The US Open starts on Monday where Roger Federer can claim his sixth consecutive title in New York and add a third Grand Slam trophy for the year. In the women’s draw, Wimbledon champion Serena Williams will be defending the title she won at Flushing Meadows last year.
Since Wimbledon is the Grand Slam that precedes the US Open it is frequently used as a point of reference for questions in New York, just as the French Open is a common reference at the All England Club. So as an exercise I went fossicking through last year’s US Open player interviews to see if there were any unearthed nuggets of gold…here’s what I found.
Roger Federer compares the US Open and Wimbledon at the start of the tournament:
“Wimbledon obviously is always going to be No. 1. But New York has definitely grown on me the last few years. I think especially since that famous final against Agassi here a few years ago I started to really love this tournament. I realize actually what kind of a big time event this is, you know, with 24,000 people in the stadium, the city. Just the difficulty to win here. I wasn’t aware of it in the very beginning when I came on tour really. For me, US Open is the second biggest one we have on tour. To have won those two, you know, the most times, it’s just incredible for me.”
A question to Federer before the men’s final: Is this your house?
” I don’t know. I like to call Wimbledon my home, a second home. I’ve had so much success over there. But I could equal my five Wimbledons here tomorrow, so this is a big moment tomorrow.”
Federer after winning his fifth straight US Open:
“It’s nice to compare five Wimbledons to five US Opens, you know, no doubt. Not many guys – nobody can do that. So it’s quite nice. I’m quite proud obviously of my achievement.”
Serena Williams after winning the US Open final, going one better than at Wimbledon in 2008.
“It definitely makes up for the Wimbledon loss. Obviously I wanted to win Wimbledon, but at the same time I’m excited and I was excited that Venus won, as well, because it’s like at least we both got to the pinnacle of our games and we both at least made the finals and we both won doubles. That was really cool. This is just exciting, you know, because I knew before the year started I knew I was going to have a really busy summer, and I kept thinking, How am I going to get through all these tournaments? But I got through them, and it’s awesome.”
Andy Murray compares the atmosphere at Wimbledon and the US Open.
“It’s just very different. Wimbledon it’s – for me the biggest difference is in the middle of the points. At Wimbledon it’s so quiet, and then at the end of the points it kind of erupts. Here there’s a lot of noise going on in the middle of points, and a lot of shouting out during points.”
Q. Did you get the impression that playing the Macarena during breaks of play at Wimbledon might help the atmosphere?
ANDY MURRAY: “The most important thing is that, you know, the fans get entertained. Whether that be from the tennis or everything else that’s going on around, that doesn’t really matter. But Wimbledon get huge crowds every single year, so they’re doing fine. I enjoy playing in this atmosphere.”
A question to Rafael Nadal that is interesting given his recent fitness woes: Last year when you were here, you were very concerned about the health of your knees, especially at hard courts. Have you solved that problem? Are your knees feeling better?
“Yeah, I am fine, no? Last year I didn’t have a lot of problems. I only have the problem in the final of Wimbledon and here another time, no? The big problem was the two times when I had the problem was in Grand Slam, so…
But I feel very well physically, no? The last few years, very happy for that. For sure I’m a little bit worried about the tennis, because it’s moving always in the way for play more and more in hard surfaces, no?
Hard surfaces, I think, is more difficult for the body, no? You go to the trainer’s room. When I go, I am never alone, so that’s not a good news for the sport, no? So we have to think a little bit about that.