2014/07/12

Djokovic Wins Third Miami Title

Top-ranked Novak Djokovic pocketed a third Sony Ericsson Open title on Sunday by taking out Andy Murray 6-1, 7-6 (5). Djokovic who won the title last year and in 2007 did not lose set during the tournament.

“Each one is different,” Djokovic said.  “Obviously the 2007 title was the first big title I won.  Since then I started making some really big results in the big events, and it was a big confidence boost for me, you know, strong wind in the back for my career.  I was still quite young and careless on the court hitting the ball very strong.

“But then over the years, you know, I got the experience playing on the top level, and I got stronger physically, worked on my game obviously, always seeking to improve.

“Last year’s tournament was great, as well, and, you know, finals especially with Rafa went the distance, you know, till the last point of the match.  Didn’t know who was gonna win it.

“Again this year, I didn’t drop a set, which is very impressive.  I’m really happy with the way I played last three matches against three very good opponents and top players, so this is a very positive thing, you know, for continuation of the season.”

Murray who benefited from two walkovers during the tournament including the withdrawal of Rafael Nadal in the semifinals should have been the fresher of the two combatants.

“I felt up for it, no question about that,” Murray said.  It could have taken me whenever, a couple of games to get used to sort of the pace of the rallies and stuff, but, yeah, I was up for it.

“I mean, if you look at the start of the match, you know, the game where I got broken, I was up 40-Love in the game and had game points and then I had a break‑point point in the next game and then another long game after that.

“You know, there was three or four long games there, all deuce games, that I had the chance to win and didn’t.  That was the difference in the first set, and then the second set was much closer.

“I didn’t return well today, which is normally one of the best parts of my game.  That was the difference, in my opinion.”

Murray added: “I didn’t feel sluggish.  Like I was saying, maybe it take took a few games to get used to the pace, but after, you know, the first few games ‑‑ I mean, there was a lot of close games in the first set.  He played better on the big points in the first set.

“In the second set, it was a very close set.  It was like an hour and 30 minutes, hour and 40 minutes for one set of tennis.  I mean, if I was sluggish and I was only a couple of points away from winning the set, I’d say that’s a very good sign because playing against the best player in the world.”

Djokovic is now 20-2 for 2012. With the current North American hard court swing over, clay court season begins.      Djokovic was asked about how important he Miami title is in preparing for the clay season and Roland Garros

 

“Oh, any title is big, and it means a lot, I mean, such a big tournament that is considered one of the biggest tournaments in our sport,” Djokovic said.  “I won three times here.  I think that says enough about how I feel playing in Miami.

“I love the crowd.  It’s a lot of support.  Night sessions are my most preferable here, because the crowd gets into it and you can feel that great vibe in the stands.

“I have been really playing well in the last couple of years here, so this is going to be very encouraging for me prior to the clay court season.  I’m gonna have more confidence coming into the Monte‑Carlo tournament.  It’s going to be the opening tournament on clay.

“I haven’t played it last year.  I look forward to it.  I want to start well.  I want to start strong.  I want to go deep in the tournament, and, you know, there is a lot of tournaments coming up.  Obviously Roland Garros, Olympics, Wimbledon, they are top of the priority list, but still, I want to perform well on all the others.”

 

Djokovic reflected on 2011 season after asked to compare this season to last year.  “Well, look, you know, the season was incredible, especially the opening five, six months of the year.”

“Every year is different.  So I’m coming in in this year with a Grand Slam win and now a Miami win, couple of semifinals.  I think I’m playing equally well as I did 12 months ago.

“But again, it’s different.  It’s a different approach.  I still want to fight for every title, as everybody else, have this positive mindset, not really defending or calculating how many points I can lose and things like that.  So every tournament for me is equally important.

“Um, well, I feel that, you know, being No. 1 and having the best year of my career in 2011 is ‑‑ you know, I’m playing at the peak of my form and I’m playing the best tennis that I have played.

“So I have to use that as much as I can, you know, coming into every tournament that I play.  The competition is getting stronger, I believe.  Everybody is so professional nowadays.

“You have the top players playing in all the top events, you know.  That wasn’t the case maybe five, ten years ago.

“So that makes it even tougher for anybody to win a title.  But I’m ready for it, you know.

“We all, you know, give each other, especially the top players, give each other a reason to improve always and look forward to, you know, to win as many titles as we can.”

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Radwanska Captures Sony Ericsson Open Title

 

Agnieszska Radwanska won her ninth career title and is now ranked at a career best No. 4 in the world by capturing the Sony Ericsson Open topping Russian Maria Sharapova 7-5, 6-4.

“I really played well today, from the beginning till the end,” Radwanska said. “I was really focusing on my serve, and I’m very happy I didn’t lose my serve. It was actually I think the key on this match.

“I think I was just playing very good today. Everything was working. I couldn’t complain about anything.

“So, you know, I was just  I went on court, you know, I’m playing against a really good player, top player, second in the world right now.  Pretty much nothing to lose.

“But, you know, it’s just a great feeling, you know, to beat those kind of players, especially, you know, in the final and, you know, playing great tennis.”

 

Maria Sharapova had very strong service games until the final game in each set, where she was broken. Sharapova was hurt the most in this first set was the fact that she was trying to be aggressive on her return of serve but made too many unforced errors.

