October 25, 2016

Day 13 of the US Open – In Their Own Words

Angelique Kerber

Angelique Kerber

(September 10, 2016) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Posting player interviews throughout the day as allowed.

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

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

Jamie Murray

Bruno Soares

Press Conference

MURRAY-SOARES/Carreno Busta-Garcia Lopez

6-2, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Congratulations. You won a second major. Can you talk about that? And talk about how you first got together as a team.
JAMIE MURRAY: Yeah. Yeah, I started talking to — I was speaking about playing last year during — actually after this tournament kind of during the Asian swing a bit.

Yeah, then obviously we started playing this year, which worked out great, in Australia, to kind of hit it off so well so quickly.

And for us to come here again and to win a Grand Slam, you know, is an awesome feeling. I think we are both super excited about the partnership and what we can do in the biggest tournaments.

You know, keep working hard to make sure that we have success in the future, as well.

Q. Do you feel like that was one of your best performances?
JAMIE MURRAY: I think we were clinical in what we did, yeah.

I think we didn’t really let them play very much. You know, I think Bruno returned very well. When he was very aggressive on the return, you know, I could get right on top of the net and guys didn’t have anywhere to play the ball, I think.

I think we did a good job on our serves. After the first game it was big for us to get the break back straightaway, I think, and kind of settle ourselves into the match.

Yeah, I think we just did a really solid job, I think.

Q. You had treatment on your neck and you were flexing it a bit again just then. In light of what’s happening come next Saturday, how is it?
JAMIE MURRAY: Well, I think the physio said it’s probably going to be sore for a couple of days. I did it like third, fourth point in the match serving. I don’t really know quite what I did, but did something.

It’s not that comfortable now, but thankfully it didn’t really affect me playing. I imagine I’ll be absolutely fine for next week.

Q. It’s not a long-standing…
JAMIE MURRAY: No, I don’t know. I obviously did something that it didn’t like. Yeah, honestly, I don’t really know. The physio didn’t really know quite what I had done. Starts and stops of adrenaline, stepping up a bit, as well.

No, I will be fine for Davis Cup.

Q. Give me your thoughts on what it means to have that trophy in your joint possession.
BRUNO SOARES: It means a lot. Every title means a lot. I think Grand Slam is extra special. For me, New York has been amazing to me. I won the mixed here twice.

I had a very tough run in 2013 when Alex, we won the semis, but he got injured so we weren’t able to compete in the final. So for me to be able to come back here and win the whole thing is just amazing feeling. I mean, the year has been incredible, our first year as a team.

I mean, to win two slams, it’s tough to explain how good the feeling is.

Q. Jamie?
JAMIE MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, to be honest, I mean, I couldn’t ask for anything more, really. You know, I lost two Grand Slam finals last year. You know, I felt like I was ready to win. I felt good about my game, where it was at.

I felt like Bruno was a partner that could get me over the line. I think we were validated under our decision obviously to come together.

Yeah, I mean, it means so much. For us, these are the biggest tournaments and these are the ones we want to win at the start of the year.

To have two in the bag, yeah, it’s a huge achievement for us both, and we should be really proud of ourselves, I think.

Q. A pretty tough early round, but it has been obviously a two-week project winning a slam. Has this been sort of the best two weeks, the most comfortable?
JAMIE MURRAY: I mean, me personally, it’s a weird thing to say. I don’t feel like I played my best tennis these two weeks. I honestly don’t. I feel like I have been grinding a bit with my serve. I didn’t feel so comfortable on my return.

But, you know, we found a way to get through the first match. We could easily have lost the first match. We were fighting really hard in the third set.

You know, after that, we kept going one match at a time, starting to play better. I think in the semis we played a great match. In the final I think we came in with a clear game plan of what we needed to do and what was going to work well against those guys.

Yeah, we did a great job.

Q. From a strategy standpoint, both of you guys like to get to the net in traditional doubles. A lot of teams, like Spaniards, have done well staying back. What do you focus on to take out the strengths from the back of the court and bring the battle more to the front of the court like you did today? You did so well today.
BRUNO SOARES: Yeah, it’s not easy. It goes a lot with how you return. Like Jamie said, we had a clear plan in that Jamie is very fast on returning and coming in, especially with the forehand. He chips. I feel guys that serve and stay back, they are not really used to the shot, so we can really take advantage of that.

On my side, it’s a bit different. I don’t really return and come in, but I can be aggressive on the return. I mean, today I had a special day. I was hitting the ball big on the return. I almost didn’t miss a return. Then when I’m able to return like this, Jamie puts so much pressure on the guys.

So it’s what we had to do, like to not let them hit one shot from the back, being comfortable. Just getting in their head. I think we did that extremely well. If you let these guys rally and hit comfortable shots, they’re just going to kill you.

They are so consistent and so aggressive from the back. But once you get in their head, it’s where we can take advantage of them. I think we managed to do that very well today.

Q. When Andy won Wimbledon the second time he kind of said he enjoyed it much more than the first time because he could sort of see a more relaxed kind of way and the satisfaction was maybe more instant euphoria. Compare it to how you were in Australia.
JAMIE MURRAY: Well, I think it’s a different situation. For him, Wimbledon is a huge pressure. The spotlight is all on him. For me it’s not like that here at all.

I think for me it’s both equally special. I mean, I was obviously super happy to win in Australia, win a first Grand Slam, especially, you know, the previous year doing two finals back to back and losing both.

You know, here, I mean, I think like we know what it takes to do well in these events. You know, for me, the final, like I felt good. We had a great chance to win. I felt our game style was going to match up well today.

You know, as Bruno said, it did. Yeah, we’re really excited to obviously lift this trophy, albeit for a small time. (Smiling.)

Q. We all know doubles partnerships can change a lot. Would you say that this is the best-ever partnership you have had? Is it one that you would envisage staying together for a long time?
BRUNO MURRAY: I hope so. (Smiling.)

JAMIE MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, of course.

BRUNO SOARES: Can’t do much more. Keep him with me.

JAMIE MURRAY: Look, we had the best year of our career, whatever way you look at it. Neither of us had won a Grand Slam before and we come together and we have won two.

So, yeah. Of course I could never disagree with that, yeah.

Q. You beat the No. 1 partnership in the world in the semifinals. Is that a new goal? Is that a goal to become the No. 1 partnership in the world?
BRUNO SOARES: I think so, yeah. Right now, yeah. Before this tournament we were pretty far behind, even though we are No. 3. They had an amazing year. Now I think we are pretty close in the race again. It’s definitely a goal.

From the beginning of the year, No. 1 goal is to qualify to London, and we did that pretty early. I mean, officially it was before this week, but, I mean, unofficially we know we had a very good chance to be there.

Now we are in a chance to win it. I think we put ourselves in a very good spot right now. Gotta keep performing well and keep performing well in the big tournaments. We’ve got two Masters 1000 to come and then London. Big points. We’ve got to play our best there again.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about how often during a Grand Slam two weeks like this do you speak to your brother? Do you guys talk tennis at all? Just that interesting dynamic of even though you’ve got your own thing going on, keeping an eye on what he’s doing.
JAMIE MURRAY: Yeah, often we don’t spend that much time with each other because you’re on your own schedules. But we were actually next to each other in the lockers this year. I probably saw him quite a bit more than normal.

But, I mean, you know, we didn’t go to dinners. We were staying in different parts of the city. I mean, it is what it is. Everyone’s got their own schedules. You’re kind of focused on what yourself is doing.

I mean, I watched pretty much all his matches on TV either in the hotel or when I was just in the physio room getting treatment after my matches or whatever.

Yeah, I don’t really — I mean, normally I don’t tend to spend that much time.

Q. After your message to Andy on court he respond at all?
JAMIE MURRAY: Haven’t looked at my phone actually since we came off court, so see what he says. (Smiling.)

Q. Reached two Grand Slam finals. Thought you were going to get to the next step eventually. (Indiscernible) When you split up, did you feel it was a gamble at all? Was it a dilemma deciding whether to take this forward with Bruno now?
JAMIE MURRAY: Well, I think there is always — well, there is always that risk, because you never know what’s going to happen. Of course, last year I had my best year on the tour. But I decided that I wanted to — I wanted to try to play with Bruno, basically.

I felt like he was the guy that was going to help me achieve what I wanted to achieve on the doubles court. Yeah, it was still a big decision to, you know, commit to not playing with John because we had a lot of success.

Yeah, I feel like I’ve vindicated my — vindicated? Is that the right word? My decision. Yeah, sitting here four Grand Slam later and we have won two of them, so, yeah, it’s good news for me, I guess. (Smiling.)

Q. Totally lighthearted comment on court. Emerging from Andy’s shadow. He’s done well this summer. Has his status sort of driven you on a bit?
JAMIE MURRAY: I wouldn’t say necessarily this summer, but I guess over the last few years, seeing him do so well all the time. You know, wanting to have some of that success, as well. You know, I think the last kind of 18 months have started to really kind of show what I can do on the tennis court.

Yeah, I hope that it will continue. Yeah.

Q. Is it easier to play with Bruno than it is with Andy?
JAMIE MURRAY: Um, yeah. Probably, yeah. (Smiling.)

Q. Can you expand?
JAMIE MURRAY: I think we — I mean, like we talk more. I mean, they are doing similar stuff on the court, like the way — their strengths and stuff. So for me it’s not like a difficult switch to go and play with Andy. I mean, he’s a great player.

But I think, you know, we are with each other every day. We are working on our games and communicating all the time. You know, I find it easy to do that with Bruno. I mean, obviously sometimes, you know, with Andy it’s not always so easy because great players, you know, they do things the way they do.

You know, if I kind of come in and start saying, you know, I think you need to serve there or, you know, hit your return there, you know, they are not used to hearing that. That can be a bit problematic sometimes. (Laughter.)

I think for me and Bruno we are kind of on an even keel and both have the same goal. We’re both trying to do the best for each other and for the team.

Q. On the same issue, how much of it becomes a friendship and how much is a business and how much of it is achieving your goals in sport? Do you become better friends over a period of time, for instance?
JAMIE MURRAY: When you win.

BRUNO SOARES: Exactly. When you lose, you just hate each other. (Smiling.) No, we have been good friends for a long time, me and Jamie. We have been on the tour. We get along super well.

For me, it’s very important to get along off court. I can’t do this well with someone that like I don’t get along well, I just don’t like. For me it’s important.

We have had an amazing year, but we lost so many times so many tough ones and with match points. You got to be able to, you know, go to dinner with the guy after a tough loss and talk like friends. You know, have the same mentality, hard work, and enjoy the ride.

It’s a very tough one. We get special moments like this, but we have brutal moments, as well. We have to be able to share that and just take it easy, you know. Like for me, it’s impossible to do that without a friend.

Q. Talk about the experience of this tournament. Was this match the hardest one out of the duration of the tournament, or was it another standout where you thought you guys had to battle harder or were in a difficult position?
JAMIE MURRAY: Well, I think the first round for us was a really hard match. You know, for me, I don’t know what Bruno was feeling that day, but some moments I was just thinking, you know, just doesn’t seem like it’s going to be our day. Then I would kind of be walking to the net when he’s serving, and just, Come on. Find a way. Find a way.

Eventually we did. We were in the tournament after that. That was huge win and could have easily been gone in the first round and would not have had a chance to sit here.

Then obviously for us to get through — again, quarterfinals was a big match. Tough for Bruno to play Andre, best friends. You know, it’s not easy. You know, also lost to him a couple times this year already. Mentally it was not an easy match to play.

I think for us the semis was obviously a big win. To beat the French guys was huge. I think I played my best match of the tournament there, I think. Yeah, I think for us the final, you know, I think we were favorites going into the match.

I mean, I was confident going in. I really felt like we had a good game to be there. I didn’t feel so stressed about it because I knew what I was going to come up against. I quite like playing against that style of play.

But, yeah, I mean, that’s the thing. Two weeks is a lot of time. A lot of tennis gets played. A lot of tough moments. You have to find a way to get through them if you want to get to the finals and have a chance to lift the trophy.

Q. If you look at your achievements alongside Andy, I think you both, between you, have what now, six Grand Slam titles, two Olympics golds, and a Davis Cup? That’s not bad for two kids from Dunblane, is it? What’s your thought on that body of work?
JAMIE MURRAY: Yeah. I mean, look, yeah, I think we have been able to do a lot of amazing things in our lives on a tennis court. Yeah, I guess when you’re kind of living in a moment you don’t always think about all that stuff.

But, I mean, yeah, I mean, you kind of take a moment and look at — yeah, it is amazing what we have been able to do from a country of no history of tennis at all.

Yeah, it’s just — yeah, it’s quite amazing thing about it. I get quite emotional kind of talking about it. And, you know, I think, you know, my mum especially has done some amazing things, and I hope that for everything that she’s done for us and for tennis in Scotland, you know, that she’s able to get the tennis club built. You know, I think if we want to kind of leave a legacy of what we’re doing, you know, it’s the best way to do it.

I really hope that, you know, the Scottish government back her plans. You know, I guess we’ll probably find out in a few days, I think.


Karolina Pliskova

Press Conference

A. KERBER/K. Pliskova

6-3, 4-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Obviously the final, talk about the emotion. What are you feeling? Sadness? Are you upset with yourself for your performance?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, no. I think I did a great job. It was my first final. Still was close to winning. I mean, she has more experience to play those finals than me so probably decided in this match.

I’m so proud of myself. If someone would tell me I’m going to play finals in this tournament before two weeks I would take it. Not sadness.

Q. How nervous did you feel when you went out there? Did your nerves surprise you at all? How do you feel you dealt them?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I wasn’t nervous at all. Not even during the match. Not even in the beginning. I said already once I’m on the court I feel fine. A little bit before the match I felt nervous, but I think that’s normal.

I was enjoying the match. It was very tough for me physically. We all know she’s tough to play and she’s putting so many balls back. I was expecting very tough match.

In the end, in the third set, I was very close, but, you know, she’s just playing some good tennis this year. It’s never easy to beat her.

Q. You said you weren’t nervous on the court, but you also said that Kerber’s experience was probably better for her today. What about her experience do you think got her over the line as opposed to you?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, definitely. I don’t know if it, you know, had any influence on the win her, but definitely she played few finals of Grand Slam already. I would say she maybe felt a little bit, at least in the beginning of the match, better. I did few mistakes.

But then it was very close. I was still trying to be aggressive. You know, it’s never easy for the player who is attacking and is doing more mistakes.

For her I would say it’s, I mean, not easier. She was running a lot. But for the one who is attacking I would say in the end it’s more tough to do the points, especially if it’s close and you really have to push it really hard to make the winner in the end.

Q. Despite being left handed, what makes her serve difficult?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I didn’t play a lefty girl in this tournament so far, I think, so it’s always different to play lefty, you know. She’s always serving to the backhand. You cannot do much from it.

Then she has the whole court open. I have twin sister. She’s lefty, so it’s always tough to play against lefty girls. There is not much of them in the top 100. You always play right girls, so there is no time where you can practice against lefty. There is no time where you can have some matches against lefty girl. It’s always tough to play them.

Q. She’s had a spectacular year. What lesson could you take from that, especially when you look at what the other women have been doing? Garbiñe struggling a bit, and the others. What do you think from the way she’s been playing?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, she has totally different game than me so I will not take a lot from her, but definitely from her as a person, she’s taking all those results. It’s not easy to be, you know, on the top and still be playing tournaments. You have some kind of pressure, and Angie, she’s handling this pretty well.

I’ll just take this, you know. It’s totally different. I don’t know how I will feel in the next tournament after this. Everyone is going to talk different and everyone is going to look at you different that you have to win.

So Angie did really good job in this one. You see a few girls struggling after they did a good job. I mean, Garbine, after she win Paris she’s been playing maybe a little bit different. I’m not sure how she feels, but she’s still a good player, so I’m sure she can get up back.

Q. Did you feel that your serve, which has been so effective throughout this tournament, let you down a little bit today?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: No. I would not say it was because of my serve, because obviously it’s tough to play someone who is, you know, still every ball putting back. It’s never easy to play. I didn’t have much easy points from the serve, because she’s just playing so well and putting every ball — even if it’s like not aggressive from her side, but still she needs to put the ball back.

You have to play one more shot than normally. Compared to the other girls what I have played in this tournament, they are missing so much the returns, but she’s not. So then it’s also tough for me to serve, you know, because I don’t have any free points from the serve.

Q. And second to that, I know your sister is in China where it was 4:00 a.m. Do you know if she saw the match?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I don’t think she’s watching. She’s playing final in the morning, I think, so I think she’s sleeping. (Smiling.)

Q. Did you feel at all maybe she had a little more pressure on her because of the No. 1 ranking going into today? Obviously she just got it the other day because of Serena.
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I don’t think she felt any pressure today. So far one of the best matches what she played against me.

I think what I have played, as well. It was high-quality match. There was not that many mistakes and I really had to play every point to win a game or to win those points.

Q. Pretty concerted effort in the second set; tried to get more effort and come to the net a bit more. Is that something you knew you had to do after the first set?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, I have been playing her quite a few times and there is a lot of ways how you can beat her.

Today I had the feeling she’s not missing much from the baseline. I just had to step up into the court a little bit and to be more aggressive and closing into the net with the volleys obviously.

I think I did a good job on the net and I did so many points there. That was probably the key why I won the second set. Unfortunately in the third one I didn’t have that many chances to go there. I mean, in the last game I missed something. (Smiling.)

Q. Do you think this tournament will be the turning point for you in Grand Slams, where we’ll see you in the quarterfinals, semis, finals, more consistently? Do you think this could be the turning point moment?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Well, I cannot say now. We can talk maybe next year. (Smiling.)

After some tournaments I’ll just, you know, don’t think about any other tournaments right now. I just finish US Open. Let’s see how is it gonna be. Maybe something will change; maybe not. I just want to take all the positives from this tournament.

Q. A similar question: What do you think you can take away from an incredible performance in Cincinnati where you have won so many big matches and this incredible run?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, I beat very good players. To win in Cincinnati was — I was just so happy to get the biggest title of my career. I was thinking, Okay, now I can even lose in first or second round of US Open, but I was able to take the game from Cincinnati here, which is never easy after you win a tournament, to play the same game in other tournaments.

So I was just happy that I made it here even far. It was always my goal, like I said, to pass the third round, and I made it to the final. I’m still proud of myself. I’m not gonna think about losing, because could be other way, as well. I could be the winner today. Was about few points. I will just take positive from this tournament and still try to move forward.

Q. Congratulations on a great fortnight. Next time you’re in a slam finals, how much is this going to help? How much have you grown in the last four hours?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, I would say a lot, because you don’t have much matches like this in your career or in the whole year. So I definitely take on a positive. The next Grand Slam I’m trying — I’m going to try to play like I was playing here from the first round to the last one.

So doesn’t matter what happen. I’m just gonna take it tournament by tournament and try to play the game what I was playing last three weeks. I think I really did a good job. I improved in a lot of things, especially the game what I have been playing, not only against the players which are under me, but with the top players which are in front of me.

I think that’s the key how I can, you know, be even better than I am.

Q. Angie wasn’t giving you very many free points today. You were saying you feel the pressure as the aggressive player to end the points. Can you talk about what that’s like to be an offensive-minded player and play against a defender of her quality? What pressure is that on you?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, there is always some pressure. You have the pressure that she’s gonna ace you four times in a game. But here it’s different pressure, that you cannot miss much, but you still have to be aggressive and do winners, otherwise I cannot be the one who is running with her there.

I don’t know any other player, Simona or those girls, which are running. I cannot play really 30 times across the net. It’s gonna just kill me, and I will not in the end even win it.

I just have to go for my shots, and that’s what happen in the first set. But she was playing very good tennis in the first set, a lot of first serves, so then it’s hard to attack. She had really good depth in the shots.

I just was waiting for my chance, and I got it in the second set. I was still, you know, aggressive, even I didn’t get it in the third set. I still think I was, you know, aggressive in the third one, but did a few mistakes. That’s why I lost it obviously.

I was maybe a little bit more tired in the end of the third set. That’s also why maybe I just, you know, needed a little bit more power. (Smiling.)

Q. You were playing so well in the third set up until the last game. It seemed like it quickly got out of hand. Have you been replaying it in your mind, or is it too soon still?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: No, I would not say it was because of the last game, obviously. I could do better. We all know that the last game wasn’t great, but like I said, it’s so hard against her because she still needs to play — to push you to play one more shot.

So I just went twice to the net and was going really for the shot. So it could go the other way, as well. So I think I just did a great move to go into the net. I did so many points on the net.

So I would not change it. Just it didn’t happen, but this is the way how I have to play.

Q. Angie becomes No. 1 on Monday. What’s been the impression among the girls on tour of what she’s been able to accomplish, this season especially?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, definitely I would say now that she deserves to be No. 1 because she did so well. She has two Grand Slam titles, one final, few other titles. She’s been just playing great this year, and, you know, constant. She deserve to be No. 1.

And after years what Serena was there, I think it’s a nice change.

Q. Coming off defeating Serena, who was previously No. 1 and now Angelique, losing to her who is now current No. 1 — obviously you beat Serena, Angelique. What was the difference of those two types of players? What was that differences like and, what you found in those two?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, you cannot compare those two. The game is totally different. The persons as well. Serena is going for every shot. She’s serving pretty well. She’s just, you know, pushing you from the second serve. So it’s just totally different game. So there I have more chance to wait for, you know, her mistake.

With Angie, you cannot wait for mistakes. She doesn’t give you anything. I have to be the one who is aggressive.

It’s sometimes more difficult to be the one who is playing aggressive and going for the winners.

So that’s the difference between them.

Q. Along those lines, you just started to answer that, but you came to net, as you were talking about, 38 times in the match. You served and volleyed 10 times. Showing such courage as you did throughout the tournament. Can you describe a little bit your thought process? Any transition in your career over the recent months that’s allowed you to be so calm and courageous in this fashion?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, I wasn’t before the match really planning to go to the net so many times, but it just — you know, I had to change something because she was winning all the rallies in the first set.

I just, you know, was going after the first serve, and it always help me when I go after the serve. The serve is better than if I just stay on the baseline.

I was really going for my shots, and actually it was working. Obviously I missed few, but I win more than I missed. That’s impressive.

And, you know, we have been working on this, my game on the net, so much. Even in the doubles it improved a lot. So I’m really proud of this.

I believe like this, I can win matches like this next time.

Q. What was going through your mind as you saw Angie hold up the championship trophy?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Nothing. (Smiling.)

Q. What do you think the impact of this experience will be on you?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Like I said, I just try to take only positive, even if finish with a loss. I think – still think – it wasn’t a bad loss to lose to girl which is No. 1 in the world.

I played a good matches. Even this one was very good, high quality. So I just, you know, take it into my next tournament and into my life. It’s my biggest success so far into my career. Only positive from New York.

Q. Everything changes in life. For years we have been seeing the Williams sisters, and maybe Sharapova and Azarenka come to mind. But this year we have seen your great performance, Angie’s great performances, Garbiñe. In the locker room, is there a sense that maybe things are shifting?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I don’t feel it in the locker room, and I’m not really taking care of those things. But, yeah, there is almost every Grand Slam different winner except those two with Angie. This one could be a different winner, as well.

I mean, yeah, maybe it’s time changing and different players are coming up. Younger players are coming up, which is normal. They are always dangerous.

Great to see some other girls winning the title, not only the same person.


Angelique Kerber

Press Conference

A. KERBER/K. Pliskova

6-3, 4-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How would you describe the Angie Kerber who was on the tour before 2016 and the Angie Kerber who has been on the tour this year?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think a lot of things change. I mean, it’s just incredible what I did this year. I’m really so happy and so proud about everything what’s happened now about my team, about my game, and about my improvement, as well.

I think I improved a lot in a lot of ways. To being here with my second trophy, it’s just the best feeling ever.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about the ways you improved.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I was really trying to improving a lot of things. First of all, of course, my fitness and then to being more aggressive and go for it when I have the chance. Not just hitting the balls over the net. Just playing my game. Because I know that when I practicing I can be aggressive.

Just make the transfer on the match court, that was the challenge. And also, mentally to being more positive, a little bit more stronger, and just focusing on the moment I am on court.

Q. In line with that, at the end of the second set, beginning of the third, looked like you were slipping back to the negative mode. Body language wasn’t great and you were making some errors. How did you adjust and what was going on in your mind?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: That’s true. In the second set my body language was not the best. I was trying to change it in the third set, but it was not so easy because Karolina is a tough opponent. She was one break up very soon in the third set.

I just told myself, Okay, stay positive. Believe still in your game. I was thinking a little bit on the final in Australia where I was also in the third set. I believed then my game, and I did it today, as well.

So that was in my mind to stop the negative emotions and change it again in a positive way.

Q. What did work in your game today that allowed you to win a tight match like that? What do you think the difference was?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think first I really start really strong in the first set. I was trying to making her move.

In the second set there was just one break. I think I was just believing in myself in the third set and just going for it. I was not too much like hoping. I think that was the key at the end of the third set, that I was trying to take the chance when I was feeling, okay, now, I have the chance to go for it; just go for it until the end.

Q. I know the No. 1 ranking is a title. Was there any part of that that made you believe a little bit more today, and do you feel like the way you gutted this thing out it validated to some degree that ranking you just earned?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I mean, of course it’s better feeling to win now my Grand Slam and being the No. 1 player in the world on Monday.

This what’s happened in the last two weeks, it’s just incredible. Also, how I was dealing with the pressure when I came here and everybody was asking me about the No. 1 number, actually. This was what I was trying to improving with the pressure.

And also, today, I mean, it’s always tough to going in the final when I know the opponent beats me like two or three weeks ago. That was also a challenge what I told myself, Okay, I will do everything on court today to win the match against Karolina.

Q. Sports is a very concrete thing. You’re always in the moment. But I have never seen a great champion talk about dreams so much. In Australia you talked about it. You said dreams come true. Very much the same sentiments today, talking about a dream. Talk about that a little bit more. Is it just beyond belief? Does it seem a little bit unreal? How important have your dreams meant to your success?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I mean, I was always dreaming to being one day to being No. 1 and to be in the Grand Slams. I’m not 18, so I was always trying to improving my game. I knew that I have the game to beat the best players and just being patient and working really hard.

And now to see that the work pays off, this is actually the best feeling. Because I was a lot of hours on the practice courts, sweating and everything, and you are just playing for this moment to being on the center court in the final and with the amazing crowd.

So this is what I was always dreaming for. That’s why I’m talking a lot about that.

Q. Does it still feel a little bit unreal to you?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Actually, I don’t know if it’s unreal. I was feeling it in Australia that everything is really unreal. But right now I think I can also enjoy it. I’m really trying to take every single moment with me and all the positive emotions what I get now, and in the last few months.

Q. You spoke about a couple of the things that you have improved this year: your fitness and being more aggressive during matches. With the fitness, could you tell us a little bit about what specifically you might have changed or done differently this year? In terms of the aggressiveness in the match, was there a particular loss or a moment at some point maybe last season where either you or your coach said to you, Hey, you’re losing because of this, or, To take the next step you need to change your game that way?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: First of all, with the fitness I’m really trying to playing more intense when I’m practice and not playing like maybe two, three hours just like that. I just go to court to being intense and spending a lot of hours as well on gym or like just making a lot of sprints and movement.

So this is what I change, especially in the preseason.

With aggressive, I played a lot of tough matches last year like three sets and especially here, as well, against Azarenka last year. That was also one match what I remember where I really just pushed the balls and I was not going for it.

So there were a lot of matches last year where I knew that I have to be aggressive to win it. This change also in my mind. To making the transfer is not so easy, but I think I did it well. I will try to improve this, as well, in the next steps.

Q. A lot of emotion when you sat down and you buried your face in the towel. Can you talk about that a little bit? Was it more joy or more relief?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: It was everything, I think. Because all the pressure on the last few months. I mean, to win here it’s really special for me, because like I said, everything starts here for me 2011. This Grand Slam is, yeah, really, really special.

That’s why, when I sit there, when I came back from my box, it was everything. I had just positive emotions. To being there like a champion this year, to hold this trophy, it’s — I don’t know. I mean, I can’t say it in words, actually.

Q. Did you ever wonder if you didn’t have enough power or enough weapons in your game to be No. 1? Did you wonder about that and worry about it?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: No, I was always believing in myself. And like my team, as well. They are always believing in me. They are always telling me when I was also down, You are a really good player. You played tough matches against the best players in the world few years ago.

It was just the next step to beat the best players. To being consistent like I am right now, I think that was my next step after last year.

Also, when I sit down with my team and we spoke about 2016 to playing better in the majors and in the bigger tournaments and playing consistent. I’m fifth year in the top 1o, so this is what I’m doing good: being consistent but playing better in the bigger ones. This is what I changed this year. I was always believing in my weapons and about my tennis.

Q. Congratulations. Today some former No. 1 players, such as Navratilova and Arantxa Sanchez, had press conference, and they said when you are chasing for No. 1 position you don’t feel much pressure. But once you became a No. 1 you feel it, because everybody wants to beat you and everybody expects you to win. I don’t want to ruin this… (Laughter.) Talking about pressure…
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think I’m ready, yeah, to have this pressure on my shoulder, because I think I get used to all of this, especially after my first Grand Slam in Australia. I had so much pressure after the title.

And to being No. 1, of course now everybody will try to beat me and have nothing to lose. I will try to take this challenge, because it will be a little bit new situation for me. But at the end, I was always practicing and working hard to being No. 1.

Now I can also taking the next step and trying to staying as long as I can there.

Q. What did you see in that Cincinnati final, reviewing video of it? What did you change tactically?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Of course I know that Karolina is a tough opponent. She beat Serena two days ago, yesterday, and she played amazing tournament here.

So I knew she is, yeah, hitting a lot of aces during a match and I have to be ready for the very strong shots from her.

But I was trying to looking at the match yesterday as well with Torben and we watch the match a little bit. I was prepared actually for that.

I know I had to play my best tennis in the important moments. Yeah, just go for it when I have the chance. I mean, I was a little bit tired in Cincinnati, as well.

Here, I was just trying to take all my energy that I have left on this last match here.

Q. The tour is so relentless, and you’ll have a number of commitments now being the US Open champion. When do you think you’ll get a moment just to be on your own, actually absorb what you achieve?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think in the airport in the airplane. I mean, when I will sit in the airplane and have like few minutes for myself. Going back home in a few days and sitting together with my family and my friends, I think this is the moment where I can really think about everything what’s happen in the last few months, few days here, and just try to, yeah, enjoy every moment then at home.

Q. I think people in general have trouble improving their confidence. It’s really hard to do. Sounds like you’re saying the fitness element was the most important part. Like in Australia you actually felt like a stronger person and stronger body.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yes. And I felt this was one of the biggest things, when you know you can run forever on court and you’re not worried that you can play three sets. I think this is really important for your confidence that you can play like two, three hours and you can go for it.

I think I was working a lot on these things. This gives me a lot of confidence, especially also in Australia where it’s really hot. Today the conditions are actually the same: really humid. I was trying, you know, to believe in my fitness, believing in myself, actually.

I mean, I’m here in the final. So I played really good matches in the last few days. Yeah, that gives you a lot of confidence when you know you work very hard.

Q. 12 years since winning your first junior title; turning pro, another 15 years to win your first Grand Slam final and become a Grand Slam champion. Now upon becoming No. 1 in the world and achieving your dreams, what may you tell your children one day and others about what it takes to achieve dreams and persevere?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, you have to believe in your dreams. You have to go with a lot of patience. Yeah, working hard. Just have a great team around you and really love what you are doing. This is when you do everything and everything comes together one day.

I see it this year. I don’t know. I think I will show a few videos my childrens in a few years, and just, yeah, I don’t know, just tell them, you know, everybody — just believe in yourself and do what you really love.

Q. I think you’re the first female player, apart from Serena, to win two in a year. Winning two and being world No. 1 now, are you the rival to Serena that we have all been waiting for?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I don’t know. I mean, Serena, for me, is one of the best players in the world. She is a great person and a great champion.

So, I mean, what she did for the sport, it’s just incredible. For me, I’m trying to go my own way and trying to enjoy now every single moment with my second Grand Slam. It’s one of my best years, so I will just try to continue this and just trying, as well, to improving my game and my personality, as well.

Just taking the next steps in the next tournaments.

Q. You went for the forehand, big forehand down the line. Do you think last year you would have had the conviction to go for such a shot at that moment?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think this shot was the key for the third set. When I was going down the line I knew, Okay, now I have to risk a little bit, because this is the only chance I can get. I took it, so I think this was really the shot of the match from my serve.

Yeah, when I won the point I knew, Okay, I have the feeling. Now just to go for it and making the mistakes I make like a lot of times before. I was not thinking too much that this is a final. I was just trying to take the challenge, third set, it’s 3-All, and just go for it.

Q. Seeing what you did today and all year — we saw what Pliskova and what Garbiñe did in Paris. Many new faces. Are you excited? Do you think there could be a new landscape to women’s tennis?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I’m really excited because I’m seeing as well a lot of new and good players on tour. There are a lot of, yeah, players and they are working hard. They are playing great tennis.

I think, yeah, let’s see what’s happen, how they will play in the next few tournaments and the next Grand Slams. I think, yeah, it’s good to have so many good players on the tour.

Q. Have you heard from Steffi Graf at all? What inspiration has she given you recently? Lastly, what did you watch of her when you were a little girl?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I watch a lot of matches, and I remember that all the matches were very fast. This is what I remember. (Smiling.)

Yeah, I mean, I heard from her yesterday or like two days ago. She was, yeah, wishing me luck for the final. Right now I don’t know because my phone is somewhere, so I don’t know how many messages I get now.

But, yeah, she was always my idol, and I told her so many times. She’s a great champion, as well. For me it’s really important to go on my own way. And to have her like in Germany with all the things she did also for the tennis, it’s just amazing.

Q. Heard by text or phone?

Q. After you won the Australian Open, you were up and down until after the French Open. Did you ever doubt or think, Oh, my gosh; maybe I took off more than I can chew? How did you pull out of that and end up with a spectacular rest of the year?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: After Australia I had a little bit up and downs, but also because a lot of things happen and change. I think I had to take the time to get used to everything.

In Paris I had so much pressure on my shoulder. I couldn’t deal this with me. After Paris I was sitting down at home and I told myself, Okay, just go for it and just practicing hard again. You did it once in Australia. You have still two Grand Slams in front of you.

That was actually trying to enjoying the tennis on court again and not, yeah, making too many things too complicated. Just trying to relax, enjoy every moment on and off court, and get used to everything.




Day 11 of the US Open – In Their Own Words


Angelique Kerber

Angelique Kerber

(September 8, 2016) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Posting player interviews throughout the day when allowed.

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

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

Angelique Kerber

Press Conference

A. KERBER/C. Wozniacki

6-4, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. So how does it feel to be the best player in the world?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: It feels amazing. (Smiling.) I mean, yeah, it feels just great. I mean, the day came today, and to be now the No. 1 in the world, that was always a dream for me.

I was trying to not thinking too much the whole last few weeks about this, and now I reach it. So it’s something really special for me, because, yeah, I was dreaming for this No. 1.

Q. You almost got it in Cincinnati, but do you remember when you first imagined as a small German girl that you might achieve this, that you might be the best?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I was always dreaming when I was really young. I remember the match also in Cincinnati where I have the chance to reach it with the win there.

But after that I was just telling myself, Okay, I mean, I will get one more chance.

Yeah, I get it now. It’s something really special. Yeah, I don’t know what to say, because I was just trying to focusing on this really tough match today against Caroline. I saw the match before also, Serena against Pliskova, so that was not so easy.

Now after I can relax a little bit and try to enjoy, yeah, this special night today.

Q. Finally, what do you say to Steffi?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: You know, to be the next German No. 1 in the world after Steffi, it’s really special. It’s an honor for me.

Yeah, it’s just incredible, actually.

Q. You won the sportsmanship award. What’s that mean to you?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: That means a lot, because I’m always trying to playing fair play. I mean, to get this trophy now, it means a lot, because, yeah, it shows me that, yeah, I know or I’m on a good way what I’m doing off and on court.

Q. Watching that match before as you’re trying to prepare for this match, how much does that rattle you? And then, also, what were your thoughts as you’re watching that first match unfold?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I watch especially the last few points. I knew it will be tough one because I know Pliskova plays very good in the last few weeks. I play against her in Cincinnati.

Yeah, it was not so easy to go then on court, because I knew it actually before that if Serena lost, of course, that I will be the No. 1. So it was not so easy mentally, but I was trying to, again, not putting too much pressure on myself.

That shows me also that I think I’m growing and I’m not putting the pressure on my shoulders if something like this happen. I can go out there focusing on my game. That gives me also a lot of confidence with the situation, how I deal it today.

Q. What do you remember about how you felt both physically and emotionally going into that Cincinnati final? How different do you think you feel now about three weeks later?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I remember the Cincinnati final. I was actually really tired because I came from Rio and I had a lot of tough matches there.

Here I have one day off tomorrow, so I can really prepare for the final against Pliskova. I know how she is playing. I know she has a big serve.

Yeah, I think I will go out there trying to get my next chance against her and take the revenge, of course.

Q. I understand that you and Caroline are really good friends and even been on vacation together. How is it to play against your friend? Are you still friends after today?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: It’s always not so easy because we know each other very good. I know how she is playing; she knows how I am playing. We played so many matches in the past and always close, and today I think the match was really close. The score is actually not so close, but the match was tough.

Yeah, it’s not so easy, but we both trying to giving our best on court, and after the match we are still friends. (Smiling.)

Q. I spoke to Karolina after the first-round victory, and she said then that she came into this tournament filled with a lot of confidence with her win against you, and then the one against Venus helped her to build on confidence to take on Serena. She’s I think right now probably about as confident as she’s ever been in her career. The person you will face in the final is going to be, mentally, anyway, a more difficult opponent. Talk about what you expect from that match.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: For sure she has a lot of confidence. Now especially against the win against Serena. She will go out there and try and win her first Grand Slam, but at the end I will try the same. I know it will be mentally for me also very tough because she know that she won against me like few weeks ago.

But at the end I know how I was playing in Cincinnati. I know what to change. I will talk with my coach about the game and I will try to take the challenge again against her.

Yeah, trying to win the match the next one.

Q. Just talk about the way you played today against an opponent who is, you know, playing some great tennis here.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I mean, I think it’s her second home here. She loves to play here. I was trying to playing my game. I know she’s moving very well. She’s fighting until the last point. I knew what to expect, but I was trying not to — not thinking too much about her game.

I was trying to thinking how I was playing here the last few weeks, also the last few months, and trying to go like this on court, being aggressive and taking my chances.

So I think I played a really good match, and, yeah, because I have to against Caroline.

Q. Would part of you have liked to face Serena in the finals, or are you actually relieved that you don’t have to face her now?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I knew actually that it will be a tough match against Pliskova, Serena against Pliskova.

But, you know, I was actually not thinking about this one. I was more focusing on my game. Not thinking too much. Now I can think about who I am playing, but before I was not thinking too much, yeah, about the other semis.

Q. Did you see Serena after? Did she congratulate you?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: No, I didn’t see her.

Q. You talked about the mental differences for you now as opposed to when you played a few weeks ago against Pliskova. From a tactical standpoint, what do you think is the most important thing for you to have success against her in this match Saturday?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think my serve have to be very good. I have to move good, as well, to bring a lot of balls back, and playing also more aggressive like I played in Cincinnati. I was just pushing too much the balls there, so I think I will change this a little bit. Go for it, being aggressive.

Yeah, I hope my serve will be good on Saturday.

Q. You were up 4-love to Wozniacki, and I know it may sound chauvinistic, but when you played Vinci I had the impression that you were more tense because you had three times behind one break and so on. Do you think there was a difference in terms of, you know, being on court and suffering? Did you suffer more with Vinci than with Wozniacki? That’s the question. The first one.

Q. And the second one.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I don’t know. I’m not thinking about this, actually, you know. I went on court and I was trying to playing every single point. I was not thinking too much about the score and about the things around. I was trying to playing more point by point.

Vinci and Caroline, they are both tough players and different a little bit. Yeah.

Q. Did you suffer more today or the other day?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: (Shaking head.)

Q. You don’t want to say.

Q. You’re the oldest to debut at No. 1 in the rankings history, and I want to know what you think about that and what it says about the sport. Secondly, were you prepared for this kind of success this year coming into the season, the slam, three finals?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Actually, not really, because last year when I played a good year, I mean, I won four titles. I played — yeah, I was still in the top 10 at the end of the year.

And then I sit down with my coach, and we said, Okay, what we have to improve? And I was trying to improving my game, being more aggressive, and not just playing from the defensive end.

Yeah, when I won my first Grand Slam in Australia and we came back I had much more confidence. I had much more belief in my game, about my improvement.

And then I was just trying to get used to this pressure, all the stuff what’s happen after Australia.

I don’t know if I was like prepared for this, but I think I played amazing year. I mean, it’s my third Grand Slam final now in one year, so I just try to enjoy it. I just try to stay relaxed and just try to play like I’m playing the last few months.

Q. A few years ago when we would watch you compete there would be a lot of eye rolling, you know, negative body language, kind of sarcastic clapping, things like that. We don’t see much of that anymore. Can you talk about your evolution just as a competitor on the court and what’s changed for you and how you got it to change?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I was trying to change this, and I think I improve very well. I was trying to be more positive than I was the last few years, because I know that the body language is really important.

I lost a lot of matches with this stuff, because I was frustrated. When I missed one shot I was like thinking about the shot the next few minutes and few shots.

So this is what I was trying also during my practices. Just, yeah, looking ahead and just point by point. Sometimes you have this situation where you are really negative actually because you lose a point or you make an easy mistake.

But in this moment I’m really trying to be mentally strong and not showing my opponent that I’m inside actually a little bit more negative and nervous. Trying to stay positive. I think the change also my game that I believe more and going for it when I have the chance and not waiting about the mistakes from my opponent.

Q. After you won in Australia you had a celebratory swim in Melbourne’s wonderful Yarrow River. We have some great rivers here. Would you give us equal time, please?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: No. I think that was once and that was okay. (Laughter.) Let’s see what we will do if I win it here, but I think we will just decide it when it’s happen.

Q. A former and great champion, Pete Sampras, said once, “I like the racquet to do the talking.” The racquet wasn’t that funny. We didn’t enjoy that much. Can you tell us something that you would tell to your friends, intimate friends, mother, that would be more fun for us to listen to? Sometimes you’re too predictable. I would like some story to write.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I don’t know what you want to hear. I don’t know. (Smiling.)

Q. Now you’re talking to your mother. What do you tell her?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I don’t know. I mean, right now I think they are all proud about my No. 1 situation, about the game I am playing. I think also about my improvement what I did the last few months. I think this is now really special.

Yeah, that I’m growing with all the situation, all the stuff what I’m dealing with. It’s not so easy, and I think this is the biggest thing what I’m proud about it.

Q. Emotions?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Emotions, yes.

Q. A lot?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yes, a lot (Smiling.)

Caroline Wozniacki

Press Conference

A. KERBER/C. Wozniacki

6-4, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Despite coming up short today, can you evaluate your US Open?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Well, obviously right now I’m a little disappointed not to win today, but at the end of the day it’s been a good tournament, something I can be proud of.

I came into this tournament ranked 74 in the world and probably people ruled me out, but it’s nice to prove people wrong once again. It’s nice to have a good run. I did my best out there today. I fought all I could, and just came up a bit short.

Q. (Question regarding last point of the match.)
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Well, I got a few texts, but that just made me feel worse. I saw it like in the air, saw it out that’s why I kind of stopped. When it landed I saw it on the line and I just wasn’t ready for it. Then when I saw it on the line I was like, There’s no reason to challenge since it was a relatively slow ball.

But clearly should have done that. But in the at the end of the day I don’t think it would have made a difference, but…

Q. Today was it a matter of something going off on your game? You couldn’t impose? Was it Angie?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Obviously Angie is playing well. She’s getting a lot of balls back. I thought I was dictating a lot of the game. I was trying to press and stay close to the line. In the beginning she really got me on the contra and just kind of counter-punched me away.

Then I stepped into the ball a bit more then and went for my shots and started going in and I started finding a rhythm. A few of the balls I went a little bit too much on and made these small mistakes.

But, you know, today I had to do that. I had to go for my shots. Unfortunately I came up a little short, but I have got to be proud of the way I kept going, and I just kept fighting for every point.

Q. What went well for you this tournament? Why did it all start to click? How do you do that moving forward for yourself?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I think I just need to keep going the way I have been doing. You know, just I have gotten a lot of matches here, which is great. Hopefully I can just bring this momentum into the Asian swing.

It was a good tournament. I kind of felt like the way I have been practicing I managed to put that into the matches, so that was nice.

Hopefully I can just do that moving forward.

Q. Angie joined an exclusive club you have been a member of. What makes her biggest qualities to be No. 1? What advice would you give, because you held on to that spot for quite a while.
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Yeah, I think obviously she’s had a great year. She gets a lot of balls back. She also knows how to change the pace. She gets good angles.

And, yeah, she’s playing really well. You know, it’s not a lot of people who have been No. 1. It’s a huge thing. You know, she definitely has a target on her back now. Everyone wants to beat the No. 1 player in the world.

Yeah, she’s going to enjoy it. First she has a match here that she’s focused on, and I’m sure she will enjoy it after the tournament.

Q. You have been there yourself. Going forward now, do you take motivation from this tournament to try to climb the rankings again? Obviously 74, that will change. There has been talk during this tournament you might be hanging up your tennis shoes. Where is your head now in terms of the future?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: To be honest right now, my head isn’t anywhere. I have a drug test, so after this I need to be able to pee. That’s what I’m thinking about right now. (Laughter.)

After that, I don’t know. I have the Asian swing to look forward to, so that’s really what I’m thinking about next. I’m playing Tokyo in a week’s time.

Q. You have always said that health is the key for you. Do you come out of this completely healthy? Feel good mentally and physically?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I do. Yeah, I feel very good body-wise. I think it’s the best it’s felt in a while. I’m happy with that. Mentally I’m sure it will take me a couple of days just to process everything, but in the at the end of the day I can be proud of the way I have been handling myself this week, these two weeks.

You know, obviously I would have loved to have gotten two more, but it is what it is. I’m going to take this and really bring this momentum forward.

Q. Were you watching some of Serena earlier? Your thoughts on that match. Did it surprise you?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I think Serena looked a little bit nervous. And, yeah, I mean, I watched a little bit. You know, I always like to see Serena win. Obviously she’s a great friend of mine. You know, I have huge respect for her.

But at the same time, I have to give respect to Pliskova for serving it out and playing well.

Serena Williams

Press Conference

K. PLISKOVA/S. Williams

6-2, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You had a very strong opponent tonight. What do you think didn’t go according to your plans?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don’t think much really went well today. I made a lot of errors and I didn’t play as well as I have been playing.

Q. Can you talk about Karolina as a player? Her serve was good today. How do you feel about her, moving around the court and return?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I thought she was a good, all-around player.

Q. It looked like you were limping a bit out there. At one point holding your wrist. What percentage were you physically out there? I know you had a very tough match against Simona. Do you feel you were beaten up from that? Were you physically up to 100%?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely was not beat up after my quarterfinal match. But, yeah, I just — that was it.

Q. On TV Chris Evert kept suggesting you looked a little worn out from yesterday’s match. You weren’t moving and weren’t getting your racquet in position. Did you feel that at all?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Okay, I’m not going to repeat myself. I wasn’t tired from yesterday’s match. I’m a professional player; been playing for over 20 years.

If I can’t turn around after 24 hours and play again then I shouldn’t be on tour. So I definitely wasn’t tired from yesterday’s match at all.

It wasn’t a five-hour match. I have practiced three hours, so it wasn’t that huge of a deal.

Q. People were surprised to see you in the first match of the night. Did you request to play earlier?
SERENAS WILLIAM: I don’t know. I had plenty of time to recover, so it was fine.

Q. You said you weren’t tired, but were you injured at all? Was your left leg or knee hurting you?
SERENAS WILLIAM: Yeah, I have been having some serious left knee problems. I wasn’t tired. Fatigue had absolutely nothing to do with it. If I was tired I should definitely get into a new career.

Q. How did the leg affect you out there tonight?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I wasn’t able to move the way I wanted to move. When you’re injured you’re thinking of other things when you should be just playing and thinking of your shots. My mind was just a little bit everywhere. But it was what it was.

Q. When did this injury come up?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don’t know. I think like after the second or third round. I think it was the second round.

Q. Is there a diagnosis to it, or…
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don’t know yet. I’d rather not say, actually. It’s fine.

Q. Your coach kind of blamed the loss on the knee. Do you feel it really, really hampered your movement? I know you’re downplaying it a bit.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I’m not downplaying anything. Karolina played great today. I think if she had played any less then maybe I would have had a chance.

So I think I wasn’t at 100%, but I also think she played well. She deserved to win today.

Q. In the tiebreak you had two double faults to the ad court and going to the same spot. Missed four times. Anything particular going on there?
SERENA WILLIAMS: To be honest, I don’t remember that. I remember double faulting on match point, but I don’t remember the other ones.

Q. You didn’t play at all last fall after the US Open, so you have points to make up now. Going back after the No. 1 ranking going to be a priority for you now?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don’t talk about that whatsoever.

Q. Just your schedule for the fall?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Honestly, I don’t know.

Q. Were you surprised at how composed she remained throughout even the tiebreaker?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I think she’s been on tour for numerous years and she’s had some good wins. She was doing so well last year, was so close in so many finals, and I think maybe this was her year to really do well, at least here at the Open.

Q. Did Venus discuss anything with you, having played her, as well?
SERENA WILLIAMS: We talked about it a little bit, yeah.

Q. Any advice that you want to share that she gave you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Not really. (Smiling.)

Q. She said in the on-court interview she thought the key to the win was her serve. Would you agree with that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, I definitely agree. I thought she served well today, and that was definitely was a big thing for her.

Q. Was it very difficult to deal with that serve?
SERENAS WILLIAM: Today it was, yes.

Q. Did you feel like your serve sort of abandoned you tonight?
SERENAS WILLIAM: I guess. It was — it’s all right. This is really negative. I don’t think it abandoned me. I just don’t think I served well. I definitely think I could serve better, but that’s the beauty of the sport. Always opportunities to do better.

Q. Once you broke back in the second, what was going through your mind as far as game plan and getting a foothold in the match?
SERENAS WILLIAM: I’m always thinking about holding and breaking and holding. That’s it. I don’t really — don’t really know so much what I was thinking.

Q. I’m not sure you called the trainer out. I may be wrong about that. Had it gone to the third set, would you have called the trainer out to assess…
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, you know, we’ll never know, huh? (Laughter.)

