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Roger news and articles

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Minnie
01-02-2006, 12:57 PM
"He is without doubt the leader of a new generation of champions in all sports early in this new century."

:bigclap: :bigclap: :bigclap: :worship: :worship: :worship:

nobama
01-02-2006, 01:17 PM
Federer is the only the second tennis player to win the L'Equipe award in its 25-year history after Andre Agassi in 1999.

Wow. And Roger's never won the French. Andre did in 1999 (although he only had to beat one decent player - Carlos Moya, who was ranked #4 at the time - in the finals he beat Medvedev, who was ranked #100 at the time!)

This is very cool. :cool: If our dimwit newspapers and sports outlets can't recognize him, at least someone else can.

yanchr
01-02-2006, 02:19 PM
"He is without doubt the leader of a new generation of champions in all sports early in this new century."

:bigclap: :bigclap: :bigclap: :worship: :worship: :worship:
So true, or maybe not only in sports :worship: :worship: :worship:

Thanks Luna :wavey:

SUKTUEN
01-02-2006, 02:34 PM
Roger is the BEST SPORT MAN of France newspaper :D

1sun
01-02-2006, 02:45 PM
Amerin, why are you asking here? :devil: Go to GM and ask that dude Galaxysomething. He sits on the forum 24 hours and gives non stop "hot updates" about Nadal. A couple of days ago he proclaimed Nadal to be in the worst shape out of "the rest of them". So, Roger and other players must have been sending him their off season training reports. :devil:
lol thats so true. its like he wants everbody to know just in case he loses a match

RonE
01-02-2006, 02:54 PM
1. Will Roger Federer win the calendar year Grand Slam?

No, but the dominant Swiss No. 1 will win the only Grand Slam title that still eludes him, the French Open. Federer — who's won five Grand Slam titles during the last two years — is finally showing some physical wear and tear, but mentally, he still has a tremendous amount of hunger and wants to prove that he's the best of all time.

The 24-year-old can't do that convincingly unless he wins the only major played on clay. With the right amount of patience and varied attack, he has the goods to reign in Paris. He'll also win the Australian Open again, but will have his winning streaks stopped at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.

I would more than happily settle for a French Open title even if it comes at the expense of not winning any other tournament throughout the year.

nobama
01-02-2006, 02:58 PM
In that L'Equipe article they refer to Mirka as Roger's fiancée. Interesting...

http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a377/jsnash/rf_zurich.jpg
Caption: C’est au bras de sa fiancée et en toute simplicité que Roger Federer est arrivé dans un grand hôtel de Zurich

SUKTUEN
01-02-2006, 03:14 PM
I LOVE ITTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT~!!!!!!!!! :eek: :eek: :eek:

nobama
01-02-2006, 03:37 PM
I LOVE ITTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT~!!!!!!!!! :eek: :eek: :eek:Ah, but in the interview Roger says girlfriend....he says something like he's happy to still be very much in love with his girlfriend...

SUKTUEN
01-02-2006, 03:40 PM
Ah, but in the interview Roger says girlfriend....he says something like he's happy to still be very much in love with his girlfriend...
that is good , why you said " but"? :p

nobama
01-02-2006, 03:41 PM
that is good , why you said " but"? :pBecause they used the word fiancée, BUT Roger did not.

bokehlicious
01-02-2006, 03:43 PM
Caption: C’est au bras de sa fiancée et en toute simplicité que Roger Federer est arrivé dans un grand hôtel de Zurich

In French using "fiancée" doesn't mean that they'll get married. It's usually used just for someone who share your life ;)

SUKTUEN
01-02-2006, 03:47 PM
oh~~I understand now. because Roger do not marry yet :devil:

casillas_girl
01-02-2006, 05:07 PM
Like "Novia" in spanish

Puschkin
01-02-2006, 06:15 PM
I would more than happily settle for a French Open title even if it comes at the expense of not winning any other tournament throughout the year.

So would I, but the man himself doesnot seem to agree with us.

Federer would not trade his Wimbledon trophy
Wimbledon is world number one Roger Federer's favourite tournament and he would rather triumph there again than win a first French Open. Asked whether he would swap his Wimbledon crown for the only grand slam title to elude him, Federer told Monday's issue of sports L'Equipe: "I should but no.

"Wimbledon will always be closer to my heart, even if I realise that winning at Roland Garros would enhance my resume," said the Swiss, who captured his third straight Wimbledon title last year.

Federer was named 2005 Sportsman of the Year by L'Equipe ahead of Italy's world motorcycling champion Valentino Rossi and Spain's Formula One champion Fernando Alonso.

Seven-times Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong came 21st in the vote by journalists of L'Equipe, the sports daily that published a story alleging the American had taken the banned blood booster EPO (erythropoietin) in his 1999 Tour-winning campaign.

Armstrong, who retired after the 2005 race, has denied ever taking performance-enhancing drugs.

Federer, who lost only four matches last season, said: "I am proud of my season. Losing only four matches is amazing when you look at the level of men's tennis."

The highlight of his 2005 run, he said, was beating Andy Roddick in the Wimbledon final.

"That day, I had no doubts about my game," he said. "Feeling that is exceptional. Sometimes, it strikes me from the first game and I know there is no chance I might lose."

Source: http://www.eurosport.com/home/pages/v4/l0/s57/e11408/sport_lng0_spo57_evt11408_sto808500.shtml

Minnie
01-02-2006, 07:16 PM
I just saw this on the Eurosport page ... and have to say it brought tears to my eyes - because he said everything I personally would have wanted him to say.

yanchr
01-02-2006, 07:45 PM
Federer would not trade his Wimbledon trophy
Neither would I :p

yanchr
01-02-2006, 07:48 PM
http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topics/article.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=67180&version=1&template_id=49&parent_id=29

Federer Express favourite to speed past his rivals
Published: Monday, 2 January, 2006, 11:42 AM Doha Time
By Anil John
ROGER Federer stepped out of the Doha airport on New Year’s Day, looked at the shining sun and absorbed its early morning warmth. Then, in a manner that sounded almost like a warning to his rivals, he declared, “I am feeling great and excited.”

The 2006 ATP season that begins today with tournaments in Doha, Chennai and Adelaide, has brought along its share of hope, anticipation and angst. And despite dominating the game for two years, even the World No.1 cannot claim to be immune to the emotions that run through the minds of most players when confronted with the future, especially considering the unpredictability of modern-day sport.

At 24, Federer has accumulated enough silverware and so much goodwill that he could easily afford to retire and still be counted among the legends of the game. But such is the allure of competition and the desire to conquer new frontiers that any question of resting on one’s laurels would be deemed an insult to the sport, besides sending his legions of fans into a state of irreparable shock.

“It’s a great feeling going into the new season and I am excited,” Federer told the Gulf Times after he was received at the airport by Qatar Tennis Federation President Sheikh Mohammed bin Faleh al-Thani and other officials.
“No matter what your past achievements are there’s always a bit of suspense when you start off again,” he added. But, almost in the same breath, he wondered whether there is such a thing as a new season.

“Really, it’s never ending these days the way tennis is played,” said Federer. “Sometimes it doesn’t feel like you are making a new start.”

After the season-ending Masters Cup in Shanghai, in which Federer tasted a rare defeat, at the hands of Argentine David Nalbandian, the maestro had a few days’ rest before heading to Australia to train with coach Tony Roche for 2006.

“I was in Sydney spending time with Tony because it’s very important to get into rhythm again,” Federer said. “I feel good and the ankle problem I had towards the end of the last season has healed.” :bounce: :bounce:

Federer is happy to be in Doha for the million dollar ExxonMobil Qatar Open which he won last year before going on to stamp his class on the world scene finishing 2005 with 11 titles, including the Wimbledon and U.S. Open crowns, taking his Grand Slam tally to six.

After winning three Grand Slam crowns in 2004, Federer became the first man in 67 years to win Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in consecutive seasons. His six major titles so far ties him with Stefan Edberg and Boris Becker among Open era players and is just one short of John McEnroe and Mats Wilander.
Pete Sampras is the overall leader in the Grand Slam stakes with a whopping 13 titles out of a total of 64, but Federer can overtake those numbers by the time he is 27 provided he maintains the form he has shown over the past two seasons.

Curiously though, Federer’s four losses last season were all memorable. It began with the heartbreak of a semifinal defeat to Marat Safin at the Australian Open after he held a match-point and culminated in a five-set defeat to Nalbandian in Shanghai, the Argentine fighting back from two sets down.

In between Rafael Nadal prevented him from advancing to his first French Open final by defeating him in the semifinals to herald what could be an exciting rivalry in the years to come.

Earlier, in April, Federer fell to rising French star Richard Gasquet at Monte Carlo. Gasquet could meet Federer in the semifinals at the Doha event.
Federer has so far won 33 titles and will be starting his campaign in Doha against up and coming Czech player Ivo Minar, who was a victim of the Swiss ace’s mastery three times in the past year.

Russian Nikolay Davydenko, the World No. 5, is the only other player in the top 10 starting the year in Doha with former champions Younes El Aynaoui and Fabrice Santoro also in the mix.

El Aynaoui, however, is attempting a comeback of sorts after sitting out for most of 2004 with a foot injury and the Qatar Tennis Federation, keen to rehabilitate him, offered him a wild card. Also, the Moroccan pin-up’s appearance ensures a strong, vibrant crowd at the Khalifa Tennis Complex, which has been given a makeover for the tournament.

British No. 1 Tim Henman also makes another visit to Qatar where he lost in the final twice much to the disappointment of his fans. After an extremely forgettable last year, the 31-year-old is keen to give his all and reclaim some ground he lost to the rising Andy Murray in the British popularity stakes.

Incidentally, Henman holds the best record against Federer with six victories out of 10 matches, but most of those successes came the Briton’s way when the Swiss was struggling finding his feet on the circuit.

But as things stand, there can be no doubt about who is the clear favourite. “I amaze myself that I can back it up one tournament after another, keep on playing well,” Federer had said at the U.S. Open. “I wonder why I always play so well, especially on the big occasions,” he wondered.

Almost all his rivals must feel the same way.

peripheral
01-02-2006, 08:02 PM
any question of resting on one’s laurels ... sending his legions of fans into a state of irreparable shock.

Yes, yes it would :scared: :p Nice article... thanks for posting!

Doris Loeffel
01-02-2006, 08:58 PM
Thanks guys for all the updates and articles

Dirk
01-02-2006, 11:19 PM
Roger is too motivated to rest on his laurels. He cares too much about tennis and his career to do such a thing.

onm684
01-02-2006, 11:48 PM
Hi all, I translated the article on the L'EQUIPE (http://www.lequipe.fr/Tennis/TROPHEE_FEDERER_05.html)by http://uebersetzer.abacho.de/ (http://uebersetzer.abacho.de/).
it might be strange..

TO FEDERATE MAKES UNANIMITY
By Sophie DORGAN, in Zurich

Imperial on the court and outside, Roger Federer makes unanimity. After new special season marked by two titles in Big Slam, the worldwide number one was elected " Champion of the champions the World 2005 " by the writings of The Team. The Swiss comes back over her year, explains the keys of his success and reveals his objectives for 2006.



"Agassi in New York, it was unconvincing "

Roger Federer, whom do you feel having accepted the champion title of the champions awarded by the writings of The Team?
It is a big pride, especially when I look at the honours list and all athletes who have already carried off this nice trophy. Rossi and Alonso also made an unconvincing season. Every three, we really knew good years and now I am elected, it is great. The last year, I had already accomplished a superb season but Hicham El-Guerrouj deserved even more than me because it was the year of Olympic Games. And now, I am not going to say " finally me ", but that's true that it is good.

The reasons of your election receive easily: 81 wins for 4 defeats, 11 titles, and double Wimbledon - US Open for the second year in a row. Beyond this ciphered balance sheet, what you have of this year?
First to have achieved an unconvincing New Year after that of 2004 which was special. I once again accomplished great matches. I have semifinal in memory against Safin if I lost it, win in Wimbledon, the Laureus World Sports Awards... I really crossed a superb year... There is US Open also. It was splendid, final counters Agassi in New York, it is necessary to imagine this... And then win, wins: 81 earned matches and only 4 losing, it is really not very then I think that it is for it that I am sitting down next to this trophy.

If you had to keep only a picture of this season which would you choose?
Wimbledon, it is always so special... But the most intense match was that against Agassi in US Open, because Agassi in New York, it was unconvincing. Really. On top of that, I was in trouble and I took out there. They played in the biggest stadium which exists for tennis... I was so much relieved and happy after this final, it was really great.

On a technical plan, it would be perhaps final in Wimbledon, and on an emotional plan, it would be US Open?
In Wimbledon, it is always very emotional really. I think that I better played against Roddick or it let me better play. In US Open, Agassi more dominated me of the bottom of court, it was more difficult to enter the party. They feel even better after matches where they must more work even if final against Roddick it was so perfect. Then the two instants were really very nice to live.

Do you feel a concerning regret Masters of Shanghaï?
Not of the whole, it is even a success for me. I arrived with a wound, you should not forget that it is the most serious wound which I knew, I twisted my ankle, I had torn off a ligament. I was not definitely, I had only four and a half weeks to get ready. I arrived by saying to me " I make three matches and I come back the home ", but I earned four matches and I lost only just in final. For me, it is perhaps tournament with most emotions that I lived this year.



" I can earn Roland-Garros "

They smell you very calm, very serene, very confident while young person you were rather spur-of-the-moment and more nervous, how did you learn to become a master zen?
It is a long history, it took me a lot of time and it was not really easy. Until 20 years, I had a lot of trouble to concentrate me, in terms of regularity. I arrived on a match or two, perhaps on a tournament but not on the length there. I made a decision, I am going to be more calm, I am going to concentrate on game and more not to employ energy on emotional plan. It began walking, I attained the quarters of final in Roland-Garros and in Wimbledon, I beat Sampras. Everything took place well, then suddenly I was not happy any more... I did not any more succeed in finding this fire inside me. I was also a lot criticized at this instant: " it really tries ". It pleased me in no way, I therefore tried to find the pleasure to earn matches, it took me a lot of time, months perhaps one year. It is from this instant when results really came. I must say that this title in Wimbledon in 2003 arrived at good instant, before I was not still ready for big titles, my career took time, I took time and suddenly it walked.

Did your physical job with Pierre Paganini help you in this search of trust?
For me, it was very important on a mental plan. I knew that the more I worked physically, the more I shall feel very much mentally. Furthermore in 2004, which was for me the perfect year, I did not have coach, then I spent a lot of time with Pierre, we spoke together, and it is indeed also thanks to him whom I made this superb year.

They often speak and rightfully of your huge talent, but finally not enough your job... What part do you allocate at job and at talent in your success?
I think that talent brought me up to the 10th worldwide place about, even if I have already worked before. Afterwards, to make the additional step, it is necessary to work because I think that it is necessary to have a supernatural talent as perhaps Martina Hingis to arrive really at beep, beep, even if she worked great hard since she was 2 years old, it is necessary to imagine it also. Today, matches are so hard physically and mentally that talent is not any more enough.

Today, Roland-Garros is the only tournament which resists to you. Is it your preference?
I would like credit well, it is sure! But I am going to get ready in the same way for the four tournament of the Big Slam, I cannot make in another way. I make semifinal in Roland-Garros this year, then I think that if I can make a semifinal, I can also win! Now, I am delighted this tournament a lot. With my coach Tony Roche, we discussed a lot. He spoke to me of the way he wants me to play and I explained my manner of seeing things to carry off this tournament. And that's true that if I carry off Roland-Garros, I earn four tournament of the Big Slam, and it, few people made it, then it would be a marvel.

And how is it necessary to play to earn Roland-Garros?
Ah... It is necessary to fight, to be mentally very strong, hard, not to be afraid of long exchanges and all that. It is especially needed, I think, training, it considers double, it is really necessary to take trainings as though these were matches.

Can they earn Roland-Garros by being offensive? Yes, I think, but I shall say with a controlled aggressivity...

In Roland-Garros precisely, they saw your rivalry with Rafael Nadal. Do you think that it can become a remake of Borg - bygone McEnroe or of Agassi - Sampras?
I do not think that Borg and McEnroe so much confront one another, but that's true that there were unconvincing rivalries, with Sampras - Agassi especially, perhaps Connors - Lendl... I do not think that they are really going to see again this type of rivalries because they do not meet enough, I do not know why... Perhaps that they have too many good players, they can lose too much early. But that's true that Nadal, Roddick, Safin, Hewitt and me, they are still often going to confront one another, but between us five and not only between us two.

To finish, it simple percentage currently the period of the wishes. What can one wish you for on 2006?
Very to good, that simple percentage to enough for me! Really, simple very!

Wins, really?
Yes! More than so possible one!

lunahielo
01-03-2006, 12:00 AM
Originally posted by yanchr
Thanks Luna
:wavey: :hug:
I hope all is good in your life.
Now we are all ready for another *Rogi* year!!! :)

SUKTUEN
01-03-2006, 04:46 AM
THANKS~~!!!

tonia9
01-03-2006, 11:10 PM
Top 10 world athletes in 2005
(Xinhua)
Updated: 2006-01-03 09:27

The following were the top 10 world athletes in 2005, as selected by Xinhua News Agency:

1. Roger Federer (Switzerland)

Top-ranking male tennis player in the world, ending the 2005 season with 11 singles titles including two Grand Slam trophies, a 35-match winning streak, and a win-loss record of 81-4, the second-best match winning percentage in a year in the Open era.

2. Zhang Yining (China)

Top-ranking female player in the world and the new generation of ChinaˇŻs table tennis, another Grand Slam winner of world championships, Olympics and World Cup.

3. Fernando Alonso (Spain)

Formula OneˇŻs youngest champion at the age of 24, ending seven-time winner Michael SchumacherˇŻs string of five straight season titles.

4. Liu Xiang (China)

Winner of the Alternative Sportsperson of the Year at the 2005 Laureus World Sports Awards, adding a 110-meter hurdles silver medal at the Helsinki world championships to his history-making Olympic title at the Athens Olympic Games.

5. Yelena Isinbayeva (Russia)

The Female Athlete of the Year named by the IAAF for the second time running, setting nine world records indoor and out while recording the first womenˇŻs 5-meter vault in London and breaking the mark again after winning the world title in Helsinki.

6. Ronaldinho (Brazil)

Biggest winner in world soccer in 2005, completing a hat trick of three most important awards, winning his second successive World Player of the Year award from soccerˇŻs governing body FIFA.

7. Maria Sharapova (Russia)

First waman emerging from the star-studded Russian pack to climb onto the top of the world tennis rankings.

8. Kenenisa Bekele (Ethiopia)

Winner of the IAAF MenˇŻs Athlete of the Year award, whose season of 2005 has been remarkable in any circumstances, defending the 10,000-meter gold at the Helsinki world championships, and breaking his own world record in Brussels.

9. Justin Gatlin (United States)

Fastest man in the world in 2005, taking both the 100-meter and 200-meter sprint gold medals at the world athletics championships in Helsinki in August.

10. Lindsay Davenport (United States)

Season-ending world No. 1 female player in world tennis, winning six of her totally 10 finals of WTA singles Tour in 2005, including the Grand Slam tournaments of Australian Open and Wimbledon.

nobama
01-04-2006, 12:03 PM
http://ia.rediff.com/sports/2006/jan/04allegro.htm?q=tp&file=.htm

The Rediff Interview/Yves Allegro

'We won't see a player like Federer in the next 100 years'

January 04, 2006


What is it like to partner Roger Federer?

Switzerland's Yves Allegro knows it better than most. After all, he's been his only doubles partner for the past three years, a friend for ten years and shared an apartment with the world number one.

"Even though we have been long-time friends I was nervous for the first couple of times," says Allegro, world number 44 in doubles, who is playing in the doubles event at the Chennai Open.

"When we are playing together Roger is clearly the boss on the court; I just try and concentrate on my job. Since he doesn't play doubles regularly it's tough for him for the first few games, but he settles in very well. If he was to play doubles regularly he'd be number one there too."

For Allegro, living in Federer's shadow is not a problem, even though he has proved a better exponent of the team game.

"When we win it's always something that's expected. But when we lose, people turn around and say it was because of me that we lost," says Allegro, with a smile.

"But it's alright, as long as I am playing with the best player in the world."

Allegro and Federer go back to the junior days when they shared a room at the National Centre in Berne in 1996-97. Federer was also a regular at the tennis club in Grone, which is owned by Allegro's father.

"He's a very solid person. Once I had asked him to play an exhibition event at the club, he gave me the dates three months in advance and stuck to them even after he won Wimbledon (in 2003).

"He played for free. 3000 people turned up for the game when the population of the town was only 2000! It just goes to show his character."

Federer also helped Allegro to make a decision on cutting out on playing singles and concentrating on doubles.

Though his regular doubles partner on tour in Germany's Michael Kohlmann, Allegro accommodates Federer whenever the latter feels like having a go in the doubles draw.

"Yeah I give him the priority and Michael understands that. It's only good for me if I play more matches with him."

The two have won two ATP titles together, at Vienna and at Halle last year.

The 27-year-old teamed up with Federer for the Davis Cup last year, where Switzerland thrashed England 5-0 on clay.

"It was my best doubles match," says Allegro, adding that Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka had given the team a huge start by winning both the singles games on the first day.

"We went on thinking that even if we lost the doubles game, Roger's reverse singles could seal the tie for us."

But, as it turned out, Allegro and Federer went on to beat Andy Murray and Greg Rusedski 7-5, 2-6, 7-6 (1), 6-2 amidst riotous celebrations.

"It was a great match. All of us were pumped up, almost 7000 people had come to support us and the victory celebrations were crazy," smiles Allegro.

It was the first time since 2000 that Switzerland had blanked the opposite team in the Davis Cup, and Allegro believes Federer's presence had a lot to do with it.

"He's made tennis big in Switzerland and, of course, we are not going to see a player like him in the next 100 years. He is very professional. Even when he is focusing hard, he's relaxed before the game."

After qualifying for the World Cup this year, Switzerland will take on Australia at home in February and will no doubt start favourites on clay.

"Davis Cup is a big priority for me. I understand staying number one is a priority for Roger, but it will be great for the team if he's there."

Angle Queen
01-04-2006, 01:40 PM
Sorry, guys. I don't venture here much...but I saw this on a tabloid site...and thought I'd pass along a flattering (IMHO) article about Roger (I was like, :yeah:, that a tennis star gets some face time in an otherwise royalty- and Hollywood-obsessed publication).

http://www.hellomagazine.com/celebrities/2006/01/04/rogerfederer/

SUKTUEN
01-04-2006, 02:45 PM
thankyou!! I love it~~!

Roger is the Best player in next 100 years~!

gsm
01-04-2006, 10:21 PM
http://foxsports.news.com.au/story/0,8659,17735420-23216,00.html

Santoro tests Federer cool
From correspondents in Doha
January 5, 2006

ROGER Federer has shown rare glimpses of irritation as he struggled to get past Fabrice Santoro in the second round of the Qatar Open.

The world champion with the glass-fibre temperament found the Frenchman's unique double-handed style and crafty mix of tactics so effective that he never broke serve throughout a 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-5) victory.

Federer's skilful power was often still awesome, but he twice missed kills from inside the service line and once appeared to tell some of the crowd to be quiet.

There were also moments of unfamiliar frowning amidst the characteristic skill and grace, but Federer denied that the mental battle had been a problem.

"The last thing I want to do is get frustrated and I never do," he said.

"Maybe I used to when I wasn't up to it, but now I have proved myself so much that there is never a sense of frustration against anyone, no matter how big their serve, how good they are the net, or how good they are at mixing up their games, so that is a big advantage to have in my game."

Santoro's entertaining magic came from his ability to stroke the ball with slice on both wings, and suddenly to appear in unexpected positions to volley.

But Federer was never in trouble on his own serve, and took the firrst set tiebreak 7-2.

He had more difficulty in the second, going a mini-break down and then seeing Santoro save two match points and bring the scoring back with serve to 5-6.

Federer then came up with a superb top-spin return to the feet, making Santoro half-volley short, opening up the court for a backhand drive which the 33-year-old former champion could not contain.

Federer now plays Marcos Baghdatis, the first player from Cyprus ever to make the main tour, who scored a career-best 6-1 3-6 7-5 win over Feliciano Lopez, the eighth-seeded Spaniard.

Lopez was the fifth of the tournament's eight seeds to go out.

A quarter-final victory here could bring Federer up against a revived Tommy Haas, who drove his groundstrokes with impressive power while wining 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) against Britain's Tim Henman.

Minnie
01-04-2006, 10:49 PM
Er .. doesn't get frustrated huh? Don't believe you Rogi!

SUKTUEN
01-05-2006, 03:34 AM
I save it in word too~~

bokehlicious
01-05-2006, 07:22 AM
Thanks Mirkaland for the Yves Allegro's interview.

I remember the exhibition match after his first Wimby trophy, people here was so proud of him... The tennis court was totally overcrowded (well, this was a little village tennis club in wallis, at the bottom of swiss moutains), I remember the pics of that event, seemed funny...

That's cool to see all the swiss tennis guys so close and friends, that's important on tour to meet real friends among the players (though Roger doesn't meet a swiss player in every tourny he plays :rolleyes: )...

Puschkin
01-05-2006, 07:23 AM
Er .. doesn't get frustrated huh? Don't believe you Rogi!

Neither do I. But he is smart in not showing it.

Dirk
01-05-2006, 07:24 AM
Santoro makes everyone go nuts. Roger should do better from here on out.

SUKTUEN
01-05-2006, 08:21 AM
Santoro makes everyone go nuts. Roger should do better from here on out.
yes, Roger must very work hard to win!~~~

ToanNguyen
01-06-2006, 02:45 PM
[Quote]How Christmas with Tony Roche gave Federer the gift he wanted most
Margie McDonald
January 07, 2006
IT was December 2004 and Roger Federer had won three of the year's four Grand Slams. But he felt something was missing and he knew who could give it to him: Tony Roche.

Having already been rebuffed once by the coaching guru, Federer still flew to Sydney to meet Roche.

It was that persistence, Roche revealed publicly for the first time yesterday, and the fact the Swiss star was prepared to give up Christmas at home to practise with him that helped convince the Australian to change his mind and take Federer under his wing.

Roche, 60, farewelled the tennis circuit full-time after Pat Rafter's retirement in 2002. He coached Ivan Lendl to eight Grand Slam singles titles and Rafter to two. He initially said "no" to Federer when they met in Dubai in October 2004 to train together and discuss a possible link-up.

"I wanted to do it in the first place but I just felt I wasn't able to give him the time he would require and what he deserved, and I didn't want to let him down," Roche said in a rare interview yesterday.

"... there was also the thing of being on the road for so long again."

But Federer wasn't to be denied and asked if he could join Roche at his Sydney home in December to train with him.

"When he came out here he said 'whatever time you can give me I'd be happy with'," Roche said. "And I just thought it was such a great honour, in lots of ways, to be approached by Roger in the first place.

"I thought, 'Gee, he's come all the way out here the week before Christmas and sacrificed that. Maybe I should give it a shot and see how it goes'."

Federer said this week he understood that Roche declined his offer but he could not let go of the chance to learn from the Australian.

"It's very simple to me," Federer said from Doha, where he is playing in the Qatar Open. "It's just the experience he has from seeing so many matches, from playing at the highest level himself and seeing the greats like Lendl, Rafter and all the players who played against them.

"He spends a lot of time talking on the practice courts. It's that quality time together, this is what brings me further.

"What he knows about the game and what I know about the game, when that comes together it's very pleasing."

Thus another partnership between a world No.1 was forged.

So what is it about Roche, born in Tarcutta, in southern NSW, in May 1945, that makes some of the world's most talented players seek his services?

He doesn't sign contracts, which did not faze the meticulous Lendl in the least.

"Tony is a man of his word and we did not need any documents," Lendl said from Florida this week. "Just his word was good enough for me."

Fred Stolle said a close understanding between coach and player is a Roche trademark. "The first thing is the respect from the guys that he coaches," Stolle said.

"With Lendl, he specifically got him to try to volley better so he could win Wimbledon. Tony tried to teach him how to work his way into the net, because Lendl was not a natural volleyer, and he got close to getting him a Wimbledon [title].

"With Federer, he's got Rochey to try to get him to win the French Open. That means he's got to slice a little more, serve-and-volley on more occasions on the clay.

"Both those players knew what he was trying to do for them and they respected him. Tony's not trying to change anybody's game; he's trying to add elements to their game."

Roche has juggled two low-key coaching/training duties alongside Federer: India's Sania Mirza, as a favour to his former Davis Cup friend, Jaideep Mukherjea, and young Sydneysider Sophie Ferguson, both 18, but would no doubt apply the same principles to all three.

Lendl, as well as Federer, spoke of the strong friendship that came as a result of working with Roche.

"Tony is great with feel for the player on and off the court," Lendl said. "We never looked at any films or matches.

"The best part of Tony as a coach was that he was a great player and was in the pressure situations and knew how to handle them.

"As a person Tony was just a great guy and a great friend ... he would let me win at golf most of the time."

Federer was attracted by the experience Roche had as a player -- he won the French and Italian Open (1966) on clay, reached the final of Wimbledon (1968, losing to Rod Laver) and the semi-finals of the Australian Open (1969) on grass and was twice runner-up at the US Open (1969-70) on a hardcourt -- and as a coach.

Their association has produced two more Grand Slam titles for Federer: Wimbledon and the US Open last year.

John Alexander who, like Stolle, joined Roche in championship-winning Davis Cup teams in the 1960s and 70s, believes Roche represents what the game lost when sports scientists, biomechanists, psychologists "and other gurus" got involved 20 years ago.

"The game used to pass from one generation of great tennis players to the next," Alexander said. "Your tutors were great tennis players. Wherever you see 'a Tony Roche' involved with somebody, you have great results."

Roche was coached by one of the best, Harry Hopman, who won three Australian Open doubles titles and then as captain of the Davis Cup team guided Australia to 15 victories from 1950-1969, including three with Roche in his team.

"Tony, in Harry Hopman's care, got to appreciate the physical fitness side of tennis, and the development of your game in going for your shots, regardless of the score," Alexander said. "He was a thoughtful and cunning tennis player himself and he brought that to Rafter, Lendl, and now Roger.

"If you wanted to find out where the holes were in a player ranked between 20 or 40 in the world, you would watch Tony Roche play them and you'd be surprised how simple he made the lesson on how to beat someone."

When Roche started to coach Davis Cup, Mark Woodforde said proudly he gravitated towards Roche.

"When I wasn't (on court), just sitting with Rochey in the stands ... I just wanted to suck the information right out of him," Woodforde said. "He had so much to tell you but he never sat there saying, 'listen to me'. (But) it was so easy to ask questions.

"He's got old school in him; he fully expected you to put in the hard work, not just to have quality practice sessions, but put in the quantity as well."

And although Roche looks the serious, silent-type in the players' box, Federer paints a different picture away from the public eye.

"Tony is a very relaxed guy, a very funny guy," Federer said. "I was surprised how funny he was, actually. It's always a good time when we're together, it's never boring travelling with him. He's had so much experience as a human being, as a person."
[\Quote]

Very good article. He goes after what he wants. Good for you, Roger. You are an inspiration to us all. :worship: :worship: :worship:

lsy
01-06-2006, 03:12 PM
Wyven pointed me to this article, pretty good to hear from Roche (as we seldom do)

===================================

http://www.theage.com.au/news/tennis/roche-finds-federers-skills-mindboggling/2006/01/06/1136387626885.html


Roche finds Federer's skills 'mind-boggling'
January 7, 2006

Tony Roche tells Jessica Halloran that Roger Federer's shot-making leaves even him amazed.

All of a sudden, Roger Federer pops into Tony Roche's living room. The Swiss star is smacking balls around on Roche's giant television screen in a replay from a match at the Qatar Open.

"Here's Roger playing now," Roche said waving at the screen. "Let's see if he's been doing what we've been working on. Get in. You better make this volley!" :haha:

Roche chuckles as he watches Federer make the volley. It's something that they worked on in Roche's backyard tennis court over the Christmas break.

