October 26, 2016

Caroline Wozniacki Beats Eighth Seed Madison Keys to Reach US Open Quarterfinals

Caroline Wozniacki

Caroline Wozniacki

(September 4, 2016) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Caroline Wozniacki took down No. 8 seed Madison Keys 6-3, 6-4 to reach her first quarterfinals of a major, since she reached the US Open final where she lost to Serena Williams in 2014. The Dane once ranked No. 1, has fallen on hard times coming back from an injury, seeing her ranking fall to No. 74 entering the US Open.

“This is crazy,” two-time US Open finalist Wozniacki said on court after the match. “After such a tough year to be here and into the quarterfinals is amazing.”

The 21-year-old American Keys hit 33 unforced errors and her serve was broken three times. Wozniacki won nine of ten of her service games.


Madison Keys

Madison Keys

Keys talked about the loss in her news conference: “I think it was nerves a little bit. I definitely felt like I got off to a bad start, and then I felt like I was trying to catch up from there.

“I definitely don’t think I was playing my best. I mean, I think she played really, really well today. I think it was just a combination of me not playing my best and not playing super smart and her playing really well.

“I feel like the match just got away from me.”

“It’s been a good week,” said the 26-year-old veteran Wozniacki. “I’m really happy about the way I played. Obviously Madison is a strong player. She hits the ball really hard.

“But I managed to really, you know, play well, get a lot of returns in. I served well, which I was pleased with.

“Yeah, I’m just happy that I got another win.”

She’ll play Anastasija Sevastova for a spot in the semifinals.

Wozniacki talked about her next opponent: “I had some tough matches against her in the past. I think we played Fed Cup a couple of times, but also we played the Australian Open.

“She’s a tough player. She’s a tough opponent. She has a lot of grit and good hands. It’s not going to be an easy one, but I’m excited just to have another shot.”

Anastasija Sevastova became the first Latvian woman to make a major quarterfinal since Larisa Savchenko at 1994 Wimbledon when she knocked out 13th seed Johanna Konta 6-4, 7-5 in the opening match on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

For the 48th-ranked Sevastova, it’s just her sixth win over Top 20 opponents. She retired from the sport due to back injuries in 2013, but came back to the tour last year.

“I still cannot believe it,” Sevestova expresasing her feelings about reaching the final eight after coming out of retirement last year. “Mentally I’m spent. Totally spent. But it’s amazing.”

“I think I’m playing better in my second career right now,” she added. “I’m handling pressure sometimes better than before. Playing now these match points it’s tough. It’s always tough to finish the match, but I think I’m handling it better now.

“And, yeah, I think this was a quality match today. 30 winners, 26 unforced errors. I mean, it’s a good quality, I think. We played okay.”

Advancing to the semifinals will push her ranking up into the top 35.



Seventh seed Roberta Vinci of Italy has reached the US Open quarterfinals again, defeating No. 99 Lesia Tsurenko of the Ukraine 7-6(5), 6-2.

The Italian admitted that she’s playing with an injury:”I have some problem with my tendon, left leg. That’s it. A little bit pain on my back. A lot of pain, but I don’t want to think about this injury.”

“I fight a lot, and important thing was to try something and stay positive, stay focused for the match.”

The Italian stopped Serena Williams’ bid for a Grand Slam last year, when she upset the world No. 1 in the semifinals of the US Open. This is the Italian’s 14th main draw appearance in Flushing Meadows.

In the last women’s match f the day, 14th seed Petra Kvitova lost to No. 2 Angelique Kerber in the night session 6-3, 7-5.


Day 5 of the US Open – In Their Own Words

Jack Sock

Jack Sock

(September 2, 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.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Caroline Wozniacki

Press Conference

C. WOZNIACKI/M. Niculescu

6-3, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How does it feel to be into the second week of a slam once again?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: It feels good. It’s been a good week so far. I’m excited to have gotten so many matches on Ashe. I’m happy to be here just being healthy and playing well.

Q. She has a pretty unique game style. Do you feel like her dropshots are an offensive weapon or sort of a defensive shot?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: To be honest, you’re just trying to focus on yourself, because once you start focusing on her your game will fall apart. You’ll feel really bad about yourself.

She’s a frustrating player to play. She plays very smart. It’s a complete different game style than what I or anyone is used to. I just tried to keep my head cool.

I mean, she had some good dropshots. That’s the way she kind of moves the opponent in. If you’re a little too late she will do a lob, and that’s even more frustrating because you feel like a little kid being schooled and running back and forth.

But I think I managed that pretty well today. I think I won quite a few of those dropshots.

Q. When you’re using your own dropshots offensive or —
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Oh, for sure. When you do a dropshot it’s because you have the time and because you want to win the point.

Q. How do you feel about your game right now? What are you most satisfied with?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I think today I was just satisfied with how I just managed to focus the whole way through.

But I have been pretty pleased with the way I have been quite close to the baseline, just kind of moving the ball around.

Q. Is there something different when you come back here because you have had your best successes at this tournament? Do things feel a little bit different when you arrive here to start a tournament here?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Oh, 100%. It feels great to be back here. It feels like my back garden and everything feels so familiar and everybody is so friendly and so nice.

You know, all these things help you just play better, as well, when you feel welcome at a place.

I think everyone is so just respectful, as well. You see the same faces year in and year out, which is nice.

Q. How difficult has 2016 been for you? You’re still regarded as one of the marquee players of the women’s tour and yet your ranking at the moment doesn’t suggest that.
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Yeah, to be honest with you, I’m not that worried about the ranking at this point. I’m just happy to be healthy and back playing.

It’s been a rough year because I haven’t been able to catch a break from injuries basically. Every time I have come back something else has been hurting. Knock on wood, right now I’m feeling good. Everything is feeling good.

I’m hoping I can keep this up for the end of the year and hopefully start fresh next year.

Q. Going back to your prior answer, the comfort level that you have here, is that largely because of the success you have had at this tournament, or is it just simply because you love New York so much?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I think it’s a combination. I love New York, and that’s helped me play better here.

Knowing I have played better here and I can do it again. I think the court suits me well. The ball goes through the air very quickly, but the court kind of slows it down a little bit.

So it fits my game well. I can run a lot of balls down. But at the same time, I can get a lot out of my shots, as well.

Yeah, and then it’s always fun. I find it a lot more fun when I get to play on the big courts.

Q. Speaking of the big courts, players have voiced some concern about the noise level at Arthur Ashe. Was it disturbing at all for you?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: No. I don’t think it’s disturbing. I played the other day on Ashe, as well, with a big crowd. I loved it.

Personally, I think it’s great when you have that buzz.

And also Grandstand was really noisy the other day and loud. People were getting into it. I think that’s what makes the US Open fun and different to the other tournaments, is that people are having a blast and love the tennis and love to cheer everyone on.

Q. In addition to feeling comfortable here, do you also think that you came into this tournament specifically a little bit more amped up compared to when you went into Wimbledon or French Open and the Aussie, and why?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Oh, for sure. Having to skip the whole clay season and still not feeling 100% going into grass, I mean, I think — I have to start somewhere, and I started on the grass thinking, I’m going to get some matches here and that’s going to get me really into the hard court season and I will be 100% ready for that.

So I went into the grass season just trying to get momentum going. Then hurting myself in Washington wasn’t really part of the plan. Then I only play New Haven basically as the US Open Series.

I was like, You know what? I’m just going to take it as it comes. I know that I’m going to get a tough opponent early on in the draw. If I play well, I know I can beat her and then it can open up for me a little bit.

You know, coming in here I have been hitting it well in practice, so it’s all about the mental now. My body feels good, so there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be able to play well here.

Q. Were you ever instructed not to use dropshots on this surface versus some other surfaces when you were coming up as a player?

Q. Dropshot on the hard court versus some other surface. Have you ever been told not to use them on hard court?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Everyone always tells me, Do not use your dropshot. (Laughter.) I will hit a good dropshot once in a while, but then I will do some horrible dropshots, too.

I think I get a little bit overconfident once I make one good dropshot and I start wanting to using it too much. I have just been told, Do not use your dropshot.

I will use it on a rare occasion when I feel really good or when I see there is a big opening. But, yeah, I think on a wet clay court where it doesn’t bounce or on grass it’s actually a very effective shot.

Here you really have to place it well because the ball bounces up.

Q. In regard to your article in Players’ Tribune, what was it like going back recollecting all those memories? How did you feel?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I think it feels great. You go through the process of processing everything that’s happened to this day and in my career. I really wanted also to just thank everyone who has been there from the start.

I think it also — a lot of the players came up to me and, You know what? Thank you so much. You’re a big inspiration to us because we travel with parents and we can really relate to everything that you have written.

You know, I think a lot of people don’t realize that side of things. I think it’s also — you know, I think it’s nice for young kids having a dream to know, you know, what we have been going through, as well.

Q. No matter what happens out on the court now, either way your next opponent will be a fairly different player than what you just finished with. Give me your impressions.
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Both are big hitters and big servers. Both have big forehands. It’s actually very similar game styles.

I’ll need to retrieve well and keep good depth on my shots and serve well. Yeah, I just need to fight for every point.

Q. You were saying that, yeah, it’s been a snake-bitten year in terms of injuries so you haven’t had the match play. But you have been spending time on the rehab circuit. In this point of the season, in September, do you feel like — it’s the September of the tennis season — do you feel you have more or less energy? Where is that all at?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I think I’m definitely more fresh than the other players probably at this point. I think definitely going into Asia, usually that’s when you mentally start falling apart.

I think I will definitely be more fresh than everyone else. That’s why I have chosen to play a lot of tournaments at the end of the year.

It’s just like I’m feeling good. I just want to take advantage of that and kind of just play, have fun with it, and enjoy the rest of the year. No matter what happens, at this point I’m just gonna take it as momentum going into next year.

You know, as much as it’s been a rough year, it’s also been a great learning experience. I think it’s something I’ll definitely, you know, take with me into next year.

In the end of the day, whether I’m 70 or 30 in the world, it really doesn’t matter. If I’m not top 10 or seeded every tournament, it really doesn’t matter.

I can beat anyone on a good day and people can beat me if they play really well. But I just believe in myself right now, and hopefully I can do well here first.

Q. You’re obviously very familiar with Arthur Ashe Stadium. You said the noise didn’t bother you. Any other adjustments you had to make with the roof and all the changes?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I think the only adjustment is the shade. We are not used to having the shade on that court, and it can be difficult to see because it’s really — it’s come down really strong. It’s the same for both players and you really just kind of adapt.

So but other than that, it’s kind of nice sometimes when it’s hot to be standing in the shot. I’m like, oh, it’s probably 15 degrees cooler here than it is on the other side, so I’ll just let her run a little bit more. (Laughter.)

Roberta Vinci

Press Conference

R. VINCI/C. Witthoeft

6-0, 5-7, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. The first set was 6-Love. The other sets were 5-7 and 6-3. Was there a discernible difference between the first set and the others?
ROBERTA VINCI: Well, I played a great first set, 6-Love, but there was always tight.

The second set was 5-3-up, 5-4, 30-Love, and so many chance to win the match. I lost that game, and then a little bit confusion and a little bit nervous. I lost the second set.

On my mind I say, Okay. Forget the second set. Try to play like the first set. Yeah, I won. She’s a great player. I never play against her, so was first match between us.

She’s young, but I think she played a great match.

Q. Are you part of the U.S. Olympic team now? What’s with the shirt?
ROBERTA VINCI: You like it? (Smiling.)

Q. Yeah, as an American.
ROBERTA VINCI: I’m not American, eh?

Q. Where did you get the shirt? How did you get the shirt?
ROBERTA VINCI: In New Haven, I think.

Q. Did you trade with somebody?
ROBERTA VINCI: No, but I like. Is Nike. Is okay, okay?

Q. In Australia you were kind enough to tell us that your old uncle, your Italian uncle, Leonardo, had given you advice before the Australian Open. Did your Uncle Leonardo give you some advice before the US Open this tournament?
ROBERTA VINCI: Leonardo DaVinci. He’s my uncle. Still my uncle.

No. I’m joking, eh? (Laughter.)

Yes, he’s my uncle and also my second coach, okay? What do you think, better? Okay.

Q. What is your philosophy of dropshots?
ROBERTA VINCI: Is my style. I don’t know. I play like this for a long time when I was young, so I love to play this kind of tennis. I don’t have a two-hand backhand, so this is my tennis.

I love to play like this.

Q. Do you find it almost as effective on a hard court as clay or grass?
ROBERTA VINCI: Yeah, I prefer to play on hard court, yes. On clay you have to run a lot, and also, when you play on hard court…

Q. I mean using the dropshot.
ROBERTA VINCI: It depends. It depends on the opponent and depends if I feeling good, if I’m in confidence, a lot of things. Doesn’t matter. On clay or hard court, the same.

Q. What’s your approach this year after having had such a high moment last year in the semifinal?
ROBERTA VINCI: A lot of pressure, of course, but I try to enjoy, to play match by match, don’t think that I have a lot of points to defend, just play my tennis, and play aggressive.

Right now I won three great matches, and stay focused for the next round. We will see. I know it’s tough to repeat the final like last year, but you never know.

Q. You said after your first-round match that you knew you had gotten 60 points for the win. How aware are you of the weekly rankings and how much each win earns new ranking points?
ROBERTA VINCI: I think a lot about the ranking, about the points. Right now I don’t know how many points I won today, really. I’m not joking, but I think a lot.

But I want to continue. I want to play another great match for the next round, and then we will see. I don’t want to think about the ranking right now.

Q. Now that you’re in the second week, is the feeling that you have right now relief or excitement or how do you feel about it?
ROBERTA VINCI: Well, I’m so happy, of course, but I’m a little bit tired. I’m not so good with my foot. Of course happy but I’m so-and-so right now.

Tomorrow, like always, a little bit of rest, just a quick practice, and then match. But of course I’m happy.

Q. One of your countrymen said the US Open was the worst of the slams. How would you rank?
ROBERTA VINCI: Why worse? No, I like. For me it’s not the worst. I love to play here, of course. I had such a great moment from last year, but also I made quarterfinal against Sara one year. I won one title in doubles. I love to play here.

