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post #31 of 5000 (permalink) Old 07-06-2003, 06:33 PM
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Roger Federer - 2003 Gentlemen's Singles Champion

Sunday, July 6, 2003

Roger Federer

Roger Federer - 2003 Gentlemen's Singles Champion
Sunday, July 6, 2003

R. FEDERER/M. Philippoussis

7-6, 6-2, 7-6

MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, we'll start off with English questions for the Wimbledon Champion, please.

Q. How does the reality live up to the dream?

ROGER FEDERER: Oh, you know, like I said on the court, for me this is the best ever, you know. It was my most important match in my life, you know, and already the semifinal was maybe the most important.

So that I didn't lose a set, you know, in these two matches and played so well and I kept my level up, you know, is just absolute dream.

And then in the end, you know, to lift the trophy is something you don't expect, you know. But when it happens, it's, for me, very tough with the emotions.

Q. The tears, Roger, where did they come from? What was going through your mind?

ROGER FEDERER: They come from Switzerland (laughter).

No, I don't know, I've cried, you know, a few times on big occasions. Somehow, in the first moment, I don't think I will, but then I just can't keep, you know, keep it like this.

So, you know, as I said, this tournament means so much to me, and I've had great experiences in '98 junior victory, then 2001 when I beat Sampras, and now this, you know.

So this is just something for me what I cannot understand yet, you know. Because it's just -- it's too good.

Q. Is there anybody you'd like to dedicate this victory to?

ROGER FEDERER: You guys know each other, huh? (Laughter).

I would like to just thank everybody who has always helped me, you know. I don't want to give this to one person because this is -- it's too big of a victory. And everybody who has helped me throughout my career, you know, going from coaches to friends to condition trainers to stringers to masseurs, just everybody who has been involved in my game. I would like to -- you know, this is something back to them also, you know.

But in the end, you know, it's also my victory and I enjoy it as much as I can.

Q. In Poland we have two major tournaments in coastal towns. Juan Carlos Ferrero is coming this year. Will you come, too?

ROGER FEDERER: Where is it? Excuse me.

Q. In Poland.

ROGER FEDERER: No, I'm not thinking about it yet, you know (laughter).

Q. You will be most welcome.

ROGER FEDERER: Okay, thank you. But you've got to send me an invitation, I don't know (smiling).

Q. You just won the most important tournament in the world. This undoubtedly wipes out some of the disappointments of the last couple years, tournaments you've gone far in, a Masters tournament you lost to Hewitt, Al Costa. At any time in the last two years, when those disappointments came along, was there any self-doubt that you would ever arrive at this moment?

ROGER FEDERER: Uhm... Doubt, you know, there is no guarantee for nothing, you know. And, you know, I was -- I knew I had the game, you know. And, for me, it was somehow first important that I could prove it maybe on the smaller events. This is also really where I picked up, you know. I won titles - now, you know, a lot. It's already my fifth this year. I thought, "This is gonna bring me far in the Grand Slams, you know, just to play a lot of matches and to play a lot of finals," because finals is different -- it's just different, you know, mentally.

So I've always believed, but then in the end when it happens, you know, you don't think that it is possible, you know. But now it has happened, and I guess I'm just gonna have some time, you know, to look back and just enjoy this moment.

Q. You talked about beating Pete Sampras. Do you think now you can emulate him at Wimbledon?

ROGER FEDERER: Oh, this is, you know, one of his seven, you know. I'm so far away, you know. I'm just happy, you know, to be on the board, you know. It's so nice, if I look at all the players who have won here, you know, a lot have been idols to me. Just to be on the board with Borg and these people, it's just nice, you know, to be a part of history at Wimbledon, you know - and in Grand Slams in general, you know.

And, you know, it's incredible.

Q. Was there any specific thought that triggered your emotion at the end? You seemed happy and controlled, then you seemed to have felt a rush of emotion. Was it just an accumulation of things or just a particular thought?

ROGER FEDERER: You know, when he hits the passing -- the return, you think, "Oh, it's gonna be a tough volley, you know," then it stays in the net, you know.

And you don't really know what to do in the first moment, you know? I just knew I'm gonna go down on the floor, you know, and enjoy it, you know, and see what happens, you know.

Maybe - hopefully - I don't cry, you know, but... (Laughter).

It's kind of difficult in such a big match and in such an unbelievable stadium, you know, where the people are so nice.

Q. I just wondered if you saw somebody or something went through your mind that actually meant you'd lost the battle? It's not a battle to win, anyway, but when your emotion came, did one particular thought come into your head, or did you see something or think something?

ROGER FEDERER: What did I think about? You know, it's just I cannot believe it, you know? This is really what went through my mind the first moment when I sat down on my chair, then just quick flashback. You don't have much time, you know.

But in the first moment, you know...

Then you see the trophy, you know, and it's so beautiful. Gold. You know, you don't have golden trophies very often (laughter). Just the way, you know, when you look at it and when you hold it, is something you've always dreamed of.

