(September 3, 2016) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Posting player interviews throughout the day when allowed.
Note from the US Open Media Operations Guide as why Tennis Panorama News is allowed to post transcripts:
Carla Suarez Navarro
C. SUAREZ NAVARRO/E. Vesnina
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. You’re now one of two women to reach the second week of all four Grand Slams this year. Curious if you have done anything different this season to find consistency at the tournaments.
CARLA SUAREZ NAVARRO: You know, when you play big events or important tournaments you want to be good or win a lot of matches. Last year in the Grand Slam I didn’t make the results. I tried to be more focused, more relaxed, because last year ^ Z everything in some matches.
Yeah, I tried to be more relaxed. And, well, I play good in the Grand Slams but, you know, I want more. I don’t want to lost in quarterfinals or the round before. I mean, if I’m staying in the second week I want more. I want to be in the final round.
Q. Do you feel under the radar here? Is that something that you like to feel when you’re at a Grand Slam?
CARLA SUAREZ NAVARRO: Well, you know, when you are in the Grand Slam you are really more motivated. You know, you have more points. Also the crowd, they feel more the sport, you know. They support really good all the players any time during the day, during the night.
I’m really happy always when I’m in the Grand Slam.
Q. This is not related to tennis. You not only have a great tennis game, but you have a great name and great initials, CSN. Are you familiar with the initials CSN and the music group Crosby Stills and Nash?
CARLA SUAREZ NAVARRO: Yeah, you know, I love my name. Yeah, I know sometimes the players, they only have the name and one surname. In Spain we have two, my father and my mother’s surname. I know it’s too long sometimes, so CSN is really good. I like. (Smiling.)
Q. And do you know what the initials CSN represent in American culture?
CARLA SUAREZ NAVARRO: No, I didn’t know.
Q. There is a famous musical group with the initials.
CARLA SUAREZ NAVARRO: Oh, yeah? Good to know.
Q. You’re into the fourth round for the third time. Can you talk us through how you’re feeling right now going into the next match?
CARLA SUAREZ NAVARRO: Well, I’m really happy, you know. Always when you won or when you reach the second week in any Grand Slam, it’s always a good result.
But I say before I want more. I’m happy for the next one. Try to be good (Translating the prior question.)
CARLA SUAREZ NAVARRO: I don’t feel like I’m in the — I’m focused all the time in the things I have to do with my family. Any time I go on court, I give my 100%.
Q. You played Elena once before coming into this match. You have played quite a few times in doubles with her. What’s that like having balance in singles and doubles and playing players you have played in doubles and on the singles court. What strategy do you have?
CARLA SUAREZ NAVARRO: It’s different, no? When you play singles you’re alone, and when you play doubles you’re with your partner.
But you have more support or if you don’t feel good maybe your partner can help you, and when you play singles you’re lone there.
So, yeah, I know Elena from a long time ago. We play a lot of times. Well, she was playing really good these two days before. I know that the match for me today will be tough, but I just try to be solid.
I just try to be focused, because when you know the other player really good sometimes it’s not easy, no? Because you want to make some things, but she’s there. (Smiling.) So you have to think more time.
A. RADWANSKA/C. Garcia
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. How do you feel about that match? Better performance than against Broady?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yes. Well, to be honest, I expect, as always, a long and tough match against her. I know what to expect. We know each other for a while. What can I say? Just very happy I could win that match that quick.
Q. You have had a good record against Caroline before. What is it about the matchup that seems to skew your way?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, every match is different. Every match is different story, different conditions. We played on clay last time, so of course that was totally different match.
Well, today I was really serving good and returning very good. Again, a player who was really serving really well, so I had a good warmup the second round.
Well, I was really doing everything right today, and I think that’s why the score was like that.
Q. Can you talk about the potential matchup either against Ana or Varvara next round?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, obviously against Konjuh I played at Wimbledon kind of a drama match, so there was not really that long time ago. For sure she make huge progress last couple of months and she’s really playing good tennis at the moment.
And against Lepchenko, we didn’t play for a while, play a lot of matches. I know I lost a couple of them. Not an easy one, as well.
Well, just very happy to be in the fourth round, and we’ll see what’s gonna happen.
Q. You mentioned a couple of matches ago that you thought you played some good tennis through New Haven. Do you think you’re playing some of the best tennis of your career?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, it’s always hard to compare if it’s the best match or the best tournament or the best tennis. For sure I’m just very happy to play a really good level, my best level.
Definitely really couple good matches in New Haven, especially semis and the final. So, you know, of course everything is going forward. You always have to go for it and make the progress and play better and better, trying to improve everything.
But definitely I feel good right now and I think I’m playing really good tennis.
Q. Anything you’re working on specifically in your game?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, to be honest, when I go on court I really trying to improve everything, so it’s not just one shot or one thing that I’m working on at the time.
So, you know, when it’s a practice, I practice everything.
Q. You’re known for your tennis smarts. How do you think you’d be as a commentator?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Oh, that’s a good question. Well, I hope I could handle commentating. I never did that really.
But, well, you tell me if I’d be good or not. (Smiling.)
Q. I think you’d be good.
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Thank you.
Q. Going back to the Wimbledon match against Konjuh you said after that you thought you were going home and already checked out of the match when she had match point. What did she do particularly well in that match to get in that situation where she really did have you on the ropes? What makes her a dangerous opponent?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, she was definitely serving very well, and what I remember is she was really, sort of from the beginning till the end, not really up and downs, and that’s why I was really struggling in that match.
Like you were saying, I was almost home. I was just lucky in the end, obviously. But, well, I just hope there will be different story on the hard court if I will play her.
Q. This is your seventh year in the top 10. How do you manage to maintain that consistency? How do you look after yourself, look after your body? Because it’s tough being on the tour for so long at such a high level.
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yes, of course. Health is the most important thing for us, especially when the season is so long and you’re playing another year on that kind of level.
So of course rest, treatment, that’s the most important thing. So I have my own physio all the time with me at home and I’m traveling also with one.
So, you know, that’s what you need when you are so many years on tour.
Q. One more on the commentator thing. Do you think it’s easier for tennis players to be good commentators?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yes, I think so, definitely. You know how it is on court, what can you feel on court, and maybe sometimes why you don’t have the good day or something is not going your way.
So it’s easier to imagine how it’s there on court. I think that’s the best experience to have.
Q. Second week in a slam I think at all four of the majors this year. I think off the top of my head. Yes?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yes, pretty much.
Q. Thank you for verifying. You had talked about changes in your schedules, about wanting to peak at the big tournaments and maybe play less and things like that. Do you think that that’s a result of it, you know, being able to find that consistency at the majors, or is it something else?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, I think it’s a lot of things that have to work together to play good tennis and to have good season.
Of course I didn’t play that much as the other years this year, so maybe that’s why I’m healthy now, fresh. And there’s still a lot of big tournaments till the end of the year, so it’s not over yet.
So, yes, I think probably there was a couple of good decisions. Yes, so we always have to double-check the schedule and think what’s gonna be in the end of the year.
S. HALEP/T. Babos
6-1, 2-6, 6-4
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Does it feel good to get through a tough one to finish off the first week?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, of course it feels good that I could win the match. It was really tough. She played unbelievable second and third set. She didn’t miss at all. She was hitting very strong, so it was a good challenge for me and it was a good match.
I’m really proud that I could win it and come back from 3-1 down in the third set.
Q. She was hitting the ball incredibly clean. You said on the court that you have no idea how you came back. It’s been a little bit of time. Do you have any better sense of how you were able to win this match?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah. I talked also with my coach, and I know now what I did. Because of this thing I won.
I just tried to open the court more. I was hitting strong also, but I was too far back and my ball was too short always. She had too much time to come in and be aggressive to dominate me.
Then I started to play deeper and I think that made the situation to be changed.
Q. What are you most pleased with in the tournament so far?
SIMONA HALEP: That I’m in the fourth round, first thing. (Smiling.) And I’m playing good. Even if today I didn’t play my best, I played good tennis, good level.
I was moving very well. I am happy to be back in the fourth round two years in a row, so it’s a good thing. I enjoy a lot being here, so it’s nice.
Q. Do you have the sense that the players that didn’t go to Rio are a little bit fresher than some of the other players that did?
SIMONA HALEP: Maybe, yeah, can be. You know, the trip is very long and it’s very tiring to go there and to come back.
