Roger Federer: “I guess I won the wrong points. I felt for some reason yesterday and this morning it was not going to be very simple today”
TENNIS AUSTRALIAN OPEN – 23rd of January 2015. A.Seppi d. R.Federer 6-2, 7-6, 4-6, 7-6. An interview with Roger Federer
Q. You didn’t look quite comfortable out there today, especially the first two sets. Was something special going on or just a bad day?
ROGER FEDERER: Just a bad day, yeah. I mean, I wish I could have played better, but clearly it was tough losing the first two, you know. Had chances to get back into it. I let it slip, I mean, both times in some ways. I guess I won the wrong points out there today. I knew how important that second set tiebreaker was, so clearly that hurt, losing that one. The end wasn’t pretty, you know. It wasn’t easy to play with the shadow. But it was the same for both of us. Just a disappointing loss, you know.
Q. Did you have a chance to make a volley on the very final point?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, I guess maybe if he hits it normally, maybe yes. But the way he hits it you think, This can’t possibly land in. You kind of go and you’re there and you’re like, No, I’m going to let it go. As you’re telling yourself that, you look behind you and you already know it’s done, so… Because he was also running into the sun, so I have to cover cross-court just in case. That’s where everybody goes. I don’t know. Ask him how he felt hitting it. It’s clearly a big blow because I actually hit my forehand pretty good.
Q. You never lost a set with him. Was it surprising the way he played? Do you think Seppi played his best ever?
ROGER FEDERER: Against me, you mean?
ROGER FEDERER: Possibly so. We had some good matches in the past. He hits a good ball, forehand and backhand, so I knew that on a quicker court where he gets more help on the serve it was potentially going to be more tricky. And I felt for some reason yesterday and this morning it was not going to be very simple today. Even in practice I still felt the same way. I was just hoping it was one of those feelings you sometimes have and it’s totally not true and you just come out and you play a routine match. Yeah, it was a mistake. And I know the strength of Seppi, especially after he beat Chardy, who I know can play very well. I was aware of the test and was well-prepared. Just somehow couldn’t play my best tennis today. It was definitely partially because of Andreas playing very well.
Q. What do you think let you down the most? Was it your serving or missing those breakpoints?
ROGER FEDERER: I guess it was just an overall feeling I had today out on the court that I couldn’t, you know, really get the whole game flowing. You know, was it backhand? Was it forehand? Was it serve? It was a bit of everything. At the same time, I think I got broken in the last couple of sets. The second set also I only got broken once. I was hanging in there. Gee, what did I have, 4-1 in the breaker, 3-1 in the breaker? I don’t remember what it was. I hit a pretty good serve that I shouldn’t — downwind I should never lose that point. So it wasn’t all bad. It’s just when it counted the most somehow it just ended up going his way. I think that was because overall I wasn’t feeling it quite as well. I had to play it a little bit passively at times when normally I would play aggressive. You know, it was just a tough match for me.
Q. When you come to reflect, do you think you made it back on top after a very grueling, very emotional Davis Cup very late in the year? Maybe this event came in a bit of a rush.
ROGER FEDERER: Not really. I was actually very happy that it was the way it went, because it allowed me to stay within the rhythm and take the break after the Australian Open. I was playing very well in practice. I was playing very well in Brisbane. I was playing great in the practice leading into the tournament. So I don’t want to say that I peaked too early, but I definitely was hitting the ball very well. I still believe I’d still be in the tournament, that I’d still have a chance to go very deep. Like I said at the very beginning of the tournament, I truly believe that. But then again, margins are small, and sometimes these things tend to happen. Clearly I’ll have a look at it, but I don’t think I did anything wrong honestly. I wanted to go to India. I wanted to go back to Switzerland for Christmas. I practiced as hard as I possibly could. Can’t do more than that. Sure, the year ended late, but one week later than normal. At the end of the day, honestly I’m confident that what I did was the right thing.
Q. The first set you played versus Bolelli, there was this little sign of alarm. You were pushed by the forehand of Bolelli a lot, and maybe today the whole match instead of just one set or not?
ROGER FEDERER: Maybe. I don’t know. I think I gave a lot of explanation. I wish I could have won the first set; then things would have been different. But I definitely wanted to go into the match, play aggressive, play the right way, play on my terms, but it was just hard to do. For some reason I struggled. Like I explained, it had things to do with Andreas’ game and with my game as well. You put those things together, all of a sudden you’re playing a match you don’t want to play. The rallies are going in a way you don’t like it. Then when I maybe needed my serve the most, it wasn’t quite there, because my baseline game wasn’t there either. It went in phases. But at least I was able to iron out things a bit and able to play much more solid at the back end of the match. But it just broke me to lose that second set. And actually the fourth, I should win it, too. Just a brutal couple of sets to lose there.
Q. Were you surprised you were playing in the morning session? Maybe the conditions might be different.
ROGER FEDERER: Who knows. I mean, it’s totally no excuse. How many times have I played night session, day session, night session, day session or day session, night session? Who cares. I think he did well. I struggled today and he took advantage of it really. I wish I believed maybe if we played at night I would have been more comfortable, but at this point who cares, right? I mean, like I’m on the plane and he’s not, so.
