ATP Toronto – Roger Federer: “I started well, and that's always helpful to play more freely” - UBITENNIS
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ATP Toronto – Roger Federer: “I started well, and that's always helpful to play more freely”

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TENNIS ATP TORONTO – 5th of August 2014. R. Federer d. P. Polansky 6-2, 6-0. An interview with Roger Federer

 

Q. Are you a heartless guy?

ROGER FEDERER: Heartless?

 

Q. Yeah.

ROGER FEDERER: Not really (smiling). Normally not, but I don’t know. On the courts you’ve just got to block it out and just get it done, you know. You never know when it can shift.

It’s all happened before, you know. You feel a little bad, and then you end up losing the match.

 

Q. Are you pretty pleased with your levels tonight?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I was happy. I started well, you know, and that’s always helpful to play more freely.

Yeah, I think I could have served better at times, but other than that, already in practice I felt I was moving well. Didn’t feel so good hitting the ball yet. Wasn’t quite getting used to the surface, and now the last few days have been much better and I’m happy that in the match it kind of all worked really well.

You know, for the start of a tournament it’s never clear if that’s going to be the case. I’m very relieved and just really pleased.

 

Q. I see over the years of watching you, you’re looking at the ball when you hit, especially the forehand, you look at that place where the ball was. You still look there. When did you create that kind of a special kind of looking at the ball?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I actually did it when I was younger, of course. It all comes from there. And I actually did it almost more extreme when I was younger, I guess, because I did have more time. Now I can’t keep looking at where it was, because otherwise the next ball is on the other side.

I don’t know. It’s just a total habit. I don’t remember my coaches telling me this. It’s just kind of like how I did it. They never really told me not to do it, because I guess it is good for the movement.

I don’t see many other guys doing it so much. I’m quite surprised.

 

Q. You talked about blocking things out, but the crowd is always so behind you. They follow you in the practice courts and they’re cheering for you even when you’re playing against another Canadian. What does that mean to you? And does it ever surprise you still?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, actually today, even though when you know you’re going to go into a tough match with the crowd possibly being for your opponent or maybe even against you, which is just not very frequent, you know, to be honest, in tennis people are nice or they’re just going to support the other guy, and it only just struck me today one minute before I walked out when I saw the Canadian flag and Peter was there, I was like, Oh, yeah, this is not just a first round. This is against a Canadian.

But I wasn’t worried, you know, in any way that it was going to get ugly or too much behind him. But clearly if the scoreline gets tight, they will make you feel they want Peter to either win a set or maybe even win the whole match, and that can make you nervous or make him play better.

So I have been around the block and I know how to handle it, so thankfully today is no problem, but of course I appreciate crowd support. It’s one of the great things to experience as an athlete is to feel like you’re well liked or admired sometimes.

It just makes you feel more comfortable, and it probably motivates you, as well, to play really good tennis and to run for every ball rather than not trying so hard.

 

Q. In terms of being a parent on tour and now having four kids instead of just two, how much more challenging is it logistically for you in terms of your family? And if Rafa and Novak each had four kids, do you think we’d see a different spread in the rankings?

ROGER FEDERER: I still say they’d be very good. Clearly it would definitely create a situation for them that is, you know, one you need to get used to.

I don’t think it’s been such a huge adjustment like the girls have been for me. Having kids for the first time, I think it is always going to be the first huge impact. The second time around I feel like we’re so much better, not prepared, but just knowing what you’re getting into, what you need to do.

I don’t know. This time around it seems much easier. I know that in a year’s time when they’re going to start running around it will be crazy, but as of now it’s manageable, I must say.

 

Q. Are you digging the new paint job on the racquet?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, clearly I was part of the process, and I was very involved from day one. It was something I really wanted to do since a long time, I must say, to change the racquet to a bigger head size, bigger frame, different paint job, as well.

It’s something that I have been thinking about for five years maybe. But because I was always making quarters or better at slams consecutively, it was just hard to make the switch sometimes.

Then once I really wanted to make the switch, Myla and Charlene were born, so that didn’t allow me to really do it. Last year I really felt like this was the moment, it’s now or never. So I pulled through with it.

