On playing 10 matches in 12 days:
Ah, I mean, yeah.Â My body is definitely feeling it.Â I don’t know if that was the sole reason I lost 6â€‘0 in the fifth.
But, yeah, I was definitely a little bit sore and the shoulder was bothering me a little bit in the fifth.
But, you know, I had some chances the first two games.Â Didn’t get it.Â He played well for a few games.Â I played poor for a few games.Â It kind of happened.
I think when I get back to the hotel room at night, it kind of sinks in a little bit.Â I can understand maybe that I’m accomplishing some pretty cool things right now.
When I come to the courts, it’s more back to getting focused and ready to play.Â It was a pretty quick turnaround from Nice coming here, so I didn’t really have a lot of time to let that sink in.Â It was more just let’s get ready to go play again.
Well, hopefully there will be more to come, but, you know, this was definitely the biggest thing that I’ve done since coming back, and probably the last couple weeks has been the biggest things I’ve accomplished in my career so far.
So, you know, it’s definitely gonna be something that I’ll be able to look back and say that I played on, you know, center court at the French Open and went five sets, even though hopefully I’ll forget about what happened in the fifth (smiling).
Yeah, I mean, I think there was a lot of rough points.Â It wasn’t just one.Â Maybe the toughest one was right before I had the Tommy John elbow surgery, just because I had already had numerous hip surgeries and a sports hernia surgery, and I knew there would be a long rehab process for that surgery.Â That was a really tough point.
But, you know, I tried to stay positive during those times, even though I was realistic knowing that maybe I would never play again.Â But you have to stay positive and you can only worry about the things you can control.Â Some of that stuff was out of my hands at that point.
I’m fortunate that finally after five or six years, or however long it was, I started feeling a little bit better, and that gave me the motivation to at least give it another try, and now I’m really thankful that I have.
I never had the point where I said I’m ready to throw in the towel.Â Like I said before, you have to be realistic.Â You’re not going to keep on having surgeries.Â I wasn’t going to keep on having major surgeries to try to continue my career.
But, like I said, fortunately I have been able to start feeling better as of 2011 in the summer, and here I am now.
On playing Bryan Baker:
Well, it’s never easy to say, and I think he’s just playing an amazing tennis at the moment.
He’s able to play some amazing shots, really amazing.Â He play the ball really early after the rebound, and he’s really, you know, relax on the court.Â And it’s disappointing for me sometimes, because he just hits some winners, he just play amazing shot, and it just felt normal to him (smiling).
After, I don’t know for the futures, because I could see today that physically sometimes it’s sometimes difficult for him.Â I played some winners I didn’t want to play today.Â He knows well about tennis, about the game.Â He knows where to go every time.Â But I could see sometimes that he was thinking about, I don’t know, backhand down on the line, so he goes, and I just play across, and he was 10 meters from the ball.Â So I don’t know after what’s gonna happen for him.
But at the moment he’s really confident.Â And, well, I knew I would have a very hard match, and I had it.
Well, it’s a strange feeling because he offers something different from the other players, as everybody would like what is standard, what we know, what we can expect.
As for him, I don’t know if he can play like this all the time.Â You know that when you’re upping your ranking, you play the Masters Series, and somebody who is at ranking 50 and it was just one match you will stay at this level.Â So he needs to find more confidence to continue playing matches, and I don’t know what the outcome will be for him.
But today he was playing fine, and if I was playing his backhand, he was coming back, and he was returning very well.
But he also has â€‘â€‘Â there is the other side of the coin.Â Sometimes you can see he’s very far from the ball.Â He sees things very well.Â He anticipates very well.Â He knows exactly where you’re going to play the ball.Â He’s very relaxed.
We all know he has disability, but if he manages it the way he did today, it’s going to be tough.
On Brian Baker, having played him as a junior:
Interesting question.Â I have actually seen him yesterday after a very long time.Â I haven’t seen him I think in maybe seven, eight years or even more.
You know, I was pleasantly surprised with his comeback, and with his results.Â He won a couple of challengers from qualification, if I’m not wrong.Â Now in qualifications in Nice and reaching the finals.Â Actually, he was one of the best if not I think the best junior in the world.Â He won the Orange Bowl when I played, I remember.Â He’s a very, very talented player.
You know, he always had a very smart game, a variety of shots.Â I haven’t seen him play, though, this year, but, you know, it’s great to see him back.
On playing Bryan Baker in the 2003 Junior French Open final:
It was a great memory for me.Â I won that final.Â It was my only junior tournament that year, so it was amazing.Â Always tough.Â He was playing really good.Â He was feeling the game really well.
I was always surprised that he was not better early, but actually he was always injury since six year.Â I’m really happy for him now that he’s back and playing great.
I’m really happy for him.Â I think he’s great, especially after so many injury.
On her match:
I felt like I played.Â That pretty much sums it up.
