Roger Federer: “Once he did have a letdown physically I was able to capitalize on that” - UBITENNIS
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Roger Federer: “Once he did have a letdown physically I was able to capitalize on that”

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TENNIS WIMBLEDON 2014 – 2nd of July. R. Federer d. S. Wawrinka 3-6, 7-6, 6-4, 6-4. An interview with Roger Federer

 

Q. After the disappointments of last year, what does this year mean to you reaching yet another semifinal at Wimbledon?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, there was a lot on the line today playing against Stan, you know. Quarters sort of shows the direction on how you’re playing and all these things.

I’m really pleased to have come through. Like you said, last year was a major disappointment for me because I always see Wimbledon as one of my main goals of the season, side-by-side with rankings and some other highlights that I choose that there are for me.

I try to be in the best possible shape, so last year was rough. I was very disappointed. Went back to the practice courts. Didn’t have any options left at that point.

So I’m happy that one year later I’m back in the semis and with a chance to go further.

 

Q. You’re playing either Raonic or Kyrgios. Yesterday Kyrgios said you were his big idol, it would be a dream come true to meet you. Do you have a similar story when you met your big idol?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I did have that moment here on Centre Court in 2001 when I played Sampras. That was my big moment. It was my first time on Centre Court. It was my first and only time I ever played against Pete. Huge occasion. Five sets. Had it all, you know.

I’m happy we never played after that, you know, so that one remains the only one for me.

Clearly I’d like to play against him, too. He came to Switzerland to practice with me actually the week before Rome I think it was. We had a great time together. Had good intensity. I already thought he was playing unbelievably at the Australian Open.

It was nice to see how he works and how he plays in the practice. I think he’s going to rise up the rankings. It’s not hard to predict because he will during this tournament or afterwards. It would be cool playing here in the semis with the ranking he has. It’s an amazing story.

We like these kind of stories from time to time in the tennis world, a youngster coming through the rankings so quickly.

 

Q. Is it more difficult playing against a friend and a compatriot, or are you able to shut that out when you’re on court?

ROGER FEDERER: I was thinking about it midway through the match actually. I was like, Oh, I’m playing Stan kind of thing. It hit me midway through the second set.

So, yeah, I mean, it goes in phases. You need some energy to push yourself. You want to win the match. You don’t necessarily want to beat him, but you want to win the match. So that’s the odd part. It plays its role during the match.

I still felt I was able to focus well and play as good as Stan allowed me to play, because he was playing really well right out of the gates. He came out and was crushing the ball, forehand and backhand and even serve, so it was very difficult for me.

I’m happy that throughout the matches we’ve played against each other I didn’t have a huge problem playing against him, even though it is unusual playing a friend and unusual playing especially a compatriot.

 

Q. I think Novak was saying on TV the other day he asked you about being a father, becoming a father. Is that the case? What did you tell him?

ROGER FEDERER: I told him what he wanted to know. Just answered his questions.

 

Q. What did he ask you?

ROGER FEDERER: That’s a conversation between him and me.

No, he just asked me how life was on the road, how it is to be a dad. I think it’s what like every dad, soon to be dad goes through. You want to get some information, something you can wrap your mind around. I think he’s super excited. He’s very happy. I’m very happy for them.

So he’s going through that period, which is so cool. I think it’s some of the best moments now leading into it, and then right after where I am now. If he can ask anybody, it’s me clearly.

Yeah, I was happy to share my things with him that worked well and didn’t work well for me in the past.

 

Q. What do you make of the period we’re in right now where there are these young guys on the rise and the four of you who have dominated the majors for nine years still in a position for competing for those?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, it’s exciting, you know, for the game to see new faces like Kyrgios, now Raonic or Nishikori, you name it. There’s been a few guys knocking on the door now. Still don’t have enough teenagers like I would hope we had.

It’s just hard breaking through. The points, you fetch them from semis on, not really quarters anymore like it used to be. So it’s hard I think for a youngster to win or be consistent over three, four, five matches in a row where the big points are.

But other than that, I think it’s good times in tennis right now. There’s a lot of excitement. Stadiums are always pretty much full on Centre Court, which is great. Seems a lot of press traveling the world to see what’s going on.

I’m really happy playing in this time really.

 

Q. Once you get to the semifinals do you relax a bit because it’s been such a big tournament, or do you step up the pressure because the matches get bigger?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, it’s a different situation because I played back-to-back days. I’m really looking forward to a day off tomorrow. Good thing yesterday was that I finished early. Really I felt like it was half a day off afterwards.

Now it’s late. I don’t have much rest today other than sort of really treatment, get through the press, have dinner, and then go to bed really.

So tomorrow’s a big day for me where I can let it all sort of sink in a bit, you know, like what’s been going well for the last nine days or so and what do I need to do to get to the finals.

I can really prepare well. It’s a comfortable place to be. I must say, I know there’s pressure, but the confidence is there. You know there is a chance now to go a step further because you trust your game. That’s where I am right now. I’m really excited about the next couple days now.

 

Q. You move very well and you serve very well. In the end it was hard. Stan was really fighting for the last points. How is your confidence? In Monte Carlo he came back and won the match. Did that go through your mind because he was fighting so hard?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, in Monaco he got better as the match went on. Here he really came out of the blocks unbelievably strong. I think he had some physical issues at some point midway through the third maybe. It was more visible. He wasn’t like cranking his serve as much anymore, he wasn’t hitting as hard and moving as quick as he was in the first couple.

So from that standpoint I was able to take advantage of that, which is very important. Even though he did have breakpoints back at the end of the fourth, it was just still good to have that break lead. Even if he would have come back it would have been 5-All and still I didn’t have the back against the wall yet.

