ATP Cincinnati – Roger Federer: “Like at Wimbledon I got off a flier and sort of never looked back” - UBITENNIS
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ATP Cincinnati – Roger Federer: “Like at Wimbledon I got off a flier and sort of never looked back”

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TENNIS ATP CINCINNATI – 16th of August 2014. R. Federer d. M. Raonic 6-2, 6-3. An interview with Roger Federer

 

Q. How tough was it to get ready? Looked like the match may be over a solid hour and a half before it ended. How tough was it to follow that, especially when you’re not expecting that?

ROGER FEDERER: You know, at 6 2, 4 Love, we still said, This can still turn, and it did.

What do you do? You kind of wait around. You hop around. We’re used to it. Rain delays and all that. That’s what tennis players are ready for.

For other sports who know exactly on that day, that hour it all happens with no interruption, it’s different. You really gear into that.

But as a tennis player you know that these things can happen. Obviously worse case scenario would’ve been if things had gone longer and rain came and because of that we couldn’t have finished. That wouldn’t be good for anybody, but that’s also what happens and you’ve got to deal with it.

Milos and me were both hanging around in the gym just hanging around really. Keep yourself active I guess I would say, because you never know if in the beginning of the third if somebody retires as well. You’re on the standby.

Q. Were you watching or just keeping a sense of what the score was?

ROGER FEDERER: No, it was on. We have like ten TVs at the gym and they were all running. There is no escaping that match, you know. (Smiling.)

Q. What do you feel like was the biggest difference tonight for you to get the win?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, I think the start was big again. Like at Wimbledon I got off a flier and sort of never looked back.

I think I returned well in patches. I would return really well one game and not for three games and then return well again.

I feel like because of that it matched up really well with how he was serving. I think because of maybe the problems I’ve caused him in the past he was pushing a bit too much on the serve or felt like he had to do something special.

That’s exactly what you want your opponent to feel. I was playing my pace. I was calm. I knew what I wanted to do, and when I did it, it worked well.

I think he had chances in the second set. It was close, and he was returning better and just getting into those rallies he was looking for. So I think it was crucial, that break I did get at 4 3 when he saved a couple.

So that was big, because otherwise maybe I am stuck in a breaker and then you never know.

Q. This is your second Masters 1000 final in a row. Just want to get your thoughts. Last week it was you and a bunch of guys, and this week it’s you and a bunch of different guys. Andy, Novak, and Rafa are sort of not currently that stage. Do you have any thoughts on do you miss them? Do you think about it at all? Or you just doing your thing?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, clearly I think we’re all interested to see what the decision is going to be about Rafa for the Open. I think that would be a bit of a letdown for the Open, for the tournament. The tournament is big in itself. It can cope with those kind of things, but clearly be more exciting having him around.

Novak clearly was surprising to see his losses.

I think Murray is getting back to where he wants to be.

Then there is always a bunch of good guys right behind them. Ferrer this week, Tsonga last week. Somebody inevitably has to win the tournament and somebody is going to have a run. That’s the beauty of it really. Never a dull moment in tennis.

The rankings keep changing and you got to keep defending your points. Rafa is losing a bunch of points now just by not playing. It’s a brutal ranking system, but it creates lot have entertainment and also news I think at the same time. So I think it’s really good.

But clearly the focus is more just trying to manage a tough schedule. I’ve played an a lot of tennis the last couple of weeks now. Got to be like ten matches in thirteen days or something with a day of travel. So it’s a lot and there is a lot on the line.

You can pick up a lot of points and win titles. That’s what I play for now. I really want to win the one tomorrow, so clearly the focus has been more on me making the transition from grass to the hard courts and then managing fatigue.

In the beginning I had a lot of muscle pain in Toronto last week from playing tough matches on the hard courts again. My body felt that.

Now I feel better than I have in ten days. That’s really encouraging, even though I played a lot of tennis now. Really hope I got one more good match here tomorrow and then I can rest next week.

Q. Does it feel like it’s been two years since you won a Masters title?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, yeah, because last year was a bit of a lost year, I guess. I don’t know if I was even in the finals of one. Maybe in Rome against Rafa. Maybe. I don’t remember. Then I came close in Paris and all that.

But, yeah, so, I mean, the problem last year was like just at one point I did get injured in the first Masters 1000. I did play Indian Wells where I might have had chances. I had Rafa in my quarter. That was always going to be tough.

That’s when things started to unravel for me. The thing is I was missing 10% or more, and knew it I was going to struggle against the best. If you struggle against the best you’re not going to win Masters 1000s, because those are the guys you’ll run into from quarters on. That’s why it was no surprise I didn’t win one last year.

Q. Would it be a significant milestone, sort of coming full circle to last year’s injury to lift one of these?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I love Cincinnati. It’s been my most successful Masters 1000, I guess. It would be great winning one more. Plus, I think I’ve lost three this year already, so it’s about time I win this one right now.

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Novak Djokovic Opens Up About Wimbledon Points Removal

The world No.1 states that he will always support the views of his peers.

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Novak Djokovic (Roberto Dell'Olivo)

By Kingsley Elliot Kaye

In his press conference following his win over Yoshihito Nishioka at the French Open, Novak Djokovic expressed his views about the ATP decision to remove points from Wimbledon.

 

Negatively affected by such a decision – he will drop 2000 points – the world No.1 praised the ATP’s stance and called for players’ unity.

“I think collectively I’m glad that players got together with ATP, the governing body of the men’s tennis, and showed to the Grand Slam that when there is a mistake happening, and there was from the Wimbledon side, then we have to show that there are going to be some consequences. So I support the players, unification always. I have always done that. I will always do that.” He said.