"He's a good volleyer, but he can always be better at the net," Roche said. "Because he's a great athlete, it's a pity he doesn't always utilise that. But now he's got it and he wants it. That's the beauty of his game: depending on the surface, he's always got a few options."
Roche says he finds Federer's tennis ability mind-boggling. "He's beautiful to watch," Roche said.

So how does Roche guide such a tennis marvel? Does he phone Federer immediately after a match ?

"No," Roche said.

Will he talk to him during the Qatar tournament?

"No," Roche said.

"No, I never call him. If he needs me, he knows where I am."

What Roche will do is text Federer a message like "good luck" and "well done".

Not "fix your groundstroke now please, Roger"? :lol:

"No," laughs Roche.

"Look when he split with his last coach, he had a year on his own and won three slams. He's quite happy doing a lot of the stuff by himself."

But Federer didn't want to go it alone after 2004. He wanted Roche's wise words in his ear but initially was turned down.

"I felt at the time I couldn't give him the time that somebody like him needed," Roche said. "So we virtually left it at that. He came out (to Australia) for that training week in December (2004)." It was then Federer said: "Whatever time you can give me, I am happy with that."

"It was a great honour for me first of all to be offered the job," Roche said.

Their contract is a handshake agreement and that's the way it's been with all the players Roche has coached, including Ivan Lendl and Pat Rafter. "We just do it year by year," Roche said. "I'm going to do a few more weeks this year but there's no time frame."

Roche said that a player must be a "nice person" before he'll take them on. He said the respect must run thick in a coach-player relationship. That ingredient he has with Federer.

"He listens," Roche said, then adds, laughing: "He does what he's told. A successful partnership can only work if you have respect for one another. That's the way I've always worked. I never had a contract with any of the players, it's just on handshake.

When training is in full swing, Roche is boggled by Federer's moves and shots. "Unbelievable talent," Roche said. "Some of the stuff he can do is just mind-boggling. Nobody else can do that kind of stuff. You think, 'Wow, did that happen?'

"He's good fun, he enjoys a bit of a laugh, he's very relaxed and that's a big part of why he's so successful. He's very laid-back. Outwardly, not many things seem to bother him," Roche said.

While many players rock up with tricky grips and swish strokes, Federer plays a complete game without complication. He doesn't have many flaws and can pretty much do everything.

"He plays more like Rod Laver," Roche said. "He's got a lot of variety. A lot of the guys that play the game today are one-dimensional, they're very good at what they do, and they've got the extreme grips, but Roger, I think he's a throwback to the way that Rod Laver and those guys used to play.

"It's funny, the guys I've been involved with like Lendl, I coached for eight years, he was pretty much a baseliner … And then I worked with Pat Rafter, who was strictly a serve-volleyer, they were two extremes.

"But now with Roger, he can do it all. He can play strong from the back and he's a good volleyer, he's sort of the complete player. He plays the way the game should be played."

Many people were hesitant when Roche told them he'd taken on the best player in the world. "Gee, you're crazy, where can he go from here," they asked. However, Roche says: "Just because he's been winning a lot and has had a couple of great years, I mean he knows he's got to keep and wants to keep on improving. I'm just there to help him get better." :yeah:
So how successful can Federer be and does he have the ability to better Laver?

"Time will tell," Roche said. "I definitely think if Roger can win the French championship, then he's up there with the all-time greats. That's the ultimate test to win all the slams and it's harder these days because it's on different surfaces. Not taking anything away from Rod winning two slams — three of the tournaments were on grass and one on clay in those days.

"Whereas now, it's on four different surfaces and the depth in men's tennis is much greater now. Especially on the clay, that's going to be a huge test for Roger to win the French."

After Qatar, Federer will arrive in a Australia to play at Kooyong before the Australian Open. No longer will Roche be spying Federer from his living room. He'll be courtside, with a much closer vantage point to critique the Swiss marvel.

RogiFan88
01-06-2006, 04:17 PM
Looks like two nice articles to read! Thanks!

SUKTUEN
01-06-2006, 04:21 PM
thankyou

RogiFan88
01-06-2006, 04:50 PM
Rochey -- such a great guy himself!! ;)

SUKTUEN
01-06-2006, 05:02 PM
he teach Roger many things~~~

a girl 13
01-07-2006, 08:16 PM
I read today a article on Rogers site were Pat Cash speaks about him . He says that it was good for Roger to have someone that snapping his heels :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: .Pat cash is an asshole .Dont you think ??? :ignore: :ignore: :ignore: :ignore: :ignore:

tonia9
01-07-2006, 08:24 PM
Federer successfully defends title

Saturday, January 7, 2006; Posted: 2:17 p.m. EST (19:17 GMT)

DOHA, Qatar -- Roger Federer became the first player to defend the Qatar Open title since Stefan Edberg in 1995 when he beat French teenager Gael Monfils 6-3 7-6 in the final.

"It's nice to win back-to-back titles and a great opening week of the year," said world No.1 Federer, after extending his winning streak on hardcourts to 45.

"This also shows that I have been able to overcome my foot injury and play well," added the Swiss - who sprained his right ankle in training in October.

Seventh seed Monfils, 19, gave Federer a strong test despite losing six games in a row midway through the match.

Monfils broke his opponent in his first service game but Federer refused to let the French youngster dominate as he dictated from the back of the court.

Federer went on the attack while Monfils made far too many unforced errors.

Monfils saved three break points in the fourth game, firing three thunderous aces to wriggle out of tight situations.

The Frenchman then had chances to go 4-1 up but failed to seize them and Federer made him pay by reeling off five successive games to snatch the set.

Federer broke serve in the opening game of the second but Monfils hit back immediately and the pair were well-matched throughout the set.

Monfils led 5-3 in the tiebreak before Federer showed why he is a champion by claiming the last four points to clinch victory.

"It's good to have tough matches, as long as I win," joked Federer. "It was a tricky match against someone I haven't played before.

"It took a while for me to study the pattern of his game. Thoughts of the match going into a third set were crossing my mind."

Monfils looked back with pride on his performance this week.

"I'm happy I reached the final," he said. "The match against the world number one was a great experience and there were lots of positives for me even in today's loss."

Federer picked up a cheque for $142,000 while Monfils earned $83,600.


http://www.cnn.com/2006/SPORT/football/01/07/tennis.qatar/index.html?section=cnn_latest (http://)

Daniel
01-07-2006, 09:07 PM
DOHA, Qatar Jan 7, 2006 — Roger Federer won the Qatar Open for the second straight year Saturday, beating French teenager Gael Monfils 6-3, 7-6 (5) in the final.

Federer became the first player to win consecutive titles in Doha since Stefan Edberg in 1994 and 1995.

"It's a beautiful start to the year, winning a tournament without dropping a set," Federer said. "It also shows that the ankle problem I had toward the end of the last season is behind me."


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This was Federer's fifth title in the Middle East he also won three straight Dubai Opens (2003-05). The top-ranked Swiss extended his hardcourt winning streak to 45 matches. The Qatar Open was his 43rd career final, of which he has won 34.

"Playing against someone like Roger Federer is not easy," Monfils said. "I had my chance today, but I guess I made a lot of errors. But I have no complaints."

Federer said he had trouble at first judging the Frenchman's serve.

"He has the potential to be in the top 10," Federer said. "But it's a tough task and he needs to work hard and be consistent, at least reaching the semifinals of some Grand Slam events."

"Some of his shots I would say were teasers," he added. "You have to pick the right shots when you come in because he moves really fast and hits good passing shots."

Monfils played with plenty of heart. He broke Federer in the first game and held serve to lead 2-0. But Federer broke back in the sixth and eighth games to go up 5-3. Federer then held to close the set.

In the second set, Federer led 40-15 in the seventh game but couldn't finish it off as Monfils forced deuce with inspired play. Monfils then delivered an ace and a lob to win the game and lead 4-3.

In the 11th game, Federer again had a chance to go a break up after leading 40-30, but Monfils ripped an ace to go ahead 6-5. Federer then capitalized on errors to win his next service game, forcing a tiebreaker.

Monfils' powerful serve forced an error by Federer in the tiebreaker. A few more mistakes by the Swiss allowed Monfils to lead 5-3, but the defending champion responded and evened the score. A smash from near the net sent Federer up 6-5, and he completed the match with a stinging forehand.


Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

RogiFan88
01-07-2006, 09:10 PM
Daniel, you're back! I missed you! Hope you had a great Christmas!

RonE
01-07-2006, 10:35 PM
I read today a article on Rogers site were Pat Cash speaks about him . He says that it was good for Roger to have someone that snapping his heels :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: .Pat cash is an asshole .Dont you think ??? :ignore: :ignore: :ignore: :ignore: :ignore:

Pat Cash is an asshole yes, but not for saying that.

I actually think he is right. It is good for Roger to have players like Nadal, Safin, Monfils etc to push him to the limits so he can keep his edge and be driven to continue improving and achieving great things. It is not healthy to be too dominant without any real competition. Roger needs to be challenged.

His drive and determination for success right now is a result of painfull losses that he has suffered to Safin at last year's AO and more recently to Nalbandian. It was the same thing with Hewitt after that horrible DC loss a couple of years ago. That fuelled his determination and he ended up bringing the best out of himself everytime he played Hewitt for a few matches after that.

And thank you Tonia and daniel for the articles :wavey:

nobama
01-07-2006, 11:05 PM
I read today a article on Rogers site were Pat Cash speaks about him . He says that it was good for Roger to have someone that snapping his heels :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: .Pat cash is an asshole .Dont you think ??? :ignore: :ignore: :ignore: :ignore: :ignore:Well he said it was good for Roger not the "game" OR "tennis", so I'm guessing he meant it in a good way. Like Ron said, he needs other players to push him and to keep him motivated.

Daniel
01-08-2006, 01:44 AM
DOHA (AFP) - Roger Federer went a long way towards dispelling doubts about his fitness to remain world number one for a third successive year with a successful defence of his Qatar Open title.

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Federer's 6-3, 7-6 (7/5) win in a fine final over Gael Monfils, the exciting 19-year-old Frenchman, suggested that the Swiss star can feel he has started the New Year with a decent recovery from the ankle injury which spoilt the end of his 2005.

The Wimbledon and US Open champion moved comfortably, hit deceptively hard with his inside out forehand and also came into the net more than usual for the 34th title of his career.

Perhaps more significantly it was also Federer's 45th successive win on hard courts, the surface on which he will try to regain the title at the first Grand Slam of the year, the Australian Open, which will begin in Melbourne in a week's time.

"I knew that all it takes is the chance of one big win for a young player to break through," said Federer of the ambitious 19-year-old Monfils.

"So I knew that this was a dangerous match."

Federer did not start well, making three unforced errors in his opening service game and dropping it. And when he earned a point to break back immediately he was not able to take it.

Surprisingly Monfils, who claimed not to have done himself justice in his three previous finals, looked completely relaxed. He even came close to going 4-1 and two breaks of ahead when he got Federer at 15-40 on the champion's next service game.

Federer played his way immaculately out of that hole, and at 3-2 Monfils showed his first signs of inexperience, over-pressing with two backhand straight drives, over-hitting with both, dropping serve and suffering an immediate decline of confidence, and losing 13 points in a row.

By now Federer was playing with smooth assurance, even if he was not quite at his best, and rapidly closed out the first set in full control.

It got worse for Monfils when he double-faulted to drop serve immediately at the start of the second set, at which stage it seemed the whole pack of cards might fold for him.

But he found himself again, cut down the pace, worked his way quite astutely back into it, and in the second set the match became a high quality encounter, full of varied patterns and long rallies.

He even led 5-3 in the tie-break, forcing Fderer to produce four top claas points to pull it out.

Monfils, whose best quality was his speed, had an unorthodox preparation for the final which included performing with a belly dancer at the official dinner.

"I've been too nervous in my previous finals and didn't enjoy them," the extrovert Parisian explained.

"If I was going to play better I thought it was best to try to be more relaxed and enjoy myself this time," he said.

And he did that.

Federer, in his 102nd week as world number one, travels to an exhibition event in Melbourne on Monday before seeking to avenge his shock defeat to Marat Safin in last year's Australian Open semi-final.

ToanNguyen
01-08-2006, 03:16 AM
Go Roger!!!!!!!!

Federer: expert opinion

Sunday January 8, 2006


'If you want to be a tennis player, then mould yourself on Roger Federer. I won three Wimbledon titles and I wish I could play like him.'
John McEnroe, winner of seven grand slam singles titles and now a television summariser and pundit

'I've never enjoyed watching someone playing tennis as much as Federer. I'm just in awe ... Roger has it all, he's just so graceful, elegant and fluid - a symphony in tennis whites. He can produce shots that should be declared illegal.'
Tracy Austin, two-time US Open winner and now a TV commentator

'Roger Federer is the only guy I watch for his strokes. He is just beautiful. He can hit every shot you could ever think of. I would go and watch him practise, he's so good.'
Ivan Lendl, winner of eight grand slam events

'I'd like to be in his shoes for one day to know what it feels like to play that way.'
Mats Wilander, winner of seven grand slam events

'Federer moves like a whisper and executes like a wrecking ball. It is simply impossible to explain how he does what he does.'
Nick Bollettieri, leading tennis coach

'I would be honoured to be compared to Roger. He is an unbelievable talent and is capable of anything. He could be the greatest tennis player of all time.'
Rod Laver, winner of two grand slams (1962 and 1969) and 11 grand slam events

'The thing that really impresses me is that, like the Lavers and Rosewalls, he really cares about this game.'
Tony Roche, Roger Federer's coach

Federerthebest
01-08-2006, 03:32 AM
No real challenge for Roger: Cash

http://smh.com.au/news/tennis/no-real-challenge-for-roger-cash/2006/01/07/1136609984922.html

PAT Cash has cast his well-trained eye over the dwindling list of contenders for the Australian Open and pinpointed the most dangerous threat to Roger Federer.

This mystery opponent doesn't have a monstrous serve, booming groundstrokes or scything volleys, but does have the ability to get into Federer's head.

The lurking foe is boredom.

Cash believes the world No.1 is streets ahead of a field being ravaged by injury and as Federer continues his inexorable rise towards Pete Sampras's record of 14 major titles, his only stumbling block could be the lack of a genuine rival pushing him to greater heights in Bjorn Borg-John McEnroe fashion.

"The biggest threat to Federer is boredom,," Cash said from Chennai.

"He doesn't really have many challengers out there; he doesn't have one or two top players who can constantly challenge him all the time.

"He's winning a lot of tournaments easily.

"[David] Nalbandian beat him at the Masters Cup but Federer was carrying a few injuries.

"There aren't many guys with a good record against him. It'd probably be good for him to have someone snapping at his heels.

"There have always been great rivalries in tennis but, unfortunately, it's lacking one at the moment."

Andre Agassi is out of the Melbourne Park major, which starts on January 16. Two men with the heavy artillery required to knock off Federer, Marat Safin and Rafael Nadal, are on the verge of pulling out.

Who's left? World No.3 Andy Roddick will come out swinging, but is mentally suspect and can't be relied on.

Lleyton Hewitt lost to unknown German Philipp Kohlschreiber in Adelaide on Thursday, not a good sign, but Cash said the Australian could never be underestimated.

"The best thing about Lleyton is that he'll be thinking about how he's going to beat Roger and coming up with a game plan, but you've only got what you've got," Cash said.

"Federer is a hell of player. Some players match up against other players very well and some players don't.

"It's fair to say Lleyton's game suits Federer's. But having said that, with a bit of adjustment here and there, Lleyton is pegging the gap. I like the way he has tried to change his game and change his plan against Federer.

"He's moving in the right direction and definitely has a shot. Federer has a few injuries - it could be the last man standing."

Pat Rafter admitted he struggled at the Australian Open because of the suffocating pressure placed on local hopes and Cash, the 1987 Wimbledon champion who lost in the 1987 and 1998 Australian Open finals, agreed the spotlight could become unbearable.

"Lleyton performed last year, getting to the final, but the years before he hadn't done so well," Cash said.

"I played pretty well at the Open but I didn't really enjoy it. I didn't always enjoy my visits back to Australia even though I managed to get some good results. It's not a nice thing to be looked at all the time and pestered when all you want to do is play.

"It's unfortunate but Lleyton and Mark Philippoussis and guys like myself, a lot of the Aussie players, have a love-hate relationship with the media and get a fair bit of stick. Some of it's fair but most of it is not.

"You feel you're invaded and instead of having people with you, you feel a lot of people are against you. It's not until you get out on the court, then you see the crowd is behind you."

Cash agreed the gruelling schedule was contributing to the spate of injuries, but added: "In a way, it's just the nature of the game. Tennis is a bloody tough sport on the body and you just don't have the time to recover.

"It's sad, because sometimes they can really ruin tournaments."

Source: The Sun-Herald

Daniel
01-08-2006, 03:56 AM
The peak of his powers

On the eve of the Australian Open, the first grand slam tournament of the new season, award-winning novelist and lifelong tennis fan Paul Bailey argues that Roger Federer is not just the best in the world: he is the most complete player in history, a direct descendant of the classic stylists who ruled before brute force squeezed grace from the game

Sunday January 8, 2006


'Seeing Federer at his best is like listening to a master pianist playing a Mozart concerto.'
Martina Navratilova
On a warm afternoon in early July 2003, I hurried home to watch the Wimbledon semi-final between Roger Federer and Andy Roddick. I had every expectation that the hard-hitting Roddick would win. I was convinced he would serve aces to get him out of trouble and that he would hit Federer off the court. And, indeed, Roddick did punish the ball with his customary aggression and power. But, in the event, Roddick lost to a player who outwitted him at key moments, playing shots of such delicacy and touch that the American was left frustrated and even astounded. What we were witnessing that afternoon at Wimbledon was the emergence of surely the greatest player in the history of the men's game, the player for whom I have been waiting all my life.

I came to love tennis in a circuitous way. At the secondary modern school I attended in Battersea, south London, from 1948 to 1953, we were required to compete in athletics, play cricket during the summer term and football in the autumn, winter and spring. The school, which was founded in 1700, had a fives court, which was then ruled over by a recently retired army major who delighted in reminding working-class boys such as me that we were not the sons of gentlemen. This quaint game was invented in the 17th century for two players, who hit a very hard ball against the four walls of the court with a gloved hand. I played it once, and once only, all the while trembling as the ball failed to make contact with the protective glove. The appropriately named Mr Stout was full of contempt for my perceived cowardice. I was similarly inept at cricket and had two left feet on the football pitch. It seemed that I would be permanently estranged from everything to do with sport.

That estrangement ended abruptly one afternoon in late June 1953, when I returned from school and turned on the temperamental radio in the kitchen. I listened for a blissful hour or so, as the BBC commentator Max Robertson described with riveting exactness every stroke that was being played on the Centre Court at Wimbledon. He was commentating on the third-round match between the exiled Czech, Jaroslav Drobny, who lived in Britain but had assumed Egyptian nationality, and the American Budge Patty. Drobny was short-sighted, because of an injury sustained playing hockey, and wore dark glasses. He was portly. But he was also a tremendous fighter and seldom more so than on that summer day at Wimbledon. There were six match points in Patty's favour, all of which Drobny retrieved. I understood even then, thanks to Robertson's expert and often near-breathless commentary, that tennis is not solely to do with brute strength or technique. It involves cunning and craftsmanship and, most important, daring. Throughout that match, which ended dramatically at nightfall, Drobny took one impossible risk after another to regain those precious points. I didn't see a single shot, except those that were in my mind's eye.

I had fallen in love with a game I was still to play or see.

On the very first day I stood in the crowd at Wimbledon, in 1958, having queued outside for several hours, I was quite simply in awe of the place but happy to find myself standing at last in the Centre Court. With Robertson's descriptions in mind, I responded in those early days most of all to the 'touch' players, who were so skilled at spins, lobs, backhands and drop shots. The drop shot remains, for me, the most elegant of them all, representing as it does the absolute triumph of brain over brawn.

Wimbledon was then exclusively an amateur event. The All England Club was stubbornly proud of the tournament's status and clung to it until the inevitable end, in 1968. By then the number of amateur players turning pro was overwhelming and the great tournaments were forced to go open in order to retain their significance.

If I'm honest, I saw too many dull matches at Wimbledon, with barely a shot worth cherishing or mentioning. But, from time to time, at the hands of such delicate and diverse practitioners as Mexico's Rafael Osuna, the Indian Ramesh Krishnan and Nicola Pietrangeli of Italy, I was introduced to a different kind of game and saw shots played that I have never forgotten. Osuna, who died in a plane crash in 1969, when he was 31, was the most successful of this trio, winning the United States championship, the forerunner of the US Open, at the age of 25, and two Wimbledon men's doubles finals. He often seemed to slouch about the court, but then burst into energetic life at moments of crisis. He was properly in love with his most inventive strokes, smiling as he played them. That smile was never smug; rather it was as if he were being continually delighted and surprised at his own brilliance.

Pietrangeli was never slim or willowy: he evidently enjoyed his pasta. Yet he was quick when he needed to be and light on his feet, especially at the net. A Wimbledon singles title was beyond his capability, but he usually advanced far enough into the tournament to earn a devoted following. He brought a certain Mediterranean gaiety to the court, a sense that life is fun. How often he lightened the prevailing gloom when both the weather and the serve-and-volley specialists were all too dominant.

Ramesh Krishnan, like his father Ramanathan before him, was brought up to play tennis for its own sake. Touch players such as the Krishnans often came from wealthy families, with little hunger for self-improvement and financial success. I once saw the younger Krishnan take a set off John McEnroe at Wimbledon in the late 1970s and the contrast in styles was palpable: the Indian so genial and relaxed, the American taut and fierce in his concentration. But Krishnan inevitably began to wilt, as the touch players invariably did: the quality they lacked most of all was staying power, the overwhelming urge to win not one match but several in succession.

With the hardening of professionalism and before the arrival of Federer, a certain gracefulness began to disappear from the game. That was exacerbated by the advent of new technology. Wooden rackets had to have small heads and short strings, the frames not strong enough to keep longer strings in tension. Graphite gives more strength and size to the frame, without adding any weight, giving a larger sweet spot. The power of today's game is only partly generated by the players themselves. Much of it comes from their rackets. We had entered the era of the power player and the huge hitter, with devastating serves.

If i had a tennis hero before Federer, it was Ken Rosewall, a diminutive (5ft 7in), courteous player who delighted in surprise tactics. Sheer mental agility kept him at the top for so long, as well as wiry athleticism. His nickname was 'Muscles', because obviously he had none. Rosewall was born in Sydney, in 1934, and, with his doubles partner and close friend, Lew Hoad, had delighted the crowds at Wimbledon in 1956 when they won the championship. They won all four grand-slam titles that same year and became known as 'The Gold-dust Twins'.

Rosewall was the Australian singles champion in 1953 and 1955, then again in 1971 and 1972, when he was in his late thirties; he won the title as an amateur and as a professional. His serve was risible by today's standards, but it was always accurately placed. He turned professional in 1956 and returned to Wimbledon in the early 1970s. In 1974, at the age of 39, he reached the final of both the US Open and Wimbledon, where a young, ferocious Jimmy Connors bashed him off the court. Yet what he achieved, in reaching those finals at 39, is remarkable, a lasting tribute to his talent and indomitable spirit.

When commentators talk or write about Roger Federer they tend to compare him to his immediate predecessors, such as his boyhood hero Boris Becker or Pete Sampras. This is wrong: his play has much more in common with that of Rosewall and his compatriot Rod Laver, great touch players and true artists of the court, not the modern power hitters. Of the two Australians, Rosewall was the more consistent stylist, his drop shots especially exquisite, while Laver's greatest gift was to rescue himself again and again from a pit of his own devising. Even when he had lost the first two sets and was 5-4 down in the third, Laver could never be discounted. Close to defeat, with the stands emptying, he would suddenly change character, all lethargy gone. It was as if he needed the thought of extinction - the humiliation of being beaten by someone so obviously his inferior - to galvanise him. I still marvel at his capacity for transformation, having seen it so often.

It is an art Federer is beginning to master, as great champions must. Yet it remains difficult to describe Federer's brilliance because his shots, though artistic and graceful, are not showstoppers. 'You feel like you kind of have to live up to this [my talent] and play the miracle shots, you know, the crowd-pleaser stuff,' Federer has said of his own game. 'But I kind of stopped with that. All I want in the end is to win the match and not hit the best shot of the tournament, of the match. I feel now that I know in what moment to play which shot. I think this is very important for my game.'

If he has one weakness (that's a weakness relative to him, rather than anyone else) it's his drop shot, although when he has to he executes them better than any other player I can think of. He's been quoted as saying he doesn't 'believe in drop shots', but that may change after his defeat, in five sets, by David Nalbandian in the Masters Cup final last November. The Argentinian sent drop shot after drop shot over the net to defeat the Swiss, with no fewer than five in the second tie-breaker.

There are occasions, watching Federer play, when I seem to be looking at a combination of Rosewall and Laver, because he appears to be in possession of both their peculiar talents: the fluidity of touch that we associate with Rosewall and the absolute refusal to accept defeat that was so characteristic of Laver. The essential difference is that Federer, who belongs in the classic tradition of tennis players, seems to be playing the same shots as Rosewall and Laver but, because of advances in racket technology, with far greater power and strength.

Tony Roche, Federer's coach, says: 'There is a lot [in Federer] that reminds me of Rod Laver.' (The Australian's own verdict is that he 'would be honoured to be compared to Roger'.) It is perhaps no surprise, then, that some of the Swiss's greatest games of recent times have been in defeat - against Marat Safin, in the semi-final of the 2005 Australian Open [see panel, on page 46], against Rafael Nadal, in the semi-final of the 2005 French Open and, most recently, against Nalbandian in the final of the Masters Cup. It is as if simply to beat him rival players must push themselves to the very limit of their talent and this, combined with Federer's refusal to accept defeat, makes for wonderful tennis.

At the age of 24, Roger Federer has already won six grand-slam events (all in the past three years) and a further 27 titles on the men's tour. Even when he loses, as he did to Nadal in Paris, the struggle can be enthralling from virtually the first shot to the last. Even on his comparatively uninspired days, he is still an incomparable artist, usually in moments of crisis when he has to recharge himself. He has that rarest of gifts - the ability to produce a winner that is also beautiful to watch; and the capacity to enchant the crowd, even when the outcome seems a foregone conclusion, as in last year's Wimbledon final against Roddick, which he won so easily.

Federer is disarming on the subject of his own success. 'Tennis, for me, will always stay for the moment the most important thing. Not in life, you know, but it is very important to me... but for me staying number one will be the main goal in 2006.'

There is no doubt that Federer, who began playing aged eight, wants to be the best in the world for as long as he can, but it's interesting to note that he recognises that there is a life for him beyond tennis even if his life off the court is quiet and unremarkable, the very opposite of his flamboyance on it.

So what do we know about him? His mother, Lynette, is South African and his father, Robert, Swiss (they met while working for pharmaceutical companies). He lives in Basle, speaks French, Swiss-German and German, and English, as well as a little Swedish and Italian. His girlfriend,

Miroslava (known as Mirka) Vavrinec, a fellow Swiss, is a former player herself; she was forced by injury to abandon a once promising career. They met at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and she now acts as Federer's agent, invariably there to support him at every match.

To watch Federer today is to watch a player of extraordinary self-possession, which makes it hard to believe that there were once doubts over his temperament. As a junior, he was prone to tantrums and would sulk, throwing his racket about the court in rage and frustration. These displays of self-pity belong resolutely to the past.

He came to understand that fits of petulance were not only undignified but a serious hindrance to progress. This lesson was taught to him by his Australian coach Peter Carter, who was killed in a car accident while on holiday in South Africa some months before his first Wimbledon title in 2003. 'Finding the emotional balance I need has been hard,' Federer said. 'In my early days on the tour, I was very uptight. I felt lots of anger and frustration. And it made me tired. After the second round of a tournament I was already exhausted.'

Today, Federer is not especially demonstrative on court. He has Rosewall's courteous disposition, as well as his skill at the net. Nor does he wrap himself up in a cocoon of privacy, as Sampras often did, to the extent that one stared at those bushy eyebrows for some sign of personality. He has the requisite seriousness of purpose, but at the same time he cannot disguise his relish for the game he loves. Watching him beat the amiable and generous Andy Roddick at Wimbledon in 2003, I knew that the most complete player I have ever seen was performing to the height of his powers. And when he broke down and wept after his defeat of Mark Philippoussis in the final, to win his first grand slam title, I could not have been alone in being moved by the sense of fulfilment his tears expressed. 'It was a huge breakthrough for me,' Federer said of that Wimbledon.

Starting on 16 January, Federer will attempt to win back the Australian crown that was taken from him so memorably by Marat Safin in 2005. I shall be getting up very early in the morning to follow his progress in Melbourne through a tournament that, if he wins, as he surely must, may open the way to his becoming the first player since Rod Laver in 1969 to win all four grand slam titles in the same year.

Perhaps another, greater player will replace him one day, but such an artist is difficult to envisage. He is not one of those great players who look invincible, and therefore predictable. If I say that he's like Rosewall, Laver, Osuna and Krishnan all rolled into one, it is only to say that I have been waiting nearly all my life for the arrival of the complete tennis player, and that player is here. He is Roger Federer.

Daniel
01-08-2006, 04:07 AM
Federer is fabulous even from afar, writes Jessica Halloran.

ALL of a sudden Roger Federer pops into Tony Roche's living room. The Swiss star is smacking tennis balls around on Roche's giant TV screen in a replay of a match at the Qatar Open.

"Here's Roger playing now," Roche says, waving at the screen. "Let's see if he's been doing what we've been working on. Get in. You better make this volley!"

Roche chuckles as he intently watches Federer make the volley. It's something they worked on in Roche's backyard tennis court over the Christmas break.

"He's a good volleyer but he can always be better at the net," Roche said. "Because he's a great athlete it's a pity he doesn't always utilise that. But now he's got it and he wants it."

Roche says he finds Federer's tennis ability mind-boggling. "He's beautiful to watch," he says.

So how does Roche guide such a tennis marvel? Does he phone Federer immediately after a match ?

"No," Roche said.

Will he talk to him during the Qatar tournament?

"No," Roche said. "No. I never call him. If he needs me, he knows where I am."

What Roche will do is text a message like "good luck" and "well done".

Not "fix your groundstroke now, please, Roger"?

"No," laughs Roche.

"Look, when he split with his last coach he had a year on his own and won three slams. He's quite happy doing a lot of the stuff by himself."

But Federer didn't want to go it alone after 2004. He wanted Roche's wise words in his ear no matter what, but the former player most famous for partnering John Newcombe in doubles initially turned down the talented Swiss champion.

"I felt at the time I couldn't give him the time that somebody like he needed," Roche said. "So we virtually left it at that. He came out [to Australia] for that training week in December [2004]." It was then Federer stressed: "Whatever time you can give me, I am happy with that."

"It was a great honour for me first of all to be offered the job," Roche said.

Their contract is a handshake agreement, and that's the way it's been with all the players Roche has coached, including Ivan Lendl and Pat Rafter.

"We just do it year by year," Roche said. "I'm going to do a few more weeks this year but there's no time frame."

Rocking seven-week old granddaughter Claudia and nursing his fluffy white dog Buffy on his knee, Roche said that first and foremost a player had to be a "nice person" before he'd take them on.

He said the respect must run thick in a coach/player relationship. That ingredient he has with Federer.

"He listens," Roche said, then added, laughing: "He does what he's told. A successful partnership can only work if you have respect for one another. That's the way I've always worked. I never had a contract with any of the players, just a handshake.

"First of all they've got to be really nice people. I've been lucky in that sense with Pat and Ivan, even though a lot of people sort of got the wrong impression of Ivan. He was a terrific bloke."

