Roger Federer Plays Down His Miami Chances, Discusses Equal Pay and Doping - UBITENNIS
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Roger Federer Plays Down His Miami Chances, Discusses Equal Pay and Doping

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Roger Federer in action during a practice session during the 2016 Miami Open. (Source: Clive Brunskill/Zimbio.com)

The Return of Roger Federer is quickly approaching as he makes his last minute preparations ahead of his second round clash with Juan Martin del Potro at the Miami Masters.

 

The 34-year-old hasn’t played a match on the ATP Tour since his semifinal loss to Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open. His lengthy absence from the tour was due to a knee injury which forced him to undergo arthroscopic surgery to treat a torn meniscus in his knee. The cause of the injury has been a mystery for many, with some claiming he did it whilst walking in the park with his two daughters. The Swiss ended the rumors by revealing that he ‘heard a click’ in his knee whilst running a bath for his daughters.

“It happened the day after the Djokovic match. I woke up, I don’t know exactly remember what happened”. The world No.1 told media in Miami.
“ I think I was going to run a bath for the girls. I made a very simple movement, turned back, heard a click in my knee. Went to the zoo. My leg was swollen.”

The operation was as much of a surprise as a disappointment for Federer, who was hoping to complete his outstanding tennis career without any surgeries. Nevertheless, seven weeks and two days later, the world No.3 is preparing for his 16th Miami Masters. He has won the title twice in his career, however, his last triumph occurred in 2006. In light of his recent injury woe, the 17-time Grand Slam champion has played down his chances of another Miami title in 2016 as he focuses on how his knee holds up.

‘I’m excited. Anxious to find out how my knee is going to react, is it going to be different day-to-day, how is it going to feel after the match and so forth”. The 34-year-old said about his knee.
I’m just really pleased that I’m here. Couldn’t be more happy how rehab has gone. It’s baby steps. Still at the same time you go from crutches to walking to running to jumping to sprinting. It’s pretty incredible to see the progress I’ve been able to make in a short period of time.

Federer’s comeback match will be against comeback king, Juan Martin Del Potro. Del Potro, who is currently playing in only his third tournament since returning from a wrist injury, defeated Guido Paella in the first round in Miami. The encounter will resume a thrilling  rivalry between the two. Federer currently leads the head-to-head 15-5 against the Argentine. Speaking about playing the former US Open champion for the 21st time on the tour, Federer is delighted to see the return of his close friend.

It’s nice to see him back. I haven’t seen him play at all since he’s been back, so I’m not quite sure what to expect, even though my coach went to see his match yesterday“. Federer said about his upcoming match in Miami against Del Potro.
We’re both in a similar situation. His injury was much, much greater. That’s why I’m really pleased for him that he was able to find a way back onto the tour”. He later added.

Federer’s absence from the tour meant that he missed two massive headlines in the world of tennis. The first of these was Maria Sharapova’s failed drugs test, which she confirmed on March 7th. Speaking about the topic, he admitted that he was expecting Sharapova to announce her retirement before she dropped the bombshell. Speaking positively, Federer said that the failed drug test proves ‘the system is working’. On the other hand, he has questioned the standardization of drugs tests around the world.

“I’ve been in Dubai now for 10 years there and been tested once. That’s not okay for me”. The Swiss player stated.
“I get tested more in Switzerland because the guy from Switzerland lives in my village. He comes to see me the day after my surgery, one week later. In Dubai they’ve only come once, the Asia games. In certain countries, maybe the testing is not as serious as in Switzerland. I’d like to see that across the board to be the same way and fair.”

Expressing his viewpoint on doping, Federer has called for blood samples to be stored for years.

The other topic currently overshadowing the world of tennis is equal prize money. The debate was sparked after former Indian Wells CEO, Raymond Moore, made insulting remarks about the WTA Tour. Following on from that Incident, Novak Djokovic suggested that men should be paid more than women before clarifying his comments. Federer, who support equal prize money, said in Miami that this issue is one that it up to each tournament and nobody else.

