Tag Archive | "Del Potro"

Del Potro Sent Packing by Pospisil in the First Round at the Miami Open

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Del Potro Sent Packing by Pospisil in the First Round at the Miami Open

IMG_0946_Del_PotroArgentine Juan Martin Del Potro choose the Miami Open to make his return to the ATP tour after nursing a wrist problem. However, the 2009 U.S. Open did not get the desired result. Undaunted by the swarm of Argentinian fans buzzing the stadium and cheering for their man, Canadian Vasek Pospisil defeated Del Potro 6-4. 7-6.

After salvaging a break point in his opening service game, Del Potro was gifted 0-40 when Pospisil double faulted. Yet, with superb serving, the Canadian managed to extricate himself from that jam. In the ninth service game, Pospisil again kept his composure down 15-40 and ultimately build a 5-4 lead. Next, it was the Canadian’s turn to be at triple break point and he took full advantage. On his second try he went on to bank the first set.

Del Potro turned things around by obtaining a break to start the second set. The Argentine went on to consolidate for a 2-0 edge. However, Pospisil continued to place pressure on the 2009 Miami Open semifinalist by maintaining the difference at one break. Serving for the set at 5-4, Pospisil blazed a forehand down the line to have his initial opportunity to break back. He converted as Del Potro’s lob sailed long.

Eventually, the second set went to a tiebreaker. Again, Del Potro carved out a 3-1 lead. Later, the Argentine found himself ahead 5-2. In front 6-4 Del Potro double faulted to give his opponent back the mini-break. Down the road, another Del Potro double fault handed Pospisil match point. As the Argentine’s forehand landed long, Pospisil was declared the winner.

Del Potro missed the remainder of 2014 because of his wrist surgery in March. He returned January of this year, reaching the quarterfinals in Sydney. Subsequently, plagued again by the wrist problem, Del Potro was forced to take time off. Following his defeat, Del Potro had this to say “I don’t feel frustrated. . . I have to take the positive things on my comeback. Another official match after one year, it’s a good signal for the future. . .I wanted to win, I had a few chances. . .but I couldn’t close the set because I had easy mistakes. . .I didn’t serve well in the special moments.”

In addressing the wrist, Del Potro cited “it’s not 100%, but I feel even better than Sydney tournament. It’s only two months after the second surgery on my left wrist. I feel better week by week”.

One stroke which has suffered post surgery is Del Potro’s backhand, “I’m not confident 100% to hit my best backhands yet. I need time to improve my backhand again. I’m working hard, it’s the only way to get pass through all the things and get well for the future. Mentally, you must be strong enough to deal with the problem.”

Currently, ranked 616, Del Potro is cognizant that his second comeback to the upper echelon will be fraught with obstacles. “I’m in no hurry to be in the top 10 very soon. . .It doesn’t matter how long it takes. . .it’s most important to be patient and stay calm. I got depressed for a while. . .in the end, I want to play tennis. . If I have to learn a different backhand. . . I will”.

The Argentine was moved by the warm reception from the fans “it’s an amazing tournament. . .the atmosphere is great as always. Argentinian fans, South American people come to watch me play. . .I have a lot of fans in the United States after winning the U.S. Open”. Although Del Potro was not victorious this time around, he is looking forward to his next encounter to bring joy to his fanatics.

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2015 Miami Open Player Field Announced

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2015 Miami Open Player Field Announced

IMG_8310_DjkokovicThe 2015 Miami Open is set to take place from March 23 – April 5. Today, the tournament announced the field of players that will be taking to the courts at the Crandon Park Tennis Center.

Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams will both be returning to Miami to defend their titles from 2014. From the ATP, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Juan Martin del Potro are also on the acceptance list. From the WTA, Maria Sharapova is still looking to claim her first Miami title. Victoria Azarenka and Petra Kvitova are also on the roster. A complete rundown of the acceptance list is provided in the tournament’s press release below.

Miami Open Field Once Again Unrivaled on Tour Calendar

The hottest ticket in tennis returns to Miami featuring the best players in the world

MIAMI, Fl. (www.miamiopen.com) – The Miami Open may have a new name, but the Grand Slam-quality player field it delivers each spring remains the same. The event received its 2015 official acceptance lists from the ATP and WTA tours and, once again, the line-up is unrivaled among tour events.

With 74 of the top 75 ranked men, including all of the top 50, and each of the top 75 ranked women, the Miami Open player field ranks best on the tennis calendar. The 15 combined Grand Slam Champions, seven men and eight women, scheduled to compete at this year’s tournament are more than any other event on the tours outside of the Grand Slams. Whether you are looking to see a future Hall of Famer, a multiple Grand Slam champion, or a rising star, all will be on display at the Crandon Park Tennis Center during the event’s two weeks, March 23- April 5.


Tickets to the 2015 Miami Open are on sale now and can be purchased by phone (305-442-3367) or online at www.miamiopen.com. An exhilarating two weeks of tennis, fashion, food and fun conclude with the women’s final on Saturday, April 4 and the men’s final on Sunday, April 5.

