What The Top Players Are Saying Before the US Open

Rafael Nadal:

On his mentality coming into the US Open:

“I think you can play aggressive when you are playing well. That’s the first and important thing. Is true I’m trying to take the ball a little bit early, that I worked on my game to be a little bit more aggressive.”

On the possibility of being year-end No. 1:

“We will see after here. This tournament, will make the difference. Is true that I am having a great season. I am in a positive position, but nothing decisive having a Grand Slam and 2000 points here.”

“I am in this position because I played amazing, because I still have three very important zeros in my computer: Australian Open, Wimbledon, and Miami. That’s a lot of zeros to be No. 1 (smiling).”

“But I am trying. I gonna try. I said since I came back you like a lot to talk about the No. 1 and my goal was to be No. 1. I always say the same: Be No. 1 is not my goal. My goal is be healthy, have the chance to be competitive, and finish the year with good feeling and having the chances to play well. That’s happening.”

“At the end, you are No. 1 or you are not No. 1. I don’t gonna go and fight for the No. 1. We’ll see at the end of the season. If I am No. 1, it will be amazing, amazing season for me. If I am not No. 1, it still will be amazing season for me.”

On his comeback:

“I think nobody of my family, nobody of my team who is close to me seven months ago thought about come back like this. I feel very lucky. I feel very happy to be in this position. Just can say thank you very much everybody who keep having the confidence with me, the sponsors, people, team, family, fans, you know, all who makes possible this comeback. All of them have his part in this, probably one of the more emotional seasons in my career without any doubt.”

“But at the end of the, we are in the US Open. We will have time to analyze my season. We will at the end of the season. The season is not over for me. What is important today, try to be ready for the first round of the US Open. I have tough opponent in front of me like Ryan Harrison, and I am focused on that. The end of the season I will analyze my season.”

Roger Federer:

On his new ranking of No. 7:

“No. 7 I don’t think is a huge drop from No. 4, but people are going to say what they like. Important is that I concentrate on my game and, you know, that the passion is there, that I work the right way, that I’m prepared, and then that I feel like I can win a tournament.”

“Then the ranking actually itself is secondary. But I have looked at the rankings my whole life. I used to be incredibly, you know, excited, you know, on Monday seeing how many spots my ranking went up or down. Usually it was more excited that it was going up. The older you get the less you pay a bit of attention about it. But nevertheless, clearly want to move up from here.”

On the possibility of playing Nadal in the quarterfinals:

“I think it’s an exciting draw really, the section, like you mentioned with Rafa being nearby. Plus we have never played here. I really hope, you know, from my side that I can make it.”

On his racquet experiment:

“I will test more racquets again after the Open. It was just a difficult spell I went through the Hamburg and Gstaad when I started playing with the new prototype from Wilson. And having the bad back I had, it was just like, I couldn’t really, you know, sort of get comfortable enough or know about it enough to be quite honest.”

“My mind was with my back more than anything else. I’m happy that I’m playing well again. My confidence is back, you know. Also the confidence is back in my movement. That’s where I just said, ‘You know, I’ll go back to the racquet I know or the racquet I have won everything with.'”

Andy Murray:

On the possibility of earning the No. 1 ranking:

“Everyone has different goals in their career. Everyone is motivated by different things. You know, my whole career for four, five, six years back, it was about winning Grand Slams. That was what gave me the motivation to train.”

“You know, when I did lose in a Grand Slam, you know, that was what was most disappointing for me. You know, I could win a Masters Series event, and the first question I would get asked when I came in here was, ‘When are you going to win a Grand Slam?'”

“It wasn’t, ‘When are you going to get to No. 1 or whatever?’ That became my motivation, was to try to win Grand Slams so that, I would imagine, would be the case for the rest of my career.”

Novak Djokovic:

On Rafael Nadal:

“Nadal is definitely back, and he’s playing maybe the best tennis that he ever has played on hard court really. He hasn’t lost a match here. He won three Masters events. He won it in great style. He was very aggressive, and he seems like he changed a little bit the game.”

“He stepped in a little bit more. He knows that now he has to be a bit more aggressive than he usually is because of, I guess, his knees and everything and because hard court is not clay. It’s not his favorite surface; it’s faster.”

“I’m sure he worked on that, and you could see that all the work he put in are getting results. He’s definitely so far the best player this year. There is no question about it. The results are showing everything.”

On Roger Federer:

“Federer, on the other hand, is, yeah, having results‑wise probably the worst year he had in probably last 10 years.”

“Look, you know, I’m sure he knows what he’s doing. He’s probably focusing on the Grand Slams, and that’s where he wants to perform his best. And, yes, it is unusual to see that he’s No. 7 of the world, you know, after being so dominant and so consistent every year in last 10 years, always being 1, 2 in the world.”

“But, you know, there are so many young guys now coming up also, you know, after the generation of Nadal, myself, Murray, Del Potro, now you have Dimitrov, you have Janowicz, Raonic. So this is a new wave of players, and this is kind of a life cycle and the way it goes.”

“You can’t always expect somebody to be at the highest level. You know, it’s normal to go up and down. That’s why this sport is so, in the end, very demanding, you know, physically, mentally, emotionally. In any way you turn it around, the sport is actually asking from a tennis player everything, you know, all the commitment possible from every aspect.”

Serena Williams:

On losing to Victoria Azarenka in Cincinnati:

“Every time I lose, I get so pumped afterwards and I just feel that way. I just feel like now I’m ready; now I’m prepared. I almost needed that to take my game to a new level.”

On whether winning a second Grand Slam in 2013 would enhance her year:

“I don’t need to do anything. That’s the beauty of my career. I don’t need to do anything at all. Everything I do from this day forward is a bonus. Actually from yesterday. It doesn’t matter. Everything for me is just extra.”

Victoria Azarenka:

On whether beating Serena Williams in Cincinnati gives her extra confidence going into the tournament:

“I always think that, you know, the new week is the new story. You can always take the best out of what happened last week and, you know, six months ago. So I will definitely take that into consideration, but the new week, you know, US Open, Serena No. 1 player in the world, you know, defending champion here, we all start kind of from zero here. Important is to build from match to match and improve.”

Amy can be spotted on a tennis court in the Philadelphia area, shanking backhand volleys.

One Response

  1. coolede
    coolede August 25, 2013 at 9:49 pm |

    “It wasn’t, ‘When are you going to get to No. 1 or whatever?’ That became my motivation, was to try to win Grand Slams so that, I would imagine, would be the case for the rest of my career.” –

    But now, he’s going to get asked a lot more frequently “when are we gonna have a British number 1”, until it becomes his motivation. There’s no way the British media will let up on him.

Comments are closed.