ATP Toronto – Stefan Edberg: “I think it's been good to be back on the tour in many ways” - UBITENNIS
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ATP Toronto – Stefan Edberg: “I think it's been good to be back on the tour in many ways”

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TENNIS ATP TORONTO – 4th of August 2014. An interview with Stefan Edberg

 

Stefan Edberg is one of our 2014 inductees into the Rogers Cup Hall of Fame. He will be inducted in a center court ceremony that has actually just been changed to tomorrow night. He is a six time Grand Slam singles champion and a two time finalist in singles here at Rogers Cup and also the 1987 doubles champion.

 

Q. Is there anything either on or off the court that has surprised you since you have started coaching in regards to Roger Federer? What has been the most rewarding aspect of your partnership thus far with him?

STEFAN EDBERG: Well, I’ve said it in the past, what is great is he still have the determination to go out there and work hard and still have the motivation, which I think is something that’s really, really important as he sort of gets towards the end of this stage.

And the way he is as a person, you know, on and off court, it’s been a great experience.

 

Q. Are you enjoying being a coach more than you thought you would?

STEFAN EDBERG: Let’s say it’s nothing that I thought that I ever would do, but obviously being around Roger and the way he is as a person on and off court has actually been a very, very good journey so far.

The great thing is that he had a lot of troubles with injuries last year, and he’s been healthy. I think that’s really been a key factor why he’s playing so much better than he did last year.

So it’s been good to see him making some progress this year. As we all know, he was very, very close winning at Wimbledon. There was one or two points that made a difference in that final, which was one of the better finals I have watched in the past in the many, many years.

But that’s the way it is in tennis. But I still believe the way he’s playing, and if he can keep working and stay healthy, he’s got a shot of doing very well here going forward. But it’s an important week this week as well here.

 

Q. We are seeing that tennis is such a mental game. Is there anything on the mental side that you help him out with?

STEFAN EDBERG: Well, I think through experience there are certain things, and sometimes they can be things you don’t think about. And it’s also about improving at this stage of your career. There is still room for improvements.

There are certain things that we have sort of been talking about within the group that we have sort of been working on and the way he plays.

So there are certain things still to work on, which is always keep things in check, so to say.

 

Q. When you played in the ’90s, you had a lot of Swedish players that were traveling as a group and played as a group. Can you make any parallels to Canadian tennis at this time as to the ’90s?

STEFAN EDBERG: Well, we were a lot more (smiling). But I think looking back I think we had a great time, you know, during the ’80s and ’90s, and it was really easy traveling being a lot of Swedes around.

As a group, I think we’re pretty tight. We practiced a lot together, we are supporting each other, so I think it’s very unique time. I think there is a chance now with the guys in Canada here that they can do the same journey, and hopefully you can fill in with some new youngsters taking up the game of tennis.

It should be a very exciting time for Canadian tennis going forward now and get some momentum, and usually it feeds on. It should be good.

 

Q. Was Borg your idol growing up?

STEFAN EDBERG: Yes, he was, definitely. There couldn’t be anybody else (smiling). I think what he did for Swedish tennis is quite incredible. He really was the one that broke through, and then obviously that made us play tennis.

He sort of was the idol of many of us and he was a hero, and he was somebody that you could look up to. He was of great importance for Swedish tennis. And then we all know about the generation that came after him, which was quite incredible if you think back, because I have had that question so many times, why we were so good at the time in the ’80s, and I didn’t really have the answers back then. But now, when I think back, I think it had a lot to do with we had great coaches at home, we had a great environment, we had a lot of indoor facilities being built.

It was just a lot of momentum at the moment doing the right things and maybe working a bit harder than other nations. I didn’t realize it at the time when it was happening, but now, when I think back, it was the best of all times.

Those things probably are never gonna come back in a hundred years. We’re still going to produce some great players but not to the extent. It was just a unique period of time.

 

Q. I think tennis fans from the 1980s find it really something to see you and Boris coaching two of the top players in today’s era.

STEFAN EDBERG: And who would have believed that? (Laughter.)

 

Q. What are your thoughts on resuming that sort of rivalry with Boris? And what was it like to be back at Wimbledon but from a coach’s perspective against him?

STEFAN EDBERG: Well, I think it’s been good to be back on the tour in many ways, A, to work with Roger, which is fantastic, and be part of the game which I have sort of been away from, and at the same time having some of the former players doing a job out there, and obviously Boris.

It was quite a day when you think about it, you know, being on Centre Court again in the player’s box, sitting in the final and Boris on the opposite side.

It was a good feeling to be back in the final again, but it’s so much different now because, you know, I don’t feel it like a rivalry when you did at the time when you were playing. It’s very different this time around.

 

Q. What’s more nerve wracking for you? You mentioned being Roger’s coach. Sitting in the box during a Grand Slam final when he’s on the court or when you yourself are playing in a Grand Slam final?

