US Open 2014 – Roger Federer: “Jordan was just my hero of all sports. That's what he was for me growing up” - UBITENNIS
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US Open 2014 – Roger Federer: “Jordan was just my hero of all sports. That's what he was for me growing up”

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TENNIS US OPEN 2014 – 26th of August 2014. R. Federer d. M. Matosevic 6-3, 6-4, 7-6. An interview with Roger Federer

 

Q. Michael Jordan said he loved the way you moved out there on court, you were so smooth. What are your thoughts about hearing a comment like that from Jordan?

ROGER FEDERER: It’s nice. I didn’t know he said something. I mean, number one, I’m just so happy that he came into the world of tennis a little bit, you know, got to see some tennis, that it was me, sort of being the character in the whole show, you know, was kind of cool with the collaborations of the shoes, which is very special to me I must say. He was one of the smoothest movers out there. So for him to give me that compliment means a lot. Meeting him yesterday for the first time was a big deal for me. It was a special sort of last 24 hour plus.

Q. What impressed you the most about him? Can you share about what the two of you had to say to each other?

ROGER FEDERER: I think it’s what you said, his longevity, the way he made it look easy, his will to win, wanting to be the best, delivering under pressure, being a superstar in a team sport, carrying his team for so many years. There’s so many things that he did well and represented the game really nicely, I thought. That’s why he also became my idol. And then, yeah, I mean, I guess he wanted to know some things about tennis, you know, how I prepare, all these things, how much I play, where I go next. Yeah, these kind of things, you exchange each other’s ideas about your respective sports and that’s kind of what you talk about.

Q. Compared to last year, you’re serving four miles per hour faster on the first and second serve. Do you think that’s sort of the key to your success on hard courts?

ROGER FEDERER: I mean, part of it. I mean, just serving is not going to win the point every time. You have to back it up. It’s how you back up especially your second serve, I think, that is key and crucial in the matches against the best players. I definitely feel like I’m serving better overall with the new racquet. I think it’s definitely helped me in this regard. I do feel easier power. I’ve never heard the stat before, but I guess it also depends how much you’re going to slice or kick or if you go big more often or not. I think tonight I tried to go bigger because I tried to hit through the wind. No, I think I’ve definitely had a very consistent, solid serving year as well, whereas last year, because of the circumstances, I just couldn’t do it.

Q. I’d like to ask you about Wimbledon. The last point, I turned off the TV and promised myself not to watch any match again.

ROGER FEDERER: But here you are. What are you doing here?

Q. Had you lost in the first set, I would feel much better. Would you prefer to lose in four sets, knowing you had no chance, or do you prefer the way it was?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, even if I would have lost in four, I don’t feel like I had no chance. I was close. The match was close. Even if it would have ended in four, the press would have made it sound like, Yeah, somewhat routine. But it wasn’t if you would have asked him and me. I prefer it to go five and know I was a breakpoint away, potentially one point away maybe, of rallying, putting myself in the driver’s seat in the fifth. But I got over it quickly this time. That’s why it was okay the way it was. I just didn’t win the match.

Q. You said you’re a big Jordan fan. Did you actually have a Jordan jersey? Were you a Chicago Bulls fan or just a Jordan supporter?

ROGER FEDERER: He was just my hero of all sports. That’s what he was for me growing up. Besides Edberg and Becker being my tennis idols, I had Jordan as my all sports idol. I don’t remember having a Jordan jersey, as such, really. I just remember when I was younger, in Germany it was really big on the German TV stations. I think every Sunday they had unbelievable big NBA highlights. That’s where I saw him doing all his moves. I wasn’t necessarily a Chicago Bulls fan or anything like that. It’s just I was into him, into like the incredible athlete, you know, just being that guy who was carrying basketball at the time. So I guess that’s what inspired me.

Q. Michael said he felt there was a real similarity between basketball and tennis, footwork, athleticism. Could you talk about what your thoughts are on comparing the two sports.

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I think in terms of movement it is actually quite similar. You have to go side to side, move forwards, backwards, be able to stop on a dime, redirect. I think maybe we don’t jump as much, but we slide more, I guess. It’s more extreme side to side. So, yeah, it’s very similar in this regard. We can relate to one another. They’re just all bigger and stronger than us. I guess we need more endurance overall, where they need a lot of explosivity and all that. There are some changes there, but still, at the end of the day, I think we can really relate to one another. That’s also, I guess, one of the reasons I really enjoy basketball. It’s a fun game to play. All you need is a ball. It’s like soccer a little bit. It’s very easy to play with friends and all that stuff. I enjoyed always playing myself.

Q. How is your jump shot?

ROGER FEDERER: Not great. It’s okay. Looks good, but results are not the best.

Q. I don’t know how superstitious you are, but if you meet any Australian player during the US Open, you always reach the final.

ROGER FEDERER: There you go. Perfect (smiling).

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Anett Kontaveit beats Petra Martic to reach the final in Palermo

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World number 22 Anett Kontaveit from Estonia upset number 1 seed Petra Martic 6-2 6-4 to reach the final at the Ladies Open in Palermo. 

 

Martic has scored her third win in her seven matches against top 20 players after beating Belinda Bencic and Elina Svitolina. 

