US Open 2014 – Roger Federer: “It's just unbelievable to win matches like this at slams” - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

ATP

US Open 2014 – Roger Federer: “It's just unbelievable to win matches like this at slams”

Avatar

Published

on

TENNIS US OPEN – 4th of September 2014. R. Federer d. G. Monfils 4-6, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-2. An interview with Roger Federer

 

Q. You were talking the other day about how dangerous an opponent he could be. Obviously, as you said, he put your back against the wall. To be able to come back, two match points and to have a match like this under your belt going into the next phase of this tournament, I mean, how good does that feel?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, it’s just unbelievable to win matches like this at slams. You know, I have won other big ones in other places. But over best of five, saving match points against Gaël in an atmosphere that it was out here tonight, it’s definitely very special. I’m. Not sure I have ever saved match point before in a slam. If that hasn’t happened, I’m unbelievably happy that it was today, because I knew I could play better after the first couple of sets. I believed I could turn it around from the get-go when the third set started, and I’m so happy the crowd got into it. The rallies were incredible at times, and my game really picked up. I served great in the fifth when it mattered, and just overall an enjoyable match also to play, because it had all the ups and downs similar to the Wimbledon final.

Q. As a follow-up, what was the turning point? Obviously first two sets you maybe didn’t have your best game, but you were able to find it.

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I think my game got better as the match went on, you know. I was able to play throughout at a high level physically and mentally. Mentally I’m not ever going to go away, but physically I was right there. I felt great in the fifth against Djokovic and great in the fifth against Monfils. I’m happy tonight it paid off. I felt I had more chances throughout the fourth than he did, so it would have been an unbelievable letdown for me to get broken at 5-4 and lose a match like that. It would have been not very cool, I must say. (Smiling.)

Q. So 74 net approaches; five-set match. That’s a lot of time at the net. Just talk about your mindset with net play right now and how Stefan has influenced that.

ROGER FEDERER: Don’t forget it also always depends on how the other guy plays. I played Bautista Agut now and also Gael who defend really well and make you play that one extra approach shot. Either that’s a volley from me or that extra approach shot that I can hit rather than the other guy in defense going for it big and killing the point with it. Today I don’t think I was able to come in enough really because I was just not hitting the ball well enough off the baseline. I started to serve and volley some more as the match went on. But I don’t know if I can keep it up, you know. It’s going to be a day match now against Cilic. I played him in Toronto in also equally fast conditions. That was a night match. No, I mean, I’m happy I’m spending some time at the net, because that’s going to keep giving me confidence to keep on doing that as we move along in the tournament. Against Gaël particularly always in the back of the mind you’re always aware that one more passing shot could happen, like on the match point that sailed past me, and you just hope it’s not going to land inside but outside. I’m happy I kept on pressing, and that I got a reward for it tonight.

Q. I guess you just kind of answered that, but I think you won 53 net points and 57 from the baseline. Do you think to win the tournament you have to keep attacking the net so much?

ROGER FEDERER: I mean, it depends against who it is, but there is different ways to come to the net. It’s serve and volley, it’s serve one shot come in, or throughout the rally. So I think it depends a little bit on who I’m playing. I know that Cilic is going to stay on the baseline and dictate play as much as he can. Otherwise he’s actually quite similar to Gaël: he’s tall, got a big serve, can return well, got a big reach. From that standpoint, I guess it was actually good playing Gaël tonight ahead of the match against Cilic.

Q. With how well he was playing first two sets, did you ever feel the match was out of your control?

ROGER FEDERER: Not really. No, because I was getting on his serve, you know, and I had opportunities, but I was just not hitting my forehand very well. Then on the serve I started to either overserve or whatever I was doing. It wasn’t working. But I think definitely something to do with Gaël, the way he was playing me. But I knew I could play better tennis, and I knew that once I started to play better I would be in control again. Even though I felt like I was, I had my opportunities, I just couldn’t get the big hit in, you know. And then every time it was a close point, you know. Deuce or whatever, I would miss a forehand by this much. That was making the difference really. It was a tough first couple of sets and it was actually quite frustrating. The wind was blowing so it wasn’t helping finding the rhythm. I’m happy I got off a good start in the third and calmed things down a bit, the nerves, and I was able to find my game. As the match went on I started to play much, much better.

Q. All your experience of Grand Slams over the years, when you face the two match points and brink of going out of a Grand Slam, do you feel tense at all? Are you purely focused on how you’re going to win that point?

ROGER FEDERER: That is a very frustrating moment to be in. You know, being down match point, it’s just not fun, because you’re so close to leaving the court and, you know, head hanging down and going to take a shower and going to have to do press and all that stuff, which is so annoying after you’ve lost. I don’t want to say I see all that, but it’s like I played so well, you know. And then you’re like you came so far and here you are facing match point. All this stuff just like goes through your mind. It’s hard to block it out, because you snap right back in because you don’t have that much time. You’re like, Okay, let me try and hit a good serve. Let’s hope it works, because I don’t want to hit a second serve. All that kind of stuff. The same things that you probably think go through my mind just I can’t escape it. I have to face it and embrace it. Sometimes it works, but very often clearly it doesn’t.

Q. Marin said today that he used his time last year to really develop his game and feels like he’s playing the best tennis of his career.

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I agree.

Q. And Tomas, who has played him a number of times, also said the same thing. Talk about him. I know you played him this year, but talk about the challenge that Marin will present and, you know, the way he’s playing right now.

ROGER FEDERER: I mean, he’s playing really nice, you know. I must say he’s really cleaned up his game. I mean, he’s done well in the past. It’s not like, you know, he’s come from the top 50 player to all of a sudden knocking on the top 10 door. He’s been there before. Let’s be honest. But it just feels it’s not so much in the other guy’s racquet. It feels like he also has a say in the outcome, and that’s kind of what you want, especially against top players. I thought today he played great, you know. I thought, start to finish, closed it out, came back, all that stuff. That’s what you have to do, you know, especially in a Grand Slam and beating Berdych in straight. Maybe he’s not the most confident player now, Berdych, but nevertheless, I think he’s doing all the right things, Marin. And I played him in Toronto. Funny match, you know. I didn’t play great in the first set but somehow got it done, and then I think I wasted like eight match points in the second set; had to go three. It was late at night, and — but that’s maybe exactly the kind of matches I needed to win. You know, second-round, 12:30 at night. I mean, do I really have to do this? But that’s exactly what got me through in Toronto to win Cincinnati and be in the situation today and facing Marin. So it was good to beat him, you see. That’s sometimes how you have to get your ways. I think he’s doing great. I know it’s going to be a tough match.

ATP

ATP Montreal: Ruud Thrashes Auger-Aliassime To Reach Semis, Mixed Results For Brits

Casper Ruud eased past Felix Auger-Aliassime to set up a semi-final meeting with Hubert Hurkacz in Montreal.

Avatar

Published

on

Casper Ruud (@OBNmontreal - Twitter)

Casper Ruud only dropped three games against Felix Auger-Aliassime to reach the semi-finals in Montreal.

 

The Norwegian is into the semi-finals in Canada after a dominant performance over home favourite Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Ruud dominated from the start of the match as he produced a sublime performance only committing nine unforced errors throughout the match to reach the last four.

Ruud has had a good season on hard courts this season and is looking to make his second consecutive hard court Masters 1000 final after reaching the final in Miami.

Speaking after the match Ruud admitted he got a bit lucky but is happy to be in the last four in Canada, “It was one of those days where everything goes in one favour and luckily it was in my favour,” Ruud told the ATP website.

“With a player like Felix, you need to rely on some margins going your way. I didn’t expect them to all go on my side. It was a bit of a difficult start. I got broken but then was able to turn everything around. I hit my spots, made the shots I needed to and make him hit a lot of balls. That was the game plan and it worked well.

“The last hard-court tournament I played in was in Miami where I reached the final. I wanted to make a deep run here. I didn’t think it was too likely, being the first hard-court tournament back, but I have been playing great from the first point in the first match.”

Ruud will look to claim his first Masters 1000 title this week and rise to four in the world in the ATP rankings.

Next for Ruud is the only Masters 1000 champion left in the draw in the form of Hubert Hurkacz.

Hurkacz defeated the in-form Nick Kyrgios 7-6(4) 6-7(5) 6-1 to reach the semi-finals in Canada.

The eighth seed produced some big-serving and bold decision making as he reached his first semi-final since winning the Halle title.

Heading into their match, Ruud leads the head-to-head 1-0 where the Norwegian was victorious at Roland Garros this year.

Mixed results for British hopefuls

Meanwhile it was a mixed night for British players as Dan Evans reached his second career Masters 1000 semi-final while Jack Draper exited the tournament in the last eight.

Evans defeated Tommy Paul 1-6 6-3 6-4 to reach a landmark moment in his career in Montreal.

After his win Evans described the win as ‘extra special’ as he looks forward to a semi-final meeting with Pablo Carreno Busta, “The crowd, that’s what they buy their tickets for. That’s live sport,” Evans told the ATP website.

“You never know what’s going to happen. It was an amazing match, amazing atmosphere. I played on the court before. In the day it was amazing, but at night, there’s something about playing sport at night, it’s extra special.”

Evans will now play Carreno Busta in the last four after the Spaniard defeated British qualifier Jack Draper 7-6(4) 6-1.

Draper defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas earlier in the week but was no match for the resilient Spaniard.

Saturday’s semi-final will be the first meeting between Evans and Carreno Busta.

Continue Reading

ATP

Canada Daily Preview: Semifinal Saturday Features Ruud/Hurkacz and Pegula/Halep

Avatar

Published

on

Simona Halep on Friday in Toronto (twitter.com/NBOtoronto)

The singles and doubles semifinals will be played on Saturday in Canada.  In Montreal, a new men’s singles champion will be crowned, and Hubi Hurkacz is the only semifinalist to have previously won a Masters 1000 event (Miami, 2021).  Hurkacz is also in the doubles semifinals, so it will be a busy day for Hubi.  In singles, he faces a finalist from this year in Miami, Casper Ruud.

 

In Toronto, Simona Halep is the only former champion remaining, and is two wins away from her third title at this event.  On Saturday, she plays Jessica Pegula, who is into the semifinals in Canada for the second straight year.  Like Hurkacz, Pegula is also in the doubles semifinals.  She’s teaming with Coco Gauff, who will become the new doubles No.1 if they win the title.

Each day, this preview will analyze the two most intriguing matchups, while highlighting other notable matches on the schedule.  Saturday’s play gets underway at 12:00pm local time in Montreal and 1:00pm in Toronto.


Hubert Hurkacz (8) vs. Casper Ruud (4) – Not Before 3:00pm on Court Central in Montreal

Hurkacz ended the winning streak of Nick Kyrgios on Friday, taking him out in three sets for the second time this season.  But Ruud was even more impressive on Friday, bouncing back from a marathon victory on Thursday over Roberto Bautista Agut to overwhelm Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime, dropping only three games.  Predominantly known as a clay court player, Casper is also establishing himself as a considerable threat on hard courts.  That’s especially true in North America, where Ruud has claimed 16 of his last 19 matches.  But Hubi’s success on this surface remains superior, as does his serving prowess.  While Ruud prevailed in their only previous encounter, just a few months ago at Roland Garros, Hurkacz is the favorite on a hard court.


Jessica Pegula (7) vs. Simona Halep (15) – 1:00pm on Centre Court in Toronto

Halep has been dominant through four rounds this week, advancing without the loss of a set.  Simona has quietly put together a strong record of 36-10 this season, though she’s yet to achieve a big result, with only one title at the 250 level at the start of the year.  Pegula only dropped one set this week, to defending champion Camila Giorgi.  And similar to Halep, she’s accumulated a solid record this year (29-14) without winning a title.  This will be the first career meeting between these two players.  Considering Halep is now 25-6 lifetime at this event, and the way in which she has easily prevailed all week, her superior movement and defense should be enough to reach her fourth final in Canada.


Other Notable Matches on Saturday:

Pablo Carreno Busta vs. Dan Evans – Carreno Busta has played superbly this week, eliminating the likes of Jannik Sinner and Matteo Berrettini without losing a set to this stage.  Dan Evans has survived two grueling three-setters in as many days.  This is their first career meeting.

Beatriz Haddad Maia vs. Karolina Pliskova (14) – Haddad Maia has earned three big wins across the last three days over Iga Swiatek, Belinda Bencic, and Leylah Fernandez.  Pliskova is looking to reach the Canada final for the second straight year.  They have split two previous encounters, both on hard courts.


Saturday’s full Order of Play is here.

Continue Reading

ATP

Canada Daily Preview: Quarterfinal Friday in Montreal and Toronto

Avatar

Published

on

Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime on Thursday in Montreal (twitter.com/OBNmontreal)

Canadian No.1 Felix Auger-Aliassime has thrilled crowds in his home country on back-to-back days in Montreal.  On Friday, he faces Roland Garros finalist Casper Ruud, who outlasted Roberto Bautista Agut on Thursday in a marathon match that went well over three hours.  Other ATP action in Montreal includes Washington champion Nick Kyrgios taking on Halle champ Hubi Hurkacz in a rematch from the Halle semifinals.

 

Coco Gauff has survived two extremely dramatic affairs in as many days, ousting both Elena Rybakina and Aryna Sabalenka in third-set tiebreaks.  In the quarterfinals, she plays a two-time champion of this event, Simona Halep.  Toronto’s matches on Friday also feature Jessica Pegula and Karolina Pliskova, both of whom reached the semifinals or better of this tournament a year ago.

Each day, this preview will analyze the two most intriguing matchups, while highlighting other notable matches on the schedule.  Friday’s play gets underway at 12:00pm local time in Montreal and 1:00pm in Toronto.


Coco Gauff (10) vs. Simona Halep (15) – 1:00pm on Centre Court in Toronto

Between Wednesday and Thursday, Gauff spent exactly six hours on court during the heat of the early afternoon, in two physically and emotionally taxing matches.  By contrast, Halep spent less than half that time on court across those two days, and is yet to drop a set this week.  And their three previous encounters have all been straight-set victories for Simona.  She prevailed on grass three years ago at Wimbledon, on a hard court this year at Indian Wells, and on clay this year in Madrid.  And considering Halep will be the far fresher player on Friday, there’s not much evidence to suggest a different result in her fourth meeting with Coco.


Casper Ruud (4) vs. Felix Auger-Aliassime (6) – Not Before 2:00pm on Court Central in Montreal

What will Ruud have left after a three-set match that lasted nearly three-and-a-half hours?  Auger-Aliassime had a much easier time on Thursday, avenging a loss from less than a week ago in the Los Cabos semifinals over Cam Norrie.  Casper and Felix have split four previous meetings at all levels: two at Challenger events, and two at Masters 1000 events such as this.  Three years ago in Miami on a hard court, Auger-Aliassime won in three sets.  Last year in Madrid on clay, Ruud prevailed in straights.  Accordingly, a hard court would seem to favor Felix, especially considering his superior serving abilities.  Most of Casper’s big results have come on clay, though he did reach the final of Miami earlier this year.  I expected the Canadian to play nervously at this event, as Auger-Aliassime was only 3-3 lifetime here ahead of this week, and had lost four of his last six matches since June.  But Felix has embraced the spotlight of playing in front of a packed Canadian stadium, and should be favored over a depleted Ruud on Friday.


Other Notable Matches on Friday:

Nick Kyrgios vs. Hubert Hurkacz (8) – Between singles and doubles, Kyrgios is 13-0 over the last 10 days.  Hurkacz saved a match point on Thursday, eventually defeating Albert Ramos-Vinolas in a third-set tiebreak.  Earlier this year in Halle when he played Nick, Hubi also prevailed in a third-set tiebreak.

Karolina Pliskova (14) vs. Qinwen Zheng – Both players were victorious after tough three-setters on Thursday: Pliskova over Maria Sakkari and Qinwen over Bianca Andreescu.  This is their first career meeting.


Friday’s full Order of Play is here.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending