Jonathan Marray & Frederik Nielsen Tuesday Press Conference
by ATP Staff|
6-4, 6-7, 12-10
An interview with:
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Could you talk us through that decisive champions tiebreak, especially saving the second match point.
JONATHAN MARRAY: Yeah, I mean, I think Freddy is the best at describing the points. I forget the whole tiebreak as soon as we finish with it.
Obviously we got off to a bit of a slow start. They served really well and hit their spots on the serve. It was kind of difficult to get into that.
But, yeah, we kind of dug deep and stuck in there. Obviously, you know, found a way with a few strange little points to get back into the super tiebreak.
Obviously, there was that point at 8‑9, was it?
FREDERIK NIELSEN: 10‑9.
JONATHAN MARRAY: Yeah, I mean, it was a bit of a lucky point really. Any shot could have gone anywhere anytime I think.
Yeah, I mean, there's a lot of matches you get on the wrong side of that look, so it's nice to get on the right side of it, especially at an event like this. Yeah.
FREDERIK NIELSEN: In doubles, especially at this level, it comes down to key points here and there, how you use the momentum of those points. They saved the match point at 6‑5. They built on that momentum. Yeah, they won the second set tiebreak 7‑1 and got up 5‑1.
By that time we were trying to look for that one point that could change the momentum in our favor. Johnny hit a good point at 5‑2. I thought, This could be a good chance for us. Johnny hit two good serves at 6‑3 to 6‑5. All of a sudden you're only back within one point.
I was able to hit one good return to get us back in it. Then it comes down to just anything can happen. You just got to try to look for it, play to win it.
The 10‑9 point was pretty crazy. We almost let it bounce between us at one point. Luckily Johnny had his Matrix reflexes out and a good agility by the end of the point to get up for the badminton smash.
Q. Does it make a difference when you're 5‑1 down in a tiebreak like that, when you have that experience to fall back on, a lot of tight matches at Wimbledon, came through them all?
JONATHAN MARRAY: Yeah, I think definitely it's always on your mind, the fact that you played on the big stage and you've come through some tight matches like that before.
Obviously at Wimbledon we came through four five‑setters, I think it was. Had some sticky moments in the finals.
Yeah, super tiebreak, like Freddy says, there's a lot of different momentum swings that go on. You've just got to kind of stick in there and find a way to kind of get back in. Anything goes. It's a lucky shot here, there, or a great return.
FREDERIK NIELSEN: But you try to use your experience from all the matches, and we played super tiebreaks throughout the year. Numerous times we've been on the receiving end of being up 5‑1 and losing it. So you try to use that experience.
But at the end of the day, if Johnny hadn't hit a good return at 5‑2, we probably wouldn't be sitting here as winners. It's that close.
Q. Can you talk us through your preparation for this. Presumably you didn't start practicing together till Sunday. Where were you last week, Freddy, that you couldn't play in Paris?
FREDERIK NIELSEN: I had other obligations. I'm playing Italian league tennis. I had to play that. Yeah, I was just practicing, taking some time off. I was very knackered after a few tough weeks. I was in the States and we had Davis Cup and then straight to Basel, which was a lot of weeks in a row. My arm was tired. It actually suited me perfectly.
It's quite easy, I find, for the two of us to get back together and play. We don't have to work on specific stuff. We just, yeah, it comes quick to us.
For me, it's better preparation that Johnny has a good tournament and plays semifinal in Paris, then we get two extra days to practice. When it comes to it, it's confidence and stuff like that that makes Johnny hit a big second serve at 8‑9 in the super tiebreak. It's not the fact that we practiced two hours together. It's the fact that he's confident, feels good about his game.
You cannot fake that feeling in practice. So I was very happy to see Johnny do well.
Q. You're obviously a great doubles pair. Freddy, why have you decided that you don't want to commit to doubles? With your rankings now, you could get into all the Masters Series tournaments for the first half of next year, you've won Wimbledon, had a lot of success together.
FREDERIK NIELSEN: Well, it's actually not a decision that I have to make. It's only because I'm getting the question from you guys and other people that I have to explain it.
The reason why I play tennis is because I love it. I see myself as a tennis player. I'm not a singles player or a doubles player. I'm not prepared to sacrifice one thing for the other.
If I changed my philosophy and my outlook on life in order to play doubles, then it wouldn't make my happy. If I skipped singles now, it would be for the sake of results and money and that kind of stuff. That's never going to motivate me. Quite the contrary, it's going to make it not enjoyable for me.
If I sacrifice that then I'm sacrificing the beliefs that I'm playing tennis on, and I'm not ready to do that. I don't care if I have to play tennis, singles in a lower‑ranked tournament, than doubles would bring me, because I know there's other places that I want to be.
I love being here, don't get me wrong. It's a massive experience. I'm really, really happy that I'm able to be here and share it with a good friend as Johnny.
Having said that, being a doubles player, it's fun, but it's not the reason why I play tennis. So, yeah, it's not actually a decision I have to make. That's the way I am.
I think it's also the reason why I'm able to play good doubles, because I enjoy my tennis in every aspect in singles and doubles. I think I wouldn't be able to play as good tennis if I played doubles full‑time.
Q. Johnny, it seemed like when you were serving at match point down in the champions tiebreak, there were quite a lot of people shouting out. Were you aware of that?
JONATHAN MARRAY: No, I wasn't really aware of that to be honest with you. I was just trying to concentrate on putting the serve in the court, to be honest with you.
It's great having people kind of behind you, supporting you. If people shout out a little bit, it's fine. It didn't bother me at all really.
Q. How are you finding the whole experience of the tournament? Are you getting used to the big events like this?
JONATHAN MARRAY: Yeah, I think there's not many events like this. It's tough to kind of compare it to any other tournament. I suppose Wimbledon is the only other one for me anyway personally, this kind of size with this amount of people supporting you and everything.
Yeah, I'm obviously enjoying every minute of it. Yeah, I'm obviously a bit nervous before going on court every time. I actually felt pretty comfortable out there. I think it helps having Freddy, who is a good friend, out there with me. A relaxed character, as well. No, I really enjoy playing out there, to be honest with you.
FREDERIK NIELSEN: This is one of the biggest showcases we have for ATP tennis. It's a very exclusive tournament. If you have the Grand Slams, you can play on merit if you're top 300, so you have a chance to play. This is probably the most exclusive tennis tournament there is in the world.
I certainly didn't believe I would ever take part on the other side of the stands. It's a massive experience. It's undescribable how cool it is to be a part of as a player. I think Johnny is the same, we're trying to make the most of every minute. Like I told a lot of the other guys, I'm considering not sleeping just to get it all in.
Q. How much sort of interaction is there with the singles players down below, the hotel, stuff like that? Are you all mixed together?
FREDERIK NIELSEN: There's not that much. People stick to themselves. There's a lot of pressure on everybody to perform, so people stay with their own teams. It's always like that at every tournament.
The doubles players are a bit more social and outgoing compared to the singles guys. I guess that's pretty normal. There's a lot more pressure on the singles guys. They're the ones basically selling the show. It's quite understandable.
JONATHAN MARRAY: There's two locker rooms for the doubles guys sharing, whereas the singles guys have their own space.
Like Freddy said, I think the singles guys tend to stick to themselves and their team. The doubles guys kind of interact a bit more with each other.
Q. Have you spoken to Andy at all this week?
JONATHAN MARRAY: Yeah, I saw him after the match. Seen him a few times around.
FREDERIK NIELSEN: What did he say, Johnny?
JONATHAN MARRAY: Just said, Congrats. Obviously I saw him after his match yesterday, and it's great we both got off to a winning start. Hopefully we can go deep into it.
Q. Johnny, can you tell us about your search for another partner? Have you had any response to the advert you placed?
JONATHAN MARRAY: Yeah, I'm not really set with anyone for next year. Still on the lookout for a regular partner. It's not bearing fruit as of yet. But, yeah, we'll see how the next few weeks go.
If I do well here, what's the word?
FREDERIK NIELSEN: Attractive.
JONATHAN MARRAY: I'll be attractive to anyone else.
FREDERIK NIELSEN: Any time (laughter).
Q. Johnny, how do the experiences here, particularly like the hotel, compare with places you've played at over past years?
JONATHAN MARRAY: Obviously this is the top end of the game. The hotels we're staying at, they're five‑star hotels, very good hotels in great locations.
I've obviously played a lot on the futures and challengers tour for most of my career. They don't kind of compare to these type of hotels.
But I was doing that obviously to get to this level, so it's all kind of part of the journey of going to the top of the game, I suppose.
Q. Can you recall any one particular hotel experience which was a total opposite to what it's been like here?
JONATHAN MARRAY: Yeah, Uzbekistan. We were staying in some flats of some local residents or something. I don't know what happened. They were probably thrown out for a couple of weeks while we were there.
But, yeah, slightly different. I mean, I don't know what to say.
Q. Tell us a bit more about that place, what it was like.
JONATHAN MARRAY: Yeah, there's one time, I think there was an uprising. The British consulate had to come in and drive us out in an armed convoy. That was a bit different. But, yeah, I mean, Uzbekistan, it's in the middle of nowhere. You drive into Tashkent, and it's a six‑hour car journey where they had the tournament, whatever. The hotel facilities were pretty basic, to say the least. It's all character‑building stuff, isn't it (smiling)?
Q. Freddy, we've heard from Johnny about what life was like after the Wimbledon win. You seem chilled out about your post Wimbledon career. Has life been any different for you?
FREDERIK NIELSEN: Yeah, it's very different. It's changed a lot in Denmark. When I play tournaments there, normally there are not journalists to watch me play. Now there's a few camera crews.
There's a lot more interest back home. This was only the second Grand Slam win ever for Denmark, so it's a big deal.
Yeah, I have a lot of funny requests and stuff. All of a sudden people are, yeah, asking me to be in TV shows and write books and stuff like that. It's a bit strange, to be honest.
But it's part of the process and I enjoy it. I also think it's quite healthy for me that it happened at an older age, so it doesn't really faze me too much.
But, yeah, it's definitely changed because it's also giving me great experiences. We're sitting here doing a press conference after a win at the O2 arena. Normally I would sit in the locker room in Loughborough and consider what went wrong in my singles qualifying match (laughter).
Obviously it's very different. The tournaments we're playing is at a different level. There's been a bit of a change in the interest about my person, but I'm pretty sure that come next year and the O2 is out of the picture, all the big tournaments...
I was at the Olympics as part of the team, that prolonged it as well, but when the year is done, I'm pretty sure it's going to be back to normal again. When I'm playing my singles tournament that nobody gives a rat's ass about, I'm sure it's going to be back to reality.
That's why I'm trying not to get too carried away.
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