ATP Monte-Carlo, interviews Federer: “It was a tough day at the office. I'm happy I found the way to tough is out.” - UBITENNIS
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ATP Monte-Carlo, interviews Federer: “It was a tough day at the office. I'm happy I found the way to tough is out.”

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TENNIS ATP Monte-Carlo – R. FEDERER/J. Tsonga 2-6, 7-6, 6-1 An Interview with Roger Federer.

 

Q. You must be happy with the way you got through that. Two points from defeat. Get out of jail, so to speak.

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, not only was it close in the breaker, but I think I was down 6 5, Love 30 maybe. A tough point at 15 30 as far as I remember with a half volley backhand defense kind of thing. It wasn’t looking good there. Clearly was quite frustrating for a long period of time, you know, missing all those breakpoints.

It was a tough day at the office. I’m happy I found the way to tough is out.

 

Q. What sort of explanation do you give to yourself when you are on court and you miss all those breakpoints? Do you get more and more nervous?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, it clearly gets more difficult as you go along because I really should have broken in the first three or four, I don’t remember exactly. I don’t remember what happened when, but when I had the dropshot early, then I think twice actually I had a dropshot opportunity which he played, I got to quite easily, and I didn’t win the point on one of them. It’s how did I get to missing that many?

I think it started that I should have never not broken that early. Then it got into that habit of, okay, he’s always going to be defensive on the breakpoint and I’m not going to be able to find a way to start the point neutral. That was a problem for me and something I need to fix for the next match if it happens again.

 

Q. Tsonga was saying the conditions changing seemed to favor you more in the third set, to which Stan responded with a sarcastic message on Twitter. What do you make of that, that supposedly the conditions suited you?

ROGER FEDERER: I don’t think it was that much of a change, to be quite honest. I mean, it did go through phases and it definitely got cooler rather than warmer. That’s logical.

But I don’t think, like, you know, there was any wind change or any crazy, like, quickness change in the way it played. I just think it got later in the day.

We played in those conditions a million of times. I think conditions were quite nice out there from the start of the match till the finish. Not too much wind. The ball wasn’t bouncing all over the place.

For both of us at times it was quite frustrating that we weren’t playing better. I don’t think our best matched up sometimes. When he was playing well, he was in the lead. Finally when I got the lead, I was dominating.

 

Q. You’re a very confident player. Were you surprised the way the third set went? You kept your focus and confidence. You just kept winning games.

ROGER FEDERER: Well I figured, like, winning that second set was tough for Jo. It was good for me. I just thought it was really important to hold my first service game, not kind of like play a nothing game and get down a break, then sort of give him the lead right away again. It was my opportunity to be in the lead for the first time in the match.

Then I really believed that eventually I was going to come through. It’s not possible to go through that many breakpoints. I was playing good enough to make the break and then serve my way home. That’s exactly kind of what happened.

It wasn’t just all negative, you know. The important thing was to carve out the positive stuff in my mind even midway through the first set, midway through the second set when things got tough.

I definitely think Jo didn’t serve as well or as hard as he could have in the third set. I don’t know why that is. But I took advantage of that at the end. That’s all that matters for me right now.

 

Q. It’s obviously frustrating when you have all those breakpoint chances. Were you happy with your composure? You didn’t let it show it was getting to you.

ROGER FEDERER: I was frustrated. Let’s be honest. I did chuck a ball out of the stadium. I did scream sometimes. I was aggravated to a degree, but not to the extent where I totally lost it.

I was not actually playing poorly or terribly. I was just taking wrong decisions sometimes. That kind of matched up sort of with Jo’s genius play sometimes, and his erratic play as we know it.

For me, I was just hoping my game was not going to go down because I was missing breakpoints. So I was very happy with the composure overall. That got me home at the end, I think.

 

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French, please.

Q. This is your fourth time in the semifinals. What does that mean for you to be in the semis of your first clay court tournament of the year?

ROGER FEDERER: It helps you feeling more relaxed for the following Masters 1000 tournaments because you don’t have to run after your first victory on clay. It helps you knowing where you stand. You have information about what you need to work on. Also you can be more relaxed and play without pressure which is pleasant because we often are under a lot of pressure.

I know here I am not the most favored player. But I know tomorrow might be an opportunity for a good performance for me. There’s nothing guaranteed, but I’ll try.