But it’s enough time already from Rio to here. They have time to recover. But I did a good decision in my opinion and I’m happy with that thing.
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, from second round the air conditioning was too strong on court. When I got back at the hotel I felt I could not move anymore. It’s nothing dangerous. It’s not like an injury. It’s just blocked.
So if I warm up it’s getting better. But still some points, some movements it’s tough for me to get up and to leave.
Q. It was chilly out there today. How did you adjust?
SIMONA HALEP: Because the roof was closed. That’s why they put air conditioning. Today was better. I didn’t feel.
But I had hot pack around my back and was much better to play with it.
It’s nice. The court is huge, and all the time is air moving there. For everybody is the same.
Q. What is your opinion of the acoustics, the noise level, with it open versus closed?
SIMONA HALEP: Closed the noise is bigger a little bit and you feel — it’s indoor so you feel different. When it’s open I don’t feel the wind that much than the previous years.
I feel better the ball. I think it’s a good thing with the roof. It’s good when it’s raining. I didn’t have to wait the second round to play.
Q. Have you ever done commentary? How do you think you’d be as a commentator?
SIMONA HALEP: Me?
SIMONA HALEP: No. Very bad, I think. (Smiling.) I’m not a good commentator. Even in Romania, not just in English. I don’t like to talk. I don’t like to speak. I feel some things, but I cannot explain them in words. So it’s better to stay with my job: playing tennis.
Q. In the past maybe three, four years ago, you maybe have occasionally those matches, especially at the slams, where you couldn’t fight back, where you struggled with it. I know you were frustrated with it back then, you know, especially the this summer we have seen you battle through these three-set matches. Can you talk about that evolution a little bit?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I was working on this thing. I’m stronger mentally and I don’t give up anymore during the matches, even if I’m down.
I think also that I’m feeling the game pretty well and I feel strong on my legs. I feel safe when I’m on court. That’s why I refuse to lose. I just say all the time, every point, that I have another chance to get back and to win the match.
Today I had in my head just that I can win the match, and I have just to take point by point. So it was a good thing, and I want also to improve more in this. I don’t want to go again to 1-3 in the third set.
Q. Romanian and Hungarian teams meet each other, there is always some tension because of historical reasons. Do you think in the future this is going to be changed, this one like positive, like with you, new generation representative and totally different approach and sports is going to be the first place?
SIMONA HALEP: I think this thing was in the past. I don’t feel that at all. Timea is a very nice girl. I’m talking with her all the time. She’s very, very cool and we have no problems.
So I never had problems with Hungarian people. It’s just normal for me.
I take it on court when I am I take all the opponents just to fight against them, but nothing bad or nothing just negative. Just positive and just who is is gonna be better or win.
S. WILLIAMS/J. Larsson
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. When you consider that no man or woman has won more matches at the majors than you have, what goes through your mind?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I thought I tied.
Q. He hasn’t won more than you have.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, okay. (Laughter.) Actually, it was a really good feeling, I have to say. (Smiling.) It is actually a really good feeling.
So to be up there with both men and women is something that’s super rare, and it actually feels good.
Q. What do you think it says most about you and your accomplishments that you have achieved this milestone?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don’t know. I don’t know. I think, you know, in my career I have just been, you know, here for so long. Longevity, that already goes unsaid.
So it’s just yet another thing, I guess.
Q. It looks as though the shoulder is completely okay, but can you just detail for us how it does feel for you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It definitely feels solid. I’m doing a lot of work on it so I can keep it in this position. Definitely not going to stop doing all the rehab and therapy, so I don’t want to go down. It’s pretty good.
Q. Is that a lot of…
SERENA WILLIAMS: It’s a lot of post-match stuff, stuff I’m not really excited about, but at the end of the day I think it’s good for me.
Q. You talk about the longevity and whatnot. Of all of the numbers that you’re stacking up here, what amongst those things are you most proud of, whether it’s the Grand Slams and whether it’s the longevity? What is it that stands out to you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, each number I’m definitely most proud of. Like I said, I was really excited to reach that, was it 306? 307? I was really excited to do that. Something I didn’t even know about until Wimbledon. I was like, Oh, I have a new goal (smiling.)
That was pretty cool for me. Obviously I want to keep that number going higher and see what can happen.
Q. Is there a particular kind of shot, kind of strategy, serve, return whatever it may be, that gives you the most satisfaction or pleasure during a match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I think there’s no shot for me that’s more exciting than hitting an ace. It’s always just fast, easy, fun, and it feels really good.
Q. On that topic, in terms of like overall sort of energy expended this week, is it a good amount for you to sort of get the groove going? Make sure you don’t want to kill yourself with your shoulder, but is it a comfortable amount of energy expended this week, do you think?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I feel like I have been doing pretty good. I have been being moved a lot, so I’m able to do all that.
Yeah, so so far, so good.
Q. You mentioned on court the difference between the idea of being the greatest athlete or the greatest female athlete. Is there a difference in your mind by the way that men and women athletes are treated?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely think there is a difference between the way male and female athletes are treated. I also believe that as a woman we have still a lot to do and a lot to be going forward.
I think tennis has made huge, huge improvements. We just have to keep that motto going for all other female sports, as well.
Q. Obviously there have been a lot of fabulous athletes who are females: Althea Gibson, Nadia Comaneci, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean King. In your mind, who do you feel is at the very top of the list, two or three or the finest athletes who are women who have performed?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I think everyone you named are someone that’s spectacular in what they do. Jackie Joyner-Kersee was someone that growing up you just watched the Olympics and you’re like, Wow, you know. That was pretty amazing.
Nadia Comaneci, an amazing gymnast. Like she was pretty cool.
Obviously playing tennis you’re looking at someone like Martina Navratilova. You only can dream of doing half as good as them. I think it’s hard to compare three different amazing athletes from all kinds of different sports, but they’re all great, great athletes.
Q. And Althea Gibson would be among that group, in your mind?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think so. She had to break so many barriers and she had to play against things that a lot of us will never have to face.
I know she had to sleep in cars because hotels wouldn’t accept her. To overcome that mentally and still be able to perform really is a feat.
Q. Speaking of being amazing, Serena, which do you think you like best The Wall Street Journal did? I know you had a good time. Is this one you really enjoyed?
SERENA WILLIAMS: They were all really great. Yeah, it was a tough week for me, but they were all so amazing. Thank you.
Q. When you talk about the difference between the way the male and female athletes are treated, are you talking about pay scale? What exactly are you referring to?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I think there is a huge pay difference in terms of male and female athletes in lots of sports. Still so in tennis a little bit, as well. Also, male athletes — it’s just a big difference, you know.
But like I said, it’s just taking one step at a time. Tennis players were really fortunate to have pioneers like Billie Jean King and really take a stance for women in tennis.
I feel like we got really, really fortunate to have that. So now we’re able to benefit and still preach the message and have an easier time. Just hopefully that can work out for other females, as well.
Q. You talked about the sleeves earlier this tournament. Is there any chance that that becomes a permanent thing? You like it enough that you think you’ll just keep wearing it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I know they are in a few of my designs maybe in the future. We’ll see.
Q. You have played a lot of matches out on Ashe throughout the years and the ball crew is similar each year. I’m wondering if you recognize any of those faces and if that brings you any comfort out on that court?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I recognize a lot of the faces out there. They are a lot of the same people year after year after year. Yeah.
Q. I know you like comic books and stuff. When you go into these design meetings with Nike, is there ever an intention or something that these — kids, especially recently, have kind of had a bit of a comic book-type design with respect to a super hero…
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I feel this design in particular really is kind of like a super hero design. We design so far in advance, honestly I don’t remember if that was one of our inspirations. I mean, because we designed this collection well over a year and a half, two years ago.
But looking at it now, I can say that it definitely feels, like I said, like a Wonder Woman or a Superwoman, and like a really powerful, strong character that is strong but yet isn’t afraid to be soft at the same time.
Q. And that’s you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It is me. (Smiling.)
Q. You spoke earlier about the longevity that’s quite obvious, but in your mind, what has sustained you the most? Why do you think you have had a career that has been so successful for so long?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don’t know. I really can never answer that question. I think a lot of it has to do with just my mentality. Just never wanting to quit and still being able to compete at a high level.
I’m not sure if I wasn’t able to compete at a high level how I would feel, but I don’t know.
Q. What is it that appeals to you most that keeps you wanting to be out there as long as you have been?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don’t know. I just am not ready to throw in the towel yet or just to have enough yet.
