Q. How is the writing going?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think I have writer's block again. I don't think I can be a good writer because I keep writer's block about 360 days out of the year.
Q. Maria Sharapova was very hard‑hitting when she came up. Is she still among the three best hard‑hitting women or which are those?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, I don't know. Everyone hits really hard. Even the girl I played today, I was surprised at how hard she hit. And she's so small. She really packed a punch.
I think honestly everyone is hitting really, really hard. You know, I don't think it's about hitting hard. You look at someone like Henin and Clijsters. Oh, my God, I was about to say, Who is No. 1?
So, anyway, I don't think I hit that hard either. But, I mean, I've been told that I do.
Q. Back to the incident at the US Open, do you think there's any chance that the same thing could happen to you here, that you might have had a better chance of keeping your cool given the atmosphere of the tournament?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I don't know. I think that was maybe like a one‑time thing, I hope. You never know. Maybe I'll be inspired to do it again (laughter). Who knows?
Q. You broke Rafa's Roland Garros streak and Roger Federer's semifinals streak. Which achievement are you more proud of?
ROBIN SODERLING: I don't know. They're both really good memories for me and great victories. You know, beating Rafa in Paris, he never lost before that match.
And then always beating Roger ‑‑ they were both No. 1s at the time, so it's tough to say. But they're definitely my two biggest wins in my career.
Q. Roger you beat on the 13th try, I think, and he has lost more than usual. Is he more vulnerable right now? Why? What's the main reason?
ROBIN SODERLING: Well, I think it's really tough up in the top. You know, there are so many good players out there. There are so many players who can really play well and really compete for the bigger tournaments, like the Grand Slams. You know, Roger is No. 2 now, but of course he's one of the best players in the world. Maybe the best player of all‑time.
But you cannot win every match and you cannot win forever. You have to lose sometime. Even Roger has to do that.
Q. Having beaten both of them and with their streaks, is it possible for you to put into words how much that's fueling the fire to break through against one of them in a situation like a Grand Slam?
ROBIN SODERLING: Yeah, I think, you know, the first win against any player is really good. It gives you a lot confidence. To win against, you know, the world No. 1 gives you even more confidence. It will for sure make it easier to play them next time.
Q. Do you think facing Serena Williams has come too early for you in the draw?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Absolutely not. I love playing against her. I love playing against, you know ‑‑ she's the defending champion. You know, she's great on this surface. She's won numerous Grand Slams. Uhm, you know, if there's a challenge ahead of you, it's definitely playing against her, and I enjoy that.
Q. Obviously we remember you playing here most of all, you probably remember most of all, beating her in 2004. Can you tell us a bit about how you think back to that?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I think that was our last meeting on grass. It's tough to take anything away from that match as it was many years ago. You know, this will be a new day. I don't really think about, you know, yesterday or the day before. Whoever I play when I go out there, it's a new match. You have to take it as a new day.
Q. You must still have some happy memories of it.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: There are always wonderful memories. But when you step out on the court, it's new. You've got to start from scratch. The score is 0‑0.
Q. Could you talk about a big rivalry match like this and how it compares to a standard or regular match? When you know you're going up against a big rival, do you like it? Do you find yourself more engaged? Does it change your preparation in any way?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, you know, I'd call it a rivalry when I win a few more against her (laughter). I mean, I've lost the last few.
But I absolutely enjoy it. You know, we certainly had a good, you know, rivalry building up. We haven't played for a while, and I was out of the game for a bit. I mean, we never really clashed. You know, that's what I thrive on. I love going on the court and playing someone that's, you know, obviously the favorite to win the match.
Q. Can we analyze first.
PHILIPP PETZSCHNER: Yeah, tough to analyze right now. I'm pretty sad a little bit pissed off of myself that I couldn't hold the focus after he had the injury timeout. I don't know what happened there.
Q. Your timeout or...
PHILIPP PETZSCHNER: No, his timeout. Yeah, it was pretty clever, I think. Right now I'm not happy. This will maybe come tomorrow or in two days.
Right now I'm just pissed off and sad that I lost the match.
Q. Are you suggesting there might have been a bit of gamesmanship involved there?
PHILIPP PETZSCHNER: I cannot say this. You have to ask him what it was. But I didn't feel any difference afterwards or before.
So he was ‑‑ I thought he was moving great. I only could say if I would be injured like this once I would be happy. No, but I don't know. Maybe he had something. Maybe it was just a clever part to take a timeout there.
I don't know. He played really good, really solid the whole time. I had two really good sets, but I couldn't keep the level up till the end.
So he deserved definitely the win.
Q. Is that the only difference between a player like you and him, that he's clever enough to know when to take a timeout maybe?
PHILIPP PETZSCHNER: No. I don't assume that he didn't had anything, that there was just a timeout for no reason. I mean, you know that he has problems with his knee all the time. I think he got treatment for his knee again.
