2015/07/03

2015 French Open Men’s Contender Profiles – Fast Facts with Jack Cunniff

(May 23, 2015) Profiles of the top Men’s Singles contenders for the 2015 French Open. Note: Grand Slam records for main draw matches only.  – by Jack Cunniff     http://twitter.com/jrcunniff

 

 

Novak Djokovic

2015 Record: 35-2

Grand Slam Record: 187-33

French Open Record: 42-10

French Open Best Result: RU (2012, ‘14)

Fast Fact: Djokovic’s 42 match wins at Roland Garros are the most in the Open Era among men who have never won the title.

 

Roger Federer

2015 Record: 25-5

Grand Slam Record: 281-46

French Open Record: 61-15

French Open Best Result: Won (2009)

Fast Fact: By winning Istanbul, Federer ended a streak of 11 straight claycourt events that he had lost.

 

Andy Murray

2015 Record: 31-5

Grand Slam Record: 140-34

French Open Record: 23-7

French Open Best Result: SF (2011, ‘14)

Fast Fact: Murray hasn’t lost prior to the quarterfinals in a Grand Slam event since the 2010 U.S. Open (3R, Wawrinka).

 

Tomas Berdych

2015 Record: 32-9

Grand Slam Record: 108-46

French Open Record: 17-11

French Open Best Result: SF (2010)

Fast Fact: Since the 2014 U.S. Open, Berdych has reached the quarterfinals in 14 of his last 15 events (l. to Andujar, 1R Valencia).

 

Kei Nishikori

2015 Record: 31-7

Grand Slam Record: 41-22

French Open Record: 5-4

French Open Best Result: 4R (2013)

Fast Fact: In 2015, Nishikori has a winning record (7-6) when losing the opening set of the match.

 

Rafael Nadal

2015 Record: 25-9

Grand Slam Record: 191-26

French Open Record: 66-1

French Open Best Result: Won (2005-08, 2010-14)

Fast Fact: Nadal is attempting to win his 6th consecutive French Open, which would give him the longest Grand Slam title streak of any man in the Open Era.

 

David Ferrer

2015 Record: 32-7

Grand Slam Record: 124-49

French Open Record: 36-12

French Open Best Result: RU (2013)

Fast Fact: In the opening round of the French Open, Ferrer will attempt to win his 300th career claycourt match.

 

Stan Wawrinka

2015 Record: 22-8

Grand Slam Record: 87-39

French Open Record: 20-10

French Open Best Result: QF (2013)

Fast Fact: Since starting the year 14-1, with two titles, Wawrinka has since compiled an 8-7 record, reaching the semifinals in one of six events.

 

Marin Cilic

2015 Record: 4-6

Grand Slam Record: 63-27

French Open Record: 13-8

French Open Best Result: 4R (2009, ‘10)

Fast Fact:   Dating back to 2014, Cilic has lost 9 of his last 13 matches.

 

Grigor Dimitrov

2015 Record: 18-10

Grand Slam Record: 23-18

French Open Record: 3-4

French Open Best Result: 3R (2013)

Fast Fact: Dimitrov has lost his opening round match only twice since the start of 2014 (2014 Cincinnati, 2014 Roland Garros), the same amount of opening round losses as Federer, and one fewer than Nadal.

 

Feliciano Lopez

2015 Record: 14-11

Grand Slam Record: 76-53

French Open Record: 8-14

French Open Best Result: 4R (2004)

Fast Fact: The 2015 French Open marks Lopez’ 53rd consecutive appearance in a Grand Slam event, placing him fourth all-time in the Open Era (trailing Federer, Wayne Ferreira, and Stefan Edberg).

 

Gilles Simon

2015 Record: 20-10

Grand Slam Record: 58-35

French Open Record: 13-9

French Open Best Result: 4R (2011, ‘13)

Fast Fact: Six of Simon’s last 10 matches at Roland Garros, including his last three losses, have gone to five sets.

 

Gael Monfils

2015 Record: 19-8

Grand Slam Record: 68-33

French Open Record: 25-9

French Open Best Result: SF (2008)

Fast Fact: Monfils has earned seven wins in Grand Slam events over Top Ten opponents, five of those have come at Roland Garros.

 

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

2015 Record: 6-5

Grand Slam Record: 84-28

French Open Record: 20-7

French Open Best Result: SF (2013)

Fast Fact: Since defeating four consecutive Top Ten opponents (Djokovic, Murray, Dimitrov, Federer) to win the 2014 Canadian Open, Tsonga has compiled a 12-11 match record, and has gone 0-7 vs. Top Twenty.

 

Kevin Anderson

2015 Record: 19-12

Grand Slam Record: 33-24

French Open Record: 9-5

French Open Best Result: 4R (2013-14)

Fast Fact: Anderson has lost to a higher ranked opponent in 9 of his last 10 Grand Slam events (l. to Baghdatis, 2013 U.S. Open).

 

John Isner

2015 Record: 18-12

Grand Slam Record: 39-27

French Open Record: 8-6

French Open Best Result: 4R (2014)

Fast Fact: Isner is the only payer other than Djokovic to force Nadal into a fifth set at Roland Garros.

 

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Novak Djokovic Could Face Rafael Nadal in the French Open Quarterfinals

RG mens draw

(May 22, 2015) Friday’s Roland Garros draw has nine-time champion Rafael Nadal projected to face No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals. Nadal, who is now No. 7 in the world is the sixth seed at the French Open this year.

Nadal who is 66-1 on the red clay of Paris, comes into the French Open this year with five clay court losses and no clay titles.

Djokovic comes into Paris seeking the last major prize he’s yet to earn – a French Open crown. The Serb not only has Nadal on his side of the draw, but also No. 3 Andy Murray, David Ferrer and 10th seed Grigor Dimitrov.

Potential men’s quarterfinals:

Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal

Andy Murray vs David Ferrer

Tomas Berdych vs Kei Nishikori

Stan Wawrinka vs Roger Federer

 

Men’s Draw

 

As for the women, No. 1 Serena Williams could have a challenging road ahead of her. The two-time champion could face No. 27 seed Victoria Azarenka in the third round, her sister Venus or Sloane Stephens in the fourth round, friend Caroline Wozniacki in the quarterfinals, with Petra Kvitova in the semifinals.

Serena Williams will play a qualifier in the opening round, while her Venus will face Sloane Stephens.

 

Potential Women’s Quarterfinals:

Serena Williams vs Caroline Wozniacki

Eugenie Bouchard vs Petra Kvitova

Ana Ivanovic vs Simona Halep

Maria Sharapova vs Carla Suarez Navarro

 

Women’s Draw

 

 

The French Open begins on Sunday, May 24.

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Novak Djokovic Beats Roger Federer for Fourth Rome Title

Djokovic Rome

(May 17, 2015) A week ahead of Roland Garros and No. 1 Novak Djokovic is perfect on clay courts this year. He added to this year’s clay court resume with 75 minute 6-4, 6-3 title defense win over No. 2 Roger Federer to claim his fourth title at the Italian Open. It’s also the Serb’s 24 Masters Series 1000 tournament win, one ahead of Federer and three behind overall leader Rafael Nadal at 27.

The win, his fifth championship of the season, was his 35th career title which extended his current win streak to 22. He has a 37-match win streak at the majors and Masters 1000 events going back to the Paris Indoors last year.

Speaking in Italian of the crowd after the victory, Djokovic said: “It was a great week and today was my best match. It’s always a pleasure to play against Roger and obviously I’m very pleased by today. Along with 2011, this is the best year of my career. I don’t know how (to) continue at Roland Garros but obviously I have a lot of confidence. I hope I can continue like this.”

“I was able to find my way through. Roger put a lot of pressure on my service game at 4-4, but I managed to respond well, to gain those break points, move him around the court, and then I played a couple of great points that gave me the set” Djokovic said to media. “When you’re a set up, the momentum is shifting to your side and you start to feel better.

