Roger Federer switches focus to victory in Basel and away from the rankings - UBITENNIS
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Roger Federer switches focus to victory in Basel and away from the rankings

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Roger Federer in action during the 2015 US Open (image via Reuters)

In the build up to the Swiss Indoors in Basel swiss channel SRF Zwei conducted an interview with defending champion Roger Federer.

 

The 17-time Grand Slam champion will be bidding to claim his seventh title in Basel this week, becoming the first man in history to win seven titles in the tournament. The 34-year-old has played 65 main draw matches at the event since 1998, winning 56 of them. Federer has no chance of finishing the year at No.1 in the world as he trails Novak Djokovic by almost 9000 points. The Swiss is, however relaxed about this as he said that his focus is on the tournaments and not the ranking points.

“If it’s not about the number 1”.  He said.
“It is important to accept that Djokovic is clearly the best player of the season. My focus is on the match itself. The tournament victory in Basel has the highest priority, not any world ranking points”. He added.

Recently the world No.3 suffered a shock defeat to Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the second round of the Shanghai Rolex Masters. Following the defeat Federer travelled to Dubai for an emergency training block with his fitness trainer Pierre Paganini. He told SRF Zwei that he flew Paganini from Switzerland to Dubai to conduct a three-day training session to get him in better shape for the Swiss Indoors.

The importance of the Swiss tournament is unquestionable for Federer. Besides playing in his home country, the tournament is statistically one of the best in his career. The 34-year-old has featured in the final every year since 2006, winning six of them. He recently turned down a wild card invitation for the Vienna Open to focus on his Basel preperations. Despite his numerous wins at the tournament, he called his first match 17 years ago as his greatest memory in Basel.

“In 1998, I was playing play against Andre Agassi. Since it was a struggle for me, not a 0-6,0-6 loss however (smiles). After the match, I was totally happy. I did not know that you can be happy after a defeat. But I was just happy that I was able to keep up reasonably with Agassi”. Federer recounted.

Federer will kick-off his 2015 Swiss campaign against Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin. He has beaten Kukushkin twice before in 2011 (Wimbledon) and 2014 (Davis Cup).

Highlights of Roger Federer’s first round encounter against Andre Agassi in the 1998 Swiss Indoors Championship.

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ATP and WTA removes rankings points from Wimbledon

Players playing Wimbledon have no ranking points to play for.

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(@FOS - Twitter)

The ATP responded in regards to the ban on Russian and Belorussian players that was made by the tournament.

 

The ATP has officially responded to Wimbledon banning all Russian and Belorussian in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine which has wreaked havoc on the world of sports.

Russian and Belorussian players up to this point have been playing under their name and not their country.

The ATP released a statement in regards to the decision that was made.

The move essentially makes Wimbledon an exhibition event meaning players who decide to play won’t be able to move up in the world rankings and points won’t have to be defended.

Wimbledon made the announcement in April that they would placing the ban as the All England Club stated the possibility of the Russian government using players success as propaganda for the reason behind the move.

The ATP responded by saying the ban violated their agreement and discriminating against players since they compete as individuals. Removing points seemed like the only feasable move to make.

Russian and Belorussian players are allowed to play at the French Open which begins this Sunday in Paris. Danil Medvedev who is currently the 2nd ranked player in the world was asked about the move.

I’m not in ATP taking the decisions, I’m not in Wimbledon taking the decisions. Maybe it’s government pushing them, maybe it’s their decision. There a lot of mistakes behind this. So if I can play I’m going to be happy to play. I love Wimbledon as a tournament.”

He also added that if he couldn’t play there this year he would try to play next year and play good.

The WTA has also followed suit but this time has also penalized some of the warm-up tournaments.

Wimbledon is currently scheduled to start on June 27th and will culminate with the final on Sunday July 10th.

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Rafael Nadal Dismisses Favourite Status And Talks About Foot Pain Ahead Of Roland Garros

Rafael Nadal begins against Jordan Thompson on Monday.

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Rafael Nadal (@RolandGarros - Twitter)

Rafael Nadal has dismissed that he is the favourite for Roland Garros after admitting that his foot pain is still present.

 

Nadal searches for his 14th Roland Garros title over the next two weeks but enters with doubts.

This is after the Spaniard went out at the quarter-final stage in Madrid to eventual champion Carlos Alcaraz.

That was followed by a third round exit in Rome where he, literally, limped out to Denis Shapovalov.

Now Nadal approaches the tournament in a situation where it is unknown whether he can claim a 22nd grand slam title in the French capital.

Speaking in his pre-tournament press conference Nadal dismissed his chances and claimed his foot pain is still present, “I mean, for sure not, because the results says that I am not, but is something that never worried much to me, no?,” Nadal said when asked if he was the favourite to win the title.

“Of course one of the candidates. I considered myself during all my tennis career one of the candidates here, because I achieve tournaments before here, and now on Friday, before the tournament start, I don’t think I am the
favourite at all. But you never know what can happen.

“It’s not about gonna disappear now. It’s about if the pain is high and strong enough to allow me to play with real chances or not. But in my case, is something that I live every day with that, so is nothing new for me and is not a big surprise.

“So I am here just to play tennis and to try to make the best result possible here in Roland Garros, no? And if I don’t believe that this thing can happen, probably I will not be here.

“So I am just working as much as I can, and practicing as good as possible. My real goal is just put me in a position that I am healthy and playing enough good tennis to give myself good chances.”

Time will tell whether Nadal has healed in time to be a contender for Roland Garros and claim his second grand slam of the season.

One thing we do know though is that the Spaniard has a tricky draw with Novak Djokovic looming in the last eight and Carlos Alcaraz awaiting in the semi-finals.

Despite the tough draw Nadal admitted he doesn’t really think about the draw until he faces the players he has to play, “I mean, mentally for me it doesn’t matter,” Nadal said.

“In terms of tennis, of course the top of the draw you see the names, of course is a very tough one. But we are in a Grand Slam, and you never know what can happen, no? You know, remain a lot of things to happen, to probably arrive to the matches that you are thinking, you know.

“I mean, the only thing that I can say is of course I know everything. For me never have been a problem that. I am probably humble enough in that case to just be focused on my first match. Doesn’t matter if I know where I am exactly and what, you know, possible opponents I can have.

“Only thing that I would like is be the player that, one of the players that you think can face these other great players.”

Before Nadal can think about Djokovic or Alcaraz, the 21-time grand slam champion will have to overcome his first obstacle in Jordan Thompson on Monday.

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Carlos Alcaraz Has The Ability To Win French Open, Says Coach Ferrero

The Spaniard’s team says their objective in Paris is to ‘try to win it.’

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CARLOS ALCARAZ OF SPAIN - PHOTO: DIEGO SOUTO / MMO

Despite his Grand Slam inexperience Carlos Alcaraz has the potential to triumph at this year’s French Open, according to his coach Juan Carlos Ferrero.

 

The 19-year-old Spaniard has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the sport over the past few months which has seen him set various milestones. In February he became the youngest player to win an ATP 500 title in Rio before becoming the youngest Miami Masters champion in history. On the clay Alcaraz continued his surge by scoring back-to-back wins over Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic en route to the Madrid Open title.

Heading into Roland Garros, the rising star has achieved a win-loss record of 28-3 and remains the only player in 2022 to have won a quartet of titles on the ATP Tour. Starting the year outside the top 30, he is currently at a ranking high of sixth in the world. To put that into context, the last player younger than him to be in the world’s top 10 was Nadal back in 2005.

Pundits are now backing Alcaraz to be one of the title favourites at Roland Garros, even though it will only be his sixth appearance in a Grand Slam main draw. As for the views of those within his own team, coach Ferrero also believes he has the potential to achieve Grand Slam glory.

“We have the objective of going there and try to win it,” the 42-year-old said during an interview with The Evening Standard. “This will be really hard but we think we’re ready for it. I really think he has possibilities although he is not the main favourite.”

Ferrero first got acquainted with Alcaraz by watching him train at the JC Ferrero-Equelite Sports Academy when he was younger. He went to watch him play a Futures tournament at the age of 14 where he claimed his first ATP point. From then on, a bond began to form between the two.

It goes without saying that the world No.6 is one of the most promising players the men’s Tour has seen in recent years. However, his mentor believes there is still plenty of room for improvement.

“There’s good work to do and space for improvement yet,” Ferrero commented. “But he is a 360 complete player. He has so many good things, so many resources. That’s his best facet. This makes it hard for his rivals to compete against him.”

Alcaraz is seeded sixth in this year’s French Open draw. He will begin his campaign against either a qualifier or lucky loser. During the first week it is possible that he could play Sebastian Korda, who defeated him in Monte Carlo, in round three and then Cameron Norrie.

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