2014/09/01

Notes and Quotes from Down Under – Day 3

Sharapova10042012

(January 16, 2013) A look at some the questions and answers from day three of the 2013 Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne.

Maria Sharapova

Q.  You obviously have a pretty big candy business now, but you’re also making a lot of bagels.

MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I didn’t offer candy today (laughter).  Trying to make a good question?

I was just really trying to be focused.  You know, I didn’t know too much about my opponent; just knew she was a few inches shorter than I was.

But it’s always tough, especially when you’re up a set and a couple of breaks to keep that momentum.  You know, I really forced myself to concentrate and just get the job done today.

Q.  Have you enjoyed your first 48 hours on Twitter?

MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I’m a rookie.  There are a lot of things I’m still learning about.  I’m just starting to follow things and people.  Now I’m learning how to, is it hashtag things, right?  That was a new one for me.

But it’s interesting.  I mean, I won’t be doing it like every single minute.  I won’t be telling people what I’m eating.  I think that’s very non‑interesting.

But when I do have things to say, I’m sure I will.  Last night I was watching this match I really wanted to say something about the commentating going on, but I really bit my tongue on that one.

I was like, Isn’t that what Twitter is for, to open up?  Itself like, No, no.

Q.  Andy Roddick has been doing that.  He’s been criticizing commentating since he retired also on Twitter.

MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Well, it’s not like he didn’t when he was playing, so…

Q.  Does it surprise you that you can just say hello on social media and get 200,000 followers just like that (snapping fingers)?

MARIA SHARAPOVA:  It does.  It’s very flattering.  But it just shows you the power of social media, how everyone is just online these days with devices.

I mean, sometimes you see me and I have my notebook here and my phone here.  It’s like I’m looking back and forth.  Sometimes my mom speaks to me and she says, I think I need to send you a text message to get your attention.  It’s pretty crazy.

But it shows you how powerful these things are.  I’m happy that I’m able to share some things with my fans that maybe they don’t get to see or hear me say.  Just a fun way to communicate with them.

Q.  We can see Venus on this TV screen here.  She has a bright‑colored dress on.  Tricky to make comments.  She wore the same dress in her last match.  Any comment on her fashion statement?

MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I haven’t seen the dress.  Maybe I’ll see it in the next round and can comment.

Q.  Are you happy with these two bagel matches?  This happened 28 years ago.  Are you happy with it?

MARIA SHARAPOVA:  It’s not really the statistic I want to be known for.  I want to be known for winning Grand Slam titles, not that I won two matches 6‑0, 6‑0.

You know, I’m just happy that I won the match and I get to go through and I’m in the next round.

Q.  Date was talking about relating to the other generation.  Clearly she is a lot older than you, but do you find yourself feeling like an older player, and can you relate to the 18‑year‑olds?

MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Maybe not as old as that, but I feel like I’m somewhere in the middle definitely.  I feel like I’ve seen an older generation when I was quite young and just getting on the tour be at the peak of their career and competing really well and learning so much from that.

Now I find myself in a moment where you see so many, you know, youngsters ‑ not young, but 17, 18, 19, 20 years old ‑ that are doing really well.  And I guess that is the newer generation.

Sometimes you think it’s quite crazy because it seems like last minute you were there, you were one of them.

 

 

 Venus Williams

Q.  Do you feel more embraced by the public and fans than at any time in your career?

VENUS WILLIAMS:  I don’t know.  Maybe.  Perhaps.  I don’t know.  I think people have always been pretty nice to me.  I try to be nice to people, yeah.

 

Q.  Have you gotten any compliments on your dress?

VENUS WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I get a lot of compliments on my dress.

 

Q.  What do people say?

VENUS WILLIAMS:  They love the color.  I love your dress.  It’s a nice style.  Women’s players, men’s players, people working around.  That’s been very satisfying because I work hard on the designs.  I’ll spend all day and all night on the designs.  I eat hot fries usually during the design sessions.

Then the one time that I didn’t, I couldn’t think of anything, so I ordered some hot fries.  I got there the next day, and, bam, I had the best ideas.

But since that time I’ve really had to discontinue that.  I can’t eat the hot fries.  I credit all these designs to hot fries.

 

Q.  Are they like spicy French fries?

VENUS WILLIAMS:  Oh, they are so spicy, and I just keep eating ‘em and it hurts.  I just pop ‘em away.