So right then, you feel like, you know, "Am I dreaming? This is true right now?" You know.

Q. You're still very young, but you must have read and heard so many times commentators say that, you know, "Your nerve is gone on the big occasion," "When are you going to break through on the big occasion?" Do you feel, as well as the great sort of joy, do you feel a sense of relief that now you've shown everybody, "Yes, I can win one of the big ones"?

ROGER FEDERER: Yes, I said this already when I won my quarters almost, when I won my semis, and now after I won my finals. I proved it to everybody, you know.

It is a big relief to me because there was pressure from all the sides, you know, also from myself. I wanted to do better in Slams, you know.

But it just -- I guess you need a little luck, you know, like I had with my back, and kind of sneak through that round, you know.

So when I was playing that round, I didn't think, you know, I'd ever hold a trophy. So one week -- not even a week later, I'm holding it. So it's very tough still for me to just think it.

Q. I know you didn't want to pick out anybody in particular to dedicate it to, but the memory of Peter Carter, could you talk about him and what he did for you?

ROGER FEDERER: I mean, he's definitely included, you know. He's been one of my most important people in my career. So definitely also he's included in this circle, you know. That's for sure, you know.

And I guess we would have had a big party together, you know, if he was still here.

Q. You said at the moment of your triumph when you were sitting down you were flashing back. What were you flashing back on?

ROGER FEDERER: How is it to be in the finals, you know, and win in straight sets. And, you know, it's just totally different feeling. I was very nervous when I walked on the court, you know. It was different.

And after just -- because you live during the match, and you have strong emotions, you know, but you don't want to get too overexcited, you know. My body's totally flat now, you know. I cannot move anymore. I'm totally exhausted, just because of the tension out there, you know.

"I really hope that I can do this in three," you know, after I won the second set.

Q. How much trouble were you in in the match against Lopez?

ROGER FEDERER: Oh, I was... Did you see the match or not?

Q. No, not all of it.

ROGER FEDERER: I'm telling you, go and get a tape, because... (Laughter).

Because I was really -- I was really in big pain, you know. I was struggling to serve, I was struggling to return. I couldn't even really sit down because I was hurting so much. Then I called the trainer after two games and he gave me painkillers, he gave me a massage on my back, you know, with warm cream.

And I told myself, "If this continues for a few more games, and I realized that this guy was just kicking my ass, it's not worth playing," you know.

But somehow I stayed in the match and it got a little bit better. Then I kind of won that first set, which was important.

Q. With the Swiss winning the America's Cup, now you've won Wimbledon, what's left for you?

ROGER FEDERER: The end, what is that?

Q. The Swiss have won the America's Cup. You've won Wimbledon. What's next for the Swiss?

ROGER FEDERER: Hmm... You know, yeah, I also believe that Swiss sports is doing well, you know. They've proved it.

At one stage I was thinking about, you know, America's Cup actually because I saw them and, you know, they were 3-love ahead and everybody said they were racing away, you know. Same with me, when I was up two sets to love, I thought, "Just take it, you know, and race away, you know..." (Smiling).

Tennis in Switzerland, I think, is doing quite well. I've only helped this by winning this title.

Q. How will you celebrate tonight?

ROGER FEDERER: How? There's a lot of friends here, family members as well, and we gonna go to the official dinner, something I've always wanted to do. Because in '98, when I won the Juniors I was invited, but we decided, Peter Carter and myself, we said, "Oh, I got my first wildcard in Gstaad, I know I got to prepare well."

So I still regret that, you know, in a way. But now that's okay because I can live through that official dinner again.

Q. It must disappoint you Peter Carter isn't here to witness this?

ROGER FEDERER: Oh, for sure. But I hope he sees it from somewhere, you know...

would be a dream.

Q. Must be a tremendous thing to win a Grand Slam at any stage. Is there something special, do you think, that the first one has come here?

ROGER FEDERER: Oh, yeah, you know. People were always asking me, because I'm an all-around player that can play on any surface - I've won this year alone already titles on all surfaces, you know - so people were asking me, "Which Grand Slam do you think you have the best chance," you know.

After the loss of last year, I started saying, "You know, maybe Australian Open and US Open, I don't know."

Now, to win Wimbledon as a first Grand Slam, you know, obviously now I don't hope it's gonna be my last, you know, but it is, it's definitely for me the best one to win. I'm so happy.

Q. You've won Wimbledon, which is a pretty good tournament. But when are you ever going to win Basel?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah (laughter). I haven't won that one yet, huh? Maybe this year, who knows (smiling).

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post #32 of 5000 (permalink) Old 07-06-2003, 07:20 PM
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Re: Roger news and articles

thanks a lot for the interview
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post #33 of 5000 (permalink) Old 07-06-2003, 09:49 PM
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Serve and volley

Federer's finesse offers new hope for old order
Posted: Sunday July 06, 2003 1:39 PM

LONDON (Reuters) -- Wimbledon champion Roger Federer restored the tradition of serve and volley tennis at the All England Club on Sunday.

