ATP Monte-Carlo Interviews Federer: “I think it's one of the those finals that I could have won. But Stan was tougher at the end.” - UBITENNIS
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ATP Monte-Carlo Interviews Federer: “I think it's one of the those finals that I could have won. But Stan was tougher at the end.”

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TENNIS ATP Monte-Carlo – S. WAWRINKA/R. Federer 4-6 7-6 6-2 An Interview with Roger Federer

 

Q. I’m sure you’re very disappointed.

ROGER FEDERER: Not so disappointed, no.

Q. But losing against Stan, your friend, partner in our Davis Cup team, that gives you some positive thought. Maybe it’s not so bad.

ROGER FEDERER: Exactly. You make it sound so bad, and at the end it’s not so bad.

I started from not so bad to a bit frustrated that maybe you don’t win it. Like you said, I think it’s one of the those finals that I could have won. But Stan, you know, was tougher at the end. I think he deserved it just a little bit more.

Clearly it would have been nice to win that second set tiebreaker. I didn’t necessarily play a bad one, but also at the same time I didn’t quite ever get into the lead where things went my way.

Of course, I’m very happy for Stan. It’s a huge win for him after winning his first Grand Slam this year, also to win his first Masters 1000. To take the opportunities when they’re there, that’s key in a tennis player’s career. So I’m very happy for him.

 

Q. Is it more difficult to play with the same usual intensity against a friend with whom you have played and practiced in the morning? Did you feel something was missing today in your will to come back?

ROGER FEDERER: No.

 

Q. How do you explain in the last eight serves of Wawrinka, you made only six points?

ROGER FEDERER: I think he served better. He definitely found his range. As the match went on, he started to feel more and more comfortable. I struggled to put him under pressure enough. I think it was a bit of both players: him raising his game, me maybe going down a notch.

I think it’s a big match, regardless of the opponent, because it’s a finals. Playing Stan just adds to the excitement in some ways.

The thing is just that you really know the patterns well of the other player. I know patterns well when I play Novak, Rafa, or Murray for that matter. Of course, they can surprise you to a degree, but it’s more surprising when you play somebody for the first time.

With Stan, we’ve practiced so much together and played each other also quite a lot, so I really know his patterns, he knows mine. Very rarely can we really, like on match point, hit a clean winner like that. Okay, he chased the line and it worked for him.

So many points end, you know, in overpowering or out maneuvering your opponent because you know the patterns so well. That’s the biggest change I felt in the match today against somebody I know so well.

 

Q. Can you explain why the third set got away from you? Your level dropped? Stan was more aggressive?

ROGER FEDERER: A bit of both. I don’t think I served quite so well early on in the third set. Like I said, I think he really found his range and started to hit bigger, deeper. He didn’t miss that many second serve returns anymore. He gave me a couple cheap points in the first couple sets which he later on really didn’t give me anymore. So it made it tougher for me.

Maybe got into some bad starts to my service games which then allowed him to sort of open up a bit. I think clearly he was relieved as well winning that second set that gave him that extra belief or looseness to his shots which he was missing a little bit midway through the second, which was normal, because he was under pressure trying to stay in the match.

 

Q. For sure it is the first tournament on clay. After this tournament, looking to Djokovic and Nadal, who had some problems, do you think the players who go very well to Roland Garros is bigger now?

ROGER FEDERER: What’s bigger?

 

Q. More players, they can play better and win Roland Garros. You and Wawrinka could possibly be winners.

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, but I still think we would have had an outside chance would we have lost first round. For me it doesn’t change. It’s still the same.

Nothing happened to Rafa really. He just lost a match, which happens. But he’s fine. I’m sure he’ll be his usual self again moving forward.

With Novak it’s a bit more of a question mark. If he’s in great shape, he’s clearly one of the big favorites with Rafa. Everybody else sort of comes after that.

I think we’re right there as well with Stan now. We’ve put ourselves in positions time and time again. This was one of those weeks we were able to capitalize on it. Stan did the same at the Australian Open. I did it in Dubai. It’s definitely a good start to the season for I think all four of us really.