You know, this tournament for me was all about getting to the Olympics, as I have said a couple million times.
If that happens for me, I think the chances are good, then I come out a victor.Â So that’s why I was here.
First of all, I have to say she played really well.Â It’s important to put the ball in the court.Â She chased down a lot of shots.Â That’s what you have to do on this surface.Â Unfortunately I wasn’t my best today.Â Yeah.
Â When I lose a match, I don’t really like to get into what, you knowÂ â€‘â€‘ any of those other things.Â It’s just important to give credit to the people who won.Â
And I didn’t win.
You know, that’s what it was.
I don’t know if I ever asked myself, Why me?
I mean, you know, obviously it’s frustrating at times.Â I don’t know if there’s anything mental more I can do at this point, but, you know, there’s a lot of stages to go through with this kind of thing.Â But, you know, there’s a lot of people who have it a lot, you knowÂ â€‘â€‘ a lot worse than I do.
I’m still playing a professional sport, so I have to be very positive.Â And I’m gonna have ups and downs.
I haven’t gotten to the “Why me” yet.Â I hope I never get to the “Why me.”Â I’m not allowed to feel sorry for myself.
Yeah, every morning is different.Â Some mornings I don’t feel great, then it’s a better day than I thought it was going to be.Â I can’t automatically be discouraged.Â When I wake up I just have is to see how it goes.Â Sometimes I get a second wind.Â It’s just so hard to know.
So I just â€‘â€‘Â every time I have to try.Â I can’t give up, so that’s what it is for the moment.
The Olympics is just the ultimate in sports.Â I grew up watching those documentaries.Â My dad had us watch those.Â It was his dream for us to play there.Â Once I got a taste of it, it was just amazing.Â Every time I leave the Olympics I go through withdrawals.Â It’s the pinnacle of sports.Â I love it there.Â That’s the reason why I’m here, on the court today.
You know, I’d like to have better matches, but, you know, I have to get out there and see what happens.Â I’m not playing under ideal circumstances, but for me it’s about, you know, making my Olympic chance better at this point.Â It’s about challenging myself and not giving in.
So I’ll learn how to deal with this.Â I need some time.
Well, doubles is definitely a priority for me because we will have to defend my title.Â If I can get Serena to do all the work…Â (Laughter.)
Yeah, I’ll be like, I’m going to need to take a break.Â She has to be in the shape of her life.Â The ultimate dream for me would be able to play both.Â I have to see and see what I’m elected for.Â Maybe doubles and mixed is better for me.Â I don’t know.Â So for me, any medal in any event, even if it was the javelin, that’s a medal.
So I need to get a medal if they let me in, accept me in that event.Â I’m going to try.Â I have to see what the game plan is.Â I think that the mixed doubles is elected onâ€‘site.Â So I think at that point, you know, I’ll see how I’m feeling and what the best thing is for me.Â I can’t say what that is now.
In two months I could have like a major breakthrough and be close to my old self.Â I don’t know.Â So we’ll see.
I mentioned the other day I do feel less pressure for this Wimbledon because I have won the Olympic gold in doubles already in Beijing with Stan, and that was an amazing feeling and made me very proud to do that for Switzerland.
Now, I’m going to be super excited for the fourth time, but it is my fourth time, so I think I’ll be a bit more relaxed going into this Olympics.Â But I don’t feel like if I don’t win this one, you know, it’s a missed opportunity or whatever it is.Â I try as hard as I could many times, particularly the last two, and I had legitimate chance at winning the Olympic gold.
So it’s gonna be a great tournament.Â I want to enjoy it, you know, not just crumble under pressure and just talk about that if I don’t win how bad it will be.Â That’s not how I see it.Â Any medal would be a good one, but obviously my situation, I’ve got to aim for gold.
I don’t know if I’m going to carry the Swiss flag yet.Â I haven’t officially heard from them yet.Â I have heard rumors.Â I’d love to do it.Â No doubt about it.Â I have done it twice already in Athens and Beijing.Â It’s a dream come true for me.
Obviously the Olympics are held, you know, in London for us.Â I just think it’s a wonderful city with great spectators.Â I’m sure it will be a great Olympics.Â That Wimbledon actually helped the London bid get the Olympics, I think it was big, even though Wimbledon doesn’t really need to be part of the Olympics, to be quite honest.
It’s big for I think the game of tennis, looking ahead to the future Olympics, and for the players of this generation.
So I couldn’t be more excited, obviously.
Playing against different generations
I really enjoyed my time coming up playing against sort of heros of mine and guys I knew from TV.Â That was, for me, just really exciting.
I couldn’t believe.Â It was like surreal at times.Â Afterwards playing a new generation, I think that was exciting, because you pushed up through juniors and all of a sudden you’re playing on the center courts in front of many fans and with live TV and everybody judging you, are you going to be the next best thing or is your opponent going to be the next best guy?