Federer and Roche have developed a close friendship. "But it's different - I'm 60, and he's 24," he laughs. They're not exactly hitting the pubs together. But they shared Christmas day together at Turramurra as well as training intensely over a 10-day period. When training is in full swing, Roche is boggled by Federer's moves and shots. "Unbelievable talent," Roche said. "Some of the stuff he can do is just mind-boggling. Nobody else can do that kind of stuff. You think, 'Wow, did that happen?'. We let him know [when he does something amazing].

"He's good fun. He enjoys a bit of a laugh, he's very relaxed and that's a big part of why he's so successful. He's very laidback. Outwardly, not many things seem to bother him."

While many on the men's tour rock up on court with tricky grips and swish strokes, Federer plays a complete game without complication.

He doesn't have many flaws and can pretty much do everything. "He plays more like Rod Laver," Roche said. "He's got a lot of variety.

"A lot of the guys that play the game today are one-dimensional, they're very good at what they do, and they've got the extreme grips, but Roger, I think he's a throwback to the way Laver and those guys used to play.

"Roger - he can do it all. He can play strong from the back and he's a good volleyer, he's sort of the complete player.

"He plays the way the game should be played."

Many people were hesitant when Roche told them he'd taken on the best player in the world.

"Gee, you're crazy - where can he go from here?" Roche recalled them asking of him.

But Roche added: "Just because he's been winning a lot and has had a couple of great years, I mean he knows he's got to keep and wants to keep on improving. I'm just there to help him get better."

So how successful can Federer be, and does he have the ability to better the achievements of that Australian tennis great Rod Laver?

"Time will tell," Roche said.

"I definitely think if Roger can win the French championship then he's up there with the all-time greats. That's the ultimate test: to win all the slams.

"It's harder these days because it's on different surfaces. Not taking anything away from Rod winning two slams - three of the tournaments were on grass and one on clay in those days.

"Whereas now it's on four different surfaces and the depth in men's tennis is much greater now. Especially on the clay, that's going to be a huge test for Roger to win the French."

After his time in Qatar, Federer will touch down in Australia to play a lead-up tournament at Kooyong before the Australian Open.

By then Roche will no longer be spying on Federer from his living room. He'll be courtside and will have a much closer vantage to critique the Swiss marvel's volley.

Mrs. B
01-08-2006, 08:42 AM
Thanks, Daniel for the articles, i love the one, "The Peak of His Powers". Well written. Could you post the author's name, too?

TenHound
01-08-2006, 09:07 AM
Daniel, you beat me to it. And as I scrolled down to protest that surely the Author of this wonderful piece deserves credit, I noted that Mrs. B agrees. So does the Publication....

Surprise, surprise, it's Not written by an American. It's not for nothing that the Guardian won sports writing awards last year. They consistently publish the best - certainly in tennis. The only competitor is whatever publication is printing Rohit Brijnath. Though a few other Brit. papers have exc. tennis writers as well. This article was given front page play in the Guardian. It's written by a British Novelist - Paul Bailey.

Actually his name is buried in the beginning text Daniel posted, but buried is the Operative word. For an article such as this, his name should be highlighted!!

Dirk
01-08-2006, 01:09 PM
Yes it should Tenhound. This man is fantastic.

nobama
01-08-2006, 02:23 PM
Very well written. But the Brit press care more about tennis than the Yank press does. I remember after ARod lost R1 at US Open they said on ESPN that nobody would watch or care about the tournament now. Of course every night match of Roger's I saw was packed and the crowd was very enthusiastic. Especially during the Santoro match. Plus the mens final got the highest TV ratings since like 2000 or something.

Anyone expecting to see articles like this in American papers - forget it. And now that Agassi is out of AO they probably won't write about that much either.

SUKTUEN
01-08-2006, 03:54 PM
Roger have a good time with the old coach

Doris Loeffel
01-08-2006, 04:14 PM
Thanks guys and gals for all the great articles!!
Was a lot of fun to read them

SUKTUEN
01-08-2006, 04:26 PM
Thanks guys and gals for all the great articles!!
Was a lot of fun to read them
there are become more and more chinese articles about Roger!! :D

avocadoe
01-08-2006, 04:54 PM
we are sooooooooo lucky to be Roger fans :)

SUKTUEN
01-08-2006, 05:01 PM
we are sooooooooo lucky to be Roger fans :)
yes, we are :D

Mrs. B
01-08-2006, 05:11 PM
Daniel, you beat me to it. And as I scrolled down to protest that surely the Author of this wonderful piece deserves credit, I noted that Mrs. B agrees. So does the Publication....

Surprise, surprise, it's Not written by an American. It's not for nothing that the Guardian won sports writing awards last year. They consistently publish the best - certainly in tennis. The only competitor is whatever publication is printing Rohit Brijnath. Though a few other Brit. papers have exc. tennis writers as well. This article was given front page play in the Guardian. It's written by a British Novelist - Paul Bailey.

Actually his name is buried in the beginning text Daniel posted, but buried is the Operative word. For an article such as this, his name should be highlighted!!

thanks for highlighting it, tenhound. i did overlook it and just read thru the article which was beautifully written. :)

TenHound
01-08-2006, 07:00 PM
Incidentally folks, we should Definitely Not be Reproducing articles w/out crediting the source. Copyright laws are loose on the net, but that is really unfair any way you cut it. (Anyway, I usually want to know.)

tonia9
01-08-2006, 09:48 PM
You can vote for Roger here:

http://www.sportsline.com/tennis (http://)

:)

nobama
01-08-2006, 11:15 PM
Here's something Andy said about playing Roger in a recent press conference:

Q. How frustrating, if at all, has it been to know that you'd have won even more Grand Slam titles if not for Federer? Do you also feel you need to be more aggressive when you play him?

ANDY RODDICK: I mean, of course I would have loved to have won more Grand Slams. I think you have to give credit where credit's due. I would just beg you guys, when watching tapes of me against Roger, realize what I'm doing to him. You rarely see me playing back, you know, letting him be the aggressor. He's just come up with the goods. I just feel that's such an uninformed comment about going aggressive against Roger. I mean, if you watched the Wimbledon final this year, I was putting pressure on him every point. So I'm just going to have to completely disagree with that notion.

TenHound
01-09-2006, 12:47 AM
Avocadoe, I couldn't agree more. Paul Bailey's art. expressed that well. I can't imagine tuning in to watch men's tennis for many yrs. after he's gone.

TenHound
01-09-2006, 07:37 AM
Neil Harman (Timesonline.co.uk) weighs in w/choice bit:

Is this a dagger I see before me? No, another trophy

AFTER his successful defence of the ExxonMobil Open title in Doha, Roger Federer was pictured, like a potentate of old, wielding a huge golden cutlass in one hand and a gold-plated eagle in the other. No image could more define the power and influence he holds over the sport of tennis.

One down, ten to go.

...

Nothing else of note in brief art.

SUKTUEN
01-09-2006, 05:00 PM
Here's something Andy said about playing Roger in a recent press conference:
I Love it~!! :devil:

mangoes
01-10-2006, 12:52 AM
PREVIEW-Tennis-Fresh Federer ready for some more hard labour

By Bill Barclay

LONDON, Jan 9 (Reuters) - While his rivals wilt under the strain of trying to match him, Roger Federer appears ominously fresh before the first grand slam of the season.

The Swiss world number one starts his bid for a second Australian Open title in his familiar role as outstanding favourite and showing little sign of last year's foot and ankle injuries.

The latter played a part in his painful end to an otherwise outstanding 2005 when David Nalbandian beat him in five sets in November to win the Masters Cup in Shanghai.

Federer resumed normal service with victory in his first tournament of 2006, the Qatar Open, without the loss of the set and more importantly, without any sign of his injuries.

"A beautiful start" was the verdict of the 24-year-old. "It really showed I am over it, I really think that."

In contrast, Spaniard Rafael Nadal, the only player who came close to matching Federer's success last season, is struggling with a foot injury. Defending Australian Open champion Marat Safin, the Russian who beat Federer in last year's semi-finals, has not played since August due to a knee problem.

Andre Agassi, who took a set off Federer in the U.S. Open final, has already withdrawn injured and home hope Lleyton Hewitt, who together with Nalbandian could be Federer's strongest challenger, has lost his last nine matches against the Swiss.

For those who do make it to Melbourne, it promises to be hard labour all the way on a surface Federer loves.

The Swiss only suffered four defeats in 85 matches last season and can argue that injury played a part in two of them.

The Swiss was hampered by sore feet when he lost his five-set classic against Safin in the Melbourne semi-finals last year.

Ten months later an ankle injury meant his lack of match fitness came to bear in November's five-set loss to Nalbandian in the Masters Cup final in Shanghai.

Federer's two other defeats of 2005 were on clay and on a hardcourt -- the surface that will be used in Melbourne -- he has won 45 consecutive matches, 11 more than the previous record.

If the early season signs are anything to go by, that remarkable unbeaten run will still be in tact come the end of the Melbourne fortnight.

Federerthebest
01-10-2006, 07:31 AM
TRANSCRIPT OF AAMI CLASSIC PRESS CONFERENCE HELD AT KOOYONG LAWN TENNIS CLUB ON TUESDAY 10/1/2006:

INTRODUCTION OF PLAYERS AND ANNOUNCEMENT OF DRAW BY HOST


HOST:
Roger, you've started the year particularly well; obviously you're over all your injury concerns?

ROGER FEDERER:
A: Yes, I would say so, for sure. I'm very pleased about it actually because after Shanghai I was wondering how it's going to turn out to be. My foot got really stiff, I need to still work on the foot, and to start off the year the way I did and the movement has been good so I'm happy to say that I can play at 100 per cent again.

Q: You won a magnificent trophy in Catar. What do you do with a sword?

A: What do you do with a sword? I don't know. I got two now. It's good. I will take it to practice, maybe.

Q: Andy, another solid year for you in 2005. All these youngsters keep bobbing up all over the tennis circuit, is that a concern to you at all, does that make you concentrate any harder, work any harder off the court?

ANDY RODDICK:
A: No, I just have to make sure to bring my walker to the courts and back every day. No, I mean, that's the way tennis is, it's cyclical, and I think it's exciting having players like Gael and Berdych played well and Nadal is leading the way, I think it's exciting to see a new generation coming forth. I don't like it but it's good for the game and these guys are good personalities, which will help.

Q: Ivan, welcome to you and congratulations on the Davis Cup performance. Is it starting to die down back home now, the excitement?

IVAN LJUBICIC:
A: Just about, I guess. It was a fantastic success, obviously the crowd was really excited about it and now we have also two events in Croatia so tennis is becoming a big sport back home.

Q: Was that your greatest achievement so far in tennis?

A: Of course, by far.

Q: Anything that you've done ranked anywhere near?

A: Olympic medal, bronze medal in doubles is also a nice achievement but obviously nothing even close to this.

Q: Guillermo, welcome back to you and all the best for you in 2006. I just wonder whether this is the perfect way to have a buildup for the Australian Open, a Grand Slam event, being able to play in succession some of the world's best players?

GUILLERMO CORIA:
A: It is important for him to play this tournament ....

Q: We wish you all the best. It was a difficult question to translate, by the way. David Nalbandian is joining us again and, David, it's always good to see you down here in Australia. I was reading recently about the way that you like play your tennis and the tactics that you like to employ. Do you enjoy the fact that players find it difficult to play against you?

DAVID NALBANDIAN:
A: I always find difficult playing against them. I really enjoy playing tennis and move the opponents in the front of the net always is fun but I always try to do my best, I really enjoy my tactics.

Q: Tommy, how have you spent the break? You've been on the circuit for a while, do you need to rest your body or have you been training all the way through?

TOMMY HAAS:
A: To be honest, I've had enough breaks with my injuries in the past two to three years so I'm happy to be injury﷓free, enjoy my time off, obviously trying to get ready for this year and I had a pretty good start, I would say, the last week and happy to play against these guys this week and give it my best this year and see what happens.

Q: Gael, you had an interesting match﷓up last week against Roger. Was that a great opportunity for you to see how much further you have to go as a tennis player to be at the top?

GAEL MONFILS:
A: Yes, it was a good experience for me. I hope I will maybe next time improve a bit, maybe to take one set or take the match....

Q: You spent a bit of time out on the court with him, did you notice any weaknesses in his game?

A: Yes, a little bit.

Q: Would you look forward to playing him again this week, Roger?

ROGER FEDERER:
A: I hope in the finals, not on the other finals.

Q: Nicholas, welcome to you. I guess it's a great thing for you to be able to be part of this tournament in the lead﷓up to the Australian Open?

NICHOLAS KIEFER:
A: Yes, of course I'm very happy and thanks to Colin and everybody who makes this happen here. I didn't expect it but then all of a sudden I got a call and it's a great warm﷓up and good matches.

Q: In a tournament like this, do you look for weaknesses or is it a chance to experiment with your own game against some of the world's best players?

A: You have three good matches and you can try some different things and try to be ready for next week.

HOST:
What we are going to do now is throw it open to the media for questions.

Q: Roger, this time of the year attention is always drawn, particularly for the world number one player, as to what their chances are of winning a Grand Slam and whether that actually appears on their radar at all. Is that something that you could be aiming for this year?

ROGER FEDERER:
A: To win a Grand Slam?

Q: To win The Grand Slam.

A: I don't know. We'll know in three weeks if that's still an issue. It was very quickly gone after I lost the semis last year but, to be honest, I don't think about it; it's way too much and the guys on tour are so tough and on every surface you have basically experts so it makes it hard but it would obviously be nice to start off the year in great style and win the Aussie Open but that I know is very hard to do.

Q: Is it a motivating factor at all, the prospect that you could win The Grand Slam?

A: It's for everybody the same, isn't it? I think everybody should be excited about the new year.

Q: Roger, this time last year you took out the AAMI Classic after Doha but had a few injury concerns. How do you compare yourself to last year?

A: Obviously the injury, this last one I had, was the ankle, it was more serious than the injury I had two years ago ﷓ it was just a little tear in my thigh, this year it was the ankle and obviously I felt better coming into last year as Doha and Kooyong but now after I played at Doha I feel good and I'm also hitting the ball well and we will see how Kooyong goes but I've been here in Sydney, practiced with Tony already, so I'm used to the heat and the conditions and this tournament I know it now, after playing it twice. I'm feeling good but I think maybe last year I would felt even a little better because of the injury.

Q: Lleyton has obviously had some time off for injury and also becoming a dad and now the news yesterday that he is suffering from a stomach bug. Do you still see him as your number one threat in the Australian Open?

A: Well, he's definitely a hot favourite because of the home crowd support and the great run he had here last year, just the good player he is, but then again we have other great players, many of them sitting here at the table, all of them, and it's going to be extremely hard. I see as usual four Grand Slams at the moment, big number of guys who have got a shot to win the first Grand Slam of the year.

Q: Andy, Andre hurt himself playing racquet ball. Have you now added that to your list of things not to do?

ANDY RODDICK:
A: I think that's kind of a fluke thing. We play tennis all year, moving side to side on our ankles now all of a sudden he plays racquet ball and turns it, I think that's just unfortunate but it's not one of my hobbies so I don't have to worry about cutting it out.

Q: Do you have to be careful about what you do or don't do when you are not hitting tennis bulls?

A: Of course. I don't think you are going to see any of us going on a skiing vacation, or popping wheelies on motorcycles or anything like that. It's just stuff that happens. You've seen it before with guys playing basketball and twisting an ankle and it's just the kind of unfortunate accidents that happen sometimes.

Q: Roger, looks like you are going to start the Australian Open as the shortest priced favourite ever in the history of the tournament ahead of Sampras and other greats. Is the game over already, do you think?

ROGER FEDERER:
A: Well, I don't know. I felt like last year was quite crazy, already they were going I already won the tournament before I even started to play. It's pretty calm this year, I don't know why, it's just a feeling I have but it's good to have the odds for you than against you but, again, it's the first Grand Slam of the year, we've all had a rest and everybody is looking for form, also myself so we will see how it goes.

Q: Does that put you under extra pressure to know that you are the overwhelming red hot favourite?

ANDY RODDICK:
A: It's real different for him to be in that position, you know.

ROGER FEDERER:
A: I haven't experienced it for a while so I'm not really used to it, yeah. I'm used to it so it doesn't ﷓ red hot or hot favourite, whatever, I'm used to it.

Q: Ivan, you've had the longest season of these guys and you still managed to win Chennai. What is your advice?

IVAN LJUBICIC:
A: You play when you are ready. Obviously there are many tournaments out there, you just have to pick the ones that you feel like you are going to be fit to play and I felt like I was ready for Chennai and turned out that I was right, I'm feeling good, I'm fit and I'm going to play obviously tournaments when I'm fit. I hope it's going to be a lot of tournaments but depends on my body; obviously you cannot over play it but it was a long season but I had also holes in the middle, I didn't play much middle of the season so I still feel fresh.

Q: David, has your Masters Cup win in Shanghai given you more confidence that you can win a major now, is that a big step for you to take?

DAVID NALBANDIAN:
A: Of course it was a big step but, like Roger says, there's a lot of good players in here playing the Grand Slam and everybody wants to win it so it's going to be tough but of course the Shanghai gave me more confidence so I will try to take the first one.

Q: Roger, last year as compared to 2004, and I am talking about results, just in the way that you play the game, how much do you think that you are a better player in 2005 as opposed to 2004, your ability to do different things or just how comfortable you were feeling, not just in results but in the way you were playing?

ROGER FEDERER:
A: I think it was the experience I gained through all the years, especially 2004 playing without a coach, that helped me a lot, and I think you sort of take things away from that and understand the game better and you're more sure of what you've got to do in the right moments and how to prepare and little things like this for me made quite a difference and I thought 2005 was great, even though maybe looking back 2004 was better because of the three Grand Slams and the Masters Cup, but I hardly lost in 2005 which was absolutely fantastic. I think my game is improving a little bit, obviously it's just slightly because I don't want to go away from my game plan and I think I have to keep improving as the guys are improving too and they obviously want to beat you, they come up with new stuff too I've always got to be ready for them.

Q: Roger, do you prepare differently for the Australian Open, for major events that you do normal events?

A: No. To be honest, for the last three years I've been basically preparing the same way for slams and tournaments, maybe arriving a day or a couple days earlier or later, depending on what tournament I was playing and so on, but I've really gotten into this routine where basically the preparation is always the same.

Q: Andy, with injury clouds over a lot of the top players do you see this week's Aussie Open as your best chance?

ANDY RODDICK:
A: Best chance of?

Q: Winning it.

A: Going into a Grand Slam you know if you are going to win it you're going to have to beat the top players, it's just the way it is. I don't really look at my chances of the Australian Open being dependent upon whether someone pulls out or plays, I think each person has to focus on their tournament and their campaign and how they're going to try to win it. I don't really focus on stuff that's too far out of my control.

Q: Andy, do you still put your trophies when you win them above the seat in the aeroplane?

A: Never.

Q: Tommy, it's not unusual to have players continuing well into their 30s. Now that injuries are becoming more of a factor do you think careers are going to become shorter and shorter?

TOMMY HAAS:
A: I would hope it's the opposite, that I think we all look up to Andre Agassi and what he has accomplished in his early 30s and still is accomplishing but it's not going to get any easier either; there's so many young guns coming up and the game is very brutal on your body, week in and week out, and you just have to make sure that you try to stay away from the injuries in the best possible way and sometimes you just can't do anything about it but I think if you play the right tournaments, you don't overdo it, and you pick the right ones to play good in, I think you can stay in the early mid 30s and still play some good tennis.

Q: Roger, Davis Cup first round this year.

ROGER FEDERER:
A: If I'm going to play or not?

Q: Yes.

A: I don't know yet. After the Aussie Open I will decide.

Q: Nicholas, how are you playing after the Hopman Cup?

NICHOLAS KEIFER:
A: It's getting better and better, I'm ready to go. I had good treatment and looks good.

Q: Roger, what is the motivating factor in the Davis Cup decision, if you have success at the Australian Open?

ROGER FEDERER:
A It depends on the result at the Aussie Open a little bit. I want to see how that goes, I wanted to first see how the foot goes, I'm sort of over it now but now that I'm heading into the Australian Open I don't want to make a decision on the Davis Cup so I might as well just wait and see how it goes and shortly after the Australian Open is over I will make a decision about Davis Cup against you guys.

Q: Last year you said your priority was to protect your number one ranking, that that was very important to you. Have your priorities changed at all in terms of any of the things that you might be able to achieve this year?

A: I've protected that ranking for quite sometime now so that is my big goal for this, I have got to play consistently well. Obviously one Grand Slam a year would be nice, I've done that over the last three years so hopefully I can do that again this year and my favourite would be Wimbledon of course because it means the most.

Q: How do you set the bar higher given that you have achieved those things over the past few years?

A: I don't need to set it higher. I've got to keep on improving my game and enjoy it. Stay hungry for wins, that is not a problem because I enjoy it and once you arrive on the big stage it's no problem for motivation whatsoever so you don't need to set the bar higher because it's already difficult enough to maintain.

HOST:
Q: David, we talk about momentum in sport. How important is it to start the season well in tennis?

DAVID NALBANDIAN:
A: It is very important. More important is when you feel healthy and that's more important than your game and maybe during the year you can start winning matches and feel more confidence but if you don't feel healthy that's tough. Of course when you start very good the season it's very good for the rest of the year so everyone is going to do the best that they can from here.

HOST:
Q: Ivan, I just wonder with the victory in the Davis Cup what that might do for tennis in Croatia, do you think?

IVAN LJUBICIC:
A: It's definitely going to be very big. We have obviously soccer team which is the favourite sport in Croatia, not only in Croatia (indistinct) in skiing so we are trying to challenge these sports but I think it is big now after my win in .... in 1997, Goran winning in 2001 Wimbledon, now we did 2005 so it's kind of every four years. I hope we're not going to wait another four years for something big but it's good and we heard back home that more and more kids are playing tennis.

Q: You mentioned soccer. Croatia is drawn in Australia's pool at the World Cup. What would be very fearful of Australian soccer?

A: Well, as I know it a lot of Croatians are playing actually for Australia but it's a tough group, obviously Brazil is the favourite one but the other three teams they have to fight for the second spot.

Q: Which would mean more to Croatia, a win in the Davis Cup or a win at the World Cup?

A: World Club obviously; soccer is the biggest sport by far but still to be world champion in anything it's great stuff so we are still enjoying this one.

Q: Roger, life without Andre, does it feel different without the old guy around here in Australia?

ROGER FEDERER:
A: It is a pity because we had a good match in the quarters last year and he has had some unbelievable results here in Australia so obviously it's a pity because everywhere he goes and plays he's a favourite to win. I don't want to say it's better for us but it definitely takes away a huge candidate to win and I guess if he's not here it means he doesn't feel like he's ready to win the tournament. It's a pity, I always enjoy playing Andre and I think everybody does because of what he has done to tennis and all his results make it obviously very special to be playing tennis with him.

Q: Roger, what kind of work were you able to do with Tony this time around and how did it differ to the things you did last year?

A: It was very similar. We had about 10 days both times and work on everything, focusing on all the strokes and just working hard and getting ready for this season. It's nothing particular I could mention what we did, it's just spending time together and spend time on the court. It was good, good weather instead of being in zero degrees back home in Switzerland I just thought that was just a better preparation.

Q: Did you actually spend Christmas here or back home?

A: I was here for Christmas.

Q: That's become a bit of a routine for you?

A: It was the first time.

Q: I thought were you here last year.

A: I was in the plane last year for Christmas. This year was New Year's; it's getting better.

HOST:
We might wrap it up there and I know you would like to join me in thanking the players for their participation today and wish them well for the AAMI Classic.

World Beater
01-10-2006, 08:22 AM
andy had roger confused a little bit. lol

bokehlicious
01-10-2006, 08:45 AM
Q: Which would mean more to Croatia, a win in the Davis Cup or a win at the World Cup?

A (Ljubo): World Club obviously; soccer is the biggest sport by far but still to be world champion in anything it's great stuff so we are still enjoying this one.


What a :retard: question... Ask the Frenchies if they are prouder beeing 98 world champion or DC champions... :)

The journalist seems to forget that the world cup is the most important sport event in the world :rolleyes:

SUKTUEN
01-10-2006, 04:16 PM
thanks for the intrview~!

onm684
01-11-2006, 03:40 PM
ROGER FEDERER PRESS CONFERENCE 11/1/06:



Q: You looked to be struggling to get your rhythm going today, Roger, was that part and parcel of arriving in Australia, or was there something a bit more going on for you?



A: I didn't think I played that bad; I think I played pretty good in the first set. I was struggling for rhythm in the beginning, just the first maybe six games or so, started to get better and I broke him twice in a row to win the set and I think he was really struggling in the beginning to really put away his shots and stuff and that allowed me to really get on top of him and I think he played good after that, he hardly missed a ball and served consistently so made it hard for me. I wasn't ‑ maybe going for my serve the way I should have but it's hard, I've arrived late and if I think back the last couple of years always my first round here in Kooyong has always been a struggle against Gaudio last year, and the year before I think it was Johannsen, also I very close at losing so I guess a three setter is the usual thing I do here when I open up but just this time I lost.



Q: Was there any ankle soreness at all today?



A: No, I'm happy and arriving here and I played the match through without any pain and also not getting injured is obviously also a concern, with all the injury problems we have in men's tennis at the moment so I'm happy to still be standing.



Q: You beat him three and three in Doha just recently ‑ ‑ ‑



A: It was couple of days ago.



Q: What was the difference in that match compared to today?



A: Obviously a little different conditions. It's in a semi final so I'm already playing better, for sure, but it was a close match ‑ three and three doesn't really show how tough it was ‑ I really had to fight and play a good match back there and obviously I served better than today and it was in the night so obviously that changes too and the surface wasn't bouncing as high as here so it was a little easier to keep the ball in play so many small things made a difference but I was looking good for a while there but he came back strong today.



Q: Is this a setback at all?



A: No, it's not.



Q: Roger, do you think that Tommy could actually come back into the top 10?



A: Oh, yeah, for sure. I think he's a good player and he has had a lot of injury problems. I played him just before he got injured for, I don't know how long he was injured for, at least a year, a year and a half, and I always thought he was a good player. He beat me on a couple of big occasions, like here at the Aussie Open, I think fourth round, 9‑7 in the fifth where I had match point and I was really coming strong then, I was just becoming a good player and then he beat me at the Olympics, convincing also in Australia, so he beat me a third time in Australia, I guess that's why, now I've realised why I lost; he's better in Australia.



Q: Is there a sense of disappointment that you won't get a chance to play Marat again at the Australian Open?



A: Has he pulled out?



Q: Well, it's on his web site that he has.



A: Promoting his web site. Obviously if he pulls out that will be a disappointment. Already disappointing Rafael is pulling out, it's always a pity if number two player pulls out, then obviously the defending champion too, these are too big blows for the Aussie Open and for the tournament but again we saw that coming too so it's not that much of a disappointment, we still have good players here with myself, Lleyton, Andy. Andre obviously pulling out too, that hurts I think too so that's how it goes sometimes and it's a pity they couldn't recuperate but it really shows that the injuries they had at the Masters Cup in Shanghai were serious injuries and not just, like maybe some people thought tired of the season, let's have a longer break, so really honest guys, which is good to see.



Q: Does it show ... how the tour program needs to be revamped and a shorter season when we're seeing injury after injury?



A: I think it's just unfortunate at the moment. How often does it happen that half of the top guys are injured? It's never really happening and if you look back at the injuries they have, they are injuries that have been coming for a long time, like Marat's knee, he has been struggling for a long time, same as Rafael's foot, he had that problem before where I think Andre got unlucky so it all adds up and we all think it's the tour in the end. I don't quite agree with it because it's been like this for years and years and years and the issue comes up when there is a few guys injured but I think if you're playing carefully and you're fit, you shouldn't have too many injuries because you can always plan if you want to play more or less, you can always take wild cards, you can always pull out, there is a chance to do that.



Q: We saw with Nadal and Safin, if they were healthy and hadn't played a tournament for three months, is it possible for a guy like that to come into a Grand Slam, not having played for three months, and have a chance to win a Grand Slam?



A: Absolutely. If you're that calibre of player you can do it. Three months is not that much. I think six months it gets very difficult but three, I think once you get underway that's the difficult part and I think at the end of the injury for a Grand Slam I think they would have had enough time to prepare, it obviously depends on the preparation. If you're just coming back from injury like I did, from my injury last year with the ankle, that was obviously hard because I barely could practice so I think the preparation is what really matters.



Q: Can you take us back a little bit to what you did after Shanghai, how you spent the month of December and when did you start hitting again?



A: I was two and a half weeks on vacation, was home for 10 days in Switzerland, started to work out with a condition trainer for 10 days, hit a few times, maybe three times in total, then I went to Tony, about the 20th I left and I was there for 10 days, and I was on Sunday before Doha so I hit every day, focused really just on playing tennis so Doha and then here.

SUKTUEN
01-11-2006, 03:58 PM
Roger feel unhappy, now I think~~

onm684
01-12-2006, 05:35 AM
Roger Federer def Ivan Ljubicic 6/4 6/3


ROGER FEDERER PRESS CONFERENCE 12/1/06:


Q: A bit of a different feeling out there compared to yesterday?



A: Well, not really. I thought it was just different conditions so, like I said on the court, I thought it was much quicker today with higher bounce, makes it hard to control, but thought it was a decent performance like yesterday. I'm happy that I won the match playing this way.



Q: The match before it looked a bit difficult to hold serve and you two seemed to struggle to hold your serve, especially in the second set, was the wind to blame?



A: No, I think it's tough. To always hold your serve you've got to have a very high focus and sometimes that's hard to do when you are playing all the time and sometimes on the serve, like I said yesterday, you hold back sometimes and then when you want the serves to come along they're not there. I don't like to go full swing on my serves all the time, I want to rest my arm a little bit and maybe try more of a slice and kick stuff and that's not what I do usually and these little things make a difference whether you get broken or not. How many times I find myself playing full swing and being down a break points, I save myself plenty of times. Here it happens and I'm happy that I can at least break back.



Q: Are you in as good a shape before the Australian Open now as you have been in recent years?



A: Oh, yeah, I think with the win in Doha it couldn't be any better. I preferred this way than to really having to work hard again this week, tried to get my rhythm going but the rhythm is there, I know it, and like I said I'm happy with the way I'm hitting the ball and once again the start of the year has been good and I'm really anxious to start the Australian Open, that's for sure.



Q: At a tournament like this do you try something different every day or is it just whatever comes up?



A: Definitely I try to do some things a little different maybe than in a match, it's like a practice, so for this reason I'm not too concerned how many breaks I get and I try to maybe to play a little bit more aggressive off the baseline, slicing, spin a little bit more, whatever it is you always try some little things, but then again I try not to move away too much from my game plan because I don't want to mess myself up in my head too much before such a big event so, yesterday I thought I was trying a little bit more than today and tomorrow I will try to play like basically I want to play at the Australian Open, very solid and consistent, and try to play my game.



Q: You would actually increase intensity?



A: No, not the intensity, it's just the way of playing. Stop maybe trying to do things other things you did and now just playing a normal match where I know what I can do, what I cannot do, and I've got used to the conditions here, where in Doha it was again a little different. Then after this is over for me I have got another couple of days where I can try out a few things that I would like to use but now I would like tomorrow to maybe play a match where I play very solid.



Q: When you have had some injury concerns is it hard not to be aware of that when you are playing or do you have to just try to ignore that?



A: Well, I've gotten sort of over it. Obviously as long as I wear the brace it's right there, I know I can play without but then if something would be happening, I don't know, I could blame it really badly on myself like this. Maybe you're always quite aware of it but I've definitely gotten over it since I've started practicing hard in December, Doha went well and I haven't had any pain playing here so it's definitely a good sign, I'm happy about it, because in Shanghai I was still playing in pain and very, very fragile mentally, I would say.

MissMoJo
01-12-2006, 05:46 AM
.....because in Shanghai I was still playing in pain and very, very fragile mentally, I would say
:( :sad:

Dirk
01-12-2006, 06:26 AM
He shouldn't have gone there. It could have been much worse for him than losing in the final.