Individual session tickets start at just $31 and packages begin at only $136. Don’t miss the chance to be a part of the most glamorous event on both tours.

The 2015 ATP acceptance list features World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, a seven-time Grand Slam winner, the defending Miami Open champion and reigning Australian Open champ; 17-time Grand Slam champion, Roger Federer; 14-time Grand Slam winner, Rafael Nadal; two-time Grand Slam and Olympic Gold Medalist, Andy Murray; and former US Open champion, Juan Martin del Potro.

The women’s field for 2015 is fierce, featuring 19-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, who is the defending Miami Open winner and became the winningest player, male or female, in tournament history when she captured her seventh Miami Open title last year. Seven-time Grand Slam Champion Venus Williams, five-time Grand Slam champion and reigning French Open champion Maria Sharapova, two-time Grand Slam winner Victoria Azarenka and defending Wimbledon Champion Petra Kvitova are also entered to compete.

Fans will also see last year’s break out stars Stan Wawrinka, the 2014 Australian Open champion, and Marin Cilic, the surprise winner at the US Open as they make a run for the Miami Open title. On the women’s side rising stars Eugenie Bouchard, a 2014 Wimbledon finalist, and American Madison Keys, who made her first semi-finals appearance at a Grand Slam at this year’s Australian Open, will also be in action.

The Miami Open is more than just a tennis event. Located in one of the world’s most beautiful vacation destinations with a diverse fan base and exquisite dining and luxury shopping offerings, the Miami Open has an energy and excitement that is uniquely Miami.

Qualifying rounds will be played March 23-24 and will determine 12 additional slots in each singles draw. The Miami Open will also award wildcards to five men and eight women. The main draw begins on Tuesday, March 24 as the women take the court, followed by the first round of the men’s main draw on Wednesday, March 25.

About the Miami Open presented by Itaú

The 2015 Miami Open will be played March 23-April 5 at the Crandon Tennis Center in Miami. The two-week combined event is owned and operated by IMG. The Miami Open is one of nine ATP Masters 1000 Series events on the ATP calendar, a Premier Mandatory event on the WTA calendar, and features the top men’s and women’s tennis players in the world. The tournament is widely regarded as the most glamorous on the ATP and WTA calendars because of its exotic Miami location, thriving nightlife, five-star hotels and restaurants, beautiful weather and beaches, and its celebrity appeal. For ticket information, call +1.305.442.3367 or visit www.miamiopen.com.

About Itaú

Itau is the largest Latin America privately owned bank, with approximately 95,000 employees and operations in 20 countries throughout the Americas, Asia and Europe. Itaú’s relationship with sport goes back to the 1970s, when Itaú first sponsored the Itaú Tennis Cup in Brazil in 1970. Itaú has been a sponsor of the Miami Open for the last six years, and also sponsors the Rio Open, the only combined ATP/WTA event in South America. Itaú also supports the Brazilian Women’s Tennis Circuit, only female professional tournament in South America, certified by the Brazilian Tennis Confederation (CBT) and the International Tennis Federation (ITF), as well as the Tennis Institute Training Center, responsible for the development of young, new talent.

About IMG

IMG is a global leader in sports, fashion and media operating in more than 25 countries around the world. IMG’s businesses include Events & Media, College, Golf, Tennis, Performance and IMG Academy, Fashion, Models, Clients, Licensing, Joint Ventures, and creative management agency Art + Commerce. In 2014, IMG was acquired by WME, the world’s leading entertainment and media agency. Together, the companies offer an unparalleled client roster; strategic partnerships with sponsors and brands; and marquee assets across sports, entertainment, events, music and fashion.

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Novak Djokovic Address the Press at the Sony Open

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Novak Djokovic Address the Press at the Sony Open

Three time Sony Open Tennis champion Novak Djokovic met with the press in Miami prior to his first round match on Friday.  Djokovic revealed that his coach Boris Becker will not be in Miami as he is undergoing surgery on both of his hips.

Djokovic responded to questions regarding the resurgence of Roger Federer, Andy Murray splitting with Ivan Lendl and the future of Juan Martin Del Potro.

Here is the complete interview :

Q.  Can you tell us a little bit about Boris.  We hear that he’s been unable to travel. 

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yes, he’s unable to travel.  He has surgery of his both hips today and tomorrow, so that’s unfortunate.  He couldn’t come.

Q.  But was that expected? 

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  No, he was supposed to come here.  Basically in the finals of Indian Wells he called us and said that he had an emergency and he has to operate both hips.

Q.  How will this affect or will it affect you and Boris going forward?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  No, no, he’s going to be in MonteCarlo, and the schedule for the tournaments that he committed before the start of the season, he will be there, you know, unless his health doesn’t allow him.

Of course, in these particular situations you can’t do much about it.  If he has to operate his hips, he cannot move, cannot walk, unfortunately.  It’s been something that it’s kind of an issue that has been  issue he’s been carrying for many years already.

If he is able, he’s going to be in MonteCarlo already.  Everything stays the same.

