October 26, 2016

Rafael Nadal Ends 2016 Season with Wrist Injury

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

(October 20, 2016) Rafael Nadal ended his 2016 season early  with a left wrist injury.

“I am forced to stop and start preparing the 2017 season,” Nadal said on his Facebook page.

“Now it is time to rest and start preparing intensively the 2017 season. I am very saddened for not being able to play next week in Basel since I have a great memory of the tournament and the final played against Roger Federer last year. I won’t be able to compete either in Paris-Bercy, where the crowds and the FFT staff have always treated me so well. Now it is time to rest and start preparing intensively the 2017 season.”


The 14-time major champion ends the year at 39-14 with two titles – Monte Carlo and Barcelona.

19102016-dsc_0284 Nadal academy

On Wednesday, Nadal officially opened the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar in his hometown Manacor.

“Personally it is a very special day because today has been the inauguration of the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar,” said Nadal. “Today is the day when we finally launch something that has taken a lot of years of work and dedication. It will be an unforgettable day for me and also for all the people involved in this project,” he continued. “I still have years of tennis ahead of me there is a future and this academy is part of this future.”

“It’s a dream come true. We hope the kids will enjoy this experience a lot and we want these facilities to be not only a professional success for them but also a great education on the academic and person front.”

“We are doing something very special and to have it here, at home, in Mallorca, in Manacor, is even more special.”

Federer said: “I don’t how many people like Rafa’s calibre have an academy. And it’s also in his hometown. So I see his DNA all around and that is an incredible bonus in my opinion.”

“If you look at this academy, you can see that it is something special where he, his family and friends have been very involved. His work ethic is right there at the top and he can share his values and experience with the kids. It’s only the beginning, but a very, very exciting one.”


Nadal Loses in Shanghai Opening Round; Kyrgios Booed in Loss

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

(October 12, 2016) Rafael Nadal lost in his opening match at the Shanghai Masters on Wednesday. The fourth seed and14-time major champion was beaten for the first time by Viktor Troicki 6-3, 7-6 (3).

Nadal was trying to solidify his spot in the ATP World Tour Finals said in press he was uncertain if he was going to continue playing this year:

“I cannot say now what I’m going do during the next month,” Nadal said. “Sometimes keep competing is not the solution. Sometimes the solution is practice………. and have a process of training. And maybe that’s an opportunity to do it.”

“I have two months and a half to put myself at the level that I need to be,” Nadal said about preparing for the 2017 Australian Open, “and I have the confidence that I’m going to do it.”

“It was a great feeling on the court playing like this and playing like this against Rafa Nadal, who is a great champion,” said the 31st -ranked Troicki. “It makes it extra special to beat him for the first time, especially in such a big tournament like Shanghai.”

Advancing to third round on Wednesday included second and third seeds Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka.

Twelfth seed Nick Kyrgios was booed by fans in Shanghai for a lack of effort in his loss to German qualifier Mischa Zverev 6-3, 6-1. Kyrgios even argued with a fan.

“This is a professional tournament,” Chair Umpire Ali Nili said in reprimanding Kyrgios during a changeover. “You have to act like a professional.”

Kyrgios from his news conference on his behavior during the match:

“It’s my choice. If you don’t like it, I didn’t ask you to come and watch. Just leave.

“If you’re so good at giving advice and so good at tennis, why aren’t you as good as me? Why aren’t you on the tour?

“You want to buy a ticket? Come watch me. You know I’m unpredictable. It’s your choice. I don’t owe you anything.”


He later apologized on his twitter account:



Shanghai Rolex Masters

Shanghai, China


Singles – Second Round
[2] A. Murray (GBR) d S. Johnson (USA) 63 62
[3] S. Wawrinka (SUI) d [Q] K. Edmund (GBR) 63 64
V. Troicki (SRB) d [4] R. Nadal (ESP) 63 76(3)
[5] M. Raonic (CAN) d P. Lorenzi (ITA) 62 64
M. Granollers (ESP) d [7] T. Berdych (CZE) 76(4) 76(1)
[11] D. Goffin (BEL) d B. Paire (FRA) 61 76(0)
[Q] M. Zverev (GER) d [12] N. Kyrgios (AUS) 63 61
[13] L. Pouille (FRA) d N. Almagro (ESP) 64 76(10)
[15] R. Bautista Agut (ESP) d [Q] T. Fritz (USA) 64 64
[Q] V. Pospisil (CAN) d G. Dimitrov (BUL) 75 76(2)
J. Sock (USA) d F. Lopez (ESP) 63 46 64
G. Simon (FRA) d [WC] D. Wu (CHN) 62 62

Doubles – Second Round
[2] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) d M. Matkowski (POL) / J. Rojer (NED) 61 76(3)
[4] F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP) d J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL) 76(4) 63
J. Tsonga (FRA) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) d [5] R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA) 64 62
M. Cilic (CRO) / M. Pavic (CRO) d [6] R. Bopanna (IND) / D. Nestor (CAN) 57 64 10-8
J. Isner (USA) / J. Sock (USA) d [7] T. Huey (PHI) / M. Mirnyi (BLR) 16 76(6) 10-5

Doubles – First Round
H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS) d P. Petzschner (GER) / A. Zverev (GER) 62 63
P. Cuevas (URU) / M. Granollers (ESP) d O. Marach (AUT) / F. Martin (FRA) 62 76(4)


STADIUM start 1:00 pm
[9] J. Tsonga (FRA) vs A. Zverev (GER)
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [Q] V. Pospisil (CAN)

Not Before 6:00 pm
[13] L. Pouille (FRA) vs [2] A. Murray (GBR)

Not Before 8:00 pm
G. Simon (FRA) vs [3] S. Wawrinka (SUI)

UNION PAY 3 start 1:00 pm
[Q] M. Zverev (GER) vs M. Granollers (ESP)
[5] M. Raonic (CAN) vs J. Sock (USA)
V. Troicki (SRB) vs [15] R. Bautista Agut (ESP)

Not Before 6:00 pm
[6] G. Monfils (FRA) vs [11] D. Goffin (BEL)

GRANDSTAND start Not Before 3:00 pm
After Suitable Rest – J. Tsonga (FRA) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) vs [2] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA)
After Suitable Rest – J. Isner (USA) / J. Sock (USA) vs [4] F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP)

COURT 4 start Not Before 3:00 pm
After Suitable Rest – [3] L. Kubot (POL) / M. Melo (BRA) vs P. Cuevas (URU) / M. Granollers (ESP)
After Suitable Rest – H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS) vs [8] R. Lindstedt (SWE) / V. Pospisil (CAN)


Lucas Pouille Upsets Fourth Seed Rafael Nadal at US Open


(September 4, 2016) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – In the biggest upset of the 2016 US Open tournament so far, fourth seed and two-time champion Rafael Nadal lost to 24th seed Lucas Pouille 6-1, 2-6, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(6) in the fourth round. Pouille came back from being a break down in the fifth set to win the four-hour and seven minute match for the most important victory of his career.

Pouille will join fellow Frenchman Gael Monfils and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the final eighth. He’ll face ninth seeded Monfils for a palce in the semifinals, which guarantees a French semifinalist.

The last time three Frenchmen were in the quarterfinals of the US Open was back in 1927. Last time that three Frenchmen were in the final 8 of any major was the 1947 French Open.

The win means that the 22-year-old Pouille has won three straight five-setter in this US Open – second through fourth rounds – his first three five- set wins of his career.

“It took everything. I could not dream better than that,” the world No. 25 said on court after the match.

“I think it was the best atmosphere I played on a center court. Ashe is so big. I’m not used to play on this court. It was the first time. I practiced once last year.

“I didn’t even warm up on this court before the match, because otherwise I would have to come at 10:00 or 9:00 in the morning today. So at the end it was full. Sometimes I couldn’t even hear myself when I was saying, Allez, allez, allez. Sometimes you can’t even hear yourself.”

Nadal’s drought in major tournaments continued with the loss. This is the first time since 2004 that the 30-year-old Spaniard hasn’t reached a major quarterfinal in a season. The 14-time major champion lost in the first round of the Australian Open, withdrew from the French Open after the second round and missed Wimbledon with a wrist injury.

“I think he played a good match,” Nadal said. “He started so strong. I fight until the end with. There were things I could do better. Had the right attitude. I fighted right up to the last ball.

“But I need something else, I need something more that was not there today. I going to keep working to try to find.

“But, yes, was a very, very close match that anything could happen. Just congratulate the opponent that probably he played with better decision than me the last couple of points.”

“Needed to play with a little bit more calm,” he continued.

“Is true that I don’t have lot of matches on my shoulders for the last three, four months, but even like this I lost an opportunity. That’s the real thing, no? That’s the true. I lost an opportunity to have a very good event here. I am sad for that.”

Pouille who broke into the top 100 last year talked about the changes he made that have improved his game this year: “I moved to Dubai. We work a different way. We work, I think, harder. During the pre-season I change many things. I took my own physical trainer. He’s traveling almost every time with us so we can work every day. Even in tournaments we keep working. We keep working.

“I think mentally I’m stronger. I took a lot of confidence. The way I’m going on court is not the same as last year. Yeah, I think that’s why I’m better than the year before. Of course, I’m a bit older, as well.”

Evaluating Pouille, Nadal said: “He’s a player that has all the shots. He’s a potential top 10 and good fight for the big things the next couple of years. If he’s able to keep playing well, keep improving.”

“I lost an opportunity to play a great event,” Nadal said. “Doesn’t matter if I had the injuries or not, no? I didn’t play in Roland Garros; I didn’t play in Wimbledon. That’s an opportunities lost. Here again, another opportunity lost.

“At the end of the day is not a moment, as I said before, to find excuses or to be less painful. Is a painful defeat because I believe myself, I feel myself ready for that match, ready for the tournament. That’s it.

“We can find stories, but I lost. That’s the only thing that really matter now. I going to fight to change that. But is not less painful or more painful. Is a defeat. Is not the first one in my career; is not going to be for sure the last.

“When you play sport, you accept that when you go on court you can lose, you can win. That’s part of the life. I’m happy to be playing again. That’s the most important thing. I’m happy that I feel myself again close to be hundred percent healthy.

“If I am hundred percent healthy, I have the energy to keep going. I believe that I can have a couple of more good years.”

Pouille talke about playing his next opponent, countryman Gael Monfils: “He’s in very good form. He has won so many matches, yeah, for the last two months. He’s very confident. He hasn’t lost a set, so I know it’s going to be hard.

“But I’m playing well. I have good feelings on the court, so we’ll see. I think it’s going to be a tough match for me, but for him as well. It’s going to be interesting.”

Tenth seed Monfils beat Marcos Baghdatis 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 , while No. 9 seeded Tsonga topped 26th seed Jack Sock 6-3, 6-3, 6-7 (7), 6-2, the last man from the United States in the singles draw.

Tsonga will face  Novak Djokovic  to vie for a spot in the semifinal. Djokovic beat Kyle Edmund 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 in the evening session.

“I think he was overwhelmed by the stage today, ” Djokovic said of Edmund. “I think he hasn’t played on the level that he can, to be honest. But his forehand is really big. When he sets it up very nicely, he can hit a very good forehand from all over the court.

“Obviously his first Arthur Ashe night session. His first match on the biggest stadium. He made a lot of errors. But generally he played a good tournament. He beat Gasquet; he beat Isner. For someone his age he’s showing mental maturity, no doubt. He’s getting things together.

“I am sure we going to see more of him in the future.”



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



Raonic Falls to Qualifier, Muguruza and Kuznetsova Also Lose at US Open

Milos Raonic

Milos Raonic

(August 31, 2016) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Wimbledon finalist and US Open fifth seed Milos Raonic along with French Open winner and third seed Garbine Muguruza became the biggest upset victims so far at the US Open on Wednesday. Ninth seed and 2004 US Open title holder Svetlana Kuznetsova also lost.

Top seed Novak Djokovic advanced to the third round when his opponent Jiri Vesely withdrew from the tournament with a left forearm injury.

Cramps caused Canadian Raonic a 6-7 (4), 7-5, 7-5, 6-1 second round loss to American qualifier Ryan Harrison ranked 120th in the world. Raonic said the cramping began halfway through the second set.

“I don’t think hydration was an issue,” Raonic said. “I think I always take that precaution. Probably just nerves and stress, a mental sort of overexuberance rather than — probably more than it should.”

“I think I didn’t start off well in the match,” explained the Canadian. “I started off feeling a little bit heavy, which has happened to me before. You sort of get through the first set. You pull that one out and you sort of start to relax a little bit. I didn’t do that today. I just sort of compounded the stress. I kept trying to force the shots. I was hesitating mentally on the shots. I just felt a little bit a step slow.”

“I was my own worst enemy today. I tried the best I could to find my way out of it. My body didn’t let me.”

“The sort of expectation of pressure on myself to get out of that situation like I normally would in a situation like that, like happened to me in the beginning of Wimbledon, I didn’t do that.

“Then all that kind of forceful play caught up to me there in the end.”

Raonis hit 15 double faults in the match.

Raonic did credit his opponent: “He played well. He did a lot of things well. I think he stepped up and he played a solid match. There was a few breakpoints. I can’t remember if it was in the second or third. Hit three aces down the T; won three out of four of them.

“At the beginning of the second, a breakpoint. I hit a good forehand cross. He went for it down the line and made it. A reaction volley, made it as well. He stepped up and got through those important moments.

“I didn’t create this pressure for myself or this kind of stress on myself. He did that.”

Ryan Harrison

Ryan Harrison

“The cool and exciting thing was that I had a great win today, and there was no point where I felt like I was red lining or playing a level that wasn’t consistent,” Harrison said. “Kind of like going back to the first question I answered, when I broke early in the first set, I got broken back, there was no panic because I didn’t feel I was playing above my level to get up the break.

“That’s when I was just focused on staying the course. Lose a tight first set. Obviously a lot of people are going, you know, long, tight first set. The first couple games of the second are really important. I saved like four or five breakpoints in that first game of the second set. That was a huge hump, because you don’t want to be down a set and a break to that guy because he can just take the racquet out of your hand at times.

“That was another pivotal moment. I’m sure looking back there were plenty of times where it could have gotten away from me. I’m excited that emotionally and from an execution standpoint I was able to put enough in play and be aggressive enough to take the win.”


No. 3 Garbine Muguruza of Spain hit 38 unforced errors in losing 7-5, 6-4 in the first night match to Anastasija Sevastova from Latvia. Sevastova who retired and came back to tennis last after two years dealing with injuries, said she returned to play the majors.

“It still hasn’t settled in,” Noted the Latvian in regard to the upset win. “It feels great, but it’s still not like I won the tournament. It’s only second round.”

“We can enjoy it today, but tomorrow is a new day. There are other matches. Nobody thinks about the previous match. You have to think forward. Tonight I can enjoy.”

Caroline Wozniacki

Caroline Wozniacki

In another major surprise of the day, ninth seed and former US Open champion Kuznetsova jumped out to a 4-0 lead, but her opponent two-time US Open Finalist Caroline Wozniacki won 12 out of the next 15 games to seal the win 6-4, 6-4. Wozniaki, now ranked at 74th in the world is unseeded in Flushing Meadows for the first time since 2007.


“I always believe in myself and I always think that in my head I belong to the top of the game,” she said. “You know, I’m going to have tough draws because of my ranking but in the end of the day I’m healthy, and that’s the main thing. Then I can start building from that.”


“I love playing here at the Open,” the Dane continued. “I have great memories here. I have had matches against Sveta so many times before here where she’s been killing literally on court 6-1, 4-1, and then I have managed to come back and win the match in three sets.

“It’s like, you know what? Just keep going, wait for your opportunity and your chance, and I did that today.”


Other seeds advancing to the third round included Australian Open champion and second seed Angelique Kerber, last year’s women’s finalist 7th seed Roberta Vinci, Madison Keys the eighth seed, the 12th seed Dominika Cibulkova, Johanna Konta No. 13, 14th seed Petra Kvitova, No. 22 Elina Svitolina and No. 24 Belinda Bencic. Moving to the third round on the men’s side –  two-time US Open winner and fourth seed Rafael Nadal, 2014 US Open winner Marin Cilic, No. 9 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, No. 10 seed Gael Monfils, No. 15 Roberto Bautista Agut, 20th seed John Isner, No. 23 Kevin Anderson, No. 24 Lucas Pouille, and No. 26th seed Jack Sock.



Day 1 of the US Open – In Their Own Words


Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic



Monday, August 29, 2016

Roberta Vinci

Press Conference

R. VINCI/A. Friedsam

6-2, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. The great memories from last year, if you could just talk about do you still carry those with you? How does that help you coming into the tournament this year knowing that you had such great success last year?
ROBERTA VINCI: Yes. Was great to be back here to play on center court first match. I was proud to play in Open, this US Open 2016.

Yeah, it’s incredible to be here. It’s pass one year, so like yesterday. But I had of course a great memory, but today just think about the match and keep the positive things of the last year.

Was a tough match. Is always tough play the first match of a Grand Slam, but I won. So this is important thing today. I start to play great first set, and then 2-Love in the second set a little bit nervous, a little bit scared about the match because, well, she’s — also in Australia when I lost against her I won the first set easy and then I lost in the third.

So just my mind to stay focused and think about every single point. Don’t think about the opponent. Just keep — just try to play aggressive.

But was a little bit nervous, so I fight a lot and I won the second set.

Q. Talk about how you feel coming into the tournament and what your expectations are. You know you can go far here. You have done it before.
ROBERTA VINCI: It’s tough to repeat of course the results of last year (Smiling.) But I’m No. 7, so of course I have a lot of pressure. They expect me semifinal, quarterfinal, step by step and match by match.

So now I’m really happy that I won the first round. Tomorrow relax and play the second round. I don’t know the opponent right now, but will be of course a difficult match, tough match. I try my best and don’t think that I have a lot of points to defend.




Monday, August 29, 2016

Taylor Townsend

Press Conference

C. WOZNIACKI/T. Townsend

4-6, 6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You take her three sets, winning the first. How do you look at the result? Even though it’s a loss, are you to the point you’re satisfied or do you feel you should have had this?
TAYLOR TOWNSEND: No, this is one of the wins that — or losses that really stings. I had so many chances.

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.

Q. It was a pretty special match in the sense it was the first match on Grandstand. Did that give you a special feeling? Have you ever been, especially at an opening of an event, of a venue — was that a special moment for you?
TAYLOR TOWNSEND: Definitely. I didn’t have a chance to hit on the court at all before I went to play the match, so obviously — you know, I played quallies. I was on other courts.

But the court is amazing. It’s beautiful. I didn’t realize how big it was until people started to come in and started to get a little bit more packed. You know, people started cheering. I was in awe. You know, it’s such a beautiful stadium. And to see the improvements they have made in the course of a year, it’s amazing.

I was really happy to be able to, you know, to break the court in, quote/unquote (Smiling.) It was really great, and especially putting in — being an American, it was awesome.

Q. How hot was it out there? Looked like it was really blazing.
TAYLOR TOWNSEND: It was — it was decently hot. You know, I didn’t use the ice towel for the first two sets. I’m from Atlanta, so the heat is not really a big deal. It wasn’t that hot to begin with.

But as the match progressed it got a little bit hotter, a little bit more breezy, so it was — and obviously, you know, it’s 10 degrees hotter on the court than it is like wherever you are.

It was getting pretty toasty. The conditions, it wasn’t affecting me that badly because I’m used to it. I train in the heat. The Atlanta heat is different than here. I was kind of used to it.

Q. Did you take a break between sets with heat protocol?
TAYLOR TOWNSEND: No. I just went to the restroom after the first. The heat rule was in, but I didn’t take the break.

Q. When you look at this match, when you look at it as a whole, are there specific points that come out? Like if that point went one way or the other, or was there something she was consistently doing and you are weren’t doing that was impacting the outcome?
TAYLOR TOWNSEND: Yeah. I mean, obviously she stayed steady, which is her game. 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.

Q. Is it just more the decision-making maybe you’re disappointed in or execution-wise? What do you think?
TAYLOR TOWNSEND: Just the decision making, I think. Because if I would have made a different decision then I probably would have executed the shot. I think I was doing a good job of executing my shots when I had it.

But, you know, there are points in the match where I did something and I was like, Oh, I should have done that. You know, I can’t change it. Like I said, I’m just going to look at it and try to build on it.

Q. Would you say that maybe those couple of dropshots you tried during the match would fall into that decision making category?

Q. And what kind of vulnerability did you sense in her? First set she had a point for 4-1 and you turned around and won the set. What sense did you get from her?
TAYLOR TOWNSEND: I wasn’t really concerned about what she was doing. I was more into myself. I realized that I could win the match (Smiling.)

Ultimately, it just comes down to that belief in myself and the things I have been working on and the training I have been doing.

You know, winning three quallies matches obviously it’s great, but to win a main-draw match against someone like that, she’s been No. 1 in the world so she knows what it takes to win matches.

But, you know, I could taste it. It was so close. I just think that — I don’t know. Like I said, I just want to continue to build on it, really. It really was a great match. I can’t beat myself too much, but just going to keep building and keep working.

Q. What do you think has been the key to your ranking turnaround? You are up several hundred spots from where you were earlier this year.
TAYLOR TOWNSEND: I think great coaching, great people around me, just having peace of mind. You know, knowing that my team and everyone that I surrounded myself with has my best interests and I’m just moving forward.

You know, we’re not complicating anything, not putting too much into it besides just going out and playing tennis.

Just getting out on the court and just playing a lot of matches, you know, and having to go through that grind of, you know, playing 25s and losing quallies. You know, all of that stuff.

I just think that, you know, just great coaching. I have worked really hard on and off the court. I just think that when you give yourself opportunities and you keep playing, you get experience more than anything.

I think that you begin to grow as a player and get results.

Q. Do you feel like you’re moving up for good now, or do you still like you have to keep battling to work your way, steadily keeping your ranking up and moving up?
TAYLOR TOWNSEND: It’s always going to be a battle. It’s like you can see — I mean, it’s always going to be a battle because you know that when you gain points the following year you have to defend or do better or you will lose those points.

So it’s always going to be about to continue to grow and push yourself and just get better and better and better.

I mean, I can’t worry about what I have done or I don’t know what’s ahead of me. I just have to continue to focus on what I’m doing right now and the results will come.

Q. It was a great match to watch. What do you think Billie Jean would say about it?
TAYLOR TOWNSEND: I have no clue.

Q. Are you still in touch with her much?
TAYLOR TOWNSEND: Not really, but, you know, she sends me messages. We chat back and forth sometimes every blue moon. But, you know, you talk to Alana (ph) every once in a while, and I was able to sub for a TeamTennis match. I got to see her there but didn’t get to chat much. Opening night is always super busy for them.

Q. Do you think you would have trouble seeing the ball if your opponent was wearing the same color as yours?
TAYLOR TOWNSEND: No, I don’t think so.

Q. It doesn’t kind of fade —
TAYLOR TOWNSEND: No, not really. I mean, I feel like at this point, you know, we should all know how to watch the ball (Smiling.) If we don’t, then we’ve got a problem.

So I don’t think that it’s really a problem. During the Open, they always — all the companies always go with bright colors and super fun outfits. That’s not really something that you can worry about or control.

Q. Who’s the coach you’re working with now or coaches?
TAYLOR TOWNSEND: Donald Young, Sr., and this week I have been working with his wife, Illona Young. They have all been helping me, those two together.

Q. Where are you doing your training now?

Q. When you practice when you’re home.
TAYLOR TOWNSEND: I hit with a majority of people. The tennis community in Atlanta is pretty broad. There are a lot of colleges and a lot of players that come out of the South, you know, that visit there and that live there.

So I hit with a lot of college guys, college girls. It just depends on who’s in town, because, you know, obviously our schedules sometimes don’t match up together.

But there are a lot of people. I can’t really sit here and name them all because it is a lot.

Q. You seem to be in pretty good frame of mind after a loss. You also seem to be growing and maturing. I wanted to ask you just a general question about the sport. What is it that you really love about the sport of tennis?
TAYLOR TOWNSEND: Well, not this (Smiling.) Well, no, actually, I do. Moments like these before, you know — obviously, you know, I was crying and upset, but at the end of the day, you know, I have good people around me, like I said.

And Mrs. Young kind of helped me a lot just understanding the growth I have made over the last year. It’s been monumental. Like I said, I can’t really beat myself up too much. Moments like these where I have played and I left my heart out there and I know I could have done things better, it just drives me more to want to get out on the court and fix it, just try and do better.

Luckily, you know, I was able to get an opportunity to get a wildcard for doubles, so I have another chance to get out on court and play competitively. I know I have an opportunity to not really fix what I did, but to work on it and just be able to get back out on the court and compete.

So, you know, just the opportunity to be able to redeem yourself or, you know, just grow. Because, you know, you know in your head what you did. Now it’s about executing and just doing it.

Q. Good match.

Q. Do you feel when you get on the court there was bigger pressure on you as a sport we are still trying to get in with more African-Americans?
TAYLOR TOWNSEND: I wouldn’t really call it pressure. You know, I think that it’s an opportunity to use a platform that we have been getting in with talent and blessings and gifts. Just to be able to inspire other kids, you know, I don’t think that it’s a pressure situation.

Because, you know, there are kids that no matter how you do, they’d just be happy to be able to see you and watch you play. They are just even more excited when you do well.

Just to be able to inspire people like that, it’s not really pressure. I think it’s more of a blessing and a gift, you know, just to be able to do that. To be able to be on this platform, it’s amazing. I can’t complain at all.

Q. There was a 29-shot rally in the third set that you were able to win. What does a rally like that do for you in terms of your confidence with all the hard work and everything that’s been going on? That was impressive stuff, the construction and putting it away. In that moment, is that something you look back on and think, that’s one of those breakthroughs?
TAYLOR TOWNSEND: Yeah, like first of all, catch a breath. That was the main thing (Smiling).

No, I think that it was really good. I didn’t know how long the rally was, but I knew it was long. It is a confidence builder, because I know that for someone like her who she just thrives on rallies like that and she can hang in points all the time – that’s her game – for me to be able to win a long point that was probably the longest point of the match is good, and it proves something to me that I can hang in rallies like that.

