(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:
S. HALEP/L. Safarova
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?
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.
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.
V. WILLIAMS/J. Goerges
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.
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.
A. RADWANSKA/N. Broady
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.
S. WILLIAMS/V. King
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.