Roger Federer ‘Totally Fine’ With Prospect Of The Big Three’s Dominance Ending - UBITENNIS
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Roger Federer ‘Totally Fine’ With Prospect Of The Big Three’s Dominance Ending

The world No.3 opens up about the threat he faces from his younger rivals on the tour.

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20-time grand slam champion Roger Federer believes the changing of the guard in Tennis is gaining momentum as he seeks to continue his status as one of the sports top players at the age of 38.

 

Federer belongs to the prestigious Big Three contingent that also features Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Between them, they won 51 out of the last 59 grand slam tournaments and at least one of them have featured in the final in 57 out of the last 59 majors. Since 2004, Andy Murray is the only player outside of the trio to have clinched the year-end No.1 spot back in 2016.

Some are wondering when their stronghold on the sport is going to end, especially when it comes to Federer. The Swiss Maestro is the second oldest player in the top 500 on the ATP Tour after 40-year-old Ivo Karlovic (95). Despite his age, the world No.3 has still managed to claim four ATP titles and more than 50 wins this season.

“I predicted that I wasn’t going to be playing at 38/39 and here I am.” Federer said during a press conference in Argentina on Monday.
“I’m actually really happy that I feel the way I am. I had two great years physically over the last two years.”

At the ATP Finals last week, Federer was the only member of the Big Three to progress to the last four of the ATP Finals. Which was won by 21-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas. The outcome of the tournament has raised questions about if it will be 2020 when the other players start to breakthrough in the slams. Or if it was just a minor blip in their dominance.

Nevertheless, he isn’t taking any chances.This week Federer is playing in a series of exhibition matches across South America. One of his opponents will be Alexander Zverev. Somebody who recently said there will be a new champion in grand slam tennis next year.

“Every generation brings something new to the table. Maybe in movement, maybe in power and maybe in tactical elements.” Federer explained.
“I still feel in tennis that you can always improve and you can always learn. That’s what I’m doing. It’s part of this (South American) tour as well. In these matches against Sasha I’m going to learn something, I know it. I’m not just going out there to play a little bit of tennis. I’m actually going to go in there, enjoy myself and try out a few things.”

Has a change started to come?

Zverev, who turned 22 last April, already has multiple wins over both Federer and Djokovic, as well as defeating Nadal for the first time last week. Although he is yet to make it pass the quarter-final of a grand slam. For him, playing during the era of the Big Three has more pros than cons.

“All of us players, you know, most of the time loses to him, but we still don’t want him to retire.” The German said of Federer. “We still want him around as much as possible. We’ll see how much longer he can last.’
“Only Roger can answer that (retirement) question. He was my idol growing up and I still enjoy very much playing against him and having him around.”

Whilst fortunate to have the admiration of his younger peers, Federer knows that he will not be able to go on forever. Paving way for the likes of Zverev and Tsitsipas to try and fill the void left. Although there has been similar said in past years with few significant breakthroughs occurring. Especially when it comes to the ATP Finals. 2017 champion Grigor Dimitrov hasn’t won a title since. Meanwhile, 2018 winner Zverev has endured a turbulent season due to issues taking place off the court.

So will 2020 be the year where the landscape of men’s tennis starts to change?

“We know it’s going to be more difficult every year to keep the slams within the best group of guys.” Admits Federer.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if we see new champions and some of the older champions, of course I hope to be part of them.’
“I came so, so close this year at Wimbledon. I hope I can recreate those opportunities and take them next time, but I think the time will come, and that might be next year, when they will take over and that will be totally fine because at this moment in time now, they are plenty good enough.”

Federer will travel to five different countries this week for his exhibition tour. He is reportedly set to make in the region of $10 million in earnings, according to one source.

https://twitter.com/rogerfederer/status/1191481742886146048

Quotes obtained via EFE/ Sport360

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‘He Needs To Bulk Up’ – Tennis Great Cast Doubt On Alex De Minaur’s French Open Chances

John Newcombe believes it will be a few more years before the world No.27 reaches his peak.

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One of Australia’s most decorated Grand Slam champions of all time believes compatriot Alex de Minaur still has a way to go before he poses a threat at the French Open.

 

Former world No.1 John Newcombe believes the 21-year-old needs to improve on his physicality before reaching his peak on the surface. De Minaur comes into the Grand Slam high in confidence after reaching the quarter-finals of the US Open in what was his best performance at a major so far in his career. He was knocked out of the tournament by eventual winner Dominic Thiem.

Although De Minaur’s preparations for the clay took a blow last week after he lost the first round of the Italian Open to German qualifier Dominik Koepfer. The world No.27 had a set and 3-0 lead over Koepfer before losing. He is not playing in any tournament this week leading up to Roland Garros.

“I’d have to see the draw, how it comes out, but it will be hard work for him,” Newcombe told the Australian Associated Press about de Minaur’s chances in Paris.
“He’s going to have to do a hell of a lot of work. If he got to the quarters, it would be a terrific effort.
“He’s not going to be physically where he needs to be, just bulking up a bit, until he’s 25, 26.
“But he’s got a good all-court game and he understands the game well, so there’s no reason he can’t be a pretty good late maturer (on clay).”

