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post #256 of 5000 (permalink) Old 06-13-2004, 05:09 PM
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Federer routs Fish to win Gerry Weber Open

ROY KAMMERER, Associated Press Writer
Sunday, June 13, 2004

(06-13) 08:44 PDT HALLE, Germany (AP) --

Wimbledon champion Roger Federer routed Mardy Fish 6-0, 6-3 Sunday to retain his Gerry Weber Open title and run his winning streak on grass to 17 matches.

The top-ranked Swiss took just 57 minutes to beat the hard-serving American in the final and win his fifth title this year.

"The way I played this week is fantastic -- its unbelievable," Federer said.

He didn't drop a set and lost his serve just twice. His victory here last year propelled him to his breakthrough grand slam title at Wimbledon.

"This is where it all started. I just hope it stays this way. You shouldn't change a winning formula," said Federer, whose string of wins on grass is tied for the seventh longest in ATP tour history.

Federer slammed his serves at Fish's knees when he tried to rush the net, didn't give him a single chance to break, and won points with everything from slice drop shots to winners that nicked the line.

"He's unusual because he returns so well. Most players who serve well don't do both. He doesn't have any weaknesses," Fish said. "I just tried to go out and make him beat me with his backhand -- and he did it convincingly."

After Federer raced through the first set in just 22 minutes, the 8,000 fans began yelling, "Go, Mardy, go," despite Federer's popularity at the event.

"He played amazing today -- he didn't let me do anything I wanted to do," Fish said.

The 22-year-old Fish, who had the most aces behind Andy Roddick last year, said reaching his sixth career final at the Wimbledon warmup was encouraging.

"I'm feeling good about my game on my favorite surface," Fish said. "I just want to reach the second week and then see how it goes."

Bjorn Borg has the longest grass winning streak at 41 matches.
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post #257 of 5000 (permalink) Old 06-13-2004, 06:53 PM
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Thanks for the article moonlight!

Originally Posted by moonlight
Bjorn Borg has the longest grass winning streak at 41 matches.

Argh... 17 down, 24 more to go.
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post #258 of 5000 (permalink) Old 06-13-2004, 08:54 PM
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Um, that article has a mistake It say FISH had the most aces behind Roddick last year, when i know that Phillippousis did, followec by Roger.

"I think that now and until the end of my career, I can really play with my mind at peace, and no longer hear that I've never won Roland Garros." - Roger Federer
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post #259 of 5000 (permalink) Old 06-14-2004, 01:48 PM
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Martin in awe of Federer
By Piers Newbery

Todd Martin believes Roger Federer has the game to surpass Pete Sampras.
Wimbledon champion Federer heads to SW19 looking to hold on to his title and claim a third Grand Slam crown, having won January's Australian Open.

But Martin urges caution in making comparisons with the seven-time Wimbledon champion - for now at least.

"It's going to be hard to ever compare somebody truly to Pete because of what he possessed in his mind," Martin told BBC Sport.

Such has been the Swiss player's form for much of the last 12 months that some experts, including John McEnroe, have hailed him the best player ever.

Martin remains adamant that Federer can only really be compared with Sampras when he starts winning "tournament upon tournament and major upon major".

However, he admits that a simple comparison between their respective games would favour Federer.

"If you take them out to the practice court and just examine what their skills are, what their level of athleticism is, Federer definitely has the potential to be better," said Martin.

"I think he's every bit the athlete that Pete was, possibly better.

"He's got a much better backhand than Pete had and probably a better forehand - as scary as that sounds.

There's room for more grass court tournaments but it's difficult because of the limit on how many places we can play
Todd Martin
"Pete served way better than Roger does, but that's not to discredit what Roger can do with the serve. And they both volley very well, Pete probably a little bit better."
Martin, who at 33 years old admits this may be his last year on the tour, is not worried by the apparent lack of serve-volleyers in the game.

"I think an attacking player, playing effectively and with good decision-making, should always have a fair shot, if not an advantage, against a player who doesn't attack.

"That being said there is certainly a trend. If Andy Roddick, with his serve, wanted to he could serve and volley, so that potential is there."

A Wimbledon semi-finalist in 1994 and 1996, Martin is a fan of the grass court season but does not envisage any extension to the current four-week schedule.

"There's room for more grass court tournaments but it's difficult because of the limit on how many places we can play on grass.

"Some of the challenges that the elements provide for grass courts can make the weeks really long if we get a bit of rain.

"It's a different game that guys don't grow up playing but I do think it would be good to have a little more balance on the schedule, but grass will invariably always be third on the list."

Story from BBC SPORT:

Published: 2004/06/14 13:37:50 GMT

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post #260 of 5000 (permalink) Old 06-19-2004, 11:49 PM
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Aaaah! Wimbledon in full swing mode now. Nothing but Roger and Andy and Timmy in all the British papers. Can it get any better than this?

Shadow of Sampras hovers over Federer

LONDON: World number one and top seed Roger Federer opens the defence of his Wimbledon title here on Monday determined to play down expectations that he has the game and grace to emulate legendary seven-time winner Pete Sampras.

Ever since Federer finally converted raw potential into historic silverware at the All England Club last year, comparisons have been made with the American who serve-and-volleyed his way to 14 Grand Slam titles before calling it quits last year. “I’m maybe the most natural ball-striker, but just for me, my game feels natural,” said the Swiss 22-year-old who has since added the Australian Open and Masters Cup to take his career singles titles tally to 17. I feel like I’m living the game when I’m out there. I feel when a guy is going to hit the ball, I know exactly with the angles and spins, I just feel that I’ve got that figured out. And that is just a huge advantage.”

