Top Seeds Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic Win: Eugenie Bouchard Beaten by the Heat

Eugenie Bouchard

Eugenie Bouchard

(September 1, 2014) FLUSHING MEADOWS – The US Open top seeds had straight set victories on Labor Day Monday. Novak Djokovic, was a 6-1, 7-5, 6-4 winner over No. 22 seeds Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany, and Serena Williams defeated No. 50 Kaia Kanepi of Estonia 6-3, 6-3.

For the Serb Djokovic it’s his 8th straight US Open quarterfinal he’s reached and his 22nd major tournament overall.

“I’m very glad obviously that I had so many consecutive quarterfinals of Grand Slams,” said the Serb. “It says that I do value these tournaments the most and try to always perform my best tennis in them. Obviously motivates me for the future to continue that streak, of course.”

Djokovic will meet two-time major champion Andy Murray in the quarterfinals. Murray beat No. 9 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-5, 7-5, 6-4.

For Serena Williams the two-time defending US Open champion, this will be her first Grand Slam quarterfinal this year.

“I never thought it would be so exciting,” Williams said smiling. “Yeah! It feels good. Obviously I don’t want this to end. But I’m just happy that I’m able to be performing a little better at the end of the year.”

Williams has a perfect 5-0 record against her next opponent Flavia Pennetta.

“Of course, she’s better than me, but if I still believe I can beat her, maybe if she doesn’t have a good day I can do that,” Pennetta said. If I get in the court and just play and try to don’t take 6-Love 6-Love, I gonna take 6-Love 6-Love.”

Canadian Eugenie Bouchard was beaten by the heat during her fourth round match-up against Ekaterina Makarova. The Canadian said that she felt dizzy and her vision was blurry as she was bothered by the New York City heat and humidity. She took two medical time outs.

“I was feeling very light headed and dizzy on the court,” said Bouchard. “You know, just seeing things a little blurry. You know, feeling well physically on the court is very important to me, so when I don’t feel that — I just generally didn’t feel good.”

Makarova, the 17th seed from Russia beat Bouchard 7-6 (2), 6-4, ending the Canadian’s streak of reaching at least the semifinals of each major in 2014.

“I definitely felt a lot of outside expectations and pressure to win matches. I felt more like it’s normal if I win and it’s a bit more of a disaster when I lose,” Bouchard said. “But that’s something that I need to block out.”

“I remember as a junior a few times in Australia when it was hot I felt this way. Last year here actually in the second round I felt it a little bit. You know, once in a while I get a little bit light headed. That’s what happens.”

Makarova said: “Today was really tough condition definitely. So humid, and sometimes I think because of that the game was going like up and down. Against Bouchard it’s always tough because she’s running good. She’s also really — like physically she’s hard. So I think it was really good match, and I’m really happy that in the end of the first and the second set I was a little bit more aggressive.”

In round of 16 men’s matches on Monday night, No. 3 Stan Wawrinka beat No. 16 Tommy Robredo 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (7), 6-2, No. 5 Milos Raonic fell to  No. 10 Kei Nishikori 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-7(6), 7-5, 6-4, in a match which ended at 2:26 a.m. Tuesday, equaling the latest finish in US Open history.

Two-time US Open finalist Victoria Azarenka rallied past qualifier 145th-ranked Aleksandra Krunic of Serbia to win 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.

“I didn’t have a lot of data on her or, you know, much of an idea,” Azarenka said. “I think she played exceptionally well today. I’m not sure if I would have watched the matches before that would help me a lot, I think because I felt like not knowing much she still played on a really high level and pretty consistent through the whole match. She gave a fight, and she wasn’t afraid to go big on the important moments. I was a little bit surprised that she’s not that tall, and she hits the ball and unleashes her forehand with so much power. So that was quite surprising. But, you know, I think she’s a young player. She has a good future if she keeps going this way.”


Next for Azarenka will be Makarova. The Belarusian evaluated her next challenger.

“I think she’s a very tough opponent because she’s very consistent. You know, she reads the game really well. We had some tough matches in the past. I think she’s not afraid to play against top players. She handled herself well against, you know, big names in Grand Slams. She’s definitely playing well. I’m looking forward to that match.”


Unseeded Kanepi Earns First Title of Year at Brussels Open


(May 25, 2013) Unseeded Kaia Kanepi claimed her first title of 2013 by defeating eighth seed Peng Shuai in the final of the Brussels Open on Saturday 6-2, 7-5. Both women had to play both semifinals and the final due to rain earlier in the week washing out play. The Estonian Kanepi also had to win two matches on Friday.

“It was a difficult second set where I had match point in many games but just couldn’t finish it,” Kanepi noted. “I was playing really well until 62 52, but I’ve had problems like this before. I just kept trying to pump myself up and not get too negative about losing the situations I had earlier.”

“Kaia played really well,” Peng said, “heavy shots and big serves. I tried my best but it was just really hard against her. I thought I could come back at 5-all but she broke me again and held serve. I’m happy I made it to the final again here though. It was a really good week for me.”

When the new rankings come out Kanepi  will move up to No. 26 while Peng will rise to No. 23.


Quotable Quotes: Serena, Sharapova, Nadal and Berdych March On

Bank of the West semifinals (20 of 1)

By Tumaini Carayol

(May 10, 2013) Madrid – First to book her place in the final four was Serena Williams, but it wasn’t in the manner expected. The tournament and majority of onlookers had firmly resigned themselves to a routine straight-setter to the expense of their home favorite. Early on, it appeared Williams was well on her way to a routine victory as she secured the first set 6-3. Suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, the American could be found struggling to serve over 90 mph and direct the ball between the white lines as all chances of a routine victory were killed spectacularly.

After the disastrous second set, Williams spent only a quarter of the allotted time in her chair, instead deciding to rise from her chair early in in order to do squats and stretches net to her chair. It’s not something Williams has ever done before, but it worked as, with a renewed intercity – and grunt – she eventually toughed out a tight victory.

“I felt just kind of ‑‑ I don’t know. I wasn’t really there. I wasn’t really in it. My feet weren’t moving. I don’t know what happened,” she said afterwards.

To turn it around I got up earlier on the changeover and started doing high knees and just stretching and doing anything to try to get my intensity back up where it needed to be.”

Sharapova 2

In stark contrast to the world No. 1, Maria Sharapova’s 6-2 6-4 victory over Kaia Kanepi was memorable for only two reasons. Firstly because the Russian extended her red clay winning streak to a monumental 24 wins. Secondly, thanks to the mischievous message the Russian left when signing the camera after her victory. In reference to paparazzi capturing her with her boyfriend, Grigor Dimitrov, early in the week, the 26 year-old wrote “how did you catch us???”

During her news conference afterwards, there was much laughter during the Russian’s exchanges with Tennis Panorama.


Tennis Panorama News: So, the writing on the camera, I wonder what that was about?

Maria Sharapova: (with head in hands) I don’t know. You tell me. (Laughter.)


TPN: Ok, serious question. (Laughter.) I’m sure you’re sick of answering questions about how you’re good on clay, but when you were younger…

MS: I never thought that day would come. (Laughter.) Where’s my trophy?

TPN: When you were younger you came on the tour and played well on grass and were really good on grass and not as good on clay. Now it’s kind of switched around: You’re great on clay and your grass results haven’t been as great recently, aside from reaching…silver medal.

MS: Aside from the final a couple years ago and the silver medal last year. No biggie. For some people that’s a pretty good achievement.

TPN: OK, OK! (laughter.)

MS: (laughing.) Obviously it’s funny when people talk to me it’s like, ah, that’s not really a great result. I’m like, I don’t know. Thinking about that on surgery table, I’ll take that any time of the day. You have to be pretty realistic and fortunate. And yes, I lost in the fourth round, and two weeks later I came back at Wimbledon and got to the finals. So that was a great, great week for me.

Yeah, I definitely have improved my game on clay and improved myself physically. I also think the grass has changed over the years tremendously. The clay has pretty much stayed the same. But it’s not like I woke up one day and said, Yeah, I’m just going to get better and tomorrow I’m going to be better on clay. Instead it took many years and many matches and many practices. And mentally as well just to get myself prepared for long matches and battles and get through them.”

More notably, Sharapova had much to say about the recent prize money issues and the five-hout meeting that took place during the Istanbul WTA Championshps last year. There is a misconception that only the male players contributed to the monumental prize money changes that have occurred in all Grand Slams this year, but the champion rebuffed the notion with some interesting information.


“I remember sitting ‑‑ we had like a five‑hour meeting the day before the first round of Istanbul last year, the Championships. I don’t think one player in that meeting was really happy about the timing.”

“I will say that every tournament director and a couple of their staff made their way. Craig Tiley flew all the way from Australia just for that meeting. We sat there and they presented kind of their future prize money ideas.”



The men were next. After an embarrassing performance in the Acapulco final which saw the world No. 4 capture only two games against a returning Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer brushed off the embarrassment and played calm, aggressive tennis to establish a lead over the King of Clay. An early 4-1 lead in the first set fast became a set lead, and before long the set lead was complimented with a second set break.

Still, at a set and 4-2 many still expected the champion to triumph and as Nadal charged back to steal three games in a row and serve for the set, not many were surprised. The pendulum swung again, however, with Ferrer showing an abundance of typical resilience to capitalize on a few thoughtless unforced errors. By the time the pair next sat down, Ferrer was a game away from the big win.

Three points later, it happened. With the score at 6-4 6-5* 15-30 to the underdog, Ferrer contested seemingly the perfect point, dragging the champion from tramline to tramline and exposing his hampered movement. After having his way with Nadal for a series of shots, the elder Spaniard was finally presented with an open court forehand to catapult him to double match point. Instead, he opted to hit the ball straight to Nadal, who pulled out a spectacular defensive lob to win the point. From that tragically missed opportunity, Ferrer failed to win a single game for the remainder of the match.

After the defeat, Ferrer had some interesting things to say about his mentality and outlook, which perhaps explains why he so seldom emerges victorious over the four players above him.

Q. Rafa said that you deserved to be in the semis. Do you think that is a smaller gap with the top 4, or do you think they’re too good and when you reach the moment of truth they have got a little extra?

David Ferrer: Sincerely, I don’t care. I think they’re really good. I’ve always said that. They’re the four best players of the world. They make the difference compared to the other players.

I always talk about the same thing. Berdych, Tsonga, Del Potro, they all come like airplanes. Now Dimitrov and Wawrinka and Almagro too are pushing really hard.

With the amount of good players we’ve got down there, I’m not thinking about getting up there with the top 4. It’s really complicated.



Finally, after his impressive victory over Andy Murray, Tomas Berdych displayed some of his polarizing confidence as he amusingly tipped himself to win a Grand Slam

TPN: As you said before, your level doesn’t seem to change depending on the surface. You’re one of the few players. Even the big four have their favorite surfaces. What is your favorite surface?

Tomas Berdych: Well, it’s really tough to say. I can find good results on the grass, on the hard, and on clay as well.

So, you know, probably when I’m going to reach my first slam, then we going to see which surface is that going to be. (laughter) Then I can point this is the one that is the really on top, and then we don’t have to talk about the others.

So far, there is only the final and then the rest with some semifinals, so it’s not enough. Really, I want to do more. Then I can I tell you the one.

Tumaini Carayol is in Madrid covering the Madrid Open for Tennis Panorama News. He is a contributing writer at On The Baseline, and writes about professional tennis at his site Foot Fault. Follow his tournament updates on @TennisNewsTPN and his personal twitter @TumCarayol.


Wozniacki Nets First Title of The Year in Seoul


Caroline Wozniacki ended her drought of tournament titles by netting the title at Korea Open in Seoul by dropping only on game to Kaia Kanepi in the final.

No. 11 Woznicki stopped Kanepi 6-1, 6-0 for her first tournament victory since capturing the New Haven Open crown back in August of 2011. The Dane avenged her third round loss to the Estonian at this year’s French Open.

“Today I did well at turning defense to offense and offense to defense, “ Wozniacki said. “That’s actually a strength of mine. I want to enjoy it and be positive – so that’s what I’m thinking about right now. I want to build up for the next season and hopefully my results this week will help me move forward and get back to playing my best.”

“My season has definitely had its ups and downs because of my injuries, “ Kanepi said. “But last year was the same, and my whole career has been a little bit up and down as well. It’s nothing new and I’m used to it.”


This was Wozniacki’s 19th WTA title.

Seoul, South Korea
September 17-23, 2012

Results – Sunday, September 23, 2012
Singles – Final
(1) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) d. (3) Kaia Kanepi (EST) 61 60

Doubles – Final
(1) Kops-Jones/Spears (USA/USA) d. Amanmuradova/King (UZB/USA) 26 62 108 (Match TB)


Notes and Quotes from Day 9 of the 2012 French Open



On the controversial umpire calls:

The first one was the most questionable one, I guess, because she couldn’t find the mark.  I mean, I don’t know how to  like, she said that to me.  What do you say to that?  You can’t find the mark?  I mean, it was like, Well, isn’t that your job, is to find the mark?  I mean, we’re on clay courts.  Usually when there is no mark, it means it’s on the line.  Obviously that wasn’t her theory.

And then she said  I asked her to  I asked the line judge where the mark was.  She said, Well, I walked around that area; I might have stepped on the mark.

So I don’t know what to say to that, either.  She had an answer for everything out there.

Yeah, and then the second one, that was I don’t know.  I’d have to see the replay.  I don’t remember if I made a gesture that it was out or not.  Maybe that was the right call.  But in the moment it seemed like I was correct in both situations.


Glamour and diva.  Hmmm.  Yeah, that’s me.  (Smiling.)

I think a lot of it is perception, and the visual that people have of  it’s understandable, because what the outside world sees is you playing and doing press conferences.  And being on the red carpet and everything is just so glam and beautiful.

But at the end of the day, it’s all big one illusion, and then reality sets in.  And, you know, I don’t go to sleep with my makeup on or don’t wear makeup on the court.

I’m sure divas do that, right?  (Smiling).


What she did with car she won in Stuttgart: 

What do I do with it?  I pick a car.  Well, yeah, I guess I ship it to wherever they can ship it to.  Hopefully they can ship it to the States.  No, they said they would.

It might take a little bit longer, but, yeah, I’m excited about it.  Excited for a change.  I like my car, but maybe I’ll be driving another one, even though my dad sounds like he might steal it.


Asked about her “game plan” and who is in control of it: 

I’m useless with game plans.  That’s probably the one thing he just gets so frustrated with me about.  I don’t know.  I go out there and I do my own thing, and then he’s like, after the match, like, Really?  What’s the point?  I mean, what’s the point of having me?

But I apologized when I hired him in advance, so he’s okay.




Yeah, after I did the quarters here in 2010, I had not success year of the singles.  But then I was focusing a lot on doubles, because then we qualified with Vania for Championships.

In the beginning of 2011 and after my first match, I had injury and I had surgery right after Australia.  After surgery I was recovering very long and I come back and my knee was bothering me for half year.

And then my coach left, and I had some tough periods mentally, as well, and I was very down and lonely.  Playing again doubles and couldn’t  like lost all my singles points.

Since like September I got a new coach, and he helped me out a lot.  For this year we set a goal to get my ranking back, and I was working hard.  I had a great team around me and working with psychologist and everything, fitness coaches, and I am very thankful to my team.  It’s not only my work, it’s teamwork.



No, I had the same plan.  It’s just it didn’t work in the first set.  She was playing very good.  I was very nervous and like making mistakes and, yeah, it’s like played a bit wrong.

But then I figure out it and change my game, and she like start to attack more.

And I knew also before the match she’s defending champion, and she have a pressure to hold.  I was relaxed.  I was from the equally and it was my seventh match singles.  So it was just come to enjoy and try my best.

Yeah, it’s the  for now the most incredible win, I think, for me.  I always have nice matches against top players, because it’s easier, as I said, because I have no pressure, and I always come to beat them.  I don’t need to defend something like if I play with lower‑ranked players.


Yeah, I felt she (Li Na)was nervous a little bit.  She didn’t play maybe like she was playing last year.  She was doing some mistakes.  But I don’t know.  Maybe she was thinking a lot or maybe she’s not in the best shape.  Like I cannot tell for her.  Like you have to ask her.



Nothing wrong the second set.  I mean, this is tennis.

I mean, I really want to say I was a professional tennis player.  This, I mean, only I can answer.

The weather for me is nothing special.  The weather couldn’t killing me.

I will find the why.  I will find out.  But not ..not in today.  Otherwise for sure I can win the match.

On the court, I can’t find why.  I couldn’t put the ball back on the court.

I mean, just like normal.  Tennis, only two player on the court.  Only win or is lose.  For me is nothing special.  If today I lose the match, lose.  If I win, just win.  If I lose the match, I have to find the reason why I lose the match.  I have to try working hard next day and even come working hard next week.

I mean, you say I win last year.  I mean, is already last year.  So one year already.

Is one year already.  How can against for today, I mean, I don’t know why.  I just lose one match.  So don’t try to push me down.


I mean, of course I have to take off.  Right now I feeling  especially after losing match, I mean, I can’t pick up the racquet next day to training harder as I can.

So of course I will take some days off to totally forget tennis.  Then try to come back in next week.

The next tournament for me is Wimbledon.


Hopes for Wimbledon:

Wish better than last year.  I mean, this is only I can think right now, because of course I was sad when I lose the match.  I mean, of course after losing match, I couldn’t think about what I should do in the next day.

For me, right now, I want totally relax, and the mind and body, as well, because I think I didn’t play bad in the clay court season.

I need some time to recover.  I’m not machine.  So, yeah.



Yeah, I feel good, no?  After the beginning I started, when I had the first break, I started to play very well.

Before I didn’t play fantastic, but it’s true that he started the match playing aggressive, having good shots.

In my opinion, he was unlucky, unlucky in the first set.  That’s my feeling, no?  6‑2 was too much.

Later, sure, very happy the way I played.  I feel very, very sorry for him.  I think he’s playing probably the best tennis of his career, but probably not today after, especially the last set, no, when he start to miss, you know.  I saw him a little bit, you know, suffering a little bit on court at the end.

He’s one of my best friends on tour.  I feel very sorry for him.  But same time, you know, he’s playing great.  He’s having fantastic results.  He’s No. 14 or 15 in the world today.

I wish him all the best for the rest.  If he continues like this, he will have good chances to keep going.


Well, I think that now he’s in the locker rooms.  I’m very sorry for him.  What can I say?  Well, I would tell him, Don’t you worry.  It’s going to be better afterwards.  You’ll feel better afterwards.

For me, a seventh Roland Garros win is not more important than No. 2, No. 3, or No. 4.  What really is important is what it brings me personally.  If I win this one, and it’s the seventh one, is it more important than 2006 or 2005?  I don’t know.

It’s a personal feeling, a personal sensation, and, you know, records are all very important.  But that’s when you’ve finished playing tennis.  When you finished that, you’ll think about this.

But, otherwise, when you’re playing, you think about what you have to do daily.




I start better than the finish, for sure, the finish.  6-2, not incredible, but, yeah, I start well.  I played well.  It was tense.  Yeah, I start well, I start well.

But after I think the key was the second set.  Playing good.  I was feeling confident.  No, he’s a big player.  Some points he can turn the match, because he’s doing everything good.  You have to work on every point.

He’s serving well, returning well, he’s clear in the court.  That’s the problem.

If I’m not lucky in the second set, I have two break points, he’s playing well, and I’m not lucky with this game, even the same at 5-4.  But I think I can play better in the start of the third.

But after I start when he’s feeling confident, he has a lot of experience, and so after he play very well.

Well, I wanted to do more, so I’m disappointed to stop now, round of 16.  Last year it was closer than with Djokovic last year, so, okay, disappointed, I usually stop there, the round of 16, when it’s a Grand Slam.  It’s been many, many times, but each time I play against very tough players, and they last long, they have long rallies, they don’t make many mistakes, they have a lot of experience.  It’s difficult.  It’s up to me to continue.

You know, I played several good matches here.  It was not easy to reach the round of 16, so I’m happy; yet disappointed, disappointed because I have to stop now.

I started well.  I thought I could do better than this.





Asked if she can beat Maria Sharapova in her next match:

If I play well, of course.  Why not?  But I have to play really well.


I think she is a very good player of course and a great fighter and she hits really hard.

I just have to be ready.


I don’t know her as a person.



Yeah, I think that was always going to be important today.  He obviously started the match well, but, yeah, I started to use the energy from the crowd in a positive way and obviously turned it around and played very well the last few sets.

I wouldn’t say it got too much.  I mean, yeah, it’s almost like playing a sort of a football match.  And I like football.  I enjoyed  I mean, I enjoyed myself on the court today.

It’s the most fun I’ve had on the court in a while, so I wasn’t so sort of shying away from the fact that the crowd wanted me to lose.

Everything.  It wasn’t I mean, I think some of the shots at the end, there was a lot of really good rallies.  I played some really nice tennis the last few sets.  And then, yeah, I mean, I haven’t really played in an atmosphere like that before in terms of I played Davis Cup a few times away from home, but that was probably one of the most hostile that I’ve played in.







No, but I’m really glad to go through, to play quarters again.  I’m not thinking about my knee, as I want to play the best I can.  I’m looking forward for the next match.

Well, when I came to this tournament, the only thing that mattered was to play  well, forget about my knee.  And in the first round, I had to give it all.

Obviously I wanted to refrain from thinking about my injury or anything that had to do with my knee.

Now, this is the second week.  We have only eight players left.  Very good players.  All of them.

Obviously the level is very high.  But in spite of everything, maybe I will get a chance to play a beautiful match with Federer.  I’m going to prepare the best I can and seize every single opportunity.



Thoughts on playing Federer:

We play fantastic match three years ago.  It was close to him, but tomorrow is gonna be a different match.  He’s playing really well, and he’s looking to win again here.  So the match is gonna be really difficult for me.

But I will try to play aggressive, like every match, and trying to  if I have a little chance to win, trying to be ready for taking.


I play an unbelievable match, try to take my opportunities, serve 100%, trying to play winners with my forehand, with my backhand, and put him to raise his game.  I don’t like to run too much, so I will try to be more aggressive than his game and looking at unbelievable shots.

Well, when I came to this tournament, the only thing that mattered was to play  well, forget about my knee.  And in the first round, I had to give it all.

Obviously I wanted to refrain from thinking about my injury or anything that had to do with my knee.

Now, this is the second week.  We have only eight players left.  Very good players.  All of them.

Obviously the level is very high.  But in spite of everything, maybe I will get a chance to play a beautiful match with Federer.  I’m going to prepare the best I can and seize every single opportunity.


No, every match is a new match, and whether I win or lose for matters regarding tennis, that’s fine.  But I don’t want my knee to be a hindrance.  And it is not a hindrance.  It doesn’t bother me.  I cannot say I lost this match because of my knee.  Not at all.

I’m going to walk onto the court tomorrow prepared to play my best tennis.  And if everything goes well, all the better.  If it doesn’t, well, it means my opponent played better than I did.


Jo-Wilfred Tsonga at 2011 Sony Ericsson Open Players Party


Yeah, yesterday was tough.  It was dark at the end and tough to continue, so the umpire decide to play today.  I don’t know if it was great for me or not, but anyway, it was like that.

Today I came on the court with the good spirit.  You know, I had a good night.  I slept well.

This morning, you know, I was ready to play again.

Q.  I read just before the tournament that you said there’s no chance that a Frenchman could win the French Open this year.  What do you think now?

I mean, it’s still the same.  I mean, I just did maybe 30% of the way.  You know, the most difficult is coming.

Before the tournament, you know, I said, For the moment, nobody’s able to win this one for the moment because we never win a Tournament 1000 on clay.  That’s why I say that.

For the moment we’re not able to do that, but maybe one day it will happen, for sure.  (Smiling.)


On playing Novak Djokovic in next round:

You know, what is good in tennis, it’s always different.  You know, every match is different.  You never know how your opponent will feel.  You never know how you will feel.

I think, you know, it’s gonna be different because I will be in front of my crowd.  It’s three sets to win.  That’s it.

I think for him it’s tougher.  Yeah, for him it’s tougher, because he need to win.  Me, for the moment, you know, I did my best results for the moment, so for me, it’s everything’s gonna be positive now.

Of course, I will be free on the court because I have nothing to lose against this player who is No. 1 in the world.  And anyway, the pressure will be on him.




Even here you can play quite late.  We were finishing 9:30, and this is not usual that you can play that late.

Actually it’s definitely not about the scheduling, but it’s definitely about to do something with this place.  You know, as you see everyplace you have at least lights.

Okay, we don’t to have play like a night session, but at least to have decent lights that you can finish the match.  That would be all right.


I think the only change which I possibly see on this event is having lights on showcourt.  But I think 11:00 is also pretty early.  I had to wake up today at 7:00 a.m. in order to have breakfast and everything and get ready for the match.  So definitely not earlier.

I don’t think they should shorten referees are trying to be strict, but I mean, it’s long rallies.  It’s clay court.  The ball is not going anywhere.  It’s best‑of‑five, so it’s not really fair that the referees are speeding up the game too much.

If there is a possible change, maybe putting lights on showcourt.




Yes, of course I’m very happy.  I think I played great tennis today.  The day was a little bit cloudy, but now it’s really sunny for me.  (Smiling.)

Now that win is one of the best moments of my career, and I want to enjoy and I’m very happy with my tennis.

Do you think Nadal is even stronger and more impressive than four years ago, even two years ago?

I am stronger, too, than four years ago.  Is different.  It’s another match, and I’m ready to fight.

On falling into the flowers during the match:

Well, yes, I fell almost into the flowers.  I fell on my bottom, but I’ve got a big bottom so nothing happened.  (Laughter.)

It’s a slight thing.  You know, I’m sitting now, so no problem, no concern whatsoever.  It didn’t really hurt me.

Well, I wouldn’t say that I enjoyed this moment when I landed in the flowers, but nothing serious.