Q. Is it your favorite?

Q. You won your doubles title, as you mentioned, on Louis Armstrong. Is there anything special you like about that court?
ROBERTA VINCI: I like that court, yes. It’s a big court, of course, but when you stay on the court it’s small. I don’t know if you understand me.

But, yeah, we won there in the final. Yeah, the center court is the best, but I have great memory also from Armstrong. When I saw yesterday the schedule, I was happy that I play, yes, on Armstrong first match.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Press Conference

J. TSONGA/K. Anderson

6-3, 6-4, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you talk about the challenges of facing a player who is as tall as Kevin is and how you were so successful in winning the match and combatting those challenges?
JO-WILFRIED TSONGA: Anyways, it’s never easy to play that kind of player. He’s serving well. He’s also moving well from his baseline for his height.

Yeah, today it was a good challenge for me to beat him. I did it well, for sure.

I am maybe also a good server, so was tough for him, too. Yeah, it’s always a big challenge because you never know what to expect. Sometimes they can serve and serve and serve and you never return, but anyway, today I did it well. It was a good match for me.

Johanna Konta

Press Conference

J. KONTA/B. Bencic

6-2, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Could you tell us how you recovered from other day and how satisfied you were with your performance today?
JOHANNA KONTA: I think I’m still constantly working on recovering. I think it’s a management process more than anything.

But I feel good. I feel well enough to play. I’m really happy with how I was able to just really focus on the match at hand and the work at hand and then put all else out of my mind.

Q. Did you practice much yesterday or completely rest?
JOHANNA KONTA: No, I did. I hit about 25 minutes or so. I warmed up one of the other players for their match.

Q. Can it be freeing in some way to be in a pressure situation in a match to come through it? I know some players feel that anything after that is a bonus.
JOHANNA KONTA: I didn’t really look at it like that for me. I actually tried to look at it as a great opportunity to manage the situation that I had. It was a slightly new situation, the aftermath of it, and even today and now obviously I have one more chance to come out and play.

Obviously I think I’m just looking at it as a chance to be grateful for the circumstance I have and the other chance just to improve.

Q. She didn’t really seem to do any of the sort of tricks and dropshots that we expect from her. I guess you didn’t give her time.
JOHANNA KONTA: I think, yeah, I felt I did a good job just, you know, staying focused on the things I want to execute and how I wanted to play. I definitely made it hard for her to get into the match, I felt.

But, yeah, I think for me it was just really about focusing on things on my end.

Q. How big was it is to get out of there in 52 minutes after what had happened yesterday?
JOHANNA KONTA: I didn’t really look at the time. I think, again – I know it sounds very repetitive – but my sole focus was just to focus on myself, focus on my breathing and focus on really simplifying the match into just each point being its own battle and trying to win as many of those as I could and really just simplify the game into giving my best and see where that took me.

Q. Presumably it’s better to do it in 52 minutes than an hour and 52 minutes.
JOHANNA KONTA: I think both scenarios have good and bad things.

Q. Can you be a bit more specific? When you say you’re recovering, did you mean physically or psychologically or in what way?
JOHANNA KONTA: In every way. I think it was quite a traumatic experience. You know, I’m just still, you know, working on getting better. I think the best I can do for myself is move on from it, and I felt I did that.

Yeah, I focused on the match that I had today, and now I feel very lucky that I have got another chance to focus on the match I will have on Sunday.

Q. You defended your ranking points for last year now. Was that something on your mind at all, or were you just simply taking it one match at a time?
JOHANNA KONTA: Definitely one match at a time. I wasn’t thinking about that. The ranking points, they come and go every week. I definitely can’t live on my results here last year.

I was really, I really am enjoying the tournament now this year for what it is.

Q. What do you know about your next opponent?
JOHANNA KONTA: I don’t know who it is.

Q. Sevastova.
JOHANNA KONTA: I have played her once before actually in my first Australian Open qualifying, so I do know her and I have been on court with her. That was a number of years ago. She’s obviously playing very good tennis. She is a very good player. I have a lot of respect for her.

Yeah, hopefully we’ll have a good match.

Q. This is still the first big tournament that you had a good result in last year. How special is it just in general not thinking about having to defend points?
JOHANNA KONTA: I do love the US Open. I do have a lot of firsts here. It was the first time I got to play — qualify, sorry, not play — first time I got to qualify into the main draw. It was the first slam I went deeper in, as well.

So, yeah, no, I definitely think the US Open has got its own vibe, its own organized chaos. I think there is a lot of enjoyments players take from that.

Q. Do you feel it kind of vibes with your personality? How do you approach the New York atmosphere?
JOHANNA KONTA: I think it’s always a great challenge. I think if you can stay focused and calm and, yeah, just really focused on the work at hand here, you can make it anywhere. (Laughter.)

Q. After the other day, did you go and do something fun to take your mind off of it, or was it a case of having to be full-on recovery?
JOHANNA KONTA: Yeah, number one was my health and number one was just taking care of that. So it was just eating and sleeping.

Q. Have the medics told you how long it will take you to recover fully from all of this?
JOHANNA KONTA: No, because it’s not — it’s not — it wasn’t something like that. I got checked in terms of my heart and everything and everything looked good. Everything’s fine.

I think it’s something that will obviously just be getting better. It will be absolutely fine hopefully by tomorrow or when I get the chance to have a little bit of a rest.

I mean, right now I really do feel good. Yeah, just moving on from it.

Q. Have you gotten a chance to follow some of the tournaments of your fellow UK players on the men’s side? Some of them have been having some pretty good runs here.
JOHANNA KONTA: Yeah, I saw three of them are in and Dan won. I saw three of them are still in. Yeah, that’s really exciting. Hopefully Kyle will have a good match today. I saw he’s playing.

But, yeah, that’s good.

Jack Sock

Press Conference

J. SOCK/M. Cilic

6-4, 6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. A couple of months ago you were running for president…
JACK SOCK: Still running for president.

Q. What kind of stock is raised here at the round of 16?
JACK SOCK: I think it can only help my campaign. It’s been a good year. I think I’m the only one running so I’m in good position now.

Yeah, no, it’s been good fun, and hopefully everyone helps.

Q. Are you a better player now than you were, say, a year ago? In what ways?
JACK SOCK: I’d like to think so, yeah. I mean, I think with every year, every tournament, I mean, every experience can only help. I think just all around I think I’m putting things together better and better. I definitely feel more confident out there in everything I’m doing.

Used to be some liabilities people would talk about in my game. I feel like I have cleaned those up pretty well. Returning was big for me. I think I’ve gotten a pretty good hold on that. Feeling comfortable. Getting in a lot of guys’ service games now.

Overall I feel my purpose out there. I’m executing it well and I feel like I know what I’m going to do on almost every point.

Q. I asked you the other day about the feeling of being in the third round. Same question, different round. Especially at this tournament – you have done it before – but to do it here, does it feel like more of an accomplishment? Do you still feel like you have that hunger to go further?
JACK SOCK: I mean, yeah, always. I made third round here a couple of times. For me to make the second week here and every slam going forward is my goal. I feel like if I’m playing good tennis and how I can, I feel like that’s kind of where I belong.

You know, I was able to piece it together today well and play a good match. Always happy to get through the next round, but definitely the hunger and excitement is that much and more. I think every round you make you want to keep going and keep playing good tennis, especially in front of your home fans here.

Not really a better feeling through the year than being an American at this tournament. So, yeah, obviously I want to keep playing and go as far as I can go.

Q. What did you take from your comeback against him the last time that you put into action so well today?
JACK SOCK: Yeah, I mean, obvious tactical stuff when I’m out there playing, but more so the confidence and everything. First tie of that rubber, or first rubber of that tie, and, you know, I got down two sets. To come back and get three there and get us off to a good start, it only gave me confidence, you know, going into the summer because it’s kind of the first — you know, it was the kickstart of the summer for me.

And obviously against, you know, that opponent. And then playing him today, took a lot of stuff away from that. Watched some video of it. And, yeah, used what I did well there in the last three sets again today and it worked out.

Q. How much of your success now at this Open is the more mature Jack Sock as opposed to past years?
JACK SOCK: I would contribute a lot of it to it. Yeah, maybe in the past years maybe I was — like he was saying, I was happy to make third round and, you know, kind of whatever happens, happens.

But I feel like definitely more, you know, on a mission this year, you know, like I have been at most tournaments. Going forward, like I said, I feel like where my tennis is and confidence, you know, how I can play, my goal is to be competing to win tournaments that I’m playing instead of, you know, just content with making a quarter or whatever tournament it is.

Yeah, definitely on a mission now to compete to try to be winning these tournaments I’m playing.

Q. First of all, what was that song you were playing?
JACK SOCK: That was Luke Combs, Hurricane. Great song.

Q. I will download that. The other one was can you describe the emotions at the end of that match and what were you doing there? Was that a Ickey Shuffle?
JACK SOCK: No, I was fencing with my racquet. I became good buddies in Rio with one of the fencers, Miles Chamley-Watson. He lives here in New York. I have been trying to get him to come out and watch a match. He was busy doing his stuff.

He was able to come out here today. Kind of on the spot I thought of turning the racquet into — I think it’s called a foil? Is that what they call it? Thought of turning the racquet into one of those and doing something for him for coming out. I think people were enjoying it. I have seen the video. It looks pretty funny, actually.

Yeah, so if he’s in the box on the next one and I’m able to win, you might see a cleaned up technique and better version of it.

Q. Obviously some good recent results against Cilic. Could you talk about the importance of matchups in tennis? Are they critical? What kind of players do you match up against well and who not so much?
JACK SOCK: That’s a tough question. I mean, I don’t know. It’s kind of circumstantial. I mean, you can say you match up well against a guy, but if they are having a great day and you are having a little bit of an off day — you’re at these tournaments and everyone is in the draw for a reason and everyone is a professional tennis player for a reason.

So I think anybody can beat anybody on any given day. And, yeah, you can say I really match up well against this guy, but if you’re a little bit off, these guys are too good at this level. They’ll take advantage and they can get you.

Yeah, I mean, today I feel like playing a guy like that he likes everything, you know, in the slot and he dictates really well if he’s on the baseline and moving the ball around. That’s how he won this tournament a couple years ago.

That’s why I tried to do. Today big for me was the variety. A lot of kick serves trying to get out of the strike zone and keep him on the move and throw on some slice. Was able to work well, especially with the windy conditions.

Yeah, that’s kind of my game style going up against anybody, and hopefully it works.

Q. I want to follow up on what you said earlier about improving your returns. You sort of made a passing reference to people talking about maybe that being a part of your game that wasn’t as good as other aspects. Wondering, first of all, is that something you sort of heard in the outside world or somebody close to you said, Hey, you’ve got to improve this? And how did you improve your return?
JACK SOCK: I mean, I think you can always improve every part of your game. I only say that because when I got to play a match or people like to talk about my tennis, they talk about serving and forehand is what I hear all the time.

So obviously, you know, when I’m playing guys the general public like to talk about maybe the weaker side being my backhand and all that. I think I have improved it tremendously. Serve big and maybe getting into a lot of breakers and not being able to get in guys’ service games.

I feel like that’s changed dramatically as well. Feel very comfortable returning. I think the doubles helped a lot. Even the week in Rio I was returning really, really well, and I’m taking that in, that confidence, and kind of just that flow and rhythm into all these matches. I think it’s showing.

Yeah, I think when you can hold comfortably and, you know, you’re in a lot of guys’ service games, it only makes it that much easier out there.

Q. Tsonga next. I think you played only once and on clay. Perhaps you wouldn’t pull anything from that. If you do, what do you take from that match and what’s an opponent like him offering?
JACK SOCK: Yeah, you know, he’s a very established player. Been in the top 10o for a long time and had great success at tournaments of all levels and I’m going to have to obviously bring out my best stuff again to have a chance.

But it’s sort of similar to today. I think he’s a guy who likes to lean on the ball. Likes to be attacking and dictating. If I can throw some variety in there, serve well again, and get into some return games, the chances go up for me.

Yeah, I mean, we play a similar style, I think. We both look for forehands to dictate points, and I think it will kind of be whoever can get that first attacking position with that side, and then serving will also a big part of it.

He serves well. We both look to get easy points on that.

Q. (Question regarding decision to stop playing doubles.)
JACK SOCK: Max told me I couldn’t play any more doubles. It was the team, collective decision within the team. It was personal experiences, you know, where I felt like it’s kind of hindered my play in singles.

But also, even playing with Vasek the last couple years, last year Wimbledon, played five sets against Troicki; down two sets to love. Same day we were down two sets to love in doubles; we came back and lost in five.

So we played ten sets in one day. Two days later played Murray in the quarters and kind of ran out of gas. Had opportunities in the quarters of a slam in singles. You know, had he not played five more sets that day and gotten the rest.

For me here last year, I got my first round win. Was here till 9:30, 10:00 playing doubles and put me on second the next morning. Obviously not getting the proper rest and everything you need going into those matches.

So tough decision on one end, but also easy decision on the other, where you get all your energy and rest and hydration and you just take all the necessary steps to do your best in singles. I think it’s showing. So far this year I think I’ll stick to this in the future.

Madison Keys

Press Conference

M. KEYS/N. Osaka

7-5, 4-6, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. A great win. After today and Monday, I’m starting to think you like to live on the edge. How were you able to remain calm and confident and collected down 1-5 in the final set?
MADISON KEYS: I mean, obviously those aren’t the most fun matches, but I just knew that, you know, if I stayed in the match that I could maybe have a chance to come back and get back in it.

No matter what the score was, it was always just trying to get back in the match. Once I was able to get a little bit of momentum I felt like I found my game a bit more. At that point I knew I had to kind of step up or else I was going to be going home.

Q. You were really struggling with your returns in the beginning of that third set. Just missing a few balls. It seemed like something clicked and you dug in and started hitting faster through the ball and everything. Was that intentional or adrenaline? Kind of a refuse to lose sort of thing? What do you think that is?
MADISON KEYS: I think it was a little bit of both. There was obviously not a ton of rhythm at the beginning of that set. I felt like I wasn’t returning very well. It got to a point where you’re either going to make them or you’re going to lose.

