Davis interviste, Benneteau: "Federer e Wawrinka troppo forti"

Interviste

Davis interviste, Benneteau: “Federer e Wawrinka troppo forti”

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TENNIS INTERVISTE COPPA DAVIS – Incontro finale di Coppa Davis. Federer/Wawrinka b. Benneteau/Gasquet 6-3, 7-5, 6-4. L’intervista del dopo partita

At the end of the second set, did you think of doing anything different to try to break up the Swiss rhythm?
JULIEN BENNETEAU: Yes.  At the end of the second set to break them, we were very close to break them.  I do not think we had to change a lot of things.  We just have to put some pieces of the puzzle together.  You know, we are very close.
The returns were better.  After that they play good at the volley.  Our second shot could have been better at this time.  We could have returned better at the same time together.  This is one of the key also in doubles.
But it was tough to lose this second set because we had the feeling that we really could have won this one.  At one set all it could have been different.  But it was not like this because they play very, very strong.  Yeah, they played very good tennis during the three sets.

Can you tell us what was the thinking about the team’s perspective on the decision about who was playing doubles today?  How was it decided that you and Richard were going to play today?  What was the thinking behind that?
JULIEN BENNETEAU: It was what we decided from the beginning.  This is what happened.

 

Were you surprised to see Roger and Stan out there today?
JULIEN BENNETEAU: No.  Yesterday night after the way he played, especially in the third set ‑ Roger ‑ we had the feeling he felt better and better.  He was in good shape.  If he was in good shape, there were no reasons he won’t be on the court today.  And this is what happened.

You two have not played doubles together, not very many matches together, especially recently.  How do you work on things over a couple weeks of training when it’s not your regular partner?  What are the challenges?
RICHARD GASQUET:  Yeah, it’s never easy.  We played in Olympic Games.  We played many times in tournaments.  That is not the reason why we lost.
We tried our best, but is not a reason, because we didn’t play so much in the past.

Just to clarify, did you know last night that you were going to be playing today?
JULIEN BENNETEAU:  Yeah.

Do you know who is playing tomorrow?
JULIEN BENNETEAU:  Not yet.  We have a good idea who is going to play on tomorrow, of course.

Julien, how decisive do you think this loss was for the tie overall?
JULIEN BENNETEAU:  Obviously we knew that doubles, especially in the final, is important.  Okay, it’s 2‑1 for them.  It’s not over.  We have to regroup, to make everything possible for tomorrow.  Like this, tomorrow can be one of the most beautiful days of French tennis.  We have to keep this spirit.

Julien, the team we heard about was Richard and Jo.  You were saying it is your doubles team that was scheduled for the start.  You were ready, not surprised?
JULIEN BENNETEAU:  I was ready, and I have been ready for a very long time to play this final.  Even when I was playing in the Masters of London, I was thinking about it already.  I was preparing myself for that.  I often played on the right‑hand side rather than on the left‑hand side where I play with Edouard.  I had prepared for that.  I knew it was quite possible I would play.

In training we saw Richard and Jo hitting on the same side of the court.
JULIEN BENNETEAU:  We talked yesterday about the times for the training sessions.  We didn’t maybe practice at the same time.  Gael also wanted to hit with me.  So that’s what we decided together and that’s how it happened this morning.

Q.  Richard, we didn’t feel you were very much at ease volleying.  Usually you perform better than that.  How do you think you played?
RICHARD GASQUET:  I could have played better.  I was not able to make the breakpoints I had in the second set.  If we would have had a break, of course that doesn’t mean we would have won, but we would have been in a better position for winning this second set where we had five breakpoints.
It was on my side and I could have done better on some of them.  I had an unlucky return, hitting the tape.  I didn’t play an exceptional match today and I’m disappointed.  I’m disappointed with the match, but the opponents played extremely well.  They are extremely strong.  They had very good returns.  They played very interesting combinations.  It was impressive.

Julien, you were saying in the Masters of London you knew already you were playing the doubles.
JULIEN BENNETEAU:  I was preparing for it.  I didn’t know.