Casper Ruud Topples Rune To Reach French Open Semis
Casper Ruud came out on top in his all-Scandinavian clash with Holger Rune to seal his place in the semi-finals of the French Open.
Ruud, who is seeded fourth in the draw, battled to a 6-1, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, win over his Danish opponent in what was a topsy-turvy encounter on the Philippe Chatrier Court. It is the second year in a row that the Norwegian has defeated Rune in the last eight of Roland Garros and he now leads their head-to-head 6-1. He is through to the last four of a major for only the third time in his career.
“I’m very relieved. I came into this match trying to not play with pressure but it is not easy when you’re playing a big match against Holger who is never easy,” Rune said during his post-match interview. “He is very aggressive. Luckily for me the first two sets he wasn’t feeling it too well. He made a lot of errors and I got a lot of points for free.’
“That helped settle my nerves but he fought back in the third set. In the fourth set, I was lucky to keep that break.”
The highly anticipated nighttime clash began in one-way fashion with Ruud claiming 12 out of the first 15 games with relative ease as an erratic Rune struggled to find his game on the court, hitting a total of 40 unforced errors during the first two sets.
It wasn’t until the third frame that Ruud finally faced some resistance on the court as his opponent orchestrated the crowd to get behind him. Prompting the 20-year-old to hit a series of impressive shots to revive his hopes.
However, Rune’s comeback was short-lived as Ruud broke once more midway through the fourth set as he moved to a game away from victory. He earned his first match point at 5-2 following a double fault from his rival but failed to convert. Two more opportunities then came and went for Ruud before he managed to serve the match out in the following game.
“I think I did well,” he replied when asked about how he handled his nerves. “I kind of looked at it (the match) as if he was the favourite. He won the last time we played and he has had a better year than me so far.’
“He was hoping to get into his first (Grand Slam) semi-final and I was hungry to get into another semi-final. Luckily it worked out well for me.”
Awaiting the 24-year-old in the semi-finals on Friday will be Alexander Zverev who defeated Tomás Martín Etcheverry in four sets. He trails their head-to-head 1-2 but they have never faced each other on clay.
“Ruud has been there before. He was in the final here last year, so he knows exactly what it means and what it takes,” Zverev told reporters.
Ruud is now 16-5 this season when it comes to playing matches on the clay. Since the start of 2020, he has registered 86 wins on the surface which is more than any other player on the ATP Tour.
Roland Garros Daily Preview: Iga Swiatek Plays Coco Gauff in a Rematch of Last Year’s Final
The quarterfinals conclude on Wednesday in Paris.
A year ago in the women’s singles championship match, Iga Swiatek defeated Coco Gauff 6-1, 6-3 to win her second Roland Garros title. Swiatek leads their head-to-head 6-0, having claimed all 12 sets they’ve contested. Can Coco provide any real resistance on Wednesday?
In the other WTA quarterfinal, Ons Jabeur and Beatriz Haddad Maia vie to reach their first French Open semifinal.
On the men’s side, we have another prominent rematch from last year’s tournament. A year ago in this same round, Casper Ruud eliminated Holger Rune in a contentious Scandinavian battle. Yet in 2023, Rune has been the better player. Who will prevail this time around?
And one year after the serious ankle injury Sascha Zverev suffered in the semifinals of this event, he looks to return to that round, and faces a surprising quarterfinalist in Tomas Martin Etcheverry.
Beatriz Haddad Maia (14) vs. Ons Jabeur (7) – 11:00am on Court Philippe Chatrier
Jabeur is only 15-6 on the year, after missing time this season due to multiple leg injuries. But she has rounded into strong form at a good time, dropping only one set to this stage. This is the farthest Ons has ever advanced in Paris, as she plays for her third Major semifinal, all within the past year.
Haddad Maia had never previously advanced beyond the second round of a Slam, with an 0-7 record in that round. Yet here she is in her first Major quarterfinal, on the surface where the least amount of previous success had come. Beatriz has survived three consecutive three-setters, including an over three-and-half-hour one in the last round against Sara Sorribes Tormo.
These players met just two months ago in the same round on the same surface, with Jabeur easily prevailing 6-3, 6-0 in Stuttgart. Ons will surely be the fresher player, and has an obviously huge edge in experience. I like Jabeur’s chances of achieving her first Roland Garros semifinal.
Iga Swiatek (1) vs. Coco Gauff (6) – Not Before 12:30pm on Court Philippe Chatrier
In their 12 aforementioned previous sets, most have not even been close. Only one, their very first, has gone to a tiebreak, and Gauff has averaged just 2.4 games per set.
Coco is also yet to play her best this year. While her record of 23-8 is far from embarrassing, she had not reached a quarterfinal in three months before this fortnight. She continues to tinker with her forehand and serve, and has made recent changes to her coaching team.
Swiatek is 32-6 this season, and has lost only nine games through four rounds, though she did receive an unfortunate retirement in the last round from an ill Lesia Tsurenko. So while Gauff always remains a threat, a Coco upset on Wednesday would be a bit of a shock.
