October 28, 2016

Venus Williams, Muguruza, del Potro, Nishikori, Kyrgios and Sock to play BNP Paribas Showdown at MSG

Venus Williams

Venus Williams












New York, NY (October 26, 2016) – The 10th anniversary of the BNP Paribas Showdown will bring past, current and future stars to the Madison Square Garden court for a night of tennis on Monday, March 6, The Madison Square Garden Company and GF Sports announced today.   Juan Martin del Potro, Kei Nishikori, Venus Williams, Garbiñe Muguruza, Nick Kyrgios, Jack Sock and a legends matchup to be named later, will square off in the 10th anniversary edition of the annual tennis showcase.


Del Potro, the 2016 Olympic silver medalist will take on world No. 5 Nishikori, while former world No. 1 Venus Williams will square off against reigning French Open champion, Muguruza.  Kyrgios and Sock, two exciting young stars on the rise, will provide a glimpse of what the future has in store for tennis fans.


Over the course of its decade at Madison Square Garden, the BNP Paribas Showdown has become a must-see event, from superstar Pete Sampras showing a younger Roger Federer he can still play in the inaugural matchup in 2008, to last year’s electrifying performances by Serena Williams, Caroline Wozniacki, Stan Wawrinka and Gael Monfils.  The event has also hosted a who’s who in the world of tennis, including: Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal, Andre Agassi, Ivan Lendl, Mike and Bob Bryan, John and Patrick McEnroe, Maria Sharapova, Kim Clijsters, Victoria Azarenka, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic, Monica Seles and Gabriela Sabatini.


The BNP Paribas Showdown is produced by MSG Sports and GF Sports. Tickets start at $35.00 and will go on-sale Monday, October 31. They can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden box office, online at www.thegarden.com and at all Ticketmaster outlets.  The event will start at 7:00 pm on Monday, March 6.


“Since 2008, playing the Showdown at The Garden has become a ‘must’ amongst the biggest stars in the game, and as we celebrate the 10th Showdown we’re looking forward to another special night of tennis,” said Joel Fisher, executive vice president, Marquee Events/Operations, The Madison Square Garden Company.  “The Showdown has continually entertained thousands of tennis fans and provided many lasting moments.  And, how can we forget Ben Stiller, Rory McIllroy and Redfoo taking to the Garden court? You never know what or who you’ll see when tennis comes to The World’s Most Famous Arena.”


“It is incredible to think this will be our 10th Showdown,” said Showdown creator, Jerry Solomon. “We have been fortunate to have had just about every tennis superstar of the last 30 years play at Madison Square Garden, and this year will be no different, with our compelling slate of great players spanning eras. And we’ll also be including some twists on the traditional tennis format that will allow fans to see more action than ever before in a more compact schedule. On March 6, the BNP Paribas Showdown and The Garden will once again be the place to be for the most exciting tennis.”


Nishikori, currently ranked No. 5 in the world, is the only male Japanese player to ever be ranked in the top 10.  He has compiled 11 singles titles and was a finalist in the 2014 US Open, making him the first Asian player to compete in a Grand Slam singles final.


2009 US Open champion del Potro returns to Madison Square Garden for his second appearance at the BNP Paribas Showdown.  The 6’-6” Argentine, who is playing strong and blazing the comeback trail after three wrist operations that sidelined his career, is currently ranked No. 42 and just recently captured the Stockholm Open for his first ATP Tour title since 2014.

Williams, arguably one of the greatest female players of all time, is a seven-time Grand Slam champion, five-time Wimbledon Champion, four-time Olympic gold medalist, and winner of 49 singles titles.  She is currently ranked No. 15 and will be making her third Showdown appearance.

Current world No. 6 Muguruza beat Serena Williams in the finals of the 2016 French Open to capture her first Grand Slam title.  She holds 10 career singles titles and was runner up at the 2015 Wimbledon Championships. She will make her Madison Square Garden debut as she tries to beat Venus Williams for the first time in four attempts.


Two rising ATP Tour stars, Sock and Kyrgios, will compete in their first ever match-up at Madison Square Garden.  Kyrgios, ranked No. 13, was listed as the No. 1 World Junior in 2013, and has already recorded several top 10 wins, including against world No. 3 Stan Wawrinka at an ATP Masters 1000 tournament earlier this year.  He will play Sock, one of the top-ranked American players at world No. 22.  Sock is a former junior US Open champion and has been in three finals on the ATP Tour.


The BNP Paribas Showdown will apply several new innovative formats currently being experimented in the world of tennis to help speed up the game.  The format enhancements will make the Showdown an even more fast-paced, exciting event for the fans.


The BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden will once again headline a full day of worldwide activities as part of “World Tennis Day,” a global tennis participation effort. All events promote tailoring the game to players 10-and-under with kid-friendly efforts including smaller racquets, lighter balls and modified scoring.


Additional information on the event will be released at a later date.


Djokovic Beats Monfils to Reach Seventh US Open Final; Wawrinka Defeats Nishikori to Advance

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

(September 9, 2016) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – In what was characterized by most as a “bizarre” match, Novak Djokovic moved into his seventh US Open final, beating 10th seed Gael Monfils 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 on Friday.

In the first set, Djokovic dashed out to a 5-0 lead. The world No. 1 had three set points serving at 5-1, Monfils won the next two games but Djokovic closed the set at 6-3.
ESPN commentator and tennis Hall of Famer John McEnroe criticized Monfils’ “lack of effort” on the air.

Monfils was asked about this in his news conference:
“I like John. I think he’s a great person. I mean, I have nothing personal to him, so I’m very sad to heard that. I’m very sad to learn that such a legend criticize me, because at the end what I can say to John is, you know, John, I want to be the best. It’s tough, you know. And I try my best.

“I’m sorry if you think I’m unprofessional, but I guess I’m working, I’m learning, you know. I think I’m failing, for sure, a lot, but I try to stand up. You know, it’s tough, because when he call me unprofessional he calls my coach unprofessional, calls my physio unprofessional, calls my physic — all my team, actually, unprofessional. Is a bit tough, you know.

“And he knows what it is. I’m more than happy to talk with him, you know. For sure, you know, it’s easy to punish me because I not win anything, you know. Such an easy thing. I do different stuff. I’m happy. I’m always with a smile.

“I make it easy. But I think John knows that if I want to be in the semifinal of the slam, anything he can say, if I not play top seed or whatever, you know, I won couple matches and I have been trained hard, you know.

“So I just very sorry bring that, and tell to John that I’m more than happy to talk with him. You know, is someone that I always care about what he is saying, but I’m just sad that he criticize me that easy.”

Djokovic was also asked about Monfils’ effort.
“I thought at times that he was, you know, maybe behaving a little bit –you know, for some terms and judgments unacceptable — but, again, I guess that was part of his tactics,” he said. “If he said that you have to believe him, I guess.

“He was 5-Love down with his game and he mixed it up. It seemed like it was a bit of a lack of effort, but then he started playing great. He started playing aggressive. He took chances. He came to the net.

“In the end of the day, I thought it was a good match. We played a four-set match. I think the crowd enjoyed it in the end.”

Monfils came back to life in the third set, rallying from 0-2 in the third set to win the set 6-3.

Djokovic fully controlled the fourth set breaking Monfils three times to complete the victory.

Well, it was a strange match,” said Djokovic “as it always is, I guess, when you play Gael, who is very unpredictable player.”

Monfils was also questioned by media about his “competing.”
“Because first question is like you’re not competing. F*ck, yes, I’m competing, you know. Even I’m like at my best actually. The guy is too good. I just have to change, you know, Monfils explained.

“As I always say, the change is guts, you know. It’s like people told me, Ah… No, I think I’m gutsy to try that, you know, against the world No. 1 of the world, you know. 5-0, okay, I show you that I play none academic way.

“And then I won’t win a match like that, but I can win maybe 15 minutes, maybe two more games, one more games. I can push him a little bit to defend also myself, more confidence, and put him out his balance.”
After all of that, Djokovic will play Sunday for his third Grand Slam championship of the season, after those at the Australian Open in January, and the French Open in June — when the theatrics were at a relative minimum by Friday’s standards.
On Sunday, Djokovic will play for his third US Open title against Stan Wawrinka.

Stan Wawrinka

Stan Wawrinka

The two-time major winner beat 2014 US Open finalist Kei Nishikori 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 to advance to his first final in Flushing Meadows. It will be a rematch of the 2015 French Open final, when the Swiss up set the Serb.


“I’m really excited,” Wawrinka said. “Really happy to make the final. Something amazing for me.

“To play Novak, the No. 1 player, it’s always really challenging. But we had some many big memories together, especially in Grand Slams, so it’s going to be an excited match.”

“Was some amazing match, for sure,”said the world No. 3 about his French Open win. “The secret is simple: I have to play my best tennis, my best game. He’s the No. 1 player, amazing fighter, amazing player, but I have enough confidence in myself that when I play my best level I can beat him.

“Hopefully I can bring that Sunday. But it’s the biggest challenge. When you play Novak, the No. 1 player in the final of Grand Slam, it’s the biggest challenge you can have.”

Wawrinka id 10 for 10 in his last 10 finals, but Djokovic is 20-4 against the Swiss.


Day 10 of the US Open – In Their Own Words

Stan Wawrinka

Stan Wawrinka


(September 7, 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.



Andy Murray

Press Conference


1-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How disappointed? Back and forth match. Seemed like you had the momentum going for a bit.
ANDY MURRAY: I’m not disappointed in a way. Obviously I would have loved to have won, but I have had a good run every match. I would have loved to have gone further, but it wasn’t to be today.

Q. Could you talk us through the dispute with or the conversation with Wayne McKewen, and what exactly was the result…
ANDY MURRAY: Stopped the point, and I was just curious why that was and that was it.

Q. You were saying that you had heard the noise in the first set. She said that you would play on?
ANDY MURRAY: Wayne McKewen told me that it happened four times during the match that the speakers had gone off like that. I had only heard it one time before, which was on set point in the second set. That was it.

Q. You had a period of seven straight games…
ANDY MURRAY: Definitely I would say to 4-1 I didn’t play a good game after I got out of the change of ends, and then, you know, he held pretty comfortably the next game.

But after that, I don’t think so. You know, there was a lot of time between then. I had a lot of game points in the 4-1 game; didn’t get it.

And, yeah, I lost my serve a couple of times from positions that when I was up in the game — you know, obviously you can get broken when you’re up in the game. I got broken once from 40-Love, once from 40-15, and at the end of the match I think I was up 30-15 in the game, as well. That was the difference.

Q. Were you more disappointed the way you were serving and so many times you had been broken or the way you returned? Because at the end of the match you were returning pretty poorly compared to your standard, in my opinion. I don’t know what you think.
ANDY MURRAY: Um, I mean, it was obviously different serving under the roof. I started off the match serving pretty well. You know, it obviously slows the conditions down so it becomes easier to return. You know, he started returning a bit better. I didn’t serve so well, obviously.

I don’t think the reason I lost the match was because of my return game. I broke serve enough times. I just didn’t hold serve enough. That was the difference.

Q. You didn’t know, but the rain didn’t last very long. It was bright sunshine and blue skies. Do you think they should readdress whether or not the roof should be open in that condition?
ANDY MURRAY: Um, it’s not really for me to say. We were told at the beginning of the event and also today that, you know, if the forecast’s good they will open the roof during the match if that’s the case. Why that didn’t happen today I don’t know.

Yeah, I mean, it’s not really for me to say. I mean, they have obviously delays and stuff and matches aren’t good for TV and people that are watching. You want a continuous match, for sure. You want to try and complete as many matches outdoors as possible.

Q. (Indiscernible.)
ANDY MURRAY: Um, I mean, I think definitely under the roof he was able to dictate more of the points. You know, he was playing a bit closer to the baseline than me and taking the ball on a little bit more.

You know, at times I was obviously doing more of the running, you know, whereas I think in the first set and a half and when we played in the Olympics, you know, that was the other way around.

Q. Any part of you feel that was the one that got away, or is that giving disservice to Kei?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, obviously I was in a good position up and a set and a break and chances at the beginning of the fourth set, as well. I could have won the match for sure.

But, you know, I have also won some over the last, you know, few months I should have lost. Against Steve Johnson at the Olympics I was down a couple of times.

The third set against Fognini, I was down a break in the third there.

Against Tsonga at Wimbledon I was up, but that could have gone the other way in the beginning of the fifth.

You know, it happens sometimes. You win them. I have won a lot over the last few months, but couldn’t quite get it going my way today.

Q. How much do you think the workload that you have had comes into that in terms of the resources you have left?
ANDY MURRAY: Um, I don’t know. I felt all right today. You know, I felt all right. Kei has played a lot of tennis, as well, though, over the last few months, for sure.

But, you know, this slam in particular I think for all of the players, especially the ones, you know, that have done well over the summer period on the hard courts, it’s, you know, a tough one.

You know, Kei will be feeling it, as well as a lot of the players. Yeah, I don’t think that had an impact on the match today.

Q. Kei hurt you a lot with the dropshots. Did you know that was coming? Did he use it a little bit more than you expected? You didn’t seem to have an answer for it. It was disguised pretty well.
ANDY MURRAY: Well, yeah, a couple of them. I didn’t lose all the points. I won a number of them.

But when you’re — like I said, when he’s playing close to the baseline and you’re the one that’s further back, it leaves more space at the front of the court to use a dropshot.

I got a little bit unfortunate on the break point at 5-All, the volley that he made that’s not going in every time. You know, that was a big moment in the match, obviously, at that stage.

Q. It’s still early. When do you think you’ll head up to Glasgow?
ANDY MURRAY: No idea. I haven’t thought anything about when I would leave. I was obviously focused purely on this week and obviously wanted to go further.

I don’t know when I’ll go there. I don’t know how many days off I’ll take or how much or when I’ll start practicing up there. You know, I’m due a few days off, and I’ll use them well, because I will need a lot of energy for that tie.

Q. (Question regarding playing on home soil.)
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, obviously I’ll look forward to the match. It should be a great, great atmosphere, great occasion. You know, I would like a little bit more time off, which obviously I will get when Davis Cup is done, but I just need to be smart in the next few days.

Because like I said, I need a lot of energy for those ties. Davis Cup, you know, does take a lot out of you over the weekend. It’s tough, especially if you play all three days. You know, I’ll need to be smart the next few days to make sure that not only physically I recover, but mentally, as well, because it’s always a stressful few days.

Q. There are five men left in the draw now. How do you see it playing out?
ANDY MURRAY: I’d say Novak would be the favorite. I mean, obviously a lot of top, top players left. Gaël has been playing very well. I think in their head to heads, Novak has had quite a little bit of success.

You know, the bottom part of the draw it’s obviously difficult to pick. They’re all top players, I think. You know, Stan and Juan will have a very good match tonight, I would expect.

You know, Kei is obviously capable on this surface of beating the best players and has beaten Novak here, as well, so you know, I would put Novak as the favorite, but everyone’s got a chance.

Q. I know it’s early after the match and disappointment we talked about, but the takeaway from the summer, do you look back and say, It was a heck of a summer? Or are you kind of leaving let down by coming up short?
ANDY MURRAY: I have not let anyone down. I tried my best. I fought as hard as I could with what I had today. I didn’t let anyone down. Certainly not myself. I pushed myself as hard as I could over the last few months, and I’m very proud of how I have done.

You know, if someone had offered me the summer that I have had before Wimbledon, I probably would have signed for that. You know, asking me right now is pointless. I’m not going to have the best perspective on things right this minute, but, you know, after a few days, you know, away and stuff, I would imagine I’d be very happy with how I have done and, you know, learn from this match today and the summer as a whole, because, you know, it’s been tough. It’s been a hard summer.

And, yeah, I’m happy with how it’s gone. There’s just a few things I could do differently next time.






Kei Nishikori

Press Conference


1-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. With so much on the line and so much pressure, how would you describe your mental approach?
KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah, it was really difficult match. I didn’t quite start well and lost 6-1. I felt it was really quick and I was rushing a little bit and missing too much unforced errors.

But after rain delay I think I improve little bit with my coach, and I tried to change a little bit my tennis and start working a little bit better. I started get my rhythm back. Yeah, many breaks today.

Especially fifth set it was really tough. I was up 4-3, 40- love and lost the game. So there was many up and downs, but I tried to calm. I think that’s the most important thing I did today. Even though there was many up and downs I tried to stay tough.

Yeah, last couple games I took little chance, and, yeah, win the whole thing. So it was really tight game, but happy to win today.

Q. You mentioned the up and downs. You both had those. There were huge momentum shifts were taking place throughout the match. It also really, really felt like the house, if you will, the crowd, was really pulling for you. Did you feel that? Did that energize you and give you motivation and confidence?
KEI NISHIKORI: Well, yeah. I think I was too focused today, so I couldn’t really hear too much on the court.

But for sure the crowd helped me to get back in the game. Yeah, fourth and fifth I think I played one of the best tennis. It was great match.

Q. The let call after the loud noise, the point early in the fourth set, do you think they should have stopped that point?
KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah, I mean, definitely. My concentration went off. Yeah, I don’t know what’s the reason, but for sure they have to stop that.

Q. What does it mean for you to be honored with the sportsmanship award tonight?
KEI NISHIKORI: Well, yeah, it’s a great honor to get sportsmanship. Well, I mean, I try to stay calm and I try not to do too many up and downs, especially my mental side.