Federer, who opens his Wimbledon campaign against British wildcard Alex Bogdanovic, has the grace and elegance on court which has spectators, exhausted by the slam-bang of the world’s baseliners, swooning. After years of knocking on the door, last year’s 7-6 (7/5), 6-2, 6-4 final triumph over mark Philippoussis came as a relief.

“I proved it to everybody,” Federer said. “It was a big relief because there was pressure from all the sides and also from myself. In the end when I held the trophy up it was very tough with the emotions. It took me a long time because I was rather crazy when I was young,” added Federer who has built up a 17-match winning run on grass stretching back to his shock first round defeat to Croatia’s Mario Ancic in 2001.

“I was using too much energy with all the negative thoughts and all of it would make me very tired at the end of a tournament. I would get to the quarters or the semis and I was very tired already and I couldn’t imagine myself playing two or three weeks in a row. But that Wimbledon victory was such a dream. Now it still gets me all emotional inside.”

Federer, however, has his work cut out if he is to feel really at home in the pantheon of the greats. Sampras was a seven-time winner, Bjorn Borg five while John McEnroe and Boris Becker lifted the famous trophy on three occasions. This year, he is seeded to face US Open winner Andy Roddick in the final with the American 21-year-old fresh from a successful defence of his Queen’s Club where he fired down more world record setting service howitzers. “I felt I was playing really good tennis last year,” said Roddick who has former Andre Agassi coach, Brad Gilbert in his corner. Now I feel that it’s not surprising if I’m playing that well whereas, last year at Wimbledon, I was kind of like: OK, I’m playing great, let’s keep going. This year I might go in and I could be playing badly but still think that I could pull it together.”

Roddick was beaten in the semi-finals by Federer last year but was in awesome form at Queen’s where he set a new record for ther world’s fastest serve timed at 246.2 kph. Roddick, who faces Taiwan qualifier Yeu-Tzuoo Wang in his opener, also put out 2002 Wimbledon champion and triple Queen’s champion Lleyton Hewitt in the semi-finals. “I don’t try for the record serves, they just happen,” said the American.

Britain’s Tim Henman, four times a semi-finalist and seeded five this year, could be the biggest threat to a Federer-Roddick showdown on July 4 as he tries to become the first home men’s winner since Fred Perry in 1936. “At this time of year, there are so many opinions out there and the fact is there is very few I am worried about or interested in,” said the 29-year-old Henman. “I am pretty good at taking care of the things I can control and all these exteriors things which are out of my control are really not worth worrying about.” Henman, who could run into Philippoussis in the fourth round, became the first British man in 41 years to reach the last four of the French Open last month but then had a disastrous opening to his grass court season losing to Karol Beck of Slovakia in the first round at Queen’s. With Andre Agassi, the 1992 winner, not playing because of a hip injury, the crowd’s sympathy vote will be with Goran Ivanisevic who won in 2001 but has been unable to return since because of a series of injuries. The Croatian opens up against Mikhail Youzhny of Russia. Whatever happens, the tournament will be the end of the road for Ivanisevic. Hewitt, seeded seven, has the disadvantage of being lumped into Federer’s quarter of the draw while third seed Guillermo Coria, who had never won a match on grass until the sHertogenbosch event last week, has been given a kind draw and could face fellow clay court devotee Juan Carlos Ferrero in the quarter-finals.


Federer fulfilling his talent through the power of one

Will Buckley on the Swiss star who relishes being top of the rankings

Sunday June 20, 2004
The Observer

Roger Federer is 11-10 against to win Wimbledon. This is a good bet because he should be odds-on. His victory last year was both emotional and significant, for it marked the moment when Federer finally overcame his doubts. 'It was a moment of disbelief,' he says, lounging around at Wimbledon, looking relaxed yet focused, feline.

It was not always the case. Ever since he won Junior Wimbledon as a 16-year-old in 1998, the pressure has been on Federer. He was so obviously better than everyone else, so obviously the most sublime player of his generation, that grand-slam victories had been predicted to follow before 2003.

But with such talent came doubts over whether he might ever fully express it. 'Before, at the very start of my career,' says Federer, 'when I received my first praises, I enjoyed it. Then I had the feeling that the experts were expecting my success too early. And now I have achieved it I take it as a compliment and enjoy it.'

The difficulty with being so gifted is that Federer, who can play any shot, has a multitude of options on every stroke. A lesser player would have had no option but to do his limited best. Federer could do everything. And, like Bill Clinton, because he could, he did. Federer would go out and play what he describes as the 'miracle shot'. His preference would be for playing the shot of the tournament rather than going through the arduous business of winning the thing.

He might have remained too gifted to win anything, had tragedy not intervened. In 2002, his mentor, Peter Carter, died in a car crash in South Africa. The funeral of his first coach was the first he had attended. A few months later, playing for Switzerland in a Davis Cup side that Carter would have captained, against Morocco in Casablanca, he comfortably beat Hicham Arazi and Younes El Aynaoui. 'That was when I got my fire back,' he has said.

Federer's game was ignited. The one-shot-makes-a-summer player was replaced by a player who might win all summer. When he won Wimbledon he proved to himself that he was as good as everyone had said he was. Little wonder he cried. The moment of disbelief founded a new sense of self belief. 'I feel better than last year because I know what I am capable of,' he says. If he played as well as he did then he can only win. If he plays better it is not a question of whether he wins but by how much. Success has bred success.