I think I kind of just took a step back and just wanted to make her play. Then I think once I did that I got a little bit of confidence back and started playing better.

Q. Moving forward, are you going to incorporate going to the net more often? I know you your game is power, but will you incorporate more going to the net and developing a net game?
MADISON KEYS: I’m definitely working on it and I’m trying to come to the net more. It obviously happens in less stressful times and when I’m feeling a little bit more relaxed.

But I’m definitely working on trying to improve that part of my game.

Q. Speaking of the net, 1-5, Love-15, you kind of stormed into the net and played those two volleys. At the time it seemed crazy but with hindsight it seemed like the moment it all changed and you started moving. What was going through your mind when you hit those shots?
MADISON KEYS: You know, I think she kind of just hit a shot that I felt like I was being pulled forward on. You know, then at that point it was just me trying to get the ball back over the net.

Once that moment kind of happened, I feel like I kind of got really fired up about it. That really helped me.

Q. When she was just a couple points from the win, what was going through your mind as your shot sailed over that net?
MADISON KEYS: I think the biggest thought was — I didn’t know if I should challenge the ball or not because I thought it was out. Then as soon as she went to hit the volley it was just kind of, Please, God, get to the ball or please go out.

Q. As you certainly know, tennis can be a very tough, brutal game. You have suffered many, many tough losses yourself. She’s just 18. By all accounts, a delightful young player. What would you say to her so this doesn’t throw her off, that she just go on?
MADISON KEYS: I think she played really well. I think at the end of the match it kind of came down to experience, being in that situation before, having lost some tough matches. It happens. You know, it just makes you stronger.

You kind of just put it in the back of your mind and use it to fuel yourself and get back out there and try to get better.

Q. Is it tough to put tough losses behind you to just go on and not bring yourself down after a tough defeat?
MADISON KEYS: Yeah, it can be. I think some losses are tougher than others. Some kind of stick around longer than others.

But at the end of the day, if you can learn something from it, then you can take it as a positive.

Q. You practiced with her. How much more did you see of her game in a match situation, and can you see playing her for years to come?
MADISON KEYS: Yeah, for sure. I practiced with her a little bit. It was probably an hour hit. So I didn’t know a ton about her, but seeing how she played today, she has a great serve and she has a great forehand. She is really aggressive, and I like how she plays.

So, for sure I think that we will see her around. I think she’s an amazing fighter, because she definitely could have given up after the middle of the second set and she didn’t.

Q. Talking about experience, how comfortable are you on Ashe right now? How do you feel like the crowd on center court has warmed up to you the more you have played on that court?
MADISON KEYS: I haven’t played many matches on Ashe, but always happy to be out there. The crowd today was amazing, and getting to play at your home slam on Ashe is a feeling like you can’t even describe.

So having that crowd support today was really incredible.

Q. Next you will probably have Wozniacki probably at night on center court. How do you think the crowd will be on that match?
MADISON KEYS: I think the crowd will be more divided seeing as she’s a finalist, but I think I will have plenty of support.

Q. Did you feel like you sort of put a little more weight or shape to your shots from that 1-5? It appears you were still hitting through the ball. Did you feel like you had your foot completely on the gas through that comeback, or did you sort of pull back a little bit and make her play?
MADISON KEYS: I think it was a little bit of a combination. I think I definitely backed off at the beginning of the third set. Wasn’t looking for forehands as much.

I knew I was going to have to play aggressive because she’s a great player and she was going to step up and try to win the match. So I knew I had to do the same.

And I think it was just a balancing act of knowing when to maybe take a little bit off of it and then when to really look for my forehand and step in.

Q. First round, two points from the loss; today, two points from the loss. You’re into the round of 16. What do you take away from the first week of kind of, yeah, giving everybody a heart attack?
MADISON KEYS: I think the biggest thing is just, you know, I’m never giving up and I’m fighting to the very end. That’s something to pat myself on the back for. But also definitely going to sit down later and work on some things for the next round because I don’t want to be two points from losing again.

Yeah, so really looking forward to trying to have straightforward matches.

Q. It will be your first meeting with Caroline Wozniacki. How do you see her as an opponent?
MADISON KEYS: I have known Caroline for a while. I don’t think we have ever really practiced or anything, but she’s obviously a great player. She loves playing at the US Open. She’s done well here. She’s going to be tough.

I think she’s playing well right now. You know, it’s always interesting once you get to the fourth round because everyone has won matches and they’re feeling very confident.

Q. You call it the best comeback of your career. Why?
MADISON KEYS: I think just because this is the biggest stage that I have done it on. I think I easily could have let a lot of emotions get in the way of, you know, being able to come back today.

Being able to kind of block out everything and just really fight through it and get back into the match, I was really proud of myself for that today.

Q. There was a week off or a couple of weeks between, but coming off of the Olympics and that experience, and I think a lot of the emotional energy that was spent in Rio and the actual energy of getting there, has it been more of a challenge than, say, coming off of a Cincinnati or a New Haven?
MADISON KEYS: I definitely think there is a difference between the Olympics and Cincinnati or New Haven. I know for me there was no chance I could have played Cincinnati. I was so emotionally tired after Rio. It was amazing. You know, it was one of the best weeks of my life, but it was definitely very draining.

So it’s been different to kind of have to come back from that and get yourself back on track after that.

Q. Your career is going beautifully. Do you feel in your gut you’re now ready to lift the trophy here on the final Saturday?
MADISON KEYS: I definitely think I have done a lot of work and that I’m here and I’m competing for that. But at the same time, it’s not really how I focus on things. I’m more concerned about fourth round against Caroline on Sunday.

So I’m not looking past that right now.

Q. You seem relatively calm despite what was going on. Did you have to make a conscious effort? If so, what did you tell yourself?
MADISON KEYS: I really just kept telling myself, Just try to stay in it. I just knew I was going to have to step up. It was one of those things where it was either step up or lose, so, you know, I knew I had to stay calm in that moment. I kind of just forced myself to.

Q. When asked about up and coming American talent, Serena Williams mentioned your name first. Many people think you’re the next superstar for American women. What do you think about that?
MADISON KEYS: I think that’s very nice of her to say (laughter). It always feels good to hear Serena say something like that. More than anything, it just makes me want to go out and keep working and trying to get better. Just because if someone who has been in her position where she’s been No. 1 for so long says that about me, you know, I really want to do my best to kind of live up to that and do everything I can to put myself in a good position.

Q. Regardless of what happens, you’ll finish the Grand Slam season having made all four second weeks this year. What about that makes you the most proud?
MADISON KEYS: Just that it was my goal to be more consistent and to make second weeks. I felt like I worked so hard at it and I was so close so many times.

So, you know, those mornings when I didn’t want to wake up at 6:15 to go to practice, those are the moments where I feel like getting through those and going out and having good practices have put me in this position.

As much as I hate it, I’m probably going to have to keep doing some of those.

Q. You have talked a lot during the summer about winning matches when you’re not playing well. Based on this week and also the whole past few months, do you feel like that’s something you’re now good at and you can now rely on that to get you through certain problems?
MADISON KEYS: Yeah, I think I have had a lot of matches where I have had to dig myself out of holes or, you know, figure out ways to win when I wasn’t playing my best.

I think I have done a really good job at that. I think that gives me a little bit of confidence when I am down, knowing that I can figure things out.

Q. What do you do to just have fun?
MADISON KEYS: Lately, I have just been taking lots of naps and watching movies. (Smiling.) Normally I like to hang out with my friends and family.

I really enjoy baking, which is tough on the road. Yeah, so whenever I’m home I feel like I’m constantly in the kitchen.

Q. What do you bake?
MADISON KEYS: I make all kinds of things.

Q. You do?

Q. Serena’s nice compliment about you, Serena told us about Naomi. She’s a very dangerous player. Do you think in the near or far future any rivalry between you and her?
MADISON KEYS: There definitely could be. I think she’s a great player and there are a lot of weapons that are going to get her very far. Yeah, I have no doubt she will be around and winning lots of matches.

Novak Djokovic

Press Conference

N. DJOKOVIC/M. Youzhny

4-2 (ret.)

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You had perhaps a helpful rehab time, but you’re not getting matches. Which is more important?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, depends at how you look at it. This particular situation I never had in my Grand Slam career. But considering the stage of the season, you know, the amount of matches I’ve played, what I’ve been through with my body, I think it’s actually good to have some days off and then shorter matches from one side.

From the other side, sure, as you are approaching second week of the Grand Slam you want to have match play and you want to have time spent on the center court before you face one of the top players.

But, again, I’m not too concerned about my game itself. I’ve worked hard last couple days. Health-wise I feel much better than I did at the beginning of the tournament. You know, I’m confident that everything is going in the right direction.

Q. Is it a letdown emotionally to go out there? You’re all fired up to play and then all of a sudden you stop.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It’s not great for neither players nor the fans pay tickets to come and watch. Spent 20 minutes on the court. Of course, it’s not something you want considering, as well, the fact I haven’t played last match at all.

But it is what it is. I got an extra hour of practice on the center court. They were kind enough to allow me to practice. Got to focus on positives.

Q. Do you remember any other situation, similar situation, to this? I remember one in Rome, which is not a slam, where you played Almagro. Then Stepanek, Federer…
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It was not a Grand Slam. That’s why I said, the Grand Slam career this never happened. I had very few. I remember one walkover that I had. It was quarters in French Open, Fognini.

But I haven’t had this particular circumstance where I have walkover and then I spend six games on the court next match.

But it is what it is. I’ll take it. I’m moving on and focusing on the next one.

Q. Were you able to practice normally the past couple of days?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, the arm is doing very well. Everything, as I said, is going in the right direction. I feel significantly better now than I have just at the beginning of the tournament.

I’m looking forward to compete.

Q. He used some dropshots before he got hurt. You use them quite frequently in your own game. What is your feeling about that shot in general?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It’s good to have that kind of shot in the variety. Obviously it disrupts the certain pattern movements and takes the player out of his comfort zone, especially somebody that stands far behind the baseline.

It’s a shot that is accurate in a different ways. Obviously sometimes I know that I don’t have as much of a success rate on the points where I play dropshot, but in the big picture it’s a tactical move as well to make the player thinking, What is the next shot? Kind of use the whole court.

Q. Were you ever taught not to use it on hard courts?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Not really. You know, I was encouraged mostly by my coaches throughout my career to use the angles, to use that variety. I think that helps, definitely, in big matches.

Q. Do you find it mentally tiring to dominate the tennis like you’ve done and to be always the man to chase?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I don’t find it tiring. First of all, I really enjoy playing this sport. I have love and passion for it. In the end of the day, it’s my choice to do that. I’m very grateful to have this opportunity to play it, and to have people around me that really put in a lot of effort and energy, sacrifice, for me to, you know, play tennis and keep following this kind of lifestyle.

I’m blessed. Not many people in the world that can say, you know, they have managed to achieve their dreams, do the job that they really enjoy doing, working, and be very successful in it.

I’m aware of that. That’s what keeps me going, you know, that kind of initial emotion for the sport and for the game and for this lifestyle.

And, of course, I like competing. I like being out there and moving my own boundaries and seeing how far I can go. So as long as there is that kind of flair in me, I’ll keep going.

Q. The US Open is the only Grand Slam that uses adults as ball people, not ballkids.

Q. There are some of them that have been there for years and years. Do you recognize some of their faces? Does it bring any sort of comfort to you having the same people on court?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: They are very efficient, I must say. They are doing their job extremely well. Sometimes, you know, the line umpires, the ballkids, they take the beating from the players. Sometimes, you know, when you’re in the midst of the battle, things are going up or down, you get emotional on the court and they’re the ones that are around you.

Sometimes you take it for granted, you know, the work that they’re doing. I appreciate it very much. I think most of us tennis players, at the beginning of our careers, we were ballkids at some stage of our childhood. Maybe not on a Grand Slam. I was never on a Grand Slam, but on smaller tournaments in my city and in my country. So I know how that feels.

But, as you say, they are professionals here in US Open. I didn’t really look at each one of them, but I see many adults. I don’t know if all of them are adults, but they’re doing their job very well. They are very rained and experienced.

Q. For one year and a half every tournament we went and you were playing, you were the strong favorite. This is probably the first tournament where we see that somebody says, Murray is the favorite because Djokovic has this shoulder problem, personal problems, this and that. When you read that, if you know about that, do you laugh at it? You don’t care? What is your reaction? You say, It’s better; I have less pressure?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: That’s your job, to speculate and predict, to have the freedom to express your opinion about who can win or not.

In the end of the day I respect that, but I don’t pay too much attention on that, to be honest. There were stages in my career where I was very much into it, following who says what. That affected my mind.

Not anymore. You evolve. You rely on yourself. In the end of the day, I know what are my capabilities and I know what I am able to do, what I’m able to achieve. If I play the right tennis, I can win against anybody in any surface.

That’s where my primary and focus and attention goes to, you know, try to get myself in that optimal state of mind, body, spirit, and just perform the best that I can.

Q. You were just talking about competition. Why is it so compelling, so fascinating to us?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, as everybody else, you go through life and you evolve and you change. I’ve experienced that kind of evolution myself. Psychologically I perceive my tennis career and the purpose of playing tennis, life in general, differently five years ago than I do now.

I still have, as I mentioned before, that intrinsic satisfaction and passion when I play tennis, just when I hold the racquet in my hands. But, you know, over the years I had to find always ways of motivating myself.

To be honest, trophies are not enough, because that’s something that — that’s not sustainable. Surely you’re going to feel great if you’re No. 1 and you win Grand Slam trophies. Part of my inspiration is related to that surely.

But on the other hand, as you grow older, as you play more tennis, you’re on the tour at a high level, of course, you need to find new ways, find other meaning and purpose of why you’re playing it.

So becoming a father, a husband, having my own family, a foundation, many different things that happen along the way, have influenced that kind of perception of, you know, being part of this sport.

