October 13, 2015

Top Two Seeds Halep and Kvitova Out of China Open

Halep 2182015-001

(October 4, 2015) Top seed Simona Halep of Romania retired from her match with a left Achilles injury while No. 2 seed Petra Kvitova lost to Sara Errani at the China Open on Sunday in Beijing.

No. 2 Halep retired against Spain’s Lara Arruabarrena at 4-5 in the first set. There were three other retirements in women’s matches on the day.

“I have pain in my Achilles,” the Romanian said. “It’s getting worse. I thought that it’s getting better and I can play. But no. I don’t want to force (it).

“It’s a tough injury because always is dangerous to continue with the tendon. So, yeah, I hope just to recover and to be healthy soon.” She had the same injury in 2011.

“My first thought is just to be healthy,” Halep said when asked about competing at the WTA Finals in Singapore. “Of course, every tournament is important. But the most important thing is to be okay, to feel no pain, and then I will see.

“I hope I can play in Singapore. Was my goal for this year. I will see. I need treatment and I need break, for sure.”

“I think all the players in the end of the year are a little bit tired. It’s tough to manage these situations,” she said.

“If you want to be in the top, you have to work hard and to be getting better year by year, you know, as soon as you can.”

No. 4 seed Agnieszka Radwanska moved on when Coco Vandeweghe retired after the first set.

“Well, I knew she retired last week,” Radwanska said. “But, you know, every week it’s different story, different tournament.

“I was prepared for whole match. We played couple times before that. So I knew what to do on court.

“But maybe still going on something with her health. I think we have to ask her.”

“I think this is the end of the year. Not everybody is fresh at the moment,” the Pole responding to a questions about the day’s retirements. “I think really that’s the main reason.

“Well, I think that’s what happen in Asia pretty much.”

Sara Errani of Italy had the upset of the day knocking out second-seeded Petra Kvitova 7-5, 6-4.

“I never beat her, so I know was a really tough match,” Errani. “Of course, she’s a really good player.”

and Sloane Stephens of the United States defeated ninth-seeded Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-2.

Errani said that the difference in the match was just a few points. “I just tried to stay there every point, solid, without too many mistakes. It’s my game.

“She hit the ball really strong, so I just tried to make her play one shot more.”

Kvitova who was a finalist at the China Open last year felt that she was not ready.

“Of course the loss is always disappointing,” Kvitova said. “I really wanted to win and kind of qualify for Singapore here. But I just wasn’t really able to.

“You know, it was kind of game which I really had to be ready physically and mentally and everything, and I just wasn’t.

“I just think it was kind of the case, I couldn’t really serve in the second set as well. I didn’t really help with anything. She (was) going for the chance. It was kind of difficult.”

“I’m kind of sleepy all day long. It’s just weird,” Kvitova said.

Singles – First Round

[Q] L. Arruabarrena (ESP) d [1] S. Halep (ROU) 54 Retired (Left ankle injury)
S. Errani (ITA) d [2] P. Kvitova (CZE) 75 64
[3] F. Pennetta (ITA) d [WC] X. Han (CHN) 75 46 64
[4] A. Radwanska (POL) d C. Vandeweghe (USA) 63 00 Retired (Left ankle injury)
[7] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) d L. Tsurenko (UKR) 63 00 Retired (Right elbow injury)
[8] C. Wozniacki (DEN) d [Q] B. Jovanovski (SRB) 62 64
S. Stephens (USA) d [9] K. Pliskova (CZE) 63 62
[16] E. Svitolina (UKR) d [Q] Y. Putintseva (KAZ) 75 62
[Q] B. Mattek-Sands (USA) d A. Cornet (FRA) 63 63
A. Van Uytvanck (BEL) d A. Schmiedlova (SVK) 62 64
[Q] I. Falconi (USA) d D. Gavrilova (RUS) 75 26 64
M. Barthel (GER) d [WC] S. Zhang (CHN) 63 62
[Q] K. Bondarenko (UKR) d B. Strycova (CZE) 63 62
D. Cibulkova (SVK) d J. Jankovic (SRB) 61 16 63
A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) d J. Goerges (GER) 62 64
[Q] M. Puig (PUR) d Z. Diyas (KAZ) 64 00 Retired (Left lower leg injury)
[Q] M. Duque-Mariño (COL) d T. Pironkova (BUL) 63 63
C. Garcia (FRA) d [WC] S. Zheng (CHN) 62 62

Doubles – First Round

J. Goerges (GER) / K. Pliskova (CZE) d [7] R. Kops-Jones (USA) / A. Spears (USA) 76(5) 36 10-6
[WC] C. Liang (CHN) / Y. Wang (CHN) d B. Bencic (SUI) / B. Strycova (CZE) 46 61 11-9
L. Kichenok (UKR) / N. Kichenok (UKR) d [WC] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) / S. Stosur (AUS) 64 26 10-8
G. Dabrowski (CAN) / A. Rosolska (POL) d A. Medina Garrigues (ESP) / A. Parra Santonja (ESP) 63 46 10-8

ATP – [8] J. Tsonga (FRA) vs A. Haider-Maurer (AUT)

Not Before 2:30 pm
WTA – [13] A. Petkovic (GER) vs E. Bouchard (CAN)
WTA – [11] B. Bencic (SUI) vs M. Brengle (USA)

Not Before 7:30 pm
ATP – V. Troicki (SRB) vs [5] M. Raonic (CAN)

Not Before 9:00 pm
WTA – S. Kuznetsova (RUS) vs S. Stephens (USA)

LOTUS COURT start 12:30 pm
WTA – A. Van Uytvanck (BEL) vs [15] R. Vinci (ITA)

Not Before 2:30 pm
ATP – [7] D. Goffin (BEL) vs A. Seppi (ITA)
ATP – [Q] D. Istomin (UZB) vs [WC] Ze. Zhang (CHN)

Not Before 6:30 pm
WTA – [4] A. Radwanska (POL) vs M. Barthel (GER)

MOON COURT start 12:30 pm
WTA – S. Stosur (AUS) vs M. Niculescu (ROU)
WTA – [Q] K. Bondarenko (UKR) vs [14] M. Keys (USA)
WTA – [7] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) vs [Q] M. Puig (PUR)
WTA – [16] E. Svitolina (UKR) vs A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS)

COURT 3 start 12:30 pm
WTA – M. Lucic-Baroni (CRO) vs I. Begu (ROU)
ATP – F. Fognini (ITA) vs M. Klizan (SVK)
ATP – [Q] A. Bedene (GBR) vs L. Rosol (CZE)
ATP – I. Karlovic (CRO) / L. Kubot (POL) vs D. Inglot (GBR) / R. Lindstedt (SWE)

COURT 4 start 12:30 pm
ATP – [1] J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU) vs E. Butorac (USA) / S. Lipsky (USA)
WTA – Y. Xu (CHN) / S. Zheng (CHN) vs L. Arruabarrena (ESP) / A. Klepac (SLO)
WTA – After suitable rest – [8] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE) vs I. Begu (ROU) / M. Niculescu (ROU)
WTA – After suitable rest – K. Jans-Ignacik (POL) / A. Rodionova (AUS) vs G. Muguruza (ESP) / C. Suárez Navarro (ESP)
ATP – [Q] J. Knowle (AUT) / O. Marach (AUT) vs [2] M. Matkowski (POL) / N. Zimonjic (SRB)

COURT 8 start 12:30 pm
WTA – C. Chuang (TPE) / S. Hsieh (TPE) vs [5] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Srebotnik (SLO)
WTA – G. Dabrowski (CAN) / A. Rosolska (POL) vs [2] B. Mattek-Sands (USA) / E. Vesnina (RUS)
WTA – [6] H. Chan (TPE) / Y. Chan (TPE) vs [WC] A. Cornet (FRA) / M. Linette (POL)
ATP – J. Sock (USA) vs T. Gabashvili (RUS)




British Qualifier Johanna Konta Stuns No. 2 Simona Halep at Wuhan Open

Johanna Konta_270915

(September 30, 2015) British qualifier Johanna Konta earned herself a thrilling 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 win over top seed and current World No.2 Simona Halep at the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open on Wednesday.

Konta came from 1-5 down in the third set to tee up a quarter-final on Thursday against Venus Williams and said afterwards that playing the American would be “kind of a childhood dream”.

“She (Halep) is No. 2 for a reason, and that is an incredibly humbling experience for me, that I can compete with such a player,” said 24-year-old Konta. “But in terms of the result, I’m just really happy I get to come back tomorrow and play against someone like Venus. It’s actually a bit of childhood dream I guess. I grew up watching Venus.  So as a child, I’m like, Wow.  But as a competitor now, I’m just looking forward to the challenge.”

Williams was too strong for Carla Suarez-Navarro in their third round encounter. “We’ve had some great matches, and when I play her I always have to stay concentrated because she’s a great competitor who’s always played well against me,” said Williams. “It’s not just her single handed backhand, she just hits it so well. I was lucky because she missed a few today and gave me some openings.”

Roberta Vinci is keep up her form which saw her reach the US Open final earlier this month. She knocked out Wuhan’s defending champion Petra Kvitova with a 76(3) 62 and takes on Karolina Pliskova in Thursday’s quarter-finals.

Wimbledon finalist Garbine Muguruza earned her quarter-final spot with a 46 61 60 comeback win against Ana Ivanovic and can now look forward to a last eight meeting with Anna Schmeidlova of Slovakia on Thursday.

Angelique Kerber wasted no time in dispatching Camila Giorgi and will be up against Coco Vandeweghe in the quarter-finals.

Singles – Third Round
[Q] J. Konta (GBR) d [1] S. Halep (ROU) 63 36 75
[15] R. Vinci (ITA) d [3] P. Kvitova (CZE) 76(3) 62
[5] G. Muguruza (ESP) d [9] A. Ivanovic (SRB) 46 61 60
[6] A. Kerber (GER) d C. Giorgi (ITA) 62 64
V. Williams (USA) d [7] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) 63 64
[8] K. Pliskova (CZE) d [12] E. Svitolina (UKR) 26 64 64
A. Schmiedlova (SVK) d K. Mladenovic (FRA) 64 62
C. Vandeweghe (USA) d B. Strycova (CZE) 36 62 76(3)

Doubles – Second Round
I. Begu (ROU) / M. Niculescu (ROU) d [3] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) 62 62
[5] R. Kops-Jones (USA) / A. Spears (USA) d X. Han (CHN) / N. Melichar (USA) 46 61 10-7
[6] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE) d C. Dellacqua (AUS) / A. Tomljanovic (CRO) walkover
[7] G. Muguruza (ESP) / C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) d A. Kudryavtseva (RUS) / O. Savchuk (UKR) 76(3) 62

CENTRE COURT start 11:00 am
[6] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE) vs G. Dabrowski (CAN) / A. Rosolska (POL)

Not Before 1:00 pm
[15] R. Vinci (ITA) vs [8] K. Pliskova (CZE)
[5] G. Muguruza (ESP) vs A. Schmiedlova (SVK)

Not Before 6:30 pm
[Q] J. Konta (GBR) vs V. Williams (USA)
[6] A. Kerber (GER) or C. Giorgi (ITA) vs C. Vandeweghe (USA) or B. Strycova (CZE)

COURT 1 start 1:00 pm
[1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) vs K. Jans-Ignacik (POL) / A. Rodionova (AUS) 12
after suitable rest – J. Goerges (GER) / K. Pliskova (CZE) vs A. Medina Garrigues (ESP) / A. Parra Santonja (ESP)
after suitable rest – [1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) or K. Jans-Ignacik (POL) / A. Rodionova (AUS) vs [5] R. Kops-Jones (USA) / A. Spears (USA)

COURT 4 start 1:00 pm
[4] H. Chan (TPE) / Y. Chan (TPE) vs L. Kichenok (UKR) / N. Kichenok (UKR) 54
after suitable rest – [7] G. Muguruza (ESP) / C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) vs I. Begu (ROU) / M. Niculescu (ROU)
after suitable rest – [4] H. Chan (TPE) / Y. Chan (TPE) or L. Kichenok (UKR) / N. Kichenok (UKR) vs J. Goerges (GER) / K. Pliskova (CZE) or A. Medina Garrigues (ESP) / A. Parra Santonja (ESP)


In Her Own Words – Roberta Vinci

Roberta Vinci


Friday, September 11, 2015

Roberta Vinci

Press Conference

R. VINCI/S. Williams

2-6, 6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Something big happened today. Congratulations.

Q. You had a little bit of time to let it sink in. What are the emotions?
ROBERTA VINCI: I didn’t realize now yet, but it’s amazing. It’s like a dream.

I’m really happy, but of course I’m a little bit really sad for Serena because she’s incredible player, No. 1, almost career — all the Grand Slams.

But what I have to say? I’m happy. I don’t know. It’s tough to explain my emotion right now. Maybe tomorrow morning I can tell you something, but now it’s amazing. It’s magic moment for me. You work so hard for a long time, and it’s incredible. Tomorrow final.

Q. Was there any moment, as you served for the match, that you thought about the slam and Serena?
ROBERTA VINCI: Well, at the end, yes. At the end when I made a break, 4-3, and serve, I was a little bit scare. My arms was like (demonstrating shaking.) I’m not joking. And I said — on my mind I say that I’m 4-3 and serve in semifinal against Serena. So almost to the final US Open.

So, yes, sometimes. But in my mind, I say, Don’t think about this, because maybe you have more pressure. Stay calm, relax, and breathe during every single points. Don’t think that you have Serena on the other side of the court.

Try to enjoy. Enjoy. You are in semifinal in the big stadium with a lot of public, so try to take all the positive emotion of this game.

Q. How tight or nervous did you think she was?

Q. In the third set?
ROBERTA VINCI: I think a lot.

Q. A lot?
ROBERTA VINCI: Yeah. She broke one racquet at the end of the second set when I won the second set, and also she make two double faults in I think 3-All, Love-15. I don’t remember, but two.

And on my mind, I say, Think about this. She’s nervous. So try to keep it and fight every single point.

Q. She did not want to talk about disappointment, but she was happy to talk about how well you played. She said you played the match of your life. Was that the match of your life?
ROBERTA VINCI: (Nods head.) (Shrugging.) I think so. Yeah, this is the best match that I played on my life, yeah.

