, where do you get it cut?
NICK KYRGIOS: I have. I think the year where I qualified maybe I got it cut there. I can’t remember. I’m sure they do a great job.

I just typed in “barbers” this year. It was like old-school barber shops, indoors and upstairs and stuff. Really good barbers here. I think my hair is important, too.

Q. Have you been impressed with the Manhattan Pokémon landscape?
NICK KYRGIOS: It’s actually pretty solid. I found one that I’m using. It’s good. Real good.

Q. Radar?
NICK KYRGIOS: I’m not telling you.

 

Agnieszka Radwanska

Press Conference

A. RADWANSKA/J. Pegula

6-1, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Looked like you picked up right where you left off in New Haven. Pretty happy with that performance?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yes, of course. You know, the most important thing that I have quick, nice first round. Just very happy to have this quick match just to, you know, be ready and fresh for the next one.

Q. You talk about needing to be fresh, to try to get through the first week without too many complications. When matches do start to get complicated, do you start to think about that, Here I go again, stuck in the third set, should have finished this in two, or can you stay focused?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, I think because we playing a lot, I think every scenario I already did. I played so many matches pretty quick in two sets. There were some Grand Slams that I was really struggling from the first rounds.

So, you know, anything can happen. But, of course, it’s always better to have quick match, have good tennis and be confident with your game. I prefer for sure those kind of matches than those I have to save match points, for example.

Q. Your sister is not in the draw this year. Does it make you enjoy the tournament any less?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, of course, it’s always better if she’s around. Struggling with couple of injuries, so she’s not here main draw. Well, hoping she can be back soon and we going to play most of the tournaments together.

Q. Do you think it’s an advantage to have a sister or brother on tour?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Of course. I think it’s great to have someone from the family around. You know, we best friends. We very close. It’s always good to have someone who understands you and know how it is how to lose, how to win, how you feel about it afterwards.

It’s always great to have her around.

Q. Do you follow more when you hear about other siblings? Do you follow closely?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Of course, I follow the scores. I’m really always curious about other matches. But, you know, it’s always nice also to see other siblings playing tennis. It’s always cool.

Q. Are you one of the people who looks at your draw at all, looks ahead, or does your coach tell you match by match who you’re playing?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yeah, actually never look at the draw. As we know, anything can happen. I don’t think it’s really necessary. I think the most important thing is just to focus on the match. If you win, then you can look up your next opponent, especially when you have another day to think about it and to prepare.

Q. Do you read the sheets that the tour puts out on records, the match notes? What are you most proud of from the records you’ve read about yourself?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: You mean here?

Q. Just in general before matches.
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, it depends. Sometimes it’s really funny to read some statistics that you have no idea about. Sometimes you really surprised. So I like to read those things about myself, other players, other tournaments, scores, wins and records.

It’s always very interesting.

Q. Do you have any New York traditions, something you always do when you’re here?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, I like to have this ice cream from this kind of car. I don’t know how you call it.

Q. The trucks?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yeah, the trucks. But it’s always nice just to walk around the city. Always cool. You know, as we know, New York never sleep. It’s always nice to get out from the hotel and forget about tennis for a little bit.

Q. Simona was saying the same thing, she was getting the ice cream from the trucks.
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Really?

Q. Do you have a flavor?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yes. Well, I like these sprinkles, colorful sprinkles, chocolate ones.

Q. There are a lot of changes at the tournament this year. Is there a court you’re looking to playing on?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, of course, I didn’t play on Grandstand. Of course that would be good to try to play on this court. I think I played on every court in this facility. So I think just the Grandstand is the one I didn’t play.

Q. The ride that you take from Manhattan to the site can vary. It can be short or long. What are you normally doing during that ride?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yes, well, sometimes it’s very long. Sometimes I’m just getting nervous I’m going to be late. But when I’m on time, I’m trying to relax. Not much.