I find tennis as a way of using this as a platform, I would say, to maybe convey or share certain messages, passions that I have, or values. In the end of the day, I’m in a privileged position. As any other top athlete, you have this responsibility. You have such a blessing to be there. You have so much power to make a change in a good or bad way or influence somebody in a good or bad way.

Yeah, maybe I’m deep into philosophy now, but you understand hopefully my answer.

Q. I don’t know if you’ve been asked about the Laver Cup yet. Can you give your thoughts about it? Do you think it’s going to take off and have international significance?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I hope so. I think it’s a great idea. Well, discussing with my team about my participation, eventual participation in that competition next year. If it happens, I will be happy. If it doesn’t happen, again, I will be happy, because tennis needs to move on, needs to evolve, needs to get new events, new ideas, innovative, I would say, approach from everybody involved in tennis.

I think Laver Cup is a model that is used already in golf. I think there is the Ryder Cup that has been an example for the Laver Cup, as I understood. It’s great. Ryder Cup has been one of the most successful sports events throughout the history. Why not take that example and try to use it in our own sport? That’s what they’ve done.

I applaud all the people for coming up that idea, pursuing it, because it’s not easy to set up a big event. I think if it’s done in the right way, which I see it is already, Roger and Rafa headlining the event with Borg and McEnroe. Those are huge names in the history books of tennis.

I’m sure it’s going to get some worldwide exposure and significance.

Q. Is it in the right place in the schedule, though, late September, to have that event in the middle of the season?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Look, you know, schedule is another subject. You can always say there’s no space or there’s no right or wrong period.

But in the end of the day, schedule today is the same as it was so many decades ago. I was saying many times before, and I still strongly believe, that we really need to consider making some changes in the schedule, you know, working towards protecting and nurturing players’ wellness, well-being, health, and enduring careers.

You see more and more injuries. This is due to a very physical sport, a very demanding schedule, more events, more significance of course. More prize money, more everything. Players play more.

But in the end of the day, in the bigger picture, it’s not that great. You don’t want to see short careers, right? You want to see longer careers.

But this is maybe not a subject for this moment. I still think we all need to sit down and rethink about the future of the schedule of our sport.

Q. Do you tune out what’s happening amongst your competitors in the draw during this tournament? Do you focus exclusively on what you’re doing?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Surely I follow of course. Once you’re in a Grand Slam you watch a match or two when you’re back in your hotel room. Mostly when I’m training, days off, or when I’m here the day of my match, tennis is everywhere, on each TV. Not only in the tennis facility, but all over the city. You can feel that kind of vibe.

You are following what your main competitors especially are doing, how they’re playing. Of course, everybody does that.

But my main focus, of course, is on me only and my next opponent.

Petra Kvitova

Press Conference

P. KVITOVA/E. Svitolina

6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You haven’t lost a set through the first week.
PETRA KVITOVA: That’s true. What a surprise, right? (Laughter.)

Q. Are you surprised?
PETRA KVITOVA: Petra with a three, it’s not working so far, which is good. I’m saving some energy.

I think it’s doesn’t matter. The important is the win. Of course, with saving energy it’s always better.

I didn’t feel the hot today outside that was before, so it was really good.

Q. Have you noticed that, that it hasn’t been as hot in New York this times as it has in years past?
PETRA KVITOVA: The first day when I played on Monday, that was kind of difficult. But I played the first match, so it was okay. I was happy for that.

Yeah, I think so far is okay. I mean, the rain yesterday interrupt the game, unfortunately, but the roof was here.

Q. What happened in the second set and how were you able to turn that around?
PETRA KVITOVA: I think that she didn’t feel probably the pressure. She just came strong there. I just feel that she was a little bit, you know, playing more aggressive than before. I let her play her better game, I think, as well. I didn’t push her that much.

I was lucky then 4-3 came the new balls and I could serve well the 4-All, which was really helping to my confidence as well. So it was a little difficult at the end of the second set. It was a big fight, the last game.

Tough to say. Sometimes when the player’s down they just a little bit more relaxed and didn’t really have anything to lose. They just went, you know, more and better played.

Q. Is it confidence-building for you to know that you were able to right the ship quickly?
PETRA KVITOVA: Yeah, it was helping. Even when I was 4-Love up, then also tight, 4-4, and I was still able to serve well and play well after, which is always a good sign. So I’m happy for that.

Q. Aside from the heat, do you actually like this city and the tournament, the big crazy city, the traffic? Are you a fan of this place?
PETRA KVITOVA: I’m not really a fan of the traffic, but I starting to like it here last year when I played well and I made the quarterfinal. You know, in the day off I’m not going on-site, so I’m kind of out of the traffic. There’s many people up here and everything. I’m kind of saving the energy and everything, which I think is helping to my person as well, and mentally, too.

But I feel that the crowd, it’s always, you know, cheering. I think finally I find the way how I should take the energy from them as well.

Q. How different does it feel not to come to the site every other day?
PETRA KVITOVA: You know, it’s funny. I think that not many people can imagine or do that. It was funny. We were joking today that we were going to the site for the fourth time and I played three matches. I went here on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, which is really funny, I feel.

And last year I did the same. I played five matches and I spend six days here. I think not many people can do that.

I’m okay. I’m happy I’m not a person who has to practice every day.

Q. Does it feel strange to not have that routine?
PETRA KVITOVA: No. I have my own routine, so I’m good.

Q. Where do you practice off-site?
PETRA KVITOVA: I’m not practicing.

Q. You’re just taking the day as it goes? Do you do any training?
PETRA KVITOVA: Yeah, we are not setting everything, like nothing with the time. Whenever I wake up, go for breakfast. We do always fitness like for 45 minutes or something. So the body is still doing something, but not like anything with the racquet.

Q. So you’re playing every other day right now?
PETRA KVITOVA: Yes. Just a warmup and match.

Q. What are you doing on your day off? Are you exploring the city? Staying at the hotel?
PETRA KVITOVA: I’m start like trying to relax, to have a nap every day. The sleep, it’s always helping the body for everything.

I do a little bit of the shopping every time, or just walking in the city and the fitness. I feel that the day is flying so fast, so it’s always the dinnertime. Like, I didn’t do anything.

Q. If you sleep until 2:00 pm…
PETRA KVITOVA: It’s not. I’m waking up at 8:00, 8:30, but after lunch I have a movie or something.

Q. Do you have a favorite shop or a favorite stretch, like 5th Avenue?
PETRA KVITOVA: No. I didn’t even go to 5th Avenue. It’s terrible. I have to do it tomorrow. (Laughter.)

Q. You kind of have come through your career in different ways than most typical top players. Not a lot of juniors. You play a different style of game than most people. You have the ability to take these breaks, like last year in the spring. You’re going to sites every other day.
PETRA KVITOVA: I know I’m different. (Smiling.)

Q. This sport tends to be one where everybody does the same thing, what the other person is doing. Is it easy for you to kind of march to the beat of your own drummer?
PETRA KVITOVA: I think it’s not really easy. I think with the mature and everything, with the experiences, you just find the own way. I don’t feel the top players doing the same as the rest of the players.

It’s always about the personality, I think, and about what you can really find what is the best for you. I’m still in the process like trying to find what is the best. I think it’s never-ending story to find it.

Now I always know that I’m a little bit different with the practices, about tournaments, everything. When I’m really tired mentally I always know it’s impossible to play, so I have to be clear in my mind and enjoy the tennis. That’s the most important thing for me.

Because when I don’t have a passion and a fight in me it’s always difficult. It’s just be there and it’s nothing for me. I love the sport, so I really need to have the feelings to having the battle.

So I knew that. I’m glad that my fitness coach know I’m different, too. I think we are good combo, as well. We always trying to find the best way, yeah.

Q. When you were growing up, did you feel more pressure to conform to what other players were doing on the tour?
PETRA KVITOVA: Not at all. I was happy to have my coach, my father as my coach. I do remember when I was like 14, 15, like same-age players played twice a day, practicing every day four hours.

I was just going to the school, which was not really fun. I hit like hour, hour and a half every day after the school in the afternoon. And my father told me one day – I will remember forever – we are working on the techniques, and they have just more and more hours.

I think he did a great job for sure. I wasn’t that tired as my same-age girls were afterwards. They all retire after a while and went to school, and I was still continue. I think that was a good move.

Q. You said your team was understanding. How did they react when you told them you didn’t want to come but every other day?
PETRA KVITOVA: They’re really fine. I think it’s always about the player, and the player has to tell what is the best. I think that’s the important.

I am not a rebel. It’s something what I have to say. They should, of course, listen to me. Not every time we have the same opinion on all things, but sometimes we need to find a compromise.

But that’s how it is.

Q. Have you ever heard someone from the crowd scream something and then changed your tactic because they said? Hit to her forehand, something like that?
PETRA KVITOVA: No, not really. Sometimes I hear like, Make an ace. Not often it’s happening or doing that afterwards, but sometimes it’s funny to hear that. But not really, no.

Q. What kind of things have you heard?
PETRA KVITOVA: Something like that, Make the ace. The worst is just to listen, Four more balls, four more points and you get there. It’s something terrible, because we never can count. Then 30-Love, Two more. It’s not great. (Laughter.)

Naomi Osaka

Press Conference

M. KEYS/N. Osaka

7-5, 4-6, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Obviously wasn’t the result you were looking for, but what did you make of the experience, being out there on Arthur Ashe Stadium?
NAOMI OSAKA: I thought it was kind of fun. I know the crowd was against me. That was, like, a bit frustrating.

But, yeah, I grew up watching the players I liked play on this court. As an experience, it was very nice.

Q. Was it particularly loud?
NAOMI OSAKA: Not really. I mean, I expect people to be that loud when, like, the top American woman is playing, so…

Q. What went through your mind when you were leading 5-1 and she was coming back?
NAOMI OSAKA: Well, at 5-1 I was just very nervous. I kind of wanted to close it out. I felt like I could, like, rely on my serve at that point, because I think she was serving at 5-1. It didn’t really bother me that she held serve at that time.

But it really started freaking me out when she was, like, going 5-2, 5-3, 5-4, those times. But yeah…

Q. Serving at 5-2 and 5-4, what was going through your mind that made you nervous?
NAOMI OSAKA: Well, I felt like she had a good service return, so I felt that sometimes when I hit hard serves she would use my power. It was bouncing in my mind between, like, going for a serve and just placing it.

So I felt like I couldn’t fully focus on what to do after my serve. I was just sort of reacting the whole time, so…

Q. Before that you played with so much poise in the second set. What was going through your mind in the second set?
NAOMI OSAKA: I’m just generally better when the other person’s leading. I don’t know. I feel like the pressure’s off me. If she’s leading I just have to focus on the things that I have to do and not worry too much about the outcome ’cause she’s, like, higher ranked than me and sort of expected to win, so…

In the second set I was just a bit free.

Q. Any particular points you regret that would make everything turn around?
NAOMI OSAKA: I think I hit a very ridiculous volley at 30-All, 5-4. Yikes. I think if I made that I would have gotten a match point. I don’t really regret anything, if you’re going to say that. Just I’m a bit disappointed.

Q. Young players come into the game optimistic and then tough things happen. Do you think this will set you back or bother you?
NAOMI OSAKA: Honestly, I actually feel this is a good, like, match for me because I haven’t really been playing that well for this whole hard court season. Like just to be able to get to the third round here is positive.

Like, as the match as a whole I feel like — honestly, I just played doubles right now, so I feel like if I didn’t play doubles maybe I would be more negative about the situation.

But I had so much fun out there, like, I just think tennis is a game, so I just have to enjoy everything and see how it goes, so…

Q. In Australia you said you actually like losing because you learn more from that.

Q. Could you say what you think you will learn from today’s experience.
NAOMI OSAKA: Well, I feel like if I had more set patterns or something to fall back on, because I feel like she was sort of commanding the whole match a little bit. I was just pushing it back, seeing what she would do, if she would hit it out or not.

Yeah, so I feel like if I had a better plan, then at 5-1 I wouldn’t have freaked out and been like, What do I do at this point?

Q. How much at this point in your career is about getting experience and getting those reps in?
NAOMI OSAKA: Well, this is, like, my first full year on the tour. I was kind of injured throughout clay and grass. I mean, going to those tournaments for the first time, it’s like an experience, I guess.

I mean, I wouldn’t really say, like, it’s new, though, you know what I mean? ‘Cause a court is a court no matter where you go.

But, I mean — what am I even talking about? Sorry.

I mean to say, like, getting experience is good, but I feel like if you’re a really good player it wouldn’t really matter if the place is new or if you’re traveling or whatever.

I’m sorry. Oh, my God. Yeah, I’m sorry. That doesn’t make sense.

Okay, so, like, experience is good and whatever, right? But like not having experience, if you’re good enough, it shouldn’t really matter. Okay?

Q. You’re both power hitters. Moving on, are you going to increase your net game?
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, honestly, I’m very comfortable on the baseline. Like moving in is a bit nerve-wracking for me. So I feel like, yeah, if I practice stepping in a bit more and being better at the net, then I think I would be more aggressive, so…

Q. You’re born in Japan, you’re Japanese, and I’m sure you feel that is wonderful. Your pop is Haitian. Do you ever say to yourself, I have a lot of American qualities; it would be nice if the American crowd were more supportive of me? Does that ever cross your mind?
NAOMI OSAKA: The last match I played before this match there was like quite a big crowd that were cheering for me. I mean, that was nice. But I don’t expect them to cheer for me, especially since I was playing Madison.

I mean, it’s nice if they cheer for me, but if they don’t I understand, so…

John Isner

Press Conference

K. EDMUND/J. Isner

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

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Got broken more than usual today. Was your serve feeling off at all?
JOHN ISNER: No, it wasn’t feeling off. I think the match swung a bit in the first game of the third set when I had Love-40. I played three really good points to get to Love-40, and then kind of wear myself out trying to finish that game off.

I didn’t break, and then the next game I didn’t make any first serves and got broken. That was a bit disappointing. But it was just a struggle out there a little bit. Kind of the whole tournament. Nothing really felt great the whole tournament.

But credit to Kyle. I thought he played well. Certainly played better than I did in the big moments, so hats off to him.