It’s still vegan because it’s somewhat a potato.  It’s just very processed, extremely processed.  Probably poisonous (laughter).

Yeah, I don’t know why.  It’s just always been part of the design.  When I design, I eat hot fries

 

Madison Keys

Q.  So both your parents are lawyers, right?

MADISON KEYS:  Yes.

Q.  Both still working?

MADISON KEYS:  Both are still working, yes.

Q.  How did you get from lawyers’ kid, especially two working lawyers, to become a tennis player at this level?

MADISON KEYS:  Complete luck.  No one in my family plays tennis.  I just came upon it one day.  Just thought, Hey, I’ll try it.  You know, it’s worked out pretty well.

Q.  So you got addicted pretty quickly?

MADISON KEYS:  For sure.  Right away.

Q.  First time?

MADISON KEYS:  First time, fell in love.

Q.  Went home and said, I got to play tennis every day; get me lessons?

MADISON KEYS:  Every single day.  My parents fed me balls.  Eventually it turned into having a coach, and then it went to being at an academy.

Q.  Your parents don’t play?

MADISON KEYS:  Neither one can play tennis.

Q.  What initially attracted you when you saw tennis for the first time?

MADISON KEYS:  The outfits (smiling).

Really wanted a tennis dress.  My parents told me that if I played, they would buy me one.  I was like, Hey, I’ll try it.

Q.  Who were your tennis idols growing up?  Who did you like to watch?

MADISON KEYS:  Really, really liked watching Kim Clijsters.  I thought she was very passionate, and I thought her movement was incredible.

Q.  How old were you when you started, picked up the racquet for the first time?

MADISON KEYS:  I was four.

 

Jerzy Janowicz

Q.  What exactly frustrated you out there on court?

JERZY JANOWICZ:  Mostly only first set because the umpires, they’re making so many mistakes.  One of the most important mistake was set point in this tiebreak, 9‑8.  Was shanked forehand from Devvarman.  The ball was really slow.  It was clean out.  I was already happy.  I was already shouting, C’mon.  But the referees didn’t say anything.

This was the moment when I went nuts.  Otherwise the rest of the match I was pretty calm.

Q.  Do you have any regrets about the things you did on the court in terms of when you went nuts?

JERZY JANOWICZ:  Well, sometimes happens like this.  You can’t control your emotions all the time.  This was really big point for me.  We played this set for more than 1 hour, 10 minutes, so this was really important point for me.

Actually, I went nuts.  I calmed down little bit later on.  Sometimes I have problem to control my emotions, but I’m trying to work on this.

Q.  What exactly did you do to calm yourself down and come back to win that match?

JERZY JANOWICZ:  I don’t really know.  I was all the time trying to be focused.  I was all the time telling myself to fight for every single ball.  And somehow I just relaxed.  I have no explanation why.

Q.  Have you gone as nuts as that in a match before?

JERZY JANOWICZ:  Yeah (smiling).

Q.  Have you hit the umpire’s chair before?

JERZY JANOWICZ:  Maybe (smiling).

Q.  Do you expect to get in trouble for that?

JERZY JANOWICZ:  No, no.  I got warning only because I was shouting.  I didn’t say anything bad.  I was only shouting, so this was the problem.  Because umpire told me I got a warning because I was shouting.  They play some matches around us, so this was the problem.

I didn’t say anything bad, so I hope I not have to pay.

Q.  What about at the end?  You were very animated.  Somebody gave you flowers.  Has that ever happened before?

JERZY JANOWICZ:  Yes, some girls, they gave me flowers.  This was first time.  Never, never happen to me before.

Q.  You haven’t played this tournament before.  Was it a question of not having the financial resources to get to Australia in the past?

JERZY JANOWICZ:  Yeah.  Actually I played 2010 quallies, qualifications.  So, I mean, last year I couldn’t come here because of money.  Now I think I have little bit better situation because I have already a sponsor.

So is much, much easier for me mentally to play this Australian Open because I didn’t have to worry about money anymore.

Q.  Where were you this time last year?

JERZY JANOWICZ:  I played futures, 10,000, in England.

Q.  Quite a big change from last year to this.

JERZY JANOWICZ:  Small one (smiling).

Q.  You said it was a money thing.  How much money did you make the previous year, or not make?

JERZY JANOWICZ:  How much money I make?

Q.  In 2011.

JERZY JANOWICZ:  I think you can check this.  During 2011, yeah?  I don’t know.  You have to check this on ATP page.