ExpectedWinner
01-12-2006, 07:23 AM
He shouldn't have gone there. It could have been much worse for him than losing in the final.

Absolutely. There are a lot of things people can experiment with, but health is not one of them.

nobama
01-12-2006, 12:06 PM
He shouldn't have gone there. It could have been much worse for him than losing in the final.Well he did, and it's over. Not much you can do about it now.

avocadoe
01-12-2006, 12:35 PM
he sounds fine...did anyone else have trouple with their computers after opening the interviews at the site? My word processing program which opened it for me transfered all the code junk into all my manuscripts, computer hell, even inserting dots and dashes betwen word and syllables. Its useless from top to bottom. I have a computer guy coming up to see what he can do. Its not a virus or a worm. Maybe spywhere???Anyway, happy to see the interview here, though no way I was opening it :( thanks...

lunahielo
01-12-2006, 02:04 PM
Originally posted by avocadoe
Maybe spywhere???Anyway, happy to see the interview here, though no way I was opening it
Oh. avocadoe
I am so sorry.:sad:

After reading your post I will not open anything from the site. Thanks.
I don't like the site, anyway~~~no scoreboard. :rolleyes:
(Let us know how it goes, please. Good luck.)

SUKTUEN
01-13-2006, 02:33 AM
Roger feel sad and pain ????? :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad:

kjo
01-13-2006, 05:37 AM
OK, I dared to open it:

ROGER FEDERER PRESS CONFERENCE 13/1/06:

Q: Roger, Max is your potential opponent in the third round of the Australian Open, so is this a really good preparation for that?

A: I didn't know it was third round against him so it was good, he told me later on, but it doesn't really change much; I think we know each other's games well enough so this doesn't matter and we've got plenty of matches before and tough opponents too so I wasn't thinking one second out there that I might play him at the Aussie Open.

Q: With the amount of baseline players there are on the tour now, when you're faced with a big serve volleyer like Max is it quite difficult to adjust?

A: It's always difficult to play against him because it's always a two, or maximum three, shot rally and sometimes you play the right shots but he picks the right side and then you end up still losing the point so it's very difficult to play players like him, they’ve got great serves, great athlete, at the net especially, and it is very difficult to play him but I thought at the same time it's a great challenge to always keep on passing and you're always going to see nice points and always a lot of winners, and I enjoy that actually.

Q: What does the name Denis Istomin mean to you?

A: Don't know.

Q: He's your first round opponent.

A: I read that, but I never heard of him. Cannot tell you one thing about him.

Q: Is that harder, going into an opening round not knowing one thing about your opponent?

A: Could be good, could be bad. We will find out soon.

Q: What do you do, will you have somebody go and watch him practice or anything like that, or ask around to find out?

A: Yeah, I will try to ask around a little bit. I already did, nobody knew him either. It's going to be hard but, again, have no clue how old he is, how he looks, if he is left or right so I better find out because I don't want to be facing something very unknown. It's definitely sort of tricky but I've never heard of him, obviously a huge favourite and take advantage of that.

Q: Do you prepare more opponent specific or do you just try and play your game regardless?

A: Well depends on the opponent, really does. I think early in the Grand Slam you're sort of getting used to the five setters first so I think you're focusing first on your own game and making sure you're fit and ready and can start off a Grand Slam campaign without any problems, and I think once you get underway you want to get off to a good start and once you've got that going then everything falls into place but there's obviously nerves always involved, a lot at stake for me and I always want to try and get off to a good start and I hope it's going to happen again this year.

Q: How do you assess your current form given that Tommy had a win over you a couple of days ago and you were taken to three tight sets here?

A: Well, all these results don't really matter to me, I'm concerned about how I'm hitting the ball and I think I could serve better, I've tried to serve a little better today and yesterday already but I'm still not quite satisfied. There's obviously tiredness felt from the trip I've had through coming from Doha late but I really started to play well at the end of the tournament. I'm happy the way I've been playing, also I had a couple of sessions on Rod Laver Arena, which were important I think, and again the Centre Court is different there, just the feeling, and I think now just a couple of days of practice I will be just fine.

Q: Roger, it looked like it all came together in that last tie breaker. Is that an ideal way to round off your preparation?

A: I was happy I played a decent breaker in the end because the first one was gone in no time against Max and this one quickly fell my way so it was good to finish off with it but, again, if I would have lost a break it wouldn't have changed much but played some good tennis in the end, I thought, and stayed tough which is good.

Q: Apart from your first round in the Open, have you had a bit of a look ahead as to how the draw shapes up for you?

A: No, I haven't.

Q: No concerns about Lleyton Hewitt falling into your part instead of Andy's?

A: Doesn't matter, does it? So far away in the draw but, like I said, I didn't quite look at it, I heard but not more really, there's not much to say about that.

Q: It's not your business really but in the second round Hewitt could face Andy Murray. You've played them both, what sort of match do you think that would be?

A: Well, both have to win their round first. I think it's the first time for Murray playing in the main draw of the Aussie Open so that will be a test for him, and he is playing

Q: Chela.

A: Chela, okay. That's a guy with experience so that's not going to be an easy one for him but of course if they play I think will be interesting to see over five sets against Hewitt, that's the toughest thing you can ask for, especially at Rod Laver Arena, so he better be ready for that one.

Q: How would you see Gasquet against Monfils as players at their stage of development? Gasquet has beaten you once, how would you compare them?

A: To be honest, before his injury I can only talk about Gasquet, now he lost back to back first rounds - Doha and Sydney - and I haven't seen him at all actually but before the injury I would definitely say Gasquet would beat Monfils but, again, times have changed, maybe Monfils has played good in Doha definitely would have a chance but I still believe Gasquet has a little more potential and is a little more dangerous on the day.

onm684
01-13-2006, 05:41 AM
he sounds fine...did anyone else have trouple with their computers after opening the interviews at the site? My word processing program which opened it for me transfered all the code junk into all my manuscripts, computer hell, even inserting dots and dashes betwen word and syllables. Its useless from top to bottom. I have a computer guy coming up to see what he can do. Its not a virus or a worm. Maybe spywhere???Anyway, happy to see the interview here, though no way I was opening it :( thanks...
It's a unfortunate:sad: I don't have any troubles..

Roger Federer def Max Mirnyi 6/7(1) 6/4 7/6(1)
ROGER FEDERER PRESS CONFERENCE 13/1/06:


Q: Roger, Max is your potential opponent in the third round of the Australian Open, so is this a really good preparation for that?

A: I didn't know it was third round against him so it was good, he told me later on, but it doesn't really change much; I think we know each other's games well enough so this doesn't matter and we've got plenty of matches before and tough opponents too so I wasn't thinking one second out there that I might play him at the Aussie Open.


Q: With the amount of baseline players there are on the tour now, when you're faced with a big serve volleyer like Max is it quite difficult to adjust?

A: It's always difficult to play against him because it's always a two, or maximum three, shot rally and sometimes you play the right shots but he picks the right side and then you end up still losing the point so it's very difficult to play players like him, they’ve got great serves, great athlete, at the net especially, and it is very difficult to play him but I thought at the same time it's a great challenge to always keep on passing and you're always going to see nice points and always a lot of winners, and I enjoy that actually.


Q: What does the name Denis Istomin mean to you?

A: Don't know.


Q: He's your first round opponent.

A: I read that, but I never heard of him. Cannot tell you one thing about him.


Q: Is that harder, going into an opening round not knowing one thing about your opponent?

A: Could be good, could be bad. We will find out soon.


Q: What do you do, will you have somebody go and watch him practice or anything like that, or ask around to find out?

A: Yeah, I will try to ask around a little bit. I already did, nobody knew him either. It's going to be hard but, again, have no clue how old he is, how he looks, if he is left or right so I better find out because I don't want to be facing something very unknown. It's definitely sort of tricky but I've never heard of him, obviously a huge favourite and take advantage of that.


Q: Do you prepare more opponent specific or do you just try and play your game regardless?

A: Well depends on the opponent, really does. I think early in the Grand Slam you're sort of getting used to the five setters first so I think you're focusing first on your own game and making sure you're fit and ready and can start off a Grand Slam campaign without any problems, and I think once you get underway you want to get off to a good start and once you've got that going then everything falls into place but there's obviously nerves always involved, a lot at stake for me and I always want to try and get off to a good start and I hope it's going to happen again this year.


Q: How do you assess your current form given that Tommy had a win over you a couple of days ago and you were taken to three tight sets here?

A: Well, all these results don't really matter to me, I'm concerned about how I'm hitting the ball and I think I could serve better, I've tried to serve a little better today and yesterday already but I'm still not quite satisfied. There's obviously tiredness felt from the trip I've had through coming from Doha late but I really started to play well at the end of the tournament. I'm happy the way I've been playing, also I had a couple of sessions on Rod Laver Arena, which were important I think, and again the Centre Court is different there, just the feeling, and I think now just a couple of days of practice I will be just fine.


Q: Roger, it looked like it all came together in that last tie breaker. Is that an ideal way to round off your preparation?

A: I was happy I played a decent breaker in the end because the first one was gone in no time against Max and this one quickly fell my way so it was good to finish off with it but, again, if I would have lost a break it wouldn't have changed much but played some good tennis in the end, I thought, and stayed tough which is good.


Q: Apart from your first round in the Open, have you had a bit of a look ahead as to how the draw shapes up for you?

A: No, I haven't.


Q: No concerns about Lleyton Hewitt falling into your part instead of Andy's?

A: Doesn't matter, does it? So far away in the draw but, like I said, I didn't quite look at it, I heard but not more really, there's not much to say about that.


Q: It's not your business really but in the second round Hewitt could face Andy Murray. You've played them both, what sort of match do you think that would be?

A: Well, both have to win their round first. I think it's the first time for Murray playing in the main draw of the Aussie Open so that will be a test for him, and he is playing ‑ ‑ ‑


Q: Chela.

A: Chela, okay. That's a guy with experience so that's not going to be an easy one for him but of course if they play I think will be interesting to see over five sets against Hewitt, that's the toughest thing you can ask for, especially at Rod Laver Arena, so he better be ready for that one.


Q: How would you see Gasquet against Monfils as players at their stage of development? Gasquet has beaten you once, how would you compare them?

A: To be honest, before his injury I can only talk about Gasquet, now he lost back to back first rounds - Doha and Sydney - and I haven't seen him at all actually but before the injury I would definitely say Gasquet would beat Monfils but, again, times have changed, maybe Monfils has played good in Doha definitely would have a chance but I still believe Gasquet has a little more potential and is a little more dangerous on the day.

nobama
01-13-2006, 05:52 AM
Great interview! :yeah:

Federer in full swing for legendary status (http://www.sport.telegraph.co.uk/sport/main.jhtml?xml=/sport/2006/01/13/stroge13.xml&sSheet=/sport/2006/01/13/ixsport.html)
By Mark Hodgkinson
(Filed: 13/01/2006)

A man apart on the tour, and quite possibly the finest racket-swinger in the sport's history, Roger Federer has different ambitions and considerations to the rest at this stage of the season. While the others are simply readying themselves for the Australian Open, his thoughts were somewhat grander yesterday, with the Swiss disclosing that he wanted to "become a legend".

He is the shortest-priced favourite in the history of the Australian Open, which starts here on Monday, with seemingly all the bookmakers across the state of Victoria making the wise decision that the other 127 players on the drawsheet are more than a couple of perfectly-hit forehands off Federer's talent. Judging by the odds, the bookies plainly believe that Andy Roddick, Lleyton Hewitt and company might as well sling their racket-bags over their shoulders now and trudge off into the distance.

Federer, the world No 1, is hoping to accumulate his seventh grand slam title at Melbourne Park, after winning Wimbledon in 2003, taking the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open in 2004, and last season defending his Wimbledon and US Open trophies. And he has done it all with class and style, and lately it seems that he has been giving some serious thought to how he will be perceived long-term. The "legend" comments were not meant to sound immodest, as he is not one for pre-season pretence and bombast; it was just that Federer knows exactly how good he is.

"I know that I mustn't get injured, that I have to stay healthy, that I have to live for tennis. I'm not going to be the best player in the world just fooling around. I have to be professional and serious, and stay that way for a long time. That is the difference between the legends and those who are just good players - legends are capable of keeping it going for a long time. That is what I want to achieve, to become a legend," the 24-year-old said.

Perhaps some in the tennis world already regard Federer as such. He has enjoyed praise from most of the celebrated players in the sport, current and former, and admitted that there have been occasions when it has been difficult to stop his head from being turned. He does not want his ego to get out of control. "I like what former players say about me, but I have to watch out that I don't like it too much," he said.

But, of all the compliments Federer has received for his trophy-winning skills, he says that the ones that have meant the most have come from his girlfriend. Mirka Vavrinec, Federer's public relations manager as well as his girlfriend of five years, is herself a former top-100 player and has watched almost all his matches at the highest level, so he says that she can fully appreciate the magnitude of what he has done.

"I don't often get a chance to reflect on what I have achieved, and it usually happens when I'm on vacation, and I'm talking to Mirka, and she will say to me, 'Jesus, Roger, I can't believe what you've been doing, that you've been winning all these matches'. That is the nicest moment for me, when Mirka tells me that she is proud that I can handle it all. Those are the times, when I'm talking to Mirka, when I feel really good about myself."

One achievement which registered highly with Federer was winning the US Open last season, as that put him level with Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg, his two boyhood idols, on six slams.

"That was a nice feeling for me, as I remember watching them when I was growing up, and how great they were, and I've matched their careers. It's great to be on the same page as them as they were the ones that I looked up to when I was a kid," he said.

Inevitably, the conversation then turned to the possibility of Federer breaking the record set by American Pete Sampras, the winner of 14 grand slam titles. "I can understand why people are saying that I will equal the Sampras record, as I am halfway through my career and everything is possible, and the last few years have been outstanding.

"I certainly do have a shot at breaking the record, but I just need to keep it going for a long time. It will be a hard thing to do, as the Sampras record is phenomenal. And though it would be nice to break the record, for the moment I'm just concentrating on my own career, and seeing where it takes me," he said.

"My main goals this season are to keep the world No 1 ranking and to win Wimbledon again. I want to have another great season, and I love winning matches and winning as many as I can. A first French Open title would add something to my career. The slams are important but, then again, every tournament I go to becomes important. I'll try to win every event I enter this season but I know that it's going to be hard."

Chasing history has come at a high price. Such have been the demands on his time that Federer said that what started out as a sport often felt more like a business. "There are definitely occasions when it's like a business to me, when I don't have time for myself.

"I was in Switzerland for 10 days during the off-season, and I had to pick up an award, and then I was practising hard with my conditioning trainer, and then I had to meet my friends, my family, and spend time with Mirka. And all of a sudden I realised that I didn't have very much time for myself," he said.

"I started to plan my time very carefully, and it was terrible. I had to tell my friend, 'Look, in three days, we will meet at 10.45 in the morning in this place, and we will have exactly an hour and a half'. That was awful. I feel like I'm not being true to myself, which isn't right. I have to watch that tennis doesn't dominate my life."

Federer said that tennis often left him mentally and physically drained. On a number of holidays with Mirka his energy levels had run so low after the long year that all he could do was slump on to a sun-lounger and lie there for hours. "Sometimes I've been on holiday at the end of the year and I've been too tired to even walk to the beach, or get up and order a drink, and that's not good," he said.

"But the good thing about tennis is that I don't have to play on until I'm 50 years old.

At 35, it's all over. For me, at 35, you are still young and there's still so much to achieve and do. You can change your life, you can become a construction worker, whatever you want to do. That is why I give everything to my tennis career now, and once I have had enough I can then walk away and say, 'OK, what's next?'"

Federer said that when he is done with tennis he would like a trophy room in his house so that he can look back on his career. "I have many awards and trophies, but I don't have a trophy room at home as my apartment is too small. I put my awards in the living room, and all my grand slam trophies in the dining room, so I can see them every day when I'm home," he said.

"One day I hope that I will have a trophy room and present it nicely, with all the pictures and trophies and statistics all together in one place. But maybe it's good that I don't have that room yet, as if I did I might get too caught up in myself."

MissMoJo
01-13-2006, 06:45 AM
Really cool interview :) alot of things i don't think i've heard him talk about so candidly before( the exhaustion,his hectic schedule, controlling his ego). So at 35...wow, i don't know why i've always thought he'd retire by 30, 31 at the latest. Of course i hope in 10 yrs time, we'll be celebrating the record breaking career of the greatest player ever.

MissMoJo
01-13-2006, 06:48 AM
Wilander's AO blog:
http://matswilander.com/?item=a-grand-slam-for-roger-federer-in-2006
A Grand Slam for Roger Federer in 2006?

Hi Everybody,

Thanks for visiting my website - I am on my way to the Australian Open for the 21st time, and is this not going to be an exciting event? I think Roger Federer - this might be his year. If he can put the Australian Open in his cabinet, he really has a good chance of winning the Grand Slam in 2006.

I am sure he is focusing on the French Open more than any other tournament, as he knows that Wimbledon and the US Open will come pretty naturally. The French Open is the one he is going to have problems with, he knows that and has been practicing for that tournament. The Australian Open is going to be an easier task this year as Marat Safin is not going to be participating. But Leyton Hewitt and Andy Roddick are tough competitors. David Nalbandian has just come off a win at the ATP finals in China, but I don't think Roger Federer is scared of him. I think Roger Federer is more scared of himself than any other player on earth. I had that feeling for about 48 hours in 1988, eating bagels at 4 a.m. the night I won the US Open, and doing Good Morning America on ABC. I was kicking butt for two days, and then reality set in.

I think Roger Federer will have to worry more about the first four rounds in the Australian Open, than the last three rounds. Usually he's a given into the quarter finals or the semi finals of a grand slam, but I think this year there might be some doubt in his mind. Without changing my game, by only improving - am I still going to dominate? In the first four rounds he faces players that might never have dreamed of playing against Roger Federer or Hewitt, Roddick and Co. There is so much history to draw confidence from. I do think he needs to develop his game, and change his game, thinking ahead to the French Open, to be able to capture that elusive Grand Slam,which hasn't been done since Rod Laver did it in '69. What I mean is that he needs to play more serve and volley on fast surfaces, just more at the net; and on clay he needs a more thought through strategy.

Roger Federer clearly has the game to do it, now does he believe in himself still? He has had two unbelievable years; last year he was voted Male Sports Athlete in most countries in the world for that year. And I do believe Tony Roche has helped him over the Christmas vacation and new years holidays. I really hope to see him capture the grand slam. All of us ex-players would love to see someone as complete as Roger Federer achieve this feat. Somebody who still gives the other person a chance to play the ball; in contrast to Pete Sampras, where most players did not think they had a chance before they even started. Whereas against Roger, everyone knows they have a chance to play, they have a chance to feel the ball, a chance to feel how good they are playing. And if they can carry the confidence of that last win into a match with Roger Federer, then they just might have a good showing.

Roger needs to really look after himself, his own health, make sure that foot is healed. I do believe he has a really great chance - its a given if he doesn't win the Australian Open, he's not going to win the grand slam, but I think he is goIng to be more focused on winning the French Open, than the other two slams that remain. That leaves this Australian Open. Losing to Safin last year was about as painful for him as having to stop the constant flow of "cows" to his family...

Mats.

onm684
01-13-2006, 09:00 AM
"I don't often get a chance to reflect on what I have achieved, and it usually happens when I'm on vacation, and I'm talking to Mirka, and she will say to me, 'Jesus, Roger, I can't believe what you've been doing, that you've been winning all these matches'. That is the nicest moment for me, when Mirka tells me that she is proud that I can handle it all. Those are the times, when I'm talking to Mirka, when I feel really good about myself.":inlove: :inlove:

nobama
01-13-2006, 12:15 PM
What does Mats mean by this:
Somebody who still gives the other person a chance to play the ball; in contrast to Pete Sampras, where most players did not think they had a chance before they even started. Whereas against Roger, everyone knows they have a chance to play, they have a chance to feel the ball, a chance to feel how good they are playing.That players didn't feel they had a shot to beat Pete, but they do Roger? Because that flies in the face of what Agassi said after the US Open, that there was a place to get to with Pete where it could be on your terms, and there's no such place with Roger. Or is he more talking about their different styles of play? :confused:

avocadoe
01-13-2006, 12:49 PM
Oh. avocadoe
I am so sorry.:sad:

After reading your post I will not open anything from the site. Thanks.
I don't like the site, anyway~~~no scoreboard. :rolleyes:
(Let us know how it goes, please. Good luck.)

Thanks Luna :wavey: It turned out to not be virus or a worm but some sort of "graphic" override, and was just a click away from being fixed, and was...such a relief, last thing I wanted was a broken computer with 3 days to the AO. I do have a broken vcr I have to replace today, lol, and that's enough. So my computer is okay. Of course, he did some computer housecleaning and got rid of my history and I've had to remember all my passwords and screen names etc...

avocadoe
01-13-2006, 12:56 PM
onm684 thanks for the concern and for the new interview...I am not going to bring it on from the site even though the problem with my computer is fixed. The interview was very good, I thought :)

SUKTUEN
01-13-2006, 01:19 PM
thanks~!

avocadoe
01-13-2006, 01:46 PM
reading about Roger's inner feelings makes me want him to win all the more because it seems like the grind does get to him. That's very poignant how Mirka can brighten things for him, and somewhat disturbing to hear of the utter depletion he feels by the time he gets time off.

avocadoe
01-13-2006, 01:47 PM
I think what Mats mean is Roger plays out points, so you feel you are there, but there is not a lot of ways to win those points. That's the bridge back to what AA said for me. Also that's just AA's view. Someone else playing both Pet and Roger might feel differntly.

SUKTUEN
01-13-2006, 02:01 PM
I think Mirka is very important for Rger to win, many times Roger play not well when Mirka not in the court ;)

nobama
01-13-2006, 02:21 PM
I think Mirka is very important for Rger to win, many times Roger play not well when Mirka not in the court ;)When isn't she there watching him? :confused:

nobama
01-13-2006, 02:37 PM
reading about Roger's inner feelings makes me want him to win all the more because it seems like the grind does get to him. That's very poignant how Mirka can brighten things for him, and somewhat disturbing to hear of the utter depletion he feels by the time he gets time off.I was kind of depressed reading this...especially when he talked about how fried he is at the end of the year and how he doesn't have much time for himself. :sad: Just all the more impressive what he's been able to achieve the past 2-3 years. But it's going to be hard on the body and the mind to keep up that level.

Puschkin
01-13-2006, 02:38 PM
reading about Roger's inner feelings makes me want him to win all the more because it seems like the grind does get to him.

There is a price for all the success, but he seems more than eager to pay it.

tonia9
01-13-2006, 07:25 PM
Perfect Federer admits to hard days on court

January 14, 2006

The world's most immaculate tennis player also appreciates his life's imperfect moments, the flawed practice sessions, the bad days. Linda Pearce reports.


A PERFECT day for Roger Federer would include some time at the beach, a spa treatment, then a relaxed, romantic dinner with his girlfriend, Mirka Vavrinec.

Yet the world’s most immaculate tennis player also appreciates his life’s imperfect moments, the flawed practice sessions, the bad days. There are times, he says, when he walks on court feeling so fabulous, and knowing he is hitting the ball so well, that he understands the chances of defeat are minimal.

Federer reveals this matter-of-factly, as if he has won five of the past eight grand slam titles. Or 201 of his past 213 tournament matches. Or something equally preposterous.

"But there’s also days where I feel like tennis is very hard for me," Federer said. "In practice often I get this feeling like, ‘Oh, it’s really hard for me to get to feel the ball, to put the balls away, or return well’.

"I have these days when I just feel, you know, shocking, and I’m happy to still feel that because it would be a little weird if I wouldn’t have that sometimes."

So now you know. Mr Perfect is not quite that, even if the beach-spa-candles ideal reveals more than a hint of snaginess.

Federer has been coached by two Australians — the late Peter Carter and now part-timer Tony Roche — but he’s no blokey bloke. Thankfully. He is too cool, polite, polished. But has all this time spent with Rochey and friends Australianised Roger? Even just a little bit? "No," Federer said with a laugh. "No, not yet."

It is Thursday afternoon and, having completed news conferences in three languages, Federer is waiting in the players’ lounge at the AAMI Kooyong Classic, watching the TV monitor. He rises, smiles with recognition, asks where best it would suit to chat. Every question is answered thoughtfully, directly and at length, even though Federer has just finished a twirl through a corporate marquee, and there is another interview to come.

As a boy, he dreamt only of playing, of centre court. He did not expect the endless media and sponsor commitments and all the other obligations, but is pleased to have grown comfortably into the role, and is considered by the ATP to be the best off-court No. 1 the game has ever had.

"My results came at the right time — Wimbledon 2003 I was already 22, so I wasn’t a baby, and I was kind of used to the hype around me, because I’d beaten (Pete) Sampras a couple of years before that," he said. "Everything came at a good speed."

Vavrinec is his constant companion, his media manager, his travel agent, his organiser. The pair’s relationship began at the Sydney Olympics, and they share an apartment in Basle.

Vavrinec’s own playing career was curtailed by injury, and she has worked for Team Federer — mum Lynette helps to run his charity, and dad Robert arranges his tournament schedule, although IMG has been back running the global marketing operation since September — for much of the time since. It is an unusual arrangement, and not necessarily a permanent one.

"I told Mirka if tomorrow she wakes up and says, ‘Look, I’m sick and tired of talking to the media and everybody, I told her we can change it’, and I think that’s important to know that she can always pull out.

"When I won my first Wimbledon, it was phone call after phone call, and I’m like, ‘Is this how it is supposed to be or what? To be at the top and everybody just stalking us or whatever, and you can never put down your phone?’

"But after a while we get used to it, and we know when to shut off the telephone and when to not open emails, and so spend time together, not always with something else."

All of which, of course, makes perfect sense, as does his dismissal of the notion, aired most recently by Pat Cash, that Federer’s greatest threat is not Lleyton Hewitt, or Andy Roddick, or even a fit Rafael Nadal or Marat Safin. It is a more insidious opponent: boredom.

"I mean, sometimes it is hard to get up in the morning, and say, ‘OK, let’s do it all over again’, but I think every player lives through that," Federer said.

"So for me, my dream came true by becoming No. 1 in the world, winning on the big stages and so on, and I think once you’ve sniffed a little bit of that air out there on the big stages, you always want more of it, and you can’t get enough.

"That’s what happened for me, I enjoy it so much, and I think for me to now just say ‘OK, now it’s getting a little boring’, that would be a totally wrong approach and I don’t feel this way. I’m not even happy about it because I think it’s just normal that you don’t get bored."

There are other theories, and Pete Sampras — he of the record 14 grand slam titles, the unsurpassed six years finishing at No. 1 — has said that Federer’s only competition now is the record books (which, by extension, means Sampras himself). Federer does not deny he has an eye on history, even if just "a little bit", and that two years at No. 1 has given him an even greater appreciation of what Sampras achieved.

The 24-year-old has had a pair of superb seasons, and is keen to point out he was No. 2 (to Roddick) by just a small margin at the end of 2003. But with such excellence comes the acknowledgement, too, of how high the bar has been set.

"For this to always keep up, I’ve got to play extremely well," he said. "Just ‘well’ is not good enough for the record books, you’ve got to play incredibly well.

"I’ve broken records, I’ve equalled records, I’ve done great stuff in the past, but basically I'm still only halfway to the very best. Obviously I've got years left in my career, and the last couple of years have been as good as anybody in the record books, but keeping it up is hard."

At this point, there is no choice but to raise it, get it out there: the French Open. Sampras retired without winning one, and Martina Hingis joked last week about "those darn things", just as Ivan Lendl has a nasty gap in his cabinet where he would have lovingly dusted some Wimbledon winner's silverware.

Only five men in history — Donald Budge, Fred Perry, Rod Laver, Roy Emerson and Andre Agassi — have completed the quadrella, and only Budge and Laver have done so in a calendar year.

Federer has three Wimbledon trophies, two from the US Open, one from Australia — but he has reached only one semi-final, last year, at Roland Garros. He grew up playing on clay, and counts the Hamburg Masters among his 34 career tournament victories. And yet, Nadal, the astonishing Spanish teenager, turned up in Paris last year and promptly won the claycourt major at his first attempt.

So how much does Federer need a French crown to sign off on his greatness, perhaps as the best of all time? It is all very well to have opponents such as German former world No. 4 Nicolas Kiefer proclaiming in awe that "we play on Earth, he plays on another planet", but there is much — perhaps everything — to be said for owning a full grand slam set.

There is no question that winning a fourth consecutive Wimbledon title would mean more to Federer, personally, but he agrees that a triumph at Roland Garros would add more in a broader sense. It is more necessary. In fact, it would "make" his career.

"Winning all four, it's something very few people have achieved, Agassi was the last one to do it and look what an aura he has around him," Federer said. "I'm definitely aiming for that but I can only try, and I hope it's going to work.

"This last year was the first time I've really given myself a chance at the French, before that I'd never really played so well, and I'm pleased that I know now at the French it can work out.

"So I don't think I need to change anything right now for the next couple of years — then maybe one time I can say, 'OK, I can play a little more on clay, a few tournaments and so on', but thank God the French is before Wimbledon, so I wouldn't have to skip a grand slam to try to win it."

He may, indeed, miss the first-round Davis Cup tie against Australia in Geneva from February 10, having announced he will defer his decision until after his Melbourne Park campaign ends less than a fortnight earlier. A faithful cup servant and two-time Olympian, Federer missed last year's opening round because of differences with then-captain Marc Rosset.

A commitment under new skipper Severin Luthi would mean a return bout with Hewitt, to whom Federer lost seven of the pair's first nine matches, including the one widely credited as the most painful of his career: when the Swiss served for a straight-sets victory in the 2003 Davis Cup semi-final at Melbourne Park, only to crumble in five sets.

Painful? Yes. A career low? That, he insists, is a myth (along with the one, incidentally, that a deal already has been done for Hewitt's former coach, Darren Cahill, to take over from Roche as soon as the ageing Agassi retires. "It's not true at all," Federer protested. "I've never, ever heard of it before.")

But back to Hewitt, who has lost his past nine matches to his great rival, several in quite humiliating fashion. "He was very dominant over me in the beginning. He beat me many times badly, too, tough matches which hurt me a lot," Federer said.

"Then, all of a sudden, I turned it around when he beat me in Davis Cup. I've never lost to him since, but I think I've started to maybe become more strong mentally, physically, and I'm ready to handle his tough game because you've got to be fit to play him, and I think before that I was just not fit enough.

"(The Davis Cup match) was tough because I was up two sets to love and a break and serving for the match and in the end, I lost the way I did — him going crazy, the fans against me, and so on, and it was hard at the moment itself. But I thought I played great tennis and I lost in the end to a better player. But I've had tough losses where I cried much more and I was much more sad than that day, so I got over it fairly quickly."

If Federer is the emotional type — remember his blubbering acceptance speech after his first Wimbledon title? — he is also developing with age and years on the tour. He is becoming more interested in shopping, fashion, immersing himself in the culture of the many places he visits.

He is more open to learning what he can from the people he meets, and more determined to break out of the narrow hotel-courts-hotel cycle.

ATP insiders speak of his changing focus, his appreciation of the value of the entertainment dollar, and the fact that, for example, Federer already is discussing marketing ideas for this year's Masters Cup in Shanghai, one of the developing tennis regions, despite the event still being 10 months away.

The game's best player is becoming increasingly interested in its direction and welfare, and involved in shaping the big picture.

And yet he remains accessible, accommodating and reasonable. "You're always waiting for when he's going to crack or snap, but he just doesn't," says ATP board member Iggy Jovanovic. "He's always thinking, that kid, and he just keeps surprising us."

On the court, Federer has become used to people thinking it all comes easily, and yet the immaculate footwork that permits the genius of his shot-making to flow is one of many aspects that requires hard, constant work.

He plans his fitness peaks with typical precision and plots his year to best avoid injuries, and so it was that last year's ankle problem was a rare setback.