Q.  People will look at what you did in Indian Wells and say, Well, you didn’t miss Boris much, but I guess what he has done in the buildup contributed to that success. 

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah, absolutely.  Well, first of all, I mean, Boris is a head coach, and this was not only my own decision.  It was actually Marian’s proposal from the start, because as I was saying before, he has been on the tour as a player and coach 30 years.  It’s been a very long time for him.

He wanted to spend more time with his family, and it was time for me to kind of try to get somebody that is able to commit for more tournaments than Marian.

So when Marian was still around, as you see, it was planned for him to be in Indian Wells; now he’s in Miami because of this situation.  But they split tournaments.  I mean, Boris is supposed to travel to more tournaments.

They have a very good communication and relationship, and I’m happy with the way it all has started.  Obviously the start of the season I haven’t won Australian Open as it was the case in last, previous three years, but, you know, it’s a sport.

I feel that I’m playing good on the court.  It’s just a matter of time when things are going to click.  I’m glad that I already  they already have clicked in Indian Wells.  I have had a great two weeks, and the benefits and the effects of our incorporation, Boris and mine, hopefully we will see in the rest of the season.

Q.  I wanted to ask you about Roger’s resurgence.  You just played him, and some people had already just not counted him out or were starting to write him off the Big 4 and all that.  Can you talk about him and just having played him.  What do you see in his game different, and that he’s sort of back?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yes.  Well, I think he’s playing in a high level this year.  He’s back to his normal level, you know, the level that he had for seven, eight years while he was so dominant in men’s tennis.  Obviously last season he was not as good for his standards.

You know, but this year he started strong.  He won the title in Dubai and played semis of Australian Open.  I can feel that he’s striking the ball very cleanly.  He’s very confident on the court and he has improved his backhand I think.

Maybe it’s the racquet or something else, but he definitely has more depth on that shot.  He’s going more for his topspins rather than slicing it.  You know, of course, with his immense experience and success that he had in his career, he’s never to be ruled out.

Doesn’t matter how old he is.  It’s just a number.  As he was saying, he feels good on the court.  He’s fit.  He’s definitely one of the best players in the world now.

Q.  Were you as surprised as we were about Andy Murray’s split with Ivan Lendl?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, to be honest, I was not surprised.  But, again, I didn’t know what to expect.  They worked for two years, and obviously it brought both of them, especially Andy, a lot of success on the court.  He won Olympic Games, won a few Grand Slams.  I think it was a very good decision from inside to be working with Ivan.

Now they split.  I mean, they obviously had a good reason for that.  I’m not the one who should judge.

Q.  Do you think their success was one of the reasons why there are suddenly so many names… 

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Maybe.  But I was saying that that was not the motivation behind me hiring Boris Becker.  As I said before, it was a kind of a course in our relationship between Marian and myself where, you know, we came to the point where we had to think of an alternative option.  We had to think about somebody stepping into our team.

That was the main reason why we hired Boris.

Q.  How important is playing with this environment in Miami?  Different for all of you?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It is different tournament.  It’s actually one of the nicest ones we have on tour.  It’s a lot of fun, a lot of entertainment, very international crowd.

I have had much success in this city before I won my first big title back in 2007.  I remember here was my first Masters 1000 event.  So I have really good memories.

I always look forward coming back to Miami this time of the year.  It’s nice weather.  As I said, a lot of fun on and off the court.

Q.  Now that a couple of days has passed since Indian Wells, how much of a boost is that for you confidencewise and a bit of a relief?  I know winning titles is nothing new to you, but an estrangement at the start of this year.  How much of a confidence boost is that for you?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, it is, in some kind, a relief for me, because I haven’t had a title this year up to Indian Wells.  Indian Wells final was the first final of the year.  I haven’t played many tournaments; I haven’t played many matches.

So I knew I’m playing well.  I had incredible end of 2013, so I did have confidence.  But I started a little bit doubting myself on the court.  You know, I was struggling a little bit with my, I would say, consistency and the concentration.  Throughout the tournament also I had ups and downs, but I managed to win four out of six matches in three sets.

Mentally it’s a very encouraging win that gives me confidence and that also, you know, is very special in a way.  This time of the year I needed it very much, and hopefully I can carry that into this week.

Q.  Juan Martin Del Potro, have you talked to him, about his future?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I talked to him a little bit a few days ago.  He was uncertain if he’s going to play or not.  Now he’s not playing, so, yeah, it’s really unfortunate.

I think it’s the other wrist, because he had problems with one wrist and now it’s the other one.  He’s a very tall, tall guy, and for him playing many tournaments in a high level week in and week out is very difficult.

His body is suffering, and it’s unfortunate that somebody of his quality is not performing here.  Also Indian Wells.  Tennis definitely misses him.  He’s always one of the contenders to win big titles.  He’s very entertaining to watch.  He’s a nice guy.

I wish him all the best and quick recovery.

