TENNIS WIMBLEDON 2014 – 1st of July. R. Federer d. T. Robredo 6-1, 6-4, 6-4. An interview with Roger Federer
Q. You’ve had straight set wins up till now. Do you feel you’ve been challenged enough heading into the quarters?
ROGER FEDERER: Rather have it this way, you know, that I feel physically in tip top shape. Especially now I got to back it up tomorrow, which now clearly is absolutely no problem.
But I’m very happy with my game, you know, in these first four matches I think it’s been. I’ve been in control throughout almost all the matches. Some tougher moments to go through, which is normal at certain stages of sets.
But today, again, I was very happy with my performance. So, yeah, I’m looking forward to Stan’s match tomorrow.
Q. What can you say about your service game today?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, my serve has been working well for some time now. Also last week in Halle. Maybe there I had some more letdowns just from time to time because it was the beginning of the grass court season.
But now I feel I’m really able to focus well and serve well throughout. That’s what I’ll need moving forward, as well.
I have the variation; I have the power. Yeah, I need to keep doing that.
Q. Is there a dynamic change now that Stan has that slam and has moved up a level, the dynamic between the two of you?
ROGER FEDERER: Well I think for him the dynamic has changed a lot. Definitely, you know, showing up for the big moments, believing he can come through them, because he did lose a lot of close matches against many of the top guys.
I think it actually all started before the Australian Open. People clearly only put a mark down on the Australian Open on him, but it already started at the US Open and prior to that.
Then also the World Tour Finals he did really well in London. Now he’s backed it up and played well in Monaco, at the Australian Open.
So I’m really happy for him that he’s been able to keep it up even though he’s had some ups and downs, but that is inevitable after a big win like that in Australia.
Q. How close are you now to the form in 2012 when you last won here? As a supplementary, the bookmakers have you at fourth favorite. Do you think perhaps we’re slightly underestimating you given you have won here seven times?
ROGER FEDERER: Doesn’t matter one bit to me what people say, to be honest. Last year was a tough year, like I explained, on so many levels.
I don’t talk much about what’s going on in the background. I put my head down and try to win, try to play.
This year things are clearly going better. Results show it on the court. I’m getting used to the racquet more and more as every week goes by.
I think the reaction after Paris was an important one, because Paris wasn’t all bad, to be quite honest. So I took the positives out of Paris, used them for Halle, and played well there and won it.
Now I’m confident again and not fighting with any confidence issues, which is huge in sporting terms. I’m happy I got through the first rounds here rather comfortably. I don’t think I’ve lost my serve yet and I’m returning well. I’m in command of the points.
That’s where you need to be early on to then also be able to perform against the best players.
Q. The average age of men’s players in the singles draw have been rising. Today there were two of you 30-somethings. Do you think that might change soon? We have young players breaking through. Also, do you think it’s good or bad for the game that that’s been happening?
ROGER FEDERER: I think it’s good and bad, to be honest. I think it’s good to have all the guys around. It shows as tough as the game is, it’s still possible to last, you know. It’s not like guys are just dropping out at 28, 29, 30 years old just because it’s too physical, it’s too demanding, too many tournaments having to be played, the rallies are too long, everything is too stretched, it’s too extreme.
I don’t feel it’s that way, even though the points are taking longer. We see more of these lateral points, which are rough, you know. But then again, there is a factor of many things.
More teenagers are coming through. Now with Kyrgios, there’s finally somebody again. Back in the day it was just normal. I mean, Becker won the tournament here at that age.
It’s been quite interesting just to follow that. I would think it would be great for the game if we had more teenagers, seeing guys sort of come through the tournaments on the biggest stage at a young age.
I always think that’s so interesting, like what Rafa did or Murray or Djokovic or Becker or Chang did. I think it’s always good for the game.
But then again, it’s also good to keep all the guys in the sport.
So it’s been good and bad, however you want to see it.
Q. You went to the net today quite often like a man determined to protect the art of serve and volley. Would it be better if the balls and courts were speeded up to preserve serve and volley as an art?
ROGER FEDERER: I’m not sure if guys would start doing that. If guys start doing that, then I think it’s a good thing. You don’t want everybody to serve and volley, like everybody is standing back now.
I think it would be good to have 30% of serve-and-volley players on the tour so you see those matches more often where the baseline needs to come up with the sick passing shot or the flick of the wrist or where the game is played on a few shots here and there.