Q. I appreciate very much your fair play, but even if you say it wasn’t a factor, a 7:00 pm match played for ESPN, and suddenly you have to play a match one day after the other. This reminds me a little bit CBS paying a lot of money and Super-Saturday. I would say if you think it’s fair, forget if it was a factor for you or not, if it’s fair that you have to play quarters or semifinals one day after the other. I don’t think it’s fair.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Um, I mean, honestly, I don’t — and I’m not disagreeing with you. Actually, I am. I don’t see how it’s not unfair. Like, we play every single week. We play — I have been in Toronto or Montreal or Cincinnati where I play Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

I mean, if I’m not used to playing this, and I really should think of something different. I’m not going to sit here and make an excuse. Because that’s not me. Being a professional, if I can’t recover, then, you know, that’s that.

But I was totally okay. It had nothing to do with that. That’s what we do on a weekly basis.

Q. But in a Grand Slam it’s every other day.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Not at the French Open. I played like nine matches in a row. (Laughter.)

Q. With the hampered leg, what part of your game felt most affected by that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Mental, because when you’re hampered you’re thinking of other things. Like I was making errors that I never make, and definitely I didn’t make in this tournament in particular. So many simple, simple shots that I easily could have made.

I just blame that on just mentally thinking about my leg and just not thinking about the shot.

Q. Kerber is going to be the oldest to debut No. 1 at 28 years old. You have been the oldest No. 1 and set a lot of records.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I’m not talking about No. 1. Thank you.

Q. How do you compare her serve to other serves you have faced over the years? Is there anything about it that makes her particularly effective?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I think because she’s so tall it bounces high. I’m a little shorter so my serve goes through the court. Hers goes a little higher. So I think that’s the difference.

Q. Obviously you would have wanted to win this title. What do you walk away proudest of these last ten days at the US Open?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don’t know. I’m only really proud — you know, obviously I’m a perfectionist and I love to win. That’s when I feel my proudest.

I think I had a pretty positive attitude mostly outside of maybe my second round. I think that I could walk away with that.

Karolina Pliskova

Press Conference

K. PLISKOVA/S. Williams

6-2, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Quite a performance tonight. Did it help you that you had played Venus two nights earlier and experienced the whole crowd being for your opponent and all that?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I would say yes, definitely. Not only the crowd. I would say also the game was quite similar to Venus, so I knew it’s gonna be a little bit about the same match what I played with Venus and same serving, same speed.

So obviously Serena is No. 1. Venus is a little bit behind her. She’s definitely playing a little bit better. I was expecting tough match but I knew I can win.

Q. Can you compare your performances in the two matches? Which match was a more satisfying performance from your end?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, to beat Serena, she’s world No. 1, so it’s always tough to beat someone like this. She’s never giving up. Even if she’s losing, not playing her best, it’s always tough to beat girls like this.

I would maybe say it was a little bit tougher to play Venus because obviously I was match point down and she was serving much better than Serena was tonight.

Even my game I think was a little bit better against Venus, but I’m not sure what my coach is gonna say and what all the people is gonna say. Obviously I beat No. 1. Everyone is gonna say it’s amazing win tonight. But, I mean, both matches were very good.

Q. You have the Cincinnati win. A lot of confidence. Now you’re in your first Grand Slam final. What’s that mean?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: It was always a dream to, you know, get a title, get to the semifinal, get to the final. So, I mean, it’s a big result for me. I hope I didn’t stop yet, that there is still one more step to go. I’ll do anything for getting the title.

Even if I don’t get it, it’s a big result. I’m really happy to be there and even have the chance to play in the final here. It doesn’t happen often, you know, that you’re playing especially semifinal against Serena on center court here in New York. It doesn’t happen often that you’re in the final of Grand Slams.

I’m really excited to be there and really excited to be in a Grand Slam final for first time in my life.

Q. How did you stay so calm? In fact, were you that calm?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Actually, yes, I was pretty calm today. Before the match I felt a little bit like pressure, nervous, some kind of — but when I step on the court I didn’t feel anything. I just, you know, wanted to win, actually. Not just enjoy but to win.

I knew I’m going to have my chances even if she’s playing her best. There is always a chance in those two sets. I was calm during the whole match. Even in the second set there was some complications. I was up a break.

But it never can be so easy to play No. 1 in the world. You cannot win like 6-2, 6-1, so I wasn’t expecting a match like this. I was prepared for anything, even if I would have lose the second set I would be ready for the third one.

Q. Most people would not want to play Venus and then Serena in a row. From what you’re saying, it sounds like it actually helped you to play Venus first, from the atmosphere and maybe also from the serving, returning?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, there is not more than to beat both sisters in one tournament in New York. I’m really excited about those two wins.

For the crowd, it’s not probably the best that I beat both of them in their country, but for me it’s really something special. Obviously the match with Venus helped me, like I said, not only with the game, but also with the crowd, also. Was my first match on center court.

So I knew I was to play center court one of the sisters Williams against all the people there, so I was prepared for it. I was prepared for a fast game, for great serving, and probably it helped me. That’s why maybe I won the match today.

Q. You’re one of the taller players on tour, especially one of the top players. How do you think that helps in terms of your serve, and what effect does it have, good or bad, in terms of movement and returning?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, definitely if you are tall like me you cannot be run from the runners. With the movement, I was always a little bit struggling, but I still think I’m improving and there is still much work to do. Still much things to improve.

I’m always gonna, you know, work on this, and obviously, on the other hand, it’s a big thing for me that I can really serve well in important moments and beat players not only with my serve. Even if the serve is off, I can still — you know, I have forehand, backhand, good shots from the baseline.

I can really be aggressive and not the one who is waiting for a mistake, but the one who is doing the winners. So I think it’s a big plus.

Q. You said that you believed before you stepped on the court that you could win tonight and you could beat Serena. When did you first start to believe that you could pull off wins like this? Because I’m not sure that you necessarily always thought that when you were on tour.
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I wasn’t thinking about to beat Serena before this tournament at all because I never faced her. I faced her once, but I never faced her since then and never on Grand Slam and never on a stage like this.

But once I beat Venus here I knew I’m playing good tennis and I have a chance to beat anyone in the tournament. I was ready for anything.

But actually, to be honest, when I was watching Serena last night against Simona they were playing really good tennis. I thought, Okay, this is going to be tough even if Simona is going to win or Serena is going to win. They were playing amazing tennis. I knew it was going to be tough.

But I didn’t want to get into the long rallies with her. That’s what they were playing yesterday. I was just getting my chances and putting the pressure on her. I think it paid off.

But I didn’t believe in beginning of the match that I can beat her. Since the match was going I knew I can, you know, get the win.

Q. You had some double faults today, but you shouldn’t be discouraged because I did some mathematics. You won only 38% of points off the second serve, but made 56% of first serve and won 80-something points. For today’s statistics, the better strategy would be hit first serve and second serve. Did you ever think about hitting first serve and second serve on regular basis?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, I knew I’m going to be with pressure once I hit my second serve, once I missed the first serve, that she’s gonna go into my second serve with power and I’d be under the pressure.

I just wanted to serve as many first serves as I can, but you cannot just put the first serve in there. I think I started really good and she was guessing a little bit the sides of my first serve. So I knew I can, you know, hit some big serves.

Even if it’s not an ace it still can be still a point for me. But obviously on the second serve it’s tough, because like I said, she’s putting so much pressure on the second serve that’s. Why the few double faults.

I wanted to risk, go more into her body. I did few more double faults obviously, but I still think it paid off.

Q. You said on television that America doesn’t like you. What is it like to be out there, a single athlete in a stadium with 20,000, 23,000 people roaring and cheering for your opponent?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I wasn’t thinking about it at all. I knew it’s gonna be tough, that I’m going to be against everyone almost there.

But I have my people here. I have people at home which they always believe in me. So I knew I have some people behind me. I don’t really care about the whole stadium was for her. I just, you know, didn’t want to get focused on those people, because once I get to think about that everyone is cheering for her and that, I don’t know, they are screaming in between first and second serve it would just hurt my serve.

So I just wanted to get this out of the game and just be ready for my game and not to think about other things around.

Q. You beat Kerber a couple weeks ago and you stopped her from becoming No. 1. Now you beat Serena. You helped her actually get the position. So bottom line, you beat the two No. 1s in a couple of weeks. How important for your confidence is to do such a result? Actually, going to the final, you could face Kerber possibly. What do you think about the eventual head to head?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, in Cincinnati I knew Angie, she’s playing for world No. 1, so I think she kind of felt some pressure there.

So, you know, I was really going for my win there and got the win, which gave me a lot of confidence.

And right now I knew Angie beat Serena. I knew few other girls beat Serena, so I knew that I could beat her, as well. It’s a great thing to beat a girl which is No. 1, girl which is No. 2.

So it’s always a good result, even if you beat someone from top 10. It’s not happening often and there are always tough matches with the girls from top 10. So I’m really excited about it.

Obviously if I play Kerber tomorrow I’ll know her very well. We played a lot of times. I lost to her; I won. So I will be ready for anything. That’s a final of a Grand Slam, so anything is possible. Of course, probably nerves from both sides. We both have a good chance to win.

But, yeah, I will just do anything to win the title here.

Q. Were you aware that Serena was dealing with a knee injury? She talked about it a little bit here. Her coach certainly talked about it. Could you feel that on the court or did you have no knowledge of it?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: No. I didn’t know it at all. After the match they asked me in the studio. Even my coach said something to me after the match.

But I’m not, you know, looking at the opponents at all between the points. It’s just not my business. I’m still talking and concentrating on myself and not on them. I would say it would be not be a good thing if I just, you know, keep on looking at her if she’s injured or not.

Just would not be the best for me. I still have to play my game and not think about the others.

Q. I know you skipped Rio, and other players did that, as well. What’s happening here? Why are you going to another level? What other factors is it that are making you play well now and take you to another level, do you feel?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, definitely it was about those last two, three weeks what I have played here in States and I won good matches. It gave me a lot of confidence, and that’s what tennis is all about.

If you believe in yourself you can beat anyone. Especially in girls tennis it’s not only about a game and tennis, but it’s more about the mental things sometimes.

So I really believe now that I can beat a good players, and — all of the players, actually now.

But for me, I think the most important step was to get through to the fourth round. Then I knew I have — if I have the chance to play someone who is better than me, I know I can be dangerous.

Q. Last night you were watching Serena and Simona. This morning you have to play this match. What were you doing today before the match? Like how did you wake up? Eat breakfast? What did you do?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I actually didn’t have any breakfast. I woke up at 1:00, so I went straight to the lunch. I just wanted rest because I never played a night session here.

We just came later here, had a lunch around the hotel, and then just had a normal warmup, and, you know, kind of more relaxing start of the day.

I just wanted to be ready physically and also mentally for the match tonight.

Q. What do you remember about when Serena and Venus, 14 years ago basically in every Grand Slam final? Do you remember following them, what they meant to you, or starting in tennis?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, definitely they did a lot for tennis. And both of them, they are such a great champions. You can still see it, even now. Even if they lose they are still behaving like champions.

Of course I remember them playing, but I think Serena improved a lot in last few years. She’s just doing very good job. Like I said, last few years she’s world No. 1. She’s still playing not that many tournaments and she’s still there, you know.

She can still hold the level even if she’s sometimes injured, sometimes not that ready. She’s still very dangerous player. So is Venus. They are both great champions.

Like I said, they did a lot for tennis and they always, you know, is gonna be there in our tennis history.

Q. Does it bother you at all, you win the biggest match of your life and people are talking or your opponent is talking about an injury being a difference?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, I don’t care. (Smiling.) You know, sometimes it is like this. Not even me. I’m sometimes not playing when I’m 100% ready and I don’t think others care.

If someone is not ready and she doesn’t think she is ready, she should not go on the court. But after the match I would say it’s still her choice if she wants to play or if she is ready to play or not.

I’m just happy with my win, and I’m not gonna think about something like this.

Q. You have been playing for a long time, working hard. What would it mean to you if you were able to lift the trophy on Saturday?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: You know, everyone was still talking to me about that you can win Grand Slam once. I was like, Yeah, maybe. Not now. I’m not ready for it yet, because obviously I didn’t get that far in the tournament yet in a Grand Slam.

But I knew it’s somewhere in me that I can really play good tennis on those bigger stages, so I believed, and it just happened. So I think I have a good chance, good chance not tomorrow, Saturday, to win, and just be ready and give my best.


Day 10 of the US Open – In Their Own Words

Stan Wawrinka

Stan Wawrinka


(September 7, 2016) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Posting player interviews throughout the day when allowed.

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

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



Andy Murray

Press Conference


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

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How disappointed? Back and forth match. Seemed like you had the momentum going for a bit.
ANDY MURRAY: I’m not disappointed in a way. Obviously I would have loved to have won, but I have had a good run every match. I would have loved to have gone further, but it wasn’t to be today.

Q. Could you talk us through the dispute with or the conversation with Wayne McKewen, and what exactly was the result…
ANDY MURRAY: Stopped the point, and I was just curious why that was and that was it.

Q. You were saying that you had heard the noise in the first set. She said that you would play on?
ANDY MURRAY: Wayne McKewen told me that it happened four times during the match that the speakers had gone off like that. I had only heard it one time before, which was on set point in the second set. That was it.

Q. You had a period of seven straight games…
ANDY MURRAY: Definitely I would say to 4-1 I didn’t play a good game after I got out of the change of ends, and then, you know, he held pretty comfortably the next game.

But after that, I don’t think so. You know, there was a lot of time between then. I had a lot of game points in the 4-1 game; didn’t get it.

And, yeah, I lost my serve a couple of times from positions that when I was up in the game — you know, obviously you can get broken when you’re up in the game. I got broken once from 40-Love, once from 40-15, and at the end of the match I think I was up 30-15 in the game, as well. That was the difference.

Q. Were you more disappointed the way you were serving and so many times you had been broken or the way you returned? Because at the end of the match you were returning pretty poorly compared to your standard, in my opinion. I don’t know what you think.
ANDY MURRAY: Um, I mean, it was obviously different serving under the roof. I started off the match serving pretty well. You know, it obviously slows the conditions down so it becomes easier to return. You know, he started returning a bit better. I didn’t serve so well, obviously.

I don’t think the reason I lost the match was because of my return game. I broke serve enough times. I just didn’t hold serve enough. That was the difference.

Q. You didn’t know, but the rain didn’t last very long. It was bright sunshine and blue skies. Do you think they should readdress whether or not the roof should be open in that condition?
ANDY MURRAY: Um, it’s not really for me to say. We were told at the beginning of the event and also today that, you know, if the forecast’s good they will open the roof during the match if that’s the case. Why that didn’t happen today I don’t know.

Yeah, I mean, it’s not really for me to say. I mean, they have obviously delays and stuff and matches aren’t good for TV and people that are watching. You want a continuous match, for sure. You want to try and complete as many matches outdoors as possible.

Q. (Indiscernible.)
ANDY MURRAY: Um, I mean, I think definitely under the roof he was able to dictate more of the points. You know, he was playing a bit closer to the baseline than me and taking the ball on a little bit more.

You know, at times I was obviously doing more of the running, you know, whereas I think in the first set and a half and when we played in the Olympics, you know, that was the other way around.

Q. Any part of you feel that was the one that got away, or is that giving disservice to Kei?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, obviously I was in a good position up and a set and a break and chances at the beginning of the fourth set, as well. I could have won the match for sure.

But, you know, I have also won some over the last, you know, few months I should have lost. Against Steve Johnson at the Olympics I was down a couple of times.

The third set against Fognini, I was down a break in the third there.

Against Tsonga at Wimbledon I was up, but that could have gone the other way in the beginning of the fifth.

You know, it happens sometimes. You win them. I have won a lot over the last few months, but couldn’t quite get it going my way today.

Q. How much do you think the workload that you have had comes into that in terms of the resources you have left?
ANDY MURRAY: Um, I don’t know. I felt all right today. You know, I felt all right. Kei has played a lot of tennis, as well, though, over the last few months, for sure.

But, you know, this slam in particular I think for all of the players, especially the ones, you know, that have done well over the summer period on the hard courts, it’s, you know, a tough one.

You know, Kei will be feeling it, as well as a lot of the players. Yeah, I don’t think that had an impact on the match today.

Q. Kei hurt you a lot with the dropshots. Did you know that was coming? Did he use it a little bit more than you expected? You didn’t seem to have an answer for it. It was disguised pretty well.
ANDY MURRAY: Well, yeah, a couple of them. I didn’t lose all the points. I won a number of them.

But when you’re — like I said, when he’s playing close to the baseline and you’re the one that’s further back, it leaves more space at the front of the court to use a dropshot.

I got a little bit unfortunate on the break point at 5-All, the volley that he made that’s not going in every time. You know, that was a big moment in the match, obviously, at that stage.

Q. It’s still early. When do you think you’ll head up to Glasgow?
ANDY MURRAY: No idea. I haven’t thought anything about when I would leave. I was obviously focused purely on this week and obviously wanted to go further.

I don’t know when I’ll go there. I don’t know how many days off I’ll take or how much or when I’ll start practicing up there. You know, I’m due a few days off, and I’ll use them well, because I will need a lot of energy for that tie.

Q. (Question regarding playing on home soil.)
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, obviously I’ll look forward to the match. It should be a great, great atmosphere, great occasion. You know, I would like a little bit more time off, which obviously I will get when Davis Cup is done, but I just need to be smart in the next few days.

Because like I said, I need a lot of energy for those ties. Davis Cup, you know, does take a lot out of you over the weekend. It’s tough, especially if you play all three days. You know, I’ll need to be smart the next few days to make sure that not only physically I recover, but mentally, as well, because it’s always a stressful few days.

Q. There are five men left in the draw now. How do you see it playing out?
ANDY MURRAY: I’d say Novak would be the favorite. I mean, obviously a lot of top, top players left. Gaël has been playing very well. I think in their head to heads, Novak has had quite a little bit of success.

You know, the bottom part of the draw it’s obviously difficult to pick. They’re all top players, I think. You know, Stan and Juan will have a very good match tonight, I would expect.

You know, Kei is obviously capable on this surface of beating the best players and has beaten Novak here, as well, so you know, I would put Novak as the favorite, but everyone’s got a chance.

Q. I know it’s early after the match and disappointment we talked about, but the takeaway from the summer, do you look back and say, It was a heck of a summer? Or are you kind of leaving let down by coming up short?
ANDY MURRAY: I have not let anyone down. I tried my best. I fought as hard as I could with what I had today. I didn’t let anyone down. Certainly not myself. I pushed myself as hard as I could over the last few months, and I’m very proud of how I have done.

You know, if someone had offered me the summer that I have had before Wimbledon, I probably would have signed for that. You know, asking me right now is pointless. I’m not going to have the best perspective on things right this minute, but, you know, after a few days, you know, away and stuff, I would imagine I’d be very happy with how I have done and, you know, learn from this match today and the summer as a whole, because, you know, it’s been tough. It’s been a hard summer.

And, yeah, I’m happy with how it’s gone. There’s just a few things I could do differently next time.






Kei Nishikori

Press Conference


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

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. With so much on the line and so much pressure, how would you describe your mental approach?
KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah, it was really difficult match. I didn’t quite start well and lost 6-1. I felt it was really quick and I was rushing a little bit and missing too much unforced errors.

But after rain delay I think I improve little bit with my coach, and I tried to change a little bit my tennis and start working a little bit better. I started get my rhythm back. Yeah, many breaks today.

Especially fifth set it was really tough. I was up 4-3, 40- love and lost the game. So there was many up and downs, but I tried to calm. I think that’s the most important thing I did today. Even though there was many up and downs I tried to stay tough.

Yeah, last couple games I took little chance, and, yeah, win the whole thing. So it was really tight game, but happy to win today.

Q. You mentioned the up and downs. You both had those. There were huge momentum shifts were taking place throughout the match. It also really, really felt like the house, if you will, the crowd, was really pulling for you. Did you feel that? Did that energize you and give you motivation and confidence?
KEI NISHIKORI: Well, yeah. I think I was too focused today, so I couldn’t really hear too much on the court.

But for sure the crowd helped me to get back in the game. Yeah, fourth and fifth I think I played one of the best tennis. It was great match.

Q. The let call after the loud noise, the point early in the fourth set, do you think they should have stopped that point?
KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah, I mean, definitely. My concentration went off. Yeah, I don’t know what’s the reason, but for sure they have to stop that.

Q. What does it mean for you to be honored with the sportsmanship award tonight?
KEI NISHIKORI: Well, yeah, it’s a great honor to get sportsmanship. Well, I mean, I try to stay calm and I try not to do too many up and downs, especially my mental side.

I think especially today I think I did great, you know. Even though there was many times my focus went off, but especially during fourth and fifth set I tried to stay tough.

Yeah, it’s great to show that to the other people, you know. I’m always staying tough. Yeah, it’s great honor.

Q. After the rain delay you seemed to be working the points a little bit more. During the delay, what did Dante and Michael tell you?
KEI NISHIKORI: Well, it was definitely my mistake that lost the first set. I was missing too much. Like I said, I think I was feeling a little bit rushed. I gave so many opportunity to him easy. Yeah, we talk a lot of things during the rain delay, and, yeah, I tried to change something. It worked well.

For sure it’s helped today’s game.

Q. If Stan wins tonight, will you share your thoughts on the Swiss player?
KEI NISHIKORI: Well, yeah. We just played in Toronto few weeks ago. He’s been playing, you know, good tennis.

But I think it’s gonna be tough match today. Delpo is playing great tennis. Yeah, I’m very excited to watch match tonight. I’m not sure who’s gonna win today.

You know, my side I try to stay focused, you know, even though whoever comes, you know, for the next round, either way it’s gonna be tough. Try to stay calm and ready for next one.

Q. Two great nations with tennis culture, Japan and Great Britain; match each other in the history. You are the first Japanese player in US Open history to beat a Great Britain player. Fred Perry beat Japanese player in five-setter. You beat Murray in a five-setter. What does it mean for you, making the history?
KEI NISHIKORI: Well, yeah, I think it means a lot, especially I have been losing Andy a lot. I think seven times and I only won once. And especially this stage, you know, it’s big opportunity for me to play today’s match.

Well, yeah, I was really confident. I was ready to play today’s match. Actually, we just played this year really long match. I think it was close to five hours in Davis Cup and I lost the match, so it was great to revenge, you know, from Davis Cup.

Q. Since we don’t know which player you’ll play next, can we start first with Del Potro? How would you describe his forehand?
KEI NISHIKORI: Well, I think he has best forehand right now on the tour. I think it’s most dangerous forehand right now. You know, he’s mixing little more backhand slice and topspin.

But, yeah, for sure his forehand is one of the best right now.

Q. And how about Wawrinka’s backhand?
KEI NISHIKORI: Well, I might say same thing. (Laughter.) Well, one-hand backhand for sure he’s the best right now. Maybe total Djoko and Andy has, you know, great backhands, but he can lift the backhand really well. Yeah, I think it’s gonna be interesting, you know, big forehand and big backhand match today. So I think it’s gonna be fun match.

Q. A situation like in the fourth set, opponent’s arguing with the chair umpire, do you have a sense there that might be an opportunity to kind of shift momentum? Did you feel momentum shifting after that moment?
KEI NISHIKORI: Well, I don’t really look up for opponents. Like I said, I think I was too focused today, so I couldn’t really have chance to see my opponents.

Yeah, I don’t really care about what, you know, they doing. I have to stay focused all the time and I have to, you know, think what I have to do for next points.

Yeah, I didn’t really take care of opponents today.

Q. You’re talking here about staying calm, staying focused, not getting distracted. How is your mental approach to staying in the moment in a match like that?
KEI NISHIKORI: In the end I think I did really well, but first and before rain delay I think I was little bit out of my concentration. I felt like I didn’t know what to do.

But after rain delay I think I was more focused and start playing better tennis, so I was getting more confidence during the match. And especially in the end. I think I wasn’t making many unforced errors and playing great tennis.

So confidence helped game today.

Q. You were quite successful at the net today. Did you make a conscious decision to come to the net more often against Andy?
KEI NISHIKORI: Well, I see some opportunity to come in today so I tried to be aggressive. I saw that’s what I had to do. Especially against Andy. He has great defense. I don’t know why I did and serve and volley many today, but I was felt like and it was working. I think it was great mix-up serve and volley and come to the net a lot today.

Q. You seem like a calm, quiet, contained person. US Open is loud and boisterous. Why do you think you have so much success at this slam, your most successful slam?
KEI NISHIKORI: I don’t know. I think this courts and the ball; I live in Florida, so that also help me. Coming here it was very easy for me to prepare for this US Open.

Well, I love the crowd. It makes me more motivated. Yeah, it’s little bit different than other Grand Slam, you know. I think it’s more loud and it’s more like, you know, big party on the court. (Smiling.)

It’s very exciting.

Q. If you are to play Del Potro, you haven’t beat him before, but you also haven’t played since the London Olympics. Is it fair to say you’re a completely different player now than four years ago?
KEI NISHIKORI: Well, for sure. I think we both different player. Like I said, he’s mixing up little more backhand. He still have great serves and forehand. That’s for sure have to take care.

Yeah, I been see him a lot actually. I watch a lot of matches in Olympics and we practice a lot, too. I kind of know how he’s gonna play, so I try to focus my side.

Also, I mean, either guys wins, I really have to get good tactics for next match.

Q. Your demeanor on the court is very unique. It’s hard to say whether you just lost a game and got broken or you won after fantastic play. Looking miserable in both cases. Why is that? Is it your way of dealing with the stress or…
KEI NISHIKORI: Well, yeah, I try to stay calm, that’s for sure. I’m not the loudest guy on the tour for sure. I’m more calm, I think my private too. I mean, I try to show my guts and everything, you know, good energy on the court.

But I think it’s most important, you know, shouldn’t be too many up and downs, especially downs. Yeah, I try to stay positive all the time.

Q. Fourth and fifth you said you played some of your best tennis. Do you think that was some of the best tennis you have played in your career? Semifinals; finals two years ago. How much confidence do you have knowing you have been there before? How eager are you to get back and have that opportunity again?
KEI NISHIKORI: It’s tough to say one of the best tennis, but, yeah, some moments I think I played great tennis. I was feeling the ball really well. You know, I think I lost two, three times fifth sets my serve.

Yeah, so, I mean, cannot be the best, but still play, you know, great tennis to beat Andy. Especially last few games, you know, it was really a lot of pressure. Especially lost my serve 4-3, and I have to refocus again.

It was really tight moment. I think it’s gonna help for sure my experience. Yeah, very looking forward to play semis again here.



Karolina Pliskova

Press Conference


6-2, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Were you surprised that it went so smooth, so quick? You played great, but —

Q. — did you expect before the game it would be a little tougher?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Yeah, a little bit. I was surprised and I was still waiting even in the first set. Even in the second set I was still waiting some complications gonna come.

But, well, I’m not gonna complain. (Smiling.) I’m happy that it went so easy. Of course I was expecting a little bit tougher battle, but happy that it went so easy.

Q. You had a great day serving. You have had a lot of great days serving. How do you practice your serve? Do you have a routine? What works best for?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, now in the tournament I don’t practice much anymore like a specific thing. It’s more about — I mean, I can serve, even if the serve that day is off. Doesn’t mean there is some mistake or something. It’s more about the toss.

But I still know I can serve and there is nothing wrong in the technique. So overall we just go and serve a little bit couple of the serve in each side. And that’s it?

Q. Have you always been so calm on the court? Doesn’t seem like you want to show much emotion, or maybe as a little kid you used to show emotion.
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Yeah, I was more angry before with myself on the court. (Smiling.) So that I am improved a lot. Sometimes I’m still smashing my racquets.

More in the practices than in the matches. I’m trying to be calm in the match because it’s not really helping me. I don’t really want to show even the opponent and even the crowd and the people any frustration.

But there are matches when I’m not that calm, as the one with Venus. I was emotional a lot in that match. I was pumping myself. But of course if it’s a match like this, I’m just — you know, it doesn’t mean I’m not in the game and not in the match, but I’m just trying to be calm. I have some emotions inside, of course.

Q. Does this result seem early, late, on time for you? You know, you’re 24. Not old, but not young.
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, to be honest, I don’t care at what time it came. I’m just happy that it’s now and that it came. There are people saying that I could be there earlier, but right now I feel great and I feel it’s the right time for having the results like this.

Q. What do you think held you back before from getting this kind of result?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Definitely some experience from the biggest matches. Obviously the title from Cincinnati helped me a lot. I was waiting for the bigger title for a few years, let’s say two, so that was next step.

I think just everything is on time. I was practicing hard this year, and even the results in the beginning of this year were not that good as the last year. I’m happy that I could, you know, play my game on the biggest tournaments, which I didn’t play last year.

Q. You now have possibly two matches to go. Can you imagine yourself lifting the trophy on Saturday? Is that something in your gut that you think you’re gonna do or are capable of doing?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, it would be a dream, but unfortunately I’m in the part of the draw with Serena, so it would be very tough to get through this one.

So I’m not gonna think about the finals yet. Obviously I know there is a chance. Always there is a chance. So I’m going to do everything for, you know, get at least close to the final.

But even if Serena is not going to win, there is Simona. That will be very tough match for me in the semifinal. I’m just looking forward to this challenge.

Like I said, anything is possible, so I know I have a chance if I play good tennis.

Q. What did you learn from playing Serena in the past?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I played her once only, actually. I was in Stanford I think two or three years ago.

I was completely different player at that time, so I am I improve a lot and obviously she probably as well. She’s a big hitter and she can, you know, have 50 winners and you cannot do much about it.

But I still gonna hope that there is gonna be some chance in the match where I can get my chance and be the one who is playing aggressive. Obviously I played Venus this week, which is not probably that good as she is, but it’s very similar game.

So I’ll just have to be ready for it, I think.

Q. What is your earliest memory of Serena Williams? And what do you remember most about what you thought when you watched her play?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: We were pretty young when we were watching her and her sister. Actually the first memory about the sisters was that they had this thing on their hair. I think it was Venus, and it somehow broked and it was everywhere on the court. (Smiling.)

So that’s the first memory about them. And then obviously there are there for so many years and they have so many titles together. And especially Serena now. She’s just one of the best players in the world, so it would be honor to play her.

Q. What qualities of her game impressed you most when you were a young player aspiring to be in this situation?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I think they were not that good as — or let me talk about Serena only — as she is now. She improve a lot in the last few years. Most of the titles she was winning now, and she had now so many years which she’s on top.

I think she’s just — you know, she probably needed some experience and some years of the tennis, as well, on the tour.

Right now I think she’s just playing amazing and going for her shots. She’s really believing in herself and using everything what she has.

Q. What have you learned from watching her, if anything?

Q. What have you learned from watching her play?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, I would say we can have similar games, as me and her, but she’s a little bit different level than me.

But she’s also playing aggressive and going for her shots. And even if she has the day when — even if she has the day when she is missing, she is still going for it and she turn it around like this a lot of matches.

So I would say probably this from her.

Q. It certainly didn’t show on the court, but has it affected you at all that this is kind of new territory for you at a Grand Slam?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I was kind of nervous this morning, or let’s say before the match. But always when I get on the court I just forget about everything and I’m not nervous anymore.

And I’m just, you know, trying to play tennis. Maybe I will think about all what I have been playing last few weeks after the tournament, but right now I just don’t want to, you know, put it in too much inside me. I just want to, you know, still playing.

Q. How did your serve feel today compared to the last few rounds? Felt better? Same? Different?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I would say it was better, much better. At least the percentage. Also, I had quite a lot of points from the first serve. I won almost, I don’t know, about 95% on the first serve points, which is great.

I don’t know if she was a little bit nervous or she was playing totally different opponent the last match, so maybe it was different for her so she was not that ready for a big serve.

But I played Venus, so I was ready for all. I knew if I played the same way how I was playing Venus, I’m going to get a chance and win a match.

Q. You mentioned that against Serena it’s important to not let her take control of the match and her being aggressive and run all over you. How do you stop that?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Well, everything is starting with the serve and receive. So that’s the beginning of all the rallies, so I have to just, you know, serve well. That’s the main thing from my side.

And then if she’s serving well, I cannot do much. And if she has some second serve, I have to go and attack it.

Q. Talking to Angelique yesterday. Her previous US Open semifinal, her only one prior to this year, was five years ago. She was 23. I asked her to compare sort of what the mindset is now as opposed to five years later, more maturity and obviously so much success she’s had. Looking back, she said it was really just a bit of nervousness that held her back. Do you think that’s a big battle, going into your first US Open semifinal and stay within your game and not let the nerves overtake you?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I don’t know. It’s tomorrow, so I will see how I feel tomorrow.

But I’m sure always when you play someone who is better than you it’s a little bit different because you don’t have any pressure. Like I had a little bit pressure today that she was outsider, so there is kind of like you have to beat here. I just gonna go and play everything that I have and put everything in that match, because I have nothing to lose.

Of course maybe in the beginning I’m expecting some nerves a little bit, but I don’t want to have this in the whole match.

Q. You come from a relatively small country. Czech Republic is, I think, like 10 million people.

Q. You always have new talent. Last year more on the female side. Always new talents, young talents. What do you think? Is it the work of the individual talents or the Federation, Czech Tennis Federation? Because you always have so many new young players.
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I would not say it’s about Federation. I would say every girl is from different city. Every girl has their own coach. We have good talents. Maybe because of the history of Czech tennis – we had good tennis in the past – so maybe they inspired the young ones.

Maybe the girls which are playing now, they inspired another one. So let’s see who else is coming up. Really happy that especially the female tennis is doing so well in last few years and there is still some young girls coming up.

Q. So many great Czech players. Which one inspired you the most?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Tough to say. Would be Martina Navratilova. There was today in my box Helena Suková. She was always good player, as well. And there is obviously Ivan Lendl and more of the guys, as well. So there is a lot of them.

Q. Has Navratilova helped you at all?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: No, but in the last, let’s say year, I’m meeting her more often than before, but we never really talk about tennis.

Q. If it’s not Serena in the next round, what would be your thoughts on facing the other person, the person playing Serena, who might be pulling off a big upset, to set up a matchup with you?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: There is Simona. I have played her a few times. That would be probably — I don’t want to say easier for me. They are both really good. It’s going to be probably very close match tonight.

But she’s not hitting that big and she’s not that dangerous as Serena is, so I would have more chances probably in the match to play my game and attack her serve and to going for the shots.

But as I saw some statistics, she won last — from 24 matches, I think she won 22 or something like this, so she’s playing very good tennis right now. Probably she feels confidence. Will be tough to play her, as well.

Q. Will you watch the match tonight? If you do, what will you be looking for?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I want to watch, for sure, but normally I go dinner about 7:30 and they play at 7:00. So hopefully we find some restaurant where the tennis is in TV (smiling.)

I’m going to just, you know — I know both players, and like I said before, it always depends more on me than on them. So I don’t want to talk about their tactics or thinking about their game, because everything has to start in my game. So that’s what I just want to do tomorrow, as well.

But obviously I’m going to watch.


Ana Konjuh

Press Conference


6-2, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Obviously not the result, but it’s been a great tournament for you. Sort of your reflections, looking back on, first of all, the match. Just too much for you today?
ANA KONJUH: I mean, I wasn’t at my best level today for sure, but she was just too good. Her serve is just too good. Today on the court, you know, she found her rhythm and took the opportunities that I gave her.

You know, I cannot be sad after all of this. Good luck to her. She’s having great season so far, and, you know, I’m cheering for her.

Yeah, but overall, I’m happy with my results here. When I came here I could only imagine playing the quarters. I think it’s been a great tournament.

Q. Talk about the takeaway. Obviously getting to a position where you can contend at Grand Slams, this is a great first step. Is that how you look at it?
ANA KONJUH: Yeah, my season — as I said, my season wasn’t so great so far. I’m just really happy to be healthy and on the court and especially competing in the Grand Slams. That’s a big thing for all of us.

I’m just looking forward to the next one.

Q. Is there any reason why it seems to be that players like yourself can sort of get through the draw to a late stage here at the US Open? There has been a woman’s unseeded semifinalist for several years here. Any thoughts about that?
ANA KONJUH: Ah, it’s a special tournament, that’s for sure. I mean, I love it here. I won the juniors. I have good memories.

The city is great. I think we are all enjoying ourselves. We don’t want to go home, so we just play good.

Q. We were just talking with fellow journalists about what a unique venue Arthur Ashe Stadium is. Now with the roof. As a player, is it intimidating, daunting, inspiring, to go out and play out there?
ANA KONJUH: Well, for me it is inspiring, for sure. I haven’t played on Ashe before. Playing against Aga, you know, that was my first time. I wasn’t that nervous as I was expecting.

I think, you know, it was a good thing. It was motivating to me to be better. The atmosphere was great. I heard the crowd cheering for me, so thanks to them for coming.

Q. Your ranking is due to go up to around 51 as a result of this. How does that make you feel?
ANA KONJUH: Good, yeah. I think I dropped to 100 or something before. I was a bit down, low point in my career. I still have a long road to go.

I’m just giving my best to be healthy on the court. Yeah, my goal was to come to top 50 this year, so I still have a few tournaments. (Smiling.)

Q. Is it important to be a sort of Croatian No. 1 player, as well, to be the best woman player in your country?
ANA KONJUH: I mean, yeah. I didn’t think that I was before this. So, you know, there is Mirjana. You know, she’s always good. And Ajla, you know, but she’s playing for Australia now.

And Donna, you know, she’s dropped I think right now, but, yeah, I think she’s gonna come back.

Just it feels good. The Fed Cup team, you know, in February we are playing. I’m just looking forward to it.

Q. I got requests this morning before the match to please, please, please ask you some questions and you answer in Croatian. We will do that later. How much excitement is there at home? Do you get a lot of tweets, social media, that indicates a high level of interest back home, especially when you get to the stage you were able to get to?
ANA KONJUH: Yeah, yeah. After the match against Aga, I got a hundred messages on my phone. It ran out of battery at some time.

It feels good other people are cheering for and you that you’re recognized in your country that you did something great.

No, I think of it as a motivation to get even better and get people to talk about me even more.

Q. The motivation, the match against Aga, not to go back to the previous match, but that’s a huge breakthrough there and your first time in Ashe Stadium. Taking that, how much confidence do you have going forward now looking forward to Grand Slam tournaments, feeling like, you know, the difference of maybe being able to get through the first, second, third round as opposed to getting to the quarterfinals or semifinals?
ANA KONJUH: Yeah, I mean, for sure. This is a great result for me. Now I know that, you know, I got that something to be in the top. I’m just looking forward to playing again on the Grand Slams. I think that’s the most important tournament for all of us. I’m just enjoying it, and like the pressure, also.



Simona Halep

Press Conference


6-2 4-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Just your thoughts after that match.
SIMONA HALEP: Well, I think it was a good match. I played well. I could play better in those moments when I had chances. But I think the level was pretty high.

I’m okay with the way that I was fighting till the end. It’s something normal now for me, so it’s a good thing. She played really well. She is the best player, so her serve was huge today.

It was tough. Is tough. I’m a little bit sad, but I have just to take the positives, because I have a lot going ahead.

Q. After the second set, did you have a little bit of a letdown? Were you sort of running out of gas?
SIMONA HALEP: After the second?

Q. After that great second set.
SIMONA HALEP: No, I had two chances to make a break in first game, so wasn’t about that. There I could take that game, and I think the story of the match would have been different.

You know, was just one game. I should play like more aggressive, I think, after that game, but she took the break. She took my game on my serve, and then she was serving really tough.

Q. Since you beat her in Singapore you have had matches with her before. Some of them tight. Some of them going very, very quick against her. What was the difference today, when you played her in Indian Wells, or other matches where it was a little bit more of a blowout for her?
SIMONA HALEP: I think this was the best match that I ever had against her. I felt that I’m very close and I have chances to win. Like I said, I think my game was pretty good tonight. It’s a good thing. I take it like with confidence, this match.

I think we played very well. I played very well. But I could do better in some moments.

Q. What are your thoughts on how often Serena came to net and how often she used the dropshot?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, she used I think today a few times the dropshot. She did pretty well. She comes to the net when she has short balls. She hits with a lot of power and it’s easy for her to come in.

But she plays really well on these courts. She’s home, so I feel that she feels very confident. She did a great job. That’s why she’s No. 1.

Q. Overall are you tense or disappointed in this moment?
SIMONA HALEP: Both. I am a little bit disappoint that I had could not take the chances, but I’m also happy about the way I stayed there and played. I’m okay. I’m normal now.

Q. I know you’re used to it in tennis, but does it feel weird No. 5 got to play No. 1 in the quarterfinals?
SIMONA HALEP: I’m not thinking about these things. It is how it is, and I have to play — I have to beat best players to win a Grand Slam, so I don’t care where I am, against who I play.

I have just to win to get that title if I will do one day.

Q. Is it more satisfying sitting there now having lost the quarterfinal compared to when you lost the semifinal here last year? Do you feel better having at least played a good match, or…
SIMONA HALEP: I feel definitely better that I played much better than last year in the semis. Semis is better than quarterfinals. Yeah, but they are two different things. Last year I was not playing in the semis and this year I lost in the quarters but I gave everything I could.

It’s okay. I don’t want to complain about anything.



Serena Williams

Press Conference


6-2 4-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How are you feeling health-wise? Shoulder?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I didn’t hear you.

Q. How are you feeling health-wise?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh. I feel okay. I’m not at 100%, but I’m okay. Nothing to complain too much about.

Q. Didn’t play a seeded player first four rounds. Top 5 player, Simona. Amped up?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I didn’t have to be too amped up because it’s the quarterfinals and it’s a tough player. I just knew I needed to be ready.

Q. Do you feel like a big jump in difficulty?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think that she obviously plays well. Yeah, so it was definitely a jump.

Q. What are your thoughts on the way you employed the dropshot and came to the net in this match? How does it represent an emphasis, perhaps, in your game right now?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I have been working on getting to the net. Particularly today I couldn’t do too much off the groundstrokes. I felt maybe I should get in more. It worked for me.

I don’t really like coming to the net, to be honest, but I’m good at the net, I guess. I guess I’ve got to do what I’m good at.

Q. And dropshots?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I hit a lot of dropshots in practice. I just never do it in a match, but the past year or so I have been doing it more in my matches. It worked out.

Q. Do you like it more than maybe coming to the net?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, definitely. (Smiling.) Definitely.

Q. What was it about her game in the second set that gave you a little trouble?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I didn’t take some opportunities that I had. I really had some chances there and I didn’t take them, and I let that get the better of me.

You know, I didn’t play the same match in the first set or in the second, and my third set was better than the second. So I didn’t keep that level up.

Q. You had a ton of break points throughout the match. Is that something you and Patrick work on a lot?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, it’s happened to me in the past before, but like I said on the court, I just stay positive. I’m glad I had the break points as opposed to not having them. That’s the only thing I can do, and hopefully I can start getting more.

Q. Is it harder to move on from those? I think there were two games, one was 22 points, one was 18, and you lost both of them. Is it harder to move on from those games, to put that out of your mind?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, and I won a long one, too. So that’s all I kind of was focusing on was — yeah, I was rather positive today, and that’s not normal. I’m just going to go with it. (Smiling.)

Q. This is your first three-set match since McHale at Wimbledon. I guess did it feel different in any way? I mean, obviously you have played plenty of tennis, but did it feel like it had been a long time since you had been in that situation?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I mean, I also lost a match at the Olympics. It wasn’t a three-set match, but it was a longer match, and I think kind of in a weird way helped me.

Q. Maybe it’s a silly question, but is there any sort of enjoyment of the challenge, the difficulty of pulling out a three-set match, high stakes, high tension, all of that as opposed to winning 6-1, 6-1, or 6-2, 6-3.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think there is a huge enjoyment in the three-set matches, but I just feel like you don’t get that appreciation until later. Obviously in the moment you want to win fast and you want to win easy and win in straights. You really feel that appreciation much later.

Q. Any silver linings being tested in a match like that tonight?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I feel great. I’m glad I got tested. The best part of it is I feel like — I mean, I think her level really picked up in the second, but I had some opportunities that I didn’t take.

So what I gather from that is I really could have played better in that second set and maybe had an opportunity to win in straights.

I think if anything, that’s the biggest silver lining I take.

Q. You mentioned earlier being positive and just going with it. In that second set, it did seem like in the past we would have like almost expected you to get mad, you know, maybe break a racquet, something like that. You remained pretty inward. Noticeable for you out there? Like did it ever get close to getting — you know, the frustration boiling over?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I was really rather calm today and not trying to be. I guess that’s just how I got out of bed this morning.

I definitely wanted to do some more Come ons. I don’t know why. That’s weird.

Q. We don’t keep that stat. It’s okay.

Q. Draymond Green, who has such a fighting spirit and a great athlete, was in the house. Like you, born in Saginaw. Have you met or encountered him? Any thoughts about him?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, we met a while back. We had our Saginaw stories. We had fun. We had a big chat about that. I saw him in the stands, so it was good to see him out there.

Q. Can you share one Saginaw tale?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, listen, I was just born there. That’s my only connection. I think he has more.

Q. What’s your thoughts on having the match tomorrow and not a day off?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I feel that it’s normal. I feel having a day off is weird, because the whole year you play every single day, you know. So this is totally normal.

Q. Can I ask you to look ahead to that matchup with Pliskova? What do you think the keys will be? We have asked you this before, but I’m curious in this instance how much you’ll speak to Venus about playing someone shortly after she played that player.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I haven’t even gotten that far yet, actually. I’m still trying to just get over this match. I’ll definitely — I will more than likely — I’m sure she will tell me something, but I’ll be there. I’ll be ready tomorrow.

Q. Schedules changed a little bit this year. I don’t think you ever played a night session semifinal before. Will that feel different here? You were supposed to last year but it got rained out.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh. Yeah, so I look forward to it. It’s great because I have more time off, I guess.

Then, yeah, so it kind of works out for me.

Q. I mean, do you think about rounds and times? Like you’re in a semifinal and it’s dark. Does it feel unusual or do you not think that way?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I don’t think that way at all.

Q. How much do you enjoy playing against a big server? What pride do you take in your return game when so many people think of you as the person with the biggest serve yourself?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it’s good to play. We’ll see. I haven’t played against many big servers recently, but she places her serve really well, I think. She definitely gets some speed on it, but her placement is really, really nice.

Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be able to read them and play okay.

Q. Inasmuch as you’re zen – and I’m not saying you are zen – how zen have you felt in this tournament?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I have been really stressed out in a few of the matches, but I felt pretty good in most of the rounds.

Honestly I feel okay today. I feel like I could have played a lot better. I think that makes me really calm, is the fact that I know I can play so much better and I have to — yeah, I know that. I think everyone here knows I can play better.

Q. Tonight was it just an issue of execution in the second and third sets? Is that what you’re frustrated with or tactics, or what is it about the match that you’re still trying to process and get over?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, I definitely think a little bit of the execution. I don’t think I — yeah, just maybe that and some other things. I’m not…

Q. But Karolina has a twin sister on tour. Have you ever thought about another identical copy of you floating around? How tough that might be?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It would be a living hell. (Laughter.)



Juan Martin Del Potro

Press Conference

S. WAWRINKA/J. Del Potro

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

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. That moment at the end when everyone was singing before the last game, what were you feeling?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, something difficult to describe with words. I mean, I can lose the match, but I will never forget this. You know, it’s bigger than win any match.

I’m so proud to get that from the crowd, because I have been doing a big effort to play tennis again. They made me so happy tonight, and I don’t mind the score.

Q. This loss obviously is tough, but you have had a great summer. I imagine your confidence must be much bigger than it’s been in the last couple of years. Where do you feel mentally and physically right now with your tennis?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I think my tennis is starting to respond as I want, but physically I’m still down. You know, I’m not in the same level that these guys. I need to just to stay healthy and wait for the preseason to get 100% for next year.

I’m already top 100, so that’s good. Never will ask for wildcard anymore. (Smiling.)

And everything here is positive for me. I’m so glad for that.

Q. You’re much taller than guys like Wawrinka and Djokovic, Murray. You mention you feel like physically you’re not where they are yet. You need to work on it. What sort of things do you need to do differently because of your height in terms of training?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I’m starting to play tennis again after a long, long time. Like two months ago I was losing first round, second round, 80 players or different rankings.

And now I’m fighting at the same level as the top guys, and I already beat Djokovic, Rafa. I played against Murray in a great match. Wawrinka is the No. 3 player in the world and I’m there. That’s means something good to me.

But I need to keep working. I need to get my physical back as soon I can, and then I will have a chance to play in the same conditions.

Q. How did you feel physically this match, especially as it got later into the match?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I think he was smarter than me in the end. In the end he started to play his backhands down the lines; starting to play more slices. He made me run too much. I got exhausted after the third set.

I think that was the key, because at the beginning of the match was really, really tight for both, and I couldn’t win the first two sets. But he took the chances and he made a good match.

Q. How full a schedule do you think you’ll be able to play in the fall? You played on and off this year. Just wondering how your health feels and ranking, if you will try to play a full schedule or just still very careful?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I didn’t expect to play too many matches here, and now I will see where I’m going to play. I would like to be in Asia and then in the indoor tournament.

But now I don’t have the pression for rankings. I just want to stay healthy and keep working to get my physic back, and I will see. Now, after here, I have Davis Cup. I will try to recover myself to be 100% in Glasgow.

Q. What are your plans travel-wise? Like when are you going to travel for Davis Cup and how are you feeling about that tie?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: I don’t know. (Smiling.) I just finished my match. I don’t have too much time to come back home, but I will see maybe tomorrow during the breakfast.

Q. How are you feeling about the matchup?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: About the match?

Q. Davis Cup.
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: It’s gonna be interesting, I think. All the British guys are playing great. They made so good tournament here and they are the favorites to win.

But Davis Cup everything can happen. So we will be there.

Q. (Question regarding Davis Cup.)
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: But I’m not ready to play anymore now. I’m so tired. (Smiling.) But then you should ask Davis Cup captain.

Q. I’m asking you.
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: No, I’m so tired to answer that.


Stan Wawrinka

Press Conference

S. WAWRINKA/J. Del Potro

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

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. I wonder what motivates you? You won two slams, you are very rich, you’ll never catch Federer, Nadal, Djokovic number of trophies, but anyone knows on a good day you beat them. So frankly, I think that one more slam will not change much. What makes you work? What makes you…
STAN WAWRINKA: So what should I do? (Smiling.) I’m 31 years old. What do you want me to do? Just go to the beach? Not do anything? I don’t know. Did you ask that question to Rafa also or to Novak or to Andy?

I think I love my sport. I enjoy to play tennis. It’s my passion. I start when I was really young. I have the chance to play in front of amazing crowd playing amazing match like tonight. If you just look the match tonight you have the answer. It’s amazing feeling to be out there.

Q. What was the reason of the medical timeout? Knee or…
STAN WAWRINKA: No, it was my adductor. Was tightness, tension after a few points on my adductor, and I just wanted to check. That was nothing else.

Q. Next match against Nishikori. What kind of a match do you expect?
STAN WAWRINKA: Well, it’s going to be interesting for sure. We played many times against each other. He beat me a few years ago here quarterfinal five sets. He beat me in Toronto; I beat him in Australia. I saw him play today. He was playing really well.

It’s going to be tough match, for sure. We will see also how I’m going to feel physically in two days to get ready for that.

But, yeah, I’m ready for a match against Kei.