 

Q. Two Swiss players are in the semis here. This shows that Swiss tennis is experiencing a very good period.

ROGER FEDERER: Yes, indeed, it’s fabulous. When Stan made it into the top 10 in Rome in the finals, that was already a great moment. But now we’re 3 and 4, so in the draws we are far apart, and this is good because we have more opportunities of having one of us going further in the tournament.

What Stan has been doing during the past six or nine months is extraordinary. On my side, after my problems last summer, I am now back in better shape.

 

Q. What do you think of the semifinal coming up, either Novak or Garcia López?

ROGER FEDERER: I know Garcia López very well. He will play from the baseline. He will move well and slide well. I know what to expect against him. If it is Novak, we know he moves very well and he serves better than Garcia López.

If I play Garcia López, the match will be in my hands. If I play Novak, the match will be in his hands.

But playing Novak in Indian Wells and Dubai gave me information that I can use. I can prepare well for a possible match against Novak.

ATP

Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus secure their spot in the semifinal in the doubles tournament at the ATP Finals in London

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Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus beat Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo 6-3 6-4 in the evening’s double match securing their spot in the semifinal with a record of 2-0 in the Group Jonas Bjorkman.

 

Klaasen earned an early break with a forehand volley to open up a 3-1 lead. Venus and Klaasen dropped just four points on serve and did not face a break point. Venus held serve at 5-3 to close out the opening set 6-3 after 32 minutes.

Both teams held serve until the ninth game, when Venus got the first break at 4-4 with a half-volley winner, when Melo was serving on a deciding point. Kubot and Melo fended off two match points in the next game to force a deciding point and got their first break point of the match.

Venus sealed the win after 71 minutes with a big serve on their third match point in the 10th game. Klaasen and Venus won 86 % of their serve points.

US players Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury scored their first win in the Group Jonas Bjorkman at the Nitto ATP Finals, when they beat Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek 3-6 6-3 10-6 in the Match Tie-Break. The US team improved their ranking to 1-1.

Dodig and Polasek earned the first break in the fourth game of the opening set to open up a 3-1 lead. They saved four consecutive break points in the ninth game, when they were serving for the first set at 5-3. Dodig and Polasek sealed the first set with a service winner after 33 minutes.

Ram and Salisbury did not convert break points in the most crucial moments of the first set. Ram and Salisbury earned their only break in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead and did not face a single break point to win the second set 6-3 forcing the match to the third set.

Ram and Salisbury opened up a 3-0 lead with an early mini-break in the Match tie-break. Dodig and Polasek rallied to draw level to 5-5. Ram and Salisbury sealed the win on the first match point, when Polasek hit a backhand volley into the net at 9-6.

Dodig and Polasek, who won two titles in Cincinnati and Beijing, lost to Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo 10-5 in the Match Tie-Break in last Saturday’s first match.

 

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ATP Finals 2019 Day 3 Preview: A Must-Win Match Beckons For Roger Federer

Novak Djokovic plays Dominic Thiem for a commanding lead in the Bjorn Born Group, while Roger Federer faces Matteo Berrettini to stay out of last place.

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Djokovic completely dominated Berrettini on Sunday, allowing the debuting Italian just three games.  Matteo will likely need a win today to have any reasonable chance to advance to the semifinals. If advancement comes down to a tiebreak, he currently has no sets won and an extremely low percentage of games won.  With Federer’s 7-5, 7-5 loss to Thiem on Sunday, his situation is slightly less dire than Berrettini’s. But a loss today would make’s Roger’s likelihood of advancing extremely slim, especially with a match against Djokovic looming on Thursday.

 

Roger Federer (3) vs. Matteo Berrettini (8)

Their only previous meeting was four months ago in this same city.  On Manic Monday at Wimbledon, Federer crushed Berrettini 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 in just 74 minutes.  Matteo was open about how disappointing his performance was that day, as he was overwhelmed by playing the 20-time Major champion on Centre Court.  However, it’s worth noting Berrettini had played a dramatic five-set match just 48 hours prior where he saved match points to come back and defeat Diego Schwartzman.  Matteo should be much fresher for the rematch today, but will he again be overwhelmed by the occasion? The beating he sustained at the hands of Djokovic two days ago will not inspire much confidence.  And he’s facing a man who has only once failed to advance to the semifinals of this event in 16 career appearances. It would be quite surprising if Federer failed to prevail today.

Novak Djokovic (2) vs. Dominic Thiem (5)

The last time these two men faced off was in the semifinals of this year’s Roland Garros.  That match began on an absurdly-windy Friday in Paris, conditions Thiem handled much better than Djokovic.  Their match would take two days to complete, with Dominic taking it 7-5 in the fifth, ending Novak’s campaign to win his fourth consecutive Major.  Overall however Djokovic leads their head-to-head 6-3. Novak is 3-0 on hard courts, though they haven’t played on this surface since this event three years ago, when Djokovic won in three.  Thiem was impressive in taking it to Federer on Sunday, and Dominic’s hard court skills have drastically improved over the past two seasons. But on an indoor hard court, Djokovic remains a considerable favorite to be the only undefeated player in the Bjorn Borg Group by the end of play Tuesday.

 

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‘I Wasn’t Good Enough’ – Rafael Nadal Reacts To ATP Finals Loss

The Spaniard speaks out about his current form and if he plans to continue playing in London.

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LONDON: Rafael Nadal believes his losing start to this year’s ATP Finals was partly down to a lack of practice in recent weeks due to a series of injury issues.

 

The world No.1 enters the event without finishing a tournament since winning the US Open after suffering from issues with his left hand and abdomen. A familiar scenario for the Spaniard who has qualified for the ATP Finals 15 times, but has only been able to play in eight of them. In his opening match against the reigning champion, Alexander Zverev, he was unable to find a way to break down his opponent’s serve as he leaked a series of costly errors.

“Honestly, Sascha played well and I played bad,” Nadal said during his press conference.
“We can find reasons or excuses, but at the end of the day, what matters is that I need to play much better in the next two days after tomorrow. That’s the only thing.”
“We (my team) knew that it was going to be tough at the beginning because of the period of time since my injury until today is very short, but we are here trying, and that’s it.”

Indoor events have never been Nadal’s strong point. Incredibly on the surface, he has only managed to clinch the title in one out of 28 tournaments played. Doing so at the 2005 Madrid Masters. At the ATP Finals, he has reached the final twice in 2010 and 2013.

Nevertheless, there is a silver lining for the Spaniard. Whilst his form isn’t where he would like it to be, physically there are no blips yet. Meaning that he intends to continue fighting in the tournament.

“I have no complaint about my physical condition. No pain in my abdominals. That’s the only positive thing, honestly. That’s all,” said Nadal.
“I’m happy with the way my abdominal held, and hopefully I can continue like this because it’s true that I was not able to do a lot of practice and make a lot of effort on that part of the body since last Saturday.”

The optimism expressed by the 19-time grand slam champion is also one that comes with a caution. When asked if he will be able to play seven or more matches over the next two weeks due to his participation in the Davis Cup, there was a brief silence. Then he replied to the journalist ‘I can’t give you an answer.’

It is up in the air as to how Nadal will fair over the week or if he will even complete all of his round-robin matches due to his troublesome body. However, there is one guarantee. He is ready to fight to the very end.

“I’m staying positive. I’m staying competitive, something that I was not today. That’s the thing that I am more disappointed because knowing that I will not be at my 100% in terms of feelings, in terms of movement, in terms of confidence or hitting the ball, I needed my best competitive spirit this afternoon, and I was not there in that way.”

As a onseuqence of the loss, the 33-year-old has opened the door further for rival Novak Djokovic to snatch the year-end No.1 spot. Although should he go on to win the title, he would claim the sport regardless of how the Serbian performs.

Nadal is down, but he isn’t out yet. Awaiting him next will be a clash with Daniil Medvedev on Wednesday. A player who he leads 2-0 in their head-to-head with both of those wins occuring in 2019.

Nadal’s recent record at the ATP Finals

2018 First to qualify Withdrew on November 5 (ankle)
2017 First to qualify Withdrew after first match against David Goffin (knee)
2016 Points accumulated to qualify Wrist injury ended season on October 20
2015 Fifth to qualify Semi-final loss to Novak Djokovic
2014 Second to qualify Withdrew on October 24 (appendix surgery)
2013 First to qualify Final loss to Novak Djokovic
2012 One of a trio of first qualifiers Withdrew on October 25 (knee )
2011 Second to qualify Two group match losses
2010 First to qualify Lost to Federer in the final
2009 Second to qualify Three group match losses

Source: Sky Sports UK

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