A year after Lleyton Hewitt stormed to the title without hitting a single volley winner against fellow baseliner David Nalbandian, Federer displayed his sublime skills from the net to become the first Swiss man to lift a Grand Slam title.

The fact that Federer's victim, Australian Mark Philippoussis, was also an exponent of attacking net play must have come as a relief to the organizers of the event, who had been accused of slowing down the slick surface.

"I enjoy watching myself play my game because it's so different. I hope you guys also enjoyed it," an emotional Federer told the Centre Court crowd after he had treated them to an exhibition of style and finesse in his 7-6, 6-2, 7-6 victory.

Despite Pete Sampras' winning seven Wimbledon titles between 1993 and 2000, serve and volley has been a dying art form over the past decade. Nine of the world's top 10 players prefer to do battle from the back of the court.

Last year's final at the grass-court Grand Slam between two baseliners, the first since Bjorn Borg beat Jimmy Connors in the 1978 title match, had the purists lamenting the future of the sport.

Three-time Wimbledon winner Boris Becker was one of a host of former champions so concerned by the lack of volleyers in the modern game that they sent a letter to the sports' ruling body this week calling for a reduction in the size of racket heads.

But Federer and Philippoussis laid to rest fears that the premier grass-court event was being hijacked wholesale by the baseliners.

"Finally you see a player with old technique; he plays the serve and volley tennis and plays the slice and doesn't need the 140 mph serve to succeed," Becker said while commenting on Federer's artistry on Sunday.

From the moment Federer rushed to the net on the first point of the match, he dished out a class in old-school tennis to Philippoussis.

With his deft touches and acute angled volleys -- he even hit one from just inside the baseline -- the 21-year-old ripped apart Philippoussis's Wimbledon dreams in one hour and 56 minutes.

"He's one of the great players out there," said the vanquished Australian, who matched his opponent with 20 points won at the net.

"He's a competent serve and volleyer and showed today that he can do everything on the court."

As world No. 5 Federer, fell to his knees in his moment of triumph, he had the traditionalists cheering around the world once again.

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post #34 of 5000 (permalink) Old 07-06-2003, 10:06 PM
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Q. The tears, Roger, where did they come from?

ROGER FEDERER: They come from Switzerland (laughter).

The Tennis Refuge

You will be missed, Michel Kratochvil!
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post #35 of 5000 (permalink) Old 07-06-2003, 10:24 PM
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Tears At Fed Time


Sunday, July 6, 2003

Roger Federer dedicated his Wimbledon victory today to "everyone who has helped me".

The 21-year-old Swiss defeated Mark Philippoussis from Australia, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2, 7-6 (7-3), in one hour and 56 minutes on Centre Court before falling to his knees and bursting into tears. Emotion overcame the fourth seed at the mention of his support group. Coach Peter Lundgren and girlfriend Miroslava Vavrinek were in the guest box, friends were elsewhere in the crowd while the late Peter Carter, who also coached Federer, was in the new champion's mind.

Federer said: "Peter has been one of the most important people in my career. I guess we would have had a big party together if he was still here.I hope he sees it from somewhere. It would be a dream.

"When I won Junior wimbledon in 1998 I was invited to the official dinner but Peter and myself decided I had to prepare for a tournament in Switzerland at Gstaad instead. I still regret that but it is okay because I can go to the official dinner this year.

"Peter is definitely included in the group of people I want to thank. But I don't want to give this to one person because this is too big of a victory. I would like to thank everyone who has helped throughout my career from coaches to friends to condition trainers to stringers to masseurs. This is something for them."

It was a dream come true. He said: "I just couldn't believe it. I didn't really know what to do in the first moment. I thought maybe I won't cry but it is kind of difficult in such a big match and in such an unbelievable stadium where the people are so nice.

"Then you see the trophy and it is so beautiful. Gold. You don't see gold trophies very often. You look at it, hold it. It is something you've always dreamed of. So you feel 'am I dreaming?'"

Three-times champion Boris Becker said after the victory that Federer would win many more Wimbledons, with the inference that the Swiss could try to emulate his idol Pete Sampras's run of seven victories. He said: "This is one of his seven. I'm just happy to be on the board, to be part of history at Wimbledon. It's incredible."

Written by Mike Donovan

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post #36 of 5000 (permalink) Old 07-06-2003, 10:50 PM
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*sigh* i can't stop. lol

Federer Dominates in Wimbledon Final

LONDON, July 6 — As he walked through the entrance to Center Court for the most important match of his life, Roger Federer, like all the would-be champions before him, passed under the words of Rudyard Kipling:

If you can meet with triumph and disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same

Though he is only 21, Federer does not have much more to learn about Wimbledon. He proved that conclusively and beautifully over the last two weeks by hitting winners under great pressure from the backcourt and the frontcourt and many other grassy places in between. But he still has more to learn about meeting Kipling's challenge.