Q. Like phone, music, talking?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Of course, now we have wi-fi in the car so it’s much better. Yes, exactly like you saying, listen to music. Also checking other scores on the way to the courts. So, yeah.

 

Serena Williams

Press Conference

S. WILLIAMS/E. Makarova

6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How are you feeling coming into this? Compared with last year, are you in a better place? Are you more determined? How are you looking at it all?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I feel okay. I mean, I didn’t play as many matches as I would have liked to play, much on the hard court. There’s nothing I can really do about it. I just have to get everything ready for here.

Q. You said on court that you wouldn’t know about your shoulder until tomorrow. Is that kind of the way it’s been, the day after that it gets sore after playing?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Usually it’s the day of. But as time has progressed, and this past week it’s usually been the day after, so that’s a really positive thing. So, yeah.

Q. What is your takeaway from this first round? Never know what you’re going to have. Tough opponent. Handled it well. Based on your serving stats, looked like your shoulder was feeling pretty good.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I knew today I needed to be focused because I’ve played her. She’s gotten to the semifinals. She goes deep in majors. She knows how to play big matches on big courts. She’s not intimidated. I knew I had to really come out today. It was my only option really.

Q. What were you most pleased with in the match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I was pleased with my serve because I haven’t been hitting a lot of serves at all. In practice, none of them were going in, so I was definitely excited about that.

Q. What, if any, adjustments did you make or have you had to make at all because of the shoulder in terms of how you hit serves? You just mentioned not hitting as many in practice. But in terms of the mechanics or anything, do you need to make adjustments?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I didn’t make too many adjustments. I didn’t hit them as hard as I normally hit them. I just went for more placement. I didn’t go for the big 120s, just the regular.

Q. Just about the dress. Are the sleeves part of the whole design? Are they an accessory? What was the idea behind it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It’s a part of the design. It’s just the latest and greatest accessory. It also is functional, so I think that helps me, especially with my shoulder problems that I’ve been having.

But, yeah, it was originally a part of the design. Just try to create that strong, powerful look on the court.

Q. The dress itself, is there a specific vision for it at all?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, we wanted to focus on the colors. So keep the color black. But there’s lots of pink pops throughout the dress. Yeah, it’s kind of what we were doing.

Q. One of the challenges when you play a great match like that is sustaining and building on it. What do you do going forward to sustain that sharpness?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Wow, I think I can improve a lot. I think I can get a lot better. I feel like there’s much, much more I can do. That’s the only thing I can do is do that.

Q. There’s been a lot of changes at the US Open this year. What do you think about the new stadium?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I love the new stadium. It’s really nice. I’ve practiced on it with it opened and closed, and that’s been really cool, so…

I haven’t seen the new Grandstand yet, but it looks nice on TV (smiling). A lot of changes going on here. I just think it’s all good changes.

Q. Is this tournament a more pleasant experience for you than last year’s was?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I had a great experience last year. I was going for something that no one has done in a really long time. Yeah, it didn’t end out wonderful for me or the way I wanted it to end. But it was all I could do. That’s all I could do.

If I could make the semis this year, I’d be excited about that. I need to at least do something.

Q. With all the changes, one thing that hasn’t changed is the tradition of hitting the balls up to the crowd at the end of the matches. When you do that, what goes through your mind? Do you try to send them to certain people?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I usually pick someone out. They never, never get the ball. Although today, the first time I picked someone out, the guy actually got the ball. That was exciting. That’s all that goes through my mind.

Q. You were asked on court about 1999, that run. If the Serena of today were to play that 1999 version of Serena, how would that match play out?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, what year would it be?

Q. It would be whatever year you wanted it to be.
SERENA WILLIAMS: That makes a difference ’cause if I were to go back in time, I don’t think I would win, because I was determined to win in ’99. I don’t think anything could have stopped me that year. I just had this feeling, even before I played the tournament, that I was going to win.

Maybe if it was a different year, I might have more of a chance.