Did you know a long time in advance you would play with Richard?
JULIEN BENNETEAU:  I knew if I played, it was more likely I would play with Richard.

Richard, if you play tomorrow, anything is possible?  Do you believe it will be tough or, on the contrary, it can give you a new opportunity?
RICHARD GASQUET:  Well, playing doubles or singles is different.  I’m not happy with this particular match.  But after this, I’ll have to bounce back.  I’ll have to do that if I am selected to play tomorrow.

Do you believe Federer is getting better and better and he will be even better tomorrow?
RICHARD GASQUET:  I don’t know.  But he played a very good doubles match today.  He was extremely good in all parts of the game, from the baseline, the volley.  I’m sure he’s going to be even better tomorrow.
But yesterday Gael played extremely well, too.  Anyway, Roger played well today.

You didn’t play yesterday, but I believe you felt like Arnaud Clement and Jo that the crowd was not really in the mood of a Davis Cup.  What about today?
JULIEN BENNETEAU:  It was exceptional.  They were great.  Even when practicing this morning, we felt there was a lot of enthusiasm.  When we stepped onto the court, the atmosphere was exceptional.  Every time we needed them to be there, they were there.  They supported us.
The Swiss made a lot of noise, too, but that’s normal because their two players played a very solid match and played well.  It’s normal their supporters were enthusiastic.
But the French crowd supported us and I hope they will do the same tomorrow.

We heard that maybe Jo was slightly injured with his wrist or forearm.
JULIEN BENNETEAU:  Well, Jo rested today to be extremely fit for his match against Roger tomorrow.  You saw that Roger is getting better.  Jo is really preparing for a big fight tomorrow.

I’m insisting, Julien, but we saw him cry during the ceremony.  He was emotional.  Why?  Maybe because he couldn’t play this doubles match?
JULIEN BENNETEAU:  I was not far from crying, too, during the ceremony.  The emotion was very high there.  In a life, in a career, having 27,000 people singing the national anthem with you is something rare.  You can explain those emotions without needing to have explanations such as an injury or something else.  I was ready to cry myself.

Richard, still talking about the emotions.  Beyond the tennis itself, how did you feel on the court emotionally?  It’s like things were not coming out of yourself.
RICHARD GASQUET:  Well, the first reason for that is because the Swiss players were playing extremely well.  I never played a doubles match against opponents that are so strong in all parts of the game.  So it was difficult to feel free and relaxed.  I was unlucky on some breakpoints, one let, a missed return.  Against players like them, you need to be exceptional all the time.  Being good is not enough.
It was a very high level they were playing.  The emotion was there.  The crowd was fabulous.  We were very disappointed that we lost the match in straight sets.

Julien, I’d like to know if last night after the disappointment there was a real discussion on whether Jo should play the doubles match to compensate for his loss?  How do you assess your performance from a doubles point of view?
JULIEN BENNETEAU:  Yes, there was a discussion with the captain, with Jo.  The captain talked to me, too.  That’s how it happened.
From the game point of view, as Richard said, honestly they played extremely solid.  Roger served incredibly well.  Their second shots were extremely efficient.  They made no mistakes.  They never made mistakes.  They have an exceptional quality of how they hit the ball.
At the net Stan was extremely good.  He didn’t miss much.  We should have returned better.  I believe I didn’t return well enough.  I think I could have done a bit better there.
But, as Richard said, we played against two exceptional servers.  Stan serves at 210, 220.  Roger is mixing it up a lot.  They have various combinations they can do.  They were very strong.
In doubles we know things can happen very quickly.  The situation can turn around.  We tried to do that all the time through the attitude we had.  We never let down or let go.  If Richard’s return didn’t hit the tape, the stadium would have gone crazy and the energy would have been different.
On second shots, too, we missed some.  We were not able to hit winners.  At the end they were a bit better than we were.  But they’re great tennis players.  I can tell you we tried hard.  We gave it our all.  We are extremely disappointed that we didn’t find the key to the match.  But it’s their fault for the most part.

