October 13, 2015

Novak Dokovic Beats Rafael Nadal to Win Sixth China Open Title

Novak Djokovic

(October 11, 2015) No. 1 Novak Djokovic kept his record at the China Open perfect at 29-0 with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Rafael Nadal to claim his sixth Beijing title, his eighth title overall on the year. It’s his 56th career title.

“The scoreline, especially in the first set, doesn’t indicate the real battle that we had on the court,” Djokovic said.

“Had a couple of opportunities, especially on the 3‑2 game, Love‑30, 15‑40. Missed the volley. It was a bit unfortunate with some shots at that stage of the match.

“But, again, I managed to stay calm and still stick with the game plan to be aggressive and to make him move. It worked very well.”

“It was a very good first set, in my opinion,” Nadal said. “The result in the first set, 6‑2, I think is too much. I think for the moment I had a lot of chances. Love‑30, 15‑40, 40‑Love, and I lost all those games. That’s the real game. Then 6‑2. Should be much closer, that first set.

“In the second set, well, happened little bit what happened with the foot. I lost little bit the concentration. But at the end I finished playing well again. (Nadal hurt his foot early in the second set.)

“Very happy the way that I played the week, especially because I was able to improve every single match during the week, and especially in quarterfinals after that first set against Sock, I changed that dynamic. I played closer to the baseline. Yesterday I played a good match. Today I played a good match.

“Obviously the dynamic of him is different than my one. Especially in a very positive place for him, place where he won already six times, five times before that final. It’s obvious that is perfect place for him.

“I was competing very well in the first set. So seriously I am happy the way I played. I am happy the way that I am improving. As I said, when I arrived here, every match is important for me. All improvements are important, even if are the small ones. I felt during this week I improved a lot of things. I take a lot of positive things from the week. That’s very important for me, no?”

“I thought he did well from the backhand side,” the Serb continued. “He was more aggressive. I was looking for my kind of room for maneuver on his forehand side. He usually opens up that side. I tried to make the angles with the backhand cross.

“But I did well. I think I maintained that level of aggressivity and strength and power in my shots, and eventually I knew that he’s going to make mistakes and he’s going to give me shorter balls so I can dominate the rallies, which happened.

“I think the serve helped me a lot tonight, over 80% of first serves in, the aces, finishing off with an ace. That’s an element in my game that has worked very well throughout the entire week that has helped me to win many free points, obviously.”

Nadal still leads in the overall head-to-head against Djokoivic at 23-22. However, Nadal has lost 15 of his past 22 matches against Djokovic.

Djokovic will be the top seed for the Shanghai Masters this week. “Next week’s tournament is going to be even stronger because obviously all the best players in the world are there,” Djokovic said.

“This positive week definitely encourages me and gives me a lot of confidence for Shanghai.”

Djokovic, who has won three out of the four majors this year, has a 68-5 record this season.


Nadal Beaten by Fognini After 2 Set Lead; Serena Williams Survives Mattek-Sands at US Open


(September 4, 2015) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY –

Spectators got more than they bargained for during the night session of the US Open on Friday. Rafael Nadal lost and Serena Williams was forced to come back again to keep her hopes of a Grand Slam alive. The action lasted until 1:30 Saturday morning.

No. 8 Nadal came into the third round never losing a Grand Slam match when taking a two-set lead until he was beaten 3-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 by the 32nd seed Fabio Fognini. Nadal led by two-sets and a break of serve before the Italian’s comeback began.

“He play great,” Nadal said. “It was not a match that I lost, even if I had opportunities. It’s a match that he wins.

“So accept. Not happy that he played better than me, but that’s what happened. He played better than me, no? I didn’t play bad at all. I played a normal match, but not enough.

“So not happy with that. But accept that he was better than me today.”

“Well, I was starting to feel the ball really good, believe me,” Fognini said. “I lost that first set 6-3, but I was say in my mind, Okay, let’s try, let’s keeping working; do your tennis.

“I went down a break. After come back on 4-4, I went 40-Love on that game and I lost incredible game. So was my fault. Even if I come back from break down, I was say, Okay, let’s try. But two sets to zero against Rafa, maybe you have to go to Lourdes.

“I went there tonight and everything was in a perfect way.”

The loss ended the Spaniard’s 10 year run of winning at least one major.

“No, the only thing that means is I played worse than the last 10 years,” Nadal said. That’s the real thing.

“By the way, for me was amazing win 10 years in a row Grand Slam. I think nobody did. You can imagine how difficult is make that happen.

“Accept that was not my year and keep fighting till the end of the season to finish in a positive way for me. Finish the season with the feeling that I improved something from the beginning of the season. That’s something that I think I am doing.

“I think I have a good base now. As I said, good thing is I am not playing terrible matches like I did at the beginning of the season. When I am losing, I am losing because the opponents beat me, not because I lose the match, as I did a lot of times at the beginning of the season.

“That’s an improvement for me, so I have a base now. That is a start. I know what I have to do and I going to work on it.”

“I start really bad the season,” said the Italian. “I was starting really bad at the beginning in Australia. I play well on clay on the second month of the year. I play really bad another time on Indian Wells and Miami.