I would have loved to have won a second title because I’ve come close a few times. That’s my next objective, that I get to the very end more frequently. But clearly I’m happy that the clay court season started so well for me.

 

Q. You play so much at the net. Is this a new key of the new Federer by Edberg or…

ROGER FEDERER: I mean, I think I’ve always tried to come in to a degree. When I started with Tony Roche, everybody thought I was at the net more. When I started with Paul Annacone, everybody thought I was at the net more. Now I started with Edberg, everybody thinks I’m at the net more.

You think back, I actually was at the net, more than other players. I think I’m continuing that trend. I must say I feel actually quite confident and good at the net. I’ve definitely gone through phases as well in my career where I didn’t just quite feel it at the net. But now I think when I’m coming to net, I’m choosing the right shots to come in. I’m reading the plays well. I’m moving well at the net, even though on clay it’s always a bit tricky with not having the grip so much like on the hard courts.

It’s something I definitely have to keep on doing. I can play from the back sometimes. I can hit flat sometimes. I definitely also have to mix it up by coming forward a bit more often.

Maybe I should have done it a bit more today. But I still think I played okay throughout this tournament and also in the match today.

 

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French for Roger.

 

Q. You played a lot since the beginning of the season. Did you have less intensity at the end of the match because of it? Besides, what is your schedule now?

ROGER FEDERER: I’m going back home because I need to recuperate. I played with a lot of intensity during the past month and I’m happy that I can relax. I wasn’t able to do that after Geneva. I feel that I’m tired. My body feels strange and I need to sleep.

At the end of the third set, after the fifth day in a row of playing, I might have lacked that 2% that made a difference. But the credit is for Stan. He was able to stay in the match.

 

Q. From outside this final, it seemed a family party with the older brother playing against the younger brother. Everybody was giving back points to the opponent.

ROGER FEDERER: Well, it was, of course, a great pleasure to share this moment with Stan. As to the line calls and everything, it was just as it normally should be between players.

I didn’t feel frustrated. I was happy for Stan. I was congratulating him. As far as I’m concerned, I focused on myself. I didn’t look at Severin. I didn’t want anybody to feel uneasy. The important thing was that everybody agreed.

It was all right with me because I played so many finals already. I was relaxed. The important thing was that Stan had to feel comfortable. Before anything else, it was a tennis celebration on a beautiful court.

 

Q. Did you get enough information about what you had to work on?

ROGER FEDERER: In the beginning of the clay court season, you always work on many things. It is non stop. You’re reassessing your game all the time. It was good that Pierre was there. He was able to see live how I was moving on the court.

My tennis game is pretty good. Sliding was more difficult. It was slippery at times. But the more you play, the more you get used to it. I’m very happy with this week.

 

Q. You were saying you were tired. Are you still going to play Rome, Madrid and the French Open?

ROGER FEDERER: That’s the plan. It’s just after those five days and playing a lot the past month that I was feeling a bit tired after the second set. I still tried whatever I could to stay in the match.

The beginning of the third set was a bit tough. He was on the rise. I tried to start my engine again, and somehow I didn’t really succeed. But my schedule is open and the plan is to play Rome, Madrid and the French Open.

 

Q. Here you were not far from winning. Are you satisfied with that or do you really want to be able to go one step further and win it?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, you must see the positive side. Try not to be disappointed or frustrated. What I see is that if I’m in that position again, if I keep trying as I did, at a certain point it’s going to go my way, like it did in my match against Jo.

If you feel good mentally, then things are going to turn out good. Winning a Masters 1000 is never easy anyway.

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Novak Djokovic Survives Almighty Sinner Scare to Reach Wimbledon Semis

The dramatic encounter featured a fight back, multiple breaks of serve and even an injury scare.

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Reigning champion Novak Djokovic staged an epic comeback to keep his hopes of winning a seventh Wimbledon title alive after ousting Jannik Sinner in a five-set thriller.