Q. When you talk about the tournament not feeling right, does that extend to the rest of the summer, too?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, I mean, the whole year in general, I guess, so…

It’s all good, I guess, but it’s a little disappointing for sure. I’ll get back to the drawing board. Obviously – I don’t know what the right word is – disappointed for sure right now. Have to hit the ‘delete’ button, watch some football, and hopefully that will clear me up.

Q. Did you notice any difference between your match at Roland Garros and here in Kyle’s tennis?
JOHN ISNER: No, I’m bad at that. I can’t recall. I can barely remember the match we played in Roland Garros right now. I’m assuming he played better today than he did at the French Open.

Q. How much do you think maybe the first match against Tiafoe took something out of you?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, certainly you want to try to save your energy at a Grand Slam. That match took some out of me; my second-round match took something out of me. I played in the heat of the day both times, right around 1:00. It was pretty hot out there, too.

Maybe I came into this match at a little bit of a deficit, but that’s not why I lost. At a certain point adrenaline takes over, and it did in that match out there. I just wasn’t better than my opponent. Simple as that.

Q. Felt off-kilter, out of whack this summer, this tournament. Was that physical? Mental? The tape on your knee, is that preventive?
JOHN ISNER: I’ve been doing that all year. Always have a few things here or there kind of bothering me, but nothing too severe.

I mean, all in all, I feel pretty good. I can be thankful for that. Right now there’s nothing significant bothering me. There’s always a few things that linger here and there, but doesn’t keep me from going out on the court.

Q. Back to the drawing board, dumb question, but what do you plan on drawing? Do you see major changes coming?
JOHN ISNER: No, no. No changes, major changes. For me right now I got to try to get excited to play in the fall. To be honest, right now it doesn’t seem too exciting. We don’t have Davis Cup, unfortunately.

I’ll take some time off, regroup, get ready for that. See if I can finish the year strongly. We’ll see what happens.

Q. A couple younger guys left in the draw. Jack had a good win today. Jared. Do you think those guys can go far?
JOHN ISNER: Jack, Jared, and who else?

Q. I think it’s just the two of them.
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, I think they can. Jack’s very good. I don’t know who Jared plays, but he’s a good player as well.

Q. Karlovic.
JOHN ISNER: Okay. That’s winnable for him. It’s good to see Jared doing some good things. He’s a really nice guy.

Jack, of course, I’ve known forever. Doesn’t surprise me. He’s very good.

Q. What do you think of Kyle generally? What do you think of his game, how far he can go?
JOHN ISNER: He’s a good player. The one thing he has on his side, I should say, is he’s still very young. He’s playing well. He’s playing pretty well here, I would think.

Yeah, I mean, he’s got a good future, for sure.

Q. What about the tennis in America as it is today?
JOHN ISNER: What do you mean?

Q. The growth of top players.
JOHN ISNER: After my match or what?

Q. In general, in America, tennis in the United States.
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, I think it’s in good shape.



Rafael Nadal

Press Conference

R. NADAL/A. Kuznetsov

6-1, 6-4, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Have you ever hit a lob like that before?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, actually yes. Not many times, but I remember one in Madrid against Djokovic.

Q. You won that point?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah. (Smiling.) If not, I didn’t count.

Q. Is this as confident as you’ve felt with your tennis in a long time? Did you feel like you could get to this point, say, when you had to pull out of the French Open?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know. I think I played well tonight. Very happy about the way I played. First set especially was very high level.

Then I think I played a good second set. But, you know, I lost the serve in the second for a couple of games. I was serving bad. When you play against a player like him, that he’s able to return quick, hit a lot of good shots, then you are in big trouble, no? That’s what happened.

So I don’t know in which kind of level I am. Is true that when I had to stop I was playing great. I felt myself ready for the French. I don’t know what could happen on the French Open if I was keep playing, but I felt ready.

I don’t know where I am today. Only thing I know is I am happy. I am excited to play the US Open. For me is a great news that I am on the tour again, and I am playing every day with less pain on the wrist. That’s most important thing.

Q. Aside from the pain, in terms of feeling more comfortable hitting your forehand, especially down the line, it seems like you’re in better shape than you had been. Does it feel to you like you can hit it the way you like to hit your forehand?
RAFAEL NADAL: I am improving with that shot. Everybody knows that is a very important shot for me. When I am able to play that shot well, then the court opens a lot, because then the cross-court forehand that I have a good ONE with topspin have a much better impact on the opponent.

I did that well for a moments today, and I need to doing — like I am having every day a little bit better, I need to keep doing that way, improving a little bit every day.

Q. You are playing Pouille. What do you think about his game?
RAFAEL NADAL: He is a great player. He is young. He has all the shots: good serve, good forehand, good backhand. He’s a tough opponent. I practice with him a couple of times and I played with him long time ago.

I know he’s able to play a very high level. I know going to be a very tough match. I need to be ready for the match. I need to be ready to play my best if I want to keep going.

Q. How much did the Games boost your confidence?
RAFAEL NADAL: Every victory helps for the confidence, no, especially when you feel that you played well. I feel that today I played great tennis for a long time, for a lot of moments on the match. That helps for the confidence, no?

Every day is a different story. Tomorrow is another chance to confirm that positive feeling, so keep practicing the thing I am trying to practice and try to be ready for tomorrow.

Q. A lot of seeds have lost in your section of the draw. That helps the confidence together with the game you’re playing? The least games you’ve lost at the US Open ever since you played in three rounds.
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t understand the last part.

Q. You never lost more games than this time.
RAFAEL NADAL: Ah. That’s only fact, no? That don’t going to make the big impact on what’s coming, no?

I play my game. I play my draw. I play against opponents that are better in that moment. Because, at the end of the day, if somebody lost, it’s because the opponent played better than the seeded, no?

The ranking is a number that says the highest level you have during the year. But, for example, I don’t know, which number I am, No. 5, today in the world? Sometimes I can play better than the No. 5; sometimes I can play much worse than the No. 5. And that happens the same with the other seededs, no?

We’ll see what’s coming the next couple of days. Playing against Pouille is a young and tough opponent. That’s the only thing that stays in my mind now.

Q. The day you pulled out at the French Open you were obviously very sad and disappointed you had to do that. Was there ever a sense of doom? Did you ever fear that injury to the wrist would be worse than something you’d ever experienced before?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, no. I know was an accident. I know was a bad movement in Madrid. Was unlucky in a very bad moment of the season for different facts: because I was playing great, because was the tournament I have more success in in my career. But that’s it.

I know is an injury that is a little bit tricky. It’s dangerous because I had in the right wrist in 2012 maybe, or ’14. No, 2014 I could not come here, if I am not wrong.

So you need to be patient. You need to take your time, recover, work hard. That’s what I did. That’s all.

Q. You just opened what looked like a wonderful museum at your home. If you had to pick just one item from the museum, what would that item be?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know. I just can say thank you very much to the rest of the colleagues around the world, sportsmen and sportswomen, that send me thing, send me important things from them.

Is very difficult to choose one thing, no? I have things from Tiger Woods, from I don’t know, Usaine Bolt, Serena, Novak, Roger, from the best sportsmen. Michael Phelps. I cannot choose one thing. I feel very happy to have all these items in the museum.

In the end of the day is a museum that the people pays to come in and enjoy the experience, to watch these items. But at the same time is a very dynamic museum with a lot of activities inside. The profit of the museum is for my foundation. Is for a good cause, too. I’m very happy to have this.

Q. What did Usaine Bolt send to you?
RAFAEL NADAL: I have the shoes.

Q. You said every day there’s less pain in your wrist. Is there still something there or do you feel nothing when you’re on the court?
RAFAEL NADAL: Still something, no, but something that is not limiting my game now. That’s the most important thing.

Q. (Question regarding injuries.)
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t believe in coincidence, but is not my job to analyze that. That’s the thing. The people who run the sport has to analyze.

Is true that there is things that must be better. We cannot play in Olympic Games with one ball and the next day in Cincinnati with another ball.

I understand the people outside cannot understand the difference, but the difference is huge. You know, when we compete, we compete at our limits, and small differences makes a big impact in our body, no?

These kind of changes for our elbow, for the wrist, for the shoulder, is very bad. Is the same like changing surfaces very drastic is something that is bad. (Snapping fingers.) That’s why we have a schedule that we have different seasons.

When we play on clay, we keep playing on clay. When we play on hard, we keep playing on hard. It’s important to adapt your body to the next surfaces and to the changes, no?

The ball is a fight we the players have since a long time. We try to improve, but is always difficult.





Kyle Edmund

Press Conference

K. EDMUND/J. Isner

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

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Must be a challenge for you in some ways to keep your feet on the ground having such a great week and the prospect of playing Novak Djokovic.
KYLE EDMUND: Yeah, it’s been a great week so far, absolutely. Tonight was a really good win. I was pleased with my consistency throughout the match. Weren’t too many dips. On that stage, as well, in front of a good crowd, a big crowd, against John in his own country, I was pleased with the performance I put out there.

Yeah, very, very encouraging. Just happy I won at the minute, not much else. Just sort of taking it all in.

But, yeah, these are the situations you want to be in, what you dream about, reaching the fourth round of a slam now, getting the opportunity to play the world No. 1. Yeah, very positive.

Q. What was the difference between tonight and the French Open? You might have expected clay to favor you; quicker courts here to favor him.
KYLE EDMUND: Yeah, probably learning from my last match definitely helped me. Yeah, I mean, I play well on clay, but he’s also a top-20 player and he’s a good player. He beat me straight sets in the French.

I think I just learnt from it. I feel good about myself at the minute. I knew going into the match I had a good chance, a good opportunity, but just the nature of the match was a very different match than the last two matches.

Yeah, you’ve got to be able to play well against all different styles of players. That’s important. Today it was obviously about taking the chances when I had them, because they’re not going to come frequently.

I think last match I had like 16 breakpoints. I knew I wasn’t going to get that today. I had to be sharper when they came.

Yeah, it’s nice from the last performance. It obviously shows I’ve improved my match play. That’s obviously encouraging.

Q. What did you learn from the match against Novak in Miami? What did you do well there and what do you need to do better?
KYLE EDMUND: Yeah, he’s obviously a great player. What everyone sees, how you play against him, he’s tough to break down. Makes a lot of balls. You know, very quick around the court. He has lots of good abilities. He’s world No. 1. He’s good in all areas.

I feel I had some good success in that match. In the middle of the match I started taking it to him a bit more. That’s my game. That’s what I’ve been doing this tournament. I need to continue to do that.

What my game is is trying to be aggressive. It’s going to be no different when I play him on Sunday. That’s what’s been working. No point in changing it.

I just look forward to the experience, to be honest. I’m sure we’ll be on another nice court, like tonight. Being it’s my first fourth round in a Grand Slam, I’ll just embrace it, enjoy the moment, and obviously do my best, like tonight.

Q. What steps do you take to try to maintain your mental composure in a match like tonight where the crowd is behind John largely?
KYLE EDMUND: I don’t know. You’re just playing. It’s a long match, so you can’t be too up and down. It’s good atmosphere. Obviously more were supporting him, but I also had some good support. Some Brits out here and stuff.

I think it’s just normal. You embrace it more than anything. It’s US Open third round. It’s pretty much packed. It’s on a big court. It’s a great experience. It’s a good atmosphere.

I did find it a little more like a Davis Cup atmosphere. It was pretty loud. So I think that was nice.

Yeah, it’s such a long match, you just go about doing your own thing. You don’t try to get involved too much with other things. I was pleased with how I handled it.

It was how I expected: he’d get a little more support. It’s normal. We’re in America, so it was fine.

Q. You’ve already gone farther than you’ve ever gone in a slam. Do you go in the next match with absolutely nothing to lose?
KYLE EDMUND: Yeah, probably. That’s how I approached it tonight. I had nothing to lose really. But at the same time I know I’m in a good place. Yeah, just go out there and do my best. Nothing really more.

You know, I definitely don’t have anything to lose in this one. I’ll just go out there and do my best. Simple as that.

Q. Have you always been able to sort of maintain a calm composure on court? When you were younger, did you ever go through a phase of brattishness or anything like that?
KYLE EDMUND: No, I’ve always been pretty much like that. I haven’t had a dramatic behavior change or anything. I’ve always been quite calm. You obviously go through your moments. Everyone’s human. People get angry, annoyed. People have emotion. People play calm. Everyone’s different.

I like to keep things simple, keep in a steady bracket, not too high, not too low. I think that helps my tennis. So, yeah.

Q. Looking in your box during the match, they all seemed, outwardly at least, like they expected you to compete at that level. Did you feel that, too? Do you feel maybe not that you expected to win, but you had a really good chance going in?
KYLE EDMUND: Yeah, I obviously believe in myself that I can win, yeah. Any match I believe I can win. That’s the mentality you’ve got to have.

I think if you go on court unsure if you’re going to win, it’s probably only going to go one way, to be honest. I always believe I have the win. I back myself. Doesn’t always go like that, but it’s the right mentality to have.

But, yeah, you put in the hours. It’s no secret. You put in the hours, you put in the hard work, and then you have belief. Generally what you need to train is how you want to play on court. You don’t train one way and then turn up on the match court and play another way.

When I train, I train the way I want to play in the match, and that’s being aggressive and stuff. I know I can do it. It’s just getting out on court and doing it. You have to have belief, definitely, 100%.

Q. You mentioned the court you played on today. Chances are you’ll be on Ashe against Novak. Have you had a chance to spend any time in there? Have you practiced there? Have you got any practice lined up?
KYLE EDMUND: No, the only one hit I’ve ever had in there was on Sunday with Andy. We hit for like an hour and a quarter. That’s it really. It’s probably a good thing I got to do that because otherwise I wouldn’t have had any experience.

Yeah, it’s obviously a very big court. But, yeah, we’ll see. I mean, it’s great to play on all these different courts around the world. I’m getting more exposure on the tour level now. It will be very exciting. I guess it will be very loud, as well, if it’s anything to go by tonight.