Q.  We’re doing a story on fashion in tennis, and we have seen it transcend, you know, Agassi with the denim shorts.  You had the Darth Vader look.  A, what is your inspiration when you go into designing your own clothes?  And, B, how important is it for all of you guys to differentiate you guys with your style?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yes, well, you mentioned Andre Agassi.  I mean, he definitely revolutionalized the fashion in tennis.  He was the first one to dress differently and to have some kind of statement on the court.

Well, I have been through a process in my career, as well.  I had different dragons and wings on my shirts (smiling).

But I’m at a different stage right now.  Of course I’m very much involved in giving  trying to give my input as much as I can to design my own clothes.  I’m fortunate to have a really good team of people and designers from Uniqlo Company who represents me the last two years.

There is various, I will say, inspirations behind the certain designs for different periods of the year depending on color of the surface, depending on the time of the year, depending where we go, color of Serbian flags, so forth and so forth.

So there are different sources of inspiration we are trying to put into the design and kind of create something that looks nice on the court.

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Murray Finally Snares Elusive Wimbledon Trophy

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Murray Finally Snares Elusive Wimbledon Trophy

Image ©CameraSport

Image ©CameraSport

For over seven decades, since 1936 to be precise, Great Britain has been restless for a homegrown male victor at the All-England Club. Today, it got to uncork that seventy-seven year old bottle of bubbly as Andy Murray held off Novak Djokovic 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 to claim his initial Wimbledon title and his second career major.

Last season after the disappointment of losing in the Wimbledon final, Murray bested Djokovic in the semifinals and Roger Federer in the next round to earn Olympic Gold in London a few months later. That feat along with having a major under his belt, the 2012 U.S. Open, were undoubtedly confidence boosters as Murray sauntered on the court to compete.

With Rafael Nadal and Federer knocked out in the first and second round respectively, Murray was expected to walk into the final. However, in the quarterfinals, the Brit had to overcome a 2 sets to none deficit against Fernando Verdasco. Also, in the semifinals, Murray surrendered the first set before ultimately taking control against newcomer Jerzy Janowicz.

Subsequent to beating all comers in straight sets, Djokovic needed five against an injured Juan Martin Del Potro who kept coming back from the brink in the longest semifinal in the tournament’s existence 4 hours and 43 minutes.

When Djokovic and Murray collided in the 2013 Australian Open final, Murray never broke despite a myriad of chances. So, when triple break point for Murray came and went in the opening game, the nail biting began for the spectators.

Later, with a forehand up the line volley winner, Murray had his seventh break point of the initial set. He converted with a backhand down the line winner. However, the public’s joy was ephemeral. Because of a slew of miscues, Murray dropped the next game at love and the set was leveled at 2 all.

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Djokovic and Ferrer Advance to Fourth Round at Sony Open

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Djokovic and Ferrer Advance to Fourth Round at Sony Open

Miami, FL Ricky Dimon
The men’s singles draw at the Sony Open Tennis event is befitting March Madness, with plenty of surprise entrants making impressive inroads, but Novak Djokovic is doing his best to restore order in the absences of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Two days after destroying Lukas Rosol 6-1, 6-0 in his opening match, Djokovic rolled over Somdev Devvarman 6-2, 6-4 during second-round action on Sunday afternoon.

Miami’s two-time defending champion took control right away with a break for a 1-0 advantage in the first set. Djokovic broke again for 5-2 and served out the opener one game later before a single break helped him through the second. Devvarman saw his only break chance in the final game at 5-4 in the second, but he could not convert.

“Conditions (were) not so great,” Djokovic assured when asked about the wind, which gusted all day long. “It was very difficult to get into the rhythm because because you couldn’t really serve at 100 percent and you had to go for more precision and you had to put twice as much effort in the step adjustments because of the windy conditions. All in all I’m just happy to get through the rough day.”

David Ferrer also handled the conditions in commendable fashion as he dismissed Fabio Fognini 6-1, 7-5. Ferrer, who was contesting his first match of the tournament due to a Dmitry Tursunov withdrawal in the previous round, gave back a break in the second set but recovered to served out the match at 6-5.

“It’s difficult for us, for me and for my opponent,” Ferrer said of the wind. “I am happy because it is not easy to play with Fognini. He played one match before. He was more comfortable in the court. But I am happy with my game.”

More dramatic encounters featured Jurgen Melzer against Tobias Kamke and Albert Ramos against James Blake.

Kamke had taken out Juan Martin Del Potro and he got off to a fast start in this one, but Melzer stormed back to prevail 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-4. Ramos survived a hard-hitting night match in the Stadium, scoring a 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 victory over Blake. They aren’t quite making Cinderella runs of Florida Gulf Coast proportions, but either Melzer or Ramos will advance to the quarterfinals when they go head-to-head on Tuesday.

Ricky Dimon is a contributor in Miami and writes for TennisTalk.com. You can follow him on Twitter under @RD_Tennistalk by clicking here.

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Del Potro Upset, Djokovic Advances at Sony Open

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Del Potro Upset, Djokovic Advances at Sony Open

Miami, FL Ricky Dimon

No Roger Federer, no Rafael Nadal, and now no Juan Martin Del Potro. Always a marquee draw, especially at a tournament sometimes known as “the Latin American slam,” Del Potro lost his opening match at the Sony Open on Friday evening. The Argentine lost to Tobias Kamke 7-6(5), 6-1 in one hour and 50 minutes.