When he met with tennis disaster on Center Court here a year ago by being upset in the very first round to Mario Ancic, Federer walked, dry-eyed, to the net and shook the young Croatian's hand. When he met with tennis triumph on the same famous stretch of lawn today by beating Mark Philippoussis in straight sets in the final without allowing the Australian the professional courtesy of a break point, he dropped to his knees, thrust his arms in the air and was soon sobbing in his chair after shaking the bigger but not better man's hand.

There would be more tears when Federer made his comments to the crowd, more tears when he held up the trophy that he had watched others hold up on television when he was growing up near the lovely Swiss city of Basel.

But then why should that be surprising? Federer has an artist's touch on a tennis court: be it made of French clay, Australian rubber, American cement or English grass. Why shouldn't he have a sensitive soul, as well?

"I've cried a few times on big occasions," he said after his 7-6 (7-5), 6-2, 7-6 (7-3) victory put an end to discussion of his inability to rise to the biggest occasions. "Somehow in the first moment, I don't think I will, but then I just can't keep it like this. This tournament means so much to me."

He won his first title in 1998 by winning the junior event. He made his first headlines here in 2001 by beating seven-time champion Pete Sampras in the fourth round on Center Court. Now, after playing two of the better back-to-back matches imaginable, he has won his first Grand Slam singles title here, too.

But one suspects that Federer may also end up meaning a lot to Wimbledon. He might not be the 17-year-old symbol of a nation like Boris Becker was when he won the title; he might not exude the Nordic mystery of Borg or have the Big Apple mouth of John McEnroe. But there is something magnetic about his tennis: an attractive blend of smooth moving and creative thinking; of tact and force that has the potential to cut across borders.

But then he has already broken down barriers in his small, occasionally fractious country: growing up in the German-speaking part of the country but moving to the French-speaking section to train in his early teens and learning that language, too, despite being mocked for his accents. He speaks English well, too.

The French sportswriter Philippe Bouin of L'Equipe, who has seen many Wimbledons and champions, thinks Federer is a mix of Sampras and the telegenic Frenchman Henri Leconte. Sampras had the same innate grace in motion and self-contained presence; Leconte had the same ability to generate great velocity with a rapier-like flash of his racket.

"Oh, this is, you know, just one of his seven; I'm so far away," Federer said of Sampras. "I'm just happy to be on the board. It's so nice if I look at all the players who have won here. A lot have been idols to me. Just to be on the board with Borg and these people, it's just nice to be a part of history at Wimbledon and in Grand Slams in general."

The unseeded Philippoussis has yet to carve out the same sort of place for himself, although he did lead Australia to the Davis Cup title in 1999. But his presence on Center Court today was a reflection of a doggedness that many of his former coaches might not have suspected he possessed. The big, athletic Australian has always had the talent and the power, but he had to fight through three knee injuries to finally make it into a Wimbledon final. Though he beat No. 1-ranked Andre Agassi in the fourth round here in five sets and survived a five-set struggle in the quarterfinals against Alexander Popp, he could not find a way to push Federer out of his wide comfort zone.

"Obviously, he is very talented; he can do everything," Philippoussis said. "On the court, he's comfortable with serve and volleying, as he showed today. So simple, you know, when you have a great day. Everything looks great. Everything's perfect. So he definitely deserved today."

This final had a similar plot line to Federer's remarkable victory over Andy Roddick in the semifinals: It turned for good in the first-set tiebreaker.

Neither Philippoussis nor Federer had a break point in the opening 12 games, but Philippoussis cracked first in the tiebreaker: going for a typically monstrous second serve and double faulting to go down 4-6. He saved the first set point with a first serve that Federer could not handle, but he could not save the second: running around a backhand and blasting a forehand into the net.

Riding the wave, Federer won the next three games to take command of the second set, and though Philippoussis's resistance stiffened again in the third, he faltered again under Federer's pressure in the tiebreaker to fall behind 1-6.

By then, it seemed clear to everybody except Philippoussis that Federer was going to get his hands on the bigger trophy, and though the Australian won the next two points, he could not win the third: hitting a backhand return into the net that deprived the Swiss star of his balance and his composure.

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post #37 of 5000 (permalink) Old 09-14-2003, 01:06 PM
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I thought you all might enjoy this article about Roger and his commitment to Davis Cup.

Federer has Swiss mountain to climb
By Linda Pearce
September 14, 2003
The Sun-Herald

"Roger Federer. He's supposed to be the next great player," the cover of an American tennis magazine announced before Wimbledon this year. "So what's he waiting for?"

The championships, as it happens. Federer's answer was so convincing in his defeats of Andy Roddick and Mark Philippoussis that the tennis world unanimously hailed its next superstar.

At last, a performance worthy of his sublime talent. Finally, evidence that the signs of genius recognised long ago by his Australian mentor, the late Peter Carter, were genuine. Yet it is significant, and this week pertinent, that for all the grand slam failures that preceded Federer's momentous coming-of-age, the pressures of Davis Cup play had not proved equally burdensome.

