December 8, 2016

Venus Williams, Muguruza, del Potro, Nishikori, Kyrgios and Sock to play BNP Paribas Showdown at MSG

Venus Williams

Venus Williams

 

CELEBRATION OF TENNIS TO HIGHLIGHT 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF

BNP PARIBAS SHOWDOWN AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN ON

MONDAY, MARCH 6, 2017

 

EVENT TO FEATURE JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO,

KEI NISHIKORI, VENUS WILLIAMS, GARBIÑE MUGURUZA,

NICK KYRGIOS AND JACK SOCK

 

TICKETS ON-SALE MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2016

 

New York, NY (October 26, 2016) – The 10th anniversary of the BNP Paribas Showdown will bring past, current and future stars to the Madison Square Garden court for a night of tennis on Monday, March 6, The Madison Square Garden Company and GF Sports announced today.   Juan Martin del Potro, Kei Nishikori, Venus Williams, Garbiñe Muguruza, Nick Kyrgios, Jack Sock and a legends matchup to be named later, will square off in the 10th anniversary edition of the annual tennis showcase.

 

Del Potro, the 2016 Olympic silver medalist will take on world No. 5 Nishikori, while former world No. 1 Venus Williams will square off against reigning French Open champion, Muguruza.  Kyrgios and Sock, two exciting young stars on the rise, will provide a glimpse of what the future has in store for tennis fans.

 

Over the course of its decade at Madison Square Garden, the BNP Paribas Showdown has become a must-see event, from superstar Pete Sampras showing a younger Roger Federer he can still play in the inaugural matchup in 2008, to last year’s electrifying performances by Serena Williams, Caroline Wozniacki, Stan Wawrinka and Gael Monfils.  The event has also hosted a who’s who in the world of tennis, including: Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal, Andre Agassi, Ivan Lendl, Mike and Bob Bryan, John and Patrick McEnroe, Maria Sharapova, Kim Clijsters, Victoria Azarenka, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic, Monica Seles and Gabriela Sabatini.

 

The BNP Paribas Showdown is produced by MSG Sports and GF Sports. Tickets start at $35.00 and will go on-sale Monday, October 31. They can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden box office, online at www.thegarden.com and at all Ticketmaster outlets.  The event will start at 7:00 pm on Monday, March 6.

 

“Since 2008, playing the Showdown at The Garden has become a ‘must’ amongst the biggest stars in the game, and as we celebrate the 10th Showdown we’re looking forward to another special night of tennis,” said Joel Fisher, executive vice president, Marquee Events/Operations, The Madison Square Garden Company.  “The Showdown has continually entertained thousands of tennis fans and provided many lasting moments.  And, how can we forget Ben Stiller, Rory McIllroy and Redfoo taking to the Garden court? You never know what or who you’ll see when tennis comes to The World’s Most Famous Arena.”

 

“It is incredible to think this will be our 10th Showdown,” said Showdown creator, Jerry Solomon. “We have been fortunate to have had just about every tennis superstar of the last 30 years play at Madison Square Garden, and this year will be no different, with our compelling slate of great players spanning eras. And we’ll also be including some twists on the traditional tennis format that will allow fans to see more action than ever before in a more compact schedule. On March 6, the BNP Paribas Showdown and The Garden will once again be the place to be for the most exciting tennis.”

 

Nishikori, currently ranked No. 5 in the world, is the only male Japanese player to ever be ranked in the top 10.  He has compiled 11 singles titles and was a finalist in the 2014 US Open, making him the first Asian player to compete in a Grand Slam singles final.

 

2009 US Open champion del Potro returns to Madison Square Garden for his second appearance at the BNP Paribas Showdown.  The 6’-6” Argentine, who is playing strong and blazing the comeback trail after three wrist operations that sidelined his career, is currently ranked No. 42 and just recently captured the Stockholm Open for his first ATP Tour title since 2014.

Williams, arguably one of the greatest female players of all time, is a seven-time Grand Slam champion, five-time Wimbledon Champion, four-time Olympic gold medalist, and winner of 49 singles titles.  She is currently ranked No. 15 and will be making her third Showdown appearance.