Del Potro, coming off a runner-up finish in Indian Wells, led 5-2 in the first set and even had two set points in the eighth game. Not only did the world No. 7 fail to close the deal, but he also squandered a mini-break lead in the ensuing tiebreaker. After a rain delay halted play for two hours in between sets, a listless Del Potro had nothing left in the tank. Kamke raced to a 5-0 advantage before serving out the match with a routine hold at 5-1.

“I made a lot of mistakes,” Del Potro assured. “I was excited to play here, but it was just a bad day and he played really well. I think he deserved to win and it’s okay.”

Although the German’s victory made for a shocking result, it was by no means the most bizarre event of the day. Early on in the night session, not long after Del Potro’s setback, a power outage blacked out the grounds and delayed the action yet again, this time for 30 minutes.

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Novak Djokovic Fields Media Questions at Sony Open

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Novak Djokovic Fields Media Questions at Sony Open

©Mauricio Paiz

Photo ©Mauricio Paiz

Two time defending Sony Open Tennis champion Novak Djokovic begins his title defense on Friday. Prior to his first match in Miami, the world number one player sat down with members of the media on Wednesday afternoon. Djokovic answered questions about the absence of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in Miami, a potential semifinal encounter with Juan Martin Del Potro and the upcoming Serbia vs. US Davis Cup match.

He concluded the interview by asking members of the media to smile for a picture to post on his twitter account. You can see the picture by clicking here.

Here is the complete interview with Djokovic :

Q. How do you feel playing this tournament without Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it’s the same for me. I look forward to this tournament and I have had plenty of success in Sony Ericsson Open in last five, six years. It’s the first Masters title that I won in 2007, and I’m sure that even without them we will have a great tournament.

Q. How are you feeling here and the courts and everything? Have you been here a few days?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I practiced, and actually going to practice now again. I like it. I like the conditions. It can be quite humid, but, you know, these weather conditions are different from Indian Wells and from other tournaments, which is normal to expect. It’s not the first time I’m in Miami. So as I said, I had plenty of success in the past. That gives me a reason to believe I can do well again in this tournament.

Q. I’d like to know about your yoga. Is it true you practice yoga every day?


Q. I’d like to know since when and how does it help you in your tennis?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I don’t spend much time doing it. I do a combination of stretching and exercise, breathing exercises and something that can, you know, help me align myself and find the inner peace and also work on this breathing through movements kind of exercise, you know, that can improve my flexibility and better movement of the joints. That’s what I use it for, and I like it.

Q. Would you consider Sony Open to be a fifth Grand Slam?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it’s difficult to say, because there are eight, nine 1000s, or as they used to call them, Masters tournaments, that are kind of the same level. It’s tough to pick one which is just behind the Grand Slams. But if you have to make a small group of tournaments out of this eight, nine tournaments, you know, Masters level, Miami would be definitely one of them that is just behind Grand Slams.

Q. Today the US Open or the USTA announced the US Open will increase their prize money quite a lot through the next few years, and also that starting 2015 they will be in line with the same schedule of Thursday/Saturday for the guys, Friday/Sunday for the girls and a Monday final. Your reaction?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, well, we have been talking with them for quite a while now, and it’s a positive step to see the prize money increase. It’s a good response, and it’s, you know, a reaction from US Open towards the players’ demands and desires. And as I said before, we all have to stay united. We all have to try not just as players, but also the people from the tournament side to work towards improving this game and the world of tennis. So, you know, Grand Slams are huge competitions. They are over two weeks long and there are a lot of benefits. Without players, those benefits are not possible. So I’m sure that a lot of players will be happy with this prize money increase. And to be honest, me personally, I am not happy with a Monday final. But it is the way it is for next two years. I think we have to accept it, and then after that, it all goes back to normal hopefully for Sunday final like every Grand Slam has.

Q. Can we go back to Indian Wells for just a second? After your loss, you had said that lack of concentration and focus was probably, you know, the main reason. How often does that happen to you, and are you generally able to pull yourself out? How difficult is it to sustain such a high level of concentration on a consistent basis?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I think it’s the biggest challenge for a tennis player. At this level you have to be consistently successful, and in order to be consistently successful to be one of the contenders for top place, you have to be concentrated from the first to the last point in every match that you play. Most of the matches that you play, in the opening rounds especially, you’re the clear favorite to win those, and that’s where it can be quite dangerous because the lower‑ranked players have nothing to lose against you. You are going into the court knowing that you’re expected to win.

You know, it’s not an easy thing ‑‑ it’s easier said than done, really, to go out there and keep the focus going and try to stay grounded, and, you know, fight for every point regardless who is across the net.

So that’s why it’s a big challenge. But it happens. It happens to everybody. Everybody has ups and downs through the match, through their careers, you know. I have lost my match in Indian Wells, a very close match, almost three hours against a Grand Slam champion, you know, against an established top‑10 player, Del Potro. I haven’t lost against, you know, a less quality player.

