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post #1036 of 2821 (permalink) Old 05-17-2010, 07:22 PM
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Re: Roger news and articles

Originally Posted by Rita View Post
Of course he would have been singing a different tune had he actually won a tournament this clay season.
that's why I said he's trying to make lemonade out of lemons.

I know this is highly unlikely but lets say someone like verdasco or ferrer wins RG this year - does Nadal still get labeled as having the best clay court season? maybe, but I still say he'd take RG over MC, Rome or Madrid.

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post #1037 of 2821 (permalink) Old 05-17-2010, 10:57 PM
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Re: Roger news and articles

Originally Posted by Rita View Post
Of course he would have been singing a different tune had he actually won a tournament this clay season.
Actually he sang the same tune last year as well; after he won he said "this is not the moment to get carried away, but it's great for my confidence . . . "

Implying the real test would be the upcoming RG . . .
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post #1038 of 2821 (permalink) Old 05-18-2010, 11:28 AM
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Re: Roger news and articles

Here's a shock.....Nadal wins all 3 tournaments he played on clay but says he's not the favorite for RG. Boy this act is getting old.

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post #1039 of 2821 (permalink) Old 05-18-2010, 12:05 PM
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Re: Roger news and articles

Originally Posted by Mellow Yellow View Post
Here's a shock.....Nadal wins all 3 tournaments he played on clay but says he's not the favorite for RG. Boy this act is getting old.
Probably superstitious just like the bottles and running.
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post #1040 of 2821 (permalink) Old 05-18-2010, 02:03 PM
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post #1041 of 2821 (permalink) Old 05-18-2010, 02:10 PM
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Re: Roger news and articles

Nadal isnt the favorite when he plays Volandri on clay in Italy
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post #1042 of 2821 (permalink) Old 05-18-2010, 10:57 PM
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tired of Nadal's BS. typically shunting the pressure off himself everytime when he knows he's the massive fave anywhere on clay. Fed tells it like it is = "arrogant and disgusting human being"

he said the same thing in madrid and now about RG? delusional bs
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post #1043 of 2821 (permalink) Old 05-19-2010, 11:49 AM
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Long interview with Roger for Credit Suisse:

Interview with Roger Federer: Mental Strength

Daniel Huber, Head Publications


In an exclusive interview, Roger Federer describes his mental preparation for those crucial points on the tennis court and how he went through a difficult period in 2008 when he was only ranked number 2 in the world.

In February 2010, Credit Suisse was given the opportunity to accompany Roger Federer on a visit to a school project in Ethiopia that was supported by his foundation. The following interview took place on the following day in the lobby of the high-rise apartment building in Dubai Marina, where Roger, as he introduced himself the day before, has a second home. As the interview lasted around one-and-a-half hours, we have divided it into three sections.

Daniel Huber: I somehow imagined that you would have a villa on one of the elevated palm islands here in Dubai, like Michael Schumacher.

Roger Federer: In terms of maintenance, apartments are much more practical, especially when, like us, you're hardly ever home. We live in an apartment in Switzerland too.

So where do you go to train in the middle of all these high-rises?

Just around the corner in a hotel with a tennis court and fitness center. The training conditions there are ideal.

How freely can you move around here in Dubai?

We actually lead quite a normal life here, going for walks on the beach, shopping in the malls and eating out in the restaurants. Sure people recognize us and every now and then someone will ask for an autograph. But I can still pretty much do everything I want to.

After hundreds of interviews, is there one question that you would prefer not to hear again and certainly never want to answer?

Not really. I am still quite well motivated when it comes to interviews and I am always happy to meet new interviewers.

With around ten hours of tennis lessons under my belt, I never got beyond beginner level. But one thing I do know is that I probably wouldn't be able to return a single one of your shots.

Tennis is a difficult sport, and coordination is particularly challenging. In any case, it is not the kind of sport where you would be able to play a little after taking a two-day course. It would take much more than that. The later you start, the lower the level you will be able to reach.

So when is the ideal time to start learning to play tennis?

At the age of ten at the latest; earlier would be better. At that age, learning the basic coordination skills and how to move with the ball is still very easy.

I know a publican in St. Gallen who was considered a major tennis talent in his younger years and actually has a positive record against you. Apparently, when he was 18 years old he beat a 14-year-old Roger Federer. At what age did you run out of opponents in Switzerland?