I mean, I was calm to a degree. I was nervous, too, that he would get back in the match. Then you don’t know if all of a sudden the adrenaline gets him back into the match entirely. But difficult have the upper hand for most of the match.

Once he did have a letdown physically I was able to capitalize on that, which was important today.

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Richard Gasquet reaches his first Masters 1000 semifinal since Miami 2013

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Frenchman Richard Gasquet edged past this year’s Wimbledon semifinalist Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-2 after 2 hours and 12 minutes to reach his first Masters 1000 semifinal since the 2013 Miami Open.

 

 Gasquet missed six months of action after undergoing groin surgery last January.

The French player set up a semfinal against David Goffin, who reached the semifinal after his Japanese opponent Yoshihito Nishioka withdrew from the match due to illness.

The first set went on serve with no break points en route to the tie-break. Bautista Agut hit a backhand wide at 1-2. Gasquet sealed the tie-break when Bautista Agut hit a forehand long.

Bautista Agut earned two breaks of serve in the second set and sealed it, when Gasquet made his third double fault on set point.

Gasquet broke serve with a volley in the third game of the decisive set. The French player went up a double break to race out to 4-1 lead. He saved two break points to hold his serve at deuce before serving out the third set on his first match point.

“I know how tough it was to come back. I know the moments I had at the start of the year, so I just wanted to enjoy, to fight. It is not easy to come back after six months out, but I am here. I am in semis tomorrow”,said Gasquet.

 

 

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Danil Medvedev cruises past Jan-Lennard Struff to set up an all Russian quarter final against Andrey Rublev

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Ninth seed Danil Medvedev cruised past Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3 6-1 in 66 minutes to reach the quarter final at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati.

 

Medvedev committed just 12 unforced errors and won 18 of Struff’s 25 second serve points.

 Medvedev broke twice in the second and eighth games to win the first set 6-2. The young Russian player got two consecutive breaks in the second and fourth games to race out to a 4-0 lead and held his service game at deuce after saving a break point in the fifth game. Struff held his serve to get his first game on the scoreboard, but Medvedev sealed the win on his first match point. The Russian player has improved his head-to-head record to 3-0 againt Struff.

Medvedev has won 11 of his past 13 matches during the North American hard-court season. He has a solid 41-16 record this season. He finished runner in two consecutive finals to Nick Kyrgios at Washington and to Rafael Nadal in Montreal.  In the quarter final the Russian star will face his compatriot Andrey Rublev, who upset Roger Federer 6-3 6-4.

Recent Wimbledon semifinalist Roberto Bautista Agut cruised past Miomir Kecmanovic 6-1 6-2 in just under an hour setting up a quarter final against Richard Gasquet, who beat Diego Schwartzman 7-6 (8-6) 6-3.

Japanese qualifier Yoshihito Nishioka beat Australian player Alex De Minaur 7-5 6-4 in 83 minutes with one break in each set. Nishioka rallied from 4-6 down in the tie-break of the first set to edge Adrian Mannarino 7-6 (8-6) 6-2 in 1 hour and 37 minutes.

“It was a great match and I got better as it went on. I am feeling sharp. I am feeling great now and I am looking forward to the quarter finals of a Masters 1000. I have nothing to lose”, said Goffin.

 

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Roger Federer Crashes Out Of Cincinnati Masters

The seven-time champion has suffered a blow to his preparations for the US Open.

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World No.3 Roger Federer has been knocked out of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati after falling in straight sets to Russia’s Andrey Rublev.

 

The 20-time grand slam champion struggled to find his range as he was overwhelmed by his fearless opponent during the 6-3, 6-4, loss. Despite the huge disparity in experience between the two, 21-year-old Rublev managed to dominate the majority of rallies with the help of some heavy hitting. Producing 17 winners to six unforced errors, compared to Federer’s tally of 19 and 20.

“I respect him a lot, I respect all the top players a lot, but today when I was going to court I was going there to win.” Rublev said during an interview with Amazon Prime.
“I was not going (to the match) to enjoy. I was going to fight, try to win and do my best.”

Rublev’s shock win saw the underdog outdo the Swiss maestro in almost every area of the match. Winning the most first serves (85% to 63%), second serves (57% to 63) and a bigger majority of points at the net (5/6 to 7/19). Breaking him twice in the opening set and once in the second. The Russian, who is 70th in the world, is the lowest ranked player to defeat Federer on the tour since Thanassi Kokkinakis at the 2018 Miami Open.

The loss leaves a mark on Federer’s impressive record in Cincinnati, which he has won a record seven times. It is the first time he has failed to reach the quarter-final stage since losing to Ivo Karlovic in the third round back in 2008.

“He was playing well. I was maybe struggling especially on the offensive, because overall I didn’t think I was feeling the ball badly.” Federer reflected during his press conference. “It’s just, you know, sort of fast-court conditions and when you sometimes then can’t rely on that serve to go or on the one-two punch, which I didn’t think was excellent today from my side, you need an opponent that maybe lets you get by some tougher moments, but he didn’t do that.”
“He was super clean. Defense, offense, serving well. Didn’t give me anything. He was everywhere. So it was tough for me, but excellent match by him. I was impressed.”

Rublev now has a meeting with compatriot Daniil Medvedev in what will be his first quarter-final at Masters level. Medvedev has reached the final of tournaments in Washington and at the Rogers Cup since Wimbledon. He is yet to drop a set this week and brushed aside Jan-Lennard Struff 6-2, 6-1, in his third round match.

“It’s going to be an interesting match for Russia.” Rublev previewed. “It will be a tough match for me because the way he plays. Nobody likes to play him.”
“I lost to him in a Challenger a few years ago, so it’s going to be interesting tomorrow.” He added.

The latest victory is only Rublev’s second over a top five player in his career. His first was against Dominic Thiem at the German Open last month.

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