'You could already see at the Australian Open that I was not as surprised as I had been at the Masters and Wimbledon,' he says. 'I felt so good on court that I was not even surprised.'

It is a sign of his prowess that he is already being compared, and often favourably, with Pete Sampras. 'I would love to win it again,' he says. 'But I wouldn't say lots of times. You have to win it two or three times to want to win it many many times.'

In the past year, Federer has also become the world's number one. An achievement he ranks above his Wimbledon victory. 'I would say the Wimbledon championship made me a different person and a different player,' he says. 'But as world number one you are given more respect. It is something for life. Something magical around you if you go through life as number one in anything.'

Whereas tennis is a fortnightly affair for the watching British, for the players it is a year-long grind. To be ranked number one is a special elixir that, once tasted, has to be drunk again. It was an achievement that means so much to him that he readily admits to choking in his pursuit of it, as happened during the Roddick match at the Montreal Masters last August.

'Because I had the chance to be number one in the world, I found it impossible to control my emotions. I couldn't believe the situation I was in and, yes, I choked.' There is, as he says, 'a little bit of the downside' to everything. 'I always felt with my game that I challenge my opponent and my opponent finds it very interesting to beat me. So even if they don't win a grand slam they can, at least, say they beat the number-one player in the world.'

Everyone will be gunning for him, and the quickest in the draw - and the most dangerous - is Tim Henman. Federer sees similarities between the two. 'I have an admiration of his attitude both on and off the court. He is classy. He knows his potential and what he can do and because of this he has become a better player. This happened to me early on and I was lucky. He has realised his potential a bit later.'

A potential-filled final between the pair of them looks the most likely eventuality in two weeks' time. It is an occasion that Federer would relish. The last time he played Henman at Wimbledon he was fatigued, having beaten Sampras in his pomp on his favourite surface, and he lost. This time, and despite Henman's resurgence, one would expect Federer to prevail. The main danger from his half of the draw will probably come from the manic bundle of Aussie energy that is Leyton Hewitt, whom he is seeded to meet in the quarter-finals.

It is hard to see how the limited baseliner can outwit the complete player. In the semi-finals, he is seeded to meet Guillermo Coria, but the Argentine has to overcome a Wesley and a Wayne (the South African Moodie and the Australian Arthurs) just to make the third round.

Federer's likeliest semi-final opponent is therefore Sébastien Grosjean, the Frenchman who is decorative rather than threatening. Henman's draw starts easily and became a little less tricky in the latter stages yesterday when David Nalbandian pulled out. If he comes through, he is expected to play Andy Roddick in the semi-final. A possibly daunting prospect, but he should, at the fifth attempt, win a Wimbledon semi-final - a victory that would send the nation into a state of heightened expectation, to be swiftly followed by disappointment.

It has to be Federer.

Congrats to Andy Roddick, 2017 Hall of Fame!

"I beat him the last time. He's lucky I retired." — Andy Roddick on RF

Mugs Tennis Forums
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post #261 of 5000 (permalink) Old 06-20-2004, 02:08 AM
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Re: Roger news and articles

Thanks for the article !

Guga Kuerten

Roger Federer & Novak Djokovic
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post #262 of 5000 (permalink) Old 06-20-2004, 02:08 AM
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Gosh, Roger hasn't played a single match yet, what "swiftly followed by disappointment." for Henman?

These reporters, I swear they are up to something. First they make Roger sound arrogant, and that he dislikes Andy, and now he has won Wimbly again...
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post #263 of 5000 (permalink) Old 06-20-2004, 02:34 AM
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That was a really interesting article and nice to hear some of the things that Roger had to say. I will be cheering for him and I know that he can win it again.

"The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work."

Go Federer, Nadal!!!
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post #264 of 5000 (permalink) Old 06-20-2004, 02:40 AM
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Thanx for the articles Tangerine_dream
BTW like ur avatar!!!

David Nalbandian

Roger Federer

Rafael Nadal

Wimbledon Roland Garros US Open Australian Open

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post #265 of 5000 (permalink) Old 06-20-2004, 04:46 AM
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Originally Posted by LCeh
These reporters, I swear they are up to something. First they make Roger sound arrogant, and that he dislikes Andy, and now he has won Wimbly again...
LCeh, after reading so many articles which took out of context of a whole interview, apparently that's how most of them work :

- have a pre-concepture impression or pre-fixed the big title before the interview;
- position their questions to lure players towards the answers they "want";
- take few answers or worse just lines out of context from the whole interview and add in many other words of their own;
- then article created to achieve the effect they want to have

It's obvious that some medias are trying to stir up Andy and Rogi's rivalries, making Andy as the bashful but warm, easy going one while Rogi as the icy cool, calm but arrogant one. It's easy to buy into those stories unless you get to read the whole interview.

And people wonder why these top players never get along or why so many just refuse to talk too much to some irresponsible reporters...
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post #266 of 5000 (permalink) Old 06-20-2004, 06:47 PM
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Rogi is warm and sunny off the court, but a cold blooded Ninja on the court. The media loves him and I don't think they made him sound arrogant. I'm glad to read that Rogi knows what he is capable of. IF THAT IS ARROGANT THEN GIVE ME WHAT ROGI IS HAVING FOR DIN DIN!!!!!!!!!!!!
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post #267 of 5000 (permalink) Old 06-20-2004, 07:07 PM
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R. Federer Interview - Pre-Event
Sunday, June 20, 2004

THE MODERATOR: My great pleasure to introduce Roger Federer, our reigning Wimbledon Champion. Who would like to ask the first question?