Radwanska was not an easy opponent to play because every ball comes back and Sharapova has to be the aggressor and go for her shots.

“I thought she played extremely well today,” Sharapova said, “ was very consistent, got that extra ball back and I made that extra mistake.  She didn’t give me many errors.  When I had my chances at break point, I didn’t take them.  When she had them, she did.

“I definitely didn’t return well.  I wasn’t aggressive on that shot.  When I did have second‑serve opportunities, you know, she’s serving at 70 miles per hour and I’m not winning those points, there’s something wrong with that.

“You know, I for sure should have won a lot of those secondserve points.  I just didn’t.

“You want to put pressure on her to go for a little bit more maybe when she’s, you know, moving, but she moved extremely well.

“She hit a lot of good balls on the run and they were deep.  She didn’t just bring them back; she had something on them.

“Then the few errors on important points that I made I thought were  you know, maybe I shouldn’t have gone for the line so much, you know, aimed a little bit closer to the middle.”

Sharapova committed 45 unforced errors and fell to 0-4 in Miami finals.

One can’t forget the fitness part of the game, it’s never easy playing Radwanska. She makes opponents run all over the place, and uses drop shots and lobs to win the point. The Pole has great hands and incredible court placement, with a superb awareness of where the opponent is in the court.

“I think my tennis, it’s just, you know, trying to mix it up, everything,” Radwanska said.

“I was just, I think, born with that.  Of course my father is coaching me almost all my life, 18 years already.  It’s pretty long.

“But, you know, when we are practicing, we always try to improve, you know, everything.  You know, there’s always something to improve.  So it’s never been one shot, you know, one thing.  It’s just when we practice, we practice everything.  So that’s what we were doing all my life pretty much.

“It’s a great feeling to win tournament like this here in Miami. It’s the biggest tournament after Grand Slams, especially like with all the top players, you know.

“You know, you have to play now six very good matches to win this tournament.  So I’m just extremely happy that, you know, I could win almost the second tournament in a row after Beijing.”

Radwanska is 26-4 for 2012, 0-4 in 2012 against No. 1 Victoria Azarenka and 26-0 against the rest of the WTA Tour.

 

Videos from earlier in the tournament

From Tennis Channel

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Nadal News Conference After his Miami Withdrawal

Rafael Nadal withdrew from the Sony Ericsson Open with a left knee injury on Friday. Courtesy of the Sony Ericsson Open and ASAPsports Here is the official transcript from his news conference:

March 30, 2012

An interview with:

RAFAEL NADAL

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Perhaps you could just take us through the situation you’re faced with.  We assume it’s your knee.  Could you tell us the story of the last couple of days?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Oh, I started the    since the beginning of the tournament I have problems, but the real thing is growing worse every day.
So after the last match, I saw that the situation were going to be complicated to play today.  But, as always, I always believe that the things can improve.
So I waited until today in the morning.  I did a lot of treatment yesterday, waiting, that we can recover a little bit for today.
But I am not ready to compete today.  I am very sorry for the fans.  I’m very sorry for the tournament.  I’m very sorry for everybody who were ready to watch the match on the television, for television, for everybody.  But I don’t have pleasure.  I cannot do it another thing.
I am not ready to compete, and I cannot go on court and lie to everybody.  That’s the thing today.

Q.  Can you describe the problem exactly for us?  Do you know what it is precisely?
RAFAEL NADAL:  I have problems on the left knee.  I cannot    I have to go to doctor, but looks like is nothing really, really different that happen a few times in the past.
Just go to the doctor hopefully tomorrow, and hopefully in a few days, with a few days off and with the right treatment, I will be in the right conditions to start to practice on the clay.

Q.  Because obviously you want to protect as best you can for the clay court season coming up?  You say just going out there and running around on the hard court is not going to do you any good in the long run?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Yes, but not.  Yes, I want to arrive to the clay court with the right conditions, but I want to arrive here with the right conditions.  That’s why I rest all February.
So I am not thinking    I am not going on court today not because I have the clay court season.  I am not going on court today because I cannot go on court today.
No, no.  Nothing about clay court season.  Clay court season is there in two weeks, but this tournament is very important for me, and I feel very sad to have to go out before a beautiful match for me, semifinals against Andy.

Q.  What is your clay court schedule?  What are the chances that that may change now?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Nothing change.  Even if it’s sad to finish these two tournaments like this, playing two semifinals is a good result for me.
First three tournaments of the year I played final and two semifinals in very difficult tournaments, so that’s the positive thing that stays on my mind, playing good tennis.  It’s true the last day I did not play good tennis, but my knee is not ready to play good tennis.
So in general, I am very happy almost about everything.  My schedule gonna be the same.  Monte Carlo, Barcelona, first two tournaments.

Q.  How worrying is it to have the same thing happen again with your knee when you thought it was fixed?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Less than if I have a new thing, because something that happened in the past, I know what to do to get better quick, and that’s what we’re gonna try.

Q.  So where are you going now?  Where are you going from here?  Are you going back to Mallorca?
RAFAEL NADAL:  I don’t know yet.  I gonna    I have to check a few things.  I want to go to visit the doctor, and I don’t know if I will be able to do it    I will try to do it as fast as possible, to try to come back on court as quick as possible, too.

Q.  Did you have any problems coming out of your training in February?  When you went to Indian Wells, everything was good?
RAFAEL NADAL:  I start to feel a little bit in Mallorca.  But, no, everybody has    almost everybody has pain when you are playing in this high level of competition, no?
The true is in Indian Wells I had    I start to have problems on the knee before Indian Wells, and Indian Wells I have my problems on the knee.  But that problem, no, are not limiting me to play at 100%.
So I played in Indian Wells with the normal conditions, playing in good shape physically and everything.  Here is different.

Q.  Is it described as tendinitis or something else?
RAFAEL NADAL:  Yeah.  But seriously the tendons are much better today than three years ago.  The treatments worked fantastic.
Even if today a really bad knee and last couple of days were tough for me, but positive thing the tendon improve a lot the last couple of years.
I am more health with both tendons than now.  So the treatments are working well.  In 2009 I really compete but compete in very bad conditions a lot of times.  For the last couple of years, 2010, 2011, I was able to compete with perfect conditions for almost all the year.
So that’s always fantastic when that’s happening.  This year I started well with no problems.  Today is bad news, but that’s the sport.  We cannot expect playing as much as we play, be perfect every day of our life.
Today is my turn.  Everybody have problems, and I will be working hard to be back quick on court and to play my best in Monte Carlo.

Q.  You always play with a lot of injuries.  Are you more cautious now?  Because you always play with    I remember US Open when you have the other thing.  Are you more cautious now?
RAFAEL NADAL:  No, no, I always try my best.  But today I feel that I am not ready to compete, no?  I always start hard.  I tried in the US Open like the example in 2009, but I have big broke of the abdominal at the end of the US Open.
Then after US Open I had to stop for one month and a half with no competition.  So I cannot repeat mistakes from the past, but that doesn’t mean that I am more afraid about playing with pains or not.
I try my best in every moment with pain, without pain, but when I see the situation is done and I cannot, I cannot.  That’s it.

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Radwanska in Miami Final

Agnieszka Radwanska has made it to her first Sony Ericsson Open final on Thursday night, getting past an injured Marion Bartoli 6-4, 6-2.

“I’m just very happy that [I've played] my best tennis since the beginning of the year and [have won] a lot of great matches against top players,” said Radwanska. “I’m still going to work hard and step by step, [try] to go even higher.”

“It’s always hard to play against her if she’s in good shape. It’s really tough, She’s really hitting the ball very hard and going for it since the beginning. I’m just going to try to also play aggressive and pretty much mix everything. We’ll see what is going to work.”

Radwanska of Poland will play Maria Sharapova for the Sony Ericsson title on Saturday. She is 1-7 against the Russian.

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Djokovic Moves into Semis of Sony Ericsson Open

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has moved into the semifinals of the Sony Ericsson Open with a 6-2, 7-6(1) victory over David Ferrer on Thursday night.

 

The Spaniard Ferrer made the Serb run around for most of the match..  He’s like a wall on the court, Djokovic said.”Gets a lot of balls back.  Always makes you play an extra shot.

 

“So that’s something that I was expecting.  He was more than impressive, especially in his last match against Del Potro.

“I needed to play well and aggressive and step into the court from the first point.  That’s what I did.

“I had a fantastic first set, break up in the second twice, serving for the match, and then in some moments, you know, I allowed him to take control in the rallies and, you know, just waiting for him to make an unforced error, which, you know, he used it wisely and he got back to the match.

Luckily for me, it was decided in tiebreak.”

Djokovic spoke to media about the current state of the game: “Well, it’s beautiful about tennis.  It’s individual sport.  It always makes you improve and get better on the court.

 

“The competition is bigger nowadays.  I believe there is more players than maybe five, six years ago who are at the top and able to win major events.  You could sense that in a way.

“It became so professional, you know, and so intensive.  Everybody is taking care of what they eat, what they do off the court, on the court, the way they practice, how many hours they sleep.

“You know, it becomes very, very professional.  You could always expect results and improvements from all the players on the tour.”

Djokovic is changing his schedule this year to include Monte Carlo. “For most of the years, there was a week between Miami and Monte‑Carlo, which was not enough, obviously, if you go all the way in Miami,” noted Djokovic.  Last year I made that decision to skip the Monte‑Carlo tournament, which turned out to be a right decision.

 

“But this year I have a week more.  I’m not playing Davis Cup.  You know, I’ll be there.  I live there.  I’m looking forward to that event.”

Djokovic spoke about his 2012 so far: “Well, I’m very happy.  I couldn’t ask for a better start in Australia.  Had some time off after that.  Had a very, very decent tournament in Dubai.

 

“Indian Wells I played well.  You know, I just had a better opponent that day who was serving tremendous.

“Then coming into Miami, I was confident.  You know, that’s how I feel.  I feel that I am playing better and better as the tournament goes on.

I can comfortably say that this has been tonight the best match that I’ve played in last couple weeks in States.”

Djokovic next takes on Juan Monaco for a place in the final. Djokovic is looking for back-to-back Sony Ericsson Open titles.