If he has surprised himself, it has been by playing better tennis than he ever imagined, with a superior backhand than he thought possible, and greater mental consistency.

Even when Federer admits to times of struggle just to keep the ball in play, he can count on almost always feeling better when the big matches and the important moments come.

"This is a very strange thing," he said, smiling, "and I hope it's going to last."

But, given his current place in the game, would Federer be disappointed if he does not win all that is expected of him from here? Break Sampras' grand slam record? Surpass the great American in consecutive years (six) and total weeks (286) at No. 1, for instance?

"Oh, no. I'm not playing to break the records, I'm playing to enjoy myself, have no regrets once I look back, and if on the way I break records, then that's fantastic.

"But I'm already going through such an interesting and great time at the moment that if it will be 15 (majors), great, if it will be 300 weeks at No. 1, great, if I finish the year at No. 1 eight times in a row, great.

"But I don't think it's going to change how I look at the game. I love the game no matter how it's going to turn out to be. If I'm never going to win a match again, I'll walk away and love the sport, and I think that's what matters most in the end."

Federer loves it, just as — a few jealous rivals aside — tennis adores him right back. Consider this: the day after last year's epic Marat Safin-Federer semi-final at Melbourne Park, a match the Russian won 9-7 in the fifth set after saving a match point, long-time ATP employee Jovanovic received a text message.

It was from Federer, and the departing top seed was just checking if there was anything more he needed to do before he left town, or whether he was OK to leave. The anecdote is revealing, but not wholly surprising. What, unusually, had not been a flawless Federer day was still handled, well, perfectly.


http://www.theage.com.au/news/tennis/perfect-federer-admits-to-hard-days-on-court/2006/01/13/1137118971721.html

nobama
01-13-2006, 07:34 PM
Here's another awesome article.

http://news.ft.com/cms/s/12c2348e-833b-11da-9017-0000779e2340.html

Ace of grace
By Rahul Jacob
Published: January 13 2006 16:28 | Last updated: January 13 2006 16:28

As part of China’s campaign to be a sporting superpower, the city of Shanghai last year wrested the right to hold tennis’s eight-player finale, known as the Tennis Masters, from Houston. Billboards and banners on the roadside leading from central Shanghai out to the 80-acre tennis complex in the suburb of Minhang showed images of the players, and proclaimed such slogans as “Friendship in Masters Cup, Passion in Minhang”, like nonsensical fortune cookies.

On a cool morning last November, I set off for Minhang, so far from the city centre that it seemed like it was in another province, to watch the world’s number one Roger Federer practise a few days before the Masters tournament started. But by then, the billboards were an unsettling reminder that three of the top eight had pulled out - Marat Safin and Andy Roddick because of injury and Lleyton Hewitt because his wife was expecting a baby. Worse than that, injury called into doubt Federer’s participation as well. Just after making a special trip to Shanghai in early October to open the new Qi Zhong stadium, Federer injured his ankle practising at his home near the Swiss city of Basle. On crutches for two weeks, he had pulled out of three tournaments before the Masters and arrived in China short of match practice and stamina. His part-time coach, Tony Roche, who had not seen him since the summer when he won his third consecutive Wimbledon title, had arrived early to practise with him.

It was the second year in a row that Federer had won both Wimbledon and the US Open. No one has done that since the late 1930s when the American Don Budge stamped this double imprimatur of domination on the sport. Many former champions believe Federer could become the greatest tennis player ever. Over the next two weeks, the tennis world will have its eye on him at the Australian Open, the first event on the sport’s four-tournament obstacle course on different surfaces, to see if the 24-year-old Swiss can clear the first hurdle towards winning all of them in the same year - the fabled Grand Slam.

Even though there were doubts that he was fit enough to play, Federer was chasing records yet again in Shanghai. He had lost just three matches all year and arrived in China seeking to emulate John McEnroe’s commanding 1984 season tally of 82 wins and three losses.

Tennis stadiums, like theatres, lack magic when they are empty. At Qi Zhong that November morning, technicians kept testing the courtside electronic displays that alternately flashed “China Mobile” and “Shanghai Stock Exchange”, a reminder that in the world’s most frenetically capitalist economy, even play is work. Federer walked on for his one-hour session and warmly greeted his practice partner that morning, the Argentine David Nalbandian, the world number 11.

The only visible sign of Federer’s injury as he headed for the baseline was a black ankle wrap that he would wear all week, but when he started trading balls with Nalbandian, his shots flew out of court as often as not. From the sidelines, Roche, dressed in a pink shirt and blue track suit bottoms and a baseball cap, made quiet suggestions. Federer’s personal trainer, Pierre Paganini, who had been working on strengthening and stretching exercises in the weeks following the injury, watched with a worried look on his face. When Nalbandian and Federer started playing games in the second half-hour of their practice session, it was apparent that a mortal Federer had arrived in Shanghai.

If the world of tennis champions seems glamorous from afar, it did not feel that way in Shanghai. A semi-permanent cloud cover made the city look like the set for a Blade Runner sequel. The Hilton lobby, where the players were staying, had been taken over by the tournament sponsors: in one corner, a lurid green Heineken booth made a pretence at being a bar; in another, a silver Mercedes transformed part of the lobby into a car showroom. Crowds of autograph hunters swarmed outside and airport-style security greeted anyone entering the hotel.

Amid this bustle, I see Federer’s girlfriend, Mirka Vavrinec, dressed in a yellow sweater and jeans, walking across the lobby with two friends, but there is no sign of Federer. He is caught in rush-hour traffic. “Sorry, I am waiting for him as well,” she tells me. “It took one and a half hours to get back from the stadium yesterday. Maybe we have to organise a helicopter.”

In the rarefied and ridiculously wealthy world of professional tennis, top players are usually contactable only through their management agents. Tournament rules require that they hold a press conference after every match they play, so it is understandable that most limit non-tournament press interviews to a minimum. But Vavrinec had confirmed the night before that she had arranged for me to meet Federer this evening. Close to 7pm, she sends a text: “Pls come up to Room 2024. Roger is here!”

Federer, in jeans and padding around without shoes on, lets me in to his suite. He looks thinner in person than the imposing figure he cuts on court. I joke that having endured the long commute to the stadium and back, I have shelved my plans to become a professional tennis player. He laughs and says that it is really not so bad. A giant fruit basket and a wine bucket are on the table between us. I begin by asking about the injury that has everyone in the tennis world in Shanghai pursing their lips. He says he is pleased with his recovery, but “I think about it a lot so I have to get that out of my system.”

A few minutes later, he discovers I will be around for the whole tournament so there are likely to be other opportunities to interview Paganini, who I am scheduled to see that same evening. Federer wheels around and asks Vavrinec to cancel that interview and then sprawls across the couch in such a relaxed way that it looks as if he is preparing to chat all evening.

Throughout our meeting he is extraordinarily modest and natural - he sometimes seems almost as interested in the interviewer as I was in him.

I had read that Federer is training harder than he did before he became number one, so I ask why he feels the need to. “The funny thing is finally I’ve made the big breakthrough and I’ve become number one in the world and now people are asking me, ‘Are you still interested in the game, are you still motivated?’ Of course I am,” he says. “This is where it starts really, where the dream comes true and then you can go two ways: you can say, ‘OK I’m going to be a party animal’ or you can say, ‘I want more of this.’ I decided to have more of it. It’s very simple. I feel a great pride in being number one in the world and representing my sport, and that for me is more important than anything.”

I ask how it happens that the public engagements of a tennis superstar came to be arranged by his girlfriend. “It just feels too complicated if you had to call somebody in London and then they had to call the hotel. This way, it’s very simple. You call Mirka, Mirka asks me if it’s OK. I say ‘yes, that’s OK’ and everything is sorted out. Obviously, she’s my girlfriend and if everything got too much, I would stop it right away.” He says he usually stays in hotels the other players are not in so that he gets away from tennis when he is not on court. On occasion, childhood friends “help him” by joining him on tour; last year, one required extra time off from the bank he works at to do so.

Halfway through the interview, Roche drops by to see if Federer and Vavrinec would like to go out for dinner. Federer takes the opportunity to set up a time for me to speak with the coach the following day. It seems always to be this informal: a couple of days later, I am at work in the FT office in Shanghai when my mobile rings. The connection is bad and I think it is a squash partner in London scheduling a game. The caller rings again. It’s actually Federer trying to arrange the interview I had asked for with his mother.

When I meet Lynette Federer, a brisk and energetic woman in her early fifties, she says that “when Roger could barely walk, he would kick the ball with me. He couldn’t even see over the table-tennis table but he could hit the ball over the net. People kept saying ‘he’s amazing.’” Federer played squash with his father every Sunday, and soccer at school till he was 13. And he hit tennis balls - at cupboard doors, garage walls, anything really.

It seems his extraordinary hand-eye co-ordination was apparent very early on and was not the product of coaching. Although Lynette Federer coached children at the local club, she did not coach her son. He played at a tennis club where he was coached by an Australian, Peter Carter, who was a seminal influence on his game. “We had no plan A, no plan B. We had no intention of making him a professional tennis player,” she says. Federer himself credits the range of sports he played as a child - he also played badminton and basketball - for his hand-eye co-ordination. “I was always very much more interested if a ball was involved,” he says. Most tennis prodigies, by contrast, play tennis at the exclusion of pretty much everything else.

At the age of 14, Federer told a local tennis magazine he had decided to try to qualify for the Swiss national tennis centre in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. He hadn’t told his parents of his decision. “This is quite a quote. It could change our lives,” his mother recalls telling him when she read about it. The decision initially knocked Federer’s happy childhood sideways. He spoke no French and had to live with a host family. The dislocating move away from his family coupled with the rigid discipline of the tennis centre completely sapped his confidence. He challenged the regimented drills of the coaches. In just a few months, Federer went from being a bubbly teenager to one who was withdrawn and lacked confidence. “He said, ‘They seem to be saying I can’t play tennis,’” Lynette Federer recalls emotionally, even a decade after the event. She and her husband, Robert, sought a meeting with the coaches and told them it was fine if their son trained hard but they didn’t want his personality changed: “He is mischievous, but if you give a little, he will give you back so much,” she says. The coaches eased off.

The easy-going star that we know today was not always so even-tempered. As a youngster, he would rage and burst into tears and fall apart in matches. His father would be so embarrassed that they would drive home in silence afterwards. But by the time he was beginning to be noticed on the world circuit in 2000, ranked 29, Federer had controlled his temper so well that he worried about not showing enough emotion on court. “Then I got too calm, too quiet and that was a problem.” The next year, however, at 19, he beat seven-times Wimbledon champion Pete Sampras in the fourth round of the tournament (although he would have to wait another two years before winning it himself).

The following summer, his mentor, Peter Carter, was killed in a car accident on holiday in South Africa. Federer was devastated. By the summer of 2003, after crashing out of the French Open in the first round, Federer felt he was in danger of being written off. “People were starting to ask, ‘Is this one of those talents who will never achieve something... who wasted his talents?’ I was starting to feel the pressure from all sides,” he recalls. After a sluggish start because of a bad back, he won Wimbledon that year, beating Australian Mark Philippoussis in straight sets. He fell back on the court and wept.

When it counts most, Federer seems able to lift his game to a metaphysical high that on the tennis circuit is known as being “in the zone”. In last year’s Wimbledon final he made number two seed Andy Roddick look flat-footed. At 5-5 in the second set Roddick punched a volley into open court and Federer, his arm like an aeroplane propeller, crashed a forehand past Roddick that prompted two-time Wimbledon champion Jimmy Connors to remark in the BBC commentary box that such shots “take my breath away - I can’t comprehend it”.

In his first match in the Shanghai Masters, Federer played patchily, coming back to win from 1-3 in the final set against Nalbandian. After the match a Chinese reporter asked nervously: “It is a rumour that you will quit the Masters Cup after the first [match] because of your injury. You won’t quit, right?”

Federer didn’t quit. But Rafael Nadal, who beat Federer on his way to a French Open victory in June, and the veteran Andre Agassi both pulled out because of injury the next day. The shell-shocked organisers held a hasty press conference, promising discounts the following year to make up for the mediocre field. Nadal went on court to apologise to the crowd. Later, when in the middle of his hard match with the Croatian Ivan Ljubicic, Federer called for a physiotherapist to help warm up his thigh muscles, you could feel the tension in the stadium. Federer eventually won 6-3, 2-6, 7-6.

That evening, a huddle of veteran tennis journalists had formed around the tournament director, Australian Brad Drewett, in the corridors leading to his offices. Drewett was recounting how Federer had made a special trip to Shanghai in early October to open the new stadium. What started as a request to be at the opening ceremony expanded into a 12-hour day of photo shoots, chats with sponsors and the press, and two sets of tennis with the former mayor of Shanghai as his partner. After a formal dinner with senior government officials, Federer asked Drewett if he and Vavrinec could go to the restaurant where the staff of the players’ union and the tournament were having dinner so he could thank them personally. He stayed till 11pm.

The story prompted a reverential murmur from the tennis journalists. A few days later, Federer was asked about it by one of the British journalists: “A few of us who have been around for a few years can read off a list of people who would have said ‘No way.’ Why is it that you’re the sort of guy who doesn’t say no?” Federer’s reply was matter of fact: “I knew I was here for the opening, not for myself. In the end, it was good fun. I don’t get to spend every day with the government, especially from China.”

In an era when tennis has been dominated by big serves and powerful groundstrokes, Federer has it all. Jim Courier, who won the French Open twice and was world number one in 1992, says: “I’m still looking for a shot he can’t hit.” What he lacks in miles per hour compared with the service of bionic men such as Roddick, he makes up for in placement. Federer credits Carter and a later coach, Peter Lundgren, with insisting he “go more for accuracy than power”. That fabled hand-eye co-ordination allows his early racket preparation on the return to blunt the weapons of the game’s big servers.

Federer’s only relative weakness is his volley, in particular the drop volley. “As I kept improving from the baseline, I started to forget about going to the net,” says Federer. “When Tony’s around, he gives me advice on that. He volleys better than me... it’s amazing to see how he does it. It’s a very simple stroke and the more simple it is, the better it is.”

It is the fluency with which he strikes the ball and the balletic grace with which he moves that have sportswriters searching for superlatives. One said seeing him play was like watching Michelangelo paint the Sistine Chapel. He never seems to be out of position and appears to be blessed with an internal positioning system that guides him to the ball.

Trainer Paganini pushes him to what he calls “endurance of explosivity” - the ability to play your best at 7-5 in the third when you have run the equivalent of three or four kilometres. One of the standard exercises is for Federer to mix sprints for a minute with playing for a couple of minutes. Another involves throwing medicine balls at a player crouching at a distance of 2m. “If you propose an exercise, he does it very quickly and sees more possibilities,” Paganini says.

When Federer is not playing a tournament, the two work six to 10 times a week, and his appetite for training has increased dramatically in the past couple of years. “Last year his potential went up athletically,” Paganini says. “He wanted to do everything in practice to be able to be even 1 per cent better.”

Over the past two years the gap between Federer and the rest of the top players, with the exception of the Spanish teen prodigy Nadal, appears to have widened. He beat Hewitt in the 2004 US Open final by the embarrassing score of 6-0, 7-6, 6-0. Roddick acknowledged after being trounced in the Wimbledon final last year that he had run out of options because Federer had improved so much in the 12 months since Roddick lost to him at Wimbledon in 2004. The American, a baseliner, was forced to try to take to the net. “Once those players are [pushed] out of their comfort zone, they’ve got to come up with something different and if it’s not quite their game, then you’ve already won a small victory before the ball has been hit,” observes Roche, who compares Federer’s all-court game and persona with Rod Laver. Laver won two Grand Slams in 1962 and 1969 and is widely regarded as the greatest player ever. “The beauty of Roger’s game is that depending on what surface and what type of opponent he is playing, he has a lot of variation - you don’t see that often in today’s game,” says Roche.

Purists may marvel when Federer is in full flow, but tennis’s fortunes, like those of boxing, peak when there are great rivalries. Federer has served up some great routs, but routs don’t do much for the sport’s popularity - his demolition of Hewitt received the lowest ratings of a US Open final in decades - and he is not being challenged in the way John McEnroe tested Bjorn Borg or Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert pushed each other to new heights. Both those legendary rivalries were celebrated in nostalgic books last year, yet another indication that tennis’s best days in the public eye are possibly in the past.

There is some hope of a great rivalry between Federer and Nadal. They are made for each other. Nadal is all brute power and chases everything down, while Federer has both power and finesse. “This makes it easier for the non-hardcore tennis fan to get involved,” says Courier. “You are either for the man in black or the man in white.” In Miami last year, when Nadal held a matchpoint against Federer and at the French Open when he beat him, it looked like the battle had been joined. Both won 11 titles each in 2005. “We all want to see Federer pushed to see how he responds at 5-5 in the fifth. That will draw the line in the sand between him and Sampras,” says Courier.

In Shanghai in November, however, it was not to be. Nadal’s injury and withdrawal prompted questions about whether his hard-charging style was taking a toll on his young body. Instead, Federer squared off against Nalbandian, who in spite of his loss to Federer in the first match, had won through to the knock-out stage and then into the final. The players came on court to Queen’s “We will rock you” - an improvement on Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” the day before - and an announcer rolling out every syllable of “Day-veed Naaal-bandeeeeean”.

Federer was soon up two sets to love. Then, in a rerun of his performance earlier in the week, he appeared to run out of stamina and ideas. Nalbandian, who beat him in their first five encounters and is something of a bogeyman for the Swiss, moved him all around the court and out-hit him from the baseline. Despite an abundance of Swiss flags being brandished by Chinese supporters, the crowd seemed evenly split. Nalbandian fought back to two sets apiece, and suddenly the stadium reverberated with a roar of “Roger, Roger.” Buoyed by that support, Federer rallied from 0-4 to pull ahead to 6-5 and 30-0. Then his normally spectacular serve misfired and the Argentine won the tiebreaker and the match.

Nalbandian looked as surprised as the crowd. It was Federer’s first loss in 25 finals. Roche looked sombre. When the trophy was presented to Nalbandian, he began his acceptance speech by joking, “Roger, don’t worry. You’re going to win a lot of tournaments so let me keep this one.”

Even if the quality of the play see-sawed, it was the kind of final - offering both a riveting contest and contrasting styles - that tennis fans routinely witnessed in the 1970s, 1980s and much of the 1990s. Chinese fans, the great new hope for tennis as for so many other industries, had risen to their feet, cheered lustily and taken sides.

I bumped into Richard Evans, a veteran journalist for Tennis Week, as I left the stadium. Federer simply didn’t have the stamina today for a five-set match because of his injury-induced layoff, he said. I knew that in the early 1980s Evans had written a biography of John McEnroe, arguably the most naturally gifted tennis player ever. How did Federer measure up? “Federer has more natural ability than anyone - even Lew Hoad [the Australian great who nearly won the Grand Slam in 1956],” said Evans.

This week in Australia, Federer will again have to live with the lofty expectations that come with being routinely described as the kind of player we see once in a lifetime.

Doris Loeffel
01-13-2006, 08:39 PM
great one thanks

RogiFan88
01-13-2006, 08:44 PM
Tenis
FEDERER: "NUNCA GANARÉ ROLAND GARRÓS MIENTRAS ESTÉ RAFA NADAL"

El suizo alabó al tenista mallorquín, a quien tildó de "invencible" sobre tierra batida y de quien afirmó que tiene unas ganas de triunfar que asustan.

"TIENE UNAS GANAS DE TRIUNFAR QUE ASUSTAN". Esta frase de Federer refiriéndose a Nadal lo dice todo.
(REUTERS)
13.01.2006
EFE (MADRID)

Roger Federer, número uno del tenis mundial, elogió el talento del jugador español Rafael Nadal, al que ve "invencible" sobre tierra batida y "con unas ganas de triunfar que asustan".

En una entrevista concedida a la revista SIE7E, el jugador suizo se mostró deslumbrado por el gran juego del español: "Es increíble, pero no por sus músculos. Tiene talento, potencia y unas ganas de triunfar que asustan. Es como Arantxa, pero en tío".

El número uno mundial confía mucho en las posibilidades del español, al que considera el mejor en tierra batida. "Sé que nunca ganaré Roland Garros mientras él esté en la pista", dijo tajante. Incluso se atrevió a bromear sobre los famosos pantalones pirata de Nadal: "A él le sientan bien, pero a mí me resultan incómodos".

El tenista se mostró precavido al pronosticar su posible triunfo en el Grand Slam de 2006: "Dependerá mucho del calor, de cómo llegan jugadores como Roddick, Hewitt o Ljubicic". No quiere adelantar acontecimientos, ni apostar por su triunfo, ya que "en los últimos años, el circuito ha visto cómo jugadores que han sido números uno, como Ferrero o Moyá, luego se perdieron en el ránking por lesiones o por diferentes motivos. Aquí ni yo ni nadie es invencible".

Cree exagerados los elogios

Para el tenista, los elogios de míticos jugadores como Mc Enroe, Sampras, Becker, que le consideran el mejor con diferencia, son exageraciones: "Están completamente locos. ¿Cómo iba yo a ganar a Becker en Wimbledon, a McEnroe en el US Open o a Cash en Australia? Creo que ahora me ven invencible porque están ya un poco fondones".

Durante la entrevista, Federer también analizó el tenis femenino y la vuelta a las pistas de Martina Hingis: "El tenis femenino ha cambiado mucho desde que ella se fue. Ahora ya no dominan las hermanas Williams, y lo mismo te puede ganar el músculo de Amelie Mauresmo que la técnica de Justine Henin. No creo que Martina haya vuelto a las canchas para hacer el ridículo".

Por último, Federer, gran aficionado al fútbol y, sobre todo, a la Roma, alabó el último fichaje del Real Madrid, Antonio Cassano: "Pienso que es un verdadero 'crack' y un gran fichaje para el Madrid".
http://www.as.com/articulo.html?d_d...nchor=dasmasB00

Rogi said:

I’ll never win RG as long as Rafa is around

Rogi said that Rafa is invincible on clay and he has a frightening desire to win

He said this in an interview for the magazine Siete

He [Rafa] is incredible, but not for his muscles! He has talent, potential… he’s like the male version of Arantxa.

He joked about the famous pirate pants of Nadal, saying that they’re OK on Rafa but on him they w be uncomfortable.

Talking about the AO, Rogi said that it depends on the heat, on how in-form Roddick, Hewitt or Ljubicic are.

Not wanting to talk about his chance at the AO, he said that former No 1 players like Ferrero or Moya have had injuries or other obstacles and have gone down in the ranking. Nobody is invincible!

… he talked about McEnroe, Becker, Cash…

…about women’s tennis and Martina’s return…

Ended up talking about football, Roma [he’s a fan] and Real Madrid and Antonio Cassano, whom he called a “crack” = star, ace or champion.

1sun
01-13-2006, 09:16 PM
i find it hard to belive roger said he'll never win fo with rafa there. because he certainly can.

RogiFan88
01-13-2006, 09:19 PM
Well, I, for one w rather Rogi win RG just once than beat Sampras' record of 14 slams. That, to me, is indicative of the complete tennis player. Tony thinks Rogi can win RG... we'll see! ;)

ExpectedWinner
01-13-2006, 11:45 PM
Meida guys need to get paid for their efforts. Most of the the time they serve us a dish that can be easily digested by masses- a mix of "breaking news"/ manipulated facts/ twisted quotes/surrogate patriotism/melodramatic details.

RonE
01-14-2006, 12:13 AM
I find it hard to believe he really believes he has no chance against Rafa on clay. Although I did not personally see their semifinal at the French from everything I have heard from many people who did that Roger did not get blown off court by any means and he had a fair amount of opportunities to take control of the match. If anything I would think that match would have given Roger the confidence that he can beat Nadal in future matches on clay.

nobama
01-14-2006, 12:26 AM
I don't believe for a second he publically said in an interview that he'll never win RG as long as Rafa's around. Unless he said it jokingly. I have a feeling it's a bad translation or he said something a bit different than what they reported.

nobama
01-14-2006, 12:36 AM
Someone on Roger's website said during Doha one of the Eurosport commentators (in Spanish) said that Mirka was 4 months pregnant. I wonder where in the world they got that from? :lol:

MissMoJo
01-14-2006, 04:07 AM
http://www.smh.com.au/news/tennis/mystery-man-denis-feels-no-menace-about-federer-clash/2006/01/13/1137118973452.html
Mystery man Denis feels no menace about Federer clash


By Jake Niall
January 14, 2006
Page 1 of 2

DENIS Istomin has never seen the great Roger Federer in the flesh, having only watched the game's genius on television. Early next week, Istomin will see Federer for the first time from across the net.

It's understandable that Federer also knows nothing about his opponent, since the ATP itself knows little of the 19-year-old, who a matter of months ago was ranked 805th in the world. There are no details of his career or life on the official ATP website.

Federer's brief inquiries about his Australian Open first-round opponent have also come up negative.

"Nobody knew him either," said the champion yesterday. "Have no clue how old he is, how he looks, if he is left or right, so I better find out."

Here's some hints, Roger. Istomin is from the central Asian republic of Uzbekistan. He has never played a grand slam match - you will be his first. He is fair-haired and plays right-handed, hitting a two-handed backhand.

He earned entry into this tournament by winning the Asian wildcard - the promotional love child of Paul McNamee - and is now ranked 194 places behind you. His favourite surface is hardcourt, and after having a hit yesterday said he did not mind Rebound Ace, either. He has shown considerable pluck to get to Melbourne Park, given that he was badly hurt in a car accident as a 16-year-old and did not play at all for two years.

Istomin yesterday described the accident as "very serious." He broke his hip and wrist in several places. Doctors told him that he would never play competitive tennis again. He defied that prediction and it was clear yesterday that, while he might be the most obscure opponent Federer will ever play in a grand slam, Istomin is not intimidated by the prospect of making his grand entrance to slams against Federer.

He admitted he had nothing to lose against Federer and even suggested it was possible that he could win. "For me, it's good … I win, maybe," said Uzbekistan's top ranked player. "I can, I wish."

Asked if he had a game plan for tackling a man who lost only four times in 85 matches last year, Istomin at first said he did not know (the usual answer for Federer's opponents) but then suggested that Federer's backhand was his weaker shot and that he might play to that.

Although he speaks little English, Istomin managed to convey confidence and the sense that playing Federer represented a wonderful opportunity rather than a curse. A player with no record has less to lose.

Istomin has won a Challenger (the second-string professional tournaments) event in Uzbekistan and his passage to the Asian wildcard was assisted by the venue - it was played in his hometown of Tashkent, where he still resides. These are the most significant victories of his career, though he has also played Davis Cup for his country.

He said tennis was only "so-so" in his homeland, where he was "easily" the best player. He said his best shot was the forehand, adding that he owned "a good serve" and played from the backcourt. He had never played in a stadium with a capacity greater than 3000 but was not perturbed at all by the prospect of up to 15,000 on Monday or Tuesday.

"It's OK," he said with a shrug, sounding almost nonchalant about the prospect of playing Federer, whom if seldom stretched these days at least will experience the unknown.

■ Federer was yesterday given a preview of his potential Australian Open third-round clash - and it wouldn't have filled him with confidence, AAP reports.

Despite his contention that results at the Kooyong Classic lead-up tournament "don't really matter to me", Federer was less than convincing against Belarus ironman Max Mirnyi.

The Swiss star, who lost just four matches last year, was beaten in the first round here by German Tommy Haas and just squeezed past Mirnyi.

Federer wrapped up a third-set tie-breaker easily but he left his best until the very last before winning 6-7 (1-7), 6-4, 7-6 (7-1). He regards Mirnyi's rare serve-volley attack among a rash of baseliners as a severe test.

"It's always difficult to play against him because it's always a two, maximum three-shot rally.

"Sometimes you play the right shots but he picks the right side and then you end up still losing the point," Federer said yesterday.

The Swiss said his main focus was to get used to playing five-set matches and ensuring his fitness was at a peak.

After Nicolas Kiefer retired in the second game of his match against Andy Roddick after rolling his ankle, Croatian Ivan Ljubicic went on to comfortably to defeat French teenager Gael Monfils 6-3, 6-1.

Roddick plays Haas in today's final.

SUKTUEN
01-14-2006, 08:54 AM
When isn't she there watching him? :confused:

2004 Olympon Game~ :o :rolleyes:

RonE
01-14-2006, 09:02 AM
■ Federer was yesterday given a preview of his potential Australian Open third-round clash - and it wouldn't have filled him with confidence, AAP reports.



Always so melodramatic these headlines. You'd think the world was coming to an end :rolleyes:

bokehlicious
01-14-2006, 12:03 PM
Someone on Roger's website said during Doha one of the Eurosport commentators (in Spanish) said that Mirka was 4 months pregnant. I wonder where in the world they got that from? :lol:

Referring to Mirka's chubby face in Doha I'd say even more, maybe something like 6-7 months pregnant... :o No, I'm joking, but it's funny to see how the spanish press like to be unfair with Roger and his team sometimes... :o

nobama
01-14-2006, 02:26 PM
2004 Olympon Game~ :o :rolleyes:She wasn't there?

nobama
01-14-2006, 02:27 PM
Always so melodramatic these headlines. You'd think the world was coming to an end :rolleyes:No kidding. :lol: That's why I hate when Lleyton is in his half of the draw, because then we get all these silly Aussie articles/headlines.

yanchr
01-14-2006, 03:05 PM
Thanks tonia and mirkaland. Those are terrific articles :worship:

RonE
01-14-2006, 06:17 PM
No kidding. :lol: That's why I hate when Lleyton is in his half of the draw, because then we get all these silly Aussie articles/headlines.

Look on the bright side- suppose they had met in the finals can you imagine what it would have been like then? :tape:

The memory of Roger feeding Hewitt bagels, on Australia Day no less, two years ago on Rod Laver Arena brings back oh such sweet joy-filled emotions :devil:

nobama
01-14-2006, 07:20 PM
Look on the bright side- suppose they had met in the finals can you imagine what it would have been like then? :tape:

The memory of Roger feeding Hewitt bagels, on Australia Day no less, two years ago on Rod Laver Arena brings back oh such sweet joy-filled emotions :devil:I don't want to imagine. :tape: Hewitt hasn't looked all that great in the pre-AO tournaments he's played so hopefully someone will take him out before the semis.

ExpectedWinner
01-14-2006, 07:33 PM
so hopefully someone will take him out before the semis.

Why? After all he's been losing to the eventual winner for the past 2 years or so. :p

nobama
01-14-2006, 07:41 PM
One thing I noticed with these articles is that Mirka still seems to be the one in charge of managing his time and coordinating interviews. I know when he hooked up with IMG again there was some speculation that she was "relieved of her duties" or just tired of it all. But it appears that's not the case. I wonder what exactly IMG is doing for him? I also think it's interesting we've seen so many interviews from him leading up to AO. I haven't seen any from other top players, except for like Sharapova and the Williams sisters who had press conferences. On Roger's website there was an article posted from someone at the USTA who was able to email back and forth with Roger during his holidays after Shanghai. I wonder if the media would have that kind of access to him if IMG or someone else was in charge of his press?

SUKTUEN
01-15-2006, 05:17 AM
She wasn't there?
yes, because Roger cannot get a hotel room for her in that time :mad:

yanchr
01-15-2006, 02:05 PM
The great article from USTA:

www.usta.com/protennis/fullstory.sps?iNewsid=293901

An Amazing Run For Federer

1/10/06 4:22 PM

By Lucas Swineford, USTA.com

As we head into the 2006 season, let’s take one final opportunity to reflect and appreciate Roger Federer for his 2005 season. The world’s top-ranked player took some time out recently to speak with USTA.com about his incredible year.

The most passionate tennis fan I know works at a deli in my parent’s neighborhood. I’ve known this guy for over 20 years, and when he found out I was coming to work at the USTA, he was thrilled. I can no longer just run in and run out when he’s working. He likes to sit around talking about the pro game for a bit. He gives me free coffee, I give him an ear.