Q. You look as if you're pleased to be back. Welcome back.

ROGER FEDERER: I am. Now it's a few days ago since I arrived, but it's very nice every time I step on the grounds and can play a little bit on grass. It's a very nice feeling.

Q. You had a good workout on grass the other week, didn't you?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah. Well, it was the best preparation I could have hoped for. Obviously, a little bit surprising always because, you know, French Open was tough. Then to get the motivation right away, you know, it's easier said than done.

But went good really from the first match on, and also in the practice I've been feeling well. So I'm really well prepared.

Q. How different do you feel this time around coming back as champion?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, it's different. Different kind of a pressure, I feel, because last year it was more about, you know, trying to make that first breakthrough in a Grand Slam really, go further than a quarters or a semis.

And this year it's trying to defend the title. All the focus I feel is on me. Also from my own side, I put a lot of pressure on myself. When I step on court on Monday, it's going to be strange feelings.

Q. Winning the Australian obviously has had a big effect on you, as well.

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah. I mean, everything I've achieved since Wimbledon has only helped my career because I've become much more ‑‑ I have much more experience now. I feel more secure on the court. So this will definitely help for Wimbledon. But I've never been in a position where I could defend a Grand Slam title.

So this is a new situation for me, too.

Q. Do you feel the players' attitude towards you has changed since you became champion last year?

ROGER FEDERER: Not really. Maybe players do less jokes about me now than before, I don't know (smiling). I don't know if that's really the case. But I have to say, I get along well with a lot of, you know, the players because I speak three languages. That makes it easier.

Q. Coming in here last year, people had been saying, "When is Roger Federer going to win a big one?" Well, since then you've won two big ones, The Masters Cup. So you put that behind you already, well behind you. You're not coming in here with anything to prove except maybe to yourself.

ROGER FEDERER: Yes, that's also the way I feel. And I think, you know, I'm very happy that this last year has been so great to me. So I don't have again such enormous pressure on my shoulders coming back to Wimbledon.

I'm happy I've, you know, really done some really great results in this time. Yeah, and so now it's ‑‑ yeah, it's about Wimbledon, and trying to do well here, because this is really my favorite place to play tennis. Hopefully I'm going to do well here.

Q. Interesting first game for you, isn't it, with the British interest?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, of course. It's going to be, you know, special to see how the crowd's going to be. His side, my side, I don't know. But it doesn't really matter for me. It's a very special moment, which, you know, is obviously a moment I've been really looking for since a long time because I know since a long time when I'm going to play.

I don't really know my opponent. You know, I know more about him now than a few days ago. Yeah, so it's going to be interesting to see how well he can play.

Q. How conscious are you of what happened to Lleyton in the first round when he was defending last year?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, very. I was watching that match. I was like, well, I think Lleyton ‑‑ you know, it's going to be difficult match, but I think he will go through. I think he won that first set quite comfortable, then he couldn't control the serve anymore.

Obviously, I hope the same is not going to happen to me. You never know, all I can do is just try a hundred percent and hopefully it's going to be enough.

Q. After last year win, you already came back here in December, I think, with BBC special. What exactly was the reason?

ROGER FEDERER: I was invited by the chairman, Tim Phillips, because I was coming here in the evenings for the BBC sports award, Sports Gallery, I don't know what it was. I was here, you know, in the afternoon for lunch. I came back. You know, while I was here, I also did some TV stations, some Swiss, some British. It was nice to come back because it was very quiet and very calm. Because I left in such a hurry, you know, after this tournament.

So to come back, you know, kind of just relax, I don't know, get the atmosphere in, was very important for me.

Q. Did you go to the Centre Court or not?


Q. What about feeling?

ROGER FEDERER: It was very nice. It was unbelievable. I'm happy I did it because only coming back one year later, I think it would have been a pity. I could have kind of in a way already prepare for December what's coming up for me now. This was special moment for me, too. There was no lines, no net, nothing. But there was a fence around the court because of the foxes. Not even I could step on Centre Court.

Q. What about weather? London is always raining almost. Do you think can change something?

ROGER FEDERER: No, I don't think the weather has an effect. Last year I think against Fish, I came off the court two or three times because of rain. Also against Lopez I couldn't even warm up. I'm used to rain breaks and all these kinds of things.

They shouldn't play any role in the end score.

Q. But it works in Paris for you?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah. Paris is more of an effect of the rain, or of the weather.

Q. When did it sink in that you were Wimbledon Champion? It was emotional at the moment you won the title. Did it take weeks? Months?

ROGER FEDERER: No, to me it seemed ‑‑ of course, you realize what you have achieved right away. But you speak to all the people. You cannot still believe it. It kind of goes on and on and on and you never know when it stops because everybody asks you, "How is it? How was it? How does it feel? Tell us a little bit about it."

But of course for me the moment, I think, when I shook, you know, my opponent's hand and the umpire's hand, I sat down in the chair, I could not control my emotions anymore and I really realized this is reality.

Q. Tim Henman said on the verge of these championships that, whereas some people may look further ahead, look to see who you might meet in a semifinal, in a quarterfinal, is that really something that you ever look at or do you just concentrate on getting through the first game?

ROGER FEDERER: Obviously, I look at the draw, you know, at what is possible for some of the seeds. But then again, you know, both seeds have to win a certain amount of matches against tough players, which is always difficult.

I don't even know who I might play in the semis. I think Coria is ‑‑ is he? Yeah, I think he is. I'm not even sure, you know.

But normally I only look at maybe where my first seed is, you know, the first one, two, three matches at the most, just to know a little bit. If I win, at least I know against who I will play. But not more than that.

Q. In terms of recognition coming back here, have you noticed anything different this year? Have more people been recognizing you at all, maybe at the airport?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, at the airport, of course, some people saw me because I was waiting for my physio.

But other than that, on the grounds, there were no spectators so far, only players. There's a lot of greeting, of course, because you don't see each other all the time. I saw Tim Phillips. You know, he showed me around again a little bit. We had tea together. It's nice. I feel very welcome here. This is a nice feeling.

Q. Are you staying in the same place? Keep your routine the same?

ROGER FEDERER: Staying in a different place. I don't know if that's good or bad. I'm not very ‑‑

Q. Somewhere a little more expensive?

ROGER FEDERER: No, because last year's place was a little bit tight, you know, so I wanted something just a little bit bigger. Yeah, we'll see. But everything is fine, so...

Q. He asked you about some of the outside influences. But after winning a Grand Slam here, winning the Australian Open, how do you feel different within yourself?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, kind of I know what I have to do leading up to Grand Slams, because this is a thing I was not sure in the past, because I would come to grand slams and just prepare the way I would do for a regular tournament or any other tournament. This is ‑‑ I don't think that's the right approach to do it, because it is a very big change. You know, it's going to be a tournament over two weeks, best‑of‑five sets. If you're knot ready for that, somehow I think, you know, you could ‑‑ I've experienced that, you know, I failed in the first round. I lose in straight sets. The road is way too long to make it to the finals, whatever, once you're down.

So I've changed a little bit my preparations for Grand Slams. That's really a thing I've learned over this past year.

Q. As a player you cannot bet, do any betting. You know things because you are inside. You are the champion. If you can put some money on a new name, a young player, a specialist on grass, which could be the biggest surprise?

ROGER FEDERER: I don't know if there is a person which is very unknown to the people who can win this tournament. I think it will be more or less on Roddick or Henman. For me, they're the most ‑‑ biggest threats in this tournament to anybody and to me. So that's the way I see it.

Q. How have you changed your preparation? You mentioned you've done a few things different.

ROGER FEDERER: It's more of a mental preparation, too, and getting earlier to Grand Slams, because years before I would always play the week leading up to Grand Slams because most important is that I have confidence that I play matches because I'm a match player, not too much of a practice guy.

I found the way also to have motivation in practice and not let it influence me that I'm not playing the week before, and that already has changed many things for me.

Q. How has your preparation changed? You say it's different at the majors compared to some of the other events. How has it changed? What was it like before you won your first major? What was your preparation like?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, now because I'm not playing the week before the Grand Slam, I'm coming very early already to the venue. I'm already arrived on Tuesday, which is six days before. It's basically like a Davis Cup preparation in a way. You know, you have a few days where you can work on some things, and then the last few days I play a lot of points, sets, so on.

This is I think maybe a thing I wasn't doing until one or two years ago. I would only play tournaments because I would get in because I was not sure what my ranking was like. I would need points and this kind of stuff.

But since, you know, I'm up in the Top 10, obviously it makes it easier to schedule, you know, the tournaments.

Q. Are you aware a little bit of the nuances or the specific things with playing on a brand‑new grass court, as it will be for your first match?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I don't know.

Q. It's a little more slippery, takes the slice better. Did you know that?

ROGER FEDERER: No. Thanks for telling me (smiling). I'm happy I attend the press conferences, I get to know something about the court.

I didn't quite know that, no. When I arrived Tuesday, Wednesday, and I played my first time on the outside courts, you know, I assume that it's very similar to the Centre Court. They were brand‑new. Yeah, so, I'm used to it I think.

Q. You said you felt Tim Henman was a big threat. Do you think sometimes that pressure that Tim Henman ‑‑ do you feel a similar thing now as a champion, people have said you have the ability to go on and be one of the great Wimbledon champions of all time, is that something that ever weighs on your mind?

ROGER FEDERER: No. I think the pressure he has is totally different to the pressure the other players have here at this tournament. First of all, I think he's coped very well under the pressure he's had because he's the only maybe British player, men's and women's side, who has a real chance to win the tournament. This is why the focus is so much on him, which is absolutely normal. And I think he has done really well under these circumstances.

For me, you know, the pressure comes more from myself to perform well. Yeah, so it's a different kind of pressure. You know, he has all the fans. He knows they're all behind him if he walks on court. For me, they come to see nice tennis. But of course, maybe some will be behind me, but maybe some will be behind my opponent. It's a very different kind of pressure.

I think it's a little bit more difficult for him because he's playing in his own home country. But in a way it can also help him, you know, at very important stages of the match. Then the opponent could become very nervous and so on.

Q. His performance on clay in France did that surprise you?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, after the first two rounds, he won in five sets, then to make it to the semis is obviously a very good effort because, I mean, he was looking like he's not going to make it there.

But, you know, I know how well Tim can play. I wasn't surprised once he got through those rounds, that he really went so far. I didn't see anything of the semis, but he almost made it to the final. So it's a great effort. Of course, there's maybe more talk about him now in Wimbledon because of that. But he deserves it. He played well. And I think it's going to give him even more confidence knowing if he played semis at the French, that he can do even better here.

Q. Have you got plans to watch the France game tomorrow night?

ROGER FEDERER: I don't know. France against Switzerland, yeah. I hope Switzerland wins because we still have a chance to qualify. Are they playing at 7?

Q. 7:45.

ROGER FEDERER: We'll see how long a five‑setter will take (smiling). If I can, I will watch.

