US Open 2014 – Roger Federer: “It almost never happened to me that they would take me off before it started raining, but it was the right decision” - UBITENNIS
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US Open 2014 – Roger Federer: “It almost never happened to me that they would take me off before it started raining, but it was the right decision”

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TENNIS US OPEN – 31st of August 2014. R. Federer d. M. Granollers 4-6, 6-1, 6-1, 6-1. An interview with Roger Federer

 

Q. With the stoppage for the weather, did the conditions changing help you that much, or did you just have enough time to reset yourself?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I definitely I guess played better after that. But then again, the first seven games all happened very quickly. I think the biggest difference was the wind. It was quite windy when we got out. When we came back, basically it was gone. It also felt quite different because the wind has that effect of air-conditioning a little bit for the players; whereas when it’s not windy you really feel the humidity and the heat. So I think that was a big change. The court might have played a little bit slower because of it cooling off from the rain. And for me personally, I just tried to play solid, you know, figure things out a little bit, because he did come out and play really aggressive. He served well. He was doing a lot of things really well. It was just, for me, going to be one of those things to like weather the storm and see if he could maintain that level of play or not and if I could lift my game up and see how that matched up. I think overall it worked out great at the end.

Q. When is the last time you played in a stadium that empty?

ROGER FEDERER: I don’t know. I don’t remember. Could have been like not long ago, but I don’t know. At that point you’re not really concerned if there’s five people in the stadium or 20,000. Really it’s about getting back into the match. I thought it all worked out well at the end for fans, TV, us as well. It was a bit different feeling, but it was nice the way it filled up quickly. It was natural. There wasn’t ever any interruption. I think it was quite smooth actually.

Q. What did you know ahead of time before the match in terms of what they expected with the weather?

ROGER FEDERER: The second time around?

Q. The first time. What did they tell you?

ROGER FEDERER: What did they say? I saw on the radar 50% chance of rain. The sky totally changed, so you go figure something was going to come. I didn’t think they would take us off the court at 5-2. It almost never happened to me that they would take me off before it started raining, but it was the right decision. Did they say there was going to be more rain coming later on?

Q. Yes.

ROGER FEDERER: They said we had an hour to play, one and a half maybe, when we went on the second time around, which also has an effect on you mentally. You’re like, Where is it? It feels like a shadow over you. I don’t want to say you play fast, because Granollers doesn’t take much time, I don’t take much time, so I think it was perfect anyway for everybody that we did speed it up.

Q. After the rain delay there were some moments in that match where you were moving at a very high level. When you analyze your longevity, your 60th major, your movement, how those things tie together…

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, it’s been good for a while now. I think especially now it’s been really excellent the last three matches here at the US Open. I feel very explosive, quick. Like you say, the coordination is there, as well. I feel like I’ve gotten used to the hard courts by now. It’s really working well. I’m very pleased. Today conditions were much more humid so you could feel a little flat out there, but that wasn’t the case. I was able to power through that. Yeah, I mean, I’m happy I wake up every day and I’m ready to go. It’s also great to see Robredo fit like a fiddle at the end last night. I thought that was impressive, too. He’s my age, too. I think when you keep yourself in shape and train the right way, that’s how you do it. Then actually it’s not such a surprise for yourself. But I’m clearly happy about it because it’s become a game of movement. If you don’t move very well you can’t dig out a few shots. It’s just not going to work out in the long run.

Q. You come into the tournament with a title win and a slam final. How do you think the Roger Federer of this year would fare against the Federer of 2004 through 2007?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I hope I’m a better player today. Geez, so much time has gone by and I’ve practiced so hard over the years that I feel I have more power on my serve. I volley better now, I guess. I’ve gotten to understand, you know, so many things over those years. But the thing back then is I was so unbelievably confident. I was coming through stretches where I wouldn’t lose against top 10 players. I wouldn’t lose finals. That I did for such a long time, I didn’t remember losing — how it happened or how it would work. I had an unbelievable winner mentality. Not that I don’t have it today, but I haven’t won as much as I did back then. I think that could make a difference. Otherwise I’m very pleased with how things are going this year.

Q. A little while ago you said you would have loved to play against Borg’s backhand. Is there a forehand that you would love to play against? Laver? Borg? Becker? Courier? And also a volley and return.

ROGER FEDERER: I mean, I think the forehand — which forehand? Like Jim Courier’s or someone like that, you know, who is really very dominant on the one side. Like Ferdinando González or James Blake, where when he went there, they had to go for something because they didn’t want to hit a backhand anymore. I guess Jim was part of that. Lendl’s maybe. Volleys, I guess the old school, like all the guys in the ’60s and ’70s; clearly Stefan’s. I was lucky enough to play Pete and Rafter, which were very interesting volley players. And Henman. I enjoyed playing against them.

Q. And return?

ROGER FEDERER: Return? Yeah, I think playing Agassi and Rafa and Novak, it’s like very different in its own way, but I think that was always very interesting.

Q. On CBS John McEnroe said that Paganini deserves a medal for getting you through 60 Grand Slams. Do you agree with him? How much has it helped to have one man that has been with you through all that time getting you ready physically?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, he’s not in the limelight. He doesn’t show up much at tournaments, only from time to time. So the hard work gets done away from the tennis tournaments really. There’s only so much you can do during. There’s a lot of maintenance going on. We’ve worked together for a long time. We really got to know each other from 14 to 16, then not 16 to 19 because he left the Federation. Then I started with him again I think at 19 or 20 years old until now. He’s been a great man in my corner. Yeah, I mean, clearly we’ve worked unbelievably hard and I think in the right way, as well, to keep me injury-free. The great thing with him is we have always very open talks about anything. Especially with him and Severin and my wife. Basically we can talk about a one-year schedule within about 20 minutes so we can all get it done very quickly because we know each other so well. We know what we want to achieve. We know how much I need to train to achieve certain things. I think last year was particularly challenging for both of us with the back problems I had. Where do we go now? Are we allowed? What can we do? I think we were all training with the hand brake on and it wasn’t very enjoyable. He would always ask me, How does this feel? Is this dangerous for you? We just felt this was not the way to go, so we had to figure things out. I’m happy we did so. And the record continues, so I’m very happy about it.

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Injured Rafael Nadal Ousts Fritz In Wimbledon Thriller

The world No.4 is through to the semi-finals but there are new doubts over his current health.

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Rafael Nadal has kept his chances of achieving a calendar slam alive by defeating American Taylor Fritz in a dramatic quarter-final match at Wimbledon where he struggled with injury. 

 

The second seed took a medical time out during the second set but continued to battle to a sensational 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6(10-4), win over Fritz. Two days ago Nadal was seen wearing tape on his abdomen but refused to go into details when asked by reporters. Although it was clear that this issue is ongoing with the Spaniard crouching over a couple of times after serving in pain. 

“The body is generally fine. Of course, in the abdominal area, something is not going well. I had to find a way to serve a little bit differently,” said Nadal. “I was thinking during a lot of moments that I would not be able to finish the match but the energy (of Center Court) was something else.”

In the roller-coaster encounter, 19 breaks of serves occurred throughout the marathon match. During the gut-busting 260-minute showdown Nadal saw plenty of chances come and go. In each of the first two sets, he had a break advantage before losing them. He also failed to maintain a break advantage in the decider before coming through in the tiebreak. Nevertheless, he managed to come out on top with the help of 5 aces and 55 winners. 

“I enjoy playing these kinds of matches in front of you guys (the crowd),” the Spaniard continued. 
“It has been a tough afternoon against a great player. All the credit to Taylor, he has been playing great the whole season.’
“From my side, it was not an easy match and I am happy to be in the semifinal.”

The triumph is a bitter pill for Fritz to swallow who was bidding to become the youngest American man to reach the last four at Wimbledon since 2005. Until now he had been on an eight-match winning streak.

As for Nadal, he is through to his eighth Wimbledon semi-final and 38th at a major event. He is now 8-0 when it comes to playing quarter-final matches at the tournament.

Amid concerns over the abdomen, Nadal now has only two days to recover in time for his blockbuster showdown against the formidable Nick Kyrgios who came through his match in straight sets against Cristian Garin. Nadal leads their head-to-head 6-3 and has won their two previous meetings at SW19.  

“I hope to be ready to play it,” he said of the semi-final.
“TNick is a great player on all surfaces, especially on the grass. He’s having a great grass-court season and it’s going to be a great challenge. I need to be one hundred percent.”

At the age of 36 Nadal is seeking to reach his first Wimbledon final since 2011.

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“I Thought The Ship Had Sailed’ – Nick Kyrgios Reaches Maiden Wimbledon Semis

The 27-year-old reacts to achieving a new milestone in his career.

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Nick Kyrgios (AUS) - Credit: AELTC/Jonathan Nackstrand

Nick Kyrgios has achieved his best-ever result at a Grand Slam tournament after beating Cristian Garin in straight sets in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon. 

 

Kyrgios, who was playing in the last eight of the tournament for the first time since 2014, rallied to a 6-4, 6-3, 7-5(5) win over his Chilean rival. Becoming the first player from his country to reach the last four of the men’s draw since Lleyton Hewitt did so back in 2005.  


”I felt I was playing on the back foot a lot. He’s a hell of a player,” Kyrgios said afterward. “He’s obviously very confident. Hell of a tournament for him to make the quarter-finals. I got lucky on a couple of break points here and there. It could have been him standing here (giving the winner’s interview).”