When I went in the store the night before Thanksgiving to pick up a few last-minute items for my mom’s holiday dinner, he was ready for a serious talk.

“I can’t believe Nalbandian beat him in the last match of the year,” he said. No hello. No what’s new. He got right into it the moment I walked in.

I knew the he in this sentence referred to his favorite player, Roger Federer. The match had been over for a few days, but he still looked as dejected as my 13-year-old brother-in-law did the moment Vince Young galloped into the end zone to beat his beloved USC Trojans in the Rose Bowl. His disappointment with Federer’s loss still hung fresh.

I tried to console my deli friend by reminding him that not only was Federer nursing an injury, but that Nalbandian, like the other three men who beat Roger in 2005, had to play the proverbial match of his life to score the upset.

“I suppose,” he said. “I just hope this loss doesn’t take away from everything else he accomplished this year. That finishing on a down note doesn’t spoil it.” We then went back and forth about some of Federer’s best matches during the year. This seemed to lift his spirits. He finished off our talk by telling me he believed Roger had a quality which, unfortunately, seems rare among athletes these days: he’s nice. “The guy deserves as much recognition as he can get.”

Walking out of the deli that night, I started to think about the year Roger Federer had. Eighty-one wins, 11 singles titles, 2 Grand Slam championships, a 35-match win streak, several match-of-the-year candidates – his season was insane by any standards. But would the final loss take something away from all the positives? Would Roger Federer be forced to spend his off-season like Eli Manning, having a loss overshadow all the accomplishments?

I could ask myself these questions all day, and I’d get nowhere. There was only one person who could give me the answer I was after: Roger Federer.

And not only did I find out whether the season-ending loss stung more than the others, but in the course of tracking down the answer, I learned many things about the world’s top-ranked tennis player.

Lesson One: Roger Federer is extremely nice.

How I know this: Even though he was in the middle of a vacation, Roger Federer agreed to answer some questions for me about his season over e-mail.

That’s right – after traveling the world for the last 11 months, competing just about every week, Federer was finally able to head to a beach somewhere in December for a quick couple of weeks of down time before it was time to hit the courts and get training for 2006. I’m happy to say it wasn’t all sunsets and daiquiris for Federer. He took a few minutes during his off-time to exchange e-mails with a writer. I wonder if titans of other sports, say Lebron James or Roger Clemens, would answer my e-mails while they were on vacation. I don’t know either of them, have never dealt with them, but I’m guessing if I were able to get through the layers and layers of press reps, managers, agents and even “All Business Lebron” (my favorite incarnation), we still wouldn’t become electronic pen pals.




Lesson Two: The loss in Shanghai did nothing to “ruin” his season.

How I know this: When asked directly whether failing to close out the year with a victory took something away from his season as a whole, Roger not only dismisses the idea but has the complete opposite feeling about his time in Shanghai.

“Not at all. I was extremely happy to have made it that far, considering the injury.”

Let’s not forget that prior to the tournament in Shanghai, Roger hadn’t played an ATP match for seven weeks thanks to an injury. He rolled his ankle during a training session in October and was on crutches leading right up to the season’s final tournament. But rather than focus on the negative of losing that championship match, he chose to see the positive of making it to the final match with an injury.

As if to hammer home the point that the experience in Shanghai was more a victory lap than a season-destroyer, Federer concluded his answer by letting me know that he “enjoyed the moment when I was crowned No. 1 (in the year-end ATP rankings) inside the beautiful stadium of Shanghai.”

Talk about the power of positive thinking.

Lesson Three: Roger Federer respects his competition.

How I know this: I presented Roger with a list of what I thought were his most-amazing accomplishments this year. His win total, the number of titles he won, his lengthy winning streak, all that. And when I asked him to point out which one he was most proud of, he went for Choice E: None of the above.

“Only having four losses all year is what I liked most!” he wrote back. I don’t want to read too much into his answer, but the way I took it was that he is not in awe but respectful of the fact that in a year in which he played almost 100 matches against the greatest athletes in the world, he only lost to four of them. I believe he understands how historic it is that he is performing at such a high level, considering the caliber of competition he faces each time he goes out on the court.

Lesson Four: Roger Federer appreciates great tennis, rivalries and nifty analogies.

How I know this: “In Wimbledon against Andy, it (my tennis) was just flawless, like a polished diamond,” said Roger, when asked if one match stuck out in his mind.

There were a couple of things about his answer that struck me. For one, comparing his performance to a polished diamond is fantastic. Whereas most people would relate something beautiful to just a diamond, Roger goes one step further -- “a polished diamond.” As if to say, my diamond is more glorious than your diamond. It’s thoughts like this, answers that show a little bit of swagger, that tell me Federer loves competing. Because there are times where it appears boredom could be his biggest enemy. Win 95 percent of your matches, and it’s only natural to get complacent – but not this guy. He might already own a diamond, but now he wants to polish it. Make the diamond better.

I like that he chose a match with Andy Roddick. Like every other player on the planet, Andy hasn’t had an easy time grabbing wins from the top player in the game, but it’s not like Federer sleepwalks his way through the matches with Andy. Here he’s saying, through my 81 wins, this is the match that I played so well, I’d call it perfect – and Roddick pushed him to a tiebreak in one set and was competitive in the other two.

We all want to see the Federer/Roddick rivalry heat up like a heavyweight fight. They go slug for slug, trading victories all over Europe and the U.S. week in and week out. Although we haven’t seen it yet, Federer’s comments could indicate that we’re not far off.

Lesson Five: Everyone not named Roger Federer could be in trouble in 2006.

How I know this: The answer Roger gave me when asked about his goals for the upcoming season are words that should send Rafael Nadal back to the weight room and get Lleyton Hewitt on his way to a couple of extra sprints after practice. Roger, what will 2006 be like for you?

“It will be very similar to this year! I will defend my No. 1 position and will win Wimbledon again – but this time for the fourth year in the row!”

I think I just heard Marat Safin heading to the psychiatrist.

Enjoy 2006!

nobama
01-15-2006, 06:46 PM
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/news/interviews/2006-01-15/200601151137302275948.html

Q. Your preparation, how has it been?

ROGER FEDERER: Good. I'm feeling good now. I was a little tired halfway through Kooyong and right after, too. Now the last couple days have been good for me. I could relax a little bit. Had only one‑hour hits, you know, today, and yesterday, sort of intense.

Going to also try to relax before a Slam again, because it's been an intense beginning of the year for me. Sydney with Tony, going back to Doha, then coming back for Kooyong.

I'm feeling like I'm hitting the ball well now. I was not quite convinced in the beginning in Kooyong, even though I thought I played all right. Now the practice has been really going better. Gotten used to Rod Laver Arena, which is good, too. I feel good.

Q. The loss at Kooyong, is that a bit of an aberration?

ROGER FEDERER: Which means?

Q. The loss at Kooyong.

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, it happens if you don't play your best, right? It's nothing new. I'm very surprised, you know, I keep on winning all those matches, but it's hard to keep it up, you know, especially an exhibition for me.

For me, it doesn't mean anything, you know. I'm looking ahead, not back, so it doesn't really matter.

Q. Are you getting used to coming into Grand Slams being the favorite and being such a clear favorite? Is that something you're getting used to or do you still have to make sure you're right on your game, to not just take it for granted?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I enjoy being the big favorite, you know, not just the favorite but the big one. I always said, you know, I prefer the situation to be the favorite than the contender, you know, because I always feel the contender needs to do their work and all this, where, yeah, the favorite, he can sort of see what the other guys do.

I obviously have to make sure that I win my matches, but mentally I'm that tough that I don't have a problem with that.

Q. Are you happy with your side of the draw?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, it's as usual. It could always be better, it could be worse. I always really care about the first couple of rounds, you know. With my first round, I'm pretty happy, yeah.

Q. And meeting Lleyton Hewitt if you do go through and Lleyton does?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, we're both here to win the tournament. If we want to win, we got to beat each other. It doesn't really matter if it's semis or finals.

No, I think it's okay, you know. Last year he was in the other draw. This time he's in my half. Keeps on changing, which is good.

Q. You say you've enjoyed the last couple days, having time to acclimatize to the court. Has the loss to Tommy Haas actually been a blessing in disguise to give you that time?

ROGER FEDERER: Why should it give me more time?

Q. Not having to play in the final at Kooyong.

ROGER FEDERER: No, I mean, I played also three matches, so it didn't change anything win or lose against Tommy. I would have played three also by winning against Tommy. That didn't matter at all. Like I said, that loss for me, I don't really care about. It was more about how I hit the ball, not getting injured, coming back from Doha, getting over the jetlag, but still at the same time getting ‑‑ instead of practicing, getting some matches, you know, in the beginning of the season.

Like I said, you know, I enjoyed playing Kooyong. The crowds are good. Now I'm really ready for the Aussie Open.

Q. You said you didn't know anything about your opponent on Friday. Have you found anything out in the last couple of days?

ROGER FEDERER: I know he's a righty by now. He's got a double‑handed backhand apparently. Yeah, I know more than a couple days ago. I have still two more days left. I'll find out if he plays ‑‑ I think he plays from the baseline, too, maybe aggressive.

Yeah, but I just read into some results of his. He played well in the futures and stuff. He obviously started to play on the big stages as his ranking was going up. Yeah, definitely nobody to underestimate because we all know also guys ranked outside of the top 150, 200, they are dangerous opponents. I beat Moya when I was 300 and he was No. 4 in the world. Everything is possible.

Q. Can you think back to what it was like coming to a Grand Slam without having won one, the kind of psychological barriers those players in that position will face in the next couple weeks?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I think it's hard because you don't know how to win a Slam, so you sort of got to create a way to do it. You got to keep a great intensity level up for a long time. I'm the guy who is going to give advice (smiling). They're all tough enough to play against.

Many of them are dangerous on the day, you know. But over five sets, seven matches, it's just hard to keep it up. Sometimes like the fitness really comes into play, night session, day session, it's really hard to adapt. You got to be mentally, it seems, very tough.

Q. When you think of your main challengers, do you think the guys who have won Slams in the past, they're a step ahead?

ROGER FEDERER: Absolutely, I really do think, yeah.

Q. A few weeks ago, would you have thought that Safin and Nadal would have been your biggest obstacles to winning here?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, we all knew it wasn't sure if they were going to show up. Sort of expect them to maybe be here or not, so you're open about it.

But I thought actually both will make it in the end. But now it really shows how serious their injury was back in Shanghai. You know, it's a pity. Obviously, Andre, too. He showed up in Shanghai but couldn't play with his foot, you know. I hope he's getting over that soon.

I think it's obviously a big blow. But still, you know, the draw is tough. What, we have 17 of the top 20 anyhow. We have Lleyton playing, myself. I think that's more than having Rafa and Marat, you know, because of me No. 1 and him being the Aussie. I think that would be an even bigger blow for the tournament.

Q. What does the home‑court advantage mean to Lleyton Hewitt in terms of crowd support?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, we saw it last year. He came through some incredibly tough matches, definitely because of his fitness and his fighting spirit, but also for sure because of the crowd. He can be very thankful, I think. They've been very nice to him. I played him in a match where I should have beaten him here in Davis Cup, and he got an incredible crowd support, and that carried him through till he beat me in five.

I think, like I said, he's tough to beat here. As he always plays on the big courts, he always gets the big crowds behind him. Obviously, if players are not so experienced, that is a tough thing to upset Lleyton Hewitt.

lunahielo
01-15-2006, 07:38 PM
Thanks for the articles, yanchr and mirkaland
Good ones........ :)

Allez Rogi!

Daniel
01-16-2006, 12:33 AM
It's Roger Federer and the field




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Federer, with six major titles, is eight short of the record held by American great Pete Sampras
To meet Denis Istomin in first round
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MELBOURNE : Roger Federer enjoys being the overwhelming favourite to win the Australian Open, saying he has the mental toughness to carry him through over the next fortnight.

The Swiss maestro is a clear favourite to capture his seventh Grand Slam crown in the year's first major getting underway here on Monday.

Federer is comfortable being the one to beat and bookmakers have him one of the shortest-priced favourites in years to win the Australian Open, following the injury withdrawals of World No. two Rafael Nadal, defending champion Marat Safin and eight-time Grand Slam champion Andre Agassi.

``I enjoy being the big favourite, not just the favourite but the big one,'' Federer said on Sunday.

``I always said, I prefer the situation to be the favourite than the contender, because I always feel the contender needs to do their work and all this, where the favourite can see what the other guys do.''

The supremely-confident Swiss said he has developed a mental toughness, which will make him impervious to the pressures from his rivals.

``I obviously have to make sure that I win my matches, but mentally I'm that tough that I don't have a problem with that,'' he said.

Undoubted stature


Federer's confidence is borne by his undoubted stature in men's tennis, although he observes that he is only ``halfway to the very best.''

Federer, with six major titles, is eight short of the record held by American great Pete Sampras, but such is his dominance of men's tennis that he is averaging two Grand Slams a year in his three years at the top.

``For this to always keep up, I've got to play extremely well,'' Federer said this week.

``Just `well' is not good enough for the record books, you've got to play incredibly well.

``I've broken records, I've equalled records, I've done great stuff in the past, but basically I'm still only halfway to the very best.

``Obviously, I've got years left in my career, and the last couple of years have been as good as anybody in the record books, but keeping it up is hard.''

Federer is preparing for his 27th Grand Slam campaign and will begin his tournament against Uzbekistan wild card Denis Istomin.

The Swiss perfectionist confessed to knowing nothing about Istomin following Friday's draw, but he's had some reports on him since then.

``He's got a double-handed backhand. Yeah, I know more than a couple days ago,'' Federer said.

``I have still two more days left. I'll find out if he plays from the baseline, too, maybe aggressive.

Dangerous opponents


``He played well in the futures and stuff. He obviously started to play on the big stages as his ranking was going up.

``Definitely, nobody to underestimate because we all know guys ranked outside of the top 150, 200, they are dangerous opponents.

``I beat (Carlos) Moya when I was 300 and he was number four in the world. Everything is possible.''

But Federer knows the odds are on his side over the next fortnight in one of the most physically demanding Grand Slam tournaments.

``Many of them are dangerous on the day, but over five sets, seven matches, it's just hard to keep it up,'' he said.

``Sometimes the fitness really comes into play, night session, day session, it's really hard to adapt. You got to be mentally very tough.''

Daniel
01-16-2006, 12:34 AM
Laver backs Federer to win Grand Slam
By Mark Hodgkinson in Melbourne
(Filed: 16/01/2006)



One generation was talking up another yesterday, with Australian Rod Laver, still called "The Greatest" and the last man to have won all four majors in a season, arguing that Roger Federer had the sustained class off his strings to do the calendar sweep this year and achieve what is known as "The Grand Slam".


Fore-handed compliment: Federer could be 'the greatest tennis player of all time', says Laver

Federer will begin his attempt to go unbeaten through the 2006 slams at the Australian Open, which started early this morning. His opening-round match tomorrow against a wild card from Uzbekistan, Denis Istomin, will almost certainly be scheduled on the Rod Laver Arena, with the name of Melbourne Park's main stadium another reminder of what Switzerland's world No 1 would so love to replicate.

Only two men have completed the elusive Grand Slam, with the term originating from American Don Budge's domination of the sport in 1938 and Laver taking all four major titles in 1962 and then doing it for a second time in 1969.

"I strongly believe that Roger is capable of doing the Grand Slam this season, as he is such a wonderful player and an unbelievable talent. Of all the players that I have seen since I did the Grand Slam, he is probably the only one who I think has the talent to win all four events in a year," said Laver, who used an interview with The Daily Telegraph in late 2004 to suggest for the first time that Federer could be "the greatest tennis player of all time".

Laver added yesterday: "If Roger starts off well and wins the Australian Open then he's got a very good chance. From my own experience I know that if Roger did it he would be on top of the world and it would be the best thing that had ever happened to him. "

Until the emergence of Federer it had been thought that it had become almost impossible for anyone to 'slam' in the modern era, but the 24-year-old has already won six Grand Slam titles.

During the 2004 season he won three, taking the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open but missing out on the French Open. And should Federer win four majors over the coming months, Laver said it would rank as a much greater achievement than his own as the standard was far higher now than during the Sixties.

"There is much more strength in depth than when I was playing. Players now are so much stronger, tougher and faster, and the rackets they have allow them to hit the ball so hard. We only had wooden rackets. And there are so many wonderful young guys on the tour who have no respect for those at the top of the game, and will have a crack at them," said Laver, a winner of 11 Grand Slam titles.

TenHound
01-16-2006, 02:54 AM
thanks Rod. However, given the forces today, I don't a guy being able to win Paris & still be rested & tuned up for London. They need to put 2 more weeks between them to even make the challenge comparable to what it was in the wooden racquet era. As it is now, if Roger plays the Paris final, he jeopardizes Wimby, not to mention his feet problems. Look at how they fell off during Paris last yr. He didn't even play the Paris final, and he wasn't feeling very well @Wimby, according to him.

Puschkin
01-16-2006, 12:53 PM
Federer hoping to be wizard of Oz

Roger Federer has told Eurosport he is feeling optimistic about his chances of winning the Australian Open. The Swiss world number one fell to Marat Safin in a semi-final epic last year, but in the absence of the mercurial Russian, Rafael Nadal and Andre Agassi, Federer has high hopes for Melbourne.

"I had a tough one against Safin here last year which I lost so ... I am feeling good, healthy which is main thing coming into a season," said Federer.

"We have had quite a few injuries with Nadal and Safin and Agassi, which is a pity that they are not playing but it gives me a better opportunity to do well here."

The Swiss ended an otherwise masterful 2005 on a low, struggling with an ankle injury and beaten by David Nalbandian in the Shanghai Masters final.

But after a rampant win in Doha to kick-start the year, the 25-year-old - a winner in Australia in 2004 - is brimful of optimism barely dampened by a surprise defeat to Tommy Haas in last week's Kooyong Classic.

"I'm feeling good. I'm happy I'm over the injury now," he said. "The year started perfectly, not losing a set in Doha, playing very well and I am coming here and getting ready for the Aussie Open to get used again to the heat.

"In Doha, I was playing the night session all the time, which in the end might benefit me here because I've heard there are a lot of night sessions being played."

Source: http://www.eurosport.com/tennis/australian-open/2006/sport_sto814017.shtml

Mrs. B
01-16-2006, 03:10 PM
Hewitt Aims for Federer Again
by Scott Spits
Monday, 16 January, 2006


Lleyton Hewitt welcomes the prospect of a semi-final against world No.1 Roger Federer on his home turf at Australian Open 2006, knowing a victory over his adversary would provide him with more satisfaction should he go on to secure the elusive championship.

But the world No.4 Australian wasn't getting too far ahead of himself, fully aware of the pitfalls when striving to advance to the second week of any Grand Slam tournament.

The 24-year-old battled his way through a gruelling Australian Open campaign last year, winning six tough matches before succumbing to Russian Marat Safin in four sets in the men's final.

At the start of last year's tournament, Hewitt knew he was drawn to face the Swiss champion in the final - a match-up which never eventuated thanks to Safin's victory over Federer in the semis. This year Hewitt has been drawn on the same side as Federer.

"I seem to get on that half quite a bit," Hewitt told Channel Seven's Talking Tennis on the eve of the 2006 tournament.

"There's so many tough matches though. It's like last year, everyone said 'you're not on the same half as Federer'. But I didn't have to worry about Federer as it turned out."

"I had seven very worthy opponents to try and win the tournament against last year."

Indeed he did. Hewitt had to overcome a persistent hip flexor injury and a gruelling draw - featuring the likes of James Blake, Juan Ignacio Chela, Rafael Nadal and David Nalbandian - just to get to the business end of the tournament.

Now he warmly embraces a potential clash against Federer in the final four.

"Roger's human. He's like everyone else. If I do get a crack at him, probably in the Friday night of the semi-finals in a week-and-a-half's time, I'd be jumping out of my skin to go out and play him in Australia again," Hewitt said.

"But it's never going to be easy and you don't expect easy matches come semi-finals time anyway. It would be more satisfying probably to beat Roger."

That's not surprising. Federer holds an 11-7 record against Hewitt, including wins in each of their past nine Tour encounters. Hewitt has been eliminated from his past seven Grand Slam events by the eventual champion. On five of those occasions his opponent was the Swiss master.

Hewitt, a two-time Grand Slam champion (the last coming at Wimbledon in 2002) said his injury last year - which made his participation in the tournament a match-by-match proposition - may have helped his progress, allowing him to simply focus on his opponent at hand.

"The first week's a tough one because you can never win a Grand Slam in the first week but you can always lose it. It's a matter of just going out there and getting the job done more than anything," Hewitt said.

"I think last year I had a bit of a hip flexor injury coming into the tournament and that made me not lose sight of the big picture and I was focusing on who I just had to play.

"Twelve months ago everyone thought Nadal in a fourth round - 'you know, it's not that tough' - (as) things turn out, he's not a bad player!"

"You really have to look at the big picture and see that there's no easy matches out there. Right at the moment I'm worried about Robin Vik (his Czech first-round opponent)."

"I've never played him before. He's ranked 50-odd for a reason. There's not too many slouchers in the top 50 these days."

Regardless, Hewitt is delighted to be back in Australia and playing in front of his favourite crowd.

"There's not too many better stages to play any tennis tournaments in than Rod Laver Arena," the Australian said of his special connection to Melbourne Park.

"Obviously growing up and coming to the tennis centre for so many years as a kid, it was always a dream to be in that position. I saw Pat Cash lose that final to Wilander 8-6 in the fifth (set) years ago. It was a dream to be in that position (myself) last year."


*The most popular male player profile on AustralianOpen.com during Australian Open 2005 was Roger Federer. :cool:

source: the official website of AO

RogiFan88
01-16-2006, 04:46 PM
Lleyton's obsessed...

MissMoJo
01-16-2006, 06:24 PM
Lleyton's obsessed...
Well, things are looking up for him now that serra's out of the tourney ;)

PaulieM
01-16-2006, 06:31 PM
Lleyton's obsessed...
it's understandable, even lleyton can't resist rogi's hotness

casillas_girl
01-16-2006, 07:08 PM
Can you blame him? :p

RogiFan88
01-16-2006, 09:15 PM
Hee hee... to all your comments!! ;)

avocadoe
01-17-2006, 03:14 PM
great reading...i've been so busy I had to catch up a bit...thanks :)

RogiFan88
01-17-2006, 03:20 PM
I love how they categorize the faves:

http://elmundodeporte.elmundo.es/elmundodeporte/especiales/2006/01/openaustralia/ellos/index.html

The King Federer
The "Revalidated" Ljubicic [must find better translation!!]
The Threat Nalbandian
The Unknown [factor] Hewitt
The Spanish guys Moya Ferrero Ferrer Robredo...
The In-form guy Pandy

;)

RogiFan88
01-17-2006, 03:32 PM
Listen for Rogi's interview:

Federer begins campaign in style

Latest results
Roger Federer had little trouble with wild card Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan as he opened his Australian Open campaign with a straight-sets win.
Istomin was playing not only his first Grand Slam match but his first in any ATP event and the gulf in class showed.

Federer had far too much power and speed from the baseline and rarely had to venture forward on his way to a 6-2 6-3 6-2 victory.

The top seed will now face Germany's Florian Mayer in the second round.

"I thought it was not easy today because he was serving big, taking a lot of chances on my return," said Federer.

"So we didn't see too many rallies, which didn't really allow me to get the rhythm going.

"I won comfortably. That's what counts most."

Elsewhere, sixth seed Guillermo Coria overcame a leg injury to see off Victor Hanescu in five sets.

There were 22 breaks of serve and a total of 101 unforced errors in a three-and-a-half-hour match that could have gone either way.

The Argentine required treatment after the fourth set but fought on for a 6-4 1-6 4-6 6-2 6-1 victory. Coria will meet Italian Federico Luzzi in the second round.

Fifth-seeded Russian Nikolay Davydenko needed five sets to beat Croatian giant Ivo Karlovic 7-5 4-6 3-6 7-5 6-3.

Dominik Hrbaty, the 12th seed from Slovakia, also came through a tight match, beating Austria's Oliver Marach 3-6 4-6 6-2 6-1 6-3.

Former world number one Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain, who is ranked 15th in Melbourne, eased through with a 7-5 6-0 6-2 victory over Czech Tomas Zib.

It was a bad day for rising French stars Gael Monfils and Richard Gasquet as both were sent packing in the first round.

Monfils, 19, was a surprise loser early on day two, going down 6-4 7-5 6-1 to Peru's Luis Horna.

The 22nd seed was struggling physically and was attended to by the trainer at one stage but to no avail.

Gasquet, seeded 14, has had a poor start to 2006 and was unfortunate to be drawn against the in-form Tommy Haas, who impressed in a 6-2 7-5 6-2 win that suggests he might be a challenger over the next fortnight.

Thailand's Paradorn Srichaphan failed to take advantage of two match points as he lost to German 21st seed Nicolas Kiefer in a five-set marathon.

The 50th-ranked Paradorn led two sets to love but ended up losing 6-7 (5-7), 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-1 6-2, despite Kiefer needing painkillers at the start of the fourth set for an ankle injury.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/4619046.stm

Audio

SUKTUEN
01-17-2006, 03:48 PM
Thankyou , I print some of them today

Daniel
01-18-2006, 10:26 PM
Federer Opens 2006 With Sampras's Legacy In View
2006 Australian Open

By TOM PERROTTA
January 16, 2006

As the Australian Open begins in Melbourne this week, Roger Federer, the safest bet in sports, finds himself even more a favorite than usual.

Just as Federer pronounced his injured ankle 100% healthy last week, several of his chief rivals at the first major of 2006 collapsed in a heap. Gone from the draw are defending champion Marat Safin (knee), world no. 2 Rafael Nadal (foot), and four-time champion Andre Agassi (ankle). Better still for Federer (and worse for everyone else), the men who have the best chance of upsetting the world no. 1 - Argentina's David Nalbandian, Croatia's Ivan Ljubicic, and American Andy Roddick - are thrown together in the same half of the draw. As they wear one another out, Federer will have little to contend with, save the hometown favorite, Lleyton Hewitt, who has shown poor form early this season and has lost nine straight to the master.

There is, however, a formidable competitor in the world of tennis this year that Federer, great as he is, will need more than a little luck to defeat: History. Having finished seven plus seasons as a pro, the 24-year-old Swiss is, on paper, nearly indistinguishable from the best player the game has known, Pete Sampras. But can Federer maintain his pace or even surpass Sampras, most notably his record 14 Grand Slam titles?

A detailed look at these two careers suggests that Federer's chances are average at best, though he could greatly help his cause by winning three majors in 2006, as he did in 2004.

The similarities between the two are remarkable. After playing little in their first seasons, Sampras and Federer over the next seven years won their matches at rates of .773 and .765, respectively. If one removes from the equation all matches played on carpet (more popular in Sampras's better years and far less so during Federer's) leaving only hard courts, clay, and grass, Sampras's winning percentage at age 24 stands at .783, compared to .778 for Federer. Sampras had won 36 titles, including seven majors; Federer 33 and six.Sampras had finished no. 1 for three straight years (he later set the record at six), while Federer has finished on top the past two seasons.He lost by a smidgen to Roddick in 2003.

In many ways, Federer has proven superior, justifying his reputation, in the words of Agassi,as the most skilled player ever. His winning percentage against Top 10 players is .670, compared to Sampras's .602 (from 1988-95). From 2003 through January of last year, Federer won 24 consecutive matches against Top 10 opponents, an absurd streak. While Sampras never finished a season with a winning percentage above .900, Federer has finished his last two years at .925 and .953. He won 11 titles in each of those years (Sampras never won more than 10), and his record in finals is better, too: .786 to .735.

Yet as phenomenal as Federer is, there are numerous reasons why one should not expect him to match or better Sampras.

The most obvious is that there is no margin for error or serious injury. During the final seven years of his career, Sampras was just as remarkable as he was in his first seven: He won another 28 titles, including seven majors, slightly improved his winning percentage (from .773 to .776), won slightly less often in finals (.718 from .735), and fared better against Top 10 players (.683 to .602). From 1997 to 2000, he won four straight Wimbledon titles, completing a stretch in which he won that title seven times in eight tries.

Even if Federer remains in excellent health (which history, not to mention Federer's recent foot and ankle problems, suggest is unlikely), matching these feats will be extraordinarily difficult.He'll have to win the bulk of his majors by the end of 2010, when he'll be 29, as Sampras was in 2000 (Sampras won one major after age 30; Agassi, considered the best late-career player since Jimmy Connors, has won two and does not look likely to win more). By the end of 1997, Sampras had collected 10 major titles, which means Federer would have to win a total of four this season and next just to even the score.

To do this, Federer likely will have to continue producing remarkable performances in finals, where he wins slightly more often than he does overall (.786 to .778).Perhaps he will prove to be the best ever in important matches, but he's unlikely to keep up this pace. Sampras lost four Grand Slam finals; Federer, who is 6-0, is bound to lose one along the way. Sampras's winning percentage in finals was lower than his overall percentage by about .050, as one would expect against better opponents.

Federer's style of play does not work in his favor, either.

No one will question that Federer's game has far more depth than Sampras's ever did.His forehand and backhand are superior,his footwork is better,his speed is better, his service return is better. He is by far the most complete player the game has ever seen, someone who could win all four majors (only the French Open, on clay, remains).

Yet versatility may not prove to be the best asset over the years. If Federer's ankle woes and struggles with plantar fasciitis, a painful heel condition,continue,one would expect him to lose a step. All the beauty in Federer's game begins with his remarkable feet; if they deteriorate, he'll become more vulnerable in rallies, less fearsome on passing shots, and less explosive on return games.

Sampras, far less versatile, owned a weapon more powerful than any in the Federer arsenal: his serve. It's still the most important stroke in tennis, and it's also the one that holds up the best over time,as it requires no running and is not influenced by the opponent. Even as he aged and ached, Sampras remained a phenomenal server until the end. From the time the ATP Tour began tracking serving statistics in 1991, he held his service games 88.7% of the time,and he did even better in his last seven years (89.1%). If we toss aside serving statistics from Federer's first three seasons, he holds serve at 87.4%.The difference is slight, but it could make a difference down the stretch if the rest of Federer's game looses its polish.

Of course, luck may still be on Federer's side. Maybe he will remain healthy until age 32 or even 33. Maybe, as frightening a thought as it is, he will improve, or win a few French Opens - a title that eluded Sampras. Maybe the rest of the men's field will decline, or suffer from a rash of injuries in the next few years. Having drawn such a weak field in Australia, Federer has an opportunity he cannot afford to miss. If he wins this and another major in 2006, the race with Sampras is still on. Three, and he takes the lead. One, well, that might just put Sampras out of reach. Looking at all the facts, it is not sensible to argue that Federer will succeed. But as always, it seems foolish to bet against him.

Daniel
01-19-2006, 04:14 AM
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) -- Top-ranked Roger Federer advanced to the third round of the Australian Open with an emphatic 6-1, 6-4, 6-0 win over Florian Mayer on Thursday.

The 24-year-old Swiss star finished with 38 winners and closed out the 1-hour, 12-minute match with an ace.

"It's so nice to get quick matches in the heat," said Federer, whose next opponent is 30th-seeded Max Mirnyi.

"I thought I handled it well in the heat -- I'm very happy with my performance, so it's good."

Federer was so dominating that Mayer never had a game point after holding serve to pull within 4-5 in the second set.

Always a perfectionist, the normally stoic Federer did seem a little annoyed at his 18 unforced errors that accounted for one-third of Florian's points.


And after smacking a lovely forehand crosscourt winner for his third break of the final set, he allowed himself a little fist pump. He finished off the match with a pair of service winners and his eighth and ninth aces, then hit a ball high into the stands.

The overmatched Mayer tried a little of everything, charging the net and flicking soft drops from the baseline, but nothing worked as temperatures reached 88 degrees. He became increasingly frustrated, shaking his head and even looking to the sky for help.