I think especially today I think I did great, you know. Even though there was many times my focus went off, but especially during fourth and fifth set I tried to stay tough.

Yeah, it’s great to show that to the other people, you know. I’m always staying tough. Yeah, it’s great honor.

Q. After the rain delay you seemed to be working the points a little bit more. During the delay, what did Dante and Michael tell you?
KEI NISHIKORI: Well, it was definitely my mistake that lost the first set. I was missing too much. Like I said, I think I was feeling a little bit rushed. I gave so many opportunity to him easy. Yeah, we talk a lot of things during the rain delay, and, yeah, I tried to change something. It worked well.

For sure it’s helped today’s game.

Q. If Stan wins tonight, will you share your thoughts on the Swiss player?
KEI NISHIKORI: Well, yeah. We just played in Toronto few weeks ago. He’s been playing, you know, good tennis.

But I think it’s gonna be tough match today. Delpo is playing great tennis. Yeah, I’m very excited to watch match tonight. I’m not sure who’s gonna win today.

You know, my side I try to stay focused, you know, even though whoever comes, you know, for the next round, either way it’s gonna be tough. Try to stay calm and ready for next one.

Q. Two great nations with tennis culture, Japan and Great Britain; match each other in the history. You are the first Japanese player in US Open history to beat a Great Britain player. Fred Perry beat Japanese player in five-setter. You beat Murray in a five-setter. What does it mean for you, making the history?
KEI NISHIKORI: Well, yeah, I think it means a lot, especially I have been losing Andy a lot. I think seven times and I only won once. And especially this stage, you know, it’s big opportunity for me to play today’s match.

Well, yeah, I was really confident. I was ready to play today’s match. Actually, we just played this year really long match. I think it was close to five hours in Davis Cup and I lost the match, so it was great to revenge, you know, from Davis Cup.

Q. Since we don’t know which player you’ll play next, can we start first with Del Potro? How would you describe his forehand?
KEI NISHIKORI: Well, I think he has best forehand right now on the tour. I think it’s most dangerous forehand right now. You know, he’s mixing little more backhand slice and topspin.

But, yeah, for sure his forehand is one of the best right now.

Q. And how about Wawrinka’s backhand?
KEI NISHIKORI: Well, I might say same thing. (Laughter.) Well, one-hand backhand for sure he’s the best right now. Maybe total Djoko and Andy has, you know, great backhands, but he can lift the backhand really well. Yeah, I think it’s gonna be interesting, you know, big forehand and big backhand match today. So I think it’s gonna be fun match.

Q. A situation like in the fourth set, opponent’s arguing with the chair umpire, do you have a sense there that might be an opportunity to kind of shift momentum? Did you feel momentum shifting after that moment?
KEI NISHIKORI: Well, I don’t really look up for opponents. Like I said, I think I was too focused today, so I couldn’t really have chance to see my opponents.

Yeah, I don’t really care about what, you know, they doing. I have to stay focused all the time and I have to, you know, think what I have to do for next points.

Yeah, I didn’t really take care of opponents today.

Q. You’re talking here about staying calm, staying focused, not getting distracted. How is your mental approach to staying in the moment in a match like that?
KEI NISHIKORI: In the end I think I did really well, but first and before rain delay I think I was little bit out of my concentration. I felt like I didn’t know what to do.

But after rain delay I think I was more focused and start playing better tennis, so I was getting more confidence during the match. And especially in the end. I think I wasn’t making many unforced errors and playing great tennis.

So confidence helped game today.

Q. You were quite successful at the net today. Did you make a conscious decision to come to the net more often against Andy?
KEI NISHIKORI: Well, I see some opportunity to come in today so I tried to be aggressive. I saw that’s what I had to do. Especially against Andy. He has great defense. I don’t know why I did and serve and volley many today, but I was felt like and it was working. I think it was great mix-up serve and volley and come to the net a lot today.

Q. You seem like a calm, quiet, contained person. US Open is loud and boisterous. Why do you think you have so much success at this slam, your most successful slam?
KEI NISHIKORI: I don’t know. I think this courts and the ball; I live in Florida, so that also help me. Coming here it was very easy for me to prepare for this US Open.

Well, I love the crowd. It makes me more motivated. Yeah, it’s little bit different than other Grand Slam, you know. I think it’s more loud and it’s more like, you know, big party on the court. (Smiling.)

It’s very exciting.

Q. If you are to play Del Potro, you haven’t beat him before, but you also haven’t played since the London Olympics. Is it fair to say you’re a completely different player now than four years ago?
KEI NISHIKORI: Well, for sure. I think we both different player. Like I said, he’s mixing up little more backhand. He still have great serves and forehand. That’s for sure have to take care.

Yeah, I been see him a lot actually. I watch a lot of matches in Olympics and we practice a lot, too. I kind of know how he’s gonna play, so I try to focus my side.

Also, I mean, either guys wins, I really have to get good tactics for next match.

Q. Your demeanor on the court is very unique. It’s hard to say whether you just lost a game and got broken or you won after fantastic play. Looking miserable in both cases. Why is that? Is it your way of dealing with the stress or…
KEI NISHIKORI: Well, yeah, I try to stay calm, that’s for sure. I’m not the loudest guy on the tour for sure. I’m more calm, I think my private too. I mean, I try to show my guts and everything, you know, good energy on the court.

But I think it’s most important, you know, shouldn’t be too many up and downs, especially downs. Yeah, I try to stay positive all the time.

Q. Fourth and fifth you said you played some of your best tennis. Do you think that was some of the best tennis you have played in your career? Semifinals; finals two years ago. How much confidence do you have knowing you have been there before? How eager are you to get back and have that opportunity again?
KEI NISHIKORI: It’s tough to say one of the best tennis, but, yeah, some moments I think I played great tennis. I was feeling the ball really well. You know, I think I lost two, three times fifth sets my serve.

Yeah, so, I mean, cannot be the best, but still play, you know, great tennis to beat Andy. Especially last few games, you know, it was really a lot of pressure. Especially lost my serve 4-3, and I have to refocus again.

It was really tight moment. I think it’s gonna help for sure my experience. Yeah, very looking forward to play semis again here.



Karolina Pliskova

Press Conference


6-2, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Were you surprised that it went so smooth, so quick? You played great, but —

Q. — did you expect before the game it would be a little tougher?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Yeah, a little bit. I was surprised and I was still waiting even in the first set. Even in the second set I was still waiting some complications gonna come.

But, well, I’m not gonna complain. (Smiling.) I’m happy that it went so easy. Of course I was expecting a little bit tougher battle, but happy that it went so easy.

Q. You had a great day serving. You have had a lot of great days serving. How do you practice your serve? Do you have a routine? What works best for?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, now in the tournament I don’t practice much anymore like a specific thing. It’s more about — I mean, I can serve, even if the serve that day is off. Doesn’t mean there is some mistake or something. It’s more about the toss.

But I still know I can serve and there is nothing wrong in the technique. So overall we just go and serve a little bit couple of the serve in each side. And that’s it?

Q. Have you always been so calm on the court? Doesn’t seem like you want to show much emotion, or maybe as a little kid you used to show emotion.
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Yeah, I was more angry before with myself on the court. (Smiling.) So that I am improved a lot. Sometimes I’m still smashing my racquets.

More in the practices than in the matches. I’m trying to be calm in the match because it’s not really helping me. I don’t really want to show even the opponent and even the crowd and the people any frustration.

But there are matches when I’m not that calm, as the one with Venus. I was emotional a lot in that match. I was pumping myself. But of course if it’s a match like this, I’m just — you know, it doesn’t mean I’m not in the game and not in the match, but I’m just trying to be calm. I have some emotions inside, of course.

Q. Does this result seem early, late, on time for you? You know, you’re 24. Not old, but not young.
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, to be honest, I don’t care at what time it came. I’m just happy that it’s now and that it came. There are people saying that I could be there earlier, but right now I feel great and I feel it’s the right time for having the results like this.

Q. What do you think held you back before from getting this kind of result?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Definitely some experience from the biggest matches. Obviously the title from Cincinnati helped me a lot. I was waiting for the bigger title for a few years, let’s say two, so that was next step.

I think just everything is on time. I was practicing hard this year, and even the results in the beginning of this year were not that good as the last year. I’m happy that I could, you know, play my game on the biggest tournaments, which I didn’t play last year.

Q. You now have possibly two matches to go. Can you imagine yourself lifting the trophy on Saturday? Is that something in your gut that you think you’re gonna do or are capable of doing?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, it would be a dream, but unfortunately I’m in the part of the draw with Serena, so it would be very tough to get through this one.

So I’m not gonna think about the finals yet. Obviously I know there is a chance. Always there is a chance. So I’m going to do everything for, you know, get at least close to the final.

But even if Serena is not going to win, there is Simona. That will be very tough match for me in the semifinal. I’m just looking forward to this challenge.

Like I said, anything is possible, so I know I have a chance if I play good tennis.

Q. What did you learn from playing Serena in the past?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I played her once only, actually. I was in Stanford I think two or three years ago.

I was completely different player at that time, so I am I improve a lot and obviously she probably as well. She’s a big hitter and she can, you know, have 50 winners and you cannot do much about it.

But I still gonna hope that there is gonna be some chance in the match where I can get my chance and be the one who is playing aggressive. Obviously I played Venus this week, which is not probably that good as she is, but it’s very similar game.

So I’ll just have to be ready for it, I think.

Q. What is your earliest memory of Serena Williams? And what do you remember most about what you thought when you watched her play?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: We were pretty young when we were watching her and her sister. Actually the first memory about the sisters was that they had this thing on their hair. I think it was Venus, and it somehow broked and it was everywhere on the court. (Smiling.)

So that’s the first memory about them. And then obviously there are there for so many years and they have so many titles together. And especially Serena now. She’s just one of the best players in the world, so it would be honor to play her.

Q. What qualities of her game impressed you most when you were a young player aspiring to be in this situation?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I think they were not that good as — or let me talk about Serena only — as she is now. She improve a lot in the last few years. Most of the titles she was winning now, and she had now so many years which she’s on top.

I think she’s just — you know, she probably needed some experience and some years of the tennis, as well, on the tour.

Right now I think she’s just playing amazing and going for her shots. She’s really believing in herself and using everything what she has.

Q. What have you learned from watching her, if anything?

Q. What have you learned from watching her play?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, I would say we can have similar games, as me and her, but she’s a little bit different level than me.

But she’s also playing aggressive and going for her shots. And even if she has the day when — even if she has the day when she is missing, she is still going for it and she turn it around like this a lot of matches.

So I would say probably this from her.

Q. It certainly didn’t show on the court, but has it affected you at all that this is kind of new territory for you at a Grand Slam?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I was kind of nervous this morning, or let’s say before the match. But always when I get on the court I just forget about everything and I’m not nervous anymore.

And I’m just, you know, trying to play tennis. Maybe I will think about all what I have been playing last few weeks after the tournament, but right now I just don’t want to, you know, put it in too much inside me. I just want to, you know, still playing.

Q. How did your serve feel today compared to the last few rounds? Felt better? Same? Different?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I would say it was better, much better. At least the percentage. Also, I had quite a lot of points from the first serve. I won almost, I don’t know, about 95% on the first serve points, which is great.

I don’t know if she was a little bit nervous or she was playing totally different opponent the last match, so maybe it was different for her so she was not that ready for a big serve.

But I played Venus, so I was ready for all. I knew if I played the same way how I was playing Venus, I’m going to get a chance and win a match.

Q. You mentioned that against Serena it’s important to not let her take control of the match and her being aggressive and run all over you. How do you stop that?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Well, everything is starting with the serve and receive. So that’s the beginning of all the rallies, so I have to just, you know, serve well. That’s the main thing from my side.

And then if she’s serving well, I cannot do much. And if she has some second serve, I have to go and attack it.

Q. Talking to Angelique yesterday. Her previous US Open semifinal, her only one prior to this year, was five years ago. She was 23. I asked her to compare sort of what the mindset is now as opposed to five years later, more maturity and obviously so much success she’s had. Looking back, she said it was really just a bit of nervousness that held her back. Do you think that’s a big battle, going into your first US Open semifinal and stay within your game and not let the nerves overtake you?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I don’t know. It’s tomorrow, so I will see how I feel tomorrow.

But I’m sure always when you play someone who is better than you it’s a little bit different because you don’t have any pressure. Like I had a little bit pressure today that she was outsider, so there is kind of like you have to beat here. I just gonna go and play everything that I have and put everything in that match, because I have nothing to lose.

Of course maybe in the beginning I’m expecting some nerves a little bit, but I don’t want to have this in the whole match.

Q. You come from a relatively small country. Czech Republic is, I think, like 10 million people.

Q. You always have new talent. Last year more on the female side. Always new talents, young talents. What do you think? Is it the work of the individual talents or the Federation, Czech Tennis Federation? Because you always have so many new young players.
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I would not say it’s about Federation. I would say every girl is from different city. Every girl has their own coach. We have good talents. Maybe because of the history of Czech tennis – we had good tennis in the past – so maybe they inspired the young ones.

Maybe the girls which are playing now, they inspired another one. So let’s see who else is coming up. Really happy that especially the female tennis is doing so well in last few years and there is still some young girls coming up.

Q. So many great Czech players. Which one inspired you the most?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Tough to say. Would be Martina Navratilova. There was today in my box Helena Suková. She was always good player, as well. And there is obviously Ivan Lendl and more of the guys, as well. So there is a lot of them.

Q. Has Navratilova helped you at all?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: No, but in the last, let’s say year, I’m meeting her more often than before, but we never really talk about tennis.

Q. If it’s not Serena in the next round, what would be your thoughts on facing the other person, the person playing Serena, who might be pulling off a big upset, to set up a matchup with you?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: There is Simona. I have played her a few times. That would be probably — I don’t want to say easier for me. They are both really good. It’s going to be probably very close match tonight.

But she’s not hitting that big and she’s not that dangerous as Serena is, so I would have more chances probably in the match to play my game and attack her serve and to going for the shots.

But as I saw some statistics, she won last — from 24 matches, I think she won 22 or something like this, so she’s playing very good tennis right now. Probably she feels confidence. Will be tough to play her, as well.

Q. Will you watch the match tonight? If you do, what will you be looking for?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I want to watch, for sure, but normally I go dinner about 7:30 and they play at 7:00. So hopefully we find some restaurant where the tennis is in TV (smiling.)

I’m going to just, you know — I know both players, and like I said before, it always depends more on me than on them. So I don’t want to talk about their tactics or thinking about their game, because everything has to start in my game. So that’s what I just want to do tomorrow, as well.

But obviously I’m going to watch.


Ana Konjuh

Press Conference


6-2, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Obviously not the result, but it’s been a great tournament for you. Sort of your reflections, looking back on, first of all, the match. Just too much for you today?
ANA KONJUH: I mean, I wasn’t at my best level today for sure, but she was just too good. Her serve is just too good. Today on the court, you know, she found her rhythm and took the opportunities that I gave her.

You know, I cannot be sad after all of this. Good luck to her. She’s having great season so far, and, you know, I’m cheering for her.

Yeah, but overall, I’m happy with my results here. When I came here I could only imagine playing the quarters. I think it’s been a great tournament.

Q. Talk about the takeaway. Obviously getting to a position where you can contend at Grand Slams, this is a great first step. Is that how you look at it?
ANA KONJUH: Yeah, my season — as I said, my season wasn’t so great so far. I’m just really happy to be healthy and on the court and especially competing in the Grand Slams. That’s a big thing for all of us.

I’m just looking forward to the next one.

Q. Is there any reason why it seems to be that players like yourself can sort of get through the draw to a late stage here at the US Open? There has been a woman’s unseeded semifinalist for several years here. Any thoughts about that?
ANA KONJUH: Ah, it’s a special tournament, that’s for sure. I mean, I love it here. I won the juniors. I have good memories.

The city is great. I think we are all enjoying ourselves. We don’t want to go home, so we just play good.

Q. We were just talking with fellow journalists about what a unique venue Arthur Ashe Stadium is. Now with the roof. As a player, is it intimidating, daunting, inspiring, to go out and play out there?
ANA KONJUH: Well, for me it is inspiring, for sure. I haven’t played on Ashe before. Playing against Aga, you know, that was my first time. I wasn’t that nervous as I was expecting.

I think, you know, it was a good thing. It was motivating to me to be better. The atmosphere was great. I heard the crowd cheering for me, so thanks to them for coming.

Q. Your ranking is due to go up to around 51 as a result of this. How does that make you feel?
ANA KONJUH: Good, yeah. I think I dropped to 100 or something before. I was a bit down, low point in my career. I still have a long road to go.

I’m just giving my best to be healthy on the court. Yeah, my goal was to come to top 50 this year, so I still have a few tournaments. (Smiling.)

Q. Is it important to be a sort of Croatian No. 1 player, as well, to be the best woman player in your country?
ANA KONJUH: I mean, yeah. I didn’t think that I was before this. So, you know, there is Mirjana. You know, she’s always good. And Ajla, you know, but she’s playing for Australia now.

And Donna, you know, she’s dropped I think right now, but, yeah, I think she’s gonna come back.

Just it feels good. The Fed Cup team, you know, in February we are playing. I’m just looking forward to it.

Q. I got requests this morning before the match to please, please, please ask you some questions and you answer in Croatian. We will do that later. How much excitement is there at home? Do you get a lot of tweets, social media, that indicates a high level of interest back home, especially when you get to the stage you were able to get to?
ANA KONJUH: Yeah, yeah. After the match against Aga, I got a hundred messages on my phone. It ran out of battery at some time.

It feels good other people are cheering for and you that you’re recognized in your country that you did something great.

No, I think of it as a motivation to get even better and get people to talk about me even more.

Q. The motivation, the match against Aga, not to go back to the previous match, but that’s a huge breakthrough there and your first time in Ashe Stadium. Taking that, how much confidence do you have going forward now looking forward to Grand Slam tournaments, feeling like, you know, the difference of maybe being able to get through the first, second, third round as opposed to getting to the quarterfinals or semifinals?
ANA KONJUH: Yeah, I mean, for sure. This is a great result for me. Now I know that, you know, I got that something to be in the top. I’m just looking forward to playing again on the Grand Slams. I think that’s the most important tournament for all of us. I’m just enjoying it, and like the pressure, also.



Simona Halep

Press Conference


6-2 4-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Just your thoughts after that match.
SIMONA HALEP: Well, I think it was a good match. I played well. I could play better in those moments when I had chances. But I think the level was pretty high.

I’m okay with the way that I was fighting till the end. It’s something normal now for me, so it’s a good thing. She played really well. She is the best player, so her serve was huge today.

It was tough. Is tough. I’m a little bit sad, but I have just to take the positives, because I have a lot going ahead.

Q. After the second set, did you have a little bit of a letdown? Were you sort of running out of gas?
SIMONA HALEP: After the second?

Q. After that great second set.
SIMONA HALEP: No, I had two chances to make a break in first game, so wasn’t about that. There I could take that game, and I think the story of the match would have been different.

You know, was just one game. I should play like more aggressive, I think, after that game, but she took the break. She took my game on my serve, and then she was serving really tough.

Q. Since you beat her in Singapore you have had matches with her before. Some of them tight. Some of them going very, very quick against her. What was the difference today, when you played her in Indian Wells, or other matches where it was a little bit more of a blowout for her?
SIMONA HALEP: I think this was the best match that I ever had against her. I felt that I’m very close and I have chances to win. Like I said, I think my game was pretty good tonight. It’s a good thing. I take it like with confidence, this match.

I think we played very well. I played very well. But I could do better in some moments.

Q. What are your thoughts on how often Serena came to net and how often she used the dropshot?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, she used I think today a few times the dropshot. She did pretty well. She comes to the net when she has short balls. She hits with a lot of power and it’s easy for her to come in.

But she plays really well on these courts. She’s home, so I feel that she feels very confident. She did a great job. That’s why she’s No. 1.

Q. Overall are you tense or disappointed in this moment?
SIMONA HALEP: Both. I am a little bit disappoint that I had could not take the chances, but I’m also happy about the way I stayed there and played. I’m okay. I’m normal now.

Q. I know you’re used to it in tennis, but does it feel weird No. 5 got to play No. 1 in the quarterfinals?
SIMONA HALEP: I’m not thinking about these things. It is how it is, and I have to play — I have to beat best players to win a Grand Slam, so I don’t care where I am, against who I play.

I have just to win to get that title if I will do one day.

Q. Is it more satisfying sitting there now having lost the quarterfinal compared to when you lost the semifinal here last year? Do you feel better having at least played a good match, or…
SIMONA HALEP: I feel definitely better that I played much better than last year in the semis. Semis is better than quarterfinals. Yeah, but they are two different things. Last year I was not playing in the semis and this year I lost in the quarters but I gave everything I could.

It’s okay. I don’t want to complain about anything.



Serena Williams

Press Conference


6-2 4-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How are you feeling health-wise? Shoulder?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I didn’t hear you.

Q. How are you feeling health-wise?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh. I feel okay. I’m not at 100%, but I’m okay. Nothing to complain too much about.

Q. Didn’t play a seeded player first four rounds. Top 5 player, Simona. Amped up?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I didn’t have to be too amped up because it’s the quarterfinals and it’s a tough player. I just knew I needed to be ready.

Q. Do you feel like a big jump in difficulty?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think that she obviously plays well. Yeah, so it was definitely a jump.

Q. What are your thoughts on the way you employed the dropshot and came to the net in this match? How does it represent an emphasis, perhaps, in your game right now?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I have been working on getting to the net. Particularly today I couldn’t do too much off the groundstrokes. I felt maybe I should get in more. It worked for me.

I don’t really like coming to the net, to be honest, but I’m good at the net, I guess. I guess I’ve got to do what I’m good at.

Q. And dropshots?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I hit a lot of dropshots in practice. I just never do it in a match, but the past year or so I have been doing it more in my matches. It worked out.

Q. Do you like it more than maybe coming to the net?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, definitely. (Smiling.) Definitely.

Q. What was it about her game in the second set that gave you a little trouble?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I didn’t take some opportunities that I had. I really had some chances there and I didn’t take them, and I let that get the better of me.

You know, I didn’t play the same match in the first set or in the second, and my third set was better than the second. So I didn’t keep that level up.

Q. You had a ton of break points throughout the match. Is that something you and Patrick work on a lot?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, it’s happened to me in the past before, but like I said on the court, I just stay positive. I’m glad I had the break points as opposed to not having them. That’s the only thing I can do, and hopefully I can start getting more.

Q. Is it harder to move on from those? I think there were two games, one was 22 points, one was 18, and you lost both of them. Is it harder to move on from those games, to put that out of your mind?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, and I won a long one, too. So that’s all I kind of was focusing on was — yeah, I was rather positive today, and that’s not normal. I’m just going to go with it. (Smiling.)

Q. This is your first three-set match since McHale at Wimbledon. I guess did it feel different in any way? I mean, obviously you have played plenty of tennis, but did it feel like it had been a long time since you had been in that situation?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I mean, I also lost a match at the Olympics. It wasn’t a three-set match, but it was a longer match, and I think kind of in a weird way helped me.

Q. Maybe it’s a silly question, but is there any sort of enjoyment of the challenge, the difficulty of pulling out a three-set match, high stakes, high tension, all of that as opposed to winning 6-1, 6-1, or 6-2, 6-3.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think there is a huge enjoyment in the three-set matches, but I just feel like you don’t get that appreciation until later. Obviously in the moment you want to win fast and you want to win easy and win in straights. You really feel that appreciation much later.

Q. Any silver linings being tested in a match like that tonight?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I feel great. I’m glad I got tested. The best part of it is I feel like — I mean, I think her level really picked up in the second, but I had some opportunities that I didn’t take.

So what I gather from that is I really could have played better in that second set and maybe had an opportunity to win in straights.

I think if anything, that’s the biggest silver lining I take.

Q. You mentioned earlier being positive and just going with it. In that second set, it did seem like in the past we would have like almost expected you to get mad, you know, maybe break a racquet, something like that. You remained pretty inward. Noticeable for you out there? Like did it ever get close to getting — you know, the frustration boiling over?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I was really rather calm today and not trying to be. I guess that’s just how I got out of bed this morning.

I definitely wanted to do some more Come ons. I don’t know why. That’s weird.

Q. We don’t keep that stat. It’s okay.

Q. Draymond Green, who has such a fighting spirit and a great athlete, was in the house. Like you, born in Saginaw. Have you met or encountered him? Any thoughts about him?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, we met a while back. We had our Saginaw stories. We had fun. We had a big chat about that. I saw him in the stands, so it was good to see him out there.

Q. Can you share one Saginaw tale?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, listen, I was just born there. That’s my only connection. I think he has more.

Q. What’s your thoughts on having the match tomorrow and not a day off?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I feel that it’s normal. I feel having a day off is weird, because the whole year you play every single day, you know. So this is totally normal.

Q. Can I ask you to look ahead to that matchup with Pliskova? What do you think the keys will be? We have asked you this before, but I’m curious in this instance how much you’ll speak to Venus about playing someone shortly after she played that player.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I haven’t even gotten that far yet, actually. I’m still trying to just get over this match. I’ll definitely — I will more than likely — I’m sure she will tell me something, but I’ll be there. I’ll be ready tomorrow.

Q. Schedules changed a little bit this year. I don’t think you ever played a night session semifinal before. Will that feel different here? You were supposed to last year but it got rained out.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh. Yeah, so I look forward to it. It’s great because I have more time off, I guess.

Then, yeah, so it kind of works out for me.

Q. I mean, do you think about rounds and times? Like you’re in a semifinal and it’s dark. Does it feel unusual or do you not think that way?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I don’t think that way at all.

Q. How much do you enjoy playing against a big server? What pride do you take in your return game when so many people think of you as the person with the biggest serve yourself?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it’s good to play. We’ll see. I haven’t played against many big servers recently, but she places her serve really well, I think. She definitely gets some speed on it, but her placement is really, really nice.

Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be able to read them and play okay.

Q. Inasmuch as you’re zen – and I’m not saying you are zen – how zen have you felt in this tournament?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I have been really stressed out in a few of the matches, but I felt pretty good in most of the rounds.