Q. Did you see his match?
STAN WAWRINKA: Yeah, a little bit, little bit. He was playing well.

Q. What did you feel was the turning point tonight? It was close and you seemed to take control.
STAN WAWRINKA: Yeah, it was important to stay there, to stay tough. I knew before the match that against Juan Martin it’s a tough challenge. He’s playing well. He’s strong mentally. He doesn’t give you much.

You know it’s going to be painful physically and mentally to stay there, so I had to adapt a little bit my game. It’s not a player that I can really play always the way I want because he’s so aggressive.

It was important to stay tough there. I knew it will be difficult. But I’m happy with the way I was fighting, with myself. I’m happy with the way I find solution in the third set to take advantage. I saw also that he was starting to go a little bit down. I took advantage of that.

Q. You mentioned that it was amazing. How was the crowd tonight? They seemed to really get behind Del Potro. Do you feel that there were Swiss fans for you, as well?
STAN WAWRINKA: No, it was amazing crowd, for sure. For sure there was a lot of support for Juan Martin. It’s normal. I expect that. He’s amazing champion. He won here. He got so unlucky with all the injury he had, and the way he’s playing right now already, it’s amazing. Everybody is happy to see him back at that level.


Day 9 of the US Open – In Their Own Words

Gael Monfils

Gael Monfils


(September 5, 2016) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Posting player interviews throughout the day when allowed.

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

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

Gael Monfils

Press Conference

G. MONFILS/L. Pouille

6-4, 6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How happy are you with the way you won today? Are you content with the way you played? Straight sets is always good.
GAEL MONFILS: Yeah, I’m happy with my performance. I think it is never easy to play quarterfinal against a French guy, you know. I think I handled it pretty good mentally and tennistically.

I’m happy with that and where my game is. I see new or good stuff today. Serve was a bit better. I have been saying I think to the French press that I could serve faster. I think I did it great today.

Still moving good. I’m very happy.

Q. To get to this point of the tournament – first time in semifinals of the US Open – you have had electric and great matches here, but to be able to play in the semis, how happy are you with that?
GAEL MONFILS: Yeah, I think I missed a good chance two years ago against Roger, but, you know, I just live now, and now I’m happy. I played great tennis so far.

You know, I have two days to recover to play my first semis here. I’m more than happy. I’m happy where I am now, so I gonna prepare great my match.

Q. Sometimes it seemed like to us that you play just as much to entertain the crowd; spectacular shots. Today it seemed like you were, very focused, playing a sharp, intelligent match, and controlled. Is that accurate, or what’s your feeling about that?
GAEL MONFILS: You know, about that is somehow — you know, those match, you never get, you know, those ball to entertain, how you say.

If, today, you know, I drop my racquet and I do a slide you will say I will entertain people, you know, no matter what. Sometime I can hear that — someone told me that my shoe laces, you know, it was one point on perfect win, clean win against Baghdatis. You make it up. Oh, like he’s doing a show.

Or if I do a trick shot, one, and still kill it, you will say, I’m a showman. So, you know, this one, with all the respect to everyone, is you guys to put me on the spot.

Today I think I haven’t the chance to do it, but Lucas, hit two good tweeners. I don’t think you will tell him he tried to entertain.

Q. You’re 30 years old now. Has your philosophy changed about these things? Are you trying to be more conservative with your body or anything like this?
GAEL MONFILS: Yeah, not really. I think I’m very blessed genetically, you know. I guess the only thing is a bit different the recovery. I think it’s a bit tougher.

But if not, I’m even stronger than before, I think.

Q. If you were to face Novak Djokovic, how would you describe what that match will mean to you and what it will depend on?
GAEL MONFILS: I have a second opportunity to get to my first slam final, and the opportunity to maybe beat him for the first time in the main tour, to beat the world No. 1. That’s it.

Q. What do you think the outcome will depend on? What is most important for you to do to give yourself the best chance to win?
GAEL MONFILS: I have today to think about it. (Smiling.)

Q. Are you having fun?
GAEL MONFILS: Always. You know, always. No matter what, looks maybe a bit more serious, like everyone mention it this year, but I play tennis because I have fun. I play tennis because I love the sport.

If not, I won’t wake up every morning, train, because most of people think that jumping or do trick shot is gifted. Yes, it’s gifted, but is a lot of work. I won’t say I work on the trick shot, but it’s like I think physically I’m one of the best.

And to do that is because you’re in a great shape, you know. If I don’t have funny I stop playing tennis, for sure.

Q. Doesn’t matter whether you’re entertaining or whatever, you’re having fun?
GAEL MONFILS: Yeah, have fun.

Q. Does it frustrate you when people talk about trick shots and entertaining?
GAEL MONFILS: Make me laugh. You know, make me laugh, because honestly, if I can do it today, let’s say today if I have a 360 smash, definitely I do it, but I don’t have the ball.

Sometime I have it and I do it, and then the first thing is gonna be talk about is all match it was an exhibition and maybe I hit one shot.

So it’s funny. Now, you know, I get to be more consistent with the winning, you know. Because, I mean, now it’s easier to say, Oh, because I’m winning more, you know, more matches, so it’s tougher for some people to say that I’m just a showman.

Now I’m winning and faire le show.

Q. Do you ever want people to understand that you’re…
GAEL MONFILS: No, you know, I always say if I have the ball I do it because I love it. I think when I dive on the court I not dive for people. Come on. To be honest, I gonna hurt myself for people? No.

I dive because I want to win the point. Definitely I want to win the point. You know, when you make the show, honestly, it’s to entertain, but it’s to win. So what’s the point to make the show and lose actually.

That’s why people think, Oh, he’s jumping, he’s sliding. In the end, you think I’m stupid? (Laughter.)

Q. Novak could have a tough match, perhaps will have a tough match with Jo tonight, but he’s had a rather easy US Open so far. Is it important for top players to be challenged early on to get things going later in a tournament, or if you are winning well and things are going well it doesn’t matter for you?
GAEL MONFILS: I mean, for him is different, you know. He’s super confident for years. I think doesn’t need many matches to feel his best tennis.

So I think everybody is different. I’m guy I don’t need much tennis to feel confident. Me, myself, it’s more about if I feel 100% physically is good enough to play tough tennis.

Q. You mentioned that match two years ago against Roger and how you had a chance. Did that one stick with you? Did you think about that a lot afterwards?
GAEL MONFILS: Not really, you know. What stays I had a wonderful time. It was one of the greatest match I play, you know. It’s always great to play against Roger, you know. Even if you have match points, it happen in sport.

I gave the best I had. You know, when you have opportunities you try to get it, and I think I got it back today to be in semis.

So I have been waiting for two years.

Q. You’re quite a sports fan. Do you ever learn anything from watching other sports like football or basketball that can help you on the tennis court?
GAEL MONFILS: Definitely. I mean, this year, you know, with the — I mean, I have been respecting a lot what LeBron James — I mean, what he done this year was unreal. His mindset and the work he put in to win this final, I think this is big inspiration for me.

Q. You were asked earlier about the possibility of facing Novak. I wanted to ask you to talk about the possibility of facing Jo in the semis, and both maybe what you think would be the key to that match, but also if you could speak a little bit about how long you have known each other and what it might mean to face Jo in a Grand Slam semifinal.
GAEL MONFILS: Oh, it would be a huge dream, I think. A dream. Definitely we will choose the final, but semis would be good enough.

You know, it’s not a good friend. He’s one of my best friends. He’s a brother. He’s someone I grew up with. He’s someone I look at when I was younger because he was a bit older than me.

You know, we have been through this Federation center. He was stronger than us and playing earlier, you know, the futures and everything. We always, you know, put the work to play with him, to be with Jo, you know.

So we found out, you know, ourself on the tour together, playing Davis Cup together. Go to Rio together. Share a room together in Rio. Do some fun stuff together, you know, since actually we have been 10, 11. It’s been great.

I mean, if you can have a reward and play, I mean, the semifinal in two days, it would be amazing.

Q. (Regarding five-set match with Djokovic.)
GAEL MONFILS: I mean, I remember, yeah, that was a tricky match actually. With the roof will be different, because it was taking a long time and I lost this one 7-5 in the fifth.

It was long time ago I think now. Novak is the best player ever, and that time he wasn’t. So I think it was just a good memory.

Q. But now you’re saying he is the best player ever.
GAEL MONFILS: He is. Yeah, he is. I mean, so far — when I say “ever,” not yet, because it’s still Roger. But so far what he’s doing is amazing. He’s better player than me, definitely. I think I have no shame to say it. He is better than me.

You can be the best, but one match is enough, you know. If I face him, I will take the one match as enough.

Q. You have been really consistent this year. I’m just wondering, what do you think is the key? Like you’re healthy? Maybe the confidence just keeps like helping you?
GAEL MONFILS: Yeah, my health has been big trouble I think all my career, and now it is somehow stabilized. I think I work differently. I think I understand different stuff.

I think it helps me a lot to be stronger.

Q. What’s the secret of success of the French players? This tournament especially, but generally speaking. You always have new talent and you have always a group of players in last few players, in the last eight, which no country has. What do you think is the secret?
GAEL MONFILS: I don’t know if secret, but I think it’s good. I think it’s good for sure for our country.

But I think it’s — I’m not sure it’s a secret. I think we all work hard, and somehow we know we make it in the same moment.

Obviously, you know, sometime it was I think the States, was Spain, you know, other countries. At the end it happen here, you know. I think I have no words to say what to say about that, but the only thing I hope is maybe next year we’re gonna have maybe even one or two more.

Q. You said you feel Novak is one of the greatest players ever, possibly the greatest player ever. What do you admire most about him?
GAEL MONFILS: His consistency, his game, the way he hit the ball clean.

I mean, so far, you know, it’s very hard to remember a match where. You know, he wasn’t hitting the ball clean. You know, maybe one or two a year. It’s amazing. The way tactically he handle, you know, every tactic, like we try to made against him.

And I think, yeah, so far he’s the best. I think he’s a great champion.

Q. How important is it for you to have a coach? How is your relationship with your trainer? What’s it like?
GAEL MONFILS: I think it’s important, for sure, for me because I need to have someone that can tell me, you know, drive me, I would say, drive me a little bit.

I got a lots going on with my tennis, which mean sometime I want to defend, I want to attack, I want to go to the net.

I think I can actually make all those shots myself, but it’s easier when someone drive you and help you to find your way, you know.

I think Mikael do it pretty good.

Q. You earlier mentioned LeBron James. Have you ever had a chance to meet him? And if you did, what would you want to ask him?
GAEL MONFILS: No, I never have this chance, but, you know, if I met him first time, first thing I would tell you is I want to dunk on you. (Laughter.)

No, I might ask him, I don’t know, so many questions. You know, I watch a lot of the commentary on him. Got many question about how he is, how he feels, how it is to be the leader, like a great champion playing with him. How do you think about everything. You know, I think I’d be a great day if I can.

Q. You mentioned your health being good and working differently now. What are you doing differently? Maybe some examples. Is it a new diet? More time in the gym?
GAEL MONFILS: I working better. I working better. Differently.

I’m not always talk about how I do it, but — what I can say I find a way to take care of my knee, take care of my body, you know, take care of everything. So far it’s good.

Angelique Kerber

Press Conference

A. KERBER/R. Vinci

7-5, 6-0

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you tell us the first set, which you were behind three times and you were able to recover. How was difficult? Were you tense? You started to play much better later.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I think the key of the match was the first set. I mean, it was really close and tough. It’s always difficult to play against Roberta.

I mean, she’s a tough opponent with her slice. Yeah, I was trying to staying in the match and not thinking that I’m the break down. Just going for it, yeah.

Keeping my mind a little bit relaxed, and, yeah, staying in the moment. I think that was my key also like for the first set to being a little bit more relax and had not too negative, actually.

Q. You were not so much relaxed in the first set, correct?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, no, because it was tough and I knew that it’s really close now. So that’s why I talked to myself, Okay, stay positive. Think about the good things you did in the first set.

And that’s it. After I won the first set I was more relaxed at the end. I think in the second set what I did good that I played the first few games really tough so that I was up 3-0 very fast.

Then I could continue my good play, yeah, in the next few games.

Q. In the first set especially she used the dropshot a lot and you went to the net. Sometimes it worked; sometimes is didn’t. How do you feel you did against that? Do you think other players are going to use that going forward?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I know that she’s playing like this. I know how she play and I was actually prepared for that. So, yeah, it works sometimes, but I think a lot of players are playing like that already. Also me.

So I was not surprised that she was playing so many dropshots.

Q. Against a player like Roberta who hits so much variety and slices, is it especially important to stay patient and calm?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I think it was also important to have patience against her and wait for your shots, because she is actually a good mover and she brings a lot of balls back with her slice, as well.

So I was trying to moving good, and, yeah, keeping my eyes on the balls and going for it. Because the spin is a little bit different than when you play against others. They are just hitting the balls really strong.

Q. Did you watch her match against Serena last year? What did you make of her performance in that one?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: No. I just saw the final. I didn’t saw the semis. I saw a lot of matches after. She is a great player and she played very good in the last few months, so I was trying to, yeah, watch the match.

And also, I talked with my coach a little bit because he saw the match before. And, yeah, my plan was playing with patience and when I have the chance to going for it.

Q. This is becoming common for you now to get to this stage in a major. How would you describe the transformation in your game and your thinking to get to where it is becoming common for you?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I think it’s changed a little bit. For me, I’m going out on Arthur Ashe, on the stadium, and playing against top player, as well. I have I think right now more confidence to going out there.

I’m not thinking about quarters, semis, or whatever. I’m just going there to playing a good match and to win the match.

I know that I can beat everybody, and this is what gives me also a lot of confidence and motivation for going out there and playing with a lot of emotion.

Q. So how different is your sense of belief in yourself right now than it was before this year?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: It’s bigger, for sure. It’s one of my best years now, so that’s why my belief in myself is growing for sure. That’s why I think I’m playing like I’m playing right now, that I really going for it with a lot of belief in my game and myself.

Yeah, it’s changed a lot in the last few months.

Q. You just hit on this in terms of thinking your way through a match. Two years ago, three years ago, how different would this match have played out? Do you think you would have been as mentally strong against an opponent who really throws you off?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I don’t know. I think this is a good question. I don’t know. Maybe not, because I think I grow a lot in the last few years.

And also with my mentality, that I’m, yeah, staying more positive and believing in my game. I think that, yeah, that right now I can win matches like that.

Also, the match before I played, just staying positive and believe in my shots. That gives me a lot of confidence.

So I think I learned a lot from the last years.

Q. You were saying that you kept telling yourself today to stay in the moment and focus on right now, not look ahead. How does that help you and how does that get more difficult and certainly facing your next round?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Today, that was I think the key for the match, to staying in the moment and not thinking ahead or like what’s happen or whatever.

And I think this is also what I have learned in the last few months also, to not thinking ahead against who I’m playing or if it’s the same as other final or first round actually.

I’m just trying to, yeah, believe and having fun out there, enjoying what I’m doing right now. I think this is the best way for me to playing my best tennis.

Q. It’s been five years since you were in the semifinals here. It must be very, very good to be back at this stage. How different is it going in now with the accomplishments that you have, the Grand Slams and great results you have had lately and the mental maturity than it was for the 23 year old who did it five years ago?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, it’s completely different. I mean, I remember the semis here like years ago when I reached it for my first time. That was maybe also a little bit surprise.

I had nothing to lose. I came here. I just played great tennis. I think a lot of things, yeah, happened since then.

Now I’m a completely different player, I think. I’m going out. I have a lot of confidence. I know how to win big matches. I know how it feels playing on the stadium.

I’m also enjoying it more than years ago. I’m trying to, you know, going there and enjoying the atmosphere and also win the matches.

I mean, years ago I came here and I had nothing to lose and my goal was playing good, and now my goal is winning the matches and this is a little bit different.

Q. When you had your quarterfinal press conference, when you were doing this five years ago, do you remember feeling a bit differently, maybe a bit more nervous or apprehensive, do I really belong here, as opposed to where you are right now sitting there talking to us?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think so. Five years ago I was a little bit nervous. I was sitting here and I had no idea what to answer, I think. I was like, Okay, let’s see.

But right now I think for me it comes normal to came here in front of you guys, speaking with you. So it’s like after every match it’s the same rhythm.

Q. You’re speaking in terms of positiveness and all mental, but of course the physical part, is your practice different now? It’s awesome what you’re saying in regards to all the positive thinking and that is fantastic, but is your practice different now as opposed to how it was several years ago or a year ago or whatever? What has changed? And is there one strength in your game that has really made a significant difference in the past several months or so of this year?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think my practice change a little bit. I’m trying to focusing just on one or two things during the practice and really trying to focusing on this and improving few things and not making things also too complicated. To going out there and practicing like not maybe two hours, but just one hour, and full intensity. I think this is what I change.

Yeah, my game, I think my serve improved a little bit more than like few months ago. Of course that helps me a little bit more on my game style when my first serve, yeah, cames more.

Q. Question regarding Wozniacki.)
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Caroline is always a tough opponent. I know this. We know each other very well.

So let’s see who will win the quarterfinal tonight, but for me, it’s — I will watch it a little bit for sure, but for me it’s actually doesn’t matter against who I’m playing.

I’m now in the semifinals, and if it’s Caroline, yeah, it will be great match for sure. I know how she is playing; she is strong again; she had great wins here.

So it will be a good semis.

Q. What do you remember about the matches against Caroline in the past particularly? You obviously had some long ones; some insane long rallies in Indian Wells.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I remember long matches with her. I remember we have tough rallies and always really tough ones.

So for sure it will be – if it’s her again – really tough battle.

But, yeah, I’m looking forward to take the chance again with her to play and to take the challenge. It’s the semis, so it doesn’t matter against who I’m playing. I mean, it will be tough one. I’m looking forward if it’s Caroline.

Q. You’re known for working so hard on your game, and your game has gotten better and better each year. You still have a ways to go. What would it mean to you to finally become the best player in the world? What would that mean to you?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Um, this would mean a lot to me. I mean, when I was a kid I was always dreaming to being the No. 1. Let’s see. I mean, there are still matches to go.

Also, Serena has to play as well very good. I mean, let’s see. I mean, I’m looking forward to play, first of all, my next match. If the day will come, it will be amazing.

Q. As you mentioned, we don’t know the name of your next opponent. I’d just like to ask you about the specific challenge of each one, starting with Caroline. When you face her, what do you consider to be the greatest challenge in her game for you? And then the same with Anastaija?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: With Caroline, I mean, I know she’s moving very well and she brings a lot of balls back, so I have to be really patient, like today, and waiting for the shots and being aggressive. That will be for sure the challenge with her.

And against Sevastova, I think I never played against her yet, so… But this is also — I mean, she has nothing to lose. She plays now also one of her best tennis. She reach the quarters here, so she will give everything. Yeah, actually, I don’t know exactly how she’s playing right now.

Roberta Vinci

Press Conference

A. KERBER/R. Vinci

7-5, 6-0

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Obviously disappointing. You had a rough break and then all of a sudden she broke back and kind of seemed like a different match. Talk about what happened.
ROBERTA VINCI: Yeah, was of course a tough match. Bad luck for the first set. I had so many chance. Probably I was playing better than her the first set.

But she’s a great player. She miss maybe two or three balls and she run a lot. She’s in confidence. So I lost the first set, and then the second set she started to play better than the first set. I was a little bit down.

But anyway, of course I’m so sad about today. In general I played a great tournament. Now just will go home and take some days off; see what I have for my injury, and then we will see.

Q. You felt that she became a significantly better player?

Q. Because she had said she sort of learned to relax; she had nerves coming in and you are a tricky player. It wasn’t so much that your game fell, it’s that she was able to raise the level of her game?
ROBERTA VINCI: Yeah, I have different kind of tennis, of course. Yeah, she was a little bit nervous probably because she knew that I am different player. Probably she prefer to play with some opponent that play flat.

But I have a different game, and, well, to beat her, she’s tough. You have to play great tennis, high level. I played high level for just one set.

But that was the best that I can do today.

Q. Last year you were coming in and facing Serena, clearly the hottest player on tour. Right now you can say Angie is the hottest player on tour right now. Two years in a row. Did you draw upon last year, what you were able to do against Serena?
ROBERTA VINCI: Well, this morning in my mind I said, of course, Okay, try your best; tough opponent like Serena last year. You have nothing to lose. Play your game. Try to enjoy. I knew that I was in the quarterfinal after a lot of problems, but I was fighting also today.

But, yeah, she’s No. 2 in the world. Maybe No. 1. So she’s in confidence. For me was tough, but I play good game today. I knew it was tough, tough to win against her.

But, yeah, she’s a great player. She won, so she played better than me. And that’s it.

Q. From what you remember of her a couple years ago, what is different about the level of her game today? Is it mental…
ROBERTA VINCI: My game or her game?

Q. Her game. What has raised?
ROBERTA VINCI: Well, she’s a great player. Yeah, probably different is mentality, from the mentality. She’s confident. She miss not so many balls, and she say always focus every single point. She run a lot, so you have to push a lot to win a point. You have to run a lot.

Yeah, she’s No. 2 in the world, so now she’s probably better mental, and also tennis. Both.

Q. It appears that you’re saying that the mental toughness has been a significant factor that has transformed her game.
ROBERTA VINCI: Okay, okay. Sorry.

Q. So if that is the situation, so her game has been basically the same —

Q. — in the past several years. It’s just now she’s mentally tough and says, I can beat you; Vinci, I can beat you?
ROBERTA VINCI: Yeah. She won a lot of matches this year. She won one Grand Slam. She won a lot of match. So when the moments is tough, probably she’s…

Q. So does that create a fear within you now, her mental toughness? Because I’m hearing something here that’s mental, mental, mental, so perhaps it’s creating fear in you and some of the other girls that she’s…
ROBERTA VINCI: She’s on fire. She won a lot of matches. She’s in confidence. When the moment is tough and both are so close, she’s focused. She’s in good shape. She’s No. 2. So probably this is the difference between us.

Lucas Pouille

Press Conference

G. MONFILS/L. Pouille

6-4, 6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Obviously disappointing result, but it’s been a great run for you. Obviously you came in off those five-setters and the rough one against Rafa. Talk about how that contributed to some fatigue, if that was the case. Talk about the match.
LUCAS POUILLE: Of course I was a bit tired today. I played four matches, one in four sets, and then all three in five.

So, yeah, it would have been better if I played a bit less time on court. It’s okay. I did my best today. Gaël was playing very good. He’s physically very fit. He’s moving so well. And I think, as I said after Nadal’s match, he’s in very good form.

Yeah, I think he was better than me today.

Q. What are the takeaways from the tournament? Obviously the win against Rafa, the hard-fought battles, but that one in particular?
LUCAS POUILLE: Yeah, the one against Rafa, of course. It’s the best win of my career so far.

It’s a lot of confidence. Even if I lose today, I will leave New York with a lot of confidence for the rest of the year and the next season. Now I know I can be in quarterfinal again and maybe more.

Yeah, give me power to work harder and to be, yeah, next time in quarter. I want to be stronger physically and, yeah, to be more fresh.

Q. Here and Wimbledon, are you at a point now where you have higher expectations coming into Grand Slams?
LUCAS POUILLE: Yeah, of course. Now the next one gonna be in Australia. It’s going to be a new year.

But I won’t go there to win only one match. I want to do second week and more. That’s gonna be my goal next year.

Q. How much did it bother you that several times you were at the net, seemingly good position to win the point, and he was able to lob you, get to a tough ball and then lob you?
LUCAS POUILLE: Ah, a lot. He’s moving — as I say, he’s moving so well. When you come to the net he always push you to the limit. He always put one more ball in the court.

So if you want to make a winner you have to make the perfect shot. Maybe I was a little bit tired. I was not so close to the net or I was not fast enough to come.

So, yeah, gave him a lot of space to pass me. Yeah, it was difficult.

Anastasija Sevastova

Press Conference

C. WOZNIACKI/A. Sevastova

6-0, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How much was your ankle injury affecting your play?
ANASTAIJA SEVASTOVA: For sure it was affecting my play, but I’m not a person that likes to retire during a match, so I just tried my best.

But the movement was different. It was harder to move. And also on serve it was harder to get out of the serve. Yeah.

Q. The second time the trainer came out, what was that discussion about?
ANASTAIJA SEVASTOVA: It was a discussion like she wanted to do something else. I was asking her what she can do maybe to help me, because I don’t like tapes normally on my ankle, because it’s different feeling plus it’s so tight, so I was just asking her. And, yeah…

Q. How tough was that just to be out there knowing that you couldn’t play the tennis that you wanted to play on Ashe Stadium, night session?
ANASTAIJA SEVASTOVA: For sure it was tough, but what can I do? I tried my best. I don’t like to retire, as I mentioned, but Caroline played great tennis. I think she made no mistakes. She did what she could best. She was a better player anyway. Yeah, even I think if I had no injury it would tough to beat her, yeah.

Q. How did you hurt it? Did you just twist it while…
ANASTAIJA SEVASTOVA: I don’t know. I think I stopped on the serve. I didn’t follow through. I fell over. And, yeah, I heard some sounds there, but it happened to me couple of months ago as well on clay.

So it’s pretty much the same injury, same ankle, twice in six months. (Smiling.)

Q. Obviously an incredible two weeks for you and everything, but does the way it all ends kind of change what you take away from it, or is it still…
ANASTAIJA SEVASTOVA: I don’t think it takes away. I still won two games. (Laughter.)

Yeah, it’s tough to end like that, but, yeah, it’s tennis. I could have played amazing but still lost. It would hurt more, I think.

But now, ankle, yeah. I have to stop and have to take time off. It was still great two weeks.

I mean, if somebody asks me like before, Would you take a quarterfinal, lose 0 and 2, or would you take a first round and lose 7-6 in the third, for sure I would take quarterfinals.

Q. How much did it mean to you getting to play three matches on Ashe? Not all quarterfinalists get to…
ANASTAIJA SEVASTOVA: I don’t know why they put me on Ashe three times. I’m like playing more often than some other players who are like top 10. It’s a great feeling. It’s a great stadium. It’s the biggest one. It’s unbelievable.

I feel very welcomed here.

Q. Does it mean much to you to join the Last Eight Club? Do you know about that?
ANASTAIJA SEVASTOVA: I don’t know about that. I heard about that. What does it mean? Do I get something special?

Q. Last Eight Club means basically you get free credential and tickets for rest of your life.
ANASTAIJA SEVASTOVA: Cool. Do I get also to practice alone on the court? Because before the tournament we were always sharing.

Q. Can you tell us how some things have changed in your life over the last ten days? Have you gotten new endorsements? What kind of benefits have you gotten over the last ten days?
ANASTAIJA SEVASTOVA: Not really. Latvia is a poor country. No, not really.

Q. Nothing?

Q. Have you heard from any special people that you didn’t expect?

Q. Nothing?

Q. Did you get that hat recently?
ANASTAIJA SEVASTOVA: No. It’s my hometown in Latvia.

Q. Kristaps is from the same…

Q. How far away did you grow up from his family?
ANASTAIJA SEVASTOVA: I don’t know his family, no. I’m not into basketball that much.

Q. But that was…
ANASTAIJA SEVASTOVA: It’s the same town. We are from the same town, yeah.

Q. Did you hear from the Olympic hockey —
ANASTAIJA SEVASTOVA: They lost. I heard about that.

Q. Do you feel you were able to cheer them up a little bit?
ANASTAIJA SEVASTOVA: I don’t follow hockey that much actually. (Laughter.)

I mean, I heard about that. This is qualifying. But, yeah. We still won — they still won against Austria 8-1.

Q. Did you brag to your boyfriend?
ANASTAIJA SEVASTOVA: That’s what I can brag about all the time.

Q. So do you leave New York the same as when you got here, or has the last 10 days changed you a bit?
ANASTAIJA SEVASTOVA: For sure. I have more confidence in my tennis. I think on a good day I could beat good players, top players.

And, yeah, the season is long. I mean, there is still some tournaments I can play, and it’s a good position to start the next year where I am now. So we’ll see. I have to just keep working.

It cannot happen like this today maybe. I have to start better. But for sure I’m more confident, and I’m more happy with my tennis, yeah.

Q. Did you feel that the crowd was particularly noisy tonight, more so than your other matches on Ashe?
ANASTAIJA SEVASTOVA: Like a pro on Ashe. (Smiling.)

Q. Was it distracting at all?
ANASTAIJA SEVASTOVA: Actually tonight it was not that distracting personally for me. They were loud, yeah, for sure, but I expected that from the first match during the night against Garbiñe.

So tonight it was okay. The problem I couldn’t hear the referee saying time, or chair umpire. I couldn’t hear.

Q. We couldn’t either.

Q. Do you know what your schedule is for the fall? You’re right around where could you get seeded for the Australian Open.
ANASTAIJA SEVASTOVA: Tokyo, not International —

Q. Little Tokyo or big Tokyo?
ANASTAIJA SEVASTOVA: I just withdraw because of my ankle. I’m playing the second one, then Wuhan and Beijing, and probably Moscow. Maybe Linz. Depends on the results from before. After Moscow, I’m done.

Q. You probably haven’t had an opportunity to really, really celebrate everything that’s happened this week.

Q. How do you celebrate now that you don’t have to play a match for a while?
ANASTAIJA SEVASTOVA: I’m quite tired now actually. My ankle hurts. Maybe on the flight home. I don’t know.

No, no idea. No. Really, maybe we will go out tonight. If we are not sleeping. But probably at home we would go somewhere for dinner or to nice drink. Yeah.



Caroline Wozniacki

Press Conference

C. WOZNIACKI/A. Sevastova

6-0, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How does it feel to be back in the semifinals of New York?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: It feels great. It’s a tournament that I love. I love being here. Life playing in this incredible stadium.

So it’s a great.

Q. It’s always hard to keep your focus when maybe the opponent is injured or something happens. You seemed to do that very well tonight.
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I think I was just extra focused, because I saw her fall in that second game. She stood up, and I knew if she can still walk and still put weight on it and stuff then she’s going to go obviously more for her shots and stuff like that.

But I thought, cool. I kept serving well and made her run. I’m pleased with how I managed to keep composed.

Q. Do you feel like you have home court advantage here being that you have your apartment sleeping in your apartment?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I definitely do feel like I have an advantage there. I sleep at home in my own bed, have home-cooked food, and have my friends and family here.

I also feel like I have a bit of a home court advantage when I step out on court. The crowd is always supporting me and is sweet to me. I think it helps I played so well here in the past. It’s just a great combination.

Q. What have been your observations of Angie’s improvement both in a physical way and mental way to get to the stage where she is now in late stages of nearly all the majors this season?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: To be honest, you know, obviously I have seen the results and she’s been doing great. I’m really happy for her. She’s a hard worker.

But to be honest, when I was injured I didn’t watch one match. I don’t know. I have to watch tapes. Obviously I have had tough matches against her in the past. She’s a great competitor. She looks fit, so it’s going to be a tough one.

Yeah, I haven’t really thought about it yet. I just kind of want to enjoy this moment first.

Q. How inspirational is that for you with all the Polish folks behind you?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Well, there is a lot of Polish people living here. Obviously there is a big fan base from Poland here.

Obviously I was born in Denmark and feel Danish, but I have some Polish blood in me. It’s nice I can take the best of both worlds. Also I have a big part of the New York crowd with me. It’s a great combination here.

Q. Cook any Polish food?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I haven’t this week, actually. After the tournament. (Smiling.)

Q. You have known Angie for a very long time and you hung out when you were younger, et cetera. Does it surprise you she finds herself in world No. 2, Grand Slam champion, based off how you were when you were younger?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: No, I don’t think so. We are similar in that we are both hard working. I think that, you know, hard work pays off. She’s obviously very passionate. She loves what she’s doing and it shows.

She’s had a great year and I’m happy for her.

Q. This isn’t a position you have been in quite often the last couple years. Does it make easier playing Angie, someone you know so well?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I don’t think it makes it easier. We will have to wait and she. She’s had a great year so she will be tough to beat, but I’m going to do my best. That’s all can I ask for myself.

Q. You said you didn’t really want to look ahead and go on to the next match right away. You really wanted to enjoy the moment and looked very happy at that time. How does being able to stay in the moment and not go out of yourself, how has that helped you?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I think it’s really helped me. You know, there is always going to be uphill battles, and sometimes it’s not going to go your way.

But I always believe if you work hard and you have the belief, and obviously you give it your all, eventually it will turn. It’s been a great week or ten days for me. I’m really pleased.

I think the fact that I have friends and family here and I can just go home and relax and kind of unwind, it’s really helped me to kind of just enjoy it and not look ahead and not stress and just show up. I’m like, Well, I get another day; I get another chance.

It’s great.

Q. I think your father was talking to the Danish press. Thinking about retiring? Have you given much thought to that, plans on that sort of front?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I kind of — I think I don’t want to really talk about that now. When I feel ready to open up and say something then I will, but for now I’m just here to play this tournament.

Hopefully I have two more matches here. Yeah, it’s really all I’m focused on right now.

Q. You have had to answer a number of questions about No. 1 or the No. 1 ranking. What is it about ranking? Angie is in a race for it. Is it something coveted on tour? You talked about ranking is just a number. Where does No. 1 fit into it?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I think when you’re a little kid and you don’t know what anything really means, everybody knows what it means to be the best in the world and everybody knows what it means to be No. 1.

So I think getting the No. 1 ranking is extremely special and it’s something that everyone can kind of relate to and every little kid understands.

So obviously being No. 1 in the world is extremely special, and I’m sure Angie is feeling it, too. I’m sure that she is going to do everything to get that ranking. She’s been playing really well this year.

It’s something that very few people in the world has ever achieved. I mean, how crazy is it to say that you’re the best in the world at something? Doesn’t matter if tennis, football, being a lawyer, whatever it is. It’s really special.

You know, for me, when I’m saying ranking is just a number, I have been No. 1. I have been there for two year years. That is something I’m extremely proud of.

But right now, for me, being 70-something, it’s not really — you know, it doesn’t really mean much to me. I still believe and feel like I’m one of the top players and grinding my way back, so that’s why I’m saying for me right now the ranking is just a number: because I’m not No. 1 and there is a long way for me right now to get back to No. 1.

But I’m doing my best to just play my best tennis and have fun with it. It’s really all that I can do right now.

Q. Would it be strange to see that number with not Serena Williams’ name next to it?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Yeah. I mean, she’s held that ranking for so long. Obviously, I think, it’s sad she’s only played eight tournaments from this time last year. She’s such an unbelievable and inspiring player. Obviously being so close with her, just it’s special. She’s just a special athlete. You know, it’s incredible what she’s achieved. It’s something that probably very few – or it will take a long time before someone else gets to that level.

Q. How many weeks a year do you spend at your Manhattan place and where you train?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I don’t know. I mean, we travel so much, so I don’t get to spend as much time here as I want.

But when I’m here lately I have been training at the McEnroe Academy on Randall’s Island. Sometimes I go to the Westside Highway; it’s public courts. They usually let me in and let me in and train for as long as I want. I kind of like being there, because I feel like a proper New Yorker.

Q. There is a queue to get on to those courts. Have you waited?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I actually haven’t waited because people have been so sweet that they’ve let me in.

Q. That’s fair.
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: But if I had to wait, I would. What can I do? I have to follow the rules, right?

Q. Your serve has been particularly reliable for you over the course of the tournament. That hasn’t always been the case in the past. Can you talk about the evolution of that shot? What is kind of the specific work that you have put into it to make it a shot that you can rely on here?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: It’s been something that I have worked on for the last 20 years. It’s something that I have spent a lot of time on, and it’s something that maybe doesn’t come — the return comes more natural than the serve, but I have been working really hard on it.

It’s been great at periods in my career and then it’s been really bad in periods where I am like, I don’t know why the timing isn’t there. It’s been good again, so it’s kind of on and off.

When it’s on, I’m just praying that it’s going to stay on for a while. I don’t know.

Q. Has it been on here? Would you consider this on?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Yeah, I think it’s been a good two weeks. Hopefully I can keep it up.

Q. You spoke a moment ago about belief and enjoyment and about your two weeks as No. 1 player in the world. How do those things compare now with the belief and enjoyment when you were the No. 1 player?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I think it’s much different. I’m older. I have been through everything. Right now I’m happy every time I get to play on a big court.

It’s special, you know. Like obviously being injured and being away from the game you kind of put things in perspective. You’re like, I could get injured again tomorrow and maybe I won’t have another shot out there.

I think I’m enjoying it much more now than back I was then. Back then I was just trying and grinding for staying at the top of the rankings for as long as possible, and obviously just winning every match.

Now obviously I want to win every match, but it’s different. I’m not the favorite in most of my matches anymore, or on paper at least. I’m just going in there as the underdog and going out doing my thing.

Q. How does that increased enjoyment affect your belief as a player?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I think I have always had the belief. The belief hasn’t changed. I just think I’m enjoying it now more than I was in the past.

I think it’s less stressful. It’s more going out and having fun.

Q. There was a picture on Twitter of the vacation you took with Angie and the Radwanskas, like, years ago.
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I look pretty round in that picture, actually. I think we all did.

Q. You were at a different stage in your lives. But everybody grows up, and on the tour everybody becomes more professional, has their own teams. Can you look back on that kind of time and how different it was and maybe if you have any stories to share about that vacation with Angie?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Actually, I don’t think it’s that different. We would still go on vacations, but the problem is like, you know, Aga is getting married, so then all of a sudden we’re like, We just want a girls trip, but it’s tough when everyone has their own thing.

But even last year Angie and I were talking. I was like, Part of my offseason I will be in New York. I’ll be somewhere else. If you want to join, you’re more than welcome.

So it’s not like we are separated, but it’s like sometimes like we have different priorities or there is just a little bit more busy now. But, yeah, I think still we hang out and we have coffees and sit and talk and have a good time.

I think the great thing about our little group of people is that we have kind of hung out together for years and years now, and doesn’t matter who is No. 1 or who is lower ranked or who is beating who, we always have that little clique, and it’s nice to be able to just hang out and have a nice little conversation and a good laugh.



Novak Djokovic

Press Conference


6-3, 6-2, (ret.)

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How would you describe your road to the semifinals?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I’m in the semifinals, so that’s what matters for me the most; to be able to play as well as I did in fourth round and today in the quarterfinals for at least a couple of sets.

I thought that I came out with the right intensity. The quality of my game and level of performance has raised in last couple of days, which obviously encourages me prior to the last four.

I put myself in a position again to be one match away from the finals. As tournament progresses, I feel like I’m getting better. Of course that this Grand Slam is very unique for me. I never experienced something like this to have three retirements on the road to the semifinals.

I can only wish all of my opponents a speedy recovery. That’s all I can do on my end. I obviously try to focus on things that I need to do; stick to the game plan. I notice Jo already midway through the second set was upholding his first serve and you could sense that something is going on.

So I’m sure it’s not an easy situation for him to handle, playing quarterfinals and having to retire night session. But, again, it’s sport.

Q. Did you sense that you broke him mentally as much as physically with just how sharp you were?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, that’s I guess a question for him. On my side I said I tried to come in with high intensity, concentration, and trying to execute the game plan I prepared with my team.

I played Jo many times on the big stage. First Grand Slam final for both of us was back in 2008 in Melbourne. Yeah, played over 20 times against each other, so I know Jo very well. I know his pros and cons.

So I tried to analyze the matches that we had before, and as I said, get myself, you know, prepared the best way I could. I thought I did well on the return; put a lot of pressure on his second serve. First serve is sometimes a gamble because it’s a big serve. Just tried to get as many balls back in play, move him around the court, and I thought at least that I have done well.

Q. Does the lack of match competition concern you at all going forward?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Not really. Actually, in this stage of the season, considering some physical issues I have had in the last month, month and a half, this was the scenario that I needed and I wished for. I got a lot of days off and recovered my body. Right now I’m feeling very close to the peak. That’s the position where I want to be.

Q. But would a fourth or a fifth set maybe be a bit of uncharted territory for you in the current sense?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Not really. I mean, I have played so many times. I was so many times in this particular situation where I had long matches on the road to the semis of a Grand Slam. Also had some Grand Slams where didn’t spend too much time on the court.

It really just depends how you feel, how your season has been, how many matches you have played throughout the year.

As I said, this scenario with easy was ideal at this stage.

Q. You played Del Potro in Rio and now he’s in the quarterfinal here. How well do you think he’s playing right now? How close is he to his form?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I think he’s playing very well. His forehand and his serve are two huge weapons. For somebody of his height he’s moving very well. His anticipation is great.

At the end of the day he is very, very motivated, you can see that, to perform his best. He hasn’t played for, you know, couple of years on the tour with those wrist injuries and surgeries and everything was happening.

I know him very well. Very pleasant, very nice person. He deserves what he’s getting at the moment.

It will be interesting to see how he goes around in the big matches, you know, from quarterfinals, from tomorrow onwards.

Q. With sort of the lack of match play here, do you treat the next couple of days differently than you might at a different slam? Will you guys sort of talk through or walk through different scenarios that you might face, say, in a fourth or fifth set since you haven’t been there now in a couple of months?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I’m not going to practice for three or four hours just to feel that kind of potential for the fifth set scenario. Just keeping the routine as it is. I’m glad, you know, I have another two days now to work on things. You know, at this stage of the tournament and season, I think one of the most important things for a player is this freshness of the mind, of the body, and just having that right supply of substance in your body and the enduring strength that you need, the speed, the alertness.

All these things come with, you know, some time that you have around. Time management, most of all. You know, I’m really looking forward to come out on the court on Friday in semifinals.

Q. You go way back with Monfils. He’s a player that a lot of fans like to watch. They think he’s very entertaining. Obviously you have had the better of him in the record, but as a player, do you enjoy watching him?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I love watching Gaël. He’s one of the few players that I will definitely pay a ticket to watch.

He’s very charismatic. Plays with a smile. Enjoys tennis. Enjoys life.

I mean, this is – well, in my eyes – what everybody is supposed to be like, whether you’re a sportsman or whatever. Bring that smile; bring that good energy. That’s why people like him.

But also, he seems more focused at this time of his career. Especially on the hard court this year maybe he’s playing the best tennis he ever played. He’s very consistent. He hasn’t dropped a set till semis. That says a lot about the level he’s on.

Definitely expecting a tough battle.

Q. (Indiscernible.)
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Again, it’s a question for him. I don’t know Gaël that well to understand what’s happening, what was happening throughout his life and career. Because, you know, sometimes the circumstances in your private life affect your profession. In this case, tennis career.

But he was always enjoying playing tennis, you know. In the end of the day, it all comes down to that, whether you’re happy doing something. If you’re successful or not, that’s something that’s is on the priority list of the society we are living on. Trophies, fame, money, influence, all these kind of things that I don’t believe they are the best values that we all should share.

I think happiness intrinsic, really belonging to something and really being fulfilled doing something. That’s what Gaël is bringing to this sport. I think he’s a very valuable asset to tennis, so I’m really glad that a player like him is doing well. He’s, you know, obviously bringing that energy to the court.

Q. When you say you’re reaching your peak, do you mean in terms of your physical problems or in terms of form?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I’m reaching my peak in terms of my form. I don’t know how you understood that.

Q. Do you feel like 100% here?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, that’s what I said, yes.



Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Press Conference


6-3, 6-2, (ret.)

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Why did you make the decision to retire after the second set?
JO-WILFRIED TSONGA: Just because I have a pain on my left knee. It’s something I had already in the past, so I know exactly what’s happen.

So, yeah, I knew it was over for me straightaway, because when I have my knee, of course, it’s already tough to play against one of the best tennis player.

But when I don’t have my knee, I have no chance to come back from two sets to love. So for me, it’s important to save what I can save. And that’s it.



Day 8 of the US Open – In Their Own Words

15-Venus waits to return serve

(September 5, 2016) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Posting player interviews throughout the day when allowed.

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

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

Venus Williams

Press Conference

K. PLISKOVA/V. Williams

4-6, 6-4, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Just your thoughts after that tough, tough match.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, we both competed really well. Of course I’d like to come out on top of that match. Just kept fighting till the end, but I don’t know, she had a little more luck today.

I had a few too many errors in the tiebreaker.

Q. What were your emotions when you got down three match points and as you battled back to overcome those three match points?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, just to keep fighting and never to give up. That was definitely my mindset at that point. Just try to keep winning points.

Q. How did it feel to overcome that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: At that point that’s exactly where I wanted to be, was in the tiebreaker and going for the match.

Q. In the tiebreaker, was it luck or you kind of let yourself down a little bit off the ground, that she outplayed you? What was the difference in the breaker, do you think?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think in the breaker I went for a little bit more but I didn’t put the ball in enough. You know, I went for some aggressive shots; didn’t necessarily put them in.

You know, obviously she played well.

Q. How high do you feel like the quality was of that match? It looked to us like you guys were hitting as hard as you could and there were over 70 winners between the two of you.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, definitely a high, high quality match. I totally agree.

Q. Your support from the crowd, living, breathing each of those fluctuations in the third set, how much does that boost you or how much does it mean to have the full support of the crowd?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It’s just so, so amazing. Such an amazing feeling. I enjoyed every single moment of that.

Q. What was your mindset at triple match point and going through and saving all those three match points?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Just that she played a great game. I was going to try to stay in there, continue to try to get points, and, you know, I played a good game after that and I got some opportunities to get in there.

Q. You had some strong results this year. How would you assess the way you’ve played this season?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, definitely a ton of positives. I’m looking forward to continuing a lot of positives on the court.

Q. Just talk about the joy quotient versus the win quotient as —
VENUS WILLIAMS: The what? Joy?

Q. The joy, the feeling of joy versus the feeling of winning as far as keeping yourself going all these years. Has that really changed over the years for you as a player?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don’t know. I never thought about that. (Laughter.) There is a lot of joy in winning. I mean, that’s all I can say.

Q. Are you surprised in any way that you’re doing so incredibly well at this point in your life?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Where there’s a will, there’s a way. I definitely have the will, so I think I will keep finding the way.

Q. So you’re not surprised, per se?
VENUS WILLIAMS: With effort something’s got to happen. I put a lot of effort into this. It’s not by luck at all.

So, you know, definitely feel like my wins are deserved. I feel like I’m going to get more as the future goes on.

Q. After a strong start to the first set, do you feel like you let her back into the match by giving up those breaks?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, it was just a lot of errors. I still have to cut back on my errors.

I think she started returning serve really well as the match progressed. She lifted her game. Definitely a lot of credit to her for hanging in there and staying positive.

Q. After the 5-1 lead, closing in on the net and serving well, did you feel like she made adjustments to kind of make that match level, or was it a matter of levels of each of you kind of going up and down? Was there a tactical change?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think she definitely made adjustments. That’s what you have to do. That’s why she’s at the top.

Q. Some people say that Pliskova plays like Lindsay Davenport. From your perspective, how similar are their games?
VENUS WILLIAMS: For me, not that similar. Not really.

Q. You had a lot of success coming to the net, especially in the first set; didn’t come in as much later. Was that an adjustment she had, she made, or did you feel like tactics were better for you as the match wore on?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I guess I did what I could when I could. That’s the match. I do like to get in when I can.

Q. Pliskova is 24 now. Do you see her as future Grand Slam winner, in the future after your sister retires?
VENUS WILLIAMS: That’s a wonderful compliment to Serena, but the sky’s the limit for everyone. The future is in her own hands. It’s what she makes of it. I can’t say what something is going to do or isn’t going to.

Q. Your 18th slam. Do you take in more surroundings, the fans, more than you did in the past? If so, how?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Obviously it’s an amazing atmosphere out there, but it’s definitely all business when you’re on the court. There’s a lot of tough situations. No matter what position you get in your opponent is still trying to figure out how to win the match. You don’t have time to start enjoying the moment and looking around. You know, sports just doesn’t work that way.

Q. Coming and going or practicing…
VENUS WILLIAMS: Clearly enjoy the game to be here. I love what I do.

Q. After a tough match like that, do you expect that you’ll go out now and watch Serena’s match in person? What do you think that will be like as she goes for that 308th major victory?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I mean, the match is on right now. Of course I like her chances. You know, I’m sure that her opponent wants to win, too. She’s going to have to be able to still play well no matter who’s across the net.

But of course, you know, I’m hoping that she’ll get the win.

Q. Do you expect to go out and watch it?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I haven’t even thought about that. I still have other stuff I’ve got to do. Hopefully maybe she will win quickly and then I won’t even have to think about it. (Smiling.)

Q. If you can think back to the match point that you had, is there anything you think you could have done differently or wished you had done differently on that point?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Not really. I mean, she had a great serve. She hit another great shot and I still played a great defensive shot. I did the best I could on that. Whenever you have a match point on someone else’s serve, it’s a little bit of an asterisk. I really have no regrets on that.

I had a little bad luck trying to hold serve. It wasn’t ideal.

Q. Just more generally, as a player in the latter stages of a match, if you do have a match point and are unable to convert it at that point being close to victory, is it easy to move on from that? Does it ever linger in your mind as the match progresses?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Not really in this case, because I was never in control of that point, even though I played a great point. It was really a little bit out of my hands. Had I reached match point on my serve, then of course I’d think about it a lot more.

But I really played the perfect point there, and she managed to stay alive.

Q. Many of your matches here have been heart breakers. (Indiscernible.)
VENUS WILLIAMS: I live in the present so I move on. I learn from this and I just keep going.

Q. You said sky’s the limit for every player and that individuals have to set their own goals and what they can do. You have had a great career and are still having one. What goals do you have for yourself at this point?
VENUS WILLIAMS: To continue to play better tennis. At this point my goals are just to cut back on my errors. I feel like if I convert a few more points, a few less errors, then this kind of match is mine.

That’s a balance that you make when you play the kind of game that I play. You have to figure out the balance. I was clearly the more aggressive player all the time, but I have to put the ball in the court.

Q. Have you made any specific dietary changes to ensure your longevity?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I’m always working on it. I’m always working on it. That’s my life right now.

Q. Specifically, what are the things…
VENUS WILLIAMS: It’s a long story. Next time. (Laughter.)



Serena Williams

Press Conference

S. WILLIAMS/Y. Shvedova

6-2, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. 308, you’re now ahead of Roger. What does this milestone mean to you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it’s really exciting. I just think winning 308 matches in general is pretty awesome. For that to be in a Grand Slam is pretty cool.

Q. Would you care to elaborate on just the significance of that specific number and how you think it compares with some of the other milestones that you’ve achieved.
SERENA WILLIAMS: It’s a huge number. I think it’s very significant actually. I think it’s something that, you know, just really talks about the length of my career, in particular. I’ve been playing for a really long time, but also, you know, given that consistency up there. That’s something that I’m really proud of.

Q. Do you think it’s felt like business as usual? Through the first four matches, has it felt pretty ‘standard’ for you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I just feel like I’m going out there doing what I need to do. I’m not overplaying, I’m not underplaying. I’m just trying to play my way into this tournament.

Q. Many players retire early. Talk about your pride in the length of your work. What has been involved in all the grinding and hard work?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I can’t really speak to it. I think it just comes from a different place of the just love and really enjoying it. I definitely never thought I would be playing still. Now I don’t really see when I’m going to stop because I’m just enjoying these moments out here, getting to break records that I didn’t even know existed or I didn’t even know was possible.