“The fact that I have managed to win so many matches in a row gives me a reason to believe I can do it again… I want to keep going as long as I can. I don’t want to think fear or everything else can be an obstacle and interrupt this streak. I always try to do my best no matter what is the tournament. This kind of mindset has helped me to be where I am. If I can repeat what I did in 2011? I don’t know. There are things out of your control. What you can influence is the present and how you can get in the position to do well in the future.”

“I know I can play better,” Federer said of the loss. “Novak was rock solid today, he played great throughout. He made very few unforced errors. He was able to take that opportunity that presented itself. I’m happy, feeling good and healthy.”

For Federer who has never won in Rome, it was his fourth loss in a final in 15 tournament appearances.

Djokovic heads into French Open next weekend focusing on the only major title he has never won.

“I don’t think I need to go and do anything more special for Roland Garros,” Djokovic said. “I just need to keep going on route.”

The Serb has won the Australian Open and four of the five Masters events this year, all of those he played in – Indian Wells, Miami, Monte Carlo and Rome.

He is 35-2 on the year, with his last loss coming to Federer at the end of February in the Dubai final. He is 14-1 against Top 10 opponents this year

The only drama for the world No. 1 came on this day came after the trophy presentation when a champagne cork popped and hit Djokovic in the forehead.

“We had an argument, Mr. Champagne and I,” Djokovic said. “He threw a punch and I won’t forget it.”

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Djokovic and Federer to Meet in Rome Final

228 Federer Djokovic handshake-001

(May 16, 2015) Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic will meet in the Italian Open final on Sunday. No. 1 Djokovic downed David Ferrer 6-4, 6-4 while Federer came back from 0-3 in the first set to beat Swiss countryman Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 6-2.

The women’s final in Rome will feature two-time former champion Maria Sharapova against Carla Suarez Navarro. Sharapova beat Russian qualifier Daria Gavrilova 7-5, 6-3 while Suarez Navarro rallied past No. 2 seed Simona Halep 2-6, 6-3, 7-5. The win for Sharapova means she’ll move back up to No. 2 in the rankings on Monday and will be the second seed for the French Open.

“We were breaking serve all the time, but it’s because we were both returning very well,” Suárez Navarro said. “It was tough for me, it was tough for Simona – but I’m really happy with the way I finished the match today.

“I’ve been practicing really hard during the whole season, and I’m playing with a lot of confidence right now. I’m playing more aggressively, which is important when you’re playing the top players.”

Federer will be seeking to win a Masters event he’s never won on Sunday. This is the fourth time he’s reached the finalThe No. 2 player has never won Monte Carlo either.

“I just like winning a title. Now OK, this is Rome, and it’s one I’ve never won so you might think it’s extra special but for some reason it’s not for me,” Federer said.

“Stan played well in the first set,” said Federer. “In the second set he had a sort of breakdown. He wasn’t serving his best. I was definitely able to take advantage of it.”

Both Djokovic and Federer had some concerns about the court which had holes. Federer’s feet were stuck in a hole and could not turn around to take a shot.

“In a couple of places the holes are really deep,” Djokovic said. “If you slide and get into that hole you can twist an ankle easily. It’s dangerous to play in these conditions.”

Federer and Djokovic will be meeting for the 39th time, with Federer leading the head-two-head 20-18.

Sharapova leads Suarez Navarro 3-1.

 

 

RESULTS – MAY 16, 2015

WTA Singles – Semifinals

[10] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) d [2] S. Halep (ROU) 26 63 75
[3] M. Sharapova (RUS) d [Q] D. Gavrilova (RUS) 75 63


WTA Doubles – Semifinals

[1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) d [4] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) 62 76(5)
[3] T. Babos (HUN) / K. Mladenovic (FRA) d [8] A. Kudryavtseva (RUS) / A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 62 63

ATP Singles – Semifinals
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) d [7] D. Ferrer (ESP) 64 64
[2] R. Federer (SUI) d [8] S. Wawrinka (SUI) 64 62

ATP Doubles – Semifinals
[5] M. Granollers (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP) d N. Kyrgios (AUS) / J. Sock (USA) 61 36 11-9
P. Cuevas (URU) / D. Marrero (ESP) d K. Anderson (RSA) / J. Chardy (FRA) 64 64