I’m still having fun out there. I’m still able to compete with the best. I think that’s what matters most for me.
Q. You mentioned there is still a pay disparity in tennis in terms of men and women. How possible do you think that is to have that close up at the rest of the year-round tour even if it is equal at the slams?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it is definitely possible. I think it’s going to take some work, but that’s what life is about. You have to work to create goals and you have to work at those goals and continue to knock at those doors until someone opens it.
It doesn’t happen instantly, but we just really have to be conscious of it.
Q. Do you think it should be a priority for women’s tennis?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think so. I think it should be a priority. But like I said it’s, going to take time. I’m willing to work on it.
Q. Through the first week here, three matches, can you give yourself a grade? How happy are you or not happy are you with your first week?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I feel okay. Obviously I don’t feel like I’m Serena out there yet, but hopefully she’ll come around the second week.
Q. The greatest athlete campaign has struck a cord. You just spoke about many of the wonderful athletes or women, and of course with men, Jordan, Bill Russell, Ali, Roger Federer and so forth. Which of these iconic men’s athletes impresses you the most?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It’s hard to say someone against Jordan and Ali. I think they are probably really impressive. I would say Ali mostly because, again, not only what he did in his field, but also what he did outside. I think that’s what makes someone really truly great.
Q. Have you ever watched a tennis match and said, God, I have commentary on this match. I wish I could be out there doing commentary myself?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. (Laughter.)
Q. Can you just compare your emotional state of being on the court this year versus last year?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I felt pretty good last year. I definitely felt more prepared. Hoping I can start feeling that way soon this year, as well. (The long list Bill mentioned of female athletes.
J. DEL POTRO/D. Ferrer
7-6, 6-2, 6-3
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Victoria Azarenka was commenting on Twitter about the tennis match.
DAVID FERRER: I don’t listen you.
Q. Victoria Azarenka was talking on Twitter about your match.
DAVID FERRER: Yeah.
Q. Does it surprise you that a tennis player is tweeting commentary about your match?
DAVID FERRER: Yeah, but what comment about my match?
Q. She said you were serving well.
DAVID FERRER: It’s okay. He like comment about tennis, was okay. I don’t mind. It’s okay, yeah. It’s good. If is good for her and she is happy is the more important.
Q. Everybody is happy to see Juan Martin playing again. Must be so difficult when he has so much support from the crowd constantly.
DAVID FERRER: No, I don’t think so. The crowd, you know, this is a show, and the crowd was supporting Juan Martin del Potro. I am trying be focus my match. I don’t care.
Anyway, the first set maybe… I was 5-2 up, I lost a little bit my concentration. Was difficult in the second come back again.
But, anyway, Juan Martin was better. He serve better. He won the first set. He had some doubts in the first set. But in the second and third, he played more aggressive and he maked more free points with his serve.
Q. You have a good record against him. How do you judge his game now compared to the past?
DAVID FERRER: It’s different with the sensation. Juan Martin, he was always a very good player. Now he’s changing his game because is playing more aggressive with his forehand and with the serve. He was injury two years, problem with the wrist. He change a little bit his game.
But anyway, he’s amazing player.
Q. He changed his game. Is it causing more problems or less problems?
DAVID FERRER: I don’t know. You have to ask to him. I know he is playing more aggressive with his serve and with his forehand. Every year everybody is improving the game. You know, the game is faster than three or four years ago. I am trying also.
Juan Martin del Potro
J. DEL POTRO/D. Ferrer
7-6, 6-2, 6-3
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. What feeling do you get as an emotional person when you hear the way other players speak about you and the way you’ve come back?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I feel like proof of that. The best player on tour are talking good things about me. That’s important to myself, to get confidence with my level, with my play, with my game.
If they see something good in my game, that’s important, because I’m showing a good game at the moment. If I see my way to the future will be better, even better than today, and that’s important.
Q. But they speak about your character and your determination as much as your game. When you hear them talk about you as a person, what are your feelings?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: They are talking good or not (smiling)?
I have a great relationship with most of the guys on tour. I just do my job on court, you know. I’m trying to be focused all the time, trying to keep calm all the time. It’s important to play great matches, to stay focused in important moments.
And if you see the top guys on tour, they have a good attitude, as me, and that’s important.
Q. You had a little bit of a slow start but became very strong as the match went on against a tough competitor. What was your feeling as the match went on and how did you get stronger?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I got stronger mentally after the first set. Against David you never know when is going to finish the match. He never give up. He’s a really fighter. Also it’s a pleasure to play against him because he puts me all the time in pressure. I should play my best tennis today. I think I did really well in the second and the third one.
I’m so glad to be in the second week on the Grand Slam after three or four years. That’s means a lot of good things to myself. Of course, I’m looking forward to keep winning. But my next opponent will be really difficult.
I’m enjoying the things a lot.
Q. All the adversity that you faced. It’s one thing for somebody in that position to dream about playing the sport again; it’s another to return so quickly to an elite level. Did you ever imagine it would happen so quickly?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: No, no, of course not. I didn’t expect to be in the second week of this tournament. I didn’t expect to got a medal in Rio. I didn’t expect to play at this level in this part of the year.
Of course, I just want to be free with my wrist, trying to play in a good level as I did couple of years ago. But I think I’m surprised with my level at the moment. I’m surprising the guys on tour, my colleagues.
That’s great because I’m seeing I can be dangerous in the future once again.
Q. Was there ever a point when you thought, Maybe I’ll get back, and that will be enough, maybe never return to the level I was at?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, for me it’s enough just being playing tennis again. My biggest goal for this season is trying to finish healthy. Then, if I could do that, for the next years I will make another challenges to myself.
But now I’m doing well. I don’t care about ranking numbers or whatever. I just want to keep playing even better.
Q. Your slice is giving players a lot of trouble. Did you deliberately improve it knowing it would need to be important when you came back? Is this improvement from hitting so many slices while you were off?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I would like to play my backhand as I hit my forehand. But sometimes could be a good tactic, play different shots with my backhands. But in the end I need to hit harder because I need to make winners with my backhands.
Basically if I’m still winning, then my opponents will be tougher than today. Of course, I cannot take an advantage with my backhand. I need to play 100% with all my shots.
Q. You said a few moments ago that you’re very surprised at the level, what you did at the Olympics, being in the second week here. How do you think you’ve done it?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Working hard. I never give up. I trust on myself. I trust on my doctors, my team, my physical trainers. I know how hard should I work to be in this moment now. I know how can I get better in the future if I still working hard. That’s it. Nothing magic, nothing strange. Just work hard.
Q. Next round you play Dominic Thiem. There are people who consider you the favorite. Do you consider yourself the favorite?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: No. No, he could be the favorite, for sure. But all depends on my physically, on my body, on my game. If I play like this today, I will maybe have chance to do a great match against him.
But he’s playing really well. He’s very dangerous. His backhand is so good. His movements are really fast. Will be interesting match for me.
Q. David said before that you seem to be playing more aggressive, you have a bigger serve, more aggressive with the forehand. Is this just a change in your game from years of maturity or a response because of your troubles?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I have to do that because I don’t have a good backhand yet (smiling). That’s what I’m trying to play aggressive with my forehands, with my serves, trying to come into the net more often than years ago. I’m trying to find a different way to play as I did in the past.
But also I’m working hard to get my backhands back as soon as possible.
G. DIMITROV/J. Sousa
6-4, 6-1, 3-6, 6-2
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Talk about how you’re feeling. Got to be feeling good, confidence high.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, I’m feeling good. Played a good match. A little dip I think in the third set, but I was able to control everything I think in the fourth set even though I was down a break. I’m enjoying playing tennis right now. Obviously I’ve been striking the ball well, having good results.
Just getting ready for the next match. Pretty pleased to be in the second week again.
Q. Do you find yourself getting looser with each round? Does it get more cranked up or do you relax more?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: For sure, it’s always good to be a little bit nervous. I like being a little bit nervous before matches. I think it helps you focus a little bit more in order to be good and be better when you get on the court. Of course, after a few games, you’re kind of into the match so it feels more comfortable.
Yeah, just with each match you get of course more excited. In the same time, it’s just another match.
Q. What has changed the past few weeks for you to find your confidence?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Winning matches. I think winning matches always gives you confidence. I’ve won quite a few close matches, which just helps me a lot to build up and be solid when I have to.