In what was a largely controlled match from Kyrgios, he produced a total of 17 aces alongside 35 winners against 29 unforced errors. There were the occasional outbursts and criticism of the lines officials but it was by nowhere as controversial as his previous encounters against Stefanos Tsitspas in the third round and Paul Jubb in the first.

The breakthrough comes during what has been a turbulent career. Kyrgios has been a player involved in many controversies and was at one stage issued with a suspended ban from the Tour due to unsportsmanlike conduct. However, his talent was never doubted but many were unsure if he could be consistent enough to have a deep run at a major event. He once was at a pub until 4 am on the same day he was due to play Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon.

“It was an amazing atmosphere out here (on court one). I never thought I will be in the semifinal of a grand slam. I thought my ship had sailed.” He admits. 
“I didn’t go about things earlier in my career great and I may have wasted (time).’
‘I’m really proud of the way I’ve come back out here with my team and with that performance.”

As one of the few top 100 players who travel without a coach, Kyrgios paid tribute to those around him. 

“I don’t have a coach I would never put that burden on someone,” he jokes.
“Each and every one of my team plays an important role. I feel like nobody knows my tennis better than I do. I’ve been playing this sport since I was seven and to be in the semi-final of a slam I am pretty happy.”  

Kyrgios is the lowest-ranked Wimbledon semi-finalist since 2008.

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Why Cameron Norrie’s Historic Run To The Wimbledon Semi-Finals Is No Fluke

The Brit has already proved his worth on the ATP Tour, it was only a matter of time before he did so at the majors.

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image via twitter.com/wimbledon

Cameron Norrie joins a small contingent of British men to have ever reached the semi-final of a major after coming through a dramatic five-set epic against David Goffin at Wimbledon.

Spurred on by an animated crowd, the ninth seed battled from behind to win 3-6, 7-5, 2-6, 6-3, 7-5, against the former top 10 player. In doing so the 26-year-old has become only the fourth British man in the Open Era to reach the last four of the grass-court major and the seventh to do so at any Grand Slam. 

 

“To just be a semifinalist of a slam, especially this one, living just around the corner. It’s just all pretty crazy and all happened pretty quickly.” Said Norrie. 

A former college standout player for Texas Christian University, Norrie’s Grand Slam breakthrough has been one in the making. Last year he achieved his best-ever season with a win-loss record of 52-25. During that year he contested six tour finals across three different surfaces, winning two titles. The most prestigious being Indian Wells.  His coach, Facundo Lugones, was recognized for his work by being named ATP Coach of the Year.

Norrie’s 2021 wasn’t a one-off with him continuing his form into this year. Winning the Delray Beach Open in February and Lyon in May. More recently, he was runner-up at Queen’s to Matteo Berrettini who is absent from the tournament after testing positive for COVID-19

“When I was a kid watching guys on TV making the (Grand Slam) quarterfinals and thinking, ‘Wow, this looks so tough to do, and there’s almost zero chance I’m going to do that.’ But to actually be doing it, to be living it and experiencing it is very cool and pretty crazy.”

Until now the Grand Slams have been where Norrie has failed to shine. It was visible how much the latest Wimbledon win meant to the world No.12 who struggled to hold back his emotions whilst speaking during his on-court interview.

“All the hard work, the sacrifices and everything just kind of all hit me at once. Especially the situation here at Wimbledon in front of my family, my friends, and obviously a lot of people following that match.” Norrie explained.
“Thinking back about all the hard work, the sacrifices and everything was just…. I didn’t really know what to say. It got emotional there. (It was) just a crazy day and crazy match to get through.”

Standing in his way of becoming the first home player since Andy Murray to reach the Wimbledon final is Novak Djokovic. The top seed ousted Jannik Sinner in five sets earlier in the day.

“He has nothing to lose. Every victory from now onwards is a big deal for him. I know that.” Said Djokovic.
“But I practiced (with him) a few times. I know his game well. He’s been around. Of course, I will do my homework and get ready.”

Looking ahead to his showdown with the 20-time Grand Slam champion, Norrie describes playing him as one of the ‘toughest’ tasks in the sport. He first played Djokovic at last year’s ATP Finals in Milan where he lost 6-2, 6-1. Although the Brit believes he has learned a lot from that match and will be seeking tips from a former Wimbledon Champion as well. 

“Andy (Murray) has been super supportive to me and my team. I’m always practicing with him and always reaching out to him for ideas. He’s super supportive with us,” he said.
“I think he’s not a bad guy to ask about some tactics. I’m going to enjoy today and maybe reach out to him and see what he’s got.”

Norrie’s win-loss record against top 10 players in his career currently stands at 4-23. 

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