Daniel
01-19-2006, 04:15 AM
Federer cruises into third round at Australian Open

January 18, 2006
MELBOURNE, Australia (Ticker) - The Federer Express keeps on rolling.

Top seed Roger Federer eased into the third round of the Australian Open with a 6-1, 6-4, 6-0 rout of German Florian Mayer on Thursday.

The world's top-ranked player, Federer had dropped seven games in a first-round victory over wild card Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan on Tuesday. The Swiss star was even sharper two days later, breaking Mayer five times and saving the German's lone chance to break.

ADVERTISEMENT


The 24-year-old Federer, who has won six of the last 10 majors, next will meet No. 30 Max Mirnyi of Belarus, who defeated Italian Davide Sanguinetti in four sets.

"I'm very pleased the way I'm playing," Federer said. "There's not really a need to change the game. Maybe further down the road in my career, in a couple years when I'm maybe not that fast anymore around the court, then maybe it would be good to maybe come to the net a little bit more often.

"I feel I can play this game for many years to come because I feel like I don't use too much energy out on the court because I play very relaxed."

artlinkletter
01-19-2006, 04:28 AM
Of course, luck may still be on Federer's side. Maybe he will remain healthy until age 32 or even 33. Maybe, as frightening a thought as it is, he will improve, or win a few French Opens - a title that eluded Sampras. Maybe the rest of the men's field will decline, or suffer from a rash of injuries in the next few years. Having drawn such a weak field in Australia, Federer has an opportunity he cannot afford to miss. If he wins this and another major in 2006, the race with Sampras is still on. Three, and he takes the lead. One, well, that might just put Sampras out of reach. Looking at all the facts, it is not sensible to argue that Federer will succeed. But as always, it seems foolish to bet against him.

It's silly how this author leaves Rogers main opportunity to compete with Sampras' legacy, up to luck. Like Roger himself cannot control the situation, rather it will be luck that gets him far enougth to beat Sampras. Please.

Daniel
01-19-2006, 04:43 AM
From Mary's CArillo article on ESPn.com

Important Realization No. 1: I like watching Swiss people play tennis. Roger Federer is the most beautiful tennis player I've ever seen and the classiest No. 1 I've ever known in this game. On the court he is rarely hurried or harried. By moving with grace, speed and stealth, Federer creates shots and choreographs rallies that represent the prettiest expressions of our sport. Off the court, he's a time-bender as well. Somehow, with great ease, he moves among the fans and press with what looks like all the time in the world. He honors his sport, his fans, and all of us who cover it.

Daniel
01-19-2006, 04:59 AM
MELBOURNE (Reuters) - World number one Roger Federer produced an imperious display to dismiss unseeded German Florian Mayer 6-1 6-4 6-0 in the second round of the Australian Open on Thursday.

The Swiss top seed is widely tipped to win his second title in Melbourne and underlined that favouritism by crushing Mayer in just 72 minutes on Rod Laver Arena, finishing the German off with an ace down the centre of the court.

Federer is yet to drop a set in the tournament and produced another performance of power and precision, his backhand especially a constant threat to the outclassed Mayer.

The Swiss broke Mayer's serve six times in what amounted to little more than a workout and he moves on to a third-round encounter against either 30th seed Max Mirnyi of Belarus or Italy's Davide Sanguinetti.

PaulieM
01-19-2006, 05:16 AM
Of course, luck may still be on Federer's side. Maybe he will remain healthy until age 32 or even 33. Maybe, as frightening a thought as it is, he will improve, or win a few French Opens - a title that eluded Sampras. Maybe the rest of the men's field will decline, or suffer from a rash of injuries in the next few years. Having drawn such a weak field in Australia, Federer has an opportunity he cannot afford to miss. If he wins this and another major in 2006, the race with Sampras is still on. Three, and he takes the lead. One, well, that might just put Sampras out of reach. Looking at all the facts, it is not sensible to argue that Federer will succeed. But as always, it seems foolish to bet against him.
:rolleyes: yeah because these guys have really stopped roger even when they're fully fit.

ExpectedWinner
01-19-2006, 05:41 AM
One more idiot who desperately needs money. If I was an editor of this newspaper/magazine I wouldn't have paid him a penny. The reason is simple. Until Federer wins 10/11 GS, there's no point to discuss this so called "com petition" with Sampras.

Daniel
01-19-2006, 08:18 AM
Young hopes a threat to Federer? You're kidding
Email Print Normal font Large font By Jake Niall
January 18, 2006
Page 1 of 2

Gael Monfils - one of the teenage casualties from the Open.
Photo: John French


On the evidence presented yesterday, Roger Federer has little to fear from the teen upstarts of Great Britain and France. Not in 2006 or 2007, in any case. If anyone has cause for concern, given yesterday's dismal showings by the wunderkinds, it is Pete Sampras, whose record of 14 grand slam titles isn't safe.

French pair Richard Gasquet and Gael Monfils and Brit Andy Murray are the best known representatives of the teenage "next generation" of men's tennis — assuming one does not count Raphael Nadal, a genuine prodigy. Yesterday, none of the trio managed to win a set in the opening round of the first grand slam of 2006.

Monfils was embarrassed by Peruvian Luis Horna 6-4, 7-5, 6-1, in a performance that belied both his seeding (22) and the optimistic perception that the tall Parisian is coming fast. Gasquet was dismantled by German Tommy Haas, admittedly a high-calibre opponent, in a prototype boy-versus-man match that contradicted the misleading rankings (Gasquet was seeded 14, Haas unseeded).

"He is a great player," Gasquet said of Haas, who also once bore the unwanted burden of being "the next Becker", and to date, has not met the grandiose plans others devised for him. Perhaps the career of Haas, only now picking himself off the canvas, should be a cautionary tale for those pumping air into the shoes of Gasquet, Monfils and Murray.

Monfils all but blamed an illness he had carried since he bombed at Kooyong last week. He said he had "no energy" yesterday and couldn't play his game. What should be worrying for his boosters wasn't so much the validity of the excuse — something was amiss — but his haste in making one.

Then came Murray, the great white hype of Great Britain — the Scottish lad in whom the English media have invested so much in the hope that, at the least, he will replacing the outgoing Tim Henman and give them someone to stalk around the globe.

Murray fared arguably even worse than his French peers in his drubbing by Juan Ignatio Chela, though in launching an exasperated strike against the British press, he at least gave them something to ponder and write about.

Murray's frustration on the court — he received a warning for smashing his racquet and wore a pained expression whenever things went against him, which was often — was actually exceeded by his display of teen angst in the media conference.

Turning fire on the British media for building unrealistic expectations, Murray, 18, referred several times to "you guys", complaining that the UK media expected him "to win all these matches". He finished with his head lowered in his hands, seemingly pushing back tears.

I mean, none of the teenagers played well today," he said, pointedly noting that Chela was ranked 20 places or so higher. "I think we're not going to play well every week … even Federer, it took him a while before he started to play as well as he is now."

Some of the English media were clearly startled by Murray's emotional response, for they had nursed the view that their great Scot had been treated kindly. "That was a bad performance on the court but an even worse one in the press conference," said one veteran British scribe.

It was noted by a few of Murray's alleged tormentors, too, that he had just signed a six-figure deal to write columns for London's primo tabloid The Sun, an organ not renowned for sensitivity to famous young sportsmen.

Murray believed that British media applied a heavier-duty blowtorch than their French and American counterparts. He wasn't sure about Australia. In part, Murray's problem is simple mathematics. France has several high-quality tennis players of both sexes, as does America, which is less interested in tennis anyway.

The UK has a vast tennis infrastructure, the world's biggest tournament, but no home-grown players despite the dollars pumped into the game, besides Murray and Henman. It has about two dozen or so journalists covering this tournament and with Henman finished on day one, Murray was facing an intimidating ratio of around 25 to 1.

Murray is, at this early stage, a more emotive and blunt customer than was Henman, so proper, reserved and upwardly mobile, he could play Hugh Grant's best mate. Murray is more Liam Gallagher. Regardless of how he fares, more vexed moments with the media are surely in store.

Novak Djokovic, of Serbia and Montenegro, was another beaten teenager, going down in four sets to American Paul Goldstein.

Puschkin
01-19-2006, 11:32 AM
Roger Federer
Thursday, January 19, 2006 Post match Interview

Q. Two easy wins to start the championship. Can we assess your form to this stage?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I feel it's very good. I'm very pleased the way I'm playing. I had the feeling both players were trying to come to the net as much as possible. Didn't really want to rally too much from the baseline. That's not going to happen in the next match either. That was maybe good preparation.

Q. How important is it to save energy in these early rounds by winning as quickly as possible?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, it might come down to, you know, this one match where you're going to be tangled up in the fifth set and you need some reserves. I definitely feel like, you know, if I keep on playing the way I am, not losing too much energy out on the court, you know, I can ‑‑ maybe it's going to pay back eventually.

Again, if I lose in straight sets, didn't really matter, did it? I prefer obviously always to win in straight sets. When I feel like I can, I'll try, you know, as hard as I can. So for this reason I'm very pleased with my first two matches here.

Q. Like last year, you continue to play excellent tennis. Do you think you can actually get any better than what you are now?

ROGER FEDERER: I mean, no, I think I can definitely improve little things. You know, I can maybe still improve my returning game, you know, my serving, my volleying. There's still potential left.

But, again, I'm very pleased the way I'm playing. There's not really a need, you know, to change the game. Maybe further down the road, you know, in my career in a couple years, you know, when I'm maybe not that fast any more around the court, then maybe it would be good to maybe come to the net a little bit more often.

I feel I can play this game for many years to come because I feel like I don't use too much energy out on the court because I play very relaxed.

Q. Do you think it's possible to win all four slams this year? If so, what would it mean to you to be able to do that?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, all the guys who are in the draw, you know, have a shot at it that are still in. I'm not really occupied with that. It's already hard enough to win the Australian Open. I've only done it once. I'd like to do that first twice, and then we can see if the Grand Slam is possible.

It's not really an objective for me this year.

Q. James Blake said the courts were verging on dangerous yesterday. Do you think they could be quicker?

ROGER FEDERER: Dangerous or quicker?

Q. The speed of the courts.

ROGER FEDERER: I said in my last press conference, I think it's the same as last year. So if that's good or bad, I don't know. I definitely believe the courts could be a little bit quicker for a hard court event. US Open is quicker than this.

Again, I like to use the spin, too. If you play it flat, it also skids through. If you slice it, it stays low. In a way, it is a fairer surface, you know. It is just very hard on your body, because of the Rebound Ace. Especially when it's hot like today, the court gets extremely hot. That is something other surfaces don't really do, like the US Open for instance.

Q. The forecast is for hotter weather over the weekend. You can see the court becoming a little more dangerous.

ROGER FEDERER: No, no, no. I didn't say "dangerous." I never had an issue on the Rebound Ace. It's definitely tough on your body, but not dangerous. I consider that too much.

No, I feel like, you know, when it's really nice and warm, hot like maybe the next few days, the conditions are pretty quick. Night session's always a little bit slower.

Yeah, I don't think we'll see many more injuries. It was unfortunate for the one girl yesterday. That looked terrible. I mean, great effort to still finish the match, I think.

Q. If you had a chance to be playing captain of the Swiss Davis Cup team, like Ivan Ljubicic is with Croatia, would you do it?

ROGER FEDERER: No, I wouldn't do it.

Q. Can you explain why?

ROGER FEDERER: Got to focus on my own career, don't I? If you're the playing captain, you've got to play every single tie. Well, I just feel like I'm still too young to be playing captain. So is Ivan, I have the feeling.

Temporary, you do everything for your country, I think. I'm also looking forward that the Croatians reach a good agreement with the Davis Cup situation after their great success last year. We had many, many problems in our team. I spoke to Ivan a little bit, you know, about it. He can learn from us (smiling).

The Swiss know what I'm talking about.

Q. Etienne de Villiers has taken over the responsibility of chairman and CEO of the ATP. If you were locked in a room with him, you wanted to discuss some of the things that you thought needed to be done to improve the game, I know it's a very long question, would there be two or three things that you think are vital for the game to improve, for the players?>

ROGER FEDERER: Well, my first concern is sort of get some players together and talk to each other, talk to Etienne or to guys at the ATP, sort of talk together. Not only alone all the time. I mean, I have my point of views, but they might not always be the best for the game. Not that I'm egoistic or anything. I believe the guys should get together more often and talk.

We can always discuss, you know, scheduling, balls, here and this. But you have to take things a little bigger and further. What's the plan for the next five, ten years, 20 years? Obviously, they're not around any more, but I still believe the players who are around right now, they should also give back to their game.

I think we're all trying, but we got to all work together, the ATP, the ITF, maybe WTA, too. I don't know. I just believe, you know, with the guys we have in the game today, there's a big opportunity. I said that already two years ago. I think two, three years' time from now, when even more players have more Grand Slams, we have even more stars in the game, it will be a very interesting period for the game.

Q. Perhaps a return to a players body that really has muscle and can determine its own fate or certainly have a say in the fate of the game?

ROGER FEDERER: Yes.

Q. It's very important, you think?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah. I think the players have to give the ATP power to go out there and tell them what the players think. Sometimes, at the moment how it is, I have the feeling every player is sort of fighting just to win their match, but we're not really fighting for something for the good of the game. Tennis is just sometimes a sport where you stay in your own camp, where before players would hang out together. That's not really the case any more so often. It still exists, but...

Source: http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/news/interviews/2006-01-19/200601191137667180695.html

What is the secret that Swiss peopel know about?

bokehlicious
01-19-2006, 11:46 AM
What is the secret that Swiss peopel know about?

No secret in fact, I guess Roger refered to the problems that swiss tennis recently had with the DC captains (Hlasek and Rosset)... Roger has a great personnality and tennis know-how, and he doesn't need a DC captain who tells him the way to play a match...

nobama
01-19-2006, 11:53 AM
One more idiot who desperately needs money. If I was an editor of this newspaper/magazine I wouldn't have paid him a penny. The reason is simple. Until Federer wins 10/11 GS, there's no point to discuss this so called "com petition" with Sampras.I guess the reason people do is they look at Sampras at age 24 and Roger at age 24 and their careers are very similar. Sampras had a few more titles (including one more slam). But I do think it's to early to put him up there with Samraps. Although in the last year or so I've heard a lot of commentators say that Roger might not be the "greatest" but they feel he's the most talented. Fred Stollie (sp?) said on StarSports that he thought Roger was more talented than Pete, that he had more shots.

nobama
01-19-2006, 12:26 PM
A Swiss fan posted on Roger's website that it was reported in a German newspaper that a wedding is planned for 2007. Didn't say which newspaper. And who knows if it's true or not. But when Roger was at that kids event in Biel (back in December) one of the kids asked him when he was getting married and Roger replied sth like 'nothing is planned, but maybe it is time'. I always thought that was an interesting comment. ;)

ToanNguyen
01-19-2006, 03:08 PM
[Quote]Federer sizzles, no sweat
Scott Gullan
20jan06

THE ease with which Roger Federer has dominated the men's game during the past two years has raised serious questions about whether he sweats.

Studies have regularly failed to find any sign of perspiration on the great Swiss magician's brow after disposing of the world's best players en route to yet another title.
As a result, the old cliche "never raised a sweat" has never fitted a sportsman more perfectly than Federer.

But you would think it inappropriate -- even for the great man -- to use it yesterday.

When the world No. 1 strode on to Rod Laver Arena to play his second-round match against German Florian Mayer, it was stinking hot. Players were dropping like flies around Melbourne Park, with the conditions sapping and sweat being dispensed by the bucketful.

Seventy-two minutes later, Federer left centre court, and the only way to describe his 6-1 6-4 6-0 victory was -- you guessed it -- that he never raised a sweat.

The Open favourite was near-flawless, with the first and third sets taking just 21 minutes each as he sought to escape the heat as quickly as possible.

"I definitely feel like if I keep on playing the way I am, not losing too much energy out on the court, then maybe it's going to pay back eventually when there is the one match where you're going to be tangled up in the fifth set and you need some reserves," Federer said.

"I prefer always to win in straight sets. When I feel like I can, I'll try as hard as I can, so for this reason I'm very pleased with my first two matches here."

Federer has spent just 2hr 35min on court this week compared to fourth seed David Nalbandian, one of the few players who has troubled him recently, who has clocked up 6hr 31min.

Asked if it was possible that his game could get even better, the six-time grand slam winner said: "There is still potential left, but again I'm very pleased (with) the way I'm playing. There's not really a need, you know, to change the game."

"Maybe further down the road in my career, in a couple of years when I'm not that fast any more around the court, then maybe it would be good to maybe come to the net a little bit more often.

"I feel I can play this game for many years to come because I feel like I don't use too much energy out on the court because I play very relaxed."
[\Quote]

Pretty funny article

SUKTUEN
01-19-2006, 03:12 PM
THANKS

TenHound
01-20-2006, 06:17 AM
Snippet from tom. Guardian art:

Mayer tried his level best to unbalance the Swiss, principally by attempting to force the issue at the net, as will Max Mirnyi, the giant from Belarus, in the next round tomorrow. "It was good preparation," said Federer, who took no more out of himself than he might flicking crumbs off a tablecloth.

Tony Roche, his Australian coach, believes Federer could do even more damage more quickly if he came to the net more often. "In a couple of years when I'm maybe a little slower around the court it might be good to come to the net a little more but at the moment I don't really need to change my game," said Federer. Why muck about with perfection?

nobama
01-20-2006, 03:40 PM
I had to laugh last night when Mary Carillo said she liked Roddick's chances, liked his form ect. But he hasn't played anybody. :lol: Let's wait and see what the form is when he plays a decent player. I started to watch his match the other day and I had to turn it off it was so bad (one sided). And I'd say the same thing about Roger. He's looked good so far too, but he hasn't played anyone good either. I think we'll know after the Mirnyi match exactly how good his form is.

SUKTUEN
01-20-2006, 04:55 PM
I really Hope Roger and Andy play in the Final~!!!!!! :bounce: :bounce:

TenHound
01-20-2006, 05:17 PM
Espn should use early round matches of Majors that have been gutted due to over-seeding to show us the youngsters. I'd like to see L'il Kraj., Vaidisova, Baghdatis, Berdych, etc. They play more competitive matches, and we can watch them progress... Apart from watching Roger or now Martina, that would be the most exciting.

Martina played MD last night. I hope she's rested for today. If she rests, it's not out of the question for her to make it through to the finals...

SUKTUEN
01-20-2006, 05:28 PM
Hinggis Hope you Have a Sucessful AO this year~! :D

ExpectedWinner
01-20-2006, 06:18 PM
I think we'll know after the Mirnyi match exactly how good his form is.

Not really. A match with a good server and a mediocre returner (Max) can turn out to be a ''walking back and forth" contest with a patient waiting for an openning to break. On the other hand, Haas' match (if it happens) should be an indication.

violet coley
01-20-2006, 07:42 PM
Cynthia Lum's snap-happy tennis life

Picture this: Cynthia Lum spends her life touring with the stars of tennis.
Photo: Eddie Jim
'What's wrong with hanging out with cute young guys? They're amazing.

Cynthia Lum mingles with the world's top male tennis stars - and it's all just part of the job, writes Chris Johnston.

Photographer Cynthia Lum is the eyes of men's tennis. And those eyes have seen a lot.

Lum, from Los Angeles, has been on the circuit for 12 years. She's such a fixture - the US, French, and Australian opens, all the big ones - that she is on first-name terms with many top players. She often stays in the same hotels and goes to the same restaurants, bars, clubs and functions. She's the kind of person who will give a disc of pictures to a player after they have had a good win.

"My attitude is 'we're all in this together'," Lum says. "The guy picking up the towels in the locker room is as important as Lleyton Hewitt. I treat the players like normal human beings and they respect that, they like it.

"We're all pretty friendly. Have dinner, have drinks, have a party, you know?"

Given the clamour surrounding top male players at the Australian Open this week - "where did he eat?", "where did he drink", "is he really going out with her", "did you see him with his shirt off?" - Lum's access would be the envy of many. She is quick to stress that she is a sports photographer, but she is also a woman who likes men.

"Frankly, my mother didn't raise stupid children. Why would I want to be on the women's tour? The men are a lot more profitable, the guys are more interesting, the tennis is better, it's more fun. And they're guys. What's wrong with hanging out with cute young guys? They're amazing."

Lum loves tennis. She loves photographing it. It's a subtle sport; it's all about the tiny nuances. Grand gestures and the spectacular are hard to find. She likes this about it. But she also likes the backdrop to an event like the Australian Open.

"Tennis is the only sport where there's one or two-week events," Lum says. "You get to know people, you make friends. There's a dinner this night and a party that night; people meet new people, there's new romances and broken romances. It's all going on behind the tennis. It builds and builds and then, bang!, it's over, and they're taking the site down while you're shooting the last pictures.

"It has a drama all of it's own. It's like a mini-series, a soap opera."

The big gossip this year is that men's No. 2 Andy Roddick is on with Russian Maria Sharapova, women's No.4 seed. "That would surprise me," Lum says. "He likes starlet-type girls, but he wouldn't like a girl that overshadows him."

She met Roddick when he was 19. "I thought to myself, 'this kid has great potential as a player and also as a brat'. He was supposed to be the next Pete Sampras, he's had a lot of pressure put on him, and kids like that have brat potential. He has a temper, but he's a good kid. He's a funny kid. He does funny things. Once he had his people buy him a bed from the W Hotel in Los Angeles for his house in Florida, just because he liked the bed."

No. 1 seed Roger Federer is the polar opposite, she says. He is quiet and does not party. He is under his girlfriend's thumb. He never goes out at night. "Although once I did see him at the Xiang Yang market in Shanghai where they sell only fakes - fake Rolex watches, fake Chanel sunglasses."

Hewitt? Well, she likes his eyes. "They're huge," she says, "and blue, and they pop out when he's running for a shot." Off court, though, "you won't see him, he never goes out. He was always a pain in the neck, but he's mellowed. He's not nasty, just a pain."

The Latin guys, though, the Spanish and South Americans . . . "oh my God, they are so much fun".

"Go to a tournament in Argentina or Brazil and everyone's out every night dancing and partying," Lum says. "Gaston Gaudio, I like him, he likes to party, believe me. In Shanghai once, at this big nightclub, all these Chinese girls were hitting on him. But he's like 'oh, they're not really my type'. He likes the tall blondes. He's a real good dancer, Gaston."

But Argentinian David Nalbandian, who is not a favourite of Australian crowds, has won a prize for being "unco-operative and sour".

"I've never had a problem with him personally, but in Paris the press have the annual Lemon Award for the French Open's annual pain in the neck. He won it last year."

As someone who deals in the detail of the sport, Lum notices things others do not. Guillermo Coria, for example, does amazing tricks with his racquet. "He flips it and bounces the ball on the edge of it between sets or when he's changing ends. He's very dexterous; he's like a juggler, a magician."

His wife, Lum says, who is "stunning", has the "teensiest, tiniest little outfits. He looks like a little kid next to her."

Roddick is on edge, "like a racehorse". He constantly fidgets with his hat and jiggles a blue rubber bracelet on his right wrist.

And Federer is difficult to photograph in Australia because he has very dark eyes and the angle of the sun here often makes it look like like he has no eyes at all. Which is not what a tennis photographer wants from the best tennis player in the world. Plus, she says, his play is so smooth, so polished. There's no rough edges to it. There is nothing that happens out of the blue.

Unfortunately for Lum, like eyes, those are the things that make good pictures.

"But he'll probably win,"she says.

APRES TENNIS
WHAT THE STARS GET UP TO

ROGER FEDERER
"He’s got his girlfriend and he’s under her thumb. She controls him."

ANDY RODDICK
"I shouldn’t say this but he’s a party boy. He’ll be at the casino playing craps and roulette. He’ll be hanging out in clubs — he went to a party at The Loft this week.’’

LLEYTON HEWITT
"He was always a pain in the neck, but he’s mellowed.’’

DAVID NALBANDIAN
"Unco-operative and sour."

NIKOLAY DAVIDENKO
"He always looks like his mum just scrubbed him down."

THOMAS JOHANSSON
"He’s very good looking, and interesting, because he’s an emotional Swede."

FERNANDO GONZALEZ
"Oh my God, I love Fernando. He’s a real nice guy, a good guy.’ His coach is very cool too.’’

GASTON GAUDIO
"He likes to party, believe me. He’s a real good dancer, Gaston."

IVAN LJUBICIC
"Always obliging but also kind of ... unexpressive"

GUILERMO CORIA
"He has this stunning wife. He comes down for breakfast with his family and the wife, and her make-up arrives 15 minutes before her."

ExpectedWinner
01-20-2006, 08:00 PM
What the hell is this? The australian "yellow' gossip column?

nobama
01-20-2006, 09:31 PM
Not really. A match with a good server and a mediocre returner (Max) can turn out to be a ''walking back and forth" contest with a patient waiting for an openning to break. On the other hand, Haas' match (if it happens) should be an indication.Well I guess what I meant is this might finally be a competitive match where Roger might get tested...unlike Roddick who cruises into the 4th round untested (and I don't think he'll have much trouble in his 4th rd match either).

artlinkletter
01-20-2006, 10:05 PM
I think Roger and Mirka should tie the knot. They are already pratically married, just not on paper. I would love to see their wedding photos:)

Mrs. B
01-20-2006, 10:53 PM
ROGER FEDERER
"He’s got his girlfriend and he’s under her thumb. She controls him."

:eek:

nobama
01-20-2006, 11:22 PM
ROGER FEDERER
"He’s got his girlfriend and he’s under her thumb. She controls him."

:eek:I think this is so funny. Do people forget that her career is basically his? Sure she had to quit the tour because of an injury. But still her life revolves around him, being there for all his matches, making sure everything off-court is just right for him. I suppose this broad thinks Mirka controls him because she doesn't see him out partying like some other players. But maybe it's his choice to do other things besides hanging out at bars or gambling at hotels. I don't quite understand the assumption that he's not doing these things because Mirka won't let him. :shrug:

artlinkletter
01-20-2006, 11:26 PM
Like I said in GM, I think Roger is more so dependant on Mirka, which one can see why (for the reasons you stated Mirkaland). If I was around someone 24/7 by choice, I most definetly would be dependant on them.

LCeh
01-21-2006, 01:12 AM
I think the writer is forgetting something here. Mirka is helping him with the media and things because he lets her; Mirka is doing them for him because she wants to. Neither control the other. Saying Roger is under her thumb is ridiculous; she may get what she wants because Roger allows it to happen. He is still the man that has the last say, and good for him for giving Mirka priority over many things.

nobama
01-21-2006, 01:24 AM
I think the writer is forgetting something here. Mirka is helping him with the media and things because he lets her; Mirka is doing them for him because she wants to. Neither control the other. Saying Roger is under her thumb is ridiculous; she may get what she wants because Roger allows it to happen. He is still the man that has the last say, and good for him for giving Mirka priority over many things.This lady is an old hag who wants to be a tennis groupie. Maybe she secretly has the hots for Roger and wishes she had the chance to hit on him or something. :lol:

TenHound
01-21-2006, 03:15 AM
The sexism here is vile & disgusting. Some clown writes some sexist piece about Mirka, and the response is to call her "an old hag". VOMIT.

nobama
01-21-2006, 03:20 AM
The sexism here is vile & disgusting. Some clown writes some sexist piece about Mirka, and the response is to call her "an old hag". VOMIT.I call it as I see it. Sorry.

PaulieM
01-22-2006, 09:55 PM
small blurb about roger from the telegraph:
World No 1 Roger Federer is appearing in Melbourne without a racket sponsor. The Swiss's contract with Wilson expired in December and has yet to be renewed, though he continues to use the firm's nSix-One Tour 90 racket. "We expect him to sign a new deal shortly," said a spokesperson for the manufacturer.

lunahielo
01-22-2006, 11:20 PM
Interesting blurb, Paulie Humm. :)
Thanks.
luna

LCeh
01-22-2006, 11:35 PM
That's interesting. I would expect Roger to renew his contract before the season started. I wonder what happened there.

Sjengster
01-23-2006, 01:20 AM
The sexism here is vile & disgusting. Some clown writes some sexist piece about Mirka, and the response is to call her "an old hag". VOMIT.

Which is exactly what I want to do when I read about 75% of your posts. The very idea that someone who wishes a career-ending injury on "Thuggy" and moans about Roger's SS-coloured clothing could label other people's posts "vile and disgusting" is little short of astounding.

SUKTUEN
01-23-2006, 09:35 AM
if Roger love be control by Mirka, that is OK~~! :smash: :haha:

amierin
01-24-2006, 12:59 PM
I hope this is in the right place. I just read on another board that Roger and Mirka are expecting. Came right here and don't see anything about it. Any news on that front?

RogiFan88
01-24-2006, 02:11 PM
what's your reliable source??

nobama
01-24-2006, 02:19 PM
Someone posted it on the BBC messageboards. No link or proof of anything. Probably some kid playing a prank or trying to be funny.

SUKTUEN
01-24-2006, 04:32 PM
Mirka must teach Roger many things~

Minnie
01-24-2006, 11:40 PM
Someone posted it on the BBC messageboards. No link or proof of anything. Probably some kid playing a prank or trying to be funny.

There are too many hoaxers on that forum ... not to mention topics that have nothing to do with tennis!

Daniel
01-25-2006, 01:52 AM
By Richard Hinds
January 25, 2006

WHERE was Roger Perfect? Where was the man so suave he makes James Bond look like Inspector Clouseau? The guy who wields a racquet with such conviction he seems to have pulled it from a stone. The graceful champion who turns the prose of sportswriters so purple you would think we had spilled a glass of claret on our laptops.

At Rod Laver Arena on Monday night, we had watched another comeback triumph from the Swiss Miss. Now it was a case of the missing Swiss.

Federer — the real Federer — had taken a two-sets-to-love lead over German Tommy Haas with a typically flawless display. It was then the ring-in took the court.

Were they seriously asking us to believe the guy who shanked so many forehands he was more likely to break a frame than a string was the world No. 1? That the player who was prickly about the media after escaping in five sets was gracious, likeable Roger? That the real Federer would be left to lament that he had given his girlfriend Mirka a few grey hairs, and his coach Tony Roche a few more? And — this was the real giveaway — that Roger Federer sweats?

Yet it was a perspiring Federer who stood before the crowd at 12.35am yesterday exhausted, just slightly agitated and, from all we had come to believe about this peerless champion, a complete impostor. Or was this a figure much closer to reality than previously revealed. A man who is not only vulnerable, but who enjoys a scrap.

"I like to be pushed. Media people get on my nerves," he said during his on-court interview with Jim Courier. " 'Wouldn't it be good if you lost a set? Wouldn't it be good if you lost?' All that crap."

The message was convoluted, but what Federer seemed to be saying was that he did not just wake up one morning feeling a bit Bjorn Borg. He has worked and — yep — even sweated to get where he is. So it is irritating when people dwell on his apparent perfection.

"I'm happy to answer questions about fighting, too, physically being tough and being nervous and stuff," he said later. "That's OK for me for a change, too."

The impression that Federer is a tennis divine also rankles with his beaten opponent. After overcoming a slow start to push the Swiss to 2-2 in the fifth set, Haas did not merely match Federer, he had surpassed him, holding the momentum until a tight line call on break point took the wind from his sails. So while we ponder when Federer will quit the game and start distributing loaves and fishes to the masses, the German got all sacrilegious. "Everybody is talking about him being the greatest ever," said Haas. "He still has to do a couple of things, I think, in my mind, to be that. If you ask Jim Courier, I mean, that guy has his tongue up (Federer's) arse. I think the whole time when you actually listen to him commentating or talk about Roger Federer. Sometimes makes me sick almost."

But if Haas had revealed Federer's human frailty, unlike Marat Safin last year he had not been able to fully exploit it. "At 2-2 (in the fifth), I think he showed why he is where he is," said Haas. "You've got to tip your hat and just say, 'Unbelievable'."