And then to go even farther and win the game, you know, you can win a point like that, but if you lose the game it kind of defeats the purpose of it.

But then I was able to bounce back, hold my serve, and stay in it, you know, neck to neck, that really is great.




Monday, August 29, 2016

Kyle Edmund

Press Conference

K. EDMUND/R. Gasquet

6-2, 6-2, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Given the context of the match, the opponent, and the tournament, was that your best-ever win?
KYLE EDMUND: Yeah, I think so. Yeah, I played really well. Yeah, on ranking I think, yeah, it’s probably my best win. And the way I went about it, the way I played, a lot of things went well.

Yeah, definitely one of my best wins in my career. Yeah, very pleasing. Very encouraging the way I played, the way I handled myself, dealt with situations. I thought I was smart with the way I played when I needed to be in certain situations.

Yeah, a lot of good things. Yeah, days like this feel really good. You know, just lots of positives. There is definitely days where they are not like that, so, you know, that’s when you put the work in.

I have had a few days like that over the past few weeks on the hard. Really haven’t quite found my form, but luckily the match when I needed it it came good against a good opponent.

Q. Was there something about New York that lifted you?
KYLE EDMUND: Yeah, I guess so. It’s a Grand Slam, and you always get a little bit more excited about it. Yeah, to be honest, it’s just been a really long trip. I haven’t really felt too comfortable as much as — well, coming from Davis Cup where I was playing really well, and then to come to Toronto, I guess you compare — form was really good.

You’re always comparing to how you’re playing. Like as I said, I just didn’t quite find that. It had been a long trip and stuff, so I just accepted the way I was playing and just, you know, sort of said, Look, this is the situation. You’re playing a good player. You’ve got nothing to lose. Just go out there and play.

I knew after this tournament anyway I’ve got a bit of a break before Davis Cup in Asia. Either before Davis Cup or after Davis Cup, just depends on how I do.

So maybe that just relaxed me a little bit and made me enjoy it as well a bit more. You know, not playing so tense. Just played a lot freer.

So I definitely played better than I expected to be playing. The last few days actually have been a lot better than the start of the trip. So there were good signs. But it just already clicked today, so I’m very grateful for that.

Q. How has the pressure of playing and winning the Davis Cup helped you when it comes down to the Grand Slam tournaments?
KYLE EDMUND: Those two matches were a big thing for me. Just probably because I value them very highly. So in my head I knew what was at stake or maybe the pressure I put myself under. You know, however you want to put it.

I valued those matches very highly, and I targeted that just because I knew I had a good chance of playing them. And especially when Andy said he wasn’t going to play, I knew I was definitely going to play. I was going to have the responsibility of playing two matches.

I really wanted to do well there, and obviously when I beat Lajovic it was a lot of relief because you wanted to do well. So I guess I played in a pressure environment, plus in the final it was an intense environment. So those absolutely definitely helped coming out there. You know, playing the 13th seed in the first round of a slam, you want to do well.

But, yeah, from having those experiences, they definitely do help me. No doubt about it.

Q. As a player, is it frustrating at all that you’ve put a lot into Davis Cup and the Olympics, and there is no ranking points at stake for those? It’s been quite a big part of your summer, hasn’t it, and not playing for points?
KYLE EDMUND: Yeah. It’s just one of those things. I think — well, like I said, I value them highly, so I wanted to play them. But, yeah, I don’t know the reason why the ITF changed that. There were points last year; obviously not this year. And I would have gotten a nice chunk of points from Davis Cup, but it’s just one of those things.

The way I look at it is I am 21. I still do have lots of years. So I’m not hanging on two tournaments for my ranking. You know, that doesn’t make my ranking, those two tournaments or anything.

So I see it as building experience. Even though there is maybe not points in there, the experience from that will benefit me far more than the points in the long term.

So, yeah, that’s just the way it is. I’m sitting around 80 at the minute, maybe with the points I could be sitting at sort of low 70s, high 60s. So there is a small jump, but as I said, that doesn’t really concern me, you know. You want to be 30s, 20s, 10s. That’s where you want to be — 80/60 is not a huge difference, so I think the experience is more beneficial.

Q. Was there any degree of immaturity out there? I remember the Davis Cup final. We all remember it. Started off like a dream. But here, a break down in the third set and brought it back, which maybe you wouldn’t have done 18 months ago.
KYLE EDMUND: No, yeah. I think it’s, again, getting back to that experience. Just when you’re more experienced you’re a little bit probably more calmer in those situations in your head. You’re more relaxed about it. You’re not — maybe because — if it’s happened the first time you’re a bit unaware of what will happen, but maybe you’re a bit calmer about the situation.

When I did go a break down I thought I didn’t do too much wrong. I didn’t make enough first serves. Maybe he was trying to get something going so he was playing a little bit more freer.

But the way I had been playing, I was playing very consistently and I wasn’t playing out of myself. I was very confident with what I was doing, so I knew it wasn’t going to take much to get that back.

So I just remained calm. Yeah, I had a good game to break him, and then because I got that momentum, it really helped me kick through towards the end of the match.

Again, those experiences definitely do help, and I think I’m getting some good ones now.

Q. When you beat someone like Gasquet so convincingly, as well, how much belief do you get that you can beat these kind of top players more and more regularly?
KYLE EDMUND: Yeah, it gives you more belief, absolutely.

I had a good summer. I beat some good players, and, well, I beat a guy Simon, but then had a good experience against Andy. Those matches, top players, give you more experience, more confidence with your game, that you are able to take it to him. Especially the way I play my game is very much on the offensive, wanting to take it to the opponent.

So I have to be expressive. I have to express myself, and that’s the way I play.

So it gives me confidence doing that. Definitely Davis Cup I expressed myself very well. Was very aggressive on that weekend. And today I thought I was aggressive but playing smart at the right times; not being too overly aggressive. I got the balance right.

That’s against a good opponent, so that gives you more confidence about your game.

Q. How did you feel with the heat out there? In the end, did you feel like you would have hoped it went to four or even five sets in those conditions?
KYLE EDMUND: Yeah, I mean, it’s difficult to say. I would always back myself to do it. Like going out there, if I needed to play five sets I was ready to play five sets, you know. I had done all the preparation I normally do for five sets and stuff.

So, yeah, I would have felt confident doing it. It’s hard to say in hindsight how you would have coped, but, yeah, it was pretty hot out there.

I don’t think it was hot as last year. I thought it was more humid last year; a lot of pullouts last year. So I think that just shows in itself.

It’s hot but you adapt to it. The body adapts. I have been in America, what, four or five weeks now, so your body does adjust to it.

Yeah, I guess I wasn’t out there about an hour and a half or something, so it wasn’t that long compared to other people.

Q. Do you know anything about Escobedo?
KYLE EDMUND: No. I actually played him in the first round of Binghamton challenger last year, so I think that was three sets. I honestly can’t remember a huge amount of the match because it was a year ago.

I will watch a little bit of tape of him. You see a few things you pick up. You see his game style. But, yeah, I mean, all these matches here are going to be — you have to get your game out there.

But I’m pleased with the way I played today, so I think the main thing for me is trying to keep that going, and basically what I did today, try to put that in my next match and I’m sure you’ll have a good chance.

Q. I think he’s a wildcard. Always a tough match. A great opportunity to make round 3?
KYLE EDMUND: Yeah, it’s a good opportunity. Maybe, yeah, on paper not as high ranked as someone like Gasquet. But, again, you have to respect the opponents. The worst thing you can do in sport is get ahead of yourself, get too forward thinking, start looking what’s going on.

Definitely not — you have to look at one match at a time, look at the guy in front of you right now, stay in the present. You start looking elsewhere then you’ll get called out. I have always done that. You have to give respect to your opponents. He is in round 2, so there is a reason he’s in round 2 is: because he’s playing well.

But, yeah, I definitely look forward to it for sure.

Q. I know you kind of touched on this the other day, but is there an element of the sort of head-to-head between you and Evo for the second Davis Cup spot at this tournament?
KYLE EDMUND: I guess so like in terms of the last tie and there is not that much time. So I guess it’s almost like whoever is maybe doing well at the time or has that bit more confidence.

But, again, it’s Leon’s decision, how he sees it, how he sees matchups.

Again, we will see what happens. We have actually had a lot of ties over the past few years now because — and that’s a good problem, I guess, because we have been doing well.

It’s sort of like another tie that’s come up. So, yeah, for me, I will just concentrate on here, first.

But, yeah, it’s just really is Leon’s decision. Nothing more to say than that, because you do what you do, as in play your match. Results give you a good chance of getting that, getting a pick.

We’ll see. I mean, it’s just one of those things. I mean, Dan’s obviously had a good summer. He’s had some good results. I’m sure my result today would have helped things. Yeah, we’ll see.



Monday, August 29, 2016

Belinda Bencic

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. 4-nothing lead in the tiebreaker. She came back to win it. How did you regroup and save your best tennis?
BELINDA BENCIC: Yeah, the first set was so frustrating because I had so many chances which I didn’t convert. I honestly didn’t deserve to win this set because I didn’t use my chances, and always when I was leading I was super tight.

I think it’s normal after the injury to have this. I mean, in the moment I was very frustrated, but, I mean, I had nothing left, just to fight and win the next two sets. That’s what I did.

Q. You want to make easy work out of your competitors in the first match, but it’s good to be pressed a little bit and know you can turn things around.
BELINDA BENCIC: Yeah, I don’t want to practice, so I practice in the match. (Smiling.)

No. I mean, it’s good. I didn’t play a lot of matches, so I don’t mind playing longer match. For me, it’s nothing. I don’t need to save energy now. I didn’t play for so long.


Angelique Kerber

Press Conference

A. KERBER/P. Hercog

6-0, 1-0 (ret.)

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Not a lot of work out there today. It was a pretty quick match. Just kind of the way you like to get a Grand Slam fortnight started?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: To be honest, it’s never the way I would like to finish the match, but I went out there to feel my rhythm and start the tournament well. I played the first set really good, so this is what I will take from this match, that I’m playing my tennis.

For me, it’s always tricky the first few rounds. So it’s always good, yeah, to have the first round done. Just now focusing on the next rounds.

Q. You have had a terrific season. You come in seeded No. 2. Just talk about coming in the highest seed you have ever come into a Grand Slam and the level of confidence that I would think comes with that?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I have a lot of confidence, especially also from the last few weeks and from the whole year, actually. I mean, I’m playing one of my best tennis now.

To come in here is always special. You know, for me, especially. I’m not looking too much about the seeds because I know every round it’s tough in the Grand Slam.

But I think that I know that I’m playing good right now. That gives me a lot of confidence. And also, the experience I had from the last years and the last weeks especially, yeah, gives me the confidence of going out and playing really good tennis.

Q. Serena and Venus Williams have inspired so many young players to take up tennis. Who, for you, was the most inspiration as you were getting to learn the game?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: When I starting, of course, Steffi was always my inspiration when I was growing up. I was always watching her on German TV. I was always like thinking, Okay, one day I can play like her and playing the big tournaments.

So that was always like my inspiration. But also when I start, of course Serena and Venus, they played already. So for me, the both, they, yeah, are also great champions for me.

Q. Besides the power of Steffi Graf and of course the Williams sisters, what about the intelligence of the way they played? What did you learn maybe from the mental side of it?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, when I was young, I don’t know. I was not thinking too much about mental stuff. But when you are like growing up and you’re playing your tournaments and matches and a lot of like experience you take, then you start to think also that the mental side, it’s really important, and to think about like strategy and everything what’s coming with this.

So I think you have to take time to grow with all the stuff around you.

Q. You were asked on the court today again about the prospect of being so close to No. 1. You said you didn’t want it to be a distraction, but that if it would come it would certainly be something that you would look forward to. Without it distracting you, how does the prospect of that inspire you?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I mean, for sure to be one day No. 1, I think this is a goal from everybody, especially also for me. But I will not putting too much pressure on myself like I said a lot of times, because I know that when I put the pressure I’m not playing my tennis then.

You know, I will go out there to win every match going step by step. If the day will come someday it will be amazing. But, yeah, just let’s see. I have to win few more matches.

Q. We have been hearing about records in women’s tennis a lot lately. They separate them whether they happened in the open era or it didn’t. Do you know why they separate like that? Do you think they should?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I don’t know. I mean, I have — I don’t know actually. No.

Q. What is the thought of playing indoors on Ashe Stadium? What are your thoughts about that?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: It’s really like — it’s really huge when you go out there, and for me it’s nice to have now the chance to play on this court and like indoors. It’s nice, actually.

Q. Anything specific about what you think will make it special indoors?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: It’s always a little bit different when you play indoors or outdoors. It’s always like not the same, but, I mean, the surface is the same. So, yeah.

Q. Do you find it any different this year? Because even though the roof is open, there is a lot of structure that encapsulates the stadium.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah. It looks of course a little bit huger and bigger. It’s also like of course you have the first few hours you have like one side it’s sun and the other side is shadow.

But at the end, I think if it’s raining we all are happy about that. (Smiling.)


Catherine Bellis

Press Conference

C. BELLIS/V. Golubic

6-2, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. They keep calling you Catherine in the media room. You are still CC, right?

Q. Can you talk about the value of coming through the qualifying and what you gained, the experience of winning three matches going into today?
CATHERINE BELLIS: Yeah. 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.

