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Hard work, dedication and ability: Nadal spills his secret to success

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Rafael Nadal defeated Dominic Thiem in the French Open final. Photos: Twitter@ATP

Paris: After lifting his 12th French Open crown, Rafael Nadal has reflected on success, vanity and the personal will to succeed which made him one of the best tennis players of all time.

His gestures were relaxed despite coming after two weeks of fierce competition. Nadal made himself comfortable on an armchair at the hotel he has used to stay every year since his first French Open success in 2005. Here are the excerpts:

Q: Have you had time to read the front pages of today’s newspapers?

A: No, I have not seen anything, I have not had time yet. I am accustomed to reading the news and I see things that come out about me, but I am not a great fan of reading a lot of what is said about me.

I am accustomed to reading headlines and some articles in particular, but not much. Neither when things go badly, nor when they go very well.

What gives me satisfaction is what I have done myself, more than what they could say. The acknowledgment is one of the nicest things one can have.

I have to show gratitude for the affection and the support media has shown me, they have behaved well with me.

Q: What can one do to avoid falling prey to vanity?

A: I think it is easier to fall when you are 19 or 20 years old, when you start. This happens to some people. But at 33, it is not the time to fall for these things.

I have had people around me my entire life and they have transmitted a proper education to avoid it. Luckily, I also have been humble enough or respectful to listen and pay attention to the people who are around me.

Q: Is that humility the only way to win 12 French Open titles?

A: For now, yes, because only I have done it. But there are a lot of ways to achieve success. Not all the best sportsmen in history are humble.

Certainly they are (hard) workers, but some people do not have to be humble to triumph as sportsmen. The necessary thing is work, dedication and ability.

Q: How is your relationship with success?

A: I live it with normally. One of the keys to be able to be where I am is not having big peaks of happiness. Neither to think a big deal of myself nor very little when things do not go the way I like.

I think my emotional state is stable and this helps me to be able to focus on my life and my professional career in a coherent and relaxed way.

Q: Does the fact that you have not abandoned your hometown of Manacor help in that?

A: What helps me is the education I have received as a child and the examples the people around me set.

Q: You have said that this Roland Garros title is special given the difficult moment you went through a little more than a month ago due to injuries. Do you take more pride in the way you get past bad moments than the success you achieve?

A: The thing is that, in the end, personal success is much more powerful than professional success. Personal success is to have the capacity of overcoming complicated moments, to have perseverance when it is difficult.

Roland Garros fills me with satisfaction, of course, but my greatest satisfaction is to have had, during these last five weeks, the will to have an attitude change and to appreciate the little improvements. And I have done it thanks to the support of my team.

Rafael Nadal with his pet trophy.

Q: Have these months, after the Indian Wells injury, been the worst moments emotionally?

A: I do not think it is the lowest moment. It was in 2005 when they diagnosed me with a foot injury and told me that maybe I will not be able to play tennis at the same level as I had done till then.

You get tired from receiving knocks in the form of continuous injuries.

It is not an issue of professional activity. Having continuous pain, too much pain that does not allow you to have a nice life during a lot of time can make you feel down.

Q: Does the fact that you have to get past all this gives you more strength?

A: I have always had strength, thus I have achieved what I have achieved.

But evidently coming out of tough moments makes you strong and helps you in the future to see things with enthusiasm and with a more positive perspective.

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Medvedev, Keys lift Cincinnati Masters tennis crown

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Danill Medvedev.

Washington: Russia’s Daniil Medvedev and Madison Keys of the US won the men’s and women’s singles titles of the Cincinnati Masters after winning their respective summit clashes.

In men’s singles final, Medvedev on Sunday added a silverware to his short career by defeating David Goffin 7-6(3), 6-4 to secure his first ATP Masters 1000 title at the Western & Southern Open.

Medvedev seized his maiden Masters shield in Cincinnati, extending a dominant run that saw him reach three finals in three weeks.

“It’s hard to find words,” the Russian was quoted as saying by ATP Tour website.

“It’s the hard work I”ve been putting in. It would not be good to lose three finals in a row, so I”m really happy about this. I started cramping at 5-3, actually. It was the first time I cramped in three weeks. I made four serves he didn”t return and it was unbelievable.”

In the women’s singles, Keys rallied from deficits in both sets and defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia 7-5, 7-6(5) to seal her second title of the season.

The American trailed the two-time major champion 5-3 in both sets, but erased both deficits to ultimately hoist her first title in Ohio and second trophy of 2019, joining the title at the Volvo Car Open from April.

“It”s obviously the biggest title I have ever won, and, I mean, it was a tough draw from the very start. I played some really, really great players from Round 1 until today,” Keys said after the match.

“I definitely think I played some of my best tennis consistently this week.”

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Djokovic to meet Medvedev in Cincinnati Masters semis

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Novak Djokovic. Photo: @ATP

Washington: World’s number one Novak Djokovic reached the semifinals of the ongoing Cincinnati Masters after defeating Frenchman Lucas Pouille in their last-eight match.

Djokovic defeated Pouille 7-6(2), 6-1 in a contest that lasted 86 minutes on Friday.

The Serbian has now made at least the last four in five consecutive tournaments he has played, and the top seed is into the semi-finals at this ATP Masters 1000 event for the seventh time.

The 32-year-old is two victories away from lifting his 34th Masters 1000 trophy, which would move him to within one crown of Rafael Nadal’s record 35.

In the semifinal, Djokovic will next face Russia’s Daniil Medvedev, who will try to make his second Masters 1000 final in as many weeks.

The World’s No. 1 leads their head to head record 3-1, but Medvedev won their most recent meeting at this year’s Monte-Carlo Masters.

In the other semifinal, France’s Richard Gasquet will play against Belgian 16th seed David Goffin.

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Kyrgios fined $113,000 for meltdown at Cincinnati Masters

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Nick Kyrgios.

Cincinnati: Controversial Australian star Nick Kyrgios was fined 113,000 after his explosive Cincinnati Masters meltdown which saw him smash two racquets, launch an abusive tirade at the chair umpire before appearing to spit at the official.

The ATP said the massive sanction included individual fines for ball abuse, leaving the court without permission, an audible obscenity and unsportsmanlike conduct during his second round loss to Russia’s Karen Khachanov.

Kyrgios, 24, was warned that he could also face another suspension from the sport once a full investigation has taken place.

After the world number 27 lost 6-7 (3/7), 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 to Khachanov on Wednesday night, he called umpire Fergus Murphy a “fuckin’ tool”, refused to shake his hand while spitting in the direction of the chair.

He had earlier been handed a time violation, docked a point and was warned again after leaving the court without permission at the end of the second set after which he was seen to destroy two racquets in the corridor.

Kyrgios screamed at Murphy that he was the “worst umpire, hands down”.

The various Kyrgios infractions included four fines of 20,000 each for unsportsmanlike conduct plus another 20,000 for verbal abuse.

“In addition to the on-site fines, the ATP is looking further into what happened during and immediately after the match to see if additional action is warranted,” said an ATP statement.

“That could result in an additional fine and/or suspension.”

The following provides a breakdown of the penalties incurred by Kyrgios:

Ball Abuse (Warning)
Unsportsmanlike Conduct (Point Penalty) – US$ 20,000 fine
Leaving the Court – US$ 3,000 fine
Audible Obscenity – US$ 5,000 fine
Unsportsmanlike Conduct – US$ 5,000 fine
Unsportsmanlike Conduct – US$ 20,000 fine
Verbal Abuse – US$ 20,000 fine
Unsportsmanlike Conduct – US$ 20,000 fine
Unsportsmanlike Conduct – US$ 20,000 fine

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