So I don't assume that he just did to break my rhythm. But that's what happened, and that's mostly my fault. Yeah, that's what I have to work on.
Q. You were complaining to the referee about the coaching by Rafael with...
PHILIPP PETZSCHNER: No, I didn't complain.
PHILIPP PETZSCHNER: No.
Q. Did you hear it?
PHILIPP PETZSCHNER: No, I just heard words, but it could have been "vamos" or whatever. It's anyway tough to hear if you're down on the court, because the whole arena is pretty loud.
So I don't know why he gave the warning for or if it was coaching or not. I have absolutely in idea. I can just tell if you are down there, you almost understand nothing from up there, even if they are screaming at you.
I think there was no coaching involved. That's what I think.
Q. Let me ask you just a couple quick questions about sort of the state of Polish tennis. It seems at the moment that Polish tennis is quite strong. You're seeing more people that are in this year this have gone through further. How would you characterize what's happening in Polish tennis? And do you feel a bit of pressure because you're the last person in terms of singles from Poland that's still in the Championship?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, yeah, for sure, now there's a little bit more players than like two years ago. We can see girls and guys playing in the main draw, so it's great. Not only one, like was before, so it's great.
But, um, well, I'm just not thinking about the pressure. I'm just doing what I have to do, you know. Of course I would like to also do at least fourth round, which is like second week. So, yeah.
Q. And last question: Tell me first of all in terms of why do you think Polish tennis is becoming stronger? Is there more money? Better facilities? More sort of interest in it? And also, would you say that there's sort of more support? No? Everybody is sort of shaking their head.
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: No facilities, no money, no nothing. So, no. Can you imagine that like even in Krakow there's no hardcourts. So I don't even have hardly in my city, which is big city. So no, we don't.
Q. Was it fair to be warned about coaching? You looked very angry.
RAFAEL NADAL: Sometimes, yes. Not today, in my opinion. But, yes, sometimes in the past Toni talk maybe too much. And when it happened, and the referee or the umpire give me an advice, and if it is continuing, later a warning.
But not today, in my opinion. Yeah, no.
Q. After your incredible clay court season, now 13 sets in one week in Wimbledon, how are you feeling right now emotionally and physically?
RAFAEL NADAL: Emotionally perfect. I fighted a lot last two matches. I think I played very good tennis. But I told before the tournament, the draw gonna be difficult. That's what happen when you play against these player that they have very good serve. So all decide in a few points and everything is very difficult, no?
Physical, I have a little bit problem on the right knee. But, you know, I have one day and a half to get recovered. I happy to be in the fourth round. For me it very good news, having very tough matches and in the end winning. So that's a very positive thing mentally.
Q. How much are you worried about your knee? Is there a risk you should skip the Davis Cup tie after Wimbledon?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah. Well, sure, I am a little bit scared about the knee. But, you know, it happen. I had a treatment after Monte‑Carlo. So I had the problem. I didn't say nothing before, but you know, guys, how is everything. I had the problem against Roddick in the semifinals of Miami.
I don't like to say nothing in that moment because when you lose, always looks like an excuse. But I can say now I had the problem after I played in Monte‑Carlo with a little bit of pain on the knee, on the left knee, because that's what happened there.
After Monte‑Carlo, I didn't play Barcelona because I had to do a treatment, new treatment. You know, I tried to play the clay season perfect because in that moment the right knee was better than the left. But at the same time I know the knees are not hundred percent recovered. But playing on clay and maybe on grass, if is not very long matches, can work well.
But the last treatments I did between Monte‑Carlo and Rome was perfect. I didn't have no one more problem on the left knee. But just I did one time, and I need to do three times.
I didn't have time to do it at the right knee before because I had to play. The clay season was my main goal of the season. After here I gonna do it another time, no? My goals for me is a big disappointment not be in the Davis Cup on France, you know. Some confrontations, if you play at home against some country, maybe you cannot play this one. But playing in France for me is a very special confrontation and a very big motivation for me.
But I talked with the captain, I talked with the president of the Federation a few days ago, and I said, Guys, I never arrive to the US Open with my hundred percent of conditions. I had last year broken abdominal, two years ago playing crazy here. After Olympics, I did arrive very tired. And I really want to try to go there with my best chances, no, to play, to play my hundred percent.
So I need to do this treatment after here. If I play Davis Cup, I don't have enough time to recover and play tournaments, Cincinnati. Everything was perfect for me last few months, and I need to be ready to finish the season well. My goal is try to keep having the chance to be No. 1 for the rest of the season. That's gonna be difficult. But if you are not in hundred percent of condition, is going to be impossible.
In fact, read the ENTIRE presser. There's a lot going on in this one.
[Photo(s): Getty Images]
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Q. How is the writing going?