I think when you really enjoy what you do, it’s different.

Q. Do you think the times off, all those hardships, then getting Patrick to come on, was all that really key and helpful in a way?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think everything just kind of worked out the way it was supposed to, even though I probably didn’t want to be injured, I didn’t want to have those surgeries. I feel like it was able to help me stay out here longer.

Q. Were you able to watch Venus’ rollercoaster match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I was really trying to warm up. I get really nervous when I watch, so I didn’t really see much.

Q. Did you know when you took the court what happened?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, of course. I knew that she lost when it was over. But I didn’t really watch what was going on.

Q. You have not been broken this tournament. You’ve literally faced one breakpoint. When you’re serving that well, how much does that bleed into the rest of your game? Do you feel like it offers you the chance to swing more freely, play your return games with more aggression?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I feel like it definitely helps me to be able to know that I can hold. Yeah, I definitely feel like I can play returns easier.

But with that being said, I’m just trying to stay in that serving moment, just not serve over myself, just get high percentages in.

Q. You said on court you didn’t really know why you’re serving so well.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, ’cause I don’t think I really served in the summer until I got here to New York, so… It was a really tough summer for me. Maybe that’s the key (smiling).

Q. Many players are making the quarterfinals here for the first time, making it to the final eight club. Do you know about that and is it an important thing for you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: My first time being in the quarterfinals, I felt like I needed to go further. I’m sure a lot of people feel that way, too. That’s just how I felt.

Q. Do you plan on coming back to these tournaments in the future when you stop playing? Do you think we’ll see you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don’t know honestly. I can’t say that you wouldn’t. I’ve had so many wonderful memories at every single Grand Slam. But I would imagine I would want to come back and enjoy it as a spectator, just really have that fun and enjoy that.

I would imagine, absolutely.

Q. Visualization. How important is that for you to be able to see yourself as the 2016 US Open winner?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it’s really important. You have to see it and believe it before it happens, you know. I think that is something that is super important.

Q. It’s your fifth Open since you and Patrick teamed up together. Could you speak a little bit about his integration into your team and the evolution of your relationship with him over the last four years.
SERENA WILLIAMS: It’s been amazing. I absolutely love working with him as a coach. I don’t know what it is about our chemistry. We just tend to work great together. It just works.

He’s been a great addition to my team. He always has my best interests. So I think that’s really important, as well.

Q. We had the greatest athlete discussion the other day. Do you ever think about what other sports you may have been great at?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Not really. I definitely want to stick to tennis right now. But, no, I never really thought about it.

Q. Could you have seen yourself even playing anything else when you were little or trying anything else?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I definitely did more artsy sports when I was growing up. Yeah, I wouldn’t know what I would be doing. Probably, if anything, I’d be in the fashion business, yeah.

Q. I don’t know if you can handle this technical question. I noticed you have very long nails. Do you play tennis with those or you just come in the press conference with those?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, no, I pop them off before I play. And then I do them right before press just so I can impress you (smiling).

Q. They look nice.

Q. Can you think of a favorite memory or story relating to Armstrong Stadium?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I played Kim Clijsters there in ’99. I want to say it was like the third round maybe. Boy, it was a tough one. I was down. Somehow managed to come back and win that match.

No one knew who Kim Clijsters was at the time. She became such a wonderful, great player. I was just on the come-up myself. That propelled me to win my first Open. That’s something I’ll never forget.

Q. You haven’t faced a seeded player. You’ll face one next with Simona. Do you recognize that as being a step up? Do you take it just as a quarterfinal match, another opponent?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I just think with everyone I play, they play a step up and above their ranking. I think that’s the beauty, one of the reasons I’m able to hang. Everyone I’m playing is playing like they’re No. 1.

To me it doesn’t really matter who I play because I have to expect they’re going to play the match of their life. That’s how I go into these matches now.

Q. The other day you said you were waiting for Serena to come out again. Is this about as close as it’s going to get? Was she there today?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, she’s coming. She hasn’t quite come out yet, though.



Dominic Thiem

Press Conference


6-3, 3-2 (ret.)

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please. What was the injury.

DOMINIC THIEM: It was the knee. So, yeah, I had some problems with blisters, and maybe because of the compensation the knee started to hurt.

But anyway, I’m going to do an MRI now in the next couple hours, and then I will have more information about it.

Q. When did you start feeling it? What were you feeling?
DOMINIC THIEM: Started two or three days ago I think already. Didn’t get that much better.

Yeah, at the beginning of the match it was basically okay, but maybe also because of all the excitement and this. And, yeah, from the end of first set, beginning of second set, it got worse and worse. No other choice.

Q. How disappointing was this for you? You were right there.
DOMINIC THIEM: Well, every time you have to retire it’s disappointing, of course. But, yeah, I mean, knee is something where you shouldn’t try out too much.

Yeah, I have to check it out and then I will see how it’s going.

Q. When did the pain started? Did you play 100% in any time of the game?
DOMINIC THIEM: I have the pain since three days and never got — got a little bit better maybe over the night, but then it started again.

Yeah, in the beginning of the match it was okay. But, yeah, in no time of the match I could bend my knees. Like I couldn’t bend it too much like the last three days.

So I was all the time a little bit handicapped.

Q. You were feeling this in your third-round match?
DOMINIC THIEM: Well he, it started very slowly. That’s why I thought it because of the blister, because of the compensation, because I already had it a couple of times.

So I thought, yeah, if the blister is gone I can walk normal again. It’s also the knee pain goes away. Was not the case, unfortunately.

But, yeah, third-round match, well, I felt it in the morning a little bit but during the match, no.

Yeah, it started basically in the evening two days ago.

Q. So the issue with the knee was blister? Which knee was it?
DOMINIC THIEM: It was the right knee.

Q. But it was blister?
DOMINIC THIEM: Yeah, the blister was on the toes, but I was all the time like somehow running strange because I couldn’t put all the pressure on the toes.

So that’s what I thought, you know. But, yeah, I have to do MRI because…

Q. MRI for the knee?

Q. You were playing very good in the first games of the match. Do you think you would have beaten Del Potro if you were 100% healthy?
DOMINIC THIEM: Nobody knows.

Q. This was your 69th match which leads the ATP. How will you approach your schedule next year based on what you’ve learned this year?
DOMINIC THIEM: For sure I will adapt it a little bit. Yeah, I never expected to play that many matches of course this year. But, yeah, it happened obviously, and for sure next year I’m going to change it up a little bit.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about how you saw Juan Martin Del Potro playing today, at least in the first set, first games where you were feeling healthy? And if you think that right now Del Potro can beat anyone in the circuit again?
DOMINIC THIEM: Of course the forehand is amazing, and also the service is really good. Backhand probably not like when he was at his best, but I think it’s getting better and better.

He’s unbelievable dangerous player.



Juan Martin Del Potro

Press Conference


6-3, 3-2 (ret.)

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. First of all, how do you feel? After all these matches in a row, winning, you weren’t probably expecting 15, 20 days ago, how does it feel? Are you surprised in a way about this?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Yes, a little bit. I didn’t expect to be in quarters in my second Grand Slam after my comeback. I’m doing in a good way because I’m playing good tennis. My level is growing up every day.

I’m so glad to be part of the last eight in this tournament, and that I will have the chance to play another big challenge after tomorrow. Everything can happen. So I will try to be there.

Q. After your third surgery did you ever have actual serious thoughts about retiring and stepping away from this? If you did not, did you have doubts that you would get back to a slam?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I was close to retired before my third surgery, but after that I always believe on myself to come back on tennis. When I made the decision to do the surgery, I always believe I will come back, for sure.

And after that, everything change to myself, and now I’m here. I’m playing free. I don’t have any big problems in my wrist, and that’s important. Sometimes bother me a little bit, but I can deal with that. I’m still improving my backhand.

Q. Did you have to make any adjustments today for wind or with the roof open?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: No, I think it was okay for us. The sound of the balls was much better than the other night.

I really enjoyed the crowd today, as well. It was okay.

Q. In Wimbledon you said the reason you cannot hit backhand with your hand is not only because of the pain. (Indiscernible.)
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I’m not worried about my wrist at the moment because I’m practicing every day. I’m playing matches every day. My wrist responds in the good way.

Now I have to hit my backhand even better than today for my next match. Here is a different surface than Wimbledon, so my slices doesn’t go too well as I did in Wimbledon.

But I’m okay with my level. I’m hitting good forehands. My serve is working good. I’m looking forward to do a good match after tomorrow.

Q. You have obviously had to develop through the injury, recovery period, one-handed backhand slicing a lot more than you used to do. Do you feel actually you have come out at the end of it with a stronger range of backhands than you did before the injury?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Yeah, I would like to improve my backhand as well now. I think with that change, my slices, my volley is improve a lot, because normally I didn’t use that shot and now I’m using very often.

But in the future, if can combine slices and volleys with my old backhand would be more dangerous for my game and I will be comfortable with all the weapons.

Q. What effect does what you did here in 2009 have on the way you have been able to keep confidence even through the worst of injuries and make this comeback?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, this tournament, it’s great for me. I always love to play in New York, in these stadiums. Of course I had a great memories from 2009, but now my person is completely different.

I enjoying even more when I get into the courts than years ago. I just want to play tennis in front of the big crowds. I’m so exciting to still winning matches and maybe be in the top positions in the future.

But I don’t care about that at the moment.

Q. How did the 2009 experience factor into your thinking as you had the worst of times with your injuries?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I think everything in 2009 is completely the past. You know, of course I asked for the wildcard here because of that memory, you know. I like to be here.

But now my life is different. I have a different game. I’m getting older. Everything is like new for me. It’s like a new career after my third surgery. I’m really enjoying this.

Q. How important was your round at the Olympics for the confidence?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, was very, very important because I start to believe in myself after that tournament. I’m feeling aggressive with my game. I’m feeling competitive in front of all of the players.

For all the players on tour are very important the confidence on court, and I think I’m in a good, in good shape to see the future.

Q. If you play Stan again, when you beat him at Wimbledon it seemed like a very big moment in your comeback, but you have had a lot of big moments since then. Can you think back to that match and how your summer has gone since then?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: It’s gonna be different match for sure. Different surface. Stan survives in the third round, I think. In the fifth he won a great match, and now he’s winning easily.

He will be the favorite to win in that match, but anything can happen in this event for me. I got the power from the crowd in every match, and that’s help me a lot to fight and to play my best tennis.

I’m confident with my level to do a good match.

Q. Talking a lot about your old backhand. When do you expect, if you expect, that the old backhand will be back? I mean, do you have any idea? And a doctor of yours tells you, Okay, next January you’ll be okay, or not?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: No, of course not. I will stay calm if that happens. But if you see my practice, my backhand is going —

Q. Getting better?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Getting better. It’s faster than in the match. At least I’m improving at practice. Then one day I will be playing the same way of the matches.

But nobody knows when it’s gonna be that day.

Q. How are you feeling as far as after your third-round match, and how did it help you today to only be out there for only an hour?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, of course it’s not good to win a match in this way. I’m very sad for him. I wish all the best. He’s a nice guy.

And for my body, could help a little bit. Right after the match I hit for a while again. I need to be 100% in the next round. I’m feeling little tired because I didn’t stop after Rio. My body feels that, but I will be okay.

Q. As you say, Stan here on this surface and at this tournament is very different than when you faced him at Wimbledon; you’re probably in a different spot with your comeback, as well. So considering both sides, whatsoever challenges do you see in that match?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, it’s gonna be interesting to play and to watch, for sure. We both play hard and we hit very hard the ball.

But depends of me. Depends of my game. Depends on my serve. Basically my forehands. And then I will try to play smarter than today.

Of course it’s gonna be a different match than Wimbledon because the surface, but if I’m okay and I feel good the ball, I will have a little chance to win.

Q. Are you superstitious a little bit? I mean, you think that history can repeat? 2009 first round you beat Juan Monaco. This time Schwartzman. Ferrer. This time Ferrer. That time Melzer and this time Dominic Thiem.
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: I don’t remember. (Laughter.) I only remember the finals against Roger, and he’s not here. But it’s good point. (Laughter.)


Simona Halep

Press Conference

S. HALEP/C. Suarez Navarro

6-2, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How would you describe the state of your game right now as you pursue winning your first major?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, my game now I feel is the best that I had ever, because I feel strong on my body. I feel that I can control every tactic during the match. I can change. I’m able to the change the tactic when I need.

I feel strong mentally, even if I have some bad moments during the matches. I feel that I play for every ball, so that means that I’m focused and I really want to win and I’m fighting.

It’s tough to say about the winning a Grand Slam because I never won, so I don’t know the feeling. But I’m working hard to reach that title, to make that dreams come true.

So I’m just working, dreaming at it, and if it’s gonna happen one day, I will be very happy.

Q. It might be Serena Williams may stand in the way of the dream in the next round. If you do play Serena Williams, what for you is the biggest mental challenge and the biggest physical challenge?
SIMONA HALEP: Mental challenge I think doesn’t have to be that important because she’s like the best player in the world. I don’t have to be afraid or to have emotions because I have nothing to lose. It’s just a huge challenge for me. Just playing my game; I will try to do that.

Physically I feel strong enough to face her, but you never know. She has a lot of power when she hits, so I have just to recover my body, to be 100% next round, and to give everything I have.

Q. When you have those moments where you get frustrated, you throw the racquet, are you mad about that particular shot that you missed or are you mad about the whole situation?
SIMONA HALEP: No, just that point. Actually, I’m working on it. I want to change it, but I have the permission from the coach that I can do this stuff when I feel because the next point I’m 100% and I play it to win. (Smiling.)

So I did this change. In the future maybe I will change also this feeling just to be more like positive and to hide more the negative one, even if I miss an easy shot.

Q. And throughout the first four matches, you have had really good first sets. Against Babos played well, but maybe a little bit dip in the second set. Is that a little bit loss of rhythm or nerves or…
SIMONA HALEP: I think nerves, yeah, first. And second, I think the opponents are starting to play really well after a good first set maybe they say that they have nothing to lose anymore and just go and play, in my opinion.

But it’s not easy to keep that rhythm for all match, so I’m trying to do that. But today was better. I had 5-3, but that little break maybe bothered me a little bit, and that’s why she came back good.

But, yeah, it was good, and I could handle the match in the second set and I’m really proud of that.

Q. Out on Armstrong, how different was it compared to Ashe?
SIMONA HALEP: Smaller. You can feel the difference straightaway. And I think the court is a little bit faster. So it was good for me today. I felt really well on that court.

Also, last year I played against Lisicki there, so I had good memories. You know, I just enjoy everywhere I play. I don’t care where I’m playing.

Q. What do you remember most about the first time you saw Serena Williams play, either on TV or…
SIMONA HALEP: Oh, a long time ago. I was a kid.

Q. Or across the net from her?
SIMONA HALEP: At that moment maybe I was dreaming to play against her once, because I was a kid and I didn’t know that I would be so in the top.

Like I said many times, I have learned from her many times. I admired her a lot, so it’s always good to play against her and it’s always good to watch what the best players are doing.

Q. What are some of the many things that you’ve learned?
SIMONA HALEP: Oh, she’s ambitious. She gives everything to win all the matches.

Her focus. She is focused and she doesn’t give up. Three things. And I’m not telling anymore. (Smiling.)

Q. How has that affected you?
SIMONA HALEP: Affected me when I play against her?

Q. No. In just learning that, what difference has that made for you?
SIMONA HALEP: Actually, I’m trying just to do the same things. I’m trying to learn from the best players. I’m trying just to get better and better with these things.

Q. Before the tournament started, did you know that you were in Serena’s quarter or did you just find out?
SIMONA HALEP: No, I knew. I knew. I will tell you something funny. Mr. Tiriac ask me, Where are you? I said, What do you mean? He said, In the draw. I said, I have no idea.

You play Serena or someone else? And I said, Yeah, okay, in Serena in quarterfinals, but it was too far.

Q. So Tiriac told you?

Q. You found out from him?

Q. That’s nice. But did that take any pressure off you, kind of knowing that you respect her so much and you know obviously she’s the No. 1 and dominating and the favorite in that match, did it take any pressure off you for the first part knowing that Serena was looming in the quarters?
SIMONA HALEP: Till now I didn’t feel any pressure. I just wanted to give everything every match. I feel, like I said, safe on my body and I feel that I have a chance every match when I go on court.

I was not thinking about playing against Serena this tournament because it’s far for me. Quarterfinals is pretty far, and you have to win four tough matches to get there.

If it’s gonna be her in the next match it’s gonna be a big challenge, and I have just to play my game, to be aggressive, because otherwise I have no chance.

Q. What do you think it is about your game that’s the most difficult for her?
SIMONA HALEP: Oh, I don’t know. (Smiling.) You have to ask her.

I don’t know. I feel that I have to play aggressive, because if I let her dominate the game it’s gonna be tough for me.


Karolina Pliskova

Press Conference

K. PLISKOVA/V. Williams

4-6, 6-4, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You’re standing out there at match point. The crowd was going crazy. Did you feel a little bit lonely at that time?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: A little bit. No, but at least I had my serve. So at least something was on my side. I played pretty good point. I was just thinking, I have to go, I have to put everything into this point. And, yeah, I made it.

Q. Could you talk us through that point. You decided where to serve?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I knew where to serve. I wanted to serve to her forehand. I did pretty good serve, then second shot. Then I went to take the volley.

I just wanted to play aggressive because I knew if she’s going to have a small chance to be aggressive, you know, she’s going to make the point. She stopped missing shots in the end of the third set, so I knew I have to be the one who is dictating the point.

Q. Do you think people will stop discussing now about your problems in Grand Slam tournaments?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Yeah, I hope they will stop. Even if they will discuss in the future, I don’t care anymore.

Q. What was going through your mind on your own match points you had previously?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, it was unlucky game because I wanted to risk the second serve when I was up 40-Love. Was a bad miss, double-fault. Then she did five winners in a row. I didn’t do much things bad. I didn’t serve first serve. That was a mistake.

But, yeah, she played everything great at that time. Obviously I was a little bit down after this game because I was so close. I believed I can close it in the last game for 7-5. But then I had to, you know, stay in the game because was last tiebreak in front of me. I couldn’t be just mad that I didn’t make it because I still had a chance to win the tiebreak.

Q. Do you think it takes a long time to learn how to play a match point the way you played the one against you, which is as well as it possibly could have been played?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I would say yes, you can have few good matches. But to win matches like this, it takes some time. You need to have experience definitely on the big stages, on the big tournaments.

I played against her, played good match against her in Zhuhai. Was also close, but I wouldn’t say it was like here. I was fighting with more things here, especially with the people as well. So it was more difficult.

Yeah, with years, with experience, I’m feeling better on these stages and against top players.

Q. Did you talk to Kristyna at all before the match or after the match? Any insight she can give you because she probably knows you better than anybody else.
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Yeah, we talk all the time before the match and even after the match. She’s in China, so we have different times. She was sleeping when I went on the court. I think she was even looking, because she write me right after the match. But we talk every time.

Q. What is the most important thing she tells you before you go on court?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: We didn’t talk about tennis at all. I have three guys here with me, my boyfriend and two coaches. So I talk with them more.

Q. The expression most players use is, If I play to my game, to the best of my ability, it doesn’t matter who the opponent is. When you were out there today, what was your thought process as far as who was on the other side of the net and what relevance was that to your thinking?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, I still had my game plan, but also a little bit difficult because the first few games she came up and she was playing really aggressive. I didn’t have much chance to do anything. I wasn’t serving well. She put a lot of pressure on my second serve. She was just the one who was playing aggressive and not me.

The beginning she was just much better than me. But I knew I still going to get the chance, she cannot hold like this. I don’t think there is a player who can hold like this for two sets, especially in girls. So I knew I’m going to get my chance. I got it even in the first set. Like I said, I wasn’t serving pretty well, so that was tough. I went through everything through the second serve. She is so aggressive on the return. I didn’t have many chance there.

In the second set I improved a lot my serve, even the strokes. I was the one who was more aggressive in the end.

Q. What do you think you do best besides serve?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I think I improved my return a lot. So I’m trying to going into every second serve. But with her it’s tough because she’s having such a good serve, even the first one, even the second. So sometimes it’s tough.

But I’m trying to go and be the one who is dictating the rally first.

Q. The crowd was pretty loud today. How did the crowd compare to other crowds you’ve seen before?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, that was the biggest stage what I’ve played. In States obviously against American girl, I knew it’s going to be tough. I knew if she’s down or if it’s somewhere close that the people will cheer for her.

But, you know, I just wanted to beat her, not the crowd, which is impossible to beat 23,000 people. I just were not thinking about the crowd there.

I had my box there. I had my people there. In the important moments, they helped me. I knew they are with me there, so was enough for me.

Q. In all of your matches this week you have been very calm and very measured, even. Were you nervous today, even in the dicey moments in the end?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I was kind of nervous. It was not nervous like shaky. I knew was big match. Maybe if I win it, I’m in quarterfinals. If I lose, I would be sad but still would be a good match. No one would say anything to me because was my first fourth round.

But I was little bit nervous. But in the end I was still saying to myself, I have to be aggressive, not be the one who is pushing. I was fighting with the nerves. I want to just go through and hitting as many first serves as I can.

Q. What were you able to take out of the match from Zhuhai and apply here, if at all?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I was going in my mind through that match, even with my coach. Even it’s not that far what we played, this one. And she played unbelievable match there, as well. Me, as well. I knew it’s going to be tough. Even if I’m playing well, doesn’t mean I will win.

I just, you know, tried my best. She came up the same way where she came up there. She started pretty well. She’s so aggressive, if she’s playing her game, you don’t have any chance to do anything. She’s returning well, serves well. She can serve four aces in one game. There’s not much to do about this.

But like I said, I tried to stay in the game. I got my chances in the first set. In the second set she slowed down a little bit on the first serve, I would say. So it wasn’t that fast anymore. It was more through the rallies. In the rallies, I have bigger chance to win.

Q. In Cincinnati you spoke about the experience of Fed Cup having helped you sort of be ready for the next stage up. You’ve had a lot of pressure matches. How has all that helped you be more prepared for the stage of the US Open?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Definitely that was one of the biggest step for what I did with winning Cincinnati. I had some pressure matches there, as well. Then the semifinal, final against top-five girls, which is never easy. Even if they are not playing that good, it is still hard to beat them.

So it was a big step and big success. So I took a lot from that week. I’m really happy that I took it here with me in New York, and it’s paying even here. I still continue to do the same things what I did before. Like we already talk before, I was struggling a little bit with my game on the Grand Slams. I knew I can play big tennis and good matches, but I couldn’t just, you know, put it in the Grand Slams. I felt little bit pressure on myself.

So happy that right now it’s all paid off and I finally find my game.

Q. You’ve joined the last eight club. Does that mean something to you?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: That was the first thing my coach told me. Now since you are in the last eight club, you are going to have one extra badge every year.

I said, Yeah, that’s why I was fighting there.

Just excited to be there. For me this last eight cup doesn’t mean as much to be in the quarterfinal this year.

Q. Venus is 36 years old. How impressive is it to you that she can still play like that?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, it’s huge, huge tennis what she’s still playing at that age. I still have the feeling she can play for so many years because she’s moving so well. I don’t know how she feels. But she’s still playing so fast and serving.

If she stays healthy, I think she can still play few years. I remember her, I was little girl watching her, obviously Serena, on TV. They are still playing. They are still playing the best tennis ever. It’s amazing.

Q. Do you think you’ll still be doing that at 36?

Q. Why?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Well, tennis is a lot for me, but I also want to do other things in the life. But I’m not even 30 yet, so let’s see.

Q. They said they wouldn’t be playing this long either, just so you know.

Q. Do you think you can win, be the champion? Have you actually visualized yourself being a champion? Can you see a picture of that?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, I’m not thinking about this thing at all. I know it’s still far. It’s closer than it was yesterday, but it’s still far.

What I know, I’m waiting for Radwanska there, which is the girl I never beat, I never did a set on her. I mean, everything is different probably this week. But I have to take it step by step, so I’m not thinking about any trophy this week here yet. Well see.

Q. Now that you sit there making the quarterfinals, how big was that decision not to play the Olympics? Do you think it’s cause and effect at all?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, definitely like I told you already, I did two weeks good preparation home, which probably paid off. But also could happen that I will lose, I don’t know, in quarters with Kuznetsova in Cincinnati. I could lose this one here.

Even if I lose those matches, I would not change my decision what I did because of the Olympics. When you have tough weeks like this and tough days like this, you cannot just play everything. It’s impossible. I just want to stay healthy and put everything into the tournaments, into the big tournaments like this.

That’s why I play the tennis. So for me this is more than Olympics. I’m just really happy that my decision, it wasn’t easy decision, but I’m happy that it paid off.

Q. The third set, you serve a first serve and you fault, some people cheer. Do you notice? Do you care?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Yes, I heard that. Yeah, I was a little bit mad sometimes on the people. But on the other hand maybe if I would be in Czech they would be the same. I was thinking, I cannot think about the people because if I would put it in my head, I would be missing. I cannot be thinking about the things around. I just have to be me on the court and my game.

But this was not nice, and it was some close situation, I’m not sure which score it was. But when you miss a first serve, it’s always tough. Even when she put the pressure on the returns and the people put the pressure between the first serve and second serve, it’s not nice, but I’m happy that I handle it.


Stan Wawrinka

Press Conference

S. WAWRINKA/I. Marchenko

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

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Being No. 3 in the world, it seems this US Open is very focused on Djokovic and Nadal coming from injuries, del Potro coming back. Do you find you’re flying underneath the radar? You haven’t been on Ashe. Does it bother you? Less pressure?
STAN WAWRINKA: I played first match on Arthur Ashe, first round. But it’s okay.

No, I don’t mind. I don’t mind. It’s normal that all the focus are on Novak and Andy. They’re the two big favorite of the tournament. Del Potro coming back from injury, playing really well again. He won here.

So I don’t really mind. I’m doing my tournament, and we’ll see at the end.

Q. Five-setter the other night, tough match today. How are you feeling physically right now?
STAN WAWRINKA: I feel good. I was a little bit tired yesterday. I didn’t really know what to expect today, this morning. But since the beginning, I was feeling 100%. I was feeling good on the court. Even if it was close from three hours, I don’t think it’s going to affect a lot in two days.

So far I think I’m feeling great.

Q. How can you look forward to the next round? The best backhand meets the best forehand in the next round. It’s on a surface which you’ve never met del Potro, hard court.
STAN WAWRINKA: Yeah, it’s going to be good challenge to play against him. I’m excited to play against him in the quarterfinal here at the US Open. We play each other already this year at Wimbledon. He beat me. So it’s going to be a good match again.

He’s playing really well. I saw him playing against Ferrer. He’s playing really strong. In Olympic also, is there, is beating the top guys also.

It’s going to be difficult match. But for both of us I think it’s going to be important to try to dictate and be aggressive on the court.

Q. (Question about comparing next round to past matches against each other.)
STAN WAWRINKA: Yes, there’s many things. But in the same time it’s different tournament, different surface. It’s not the second round, also. It’s the quarter. There’s many thing that’s going to be completely new. We never play each other on hard court, so it’s going to be interesting to see how it’s going to be also, how his ball is going to be, how he’s going to play also.

But for sure I have a few things I don’t want to do that I did in Wimbledon.

Q. Give us your assessment of the match today. What was working for you? What were the particular challenges he presented for you?
STAN WAWRINKA: I think in general was really good match except served for the match in the third set. Was really windy. Maybe we don’t see from outside, but on the court was really, really windy, so wasn’t easy to play nice and good tennis. I had to adapt a little bit. I had to play with those conditions, try to make it work for myself.

In general I’m really happy to have won again four sets. I could have won in three, but it happened in four. There’s a lot of positives to be in quarterfinal again.

Q. At all four Grand Slams, you’re in the last eight club.
STAN WAWRINKA: That’s good.

Q. Just wondering how that changes your life.
STAN WAWRINKA: No, that’s great. I think I never imagine having that career when I was younger, to have won two Grand Slams so far. So, yeah, I’m really happy with all the result I’m doing, especially in Grand Slam.

Q. In the club, have you enjoyed any of the benefits of that?
STAN WAWRINKA: I think not yet. As long as you play, you don’t enjoy anything in a Grand Slam. You just have some busy day, trying to make it work to go far in the tournament.

That’s something for sure you can enjoy when you retired and come back. I think it’s a great thing for explayer to come back and watch some tennis, have the possibility to invite some guests.

Q. When things don’t go well for you, we saw that in the five-setter the other night, you seem to regroup really well. There’s a strong belief you can get out of the situation. Is that how you feel when you’re in a bit of trouble?
STAN WAWRINKA: Yeah, that’s most of the time what I feel. I always think there is a solution during the match. Always try to find what I can do better. The only thing I can really control is the way I’m fighting. That’s what I did the other night, is trying to fight as much as I could to win the match.

I turn it. For sure you always get a little bit lucky when you save match point. But I’m really happy now because I won again today and now I’m in quarterfinal.

Q. Against del Potro, do the tactics change because of the way he hits his backhand compared to the way he did before?
STAN WAWRINKA: I don’t really think so. When I play him on grass, he was slicing a lot, that’s for sure. But also was good on grass to do the slice he was doing.

If I look now the way he’s playing on hard court, against Ferrer, against all the other players in the Olympics, his backhand is strong. He’s returning. He doesn’t use the slice as much as he did on grass.

At the end I think the tactic is more or less the same.


Kei Nishikori

Press Conference

K. NISHIKORI/I. Karlovic

6-3, 6-4, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Talk about how happy you are with your game against Ivo. Did Ivo seem a little off today or were you just ready for him?
KEI NISHIKORI: I don’t know. I just, you know, focus my tennis. Today I return really well. That’s for sure help my game today. Able to get the break, you know, first and second set early. So that makes me a little more relax.

And, yeah, my serve was much better today. Able to hit a lot of first serve in. Third set, it was a little bit tight in the end. But, yeah, really good focus today. Happy with my win today.

Q. For a big server like Ivo, did you work on your return?
KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah, it’s never easy, someone serving like Ivo. You know, great first serve, and second serve too. It’s never easy to return those kind of serves.

I mean, I practiced little bit yesterday. But, you know, I tried to stay down. I been returning well, so that’s also helping today’s game, too. Yeah, especially today I think play one of the best match, serve, return, everything, groundstrokes. So was good match.


Ivo Karlovic

Press Conference

K. NISHIKORI/I. Karlovic

6-3, 6-4, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How were you feeling out on the court today? You seemed sluggish in the first two sets.
IVO KARLOVIC: In the beginning, it was horrible. I didn’t really feel the ball or anything. But then as the match was going on, I did begin to play a little bit better.

Actually in the end, was really good. But it was late already.

Q. Were you tired?
IVO KARLOVIC: Tired a little bit. Also all my earlier matches were in the night. It was day match. It was completely different conditions. It was also little bit windy, I guess. I don’t know. I just didn’t feel the ball at all.

Q. Did you see something different in Nishikori’s game since last time?
IVO KARLOVIC: No, nothing changed. I mean, if I hit an ace, there is nothing to change. I don’t know about the question.

Q. Are you happy with your performance? You’ve had a great summer. Are you a little disappointed?
IVO KARLOVIC: No, it was great. This was my best US Open ever. I never reached this far. Always you want more. It would be better if I played well today. But didn’t happen.

All in all, it was really great US Open for me.


Grigor Dimitrov

Press Conference

A. MURRAY/G. Dimitrov

6-1, 6-2, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Describe what you were feeling out on court tonight.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Well, first, obviously it’s a great experience for me to get out there and play a night match on Ashe. Obviously I’m very disappointed from the result. I feel I’ve been doing really well the past five, six weeks, practicing-wise, winning a few good and close matches when I had to.

Obviously today I ran out of fuel I think physically and mentally. For sure I was a little bit overwhelmed to get out there, you know, playing that prime time match. Of course, it’s a great experience for me. Andy right now is the best player out there. Of course, he deserves all the credit today.

Q. How difficult was it to play against Andy tonight?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I knew what I had to do. I didn’t execute things the right way. I did a lot of unforced errors. First serve was gone. Andy was just putting everything back in the court.

I didn’t feel he played unbelievable tennis, but I felt I just did a lot of mistakes. For sure he has a lot of confidence right now, a lot of matches behind his back. For sure he knows how to play in moments like that. Pretty experienced player.

So, yeah, it’s all my fault what happened on the court out there.

Q. Did you feel early on that it wasn’t going to be your night tonight?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: The thing is I tried. It’s not that I didn’t try. This is what I just said to my coach right now in the locker room. I mean, I knew Andy is going to play good tennis.

Even the first game I had breakpoints. Pretty unlucky I think the first game, especially with the two serves on the line.

What else? I mean, how would you know? I mean, anything can happen at any moment during a match. Obviously the first set, I felt, I mean, okay, it’s just the first set. Slowly I think he was just getting his way into the court. He was moving me well, playing the right shots, just executing a lot of balls the right way.

Even if I just kept trying, I kept missing or I was going for a little bit too much on the shots. As I said, Andy is the best player right now out there for me, so he deserved the win today, for sure.

Q. How do you look at your US Open overall?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Well, as I said, I think it’s been a great almost 10 weeks of traveling for me, starting in Washington. A few stumbles here and there, obviously a lot of traveling, a lot of practice and everything.

I’m kind of looking forward to just step back for maybe a week, just rest a little bit, just analyze what has been happening. But, as I said, especially the past five, six weeks I feel I’ve been doing the right things, been really good with my professionalism on and off the court. Discipline has been better I think overall. My game plan is a little bit better.

So I think things are moving a little bit forward. Again, I’m pretty disappointed right now. It’s very hard for me to hide it. I expected definitely better from myself. But I just ran out of gas. I think not so much physically, but I think it was just more emotionally, mentally. I knew that I was just getting a little bit tired.



Andy Murray

Press Conference

A. MURRAY/G. Dimitrov

6-1, 6-2, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Where does that rank performance-wise?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I played very well. Tactically I played a very good match. I don’t think I made any mistakes there. I kept good concentration throughout.

Yeah, I mean, it was a really good match. I think Grigor played his best, but I didn’t really give him a chance to get into the match.

Q. Is it just the way things eke out? It was so different to the way you played against Lorenzi.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, that’s the beauty of an individual sport. Just because you play badly a couple of days ago doesn’t mean I’m going to play badly tonight.

My best tennis is in there. Not every day do you play your best. When you’re not playing, as I said the other day, when you don’t play your best and win, it’s a really positive thing. A lot of people worry about that or panic, like, This is terrible. You played one bad match.

I won. I’m still in the tournament. I was able to play great tennis today.

Q. It seemed like Grigor was a bit overwhelmed by playing a night match on Ashe. Were you able to sense that and take advantage of that?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I think that helped. I mean, I don’t think he started the match, like, really badly. He had a couple of breakpoints in the first game. I don’t think he started, like, really badly.

But once I got up in the score, wasn’t giving him any free points, I could sense it was getting tough for him. I just wanted to keep my foot on the gas, which I didn’t really do the other day. That was the one thing that I wasn’t happy with against Lorenzi. When I did win a first set that was tight, didn’t play my best, I kind of let him back into the match after I got a break early in the second.

I wanted too make sure today if I got ahead, I stayed on top of him, I didn’t have any dip in concentration or my level, and I stuck to my tactics that were working well. That was it.

It’s easier for him to him to answer how he felt about the situation or the occasion. I just know from my side, I didn’t give him an opportunity once I was ahead to let him back in the match.

Q. Did you do anything different to prepare, considering he’s had success against you in the past?
ANDY MURRAY: I don’t know. Well, clearly not because normally if you’ve lost against someone the last time, that would suggest you might be more nervous going in against him or whatever. I didn’t feel like that tonight. I was well-prepared.

I try to, in slams, it’s maybe a little bit easier to prepare for matches than it is at other events because often you’re playing back-to-back days and you don’t have as much time to do a practice session beforehand to work on some of the things you might need to use against them.

Yesterday, had a good practice. Went over the game plan. Was pretty clear with what I wanted to do.

The last match we played I don’t think had any bearing on tonight.

Q. You’re going to play Nishikori. You have a very good record against him. Do you think you’re comfortable to play against him in terms of playing style or experience?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I think Kei is pretty experienced now. I don’t think that will be the difference in the match.

I have played well against him in the past. But, you know, he likes these conditions. He plays well in New York. He’s made his only slam final here. He beat Novak here. He’s obviously I think playing pretty well this summer. He played some good stuff at the Olympics and won the bronze.

I played a really good match against him when we played a few weeks ago. I’m aware I’ll need to do that again in a couple days if I want to beat him because he’s one of the best players in the world, plays extremely well on hard court.

It’s going to be very, very tough.

Q. (Question about serving fastest serve in tournament.)
ANDY MURRAY: I haven’t really. You know, I mean, I didn’t hit like a bunch of serves that were like 139, 140, 141. I think that was just a one-off serve. Sometimes the gun can be a bit wrong possibly.

I served a bunch in the low 130s, mid-130s, which was good. I got a lot of free points with my serve tonight, which I did the first match against Rosol but maybe not so much against Granollers and Lorenzi.

You know, the conditions do a lot for you to serve quick. You know, the balls are fast. I wanted to use that to my advantage as the tournament goes on. I did go up in tension a little bit from the last match. Maybe that allowed me to feel like I was able to swing a little bit harder.

Yeah, haven’t changed anything technically in my serve in the last 48 hours.

Q. I wonder if you saw much of Kyle’s match last night. If you did, what did you make of his performance and of Novak’s?
ANDY MURRAY: I saw like nine, ten points. I’ve been sleeping great since I’ve been here. I don’t know why. Last night I tried to get in bed early and I slept for 12 hours straight. I never do that. I never sleep that long.

I went to bed very early. I spoke to Leon a little bit today. It seemed like Novak played extremely well, and Kyle maybe didn’t play as well as he could until the third set.

But, again, it’s not maybe Kyle’s fault. If Novak plays great tennis, it’s not easy to play well against him. Maybe it wasn’t until the third set that maybe Novak’s level dropped a little bit which allowed Kyle to play a bit better.

It’s not easy playing against the best player in the world in a night match when you’ve never played on that court before. It’s tricky. I’m sure Kyle will learn from it.

But he’s had a great, great tournament.

Q. Do you already have the next Davis Cup semifinal on your mind? What are your expectations?
ANDY MURRAY: It’s kind of in the back of my mind, yeah. I’m not thinking about it too much. I mean, I’m guessing I’ll obviously be in the team. Yeah, head there pretty much as soon as I’m finished here. Maybe have a couple of days at home, then start getting ready for that.

But, yeah, it should be a good match. I mean, Del Potro is obviously playing very well just now, which when the tie was sort of first scheduled, we didn’t know really whether he was going to play or how he was feeling. But he’s playing great just now. They have a lot of players to choose from.

It’s going to be, I think, an exciting Davis Cup match. The crowd will definitely help us. There’s always a great atmosphere there.

Q. (Question regarding being in favor of shortening matches.)
ANDY MURRAY: I’m not. I’m not really pro shortening matches at the slams. I’m not necessarily against it either. If that is the way that sort of tennis is going and that is what fans and TV want, that’s what they want to see, then we go for it or try it at least.

That’s the thing. You don’t have to stick by something. You can try it, see how it goes, potentially go back. That’s also a possibility.

But, yeah, I’m not there to just sort of represent myself. You’re there to do what the whole tour wants. If the tour wants to go to shorter matches, then that’s fine. We can try it. If it’s a success, great. If it’s not, we go back to the old way.

But I think it’s quite a long way from happening. I’m happy to try stuff. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, then you can always change back.

Q. Now that you’re on the ATP players council, where do you stand on the fifth-set tiebreak or playing it out?
ANDY MURRAY: I think it doesn’t affect loads of matches really. I think shortening the matches, doing it by playing first to four in sets, first to five even, or best-of-three, whatever, is a better way of shortening matches rather than just the tiebreak in the fifth set. I don’t know how many tiebreaks in the fifth set has there been here. One, two. Do you know?

Q. I don’t know.
ANDY MURRAY: I don’t know either. But I’d imagine it’s not very many. Then there would be like, I don’t know, 15, 20 five-set matches. It would make sense to look at that first if you were wanting to shorten matches rather than the tiebreak in the fifth, in my opinion.

Q. I’m looking at your match against Nishikori in the Davis Cup, for example.
ANDY MURRAY: What happened there? We didn’t go to a tiebreak in the fifth, did we?

Q. Sorry, excuse me.
ANDY MURRAY: Close, but not quite. I think, yeah, it was 6-3 in the fifth maybe. I don’t know, 6-3, 6-1.

Q. When you see other players playing well, does it affect how you play? Do you think about sending a message out to other players in the tournament?
ANDY MURRAY: Not purely because I know how much can change in a couple of days. Also matchups, as well. Like the way I would play against Kei would be very different how I would try to play against Grigor.

You know, it’s good for myself. I’m more sort of concerned about how I’m feeling just now. It was a very quick match, one where I played very well, got a little bit of confidence back after not playing well a couple days ago. That was very positive for me.

If it has an impact on any of the other players in the tournament, I don’t know. You’d have to ask them. But I certainly wasn’t out on the court thinking about Kei when I was playing, or Stan or del Potro, anyone else that’s left in my half of the draw. I’m just trying to win the matches as quickly and efficiently as I can.


Agnieszka Radwanska

Press Conference

A. KONJUH/A. Radwanska

6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Describe what it was like on the court today.
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, she was playing pretty good tennis, serving very well. I just couldn’t do any more I guess today. I was really trying. I was just too slow today.

Q. With her power, it’s a difficult thing to defuse. What were you trying to do to get her out of rhythm tonight?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: I was just trying to mix it up and not play in one spot.

Well, sometimes is difficult when the ball is going really big from the other side. So it’s hard to control, really put the ball where you want.

That’s what I was trying to do. But, well, she was really solid.

Q. Did you feel like the match was in your hands at all tonight or was it really on her racquet the way she was playing?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, there’s always a way to turn it around. That’s tennis, so anything can happen. Definitely it was only one break in the beginning, then I was not really close to break again. Maybe there was one or two chances. Then I didn’t really hold my serve. I didn’t serve good enough.

Then, well, I’m here not as a winner.

Q. Do you think the roof made any difference? Would you have rather played that match in open air than with the roof closed?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: I’m not really sure why they close the roof.

Q. Did they tell you anything?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, the risk of rain. But, well, there was always risk of rain, I guess.

Q. So you would have preferred if it was open?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: I don’t know what would happen if that would be open. Sometimes I just don’t understand why they’re closing the roof.

Q. You’re the only top player that’s played her twice now. What is it about her game that makes her a top-rated 18-year-old?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, she’s really making good angles in the rallies. You go from very far from the court, then she have open court. That’s dangerous. She makes good angles from both sides, and of course good serve as well. That makes it really dangerous opponent.



Ana Konjuh

Press Conference

A. KONJUH/A. Radwanska

6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you just describe reaching your first quarterfinals of a major.
ANA KONJUH: Yeah, I’m just really happy. I played her in Wimbledon. It was a tough match. This time I took opportunities. You know, I was just going for it. It was the key of the match, so…

Q. Is it fair to say that’s the best match you’ve played on the pro level?
ANA KONJUH: Probably, yeah. My coach said so. I believe her. I mean, I’m obviously seeing that from the other side. I’m real excited about my performance tonight. My serve was pretty good tonight. I don’t think she had any answers.

So, you know, I just took the opportunity and went for it, enjoyed the moment.

Q. How much were you able to enjoy it? It’s Ashe, the roof is closed, sound is weird, playing Aga. How calm were you out there?
ANA KONJUH: Yeah, this is my first time playing on Ashe actually. Under the roof, it’s a new thing this year. I’m real happy I got to experience that. It’s a bit different than usual.

I think that suit me better than her. I didn’t have any wind or sun or anything that’s going to distract me, so I just played my game and gave my best.

Q. On court you said it’s been a tough season. What’s been so tough about it?
ANA KONJUH: I had a few health issues. I had my back. Then I sprained my ankle with Aga in Wimbledon. I was out for like two or three months. That’s kind of had an effect on me.

I’m still young. I still need to experience things. I think I didn’t have that many matches as I should. It was tough to come back every time.

But, you know, here I am in the quarterfinals of the Grand Slam, so I cannot complain.

Q. Some fans at the US Open are probably getting to know about you. Did you know until a few days ago when people went onto the website to look at your matches, your picture wasn’t even there. Did you notice that?
ANA KONJUH: I saw on the live score, yeah, on the US Open app, yeah, it says like bio or something. I don’t know if I have a picture now.

Q. Did it bother you? Are you fine with it?
ANA KONJUH: No, not really. Like probably most of the other players that are young or coming didn’t have pictures. I don’t think that’s a really big issue.

Q. What was your reaction? Did you know what was going on when that noise came as you served in the last game?
ANA KONJUH: Yeah, I heard players complaining about it. So when they told me that they are closing the roof, I was like, okay, let’s experience that. I didn’t play under it.

But it didn’t bother me that much. I hear the ball. I just didn’t hear maybe the umpire that well. But with the music and everything, I mean, I won tonight, so I cannot complain about anything.

Q. The last game as you were tossing the ball for a serve…
ANA KONJUH: Yeah, I don’t know what was that. I just got scared at the moment. You’re focused on tossing the ball. Then something’s happening. Yeah, I don’t know.

Q. Does joining the last eight club mean anything to you? Do you know much about that?
ANA KONJUH: Last eight, like quarterfinalists?

Q. There’s a club you get to join now.
ANA KONJUH: Oh, I didn’t know that. I do now.

It’s really a privilege for me to be here, just playing for the finals. I’m 18. I won the juniors here. I have good memories. I love the city. I’m just really happy just to have this chance.

Q. Lately in the women’s and men’s game, it’s been mostly older players at the top. Do you think you’re able to break through?
ANA KONJUH: Well, you know, my season wasn’t the best so far. But I’m enjoying every moment. I love the game. Just being on the Ashe tonight, feeling that atmosphere, it was really great for me.

Serena is still on the top. But I heard like Kerber is close or somebody. I think that, you know, things might change in the future. I’m really hoping that I’ll be one of them.

Q. You won the junior Grand Slam here. You are one of the best junior players. Your best friend and rival Bencic got into the top 10. Do you think it took longer than you were expecting to come to this level?
ANA KONJUH: I was really happy for her. Last year I think she broke the top 10. We are still really great friends. We grew up together. I remember I was playing under-14s. You have great memories together.

But well done to her. She had a great seasons. Now she’s been injured a bit, I think. She’s like top 30-something now. But I feel like she’s going to come back soon and she has the game.

Q. When you were 16 or 17, did you think you could get to this level?
ANA KONJUH: At that age, you know, you are still the juniors. I was just coming to senior tournaments. Maybe took a little bit while for me because, you know, I had a different path, chose different tournaments. I had some health issues before. Now she has them.

It’s just different road for everybody. She took the opportunities. She played well. I think my time is coming now.

Q. How frustrating were the last three years? In addition to the health issues this year, you also had the surgery.
ANA KONJUH: A little bit. But, you know, when you are 18, then you have a surgery behind you, a few months off, it’s not that easy to always, you know, come back. You need matches, you need the experience. Other players have that, but I don’t.

I’m just trying to enjoy every moment. Yeah, I was a bit frustrated at first. But, you know, now I’m just trying to accept things as they go.

Q. Was there special motivation today after what happened in Wimbledon? You had your chances.
ANA KONJUH: Yeah, last night I was replaying the match in my head. I had two match points or three, I’m not sure. I missed my forehands on all two or three. I just didn’t go for it. I had the opportunity; didn’t take it. I think that’s the experience I need right now.

Obviously, you know, I know that I have a game to beat her. She’s a great player. I was at my best tonight. The performance was really good.

Q. Pliskova, what are your memories of playing her? You’re not far off in age. What do you expect from that match?
ANA KONJUH: I don’t remember if we played in a senior match. But she’s, you know, a great player. She had a great season so far. Winning Cincinnati I’m sure she’s full of confidence. She’s a great server. Maybe we have a day off tomorrow so I hope to rest well and just try to practice, you know, just be 100% on the match.

Q. Does it feel at all weird to think or have you thought that you’re one match away from a Grand Slam semifinal?
ANA KONJUH: I’m trying not to think about it, as you know I did last night, you know, if I win this quarters. You know, I’m taking day by day. I didn’t know I was playing Pliskova till I heard on the court.

I don’t like to know who I’m playing if I’m in a match. After the match I hear that, then I prepare for that.

I’m just trying to focus on each player for the day for the match and just give my best.



Serena Williams Advances to US Open Quarters, Sister Venus Loses to Pliskova

Serena Williams

Serena Williams

(September 5, 2016) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY- Serena Williams set a record in number of match wins at a major at 308, while her sister Venus missed out on converting a match point on Monday at the US Open.


No. 1 Serena Williams seeking her 23rd major, beat Yaroslava Shvedova 6-2, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals of the US Open. Her win pushed her past Roger Federer in total match wins in the majors.


“It’s a huge number,” said the 34-year-old Serena. “I think it’s very significant actually. I think it’s something that, you know, just really talks about the length of my career, in particular. I’ve been playing for a really long time, but also, you know, given that consistency up there. That’s something that I’m really proud of.”


Serena will play fifth seed Simona Halep in the quarterfinals. “I just think with everyone I play, they play a step up and above their ranking,” Serena commented. “I think that’s the beauty, one of the reasons I’m able to hang. Everyone I’m playing is playing like they’re No. 1.

“To me it doesn’t really matter who I play because I have to expect they’re going to play the match of their life. That’s how I go into these matches now.”



Karolina Pliskova reached her first quarterfinal at a major when she saved a match point in the third set and rallied to beat two-time US Open winner and sixth seed Venus Williams 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(3) on Monday at Flushing Meadows.


For 10th seed, from the Czech Republic, this marked the first time she defeated the seven-time major winner and former No. 1.


Asked to talk about the match during her news conference, 35-year-old veteran Venus said: “Yeah, it was just a lot of errors. I still have to cut back on my errors.


“I think she started returning serve really well as the match progressed. She lifted her game. Definitely a lot of credit to her for hanging in there and staying positive.


Venus had a match point at 5-4 in the third set, with Pliskova serving at 30-40 “and she managed to stay alive,” Venus said.


“We both competed really well. Of course I’d like to come out on top of that match. Just kept fighting till the end, but I don’t know, she had a little more luck today.


“I had a few too many errors in the tiebreaker.”



“I think in the breaker I went for a little bit more but I didn’t put the ball in enough. You know, I went for some aggressive shots; didn’t necessarily put them in.


“You know, obviously she played well.”


The 10th seeded Pliskova has reached her first major quarterfinal at 24.


“To win matches like this, it takes some time,” Pliskova said. “You need to have experience definitely on the big stages, on the big tournaments.

“I played against her, played good match against her in Zhuhai. Was also close, but I wouldn’t say it was like here. I was fighting with more things here, especially with the people as well. So it was more difficult.