STEFAN EDBERG: I think for many ways it’s worse sitting in the stands, because you can’t really do anything sometimes. You wish you could.

But it’s actually been okay, but I think the final there was a lot of feelings there because it is a Wimbledon final.

But it’s okay. I think sometimes because I have my son playing tennis, that’s been even tougher (smiling).

But apart from that, it’s quite good, but you want him to do well and so it’s a different feeling, but it’s good so far.

ATP

Roger Federer’s Team8 Considering Bid To Buy Cincinnati Masters Rights From USTA

The potential move has gained support from one former world No.1 player who says ‘it is nice to see responsible names’ in the mix to buy the prestigious event.

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Roger Federer Wimbledon 2021
Roger Federer (SUI) playing against Adrian Mannarino (FRA) in the first round of the Gentlemen's Singles on Centre Court at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 2 Tuesday 29/06/2021. Credit: AELTC/Jed Leicester

It is understood that sports and entertainment company Team8 which was co-founded by Roger Federer is looking into potentially submitting an application for ownership of the Cincinnati Masters, according to two sources.

 

Sports business publication Sportico and Steve Weissman from The Tennis Channel have both reported that the business is among a number of interested parties who want to buy the event that is best known as the Western and Southern Open. In February this year it was confirmed that the USTA is selling their 93.8% stake in the tournament for a ‘nine-figure sum.’ It is understood that the organization doesn’t want the event to be relocated from Cincinnati in part of any deal.

“The USTA’s Board of Directors believes now is the right time to explore potential strategic options and alternatives in order to optimize the long-term growth of the tournament and take the tournament to the next level,” the USTA said in a statement published by tennis.com.

The USTA brought the rights to the men’s event back in 2009 for $12.5M and has since spent an additional $65M. Whilst Cincinnati is a combined tournament, the ongoing negotiations only apply to the men’s section. The women’s tournament is overseen by Octagon management.

Neither Federer or a member of Team8 have commented on the reported plans. The company was founded by the 20-time Grand Slam champion and his agent Tony Godsick back in 2013. Since then they have been involved in the creation of the Laver Cup, became a ‘major investor’ in the Universal Tennis system and are a ‘strategic investor and partner’ to On Running.

Should Team8 become the new owners, questions may arise about conflicts of interest with Federer still being an active player on Tour. The 40-year-old is currently sidelined from action due to a knee injury but is aiming to stage a comeback at the Swiss Open later this year. However, former world No.1 Andy Roddick has given his full backing to the possible takeover.

“In the world of tennis, where conflicts of interest know no bounds at all, Roger can do this. He has, obviously, been a great steward for the game and has created an incredible relationship with the fans in the city of Cincinnati. You’d like to see it stay in the tennis family with someone who actually knows and loves our sport.” Roddick told The Tennis Channel.

Federer has won the Cincinnati Masters a record seven times in his career.

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Daniil Medvedev ‘Happy To Play Wimbledon’ If Ban Is Lifted

The world No.2 says he is willing to speak with other players about the situation ahead of his return to action following surgery.

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Daniil Medvedev (RUS) in action against Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) in the first round of the Gentlemen's Singles on No.1 Court at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 2 Tuesday 29/06/2021. Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Daniil Medvedev says he is still hopeful that he might be able to play at this year’s Wimbledon Championships should officials at The All England Club decide to change their stance.

 

At present the reigning US Open champion will not be allowed to play at the grass court major due to his nationality. Officials at the Grand Slam have confirmed that Russian and Belarussian players have been banned from the event due to the war in Ukraine. Ian Hewitt, who is the chairman of The AELTC, said the action was taken in order to prevent ‘the propaganda machine of the Russian regime’ from potentially benefiting from their players’ success.

The ban is a controversial move for the sport which until now had a united approach when it came to allowing those players participate in tournaments but only as neutral athletes. Former Wimbledon champions Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokopvic and Andy Murray have all expressed some degree of opposition to the decision. Meanwhile, the ATP and WTA are considering the possibility of removing the allocation of ranking points at the event.

Speaking about the ban ahead of this week’s Geneva Open, Medvedev acknowledges that it is a ‘tricky situation’ but is still hopeful that a u-turn could occur which would allow him to play. The 26-year-old has made four main draw appearances at Wimbledon with his best result being a run to the fourth round last year.

“There has been a lot of talk around it. I just tried to follow what’s happening because I don’t have any decisions to make. It’s right now about Wimbledon itself, the ATP, maybe the British government is involved,” news agency AFP quoted Medvedev as telling reporters in Switzerland.
“It’s a tricky situation and like every situation in life, you ask 100 players, everybody’s going to give a different opinion.
“I can play: I’m going to be happy to play in Wimbledon. I love this tournament.
“I cannot play: well, I’m going to try to play other tournaments and prepare well for next year if I have the chance to play.”

The former world No.1 has been among a group of Russian players who have previously called for peace in the region. Although none of them have gone as far as publicly condemning the actions of their government. Something which has drawn criticism from Ukraine’s Elina Svitoliva.