SCHEDULE – SUNDAY, 17 MAY 2015

CENTRALE start 11:00
WTA DOUBLES FINAL – [1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) vs [3] T. Babos (HUN) / K. Mladenovic (FRA)
Not Before 1:30 pm
WTA SINGLES FINAL – [3] M. Sharapova (RUS) vs [10] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP)
Not Before 4:00 pm
ATP SINGLES FINAL – [1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [2] R. Federer (SUI)

PIETRANGELI start 2:30 pm
ATP DOUBLES FINAL – P. Cuevas (URU) / D. Marrero (ESP) vs [5] M. Granollers (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP)

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Novak Djokovic Wins Monte Carlo for 23rd Masters Series Tournament Victory

(April 19, 2015) Novak Djokovic made some ATP history on Sunday in claiming his second Monte Carlo Masters tournament win. He defeated Czech Tomas Berdych 7-5, 4-6,6-3.

The world’s No. 1 tennis player has become the first player to sweep the opening three Masters Series events in a season. The 27-year-old Serb who resides in Monte Carlo took home trophies in Indian Wells and Miami as well. He is has won the last four Masters tournaments going back to Bercy in the fall of 2014.

“The fact that now I won three Masters in a row, that nobody ever has done that, that has given me, even this week, more motivation,” said the winner.

The win also extended Djokovic’s winning streak to 17 straight boosting his overall record on the year to 30-2. He is now 19-2 against Berdych.

“Obviously I’m experiencing the time of my life on the tennis court, and also private life is very good,” Djokovic said. “I became a father. I’m just trying to sometimes pinch myself and say, ‘Where am I at this point in my life?’ I’m very grateful for this, for everything that I have. That’s the kind of philosophy.

“I won this match with my heart and with battle. That’s how I feel like I won it. I don’t think I played at the level that I wish to play and that I have played throughout the whole week. But also credit to Tomas because he has played very aggressively, staying close to the line, pushing me back. So I had to defend a lot of times.”

Djokovic is now more than 5000 ranking points ahead of No. 2 Roger Federer. He has now equaled Federer in the number of Masters tournament wins at 23, four behind Rafael Nadal who holds the record.

The one major trophy which has eluded his grasp has been Roland Garros, the French Open. After defeating nine-time French Open champion Nadal in the Monte Carlo semifinal on Saturday, the 8-time major champion discussed the rest of the season.

“I think the most important period of the year is coming up right now,” Djokovic said. “Obviously Roland Garros and Wimbledon are the priority. That’s where I want to perform my best. But we’ll take it step by step and see how far I can go.”

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Novak Djokovic Defeats Rafael Nadal to Reach Monte Carlo Final

(April 18, 2015) Novak Djokovic extended his current winning streak to 16 matches with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Rafael Nadal in the semifinals of the Monte Carlo Masters on Saturday in one hour and 37 minutes.

No. 1 Djokovic will meet Tomas Berdych in final on Sunday. Berdych dismissed Gael Monfils 6-1, 6-3 earlier in the day

The Djokovic – Nadal semifinal was much closer than the score indicated. In the first set Djokovic had to rebound from 0-2 with points to go down 0-3, taking six of the last seven games to claim the first set.

In the second set, Djokovic broke serve in the seventh game, after the 8-time Monte Carlo champion Nadal led 40-0. The Serb ended the match with a second break of serve in the set.

Djokovic hit 23 winners to 19 unforced errors in match to the Spaniard’s 20 winners and 20 errors.

Djokovic is now 10-1 against Top ten opponents in 2015. Djokovic has improved his head-to-head record against Nadal to 20-23.