“Yeah, with years, with experience, I’m feeling better on these stages and against top players.”


Pliskova’s next challenger will be un seeded 18-year-old Ana Konjuh, who upset fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4, 6-4.


She was playing pretty good tennis, serving very well,” said Radwanska. “I just couldn’t do any more I guess today. I was really trying. I was just too slow today.”


In the first match of the day on Arthur Ashe Stadium, 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro became the lowest-ranked man to reach the US Open quarterfinals since 1991 when his opponent eighth seed Dominic Thiem retired with a knee injury with the Argentine leading 6-3, 3-2.



”I couldn’t bend it too much the last three days,” Thiem said. ”So I was all the time a little bit handicapped.”



”I never expected to play that many matches, of course, this year,” he said. ”For sure next year I’m going to change it up a little bit.”


Del Potro will be facing Stan Wawrinka. ”He will be the favorite to win in that match,” del Potro said. ”But anything can happen in this event for me. I got the power from the crowd in every match.”


“It’s going to be good challenge to play against him,” Wawrinka said after his 6-4, 6-1, 6-7, 6-3 win. “I’m excited to play against him in the quarterfinal here at the US Open. We play each other already this year at Wimbledon. He beat me. So it’s going to be a good match again.

“He’s playing really well. I saw him playing against Ferrer. He’s playing really strong. In Olympic also, is there, is beating the top guys also.

“It’s going to be difficult match. But for both of us I think it’s going to be important to try to dictate and be aggressive on the court.”


Kei Nishikori played the last singles match on Louis Armstrong Stadium and defeated Ivo Karlovic 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(4).


Nishikori will face No. 2 seed Andy Murray for a spot in the semifinals. Murray destroyed Grigor Dimitrov 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 to open the evening session.


“I played very well. Tactically I played a very good match,” Murray said. “I don’t think I made any mistakes there. I kept good concentration throughout.

“Yeah, I mean, it was a really good match. I think Grigor played his best, but I didn’t really give him a chance to get into the match.”


Day 6 of the US Open – In Their Own Words

Venus Williams

Venus Williams

(September 3, 2016) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Posting player interviews throughout the day when allowed.

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

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



Carla Suarez Navarro

Press Conference


6-4, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You’re now one of two women to reach the second week of all four Grand Slams this year. Curious if you have done anything different this season to find consistency at the tournaments.
CARLA SUAREZ NAVARRO: You know, when you play big events or important tournaments you want to be good or win a lot of matches. Last year in the Grand Slam I didn’t make the results. I tried to be more focused, more relaxed, because last year ^ Z everything in some matches.

Yeah, I tried to be more relaxed. And, well, I play good in the Grand Slams but, you know, I want more. I don’t want to lost in quarterfinals or the round before. I mean, if I’m staying in the second week I want more. I want to be in the final round.

Q. Do you feel under the radar here? Is that something that you like to feel when you’re at a Grand Slam?
CARLA SUAREZ NAVARRO: Well, you know, when you are in the Grand Slam you are really more motivated. You know, you have more points. Also the crowd, they feel more the sport, you know. They support really good all the players any time during the day, during the night.

I’m really happy always when I’m in the Grand Slam.

Q. This is not related to tennis. You not only have a great tennis game, but you have a great name and great initials, CSN. Are you familiar with the initials CSN and the music group Crosby Stills and Nash?
CARLA SUAREZ NAVARRO: Yeah, you know, I love my name. Yeah, I know sometimes the players, they only have the name and one surname. In Spain we have two, my father and my mother’s surname. I know it’s too long sometimes, so CSN is really good. I like. (Smiling.)

Q. And do you know what the initials CSN represent in American culture?
CARLA SUAREZ NAVARRO: No, I didn’t know.

Q. There is a famous musical group with the initials.
CARLA SUAREZ NAVARRO: Oh, yeah? Good to know.

Q. You’re into the fourth round for the third time. Can you talk us through how you’re feeling right now going into the next match?
CARLA SUAREZ NAVARRO: Well, I’m really happy, you know. Always when you won or when you reach the second week in any Grand Slam, it’s always a good result.

But I say before I want more. I’m happy for the next one. Try to be good (Translating the prior question.)

CARLA SUAREZ NAVARRO: I don’t feel like I’m in the — I’m focused all the time in the things I have to do with my family. Any time I go on court, I give my 100%.

Q. You played Elena once before coming into this match. You have played quite a few times in doubles with her. What’s that like having balance in singles and doubles and playing players you have played in doubles and on the singles court. What strategy do you have?
CARLA SUAREZ NAVARRO: It’s different, no? When you play singles you’re alone, and when you play doubles you’re with your partner.

But you have more support or if you don’t feel good maybe your partner can help you, and when you play singles you’re lone there.

So, yeah, I know Elena from a long time ago. We play a lot of times. Well, she was playing really good these two days before. I know that the match for me today will be tough, but I just try to be solid.

I just try to be focused, because when you know the other player really good sometimes it’s not easy, no? Because you want to make some things, but she’s there. (Smiling.) So you have to think more time.


Agnieszka Radwanska

Press Conference


6-2, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How do you feel about that match? Better performance than against Broady?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yes. Well, to be honest, I expect, as always, a long and tough match against her. I know what to expect. We know each other for a while. What can I say? Just very happy I could win that match that quick.

Q. You have had a good record against Caroline before. What is it about the matchup that seems to skew your way?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, every match is different. Every match is different story, different conditions. We played on clay last time, so of course that was totally different match.

Well, today I was really serving good and returning very good. Again, a player who was really serving really well, so I had a good warmup the second round.

Well, I was really doing everything right today, and I think that’s why the score was like that.

Q. Can you talk about the potential matchup either against Ana or Varvara next round?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, obviously against Konjuh I played at Wimbledon kind of a drama match, so there was not really that long time ago. For sure she make huge progress last couple of months and she’s really playing good tennis at the moment.

And against Lepchenko, we didn’t play for a while, play a lot of matches. I know I lost a couple of them. Not an easy one, as well.

Well, just very happy to be in the fourth round, and we’ll see what’s gonna happen.

Q. You mentioned a couple of matches ago that you thought you played some good tennis through New Haven. Do you think you’re playing some of the best tennis of your career?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, it’s always hard to compare if it’s the best match or the best tournament or the best tennis. For sure I’m just very happy to play a really good level, my best level.

Definitely really couple good matches in New Haven, especially semis and the final. So, you know, of course everything is going forward. You always have to go for it and make the progress and play better and better, trying to improve everything.

But definitely I feel good right now and I think I’m playing really good tennis.

Q. Anything you’re working on specifically in your game?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, to be honest, when I go on court I really trying to improve everything, so it’s not just one shot or one thing that I’m working on at the time.

So, you know, when it’s a practice, I practice everything.

Q. You’re known for your tennis smarts. How do you think you’d be as a commentator?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Oh, that’s a good question. Well, I hope I could handle commentating. I never did that really.

But, well, you tell me if I’d be good or not. (Smiling.)

Q. I think you’d be good.

Q. Going back to the Wimbledon match against Konjuh you said after that you thought you were going home and already checked out of the match when she had match point. What did she do particularly well in that match to get in that situation where she really did have you on the ropes? What makes her a dangerous opponent?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, she was definitely serving very well, and what I remember is she was really, sort of from the beginning till the end, not really up and downs, and that’s why I was really struggling in that match.

Like you were saying, I was almost home. I was just lucky in the end, obviously. But, well, I just hope there will be different story on the hard court if I will play her.

Q. This is your seventh year in the top 10. How do you manage to maintain that consistency? How do you look after yourself, look after your body? Because it’s tough being on the tour for so long at such a high level.
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yes, of course. Health is the most important thing for us, especially when the season is so long and you’re playing another year on that kind of level.

So of course rest, treatment, that’s the most important thing. So I have my own physio all the time with me at home and I’m traveling also with one.

So, you know, that’s what you need when you are so many years on tour.

Q. One more on the commentator thing. Do you think it’s easier for tennis players to be good commentators?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yes, I think so, definitely. You know how it is on court, what can you feel on court, and maybe sometimes why you don’t have the good day or something is not going your way.

So it’s easier to imagine how it’s there on court. I think that’s the best experience to have.

Q. Second week in a slam I think at all four of the majors this year. I think off the top of my head. Yes?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yes, pretty much.

Q. Thank you for verifying. You had talked about changes in your schedules, about wanting to peak at the big tournaments and maybe play less and things like that. Do you think that that’s a result of it, you know, being able to find that consistency at the majors, or is it something else?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, I think it’s a lot of things that have to work together to play good tennis and to have good season.

Of course I didn’t play that much as the other years this year, so maybe that’s why I’m healthy now, fresh. And there’s still a lot of big tournaments till the end of the year, so it’s not over yet.

So, yes, I think probably there was a couple of good decisions. Yes, so we always have to double-check the schedule and think what’s gonna be in the end of the year.


Simona Halep

Press Conference

S. HALEP/T. Babos

6-1, 2-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Does it feel good to get through a tough one to finish off the first week?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, of course it feels good that I could win the match. It was really tough. She played unbelievable second and third set. She didn’t miss at all. She was hitting very strong, so it was a good challenge for me and it was a good match.

I’m really proud that I could win it and come back from 3-1 down in the third set.

Q. She was hitting the ball incredibly clean. You said on the court that you have no idea how you came back. It’s been a little bit of time. Do you have any better sense of how you were able to win this match?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah. I talked also with my coach, and I know now what I did. Because of this thing I won.

I just tried to open the court more. I was hitting strong also, but I was too far back and my ball was too short always. She had too much time to come in and be aggressive to dominate me.

Then I started to play deeper and I think that made the situation to be changed.

Q. What are you most pleased with in the tournament so far?
SIMONA HALEP: That I’m in the fourth round, first thing. (Smiling.) And I’m playing good. Even if today I didn’t play my best, I played good tennis, good level.

I was moving very well. I am happy to be back in the fourth round two years in a row, so it’s a good thing. I enjoy a lot being here, so it’s nice.

Q. Do you have the sense that the players that didn’t go to Rio are a little bit fresher than some of the other players that did?
SIMONA HALEP: Maybe, yeah, can be. You know, the trip is very long and it’s very tiring to go there and to come back.

But it’s enough time already from Rio to here. They have time to recover. But I did a good decision in my opinion and I’m happy with that thing.

Q. (Indiscernible.)
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, from second round the air conditioning was too strong on court. When I got back at the hotel I felt I could not move anymore. It’s nothing dangerous. It’s not like an injury. It’s just blocked.

So if I warm up it’s getting better. But still some points, some movements it’s tough for me to get up and to leave.

Q. It was chilly out there today. How did you adjust?
SIMONA HALEP: Because the roof was closed. That’s why they put air conditioning. Today was better. I didn’t feel.

But I had hot pack around my back and was much better to play with it.

It’s nice. The court is huge, and all the time is air moving there. For everybody is the same.

Q. What is your opinion of the acoustics, the noise level, with it open versus closed?
SIMONA HALEP: Closed the noise is bigger a little bit and you feel — it’s indoor so you feel different. When it’s open I don’t feel the wind that much than the previous years.

I feel better the ball. I think it’s a good thing with the roof. It’s good when it’s raining. I didn’t have to wait the second round to play.

Q. Have you ever done commentary? How do you think you’d be as a commentator?

Q. Yeah.
SIMONA HALEP: No. Very bad, I think. (Smiling.) I’m not a good commentator. Even in Romania, not just in English. I don’t like to talk. I don’t like to speak. I feel some things, but I cannot explain them in words. So it’s better to stay with my job: playing tennis.

Q. In the past maybe three, four years ago, you maybe have occasionally those matches, especially at the slams, where you couldn’t fight back, where you struggled with it. I know you were frustrated with it back then, you know, especially the this summer we have seen you battle through these three-set matches. Can you talk about that evolution a little bit?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I was working on this thing. I’m stronger mentally and I don’t give up anymore during the matches, even if I’m down.

I think also that I’m feeling the game pretty well and I feel strong on my legs. I feel safe when I’m on court. That’s why I refuse to lose. I just say all the time, every point, that I have another chance to get back and to win the match.

Today I had in my head just that I can win the match, and I have just to take point by point. So it was a good thing, and I want also to improve more in this. I don’t want to go again to 1-3 in the third set.

Q. Romanian and Hungarian teams meet each other, there is always some tension because of historical reasons. Do you think in the future this is going to be changed, this one like positive, like with you, new generation representative and totally different approach and sports is going to be the first place?
SIMONA HALEP: I think this thing was in the past. I don’t feel that at all. Timea is a very nice girl. I’m talking with her all the time. She’s very, very cool and we have no problems.

So I never had problems with Hungarian people. It’s just normal for me.

I take it on court when I am I take all the opponents just to fight against them, but nothing bad or nothing just negative. Just positive and just who is is gonna be better or win.



Serena Williams

Press Conference

S. WILLIAMS/J. Larsson

6-2, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. When you consider that no man or woman has won more matches at the majors than you have, what goes through your mind?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I thought I tied.

Q. He hasn’t won more than you have.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, okay. (Laughter.) Actually, it was a really good feeling, I have to say. (Smiling.) It is actually a really good feeling.

So to be up there with both men and women is something that’s super rare, and it actually feels good.

Q. What do you think it says most about you and your accomplishments that you have achieved this milestone?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don’t know. I don’t know. I think, you know, in my career I have just been, you know, here for so long. Longevity, that already goes unsaid.

So it’s just yet another thing, I guess.

Q. It looks as though the shoulder is completely okay, but can you just detail for us how it does feel for you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It definitely feels solid. I’m doing a lot of work on it so I can keep it in this position. Definitely not going to stop doing all the rehab and therapy, so I don’t want to go down. It’s pretty good.

Q. Is that a lot of…
SERENA WILLIAMS: It’s a lot of post-match stuff, stuff I’m not really excited about, but at the end of the day I think it’s good for me.

Q. You talk about the longevity and whatnot. Of all of the numbers that you’re stacking up here, what amongst those things are you most proud of, whether it’s the Grand Slams and whether it’s the longevity? What is it that stands out to you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, each number I’m definitely most proud of. Like I said, I was really excited to reach that, was it 306? 307? I was really excited to do that. Something I didn’t even know about until Wimbledon. I was like, Oh, I have a new goal (smiling.)

That was pretty cool for me. Obviously I want to keep that number going higher and see what can happen.

Q. Is there a particular kind of shot, kind of strategy, serve, return whatever it may be, that gives you the most satisfaction or pleasure during a match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I think there’s no shot for me that’s more exciting than hitting an ace. It’s always just fast, easy, fun, and it feels really good.

Q. On that topic, in terms of like overall sort of energy expended this week, is it a good amount for you to sort of get the groove going? Make sure you don’t want to kill yourself with your shoulder, but is it a comfortable amount of energy expended this week, do you think?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I feel like I have been doing pretty good. I have been being moved a lot, so I’m able to do all that.

Yeah, so so far, so good.

Q. You mentioned on court the difference between the idea of being the greatest athlete or the greatest female athlete. Is there a difference in your mind by the way that men and women athletes are treated?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely think there is a difference between the way male and female athletes are treated. I also believe that as a woman we have still a lot to do and a lot to be going forward.

I think tennis has made huge, huge improvements. We just have to keep that motto going for all other female sports, as well.

Q. Obviously there have been a lot of fabulous athletes who are females: Althea Gibson, Nadia Comaneci, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean King. In your mind, who do you feel is at the very top of the list, two or three or the finest athletes who are women who have performed?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I think everyone you named are someone that’s spectacular in what they do. Jackie Joyner-Kersee was someone that growing up you just watched the Olympics and you’re like, Wow, you know. That was pretty amazing.

Nadia Comaneci, an amazing gymnast. Like she was pretty cool.

Obviously playing tennis you’re looking at someone like Martina Navratilova. You only can dream of doing half as good as them. I think it’s hard to compare three different amazing athletes from all kinds of different sports, but they’re all great, great athletes.

Q. And Althea Gibson would be among that group, in your mind?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think so. She had to break so many barriers and she had to play against things that a lot of us will never have to face.

I know she had to sleep in cars because hotels wouldn’t accept her. To overcome that mentally and still be able to perform really is a feat.

Q. Speaking of being amazing, Serena, which do you think you like best The Wall Street Journal did? I know you had a good time. Is this one you really enjoyed?
SERENA WILLIAMS: They were all really great. Yeah, it was a tough week for me, but they were all so amazing. Thank you.

Q. When you talk about the difference between the way the male and female athletes are treated, are you talking about pay scale? What exactly are you referring to?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I think there is a huge pay difference in terms of male and female athletes in lots of sports. Still so in tennis a little bit, as well. Also, male athletes — it’s just a big difference, you know.

But like I said, it’s just taking one step at a time. Tennis players were really fortunate to have pioneers like Billie Jean King and really take a stance for women in tennis.

I feel like we got really, really fortunate to have that. So now we’re able to benefit and still preach the message and have an easier time. Just hopefully that can work out for other females, as well.

Q. You talked about the sleeves earlier this tournament. Is there any chance that that becomes a permanent thing? You like it enough that you think you’ll just keep wearing it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I know they are in a few of my designs maybe in the future. We’ll see.

Q. You have played a lot of matches out on Ashe throughout the years and the ball crew is similar each year. I’m wondering if you recognize any of those faces and if that brings you any comfort out on that court?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I recognize a lot of the faces out there. They are a lot of the same people year after year after year. Yeah.

Q. I know you like comic books and stuff. When you go into these design meetings with Nike, is there ever an intention or something that these — kids, especially recently, have kind of had a bit of a comic book-type design with respect to a super hero…
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I feel this design in particular really is kind of like a super hero design. We design so far in advance, honestly I don’t remember if that was one of our inspirations. I mean, because we designed this collection well over a year and a half, two years ago.

But looking at it now, I can say that it definitely feels, like I said, like a Wonder Woman or a Superwoman, and like a really powerful, strong character that is strong but yet isn’t afraid to be soft at the same time.

Q. And that’s you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It is me. (Smiling.)

Q. You spoke earlier about the longevity that’s quite obvious, but in your mind, what has sustained you the most? Why do you think you have had a career that has been so successful for so long?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don’t know. I really can never answer that question. I think a lot of it has to do with just my mentality. Just never wanting to quit and still being able to compete at a high level.

I’m not sure if I wasn’t able to compete at a high level how I would feel, but I don’t know.

Q. What is it that appeals to you most that keeps you wanting to be out there as long as you have been?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don’t know. I just am not ready to throw in the towel yet or just to have enough yet.

I’m still having fun out there. I’m still able to compete with the best. I think that’s what matters most for me.

Q. You mentioned there is still a pay disparity in tennis in terms of men and women. How possible do you think that is to have that close up at the rest of the year-round tour even if it is equal at the slams?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it is definitely possible. I think it’s going to take some work, but that’s what life is about. You have to work to create goals and you have to work at those goals and continue to knock at those doors until someone opens it.

It doesn’t happen instantly, but we just really have to be conscious of it.

Q. Do you think it should be a priority for women’s tennis?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think so. I think it should be a priority. But like I said it’s, going to take time. I’m willing to work on it.

Q. Through the first week here, three matches, can you give yourself a grade? How happy are you or not happy are you with your first week?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I feel okay. Obviously I don’t feel like I’m Serena out there yet, but hopefully she’ll come around the second week.

Q. The greatest athlete campaign has struck a cord. You just spoke about many of the wonderful athletes or women, and of course with men, Jordan, Bill Russell, Ali, Roger Federer and so forth. Which of these iconic men’s athletes impresses you the most?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It’s hard to say someone against Jordan and Ali. I think they are probably really impressive. I would say Ali mostly because, again, not only what he did in his field, but also what he did outside. I think that’s what makes someone really truly great.

Q. Have you ever watched a tennis match and said, God, I have commentary on this match. I wish I could be out there doing commentary myself?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. (Laughter.)

Q. Can you just compare your emotional state of being on the court this year versus last year?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I felt pretty good last year. I definitely felt more prepared. Hoping I can start feeling that way soon this year, as well. (The long list Bill mentioned of female athletes.


David Ferrer

Press Conference

J. DEL POTRO/D. Ferrer

7-6, 6-2, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Victoria Azarenka was commenting on Twitter about the tennis match.
DAVID FERRER: I don’t listen you.

Q. Victoria Azarenka was talking on Twitter about your match.

Q. Does it surprise you that a tennis player is tweeting commentary about your match?
DAVID FERRER: Yeah, but what comment about my match?

Q. She said you were serving well.
DAVID FERRER: It’s okay. He like comment about tennis, was okay. I don’t mind. It’s okay, yeah. It’s good. If is good for her and she is happy is the more important.

Q. Everybody is happy to see Juan Martin playing again. Must be so difficult when he has so much support from the crowd constantly.
DAVID FERRER: No, I don’t think so. The crowd, you know, this is a show, and the crowd was supporting Juan Martin del Potro. I am trying be focus my match. I don’t care.

Anyway, the first set maybe… I was 5-2 up, I lost a little bit my concentration. Was difficult in the second come back again.

But, anyway, Juan Martin was better. He serve better. He won the first set. He had some doubts in the first set. But in the second and third, he played more aggressive and he maked more free points with his serve.

Q. You have a good record against him. How do you judge his game now compared to the past?
DAVID FERRER: It’s different with the sensation. Juan Martin, he was always a very good player. Now he’s changing his game because is playing more aggressive with his forehand and with the serve. He was injury two years, problem with the wrist. He change a little bit his game.

But anyway, he’s amazing player.

Q. He changed his game. Is it causing more problems or less problems?
DAVID FERRER: I don’t know. You have to ask to him. I know he is playing more aggressive with his serve and with his forehand. Every year everybody is improving the game. You know, the game is faster than three or four years ago. I am trying also.



Juan Martin del Potro

Press Conference

J. DEL POTRO/D. Ferrer

7-6, 6-2, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What feeling do you get as an emotional person when you hear the way other players speak about you and the way you’ve come back?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I feel like proof of that. The best player on tour are talking good things about me. That’s important to myself, to get confidence with my level, with my play, with my game.

If they see something good in my game, that’s important, because I’m showing a good game at the moment. If I see my way to the future will be better, even better than today, and that’s important.

Q. But they speak about your character and your determination as much as your game. When you hear them talk about you as a person, what are your feelings?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: They are talking good or not (smiling)?

I have a great relationship with most of the guys on tour. I just do my job on court, you know. I’m trying to be focused all the time, trying to keep calm all the time. It’s important to play great matches, to stay focused in important moments.

And if you see the top guys on tour, they have a good attitude, as me, and that’s important.

Q. You had a little bit of a slow start but became very strong as the match went on against a tough competitor. What was your feeling as the match went on and how did you get stronger?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I got stronger mentally after the first set. Against David you never know when is going to finish the match. He never give up. He’s a really fighter. Also it’s a pleasure to play against him because he puts me all the time in pressure. I should play my best tennis today. I think I did really well in the second and the third one.

I’m so glad to be in the second week on the Grand Slam after three or four years. That’s means a lot of good things to myself. Of course, I’m looking forward to keep winning. But my next opponent will be really difficult.

I’m enjoying the things a lot.

Q. All the adversity that you faced. It’s one thing for somebody in that position to dream about playing the sport again; it’s another to return so quickly to an elite level. Did you ever imagine it would happen so quickly?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: No, no, of course not. I didn’t expect to be in the second week of this tournament. I didn’t expect to got a medal in Rio. I didn’t expect to play at this level in this part of the year.

Of course, I just want to be free with my wrist, trying to play in a good level as I did couple of years ago. But I think I’m surprised with my level at the moment. I’m surprising the guys on tour, my colleagues.

That’s great because I’m seeing I can be dangerous in the future once again.

Q. Was there ever a point when you thought, Maybe I’ll get back, and that will be enough, maybe never return to the level I was at?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, for me it’s enough just being playing tennis again. My biggest goal for this season is trying to finish healthy. Then, if I could do that, for the next years I will make another challenges to myself.

But now I’m doing well. I don’t care about ranking numbers or whatever. I just want to keep playing even better.

Q. Your slice is giving players a lot of trouble. Did you deliberately improve it knowing it would need to be important when you came back? Is this improvement from hitting so many slices while you were off?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I would like to play my backhand as I hit my forehand. But sometimes could be a good tactic, play different shots with my backhands. But in the end I need to hit harder because I need to make winners with my backhands.

Basically if I’m still winning, then my opponents will be tougher than today. Of course, I cannot take an advantage with my backhand. I need to play 100% with all my shots.

Q. You said a few moments ago that you’re very surprised at the level, what you did at the Olympics, being in the second week here. How do you think you’ve done it?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Working hard. I never give up. I trust on myself. I trust on my doctors, my team, my physical trainers. I know how hard should I work to be in this moment now. I know how can I get better in the future if I still working hard. That’s it. Nothing magic, nothing strange. Just work hard.

Q. Next round you play Dominic Thiem. There are people who consider you the favorite. Do you consider yourself the favorite?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: No. No, he could be the favorite, for sure. But all depends on my physically, on my body, on my game. If I play like this today, I will maybe have chance to do a great match against him.

But he’s playing really well. He’s very dangerous. His backhand is so good. His movements are really fast. Will be interesting match for me.

Q. David said before that you seem to be playing more aggressive, you have a bigger serve, more aggressive with the forehand. Is this just a change in your game from years of maturity or a response because of your troubles?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I have to do that because I don’t have a good backhand yet (smiling). That’s what I’m trying to play aggressive with my forehands, with my serves, trying to come into the net more often than years ago. I’m trying to find a different way to play as I did in the past.

But also I’m working hard to get my backhands back as soon as possible.


Grigor Dimitrov

Press Conference


6-4, 6-1, 3-6, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Talk about how you’re feeling. Got to be feeling good, confidence high.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, I’m feeling good. Played a good match. A little dip I think in the third set, but I was able to control everything I think in the fourth set even though I was down a break. I’m enjoying playing tennis right now. Obviously I’ve been striking the ball well, having good results.

Just getting ready for the next match. Pretty pleased to be in the second week again.

Q. Do you find yourself getting looser with each round? Does it get more cranked up or do you relax more?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: For sure, it’s always good to be a little bit nervous. I like being a little bit nervous before matches. I think it helps you focus a little bit more in order to be good and be better when you get on the court. Of course, after a few games, you’re kind of into the match so it feels more comfortable.

Yeah, just with each match you get of course more excited. In the same time, it’s just another match.

Q. What has changed the past few weeks for you to find your confidence?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Winning matches. I think winning matches always gives you confidence. I’ve won quite a few close matches, which just helps me a lot to build up and be solid when I have to.

Today, that type of a match that I played really smart on the big points, I played good when I had to. Overall it was a decent match, I would say.

But, yeah, these kind of moments really, really help you mentally when you come out and play your opponent.

Q. Can you talk a bit about your coaching relationship with Dani, what he’s brought to your game?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, we’re still getting to know each other. He’s a great guy. First of all he’s a great guy. We share a lot of the same things. On the court we kind of think similar. We kind of want to just work right now. That’s what it’s about.

I know how to play tennis. Now it’s more the strategic way, how you’re going to prepare for big matches, big tournaments.

So far I think we’ve been doing a great job. Yeah, just simplicity. That’s the key right now. Just do your stuff, work, go out there, give 100% each match.

Q. How much do you think he might help you if you play Andy next?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Honestly, we haven’t thought about that yet. I think also I’ve played quite a few times against Andy. I think we both know our game pretty well. I don’t think there’s going to be any surprises. I don’t think I’m going to hear anything new in a way.

But we still got to prepare. I mean, obviously it’s going to be a great match. I’m excited to be in the second week. That’s just a good start for me. And, yeah, I mean, I always like my chances when I get to stages like that in a tournament, especially having to play, like, tough matches early on and feeling good and confident. Physically I’m good.

Yeah, just going to take everything onboard with me right now and bring it out on the court.

Q. You’re an exciting player because you can play all-court tennis. How do you find a balance with your ability to improvise?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: This is where the simplicity of the practice and the discipline comes in. Especially in those moments, 30-All, deuce, breakpoint, anything like that, it’s super important to, in a way, go back to the basics, go back to what you’ve been practicing, to the simple shots. For example, play with your big weapons, whether it’s your first serve or your forehand. So these things are pretty important.

But, yeah, some of the big shots that you hit sometimes, they just happen at the right time. If you start looking for them, of course you’re going to miss and you’re never going to be a sustainable player.

Like today, for example, on quite a few big points, I think I pulled the trigger quite a few times with my backhand. It was just the right moment to do so. I won pretty much all those points.

I pride myself actually on that today. I was just pretty solid when I had to play important points.

Q. Do you think going through several coaches the past few years may have changed your game style?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: No, no, no. You know, obviously you know how to play tennis. You’ve played all your life a certain way. When I say discipline of how you’re going to play, I wouldn’t say that’s a change of style. I think it’s a change of plan, a change of a bit of your mentality.

But change of style, it’s too extreme to me.

Q. Sometimes you hear different voices, different speeches.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: You’re always going to hear different voices and different speeches regardless. People that don’t have much of an idea of tennis will come, Hey, man, you should have hit that forehand down the line a bit more.

Yeah, man, you want to do it for me? Yeah, go ahead.

But that’s just how it is. That’s why you need to simplify and make sure you have the right people, the right team around you, that first you’re loyal to them. This is the unity that puts it all together. You know these are the people that you need to hear from. This is what matters the most. Everything else is just a noise.

Q. You talked about how you’re enjoying your tennis now. You mentioned that as well during Wimbledon. Has there been a time in the recent past when you haven’t been enjoying it?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, of course.

Q. What has changed?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: That’s a tough one.

I think a lot has changed over the past I think year and a half for me. I fell in love with tennis again. It’s simple as that. It’s not only because I’ve been winning matches or anything like that. It’s because I started to enjoy the process again.

I’m enjoying the work again. I’m enjoying waking up in the morning early to come to practice. I’m enjoying doing the ice baths again. I’m enjoying pretty much everything that I do.

I think just these kind of things really helps you. You don’t think of anything else. I started to enjoy those butterflies before a match, complaining to your coach that you’re, like, short of breath because you’re so nervous to come on court. Those are moments I’m sure I’m always going to appreciate hopefully for the rest of my career.

Q. Del Potro, there’s some people that wondered after all the surgeries whether he was going to be able to come back, would he be at the same level.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Never a doubt.

Q. Never a doubt?

Q. We’re talking about a second week, elite level.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I never doubted that. All the people that’s been around me have said the same thing. I mean, of course there’s a long, long way for him to come back like that. But the way he’s been playing throughout the year, I remember he started the year so-so in a way, but he was still hitting the ball pretty amazing.

I mean, with that forehand, you can close your eyes, hit the ball, it can get in. Definitely one of the best hitters in the game. The Olympics and everything, that really helps you to build up.

Of course, only time can show the rest, but it was never a doubt in my mind that the guy’s going to be back.

Q. Even the speed, how quickly it’s happened, you’re not surprised by that?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: No, I’m not. Not really, no.

Q. You played some exciting matches with Murray. What is it about you two together that creates exciting tennis and what are the biggest challenges?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I think we like our styles, I guess, just kind of fits our games. There’s going to be a lot of challenges, especially on an occasion like that, against Andy. I mean, he’s going to be, for sure, ready as ever. As I said, he’s just really confident right now. He’s been playing extremely good tennis. He knows what to do.

But in the same time, I know what to do, too. In the end, it’s going to come down to a few points here and there. Yeah, I mean, for me honestly it’s just another match. As I said, I’m enjoying that I’m at that stage of a tournament, second week for the first time at the Open. I’m just going to get out there and really focus on my game and on myself. This is what I demand from myself for the next match.


Karolina Pliskova

Press Conference

K. PLISKOVA/A. Pavlyuchenkova

6-2, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You said you wanted to take it one match at a time, not think too much about what was at stake in this match. To be in your first Grand Slam second week, what does that mean to you?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, definitely was always my goal. So really happy that I got there. I was trying to get there for a long time. Still probably wasn’t meant to be. So happy to be there, especially at the US Open, especially on hard court, which is my best surface.

I’m also really happy with the game, how I got through.

Q. In years past when you weren’t able to get past the first week, was that just because of draws or injuries as opposed to now? What do you think is the difference between the slams that you played before where you fell a little bit short this year?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I would also say it depends a lot on the draw. You can have players which you don’t like, which didn’t happen for me this time. I knew, especially today, I beat her three times, so I was confident about this match. I also knew I’ve been playing some good tennis last few weeks, all the matches actually what I’ve played.

So I felt good. There was not any reason for me to think about it, that I will lose this match today. So I was confident about it. Just happy that also on the court I could handle the situations ’cause, you know, it’s not always easy. First time to get through to the third round.

In the end of the second set she also improved a lot. I was not feeling tight, but the game wasn’t like in the first set.

Q. Was it something you’d been thinking about or unfairly criticized for?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: No, not really. I still believe, even if it would be 5-All in the second, that I can beat her because, like I said, I beat her few times already. Always was two sets.

But in tennis anything can happen and not decided till the last point and playing the best tennis. I was prepared for everything. Even though I lost the serve there, was a little bit unlucky 4-2, 40-15 that game, then she played quite a good game. Was a little bit windy out there. It wasn’t easy. I didn’t serve well that game. But I stayed in the game and I breaked her with Love in the game. It gave me a lot of confidence, that game.

Q. Is it fair to say that this is the most confident that you’ve come into a Grand Slam or have you been just as confident in the past?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Well, probably, yes. So far now, I can say.

To be honest, the Grand Slams before, I wasn’t feeling bad, any of them. But just somehow the game on the court wasn’t the way I wanted it to be. I was just a little bit tight, I wasn’t playing my tennis, wasn’t aggressive enough. If I’m not playing my game, I cannot beat those players like this. I cannot be the one who is running. It was like this before in the Grand Slams.

I happy I keep my game plan and was still playing aggressive today.

Q. You mentioned you’re going to watch this next match. Are you going back to the hotel or stay here?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: They’re playing at 7:00. Nice atmosphere on the center court. Tomorrow I have only doubles, so I’ll prepare also for the doubles which is important for me. I don’t have to go to sleep that early. So maybe I’ll stay for a few more games.

Q. You might play Venus. Do you remember watching Venus when you were younger before you started playing tennis?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Definitely I remember both sisters, Williams. We were watching on TV.

Q. That final in Zhuhai was a tough one. What do you take out of that match against Venus, if you play her?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: It’s not that far what we played. I remember the match. Was pretty good match from I think both of us. She was playing really good tennis there.

Obviously with her it’s tough. If she’s playing I think good that day, then it’s tough. She’s serving pretty well both serves, playing aggressive on the return. There is not much to do.

I just have to serve well. That’s the most important thing.

Q. How are you feeling physically at this point in the tournament?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I feel good. I didn’t play three sets yet. Every day I have a match not more than an hour and a half. So I feel fine.

Q. What do you think doubles is bringing to your game when you have the off days and have to come back and play doubles?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: For me it’s better than practice, to be honest. Sometimes those days off, you feel like you have a day off so you don’t want to really move. It’s still a match, so it’s better for me to play a match.

Especially playing doubles, I’m playing with someone who I know, I’m having fun on the court. For me it’s definitely better to be in the doubles.

Q. You’re known as a good server. What are the keys to serving well?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: There is lot of keys. I don’t know which the other players has, but I’m always trying to stay calm and concentrate on the serve. Especially when it’s a long game, long rallies, you just have to breathe and stay calm before the serve.

Q. Obviously it’s been a busy tournament because you are in both singles and doubles. Have you had time to unwind, to not think about tennis or pick up a racquet? What have you been doing to relax?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Since I’m in the tournament, I didn’t go anywhere, to the city. Just few nice dinners close to the hotel.

It’s tough here. Every day, if you have a match, you’re coming back late from here because it’s, like, one hour with the traffic. It’s not easy to get somewhere. I have been here a few days before the tournament. I see something. We did some obviously shopping. I went to a musical on Broadway. I had nice few days before the tournament.

Q. Which musical?


Andy Murray

Press Conference

A. MURRAY/P. Lorenzi

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

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Was that tougher than you expected? Are you more pleased you came through what was a tough match or more concerned about what didn’t go right?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I mean, he’s ranked 40 in the world. He’s pretty good. So I expected a tough match. I expected long rallies. I’m just disappointed with the amount of errors I made. I was quite impatient at times. That cost me in the first and second sets.

When I did sort of play like I was planning on when I went out there, to be more patient, wait for the right balls to go for, you know, played much, much better, dictated more of the points. I wasn’t going for too much.

The unforced errors came down significantly and the winners went up. The third and fourth sets were comfortable. Obviously the first two were extremely, extremely tough.

Q. Did you think of changing things around at the end of the first set? That was tight and you made a lot of mistakes there.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, well, I went up an early break in the second. I broke first game in the second, then just kind of gave away a little bit. But also, I mean, he wasn’t giving me any free points. He was making me work hard for all the points.

Yeah, maybe it took me a little bit longer than I would have liked to sort of work things out. But I worked it out, won, got through, and I didn’t play good. So I’m happy with that.

Q. Lorenzi’s 22nd Grand Slam, making it to his first third round. When you see him, how hard he fights for each point, is that reflective of what you think he’s had to go through, or is that nonsense to associate somebody with their career and their playing style?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I remember a little bit playing against him a number of years ago. He fought hard then. I think what he’s done the last 18 months or so has been amazing for someone of his age to win your first title, get to your career-high ranking. That’s pretty rare, I’d say. At that age, you don’t see that much nowadays. He’s done extremely well there.

I think today, after the match he had a couple days ago, to come out and move like he did and work as hard as he did out there, you know, shows that’s a huge quality of his and it gets you a long way.

Q. You are starting to see a few guys who are hitting their peaks in their mid 30s. Is there anything specific you can point to regarding that?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, Stephane Robert has a different game style. I can understand why he would make it very difficult for guys to play against him.

Lorenzi, I’d say his is maybe more surprising because a lot of guys play that way. I think he moves extremely well. Maybe it’s a matter of confidence. When you win an ATP title at that age, maybe you realize I’m much better than I thought. Sometimes that can happen, as well.

It’s hard to explain. I didn’t realize, but they said when they were calling out the names before the match, he’s the oldest first-time winner on the ATP Tour ever. I would imagine winning a title for the first time would give him a big boost in his confidence, you know, to try and do more, keep pushing on.

But it is obviously still surprising.

Q. When Juan Martin del Potro was here earlier this evening, he spoke about surprising himself with what he’s done in his comeback, both at the Olympics and making it to the second week here. What are your thoughts on what he’s accomplished? What sort of feelings do you have for him personally?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I think what he’s done is amazing just more because he’s had the same kind of problems setting him back for, I mean, the last two-and-a-half, three years. It’s not like — you know, he’d hurt his wrist in practice, and then a few times he actually got back on the tour and had problems very early on in his comebacks. I can imagine how demoralizing that must have been, how tough it would have been to keep wanting to do it, keep fighting to do it.

Also your body, as well. Like when you don’t play matches, hardly any matches for a long period, it takes time for your body to get used to it again.

I think what he’s done has been amazing. I’m not surprised at how well he’s hitting the ball. He’s always been a great ball-striker. I don’t expect him necessarily to lose that. It’s more the mentality that he’s shown really has been the most impressive part.

You know, happy for him that he’s managed to get himself back competing in the big events at the top again.

Q. Seeing Dan do well today against Stan, Kyle winning yesterday, it’s great for British tennis. What do you think is actually behind that? What would you put that down to?
ANDY MURRAY: I don’t know. I mean, Dan is a really good player. Evo is a really good player and so is Jo. That’s why they are where they are. They have to win the matches and put in the work. But they’re really good players, all of them. They all have a lot of strengths.

Dan’s an extremely good mover, very talented guy, great feel, great hands. Kyle has huge weapons on the court. And Jo doesn’t have many weaknesses.

They’re very different players, different game styles, but they’re all really good. That’s why they are where they are. Again, whether all of them always believed that or not, I don’t know. But now they certainly are, backing themselves in the biggest tournaments on the biggest stages.

It’s great for British tennis.

Q. You’re playing Grigor Dimitrov next. Can you talk about what is difficult in his game.
ANDY MURRAY: Well, he’s a very good player, obviously. You know, he does a lot of things well on the court. He has good feel, moves well. Yeah, he does a lot of things well on the court.

He’s obviously not played his best the last 18 months or so, but definitely the last few weeks has been playing very well, getting back to a level that he’s capable of playing at.

You know, it will be another tough one in a couple of days’ time. I expect it to be very hard. I’ll be ready for that. I’ll need to play better than today if I want to win that.

Q. Kyle said this year that one of the things he learned from you is the amount of work it takes to be at the top. Do you think you’ve an been an example for the other British players?
ANDY MURRAY: I don’t know. I do think, obviously when we do training blocks together, they would see the work that I’m doing, you know, learning that maybe at an earlier stage than he would have done otherwise potentially.

But it’s one thing sort of saying, Oh, I went and did a training block with Andy, watched him train, and he works really hard. They still need to do the work themselves. It’s not like just because I’m working hard and then seeing it means they’re going to do it. They need to do it themselves.

I’m not with Kyle or Dan — you know, there’s probably 30 or 40 weeks of the year when I’m not around them. It’s down to them and their teams. They have very good coaches, as well, that works them hard. Mark Hilton, who works with Dan, was a very hard worker as a player, has got him on the right path. Ryan Jones, who is working with Kyle just now, the same thing. He pushes him hard. He makes sure he has high standards and expects a lot from him. That’s important, as well.

Q. They’re saying they could learn plenty from you. Is there anything you can learn from them?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, the thing that I like the most about practicing with them is I feel like when I practice or train with them, like, I have a responsibility to work hard and push myself. If I’m doing a training session with them, I want to beat them. I don’t want to lose to them. You know, if it’s on the bike or the Versaclimber, I really want to push myself and beat them.

It’s not so much necessarily learning, but I feel like when I’m on the court with them, I really want to work hard and show, like, this is what you have to do. Maybe if it was someone from another country, I wouldn’t feel like that, the same.

But, yeah, when I’m training with them, I really train well. I train better probably with them than I do with others, I think.

Q. Do they ever beat you?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, occasionally. I believe I’ve lost a practice set. Physical stuff, no, not yet. But I’d imagine that soon, as I’m getting older, they’re getting stronger, that will start to happen, unfortunately. But, yeah, not yet.

Q. What aspect of the sport of tennis do you really love the most?
ANDY MURRAY: I love traveling. I mean, I know a lot of players, as they start to get older, they don’t enjoy as much. But I love traveling. I enjoy that. I’m certainly not sick of that part of it yet.

I enjoy training. I like going to the gym, pushing myself, working hard maybe more than being on the practice court. You know, they’re the two things I enjoy the most. I like the traveling and also the training, because it changes all the time. Like I’m training a lot different now than I did when I was 24, 25. I like that. It’s never the same. Always trying to do new things to get better.

Q. The one or two parts of the world you like to travel are?
ANDY MURRAY: To travel to or that I would like to go to?

Q. That you like to go to.
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I haven’t seen loads of South America. I’d like to go to South America. My best friend is from Peru. I went there to play a junior tournament when I was there. I’d like to visit Peru maybe. I’d also like to go to Hawaii, Maldives on holiday. That’s something I’d like to do. Haven’t managed to get there yet, but I’d like to soon.


Kei Nishikori

Press Conference


4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How did you feel about the win today?
KEI NISHIKORI: Very good. It was tough first set. Didn’t start quite well today. But second and third start returning well, everything start working well. Was good match.

Q. How do you feel going into the next round?
KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah, hopefully I can recover well. That’s the most important. Yeah, Jared is playing well. He’s upcoming. Ivo is always tough opponent, especially here. Little bit quick and bounce high.

Yeah, either one, it’s going to be tough one.


Venus Williams

Press Conference

V. WILLIAMS/L. Siegemund

6-1, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You seem to have a glow about you this fortnight. What’s going on? Are you just happy with your game to this point?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I’m happy with putting wins under my belt. I’m always in search for perfection. If it’s not perfect, I’m back to the drawing board, so…

Today was a more straightforward win, but not perfect. So I’ll be working on perfection.

Q. What is the difference between straightforward and perfect?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, the thing is, you never really reach perfect, so that’s why you always go back to practice (laughter). That’s just my mentality. I think it’s most players’ mentality, too.

Q. The first week is over. What have you been pleased with with respect to your game?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, the first week is over.

Just doing what I have to do. Being able to dominate when I need to. Being in control of the points. So even if I lose a point, I feel like, okay, I’m in a position to win the point. That’s where I want to be every single time.

Q. After the match you told a little secret that I never heard before about your mom’s tennis game. Can you tell us a little more.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, my mom was the kind of athlete that could play anything that she tried. She was very competitive at tennis. She didn’t start tennis until I guess the early ’80s. So she started that later in life, but she caught on quite quickly. She could really hit the ball.

A lot of people don’t know that about my mom.

Q. How did seeing her growing up playing tennis inspire you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Clearly a lot because here I am, here we are. She spent a lot of hours with us on the court, and right until this day. It’s amazing how much time she’s put into this.

I don’t know how she does it, how she watches us. Even when I come to Serena’s match, I come in right before and get out. I don’t know how she stays and stays and stays. I guess it’s called true love.

Q. You are going to meet up with a server like yours and Serena’s in Pliskova. How do you prepare for a match like that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Every match is a little different. Today my opponent tried to play aggressively, but I played that game just a little bit better than her. My first round, I don’t know, I never hit so many overheads and swing volleys in my life.

Each match is different. I approach them differently. We play kind of a similar game. So it’s about one of us playing that game better.

I haven’t played her that often. So go out there and put the ball in the court, try to win.

Q. Just one match against her. What do you take from that? Can you take anything from that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, it was nearly a year ago. So, yeah, I’ve had the experience of playing her. There’s people, like today I never played Laura. You never know what to expect. You have to see what happens. You never quite know what to expect.

At least with her I know what’s happening, I’ve seen her play. I can go into the match well-prepared.

Q. There was a time after the diagnosis where it was difficult to get into the second week of slams. Now it’s a pretty regular occurrence over the last couple years. What has been the trigger to get the consistency at the big tournaments?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, that’s a good question. It’s just a lot of willpower. That’s really what it is. I started to feel better more consistently this year, so I’m always trying to find things to help me feel my best.

But even if I’m not feeling great, I still manage to get a good fight in out there.

Q. Everything that you went through physically, has that helped you enjoy the game even more when you’re not reaching perfection?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I would say that everything I’ve gone through has proven to me that I love the game, because to be out here is an effort, to say the least. So it’s proved that I love this clearly enough to go through this. And to reach perfection is something I still expect from myself, no matter what, whatever it is I’m going through.

Q. You played all your matches on Ashe. I can’t remember if you did that last year. Is it something you noticed? Do you appreciate it more? I don’t think you played on Centre Court in the last slam.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I managed to get on Centre in the semifinals at Wimbledon, so that was cool. I was like, Yes, I made it back.

I don’t think about my court assignment that much. But Serena and I, we’ve been playing American tennis for so long, I think that’s perhaps where they want to put us. We’re playing at home. It’s clearly a little bit different when you’re playing at home.

Q. A little bit of discussion about perfection. Do you recall when you’ve been the closest to perfection on court, a singular match or moment where it was pretty darn close?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, but it doesn’t happen often. Just as good as perfection is just feeling like you are in a rhythm. When you’re in a rhythm, that’s good enough, because then you feel like you can get into points and find a way to win them. That’s a good place to be, as well.

Q. Do you recall when you were feeling like you were most in rhythm, everything seemed like it was clicking for you on court?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I was in a pretty good rhythm at Wimbledon and this summer. I was in a decent rhythm at the French. Playing a lot of good matches.

Q. Serena won her 307th major match. No man or woman in the open era has won more major matches than she has. What do you think are the biggest reasons for Serena setting that record?
VENUS WILLIAMS: 22 majors. That adds up quickly, so… Not to even count the doubles. That’s pretty obvious to me.

Q. What in your mind is it that sets her apart to enable her to have won that many majors?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, she’s put the work in. She believes in herself. So between those two, you can’t beat ’em. She has awesome technique. She feels comfortable and confident.

Q. What’s it been like for you to see her accomplish this?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It’s great because when you’re in the stands, you feel confident, too. Because watching matches is really nerve — you get so nervous. I’m a lot more nervous watching than I ever have been playing. So you feel like you’re on the winning side.

Q. Can you ever see playing doubles in a Grand Slam at this point in your career?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Definitely. Playing doubles here is challenging on the schedule. The schedule’s tough for us here to play doubles, between the commute and the matches that they like us to play here. It becomes impossible for us to be in a good position to win the singles or the doubles. We get in a little bit of a disadvantage.

But we definitely want to keep playing when we can.

Q. Does the mindset change at all in the second week of a slam when you go from the third round to the round of 16? Keep plugging away? What’s the mentality?
VENUS WILLIAMS: For me, I want to be more like myself, if that makes any sense. For a player, you want to play your game, whatever that is, the best you can. For me, I want to be as aggressive as possible but still play smart. That’s what I’ll be looking to do each round, to be me.

Q. To find you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, to find myself.



Daniel Evans

Press Conference


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

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What were your emotions about that match now having had time to reflect?
DANIEL EVANS: Just a bit of a heartbreaker really, yeah. I don’t really know what to say. It was a tough one to take. Probably hurt a bit for a while. Disappointing how it sort of played out, yeah.

Q. It got away from you a little bit at the start of the fifth. I was wondering whether you were feeling physically okay or was there a bit of a mental grievance about not having gotten that match point? How were you feeling?
DANIEL EVANS: I was physically pretty tired. Subconsciously, mentally as well I was hurt a bit. Yeah, just one of those things. In the fifth set, he’s obviously a class opponent. I sort of knew that was the chance in the fourth set, yeah.

Yeah, it’s just a difficult one really to sort of take.

Q. Could you take us through the apparent disagreement. Was it with the physio or the umpire?
DANIEL EVANS: The physio said I had cramp, which I didn’t have. My foot is sore. I actually asked for the trainer in the middle of the game, and he just wouldn’t treat me. He said he was just going to treat me for the normal timeout. I didn’t want to be treated by him because he was wrong.

Q. At one point in the match I think I heard him say he wasn’t happy you shouting, C’mon, with his errors, and at one point, That’s your fault.
DANIEL EVANS: I didn’t say anything to him. I didn’t say anything to him. I didn’t know he was unhappy with anything.

He was unhappy with the people in my box saying, C’mon, a bit too much too closely. I just told them not to say anything.

There was nothing between me and him anyway. I wouldn’t get involved with him. He’s obviously won — I’ve got much more respect for him to get involved with him personally.

Q. You’ve had big highs and big lows before. Obviously it’s a low now. When you look back on this whole week, how good are you at taking those positives and using it to move on?
DANIEL EVANS: Yeah, a bit difficult. Listen, I’m thinking about that smash at 8-All to put it away, or 9-All to put it away.