I suppose I made my greatest progress, both physically and technically, between the ages of 14 and 16 when I went to the Swiss National Tennis Center in Ecublens. At 16 I was already in the Swiss top 10 and at that time there were few who could beat me. In that respect, 14 was still a good age for people to beat me as a relatively unknown player.

Yet nobody in Switzerland was beating Martina Hingis by the time she was 14.

No, definitely not, but then girls physically mature earlier than boys. My serve didn't become sufficiently powerful until I was 15 or 16.

Where do you get the mental strength to win those all-important points in the decisive moments of a tennis match?

You just have to keep things as simple as possible in your head. You say to yourself, I'm going to give 100 percent for every point, and just try to play well at that moment. At very important times, you then try to consciously use your strengths to exploit the weaknesses of your opponent. Of course, this isn't always that easy to do in practice, especially as your opponent is trying to do the same, but you have to have a clear goal for yourself in your mind's eye and make every effort not to let your opponent control your play. Of course, in tennis you constantly have to adapt your game. At the end of the day, it is a reaction sport. There is only one shot that you have complete control over, and that is the serve. All other shots require you to react, but there should ideally be a plan behind the reaction.

Aside from the speed aspect, on a mental level, tennis seems to have a lot in common with chess. But in chess, the player plans a number of moves in advance. How does this work in tennis?

In tennis, you can plan perhaps one-and-a-half shots in advance. I serve the ball to a particular point, a point where I know the ball will generally be returned in a particular way, and then I have a number of options. If you plan too far in advance, you inevitably start to get surprised, and that's a bad thing.

How closely do you observe your opponent on the court during the match?

Hardly at all. Now and then people say to me after a game: Did you see what the other guy did? I'm not aware of that sort of thing at all. I immediately turn away after each point. I'm just not interested in what my opponent is doing or how he might be feeling. I prefer to concentrate on myself. Of course, if I see that my opponent is injured during a match, I'll check it out once or twice. But something like that shouldn't change your game, because if it then turns out to be nothing at all, you will be surprised again.

What if the opponent shows signs of weakness? Do you specifically exploit that?

Of course.

What about the gentlemen's agreement that in tennis you never serve straight at the other player?

I used to do that quite often. I was practically forced to because the player was often very close to the net. I had virtually no other choice then and the gentlemen's agreement gets forgotten. Of course, I would never smash the ball at someone standing two meters in front of me, but serving at the body is a common practice. You're not going to hit the opponent at those distances.

In his book "Winning Ugly," former tennis pro and coach Brad Gilbert describes what is essentially psychological warfare on the tennis court. Is that the way you see it too?

I always have to smile to myself a little when I see what people read into some of the things I've said. For example, in an interview after my win in Australia, John McEnroe said that I had used all my experience of psychological warfare by stating before the final that Murray was under a lot more pressure than me because I had already won everything. I then apparently also exploited Murray's injured foot to the maximum. Of course, that's absolute nonsense, especially as the supposed foot injury turned out to be no problem at all. I don't see that sort of thing as psychological warfare, I just say what I think. The fact that Murray, with no Grand Slam wins, would need the win in a final more than me and therefore be under more pressure is just the way it is.

So there aren't any little comments in passing during a match either?

Before my time, there apparently were occasional comments along the lines of "Ah, are you getting nervous now?" and such things. But in the over 800 matches I've played in my career, it's never happened to me once. Sure you get the odd little gesture: for example, when I lose a point and my opponent celebrates ostentatiously in order to provoke me or varies the intensity of play by taking more time with his service. Or an opponent might gripe all the time or give me a look of disbelief when I win a point, as if to say "You're so lucky." But that's just part of the game. What's more, given the comprehensive camera coverage on the big courts these days, any less-than-civilized comments or other antics just wouldn't be possible any more.

In terms of your mental state, is it an advantage or a disadvantage to come out onto the court as the number 1?

I've always said that I play better tennis as the number 1 than I did before. I like being in the lead and having the situation under control. I also like the expectation that I'm the one who should win. I found it more difficult becoming world number 1 than I do defending my position now. Somewhere along the line, you reach the point where you have to beat the number 4, and then numbers 3, 2, and ultimately the number 1 – and you have to do it more than once. Then you still have to win the next tournament too. That was hugely stressful. As number 1, things are much more settled. I know that when I play well I can beat anyone.

You could in fact go much easier on yourself by saying: A place in the top 10 is already much more than most will ever achieve.

My career has actually followed quite a traditional path. The first major step was going pro and then successfully holding my own there. Then I played my first match on a center court. Then came the top 100, top 50, top 10 and top 5. But it's when you make it into the top 10 for the first time that you suddenly realize: I now have a real chance of making number 1. From now on, you are a seeded player, only playing in major tournaments.

It's almost as if losing the number 1 spot and then getting it back has made you even stronger than you were before.

That period definitely had its benefits. Ultimately it's clear that, after seven years of dominance, you're also going to have to lose once in a while. After all, I didn't win every tournament before becoming number 1 either. Also, constant development has always been important to me – no matter how well or badly things might be going. I'm always on the lookout for new ways to progress and to bring variety and excitement to my life. For example, I tried out Dubai once as a training location, and suddenly I had this new base here. Besides, even 2008, when things weren't going as well and I went back to being only number 2 in the world, wasn't such a bad season at all. I reached the semi-finals – at least – in all the major tournaments. My problem was that I couldn't beat the top 5 players as easily as I had before. Although I could still do it now and again, I just wasn't able to dominate them in the same way I had in the past. However, I always felt that there were good reasons why I wasn't completely at my best during that time. On the one hand, I was suffering from mononucleosis, and on the other I had back problems, both of which interfered with my training regime. In hindsight, it might have been better to play fewer tournaments. But I would probably do it the same way again if I had my time over.

At that time, many sports reporters had already written you off. How closely do you follow media reports and commentary about yourself?

I hear the odd thing now and then of course, but for me, the press conferences were a bigger problem. The journalists were constantly asking me: What's wrong with you? Wouldn't you be better off with a new coach? What's wrong with your forehand? Having to respond to all these negative questions the whole time did affect me a little, and perhaps also generated a certain amount of self-doubt in myself. Then again, it is a bit weird to have to constantly explain yourself when you're ranked number 2 in the world.

How much of a threat does the risk of illness or injury pose?

The risk of injury is actually not that high in our sport, certainly not as high as for a skier, for example. Our problem is wear and tear. That is why it is so important for us to detect the first signs of a problem at an early stage and respond appropriately. That said, I play in pain 80 percent of the time. Something always hurts, but these pains often disappear again during the warm-up or can be massaged away by the physiotherapist. It is hugely important to know your body well and have a reliable early warning system. That's why the breaks in between tournaments are so important to me – not just physically but also mentally. The pressure of a tournament is as great off the court as it is on it. Everyone wants a piece of you: the fans, the sponsors, the journalists, and you are always under the microscope. Breaks like these are therefore hugely important to me. Then the desire to talk to people, give interviews and the like comes back too.
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post #1044 of 2821 (permalink) Old 05-19-2010, 11:55 AM
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Interview with Roger Federer: Private Life

Daniel Huber, Head Publications


The world's leading tennis player tells us why his private and personal lives are kept strictly separate, describes a normal training day in Dubai and explains why he has never needed a special nutrition plan.

Daniel Huber: You always manage to have your family with you while still maintaining your privacy. How do you do that?

Roger Federer: My family is very important to me. I need a peaceful place that I can withdraw to. Separating your private life from your public life really isn't all that difficult as long as you don't live in Hollywood or London. In that respect, I also don't shut myself off as much as people say.

So instead of Hollywood and London, you prefer Zurich and Dubai. How much time per year do you spend at these two homes?

Maybe two months in each. We are on the road for the rest of the year.

Aren't you gradually getting a bit tired of always living out of a suitcase?

Quite the opposite; I still love to travel. True, the constant packing and unpacking can be a bit tiresome, and sometimes it would be nice to stay in a place two or three days longer, but in a way it's all part of the game. I'll be taking things a bit easier once my tennis career has run its course! However, I will certainly still travel a lot.

How regulated is your travel? Do you always stay in the same hotels in the various tournament locations for example?

At first I wanted to go to new hotels every time I stayed somewhere. That wore off pretty quickly and today I always go to the same places. I know what to expect there and I know the people and the environment. It's becoming more and more important to me to still be able to feel at home somewhere even when I'm far away from my actual home.

What is a normal training day like for you at home in Dubai?

First of all, I try to get enough sleep, to allow myself the greatest possible scope for physical and mental regeneration. Then I get up, shower, and have breakfast.

Do you have a special nutrition program?

Not really, no. I once asked a nutritionist what he would recommend for me. To which he replied: "You got to be number 13 in the world without my help; that means you can make it to number 1 without my help too. But if you ever want me to give you any tips, just give me a call. I haven't called him yet.

We'd got as far as breakfast.

After breakfast I go and stretch, do a few warm-up exercises for five to ten minutes and then go on to my workout, which lasts around an hour. I then train for two hours or so on the tennis court, then it's time for lunch. From three until five I'll either do another workout or another tennis session. Then I come back in, shower and get a massage. That takes me from six until eight, and then it's time for dinner.

Do you drink the occasional glass of wine with a good evening meal?

It's been known to happen. As I said, I'm not particularly strict about my diet.

There are also various theories about stretching; running legend Carl Lewis is completely against stretching, for example.

In the past, I hardly ever stretched before a match, but that was mainly because I didn't want to. Now I tend to the let the physio stretch me as he can also check through a few things at the same time. Nowadays I find it really beneficial. My muscles don't ache as much and I also feel much more agile. Obviously I don't stretch for half an hour before a five-set match; that makes no sense to me. Others do that and feel good as a result, but in my opinion, it can slow you down.

There has been a lot of media coverage recently about the crisis in Dubai. People are supposedly fleeing the country and sometimes just abandoning their cars at the side of the road. What is your experience of this?

I have read a lot about it and seen virtually nothing. That said, I don't go out looking for signs of the crisis. It is interesting however that everything was so very positive before the crisis. This positive spirit was quite infectious. Anyone who was here and spoke negatively about Dubai would immediately be asked: "So what are you doing here if you feel so negatively?" Issues have now suddenly emerged as a result of the crisis and a feeling of disillusionment has spread. Maybe there is a little less traffic on the road. However, I am convinced that Dubai will emerge from the crisis stronger than ever.

How are things looking in your high-rise building? How many apartments are empty?

Very few are empty in our building. The problem is clearly affecting the smaller apartments with one or two rooms – so many were built before the crisis hit.

How important is your home to you? In other words, how involved are you with the furnishings and decor?

I like to discuss the decor and furnishings with Mirka: whether we should be adventurous or play it safe, or how important the feelgood factor is to us. We obviously get plenty of inspiration from all the great hotels we stay in around the world.

But you don't constantly redecorate your apartments?

No, here in Dubai it has been pretty much the same for four years now.

Didn't you need to reorganize things a little because of the children?

Not really, but I do like the sudden influx of color and life in the apartment. There are toys everywhere, which make the apartment look more homely and you can tell people live there.

Do you ever call in interior design consultants?

I haven't so far. We may do if we decide to redesign the chalet.

You have a chalet in the mountains?

Yes in Valbella, but I haven't spent much time there yet as I travel so much.

Do you still ski?

Unlike some football players, I haven't signed any contract that would prevent me from doing so. In that respect, I would be to blame if anything were to happen. To be honest, I have to admit that I have given up skiing anyway – mainly because the cold is not good for the body. I actually avoid all the riskier sports, such as squash. But that's not a great problem for me. I can always go back to them when I stop playing tennis professionally.

But you did take part in a short run with school children on the bumpy field in Ethiopia.

Yes, there was a certain amount of risk involved there too. But you have to keep things in perspective.
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post #1045 of 2821 (permalink) Old 05-19-2010, 12:01 PM
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Interview with Roger Federer: Role Models

Daniel Huber, Head Publications


The tennis ace talks about his role models, his management style, the role of the coach in tennis and football, and the Swiss national team's prospects in the World Cup finals in South Africa, his mother's homeland.

Daniel Huber: Do you have any role models – in sport or in other fields?

Roger Federer: A lot of people cite their parents when asked about their idols. That always makes me smile. Parents are simply parents. They are the most important people in your early years and as such don't have to be idols.

What was the most important thing your parents gave you?

