US OPEN 2011
US Open Diary: Tipsarevic's Plan For Djokovic, Fish's Tip For The Title And More...
New York, U.S.A.
by ATP Staff|
ATPWorldTour.com takes a look at the news and talking points at the US Open on the second Monday.
Tipsarevic Gets Into Djokovic Psychology
Janko Tipsarevic reached his first Grand Slam quarter-final on Monday and was rewarded with a clash against World No. 1 and good friend Novak Djokovic. After his match, Tipsarevic explained how he is going try to adopt a Djokovic-like mentality when the two square off, and not just be satisfied by reaching the last eight.
“It's really a joke. I cannot believe that somebody lost two matches this year? You see guys on tour, and I'm telling you this from a psychological point of view, they win a couple of matches in a row, and you could feel in their body language on court that they feel a little bit satisfied. You really need to be big, like a big, big champion in order to really do what you say in press conference. Because you guys probably heard it a million times, ‘I'm going to focus and give 100 per cent in my next match.’ But that's not the case every time. Bottom line is that's great, but the goal is not to be overwhelmed by that.
“I'm playing against a good opponent. I know that I need to play aggressive and good in order to win. If I feel unbelievable and excited and just feel overwhelmed because I'm in the quarters for the first time and I’m playing Novak and I'm going out there to do my best, that's not going to happen. If you have an idea that you are going to win, the opportunities on the court which are going to be given to you, you're going to use them. If you go there with the idea to do your best and have fun on court or whatever, you're going to be happy if you lose 6-4, 7-5, 6-4, and that's not good."
We spotted...Spanish golfer Sergio Garcia sat in Mardy Fish’s player box on Arthur Ashe Stadium. Also in attendance at the US Open on Monday of Labour Day weekend were actresses Amanda Seyfried and Blake Lively, and director Spike Lee.
Fans Out In Droves For Djokovic
When Djokovic was scheduled to play his fourth-round match in Louis Armstrong Stadium on Monday, fans with Grounds Admission tickets were given the chance to see the World No. 1 in action. So eager were the fans to get one of the coveted spots on Louis Armstrong, that the queue for admission was almost half a mile long, comparable only to the Wimbledon queues.
“That's fantastic,” declared Djokovic upon being informed of this in his press conference. “I was happy to be there. I was happy to experience the Armstrong court again. Sometimes it's really nice to be on the smaller court where the crowd is closer to the court where you can feel them. When you're taking a towel, you can feel them so close to you. I think those kind of matches off the centre court are very exciting.”
Dolgopolov Dismisses Santoro Comparison
Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov burst onto the scene with a quarter-final effort at the Australian Open (l. to Murray) and has since gone on to win his first ATP World Tour title in Umag and sits on the verge of the Top 20 in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings. The 22 year old’s unorthodox style had Djokovic in all sorts of trouble in the first set of their meeting on Monday, but the right-hander later dismissed comparisons between himself and Fabrice “The Magician” Santoro.
“I don't think so,” said Dolgopolov. “I think I have a bit more in my game. I can serve better, play some flat shots, sometimes go to the net. I think I use a bit more of my game. Of course, I use the slice. But today, playing flat with Novak, I mean, it's impossible. He just is so solid. So I tried to mix it up.”
Djokovic’s first-set tie-break 16-14 against Dolgopolov on Monday was the longest of his career. The Serb’s previous longest tie-break came in the first set of his match against Paul-Henri Mathieu at the 2006 BNP Paribas Masters, when he lost 6-7(11), 6-7(4).
It’s All In The Head
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic is better placed than most to pin point what it takes to reach the upper echelons of the game. Speaking after his fourth-round win on Monday, the Serbian explained it’s all in the mindset.
“I think it’s the mental strength you get over the years playing on the tour, getting experience, and using that experience in a right way. Physically out there, there are so many fit players. The game has changed tremendously. Top 100 players, physically there is not much difference between No. 78 in the world and No. 2, 3, 1, 5. Everybody's working hours and hours on the court, off the court. It's much more dedication to the sport than it used to be, in my opinion.
“It's a mental ability to handle the pressure, to play well at the right moments, and that's why I think there is a certain difference with Top 10 players.”
Fish’s Dark Horse
American No. 1 Mardy Fish’s US Open campaign ended on Monday in a five-set defeat to Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. In a parting shot, Fish tipped a fellow American as his dark horse for the title.
"I think John Isner can win the tournament, the way he's serving and playing. I don't think there's any question about that in my opinion,” said Fish of his 6’9’’ countryman, one of three Americans left in the draw, who plays Gilles Simon on Tuesday.
McEnroe: American Tennis Is Work In Progress
Four Americans made it through to the fourth round of the US Open, leading to much excitement among the local media at Flushing Meadows, who hailed it a resurgence. However, head of USTA Player Development, Patrick McEnroe, said they were only halfway there.
Greg Bishop, writing in the New York Times, said, “The truth is, American tennis is not back, not by a long a shot. The Open results, from veterans like Andy Roddick and Mardy Fish to younger players like John Isner and Donald Young, signify progress, but they fall short of a full-blown trend; closer to an aberration than an indicator of forward movement.
“This beats the alternative, of course: another year of soul searching amid the usual disappointment of American tennis fans watching anyone but Americans dominate the second week of the country’s Grand Slam tournament. But McEnroe, smartly, takes a pragmatic, long-term view.
“When assessing the progress of the program he put in place in 2008, McEnroe said, ‘We’re almost halfway there.’
“If the alarms sounded before this tournament were overblown, so, too, have been the heaping helpings of praise that followed. American tennis, in reality, is somewhere in the middle, building buzz and better players, but with, McEnroe acknowledged, ‘a long way to go.’”
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