Sascha Zverev (22) vs. Tomas Martin Etcheverry – Not Before 3:00pm on Court Philippe Chatrier
Zverev arrived in Paris with little form, and even admitted to feeling emotional returning to the scene where such a devastating injury happened a year ago. But he has played excellently through four rounds, dropping just one set against his only opponent seeded higher than him (Tiafoe). Sascha is playing for his third straight semifinal in Paris.
Before this year, Etcheverry had never won a match at a Major, and only owned four career victories at ATP level. But the 23-year-old has won 19 tour-level matches this season, and reached two clay court finals (Santiago, Houston). Tomas Martin is yet to drop a set this tournament, defeating three seeded players (de Minaur, Coric, Nishioka).
But in their first career meeting, Zverev is a huge favorite. His power and experience should allow him to comfortably dictate matters on Wednesday.
Holger Rune (6) vs. Casper Ruud (4) – Not Before 8:15pm on Court Philippe-Chatrier
Ruud got off to a modest start in 2023 after achieving his first two Major finals in 2022, and accumulating 51 match wins. But he’s now 15-5 on clay this season, and took three tight sets from Nicolas Jarry in a straight-set fourth round match that lasted nearly four hours. Casper is 2-0 in his previous Slam quarterfinals.
Rune has been on a tear since last fall, reaching seven ATP finals, and winning three of them. That includes three clay finals within the last two months (Monte Carlo, Munich, Rome). He survived a grueling round of 16 contest against Francisco Cerundolo, decided by a fifth-set tiebreak. This is Holger’s second Slam quarterfinal, after losing in four sets here a year ago to this same opponent.
These two men exchanged words both at the net and in the locker room after that quarterfinal. Casper, like many players, has voiced how immature he finds Holger’s on-court behavior to be. Ruud won their first four meetings, but just two weeks ago in the semifinals of Rome, Rune came from behind to win in three. All five of those matches took place on clay.
Holger appeared physically fatigued during much of his match on Monday against Cerundolo. The outcome on Wednesday may heavily depend on his physical condition. But if he’s feeling close to 100%, I give Rune the slight edge to achieve his first Major semifinal.
Wednesday’s full Order of Play is here.
Argentina’s Tomas Etcheverry Pays Tribute To Sister After Milestone French Open Win
Moments after booking his place in the quarter-finals of the French Open for the first time, Tomas Etcheverry paid tribute to his sister who passed away last year.
The world No.49 overcame a tough opening set before storming past Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka 7-6(8), 6-0, 6-1, on Monday night. His win continues what has been a fairytale run for the 23-year-old who is yet to drop a set in Paris. Prior to the tournament, he had only ever won one main draw match at a Grand Slam in his career.
Speaking to ESPN after his victory, Etcheverry mentioned his sister Magui who died in 2022 at the age of 32 following a two-year battle with breast cancer. She had two children called Galo and Juana.
“The truth is that lately I’ve been asking my sister for strength a lot… Today, before a serve, I asked her: ‘Magui, please help me’. And she helped me. I hit an ace,” Etcheverry said.
Etcheverry has already shown his credentials on the clay this season by reaching the final of ATP tournaments in Houston and Santiago. However, he has at times struggled for consistency. Coming into this year’s French Open, he had failed to win back-to-back matches at four consecutive tournaments before reaching the final of a Challenger event in Bordeaux.
Besides Nishioka, the Argentine has also recorded convincing wins over Alex de Minaur and Borna Coric at the French Open. Making it the first time in his career that he has defeated players currently ranked in the world’s top 20. His next opponent will be Alexander Zverev who he has never played before on the Tour.
“In the next round it’s going to be tough,” Etcheverry said in his press conference. “Sascha Zverev, I think he has a lot more experience than me, but I feel really good to play against him.’
“I am playing incredible tennis this week, and just I have to focus on my game and try to do the same.”
Should Etcheverry upset Zverev, he will become the first Argentine to reach the last four at Roland Garros since Diego Schwartzman in 2020.
Casper Ruud Topples Rune To Reach French Open Semis
Alexander Zverev Reaches French Open Semis 12 Months After Horrific Injury
Ons Jabeur Admits Rushing Back From Injury After Roland Garros Exit
Iga Swiatek Downs Gauff To Set Haddad Maia Semi-Final At Roland Garros
Beatriz Haddad Maia Produces Stunning Comeback Over Jabeur To Reach Roland Garros Semi-Finals
France’s Hugo Gaston Hit With Huge Fine For Unsportsmanlike Conduct
Novak Djokovic Denies Being Roland Garros Favourite, Praises Alcaraz
(EXCLUSIVE) Ukrainian Journalist Reacts To Controversial Booing Of Marta Kostyuk At French Open
Holger Rune Says Djokovic Still The Man To Beat At French Open
Sara Sorribes Tormo Responds To Allegations Of Poor Sportsmanship At French Open
(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE) Australian Open: Steve Flink Talks Djokovic’s Fitness, Nearest Rivals And Future Of American Tennis
EXCLUSIVE: Felix Auger-Aliassime’s Coach Fredric Fontang – ‘Felix Can Win Wimbledon This Year’
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