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Birthday Boy Monaco Earns Miami Semis Berth over Fish

Juan Monaco celebrated his 28th birthday on Thursday with a quarterfinal victory at the Sony Ericsson Open over world No. 8 Mardy Fish 6-1, 6-3 in just 82 minutes. The Argentine has now reached his second Masters Series semifinal. His first was the Shanghai Masters in 2010.

“It was unbelievable,” Monaco said.  “I think the way to celebrate my birthday, playing like this like I did today, feel proud and very happy for be here on my birthday and talking to you.  Very happy now.”

“I meant every shot that I played, I did. It was a perfect match for me”

Monaco kept the American in check with his serve.

“He did a lot of things well today,” Fish said of his Argentine opponent.  “I think more than anything else, he shrunk the court extremely well with his movement, and that’s why I think you saw a ton of errors from me.

“You know, I was pressing a lot just because he wasn’t giving me anything.  He wasn’t giving me any errors.  He made one error in the first set and served 98%.

“That’s tough to beat, you know, especially with someone who moves as well as he does in a place where, you know, the surface is slow and the balls are even slower to get by him.  So, you know, a lot of combination of things, but that’s the first thing that jumps out.

“You know, I competed hard, tried to get back into it obviously in the second set.  That 3-All game was, you know, obviously the biggest game of the match.

“I played three good points that game, and, you know, I came in ‑ I don’t know if you remember; I remember it,  but I came in on two of his kind of defensive slices and I lost both of those points.  He had an unbelievable lob on that last point that I wasn’t sure was going to go in or not but probably was, and it was just  it was his day.”

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Sharapova Survives Wozniacki to Reach Fourth Miami Final

The overrule of the chair umpire on the final point of the match saw Maria Sharapova rally to put down Caroline Wozniacki 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 to gain the final of Sony Ericsson Open.

In the final game of the match at 40-30, Sharapova hit a second serve that the linesman called out which would have been a doublefault. The umpire Kader Nouni overruled the call and had the point replayed with Sharapova getting two serves. Wozniacki could not challenge the call as she had used all of her challenges. Sharapova won the match on the next point with an overhead smash.

TV replays demonstrated that the umpire was correct in his overrule.

Wozniacki was asked if she felt better that the replay showed that Sharapova’s serve at the end actually was on the line.

“No, Wozniacki said, “because I think when the ball is so close that I think he should give her a chance to challenge at least when I don’t have any challenges.

“She was gonna challenge it, anyways.  So if it shows it’s good, it’s good.  If it shows it’s out, it’s out.  The ball was so close that it might as well have been out.”

Sharapova was happy survive a tough match: “I’m really pleased that after losing that first one, being up and playing really well and then backing off and her stepping up, you know, I think I could have easily after losing a few straight games, just concentration went down  I could have easily just went down in the second set.

“But I really, you know, I stepped it up again.  I went out there and started being aggressive.  I didn’t let  I didn’t stop, you know, after I put myself in a good position.

“But, yeah, I’m extremely pleased that I pulled it out today.”

Sharapova will play either Marion Bartoli or Agniezska Radwanska in Saturday’s Sony Ericsson Open. The Russian is 0-3 for Miami finals.

“I haven’t faced Bartoli in a while.  You know, she’s been playing really good.  She’s also an aggressive player.  Stays down, goes for her shots, stays really low and hits the ball pretty flat.  Quite different to, you know, my opponent today.

“Radwanska is someone who is extremely solid, very again, gets many balls back, anticipates really well.

“But, yeah.  I mean, either one, I mean, it’s the final, so I think it’s more about really performing on your end than really worrying about what’s on the other side of the court.”

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Bartoli Halts Azarenka Win Streak at 26

 

Marion Bartoli put an end to Victoria Azarenka’s win streak with a 6-3, 6-3 victory on Wednesday at the Sony Ericsson Open.

“I feel disappointed, sure, Azarenka said. “You know, who wouldn’t be after the loss?

“But, you know, what I’ve done in the last couple of months, I have to be really proud of myself.  For sure, you know, I could have maybe played better today, that’s for sure, but I gave it all I had.”

“Physically I was just not able to do anything today.  It was just not possible.  You know, I’m a human, not a super woman, and I wish I could be but I’m not,” said a smiling Azarenka.

“But, you know, Marion really played really well today, and she deserves the win.  What else can I say?  I have to look forward.

“You know, for me this tournament is done.  I’m gonna go rest , well deserved rest, I think and get ready for the next one.

In tennis it’s really good.  You have another opportunity to play in few weeks.”

Bartoli spoke to media after the match: “I knew it would be extremely tough.  Obviously we had some great battles in the past with Vika, and, you know, when you have to play against someone who is winning so much, it’s even harder because obviously she had so much confidence into herself.

“I think the main key for me was the belief and really to step up on the court trying to win the match, not only thinking about how well she’s playing and everything, but really go on the court, having a game plan and try to go for my shots.

“It was a very demanding match on the fitness side.  I think I had to really run a lot, especially from side to side.  She’s playing extremely early and really put a lot of pressure on you.

“So I really had to work very hard into the points and stay tough physically.  But at the end, I’m so happy I was able to do it.

Bartoli took control of the match by playing inside the baseline, while Azarenka had problems with her serve and made many errors from the baseline.

Azarenka’s streak was the best on the WTA since Martina Hingis’ 37-0 streak in 1997.