Djokovic will be looking to claim his fourth straight Masters Series title and second Monte Carlo crown on Sunday.
RESULTS – SATURDAY, 18 APRIL 2015

Singles – Semi-Finals
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) d [3] R. Nadal (ESP) 63 63
[6] T. Berdych (CZE) d [14] [WC] G. Monfils (FRA) 61 64

Doubles – Semi-finals
[1] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) d [4] M. Matkowski (POL) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) 64 62
S. Bolelli (ITA) / F. Fognini (ITA) d [2] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA) 76(6) 63

SCHEDULE – SUNDAY, 19 APRIL 2015

COURT CENTRAL start 11:30 am
[1] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) vs S. Bolelli (ITA) / F. Fognini (ITA)

Not Before 2:30 pm
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [6] T. Berdych (CZE)

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Novak Djokovic Beats Andy Murray for Fifth Miami Title

 

NovakDjokovicLockerroomwithtrophyTPN-001

(April 5, 2015) Novak Djokovic won his fifth Miami Open title on Sunday to become the first player to complete an Indian Wells – Miami Open double three times. With Djokovic’s 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-0 victory over Andy Murray, he became the first player ever to win the Indian Wells – Miami double in back-to-back years.

“Well, it’s obviously nice and flattering to hear that I have achieved another record,” Djokovic. “Of course I do pay attention of that. Any kind of achievement that goes into history books I’m hugely proud of and I appreciate it very much, because I work hard for it and I do cherish it.

“Again, it’s not something that obviously takes away my discipline. It just allows me to motivate myself even more. Just going to try and keep the same routine and mindset so far which helped me to achieve all these results.”

World No. 1 Djokovic broke Murray five times in the over two-and-a-half hour match in which he won his 22nd Masters Series crown. It is the 27-year-old Serb’s fifth Miami tournament victory.

“It was just very tough, brutal conditions for both of us,” Djokovic said about the hot conditions on the court.

“First set was really up and down for both of us, and we tried to stay mentally tough, both of us, and kind of hang in there, battle, and wear down the other player physically.

Mubadala World Tennis Championship

“There were lots of exchanges, a lot of long rallies. I was expecting that coming into the match, but one thing is to really expect and the other is to really experience it and really go through it on the court.

“So wasn’t easy, but as I said, it was the same for both players. I played a good tiebreak; managed to hang in there. Wasn’t really a great tennis display. A lot of unforced errors.

“But in these conditions you just want to try to stay with the other player and extend the punching exchange and try to wait for the opportunities. I did have some opportunities in the beginning of the second set where I maybe could have gotten the break and maybe win the match in straight sets, but he came back. He played better in the second.

“Then the third the beginning was, again, important part. First two games were pretty long. I managed to win those. After that, I felt like he was getting tired. That’s where the momentum was on my side.

“But generally it was just a physical battle between the two of us that play similar game. You know, we haven’t served that well, so we haven’t had that many free points, as a matter of fact. With first or second serve we needed to earn every single point, to work for it.

“That’s why this particular match was very tough.”

“I struggled physically,” Murray said. “I mean, yeah, I played very well for a couple of sets. Maybe I could have done a little bit better in the tiebreak in the first set.”

“I feel like when I play well against Novak the matches tend to be pretty physical, long, grueling matches. It’s tough, but, I mean, that’s what part of being a professional athlete is, is dealing with those different conditions and making those adjustments.”

Asked about what makes Djokovic difficult to play against Murray said: “He serves well, he runs well, he moves exceptionally well. Physically he’s in great shape; he hits the ball well off both sides.

“So, yeah, he does most things on the tennis court well. That’s why he’s the No. 1 player in the world just now.

“In terms of game‑wise, I feel like in a couple of the matches we played this year I feel like I’ve been able to hang with him, but just not quite for long enough unfortunately.

“Yeah, I need to try to work out why that is. Like I say, I can’t do loads more than what I’m doing to get myself in the best condition possible.”

For Djokovic, it’s his seventh straight win over the Brit, raising his overall head-to-head record to 18-8. Murray who will be getting married in Scotland on Saturday, will move up in the rankings on Monday to world No 3.

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Serena Williams, Djokovic, Suarez Navarro and Isner Advance in Miami

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(April 2, 2015) Serena Williams will attempt to win her eighth Miami Open title on Saturday. The 19-time major champion won a two-hour-and seven minute semifinal thriller on Thursday night over third seed Simona Halep 6-2, 4-6, 7-5. Williams will face 12th seed Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain the title.