Q.  But not enough that you could afford to come here.

JERZY JANOWICZ:  No, of course not.  At that time I was ranked 220, so there’s not really ranking to make some money.  And in Poland we don’t have too many opportunities to get money from sponsors.

I was struggling a little bit, so that’s why I didn’t play last year.

Q.  All of a sudden you are making money and have sponsors.  Has this changed you, your life?

JERZY JANOWICZ:  This changed my life, but this not change me.  I’m all the time same crazy person, and I hope is going to be all the time the same.

But, I mean, yeah, in life you change a lot.  Now I don’t have to worry about my trips.  I can buy easily business class for me for that kind of trip like to Australia.  Now I don’t have to worry about money for my coach.

So it’s much easier for me to play tennis now.

Q.  Did you enjoy playing out there on court today?  What was your experience with the Australian crowd?

JERZY JANOWICZ:  I would say Polish crowd mostly (smiling).

Yeah, it was really nice atmosphere today.  Polish people, they were helping me all the time.  Even when I was losing 2‑Love, they didn’t stop.  They were all the time cheering for me.

So it’s always helpful, and it’s nice to play like this.

Q.  Did you surprise yourself?  Given what happened at the end of the first set and then you lost the second quite easily, it looked like you were gone.

JERZY JANOWICZ:  No, I’m really strange person, and anyway always I’m fighting till the end.  Even when I’m going nuts sometimes, I’m always trying to win no matter what.

If I surprise myself?  Yeah, maybe, because it never happen to me before.  I was never losing two sets to love, so this is some kind of surprise for me.

Q.  Since Bercy, have you felt sometimes the media attention was too much around you?

JERZY JANOWICZ:  Yeah, especially in Poland.  First week after Bercy, I was going from TV show to some other TV show.  I didn’t have really free time for myself.

So this week was really not easy for me.  But, you know, you have to cooperate sometimes with media, yeah.  But always if there’s something too much, it’s not nice.

I was able to handle this.

Q.  What is the strangest thing you read about yourself since Bercy?

JERZY JANOWICZ:  Honestly saying I’m not reading any articles about myself.  I cannot answer for this question.

 

 Sam Stosur

Q.  Do you think you choked?

SAMANTHA STOSUR:  I don’t know.  Whatever word you want to put on it.  At 5‑2 up in the third, double break probably is a bit of a choke, yeah.

Q.  What was going through your mind at 5‑2 in the third and your opponent getting those games back?

SAMANTHA STOSUR:  I mean, at 5‑2 I felt great obviously.  I’d broken again to get a double break.  Then went out to serve the game like I had been the last 10 service games, or whatever it was.  There was no kind of negative feeling, because I started playing really quite well.

Then, yeah, got a little bit tight.  You miss a return here, a shot there, then you do the right thing, and then you don’t do it.  It was, yeah, it was too in and out for those points in time.  You make a few more errors and you’re back even.

Q.  When you say crazy things come into your head, what do you think?  Like, It’s not happening again?

SAMANTHA STOSUR:  Not necessarily it’s happening again.  You don’t want it to go any further.  It’s 5‑2.  You don’t want it to go any further than 5‑3.  We’ve all seen it happen before to many players.  You know what it feels like.  You’re desperately trying not to make it happen.

It’s probably, yeah, part of not really doing what you should be doing to obviously get to that point.

 

 Ryan Harrison

Q.  Do you think it takes some draws that give you more of a head start into the tournament?  You hit a bunch of walls early here.

RYAN HARRISON:  I’m not concerned about the draws at all.  It doesn’t matter to me the draws or things that you can’t control.  Like I said before, my goal is to win these tournaments one day.

I’m not concerned about losing second, third, or fourth round.  I want to get to the point where I’m good enough to win these tournaments eventually.

And playing these guys and having the opportunity to play everybody ‑‑ I’ve played on every stadium except for Ashe at this point, which is pretty exciting for me to know that moving forward in my career that I’m not going to have anything that I haven’t seen before.

 

Q.  Has it been strange to have no Roddick around here?

RYAN HARRISON:  I mean, not really.  I talk to him pretty much every day since I’ve been here.  He’s been actively talking to me and helping me.

Any time I ask him how he’s doing, he’s always doing great.  He doesn’t seem like he’s depressed, to say the least.  He’s loving life.