I don’t really know. I’ve never been in that situation before, especially against someone as good as him. Yeah, it’s just not easy, is it? I mean, being that close, I was thinking about winning the match. Whoever says you don’t think about winning the match at that point is full of it, yeah.

Q. Double Grand Slam winner, you obviously had him on the ropes. That must be encouraging that you can be on par with a guy like that.
DANIEL EVANS: Not right now it’s not. If I lost that match against any other guy, I’d be saying exactly the same. You have to take your chances.

Q. You mentioned that smash. Would that be the one moment in the match that you feel you’ll regret?
DANIEL EVANS: Yeah, I just hit it to the wrong side. Actually hit it down the middle. The small things in those matches make big differences. Why I hit it down the middle — I never hit the smash ever down the middle. Is beyond me, so… Such is life.

Q. I know you have doubles tomorrow. Are you still planning this holiday in Spain?
DANIEL EVANS: Yeah, there probably won’t be doubles tomorrow. I’m pretty badly hurt. I’d say that’s squashed probably.

Q. I think you tweeted about losing your passport.
DANIEL EVANS: I found my passport.

Q. Tell us the nature of the injury.
DANIEL EVANS: Yeah, it’s underneath my foot. You’ve probably seen me stamping my foot quite a bit in between games. I don’t know what it is right now. It’s pretty sore.

So, yeah, it’s been like that now for a few weeks. Yeah, it’s been good fun. Hopefully Nick wins. It will be a bit easier to tell him.

Q. Is there any question, or are you down for the Davis Cup, do you think?
DANIEL EVANS: I’m a doubt to get in the squad, yeah. I’ll be at Davis Cup. I just need some time off, I think. That’s it. I’ve had it before. It’s pretty sore in the mornings and in the evenings, sort of later on in the day, it gets pretty sore.

Yeah, I think taking a bit of time off now would be good physically and mentally. Yeah, it was difficult to walk off the court tonight without winning.

Q. Whenever Andy suffers a tough five-set loss like this, he invariably comes in and says to us, I’ve got to physically work harder, up the amount of work I do in the gym, track, wherever. Are you that sort of bloke? Do you subscribe to that point of view?
DANIEL EVANS: I missed the subscription. No, I didn’t lose that match because I wasn’t — I lost that match because I made the wrong decision on the smash. Obviously in the fifth set against him, yeah, I was tired, but I wouldn’t say I was physically tired. I was more mentally tired in having to go again after all four of the sets being so tight.

I’ve never been away this long either. To come off again losing that, after being in that position, is just something I need to get out of my head pretty quick, you know, get away for a bit. I think it’s a good idea.

Q. What did he say to you at the end?
DANIEL EVANS: He just said, Good fight, sorry you lost. That was it. He’s a class act. That’s why he’s won so many tournaments and Grand Slams. I doubt he was that sorry, but…

Q. You said you’re looking forward to getting home. What are you most looking forward to getting back to?
DANIEL EVANS: Just seeing everyone. It’s been nice to see a few of my friends come. I missed home. Yeah, sort of just come to a head tonight if I’m being deadly honest. When you miss that last ball, I’m ready to go now.



Stan Wawrinka

Press Conference


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

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. After the third set tiebreaker which didn’t go your way, you seemed a bit frustrated. What was your mentality going into the fourth set?
STAN WAWRINKA: Trying to make him work more. Trying to do less unforced errors. Trying to find my game.

I was frustrated, for sure, to be down two sets to one because I wasn’t playing my best tennis. But still had a chance. So I was trying to find the right way, how to keep fighting, how to stay in the match, and how to make it break.

Q. Can you talk us through the two tiebreaks. They seemed to be the crucial parts during the match. Keep fighting against match points, set points down. How was that?
STAN WAWRINKA: How was it (smiling)?

If you’re two sets down, you have a tiebreak going to 8-All, it’s important because if you lose it, you lose the match, that’s for sure.

In general, I think the second tiebreak was a little bit better from both sides. He was coming a lot to the net to try to finish the point. I had to play better, be a little bit more aggressive, more tough with myself. And I took it. I was, for sure, happy to took it.

But I had the feeling in the fourth set that I was starting to play a little bit better. He was starting to be down a little bit, but still playing really well in those important points, still being there, still being tough.

It wasn’t easy to stay calm with myself. But in general I think that was the key for the match. Was tough condition, windy against a talented player who is playing really well, who was pushing me a lot. He was coming with the right shot in the right moment.

Yeah, the court was a little bit faster than normally, than the other big court. So I’m happy to get through. It’s an important win for me.

Q. How does that match compare to other matches you played at the US Open? Is it one of your most memorable that you’ve ever had?
STAN WAWRINKA: It’s always good to win by saving match point. It’s always something special, that’s for sure. It was a great atmosphere again today on that court, tough condition. There’s many thing I can look at my game because it wasn’t the best game.

But I think he also deserve the credit to make me play not my best because he was playing well. He was changing a lot. He’s really talented. So was tough battle and I’m happy to get through.

Q. Your ankle, how much of a factor was that? Did it bother you during the match?
STAN WAWRINKA: Yeah, it’s not the first time that I twist my ankle in match. Was painful in the moments, but after the pain went out, I just wanted to check and change the tape because that was the most important. It’s because of the tape that I don’t completely kill the ankle.

I didn’t feel any pain during all the match after, so that was okay.


Jared Donaldson

Press Conference

I. KARLOVIC/J. Donaldson

7-6, 6-4, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Looked like you played a strong match tonight, a couple loose games. What were your thoughts on how you played?
JARED DONALDSON: Yeah, I felt that I kind of, you know, gave the best opportunity I could give myself on his service games. But the big key to that match is to hold serve and to take care of your service games.

I didn’t do a great job of that. Getting broke once every set isn’t ideal. I think that’s just kind of what let me down in the match.

Q. What’s it like dealing with his serve and massive wingspan?
JARED DONALDSON: Yeah, I mean, it’s tough. It’s definitely difficult when he comes to net because he closes so tight. Cross-court is pretty much impossible to pass. Down the line is very tricky.

He volleys well, covers the net well, has good hands at the net, knows how to cover the net.

The one thing I had a little bit of success with was the lob. When he was volleying deeper, it’s always tougher to get the good feel to get high enough because he’s obviously 6’11”, to have the good feel to then make it.

It’s definitely tricky when he comes in.

Q. Did you feel pressure if you got the serve back that you had to win the point?
JARED DONALDSON: No. Normally I think like I would feel the pressure more on my serve. I felt tonight I actually did a good job of kind of relaxing on my serve and just trying to play, like, a regular match.

But I think that, yeah, I didn’t feel pressure that I have to win the point if I get in it. He’s good from the net. He has great volleys, again, covers the net well. I was doing my best to get the return in play and then try to see kind of how the point progressed from there.

Q. What do you take away from this week? What are the learning pieces from these three matches, or the six matches?
JARED DONALDSON: Yeah, obviously, first, I think it gives me a lot of confidence and reaffirms the things I’m working on are improving my game. That’s number one. Number two, I think I definitely need to continue to work on all aspects of my game, but I think mainly fitness. I think that’s one of the key reasons why I’m starting to play so well is because I’m getting a little bit stronger.

Then I think just keep working on my serve, making sure I have good percentage, good accuracy. So I think those three big things, along with just making sure everything else keeps improving, I think I can keep progressing in my game.

Q. The second-set tiebreak, looked like you had a great chance. The 2-All forehand, is that one of those shots you’ll think about?
JARED DONALDSON: Yeah, I definitely felt confident going into the tiebreak. I felt like I was returning pretty well. I definitely felt like I was going to have my opportunities.

Yeah, I think obviously I missed that forehand, lost another point on my serve, I don’t remember how.

That point didn’t really haunt me because I always thought I’d get one back. I didn’t. But I don’t think I can really, you know, go back and say I would have played it differently. I felt I went for the right shot. If I hit it a couple more inches to the left or a little bit earlier, I would have made it, and it would have been 3-2 me. Who knows, we might still be out there now.

I went for the right shot. I have to live with how I played it.

Q. What particular moment on and off from this tournament might stick out in your mind the most?
JARED DONALDSON: I mean, I think just kind of when I go back and I remember this tournament, honestly I’ll think about every match. Kind of the one thing I’ll always remember is how awesome it was to play with the crowd behind me. I felt every single match they were kind of pulling for me, which is really special. I’m really kind of humbled that I had that much support out there. It was really special. It was great to be a part of that really.

Q. Did he say anything to you at the end?
JARED DONALDSON: Yeah. He told me, Good luck, to keep going. I told him, Good luck, I hope he has a great rest of the tournament.

Honestly I want him to do as well as he can because he beat me. Looks better for me. I hope that he continues to play well. I hope for a lot of good tennis to come.

Q. What are your plans this fall? Are you going to stay in Irvine or go back to Texas?
JARED DONALDSON: Right now I’m going to stay in Irvine because there’s a couple weeks before I go to Asia and play the tour events over there. I feel getting experience at this level is so valuable at my age because it definitely highlighted more things that I’ve needed to work on.

Obviously you want to be playing against the best players. The tour is going to Asia. I feel I need to be playing against the best players and to take away as much as I can from them and what they’re doing not only on the court but off the court. That’s how you learn, playing against the best. I definitely need to keep focused and keep working hard so I can keep up with them.

Q. Will Taylor go with you to Asia?
JARED DONALDSON: It hasn’t been decided. Either Taylor or Phil, I think.

Q. A lot of the players have brought in former players. What did Taylor tell you or what were things that stuck out for you that was emblematic of your work together?
JARED DONALDSON: Honestly, he hasn’t told me anything different from any other tournament. I think he always just says, Go out there and compete and fight and control the things you can control. There’s so many things out of your control.

That’s just one of the big hammering points. I think I’ve done a better job of that, definitely staying focused, in the moment, being able to analyze what’s going on out there.

I think before he would kind of talk to me about the match. What I would say would seem like it was completely out of rightfield or was not indicative of what went on during the match.

Now I’ve been able to kind of dissect the match a little bit while I’m playing it. So I think that’s one of the big things, that I’ve been able to kind of see what’s going on in the match and controlling the things that I can control. I think I’ve done a good job of that.

You never know when things will kind of click, so…

Q. Did you hear the chants of your name? Now that you’re in the top 100, is the goal to be a main draw in Australia?
JARED DONALDSON: I don’t know. I did pretty good qualifying, so maybe playing qualifying is the way for me (smiling).

Again, I heard the crowd pulling for me. I wasn’t trying to focus on — trying not to get too spiked from that because maybe I can go for crazy shots, too much adrenaline. But again, it was great to have the crowd behind me, it was really fun, an experience I’ll always remember.

Q. Top 100 is a big milestone.
JARED DONALDSON: Yeah, top 100 is obviously one of the big milestones in tennis. Everybody kind of wants to first get top 100. I don’t want to just stop at top 100 now. I want to keep going and I need to keep improving if I want to keep progressing up the ranks. There’s still a long way to go.

Q. When were you having the most fun? Was it the crowd support or being with your family, being a part of this?
JARED DONALDSON: I think being on the court and playing, just competing. I know I’ve played main draw here the past two years, but I felt, looking back, I never really put myself in a position to kind of win those matches. I played close matches, close sets. I mean, now I feel with the confidence that I have and how I was playing I was able to kind of really be in the match. I felt like I almost belonged on the court.

I think just competing, playing with that kind of energy is something really special that, again, I’ll always remember. Honestly, it was playing tennis, which is something that is so fun and so difficult at the same time, being able to have that kind of support and so forth was awesome. So that’s something that I’ll remember.


Nick Kyrgios

Press Conference


4-6, 6-4, 6-1 (ret.)

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Must be really disappointed?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, obviously I’m pretty disappointed. You know, a great opportunity. He’s a solid player. I’m sure he’s going to do well next round.

But obviously, yeah, it’s not great, is it?

Q. How tough is it to pull rip cord on the match even when you know you’re hurt?
NICK KYRGIOS: It’s tough. I don’t like to retire. It’s probably like the second or third time I’ve done it. It’s never easy, of course. I’ve got a lot of belief in my game to still win matches when I’m not feeling great.

His strength is to make balls, you know, move you around. It’s not great. Yeah, I mean, to be fair, my hip was bothering me my first two matches and I got through. I guess it was just a matter of time.

Q. (No microphone.)
NICK KYRGIOS: I hit a couple wide forehands that didn’t feel too good, yeah.

Q. It got worse tonight than it has been before?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, it’s not going to get better by playing, I guess, yeah.

Q. Does this put you down for Davis Cup?
NICK KYRGIOS: I don’t really care right now, to be honest. Yeah, hopefully I get better in time. Obviously I want to play. But I’m not really thinking about that right now.

Q. What was the advice of the trainer? You might possibly do further damage?
NICK KYRGIOS: He completely understands what’s happening. He knows it’s painful. It’s almost just hard mentally to play with something like that.

He did everything he could. My physio has been helping me all week. I’ve been trying to fix it all week.

But it’s the whole year leading up to it with the whole schedule. I got to take more time and be more diligent with, you know, gym and everything so this doesn’t happen to me.



Illya Marchenko

Press Conference


4-6, 6-4, 6-1 (ret.)

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You’ve been playing on tour for a long time. Your first third round, first fourth round. How does it feel to have all this coming at once?
ILLYA MARCHENKO: Well, I’ve been improving last two years with my new coach. Yeah, my injuries were okay. I’m not saying that I’m 100% fit during the whole season, but most of the season I can play full.

Obviously, yeah, I’m improving month by month. I’m really happy with that improvement, that my game is improving and reaching a high level.

Yeah, well, I cannot say that I’m not happy with this result because I’m happy. It’s a big opportunity for me next round.

Q. You looked surprised when they said round of 16 on court.
ILLYA MARCHENKO: Yeah, I was not thinking about it. When you see it’s only 16 guys left and you realize you’re among the top 16 players right now. With my ranking, it’s quite an achievement, I think.

Q. When did you notice that Nick was hurting?
ILLYA MARCHENKO: I think start of the third set. But, you know, you never know if the guy’s just irritated or it’s really bothering him. So I tried to stay focused.

I lost a couple matches when the guy was like kind of thinking and then started to play. Yeah, I was trying to play same game I played before maybe to make him move a little bit more. And, yeah, of course, nobody wants to win this way, but I’m still happy to be in next round.

Q. You could tell he had trouble moving?
ILLYA MARCHENKO: Yeah, he stopped to move for the balls. But, yeah, as I said, you don’t know if the guy just doesn’t want to play or he’s really struggling with injuries.

Obviously now I understand that it was injury because nobody going to withdraw from Grand Slam without an injury.

Q. Not that you had much time to look ahead but you have Wawrinka coming up now. What do you think?
ILLYA MARCHENKO: Well, I played him this year already. He killed me completely, outplayed me in everything. But, yeah, it wasn’t my best match though. Obviously against him, what can you expect?

I mean, I’m going to fight as hard as I can and hope that I will have some chances and believe in myself till the end.

Yeah, Evans had a really good fight today against him. He showed me that you can play against him at this tournament well. We can discuss with my coach about tactics and stuff. Just another match and another opportunity for me.

Q. You just became the second-best Ukrainian player. Dolgopolov made a quarterfinal. Medvedev’s best result of runner-up at French Open. Do you have any hero who you looked up to in your career?
ILLYA MARCHENKO: Well, my hero was Lleyton Hewitt when I was growing up. I liked the way he was fighting. I liked the way he was showing emotions on court. Later on when I started to play, I saw him practicing and stuff. I saw really a great commitment, great work ethic.

So, yeah, he’s finished right now. Had a chance to play against him, but I lost round before. But still he was one of the guys who was my hero.

Then, of course, I was following the guys like Federer, obviously, now Djokovic and Rafa. I was watching. Not put them as heroes, but trying to learn something from them. Yeah, that’s about it.

Andrei Medvedev, I haven’t seen him playing too much, maybe that final.

Q. You were 12 years old.
ILLYA MARCHENKO: Yeah, I was young. I actually liked Agassi more at that time. I was not kind of supporting Medvedev. Now obviously I would.

I don’t know if you know from next week, I going to be No. 1 in Ukraine. It’s some achievement for me. I’m really happy about that. Yeah, I hope to get some confidence from that as well.

Q. How is the public expectation in Ukraine? Tennis?
ILLYA MARCHENKO: It’s not really popular, I would say. I think today I went on a practice. It was full stands. Obviously they came not for me. It was Djokovic next court (laughter). I mean, public for his practice, I think it was more people than on our Davis Cup in Kiev we played couple months ago.

It’s not really on TV. I mean, as you know, we have a lot of other problems. It’s not too much into sport right now.



Day 5 of the US Open – In Their Own Words

Jack Sock

Jack Sock

(September 2, 2016) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Posting player interviews throughout the day when allowed.

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

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

Friday, September 2, 2016

Caroline Wozniacki

Press Conference

C. WOZNIACKI/M. Niculescu

6-3, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How does it feel to be into the second week of a slam once again?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: It feels good. It’s been a good week so far. I’m excited to have gotten so many matches on Ashe. I’m happy to be here just being healthy and playing well.

Q. She has a pretty unique game style. Do you feel like her dropshots are an offensive weapon or sort of a defensive shot?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: To be honest, you’re just trying to focus on yourself, because once you start focusing on her your game will fall apart. You’ll feel really bad about yourself.

She’s a frustrating player to play. She plays very smart. It’s a complete different game style than what I or anyone is used to. I just tried to keep my head cool.

I mean, she had some good dropshots. That’s the way she kind of moves the opponent in. If you’re a little too late she will do a lob, and that’s even more frustrating because you feel like a little kid being schooled and running back and forth.

But I think I managed that pretty well today. I think I won quite a few of those dropshots.

Q. When you’re using your own dropshots offensive or —
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Oh, for sure. When you do a dropshot it’s because you have the time and because you want to win the point.

Q. How do you feel about your game right now? What are you most satisfied with?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I think today I was just satisfied with how I just managed to focus the whole way through.

But I have been pretty pleased with the way I have been quite close to the baseline, just kind of moving the ball around.

Q. Is there something different when you come back here because you have had your best successes at this tournament? Do things feel a little bit different when you arrive here to start a tournament here?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Oh, 100%. It feels great to be back here. It feels like my back garden and everything feels so familiar and everybody is so friendly and so nice.

You know, all these things help you just play better, as well, when you feel welcome at a place.

I think everyone is so just respectful, as well. You see the same faces year in and year out, which is nice.

Q. How difficult has 2016 been for you? You’re still regarded as one of the marquee players of the women’s tour and yet your ranking at the moment doesn’t suggest that.
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Yeah, to be honest with you, I’m not that worried about the ranking at this point. I’m just happy to be healthy and back playing.

It’s been a rough year because I haven’t been able to catch a break from injuries basically. Every time I have come back something else has been hurting. Knock on wood, right now I’m feeling good. Everything is feeling good.

I’m hoping I can keep this up for the end of the year and hopefully start fresh next year.

Q. Going back to your prior answer, the comfort level that you have here, is that largely because of the success you have had at this tournament, or is it just simply because you love New York so much?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I think it’s a combination. I love New York, and that’s helped me play better here.

Knowing I have played better here and I can do it again. I think the court suits me well. The ball goes through the air very quickly, but the court kind of slows it down a little bit.

So it fits my game well. I can run a lot of balls down. But at the same time, I can get a lot out of my shots, as well.

Yeah, and then it’s always fun. I find it a lot more fun when I get to play on the big courts.

Q. Speaking of the big courts, players have voiced some concern about the noise level at Arthur Ashe. Was it disturbing at all for you?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: No. I don’t think it’s disturbing. I played the other day on Ashe, as well, with a big crowd. I loved it.

Personally, I think it’s great when you have that buzz.

And also Grandstand was really noisy the other day and loud. People were getting into it. I think that’s what makes the US Open fun and different to the other tournaments, is that people are having a blast and love the tennis and love to cheer everyone on.

Q. In addition to feeling comfortable here, do you also think that you came into this tournament specifically a little bit more amped up compared to when you went into Wimbledon or French Open and the Aussie, and why?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Oh, for sure. Having to skip the whole clay season and still not feeling 100% going into grass, I mean, I think — I have to start somewhere, and I started on the grass thinking, I’m going to get some matches here and that’s going to get me really into the hard court season and I will be 100% ready for that.

So I went into the grass season just trying to get momentum going. Then hurting myself in Washington wasn’t really part of the plan. Then I only play New Haven basically as the US Open Series.

I was like, You know what? I’m just going to take it as it comes. I know that I’m going to get a tough opponent early on in the draw. If I play well, I know I can beat her and then it can open up for me a little bit.

You know, coming in here I have been hitting it well in practice, so it’s all about the mental now. My body feels good, so there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be able to play well here.

Q. Were you ever instructed not to use dropshots on this surface versus some other surfaces when you were coming up as a player?

Q. Dropshot on the hard court versus some other surface. Have you ever been told not to use them on hard court?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Everyone always tells me, Do not use your dropshot. (Laughter.) I will hit a good dropshot once in a while, but then I will do some horrible dropshots, too.

I think I get a little bit overconfident once I make one good dropshot and I start wanting to using it too much. I have just been told, Do not use your dropshot.

I will use it on a rare occasion when I feel really good or when I see there is a big opening. But, yeah, I think on a wet clay court where it doesn’t bounce or on grass it’s actually a very effective shot.

Here you really have to place it well because the ball bounces up.

Q. In regard to your article in Players’ Tribune, what was it like going back recollecting all those memories? How did you feel?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I think it feels great. You go through the process of processing everything that’s happened to this day and in my career. I really wanted also to just thank everyone who has been there from the start.

I think it also — a lot of the players came up to me and, You know what? Thank you so much. You’re a big inspiration to us because we travel with parents and we can really relate to everything that you have written.

You know, I think a lot of people don’t realize that side of things. I think it’s also — you know, I think it’s nice for young kids having a dream to know, you know, what we have been going through, as well.

Q. No matter what happens out on the court now, either way your next opponent will be a fairly different player than what you just finished with. Give me your impressions.
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Both are big hitters and big servers. Both have big forehands. It’s actually very similar game styles.

I’ll need to retrieve well and keep good depth on my shots and serve well. Yeah, I just need to fight for every point.

Q. You were saying that, yeah, it’s been a snake-bitten year in terms of injuries so you haven’t had the match play. But you have been spending time on the rehab circuit. In this point of the season, in September, do you feel like — it’s the September of the tennis season — do you feel you have more or less energy? Where is that all at?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I think I’m definitely more fresh than the other players probably at this point. I think definitely going into Asia, usually that’s when you mentally start falling apart.

I think I will definitely be more fresh than everyone else. That’s why I have chosen to play a lot of tournaments at the end of the year.

It’s just like I’m feeling good. I just want to take advantage of that and kind of just play, have fun with it, and enjoy the rest of the year. No matter what happens, at this point I’m just gonna take it as momentum going into next year.

You know, as much as it’s been a rough year, it’s also been a great learning experience. I think it’s something I’ll definitely, you know, take with me into next year.

In the end of the day, whether I’m 70 or 30 in the world, it really doesn’t matter. If I’m not top 10 or seeded every tournament, it really doesn’t matter.

I can beat anyone on a good day and people can beat me if they play really well. But I just believe in myself right now, and hopefully I can do well here first.

Q. You’re obviously very familiar with Arthur Ashe Stadium. You said the noise didn’t bother you. Any other adjustments you had to make with the roof and all the changes?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I think the only adjustment is the shade. We are not used to having the shade on that court, and it can be difficult to see because it’s really — it’s come down really strong. It’s the same for both players and you really just kind of adapt.

So but other than that, it’s kind of nice sometimes when it’s hot to be standing in the shot. I’m like, oh, it’s probably 15 degrees cooler here than it is on the other side, so I’ll just let her run a little bit more. (Laughter.)

Roberta Vinci

Press Conference

R. VINCI/C. Witthoeft

6-0, 5-7, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. The first set was 6-Love. The other sets were 5-7 and 6-3. Was there a discernible difference between the first set and the others?
ROBERTA VINCI: Well, I played a great first set, 6-Love, but there was always tight.

The second set was 5-3-up, 5-4, 30-Love, and so many chance to win the match. I lost that game, and then a little bit confusion and a little bit nervous. I lost the second set.

On my mind I say, Okay. Forget the second set. Try to play like the first set. Yeah, I won. She’s a great player. I never play against her, so was first match between us.

She’s young, but I think she played a great match.

Q. Are you part of the U.S. Olympic team now? What’s with the shirt?
ROBERTA VINCI: You like it? (Smiling.)

Q. Yeah, as an American.
ROBERTA VINCI: I’m not American, eh?

Q. Where did you get the shirt? How did you get the shirt?
ROBERTA VINCI: In New Haven, I think.

Q. Did you trade with somebody?
ROBERTA VINCI: No, but I like. Is Nike. Is okay, okay?

Q. In Australia you were kind enough to tell us that your old uncle, your Italian uncle, Leonardo, had given you advice before the Australian Open. Did your Uncle Leonardo give you some advice before the US Open this tournament?
ROBERTA VINCI: Leonardo DaVinci. He’s my uncle. Still my uncle.

No. I’m joking, eh? (Laughter.)

Yes, he’s my uncle and also my second coach, okay? What do you think, better? Okay.

Q. What is your philosophy of dropshots?
ROBERTA VINCI: Is my style. I don’t know. I play like this for a long time when I was young, so I love to play this kind of tennis. I don’t have a two-hand backhand, so this is my tennis.

I love to play like this.

Q. Do you find it almost as effective on a hard court as clay or grass?
ROBERTA VINCI: Yeah, I prefer to play on hard court, yes. On clay you have to run a lot, and also, when you play on hard court…

Q. I mean using the dropshot.
ROBERTA VINCI: It depends. It depends on the opponent and depends if I feeling good, if I’m in confidence, a lot of things. Doesn’t matter. On clay or hard court, the same.

Q. What’s your approach this year after having had such a high moment last year in the semifinal?
ROBERTA VINCI: A lot of pressure, of course, but I try to enjoy, to play match by match, don’t think that I have a lot of points to defend, just play my tennis, and play aggressive.

Right now I won three great matches, and stay focused for the next round. We will see. I know it’s tough to repeat the final like last year, but you never know.

Q. You said after your first-round match that you knew you had gotten 60 points for the win. How aware are you of the weekly rankings and how much each win earns new ranking points?
ROBERTA VINCI: I think a lot about the ranking, about the points. Right now I don’t know how many points I won today, really. I’m not joking, but I think a lot.

But I want to continue. I want to play another great match for the next round, and then we will see. I don’t want to think about the ranking right now.

Q. Now that you’re in the second week, is the feeling that you have right now relief or excitement or how do you feel about it?
ROBERTA VINCI: Well, I’m so happy, of course, but I’m a little bit tired. I’m not so good with my foot. Of course happy but I’m so-and-so right now.

Tomorrow, like always, a little bit of rest, just a quick practice, and then match. But of course I’m happy.

Q. One of your countrymen said the US Open was the worst of the slams. How would you rank?
ROBERTA VINCI: Why worse? No, I like. For me it’s not the worst. I love to play here, of course. I had such a great moment from last year, but also I made quarterfinal against Sara one year. I won one title in doubles. I love to play here.

Q. Is it your favorite?

Q. You won your doubles title, as you mentioned, on Louis Armstrong. Is there anything special you like about that court?
ROBERTA VINCI: I like that court, yes. It’s a big court, of course, but when you stay on the court it’s small. I don’t know if you understand me.

But, yeah, we won there in the final. Yeah, the center court is the best, but I have great memory also from Armstrong. When I saw yesterday the schedule, I was happy that I play, yes, on Armstrong first match.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Press Conference

J. TSONGA/K. Anderson

6-3, 6-4, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you talk about the challenges of facing a player who is as tall as Kevin is and how you were so successful in winning the match and combatting those challenges?
JO-WILFRIED TSONGA: Anyways, it’s never easy to play that kind of player. He’s serving well. He’s also moving well from his baseline for his height.

Yeah, today it was a good challenge for me to beat him. I did it well, for sure.

I am maybe also a good server, so was tough for him, too. Yeah, it’s always a big challenge because you never know what to expect. Sometimes they can serve and serve and serve and you never return, but anyway, today I did it well. It was a good match for me.

Johanna Konta

Press Conference

J. KONTA/B. Bencic

6-2, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Could you tell us how you recovered from other day and how satisfied you were with your performance today?
JOHANNA KONTA: I think I’m still constantly working on recovering. I think it’s a management process more than anything.

But I feel good. I feel well enough to play. I’m really happy with how I was able to just really focus on the match at hand and the work at hand and then put all else out of my mind.

Q. Did you practice much yesterday or completely rest?
JOHANNA KONTA: No, I did. I hit about 25 minutes or so. I warmed up one of the other players for their match.

Q. Can it be freeing in some way to be in a pressure situation in a match to come through it? I know some players feel that anything after that is a bonus.
JOHANNA KONTA: I didn’t really look at it like that for me. I actually tried to look at it as a great opportunity to manage the situation that I had. It was a slightly new situation, the aftermath of it, and even today and now obviously I have one more chance to come out and play.

Obviously I think I’m just looking at it as a chance to be grateful for the circumstance I have and the other chance just to improve.

Q. She didn’t really seem to do any of the sort of tricks and dropshots that we expect from her. I guess you didn’t give her time.
JOHANNA KONTA: I think, yeah, I felt I did a good job just, you know, staying focused on the things I want to execute and how I wanted to play. I definitely made it hard for her to get into the match, I felt.

But, yeah, I think for me it was just really about focusing on things on my end.

Q. How big was it is to get out of there in 52 minutes after what had happened yesterday?
JOHANNA KONTA: I didn’t really look at the time. I think, again – I know it sounds very repetitive – but my sole focus was just to focus on myself, focus on my breathing and focus on really simplifying the match into just each point being its own battle and trying to win as many of those as I could and really just simplify the game into giving my best and see where that took me.

Q. Presumably it’s better to do it in 52 minutes than an hour and 52 minutes.
JOHANNA KONTA: I think both scenarios have good and bad things.

Q. Can you be a bit more specific? When you say you’re recovering, did you mean physically or psychologically or in what way?
JOHANNA KONTA: In every way. I think it was quite a traumatic experience. You know, I’m just still, you know, working on getting better. I think the best I can do for myself is move on from it, and I felt I did that.

Yeah, I focused on the match that I had today, and now I feel very lucky that I have got another chance to focus on the match I will have on Sunday.

Q. You defended your ranking points for last year now. Was that something on your mind at all, or were you just simply taking it one match at a time?
JOHANNA KONTA: Definitely one match at a time. I wasn’t thinking about that. The ranking points, they come and go every week. I definitely can’t live on my results here last year.

I was really, I really am enjoying the tournament now this year for what it is.

Q. What do you know about your next opponent?
JOHANNA KONTA: I don’t know who it is.

Q. Sevastova.
JOHANNA KONTA: I have played her once before actually in my first Australian Open qualifying, so I do know her and I have been on court with her. That was a number of years ago. She’s obviously playing very good tennis. She is a very good player. I have a lot of respect for her.

Yeah, hopefully we’ll have a good match.

Q. This is still the first big tournament that you had a good result in last year. How special is it just in general not thinking about having to defend points?
JOHANNA KONTA: I do love the US Open. I do have a lot of firsts here. It was the first time I got to play — qualify, sorry, not play — first time I got to qualify into the main draw. It was the first slam I went deeper in, as well.

So, yeah, no, I definitely think the US Open has got its own vibe, its own organized chaos. I think there is a lot of enjoyments players take from that.

Q. Do you feel it kind of vibes with your personality? How do you approach the New York atmosphere?
JOHANNA KONTA: I think it’s always a great challenge. I think if you can stay focused and calm and, yeah, just really focused on the work at hand here, you can make it anywhere. (Laughter.)

Q. After the other day, did you go and do something fun to take your mind off of it, or was it a case of having to be full-on recovery?
JOHANNA KONTA: Yeah, number one was my health and number one was just taking care of that. So it was just eating and sleeping.

Q. Have the medics told you how long it will take you to recover fully from all of this?
JOHANNA KONTA: No, because it’s not — it’s not — it wasn’t something like that. I got checked in terms of my heart and everything and everything looked good. Everything’s fine.

I think it’s something that will obviously just be getting better. It will be absolutely fine hopefully by tomorrow or when I get the chance to have a little bit of a rest.

I mean, right now I really do feel good. Yeah, just moving on from it.

Q. Have you gotten a chance to follow some of the tournaments of your fellow UK players on the men’s side? Some of them have been having some pretty good runs here.
JOHANNA KONTA: Yeah, I saw three of them are in and Dan won. I saw three of them are still in. Yeah, that’s really exciting. Hopefully Kyle will have a good match today. I saw he’s playing.

But, yeah, that’s good.

Jack Sock

Press Conference

J. SOCK/M. Cilic

6-4, 6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. A couple of months ago you were running for president…
JACK SOCK: Still running for president.

Q. What kind of stock is raised here at the round of 16?
JACK SOCK: I think it can only help my campaign. It’s been a good year. I think I’m the only one running so I’m in good position now.

Yeah, no, it’s been good fun, and hopefully everyone helps.

Q. Are you a better player now than you were, say, a year ago? In what ways?
JACK SOCK: I’d like to think so, yeah. I mean, I think with every year, every tournament, I mean, every experience can only help. I think just all around I think I’m putting things together better and better. I definitely feel more confident out there in everything I’m doing.

Used to be some liabilities people would talk about in my game. I feel like I have cleaned those up pretty well. Returning was big for me. I think I’ve gotten a pretty good hold on that. Feeling comfortable. Getting in a lot of guys’ service games now.

Overall I feel my purpose out there. I’m executing it well and I feel like I know what I’m going to do on almost every point.

Q. I asked you the other day about the feeling of being in the third round. Same question, different round. Especially at this tournament – you have done it before – but to do it here, does it feel like more of an accomplishment? Do you still feel like you have that hunger to go further?
JACK SOCK: I mean, yeah, always. I made third round here a couple of times. For me to make the second week here and every slam going forward is my goal. I feel like if I’m playing good tennis and how I can, I feel like that’s kind of where I belong.

You know, I was able to piece it together today well and play a good match. Always happy to get through the next round, but definitely the hunger and excitement is that much and more. I think every round you make you want to keep going and keep playing good tennis, especially in front of your home fans here.

Not really a better feeling through the year than being an American at this tournament. So, yeah, obviously I want to keep playing and go as far as I can go.

Q. What did you take from your comeback against him the last time that you put into action so well today?
JACK SOCK: Yeah, I mean, obvious tactical stuff when I’m out there playing, but more so the confidence and everything. First tie of that rubber, or first rubber of that tie, and, you know, I got down two sets. To come back and get three there and get us off to a good start, it only gave me confidence, you know, going into the summer because it’s kind of the first — you know, it was the kickstart of the summer for me.

And obviously against, you know, that opponent. And then playing him today, took a lot of stuff away from that. Watched some video of it. And, yeah, used what I did well there in the last three sets again today and it worked out.

Q. How much of your success now at this Open is the more mature Jack Sock as opposed to past years?
JACK SOCK: I would contribute a lot of it to it. Yeah, maybe in the past years maybe I was — like he was saying, I was happy to make third round and, you know, kind of whatever happens, happens.

But I feel like definitely more, you know, on a mission this year, you know, like I have been at most tournaments. Going forward, like I said, I feel like where my tennis is and confidence, you know, how I can play, my goal is to be competing to win tournaments that I’m playing instead of, you know, just content with making a quarter or whatever tournament it is.

Yeah, definitely on a mission now to compete to try to be winning these tournaments I’m playing.

Q. First of all, what was that song you were playing?
JACK SOCK: That was Luke Combs, Hurricane. Great song.

Q. I will download that. The other one was can you describe the emotions at the end of that match and what were you doing there? Was that a Ickey Shuffle?
JACK SOCK: No, I was fencing with my racquet. I became good buddies in Rio with one of the fencers, Miles Chamley-Watson. He lives here in New York. I have been trying to get him to come out and watch a match. He was busy doing his stuff.

He was able to come out here today. Kind of on the spot I thought of turning the racquet into — I think it’s called a foil? Is that what they call it? Thought of turning the racquet into one of those and doing something for him for coming out. I think people were enjoying it. I have seen the video. It looks pretty funny, actually.

Yeah, so if he’s in the box on the next one and I’m able to win, you might see a cleaned up technique and better version of it.

Q. Obviously some good recent results against Cilic. Could you talk about the importance of matchups in tennis? Are they critical? What kind of players do you match up against well and who not so much?
JACK SOCK: That’s a tough question. I mean, I don’t know. It’s kind of circumstantial. I mean, you can say you match up well against a guy, but if they are having a great day and you are having a little bit of an off day — you’re at these tournaments and everyone is in the draw for a reason and everyone is a professional tennis player for a reason.

So I think anybody can beat anybody on any given day. And, yeah, you can say I really match up well against this guy, but if you’re a little bit off, these guys are too good at this level. They’ll take advantage and they can get you.

Yeah, I mean, today I feel like playing a guy like that he likes everything, you know, in the slot and he dictates really well if he’s on the baseline and moving the ball around. That’s how he won this tournament a couple years ago.

That’s why I tried to do. Today big for me was the variety. A lot of kick serves trying to get out of the strike zone and keep him on the move and throw on some slice. Was able to work well, especially with the windy conditions.

Yeah, that’s kind of my game style going up against anybody, and hopefully it works.

Q. I want to follow up on what you said earlier about improving your returns. You sort of made a passing reference to people talking about maybe that being a part of your game that wasn’t as good as other aspects. Wondering, first of all, is that something you sort of heard in the outside world or somebody close to you said, Hey, you’ve got to improve this? And how did you improve your return?
JACK SOCK: I mean, I think you can always improve every part of your game. I only say that because when I got to play a match or people like to talk about my tennis, they talk about serving and forehand is what I hear all the time.

So obviously, you know, when I’m playing guys the general public like to talk about maybe the weaker side being my backhand and all that. I think I have improved it tremendously. Serve big and maybe getting into a lot of breakers and not being able to get in guys’ service games.

I feel like that’s changed dramatically as well. Feel very comfortable returning. I think the doubles helped a lot. Even the week in Rio I was returning really, really well, and I’m taking that in, that confidence, and kind of just that flow and rhythm into all these matches. I think it’s showing.

Yeah, I think when you can hold comfortably and, you know, you’re in a lot of guys’ service games, it only makes it that much easier out there.

Q. Tsonga next. I think you played only once and on clay. Perhaps you wouldn’t pull anything from that. If you do, what do you take from that match and what’s an opponent like him offering?
JACK SOCK: Yeah, you know, he’s a very established player. Been in the top 10o for a long time and had great success at tournaments of all levels and I’m going to have to obviously bring out my best stuff again to have a chance.

But it’s sort of similar to today. I think he’s a guy who likes to lean on the ball. Likes to be attacking and dictating. If I can throw some variety in there, serve well again, and get into some return games, the chances go up for me.

Yeah, I mean, we play a similar style, I think. We both look for forehands to dictate points, and I think it will kind of be whoever can get that first attacking position with that side, and then serving will also a big part of it.

He serves well. We both look to get easy points on that.

Q. (Question regarding decision to stop playing doubles.)
JACK SOCK: Max told me I couldn’t play any more doubles. It was the team, collective decision within the team. It was personal experiences, you know, where I felt like it’s kind of hindered my play in singles.

But also, even playing with Vasek the last couple years, last year Wimbledon, played five sets against Troicki; down two sets to love. Same day we were down two sets to love in doubles; we came back and lost in five.

So we played ten sets in one day. Two days later played Murray in the quarters and kind of ran out of gas. Had opportunities in the quarters of a slam in singles. You know, had he not played five more sets that day and gotten the rest.

For me here last year, I got my first round win. Was here till 9:30, 10:00 playing doubles and put me on second the next morning. Obviously not getting the proper rest and everything you need going into those matches.

So tough decision on one end, but also easy decision on the other, where you get all your energy and rest and hydration and you just take all the necessary steps to do your best in singles. I think it’s showing. So far this year I think I’ll stick to this in the future.

Madison Keys

Press Conference

M. KEYS/N. Osaka

7-5, 4-6, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. A great win. After today and Monday, I’m starting to think you like to live on the edge. How were you able to remain calm and confident and collected down 1-5 in the final set?
MADISON KEYS: I mean, obviously those aren’t the most fun matches, but I just knew that, you know, if I stayed in the match that I could maybe have a chance to come back and get back in it.

No matter what the score was, it was always just trying to get back in the match. Once I was able to get a little bit of momentum I felt like I found my game a bit more. At that point I knew I had to kind of step up or else I was going to be going home.

Q. You were really struggling with your returns in the beginning of that third set. Just missing a few balls. It seemed like something clicked and you dug in and started hitting faster through the ball and everything. Was that intentional or adrenaline? Kind of a refuse to lose sort of thing? What do you think that is?
MADISON KEYS: I think it was a little bit of both. There was obviously not a ton of rhythm at the beginning of that set. I felt like I wasn’t returning very well. It got to a point where you’re either going to make them or you’re going to lose.

I think I kind of just took a step back and just wanted to make her play. Then I think once I did that I got a little bit of confidence back and started playing better.

Q. Moving forward, are you going to incorporate going to the net more often? I know you your game is power, but will you incorporate more going to the net and developing a net game?
MADISON KEYS: I’m definitely working on it and I’m trying to come to the net more. It obviously happens in less stressful times and when I’m feeling a little bit more relaxed.

But I’m definitely working on trying to improve that part of my game.

Q. Speaking of the net, 1-5, Love-15, you kind of stormed into the net and played those two volleys. At the time it seemed crazy but with hindsight it seemed like the moment it all changed and you started moving. What was going through your mind when you hit those shots?
MADISON KEYS: You know, I think she kind of just hit a shot that I felt like I was being pulled forward on. You know, then at that point it was just me trying to get the ball back over the net.

Once that moment kind of happened, I feel like I kind of got really fired up about it. That really helped me.

Q. When she was just a couple points from the win, what was going through your mind as your shot sailed over that net?
MADISON KEYS: I think the biggest thought was — I didn’t know if I should challenge the ball or not because I thought it was out. Then as soon as she went to hit the volley it was just kind of, Please, God, get to the ball or please go out.

Q. As you certainly know, tennis can be a very tough, brutal game. You have suffered many, many tough losses yourself. She’s just 18. By all accounts, a delightful young player. What would you say to her so this doesn’t throw her off, that she just go on?
MADISON KEYS: I think she played really well. I think at the end of the match it kind of came down to experience, being in that situation before, having lost some tough matches. It happens. You know, it just makes you stronger.

You kind of just put it in the back of your mind and use it to fuel yourself and get back out there and try to get better.

Q. Is it tough to put tough losses behind you to just go on and not bring yourself down after a tough defeat?
MADISON KEYS: Yeah, it can be. I think some losses are tougher than others. Some kind of stick around longer than others.

But at the end of the day, if you can learn something from it, then you can take it as a positive.

Q. You practiced with her. How much more did you see of her game in a match situation, and can you see playing her for years to come?
MADISON KEYS: Yeah, for sure. I practiced with her a little bit. It was probably an hour hit. So I didn’t know a ton about her, but seeing how she played today, she has a great serve and she has a great forehand. She is really aggressive, and I like how she plays.

So, for sure I think that we will see her around. I think she’s an amazing fighter, because she definitely could have given up after the middle of the second set and she didn’t.

Q. Talking about experience, how comfortable are you on Ashe right now? How do you feel like the crowd on center court has warmed up to you the more you have played on that court?
MADISON KEYS: I haven’t played many matches on Ashe, but always happy to be out there. The crowd today was amazing, and getting to play at your home slam on Ashe is a feeling like you can’t even describe.

So having that crowd support today was really incredible.

Q. Next you will probably have Wozniacki probably at night on center court. How do you think the crowd will be on that match?
MADISON KEYS: I think the crowd will be more divided seeing as she’s a finalist, but I think I will have plenty of support.

Q. Did you feel like you sort of put a little more weight or shape to your shots from that 1-5? It appears you were still hitting through the ball. Did you feel like you had your foot completely on the gas through that comeback, or did you sort of pull back a little bit and make her play?
MADISON KEYS: I think it was a little bit of a combination. I think I definitely backed off at the beginning of the third set. Wasn’t looking for forehands as much.

I knew I was going to have to play aggressive because she’s a great player and she was going to step up and try to win the match. So I knew I had to do the same.

And I think it was just a balancing act of knowing when to maybe take a little bit off of it and then when to really look for my forehand and step in.

Q. First round, two points from the loss; today, two points from the loss. You’re into the round of 16. What do you take away from the first week of kind of, yeah, giving everybody a heart attack?
MADISON KEYS: I think the biggest thing is just, you know, I’m never giving up and I’m fighting to the very end. That’s something to pat myself on the back for. But also definitely going to sit down later and work on some things for the next round because I don’t want to be two points from losing again.

Yeah, so really looking forward to trying to have straightforward matches.

Q. It will be your first meeting with Caroline Wozniacki. How do you see her as an opponent?
MADISON KEYS: I have known Caroline for a while. I don’t think we have ever really practiced or anything, but she’s obviously a great player. She loves playing at the US Open. She’s done well here. She’s going to be tough.

I think she’s playing well right now. You know, it’s always interesting once you get to the fourth round because everyone has won matches and they’re feeling very confident.

Q. You call it the best comeback of your career. Why?
MADISON KEYS: I think just because this is the biggest stage that I have done it on. I think I easily could have let a lot of emotions get in the way of, you know, being able to come back today.

Being able to kind of block out everything and just really fight through it and get back into the match, I was really proud of myself for that today.

Q. There was a week off or a couple of weeks between, but coming off of the Olympics and that experience, and I think a lot of the emotional energy that was spent in Rio and the actual energy of getting there, has it been more of a challenge than, say, coming off of a Cincinnati or a New Haven?
MADISON KEYS: I definitely think there is a difference between the Olympics and Cincinnati or New Haven. I know for me there was no chance I could have played Cincinnati. I was so emotionally tired after Rio. It was amazing. You know, it was one of the best weeks of my life, but it was definitely very draining.

So it’s been different to kind of have to come back from that and get yourself back on track after that.

Q. Your career is going beautifully. Do you feel in your gut you’re now ready to lift the trophy here on the final Saturday?
MADISON KEYS: I definitely think I have done a lot of work and that I’m here and I’m competing for that. But at the same time, it’s not really how I focus on things. I’m more concerned about fourth round against Caroline on Sunday.

So I’m not looking past that right now.

Q. You seem relatively calm despite what was going on. Did you have to make a conscious effort? If so, what did you tell yourself?
MADISON KEYS: I really just kept telling myself, Just try to stay in it. I just knew I was going to have to step up. It was one of those things where it was either step up or lose, so, you know, I knew I had to stay calm in that moment. I kind of just forced myself to.

Q. When asked about up and coming American talent, Serena Williams mentioned your name first. Many people think you’re the next superstar for American women. What do you think about that?
MADISON KEYS: I think that’s very nice of her to say (laughter). It always feels good to hear Serena say something like that. More than anything, it just makes me want to go out and keep working and trying to get better. Just because if someone who has been in her position where she’s been No. 1 for so long says that about me, you know, I really want to do my best to kind of live up to that and do everything I can to put myself in a good position.

Q. Regardless of what happens, you’ll finish the Grand Slam season having made all four second weeks this year. What about that makes you the most proud?
MADISON KEYS: Just that it was my goal to be more consistent and to make second weeks. I felt like I worked so hard at it and I was so close so many times.

So, you know, those mornings when I didn’t want to wake up at 6:15 to go to practice, those are the moments where I feel like getting through those and going out and having good practices have put me in this position.

As much as I hate it, I’m probably going to have to keep doing some of those.

Q. You have talked a lot during the summer about winning matches when you’re not playing well. Based on this week and also the whole past few months, do you feel like that’s something you’re now good at and you can now rely on that to get you through certain problems?
MADISON KEYS: Yeah, I think I have had a lot of matches where I have had to dig myself out of holes or, you know, figure out ways to win when I wasn’t playing my best.

I think I have done a really good job at that. I think that gives me a little bit of confidence when I am down, knowing that I can figure things out.

Q. What do you do to just have fun?
MADISON KEYS: Lately, I have just been taking lots of naps and watching movies. (Smiling.) Normally I like to hang out with my friends and family.

I really enjoy baking, which is tough on the road. Yeah, so whenever I’m home I feel like I’m constantly in the kitchen.

Q. What do you bake?
MADISON KEYS: I make all kinds of things.

Q. You do?

Q. Serena’s nice compliment about you, Serena told us about Naomi. She’s a very dangerous player. Do you think in the near or far future any rivalry between you and her?
MADISON KEYS: There definitely could be. I think she’s a great player and there are a lot of weapons that are going to get her very far. Yeah, I have no doubt she will be around and winning lots of matches.

Novak Djokovic

Press Conference

N. DJOKOVIC/M. Youzhny

4-2 (ret.)

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You had perhaps a helpful rehab time, but you’re not getting matches. Which is more important?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, depends at how you look at it. This particular situation I never had in my Grand Slam career. But considering the stage of the season, you know, the amount of matches I’ve played, what I’ve been through with my body, I think it’s actually good to have some days off and then shorter matches from one side.

From the other side, sure, as you are approaching second week of the Grand Slam you want to have match play and you want to have time spent on the center court before you face one of the top players.

But, again, I’m not too concerned about my game itself. I’ve worked hard last couple days. Health-wise I feel much better than I did at the beginning of the tournament. You know, I’m confident that everything is going in the right direction.

Q. Is it a letdown emotionally to go out there? You’re all fired up to play and then all of a sudden you stop.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It’s not great for neither players nor the fans pay tickets to come and watch. Spent 20 minutes on the court. Of course, it’s not something you want considering, as well, the fact I haven’t played last match at all.

But it is what it is. I got an extra hour of practice on the center court. They were kind enough to allow me to practice. Got to focus on positives.

Q. Do you remember any other situation, similar situation, to this? I remember one in Rome, which is not a slam, where you played Almagro. Then Stepanek, Federer…
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It was not a Grand Slam. That’s why I said, the Grand Slam career this never happened. I had very few. I remember one walkover that I had. It was quarters in French Open, Fognini.

But I haven’t had this particular circumstance where I have walkover and then I spend six games on the court next match.

But it is what it is. I’ll take it. I’m moving on and focusing on the next one.

Q. Were you able to practice normally the past couple of days?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, the arm is doing very well. Everything, as I said, is going in the right direction. I feel significantly better now than I have just at the beginning of the tournament.

I’m looking forward to compete.

Q. He used some dropshots before he got hurt. You use them quite frequently in your own game. What is your feeling about that shot in general?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It’s good to have that kind of shot in the variety. Obviously it disrupts the certain pattern movements and takes the player out of his comfort zone, especially somebody that stands far behind the baseline.

It’s a shot that is accurate in a different ways. Obviously sometimes I know that I don’t have as much of a success rate on the points where I play dropshot, but in the big picture it’s a tactical move as well to make the player thinking, What is the next shot? Kind of use the whole court.

