Roger Federer: “I feel like I'm in good shape” - UBITENNIS
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Roger Federer: “I feel like I'm in good shape”

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TENNIS ROLAND GARROS 2014 – Roger Federer’s pre-tournament interview.

 

Q. How, if at all, has the birth of your new sons changed your routine preparation, affected anything at all when it comes to tennis for you?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, not much, you know, to be honest. They sleep that much that I don’t feel bad yet going out of the room and coming back. It’s almost the same situation.

Yeah, no, so things are fairly normal. Clearly there is a bit more happening and there is a bit more you can do if you want to, but Mirka takes care of most of it.

Of course, you know, I hold them as much as I can, but I clearly also want to go out and about with the girls. Routines are pretty much the same, really.

 

Q. You did not have a lot of preparation, not the usual amount of clay matches as you’re accustomed to coming here. How do you feel about your game and how do you feel in terms of preparation for this tournament?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I’m not sure if I have played less than in previous years on clay, because sometimes I didn’t play in Monaco. So then I also had a couple of events.

So I think it’s about what I usually always have before the French Open. The only difference is that, you know, I didn’t play a lot in the last couple of weeks. That’s usually the weeks sort of I play either I play or I play better or my best.

But playing well in Monaco was helpful in the sense that when I went to training I knew what I needed to work on. Clearly was very exciting times. For me, I feel like I’m in good shape. I know where my game is at. I’m not worried that, you know, maybe like you say that maybe there is not enough matches, all of that.

I have actually played really a lot already this season, so it also has its positives.

Again, because I was home and it gave me more time to train, I think, you know, I have become again a touch stronger in the last few weeks and months really, which was important after the year I had last year that I do take those opportunities when I have them to work very hard.

Then now after Rome it was more just staying in the rhythm and relaxing again before Paris and Halle and Wimbledon. It’s an important stretch now for me, and I don’t want to come into this tournament, you know, uninspired or tired or. That will be the worst thing.

So for me it’s really about being fresh mentally more than anything at this point.

 

Q. Do you feel like strong physically then, or you’re approaching the tournament just like to have more rhythm and…

ROGER FEDERER: No. I mean, I feel very strong, actually. I always hoped that around March, April time this year I was going to be feeling strong again, that I was able to catch up on the lost time I had last year.

And that’s how I feel. It’s been really solid in practice; no setbacks in matches; I have been able to back them up time and time again.

So, yeah, I’m very confident if I need to go, you know, deep in a match or play tough matches, you know, in a row.

So we’ll see also how it’s going to be with the weather. I heard it’s going to be quite difficult, especially the first week with the amount of matches there are to be played. It’s clearly also going to have an impact on the matches.

 

Q. I know that the French hasn’t started yet, but I want to ask you one question looking ahead to Wimbledon, and in particular Andy Murray going there to defend his Wimbledon title. What was it like for you going back to defend your first Wimbledon title? How do you think it will be for Murray?

ROGER FEDERER: I enjoyed it. Clearly there was pressure, as well, trying to defend, but I felt more pressure trying to win the first one in 2003.

I came off losing the first round the year before at Wimbledon and also here at the French Open that year.

So when I came into Wimbledon in 2003, I was just so happy to be already in the semis, so happy to be in the finals, and then when I won it was a dream come true.

Following year, you try everything you can, but I was a touch I guess more relaxed, but I was also more confident that I could do it because I also had won the Australian Open previously.

I think Murray is going to manage it well, you know. I think it’s just important for him that now he finds, you know, a very good game in the next few weeks. He already seems to make improvements as he goes along, so I think he’s probably where he kind of wants to be.

As long as he’s mentally free, I think that’s what he needs to be right now. Clearly he needs to be healthy, but that goes without saying.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French, please.

 

Q. Do you believe this tournament is open, or do you think, as usual, it’s going to be between you and some very few others?

ROGER FEDERER: For the title, you mean? Well, I believe the favorite will have their say, of course. Of course surprises can happen, like in every tournament. There are very many good players with very small differences between them.

We have seen some surprises this year already with Stan, for example, in Australia. But in the French you need to play a lot. You get worn out. Some matches are really a trap. You can’t really rely on your serve to get out of it.

So I think maybe the best ones will be in the end of the tournament.