Today, that type of a match that I played really smart on the big points, I played good when I had to. Overall it was a decent match, I would say.
But, yeah, these kind of moments really, really help you mentally when you come out and play your opponent.
Q. Can you talk a bit about your coaching relationship with Dani, what he’s brought to your game?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, we’re still getting to know each other. He’s a great guy. First of all he’s a great guy. We share a lot of the same things. On the court we kind of think similar. We kind of want to just work right now. That’s what it’s about.
I know how to play tennis. Now it’s more the strategic way, how you’re going to prepare for big matches, big tournaments.
So far I think we’ve been doing a great job. Yeah, just simplicity. That’s the key right now. Just do your stuff, work, go out there, give 100% each match.
Q. How much do you think he might help you if you play Andy next?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Honestly, we haven’t thought about that yet. I think also I’ve played quite a few times against Andy. I think we both know our game pretty well. I don’t think there’s going to be any surprises. I don’t think I’m going to hear anything new in a way.
But we still got to prepare. I mean, obviously it’s going to be a great match. I’m excited to be in the second week. That’s just a good start for me. And, yeah, I mean, I always like my chances when I get to stages like that in a tournament, especially having to play, like, tough matches early on and feeling good and confident. Physically I’m good.
Yeah, just going to take everything onboard with me right now and bring it out on the court.
Q. You’re an exciting player because you can play all-court tennis. How do you find a balance with your ability to improvise?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: This is where the simplicity of the practice and the discipline comes in. Especially in those moments, 30-All, deuce, breakpoint, anything like that, it’s super important to, in a way, go back to the basics, go back to what you’ve been practicing, to the simple shots. For example, play with your big weapons, whether it’s your first serve or your forehand. So these things are pretty important.
But, yeah, some of the big shots that you hit sometimes, they just happen at the right time. If you start looking for them, of course you’re going to miss and you’re never going to be a sustainable player.
Like today, for example, on quite a few big points, I think I pulled the trigger quite a few times with my backhand. It was just the right moment to do so. I won pretty much all those points.
I pride myself actually on that today. I was just pretty solid when I had to play important points.
Q. Do you think going through several coaches the past few years may have changed your game style?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: No, no, no. You know, obviously you know how to play tennis. You’ve played all your life a certain way. When I say discipline of how you’re going to play, I wouldn’t say that’s a change of style. I think it’s a change of plan, a change of a bit of your mentality.
But change of style, it’s too extreme to me.
Q. Sometimes you hear different voices, different speeches.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: You’re always going to hear different voices and different speeches regardless. People that don’t have much of an idea of tennis will come, Hey, man, you should have hit that forehand down the line a bit more.
Yeah, man, you want to do it for me? Yeah, go ahead.
But that’s just how it is. That’s why you need to simplify and make sure you have the right people, the right team around you, that first you’re loyal to them. This is the unity that puts it all together. You know these are the people that you need to hear from. This is what matters the most. Everything else is just a noise.
Q. You talked about how you’re enjoying your tennis now. You mentioned that as well during Wimbledon. Has there been a time in the recent past when you haven’t been enjoying it?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Yeah, of course.
Q. What has changed?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: That’s a tough one.
I think a lot has changed over the past I think year and a half for me. I fell in love with tennis again. It’s simple as that. It’s not only because I’ve been winning matches or anything like that. It’s because I started to enjoy the process again.
I’m enjoying the work again. I’m enjoying waking up in the morning early to come to practice. I’m enjoying doing the ice baths again. I’m enjoying pretty much everything that I do.
I think just these kind of things really helps you. You don’t think of anything else. I started to enjoy those butterflies before a match, complaining to your coach that you’re, like, short of breath because you’re so nervous to come on court. Those are moments I’m sure I’m always going to appreciate hopefully for the rest of my career.
Q. Del Potro, there’s some people that wondered after all the surgeries whether he was going to be able to come back, would he be at the same level.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Never a doubt.
Q. Never a doubt?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: No.
Q. We’re talking about a second week, elite level.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I never doubted that. All the people that’s been around me have said the same thing. I mean, of course there’s a long, long way for him to come back like that. But the way he’s been playing throughout the year, I remember he started the year so-so in a way, but he was still hitting the ball pretty amazing.
I mean, with that forehand, you can close your eyes, hit the ball, it can get in. Definitely one of the best hitters in the game. The Olympics and everything, that really helps you to build up.
Of course, only time can show the rest, but it was never a doubt in my mind that the guy’s going to be back.
Q. Even the speed, how quickly it’s happened, you’re not surprised by that?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: No, I’m not. Not really, no.
Q. You played some exciting matches with Murray. What is it about you two together that creates exciting tennis and what are the biggest challenges?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I think we like our styles, I guess, just kind of fits our games. There’s going to be a lot of challenges, especially on an occasion like that, against Andy. I mean, he’s going to be, for sure, ready as ever. As I said, he’s just really confident right now. He’s been playing extremely good tennis. He knows what to do.
But in the same time, I know what to do, too. In the end, it’s going to come down to a few points here and there. Yeah, I mean, for me honestly it’s just another match. As I said, I’m enjoying that I’m at that stage of a tournament, second week for the first time at the Open. I’m just going to get out there and really focus on my game and on myself. This is what I demand from myself for the next match.
K. PLISKOVA/A. Pavlyuchenkova
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. You said you wanted to take it one match at a time, not think too much about what was at stake in this match. To be in your first Grand Slam second week, what does that mean to you?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, definitely was always my goal. So really happy that I got there. I was trying to get there for a long time. Still probably wasn’t meant to be. So happy to be there, especially at the US Open, especially on hard court, which is my best surface.
I’m also really happy with the game, how I got through.
Q. In years past when you weren’t able to get past the first week, was that just because of draws or injuries as opposed to now? What do you think is the difference between the slams that you played before where you fell a little bit short this year?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I would also say it depends a lot on the draw. You can have players which you don’t like, which didn’t happen for me this time. I knew, especially today, I beat her three times, so I was confident about this match. I also knew I’ve been playing some good tennis last few weeks, all the matches actually what I’ve played.
So I felt good. There was not any reason for me to think about it, that I will lose this match today. So I was confident about it. Just happy that also on the court I could handle the situations ’cause, you know, it’s not always easy. First time to get through to the third round.
In the end of the second set she also improved a lot. I was not feeling tight, but the game wasn’t like in the first set.
Q. Was it something you’d been thinking about or unfairly criticized for?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: No, not really. I still believe, even if it would be 5-All in the second, that I can beat her because, like I said, I beat her few times already. Always was two sets.
But in tennis anything can happen and not decided till the last point and playing the best tennis. I was prepared for everything. Even though I lost the serve there, was a little bit unlucky 4-2, 40-15 that game, then she played quite a good game. Was a little bit windy out there. It wasn’t easy. I didn’t serve well that game. But I stayed in the game and I breaked her with Love in the game. It gave me a lot of confidence, that game.
Q. Is it fair to say that this is the most confident that you’ve come into a Grand Slam or have you been just as confident in the past?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Well, probably, yes. So far now, I can say.
To be honest, the Grand Slams before, I wasn’t feeling bad, any of them. But just somehow the game on the court wasn’t the way I wanted it to be. I was just a little bit tight, I wasn’t playing my tennis, wasn’t aggressive enough. If I’m not playing my game, I cannot beat those players like this. I cannot be the one who is running. It was like this before in the Grand Slams.
I happy I keep my game plan and was still playing aggressive today.
Q. You mentioned you’re going to watch this next match. Are you going back to the hotel or stay here?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: They’re playing at 7:00. Nice atmosphere on the center court. Tomorrow I have only doubles, so I’ll prepare also for the doubles which is important for me. I don’t have to go to sleep that early. So maybe I’ll stay for a few more games.
Q. You might play Venus. Do you remember watching Venus when you were younger before you started playing tennis?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Definitely I remember both sisters, Williams. We were watching on TV.
Q. That final in Zhuhai was a tough one. What do you take out of that match against Venus, if you play her?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: It’s not that far what we played. I remember the match. Was pretty good match from I think both of us. She was playing really good tennis there.
Obviously with her it’s tough. If she’s playing I think good that day, then it’s tough. She’s serving pretty well both serves, playing aggressive on the return. There is not much to do.
I just have to serve well. That’s the most important thing.
Q. How are you feeling physically at this point in the tournament?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I feel good. I didn’t play three sets yet. Every day I have a match not more than an hour and a half. So I feel fine.