Honestly I feel okay today. I feel like I could have played a lot better. I think that makes me really calm, is the fact that I know I can play so much better and I have to — yeah, I know that. I think everyone here knows I can play better.

Q. Tonight was it just an issue of execution in the second and third sets? Is that what you’re frustrated with or tactics, or what is it about the match that you’re still trying to process and get over?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, I definitely think a little bit of the execution. I don’t think I — yeah, just maybe that and some other things. I’m not…

Q. But Karolina has a twin sister on tour. Have you ever thought about another identical copy of you floating around? How tough that might be?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It would be a living hell. (Laughter.)



Juan Martin Del Potro

Press Conference

S. WAWRINKA/J. Del Potro

7-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. That moment at the end when everyone was singing before the last game, what were you feeling?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, something difficult to describe with words. I mean, I can lose the match, but I will never forget this. You know, it’s bigger than win any match.

I’m so proud to get that from the crowd, because I have been doing a big effort to play tennis again. They made me so happy tonight, and I don’t mind the score.

Q. This loss obviously is tough, but you have had a great summer. I imagine your confidence must be much bigger than it’s been in the last couple of years. Where do you feel mentally and physically right now with your tennis?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I think my tennis is starting to respond as I want, but physically I’m still down. You know, I’m not in the same level that these guys. I need to just to stay healthy and wait for the preseason to get 100% for next year.

I’m already top 100, so that’s good. Never will ask for wildcard anymore. (Smiling.)

And everything here is positive for me. I’m so glad for that.

Q. You’re much taller than guys like Wawrinka and Djokovic, Murray. You mention you feel like physically you’re not where they are yet. You need to work on it. What sort of things do you need to do differently because of your height in terms of training?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I’m starting to play tennis again after a long, long time. Like two months ago I was losing first round, second round, 80 players or different rankings.

And now I’m fighting at the same level as the top guys, and I already beat Djokovic, Rafa. I played against Murray in a great match. Wawrinka is the No. 3 player in the world and I’m there. That’s means something good to me.

But I need to keep working. I need to get my physical back as soon I can, and then I will have a chance to play in the same conditions.

Q. How did you feel physically this match, especially as it got later into the match?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I think he was smarter than me in the end. In the end he started to play his backhands down the lines; starting to play more slices. He made me run too much. I got exhausted after the third set.

I think that was the key, because at the beginning of the match was really, really tight for both, and I couldn’t win the first two sets. But he took the chances and he made a good match.

Q. How full a schedule do you think you’ll be able to play in the fall? You played on and off this year. Just wondering how your health feels and ranking, if you will try to play a full schedule or just still very careful?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I didn’t expect to play too many matches here, and now I will see where I’m going to play. I would like to be in Asia and then in the indoor tournament.

But now I don’t have the pression for rankings. I just want to stay healthy and keep working to get my physic back, and I will see. Now, after here, I have Davis Cup. I will try to recover myself to be 100% in Glasgow.

Q. What are your plans travel-wise? Like when are you going to travel for Davis Cup and how are you feeling about that tie?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: I don’t know. (Smiling.) I just finished my match. I don’t have too much time to come back home, but I will see maybe tomorrow during the breakfast.

Q. How are you feeling about the matchup?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: About the match?

Q. Davis Cup.
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: It’s gonna be interesting, I think. All the British guys are playing great. They made so good tournament here and they are the favorites to win.

But Davis Cup everything can happen. So we will be there.

Q. (Question regarding Davis Cup.)
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: But I’m not ready to play anymore now. I’m so tired. (Smiling.) But then you should ask Davis Cup captain.

Q. I’m asking you.
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: No, I’m so tired to answer that.


Stan Wawrinka

Press Conference

S. WAWRINKA/J. Del Potro

7-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. I wonder what motivates you? You won two slams, you are very rich, you’ll never catch Federer, Nadal, Djokovic number of trophies, but anyone knows on a good day you beat them. So frankly, I think that one more slam will not change much. What makes you work? What makes you…
STAN WAWRINKA: So what should I do? (Smiling.) I’m 31 years old. What do you want me to do? Just go to the beach? Not do anything? I don’t know. Did you ask that question to Rafa also or to Novak or to Andy?

I think I love my sport. I enjoy to play tennis. It’s my passion. I start when I was really young. I have the chance to play in front of amazing crowd playing amazing match like tonight. If you just look the match tonight you have the answer. It’s amazing feeling to be out there.

Q. What was the reason of the medical timeout? Knee or…
STAN WAWRINKA: No, it was my adductor. Was tightness, tension after a few points on my adductor, and I just wanted to check. That was nothing else.

Q. Next match against Nishikori. What kind of a match do you expect?
STAN WAWRINKA: Well, it’s going to be interesting for sure. We played many times against each other. He beat me a few years ago here quarterfinal five sets. He beat me in Toronto; I beat him in Australia. I saw him play today. He was playing really well.

It’s going to be tough match, for sure. We will see also how I’m going to feel physically in two days to get ready for that.

But, yeah, I’m ready for a match against Kei.

Q. Did you see his match?
STAN WAWRINKA: Yeah, a little bit, little bit. He was playing well.

Q. What did you feel was the turning point tonight? It was close and you seemed to take control.
STAN WAWRINKA: Yeah, it was important to stay there, to stay tough. I knew before the match that against Juan Martin it’s a tough challenge. He’s playing well. He’s strong mentally. He doesn’t give you much.

You know it’s going to be painful physically and mentally to stay there, so I had to adapt a little bit my game. It’s not a player that I can really play always the way I want because he’s so aggressive.

It was important to stay tough there. I knew it will be difficult. But I’m happy with the way I was fighting, with myself. I’m happy with the way I find solution in the third set to take advantage. I saw also that he was starting to go a little bit down. I took advantage of that.

Q. You mentioned that it was amazing. How was the crowd tonight? They seemed to really get behind Del Potro. Do you feel that there were Swiss fans for you, as well?
STAN WAWRINKA: No, it was amazing crowd, for sure. For sure there was a lot of support for Juan Martin. It’s normal. I expect that. He’s amazing champion. He won here. He got so unlucky with all the injury he had, and the way he’s playing right now already, it’s amazing. Everybody is happy to see him back at that level.


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?

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


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?

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


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


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


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.

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?

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


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?

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.

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.

Kei Nishikori Clinches Emirates Airline US Open Series Title

Kei Nishikori

Kei Nishikori



Nishikori Wins First Emirates Airline US Open Series Title – 2014 US Open Finalist Will Now Compete for a Record $4.5 Million Payout at US Open

Women’s Bonus Challenge to be Decided This Weekend at Connecticut Open

From the USTA – August 25, 2016 – World No. 7 and 2014 US Open finalist Kei Nishikori clinched the 2016 Emirates US open Series men’s title tonight, with Viktor Trocki’s victory over Fernando Verdasco in the quarterfinals of the Winston-Salem Open in Winston-Salem, N.C. Nishikori will now attempt to set a record for the largest payout in tennis history at the US Open – $4.5 million; $3.5 million for winning the US Open and a $1 million bonus for winning the US Open as Emirates Airline US Open Series champion.

Nishikori finishes the Bonus Challenge with 85 points – 70 for reaching the Rogers Cup final in Toronto and 15 for advancing to the Round of 16 at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. Verdasco was the only remaining player in Winston-Salem who could have overtaken him in the final standings.

Grigor Dimitrov finishes second in the men’s Bonus Challenge, while 2014 Emirates Airline US Open Series men’s champion Milos Raonic finishes third. Both players tied with 70 points; Dimitrov finishes second based on tiebreakers, having won seven matches on the Series this summer, as opposed to Raonic’s five. The second and third place finishers will compete for US Open bonus payouts of $500,000 and $250,000, respectively.

Novak Djokovic and Marin Cilic each earned 100 points for their Rogers Cup and Western & Southern Open victories, respectively. Players must earn points in two or more Emirates Airline US Open Series events to be eligible for the final Bonus Challenge standings and US Open bonus prize money.

The women’s Bonus Challenge will be decided this week at the Connecticut Open in New Haven, where Agnieszka Radwanska can overtake current leader Johanna Konta by winning the title.


Novak Djokovic Beats Kei Nishikori for Toronto Title and 30th Masters Series Trophy

26-Djokovic Kisses trophy


(July 31, 2016) Novak Djokovic won his fourth Rogers Cup title on Sunday in Toronto beating Japan’s Kei Nishikori 6-3, 7-5. For the Serb, the world’s top player it’s his 30th Masters Series title on the ATP World Tour, adding to his Masters title record. In the event which rotates between Toronto and Montreal, Djokovic also won titles in 2007, 2011 and 2012.

Djokovic, who has nine straight wins against Nishikori, is now 33-1 on hard courts for the year.