Probably my cosmopolitan, open-minded view of the world, although I've traveled a lot myself since I was 13. They certainly taught me respect for other people. My father was always very demanding while my mother was more the gentle type. She comforted me when I was homesick or something else was bothering me.

So who were your sporting role models?

The main inspirations for my career in tennis were certainly Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg. I emulated them, wanted to be as good as them, to win Wimbledon.

But they do not appear to have had any decisive influence on your tennis...

Maybe they did. I certainly copied and tried out some things from them. Basically though, I think it is important to develop your own style. You can try things you have seen others do but you can't simply copy them; instead, you have to incorporate these things into your own game with your own style.

What about idols outside the world of tennis?

Michael Jordan, without a doubt. I used to be quite a good basketball player, and I still love to go and watch a game now and then.

When people talk about the greatest sports personalities of all time, you are often mentioned in the same breath as Muhammad Ali and Michael Jordan. How do you feel about that?

That is obviously very special. It was already a very special thing for me when I became more successful than Stefan Edberg and Boris Becker. Sometimes I still can't believe it when I think about how far I've already come with tennis, and how I've actually come to be compared with these great names beyond my own discipline. I'm also happy that, in this way, I can do my part to make tennis even more popular.

Have you ever met Muhammad Ali at a sports award ceremony?

No, not yet. I am also too young to have ever been able to watch one of his fights live on television. But obviously I've heard a lot about him – not to mention his many sayings – and I've seen many of his highlights. He certainly polarized opinion, but that is precisely what I admire in him, considering that he also had the sporting success.

You are the world number 1 in tennis and also spokesman for the Association of Tennis Professionals. What qualities do you think make a good leader?

In a way I was always a bit of a leader, whether playing football or at school. I frequently drew attention to myself and was never uncomfortable with taking center stage. Although I was a rather shy child to begin with, that soon changed when I discovered tennis. A good leader cannot feel they are too good to lead from the front when the going gets tough. The mark of a leader is the way they deal with a crisis. You certainly need a healthy dose of self-confidence and must face the world head on. I take on a leadership role not only in tennis and in my foundation, but also within my team. And this is where I notice, time and again, how important it is to provide a clear direction on the one hand, and to always listen and be open to criticism on the other.

How would you describe your leadership style?

We work in a very relaxed atmosphere and frequently have very open discussions. Transparency is very important to me. And at the same time, our knowledge of each others' strengths becomes ever greater. Plus we trust each other almost blindly.

To that extent, looking back on the period when things weren't going so well for you, that must surely also have been a testing time. How crisis-hardened is your team?

If everything looks rosy as far as the eye can see when you're riding the wave of success, it's equally true that a crisis brings nothing but difficulties. During the tough times in 2008, I came to a point where I sat down and analyzed every aspect of the situation in great detail and concluded that there was nothing wrong with my work and I was doing things right. Accordingly, I also stuck with my team. But this constant scrutiny of one's own work is important – I was doing this even before the crisis.

So weren't there any changes in your team during this period?

The only change I made was to replace the masseur with a physiotherapist. But I would have done that anyway, as I had back problems and wanted to address that in a more targeted way.

In football, the first person to go when success proves elusive is the coach.

The coach is a highly controversial figure in all fields of sport. No one really knows exactly how much the success or failure of the team can be attributed to that person. At the end of the day, it is always the athlete who has to perform. Unlike in tennis however, football coaches can exert a relatively direct influence during the match. They can redefine the team's tactics at half-time and make substitutions. They can also work – with varying degrees of success – to fuse the diverse egos of the players into a team. When a coach is replaced, the whole deck is reshuffled. Everyone gets another chance, including the players on the bench. At the same time, the regular players feel a little less secure again. That can certainly give things a new and positive dynamic. In tennis, that can also be the case to a certain extent, because you want to show the new coach what you can do. But the effect is certainly never as pronounced.

And yet the coach is still important in tennis, too.

In an individual sport such as tennis, player-coach contact is a great deal more direct. The relationship is much more immediate. You practically live with your coach and eat together three times a day. Tennis coaches probably know their players better after a week than football coaches know their team after ten years. In that respect, there is almost no comparison. Shortly after I became world number 1 in 2003, I had a period of two years without a coach. Incidentally, I did not have any management at that time either. I had to do everything myself then, up to and including negotiations with sponsors. It was a very educational time for me. It was during this time that I learned the art of decision-making.

