Roger Federer: “I wish I could have played a bit more freely today overall. But then again, I think it was a solid match” - UBITENNIS
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Roger Federer: “I wish I could have played a bit more freely today overall. But then again, I think it was a solid match”

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TENNIS 2014 ROLAND GARROS – 28th of May 2014. R. Federer d. D. Schwartzman 6-3, 6-4, 6-4. An interview with Roger Federer

Q. How are your impressions making a first time slammer like Diego playing on a big court and like in front of an idol like you? How do you feel about that, please?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I think it was kind of tough all the way through, for me, anyway. I didn’t feel relaxed for the entire match.

You know, I’ve always felt he had a little bit of an upper hand from the baseline. I feel he was doing a really good job being aggressive and making good plays. Clearly because of his height he doesn’t have the biggest serve, and that kept me sometimes in two minds. But I think he handled the conditions really well.

I can see why he’s ranked where he is and why he probably is going to move up in the rankings. He’s very steady, very fast. He’s got some good qualities, you know. It’s just a matter for him to be really fit and continue what he’s doing, you know, working hard.

I’m sure like a match like this or tournament like this where he was able to win four matches is going to give him a lot of new information he didn’t have before.

 

Q. I just want to ask you in terms of your forehand going off sometimes in terms of timing, how much do you think the game needs to get better for you this week and next so you can be content?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, today was special in its own way because I got into every return game because of his serve. So clearly we are going to have many more unforced errors than forced errors.

It’s always going to happen when you play big serving guys who push you and take chances, you cannot make unforced errors because they are trying to hit a winner.

So from that standpoint, the statistics today for me is totally secondary. It’s just really important to moving along in the draw. My next round opponent plays entirely different to Schwartzman today.

Yeah, I wish I could have played a bit more freely today overall. But then again, I think it was a solid match. I served well. That’s always the key to stay solid in your own service games.

I will see how the next match is going to be. It depends on weather, on wind, all that stuff, how free you can actually really play.

 

Q. Kim Clijsters just sent out a tweet with one of your comments that you made, which was: Sometimes it’s okay just to be happy to be playing, that it’s okay just to enjoy the game. You don’t always need to be a success. Some people don’t get that. Could you just talk about that comment and sort of the balance between tennis as a job, your profession, and the joy of the game?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I have a hard time understanding it, as well. I don’t know what I was trying to say back then.

Anyway, I mean, I think sometimes in the media or people think it’s only fun when you win and when you lose, clearly it’s a disaster, it’s all really bad. Yeah, it’s disappointing, and it’s not great fun. But at the same time, you can also enjoy a tournament, enjoy a city, enjoy life, you know, as you move along with your career.

I think that’s what I mean, that sometimes things are totally just based on unforced errors or on the little things in life and if you have the big picture in mind, then you realize that missing a few too many forehands has zero impact on how I will actually sleep tonight.

 

Q. How do you feel physically after the first two rounds? Next is going to be Dmitry Tursunov, as you said, he’s a different player. Do you feel good versus last year when it was difficult with your back?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I don’t even think about this. I feel good. I mean, physically I’m fit and the two first rounds were really okay. I didn’t lose any of my energy. I had two days off, so I’m really relaxed as far as this is concerned.

Tursunov is a different player all together versus Schwartzman today. He tried more with his serve, but also with the forehand. And also I played against him at Indian Wells. It was 7 6, 7 6, that’s how I defeated him. It was a tough match.

But at least I know Dmitry, I didn’t know Schwartzman at all. I didn’t know if he was a great player, average, or not really good.

That’s why there was pressure on me throughout the match today probably.

 

Q. Roger, Wawrinka, after being defeated, after the first round, said that it’s difficult for him to manage the pressure due to the title in Australia. He said that’s the difference between him and Djokovic, Nadal, or you, because you can do this. Maybe we don’t realize this all the time, but you can take the pressure and you know you’ve got to win and you manage to win tournament after tournament. Do you understand his position today, that is, it’s difficult I think for him to take this title he won?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, for me, you know, it’s totally normal. I have never really understood how Rafa, Novak, and myself, we can play at such a level all the time, being consistent. You know, for me, that was a shock to see all of us so consistent like this, steady if I can say.

Of course, people are used to this, and it doesn’t happen. But for me it’s normal. It might happen to the best players.

You know, with Stan, I understand here, I understand where he is, because I was in such a position at a moment in my career, and it’s not even the pressure itself. You know, I think it’s how you look at yourself and at your game.

Without changing everything, you know, this is what he’s got to work on and solve this, fix this. Little by little. It will not happen overnight. But with Australia, with Monaco, it’s in his pocket already. Nobody can take this from him. It will give him time, time to work on this. I trust that he will find the right solutions in the months to come.

ATP

Jack Draper Wins In Stuttgart, Potentially Faces Andy Murray in Round Two

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Jack Draper – ATP Monaco di Baviera 2024 (foto via Twitter @atptour)

Britain’s Jack Draper tight first round win headlined the opening day’s results at the Boss Open 2024 in Stuttgart – and possibly faces a second-round match with Andy Murray who takes on Marcos Giron tomorrow.