“But, you know, I was saying the first day that I came here, after play again really good on clay with the final against Rafa and two quarterfinal, I was feeling really well. I been playing really good, feeling on court really well.

“I play only two matches, that’s true. I play Monfils and I play Kokkinakis, but in two different way, for sure.

“For sure with Kokkinakis I play high level, even if I lost. With Monfils I play really good the first set, 0-6, breakpoint won. Second set I was really tired because I was coming directly to Europe.

“After Cincinnati I take two day off, recovery, start practice really hard four, five day of the week. I’m here for the first time in the fourth round.”

This will be the first-ever appearance in the round of 16 at the US Open for Fognini.



Before Nadal took the court, Serena Williams had to come back from a set down again to defeat American countrywoman wild card Bethanie Mattek-Sands 3-6, 7-5, 6-0, winning the last 8 games. She has now gone 24-0 in majors this year.

“Getting out of it so many times definitely helps me,” Williams said. “It’s definitely not something I want to do, though. But, hey, a win’s a win, I guess.”

“Just know usually when I’m down, I mean, I feel like if I’m not playing well, I know I can take it to another level. But if I’m down and I’m playing well, then I probably won’t win.

“But usually, you know, I know that I can play better. I just try to tap into the energy and I try to play better.”

Williams is looking to become the first woman since Steffi Graff in 1988 to win the Grand Slam. She is just four victories away from achieving history and winning her 22nd major.

“I don’t know what to expect. I’ve never been on this train. I love metaphors. I’ve never been on this train. It’s different. It’s definitely different.”

Singles – Third Round
[13] Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) def. [17] Elina Svitolina (UKR) 6-3, 7-5
[23] Venus Williams (USA) def. [12] Belinda Bencic (SUI) 6-3, 6-4
[1] Serena Williams (USA) def. Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) 3-6, 7-5, 6-0
[25] Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) def. Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) 7-6(9), 4-6, 6-3
Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) def. Daria Kasatkina (RUS) 6-2, 6-3
Anett Kontaveit (EST) def. Madison Brengle (USA) 6-2, 3-6, 6-0
[19] Madison Keys (USA) def. [15] Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) 6-3, 6-2
Roberta Vinci (ITA) def. Mariana Duque-Mariño (COL) 6-1, 5-7, 6-2

Singles – Third Round

[1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) d. [25] Andreas Seppi (ITA) 63 75 75
[9] Marin Cilic (CRO) d. Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) 67(5) 76(1) 63 67(3) 61

[32] Fabio Fognini (ITA) d. [8] Rafael Nadal (ESP) 3-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4
[18] Feliciano Lopez (ESP) d. [10] Milos Raonic (CAN) 62 76(4) 63
[23] Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) d. [14] David Goffin (BEL) 26 57 63 31 ret.
[19] Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) d. Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) 63 75 62
Benoit Paire (FRA) d. [26] Tommy Robredo (ESP) 76(3) 61 61


Nadal, McEnroe, Hewitt Keep Focus On Tennis at JMTP Benefit

Nadal McEnroe at Randalls Island

By Vito Ellison

(August 26,2015) NEW YORK, NY -With drawing cards like 14-time major champion Rafael Nadal, 2001 US Open champion Lleyton Hewitt and the legendary John McEnroe himself, it’s no surprise that the Johnny Mac Tennis Project drew a near-capacity crowd to Randall’s Island on a balmy Wednesday evening for the fifth edition of his Johnny Mac Tennis Project (JMTP) exhibition. The event was held to raise funds used to provide financial assistance to qualified young tennis players.  Sportime Clubs, home of last night’s event and McEnroe’s eponymous tennis academy and the JMTP, have already provided over $2 million in scholarships and assistance in part paid for by this annual event.

Long considered an iconoclast in the sometimes hidebound world of tennis, McEnroe’s mellower side was on display at last night’s event.  He was effusive in thanking his guests, particularly Nadal, of whom he said “He’s done me a huge favor and I owe him one big time,” said McEnroe.  “He’s come here for nothing and it is very, very much appreciated.” In another exchange he added, “When you get to be stature of Rafael Nadal, you expect people to come up to you, even the older players, to pay respect to you. Rafael’s never been that type.”

While McEnroe’s was unguardedly positive about Nadal he adopted a different, more protective stance regarding Nick Kyrgios. With McEnroe’s desire to keep the event and crowd focused on the good work of the JMTP, Kyrgios, who to his credit honored his commitment to attend, was largely relegated to the background. With Kyrgios still under heavy fire in the court of public opinion for his comments in a match against Stan Wawrinka two weeks ago, McEnroe announced to the gathered press that the Aussie would not be playing singles against Nadal as initially scheduled. “Nick Kyrgios is going to be playing doubles with me, along with my brother [Patrick] and Jonas Bjorkman,” McEnroe started. “I made a decision based on some of the ongoing stuff. While I want to be supportive of Nick and think he’s a tremendous talent…It would be better served for him at this particular time to maybe take a step back.”

Top draw Rafael Nadal would instead square off against another former World No. 1 in Lleyton Hewitt for an eight-game pro set.  The match, though just an exo, was typical of the Spaniard’s two steps forward/two steps back season-to-date. Nadal flashed vintage moments including an well-placed ace that helped him dig out of a love-40 hole on serve and a screaming backhand down-the-line winner that brought a big smile to his face and a 4-1 lead on the scoreboard.  The sparkling moments were tempered though by frustrating periods of imprecision.  He gave the net tape a workout at points and seemed to guide more shots than usual long.  The inconsistency left Nadal, who opened up a 6-3 lead in the eight game pro set scrambling to keep the lid on Hewitt in an 8-7(5) win that was closer than the early going would have indicated.

The exhibition was held in advance of the year’s final major, the US Open which commences Monday.


Rafael Nadal Stops Fabio Fognini for Hamburg Crown

Nadal in Beijing

(August 2, 2015) Top seed Rafael Nadal won his second title in Germany this year stopping Italy’s Fabio Fognini 7-5, 7-5 in Hamburg in just over two-and-a-half hours on Sunday.

The win, which give Nadal his 47th clay court title, puts him just two trophies behind Guillermo Vilas at 49. Nadal has 67 career crowns.

The Spaniard who was serving for a 4-1 lead in the second set, eventually had to save two set points.

“It was a great match, many great points, many breaks, we fought hard,” Nadal said. “I had many ups and downs.”

“I lost the last two times against him, so I knew it was going to be a tough one. I think I had a great attitude the whole match, very positive, fighting for every ball. I had some tough moments on court, lost opportunities, but every time I came back and I kept fighting with the right mentality. I’m very happy for the victory. It is an important victory for me.”

The title this week will move Nadal’s ranking up to No. 9.


Rafael Nadal, John McEnroe Compete At 2015 Johnny Mac Tennis Project Benefit at SPORTIME Randall’s Island Wednesday, August 26

Rafael Nadal is ousted in the third round by fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco in Miami.

Rafael Nadal

NEW YORK, July 8, 2015 – It will be a great night of tennis for a great cause when 14-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal joins Hall of Famer and fellow former World No. 1 John McEnroe, plus other tennis stars, legends and celebrities, on Wednesday, August 26, for a gala evening to benefit the Johnny Mac Tennis Project. The benefit night will take place at SPORTIME Stadium on Randall’s Island.

In the main event of the evening, the Spanish superstar will compete against another top ATP professional or legend to be announced. The evening will also include pro-celebrity doubles action, featuring Johnny Mac and friends, promising junior players from the John McEnroe Tennis Academy, a lively auction and great hospitality, with all net proceeds to support the efforts of Johnny Mac Tennis Project, a 501(c)(3) public charity.

JMTP provides scholarships, coaching, transportation and other financial assistance to qualified young tennis players in the greater New York area, as well as introducing the sport to hundreds of new junior players each year in the neighborhoods surrounding Academy locations. JMTP benefit nights in previous years have featured Bjorn Borg (2011), Andre Agassi (2012), Jim Courier (2013) and Novak Djokovic (2014). JMTP and Sportime Clubs, home of the John McEnroe Tennis Academy, have already provided over $2.0 million in scholarships and no cost programming to young players in NYC and its surrounding communities. SPORTIME Randall’s Island has been the flagship location of JMTA since 2010.

Rafa has meant so much to tennis and I’m excited that he’s agreed to be a part of this great cause,” said McEnroe. “He is a first-class individual and has proven to be one of the best players of all time. His participation is a perfect continuation of the tradition of this important annual event.”

Nadal, 29, is one of just 10 players to win the Career Grand Slam (nine French Open, two Wimbledon, two US Open, one Australian Open), among his 66 career singles titles. The Mallorca native first reached No. 1 in 2008, returning in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014 while finishing in the top three nine times in the past 10 years. His 14 Slam titles tie him for second all-time with Pete Sampras, behind Roger Federer (17).

As ferocious a competitor as tennis has ever produced, steely in his resolve, unwavering in his convictions, McEnroe was a left-hander who played with singular verve and sparkle. A New Yorker with rare talent, his imagination knew no boundaries. McEnroe’s touch on the volley was golden, and his match playing instincts were remarkably sound. He claimed the US Open crown four times and was victorious at Wimbledon three times. He was an American Davis Cup stalwart, and many believe he may be the greatest doubles player of all time.

Tickets start at $75. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to www.JMTPBenefit.com/rafa.


Jelena Jankovic Upsets Defending Champion Petra Kvitova at Wimbledon

Jelena Jankovic

Jelena Jankovic


(July 4, 2015) Former No. 1, 28th seed Jelena Jankovic pulled off the biggest upset of the Wimbledon fortnight on the Ladies’ side when she defeated No. 2 and defending champion Petra Kvitova 3-6, 7-5, 6-4.

The Czech looked to be confidently cruising past the Serbian, with a 6-3, 4-2 lead, but Jankovic turned the match around from that point onward.

“Playing on grass is very difficult for me. It does not come natural,” Jankovic said. “I just tried to stay one point at a time, just hang in there, stay positive and fight, and I made it. But playing on Centre Court against the defending champion was just unbelievable. I’m really really happy to win this match!”

“I’m overwhelmed. I’m so excited. My heart is still pumping,” Jankovic said after the match.

“It didn’t matter how badly I was playing or what was happening out there, I really just tried to stay one point at a time and fight, and when I won that second set I knew I just had to keep going out there.

“When I won, I couldn’t believe what just happened. I lost to Petra the last time we played in Rome, and I know she plays amazing here. But that’s what this sport is all about. It’s such a great excitement for me – I’m so glad I was able to win and this gives me a lot of confidence the rest of the tournament.”

For Kvitova who also won Wimbledon in 2011, this was her earliest exit from the All-England Club since 2009.

“I’m not really sure what happened out there,” Kvitova said in press. “Suddenly I felt like she’s coming back, playing a little bit aggressive.

“Suddenly from my side, I didn’t have answer for it. My serve didn’t help me at all this time, as well. I was really struggling with each shot which I played.”

“But I don’t think that I lost today because I was defending champion from last year,” Kvitova said.  “I don’t think is really the thing why.

“I think that she really played a good match.  Looked a little bit on the other side when I played Venus last year, when I was the worst player in the first two sets, then I won.  This time just turn the other side for her.”

“Here I am in the fourth round, in the second week of Wimbledon,” Jankovic said.  “I just beat a defending champion.  I mean, it’s unbelievable.  You know, I don’t think I can ask for more.  I hope to keep going.”

“I think I always believe in myself, no matter what.  Like I said, if I’m healthy, if I can put that work in on a daily basis and work hard, improve.

“You know, to be honest, right now I’m not at the level I want to be at. First of all, physically I have to get a lot stronger a lot faster.  As I said before, getting injured, not being able to go to the gym, to spend some time on the practice court.  I will need some time to get to the form, to the level I want to be at, and where I can be. That’s what will satisfy my, you know, needs and wishes.

“So we’ll see.  I always think I can do it.  I’m not old. I’m still young at heart.  I look pretty good, so why not (laughter)?  I mean, give me a break, guys.  What’s old?”

“I’m very determined.  Like I said, I want to get, you know, to where I think I belong.  I’ve done it in the past.  I’ve been many years in the top 10, I’ve been No. 1 in the world, I’ve played against all these players.

“Like I said, just if I’m able to work hard and believe in myself, hopefully my time will come again.”

Other winners on the Ladies’ side included fifth seed Caroline Wozniacki over Camila Giorgi 6-2, 6-2, No. 20 Garbine Muguruza dismissed 2012 semifinalist Angelique Kerber 7-6 (12), 1-6, 6-2, No. 13 Agnieszka Radwanska, No. 15 Timea Bacsinszky, No. 21 Madison Keys, Olga Govortsova and Monica Niculescu also advanced.

Seven-time Wimbledon winner Roger Federer dropped a set to advance to the round of 16 beating hard-hitting Sam Groth 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-2.

Groth hit the second fastest serve in Wimbledon history – 147 mph.

No. 3 Andy Murray beat No. 25 Andreas Seppi of Italy 6-2, 6-2, 1-6, 6-1.  Seppi received a visit from a trainer to work on his lower right leg, and won the next six game. Murray also received a medical time out for a stiff right shoulder after trailing 1-0 in the fourth set, and then took next six game to win the match.

Dustin Brown, the qualifier who upset Rafael Nadal, lost his very next match to 22nd seed Viktor Troicki 6-4, 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-3.

“Obviously having the pleasure and being able to play on Centre Court and then to play a match like that (on Thursday), doesn’t make a difference if I lost today or not, no one will ever be able to take that away from me,” said Brown.

“I think I played well and I wouldn’t compare it to any other matches.  That’s what I said after winning against (Rendy) Lu, and Rafa (Nadal), it’s always a totally different match.  I’m happy with my tournament.  When I came to quallies, someone would have said sign here for beating Rafa, making second round and qualifying, I would have signed that paper.”

Completing a match held over from Friday at 10-10 in the fifth due to darkness, Marin Cilic bested John Isner 7-6 (4), 6-7 (6), 6-4, 6-7 (4), 12-10

Also Saturday, Wimbledon’s marathon man fell short this time. John Isner, the American who won the longest tennis match in history in 2010, lost 12-10 in the fifth set to U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic. The Croat beat Isner 7-6 (4), 6-7 (6), 6-4, 6-7 (4), 12-10 in a match that resumed Saturday at 10-10.

“Marathon man” Isner defeated Nicolas Mahut 70-68 in the fifth set at Wimbledon in 2010, the longest match in tennis history.

No. 12 seed Gilles Simon defeated French countryman No. 18 seed Gael Monfils in five sets, in a match which had to be moved from
Court 1  when darkness came early in the fourth set, and completed under the roof of Centre Court.

Other men moving in to the fourth round: Vasek Pospisil, No. 23 Ivo Karlovic and No. 20 Roberto Bautista Agut.

Ladies Singles – Third Round

(28) Jelena Jankovic (SRB) d. (2) Petra Kvitova (CZE) 36 75 64
(5) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) d. (31) Camila Giorgi (ITA) 62 62
(20) Garbine Muguruza (ESP) d. (10) Angelique Kerber (GER) 76(12) 16 62
(13) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. Casey Dellacqua (AUS)
(15) Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) d. (18) Sabine Lisicki (GER) 63 62
(21) Madison Keys (USA) d. Tatjana Maria (GER) 64 64
(Q) Olga Govortsova (BLR) d. Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) 76(4) 63
Monica Niculescu (ROU) d. Krystina Pliskova (CZE) 63 75

Gentlemen’s Singles

Third Round – Third Round

[2] Roger Federer (SUI) d. Sam Groth (AUS) 64 64 67(5) 62
[3] Andy Murray (GBR) d. [25] Andreas Seppi (ITA) 62 62 16 61
[6] Tomas Berdych (CZE) d. Pablo Andujar (ESP) 46 60 63 76(3)
[9] Marin Cilic (CRO) d. [17] John Isner (USA) 76(4) 67(6) 64 67(4) 12-10
[12] Gilles Simon (FRA) vs. [18] Gael Monfils (FRA)
[23] Ivo Karlovic (CRO) d. [13] Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) 76(3) 46 76(2) 76(9)
[20] Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) d. Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO) 76(4) 61 60
[22] Viktor Troicki (SRB) d. Dustin Brown (GER) 64 76(3) 46 63
Vasek Pospisil (CAN) d. James Ward (GBR) 64 36 26 63 86


Dustin Brown Upsets Rafael Nadal in Second Round of Wimbledon

(July 2, 2015) Germany’s Dustin Brown had never been on Wimbledon’s famed Centre Court until Thursday and made the most of his opportunity when he upset two-time Wimbledon champion and 10th seed Rafael Nadal 7-5, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 to reach the third round of Wimbledon.

“I’m playing the first time on Centre Court,” Brown said. “It was awkward actually, I thought I was going to freak out a little bit.”

The 102nd ranked Brown, who had to qualify to play at the All-England Club, played the match of his life at a major gave Wimbledon the biggest shock of the tournament so far. Brown who was born in Germany to a German mother and Jamaican father, used his serve-and volley game to defeat a seed at a major for the first time in his career. He won 71 points serve-and-volley points, 49 points and the net and hit 58 winners.

Brown is now 2-0 against Nadal. The German defeated Nadal at a grass-court event at Halle last year 6-4, 6-1.

“I knew what the plan was because I played against him in Halle before,” Brown said. “Obviously he’s a great tennis player. Knowing that the grass might be a little slower than in Halle, obviously doing it over best‑of‑five sets is a different situation than doing it only best‑of‑three.”

“Well, the point is whatever I do is to take him out of his comfort zone.  If I would stay in the back and rally with him left, right, that would not be a very good match for me.  I know that.  Obviously I try to play my game.”

This was the first time that Spaniard has ever lost to a qualifier at a major. This is the fourth straight year that the 14-time major winner has fallen to a player ranked 100 or lower in the early rounds of Wimbledon – 2012 to No. 100 Lukas Rosol in the second round, 2013 to No. 135 Steve Darcis and 2014 to No 144 Nick Kyrgios.

“I cannot describe relationship with grass,” Nadal said in his post-match news conference.  “You know, when you love one thing, and even last couple of years I didn’t have the best relationship possible with them, going to be in my heart and in my memories forever the 2008 final.  That was probably one of the most important moments of my career, and was here, no?

“You know, at the end of the day, today I lost.  Don’t forget I played five finals here.  I don’t know how many players did that.”

“With my game, it makes him not play his game at all,” Brown said after the match. “He gets two balls, or he doesn’t get any balls, and he doesn’t get in a rhythm.”

“Being on grass, being with him on the court and having won the last match, it made me feel more comfortable,” Brown added. “It was easy for me to play my game against someone like him, because I had nothing to lose.”

“Obviously today is a bad moment for me,” Nadal said in press. “I need to accept. This kind of things, they happen. … It’s a sad moment for me, but life continues. My career too. I have to keep going, working more than ever.”

“Losing in Roland Garros, going straight to Stuttgart and Queen’s, then came here very early to prepare the tournament,” Nadal said.  “So I lost.  Sad today for that, obviously.

“But end of the day, that’s sport.  Good moments, bad moments.  Obviously today is a bad moment for me.  Just I need to accept these kind of things that can happen.  I did all my career.

“Keep going.  You know, it’s not the end.  Is a sad moment for me, as I said before.  But life continues.  My career, too.  I have to keep going and working more than ever to try to change that dynamic.”

“On this surface, when I go out there, obviously I’m confident that I can play my game,” Brown explained.  “But then I said, again, I lost the match against (Jerzy) Janowicz who started serving too good. I lost against Kei (Nishikori).  Obviously I am not unbeatable on this surface, but it comes more natural playing on this, especially with my type of game.

“Yeah, what other players think, no one has said anything to me obviously, but I know that I can play really well on this.  I’m looking forward to the next match.”

The 30-year-old Brown will play Viktor Troicki, the No. 22 seed next for a place in the fourth round.



Former Champions Federer, Murray, Nadal and Kvitova Post First Round Victories at Wimbledon

(June 30, 2015) Former Wimbledon champions Petra Kvitova Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray all won their opening matches at Wimbledon on Tuesday in straight sets.

Defending Ladies’ champion Kvitova by tradition had the honor of playing the first match on Centre Court on the second day. She totally dominated Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands 6-1, 6-0 in a mere 35 minutes, losing only one point on her serve.

“I have to say sorry to them,” she said about the fans and the quick match. Unfortunately maybe for people was a little bit quicker.  My parents came.  The first 35 minutes, I have to say sorry to them.

“I think they are happy anyway.”

“I’m glad how I played today.  I don’t think I need any more, like, practice today.  I have a practice tomorrow.  I think it’s just fine.  To relax again after the sickness I had, it’s still in a good way.”


Seven-time Wimbledon champion Federer, making his 63 straight major, also made quick work over Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia 6-1, 6-3, 6-3. The Swiss needed only 68 minutes.

“I was happy I played aggressive,” he said. “I must say I’m very happy, always, to win like that.”

“Somehow the streak is still alive and I’m also very proud of the fact that I never retired from a match once it started,” he said. “Those two stats I care about and hope I can keep them up for the remainder of my career.”


Two-time champion and 10th seed Nadal moved past Thomaz Bellucci 6-4, 6-2, 6-4.

“Here the feeling in Wimbledon is so special, and playing on grass, too,” Nadal said. “So always is very emotional when you hit some good shots in this beautiful club.”

“I think I played okay; played well, played solid,” said Nadal. “I am a little bit more confident now than I was few months ago. [It’s] just day by day for me. Obviously victories help.”

2013 Wimbledon winner Andy Murray defeated Mikhail Kukushkin 6-4, 7-6(3), 6-4

“I didn’t necessarily feel nervy,” said Murray about the match. “I lost my serve a bit in the end of that second set. There was a period where I missed like 10 or 12 first serves in a row and let him back into it there. Then he played some really good stuff at times and was going for his shots. I found it difficult to play aggressive tennis out there.”

Other men’s winners on the day were No. 13 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, No. 20 Roberto Bautista Agut, No. 22 Viktor Troicki, No. 23 Ivo Karlovic, No. 25 Andreas Seppi and No. 30 Fabio Fognini.

Wimbledon – Gentlemen’s Singles Results for June 30, 2015

[2] Roger Federer (SUI) d. Damir Dzumhur (BIH) 61 63 63
[3] Andy Murray (GBR) d. Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) 64 76(3) 64
[6] Tomas Berdych (CZE) d. Jeremy Chardy (FRA) 62 67(8) 76(3) 76(5)
[10] Rafael Nadal (ESP) d. Thomaz Bellucci (BRA) 64 62 64
[12] Gilles Simon (FRA) d. Nicolas Almagro (ESP) 64 64 75
[13] Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) d. Gilles Muller (LUX) 76(8) 67(3) 64 36 62
[15] Feliciano Lopez (ESP) d. Steve Darcis (BEL) 62 76(4) 64
[18] Gael Monfils (FRA) d. Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP) 64 64 75
[20] Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) d. Ruben Bemelmans (BEL) 61 63 76(6)
[22] Viktor Troicki (SRB) d. Aleksandr Nedovyesov (KAZ) 61 64 36 63
[23] Ivo Karlovic (CRO) d. Elias Ymer (SWE) 67(2) 62 64 76(2)
[25] Andreas Seppi (ITA) d. Brydan Klein (GBR) 63 62 62
Pablo Andujar (ESP) d. [29] Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (ESP) 36 64 36 75 64
[30] Fabio Fognini (ITA) d. Tim Smyczek (USA) 64 63 62
Sam Groth (AUS) d. [31] Jack Sock (USA) 63 36 63 63
Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR) d. Kyle Edmund (GBR) 76(4) 61 62
Albert Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) d. Denis Istomin (UZB) 62 62 32 Ret.
Lukas Rosol (CZE) d. Ernests Gulbis (LAT) 76(2) 63 76(4)
Robin Haase (NED) d. Alejandro Falla (COL) 62 36 64 62
Aljaz Bedene (SLO) d. Radek Stepanek (CZE) 75 16 46 63 64
Dustin Brown (GER) d. Yen-Hsun Lu (TPE) 36 63 75 64
Adrian Mannarino (FRA) d. Michael Berrer (GER) 67(4) 60 64 61
Borna Coric (CRO) d. Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) 46 76(5) 62 16 97
James Duckworth (AUS) d. Malek Jaziri (TUN) 76(2) 62 36 36 75
Nicolas Mahut (FRA) d. Filip Krajinovic (SRB) 76(4) 64 36 75
Jiri Vesely (CZE) d. Paolo Lorenzi (ITA) 76(7) 76(6) 64
Benoit Paire (FRA) d. Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) 64 64 63
Vasek Pospisil (CAN) d. Vincent Millot (FRA) 76(2) 36 67(4) 76(4) 63
Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO) d. Facundo Bagnis (ARG) 64 76(3) 62
James Ward (GBR) d. Luca Vanni (ITA) 67(4) 62 64 63
Sam Querrey (USA) d. Igor Sijsling (NED) 75 63 64


Notable Quotables from Pre-Wimbledon Weekend with Djokovic, Serena Williams, Federer, Sharapova, Nadal and Others

228 Djokovic being interviewed-001

(June 28, 2015) Saturday and Sunday some of Wimbledon’s top seeds held court with the media, here is a look at some of the notable quotables:

Defending Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic on recovering from losing a mentally tough French Open final:

“Yes, it was. Not just Roland Garros, but all the five months of the year have been really intense for me.  I played a big amount of matches.  Before Roland Garros, I’ve lost only two.  I had one of the best season starts in my career.  Of course, Roland Garros finals wasn’t easy.


“All in all, it was another great tournament.  But I needed some time to just mentally recover, rest ‑ more than physical rest, I needed that emotional, mental rest to recharge my batteries and get myself in a proper state of mind so I can start all over again.”



“I mean, right after I lost the match, of course, there was this sense of disappointment. There is no doubt about it.  I felt that for, you know, some days after it.


“Because I have a family, I have different things in life, different interest, I’ve managed to move on because of the experience that I talked about previously of learning how to handle these particular situations and circumstances. I managed to get the necessary reset in my mind.”



Djokovic says that coaching from the player’s box is fairly common:

“We can’t pretend like that’s not happening in tennis.  Of course, there’s situations when it happens, and not just with the top players, with everybody.  This is a very competitive sport.  You’re alone on the court.  Of course, there’s certain rules.


“But also there are times when, you know, the team of the player communicates with the player when he gets to go and take the towel in the corner, which is closer to the box, or, you know, different ways.


“I think it’s all fine as long as it’s not regular.  I think it just depends.  Also that’s up to the chair umpire or supervisor to decide if somebody’s breaking the rules or not.  I think as long as it’s something that you can tolerate, let’s say, within the ways of communication, I think it’s fine.”


He was also asked about his communication with his coach Boris Becker. Earlier in the day Becker was on radio saying that he has ways of telling Djokovic whether what he is doing is good or bad.


“I don’t think that we’re cheating.  I don’t think that’s how you can call it.  I mean, there are special ways of, I would say, communication.  As he mentioned, the way you look at each other, the way you feel your box, and box feels what you’re going through on the court. I think that’s something that just gives you that reassurance, gives you that confidence.


“It’s not necessary that, you know, he tells me where to serve or to which side of the opponent’s court I have to play, because that doesn’t happen.  But it’s more of a, you know, encouragement, and more of a support and reassurance, as I said, that’s basically present in those moments.”


In what seemed to be the most awkward questions of the weekend, defending champion Petra Kvitova was asked about wearing white on court while menstruating.


Q. Heather Watson was applauded earlier this year for breaking taboo and talking about what was phrased as girly things.  How much do you think that affects other females’ players game?


PETRA KVITOVA:  To be honest, I think it’s quite tough.  Of course, I have these experiences from before.  It’s never really easy to deal with one more tough thing.  I think always the beginning of this kind of period, it’s tough.  I think that for normal woman, they know about.  If we have to play the match or training or something, it’s difficult.


It’s one more extra thing for us.

Q. Does having to wear white as well…

PETRA KVITOVA:  No, I think it’s fine.



Roger Federer on Serena Williams’ playing at such a high level:


“I’m not surprised.  I just think she’s a great talent.  She’s worked also very hard.  I think to be mentally ready for the challenge when she wants to be up for it, I think that’s what’s so admirable about her.


“Also Venus, I must say.  We don’t talk about Venus that often because Serena has been so dominant.  Actually that they’re both still playing is more of a surprise to me.


“But that they are playing, it doesn’t surprise me they’re actually playing well.  It goes hand‑in‑hand.


“I wouldn’t imagine them still playing and playing poorly.  Let’s put it that way.  They’re too good for that.”


Serena Williams was asked about coming into Wimbledon holding the first two majors, make her preparation different or make her feel any different.

“Personally, uhm, it doesn’t make it feel any different, which I think is a good thing ’cause I don’t feel any pressure to win all four.  I’ve been saying that, but I really don’t feel that pressure.  Maybe if I would happen to win here, then maybe I might start feeling it after that.

“Ultimately, I’m taking it one day at a time and I’m not thinking that far.”


Serena is very motivated this year:

“I think the fact that I lost so early the past couple years definitely makes me motivated.  But I think that also gives me a little less pressure because I haven’t done well here in the past two years.  It makes me feel like, Okay, I’ll be fine.  I have nothing to lose here.  I don’t have many points to defend here.  So it’s just like trying to have fun, go through it.”


The 20-time major champion talked about her biggest strength:

“I think for me being mentally tough is probably my biggest strength.  And my dad always said growing up, you know, Tennis is so mental, you have to have your mental, you have to be really mentally tough.  I guess I really took that to heart.

“I think also being the youngest of five really made me have to scrap and be tougher.  I think all those things kind of played into action.

“Yeah, I think that’s probably one of the biggest things in tennis.  It’s great to have a big serve, too.  But I think ultimately sometimes when you’re down and out, you could be the best player in the world, you still get down, but you have to be able to come back.”


She actually hates playing on grass:

“You know, oddly enough, it never has been my favorite surface, but I’ve always done really well here.  I think my game is really suited for the grass.

“You know, yeah, it’s never been someplace like, I love playing on the grass, which is just really weird.  But, again, my game works for it, so…”



Maria Sharapova on Serena:

“She’s certainly the player to beat.  With all the confidence in the world having won the last three majors, not just the two in this year.  I think those results speak for herself, and she’s certainly the one to beat.”



Andy Murray was asked about the “feminine influence” on his life – marriage and hiring Amelie Mauresmo.


“I mean, I’ve said as well, it’s not so much marriage.  Me and Kim have been together like 10 years now, so…


“You know, she’s always been a huge support to me, especially when I’ve gone through, you know, tough, tough times as well.  She’s always been there for me.


