TENNIS WIMBLEDON 2014 – 6th of July. N. Djokovic d. R. Federer 6-7, 6-4, 7-6, 5-7, 6-4. An interview with Roger Federer
Q. I’d like to know what do you think about this match, if you think you played better than those two finals that you won versus Murray and versus Roddick? In my opinion, the level of the match today was probably better. I don’t know if you agree.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I cannot agree just because it’s totally different matchups, you know. With Roddick it was more of a serving contest; with Murray it went from outdoors to indoors, so much on the line, so much pressure. He’s a different player to Novak entirely that I can’t really compare.
I thought the match was a good one, you know. I thought it had everything for fans to like, I think. The swing of momentum in the first set, him coming back in the second, you know, staying even in the third, all the back and forth in the fourth set, and then the drama of the fifth.
From that standpoint, I thought it was an interesting match. The level I thought was good. I don’t feel I necessarily played my absolute very best because I couldn’t break for over three sets. For me that was disappointing.
But I thought Novak played well in those areas and on his serve and make sure that he didn’t have any letdowns there.
No, I thought it was a great match and I enjoyed to be a part of it.
Q. It was a high-quality match. Maybe men’s tennis is getting better and better. What do you think is the resemblance of those new guys coming compared to the four of you that have been there for so long?
ROGER FEDERER: The resemblance?
Q. Maybe I am saying the wrong word. How can you describe the up-and-coming guys compared to the four of you that are up there now?
ROGER FEDERER: We all made the breakthrough much earlier than most of the guys. Not just a match here or there. I mean, I can’t put myself in the league of Rafa because he was one of the best teenagers we ever had besides Bjorn Borg.
I wasn’t that guy. I was, I guess, better at 21, 22 or 20. That’s when I started to make my rise.
So there’s not that many young guys. There’s really only one teenager in the top 100 and we wish we had more. The other guys we’re talking about are all 22, 23 and have been already on tour for five years.
Nevertheless, it’s exciting. But you cannot compare them to Rafa, Novak, or Murray, who were incredibly good already at a young age.
Q. Can you describe what it’s like coming back from the almost dead a few times in this thing? What was going through your mind, the kind of fortitude you had to have to keep battling?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I just kept going, you know. I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t breaking Novak’s serve or actually creating opportunities. You know, I think it’s one thing not to break. That can happen if the other guy plays well in the big moments and all that stuff.
But it was really not creating enough opportunities to put Novak under pressure, you know.
It’s really only until the fourth set when I was down a break that I started to understand more how to return him, which was a surprise for me because I’ve played him that many times.
I think, like I mentioned before, he was doing a good job on his serve, making a lot of high first-serve percentage, staying aggressive from the baseline, not making any easy errors, all that stuff.
I kept believing and kept, you know, and kept trying to play offensive tennis. I’m happy it paid off in some instances. As you can imagine, I’m very disappointed not being rewarded with victory.
But it was close, you know. Novak deserved it at the end clearly, but it was extremely close.
Q. What does go through your mind when you see Mirka and your family there? What was your switch in terms of returning Novak’s serve and putting pressure on him later in the match?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I just felt like I changed, you know, the way I approached the return, then also how I played the rallies from the baseline because I felt like there was opportunities and options for me to do different things.
You know, but for some reason it never ended up being 15-30, 30-All, putting Novak under pressure enough, so he could always free serve, free swing, and take chances on his second serve.
Yeah, so I felt like that was my biggest problem really overall. I think that’s where I lost the match. I served well myself throughout. I feel like if I would have returned better or would have understood it earlier or if he would have helped me out just a little bit things could have been quite different, you know, today.
But, like I said, credit to him for, you know, doing it also for as long as he did, until the fourth when things got a bit crazy, you know.
Like I said, it’s wonderful playing in front of not family because they weren’t there till the very end, but it’s nice sharing that moment with friends and family on such a big stage really.
Q. Rightly or wrongly, many tennis fans will be wondering whether that could be the last time they see you in a Wimbledon final. Do they have a point, or does a performance like that give you renewed belief in yourself as you go into the 30s?
ROGER FEDERER: You could have asked me exactly that question in 2003.
You don’t know. Totally the unknown. That’s the disappointment of an Olympic result, of a World Cup result, Wimbledon result, whatever it is. You’ve just got to wait and see.
There is no guarantee that you’re going to be ever there again or not. Or maybe there’s much more to come. It’s really impossible to answer that question.
