Google Down the Line!: HE SAID/SHE SAID: Roland Garros Day Six

Friday, May 28, 2010

HE SAID/SHE SAID: Roland Garros Day Six

Q. I remember you talking about Australia, about the last time you had played Maria, which was Australian Open. That was one of the matches when you knew maybe you don't have the motivation to continue anymore. So can you talk about your form now and how you're feeling now versus that time?

JUSTINE HENIN: Yeah, it seems so far away. I mean, even seems like it never existed, that moment. I didn't want to be on the court anymore at that time, and now I have a lot of motivation to be out there and to fight and try to keep winning.

So the situations are very different, of course. But we had a lot of good matches in the past. I played her here at the French in 2005, I think in the quarterfinals. Yeah, I hope we can play a good match. That's for sure.

Q. Justine said that the match you played in Australia seems very distant to her, very far away. Obviously she retired and came back since then. A lot has happened to you, as well. You've had some involuntary time off. Does it also seem distant to you, that whole Australian Open run?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Actually feels like we never left, or it was just yesterday. (laughter.) That's so funny. It was a couple of years ago, and, you know, here we are. We're back. It's a different Slam, but, you know, it's the same drill. We're waiting before matches. It's as if, you know, things haven't really changed much.

But obviously you think back to the last few years, and both of us have been in different paths and different times in our lives. But here we are going to face each other tomorrow.

Q. I don't know if you saw this video, a video concerning karaoke here in Roland Garros which is a parody of Shakira and Nadal.

FERNANDO VERDASCO: Oh, yes. I heard about it. I don't know why. Why do you always ask me to answer these questions about these things? Yes, the karaoke. We did one last year, as well. Novak always wants to be the funniest, the star, but he loves this. He loves being a showman. He likes it.

So you should ask Rafa if he enjoyed this imitation or not. But to tell you the truth, I don't really know how Rafa took this, but I know Rafa. I don't think he really very much liked the video. But anyway, who knows? Maybe he enjoyed it.

Q. Roger recently said that on clay you don't need a volley or serve. You just need legs, an incredible forehand, and backhand. You can be competitive even with a very incomplete game. What are your thoughts on that?

RAFAEL NADAL: Everybody has his every guy's free to have his own opinion. No, I think probably a lot of years ago when you play with the slower balls, with the slower racquets, you know, with the small racquets and you can't have a winner, was very difficult to have a winner, probably.

But in my opinion now, in the sport is important to think how to win the match. Probably in very fast surfaces that's not happen, because you can have one serve and one forehand. That's the only that's the only way for the moment, one serve or one volley, only one serve.

Here you can play with more tactics. You can change your style. You can play attacking; you can play defending; you can go to the volley; you can play with the baseline.

So you have many options to do, and I think that's nice for the sport, too. I think every surface has difficult things. But sure, have a good forehand, good backhand, good legs and good movements, that's not an easy thing.

Q. The only way for journalists to stop telling you about Roger Federer would be for you to defeat him.

STANISLAS WAWRINKA: Well, I defeated him last year in Monte Carlo, and people kept talking about it. He's the greatest player ever. And playing tennis at a fairly good level in the same country means that we play together Davis Cup, Olympic Games. He's like me. He's very discreet, and people keep asking me questions about him. It's part of my job.

Q. Is it difficult to be compared with Roger Federer?

STANISLAS WAWRINKA: I think I set the record straight last year. I said I would never answer questions about him and his private life. Now, it's obvious today you're asking questions about him because he's going to be my next opponent. Otherwise, I haven't had problems with that recently.

Q. Who's the tennis player that you like to watch best?

STANISLAS WAWRINKA: David Nalbandian and James Blake.

Q. You felt quite a lot of emotion at the end of the match. Is there any particular reason? Is it a special game for you? Special match for you.

JO WILFRIED TSONGA: Emotion, yes, because I suffered a lot during this match. It was hard. All along the match I was trying to think about something else than the pain I was feeling. So that's why.

Q. How can you play beyond the pain?

JO WILFRIED TSONGA: Well, by telling yourself it doesn't hurt. It doesn't hurt. Every 10 seconds you go, It doesn't hurt. I'll go for it. It doesn't hurt. I knew this was something that couldn't go worse, so there was no reason for me to quit. But it was painful, and it was difficult when I had to change direction, when he was getting me wrong footed. When I had to move from one side to the other I had difficulties especially on my forehand.

But then I fought, and at the end of the day, it made the difference because I think he also had difficult matches before. He had slightly less experience, and I think, well, he couldn't make it at the end.

Q....[W]ere you a little bit surprised by all the attention, all the fuss [about your fashion?] Did you get a little bit of a chuckle out of it?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I can feel the attention around me. I don't, like, read anything on the Internet. I don't expose myself to any of that, but I can definitely see, you know, from, you know, friends and family and obviously being in here, e mailing me.