Q. What do you think doubles is bringing to your game when you have the off days and have to come back and play doubles?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: For me it’s better than practice, to be honest. Sometimes those days off, you feel like you have a day off so you don’t want to really move. It’s still a match, so it’s better for me to play a match.
Especially playing doubles, I’m playing with someone who I know, I’m having fun on the court. For me it’s definitely better to be in the doubles.
Q. You’re known as a good server. What are the keys to serving well?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: There is lot of keys. I don’t know which the other players has, but I’m always trying to stay calm and concentrate on the serve. Especially when it’s a long game, long rallies, you just have to breathe and stay calm before the serve.
Q. Obviously it’s been a busy tournament because you are in both singles and doubles. Have you had time to unwind, to not think about tennis or pick up a racquet? What have you been doing to relax?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Since I’m in the tournament, I didn’t go anywhere, to the city. Just few nice dinners close to the hotel.
It’s tough here. Every day, if you have a match, you’re coming back late from here because it’s, like, one hour with the traffic. It’s not easy to get somewhere. I have been here a few days before the tournament. I see something. We did some obviously shopping. I went to a musical on Broadway. I had nice few days before the tournament.
Q. Which musical?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Chicago.
A. MURRAY/P. Lorenzi
7-6, 5-7, 6-2, 6-3
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Was that tougher than you expected? Are you more pleased you came through what was a tough match or more concerned about what didn’t go right?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I mean, he’s ranked 40 in the world. He’s pretty good. So I expected a tough match. I expected long rallies. I’m just disappointed with the amount of errors I made. I was quite impatient at times. That cost me in the first and second sets.
When I did sort of play like I was planning on when I went out there, to be more patient, wait for the right balls to go for, you know, played much, much better, dictated more of the points. I wasn’t going for too much.
The unforced errors came down significantly and the winners went up. The third and fourth sets were comfortable. Obviously the first two were extremely, extremely tough.
Q. Did you think of changing things around at the end of the first set? That was tight and you made a lot of mistakes there.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, well, I went up an early break in the second. I broke first game in the second, then just kind of gave away a little bit. But also, I mean, he wasn’t giving me any free points. He was making me work hard for all the points.
Yeah, maybe it took me a little bit longer than I would have liked to sort of work things out. But I worked it out, won, got through, and I didn’t play good. So I’m happy with that.
Q. Lorenzi’s 22nd Grand Slam, making it to his first third round. When you see him, how hard he fights for each point, is that reflective of what you think he’s had to go through, or is that nonsense to associate somebody with their career and their playing style?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I remember a little bit playing against him a number of years ago. He fought hard then. I think what he’s done the last 18 months or so has been amazing for someone of his age to win your first title, get to your career-high ranking. That’s pretty rare, I’d say. At that age, you don’t see that much nowadays. He’s done extremely well there.
I think today, after the match he had a couple days ago, to come out and move like he did and work as hard as he did out there, you know, shows that’s a huge quality of his and it gets you a long way.
Q. You are starting to see a few guys who are hitting their peaks in their mid 30s. Is there anything specific you can point to regarding that?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, Stephane Robert has a different game style. I can understand why he would make it very difficult for guys to play against him.
Lorenzi, I’d say his is maybe more surprising because a lot of guys play that way. I think he moves extremely well. Maybe it’s a matter of confidence. When you win an ATP title at that age, maybe you realize I’m much better than I thought. Sometimes that can happen, as well.
It’s hard to explain. I didn’t realize, but they said when they were calling out the names before the match, he’s the oldest first-time winner on the ATP Tour ever. I would imagine winning a title for the first time would give him a big boost in his confidence, you know, to try and do more, keep pushing on.
But it is obviously still surprising.
Q. When Juan Martin del Potro was here earlier this evening, he spoke about surprising himself with what he’s done in his comeback, both at the Olympics and making it to the second week here. What are your thoughts on what he’s accomplished? What sort of feelings do you have for him personally?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I think what he’s done is amazing just more because he’s had the same kind of problems setting him back for, I mean, the last two-and-a-half, three years. It’s not like — you know, he’d hurt his wrist in practice, and then a few times he actually got back on the tour and had problems very early on in his comebacks. I can imagine how demoralizing that must have been, how tough it would have been to keep wanting to do it, keep fighting to do it.
Also your body, as well. Like when you don’t play matches, hardly any matches for a long period, it takes time for your body to get used to it again.
I think what he’s done has been amazing. I’m not surprised at how well he’s hitting the ball. He’s always been a great ball-striker. I don’t expect him necessarily to lose that. It’s more the mentality that he’s shown really has been the most impressive part.
You know, happy for him that he’s managed to get himself back competing in the big events at the top again.
Q. Seeing Dan do well today against Stan, Kyle winning yesterday, it’s great for British tennis. What do you think is actually behind that? What would you put that down to?
ANDY MURRAY: I don’t know. I mean, Dan is a really good player. Evo is a really good player and so is Jo. That’s why they are where they are. They have to win the matches and put in the work. But they’re really good players, all of them. They all have a lot of strengths.
Dan’s an extremely good mover, very talented guy, great feel, great hands. Kyle has huge weapons on the court. And Jo doesn’t have many weaknesses.
They’re very different players, different game styles, but they’re all really good. That’s why they are where they are. Again, whether all of them always believed that or not, I don’t know. But now they certainly are, backing themselves in the biggest tournaments on the biggest stages.
It’s great for British tennis.
Q. You’re playing Grigor Dimitrov next. Can you talk about what is difficult in his game.
ANDY MURRAY: Well, he’s a very good player, obviously. You know, he does a lot of things well on the court. He has good feel, moves well. Yeah, he does a lot of things well on the court.
He’s obviously not played his best the last 18 months or so, but definitely the last few weeks has been playing very well, getting back to a level that he’s capable of playing at.
You know, it will be another tough one in a couple of days’ time. I expect it to be very hard. I’ll be ready for that. I’ll need to play better than today if I want to win that.
Q. Kyle said this year that one of the things he learned from you is the amount of work it takes to be at the top. Do you think you’ve an been an example for the other British players?
ANDY MURRAY: I don’t know. I do think, obviously when we do training blocks together, they would see the work that I’m doing, you know, learning that maybe at an earlier stage than he would have done otherwise potentially.
But it’s one thing sort of saying, Oh, I went and did a training block with Andy, watched him train, and he works really hard. They still need to do the work themselves. It’s not like just because I’m working hard and then seeing it means they’re going to do it. They need to do it themselves.
I’m not with Kyle or Dan — you know, there’s probably 30 or 40 weeks of the year when I’m not around them. It’s down to them and their teams. They have very good coaches, as well, that works them hard. Mark Hilton, who works with Dan, was a very hard worker as a player, has got him on the right path. Ryan Jones, who is working with Kyle just now, the same thing. He pushes him hard. He makes sure he has high standards and expects a lot from him. That’s important, as well.
Q. They’re saying they could learn plenty from you. Is there anything you can learn from them?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, the thing that I like the most about practicing with them is I feel like when I practice or train with them, like, I have a responsibility to work hard and push myself. If I’m doing a training session with them, I want to beat them. I don’t want to lose to them. You know, if it’s on the bike or the Versaclimber, I really want to push myself and beat them.
It’s not so much necessarily learning, but I feel like when I’m on the court with them, I really want to work hard and show, like, this is what you have to do. Maybe if it was someone from another country, I wouldn’t feel like that, the same.
But, yeah, when I’m training with them, I really train well. I train better probably with them than I do with others, I think.
Q. Do they ever beat you?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, occasionally. I believe I’ve lost a practice set. Physical stuff, no, not yet. But I’d imagine that soon, as I’m getting older, they’re getting stronger, that will start to happen, unfortunately. But, yeah, not yet.
Q. What aspect of the sport of tennis do you really love the most?
ANDY MURRAY: I love traveling. I mean, I know a lot of players, as they start to get older, they don’t enjoy as much. But I love traveling. I enjoy that. I’m certainly not sick of that part of it yet.
I enjoy training. I like going to the gym, pushing myself, working hard maybe more than being on the practice court. You know, they’re the two things I enjoy the most. I like the traveling and also the training, because it changes all the time. Like I’m training a lot different now than I did when I was 24, 25. I like that. It’s never the same. Always trying to do new things to get better.