I thought that was exciting, too.Â Then it takes some getting used to playing the younger guys coming through, because you don’t know yet how good they’re going to really be.Â And eventually they really great, like Rafa and Novak, and then sort of you expect the next generation to come through already.
I was happy I was able to play through so many different players and great champions already, and I’m sure I will still play against them more in the future.
Q.Â Was it very different from the first round, a little bit quicker?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:Â A lot quicker.Â (Smiling.)
Yeah, I mean, it was different game.Â You know, I didn’t really know my opponent today, and it took me, you know, first few games to kind of understand what she does and what kind of game she plays to adjust a little bit, but since after a few games, you know, I started to find my better rhythm.Â Definitely played much better today.
Q.Â You had problems in your first match.Â I was wondering if you had any sympathy for Serena if you watched it yesterday?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:Â I didn’t watch the end, obviously.Â I watched a little bit.Â Part sympathy, yeah â€‘â€‘
VICTORIA AZARENKA:Â Understanding, yeah.Â The first round is, you know, never easy.Â And, you know, you have to give a lot of credit to Virginie.Â She showed some exceptional tennis, that’s for sure.Â I think in the women’s game you have to be really ready right from the first match.
That’s how I feel for the last few years; that every match is going to be difficult right from the beginning.Â There is no easy ones.
Yes, I know, but I really tried my hardest to be ready, both physically, mentally, tennisâ€‘wise, be ready to compete at my best.
I did everything I could, and I think even on the court I really tried my hardest no matter what the score was.
So it’s a bit disappointing right now.Â And when you put so much effort into it and you really try your best, it’s a bit hard to just everything is stopping now.
But last year everything start to click together in Strasbourg.Â I really thought even though I didn’t have the best preparation I could make it again this year.Â Unfortunately, it didn’t happen.
I think I lost the match in the first set, to be honest with you.Â I really start to play when I was down a set and 2â€‘Love, which is a bit late.Â Then at the end of it, it was reallyÂ â€‘â€‘ some points here and there I didn’t serve well the third set.Â She served a lot better than me.
But I really thought that the third set was really in equal terms, but I only start to play when I was down 6â€‘2, 2â€‘Love, which is really, really late.Â So I really felt like I lost the match at the beginning.
But, you know, like I said, I really tried my hardest, and she played better than me today.Â She deserves some credit for that.
Well, I felt a lot better during warmup compared to my first match.Â I felt, I don’t know, ready for this fight, ready for this challenge.Â I don’t know.
The match started really badly.Â I lost one set, and then it was 2â€‘0.Â I was down 2â€‘0, and there was no intensity in what I was doing.Â And then all of a sudden I woke up.Â Six good games in a row, and I won the second set 6â€‘2.Â I thought I would do the same during the third set, but then three double faults in my serve game.Â You know, she was 1â€‘0 and then I had three points, and she broke me.
Afterwards, I could have been 2â€‘1 during the third set.Â You know, my serve was not good enough.
But it’s not easy to say, Okay, that’s the end of Roland Garros for me, because mentally, physically, I did my best to be ready for Roland Garros, despite what had happened in the past tournaments, but it’s got to stop right now.
Addressing issues with the French Tennis Federation in regard to the Olympic Games:
No, there are no excuses to be found for me.Â You know, if I lost Roland Garros this year, it would be a lie to say that I lost because of this.
No, frankly, I knew at the end of last year already that there were many chances for me not to be able to play the Olympics.
So, you know, this didn’t have any negative impact on my practice here.Â These are two things that are different altogether.
I didn’t lose today due to this.Â I didn’t miss my season on clay, because I know I’m not going to play the Olympics.Â This would be a lie if I were to say this.
Juan Martin Del Potro
On his knee:
Well, yes, this is something that bothers me.Â This is true.Â It’s a constant bother.Â So what I try and do is not to think about it.Â I try and do my best with my tennis.Â And when I’m out there on the court I try not to think too much about the fact that it really bothers me.
So today and tomorrow I’ll continue with my treatment and the necessary practice, what I usually do.Â I want to be ready when I’m on the courts.
This is an injury that really bothers me when I’m trying to find the right stance when I’m serving.Â You know, if you’re not strong enough on your legs, it’s difficult for you to play some shots more than others, by the way.Â This is something difficult to manage.
But I try not to think about it at all.Â What’s important for me is to be right there on the courts, to be aggressive, offensive all the time, even though, as I said, it bothers me so that I can dictate the game so that it wouldn’t be even worse.
This was my first Grand Slam ever as junior even, and I reached quarterfinals so it was a huge success at age of 14.Â Every time I came back here I had a good memories and feelings about this place and this tournament.
Last year probably has been the hardest one for me ever.Â To come back here this year and play better and go through to the third round, it means a lot.
I really hope I can even go further and, you know, hopefully keep the good games that I’ve been having.