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.

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Thomas Musters Hints At Conflict With Thiem After Sudden Axe From Team

The unexpected move by Thiem has left more questions than answers.

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Australian tennis legend Thomas Muster has seemingly suggested that a difference in opinion was behind his sudden departure from Dominic Thiem’s team after just two weeks.

 

On Saturday the world No.5 unexpectedly confirmed that the former French Open champion has left his team. Exactly 18 days after Thiem said during a press conference at the ATP Cup that the two have arranged a ‘working relationship.’ The announcement followed Thiem’s four-set win over Taylor Fritz in the third round of the Australian Open.

“We ended our working relationship,” He told Austrian reporters in Melbourne. “It did not fit. It’s easy like that. It is just about work. We get along well personally, and we said in the beginning, if anything is not all right we will tell each other.”

Questions are left remaining about what the exact reason for the two to go their separate ways. Especially given their short period spent working together. Both have been coy on the subject, but Muster has shed some light during an interview with Eurosport.

Speaking with fellow former world No.1 Becker, Muster said he was initially expecting to be working with Thiem for a two-year period. Adding to the mystery, the 52-year-old fuelled further speculation when he gave a cryptic insight about the two-time French Open finalist. Who had previously said that his career was to emulate and surpass Muster’s career achievements.

“To be honest, I have seen myself in this role for the next two years.” He told Becker.
“Why he chose differently…l I know why, but I don’t want to say the details.’
“It’s like this. There are houses which look nice from the outside, wonderfully from the outside, but you rarely know who lives inside.”

Speaking about Thiem’s performance on the court, Muster believes there are still areas of his game that requires further improvement. Last year the 26-year-old won five titles on the ATP Tour, including his first at Masters level. Something that was only matched by Novak Djokovic.

“He’s a fine guy and likes to learn a lot,” he told Eurosport.
“But he has also got some shortcomings, he has to work on if he wants to be at the top. He has improved a lot, but he to catch up in the technical, physical and foremost in the mental area.”

Muster isn’t the only former professional with a view that Thiem needs to improve. Mats Wilander recently called on the tennis star to improve his attitude on the court.

Thiem will play fifth seed Gael Monfils in the fourth round of the French Open on Monday.

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Injury-Stricken Juan Martin Del Potro Suffers New Blow And An Uncertain Future

There is more bad news for fans of the former world No.3 and his hopes of a return to tennis.

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Hopes of Juan Martin del Potro returning to the tour in the coming weeks have ended after it was announced that he will undergo further surgery on Monday.

 

The former US Open champion hasn’t played a competitive match since June after fracturing his right kneecap at the Fever-Tree Championships in London. The same one he also hurt towards the end of the 2018 season. Shortly after his mishap the Argentine underwent surgery in Barcelona in an attempt to fix the issue and have been undergoing rehabilitation ever since.

Unfortunately for the former top-five player, the surgery hasn’t been a success with him continuing to have pain in the region. In an official press release published on Sunday, it was confirmed that the issue is affecting the Argentine in everyday tasks such as walking up a flight of stairs. As a consequence, Del Potro will have yet another operation on his knee in Miami.

“We want to update you that after long weeks of inter consultations in Argentina, Europe and the United States, most doctors have come to the conclusion that a new intervention in the right knee of Juan Martin del Potro is necessary.” A statement reads.
“After analyzing the options, Delpo trusted Dr. Lee Kaplan to perform the surgery scheduled for Monday, January 27th in Miami.”
“We hope that this is the definitive solution to eliminate the pain that not only has prevented Delpo from playing tennis, but also making it difficult for him to perform daily activities.”

Speculation over the future intentions of the 31-year-old started earlier this week when he withdrew from the Delray Beach Open. The tournament were where he was set to make his comeback next month.

During his rehabilitation, Del Potro has sought various treatments. Including types of diets, training and trips to specialists. All of which failed to deliver the desired outcome and forced him to undergo surgery.

“Thank you for your patience and for understanding that these past weeks we have taken our time before communicating his next steps. The situation is never easy when it comes to the physique of an athlete and, more importantly, the health of a person.” Team del Potro said.

The latest revelation has cast concerns over Del Potro’s future career. Who at one stage said he was unsure if he would be able to continue playing due to his knee injury (prior to his first surgery). It is the latest setback for the injury-stricken player who have also been forced to undergo four wrist surgeries.

So far in his career, Del Potro has won 22 ATP titles and has been ranked as high as third in the world last year.

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Milos Raonic reaches the Australian Open quarter finals for the fifth time in his career

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Milos Raonic beat Marin Cilic 6-4 6-3 7-5 to advance to the quarter final at the Australian Open for the fifth time in his career and for the second consecutive year. The Canadian player has advanced to the quarter final for the tenth time in his career at Grand Slam level.

 

Raonic saved an early break point with a big serve and hit a backhand down the line to force an error to break in the 10th game closing out the first set 6-4.

The former Wimbldon finalist and eight-time ATP Tour champion hit a backhand return winner in the second game to open up a 2-0 lead in the second set.

Cilic brought up two set points on Raonic’s serve in the 10th game of the third set, but Raonic fended them off with three serves. Raonic got a break in the 11th game at 15 and sealed the win on his first match point with an ace.

“It feels pretty good. I have got to say. I can’t complain about it and I am just happy with how things are going. I am happy I have another chance to play in two days here and it’s been an exciting tournament for me so far, but hopefully there are more exciting things ahead. I did a lot of things really well, and I had the idea of how I wanted to play. I was happy I could execute and live up to that”, said Milos Raonic in the post-match interview.

 

 

 

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