“I made so many errors and I was like `Serena, just come to the net at this point, because that’s the only thing that was working for me,'” Williams said. “I’m just really happy to get through that. It was actually a really fun match and I was able to come out and play here tonight.”

“I just tried to make some shots and I tried to go for some big shots,” Williams continued. “I thought, I’m just going to go for winners. Even though I’m missing most of them, I’m still going to go for them.”

“I just made more errors than I did in my last match, which I thought was impossible. I’m just not at my best level right now and it’s a little frustrating.

“I’m not serving well. I am serving at 40%. Yeah, so it hasn’t been my best of times. But, yeah, so that’s just the only frustrating part.

“And I’m a perfectionist, so if I don’t get it right I just want to keep trying.”

 

Simona Halep

Simona Halep

Halep said: “I was close. I saw that I can win against her. I can play like until the end against her. I was a bit tired in the end, but it’s normal. I have so many matches played already.

“It’s okay. She was better than me. She is better than me because she’s No. 1 in the world and she’s Serena. I have just to take the positive things from this tournament, this match, and just go ahead.”

Williams’ victory means that her time atop the rankings has reached 116 weeks which surpasses Chris Evert’s 113-week run for third-longest in WTA history.

Suarez Navarro 2182015-001

Suarez Navarro advanced to the final after beating Andrea Petkovic 6-3, 6-3 in an earlier match. Her victory in the semifinal assured her of reaching the Top Ten for the first time in her career.

“I feel so happy,” said Suarez Navarro. “It’s so important for me. I was practicing and I was working during all this year with my team to a moment like this.”

Williams is 4-0 against the Spaniard. “Playing Carla,” said Williams, “I think it’ll be good for me. She’s playing a little bit like Simona, so I will be ready for that. Have to be ready. If I want to win, I have to step it up a notch”

Williams is 4-0 all-time against Suarez Navarro, who’s assured of reaching the Top 10 in the world rankings win or lose.

Williams’ countryman, No. 22 seed John Isner became the first U.S. man to reach the semifinals in Miami since Mardy Fish in 2011, upsetting fourth-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan 6-4, 6-3.

Isner interviewed

“I played extremely well today,” Isner said.”I needed to play well in order to beat a player like Kei and that’s what I did. From start to finish, I felt like I was aggressive. I was playing all the right shots and things just went my way.”

“I can’t ask for better conditions out there,” Isner continued. “I absolutely just can’t.

“You know, with the balls, the court, the balls bouncing high, it’s hot, it’s not that humid so it’s not taking a lot out of me. It’s perfect conditions ore me.

“I just played well. I mean, I’ve been serving well really for a while now, and I did that again today.

“So I was taking care of my serve. I was taking my chances on his serve, and the ball was finding the right spots for me.”

“Serve, I didn’t have any chance,” said Nishikori.

“Also, his forehand, also backhand, he hit some winners from back of the baseline. I think he close his eyes and hitting so many winners. Couldn’t really stop him today.

“So I don’t think I really play bad. Maybe I could do little better everything, but I think he played well today.”

 

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

Next for Isner will be No. 1 Novak Djokovic who defeated David Ferrer 7-5, 7-5 on the Spaniard’s 33rd birthday.

“I expected it to be a very physical match as it always is with David,” Djokovic said. “He’s one of the greatest competitors out there.”

“Every game is different, and I think tonight, my tactic, it was good,” Ferrer said. “My performance was good, playing aggressive with my forehand. But I think it’s difficult beat Nole when I am playing with him in the night because the ball is bigger when we are ending the set. And he has more power than me.

“Anyway, for beat Nole, I know I have to play perfect in important moments, play aggressive. And maybe tonight, the first set in important moments I didn’t play aggressive, no, with my forehand.”

Djokovic commented on playing Isner next:

“It’s going to be quite different match from tonight’s match. John is probably the best server we have in the game currently. At 6’10” he can hit any angle he wants with that serve.

“He won against Dimitrov, Raonic, and Nishikori in the last three matches, and that deserves a lot of respect. He obviously feels very confident playing here. He played great against Nishikori today.

“I think he improved his baseline game. Most of the players, when the play him, obviously he highly relies on his serve, but yet again, he does put a lot of balls back in play in his return games. He likes to run around his backhand and hit the forehand inside out. That’s his favorite shot.

“So I kind of know what to expect. He has his own patterns, as everybody else. I’m going to try to analyze his game, remember what I’ve done right in Indian Wells couple weeks ago, and try to obviously win.

“Hopefully we play during the night so the conditions will be a bit slower, which is going to maybe help me to get few more serves back in play, even though I know it’s going to be very close match.”

 

I’ll have nothing to lose,” Isner said. “I run into him a lot in Masters events, especially in the U.S. I think this would be our fourth encounter or something like that, playing at a Masters event in the States. Maybe fifth. I don’t know.

“But playing him, it’s always a challenge. He’s the greatest player in the world right now hands down. I played well against him last week in Indian Wells and he beat me in a tight two‑set match.

“I’m going to have to bring that level and some if I do play against him. I believe I can do that. Think I exhibited that today. He’s got a tough match against one of the best competitors or sport has.”

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Andy Murray Reaches 500th Win Mark with Victory Over Kevin Anderson at Miami Open

(March 31, 2015) Andy Murray became the ninth player on the ATP World Tour to win 500 career matches with his victory over Kevin Anderson 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to reach the Miami Open quarterfinals.

The Scot is the 46th player in the Open era with 500 or more wins and the first British player to accomplish this feat.

“It’s nice I think obviously for me the fact that it happened here,” said the two-time Miami Open champion. “It’s just fitting just because I have spent so much time training here and working to get better and to improve. That was nice.

“Yeah, I hope I’ve still got a lot more wins in me. To get to 500 is good. It’s not an easy thing to do at my age. It’s nice. Hopefully I can keep going.”

“I hope for me this isn’t the end and I can keep trying to progress,” he added. With each win you get closer to going past a great player.

“You know, the people that are ahead of me have all done pretty amazing things in the sport, so that’s what’s nice about it. And, yeah, it gives me ‑‑ also feels like it gives me motivation, as well, for some reason.

“I don’t know why, but getting to 500, yeah, it gives me motivation to go on and try and win more. When you look at the list of players and the wins that certain guys have got, it gives you something to aim at, as well.”

No. 3 seed Murray will face off against 21-year-old Dominic Thiem, who reached his first Masters 1000 quarterfinal with a win over No. 28 Adrian Mannarino 7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-5.

“He had his best year on the tour last year,” Murray said. “He’s a very talented guy. He’s strong. I know him fairly well. I practice with him quite a bit. He’s very hard worker. Very good attitude. Very respectful guy. He’s got a very good career ahead of him.

“So I expect tomorrow will be a tough match. He struggled a little bit the beginning part of the year. He changed racquets. “You know, always takes a few months to get used to that. Obviously this week he’s played very well again.”

Also advancing to the quarterfinals were No. 1 Novak Djokovic, No. 4 Kei Nishikori, No. 6 David Ferrer, No. 8 Tomas Berdych, and Juan Monaco.

Djokovic survived a test from Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-7, 7-5, 6-0. Dolgopolov was a point a way from a 7-6, 4-0 lead. Berdych advanced when Gael Monfils retired from the match with a hip injury in the second set.

 

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“I’m at a great place now” – Novak Djokovic Meets the Media in Miami

228 Djokovic being interviewed-001

(March 27, 2015) Defending Miami Open champion and world No 1 Novak Djokovic met the media on Friday ahead of his first match singles match, after losing in his doubles match with countryman Janko Tipsarevic. Robert Lindstedt and Jurgen Melzer edged the Serbian pair 6-4, 3-6, 10-7.

The former No. 8 Tipsarevic had been sidelined with a foot injury since fall 2013.

“The opportunity to play with him today was very special for me as a friend, and I cared very much to win this match today,” said Djokovic. “I got very tight in the super tie-breaker, I have to say, because it was a very tough match. We lost to two of the great, very good doubles players.