“I had some time to follow what is happening, yeah, it’s very upsetting,” Medvedev commented on the war.

Geneva will be the first event Medvedev has played in since reaching the quarter-finals of the Miami Open. He took time away from the Tour to undergo hernia surgery but has confirmed he intends to play at next week’s French Open despite his lack of match play on the clay.

During his time at those events, the tennis star says he is more than happy to speak with other players about the Wimbledon ban should they want to.

“Since I haven’t been on the tour, I haven’t talked to any of them face to face. It was the first time when I came here on Saturday when I can talk to players, and if they start talking about this, we can discuss,” he said.
“I don’t know exactly what’s happening, what’s going to happen, if there are going to be more decisions made.
“Same about Wimbledon. I don’t know if this decision is 100 percent, and it’s over.”

Granted a bye in the first round, Medvedev will start his Geneva campaign against either Richard Gasquet or John Millman.

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Conquering the world: Carlos Alcaraz beats Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic to cement Barcelona-Madrid titles (Part Two)

Carlos Alcaraz will now look to translate his success from the ATP Tour to Roland Garros.

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Carlos Alcaraz (@MutuaMadridOpen)

In part one, I assessed how Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz continues to take the tennis world by storm after his victory in Barcelona.

 

Now I turn my attentions to his success in another famous Spanish city.

Madrid Masters victory

Alcaraz again began his Madrid Masters campaign in style, beating the dangerous Georgian Nicoloz Basilashvili in straight sets.

A stern test came in the form of Britain’s Cameron Norrie, who pushed the birthday boy that day to three sets.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CdMSI6uKJZB/?igshid=MDJmNzVkMjY=

Alcaraz moving through 6-4, 6-7 (4-7), 6-3 to set up a blockbuster quarter-final clash with his idol Rafa Nadal.

Now, some context is needed that the 21-time Grand Slam was appearing in his first tournament back since recovering from a rib injury.

An opening round win against Serbian Miomir Kecmanović was backed up with a tight three-set triumph over Belgian David Goffin, with the veteran Spaniard saving four match points.

To his credit, Nadal pushed his young apprentice all the way, before going down 6-2, 1-6, 6-3, with the second set showing his obvious quality, despite being partially fit.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CdOP5Jtg2Pn/

If this moment was a changing of the guard in Spanish tennis, then Alcaraz’s impressive win over Novak Djokovic could point to the man who may dominant the future of tennis.

The world number one was fortunate to play a match less, after the shock withdrawal of old rival Murray in the third-round.

https://www.instagram.com/tv/CdRFDuFgIHv/?igshid=MDJmNzVkMjY=

But he was no match for the imperious Alcaraz who triumphed at front of the delighted home support, 6-7 (5-7), 7-5, 7-6 (7-5).

The first player ever to beat Nadal and Djokovic back-to-back on a clay court in the history of tennis.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CdQ4yADqinS/?igshid=MDJmNzVkMjY=

And Alcaraz made it a highly commendable 5-0 in finals, destroying Germany’s Alexander Zverev 6-3, 6-1, with little challenge unlike the previous encounters with Norrie, Nadal and Djokovic.

James Spencer (Twitter: @jspencer28) – Alcaraz Verdict

In truth, I had a sneaky feeling that Alcaraz would triumph in Barcelona.

The way he is playing with such finesse and confidence, particularly against the Monte Carlo Masters champion, Stefanos Tsitsipas, was incredible to see.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CdQ4yADqinS/?igshid=MDJmNzVkMjY=

Saving match points against Alex de Minaur, also showed his mettle.

He also has an unbelievable shot selection and fitness levels.

Beating Nadal and Djokovic back-to-back is no easy feat.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CdRGhGyq64J/?igshid=MDJmNzVkMjY=

Often just one win knocks the stuffing out of you, mentally and physically, but not for this kid.

Alcaraz doesn’t get carried away. And this has been shown consistently this season.

Winning the Miami Masters could have led to a drop in motivation, yet he has looked even more motivated if anything.

He’s performed on hard-court and clay court surfaces with an assuring dominance.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CdRDN0Hq_zY/?igshid=MDJmNzVkMjY=

In fact, he is unbeaten on clay this season, losing three times in total all season.

Matteo Berrettini in five at the Australian Open.

Nadal in the semis of Indian Wells in a tight three sets, that ultimately injured the elder Spaniard, which could have ramifications on his entire fitness this season, and the destination of the French Open trophy.

And a close three-set defeat to up and coming youngster Sebastian Korda in Monte Carlo.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CdTpZI6o1kX/?igshid=MDJmNzVkMjY=

The new world number six must surely be the new favourite to WIN the French Open later this month.

Skipping the Italian Open should help the 19-year-old heal any niggling injuries.

If he does win in Paris, he will be the youngest Grand Slam champion since you guessed it, Nadal.

Only time will tell.

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