Yeah, so I don’t know what it’s going to take. Tournament directors turning everything around. It’s also not the way to go forward. I think it’s just good to have some variation.
I think it’s going to take some time for serve and volley players to come through. Even seeing the biggest guys, like Isner or Karlovic, for them it’s even hard to serve and volley on a daily basis, because it also takes its toll, always that sprint going forward, and guys returning and passing so well.
I don’t know what the future holds for serve-and-volley players, to be quite honest.
Q. You are going to play a pretty good server and a pretty big hitter in Stan. Against a player like that, do you prefer to start aggressive yourself and not let him set up his big game, or would you rather get in the rallies with him and see how the match progresses?
ROGER FEDERER: Honestly, on grass, especially when he has a big serve and a big first strike, I try to do the same. We’re not going to see that many rallies.
But if we do, you just try to manage those points as well as you can, you know, either with variation, with power, with high-risk tennis, or maybe not, depending on how well he’s playing or how well I am playing.
But important is that you first focus on your own serve, and that’s it. The rest sort of takes care of itself.
Q. You may not think about it in these terms, but you put behind you two of the tougher moments from last year. You’re past the second round here. You beat Robredo who got you in New York. How does that make you to feel? And also, could you mention Davis Cup for a second?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, it’s been a good tournament so far, no doubt. The loss against Stakhovsky crossed my mind. No doubt the loss against Robredo at the US Open crossed my mind in the last couple of days. So I had time to think about that.
I must say I kept it in check throughout the match, and also before. I was able to impose my game and play well. I must say I was very happy with today’s performance.
Then Davis Cup, honestly, it’s so like on the side right now. Focus is totally elsewhere. But clearly I’m happy, you know, for Stan and for Severin, the captain, that we are in the semis, that we have another opportunity to go one step further after the US Open.
It’s going to be a big crowd, 18,000 people, indoors, in Geneva. Not something I get to experience very much at home, playing in front of such a big crowd. So I’m looking forward to it.
Q. Novak talked last night about Wimbledon should rethink the middle Sunday. Do you have any thoughts on that?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, it’s been historically so. They’ve never done it except when they had super rain here over a lot of years and no roof back then yet.
Clearly it could be burned like Stan could have been now. The last couple days he’s been really good and tough to get through in straight sets to feel in good shape now for Wednesday.
It was always going to be rough for López or Isner who were going to go into a lot of breakers and all that stuff.
It’s totally a tournament’s decision, I think. It has some positives, as well, to have Sunday off completely for everybody. Just sort of shut down, no tennis. Everybody is just relaxed.
But I see what he’s saying. You know, it really does put a lot of pressure on a few guys. I got sucked into it as well having to play today and tomorrow again.
I mean, we clearly train sometimes three, four, five hours a day on a daily basis, so we should be able to handle that. Clearly if you’re carrying an injury, you could get unlucky in the process.
Daniil Medvedev Ousts Former Quarter-Finalist Tiafoe, Kyrgios Reigns Supreme At Australian Open
Both players endured a testing start to their campaigns at Melbourne Park.
Two players tipped to fill in the void when the big three of men’s tennis departs from the sport have got off to a winning start at the Australian Open.
US Open runner-up Daniil Medvedev manoeuvred his way past a tricky encounter with Frances Tiafoe. Who reach the last eight of the tournament 12 months ago in what is his best grand slam performance to date. Despite the threat posed, Medvedev held his nerve to prevail 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, on the premier Rod Laver Arena. The night-time encounter saw the Russian fired 13 aces and 42 winners past Tiafoe en route to the second round.
“It was a really tough match. I think it was a bit up and down from both of us.” Medvedev said during his on-court interview.
“I’m really happy to win because the first round is never easy. Especially against Frances, who was in the quarters last year.”
Medvedev, who turns 24 next month, has been labelled as one of potential players who can end the reign of Roger Federer and Co by winning a grand slam title this season. Last year he claimed 59 wins on the ATP Tour, which was more than any other player. During his breakthrough season he clinched his first two Masters titles as well as a duo of ATP 250 events.
Despite his victory, the world No.4 was far from contempt when it came to his latest performance. Medvedev dropped serve at least once in every set played and also leaked 35 errors. The same amount of mistakes as Tiafoe.
“There were many moments during the match where I felt I was getting momentum and then he came back.” He reflected.
“I think I can do many things better, but for the first round it’s a big win and I’m really happy.’