Q. When you were in your post game on the court and you were saying, Sorry, guys, the crowd really seemed to embrace you. They seemed to be having as much fun as you were. What were your thoughts then?
ROBERTA VINCI: Yeah, sorry. A lot of public for her, but it’s normal. Semifinal, almost to complete all Grand Slams. She deserved to win. She’s the No. 1.

So I was a little bit sorry for this because for me she cannot reach on the Grand Slam. So that’s it. That’s a lot of public for her. But the crowd was amazing, also.

Also, for me at the end, a lot of — I don’t know this. Was nice.

Q. The other day you almost forecasted this and said, There might be two Italians in the final. Now it’s real.

Q. Does it feel real yet?
ROBERTA VINCI: Yeah. (Smiling.) And tomorrow one Italian win for sure. (Laughter.) (Thumbs up.)

Q. I have one more question: today when you were playing you looked as if you were feeling that you knew no ball could ever get by you. You were willing to run after every ball. You were reading the ball before it was there. You had a real read on where her shots were going. You drove her nuts, really.
ROBERTA VINCI: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I play good today. (Laughter.) If you don’t play good you cannot win, against her especially.

So, yeah, tomorrow we will see. One Italian. It’s incredible moment, you know, but one Italian will win for sure.

Q. At what point in today’s match, when did you realize, Wait a minute, I can win this, I can beat her? When did you get that belief?
ROBERTA VINCI: Never. No, well, I say maybe 4-3-up, break, come on, come on, let’s do it.

But was always close, you know. So of course on my mind I say, Come on, come on. You can do it. You can do it.

But 5-3, 5-4 on my serve, she miss one — the first return. Whew. Three more points. You know.

And then I won. Well, I was 5-3 up, but I didn’t say on my mind, Okay, I won, because, okay, I lost this game and then I go to serve. She can break me, you know. She has a good return. She always push me a lot on the second serve.

But I won in the end. (Smiling.)

Q. Have you ever hit two half-volley winners the way you did on those last two points?
ROBERTA VINCI: The last two points? I don’t remember the last two points.

Q. You had two half-volley dropshots, a forehand and a backhand.
ROBERTA VINCI: One I remember with two hands. A little bit lucky. (Laughter.) And the other one, I don’t remember. Ah, match point? Yes, yes, I’m a good doubles player, you know. (Laughter.)

Q. In the third set Serena was showing a lot of emotion, really trying to get the crowd into it, and you were even smiling a little bit. What are you thinking?
ROBERTA VINCI: No, I just thinking that she was nervous. She was nervous. She’s trying to fight or try to take some energy, positive energy from the crowd.

But is normal.

Q. Did Flavia’s win give you an extra push? Did you think about it before going on the court and during the match? Flavia vinto, so…
ROBERTA VINCI: Si, si, si. No, no, no. In Italiano?

I saw some games of Flavia but I didn’t think that, Oh, she won, so maybe — no, no, no, I just stay focus for my game and think about Serena and about Flavia or Simona.

Q. Take us back 15, 16 years ago. You’re just coming on this tour. Did you ever dream about these kind of matches?
ROBERTA VINCI: No. Maybe not 15 years old, no. It’s incredible. It’s incredible.

I’m 32, almost at the end of my career, and then I make the first US Open final in Grand Slam. I didn’t expect this.

Q. In the third set you kind of pointed to yourself to get the crowd involved.

Q. Did that help you? Can you describe that moment?
ROBERTA VINCI: Yeah, because I won a great point and of course all the crowd was for her. And I say, Come on. One time for me. (Laughter.) That’s it.

Q. Doubles, Grand Slam in Australia, wondering if that experience helped you today.
ROBERTA VINCI: No, maybe not today, no. No, today — yeah, I won a lot of doubles, okay, Grand Slam, but today I played my game. On my mind I said, I have nothing to lose. Enjoy your game. You play against Serena.

No, but about the doubles, can’t ask me today. No.

Q. So you said you’re 32 years old. Very, very old woman. (Laughter.) You’re unseeded, and yet you did what no one’s been able to do in something over 30 matches against the mighty Serena. Talk about how it is.
ROBERTA VINCI: Well, I feel good right now. I can maybe touch the sky with my finger. (Pointing to the sky.)

It’s tough to explain, because I don’t have many — maybe also in Italian the words that can I explain really, because it’s amazing.

Maybe if yesterday told me, Okay, tomorrow you can win against Serena, I say, Come on. Yesterday I called my travel agency to say, Okay, book me a flight, because you know… (Laughter.)

And then now I have my final tomorrow. So it’s incredible, yeah.

Q. So what is the word in Italian, one word in Italian, that would most express?
ROBERTA VINCI: A word in Italian. Indescrivibile. Non lo so.

Q. So you had a flight booked to go home?
ROBERTA VINCI: No, no, no, tomorrow. Because I played on second I don’t want to do quick. So, okay, I lost today against Serena and tomorrow I will go home.

Q. What time was your flight scheduled for tomorrow?
ROBERTA VINCI: Um, 10:00 in the night. So maybe I can… (Laughter.) Maybe I can, eh?

Q. Talking a little tennis now, you were winning so many points at the net. You’re a great volleyer, doubles. Was there ever a time you thought, I’m going to serve and go in, but you didn’t?
ROBERTA VINCI: Yeah, sometimes I tried to do the serve and volley, but she was always — she was always aggressive. My serve today was a little bit up and down, not so good sometimes.

Especially on the second serve. On my second serve, I had a lot of problem, because I saw her really…

Q. On top of you?
ROBERTA VINCI: Yeah, at the net, really.

So I said, Okay, if I don’t make a good second serve, she always push me a lot. So was tough.

But sometimes I change. Not always kick, but sometimes some slice on her forehand. Was not easy.

Q. Next time you see Serena what will you say to her?
ROBERTA VINCI: No. I go like this. (Hiding face with hand.) No, no, I’m joking. What I have to say? She’s the No. 1. Doesn’t matter if she lost me, if she lost to me today. For me, she’s the very best right now. She’s an incredible player. She won a lot of tournaments, Grand Slam. For me, yeah, she’s the No. 1.

Q. You touched upon a couple of times the fact that an Italian will certainly win tomorrow. I’d like you to elaborate on what it means to be playing in the final with Flavia.
ROBERTA VINCI: What does it mean to play? Yeah, will be a tough match for both tomorrow. I think a lot of pressure. But we know each other for a long time.

I played against her three or four years ago and I lost on the center court. I remember that I was completely scared, like a little bit blocked. I didn’t play. I didn’t play in that case.

So I hope that tomorrow — of course I will do my best. But I will like to play. To play, enjoy, enjoy and to play my game, and not so stressed or tight. Because it’s a finals. It’s normal. Come on. Enjoy. That’s it.

Q. What’s the biggest upset you remember in women’s tennis? How do you compare your third set?

Q. The biggest upset.
ROBERTA VINCI: Che cosa? Me? Mine?

Q. No…
ROBERTA VINCI: In general? Today. (Laughter.)

Q. Do you remember one from before? Do you remember one from before?
ROBERTA VINCI: No. Just today.

Q. Did Serena say anything to you at the net?

Q. Did Serena say anything to you?
ROBERTA VINCI: I don’t remember. I don’t want to say. She say, Congratulations; well done. But I was a little bit confused so I don’t want to say — I don’t want to tell you wrong.

Q. Thinking back on your career, is there anyone that you would want to dedicate this to that really helped you to get to this moment?
ROBERTA VINCI: Well, of course all my family, all the person that work with me for long time: my coach, my physio, everything, all my team. That’s it.

Q. You called it the best moment of your life on your on-court interview.
ROBERTA VINCI: No, is true, is true.

Q. It truly is the best moment of your life what occurred today?

Q. Considering that the US Open has Italian an coffee sponsor, have you had any of the coffee this year?
ROBERTA VINCI: No, no. I don’t understand. Sorry.

Q. The US Open has an Italian coffee sponsor.
ROBERTA VINCI: Lavazza? Coffee. I like so much coffee. (Laughter.) Really.

Q. Have you had any this year?
ROBERTA VINCI: Yes, in the restaurant. Yes. After. But I like macchiato. You know, a little bit of milk. Much better.

Q. With some milk?

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports


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Transcripts of player interviews cannot be posted until one (1) hour after the interview has ended. Player transcripts can only be posted on the website of the publication that was accredited.

In Their Own Words – Serena Williams, Flavia Pennetta and Simona Halep




Friday, September 11, 2015

Serena Williams

Press Conference

  1. VINCI/S. Williams2-6, 6-4, 6-4

    THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

    Q. How disappointed are you?
    SERENA WILLIAMS: I don’t want to talk about how disappointing it is for me. If you have any other questions, I’m open for that.

    Q. How well did she play today?
    SERENA WILLIAMS: I thought she played the best tennis in her career. You know, she’s 33 and, you know, she’s going for it at a late age. So that’s good for her to keep going for it and playing so well.

    Actually, I guess it’s inspiring. But, yeah, I think she played literally out of her mind.

    Q. What wasn’t working from your side?
    SERENA WILLIAMS: I don’t think I played that bad. I made more unforced errors than I normally would make, but I think she just played really well. She did not want to lose today. Neither did I, incidentally. But she really didn’t either.

    Q. You have been so adept at pulling yourself out of precarious positions throughout this run. Was there any moment where you said, I know I can do this? Was there a moment where you said, Maybe I can’t?

    Q. A lot of pressure for you…
    SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I told you guys I don’t feel pressure. I never felt pressure. I don’t know. I never felt that pressure to win here. I said that from the beginning.

    Q. You felt tight, though; is that fair?
    SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, I made a couple of tight shots, to be honest, but maybe just about two.

    But that, I think, is just for me in any normal match you make two tight shots. Other than that, I don’t think I was that tight.

    Q. Do you think there is a (photographer interference) of her game that made her different than your other opponents thus far in the Open?
    SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I have played everyone that came to the net this tournament. She had a couple of slice; everyone I played had slice.

    So, no.

    Q. How did you feel going into the third set? We have had so many three-set victories during this run. Did you still feel you were going to win the match going into the third or did you feel very different?
    SERENA WILLIAMS: Of course.

    Q. Third set looked like you were trying to fire yourself up so much and calm yourself down. Were you trying to find the equilibrium of where it worked for you as far as…
    SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I was just trying to win points at that match and win the match. Last questions?

    Q. How do you get over all — what’s the key to just forget about it?
    SERENA WILLIAMS: Anyone else want to ask a different question than that?

    Q. You said prior to the tournament you took so much happiness from the fact you did your second Serena slam.

    Q. Let’s focus on the positives. Is that where your head is at right now?
    SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, thank you. Like I said, I felt very happy to get that win at Wimbledon, you know. I did win three Grand Slams this year. Yeah, I won four in a row. It’s pretty good.

    Yeah, so it’s definitely the positive. Thank you.




Flavia Pennetta

Flavia Pennetta


Friday, September 11, 2015

Flavia Pennetta

Press Conference

  1. PENNETTA/S. Halep6-1, 6-3

    THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

    Q. That was a spectacular match.
    FLAVIA PENNETTA: Thanks. Thank you.

    Q. Talk about how happy you are with how well you played today and what that win means?
    FLAVIA PENNETTA: I mean, of course I’m really happy. I think I play really well from the beginning. In the second set, I just wait a little bit too much in the beginning of the second set waiting for her mistake and I didn’t push a lot like before.

    But really happy, because I was 3-1 down and I just starting again with what I had to do. Everything was working amazing today, so really pleased.

    Q. You said the other day after your last match that you just are surprised because you just didn’t expect to do so well. What’s come together for you in these two weeks that’s enabled you to get to a Grand Slam final, your first?
    FLAVIA PENNETTA: I mean, it’s amazing, because also 20 days ago my physio asked me if I was if I never think that I can win a Grand Slam or be in final of Grand Slam, and I say no. (Smiling.)

    I mean, for a lot of reason I think my answer was no, but like always say you never know. I mean, you just have to play and try your best, and the good things coming when you never expect most of the time.

    When you want too much something and you really like say this is the moment I have to do this and that, always it’s gonna be a big mess.

    Q. In what ways are you different during this tournament than in other majors that you have competed in?
    FLAVIA PENNETTA: I mean, I really like this tournament like always. It’s one of my best tournament. Always have a good feeling here when I play. The central court, it’s amazing. The atmosphere here is something I really like.

    I mean, also in the other tournament there are a good atmosphere, but here, I don’t know why I always play pretty good.

    Q. So why do you think it is that here you are in the final for the first time in a major?
    FLAVIA PENNETTA: Why? I don’t know. (Laughter.) I mean, there is no reason. The only reason, it’s because I am try to play all the time, try to give everything on court, and this was a good week for me.

    I mean, it’s really amazing the way I starting to play in the last three matches. Today was amazing, because the first match was not that good for me. I didn’t have this good feeling in court. I was fighting and try to get through the first round, but with not a good sensation, you know.

    But today I play really well. I mean, I didn’t make mistakes. I was focused. I was aggressive.

    The mistake I made was because I was trying something, I mean, not because I was scary. I just had two games where I was a little bit, Okay, thinking too much. But then I just try to don’t think, just play, and we will see what happen.

    Q. When you go to bed tonight, before you fall asleep and close your eyes, what do you think you’re going to see?
    FLAVIA PENNETTA: Hmmm. I don’t know. I can tell you how was this this night, I mean, how I sleep yesterday. I didn’t sleep really well. I was a little bit like changing the positions so many times. Try to, okay, relax, breathe. Because sometimes I was already awake all the time.

    You know, I was ready also at 3:00 in the morning. So just to say, Okay, it’s early. Just try to sleep a little bit more and just take the right position and sleep again. I mean, I was not in the nice sleep at all. But it’s okay. I mean, if this is the result, it’s perfect. (Laughter.) I hope to have the same every night.

    Q. I hope you get some sleep tonight.

    Q. A lot of people say Serena, it’s amazing that she is 33 and able to do this. You are also in your 30s. How are you able to train and to become a better player as you get older?
    FLAVIA PENNETTA: I mean, I always like to — for me sometime it’s easy to practice, to do this, I mean, to be really professional and practice, gym, tennis, physio, and this kind of thing, and it’s worse for me to compete sometimes.