As a 17-year-old in 1999, Federer struggled in his first two ties, before upstaging Philippoussis to open the first round in Zurich the following year. After Federer combined with Lorenzo Manta to take the doubles, it took fellow teenager Lleyton Hewitt four sets in the reverse singles to force a live fifth rubber won by a hobbling Philippoussis in what would be his last tie for three years.

Since then, Federer has won 12 of his 13 Davis Cup singles matches, and lost only one set in the past nine. Like Hewitt, he is always willing and available, usually playing doubles as well. Indeed, so keen is Federer that he admitted post-Roddick and pre-Philippoussis at Wimbledon in July that "I'm thinking a little bit already about that upcoming match in Davis Cup, you know".

Now, with that golden Wimbledon trophy sitting on his shelf in Basel, he is thinking about it a lot. For a semi-final that starts at Rod Laver Arena on Friday, the world No.3 arrived on Thursday, more than two days before the Australian No.1.

"I came here early to join the team and just get used to the conditions," he said, stressing, too, his Lleyton-like commitment to national duty.

"That's why I'm playing for my country; that's why I'm coming here early to prepare, and I just enjoy playing in a team because it can get quite lonely sometimes on the tour.

"Here you are together, reunion, with a team, with players and coaches and I really enjoy it. So I'm proud to play for Switzerland."

Swiss captain and Federer's sometime doubles partner Marc Rosset is thrilled to have him, for with Federer - and a doubles assistant - lies the only realistic chance of an upset and historic second finals appearance. For all that Martina Hingis achieved, Rosset and Jakob Hlasek had been Switzerland's most successful male tennis players.

The land-locked country of banks, watches and clocks has won the America's Cup, and adores ice hockey and skiing, but two of its biggest sports stars are athlete Andre Bucher and orienteerer Simone Luder.

And now there is Federer, the second child of Robert, a chemical technician, and Lynette, a native South African, who introduced their only son to tennis at the age of eight. In no time he was hurling racquets about and behaving badly, which is hard to imagine these days, for there are few more relaxed or pleasant players in the game.

Indeed, one of the few times he has lost control of his emotions was during the Wimbledon presentation, when his blubbering set off a chain reaction that included Martina Navratilova and Kim Clijsters while they sat watching from the locker room preparing to play doubles finals.

The tears were not what Federer had wanted, but were nothing he could help.

"I knew I had the game, you know," he said afterwards. "I always believed."

Even so, the expectation is that, with the pressure valve unscrewed, the full force of his majestic talents will now be unleashed. Never mind that at Flushing Meadows recently the pre-tournament favourite suffered a fifth successive loss to his Argentinian nemesis, David Nalbandian, in the round of 16.

Federer is still the only player to have won a title on every surface this year and is generally considered the best equipped of the emerging generation to win all four grand slam titles.

"The guy has everything, but he can still improve everything," says his coach, Peter Lundgren.

Thirty Swiss journalists are expected in town this week for the Davis Cup tie between Australia and, effectively, Federer. Yet if Wimbledon was any guide, and he is truly the next great player, the wait has been worthwhile.
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post #38 of 5000 (permalink) Old 09-14-2003, 03:21 PM
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thanks for this, Dagmar!

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post #39 of 5000 (permalink) Old 09-15-2003, 09:55 AM
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Re: Roger news and articles

yeap really nice one!!
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post #40 of 5000 (permalink) Old 09-21-2003, 07:54 PM
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Looking Out For #2...

Tennis: Davis-Cup - Die Suche nach der Nummer Zwei
Die knappe Niederlage gegen Australien hat die Diskussion über die Nummer 2 im Schweizer Davis-Cup-Team neu entfacht. Gegen einen Konkurrenten mit zwei Einzelspielern aus der Weltklasse ist ein Roger Federer auf die Dauer zu wenig.
Die Suche nach einer valablen Nummer 2 gestaltet sich äusserst schwierig. Michel Kratochvil ist ein weiteres Mal durchgefallen. Der Auftritt gegen Lleyton Hewitt hat die Limiten des Berners erneut aufgedeckt.

Gleichwohl dürfte wegen Mangels an Alternativen bis auf Weiteres kein Weg am Ostermundiger vorbei führen. Captain Marc Rosset traut sich vernünftigerweise im Herbst seiner Karriere zu Recht keine Einsätze in Davis-Cup-Einzeln mehr zu und stellt sich mittlerweile sogar fürs Doppel in Frage.

George Bastl spielt wie Yves Allegro in den Überlegungen Rossets wohl höchstens in Bezug aufs Doppel eine Rolle. Ivo Heuberger, der sich wie Bastl selbst in Challenger-Turnieren schwer tut, scheint für höhere (Einzel-)Aufgaben ebenfalls nicht bereit zu sein.