Q. You have talked about going to Stanford. What would make that decision change?
CATHERINE BELLIS: It just — it used to be ranking-wise. I used to think of it, you know, the past couple years about, oh, I should be close to the top 100 and stuff like that.

But I think now it’s just more me being confident that I can, you know, compete at this level consistently.

Q. As of right now you’re still going to Stanford?

Q. You are waffling?
CATHERINE BELLIS: I am. For right now. I verbally committed and I talked to the coach a lot. I think the signing date is in November.

Q. How much of a reminiscent moment was that for you to win out on that court today and do what you did? How much do you feel you have changed as a person and as a tennis player in the two years?
CATHERINE BELLIS: Yeah, I think it was really great that I was on that court again for the first round. It was really cool. When I saw the schedule, I was like, Oh, my God. I’m on that court again.

Yeah, it was great. The girl I played was really good. I’m glad I got through it. I think I have grown as a person and as a player last couple of years. I think my game has matured a lot. I think I have improved pretty much everything in my game a lot.

Back when I was younger I could have some good wins here and there, but now I can consistently, I think, have better results.

Q. Four matches, including qualifying, and dropped only one set. What’s been the key?
CATHERINE BELLIS: I think I have been focusing on playing for myself and my game style. Not focusing on anything else going on. Just thinking about each point one at a time.

Q. Coming into New York, what were the emotions like? You’re going to go play qualifying. Typically it might have been a wildcard situation. What was your thinking once you got here about what you could do and what you wanted to maybe prove to yourself or to other people?
CATHERINE BELLIS: Qualifying was actually one of the biggest things that I wanted to do here, and just do in general in a Grand Slam.

That’s one of the biggest, you know, moments for me in my tennis so far, so I think that was one of the main things. Everything else is icing on the cake for now.

Q. You come from a beautiful but very quiet California suburb, yet you come here to The Big Apple and sort of kick back. What makes you do so well, do you think, here in New York?
CATHERINE BELLIS: Honestly, I think it’s all the support that I get and everybody that comes out to my matches.

If I didn’t have that support I don’t know if I’d be doing as well as I am right now. (Smiling.)

Yeah, I think that’s one of the main things. I just love the atmosphere. Atmosphere. The courts are amazing. Everything about it I love.

Q. Have you gone back at all and watched the tape or do you reminisce at all and — that was such a big moment I think in your life. Do you sort of waffle over that at all?
CATHERINE BELLIS: I don’t have any tape of it. I haven’t watched it at all. Yeah, I mean, it was so long ago. I don’t think it really has anything to do with me or my game right now.

No, I don’t really look back on it.

Q. You played Shelby once and she said it was on clay. She knows that you swing for the fences. What are you thinking about going into that match?
CATHERINE BELLIS: Yeah, we played each other a couple months ago. Yeah, I mean, I haven’t really thought about it too much. I’m just focused on I went out and practiced and focused on my game, everything like that.

I think I will think about it more tonight and tomorrow. I’m just going to focus on me, focus on myself.

Q. You practiced after your match?

Q. For how long and what did you work on?
CATHERINE BELLIS: I mean, I do it after every match I play. My coach and I usually go out for 30, 45 minutes and we practice. We do all my groundies, you know, cross-courts, down the lines. We do counting just to groove everything. Volleys, overheads, serves, returns.

Q. Is it dependent upon how you do in a match?

Q. No matter what you have the same routine after every single match?
CATHERINE BELLIS: Unless I’m on the ground dying tired, then I’m going and practicing. That hasn’t happened yet, so… (smiling.)

Q. Glad to hear.

Q. What did you think of Shelby’s run at the French Open?
CATHERINE BELLIS: Oh, my God, it was amazing. Yeah, it’s unbelievable for American tennis and for Team USA. Yeah, she was playing unbelievable there. It was really great.

Q. There was so much attention to her run and she was said to be the Cinderella. Did it ever cross your mind there was a little bit of sameness to your experience when you first emerged here?
CATHERINE BELLIS: No. No. I think it’s a lot different. She, I think — round of 16 or quarterfinals there? Yeah. I mean, that’s obviously a lot better than what I did.

I don’t think it really has anything to do with that. I mean, different surface, different tournament, so…

Q. At this stage of your career, what is fun for you in terms of your tennis? What do you get the most enjoyment out of?
CATHERINE BELLIS: Still playing. Yeah, playing matches I love so much. Having all my like hard work from practice come out in my matches. That’s the best thing any tennis player can possibly be a part of.

Q. Are you harder on yourself than anybody else could ever be on you?
CATHERINE BELLIS: Yeah, definitely.

Q. Why?
CATHERINE BELLIS: Because I think that I can do big things in tennis and that I think if I don’t — you know, say I didn’t play well one day or something. I know can I do a lot better than what I did.

So, yeah, I think it’s good. I think it’s good that I am.

Q. You talked about all your hard work. What element of your work really has borne the most fruit? Has it been the physical work? Has it been stroke technique? Has it been the mental side and mental toughness?
CATHERINE BELLIS: I think it’s a combination. Yeah, in the last year I have worked very hard on my fitness and just getting a lot stronger. I mean, even in the last couple of years when I have played here, like I said, I could have some good matches.

But my body couldn’t handle playing consistently at this level. Neither could my game.

Definitely my fitness, but also just everything in my game being a little more solid.

Q. The NCAA keeps changing the rules on amateurism. It’s changed last year again where you could keep money for expenses or…
CATHERINE BELLIS: Yeah. You get to keep $10,000 a year, plus like at every tournament that you go to, whatever you can make you can expense that money if it adds up to however much you expense.

Q. Are you going to seek out some pretty nice expenses if you keep on going here?
CATHERINE BELLIS: Yeah. I have already upgraded to a suite in my hotel. I had my dad do that for me. (Laughter.) I was excited about that.

Q. Maybe you can buy us members in the press corps a gift as part of your expense account.

Q. After your match today or after qualifying?
CATHERINE BELLIS: Qualifying. Yeah, couple days ago.

Q. I mean, I know you won four matches and there was so much attention around you because you were 15 and you beat a seed two years ago, but how much more satisfied, if you are, of what you’ve accomplished the last few days?
CATHERINE BELLIS: Yeah, I think I have earned my way into the tournament this time rather than — I mean, I did last time. I won the National Hard Courts, but it’s different.

I think getting through qualifying, for me, it means a lot more than, you know, just getting straight into main.


Gael Monfils

Press Conference

G. MONFILS/G. Muller

6-4, 6-2, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. So when you crashed into the wall, did you think you had hit it that hard?
GAEL MONFILS: Ah, no. When you are in the moment you don’t feel really anything. Just jump. I saw was a wall, but it was quite lucky.

Q. How surprised were you when it kind of came over?
GAEL MONFILS: I was surprised, because it hurt me a little bit. You know, could be pretty bad. Could have fallen on my ankle or calf and could be more than that.

Q. What thoughts do you have on the situation for the big four that has dominated for so many years: Murray, Nadal, Djokovic, and Federer, where they are right now?
GAEL MONFILS: Oh, I have no idea, you know, actually, because I don’t very focus about the big four you call them. I just focus about I know all of them, and I can beat them, you know, no matter what.

So I think Roger is out for his injury, but the other ones, still tough players for sure. Novak is still cruising again a little bit this year. The other ones are playing tough also. I think we all improve all the time a little way to try to beat them sometime and to actually put them in more trouble.

Q. Who do you draw most inspiration from as far as your tennis?
GAEL MONFILS: For me? Actually like current player?

Q. Could be current or past.
GAEL MONFILS: For me, past definitely Arthur Ashe for me. I used to watch a lot of documentary of him. Really love his life and what he achieve. It’s him for me I look up for most of the time.

Q. You obviously have wonderful power shots with your forehand and your serve, but you’re also known for your wonderful creativity, spontaneity, and different shots. Is that one of the things that you love about your tennis that keeps you going? Talk about that aspect.
GAEL MONFILS: You know, to be honest, I always say that is very natural, you know. Just instinct player, you know. And I do what I feel to do at that time.

You know, I think I played a lot of sport when I was young and still play now other sport. Maybe have different coordination of others, so that’s why sometimes it looks a little bit different.

Q. Do some of your shots sometimes surprise you? Was there one shot in particular that you can…
GAEL MONFILS: You know, it’s tough because when I’m inside, you know, I have no look, you know, by myself. And actually when I jump or when I dive or whatever, you know, for me it’s natural.

So I have no look. Right after if someone show me, say, Shit, it was good. (Smiling.)

Q. Coming up obviously you had really good results right up and through the Olympics, and having the Olympic experience this year and coming out to the Open. Are you feeling good? Are you feeling satisfied with the way you’re playing coming in?
GAEL MONFILS: Yeah, I feel good, you know. I think I have a strong first round, and obviously I know it was a little bit worries, my back a little bit.

Today I just play tough and cruised. I’m satisfied. Still have won a lot of matches. No, I just feel good and hopefully going to keep going.

Q. And you take the first set, straight sets, do you feel good the way things went out there?
GAEL MONFILS: Yeah, because this one, I think it was a bit more than a first round. I think Gilles is just out to be seeded and he’s a tough player.

I feel like to win this match straight sets was I think a good effort for me, so it give me a lot of confidence.

Q. What about the possibility of playing under the roof here? What do you think it will be like to play indoors?
GAEL MONFILS: I don’t know. I don’t know. No one ever ask me this question. Would be cool. Would be more electric, I guess. I think it’s gonna be more noisy. Yeah, actually, can be a really cool experience.

Q. You had that incredible match with Federer here. What has been the most wonderful match in your career?
GAEL MONFILS: Honestly, the first time I beat my dad. But in the tour, I always say when I lost to Lleyton Hewitt in 2004 in Bercy. I lost 6-3, 7-6. For me, it was the best match I ever play so far.

Q. When you’re in the zone, you know that expression, in the zone, playing your best, how would you describe that feeling?
GAEL MONFILS: I can’t, because I will do it every time. I can’t, because I think actually we practice, you know, to be at this zone. You know, for the zone is like when you’re in the top and you achieve anything, you can beat anyone, and no one can beat you.

Somehow, you know, I think maybe Novak is the one can say it most because he’s not losing a lot.

But me, I can’t I tell you. I know it’s a great feeling, but never happen a lot in the season, when you’re in the zone, what, a match, two matches maximum? But when you’re in the zone it’s very rare to have this sensation.


Rafael Nadal

Press Conference

R. NADAL/D. Istomin

6-1, 6-4, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. If you can, assess the match. How you feel you played today?
RAFAEL NADAL: Normal. That’s the real thing. Not very good; not very bad.

I think I played — was a good start for me obviously winning here in straight sets. I have been dominating the match comfortable after 6-1, 4-1, and I think in that game I could have the second break in the second set, no, and go 5-1.

Didn’t happen. And then the second set was tougher, no? Was tough at the end. He had some chances in the 4-All. Happy that I finally saved that game. I had the break in the last one. In the third I think I finished playing well. Last couple of games I played a little more aggressive with my forehand.

I feel that I was changing a little bit, you know, playing a little bit longer the cross shot, and then changing down the line, like last point. It was positive one.

That’s it. My serve worked well almost all the time. I am hitting very well the backhand, but it’s true that the forehand I need time. I need confidence and I need to keep practicing the forehand, no?

Is not easy to go two months-and-a-half out of competition in the middle of the season without hitting a forehand. I need to have the confidence again with my wrist. That is coming, because I feel the wrist much better, and every day feel that the wrist a little bit better. That’s very important thing for me. By the way, the most important thing.

I need to recover the normal movement with the forehand. Even if I played very well in Rio, you know, when you have pain you try to change the movement to avoid a little bit that pain no? So I need to find again the normal movement. But I am in the way.

Q. How different with the roof on is the wind or the shadows?
RAFAEL NADAL: Oh, the wind, there is no wind. It’s just a little bit of wind, no? Since the first day that I practiced here I checked that was not wind at all, no? Because I remembered one of these days that I was practicing in the center court outside was very, very windy, and in the center court was not wind at all, no?

The shadows are, you know, always a little bit of inconvenience during, but it’s true after 2:30, 3:00 in the afternoon it’s over. That’s a good thing. In general terms, is great. Is beautiful court. Is an amazing job that USTA did, and I think is a great improvement for everybody, for the players, for the fans who are visiting here Flushing Meadows, and for sure for the people who are following the tournament on the television.

Q. In Rio you said that you played there just because it was the Olympics. You wouldn’t have played in any other tournament. It ended up you had to play a lot. In hindsight, looking back, do you think that much court time did good for your recovery or you think that you just got too tired?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, was too tiring. After the Olympics I feel myself destroyed. But it’s normal, no? Is not because I was not ready. It’s because I didn’t competed and I didn’t have the chance to practice strong practices on court, no? I was doing a lot of physical performance, training in the gym.

But since one week before the Olympics I was not hitting forehand, no? Just practicing 45 minutes to 30 to one hour. That’s the maximum thing that I was practicing, no?

So was a very important event for me, and in general terms have been very, very positive. I will say more than very positive, and I’m 100% recovered physically, no?

In terms of the wrist injury, I was not sure when I was there, but the real thing is the wrist improved. Was a very good decision.

Q. You’re known for your love of our sport and also for the love of your country. When you came out of the tunnel holding the flag for Spain, you were beaming and smiling. As you walked down the track, what went through your mind about the country and your journey? What were your thoughts?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I was just enjoying that very unique moment, no? Olympics are the most important event of the world of sport, so for me was something that I missed the opportunity in London, 2012, to bring the flag.

And I see it like (Asking for translation) for award, reward. Is an award after a lot of years of hard work, a lot of years of passion for the sport, a lot of years having represented well I think my country around the world no?

That moment was unique, unforgettable, and was just very, very high emotions.

Q. If that’s the case, can you understand why players choose not to play the Olympics because they are not getting ranking points and not getting prize money?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. No, in my personal feeling, you know, in terms of importance, the events are — always you need to find in your interior, no? You need to find what’s the motivation of yourself for everything, no?

But for me personally, Olympics is the closest thing to a Grand Slam. That’s my feeling, no? And I can’t understand some players that are a little bit older that they decided to not go because they prefer — they have been there. If they believe that there is no chances for medals I could understand, but some young players that choosed to not go there, it’s difficult to understand, no?

Olympics are once every four years and is something that is an experience you can’t miss. Even if you are young, you need to have the right people around you to advise you that have to go there. You know, because then when you are older you appreciate a lot these events and these experiences that are completely special and unique.

So that’s a thing the same what happened in golf, the same what happened in tennis with a couple of players.

But is something that makes the sport bigger, no? I think if the stars are going to Olympics makes the Olympics bigger. But at the same time, have the golf in Olympics I think makes the golf bigger, and having the tennis in Olympics have — you know, is true that we help to have the Olympics bigger, but the Olympics help us to be bigger in the world of sport, no?

Because there is a lot of fans around the world that they don’t follow tennis normally, but during the Olympics everybody see the Olympics, no? So you have a lot of visibility during that week. In my opinion we should promote that.

Q. Much less serious experience is at the end of matches here when you hit the balls into the crowd. What is that like? Where are you trying to hit it? How far and which direction?
RAFAEL NADAL: Oh, I don’t know. (Laughter.) No idea. Don’t know. Just I try to send the balls where more people are. No, I just try to send the ball where the people really want the ball. That’s it.

Q. In our stadium do you ever try to hit it out of the stadium?
RAFAEL NADAL: No chance. We tried before. I try when I was younger but have more power without the roof, and there was no — impossible.

Q. You said you would have rested longer with the wrist had it not been for the Olympics, so if there had been no Olympics do you think you would have been playing in this tournament or still resting?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, sure I would be playing this tournament. The wrist is better, yeah.

Yes, if there is not Olympics probably I will start here. That’s the normal thing that will happen, no? But the real thing is I was very happy to play the Olympics, no, because was nothing against the injury. Nothing happen against the injury.

So the improvement had been very positive. Sometimes you take decisions, and I take the decision to play in Roland Garros and it was a very negative decision. It was very important event for me.

After that I break a little bit the wrist so had to stop for two months and a half. Then I decided to play in the Olympics and was positive thing, no?

So in terms of decisions, after the decision when you know what happened, everything is easy, but before you need to take a decision. So when you take decisions, you have mistakes or you don’t. People take decisions are the people who can have both things.

Q. You have seen it happen in basketball where there are a lot of players that want to rest because of injury. You have Laver Cup and other things happening in tennis. Is tennis too full schedule-wise, or how much more tennis do you think guys can play or players can play because the sport is also so physical?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, don’t compare the exhibitions or the tournaments outside of the tour than when we are competing on tour, because it’s a different story in terms of, you know, what is the tougher thing for the body. What really damage your body and your mental strength is other real competition.

When I have exhibition I relax. We try to do it for the crowd, to try to play good for the crowd. We try our best, but we don’t know what is the limit. You have problems when you go to the limit, so is not fair to compare that.

And in terms of calendar, I never said that calendar is too long. In my opinion the calendar can be as long as you want. For me it will be great if we have tournaments since the first week of the season every single week.

The only negative things sometimes are the mandatory events. We have a lot of mandatory events, and that creates very short periods of rest, no? But as many tournaments as we have, as more tournaments we have the better, because there is more jobs.

One sport is bigger and better not only if the best players win a lot of money, if is a lot of players can have the right money to live well.

So that’s how much more players can have the work on the tennis life, better for our tour. So the only thing is the mandatory events.

Q. You were just talking about how each of the players have to find their own motivation. In the past you said your motivation for tennis comes from your love of the sport. Talk about that. Talk about the love that you have for tennis and how that affects your motivation and drive.
RAFAEL NADAL: I always say the same, no? Sport in general is one of my hobbies and is one of my passions. Not only like player, like a spectator, too. I love the sport with a lot of competition, when I am practicing, and when I’m watching on the TV. I love the sport in general, and my life and my family always have been very close to the world of sport and living the sport with a lot of passion.

That’s why I always tried hard and I love what I do.

Q. You have done it many times, but do you still wake up on the morning of the first round of a Grand Slam and feel that nervous energy of a big tournament?
RAFAEL NADAL: If you are not nervous a little bit it’s time to say good-bye. That’s the real thing, no? You need to be nervous. No, that’s part of the competition, no?

If you don’t feel that then it’s because you really don’t want to win as much as you need or you are not afraid about the lose. When you don’t have those feelings it’s because you don’t have enough motivation for what you are doing.


Garbine Muguruza

Press Conference

G. MUGURUZA/E. Mertens

2 6, 6 0, 6 3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What was wrong physically that you called the trainer after the first set? How were you feeling the rest of the match?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: I started and it was difficult a little bit to breathe for me. It was really humid. I don’t know. When you feel the heat that makes you a little bit, like, down kind of, you know.

I was talking in the locker room a little bit with the physio. Was kind of like similar to Australia, you know, where is hot.

I forgot that there was the ice towels and everything. So I start using them, trying to breathe a little bit better, I don’t know, taking more calm just to, you know, go with the match.

But I didn’t remember that was that hot in here. I don’t know why I felt this today. It was like really, really humid.

Q. Were you not feeling well before the match or was it just the heat of today that made you feel unwell?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: No, I kind of felt this also in the practice two days ago, that I’m like, Whew, this is hot here.

Today in the warmup I didn’t feel it. It’s only half an hour in a warmup. It’s only a warmup. But as soon as I started the match moving and running, also with the competition makes you more tense. I guess that, yeah.

Q. You mentioned the next player, you don’t know who she is, never seen her play. How do you mentally prepare for a game like that where you just don’t know your competition?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: Well, it happens more in the Grand Slams at the beginning of the rounds because there’s a lot of people and sometimes you don’t know the opponents.

But today was the case. I went to the court and I didn’t really know the opponent. You play and you do your stuff. You kind of see a little bit during the match how she plays, but you cannot know anything before.

It’s like that. I don’t know.

Q. Coming in as the 3 seed, a Grand Slam champion, somebody not really known to the public here, how does it feel to come in with higher expectations? Does that raise the confidence level and your own expectations of yourself?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: I think is different. If I would say no it would not make sense. Someone that, I don’t know, has reached the last rounds of the tournaments or, you know, the important moments every time you go to a tournament, you believe, Maybe I can do it again. You have more expectations, that’s for sure.

But I got to play with that. I have to go on the court, try to don’t have in my mind all the time, Hey, let’s go for this match, let’s try to win this. That’s the way.

For sure maybe a lot of people is talking. All this kind of stuff that I cannot control. If I cannot control it I don’t put it in my bag, you know. I’m minimizing and doing everything very simple around me.

Q. Some people thrive on the environment here; others find it daunting. Where do you come in there? Do you enjoy this atmosphere?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: You mean in the court?

Q. Yes.
GARBINE MUGURUZA: Yes, I felt there’s more movement, more noise, more stuff. But it’s well known also because of the environment and the crowd and the vibes, I don’t know, that feeling that brings New York.

I think it’s also special to feel. I don’t know. There’s a lot of people. They’re watching you. Maybe it’s not as silence as Wimbledon, that everybody is like this, but I enjoy a lot also.

Q. Aside from the tennis, can you enjoy the city of New York? Anything besides tennis?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: You can enjoy. For me it’s difficult during the tournament. I came one week earlier here to prepare and everything. In those days I have more chances to, Hey, let’s go watch this show. This is the city of shows. There’s 10 every day and restaurants and everything.

Once I start the tournament I’m very, I don’t know the word, like in a cave. I’m in my room. I do simple stuff. I don’t go to a lot of places. I just try to keep my energy with me and not going there and there and there.

Q. You came here early this year?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: I came one week early.

Q. Shows or anything?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: Yes. Where did we go? We went to a Mark Anthony concert. I loved it. I was dancing. I have to say, there was all womens. Not one man in that concert.

And are trying Greek restaurants. I love Greek restaurants. Italian and steakhouses. I love the steakhouses. I just discover places.

Q. Did you have a lot of media appearances for sponsors? Was that part of that week?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: Yes. Here is where they’re all more or less based. This is the part of the year where you’re more compromises, or, I don’t know. It’s just more people, more sponsors, more people that want more time from you.

Yeah, it would be more here. You have to really schedule everything.

Q. But you also have to train.
GARBINE MUGURUZA: Yes, because between this, this, this, I have to practice, go back 10 blocks, one taxi.

Q. First round match, having difficulty breathing, playing against somebody you never played before, it’s very easy to panic. Did you ever come close to that? Did you ever feel like you were panicking? If not, how did you reel the match back in?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: No, I don’t feel I panic. I think I always have a chance. I’m there. Even though I’m down 4 1 I always try to see what can I do to turn these things around.

Maybe you’re like, Oh, this is dangerous situation, because you feel that you’re like 4 1 or in the third set you know last set.

These kind of things, I think all the players feel that. But you always have to focus and, Okay, what should I do now to win this point? How can I turn this set? Where should I play? You kind of think about something else.


John Isner

Press Conference

J. ISNER/F. Tiafoe

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

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. When he’s serving for the fifth set, what advantage do you have not being 18 years old?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, I guess, I mean, experience is definitely on my side in that match, but sometimes experience is overrated.

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.

Q. Were you at all surprised by his level of play?
JOHN ISNER: No, I wasn’t. I mean, I know how talented he is. At such a young age, he seems to be the type of kid that can rise up to the big occasion, big moment, and great atmosphere. He played I thought very well.

I was struggling matching his intensity. In the early goings of the match he was all over me and was the better player hands down.

I had to stick with it and had to try to tilt the match in my favor a little bit, which I was able to do.

Q. You’ve won some epics in your career. You’ve also had a lot of tough, close losses this year. Where do you rank this match as far as the drama, being out on the Grandstand for the first time?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, I mean, the atmosphere was amazing. I mean, you guys saw it. Standing room only in that fifth set. The crowd was going nuts. A lot of people were cheering for him – rightfully so.

But it’s definitely up there. I feel like I was due. I’ve lost a number of close matches this year, so to be able to pull that one out feels really good. And in the way I pulled it out feels especially good, so…

Yeah, I can’t say enough about Frances. I’ve always liked him. Always. He’s a great guy. He has a fantastic future.

Q. Can you describe what you really thought of the play of the new Grandstand? What kind of court was it? Is it quicker?
JOHN ISNER: I’m not the best person to ask when it comes to that stuff. I don’t pay too much attention to it.

If I had to say, it’s probably a little on the quicker side, I think. You get rewarded for the right type of play out there. I don’t know.

I mean, I practiced on Armstrong. Maybe it’s a little quicker, but I don’t know.

Regardless, the court is beautiful and it’s fun to play on.

Q. He’s obviously the youngest player in the draw. What elements do you think he has to grow to play big points?
JOHN ISNER: He’s got so much room to grow as a tennis player. Yeah, I think probably his second serve. He’s improved his serve from when I practiced with him.

He’s been at some Davis Cup ties. He definitely has improved his serve. I think the best thing he has going for him is he’s just an incredible athlete. You can’t really teach that.

He’s got wheels; he’s got the hands; he’s got shots on both sides. One area, if he improves his second serve a little bit. But I would certainly buy stock in him right now for sure. He’s a great player.

Q. At the end of a match when you’re hitting balls into the crowd, what is that experience like and what are you trying to do?
JOHN ISNER: Oh, I don’t know. I was enjoying it at that moment. The atmosphere was awesome. A lot of people were on their feet cheering for that match. They weren’t just cheering for me at the end.

It’s why you play. It’s why you work so hard, to have moments like that. Everyone that’s been part of a painful loss like that, as well. The wins, in an atmosphere like that, in a close match like that, are really sweet.

Q. How about in general, the whole experience of hitting balls in the crowd? Do you try to hit them out of the stadium? Where are you aiming?
JOHN ISNER: No. I was pretty tired. I just hit them up. I didn’t hit them anywhere in particular at the end there.

Q. What did you and Frances say to each other up at the net?
JOHN ISNER: I can’t really recall. I don’t think he said much. I think I said, Great match. It was really fun to play against you today. Keep your head up. You know, your future is immensely bright.

I mean, I didn’t say that. Keep it going, man. It was fun. I think that’s what I said.