This is the seond time in three years that the Frenchwoman has reached the Miami semis. Bartoli will play Agniezska Radwanka  for a place in the final.

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Notes and Quotes from Tuesday at the Sony Ericsson Open

Andy Roddick fell to Juan Monaco 7-5, 6-0, the day after upsetting Roger Federer.

Q.  Yeah, after the big excitement last night.  You said it yourself, you couldn’t get that excited because you had this match to play today.

ANDY RODDICK:  Yeah, I mean, there’s no real way around it.  When you have to make a quick recovery, it will expose you if you’re not in shape.

Most people can play a match and it’s fine.  It’s the recovery where it kind of defines you.

You know, there are a lot of positives out of this week.  I feel healthy.  You know, I played matches, and I was running, you know, hard.  Um, my lack of any sort of fitness regime, you know, on my leg is apparent, but that’s something that is a matter of work.  It’s not a matter of health.  That’s something that’s in my control.

Um, I just didn’t have it physically.  I got to about 4‑All, and I was  you know, I’m out of shape.  That’s it, you know.  So, yeah, I mean, that’s it.

Q.  Obviously Monaco is tough as it is to get everything back, but was it also sort of mental drainage from last night?  Roger to, boom, you have less than 24 hours before you play him?

ANDY RODDICK:  I don’t think so.  I don’t think so.  You know, that I’m professional enough to take care of.  You can’t lie, you know, to your body.  And that’s just it.

It’s been a tough three, four month start.  When I first got hurt in Australia, they said, you know, it will be six to eight weeks, and I played San Jose in three.  Now we’re looking at about seven or eight weeks and I’m starting to feel better.

My tennis has come around a long way in the last two weeks, maybe three weeks.  I’d rather this scenario than, um, you know, being hurt and not knowing about the tennis.  My tennis has felt a lot better.  There was a lot of progress.

Now it’s a matter of I feel good enough where I feel like I can put in the work away from the court and get my legs back under me as far as strength and fitness.

Rafael Nadal who was tested by Kei Nishikori in a 6-4, 6-4 win on Tuesday was asked about his recent resignation from the ATP board:

Well, I have been there for a couple of years.  You know, I really don’t know how to do things without put my 100%.

So if I go to play golf, I try my best in every moment.  If I go to the player council, you know, I try my best in the player council.  I put all my energy there.

So last year at the end of the season, you know, was a lot of things there.  You know, finally I believe I put too much energy there.  I am happy to represent my players there for the last couple of years.

I believe that we did few things well for the sport.  I believe it’s not enough.  So today I believe that I am not the right one to keep working there.  So I think another people can do better than me today.

 

I never said that I have been frustrated, no.  I just said that I am not the right one.  You know, I don’t have enough energy to, you know  I cannot still put in my 100% there in the player council, no?

I can be there just listening, but that’s not my style, no?  I understand my period finish, and that’s it.  No, no, I am not frustrated.  I believe that we can do much more things than what we have done until the day that I left.

My feeling is a great opportunity to improve the sport, because today the players are very unified.

So, you know, there is always troubles there.  I understand sometimes the trouble from the other part, from tournaments, but I don’t understand sometimes the trouble from our part, from the  from our reps, no?

So that’s all.  No, no, no, I am not frustrated.  I try my best.  I go.  I resigned to the player council knowing that I tried my best and I put all my effort to try to represent my players the players that I represent they are the top 25 players as good as I can.

So today I feel that another player can do better than me, because I spend probably three, four years.  We did things, but not enough.  That’s my feeling.

Maria Sharapova blew past Li Na 6-3, 6-0 to advance to the semifinals.

She was asked in her post match interview:  Where are you more comfortable, on red carpet?  At a photo shoot?  On the practice court?  You know, at a tournament on court?

MARIA SHARAPOVA:  There is nothing more mortifying than the red carpet.  (Smiling.)

Really.  It’s only about like a minute experience, but it’s really terrifying and it’s I don’t want to say “fake,” but it’s a very  it’s one big illusion, to be honest.  The things you see on a red carpet, everything is perfect, the image of a person there dressed beautifully with hair and makeup and wonderful styling.

You come home  I come home an hour later and I take everything off, and, you know, where did all that glamour go?  (Smiling.)

So, I mean, I love what I do.  I love playing tennis, and I know that thing that ultimately wins me matches is the hard work I put on the court.

When I have tough things in my life going on, when I go on court it’s like it’s like my oasis.  You know, you forget about everything when you’re out there.  I love that feeling.

I know it sounds silly because you’re hitting a tennis ball and you’re trying to improve, but really, it’s such a good feeling when you feel that you’re good at something and you could be better.  I think as a young woman it’s a nice feeling to have.

Mardy Fish outlasted Nicolas Almagro 6-3, 6-7, 6-3.

 

Q.  You joked about being on Grandstand for the next match.  You have been on the second court through Indian Wells and here.  Is that surprising for you, being the No. 1 American?

MARDY FISH:  No, I mean, you’ve got to look at the guys that are  I mean, I want to play there, for sure.  I mean, I think the interview that I did, it’s sort of hard to ‑‑ when you read it, it’s sort of hard to realize the context that I was talking about sometimes.