Can you talk about the decisions on the doubles team today, and if that had anything to do with Jo’s wrist?
CAPTAIN CLEMENT:  Richard and Julien are a very good team.  They play a lot of matches together.  Won a medal at London at the Olympics.  For me it was a good option.
But today the Swiss team played unbelievable.  They played much better than our team.

You have your backs against the wall here.  History is not looking so good as far as going into the last day trailing 1‑2.  What are you telling your players at this stage of the competition?
CAPTAIN CLEMENT:  Of course it’s going to be very, very difficult now, with a lot of hope in these doubles.
We have to do something big, very big.  We still have a chance, and we’re going to try as hard as possible.  It’s a big challenge, big challenge for us, to beating No. 2 and 4 in the world in the final of Davis Cup.
But even if we have a little chance, we’re going to try.

Any surprise to see Federer today in doubles?
CAPTAIN CLEMENT:  No, not really.

How big is your disappointment right now?  Were you expecting a bit more from Gasquet, in particular, because I believe he didn’t play as well as he can?
CAPTAIN CLEMENT:  Yes, I am disappointed, and the whole team is disappointed.  Last night we were 1‑1.  Trying to have 2‑1 for us before the last day would have been a very important advantage.  That important advantage is now for the Swiss team.
For me it’s always difficult to make a difference between the two players playing the doubles.  It’s a team performance.  But it’s true, there are opportunities where they didn’t convert.  But they were under pressure because of the Swiss players, who were exceptional today.

Before going to bed, Richard and Julien, did they know they were going to play the doubles today?
CAPTAIN CLEMENT:  Oh, yes, they did.

Why didn’t they practice together then?
CAPTAIN CLEMENT:  Well, sometimes they have a different schedule.  Maybe one would like to get up a bit later than the other.  It was not very important to practice together this morning because they had time to work together on their doubles.

What can you say about Jo’s physical condition?  He didn’t play because he needed to rest a little?  Of course, he was disappointed after Friday.  Does this make you optimistic?
CAPTAIN CLEMENT:  I’m laughing, but it’s just the way you asked the question.  I don’t want to laugh at you.
I know everybody expected to see Jo playing doubles today, everybody.  But Richard and Julien was an interesting option.  Jo played four sets.  We knew Federer and Stan would play today, and play again Sunday.  Of course, it was a good option for him to rest, for him to have a lot of energy for tomorrow.
I know it’s going to be very difficult for him tomorrow.  The whole team will need a lot of energy.  But we will talk about it tonight, as we always do.  It’s good after each day to see what happened and to talk about the next day.

Why did you have two players who never played in Davis Cup together, this year or previous years, why did you trust Richard and Julien?
CAPTAIN CLEMENT:  Why shouldn’t I trust a team which have won many titles and the gold medal in the Olympics?  Why shouldn’t I trust them?

What we are perceiving is there’s a letdown, a lot of energy right now.  How are you going to be able to motivate everyone?  How are you going to pump them up after what happened?
CAPTAIN CLEMENT:  Nothing is broken.  But it is a difficult situation.  It’s tough to take.  I can’t lie about that.  But my players have very strong personalities.  They know exactly where we stand right now.  That’s not where they wanted to be.
We didn’t lose yet.  Even if the Swiss team has more chances, we still have a chance, too.  As long as we’re alive, I know my players will fight till the end.  Even if we have fewer chances, we are going to fight the best we can until the last point, until the end of the match.
Honestly, I think we do have a chance.  We can believe in it still tonight.  I believe the players can beat Federer and Wawrinka in a fair game tomorrow.

Right or wrong, we thought we saw some tension with Richard or Julien.  Given this situation, do you think they can be released from this tension?
CAPTAIN CLEMENT:  Well, you know, this is a quality the Swiss players have.  They were able to put a lot of pressure on our players.  It was true yesterday with the singles, and today in this doubles match.
We are going to continue to fight.  It’s normal that there is pressure in a Davis Cup tie.  They want to do well.  They want to win the points.  But when you play against players of that caliber, it’s tough.
My players are not favorites.  In all matches they’re not favorites.  If they want to win two points, it’s now or never tomorrow.