It’s certainly strange that he’s not the top dog right now.  But as he would tell you guys, he’s still ranked ahead of me, so…

 

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Notes and Quotes From Down Under – Day Two

Kimiko Date-Krumm ©Tennis Panorama

Kimiko Date-Krumm ©Tennis Panorama

(January 15, 2013) A look at some the questions and answers from day one of the 2013 Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne.

Kimiko Date-Krumm

Q.  I think you set a record today. ( At 42, Date-Krumm became the oldest player to win a match at the Australian Open)

KIMIKO DATE‑KRUMM:  Of course not.  You know, it’s many times I play the Grand Slam.  But since when I start play again, always I have a tough draw.  Almost every time I play the seeded player.  And many times I almost beat them, and then I lost many times.

So this time also, when I saw the draw, I play against a 12‑seeded Petrova.  Well, it’s happen again, so…

But this time I don’t get injury.  My body is feeling lots good.  My tennis was not so bad.  So I felt even I lose, but I felt I’m interesting to play today.  So I’m very happy today, yeah.

Q.  Many people would like to know your secret to longevity?  Is it ice baths, miso soup?

KIMIKO DATE‑KRUMM:  I don’t eat not so much Japanese food when I’m traveling.  Only when I go back to Japan.  I love to eat Japanese food because, of course, quality is different when I’m traveling outside Japan.

So last night I ate pasta (smiling).

 

 

 Serena Williams

Q.  So Thursday is too early to call, whether you can play Thursday?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  Oh, I’ll be out there.  I mean, unless something fatal happens to me, there’s no way I’m not going to be competing.

I’m alive.  My heart’s beating.  I’ll be fine.

Q.  Is there any pain or swelling there now?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  Obviously there’s pain.  Obviously there’s swelling.  So it’s going to be really important to see how the next few hours unfold.

Q.  When you were down on the court for a while, how much of that was it actually hurting and how much was the memory rushing back to you?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  It was definitely a lot of pain.  Also a little bit of the memory, as well.  So it was definitely a little bit of both.

But also at the same time trying to gather myself together and trying to make sure that I can continue.

Q.  What do you think it says about how well you’ve been playing lately that you have this happen to you in the middle of a match and you still win 6‑Love, 6‑Love in less than an hour?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don’t know.  At that point I think I really started to focused.  For me, when I was injured, I just thought, Just relax.  Have nothing to lose at that point, so I just started swinging freely.

I don’t know if it says I’m a good player, I’m an average player.  I don’t go by that.  I just feel like I was just out there to swing and do what I could.

Q.  You’ve seen some pretty serious injuries before.  Is there something that switches on in your head, I’m injured, this is what I’m going to do?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  Absolutely.  I’ve been injured before.  I’ve played this tournament with so many injuries and was able to come off pretty on top.  So for me it’s just another page and a great story to tell the grandkids one day (laughter).

Q.  When you were on the ground lying there, do you have to tell yourself, Do not panic?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  Absolutely.  I think I was really, really close to panicking because a very similar thing happened to me last year, almost on the same side, the same shot.

So I almost panicked, and I thought, I can’t do that.  I just have to really remain calm and think things through.

Q.  Have the medical people indicated whether you’ll need a scan or an x‑ray?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  That’s definitely optional.  I’m going to play it by ear.  I would love to see the next few hours how I go, and then I’m going to decide what to do next at that stage.

Q.  Are you thinking the rest of your afternoon is going to be on the couch with ice?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  Unfortunately, I’m used to having ice on my feet.  It’s one of the things I ice the most, so I’ll be on the couch.

Q.  Do you wrap your own ankle?  Seems like you knew pretty much exactly what you wanted.

SERENA WILLIAMS:  No.  I do a lot for practice, I have for a lot of exhibitions, sometimes for doubles.  I’m a renowned ankle taper (smiling).  I know exactly what to do.  I’ve been taping my ankles for my whole career, so I hope I know how to do it.

Q.  Are you still going to play doubles with Venus?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, absolutely.  Again, unless something fatal happens to me, I hope not.  I’m going to be on the doubles court, too.  I’m not here to make excuses; I’m here to play.

Q.  How did it actually happen?  Did your foot slip on the court or it just rolled?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don’t know.  I don’t know.  I have no idea.  I just remember it going over, but I don’t remember how.  I have to see if it’s on the film.  But I don’t know if they even got it on TV.

Q.  Would you rather not know what the exact damage is and just play with the pain for the rest of the tournament?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  Honestly, yeah, really, because I would really rather not know.  I know one year I won this tournament and had two bone bruises in both knees.  I had no idea.  I just knew I was in pain.

