February 22, 2017

2017 Australian Open – Day 3 Men’s Preview

 

2017 AUSTRALIAN OPEN

DAY 3 MEN’S NOTES

Wednesday 18 January

2nd Round Top Half

 

Stan Wawrinka

Featured matches

 

No. 1 Andy Murray (GBR) v (Q) Andrey Rublev (RUS)

No. 4 Stan Wawrinka (SUI) v Steve Johnson (USA)

No. 5 Kei Nishikori (JPN) v Jeremy Chardy (FRA)

No. 7 Marin Cilic (CRO) v Daniel Evans (GBR)

No. 10 Tomas Berdych (CZE) v Ryan Harrison (USA)

No. 14 Nick Kyrgios (AUS) v Andreas Seppi (ITA)

No. 17 Roger Federer (SUI) v (Q) Noah Rubin (USA)

No. 27 Bernard Tomic (AUS) v Victor Estrella Burgos (DOM)

No. 31 Sam Querrey (USA) v (WC) Alex De Minaur (AUS)

 

On court today…

 

  • Andy Murray could reach a Grand Slam match-wins milestone today. A victory over qualifier Andrey Rublev would see the 3-time Grand Slam champion record his 178th match-win at the majors and equal Stefan Edberg in 8th place on the list for the most Grand Slam match-wins in the Open Era. World No. 156 Rublev, who recorded his first career victory at a major in the first round here, will be hoping to make life difficult for the world No. 1 as he looks to become the lowest-ranked player to defeat Murray at Tour-level.

 

  • Roger Federer is looking to maintain his record of always having reached the 3rd round here when he takes on qualifier Noah Rubin. World No. 200 Rubin faces a daunting task – the Swiss has not lost in the 2nd round at a major since falling to Sergiy Stakhovsky at 2013 Wimbledon.

 

  • Kei Nishikori lives to fight another day after being taken to 5 sets by Andrey Kuznetsov in his opening round here. The world No. 5, who has a perfect 4-0 win-loss record in 5-set matches at Melbourne Park, will hope for a smoother ride against Jeremy Chardy as he aims to record a 4th straight victory over the Frenchman and earn a place in the 3rd round for the 7th year in a row.

 

  • Alex De Minaur will hope to continue his dream Grand Slam debut when he takes on Sam Querrey for a place in the 3rd round. Aged 17 years 347 days, De Minaur will become the youngest man to reach the 3rd round at a Grand Slam since Rafael Nadal (17 years 243 days) at the 2004 Australian Open if he can find a way past the big-serving American.

 

 1 ANDY MURRAY (GBR) v (Q) ANDREY RUBLEV (RUS)

Head-to-head: first meeting

 

Murray has never lost to a player ranked as low as No. 156 Rublev at Tour-level, with his worst Tour-level defeat coming against No. 154 Jean-Rene Lisnard at 2006 AMS Monte Carlo.

 

The lowest-ranked player to defeat Murray at a Grand Slam is No. 91 Arnaud Clement at the 2005 US Open – the only qualifier to have defeated Murray at a major. Murray has a 10-1 win-loss record against qualifiers at the majors overall.

 

MURRAY                                       v                                        RUBLEV

 

29                                          Age                                          19

1                             ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            156

44                                         Titles                                          0

177-40                     Career Grand Slam Record                        1-1

46-11                        Australian Open Record                          1-0

635-175                              Career Record                                13-19

427-114                        Career Record – Hard                           10-12

5-1                                   2017 Record                                   1-0

5-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              1-0

23-9                          Career Five-Set Record                           0-0

9                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         0

184-107                      Career Tiebreak Record                          6-8

4-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            1-0

 

  • 5-time Australian Open runner-up MURRAY is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the 9th straight year. He defeated Illya Marchenko 75 76(5) 62 in the 1st round. He is contesting his 12th straight Australian Open and 44th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Murray is bidding to record his 178th Grand Slam match-win today and equal Stefan Edberg (178-47) in 8th place on the Open Era list for the most Grand Slam match-wins (see Preview page 5).

 

  • Murray is bidding to extend his 12-match winning streak against qualifiers at Tour-level. He has not lost to a qualifier at Tour-level since falling to Santiago Giraldo at 2014 Madrid-1000.

 

  • Murray is looking to become the first man in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam title after losing 5 finals at any one Grand Slam. He finished as runner-up to Roger Federer here in 2010, and to Novak Djokovic in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2016. Djokovic and Federer (at Roland Garros), Goran Ivanisevic (at Wimbledon) and Ivan Lendl (at the US Open), are the only players in the Open Era to lose 3 Grand Slam finals at one major before winning the title.

 

  • Murray is looking to win the title here and avoid becoming the first man in the Open Era to lose 6 Grand Slam finals at any one major. Lendl, is the only other man to have lost 5 finals at any one Grand Slam event – losing in the title match at the US Open in 1982-84 and 1988-89, but winning the tournament in 1985-87.

 

  • Elsewhere in Grand Slam play in 2016, Murray won his 3rd Grand Slam title and 2nd at Wimbledon, defeating Milos Raonic in the final. It was 11th Grand Slam final, but the first in which he had faced an opponent other than Djokovic or Federer. He also became the 3rd British man – and first since Bunny Austin in 1937 – to reach the Roland Garros final (l. Djokovic) but fell to Kei Nishikori in 5 sets in the quarterfinals at the US Open.

 

  • Also in 2016, Murray became the first player in history to successfully defend an Olympic singles gold medal after defeating Juan Martin del Potro in the final at Rio 2016. He won a career-best 9 Tour-level titles – including his first at the year-end ATP World Tour Finals, where he became the 17th man to secure the year-end No. 1 ranking after defeating Djokovic in the final. Two weeks earlier, he had become the 26th man to attain the world No. 1 ranking after reaching the final at Paris-1000.

 

  • Murray warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the final as No. 1 seed at Doha – his 13th final in his last 14 tournaments. He saw his 28-match Tour-level winning streak ended by Djokovic as the Serb won 63 57 64.

 

  • Murray is one of 6 Grand Slam champions who started in the men’s main draw here. Murray won the 2012 US Open title (d. Djokovic) and became the first British man to win the Wimbledon singles title in 77 years in 2013 (d. Djokovic) before winning the title again in 2016.

 

  • Murray was awarded a knighthood in the Queen’s 2017 New Year’s Honours list.

 

  • Murray has played Davis Cup since 2005 and has a 30-3 singles win-loss record in the competition in 20 ties played, leading Great Britain to its first title since 1936 in 2015. Great Britain will face Canada in the World Group first round in Ottawa on 3-5 February.

 

  • Murray is coached by Ivan Lendl, who won the Australian Open in 1989 and 1990, and former world No. 121 Jamie Delgado.

 

  • Qualifier RUBLEV is bidding to reach the 3rd round on his Australian Open debut.

 

  • Rublev recorded his first Grand Slam match-win by defeating Yen-Hsun Lu 46 63 76(0) 63 in the 1st round here.

 

  • Rublev defeated Max Purcell (AUS) 64 67(6) 61, Yuichi Sugita (JPN) 64 76(2) and Peter Polansky (CAN) 64 46 63 in the 3 rounds of qualifying here. It was his first attempt to qualify for the Australian Open.

 

  • This is Rublev’s 2nd Grand Slam appearance. He fell in the 1st round in his only other appearance at a major as a qualifier at the 2015 US Open (l. Kevin Anderson). He failed to qualify in his 4 other attempts to qualify for a Grand Slam – at Wimbledon in 2015 and 2016, and at both Roland Garros and the US Open in 2016.

 

  • Rublev is bidding to record back-to-back match-wins at a Tour-level event for the first time. As well as reaching the 2nd round here, his career-best Tour-level results are reaching the 2nd round as a wild card at Delray Beach, Miami-1000, Istanbul, Geneva and Valencia in 2015, as a qualifier at 2015 Barcelona and as a wild card at both 2016 Chennai and 2016 St. Petersburg.

 

  • Rublev’s 1st round win over Lu here was his first Tour-level match-win since he reached the 2nd round at St. Petersburg in September (l. Joao Sousa), when Mikhail Kukushkin retired with a right arm injury with Rublev leading 63 4-1. Rublev won just 2 other Tour-level matches in 2016 – reaching the 2nd round as a wild card at Chennai (d. Somdev Devvarman, l. Stan Wawrinka) and defeating Robin Haase in Russia’s 4-1 Davis Cup victory over Netherlands in September.

 

  • Rublev won his first Challenger title in his first final in 2016 as a qualifier at Quimper (FRA) (d. Paul-Henri Mathieu) and ended his season with a runner-up finish at the Mouilleron Le Captif Challenger (FRA) (d. Julien Benneteau). He also reached the semifinals at the Orleans Challenger (FRA) (l. Norbert Gombos).

 

  • Rublev is bidding to defeat a Top 30 player at any level for the first time. The highest-ranked player he has defeated is No. 32 Pablo Andujar in the 5th rubber during Russia’s 3-2 Davis Cup victory over Spain in the 2015 World Group play-offs. The highest-ranked player he has faced is No. 4 Stan Wawrinka at 2016 Chennai, where he fell 63 62.

 

  • Rublev plays here on a career-high ranking of No. 152.

 

  • Rublev is a former junior world No.1 having topped the boys’ rankings for the first time in June 2014 after winning the boys’ singles title at 2014 Roland Garros. He finished runner-up in the boys’ doubles with Stefan Kozlov at 2014 Wimbledon and won two medals at the Youth Olympic Tennis Event in Nanjing later that year, winning boys’ singles bronze and boys’ doubles silver with Karen Khachanov. He was named 2014 ITF Junior World Champion.

 

  • Rublev has played Davis Cup for Russia since 2014, compiling a 4-2 win-loss record in singles and 4-0 in doubles. He helped Russia earn promotion back to the 2017 World Group, where they will play Serbia in Nis in the first round on 3-5 February.
  • Rublev is coached by Sergey Tarasevich.

 

 

 

 

 4 STAN WAWRINKA (SUI) v STEVE JOHNSON (USA)

Head-to-head: Wawrinka leads 1-0

2015     Roland Garros               Clay (O)            R32      Wawrinka          64 63 62

 

A 2nd career – and Grand Slam meeting – between these 2 players, but their first meeting on a hard court.

 

WAWRINKA                                     v                                       JOHNSON

 

31                                          Age                                          27

4                             ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            30

15                                         Titles                                          1

120-44                     Career Grand Slam Record                      15-18

32-10                        Australian Open Record                          5-4

442-253                              Career Record                                96-96

246-141                        Career Record – Hard                           70-66

3-1                                   2017 Record                                   4-2

3-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              4-2

25-19                         Career Five-Set Record                           4-6

6                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         2

181-172                      Career Tiebreak Record                         55-63

1-2                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            2-0

 

  • 2014 Australian Open champion WAWRINKA is looking to reach the 3rd round here for the 9th straight year. This is his 12th Australian Open appearance and his 48th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Wawrinka advanced to the 2nd round after defeating Martin Klizan 46 64 75 46 64 in the 1st round on Monday. The victory improved his overall 5-set win-loss record to 25-19, and to 2-3 in 5-set matches at the Australian Open.

 

  • Wawrinka has lost in the 2nd round at the Australian Open twice before – on his debut in 2006
    (l. David Nalbandian) and in 2008 (l. Marc Gicquel), the only occasions in which he has lost before the 3rd round in his 11 previous appearances here.

 

  • Last year here as No. 4 seed, Wawrinka fell to Milos Raonic 64 63 57 46 63 in the round of 16.

 

  • Wawrinka’s best Australian Open result is winning the title in his first Grand Slam final in 2014 (d. Rafael Nadal 63 62 36 63). He was the first player to defeat the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds en route to a Grand Slam title since Sergei Bruguera won 1993 Roland Garros.

 

  • Wawrinka has won 3 Grand Slam titles at 3 different majors. He also won 2015 Roland Garros and the 2016 US Open, defeating Djokovic in both finals. In Paris, he became the 2nd Swiss player – man or woman – in history to win Roland Garros. At 30 years 71 days, he was the oldest man to win in Paris since Andres Gomez in 1990. At the US Open, aged 31 years 167 days, he became the oldest US Open champion since Ken Rosewall in 1970 and just the 5th man to win multiple Grand Slam titles after turning 30. He is one of 6 Grand Slam champions who started in the men’s draw here.

 

  • Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2016, Wawrinka reached the semfinals at Roland Garros (l. Andy Murray) but fell in the 2nd round at Wimbledon (l. Juan Martin del Potro).

 

  • In 2016, Wawrinka won a career-best 4 titles for the 2nd straight year. As well as winning the US Open, he won his 3rd straight title at Chennai (d. Borna Coric) and won the titles at Dubai (d. Marcos Baghdatis) and Geneva (d. Marin Cilic). He also finished runner-up at St. Petersburg (l. Alexander Zverev).

 

  • Wawrinka warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the semifinals as No. 2 seed at Brisbane, where he fell to Kei Nishikori 76(3) 63.

 

  • Wawrinka is coached by Magnus Norman, who reached the semifinals here in 2000.

 

  • JOHNSON is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the 3rd straight year and equal his best Australian Open result.

 

  • Johnson advanced to the 2nd round here after defeating Federico Delbonis 63 63 64 in the 1st round on Monday.

 

  • Johnson’s best Australian Open performance is reaching the 3rd round in 2015 (l. Kei Nishikori) and 2016 (l. David Ferrer). This is his 5th Australian Open appearance and his 19th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Johnson’s best Grand Slam result is reaching the round of 16 at 2016 Wimbledon (l. Roger Federer). Elsewhere at the majors last year, he reached the 2nd round at the US Open (l. Juan Martin del Potro) but fell in the 1st round at Roland Garros (l. Fernando Verdasco).

 

  • Johnson is bidding to defeat a Top 10 opponent for the 3rd time. His career-best wins came against No. 10 Richard Gasquet at 2016 Queen’s and No. 10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at 2016 Cincinnati-1000. He has a 2-16 win-loss record against Top 10 opposition overall. The highest-ranked player he has defeated at a Grand Slam is No. 24 Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in 5-sets in the 1st round at 2015 Roland Garros.

 

  • Johnson has lost both of the 2 five-set matches he has played here, falling in 5-sets in the 1st round in 2013 (l. Nicolas Almagro) and 2014 (l. Adrian Mannarino). He has a 4-6 win-loss record in 5-set matches overall.

 

  • Johnson’s best result in 2016 was winning his first Tour-level title at Nottingham (d. Pablo Cuevas). He also reached the semifinals at Washington (l. Ivo Karlovic), reaching a career-high ranking of No. 21 afterwards, and 4 further quarterfinals. He plays here ranked No. 30.

 

  • Johnson won the men’s doubles bronze medal alongside Jack Sock at the Rio 2016 Olympic Tennis Event after the pair defeated Daniel Nestor/Vasek Pospisil in the play-off for 3rd place. He also reached the quarterfinals of the singles event, narrowly missing the chance to play for a medal after losing to Andy Murray in a decisive set tiebreak.

 

  • Johnson won his first Tour-level doubles title in 2016, winning the title at Geneva alongside Sam Querrey (d. Raven Klaasen/Rajeev Ram).

 

  • Prior to coming here, Johnson reached the semifinals at Auckland (l. Sock) after a 1st round defeat at Brisbane (l. Grigor Dimitrov).

 

  • Johnson has played one Davis Cup tie for USA, helping them to a 3-1 victory over Uzbekistan in the 2015 World Group play-offs. USA will host Switzerland in the World Group first round in Birmingham on 3-5 February.

 

  • Johnson played college tennis. He was NCAA singles champion in 2011 and 2012, and became the first player in NCAA history to lead his school, USC, to a 4 consecutive NCAA team titles.

 

  • Johnson is coached by Craig Boynton.

 

 

 

 

  1. 5 KEI NISHIKORI (JPN) v JEREMY CHARDY (FRA)

Head-to-head: Nishikori leads 4-2

2011     Miami-1000                   Hard (O)           R128    Nishikori           76(5) 62

2012     Acapulco                      Clay (O)            R16      Chardy              16 76(8) 60

2013     Rome-1000                   Clay (O)            R32      Chardy             64 61

2014     Tokyo                           Hard (O)           QF        Nishikori           64 62

2015     Paris-1000                     Hard (I)             R32      Nishikori           76(4) 67(6) 61

2016     Barcelona                     Clay (O)            R16      Nishikori           63 75

 

A 7th encounter for the pair, who have met once a year in each of the past 6 years, but their first at a Grand Slam.

 

Nishikori has won all 3 of their previous meetings on a hard court.

 

NISHIKORI                                      v                                        CHARDY

 

27                                          Age                                          29

5                                    ATP Ranking                                   72

11                                         Titles                                          1

61-28                      Career Grand Slam Record                      46-35

21-7                         Australian Open Record                         10-8

305-143                              Career Record                              208-211

215-100                        Career Record – Hard                         108-118

4-1                                   2017 Record                                   2-2

4-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              2-2

15-5                          Career Five-Set Record                          10-3

2                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         1

91-64                        Career Tiebreak Record                       103-115

1-1                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            0-1

 

  • NISHIKORI is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the 7th straight year. This is his 8th Australian Open appearance and his 30th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Nishikori advanced to the 2nd round after defeating Andrey Kuznetsov 57 61 64 67(6) 62 in the 1st round on Monday. The victory maintained Nishikori’s record of never having lost a 5-set match at the Australian Open. He has 4-0 win-loss record in 5-set matches here and a 15-5 record in 5-set matches overall.

 

  • Nishikori’s best result here is reaching the quarterfinals in 2012 (l. Andy Murray), 2015 (l. Stan Wawrinka) and 2016 (l. Novak Djokovic). He is the only Japanese man to reach the quarterfinals at Melbourne Park in the Open Era.

 

  • At the 2014 US Open, Nishikori became the first Asian male to contest a Grand Slam final after defeating three Top 10 players – Milos Raonic, Wawrinka and Djokovic – in consecutive matches before falling to Marin Cilic in the title match.

 

  • In Grand Slam play last year Nishikori reached the semifinals at the US Open (l. Wawrinka), the quarterfinals here and the round of 16 at both Roland Garros (l. Richard Gasquet) and Wimbledon, where he retired with a rib injury while trailing Cilic 61 5-1.

 

  • Nishikori’s best result in 2016 was winning his 4th straight title at Memphis (d. Taylor Fritz), joining Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Djokovic as the only active players to have won 4 consecutive titles at a single Tour-level event. He finished runner-up at 4 further tournaments at Miami-1000 (l. Djokovic), Barcelona (l. Nadal), Toronto-1000 (l. Djokovic) and Basel (l. Cilic). He also won singles bronze at the Rio 2016 Olympic Tennis Event after defeating Rafael Nadal in the 3rd place play-off.

 

  • Nishikori warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the final at Brisbane, where he fell to Grigor Dimitrov.

 

  • Nishikori is the highest-ranked Japanese man in ATP World Tour Rankings history (since 1973). He had the nickname ‘Project 45’ as a major goal was to get him to No. 45 in the rankings, which would be one spot better than the highest by any Japanese man (Shuzo Matsuoka).

 

  • Nishikori plays here seeded No. 5 – his joint-highest seeding at the Australian Open. He was also seeded No. 5 here in 2015.

 

  • Nishikori is coached by Dante Bottini and Michael Chang. Chang finished as runner-up at the 1996 Australian Open, losing in the final to Boris Becker.

 

  • CHARDY is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the 3rd time. This is his 9th consecutive appearance at Melbourne Park and his 36th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Chardy progressed to the 2nd round after Nicolas Almagro retired with a calf strain while trailing 4-0 in their 1st round match on Monday.
  • Last year here, as No. 30 seed, Chardy lost in the 2nd round to Andrey Kuznetsov.
  • Also at the Grand Slams in 2016, Chardy reached the 3rd round at Roland Garros (l. Stan Wawrinka), but fell in the 2nd round at both Wimbledon (l. Steve Johnson) and the US Open (l. Grigor Dimitrov).
  • Chardy’s best Grand Slam performance is reaching the quarterfinals here in 2013 (l. Andy Murray). He upset 7th-ranked Juan Martin del Potro in 5 sets in the 3rd round – one of his 3 career victories against Top 10 opposition at the Grand Slams. He also defeated No. 7 David Nalbandian at 2008 Roland Garros and No. 8 David Ferrer at the 2015 US Open. He has a 3-13 win-loss record against Top 10 opposition at the majors overall.
  • Chardy’s highlights in 2016 were reaching 4 Tour-level quarterfinals – at Doha (l. Illya Marchenko), Sydney (l. Gilles Muller), Delray Beach (l. Del Potro) and Umag (l. Carlos Berlocq).
  • Chardy warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the quarterfinals at Auckland (l. Jack Sock) after a 1st round defeat to Murray at Doha.
  • Chardy has won 6 of his last 7 five-set matches. His only defeat in that time came in his most recent 5-set match against Grigor Dimitrov in the 2nd round at the 2016 US Open. He has a 2-1 win-loss record in 5-set matches at the Australian Open and a 10-3 win-loss record in 5-set matches overall.
  • Chardy had a successful junior career. He won the boys’ singles at 2005 Wimbledon (d. Robin Haase) and also finished runner-up at the 2005 US Open. He achieved a career-high junior ranking of No. 3 in September 2005.
  • Chardy is coached by Magnus Tideman. His fitness trainer is Frederic Lefevre and his physio is Jean Jacques Peyroutou.

 

 

  1. 7 MARIN CILIC (CRO) v DANIEL EVANS (GBR)

Head-to-head: first meeting

 

Cilic has not lost to a player ranked as low as No. 51 Evans at the Australian Open since falling to No. 126 Ilija Bozoljac on his debut here as a qualifier in 2007.

 

CILIC                                          v                                         EVANS

 

28                                          Age                                          26

7                             ATP Ranking (16 Jun)                            51

16                                         Titles                                          0

84-34                      Career Grand Slam Record                        7-7

20-8                         Australian Open Record                          1-1

392-211                              Career Record                                26-35

251-123                        Career Record – Hard                           18-23

1-1                                   2017 Record                                   5-1

1-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              5-1

25-12                         Career Five-Set Record                           1-4

5                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         0

144-128                      Career Tiebreak Record                         17-19

0-1                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            1-1

 

  • CILIC is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the 7th time. He advanced to the 2nd round by defeating Jerzy Janowicz 46 46 62 62 63 in the 1st round on Monday.

 

  • Cilic’s 5-set win over Janowicz in the 1st round here was his 5th career comeback from 0-2 down and improved his 5-set win-loss record to 6-2 at Melbourne Park and 25-12 overall. It was his first 0-2 comeback since Croatia’s 2014 Davis Cup Europe/Africa 2nd round tie with Poland, when he also defeated Janowicz.

 

  • Cilic is making his 9th Australian Open appearance and his 37th at a Grand Slam Last year here he fell to Roberto Bautista Agut in the 3rd round.

 

  • Cilic won his first major title at the 2014 US Open, defeating Kei Nishikori in the final. He was the first Croatian to win a Grand Slam title since Goran Ivanisevic at 2001 Wimbledon. He is one of the 6 Grand Slam champions who started in the men’s main draw here.

 

  • Cilic’s best Australian Open performance is reaching the semifinals as No. 14 seed here in 2010 (l. Andy Murray). He is the only Croatian man to reach the Australian Open semifinals in the history of the championships. He broke into the Top 10 for the first time as a result.

 

  • Cilic warmed up for the Australian Open at Chennai, where he fell to Jozef Kovalik in the 2nd round after receiving a 1st round bye.

 

  • In Grand Slam play in 2016, Cilic reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon for the 3rd straight year, falling to Roger Federer despite holding a 2-0 lead. He reached the 3rd round at both the Australian Open and the US Open (l. Jack Sock), but fell in the 1st round at Roland Garros (l. Marco Trungelliti) – his first loss in the 1st round at a major since 2011 Wimbledon.

 

  • Cilic’s best result in 2016 was winning his first Masters-1000 title at Cincinnati (d. Murray), where he extended his streak of winning at least one title every year since winning his first at 2008 New Haven. He also won the title at Basel (d. Nishikori) and finished runner-up at both Marseille (l. Nick Kyrgios) and Geneva (l. Stan Wawrinka). He reached 3 further semifinals at Queen’s, Tokyo and Paris-1000.

 

  • Cilic compiled an 8-3 win-loss record in Davis Cup rubbers to help Croatia reach its 2nd Final in 2016. He was just a set away from clinching the title for Croatia in the fourth rubber, before Juan Martin del Potro recovered to win in 5 sets as Argentina went on to complete a 3-2 comeback victory in the Final in Zagreb. Croatia will host Spain in the Davis Cup World Group first round in Osijek on 3-5 February.

 

  • Cilic is coached by Jonas Bjorkman, who reached the singles quarterfinals here in 1998 and 2002 and won the doubles title in 1998, 1999 and 2001.

 

  • EVANS is bidding to reach the 3rd round here and equal his best Grand Slam result.

 

  • Evans defeated Facundo Bagnis 76(8) 63 61 in the 1st round to record his first Australian Open match-win.

 

  • Evans’ best Grand Slam result is reaching the 3rd round on 3 occasions – as a qualifier at the US Open in 2013 (l. Tommy Robredo) and as a direct acceptance in 2016 (l. Stan Wawrinka), and as a direct acceptance at 2016 Wimbledon (l. Roger Federer).

 

  • Last year here on his Australian Open debut as a qualifier, Evans fell to Feliciano Lopez in the 1st round. He lost in the 2nd round of qualifying on both of his 2 other attempts to qualify here in 2010 and 2014. This is his 2nd Australian Open and his 8th Grand Slam appearance overall.

 

  • Evans’ best Tour-level results in 2016 were reaching the 3rd round at Nottingham (l. Pablo Cuevas), Wimbledon, Washington (l. Jack Sock) and the US Open – the only occasions in which he recorded back-to-back Tour-level match-wins in 2016. He didn’t attempt to qualify at 2016 Roland Garros to focus on the grass season.

 

  • Also in 2016, Evans won Challenger titles at Drummondville (CAN) (d. Edward Corrie), Taipei (TPE) (d. Konstantin Kravchuk) and Aptos (USA) (d. Cameron Norrie) and finished runner-up at Challengers at Dallas (USA) (l. Kyle Edmund) and Busan (KOR) (l. Kravchuk).

 

  • Evans warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching his first Tour-level final at Sydney (l. Gilles Muller). He also represented Great Britain at the Hopman Cup, losing to Federer 63 64, Richard Gasquet 64 62 and Alexander Zverev 64 63 in his 3 singles matches in Perth.

 

  • Evans is bidding to defeat a Top 10 player for the 2nd time. He recorded his first career victory over a Top 10 player by defeating No. 8 Dominic Thiem in the quarterfinals at 2016 Sydney, ending a 4-match losing streak against Top 10 opposition.

 

  • Evans has a 1-4 win-loss record in 5-set matches – losing his only 5-set match at a Grand Slam to Wawrinka at the 2016 US Open despite holding a match point in the 4th set. His other 4 five-set matches have come in Davis Cup, with his only 5-set match-win coming against Martin Klizan Great Britain’s victory over Slovakia in the Europe/Africa Group I first round in 2012.

 

  • Evans has played Davis Cup since 2009 and was part of the British team that reached the World Group semifinals last year. Great Britain will play Canada in the 2017 World Group first round in Ottawa on 3-5 February.

 

  • Evans is coached by Mark Hilton.

 

 

10 TOMAS BERDYCH (CZE) v RYAN HARRISON

Head-to-head: Berdych leads 1-0

2016     Toronto-1000     Hard (O)           R16      Berdych            64 67(2) 64

 

Berdych has not lost to a player ranked as low as No. 82 Harrison at a Grand Slam since falling to No. 109 Gael Monfils in 5 sets in the 1st round at 2013 Roland Garros.

 

                         BERDYCH                                      v                                      HARRISON

 

31                                          Age                                          24

10                            ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            82

13                                         Titles                                          0

131-52                     Career Grand Slam Record                       9-20

39-13                        Australian Open Record                          2-6

585-304                              Career Record                               76-107

365-193                        Career Record – Hard                           58-76

4-1                                   2017 Record                                   2-1

4-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              2-1

20-8                          Career Five-Set Record                           0-3

2                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         0

201-165                      Career Tiebreak Record                         40-49

2-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            0-1

 

  • BERDYCH is bidding to reach the 3rd round at the Australian Open for the 7th straight year. He advanced to the 2nd round after Luca Vanni retired with a groin strain after Berdych had won the first set 61.

 

  • Last year here Berdych reached the quarterfinals for the 6th consecutive year, falling to Roger Federer 76(4) 62 64.

 

  • Berdych’s best Australian Open performance is reaching the semifinals in 2014 (l. Stan Wawrinka) and 2015 (l. Andy Murray). By reaching the semifinals here in 2014, he became the 2nd Czech man in the Open Era after Ivan Lendl to complete a set of Grand Slam semifinal appearances.

 

  • Berdych’s best result at a major is finishing runner-up at 2010 Wimbledon. He defeated Federer in the quarterfinals and Novak Djokovic in the semifinals before losing to Rafael Nadal in the final.

 

  • Berdych warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the semfinals at Doha (l. Murray).

 

  • Berdych’s best result in 2016 was winning his 13th career title at Shenzhen (d. Richard Gasquet). 9 of his 13 titles have come on a hard court. He also reached the semifinals at Doha (l. Djokovic), Marseille (l. Nick Kyrgios), Wimbledon (l. Murray) and St. Petersburg (l. Alexander Zverev) and 7 further quarterfinals.

 

  • In Grand Slam play in 2016 Berdych reached the semifinals at Wimbledon and the quarterfinals at both the Australian Open and Roland Garros (l. Djokovic). He missed the US Open with appendicitis, ending his run of 52 consecutive Grand Slam appearances.

 

  • This is Berdych’s 14th consecutive Australian Open appearance and his 53rd Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Berdych dropped to No. 11 in the rankings on 31 October 2016 – the first time he had been out of the Top 10 since June 2010. He has been seeded at every Grand Slam event he has played since the 2005 US Open and plays here – ranked and seeded – at No. 10.

 

  • Berdych started working with Goran Ivanisevic in August 2016. He is also coached by Luka Kutanjac.
  • HARRISON is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the first time and equal his best Grand Slam result. This is his 7th Australian Open appearance and his 21st Grand Slam overall.

 

  • By defeating Nicolas Mahut 63 64 62 in the first round here, Harrison has equalled his best Australian Open performance. He also reached the 2nd round here in 2013 (d. Santiago Giraldo, l. Novak Djokovic).

 

  • Harrison’s best Grand Slam result is reaching the 3rd round as a qualifier at the 2016 US Open (l. Marcos Baghdatis). He recorded a career-best win – and his 2nd career victory over a Top 10 opponent – by defeating No. 6 Milos Raonic in the 2nd round. His only other win against a Top 10 player came against No. 10 Grigor Dimitrov at 2015 Acapulco. He has a 2-26 win-loss record against Top 10 opposition overall.

 

  • Also at the Grand Slams in 2016, Harrison fell to Andrey Kuznetsov in the first round here, and failed to qualify at both Roland Garros and Wimbledon.

 

  • Harrison is bidding to record back-to-back Tour-level match-wins for the first time since the 2016 US Open. He recorded back-to-back Tour-level match-wins on just 2 other occasions in 2016, reaching the 3rd round as a qualifier at both Washington (l. Steve Johnson) and Toronto-1000 (l. today’s opponent).

 

  • Prior to coming here, Harrison reached the 2nd round as a qualifier at Auckland (l. Jack Sock). He lost in the 1st round of qualifying at Brisbane.

 

  • Harrison reached the semifinals of the boys’ singles at the 2008 Australian Open. He was also a quarterfinalist in the boys’ singles at the 2005 US Open and reached a career-high junior ranking of No. 7.

 

  • Harrison is coached by Peter Lucassen.

 

 

 

 

 14 NICK KYRGIOS (AUS) v ANDREAS SEPPI (ITA)

Head-to-head: Kyrgios leads 2-0

2014     US Open                      Hard (O)           R64      Kyrgios             64 76(2) 64

2015     Australian Open            Hard (O)           R16      Kyrgios             57 46 63 76(5) 86

 

A 3rd career meeting for the pair. Both of their previous meetings have come at a Grand Slam, with Kyrgios winning on each occasion.

 

The last time the pair met, in the round of 16 here in 2015, Kyrgios recovered from 0-2 down for the 2nd time in his career to reach the quarterfinals here for the first time.

 

Kyrgios has only once lost to a player ranked outside the Top 30 at a Grand Slam – when he retired with a right hip injury while trailing Illya Marchenko 46 64 61 in the 3rd round at the 2016 US Open.

 

                          KYRGIOS                                       v                                         SEPPI

 

21                                          Age                                          32

13                            ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            89

3                                          Titles                                          3

26-14                      Career Grand Slam Record                      46-47

8-3                          Australian Open Record                        13-11

76-45                                Career Record                              310-332

44-25                          Career Record – Hard                         141-176

1-0                                   2017 Record                                   1-0

1-0                              2017 Record – Hard                              1-0

4-1                           Career Five-Set Record                         20-15

2                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         4

52-38                        Career Tiebreak Record                       114-147

0-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            1-1

 

  • KYRGIOS is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the 3rd straight year. He defeated Gastao Elias 61 62 62 in the 1st round. This is his 4th Australian Open appearance and his 15th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Last year here Kyrgios reached the 3rd round, falling to Tomas Berdych. Elsewhere at the majors in 2016, he reached the round of 16 at Wimbledon (l. Andy Murray) and the 3rd round at both Roland Garros
    (l. Richard Gasquet) and the US Open, where he retired with a right hip injury while trailing Illya Marchenko 46 64 61.

 

  • At the 2015 Australian Open aged 19 years 280 days, Kyrgios equalled his best Grand Slam result by reaching the quarterfinals (l. Murray). He became the youngest man to reach the Australian Open quarterfinals since Andrei Cherkasov in 1990. He was the first Australian to reach the last 8 at the Australian Open since Lleyton Hewitt in 2005 and only the 3rd Australian man to reach the quarterfinals here as a teenager after Brad Drewett and Pat Cash.
  • Kyrgios also reached the quarterfinals at 2014 Wimbledon (l. Milos Raonic). Ranked No. 144, he defeated world No. 1 Rafael Nadal in the round of 16 to become the lowest-ranked player to defeat a world No. 1 at a Grand Slam since No. 193 Andrei Olhovskiy defeated Jim Courier in the 3rd round at 1992 Wimbledon.

 

  • Kyrgios won his first 3 career titles in 2016 – winning at Marseille (d. Marin Cilic), Atlanta (d. John Isner) and Tokyo (d. David Goffin) to become the first Australian to win 3 or more titles in a year since Lleyton Hewitt in 2004. He reached 3 further semifinals – at Dubai, Miami-1000 and Estoril – and climbed to a career-high ranking of No. 13 on 24 October. He plays here at No. 13.

 

  • Prior to coming here, Kyrgios played at the Hopman Cup, where he defeated Feliciano Lopez 63 64 and Adam Pavlasek 75 64 before falling to Jack Sock 62 62.

 

  • Kyrgios is one of the 6 former Australian Open junior singles champions to reach the 2nd round here from the 7 who started in the men’s main draw. Kyrgios won the junior title in 2013, defeating compatriot Thanasi Kokkinakis in the final.

 

  • Kyrgios was ranked 1 in the Junior rankings in January 2013 after winning the title at the Junior Australian Open. He also won the boys’ doubles title with Kokkinakis at 2013 Wimbledon.

 

  • Kyrgios is one of the 11 Australian men who started this year’s Australian Open main draw – the most to start in the main draw here since 2003 when there were also 11. The last Australian man to win the title here was Mark Edmondson in 1976.

 

  • Kyrgios entered the men’s doubles event here with Daniel Evans. The pair will play Dusan Lajovic/Viktor Troicki in the 1st round.

 

  • Kyrgios has played Davis Cup for Australia since 2013. Australia will play Czech Republic in the World Group first round at Kooyong on 3-5 February.

 

  • Kyrgios is currently without a coach. His fitness trainers are Will Maher and Matt James.

 

  • SEPPI is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the 4th time.

 

  • Seppi advanced to the 2nd round after defeating Paul-Henri Mathieu 64 76(4) 67(3) 75 in the 1st round on Monday. It was his first Tour-level match-win since he reached the quarterfinals at Antwerp (l. Kyle Edmund) in October.

 

  • Seppi’s best Grand Slam performance is reaching the round of 16 on 4 occasions – at 2012 Roland Garros (l. Novak Djokovic), the Australian Open in 2013 (l. Jeremy Chardy) and 2015 (l. today’s opponent), and at 2013 Wimbledon (l. Juan Martin del Potro).

 

  • Last year here Seppi reached the 3rd round, falling to Djokovic 61 75 76(6). This is his 12th Australian Open and his 48th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2016, Seppi reached the 2nd round at both Wimbledon (l. Milos Raonic) and the US Open (l. Rafael Nadal) but lost in the 1st round at Roland Garros (l. Ernests Gulbis).

 

  • Seppi’s best result in 2016 was reaching the semifinals at Nottingham (l. Steve Johnson). He reached 4 further quarterfinals – at Sofia (l. Martin Klizan), Nice (l. Dominic Thiem), Halle (l. Florian Mayer) and Antwerp.

 

  • Seppi has won 3 career singles titles – at 2011 Eastbourne (d. Janko Tipsarevic), 2012 Belgrade (d. Benoit Paire) and 2012 Moscow (d. Thomaz Bellucci).

 

  • Seppi reached a career-high ranking of No. 18 after reaching the last 16 of the 2013 Australian Open. He dropped to No. 100 in the rankings on 17 October 2016 – his lowest ranking since July 2007 – but plays here at No. 89.

 

  • Seppi has lost 17 of his last 18 matches against Top 20 opposition. His only victory over a Top 20 player in that time was against No. 14 David Ferrer at 2016 Halle.

 

  • Seppi has lost 8 of his last 9 matches against Top 20 opposition at the Grand Slams. His only win over a Top 20 opponent in that time came at the 2015 Australian Open, when he defeated No. 2 Roger Federer to record his first win over a Top 10 player at a major.

 

  • Seppi has been coached by Massimo Sartori since 1995.

 

 17 ROGER FEDERER (SUI) v (Q) NOAH RUBIN (USA)

Head-to-head: first meeting

 

Federer has not lost to a player ranked as low as today’s opponent since losing to No. 249 Sergio Bruguera at 2000 Barcelona. The lowest-ranked player he has lost to at a Grand Slam is No. 154 Mario Ancic at 2002 Wimbledon and the lowest-ranked player he has lost to at the Australian Open is No. 54 Arnaud Clement on his debut here in 2000.

 

FEDERER                                       v                                         RUBIN

 

35                                          Age                                          20

17                            ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            200

88                                         Titles                                          0

308-51                     Career Grand Slam Record                        2-2

81-13                        Australian Open Record                          2-1

1081-245                             Career Record                                  3-7

665-135                        Career Record – Hard                            3-6

1-0                                   2017 Record                                   1-0

1-0                              2017 Record – Hard                              1-0

24-20                         Career Five-Set Record                           1-0

10                        Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         0

395-215                      Career Tiebreak Record                          5-4

0-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            0-1

 

  • FEDERER is bidding to maintain his record of always having reached the 3rd round here. He defeated qualifier Jurgen Melzer 75 36 62 62 in the 1st round on Monday night.

 

  • Federer’s 1st round win over Melzer improved his win-loss record against qualifiers at the Grand Slams to 25-1. His only defeat to a qualifier at a major came against Mario Ancic in the 1st round at 2002 Wimbledon.

 

  • Federer has not lost in the 2nd round at a Grand Slam since 2013 Wimbledon, when he fell to Sergiy Stakhovsky to suffer his earliest defeat at a major since losing in the 1st round at 2003 Roland Garros.

 

  • Federer is looking to become the 3rd man in history to win 5 Australian Open singles titles after Novak Djokovic and Roy Emerson, who have both won 6 titles here [see Preview page 2].

 

  • At 35 years 174 days, Federer is looking to become the 2nd oldest man in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam title after Ken Rosewall, who won 3 Grand Slam titles after turning 35. Rosewall won the 1970 US Open (aged 35 years 315 days) and the Australian Open in 1971 (aged 36 years 73 days) and 1972 (aged 37 years 62 days).

 

  • Last year here Federer reached his 12th Australian Open semifinal, taking sole occupancy of 2nd place on the Open Era list for the most semifinals reached at any one Grand Slam event after Jimmy Connors (who reached 14 semifinals at the US Open). Aged 34 years 176 days, he was the oldest man to reach the semifinals here since 35-year-old Colin Dibley in 1979.

 

  • Federer played just 7 Tour-level events in 2016 after injuring his knee the day after his Australian Open semifinal. He underwent arthroscopic knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus on 2 February and withdrew from tournaments at Rotterdam and Dubai. He returned with a quarterfinal finish at Monte Carlo-1000 (l. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga) but, despite playing 4 further tournaments, announced on 26 July that he would miss the rest of the season, including the Olympic Games in Rio, due to the knee injury.

 

  • Federer dropped out of the world’s Top 10 for the first time in 734 weeks (over 14 years) in November 2016 and did not qualify for the ATP World Tour Finals for the first time since 2001. He plays here ranked No. 17 – his lowest position since May 2001.

 

  • Federer made his comeback from injury at the 2017 Hopman Cup, defeating Daniel Evans 63 64 and Richard Gasquet 61 64, but losing to Alexander Zverev 76(1) 67(4) 76(4).

 

  • In Grand Slam play in 2016, Federer reached the semifinals at both the Australian Open and Wimbledon (l. Milos Raonic), where he saved 3 match points to recover from 0-2 down and defeat Marin Cilic in the quarterfinals. It was his 10th career-comeback from 0-2 down, equalling Aaron Krickstein and Boris Becker’s record for the most career comebacks from 0-2 down. He withdrew from Roland Garros, ending his record streak of 65 Grand Slam appearances, with a back injury.

 

  • Elsewhere in 2016, Federer finished runner-up at Brisbane (l. Raonic). He also reached back-to-back semifinals at Stuttgart (l. Dominic Thiem) and Halle (l. Zverev) and the 3rd round at Rome-1000 (l. Thiem). He failed to win a title during a season for the first time since winning his first at 2001 Milan.

 

  • This is Federer’s 69th major appearance. He is in 2nd place on the list for the most Grand Slams played in the Open Era behind Fabrice Santoro (70) [see Preview page 5].

 

  • Federer has won 4 titles here – in 2004 (d. Marat Safin 76(3) 64 62), 2006 (d. Marcos Baghdatis 57 75 60 62), 2007 (d. Fernando Gonzalez 76(2) 64 64) and 2010 (d. Andy Murray 63 64 76(11)).

 

  • Federer is a 17-time Grand Slam singles champion. His last title at a major came at 2012 Wimbledon
    (d. Murray). He is one of 6 Grand Slam champions who started in this year’s men’s singles main draw.

 

  • Federer is coached by 2006 Australian Open quarterfinalist Ivan Ljubicic, and Severin Luthi.

 

  • Qualifier RUBIN is bidding to reach the 3rd round here and record his best Grand Slam result.

 

  • Rubin equalled his best Grand Slam result by defeating fellow qualifier Bjorn Fratangelo 67(4) 75 36 62 62 in the 1st round here. It was his first career 5-set match.

 

  • Last year here as a wild card, Rubin recorded his best Grand Slam result on his Australian Open debut by reaching the 2nd round (d. Benoit Paire, l. Pierre-Hugues Herbert). He fell in the 1st round on his only other Grand Slam appearance as a wild card at the 2014 US Open (l. Federico Delbonis).

 

  • Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2016, Rubin fell in the final round of qualifying at the US Open (l. Karen Khachanov) and in the 1st round of qualifying at Roland Garros (l. Dennis Novikov). He didn’t attempt to qualify at Wimbledon. This is the first time he has qualified for a major in 5 attempts.

 

  • Rubin defeated Cedrik-Marcel Stebe (GER) 57 64 64, Roberto Carballes Baena (ESP) 64 36 62 and Evgeny Donskoy (RUS) 62 64 in the 3 rounds of qualifying here. It was his first attempt to qualify for the Australian Open.

 

  • Rubin is bidding to record back-to-back Tour-level match-wins for the first time. By defeating Fratangelo in the 1st round here, Rubin recorded his 3rd career Tour-level match-win. His only other Tour-level match-wins came in reaching the 2nd round as a wild card at both the Australian Open and Delray Beach (d. Sam Groth, l. Jeremy Chardy) in 2016. He fell in the 1st round in all 5 of the other Tour-level events he has contested.

 

  • Also in 2016, Rubin reached the final at the Stockton Challenger (USA) (l. Frances Tiafoe) and the semifinals at the Maui Challenger (USA) (l. Di Wu). He reached 2 further Challenger quarterfinals at Sarasota (USA) and Tallahassee (USA) and also finished runner-up at the USA F8 Futures.

 

  • Prior to coming here Rubin played at the Noumea Challenger (CAL), where he reached the 2nd round (d. Mats Moraing, l. Adrian Menendez-Maceiras).

 

  • Rubin is bidding to defeat a Top 20 player for the 2nd time. He won his only previous meeting with a Top 20 player when he defeated No. 18 Paire in the 1st round here last year.

 

  • Rubin reached a career-high ranking of No. 166 on 6 June 2016. He plays here at No. 200.

 

  • Rubin reached a career-high junior ranking of No. 6 in January 2013. He won the boys’ singles title at 2014 Wimbledon, defeating Stefan Kozlov in the final, and also reached the quarterfinals at 2012 Roland Garros (l. Filip Peliwo). He never contested the boys’ singles event here.

 

  • Rubin is coached by Stan Boster and former US Open semifinalist Robby Ginepri, who reached the round of 16 here in 2004.

 

 

 27 BERNARD TOMIC (AUS) v VICTOR ESTRELLA BURGOS (DOM)

Tour-level head-to-head: Tomic leads 1-0

2014     Rome-1000 Qualifying   Clay (O)            R32      Estrella Burgos             75 63

2014     Bogota                         Hard (O)           SF        Tomic                           76(2) 67(5) 76(5)

 

A 2nd Tour-level for the pair and their first at a Grand Slam. Tomic won the pair’s only previous Tour-level meeting, in 3 tiebreak sets, at 2014 Bogota.

 

Tomic has not lost to a player ranked as low as No. 103 Estrella Burgos at a Grand Slam since he lost to No. 179 Daniel Evans in the 2nd round at the 2013 US Open. The last time he lost to a player ranked outside the Top 100 was at 2015 Newport, when he fell No. 156 John-Patrick Smith in the 1st round.

 

 

                            TOMIC                                         v                              ESTRELLA BURGOS

 

24                                          Age                                          36

27                            ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            103

3                                          Titles                                          2

38-27                      Career Grand Slam Record                       5-11

16-8                         Australian Open Record                          1-2

160-140                              Career Record                                78-64

115-87                         Career Record – Hard                           33-36

1-1                                   2017 Record                                   1-0

1-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              1-0

8-3                           Career Five-Set Record                           6-4

2                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         2

92-78                        Career Tiebreak Record                         34-24

0-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            1-0

 

  • TOMIC is bidding to reach the 3rd round at the Australian Open for the 6th time. This is his 9th consecutive appearance at the Australian Open and his 29th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Tomic advanced to the 2nd round with a 62 61 64 victory against Thomaz Bellucci in the 1st round on Monday.

 

  • Tomic’s best Grand Slam result is reaching the quarterfinals as a qualifier at 2011 Wimbledon (l. Novak Djokovic). He was the youngest man since Boris Becker in 1986 to reach the quarterfinals at Wimbledon.

 

  • Last year here, Tomic equalled his best Australian Open performance by reaching the round of 16
    (l. Andy Murray). He also reached the round of 16 here in 2012 (l. Roger Federer) and 2015 (l. Tomas Berdych).

 

  • Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2016, Tomic reached the round of 16 at Wimbledon (l. Lucas Pouille) and the 2nd round at Roland Garros (l. Borna Coric), but fell in the 1st round at the US Open (l. Damir Dzumhur). He played just 5 matches after the US Open for the rest of the year after struggling with an ongoing abdominal strain.

 

  • Also in 2016, Tomic finished runner-up at Acapulco (l. Dominic Thiem) and the semifinals at Brisbane and Queen’s, losing to Milos Raonic on both occasions. He reached 5 further quarterfinals at Sydney, Quito, ’s-Hertogenbosch, Cincinnati-1000 and Shenzhen.

 

  • Tomic reached a career-high ranking of No. 17 after reaching the semifinals at 2016 Brisbane. He plays here at No. 27.

 

  • Tomic has won 3 career titles, all of which have come on a hard court – at 2013 Sydney (d. Kevin Anderson) and at Bogota in 2014 (d. Ivo Karlovic) and 2015 (d. Adrian Mannarino).