So you’re confirming Jo has no pain in his wrist or his arm?
CAPTAIN CLEMENT:  Imagine if there was something, I wouldn’t tell you anyway.  Of course, I can just say that Jo rested today for some reasons and there will be no problems tomorrow.

What impressed you most in Stan Wawrinka yesterday and today?
CAPTAIN CLEMENT:  Yesterday and today?  Well, he played two excellent matches.  In the Masters the week before he played well, too.  We know he can adapt to clay very quickly.
But I was surprised by his level in this doubles match today.  Maybe not with his serve, but at the net.  Sometimes he misses.  But today he was exceptional, like his partner.  Both of them created a great energy and they maintained that rhythm from the beginning to the end.  I would like to congratulate them for that match, but tomorrow will be another day.

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Flash

WTA Toronto, Raducanu: “Giorgi è una grande avversaria. Serena Williams? Ha cambiato il tennis”

La canadese non appare preoccupata dopo la sconfitta contro l’azzurra

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Raducanu Indian Wells 2022

Emma Raducanu è nata in Canada da padre romeno originario di Bucarest e madre cinese proveniente da Shenyang. Si può dire che Toronto sia per lei un torneo di casa, anche se poi alla fine in Canada non ci è cresciuta dato che all’età di appena due anni la famiglia si trasferì a Londra. Tornando alla cronaca recente quella contro Camila Giorgi è stata una sconfitta tutto sommato digeribile per lei: “Sì, penso che sia stata davvero una bella partita, a dire il vero. Penso che il livello fosse piuttosto alto. Soprattutto nel primo set. E Camila è una grande avversaria. Ha vinto questo torneo l’anno scorso. Ho solo bisogno di migliorare nell’affrontare giocatrici che giocano velocemente come lei“. Insomma, la giovane inglese non pare preoccupata, anche se il suo 2022 è stato avaro di soddisfazioni.

La notizia delle ultime ore nel mondo del tennis è il ritiro di Serena Williams, e allora è lecito chiedere ad Emma le sue impressioni su questa grande Regina del tennis femminile: “La sua carriera è incredibile. Ha ottenuto così tanto. E vederla in giro in questo swing americano è davvero stimolante. Come se continuasse a giocare perché ovviamente ama il gioco. E penso che la longevità di una carriera sia qualcosa che molte giocatrici e io in particolare aspiriamo a raggiungere“. L’eredità di una tennista che ha forgiato il nuovo millennio è qualcosa di difficile da quantificare con numeri e parole: “Penso che abbia decisamente cambiato il gioco. A dominare così tanto, penso che sia stata, beh, non c’è stata davvero qualcuna che abbia dominato come lei nel tennis femminile. Quindi penso che abbia cambiato molto il gioco in questo senso“. Le viene quindi chiesto se ha mai avuto la possibilità di parlare con lei di tennis o altro. “No. Ci siamo detto “ciao” un paio di volte. In realtà mi stavo riscaldando accanto a lei questa mattina e poi ha iniziato a piovere“.

Per una tennista professionista non è facile stare fermi in un posto; tra viaggi, allenamenti, partite, si fa una vita da nomade. Però l’occasione di poter visitare la propria città natale è troppo invitante per lasciarsela sfuggire: “Non sono ancora riuscita a visitarla. Sono stata al club tutto il giorno, quindi probabilmente avrò una possibilità oggi e forse domani“. In chiusura una battuta sull’ospedale che le ha dato i natali e sul dottore che l’avrebbe fatta nascere:Non ne sono sicura. Voglio dire, mi piacerebbe incontrarlo. Ma non ne ho ancora avuto la possibilità. E non so davvero il suo nome. Forse i miei genitori lo conoscono”.