I certainly want to play on Stadium Court, there’s no doubt about it.  But, you know, they’ve got to put someone out there that and who’s that gonna be?  Are you gonna put Federer out there or Djokovic or Nadal or, you know, Serena?

I mean, I’m not you know, I’m not gonna go ahead of them.  Or Andy?  I’m not gonna go ahead of those guys as far as people watching, coming to watch them play.  You’ve got to go where you’ve got to go.

Are you working with Mark Knowles now?

MARDY FISH:  Uh‑huh.

Q.  How did that happen?  Is it temporary?

MARDY FISH:  No, no, it’s not temporary.  You know, he still plays, as well.  He’s a huge help.  He’s got his work cut out for him the past month or so trying to get me back on track.

He’s got a great tennis mind.  He’s been around for a long time.  He’s played in this era; obviously still plays.  He’s played a lot of the guys.  He played doubles with Kevin Anderson who I played yesterday two weeks ago, so he knows everyone’s game pretty well.

We played doubles in 2010 together.  He helped me a ton at that time, as well, just sort of mentally on the practice court and things like that.

I thought, you know, just sort of getting sort of a new voice would be beneficial.  I still train with the USTA in LA and with David Nainkin still and spend a lot of hours on the practice court with him, those guys, so I’m still fully vested in the USTA, as well.

 

Novak Djokovic defeated Richard Gasquet on Tuesday 7-6, 6-3

Q.  You had an incredible last year, 2011 and some good results this year.  How is it defending these titles and following up a fantastic last year going into this year?  How do you keep your motivation?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Motivation is always present.  As long as it’s there, you know, I’ll be playing this sport with a lot of passion.  I’ll be committed to it 100%.

I’ve played already many years, you know, on the tour on the top level, and won a lot of major tournaments.

But I still feel that I have many years in front of me, you know, as long as my health serves me and as long as I’m mentally there, you know, focused, determined, motivated to prove to myself and the others that I can be, you know, one of the top players.

Um, you know, I’m waking up every morning knowing that I love this sport, and it’s something that gives me a lot of energy and drives me to practice hard and always seek to perfect my game as much as I can.

Q.  Do you think shot selection was also an issue?  When you were volleying, it seemed like a lot of your balls were landing in the middle and she was able to pass you pretty easily.

SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, you know, I probably could’ve did that better.  The good thing is I could’ve played a lot better.  I probably played about 20%.

You know, it would really suck and if I had to sit here and say I couldn’t do any better.  That’s not the case.

Q.  Why do you say you played 20%?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  I just made a lot of errors.  I just made a tremendous amount of errors.  There’s no reason for that.  I’m older and I shouldn’t do that.  There’s no excuse.

I just gotta stop that.  It’s silly.

Q.  It was a little breezier, also.  We could see your dress in the wind.  Did that influence your game or your…

SERENA WILLIAMS:  No.  I mean, she played under the same circumstances as I did.  I mean, her dress was flowing, too, I guess.

I can’t ‑‑ you know, I don’t want to make excuses.  I didn’t win because I didn’t play well.  There’s no reason.

 

Q.  She said she was only playing 20% of her game.  Do you feel that?

CAROLINE WOZNIACKI:  You know, I …I don’t really to be honest, I just play.  You know, I play against an opponent, and as long as I win, I really don’t mind, you know, what’s happening on the other side.

Q.  You have obviously won a lot of tournaments and gotten to No. 1 for two years in a row and all that stuff, but you had never beaten one of the Williams sisters before.  In women’s tennis, does that feel like an important accomplishment to have on your résumé?

CAROLINE WOZNIACKI:  Well, I think it was important for me, definitely.

You know, Serena has won so many Grand Slams and so many tournaments, something that I would love to achieve one day.  So to beat someone like her that I know that never gives up is definitely something that means a lot to me.

You know, there are some players if you lead 5-1 in the second set, okay, you know that you pretty much have won the match.  But against someone like Serena, you know that you need to fight till the last point.

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Andy Roddick and Roger Federer Post-Match Interviews at Sony Ericsson Open

On Monday night Andy  Roddick stunned Roger Federer in three sets to advance to the round of 16 at the Sony Ericsson Open. Here are the post-match media interviews courtesy of the Sony Ericsson Open and ASAPSports.

A. RODDICK/R. Federer

7 6, 1 6, 6 4

An interview with:

ANDY RODDICK

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  You said something good was coming, you felt.  Not a bad prediction.
ANDY RODDICK:  Yeah, I didn’t know if I meant this week, but, yeah, I mean, I have been feeling better and I have been feeling healthy.  I have been running well the last    you know, I went home after Palm Springs and got some good therapy in there and, you know, hit some tennis balls and practiced a bit.
I have had good practice sessions here this week, and tonight I, you know, played well when I had to.

Q.  You still seem surprised yourself.
ANDY RODDICK:  No, you know, you still have to come back tomorrow.  You know, you don’t get to enjoy it for long.  You know, the process starts now getting the body to recover after a late night and getting ready to go again tomorrow.
So as much as you want to kinda take it in, because obviously these wins are few and far between, you know, you do have to get ready.

Q.  Roger said that tonight he played a No. 1 player in the world.  Is that how you felt how you played?
ANDY RODDICK:  How I played?