“I didn’t like my serve today to be honest. But hopefully I can do better in the next round, otherwise I will be in trouble.”
Kyrgios Topples Italian rival
Taking to the court at the same time as Medvedev, Nick Kyrgios also experienced a tricky start to his title bid in Melbourne. Seeded 23rd in the draw this year, the home favourite roared his way to a 6-2, 7-6(3), 7-6(1), win over Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego. Claiming his fourth tour win of the season following his trio of singles victories at the ATP Cup earlier this month.
“I was just excited to get out here. It has been a pretty emotional couple of months for all of us,’ Kyrgios commented in reference to the ongoing bushfire crisis in Australia.
“I just wanted to come out here and put on a good performance.”
Kyrgios has been one of the driving forces behind Tennis Australia’s series of fundraisers to support the bushfire appeal. He has pledged to donate $200 for every ace he produces during the Australian Open. Working out at $2800 from his latest match along after firing 14 past Sonego. Overall, Kyrgios won an impressive 87% of his first service points during the 135-minute clash.
“I feel good. I’m not looking ahead in the draw at all.” Kyrgios stated.
“Everyone can play in the draw, they are all capable. So I’m just going to take it one match at a time.” He added.
During his on-court interview, John McEnroe make an unexpected announcement. The former world No.1 has said he will donate $1000 for every set Kyrgios wins in the remainder of the tournament to the bushfire appeal. Prompting a huge cheer from the crowd.
Both Medvedev and Kyrgios will play their second round matches on Thursday.
Ernests Gulbis upsets Felix Auger Aliassime to advance to the second round in Melbourne
World number 256 Ernests Gulbis upset Canadian Next Gen star Felix Auger Aliassime 7-5 4-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 to reach the second round at the Australian Open at Melbourne Park.
Auger Aliassime was the second Canadian Next Gen player to lose in the first round at this year’s edition of the Australian Open after his compatriot Denis Shapovalov was defeated by Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics on Monday.
Auger Aliassime started the 2020 season with just one win in four matches at the ATP Cup, but he reached the semifinal in Adelaide last week, losing to eventual champion Andrey Rublev in three sets.
Auger Aliassime earned the first game in the ninth game at 30 to take a 5-4 lead, but Gulbis broke twice in the 10th and 12th game to win the first set 7-5. In the second set Auger Aliassime saved three break points in both the eighth and tenth games and broke in the ninth game at deuce to seal the second set 6-4.
In the third set Auger Aliassime saved four break points to hold his serve at deuce in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. Gulbis fended off a break point in the fifth and eleventh games before winning the tie-break 7-4.
Gulbis earned an early break in the first game of the opening set. Auger Aliassime broke back in the third game and held his serve at deuce to draw level to 2-2 after saving two break points. Gulbis broke for the second time in the fifth game and held his next service games to close out the fourth set 6-4.
“Every time you come to Australia the main goal is the Aussie Open, so it’s not good. That’s what the result show, but at the same time I am staying calm and positive because I feel I am not far from playing well and winning matches”,said Felix Auger Aliassime.
Dominic Thiem beats Adrian Mannarino to reach the second round in Melbourne for the fifth consecutive year
Fifth seed and last year’s Roland Garros finalist Dominic Thiem beat Adrian Mannarino 6-3 7-5 6-2 to extend his winning record in his head-to-head against the French player to 8-0. The Austrian player hit 36 winners to 34 unforced errors. Thiem set up a second round match against either Albert Ramos Vinolas or Australian wild card Alex Bolt.
Thiem earned the first break in the fourth game to open up a 3-1 lead. Mannarino fended off two break points in the eighth game while he was serving at 2-5, but Thiem sealed the first set 6-3 on his third set point after a 27-shot rally.
Thiem went up a set and a break in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead, but Mannarino pulled the break back to draw level to 4-4, as Thiem sent a forehand long. Thiem got his second break in the 11th game to take a 6-5 lead after a 28-shot rally and reeled off 12 of the last 14 points to clinch the second set 7-5.
Thiem started the third set with an early break and won 16 of the first 20 points to seal the win after 2 hours and 21 minutes. The 2019 ATP Finals runner-up reached the Australian Open second round for the fifth consecutive year.
Thiem leads 2-1 in his three head-to-head matches against Ramos Vinolas, but the Spaniard won their only clash on hard-court in Chengdu four years ago.
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