When you play there’s always pressure on you. There’s personal pressures, like I pressure myself to do well because I have personal goals and expectations, so if I lose I’m disappointed. So you’re always playing with that little bit of pressure on yourself. Whatever it is, you want to do well if your mum and dad are watching.
You just have to get a racquet on the ball and hustle really.
It is amazing to look back and think what would happen because if I hadn’t chosen tennis I have no idea what I’d be doing.
If you’re on the main tour it makes a lot of things a lot more comfortable, a lot of stuff is there for you. Food is there for you, transport to and from the club and the hotel… those sort of things make life a lot easier and it’s probably a bit more enjoyable to be on the (ATP) Tour than say the Challenger Tour.
The mentality doesn’t change in terms of getting on the practice court. You still have to work extremely hard, matches are even tougher because you’re playing better guys. It is tough, the work, but there are good rewards for it obviously.
I haven’t really thought of it because I need to get to the top, I’m still not that close at the minute so it’s still a process for me. I’m getting closer, I’m trying to improve, but it’s something I haven’t really thought of that much and haven’t really been exposed to, because at the minute Andy is still playing.
I try to focus on raising my game and I know if my game improves, the ranking will too.
I don’t set number targets, I know some people do, I guess I could, I just think if I set a number target and I don’t achieve it, then it’s like ‘oh you failed’. But then if you do reach it, you can think it wasn’t tough enough. I just try and do the best I can and whatever ranking I am, I am.
My training has always been a priority, whatever needs to be done will get done first before anything else. Social life will come after that.
In life you have to make choices and tennis is the choice I have made.
I really enjoyed the experience. The losses are tough opponents so it’s showing I’m improving. As long as you keep improving and learning from your mistakes that’s the important thing.
Especially at this age of 21 it’s constantly about trying to get my game better, so thinking long-term. I’ve always tried to think long-term as much as possible especially at this age. As you start to get older there comes a point where you can’t think long-term because you’re already in the long-term. You’re at an age where you need to be peaking because physically you’ll be ready.
We’re involved in the Next Gen, that’s what it’s labelled as. For me it’s the same for everyone else – you just focus on yourself individually. It’s not really ‘we’re coming up together’: tennis is such a selfish individual sport that you just have to look at yourself and concentrate on yourself getting better and I think everyone’s obviously done that, that’s why we’ve improved.
It doesn’t matter what your age is, it’s about your level. If your level is good enough then you deserve to be top 100. If your level is good enough to be top 20 you will be. Experience helps, but you can’t say ‘oh he’s older than me, that’s why…’ You just gotta play and use what you got to get there.
When you look at weaknesses you have to get them better otherwise they’ll just be too weak for players to take advantage of. But for me it’s probably more important that you work on your strengths than your weaknesses.
It’s important to have one or two things that are very good that you can use. You can look at some players these days and they do one or two things very well and it takes them a long way than doing 5 or 6 things averagely.
Aside from technical improvements, we need physical and mental preparation for success.
Chances don’t come very often. You have to capitalise when they do.
I loved playing in the final. Even though I lost, I enjoyed the experience. And obviously playing the quarters, I enjoyed being on court competing and getting a result for the team.
Tennis movements are very specific. I found when I’ve grown up that it is good getting in a gym and doing like track intervals or doing weights, but nothing properly replicates doing hours on court. Tennis – being match tight and tennis fitness is something different.
I’m playing well. It’s tough to say you’re playing your best just because of different conditions and situations, different surfaces. But I’m playing well. I feel good on court.
Being at Grand Slams definitely gives you an extra bit of a lift. I find there is more attention and more people, first of all, around, so it can get quite busy. Sometimes I do find those situations quite energy-zapping, just because there is a lot to do. It’s not so -everything has to be a bit more planned out, a bit more structured. That’s what I found anyway being at the slams.
I have learned you need to manage your energy levels better, your emotions.
It doesn’t matter if there is people watching or not people watching. I just have to go about myself and do what I do and what I have been doing in terms of my process and how I want to go out on court and play.
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