 


Djokovic, who only dropped six games against Sinner in their previous Tour meeting, was forced to battle back from two sets down to prevail 5-7, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2, in a roller-coaster encounter on Center Court. The triumph marks Djokovic’s 84th win at the tournament which is the joint-second highest tally in history alongside Jimmy Connors. Only Roger Federer has won more.

“Huge congratulations to Jannik today for a big fight. I’m sure that there are going to be a lot of opportunities for him on the big stage. He’s mature for his age and is already an established top 15 player over the last few years,” said Djokovic.
“He was unfortunate today but he has plenty of time.”

Taking on one of the most promising future prospects of men’s tennis, Djokovic’s latest encounter was a match of two halves. Initially, he appeared as if he would suffer a shock loss to world No.13 before he managed to conjure up an emphatic comeback. Breaking Sinner’s spirit who was bidding to become only the third Italian man to reach a Wimbledon semi-final in history.

“We had two different matches. He was the better player for two sets. (Then) I went out for a toilet break, had a little pep talk (with myself) in the mirror,” the 20-time major winner revealed.
“Sometimes in these circumstances where not much is happening positively for you on the court in terms of tennis. These things are necessary – a little break and pep talk to try to recuperate.’
“I was fortunate to start well in the third set by breaking his serve and that gave me the confidence boost. I saw a bit of doubt in his game and my experience of these kinds of matches helped me.”

The first set was a roller-coaster encounter between the two tennis titans on Center Court. Reigning champion Djokovic started out guns blazing by winning seven points in a row before Sinner got onto the scoreboard after prevailing in a 17-shot rally. The top seed looked to be in full control until a double fault on break point enabled his rival to bounce back. Continuing to play some inspired tennis with blistering shot-making, a cross-court winner enabled the Italian to break once again and this time had the chance to serve the opener out. A task he passed with flying colors.

Continuing to take his game to Djokovic, Sinner appeared unfazed about trying to become the youngest men’s semi-finalist at SW19 since 2007. Producing powerful hitting from the baseline, the 20-year-old extended his lead two games into the second frame. A stunning backhand volley followed by a Djokovic error elevated him to a 2-1 advantage. Spurred on by the crowd, the unprecedented onslaught continued with the help of some costly errors from the Serbian. He sealed the double break with the help of a successful Hawk-Eye challenge before securing a two-set lead in his favor with the help of a 122mph service.

Facing a swift exit, Djokovic once again illustrated the fighting spirit that he is renowned for. Capitalizing on a blip in form from Sinner, he cruised through the third set to resurrect his chances. 

Steaming rolling his way into a decider, Djokovic continued his dominance during the fourth frame by winning four straight games. However, closing that set out was full of drama. First, Sinner suffered an injury scare after going over his ankle before continuing. Then Djokovic fended off a break point and squandered two set points before closing it out. 

A stunning sliding passing shot in the decider set Djokovic up with a chance to break and move to a game away from victory. Something he did with the help of a Sinner error which the Italian instantly regretted by putting both his hands on his head. After that mishit, Djokovic ended the clash with a love service game. 

“I’ve been blessed to play professional tennis for 20 years but nevertheless I go through those doubtful moments like everybody else. The inner fight is always the biggest fight. Once you win the fight the external circumstance is more likely to go in your favor. I knew I could turn this match around. I have done that a few times in grand slams.” Djokovic concluded.


 

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(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE) Why Rafael Nadal Faces His Biggest Test Yet

Tennis Hall of Famer Steve Flink joins UbiTennis to reflect on the highs and lows of day 8 of Wimbledon.

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Will the upcoming quarter-final be Rafael Nadal’s hardest match yet? How will Nick Kyrgios’ shoulder recover?

 

The second Monday at Wimbledon was one full of intrigue in the men’s draw. Whilst on the women’s side, Simona Halep was in impressive form against Paula Badosa but tennis commentator Flink explains why he thinks her upcoming clash with Amanda Anisimova will be tougher.