I’m very happy to see that with feeling normal I can produce a performance like I did the last two weeks. That clearly makes me believe that this was just a steppingstone to many more great things in the future.
Q. How much did you feel like you had the momentum in the fifth set, and how big a moment do you think the breakpoint he saved was?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I thought it was an even match in the fifth. I didn’t feel like unbelievable momentum in the fifth. It was big, you know, to get it.
I think once he held once or twice I think that was important for him, but it also was important for me not to be broken, because that’s exactly when one of the players can have a letdown. I don’t think we both had that.
So it went, I don’t know, step for step for both of us. I do believe I had my chance there when I had breakpoint. Maybe if I make the pass and make him hit a dink volley, I mean, you know, I would have liked to see what would have happened.
But credit to him to hit the big first forehand, hit another big forehand, follow it to the net, and be brave on it. I tried the same, to come to net, when it really mattered. Unfortunately at the very end he got me.
It was a tough finish, but it was extremely close.
Q. What is the most positive thing that you bring back home after a final like this: The fact that you’re physically fit again, no problems with the back? You served fantastic?
ROGER FEDERER: You know, I think that’s it. To be able to play consistent great solid tennis with some really nice things to look back on, you know. Good emotions again, even though it was rough at the end clearly.
Very happy to see that I can do it week for week, match for match, you know, point for point. It’s all right there.
It’s been a very positive last couple of weeks for me when I won Halle as well. I’m looking very much toward a vacation and working out hard again to get myself in shape for the American summer.
Q. You have a positive attitude in the match. You did lose, but you lost on your own terms in a way because you kept coming in and you tried to create opportunities. Do you feel like that?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I did feel that way. You know, I mean, I think Novak tried as much as he could to play offensive, as well. I don’t think he can play much more offensive than he did, and still I felt like he was on the edge of things, as well.
So from that standpoint I’m very pleased with the way things went throughout the match, you know. So I thought it was a high-quality match and it was good stuff from both players out there. I think clearly we both walk away happy from here. I mean, him more happy than I am.
But still, I’m happy overall.
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.
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.
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.
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.
John Newcombe Believes The Australian Open Will Be ‘A Big Ask’ For Nick Kyrgios
The tennis legend is unsure if the former top 20 player will be fit in time for the first grand slam of 2020.
Former world No.1 John Newcombe has cast doubts on Nick Kyrgios’ chances of going deep in the draw at the upcoming Australian Open.
The 75-year-old, who won seven grand slam titles during the 1960s and 1970s, believes the injury-stricken world No.30 may struggle playing best-of-five matches in Melbourne. Kyrgios missed most of the final quarter of the 2019 season due to a shoulder issue. He returned to action last month at the Davis Cup, but skipped his country’s quarter-final clash with Canada due to a collarbone injury. Overall, he has won 23 out of 37 matches played this year.
“It’s a bit of a worry that he has recurring injuries, especially around where the muscles join the joints and that’s going to be an ongoing problem for him it seems,” Newcombe told The Age.
“At the Davis Cup he’d only played four sets of singles and his shoulder started to play up again and when you’ve got an injury like that it’s hard to go out and practice a lot.
“Leading into the Australian Open – five sets is a big ask for him.”
A two-time grand slam quarter-finalist, the 24-year-old has struggled to make his mark in the majors this year. Winning just three matches in three grand slam tournaments he played in. Kyrgios missed the French Open due to injury. At his home slam, he lost in the first round for the first time since making his main draw debut back in 2014.
As well as trying to get fit in time for the start of the new season, Kyrgios will continue to be playing under a probation on the ATP Tour for ‘aggravated behaviour.’ Should he violate that, he faces the prospect of a 16-week ban from the tour.
“I can’t speak for him but if it was me it would be tough having that ban hanging over you,” Newcombe said.
“But I guess you’ve just got to learn to zip up.”
Kyrgios is set to start 2020 at the inaugural ATP Cup, which is the only team event to have both prize money and ranking points available. After that, he is set to play in the Kooyong Classic in what will be his final test prior to the Australian Open.
“I am delighted that Nick has chosen to play Kooyong again, and hopefully it acts as the perfect tune up for his Australian Open (AO) campaign and sets him up for a massive 2020 season.” Tournament director Peter Johnson said in a statement.
So far in his career, Kyrgios has won six titles. Including Acapulco and Washington this year.
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