Q. Nice thoughts about Mats Wilander, Todd Martin, former players. Can you say to us how many former players, how many coaches offer to you to become your coach?

ROGER FEDERER: Not too many. Honestly, really few former, let's say, players or top players who play on the senior tour have offered their help. There's not much I can say about that.

Q. You have Davis Cup where you can represent your country. Of course, you've got the Grand Slams. But you've been very clear how important the Olympics are to you. What makes the Olympics special beyond the other things that tennis players have?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, the combination to be there with other athletes and to be in a team, you know, for a week. You know, representing your country is very different to basically representing your name in a tournament.

You know, what I experienced in Sydney in 2000, was for me one of the best two weeks I've ever had in my career. So this is also why I'm going back to Athens. And hopefully I can enjoy a similar, you know, good time over there. Because it's really such a special place in that village, then the atmosphere around the grounds, it's also very nice to see other sports. Somehow that really hit me; it was a really nice experience.

Q. You said you know more about Bogdanovic than you did on Thursday. How have you done that?

ROGER FEDERER: It's very easy. You just ask a few people, few players, few coaches. Well, you get to know a few things. A little bit of his results, obviously I could do that myself.

Q. Anybody in particular you've spoken to that's been useful?

ROGER FEDERER: No. You know, maybe ‑‑ no, not really. I've just asked around a little bit, if they know him, how does he play, these kind of things.

Q. Can you ever prepare yourself for the X factor, the unknown ability of someone like Bogdanovic to suddenly raise their game against the champion?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, that's going to be there anyway. You know, that little bit of doubt, how well he's going to be. I think I will have to, you know, find out as fast as I can during the first set, I would say. And, you know, at the latest I should know after one set. If I'm up or down, doesn't really matter, but there I should know how he's going to play, on his shots, on his serve. Yeah, it will be interesting to see how I will handle that.

Q. What have people told you about Alex Bogdanovic?

ROGER FEDERER: Won't tell you (smiling). I'll keep it for myself. Maybe he's listening. I don't know.

Q. What can you come to expect from him then?

ROGER FEDERER: You know, I expect a tough match. Of course, it's important to know what he can do, the way he plays. But then again, I'm at such a level that I can really just concentrate on my own game. And I think, you know, it should be good enough if I'm playing well and I'm really focused and staying calm, because this is, like I said, a new situation for me to come to a Grand Slam and defend this title.

We'll see. He's a lefty. You know, I don't play very often against left‑handers. So this already makes a change to everything . Yeah, we'll see how it goes really.

Q. This match could really set the tone for your whole defense of the title?

ROGER FEDERER: It could. It's very important. Every first round in every tournament. I think last time I lost in the first round was at the French Open last year. So it's a long time ago. I hope I can keep it up.

Q. Roddick hit a 153 miles an hour serve at Queen's. Can you talk about how power and speed, the ever increasing power and speed in the game is affecting certain shots, the way that you play?

ROGER FEDERER: Wonder if those speed guns are right, really. I've heard players who say the speed gun was all over the place in Queen's. But I think he even hit it wide on the ad side. How is that possible?

I know he hits the serve very hard. Well, I think it will only ‑‑ the game will only get faster from here. I don't think you can do much to slow it down. Of course, you can increase the size of the balls and stuff, but I think that's not what we want. There is enough good return players out there who can handle a serve like that. This is why I think nothing needs to be changed right now.

Q. Sampras often talked about how much he enjoyed that moment, walking out on Centre Court, first match, first day of the tournament. How much have you thought about that and what do you expect that to be like?

ROGER FEDERER: I've put a lot of thought into that, how is that going to feel. But I can really only tell you after the match really how it felt and how it was. Because now I'm still also preparing myself mentally for that.

You know, physically I'm fit and everything, so it's going to be interesting to see.

Q. Players always talk about improving. How do you feel you've improved since this time last year? Are there aspects of your game that you're happier with or is it more a mental thing?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, it's not only since a year, I would say it's more over the last two or three years now I've been really playing with confidence since a long time. I had very little of dips, you know, where I wasn't playing well for a long time.

So I think a lot came when I started to improve really much was my condition, my physical strength, and then at the same time, you know, the mental part of my game also start to really become much more of an advantage because it used to be a disadvantage ‑ and I know that. I think this has made the biggest improvement in my game.

I think my backhand is much more consistent than it used to be. And I think this has just increased the whole level of game for me. I can play very consistent now. I'm not in a rush when I'm playing like I used to be sometimes.

Q. Have you watched last year's final?

ROGER FEDERER: Oh, yeah. Many times (smiling).

Q. When was the last time you watched it?

ROGER FEDERER: This I don't remember. I think beginning maybe of this year or so, yeah.

Q. Do you look at it for strokes and strategy or more motivation?

ROGER FEDERER: No, more for enjoyment. No, obviously, because everybody was saying how well I played in that match, how unbelievable it was, the semis and the final. Actually, right after the match, I wasn't conscious actually how close he was in the first set, third set and everything. So, yeah, I was happy I came through that first set last year.

It's more for me important to live through those kind of moments again and to see how it really felt. It's definitely, you know, a tape I want to keep forever.

Q. When you watch that tape, do you marvel at how well you played?

ROGER FEDERER: I don't understand.

Q. Do you look at that and are you amazed at some of the shots you hit in that final?

ROGER FEDERER: Sometimes I am, but sometimes I'm also disappointed that I see shots that, "How in the world did I miss that shot?" Or, you know, "How in the world did I make that shot?" Both ways.