Q. How important has that slice backhand been for you to develop as a shot that gets you out of trouble sometimes? Does it get you into trouble ever?
JOHN ISNER: No, it’s improved. Sort of a shot that sometimes I feel it really good and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes it’s not there at all. You know, leading up to this match, practicing here, I feel like that shot has been working pretty well for me.

For me to use that shot in a sort of defensive fashion is very important to get it low and get it down cross-court.

I’ve worked on that shot ad nauseam forever now. It’s always going to be a pretty important shot for me.

Q. Does someone hit that shot best on tour?
JOHN ISNER: Roger probably. Yeah.

Q. After a match like that, when you lose a close match, how do you make it learning experience instead of making it a scar that lasts?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah. As I said before, I’ve lost a lot of close matches this year in final-set tiebreakers. You have to try to learn from it, even though it can sort of scar you up, as you said.

But you have to try to learn from it. You have to try to stay positive and stay the course and know that it will turn around.

I know with how I play, very good chance I’m going to be in that situation a lot. Maybe not at a Grand Slam like this, but, you know, I just stuck with it. I was confident in that fifth set icebreaker. I really believed I was going to win it.

I had no reason to believe that considering how many matches I lost, but I was positive and believed I was going to pull through.

Q. What do you like most about his game?
JOHN ISNER: His backhand is world class. His backhand return is world class. He was handling my serve better than anyone really, maybe outside of Novak. I mean, he was really on it. His forehand’s great. I think that shot’s improved a lot.

As I said earlier, he’s such an incredible athlete. He’s got that on his side. That’s not going to go anywhere, so…

He’s got a very bright future.

Q. As someone who follows football and other sports, what is your reaction to Colin Kaepernick’s statement with not standing for the National Anthem?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, I thought that was pathetic from him. The cause he was going for, fine by me, but don’t do it in that fashion. He could have found some other ways to present his voice there. A lot of NBA players have done it, and good on ’em.

For him doing it in that way really irked me. I’m a big Blaine Gabbert fan now.


Frances Tiafoe

Press Conference

J. ISNER/F. Tiafoe

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

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Where do you think you had the better chance of winning, the third set tiebreak or when you served for the match?
FRANCES TIAFOE: Both, I mean, about the same. Yeah, pretty disappointed I missed that backhand at 5-All with that much court I had to work with. Overcooked it.

But, yeah, serving for it I thought I definitely had it. 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.

Q. You were very gracious on court. What were you feeling after the match, having chances? What is going on in your head?
FRANCES TIAFOE: I mean, 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.

But it’s against an experienced player. Me and John are great friends. It was a good battle and I had a lot of fun today.

Q. (Question regarding experience.)
FRANCES TIAFOE: I think that played a part in it. If I could replay that, probably wouldn’t have gotten as hyped up when I broke. Maybe would have taken a little bit out of it.

No, I mean, I think that played a little part in it.

Q. Talk about the atmosphere playing on the new Grandstand. What was that like?
FRANCES TIAFOE: I think it’s going to be the best court at the US Open in years to come. It was unbelievable. It was pretty much packed the whole time.

Yeah, I mean, it still feels pretty intimate, just like the old Grandstand. I think it’s going to definitely be a court I want to play on for sure in the future.

Q. What did you and John say to each other at the net when you hugged? There’s always a lot of questions about the future of American tennis. With young guys like you and Taylor Fritz, how bright is the future? Can you compete for slams down the road?
FRANCES TIAFOE: To be honest, yeah, I don’t really know what John said. I just heard him say, You’re going to be great, you know, and I was kind of crying on his shoulder. But, yeah, I mean, he’s so nice. I mean, we’re such good friends.

And then the last thing I heard him say is, Don’t let this get you down.

For American tennis, I think it’s looking really good. I think we have a lot of guys that are going to be very good. I think American tennis is definitely on the right path. We just got to keep our heads down and keep doing the work and I think we’re going to have good careers.

Q. What did those first two sets feel like? Looked like you could do no wrong.
FRANCES TIAFOE: Seemed like everything I touched was golden. Came out playing pretty much lights out. I was returning unbelievable. I was guessing right on everything. Wasn’t really expecting that. I was ready to play a couple breakers going in.

But, yeah, I mean, it was a lot of fun today. I really enjoyed myself and I really thought I played one of the best matches I’ve played so far.

I pretty much did everything but win the match today. It was an unbelievable experience.

Q. Did your dad have anything to do with tennis before he got the job at the camp?
FRANCES TIAFOE: No, nothing at all. Nothing at all. Never really even held a racquet before he came there at all. No relation to tennis whatsoever.

Q. How do you build off a match like this going forward, take the positives out of it?
FRANCES TIAFOE: I think the positive is that I can play that level, you know, on a big stage like that. Also that I think one day I could maybe have a good run at a slam.

You know, just keep going on the practice courts and keep doing what I’ve been doing: working hard, get my strengths even better, and my weaknesses to one day be strengths.

Q. I saw you in the Orange Bowl when you were 15. What part of your game has made the biggest advance since then?
FRANCES TIAFOE: I think I’ve just gotten a lot stronger physically. I think that’s helped me a lot. Moving better. You know, hitting the ball stronger from both sides. Serving a bit better.

I mean, yeah, I just grew a lot as a person, as a player since then. I think that’s really what’s been helping me the last couple years.

Q. Which tennis figure has provided you with the greatest inspiration?
FRANCES TIAFOE: As far as player or… ?

Q. Can be a player. Doesn’t have to be.
FRANCES TIAFOE: I’m a big DelPo fan. Huge DelPo fan. Seeing him win a slam here when he was 19, 20, that was huge inspiration for me. I always wanted to be like him.

Seeing him in the locker room, now we’re talking, that even seems surreal. I think he was a big inspiration for me.


Monica Puig

Press Conference

S. ZHENG/M. Puig

6-4, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How tough was it out there today?
MONICA PUIG: It’s always a little bit tough, especially coming off winning the Olympic gold medal. A lot of pressure, a lot of expectation, but I can always continue to learn. That’s what I’m going to try and do.

All credit to her, though. She played well. She complicated me just enough. But, you know, I’m still learning. I’ll still growing. Trying to find the positives out of everything.

Q. Does this feel like something you’re going to have to take some time to process in terms of recovering in a way from this big career achievement?
MONICA PUIG: Sure. I’ve never been here before. These are new waters for me, new territory. I’m going to have to start getting used to it. Once it starts becoming a little bit more of a habit, then I’ll feel comfortable.

It took me a while to be comfortable being in the top 50, the top 30, all this stuff. It’s always a process. I’m just going to have to keep learning and just take it day by day.

Q. New York City has such a big Puerto Rican community. What did you make of the crowd support for you?
MONICA PUIG: Well, it was great. Everyone was there supporting me. They didn’t really let down at any moment. It’s even great to see that at my lowest points they were there for me. I really appreciate it.

I know that I can always come back to New York and have a Puerto Rican family there for me.

Q. You mentioned positives that you want to take from this match. What are some of those positives that you are going to work on?
MONICA PUIG: At no point in the match did I have a bad attitude towards what was going on, and no moment did I give up. That’s really positive for me, because no matter how tough situations get, I know that I won’t give up and I’ll always keep trying.

I tried to be aggressive when I could. It didn’t happen today. But we have bad days as tennis players. I just got to keep working on my game.

Again, I’m still in the process of learning. There’s so much to be done still with my game. I’m 22 years old. There’s always room for improvement. I’m just going to go back to the drawing board with my team and see what else we can fix.

Q. How tough is it that it was such a big tournament so soon? Did you feel maybe there could have been an extra week between the Olympics?
MONICA PUIG: I wish. Everybody does. Kind of had some time to come down from the high a little bit. At the end of the day, the calendar doesn’t really give you much room to, you know, ask and take, whatever. You have to get back out there like everybody else does.

Kerber went out after the final of the Olympics and made finals of Cincinnati. But, again, she’s been there. She knows what it’s like. She knows she’s No. 2 in the world. She’s tested the waters out a little bit. I’m brand-new to this.

I need to keep racking up as much experience as I can. You know what? This isn’t going to be the last of me. I know I’m going to keep working hard. The Olympics was something that happened because of all my hard work.

I’m just going to keep working harder to get those results as soon as possible.

Q. Kerber, after she won her first Grand Slam, she had struggles. Does that give you confidence knowing they were able to rebound from that?
MONICA PUIG: Of course. I mean, I’m playing well. I’m playing good tennis. I feel good out on the court. I feel good hitting the ball. It’s something I did tell myself.

Garbine won her first Grand Slam and then she had a little bit of a letdown. She’s coming into her own as well.

A lot of people go through this. It’s not, you know, just me. That’s what a lot of people need to kind of understand sometimes. I’ve gotten a lot of negativity over these past few weeks. I’m like, Well, okay, take your time a little bit. You know, I’m still learning. I’m still coming about.

With time everything will become a lot easier for me. Again, it’s all about hard work and it’s all I’m going to keep doing.

Q. What are some of the things you’re going to work on for the next tournament?
MONICA PUIG: I’m going to keep on working on everything in general. I know what type of game I like to play. I know how I play. It’s just continuing to make myself as solid as possible to try and patch up all the holes in my game. Just make everything as solid as I can.

There’s only a few more tournaments left in the year. I’m going to definitely try and finish the year off with a high. I have had a great year until now, so only going to try and build my confidence up with that and just keep going.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Press Conference

J. TSONGA/G. Andreozzi

6-3, 6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Did the match pretty much go as you expected? Were there any surprises for you? You won in straight sets.
JO-WILFRIED TSONGA: Yeah, I played well enough. I served pretty consistently. Then it was easier for me to put pressure on his serve.

So, yeah, I expect to win, of course, before the match, and I did it. So, yeah, that’s great.


Taylor Fritz

Press Conference

J. SOCK/T. Fritz

7-6, 7-5, 3-6, 1-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. I know it’s a tough one to lose. After Australia, you were positive after that match because it showed you you could stay at that level. What do you take from this?
TAYLOR FRITZ: You know, I’ve always been a fighter and someone who competes till the end. I don’t know what I really take from it. I think I’ve proven I can come back from two sets to love down; never really out of it.

It’s just really tough to do everything that I did, get back to the point where I was at, and then after all that lose the match.

Q. Must be hard to go from day to night on a court. Were there visual conditions that were difficult?
TAYLOR FRITZ: In the very, very beginning of the match, first set, it was kind of tough with the shadows that were coming across the court, but those went away pretty quick.

So I think the whole second set and on the shade covered the court, so it wasn’t tricky with the sun in your eyes or anything.

Q. How about the color of Jack’s shirt? Does the ball ever get lost in that?
TAYLOR FRITZ: No. Didn’t seem like that to me. I mean, I was wearing the same shirt, so…

Q. Looked so similar.
TAYLOR FRITZ: Never. Didn’t see a ball come out and thought, Wow, the shirt did something. I never even thought that was an issue at all.

Q. What’s next for you?
TAYLOR FRITZ: I play doubles here. Afterwards I’m going to have a couple weeks to myself to just train and get stronger. It’s been a while since I’ve had a nice long training block to get stronger and really improve my game.

So I’ll do that.

Q. Where will you do that?
TAYLOR FRITZ: Probably in Carson.

Q. Do you work at all with Christian Groh anymore?
TAYLOR FRITZ: When I’m in San Diego we work, but I’ll be in Carson, USTA.

Q. Does he work with you at Carson, too?
TAYLOR FRITZ: No. At Carson I work with mainly David Nainkin, and Mardy Fish comes in sometimes, too, to supplement and help out.

Then my first tournament back is going to be in Tokyo.

Q. You’re a little bit further along in the year now. Quite a bit further along. In January you were looking ahead. What do you think you’ve gotten in this year so far?
TAYLOR FRITZ: I’ve had a lot of ups and downs in this year. I feel like overall when I look back at it, it’s better than I expected. I have to be proud of being where I’m at at the age I’m at.

It’s tough because I just set the expectations so high for myself. I want to do better and I want to do more than I’ve done. Didn’t want to have any of the lows in the season.

At the end of the day, need to step back and look at the big picture. I’m 18; I’m 50 something in the world. It’s way farther than I thought I’d be at this point a year ago. I have to stay positive and keep looking at the positives that I can take out of this year, and there are a lot.

Q. What are the tournament highlights of this year for you?
TAYLOR FRITZ: Memphis, for sure. Memphis and Acapulco were two great tournaments for me. I’ve been to a lot of great places.

But towards the end of this season I haven’t had the results I’ve been looking for, even though I felt like I’ve been playing some pretty decent tennis.

I’m not too worried, though. I think if I keep playing well, the results will come. It’s just I’ve had some close matches I’ve lost and some tough draws. I’m not too worried.

Milos Raonic

Press Conference

M. RAONIC/D. Brown

7-5, 6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. A little uneven the first set. Didn’t seem to have timing on your serve.
MILOS RAONIC: Had trouble with my serve even throughout the match. It got better and better, but definitely something I’m going to put some time into tomorrow.

I know it’s something that I can get back on track pretty quickly, but definitely was not where I would have liked it to be to start the match.

Made good progress throughout.

Q. Overall a pretty easy way to start. Would that be the way to put this match?
MILOS RAONIC: I was efficient at the end of the day. Three sets; not too much time on court. I would have wished to play better, but it’s not the goal to be playing my best tennis in the first round. It’s about getting through and giving myself a chance to get better in the next round.

Hopefully my level continues to improve.

Q. Can you clarify the situation for us with John and you now. He was sort of going back and forth in his comments.
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, well, John, throughout these weeks, will not be helping me. We’ll see where it goes after that.

Q. Do you have an idea of what you want already after?
MILOS RAONIC: I believe it was just too many things going on throughout this period of time. He felt like that was the right decision.

At the end of the day, it’s a decision we’re both okay with. We spoke about it, were up front, and there’s no ill feelings over it.

Q. Is it hard to be on the other side of a net from a guy who is kind of a Harlem Globetrotter?
MILOS RAONIC: I don’t know if that’s necessarily a fair way to call him.

It is from the aspect you don’t know what you’re going to expect. The match is going to go through many different stages and you just have to sort of stay on top of it.

I did that well for certain bits; then I didn’t. The thing I always did was I rebounded quite well, so I’m happy with that.

It’s a first round. It’s about getting through. It’s about getting yourself to go through this tournament.

Q. You practiced with John McEnroe here.

Q. Did you get advice from him?
MILOS RAONIC: For today?

Q. Last week practice.
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, we spent some time. We were working on certain things. Then Carlos arrived later in the week then, after Ricardo departed. Yeah, we worked on a lot of things two weeks before Cincinnati, as well.

There’s certain things I’m trying to bring awareness to in my game. I’m trying to improve what I feel I need to do better. We’ve had some good matches to reflect on over the last little while.

Hopefully I can implement those things I’m working on.

Q. For so long other players have been trying to get to where the big four are. How would you describe right now the status of the big four?
MILOS RAONIC: Well, I think it’s a little bit spread out. You have Roger, who was always there, that is unfortunately unable to be playing at this moment, who is sitting out for a little while.

You have Andy and Novak who have pretty much led the charge of those big four. Have been leading it at least throughout this year.

Rafa is still one of the most dangerous players on tour.

You’ve got to navigate your way through. You’ve got to be trying to play your best. Hopefully you face these guys later in tournaments and you can bring your best tennis.

Q. What is the message to guys such as yourself about where those guys are now, because it has been so hard to break into where they’ve been?
MILOS RAONIC: Well, I’ve just personally looked at it from the chance of I’m trying to get better every single day. I compare myself to those four guys, what I need to do to compete against them, to win against them. ‘Cause you can’t avoid these guys, especially not in the big tournaments. Even the smaller ones as well. If they’re there, they’re consistently playing well.

I’ve always had that outlook of what I can do better and how I can go about it. I guess there’s a little bit more opening now than there used to be, but you still have Andy and Novak holding a pretty good lockdown on the big tournaments.

They played all the finals this year, at least one of them, and two of them were against each other.

Q. How much have you worked to develop that slice backhand as a defensive shot? The one-hander. Do you feel it’s become more important in the men’s game to have that in your arsenal?
MILOS RAONIC: I believe you have to defend well; you have to move well; you have certain guys that do it different ways.

Novak doesn’t defend too much with a slice. He’ll actually slide out and try to get two hands on it and play pretty flat down the middle of the court. He doesn’t give you much.

You have other guys that have made great careers for themselves defending with the slice.

I think for each player it’s their own difference. Obviously for me it’s important as a guy with a big reach. It helps me out. Also buys me some time if I’m out of position to get back in a situation that I have a better opportunity.

Q. Your stretch at Wimbledon was a very important run in your career. What would be the one or two takeaways from that experience?
MILOS RAONIC: I think the most positive side of it was the way I was able to fight through two probably of the most identifying matches, coming down [sic] from two sets to love down, coming back in that situation, and sort of being able to turn that around against Roger late in that semifinal, as well. Those I think are steps that I can try to implement more and more.

I’m sure I’ll be facing similar scenarios many times where I’ve got to step up. I think that puts something in my pocket as far as understanding of how to get through those situations.

And then it was great to put myself in that situation, to have a chance to be one match away from winning a Grand Slam. But at the same time, the negative side of it was I wish I played with a little bit more intensity and stepped up a little bit better, which I would try if I could put myself back in the situation, which I believe I can.

Q. Was it nerves?
MILOS RAONIC: I thought I was doing it. That’s the different aspect of it. Only when I re-watched the video I sort of put myself back and saw the whole picture. I was unable to do that. I know that everything I had I did put into that match, into that final, because I knew the importance of it.

But I think I could have expressed it more externally to get a little bit of pressure off myself and get a little energy out and convert it and use it in a better way.

Q. Writing for the players tribune, what was that like?
MILOS RAONIC: It was a fun process. It was a process in the sense of you get to say what you want to say. There was a lot of different theme lines that they wanted me to stick to. This one was the one I felt was more relevant on the timing that they were looking to put out the article.

I worked with two other guys really to get the meat of the work done, and then I put in my own words. So it came from my voice. I’m happy with how it looks. I haven’t read it other than the last draft we went through and I feel comfortable with.

But I feel like I got to say what I wanted to say, and that was the most important thing.

Q. Is that a way to help you with what happened in the match, to write it?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, but I write everything down. So I’ve already dealt with it myself. I think this was I guess a more public accountability for it.

Q. Funky looking shoes you’re wearing. How would you describe the color? Is it your choice?
MILOS RAONIC: The color’s very pink and loud, but I like the outfit. Definitely I think it was a color they wanted to work with. I like the sort of disconnectedness. That that’s sort of the focal point of the outfit. Then something more classic and more toned down for the rest of the outfit. I think it works nicely.

Q. When you say they, you mean New Balance?

Q. Was the goal to have everybody wear the T-shirts in your box and your parents said no?
MILOS RAONIC: I don’t know how many people were wearing them.

Q. Two. Is the one you’re wearing, is that a little bit of brand building?
MILOS RAONIC: I’m just having some fun with it. Having some fun with it. The other one, I don’t know what you’d call it with the badger, whatever my girlfriend made for fun. These were made by New Balance alongside with their designer, and they’re actually pretty close. They communicate back and forth about it. I guess they’ve helped each other in a way.

Q. Could you talk about New York City as an art center.
MILOS RAONIC: Probably right now with the generation of artists coming up, and after the unfortunate events of 9/11, I think there have been a lot of very influential New York artists that have really grown up through the city and made a difference.

I think you have that sort of current of guys passing through. Then you have previous phenoms that have changed the world. A lot of it has been based and centered in New York, so I think this is one of the cities where you don’t have to travel too far to see the different influences.

There’s galleries on many different corners. Some small, private, to much bigger public things as well. There are many collectors throughout the city as well, so you can amuse yourself through that outlet pretty easily.

Q. Can you briefly give few names?
MILOS RAONIC: Dan Colen, Jeff Elrod, Rashid Johnson. There’s many great artists that have, after that whole unfortunate event of 9/11, stepped up and I think done great things.

Q. (Question regarding records and the Open era.)
MILOS RAONIC: Which records?

Q. For example, Serena’s slam count. She’s tied with Steffi Graf in the Open era, but Margaret Court before still has more.
MILOS RAONIC: I think people compare it. I think Rod Laver’s Grand Slams are compared. I think that was before the Open era, if I’m not mistaken. People still consider the fact that he completed a slam in a year as one of the greatest feats.

I think people like to have that discussion for argument’s sake, but people still appreciate the great things that were done throughout any period of time in tennis.

Q. When would be the first time you played Ryan Harrison? How do you feel about playing him in the next round?
MILOS RAONIC: I can’t remember the first time I played him. It would have to be a long time ago. Juniors. He was younger than me. Probably second to last year or last year of my junior career. I think the last time I played him was in San Jose.

I know the things he liked to do back then. Obviously times have changed on both sides of the court, mine and his. So I’ll definitely do some research and maybe try to watch a little bit of that match he played yesterday, maybe have a few words with other players that have played him over a recent period of time.

Jack Sock

Press Conference

J. SOCK/T. Fritz

7-6, 7-5, 3-6, 1-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How many times have you played him in a tournament?
JACK SOCK: That was the second.

Q. All your matches go five sets, right?
JACK SOCK: Two for two. 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.

Q. What do you think made the difference tonight?
JACK SOCK: 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.

Yeah, once again, I was able to come up with some good returns at the 5-4 game and played a couple good points and got it done.

Q. How badly did the color of his shirt throw off your game?
JACK SOCK: I guess it could have gone both ways because I was wearing the same one for the first few sets.

Q. An adjustment you have to make?
JACK SOCK: No. We’ve seen them before. Nothing new.

Q. Doesn’t ever get lost?

Q. What are your thoughts on the state of men’s tennis in America right now with the younger players who got a chance to play in the first round against a couple more veteran American players?
JACK SOCK: Yeah. I mean, you never want to see a bunch of Americans playing first round. Less chances for us to have more in the second round. But draws are draws. I saw some of the Isner-Tiafoe match earlier. These guys are in the main draw for a reason. Grand Slam matches are always tough.

I think the younger Americans are doing a great job of making a splash, making names for themselves early. Taylor has been a pro for a year and some change now and he’s already in the top 60 or 70 or wherever he is.

Yeah, these guys are playing great tennis. They’re playing with confidence. As many for some of us, my first few years I wasn’t top 100 right away. It took a little more time. These guys are playing free and with nothing to lose and coming out playing well.

Yeah, I mean, I saw Frances serve for the match earlier. Didn’t get it, but the experience does go a long way. This is my sixth or seventh US Open. Sixth, I think. I know John has played however many.

The experience does play a factor.

Q. When you win a match here you hit balls up into the crowd. What is that experience like and where are you trying to hit the balls?
JACK SOCK: Whoever’s loudest probably most of the time. If I have a certain section or a few people that are really loud supporting me throughout the match, I’ll try to hit it to them to kind of thank them.

Other than that, I usually have a sort of signature one where I will face one direction and kind of hit it backwards and tease them a little bit. That’s one I usually like to do.

For the most part, whoever is being loudest and whoever helped me most in the match.

Q. What is the experience like when you get to do that after a match?
JACK SOCK: I mean, it’s fun. The people go nuts. They get really loud. It’s a fun experience for them. They stuck around for however many hours you played a match. It’s the least we can do to give back.

Q. You talked recently about wanting to build on your doubles success. How has your experience in Rio or the medal and success there, how do you channel that into singles?
JACK SOCK: I’ve never considered myself a doubles player. I’ve just enjoyed playing it. Happened to have pretty good success in it so far in my career.

But like I’ve said recently in the media, I won’t be playing any more doubles in slams. I want to put my focus solely on singles. Been a few instances in these slams where obviously you’re playing three-out-of-five, and especially here in New York where it can be 95 degrees, 70 percent humidity, you need to have all your energy. You need to rest up for these singles matches.

There’s been a couple places where I always loved playing doubles 100%, and obviously I go out there and give it my all. Yeah, just decided to put it aside and be able to rest and put everything into singles. Maybe there’s schedule mishaps where on your day off you’re waiting to play last on in doubles and all of a sudden you’re here.

This happened to me last year a little bit. I was here, played until 9:30, 10:00 at night and you’re not out of here until 11:00, 11:30, and they put me on second the next day.

There is nothing you can do about it. You can’t control the schedule. But it can be avoided if you’re not in the draw.

Q. Is there something you try to do differently on the big points from the not-so-big points?
JACK SOCK: Win them would probably be the most important. I mean, no. My game is pretty straightforward, I feel like. If there’s a big point I’m looking for a forehand; looking to be aggressive.

If I’m serving, looking to make first serves. If I’m returning, dictate with my forehand as much as possible. Get the majority of the points. Yeah, any point, especially big points, that’s what I’m trying to do.

Q. From which tennis figure have you drawn the most inspiration and why?
JACK SOCK: Oh, man. It’s tough. Growing up, I’ve said this numerous times being from Nebraska, Roddick was a big influence watching him. I can remember to this day watching him win this tournament with his spiky blonde hair and visor and wearing the Reebok clothes.

That was big for me growing up one city over from where he was from. Other than that, when I was really younger I watched Andre a lot, Andre and Pete, and then Andy when I started taking tennis seriously when I started getting older.

Just as time has gone, you’re focusing on your game and trying to get better yourself. But you can pick up things even your first few years on tour when you watch the top four guys, what they can do. You can always take a few things what they’re doing and apply it into your own daily routines, professionalism.

There’s always something to be learned. Yeah, I mean, I would say the majority of people.

Q. A little while ago in your career you were playing in the Wimbledon doubles final. You score the great championship point. This summer you go to Rio and become a bronze medalist. Can you compare the two different peak experiences?
JACK SOCK: How did you describe the first-round loss?

Q. I called it wretched.
JACK SOCK: The guy’s a pretty good player, so I wouldn’t consider it a bad loss. He took a set off Del Potro next round, so I think he’s a pretty solid tennis player. So we can make that clear.

But, yeah, I mean, it wasn’t my day in singles. He played good tennis. Had to regroup and get ready for the doubles. Then in the mixed, able to come away with two medals, one being gold. Had one of the best weeks of my life.

I mean, I put Rio and my time there at the Olympics at the same level as Wimbledon and my first singles title, if not in front of it. Something about the Olympics. Obviously you dream of it as a kid. It’s even different being there, I think.

I’ve heard so much going in and the expectation and everything, but I think it’s that much and better when you’re there. It’s definitely one of the best weeks of my life being there with all the athletes and supporting everyone and the camaraderie, and the overall experience was incredible. I think all the guys would say that.

Q. Can you try to put into words the rush you get at the moment of victory?
JACK SOCK: I mean, the bronze was awesome. I’m a big golf fan. One of my favorite golfers is Matt Kuchar, and had the pleasure of him watching our bronze medal match. I was pretty hyped up for that, having him there and then being able to win in there. Went over and gave him and the whole team a hug afterwards. That was a pretty special moment for me.

And then a few days later winning gold and hearing the U.S. National Anthem standing in the middle of the podium with a gold around your neck, there’s really nothing like it. Don’t really know if it’s sunk in totally. Just flew from Rio, and the next day started training, the day I got off the plane, for this tournament.

Different from the other sports where you maybe have a little time off after the Olympics. After this maybe I’ll sit back and enjoy it a little more.


Novak Djokovic

Press Conference

N. DJOKOVIC/J. Janowicz

6-3, 5-7, 6-2, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. First of all, what is your physical status at this moment, and what was it before the match?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It’s getting better and better each day. I’m glad that I’m experiencing that. So hopefully as the tournament progresses, I’ll reach my peak.

Q. What were you having treatment for and what pains were you suffering?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It was just prevention. It’s all good.

Q. Of what?

Q. When you come back to New York and you have all this fun in post-game interview, why is this tournament different?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, each Grand Slam has something different about it. US Open is the most entertaining Grand Slam, I think. There’s a lot going on on and off the court. You’re in one of the biggest, most important cities in the world. New York City, always something going on.

There is a great vibe during these couple of weeks for the tennis. Everybody’s in town. It’s always fun to be out there.

Q. It was the first match for you after a long break during this period of the season. What were you looking for in your game? Now that it’s done, were you satisfied completely with what you did?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Look, each day presents us some kind of challenges that we need to overcome, accept and overcome. It wasn’t easy today playing against Jerzy for the first time. He’s a very, you know, potent player, powerful serve, big forehands. Unpredictable really.

Play well as he did in the second set and he can make a couple double-faults in a row in the important moments. It’s really up and down. That’s why it wasn’t easy to keep the concentration.

But I thought I’ve done well in the third and fourth to bounce back from the dropped second set. It’s an opening match, night session. After all I’ve been through in last couple of weeks, it’s pleasing, of course, to finish the match and win it. I’ll try to look positive and just think about the next day.

Q. With injuries you’ve had coming in here, how you’re feeling, is it fair to say your expectations are measured or lower for this tournament? You’re willing to not be too much of a perfectionist?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: To be honest, I take it day by day. That’s what I feel at the moment. It’s good, as I said, just to finish the match. I’m pleased that as the match progressed I was feeling better and better.

Tomorrow is a new day. I hope that I’ll feel overall good so I’m able to perform at my best for the next match.

Q. Vesely next, one of the guys who has beaten you this year.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Different surface, different circumstances, best-of-five. But still, Vesely deserves respect. He’s somebody that has been kind of trying to break through as the next generation.

Couple years ago he already was there. He made a name of himself. Just gained the consistency I think over the last couple of years. He has a big game, a big serve, big forehand, and moves well for his size. So let’s see.

Obviously he hasn’t played many times on the Arthur Stadium. If you get to play there, it’s quite different. I like playing there, especially with the roof construction. Conditions are quite suitable to my style of the game. Hopefully I’ll be able to slow his serve down a little bit and then take it from there.

Q. One of the great things about you is you’ve learned and grown over the years. People love you because you’ve been transparent and open. Can you share about what you’ve learned or how you’ve grown over the past couple months?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Last couple months? Whew. I think as anybody else really, life arranges things to happen for you so you can evolve. Whether you recognize those kind of signals and circumstances as an opportunity to grow, that really depends on you, how conscious you are.

I’m really grateful to be able to have that conscious at the moment. Hopefully I’m at the right path, you know. As everybody else, I’m trying each day, day in and day out, to first of all find always new ways of motivating myself to play tennis.

I have more than enough happiness in my life and blessings to be a father and a husband. Life is wonderful. I mean, there is no doubt about it. I cannot sit here and complain and whine about the issues that, you know, everybody has in each day in their lives, privately, professionally.

But that’s a beautiful thing. When you expect the least, that’s when you have things coming at you as life’s lessons. I’m glad that I’m able to accept them and to greet them with a consciousness of wanting to evolve and wanting to get the best out of them.

That’s all I can say. I’m very grateful.

Q. You had the beautiful statement on court where you said Ashe is like a dark tunnel; at least there’s a beautiful light at the end. Does that in some way reflect your spirit some days?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Ashe is like a light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe I said something wrong. It’s not like a dark tunnel.

It does feel like you’ve been illuminated on the court with all these lights and all the show and everything that’s going on. The opening ceremony is always a special night, of course. Phil Collins is one of my favorite singers. I was enjoying that and getting pumped before the match.

Yeah, it was wonderful to come back and play a night session that is undoubtedly the most special night session that we have in sport.

To be there and play another time, I don’t take anything for granted. I know the player in my position earns a right to play these kind of matches in the biggest stadium. But, again, I try to be aware, be present. It’s really a beautiful moment.

Q. You’ve been elected to the players council. How do you see this new role?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: First of all, an honor to be elected to be part of the council. I was part of the council some years ago for three years, then I had a little gap where I wasn’t involved in the politics of tennis, if you want to call it that way.

Now the players, most of the players, majority of the players that were in the council, they put my name in the election group, so I was elected to be in the council. I gladly accepted it, because it’s a calling. It’s a responsibility. If, as it is the case, my colleagues and friends have given me the trust of being there, I need to take it.

Of course I’ll do my best to contribute to the evolution of this sport for the time being. The first council meeting was very long but productive. I was elected the president. Kevin Anderson is vice president.

But to be honest, you know, it doesn’t change much. In the council we are all even. We are all equal. It was interesting to really sit there and hear and talk about, discuss, debate about different subjects that are ongoing right now, new ideas, new prospects.

You know, we are all in the same ship basically: the council people, the board people, and in the end of the day, tournaments as well. Even though historically the system is such that there is 50% of players, 50% of tournaments, many times there is a conflict of interest a little bit.

In the end of the day, we are all part of the same governing body. We’re all part of the same organization. As I said, we’re all in the same mission to make this sport better.

Q. Did you come into this tournament, and now that you’ve won this first match, do you think it’s a little easier road that Roger is not part of this tournament or does that not factor in at all?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, to be honest, it doesn’t really factor in. I mean, still the draw is 128. You still have guys like Andy, Rafa, Cilic, Nishikori, Raonic. You still have the best players in the world.

Certainly it’s not the same when you have Roger and you don’t have Roger for the tournament, for the fans. He’s been one of the most popular players of all time, one of the most successful players of all time. There is no doubt that every tournament is missing him. Of course.

But on the other hand, we got to focus on the players that we have at the moment. So I think even without him, it’s a very strong field. I’m sure it’s going to be a good tournament.




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.

Top Seeds Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams Come Into US Open Overcoming Injuries

August 26, 2016 - Photos from the US Open Draw Ceremony during the 2016 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, NY. Michael LeBrecht/USTA

August 26, 2016 – Photos from the US Open Draw Ceremony during the 2016 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, NY. Michael LeBrecht/USTA

(August 26, 2016) FLUSHING MEADOWS, New York – The two top seeds at the 2016 U.S. Open enter the tournament coming back from injuries. The world No. 1 man, Novak Djokovic said that he’s “getting there” in terms of his wrist injury.

The 12-time major champion talked about how his injury came about: “It happened actually in Rio, just few days before the start of the tournament,” said the Serb. I did experience this for the first time in my career. Never had this particular wrist injury before. I played against (Juan Martin) Del Potro, who unfortunately was absent from the tour for the wrist injury himself.

“You know, it was interesting for me to experience how was it and how it is for him for so many years struggling with that essential part of your body as a tennis player.

“Yeah, after undergoing certain treatments I’ve gotten better. I’m just hoping that Monday when the tournament starts I’ll be able to, as I said, get as close to the maximum of executing my backhand shot as possible.”


Twenty-two-time major winner and No. 1 Serena Williams had been dealing with a shoulder injury. “I have not played a lot, I haven’t practiced a lot, but I’m just now starting to feel a little better, she said.

“I’m really fit right now,” Williams continued. “I mean, I think I did serve pretty well at Wimbledon this year. I felt like I was able to hit aces when I wanted to. So, yeah, couple months ago, couple — few weeks ago.”


Both top players will face challenges in the very first round. Williams will be facing Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova, who upset Williams in the round of 16 at the 2012 Australian Open.

Commenting on her opponent she said, “she’s a big fighter. She never really stops.

“I think one thing I think that’s pretty impressive is she’s pretty — she gets a lot of balls back. You think she’s not super quick, but she is.”


Could potentially meet her sister Venus in the semifinals.

Djokovic will face off against a former Wimbledon semifinalist, once ranked 14th in the world, Poland’s Jerzy Janowicz.


Two-time U.S. Open winner and 14-time major title holder Rafael Nadal could face Djokovic in the semifinals, is also coming off a wrist injury. Nadal won the gold medal in doubles at the Rio Olympics.

“I am a little bit better,” talking about the wrist injury. “It’s obvious that when you have been outside two months and a half you need a little bit of time.

“I try to go quick, especially in the Olympics and then competing last week in Cincinnati, but the wrist still bothers me a little bit. It’s true that the wrist bothers me a little bit less every day. I need to understand again to hit my normal forehand.

“During the wrist injury always you try to find movements to avoid the pain. So I think today I can start the forehand, I think my normal forehand, but still needs time to feel that I am more confident on my wrist.

“But I am practicing well and I am competing well, I think.”


The fourth seed Nadal will open his quest for another title in Flushing Meadows against Denis Istomin.

No. 2 Andy Murray and No. 3 seed Stan Wawrinka are on the other side of the draw.


A potential dangerous floater in silver medalist and 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro who sits on Murray’s side of the draw in Stan Wawrinka’s quarter.


The No. 2 seed in the women’s draw is Angelique Kerber who missed a chance to become No. 1 in the world when she lost the final of Cincinnati. The German also lost in the gold medal final of the Olympics to Monica Puig.

Asked about her confidence after these two tough losses she said: “Actually, to be honest, I’m feeling good, because I have great matches in the last weeks, and especially a lot of positive emotions. I mean, of course I have two tough matches in the finals, but I played not bad. I mean, my opponent is playing good in these matches.

“But I have a lot of confidence to being here again, having a lot of time now for practicing and preparing for the last Grand Slam of the year.”


Men’s Draw

Women’s Draw


Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama at the U. S. Open.


Rafael Nadal to Play Brisbane

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

(August 23, 2016) From Tennis Australia – Fourteen-time major champion Rafael Nadal (ESP) will commence his season in Australia for the first time when he joins the field at Brisbane International presented by Suncorp this summer.

The Spanish ace has traditionally favored the Middle East to start his new year campaign, but will break with tradition in January for his maiden appearance in the Sunshine State.

“It’s going to be the first time in my career that I’m going to play in Australia the first week of the season and I’m really excited about it,” Nadal said.

“I think this is something I have to do during my career and I think at the same time it’s going to be a great preparation to be in Australia early. Everybody who has been in Brisbane has told me very beautiful things about the tournament and the place so I want to try it.”

Nadal completes a clean sweep of the ‘Big Four’ to step out at Pat Rafter Arena, with fellow men’s tennis stars Roger Federer (SUI), Novak Djokovic (SRB) and Andy Murray (GBR) all having competed at previous editions of the event.

Earlier this month Nadal teamed with compatriot Marc Lopez to win gold in the men’s doubles at the Rio Olympics and narrowly missed a medal in the men’s singles event, capping a remarkable return to form.

Brisbane International Tournament Director Geoff Quinlan said the world No.5 would be a sure-fire favourite with fans this summer.

“We’re thrilled to announce Rafael Nadal will start his season in Brisbane in 2017 and can’t wait to welcome him to Queensland Tennis Centre,” he said.

“The Brisbane International has a reputation for attracting the biggest names in world tennis and we’re really excited our fans will have the chance to see Rafa in action this summer. We’ve been in talks with Rafa for a number of years about competing in Brisbane, he’s seen the event get bigger and better every year and we’re ecstatic he’s decided to join the field in 2017.

“Rafa is a legend of the sport and one of the most exciting players to see live so I’m sure fans will be counting down the days to January.

“This is just the start of a very exciting line-up of players we will announce over the coming months as we look ahead to Brisbane International 2017.”

Minister for Tourism and Major Events Kate Jones said securing Nadal was a win for the tournament and Queensland tourism.

“In 2016 we welcomed legend Roger Federer for a third time, and it’s fantastic to now add Rafa to the list of champions to play in Queensland’s premier tennis tournament,” Minister Jones said.

“Securing marquee players like Rafael Nadal provides a big drawcard for the Brisbane International and boosts the reputation of this world class Queensland event.”


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

Del Potro high fh

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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