    I mean, I can practice every day. It’s something I really love to do. Compete, it’s something I not always like. So for me, it’s just something I always used to be, always used to do. I mean, I practice since 10 years in Spain where they start with a lot of hours in the court. You just spend hours and hours training.

    For me, something it’s in my mind. It’s something that completely normal.

    Q. The other day you said that you actually like playing under the lights more at the US Open, but clearly you were relaxed out there today. Why were you so comfortable?
    FLAVIA PENNETTA: Today was not that sunny like the other day, so the shades was not that much.

    But when you play, you have to think it’s the same for me, for Simona, for Roberta, for Serena. I mean, it’s the same for everybody.

    It’s just the point where you want support all the things as they are coming, but it’s the same for everyone.

    Of course, if I have to choose, I prefer light. But if I don’t have any option, I play. That’s it.

    Q. How close were you actually to retiring a few years ago after the wrist?
    FLAVIA PENNETTA: Close. Really close. (Smiling.)

    Q. Why didn’t you?
    FLAVIA PENNETTA: Because was — was easy for me to still practice. Was easy for me to still traveling. Was easy to me doing this kind of life because it’s nice life. But sometimes it’s too much.

    So that’s why I’m still playing. Not for any other reason.

    Q. How much did that win last year in Indian Wells give you the belief that you could compete at the top level again? And I’m also curious, do you believe you’re drawing any experience from Indian Wells making a run at a big tournament like New York?
    FLAVIA PENNETTA: Well, I think Indian Wells was a really a nice moment for me because it’s coming also completely in the moment where I never expect something like that.

    But the way I played, the way I always fight in the court is still the same. Sometimes I can play better; sometimes I can play not like this, not that good.

    But I am still the same player. I mean, I’m try to be positive all the time. Sometimes I have a bad moment like everyone. I mean, I’m a tennis player, but I’m also person. So I think everyone has — the moon, is going up and down, no?

    I mean, of course was really important to win something like Indian Wells.

    Q. Serena has just taken the first set. The match isn’t over, but pretty good chance you’re going to be out there…
    FLAVIA PENNETTA: Against Serena?

    Q. Well, yeah. It’s a pretty good chance.
    FLAVIA PENNETTA: I mean, you never know. They are still fighting and they are still playing.

    Q. But with all she has at stake with the Grand Slam and so forth, just talk about the anticipation of that match.
    FLAVIA PENNETTA: I mean, it’s going to be amazing for her to do something like that, and it’s going to be amazing for me to win this tournament. But we’re gonna have of course a different way, because she is a big champion. I mean, we cannot compare each other.

    But it’s gonna be nice to be on court, to be playing maybe against her or maybe against Roberta. I mean, it’s going to be anyway you have a chance to do something amazing. You have the moment you always expect. I mean, when you are a child and you thinking, What do you want to do? I want to win a Grand Slam. Okay, nice.

    Or I want to be in the final or I want to be No. 1. I mean, everyone has different goals. But for the moment, I don’t want to think too much about tomorrow. I mean, it’s something so special to be here now.

    I want to just feeling a little bit more for few hours, and then we’re gonna think about tomorrow.

    Q. But how would you describe Serena as a player and as an athlete?
    FLAVIA PENNETTA: Amazing. I mean, there is no word to say. I mean, she’s amazing. So powerful, so consistent. She’s still thereafter so many year, when some player like her, like Federer, like Nadal, like Djokovic, Maria, they have everything. They already have everything like a player, like a sportwoman, sportman. But they are still there. They still fight every day. They still have this attitude so positive all the time.

    So it’s something amazing, I think.

    Q. So when you see Serena on the court, what goes through your mind?
    FLAVIA PENNETTA: Maybe this is the good day for me. I always try to be positive when I go on court against her, because — I mean, I never beat her before. I have few chance, but it’s really tough to play against her.

    So I just thinking maybe it’s a good day for me. Maybe it’s the day where I can do that.

    But is the only thing you have to think when you play against her. If you go in court and thinking you don’t have chance, you’re gonna lose 6-Love, 6-Love for sure.

    Q. You said that as a child this was the moment that you expected. What did you dream? What did you expect when you were a child?
    FLAVIA PENNETTA: I mean, for me was I didn’t have a goal so high. I have to be honest. I mean, I always thinking I would like to play Rome, for sure, because when I was really young every year my mom and my dad bring me to see the tournament.

    So I grow up with Rome tournament, and the first year when I play there was amazing for me because it was something — it was my dream. Or I always want to play with Seles or Capriati because was somebody I really love to watch. I buy all the stuff of like all the dress of Seles, the Steffi racquet. I was look at them like amazing player, amazing people.

    So my goal was just to play Rome, to be a good Italian player. Not a good in the world, but in Italy, yeah.

    Q. Serena is such a big figure here in America. How well known, how celebrated is she in Italy?
    FLAVIA PENNETTA: She’s really famous in Italy. I mean, that was the question, right? I mean, wherever she go she gonna be someone really special. She never gonna be someone normal, I can say. She’s like Valentino Rossi. If you see Valentino here, it’s going to be tough don’t stop him and ask for a signing or a picture or a selfie or whatever.

    Q. I’m not sure she knows Valentino Rossi. Do you know him?
    FLAVIA PENNETTA: Vroom, vroom.

    Q. You said you came close to retiring. What specifically kept you from doing that? You know, what kept your head in the game?
    FLAVIA PENNETTA: Every year for me it’s — I start here and I don’t know if I gonna play the next year. I mean, during the last three or four years I have the same — the same — I don’t know how to say in English. My mind, it’s always like this (Indicating box.)

    Okay, we are gonna play. We start here, and then after US Open we’re gonna decide if I keep play or not.

    But in the last three years I just keep playing, because for me, it’s something I really love to do. I mean, I don’t see myself without tennis. It’s not easy for a player to I think take this decision and say, It’s over.

    It’s always like — it’s something I did since I was young, so I don’t know what else I can do. I don’t know what I like. This is the point. I mean, I don’t have time to know if I like something more. I have to discover everything. It’s like a new life completely.

    So sometimes it is the more scary thing, no? Because the life, it’s gonna change, but most of the time it changes better. I hope so.

    Q. You have said earlier you were describing your success today, that part of it was you can’t want it too much or you kind of make a mess out of it. Is that a fair assessment?

    Q. So going into tomorrow, is that going to be a factor for you to go out there and — obviously you want it very, very badly.
    FLAVIA PENNETTA: I mean, of course when you are here you want really badly something. In the other point, I don’t have nothing to lose. If I play against Serena I don’t have nothing to lose. If I play against Roberta, it’s going to be nice for everyone. Doesn’t matter who is gonna win. It’s going to be a big thing.

    Of course you want to win, but you gonna hug her if she gonna win. It’s amazing. Doesn’t matter. When you are at this point, nothing gonna change.

    Q. You lost to Serena here last year, but you beat Roberta two years ago. What are your thoughts on those two matches here?
    FLAVIA PENNETTA: Last year against Serena I think I play really good. I mean, that was my feeling when I finish the match. I mean, I play really good. She played better, much better.

    Against Serena it’s a little bit different from other player, because sometimes she don’t play really well but she has so many good things that doesn’t matter. She can keep winning.

    But there is a point where she decide, Okay, I cannot give her too much space, because if not, maybe I can lose. She knows that.

    So when she play with a player that a little bit she scary about, she always get on court, really, like, from the first match really aggressive.

    Q. Have you watched her this tournament?
    FLAVIA PENNETTA: Her? No. Not too much.

    FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports


Simona Halep

Simona Halep


Friday, September 11, 2015

Simona Halep

Press Conference

  1. PENNETTA/S. Halep6-1, 6-3

    THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

    Q. She played very, very well today. Do you feel you just ran into a player who was on top of her game? Was that your feeling on the match?
    SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, it’s true she play really well. She was strong. She was solid today. Actually, I didn’t play my best, but, you know, she deserved to win. She was better than me today. She had more energy. I can say she was better emotional than me.

    So I accept, and I’m looking forward for the next tournament.

    Q. Yourself, this is your best result here. I know it’s shortly after the loss, but can you take a lot of positives?
    SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, of course I take positive things. I have about 16 matches played in USA after my shit season, Roland Garros and Wimbledon. (Smiling.)

    So I’m happy with my results here. I’m happy that I could reach semifinals for first time in US Open. It’s the best Grand Slam this year.

    So I have no negatives. I just want to take a rest few days and to start again to play matches, tournaments, and, you know, to be like I was here: confident and with pleasure on court.

    Q. You were talking about emotions and Flavia maybe being better with emotions today. Did you feel flat today?

    Q. A little bit out of gas?
    SIMONA HALEP: I was flat. I was like in Wimbledon almost. Yeah, I was flat emotional and was very tough. I tried. It was better than Australian Open when I gave up during the match.

    Here I tried to find a way to play better, but I couldn’t.

    So it’s okay, and I have to just to go ahead.

    Q. Was it a result of basically the matches before, or do you have any explanation for why you were flatter today than you were before?
    SIMONA HALEP: I played many tough matches in USA this period, so is not easy to stay there like 100% every day. But of course because I played semifinals first time and, you know, I had emotions before the match, I felt them in my stomach. Wasn’t easy to go on court, but I don’t want to find excuses.

    Just it happened, and it’s normal. I can accept. She was better today. She played really well.

    Q. In your last match you said that when the rain came it was a very good time for you. You needed a bit of a break.
    SIMONA HALEP: Even the snow couldn’t help me today. (Laughter.)

    Q. But when last night got canceled, did you feel maybe even those extra few hours might have helped you a little bit? Maybe more rest would have helped you?
    SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, it’s tough to answer this question. Always I accept how it is. If yesterday was raining, I accept it and I said tomorrow I would be ready to play.

    I was ready. I practiced very well in the morning. But during the match is other things, so there are other things there. The pressure of the match is different.

    So couldn’t be there 100%, and that was it.

    Q. Somebody in this room the other day asked you about a quote from a previous tournament in which you said you were going to cheer for Serena. Do you remember?

    Q. Obviously not if you’re playing her, but you’re not. Will you watch the match tomorrow? Will you root for her to achieve what she’s trying to achieve?
    SIMONA HALEP: I’m not gonna watch the match. I’m going to rest and I’m going to shopping. It’s the best thing to do after this tournament.

    Was a great tournament. I say, Good luck. She can do it, also Serena good luck. Everyone is gonna win, will be a champion here, so it’s great for both of them.

    Q. And Flavia obviously is feeling very good about today’s match and her confidence in the tournament. Do you think she has the game to beat Serena?
    SIMONA HALEP: It’s tough against Serena always, because you never know. She can play like unbelievable and she can miss a few easy balls.

    But she’s a champion. She knows how to manage every situations. She has pressure because she has to do this Grand Slam.

    Of course every player has a chance against Serena. Serena is strong, but Pennetta today played really well. It will be a good match, I think.

    Q. There was a moment in the second set when you are 3-1 ahead, and your Romanian fans exploded there, hoping that you are able to turn the match around. What happened in that moment?
    SIMONA HALEP: Nothing. I lost five games in a row. (Smiling.) It was tough for me to keep playing at the high level. I heard them. I want to thank them for that.

    But was difficult for me to finish that set, to finish eight games in a row.

    Q. You played Flavia a few times. Was this the best you have ever seen her?
    SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, she played her best tennis with me today. Maybe I let her to play her best tennis. I didn’t put pressure on the game.

    But she was in a good shape and she felt the ball very well. She did good game, smart game.

    Q. North America you won all those matches and now going to Asia. What did you learn, I guess, in these three tournaments that you played?
    SIMONA HALEP: It’s tough now to say what I have learned, but I can say what I have now plus what I had — I didn’t have before. I have positive things in my head. I have a good game. I improved a lot in my forehand. My forehand is very solid now. I move better on court. I’m more relaxed.

    I can win the tough matches. I won few with top players, so I have confidence. I’m confident, and I’m looking forward for the next tournament. I know that I have the chance again to play my best tennis next tournament.

    So it was a good period here.


Note from the US Open Media Operations Guide as to why Tennis Panorama News is allowed to post transcripts:

Transcripts of player interviews cannot be posted until one (1) hour after the interview has ended. Player transcripts can only be posted on the website of the publication that was accredited.

Roberta Vinci Upsets Serena Williams to Reach US Open Final Against Italian Countrywoman Flavia Pennetta




(September 11, 2015) The quest for a calendar Grand Slam is over for Serena Williams. Italy’s Roberta Vinci, playing in her first major semifinal, kept her composure and the ball in play to rally past the world No. 1 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 to reach the US Open final.

The unseeded Italian ranked No 43 in the world stopped William’s unbeaten streak in majors for this year at 26. Coming into the match,  the 32-year-old Vinci had never even taken a set off Williams and was 0-4 against her.

Williams was up a break in the final set 2-0, but Vinci came back to win the match.

“At the end when I made a break, 4-3, and serve, I was a little bit scare(d). “My arms was like,” Vinci said pretending to shake, “I’m not joking. And I said — on my mind I say that I’m 4-3 and serve in semifinal against Serena. So almost to the final US Open.

“So, yes, sometimes. But in my mind, I say, Don’t think about this, because maybe you have more pressure. Stay calm, relax, and breathe during every single points. Don’t think that you have Serena on the other side of the court.

“Try to enjoy. Enjoy. You are in semifinal in the big stadium with a lot of public, so try to take all the positive emotion of this game.”

Vinci denied 33-year-old Williams a chance to be the first player since Steffi Graf in 1988 to win a Grand Slam.

For Vinci, it will be a familiar face in Saturday’s US Open final, countrywoman 26 th seed Flavia Pennetta, who dismissed No 2 seed Simona Halep 6-1, 6-3 earlier on Friday.

“Sorry for American people, for Serena, for Grand Slam, but today’s my day,” Vinci said in her on-court interview. “Sorry guys.”

As to what her game plan was against Williams, she said: “Don’t think and run. And then I won.”

“It’s amazing. It’s like a dream,” Vinci said during her news conference.
“I’m really happy, but of course I’m a little bit really sad for Serena because she’s incredible player, No. 1, almost career — all the Grand Slams.

“But what I have to say? I’m happy. I don’t know. It’s tough to explain my emotion right now. Maybe tomorrow morning I can tell you something, but now it’s amazing. It’s magic moment for me. You work so hard for a long time, and it’s incredible. Tomorrow final.”

“I don’t want to talk about how disappointing it is for me,” Williams said at the beginning of her shorter-than-normal news conference. “If you have any other questions, I’m open for that.”

“I thought she played the best tennis in her career,” Williams said to media. “You know, she’s 33 and, you know, she’s going for it at a late age. So that’s good for her to keep going for it and playing so well.

“Actually, I guess it’s inspiring. But, yeah, I think she played literally out of her mind.”

“I don’t think I played that bad,” Williams continued. “I made more unforced errors than I normally would make, but I think she just played really well. She did not want to lose today. Neither did I, incidentally. But she really didn’t either.”

Flavia Pennetta

Flavia Pennetta

Flavia Pennetta has also reached her first major final with her win over 23-year-old Halep at the age of 33. There was little drama in her match against Halep, where she only lost four games and won 15 straight points in the second set from 1-3 down.


“I’m really happy,” Pennetta said. “I think I play really well from the beginning. In the second set, I just wait a little bit too much in the beginning of the second set waiting for her mistake and I didn’t push a lot like before.

“But really happy, because I was 3-1 down and I just starting again with what I had to do. Everything was working amazing today, so really pleased.”


“If I play against Roberta, it’s going to be nice for everyone. Doesn’t matter who is gonna win. It’s going to be a big thing.

“Of course you want to win, but you gonna hug her if she gonna win. It’s amazing. Doesn’t matter. When you are at this point, nothing gonna change.”

“True she play really well,” Halep said. “She was strong. She was solid today. Actually, I didn’t play my best, but, you know, she deserved to win. She was better than me today. She had more energy. I can say she was better emotional than me.

“So I accept, and I’m looking forward for the next tournament.”

Pennetta hit 23 winners and was 6 for 10 on break points converted. Halep made 23 unforced errors to 10 winners.


More to follow…………


In Their Own Words – Federer, Wawrinka, Anderson, Halep, Azarenka, Pennetta and Kvitova

228 Federer hands up celebration-001



Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Roger Federer

Press Conference

R. FEDERER/R. Gasquet

6-3, 6-3, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. At 34, how do you explain continuing to peak? How are you able to maintain such a high level?
ROGER FEDERER: Ah, I don’t know. I mean, since a few years now or many years I have tried to look at the big picture to hopefully still be playing at a high level at this age. So in some ways I am not surprised I am playing as well as I am.

I think I have worked on my game moving forward, have been able to take the ball earlier, and, you know, I think I’m volleying better than I have the last 10 years. I think I was volleying well coming up on the tour when I was younger because I was spending more time at net.

I think that gave me confidence to keep working on that, moving forward. Now because my serving is working quite well, you put those two things together, and standing in on the return as well, I think has changed the dynamics a little bit. It’s all about keeping yourself in shape and staying injury-free. And motivated, I guess.

Q. You have Stan next. You know him well. What do you think it is about his game or his mentality that lets him play so well at times against the top guys? Like against you and Novak at the French.
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, I think a lot comes through practice for Stan, because he’s worked very hard throughout his career. It took him a while to figure out exactly what his possibilities were. I don’t think he was a guy who always, you know, had enough confidence.

I always thought he was a better player than he actually was, but somehow something was holding him back maybe. I think only once when he really started to break through and he had some big wins — I recall a big win for him when he beat Hewitt in the fifth deciding match in Davis Cup in Sydney. Beat him on the grass two sets to one down. Came back and won it. Played unbelievable tennis at the end.

Then I think in practice he started working to hit the ball harder consistently, and today he can consistently bring the power on forehand, backhand, and serve almost anybody when he gets hot.

I’m happy he found that level of play. Two slams, got Davis Cup, Olympic gold. Has a complete career. Won a Masters 1000. Has everything he ever wanted. He has had a wonderful career.

Looking forward to playing him, because he definitely is a big test and a big challenge for me. He beat me in straight at the French, so I hope I can do better this time.

Q. During the tournament, how much time do you spend taking care of your body? How much of that maintenance is, shall we say, age-related?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, I guess I’m more professional these days; whereas when I was coming up on tour I would bounce up and down for two minutes and then just walk out to the practice and do almost the same for the match.

These days I take more time, put in more of the core exercises, do more stretching. Sometimes I just can’t wait to get off the table again honestly. It’s nice not to be on there all the time.

Yeah, for me, also sleeping has become quite important. I make sure I sleep enough, as well. Like when I went to bed after the Isner match it got quite late and I couldn’t sleep quite as much as I wanted to.

Because I believe it’s really the sleep that gives you energy again down the road. That’s why the next two days are very important for me in terms of sleeping.

Q. How much is your target?
ROGER FEDERER: In terms of sleeping? Hopefully nine to ten.

Q. The other night you were asked about the Williams sisters and you said you were happy to not have a sibling in tennis. Just curious if Stan is as close to that tennis brother as you feel, and the relationship that you have guys have on court, is there any difference in approaching Stan, say, from any other opponent for you mentally or emotionally?
ROGER FEDERER: Honestly, emotionally it’s not so hard for me. I have always found it quite not easy, but it’s just another match. I’m able to see it that way somehow with him. But then of course subconsciously you know he knows what your preferences are, where you like to go, where you’re probably going to go.

Probably he feels the same way. That’s the weird part. I feel we meet each other somewhere in our minds before the point is being played out.

So that’s odd sometimes, but otherwise it’s pretty straightforward for me. I enjoy the matches, because always that means one of us moves on. For Swiss it’s huge that we have two guys in the semis of the US Open, a huge tournament, biggest arena in the world. It’s what it’s all about.

I think we are both very much pumped up that’s the case. Only better scenario would have been in the finals, but this is already very, very good. We are very proud of that.

Q. I know when you were younger you probably had more anger and these days seems like you have a wave of joy out there. How important is mood to you in terms of winning goes?
ROGER FEDERER: Mood in terms of?

Q. How important is your mood to how well you actually think you play.
ROGER FEDERER: Oh, well, I mean, I’m not the kind of guy who wakes up angry. (Laughter.) Even if I am, I don’t think it will have much of an impact of how I play.

I feel like I see the matches as an isolation. I don’t know if it’s when I arrive at the tennis, when I go warm up, whatever it is, but that’s a different world for me. You know, when I leave the grounds I feel like not I’m a different person, but like that’s my other life I have.

So I have two lives, and all the problems I might have, I feel like I drop them once I step on to the match court or when I enter the grounds. I don’t know if it makes sense, but that’s the why the mood doesn’t really matter that much to me.

Q. What does the US Open Championship trophy mean to you both in terms of the ones you have already won and the one that you’re two steps away from today?
ROGER FEDERER: I like the trophy, and I’m happy when you win it you get the same-sized one. I wish it also had engravements of all the previous winners, but I will speak at the tournament that one day I will get them all done, you know. Because I think — I love tennis history and I like to see who has won in the past, you know, here on the trophy so it feels like it’s an original one, not just a duplicate.

Yeah, it’s a good size. It’s different to the golden ones. It’s a silver one. Yeah, I like it. I would like to have another one. (Laughter.)

Q. What is the belief that you have now? How does that contribute to seeing that trophy, being so close? You’re two steps away.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, two steps, but they are not like from here to there. (Indicating few feet.) They are like… you know what I mean. Hours of work and sleeps and waits and nerves and all that. It’s still a long way.

I feel like I’m close, of course. You enter now a territory which is very interesting, and definitely Stan is going to present the big test for me. Don’t look further than that, to be quite honest.

Q. Given how well you’ve played thus far in the tournament, will it take an extraordinary performance by an opponent to beat you right now?
ROGER FEDERER: I hope so. I really do. I believe Stan can bring it, you know. That’s my No. 1 focus, that I make it as hard as possible for him to beat me. Personally I’m very happy with the where my game is at. It’s just a matter of keeping it up and adjusting to Stan now.

Q. You’re one of the few players who won this tournament when it was played on both green courts and blue courts. Wondering if you have a preference.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I have already — I hardly remember when we played on the green courts. I prefer watching it on the blue courts. Playing was nice, I guess, either one of them. But I like the blue courts. They are better on the eye, I think.

Q. Have you noticed how many courts in the world are blue now?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, many of them.

I think it’s important that you see the ball properly on the TV, otherwise why watch two players running and not seeing the ball? (Laughter.)

I mean, if you like that, sure, let’s keep it yellow courts, but…

Thankfully we have HDTV now too, so that helps.

Q. At any time when you were making these adjustments in the racquet and being more aggressive, was there any point where you thought, I don’t know if it’s going to work? Were you unsure or were you confident that I’m going to make these adjustments and eventually it’s going to pay off?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I mean, I was sensing that it was going to work, because I did feel in practice that I was hitting my backhand better, not shanking as much anymore.

What I wanted to — if I changed, I wanted to feel that I had more easier power on the serve. If I was not going to feel that I was not going to change. In these two main factors.

The only problem for me was that in the beginning I didn’t feel like my slice was as good and the forehand took a while. You know, when you go full swing, are you going to spray it a bit more? Naturally, yes, because it’s in your racquet, so that not scared me, but I was like respecting that fact.

But when I felt like my backhand was better my serve was better, I just said if the more hours and more months I can put on the racquet, the better I will start to feel. Hopefully down the stretch I will really be able to play good tennis again and who knows maybe even better.

So it was interesting, you know, because I did switch, go back and then switch again. I think that was the right thing to do, because first I had to figure out my back problems over trying to figure out my racquet and my racquet issues.

Q. They were talking about just how high your level was, saying maybe even the best ever. I won’t ask you to grade that. Are you amazed at all at yourself that you’re doing that at this level at this age?
ROGER FEDERER: A little bit. I mean, a little bit to the extent where it’s nice to play this way. And maybe at my age to run through, you know, five opponents the way I have done here at the US Open, I don’t consider that normal, to be quite honest, even though I expect it in some ways for myself to come out and play well.

I’ve played so well over the last one-and-a-half years. I don’t feel like I’m as old as I am. I still feel young. So it’s nice to get rewarded with the hard work and, you know, that actually I’m able to play sort of fun tennis, I maybe call it for myself. Aggressive, pick it up, you know, like half volley it, move in, serve and volley, cut the points short, and if I want to, if I want to, extend the rallies.

But it feels like on my terms. Then if you win this way, it’s a great feeling.

Q. We’re obviously getting towards the end of the tournament, but I did want to ask you about the very unfortunate incident that occurred with James Blake today and whether you had heard that or whether you had any thoughts about that.
ROGER FEDERER: I read a piece, but it’s hard for me to comment on it, to be quite honest. You know, you hope these things don’t happen. Like I think James said it the right way. I have nothing else to really add to that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports



Wawrinka in press


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Stan Wawrinka

Press Conference

S. WAWRINKA/K. Anderson

6-4, 6-4, 6-0

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Great performance. You were able to step it up at the right moment?
STAN WAWRINKA: Yeah, for sure the best match of the tournament for me. I was really happy the way I play. I was focused on doing what I wanted on the match. I was trying to be really aggressive on the return and make him play a mix or some slice, some aggressive play from the baseline.

Q. Seemed like the crowd loved you there. Was it a good switch to go to Armstrong?
STAN WAWRINKA: We wanted to play on Ashe, but I think it was the better thing to do if we wanted to play all matches today. It was tough with the rain this afternoon. Was some long match with the womans.

At the end of the day, for me I don’t really mind, you know, where I’m playing. I’m trying to be focused on the match, and I was ready for both.

Q. When you think about the US Open trophy, what is the importance to your success in this tournament of the belief that you could be holding that trophy at the end of the tournament?
STAN WAWRINKA: Don’t really think about the trophy yet. I’m too far again. When I arrive here I’m trying to focus beginning of the tournament, first match. I know it’s boring, but that’s the only way. You can see how I was playing at the beginning. I wasn’t playing the best, but I was trying to get through the first week.

And now I play my best tennis so far in quarterfinal. Beating Anderson was great match for me. I’m in semifinal. I know it’s only two match left but it’s some big challenge ahead of me. I’m far away from thinking about the trophy. I think you can think about the trophy, for myself, when you are in the final. Not before.

Q. But you have won majors before. What about the belief? How did that change the belief that at the end of a major you could be the one holding that trophy?
STAN WAWRINKA: I just know that I can do it, for sure. I did twice. That’s it.

I know I can finish by winning the tournament, but I’m really far from that yet. So far I’m going to enjoy first tonight and the quarterfinal, because was a great performance for me. I’m really happy the way I was playing, the way I dealt with the way I improve and start to perform tonight.

Then tomorrow I will start to be ready for the semifinal against Roger.

Q. You know him a little bit.
STAN WAWRINKA: A little bit only.

Q. All three of your wins against Roger have come on clay, including the French, but you played him really tough in the ATP finals, winning a set there. Do you think you’re getting closer to him on hard courts?
STAN WAWRINKA: I think the past three years, for sure, I get closer from him. My level improved a lot. I’m playing better tennis. So I was always really close from him, if we look Wimbledon last year.

I will for sure need to play my best tennis. He’s playing really well so far. He loves to play. He know how to play. He had some amazing match. It’s going to be a big challenge. I think I’m ready.

Q. Before the start of the tournament you said Roger would be the only one who could play that SABR shot, and tonight you did it.
STAN WAWRINKA: I have to see how close I was from the line, but I’m still not at his level, for sure.

But, you know, I think — I’m not trying to do what he’s doing. Just the reason why I improve so much the past few years it’s also because I’m looking a lot what the top guys doing, Novak, Roger, Rafa.

I always try to see why they are so good. I’m not trying to do what they are doing. I’m just trying to see how they improve, how they can play so well, how can they play so fast, how they can do the passing shot and everything.

For sure we all see what Roger is doing right now. It’s quite impressive. He’s doing it against everybody.

I saw him play also against Anderson in Cincinnati, and I was surprised how close he was returning. But it’s actually a good way against Anderson to be closer than behind, because you completely cut the time from him.

I was trying to be really close from the line to don’t give him so much time.

Q. How different is your mindset now going into matches with Roger than it was, say, four, five years ago?
STAN WAWRINKA: I think now we both nervous when we enter the court. Before it was only me. I was nervous because I knew I wasn’t at his level, for sure.

And now I think we can see that he was also nervous every time we play each other the past few years. That’s a big difference, because that show how much he knows that I can play at his level, how much he knows that I can try to play my game and not just try to react about what he’s doing.

Q. There was a small controversy about your personal life before the French Open and you went on and won the tournament. Obviously coming into here you had some weeks of controversy again away from the court. I’m wondering how you have been able to manage those distractions and manage to play really good tennis?
STAN WAWRINKA: Great question. Just trying to focus on my tennis. When I’m on the court, there is nothing else to think. Just trying to play my best tennis.

Q. How are you able to do that?
STAN WAWRINKA: That’s my job.

Q. You mentioned on the court, you know, that Roger has invented this new shot. Do you feel like Roger has kind of reinvented himself this summer, that he’s captured something that’s helping him play like he used to?
STAN WAWRINKA: I think he’s trying some new things, for sure. He’s feeling really good at the moment.

I think probably what he did between Wimbledon and Cincinnati with his fitness trainer was something really good for him. You can feel he’s fresh and enjoy. He always enjoy. We love to watch him since more than ten years. More than that. He always do shot that no one can do. That’s why he’s the greatest.

Q. What do you admire most about him as a player? What has helped you beat him?
STAN WAWRINKA: As a player, I think it’s the way he’s playing. It’s just nice to see how he’s moving. You think he’s flying on the court.

Honestly, I watch him a lot in Cincinnati. Even here. He’s moving better than ever. Everything he’s doing, it seems so easy when we watch him. But as a tennis player, when you play against him, you know how difficult it is.

Q. How have you beaten him?
STAN WAWRINKA: By trying to play my game, to play really aggressive. Don’t give him so much time. Trying to push him, push him back. It’s going to be tough because I know he’s serving really well since the beginning of the tournament. I’m not going to have so many opportunities. He’s playing really aggressive.

That’s the way he’s going to try to play against me. That’s for sure. But I will have to play really, really fast, to be the aggressive player, if I want to have a chance to beat him.

Q. Friday’s match will be a different circumstance, but obviously Roger, wherever he plays, is a fan favorite, and he will have many, many people hoping he reaches the final. Contrast that to the experience of Paris where, you know, there was this assumption of a great moment for Novak and you were able to rise to the occasion of that remarkable moment. How are you thinking? Do you kind of like no expectation, or do you rise to it?
STAN WAWRINKA: No, I like to play when there is a big crowd. Doesn’t matter if they cheer for me or for the opponent. I’m used. We’re all used to, when we go on court with Roger, he’s the crowd favorite. That’s for sure.

Doesn’t matter. It’s normal. Everybody loves Roger. He’s the best player ever. He’s on court and off court a really good guy.

I just love when there is a lot of people watching us. Doesn’t matter if they are going to support him or support me. I think it’s always good to have a good atmosphere on the court.

Q. Roger said on the court that when you beat him in Roland Garros he was happy for you. He said it was not the first time feeling that. It would be the same for you?
STAN WAWRINKA: Beat me? Hopefully not. I’m always happy for him. You know, I’m the first fan since many years. Always watch his big match. Always happy with him, with all the titles he got.

So tomorrow it’s always the same. We are good friend. Really close friend. We always laugh together. Friday we’re gonna laugh together in the locker because we have locker next to each other before the match.

We are going to go into the match trying to win. Doesn’t matter how, but try to win. Then after the match it’s back to normal.

Q. I’m sure you’re tired of answering questions about Roger, but when you see him playing as well as he is at 34, does it make you think differently as a pro about the length of your career, what is possible in terms of if you pay the right attention to conditioning and fitness and you have luck with injuries and so on that you can play competitively later on through your career?
STAN WAWRINKA: Yeah, for sure. He show that it’s possible. I’m lucky to have the same fitness trainer as him, so I’m doing right schedule. I’m doing some good work so far. And again, if I look at myself, I’m playing my best tennis. I start to play my best tennis at 29, so hopefully I can still play for few years.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Kevin Anderson

Press Conference

S. WAWRINKA/K. Anderson

6-4, 6-4, 6-0

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What are your sentiments after that one?
KEVIN ANDERSON: Yeah, it was really tough out there. Was maybe a little bit nervous just with the occasion and a lot of waiting around, switching courts. Obviously something that you deal with, but just getting out there and everything seemed to be going pretty quickly.

I thought conditions were, you know, quite quick and quite live, especially compared to my last match out there. One poor serve game in the first set and I wasn’t really making too many inroads on his serve.

I thought I sort of got it back a little bit in the start of the second set. Another poor serve game, and then things sort of went downhill a little bit.

I mean, after taking the — changing my clothes and having that bathroom break, I was just trying to compose myself and reset myself. I didn’t feel, you know, that out of sorts, but going back it sort of snowballed a little bit.

He started free flying, swinging, and I was trying to find my way a little bit. Obviously it was not a good one to be in.

Q. Did you struggle to come up after the defeat of Andy? Any letdown factor there?

Q. Physically?
KEVIN ANDERSON: No. I felt fine. Obviously it was a big moment for me, but I felt I did a good job of resetting myself and getting ready for this next match.

But just obviously wasn’t meant to be today. Stan didn’t make it easy. He was taking time, I felt, away from me. He was swinging out, and, you know, I was just a step slow. Wasn’t going to bode well. I needed to be on top of my game today.

Q. Did it feel like he was on some sort of a mission the way he was playing?
KEVIN ANDERSON: Yeah, I mean, I think he stuck to his guns and what he needed to do. He did that very well.

You know, I can’t talk especially for how he felt, but obviously he did what he needed to do today. As I said earlier, he’s a very experienced player, especially at this level. He knows what it takes.

You know, it’s a very tough lesson for me today and, you know, it’s difficult not to think about it, but obviously I have got to take what I can. This week has been a great week for me, the last two weeks. There is a lot of positives.

I always try to look at that to obviously keep motivated and keep improving.

Q. That is the point, though. I mean, you have made that breakthrough. You finally got into the quarterfinals and knocking on the top 10 door. So those are the big positives for you to keep going with confidence?
KEVIN ANDERSON: Yeah, that’s what I’ve got to look at. It’s not that easy to do right now obviously just because of, you know, just the way I felt out there. It just really wasn’t my day.

But, you know, it’s the thinking that I’ve just got to take those feelings that I have had, the way I have played throughout the last few weeks, especially in my round of 16 to beat Andy there, and used it as extra motivation to give myself another chance.

I definitely know I can do better than I did today.

Q. Did you start the season with the goal of breaking the quarterfinal mark in mind and was there any other goals that you had going into…
KEVIN ANDERSON: Yeah, it was definitely on my mind. I had been in the round of 16 a few times and put myself in that position a few times even this year.

My goal is always to give myself opportunities. I was able to capitalize on one of them, big one, getting to the quarters in this event. That’s definitely something I can take with me.

So, yes, it was a goal. It was a goal to put myself in this position through the quarters and then obviously take it from there, one step at a time. I was able to achieve that. I want to put myself in this position again, because as I was saying, I think just today I didn’t feel like I gave myself the best shot of maybe going a little bit further.

Q. Talk about the sportsmanship award. What does that mean to you?
KEVIN ANDERSON: Yeah, it was great. I mean, I didn’t expect it. Nobody had mentioned anything. I’m very, you know, honored to receive that and to be acknowledged with that. I always try my best to, you know, behave the best I can out there.

You know, especially for the many people coming to watch and always been very appreciative of their efforts, especially, you know, the younger boys and girls who come here with high aspirations. I remember when I was in that position.

So to be recognized, I have always tried to do that throughout my whole career. It’s the first time I have actually officially been recognized this way, so I guess that’s a nice little ending for me.

Q. Stan’s attempt at the SABR tactic on return of your serve, what are your thoughts about it? What might we see, do you think, between Stan and Roger?
KEVIN ANDERSON: Yeah. I mean, definitely didn’t start out like that, but, I mean, towards the end I think when you’re in that position obviously gives you a bit more freedom in terms of what he was doing.

You know, I think it will be an interesting matchup in terms of those sort of tactics, taking pretty aggressive second serve cuts. Definitely probably expect to see a few. Seems to be pretty consistent. So, you know, we will just have to wait and see.



Simona Halep

Simona Halep



Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Simona Halep

Press Conference

S. HALEP/V. Azarenka

6-3, 4-6, 6-4

An interview with:


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Great match.
SIMONA HALEP: I know. (Smiling.)

Q. I guess I’m not the first one to tell you that.
SIMONA HALEP: Both of us, we played amazing, in my opinion.

Q. And obviously you come in here with a big smile on your face. Vika not so much. But, you know, somebody’s got to win and somebody’s got to lose. How happy are you to win that match?
SIMONA HALEP: I’m happy that I won this match. It was an amazing match. She played fantastic. But in the first set I played my best tennis, and I knew that I have, you know, I have the game to win the match. But I know also that she’s very strong and she doesn’t give up during the matches.

So after first set I did a step behind the baseline and wasn’t good. She was dominating me in the second set, and I was running well but no power to hit from very far from the court.

And then I came back a little bit, 3-2, and I had a chance to do 3-All. But I lost my serve. So then everything was negative in my head. The rain delay was perfect for me. (Smiling.) It was unbelievable that I had another chance.

So I said in the gym with my coach, I spoke and I said that I have another chance. So I have to go just to do everything I did in first set and to get this one, because it’s made for me.

Q. To reach your first semifinal here, how does that feel? Looking forward to that opportunity?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I’m looking forward for the next match to enjoy the semifinals. It’s first time when I play this.

I knew when I started the tournament that I have a good game. I feel great and I have good mentality coming in this Grand Slam. I had no expectations, no pressure. So that’s why I’m playing so good.

It’s a great feeling now that I can be in the semifinals, and of course tomorrow I want to fight to win it. But we will see. I expect a tough match.

Q. If you do win it tomorrow, then you have to look back at Cincinnati, and you told Serena at the end of that match that you’d be cheering for her to win the Grand Slam. What’s going to happen then?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I said I have one more match to get into the finals, first, and then to think about that.

But when I came here, someone asked me, You said this in Cincinnati. But I said, If I’m in the final, I want to win. (Smiling.) I want Serena winning if I’m not in the final.

Q. So you changed your mind?
SIMONA HALEP: No, no, I didn’t change. Before the tournament I said this.

So if I will be in the final, of course I will fight for my chance, but first I have to play tomorrow.

Q. You played Flavia on hard court and you beat her on hard court —
SIMONA HALEP: This year.

Q. — last time you met. What was that experience like, and what is it like playing her?
SIMONA HALEP: It’s tough. I know her. She’s very smart on court. She’s fighting. I know that she never gives up.

During the match today I saw a little bit, because I was warming up, and I know that she has a great backhand. I have just to play smarter than usual. I have to be aggressive like I did today in the end of the match. I have to keep my serve and just go in there and be focused.

Q. What are the biggest differences in your styles, yours versus Flavia’s?
SIMONA HALEP: The difference between us?

Q. Yeah, the way you play.
SIMONA HALEP: It’s tough to answer this question, because maybe we have similar game because she has a strong backhand, I have the strong backhand. It’s tough to answer, and I don’t want to make mistakes about that.

It’s just she’s aggressive, as well, and I have to make her run like I do with all the players. But first I have to think about my game and what I have to do on court.

Q. You had a difficult summer. First round at Wimbledon, early loss in France, and then turned around on the hard court season. What made the difference?
SIMONA HALEP: I had a long break home after losing in Wimbledon. That one helped me a lot to relax myself. I had a lot of pressure. I put pressure on myself for when I played French Open, because in my mind was that I have to repeat the result from last year. So it was a bad thing.

And then I relax myself, and I started to be aggressive again, to go without expectations at every tournament. Everything went in the right way in my game.

Q. Can you talk about having Nadia Comaneci in your player’s box and knowing her and what inspiration you might take from her?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, she’s a great champion. I mean, she had perfect 10, first 10. You know, to have a great champion in your box, it gives you power, that she appreciates what I’m doing. She was supporting me. I heard her sometimes when she said, Hi, Simona. So it was great, and I really want to thank her for coming. She told me that she’s coming tomorrow again. So it’s good.

Q. What did Darren tell you during the rain delay?
SIMONA HALEP: No, I’m not telling you. (Smiling.) I cannot say this.

Q. Fair enough. Second question: Vika said that she was surprised by the pace of your ball, that she didn’t think that you hit the ball as hard as you do, that you caught her a few times. I’m curious, because you hadn’t played her for three years, did anything surprise you in her game?
SIMONA HALEP: If I remember well in that match, she was hitting strong, like she does now. She has the same game. At that moment she won her Grand Slam, I think. Now she’s coming back. I think she was playing amazing today. I think she found her way back.

She’s, you know, more motivated, more focused for what she has to do. Today was really good match for her, and, you know, I think she’s stronger now. I am stronger, as well, since we played last time. I’m much stronger, and actually, mental, my mind is stronger than three years ago.

Q. Flavia was asked, before we knew the outcome of your match, she was asked to assess both you and Vika and she kind of laughed and said, Look, I’m not going to tell you. It’s strategy how she’s going to take you on. One thing she did say, because she was pressed on the topic, she talked about Azarenka’s power, she said she thought you actually had more power than Vika, and that a lot of people may not realize just how powerful a player you are. Talk about that part of your game and also, duly noted, that your next opponent is well aware of your power.
SIMONA HALEP: I think I have inside power more than during the game. I’m not very strong. Unless you see, I don’t have big muscles. I’m not tall. I have power inside. I fight. Always it’s like big challenge for me. Every point is a big challenge. So I do everything I can. I run for every ball, and that one makes me stronger, I think, in this moment.

Q. How does it make you feel to have that sort of inner strength?

Q. That strength that you just spoke about, the power inside. How does it make you feel to have it?
SIMONA HALEP: It’s natural. It’s natural. It’s coming from inside. I don’t work like this. Maybe my parents gave me this. Yeah, so I have it like natural.

Q. But what does that do for your confidence?
SIMONA HALEP: It’s like I feel strong when I go on court. I feel that, actually, when I started this tournament after coming with — I had two big results, and I thought that I have enough power to win matches here. I thought that I have my chance during this tournament, and I couldn’t accept to lose.

Like I did with Lisicki. It was an amazing match, as well. And second set where we were very close at 5-All, I said, I cannot lose.