Kontaveit avenged her defeat against Martic in their only previous match played in Dubai last February before the lockdown. 

Kontaveit had to fight to hold her serve in the first game of the opening set at deuce and took control of the match by breaking in the fourth game to open up a 4-1 lead. 

Martic won only 56% on her first serve in the opening set. Kontaveit came back from 0-30 down to hold serve in the seventh game before breaking for the second time in the eighth game to win the first set 6-2. 

Martic earned an early break in the first game of the second set at deuce, but Kontaveit broke straight back to draw level to 1-1. The Estonian player saved a break point before holding serve to take a 2-1 lead. Kontaveit saved five of the six break points she faced. Kontaveit broke for the second time in the fourth game to open up a 4-1 lead. Martic held serve at 2-5 down before breaking serve at 15 in the ninth game to claw her way back to 4-5. The Croatian player received a medical time-out before Kontaveit for the third time in the tenth game at love to close out the second set 6-4. 

Kontaveit will chase her second title in tomorrow’s final three years after winning in S’Hertogenbosch in 2017.

“I felt like I played a very good match today. I was quite aggressive, consistent, and I served especially well in the first set. It got a bit close in the end, but I played a good game at 5-4 and I am happy to be in the final”, said Kontaveit. 

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Petra Martic comes back from one set down to beat Ludmila Samsonova in Palermo

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Top seed Petra Martic from Croatia came back from one set down to beat qualifier and world number 117  Ludmila Samsonova 5-7 6-4 6-2. 

 

Martic saved six break points in the 10th game of the opening set, but Samsonova converted her third break point in the 12th game to win the first set 7-5. 

Martic earned an early break in the first game to open up a 2-0 lead. Samsonova broke back at love in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. Martic broke for the second time in the ninth game to win the second set 6-4. The Croatian player broke twice in the third and seventh games to close out the third set 6-2. 

Martic will face world number 50 Aliaksandra Sasnovich from Belarus in the quarter finals. Sasnovich came through the qualifying round before beating Jasmine Paolini in straight sets. 

Former top 30 Camila Giorgi rallied from losing the first set to beat Slovenian teenager Kaja Juvan 3-6 6-2 6-4 after 2 hours reaching her second WTA quarter final of the season. Before the outbreak of the Covid-19 outbreak Giorgi reached the top 8 in Lyon. Juvan qualified for the Main Draw at the Australian Open and beat five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams in three sets at the Abierto Mexicano in Acapulco. 

Giorgi started with an early break at deuce at the start of the first set and opened a 2-0 lead. Juvan broke twice to take a 4-3 lead. Giorgi dropped serve for the third time after a double fault on the set point. 

Giorgi came back from 1-2 down by winning five consecutive games with two consecutive breaks in the fifth and seventh games. 

Giorgi broke twice to race out to a 3-0 lead at the start of the third set. Juvan pulled one break back at love in the fourth game but Giorgi got another break to race out to a 5-1 lead. Juvan broke at 30, when Giorgi was serving for the match at 5-2. The Italian player earned two match points and sealed the win on her second chance. 

“I think I was more solid in playing my game. I was moving more forward, so it was much for me. At the start of the match, I was making too many tactical mistakes because I was trying to finish points for no reason. I started to adopt better tactics in the second set and that’s when things started working for me”, said Giorgi. 

Number 4 seed Anett Kontaveit from Estonia came back from one set down to beat Laura Siegemund 3-6 6-2 6-2 after 2 hours and 20 minutes booking her spot in the quarter finals at the Palermo Ladies Open. 

The Estonian player has reached her third quarter final this year after the Australian Open and Dubai. 

Kontaveit set up a quarter final against Elisabetta Cocciaretto, who became the youngest Italian player to reach the quarter final of a tournament since Sara Errani in 2006. 

“I am quite happy about the way I was handling close situations, playing the close games and turning the close games around. I thought I actually handled that sort of pressure, that I didn’t think I would be used to, quite well”, said Kontaveit. 

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Andrea Gaudenzi recognizes the contribution of the Italian Tennis Federation in staging the Internazionali d’Italia

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ATP President and former Italian tennis player Andrea Gaudenzi spoke in an interview to Italian TV channel Supertennis about staging the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome before the French Open and recognised the contribution of the Italian tennis Federation (FIT) in staging the tournament in the Italian capital. 

 

The Rome ATP Masters 1000 and WTA Premier 5 tournaments will be held from 20th to 27th September one week before the French Open (27th September to 11th October). 

“We are grateful to everyone, holding an event this year is difficult from an organizational and financial point of view. We thank the Italian Federation and those who organize the Challengers. Italy is making a great contribution. I think the players are waiting for the BNL Internazionali d’Italia. The Foro Italico is among the most beautiful venues in the world. Rome is splendid in September”, said Gaudenzi. 

During his tennis career Gaudenzi scored wins over Roger Federer in Rome 2002, Pete Sampras in the first round of the 2002 French Open, Jim Courier in the 1994 US Open, Goran Ivanisevic, Thomas Muster, Michael Stich and Yevgeny Kafelnikov. Gaudenzi claimed three ATP titles in Casablanca in 1998, St. Poelten and Bastad in 2002. He graduated in law at the Bologna University and obtained a MBA with Honours at IUM.

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