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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Rafael Nadal Hoping Coronavirus Will Not Spoil His Olympic Dreams

The 19-time grand slam champion speaks out about the worldwide outbreak.

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World No.2 Rafael Nadal has said he is hopeful that a remedy can be found to contain the worldwide Coronavirus outbreak in order to stop what he describes as ‘fear’ erupting.

 

Several countries have declared major medical emergencies in order to tackle the illness, which also goes by the name of Covid 19. It is believed to have originated in China, where the most infections and deaths from the illness have been recorded. However, Iran is also struggling with an outbreak, Italy has quantified 11 towns, Saudi Arabia is preventing foreign pilgrims from entering their country and Japan has closed schools.

Coronavirus has also had an impact on various tennis events with a string of Chinese ITF and Challenger events cancelled. Meanwhile on Sunday, the final of the ATP Bergamo Open in Italy was cancelled due to concerns. Making it the first time an European event has been impacted by the threat posed by Coronavirus.

“I hope it is controlled, that a remedy is found and this uncertainty is stopped, this psychosis, this fear. It is the most important thing, not only for the Olympic Games, but for humanity, “ Nadal commented on the issue following his second round win at the Mexican Open.

One of the biggest sporting events is also under threat – the Olympic Games. This year’s edition will be held in Tokyo, Japan. IOC council member Dick Pound has recently said the sporting event will be cancelled if there is ‘world health at stake.’ The World Health Organisation is currently working with Olympic organizers, who are keen to empathise that they have no intention of cancelling the event.

“Our basic thoughts are that we will go ahead with the Olympic and Paralympic Games as scheduled,” Committee chief executive Toshiro Muto recently told Japanese reporters.
“For the time being, the situation of the coronavirus infection is, admittedly, difficult to predict, but we will take measures such that we’ll have a safe Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

Nadal is one of many tennis players hoping to win a gold medal later this year. The Spaniard is already a three-time Olympic after competing in 2004, 2008 and 2016. He has previously won two gold medals. Claiming the singles title in 2008 and the doubles trophy alongside Marc Lopez in 2016.

“Regarding the Olympic Games, to say that it is one of the most special events in the world. It is a unique experience to be there and I consider it the most difficult tournament to win because you only have two or three chances in your career, “ Nadal commented.

The Olympic tennis tournament will get underway on July 25th. It will be held at the Ariake Coliseum.

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Novak Djokovic reaches the semifinal in Dubai for the ninth time in his career

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Novak Djokovic cruised past Karen Khachanov 6-2 6-2 in one hour and six minutes to reach the semifinal at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Tournament for the ninth time in his career.

 

Djokovic dropped 13 points in eight service game and converted on five of his nine break points. He dropped his serve only once in the first set.

Djokovic held serve with a drop shot winner in the third game and broke serve at love with a forehand return down the line winner in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead. The 2020 Australian Open champion held his serve with a drop shot winner in the third game and broke serve at love with a return down the line winner.

Djokovic held serve at love with a volley winner to consolidate the break. The Serbian player went up a double break earning his chance to serve for the set, as Khachanov netted a backhand in the sixth game. Khachanov pulled one break back after a forehand error from Djokovic, as the Serb failed to convert a set point in the next game. Djokovic got another break in the eighth game to clinch the opening set 6-2 on his third set point in 32 minutes, as Khachanov hit a backhand into the net.

Khachanov fended off a break point in the second game of the second set before Djokovic earned a break at love in the fourth game with a lob. Djokovic sealed the second set with another break at 5-2.

“I don’t know if I am playing the best tennis of my career. That’s a big statement, but I am feeling and playing well.  I like the conditions, but in windy conditions it’s not easy to serve and find rhythm. I know it wasn’t Karen’s day, but I think I played a very solid match. I am trying to be in the present and execute my game plan”, said Djokovic.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas reaches his second consecutive semifinal in Dubai

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Last year’s finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas came back from one set down to beat Jan-Lennard Struff 4-6 6-4 6-4 reaching the semifinals at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships for the second consecutive year.

 

Struff earned three set points at 5-4 in the opening set. Tsitsipas recovered to 30-40, as Struff hit two forehands into the net. The German player converted his third break point chance to win the first set 6-4 after 45 minutes.

Tsitsipas earned an early break in the first game of the second set, as Struff hit a forehand long at 15-40. Tsitsipas rallied from 15-40 down, when he was serving for the second set at 5-4, and converted his second set point with a forehand down the line winner.

Struff fended off four break points in the first game of the decisive set. Tsitsipas earned the decisive break in the ninth game to take a 5-4 and sealed the win on his first match point. Tsitsipas will face Daniel Evans, who beat Andrey Rublev 6-2 7-6 (11-9).

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