Bliebe Stanislas Wawrinka. Dem Waadtländer Youngster mit polnischen Wurzeln, der in Melbourne erstmals Davis-Cup-Luft schnupperte, muss sicher noch Zeit eingeräumt werden. Wenn seine Entwicklung so weiter verläuft wie in dieser Saison, könnte der 18-Jährige aber schon bald zum Thema werden.

Das Geld, mit dem das Team dem French-Open-Sieger der Junioren den Flug nach Australien berappt hat, dürfte jedenfalls gut angelegt sein.

Trotz der aktuellen Umstände im Team darf die Schweizer Vertretung im Davis Cup nicht auf Roger Federer beschränkt werden. Im sportlichen Bereich mag dies zutreffen, aber für den Baselbieter ist das Team mehr als nur eine "Gruppe seiner Angestellten", wie es in der vergangenen Woche in Melbourne oft überspitzt formuliert worden ist.

Federer betont immer wieder, wie wichtig ihm die Entourage sei und wie wohl er sich innerhalb der Gruppe fühle. Dass dies keine leeren Worte und Anstandsfloskeln sind, zeigt der Wimbledon-Sieger immer wieder aufs Neue.

Nur ein zufriedener Federer ist fähig, Mal für Mal im Davis Cup dem immensen Druck standzuhalten und Topleistungen am Laufmeter abzuliefern.

Dass dies in Melbourne nicht geklappt hat, war besonders ärgerlich, zumal der Final in der BernArena nicht nur den Spielern, sondern auch dem Verband Swiss Tennis sehr gelegen gekommen wäre -- nicht nur aus sportlicher, sondern auch aus finanzieller Sicht.

Aus der dreitägigen Veranstaltung im Heimstadion des SC Bern hätte mit einem Gewinn von 1,2 bis 1,5 Millionen Franken gerechnet werden können. Das Geld wäre bei Swiss Tennis höchst willkommen gewesen, zumal allein die Davis-Cup-Begegnungen in diesem Jahr in Holland, Frankreich und jetzt Australien ein Loch von 280 000 Franken in die Verbandskasse gerissen haben.

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post #41 of 5000 (permalink) Old 09-22-2003, 02:43 AM
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Re: Roger news and articles

It would be nice if one of the youngsters was groomed. But surely Kratochvil is better than Wawrinka.
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post #42 of 5000 (permalink) Old 09-22-2003, 09:17 AM
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Heinz Gunthardt was saying on the sports news last night that perhaps Wawrinka should practice more with Roger, the exposure and experience would help him much.

But only time will tell if he can be player #2 for future DC matches.

I saw parts of Michel's match last Friday and he wasn't bad, i thought his groundstrokes were much better, but of course against someone like Hewitt you have to maintain your consistency.

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post #43 of 5000 (permalink) Old 01-04-2004, 06:14 AM
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Federer takes aim at Roddick
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - (KRT) - It's one day before the start of the 2004 tennis season, and Roger Federer is in no hurry to whack that first serve.

For the first time since his first full pro season in 2000, he is not scheduled to play a warmup tournament before the Australian Open. He's neither scheduled into Doha, Qatar, which begins Monday, nor into Sydney, which starts its seven-day run a week later, ending a day before the start of the tour's first Grand Slam.

In addition, Federer still is without a coach, having jettisoned happy-go-lucky Peter Lundgren late last season, though he still has not satisfactorily explained why. About all he has confessed to is that, "I've been thinking about it some time."

Federer, who won the Masters and finished the year at No. 2, is not the first player to dump a coach after hitting or nearly hitting the top. Marcelo Rios once excused Larry Stefanki, who had helped him get to No. 1, and Lleyton Hewitt two years ago fired fellow Aussie Darren Cahill after reaching No. 1.

Despite his best year, in which he won his first Slam (Wimbledon) and the Masters and recorded a 78-17 record, Federer could be searching for someone to drive him harder physically. The corpulent Lundgren is an excellent teacher of the game, but he's never left people with the impression that a high fitness level is No. 1 on his agenda.

Certainly, Federer looks fit and has an excellent record in three-set matches (33-8 in 2003). But since he beat Pete Sampras at Wimbledon in 2001 in a five-set gripper, he has lost his past four five-set matches, including three in 2003 (Aussie Open to David Nalbandian; Gstaad to Jiri Novak; Davis Cup to Hewitt).

No one who has met Lundgren wanted to see him fired. He's affable, knowledgeable and a great tour character. But this may be yet another signal that Federer is determined to push Andy Roddick out of the No. 1 spot, and Roddick vs. Federer has the stuff to become a great, long-lasting rivalry.

They met three times last season, all in semifinals, with Federer winning at Wimbledon, Roddick at the Masters event in Montreal and Federer again at the Masters Championships at Houston. Federer leads overall 5-1.

Federer isn't scheduled to play until the Aussie Open (Jan. 19-Feb. 1), but he could take a wild card into Sydney if he changes his mind.