 

QUI IL TABELLONE AGGIORNATO DEL WTA 1000 DI TORONTO

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ATP

ATP Montreal, Kyrgios si prepara alla sfida con Medvedev: “Spero lui sia stanco perchè lo sono anche io”

“Sento che ci sono molte persone che mi ammirano e posso ispirare molte persone con il mio modo di giocare”, così l’australiano in conferenza stampa

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Nick Kyrgios - Washington 2022 (Twitter - @atptour)
Nick Kyrgios - Washington 2022 (Twitter - @atptour)

La vittoria di primo turno a Montreal arrivata contro Sebastian Baez non fa notizia, non con il Kyrgios di quest’estate. Le ultime sono state settimane da incorniciare per Nick: dopo la finale di Wimbledon sono arrivati i titoli in doppio con Kokkinakis ad Atlanta e con Sock a Washington, in aggiunta, sempre al Citi Open, la vittoria in singolare contro Nishioka. Fanno 13 vittorie nelle ultime 14 partite per Kyrgios, nella conferenza stampa post Giron si comincia da qui.

IL MODERATORE: Nick, congratulazioni. Hai vinto 13 delle ultime 14 partite. Sei un rullo. Come ti fa sentire?

NICK KYRGIOS: Sì, sono davvero stanco ed esausto in questo momento. Dopo la finale di singolare e di doppio a Washington, non sono rientrato in hotel a Montreal prima delle 3 del mattino, ieri non mi sono allenato. Sono davvero impressionato dalla mia performance di oggi. Sebastian sta probabilmente vivendo l’anno migliore della sua carriera. È tra i primi 35 al mondo. È un grande concorrente. Quindi sapevo che sarebbe stata dura. Sono felice di dare a tutti quello che vogliono: Kyrgios v. Medvedev secondo turno. Vediamo come va (sorridendo).

 

D. Come gestirai la tua energia? Hai un sacco di benzina nel serbatoio.

NICK KYRGIOS: Sì, sarà dura, questo è certo. So fisicamente e mentalmente che non sono fresco come vorrei. Ma lui ha anche vinto un titolo la scorsa settimana a Los Cabos. Si sentirà un po’ stanco, spero (sorridendo). Ma farò tutto bene. Stanotte mi riposerò bene, poi farò una seduta di fisioterapia e in campo darò il massimo. Si spera che il tempo possa essere un po’ più caldo di oggi, così le palle possono essere un po’ più veloci. Andrò là fuori e mi divertirò e cercherò di giocare al meglio che posso. Non è un brutto risultato se perdi contro Medvedev. La maggior parte dei giocatori del mondo lo fa.

D. Dopo il tuo titolo a Washington, hai detto che è avvenuta un’enorme trasformazione in te stesso. C’è stato un punto di svolta specifico in cui hai capito cosa potevi ottenere in questo sport e cosa vuoi ottenere?

NICK KYRGIOS: No, sento di aver ottenuto grandi risultati già prima della scorsa settimana. Sento solo che ora ci sono molte persone che mi ammirano e posso ispirare molte persone con il mio modo di giocare. Penso che sia una buona forza trainante ed è il motivo per cui sto giocando nel modo in cui sto giocando. Ma appena prima dell’Australian Open ho davvero deciso che volevo allenarmi molto duramente, passare un anno davvero buono. Volevo reinventarmi un po’ di più quest’anno. Volevo ricordare a tutti che sono davvero un bravo tennista e posso ancora giocare ai massimi livelli e vincere tornei. Per ora voglio solo continuare con le mie buone abitudini e continuare a giocare a tennis.

D. Hai parlato di come sei più motivato di recente. Ne hai parlato anche agli Australian Open. Vediamo i risultati in campo. Quali sono le piccole cose che contribuiscono al successo? Quali sono le buone abitudini nel quotidiano? Che tipo di impegno ci vuole?