Q. The one or two parts of the world you like to travel are?
ANDY MURRAY: To travel to or that I would like to go to?
Q. That you like to go to.
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I haven’t seen loads of South America. I’d like to go to South America. My best friend is from Peru. I went there to play a junior tournament when I was there. I’d like to visit Peru maybe. I’d also like to go to Hawaii, Maldives on holiday. That’s something I’d like to do. Haven’t managed to get there yet, but I’d like to soon.
K. NISHIKORI/N. Mahut
4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. How did you feel about the win today?
KEI NISHIKORI: Very good. It was tough first set. Didn’t start quite well today. But second and third start returning well, everything start working well. Was good match.
Q. How do you feel going into the next round?
KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah, hopefully I can recover well. That’s the most important. Yeah, Jared is playing well. He’s upcoming. Ivo is always tough opponent, especially here. Little bit quick and bounce high.
Yeah, either one, it’s going to be tough one.
V. WILLIAMS/L. Siegemund
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. You seem to have a glow about you this fortnight. What’s going on? Are you just happy with your game to this point?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I’m happy with putting wins under my belt. I’m always in search for perfection. If it’s not perfect, I’m back to the drawing board, so…
Today was a more straightforward win, but not perfect. So I’ll be working on perfection.
Q. What is the difference between straightforward and perfect?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, the thing is, you never really reach perfect, so that’s why you always go back to practice (laughter). That’s just my mentality. I think it’s most players’ mentality, too.
Q. The first week is over. What have you been pleased with with respect to your game?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, the first week is over.
Just doing what I have to do. Being able to dominate when I need to. Being in control of the points. So even if I lose a point, I feel like, okay, I’m in a position to win the point. That’s where I want to be every single time.
Q. After the match you told a little secret that I never heard before about your mom’s tennis game. Can you tell us a little more.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, my mom was the kind of athlete that could play anything that she tried. She was very competitive at tennis. She didn’t start tennis until I guess the early ’80s. So she started that later in life, but she caught on quite quickly. She could really hit the ball.
A lot of people don’t know that about my mom.
Q. How did seeing her growing up playing tennis inspire you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Clearly a lot because here I am, here we are. She spent a lot of hours with us on the court, and right until this day. It’s amazing how much time she’s put into this.
I don’t know how she does it, how she watches us. Even when I come to Serena’s match, I come in right before and get out. I don’t know how she stays and stays and stays. I guess it’s called true love.
Q. You are going to meet up with a server like yours and Serena’s in Pliskova. How do you prepare for a match like that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Every match is a little different. Today my opponent tried to play aggressively, but I played that game just a little bit better than her. My first round, I don’t know, I never hit so many overheads and swing volleys in my life.
Each match is different. I approach them differently. We play kind of a similar game. So it’s about one of us playing that game better.
I haven’t played her that often. So go out there and put the ball in the court, try to win.
Q. Just one match against her. What do you take from that? Can you take anything from that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, it was nearly a year ago. So, yeah, I’ve had the experience of playing her. There’s people, like today I never played Laura. You never know what to expect. You have to see what happens. You never quite know what to expect.
At least with her I know what’s happening, I’ve seen her play. I can go into the match well-prepared.
Q. There was a time after the diagnosis where it was difficult to get into the second week of slams. Now it’s a pretty regular occurrence over the last couple years. What has been the trigger to get the consistency at the big tournaments?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, that’s a good question. It’s just a lot of willpower. That’s really what it is. I started to feel better more consistently this year, so I’m always trying to find things to help me feel my best.
But even if I’m not feeling great, I still manage to get a good fight in out there.
Q. Everything that you went through physically, has that helped you enjoy the game even more when you’re not reaching perfection?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I would say that everything I’ve gone through has proven to me that I love the game, because to be out here is an effort, to say the least. So it’s proved that I love this clearly enough to go through this. And to reach perfection is something I still expect from myself, no matter what, whatever it is I’m going through.
Q. You played all your matches on Ashe. I can’t remember if you did that last year. Is it something you noticed? Do you appreciate it more? I don’t think you played on Centre Court in the last slam.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I managed to get on Centre in the semifinals at Wimbledon, so that was cool. I was like, Yes, I made it back.
I don’t think about my court assignment that much. But Serena and I, we’ve been playing American tennis for so long, I think that’s perhaps where they want to put us. We’re playing at home. It’s clearly a little bit different when you’re playing at home.
Q. A little bit of discussion about perfection. Do you recall when you’ve been the closest to perfection on court, a singular match or moment where it was pretty darn close?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, but it doesn’t happen often. Just as good as perfection is just feeling like you are in a rhythm. When you’re in a rhythm, that’s good enough, because then you feel like you can get into points and find a way to win them. That’s a good place to be, as well.
Q. Do you recall when you were feeling like you were most in rhythm, everything seemed like it was clicking for you on court?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I was in a pretty good rhythm at Wimbledon and this summer. I was in a decent rhythm at the French. Playing a lot of good matches.
Q. Serena won her 307th major match. No man or woman in the open era has won more major matches than she has. What do you think are the biggest reasons for Serena setting that record?
VENUS WILLIAMS: 22 majors. That adds up quickly, so… Not to even count the doubles. That’s pretty obvious to me.
Q. What in your mind is it that sets her apart to enable her to have won that many majors?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, she’s put the work in. She believes in herself. So between those two, you can’t beat ’em. She has awesome technique. She feels comfortable and confident.
Q. What’s it been like for you to see her accomplish this?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It’s great because when you’re in the stands, you feel confident, too. Because watching matches is really nerve — you get so nervous. I’m a lot more nervous watching than I ever have been playing. So you feel like you’re on the winning side.
Q. Can you ever see playing doubles in a Grand Slam at this point in your career?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Definitely. Playing doubles here is challenging on the schedule. The schedule’s tough for us here to play doubles, between the commute and the matches that they like us to play here. It becomes impossible for us to be in a good position to win the singles or the doubles. We get in a little bit of a disadvantage.
But we definitely want to keep playing when we can.
Q. Does the mindset change at all in the second week of a slam when you go from the third round to the round of 16? Keep plugging away? What’s the mentality?
VENUS WILLIAMS: For me, I want to be more like myself, if that makes any sense. For a player, you want to play your game, whatever that is, the best you can. For me, I want to be as aggressive as possible but still play smart. That’s what I’ll be looking to do each round, to be me.
Q. To find you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, to find myself.
S. WAWRINKA/D. Evans
4-6, 6-3, 6-7, 7-6, 6-2
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. What were your emotions about that match now having had time to reflect?
DANIEL EVANS: Just a bit of a heartbreaker really, yeah. I don’t really know what to say. It was a tough one to take. Probably hurt a bit for a while. Disappointing how it sort of played out, yeah.
Q. It got away from you a little bit at the start of the fifth. I was wondering whether you were feeling physically okay or was there a bit of a mental grievance about not having gotten that match point? How were you feeling?
DANIEL EVANS: I was physically pretty tired. Subconsciously, mentally as well I was hurt a bit. Yeah, just one of those things. In the fifth set, he’s obviously a class opponent. I sort of knew that was the chance in the fourth set, yeah.
Yeah, it’s just a difficult one really to sort of take.
Q. Could you take us through the apparent disagreement. Was it with the physio or the umpire?
DANIEL EVANS: The physio said I had cramp, which I didn’t have. My foot is sore. I actually asked for the trainer in the middle of the game, and he just wouldn’t treat me. He said he was just going to treat me for the normal timeout. I didn’t want to be treated by him because he was wrong.
Q. At one point in the match I think I heard him say he wasn’t happy you shouting, C’mon, with his errors, and at one point, That’s your fault.
DANIEL EVANS: I didn’t say anything to him. I didn’t say anything to him. I didn’t know he was unhappy with anything.
He was unhappy with the people in my box saying, C’mon, a bit too much too closely. I just told them not to say anything.
There was nothing between me and him anyway. I wouldn’t get involved with him. He’s obviously won — I’ve got much more respect for him to get involved with him personally.
Q. You’ve had big highs and big lows before. Obviously it’s a low now. When you look back on this whole week, how good are you at taking those positives and using it to move on?
DANIEL EVANS: Yeah, a bit difficult. Listen, I’m thinking about that smash at 8-All to put it away, or 9-All to put it away.
I don’t really know. I’ve never been in that situation before, especially against someone as good as him. Yeah, it’s just not easy, is it? I mean, being that close, I was thinking about winning the match. Whoever says you don’t think about winning the match at that point is full of it, yeah.
