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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‘I Know How To Get There’ – Karen Khachanov Targets Return To Top 10

The world No.31 has showed signs of his talent this season with a run to the Olympic final but a lack of consistency and changes to the ATP ranking system has hindered him too.

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Karen Khachanov - Credit: AELTC/Ian Walton

It wasn’t that long ago when Karen Khachanov was the highest-ranked Russian man on the ATP Tour and billed as the next big thing from his country.

 

A breakout 2018 season saw Khachanov claim three Tour titles with the biggest of those being at the Paris Masters which remains his most prestigious trophy to date. He also reached his first major quarter-final at the French Open during the same season and scored five wins over top 10 players. Those triumphs helped elevate him in the ranking to a high of eight.

However, since that breakthrough Khachanov has found himself on a a rollercoaster journey. He is yet to win another title since Paris but came agonisingly close at the Tokyo Olympic Games where he finished runner-up to Alexander Zverev. In his nine previous Grand Slam tournaments his best run was at Wimbledon this season where he reached the last eight before losing to Denis Shapovalov.

Now ranked 31st in the world, the 25-year-old is aiming to claim back up the ladder after the ATP changed their ranking logic to the method used prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The rankings turned out to be a big pun, it was frozen for a year and a half, only now normal counting has begun. I am not fixated on this,” Khachanov told reporters in Moscow on Wednesday. “My main goal is to get back to the Top10. I know how to get there. And the intermediate goals are to be healthy and motivated.”

Khachanov has been ranked outside the world’s top 20 since February and hasn’t been in the top 10 since October 2019. He is currently coached on the Tour by Jose Clavet who has previously worked with a series of top Spanish players such as Feliciano Lopez, Alex Corretja, Tommy Robredo and Carlos Moya.

“He travels with me everywhere, for which I am grateful to him. I trust him as a specialist, as a coach and as a friend,” Khachanov said of Clavet.

Khachanov has returned to his home country this week where he is playing in Moscow at the Kremlin Cup. A tournament he won three years ago by defeating Adrian Mannarino in the final. Seeded third in the draw this time round, he began his campaign on Wednesday with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-1, win over James Duckworth. In the next round, he faces another Australian in the shape of John Millman which he believes will be a far from easy task.

He is a fighter, a complete player, he does everything well, forehand and backhand with good intensity. He does everything at a good level, but the main quality is that he fights till the end, so it will be hard for me,” he said of his next opponent.

Moscow is the seventh tournament this year where Khachanov has reached the quarter-final stage.

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Filip Krajinovic To Skip Australian Open If Required To Quarantine For More Than Five Days

The world No.34 says he ‘sees no reason’ why vaccinated players should have to go through a long quarentine in Australia.

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Image via twitter.com/atptour (Alexander Scheuber)

The second highest-ranked Serbian player in men’s tennis says it would be ‘unacceptable’ for organisers of the Australian Open to require players to quarantine for more than a week if they have been fully vaccinated.

 

Filip Krajinovic has become the first player to publicly state that they will not be prepared to travel to Melbourne at the end of this season if they have to go through strict quarantine measures once again. All the players who participated in this year’s Australian Open were required to be quarantined in a designated hotel for 14 days upon arrival in the country. During their stay they were allowed to use training facilities but that was the only time they could leave the premises unless there was an emergency.

There is no final decision regarding the travel requirements for the 2022 tournament but there are concerns that unvaccinated players may not be allowed to enter the country. The Victorian government recently issued a mandate ordering all essential workers to be vaccinated, including athletes. However, the regional government will not have the final say concerning tennis players arriving in the country with the national government being the ones in charge of that decision.

“They are very rigorous there and honestly, if I have to be in quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Melbourne, I will not go to Australia,” Krajinovic told Serbian newspaper Blic.
“I was vaccinated, I did everything in my power to protect myself and the people around me, so I really see no reason to sit there for 14 days in a room.’
“If they (the organisers) say that after arrival I need, say, five days to be in isolation, that’s OK for me, but anything beyond that is unacceptable to me. With the season ending late, I will have 20 days to get ready and go. Charter flights will be organized again and the last one is planned for December 28 for the players and that is the final date when I can go to Australia. I will see what the final decision from Melbourne will be, so I will cut what is the best thing to do.”

Earlier this week Victoria’s Sports minister Martin Pakula urged players to be vaccinated because it give them ‘the best opportunity to play in the Australian Open.’ It is expected that if unvaccinated players are allowed to attend, they will be subjected to stricter restrictions. This might include a longer quarantine period upon arrival and limitations of where they can go during their stay.

Last year, all of those players had to do their 14 days of quarantine. Right now there looks like there will be different rules for people who enter this country who are vaccinated as against unvaccinated and I don’t think the tennis will be any exception to that.” Pakula told the Sports Entertainment Network (SEN).
“In terms of what rules apply for people to enter Australia, whether unvaccinated people are allowed in at all, I don’t the answer to that yet. That’s going to be the subject of discussion at national cabinet and among the federal cabinet … those rules are not set by state governments.” He added.

Krajinovic is currently ranked 34th in the world and has a win-loss record this season of 18-18. At the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells he reached the second round before falling in straight sets to Daniil Medvedev. His best run so far this year was at the Hamburg Open where he reached the final.

“When we look at the whole of 2021, I played one final, one semifinal, there were good victories, but also worse results,” the 29-year-old commented.

Krajinovic is currently without a coach but is currently in ‘negotiations’ with somebody without elaborating further about who that person is.

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Alexander Zverev Secures Place In ATP Finals With Indian Wells Win

Zverev will be seeking to win the season-ending extravaganza for the second time in his career.

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Alexander Zverev (GER) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Germany’s Alexander Zverev has become the fourth player to officially qualify for the ATP Finals after reaching the third round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

 

The world No.4 defeated America’s Jenson Brooksby 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, in his second round match on Sunday which pushed him over the points threshold to secure his spot in the end-of-season event. It is the fifth year in a row he has qualified for the ATP Finals which he won back in 2018. He is one of only three German players to ever win the title after Boris Becker and Michael Stich.

This year’s tournament will take place in Turin, Italy for the first time in history after being held at The O2 Arena in London for more than a decade. Only the eight highest ranked players are eligible to play in the round-robin tournament which has on offer up to 1500 rankings points for an undefeated champion.

“My first time in Turin. I’ve been to London four times before. London is obviously very special to me because I won there, as well. I think the stadium is incredible, one of the most special events that we had,” Zverev told reporters on Sunday.
“But I also love playing in Italy. I had great success in Italy. I won my first Masters in Rome. I’m looking forward to being there. I’m looking forward to playing in front of the Italian fans. It’s going to be a great week.”

The 24-year-old approaches the final quarter of this season with four titles already won this year. He has won two Masters 1000 trophies, an ATP 500 event in Mexico and a gold medal in singles at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Zverev, who has recorded seven wins over top 10 players, also reached the semi-finals at both the French Open and US Open.

Zverev joins Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas as the players who have qualified for the ATP Finals so far. It is the third straight season the quartet has qualified for the event.

This year’s ATP Finals will get underway on November 14th. Medvedev is the defending champion.

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