 

  • Tomic warmed up for the Australian Open at Brisbane where he fell to David Ferrer in the 1st round. He also played at the Sydney Fast4 Exhibition Event, where he defeated Dominic Thiem in the shortened format, and at the Kooyong Exhibition event, falling to David Goffin 62 64 and Gilles Simon 63 in a single set match.

 

  • Tomic is one of 11 Australian men to start this year’s Australian Open main draw – the most since 2003 when there were also 11. He is looking to become the first native champion to win the Australian Open men’s singles title since Mark Edmondson in 1976.

 

  • Tomic is one of the 6 former Australian Open junior singles champions to reach the 2nd round here from the 7 who started in the men’s main draw. He won the 2008 Australian Open boys’ title aged 15 years 3 months, defeating Yang Tsung-Hua in the final. He was the youngest winner of the title since Ken Rosewall in 1950. He also won the 2009 US Open boys’ singles title (d. Chase Buchanan). Stefan Edberg is the only player to have won both the junior and senior title here in the Open Era. He captured the boys’ singles title in 1983, before winning the men’s singles in 1985 and 1987.

 

  • Tomic has played Davis Cup for Australia since 2010. Australia will play Czech Republic in the World Group first round at Kooyong on 3-5 February.

 

  • Tomic is coached by his father John.

 

  • ESTRELLA BURGOS is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the first time and equal his best Grand Slam result.

 

  • Estrella Burgos recorded his first Australian Open match-win by defeating Aljaz Bedene 76(2) 75 06 63 in the 1st round here.

 

  • Estrella Burgos’s best Grand Slam performance is reaching the 3rd round on his US Open debut in 2014 (l. Donald Young).

 

  • Estrella Burgos is bidding to record back-to-back Tour-level match-wins for the first time since winning the title at 2016 Quito (d. Thomaz Bellucci).

 

  • Last year here, Estrella Burgos fell to Daniel Brands in the 1st round. He also fell in the 1st round on his debut here in 2015 (l. Jurgen Melzer). This is his 3rd Australian Open appearance and his 12th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Elsewhere in Grand Slam play in 2016, Estrella Burgos reached the 2nd round at Roland Garros (d. Illya Marchenko, l. Feliciano Lopez), but lost in the 1st round at both Wimbledon (l. Marcel Granollers) and the US Open (l. Joao Sousa).

 

  • Estrella Burgos’s 2016 highlight was defending his title at Quito, a year after becoming the first player from Dominican Republic to win a Tour-level title at 2015 Quito (d. Feliciano Lopez). He also reached the final at the Cali Challenger (COL) (l. Darian King) and 2 other Challenger quarterfinals.

 

  • Estrella Burgos is bidding to end an 11-match losing streak against Top 30 opponents. His last victory over a Top 30 player came at 2015 Barcelona, when he defeated No. 9 Marin Cilic. He has a 4-15 win-loss record against Top 30 players overall but has never beaten a Top 30 opponent at a Grand Slam.

 

  • Estrella Burgos is a former Top 50 player. He broke the Top 50 for the first time after winning the Morelos Challenger (MEX) in 2015 and reached a career-best ranking of No. 43 in June 2015. He ended 2016 at No. 102, the first time since 2013 that he has finished a year outside the Top 100.

 

  • Estrella Burgos holds multiple Davis Cup records for Dominican Republic. He has played in 45 ties, won 41 singles rubbers, 21 doubles rubbers and played for 18 years – all records for Dominican Republic players. In 2015, he helped Dominican Republic into the World Group play-offs for the first time, where the team lost 4-1 to Germany. Dominican Republic hosts Chile in Santo Domingo in an Americas Zone Group I first round tie on 3-5 February.

 

  • Estrella Burgos is currently without a coach. His fitness trainer is Matias Rizzo.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. 31 SAM QUERREY (USA) v (WC) ALEX DE MINAUR (AUS)

Head-to-head: first meeting

 

Querrey has not lost to a player ranked as low as De Minaur at Tour-level since he fell to No. 315 Daniel Munoz-De La Nava at 2010 Madrid-1000.

 

                         QUERREY                                      v                                     DE MINAUR

 

29                                          Age                                          17

32                            ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            301

8                                          Titles                                          0

40-39                      Career Grand Slam Record                        1-0

10-10                        Australian Open Record                          1-0

286-236                              Career Record                                  2-2

197-151                        Career Record – Hard                            2-2

1-1                                   2017 Record                                   2-2

1-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              2-2

4-10                          Career Five-Set Record                           1-0

1                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         0

142-143                      Career Tiebreak Record                          2-0

  • 2017 Tiebreak Record                                    2-0

 

  • QUERREY is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the 5th time and equal his best Australian Open result.

 

  • Querrey’s best Australian Open result is reaching the 3rd round here on 4 occasions – on his debut here as a wild card in 2007 (l. Tommy Robredo), and as a direct acceptance in 2008 (l. Novak Djokovic), 2013 (l. Stan Wawrinka) and 2014 (l. Fabio Fognini). This is his 11th Australian Open and his 40th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Querrey’s best Grand Slam result is reaching the quarterfinals at 2016 Wimbledon (l. Milos Raonic). He defeated world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the 3rd round to become the first American to beat a world No. 1 at Wimbledon since Kevin Curren defeated John McEnroe in the quarterfinals in 1985. He was the first American to beat a World No. 1 at a Grand Slam since Andre Agassi defeated Lleyton Hewitt in the semifinals at the 2002 US Open.

 

  • Querrey fell in the 1st round at the other 3 Grand Slams in 2016. He retired with cramping at 2-sets all against Dusan Lajovic in the 1st round here, before falling to Bjorn Fratangelo at Roland Garros and Janko Tipsarevic at the US Open.

 

  • Querrey warmed up for the Australian Open at Brisbane, where he fell to Diego Schwartzman in the 1st round. He finished as runner-up in the doubles event with Gilles Muller, falling to Thanasi Kokkinakis/Jordan Thompson.

 

  • Querrey won his 8th career-singles title at 2016 Delray Beach (d. Rajeev Ram). 6 of his 8 career titles have come on a hard court. Also in 2016, he reached the semifinals at Memphis (l. Kei Nishikori), Acapulco (l. Dominic Thiem) and ’s-Hertogenbosch (l. Nicolas Mahut).

 

  • Querrey is a former Top 20 player, having recorded a career-high ranking of No. 17 in January 2011. He plays here at No. 32.

 

  • Querrey has entered the men’s doubles event here with Donald Young. They will play defending champions Jamie Murray/Bruno Soares in the 1st round.

 

  • Querry is coached by Craig Boynton, who also works with Steve Johnson.

 

  • Wild card DE MINAUR is bidding to reach the 3rd round here on his Grand Slam debut.

 

  • Aged 17 years 347 days, De Minaur is bidding to become the youngest man to reach the 3rd round at a Grand Slam since Rafael Nadal (17 years 243 days) at the 2004 Australian Open. By reaching the 2nd round here, De Minaur is the youngest man to reach the 2nd round at a major since Borna Coric (17 years 298 days) at the 2014 US Open.

 

  • De Minaur advanced to the 2nd round here after defeating Gerald Melzer 57 63 26 76(2) 61 in the 1st round on Monday. It was his 2nd career Tour-level match-win and his first 5-set match.

 

  • De Minaur warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the 2nd round as a wild card at Sydney, where he defeated Benoit Paire for his first Tour-level match-win before retiring against Andrey Kuznetsov with an abdominal strain. He also qualified at Brisbane, where he fell to Mischa Zverev in the 1st round.

 

  • Last year here as a wild card into qualifying, De Minaur fell to Kimmer Coppejans in the 1st round of qualifying. It is his only attempt to qualify for a Grand Slam. He entered the junior event here, reaching the semifinals of the boys’ singles (l. Jurabek Karimov) and winning the boys’ doubles title with Blake Ellis.

 

  • De Minaur’s best result in 2016 was reaching his first Challenger final as a qualifier at Eckental (GER) (l. Steve Darcis). He also reached the quarterfinals at the Mouilleron Le Captif Challenger (FRA) (l. Peter Gojowczyk) and finished runner-up at 2 Futures events in Spain.

 

  • De Minaur climbed over 1000 places to raise his ranking from No. 1551 at the end of 2015 to No. 354 by the end of 2016. He plays here at a career-high ranking of No. 301.

 

  • De Minaur reached a career-high junior ranking of No. 2 in February 2016. He finished runner-up in the boys’ singles event at 2016 Wimbledon (l. Denis Shapovalov) and reached the semifinals of the boys’ singles at the 2016 Australian Open. He was part of the Australian team that finished runner-up at the 2013 World Junior Tennis Finals in Prostejov, losing 2-0 to USA in the final.

 

  • De Minaur lives in Spain with his family after his parents closed their business in Sydney. He returns to Australia each year for the summer tournaments.

 

  • De Minaur is coached by Adolfo Gutierrez.

All statistics courtesy of the Grand Slam Media team, Australian Open Men’s Information Team and the International Tennis Federation.

Share

2017 Australian Open – Day 1 Men’s Preview

 

2017 AUSTRALIAN OPEN

DAY 1 MEN’S NOTES

Monday 16 January

1st Round Top Half

 

 

Featured matches

 

No. 1 Andy Murray (GBR) v Illya Marchenko (UKR)

No. 4 Stan Wawrinka (SUI) v Martin Klizan (SVK)

No. 5 Kei Nishikori (JPN) v Andrey Kuznetsov (RUS)

No. 7 Marin Cilic (CRO) v Jerzy Janowicz (POL)

No. 10 Tomas Berdych (CZE) v (Q) Luca Vanni (ITA)

No. 12 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) v Thiago Monteiro (BRA)

No. 14 Nick Kyrgios (AUS) v Gastao Elias (POR)

No. 17 Roger Federer (SUI) v (Q) Jurgen Melzer (AUT)

No. 27 Bernard Tomic (AUS) v Thomaz Bellucci (BRA)

 

On court today…

 

  • World No. 1 Andy Murray and 4-time Australian Open champion Roger Federer open their 2017 Grand Slam campaigns today. Murray, who this year will bid to avoid becoming the first man in the Open Era to lose 6 Grand Slam finals at any one major after 5 runner-up finishes at Melbourne Park, takes on world No. 93 Illya Marchenko in the third match on Rod Laver Arena, before Federer headlines the night session with his first Tour-level match in over six months against qualifier and fellow 35-year-old Jurgen Melzer.

 

  • 2014 Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka will look to maintain his record of never having lost in the 1st round here when he opens the night session on Margaret Court Arena against Martin Klizan. A surprise win over Wawrinka would give lefthanded Klizan his first Grand Slam match-win since the 2015 US Open and see him end a 9-match losing streak at Tour-level.

 

  • Nick Kyrgios will hope to maintain his record of always reaching the 2nd round at the Australian Open when he faces Gastao Elias in the last match on Hisense Arena today. Along with Alex De Minaur, James Duckworth, Sam Groth and Bernard Tomic, Kyrgios is one of 5 Australian men in action today from the 11 who start the main draw here – the most since 2003.

 

  • Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is looking to record his 109th Grand Slam match-win today, which would see him move ahead of Jean Borotra at the top of the list for most Grand Slam match-wins by a Frenchman.

 

1 ANDY MURRAY (GBR) v ILLYA MARCHENO (UKR)

Head-to-head: Murray leads 1-0

2011     Australian Open            Hard (O)           R64      Murray              61 63 63

 

Murray won the pair’s only previous meeting, a 2nd round clash here 6 years ago.

 

Murray has not lost to a player ranked as low as No. 93 Marchenko at Tour-level since falling to No. 118 Alex Bogomolov Jr. at 2011 Miami-1000. The lowest-ranked player to defeat Murray at a Grand Slam is No. 91 Arnaud Clement at the 2005 US Open.

 

                          MURRAY                                       v                                    MARCHENKO

 

29                                          Age                                          29

1                              ATP Ranking (9 Jan)                             93

44                                         Titles                                          0

176-40                     Career Grand Slam Record                       8-15

45-11                        Australian Open Record                          2-5

634-175                              Career Record                                57-78

426-114                        Career Record – Hard                           48-54

4-1                                   2017 Record                                   0-1

4-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              0-1

23-9                          Career Five-Set Record                           2-5

9                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         1

183-107                      Career Tiebreak Record                         36-32

3-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            0-2

 

  • 5-time Australian Open runner-up MURRAY is contesting his 12th straight Australian Open and 44th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Murray has not lost a 1st round Grand Slam match since the 2008 Australian Open (l. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga).

 

  • Murray is looking to become the first man in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam title after losing 5 finals at any one Grand Slam. He finished as runner-up to Roger Federer here in 2010, and to Novak Djokovic in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2016. Djokovic and Federer (at Roland Garros), Goran Ivanisevic (at Wimbledon) and Ivan Lendl (at the US Open), are the only players in the Open Era to lose 3 Grand Slam finals at one major before winning the title.

 

  • Murray is looking to win the title here and avoid becoming the first man in the Open Era to lose 6 Grand Slam finals at any one major. Lendl, is the only other man to have lost 5 finals at any one Grand Slam event – losing in the title match at the US Open in 1982-84 and 1988-89, but winning the tournament in 1985-87.

 

  • Elsewhere in Grand Slam play in 2016, Murray won his 3rd Grand Slam title and 2nd at Wimbledon, defeating Milos Raonic in the final. It was 11th Grand Slam final, but the first in which he had faced an opponent other than Djokovic or Federer. He also became the 3rd British man – and first since Bunny Austin in 1937 – to reach the Roland Garros final (l. Djokovic) but fell to Kei Nishikori in 5 sets in the quarterfinals at the US Open.

 

  • Also in 2016, Murray became the first player in history to successfully defend an Olympic singles gold medal after defeating Juan Martin del Potro in the final at Rio 2016. He won a career-best 9 Tour-level titles – including his first at the year-end ATP World Tour Finals, where he became the 17th man to secure the year-end No. 1 ranking after defeating Djokovic in the final. Two weeks earlier, he had become the 26th man to attain the world No. 1 ranking after reaching the final at Paris-1000.

 

  • Murray warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the final as No. 1 seed at Doha – his 13th final in his last 14 tournaments. He saw his 28-match Tour-level winning streak ended by Djokovic as the Serb won 63 57 64.

 

  • Murray is one of 6 Grand Slam champions to start in the men’s main draw here. Murray won the 2012 US Open title (d. Djokovic) and became the first British man to win the Wimbledon singles title in 77 years in 2013 (d. Djokovic) before winning the title again in 2016.

 

  • Murray was awarded a knighthood in the Queen’s 2017 New Year’s Honours list.

 

  • Murray has played Davis Cup since 2005 and has a 30-3 singles win-loss record in the competition in 20 ties played, leading Great Britain to its first title since 1936 in 2015. Great Britain will face Canada in the World Group first round in Ottawa on 3-5 February.

 

  • Murray is coached by Ivan Lendl, who won the Australian Open in 1989 and 1990, and former world No. 121 Jamie Delgado.

 

  • MARCHENKO is bidding to reach the 2nd round here for the first time since 2011 and equal his best Australian Open result.

 

  • Marchenko’s best Australian Open performance is reaching the 2nd round on his Grand Slam debut as a qualifier in 2010 (d. Carlos Moya, l. Nikolay Davydenko) and as a direct acceptance in 2011 (d. Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo, l. today’s opponent).

 

  • Marchenko’s best Grand Slam performance is reaching the round of 16 on his last appearance at a major at the 2016 US Open (l. Stan Wawrinka). He broke into the Top 50 in September 2016 as a result and reached a career-high ranking of No. 49 on 26 September. He plays here ranked No. 93.

 

  • Marchenko has lost in the 1st round in 10 of his 16 Grand Slam appearances – including at the Australian Open as a qualifier in both 2012 (l. Sergiy Stakhovsky) and 2015 (l. Milos Raonic) and as a direct acceptance in 2016 (l. Omar Jasika). He didn’t attempt to qualify here in 2013 and failed to qualify in 2014. This is Marchenko’s 6th appearance at the Australian Open.

 

  • Elsewhere in Grand Slam play in 2016, Marchenko lost in the 1st round at both Roland Garros (l. Victor Estrella Burgos) and Wimbledon (l. Julien Benneteau).

 

  • Marchenko warmed up for the Australian Open at Doha, where he fell to Ivo Karlovic in the opening round. He also fell in the first round of qualifying at Sydney (l. Christopher O’Connell).

 

  • As well as reaching the round of 16 at the US Open, Marchenko’s best results in 2016 were reaching the semifinals at Doha (l. Rafael Nadal) and the quarterfinals at Acapulco (l. Bernard Tomic). He also won the title at the Recanati Challenger (ITA) (d. Ilya Ivashka) and finished runner-up at the Segovia Challenger (ESP) (l. Luca Vanni).

 

  • Marchenko is playing against a player ranked No. 1 for the first time today. He has a 1-7 win-loss record against Top 10 opposition, with his only win coming against No. 7 David Ferrer in the first round at 2016 Doha.

 

  • Marchenko has played Davis Cup for Ukraine since 2008. He helped Ukraine reach the World Group play-offs last year, where they lost 5-0 to Japan. Ukraine were handed a bye in the 2017 Europe/Africa Zone Group I first round.

 

  • Marchenko is coached by Tibor Toth.

 

 

 

 

 4 STAN WAWRINKA (SUI) v MARTIN KLIZAN (SVK)

Head-to-head: Wawrinka leads 1-0

2010     Casablanca       Clay (O)            R16      Wawrinka          64 06 64

 

A 2nd career meeting between the 2 players, but their first on a hard court and first at a Grand Slam.

 

                        WAWRINKA                                     v                                         KLIZAN

 

31                                          Age                                          27

4                              ATP Ranking (9 Jan)                             35

15                                         Titles                                          5

119-44                     Career Grand Slam Record                      14-20

31-10                        Australian Open Record                          3-4

441-253                              Career Record                              106-108

245-141                        Career Record – Hard                           54-61

2-1                                   2017 Record                                   0-2

2-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              0-2

24-19                         Career Five-Set Record                           4-7

6                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         1

181-172                      Career Tiebreak Record                         52-45

1-2                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            1-2

 

  • 2014 Australian Open champion WAWRINKA has never lost in the 1st round here. This is his 12th Australian Open appearance and his 48th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • The last time Wawrinka lost in the 1st round at a Grand Slam was at 2014 Roland Garros, when as No. 3 seed he was defeated by Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. He was the first reigning Australian Open champion to lose in the 1st round of the subsequent Roland Garros since Petr Korda in 1998.

 

  • Last year here as No. 4 seed, Wawrinka fell to Milos Raonic 64 63 57 46 63 in the round of 16.

 

  • Wawrinka’s best Australian Open result is winning the title in his first Grand Slam final in 2014 (d. Rafael Nadal 63 62 36 63). He was the first player to defeat the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds en route to a Grand Slam title since Sergei Bruguera won 1993 Roland Garros.

 

  • Wawrinka has won 3 Grand Slam titles at 3 different majors. He also won 2015 Roland Garros and the 2016 US Open, defeating Djokovic in both finals. In Paris, he became the 2nd Swiss player – man or woman – in history to win Roland Garros. At 30 years 71 days, he was the oldest man to win in Paris since Andres Gomez in 1990. At the US Open, aged 31 years 167 days, he became the oldest US Open champion since Ken Rosewall in 1970 and just the 5th man to win multiple Grand Slam titles after turning 30. He is one of 6 Grand Slam champions to start in the men’s draw here.

 

  • Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2016, Wawrinka reached the semfinals at Roland Garros (l. Andy Murray) but fell in the 2nd round at Wimbledon (l. Juan Martin del Potro).

 

  • In 2016, Wawrinka won a career-best 4 titles for the 2nd straight year. As well as winning the US Open, he won his 3rd straight title at Chennai (d. Borna Coric) and won the titles at Dubai (d. Marcos Baghdatis) and Geneva (d. Marin Cilic). He also finished runner-up at St. Petersburg (l. Alexander Zverev).

 

  • Wawrinka warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the semifinals as No. 2 seed at Brisbane, where he fell to Kei Nishikori 76(3) 63.

 

  • Wawrinka has a 24-19 win-loss record in 5-set matches, but a 1-3 win-loss record in 5-set matches at the Australian Open.

 

  • Wawrinka is coached by Magnus Norman, who reached the semifinals here in 2000.

 

  • Lefthander KLIZAN is looking to record his first Grand Slam match-win since the 2015 US Open and end a 5-match losing streak at the majors.
  • Klizan is also looking to end a 9-match Tour level losing streak. He has not won a Tour-level match since defeating Enrique Lopez-Perez in the 1st round at 2016 Umag (l. Andrej Martin).
  • At the Grand Slams in 2016, Klizan fell in the 1st round at the Australian Open (l. Roberto Bautista Agut), at Roland Garros, where he retired with neck pain while trailing Taro Daniel 36 46 75 64 3-0, at Wimbledon (l. Mikhail Kukushkin) and at the US Open (l. Mikhail Youzhny). His last match-win at a major came at the 2015 US Open, when Florian Mayer retired from their 1st round match due to cramp.
  • Klizan’s best Grand Slam performance is reaching the round of 16 at the 2012 US Open (l. Marin Cilic). He recorded his first win over a Top 10 player when he defeated No. 6 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the 2nd round.
  • Klizan’s best Australian Open performance is reaching the 3rd round as a lucky loser in 2014
    (l. Stephane Robert). This is his 5th straight Australian Open appearance and his 21st appearance at a major.
  • Klizan’s best results in 2016 were winning the titles at Rotterdam (d. Gael Monfils) and Hamburg (d. Pablo Cuevas). He also reached the semifinals at Sofia (l. Viktor Troicki). He missed 10 weeks of the year after retiring from his 1st round match at Indian Wells-1000 with a foot injury, returning at Roland Garros, and dropped to No. 51 in the rankings on 6 June – his lowest ranking since September 2014.
  • Prior to coming here, Klizan lost his opening match at Chennai (l. Aljaz Bedene) and retired with a foot injury while trailing Andrey Kuznetsov 26 61 3-0 in the 1st round at Sydney.
  • Klizan is bidding to end a 7-match losing streak against Top 10 opposition. He has not defeated a Top 10 player since defeating No. 2 Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals at 2014 Beijing. He has a 3-13 win-loss record against Top 10 opposition overall.
  • Klizan was ranked 1 in the ITF Junior Rankings in 2007 and won the boys’ singles title at 2006 Roland Garros (d. Philip Bester). He contested the boys’ singles event here in 2007, losing in the 3rd round as top seed to eventual champion Brydan Klein.
  • Klizan is coached by Martin Hromec. His fitness coach is Ivan Trebaticky.

 

 

 5 KEI NISHIKORI (JPN) v ANDREY KUZNETSOV (RUS)

Head-to-head: Nishikori leads 2-1

2010     Eastbourne                   Grass (O)          R32      Kuznetsov         64 3-1 ret. (hip injury)

2016     Roland Garros             Clay (O)            R64      Nishikori          63 63 63

2016     Wimbledon                  Grass (O)         R32      Nishikori          75 63 75

 

A 3rd Grand Slam meeting between the 2 players, who twice met at the majors last year. Nishikori has won both of their Grand Slam meetings – at Roland Garros and Wimbledon – in straight sets.

 

This is their first meeting on a hard court.

 

                         NISHIKORI                                      v                                    KUZNETSOV

 

27                                          Age                                          25

5                              ATP Ranking (9 Jan)                             48

11                                         Titles                                          0

60-28                      Career Grand Slam Record                      17-15

20-7                         Australian Open Record                          5-3

304-143                              Career Record                                66-77

214-100                        Career Record – Hard                           38-37

3-1                                   2017 Record                                   3-2

3-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              3-2

14-5                          Career Five-Set Record                           3-3

2                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         0

91-63                        Career Tiebreak Record                         27-27

1-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            0-0

 

  • This is NISHIKORI’S 8th Australian Open appearance and his 30th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Nishikori has lost in the 1st round at the Australian Open once before – on his debut here in 2009 (l. Jurgen Melzer).

 

  • Nishikori’s best result here is reaching the quarterfinals in 2012 (l. Andy Murray), 2015 (l. Stan Wawrinka) and 2016 (l. Novak Djokovic). He is the only Japanese man to reach the quarterfinals at Melbourne Park in the Open Era.

 

  • At the 2014 US Open, Nishikori became the first Asian male to contest a Grand Slam final after defeating three Top 10 players – Milos Raonic, Wawrinka and Djokovic – in consecutive matches before falling to Marin Cilic in the title match.