Q.  Yes.
ANDY RODDICK:  Um, yeah, I don’t know.  I played well at times, for sure.
You know, that game I played the break in the third set was one of the best return games I ever played.  I think I hit four forehand winners.
Gosh, even when I was serving it out, you know, the 4 All game I think or to go up 5 3 and then to close it out, I was in a little bit of a hole each time and I played good points.
You know, I was down 15 30 in that last game.  You know, I’m pretty sure I made two out of three first serves, and, you know, he had a great pass.  The next one, it was a 20 ball rally.
I was down 15 30 and I was thinking, Come on.  Give me a break here.  I played well tonight and I served really well there at the end.

Q.  Your backhand, it was very solid tonight, and then you could just run around and your forehand was really on   most of the time.  Was that very reliable tonight?
ANDY RODDICK:  Yeah, I mean, it was kind of a game of chess.  I stayed back on the returns, which is something I have not done with him often early on.  You know, I think he might have been a little bit surprised by it.
He made the adjustment like he does because he’s Roger.  Started coming in a lot and putting the pressure on me, and it was, you know, down 6 1 in the second and Love 40 early in the third.  It was apparent that that wasn’t going to work much longer.
So I said, Well, all right.  Let’s kinda go over the top aggressive.  I was able to get out of that game and play that really good game to break, and then my serve held up from there.

Q.  Do you think it’s the best match you ever played against him?
ANDY RODDICK:  No.  I mean, I played pretty good in that Wimbledon match; just different outcome.  I held serve a lot more times that day.  I would have won that one too if it was two out of three sets.

Q.  Also, Roger mentioned that that game in the third set that you went, you know, to be 1 1 he thought was a crucial point in the match when you held.  Did you find that, also?
ANDY RODDICK:  Yeah, absolutely.  I mean, even in the second set I didn’t feel like I played terrible.  I mean, I didn’t play that bad.  The points he was coming up with    you know, I missed a couple backhands, but it was the sixth or seventh ball that I had hit in each rally.
You know, certainly, you know, when he gets that lead he’s like a runaway freight train.  That’s not really what you want to see.
So obviously down 6 1, if it would have been 2 0, the dynamic of the match would have been a lot different.  You know, as it happened I was able to get out of that one and played a good game to break.

Q.  Do you think he was tired at the end?
ANDY RODDICK:  I don’t think    I haven’t seen Roger tired ever.

Q.  You have now a positive record against Roger in this court.
ANDY RODDICK:  That’s a stretch.  I guess you could make numbers represent anything you want to, right?  (Smiling.)

Q.  Also, I saw you around the hotel today.  Were you practicing on clay courts this morning?
ANDY RODDICK:  No.  There’s a sneaky little hard court down there at the end.

Q.  Couple years ago when you won this tournament, you had a smashing match against Nadal, if you remember that one.  Will this win spring you on to do something more this year?
ANDY RODDICK:  You don’t know.  I mean, 2008 I beat Roger and lost to Davydenko in the next round.
There’s no    there is no script in sports, you know.  I think that’s what makes it the best  entertainment in the world.  There is no script.  You don’t know what’s gonna happen.  It’s not planned.
Nights like tonight are why you play the matches.  You don’t know what’s gonna happen.
It would be a little presumptuous to go from people retiring me to all of a sudden talking about winning a Masters event.  You know, let’s take it for what it’s worth.  It probably wasn’t as bad as it seemed two weeks ago, and it’s probably not all the way turned around because of one match.

Q.  Can you talk about your reaction?  After the match you were pointing up at the sky.
ANDY RODDICK:  Yeah.  My agent was from here and his wife was here.  You know, I felt like I was a crazy person because I think I was having full dialogues with him the last 30 minutes of the match.
So, you know, I was just letting him know that I heard him and I was equally crazy tonight.

Q.  What were your conversations with him like?
ANDY RODDICK:  I don’t know.  It was a little bit of a blur.

Q.  The crowd was roaring for you.  Were you aware of that?
ANDY RODDICK:  I don’t know how much    I don’t know if it was all for me.  At 15 30 I feel like they got really loud when I was trying to serve it out.
You know, as with any time you play Roger, he’s developed such a fan base.  And side story, I    you know, you’re around guys a lot, but The Garden event that we did three weeks ago was the first time Roger and I spent an entire day together doing stuff.
I’m amazed at the way he does every picture, every autograph.  You know, I know what I deal with on a small scale, and it’s not what he does.
So, you know, you start to have an understanding why people are so fanatical about him.  You know, I think the crowd anywhere cheers for him.
And probably in the USA it would have pissed me off not too long ago, but I fully get it now after seeing the way he is and was three weeks ago.   You know, I didn’t think I could be more impressed with him, but I was really impressed with the way he went about his business for those couple days up there.

Q.  Did you grasp anything during that exhibition?
ANDY RODDICK:  No, I said at the time    I mean, people were trying to build that up as a thing.  It was an exhibition.  I beat him at Kooyong in ’07 and I won six games against him at the Australian Open, so I’ve done the exhibition versus reality thing before.
If anything, it’s like playing someone two weeks before.  At least they’re fresh in your mind.  It’s the same for him.  I don’t know that that had much bearing on tonight.