Q. Double Grand Slam winner, you obviously had him on the ropes. That must be encouraging that you can be on par with a guy like that.
DANIEL EVANS: Not right now it’s not. If I lost that match against any other guy, I’d be saying exactly the same. You have to take your chances.
Q. You mentioned that smash. Would that be the one moment in the match that you feel you’ll regret?
DANIEL EVANS: Yeah, I just hit it to the wrong side. Actually hit it down the middle. The small things in those matches make big differences. Why I hit it down the middle — I never hit the smash ever down the middle. Is beyond me, so… Such is life.
Q. I know you have doubles tomorrow. Are you still planning this holiday in Spain?
DANIEL EVANS: Yeah, there probably won’t be doubles tomorrow. I’m pretty badly hurt. I’d say that’s squashed probably.
Q. I think you tweeted about losing your passport.
DANIEL EVANS: I found my passport.
Q. Tell us the nature of the injury.
DANIEL EVANS: Yeah, it’s underneath my foot. You’ve probably seen me stamping my foot quite a bit in between games. I don’t know what it is right now. It’s pretty sore.
So, yeah, it’s been like that now for a few weeks. Yeah, it’s been good fun. Hopefully Nick wins. It will be a bit easier to tell him.
Q. Is there any question, or are you down for the Davis Cup, do you think?
DANIEL EVANS: I’m a doubt to get in the squad, yeah. I’ll be at Davis Cup. I just need some time off, I think. That’s it. I’ve had it before. It’s pretty sore in the mornings and in the evenings, sort of later on in the day, it gets pretty sore.
Yeah, I think taking a bit of time off now would be good physically and mentally. Yeah, it was difficult to walk off the court tonight without winning.
Q. Whenever Andy suffers a tough five-set loss like this, he invariably comes in and says to us, I’ve got to physically work harder, up the amount of work I do in the gym, track, wherever. Are you that sort of bloke? Do you subscribe to that point of view?
DANIEL EVANS: I missed the subscription. No, I didn’t lose that match because I wasn’t — I lost that match because I made the wrong decision on the smash. Obviously in the fifth set against him, yeah, I was tired, but I wouldn’t say I was physically tired. I was more mentally tired in having to go again after all four of the sets being so tight.
I’ve never been away this long either. To come off again losing that, after being in that position, is just something I need to get out of my head pretty quick, you know, get away for a bit. I think it’s a good idea.
Q. What did he say to you at the end?
DANIEL EVANS: He just said, Good fight, sorry you lost. That was it. He’s a class act. That’s why he’s won so many tournaments and Grand Slams. I doubt he was that sorry, but…
Q. You said you’re looking forward to getting home. What are you most looking forward to getting back to?
DANIEL EVANS: Just seeing everyone. It’s been nice to see a few of my friends come. I missed home. Yeah, sort of just come to a head tonight if I’m being deadly honest. When you miss that last ball, I’m ready to go now.
S. WAWRINKA/D. Evans
4-6, 6-3, 6-7, 7-6, 6-2
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. After the third set tiebreaker which didn’t go your way, you seemed a bit frustrated. What was your mentality going into the fourth set?
STAN WAWRINKA: Trying to make him work more. Trying to do less unforced errors. Trying to find my game.
I was frustrated, for sure, to be down two sets to one because I wasn’t playing my best tennis. But still had a chance. So I was trying to find the right way, how to keep fighting, how to stay in the match, and how to make it break.
Q. Can you talk us through the two tiebreaks. They seemed to be the crucial parts during the match. Keep fighting against match points, set points down. How was that?
STAN WAWRINKA: How was it (smiling)?
If you’re two sets down, you have a tiebreak going to 8-All, it’s important because if you lose it, you lose the match, that’s for sure.
In general, I think the second tiebreak was a little bit better from both sides. He was coming a lot to the net to try to finish the point. I had to play better, be a little bit more aggressive, more tough with myself. And I took it. I was, for sure, happy to took it.
But I had the feeling in the fourth set that I was starting to play a little bit better. He was starting to be down a little bit, but still playing really well in those important points, still being there, still being tough.
It wasn’t easy to stay calm with myself. But in general I think that was the key for the match. Was tough condition, windy against a talented player who is playing really well, who was pushing me a lot. He was coming with the right shot in the right moment.
Yeah, the court was a little bit faster than normally, than the other big court. So I’m happy to get through. It’s an important win for me.
Q. How does that match compare to other matches you played at the US Open? Is it one of your most memorable that you’ve ever had?
STAN WAWRINKA: It’s always good to win by saving match point. It’s always something special, that’s for sure. It was a great atmosphere again today on that court, tough condition. There’s many thing I can look at my game because it wasn’t the best game.
But I think he also deserve the credit to make me play not my best because he was playing well. He was changing a lot. He’s really talented. So was tough battle and I’m happy to get through.
Q. Your ankle, how much of a factor was that? Did it bother you during the match?
STAN WAWRINKA: Yeah, it’s not the first time that I twist my ankle in match. Was painful in the moments, but after the pain went out, I just wanted to check and change the tape because that was the most important. It’s because of the tape that I don’t completely kill the ankle.
I didn’t feel any pain during all the match after, so that was okay.
I. KARLOVIC/J. Donaldson
7-6, 6-4, 6-3
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Looked like you played a strong match tonight, a couple loose games. What were your thoughts on how you played?
JARED DONALDSON: Yeah, I felt that I kind of, you know, gave the best opportunity I could give myself on his service games. But the big key to that match is to hold serve and to take care of your service games.
I didn’t do a great job of that. Getting broke once every set isn’t ideal. I think that’s just kind of what let me down in the match.
Q. What’s it like dealing with his serve and massive wingspan?
JARED DONALDSON: Yeah, I mean, it’s tough. It’s definitely difficult when he comes to net because he closes so tight. Cross-court is pretty much impossible to pass. Down the line is very tricky.
He volleys well, covers the net well, has good hands at the net, knows how to cover the net.
The one thing I had a little bit of success with was the lob. When he was volleying deeper, it’s always tougher to get the good feel to get high enough because he’s obviously 6’11”, to have the good feel to then make it.
It’s definitely tricky when he comes in.
Q. Did you feel pressure if you got the serve back that you had to win the point?
JARED DONALDSON: No. Normally I think like I would feel the pressure more on my serve. I felt tonight I actually did a good job of kind of relaxing on my serve and just trying to play, like, a regular match.
But I think that, yeah, I didn’t feel pressure that I have to win the point if I get in it. He’s good from the net. He has great volleys, again, covers the net well. I was doing my best to get the return in play and then try to see kind of how the point progressed from there.
Q. What do you take away from this week? What are the learning pieces from these three matches, or the six matches?
JARED DONALDSON: Yeah, obviously, first, I think it gives me a lot of confidence and reaffirms the things I’m working on are improving my game. That’s number one. Number two, I think I definitely need to continue to work on all aspects of my game, but I think mainly fitness. I think that’s one of the key reasons why I’m starting to play so well is because I’m getting a little bit stronger.
Then I think just keep working on my serve, making sure I have good percentage, good accuracy. So I think those three big things, along with just making sure everything else keeps improving, I think I can keep progressing in my game.
Q. The second-set tiebreak, looked like you had a great chance. The 2-All forehand, is that one of those shots you’ll think about?
JARED DONALDSON: Yeah, I definitely felt confident going into the tiebreak. I felt like I was returning pretty well. I definitely felt like I was going to have my opportunities.
Yeah, I think obviously I missed that forehand, lost another point on my serve, I don’t remember how.
That point didn’t really haunt me because I always thought I’d get one back. I didn’t. But I don’t think I can really, you know, go back and say I would have played it differently. I felt I went for the right shot. If I hit it a couple more inches to the left or a little bit earlier, I would have made it, and it would have been 3-2 me. Who knows, we might still be out there now.
I went for the right shot. I have to live with how I played it.
Q. What particular moment on and off from this tournament might stick out in your mind the most?
JARED DONALDSON: I mean, I think just kind of when I go back and I remember this tournament, honestly I’ll think about every match. Kind of the one thing I’ll always remember is how awesome it was to play with the crowd behind me. I felt every single match they were kind of pulling for me, which is really special. I’m really kind of humbled that I had that much support out there. It was really special. It was great to be a part of that really.