I’m really happy the racquet is working so well. And now finally it’s out there for the public to buy it, too, and the goal clearly was to make it exactly    the one I’m playing with you can buy it in the shop, and I think it’s exciting for the fans.

 

Q. There has been some talk in recent months about at Wimbledon, sort of the toweling off between points that has sort of become pretty common on the tour.

ROGER FEDERER: Like coming out of the pool kind of thing?

 

Q. Yeah.

ROGER FEDERER: I know what you mean, yeah. (Smiling.)

 

Q. Heading to Cincinnati and then New York   

ROGER FEDERER: Are we going to have beach towels? Yeah. (Smiling.)

 

Q. What are your feelings about that whole concept? Has it become too much? Almost like an affectation that players are doing even when they don’t really need to towel off? They’re just doing it because they are biding time?

ROGER FEDERER: Habit, maybe. I see it more as a habit, you know, to be quite honest. I don’t want to say I was one of the first to start it, but I needed it to calm down, you know, to not throw the racquet or not yell.

I was like, Okay, go back to the towel and relax. You know, like that was for me a thing I consciously tried to do back at the end of the ’90s. That was for me    that’s why I did it.

I kind of kept that up, and I guess many other players started to do it, too. I don’t think necessarily it’s about, you know, winning time all the time, but it gives you those    I guess you have right at the moment right after the point where you like, still in the whole thing of the point being over for a few seconds, you always have the seconds that lead up to where you focus for the next point, and you have that in between, in between when you have that towel or something with you. I guess it’s something, for some players, like a security blanket, comforting.

But it really is maybe calming for some guys. Then of course has it gone over the top? Sometimes absolutely. And then if they do it, it just needs to be done in a timely matter.

I don’t have a problem for guys doing it, but you don’t want to do it on crucial points or to always go over the time limit.

Is it being abused? At that point, I’m not so sure, but I think that was actually not too big of a problem for us.

ATP

Roger Federer Eyeing Olympic Glory At The Age Of 39 In 2021

The Swiss tennis star isn’t ready to step away from the sport just yet.

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20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer has vowed to play at next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo after undergoing two surgeries on his knee.

 

The former world No.1 hasn’t played a competitive match since his semi-final loss to Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open in January. Since then he had twice undergone arthroscopic surgeries which is a minimally invasive procedure that is used to diagnose and treat problems with the joints. Federer announced shortly after having the procedure done for a second time that he will not be returning to the Tour again this year.

Despite the setbacks, the 38-year-old has vowed to return to action at the start of 2021 with Olympic glory one of his main targets. He is already a two-time Olympic medallist after winning gold in the men’s doubles back in 2008 followed by silver in the singles draw at the 2012 London Games.

“My goal is to play Tokyo 2021. It’s a wonderful city. I met my wife in my first Olympics in 2000. It’s a special event for me,” Federer said on Monday during the launch of ‘The Roger’ shoe with Swiss brand ON.
“I had two surgeries and I can’t hit at the moment, but I’m very confident I will be totally ready for 2021.
“I do miss playing in front of the fans, no doubt. Now, I think if tennis comes back we know it won’t be in a normal way where we can have full crowds yet.”

Federer will be 39 when he returns to action, but is yet to speculate as to when he may close the curtain on his record-breaking career. He is currently the second oldest man in the top 200 on the ATP Tour after Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic, who is 41.

Besides the Olympics, the Swiss Maestro is also setting his eye on Wimbledon where he has claimed the men’s title a record eight times. However, he hasn’t won a major title since the 2018 Australian Open. The Grass-court major has been cancelled this year for the first time since 1945 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Of course I miss Wimbledon, of course I would like to be there currently playing on Centre Court for a place in the second week,” he said.
“Clearly, one of my big goals, and that’s why I do recovery work every day and work so hard, and why I’m preparing for a 20-week physical preparation block this year, is because I hope to play at Wimbledon next year.”

Even though he is not playing for the rest of the year, Federer incredibly still has a chance of qualifying for the ATP Finals due to recent changes in the rankings calculations. Due to the pandemic, players are now allowed to use their best results at 18 tournaments based on a 22-month period instead of 12 months. Something that could enable him to remain inside the top eight until the end of 2020 depending on how his rivals fair.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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