 

Q. What memories do you keep from the first match you played here against Pat Rafter in ’99? It’s been a long time.

ROGER FEDERER: It’s a great memory. I was very happy to be in the final draw. I had a wildcard, and I was very happy with this wildcard. You know, when you’re young and you play a big tournament like the French Open, if people think you have talent and it’s good to give you a wildcard, it’s great. I played on the Lenglen Court against Rafter. It was fantastic for me. I even won the first set.

At the time you even got bonus points if you beat top 50 or top 10 players, so I was trying to get those points. I mean, I knew I wouldn’t end up winning the match. But it’s like a carrot you give to a donkey, you know, but it was great.

Rafter was also one of my favorite players when I started playing on the tour, with Pete Sampras, and I was very happy I was able to play them on the tour.

 

Q. They say it’s going to rain a lot this week. Do you need to prepare differently because of that? Do you think matches can be very long, can have rain delays?

ROGER FEDERER: We try to practice in the rain. Of course we know they’re going to close down the courts, but there’s no special preparation for that. It’s the same for everyone.

The only thing is the way you manage those rain delays. Sometimes the rain starts at a very bad moment either for you or for the opponent or for the spectators, at the worst moment of the match. So this is the first week you just need to win those matches one way or another, however you do it. Even if it’s not a good game, never mind.

Like last week in Rome it was very windy, and the only thing you have to do is try your best and win that match. I was not able to do that against Chardy last week, and here it’s going to be the same with the rain.

And if you’re able to manage your way through, it’s great. But even if it’s not good tennis, it doesn’t matter.

 

Q. I believe you were asked this a thousand times. You changed your racquet. What can you say about that? Stan said you got used to it; it was good for your confidence.

ROGER FEDERER: Yes, that racquet gives me more power and makes it easier. I have more margin because it’s a bigger racquet, and also on my backhand when I topspin it’s better, and when I slice or I put a lot of effect on the ball, sometimes the ball flies a little bit.

At the start I was a little bit surprised, but I saw that, in fact, it was very easy for me to change racquets after all those years. Now I’m very happy because I can play very well with it.

I believe it’s very simple to play with this racquet. With the older one, I needed to struggle with it every day. So I have no regrets.

 

Q. Jo Tsonga was top 5 two years ago. Now it’s more difficult for him. Do you believe there is a difference between the Jo you played last year and Jo you played in Monte Carlo recently?

ROGER FEDERER: I could have lost. It’s like here last year he played very well against me. He was extremely aggressive. He was very confident, and confidence is very important for all players.

But particularly for a player like Jo, because he likes to take risks. He likes to step into the court. Of course he had changes with his coaching, his management during the past years, and I understand this might have an impact.

But I really hope he will be able to do something great here. I hope I don’t have to play him. I don’t know if he’s on my side of the draw. But I hope it’s going to go well for me.

ATP

Rival Backs Dominic Thiem To Win Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award

Only two players have won the award since 2004.

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For the past 15 years only two players have managed to get their hands on the prestigious Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award, but one player thinks there could be a brand new winner this year.

 

Diego Schwartzman has lent his support behind world No.4 Dominic Thiem. The award recognizes those who have conducted the highest level of professionalism and integrity on the ATP Tour throughout the season. Established in 1977, Roger Federer has won the honour in 13 out of the past 15 years. The only other player to triumph during that period was Rafael Nadal, who won it in 2010 and 2018.

“I think Thiem can win it, he showed throughout the year a competitiveness and a respect with everyone that was spectacular,” Schwartzman told ole.com. “On top of that he is having great years of his career and this season was even better for the achievements he had.’
“He has a good chance of winning it.” He added.

Schwartzman, who reached the quarter-finals of the US Open earlier this year, has also been shortlisted for the award. Along with regular nominees Federer and Nadal. Only once has an Argentinian player won the title, which was José Luis Clerc back in 1981. At that time it was known as the ATP Sportsmanship award before getting renamed in 1996.

“I learned first (of getting nominated) through social networks rather than the official designation that the ATP sends you by mail.” The 27-year-old revealed.
“It is more spectacular than anything for the players I have next to me. It is a very important prize that recognizes a little what you do off the court, not only hitting the ball.”

Whilst he is dreaming of winning the honour himself, Schwartzman is just happy that he has been nominated.

“If I won this award, it would be spectacular. Now I am on that payroll that is very good and represents the values ​​that I try to maintain on a day-to-day basis and that (my coaching teams over the years) have taught me. It is very nice to be recognized for that. “ He concluded.

The four nominees for the Stefan Edberg Award was shortlisted by the ATP. However, it will be the players who will decide the winner. The result will be revealed later this month.

Multiple winners of the Stefan Edberg/ATP Sportsmanship award

Roger Federer – 13
Stefan Edberg – 5
Pat Rafter – 4
Alex Corretja – 2
Todd Martin – 2
Paradorn Srichaphan – 2
Rafael Nadal – 2

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Kei Nishikori In Doubt For The Australian Open

Asia’s highest ranked male tennis player is contemplating when he should return to the tour following surgery.

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Kei Nishikori (photo by chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

World No.13 Kei Nishikori is refusing to rule out the prospect of skipping the first grand slam event of 2020 as he continues his recovery from surgery.

 

Nishikori hasn’t played a match on the tour since his third round loss at the US Open back in September. A month later he underwent a procedure on his right elbow in a move that brought his season to an early end. Currently undergoing rehabilitation, it is unclear as to when the Japanese player believes he will return to the ATP Tour.

“The prospect of a return from surgery on right elbow in January. Maybe February. In the second half of next year I want to be able to play well.” Nikkan Sports quoted Nishikori as saying.
“I don’t want to overdo it,” he added.

The Australian Open will get underway on January 20th in Melbourne. Should he miss the grand slam, it will be the second time he has done so in the last three years. Nishikori also withdrew from the 2018 edition due to a wrist injury. In January he reached the quarter-finals and therefore has 360 points to defend next year.

During his time away from the court, the 29-year-old has been kept busy making changes to his team. Recently it was confirmed that he has started working alongside Max Mirnyi, who is a former world No.1 doubles player. Mirnyi, who has won 10 grand slam titles in men’s and mixed doubles, will be working full-time with Nishikori alongside existing coach Michael Chang.

“I’m getting closer to retirement. I want to be cured and come back to play good tennis in the second half of next year.” Nishikori stated.

Despite the injury setback, Nishikori has enjoyed success in 2019. Reaching the quarter-finals in three out of the four grand slam tournaments. The first time he has ever done that in his career. He also claimed his 12th ATP title at the Brisbane International. Overall, he won 29 out of 43 matches played.

Nishikori will turn 30 on December 29th.

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Family Of Venezuelan Doubles Star Launches GoFundMe Page For Cancer Treatment

Roberto Maytin was playing on the Challenger tour less than a month ago, but now faces a new battle.

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One of Venezuela’s highest ranked players on the ATP Tour is facing challenges off the court after being recently diagnosed with cancer.

 

Roberto Maytin, who currently has a doubles ranking of 136th, is undergoing treatment for testicular cancer Non-Seminoma. Non-seminomas are made up of different types of tumour, such as teratomas, embryonal tumours, yolk sac tumours and choriocarcinomas. Maytin’s brother Ricardo has launched a GoFundMe page to help cover the costs. The tennis player made $19,441 in prize money this season, which doesn’t factor into account numerous expenses such as travel, accommodation and paying for his coaching team.

“If life gives you a chance to live longer, I think nobody would miss the opportunity. In this plane, we all want to be (alive) for years however we forget that we are with a 50% chance of leaving at any time every day.” The fundraising page reads.
“My brother was diagnosed with testicular cancer NO Seminoma, at 30 years old. He now faces a crucial match that life has put him for growth as an individual, as a man and as an athlete. He is forced to undergo 4 stages of aggressive chemotherapy in order to heal at all and leave no trace of a Cancer that has been moving for months causing some damage.”

A former top 25 junior player, Maytin is one of only two players from his country to be ranked inside the top 200 in either singles or doubles on the men’s tour. This season he has won four Challenger titles across America. However, he has only played in one ATP Tour event since the start of 2018. He achieved a ranking high of 85th in the doubles back in 2015.

Once a student at Baylor University in Texas, Maytin formed a successful partnership with former world No.2 doubles player John Peers. Together they earned All-American honours with a win-loss of 36-5 and reached the quarter-finals of the 2011 NCAA tournament.

Maytin is also a regular fixture in his country’s Davis Cup team. Since 2007 he has played 15 ties and won 10 out of 16 matches played.

“I am also clear that the family is the gift of God for each one of us, so in this way and in whatever way I will put my desire and my energy so that my Brother Roberto Maytin, a Venezuelan professional tennis player, is back to the courts, which is where he belongs as soon as possible.”

Almost $25,000 has been raised so far to fund Maytin’s treatment. Click here to visit his GoFundMe page.

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