Roger Federer: “This was just a steppingstone to many more great things in the future” - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

ATP

Roger Federer: “This was just a steppingstone to many more great things in the future”

Published

on

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.

ATP

Next Gen Star Alexei Popyrin Fears He May Be Forced To Play US Open Despite Health Concerns

Like many other lower ranked players on the Tour, the 20-year-old finds himself in a tough situation.

Published

on

One of Australia’s rising stars has said he is worried that he may have to play at the US Open against his will or risk losing a chunk of ranking points.

 

Alexei Popryin has raised his concerns about travelling to the New York major in August amid a surge of COVID-19 cases in some areas of the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention there were 52,228 New Cases of the virus on July 5th compared to 24 hours before. Furthermore, the governor of New York recently announced that people travelling from 16 different states in America are now required to self-quarantine for 14 days if they visit the city. According to USA Today this ruling applies to roughly 48% of the entire American population.

Despite the concerns, the organisers of the US Open have insisted they will be able to hold the tournament in a safe manner and will be implementing various restrictions. Including holding the event without fans for the first time and conducting frequent testing of players. However world No.103 Popryin admits that he still has his concerns about attending.

“There are talks regarding the US Open but I really don’t want to go with the situation in America right now,” Popyrin said at the Ultimate Tennis Showdown over the weekend.
“But we have to see if we would be forced to go because of ranking points.
“If the ranking points won’t be frozen, then most of us would be forced to go play cause our ranking will drop and we wouldn’t have any say in it.
“But if the rankings are frozen, then I am staying here.
“I will stay in Europe where it’s safe with my family.”

Popryin has a considerable amount of points to defend in New York after reaching the third round there last year. Therefore, if he skips the event he faces dropping further down the rankings. Something which will then impact on his chances of entering the bigger tournaments later in the year. Usually the cut off for Grand Slam tournaments is around 105.

It is still to be announced as to what will happen with the ranking points system at the US Open and if there will be any adjustments made due to the pandemic. Although organisers will likely be against any idea to remove them from the event as it is a key factor to attract players to take part.

Another player to voice their concerns about the US Open is France’s Benoit Paire, who has said he would not attend the event if it was taking place today. Speaking to RMC Sport the world No.22 said he would rather not go to the event if he meant that he would be ‘taking a risk’ with his health.

“Going to the United States would be at risk of catching it. I am a great professional and I am one of those who would always like to play tennis, but your health is the most important thing,” he said.
“If going there is taking the risk of catching the disease and staying quarantined when I return, I prefer not to go, really.’
“It looks like if we play the US Open, we will have to sacrifice not to play the Mutua Madrid Open or the Masters 1000 in Rome.”

Meanwhile, world No.3 Dominic Thiem recently told Austrian media that he believes a final decision regarding the Grand Slam will be made within a week. Something that is yet to be confirmed by officials.

Should it go ahead, the US Open will start on August 31st.

Continue Reading

ATP

REPORT: Former Spanish Tennis Star In Talks To Coach Alexander Zverev

A former world No.3 could be returning to the Tour later this year in a new position.

Published

on

Tennis sensation Alexander Zverev could soon be mentored by somebody whose career he ended last year at the Madrid Open.

 

Spanish newspaper Marca have reported that the world No.7 is set to enter in a 15-day trial with former French Open finalist David Ferrer where the two will get to know each other better. Ferrer has reportedly travelled to Monte Carlo to start working alongside Germany’s top player. Should everything go well, the two could start a formal partnership in September ahead of the European clay-court swing of the Tour, which has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both men are already fairly familiar with each other after facing off nine times on the ATP Tour, including three times last year. Zverev was the last player Ferrer played against at the Madrid Open before officially retiring from the sport at the age of 37.

“He’s the most respectful guy for me on Tour, and one of the most loved people on the Tour as well,” Zverev told reporters in the Spanish capital following their match.

Whilst never winning a Grand Slam, Ferrer achieved numerous accolades throughout his career. Including spending 4914 consecutive days in the world’s top 50, winning 27 ATP titles and achieving a ranking high of No.3 back in 2013. Overall, he has played 1011 matches on the ATP Tour (including Grand Slams) which is more than John McEnroe.

Should Ferrer receive the green light, Zverev will be the first high-profile player he will be responsible for. The Spaniard had previously hinted at his desire to enter coaching with his long time objective being to captain the Spanish Davis Cup team. He is also currently serving as the tournament director of the Barcelona Open.

“I would be very proud to be able to be (Davis Cup captain),” Ferrer told Marca in April 2019. “I also understand that this is very far away and there are players who are ahead. First, I have to train as a professional in teaching (coaching).”

Neither Ferrer or Zverev has publicly commented on the report. At present Zverev is coached on the Tour by his father who guided him to the semi-finals of the Australian Open in January.

Continue Reading

ATP

Father Of Dominic Thiem Condemns Criticism Of Novak Djokovic’s Role In Adria Tour Fiasco

Wolfgang Thiem has come to the defence of the world No.1 before suggesting that COVID-19 cases among players at charity events are worth it.

Published

on

The father of world No.3 Dominic Thiem has said it is ‘too cheap’ to blame Novak Djokovic over the outbreak of COVID-19 at the controversial Adria Tour.

 

Wolfgang Thiem lent his support behind the 17-time Grand Slam champion during an interview with Austrian newspaper Die Presses on Friday. The Adria Tour, which was founded by Djokovic, was cancelled following an outbreak of the virus during the Zadar leg of the event in Croatia with Grigor Dimitrov being the first player to confirm a positive test. Shortly after, Djokovic and Borna Coric also tested positive as well as some coaching staff. Viktor Troicki also contracted COVID-19, but only played the first leg of the Tour in Belgrade.

Throughout the Belgrade and Zadar events organisers were criticised for a lack of social distancing being applied. Players were seen playing basketball matches, attending nightclubs and interacting with the public. Although all of those actions were in line with local government rules.

“I do not approve of what happened on the Adria Tour, but condemning Djokovic and saying he screwed it up is too cheap for me,” Wolfgang commented.
“Of course the dance at the disco was not optimal, but Djokovic basically did nothing wrong. They just got a little sloppy, they were euphoric,” he continued.

Djokovic, who has been at the centre of the criticism, is yet to publicly speak about the incident. On Friday it was confirmed that both him and his wife Jelena have now tested negative for the virus. 10 days after they were first diagnosed.

As for Thiem, his father said the Austrian tennis star will be donating his money from the event to charity. Although he did not say how much that would be or which cause it would go towards. It comes just days after Djokovic donated 40,000 euros to the Serbian town of Novi Pazar, who has been hit hard by the pandemic.

Speaking about the outbreak of COVID-19 among players, Wolfgang has suggested that it is worth it if it meant raising money for charity.

“I prefer that there be a few more cases of coronavirus and be able to raise a few thousand euros for a childhood cancer clinic,” he explained.

Since the Adria Tour, Thiem has played at the Ultimate Tennis Showdown (UTS) in France. He has undergone five COVID-19 tests in recent days with all of them testing negative for the virus. The 26-year-old withdrew from the UTS on Wednesday to focus on the upcoming Thiem 7 event in Kitzbuhel which will start on July 7th.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending