US Open 2014 – Roger Federer: “I believe in rest in a huge way. Whenever I get a chance to rest, I do” - UBITENNIS
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US Open 2014 – Roger Federer: “I believe in rest in a huge way. Whenever I get a chance to rest, I do”

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TENNIS US OPEN 2014 – 24th of August 2014. An interview with Roger Federer.

 

Q. What is it about Stefan that made him your idol when you were younger? Was that at all intimidating when he first became your coach?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, it was really Boris and Stefan. Boris a little bit first, and then little while later Stefan became my idol. I don’t know how it happened. I had friends around me that said, Edberg plays so nice and started all these things. I started to watch him closely, and, you know, I liked the way he played and the way he behaved on court. I also had a one-handed backhand by then so I could really, I guess, relate to some degree. Yeah, that’s why, I guess. And then, I mean, yeah, I think with idols or heros, it’s always intimidating sort of forever to either just like speak to them or see them or spend time with them, because it’s just not something you ever thought was going to happen. So when I called him, I expected, you know, a negative answer clearly. He doesn’t need to do this in any way. So, you know, I’m thrilled that he took the opportunity, I guess. He sees it as a really big opportunity to help me and get me to winning ways. It’s going really well. I’m really pleased how we’re able to manage everything, because he hasn’t followed the game very closely the last 15 years, but he has a lot of experience as a player. And, you know, with the information that I have, Severin, my coach has, I think we really make a great team. He really enjoys himself on the tour now.

Q. Did you personally make the call to him?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, of course.

Q. You played two great tournaments in Toronto and Cincinnati, but you played mainly at night. Then it seemed to me the finals in Toronto you played daytime. Does it matter to you that you probably will play here night sessions as well and then come the semifinals or finals hopefully you have to play in the daytime?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I hope I have that problem. It’s perfect that we’re talking semis and finals already. It wasn’t like that last year. No, I’m happy that I did play some night and some day in the last two weeks, because especially in the European circuit, you know, whether it be clay or grass, you don’t usually play much at night. Or hardly. So next thing you know, it’s like you’re going through a stretch where you never play or practice really at night. It’s all day. So it was good for me to get through some night sessions in Toronto. The switch was tough for the finals because I finished sometimes really late. So from that standpoint it wasn’t ideal. But I’m happy how I was able to back it up physically and mentally. The following week in Cincinnati it was tough. I played a lot of tough three-setters, long matches, late matches. Now I feel like whatever. If it’s day or night, you have to be able to manage both anyways, so I’m ready for both. Clearly always like playing night sessions here, but then again, as long as I keep winning, it doesn’t really matter.

Q. Considering all the great battles you have had over the years with the top 5 players, are you at all disappointed when a top 5 player is not in the mix like, Nadal this year?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I’m more disappointed for the fans, his fans, and the tournament, you know, who puts up a great event. It’s not necessarily dependent of an event like this, on the one player, but it’s more exciting with him. For us, the players, I mean, we hope he gets well and he feels better quickly and all these things and he’s back on tour soon. But at the same time, I think what stands out is the opportunity, you know, to try to take advantage of him, the fact that he’s not here. It’s one less really difficult player to beat maybe. I mean, maybe he was not going to be in my section. Maybe I wouldn’t have played him at all, like I have never played him here in the last ten years anyways. I mean, it’s just that the focus is more on you or other players rather than him. Yeah, we, the players, don’t wish injuries to anyone, you know. So you just hope he recovers quickly.

Q. You have had a pretty much injury-free career. Not the same for Rafa Nadal. Do you see any reason why he has so many injuries in his year?

ROGER FEDERER: I mean, I can’t talk for him. I don’t know what he really does in terms of his fitness, in terms of his training when he’s home in Mallorca, how much he trains, how little he trains. It’s all, I’d say 50%, you know, next to the schedule what you play and how you play. So I feel like I have managed my career well in the sense that I believe in rest in a huge way. Whenever I get a chance to rest, I do. Whenever I can go on vacation, I do. I don’t want to keep on playing all the time and feel like I’m always doing something, because I think the body and mind, they need time to heal. Especially if you have inflammations and so forth. I’d rather skip a tournament here and there rather than missing three or six months, which has never happened to me. That served me well. So I can’t really comment on what Rafa did or is doing. I mean, everybody does it very differently. But clearly playing styles I’m sure has somewhat of an impact, I would think.