I think sometimes what you don’t know cannot hurt you.

Q.  How do you get to the point where you say to yourself, Oh, it’s perfectly okay for me to run out wide on my forehand; I’m not going to worry about rolling the ankle?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  You know, I have a day.  I have a day to work on it.  At this point it’s not a lot of time.  But I’m not 18 years old where I want to sit this one out or I don’t have to run to the forehand.

I feel like with my experience, I feel like I’ve gone through a lot, and that I just have to mentally adapt.  I’ve been able to mentally adapt to a lot of things.

You know, I think it will be a good challenge and almost a good game for me to mentally adapt to this.

Q.  How much better do you think the tape made this experience today compared to if it hadn’t been there?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  If I didn’t have tape, I would not be playing.  It would have been fatal (laughter).

 

 Andy Murray

Q.  What did you make of the singing fans that supported you?

ANDY MURRAY:  Yeah, I think it’s the same group of guys that come every single year.  So, yeah, they’ve been there, yeah, I would say at least four or five years.  They’ve been coming to watch.  Try to sort them out some tickets when we can.

Yeah, they’re good support and pretty amusing songs.  Although I think they haven’t come up with too many new ones, so challenge them to that.

Q.  Are they Australians?

ANDY MURRAY:  Yeah.

 

Q.  Did you check in which half of the draw Janowicz is in?

ANDY MURRAY:  It wasn’t the first thing I did when I saw the draw, no.  I didn’t focus on that too much.  But I’m pretty sure he played yesterday.  I saw him warming up for his match, so…

I see he’s in the top half.

Q.  There has been so sad news today about Brad Drewett, the ATP World Tour chairman stepping down.  Do you have a message for Brad?

ANDY MURRAY:  Of all the people in his position, since I’ve been part of the ATP, I spent more time with him than I did with any of the other guys before him.  We had, you know, numerous meetings with him, with the Grand Slams, you know, chatted to him a lot privately, as well.

Yeah, it’s obviously very shocking news.  Very sad.  You know, he’s done a very good job for the tour.  He’s done a good job of bringing the tournaments together and arranging, you know, the meetings we had with the slams.  He’s definitely had an impact in the time he’s been working there.

So, yeah, it’s a big shame to hear something like that happen.  Hope he’s okay.

 

Victoria Azatenka

Q.  You probably heard that Serena had an injury today, but still won.  Suppose you can’t be worried about other players, but have you heard anything about her?

VICTORIA AZARENKA:  I actually haven’t heard that because I was just off my match and doing my own stuff.  I heard she won love and love, so what kind of injury are we talking about (laughter)?

 

 Milos Raonic

Q.  Trying to incorporate a few new things into your game this year.  I guess you weren’t too successful with that today.

MILOS RAONIC:  No.  The only thing I incorporated is winning the match and getting by and trying to be better.

 

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Q.  I noticed that a lot of French players are living in Switzerland.

JO‑WILFRIED TSONGA:  Okay, I don’t want to talk about this today.  I just want to talk about tennis.  If we could have another question, it would be perfect.

 

Roger Federer

Q.  He said  (Paire) he couldn’t read your game at all.  Do you know you have that effect on your opponent and are you aware of it in a match that guys maybe don’t anticipate at all?

ROGER FEDERER:  Well, I mean, I guess the advantage for us as top players is that we do play against top players more often than they do, so we’re used to maybe bigger serves all around, better movement, you know, more unpredictable stuff, which they don’t get the opportunity obviously to play against, you know.

So that’s I think an advantage for us, but that’s why I think it’s very important, the work ethic and bringing it day in and day out to give yourself that opportunity.  Every match you play against a top guy is usually going to bring you a step further because you realize what else you have to improve.

You know, this guy has apparently got the biggest forehand or backhand out there, all the rest you face is going to be a little bit easier, you know.

So I didn’t know I had that effect out there today, but, you know, I do have some options in my game and I used them well.  You know, I kept coming in at him as well to shorten the rallies and make him feel the pressure.  I guess that was the good play today against him.

 

Q.  Will you be watching Bernard Tomic’s match tonight?

ROGER FEDERER:  Is he playing first?  Second?  I don’t know.  I haven’t got my plan yet for tonight, dinner plans.  I saw a bit of Lleyton yesterday.  I decided at the end I’d rather go out with my friends and have dinner and hopefully come back for the fifth set in case, and that never happened, unfortunately.  (Laughter.)