“But we talked after the match, and he appreciated the fact that he can actually play; just feel that match play, have that sensation of how it feels and what it takes to be on the court.

“Seventeen months is a long time for injuries, and he’s also not young. You know, he’s now 31 this year. But he’s eager to play. He’s motivated. He right now has been practicing for a couple of weeks 100%, and he decided actually it’s better to skip this tournament in singles because he needed a little bit more time to get into it.

“Hopefully this doubles match today can help him. When he plays now in Houston after Miami he can perform his best. He can relax. He has the quality to go back to where he was. You know, that’s top 10. I really wish him that”

The eight-time major champion is seeking his fifth Miami title.

Djokovic reflected on this 2015 year so far: “I started the season very well with winning Grand Slam (Australian Open), and that definitely helps my confidence level. I finished the 2014 season in a great form winning Paris (Masters) and London (ATP World Tour Finals) back to back and then winning Australia and playing finals Dubai, Davis Cup, and then Indian Wells.

“Of course I’m at a great place now. I try to enjoy and take the best out of the feeling that I have on the court right now.

“Hopefully I can have another great week in Miami. The record that I had in last, you know, eight, nine years I have been coming back to Miami and playing the tournament is really good. Some of my best tennis I have played here in these courts.

“That can hopefully help me to get far in the tournament. We are here in United States for, you know, some of the biggest events we have in sport, Indian Wells and Miami for four weeks, playing best of three, and it’s well spread.”

 

On his mindset coming off a big win at Indian Wells:

“Playing more matches and spending more time in the highest level in tennis allows you to understand, you know, how you need to approach and have the healthy approach to every tournament.

“Back in 2011 when I had the best season so far in my career and became No. 1 of the world, I was so much blown away and so happy by those terrific achievements that, you know, it was difficult for me the year after to kind of face all those challenges, to defend points, and was a little bit carried away by a lot of distractions, I would say, you know, off the court.

“But it allowed me ‑‑ those kind of experiences allowed me to grow and to become stronger mentally, you know, as a tennis player and as a person, and to find the right balance between the private and professional life, to enjoy the life that I have, to really embrace everything that life is presenting to me.

“But yet again, stay professional discipline, committed to the sport that I love.

“So I think right now I found the right balance, and I’m at the peak of my career and my abilities. Hopefully I can maintain that for the time to come.”

 

On social Media:

“I think the best thing about the social media and social platforms is the fact that you can interact with the people that follow and you support you.”

“So this is one of the ways to give them back, not just on the court by playing good tennis, but also you interact with them and feed them with some video or picture content that would give them a different look at your personality. Not just what they see on the TV when you’re playing tennis, but something else, to present yourself as a person.

“Everything has its borders, obviously, but I try to, you know, kind of post ‑‑ most of the content I post is something that is fun, something that is different. You know, sometimes I have to show them that I’m working in the gym or on the tennis court, that I am preparing myself.

“But mostly some other fun stuff for people that I get to meet along the way.”

On his life now as a husband and a father: “Right now I’m a complete person and really fulfilled in every aspect of my life. Became a husband and a father in last 10 months, and that’s a very important milestone for me that has definitely contributed in a positive way to my tennis, as well.

“I’m not taking things for granted. I am very grateful for the opportunity to play the sport that I love, and still kind of fulfill my parental duties and, you know, be, I would say, accomplished as a husband and a father.

“I cannot complain. It’s a great place in my life where I am at the moment, and trying to take the best out of it.”

“I really appreciate the fact that I’m playing tennis. Probably the childhood that I had, the circumstances in life that I had to face and overcome to be where I am at this moment allowed me to observe things in life in a different way, in a more humble way, I would say.

“The fact that I come from a very small country, the fact that I overcame some challenges that seemed impossible at the time with the war and sanctions and all these things and arrived to where I am, that has shaped me as a person and my character, and helps me now to have this kind of approach that I believe is the right one.”

Djokovic begins his quest for another Miami title on Saturday evening when his faces Martin Klizan.

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