Rogers Cup 2016: Meniscus asks Yen-Hsun Lu about power players

Taiwan’s top player, 32-year-old Yen-Hsun Lu, defeated rising star Alexander Zverev, 19, in the first round of the 2016 Rogers Cup in Toronto, 7-5, 6-3.  At Lu’s press conference, Meniscus Magazine asked about Lu’s choice of shots against power players such as Zverev and 2016 Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic.

Kwai Chan: Congratulations [on] today’s win. I also saw you in Washington [at the 2016 Citi Open]. It seems to me that you are playing a lot more with confidence. You were able to get out of trouble through your serve, which normally I don’t see. My question is that with today’s opponent [Zverev], who is a hot server but loves pace, you varied your shots quite a bit. In the past your shots are always sort of, to me, flat and, you know, now you have a little bit more clearance over the net. You chop the ball and move it around quite a bit, and got him frustrated. Against a power player like that, I was wondering whether you would be utilizing the same tactic against Raonic tomorrow?

Yen-Hsun Lu: Actually, they are different types of players. Of course last week against [2016 Citi Open champion Gael] Monfils, honestly I had no chance. Overpowering me. He was making two, three aces per game. He served so – I mean, I [was] just standing there and watched the ball to go winner [after] winner.

It means I’m not trying – I want to try but I just [could] not reach the ball. He’s playing too good.

But today I know even Sascha is a different player. He has a big serve, but because he steps far away from the baseline, even points [where] he needs a little bit more timing, he plays more spin. So I know what kind of strategy today I need to put into the match.

So I play, you know, no rush. Even I [was] trying to play his weak part and then I can come through the points and to win the points.

So it is different. But, you know, against Monfils is different. He was really too good for me. But I only can win maybe one moment, or one game he drop and I took the chance and come back.

And about Raonic, again, I really have to stay in my service game. Then try, if I have a chance, to give the pressure from his service game. But the key point is: you still have to be solid in your serve. If you can always catch him, then he will start to feel the pressure and then he will maybe miss couple of first serves, and then you may have a chance to play for a rally, to control points.

Outside of this, you don’t need to think about too much or should you play to the forehand, play to his backhand, because his weapon is his serve. If you can, you know, stop his weapon, then you already save half the games. This is why we have to look on tomorrow.

But again, he’s one of the best players right now. For me, I really need to stay very strong in my serve and hope I can, you know, always catch him and give him some pressure.

Photos: Yen-Hsun Lu – 2016 Rogers Cup, Toronto
all photos by Kwai Chan / Meniscus Magazine

Video: Yen-Hsun Lu press conference – 2016 Rogers Cup, July 26, Toronto
video by Mai D. Chan / Meniscus Magazine