Today maybe.  I mean, I don’t know.  I will plan around the beginning of the match maybe.  We’ll see.

 

Juan Martin del Potro

Q.  Do you see an opening now with Rafael Nadal on the sidelines?

JUAN DEL POTRO:  No, I think the favorites are the same even if Rafa is not here.  If Rafa could be here would be a favorite for sure also.  But Roger, Novak, Andy Murray, and other guys can be the favorites to win the tournament.

 

Q.  Did Li Na provide any advice before the match today?

WU DI:  Not technically, but mentally.  Last night before I go to bed I get a text message from her.  She told me, Don’t be nervous.  Don’t think about tennis.  Just go to bed.

Your answer will be tomorrow, not tonight.  So don’t think about anything else.

Bernard Tomic

Q.  Couldn’t hope for a better start.

BERNARD TOMIC:  Yeah, pretty good match.  I felt, you know, in control the whole match.  You know, off the ground I played pretty good, served pretty decent.  I’m happy.

Q.  When you are in control as much as that, is it difficult for you to maintain the concentration that you really do need on the court?

BERNARD TOMIC:  It’s always a challenge, and now I’m much better at it.

You know, when you have the feeling that you’re playing well on the court, you are in charge, you are in control, and you’re winning, sometimes you’re going to try a few different things and experiment.

But I’m pretty sure I played pretty focused out there today and did a good job.

Q.  You mentioned after the match that people keep asking you about the potential third‑round clash with Roger, and you said you’d rather focus on your next opponent.  Is it hard to not focus on what is coming ahead in the draw, or are you good at just focusing on what the next task is?

BERNARD TOMIC:  It’s difficult, you know.  Everyone expects and everyone draws it out before the tournament that probably we’re going to meet.  But you don’t know.  Tennis is very strange.  I have learned that last year.  I played a lot of strange matches and lost a lot of matches I should have won.

You just don’t know how you can feel.  You can get sick.  You know, if everything goes according to plan we should get there, but the next round I have to play a player who I don’t know as well.  I haven’t practiced with him a lot, and it can be as difficult.  He just beat the top 30 players, so it’s difficult.

And obviously Roger is playing Davydenko now.  It’s not easy.  That’s a guy that’s also beaten him a few times before, so we have tough rounds.  I’ve got to win next round.

Q.  Are you the sort of person that reads the newspapers over the next two days now and watches the television or you try to turn it off?

BERNARD TOMIC:  Oh, no.  You know, I try not to, but, you know, I like the TV so I do happen to see stuff on there.  (Smiling.)

You know, you try to ignore those sort of things.  I just want to focus on the next match.  My main target is just playing the next match and winning.  That’s why I’m doing a good job the last few weeks at this.  I take every match seriously.  I prepare every match, I mean, as 100% as I can.

Q.  So your preparations have changed over past six, eight months?

BERNARD TOMIC:  My preparation?

Q.  Yeah.

BERNARD TOMIC:  Not so much that.  Last year I was struggling ‑ we all know that ‑  but the last two months is where I have improved.  I’m feeling so good out on court, and I’m going to keep this up.

I like getting out on court now and feeling like this and playing and winning.  It’s just an amazing feeling, so I’m just going to keep doing it.

Q.  For the young players in Australia, would you like to send a message to them?  They want to see you as an example.  What would you like to say to all of those players who want to be like you?

BERNARD TOMIC:  I mean, look, you’ve got to try and compete as best as you can and you’ve got to work hard, and, you know, I’ve only learnt that last year.

Time does fly.  Time flies by.  You have to use every second every day.  You’re going to become a better player and better person and feel confident with yourself if you go through those boundaries.

That’s what I did.  I overcame those sort of things, and I managed to put my head down and work hard. You know, for anyone that’s trying to get there, you know, they’ll always be an opportunity.  You know, sometimes you’ll need a little bit of luck.

But if you knuckle down and work hard and do the right things, make the right sacrifices, then you’ll get a chance.

Q.  Your next opponent, how do you go about getting information and preparing for that match specifically?

BERNARD TOMIC:  YouTube.  (Smiling.)

You know, I’ll just see it on the Internet maybe and watch over the next few days.  Obviously my dad and my team will also look at his stats and where he plays and how he’s played.

