home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


April 18, 2013

Jarkko Nieminen


J. NIEMINEN/J. Del Potro
6‑4, 4‑6, 7‑6

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  What were you thinking in the tiebreak when he sat down and talked to the chair?  Was that a bit annoying?
JARKKO NIEMINEN:  No, I didn't see what happened, so I can't really say.
Yeah, I was on the net.  I don't know if I passed him.  He was on the net, then I turned, then he said something to umpire.
I don't know what happened.  I don't know what happened.

Q.  Didn't interrupt your rhythm?
JARKKO NIEMINEN:  No.  I won the next two points, so can't really complain.  I don't know.  The umpire didn't say anything, so...  He kept going, so I don't know what happened.

Q.  You were the oldest player on the court, but the freshest and fittest.
JARKKO NIEMINEN:  I was really tired.  I think we were both really tired.  I think this was one of the matches that I will remember.  It's a long time that I made a quarterfinals in Masters, couple of years.  Hopefully I try to keep going, obviously.
But it's the quarterfinals.  Good.  First time I beat Del Potro.  Obviously when it gets this tight, there's a lot of drama, like when it's 7‑6 in the third.  I felt great on the court.  It's last match of the day.  It's fully crowded.  The crowd was so into it.  They kept clapping.
Always when I felt tired after a long point, they were almost like standing and clapping.  That helped me.  I really enjoyed that moment on the court.  It was unbelievable to play there.
I'm sure he felt tired, as well.  I have to say I was really tired in the third set.  I saw the end coming.  I knew I wanted to win this match really badly.  I felt like really, really good.  Like I said, I never beat him.  I felt this is a good chance.  I felt so good on the court.  Still I could force my legs to move in the end.

Q.  In the third set he got the break early.  What was your mindset at that point?
JARKKO NIEMINEN:  Yeah, I had 40‑15 to go to a 5‑2 lead.  He played great points.  I served good, and he hit a return to my toes, and another winner.  It was a pity I didn't get the 5‑2 lead.
At the same time I wasn't like frustrated because I felt I didn't do anything wrong.  Same the next game when I held serve to 4‑All, hit two aces.  I didn't do anything wrong there.  I just noticed that he's stepping up now.  I know it will be difficult to finish this match.
But at the same time I didn't do anything wrong.  So it was still easy to stay positive.  Already this year I have won many matches and many tight matches, so I feel pretty convenient when I get in the tight situations.  I'm not panicking.  I'm much more like aware of what's happening, what the opponent is doing, what I'm doing, try to play with my strengths.  Also I feel I'm more relaxed when it's tight.
I think that's one of the reasons I have been winning all the tiebreaks this year, many tight matches.

Q.  What about Djokovic?  Pretty quick turnaround.
JARKKO NIEMINEN:  Yeah, I obviously have to start concentrating to the next match tomorrow.  We played a couple of times.  Obviously a big challenge to play world No.1.  My goal is to keep going, continue to play well.
I think in the first set until 5‑2, I felt I couldn't play much better tennis.  I don't know if I have played better tennis than that.  I didn't miss a ball.  I just felt extremely good on the court.  I hope I could continue that kind of tennis.  It's always nice to challenge the top players in the world, if I can do it.  Obviously, doesn't matter how I play, it will be a big challenge.
I obviously am enjoying the moment.  Play center court against him.  I just try to keep up this good form.

Q.  Is it going to make some headlines in your country, such a good win?
JARKKO NIEMINEN:  I think so.  Unfortunately we don't have many tennis players.  Always when I play, when they follow tennis, it's many times only me.
It was a big match.  I don't know if it was on TV or not.  But, yeah, at least I got a lot of messages after the match, more than after some other wins.

Q.  Are you surprised you're getting such good results with more maturity?  Is that helping you, having more experience being on the tour for a while?
JARKKO NIEMINEN:  I think there's many reasons to this.  I often start the year well.  But now I feel much better.  I feel much better than during last two seasons.  Knocking the wood, but I have stayed healthy for one and a half years now.
I got sick a lot during the springtime in Europe.  Some things little here and there.  Now I have stayed healthy for a really long time.  I have been able to do all the practices as planned, all the tournaments as planned, I've been able to rest as planned.
I think the experience is, like I said earlier, I know that I can play 10 more years.  Even though I have always enjoyed playing on the tour and competing, I think now I'm enjoying that even more because I never know when this ends.  This is my 13th year on the tour.  I really try to enjoy every moment.  This was for sure one that I remember.
That gives kind of relaxness to my game.  I think I'm also better aware of doing the right things on the court.  I really know my weaknesses and strengths, and I can play better with my strengths, aware of how my opponents are playing.

Q.  Do you look at players like Tommy Haas, maybe David Ferrer, does that give you belief that maybe some of your best tennis is ahead of you?
JARKKO NIEMINEN:  This year I'm surprised how I feel physically really good at the moment, like better than last two seasons.  I think that's because I have stayed healthy for a long time.
But obviously it's nice to see other veterans do well.  I think our age group is very strong, born '81, '82.  There's so many guys that I played against in the juniors.  I think we have been helping each other to improve because the competition is so tough.
But I have been always a hard worker.  That's one of my strengths.  I really try to take care of my body and practice hard and well, still rest enough.  Also with the experience, I think I know better what suits to me, like when I have to rest, that I don't play too much.  Maybe sometimes I play too much, maybe sometimes I play too little.  I think all this comes together that seems to make me play better again.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297