Nielsen: Nothing has changed
Originally published on: 08/11/12 00:00
The Wimbledon champions, who saved two match points to win a dramatic opening encounter against Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna, defeated Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor to book their place in the last four at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
The pair beat the world No.2 pairing and reigning French Open champions 7-6(2) 4-6 12-10 to continue their 100 per cent record in London this year but, in spite of their latest success as a team, Nielsen insists that whatever the pair achieve at the O2 he still plans to focus on his singles in 2013.
“Nothing has changed,” said the 29-year-old Dane. “I’m not going to quit playing singles.
"First of all, it's not a solid partnership. We take it tournament by tournament and see if we're available. Next year is going to be the same for me. I'm going to be playing a lot of second ranked tournaments. Johnny is going to be ranked top 20 in the world and playing all the top tournaments. I don't mind playing with Johnny. It's not that. [But] I'm not in tennis to play with Johnny, unfortunately. Sorry, Johnny. No offence. I think the big decisions in life, for my life, has to be on how I feel.”
It’s a bold decision from Nielsen, who appears to be turning his back on far more certain rewards alongside 31-year-old Marray.
Ranked No.362 in singles, the Dane has just one Challenger final and just over $33,000 in prize money to show for his individual efforts in 2012, while his part in winning Wimbledon alone saw him pocket £130,000.
Just taking part in the year-end event at the O2 has earned the eighth-seeds $65,000, plus a further $50,000 for their two doubles wins. Should they go undefeated throughout the whole event, the British-Danish pair would pocket $330,000.
As for the semi-finals, the two insist that they are even more relaxed about the prospect of battling for a place in the season finale on Monday.
“I think coming through a few wins gives me, at least, a nice feeling and makes me feel quite at ease and gives me more confidence going into the semi-final,” said Nielsen. “Like we proved at Wimbledon, getting closer to the prize there, we continue to kind of play the same way, enjoy ourselves, have a bit of a laugh on court as well… I think it's helped us to perform the way we do,” added Marray.
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