I think he played well one year at Wimbledon when he made the fourth round.  That’s all I know. I have never played or hit with him, so I will definitely study up on how to play him.

Q.  Is it difficult when you have little information to prepare for a match?

BERNARD TOMIC:  Yeah, it is.  You just don’t know how the guy plays.  You’ve got to know where he serves and where, you know, where his weaknesses are.  With this guy, I don’t know.

So I have got to look in the next day or so and give myself the best chance of playing him.

Q.  Do you now enjoy hard work or is it still a burden?

BERNARD TOMIC:  It’s still difficult, it’s still hard, but you know when you work hard and you really push yourself that you’re confident and you know what you’ve done.  You know, if you can just be fitter than the other player and mentally stronger and hang in there, you never know what can happen.

I do have the tennis.  I can play tennis.  It’s not a problem about that.  But I needed to build something of my own, and that’s where I spent two months trying to become fitter, better, and mentally stronger.

Now on the court it’s a piece of cake.

Q.  That said, have you set a goal yourself specifically for this year personally?

BERNARD TOMIC:  Yeah, I want to reach the top 10.  I think it’s very achievable the way I’m going.

I’m going to have so many opportunities, and, you know, hopefully I can win more tournaments this year.  You know, I’m looking at every tournament I go into to try and win it.  Doesn’t matter who I’m playing, I’m going to try and win.

That’s why I think whoever was on my ‑‑ whoever I played the past few weeks, I beat them because every match I go into I knew I could win.  It’s just about me committing, and I was doing that.  I’m so happy with myself, and I feel like I can do it and reach the top 10 if I just do those things.

I don’t know when it can happen.  You can’t put a time limit on these things, but I know it will.

Q.  About that, your goal of reaching top 10, you mentioned that to Jim after the match.  When did you sort of decide that and how did you come to that sort of goal?  Talk us through that.

BERNARD TOMIC:  Well, I mean, everyone’s got goals in tennis, and personally just I want to become, you know, in the top 10 best tennis players, and then potentially move myself into No. 1 in the world.  That’s always my goal.

It’s important to have steps on the way and try to reach the top 20, but I think I’m pushing the top 10.  It’s far, but I think it’s achievable the way I’m playing.

Once you achieve that I think I’m going to set new goals, but, you know, for that now, I’m going to work as hard as I can to reach top 10.

Q.  Do you feel like you have matured a lot not just as a tennis player but also as a person, as well?

BERNARD TOMIC:  Yeah, absolutely.  I think, you know, off the court and on the court I have changed so much, and it’s just helping me play better tennis and focus.  Because sport is all about focus and, you know, who can keep the most focus.

You obviously have to play, but I have changed so much, and, you know, it’s made me become a better person off court and a better player on court.

It’s just strange how it works, but if you do put in the hard work and if you do do the right things, you know, you improve.

You know, that’s what any tennis player wants, is to improve.  But you’ve got to find a way.  It’s not easy.  It’s not easy, but you’ve got to find a way.

 

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Venus Williams, Sharapova, Tipsarevic and Others in Notes and Quotes From Down Under – Day One

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(January 14, 2013) A look at some the questions and answers from day one of the 2013 Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne.

 Maria Sharapova

Q.  You have now gotten a double bagel win at every slam.  It completes your double bagel slam or calendar slam.  Is that something you’re proud of? (Editor’s note – Sharapova needs a double bagel at Wimbledon to complete “the double bagel” slam.)

MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I don’t think that’s very relative to anything.  (Laughter.)

You know, when you’re out there and playing, you’re just focusing on every point and every game and trying to win as many as you can, and today was just a good scoreline.

 

Q. You aren’t aware that you may have to face [Venus Williams] in the third round?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I have seen the draw, yes. Thank you.

 

It is speculated that Maria Sharapova is dating fellow tennis player Grigor Dimitova who lost on Monday. ESPN’s Chris Fowler told Sharapova during an interniew that Dimitrov lost. She laughed and said “Come on. I’m not saying anything.”

In his post-match news conference, Dimitrov was asked about the rumors to which he answered:

“I don’t think (the rumors) are a distraction. I just believe I go on the court and I’m not here to speak about my private life.

“Of course, people love gossip, who doesn’t? But I think it’s a private invasion and I don’t think that’s right, not because we’re different, but it’s not right towards the athletes in general. I think it needs to be even forbidden to be asked.”

