THIS WEEK IN TENNIS
Q. You have led women, and Venus also, have led women through a lot of struggles. Are you surprised in 2016 that's issues and complaints and sexism are still cropping up?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I'm still surprised, especially with me and Venus and all the other women on the tour that's done well. Last year the women's final at the US Open sold out well before the men. I'm sorry, did Roger play in that final or Rafa or any man play in that final that was sold out before the men's final? I think not.
So I just feel like in order to make a comment you have to have history and you have to have facts and you have to know things. You have to know of everything. I mean, you look at someone like Billie Jean King who opened so many doors for not only women's players but women's athletes in general.
So I feel like, you know, that is such a disservice to her and every female, not only a female athlete but every woman on this planet, that has ever tried to stand up for what they believed in and being proud to be a woman.
Q. We all know how 2001 was, but one thing I remember from that match you played, despite all the adversity, you played a great match. Can you talk about that side of it, the way you played despite everything going against and you coming out on top?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it was amazing. It was an awful, awful, awful experience. I only got through it through just prayer. I just remember saying, Just help me get through this. I don't even want to win. I believe I lost the first set maybe. And then somehow I just was holding the trophy after that. That's all I'm going to say about that.
Q. Do you feel like there is maybe a misunderstanding behind how people are interpreting that in some way?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, if you read the transcript you can only interpret it one way. I speak very good English. I'm sure he does, too.
You know, there's only one way to interpret that. Get on your knees, which is offensive enough, and thank a man, which is not -- we, as women, have come a long way. We shouldn't have to drop to our knees at any point.
Q. You worked out having to pick up that trophy. How does it feel to win and be back in the top 10?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Feels good just to be able to, you know, see the work that I have put in and it's paying off. But not just, you know, this year. Just everything that I have been through in the last years, it makes it more special.
I just want to keep going. I just want to keep going. I want to keep improving myself as a player. I was very, I would say, brave to go for things that I haven't maybe done as much before in the matches.
I was more aggressive. I started to use my serve the way I wanted to use my serve. Sometimes it doesn't work necessarily, like couple of matches this week. But having that big goal in mind and going after it, that's something that makes the momentum shift on the big stages.
Q. Is there anything that you see when you watch maybe other people play Serena where you notice that there are certain things that you do specifically that no other player can do against her?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I don't know, but I see a lot of them losing before they step on the court.
Q. How do you make sure you don't do that? VICTORIA AZARENKA: I'm not afraid of anybody. I want -- I want to have those challenges. Some people maybe want to avoid that, and I live for those moments.
- RISING: Radwanska (+1 to #2), Kvitova (+2 to #7), Azarenka (+7 to #8), Pliskova (+5 to #14), Kasatkina (+12 to #36), Doi (+11 to #44), Friedsam (+9 to #52), Allertova (+9 to #55), Rybarikova (+25 to #72), Gibbs (+21 to #74)
- FALLING: Jankovic (-6 to #26), Lisicki (-6 to #37), Tsurenko (-10 to #46), Barthel (-7 to #61), Lepchenko (-12 to #64), Flipkens (-6 to #65), Watson (-16 to #69), Hradecka (-8 to #85)
ON THE WEB
"Champion's Corner: Azarenka"
"Taking Another Stand"
"Order on the Court"
"Games Greats Gather in Indian Wells"
"Doi Claims Inaugural San Antonio Title"
"U.S. Tennis Association hires Canada’s Stacey Allaster, former WTA head"
"The Gibbs of Gab: Bottled Brilliance"
"The Kruger Sisters of South Africa are Finding their Way with Tennis"
Steve Simon, WTA CEO, believes Sharapova made an "honest mistake"
"Why are Elite Athletes Using Meldonium, a Drug Meant for the Elderly?"
"Mattek-Sands & Vandeweghe Win in Debut"
"A Road Map for Maria Sharapova but One That Only Goes so Far"
"The Mighty Pens of Women's Tennis"
- Djokovic won his 3rd consecutive and 5th overall title at Indian Wells. However, his 27th Masters 1000 triumph was overshadowed by his comments in press afterward. Djokovic, in response to Raymond Moore's sexist comments about the WTA, indicated he felt ATP players should be paid more than his WTA counterparts.
- Milos Raonic continued his strong start to 2016 with a run to the final. However, he appeared to suffer a reoccurrence of the injury he sustained in Melbourne during a 6-2 6-0 loss to Djokovic.
- A solid week overall for Nadal. Despite being a point away from losing to Alex Zverev in the 4th round, Nadal survived through to the semis where he held set point versus Djokovic before losing 6-7 2-6. Nadal also avenged his Australian Open loss to Verdasco with a 6-0 7-6 3rd round win.
- Roger Federer will play Miami, making his return to the ATP after knee surgery following the Australian Open.
- 18-year-old Alex Zverev nearly scored an upset win over Nadal in the 4th round, holding match point in the 3rd set. Zverev continues his rise up the rankings and now sits at a career high #52.
- David Goffin made his first Masters 1000 semifinal, including wins over Wawrinka and Cilic.Kevin Anderson announced that he's had minor ankle surgery while rehabbing his shoulder, but plans to play some clay court tennis this season.
Q. From the start of the year till now, how happy are you with your progress?
RAFAEL NADAL: Oh, I think I played well during the week. I won very interesting matches, good ones, fighting. Today was closer than the last couple of times against the best player of world, so was a very positive week for me.
That's the way. I gonna try to follow this way to keep going with this level. If I am able to play weeks in a row at this level, then you start to think about the chances to compete for everything.
Q. Many athletes look at their careers and say, Oh, I would not change anything. But if you could go back as a boy or a young professional and give yourself a piece of advice or two, what would you say to yourself as a young boy or as a young athlete on the tour?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, it's obvious that for sure I will change a lot. I don't know if a lot of things, but for sure I will change things, no? The people who say I will not change nothing in my life, I always consider these people so arrogant. (Laughter.) That's the real thing, no? Because something bad you did or some bad positions for sure you take. I don't consider myself these kind of people, no? For sure I gonna change things. Is true that I think I tried my best almost all the time in my career. I practiced hard way during all my career, but you always can do more. That's the real thing. But in terms of knowledge, for sure, we practiced clay, hard, clay, hard, changing surfaces all the time, and that's bad for the knees. For sure we didn't know that when we were kids. So I had a lot of problems later with the knees. For sure I would change that. The drastic changes on surfaces are not good for the body, and I did almost every day. (Smiling.) So something that for sure I gonna change. I want to go back home and play some holes of golf, so I not gonna tell you all the other things I gonna change.
Q. You're not hitting as many aces this year. Why is that?
MILOS RAONIC: I'm using a lot more of the body serve. I think that's a simple factor. You have most guys that were covering two serves against me. Now I think I have given them three serves to cover. Plus I'm coming in on pretty much all three of those. It gives me sort of six options to work with. I think my numbers are up in general. I think maybe it doesn't matter as much. I can get away with going for the sidelines against the guys in the early rounds. But when it comes to, you know, these top guys that can guess, and if they get their racquet on it, they can always make it. It's important to give them something else to think about.
Q. The tournament director, Ray Moore - there was some controversy today - saying women players should go down on their knees and thank the men for carrying the sport. I was wondering what your thoughts are on that comment.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: (Smiling.) I don't know what to say. I heard about it. Obviously it's a very delicate and sensitive subject to talk about. Women deserve respect and admiration for what they are doing. You know, equal prize money was the main subject of the tennis world in the last seven, eight years.
I have been through that process, as well, so I understand how much power and energy WTA and all the advocates for equal prize money have invested in order to reach that.
I applaud them for that. I honestly do. They fought for what they deserve, and they got it. On the other hand, I think that our men's tennis world, ATP world, should fight for more, because the stats are showing that we have much more spectators on the men's tennis matches.
I think that's one of the, you know, reasons why maybe we should get awarded more. But, again, you know, we can't complain because we also have great prize money in men's tennis is at the right moment in the right time.
Look, I don't know what Raymond Moore was exactly referring to when he was saying that, but this is all I can say from my perspective.
Q. But you don't think the prize money should be equal if it was up to you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Listen, again, my answer to you is not yes and no. It's women should fight for what they think they deserve and we should fight for what we think we deserve. I think as long as it's like that and there is data and stats available and information, you know, upon who attracts more attention, spectators, who sells more tickets and stuff like that, in relation to that it has to be fairly distributed.
Q. So if the stats show at some point that women's tennis attracts more tennis, men should get less?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Absolutely. Absolutely.
Q. What was the physical issue for you today?
MILOS RAONIC: I'm not sure. I have to see the medical staff here and discuss with my own. I just hope it has nothing to do with the previous issue I had.
Q. You felt it right from the start?
MILOS RAONIC: No, after a few games.
Q. Does it feel like the other issue? Does it feel like the adductor again?
MILOS RAONIC: Feels similar, but not as bad. I don't think I let it get as bad.
- RISING: Raonic (+2 to #12), Goffin (+3 to #15), Mayer (+5 to #41), Zverev (+6 to #52), Granollers (+19 to #73), Jaziri (+16 to #92), Basilashvili (+21 to #96)
- FALLING: Robredo (-6 to #47), Bedene (-6 to #57), Rosol (-8 to #58), Gulbis (-7 to #78), Young (-5 to #80)
ON THE WEB
"How Novak Djokovic Made Comments from Indian Wells CEO Raymond Moore Worse"
"So Much Closer, But Still So Far Away"
"Herbert, Mahut knock off defending doubles champs for title"
"More Players Should be Investigated" - tennis match fixing
"Match Fixers Targeted Half My Players"
Boris Becker opens academy in Shenzhen
"Aljaz Bedene to put 'Strong' Case to Play for Great Britain"
"Worthy Foe" - Tennis.com profile on Frances Tiafoe
Jon Wertheim's Mailbag: "Five Things from Indian Wells We're Impressed With"
The Body Serve - "All Hell Breaks Loose"
Beyond the Baseline -"Brett Haber on Career, Sharapova, and More"
WTA Insider - "Dropshot: Serena, Vika, and the Nature of Rivalries"
Mind The Racket - "Indian Wells Wrap"
The Tennis Podcast - "Djokovic Sparks Equal Prize Money Debate"