Current world No. 6 Muguruza beat Serena Williams in the finals of the 2016 French Open to capture her first Grand Slam title.  She holds 10 career singles titles and was runner up at the 2015 Wimbledon Championships. She will make her Madison Square Garden debut as she tries to beat Venus Williams for the first time in four attempts.

 

Two rising ATP Tour stars, Sock and Kyrgios, will compete in their first ever match-up at Madison Square Garden.  Kyrgios, ranked No. 13, was listed as the No. 1 World Junior in 2013, and has already recorded several top 10 wins, including against world No. 3 Stan Wawrinka at an ATP Masters 1000 tournament earlier this year.  He will play Sock, one of the top-ranked American players at world No. 22.  Sock is a former junior US Open champion and has been in three finals on the ATP Tour.

 

The BNP Paribas Showdown will apply several new innovative formats currently being experimented in the world of tennis to help speed up the game.  The format enhancements will make the Showdown an even more fast-paced, exciting event for the fans.

 

The BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden will once again headline a full day of worldwide activities as part of “World Tennis Day,” a global tennis participation effort. All events promote tailoring the game to players 10-and-under with kid-friendly efforts including smaller racquets, lighter balls and modified scoring.

 

Additional information on the event will be released at a later date.

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Venus Williams to Play Charleston in 2017

Venus Williams

Venus Williams

(October 12, 2016) DANIEL ISLAND, S.C. – Venus Williams has committed to play in the 2017 Volvo Car Open, April 1st – 9th, on Daniel Island in Charleston, South Carolina. She joins World No. 7 Madison Keys and Olympic Gold Medalist Monica Puig in the player field forming for the WTA premier tournament.

The 2017 tournament will mark the former World No. 1’s ninth time competing in Charleston, where she holds a 20-7 record. She won the tournament in 2004 during her inaugural Charleston tournament.

“Venus is a seven-time Grand Slam champion, and one of the most recognizable and respected athletes, not only in tennis but in all sports,” said Eleanor Adams, Volvo Car Open Tournament Manager. “After a career spanning two decades, and with an amazing resurgence over the past year, she’s still winning titles, competing at the top of the game and entertaining the fans. Few others have contributed to the history of woman’s tennis as Venus has, and it’s an honor to welcome her back to Charleston.”

Williams has amassed 49 WTA titles in her career, including one in 2016 in Kaohsiung. She recently made the semifinals in Wimbledon, finals in Stanford and the fourth round of the US Open, which resulted in a thrilling three-set match that ended in a tiebreaker against Karolina Pliskova.

“I love Charleston!” said Williams. “It is one of my favorite stops throughout the year, where the fans always support and push me. I have so many wonderful memories and can’t wait to come back to play again in April.”

The 2015 season marked Williams’ twelfth Top 10 season of her career.

The nine-day Volvo Car Open is the largest women’s-only tennis tournament in North America, attracting an average of 90,000 attendees and 70+ of the top tennis players.

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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.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Thank you.

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

J. DEL POTRO/D. Thiem

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?
DOMINIC THIEM: Yeah.

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

J. DEL POTRO/D. Thiem

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?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah.

Q. You found out from him?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah.

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?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Me? No.

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.
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Yeah.

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.

 

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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.”

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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

C. SUAREZ NAVARRO/E. Vesnina

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

A. RADWANSKA/C. Garcia

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.
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Thank you.

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?
SIMONA HALEP: Me?

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.
DAVID FERRER: Yeah.

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

G. DIMITROV/J. Sousa

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?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: No.

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?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Chicago.

 

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

K. NISHIKORI/N. Mahut

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

S. WAWRINKA/D. Evans

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

S. WAWRINKA/D. Evans

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

I. MARCHENKO/N. Kyrgios

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

I. MARCHENKO/N. Kyrgios

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.

 

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Serena and Venus Williams Cruise into Fourth Round; Murray, Wawrinka Also Advance at US Open

(September 3, 2016) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Serena Williams moved into sole possession of most match wins at majors at 307 over Martina Navratilova when she defeated Johanna Larsson 6-1, 6-1 in a third round match at the US Open on Saturday.

Williams is seeking her 23rd major title and seven US Open title. She came into the tournament with questions about the health of her shoulder. Those questions have seemed to have been answered by her dominant play.

“Definitely feels solid,” Williams said of her shoulder. “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.”

The world’s top player will play No. 52 Yaroslava Shvedova, who beat Zhang Shuai 6-2, 7-5.

Venus Williams opened up the evening session with a display of dominance over No. 26 Laura Siegemund 6-1, 6-2.

“I’m happy with putting wins under my belt,” Venus said. “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.”

Venus will play her fourth round match on Monday against big server No. 10 Karolina Pliskova.

“Each match is different,” Venus said. “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.”

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.”

Match ups for the other women playing the fourth round on Monday include: No. 5 Simona Halep against No. 11 Carla Suarez Navarro and No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska versus Ana Konjuh.

On the men’s side of the draw No. 2 Andy Murray had to battle in the first two sets against Paolo Lorenzi 7-6 (4), 5-7, 6-2, 6-3 to move into the round of 16.

“He’s ranked 40 in the world,” Murray said. “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.”

Murray will play No. 22 Grigor Dimitrov for a spot in the quarterfinals.

Juan Martin del Potro came back from 2-5 down in the first set to beat No. 11 seed David Ferrer 7-6 (3), 6-2, 6-3. The 2009 US Open champion, a wild card entry in the tournament, ranked 142nd, last played the US Open in 2013 due to wrist surgeries.

“Well, I got stronger mentally after the first set,” said Del Potro. “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.”

Del Potro will take on No. 8 Dominic Thiem, who beat Pablo Carreno Busta 1-6, 6-4, 6-4, 7-5.

Stan Wawrinka won the most dramatic match of the day, coming back from two set to one and saving a match point in the fourth set tie break to beat Dan Evans 4-6, 6-3, 6-7(6), 7-6(8), 6-2.

“I was frustrated, for sure, to be down two sets to one because I wasn’t playing my best tennis,” Wawrinka said. “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.”

“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.”

Wawrinka will play next face llya Marchenko who was leading 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 when Nick Kyrgios retired with a hip injury.

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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?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah.

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.
SIMONA HALEP: No.

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?
KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah.

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

A. RADWANSKA/N. Broady

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

S. WILLIAMS/V. King

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

J. DONALDSON/V. Troicki

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.

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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.

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Serena Williams Soars Past Makarova, Sister Venus Advances in Three Sets at US Open

(August 30, 2016) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Whatever doubts people had about Serena Williams and a shoulder injury were put to rest on Tuesday night at the US Open.

Serena and Venus Williams moved into the second round of the US Open on Tuesday. No. 1 Serena looking for her 23rd major opened the night session with a dominating 6-3, 6-3 performance against No. 36 Ekaterina Makarova hitting 27 winning with 12 aces. It was Serena’s 85 match win at the US Open.

“I knew today I needed to be focused because I’ve played her,” Serena said. “She’s gotten to the semifinals. She goes deep in majors. She knows how to play big matches on big courts. She’s not intimidated. I knew I had to really come out today. It was my only option really.”

“I was pleased with my serve because I haven’t been hitting a lot of serves at all. In practice, none of them were going in, so I was definitely excited about that.”

Sister Venus, seeded sixth had to survive a three-set match against Kateryna Kozlova of Ukraine, who is ranked 93rd 6-2, 5-7, 6-4. For the 36-year-old Venus she is now 18-0 in US Open first round matches, making a record 72 appearance at a major.

 

“The first round is never easy,” Venus said. “You’re trying to find a rhythm, get used to the court, you know, play an opponent I never played before.

“But it was great to be challenged and to be pushed because I had to get in those situations that you know you’re going to face in the tournament early on. So that felt good to come through.”

 

“I didn’t know much about her game at all, literally zero,” she continued. “And it’s hard. The first round is hard. I haven’t played a single match in, like, three weeks. Just getting out there and trying to play perfectly.

“I definitely had a lot more errors than I wanted. If I could cut those in half, it’s definitely a different story.

“The good part is I’m playing the game I want to play, I’m playing aggressively and moving forward. It’s just about making a few less errors and it’s a completely different story.”