But, again, a few points decided the win. I could have prevailed, but I didn’t. That’s sport. You know, when you lose you try to understand what you did wrong so you can get better for the next one.

Q. Beyond the tennis, how do you like coming to Miami? What’s your favorite thing about Miami other than playing the matches here?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: There is a great energy about the city. You know, I have been staying in Key Biscayne Island for last few years, so most of my whereabouts are here on the island because of the tennis.

It’s very convenient, very close to the hotel, beautiful weather. Obviously South Beach is something ‑‑ is a very special location in the city where you get to have a lot of great restaurants, places to see, to visit, a lot of young people. Just a very alive city. It’s interesting to see. It’s interesting to always see and visit once in a while.

Q. Just going back to the USTA, is that more evidence that the players are really kind of working together at the moment and getting a lot of progress made on that kind of issue?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Indeed. It’s a very positive step for players. You know, it proves that players I think are more united than ever. I believe that these are some significant changes, you know, in the negotiations with Grand Slams.

It hasn’t happened for I think ever or for many, many years that we have such increases. We just feel like we deserve it. You know, there is a lot of players, not just the top players, but a lot of players who are in top 100, top 200, who deserve to, you know, have a better living from this sport.

You know, so this is, as I said, a great, great move forward, and hopefully we can achieve many more things together.

Q. On your match against Juan Martin Del Potro last week, what are your thoughts on his level of play, and what would you do different in case you encounter here in semifinals?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it’s still a long way to talk about eventual semifinal matchup with Juan Martin. Still have to win many matches to that point, as well as he does.

As I said, a few points really decide the winner in Indian Wells. I was 3‑Love up in the third set and had some game points for 5‑4 in the third, and then, you know, he also played really well. There’s no question about it.

He deserved to win, because in the important moments he was the player who stepped in, who was going for the shots and being more aggressive, and that’s why he deserved to be a winner.

Q. We know what you do really well, but if there are things you don’t do well and can’t do and you’d like to turn that around and do some of those things really well, what would that be?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Hmm. Well, your best change is day to day, right? You can’t always expect yourself to play on the 100% of your abilities, you know, and you try to adjust to the feeling that you have that day, you know, kind of general feeling, and you try to maximize your possibilities.

There are things that are always open in my game for improvement. There is room for improvement. I feel that I still can improve a lot of shots in my game, you know. I still feel that I can serve maybe better in some moments. I still feel that maybe I can come to the net a bit more often.

So it’s actually very encouraging for me, because I like to work, you know. I like to practice and try to improve my game and get my game to best possible level. So that’s a positive, you know.

Q. I was meaning not in tennis.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Sorry. You should have jumped into my answer before. (Smiling.)

Q. I didn’t want to interrupt you.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Not in tennis?

Q. Yeah.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: But in what way?

Q. You know, let’s say you’re a bad singer and that’s what you would really like to excel at, that sort of thing. Like Serena said, she can’t sing and she’d love to sing. So something you can’t do you don’t do well but you’d like to really do well.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: (Pause.) Okay. That’s a good question. I love all the sports, so I would love to play golf and basketball a little bit better. Even though I love cooking, I think I’m not so good at it. So I think I have to improve there. That’s enough. I will tell you in the next one when I think about it a little bit more.

Q. Considering the big start of the season of Juan Martin Del Potro, do you think he’s coming this year to approach finally the top four players?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It can be, but I don’t think anybody can really predict what’s going to happen. If he has the quality to do that? Yes, he does. He has the potential. He’s an all‑round player who can play equally well on any surface and he has proven that last few years.

Now it really depends, you know, if he can sustain this level and physically be fit enough to play on that high level throughout the whole year, because that’s what it takes to, you know, to be in top four.

Q. If I can ask you to look ahead a little to the Davis Cup and your thoughts on that, and if you know anything about Boise and what Idaho is famous for.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, been asked that question in Indian Wells. I know that Boise is famous for its potatoes. I’m looking forward to some good mashed potatoes there. (Laughter.)

Yeah, it’s not a big place, but they say that they have a huge stadium, like capacity of 12,000 people. Hopefully it’s going to be a full, packed house, because you always like to see many people coming to watch tennis. It’s going to be the first time that we all go to Idaho.

I have some friends who live in Sun Valley which is close by. I wish I had a little more time so I can go and ski a little bit.

But, you know, considering the Davis Cup tie against United States, who is the most successful country in the world in that competition, I think that fact says enough about the quality of and the tradition that this country possess about this competition, about this sport in general.

Even though they don’t have a top‑10 player, but still they have good quality players, like Isner and Querrey who are showing their great potential always when they play in Davis Cup.

I mean, Isner beat Federer; he beat Simon; he beat the top guys in Davis Cup. He loves to play for his country. It will be in an altitude over 800 meters, I think. That goes to their favor I think because of the big serves.

Anything is possible, really. I mean, for now, I am committed to Davis Cup. I will first try to focus on this tournament, see how I go, but the way things stand I want to play and I want to bring my country another win.

