Roger Federer Reveals What Motivates Him To Keep Playing After French Open Return - UBITENNIS
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Roger Federer Reveals What Motivates Him To Keep Playing After French Open Return

This is the reason why the former world No.1 is still playing tennis.

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Roger Federer (photo by Roberto Dell'Olivo)

Marking the 20th anniversary of his first appearance at the French Open with a win on Sunday, Roger Federer has no intentions of stepping away from the sport in the near future.

 

The 37-year-old, who is the second oldest player in the top 100 on the ATP Tour, disposed of Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego in straight sets. Recording his 60th first round win in a major and his 343rd overall. This year is the first time he has played at Roland Garros since 2015 after missing three editions for various reasons before having a change of heart.

“I’m very happy I took that decision, because I enjoyed Madrid, I enjoyed Rome. I’m happy to be here (In Paris).” Federer commented about his return to the clay.
“The reception I got today was crazy, was really nice to see a full stadium for a first round like this. It was a beauty. So I’m very, very happy.”

Given his credentials, Federer could easily walk away from the sport now with few regrets. He has 101 ATP titles to his name, including a record 20 at grand slam level. His career prize money stands at just over $123.6 million, which is the second highest in history after Novak Djokovic. That tally doesn’t include endorsements such as his 10-year deal with Uniqlo that was signed last year. Valued by Forbes Magazine to be worth in the region of $300 million.

So what motivates Federer to keep playing? In his eyes, it is simply his love for the sport.

“It’s not only about the Grand Slams. Of course I like them, but I also skipped this (French Open) tournament, let’s not forget, the last few years. So as important as it is, I love the ATP Tour.” He explained.
“I love the other 1000s, 500s, 250s, you name it, Hopman Cup, Laver Cup, World Tour Finals. There are so many other cool events out there that I want to be part of, or exhibition matches or foundation matches.”

Federer’s longevity on the tour is backed by his wife Mirka. A former Swiss player who reached 76th in the world during her career and played in the Hopman Cup alongside Federer. Together they have four children who are all under the age of 10.

“The travelling, to me, doesn’t bother me too much. I feel like I have a lot of friends around the world, so it’s nice to see them, as well. I think that’s also helpful, going to places and getting to see my old friends I only see maybe once a year. I’m just very happy how things are going on the tour, and my family loves it, too. They are okay with it. That helps a little bit, too.”

Despite being a prominent feature whenever there is a debate about who is the greatest of all time (GOAT), Federer is by no means a heavy favourite in Paris. Considering he has only played two competitive tournaments on the clay since 2017 prior to this week.

“It’s nice to be an outsider. That’s how I feel.” He said. “I know when Wimbledon comes around, sure, I’ll be probably a higher favorite. That’s okay, too, I’m happy that I’m there where I am.”
“For many years it was either, if I don’t win, it’s a disappointment, and you explain yourself in the press room. People, like, don’t understand why you lost.”

Federer will still be the overwhelming favourite heading into his next match. In the second round he takes on Germany’s Oscar Otte. A world No.145 lucky loser who is yet to break into the world’s top 100.

“It will be a big match for me,” Otte told AFP news. “I am looking forward to it.”

The last time Federer lost to a player ranked outside the 100 at a grand slam was Sergiy Stakhovsky at the 2013 Wimbledon Championships.

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Rival Backs Dominic Thiem To Win Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award

Only two players have won the award since 2004.

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For the past 15 years only two players have managed to get their hands on the prestigious Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award, but one player thinks there could be a brand new winner this year.

 

Diego Schwartzman has lent his support behind world No.4 Dominic Thiem. The award recognizes those who have conducted the highest level of professionalism and integrity on the ATP Tour throughout the season. Established in 1977, Roger Federer has won the honour in 13 out of the past 15 years. The only other player to triumph during that period was Rafael Nadal, who won it in 2010 and 2018.

“I think Thiem can win it, he showed throughout the year a competitiveness and a respect with everyone that was spectacular,” Schwartzman told ole.com. “On top of that he is having great years of his career and this season was even better for the achievements he had.’
“He has a good chance of winning it.” He added.

Schwartzman, who reached the quarter-finals of the US Open earlier this year, has also been shortlisted for the award. Along with regular nominees Federer and Nadal. Only once has an Argentinian player won the title, which was José Luis Clerc back in 1981. At that time it was known as the ATP Sportsmanship award before getting renamed in 1996.

“I learned first (of getting nominated) through social networks rather than the official designation that the ATP sends you by mail.” The 27-year-old revealed.
“It is more spectacular than anything for the players I have next to me. It is a very important prize that recognizes a little what you do off the court, not only hitting the ball.”

Whilst he is dreaming of winning the honour himself, Schwartzman is just happy that he has been nominated.