“I think he stepped it up,” said Nishikori. “He raise his level I think a lot from these couple days, couple days ago.

“He played really deep, and he didn’t give me any, like, free points. Especially he was serving really well, so I didn’t have many, you know, chance for my return game. So I was really feeling the pressure every game.

“Maybe second set maybe I had some chance, but there was too many unforced errors from me. Well, also he was playing good, but I couldn’t play good tennis today.”


“I think, like I said, I had too many unforced errors especially during important points. Yeah, he was returning really well today, I think. I was hitting some good first serves, but he was making return in deep.

“I hope I can step it up a little more and winning some titles, but I think still Novak is biggest challenge for me to win against him. Especially on hard court he’s been beating me. You know, not easy but two sets. Miami, here, especially big match like here in final.

“So I think I need more experience, you know, of these kind of matches, but I think this is a great week even though I lost Novak. It was second time this year in the final, Masters. I think getting closer and closer. So hope I can get a Masters title as soon as possible.

“I think that’s going to give me a lot of confidence for winning the Grand Slams and those big tournaments.

This is Djokovic’s seventh title of the year which includes victories at two majors – the Australian Open and the French Open with Masters titles at Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid and Toronto, as well as a tournament in Doha.

Djokovic, whose next stop is Rio de Janiero for the Olympic Games was asked about his participation and if he has concerns about playing there.

“No, no. Really, again, I think it’s all in our minds,” he said about people having reservations about playing in Rio. “Depends how you really approach things. I really don’t think about negative stuff and stuff that might cause a fear or concern or something like that, like viruses or security issues.

“Surely they are there. We have to be, in a way, cautious. But I try to look at things from the brighter side. I’m part of the Olympic Games. You know, it’s a very exciting city and country that is very passionate for sports. You know, millions of people will be there. You know, so many other millions will watch it on the TV. That’s the kind of vibe that I feed on, and I look forward to the Olympic Games because I approach it in that way. So I can’t wait to be there.”

Asked about the importance of winning a gold medal to his legacy he commented:

“Well, there is going to be a lot going on with the Olympic Games, and as you mentioned, different sports and different events.

“Well, it’s the biggest sports event in the history of the sport, so to be part of it is already a huge privilege and honor that I will cherish, as I did in Beijing and London Olympic Games.

“I had an honor of carrying the flag for my country in London back in 2012, and that was one of the most unique and unforgettable moments of my life. So I look forward to that, honestly, just being part of it.

“Approaching the Olympic Games as any other tournament, really. Trying to respect the same kind of preparation and routine that I have with my team and that I have respected for so many years, and that has worked well for us this week and as most of the other weeks the last couple of years.

“So of course the overall sensation is not going to be the same as the other tournaments, because it’s Olympic Games. You know, of course you represent your country. You know, you get to feel that you’re part of something much larger than just the tennis event. I look forward to that. I’m going to try to extract that positivity out of that huge attention and energy that will be directed into the Olympic Games and hopefully put myself in a position to battle for a medal.”

“After Grand Slams, these are the biggest events we have in sport of tennis,” Djokovic continued. “Naturally I’m going to be very disciplined, committed, and focused to do well.

“But, you know, obviously Grand Slams you value those, you know, the most because in the history books they count the most. But in the other hand, you know, I love playing in Masters tournaments throughout my career. I have had plenty of success in this particular category of events, and I’m very grateful for that because I always value them as much as I value Grand Slams.

“So, you know, I try to approach every single day, whether it’s a match day or practice day, with the right mindset and knowing that this will eventually pay off down the road.”

Djokovic captured the bronze medal at the 2008 Olympic games.


All photos by Nida Alibhai.


Related articles with photo galleries:

Rogers Cup Results, Schedules and Photo Gallery

Toronto Results, Schedule and Photo Gallery

Toronto Results, Schedule and Photo Gallery

Toronto Results, Schedule and Photo Gallery

Wildcard Denis Shapovalov Knocks Out 11th Seed Nick Kyrgios in First Round of Toronto Masters


Halep wins Madrid Open; Murray Beats Nadal and Will Meet Djokovic in the Final

Simona Halep

Simona Halep

(May 7, 2016) Calling her win “the best day in my life,” Romania’s Simona Halep won her second career WTA Premier Mandatory event when she beat Slovakia’s Dominika Cibulkova 6-2, 6-4 to claim the Madrid Open title.

“I saw always that it’s a special tournament because of Mr. (Ion) Tiriac, because of many Romanians that are coming here. I feel like home,” Halep said. Tiriac, also a Romanian, is a member of the tennis Hall of Fame is the Tournament Director of Madrid and gave Halep a wildcard into the tournament three years ago.

The victory for Halep marks her 12th career WTA tournament title. She will now move up to No. 5 in the rankings. Cibulkova will rise to No. 26.

Kei Nishikori and Novak Djokovic at GR8 Fundraiser in Miami in 2011

Kei Nishikori and Novak Djokovic at GR8 Fundraiser in Miami in 2011

Novak Djokovic will meet defending champion Andy Murray in the Madrid Open final on Sunday. No. 2 Murray saved 11 break points in holding off four-time Madrid winner No. 5 Rafael Nadal 7-5, 6-4, snapping the Spaniard’s 13-match winning streak. Murray beat Nadal in last year’s Madrid final.

“Not loads of players have won against Rafa on clay throughout his career,” Murray said. “To beat him in Spain on a clay court is obviously a big, big challenge for any player. Very pleased to have beaten him this year.”

“Murray was not unbeatable today,” Nadal said in press. “It was an open match, an even match,”

“I didn’t play my best level, but I didn’t play badly. I played a medium level, which was not enough to beat Murray.”

Djokovic beat Kei Nishikori 6-3, 7-6(4) in the other men’s semifinal. The Serbian had some trouble serving out the match leading 6-4, 5-4 40-0. The man from Japan came back and held off four match points against him to even the set at 5-5. Both men held and went to a tiebreak, which Djokovic won 7-3.

“It wasn’t easy to play in these very windy conditions, but overall I’m very pleased,” Djokovic said.”

Going into the final Djokovic leads Murray 22-9, winning 11 of the last 12 matches, winning all four matches on clay. Murray needs to win on Sunday to keep his No. 2 ranking ahead of the French Open or Roger Federer will move up to the second spot.


Novak Djokovic Wins Miami Open for Record 28th Masters Series Title

Kei Nishikori and Novak Djokovic photo courtesy of MiamiTennisNews.com

Kei Nishikori and Novak Djokovic photo courtesy of MiamiTennisNews.com

(April 3, 2016) Novak Djokovic won his third straight Miami Open title on Sunday over No. 6 Kei Nishikori 6-3, 6-3 to make himself both the all-time leader in Masters Series titles with 28 and the leader in career prize money with over 98 million dollars.

This is his sixth career Miami Open title and the world No. 1 has now completed the Indian Wells – Miami double in the same year for a fourth time, three years in a row.

The Serb has tied Andre Agassi for the most Miami Open tournaments won.

“I don’t know for other players, but it’s tough to find his weakness,” Nishikori said. I had a couple of strategies before this match, but I don’t think I did well enough to beat him today. I was missing a lot with my forehand and made too many unforced errors.

“He has great defense, so it’s tough to break his game. He was very patient and he didn’t miss. It’s always tough to play Novak.”


With the future of the Miami Open in doubt due to court battles in regard to be able to upgrade its facility, there is a possibility of relocation. Djokovic said: “I don’t know how much you follow the stories about the tournament moving,” he said during the trophy presentation. “I assure you it’s going to stay here for a long time. So see you next year.”

“From some reliable sources I know the tournament will stay here for many years to come,” he said laer during his news conference. “I don’t think we need to have a conversation about moving this tournament anywhere else.”

“Every year that I come back to Miami I do go through those memories from back in 2007,” Djokovic said. “It was the first Masters 1000 I won and opened a lot of doors for me. It gave me a lot of self-belief. I started to realize that I’m able to win the big trophies and to beat the best players in the world.

“So of course this is a [special] place for me to come back to, now winning it six times. Obviously I don’t take any win for granted and especially in the big ones. So it was my best performance of the tournament. It came at the right time against a great quality player.”
Djokovic is now 28-1 on the year, his only loss coming in Dubai when he had to retire from a match with an eye infection.


Djokovic also passed coach Boris Becker for sole possession of 11th place in the Open Era in match wins with his 714th.
Djokovic heads home to Europe to begin the clay court season.

“I have lots of motivation for the beginning of the clay court season that ends up hopefully with the crown in Paris,” he said. “But I’m not the only one who wants to win that big trophy.”


The French Open is the lone major Djokovic has never won.