Q. Were you ever taught not to use it on hard courts?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Not really. You know, I was encouraged mostly by my coaches throughout my career to use the angles, to use that variety. I think that helps, definitely, in big matches.

Q. Do you find it mentally tiring to dominate the tennis like you’ve done and to be always the man to chase?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I don’t find it tiring. First of all, I really enjoy playing this sport. I have love and passion for it. In the end of the day, it’s my choice to do that. I’m very grateful to have this opportunity to play it, and to have people around me that really put in a lot of effort and energy, sacrifice, for me to, you know, play tennis and keep following this kind of lifestyle.

I’m blessed. Not many people in the world that can say, you know, they have managed to achieve their dreams, do the job that they really enjoy doing, working, and be very successful in it.

I’m aware of that. That’s what keeps me going, you know, that kind of initial emotion for the sport and for the game and for this lifestyle.

And, of course, I like competing. I like being out there and moving my own boundaries and seeing how far I can go. So as long as there is that kind of flair in me, I’ll keep going.

Q. The US Open is the only Grand Slam that uses adults as ball people, not ballkids.

Q. There are some of them that have been there for years and years. Do you recognize some of their faces? Does it bring any sort of comfort to you having the same people on court?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: They are very efficient, I must say. They are doing their job extremely well. Sometimes, you know, the line umpires, the ballkids, they take the beating from the players. Sometimes, you know, when you’re in the midst of the battle, things are going up or down, you get emotional on the court and they’re the ones that are around you.

Sometimes you take it for granted, you know, the work that they’re doing. I appreciate it very much. I think most of us tennis players, at the beginning of our careers, we were ballkids at some stage of our childhood. Maybe not on a Grand Slam. I was never on a Grand Slam, but on smaller tournaments in my city and in my country. So I know how that feels.

But, as you say, they are professionals here in US Open. I didn’t really look at each one of them, but I see many adults. I don’t know if all of them are adults, but they’re doing their job very well. They are very rained and experienced.

Q. For one year and a half every tournament we went and you were playing, you were the strong favorite. This is probably the first tournament where we see that somebody says, Murray is the favorite because Djokovic has this shoulder problem, personal problems, this and that. When you read that, if you know about that, do you laugh at it? You don’t care? What is your reaction? You say, It’s better; I have less pressure?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: That’s your job, to speculate and predict, to have the freedom to express your opinion about who can win or not.

In the end of the day I respect that, but I don’t pay too much attention on that, to be honest. There were stages in my career where I was very much into it, following who says what. That affected my mind.

Not anymore. You evolve. You rely on yourself. In the end of the day, I know what are my capabilities and I know what I am able to do, what I’m able to achieve. If I play the right tennis, I can win against anybody in any surface.

That’s where my primary and focus and attention goes to, you know, try to get myself in that optimal state of mind, body, spirit, and just perform the best that I can.

Q. You were just talking about competition. Why is it so compelling, so fascinating to us?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, as everybody else, you go through life and you evolve and you change. I’ve experienced that kind of evolution myself. Psychologically I perceive my tennis career and the purpose of playing tennis, life in general, differently five years ago than I do now.

I still have, as I mentioned before, that intrinsic satisfaction and passion when I play tennis, just when I hold the racquet in my hands. But, you know, over the years I had to find always ways of motivating myself.

To be honest, trophies are not enough, because that’s something that — that’s not sustainable. Surely you’re going to feel great if you’re No. 1 and you win Grand Slam trophies. Part of my inspiration is related to that surely.

But on the other hand, as you grow older, as you play more tennis, you’re on the tour at a high level, of course, you need to find new ways, find other meaning and purpose of why you’re playing it.

So becoming a father, a husband, having my own family, a foundation, many different things that happen along the way, have influenced that kind of perception of, you know, being part of this sport.

I find tennis as a way of using this as a platform, I would say, to maybe convey or share certain messages, passions that I have, or values. In the end of the day, I’m in a privileged position. As any other top athlete, you have this responsibility. You have such a blessing to be there. You have so much power to make a change in a good or bad way or influence somebody in a good or bad way.

Yeah, maybe I’m deep into philosophy now, but you understand hopefully my answer.

Q. I don’t know if you’ve been asked about the Laver Cup yet. Can you give your thoughts about it? Do you think it’s going to take off and have international significance?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I hope so. I think it’s a great idea. Well, discussing with my team about my participation, eventual participation in that competition next year. If it happens, I will be happy. If it doesn’t happen, again, I will be happy, because tennis needs to move on, needs to evolve, needs to get new events, new ideas, innovative, I would say, approach from everybody involved in tennis.

I think Laver Cup is a model that is used already in golf. I think there is the Ryder Cup that has been an example for the Laver Cup, as I understood. It’s great. Ryder Cup has been one of the most successful sports events throughout the history. Why not take that example and try to use it in our own sport? That’s what they’ve done.

I applaud all the people for coming up that idea, pursuing it, because it’s not easy to set up a big event. I think if it’s done in the right way, which I see it is already, Roger and Rafa headlining the event with Borg and McEnroe. Those are huge names in the history books of tennis.

I’m sure it’s going to get some worldwide exposure and significance.

Q. Is it in the right place in the schedule, though, late September, to have that event in the middle of the season?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Look, you know, schedule is another subject. You can always say there’s no space or there’s no right or wrong period.

But in the end of the day, schedule today is the same as it was so many decades ago. I was saying many times before, and I still strongly believe, that we really need to consider making some changes in the schedule, you know, working towards protecting and nurturing players’ wellness, well-being, health, and enduring careers.

You see more and more injuries. This is due to a very physical sport, a very demanding schedule, more events, more significance of course. More prize money, more everything. Players play more.

But in the end of the day, in the bigger picture, it’s not that great. You don’t want to see short careers, right? You want to see longer careers.

But this is maybe not a subject for this moment. I still think we all need to sit down and rethink about the future of the schedule of our sport.

Q. Do you tune out what’s happening amongst your competitors in the draw during this tournament? Do you focus exclusively on what you’re doing?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Surely I follow of course. Once you’re in a Grand Slam you watch a match or two when you’re back in your hotel room. Mostly when I’m training, days off, or when I’m here the day of my match, tennis is everywhere, on each TV. Not only in the tennis facility, but all over the city. You can feel that kind of vibe.

You are following what your main competitors especially are doing, how they’re playing. Of course, everybody does that.

But my main focus, of course, is on me only and my next opponent.

Petra Kvitova

Press Conference

P. KVITOVA/E. Svitolina

6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You haven’t lost a set through the first week.
PETRA KVITOVA: That’s true. What a surprise, right? (Laughter.)

Q. Are you surprised?
PETRA KVITOVA: Petra with a three, it’s not working so far, which is good. I’m saving some energy.

I think it’s doesn’t matter. The important is the win. Of course, with saving energy it’s always better.

I didn’t feel the hot today outside that was before, so it was really good.

Q. Have you noticed that, that it hasn’t been as hot in New York this times as it has in years past?
PETRA KVITOVA: The first day when I played on Monday, that was kind of difficult. But I played the first match, so it was okay. I was happy for that.

Yeah, I think so far is okay. I mean, the rain yesterday interrupt the game, unfortunately, but the roof was here.

Q. What happened in the second set and how were you able to turn that around?
PETRA KVITOVA: I think that she didn’t feel probably the pressure. She just came strong there. I just feel that she was a little bit, you know, playing more aggressive than before. I let her play her better game, I think, as well. I didn’t push her that much.

I was lucky then 4-3 came the new balls and I could serve well the 4-All, which was really helping to my confidence as well. So it was a little difficult at the end of the second set. It was a big fight, the last game.

Tough to say. Sometimes when the player’s down they just a little bit more relaxed and didn’t really have anything to lose. They just went, you know, more and better played.

Q. Is it confidence-building for you to know that you were able to right the ship quickly?
PETRA KVITOVA: Yeah, it was helping. Even when I was 4-Love up, then also tight, 4-4, and I was still able to serve well and play well after, which is always a good sign. So I’m happy for that.

Q. Aside from the heat, do you actually like this city and the tournament, the big crazy city, the traffic? Are you a fan of this place?
PETRA KVITOVA: I’m not really a fan of the traffic, but I starting to like it here last year when I played well and I made the quarterfinal. You know, in the day off I’m not going on-site, so I’m kind of out of the traffic. There’s many people up here and everything. I’m kind of saving the energy and everything, which I think is helping to my person as well, and mentally, too.

But I feel that the crowd, it’s always, you know, cheering. I think finally I find the way how I should take the energy from them as well.

Q. How different does it feel not to come to the site every other day?
PETRA KVITOVA: You know, it’s funny. I think that not many people can imagine or do that. It was funny. We were joking today that we were going to the site for the fourth time and I played three matches. I went here on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, which is really funny, I feel.

And last year I did the same. I played five matches and I spend six days here. I think not many people can do that.

I’m okay. I’m happy I’m not a person who has to practice every day.

Q. Does it feel strange to not have that routine?
PETRA KVITOVA: No. I have my own routine, so I’m good.

Q. Where do you practice off-site?
PETRA KVITOVA: I’m not practicing.

Q. You’re just taking the day as it goes? Do you do any training?
PETRA KVITOVA: Yeah, we are not setting everything, like nothing with the time. Whenever I wake up, go for breakfast. We do always fitness like for 45 minutes or something. So the body is still doing something, but not like anything with the racquet.

Q. So you’re playing every other day right now?
PETRA KVITOVA: Yes. Just a warmup and match.

Q. What are you doing on your day off? Are you exploring the city? Staying at the hotel?
PETRA KVITOVA: I’m start like trying to relax, to have a nap every day. The sleep, it’s always helping the body for everything.

I do a little bit of the shopping every time, or just walking in the city and the fitness. I feel that the day is flying so fast, so it’s always the dinnertime. Like, I didn’t do anything.

Q. If you sleep until 2:00 pm…
PETRA KVITOVA: It’s not. I’m waking up at 8:00, 8:30, but after lunch I have a movie or something.

Q. Do you have a favorite shop or a favorite stretch, like 5th Avenue?
PETRA KVITOVA: No. I didn’t even go to 5th Avenue. It’s terrible. I have to do it tomorrow. (Laughter.)

Q. You kind of have come through your career in different ways than most typical top players. Not a lot of juniors. You play a different style of game than most people. You have the ability to take these breaks, like last year in the spring. You’re going to sites every other day.
PETRA KVITOVA: I know I’m different. (Smiling.)

Q. This sport tends to be one where everybody does the same thing, what the other person is doing. Is it easy for you to kind of march to the beat of your own drummer?
PETRA KVITOVA: I think it’s not really easy. I think with the mature and everything, with the experiences, you just find the own way. I don’t feel the top players doing the same as the rest of the players.

It’s always about the personality, I think, and about what you can really find what is the best for you. I’m still in the process like trying to find what is the best. I think it’s never-ending story to find it.

Now I always know that I’m a little bit different with the practices, about tournaments, everything. When I’m really tired mentally I always know it’s impossible to play, so I have to be clear in my mind and enjoy the tennis. That’s the most important thing for me.

Because when I don’t have a passion and a fight in me it’s always difficult. It’s just be there and it’s nothing for me. I love the sport, so I really need to have the feelings to having the battle.

So I knew that. I’m glad that my fitness coach know I’m different, too. I think we are good combo, as well. We always trying to find the best way, yeah.

Q. When you were growing up, did you feel more pressure to conform to what other players were doing on the tour?
PETRA KVITOVA: Not at all. I was happy to have my coach, my father as my coach. I do remember when I was like 14, 15, like same-age players played twice a day, practicing every day four hours.

I was just going to the school, which was not really fun. I hit like hour, hour and a half every day after the school in the afternoon. And my father told me one day – I will remember forever – we are working on the techniques, and they have just more and more hours.

I think he did a great job for sure. I wasn’t that tired as my same-age girls were afterwards. They all retire after a while and went to school, and I was still continue. I think that was a good move.

Q. You said your team was understanding. How did they react when you told them you didn’t want to come but every other day?
PETRA KVITOVA: They’re really fine. I think it’s always about the player, and the player has to tell what is the best. I think that’s the important.

I am not a rebel. It’s something what I have to say. They should, of course, listen to me. Not every time we have the same opinion on all things, but sometimes we need to find a compromise.

But that’s how it is.

Q. Have you ever heard someone from the crowd scream something and then changed your tactic because they said? Hit to her forehand, something like that?
PETRA KVITOVA: No, not really. Sometimes I hear like, Make an ace. Not often it’s happening or doing that afterwards, but sometimes it’s funny to hear that. But not really, no.

Q. What kind of things have you heard?
PETRA KVITOVA: Something like that, Make the ace. The worst is just to listen, Four more balls, four more points and you get there. It’s something terrible, because we never can count. Then 30-Love, Two more. It’s not great. (Laughter.)

Naomi Osaka

Press Conference

M. KEYS/N. Osaka

7-5, 4-6, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Obviously wasn’t the result you were looking for, but what did you make of the experience, being out there on Arthur Ashe Stadium?
NAOMI OSAKA: I thought it was kind of fun. I know the crowd was against me. That was, like, a bit frustrating.

But, yeah, I grew up watching the players I liked play on this court. As an experience, it was very nice.

Q. Was it particularly loud?
NAOMI OSAKA: Not really. I mean, I expect people to be that loud when, like, the top American woman is playing, so…

Q. What went through your mind when you were leading 5-1 and she was coming back?
NAOMI OSAKA: Well, at 5-1 I was just very nervous. I kind of wanted to close it out. I felt like I could, like, rely on my serve at that point, because I think she was serving at 5-1. It didn’t really bother me that she held serve at that time.

But it really started freaking me out when she was, like, going 5-2, 5-3, 5-4, those times. But yeah…

Q. Serving at 5-2 and 5-4, what was going through your mind that made you nervous?
NAOMI OSAKA: Well, I felt like she had a good service return, so I felt that sometimes when I hit hard serves she would use my power. It was bouncing in my mind between, like, going for a serve and just placing it.

So I felt like I couldn’t fully focus on what to do after my serve. I was just sort of reacting the whole time, so…

Q. Before that you played with so much poise in the second set. What was going through your mind in the second set?
NAOMI OSAKA: I’m just generally better when the other person’s leading. I don’t know. I feel like the pressure’s off me. If she’s leading I just have to focus on the things that I have to do and not worry too much about the outcome ’cause she’s, like, higher ranked than me and sort of expected to win, so…

In the second set I was just a bit free.

Q. Any particular points you regret that would make everything turn around?
NAOMI OSAKA: I think I hit a very ridiculous volley at 30-All, 5-4. Yikes. I think if I made that I would have gotten a match point. I don’t really regret anything, if you’re going to say that. Just I’m a bit disappointed.

Q. Young players come into the game optimistic and then tough things happen. Do you think this will set you back or bother you?
NAOMI OSAKA: Honestly, I actually feel this is a good, like, match for me because I haven’t really been playing that well for this whole hard court season. Like just to be able to get to the third round here is positive.

Like, as the match as a whole I feel like — honestly, I just played doubles right now, so I feel like if I didn’t play doubles maybe I would be more negative about the situation.

But I had so much fun out there, like, I just think tennis is a game, so I just have to enjoy everything and see how it goes, so…

Q. In Australia you said you actually like losing because you learn more from that.

Q. Could you say what you think you will learn from today’s experience.
NAOMI OSAKA: Well, I feel like if I had more set patterns or something to fall back on, because I feel like she was sort of commanding the whole match a little bit. I was just pushing it back, seeing what she would do, if she would hit it out or not.

Yeah, so I feel like if I had a better plan, then at 5-1 I wouldn’t have freaked out and been like, What do I do at this point?

Q. How much at this point in your career is about getting experience and getting those reps in?
NAOMI OSAKA: Well, this is, like, my first full year on the tour. I was kind of injured throughout clay and grass. I mean, going to those tournaments for the first time, it’s like an experience, I guess.

I mean, I wouldn’t really say, like, it’s new, though, you know what I mean? ‘Cause a court is a court no matter where you go.

But, I mean — what am I even talking about? Sorry.

I mean to say, like, getting experience is good, but I feel like if you’re a really good player it wouldn’t really matter if the place is new or if you’re traveling or whatever.

I’m sorry. Oh, my God. Yeah, I’m sorry. That doesn’t make sense.

Okay, so, like, experience is good and whatever, right? But like not having experience, if you’re good enough, it shouldn’t really matter. Okay?

Q. You’re both power hitters. Moving on, are you going to increase your net game?
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, honestly, I’m very comfortable on the baseline. Like moving in is a bit nerve-wracking for me. So I feel like, yeah, if I practice stepping in a bit more and being better at the net, then I think I would be more aggressive, so…

Q. You’re born in Japan, you’re Japanese, and I’m sure you feel that is wonderful. Your pop is Haitian. Do you ever say to yourself, I have a lot of American qualities; it would be nice if the American crowd were more supportive of me? Does that ever cross your mind?
NAOMI OSAKA: The last match I played before this match there was like quite a big crowd that were cheering for me. I mean, that was nice. But I don’t expect them to cheer for me, especially since I was playing Madison.

I mean, it’s nice if they cheer for me, but if they don’t I understand, so…

John Isner

Press Conference

K. EDMUND/J. Isner

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

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Got broken more than usual today. Was your serve feeling off at all?
JOHN ISNER: No, it wasn’t feeling off. I think the match swung a bit in the first game of the third set when I had Love-40. I played three really good points to get to Love-40, and then kind of wear myself out trying to finish that game off.

I didn’t break, and then the next game I didn’t make any first serves and got broken. That was a bit disappointing. But it was just a struggle out there a little bit. Kind of the whole tournament. Nothing really felt great the whole tournament.

But credit to Kyle. I thought he played well. Certainly played better than I did in the big moments, so hats off to him.

Q. When you talk about the tournament not feeling right, does that extend to the rest of the summer, too?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, I mean, the whole year in general, I guess, so…

It’s all good, I guess, but it’s a little disappointing for sure. I’ll get back to the drawing board. Obviously – I don’t know what the right word is – disappointed for sure right now. Have to hit the ‘delete’ button, watch some football, and hopefully that will clear me up.

Q. Did you notice any difference between your match at Roland Garros and here in Kyle’s tennis?
JOHN ISNER: No, I’m bad at that. I can’t recall. I can barely remember the match we played in Roland Garros right now. I’m assuming he played better today than he did at the French Open.

Q. How much do you think maybe the first match against Tiafoe took something out of you?
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, certainly you want to try to save your energy at a Grand Slam. That match took some out of me; my second-round match took something out of me. I played in the heat of the day both times, right around 1:00. It was pretty hot out there, too.

Maybe I came into this match at a little bit of a deficit, but that’s not why I lost. At a certain point adrenaline takes over, and it did in that match out there. I just wasn’t better than my opponent. Simple as that.

Q. Felt off-kilter, out of whack this summer, this tournament. Was that physical? Mental? The tape on your knee, is that preventive?
JOHN ISNER: I’ve been doing that all year. Always have a few things here or there kind of bothering me, but nothing too severe.

I mean, all in all, I feel pretty good. I can be thankful for that. Right now there’s nothing significant bothering me. There’s always a few things that linger here and there, but doesn’t keep me from going out on the court.

Q. Back to the drawing board, dumb question, but what do you plan on drawing? Do you see major changes coming?
JOHN ISNER: No, no. No changes, major changes. For me right now I got to try to get excited to play in the fall. To be honest, right now it doesn’t seem too exciting. We don’t have Davis Cup, unfortunately.

I’ll take some time off, regroup, get ready for that. See if I can finish the year strongly. We’ll see what happens.

Q. A couple younger guys left in the draw. Jack had a good win today. Jared. Do you think those guys can go far?
JOHN ISNER: Jack, Jared, and who else?

Q. I think it’s just the two of them.
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, I think they can. Jack’s very good. I don’t know who Jared plays, but he’s a good player as well.

Q. Karlovic.
JOHN ISNER: Okay. That’s winnable for him. It’s good to see Jared doing some good things. He’s a really nice guy.

Jack, of course, I’ve known forever. Doesn’t surprise me. He’s very good.

Q. What do you think of Kyle generally? What do you think of his game, how far he can go?
JOHN ISNER: He’s a good player. The one thing he has on his side, I should say, is he’s still very young. He’s playing well. He’s playing pretty well here, I would think.

Yeah, I mean, he’s got a good future, for sure.

Q. What about the tennis in America as it is today?
JOHN ISNER: What do you mean?

Q. The growth of top players.
JOHN ISNER: After my match or what?

Q. In general, in America, tennis in the United States.
JOHN ISNER: Yeah, I think it’s in good shape.



Rafael Nadal

Press Conference

R. NADAL/A. Kuznetsov

6-1, 6-4, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Have you ever hit a lob like that before?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, actually yes. Not many times, but I remember one in Madrid against Djokovic.

Q. You won that point?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah. (Smiling.) If not, I didn’t count.

Q. Is this as confident as you’ve felt with your tennis in a long time? Did you feel like you could get to this point, say, when you had to pull out of the French Open?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know. I think I played well tonight. Very happy about the way I played. First set especially was very high level.

Then I think I played a good second set. But, you know, I lost the serve in the second for a couple of games. I was serving bad. When you play against a player like him, that he’s able to return quick, hit a lot of good shots, then you are in big trouble, no? That’s what happened.

So I don’t know in which kind of level I am. Is true that when I had to stop I was playing great. I felt myself ready for the French. I don’t know what could happen on the French Open if I was keep playing, but I felt ready.

I don’t know where I am today. Only thing I know is I am happy. I am excited to play the US Open. For me is a great news that I am on the tour again, and I am playing every day with less pain on the wrist. That’s most important thing.

Q. Aside from the pain, in terms of feeling more comfortable hitting your forehand, especially down the line, it seems like you’re in better shape than you had been. Does it feel to you like you can hit it the way you like to hit your forehand?
RAFAEL NADAL: I am improving with that shot. Everybody knows that is a very important shot for me. When I am able to play that shot well, then the court opens a lot, because then the cross-court forehand that I have a good ONE with topspin have a much better impact on the opponent.

I did that well for a moments today, and I need to doing — like I am having every day a little bit better, I need to keep doing that way, improving a little bit every day.

Q. You are playing Pouille. What do you think about his game?
RAFAEL NADAL: He is a great player. He is young. He has all the shots: good serve, good forehand, good backhand. He’s a tough opponent. I practice with him a couple of times and I played with him long time ago.

I know he’s able to play a very high level. I know going to be a very tough match. I need to be ready for the match. I need to be ready to play my best if I want to keep going.

Q. How much did the Games boost your confidence?
RAFAEL NADAL: Every victory helps for the confidence, no, especially when you feel that you played well. I feel that today I played great tennis for a long time, for a lot of moments on the match. That helps for the confidence, no?

Every day is a different story. Tomorrow is another chance to confirm that positive feeling, so keep practicing the thing I am trying to practice and try to be ready for tomorrow.

Q. A lot of seeds have lost in your section of the draw. That helps the confidence together with the game you’re playing? The least games you’ve lost at the US Open ever since you played in three rounds.
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t understand the last part.

Q. You never lost more games than this time.
RAFAEL NADAL: Ah. That’s only fact, no? That don’t going to make the big impact on what’s coming, no?

I play my game. I play my draw. I play against opponents that are better in that moment. Because, at the end of the day, if somebody lost, it’s because the opponent played better than the seeded, no?

The ranking is a number that says the highest level you have during the year. But, for example, I don’t know, which number I am, No. 5, today in the world? Sometimes I can play better than the No. 5; sometimes I can play much worse than the No. 5. And that happens the same with the other seededs, no?

We’ll see what’s coming the next couple of days. Playing against Pouille is a young and tough opponent. That’s the only thing that stays in my mind now.

Q. The day you pulled out at the French Open you were obviously very sad and disappointed you had to do that. Was there ever a sense of doom? Did you ever fear that injury to the wrist would be worse than something you’d ever experienced before?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, no. I know was an accident. I know was a bad movement in Madrid. Was unlucky in a very bad moment of the season for different facts: because I was playing great, because was the tournament I have more success in in my career. But that’s it.

I know is an injury that is a little bit tricky. It’s dangerous because I had in the right wrist in 2012 maybe, or ’14. No, 2014 I could not come here, if I am not wrong.

So you need to be patient. You need to take your time, recover, work hard. That’s what I did. That’s all.

Q. You just opened what looked like a wonderful museum at your home. If you had to pick just one item from the museum, what would that item be?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know. I just can say thank you very much to the rest of the colleagues around the world, sportsmen and sportswomen, that send me thing, send me important things from them.

Is very difficult to choose one thing, no? I have things from Tiger Woods, from I don’t know, Usaine Bolt, Serena, Novak, Roger, from the best sportsmen. Michael Phelps. I cannot choose one thing. I feel very happy to have all these items in the museum.

In the end of the day is a museum that the people pays to come in and enjoy the experience, to watch these items. But at the same time is a very dynamic museum with a lot of activities inside. The profit of the museum is for my foundation. Is for a good cause, too. I’m very happy to have this.

Q. What did Usaine Bolt send to you?
RAFAEL NADAL: I have the shoes.

Q. You said every day there’s less pain in your wrist. Is there still something there or do you feel nothing when you’re on the court?
RAFAEL NADAL: Still something, no, but something that is not limiting my game now. That’s the most important thing.

Q. (Question regarding injuries.)
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t believe in coincidence, but is not my job to analyze that. That’s the thing. The people who run the sport has to analyze.

Is true that there is things that must be better. We cannot play in Olympic Games with one ball and the next day in Cincinnati with another ball.

I understand the people outside cannot understand the difference, but the difference is huge. You know, when we compete, we compete at our limits, and small differences makes a big impact in our body, no?

These kind of changes for our elbow, for the wrist, for the shoulder, is very bad. Is the same like changing surfaces very drastic is something that is bad. (Snapping fingers.) That’s why we have a schedule that we have different seasons.

When we play on clay, we keep playing on clay. When we play on hard, we keep playing on hard. It’s important to adapt your body to the next surfaces and to the changes, no?

The ball is a fight we the players have since a long time. We try to improve, but is always difficult.





Kyle Edmund

Press Conference

K. EDMUND/J. Isner

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

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Must be a challenge for you in some ways to keep your feet on the ground having such a great week and the prospect of playing Novak Djokovic.
KYLE EDMUND: Yeah, it’s been a great week so far, absolutely. Tonight was a really good win. I was pleased with my consistency throughout the match. Weren’t too many dips. On that stage, as well, in front of a good crowd, a big crowd, against John in his own country, I was pleased with the performance I put out there.

Yeah, very, very encouraging. Just happy I won at the minute, not much else. Just sort of taking it all in.

But, yeah, these are the situations you want to be in, what you dream about, reaching the fourth round of a slam now, getting the opportunity to play the world No. 1. Yeah, very positive.

Q. What was the difference between tonight and the French Open? You might have expected clay to favor you; quicker courts here to favor him.
KYLE EDMUND: Yeah, probably learning from my last match definitely helped me. Yeah, I mean, I play well on clay, but he’s also a top-20 player and he’s a good player. He beat me straight sets in the French.

I think I just learnt from it. I feel good about myself at the minute. I knew going into the match I had a good chance, a good opportunity, but just the nature of the match was a very different match than the last two matches.

Yeah, you’ve got to be able to play well against all different styles of players. That’s important. Today it was obviously about taking the chances when I had them, because they’re not going to come frequently.

I think last match I had like 16 breakpoints. I knew I wasn’t going to get that today. I had to be sharper when they came.

Yeah, it’s nice from the last performance. It obviously shows I’ve improved my match play. That’s obviously encouraging.

Q. What did you learn from the match against Novak in Miami? What did you do well there and what do you need to do better?
KYLE EDMUND: Yeah, he’s obviously a great player. What everyone sees, how you play against him, he’s tough to break down. Makes a lot of balls. You know, very quick around the court. He has lots of good abilities. He’s world No. 1. He’s good in all areas.

I feel I had some good success in that match. In the middle of the match I started taking it to him a bit more. That’s my game. That’s what I’ve been doing this tournament. I need to continue to do that.

What my game is is trying to be aggressive. It’s going to be no different when I play him on Sunday. That’s what’s been working. No point in changing it.

I just look forward to the experience, to be honest. I’m sure we’ll be on another nice court, like tonight. Being it’s my first fourth round in a Grand Slam, I’ll just embrace it, enjoy the moment, and obviously do my best, like tonight.

Q. What steps do you take to try to maintain your mental composure in a match like tonight where the crowd is behind John largely?
KYLE EDMUND: I don’t know. You’re just playing. It’s a long match, so you can’t be too up and down. It’s good atmosphere. Obviously more were supporting him, but I also had some good support. Some Brits out here and stuff.

I think it’s just normal. You embrace it more than anything. It’s US Open third round. It’s pretty much packed. It’s on a big court. It’s a great experience. It’s a good atmosphere.

I did find it a little more like a Davis Cup atmosphere. It was pretty loud. So I think that was nice.

Yeah, it’s such a long match, you just go about doing your own thing. You don’t try to get involved too much with other things. I was pleased with how I handled it.

It was how I expected: he’d get a little more support. It’s normal. We’re in America, so it was fine.

Q. You’ve already gone farther than you’ve ever gone in a slam. Do you go in the next match with absolutely nothing to lose?
KYLE EDMUND: Yeah, probably. That’s how I approached it tonight. I had nothing to lose really. But at the same time I know I’m in a good place. Yeah, just go out there and do my best. Nothing really more.

You know, I definitely don’t have anything to lose in this one. I’ll just go out there and do my best. Simple as that.

Q. Have you always been able to sort of maintain a calm composure on court? When you were younger, did you ever go through a phase of brattishness or anything like that?
KYLE EDMUND: No, I’ve always been pretty much like that. I haven’t had a dramatic behavior change or anything. I’ve always been quite calm. You obviously go through your moments. Everyone’s human. People get angry, annoyed. People have emotion. People play calm. Everyone’s different.

I like to keep things simple, keep in a steady bracket, not too high, not too low. I think that helps my tennis. So, yeah.

Q. Looking in your box during the match, they all seemed, outwardly at least, like they expected you to compete at that level. Did you feel that, too? Do you feel maybe not that you expected to win, but you had a really good chance going in?
KYLE EDMUND: Yeah, I obviously believe in myself that I can win, yeah. Any match I believe I can win. That’s the mentality you’ve got to have.

I think if you go on court unsure if you’re going to win, it’s probably only going to go one way, to be honest. I always believe I have the win. I back myself. Doesn’t always go like that, but it’s the right mentality to have.

But, yeah, you put in the hours. It’s no secret. You put in the hours, you put in the hard work, and then you have belief. Generally what you need to train is how you want to play on court. You don’t train one way and then turn up on the match court and play another way.

When I train, I train the way I want to play in the match, and that’s being aggressive and stuff. I know I can do it. It’s just getting out on court and doing it. You have to have belief, definitely, 100%.

Q. You mentioned the court you played on today. Chances are you’ll be on Ashe against Novak. Have you had a chance to spend any time in there? Have you practiced there? Have you got any practice lined up?
KYLE EDMUND: No, the only one hit I’ve ever had in there was on Sunday with Andy. We hit for like an hour and a quarter. That’s it really. It’s probably a good thing I got to do that because otherwise I wouldn’t have had any experience.

Yeah, it’s obviously a very big court. But, yeah, we’ll see. I mean, it’s great to play on all these different courts around the world. I’m getting more exposure on the tour level now. It will be very exciting. I guess it will be very loud, as well, if it’s anything to go by tonight.

Q. Do you have any view on the fact that Novak has played 32 minutes of tennis since the first round and you’ve played three good matches? Might he just be a little bit rusty?
KYLE EDMUND: I don’t know. I mean, you’ll have to ask him that, if he feels rusty. For me, if he played matches or not, he’s going to be tough to play, isn’t he? He’s a good player.

He consistently plays well. That’s one thing I’ve always noticed. He puts a good level consistently. You would expect that from him on Sunday.

So, you know, like you say, he hasn’t played two full matches now so he may be a bit fresher. He may have wanted to play more balls, but that’s only something he could answer.

Q. He was very complimentary about you in Miami. Have you had any sort of chats, verbal interactions, since then?
KYLE EDMUND: Not really. Obviously say hi and stuff just when we see each other. But we saw each other in Rio just as we were passing practice, and that was just after Davis Cup. He said he watched all the matches and he congratulated me on that.

Yeah, like I said, last time Boris Becker sent me a text saying, Well done. So they watched it and stuff. That’s something I’m obviously very grateful. It’s nice of them to do that. It’s good class from them.

Yeah, that’s all he really said. Yeah, I mean, I respect him massively. It will be a tough match, just like any other match really.

Q. Dan is obviously having a great week as well. Andy is having a fantastic summer. All three of you are having a great year. How much of it does rub off on each other? Do you feel you’re plowing your own furrow really?
KYLE EDMUND: I think it’s great. We’re all doing really well. It’s a really good thing, I think. We’re going up and up. Obviously Andy isn’t going up. He’s been there for ages. Yeah, me and Dan are going up now, which is great.

But it’s great to see other Brits doing well. Even Jo. She’s doing well consistently now. Her ranking reflects it. I think it’s a real positive.

It does rub off I think on each other. It’s great seeing other people do well. It has that positive vibe. It’s the same in Davis Cup. We all watch each other wanting them to win and do well. I think that just carries over into the events.


Catherine Bellis

Press Conference

A. KERBER/C. Bellis

6-1, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Ashe is a little different than the Broadway Tennis Center. As you walked out, what went through your mind?
CATHERINE BELLIS: So many things at once. I mean, it’s the most amazing court I ever played on. I had never played on it before, except actually I was lucky enough to get a little bit of a warmup on it right before the match.

Yeah, I mean, it’s the best court I’ve ever played on, and the best court in the world.

Q. Pretty overwhelming feeling? Did you look up? What did you say to yourself?
CATHERINE BELLIS: When I was walking in? I kind of expected what it was going to be since I hit it on it a little earlier. I was kind of aware of the seats and everything. I mean, nobody was watching my warmup, so there was a few more people in there.

I looked up and saw the people. It was really cool.

Q. You had two breakpoints right away. Were you not overwhelmed by the moment? Was it hard to settle down?
CATHERINE BELLIS: I think the first game I was a little bit overwhelmed. As my nerves settled down, I think hers did, too. She started playing a lot better also.

Yeah, I was a little bit in the first game, but not too bad.

Q. What will be your takeaway from your Open run here?
CATHERINE BELLIS: I think today was the best experience I’ve ever had in tennis, playing her today on Arthur Ashe Stadium. She’s one of the best, I mean the best player right now on the tour besides Serena.

Her groundstrokes are perfect. I hope to one day be able to play like her.

Q. What do you think you learned from the experience of playing someone like that?
CATHERINE BELLIS: I think we’re around the same height. She doesn’t have the biggest serve in women’s tennis. I definitely don’t either. I think she’s a really good person to model my game after.

I mean, her groundstrokes are so solid, so perfect. I’d love to see how many unforced errors she made in that match. Pretty sure it was close to zero.

Definitely an unbelievable match for me to be able to play, to play against.

Q. What are your immediate and long-term goals?
CATHERINE BELLIS: Immediate would be probably by the end of the year I’d love to keep getting my ranking up as much as possible, keep improving. I think the last year I’ve improved so much, improved my game so much. I want to keep doing that.

Long-term, just be the best tennis player I can be. Can’t really ask for more than have all my hard work pay off long-term in the long run.

Q. A young player like you, there’s everything to work on. If there were one or two things that you want to work on, what would they be?
CATHERINE BELLIS: I just want to keep improving my serve a lot, make my groundstrokes a little more solid. I think today on some of the long points we had I ended up missing some finishing shots.

Just keep working on those, keep working on playing long points. I mean, she could go for hours. She could play an hour-long point and wouldn’t be tired. Improving my fitness.

Yeah, everything, all around, always.

Q. Did this week tell you that you can do it, hang with top players?
CATHERINE BELLIS: Yeah, I think so. Besides today, obviously I won all my previous matches. Yeah, I think I played pretty well in every single one of my matches in the past couple weeks. I’m really happy about the tournament. I think it’s definitely a good sign from me.

Q. Have you heard from LiLi (phonetic) before the match?
CATHERINE BELLIS: I heard from Frankie, the assistant coach before the match, but I haven’t had a chance to hear from him yet.

Q. And hanging out in a fairly swanky hotel suite in Manhattan is what?
CATHERINE BELLIS: Now is going to be the best part of my trip here because now I actually get to go shopping, kind of explore a little bit. Stay here a couple days extra.

Q. What shops do you think you’ll hit?
CATHERINE BELLIS: My friend just actually came in town yesterday. We’re just going to really go hit everything. I mean, just play it by ear, see what she wants to do, just figure it out from there. But we’re going to have a lot of fun.

Q. The other day you admitted you were waffling about Stanford. What is your mindset?
CATHERINE BELLIS: Right now I think it’s still definitely an option for me. I’m not going to make any quick decisions right now.

Q. If you do go to Stanford, opening day they say, What is the one word that captured your experience at the US Open 2016, what word would that be?
CATHERINE BELLIS: That word would be — I think any synonym to the word amazing or unbelievable. I mean, I’m just so grateful to have had this opportunity in the last two weeks. I’m playing really great tennis right now for me. Really excited. Really happy.

Q. If you went to school, it would be next fall, right?

Q. Biggest surprise of the week?
CATHERINE BELLIS: I like these questions. Biggest surprise of the week?

Actually probably my friend coming yesterday. We just planned it kind of quickly after my match against Shelby a couple nights ago. She ended up coming. We’ve had a blast so far. She’s from Louisiana but trains in Florida at the same place I do.

Q. Where do you train in Florida?

Angelique Kerber

Press Conference

A. KERBER/C. Bellis

6-1, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What was it like down there on Ashe under the lights? How did you feel in the match?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: It was a great atmosphere. I mean, the fans and the crowd, it’s just amazing. Of course, to playing against an American, it was really special.

Yeah, I was enjoying to play tonight out there.

Q. What did you think of her game?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think she has, for sure, a great tournament. She’s a great young, really talented player. For sure she will have a great future.

I mean, she’s a great player. She’s really young, so let’s see how her future will be. But I’m really sure it will be a good one.

Q. When you say she’s a good player, is there anything specific that she did that maybe you thought, Wow, that’s pretty good for a 17-year-old?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think she went out there and she tried to play her game. I mean, she tried to move good. She’s not making too many mistakes. So this is, yeah, a really great weapon from her.

Yeah, let’s see. I mean, I think she was a little bit nervous at the beginning of the match. I know the feeling, so I was trying to take my experience tonight for this match.

Q. How important were those first few games for you? Some got a little close. Just to get the lead on a young player.
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Actually, I was thinking more on my game, to being aggressive, to going for it, trying to enjoy the match. Of course, it’s always important to go out and win the first few games, to have also a lot of confidence of your own game tonight.

This was actually also my goal for that match.

Q. Is that just part of your improvement, not worrying about the score, focusing on yourself?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Yeah, I think I improved a lot of these things, you know, to going out there and not thinking too much about the score. Just playing point by point and being positive. So this is what I’m still trying to improve. I think I’m in a good way.

Q. You talked about your 2007 match against Serena. What do you remember about that match, how far you’ve come?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I remember the match really well. I mean, I was really young. I was really nervous. I went out there and I remember the atmosphere. It was amazing.

We played two sets. The second set was really close at the end. Yeah, I mean, this was my first match against Serena. I really played a good one. But, yeah, that time she was too strong for me. It was a great experience also for my next steps and for the next, yeah, tournaments and matches what I had after.

Q. You talk a lot about the importance of being aggressive. Sometimes when your opponent is being aggressive you’re able to make them make another aggressive shot, sometimes they miss. How important is that to your success? What effect do you think that has on them?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: I think it’s important to my game, being aggressive, but also being defensive. Your opponent’s playing sometimes really aggressive, so there are different ones. I mean, you have to playing your own game. This is what I’m trying.

I mean, of course, when there’s somebody who is just like hitting the balls, I’m trying to be like more playing from the defensive end.

At the end, for me it’s important to going out there with my weapon, going, playing in the middle of the court, and just going for it.

Q. Kvitova next. What do you expect?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: It will be a good match, I think. We had great matches in the past. Yeah, it will be a good challenge. I’m looking forward.

I will try to, yeah, going out and win the match, of course. Try to enjoy the next match here in New York.

Q. At this point in the tournament, how hard is it to not look past that next match?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: It’s easy not look ahead, because now it’s the next opponent and then we will see what’s happen. I mean, for me it’s always important to playing step by step, day by day.

The next one is Petra. Then we will see what’s happen after.

Q. Does this tournament feel any different to you with top seeds going out?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Actually for me, no, because I’m not looking to other players. I’m looking just on my games, on my days, what I have to do, and going my own way.

So this is actually nothing different. Yeah, it’s just the same.

Q. Obviously left-hander versus left-hander. Is playing a left-hander as weird to you as it would be for a right-hander to play you? Is it noticeably different for you when you play a lefty?
ANGELIQUE KERBER: Of course, it’s a little bit different than to play against a right-hander. I played a lot of matches in the last few weeks against lefties, so it will be nothing special for me.

I mean, it’s just the ball spins a little bit different. But at the end I know how Petra is playing, so it’s nothing new for me.











Day 4 of the US Open – In Their Own Words

Juan Martin Del Potro

Juan Martin Del Potro

(September 1, 2016) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Posting player interviews throughout the day when allowed.

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

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

Simona Halep

Press Conference

S. HALEP/L. Safarova

6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Pretty quick turnaround from match to your press. Is there any reason why?
SIMONA HALEP: No. I had just to do something straight from the court, and I said I wanted to finish and then I can recover myself.

Q. A short recovery. How do you feel about the way things went out there today?
SIMONA HALEP: It was not an easy match. It was difficult. At one point I lost the rhythm a little bit because she’s left handed, not easy to play against. I knew that she’s very tough. She’s fighting till the end.

I played many times against her, and all the matches were very close. So I expected that. I’m not the happiest with my game today, but I’m really — you know, I have the good mood that I could win the match in two sets and I could finish in the important moments.

Q. What weren’t you happy with?
SIMONA HALEP: Like I said, I lost a little bit the rhythm and I didn’t know where to stay, how to hit.

But in the important moments I found the rhythm. I found the way that I have to hit. And also the serve helped me a lot in important moments.

Q. You and Safarova are both really wonderful off the baseline. There are a lot of breaks in that match. Do you have a different kind of attitude thinking through those?
SIMONA HALEP: I knew that I have to be strong on my legs because she is there and she hits the ball pretty strong.

I think I was very, very good on my legs and I could return every ball. I missed some, but also, I did some good points.

You know, always it’s a good match against her. Gives me confidence that I can beat her. It’s a nice match against her. Hopefully for the next round I can be better. I will be like more confident on court.

Q. Any difficulties in adjusting to the roof?
SIMONA HALEP: It was a little bit, but I had the chance to warm up in the morning before the match. For her was first time, so was the same situation. I don’t want to say anything bad because it wasn’t bad.

I had a nice feeling. It was a great experience to be there. I didn’t have to wait for the rain, so that’s a good thing.

Q. Maybe you’ll find my question strange, but do you think external factors like a parent who is sick or something could have a way to influence on the way a player plays?
SIMONA HALEP: What is it about? About what?

Q. Did you think like adding personal issues have an impact on the way players are playing or they are able to like not think about that during the matches because they are pro players.
SIMONA HALEP: I don’t understand the question.

WTA REP: If a person has a personal issue.

SIMONA HALEP: Each other?

WTA REP: Like with their family. Do you think it affects their tennis.

SIMONA HALEP: I think, yes, it affects. If you have some problem in your family or personal problems, of course.

But I didn’t have, thanks God, till now. And sometimes I am bothered a little bit from some problems, but usually I can separate things. When I have to work, I go to work.

Tennis is my job. I do it with pleasure, but still is my job.

Q. I don’t know if you saw after Bondarenko won yesterday, a fan came out of the stands on the court to take a picture with her.
SIMONA HALEP: I didn’t see.

Q. Do you have ever have any concerns regarding security when you’re out there?
SIMONA HALEP: No. I feel safe. Nothing happened to me till now.

I feel that no one can — no one wants to hurt you, even if someone is coming to take a picture with you.

But I feel safe. I had no problems till now.

Q. Do you use the stringing service here to string your racquets?

Q. What do you think of that operation? Looks like a little bit of a factory setup back there.
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, it’s a factory. They are very fast. They are very good. All the racquets are made in time and very well done.

I’m happy with them.

Q. How did you spend your day off? Do you have any special New York traditions whenever you’re in the city?
SIMONA HALEP: No. Just resting in my room, watching the TV, watching tennis. Now I can listen to my coach because he’s working at ESPN. Nothing special. Just relaxes.

Q. Is it surreal talk listening to Darren and other players?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I can learn. You know, everything he says I take it with a good vibe. I understand everything he wants to say about tennis. I like to listen to him.

It’s nice. It’s a relaxing time when I’m in the room and listening to the TV.

Q. Are you still in search of cheesecake on a daily basis?
SIMONA HALEP: I had. I had yesterday and I will have one now after the lunch.

I like to have some nice routine with this food. I’m not eating much, but just to taste it.

Q. But it’s a particular fork New York sort of thing? Have you found it…
SIMONA HALEP: No. Here. Upstairs. We have the dining, player restaurant, and they have cheesecake there. (Smiling.)

Q. I was just wondering, do you and Darren watch a lot of film together?
SIMONA HALEP: No. I’m not watching. Film about me?

Q. Yeah.

Q. Or your opponents.
SIMONA HALEP: No. I’m not doing that. Maybe he does. I don’t know. We have to ask him.

Andy Murray

Press Conference

A. MURRAY/M. Granollers

6-4, 6-1, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How difficult was it to play both before and after the rain started?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I don’t think it was too different to the other night when I played, but when the rain came it was certainly loud.

I mean, you can’t here anything, really. I mean, you could hear the line calls, but not so much when the opponents — you know, when he was hitting the ball or even when you’re hitting the ball, really, which is tough purely because we’re not used to it. That’s what makes it challenging.

Q. Could you explain a little more how it might affect you, maybe make things more difficult if it does, if you can’t hear the ball coming off?
ANDY MURRAY: Because we use our ears when we play. It’s not just the eyes. You know, it helps us pick up the speed of the ball, the spin that’s on the ball, how hard someone’s hitting it.

You know, if we played with our ears covered or with headphones on, it would be a big advantage if your opponent wasn’t wearing them.

You know, it’s tricky. You know, you can still do it, but it’s harder, for sure.

Q. Have you ever played under a roof or like an indoor court where the rain has been battering down like that?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, yeah, I have played when it’s been loud, for sure. Sometimes on the — you know, a lot of the stadiums that have, you know, temporary roofs, they can be pretty loud when it rains.

But, I mean, it apparently was raining unbelievably hard outside. It seemed that way anyway.

Q. Can you compare it to playing under the roof at Wimbledon?
ANDY MURRAY: In what respect?

Q. What you just talked about, playing under this roof and playing under the Wimbledon roof.
ANDY MURRAY: Well, it’s definitely louder. You know, I don’t think it changed the conditions on the court as much as it does at Wimbledon.

You know, I think we are also probably more used to playing on it — we are used to playing on indoor hard court than indoor grass, obviously.

But, yeah, I don’t know. You maybe don’t notice it as much here I think as much as Wimbledon. When the roof is on the humidity picks up significantly; whereas here it’s always humid really, you know, when the roof is open.

When I played the other night I was dripping. I mean, it was so, so humid. Doesn’t change too much. It’s a lot cooler in there than it is, you know, during the day; whereas at Wimbledon sometimes it gets warmer when the roof goes on.

Yeah it’s definitely quieter at Wimbledon, though.

Q. Could you summarize what it is that you believe that makes Ivan an effective coach? Secondly, emotional player interacting with his boss, is there ever a time you got a rise out of him during the match?
ANDY MURRAY: No, not really.

Why I think he’s a good coach? I mean, it’s hard to give like one thing. There is a lot of things that go into being a good coach and a successful coach. There is not one thing that you can pick up.

I mean, obviously, you know, tactics or something that’s important, the way you set up the practices and the training, the level that you expect, you know, and effort in training sessions I think is important.

I think he’s professional, very disciplined. Probably things that made him very successful as a player, so they are a few of the reasons. But many things go into making him a good coach. There is not just one or two.

Q. Do you think the noise at the tournament is something you have to look at, or will you just have to deal with it?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, the players will deal with it. You get used to stuff. As an athlete, that’s what you do. We adjust to conditions, different conditions every week. Playing in the day to playing in the night is totally different from one day to the next.

We change balls. I played the Olympics with one ball; Cincinnati with a different one; a different ball again here.

We change stuff all of the time, but it takes time to adjust and then get used to that. I think that’s why everyone is talking about it now, because it’s something new. Yeah, it’s just going to take time to adjust.

I’m sure if the feedback is that, you know, the TV or the spectators aren’t enjoying the match as much then they will look into it and try and change it. But if it’s fine on TV, which from what I have heard it is fine on TV — I don’t know what the fans have said about it yet, but the players will adjust.

Q. I don’t know if you saw last night after Bondarenko won, but a fan jumped out of the stands and got a picture with her on the court. I was wondering how much do you worry about security here?
ANDY MURRAY: I didn’t see that. I was made aware of it before I came in here, but I didn’t see it. And, yeah, it’s not something I think about when I’m on the court or when I’m playing.

Actually sometimes more when I am out in the streets and stuff I think more about that. Not just because of the things that have happened in the world, like in the big cities over the last 15, 20 years. I sometimes think about those kind of things, that safety.

When I’m at a tennis tournament, I don’t know, I just feel comfortable when I’m on the court. I have never had any issues, any problems like that.

Really, a kid jumped on the court after actually one of our matches at the Olympics and ran onto the court and asked for his pen back because I had signed his hat and then gone away with his pen. He jumped onto the court and asked for the pen back.

But that’s really the only thing I have had. Obviously yesterday was — I mean, it seemed like everything turned out okay. Yeah, never had any issues.

Q. You didn’t face Rafa in Rio, but from what you saw, what’s your assessment of his performance? Seems to come back strong from layoffs.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, obviously he played very well there. I think the last match he played I think he was extremely tired, but I watched quite a lot of the end of his match with Del Potro. You know, it was a very, very good match.

I didn’t see any of his other matches there, but he obviously played good tennis there after a long layoff. I practiced with him a little bit in Mallorca before going there and he was practicing well and playing good in practice.

And, yeah, you know, like with any great player, once you build up momentum and get matches and gain confidence, there is no reason why they can’t win the major events again.

Sometimes take a little bit of time after an injury layoff to build that back up. For some it’s a little bit quicker. Just have to wait and see.

Q. Just the general takeaway after the match today? The form? The fitness? Where you are at this stage in the tournament?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I felt I did pretty well. It was a 20-, 25-minute period in the match where it was tough and, you know, tricky. Got myself in a situation that maybe, you know, I could have avoided if I had taken one or two of the set points that I had at 5-2 or 5-3.