So I was fighting, and this power came. You know, I just tried to stay calm and to think that I can win every ball.

Q. Based on your supernatural strength…
SIMONA HALEP: It’s not supernatural. It’s something normal.

Q. If you had your favorite surface, based on your strength, what would it be and why? Naturally, you know, hard court you’re mostly baseline.
SIMONA HALEP: Last year I said clay is my favorite because I had the biggest result there. This year I say hard court is my favorite.

Actually, I want to play on every surface good tennis. I know I’m able to do that. I have just to work on some things at my game and just believing in myself. Because I know if I believe, I can do many things.

Q. How much do you feel like those runs at the French Open and Wimbledon last year are helping you now? And why do you think it’s taken a full year for you to shuck away that pressure and feel like you’re just focused on what you need to do?
SIMONA HALEP: After Wimbledon I said that the year is finished for me. I cannot win a match.

So I took the pressure off of myself. I was going home, relaxing. I didn’t touch racquet for almost four weeks.

So it was just — I wanted just to forget about tennis, about official matches. I just wanted to come back with the pleasure on court and taking just, you know, the fun.

Because that’s why I played mixed here, to have fun and to refine the pleasure during the official matches. And after I lost in Wimbledon, I said that that’s the worst thing. Cannot be like worse than losing in first round in a Grand Slam. I went there with expectations in my mind. So that’s why I change my mind now, and I feel much relaxed.

Q. Is it fun to be in the semifinals of the US Open?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, a lot of fun. (Smiling.) Really happy. And I just want to enjoy tomorrow. No pressure, no expectations.

Q. How much between now and when you play about 24 hours from now will the thought enter your mind at all about the other semifinal possibility of, if you win, perhaps playing Serena Williams in the match that would have a lot of significance personally for you but also for her and what she’s trying to accomplish?
SIMONA HALEP: If I will play the final here against Serena, again, would be like a record to play two times against her in one month. I have nothing to lose. Even tomorrow it’s like big challenge and will be a big bonus for me to get into the finals here.

I didn’t expect this when I came here, but I knew that I have a chance. So I was working hard every day, and I was believing in myself that I can do it.

We will see tomorrow. It will be a tough match. I just want to be focused for that, and then we will see what is happening.

Q. You hit a serve today at 112 miles an hour.

Q. Yeah, wow.
SIMONA HALEP: Was it an ace?

Q. Yeah, it was.
SIMONA HALEP: Okay. I had only one, no?

Q. You had a few.

Q. But can you talk a little bit about your serve? Because it’s getting bigger and it seems like you’re going for it a little bit more.
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah. It’s getting bigger, and I’m working a lot on my serve. I changed some things on it. I’m much happier now that I can feel it, and in important moments it’s helping me. Like today at 2-1 I hit an ace. So it was a great moment.

I feel the serve now. I feel stronger when I serve, so I’m not afraid anymore to serve. But actually, I feel the return better. It’s there.

Q. European players always talk about the French Open, Wimbledon, watching them growing up. How much did you watch of the US Open when you were little? Do you have memories of this tournament?
SIMONA HALEP: I didn’t watch tennis too much when I was younger. Actually, this week I was watching a lot at the TV every day.

I didn’t like to watch tennis since last year, I can say. Yeah, last year I started just to watch some players just to learn many things from them.

I’m more relaxed, to be honest, and I enjoy a lot this period of my life, of my career. So I have to get just the fun and the pleasure of everything.

Azarenka 10 5 2012


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Victoria Azarenka

Press Conference

S. HALEP/V. Azarenka

6-3, 4-6, 6-4

An interview with:


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You played so well. You fought so, so hard out there tonight. What are your emotions? Disappointment? What are your thoughts?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I think I played well. I believe I could have played better. I did really fight really hard, and I was trying to find solutions. She played really well today. I was a little bit surprised by the pace of her ball, to be honest.

I think that, you know, a couple of free points that I gave away today cost me the match a little bit.

Q. Seeing how Petra was out in the morning, a big opportunity, you played Serena well here in a couple of finals, two three-setters with her. Is there a sense that maybe you could get to her in this tournament? Does that put you under any more pressure in this match? Did you feel it was a great opportunity for you going into this?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: No, I didn’t really look into that because I knew I had a tough match today. So I was just trying to play today and win today. That didn’t happen. That’s out of the question.

Q. You fought hard to come back into this match. You were up in the third set. Do you think maybe what you could have done to go up 3-Love before the rain, or…
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Maybe. You know, I don’t know. It’s tough to say what could have happened. I just tried to accept what happened and learn from it, just improve, because thinking of what could have happened is pointless to me.

Q. She struggled this year. She lost first round at Wimbledon. French Open didn’t play that well. Were you surprised she played so tough at the end?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I don’t usually get them when they are in the bad form. Usually they play really well against me. (Smiling.)

You know, she had a great summer. Obviously she played two finals in the two big events. Coming in she was in good form and playing well at the Open. So I didn’t expect an easy match or that she was going to give me something away.

Obviously she didn’t. She played well. She stayed strong. As I said, I believe that the couple points that, you know, I could have maybe be a little bit more aggressive or sometimes more consistent did cost the match today.

Q. You talked the other day about the dream and the passion to be back at No. 1. Obviously when you have had your share of injuries and been hampered by injury, are there things you could take from this tournament that make you feel that, you know, that the positives, if you can take out of it, that you’re on track to maybe get back to your old form?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Definitely. I have no doubt in my abilities. This tournament is just another step forward. I believe I played pretty well throughout the whole tournament. There are, I think, quite a bit of improvements in my game compared to Wimbledon or other tournaments, so, you know, I’m on the right track. You know, today I didn’t have much luck on my side today, I think.

But luck has nothing to do with it. You’ve got to create your own. I will keep working hard.

Q. Congratulations on a victorious season, at least. What do you plan to do in terms of relaxing and kind of reflecting? Do you take some time off after?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: We’ll see. It’s too close to think what I’m going to do. I’m definitely going to go home and spend some time with my family, pick my nephew up from kindergarten. So I’m looking forward to that. That’s, you know, life experiences that has nothing to do with tennis that makes me happy.

And reflecting, I’m going to reflect after I’m done with tennis. I have no time for that.

Q. Simona said some nice things about Serena after the Cincinnati final. She said she might cheer for her to get the Grand Slam. This is kind of ironic. If she ends up playing her here it will be kind of a weird situation, wouldn’t it? Do you think it was a mistake for her to say anything?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I’m not here to judge what she said. You know, she said what she wanted to say. If she ends up playing against her, you know, we will see what happens.

Q. Could be a lousy final, right?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I don’t know. There is still semifinals that both have to win. So we’ll see.

Q. You said you were surprised by Simona’s pace today. Can you explain what was tricky?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah. I thought that she has more speed on the ball, and she does play with fast pace, taking the ball early. But the majority of her shots actually sits up pretty nicely. I should have adjusted a little bit better, take a little bit more advantage of that.

But she changed it up, her pace, and there were a few things that I was just a little bit surprised you don’t see that well on TV when you face that, and since we haven’t played against each other for a long time, that was a little bit of a surprise.

Q. Obviously the prime storyline here is about Serena and the slams and so forth. So if I could, could I ask you how you think Simona would line up against her, what her choices are? Just talk about…
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, if she’s going to cheer for her during the match, then she probably has less chances, as she said after Cincinnati. (Smiling.)

I don’t know. It depends on so many factors: how she’s gonna play, how Serena is going to feel, what the conditions will be.

It’s difficult to predict, you know. I just hope it’s going to be a great final or semifinal. We still have semifinals. It’s going to be great matches for women’s tennis. That’s what I’m hoping for.

Q. Do you think it feels all right to play Zhuhai instead of Singapore based on rankings at the end of the season, or do you feel very disappointed to not qualify for the Championships?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Do I not have any chance to qualify or what?

Q. You will actually have to try to qualify for Singapore?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: That’s the goal.

Q. After two close matches with Serena in majors this year, were you particularly motivated here, maybe get one more crack? You had some very good chances in those matches.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I mean, of course I was looking forward to that, but what’s the point talking about it right now? I’m out of the tournament, so I just gotta go back, back to work, and hopefully create another opportunity for the Wuhan, Beijing, next year, whenever it’s gonna happen. Right now it’s — what do you want me to say? (Smiling.)

Q. You were mentioning the concept of luck and luck not being entirely on your side today. Tough losses at the slams. Do you think there was a little bit of luck just not on your side at the majors this year? Draws? Opponents?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I mean, I’m not gonna sit and find excuses or feel sorry that I was unlucky with the draw or whatever it is. You know, maybe it’s just not my time right now. But that doesn’t discourage me to work hard. And, you know, there’s nobody in this world that’s gonna put a limit on what I want to do.

To me, it’s quite a good motivation.

Q. Does your nephew know that his aunt is a tennis star or an athlete?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I hope he just is proud that I’m his Aunt Vika, you know, regardless the rest of the stuff. You know, I hope he’s just happy to see my face and he’ll be excited. That’s what I love about kids. They don’t care about anything else but who you are as a person.

Q. And there’s more tennis to play, but this is the end of the Grand Slam season. You put so much effort, worked so hard. Just talk about your Grand Slam season this year.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I think it’s not bad for the ranking that I had. I don’t think that anybody has done better than me where I am in the rankings. It could have been better. It is what it is. You know, it’s that simple.

I just want to take it and accept as it happened. I made, what, two quarterfinals? Next one I want to try to make it further.

You know, I have won Grand Slams before. I believe I can do it again. I need to put more work in, and I’ll get it.


Flavia Pennetta

Flavia Pennetta


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Flavia Pennetta

Press Conference

F. PENNETTA/P. Kvitova

4-6, 6-4, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Petra was in earlier and said she wasn’t all that disappointed because she played very, very well and you simply outplayed her. Is that how you would describe it?
FLAVIA PENNETTA: I think we both play very well. It was a good fight. In the end I play a little bit better.

Physically I was better than her in the last set, so that was the difference, for sure.

Q. How do you feel about being back in the semifinals where you were a couple years ago? Who knows who you’re going to play; they are slugging it out right now. How do you feel about being back in the semis?
FLAVIA PENNETTA: Of course I’m really, really happy. It’s something incredible. Before the tournament I never think to be so far in the tournament, so it’s something special. It’s something amazing for me in this moment.

Q. Why did you not think that, because you have been there before?
FLAVIA PENNETTA: No, because I didn’t play really well in the last week and the feeling was not that good. I just come here and try to practice, try to find the good feeling with the ball, with the atmosphere here, and everything it seems working. (Smiling.)

Q. Yesterday your countrywoman, Roberta Vinci, said how proud Italy was to have her in the semis, but they may be even more proud to have two women in the semis. How proud are you, and how proud is your country at the moment?
FLAVIA PENNETTA: Of course I’m very proud. Of course yesterday when I saw Roberta in the locker, I mean, I hug her and I say — I mean, she was amazing yesterday also.

I think this is really important for our country. We did a lot of good things in the last 10 years. We have me, Roberta, Francesca, Sara, now Camila is coming also.

So I think it’s really good for Italian tennis to have such a good player.

Q. They say to never talk to women about their age, but Schiavone…
FLAVIA PENNETTA: We are old. I know.

Q. Thank you.
FLAVIA PENNETTA: I mean, old for tennis. For the life we are younger. (Smiling.)

Q. But just talk about that. There must be just some reason for that.
FLAVIA PENNETTA: No, there is no reason. I mean, also Serena, she is not that young. I mean, of course we are a little bit old for the age of tennis right now. A lot of young players coming in the last — since the Olympic game, I think, was a little bit of change of generation.

But we are here. We still fight. We still enjoy what we did. I think this is important.

Q. Talk about the role of Fed Cup just over the past many years. You have had success after success. Has that helped you guys? Has it pushed each of you?
FLAVIA PENNETTA: I mean, I think was really important for all of us because sometimes I mean, I starting the year in 2009 with the top 10 and then Francesca won Roland Garros and then Sara come. Everyone was pushing the other one.

I think it was really important for us to have someone before us just to try to catch it all the time.

Q. People aren’t really giving Roberta much of a chance against Serena tomorrow, but from your perspective, what about Roberta’s game is so difficult on court?
FLAVIA PENNETTA: I mean, Roberta, she’s completely like a different player. I mean, she’s one of the — maybe the only one. And there is another one, Niculescu. They play different in that way.

But of course — I think she have chance tomorrow. I mean, she has to go in the court and try her best. She don’t have nothing to lose. She has in front of her Serena Williams. I mean, you just have to go on court and try everything.

I mean, she make a really good tournament. She has to believe that she can make it, because if you go on the court you are not that sure or you are thinking, Okay, it’s done; I’m okay, like this, it’s going to be bad.

Q. We don’t know of course who your next opponent will be. Can we take each player separately? Would you please speak about them as individuals and what you feel about the challenge with each?
FLAVIA PENNETTA: I mean, they are really good both. Amazing players. Powerful. They have everything. I mean, they are now in court and fighting and running and try everything to get through this round.

Doesn’t matter who I gonna play tomorrow, because I think they are both really good and it’s going to be a big fight with both of them.

Q. So in terms of style of play, let’s start with Vika. When you watch her play, what do you consider her…
FLAVIA PENNETTA: I cannot tell you right now. Because I cannot tell you what I want to do against her or against the other one. Maybe after the match we gonna talk about that. (Smiling.)

Q. How about just to describe Vika. When you look at her and you see her play, what are the things she does that most impress you?
FLAVIA PENNETTA: I mean, she play really aggressive all the time, good backhand, good forehand; first serve really good; second one you can attack a little bit better.

You have to push her all the time, because if you give her a time to push you, you gonna die on the court.

Q. And how about Halep?
FLAVIA PENNETTA: Halep, it’s look like she’s not that powerful like Vika but she is. She is more powerful, I think. To make a winner to her you have to finish the point seven times. She always there, always in — the ball is always come back.

It’s gonna be like marathon, I think.

Q. Her getting to No. 2 in the world, what do you consider her greatest attributes that have brought her to that place?
FLAVIA PENNETTA: She’s really consistent. I mean, from the beginning of the year until now she’s really like — she didn’t play really well Roland Garros and Wimbledon, but I think for different things, not about tennis.