I think I'm living through that kind of match again like as if I was playing. Even if everything is going the way I want, I miss a shot where I'm not happy with, I am disappointed, the same if I watch the tape again. This is the way I feel also.

Q. Can you be surprised about yourself on a tennis court?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, sometimes I can be, especially, you know, in a match situation where I hit a shot which I would only, you know, tend to do in a practice because it's such a low‑percentage shot and you make it. Sometimes it happens in important stages of the match. This is incredible. Then also I'm surprised, you know, I could pull it off.

Normally I'm playing very much with the percentage. I've learned to do that, and it's working, so I don't have to change it.

Q. Obviously Wimbledon is very special to all the British players. It's called The Championships. What is it for anyone around the world to play and win here?

ROGER FEDERER: I think ‑‑ no, I'm sure, it's a tradition. The grass court, everything around it, the whole atmosphere, Centre Court, these are the things which make this tournament very special. Grass court season is so short. When you come here, you know, it's so special.

It's very difficult to imagine if you have never been here. Once you've been on Centre Court and you've seen a match or you've played a match there, somehow you fall in love with this place. This is also what happened to me.

The first time I played here against Sampras, the first time I stepped on court as a junior in '98, I remember those memories like it was yesterday. This is I think for any player around the world a very special moment.

"The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work."

Go Federer, Nadal!!!
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post #268 of 5000 (permalink) Old 06-29-2004, 04:14 AM
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Re: Roger news and articles

This is a really long article, but I find a lot of stuff that I have never read before, unlike other articles where they all steal from each other.


Federer aims for greatness
By Clive White (Filed: 20/06/2004)
Five months after his triumph at Wimbledon last year, Roger Federer returned to the All England Club for lunch at the invitation of Tim Phillips, the chairman. Afterwards, he and his girlfriend were asked if they would like to walk over the Centre Court where, those few months earlier, he had ground into its hallowed turf with almost contemptuous ease the challenges of Andy Roddick and Mark Philippoussis in the semi-final and final.

"It was a strange atmosphere because it was so quiet," said Federer. "No lines, no net posts, no spectators. It was a beautiful day, really nice. He showed us around, showed us the picture, the trophy. It was a strange feeling. It feels like home there already. They say I did it the easy way to become a member there, but it's the best way to do it and I feel very welcome at that club."

At home enough to win seven singles titles, like Pete Sampras? It would be unrealistic, not to mention unfair, to throw down that particular gauntlet at his feet and yet there are many experts who believe the Swiss is capable of achieving something similar; in fact, John McEnroe believes he has the potential to become the greatest tennis player of all time. Most players, if asked if they thought they could equal the great Sampras, would probably break into nervous laughter, but not Federer. He has great belief in his own ability and self-assurance far beyond his 22 years, yet he never seems to overstep the line between confidence and arrogance.

"It's very, very difficult to do the same that he did," he said, without it sounding like an understatement. "To win is one thing but to win three in a row and then another four is quite incredible. I don't know how he did it, but I know that in every Grand Slam he had the same motivation, from the first round - the right attitude. It's the most important thing because after that the game flows automatically.

"I haven't spoken to him about it because he was very quiet. He wasn't around the court very often and he's a different generation also. My goal is not to try to do something similar to someone else but to have my own career. For me, it's not a goal to win, say, three French Opens like Guga [Gustavo Kuerten]. I know I'm an overall player on all surfaces and I think I have to use this [versatility] over my whole career."

As for becoming the greatest, he said: "I need some more success to be the best ever. I feel like I'm very good, I've won two Grand Slams and the Masters in almost the same year and become No 1 in the world and obviously there is a lot of talk about me. But I still think you've got to try to play consistent over an entire year. In fact, I think it needs more, two or three years in a row, and then if I have achieved that then I can say I've dominated."

Three memories from last year's Wimbledon stood out for him: clinching match point and falling to his knees, lifting the trophy and the back spasm that he had in his fourth-round match against Feliciano Lopez. "This is maybe why I was so emotional in the end, because I could not believe I came back after that back spasm. I'd never had it before nor since, and I hope never again.

"I rely on many things, but looking back, maybe my serve was working really well in the semi and final. I didn't lose it once against Roddick and Philippoussis and even though they're not the best returners, they're important moments. They didn't have a chance on my serve really. Also, I was volleying much better than in the whole tournament."

There is a classical beauty about Federer's game that resembles Sampras's - only it is even more refined. Unremarkable in appearance off the court, the man from Basel cuts a striking figure on it, largely, it seems, because of the bandanna which, apart from bringing a semblance of order to his unruly hair, somehow seems to enhance his looks. Above all, though, it is his serenity on court that is particularly impressive. Nothing seems to bother him, yet there was a time when things did, often at the most unlikely moments.

When Federer ended Sampras's run of 31 consecutive victories at the All England Club in 2001 we suspected that it might herald the end of an era and the beginning of a new one. While it proved to be most definitely the end of the American's extraordinary monopoly of the Wimbledon title, it was a couple of years before his young pretender got around to winning it.

In fact, far from signalling the start of the Federer Years, the fourth-round victory acted as a positive discouragement to the man who would be king. Indeed, in the quarter-finals Federer lost - neither for the first time nor the last - to Tim Henman. "After beating Sampras I felt blocked because I thought, 'Jeez, I've reached everything I wanted to reach'," said Federer. "I wanted to play on Centre Court at Wimbledon and I wanted to beat Sampras one day. I did it, and after that it was like, 'What am I playing for now?'

"But you have to set yourself short-term goals and long-term goals. And that's what I learned in all those years where I lost first round at the French Open [three times on the trot] and once back-to-back in the first round at the French and Wimbledon. It made me stronger mentally - that used to be my weakness - and that's why I can now play consistently."

And when he occasionally has an off-day, he doesn't let it affect him too much, like at the Italian Open last month when he lost in the second round to Albert Costa and was disrespectfully whistled off the court by spectators. That seemed to hurt him more than the defeat. Some journalists put it to him, in so many words, that he was facing a crisis, but Federer was unperturbed; he always knew his first tournament of the season on clay would be tough and he just needed to go back to the practice court. Eleven days later he won the Hamburg Masters, beating one of the game's leading exponents on clay, Guillermo Coria. Some crisis.

Like any great player, Federer has learned to understand his strengths and weaknesses. He has also learned that he has to peak for the Slams. "I always thought the more matches I played the better I would be prepared," he said. "I still think the same way but in the end Grand Slams are totally different events. It's over two weeks, it's over five sets and the approach mentally is much more important than the confidence you have [from playing a lot]. Next year, maybe, I will play less.

"I'm working a lot on different things that I feel I can improve. I see a lot of other players who are much better at some shots and obviously I would like to have the same ability, but I know I'm limited in different areas because of my one-hand backhand and the way I hit the ball."

He amazed himself by winning the Australian Open, but not because he won without a coach - and is still without one - but because "2003 was so tough and so long". It was the timing of his split with Peter Lundgren that surprised most people. Lundgren now coaches Federer's big rival Marat Safin. "After the US Open I started to feel that it was just not the way it used to be and the way I wanted it to be," he said, "and I spoke to him and told him that for me it felt very strange and he said the same. The communication wasn't the same, so after Houston [the Masters] - actually I had decided before Houston. It was very hard to tell him, 'That's it', but at the same time I think it was a great end to our relationship.

"Every player needs to know for themselves what they need. For me what is important is my surroundings, my family, my friends, my girlfriend - these are important people to me - then you need people who make the group feel strong, like a physio, a condition trainer, maybe a stringer, maybe a coach - whatever you need when you're in my position to make you feel better."

Consequently, "Team Federer" is now very much in-house: his girlfriend looks after the media while his parents sort out the contracts. Not that Federer is the sort who could ever feel alone. Speaking three languages, he is able to converse with more players than most and is popular among his fellow professionals. He is also more mature than most. Sometimes it's hard to believe he's only 22. "When I was 18 I felt like 30 and sometimes like 15," he said. "But now I'm much more steady, I have clear goals and I feel much more secure."

A frustrated footballer who occasionally trains with his home-town club FC Basel, he said if he ever had a son he hoped he would become a footballer rather than a tennis player, "Just because I didn't live through the soccer scene which I would have liked to". He played football until he was 12 "and then I had to decide".

Although his talent had been obvious for a few years, probably ever since he won junior Wimbledon six years ago, he believed he was not ready, mentally more than anything, to win a Slam until he eventually did. He flattered to deceive once or twice in the Australian Open, but it was only at Wimbledon last year that you knew his time had arrived. "I'm almost happy it didn't happen earlier because I really had the chance to grow into the tour, get to know the pressure, the media side," he said. "It didn't come in one big splash with me. That's why I played even better after Wimbledon, it didn't kind of stop me, my motivation was still there."

In winning the Australian Open in January he avenged his US Open quarter-final defeat to David Nalbandian, to whom he had lost in five meetings up to and including Flushing Meadows. He has a similarly poor record against Henman. In fact, it is 6-2 in the Briton's favour. He has a lot of respect for the British No 1. "He's got this dangerous game - when he's playing well, it's very tough to beat him," said Federer. "When he's serving well, he puts pressure on you and doesn't give you any rhythm, that's when he's very dangerous - actually on any surface, because he's also learned how to play on clay and he plays very aggressively.

"Either he serves and volleys or he stays back and then he comes in. You have to hit a great return to actually play aggressive yourself. I served really great at Indian Wells [where he beat Henman in the final] and I'm happy I beat him then properly because the one time I beat him before, he gave up. Maybe he prefers to play me, but he doesn't like to play Lleyton Hewitt or someone like Andre Agassi. He doesn't like guys who return really well because they put him under pressure."

And what puts Federer under pressure? "I see many different styles on the tour now, even though most of them play from the baseline," he said. "You have aggressive baseliners and less-aggressive baseliners. To me, it seems more players attack me now, play more aggressive than they used to do [the defeat to Costa was an example of that]. That's because, I think, they don't want me to attack them. It hasn't worked very well for everybody, but it might be the right game plan.

"It's tough also for them to find something different if you play a guy who's very confident, like I am right now. I also know that the time will come when my confidence might not be as high. That's the moment when they have to take advantage and beat me and make me go home and think about my game. So far, it hasn't happened."


BTW, notice he mentioned friends before girlfriend. That says quite a lot about his character.
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post #269 of 5000 (permalink) Old 06-29-2004, 04:37 PM
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Re: Roger news and articles

Nice read. Thanks LCeh!

lol at your quotes :

"You say you're taking it one match at a time. How far do you think you can go?"
- Some interviewer...

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post #270 of 5000 (permalink) Old 06-29-2004, 07:09 PM
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Re: Roger news and articles

That was a nice article to read. He is such a genuine and humble person and the fact that he is the best player out there he does not boast about it as others may do.

Also the fact that he does not really want to emulate Sampras but be his own person. That is very nice to be who you were mean't to be rather than trying to be someone you are not mean't to be.

"The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work."

Go Federer, Nadal!!!
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