Alongside Ubitennis CEO Ubaldo Scanagatta, Flink also looks at Jannik Sinner’s chances of causing a huge upset against reigning champion Novak Djokovic. 

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WIMBLEDON: Rafael Nadal Coy Over New Injury Speculation

After the foot problems in Paris, there is a strong possibility the Spaniard could be experiencing another injury issue.

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image via twitter.com/atp

There are fresh concerns surrounding Rafael Nadal after he declined to go into the reason why he was wearing abdominal taping during his fourth round match at Wimbledon. 

 

The 22-time Grand Slam winner was seen wearing some kind of protection in the abdominal area after changing his t-shirt during one of the breaks. In recent weeks Nadal has been dealing with physical issues due to a long-term foot condition he has. At the French Open he revealed that he had to undergo injections in order for him to continue playing en route to winning the tournament for a 14th time.

Playing 21st seed Botic van de Zandschulp, Nadal battled his way to a 6-4, 6-2, 7-6(6), win. Speaking to reporters after his latest win at The All England Club, the Spaniard sidestepped a question about a potential abdominal problem he could be experiencing. 

“I am a little bit tired of talking about my body. It’s not that I don’t want to answer your question, but at the same time sometimes I am tired of myself, all the issues that I am having. I prefer to not talk about that now,” he replied.
“I am in the middle of the tournament and I have to keep going. All respect for the rest of the opponents. I am just trying my best every single day. For the moment I am healthy enough to keep going and fight for the things that I want.”

Continuing to stay coy about his form and health, Nadal offered an alternative perspective when asked if he was nearing his best level once again. He has dropped just two sets in four matches played so far at Wimbledon which is his first grass-court event since 2019. 

“It’s always the same here. It’s not about how close I am to the level or not. I don’t know that. I can’t predict what can happen.” He said.
“But the positive thing is the first two matches haven’t been good. Then two days ago I played at a high level for the first time. And today most of the matches, again, at a very positive level.”

The straight sets scoreline failed to tell the true story of Nadal’s roller-coaster win on Center Court. Taking on Zandschulp, a player who burst onto the main scene last year by reaching the US Open quarter-finals as a qualifier, the 22-time major champion engaged in a match of two halves. Nadal looked on the verge of an easy victory after breaking once in the first set, twice in the second and storming to a 5-2 in the third. However, the Dutchman refused to go down without a fight by displaying his best tennis of the match to draw level. 

Now engaged in his first real test, Nadal was under intense pressure to close it out in three. If he didn’t there would have been an inevitable delay for the roof to come on due to poor light. If that occurred, there would be less than two hours of play left before the 11pm curfew began.

Nevertheless, Nadal didn’t need the roof as he squeezed through the tiebreaker. After squandering three consecutive match points, he prevailed on his fourth with the help of a lob that triggered Zandschulp to smash the ball out. 

Nadal is through to his 47th major quarter-final and is only the third man in the Open Era to do so at Wimbledon after celebrating his 36th birthday. In total, he has won 309 main draw matches at Grand Slam tournaments.

In the last eight, the Spaniard has a shot of revenge when he takes on Taylor Fritz who ended his 20-match winning streak earlier this year in Indian Wells. During that match, Nadal had a rib injury and he had beaten the American earlier that month in Mexico. 

“That last match (in Indian Wells) was zero because I had a stress fracture on my rib, and it was difficult to learn many things because the pain was terrible playing that match.” He said. 

As for Fritz, he believes their upcoming clash will be at a higher standard given the form both players are currently in. Fritz is currently on a eight-match winning streak after recently claiming the Eastbourne Open title. 

“It’s going to be a lot different match obviously. Indian Wells was kind of crazy with both of us being extremely beaten up before the final. This time I think we’ll get healthier versions of both of us, we’ll see.” Fritz previewed.

The question for nadal, is how healthy is the current version of him really is? Only time will tell. 

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