Aside from tennis, what else would you have liked to do?

Maybe professional football. I was quite a good player as a junior. But then I had to choose a sport. I could no longer do both. On the other hand, I've never had to ask myself what I would want to do if tennis did not work out. I left home at 14 to go to the National Tennis Center in Ecublens. If I had not succeeded there, I would have had to come back and ask myself that question. But thankfully this situation never arose.

I have read that you also wanted to become a rock star.

Of course! But I would still rather have become a star in another sport. On the other hand, being a lead singer in a rock band has a lot in common with a tennis player, be it the inspiration or the live contact with fans. This is also very direct in tennis and the reaction to a slip-up is immediate and mercilessly slaps you in the face.

But you don't play an instrument...

No, not any more. I used to play piano a bit and even took lessons.

You say you used to like playing basketball, and were quite good at it, and that you were considered a talented football player. It seems you have a natural affinity with ball sports.

All ball sports have their own dynamics. Knowing the way the ball bounces with more or less spin, how it rolls on different surfaces – these are abilities you gain from experience, which you can train from a young age along with the necessary coordination skills. You never lose these abilities. That is why it is really important to start playing tennis before the age of ten.

However, there is actually no direct ball contact in tennis.

The racket becomes an extension of your arm – so in that respect there is.

Coming back to football. Given that your mother is from South Africa, you are in the comfortable position of having two teams to support in the World Cup finals in South Africa. Do you have any affinity to the South African team?

Not really, no. On the other hand I have always been slightly biased towards the home team in such tournaments. When things go well for them, it sparks enthusiasm for the entire tournament. Just look at the World Cups in South Korea or Germany. Unfortunately, this didn't happen at the European Championships in Switzerland. However, it goes without saying that I will be very much supporting the Swiss national team. I've even met some of the players. When they lost against Luxembourg at the start of the qualifying campaign, Hitzfeld invited me to meet the team.

Do you still have family connections in South Africa?

Some. But I very rarely have time to go there any more. My parents generally still travel to South Africa twice a year.

There appears to be a certain similarity between you and the Swiss national football team, in terms of supposedly weaker opponents in the early stages of tournaments. Unlike the national team, you did not lose against Luxembourg, but you had to dig deep in Australia to beat your first round opponent, Igor Andrejew.

Let's not forget that Andrejew was number 35 in the world rankings and therefore clearly better than Luxembourg. But that's how it is in sport – be it in tennis against a clearly lower- ranked player, or in football as a senior national team against a lesser opponent. When things don't start so well, the first doubts begin to emerge and suddenly everyone is thinking: what if? Moreover in tennis, you can only play as well as your opponent lets you. Individual rallies develop completely differently with a lower-ranked opponent than against a top player. It may be just the same in football. If you don't know the players, you may well be surprised by their unconventional game. Then you are unlucky and they score a goal.

How far do you think the Swiss team can go in the World Cup finals?

Obviously it is really difficult to predict. The aim should be to win two of the three group matches. Getting to know one another as a team before the tournament is sadly not an option. In that respect, one big advantage over the European Championships is that we have several players from the same club on the national squad, that is FC Basel's Alex Frei, Marco Streller, Benjamin Huggel and perhaps also Valentin Stocker. These players know each other very well and will bring a certain momentum to the team. Whether or not this helps the squad on an international level remains to be seen.
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post #1046 of 2821 (permalink) Old 05-19-2010, 12:49 PM
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Re: Roger news and articles

Thanks for those articles Doris unfortunately I can't rep you

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post #1047 of 2821 (permalink) Old 05-19-2010, 01:27 PM
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post #1048 of 2821 (permalink) Old 05-19-2010, 01:46 PM
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Nice interview

“For life be, after all, only a waitin' for somethin' else than what we're doin'; and death be all that we can rightly depend on.” - Bram Stoker, Dracula
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post #1049 of 2821 (permalink) Old 05-19-2010, 07:48 PM
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nice interview. thanks doris.

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post #1050 of 2821 (permalink) Old 05-20-2010, 03:09 AM
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Thanks Doris..
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