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Novak Djokovic Seeks Fourth Sony Open Title

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Novak Djokovic Seeks Fourth Sony Open Title



IMG_1283_DjokovicNovak Djokovic will seek his fourth Sony Open title in Miami when he headlines the Friday day session on March 21, 2014. The tournament draw will take place on March 17 at which point Djokovic’s opponent in his opening match will be revealed.

Last year Djokovic was bounced from the tournament by Tommy Haas preventing him from winning three straight Sony Open titles. Wins in Miami have led to multiple title wins during the ATP calendar year for Djokovic so there is no doubt that he will be eager to bag another title at the Crandon Park Tennis Center.

Here is the official press release from the tournament :

3-time Sony Open Champ Will Kick-Off the Best Weekend in Tennis

MIAMI, Fla. (www.sonyopentennis.com) – Friday, March 21 will get even hotter in Miami when World No. 2 Novak Djokovic returns to the court in a quest to claim his fourth Sony Open title. Djokovic’s opponent will be revealed on Monday, March 17 when the rest of the men’s main draw is announced. The 30th edition of the Sony Open runs March 17-30 at the Crandon Park Tennis Center.

Djokovic, who will play during Friday’s day session, joins an already star-studded Men’s field for the opening weekend as World No. 1 Rafael Nadal is scheduled to play Saturday night, March 22. Tickets for all the weekend matches, including the Djokovic and Nadal matches, can be secured by purchasing an Opening Weekend package starting at one low price of $202 (a 28% savings off the regular ticket price). Individual and package tickets can be purchased online at www.SonyOpenTennis.com or by phone at 305-442-3367.
In 2007, the Serbian star became the youngest male to win the tournament at 19, when he made a thrilling run in Miami. Capturing a fourth Sony Open trophy this year will move the six-time Grand Slam winner into second-all time behind Andre Agassi (6) for most Miami titles.

The road to the Butch Buchholz trophy won’t be easy. The men’s main draw includes World No. 1 Nadal, 17-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer, defending Sony Open champ Andy Murray and a host of others.

The Sony Open offers a full day of entertainment for everyone. Enjoy the beautiful Miami weather, stop by one of our high-end retail stores, spend time with friends at one of our many lounge areas, try some of our diverse food options or hang around the entertainment stage to listen to live musical performances.
Experience first-hand why the biggest names in music, entertainment and sports visit the Sony Open each spring. Whether it is LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Kim Kardashian or Owen Wilson you never know who you may see around the site.

ABOUT THE SONY OPEN: The 2014 Sony Open will be played March 17-30 at the Crandon Tennis Center in Miami. The two-week combined event is owned and operated by IMG. The Sony 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. In 2013 Andy Murray defeated David Ferrer for his second Sony Open title, while Serena Williams knocked off Maria Sharapova to capture her record sixth title in Miami. For ticket information, call (305) 442-3367 or visit the website at www.SonyOpenTennis.com

ABOUT SONY MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS: Sony Mobile Communications is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation, a leading global innovator of audio, video, game, communications, key device and information technology products for both the consumer and professional markets. Through its Xperia™ smartphone portfolio, Sony Mobile Communications delivers the best of Sony technology, premium content and services, and easy connectivity to Sony’s world of networked entertainment experiences. For more information: www.sonymobile.com

ABOUT IMG: IMG Worldwide is a global sports, entertainment and media business, with nearly 3,000 employees operating in 30 countries around the globe. IMG’s areas of expertise are diverse and wide ranging: IMG College; IMG’s Joint Ventures in China, Brazil and India; IMG Media; IMG Events and Federations; IMG Fashion; IMG Models; IMG Art+Commerce; IMG Clients; IMG Academies; IMG Consulting and IMG Licensing. More information is available at www.imgworld.com

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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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Nadal Wins an Unprecedented Eighth French Open Crown

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Nadal Wins an Unprecedented Eighth French Open Crown



At the French Open, there is no doubt who reigns supreme. With a 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 victory over countryman David Ferrer, Rafael Nadal pocketed his eighth title at Roland Garros becoming the first man in history to capture the same major that many times.

In route to his maiden major final, 31 year old Ferrer dispatched all comers in three sets. The world number five even thumped hometown favorite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the semifinals after the latter dismissed Roger Federer.