All I can say is that I mean, I think maybe after this tournament, illusion may be retired, because it's not really the point of it all. The point was the illusion of having, you know it just has gone past the point, so I feel that unfortunately I may have to retire it.

Q. So it's gonna be back to reality?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I may be wearing all the same boring underclothes as the other people. I mean, as great as the design is, I really want the focus to be on the tennis. So obviously wearing lace on the court will still be an amazing innovation, but I'll have to find a way to try to make it a little less noteworthy, possibly, is the best word.

Q. With your Michael Jackson impersonation having been on French TV, what sort of feedback have you had from your mates back home who have seen you on the Internet?

ANDY MURRAY: I actually haven't had any feedback from it at all, no, but I kind of made up my own mind what it was like. I saw the video. They replayed it after I did it, so I know what to expect.

Q. Is it something you'd maybe like to see in England? Obviously this thing happens in France every year where fans are able to see another side of players. Do you think...

ANDY MURRAY: I'd rather they didn't see that side of us, to be honest. (laughter.)
No, I mean, it's fun. Like I said yesterday, I mean, all the players, they're totally normal, cool, nice guys. It's just you know, it can be difficult, because, you know, you only really see us when we're on the court, and, you know, you're answering, you know, questions about the matches all the time.

Yeah, I think those sort of things are good for the sport, you know, good for the players to do. Yeah, if it makes it if the fans enjoy it and they like watching it, then why not?

Q. I don't know whether you've been asked, but have you seen the Nike commercial for the World Cup which you are sort of premier in that, just like Kobe Bryant?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I'm a Ping Pong player. Normally I'm a tennis player, but we did Ping Pong.

Q. Was it fun shooting it?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, it was good fun. It was unusual, you know. It was different. They were in Switzerland a few months ago, and obviously it's nice being in a World Cup commercial. It's obviously the biggest thing for Nike this year, soccer being such a huge sport. And doing something fun with Wayne Rooney like that was...

Q. Did you shoot it together?

ROGER FEDERER: Didn't shoot it together, but we're seen together. It's extreme what we can do these days. It was fun. I think it turned out great.

Q. You change clothes during workouts and practices, and sometimes even during matches. How much laundry do you generate that you then submit at the end of the day?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: That's the first time I got this question. Interesting.

Q. That's good.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: In the juniors I used to wash the laundry by myself, with my hands. Then, you know, every Euro meant a lot, so I didn't want to spend too much on that. But right now, since we have good conditions, good organizations with the tournaments, so they organize the laundry service for us. We do give them our laundry and we have to wait two days.

But, yeah, we have well, we change a lot of shirts. I guess I get at least, in average, three shirts a day.

Q. So do you ever try to sneak stuff in to have maybe your friends' shirts or maybe some other clothes done while you're here?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I don't want to be fined or punished by the tournament, because it's not allowed. I think it's only players. But I do sneak in sometimes.

Q. You're the youngest man left in the draw, or you were. Why aren't we seeing more young guys playing deeper in the majors, do you think?

KEI NISHIKORI: Um yeah, it's tough question. There is many, many guys good that's my age, like Donald Young. He was top couple years ago. He's still one hundred something.

But, um, I don't know. It's tough question.

Q. We saw Rafa win here at 18, and Becker won Wimbledon at 17. Now we don't see guys that are teenagers winning tournaments anymore, or doing so well.

KEI NISHIKORI: No, these guys are getting better and stronger. It's just tough for us young guys. It's tough to play against these guys.

Q. Physically?

KEI NISHIKORI: Both physically and technique, I think.

Q. Nice win today. You and of course your sister are camped out at No. 1 and 2, but there's a big gap after that. Melanie has been struggling some. What are your thoughts about women's tennis in the U.S. and the future?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think we have a lot of potential. Melanie has been struggling, but, you know, that's part of creating a champion is to win some and to lose some. You can't win them all. She's clearly a good player. So we have her. We're in the finals of Fed Cup without Venus and I, so, you know, obviously doing something right.

Q. And your thinking on Fed Cup? Is that a matter of scheduling? Do you feel that you have any responsibility to the country in terms of getting into the championships? What are your thoughts on that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, my only responsibility is my two dogs. So I have to make sure they're okay and that I can afford to take care of them. That's the only real responsibility I have.

Obviously I want to do well and want Fed Cup to win. Schedule didn't work out for me. I took like, I don't know, eight, ten weeks off. It was impossible for me to play in February, or the other one, so hopefully I'll be healthy.

It's all about health and me being healthy.

[Photo(s): Reuters ]

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  1. is it just me, or does verdasco sound a bit bitchy about djokovic?

  2. Nole def rubs some ballers and fans the wrong way with his antics. You could take the karaoke vid a few ways: pure fun, mockery or a combo platter.


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