TENNIS AUSTRALIAN OPEN – 19th of January 2015. R. Federer d. Y.Lu 6-4, 6-2, 7-5. An interview with Roger Federer
Q. Number 1001. Did you ever think you’d get there after you gotten 1000?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I was hoping it would happen in Australia. I’m very pleased to make this one here tonight. You know, winning first round, it’s always a bit of a relief. I thought I played good. So it was nice to get 1001 here now tonight. We’re not going to talk about this every single match now, right? Let’s just keep it to this one (smiling).
Q. Do you think personality-wise it lends well to succeed for a player, say, if they’re outgoing on court it’s easier to face a pressure point, where someone who is introverted might have to work a little bit harder to succeed?
ROGER FEDERER: Good question. I’m not sure. You would think an introvert is not ready to take huge risks, but then again he might be very thoughtful and play very well-constructed points, won’t go for the silly shot. So I guess it really depends what kind of game you have. But I like the idea when you’re young and you’re fearless, you give it a shot and just go big and take it away from your opponent. That’s kind of how I felt, how I did it sometimes. Yeah but, you know, it didn’t always work. If you look, Lleyton, who wasn’t quite like that, he was more constructive in his points. He had much more success early on. So I don’t know.
Q. You’d class yourself as an intro or extrovert?
ROGER FEDERER: Extrovert probably I’d say.
Q. One year ago you said in the press conference prior to the tournament you came here with the back hurting to some point. This year you suffered some hurt in the back in the World Tour Finals in London. How did you manage to keep the pain at bay from a medical standpoint, the treatment you received, and so on?
ROGER FEDERER: After London?
ROGER FEDERER: And Davis Cup?
ROGER FEDERER: I had the doctor take a train from Lille Saturday night after the Stan match. I called him up and asked him if he could come see me. When I woke up he was there, which was great because it’s not far away. I hardly could get out of bed. Yeah, he had a look at me. I don’t know, can’t even run so can’t play clearly. I was like, Are you sure? Can’t we wait? He was like, I don’t know. You can’t run so you can’t play. So, anyway, number one, what we did was just let it heal, just do basically nothing except some very minor treatment just so it relaxes the most. It took two, two and a half days, three days until I could run again. And then clearly I was taking medication, heavy ones. Just got back in time. Basically Wednesday night when I went for a hit in Lille, that was the first time I felt like in that afternoon I could run basically. So that’s when I decided, If you can run, you can play. That’s my feeling. And I was happy that I somehow managed to play.
Q. I’m sure you’re well aware what happened to the Swiss franc the other day.
ROGER FEDERER: Yes, I am very well aware.
Q. What do you make of it? How does it affect you?
ROGER FEDERER: Does it mean I’ve got to win now (smiling)? Yeah, I mean, clearly, I don’t know, it definitely had a big impact all around the world, right? Yeah, Switzerland’s an interesting place. It’s small but quite powerful in some ways. Clearly it had an impact on me, too, no doubt about it. Things were going up all the time, so it’s normal have it reset. But the way it was done, maybe there were some question marks behind that because nobody saw it coming. I’m not the expert, so I don’t know exactly what you want me to tell you. Yeah, I guess for export or tourism it’s not ideal, but we’ll see how we’ll adjust to it now. Still think it’s a wonderful place to visit, so please come.
Q. Talk about risk taking in tennis. Is that a skill in itself, to know what to go for? Do you enjoy risk taking? Does it sometimes get a little boring when there aren’t any challenges or risk-taking situations?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I think the most important thing in taking risks is that you actually believe in what you’re trying to do, that you’re 100% committed; 80% commitment is not enough. As you’re running up to the ball or trying to take the ball early, if you have a little bit of doubt that it’s not the right play, it’s funny enough, you’ll fail every single time. You just have to believe and visualize beforehand what’s going to happen. You see the play happening in your mind just before you hit it, and then you have the best chance of making it work. I think that commitment with the risk taking is the right one, and then knowing of what score you’re going to take the risk. Is it at Love-30? 30-All? Love-30? 40-Love? Love-40? It’s a totally different ballgame. What the best players usually do is they play the score very well. That’s something that comes with experience, but I also will experience sometimes I feel you start to play safer or the percentages more. That can become a bit boring. I always try to keep a young mind because I feel my game needs that risk taking, that committed play. Clearly when I’m confident, I can do it much easier.
Q. Novak’s forehand match point shot against you was possibly the greatest risk shot against you. What was one or two of your greatest successful high-risk shots?
ROGER FEDERER: I have no idea. Zero idea. I played too many points and so many times I have had to take a big chance and guessed the right way, and I did. Just felt it. Maybe match point against Sampras. Felt like he was going to slide it wide. I was just waiting there. I believe that clearly he was going to go T with an ace for sure. I gave him that and leaned the other way. Maybe that one sticks out.
Q. You may remember that article from David Foster Wallace years ago in the New York Times where described you as a religious experience, and then I read, a human beings reconciliation with the fact of having a body. What do you think? Do you recognize yourself? An exaggeration?
ROGER FEDERER: Just a slight exaggeration (laughter). But I guess in sports we have a tendency to — there’s no end. You know, it’s just so unbelievable sometimes, like it’s never been seen before. So I’ve been through this entire phase where I got so many compliments, you just thought, Wow, this is the best feeling in the world. But very quickly you get the feeling as well that not everything’s so great sometimes when you don’t play very well. I’ve been on both sides. That’s why I have no problem accepting criticism, because I’ve gotten so many compliments over the years. It’s part of the game. But clearly some unbelievable pieces have been written about me, about tennis, about other players. It’s interesting to read them. Sometimes just slightly exaggerated, but everybody can judge that the way they want.
‘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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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