Maybe she had too much pressure outside the court. I mean, everyone expecting so much. She has two months where she was a little bit like scaring, not of everything. But now she’s back in the same way she start the beginning of the year, focus and with a lot of the determination.

Q. You mentioned Niculescu, who of course at Indian Wells played Serena and gave Serena a big, big headache. Just talk about how that might be a matchup problem in terms of Roberta going in.
FLAVIA PENNETTA: Well, Roberta has two things much better than Niculescu. She serve much better and with the forehand she can make a lot of winners. You cannot compare one with the other one because they do like different thing comparing to the other player.

But Roberta and Niculescu, they are different player. I mean, Niculescu is more physically maybe, stronger. She is running much more. But Roberta has winner, has a good serve. I mean, it’s different in this way.

Q. Regardless of who you play tomorrow you have beaten them before. What would it mean to you to make a final?
FLAVIA PENNETTA: I don’t know. I gonna tell you if I have a chance to beat her. (Smiling.)

Q. How does being in the semifinal here before help you? You have been in the semifinal before. How does that help you?
FLAVIA PENNETTA: Nothing today. I mean, you just go on court and play. I mean, doesn’t matter if you make final, semifinal, quarterfinal years before. You just try to play the match the best you can and nothing more.

Q. Are you happy it’s being played at night rather than the weird sunny/shade like today?
FLAVIA PENNETTA: If I could choose I prefer night session, of course, because I like the light. It’s not the big problem for me with playing with light.

And play with this, I mean, the shade on the court was a disaster today. I was not able to see. I mean, was the same for her, for sure. I mean, it’s not easy.

But it was the same for both of us.

Q. New York obviously has a big Italian-American population. Do you have any contacts here? Family here? Have you gone to Little Italy?
FLAVIA PENNETTA: No, no, I didn’t have any family here, but I like a lot to go to Italian restaurant when I can. I have some friends, they have restaurant here. I try to be home just to with the good food. (Smiling.)

Q. Playing doubles last year with Martina, what kind of tips did she give you for singles and playing well in majors?
FLAVIA PENNETTA: I mean, she’s a good player and you can — she’s a champion, no? So it’s always nice to have someone like her with you.

But she didn’t say, told me nothing like different that I already know, but was a really nice to play with her. I really enjoyed the time we spent together.

Kvitova bh-001


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Petra Kvitova

Press Conference

F. PENNETTA/P. Kvitova

4-6, 6-4, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Did you have some injury that we saw?

Q. Not at all? No, honestly.
.PETRA KVITOVA: No, no injury.

Q. But you had something wrapped up.

Q. Your leg. At the end of the second set you seemed to be a little tired.
PETRA KVITOVA: I am tired. (Smiling.)

What you saw on my leg, it’s from the first match already. It was just protection. It wasn’t really nothing serious.

I think just from the beginning of the match I didn’t really feel 100% ready today. I’m just glad that I left everything what I could today. I suffered a lot, but I’m still here. That’s good.

Q. Did you suffer because of the heat or something else?
PETRA KVITOVA: Probably. Yeah, I was kind of hot out there today. But my energy-wise wasn’t probably the best today, as well.


Q. Do you have explanation for the fact that on the first set nine games out of ten were won when you were playing on the shadow, and one the sun — only one and you won the first set because you won one game against the sun. In the second set this completely changed. I mean, five games won in the sun, five in the shade. Did you change the situation completely or you just get adjusted to the situation?
PETRA KVITOVA: Yeah, I think that both of us, we just need some time to get used to the shades over there. It’s not very nice when you’re playing out there. Of course you’re feeling much more better if you are in the shades. You’re just feeling a little bit like cooler.

But when you see the ball it’s kind of a little bit tricky because you really don’t see as well as you normally do. That’s why probably we were kind of suffering from the first set. But then probably we just get used to when it was — just doesn’t matter if it’s the shades there or no.

Q. Do you feel like you played the best game that you could play today? I think I heard you sort of say that before that you played well, but she was just the better player today. Is that how you feel?
PETRA KVITOVA: I think I should a little bit serve better, but on the other side, I think that she returned very well. I made a lot of double faults today, and it was just presents to give her.

On the other side, I mean, if I am not really counting the serves sometimes, I left everything what I could today, s I said already, and she didn’t miss at all. She was very consistent player. She moves very well, and it was tough to have any winners and everything.

So, yeah.

Q. Quarterfinals is your best final here, but certainly to the level you have achieved at the other Grand Slams. Is it a bit frustrating you haven’t been able to get beyond this point and maybe get to the semis or the finals?
PETRA KVITOVA: Yeah, of course. I’m disappointing that I lost today for sure, but on the other side, I think I have a lot of positive things to take from the tournament.

You know, it wasn’t really easy situation. I’m just very — I’m kind of proud of myself how I played here, anyway. I didn’t really practice that much before. Everything was just like puzzles to take it together somehow and just take it together somehow and everything.

Of course, I wish to play tomorrow semifinal, but on the other side is good.

Q. The third set, do you think it’s normal fatigue or do you think it is from your asthma?
PETRA KVITOVA: I think I never have the explanation for that. I mean, you never know what is it. I just know that from the first point I don’t really feel like energy level great.

Really tough to say. I think it was kind of combination of everything.

Q. There was a heat policy today or not? You stopped at eight minutes…
PETRA KVITOVA: I don’t know. They didn’t tell us.

Q. They didn’t tell you anything about that?
PETRA KVITOVA: No, so probably not.

Q. I saw at the end you were nice to Flavia and you embrace each other. Do you know each other well? Are you friends in a way or not? She’s eight years older than you, so, I mean, I don’t know.
PETRA KVITOVA: I think the age doesn’t matter. I know her long time, of course, on the tour. We meet each other very often. She’s very nice person and I like her.

I mean, she’s a good, I don’t know to say good friend, but for sure nice person, as I said. I just wished her best of luck. She really deserved to win today. I just felt it like that. So that’s why.

Q. Nice of you. Of course you probably don’t care very much who is going to win next match, but do you see Flavia has more chances in your opinion versus Halep eventually or versus Azarenka in terms of technical abilities or situation?
PETRA KVITOVA: Tough to say. I think either if she gonna play Azarenka or Halep, I think both of them playing very consistently. I think very similar game as Flavia has.

Difficult to say. I mean, for sure it’s going to be a lot about the physical side kind of and who gonna serve probably better.

Q. Was it more difficult to wake up this morning than it was other days?
PETRA KVITOVA: A little bit. (Smiling.) Actually, I couldn’t fall asleep last night, so it was kind of difficult anyway.

Yeah, when I heard my alarm I didn’t want to wake up. Yeah, I’m kind of sleepy right now, as well. I’m okay. It’s fine.

Q. And you mentioned before that there were positives to take out of this tournament. Can you be a little more specific? What positives do you take out of it?
PETRA KVITOVA: I think the positive things, for sure, it’s kind of in the mind that even I wasn’t 100% ready, my body wasn’t really ready, I was still able to play really good tennis.

Which I know in the past, as well, that if I feel kind of suffering with some injuries or something I was still able to play good, so that’s nice to have it back, for sure.

Another positive is that a played a lot of matches, as well. It’s great to have it, because last couple of months I didn’t really have that many. I mean, I played French Open and Wimbledon, so it was kind of difficult time.

And I’m looking forward for the next matches again.

Q. Just wondering how is your body holding up right now after this long, exhausting, really hot summer in North America? Do you think you will be fully recovered to play in Wuhan and Beijing?
PETRA KVITOVA: I wish so, for sure. I mean, I really don’t know. I’m coming back to make some blood test how is it everything looking right now. Now I’m feeling really exhausted, so I’m really glad I can sit now.

But I have really no idea. I gonna talk with the doctors again and see how everything is working, but if I’m okay I will come there, for sure.

Q. How much attention do you think you’ll pay to the rest of the tournament here?
PETRA KVITOVA: I think it’s not that much because it’s only two matches, so I think it’s fine.

I have no idea. Normally when I lost I really don’t care about the others, how the tournament is going to continue. I will see. I have no idea.

Q. Would you be surprised at this point if Serena Williams did not win the title?
PETRA KVITOVA: Yes. (Smiling.)

Q. Is there anything in your mind that could prevent that from happening, either because the players who are left or any other reason?
PETRA KVITOVA: Of course it’s still great players playing, two of them right now. But I think I saw the match Serena played yesterday with Venus, and I just felt that she’s more focusing than she did before, the matches before, and I think that she’s kind of the player who with the tournament she’s playing better and better every match.

So I think that if she gonna be in the final, I think she gonna put everything what she has inside and she gonna win it.


Note from the US Open Media Operations Guide as to why Tennis Panorama News is allowed to post transcripts:

Transcripts of player interviews cannot be posted until one (1) hour after the interview has ended. Player transcripts can only be posted on the website of the publication that was accredited.

Simona Halep and Flavia Pennetta Reach US Open Semifinals

Halep fist pump-001

(September 9, 2015) World No. 2 Simona Halep defeated No. 20 Victoria Azarenka, while No. 26 Flavia Pennetta rallied to defeat No. 5 Petra Kvitova on Wednesday to reach the US Open semifinals, where they will face each other on Thursday night.

The 23-year-old Halep won 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 in a match which was delayed 1 hour, 25 minutes by rain in the third set. Pennetta, 33, defeated Kvitova 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 in two-hours and 23-minutes to reach her third US Open semifinal within three years.

Halep had 40 winners to 19 unforced errors, while Azarenka had 38 winners to 42 unforced errors. Halep was 6 for 19 on break point chances while the two-time Australian Open champion Azarenka was a perfect 5 for 5. This will be Halep’s first US Open semifinal.

“I think I played well,” said Azarenka. “I believe I could have played better. I did really fight really hard, and I was trying to find solutions. She played really well today. I was a little bit surprised by the pace of her ball, to be honest.

“I think that, you know, a couple of free points that I gave away today cost me the match a little bit.”

“I’m happy that I won this match,” Halep said. “It was an amazing match. She played fantastic. But in the first set I played my best tennis, and I knew that I have, you know, I have the game to win the match. But I know also that she’s very strong and she doesn’t give up during the matches.

“So after first set I did a step behind the baseline and wasn’t good. She was dominating me in the second set, and I was running well but no power to hit from very far from the court.

“And then I came back a little bit, 3-2, and I had a chance to do 3-All. But I lost my serve. So then everything was negative in my head. The rain delay was perfect for me.She said with a smile. “It was unbelievable that I had another chance.

“So I said in the gym with my coach, I spoke and I said that I have another chance. So I have to go just to do everything I did in first set and to get this one, because it’s made for me.”

Kvitova bh-001

“Just from the beginning of the match I didn’t really feel 100 percent ready today,” Kvitova said of her match against the Italian. “It wasn’t really easy situation. I’m just very — I’m kind of proud of myself how I played here, anyway. Kvitova had been suffering from mononucleosis earlier in the year.

Kvitova made 60 unforced errors to 41 winners while, Pennetta had 21 winners to 16 unforced errors. Pennetta was 6 for 16 in break point chances to Kvitova’s 4 for 9.

“I think we both play very well,” Pennetta said. “It was a good fight. In the end I play a little bit better.”

“Of course I’m really, really happy. It’s something incredible. Before the tournament I never think to be so far in the tournament, so it’s something special. It’s something amazing for me in this moment.”

Flavia Pennetta

Flavia Pennetta

With Pennetta reaching the semifinal, it means that three of the four final four women are 30-somethings. Pennetta and Serena Williams are 33 and Roberta Vinci is 32. It means for the first time two Italian women are in the semifinals of a major in the Open Era.

“Of course I’m very proud,” Pennetta said. “Of course yesterday when I saw Roberta (Vinci) in the locker, I mean, I hug her and I say — I mean, she was amazing yesterday also.

“I think this is really important for our country. We did a lot of good things in the last 10 years. We have me, Roberta, Francesca (Schiavone), Sara (Errani), now Camila (Giorgi) is coming also.

“So I think it’s really good for Italian tennis to have such a good player.

On playing 20-something Halep in the semifinal, Pennetta said: “Halep, it’s look like she’s not that powerful like Vika but she is. She is more powerful, I think. To make a winner to her you have to finish the point seven times. She always there, always in — the ball is always come back.

“It’s gonna be like marathon, I think.”

“It’s tough,” Halep said about paying Pennetta in the semifinals. “I know her. She’s very smart on court. She’s fighting. I know that she never gives up.

“During the match today I saw a little bit, because I was warming up, and I know that she has a great backhand. I have just to play smarter than usual. I have to be aggressive like I did today in the end of the match. I have to keep my serve and just go in there and be focused.”



More Women’s Seeds Lose, Young Beats Simon, Federer Cruises at US OPen

Lucie Safarova

Lucie Safarova

(September 1, 2015) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – The upsets continued on the women’s side of the draw at the US Open on Tuesday. French Open finalist sixth seed Lucie Safarova lost to No. 37 Lesia Tsurenko 6-4, 6-1, while 14th seed Timea Bacsinszky lost to Barbora Strycova 7-5, 6-0 Alizé Cornet 27th seed Alizé Cornet also was defeated. Ten women’s seeds have lost in the first round at the US Open, half of the Top 10.

No. 11 Gilles Simon led Donald Young by two sets to none and 3-0, when the American rallied to win the match 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.

“Down two sets to love and 3-0 actually, that’s when I decided to swing a little freer, start to, you know, push the envelope a little bit and start to come in more, just assert myself to the match,” Young said. “I was going to go down swinging. That was pretty much my mentality at that point.”

“I love playing in New York. I love playing on hard courts. It’s the last slam of the year. I haven’t had the results I wanted at the other slams. I didn’t want to go out like that.

“If I was to go out, I really wanted to go out swinging and giving him a battle and making him earn it. I didn’t feel at first I was able to do that. To be able to do that was great. Emotionally I just felt, you know, it gives you confidence to know you can come back from 2 sets to love against such a quality opponent, a top 10 guy, wins titles and, competes at the highest level every week.”

This was the first time Young had ever come back in a match from two sets to love down.

There was no such drama for high seeds (2) Roger Federer, (2) Simona Halep, (4) Caroline Wozniacki, (6) Tomas Berdych and (9) Garbine Muguruza.

Federer destroyed Argentine Leonardo Mayer 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 in 77 minutes.

“I feel good now,“ Federer said. “I actually wasn’t so confident yesterday and today. I just felt like maybe could be one of those matches I just couldn’t see it coming.

“So thankfully I took this match extremely serious. I thought at times almost I was taking it a bit too serious. I got that lucky in Shanghai, so that’s why that was just — it was just creeping around in my mind that maybe today was going to be a bad day.

“Plus I had practiced with him, you know, here, I don’t know, the day of the draw, and he was playing very well in practice, too.”

A record was set for retirements during the first round of the U.S. Open than in any round at any Grand Slam tournament in the open era.

Twelve men and women have retired during matches on Monday and Tuesday. Tuesday pull-outs included Marcos Baghdatis, Ernests Gulbis, Thanasi Kokkinakis, Aleksandr Nedovyesov and Marina Erakovic.

Andy Murray bested controversial Nick Kyrgios in four sets in the night match. The young Australian Kyrgios was playing his first match since and episode in Montreal where he verbally abused Stan Wawrinka. He’s been put on probation by the ATP, and if he misbehaves in the next 6 months at an ATP event, he could face a suspension and fine. However this would not apply for the US Open as it’s a Grand Slam.

Singles – First Round

[2] Simona Halep (ROU) def. Marina Erakovic (NZL) 6-2, 3-0 (retired – knee injury)
[4] Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) def. Jamie Loeb (USA) 6-2, 6-0

[5] Petra Kvitova (CZE) def. Laura Siegemund (GER) 6-1, 6-1
Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) def. [6] Lucie Safarova (CZE) 6-4, 6-1
[20] Victoria Azarenka (BLR) def. Lucie Hradecka (CZE) 6-1, 6-2
[11] Angelique Kerber (GER) def. Alexandra Dulgheru (ROU) 6-3, 6-1

[18] Andrea Petkovic (GER) def. Caroline Garcia (FRA) 3-6, 6-4, 7-5
[9] Garbiñe Muguruza (ESP) def. Carina Witthoeft (GER) 6-2, 6-4

[22] Samantha Stosur (AUS) def. Timea Babos (HUN) 6-3, 6-4

[16] Sara Errani (ITA) def. Mayo Hibi 6-0, 6-1
Johanna Konta (GBR) def. Louisa Chirico (USA) 6-3, 6-0
Elena Vesnina (RUS) def. Laura Robson (GBR) 3-6, 6-3, 7-5

Kurumi Nara (JPN) def. [27] Alizé Cornet (FRA) 2-6, 6-4, 6-4

Petra Cetkovska (CZE) def. Christina McHale (USA) 4-6, 6-4, 6-3

[24] Sabine Lisicki (GER) def. Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) 6-1, 6-4
Varvara Lepchenko (USA) def. Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) 6-1, 6-1

Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) def. Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 6-3, 6-1

Qiang Wang (CHN) def. Maria Sakkari (GRE) 7-5, 6-2

Shelby Rogers (USA) def. Sachia Vickery (USA) 6-2, 6-2
Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK) def. Julia Goerges (GER) 6-3, 6-4
Nicole Gibbs (USA) def. Lourdes Dominguez Lino (ESP) 6-3, 3-6, 6-4
Barbora Strycova (CZE) def. [14] Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) 7-5, 6-0
Danka Kovinic (MNE) def. Aleksandra Krunic (SRB) 4-6, 7-5, 6-1
Mona Barthel (GER) def. Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) 5-7, 7-6(4), 6-1
[26] Flavia Pennetta (ITA) def. Jarmila Gajdosova (AUS) 6-1, 3-6, 6-1
Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) def. Annika Beck (GER) 6-4, 1-6, 6-4
Evgeniya Rodina (RUS) def. Tereza Mrdeza (CRO) 6-2, 6-2
Karin Knapp (ITA) def. Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) 6-7(1), 6-2, 6-4
Olga Govortsova (BLR) def. [28] Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) 6-1, 0-6, 7-6(3)
Camila Giorgi (ITA) def. Johanna Larsson (SWE) 6-3, 6-3
Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) def. Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) 6-0, 6-3

Monica Niculescu (ROU) def. Alexandra Panova (RUS) 7-6(3), 5-7, 6-3

Singles – First Round

[2] Roger Federer (SUI) d. Leonardo Mayer (ARG) 61 62 62
[5] Stan Wawrinka (SUI) vs. Albert Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) 75 64 76(6)
[6] Tomas Berdych (CZE) d. Bjorn Fratangelo (USA) 63 62 64
Donald Young (USA) d. [11] Gilles Simon (FRA) 26 46 64 64 64
[12] Richard Gasquet (FRA) d. Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) 46 61 46 63 20 ret.
[13] John Isner (USA) d. Malek Jaziri (TUN) 62 63 64
[21] Ivo Karlovic (CRO) d. Federico Delbonis (ARG) 63 75 75
[30] Thomaz Bellucci (BRA) d. James Ward (GBR) 61 75 63
Jurgen Melzer (AUT) d. Denis Kudla (USA) 63 75 61
Austin Krajicek (USA) d. Santiago Giraldo (COL) 36 76(6) 76(6) 76(1)
Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) d. John-Patrick Smith (AUS) 61 36 75 76(4)
Jiri Vesely (CZE) d. Paolo Lorenzi (ITA) 64 64 64
Gilles Muller (LUX) vs. Ruben Bemelmans (BEL)
Aljaz Bedene (GBR) d. Ernests Gulbis (LAT) 36 64 30 ret.
Robin Haase (NED) d. Dustin Brown (GER) 46 46 63 75 64
Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN) d. Paul-Henri Mathieu (FRA) 64 26 67(7) 61 62

More to follow…


Top US Open Seeds Meet the Media in Flushing Meadows

(August 29, 2015) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY) The top seeds at the 2015 US Open met the media on Saturday ahead of Monday’s start of the last major of the year.

Third seed Andy Murray and second seed Simona Halep spoke to the media in the relaxed setting of Media Garden located behind Arthur Ashe stadium.

Murray was asked about playing the controversial Nick Kyrgios in the first round, which is projected to be a very competitive match for the Scotsman.

“For me it’s just a tennis match,” Murray said. “I go about the match in the best way possible by getting all the things, getting all the tactics, and everything sorted and you know, tailor my practices the next few days around his game style and that’s what I’ll be doing. You don’t obviously pay attention to the other stuff.”

Murray talked about past match-ups with the Australian. Murray holds a 3-0 record against his challenger.

“Every match is a new match. You can learn, obviously, from those previous matches, see what things worked and what things didn’t, but he might come in and do something completely different against me next time, so I need to be prepared for that. He’s quite an unpredictable player so you need to expect that when you go on the court.

Yeah I’ve played well against him, I played good matches, but he’s obviously a top player, you know, just missed out in a seeding here and I’m sure he’ll be one of the top players here in the next few years.

On playing Kyrgios at the US Open: “To be honest, I think he likes playing on big stages. That’s where he’s played his best tennis throughout his career. Last year he’d only won one or two matches outside of Slams in the whole year. This year, his results have been inconsistent but at the Slams he made quarters. In Australia, I played him in the third round at the French and at Wimbledon he was close to reaching the quarters again there. I would expect him to be ready for the match. He gets himself fired up for the big events.”

Simona Halep

Simona Halep

For Romania’s Simona Halep, despite a recent left knee problem, she’s really to go.

“Now, I’m feeling great; I’ve recovered and I’m ready to start.”

“I think in the past I didn’t believe that I had the chance to do great here. Now, I’m feeling better and I’m feeling more confident. I had two great weeks before here and I think it’s going to help me. I’m just going to enjoy it and I’m not going to think about the pressure.

“Actually, I play well when there’s pressure, but not too much.”

Asked she wanted Serena Williams to win the Grand She said:

“If I will not be in the finals, then I want her to win. If I’m in the finals with her, then I want to win.

“I said that because she has a big chance to win all four Grand Slams this year. I think she has enough power to do that, but of course I want to win. I just want to take it match-by-match.


The Media Day interviews moved over to Media Interview Room One as last year’s US Open finalist Kei Nishikori took on the press.

“I think from last year this time I kind of stepped one up and I raised my level after this tournament, so I’m very happy with everything this year. Especially this summer I’ve been playing really well, from Washington and Montreal. I unfortunately got hurt and couldn’t play Cincinnati but still I feel very good physically and also tennis-wise, so very exciting, and it’s going to be a big challenge for me to play this year, again, but I’m very confident.”

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic entered his news conference with a stuffed animal Mickey Mouse, which he sat on the desk.

The Serb is really to take on New York. “Generally I have huge incentive and motivation to play US Open as any other Grand Slam, Djokovic said.”
“These are the events where you want to perform your best. These are the events
where you want to go far and compete for the title. Just being here is a pleasure and of
course as anybody else, I’m excited and looking forward to getting on the court”
Djokovic is coming into the US Open aiming to win his third major of the  year. He won three majors in 2011.
He compared his game in 2011 to now:
“I’m a different person, a different player today than I was in 2011, so it’s kind of hard to
compare tennis-wise. I think physically I’m stronger and I’m able to endure longer than I did in 2011 and maybe there are some slight differences in the game, but generally as you grow older you’re kind of maturing and you’re trying to develop your game and get your game to the highest possible level. I think this season, results-wise (is) pretty close to 2011. What I achieved in 2011 is hard to repeat, so this season is definitely just behind that one. But I don’t usually like to compare myself to any other season because every season brings some new challenges at both professional and private levels so it’s pretty different.”
315Federerin press.-001

Roger Federer is coming off a title in Cincinnati where he played a more aggressively, beating Djokovic in the final, and in some matches returning serves from just behind the service line. The Swiss was asked about this aggressive style game.

“It all starts with the serve, to be quite honest,” Federer said.

If you’re able to hold your serve, I don’t want to say you can do pretty much anything on the return, but chances are it’s in your favor. You don’t know if you’re going to hold most of the serves, but I did that very well last week, so I’m sure that’s where the service helped me, but … after that, as the tournament went on, I decided to keep up aggressive play because it didn’t just start against Murray and Djokovic, I had already been doing it against Bautista and also Kevin Anderson, so from that standpoint I was very happy that I was able to keep it up.”

“If I’m going to do it here, as well, at practice so far conditions definitely allow you to do. I think the ball flies faster here. The surface is slightly different than last week, so a slight adjustment to be done there. I’m just really focused on my first round. It’s really tough to be playing Leonardo Mayer, so I have to come back to reality after the good week I had last week and go from there.”

Federer, a five-time winner at the US Open, last made a final in 2009. He has not come close since and was asked about it.

“On the run I was on, to ‘08 and even ‘09, in the finals, clearly I was hoping for it to be endless, but you know that’s not realistic, and ’10 and ’11 were tough matches in the semis against Novak, “Federer said. “So I came very close.”

“Clearly my focus needs to be not trying to win the tournament right away, that’d be thinking too far ahead. I haven’t been in a finals in this tournament as of late. I came close, but close is not good enough. I’ve tried to build up as we move forward.”

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal comes into Flushing Meadows ranked the lowest he’s been in many years at No. 8. The Spaniard will face a rising star on the ATP tour in Borna Coric in his first round.

“He’s a tough player,” Nadal said. “He’s a young player with a lot of energy and he’s a big competitor. He’s one of the players that is the future of our sport, so it’s a tough one, but I’m playing well. I feel like I’m ready. He’s a complete player with a great serve and a very good backhand. He’s a big competitor. I don’t remember playing him before. It was a tough week for me; I had the surgery the week after. I don’t remember it very well, but I think I played very bad. If he played well then he deserved to win, but hopefully Monday will be a different story.

Nadal says that he’s coming into the tournament with not as much stress.

‘My stress is much less than it was at the beginning of the season,” said the two-time US Open champion. I’m feeling better

myself. As a tennis player, I’m feeling better today than I was a couple of months ago. I’ve worked a lot these last couple of months.

“I know the process; It’s a challenge for me. to find the level of play that I’ve been at a lot of times in my career. I’m practicing great, now it’s time to play that great against the competition. The level of tennis is very close to being back there.”

On getting his confidence back, Nadal said: “To have the confidence back you need to win. If you’re not winning, then you won’t have high confidence. To win you need to play well. To win a lot you need to play very well and have a lot of confidence, and I’m playing well today.”

Nadal also clarified to press that he did not refuse to play with or against Nick Kyrgios in a charity exhibition for John McEnroe’s foundation.

“I was never supposed to play a doubles match,” Nadal explained. “First, I was only supposed to play singles in the exhibition. That was wrong information. Second, I never knew I had to play against Kyrgios; I was told I was going to play Lleyton Hewitt. No one asked me to play doubles with Nick Kyrgios. I was only asked to play a singles match; since Roland Garros I knew that. This story that I was supposed to play a doubles match? I don’t know where that story comes from.”

Sharapova 382014 IW

Maria Sharapova is coming back from a muscle strain in her leg which kept her out of Cincinnati and Toronto.

“It’s always just the adjustment of being a professional athlete in a sport that requires many weeks out of the year to compete ata high level,” said the 2006 US Open champion. “Don’t always know where some things come from but sometimes you have to make adjustments to be healthy and ready for the big ones. I’ve had to make adjustments throughout the year and it only gets tougher as you get older, of course”


Asked about her preparation for the US Open, the Russian said: I’ve done everything I could to be ready. There’s nothing more that I could have done, so yeah, I hope to be ready.”


Sharapova faces a test in her first round match-up against countrywoman Daria Gavrilova who beat her in Miami.

“Well, obviously she’s a really great player and a tough first round we’ve gone back and forth with our results this year,” Sharapova said. “She beat me in Miami and I had a good win against her in Rome so yeah, she’s a really good opponent.”


Serena Williams held her pre-US Open news conference after the draw on Thursday.

Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama at the US Open


Simona Halep Withdraws From Connecticut Open

220 Halep bh-001

(August 23, 2015) Simona Halep has withdrawn from the Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies due to a left thigh injury. She is replaced in the draw by lucky loser Lesia Tsurenko.
“I am very sorry that I have to withdraw from New Haven,” said Halep in a statement. “I love the tournament and obviously have great memories there having won the title before. I have had a tough few weeks that have left me with pain in my left leg and unfortunately I can’t force myself myself to play so close to the US Open.”