And before we go, can we just make a photo for Twitter from here? You all have to smile, please.

Everybody, smile.

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Number One Ranking at Stake for Djokovic, Nadal and Federer at Wimbledon

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Number One Ranking at Stake for Djokovic, Nadal and Federer at Wimbledon

The fight to be king of the mountain will be settled at the All England Club. After a brilliant 2011 season, defending champion Novak Djokovic is under menace from Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer who are vying to strip away the Serb’s number one ranking. The Wimbledon draw has been released and for these three rivals, the path to the summit is a winding one.

For the second straight major, Djokovic and Federer are destined to clash in the semifinals. Djokovic has bested the Swiss six of the last seven times they’ve met. As such, Federer will need to conquer his mental demons if he hopes to get to the final.
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Sharapova, Djokovic, Federer and Serena Take Stadium Court at Sony Ericsson Open

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Sharapova, Djokovic, Federer and Serena Take Stadium Court at Sony Ericsson Open

World number two Maria Sharapova opens up the proceedings on stadium court on Monday at the Sony Ericsson Open. Sharapova collides with countrywoman Ekaterina Makarova. Sharapova leads 3-0 in their head to head.

Following that is another fourth round match as Serena Williams clashes with Samantha Stosur. This will be their first encounter since Stosur surprised Williams in the final at the U.S. Open.

Defending champion Novak Djokovic looks to continue his campaign for a third Sony Ericsson title. With a 10-1 record, the world number one is the overwhelming favorite as he faces compatriot Viktor Troicki.

The evening session begins with Roger Federer duking it out with Andy Roddick for a spot in the fourth round. Federer is 21-2 versus his opponent. Venus Williams and Ana Ivanovic close out the night as they tussle for a berth in the quarterfinals.

Also in action are Victoria Azarenka, Juan Martin Del Potro, Mardy Fish and Caroline Wozniacki.

Here is today’s complete order of play :

Monday, March 26, 2012

STADIUM Start 11:00 am

Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) v [2] Maria Sharapova (RUS) WTA

Not Before 1:00 PM
[6] Samantha Stosur (AUS) v [10] Serena Williams (USA) WTA
[1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) v [27] Viktor Troicki (SRB) ATP
[11] Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG) v [23] Marin Cilic (CRO) ATP

Starting at 7:30 PM
[3] Roger Federer (SUI) v [31] Andy Roddick (USA) ATP

Not Before 9:00 PM
[WC] Venus Williams (USA) v [15] Ana Ivanovic (SRB) WTA

GRANDSTAND Start 11:00 am

[28] Kevin Anderson (RSA) v [8] Mardy Fish (USA) ATP
[12] Nicolas Almagro (ESP) v [20] Fernando Verdasco (ESP) ATP
[8] Na Li (CHN) v [12] Sabine Lisicki (GER) WTA

Not Before 4:30 PM
[1] Victoria Azarenka (BLR) v [16] Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) WTA
[21] Juan Monaco (ARG) v [14] Gael Monfils (FRA) ATP

COURT 1 Start 11:00 am

[17] Richard Gasquet (FRA) v Albert Ramos (ESP) ATP

Not Before 1:00 PM
[6] Mahesh Bhupathi (IND)/Rohan Bopanna (IND) v
Marcel Granollers (ESP)/Rafael Nadal (ESP) ATP
[30] Julien Benneteau (FRA) v [5] David Ferrer (ESP) ATP

Not Before 4:30 PM
[23] Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) v [4] Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) WTA
Colin Fleming (GBR)/Ross Hutchins (GBR) v
[7] Leander Paes (IND)/Radek Stepanek (CZE) ATP

COURT 2 Start 11:00 am

Vania King (USA)/Monica Niculescu (ROU) v
[7] Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ)/Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ) WTA

Not Before 12:00 PM
[22] Maria Kirilenko (RUS) v [7] Marion Bartoli (FRA) WTA
[WC] Garbine Muguruza Blanco (ESP) v [5] Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) WTA
Vera Dushevina (RUS)/Shahar Peer (ISR) v
[WC] Gisela Dulko (ARG)/Paola Suarez (ARG) WTA

COURT 3 Start 12:00 noon

[WC] Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS)/Lucie Safarova (CZE)
vNuria Llagostera Vives (ESP)/Arantxa Parra Santonja (ESP) WTA
Lukasz Kubot (POL)/Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) v
Santiago Gonzalez (MEX)/Scott Lipsky (USA) ATP
Julia Goerges (GER)/Samantha Stosur (AUS) v
Anabel Medina Garrigues (ESP)/Flavia Pennetta (ITA) WTA

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Federer, Djokovic, Serena and Sharapova Highlight at Sony Ericsson Open

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Federer, Djokovic, Serena and Sharapova Highlight at Sony Ericsson Open

The order of play for Saturday at the Sony Ericsson Open is stacked with marquee matches. Action gets under way with five-time Miami champion Serena Williams facing of with Roberta Vinci. Andy Roddick will also be in action taking on Gilles Muller. Roger Federer begins his campaign to add another Miami title to his resume when he takes on Ryan Harrison. Sharapova will round out the day matches on Stadium court in a match up with Sloane Stephens.