Q. Did he say anything to you at the end?
JARED DONALDSON: Yeah. He told me, Good luck, to keep going. I told him, Good luck, I hope he has a great rest of the tournament.
Honestly I want him to do as well as he can because he beat me. Looks better for me. I hope that he continues to play well. I hope for a lot of good tennis to come.
Q. What are your plans this fall? Are you going to stay in Irvine or go back to Texas?
JARED DONALDSON: Right now I’m going to stay in Irvine because there’s a couple weeks before I go to Asia and play the tour events over there. I feel getting experience at this level is so valuable at my age because it definitely highlighted more things that I’ve needed to work on.
Obviously you want to be playing against the best players. The tour is going to Asia. I feel I need to be playing against the best players and to take away as much as I can from them and what they’re doing not only on the court but off the court. That’s how you learn, playing against the best. I definitely need to keep focused and keep working hard so I can keep up with them.
Q. Will Taylor go with you to Asia?
JARED DONALDSON: It hasn’t been decided. Either Taylor or Phil, I think.
Q. A lot of the players have brought in former players. What did Taylor tell you or what were things that stuck out for you that was emblematic of your work together?
JARED DONALDSON: Honestly, he hasn’t told me anything different from any other tournament. I think he always just says, Go out there and compete and fight and control the things you can control. There’s so many things out of your control.
That’s just one of the big hammering points. I think I’ve done a better job of that, definitely staying focused, in the moment, being able to analyze what’s going on out there.
I think before he would kind of talk to me about the match. What I would say would seem like it was completely out of rightfield or was not indicative of what went on during the match.
Now I’ve been able to kind of dissect the match a little bit while I’m playing it. So I think that’s one of the big things, that I’ve been able to kind of see what’s going on in the match and controlling the things that I can control. I think I’ve done a good job of that.
You never know when things will kind of click, so…
Q. Did you hear the chants of your name? Now that you’re in the top 100, is the goal to be a main draw in Australia?
JARED DONALDSON: I don’t know. I did pretty good qualifying, so maybe playing qualifying is the way for me (smiling).
Again, I heard the crowd pulling for me. I wasn’t trying to focus on — trying not to get too spiked from that because maybe I can go for crazy shots, too much adrenaline. But again, it was great to have the crowd behind me, it was really fun, an experience I’ll always remember.
Q. Top 100 is a big milestone.
JARED DONALDSON: Yeah, top 100 is obviously one of the big milestones in tennis. Everybody kind of wants to first get top 100. I don’t want to just stop at top 100 now. I want to keep going and I need to keep improving if I want to keep progressing up the ranks. There’s still a long way to go.
Q. When were you having the most fun? Was it the crowd support or being with your family, being a part of this?
JARED DONALDSON: I think being on the court and playing, just competing. I know I’ve played main draw here the past two years, but I felt, looking back, I never really put myself in a position to kind of win those matches. I played close matches, close sets. I mean, now I feel with the confidence that I have and how I was playing I was able to kind of really be in the match. I felt like I almost belonged on the court.
I think just competing, playing with that kind of energy is something really special that, again, I’ll always remember. Honestly, it was playing tennis, which is something that is so fun and so difficult at the same time, being able to have that kind of support and so forth was awesome. So that’s something that I’ll remember.
I. MARCHENKO/N. Kyrgios
4-6, 6-4, 6-1 (ret.)
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Must be really disappointed?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, obviously I’m pretty disappointed. You know, a great opportunity. He’s a solid player. I’m sure he’s going to do well next round.
But obviously, yeah, it’s not great, is it?
Q. How tough is it to pull rip cord on the match even when you know you’re hurt?
NICK KYRGIOS: It’s tough. I don’t like to retire. It’s probably like the second or third time I’ve done it. It’s never easy, of course. I’ve got a lot of belief in my game to still win matches when I’m not feeling great.
His strength is to make balls, you know, move you around. It’s not great. Yeah, I mean, to be fair, my hip was bothering me my first two matches and I got through. I guess it was just a matter of time.
Q. (No microphone.)
NICK KYRGIOS: I hit a couple wide forehands that didn’t feel too good, yeah.
Q. It got worse tonight than it has been before?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, it’s not going to get better by playing, I guess, yeah.
Q. Does this put you down for Davis Cup?
NICK KYRGIOS: I don’t really care right now, to be honest. Yeah, hopefully I get better in time. Obviously I want to play. But I’m not really thinking about that right now.
Q. What was the advice of the trainer? You might possibly do further damage?
NICK KYRGIOS: He completely understands what’s happening. He knows it’s painful. It’s almost just hard mentally to play with something like that.
He did everything he could. My physio has been helping me all week. I’ve been trying to fix it all week.
But it’s the whole year leading up to it with the whole schedule. I got to take more time and be more diligent with, you know, gym and everything so this doesn’t happen to me.
I. MARCHENKO/N. Kyrgios
4-6, 6-4, 6-1 (ret.)
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. You’ve been playing on tour for a long time. Your first third round, first fourth round. How does it feel to have all this coming at once?
ILLYA MARCHENKO: Well, I’ve been improving last two years with my new coach. Yeah, my injuries were okay. I’m not saying that I’m 100% fit during the whole season, but most of the season I can play full.
Obviously, yeah, I’m improving month by month. I’m really happy with that improvement, that my game is improving and reaching a high level.
Yeah, well, I cannot say that I’m not happy with this result because I’m happy. It’s a big opportunity for me next round.
Q. You looked surprised when they said round of 16 on court.
ILLYA MARCHENKO: Yeah, I was not thinking about it. When you see it’s only 16 guys left and you realize you’re among the top 16 players right now. With my ranking, it’s quite an achievement, I think.
Q. When did you notice that Nick was hurting?
ILLYA MARCHENKO: I think start of the third set. But, you know, you never know if the guy’s just irritated or it’s really bothering him. So I tried to stay focused.
I lost a couple matches when the guy was like kind of thinking and then started to play. Yeah, I was trying to play same game I played before maybe to make him move a little bit more. And, yeah, of course, nobody wants to win this way, but I’m still happy to be in next round.
Q. You could tell he had trouble moving?
ILLYA MARCHENKO: Yeah, he stopped to move for the balls. But, yeah, as I said, you don’t know if the guy just doesn’t want to play or he’s really struggling with injuries.
Obviously now I understand that it was injury because nobody going to withdraw from Grand Slam without an injury.
Q. Not that you had much time to look ahead but you have Wawrinka coming up now. What do you think?
ILLYA MARCHENKO: Well, I played him this year already. He killed me completely, outplayed me in everything. But, yeah, it wasn’t my best match though. Obviously against him, what can you expect?
I mean, I’m going to fight as hard as I can and hope that I will have some chances and believe in myself till the end.
Yeah, Evans had a really good fight today against him. He showed me that you can play against him at this tournament well. We can discuss with my coach about tactics and stuff. Just another match and another opportunity for me.
Q. You just became the second-best Ukrainian player. Dolgopolov made a quarterfinal. Medvedev’s best result of runner-up at French Open. Do you have any hero who you looked up to in your career?
ILLYA MARCHENKO: Well, my hero was Lleyton Hewitt when I was growing up. I liked the way he was fighting. I liked the way he was showing emotions on court. Later on when I started to play, I saw him practicing and stuff. I saw really a great commitment, great work ethic.
So, yeah, he’s finished right now. Had a chance to play against him, but I lost round before. But still he was one of the guys who was my hero.
Then, of course, I was following the guys like Federer, obviously, now Djokovic and Rafa. I was watching. Not put them as heroes, but trying to learn something from them. Yeah, that’s about it.
Andrei Medvedev, I haven’t seen him playing too much, maybe that final.
Q. You were 12 years old.
ILLYA MARCHENKO: Yeah, I was young. I actually liked Agassi more at that time. I was not kind of supporting Medvedev. Now obviously I would.
I don’t know if you know from next week, I going to be No. 1 in Ukraine. It’s some achievement for me. I’m really happy about that. Yeah, I hope to get some confidence from that as well.
Q. How is the public expectation in Ukraine? Tennis?
ILLYA MARCHENKO: It’s not really popular, I would say. I think today I went on a practice. It was full stands. Obviously they came not for me. It was Djokovic next court (laughter). I mean, public for his practice, I think it was more people than on our Davis Cup in Kiev we played couple months ago.
It’s not really on TV. I mean, as you know, we have a lot of other problems. It’s not too much into sport right now.