The rest of the top 10:

No. 1 Roddick, of Boca Raton, opens this week at Doha; No. 3 Juan Carlos Ferrero will start at the Aussie Open; No. 4 Andre Agassi will start at the Open, though he'll play some exhibitions before the Slam; No. 5 Guillermo Coria was to start at Doha but has pulled an abductor muscle in his leg and is out for a couple of weeks; No. 6 Rainer Schuettler plays Doha; No. 7 Carlos Moya goes to Chennai, India, which begins this week; No. 8 Nalbandian plays Adelaide, which also begins this week; No. 9 Mark Philippoussis and No. 10 Sebastien Grosjean of Boca play Doha.

On the men's side:

_Two players coming back from injury have exceptional games. One is Tommy Haas, who has been off with shoulder problems more than a year. The other is Guillermo Canas, the gritty Argentine whose wrist injury finished him early in 2003. Haas is 3-0 against Roddick.

_Tim Henman began to recover his lost game late last season, has split with Stefanki and now is working part-time with former Pete Sampras coach Paul Annacone. He's one of the last of the serve-and-volley players.

_Philippoussis' runner-up finish at Wimbledon showed he has found a fitness formula that will keep him out of rehab for a long stretch of time. With his big game, he still has Grand Slam title potential.

_Young Americans to watch: No. 20 Mardy Fish of Tampa, No. 30 Robby Ginepri of Marietta, Ga., and No. 33 Taylor Dent of Newport Beach, Calif.

"What kind of shape am I in now? Well round is a shape." said Roddick with a laugh. "I had a very detailed retirement plan, and I feel like I've met every aspect of it: a lot of golf, a lot of carbs, a lot of fried food, and some booze, occasionally — I've been completely committed ... The results have shown."

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post #44 of 5000 (permalink) Old 01-04-2004, 06:02 PM
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hmm never thought of the fitness drive as a reason why roger ended things with peter... but then again, isn't that what his fitness trainer is for i think it's best explained by "he needed change." it's pretty simple. peter may have stopped pushing roger in different directions, and that's what he needs. it's almost admirable that roger recognizes this considering how easily the game comes to him.

anyway-- all the best of luck in 04'.

why isn't he playing sydney? i've never really liked how it's 3 straight weeks in the blistering heat, but it's a little odd with how full of a schedule he plays that this one isn't included. oh well, he's got hong kong...
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post #45 of 5000 (permalink) Old 01-09-2004, 04:42 AM
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Yet another tennis legend is creaming his pants over Federer. There's some nice quotes here you can add to the Player Comments on Roger thread.

Now...who's left that hasn't jumped on the Fed bandwagon yet?

Rafter Rates Roger No. 1

By Richard Pagliaro

Former No. 1 Patrick Rafter knows what it takes to reach the top of tennis. And though Roger Federer is second in the world to top-ranked Andy Roddick, the retired Rafter rates Federer's authoritative all-court attack as second to none.

"We've seen the emergence of Roger Federer," Rafter told reporters. "He is the greatest, most complete player I have seen. He's going to be awesome. Obviously Lleyton (Hewitt) winning Wimbledon, too."

The 31-year-old Rafter made his return to tournament tennis at the AAPT Championships in Adelaide serving doubles duty with his long-time friend Joshua Eagle. The pair won the first set before dropping a 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 decision to Vince Spadea and Mark Merklein.

It was Rafter's first meaningful match since December of 2001 when he teamed with Lleyton Hewitt in a losing doubles effort against Frenchmen Fabrice Santoro and Cedric Pioline as France stunned host Australia, 3-2, to claim the 2001 Davis Cup championship. Rafter will renew his partnership with Eagle in the doubles draw of the Australian Open later this month.

In the two years he's been away, Rafter said the speed of shots and pace of play has dramatically increased.

"Even over the past two years, everyone's hitting it harder," Rafter said. "I'm glad I'm not playing any more. This is as far as I go. As long as I'm playing a bit of golf and a bit of tennis, I'm enjoying myself. Just walking around the courts here, seeing how hard the guys are hitting the ball. I know a lot of the guys are using this type of string called Big Banger, or something like that. It's a string that allows them to hit it very, very hard, and the ball sort of drops into the court all of the time. It's a string that creates a lot of spin."

Last January, Rafter announced his official retirement from tennis, concluding a career that saw him claim consecutive U.S. Open crowns, advance to the Wimbledon final two straight years (2000 and 2001), reach the No. 1 rank on July 26th, 1999 and capture 11 career titles.

The man whose relentless serve-and-volley style, good-natured disposition and self-deprecating sense of humor made him one of Australia’s most popular public figures — he was selected Australian Of the Year two years ago — said he had lost his desire to compete on the pro circuit. Chronic shoulder and arm injuries restricted Rafter's schedule in the final year of his career and contributed to his decision to retire. Since then, Rafter has rarely appeared at many tennis events, focusing on his family life with long-time girlfriend Lara Feltham and the couple's 17-month-old son, Joshua.

Though he came up slightly short in realizing two of his tennis dreams — winning a Davis Cup championship and a Wimbledon crown — Rafter said he called it quits without any real regrets.

"I just found there were so many other great players out there. You have had to beat so many good players to win a Grand Slam," Rafter said. "I had that opportunity (to win Wimbledon) against Goran (Ivanisevic), anyway, when Pete (Sampras) wasn't even there. I've had my opportunities and the ball didn't fall exactly where I needed it to fall. Pete was a great player, no doubting that, but in the last few years, he wasn't the same player he was the years before. There were a lot of windows there."

The windows were open, but the door is closed on a complete comeback. Though he is playing doubles at the Australian Open with Eagle, Rafter ruled out a complete return to tennis.

He exuded extraordinary effort every time he took the court and even in defeat, Rafter was an admirable adversary to opponents. In the aftermath of his heartbreaking 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 2-6, 9-7 loss to Ivanisevic in the 2001 Wimbledon final that left the colorful Croatian weeping in exhilaration, Rafter was characteristically classy.

"It was one of those matches that could have gone either way," said Rafter. "It went Goran's way today. Someone had to lose and I was the loser again. I'm a culprit of writing Goran off a few years ago, but he proved everyone wrong. He played great tennis. He is a deserving champion."

In addition to succumbing to chronic shoulder strain, Rafter admits that the persistent pressure to produce victories suffocated his psyche and played a part in his decision to depart.

"I was actually starting to lose my nerve a little bit as well," Rafter conceded. "I wasn't enjoying all the expectation and pressure on me before matches, whereas before I used to really enjoy it and it was good fun to go out there.That side of things really caught up with me. I didn't enjoy the feeling of waiting to go on to court."

The two-time U.S. Open champion said he spent much of his final season feeling the obligation to succeed was oppressive to his play. His shoulder pain diminished his serve and the pressure deterred his nerve.

"It was pretty well the whole of the last year I played," Rafter said. "And I did find it hard at smaller tournaments when you had incentive (appearance money) to go to these tournaments and they're expecting you to win every match and you could come up against someone like Vince Spadea right now and not knowing exactly if you're gonna win or not, regardless of who it is. And if you lose, you just feel like you've let the tournament down, let yourself down and all those pressures sort of compounded throughout the last year that I played. At Davis Cup matches, too, I started really getting nervous all well. The whole pressure was on you to win and I didn't handle that as well as I could have."

Widely respected for his sportsmanship and class on the court — Rafter reversed a line call against himself in a second-set tiebreaker against Andrei Cherkasov at Adelaide in 1997 that virtually handed the Russian the match — the affable Aussie was one of the most popular players with fellow pros. American James Blake credited Rafter’s encouraging comments after beating Blake in the third round of Cincinnati in 2001 ("Now do you believe you can beat me? Because you can," Blake recalled Rafter saying during the post-match handshake) for instilling confidence in him.

The third youngest of nine children, the Queensland, Australia native began playing tennis at the age of five with his father Jim and three older brothers. Though he was small for his age, Rafter was a relentless net rusher from the very start of his junior career. During the early stages of his teenage years, Rafter was routinely routed by other Australian juniors and contemplated quitting tennis for a while.

"For a couple of years when I was 14 to 16; those couple of years I could hardly win a match (after) being one of the best players in Australia as a 13-year-old," Rafter recalled. "Many times I thought of giving it away then. Everyone was too strong for me then. I was a late bloomer."

He turned pro in 1991, but wasn’t exactly an instant winner. Rafter refined his game playing Challengers, lower-level ATP events and an abundance of doubles matches. He beat South African Wayne Ferreira to win his first career ATP singles title at Manchester in 1994. Injuries slowed Rafter’s progress in 1995 and 1996, but he responded by reaching six finals and winning his first career Grand Slam at the U.S. Open in 1997.

He successfully defended his title the next year with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 6-0 triumph over compatriot Mark Philippoussis and donated half of his champion’s check to charity for the second consecutive year.

His risk-taking style made him a popular player for fans and Rafter’s sense of adventure wasn’t confined to the tennis court: he tried bungee cord jumping, rides motorbikes and spends some of his spare time surfing.

The pony-tail, which later gave way to a buzz cut, scraggly beard and ever-present face paint of zinc oxide were Rafter trademarks as well as his penchant for saying "Sorry, Mate" after catching his errant service toss. It was Rafter’s sense of fair play and politeness to fellow pros, ball kids, fans and members of the media that made him unique. During his last appearance at the U.S. Open, Rafter routinely stood outside the practice courts for a half hour signing autographs for fans.
Fans will undoubtedly line up to see Rafter's signature shots at the Australian Open later this month.

"What kind of shape am I in now? Well round is a shape." said Roddick with a laugh. "I had a very detailed retirement plan, and I feel like I've met every aspect of it: a lot of golf, a lot of carbs, a lot of fried food, and some booze, occasionally — I've been completely committed ... The results have shown."

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