Q. Do you have any view on the fact that Novak has played 32 minutes of tennis since the first round and you’ve played three good matches? Might he just be a little bit rusty?
KYLE EDMUND: I don’t know. I mean, you’ll have to ask him that, if he feels rusty. For me, if he played matches or not, he’s going to be tough to play, isn’t he? He’s a good player.

He consistently plays well. That’s one thing I’ve always noticed. He puts a good level consistently. You would expect that from him on Sunday.

So, you know, like you say, he hasn’t played two full matches now so he may be a bit fresher. He may have wanted to play more balls, but that’s only something he could answer.

Q. He was very complimentary about you in Miami. Have you had any sort of chats, verbal interactions, since then?
KYLE EDMUND: Not really. Obviously say hi and stuff just when we see each other. But we saw each other in Rio just as we were passing practice, and that was just after Davis Cup. He said he watched all the matches and he congratulated me on that.

Yeah, like I said, last time Boris Becker sent me a text saying, Well done. So they watched it and stuff. That’s something I’m obviously very grateful. It’s nice of them to do that. It’s good class from them.

Yeah, that’s all he really said. Yeah, I mean, I respect him massively. It will be a tough match, just like any other match really.

Q. Dan is obviously having a great week as well. Andy is having a fantastic summer. All three of you are having a great year. How much of it does rub off on each other? Do you feel you’re plowing your own furrow really?
KYLE EDMUND: I think it’s great. We’re all doing really well. It’s a really good thing, I think. We’re going up and up. Obviously Andy isn’t going up. He’s been there for ages. Yeah, me and Dan are going up now, which is great.

But it’s great to see other Brits doing well. Even Jo. She’s doing well consistently now. Her ranking reflects it. I think it’s a real positive.

It does rub off I think on each other. It’s great seeing other people do well. It has that positive vibe. It’s the same in Davis Cup. We all watch each other wanting them to win and do well. I think that just carries over into the events.


Catherine Bellis

Press Conference

A. KERBER/C. Bellis

6-1, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Ashe is a little different than the Broadway Tennis Center. As you walked out, what went through your mind?
CATHERINE BELLIS: So many things at once. I mean, it’s the most amazing court I ever played on. I had never played on it before, except actually I was lucky enough to get a little bit of a warmup on it right before the match.

Yeah, I mean, it’s the best court I’ve ever played on, and the best court in the world.

Q. Pretty overwhelming feeling? Did you look up? What did you say to yourself?
CATHERINE BELLIS: When I was walking in? I kind of expected what it was going to be since I hit it on it a little earlier. I was kind of aware of the seats and everything. I mean, nobody was watching my warmup, so there was a few more people in there.

I looked up and saw the people. It was really cool.

Q. You had two breakpoints right away. Were you not overwhelmed by the moment? Was it hard to settle down?
CATHERINE BELLIS: I think the first game I was a little bit overwhelmed. As my nerves settled down, I think hers did, too. She started playing a lot better also.

Yeah, I was a little bit in the first game, but not too bad.

Q. What will be your takeaway from your Open run here?
CATHERINE BELLIS: I think today was the best experience I’ve ever had in tennis, playing her today on Arthur Ashe Stadium. She’s one of the best, I mean the best player right now on the tour besides Serena.

Her groundstrokes are perfect. I hope to one day be able to play like her.

Q. What do you think you learned from the experience of playing someone like that?
CATHERINE BELLIS: I think we’re around the same height. She doesn’t have the biggest serve in women’s tennis. I definitely don’t either. I think she’s a really good person to model my game after.

I mean, her groundstrokes are so solid, so perfect. I’d love to see how many unforced errors she made in that match. Pretty sure it was close to zero.

Definitely an unbelievable match for me to be able to play, to play against.

Q. What are your immediate and long-term goals?
CATHERINE BELLIS: Immediate would be probably by the end of the year I’d love to keep getting my ranking up as much as possible, keep improving. I think the last year I’ve improved so much, improved my game so much. I want to keep doing that.

Long-term, just be the best tennis player I can be. Can’t really ask for more than have all my hard work pay off long-term in the long run.

Q. A young player like you, there’s everything to work on. If there were one or two things that you want to work on, what would they be?
CATHERINE BELLIS: I just want to keep improving my serve a lot, make my groundstrokes a little more solid. I think today on some of the long points we had I ended up missing some finishing shots.

Just keep working on those, keep working on playing long points. I mean, she could go for hours. She could play an hour-long point and wouldn’t be tired. Improving my fitness.

Yeah, everything, all around, always.

Q. Did this week tell you that you can do it, hang with top players?
CATHERINE BELLIS: Yeah, I think so. Besides today, obviously I won all my previous matches. Yeah, I think I played pretty well in every single one of my matches in the past couple weeks. I’m really happy about the tournament. I think it’s definitely a good sign from me.

Q. Have you heard from LiLi (phonetic) before the match?
CATHERINE BELLIS: I heard from Frankie, the assistant coach before the match, but I haven’t had a chance to hear from him yet.

Q. And hanging out in a fairly swanky hotel suite in Manhattan is what?
CATHERINE BELLIS: Now is going to be the best part of my trip here because now I actually get to go shopping, kind of explore a little bit. Stay here a couple days extra.

Q. What shops do you think you’ll hit?
CATHERINE BELLIS: My friend just actually came in town yesterday. We’re just going to really go hit everything. I mean, just play it by ear, see what she wants to do, just figure it out from there. But we’re going to have a lot of fun.

Q. The other day you admitted you were waffling about Stanford. What is your mindset?
CATHERINE BELLIS: Right now I think it’s still definitely an option for me. I’m not going to make any quick decisions right now.

Q. If you do go to Stanford, opening day they say, What is the one word that captured your experience at the US Open 2016, what word would that be?
CATHERINE BELLIS: That word would be — I think any synonym to the word amazing or unbelievable. I mean, I’m just so grateful to have had this opportunity in the last two weeks. I’m playing really great tennis right now for me. Really excited. Really happy.

Q. If you went to school, it would be next fall, right?

Q. Biggest surprise of the week?
CATHERINE BELLIS: I like these questions. Biggest surprise of the week?

Actually probably my friend coming yesterday. We just planned it kind of quickly after my match against Shelby a couple nights ago. She ended up coming. We’ve had a blast so far. She’s from Louisiana but trains in Florida at the same place I do.

Q. Where do you train in Florida?

Angelique Kerber

Press Conference

A. KERBER/C. Bellis

6-1, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What was it like down there on Ashe under the lights? How did you feel in the match?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: It was a great atmosphere. I mean, the fans and the crowd, it’s just amazing. Of course, to playing against an American, it was really special.

Yeah, I was enjoying to play tonight out there.

Q. What did you think of her game?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think she has, for sure, a great tournament. She’s a great young, really talented player. For sure she will have a great future.

I mean, she’s a great player. She’s really young, so let’s see how her future will be. But I’m really sure it will be a good one.

Q. When you say she’s a good player, is there anything specific that she did that maybe you thought, Wow, that’s pretty good for a 17-year-old?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think she went out there and she tried to play her game. I mean, she tried to move good. She’s not making too many mistakes. So this is, yeah, a really great weapon from her.

Yeah, let’s see. I mean, I think she was a little bit nervous at the beginning of the match. I know the feeling, so I was trying to take my experience tonight for this match.

Q. How important were those first few games for you? Some got a little close. Just to get the lead on a young player.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Actually, I was thinking more on my game, to being aggressive, to going for it, trying to enjoy the match. Of course, it’s always important to go out and win the first few games, to have also a lot of confidence of your own game tonight.

This was actually also my goal for that match.

Q. Is that just part of your improvement, not worrying about the score, focusing on yourself?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I think I improved a lot of these things, you know, to going out there and not thinking too much about the score. Just playing point by point and being positive. So this is what I’m still trying to improve. I think I’m in a good way.

Q. You talked about your 2007 match against Serena. What do you remember about that match, how far you’ve come?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I remember the match really well. I mean, I was really young. I was really nervous. I went out there and I remember the atmosphere. It was amazing.

We played two sets. The second set was really close at the end. Yeah, I mean, this was my first match against Serena. I really played a good one. But, yeah, that time she was too strong for me. It was a great experience also for my next steps and for the next, yeah, tournaments and matches what I had after.

Q. You talk a lot about the importance of being aggressive. Sometimes when your opponent is being aggressive you’re able to make them make another aggressive shot, sometimes they miss. How important is that to your success? What effect do you think that has on them?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think it’s important to my game, being aggressive, but also being defensive. Your opponent’s playing sometimes really aggressive, so there are different ones. I mean, you have to playing your own game. This is what I’m trying.

I mean, of course, when there’s somebody who is just like hitting the balls, I’m trying to be like more playing from the defensive end.

At the end, for me it’s important to going out there with my weapon, going, playing in the middle of the court, and just going for it.

Q. Kvitova next. What do you expect?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: It will be a good match, I think. We had great matches in the past. Yeah, it will be a good challenge. I’m looking forward.

I will try to, yeah, going out and win the match, of course. Try to enjoy the next match here in New York.

Q. At this point in the tournament, how hard is it to not look past that next match?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: It’s easy not look ahead, because now it’s the next opponent and then we will see what’s happen. I mean, for me it’s always important to playing step by step, day by day.

The next one is Petra. Then we will see what’s happen after.

Q. Does this tournament feel any different to you with top seeds going out?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Actually for me, no, because I’m not looking to other players. I’m looking just on my games, on my days, what I have to do, and going my own way.

So this is actually nothing different. Yeah, it’s just the same.

Q. Obviously left-hander versus left-hander. Is playing a left-hander as weird to you as it would be for a right-hander to play you? Is it noticeably different for you when you play a lefty?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Of course, it’s a little bit different than to play against a right-hander. I played a lot of matches in the last few weeks against lefties, so it will be nothing special for me.

I mean, it’s just the ball spins a little bit different. But at the end I know how Petra is playing, so it’s nothing new for me.











US Open – Sock Knocks Out 2014 Champ Cilic; Djokovic and Nadal Advance

(September 2, 2016) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – No. 26 seed Jack Sock kept his record against 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic perfect on Friday, when he upset the No. 7 seed 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 on Friday to reach the fourth round at Flushing Meadows. The 23-year-old Sock, the 26 seed felt confient about his game.


“I think just all around I think I’m putting things together better and better,” said Sock. “I definitely feel more confident out there in everything I’m doing.

“Used to be some liabilities people would talk about in my game. I feel like I have cleaned those up pretty well. Returning was big for me. I think I’ve gotten a pretty good hold on that. Feeling comfortable. Getting in a lot of guys’ service games now.

“Overall I feel my purpose out there. I’m executing it well and I feel like I know what I’m going to do on almost every point.”

Sock, reaching just his second fourth round at a major, will meet No. 9 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The Frenchman defeated No. 23 seed Keving Anderson in straight sets.

Sock’s American countryman, John Isner did not fare as well. The 20th seed Isner who fell to Great Britain’s Kyle Edmund 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 (5). For the Brit ranked 84th in the world, this will be his first round of 16 at a major.

“It’s been a great week so far, absolutely,” the 21-year-old Edmund said to media. “Tonight was a really good win. I was pleased with my consistency throughout the match. Weren’t too many dips. On that stage, as well, in front of a good crowd, a big crowd, against John in his own country, I was pleased with the performance I put out there.”

“I think the match swung a bit in the first game of the third set when I had Love-40,” Isner explained. “I played three really good points to get to Love-40, and then kind of wear myself out trying to finish that game off.

“I didn’t break, and then the next game I didn’t make any first serves and got broken. That was a bit disappointing. But it was just a struggle out there a little bit. Kind of the whole tournament. Nothing really felt great the whole tournament.

“But credit to Kyle. I thought he played well. Certainly played better than I did in the big moments, so hats off to him.”

Edmund will have a tumultuous task ahead of him for the next match – No. 1 Novak Djokovic. Djokovic played only six games in the match on Friday when his opponent Mikhail Youzhny retired. Djokovic has only played one complete match at the tournament, in the first round. His second round opponent withdrew.

“It’s not great for neither players nor the fans pay tickets to come and watch,” noted the world No. 1.” Spent 20 minutes on the court. Of course, it’s not something you want considering, as well, the fact I haven’t played last match at all.

“But it is what it is. I got an extra hour of practice on the center court. They were kind enough to allow me to practice. Got to focus on positives.”

Rafael Nadal produced a spectacular between-the-legs lob shot during the night session in his 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 win over Andrey Kuznetsov in a night session match.

Asked if he ever hit a long like that before, the 14-time major winner said: “Well, actually yes. Not many times, but I remember one in Madrid against Djokovic.”

Other men reaching the fourth round include: No. 10 Gael Monfils, No. 24 Lucas Pouille and Marcos Baghdatis.

In women’s action, the most dramatic match of the day saw eighth seeded American Madison Keys rally from 1-5 down in the third set to survive Japanese player Naomi Osaka 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (3). The 21-year-old American said it was her best comeback win. She said: “For sure. Hands down.”

“No matter what the score was, it was always just trying to get back in the match. Once I was able to get a little bit of momentum I felt like I found my game a bit more. At that point I knew I had to kind of step up or else I was going to be going home.”

Keys will play two-time US Open finalist and former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki for a place in the quarterfinals.

“It’s been a rough year because I haven’t been able to catch a break from injuries basically,” said the current No. 74 player in the world. “Every time I have come back something else has been hurting. Knock on wood, right now I’m feeling good. Everything is feeling good.

“I’m hoping I can keep this up for the end of the year and hopefully start fresh next year.”

Other women moving into the final 16 are No. 2 Angelique Kerber – Australian Open champion, No. 7 Roberta Vinci – who stopped Serena Williams bid for a Grand Slam last year, No. 13 Johanna Konta, Two-time Wimbledon champion No. 14 Petra Kvitova, Anastasija Sevastova and Lesia Tsurenko.


Related Articles:

Jack Sock Rallies From Two Sets Down to Beat Marin Cilic; John Isner Also Wins, Gives USA 2-0 Lead in Davis Cup Quarterfinal

Day 5 of the US Open – In Their Own Words



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.

US Players go 10-13 on Day 1 of the US Open

(August 29, 2016) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY -Thirty-nine players are representing the United States are playing in the US Open this year. Americans went 10-13 on day one of the US Open with a few five-set struggles for seeded men.

