Roger Federer: “I didn't serve and volley all the time. That's not how I intend to be playing” - UBITENNIS
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Roger Federer: “I didn't serve and volley all the time. That's not how I intend to be playing”

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TENNIS WIMBLEDON 2014 – 24th if June. R. Federer d. P. Lorenzi 6-1, 6-1, 6-3. An interview with Roger Federer

 

Q. You said you tried to come forward a bit more. How much more difficult is that now on these courts compared to when you were first coming along?

ROGER FEDERER: I think, number one, also guys return a bit better these days. I think it might be a touch slower as well. So there’s a bit of both.

Plus back in the day, guys were coming in. You didn’t really want to hit passing shots for five sets. You wanted to come in. Naturally then you would have more that going back and forth rather than going side to side all the time.

But because those guys are looking for the rallies, you tend to just also do it because it’s comfortable, it’s nice to stay back there, serve, wait, hit the big forehand.

I’ve been trying to play some serve and volley last week in Halle. But here the surface is slower again. I have to readjust and see against who does it work and how do you do it. So it was a good first match for me to get a feel for, you know, how much can you actually do it.

 

Q. How did you feel starting on No. 1?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, fine. I mean, I like playing over there, too. I think many times when I did play my first round over there, I went on to play really well here. Hope it’s another really good year for me. We’ll see.

 

Q. Is it easy to get frustrated with coming to the net and stop doing it?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, a little bit. It depends on how you’re getting passed. If you get passed on the return, the guy hits it late, that’s fine.

But I think also as a traditional serve-and-volley player, which I’m not clearly anymore, they’re used to taking return winners, passing shots. It’s the overall picture you have to be able to see, that it’s worth it, it’s putting the pressure on the opponent, knowing that any short ball will be attacked, there will be not too much rhythm out there unless you decide you want it as a serve-and-volley player.

It’s part of the whole serve-and-volley idea. It’s not just trying to serve and volley some more. It’s really the bigger picture. That’s where you have to take some passing shots. You have to be willing to dig deep on the volleys and not only think, Only if I have high volleys it’s good, otherwise if I have to volley deep I’m in trouble and lose the point every single time.

I think there’s a way to do it here. You need to be able to serve well, move well at net, anticipate well, come in on the right shots in the right way.

Many things need to work well, but it definitely is still worth it.

 

Q. As an overall picture, is that something that Stefan has helped you with?

ROGER FEDERER: Maybe. Or maybe just reinforce the concept that it is possible, that I can actually do it. Because for years I started to serve and volley once or twice a set maybe. Clearly I did come in after a big forehand and stuff.

But I remember still how I played in 2001 when I made it to the quarters here. I serve and volleyed 80% on the first serve, 30 to 50% on the second serve. It was just normal. I even did some in 2003 when I won first here. Then every year I started doing less because the game started changing on the tour really.

 

Q. Have you got your little boys over with you? Is it noisy?

ROGER FEDERER: It’s not so noisy. It’s very nice having the family with you as much as possible as a dad, as a mom, for that matter. We really enjoy our time together as a big family.

I do miss them when they’re not with me. We have the means to do it. For that reason we try to manage it as well as we can. It’s clear we have to listen to the signs of the kids, Mirka, my tennis, all that. But I think by now we have a lot of experience over the years and know how to handle it.

But clearly there’s a lot happening. Nevertheless we’re enjoying it very much, our first Wimbledon all together like that.

 

Q. You talked about volleying more in the early days here, then not doing it as much because the game changed. What has made you go back to that way of playing now? Do you think it’s a viable way of actually winning a title these days?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I think it could be that little extra piece to the puzzle that could bring me through, you know, to have that extra option. I think also the racquet is helping me to serve overall more powerful, higher percentage.

I think it is helpful. I’m going to still see against who I can do it and who I can’t. If I can’t, we’ll have to rely more on my baseline game, on the first shots, you know, serve, returns, first strike, which almost everybody plays nowadays.

It’s important to have the confidence to half volley, which I love to do on the grass, to take time away from your opponent. It’s many little things that’s going to make it work for me.

 

Q. What has been the hardest part of readjusting to that game for you?

ROGER FEDERER: In terms of?

 

Q. Going back to the serve and volley.

ROGER FEDERER: I think it’s mental. You know, saying, Okay, you’re going to get passed. It’s okay. And being able to do it when the score is not in your favor. It’s easy to serve and volley at 40b#Love, but can you do it at 15b#30?

Again, I didn’t serve and volley all the time. That’s not how I intend to be playing. But mixing it up a little bit could be the way to go. I’ll still have to see how it’s going to go from here on, because at the end I’d rather not serve and volley and win my matches than go out in style serving and volleying.

 

Q. To what extent do you think the extra week next year on grass is going to make younger players think, I can concentrate on this surface and learn to play on grass?

ROGER FEDERER: I think it’s going to be good, you know, on many levels. We’re going to maybe see better grass court players overall. Who knows, maybe all of a sudden we’ll see some more serve and volleying because people are going to stay more on this surface.

That’s not going to happen immediately, but maybe over a period of five to ten years. Those who really like playing on grass now have an option to play three, four, five tournaments maybe in a row, which is kind of nice.

I think it’s good. The French and Wimbledon have always been so close to each other. The tournaments in between have been sort of sandwiched. After Wimbledon everybody goes to the hard courts, clay courts. Some go to Newport, fine. But I still feel grass court, which is such a big tradition in the day, back in the day we had three Grand Slams on grass, people forget this. Now we’re stuck with maybe five, six events only. It’s nice to see grass coming back rather than even disappearing more.

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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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