But, you know, I thought I did pretty well. I thought there were some good points in there. Yeah, that period of the match was very tough. I didn’t play that well during that period and managed to come through it thankfully and play some good stuff in the second and third sets.

You know, I served at like 40, 42% first serves or something and still won in straight sets. I must have been doing other things well than serving. I was obviously hitting the ball pretty well and returning pretty good. Could serve better, for sure. Only got broken once in a game where I had game points. It was all right.

Q. I think it’s fair to say that few other players really in history have made more of a striking or stunning run than you have had in the past months both on court and off court: Davis Cup, becoming a father, the finals, Melbourne and Paris, obviously Wimbledon and the Olympics. Even just going to support your country in Serbia. Do you sense you have blossomed a bit, coming into a new period? Could you explain your great success? Do you think love and fathering have anything to do with it?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, it’s hard to know exactly what to out it down to. Yeah, it’s tough to know. I think there is many things that have gone into obviously becoming a parent. Well, for me anyway it’s changed my perspective a bit on things. I feel a little bit calmer than maybe I did in my past about my tennis and how important tennis is in my life.

It’s still extremely important, but it’s not the most important thing. I think having Ivan back on my team has been great and has helped me a lot.

You know, I have capitalized on, you know, a few opportunities. You know, when some of the other top guys maybe hadn’t played or struggled or lost, you know, I have taken those chances, you know, when they have come my way which is good.

But, yeah, it’s really hard to say like one thing, you know, definitively. Like this is what’s made the difference. There has been a number of changes this year, and I think all of them come together at the same time has, you know, has made for a successful few months.

Q. The women’s tour has negotiated a heat rule which has been implemented this week. On the players council, is that something you would consider raising there? Do you think it’s valid for the men’s tour, as well?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I do think so. I mean, there is a heat rule for the men, I believe, but I don’t think anyone would be able to tell you exactly what it is. You know, in Australia — I don’t know exactly what it is. There is a lot of different things that go into it.

Yeah, I do think there should be a heat rule, because sometimes it is — especially on the hard courts it can be, you know, pretty brutal. You know, you don’t want to take any chances with, you know, a player’s health.

But it’s not something I have spoken about on the council yet. Whether it’s something that comes up I don’t know. I mean, I do think we have heat rules in place, but they are different to the women. I don’t really understand how they come up with them or who decides on what the heat rule is.

Q. (Question regarding stress on the body.)
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I think — I mean, if you ask most players that have had cramps — rarely do athletes cramp in practice or in training. That tends to come in match situations. No one really understands exactly the reasons for why cramps start.

Obviously it can be from dehydration, but most of the players would, you know, be professional enough to make sure that isn’t what the problem is. Sometimes it can be through lack of conditioning, but, you know, mostly guys are in very good shape.

You know, there is the psychological aspect of it. The stress, you know, that you might put yourself under and the nerves that you feel can cause that.

I think most players have gone through it, and for some reason it seems to happen more at this event, I think, than at the others. That’s just my take on it like from being around. I don’t know if that is because of the humidity or maybe players are coming in here more fatigued at the end of a long season, a long stretch. I don’t know.

Q. It could be Simon in the next round. Talk about him. Obviously an exhausting player to play at this stage of the year. Is that a danger for you, as well?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, yeah. I mean, he’s very good. He obviously pushed Novak extremely close earlier in the year at the Aussie Open. And, yeah, I mean, I have had good success against him in the past, but a lot of the matches have been tough, tough matches.

Davis Cup last year and the quarters, I think it was, you know, I was quite a long way behind in that match and managed to turn it around.

Yeah, I have had a lot of close matches with him in the past. He’s a tough guy to play because, you know, he makes a lot of balls. He moves unbelievably well. You know, he’s a smart player on the court. He’s tough when he’s on his game.

Q. How different is it this year, being in New York with the US Open and the baby along?
ANDY MURRAY: It doesn’t change too much, to be honest. Not much. Not much changes. Maybe get up earlier than I did in the past. But, yeah, doesn’t change. Doesn’t change loads.

Venus Williams

Press Conference

V. WILLIAMS/J. Goerges

6-2, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. From our perspective, that felt like a very measured match for you. How did you feel?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, definitely today was a lot more measured than my first round. I just felt like I had to dial it back a little bit, maybe play a little bit more percentage tennis, play within myself, keep my errors down.

Very happy that it worked out against an opponent who is seasoned, who can play, who can serve, who has a lot of big shots. So it was a nice test to come through.

Q. A lot of talk about the noise under the roof. How do you deal with that? Are you someone who is thrown off by that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, there was a lot of noise last year, as well, so perhaps I’m a little bit used to it. Over time you start to forget about the noise, after maybe like a set. So I think as a player, the higher the stakes, the less you hear.

I guess people are having some great conversations about tennis out there (smiling).

Q. Would you be able to play tennis to the best of your ability if it was an NBA-type crowd buzz? Do you thrive on the quiet?
VENUS WILLIAMS: There’s something very special about tennis in the quiet. There’s that tension that everybody feels, the sound of the ball, the sound of the footwork is very special in sports. I do enjoy the quiet. Especially the more important the moment, that silence says it all. I don’t think it should go away, personally.

Q. Talk about the different perspective of being able to not only be here, but be here and be a real competitive force after 18 years? It is remarkable.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Thank you. I’m grateful that I can still play the game I want to play right now. As an athlete, as a tennis player, that’s what you want. You want to be out there and play the game you want to play. If you get to the point where you can’t do that, that’s where you need to start to think, Okay, I need to move on. I’m not at that point yet, and hopefully I’ll be able to play the game I want to play right until the last day that I’m done.

Q. You always said how much you love playing the US Open. Do you relish it all the more this many years later? Talk about the way you perceive these opportunities now as opposed to five years ago, eight years ago.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Just to feel the crowd get behind me, even in moments like 2-1, they really want me to hold serve. That feels amazing.

I really enjoyed those moments today when the crowd was like, Get it back, get it back. That felt nice.

You don’t necessarily get that everywhere you go. So playing at home under these circumstances in a big tournament, it feels nice.

Q. One can say the two greatest arenas in tennis are Centre Court and Ashe. It’s sort of interesting that Centre Court is so serene, quiet, while here it’s totally the opposite. As an athlete who has been out there many times, talk about the two.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Are we talking about Centre Court at Wimbledon?

Q. Centre Court at Wimbledon.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, it’s a completely different atmosphere, for sure. But every tournament’s different. That’s what the challenge is, being able to play in different environments, on different surfaces, and can you still overcome it and conquer it. This is not an easy tournament to win because of the environment here. It takes a lot for people to adjust and get used to it.

So being able to come through in this event shows that you have character.

Q. I’ve heard that you don’t allow sugar in your diet anymore. Is that true?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, no, yeah.

Q. Has it helped you with your endurance? Have you seen any changes?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I feel it’s helping or else I would start eating it again. Eating sugar is really fun (smiling). As long as it’s working, I’ll be off of it.

Q. How important do you think it is for especially the top players in the men’s or women’s game to be part of the player-led organizations that have a voice on tour? Not necessarily hot-button topics but everyday stuff that the tour has to go through to make sure it works.
VENUS WILLIAMS: It’s very important because you have to have the player voice working alongside the tournament voices, the different organizations, and everyone who has a vested interest in the game.

How the tournament sees things will be different from the players, so we can all come together and create something amazing. I see it as a partnership more than anything.

Q. What do the top players offer? What sort of point of view do they have that lower-ranked players don’t have?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Everyone faces different issues depending on your ranking. That’s why there’s different levels of representation in the council. It’s important for every voice to be heard.

I personally try to represent the group that I’m in, but I also try to be open-minded for the other groups and what they need, too.

Q. Back to the sugar thing, was that a recommendation from the doctors because of your ailment?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No. It was just something that I wanted to try. Like I always said, I’m always trying something different to find a peak performance, something I started recently.

Q. What do you miss the most on that diet?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Honestly, I don’t. I can fit in my clothes, I feel good. When you’re having results, you don’t really miss the past. But if it’s not working and you still feel the same, it’s like, Why not go back?

Q. (Question about women in journalism.)
VENUS WILLIAMS: I’ve never thought about that. I think there’s a lot of women journalists. I haven’t been exposed to this side of the room, it’s been more this side, so it’s hard for me to comment on that and what the journalism world is like for women. That’s something I don’t know a lot about.

Q. Today was the first day session with the roof. You also played the second-ever match on Ashe in 1997. Do you remember anything at all from all those years ago?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, yeah, I was dreadfully nervous. It was so tough. But I just remember getting real comfortable by the time I lost the first set 6-1 or 6-0 or something. I felt like, okay, now I’m ready to play.

Obviously winning that match was a huge step in my career.

Q. I think it’s the first time in six years that you’ve been seeded in the top 10. Did you know that? Does it matter? How do you feel about it?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, it’s nice, clearly, when you put the work in to see the numbers go up. I like that. But also there have been times when I didn’t win matches against players that I felt like I should have. I was ranked higher or lower or whatever.

At the end of the day, I want to get to the next round no matter what I’m ranked.

I never focused a ton on my ranking throughout my whole career. While I like being highly ranked, it’s more important for me to win matches. If I win matches, I’ll be highly ranked. That sort of thing.

Q. When you first came out on tour, you wore some pretty basic outfits. Here at the Open, you’ve appeared in this stunning dress. Can you talk about your evolution in terms of your sense of aesthetics, beauty and knowledge of fashion, how it’s changed over the years.
VENUS WILLIAMS: That’s an interesting question. Oh, man.

Everybody likes to think that they have good taste their whole life. I look back and say, Boy, I had bad taste back in the day. There were times I had questionable things happening, especially off the court. But I was a teenager and I was innocent, definitely. It was okay to look a little bit off.

But for sure I think at this point I know who I am and I know what I want to look like on the court. That translates also to what I design and how my line looks. It has a statement. It’s very bold, very confident. It’s about creating your own path.

Q. Talk about the color.
VENUS WILLIAMS: A lot of prints are inspired by, like, watercolors because it’s one of my favorite mediums. You’ll see that motif happening. This collection is called Prism. We’re making all the colors you would see when you look through a prism of light, all the colors of the rainbow.

Q. People talk about your age, ask about it pretty much every interview. Does that ever get annoying or boring?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I’ve had some crazy questions in my life. If I don’t like the question, I’ll let people know. People are probably intrigued that myself and a number of other players are playing quality tennis at this age. It’s something that never happened before. Inquiring minds want to know, I guess.

I guess 36 is the new 26.

Q. You still come to net a lot as part of your game. The players you play against might only come to the net if you force them to. Do you ever think it’s odd that everybody still hits net shots in warmups, or do you think it’s still a good thing to practice?
VENUS WILLIAMS: You may have a point there (laughter).

Some people come in just to shake hands and do the coin toss. I’m not one of those people. I like to try to get in. It’s more challenging getting to the net these days. The courts are slow. If you don’t come in on the right one, you’re going to get killed.

We play with equipment that’s very advanced, that people can hit shots from everywhere. It’s not as easy to get to the net as now. You really have to be able to volley, come in on a good shot. Even I want to come in, but I have to be selective.

Kei Nishikori

Press Conference

K. NISHIKORI/K. Khachanov

6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Are you happy with the way you’re playing?
KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah. Maybe not everything, but it wasn’t easy match. He served really well second and third sets. Having really tough time with my return game.

But after rain delay, you know, I change some tactics and start working really well. Yeah, it was really tough match but happy to win.

Q. How much had you played before the rain came? You played the morning and then you had to stop?

Q. That’s nothing new, but did that affect your momentum at all?
KEI NISHIKORI: Well, yeah, it’s never easy. It took maybe two, three hours between rain delay. And that time I start playing little better, I started getting my rhythm. Then rain came. It wasn’t easy moment for me.

You know, I think I concentrated well after rain delay. I took first two games, and I got third set. Yeah, I think I recover really well after rain delay today.

Q. Mahut in the next match. Talk about what you expect in that matchup.
KEI NISHIKORI: We actually never played before, so we have to see in the match. But, yeah, he’s tough player, aggressive, comes to the net a lot, having great serve.

Yeah, it’s going to be a tough one.

Q. Where do you feel right now you are in terms of where you want to be in a Grand Slam event?
KEI NISHIKORI: I think I’m getting closer to 100%. I’m feeling good physically and also mentally. You know, tennis, I think it’s going to come after a couple matches.

Yeah, I think I’m in great shape and hope I can go second week.

Agnieszka Radwanska

Press Conference


7-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Take us through the tiebreak. What were you thinking? How important was it to get that first set?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, first of all, I’m just very happy that I could play a tiebreak in the first set, I could come back from 5-2 down.

Of course, I was 5-2 up in the tiebreak. I think I was just too slow and didn’t really come in. You know, I pay the price, a couple set points down, it’s not fun. Especially, you know, she was serving unbelievable. So every point matter in that tiebreak, especially when I could broke her at least at one point.

But, well, I was just couple points better today. Definitely she pushed me 100% today.

Q. How tough is it to play someone serving lights out?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: She was really serving great, 120 pretty much whole match. Was not easy at all. So every break matters. I was trying to do that, then of course focusing on my serve.

But, well, a lot of up and downs, a lot of tight games. But, well, in the important moments I was just better the one shot.

Q. What do you make of New York, the city? How have you been spending your time off when you’re not playing?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, of course, good recovery is the most important thing. When I have time and opportunity, always go for nice dinner, always try to find different place. Around the hotel, in Manhattan, it’s quite easy to just walk around, you can just choose whatever you want.

Q. Do you have a favorite neighborhood, Central Park or something?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yes, of course, Central Park. Broadway, as well. Having dinner in Hard Rock Cafe, as well. Enjoying New York.

Q. Do you feel your personality vibes with fast cities or do you prefer something calmer?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: I really like New York. I like cities like this. But not for the long term. I think one or two weeks, it’s enough, and then I like to be in the quiet spot.

For example, here it’s always funny. When we go to New Haven, it’s pretty quiet, calm, nothing really going on there. It’s not loud at all. Then you come to New York, it’s just opposite.

It’s good to have a mix, a little bit of everything.

Q. Did you hear that Beyonce was at Serena’s match? Did players get excited hearing stuff like that?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Really? Why not at my match? It’s so unfair (smiling).

I didn’t know that. I just play my match. It’s good to see personalities like Beyonce, of course.

Q. Talk about playing Garcia next.
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, we played couple of times. Long matches, long battles. I think the last time was in Paris, Roland Garros.

Well, a lot of really tight matches. Playing her is never easy. She’s very solid player, really hitting the ball hard, coming in. Just hitting really fast from the bounce. She’s not giving you much time. I think I will need to focus on the first ball, first shot, just not make her put everything in the middle because then I’ll be in trouble.

Q. Talk about the way you’re playing right now. Assess the match today. How do you feel you’re progressing in this tournament?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, I’ve been playing pretty good last couple of weeks. Definitely best tennis last week in New Haven, beating lot of top players whole tournament.

Of course, today was not the prettiest match ever. But, you know, you couldn’t really play all the time the best tennis. Sometimes struggle just with yourself out there. You want it too much, and it’s just not going your way sometimes.

But, well, just I think what happened also today, I was just too much backwards, didn’t really play that kind of tennis I was playing last week. But, you know, sometimes happens. Especially when you’re really under the pressure, playing someone that you really should win that match.

So just hoping the next match I’m more relaxed.

Q. Do you feel like you’re getting up to form where you can make a long run here?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, I hope so. I was really playing good tennis. I’m healthy. I’m okay. I’m in one piece. It’s good opportunity to make a good results here.

I was doing everything in my power 100% to prepare for this US Open, so we’ll see.

Q. How important were those matches in New Haven for you to build up momentum coming into the tournament?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: It was last-minute decision, but I guess it was a good one. Playing really good matches out there. Winning really strong tournament not even losing a set, that always give you a lot of confidence.

Just trying to keep it going here. You know, just hoping it’s going to be at least my first quarterfinal.

Q. Are you aware if there are celebrities in the stands?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Not really. I mean, it was pretty lot of people in the stadium. Especially when it’s so hot, you’re just sweating, using the towels all the time, you’re not really focusing who is sitting out there.

But I didn’t recognize anyone. Maybe was someone there. But maybe sometimes when they exactly sitting just on the bench just next to the chair when you’re sitting, then yes, of course. But otherwise it’s hard to see.

Q. You’ve been in the top 10 for a long time now. Every time people play you, they’re really going after you. Is it more fun chasing than being chased?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, of course, once I was the one who was chasing, and now I’m there. Always have that more pressure because someone is really pushing you. So like you’re saying, that’s why there’s always a little bit more pressure. Sometimes you’re not playing the greatest tennis.

But, well, it’s always harder when you go out there. It’s back of your head, you know you have to kind of win. I mean, sometimes it’s just not your day and it’s just not going your way. It’s always hard, especially that you know they really going to come in and play and have nothing to lose, so it’s always easier.

Serena Williams

Press Conference


6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You won pretty handily out there, but you didn’t seem you were pleased with your game based on your expressions. Can you talk a little bit about that.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I just think it should have been a different scoreline for me. I feel like I made a lot of errors.

But, you know, there’s nothing I can do about that now. What really matters is I got the win. Hopefully I’ll just get better.

Q. You played in most stadiums around the world. What is your impression of the noise level with the roof closed?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it was louder with it open actually in my first night match. It’s still extremely loud. But I don’t know if it’s the roof, per se, or if it’s something else.

But it’s very, very loud out there.

Q. Is it disruptive, harder to play?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It’s definitely different because everywhere you play is really quiet. Here it’s super loud. The first match, it was definitely something I got used to, so today was a little easier. So hopefully I’ll just get used to the noise.

Q. Do you think fans should try to keep conversations to a minimum? There was a guy in my row on a cell phone having a full-volume conversation.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Really? Is it the stadium that’s making it so loud? That’s what the umpire told me. It’s always loud, especially the first couple rounds. It’s always really, really loud.

I don’t know. Like, I think this umpire tonight did a really good job. But there’s only so much you can do.

Q. Were the mistakes you’re talking about of a similar nature? Were they mental or physical?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I just didn’t have a great day today. But it’s always good to get a win when you’re not — I definitely don’t think I played the way I did in my first round. But it’s all right.

Q. Today you tied Martina Navratilova for most slam match wins with 306. Did you know that and what’s your reaction to that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I knew it was on the horizon. I knew at Wimbledon that I wanted to get there. Obviously I’m excited about that. Would like to take one more step, several more steps.

Q. Is it good that your service game was good in terms of your recovery from the first round?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think so. That was the best part of my game today. So seeing that’s what I did the least coming into this tournament, it’s a really good sign of me being able to serve well and hopefully gain momentum on that.

Q. When you hit those milestones, when you tie those records, whether they’re big records or small ones, are there some that you kind of shrug at or do you feel the achievement, do you let yourself?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, sometimes I don’t even know that I’m hitting these milestones. But some of them I’m really proud of. Like this one’s kind of cool, to win 306. That’s really a cool milestone.

Q. How is the shoulder generally? Quite a concern coming into the tournament. Two matches in, where do you feel like it is?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It’s stable (laughter). It’s stable. I just got to keep it like that. It’s two matches in, and usually you want to be able to play seven matches. It’s not even close to the halfway point.

I definitely want to keep it as good as it can be.

Q. Is there anybody you could imagine playing in front of that could make you nervous? Has there been in the past?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I’m sure I would get nervous. But usually when people are there, I try to play better, especially if they’re famous and they’re doing so great at their job. It’s like I want to show them that I’m good at my job, too – minus today.

Yeah, so that’s usually how I think about it, look at it.

Q. Is that why you might be harder on yourself sometimes?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I’m always hard on myself.

Q. What sort of treatment do you have to do for your shoulder?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Just tons of treatment, tons of rehab, tons of ice. It’s constant, so…

Q. There’s so much involved in a tennis player’s life. What is it about tennis that you love the most?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, I think what I love about tennis the most is being out there, usually being by yourself, and just having to problem-solve.

You know, tennis is one of the few sports where most of the time you’re on your own. It’s just totally different than I think any other sport.

Q. Is there a problem solved that you can think of that you particularly feel good about that you’ve done in your career?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I’ve solved a lot of problems. Now none of them can come to my mind right now. But I know many a time I’ve been down and out, many times, and was able to come back and play better.

Q. In Montreal, Olympics, Cincinnati, usually you have to play back-to-back matches, no days off. Here obviously there’s a day off between your matches. Do you think it would have been made a difference at the Olympics if you had time between to rest the shoulder, recuperate, that physically or mentally it would have been an easier task?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don’t know. Maybe. I don’t know. I don’t know. Probably not, actually.

Q. Your tying Martina brings her to mind. She brought a lot to the game. What do you appreciate most about Martina Navratilova?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Wow, she was just an incredible legend. For me, one of the best players to ever play tennis. Someone that I never even thought I could be as good as numbers-wise. So, yeah, that’s what I think of her.

Q. You’re saying you don’t even know when you’re breaking these milestones. You also say you don’t look at the draw. Have you looked at the draw and do you know when you play Venus?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. She’s 6, so that puts her at least at the quarters.

Q. Semis.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Semis, quarters.

Q. Did you watch any of her match today?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think I saw maybe one point because I was warming up, so…

Q. When you watch a live tennis match, where do you like to sit and why?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Definitely not on the side. Preferably in the back so I don’t have to move my head as much. So, yeah.

Q. Nike unveiled that Greatest Athlete Ever campaign. What goes through your mind when you see those billboards, that whole ad campaign?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I just feel really overwhelmed and appreciated. I think it’s a wonderful campaign because I think a lot of times a lot of female athletes have to live with this, Oh, she’s a great female athlete, instead of, She’s just a great athlete. None of the male athletes have to live with, Oh, he’s a great male athlete. They always just say athlete.

I really feel almost vindicated that a company so big as Nike can recognize just athletes and not put a sex behind it. I think that’s really important for that young girl that’s growing up. She wants to be a great athlete. She wants to be the greatest. She doesn’t want to be only labeled as a female athlete. I don’t think there should be labels.

You know, I’m here and I’ve been playing sports and I’m an athlete.

Q. When someone talks about you as being an idol, how much pride do you take? How much do you appreciate having Beyonce and Jay Z?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It’s weird to have the Simones; Simone and Simone, I should say, to have them so influenced by me. I’m still influenced by people. I’m still in this sport and I just never take that moment to kind of look back and see all the things that I’ve done because I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to become complacent.

So I’m still a little bit in a bubble. Sometimes I just forget all the accomplishments because I’m trying to make so many more accomplishments and trying to do so much more.

It’s always good to have Beyonce and Jay in the box.

Q. Following up on the female athlete and athlete thing, Sheryl Sandberg talks about that in her book. Have you discussed that with her?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, we discuss that all the time. We just had dinner not too long ago with friends. We had such big discussions about that. It got really interesting and really funny, just even in her industry how there’s still a lot of barriers that need to be broken down.

She’s someone who is so amazing. She still has to deal with female versus male things, as well.

It’s always good to kind of realize that you’re in the struggle together and you’re trying to make everyone aware together.

Q. You’ve spoken so many times about human rights situations, from slavery, women’s rights. There’s a nice piece in USA Today where you mention how you grew up with Mexican kids, Mexican people. Does it ever trouble you that many of them may now be deported if there’s a turn in our politics? Is that of a concern to you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don’t really know what’s going on with that, so I can’t really speak to that.

I know my best friend is Mexican, and I’m really close to that culture, like super close. So obviously it doesn’t sit well with me.

But, again, I can’t really speak to what I don’t know the full facts on.

Q. Let me put it a different way. What do you think the Mexican, Hispanic culture brings to American culture and life?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, that’s what makes America America. It’s a plethora of so many different types of people where you can come and live the dream. You have immigrants coming from all parts of the world, from Eastern Europe, from Africa, from Australia, from Latin America, from South America, from Mexico. Then their second generations become American.

That’s kind of how America got started, from England, so from a different country. I totally lost where I was going with that, but I think I was going somewhere pretty amazing (laughter). I started talking too much and forgot, so…

Jared Donaldson

Press Conference


7-5, 6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Very mature match you played out there. A lot going on with Viktor’s injury timeout. How did you manage to keep it together?
JARED DONALDSON: I just felt that I had to keep focused, because obviously definitely an amateur thing would have been to kind of lose focus at that moment. Obviously I got broke the first game out. I think I just missed a couple shots. It’s not because I lost focus or anything.

I know being up two breaks that he wasn’t going to quit. Definitely not in the second being down two breaks and up two sets to Love, so I tried to stay focused and play my game. Thankfully that was enough tonight.

Q. Your backhand tonight was on pretty much from start to finish, going down the line with it. Is that what you say is your most comfortable shot?
JARED DONALDSON: Yeah. I mean, I was hitting my backhand really well, especially changing direction. I felt at the beginning of the third set he started to try to cover the down-the-line a little bit more. I was able to open up the court with my backhand cross-court, which was also very effective.

I knew that I needed to play offensive against him and take time away from him. Obviously my backhand is pretty compact. I can take it early. I can put spin on it. So it’s a pretty versatile shot. It’s definitely a weapon in my game.

I just try to move the ball around the court as much as I can.

Q. Overall your thoughts on how well you played today. The key game of the match was the 3-2 hold you had in the second game. Did you think that was the critical point?
JARED DONALDSON: Yeah. I mean, I think every game is important obviously, right? But I think a lot of times the big points come, and you just have to do the same thing. That’s what I have been doing this tournament really well. When I kind of don’t put an emphasis on one point over another, I just play my game every point of every match I played so far.

You know when the big point is coming, it’s important to play within yourself, play what you know, what you know works. I feel when you try to go outside your element or you get nervous, that’s when errors pop up in your game that don’t normally happen.

Again, I just try to play the big points well.

Q. The 4-2 hold, stabilizing things.
JARED DONALDSON: Definitely a stabilizing moment. Came out and got broken at 3-Love. I think he had a fairly easy hold game. I knew I was up a break and I was serving pretty well, I was playing well from the back of the court. Even if I got broken there, I knew it was still a long set to go.

Yeah, I might have given up an opportunity there. That’s what happens in tennis sometimes. You think you have it; then the next moment you don’t. That’s why you’ve got to make sure you stay focused on every point and every game. You never know when your opponent might start playing better or you might start playing a lot worse or vice versa. You have to be in the moment 100%.

Q. There’s been talk about some of your peers more than you. Flying under the radar. Do you have any feelings about that?
JARED DONALDSON: Well, I mean, I think sometimes my peers have done better than I have. I mean, obviously Taylor kind of has the best ranking among other Americans, especially teenagers. He definitely deserves a lot of the attention. Frances played well for a long time, had a better junior career than I did, played better in junior tournaments than I did. I think the other guys deserve a lot more attention than myself.

Honestly, whether or not I get a lot of attention, I’m still 120 in the world. That’s not amazing. That’s not where I want to end up. It’s 120 in the world. I want to be top 10, top 5, No. 1. Eventually, if I get to that ranking, I’ll have enough attention, almost too much attention. I just have to make sure that I stay focused on my game, try not to let the outside factors kind of dictate how I play or act. I just have to keep improving.

Q. You’ve had a great summer, though. Lost to quality players.
JARED DONALDSON: Definitely. I’ve been playing well this summer. I’ve also had kind of an average beginning of the year. It’s kind of fortunate that I’ve been able to play so well through the hard courts. Obviously playing well here at the US Open, which is my favorite tournament, my favorite slam, it’s really special to be able to culminate the summer and play really well at this event.

I remember coming here when I was 12. It was really cool to watch all the best players in the world play here. Now I’m thankful that I’m one of those players now.

Q. Troicki played a tough five-setter before. Did you take that into account? Were you trying to move him around?
JARED DONALDSON: Yeah, no doubt. I knew he played a tough match before that. It was 4 hours, 50 minutes. It works both ways. It motivates you, keeps you aware that, hey, he came back from two sets to one two days ago. I better make sure I’m 100% focused in that third set. Even though I’m up two sets to love or I’m up a set or I’m up a set and two breaks, he’s obviously not gonna quit.

I knew I had to stay focused and in the moment because he was certainly capable of coming back. He’s a tough opponent. I think I did a good job of moving him around the court, taking time away from him, playing my game.

I think I did all that well tonight.

Q. When you were here when you were 12 years old, do you remember a particular match that impressed you? Who is here from your hometown to support you?
JARED DONALDSON: I can’t really point to a specific match or player that impressed me. Obviously I liked all the close matches. I loved coming the first week because there were a lot of really good, close matches. I got to get so close to the courts and so forth. So that was a really cool experience.

I think that the biggest takeaway I’ve had is I didn’t understand how brutal a five-set or four-set match was. Now I understand how tough it is physically and emotionally. Everybody wants it so bad. Nobody’s going to give it to you. You have to make sure you’re 100% in the moment and playing your game because it’s really tough out there.

Q. Something particular that you like about Argentina? Your favorite soccer team?
JARED DONALDSON: My favorite soccer team is Boca Juniors. I loved training in Argentina. It was a great experience for me. Really, I took a lot away from it.

I would say from a cultural aspect, the biggest thing that I took away, besides the fact that in Argentina it took them two hours to drink a small coffee, where it takes 20 minutes for a big coffee in the United States…

I think the biggest takeaway from me in Argentina was how focused and dedicated those guys were training. They were so serious. I think it was really eye-opening for me. The fact that they work so hard even when they were tired. Clay court is so physical. It put me in a pro mentality when I was very young, 14 years old. All the players down there were trying to be pro, working really hard.

It kind of put me, even though I was 14 years old, I was doing a pro schedule just like it was my job. Even though I was 14, I was doing fitness two-and-a-half hours a day, hitting four hours a day. I mean, I had a pro schedule when I was 14 years old. I was training with guys who were 18, 19, 20 years old. It was a big takeaway. It taught me how to work really hard.

Q. Did you pick up any Spanish?
JARED DONALDSON: A little bit. A little bit.

Q. Particular words? Favorite Argentinian expression?
JARED DONALDSON: Todo tranqui.

Q. What does that mean?
JARED DONALDSON: All relaxed, all cool. That’s kind of what I remember. I remember all the guys down there made me sing, I forget it now, but made me sing a Boca Juniors anthem song. One day I sang it in the gym.

Q. You’re going to be playing a Labor Day weekend match at the US Open, which is a huge thrill. Donald Young or Karlovic. Your thoughts if you play either one of them.
JARED DONALDSON: I played Donald twice before, once on a challenger in clay, once earlier this summer in Newport. We split the first two.

Obviously I know Donald is really tough. He’s got a great forehand, solid backhand. Tough tricky lefty serve. Really fast, great athlete. So he brings a lot. He’s got great intangibles. He’s a tough match. He has a great forehand, will try to take time away from me.

Obviously Karlovic, he’s got a monster serve. That’s going to be its own challenge. Two different players at opposite ends of the spectrum.

But I have to be ready for both. I think I will be ready for both.

Q. Given this is unprecedented territory even before today, what did Taylor talk to you about, given his experience?
JARED DONALDSON: For this tournament specifically?

Q. Yes. What has he talked to you about the past couple days?
JARED DONALDSON: I think the big thing that he tells me before every match is just go out there and control the things you can control. I know I’ve said that before. That’s really what we’ve been focusing on, what he tells me before every match. Focus on things you can control.

There’s so many things out of your control that it’s almost a waste of time to even think about it. You have to focus on fighting, competing, how points are going during the match. Because tennis is very fluid. One moment you could play great; the next moment you could be playing not so well or your opponent could have changed something.

It’s important to stay in the moment and figure out how you’re winning points and try to adjust if you feel you need to.

Q. There’s so much talk in tennis about the sport being older, 30-somethings dominating the sport. What’s the advantage of being young right now in tennis?
JARED DONALDSON: So I think this speaks for all young players is that since now maybe a lot of other guys haven’t seen how I play so much, they don’t have as much experience against me. The first two guys I played, they’re established pros.

I’ve been able to kind of go in there with an understanding of their game where maybe they haven’t come in with an understanding of my game because they haven’t seen me or played me that much.

I think that’s kind of what young players bring to the table in terms of playing more experienced players. The experienced player might not have seen the younger player play, so that gives me a slight advantage at least at the beginning of the match. Obviously once they kind of see what’s going on, it’s kind of a dogfight from there.

Nick Kyrgios

Press Conference

N. KYRGIOS/H. Zeballos

7-5, 6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How is the injury?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, it was obviously bothering me a little bit. But, you know, I’m doing everything I can for it. I’m getting a lot of physio for it.

Obviously, yeah, I’m doing everything I can. But my serve sort of got me out of trouble tonight.

Q. Didn’t seem to affect your serving at all.
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, obviously.

Q. Are these conditions tailored to your liking?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah. Guys with big games, guys that obviously can serve well, I think these courts favor them a lot. I feel comfortable playing here. I think I’m returning really good on these courts. I’ve always felt comfortable coming here.

Q. With your injury, happy to be on and off court quickly?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, just under two hours. Still relatively decent match.

Yeah, I’m happy. It could have gone on a lot longer. I’m happy I got off quickly.

Q. I think Marchenko is up two sets to love. What do you know about his game?
NICK KYRGIOS: Pretty solid. Pretty solid competitor. Always takes pride in his work ethic. Loves to stay back and grind.

It’s not over. Dzumi can play good tennis and can definitely fight back and win that match. I know them both pretty well on the court. They’re both tough players.

Steve Johnson

Press Conference

J. DEL POTRO/S. Johnson

7-6, 6-3, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What do you think went wrong out there tonight?
STEVE JOHNSON: I didn’t play my best tennis. You know, that happens. I don’t think I played my best tennis this week while I’ve been here, but I found a way to get through day one.

It’s tough, play your best tennis against a guy as good as Juan. He played great, served great. Had a bad 10 or 15 minutes where shots were kind of going sideways in the second when I was up a break. Kind of unfortunate timing for a bit of a dry spell on my side.

Q. How did it feel playing on Ashe?
STEVE JOHNSON: I felt fine. I didn’t feel nervous at all, which is a good thing. I felt nervous at Wimbledon this year playing on Centre. I didn’t feel nervous at all. I just didn’t execute what I needed to execute tonight.

Q. How were you seeing his serve throughout the match?
STEVE JOHNSON: Clearly not very well.

Q. They were saying Ashe is very loud this year with the roof. Did you feel that when you were out there?
STEVE JOHNSON: Yeah, it was definitely louder than most courts. But the atmosphere was great. I didn’t have a problem with it.

You watch as a kid night matches on Ashe. Finally got a chance to play in one. Pretty happy I was out there. Definitely not my last time, so I’ll learn from this experience and get better.

Q. Both forehand dominant guys, slice a lot of backhands. Playing someone who plays similar, did that similarity play into the match?
STEVE JOHNSON: No. Look, you have a game plan going out playing anybody regardless of which wing is better. I just didn’t execute the game plan tonight. Had a chance to do well in the second. Had my chance to get back on serve in the third.

I’ve been winning a lot of those points in the past three months. Unfortunately today I didn’t win those points to get back in it.

You know, not going to hang my head. Going to take a few weeks off and get ready to finish the year strong.

Q. You faced a lot of forehands on the tour. Where does his rank?
STEVE JOHNSON: His is good. Look, I think everybody’s got a great forehand. I think he relies on his more obviously than some guys, like myself. He’s a great player. Look, he’s 6’6″, great serve, can move well, long wingspan, gets his racquet on a lot of balls. That’s why he’s a Grand Slam champion. He’s no slouch.

Q. Doesn’t feel like it’s coming at you any differently?
STEVE JOHNSON: I think everybody has a different style. You look at Jack’s forehand, my forehand, Rafa’s forehand. Everybody has a different forehand. Hard for me to say which one is better. They’re all very strong parts of their game and very unique.

Q. How do you feel about your performance in big tournaments this year?
STEVE JOHNSON: I feel like half the year has been pretty good, half the year has been not so good. Thank goodness it’s a long year. Glad I turned it around on the grass.

Yeah, I’ve still got a lot of big tournaments. There’s a lot of big tournaments at the end of the year in Asia and back in Europe. Look forward to get the body right, the mind right, getting ready to go.

Q. Does it feel different as the American No. 1?
STEVE JOHNSON: Last I checked John was No. 1.

Q. You were higher seed.
STEVE JOHNSON: But look, I mean, I’ve said it the last three weeks knowing it was going to happen. John is still No. 1 in my eyes. I still look up to him, both physically and in tennis.

He’s our No. 1 guy in my eyes. We’re doing all we can to help him out, hopefully push everybody higher and higher. I’m not trying to beat John by any means. I want myself and I want John to push each other from 20 to 15 and 15 to 10.

It was great while I had it. That’s tennis. You know, things are going to happen.

Q. Because you had a good summer, do you feel more mentally exhausted at this point than you have in other seasons?
STEVE JOHNSON: No. You know, I play a lot of events in the summer. I love playing in the States. Good and bad, I won a lot of matches. You know, that’s okay. Look, I felt fine here. I didn’t feel tired. I didn’t feel out of gas. Was a little bit emotionally gassed from day one here. But I put a lot of pressure and nerves into my own game. It was kind of my fault. But I’m glad I found my way out of that one and had a chance to play today.

Q. Behind-the-back shot, is that something you practice?
STEVE JOHNSON: Usually I hit 30 to 40 of those a day in practice, so…

No, I mean, I don’t know. I didn’t want to hit a backhand, so I hit it behind the back.

Q. What did you see in del Potro? Did you see the 142nd player in the world, did you see a former champion, a potential champion?
STEVE JOHNSON: He’s not 142 in the world by any means? Off the top of my head since Wimbledon, he beat Stan, had a great Olympics. I mean, the guy’s a tennis player and a damn good one at that. I think it’s only a matter of time if he can stay healthy, and hopefully he does, because he’s good to have around on the tour.

Q. What are you looking forward to doing most?
STEVE JOHNSON: Going home and not playing tennis. Just being on the beach doing nothing. That’s about it. When I get off the tennis court, I don’t think about tennis. I probably won’t watch this tournament much.

Hopefully Sam and I do well in doubles. After that, I won’t watch much of this event unless John is doing well, those guys. That’s about it. When I go home, tennis will be the last on my list until I get ready for Asia.

Q. Did anyone from the organization give an answer to you about your complaint about the wild card for del Potro?
STEVE JOHNSON: That’s a stupid question. Not once did I say he didn’t deserve it. Everyone here, just get that clear. That was a really stupid question because, look, the guy won here. Never said it. Just kind of a bummer I played him today. That’s about it.

But, no, he deserved the wild card. Finalist in the Olympics and had Andy on the ropes. That’s about it.

Stan Wawrinka

Press Conference

S. WAWRINKA/A. Giannessi

6-1, 7-6, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. After all these years struggling mentally, now you got to a place where others see you as a big threat. Are you convinced that you are a threat?
STAN WAWRINKA: I’m where I am right now. I’m No. 3 in the world with a great career so far. I’m happy with what I’m doing so far in my career. I’m happy the way I’m playing so far in this tournament. Let’s see what can happen.

Q. Can you talk a bit about the match today. It was kind of a tough match on Armstrong against a opponent I suppose you don’t know so well. Can you talk about it.
STAN WAWRINKA: I think in general was a great level. I’m feeling well, playing some good shot. Armstrong I think is a little bit faster than what used to be, a little bit faster than the other courts.

But, yeah, I never play against him, but I watch before, and I talk with Magnus. I knew what to expect. Is great player. He has some great shots. He’s feeling the ball well.

Was a tough match, as I expect. But I think I’m quite happy to have won in three sets.

Q. Crucial moments in the second set. Were you happy you were able to turn it around, to finish it in three?
STAN WAWRINKA: It’s always better to win in three sets, that’s for sure. But I was ready to go even longer in that court. Was not as hot as the other day, but was really humid.

But, yeah, I think except that little moment when I got broken in the second, a few games when I was a little bit out mentally, not focused as I wanted. But I came back. In general, I think was a great level.

Q. Was it tough today with the rain and the waiting to stay focused?
STAN WAWRINKA: Not really. We are used to that. We know that here it’s far from the hotel. We used every year to have some raining day. I arrive at 3:00 at the stadium. Wasn’t that bad at the end.

Q. Doesn’t mean with your bright outfit that you looked at the pictures and you liked it so you switched to black?
STAN WAWRINKA: No, it’s okay so far.

Q. You’ll stick with it?
STAN WAWRINKA: So far, yeah, it’s okay.

Juan Martin Del Potro

Press Conference

J. DEL POTRO/S. Johnson

7-6, 6-3, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Obviously you’re a past champion here. Are you ever surprised at how much support you get from the crowd here not being an American player?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I feel that for sure. The people with me are making crazy, and I cannot believe that. I think they are proud to see me playing tennis again after all my surgeries. They know what has been through to get here to come back on tennis.

That’s amazing when I get into the court and the people likes just to see me. I’m having great days at the US Open.

Q. What was the key to winning tonight?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: I think I serve much better than my first-round match. I played focusing on the important moments of the game. I played great at the tiebreak. At the end I saw him physically little tired, so I took all my chances to close the match in three sets. I did much better than my first round.

Q. The first set was very close. What was your mindset in the second set?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Nothing. Just trying to keep there and never give up. I did a good job with my serves during all game. I had a few breakpoints at the first set of the match, and I couldn’t take it. Then in the second one, I did very, very often.

I think when you see your opponent little tired, you must take all the chances. That’s what I did today.

Q. You had a lot of support throughout the match. They were singing. Does it surprise you that you can get that kind of sport against an American in America?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: That could be strange for you guys. But I like when I heard these songs to me. It’s like a soccer stadium when they make something like that. I really enjoy it with the fans around the world when that’s happens.

It’s amazing for me having this love from there. I just want to show my tennis as I did in the past. And hopefully I can go far to keep winning matches.

Q. I know you’re in the middle of the tournament here, but can I ask you about Davis Cup against Britain. Do you want to play in that tie? Have you spoken to your captain about it?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Yes, yes, I am still waiting to be decided for being there. I would like to go to Glasgow. Hopefully I can play better than here in that semifinal because it’s very important for me, for my team.

Of course, I want to be prepared for that challenge.


Daniel Evans

Press Conference

D. EVANS/A. Zverev

6-4, 6-4, 5-7, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Would that rank amongst your best wins?
DANIEL EVANS: Yeah, it was probably the best one, the situation and circumstances, late, difficult mentally. Yeah, to come back in the fourth and get on top was good.

Q. You seemed to accelerate as you got towards the finish, more aggressive, get it done.
DANIEL EVANS: It wasn’t so much I wanted to get it done. In the third, I was a bit passive. He sort of took control. It was pretty evident that’s what he was going to do for the rest of the match. Needed to stay on top of him.

Q. Appeared to be a lot of distractions out there, movement. Quite difficult to keep focus?
DANIEL EVANS: Yeah, it was tough again. I played on that court the other day, so I sort of knew it was going to happen.

Q. Seemed to be not too happy with celebrating line calls?
DANIEL EVANS: It was a tough match. It was nothing personal against him or anything. Yeah, just fired up, as was he, I think. Was nothing bad. I don’t have any sort of anything against him. I wouldn’t think he’s got anything against me.

Q. Do you think he got distracted by the line calls?
DANIEL EVANS: He had one bad one, I’ll give him that. The rest, I would say, were normal calls.

Q. He’s an emotional player. You looked very focused out there. The crowd seemed to be pull a little bit for him. How did you keep so focused?
DANIEL EVANS: It’s the only way I could really win. I needed to focus all the way through, especially in the fourth where the momentum was definitely with him.

Just stayed focused, eyes down, ready to go, yeah.

Q. Do you think it’s the most focused you’ve been in your career? In the first set you were down 2-5, came back to 5-All. Double-faulted. Bounced back straightaway.
DANIEL EVANS: Yeah, I needed to get a good start in the fourth, just try to get on top again. I sort of felt it was slipping away a bit. I did feel that. It was pretty important to get on top again.

Q. A lot of money to win here. Is that any kind of incentive?
DANIEL EVANS: No, only you guys mention it. A lot of people tweet about it. I don’t really know. It is a big amount of money, but I don’t have a look at that sort of stuff. It’s more the points, sort of looking ahead to what the points can do for me. Obviously it’s a good chunk again so far.

Q. You play Wawrinka next. A major step up in class.
DANIEL EVANS: Hopefully that will be on Court 4, yeah (smiling).

It’s going to be good fun. Yeah, obviously a bit like Wimbledon. Had a good win and then played Federer. It will be on a good court. Look forward to it. Never hit with him, never played against him. It’s going to be interesting, yeah.

Q. With that said, first time in eight years three British men in the third round. Can you talk about British tennis at the moment, general feeling between everyone.
DANIEL EVANS: I think everyone’s obviously doing pretty well at the minute. It could easily have been different. Kyle played Gasquet. I played Ram. We both could lose those matches. Would have sat here with only Andy again.

It just happens in certain tournaments, doesn’t it, where you get through. Other tournaments, none get through.

Like this week, there’s a feel-good factor. Me and Kedders have got tough matches now. See what we can do.

Q. Do you think the way you’re playing you could cause him problems?
DANIEL EVANS: I played pretty well tonight. But he’s a big step up in class. I’ve got to go out there, just like Wimbledon, believe I can win. But I’m pretty realistic about it. I’m nowhere near favorite to win that match.

Q. It’s pretty hard to play the top players. How much pressure do you feel to play a player like Zverev, to feel you should be winning the match?
DANIEL EVANS: I didn’t think I should win today, to be honest. Obviously he was a better player than me at the minute. He was favored to win that match. A bit of an upset. Obviously a good win.

But I still believed I could win the match going into it. Just because he’s favorite doesn’t mean I don’t think I can win.

Q. You said if he did hit it like he can hit it, he’d hit the racquet out of your hand. How hard was he hitting the ball at you?
DANIEL EVANS: I did think that he could just hit it through me. There was a chance he could just put it, yeah, hit the racquet out of my hand. Big serve, big forehand. He didn’t actually do that that much today. I returned pretty well. I don’t think he felt comfortable hitting off my return. It was definitely one of the things which helped me win.

Q. One point in the last 12, 15 minutes when you’ve been on this positive trajectory, one specific tournament or moment where the switch flipped, you thought that you can really do this?
DANIEL EVANS: There’s not really been one point. I mean, the Asia trip was pretty big. I didn’t really like it there. I sort of kept busy by winning matches. I did pretty well out there. Sort of that kept me busy by winning the matches.

Yeah, that trip, I was dreading going there, to be honest. I hadn’t been there before. The second tournament was awful. I didn’t like it.

Q. Which one was that?
DANIEL EVANS: Busan. Yeah, it was the middle of nowhere. I didn’t like it. Yeah, I made final. That give me a lot of confidence. It wasn’t that bad that I thought it was going to be. Wasn’t that good either.

But that week definitely helped that I was pretty comfortable and came through.

Q. You’re going to be up near 50 now. That’s going to get into pretty much any tournament you want. Has that been a particular aim so you’re in the field for Masters Series tournaments?
DANIEL EVANS: To be in the Masters is where the good points are. So, yeah, hopefully main draw of Paris at the end of the year was a small goal once I got through against Ram. So we’ll see what happens.

Q. You constructed some really good points out there. Both of you were patient. But you were also aggressive. Was that a strategy that you came in with?
DANIEL EVANS: Yeah, like I said, he could have hit me off the court if I give him a chance. It was my sort of game to go at him. That was the game plan from the start.

Q. I think you said the other day you were about ready to go home. I assume having won here, you’re not ready to go home.
DANIEL EVANS: Not yet. Yeah, I’m ready to go. But a few more matches hopefully. Still got doubles, as well. I’m enjoying it. Hopefully not here just before Davis Cup so I get to go on holiday.


Murray, Williams Sisters and Del Potro Advance to US Open Third Round

Andy Murray

Andy Murray

(September 1, 2016) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – The sound of rain loudly pelting the roof of Arthur Ashe Stadium prevented Andy Murray from hearing the sounds of the ball. That did not stop the 2012 US Open champion from beating Marcel Granollers 6-4, 6-1, 6-4 to reach the third round on Thursday.

“You can’t hear anything, really,” Murray said. “I mean, you could hear the line calls but not so much when the opponents — you know, when he was hitting the ball or even when you’re hitting the ball, really, which is tough purely because we’re not used to it. That’s what makes it challenging.”

“We use our ears when we play,” Murray continued. “It’s not just the eyes. You know, it helps us pick up the speed of the ball, the spin that’s on the ball, how hard someone’s hitting it.

“You know, if we played with our ears covered or with headphones on, it would be a big advantage if your opponent wasn’t wearing them.”

Rain delayed play all over the rest of the courts, with Day session matches on the outer courts ending well after the Night session.

Serena and Venus Williams had little trouble advancing to th third round of Flushing Meadows. No. 1 Serena aiming for her 23rd major beat Vania King 6-3, 6-3 to open the night session. The win equaled Martina Navratilova’s Open-era record of 306 major match wins. Roger Federer holds the record with one more win.

“I knew it was on the horizon,” Serena said. “I knew at Wimbledon that I wanted to get there. Obviously I’m excited about that. Would like to take one more step, several more steps.”


Older sister Venus stopped Julia Goerges 6-2, 6-3.


“Yeah, definitely today was a lot more measured than my first round,” said the 7-time major champion I just felt like I had to dial it back a little bit, maybe play a little bit more percentage tennis, play within myself, keep my errors down.

“Very happy that it worked out against an opponent who is seasoned, who can play, who can serve, who has a lot of big shots. So it was a nice test to come through.”


2009 US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro, in the tournament as a wild card beat 19th seed American Steve Johnson 7-6(5), 6-3, 6-2 to advance the third round. The Argentine was very happy to have crowd support playing an American in America.


“I feel that for sure.” Del Potro said. “ The people with me are making crazy, and I cannot believe that. I think they are proud to see me playing tennis again after all my surgeries. They know what has been through to get here to come back on tennis.

“That’s amazing when I get into the court and the people likes just to see me. I’m having great days at the US Open.”


“It’s amazing for me having this love from there. I just want to show my tennis as I did in the past. And hopefully I can go far to keep winning matches.”

US qualifier ranked 122 in the world, Jared Donaldson is now 2-0 in his career in majors. The 19-year-old who knocked out 12th seed David Goffin in the first round, took down Viktor Troicki 4-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-0 to advance to the third round.

“I’m still 120 in the world,” he said. That’s not amazing. That’s not where I want to end up. It’s 120 in the world. I want to be top 10, top 5, No. 1. Eventually, if I get to that ranking, I’ll have enough attention, almost too much attention. I just have to make sure that I stay focused on my game, try not to let the outside factors kind of dictate how I play or act. I just have to keep improving.”


Other surprises in the tournament on Thursday included 2011 champion Sam Stosur losing to Shuai Zhang 6-3, 6-3, Joao Sousa beating 16 seed Feliciano Lopez, Daniel Evans knocking out up-and-comer Alex Zverev, the 27th seed and Paolo Lorenzi stopping 30th seed Giles Simon in five sets.