The Grandstand court will also feature premiere matches with the likes of David Ferrer, Kim Clijsters, Mardy Fish and Juan Martin Del Potro scheduled to play.

The night session is highlighted by 2011 Sony Ericsson Open champion Novak Djokovic. Djokovic will play his first match in Miami against Marcos Baghdatis. The night session concludes with Samantha Stosur versus Chanelle Scheepers.

Here is today’s complete order of play :

Saturday, March 24, 2012

STADIUM Start 11:00 am
[21] Roberta Vinci (ITA) v [10] Serena Williams (USA) WTA

Not Before 1:00 PM
Gilles Muller (LUX) v [31] Andy Roddick (USA) ATP
[3] Roger Federer (SUI) v [WC] Ryan Harrison (USA) ATP
[Q] Sloane Stephens (USA) v [2] Maria Sharapova (RUS) WTA

Starting at 8:00 PM

[1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) v Marcos Baghdatis (CYP) ATP
[6] Samantha Stosur (AUS) v Chanelle Scheepers (RSA) WTA

GRANDSTAND Start 11:00 am

Bernard Tomic (AUS) v [5] David Ferrer (ESP) ATP
[Q] Sergei Bubka (UKR) v [14] Gael Monfils (FRA) ATP
Kim Clijsters (BEL) v [23] Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) WTA
[Q] Frank Dancevic (CAN) v [8] Mardy Fish (USA) ATP

Not Before 5:00 PM
[11] Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG) v Ivo Karlovic (CRO) ATP

COURT 1 Start 11:00 am

[17] Richard Gasquet (FRA) v Cedrik-Marcel Stebe (GER) ATP
[8] Na Li (CHN) v Iveta Benesova (CZE) WTA
[28] Kevin Anderson (RSA) v Sam Querrey (USA) ATP
[12] Nicolas Almagro (ESP) v [Q] David Goffin (BEL) ATP

Not Before 6:00 PM
[29] Petra Cetkovska (CZE) v [4] Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) WTA

COURT 2 Start 11:00 am

[17] Shuai Peng (CHN) v [12] Sabine Lisicki (GER) WTA
[Q] Bjorn Phau (GER) v [20] Fernando Verdasco (ESP) ATP
Albert Ramos (ESP) v [15] Feliciano Lopez (ESP) ATP
[1] Bob Bryan (USA)/Mike Bryan (USA)v
[WC] Paul Hanley (AUS)/Bernard Tomic (AUS) ATP

Not Before 5:00 PM
Kevin Anderson (RSA)/Milos Raonic (CAN) v
[3] Michael Llodra (FRA)/Nenad Zimonjic (SRB) ATP

COURT 3 Start 11:00 am

[21] Juan Monaco (ARG) v Yen-Hsun Lu (TPE) ATP
Anabel Medina Garrigues (ESP)/Flavia Pennetta (ITA) v
Chia-Jung Chuang (TPE)/Alisa Kleybanova (RUS) WTA
Igor Kunitsyn (RUS) v [23] Marin Cilic (CRO) ATP
Eric Butorac (USA)/Bruno Soares (BRA) v
[2] Max Mirnyi (BLR)/Daniel Nestor (CAN) ATP

COURT 6 Start 11:00 am

[5] Mariusz Fyrstenberg (POL)/Marcin Matkowski (POL) v
Lukasz Kubot (POL)/Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) ATP
[6] Mahesh Bhupathi (IND)/Rohan Bopanna (IND) v
Jurgen Melzer (AUT)/Jamie Murray (GBR) ATP
[Q] Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (ESP) v [27] Viktor Troicki (SRB) ATP
[8] Daniela Hantuchova (SVK)/Agnieszka Radwanska (POL)
vVera Dushevina (RUS)/Shahar Peer (ISR) WTA

COURT 7 Start 11:00 am

[WC] Dominika Cibulkova (SVK)/Jelena Jankovic (SRB) v
[7] Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ)/Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ) WTA
[30] Julien Benneteau (FRA) v Benjamin Becker (GER) ATP
Vania King (USA)/Monica Niculescu (ROU) v
Kimiko Date-Krumm (JPN)/Shuai Zhang (CHN) WTA
Su-Wei Hsieh (TPE)/Shuai Peng (CHN) v
[5] Maria Kirilenko (RUS)/Nadia Petrova (RUS) WTA

COURT 8 Start 11:00 am

Mona Barthel (GER) v Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) WTA
[3] Sania Mirza (IND)/Elena Vesnina (RUS) v
[WC] Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS)/Lucie Safarova (CZE) WTA
Tomas Berdych (CZE)/Lukas Dlouhy (CZE) v
Santiago Gonzalez (MEX)/Scott Lipsky (USA) ATP
Ekaterina Makarova (RUS)/Jie Zheng (CHN) v
Natalie Grandin (RSA)/Vladimira Uhlirova (CZE) WTA

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