Q.  Besides congratulations, did he say anything after the game?
ANDY RODDICK:  Roger’s great.  He said, I’m happy for you.  You deserved to win tonight.  Good luck.  Keep it going.
He said similar, something similar in the locker room before he left tonight.  You know, he was really classy about it all.

Q.  He also told us to enjoy you while you’re still around.  Can you stay around for longer for this tournament?
ANDY RODDICK:  Well, we’ll see.  I’m gonna try.

Q.  In terms of just power and hitting the ball hard, was that you back to how it should be tonight?
ANDY RODDICK:  There’s no back.  I played well tonight.  You know, really well in pockets.  Biggest thing is, for no reason at all besides just hitting it, my serve has felt normal for the first time in six weeks.  It’s amazing how when I make first serves big the reply comes back soft and I look like a hero because I hit the next ball big, as opposed to picking it off of my shoe tops.
It’s a lot of cause and effect.  I don’t know if it’s as simplistic as just hit the ball hard as much as I read that it is.  (Laughter.)

A. RODDICK/R. Federer

7 6, 1 6, 6 4

An interview with:

ROGER FEDERER

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.
Q. Do you feel like you play bad service games today?
ROGER FEDERER:  Bad service games?

Q.  Yes.
ROGER FEDERER:  Um, maybe one.

Q.  The crucial one.
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, in hindsight, yes.

Q.  Do you think that maybe you played, um, in terms of, um, having um    taking advantage of the break points that you had?  You broke three times in the second set, but early on in the third you had four chances to break and you failed to do that.
ROGER FEDERER:   Yeah, I mean, you said it.  I had my chances.  I thought Andy did well to get the first, and then to put me in the situation I guess in the third.  You know, could have been up a break early in the third, but he did well also to fight off those break points.  Served really well.
I think he had a good overhead.  You know, he played aggressive and clutch served when he had to.  It was his credit.  For me, it was obviously a tough loss.  The one service game where I got broken he really goes for it and it all works out.
So credit to him to hang in there and give himself that chance in the beginning of the third.

Q.  You’ve played him more than anybody.  Can you talk about how his game tonight was different?  Looked more like the Andy Roddick of ten years ago instead of the last five in terms of how aggressive he was off the ground.
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, he was aggressive in one particular game.  That stands out obviously because it also paid off.  But, you know, he’s still very good.  I hope you guys give him more credit than he’s getting at the moment.
I’m happy to see him play really well, you know.  He’s a great champion, and, yeah, enjoy him while you have him.  It was a great night for him and America’s tennis, I guess.
For me it was tough, but I thought he had some very good moments, Andy had some really good moments, and it was a close match.  It was just, didn’t go my way today.

Q.  (Indiscernible.)
ROGER FEDERER:  Seven games in a row?

Q.  He won seven games in a row.
ROGER FEDERER:  No, I mean, Love 40 I had my chances.  I don’t think I saw a second serve.  Maybe I did.  I’m not sure.
He did well, but obviously at that point I felt I was being the better man.  I had my regrets in the first set.  I didn’t come out with a lot of energy.  I was pretty flat today.  I just felt tired, I guess.
I have been playing so much.  It was more mental than physical thing.  I tried to push myself and gave myself a fighting chance, and then when things were under control, sort of   you know, he fought off those break point chances    and had the perfect game after that.
So it was a big turn of events there in five minutes, and that’s how tennis goes sometimes.  But like I said, give Andy a lot of credit to put me in that situation at 1 All, I guess, in the third set, because it could have been very different out there tonight.

Q.  Can you talk about the speed of the court and how that affected your game maybe?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, regular hard court.  Pretty slow conditions.  You know, you saw where Andy was returning, so, yeah, I mean, overall it’s a slow hard court, I guess.

Q.  How do you feel like the Penn balls played in these conditions for you tonight?
ROGER FEDERER:  Um, same as last week.  We played the same ball over there; played some night session matches.

Q.  As for the fatigue, would you give it an origin or source?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah.  Maybe 30 matches for the season.  Just feeling like it’s taken its toll a bit, which is normal.
But I’ve played more tired in the past, so this was not the most tired I have ever been, but you just start to feel it a bit.  I didn’t just get the lucky break today that I got in Indian Wells.
And, yeah, I mean, I regret missing those opportunities and giving myself maybe a chance for tomorrow.  Then you never know how things all of a sudden turn out in the tournament.
Yeah, it is what it is tonight, and I’ll deal with it the way I always have.

Q.  Do you think the result from the exhibition match at The Garden can ever play into the next match on tour?  Can an exhibition ever be a predictor of anything like that?
ROGER FEDERER:  No.  For me, it has nothing to do with one another.

Q.  You have won the last 77 games against players out of the top 10.  Top 20, I’m sorry, not top 10.  Losing against Andy, does that feel like you are losing against not a top player?
ROGER FEDERER:  No.  I feel like I lost against a former No. 1.  That’s how it felt, not that I lost against a guy ranked 30 in the world.  That ranking is not real, so it was a tough second round.  I knew that in the start, and particularly here in Miami where I lost against him in the past.  So I was aware of that, and I didn’t underestimate Andy at all.
But that streak, I mean, it was a nice one to have, but not more than that.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports

For videos of parts of the news conferences:

Roddick Upsets Federer in Miami

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