“If I won this award, it would be spectacular. Now I am on that payroll that is very good and represents the values ​​that I try to maintain on a day-to-day basis and that (my coaching teams over the years) have taught me. It is very nice to be recognized for that. “ He concluded.

The four nominees for the Stefan Edberg Award was shortlisted by the ATP. However, it will be the players who will decide the winner. The result will be revealed later this month.

Multiple winners of the Stefan Edberg/ATP Sportsmanship award

Roger Federer – 13
Stefan Edberg – 5
Pat Rafter – 4
Alex Corretja – 2
Todd Martin – 2
Paradorn Srichaphan – 2
Rafael Nadal – 2

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Kei Nishikori In Doubt For The Australian Open

Asia’s highest ranked male tennis player is contemplating when he should return to the tour following surgery.

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Kei Nishikori (photo by chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

World No.13 Kei Nishikori is refusing to rule out the prospect of skipping the first grand slam event of 2020 as he continues his recovery from surgery.

 

Nishikori hasn’t played a match on the tour since his third round loss at the US Open back in September. A month later he underwent a procedure on his right elbow in a move that brought his season to an early end. Currently undergoing rehabilitation, it is unclear as to when the Japanese player believes he will return to the ATP Tour.

“The prospect of a return from surgery on right elbow in January. Maybe February. In the second half of next year I want to be able to play well.” Nikkan Sports quoted Nishikori as saying.
“I don’t want to overdo it,” he added.

The Australian Open will get underway on January 20th in Melbourne. Should he miss the grand slam, it will be the second time he has done so in the last three years. Nishikori also withdrew from the 2018 edition due to a wrist injury. In January he reached the quarter-finals and therefore has 360 points to defend next year.

During his time away from the court, the 29-year-old has been kept busy making changes to his team. Recently it was confirmed that he has started working alongside Max Mirnyi, who is a former world No.1 doubles player. Mirnyi, who has won 10 grand slam titles in men’s and mixed doubles, will be working full-time with Nishikori alongside existing coach Michael Chang.

“I’m getting closer to retirement. I want to be cured and come back to play good tennis in the second half of next year.” Nishikori stated.

Despite the injury setback, Nishikori has enjoyed success in 2019. Reaching the quarter-finals in three out of the four grand slam tournaments. The first time he has ever done that in his career. He also claimed his 12th ATP title at the Brisbane International. Overall, he won 29 out of 43 matches played.

Nishikori will turn 30 on December 29th.

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Family Of Venezuelan Doubles Star Launches GoFundMe Page For Cancer Treatment

Roberto Maytin was playing on the Challenger tour less than a month ago, but now faces a new battle.

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One of Venezuela’s highest ranked players on the ATP Tour is facing challenges off the court after being recently diagnosed with cancer.

 

Roberto Maytin, who currently has a doubles ranking of 136th, is undergoing treatment for testicular cancer Non-Seminoma. Non-seminomas are made up of different types of tumour, such as teratomas, embryonal tumours, yolk sac tumours and choriocarcinomas. Maytin’s brother Ricardo has launched a GoFundMe page to help cover the costs. The tennis player made $19,441 in prize money this season, which doesn’t factor into account numerous expenses such as travel, accommodation and paying for his coaching team.

“If life gives you a chance to live longer, I think nobody would miss the opportunity. In this plane, we all want to be (alive) for years however we forget that we are with a 50% chance of leaving at any time every day.” The fundraising page reads.
“My brother was diagnosed with testicular cancer NO Seminoma, at 30 years old. He now faces a crucial match that life has put him for growth as an individual, as a man and as an athlete. He is forced to undergo 4 stages of aggressive chemotherapy in order to heal at all and leave no trace of a Cancer that has been moving for months causing some damage.”

A former top 25 junior player, Maytin is one of only two players from his country to be ranked inside the top 200 in either singles or doubles on the men’s tour. This season he has won four Challenger titles across America. However, he has only played in one ATP Tour event since the start of 2018. He achieved a ranking high of 85th in the doubles back in 2015.

Once a student at Baylor University in Texas, Maytin formed a successful partnership with former world No.2 doubles player John Peers. Together they earned All-American honours with a win-loss of 36-5 and reached the quarter-finals of the 2011 NCAA tournament.

Maytin is also a regular fixture in his country’s Davis Cup team. Since 2007 he has played 15 ties and won 10 out of 16 matches played.

“I am also clear that the family is the gift of God for each one of us, so in this way and in whatever way I will put my desire and my energy so that my Brother Roberto Maytin, a Venezuelan professional tennis player, is back to the courts, which is where he belongs as soon as possible.”

Almost $25,000 has been raised so far to fund Maytin’s treatment. Click here to visit his GoFundMe page.

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