Q. Do you feel like you’re a different tactical player?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely feel like I’m more tactical now. But I still I have that raw, I don’t care what is your best shot, I’m just going to play my best shot and let’s play tennis attitude. I still have that. But I definitely play with a little more tactic.

Q. Talk about why you were so determined to win in ’99.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don’t know. I don’t know. I always say this. I just had this feeling I was going to win. I knew it. I’ve never been so sure before or after.

Q. Your movement was exceptionally good tonight. Can you comment on that.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, it’s all I could do with a shoulder injury, was movement. I couldn’t hit any balls. I wanted to stay fit, so…

I guess that kind of helped me out a little bit.

Q. It looked like you were using some of the cupping therapy that some of the swimmers do in the Olympics. Are you using that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I’ve always done that. I didn’t know it was something for recovery. If I go to my lady in Palm Beach, it’s part of acupuncture, I love getting it, it makes me relax. I was like, Wow, you can do that for recovery? I don’t usually do it on the road. I’ve never done it on the road.

But I’m always learning new things. I definitely would love to try it on the road because I love the way it feels. But I never knew you could use it for recovery.

Q. A lot of talk about you retaining the world No. 1. How important is that to you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don’t answer those questions.

Q. You and Venus have and continue to make history. When you both are playing on Ashe on the same day, is there any extra sense of enthusiasm to get out there and compete?
SERENA WILLIAMS: We love playing on Ashe. Playing on the same day is always great. I feel like it’s double the fun. It’s always great to see Venus do well.

Q. Can you actually describe what the cupping feels like.
SERENA WILLIAMS: It feels good. It feels like a suction. It feels like an octopus, although I don’t know what an octopus feels like. I think I snapped once a while back. It looks weird, of the cupping. Yeah, I always do it, but I just did it for fun, so…

But, yeah, so it just feels like it’s suctioning and it just feels good.

Q. (Question regarding the sleeve.)
SERENA WILLIAMS: It’s definitely functional. There’s definitely things in there to keep my muscles warm. Especially because of my shoulder problems, I don’t want it to affect my form, which was happening.

Not only is it cool, but it’s actually functional, so that really was able to work for me.

Q. Are you going to stay with it for a while?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I have it in a few designs in the future, so…

Q. Rajeev Ram was asked today what he thought Venus’ greatest quality was. He said her fierceness. What do you think your sister’s greatest attribute is?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I would say she also never quits, no matter what. You know, sometimes in doubles I’ll be like, I’m so over this. And she’s just always right in there. It always brings me back to reality. I’m like, Okay, let’s do this, let’s do this.

She’s just such a great fighter.

 

 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Andy Murray

Press Conference

A. MURRAY/L. Rosol

6-3, 6-2, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You made it look very comfortable. Seemed pretty easy out there for you.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, in the start of the match he had a few chances the first couple of service games. Yeah, he came out going for his shots. Once I got through that, you know, sort of tricky period right at the start where he’s hitting the ball really well, you know, kind of adjusting to the conditions. The arena, it’s quite different playing out there now. It’s a lot louder than most places that we play, so you don’t hear the ball as much. There’s a slightly different sound in there. Once I got through that, I settled down and played, you know, I think a really good match.

Q. Do you think the noise and the atmosphere in there was different to previous years? It seemed there was just a constant hum or noise in the crowd throughout the match.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I think last year was similar. You know, I’m assuming it’s to do with the roof. I mean, normally there’s always been noise out there. I think the roof has changed that a little bit.

Q. Can you feed off that, the energy you get from the crowd? I know you like playing here.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, I think you get used to it as the match goes on. But it is very different. You know, imagine when you go to play on one of the outside courts, it will be quite a significant change.

Q. Any difference with the trajectory of the ball through the air or anything like that?
ANDY MURRAY: I think in the evenings — it was extremely humid tonight. This is nothing, in my opinion, to do with the roof. It’s always been like that in the evenings, a little bit easier to control the ball.

The court is obviously cooler, so it’s staying a little bit lower. It’s not bouncing up as high. During the day that’s obviously quite different. The ball’s bouncing up a lot more, tends to be a little bit harder to control.

Obviously now in there, this is because of the roof, there’s literally no wind at all. It almost has a feel of playing indoors because there’s no wind. It’s, like, perfect conditions to play really.

Q. Five Brits into round two. Did you watch any of the other matches? What did you make of them?
ANDY MURRAY: I saw the first couple of sets of Kyle’s match. That’s been it. I didn’t get to see any of the matches today. Yeah, I mean, Kyle played extremely well. I mean, I practiced with him the day beforehand.

He was hitting the ball good in practice. He’s improving all of the time. To win a match like that in a slam that comfortably against a top player, a guy that’s been at the top for a long time, you know, is a very good sign.

Yeah, it was good for him. Then obviously all the other Brits, obviously Naomi and Laura had a tight match. Dan got through, you know, a tricky one against Ram. Konta has been solid for a long time. Heather has never played so well here.

It’s been, I guess, a pretty good start for the Brits.

Q. You’re third on the list of points won on second serve. Must be pretty happy with that part of your game?
ANDY MURRAY: I served very well tonight. I used good variation on the second serve, as well. But, yeah, first and second serve were very good tonight. That’s something that I worked on a lot. It was good through the grass at Wimbledon. It was important for me.

You know, especially in the final there and the semis, I was really not giving up too many chances. Last week, as well, was the same thing. And in Cincinnati, too. When I serve well, the rest of my game tends to follow.

Q. There didn’t appear to be a semblance of weariness out there. A good week of rest?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, it’s tough to get the balance totally right the last week because, you know, I wanted to get used to the conditions but also didn’t want to spend so much time on the court that I came in feeling tired, because it could have been quite easy to do that.

Haven’t been in that position too many times coming into New York. Obviously maybe last year was a little bit similar. You know, kind of tried to learn a little bit from that, as well.

But I felt good out there. You know, didn’t waste too much energy, which is important, because it’s obviously a late finish. It will be a late one by the time I get back and in bed, even though the match, if it had gone four sets, an extra 45 minutes, an hour, becomes pretty late. I’m glad I got it done quickly and I feel all right.

Q. You said on court Ivan has changed having you playing with younger players. Can you explain that.
ANDY MURRAY: It’s best to ask him that. I said, you know, not a whole lot’s changed. But I think having the experience of coaching other players changes things a little bit. You probably learn more from working with different players of different ages.

When we worked together the first time, it’s the first time Ivan had ever coached, as well. Now, having worked with younger players, I think you learn different skills and understand certain things a bit better.

I think with young players especially, you know, you can’t just tell them, You served terrible today. They can take that to heart, and maybe the next day they serve terrible as well because their coach has told them that.

Whereas with I think maybe older players or professionals, it’s maybe a little bit easier to be a little bit more direct.

I just think he’s probably learnt some things working with juniors. He’s a smart guy, obviously a good coach.

Q. Not gone soft, has he?
ANDY MURRAY: No, not on me anyway (smiling).

Q. (Question regarding Novak.)
ANDY MURRAY: I saw the beginning of the match. Looked like he served particularly well at the beginning of the match. Seemed to be hitting the ball well from the back of the court. Just his serve wasn’t so good.

You know, that’s normal. Normally he would have played a little bit more, you know, coming into this. He’s normally done well in Cincinnati, though he’s not won there, he’s normally got to latter stages. Obviously with the early exit at the Olympics, he’s not played loads of matches for the last three weeks or so.

But he seemed fine. He was moving good, hitting the ball good from the back of the court. Just didn’t serve so well. I’m sure that will get better as the tournament goes on.

 

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

Transcripts of player interviews cannot be posted until one (1) hour after the interview has ended. Player transcripts can only be posted on the website of the publication that was accredited.
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Serena Williams Soars Past Makarova, Sister Venus Advances in Three Sets at US Open

(August 30, 2016) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Whatever doubts people had about Serena Williams and a shoulder injury were put to rest on Tuesday night at the US Open.

Serena and Venus Williams moved into the second round of the US Open on Tuesday. No. 1 Serena looking for her 23rd major opened the night session with a dominating 6-3, 6-3 performance against No. 36 Ekaterina Makarova hitting 27 winning with 12 aces. It was Serena’s 85 match win at the US Open.

“I knew today I needed to be focused because I’ve played her,” Serena said. “She’s gotten to the semifinals. She goes deep in majors. She knows how to play big matches on big courts. She’s not intimidated. I knew I had to really come out today. It was my only option really.”

“I was pleased with my serve because I haven’t been hitting a lot of serves at all. In practice, none of them were going in, so I was definitely excited about that.”

Sister Venus, seeded sixth had to survive a three-set match against Kateryna Kozlova of Ukraine, who is ranked 93rd 6-2, 5-7, 6-4. For the 36-year-old Venus she is now 18-0 in US Open first round matches, making a record 72 appearance at a major.

 

“The first round is never easy,” Venus said. “You’re trying to find a rhythm, get used to the court, you know, play an opponent I never played before.

“But it was great to be challenged and to be pushed because I had to get in those situations that you know you’re going to face in the tournament early on. So that felt good to come through.”

 

“I didn’t know much about her game at all, literally zero,” she continued. “And it’s hard. The first round is hard. I haven’t played a single match in, like, three weeks. Just getting out there and trying to play perfectly.

“I definitely had a lot more errors than I wanted. If I could cut those in half, it’s definitely a different story.

“The good part is I’m playing the game I want to play, I’m playing aggressively and moving forward. It’s just about making a few less errors and it’s a completely different story.”

 

Former world No. 1 and 29th seed Ana Ivanovic has lost in the first round for the second straight year, this time to Denisa Allertova 7-6(4), 6-1.

The recently married 2008 French Open winner was asked about possible retirement. “No, not at all,” she said. “I just need to really see why is this happening, you know. Because, I mean, I had struggles throughout my career; I had some tough times. This is not the first time I’m going through this.

“It just hurts because I know what I invested.”

 

Fifth seed Simona Halep had points for a 6-0, 6-0 win, but was broken and won 6-0, 6-2 over Kirsten Flipkens.

 

In the biggest upset on the men’s side, 12 seeded David Goffin lost to American teenage qualifier Jared Donaldson 4-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-0. The 19-year-old is ranked 122 in the world.

Donaldson talked about getting his first US open win:”Obviously it was a really, really exciting atmosphere out there. I thought that I played really well. It was tough conditions. It was hot. I think we were both trying to move each other as much as possible and take time away from each other.

“So I think that, you know, I just was able to win a few more of the key points today. Obviously that fourth set I played really well.

“I think it was a really, really special victory for me.”

Fellow American Sam Querrey, who stunned Novak Djokovic in the third round of Wimbledon lost to Janko Tipsarevic 7-6 (4), 6-7 (0), 6-3, 6-3.

 

In his first US Open since 2013, Juan Martin del Potro, the 2009 US Open champion beat fellow Argentine Diego Schwartzman 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (3). Del Potro who is ranked142nd was a wild card recipient. Del Potro won the silver medal at the Rio Olympics earlier this month, when he lost to Andy Murray in the final.

“I am so glad to be part of this tournament once again after three years,” said the former champion. “I really appreciate the wild card who give me to have the chance to play, and that’s important for me.

“Always, in every match here at the US Open, the crowd make me feels special. I really like the atmospheres down there. They create another things in every court.

“It’s amazing for me just having the chance to play here once again.”

Seeds Stan Wawrinka and 2014 US open finalist Kei Nishikori also advanced on Tuesday.

 

More to follow…

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Del Potro Ousts Top Seed Djokovic in First Round of the Olympic Games

Del Potro high fh

(August 7, 2016) In a rematch of the 2012 Olympic bronze medal match, unseeded Juan Martin Del Potro surprised No. 1 Novak Djokovic 7-6(4), 7-6(2) in the first round of the Rio Olympics on Sunday.

Del Potro has been sidelined by wrist surgeries on and off, over the past few years is ranked 145th in the world. The big forehand which saw him win the 2009 U.S. Open returned to its former glory in beating Djokovic who was trying to complete a career “golden slam” by winning a gold medal at the Olympics. The Argentina crushed 41 total winners, 29 coming on his forehand side. His Serbian opponent, the 12-time major champion his more errors than winners 32 to 26.

Del Potro’s day started out with him being stuck in an elevator in the Olympic Village before Argentine handball players got him out.

It was a 50-50 day for defending women’s Olympic champion Serena Williams. The 34-year-old world No. 1 and holder of 22 majors titles won her opening singles match under gusty winds 6-4, 6-2 victory over Australia’s Daria Gavrilova.

Later in the day, Serena teamed up with sister Venus for their first round of doubles in Rio. The three-time doubles gold medalists and top seeds lost an Olympic doubles match for the first time ever, falling to the Czech Republic’s Lucie Safarova and Barbora Strycova 6-3, 6-4.

Serena said that she and her sister “played terrible.”

Safarova was originally supposed to be playing with Karolina Pliskova, who withdrew.

Another pair of siblings also fell in their first round of Olympic doubles, as Andy and Jamie Murray lost to Brazil’s Thomaz Bellucci and Andre Sa 7-6 (6), 7-6 (14). Andy Murray won his first round singles match over Viktor Troicki 6-3, 6-2.

Rafael Nadal returned to the court for the first time since the French Open with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Argentina’s Federico Delbonis. Nadal, Spain’s flagbearer in the opening ceremony of the games, is coming off a left wrist injury. Nadal won the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but missed the 2012 London Olympics.

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Serena Williams and Andy Murray Reach Wimbledon Second Round with Straight Set Victories

(June 28, 2016) Defending champion Serena Williams recorded her 80th match win at the All England Club and raised her record in first round major matches to 63-1 when she defeated No. 148 qualifier Amra Sadikovic 6-2, 6-4 on day two of Wimbledon.

The match was more competitive than the scoreline demonstrated. “I never underestimate anyone,” said Williams. “It was a really good match but I don’t think it was tougher than I thought. It was definitely tough, but I always expect the best from everyone.”

“I started fast, that’s about it,” Williams said, evaluating her match.

Her 27-year-old opponent who was making her debut in a major, had retired from the sport in 2014, but was inspired to comeback of her Swiss countrywoman Timea Bacsinszky.

“I’m always shouting at myself and pushing myself, so it’s absolutely nothing different,” she said.

The world No. 1 needs one more major win to equal Steffi Graf’s record of 22 in the Open Era. The 21-time major champion came up short in the finals of the French and Australian Opens.

Williams will face fellow American Christina McHale in the second round.

No. 2 seed and 2013 Wimbledon winner Andy Murray is into the second round. Murray had a 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 victory over British countryman Liam Broady, ranked 235 in the world, who received a wild card into the tournament.

Murray needed just an hour and 42 minutes to complete the match. He’ll face Taipei’s Yen-Hsun Lu, ranked 76th in the world, who beat Russian Alexander Kudryavtsev 6-4, 6-1, 6-4.

Fourth seed Stan Wawrinka fought off American up-and-comer Taylor Fritz 7-6 (4), 6-1, 6-7 (2), 6-4. The two-time major winner will take on 2009 U.S, Open champion Juan Martin del Potro in a tough second round match.

“For sure, I think we  all happy that he’s back on the tour, hopefully without any injury (so) he can play for long now,” Wawrinka said. “He’s always been a great champion, a great player to watch.”

 

Juan Martin del Potro played his first match a a major in over two years, beating Stephane Robert 6-1, 7-5, 6-0. The last time he played at Wimbledon was in 2013 when he lost in the semifinals to Novak Djokovic.

The Argentine ranked 165 due to wrist surgeries is happy to be back on the court.

“I’m enjoying tennis again,” he said. “I’m starting to talk about tennis and (not) about my wrist. 

“I would like to stay here on tour for (a few more) years. I think I’m close to get that goal.”

Del Potro leads in his head-to-head record against Wawrinka 3-2. he last played the Swiss in 2012.

Nick Kyrgios had to fend off 37-year-old veteran Radek Stepanek in four sets on Tuesday – 6-4, 6-3, 6-7 (9), 6-1 .

“To be honest, that’s a nightmare first round for anyone at Wimbledon. No one wants to play Radek here. I could pick 90 guys in the draw that I would rather have played first round,” Kyrgios said to press. “It was a fun match. We’re great friends. I knew it was going to be tough. When I lost the third set, I wasn’t really expecting anything less for him to compete and fight.”

Stepanek was trying to become the oldest man to win a match at a major since Jimmy Commors in 1992.

 

The Australian Kyrgios will get another tricky opponent in the second round when he takes on Germany’s serve-and-volleying  Dustin Brown who survived in five sets against Dusan Lajovic 4-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.  Brown defeated Rafael Nadal last year at Wimbledon in the second round.

Former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki is still without a win at a major this year. The Dane lost in the first round of Melbourne and did play the French Open due to an ankle injury. She’s fallen in the rankings to No. 45 and will drop further due to her opening round loss to No. 14 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-5, 6-4.

“It’s been uphill,” Wozniacki said of her 11-11 season. “But you just have to keep fighting, keep going at it, keep working hard, and hope eventually that’s going to turn and you’re going to take the chances you’re going to get.”

Wozniacki, chosen to carry the flag for Denmark in the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Rio, does not know if she will be eligible to participate. She did not fulfill her Fed Cup requirements due to injury.

 

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Juan Martin del Potro to Miss French Open to Concentrate on Grass-Court Season

 

Juan Martin Del Potro

Juan Martin Del Potro

(May 12, 2016)Juan Martin del Potro, the 2009 U.S. Open champion, will skip  Roland Garros to focus on the grass-court season. The currently ranked 229th player on the ATP World Tour made his announcement on Twitter on Thursday.

The Argentine who has been on an off the tour due to wrist surgeries has not played at Roland Garros since 2012. His most recent return to the tour came in February, after almost a year. He last played in Paris in 2012.

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Federer Withdraws From Miami Open with Stomach Virus

227 Federer in press 1-001

(March 25, 2016) MIAMI – Roger Federer has withdrawn from his second round match against Juan Martin del Potro at the Miami Open due to a stomach virus. He is being replaced by lucky loser Horacio Zeballos.

“I am very sorry that I have to pull out of the Miami Open with a stomach virus,” said Federer in a press release from the tournament. “I feel bad for the tournament and the fans as I have rarely ever had to withdraw at such short notice. I have not felt great for a few days and unfortunately it got worse in the last 24 hours.  I was really excited to have my comeback in Miami but I am in no condition to play.  I tried to warm up this morning but it was clear that I could not compete.”

Federer was returning to the tour from surgery on his knee back in early February.

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Roger Federer Meets the Press at Miami Open; Talks About Injury, Equal Prize Money and Doping in Tennis

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Roger Federer Meets the Press at Miami Open; Talks About Injury, Equal Prize Money and Doping in Tennis

(March 24, 2016) Roger Federer gets back on the court on Friday at the Miami Open against Juan Martin Del Potro after undergoing surgery for the first time in his career. The Swiss had arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus on his right knee back on February 3.