Novak Djokovic to Meet Kei Nishikori in Miami Open Final

(April 1, 2016) On Friday Novak Djokovic defeated David Goffin 7-6 (5), 6-4 to reach his seventh final at the Miami Open. The world No. 1 will be going for his third straight title in Key Biscayne and sixth overall on Sunday when he faces No. 6 Kei Nishikori.  Djokovic is on a 15-match winning streak in Key Biscayne.  In the other semifinal, Nishikori stopped 24th seed Nick Kyrgios 6-3, 7-5.

Djokovic survived a tight first set against his Belgian opponent. A missed overhead smash by Goffin in tiebreak put the momentum in the Serb’s favor.

“Of course I was a bit fortunate in the tiebreak, but I made him play always an extra shot,” said Djokovic. “Second set was even better.”

“I was aware of the level that he raised his game in last couple of months. And the fact that he has played the first semifinals of a Masters 1000 event in his career in Indian Wells gave him obviously confidence coming into today’s match, and I knew he’s going to try to take his chances, going to try to be aggressive.

“He plays very clean, a tennis that is beautiful for the eye, you know, to watch, and the way he moves. Also, I think he improved his serve, first serve, especially in the first set. I had difficulty to kind of read it. It’s not as powerful and strong as maybe some other guys’, but it’s very precise and efficient. Also, he backs it up with a very efficient and good quality first shot after the serve.”

“There was a lot of big points in the first set,” Goffin said. “I had the break also earlier in the set, and at 4-3 I didn’t play good service game to do 5-3. Yeah, with new balls he was really aggressive with his return.

“Yeah, against Djokovic you have to make every point. You have to go for the shot in every point. He doesn’t give anything, so you have to win every point. It’s tough, because if you are not there for a few seconds, you lose the game.

“So, yeah. It’s always tough against Novak. But, yeah, at the end it was a really good first set with a lot of intensity, and, yeah, there was some — when we start the tiebreak it was, yeah, few second serves that I missed the return. I served well, but it was not enough, yeah, with the smash.”

Goffin who reached two straight Masters Series semifinals, Indian Wells and Miami, will see his ranking rise to 13.

“Of course my confidence is really high,” Goffin said of his recent results. “But of course I did two good weeks, two good tournaments, but I was not on fire. It was like really solid game, and I played my level. I really happy that mentally I was really competitive and I won a lot of good matches against many great players.

“So, yeah, I worked a lot during practice, so maybe that’s why it pays off during the match. But for the next tournaments and the rest of this season, of course the confidence is really high.”

Nishikori held back the hard-hitting Kyrgios in the night session. The man from Japan, survived five match points against Gael Monfils in his quarterfinal contest.

“It’s going to be tough, for sure,” Nishikori said about playing Djokovic in the final. “He has been playing well. I hope I can play another good match.”

Djokovic will be going for a record 28th Masters Series 1000 title, while Nishikori will be trying to win his very first. Should Djokovic win on Sunday he would tie tennis Hall of Famer Andre Agassi for the most number Miami titles with six and win his fourth Indian Wells-Miami double.

Djokovic leads in his career head-to-head against Nishikori at 6-2.


Victoria Azarenka to Play Svetlana Kuznetsova in Miami Open Final

(March 31, 2016) A pair of former Miami Open winners and two-time major champions have reached the women’s final. Svetlana Kuznetsova, a 2006 winner of the Miami Open held off Switzerland’s Timea Bacsinszky 7-5, 6-3. 2009 and 2011 Key Biscayne winner, 13th seed Victoria Azarenka gained a little revenge from the Australian Open by beating No. 2 Angelique Kerber. Kerber beat Azarenka in the quarterfinals of Melbourne and went on to beat Serena Williams in the final to capture her first major title.

Kuznetsova knocked out eight-time champion Serena Williams in the fourth round of Miami and survived four straight three-set wins to reach the semifinal.

The 30-year-old Russian at No. 19 in the world has become the lowest ranked finalist since 2005, when No. 38 Kim Clijsters won the Miami title.

Should Kuznetsova win the title, she would return to the top ten. She talked about her tournament so far.

“I just take match by match and I just go,” she said. “It’s one more match. I’ll play with another amazing opponent. I had great wins this week, but one match, it’s a lot. It’s almost like everything. It’s great, you know.

“I start really well playing in Sydney, and then Australian Open didn’t happen to me to play good there. But I still felt I was in good level. Then I kind of mess up with Fed Cup and all that results. It was not good for me.

“I didn’t feel going in that good shape going to the U.S. swing. I was not feeling confident at all. After I had a loss in Indian Wells I tried to work a lot and training every morning a lot just to get confidence back, get my fitness.

“I’m doing better. I’m appreciate, I am blessed I have my body to play so many years and to win against good players, top players. It’s great when things come together. Either way, it’s not the end of the world, but it’s a great week. I’m really pleased and happy the way I fight through all these tournaments and weeks and players.”

On-court after the match, the former French Open and U.S. Open champion said she was happy wrapping up the match in straight sets.

“I am happy that I could hang in there and never let my hands down,” said Kuznetsova.

“I’m happy I’m still able to play against the best in the world. I was praying to finish it in two sets so I would have a little more time to rest.”


Victoria Azarenka

Victoria Azarenka

Azarenka advanced during the Thursday night session, improving her record this year to 21-1, not dropping a set during the tournament. Should the Belarusian win, she’d become only the third woman player to win the Indian Wells – Miami double in the same year.

Both Azarenka and Kerber produced hard-hitting shots with very exciting rallies. Azarenka had her serve broken, serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set but won the next two games to close it.

Azarenka broke the German’s serve seven time during the match, hitting 29 winners and only making 16 unforced errors.

“Vika, she is doing amazing,” Kuznetsova said about potentially playing her in the final. “She is extremely prepared. Playing really confident taking all her chances.”

Azarenka is 4-4 against Kuznetsova in head-to-head competition. The last time they faced each other was in the quarterfinals of the 2013 Australian Open. Azarenka won the match and went on to win her second straight Melbourne crown.

Kei Nishikori photo courtesy of MiamiTennisNews.com

Kei Nishikori photo courtesy of MiamiTennisNews.com

On the men’s side of the draw, No. 6 Kei Nishikori survived five match points to beat No. 16 Gael Monfils 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (3) to advance to the semifinals on Thursday. He’ll face No. 24 seed Nick Kyrgios who surprised No. 12 Milos Raonic 6-4, 7-6(4).

Nishikori was down 4-5, 0-40 before fighting off the Frenchman.

“I was up a break and I had many chances to break again, you know, second time,” said the top player from Japan.

“You know, I just try to focus when I lost the game for 4-All. Actually, I knew something like that was going to be happen, so I was kind of ready and like 50/50.

“But when I was down 4-5, Love-40, I thought, All right, that’s it. Especially the last couple games I wasn’t serving well, so that was — I thought it’s going to be tough to come back. I tried to play one point at time. Yeah, I thought I have to hit the ball to win the points, and I did.

“The tiebreak I was try to be focus again. I saw he was down a little bit, so try to be focus again. Yeah, did pretty good in tiebreak.”

“Then I think at 3-4 I really raise my level,” Monfils said. “I think I start to be very aggressive, start to go for it, and still had the strong feeling that I can make it.

“At the end, I think I push very hard. Then definitely I have opportunity it close it out, but actually Kei played strong. He fought well.

“Actually, I think in the breaker he was just better than me.”

Kyrgios talked about playing Nishikori next: “Obviously Kei is one of the greatest players in the world at the moment. He has an unbelievable return of serve, moves unbelievably fast, hits big from the baseline, doesn’t have many weaknesses.

“When I played him in Shanghai I didn’t really do too much wrong. I played a great match the whole time and he just played a really well in the big moments. I definitely had chances.

“I know what my game plan is going to be. It’s going to be a tough match, but I’m looking forward to it. He’s a great guy.”

For his efforts in Miami, the young Australian’s ranking will move into the top 20.

Women’s Singles – Semifinals
[13] V. Azarenka (BLR) d [2] A. Kerber (GER) 62 75
[15] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) d [19] T. Bacsinszky (SUI) 75 63

Men’s Singles – Quarterfinals
[6] K. Nishikori (JPN) d [16] G. Monfils (FRA) 46 63 76(3) – saved 5 m.p.
[24] N. Kyrgios (AUS) d [12] M. Raonic (CAN) 64 76(4)

Men’s Doubles – Semifinals
[5] P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA) d [4] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) 63 63
R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA) d T. Huey (PHI) / M. Mirnyi (BLR) 64 62

STADIUM start 1:00 pm
ATP – [1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [15] D. Goffin (BEL)
WTA – M. Gasparyan (RUS) / M. Niculescu (ROU) vs [4] T. Babos (HUN) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ)

7:00 pm
ATP – [24] N. Kyrgios (AUS) vs [6] K. Nishikori (JPN)
WTA – [3] B. Mattek-Sands (USA) / L. Safarova (CZE) vs [8] Y. Xu (CHN) / S. Zheng (CHN)