Djokovic criticized the lack of communication between the parties involved, in particular with regard to a document of recommendation by the English Government which contained diverse options. Had it been discussed by the All England Club with ATP and players, a compromise may have been reached.

“I think it was a wrong decision. I don’t support that at all. But, you know, during these times, it’s a super sensitive subject, and anything that you decide, it’s unfortunately going to create a lot of conflict, a lot of separation instead of unification.” He continued.

Djokovic also mentioned other suggestions coming from WTA and ATP, that possibly men’s and women’s players from Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia could play together at some exhibition event during the slam or something like this and prize money could go to the victims in Ukraine. There were different ideas, but there was never really a strong communication coming from Wimbledon.

He stressed that removing the points from Wimbledon, therefore not allowing players to earn or to defend points, is a decision that affects everyone, a lose-lose situation for everyone, as he called it.

Nonetheless, the charm and prestige of Wimbledon shall rest unaltered and its meaningfulness extends far beyond: “A Grand Slam is still a Grand Slam. Wimbledon for me was always my dream tournament when I was a child. You know, I don’t look at it through the lens of points or prize money. For me, it’s something else.”

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Injury-Hit Borna Coric Reacts To First Grand Slam Win In 16 Months

The Croat admits he was unsure how his shoulder would hold up in his opening match at Roland Garros.

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Borna Coric - US Open 2020 (via Twitter, @usopen)

Borna Coric said he is relieved that his body managed to hold up during his opening win at the French Open on Sunday.

 

The former world No.12 spent almost three hours on the court before defeating Spain’s Carlos Taberner 3-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-1, in what was his first Grand Slam match of any kind since the 2021 Australian Open. Paris is only the seventh tournament Coric has played in since returning to the Tour following a year-long absence due to shoulder surgery. The 25-year-old is yet to win back-to-back matches this season.

It does feel great. I didn’t know what to expect in terms of my shoulder because I’ve never been in the fourth set, fifth set (of a match) for one-and-a-half years,” said Coric.
“So it was also kind of worrying for me, I didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t know how I’m going to feel and how my whole body is going to behave in those later sets. Obviously I’ve been practicing it, but it’s really never the same.”

Impressively the Croat produced a total of 54 winners against 39 unforced errors in his latest match in the French capital. Furthermore, he won 76% of his first service points and 53% of his second.

“The last few weeks haven’t been very easy, I lost many tight matches. I mean, I was also quite happy with my tennis, but I was just losing,” he reflected.

Coric was once tipped to be the future of men’s tennis after rising quickly up the ranks at a young age. In 2014 he was the youngest player to end the season in the top 100 and a year last he was the youngest to do so in the top 50. He has recorded a total of nine wins over top five players, including Roger Federer, as well as winning two Tour titles.

In the second round at Roland Garros Coric will take on the formidable Grigor Dimitrov who has been ranked as high as third in the world. He will enter the clash as the underdog given his ongoing comeback from injury. At present Coric’s principal focus is on his body but that will change in the coming weeks.

Until Wimbledon my health needs to come first and after Wimbledon I can kind of try to switch in my mind so I can start playing more and more tournaments. I can train more and I can focus more on the tennis rather than on my shoulder,” he explains.

Coric has reached the third round of the French Open on four previous occasions.

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Felix Auger Aliassime Wins First Ever Roland Garros Match In Five Sets

Felix Auger-Aliassime earned his first ever victory at Roland Garros.

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Felix Auger-Aliassime (@MatchPointCAN - Twitter)

The Canadian found himself down two sets to none but fought back to pull off the comeback in a thrilling five set victory.

 

Felix Auger Aliassime is into the second round of the French Open for the first time in his career after battling back to beat the Peruvian qualifier Juan Pablo Varillas in five sets 2-6, 2-6, 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 in three hours and 14 minutes.

The Montreal native finished the match serving 14 aces and hitting 52 winners in a match that featured a lot of long rallies from behind the baseline.

“It was a dream for me to play here, it was an honor and my first time on Phillipe Chatrier and my first win at Roland Garros and I had to work hard to get it and credit my opponent he played very well today.”

The Peruvian started the match by breaking the number nine seed right out of the gate and at 3-1 managed to turn that break into a double break as he served out the first set with ease.

The first two games of the second went on serve but again the world number 122 seemed to play better as the Canadian looked stunned, searching for answers.

The Lima native once again took an early lead to take a 3-1 lead and again that seemed like enough for the Peruvian as he served out the second set and was one set away from an improbable upset.

The third set is where the Canadian started to turn things around and his groundstrokes seemed to have more precision. At 2-1 it was the Montreal native who got the first break of serve.

After consolidating the break the world number nine was hungry for more and turned that break into a double break and it looked like the match was turning in his favour.

The Canadian served out the third set to send it to a fourth looking to send it to a decider.

The Montreal native rode the momentum from winning the third into the fourth set where after holding the opening service game got the early break once again taking a 2-0 lead.

At 5-3 with the Peruvian looking to stay in the set, Auger Aliassime managed to get another break to win the set and send the match to a fifth set.

The fifth set stayed on serve until 4-3 when the Canadian had four chances to break and at the fourth time of asking he was able to break and serve out the match to complete the comeback.

After the match in his on court interview he was asked about the adjustments he made in the third set to turn the match around and pull off the win.

“I tried to give myself some more space and a little more time, my opponent at the beginning was playing very quick, aggressive, and flat so I tried a couple things and I also served better and after that it was easier.”

The Canadian will next face either Aslan Karatsev or Camilo Ugo Carabelli in the next round.

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