Q. You have played your way through a lot of life changes that you’ve gone through. Novak is going through that right now. What would you say to him as he embarks on marriage and parenthood and tries to play his way through it?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, what…

Q. What advice would you…

ROGER FEDERER: Advice is different than just saying something. I mean, I would wish him well. That’s it (laughter). Now you want advice, then it’s totally different. Then we can go into this like endless talk of how I did it, which worked and which didn’t work. I have spoken to him a little bit in the past. It’s normal I think when you’re entering the whole family thing that many people you talk to, all you talk about is babies and how to prepare for it mentally. I think it’s a very exciting time. So I think he must be quite excited about what’s going to happen soon. And with the wedding and everything, I’m sure he’s, you know, going through a great spell at the moment with winning Wimbledon, top of it, so things are great for him. But I think he’s got to figure it out himself really, because I don’t know his wife very well. I don’t know where he lives exactly. So I think that all has an impact. Are they going to travel or not. But the good thing, he sees with me with four, so with one it should be a piece of cake (laughter). Honestly I wish him the best. I think it’s wonderful he chose to create a family, and, you know, have kids with his wife.

Q. You travel on tour throughout the year with your wife and kids. For a lot of the lower-ranked players who can’t afford to do this, they’re away from their wives, families, 30 weeks out of the year. Have you ever thought about what your life on tour would be like if you had to travel alone?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, maybe I wouldn’t have had kids then until I would have retired. So it’s basically that. Then you go down a different route. You say, Okay, I’ll wait. As long as the wife is happy it to wait, too. And if not, then you know going into having kids that you’re not going to be around them so much. So it’s just another different mindset. Now I can imagine traveling sometimes alone without family and my wife, but I know it doesn’t make me very happy. I know it doesn’t make them very happy. That’s why we try to stick together and do it all at the same time. It’s great fun. I’m very happy I got this privilege to do it, because I know, like you say, not everybody can do it. So from that standpoint, I think it definitely has prolonged my playing career. No doubt about it.

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Alexander Zverev Deserves More Respect According To Boris Becker

According to Boris Becker, Alexander Zverev deserves more respect from tennis journalists.

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Alexander Zverev (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

Boris Becker has claimed that Alexander Zverev deserves more respect despite Zverev failing to live up to his potential at Grand Slams.

 

Zverev has only reached one Grand Slam final in his career despite being a regular inside the world’s top ten as well as performing at regular ATP events.

This season Zverev played a limited schedule after recovering from an ankle injury but still managed to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals.

However most critics have been loud when judging Zverev’s career as it was looking likely that he would be a regular Grand Slam champion.

The German has failed to live up to expectations but former Grand Slam champion Boris Becker believes Zverev deserves more respect.

Speaking to Eurosport Becker also said that Zverev’s father being the coach is a more than successful approach when it comes to the former US Open finalist’s career, “In my opinion, he doesn’t get enough respect from the tennis experts internationally,” Becker explained.

“They’re all talking about the young three or four, but don’t give Zverev, Medvedev or Rublev enough respect. He’s playing with his fist in his pocket a little bit, wants everyone show that he is not a thing of the past, but that his best time is yet to come.

“Surely his father knows best what is good for his son, but if you look into the box at the competition, you can also see changes.”

Becker has followed Zverev for most of his career so knows that the best is yet to come from the German.

Alexander Zverev will look to prove himself next season when he starts his 2024 season when he represents Germany at the United Cup.

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Juan Carlos Ferrero Analyses Key Areas For Carlos Alcaraz’s Development

Juan Carlos Ferrero has outlined the next steps in Carlos Alcaraz’s development.

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(@tennisnewsbrazil - Twitter)

Carlos Alcaraz’s coach, Juan Carlos Ferrero has analysed the key areas for the Spaniard’s development heading into the 2024 season.

 

The former world number one’s season has come to an end after a successful year which saw him win the Wimbledon title as well as winning two Masters 1000 titles.

Alcaraz capped off an incredible season by reaching the semi-finals at the Nitto ATP Finals, where he lost to Novak Djokovic.

However there is a long way for the Spaniard to go if he wants to consistently go toe-to-toe with Novak Djokovic.

Speaking to Marca Alcaraz’s coach Juan Carlos Ferrero spoke about the Spaniard’s development and said that Alcaraz is too emotional, “Be more regular in games, not open doors. Sometimes there are mistakes and it is something that we have to improve a lot,” Ferrero commented.