“Obviously, yeah, I mean, Amélie, really the last sort of 12 months that I’ve been with her, I feel like I’ve come through some difficult moments.  I feel last year, there was ‑ not me, myself ‑ I know there were a lot of people doubting me.  I feel like she stuck with me during that period.


“I had an extremely tough loss at the end of last year.  She was one of the people that really, yeah, stuck by me and supported me.


“I’m glad that I’ve been able to kind of repay her faith in me with some good tennis this year.


“Obviously she’s a very different character to some of the coaches that I’ve had in the past.  I’ve really enjoyed working with her.”


Rafael Nadal on the current problems of the Spanish Tennis Federation.

“The situation have been very unusual, let’s say, not nice for a country that has big tradition in this sport, for a country that the last, let’s say, 15, 20 years, we have been the first country in this sport around the world.  So is not nice to watch the situation that we are having today.  But things are like this.

“The thing that we have to do is to stop these crazy things that are happening.  You know, it’s not good to see bad news on our sport in the media every day.  It’s not good for our sport.  It’s not good to catch sponsors.  It’s not good to make the people involved on our sport.

“So all these kind of things are bad for everybody.  At the end of the day, you know, we are here today.  We will live tomorrow.  Players, presidents, everybody who is making this show last couple of months, what really suffers on all of this is tennis, tennis in our country.

“All the things that goes against tennis in our country is a bad news.”

Stan Wawrinka the fashion icon:

Are you surprised by how much of a fashion icon you became after the French Open?

STAN WAWRINKA:  It’s not me, my shorts (laughter).


Notable Quotables from the Queen’s Club Tennis Tournament


By Wendy M. Grossman

(June 21, 2015) LONDON, England – Notable quotes from 2015 Queens Club tournament:

Nick Kyrgios, asked about buying a scooter: “I don’t know, mate. I just bought a scooter because I felt like buying a scooter. I can’t tell you if it’s linked to tennis or anything like that. I just bought a scooter.”

Stan Wawrinka

Stan Wawrinka, asked after their match about Nick Kyrgios’s comment that he doesn’t want to think about tennis for a couple of weeks: “I think he’s saying a lot of things every day, so it’s quite interesting for journalists to hear that. I’m sure he’s not going to switch off…If he switch off two weeks of tennis, then he can go home and not play Wimbledon…When I read his interview, it’s always funny, a lot of things you can take. When I read before the match he was ready, excited for the challenge, and now he was sick.”


Rafael Nadal, asked if he’d look for advice from Jose Mourinho, the Portuguese manager of Chelsea Football Club, who attended Queen’s on Tuesday: “He’s a football manager. He’s one of the best of the world. And I have my team. I will not give him never an advice of football and probably he will not giving me never advice of tennis.”

315dimitrov fh-001

Grigor Dimitrov, asked about being defending champion: “It’s one of the tournaments for me that every time I step on that court I feel like I own the court.”


Kevin Anderson, asked if he’d rather watch a guy with big aces or a match with lots of rallies: “Sometimes it would be interesting to see both.”


Andy Murray

Andy Murray

Andy Murray, asked after his three-set Muller match if he was having as good a time as it looked like: “I was when I was winning.”


Milos Raonic, on this year’s extended grass schedule: “I think just from the start of [Wimbledon] the quality of tennis will be better just because of time. You can’t really cheat time, spending time on court and so forth.”


Kevin Anderson, asked how much of an impression Kevin Curran, Wimbledon runner-up 30 years ago, made on him growing up: “Wayne Ferreira was the influence when I was growing up.”


Andy Murray, asked what shot he would pick if he could have a shot from any other player on the tour: “Probably would be Isner’s serve, I think. I mean, it makes the game a whole lot easier when you can serve like that.”


Kevin Anderson, asked to name the best servers in the world at present: “If you just look at the serve itself, I think – if you just looked at numbers, I think you’d have to look at [Ivo] Karlovic or [John] Isner. I mean, just in terms of stats…But I feel like Raonic, I feel like myself I think probably would round out the top four in terms of serving.”

Raonic trophy (1 of 3)

Milos Raonic, asked who he thought was the best server in the world: “I believe myself.”


Gilles Simon, asked if he thought he was reading Milos Raonic’s serve better in the second set: “I was guessing. There is nothing to read.”


Andy Murray, in response to the comment that the last time he won at Queen’s he went on to win Wimbledon: “Yeah, but that means nothing, really. You know, it’s great preparation obviously, but, you know, I think it has only happened six times where someone has won Queen’s and gone on to win.”


Andy Murray, in response to a comment about his nine-match winning streak since Jonas Bjorkman joined his team: “I also have to give a lot of credit to Amélie, because a lot of the work I have done with her is paying off. All of the things I have worked on with her, like using my variety is something I have spoken about a lot in the past, that’s things I have been working on with her for quite a while now.”


And finally, this exchange…

Question (after Kevin Anderson talked about being given Jack Nicklaus’ three grass courts in Florida to use for training): What’s your favorite Jack Nicholson film?

Anderson: Jack Nicholson?

Question: Or Jack Nicklaus.

Anderson: I don’t know. Is he in any films?