To the contrary, Nadal needed 4 hours and 37 minutes to overcome world number one Novak Djokovic in the semifinals in a five set thriller where Djokovic led 4-2 in the last set.

The first final since 2004 to feature two men from the same nation, when Gaston Gaudio tussled with fellow Argentine Guillermo Coria, debuted promisingly with Ferrer opening the proceedings with a love hold.

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Murray Endures Gritty Ferrer to Bag his Second Sony Open Trophy

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Murray Endures Gritty Ferrer to Bag his Second Sony Open Trophy


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Britain’s Andy Murray had more at stake today than the Miami title. Hoisting the Sony Open trophy would signify the number two world ranking. The reigning U.S. Open defeated Spaniard David Ferrer 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 to obtain his second Sony Open prize.

Ferrer, who was making his maiden appearance in the final in Miami, his fifth at the ATP Masters 1000 level, knew from the outset it would be an uphill battle. Ferrer’s first ATP Masters 1000 title came in November after being denied three times prior.

Although Murray had a slight 6-5 lead in their head to head, the Spaniard has just one win on hardcourt. The others have been on clay. In 2011, these two collided at the Masters tournament in Shanghai, Murray triumphed in two sets.

Moreover, history was not on Ferrer’s side. Three compatriots, including Rafael Nadal three times, have gone down in the final at the Miami Masters. Also, Ferrer has an abysmal mark against top five players, 0-12.

Nevertheless, this was far from the Spaniard’s mind as he salvaged two break points in his opening service game, then went on a five game run to lead 5-0 in the first set.

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Ferrer Fends Off Haas to Get into Maiden Sony Open Final

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Ferrer Fends Off Haas to Get into Maiden Sony Open Final


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The first men’s semifinal at the Sony Open showcased a pair of thirtysomething. World number five David Ferrer outlasted a resurgent Tommy Haas 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 to reach his fifth Masters 1000 series final.

At 35, Haas, a former world number two, discovered his fountain of youth. Ranked 18th, the German ousted 24 year old Alexandr Dolgopolov in the third round then stunned world number one Novak Djokovic in the round of 16. This year’s semifinal showing was the furthest Haas’ had advance in Miami.

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Haas Upsets Djokovic at Sony Open

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Haas Upsets Djokovic at Sony Open


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On a bizarre night that saw temperatures plummet in Miami, Tommy Haas pulled off the upset of the tournament by defeating two-time defending Sony Open champion Novak Djokovic in straight
sets 6-2, 6-4.

“Playing against something like Novak and coming out on top at this time of my career, it’s unbelievable.”, said Haas “You know, it goes up as one of my, you know, most best wins of my career.”

Djokovic was attempting to tie the record for consecutive wins in Miami, but a slew of unforced errors from the Serbian throughout the match proved to be his downfall. Djokovic credited Haas as the better player tonight and assessed his performance in his post match interview. “Yeah, I mean, all the credit to him. He played a great match and he was the better player, no question about it.” said Djokovic. “The results show everything, you know. As far as I’m concerned, it’s definitely the worst match I have played in a long time.”

When asked to access the unseasonal conditions in Miami Djokovic responded, “I mean, conditions were really much, much different from what I have played, you know, in previous matches. Balls didn’t bounce at all.
You know, he has a quite flat shots. He used the variety really well. Yeah, it was very cold, and I just didn’t find a better solution to come back to the match.”

Earlier in the day another Serbian was upset in Miami. The number 7 seed Janko Tipsarevic was bounced from the tournament by the number 11 seed Gilles Simon in three sets 5-7, 6-2, 6-2. Haas will face Simon in Wednesday’s night session for a place in the Sony Open semi-finals.

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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


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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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Djokovic and Sharapova Top Billing at Sony Open On Sunday

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Djokovic and Sharapova Top Billing at Sony Open On Sunday


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Reigning champion Novak Djokovic takes the court on the first Sunday of the tournament. The Serb battles Somdev Dewarman in the third round as he attempts to pocket his third successive title at the Sony Open.

Four time finalist Maria Sharapova faces fellow Russian Elena Vesnina in the round of 32. Sharapova is trying for the second straight year to reach the finals at both Indian Wells and Miami.

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Del Potro Upset, Djokovic Advances at Sony Open

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Del Potro Upset, Djokovic Advances at Sony Open


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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?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes.

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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