No. 20 seed John Isner had to rally past countryman 18-year-old wild card Frances Tiafoe 3-6, 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2, 7-6 (3) in 3 hours and 27 minutes on the new Grandstand court. The 125th-ranked Tiafoe served for the match at 5-3 in the fifth set, but could not close it out.

“Experience is definitely on my side in that match, but sometimes experience is overrated,” Isner said .

“You know, I think in that instance I actually probably played the best return game I played all match.

“You know, he played very well, I thought, and he earned everything up to that point for sure. I just tried to stick with it. Was able to get back into that set at 5-4.

“Actually, even though I was pretty haggard out there, I got a jolt of energy when I got it back to 5-4.”

“Serving for it I thought I definitely had it,” said Tiefoe. “I thought I definitely thought the match was over, but he played a good return game. Didn’t make that many first serves that game. Probably should have played a higher percentage, but it’s tough.”

“Toughest loss of my career so far for sure. But, you know, think I’m getting over it now a little bit. I mean, not much to really say. It’s tough. I was so excited serving for it 5-3; the crowd is going nuts; I’m going nuts. You have so much adrenaline going.

“Come up a little short, it hurts.”

No. 26 seed Jack Sock stopped the comeback of fellow American and last year’s US Open Boys singles champion Taylor Fritz 7-6 (3), 7-5, 3-6, 1-6, 6-4. Sock made 73 errors in the win.

“Two for two,” said Sock who also beat the teenager in five-sets at the Australian Open. “Yeah, today was obviously a back-and-forth match. Two sets my way, two sets his way and then a battle in the fifth, but just happy to get through.

“I thought I came out and I thought I returned well the whole match. He’s got a great serve. He can really pop the first serve. Can’t be spotted well. It’s tough. I was able to get on a lot of second serves and put pressure on him I think. That paid off in the fifth getting up two breaks. Obviously didn’t help me too much when I gave them right back.”

Jack Sock withstood Taylor Fritz’s repeated comebacks to win the second five-set match between American men Monday at the U.S. Open.

Olympian Brian Baker using a protected ranking of No. 56 due to injuries, lost a five-set match for the first time after going up two sets to none when he fell to Argentina’s Federico Delbonis 3-6, 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-2,6-2.

“Anytime you lose a slam match it’s tough on the soul,” Baker said.

Despite his ups and downs with injuries, Baker still keeps going on. “I still enjoy playing,” he said. “Obviously it’s not much fun to lose a match like that, but I’m still trying to make my way back this year. When you are out as long as I have, only 8 months back and I really wasn’t as fit as I really wanted to be until May So really just trying to get my feet back under me so it’s really disappointing to lose a match like that. I know I should be getting better and better as the year goes on and into next year.”

Another heart-breaking five-set loss coming after going two sets up was wild card Mackenzie McDonald who won both the NCAA singles and doubles titles while attending UCLA. The  former Bruin lost to Czech Jan Satral 4-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2. This was the American’s debut at a major.

“I think there’s more positives to take from this match. Just thinking more about the experience,” he said. “You know that was my debut, I went five sets, my first five-set match. I think that this is just a long process. I think I’ve learned so much from doing this and experiencing this.”

McDonald plans to play challenger events to build his ranking up.

USTA Pro Circuit Challenge Winner Ernesto Escobedo Wins First Round Match at US Open for First Match Win at a Major

American qualifier Taylor Townsend had former World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki in trouble after winning the first set in the first-ever match on the new Grandstand. Wozniacki pulled it out 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 but Townsend the former No. 1 junior said she had chances.

“That really stings. I had so many chances,” said the Georgian.

“Overall, I just have to take the positive from it. This is definitely not satisfying for me. I want to continue, go back out, I mean, if I could I’d go back out on the practice court now. That’s just how I feel. Just to get better because I know that I’m so close.
“So that was just — that match proved a lot to me today, but I’m not satisfied at all.”

“There are a lot of different points that I feel like if I could have done something different or if I made a different decision that it could have maybe changed the outcome.

“Instead of getting broken, could have got broken. Instead of being down 30, could have been up 15-30 or 15-all. But that’s tennis. There are so many points during the match where it can go either way. You have to make a decision in a split second. Sometimes you make the right decision; sometimes you make the wrong decision.

“I have to learn from it. I can pick apart the match and tell you every little thing, but overall I’m just going to assess it, watch the film, learn from it, and keep moving.”
The USTA Girls’ 18s national champion Kayla Day from Santa Barbara Calif., won her first main draw match at a major when US countrywoman Madison Brengle retire with Day leading 6-2, 4-2. Day earned a spot in the US Open as the Girls National champion.


“There were a lot of nerves in the warm-up and first game, but after the first couple of games, I just felt really comfortable out there…. happy with that, she said. “It’s not always the best way to win, but I was happy with the way I was playing, and I was in control of the match.

“All my life, I dreamed about playing here, so I just told myself to go out and enjoy it today, that it would a good experience, no matter the result.”

Cathering “CiCi” Bellis, who made a splash in the 2014 US Open when as a 15-year-old she been seeded player Dominika Cibulkova is now two for two in first round matches at the US Open. Now 17, the qualifier beat Switzerland’s Viktorija Golubic 6-2, 6-3.

Bellis talkd about the virtues of coming through qualifying:

“I think just playing actually three matches made me so much more comfortable, and knowing the surface of the courts and just playing on the courts in general is I think a big advantage for me.

“I think it’s better for me to come through qualifying rather than getting just a wildcard.”


Singles Results of United States players:

(26) Jack Sock d. Taylor Fritz 7-6(3), 7-5, 3-6, 1-6, 6-4

(DEN)Caroline Wozniacki(DEN) d. (Q)Taylor Townsend 4-6, 6-3, 6-4

(20) John Isner d. (WC) Frances Tiafoe 3-6, 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-2, 7-6(3)

(13) (GBR)Johanna Konta(GBR) d. Bethanie Mattek-Sands[WC] 6-3, 6-3

(24) (SUI)Belinda Bencic d. Samantha Crawford 6-7(6) 6-3, 6-4

Federico Delbonis(ARG) d. Brian Baker 3-6, 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-2, 6-2

(JPN)Naomi Osaka d. (28) Coco Vandeweghe 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-4

(WC) Kayla Day d. Madison Brengle 6-2, 4-2 ret.

(Q)Catherine “CiCi” Bellis d. (SUI) Viktorija Golubic 6-2, 6-3

(WC) Ernesto Escobedo d. (SVK) Lukas Lacko 6-4, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3

(RUS) Evgeniya Rodina(RUS) d. (WC) Danielle Collins 6-1, 6-2

(ARG) Guido Pella d.(WC) Bjorn Fratangelo 6-3, 6-4, 6-4

Christina McHale d. (GER)Mona Barthel 6-2, 6-2

Shelby Rogers d. (27) (ITA) Sara Errani 6-4, 7-6(3)

(TUR) Cagla Buyukakcay(TUR) d. Irina Falconi 6-2, 6-1

(CZE)(Q)Jan Satral d. Mackenzie McDonald[WC] 4-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2

(WC)Lauren Davis d. (BLR) Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-2, 4-6, 7-5

(Q) Ryan Harrison d. (FRA) Adrian Mannarino 6-4, 7-6(5), 6-3

(8) Madison Keys d. Alison Riske 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-2


Madison Keys Wins Birmingham for Second Career WTA Crown

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - JUNE 19: Madison Keys of United States celebrates with the Maud Watson trophy after her victory in the Women's Singles Final on day seven of the WTA Aegon Classic at Edgbaston Priory Club on June 19, 2016 in Birmingham, England.  (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images for LTA) Used by permission Getty/LTA

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – JUNE 19: Madison Keys of United States celebrates with the Maud Watson trophy after her victory in the Women’s Singles Final on day seven of the WTA Aegon Classic at Edgbaston Priory Club on June 19, 2016 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images for LTA) Used by permission Getty/LTA

(June 19, 2016) American Madison Keys is the new Aegon Classic Birmingham singles champion after an emphatic 63 64 victory over Barbora Strycova at the Edgbaston Priory Club on Sunday.

Victory at the WTA Premier event marked a second grasscourt title on British soil for Keys, who also won the Aegon International Eastbourne in 2014. She was also a quarter-finalist at Wimbledon last year and will go into this year’s Championships as contender after an impressive week in Birmingham.

“I’m feeling pretty good,” said 21-year-old Keys, ranked 16 and seeded seventh in Birmingham. “I think getting this many matches in a row was a huge opportunity that I think that can definitely help me at Wimbledon.

It definitely gives me some confidence and I would love to follow this one up with that. It feels good knowing that a lot of people who have done well here have done well at Wimbledon.”

Strycova had some consolation when she and Karolina Pliskova won the doubles title with a 63 76(1) win over Alla Kudryayseva and Vania King. The doubles final had to be moved indoors mid-match when rain returned at the end of the first set.

“She was too good today,” said Stycova of Keys’ performance in the singles final. “Of course, losing the final is always disappointing. But I played good couple matches and I beat good players on grass.”

Both players paid tribute to the Edgbaston Priory Club grounds team and the immaculate grass courts that they produced for the tournament. Keys took time after the final to thank them in person and pose for a photo with Head of Grounds David Lawrence and his team.

“The groundsmen were amazing. The fact that the court held up as well as it did, considering how much rain we got, just shows how amazing they were and how much hard work they put into this week. They were a huge part of this week.”

Ranking points and prizemoney won:
Keys: $USD146,200 and 470 ranking points
Strycova: $USD77,850 (plus $USD22,810 for the doubles) and 470 ranking points

JUNE 13 – 19 , 2016

RESULTS – JUNE 19, 2016
Women’s Singles – Final
[7] M. Keys (USA) d B. Strycova (CZE) 63 64

Women’s Doubles – Final
Ka. Pliskova (CZE) / B. Strycova (CZE) d V. King (USA) / A. Kudryavtseva (RUS) 63 76(1)

37 broadcasters from 150+ territories/markets.
832,552,743 million potential worldwide TV audience
386,646 page views on Aegon Classic Birmingham
2500 (approx.) tennis balls used
64 ballboys and girls from Bishop Challoner Catholic College, Kings Heath, Birmingham
5,000 Nature Valley protein bars
1500 towels
90 umpires, supervisors and line judges from the UK and across the World
70 volunteer stewards
40 groundstaff
35 kilos of coffee
80 litres of organic fruit juice
218 kilos of pasta

Tennis Statistics (up to and including singles final)*
Total is matches played : 73
Total games played : 1783
Total points played: 23 ,062
Total sets played : 169
Total three-set matches : 23
Total tiebreak sets played : 22
Total aces : 537
Most aces by player : Madison Keys with 35
Longest main draw match played  : 2 hrs 50 mins  Rd of 16 Carla Suarez Navarro d Andrea Petkovic 4-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(5)

*Tennis statistics courtesy of SAP – the official Cloud and Analytics Partner of the WTA

Written by Eleanor Preston



Andy Murray Gives Himself a Birthday Present While Serena Williams Wins Fourth Rome Title

Andy Murray fh

(May 15, 2016) Andy Murray gave himself a gift for his 29th birthday – a Rome Masters Series 1000 title. The Scotsman beat No. 1 Novak Djokovic 6-3, 6-3 for his 12 Masters title on Sunday.

Joining Murray in the winners circle was No. 1 Serena Williams who won the women’s singles title over Madison Keys 7-6(5), 6-3 in the first All-American women’s clay court final since Serena beat her sister Venus in the 2002 French Open final.

This was Williams’ fourth Rome title, first tournament win of 2016 and first championship title since she won the Cincinnati event last August.

Serena gets ready for bh 3112016

“It feels great,” Williams said. “So it’s not like I was playing every week. So that’s kind of how I look at it. But it feels great to win a title, especially on clay.”

Murray’s victory makes him the first British male player since 1931 to win the Italian Open. He has also secured the No. 2 seed at the upcoming French Open, which begins on May 22.

The Scotsman now is 22-5 in 2016, ending the Serb’s 17-match winning streak against Top 10 opponents.
“”It’s mostly great players have won this event, so I’m very proud to have my name on the trophy,” Murray said. “Today against Novak is nice. I know he didn’t play his best today. But there were still some tough moments for me in the second set. I saved the break points well and held strong. And overall it was a great week for me. I didn’t lose a set.”

“I had a long couple of weeks, especially the last couple of days,” Djokovic said. “I knew it’s going to be very hard for me, an uphill ride against Andy today, who was playing throughout the week at a very high level. To compete with him in long exchanges and rallies that we do have in our encounters, they require a lot more energy and better performance from my side which didn’t happen.

“Not taking anything away from Andy’s win. On the contrary, I think he deserved to win and deserved to win the entire tournament, because he was the best player. He was the player that played in the best form throughout the entire tournament.”
Serena Williams spoke to the crowd in Italian during the trophy presentation. This was her 70th career title.

The Bryan Brothers won their fourth Rome title and 36th Masters 1000 level, defeating Vasek Pospisil and Jack Sock.

“We’re sharing a room this week,,” said Bob Bryan. [Mike] fell asleep around 2:30, 2:45 a.m., because he started snoring. We drank so much coffee last night that I was wired. It was a 12-hour turnaround. Our bodies don’t turn around quickly anymore.”

“The rain delay definitely helped us,” Mike Bryan said. “Our coach [David Macpherson] was back in the locker room, where we had about 15 minutes, and he said, ‘Fire it up!’ We were kind of flat in the first set and weren’t playing with a lot of energy. We had a late match and Bob went to bed at 4 a.m. in the morning. So we were kind of dazed and confused. We were bouncing around in the second set. We played a good Match tie-break, which can go either way.”

This was the Bryan Brothers 112 tournament victory together as a team.


Djokovic and Azarenka Two Wins Away From an Indian Wells – Miami Double

(March 30, 2016) No. 1 Novak Djokovic is a match closer to claiming his sixth Miami Open title and third in a row. The Serb, dealing with back spasms on Wednesday night stopped No. 7 seed Tomas Berdych 6-3, 6-3 to reach the semifinals. His opponent will be No. 15 David Goffin of Belgium. Goffin, reaching his second straight Masters 1000 semifinal rallied past Frenchman and No. 18 seed Gilles Simon 3-6, 6-2, 6-1.

Djokovic is now 26-1 on the year. He stand two wins away from pulling off a fourth career Indian Wells – Miami double.

David Goffin

David Goffin

“Yeah, the first set it was tough because it was a good set with a good level,” Goffin said. “Gilles was really solid on his baseline, but I didn’t serve really well in the first set. I didn’t have any free points with my serve, so it was tough.

“I had so many opportunities to come back in the set. I didn’t take, yeah, any occasions to come back. I knew that the level was there and I had to keep going like this, just to stay more focus on some shots just to finish the points, some volleys, some smash, maybe some easy forehands. Maybe just be more precise, because I knew that I was feeling really good.

“Then game after game I was feeling much better. The serve was there in the third set. Yeah, I think with the serve it was the key to win the third.”

Goffin talked about his good run over the past few weeks: “I had a good level all this year during practice. I just had to reproduce my level during a match.

“I think match after match — you know, the first one against Frances Tiafoe in Indian Wells was not the best, but I won that one. Match after match was feeling much better.

“After the Davis Cup of course when I won against Marin Cilic, then match after match I was feeling much better. I won many matches in Indian Wells and here in Miami continued to win, so, yeah, I think the level is here. I have just to keep going like this. Stay aggressive.

“I worked a lot when I practiced with my coach, my two coaches. I think it’s already pays off.”

As for playing Djokovic in semifinals: “I have nothing to lose,” Goffin said. He won almost everything this year. He’s playing unbelievable tennis at the moment. But I played a great match against him last year in Cincinnati, and it could be interesting to watch the match.”

Victoria Azarenka

Victoria Azarenka

Victoria Azarenka stands two wins away from achieving the rare Indian Wells- Miami double. The 13th seed and two-time major winner defeated Britain’s Johanna Konta 6-4, 6-2 to reach the semifinals of the Miami Open on Wednesday.

Only two women have won Indian Wells and Miami in the same year and they are Kim Clijsters in 2005 and Steffi Graf in 1994 and 1996.

“If I’m able to make it, it’s great,” Azarenka said after the match. “It seems so close, but it’s really far. I want to stay in the present. I want to continue to fight and keep getting better.”

“Great player,” Azarenka said of Konta. “I was very impressed with her improvement taking from last year and seeing how well she’s handling the pressure and going in big stages and playing really well. That’s impressive. I’m sure we’re going to see a lot more of her in the future.

“I think especially for England not having women player stand out, she’s going to be the one, I think.”

I think it’s exciting to watch her journey and see happens. She’s definitely playing top 10 level right now.”

The Belarusian who has struggled with injuries the last few years said that she always believed in herself but she still hasn’t reached her peak. “I never doubt my abilities,” said the 2009 and 2011 Miami Open winner. “What came to my mind is definitely after being for so long injured, the doubt was to get healthy. So always been a little bit on my mind.

“But I still feel that I’m far from my best, and that’s what’s really exciting for me, to be motivated, to keep improving. Everybody has doubts. We’re human beings. I always trust my ability and I believe in myself.”

Azarenka will face-off against No. 2 seed Angelique Kerber who defeated No. 22 Madison Keys 6-3, 6-2 in the evening session.

For the reigning Australian Open champion, Kerber this will be her first semifinal in Miami.

Kerber dominated her American opponent, Keys made 39 unforced errors during the match. Kerber rushed need just a little over an hour to complete the victory.

“It’s nice to play a match like this,” Kerber said. “I was feeling good. Madison is always a tough opponent. I know this because we had a lot of tough battles in the past.

“I knew that I must play very good to beat her because she played very well here in the last few matches. So it’s good. It’s good.”

She continued: “I was really trying to stay focus(ed) and stay really concentrate point by point and actually trying to really only focusing on points, on point by point.

“Because I know the tennis game, and sometimes one ball can change and turn around the match. That was my goal: to be focus(ed) and playing my game until the last point.”

Kerber notched her first win over Azarenka in the most recent quarterfinals of the Australian Open. Coming into that match, the Belarusian had a 6-0 advantage over the German.

“I went out there and trying to be really aggressive from the first point, trying to really believe in myself, because until this time I never won the match against her,” Kerber said. “It was 0-6; now it’s 1-6. I will try to go out there again like in Australia and try to believe in my game and myself and, yeah, trying to challenge her.

“It will be not easy. It will be tough match. But this is for what I am practicing, for the big matches out there, to really show what, yeah, we can do and playing the best tennis.

“So I’m really looking forward to play against her again this year.”

As for playing Azarenka in the next round, Kerber said: “She had a great start of the year, of course. She is like, yeah, on fire I think right now. I will just trying to play my game go out and try to beat her. I mean, we played two times already this year and that’s the third time.

“Yeah, I will try to enjoy it. I know that I must play really my best tennis to beat her because she won Indian Wells; she’s here now in the semis.

“Yeah, I will try to take this challenge against her.”

The other semifinal which will take place on Thursday will pit No. 15 Svetlana Kuznetsova, who defeated No. 1 Serena Williams in the third round, against No. 19 seed Timea Bacsinszky who knocked out two straight top 5 seeds to reach the final four.



21 MARCH – 3 APRIL, 2016

RESULTS – MARCH 30, 2016
Women’s Singles – Quarterfinals
[2] A. Kerber (GER) d [22] M. Keys (USA) 63 62
[13] V. Azarenka (BLR) d [24] J. Konta (GBR) 64 62

Women’s Doubles – Quarterfinals
[3] B. Mattek-Sands (USA) / L. Safarova (CZE) d [5] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE) 75 63
[4] T. Babos (HUN) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ) d K. Bondarenko (UKR) / O. Savchuk (UKR) 62 64
[8] Y. Xu (CHN) / S. Zheng (CHN) d E. Makarova (RUS) / B. Strycova (CZE) 62 62

Men’s Singles – Quarterfinals
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) d [7] T. Berdych (CZE) 63 63
[15] D. Goffin (BEL) d [18] G. Simon (FRA) 36 62 61

Doubles – Quarterfinals
[4] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) d [WC] O. Jasika (AUS) / J. Smith (AUS) 76(5) 63
[5] P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA) d J. Chardy (FRA) / F. Martin (FRA) 67(5) 76(5) 10-7
R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA) d P. Petzschner (GER) / A. Peya (AUT) 76(5) 57 10-7
T. Huey (PHI) / M. Mirnyi (BLR) d J. Isner (USA) / N. Monroe (USA) 61 75


STADIUM start 1:00 pm
WTA – [15] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) vs [19] T. Bacsinszky (SUI)

Not Before 3:00 pm
ATP – [6] K. Nishikori (JPN) vs [16] G. Monfils (FRA)

7:00 pm
ATP – [12] M. Raonic (CAN) vs [24] N. Kyrgios (AUS)

Not Before 9:00 pm
WTA – [13] V. Azarenka (BLR) vs [2] A. Kerber (GER)

GRANDSTAND start 1:00 pm
ATP – [5] P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA) vs [4] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA)

Not Before 5:00 pm
ATP – R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA) vs T. Huey (PHI) / M. Mirnyi (BLR)


Konta Becomes First British Woman to Reach Australian Open Quarterfinals in 32 Years: Keys Loses


(January 25, 2016) Johanna Konta’s Australian Open run continued on Monday, when the world No. 47 came back to knock out 21st seed Ekaterina Makarova 4-6, 6-4, 8-6 to reach the quarterfinals. Konta became the first British woman to reach the elite 8 of a major since Jo Durie did it in 1983.

Konta, making her Australian Open debut this year, upset No. 8 Venus Williams in the first round.

The Sydney-born Konta served for the match twice – she was broken at 5-4, but held her nerve and her serve to win 8-6 in the final set.

Konta came into Melbourne ranked 47th in the world.

Konta hit 37 winners in the match.

“Mentally, emotionally, physically…. I left it all out there, ” Konta said in her on-court interview.

“I’m going to eat and sleep, eat and sleep and repeat,” Konta said of her next match.

“I really enjoyed the match for what it was,” Konta told media. “It was a very high-level match against a very, very good player. I took it as such.

“I didn’t put any more on it. It was definitely one of the more spectacular matches I’ve played. There have been a few. I still remember a junior match I played and I lost 12-10 in the third. That’s definitely still in my mind.

“In my adult career it was, yeah, one of the memorable ones.”

Konta will play Shaui Zhang in her quarterfinal.

“I played Zhang a couple of times,” Konta said. “Actually both times were very good matches. I’ve never played Madison before.

“I mean, we’re talking about a quarterfinal of a Grand Slam, so whoever I’m going to play it’s going to be an incredibly good player. Right now I’m just looking forward to just recovering well and having a good night’s rest.

“Whoever I’m playing, prepare to the best of my ability.”

“This journey started when I was about eight years old, so we’re coming up to 18 years now,” said the British woman.

“I’ve always said I do not believe in kind of a light switch moment. Everything happens for a reason. My journey has been the way it has been for a reason. That’s to accumulate the experiences that I’ve had.

“I cannot give you a moment where I said, Oh, yeah, that’s where it started, because it’s been ongoing ever since I started playing.”

Shuai Zhang continued her run in Melbourne which began in the qualifying tournament. Zhang defeated a hobbled Madison Keys 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 to reach the final eighth.

Keys had to take a medical time out in the second set for an upper leg injury which had to be heavily taped. After that, the American’s movement was hampered.

The 133rd-ranked Zhang came into this year’s Australian Open 0-14 in majors.

“It’s so tough to play against someone injury because, yeah, when I’m saw her like feel more pain,” Zhang said. “You know, so tough. Maybe two point you feeling like cannot play, and then next three balls, pong, pong, pong, make two ace, one winner. So, so tough. You don’t know what’s happen.

“And also last year this happen many times. I’m almost win the match. I lost. I lost the concentrate. But this time I think I try to concentrate. So I’m happy I win the match, yeah.”



Related articles:

Qualifier Zhang’s Run Continues into Fourth Round of the Australian Open

Qualifier Zhang Shuai Topples Second Seed Simona Halep at Australian Open

Johanna Konta Upsets No. 8 Venus Williams in First Round of the Australian Open



Murray Wins, Ivanovic Loses as Nigel Sears Collapses in the Stands


(January 23, 2016) Nigel Sears, father-in-law to Andy Murray and coach of Ana Ivanovic became ill during Ivanovic’s match against Madison Keys on Saturday. Ivanovic lost to Keys 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, while Murray defeated Joao Sousa 6-2, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 to reach the fourth round.

The No. 2 seed Murray will play Bernard Tomic in the round of 16.

Ivanovic was leading Keys 6-4, 1-0 when he collapsed and was taken to a nearby hospital. The match was delayed for almost an hour and the players went off court until play resumed.

Keys evened up the match be taking the second set. Ivanovic jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the final set, but Keys rebounded winning six of the next seven games to close out the match.

Andy Murray, Ana Ivanovic and Madison Keys in lieu of having news conferences gave statements after their respective matches. There were no on-court interviews:


Ana Ivanovic:

What would you like to say?
ANA IVANOVIC: Obviously it was a tough match. I played so well. First set, I won it. I felt like I produced some good games, created some opportunities. But she came back strong with a very powerful game.

I thought the third set she served better than me. She could get more on the first shot because of the serve. I felt that was the big difference in the third set.

Obviously the atmosphere and the crowd throughout the whole match was definitely supporting you a lot. Did you feel that?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, definitely. As soon as we walked on the court, that was amazing feeling. Yeah, I really wanted to win and have a chance to come back. The crowd was just really amazing don’t.

Despite not winning the match, have you been encouraged by the form you’ve shown here?
ANA IVANOVIC: Definitely it was a good match from the beginning on. It was a high level. Like I said, she came out with some firing strokes towards the end of that match. She stepped it up. It went her way.

Obviously a little bit disappointed but a lot to look forward to.


Madison Keys:

Great comeback. Talk us through how that match went for you.
MADISON KEYS: Yeah, I had chances in the first set. Wasn’t really able to convert. Had one bad service game. Then kind of just a battle throughout the whole second set. A little bit of slow start in the third.

I managed to kind of get it back and figure it out, fight back and get the win.

What did you tell yourself towards the end of the second set when you were down?
MADISON KEYS: I think it was just, you know, try to get one more ball, one more ball; just stay in it; make her win it and not give it to her.

You love playing in Australia. You did well here last year. Great crowd support. What is it about the Australian Open that makes you perform so well?
MADISON KEYS: You know, I love whenever I come here, every city I visit. It’s one of my favorites. I just think Australians are so welcoming. I think after last year, I kind of created somewhat of a fan base.

Coming back to that is always great. Even tonight, even playing Aussie Ana, I definitely had some of my own fans.

Talk about your potential two opponents, Zhang and Lepchenko.
MADISON KEYS: You know, Lepchenko, I’ve played her a couple of times. We’re both from the States. I know her well. I don’t know if we’ve ever played a match. Yeah, we have. She beat me. She can be tough and crafty.

Zhang, we’re so happy for her now. She’s won not only one, but two main draw matches. That’s great for her. I haven’t played her since three, four years now. Obviously she’s playing well if she’s had the upsets that she’s had, so either match will be tough.


Andy Murray:

How do you feel the match went?
ANDY MURRAY: I thought I struggled. At the beginning I think he was extremely aggressive, very intense.

You know, so he was getting into position to dictate a lot of points with his forehand. Once I started to hit the ball a little bit cleaner towards the end of the match I was able to get him in his backhand corner and dictate more of the points.

It was tricky. I didn’t feel great. You know, the match against Groth, though I returned well; I didn’t get to hit that many groundstrokes; didn’t feel I was in a great rhythm; wasn’t hitting the ball clean at the start.

He was hitting the ball great, close to the lines, and making me do a lot of running.

Yeah, I just tried to keep fighting. At the end I was actually hitting the ball well and felt better at the end. It was good to get through that one.