“I’m all for equal prize money. When I was fighting for prize money increases, especially at the slam level, I was always very aware of the fact that it was always going to impact the women’s game, which I was very happy about. Both at the same time were growing”. The former world No.1 explained.
“You have to look at the history of each and every event, where it came from. Some tournaments were a men’s tournament, then the women joined or vice versa, it was a women’s tournament and we joined them.
It’s sometimes hard to make equal prize money there. It’s up to the tournament director to decide if he wants it to be that way”.

Federer later added that tennis has produced ‘some of the greatest female athletes in the world’.

This week Federer will play in the main draw of a Masters event for the 122nd time in his career.

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Stan Wawrinka Explains ATP Cup Absence And Olympics Situation Ahead Of Basel

Stan Wawrinka has explained why his Olympic dream is in doubt as he prepares to start his campaign in Basel.

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Stan Wawrinka (@usopen - Twitter)

Stan Wawrinka has explained why he is absent from the ATP Cup line-up as he begins his campaign in Basel on Wednesday. 

 

The three-time grand slam champion enters his home tournament in Basel having lost a three set final to a resurgent Andy Murray in Antwerp.

Despite the loss Wawrinka has been on a momentum swing himself having reached the US Open and Roland Garros quarter-finals this season.

Although this year has been a success, the Swiss’ 2020 calendar remains a mystery having been absent from Switzerland’s team for the ATP Cup next year.

Speaking to puntodebreak.com, Wawrinka explained his decision to not participate in the cup competition in January as well as questions over his Olympic eligibility, “I have a contract with the Doha tournament, which takes place at the same time as the ATP Cup,” Wawrinka explained.

“I would like to play it (Olympics). The desire is there, but now I have to adjust my calendar for 2020 with my team. I don’t know what criteria are required to get a Wild Card.” 

The 34 year-old is not the only one requiring a wildcard to enter the Olympics with Roger Federer, Kei Nishikori amongst others relying on the same rule.

Meanwhile Wawrinka is preparing for his first match in Basel, where he doesn’t have the best record having never reached the final.

A first round match against Pablo Cuevas awaits on Wednesday and he admitted his tension when performing in front of a home crowd,“In Basel I have always been a little tense, too hesitant,” he admitted.

“Correcting that and winning my first round match against Pablo Cuevas on Wednesday depends on me. It is not the tournament that suits my style of play and that is why, although I have played some good matches here, I do not have such a good performance.”

If Wawrinka wants to reach his maiden Swiss Indoors final, he will potentially have to go through Roger Federer in the quarter-finals.

That dream last eight match is a long way away though as Wawrinka will have to go through Pablo Cuevas and the winner of Frances Tiafoe against Dan Evans.

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‘I Want Back In’ – Nick Kyrgios Returns To Davis Cup With Key Backing From Captain Hewitt

Former world No.1 Lleyton Hewitt explains why the fiery player is back in the team after a 18-month absence.

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Nick Kyrgios (image via www.twitter.com/usopen)

Nick Kyrgios’ past disagreements with Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt has seemingly been resolved after the Australian was included in this year’s nomination for the finals in November.

 

The former top 20 player haven’t featured in the team tournament since February 2018. His absence has been partly due to a spat with his team captain, as well as injury. Earlier this year Kyrgios took a swipe at Hewitt’s support for compatriot Alex de Minaur in a social media post that he later deleted. He was then not included in Australia’s clash with Bosnia and Herzegovina after failing to meet ‘cultural standards.’

Whilst the partnership hasn’t always been perfect, the two have found a mutual agreement. It started earlier this year when Kyrgios sent a message to Hewitt saying that he wanted to return back to the Davis Cup. That paved the way for discussions to take place in Indian Wells as they resolved their differences.

“I got a message (from him) saying ‘mate, I want to get back in the team’,” Hewitt told reporters on Tuesday. “The great thing is, he has a great relationship with all the players as well. It’s kind of about him wanting to be a part of the team and do the right things day in day out.’
“For me, I’d much rather have him on my team.”

Kyrgios is currently serving a six-month probation concerning his behaviour on the ATP Tour. During that period, if he commits any more major offences he faces the prospect of being banned for 16 weeks and a $25,000 fine. The penalty was issued following a string of offences he conducted in the Cincinnati Open in August, which resulted in him being hit with a $113,000 bill.

The 24-year-old is renowned for his fiery temperament on the tour, as well as his string of wins over high-profile players such as Novak Djokovic. Hewitt has insisted that Kyrgios’ recent antics shouldn’t exclude him from the Davis Cup.

“Nick’s a different character and I understand that and we’re not always going to put everybody in the same box.” He explains.
“You’ve got to deal with different personalities in all kind of sports, and I feel like I know Nick as well as anyone.
“I feel like on the Davis Cup court he’s done everything I’ve need in the past whenever he’s been a part of the team. He hasn’t put a foot wrong, he’s out there picking up balls, half coaching and encouraging other players.
“There’s a lot of things he does in a team environment that I actually think we’ll see the best of him.”

Kyrgios has represented his country in nine Davis Cup ties since 2013. Winning nine out of 15 matches played. In 2017 he played in Australia’s semi-final clash with Belgium, which they lost 3-2.

Few can dispute the talent of the current world No.30, however, he has recently missed a series of tournaments due to a shoulder injury. Nevertheless, Hewitt believes his player will be back to full fitness in time for the team competition.

“That has even been the sacrifice over the last couple of weeks, pulling out of the tournaments as well,” Hewitt said.
“After the Laver Cup he did have a shoulder-collar bone slight injury, which he’s pretty much over now, but he had to take a few weeks out, and he felt like if he kept playing that as going to jeopardise his chances of playing Davis Cup.
“He called me at the time about that and we thought that was the best situation. He comes in a little bit underdone, but fortunately he’s a guy that can go out there and light it up when he needs to.
“With this format there’s a lot of unknowns as well, but he’s the kind of guy this format will really suit.”

The Davis Cup finals will take place in Madrid between November 10-17. Australia has been drawn in Group D with Belgium and Colombia. Besides Kyrgios, de Minaur, Jordan Thompson, John Millman and doubles specialist John Peers have also been selected.

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Roger Federer Hails Andy Murray’s Comeback Triumph

The Swiss maestro shares his thoughts about the return of one of his rivals.

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20-time grand slam champion Roger Federer has said it is ‘great’ to see former world No.1 Andy Murray returning back to winning ways after the Brit ended his two-year title drought on Sunday.

 

Murray battled back from a set down to defeat Stan Wawrinka in the final of the European Open in Antwerp. The tournament was only the seventh singles draw he has played since undergoing a second hip operation. He has been troubled by the injury since 2017 and even admitted earlier this year that he was contemplating retiring from the sport due to persistent pain. Murray now plays with a metal rod in his hip joint

“Andy’s achievement was great,” Federer told reporters in Basel on Monday.
“I was a little bit torn, since he beat Stan (Wawrinka) in the final, but it was a great way for him to come back.”

Federer has paid tribute to Murray’s perseverance throughout his return to competitive tennis. The Brit started his comeback in June by playing only in doubles tournaments before making the switch to singles in August at the Winston Salem Open. He has now won nine out of his past 12 matches.

“He’s been playing to try and get close to his old level,” the world No.3 commented.
“It’s nice to see Andy healthy again. I remember in the locker room of the Australian Open.’
“It was very confusing for him and for all of us. I’m extremely happy for him.”

The two have clashed 25 times on the ATP Tour since 2005. It is Federer who leads their head-to-head 14-11 and has won their five most recent meetings. However, it is their encounter in the final of the 2012 Olympic Games that he particularly remembers.

“Last time I didn’t feel I had the crowd fully behind me was probably back in 2012 in London at the Olympics against Murray.“ He said.

In that encounter it was Murray who prevailed after losing to his Swiss rival just weeks beforehand in the Wimbledon final. Murray is the only man in history to win two consecutive Olympic men’s singles titles.

Federer is currently competing in the Swiss Indoors, where he is bidding to win a record 10th title. He kicked-off his campaign on Saturday with an emphatic straight-sets win over Peter Gojowczyk. The match was Federer’s 1500th on the tour.

In the second round, Federer will play either Dusan Lajovic and Radu Albot.

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