“Although it is true that he opens doors, he always competes well and at the highest level. He knows it, the other day he already said that Novak doesn’t give you one. He has to improve his decision making and he will achieve that with experience. Carlos is very emotional and that sometimes helps him and other times not so much.”

It’s clear Alcaraz’s high-quality is there but to consistently do it against Djokovic is another task altogether as the Spaniard looks to go from strength-to strength next season.

One area that is clearly a priority for Alcaraz is physical conditioning especially considering what happened against Djokovic at Roland Garros earlier in the season.

Ferrero said that will be a clear focus heading into 2024 but couldn’t guarantee that Alcaraz will play a tournament before the Australian Open, “Because of the year and the fatigue he has been in, what he needs is rest and disconnecting for 8-10 days with his friends,” Ferrero stated.

“From there, the thinking must go back to working really hard, strong and well to start very strongly in Australia. One can never be sure of that. Sometimes you play a tournament and it doesn’t go well, you left home too early. There are many ways of thinking.

“This year we haven’t played Australia and he finishes number two. That means there is no urgency to play a tournament early. Carlos is a player who enters competition quickly, you don’t usually see him without rhythm.

“Although it is true that he becomes more dangerous from the round of 16, from the quarter-finals. I am confident that the two exhibition matches and the training sessions will help us play a good tournament.”

Alcaraz will be looking to play the Australian Open which starts on the 15th of January after the Spaniard missed last year’s tournament due to a leg injury.

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Australian Open Chief Confident Nadal Will Play But Kyrgios’ Participation Uncertain

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Nadal RG 2022 by Night (foto @RolandGarros)

The tournament director of the Australian Open says he is ‘certain’ that Rafael Nadal will play at the Grand Slam even though the Spaniard has yet to outline his comeback plans. 

 

Craig Tiley told reporters in Melbourne on Thursday he hopes to receive some clarity over Nadal’s intentions in the next couple of weeks but is confident he will play. However, the tennis official had previously claimed in October that the former world No.1 had already committed to play in the event before his team denied that statement.  

Nadal, who has won 22 Grand Slam titles, hasn’t played a Tour match since his second round defeat at the Australian Open in January due to a hip injury. He was originally expecting to take an eight-week break but the recovery didn’t go to plan and he ended up having surgery. In May he confirmed that he will take an extended break from the sport to heal his body and admitted that retirement next year is a possibility.

“Rafa has been training, I follow him closely, probably every day because he’s a massive drawcard for us,” the Reuters News Agency quoted Tiley as saying. 
“He wants to play, he’s obviously planning on playing. It all depends on how he pulls up.
“Hopefully in the next week or the next two weeks, we get some specific confirmation of that. I’m certain Rafa will be here because he’s not going to want to miss the opportunity to repeat what he did a couple of years ago.”

Earlier this month Nadal confirmed that he intends to return to the Tour but admits that he will continue to experience a degree of pain. Although he has yet to give any information about which tournament he will begin his comeback at. The 2024 season begins during the first week of January.

“I’m well, training, and happy. I’m at a good stage of my life,” atptour.com quoted Nadal as telling reporters in Barcelona.
“Until now I didn’t know if I would play tennis again someday, and now I genuinely believe I will. I’m still not ready to say when, but I’m able to train increasingly longer, and the progress is good.’

Will Kyrgios play?

Another player Tiley is eager to welcome back is home player and former Wimbledon Finalist Nick Kyrgios who has only played one Tour-level match this season due to injury. He underwent knee surgery in January and then tore a ligament in his wrist during the summer. As a result, the Australian currently doesn’t have an ATP ranking due to his inactivity. 

“We have spoken to Nick, and he obviously wants to do the best he possibly can to give him the best chance to play in January,” Tiley said of Kyrgios.
“Whether he’s playing, whether he’s doing something else, Nick will be here in January and to get him to play will be great. But we’ve got to take it as it comes and he’s got to make sure he takes care of his health …” 

Kyrgios recently worked as an analyst for the Tennis Channel during this year’s ATP Finals in Turin and gave a brief update on his ongoing recovery during a segment. 

“After last year, I had such a great year, and I’m so hungry to get back out there,” the 2022 Wimbledon finalist commented.
“So I’m doing everything I can to get back out there. Obviously, you know how injuries are every day, just doing the rehab, doing the gym work.”

The Australian Open will begin on Sunday 14th January. Novak Djokovic and Aryna Sabalenka are the defending champions. 

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