Roger Federer: “Stefan is clearly a piece of the puzzle, so is my fitness coach, Severin, and everybody around me” - UBITENNIS
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Roger Federer: “Stefan is clearly a piece of the puzzle, so is my fitness coach, Severin, and everybody around me”

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TENNIS WIMBLEDON 2014 – 4th of July. R. Federer d. M. Raonic 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. An interview with Roger Federer

 

Q. You chose not to serve at the toss?

ROGER FEDERER: Why did I do that? Yeah, I think wind was coming from that end, so I felt like I’d rather start from that end even though then your first service game is always going to be against the wind.

That’s why I said my first service game was important against the wind to hold. It wasn’t like blowing like crazy, but sometimes that can make a minor difference, you know.

 

Q. You returned to the Wimbledon final again. I think this is a positive sign for working with Stefan Edberg. What do you think about that?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, look, it’s going really well. My game’s back where I hoped it would be, you know, from one year ago. Things were difficult all of last year, most of the year, so I’m happy I worked hard off the court, you know, to get myself back into shape and back into contention for tournaments.

This year’s been very solid. I’ve reached a lot of semis and finals. I also got two titles already. So I think that really gave me confidence to believe that I could go a step further.

Stefan is clearly a piece of the puzzle, so is my fitness coach, Severin, and everybody around me. They make it possible for me to wake up every morning motivated, healthy, fit, and eager to play.

It’s clearly also a team effort to a degree.

 

Q. All fortnight we’ve been talking about Wawrinka, Kyrgios, Dimitrov, and Raonic as being ready to step up and smash open the old guard. Does today show that you aren’t quite ready to let go yet?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I don’t know. I don’t know who said it. I didn’t read any press here really, to be quite honest.

It was always going to be hard to get rid of all four guys at the same time, let’s just be honest. It was probably going to inevitably going to be one guy around, maybe two. Really, there’s none, it’s a big shock. That was the case in Australia. There was one left in the final; here is again two; at the French it was two.

From that standpoint, I said it before the tournament, it’s probably going to be one of the guys we expect to be in the finals. Novak did his end; I was hoping I was going to be the other one. So I’m very happy with that.

But Milos and Grigor both have been around for a while. It’s not like they came about just this year. They’ve been on tour for five, six years now, so it’s not somebody entirely new.

But with Kyrgios, he’s a totally different situation. We hope we have more of the Kyrgios type, you know, the teenagers coming through.

But I am happy to see that Grigor, Milos, all those guys are knocking on the door now more consistently. Also Nishikori and other guys.

We’ll just see how the year plays out, if one of those guys or a few guys can make it to the World Tour Finals at the end of the year.

 

Q. You said this week you don’t have any confidence issues to deal with anymore. How are you feeling now that you’ve gone through your semifinal in straight sets?

ROGER FEDERER: I mean, look, confidence is always a bit up and down, but it’s important to reach a certain level where you trust your game, you play and trust yourself in the big moments.

Then also physically, you know, you can do five sets, you can do seven times five sets. That’s what the mindset has to be before a Grand Slam. I felt this way before this tournament.

Especially now things get easier just because you know you have one match left. I have a lot of energy in the tank.

From that standpoint I clearly am very excited for the finals because that’s how you want to feel before a finals, totally energized and eager to play.

 

Q. How would you describe your history with Novak and the key aspects of your game and his when you play each other?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, we both like to be close to the baseline. We both like to take charge, especially on quicker courts. He has a wonderful way of either redirecting or taking the ball early, you know, taking pace from the opponent, even generating some of his own.

So I think that’s what makes him so hard to play. There’s not really a safe place you can, you know, play into. Like back in the day there was many guys where you just knew, Oh, this guy is a bit dodgy on the backhand. Let me play that and then build up the point from that.

Novak can hurt you down the line or cross court on both sides. He’s really improved now through the years. I’ve seen him come through the ranking. His forehand, his serve, his movement clearly is what stands out the most at this moment now. He’s really been able to improve that and make it rock solid.

I think for me it’s really important to stay aggressive against him. And especially here at Wimbledon it’s more simple how we need to play against each other. It’s not like on a slow court where you can maybe manoeuvre the other guy around so much.

I think on grass it’s a bit more straightforward and I think we’re both aware of that.

 

Q. If you had to summarize your history against each other in this long rivalry, how would you best describe it?

ROGER FEDERER: Athletic. It’s been good. I must say I’ve enjoyed the matches against him. We didn’t come through the rankings together, so I was established while he was coming up.

I think it was totally different for both of us. You know, we saw each other in a different light than we see each other today when we’re both ranked high, we both achieved a lot. Things have clearly changed over time.

But ever since he’s won Grand Slams and became world No. 1, it’s been a cool rivalry, in my opinion.

 

Q. All the other semifinalists seemed to have trouble with their footing today. You handled it quite well. Are you happy with the surface? Do you think it will be a factor in the final?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I was watching the match, too, a little bit. It was unbelievable how much they were sliding around. Anyway, some players. We look at these matches sometimes of Novak or Grigor and any surface they just keep sliding. We were watching going, I can’t almost watch this, because you’ve got to be very confident in the slide in what you do.

I think they are the most extreme guys, besides maybe Monfils, of doing that. I think that’s as extreme as it’s going to get, as well.

When I came on court I realize it is somewhat slippery but normal, nothing major. Because I also thought it looks crazy slippery, but it’s clearly not. It’s a normal worn out grass court like it’s always been in previous years here at Wimbledon.

 

Q. You mentioned the love of the game. The fun factor, how much does that come into play in what you do, how successful you are, especially at this stage of your career? How much fun are you having and are you able to have fun?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah. Today I think I had to be very focused and concentrated, even after match point. Don’t get me wrong, I’m unbelievably thrilled to be in another final. I was very pleased the way I played today because it was always going to be a difficult match against Milos.

Yeah, the fun for me is being able to do it, at this age, with a family, with the team I have. We have a great relationship. I know so many people over time now on the tour, so it’s really something I really, really enjoy.

So the fun is not just after match point when you see somebody, it’s the entire package. I really enjoy it. For that matter, it makes everything so much more worth it.

 

Q. Among all your achievements, where would becoming the oldest male champion here in the Open era rank, were it to happen?

ROGER FEDERER: Is that a possibility?

 

Q. Yes.

ROGER FEDERER: Not so important (smiling).

I would know it if it would be really important to me, but it’s not.

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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.

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Kei Nishikori (photo by chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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MADRID, SPAIN - Nick Kyrgios of Australia waking to the locked room Davis Cup by Rakuten Madrid Finals 2019 at Caja Magica on November 19, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Pedro Salado / Kosmos Tennis)

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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