NICK KYRGIOS: Sì, è un’ottima domanda. Ci vuole molto lavoro, ogni giorno bisogna cercare di svegliarsi con una mentalità positiva. Non ho un allenatore. Non ho davvero una persona a Sydney che mi porti ad allenarmi. Quindi devo alzarmi, organizzare il mio allenamento, andare ai campi da tennis, andare in palestra. In un certo senso devo spingermi oltre. Ma è solo una questione di disciplina. Bisogna lavorare tre, quattro, cinque ore al giorno, assicurandomi di riposarmi bene e mangiare bene. Lo faccio ogni giorno. È difficile perché mia mamma è in ospedale in questo momento, mio ​​padre non sta molto bene, mio ​​fratello ha appena avuto un bambino, non posso essere lì con la mia famiglia quando le persone normali vorrebbero stare con la loro famiglia. È difficile essere australiani perché non possiamo viaggiare avanti e indietro. Ci sono molte cose che le persone non vedono. Vedono solo esattamente quello che hai detto, il vincere, il perdere, lanciare una racchetta, fare quelle cose. Non capiscono davvero le sfide che devi affrontare o cosa affrontano le persone, cosa sta succedendo nelle loro vite personali. Ci sono così tante piccole cose con cui dobbiamo fare i conti ogni giorno e poi tocca provare a battere giocatori come Daniil Medvedev. Sembra impossibile. Ci vuole molto lavoro.

QUI IL TABELLONE AGGIORNATO DEL MASTERS 1000 DI MONTREAL

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Flash

Serena Williams: “Amo giocare a tennis, ma so di non poterlo fare per sempre”

“Sono sempre più vicina alla luce in fondo al tunnel” scherza Williams. “Mentalmente non sono ancora al livello che desidero”

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Serena Williams - Eastbourne 2022 (foto @the_LTA)

Una disinvolta e raggiante Serena Williams si è presentata ai microfoni della sala stampa del Nationa Bank Open, dopo la prima vittoria in singolare arrivata a 430 giorni dalla precedente: la statunitense infatti ha battuto Parrizas Diaz 6-3 6-4 raggiungendo il secondo turno del WTA 1000 canadese.

A questo punto della tua carriera o della tua vita cos’è che continua a guidarti o ti fa venire fame in questo sport?

Non lo so. Immagino che ci sia solo una luce alla fine del tunnel. (Ride) Non lo so, direi che sono sempre più vicina alla luce, quindi… (ride). Sì, è così, ultimamente è stato così per me. Non vedo l’ora di arrivare a quella luce.

 

In che senso una luce?

La libertà. Amo giocare a tennis, per me è fantastico, ma so di non poterlo fare per sempre.

Come si è sentita durante la partita? Il tifo del pubblico l’ha aiutata?

Mi sono sentita bene, tornare a competere era quello che dovevo fare. Mentalmente non sono ancora al livello che desidero, ma è normale dopo aver giocato così poco negli ultimi due anni e scendere in campo mi aiuta a progredire sotto questo punto di vista. Fisicamente mi sento molto meglio in allenamento, sto aspettando di sentire buone sensazioni anche in campo, deve scattare quel clic.

Quanto è stato importante giocare davanti a Olimpia? Probabilmente è in un’età in cui ricorderà di aver visto la mamma in campo.

Vero, ero super emozionata perché non aveva mai assistito dal vivo a un mio match. Scorgendola in tribuna a un certo punto sono entrata in modalità mamma, chiedendomi: c’è il sole, ha la crema protettiva? E poi mi sono detta di rimanere calma (sorride), non era il caso di sbattere a terra la racchetta. In ogni caso sono contenta che questa prima volta sia avvenuta a Toronto.

Molte giovani giocatrici ne hanno parlato proprio in questi giorni: come ci si sente a sapere di aver avuto un impatto sulla crescita tennistica di ragazze come Gauff, Swiatek e Fernandez?

È una bella sensazione, lo so perché è capitato anche a me avere delle persone di riferimento. Sono contenta che sia così e da parte mia continuerò a incoraggiarle per fare in modo che lascino il segno e diventino sempre migliori.

Il tabellone completo del WTA 1000 di Toronto

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