Less than 24 hours from the last ball being hit at Roland Garros, the ATP Tour had already switched surfaces onto the grass, and 22-year-old Draper was well tested but ultimately came through in two tie-breakers over Sebastian Ofner.

The sixth seed’s 7-6, 7-6 win contained just one break of serve each, both coming in the second set, as serve dominated proceedings on the faster grass courts in Germany.

While the Austrian won 75% on his first serve, Draper won a whopping 89% behind his first delivery as well as hitting eight aces. These kind of service stats will surely take him far during the grass court season.

“I thought it was a really good match,” Eurosport quoted Draper saying after his match. 
“Both of us played really clean tennis, executing really well.
“When it came down to it, I’m glad I competed really well and got over the line – it’s good to be back on the grass as well.”

There were also wins for Germany’s Yannick Hanfmann who won 6-3, 6-3 over wildcard Henri Squire, while compatriot Dominik Koepfer won in three sets over China’s Zhizhen Zhang 4-6, 7-6, 7-6. 

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Carlos Alcaraz Still Owns A Magical Racket

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The legend of Carlos Alcaraz and his magical racket lives on.

The 21-year-old Spaniard executed one magical shot after another with his racket and legs  Sunday afternoon in the French Open final. That bit of magic spelled defeat for Germany’s Alexander Zverev.

This was a final to remember, one of the great matches of all the Grand Slams. It just wasn’t in the cards for the 26-year-old Zverev to finally win a Grand Slam title.

HE HAD IT, THEN HE DIDN’T

Both players seemed to play a game of “he had it and then he didn’t.”

Alcaraz appeared to have everything under control in the first set, but Zverev rushed through the second set and then made a comeback from 5-2 down in the third set to win five straight games.

Zverev had everything going for him when he started the fourth set with a two-set advantage. It appeared that all the 6-6 Zverev had to do was to continue playing his masterful game of big serves and mighty ground strokes.

But Zverev couldn’t get started in the fourth set until he was down 4-0. So much for a smooth and easy ride to a Grand Slam title. By then, the magic of Alcaraz was heating up.

MAGIC OF ALCARAZ HEATING UP

Zverev still had his chances, even when he fell behind 2-1 in the fifth set. He had to feel pretty good about his chances when he took a triple break point lead against Alcaraz’s serve and appeared ready to even the set at 2-2. Even after Carlos came up with a winner to bring the  game score to double break point.

Zverev still was ready to even the entire match.

That’s when everything seemed to go haywire for the German, while all the while, Alcaraz was able to repeatedly come up with his magical shots as the Spaniard made critical shots that looked almost impossible to make.

ALCARAZ HEADED FOR GREATNESS

Everything for Zverev was lost in the magical racket of Alcaraz.

What was then initially called a game-ending Alcaraz double fault and a 2-2 deadlock quicky reversed itself and Alcaraz stayed alive by winning the next three points while taking a 3-1 advantage.

Zverev did get back to a 3-2 deficit and had a break point in the sixth game, but that was it for the hopes of Zverev. The last two games went rather easily in favor of Alcaraz to wrap up a 6-3, 2-6, 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 victory for Alcaraz.

That moved the Spaniard to a higher level of success on the ATP Tour. He became the youngest man to win Grand Slam titles on all of the different surfaces, clay, grass and hard courts.

Carlos Alcaraz and his magical racket appear to be headed for greatness.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award  for print media. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at Jamesbecktennis@gmail.com. 

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Tsitsipas Brothers Hit With Trio Of Fines At French Open

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Stefanos Tsitsipas and his brother Petros have been fined more than 20,000 euros for multiple violations of the coaching rules at this year’s French Open. 

The brothers received a financial penalty during three different matches that they played in. Two of those were in the second and third rounds of the men’s doubles tournament. Furthermore, Stefanos was also penalised during his singles quarter-final match against Carlos Alcaraz, which he lost in straight sets. According to French newspaper L’Equipe, all three of those fines were issued as a result of coaching rules being broken.

Ironically, coaching is allowed during matches at the French Open but certain rules must be followed. ‘Verbal’ coaching can only be issued from the coaches and their team if they are sitting in the designated player’s box. Instructions must be limited to a few words and can only be given if the player is in the same half of the court as their coach. Although non-verbal coaching is allowed regardless of what side the player is on. Finally, players can’t start a conversation with their coach unless it is during a medical break, a bathroom break or when their opponent is changing clothes.

However, the Tsitsipas brothers have been found in violation of these rules, which is likely due to their animated father in the stands who is also their coach. Apostolos Tsitsipas has been given coaching violations in the past at other events, including the 2022 Australian Open. 

The value of the fines are €4,600 and €9,200 for the Tsitsipas brothers in the doubles, as well as an additional €7,400 just for Stefanos in the singles. In total, the value of their fines is €21,200. However, the penalty is unlikely to have an impact on the duo whose combined earnings for playing in this year’s French Open amount to roughly €495,000. 

So far in the tournament, the highest single fine to be issued this year was against Terence Atmane who hit a ball out of frustration that struck a fan in the stands. Atmane, who later apologised for his actions, managed to avoid getting disqualified from the match. Instead, he was fined €23,000. 

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