 

Li Na

Q.  Do you feel more confident with him (new coach Carlos Rodriguez) this year?

LI NA:  I mean, I was working with him start of last August, so I was feeling pretty good.

I don’t know how is he feeling, but looks okay.

Yeah, he was, how you say, he’s not only teacher about tennis.  Not only about technique.  Also about like my mind more stronger on the court.

 

 

Sam Stosur

Sam Stosur on her preparation for the Australian Open: “Well, I didn’t read any papers or watch any news.”

Q.  Do you feel like a fridge has been lifted off your shoulders?

SAMANTHA STOSUR:  Well, obviously I feel very happy, a little bit relieved, and, yeah, just nice to get through that first round finally.  You know, from here hopefully I can loosen up a little bit and keep playing better and better.

 

 

Venus Williams

Q.  Are you still trying to maintain that kind of vegan whatever diet?

VENUS WILLIAMS:  Yeah I think it’s pretty well known I’m a cheagan.

 

Q.  What do you get to cheat with when you get to cheat?

VENUS WILLIAMS:  If it’s on your plate I might get to cheat.  If you’re sitting next to me, good luck.  You turn your head once and your food might be gone. (Laughing.)

I’m not perfect, but I try.

 

Q.  You have been coming down here for a long time.  How has this tournament changed in your eyes?

VENUS WILLIAMS:  I feel like this tournament definitely has the best facilities out of any of the majors.  Constantly improving.  I think it’s unbelievable what they have done at the National Tennis Center over there in just improving the player facilities.

So that’s fantastic, you know, reinvesting back into the tournament.

 

 

Q.  A couple of Miami tournament questions.  They made a few improvements last year, temporary, but they have pretty much been okayed to revamp the site and everything.  You have been going there.  It’s your home tournament.  How important do you think it is for them to kind of upgrade that facility?

VENUS WILLIAMS:  Well, obviously you have to update.  Don’t be late.  That’s one of my mottos.  You don’t want to keep wearing the mullet when it’s not the ’80s anymore.  (Laughter.)

You know, it’s maybe a strange comparison, but it’s important to update the facilities, because after a while they get old and undesirable.

I think it’s wonderful for the tournament they are updating.  I know they had to fight really hard for that, so I’m glad it’s happening.

 

Tomas Berdych

Q.  Do you ever sort of go into a Grand Slam thinking, Something really strange has to happen for me to have a chance to win, or is it just about how well you can play yourself?

TOMAS BERDYCH:  Well, I wouldn’t say ‘strange,’ but if you look at the draw, if you want to win the slam, you have to beat at least three of them, then it’s really tough, so…  Maybe you were finding for this word ‘strange.’

That’s how it is.  Today’s tennis is really, really strong.  I think we were in the best era of our sport ever.  That’s how it is.

I mean, it’s the same for everybody.  I think we all try our best to, you know, break that huge barrier in front of us.  You know, let’s see.

I mean, if this happened once at least, then it would be I would say like at least 10 times better than it was before.  You know, let’s see.

 

 

Novak Djokovic

Q.  What did you write on the camera lens?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I tried to write, Aussie, Aussie.  The people either didn’t see it or understand my writing.  Maybe I misspelled it (laughter).

 

 Janko Tipsarevic

Q.  What is the meaning of the tattoo on your right arm?

JANKO TIPSAREVIC:  What does it mean?

 

Q.  Yes.

JANKO TIPSAREVIC:  It means that beauty will save the world.

 

Q.  Chinese or Japanese?

JANKO TIPSAREVIC:  It’s Japanese.

 

Q.  What time did you make it?

JANKO TIPSAREVIC:  What time?  I don’t know the time of the day that I made it (smiling), but I believe I was 21 or 22.

 

Q.  How many tattoos on your arm?

JANKO TIPSAREVIC:  Six.  Do you have any tattoos?

 

Q.  Yes.

JANKO TIPSAREVIC:  Good.  That’s good.  That’s great stuff.

 

Q.  Do you have any regret?

JANKO TIPSAREVIC:  So far no.  I am currently on an embargo from my wife not allowing me to do any more.

 

Jelena Jankovic

 

Asked if she’s thinking about a possible 3rd round match against Ana Ivanovic:

“No, to be honest I’m not thinking too far ahead. I just want to go one match at a time.

“We both have to go there, you know, to reach third round. So one match at a time and we see how it goes.

“I really don’t want to focus like who is in my third round or semifinal first. Let’s see how it goes.”

 

Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama News

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