 

Former world No. 1 and 29th seed Ana Ivanovic has lost in the first round for the second straight year, this time to Denisa Allertova 7-6(4), 6-1.

The recently married 2008 French Open winner was asked about possible retirement. “No, not at all,” she said. “I just need to really see why is this happening, you know. Because, I mean, I had struggles throughout my career; I had some tough times. This is not the first time I’m going through this.

“It just hurts because I know what I invested.”

 

Fifth seed Simona Halep had points for a 6-0, 6-0 win, but was broken and won 6-0, 6-2 over Kirsten Flipkens.

 

In the biggest upset on the men’s side, 12 seeded David Goffin lost to American teenage qualifier Jared Donaldson 4-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-0. The 19-year-old is ranked 122 in the world.

Donaldson talked about getting his first US open win:”Obviously it was a really, really exciting atmosphere out there. I thought that I played really well. It was tough conditions. It was hot. I think we were both trying to move each other as much as possible and take time away from each other.

“So I think that, you know, I just was able to win a few more of the key points today. Obviously that fourth set I played really well.

“I think it was a really, really special victory for me.”

Fellow American Sam Querrey, who stunned Novak Djokovic in the third round of Wimbledon lost to Janko Tipsarevic 7-6 (4), 6-7 (0), 6-3, 6-3.

 

In his first US Open since 2013, Juan Martin del Potro, the 2009 US Open champion beat fellow Argentine Diego Schwartzman 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (3). Del Potro who is ranked142nd was a wild card recipient. Del Potro won the silver medal at the Rio Olympics earlier this month, when he lost to Andy Murray in the final.

“I am so glad to be part of this tournament once again after three years,” said the former champion. “I really appreciate the wild card who give me to have the chance to play, and that’s important for me.

“Always, in every match here at the US Open, the crowd make me feels special. I really like the atmospheres down there. They create another things in every court.

“It’s amazing for me just having the chance to play here once again.”

Seeds Stan Wawrinka and 2014 US open finalist Kei Nishikori also advanced on Tuesday.

 

More to follow…

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Del Potro Ousts Top Seed Djokovic in First Round of the Olympic Games

Del Potro high fh

(August 7, 2016) In a rematch of the 2012 Olympic bronze medal match, unseeded Juan Martin Del Potro surprised No. 1 Novak Djokovic 7-6(4), 7-6(2) in the first round of the Rio Olympics on Sunday.

Del Potro has been sidelined by wrist surgeries on and off, over the past few years is ranked 145th in the world. The big forehand which saw him win the 2009 U.S. Open returned to its former glory in beating Djokovic who was trying to complete a career “golden slam” by winning a gold medal at the Olympics. The Argentina crushed 41 total winners, 29 coming on his forehand side. His Serbian opponent, the 12-time major champion his more errors than winners 32 to 26.

Del Potro’s day started out with him being stuck in an elevator in the Olympic Village before Argentine handball players got him out.

It was a 50-50 day for defending women’s Olympic champion Serena Williams. The 34-year-old world No. 1 and holder of 22 majors titles won her opening singles match under gusty winds 6-4, 6-2 victory over Australia’s Daria Gavrilova.

Later in the day, Serena teamed up with sister Venus for their first round of doubles in Rio. The three-time doubles gold medalists and top seeds lost an Olympic doubles match for the first time ever, falling to the Czech Republic’s Lucie Safarova and Barbora Strycova 6-3, 6-4.

Serena said that she and her sister “played terrible.”

Safarova was originally supposed to be playing with Karolina Pliskova, who withdrew.

Another pair of siblings also fell in their first round of Olympic doubles, as Andy and Jamie Murray lost to Brazil’s Thomaz Bellucci and Andre Sa 7-6 (6), 7-6 (14). Andy Murray won his first round singles match over Viktor Troicki 6-3, 6-2.

Rafael Nadal returned to the court for the first time since the French Open with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Argentina’s Federico Delbonis. Nadal, Spain’s flagbearer in the opening ceremony of the games, is coming off a left wrist injury. Nadal won the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but missed the 2012 London Olympics.

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