Federer met the media at the Miami Open on Thursday. He said that his injury was the result of an accident in the bathroom as he was about to draw a bath for his daughters.

“It was a very simple movement, probably a movement I’ve done a million times in my life,” he said. “I made a very simple movement, turned back, heard a click in my knee. Went to the zoo. My leg was swollen.

“Came back and had an MRI done in Switzerland. Saw a doctor right after the MRI. He said I had to have surgery on Tuesday. I did that in Switzerland.

“Here I am seven weeks and two days later. I’m very happy how it went, but clearly that was very sad when I did get the news I did have to have an operation because I thought I was going to get through my career without any. It was a big shock and, yeah, disappointing when I got the news.”

Federer made a surprise decision to play Miami.

“If I feel something tomorrow, I won’t play,” Federer said. “It’s very simple. Expectations are really low, which is nice for a change. Just see where I am, go out there.

“Once you’re out there, you want to win, it’s clear. I’m a competitor. I’m just really pleased I’m back. I didn’t expect myself to be back here so soon after surgery.”

Federer is in favor of equal prize money:

“I mean, I’m all for equal prize money,” he said. “When I was fighting for prize money increases, especially at the slam level, I was always very aware of the fact that it was always going to impact the women’s game, which I was very happy about. Both at the same time were growing.

“But then you have to look at the history of each and every event, where it came from. Some tournaments were a men’s tournament, then the women joined or vice versa, it was a women’s tournament and we joined them.

“It’s sometimes hard to make equal prize money there. It’s up to the tournament director to decide if he wants it to be that way.

“Sure, you could imagine something like that. It’s already happening here, Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid as well, all the slams.

“Yeah, I’m happy that tennis has produced some of the greatest female athletes in the world. I think that’s great. It’s a great platform. Yeah, equal prize money is a good thing.”

Federer was asked about another major tennis topic – Maria Sharapova’s announcement about her failed drug test:

“Clearly I was very surprised,” said the world No. 3. “I thought she was going to announce retirement or something, so I was completely surprised by the news. But it also shows that, you know, also the famous players can get caught in the system that seems to be working.

“I still believe we should keep blood samples for 10 years, store them, let athletes and tennis players know that’s the case. You could be punished retroactively. I’m a big believer in that.

“I’ve been in Dubai now for 10 years there and been tested once. That’s not okay for me.

“I get tested more in Switzerland because the guy from Switzerland lives in my village. He comes sees me the day after my surgery, one week later. In Dubai they’ve only come once, the Asia games. In certain countries maybe the testing is not as serious as in Switzerland. I’d like to see that across the board to be the same way and fair, you know.

“But I think tennis is doing more and more. Sure, it was very disappointing news, to say the least.”

Federer said that he doesn’t think that tennis has a major doping problem:

“I’m naïve maybe in the fact that I believe athletes, I trust what they’re doing. Clearly when they get caught, you turn. You’re like, I can’t believe they tried to do that, forgot about it, whatever.

“I really don’t think there is a major problem. I don’t know many people. All I can talk about is myself. I know what I take. What you take, you’ve got to be sure. That’s why I quadruple check whatever I take because I don’t want to take any chances whatsoever.”

Federer will take to the court in Key Biscayne on Friday afternoon to play another man coming back from injury in Del Potro.

“It’s very exciting, to say the least,” said Federer, who is 15-5 against Del Potro. “I like Juan Martin. We’ve had good matches over the years, Paris, five sets twice, US Open obviously. Other places.

“It’s nice to see him back. I haven’t seen him play at all since he’s been back, so I’m not quite sure what to expect, even though my coach went to see his match yesterday.

“At the end I’m going to focus on my own game tomorrow, my own mind, you know, managing my problems that I’ve had the last few months.

“Yeah, just also enjoy it out there. We’re both in a similar situation. His injury was much, much greater. That’s why I’m really pleased for him that he was able to find a way back onto the tour.”

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