This year’s clay-court major will be the fourth time the Australian has played in the main draw. In his three previous appearances, de Minaur has only won one match which was against Bradley Klahn last year.

During a recent interview with atptour.com, the Next Gen star gave little away about his expectations for the clay this year given the revised schedule. The French Open is taking place just two weeks after New York due to the COVID-19 pandemic which brought the sport to a five-month standstill earlier this year.

“Realistically, you never know until you step out and play matches. It’s a very quick turnaround, something that has never happened to play such an important event after a slam. I’m taking it all in, doing as best as I can and we will have to see,” he said.

De Minaur has won three ATP titles and has scored four wins over top 10 players so far in his career. He is currently the only player from his country ranked in the world’s top 40 on the ATP Tour.

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Novak Djokovic claims his 36th Masters 1000 title in Rome

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Novak Djokovic came back from 0-3 down in the first set to beat Diego Schwartzman 7-5 6-3 after 1 hour and 53 minutes in the final of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia at the Foro Italico in Rome. Djokovic claimed his fifth title in the Eternal City and his 36th Masters 1000 trophy and his 81st career title. Djokovic has become the oldest Rome champion. 

 

The World number 1 player extended his record in 2020 to an impressive record of 31 wins in 32 matches, including four titles at the Australian Open, Dubai, the Western and Southern Open in New York and Rome. 

Djokovic dropped his serve three times and earned five breaks of serve. 

Djokovic wasted a game point and dropped his serve, when he netted his backhand. Schwartzman hit four service winners in the second game to consolidate the break for 2-0. 

Djokovic made a backhand error to face a break point in the third game. Schwartzman earned his second break to open up a 3-0 after 18 minutes, as Djokovic netted another backhand.  Djokovic earned a break point chance and conveted it after a double fault from Schwartzman. 

Djokovic held serve at 15 with an ace in the fifth game to claw his way back to 2-3. The Serbian star forced an error from Schwarzman to earn a breka point in the sixth game and got the break, when the Argentine netted a forehand. Djokovic held serve at 15 to take a 4-3 in the seventh game. Schwartzman hit a forehand down the line winner at 30-15 in the eighth game and held serve with a service winner to draw level to 4-4. 

Djokovic saved a break point in the ninth game with a volley winner and held serve to take a 5-4 lead. Schwartzman saved a set point with a forehand winner and drew level to 5-5 after two deuces with a backhand the line winner. 

Djokovic held serve after a deuce to take a 6-5 lead forcing Schwartzman to serve to stay in the set for the second time. Djokovic converted his third set point to win the opening set 7-5 after 70 minutes. 

Schwartzman earned an early break at the start of the second set. Djokovic got the break back to draw level to 1-1 when Schwartzman sent a forehand wide. 

Djokovic hit a winner at the net to hold serve in the third game. Schwartzman hit four winners in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2.

Djokovic saved two break points in the fifth game and held serve with a service winner to take a 3-2 lead. Schwartman held serve with a drop shot. Djokovic won his service game at love to take a 4-3 lead and broke serve at love in the eighth game with a backhand down the line winner. Djokovic held serve at love to close out the final. 

“”It was a great week. A very challenging week. I don’t think I played my best tennis throughout the entire week, but I think I found my best tennis when I needed it the most in the decisive moments today, yesterday and in every match. That definitely makes me very satisfied and proud that I managed to find that fifth gear when it was most needed. Turning to Paris, I could not ask for a better tournament here in Rome. Another big title and i super pleased with it”, said Djokovic. 

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Stan Wawrinka Parts Way With Long-Time Coach Norman

Stan the man is on the look out for a new coach for the first time in almost a decade.

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It is the end of an era for three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka after he announced his split from coach Magnus Norman.

 

The former world No.3 confirmed on Monday that the two have decided to end their collaboration with ‘mutual consent’ following eight years working together on the Tour. Norman was last with Wawrinka at the Italian Open last week where the Swiss player lost his opening match to rising star Lorenzo Musetti. It is unclear as to exactly when the decision was made.

“After 8 great years together Magnus Norman and I have decided to part ways by mutual consent. We have had an amazingly strong, enjoyable and hugely successful partnership. We reached the height of this sport together and I want to thank him for helping me win everything that I could ever dream of winning,” Wawrinka said in a statement posted on Instagram.

44-year-old Norman is a former world No.2 player himself who reached the final of the French Open back in 2000. During his coaching career, he guided Wawrinka to various milestones in his career that includes 13 ATP titles with three of those being at Grand Slam level. The Swede has also been recognized by the ATP for his work with Wawrinka after winning the inaugural Coach of the Year award back in 2016.

“He’s been a great coach, friend and mentor and will always be a dear friend,” Wawrinka said in a tribute.
“I want to publicly thank him for all his hard work, dedication and commitment in making me a better player over the years. Winning three grand slams have been a life changing experience for me and I could not have done that without him. I wish him all the best in his next chapter in his life.”

The announcement from the world No.17 comes a week before the French Open starts. Wawrinka has been training on the clay for the past few weeks after deciding against travelling to North America to play in the US Open. Instead, he played in a couple Challenger events and won a trophy in Prague last month. Overall, he has achieved a win-loss record of 15-3 so far in 2020.

It is unclear as to who will be replacing Norman in Wawrinka’s team.

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