 

  • In Grand Slam play last year Nishikori reached the semifinals at the US Open (l. Wawrinka), the quarterfinals here and the round of 16 at both Roland Garros (l. Richard Gasquet) and Wimbledon, where he retired with a rib injury while trailing Cilic 61 5-1.

 

  • Nishikori’s best result in 2016 was winning his 4th straight title at Memphis (d. Taylor Fritz), joining Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Djokovic as the only active players to have won 4 consecutive titles at a single Tour-level event. He finished runner-up at 4 further tournaments at Miami-1000 (l. Djokovic), Barcelona (l. Nadal), Toronto-1000 (l. Djokovic) and Basel (l. Cilic). He also won singles bronze at the Rio 2016 Olympic Tennis Event after defeating Rafael Nadal in the 3rd place play-off.

 

  • Nishikori warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the final at Brisbane, where he fell to Grigor Dimitrov.

 

  • Nishikori is the highest-ranked Japanese man in ATP World Tour Rankings history (since 1973). He had the nickname ‘Project 45’ as a major goal was to get him to No. 45 in the rankings, which would be one spot better than the highest by any Japanese man (Shuzo Matsuoka).

 

  • Nishikori plays here seeded No. 5 – his joint-highest seeding at the Australian Open. He was also seeded No. 5 here in 2015.

 

  • Nishikori is coached by Dante Bottini and Michael Chang. Chang finished as runner-up at the 1996 Australian Open, losing in the final to Boris Becker.

 

  • KUZNETSOV is bidding to maintain his record of always reaching the 2nd round here.

 

  • Last year here, Kuznetsov recorded his best Grand Slam performance by reaching the round of 16
    (l. Gael Monfils). He was the first Russian man to reach the round of 16 at the Australian Open since Nikolay Davydenko in 2010.

 

  • Kuznetsov is contesting his 4th Australian Open and his 16th Grand Slam overall. He reached the 2nd round on both of his other appearances here in 2013 (d. Juan Monaco, l. Kevin Anderson) and 2015
    (d. Albert Ramos-Vinolas, l. Novak Djokovic). He was ranked too low for direct entry here in 2014 and didn’t attempt to qualify.

 

  • Elsewhere at the Grand Slams last year, Kuznetsov reached the 3rd round at both Wimbledon (l. today’s opponent) and the US Open (l. Rafael Nadal), and the 2nd round at Roland Garros (l. today’s opponent).

 

  • Kuznetsov warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the semifinals at Sydney (l. Daniel Evans). He also played at Doha, where he fell to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the 1st round.

 

  • As well as reaching the round of 16 here, Kuznetsov’s 2016 highlights include reaching 5 quarterfinals – at Doha (l. Nadal), Marseille (l. Marin Cilic), Barcelona (l. Philipp Kohlschreiber), Geneva (l. Lukas Rosol) and Winston-Salem (l. Pablo Carreno Busta). He climbed to a career-high ranking of No. 39 after reaching the quarterfinals at Barcelona and plays here at No. 48.

 

  • Kuznetsov is on a 3-match winning streak in 5-set matches, having not lost a 5-set match since falling to Dudi Sela at the 2013 US Open. He has never played a 5-set match at the Australian Open and has a 3-3 win-loss record in 5-set matches overall.

 

  • Kuznetsov won the boys’ singles title at 2009 Wimbledon, defeating Jordan Cox 46 62 62 in the final. He won 6 singles titles and 4 doubles titles as a junior, reaching a career-high junior ranking of No. 3 in 2009.

 

  • Kuznetsov has won just one of his last 13 matches against Top 10 opposition, defeating No. 4 Stan Wawrinka in the 2nd round at 2016 Miami-1000. He has a 2-14 win-loss record against Top 10 opposition overall.

 

  • Kuznetsov has been coached by his father, Alexander, since 1997.

 

 

7 MARIN CILIC (CRO) v JERZY JANOWICZ (POL)

Head-to-head: Tied 1-1

2012     Paris-1000                     Hard (I)             R32      Janowicz           76(6) 62

2014     Davis Cup (EA1-2R)       Hard (I)             R4        Cilic                  36 67(5) 64 61 63

 

A 3rd hard court Tour-level meeting for the pair, but their first clash at a Grand Slam. Cilic recovered from 0-2 down to defeat the Pole in 5-sets in their most recent meeting – in Davis Cup in 2014.

 

Cilic has never lost to a player ranked as low as No. 278 Janowicz at Tour-level. The lowest-ranked player he has lost to at Tour-level is No. 221 Marius Copil at 2012 Beijing. The lowest-ranked player Cilic has lost to at a Grand Slam is No. 168 Thierry Ascione as a qualifier at 2007 Roland Garros.

 

                             CILIC                                          v                                      JANOWICZ

 

28                                          Age                                          26

7                              ATP Ranking (9 Jan)                             278

16                                         Titles                                          0

83-34                      Career Grand Slam Record                      21-16

19-8                         Australian Open Record                          6-4

391-211                              Career Record                                95-89

250-123                        Career Record – Hard                           64-56

0-1                                   2017 Record                                   0-0

0-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              0-0

24-12                         Career Five-Set Record                           7-5

4                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         2

144-128                      Career Tiebreak Record                         57-48

0-1                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            0-0

 

  • CILIC is making his 9th Australian Open appearance and his 37th at a Grand Slam

 

  • Cilic has lost in the 1st round at the Australian Open once before – on his debut here as a qualifier in 2007 (l. Ilija Bozoljac).

 

  • Cilic won his first major title at the 2014 US Open, defeating Kei Nishikori in the final. He was the first Croatian to win a Grand Slam title since Goran Ivanisevic at 2001 Wimbledon. He is one of the 6 Grand Slam champions to start in the men’s main draw here.

 

  • Cilic’s best Australian Open performance is reaching the semifinals as No. 14 seed here in 2010 (l. Andy Murray). He is the only Croatian man to reach the Australian Open semifinals in the history of the championships. He broke into the Top 10 for the first time as a result.

 

  • Cilic warmed up for the Australian Open at Chennai, where he fell to Jozef Kovalik in the 2nd round after receiving a 1st round bye.

 

  • In Grand Slam play in 2016, Cilic reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon for the 3rd straight year, falling to Roger Federer despite holding a 2-0 lead. He reached the 3rd round at both the Australian Open (l. Roberto Bautista Agut) and the US Open (l. Jack Sock), but fell in the 1st round at Roland Garros (l. Marco Trungelliti – his first loss in the 1st round at a major since 2011 Wimbledon.

 

  • Cilic’s best result in 2016 was winning his first Masters-1000 title at Cincinnati (d. Murray), where he extended his streak of winning at least one title every year since winning his first at 2008 New Haven. He also won the title at Basel (d. Nishikori) and finished runner-up at both Marseille (l. Nick Kyrgios) and Geneva (l. Stan Wawrinka). He reached 3 further semifinals at Queen’s, Tokyo and Paris-1000.

 

  • Cilic has lost 3 of his last 4 five-set matches, despite having won the first 2 sets in all 4 of those encounters. He has won 5 of his 7 five-set matches at Melbourne Park and has a 24-12 win-loss record in 5-set matches overall.

 

  • Cilic compiled an 8-3 win-loss record in Davis Cup rubbers to help Croatia reach its 2nd Final in 2016. He was just a set away from clinching the title for Croatia in the fourth rubber, before Juan Martin del Potro recovered to win in 5 sets as Argentina went on to complete a 3-2 comeback victory in the Final in Zagreb. Croatia will host Spain in the Davis Cup World Group first round in Osijek on 3-5 February.

 

  • Cilic is coached by Jonas Bjorkman, who reached the singles quarterfinals here in 1998 and 2002 and won the doubles title in 1998, 1999 and 2001.

 

  • JANOWICZ is bidding to record his first Grand Slam match-win since 2015 Roland Garros and end a 5-match losing streak at the majors.

 

  • Janowicz is looking to record his first Tour-level match-win since reaching the 2nd round at 2015 Vienna (d. Dominic Thiem, l. Steve Johnson). He missed 6 months of the 2016 season with a knee injury and played just 3 Tour-level events last year, falling in the 1st round at the Australian Open (l. John Isner), the Rio 2016 Olympic Tennis Event (l. Gilles Muller) and at the US Open (l. Novak Djokovic).

 

  • Janowicz played mainly on the Challenger circuit in 2016, taking part in 6 Challenger tournaments. His best results were winning the title at the Genova Challenger (ITA) (d. Nicolas Almagro) and reaching the quarterfinals at the Meerbusch Challenger (GER) (l. Clement Geens) – the only occasions in which he recorded back-to-back match-wins at any level in 2016.

 

  • Janowicz is a former Top 20 player, having reached a career-high ranking of No. 14 in August 2013. He dropped to No. 282 in the rankings in December 2016 – his lowest position since June 2010. He plays here at No. 278, but using a protected ranking of No. 94.

 

  • Janowicz’s best Australian Open performance is reaching the 3rd round – on his Australian Open debut in 2013 (l. Almagro), in 2014 (l. Florian Mayer) and in 2015 (l. Feliciano Lopez). This is his 5th straight Australian Open appearance and his 17th Grand Slam appearance overall.

 

  • Janowicz’s best Grand Slam performance is reaching the semifinals as No. 24 seed at 2013 Wimbledon
    (l. Andy Murray). He was the first Polish man to reach a Grand Slam semifinal.

 

  • Prior to coming here, Janowicz fell in the 2nd round of qualifying for Auckland (d. Krisjanis Stabins, l. Michael Mmoh). He also played at the Kooyong Classic Exhibition Event – defeating Yoshihito Nishioka 76 76 and Tommy Haas 57 64 10-4.

 

  • Janowicz is bidding to defeat a Top 10 player at a Grand Slam for the first time. He has a 5-14 win-loss record against Top 10 opposition at Tour-level, with his last win over a Top 10 player coming against No. 8 Grigor Dimitrov at 2014 Cincinnati-1000.

 

  • Janowicz is currently playing without a coach.

 

 

 

 10 TOMAS BERDYCH v (Q) LUCA VANNI (ITA)

Head-to-head: first meeting

 

The last time Berdych lost to a player ranked as low as No. 160 today’s opponent at Tour-level was at 2009 Rotterdam when he fell to No. 478 Grigor Dimitrov. The lowest-ranked player Berdych has lost to at a Grand Slam is No. 140 Stephane Robert in the 1st round at 2011 Roland Garros.

BERDYCH                                      v                                         VANNI

 

31                                          Age                                          31

10                             ATP Ranking (9 Jan)                             160

13                                         Titles                                          0

130-52                     Career Grand Slam Record                        0-2

38-13                        Australian Open Record                          0-0

584-304                              Career Record                                 5-14

364-193                        Career Record – Hard                            1-6

3-1                                   2017 Record                                   0-0

3-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              0-0

20-8                          Career Five-Set Record                           0-0

2                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         0

201-165                      Career Tiebreak Record                          7-6

2-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            0-0

 

  • BERDYCH is bidding to reach the 2nd round at the Australian Open for the 12th straight year. He has lost in the 1st round here just once before, in 2005 (l. Guillermo Coria).

 

  • Last year here Berdych reached the quarterfinals for the 6th consecutive year, falling to Roger Federer 76(4) 62 64.

 

  • Berdych’s best Australian Open performance is reaching the semifinals in 2014 (l. Stan Wawrinka) and 2015 (l. Andy Murray). By reaching the semifinals here in 2014, he became the 2nd Czech man in the Open Era after Ivan Lendl to complete a set of Grand Slam semifinal appearances.

 

  • Berdych’s best result at a major is finishing runner-up at 2010 Wimbledon. He defeated Federer in the quarterfinals and Novak Djokovic in the semifinals before losing to Rafael Nadal in the final.

 

  • Berdych warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the semfinals at Doha (l. Murray).

 

  • Berdych’s best result in 2016 was winning his 13th career title at Shenzhen (d. Richard Gasquet). 9 of his 13 titles have come on a hard court. He also reached the semifinals at Doha (l. Djokovic), Marseille (l. Nick Kyrgios), Wimbledon (l. Murray) and St. Petersburg (l. Alexander Zverev) and 7 further quarterfinals.

 

  • In Grand Slam play in 2016 Berdych reached the semifinals at Wimbledon and the quarterfinals at both the Australian Open and Roland Garros (l. Djokovic). He missed the US Open with appendicitis, ending his run of 52 consecutive Grand Slam appearances.

 

  • This is Berdych’s 14th consecutive Australian Open appearance and his 53rd Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Berdych dropped to No. 11 in the rankings on 31 October 2016 – the first time he had been out of the Top 10 since June 2010. He has been seeded at every Grand Slam event he has played since the 2005 US Open and plays here – ranked and seeded – at No. 10.

 

  • Berdych started working with Goran Ivanisevic in August 2016. He is also coached by Luka Kutanjac.

 

  • VANNI is bidding to record his first Grand Slam match-win on his Australian Open debut.

 

  • Vanni came through qualifying here after defeating Federico Gaio (ITA) 57 62 63, Alexander Sarkissian (USA) 36 63 62 and Jan Satral (CZE) 46 64 64.

 

  • Vanni is making his 3rd Grand Slam appearance. He fell in the 1st round on his Grand Slam debut as a qualifier at 2015 Roland Garros (l. Bernard Tomic) and as a lucky loser at 2015 Wimbledon (l. James Ward).

 

  • Vanni lost in the 1st round of qualifying at all 4 Grand Slam events in 2016, falling to Daniel Evans at the Australian Open, Daniel Gimeno-Traver at Roland Garros, Grega Zemlja at Wimbledon and Alejandro Gonzalez at the US Open. He has failed to qualify on 7 of his 10 attempts to qualify for the majors – including at the Australian Open in 2015 (l. Maxime Authom) and 2016.

 

  • Vanni plays predominantly on the Challenger circuit. He won 3 Challenger titles in 2016 – at Segovia (ESP) (d. Illya Marchenko), Brescia (ITA) (d. Laurynas Grigelis) and Andria (ITA) (d. Matteo Berrettini).

 

  • Vanni is bidding to end a 5-match Tour-level losing streak and record his first Tour-level match-win since reaching the 2nd round at 2016 Chennai (d. Jan-Lennard Struff, l. Aljaz Bedene).
  • Vanni’s career-best result is reaching his first Tour-level final as a qualifier at 2015 Sao Paulo (l. Pablo Cuevas). He has recorded a Tour-level match win at just 2 other events – reaching the 2nd round at both 2015 Madrid-1000 (d. Bernard Tomic, l. Simone Bolelli) and 2016 Chennai.

 

  • Vanni reached a career-high ranking of No. 100 in May 2015 after reaching the 2nd round at Madrid-1000. He plays here at No. 160.

 

  • Prior to coming here, Vanni fell in the 1st round of qualifying at both Doha (l. Nikoloz Basilashvili) and Sydney (l. Gastao Elias).

 

  • Vanni is coached by Fabio Gorietti. His physical trainer is Gianfranco Palini.

 

 

 

 

 

 

12 JO-WILFRIED TSONGA (FRA) v THIAGO MONTEIRO (BRA)

Head-to-head: Monteiro leads 1-0

2016     Rio de Janeiro   Clay (O)            R32      Monteiro           63 36 64

 

Monteiro upset Tsonga in 3 sets in the pair’s only previous meeting, on clay in Rio de Janeiro last year.

 

                          TSONGA                                       v                                      MONTEIRO

 

31                                          Age                                          22

12                             ATP Ranking (9 Jan)                             83

12                                         Titles                                          0

108-35                     Career Grand Slam Record                        0-0

30-9                         Australian Open Record                          0-0

390-181                              Career Record                                  6-9

260-117                        Career Record – Hard                            0-5

2-1                                   2017 Record                                   0-2

2-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              0-2

15-9                          Career Five-Set Record                           0-0

4                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         0

182-133                      Career Tiebreak Record                          1-3

0-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            0-0

 

  • TSONGA is bidding to reach the 2nd round here for the 9th time. This is his 10th appearance at Melbourne Park and his 36th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • If he wins today, Tsonga will move ahead of Jean Borotra at the top of the list for most Grand Slam match-wins by a Frenchman. He is currently tied in first place with Borotra (108-23), with a 108-35 win-loss record at the majors.
  • Tsonga has lost in the 1st round here just once before, on his Australian Open debut as a wild card in 2007. He lost in 4 sets to Andy Roddick, in a match that included the longest tiebreak in Australian Open history, with Roddick winning the first set tiebreak 20-18.
  • Tsonga’s best Grand Slam result to date is a runner-up finish at the 2008 Australian Open (l. Novak Djokovic). He defeated three Top 10 players (Andy Murray, Richard Gasquet and Rafael Nadal) en route to the final.

 

  • Tsonga warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the quarterfinals at Doha, where he lost to Tomas Berdych in straight sets. He also played a match at the Kooyong Exhibition Event, defeating Borna Coric 63 76.
  • Last year here, Tsonga reached the round of 16 for the 7th time, losing in straight sets to Kei Nishikori.
  • Elsewhere in Grand Slam play in 2016, Tsonga reached the quarterfinals at both Wimbledon (l. Murray) and the US Open, where he retired with a left knee injury while trailing Djokovic 63 62. He reached the 3rd round at Roland Garros, where he retired with an adductor injury when leading Ernests Gulbis 5-2 in the first set.
  • Away from the Grand Slams, Tsonga’s best result in 2016 came at Vienna, where he reached the final
    (l. Murray). He also reached the semifinals at Auckland (l. Roberto Bautista Agut) and Monte Carlo-1000
    (l. Gael Monfils). Last year was the first year he did not win a title since 2010.
  • Tsonga is a former Top 5 player. He reached a career-high No. 5 in the world in February 2012 and plays here at No. 12.
  • Tsonga has played Davis Cup for France since 2008. He has played a total of 17 ties, achieving an 18-7 win-loss record in singles and a 24-8 record overall. France take on Japan at the Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo in the 2017 World Group first round on 3-5 February.
  • Tsonga is coached by Thierry Ascione and Nicolas Escude.
  • Lefthander MONTEIRO is making his Grand Slam debut today.
  • At the Grand Slams in 2016, Monteiro lost in the 1st round of qualifying at Roland Garros (l. Ruben Bemelmans), Wimbledon (l. Julian Reister) and at the US Open (l. Daniel Brands) – the first occasions in which he had attempted to qualify for each major. He was ranked too low to enter qualifying for the Australian Open last year.
  • Prior to coming here, Monteiro lost to Daniil Medvedev in the 1st round at Chennai before falling to Daniel Evans in the 1st round as a qualifier at Sydney.
  • Monteiro’s best results in 2016 include reaching his first Tour-level quarterfinals – as a wild card at Sao Paolo (l. Pablo Cuevas) and as a qualifier at Gstaad (l. Robin Haase). He also won his first Challenger title at Aix En Provence (FRA) (d. Carlos Berlocq) and reached further Challenger finals at Lyon (FRA) (l. Steve Darcis) and Santos (BRA) (l. Renzo Olivo).
  • Monteiro broke into the Top 100 on 15 August 2016 and reached a career-high No. 80 in October after reaching the semifinals at the Santiago Challenger (CHI). He climbed over 300 places in the rankings during the previous 8 months, having started 2016 ranked No. 463. He plays here at No. 83
  • Monteiro has a 1-1 win-loss record against Top 20 opposition. He defeated No. 9 today’s opponent in the 1st round at 2016 Rio de Janeiro but lost to No. 14 David Goffin in the opening rubber during Brazil’s Davis Cup World Group play-off defeat to Belgium last September.
  • Monteiro made his Davis Cup debut in September 2016, losing in straight sets to Goffin as Belgium defeated Brazil 4-0. Brazil will play the winner of the Americas Zone Group I first round tie between Ecuador and Peru in their next Davis Cup tie on 7-9 April.
  • Monteiro is coached by Carlos Matos and Joao Zwetsch.

 

 

 

14 NICK KYRGIOS (AUS) v GASTAO ELIAS (POR)

Head-to-head: first meeting

 

                          KYRGIOS                                       v                                          ELIAS

 

21                                          Age                                          26

14                             ATP Ranking (9 Jan)                             81

3                                          Titles                                          0

25-14                      Career Grand Slam Record                        0-5

7-3                          Australian Open Record                          0-0

75-45                                Career Record                                22-38

43-25                          Career Record – Hard                            4-17

0-0                                   2017 Record                                   1-2

0-0                              2017 Record – Hard                              1-2

4-1                           Career Five-Set Record                           0-4

2                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         0

52-38                        Career Tiebreak Record                         10-11

0-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            2-1

 

  • KYRGIOS is bidding to reach the 2nd round here for the 4th straight year. This is his 4th Australian Open appearance and his 15th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Last year here Kyrgios reached the 3rd round, falling to Tomas Berdych. Elsewhere at the majors in 2016, he reached the round of 16 at Wimbledon (l. Andy Murray) and the 3rd round at both Roland Garros
    (l. Richard Gasquet) and the US Open, where he retired with a right hip injury while trailing Illya Marchenko 46 64 61.

 

  • At the 2015 Australian Open aged 19 years 280 days, Kyrgios equalled his best Grand Slam result by reaching the quarterfinals (l. Murray). He became the youngest man to reach the Australian Open quarterfinals since Andrei Cherkasov in 1990. He was the first Australian to reach the last 8 at the Australian Open since Lleyton Hewitt in 2005 and only the 3rd Australian man to reach the quarterfinals here as a teenager after Brad Drewett and Pat Cash.
  • Kyrgios also reached the quarterfinals at 2014 Wimbledon (l. Milos Raonic). Ranked No. 144, he defeated world No. 1 Rafael Nadal in the round of 16 to become the lowest-ranked player to defeat a world No. 1 at a Grand Slam since No. 193 Andrei Olhovskiy defeated Jim Courier in the 3rd round at 1992 Wimbledon.

 

  • Kyrgios won his first 3 career titles in 2016 – winning at Marseille (d. Marin Cilic), Atlanta (d. John Isner) and Tokyo (d. David Goffin) to become the first Australian to win 3 or more titles in a year since Lleyton Hewitt in 2004. He reached 3 further semifinals – at Dubai, Miami-1000 and Estoril – and climbed to a career-high ranking of No. 13 on 24 October. He plays here at No. 14.

 

  • Prior to coming here, Kyrgios played at the Hopman Cup, where he defeated Feliciano Lopez 63 64 and Adam Pavlasek 75 64 before falling to Jack Sock 62 62.

 

  • Kyrgios is one of 7 former Australian Open junior singles champions to start in the men’s main draw. Kyrgios won the junior title in 2013, defeating compatriot Thanasi Kokkinakis in the final.

 

  • Kyrgios was ranked No. 1 in the Junior rankings in January 2013 after winning the title at the Junior Australian Open. He also won the boys’ doubles title with Kokkinakis at 2013 Wimbledon.

 

  • Kyrgios is one of 11 Australian men to start this year’s Australian Open main draw – the most since 2003 when there were also 11. The last Australian man to win the title here was Mark Edmondson in 1976.

 

  • Kyrgios has played Davis Cup for Australia since 2013. Australia will play Czech Republic in the World Group first round at Kooyong on 3-5 February.
  • Kyrgios is currently without a coach. His fitness trainers are Will Maher and Matt James.

 

  • ELIAS is bidding to record his first Grand Slam match-win on his Australian Open debut.
  • This is Elias’ 6th Grand Slam appearance. He lost in the 1st round on all 5 of his previous appearances at the majors – at Wimbledon in 2013 (l. Alexandr Dolgopolov) and 2016 (l. Radu Albot), as a qualifier at Roland Garros in both 2014 (l. Diego Schwartzman) and 2015 (l. Benoit Paire) and as a direct acceptance at the 2016 US Open (l. Sergiy Stakhovsky).
  • Last year here Elias fell to Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the 1st round of qualifying. He also fell in the 1st round on his only other attempt to qualify for the Australian Open in 2015 (l. Peter Torebko).
  • Elias’ 2016 highlights include reaching back-to-back semifinals at Bastad (l. Fernando Verdasco) and Umag (l. Fabio Fognini). He also reached the quarterfinals as a qualifier at Sao Paulo and as a direct acceptance at Stockholm.
  • Elias warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the 2nd round as a qualifier at Sydney
    (d. Christopher O’Connell, l. Dominic Thiem) after a 1st round loss to Jozef Kovalik at Chennai.
  • Elias’ best surface is clay. He has a 16-19 Tour-level win-loss record on clay, compared with 4-17 on hard courts and 0-2 on grass.
  • Elias is bidding to record his 3rd career win over a Top 20 opponent. His career-best win came against No. 7 Gael Monfils at 2016 Stockholm. He has a 2-5 career-win loss record against Top 20 opposition overall.
  • Elias has never won a 5-set match. He has lost all 4 of the 5-set matches he has contested.
  • Elias was a member of the International 18 & under Junior team to Europe 2007, supported by the Grand Slam Development Fund.
  • Elias is coached by Fabian Blengino. His physical trainer is Cassiano Costa.

 

 

17 ROGER FEDERER (SUI) v (Q) JURGEN MELZER (AUT)

Head-to-head: Federer leads 3-1

2010     Wimbledon                  Grass (O)         R16      Federer            63 62 63

2010     US Open                      Hard (O)           R16      Federer            63 76(4) 63

2010     Paris-1000                     Hard (I)             QF        Federer             61 76(4)

2011     Monte Carlo-1000          Clay (O)            QF        Melzer               64 64

 

A 5th career meeting between the 2 players, who grew up in juniors together, and their 3rd at a Grand Slam. This is their first meeting in almost 6 years, with Melzer defeating Federer for the first time in their most recent meeting at 2011 Monte Carlo-1000.

 

Federer has won both of their Grand Slam meetings – and both of their hard court meetings – in straight sets.

 

Federer has never lost to a player ranked as low as today’s opponent. The lowest-ranked player he has lost to at Tour-level is No. 249 Sergio Bruguera at 2000 Barcelona. The lowest-ranked player he has lost to at a Grand Slam is No. 154 Mario Ancic at 2002 Wimbledon and the lowest-ranked player he has lost to at the Australian Open is No. 54 Arnaud Clement on his debut here in 2000.

 

FEDERER                                       v                                        MELZER

 

35                                          Age                                          35

17                             ATP Ranking (9 Jan)                             296

88                                         Titles                                          5

307-51                     Career Grand Slam Record                      59-52

80-13                        Australian Open Record                        14-12

1080-245                             Career Record                              348-332

664-135                        Career Record – Hard                         178-171

0-0                                   2017 Record                                   0-0

0-0                              2017 Record – Hard                              0-0

24-20                         Career Five-Set Record                         17-19

10                        Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         2

395-215                      Career Tiebreak Record                       146-157

0-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            0-0

 

  • FEDERER is bidding to become the 3rd man in history to win 5 Australian Open singles titles after Novak Djokovic and Roy Emerson, who have both won 6 titles here [see Preview page 2].

 

  • At 35 years 174 days, Federer is looking to become the 2nd oldest man in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam title after Ken Rosewall, who won 3 Grand Slam titles after turning 35. Rosewall won the 1970 US Open (aged 35 years 315 days) and the Australian Open in 1971 (aged 36 years 73 days) and 1972 (aged 37 years 62 days).

 

  • Last year here Federer reached his 12th Australian Open semifinal, taking sole occupancy of 2nd place on the Open Era list for the most semifinals reached at any one Grand Slam event after Jimmy Connors (who reached 14 semifinals at the US Open). Aged 34 years 176 days, he was the oldest man to reach the semifinals here since 35-year-old Colin Dibley in 1979.

 

  • Federer played just 7 Tour-level events in 2016 after injuring his knee the day after his Australian Open semifinal. He underwent arthroscopic knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus on 2 February and withdrew from tournaments at Rotterdam and Dubai. He returned with a quarterfinal finish at Monte Carlo-1000 (l. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga) but, despite playing 4 further tournaments, announced on 26 July that he would miss the rest of the season, including the Olympic Games in Rio, due to the knee injury.

 

  • Federer dropped out of the world’s Top 10 for the first time in 734 weeks (over 14 years) in November 2016 and did not qualify for the ATP World Tour Finals for the first time since 2001. He plays here ranked No. 17 – his lowest position since May 2001.

 

  • Federer made his comeback from injury at the 2017 Hopman Cup, defeating Daniel Evans 63 64 and Richard Gasquet 61 64, but losing to Alexander Zverev 76(1) 67(4) 76(4).
  • In Grand Slam play in 2016, Federer reached the semifinals at both the Australian Open and Wimbledon (l. Milos Raonic), where he saved 3 match points to recover from 0-2 down and defeat Marin Cilic in the quarterfinals. It was his 10th career-comeback from 0-2 down, equalling Aaron Krickstein and Boris Becker’s record for the most career comebacks from 0-2 down. He withdrew from Roland Garros, ending his record streak of 65 Grand Slam appearances, with a back injury.

 

  • Elsewhere in 2016, Federer finished runner-up at Brisbane (l. Milos Raonic). He also reached back-to-back semifinals at Stuttgart (l. Dominic Thiem) and Halle (l. Zverev) and the 3rd round at Rome-1000 (l. Thiem). He failed to win a title during a season for the first time since winning his first at 2001 Milan.

 

  • Federer has never lost in the 1st round here in his 17 previous appearances; the last time he fell at this stage of a Grand Slam was as No. 5 seed at 2003 Roland Garros (l. Luis Horna).

 

  • This is Federer’s 69th major appearance. He is in 2nd place on the list for the most Grand Slams played in the Open Era behind Fabrice Santoro (70) [see Preview page 5].

 

  • Federer has won 4 titles here – in 2004 (d. Marat Safin 76(3) 64 62), 2006 (d. Marcos Baghdatis 57 75 60 62), 2007 (d. Fernando Gonzalez 76(2) 64 64) and 2010 (d. Andy Murray 63 64 76(11)).

 

  • Federer is a 17-time Grand Slam singles champion. His last title at a major came at 2012 Wimbledon
    (d. Murray). He is one of 6 Grand Slam champions to start in this year’s men’s singles main draw.

 

  • Federer is coached by 2006 Australian Open quarterfinalist Ivan Ljubicic, and Severin Luthi.

 

  • Qualifier MELZER is bidding to record his first Grand Slam match-win since the 2015 US Open and reach the 2nd round here for the 9th time.

 

  • Melzer is bidding to record his first Tour-level match-win since he reached the 2nd round as a wild card at 2016 Vienna (d. Roberto Bautista Agut, l. Albert Ramos-Vinolas).

 

  • Melzer came through qualifying after defeating Joris De Loore (BEL) 62 36 63, No. 13 seed Taro Daniel (JPN) 63 62 and No. 20 seed Rajeev Ram (USA) 62 36 63 in the 3 rounds of qualifying.

 

  • This is Melzer’s 13th Australian Open appearance and his 53rd Grand Slam overall. His best result at Melbourne Park is reaching the round of 16 in 2011 (l. Andy Murray).

 

  • Melzer’s best Grand Slam result is a semifinal finish at 2010 Roland Garros. He upset No. 3 seed Novak Djokovic 36 26 62 76 64 in the quarterfinals for his first-ever comeback from 0-2 down, before losing to Rafael Nadal 62 63 76 in the semifinals.

 

  • Melzer underwent left shoulder surgery on 27 November 2015 and did not play between September 2015 and May 2016, returning in qualifying at the Poprad-Tatry Challenger (SVK). He dropped as low as No. 550 in the rankings on 19 September 2016 – his lowest position since he first earned a professional ranking in December 1999. Melzer is a former world No. 8 but plays here ranked No. 296.

 

  • Melzer played just 4 Tour-level events in 2016. His best result was reaching the quarterfinals as a wild card at Kitzbuhel – ending a run of 10 straight defeats against Top 20 opponents with victory over Dominic Thiem, before losing to his brother Gerald Melzer. He reached the 2nd round as a wild card at Vienna and defeated Illya Marchenko in 5-sets during Austria’s 3-2 Davis Cup defeat to Ukraine, but fell in the 1st round as a qualifier at Moscow (l. Pablo Carreno Busta). He also reached Challenger quarterfinals at Mons (BEL) and as a wild card at Eckental (GER).

 

  • Melzer missed 3 of the 4 Grand Slams in 2016 but did attempt to qualify at the US Open, where he defeated Tennys Sandgren (USA) but fell to Guido Andreozzi (ARG) in the 2nd round of qualifying.

 

  • Melzer warmed up for the Australian Open by attempting to qualify at Chennai. He defeated Steven Diez (CAN) but fell to Hyeon Chung in the 2nd round of qualifying.

 

  • Melzer is coached by Markus Hipfl, who reached the 2nd round at the Australian Open in 2002.

 

27 BERNARD TOMIC (AUS) v THOMAZ BELLUCCI (BRA)

Head-to-head: Bellucci leads 2-1

2012     Stuttgart                       Clay (O)            R16      Bellucci             76(6) 63

2013     Indian Wells-1000          Hard (O)           R128     Tomic               64 63

2016     Shenzhen                      Hard (O)           QF        Bellucci             62 62

 

A 4th career meeting for the pair but their first at a Grand Slam. The pair have split their 2 meetings on a hard court.

 

                            TOMIC                                         v                                      BELLUCCI

 

24                                          Age                                          29

27                             ATP Ranking (9 Jan)                             62

3                                          Titles                                          4

37-27                      Career Grand Slam Record                      22-31

15-8                         Australian Open Record                          5-8

159-140                              Career Record                              185-192

114-87                         Career Record – Hard                           65-98

0-1                                   2017 Record                                   0-1

0-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              0-1

8-3                           Career Five-Set Record                           8-7

2                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         2

92-78                        Career Tiebreak Record                         94-87

0-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            0-1

 

 

  • TOMIC is bidding to reach the 2nd round at the Australian Open for the 8th time. This is his 9th consecutive appearance at the Australian Open and his 29th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Tomic’s best Grand Slam result is reaching the quarterfinals as a qualifier at 2011 Wimbledon (l. Novak Djokovic). He was the youngest man since Boris Becker in 1986 to reach the quarterfinals at Wimbledon.

 

  • Last year here, Tomic equalled his best Australian Open performance by reaching the round of 16
    (l. Andy Murray). He also reached the round of 16 here in 2012 (l. Roger Federer) and 2015 (l. Tomas Berdych).

 

  • Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2016, Tomic reached the round of 16 at Wimbledon (l. Lucas Pouille) and the 2nd round at Roland Garros (l. Borna Coric), but fell in the 1st round at the US Open (l. Damir Dzumhur). He played just 5 matches after the US Open for the rest of the year after struggling with an ongoing abdominal strain.

 

  • Also in 2016, Tomic finished runner-up at Acapulco (l. Dominic Thiem) and the semifinals at Brisbane and Queen’s, losing to Milos Raonic on both occasions. He reached 5 further quarterfinals at Sydney, Quito, ’s-Hertogenbosch, Cincinnati-1000 and Shenzhen.

 

  • Tomic reached a career-high ranking of No. 17 after reaching the semifinals at 2016 Brisbane. He plays here at No. 27.

 

  • Tomic has won 3 career titles, all of which have come on a hard court – at 2013 Sydney (d. Kevin Anderson) and at Bogota in 2014 (d. Ivo Karlovic) and 2015 (d. Adrian Mannarino).

 

  • Tomic warmed up for the Australian Open at Brisbane where he fell to David Ferrer in the 1st round. He also played at the Sydney Fast4 Exhibition Event, where he defeated Dominic Thiem in the shortened format, and at the Kooyong Exhibition event, falling to David Goffin 62 64 and Gilles Simon 63 in a single set match.

 

  • Tomic is one of 11 Australian men to start this year’s Australian Open main draw – the most since 2003 when there were also 11. He is looking to become the first native champion to win the Australian Open men’s singles title since Mark Edmondson in 1976.

 

  • Tomic is one of 7 former junior Australian Open champions in the draw. He won the 2008 Australian Open boys’ title aged 15 years 3 months, defeating Yang Tsung-Hua in the final. He was the youngest winner of the title since Ken Rosewall in 1950. He also won the 2009 US Open boys’ singles title (d. Chase Buchanan). Stefan Edberg is the only player to have won both the junior and senior title here in the Open Era. He captured the boys’ singles title in 1983, before winning the men’s singles in 1985 and 1987.

 

  • Tomic has played Davis Cup for Australia since 2010. Australia will play Czech Republic in the World Group first round at Kooyong on 3-5 February.

 

  • Tomic is coached by his father John.

 

  • Lefthander BELLUCCI is bidding to reach the 2nd round and equal his best Australian Open result.
  • Bellucci’s best Australian Open performance is reaching the 2nd round in 2010 (l. Andy Roddick), 2011
    (l. Jan Hernych), 2012 (l. Gael Monfils), as a qualifier in 2014 (l. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga) and as a direct acceptance in 2016 (l. Steve Johnson). This is his 9th consecutive appearance at Melbourne Park and his 32nd Grand Slam overall.
  • Bellucci’s best Grand Slam result is reaching the round of 16 as No. 24 seed at 2010 Roland Garros
    (l. Rafael Nadal). He was the first Brazilian to reach that stage of a major since Gustavo Kuerten at 2004 Roland Garros.
  • At the Grand Slams in 2016, Bellucci reached the 2nd round at both the Australian Open and Wimbledon
    (l. Sam Querrey), but fell in the 1st round at both Roland Garros (l. Richard Gasquet) and the US Open
    (l. Andrey Kuznetsov).
  • Bellucci’s best result in 2016 was reaching the final at Quito (l. Victor Estrella Burgos) and the semifinals at Shenzhen (l. Tomas Berdych). He also reached the quarterfinals at both Moscow (l. Philipp Kohlschreiber) and at the Olympic Tennis Event in Rio de Janeiro (l. Nadal).
  • Prior to coming here, Bellucci lost to Nicolas Mahut in the 1st round at Sydney.
  • Bellucci is a former Top 30 player, reaching a career-high ranking of No. 21 in July 2010. He has won 4 Tour-level titles, all of which have come on clay, at Gstaad in 2009 (d. Andreas Beck) and 2012 (d. Janko Tipsarevic), at 2010 Santiago (d. Juan Monaco) and at 2015 Geneva (d. Joao Sousa). Clay is the only surface on which he has a positive win-loss record.
  • Bellucci has played Davis Cup for Brazil since 2007, compiling a 19-15 singles win-loss record. Brazil will play the winner of the Americas Zone Group I first round tie between Ecuador and Peru in their next Davis Cup tie on 7-9 April.
  • Bellucci was a member of the ITF International Junior Touring Team in 2004, supported by the Grand Slam Development Fund.
  • Bellucci is coached by Joao Zwestch.

 

**** All statistics courtesy of the Grand Slam Media Team at the Australian Open and the International Tennis Federation.

Share

Australian Open 2017 – In Their Own Words – Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, Roger Federer and Others in Pre-Tournament News Conferences

(January 14, 2017) Top-ranked players at the Australian Open held pre-tournament news conferences on Saturday. Here are the transcripts of the conference from the interview section Australian Open tournament website.

Andy Murray

Andy Murray

Q. How does it feel to be the top seed at a slam?
ANDY MURRAY: I don’t feel any different really to normal, to be honest.

Q. What are your feelings coming into this tournament? Was the preparation this winter as good as you wanted?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I think it went pretty well. Doha went well. Played some good stuff, especially at the end of the event. Yeah, I mean, the off-season, I would have liked to have been a couple weeks longer. But, you know, I made sure I got enough rest. You know, I’ll get hopefully a bit of time in February as well.

But, yeah, I did some good training over in Miami. There’s a lot of good players over there for practice. It went well.

Q. You’re playing in the middle of the afternoon on Monday when the forecast is pretty hot. Would you have preferred to have had a bit more practice time in hotter conditions?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, yeah, but there’s not really much else you can do about it. I mean, obviously in Doha, the conditions were pretty cool. You’re playing most of your matches in the evening. Also, if you do well here, you’ll often play at least three matches in the evening, sometimes four.

So, you know, it’s good practice for that. But obviously the day matches here can get, you know, brutally hot. I think maybe the Hopman Cup is probably where you get the best conditions or most similar conditions to here to start the year.

But, yeah, I’ll just have to deal with it, just like all of the other players will.

Q. Have you been impressed with Dan’s effort this week?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, I haven’t seen loads of the matches. I saw the end of his match yesterday. I saw the first set and a little bit of his match with Thiem. But obviously he turned that match around kind of after I went out for dinner.

Yeah, I mean, it’s obviously a great week for a lot of Brits actually. Obviously Jo winning, as well, was great. My brother’s in the final. Yeah, it will be probably, you know, the best week that Britain’s had at tour level forever probably.

Q. When you practice, how much does the fact that Djokovic is normally looming in the latter stages of not just the slams, but tournaments like Doha, how much does that feature in the way you go about things?
ANDY MURRAY: In terms of the way I practice or…

Q. Tactical awareness, preparing for big matches.
ANDY MURRAY: Well, in terms of tactical awareness, I sort of study, watch video, to learn about things that I could do better or things that have worked well. Obviously, don’t do so much of that on the practice court. But there’s certain patterns of play that you practice that hopefully will help against certain players. Then also there’s things that are extremely important to your game and what makes your game effective, you know, not just against one player, but against the whole tour.

I feel like my movement and my speed around the court is a very important part of my game. That’s something that I try to work on all of the time without thinking about, you know, other players.

But, of course, there’s certain things you would practice, what would help you against the top guys, for sure.

Q. Not all the players have been able to beat you lately. David Goffin was one of them in Abu Dhabi, in the exhibition there. What do you think of him and do you think he could cause one or two upsets here?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I think he’s a really, really good player, obviously. He’s very quick around the court. He’s made improvements most years really, last few years. But as you get closer to the top, it becomes harder and harder to do that.

So, you know, it will be an interesting year for him. He works hard. I practice with him quite a lot, as well. He’s a good guy. Down-to-earth. Very quiet and relaxed.

Yeah, I hope he does well. But he’s, yeah, a very, very good player.

Q. What do you make of your opponent? You played him a few years ago.
ANDY MURRAY: I don’t remember loads about that match. We played on Margaret Court. I don’t remember too much about that match. I saw him playing a bit at the US Open. He had a good run there a few months ago. Also had a very tight match with Wawrinka there.

You know, he’s not easy. He fights very hard. He’s got a great attitude. Plays predominantly from the back of the court and moves well. He doesn’t give you too many free points.

But, I mean, I’ve only played him once. I’ve never practiced with him. And that match, it was a long time ago. It would have been, I don’t know, 2008, ’09, something like that.

Q. Roger was asked earlier if he could remember what it was like when he gained the No. 1 ranking. He said he felt that other people treated him differently. Is that something that you’ve experienced? Have you had any feelings like that?
ANDY MURRAY: No, not really. I don’t think so. I mean, yeah, I haven’t really noticed it. It kind of happened for me right at the end of the year, so I haven’t been kind of on the tour much as the No. 1 player. Just one week really in Doha. So I haven’t noticed it yet.

I don’t know if that will come over time, if I’m able to stay there or not. But, yeah, I mean, it’s only been really a few weeks around the tour with that ranking. I haven’t noticed much change.

Q. Looking back 12 months now, how much what was going on at home with Kim affecting you during the tournament here?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it was a tough tournament. Yeah, obviously the situation with, you know, Kim and the baby coming was tough. Then with what happened with Nigel kind of during the event made it really kind of awkward because there was times where I was thinking, like, you know, I want to go home. But then also my father-in-law was here and in hospital.

It was, like, I want to be at home for the birth, but then I’m not just going to sort of leave whilst my father-in-law is also in hospital.

Yeah, it was tough, and certainly not a position I would want to put myself in again, or my wife, or any of my family really.

Q. How close did you come to withdrawing before you lost?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, a few times. I mean, I don’t know how to say how close. But, yeah, it was certainly something that was talked about a lot, especially the second week of the event.

Q. Just get your reaction to Michael Downey resigning. Were you surprised to hear the news?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I wasn’t really surprised. I think everyone kind of thought that’s always what was going to happen there. It’s disappointing really, because it’s just another change for British tennis. Someone new will come in with a different direction for another three, four years, then it will change again.

I think for a system that’s — maybe everyone would say that’s not really worked for quite a long time, for change to happen, you need someone or a team in there that’s going to be in it for the long haul and not just a few years.

So I really hope the next appointment is something long-term. You can’t expect results, obviously, immediately. I don’t think there should be loads of pressure on that person to get stuff done straightaway. But, yeah, I’d like to see a long-term appointment so that there’s actually, you know, a chance for change to happen, but then stick. I think if you just do three years, then another three years, just keep switching all the time, it’s not good for anyone.

Q. In that you think it wasn’t going to be for the long haul?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, in terms of him moving back to Canada. I don’t think many people expected it to go longer than the term that he was signed up for.

But, yeah, I mean, I just hope that we get a long-term replacement. Don’t want it to be just a few years.

Q. Roger and Novak used to say that once you’ve reached the No. 1, you have to work double as hard to stay there. Do you see it like this?
ANDY MURRAY: I hope not (laughter). I hope not.

Well, yeah, I mean, I do think it is a mindset thing, because I think it could be quite easy that once you get to No. 1 that you think, Well, actually, I just need to keep doing what I doing.

The reality is, in sport, that things obviously keep moving on, the game will get better, I’ll obviously get older, the young guys will continue to improve, and also Novak and Roger and Stan and Rafa and all the guys at the top are still going to be wanting to get there. So that’s why having someone like Ivan on my team who has been in that position before and knows what that’s like has been important. I need to continue to improve. I for sure need to keep working hard.

I don’t think necessarily working harder than I have in the past, but just having the mindset I need to keep getting better and try to improve my game. Any weaknesses that are in my game, to try to get rid of them.

So, yeah, that’s how I feel about it.

Q. Your record here is really good. You haven’t actually won the thing. Do you feel like you’re in a really good position right now to go one step further?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, look, I obviously feel pretty confident after the way that last season finished. I do love it here. I love the conditions. I have played really well here over the years, and just haven’t managed to obviously get over the final hurdle.

But, yeah, I think I’m in a decent position, for sure, to do it. I think I have a chance to win here. Obviously nothing’s guaranteed. But, yeah, why not? I’m playing well. Practice has been good. I feel healthy. I’ll give it a good shot.

Q. Any other players called you Sir yet, Andy?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, yeah, but not genuinely, I don’t think (smiling).

Q. The host broadcaster is going to refer to you as Sir Andy. How does that make you feel?
ANDY MURRAY: I’m more than happy just being Andy. That’s enough for me. Yeah, if they call me Andy, that’s cool, I’d be happy with that (smiling).

 

Novak Djokovic

Q. You obviously had a bumpy at times second half of the last year. With the off-season, title in Doha, beating Andy there, do you feel more or less back on track? Is it that quick a fix or is it more a process still going?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I feel that already in London, World Tour Finals, I played very well, comparing to the three months, four months before that, where I was, you know, kind of struggling to find that right level in quality of tennis.

But, you know, I’ve worked very hard as I guess most of the players in the off-season, trying to get myself in a right state of mind, in a right shape and form. I couldn’t ask for a better start of the season, saving some match points in the semifinals, playing a really exciting match against Verdasco, then the next day against Andy. You know, thrilling final. It was great.

I got a lot of match play. Arriving to Melbourne, really excited to compete.

Q. You have a quite brutal first round against Verdasco again. How do you see that one?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I hope I will not get to the stage where I have to defend match points.

Again, you know, Fernando is a very complete player on any surface. In a given day, if things go right, he can beat really anybody on any surface, as I said. Nadal last year in five sets, he won first round. He has won against most of the top players. He’s not overwhelmed by, I guess, the occasion of playing on center court. He has had that experience many times.

So, again, a lot depends, of course, on how I feel, how he feels. It’s the first match of the Grand Slam. We both need to start with the right intensity, of course. We’re going to be obviously striving to do so.

But I’m expecting a tough one, there’s no doubt about it.

Q. Can you run us through your coaching team at the start of the season, let us know whether you’re thinking about bringing somebody else in.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I’m not thinking of bringing anybody in. This is the coaching team that there is, yeah.

Q. Marian Vijda?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes. And Dusan Vemic is the second coach.

Q. It’s going to be hot in a few days. Do you relish the heat or do you struggle?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I don’t know still a player that enjoys playing in 40 plus or 35 plus. It’s same for everybody, you know. It’s not easy, obviously. In the end of the day, that’s what you expect. You come to Australia during the summertime, and the conditions can get quite challenging and extreme.

But, as I said, you’re preparing for that. Same for you and your opponent.

Q. On the Verdasco draw, people have called it a nightmare. Do you consider it a nightmare draw or…
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I still haven’t had in I nightmares, so I can’t call it a nightmare draw. I just see it as a huge challenge. I hope I’ll be able to deliver.

Q. Do you see yourself as being in sort of a similar position to where you were three years ago, where you’re having to reestablish the air of invincibility?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I never had an invincibility, although I thank you for the compliment. Nobody is invincible. I never thought of myself as a superior player on the court, even though of course at times I was very confident, I was winning a lot of matches.

But, you know, knowing how it feels on the court, if you get overconfident, that’s why I don’t want to get into that kind of state of mind. I still want to put myself in a position where I’m quite even to other players, fight for this trophy as anybody else, even though I’m defending champion.

The fact that I’ve done so well in Melbourne Park the last 10 years of my career basically, it’s been the most successful Grand Slam that I’ve had, of course gives me a lot of thrill, a lot of confidence and excitement to approach it.

Q. Putting aside invincibility, do you feel there’s similarities to where you were three years ago?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I can’t compare, really, the seasons. I’ve been saying this before. Every year brings a new challenge personally and as a player. You’re just a different, different person. Every cell in your body every day changes.

It’s hard to really compare any kind of year. I just see it as a learning curve, as a process of developing into a more mature player, person, trying to get the best out of, you know, the circumstances, the live conditions that you’re in in the moment.

Q. The prospect of the seventh record-breaking title, does that sit in your mind, even at this stage?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Honestly, one of the reasons I’m here is to try to win every match that I play on, and eventually the title. I’m not the only one that is sitting here and talking about the title.

I love playing this sport. I love competing. I came in here as all the other 127 players to fight for this trophy, to enjoy competing. Of course, it’s an incentive, it’s motivation.

Q. Is there any specific reason as to why you do so well here? You do well everywhere, but especially here.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, one of the reasons is probably because it’s beginning of the year. I personally feel, I see many players feel very inspired and motivated to play their best tennis. They have been through a period of five, six weeks with no official matches. They recharge their batteries. They’re eager to get back on the court and play the sport.

It’s so early in the season, and we already have a first Grand Slam, one of the four biggest events in sport. I think that’s enough motivation for you to start off the season in best possible fashion.

Conditions play their role, for sure. I mean, I love playing on hard courts. Especially night matches play a bit slower, which I like. I guess it’s a combination of things.

Q. When you announced that you and Boris were going to go your separate ways, Boris did an interview in which he said that perhaps you haven’t been working as hard in the recent months as you had earlier on in your career. Do you think that is accurate? If so, do you think that has changed now?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Boris and I have had an incredible three years. I can’t be more grateful to him, to our partnership, to our relationship, than I am. We’ve had amazing success. It’s all I can say.

I don’t want to go back and comment on anything. I kept a very friendly relationship with Boris. We just went separate ways.

Q. Obviously titles, preferably a Grand Slam, is most important to you. How essential is it to you to get back to that No. 1 ranking?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: As a consequence of the results, if I become No. 1, that’s great. Of course, that’s what I want. But it’s not my main priority, let’s say. I really would like to take one tournament at a time and try to win as many matches as possible. Then, as I said, as a consequence to that, if I become No. 1, I’ll be thrilled.

Q. A word of the comeback of Roger Federer. What do you expect from him?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I don’t expect anything, and everything. With Roger, you can always see a top level and quality of tennis. I mean, that’s what he brings. He brings this aura of a champion on and off the court. The sport definitely missed him.

It’s great to see him back, no question about it. From a colleague/player perspective and point of view and fans, everybody loves to see Roger. He’s one of the most important people that ever held the racquet. Of course, for our sport it’s great to see him.

Q. What do you think is the most challenging part for a comeback after a half-year absence?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I think he’s going to answer that question better. But the fact he was absent because of his injury, I think that’s obviously going to be the concern, maybe, or to see how that’s going to play out.

But he didn’t seem to have any issues playing in Perth. He’s fit. I’m sure he’s very motivated because he hasn’t played any official tournament ever since Wimbledon, I think.

With all his experience, talent, everything he has achieved in his life, I don’t think it’s going to take too much of a time for him to really get back into that kind of competitive zone.

Q. Yesterday we noticed you were blowing your nose during practice. You appeared to have something with your eyes as well. Any lingering health concerns at all?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No (smiling). It was probably the only time I blew my nose, when you saw it. I’m a human being, as everybody else. No, it’s all good.

Q. Last year’s Australian Open was also associated with some revelations about match fixing. 12 years on, what are your reflections how far the sport has come, where we are on that journey, if you like? Anything more on that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Ideally, we don’t want to see any kind of match fixing occurrences and situations. But unfortunately they do occur from time to time.

I don’t think there are too many. I mean, we haven’t experienced too many, even though every time something surfaces, of course everybody, especially media, makes a great deal about it.

But generally, you know, looking I think ATP and all the authorities are doing a good job in kind of tracking down those kind of potential match fixing matches. I haven’t had chance to see too many cases. Yes, there are some. On a lower level, as well, lower category of the professional tournaments.

 

Serena Williams

Q. You said in Auckland how windy it was there, wasn’t a great chance to assess how you were playing coming into Melbourne. Do you feel now that you’re here, you have a better sense of how you’re feeling under court?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I felt great going into my last event. Hopefully I can improve on that. Well, I can’t get worse, so that’s also very exciting. Hopefully I’ll be able to improve on that.

Q. Does it feel good to be back?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah.

Q. Or you’re so occupied on what you were doing?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I’ve been spending so much time on the court, so… But it feels really good to be back, just hitting on Rod Laver, hitting on all the stadiums, it’s a good feeling.

I love it here. It’s such a great tournament for me, so… Feels really good.

Q. In general, is there something in your game, because of the time off, you feel you really need to improve quite a bit to be back to where you were?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I always go in every off-season trying to improve pretty much everything all around. There’s things that I definitely focus on more than others. But for the most part… I don’t really talk about those things. For the most part I go off, try to do better in a lot of things.

Q. This winter when you sat down with the team, did you talk about a different approach for this season? What was the mindset coming into 2017?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I definitely wanted to work on some things, like I just said. Every season I always sit down with Patrick, I have a conversation on what I want to improve on. We work towards that.

Q. How do you view last season? We never really had a chance to get your opinion. Obviously Wimbledon I think is the highlight.
SERENA WILLIAMS: For me, it wasn’t a great season. I think for other people it would have been wonderful. For me, it wasn’t.

It was what it was. I’m still hitting.

Q. Health permitting, how much do you want to play this year?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely don’t want to play a lot, but I don’t think I’ve played a ton throughout the past. I’ve played a lot. I’ve always been super consistent the past five, six years. I definitely want to play probably around… Maybe not as many events.

If I can keep my consistency, that’s all.

Q. The reason I ask is last year you weren’t able to play that much, partly because of injury.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah.

Q. You mentioned it wasn’t a great year by your standards. Is there a certain amount you feel you do need to play in order to still find your best?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I think actually last year’s schedule would be perfect for me. But I was injured a lot last year, especially after Wimbledon. My year basically ended after that, so… If I could have played the tournaments that I would have played, I think that would have an ideal, perfect schedule for me.

Q. When you talk about last year and how injuries kind of interrupted it at different segments, with the time off, do you think you were able to kind of let your body heal up in terms of the things that were bothering you last year, or was it still a little bit of an issue during the off-season or pre-season training?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I got a lot better. I had a little bit of a problem initially in the pre-season. Just did a ton of therapy, exercises. I was able to get a lot better.

I felt that if I hadn’t of taken that time off, could have been bad for me.

Q. Have you seen the forecast for Tuesday, the warm weather, how that will affect things?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I haven’t seen it. Is it supposed to be hot?

Q. 38.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Uh. Okay, better be ready.

Q. You’re playing Belinda, someone that has beaten you before. Thoughts about playing against someone as good as her right out of the gate?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it will be good for us both. I don’t know if she played here last year. Was it last year? She was quarterfinals, I think. I’m getting my years mixed up. Anyway, she’s done well here before.

So, yeah, she’s had a good win over me. It’s never easy for me. So I always go out there, and all I can do is do my best. I didn’t come here to lose in the first round, or the second round, or at all. If I can play the way I’ve been practicing, it will be fine.

I know she’s been playing well, so it will be good for both of us.

Q. In the six months that Roger was unable to play the sport because of injury, he spoke about a glimpse of life without tennis, but he still kept in touch with it, he still has the passion for it, it helps to motivate him for this year. Do you keep across the sport when you’re unable to play? Does that give you extra motivation, refresh you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don’t really keep up with it as much. I feel like when I take a break, I just need to really take a complete break, both physically and mentally. I definitely kind of take a step back.

But tennis is a sport that I absolutely love, that I definitely see myself — it’s my life, you know, for the rest of my life, whether I’m playing or whether I’m not playing. It’s definitely something that has made an incredible impact in my life.

Q. A few weeks ago you posted some personal, exciting news. Can you tell us a little bit about that.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, can you elaborate (smiling)?

Q. You said you were engaged.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh.

Q. That, remember?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I’m just kidding (smiling).

Yeah, it’s been really great. I’ve said from the beginning, I just didn’t want to think about it until after Australia because I was, like, Grand Slams mean a lot to me. I was, like, Well, I’m not going to think about it.

It’s almost a little unreal right now because I haven’t taken it in. I’m being rather selfish and focused on my career.

Q. You made it sound like it was a very romantic moment.
SERENA WILLIAMS: It was. It was. I’m actually just a really good writer, so… If you guys want any tips, I’m around (laughter).

Q. Does it feel different?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Again, not really because I don’t think I’ve had an opportunity to, like, let everything sink in. I won’t allow it to sink in because I’m so focused. It was right in the middle of pre-season. I’m really focused training, cardio, all kinds of stuff.

Now I’m on the road, already back at work. I don’t want to get too happy because I want to stay focused (smiling).

Q. The record, moving past Steffi, been around for a while. These days does it mean anything to you? What are your thoughts on that opportunity?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, I’m not talking about that. I’m just here to play and to win obviously, but just to play.

Q. I know you said you don’t want to get too happy. Do you feel like you need a certain amount of anger or something, a drive or focus, to switch on to full gear?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I wouldn’t call it anger, but I would definitely say drive and focus. What’s the word? Sacrifice? Yeah, sacrifices that you definitely have to have, so…

 

Roger Federer

Roger Federer

Q. How does it feel to be sitting in that chair? Were there any moments in the last 12 months when you wondered whether you might not be sitting in that chair right now?
ROGER FEDERER: No, 12 months ago I was always going to come back because my knee wasn’t so bad, so I never thought to miss the Australian Open a year later. But, of course, after Wimbledon, the race was on for Australia really, trying to make it for here.

I mean, I knew I had plenty of time. Probably in actual fact, if I would have kept everything short, it would have taken me four months then. That was pushing it. I would have had to take chances, test the knee earlier than what would have been good. But by giving myself six months, I had enough time, except if I had some setbacks. I never had that. So actually at the end I had plenty of time.

But so I always felt like I was going to be here. I’m happy I’m here, though. That means the job was well done. I can thank my team for that.

Yeah, was an interesting last six months, to say the least.

Q. What did you miss most?
ROGER FEDERER: Miss most? From here, you mean?

Q. Generally, when you were out. What was it about tennis that you missed?
ROGER FEDERER: Oh, from tennis.

I guess you do miss the matches at some point. You miss the feeling of winning, walking onto a stadium, seeing the guys. You know, it’s like an extended family to some extent anyway. You walk around here, it’s probably the same for you. You see faces you haven’t seen in a while. It’s just nice to see everybody again.

Plus I have a lot of friends on the tour, you know, because I’m the returning guest for like 20 years everywhere I go. It feels good to see those familiar faces every single year. It’s something I couldn’t quite enjoy the last six months. That’s probably what I missed the most.

Q. Are you happy how the body has reacted, the preparation, you feel everything is in order?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, it’s under control. I felt great. I felt Hopman Cup was great preparation. We’ll see if it was perfect or not. But conditions felt virtually identical to me. Center court in Perth was sort of similar size. Court speed felt the same. Obviously same continent, all that stuff.

It felt really good. Then practice was more about just managing, maintaining, not overtraining, but nevertheless still play enough to get used to the conditions here again, even though it’s the same. You know how it is, you just have to put down the hours, play the sets. I did that.

Yeah, it’s just more quiet now, whereas in Dubai I was really forcing the issue. I was training extremely hard. I don’t have to do that anymore this week, so I feel like it’s been a light week.

Q. How do you know you’re going to be able to handle the long four or five sets that the Australian Open brings up?
ROGER FEDERER: I guess it’s slightly the unknown. You could then argue that it’s the same for everybody. We don’t play four-setters, five-setters every single week. You only play them in Davis Cup now and in Grand Slam play. I went through a year where I didn’t play any five-setters, an entire year.

You could think that’s a good thing for longevity, but it’s not a good thing because you don’t know how it feels to play a five-setter anymore. Yeah, a lot of guys haven’t played four-setters or five-setters in a long time, or never in their life. From that standpoint, I don’t feel like it’s a huge advantage or disadvantage for them.

I trained as hard as I possibly could, so I will be ready for it. I did numerous sessions where I trained over two and a half, three hours. I feel I’m ready.

But, like I said, it is the unknown. It’s the part that I can only once I’ve been there.

Q. There’s a lot of unknown for you in your draw because you play a qualifier, then another qualifier. Does any of you sneak out today to watch the qualifying matches, guys you don’t know, or is it not worth scouting until you know?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I mean Severin and Ivan, my coaches, are out and about checking it out.

Yeah, it would be good to know who I play. I guess I could tell you what I think. Like this, I’m waiting to find out. Once it’s out, it’s actually a good thing because then you can start actually mentally preparing for the Aussie Open. Is it a lefty, a righty? It’s a big deal. Is he a big server, a grinder? A bit of an unknown here the first round because that’s the part of the draw I care most about because of having not been playing.

Q. Do you feel you have to play catch-up having missed six months, more new faces you’re unfamiliar with than usual?
ROGER FEDERER: Not really, I don’t think. I’ve never known all the guys in qualifying. There’s always new faces coming up every season. The guys, a lot of them, who played futures or challengers a year ago may be 300, next thing you know they’re in the top 100. It’s nice to see those new faces. It’s nice to see the changes. It’s no different this year, I don’t feel.

Q. You will remember what it was like to first become world No. 1, which is what Andy is obviously experiencing this week. Does it feel any different? Do you get looked at differently, do you feel? Do you have a different sense of perception?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, I think it definitely feels different, yeah, because everybody comes up to you and says, You’re the best. You start walking around a bit differently. Just feel more confident overall in your shots without having had to play. It’s a good thing. Usually when you win, you know, it solves everything.

From that standpoint, there’s only one virtually the last four months. I’m sure things have been very smooth for him in his life, family, everything is great. What is there to talk negative about? The negativity goes out of the door a little bit, which is a good thing in tennis. When you can think and feel positive, that rubs off into match play.

Then I guess you come to a point when you just can’t let it affect you, you just have to remind yourself how hard you had to work to actually get there. It’s going to require that plus more to stay there.

But I feel like because Andy is not 18 years old. He knows all about that. I don’t think the ranking in this regard changes him in a big way. I think he’s too laid back for him to also change in terms of attitude towards us.

Yeah, like I said, I’m super happy for him. He deserves it. He’s been in there for a long time. He’s had some tough losses, some great wins over the year. He never kind of strung it together that it would pay off. This time it did, so it’s great for him, great for the sport.

Q. From your perception, somebody who played the role of No. 1 player in the world, dominated many years, in many ways this year you’re kind of an underdog. You talked about the unknown. Are you looking forward to being that, the underdog?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, why not for a change? I mean, I prefer to be the favorite. Underdog is okay. Yeah, no, it’s fine. As long as I’m healthy and I feel like I can go four, five sets, I can go many matches in a row, then I think it’s going to be fun. If I feel like I’m in pain in the matches, then obviously it’s no fun. Then it doesn’t matter what your seeding or ranking is, it’s always the same.

But, no, it’s a great draw because I’m in the draw. So for me I’m super pleased that I made it here, that I have an opportunity to win matches. How many rests to be seen. I’m cautious myself. So, yeah, clearly an underdog this time around.

Q. Do you like the new logo of the Australian Open?
ROGER FEDERER: It’s okay (smiling).

Q. You were here last year when the headlines about match fixing were in the news.
ROGER FEDERER: I thought we were going to finish on a good one (smiling).

Q. There’s been 12 months of debate, a lot of people calling for money even in the qualifying of Grand Slams. What do you think of that notion? Is there anything left undone, something else we could be doing to address the problem?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, some guys who have been called for match fixing are ranked extremely low. That’s at the very beginning stages, I mean you can’t be offering — I don’t know how much prize money is there. You’re playing in futures or tournaments they’re playing in.

I think it’s important that the tournament does the utmost. The Integrity Unit is analyzing the situation. I think we’re going to get a report back in a couple months, what I heard, which I think is great. That’s going to change the sport for the better.

Clearly we have no space for that kind of behavior in our sport. The good thing is that it’s really only zero point something percent of players that actually have done something over the course of so many matches and so many players. I think we’ve done actually okay.

Like you said, there can always be more done. But I think also through experiences, you learn through those mistakes, whoever did them, the tour, the player, the Federation, I don’t know. It’s tough. But I think important is to support players and educate them the right way to make them aware of the dangers potentially, also what lies ahead as a player you don’t know. That’s where it’s good to have a mentor, older brother on the tour you can lean on and ask for advice.

I felt I was lucky early on in my days that I had that. I had a great coach who was on the tour before. I had guys like Marc Rosset, former players that I could always ask for advice, sound advice, because they’d been on tour for 10 years. Or just ask my parents. But they didn’t have a tennis background, so it’s more tricky there. Maybe the Federation, as well. I think it’s very supportive in a tough environment sometimes.

 

 

Stan Wawrinka

Stan Wawrinka

Q. What’s your mindset going into this tournament after winning the most recent Grand Slam?
STAN WAWRINKA: I’m happy to be back, like every player probably. I think I’m work well in the off-season. Started well in Brisbane. I think my level is there. I’m ready to start the tournament. Excited to start the first Grand Slam of the year, first one against Klizan, a tough player that I played only a few years ago, but is a really dangerous player.

It’s going to be interesting to see the first match.

Q. What is the most dangerous aspect when you play against a lefty?
STAN WAWRINKA: Well, depends who you play. For sure, if you play Rafa, if you play Klizan…

I think for me, I don’t have really problem because he is a lefty player. I’m quite confident with my backhand, so it depends all about me, the way I’m going to start, the way I’m going to play.

Q. Last year you started the season in India. Now you move starting the season in Australia. Is there a special reason to do that?
STAN WAWRINKA: No. I’ve been playing India for nine years in a row. I always enjoy there. I always liked it there.

But I heard a lot of good things about Brisbane. Roger played also. He always told me was a great tournament. I wanted to change a little bit to see some new city, some new tournament. It’s also good mentally. So I took the decision to start here in Australia.

I think was a great week. I really enjoy there, the city, the people at the tournament, the fans. Was a lot of fans. Think was a perfect start of the year.

Q. You said you wanted to change a bit. Did you also change something in the preparation? What was the special focus in this off-season for you?
STAN WAWRINKA: Didn’t really change anything big. I had good time. I’m happy the way I did my off-season. Was some good quality fitness-wise and tennis. Keep improving, keep trying to find what I can improve in my game, keep pushing myself.

I’m really happy with the level I’m playing right now. I know that if I can keep pushing during the year, keep doing the right thing, the big result will come.

Q. I saw you and Roger are already out of Davis Cup in the U.S. Is that an easy decision for you, having to go to a different continent?
STAN WAWRINKA: Yeah, schedule-wise it’s really tough after one month in Australia to go back to States, to come back to play in Europe, then go back to States after. It is never easy to not play Davis Cup, but with that schedule, was really tough for me to be available for the team.

Q. The local reaction to the draw, forecasting past round one?
STAN WAWRINKA: Not really, because it can be in the fourth round. I’m not there yet. He’s not there yet neither. For me it’s all about focus, what we do the first round. If I won the first round, then it’s going to be the second round.

We all know how the draw is. We all look the draw, full draw, we all see what can be the draw for after. But at the end the focus, it’s in the first match because if you don’t pass it, you never get to that match.

Q. Last year you had Richard Krajicek for the grass court season. Do you plan to have another coach?
STAN WAWRINKA: For the season or for the grass?

Q. The grass court season.
STAN WAWRINKA: Grass is really far away from where I am right now, so… Not really, no. I focus on everything we have before starting the first Grand Slam now. That’s the main focus.

 

Kei Nishikori

Kei Nishikori

Q. You’re in the same quarter as Murray and Federer. After your Brisbane performance, how confident are you that you can go deep in the Australian Open?
KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah, it was great run last week in Brisbane. First time to get a final. So I’m really happy with my start of the year. Yeah, we’ll see. Have a tough first round. Try to play one match at a time. Yeah, hope I can make to second week.

Q. How are you feeling physically at the moment? Obviously you have an off-season. It’s an unusual schedule in a way that you finish your long year, have a break, then suddenly you have one of the biggest events of the year straightaway.
KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah, feeling pretty good. I had a good off-season. I rest a lot before I do the training session. Had a good off-season, you know. Good training, good practicing. I thought I, you know, started well this year.

So, yeah, it’s going to be really important how I do here to get a lot of confidence for start of the season. Yeah, feeling pretty good after I hurt in Brisbane in the final, but I feeling pretty good.

Q. You’ve obviously been a top-10 player now for quite a long time. What do you think you’re still capable of doing in this sport?
KEI NISHIKORI: Well, yeah, it’s been three years now maybe to be in top 10. Well, I got really mentally strong. I think I’m more consistent and much more mature for everything, you know, even off the court, on the court too.

Yeah, everything is getting better now.

Q. Do you think you can win one of these tournaments? You reached a Grand Slam final. From what you’ve seen of your level, and everybody else’s level, do you think you can win a Grand Slam?
KEI NISHIKORI: Well, yeah, that’s what I believe in myself. I hope I can get a Grand Slam title sometimes. But I haven’t get big title yet, even the Masters tournaments. That’s something what I need for my confidence and experience.

Yeah, my goal this year is to win a big tournament.

 

 

Milos Raonic

Milos Raonic

Q. Why did you change your coach to Krajicek?
MILOS RAONIC: It was just a timing of how things went. I feel like for me to make the steps I want, especially forward, specifically with that focus, you have these two guys that move very well laterally. I don’t think I’m ever going to be the best guy from the baseline by any means, especially not against them. If I’m going to take it to them, it’s by coming forward. So I wanted to improve in that aspect.

Q. Why did you add Richard Krajicek to your staff?
MILOS RAONIC: That’s the same exact question.

No, it’s really to help me be more efficient going forward. I believe you have these two guys that are phenomenal right now at the top of the game covering the baseline. It’s really hard to get by them, especially with the way they move. I can’t expect to move like they do. I think I’ve got to be at least 20, 25 pounds heavier than them. It’s going to be about moving forward.

I think Richard could really help me in being more aggressive, more forward orientated, and more efficient when I’m able to get myself coming in.

Q. With regard to that, a year ago here you seemed to be doing a lot of that. You were going to the net a lot this time last year. You got to the semifinals. You were one set away from the final here. Do you think you need to be up there even more? Does Richard think you need to be up there?
MILOS RAONIC: I wouldn’t say even more. I think it’s about the consistency of it. When I was here last year, I was very efficient at coming forward. I did a lot of things well.

It could be because of the sort of injury. After that I didn’t have really the capacity to train properly. It sort of drifted away. It had come time to March in Indian Wells, Miami, I wasn’t coming in as much. Obviously on clay, it’s its own situation. Wimbledon and through the grass, obviously the situation did help me come forward more. But then through the rest of the summer and fall, I didn’t do it that much.

With those lapses of consistency, it’s really hard to make the true progress. So that goal is to some days it’s going to be more efficient than others. But if I’m able to put myself in that situation more consistently, I will continue to improve.

Q. Is it something that comes naturally to you psychologically, or do you have to actually remind yourself?
MILOS RAONIC: It depends on what the scenarios are. Sometimes against guys that are lower ranked, I can get away with staying further back. Sometimes I’m not disciplined enough, or attention focused on that specific thing in those situations.

Then obviously, you don’t want to be arriving to a quarterfinal or a semifinal in these big tournaments and expect yourself to be efficient coming forward. So it’s about obtaining that perspective, that command within myself to do it from the beginning of the tournament, so that when it does get to later stages where it’s not very optional, it’s something I need to do if I want to give myself the best opportunity to win. It’s been already tried, tested and true by then.

Q. How do you feel game-wise coming into the tournament after the few matches you had since the start of the tournament?
MILOS RAONIC: I feel good. Obviously this year is a lot different than last year. Last year the first matches of the year were the most important to me because I didn’t play at the end of 2015. So I really needed to get an understanding of where I was at. Right now I have a much better understanding of where I’m at, and now it’s really about I know what I can get out of myself. It’s more important to be mentally prepared, sort of grit my way through and get that out of myself. Some days I’ll be successful, some days not. But if I’m mental able to really be on top of myself, I’ll give myself a chance to win, and hopefully progress throughout the tournament.

Q. You are world No. 3 right now. Could you catch up Novak and Andy? Do you have confidence?
MILOS RAONIC: I definitely do have that confidence. But it’s going to take some time. They’re significantly ahead of anybody as far as points go and as far as results over the past 12 months.

Q. Have you changed anything in your preparation physically to try to get rid of the injuries you got last year?
MILOS RAONIC: We focus on different things. I think sort of the hours spent on court, we did that a little bit less in the off-season. Most of my injuries do tend to be in the lower half of my body. There was two focuses. Obviously spending less time pounding my lower body on concrete. Spent more time in the gym, sort of changed around that ratio a little bit.

Obviously the off-season was as long as previous years as well. Then focused on losing a little bit of weight, refocusing on that. Something that can help me throughout the year. Obviously those hours spent with a few extra pounds here and there can make a difference.

Q. What are your experiences with Krajicek?
MILOS RAONIC: They’ve been very positive. We spent somewhere close to I believe now eight to ten days together. We spent the last week of the off-season together. We spent Abu Dhabi together. It’s been very positive.

We’ve focused on a lot of things, especially obviously coming forward being the main thing. Last year there was a few things that I did well. There was two specific matches I was — two important matches I was able to get ahead a set and a break. I gave that away. We focused on in those situations I could take better care of my serve. Then we focused a little bit technically on cleaning things up at the net so I can be a little bit more efficient, where I position myself, how I cover the net, so forth.

Q. Is he now your head coach or is there no difference between the two coaches?
MILOS RAONIC: Virtually there’s really no difference. Richard is going to be doing mostly tournaments with me, where he’s going to help me getting the best out of myself. Ricardo is more doing the weeks when I sort of go home, do the training weeks, these kind of things.

I think both of them have equally as important a role as the other.

Q. You mentioned you focused on when you’re a set and a break ahead, that kind of situation that you had with Andy.
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, there were two situations. There was the situation in Queen’s and obviously in the semifinals there.

You can’t really put yourself in that situation through practice. You got to deal with those situations. There was attention put into what do I need to do differently or what can I expect in those scenarios that I look for.

I believe obviously the situation in Queen’s was quite different from the one in the O2 because the one in Queen’s, it came down to one or two points, whereas in the O2 it was 4-4, I had mistakes, I believe. It’s how to manage those situations, being a little bit more aware of them.

Q. What is the conclusion?
MILOS RAONIC: The conclusion is sometimes I have to take more time. Sometimes I’d veer off what I was doing to get myself to that point. It’s being more disciplined, remembering those things, sort of sticking to that, no hocus-pocus.

Q. I can’t imagine anything worse than trying to lose weight over Christmas personally.
MILOS RAONIC: Thanksgiving, as well. That wasn’t easy (smiling).

No, it’s something that actually I started preparing for all the way in September, after the disappointment at the US Open, just being aware of that. I knew I can’t really expect too much from myself, especially changing habits while I’m playing.

The grunt part of it, the main focus of it was done in those three, four weeks that I had.

Q. Did you change your diet completely?
MILOS RAONIC: To some extent, you know. I think it’s more before I have what I can and cannot eat, then just manage it. Now it’s I have what I should eat and how much of it I should eat.

 

Garbine Muguruza

GARBINE MUGURUZA

Q. I was watching the tournament in Brisbane, watching some of your matches there. You seemed super motivated. You seemed really excited to be back out on the court. Do you feel a little bit different this year, maybe refreshed from the off-season and so forth?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: I don’t feel very different. I think it’s just like the continuation, I don’t know if it makes sense, of the last year.

I know it’s a new start. Like you said, I’m very motivated. I think I’m in a great position to be, and looking forward to play, try to find my best level, hopefully more weeks.

Yeah, that brings me a lot of motivation.

Q. Have you done anything different in your off-season this time compared to previous years?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: Not really something different. I think I did a good preparation with my team. We focus a lot my kind of weak parts of the body, just to not get injured, or to be more days more prepared for the matches.

I spend a lot of time on the court. But I think it’s part of the pre-season, you know, schedule.

Q. Since Brisbane, what have you been up to in terms of trying to get your body as fit as possible for the tournament?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: Well, when I stop Brisbane, I just rest actually for a lot of days. Like rest, did nothing, no tennis, no fitness. I just trying to recover with my physio until I arrived here, and I started playing again. You know, just refreshing my body from those difficult matches to try to be here 100%.

Q. How have things been feeling for you on court physically and rhythm-wise?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: I think good. I had enough off days to prepare. I think it took me long than I thought to recover from those matches.

But, yeah, I feel good. I’ve been training here for the past three days. Yeah, I feel ready.

Q. I imagine this tournament has some pretty fond memories for you. It’s probably the first time I really became aware of your potential, the matches you had here two or three years ago. What is it like to play here compared to the other slams for you?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: Well, I remember this was the first Grand Slam — was it first one? Was not the first one that I played the main draw, but was the first one that I win a match in the main draw. I was very happy. So it brings me a lot of memories, you know, getting into more level matches. I remember playing on Rod Laver and Hisense. Like you said, very good matches that make me more, you know, self-confidence.

I think I always play well here, so I’m very happy to be back. It’s one of our favorite tournaments, Australian Open. They improve a lot of things every year, which is amazing for us. My manager still remember the first match he saw me here. It was 14-12 the third set, so is funny (smiling).

Q. Every slam offers different challenges, like specific things to the US Open or the French or Wimbledon that make it difficult. At the Australian Open, what are the particular challenges of playing this tournament and trying to win it?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: I usually fight with the heat. I mean, I think not only me, everybody fights against the heat. Sometimes is very tough. I know when you play in the beautiful center courts, there’s air-conditioning. But we all started in the outside courts, you know, where you have to fight. It’s 40 degrees. You’re exhausted.

So I think that’s the most harder. But I think there’s a lot of good things here. I think I feel when I come to Australia there is like a tennis month. It’s like crazy. I’m okay, tennis month. I put the TV, everybody is watching tennis. The fans, they’re so involved in this month because of the tennis.

Q. I remember a match you played at the US Open against Johanna Konta a couple years ago. She won that match. It was incredible. She’s gone on from there to be a top-10 player. She just won in Sydney. Is that a surprise to you, that she’s managed to go from the player that beat you that day? Did you expect her to be as high as she is right now?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: Well, before we played that match, I knew her before. She used to train sometimes in Spain. I remember that match. It was like five-hours match. It’s true that since that year, kind of, she went very like this, up.

I think she’s just a very good player, and she’s showing it. I mean, everybody takes their moment and their timing to start climbing. But she’s definitely showing a lot of consistency since last year. She’s improving, improving. I saw little bit in Sydney.

So, yeah, she’s playing great.

Q. When you think back to those early days when you would play here at this tournament on the outside courts, nobody knew who you were, your manager is walking around outside taking a look, how different was it to play a first-round match when you were a little bit less known, a little bit more anonymous, compared to what is the feeling like nowadays as a top player playing the first match as a Grand Slam? Mentally and emotionally, how different is that?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: Is different but is not that far away. Okay, like, five years ago I came here, I’m like, I’m in Australia. It’s a Grand Slam. I walking through the rooms and I see all these top-10 people. Amazing, I follow them and stuff. You are so nervous, so nervous.

But now you come and you’re so nervous, too, for different reasons. Is a very important tournament, you work so hard to go out there and play good and perform well. It’s different, but at the same time emotionally it takes a lot of energy.

 

 

 

Nick Kyrgios

Nick Kyrgios

Q. The knee update, please?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, it’s feeling really good. I’ve done four or five treatments on it. Got one more tomorrow. Yeah, it’s feeling a lot better since I last competed, which was in Perth. So I’ve had massive improvements in my knee.

Q. And the treatment is?
NICK KYRGIOS: Just putting, like, patches on my knee. It’s another way to insert some cortisone in my knee.

Q. Happy about the Hisense situation?
NICK KYRGIOS: Definitely. I think Hisense is one of my favorite courts, if not my favorite. I feel confident on that court. I love the way it looks. I like the dimensions of it. It’s a great serving court. Yeah, I like playing there.

Q. When you played the Fast4 just a few days after Perth, you looked pretty good. Were you feeling pain-free?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, a couple, two days. I think I played four days after. Yeah, I had a couple treatments. I had to test it out there. If I wasn’t able to play Fast4, I probably wasn’t going to look good to play a best of five match. I had to test it out there. It was still giving me some pain, but definitely feeling some improvement already.

Q. How do you feel about your draw?
NICK KYRGIOS: I think it’s very good. Obviously you get rewarded with a good draw the higher your seeding is. I played well last year. Got my ranking to top 30 in the world. I’ve been awarded with a pretty good draw.

Saying that, Elias can play some pretty high-level tennis. Everyone in the draw can, can beat anyone on the day. I got to go out there and not expect to win the match. I got to go out there and just play and we’ll see how it goes.

Q. What are your expectations, Nick, coming in here, given obviously you haven’t played a regular tour event for a while, and the knee? Where are you setting the bar?
NICK KYRGIOS: You know, I’m never been a player to play many tournaments before a Grand Slam. I like to come in pretty fresh. So my expectations are high. I still feel like I can do some major damage and get to the second week and really cause some upsets, so…

My expectations are still pretty high.

Q. Do you get a sense from the Australian public, there’s been some rocky moments lately, do you get a sense that everyone is behind you and wants to see you play to your full potential?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah. I thought in Perth everyone was behind me. In the Fast4, as well. I think it would be silly not to. We got two players in the top 30 that can do really well and go deep in the draw. We got a lot of guys in the draw that can do well, younger guys. Jordan Thompson is playing well now. It’s exciting. It’s an exciting time for Australian tennis. Yeah, I think everyone should just get behind everyone because we all can play well.

Q. Did you do much different in the off-season this year compared to previous years?
NICK KYRGIOS: I had a bit more of a schedule this year. I had a strength conditioner. We’ve been working pretty hard. Yeah, I guess it was a couple weeks where I didn’t have him this year. I kind of did my own thing. I think that’s how my knee started flaring up a little bit. Live and learn, hopefully next year I’ll get it right.

Q. Do you feel a different player than last year when you sat in that chair?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah. I feel like last year I was an established top-hundred player. I hadn’t beat top guys on a consistent basis. I feel like now I know what I can do on the court. Last year I was pretty consistent throughout the year. Won three titles. Got to 13. I feel more comfortable on the court. I know what my game is, I know how to play it. I know I can beat anyone on the day.

 

Bernard Tomic

Bernard Tomic

Q. How would you sum up your preparations?
BERNARD TOMIC: Pretty good. I was practicing very well. And, yeah, I got a bunch of exhibitions in, so it was important for me get matches regardless of win/loss.

I’m feeling pretty confident. I play a tough player first round here, so it’s going to be a tough match. He’s not easy to play for me, so I have to get ready for this match with all my effort.

Q. You expect he’ll make you work pretty hard? Is that the way he goes about it?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, he’s very intense. He’s beaten a lot of top players. I think he’s reached almost top 20 in the world, won multiple titles. For me he’s a top 10, 15 player on clay. It’s going to be tough.

His ranking now is 60, 70. He’s one of those players, where he’s playing well, he’s not an easy player to play.

I have to come into this match 100% from the first point. That’s going to be very important for me, you know.

Q. What do you make of your draw more generally?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I saw the first two matches potentially. It’s tough. Everybody in the first round can play. I don’t look any more further ahead. The times I’ve looked further ahead, I’ve sort of lost. I think you have to respect everyone. Everybody can beat everybody here. It’s a Grand Slam. Everyone is playing to win, playing for themselves at the best level. They’ve prepared at their best.

For me this first round is important. After that I’ll see who I play, but I really don’t care.

Q. It’s going to be hot, Monday and Tuesday.
BERNARD TOMIC: It’s not going to be easy. I just have to deal with it. It’s going to be the same for everybody on that day. Tuesday is going to be tough. I have to be hydrated, ready. We’ve seen many times here at the Open where people are not physically ready, have to withdraw. It gets sometimes out of hand sometimes with the heat. It’s something you have to play, not just the opponent, but the heat. I guess I have to be ready for this.

Q. There’s been a lot spoken about your fitness. Where would you rank it out of 10?
BERNARD TOMIC: I think honestly, if I can say there are 50 people fitter than me outside of the top 70 to 150 in the world. There are some players not as fit as me inside the top 10, 15 in the world.

Will fitness help them? I don’t think so. I feel obviously the big servers, Isner, Raonic, Kyrgios, Karlovic are there. I don’t think fitness can help them. Fitness has got me… I’ve based my sport, what I’ve got in my career, with my serve, my ability to play tennis.

I think there are many fitter players than me that are outside the top 100 in the world. I think we can skip this question.

Q. Has your weight stabilized?
BERNARD TOMIC: I’m not going to answer that.

Q. How would you describe your sort of hunger or desperation for bigger and better things this year, at this tournament, and in 2017 generally? How high of goals do you set for yourself, what is success, what is failure?
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, top 10 is my goal. Top 20, because my goal two years ago, a year and a half ago. I achieved that from being 130 in the world prior to two surgeries from that. Now my goal is to get to top 10 and stay there many years. You have to work for this. It’s not going to happen overnight.

I think my year last year was pretty solid. I didn’t play many tournaments. I think I pulled out of two Masters Series. I think I only play two Masters Series out of the nine. My ranking ended 26 at the end of the year, from a start of 17, 18. I think I did reasonably well last year compared to the tournaments I missed.

Yeah, this year I have to play all the Masters Series and try to do well at them. I’m looking forward to this year.

Q. Are there big steps between you and the top 10 or are you already doing everything right?
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, I think there are a lot of good players in the top 20, top 30 that are top-10 players. You got to get there. You got to earn it. Whether it comes like that or in four, five years, you know, you obviously are going to get your chance. If you’re consistent, you work hard, do the right things, you have a big chance at this.

There are, like I said, many, many players from top 20, 30 in the world that are amazing tennis players, potentially play better than some of the guys in the top 10. But it’s a different game. You have to be more consistent, you have to work for this. It takes a year. It doesn’t take three tournaments.

Q. You’ve been pretty consistent here throughout the years. Is that because it’s at home, the time of year? How do you explain that?
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, I think this is my ninth Australian Open. I’m 24, just turned. This is my ninth Australian Open. It’s crazy to think how long it’s been. I obviously played my first match year at 16, where I think I won the youngest match. It’s gone pretty quickly. I always played well. Always made a lot of third rounds, fourth rounds. I’d like to go a step further, play better.

But, yeah, it’s obviously a tough draw. It’s going to be tough. I think I’ve got to use the moment, use the crowd. Obviously the fans get behind me, I’m sure they will. They always get behind our Australian players and support them to their limits. I think that’s what makes us play really good in Australia.

Q. When you say you’re not looking at the wins and losses, other people are saying it’s not great preparation. What make you more confident, what makes you shrug this off?
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, yeah, I think I chose to play a few different events as opposed to playing Sydney like I played in the past four, five years. So I feel like, yeah, Brisbane I lost to a former world No. 3. It was a tough match. I take a lot from it. I went down to Sydney, played the exhibition. Same as Kooyong. Different sort of matches, I was working on a few things. I don’t really rate these matches as winning or losing, Sydney and Kooyong. That’s not important to me. What’s important for me is to get out on the court, do my thing and work on a few things I needed to do. And just to be ready mentally for the Open. I played very good in my past here where I haven’t been prepared for tournaments. Sometimes it happens just like that. Sometimes I prepared well and not been as ready.

But that’s tennis. Players work hard, try their ass off, sometimes you lose. Sometimes you’re less prepared, and you do well.

Q. You’re looking forward to the fans getting behind you? To 10,000 Aussies. Be put out on Hisense?
BERNARD TOMIC: I think Hisense is an amazing court. It’s huge. The atmosphere builds there. Everybody is behind everybody. It’s a good court.

Regardless of where I play, I think I’m going to have huge support. It’s an amazing feeling to see people supporting in a Grand Slam the Australian players. It’s very motivating. I hope the fans can all support us.

 

Belinda Bencic

Belinda Bencic

Q. How did you find out about your first-round opponent? What was your reaction?
BELINDA BENCIC: Twitter (smiling). My Twitter was blowing up. I was like, What’s going on? That’s when I saw it.

My first reaction was actually, like, really happy. So I think I’m super pumped, like excited I get to play on the big court, I guess.

Yeah, like everyone is like, Oh, bad luck with the draw. Me, I’m, like, pretty happy and excited about it.

Q. Why do you think it’s not bad luck?
BELINDA BENCIC: Well, I think we’re going to play on the big court. It’s a big match, playing against Serena Williams. It’s what everyone’s working for. To play Australian Open, of course like first round, but that’s how it is. I’m just pumped about it, yeah.

Q. What are your memories of that match at the Rogers Cup against her?
BELINDA BENCIC: Memories, like, they never go away. They’re always there. The best ones, for sure.

I still remember, like, the last game, like every point, everything. It was, for sure, my biggest win until now.

I hope I can take this memory and put it to positive energy to be, like, super confident on the court, and play good.

Q. Do you remember thinking after that match or when you talked to your father, whoever, about what exactly you thought you did well in that match to get that win?
BELINDA BENCIC: Yes, I think I did very well that I always, you know, even though she killed me the first set, I always stayed there, putting the balls back, playing, trying the best. I always was there.

At some point she also got a little bit, like, down in the match. That’s where I kind of could take the overhand and get to the third set, yeah.

Q. It seems as though you’ve had a tough time in the last year or so physically. How do you feel right now? If we were to look at 100%, where are you right now?
BELINDA BENCIC: Yeah, exactly, last year was very tough. I got one injury, then it was a circle into the next one. I just didn’t stop. I was really happy about it. I came back, didn’t play very good.

Now I think I’m really motivated to play, first of all. I’m so happy to be here.

Physically I have nothing that bothers me, except this thing in Sydney. No, I think I’m pretty close to 100%.

Q. People see you as a dangerous floater, somebody who can cause trouble. Do you feel yourself that way? Do you feel like somebody that Serena should be not afraid of, but somebody that can possibly make some noise here?
BELINDA BENCIC: Yeah, of course I want to see myself that way. I think I had good result when I was playing. Of course I was injured. It was not that great. But first of all, every first-round opponent is a dangerous floater, so you have to be careful with everyone.

But, I mean, we played each other two times already. We both know what to expect now. I think it will be, for sure, a good match, yeah.

Q. How is the toe?
BELINDA BENCIC: It’s good. It fell off (laughter). If you want to see a video or something.

No, no, it’s okay. The physio take good care of me, they tape it for the match, for the practices. When I stop, it’s not that bad. I made a hole into my shoe, so I don’t put it like this.

But it’s a common tennis injury. It’s the first time I had.

Q. Can you talk through your pre-season a little bit. Where did you do it? What was the main priority, especially given your last season? What was the main thing you were working on?
BELINDA BENCIC: Yeah, I practice in Florida, at Evert Academy. We flew straightaway to Perth. I think the main priority was for sure to stay healthy. I didn’t practice that much like I’m used to. I didn’t work that much on fitness, that much on tennis. My priority was to stay healthy, to always feel good on the court.

I think we did pretty well. Then I had a great first tournament in Perth, so that help me a lot to get the matches again. It was amazing. Put me in a positive mood from the first tournament in the year.

Q. Do you remember what sort of game plan it was that worked against Serena last time? Are you already thinking, I know it worked, I can do that again?
BELINDA BENCIC: Yeah, for sure I remember. I’m going to try to do that again. I’m not going to tell you now what exactly because then she will know (smiling).

Q. Quick turnaround from Sydney over to here. How are you feeling with all of the matches in your body through the first two weeks of the season?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, to be honest, I feel very good. I think much better than in China after the first couple matches. Of course, losing the match rhythm, your body not used to the matches last two months…

I feel good. Of course, losing finals always disappointing. But still a good week. Couple great matches against top players. So hoping I can play the same good tennis here in Melbourne.

Q. Your opponent in round one is a former world No. 31. She actually beat you in your last meeting in the French Open. What was your reaction when you saw she was your first-round opponent?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yes, well, it’s a tough draw for sure. We played so many times. Obviously in Paris the last time, but we had a lot of good three-set matches I think on every surface.

Well, the draw is the draw. We’ll see after the match.

Q. Your performance in Sydney, you said yourself you couldn’t have played any better. You must be pretty confident heading in.
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yeah, I’m very confident. I really hope I can play the same tennis, even the tennis I played in the final.

Well, of course, every tournament is different story. Especially in the tough first round. Well, I still have two days to practice here, adjust to surface and conditions. We’ll see.

Q. Pironkova can be a tricky opponent. Does it help you kind of having the string of wins and the matches? It’s almost like you’re mid tournament form instead of going in completely cold.
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yeah, for sure, tournament like Sydney is helping a lot. Playing pretty much two, three days later against a good player for sure is better than playing as a first match.

So, like you said, Pironkova is a very tricky opponent. I’m expecting everything from her side. For sure it’s going to be a lot of running. I’m going to really have to work on each point.

Q. Have you had a chance to hit on these courts yet?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Not yet. I just arrived like two hours ago.

Q. With the heat in Sydney, it was a hot week there, how does that make you feel heading into the tournament? Does that make you feel more confident with the conditions?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, I was the lucky one playing in the evenings. But it was still very humid and hot. But, yes, well, that was for sure a very good warmup before here. I know it’s going to be hot as well here next week.

We’ll see the schedule. Of course, playing second or third match isn’t going to be easy.

Q. Most people talk about your chances of winning Wimbledon, but you’ve had good success here in the past, semifinals last year. What helps you in your game here at Melbourne Park? What has been the challenge of making the final here?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, every Grand Slam is different. We can see even different top seeds, different opponents.

What is helping? I really feel good on this center court. I like to play here. I like Australia. I’ve been always playing good tennis here. Two semis. Of course, that’s always very close till the end. Hopefully I can do one step forward and play seven matches here.

Q. Does Kerber and everything she did last year play on your mind at all in terms of being a player of that generation, being able to have that very unexpected breakthrough? Do you think of that at all? Is it a separate thing?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, I think this is big inspiration for everyone. Winning two Grand Slams the same year, other couple big finals. That’s for sure something amazing. She really played unbelievable tennis whole season. She just proved that she can do it. I mean, two Grand Slams just from pretty much nowhere.

But, well, I think in moments that’s going to happen. I think she just proved that last year, that she can really play great tennis, beating even Serena in the final.

 

Karolina Pliskova

Q. You had the week off. How are you feeling after Brisbane? How is the body feeling fitness-wise and all that?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I took just two days off, then I’ve been practicing here since Tuesday. Even yesterday. I had three days off.

But I’ve been feeling good so far. Yeah, I was even ready for Monday start, but will be ready even for Tuesday.

Q. How are the courts playing for you?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I was practicing few times on the outside courts, which I think is pretty fast. Obviously the bigger courts are not that fast, I would say, but still fast.

I like it. So let’s see.

Q. Has your life changed very much in the Czech Republic after being in the US Open final?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Not much. It was already kind of before the same. When we won the Fed Cup final, then it changed, I would say. I don’t know how many people are following this tournament in Czech. But Fed Cup is just the biggest thing in Czech.

So little bit, and now it’s still about the same, so… It’s not that bad, but like people recognize me a little bit.

Q. Do you mind that? Do you care that people recognize you?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I don’t need this, to be honest, no. I’m fine with that. I just know it. It cannot get any other way than this. But I don’t need it, definitely not (smiling).

Q. Has your preparation for Grand Slams changed over the years or is it pretty much the same preparing for the Open, as it was in New York, other slams before that?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I would say this week is similar to New York actually with the playing. I won Cincinnati, then I would withdraw from New Haven. I’m trying to be 100% ready, even if I feel something a little bit after that week in Brisbane. If you’re playing well, have a lot of matches, I don’t see any reason to play another tournament which is ending Saturday, then you would have to still play on Monday, which I think it’s tough, especially in these conditions here in Australia.

That’s what I did in New York, as well. So I just did it here.

I don’t know if it’s going to worked. But I just want to leave everything in this tournament, in this Grand Slam. For me the main goals are Grand Slams. So I want to be ready for it.

Q. Which Grand Slam do you think you have the best chance to win?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Well, I should now say US Open because I was in the final there. But, yeah, I think I have chance little bit everywhere. It’s smallest I would say obviously the clay, French Open.

Q. Do you consider yourself as one of the favorites to win this year, after winning Brisbane and playing so well over there?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I would definitely not take me as a favorite of this tournament. It’s a big draw. There is a lot of players. I just take it step by step.

I just know my opponent from the first round. I want to pass this one. Then we can talk about the next one.

There is still I think many more players better than me. I guess everyone is in shape and everyone is excited to play this Grand Slam. It’s the first Grand Slam of the year. Everyone was working hard in the off-season, so it’s tough to say. We will just see after few rounds here.

Q. You just got a new coach. What do you want from a coach?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I just want him to believe in me and just to prepare me for the tournament which I want to play the best tennis, which are all the Grand Slams, like I said. Just to be ready and give me the advices which I need, just to know little bit about me, my game. I want him to go the way where I want to go. We both decided we definitely want to play aggressive tennis. He’s just pushing me this way, to be better player than I am now.

Q. What do you like from on-court coaching? How can he help?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: So far with my new coach I did it just once in Brisbane. Was not that needed there. So let’s see in the next tournaments.

But, yeah, it’s more about maybe tactics, what to play. Obviously you call coach when you are losing, it’s about the same. He sees it definitely different from the place where he’s sitting than me on the court. Maybe he can just give me few advices, what to play, what not to play, where she’s better or not. Also little bit to motivate.

You have one minute. You cannot say much.

Q. What’s the primary memory you have when you won the junior title here?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: It’s seven years now, so… I still remember, of course I do. But, yeah, it was my first Grand Slam what I’ve played. So obviously the final, what I was playing on Rod Laver, it was huge for me. I was small and scared, and then I won. So was a big thing, first big result what I ever had.

Q. What do you make the vibe of the Melbourne? You did so well at the US Open. That’s a tournament that’s very New York. It’s crowded, loud, hot, traffic. Melbourne is very different from that. Does this environment suit you during your off time?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I would say this is little bit better place for me than New York. But I don’t want to compare. Every city is different. Here you have time. Doesn’t take you one hour to get to the hotel, which is nice. Even the weather I would say it’s quite similar. Can be colder. Can be also more hot here.

Yeah, every Grand Slam is different. I think this can be the place where I can play my best tennis as well, because the courts suit me. The weather as well, the balls as well. Why not here?

Share

Singles Draws Made at Australian Open

 

(January 13, 2017) Friday saw the singles draws made for the first major tournament of the tennis year, the Australian Open in Melbourne.

Top men’s seed Andy Murray will open his campaign to try and win his first major down under against Ukrainian Illya Marchenko. Second seed, defending champion and six-time winner Novak Djokovic faces a tricky opponent in Fernando Verdasco. The Serb beat the Spaniard in Doha last week, saving five match points. Verdasco upset Rafael Nadal in the first round of last year’s Australian Open.

Third seed Milos Raonic will play German Dustin Brown, while fourth seed Stan Wawrinka faces Slovakian Martin Klizan.

Men’s Singles Draw

Potential round of 16:

Andy Murray-Lucas Pouille

Tomas Berdych- Kei Nishikori

Stan Wawrinka-Nick Kyrgios

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga- Marin Cilic

Gael Monfils- Rafael Nadal

Roberto Bautista Agut – Milos Raonic

Dominic Thiem- David Goffin

Grigor Dimitrov- Novak Djokovic

Roger Federer, the 17th seed could meet Tomas Berdych in the third round.

 

t-align:left;”>Embed from Getty Images

In the women’s draw, top seed and defending Angelique Kerber drew Ukraine’s  Lesia Tsurenko, to open her title defense. Serena Williams, the No. 2 seed and six -time Australian Open champion, who is seeking her 23rd major, faces a challenge from former Top Ten player Belinda Bencic of Switzerland.

Third seed  Agnieszka Radwanska plays Tsvetana Pironkova, who upset her at last year’s French Open. Fourth seed Simona Halep of Romania, matches up against American Shelby Rogers.

Women’s Singles Draw 

Potential round of 16:

Angelique Kerber- Roberto Vinci

Carla Suarez Navarro-Garbine Muguruza

Simona Halep-Venus Williams

Elina Svitolina- Svetlana Kuznetsova

Karolina Pliskova-Timea Bacsinszky

Elina Vesnina- Aga Radwanska

Dominika Cibulkova-Johanna Konta

Barbora Strycova-Serena Williams

Share

Federer, Del Potro, Bryans and Others Win 2016 ATP World Tour Awards

 awards%20main%202016%201920x10802

ATP WORLD TOUR, LONDON – Roger Federer, Juan Martin del Potro and Bob and Mike Bryan have been honoured in the 2016 ATP World Tour Awards presented by Moët & Chandon. While the ATP World Tour No. 1 presented by Emirates award is still to be decided in singles between Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic and in doubles between Pierre-Hugues Herbert/Nicolas Mahut and Jamie Murray/Bruno Soares, the other award winners have been announced today.

Federer has been selected by fellow players as winner of the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award for a 12th time and by fans as the ATPWorldTour.com Fans’ Favourite presented by Moët & Chandon for a 14th straight year. Since 2003, Federer has won a record total of 33 ATP World Tour Awards.

The Bryan brothers also extend their reign in the doubles category for ATPWorldTour.com Fans’ Favourite presented by Moët & Chandon to a record 12th straight year.

Visit the official ATP World Tour Awards section on ATPWorldTour.com

Juan Martin del Potro reclaims honours in the player-voted Comeback Player of the Year category, joining Sergi Bruguera and Tommy Haas as the only individuals to win this award twice. Lucas Pouille has been voted as the Most Improved Player of the Year, edging fellow nominees Daniel Evans, Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev, the recipient of last year’s ATP Star of Tomorrow Award presented by Emirates. American Taylor Fritz, 19, succeeds Zverev in this category this season as the youngest player ranked in the Top 100 of the Emirates ATP Rankings.

Marin Cilic has been honoured with the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award for off-court philanthropy through his foundation, which supports educational projects and aspires to give young people improved access to education.

Magnus Norman, Stan Wawrinka’s coach, has been chosen by his peers as the winner of the first ATP Coach of the Year Award, which honours the coach who helped guide his player to a higher level of performance during the season.

The trophy ceremonies for the 2016 ATP World Tour Awards presented by Moët & Chandon will take place during the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals Official Launch on Thursday night.

Mike Dickson from the Daily Mail is the recipient of the Ron Bookman Media Excellence Award while the ATP Tournament of the Year awards will be announced in 2017.

2016 ATP World Tour Awards presented by Moët & Chandon

ATP World Tour No. 1 presented by Emirates
(determined by Emirates ATP Rankings)
Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic will battle for the year-end No. 1 Emirates ATP Ranking at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. Murray rose to the top spot for the first time on Monday after winning his tour-best eighth title of the season, becoming the 26th player in history to be ranked World No. 1. Djokovic has clinched this award four times and this week looks to win his eighth title of the season and sixth at the season finale.

ATP World Tour No. 1 Doubles Team presented by Emirates
(determined by Emirates ATP Doubles Team Rankings)
A new team will win this award, with Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert & Nicolas Mahut taking a slim lead over Jamie Murray & Bruno Soares into the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. Herbert & Mahut have won five titles this season, including Wimbledon and three ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles, while Murray & Soares claimed a pair of Grand Slam titles at the Australian Open and US Open.

ATP Star of Tomorrow Award presented by Emirates
(determined by Emirates ATP Rankings)
Taylor Fritz: This category in its fourth year, replacing the player-voted Newcomer of the Year, is awarded to the youngest player in the Top 100 of Emirates ATP Rankings as of 7 November. Fritz, who celebrated his 19th birthday at the end of the October, became the youngest ATP finalist since 2008 when he finished runner-up at the Memphis Open. The California native won 15 tour-level matches and reached a career-high No. 53 in the Emirates ATP Rankings in August. Two other contenders in this category, 18-year-old Frances Tiafoe and 20-year-old Jared Donaldson, finished behind their countryman at No. 102 and No. 108 in the Emirates ATP Rankings.

Comeback Player of the Year
(voted by ATP players)
Juan Martin del Potro: The 28-year-old Argentine was previously voted by his peers as the Comeback Player of the Year in 2011 following a successful return from right wrist surgery. He finished back in the Top 10 in 2013, only to be sidelined again – this time by a left wrist injury requiring multiple surgeries. Outside the Top 1000 of the Emirates ATP Rankings early in 2016, del Potro made his return in February with a semi-final effort at the Delray Beach Open and rose to No. 38 by November with a 30-match win effort. Among his season highlights, del Potro beat then-No. 1 Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal en route to a silver medal at the Rio Olympics, made the quarter-finals of the US Open and won his first tour-level title since 2014 at the If Stockholm Open, securing his return to the Top 50. Julien Benneteau, Ivo Karlovic and Florian Mayer were also nominated in this category.

Most Improved Player of the Year
(voted by ATP players)
Lucas Pouille: The 22-year-old Frenchman continued his steady improvement in his fifth professional season, climbing from a No. 91 Emirates ATP Ranking in February to a career-high No. 15 by the end of 2016. Pouille clinched his first ATP World Tour title in September at the Moselle Open, five months after reaching his first tour-level final at the BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy in Bucharest. In between, he reached consecutive Grand Slam quarter-finals at Wimbledon and the US Open and an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi-final at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. Pouille compiled a 34-22 match record, nearly tripling his match wins total from last season (12-14).

Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award
(voted by ATP players)
Roger Federer: Fellow players voted the Swiss as the winner of the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award for the 12th time and sixth year in a row. He also won the award six straight years from 2004-09. Andy Murray, 2010 winner Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka were also nominated in this category.

Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of the Year
(awarded by ATP)
Marin Cilic: The Croatian established the Marin Cilic Foundation this year. With a goal of supporting educational projects around the world, the foundation has a special emphasis on giving youth in Croatia improved access to school and university education. “The main focus is to try to help kids as much as we can,” Cilic said upon the Foundation’s formal launch in June. “I want to give something back and also give some opportunities for some people and some kids that don’t have as many possibilities to pursue their dreams.”

ATP Coach of the Year
(voted by ATP coaches)
Magnus Norman: Stan Wawrinka’s coach since 2013, the 40-year-old Swede won in this new category over fellow nominees Gunter Bresnik (Dominic Thiem), Ivan Lendl (Andy Murray), Emmanuel Planque (Lucas Pouille) and Mikael Tillstrom (Gael Monfils). Norman, a former World No. 2 and winner of 12 ATP World Tour titles, guided Wawrinka back to a No. 3 Emirates ATP Ranking and four titles, including his third Grand Slam title at the US Open.

ATPWorldTour.com Fans’ Favourite presented by Moët & Chandon (Singles)
(voted by fans)
Roger Federer: The 35-year-old Swiss has been voted ATPWorldTour.com Fans’ Favourite presented by Moët & Chandon for a record 14th straight year, receiving 56 per cent of all votes cast. Andy Murray finished second, followed by Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Kei Nishikori.

ATPWorldTour.com Fans’ Favourite presented by Moët & Chandon (Doubles)
(voted by fans)
Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan: The 38-year-old American twins received 25 per cent of votes to be named the ATPWorldTour.com Fans’ Favourite presented by Moët & Chandon for a record 12th time, edging Jamie Murray & Bruno Soares. Spaniards Feliciano Lopez & Marc Lopez, Frenchmen Pierre-Hugues Herbert & Nicolas Mahut and the Canadian-American duo of Vasek Pospisil & Jack Sock rounded out the top five.

Ron Bookman Media Excellence Award
(awarded by ATP)
Mike Dickson: Dickson has been a tennis correspondent for nearly two decades with the Daily Mail, which has the most visited newspaper website in the world. He has also covered golf, football, rowing and four Olympics Games, and served as the chief cricket writer for nine years. He came up to ‘Fleet Street’ via working as a general news reporter on local newspapers and local radio.

 

Share

Roger Federer To Miss the Rest of the 2016 Season with a Knee Injury

Federer at changeover-001

(July 26, 2016) Roger Federer announced on his website  and Facebook page that he has called it quits for the rest of 2016 due to a knee injury. The 17-time major champion will miss the Rio Olympic Games which would have been his fifth Olympic games.

Since a knee injury after the Australian Open which forced him to have surgery, Federer withdrew from the French Open, the first time he has missed a major since 1999. The soon-to-be thirty-five-year-old Federer played Wimbledon where he lost in the semifinals.

He will also miss the US Open for the first time since 1999. Federer is a five-time US Open champion.

Last week the Swiss announced that he would be playing Hopman  Cup in January.

This is the announcement from his website:

 

End of 2016 season

26.07.2016 | Tennis

Dear Fans,

 

I’m extremely disappointed to announce that I will not be able to represent Switzerland at the Olympic Games in Rio and that I will also miss the remainder of the season. Considering all options after consulting with my doctors and my team, I have made the very difficult decision to call an end to my 2016 season as I need more extensive rehabilitation following my knee surgery earlier this year. The doctors advised that if I want to play on the ATP World Tour injury free for another few years, as I intend to do, I must give both my knee and body the proper time to fully recover. It is tough to miss the rest of the year. However, the silver lining is that this experience has made me realize how lucky I have been throughout my career with very few injuries. The love I have for tennis, the competition, tournaments and of course you, the fans remains intact. I am as motivated as ever and plan to put all my energy towards coming back strong, healthy and in shape to play attacking tennis in 2017.

 

Thanks for your continued support.

 

Roger

Share

Djokovic, Murray, Federer and Nadal Headline US Open Men’s Field

Novak Djokovic

NOVAK DJOKOVIC, ANDY MURRAY, ROGER FEDERER, RAFAEL NADAL

HEADLINE 2016 US OPEN MEN’S SINGLES FIELD

Field Features Five Former US Open Champions

and Includes the World’s Top 98 Men

From the USTA: White Plains, N.Y., July 20, 2016 – The USTA today announced that defending US Open champion and world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, world No. 2 and reigning Wimbledon champion Andy Murray, five-time US Open champion and world No. 3 Roger Federer, and two-time US Open champion and world No. 4 Rafael Nadal headline the men’s singles field for the 2016 US Open Tennis Championships. The field includes five former US Open singles champions, including Djokovic (2011, 2015), Murray (2012), Federer (2004-2008), Nadal (2010, 2013) and Marin Cilic (2014).

Each of the world’s top 98 men received direct entry into the US Open, representing 38 countries.

The 2016 US Open will be played Monday, August 29, through Sunday, September 11, at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. The US Open Men’s Singles Championship is presented by Mercedes-Benz.

Djokovic,who has reached the singles final in Flushing five out of the last six years, leads the men’s field as the world No. 1 and defending US Open champion. The Serbian won his 12th major championship at the French Open in June to complete the “Career Grand Slam,” and held all four major titles until Sam Querrey ended his 30-match win streak at Grand Slams in the third round at Wimbledon.

Murray, of Great Britain, won his third major and second Wimbledon title this month after finishing runner-up to Djokovic in this year’s Australian and French Open finals. Murray, the reigning Olympic Gold Medalist, defeated Djokovic in the 2012 US Open final to win his first Grand Slam championship.

Federer, of Switzerland, is the all-time leader with 17 major singles titles, and was bidding for his eighth Wimbledon title this summer before falling to Milos Raonic in the semifinals. Federer is competing for his sixth US Open title, which would surpass Pete Sampras and Jimmy Connors for the most US Open men’s singles titles in the Open Era.

Nadal, of Spain, is a 14-time Grand Slam champion who won his 69th career ATP World Tour title in Barcelona this April. He has not played competitively since withdrawing from the French Open in June with a wrist injury.

Also included in the men’s singles field are: No. 5 Stan Wawrinka, of Switzerland, the 2014 Australian Open and 2015 French Open champion; No. 6 Kei Nishikori, of Japan, a 2014 US Open finalist; No. 7 Milos Raonic, of Canada, who reached his first Grand Slam singles final at Wimbledon this month; No. 8 Tomas Berdych, of the Czech Republic, a former world No. 4 and 2016 Wimbledon semifinalist; No. 9 Dominic Thiem, the 22-year old Austrian talent; No. 10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, of France; No. 11 David Goffin, of Belgium; and No. 12 Marin Cilic, the 2014 US Open champion.

Canadian Vasek Pospisil, ranked No. 98, is the last man to receive direct entry into the field of 128. Six players used a protected ranking to gain entry, including Nos. 39 Julien Benneteau, of France, and Janko Tipsarevic, of Serbia, No. 56 Brian Baker, of the United States, No. 81 Thanasi Kokkinakis, of Australia, No. 89 Dmitry Tursunov, of Russia, and No. 94 Jerzy Janowicz, of Poland. Sixteen more players will gain entry through the US Open Qualifying Tournament, held August 23-26, while the eight remaining spots are wild cards awarded by the USTA.

American men who received direct entry are No. 16 John Isner, of Greensboro, N.C., No. 25 Steve Johnson, of Orange, Calif., No. 26 Jack Sock, of Lincoln, Neb., No. 29 Sam Querrey, of Las Vegas, No. 56 Brian Baker, of Nashville, Tenn., No. 57 Donald Young, of Atlanta, and No. 67 Taylor Fritz, of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.

Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro, the 2009 US Open champion, is entered as an alternate and would be making his first appearance at the US Open since 2013.

Among the players competing in the US Open Qualifying Tournament will be the winner of the seventh annual US Open National Playoffs – Men’s Championship, held during the Emirates Airline US Open Series’ Connecticut Open in New Haven, Conn., prior to the US Open Qualifying Tournament. The USTA created the US Open National Playoffs in 2010 to allow players 14 and older, regardless of playing ability or nationality, to vie for a spot in the US Open Qualifying Tournament via one of 15 sectional qualifying tournaments.

The July 18 edition of the Emirates ATP Rankings was used to determine the US Open main draw entry list. Seeds will be determined and announced closer to the start of the event.

The 2016 US Open will mark the culmination of the Emirates Airline US Open Series, the North American summer season of seven ATP World Tour and WTA events that began this week in Stanford, Calif.

The US Open is the highest-attended annual sporting event in the world. 2016 marks the second year of an 11-year partnership between the USTA and ESPN, which will see the US Open carried on the ESPN family of networks through 2025. During this year’s US Open, ESPN and ESPN2 will combine to air nearly 130 hours of live match play with more than 1,200 hours of first-to-last ball coverage to be seen on ESPN3 on WatchESPN, which will also be available via the US Open website – USOpen.org.  In the continued expansion of its US Open coverage, ESPN will feature play from up to 12 courts.

US Open tickets can be purchased: at USOpen.org; by calling Ticketmaster at 1-866-OPEN-TIX; and at all Ticketmaster outlets.

Share

Milos Raonic Rallies Past Roger Federer; Will Play Andy Murray for Wimbledon Title

Milos Raonic

Milos Raonic

(July 8, 2016) No. 6 Milos Raonic became the first Canadian to reach the Wimbledon final when he rallied past seven-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer 6-3, 6-7 (3), 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 in his semifinal on Friday.

Federer, who seemed to be in control of his service games in the fourth set, making headway into Raonic’s service games, but on the cusp of reaching a tiebreak, blew a 40-0 lead, hit toe double faults in a row, to be broken for the set and the momentum switched to Raonic, who never let it go.

“This one clearly hurts, because I felt I could have had it. So close,” said Federer. “It was really so, so close.”

Federer fell flat on his face, literally and figuratively in the fifth set and Raonic sprinted to a 4-1 lead and never looked back.

“I was able to finish,” Federer said, commenting about the fall. “But I don’t slip a lot. I don’t ever fall down. It was a different fall for me than I’ve ever had.”

He admitted in press that after slipping on the grass that he did not feel the same afterwards.

As for the 25-year-old Raonic, he survives and advances. “I sort of persevered,” he said.  “I was sort of plugging away.”

Two years ago, The Swiss beat the Canadian in the semifinals.

“Two years ago, I bottled up all the difficulties I had on court and never got it out,” Raonic said. “I was quite more vocal and a lot more positive on court.”

“I was struggling through many parts of the match,” he continued. “He gave me a little opening towards the end of the fourth. I made the most of it.”

“You’re playing who Roger is today,” Raonic added, “not who he’s been the past few years.”

 

Raonic will be joined in the final by 2013 champion and second seed Andy Murray. The Scot reached his third Wimbledon final and third major final of the year easily passing 10th seed Tomas Berdych 6-3, 6-3, 6-3. This will be the 11th major final of Murray’s career.

It will be the first major final where he won’t face either Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer. Murray is 2-8 in major finals.

“Obviously, first time I’ll play a Slam final against someone that isn’t Roger or Novak. So, yeah, that’s different,” Murray said to media. “But you never know how anyone’s going to deal with the pressures of a Slam final. So just have to go out there and concentrate on my side. Do what I can to prepare well for it and see what happens.”

Share

Roger Federer Rallies From Two Sets Down To Reach 11th Wimbledon Semifinal

(July 6, 2016) Roger Federer kept his hopes alive of winning a record eighth Wimbledon title when he rallied from two sets down and saved three match points to beat ninth seed Marin Cilic 6-7(4), 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(9), 6-3 to reach the semifinals on Wednesday on Centre Court. It was a little revenge for the Swiss who was destroyed by Cilic in the 2014 U.S, Open semifinals.

“Well, a lot happened out there,” Federer said to the BBC about the tenth time in his career coming back from a two-set deficit. “I knew I was in so much trouble in the third, and then again in the fourth.”

“I’m really, really pleased and just ecstatic I was able to come through somehow.”
The win for the third seeded Federer marks the 11th time he’s reached the semifinals of the All-England Club, tying Jimmy Connors and he also claims a record 307th match victory at a major, passing Martina Navratilova at 306. He also equaled Jimmy Connors with number of match wins at Wimbledon at 84.

This will be the 17-time major champion’s 40th major semifinal.

“I fought. I tried. I believed, and in the end I got it done, and so it’s great on so many levels,” Federer said to media.

Federer will face No. 6 seed Milos Raonic in the final four. The Canadian stopped the run of 28th seed American Sam Querrey, who upset Novak Djokovic in the third round, 6-4, 7-5, 5-7, 6-4.
Also advancing to his second Wimbledon semifinal was No. 10 Tomas Berdych beating No. 32 Lucas Pouille 7-6(4), 6-3, 6-2.

2013 Wimbledon winner and No. 2 Andy Murray held off No. 12th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 (10), 6-1, 3-6, 4-6, 6-1 for the last spot in the final four on Centre Court.

Share

Roger Federer Ends Marcus Willis’ Run at Wimbledon

(June 29, 2016) British qualifier Marcus Willis had his Cinderella story come to an end when seven-time champion Roger Federer brought him down to earth 6-0, 6-3, 6-4 in the second round of Wimbledon on Wednesday. The tennis instructor ranked 772nd in the world reached the main draw through both a special pre-qualifying tournament for British players advancing into the regular qualifying tournament.

Willis had the crowd behind him on Centre Court with the roof closed at the All England Club. For Federer, a Wimbledon fan favorite, expected the crowd to support his opponent.

“I expected something like this, especially under the roof. He was going to have some supporters and they were going to have chants. I felt very well prepared. I enjoyed it.”

“It’s his moment. I wanted him to have a great time,” Federer said. “I’ll remember most of the Centre Court matches here at Wimbledon, but this one will stand out because it’s that special and probably not going to happen again for me to play against a guy 770 in the world. I enjoyed it as much as I possibly could.”

“I did look up twice as I bounced the ball, and saw Roger Federer, and thought, ‘Oh, haven’t seen this before,'” said the 25-year-old Brit who lives at home with his parents. “It was surreal.”
“It was all just a blur,” the left-handed Willis said after the match. “It was amazing. I did enjoy myself even though I was getting duffed up. I loved every bit of it. Not the duffing bit. I loved getting stuck in, fighting hard.”

“The whole experience was incredible.”

For Federer, it was his 81st match win at Wimbledon. He’s second all-time to Jimmy Connors with 84.

Top seed Novak Djokovic advanced earlier in the day which saw rain wash out 40 of the matches on the outer courts. Wimbledon is issuing refunds to many of the Wednesday patrons.

Djokovic won his 30th consecutive match at a major with his victory over France’s Adrian Mannarino 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(5).

 

Related article:

World No. 772 Marcus Willis Reaches Wimbledon Second Round and Will Face Roger Federer

Share