Unbelievable. But, on this night, not completely unflappable. That is the encouraging message the limited opposition standing between Federer and a sixth grand slam title should have taken from this rare sighting of Vulnerable Rog. Mind you, it is doubtful if Federer's quarter-final opponent Nikolay Davydenko has the power or guile to trouble the Swiss today as a 0-6 record against him attests. Nor do either of his potential semi-final opponents, Sebastien Grosjean and Nicolas Kiefer. But David Nalbandian could be waiting in the final — just two months after coming from two sets down to beat Federer in the Masters Cup final.

Back then, we thought we were watching diminished Federer hobbling through a tournament where the motivation levels were exemplified by the absence of five top-10 players.

Maybe we saw something closer to the real thing.

Daniel
01-25-2006, 01:54 AM
Roger Federer, Seeking Top-Dollar Sponsors, Follows Tiger Woods
Jan. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Prada suits have replaced sweatsuits for Roger Federer, the world's top-ranked tennis player who is trying to spiff up his image and get a bigger piece of international sports sponsorships.

Federer, going for his seventh Grand Slam title at the Australian Open this week, in the past year has cut his hair, acquired a taste for Prada's jackets and slacks and hired International Management Group, the agency that represents golfer Tiger Woods, in a bid to lure endorsements.

The 24-year-old Swiss had relied on a four-person team including his mother to handle contracts that helped produce about $14 million annually in sponsorships and prize money. Agreements, mostly with Swiss companies such as watchmaker Maurice Lacroix, have left him with endorsements worth about half of other top athletes in his sport.

``Federer's probably the most under-appreciated athlete worldwide as far as marketing's concerned,'' said Steve Rosner, a partner at 16W Marketing, an East Rutherford, New Jersey, sports advertising firm. ``There's tremendous upside for him.''

Federer topped the men's tour with $6.1 million in prize money last season. Forbes magazine said in August that his sponsorships and winnings totaled about $1 million less than the $15 million Maria Sharapova, the fourth-ranked women's player, gets in endorsements alone from companies such as Motorola Inc. and Canon Inc. It also said 35-year-old Andre Agassi's total earnings are more than twice Federer's.

IMG also represents the 18-year-old Sharapova and split with Agassi last year. The Cleveland-based company has helped lift Woods's off-course income to $75 million annually, according to Golf Digest magazine.

Opportunities

``Certainly, a lot of what's done for Tiger helps for other players,'' Guy Kinnings, IMG's managing director of golf, said in an interview. ``We can make sure there are global opportunities that are very interesting but it's up to the individuals to decide the way to go.''

Three years ago, Federer went at it alone. Signed by IMG as a junior player in 1998, he quit the agency in early 2003 and handed his business matters to Roger Federer Management: an attorney, a financial adviser and his mother, Lynette Federer. Miroslava Vavrinec, his girlfriend and a former professional player, was put in charge of media relations and travel.

Federer has said he made the change to have more control over his career. It also followed his agent Bill Ryan's departure from IMG.

Before and After

The decision came months before the 6-foot-1 right-hander's transformation from tennis prospect to Grand Slam champion. Bernhard Christen, his attorney, said the pressure cranked up after Federer won his first major title at Wimbledon.

``There are two periods in our management: before Wimbledon 2003 and after,'' Christen said in a telephone interview from Basel, Switzerland. ``It was overwhelming then.''

Before the 2003 split, IMG had arranged sponsorships with Nike Inc., the biggest athletic shoe maker; Amer Sport Oyj's Wilson tennis brand; and Emmi AG, Switzerland's largest dairy.

Federer has since won two more Wimbledon crowns, two U.S. Opens and the 2004 Australian Open, moving him two Grand Slam titles behind Agassi and matching the totals of Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg, both Tennis Hall of Fame members.

In that time, his management company negotiated agreements with Swissair Group and Maurice Lacroix. Federer realized he needed an agency with global contacts that could attract companies without crowding his schedule, Christen said.

`Do More'

``I don't want to have much more to do because I'm quite booked out already,'' Federer said Jan. 17 after his first-round match in Melbourne. ``I told that to IMG very clearly, that that's not why I'm going back to you. It's you guys that have more to do.''

Federer speaks German, French and English, has set up a foundation that raises money for South African children and portrays a personable image, things that sports marketers say endear him to potential sponsors.

His clothes are more stylish, and he calls Prada Holding NV of Italy his favorite line. He said at the U.S. Open in September that meeting Vogue editor Anna Wintour had inspired him to dress more elegantly, and he was featured in a six-page article in the first men's edition of the magazine. His once- flowing locks have gotten gradually shorter since he shed his ponytail in 2004.

``He wants to be a role model and enjoys dressing up,'' Lynette Federer said by phone from Basel. ``It's nice if you present yourself properly and sponsors also appreciate your smart appearance.''

The Best?

And then there's his tennis ability. Former players such as Pat Cash say Federer will become the greatest ever. Agassi, who dueled with record 14-time Grand Slam winner Pete Sampras for more than a decade, rates Federer as the best he's faced.

Back-to-back U.S. Open titles have boosted Federer's allure in the world's biggest sport's market, though he has yet to reach the level of recognition of tennis players such as Agassi and Venus and Serena Williams.

``He's well aware that to have big success in the U.S. he should move there, but this is his decision,'' Christen said. ``He wants to stay at the top and everything we do must fit in with that goal.''

Federer, who lives just outside Basel, has won $20 million in prize money, compared with a record $43 million by Sampras and Agassi's $40 million.

Tony Godsick, his agent at IMG, said he has spent the past four months getting acquainted with Federer's endorsements and drawing up a marketing plan to fit his tennis and personal commitments.

``His brand needs to continue to be developed globally,'' Godsick said in an e-mail interview. ``Roger has the potential to be one of the most marketable athletes in the world and will certainly transcend his sport in this regard.''

Last Updated: January 24, 2006 19:10 EST

bokehlicious
01-25-2006, 04:00 AM
Thanks Daniel for that article. I hope he will not move (yet) in the US !

nobama
01-25-2006, 05:34 AM
Why would he need to move to the US? There are ways of getting Americans to know him without him moving here, I would think.

Dirk
01-25-2006, 08:50 AM
His agency will do a good job for him.

bokehlicious
01-25-2006, 08:59 AM
Why would he need to move to the US?

Christen seems to think so, certainly it would help him to be more well-known there :shrug:

But we want him to stay here ;) :p

nobama
01-25-2006, 12:36 PM
Christen seems to think so, certainly it would help him to be more well-known there :shrug:

But we want him to stay here ;) :pHow do you figure since he'd spend more time out of the country than in it. I just don't see it happening because even now he doesn't spend any off time in the States. He only comes here when he's playing in a tournament. Maybe the folks at IMG will talk him into it, but I have my doubts.

SUKTUEN
01-25-2006, 06:13 PM
thanksyou

PaulieM
01-25-2006, 06:25 PM
By Richard Hinds
January 25, 2006

Maybe we saw something closer to the real thing.
what is this supposed to mean? him struggling is somehow more reflective of where he stands in relation to the other top guys than his performance over the rest of the past 2 years. :unsure: or did he just mean roger has to fight for his wins as much as everyone else, and people forget that. i'm not entirely sure i get what this writer was trying to get at in his article, but i assume it's the latter.:confused: if somebody else gets what he's saying better than i do, i'd love to hear it. thanks. :)

Seraphim
01-25-2006, 06:43 PM
: or did he just mean roger has to fight for his wins as much as everyone else, and people forget that. . :)

This was my interpretation.

I can't stand it when someone says he NEEDS to give others a chance. That CHANCE is up to them. It must be earned. Then it will be deserved.

He earned everything he has won for himself, and I get the feeling that some think he doesn't deserve it because he's done it so consistantly.

There has always been a FLAMING double standard for who should succeed and exceed expectations based on superficial matters.

lsy
01-25-2006, 07:28 PM
This was my interpretation.

I can't stand it when someone says he NEEDS to give others a chance. That CHANCE is up to them. It must be earned. Then it will be deserved.

He earned everything he has won for himself, and I get the feeling that some think he doesn't deserve it because he's done it so consistantly.

There has always been a FLAMING double standard for who should succeed and exceed expectations based on superficial matters.

Well said there.

Just like Rogi had earned the hype and attention on him now. He certainly isn't one of those who were over-hyped up way before hadn't achieved much. Besides, I also hate it when they say things come so easy for him...yeah right, like he didnt' have to put in those hardwork...I'm sure he enjoys spending xmas away from families, or new year on the plane :rolleyes:

Since we're on the topic, a bit of rant here...I also find the one who talked about Rogi fans taking easy way out supporting the player who wins all the time amusing...yeah right, like Rogi had been "this" Rogi ever since the first day he plays on tour...nobody r'bers the time when he lost 1st rd in slam consistently or still being the headcase huh? :rolleyes:

Sjengster
01-25-2006, 08:21 PM
Well the problem is, some don't. Tourmalante's imbecilic thread in the wake of the TMC defeat was the thread of somebody who has only experienced 81-4 win-loss records and 24 finals victories in a row and unbeaten records against Top 10 players, etc., rather than months and indeed years of frustration and blown opportunities as most of us did. I suspect that by the end of this year these sorts of people will have come to appreciate 2004-05 a lot more as something truly exceptional.

Doris Loeffel
01-25-2006, 08:49 PM
:worship:
Well said Sjengster

nobama
01-26-2006, 08:04 AM
Here's what Roger said yesterday (still can't find transcript of his press conference :( )

"It's such a long road to win slams. When I hear people saying I'm such a huge favorite, of course, the odds don't help with me being the lowest odds ever. I mean, what do you want me to do? I will just try to stay focused on the matches. I'm extremely happy to have come through such a tough match against Davydenko and to be only two matches away from a Grand Slam title."

bokehlicious
01-26-2006, 08:16 AM
I heard this morning a Roger's interview about yesterday's match and he said he would have given thousands dollars to serve a good first serve on the match ball... He said Davydenko is a huge serve returner and the key yesterday was to serve very well...

He also said that he was very happy with his game and found he played well yesterday :rolleyes:

ytben
01-26-2006, 08:42 AM
He also said that he was very happy with his game and found he played well yesterday :rolleyes:

:tape: :o I think Roger caught the replay from starsports :p

RogiFan88
01-26-2006, 03:23 PM
Australian Open
Federer betrays chink that Kiefer looks in mood to exploit
Steve Bierley in Melbourne
Thursday January 26, 2006
The Guardian

Nikolay Davydenko played it safe and paid the price. Having won a clutch of break points to lead Roger Federer two sets to one in the Rod Laver Arena last night, the pencil-thin Russian could not force his advantage and the world No1 offered him no second chance, winning 6-4, 3-6, 7-6, 7-6.

This was not one of Federer's more lucid performances and, in his moment of crisis, his coach Tony Roche was reduced to staring at his feet and his girlfriend Mirka to biting her nails. His opponent in tomorrow's semi-final Nicolas Kiefer, having won his quarter-final against Sébastien Grosjean in five sets, will have watched with some hope. Kiefer, who will be playing in his first grand slam semi-final, knows the odds are against him but at least Federer has shown vulnerability in his past two matches, with Tommy Haas, another German, taking him to five sets in the fourth round.

"These are the moments you practise for, the reason why you work so hard both on and off the court," said Kiefer. "Me and Roger had close matches last year." Close they may have been, with Kiefer taking a set off Federer at Wimbledon and the US Open last year, but he has nevertheless lost his last six matches against the Swiss.

There is no doubting the 28-year-old German's talent - he rose to No4 in the world six years ago - but he is moody and inconsistent. His 6-3, 0-6, 6-4, 6-7, 8-6 win yesterday was typically fractious, with Kiefer once throwing his racket across court as Grosjean was about to kill off a point which he subsequently missed. Grosjean protested, the supervisor Mike Morrissey ruled that the incident had not hindered Grosjean but fortunately the Frenchman went on to hold serve.

To beat Federer it is essential to remain aggressive, within the rules, and this Davydenko tried to do, succeeding in the second set but crucially staying his hand in the third. The world No5 had battled through 18 sets in four matches and grew tired at the end. "He played well even though maybe he was tired. He did not let me play the way I wanted and should have won the third set," said Federer. "When I saw the draw, I was a little bit worried."

This was, however, Federer's seventh successive win over the Russian, so his concerns were perhaps not all that great. "It's going to be tough against Kiefer too," he said. Nobody was inclined to agree - except, of course, Kiefer.
http://sport.guardian.co.uk/tennis/story/0,,1694905,00.html

RogiFan88
01-26-2006, 03:23 PM
Australian Open
Federer betrays chink that Kiefer looks in mood to exploit
Steve Bierley in Melbourne
Thursday January 26, 2006
The Guardian

Nikolay Davydenko played it safe and paid the price. Having won a clutch of break points to lead Roger Federer two sets to one in the Rod Laver Arena last night, the pencil-thin Russian could not force his advantage and the world No1 offered him no second chance, winning 6-4, 3-6, 7-6, 7-6.

This was not one of Federer's more lucid performances and, in his moment of crisis, his coach Tony Roche was reduced to staring at his feet and his girlfriend Mirka to biting her nails. His opponent in tomorrow's semi-final Nicolas Kiefer, having won his quarter-final against Sébastien Grosjean in five sets, will have watched with some hope. Kiefer, who will be playing in his first grand slam semi-final, knows the odds are against him but at least Federer has shown vulnerability in his past two matches, with Tommy Haas, another German, taking him to five sets in the fourth round.

"These are the moments you practise for, the reason why you work so hard both on and off the court," said Kiefer. "Me and Roger had close matches last year." Close they may have been, with Kiefer taking a set off Federer at Wimbledon and the US Open last year, but he has nevertheless lost his last six matches against the Swiss.

There is no doubting the 28-year-old German's talent - he rose to No4 in the world six years ago - but he is moody and inconsistent. His 6-3, 0-6, 6-4, 6-7, 8-6 win yesterday was typically fractious, with Kiefer once throwing his racket across court as Grosjean was about to kill off a point which he subsequently missed. Grosjean protested, the supervisor Mike Morrissey ruled that the incident had not hindered Grosjean but fortunately the Frenchman went on to hold serve.

To beat Federer it is essential to remain aggressive, within the rules, and this Davydenko tried to do, succeeding in the second set but crucially staying his hand in the third. The world No5 had battled through 18 sets in four matches and grew tired at the end. "He played well even though maybe he was tired. He did not let me play the way I wanted and should have won the third set," said Federer. "When I saw the draw, I was a little bit worried."

This was, however, Federer's seventh successive win over the Russian, so his concerns were perhaps not all that great. "It's going to be tough against Kiefer too," he said. Nobody was inclined to agree - except, of course, Kiefer.
http://sport.guardian.co.uk/tennis/story/0,,1694905,00.html

RogiFan88
01-26-2006, 03:26 PM
Agitated Federer survives another close encounter
By Mark Hodgkinson in Melbourne
(Filed: 26/01/2006)

Mid-match celebrations by Roger Federer are generally quite restrained, at a decibel level that might not even raise any complaints in a library reading-room. But he was in animated and agitated mood yesterday, and his Australian Open quarter-final was filled with howls, yelps and prolonged cries of "C'mon" which carried across Melbourne Park.

One louder: Roger Federer
The noise was generated for a reason. Switzerland's world No 1 was angry with himself for having performed so poorly last night in the Rod Laver Arena, and he was extremely fortunate to have beaten Nikolay Davydenko in just four sets, as he would have gone two-sets-to-one down against the fifth seed had he not fended off six set points.

Federer needed to break Davydenko as the Russian served for the third set at 5-3, staved off two set points on his own delivery in the next game, and then survived a further four set points during the tie-break. The reason for that was not just the Swiss lifting the level of his play, but also Davydenko tightening up with tension. Federer won another tie-break against his tiring opponent and moved into the last four with his 6-4, 3-6, 7-6, 7-6 victory, but his tennis was far from smooth and impressive.

So, for the second match in succession, Federer had played well below the standard he has set himself. Having made the last 16 without conceding a set, he dropped two against Germany's Tommy Haas on Monday night, and then another against Davydenko.

No wonder Federer's celebrations were so marked. When, at the moment of victory, he threw his head back and raised his arms into the warm night air, it seemed as though the dominant emotion was relief, rather than joy at a job well done. "It was a tough match. I really had to fight," he said.

Davydenko might be one of the top seeds here, but in terms of charisma and publicity he is something of a black hole. The stern-faced Russian has been able to stroll the walkways and corridors of the Melbourne Park grounds in almost total anonymity. The crowd in the Rod Laver Arena, desperately flicking through their programmes during the changes of ends in search of biographical information on Davydenko, could barely believe that he was troubling Federer, the 2004 Australian Open champion.

Federer reached his seventh successive grand slam semi-final, and extended his unbeaten run on hard courts to 50. But there may be dangers ahead. Tomorrow he plays Germany's Nicolas Kiefer, a first-time grand slam semi-finalist, but also an awkward man with an awkward game, and a player who has taken a set off the Swiss in their last three meetings.

Kiefer, the world No 25, reached the semi-finals after his 6-3, 0-6, 6-4, 6-7, 8-6 win over Frenchman Sebastien Grosjean, a see-sawing, ill-tempered quarter-final lasting four hours 48 minutes and which was not without its controversial moments. Kiefer had already been fined for "audible and visible obscenities" in his first-round, five-set victory over Thailand's Paradorn Srichaphan, and against Grosjean he repeatedly questioned line-calls and received warnings for swearing.

The main talking point yesterday came in the 12th game of the final set when Kiefer, thinking he had lost a point, threw his racket across the net. It flew close enough to Grosjean to distract the Frenchman who dumped his shot into the net. Although Grosjean argued with the chair umpire and the match referee, the point stood. Grosjean won the game, but did not last much longer. Kiefer's victory will be remembered for the racket-hurling incident.

"Everyone has to understand that there are so many emotions and so much tension," said Kiefer, who has been taking painkillers for an ankle injury. "You're fighting and it happens. Of course, it's not nice, but what can I do? I'm a person with so much tension inside. I'm winning here because I'm fighting unbelievably well. That makes me happy - I'm still here, not by playing good tennis, but by fighting."

Belgium's Kim Clijsters will move ahead of the American, Lindsay Davenport, and regain the world No 1 ranking on Monday. Clijsters was scheduled to have played Frenchwoman Amelie Mauresmo, a last-eight winner yesterday over the Swiss, Patty Schnyder, in the semi-finals early this morning. Russian Maria Sharapova and Belgian Justine Henin-Hardenne were due to have contested today's other semi-final.

It is understood that Britain's Andy Murray has been awarded a wild card into next week's Zagreb tournament.
www.telegraph.co.uk/hodgkinson

Minnie
01-27-2006, 01:18 AM
Dated 26.1.06

Tony Roche, respected coach of world number one Roger Federer, tells Eurosport about the areas in which his player can improve. Talking to Eurosport consultant Mats Wilander, Roche seemed less than impressed with his man and had an impressively long list of gripes.

"We've done a lot of work on his second serve," he said, referring to the man with one of the best deliveries in tennis. "He's getting a lot more work on that than he did two years ago."

Well, I suppose everyone can improve on their second serve, but Roger's has proven one of the best over the last few years.

Indeed, his coach must be a hard task-master, as he is apparently very hard to please.

"His net game of course, I think that he can improve on that a little bit."

Now hang on a minute, this is the man with three consecutive Wimbledon titles under his belt, on the surface where serve and volley is very much the name of the game. This will be bad news for the rest of the tour, hoping to find a way to beat Federer at SW19, or anywhere else for that matter.

And his coach doesn't even stop there. Is this man ever happy?

"Hitting a heavier ball, keeping the intensity up during points," is another problem, apparently. But let's be honest, Roger's 'heavy' ball doesn't often come back.

Federer may have failed to live up to his own high standards in Melbourne so far, but has always found a way to win. One might expect him to play better in the latter stages, if an opponent can be found to make him raise his game.

Certainly, Eurosport's own Mats Wilander feels that it will still be very difficult for anyone to come between Federer and his seventh major title.

"Roger's not playing that well, but he's winning," he said. "He's not having much fun on the court but he's still coming up with the shots when he has too."

But perhaps Tony Roche puts it best.
"Champions always find a way to win"

ytben
01-27-2006, 02:05 AM
Thanks for the articles!

I like this quote from Tony:
"Hitting a heavier ball, keeping the intensity up during points," is another problem, apparently. But let's be honest, Roger's 'heavy' ball doesn't often come back.

He'd better be listening to Tony.

RogiFan88
01-27-2006, 02:54 AM
Has this been posted already?

Wilander has the dirt on Federer: get under his skin
By Rohit Brijnath
January 27, 2006

JUST exchanging strokes on a tennis court against Roger Federer is not going to cut it. It's time, says Mats Wilander, for the Swiss champion's contemporaries to crawl into his head and slip under his skin, to not swallow defeat with a resigned shrug of the shoulders, to discover (perhaps even invent) some part of him that is mildly annoying, and be driven by it.

To find an edge, they need to stir themselves. No man is invincible and, at this tournament, Federer has occasionally struggled, but in the larger picture he has for two years mostly controlled his peers.

And while Federer's mental muscularity is intimidating, says Wilander, he believes the Swiss is helped by the fact that "the other guys are actually not that sorry to lose to him, which I kind of miss a little bit".

"I think they are sorry but they're not doing everything within the rules to disturb him, like talk to him, or nudge him, or get in his head," says Wilander.

"Can you imagine John McEnroe not getting into Roger's head? No. Jimmy Connors? No. Boris Becker? No.

"I have to say, he wins a lot of matches in the first 40 minutes and it just looks like, 'Oh, well, he's too good'. I think there's fire in players to beat him because he's a great player but there's no fire to beat him because they don't like him."

Despite appearing as a player of conspicuous cool, Wilander, a seven-time grand slam champion, admits that within his mind he sought this advantage himself.

"I've played a lot of matches where I don't care if he's a great player, I just don't like you," wilander explains. "I don't dislike [you], but I can find something in you that I don't like to fuel me. And I think maybe you've got find something to fuel you against Roger Federer, because it ain't enough to just play tennis."

Of course, it might be easier if Federer presented himself as a hateful figure, but he appears an affable fellow - so was Wilander - seemingly reluctant to intimidate with anything else but his game, advertising his pleasure to be on court. Wilander, in fact, sees this as proof that domination does not need aloofness and arrogance. "They used to say there were no nice No.1s, that you couldn't be a nice guy. But I think it's great in tennis most of them are really nice guys outside as well, like an [Andre] Agassi or a Pete [Sampras] or Jim Courier. "They're great guys, they're great players, they're not playing head games, they're just playing. I think Roger is just enjoying so much to be on court feeling that good because that's hard to repeat in the rest of your life."

World No.1 in 1988, a year in which he won every grand slam tournament except Wimbledon, the Swede has an agile mind and articulates it well, and while he cannot burrow his way into Federer's brain, he can at least bring some clarity to the mental mechanics of a world No.1.

"I think that the advantage Federer has is that he's not worried about how he's playing," says Wilander. "When you're No.1, when you feel like you're the best player in the world, you are not worried about how you are playing.

"It doesn't boil down to the tennis anyway, it boils down to the mental side, that's why you're No.1. It's not suddenly that your serve is much better or your forehand is much better, I think it's just that your whole game raises because your mind is so much stronger. "Mentally you're there all the time, you're focused every shot, every moment, every second, and there's no doubt in your mind that you're doing the right thing. Even if you're losing there's no doubt you are doing the right thing There's no fear when you are playing that well, there are no options but to win." To be the best in the world is to no longer need your hand to be held, insists Wilander; when confidence brews within the player, he is certain of himself.

"Roger wears it [the No.1 ranking] better than anyone I've seen in a long time," he said.

LCeh
01-27-2006, 03:49 AM
Fabulous articles. Thanks a lot RogiFan and Minnie. Mats always hits the nail on its head. Perhaps this whole "nice guy" figure is just a plot by Roger to make other guys like him, hence less intensity during matches, as well as hiding his evil true self. :devil:

RogiFan88
01-27-2006, 03:50 AM
Rogi proves that nice guys DO finish first. ;)

SUKTUEN
01-27-2006, 10:26 AM
Every body Love Roger~!

Mrs. B
01-27-2006, 02:27 PM
Federer Eyes The Final Step
by Jason Phelan
Friday, 27 January, 2006


Roger Federer's inexorable push toward the Australian Open 2006 title continued on Day 12 with the world No.1 dismissing German Nicolas Kiefer 6-3 5-7 6-0 6-2 in the semi-finals at Melbourne Park.

The Swiss master joined tournament success story Marcos Baghdatis in Sunday night's men's final with a controlled performance and appeared to keep a little in reserve despite being pushed to four sets by the No.21 seed.

Despite winning six Grand Slams in the past three years, making it to the final of another major is still a big thrill for the champion Swiss right-hander.

"I'm really happy to be in the final," Federer said after the victory over Kiefer.

"This is what my hope was at the beginning of the tournament because it's a long road to make it there, but now that I'm in the final I'm feeling good physically after two tough matches - it's a good feeling and I'm excited."

Federer didn't appear to be right at the top of his returning game, but he still managed to create 19 break points and while he was only able to convert six of those, Kiefer could muster just one break of serve from four chances in the match.

The German showed some deft touch at the net - winning 70 per cent of points when he approached - but he did not help himself by committing 20 more unforced errors (53-33) than his opponent.

Federer looked to be in for a torrid night early with Kiefer attacking his opening service game and bringing up a break point, before he steadied and held serve. That was to be the German's only break point of the set however, while Federer's return of serve earned him five - one of which he converted to go 3-1 up.

He remained untroubled on his serve for the rest of the first set and most of the second, but Kiefer was able to regain his composure after losing the first and also held his serve with relative ease before fighting off a break point in the ninth game.

The battle to keep his serve appeared to fire up the German and he created two set points on Federer's serve in the twelfth game - converting the second one to even the ledger at one-set all.

The match looked destined for five sets at that point, but Kiefer's service game evaporated in the third set. The No.21 seed could manage to win just 38 per cent of points on his first serve, while Federer kicked his game up a notch, winning a stunning 91 per cent of points on his first serve on his way to breaking the German three times to take the set 6-0 in just 25 minutes.

Kiefer now had a mountain to climb as the Swiss master had built up a head of steam, but he did well to hold in the first game of the fourth set. Federer still had the momentum of a runaway train, however, and he broke the German twice - with his second break coming from a brilliant cross-court forehand pass on the run.

But there was no way back for the German and despite his best efforts - he survived three match points - he departed the tournament after a four-set battle.

source: AO official site

tonia9
01-27-2006, 02:33 PM
Get into his head

By Rohit Brijnath
January 27, 2006

JUST exchanging strokes on a tennis court against Roger Federer is not going to cut it.

It's time, says Mats Wilander, for the Swiss champion's contemporaries to crawl into his head and slip under his skin, to not swallow defeat with a resigned shrug of the shoulders, to discover (perhaps even invent) some part of Federer that is mildly annoying and be driven by it. To find an edge, Federer's opponents need to stir themselves.

No man is invincible and in this Open, Federer has occasionally struggled, but in the larger picture, he has mostly owned his peers for two years. And while Federer's mental muscularity is intimidating, says Wilander, he believes the Swiss is advantaged by the fact that "the other guys are actually not that sorry to lose to him, which I kind of miss a little bit".

"I think they are sorry, but they're not doing everything within the rules to disturb him, like talk to him, or nudge him, or get in his head. Can you imagine John McEnroe not getting into Roger's head? No. Jimmy Connors? No. Boris Becker? No.

"I have to say he wins a lot of matches in the first 40 minutes and it just looks like, 'Oh, well, he's too good'. I think there's fire in players to beat him because he's a great player, but there's no fire to beat him because they don't like him."

Despite the fact that Wilander appeared to be a player of conspicuous cool, the seven-time grand slam tournament champion admits that within his mind he sought this advantage himself.

As he said: "I've played a lot of matches where I don't care if he's a great player, I just don't like you. I don't dislike (you), but I can find something in you that I don't like to fuel me. And I think maybe you've got find something to fuel you against Roger Federer because it ain't enough to just play tennis."

Of course, it might be easier if Federer presented himself as a hateful figure, but he appears an affable fellow — so was Wilander — seemingly reluctant to intimidate with anything else but his game, advertising his pleasure to be on court.

Wilander, in fact, sees this as proof that domination does not quite necessitate aloofness and arrogance. "They used to say there were no nice No. 1s, that you couldn't be a nice guy. But I think it's great in tennis most of them are really nice guys outside as well, like an (Andre) Agassi or a Pete (Sampras) or Jim Courier.

"They're great guys, they're great players, they're not playing head games, they're just playing. I think Roger is just enjoying so much to be on court feeling that good because that's hard to repeat in the rest of your life."

No. 1 in the world in 1988, a year in which he won every grand slam tournament except Wimbledon, the Swede has an agile mind, and articulates it well, and while he cannot burrow his way into Federer's brain, he can at least bring some clarity to the mental mechanics of a world No. 1.

"I think that the advantage Federer has is that he's not worried about how he's playing," says Wilander. "When you're No. 1, when you feel like you're the best player in the world, you are not worried about how you are playing.

"It doesn't boil down to the tennis anyway, it boils down to the mental side, that's why you're No. 1. It's not suddenly that your serve is much better or your forehand is much better, I think it's just that your whole game raises because your mind is so much stronger.

"Mentally, you're there all the time, you're focused every shot, every moment, every second, and there's no doubt in your mind that you're doing the right thing. Even if you're losing, there's no doubt you are doing the right thing. There's no fear when you are playing that well, there are no options but to win."

To arrive at world No. 1 is to no longer need your hand to be held, insists Wilander; confidence brews within the player, he is certain of himself. "When you're playing that well and you know you're the best player in the world, very little clouds your head.

"It's not important what other people think, you're strong enough yourself, you don't need anyone to root for you, you need nobody in your box, you need nothing. It's within you now."

He offers Federer an extraordinary compliment when he says, "Roger wears it (the No. 1 ranking) better than anyone I've seen in a long time", but is aware of the enormous demands it places on a player. "I think it's possible he could get sick of the attention because he's too much of a regular guy to enjoy the attention. But I think he's realising that if these two go hand in hand, he'll gladly take the attention."

Every player handles the weight of No. 1 in his own way. Wilander, for instance, ascended to his peak, and then, looking down, eventually grew despondent.

"At some point, it gets hard. I don't know what you focus on when you get sick of thinking, 'Where do I go now, I can't improve any more, I'm on top of the mountain, where can I go but down?'. I just got very despondent when I was playing. I was working very hard for another 12 months after I had my big year in 1988, (but) there were other things in my life."

But while the Swede explains that he could not go further, he sees Federer differently, as a player who can still advance his talent, who still has places to go.

"I think with Roger, as good as he is, it looks like there's room for improvement, it looks like he can be a bit tidier. He's so talented that he knows there are shots he should be able to handle that we can't even relate to."

Like all No. 1s, Federer is driven by his own particular ambitions, his own unique fixations. Perhaps he is chasing Sampras' 14 grand slam titles or Sampras' six years at No. 1. Perhaps he is also on a journey to redefine the way tennis can be played.

For Wilander, champions defy simple categorisation. "There are so many different No. 1s. You have Ivan Lendl, who was basically obsessed by beating everybody. I don't think Roger is obsessed with being No. 1 in terms of the limelight, but I think he's obsessed in terms of seeing how far he can get, to get to a level nobody's ever done."

http://www.theage.com.au/news/tennis/get-into-his-head/2006/01/26/1138066921830.html

Mrs. B
01-27-2006, 11:58 PM
Federer knocks off Kiefer, into final vs. Baghdatis

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) -- Roger Federer advanced to the Australian Open final Friday by beating Nicolas Kiefer 6-3, 5-7, 6-0, 6-2.

Federer was sharp -- and occasionally brilliant -- in beating the German for the seventh consecutive time. The six-time Grand Slam champion will face underdog Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus in Sunday's final.

"I just had a strange feeling, big excitement because I'm maybe so close to another Grand Slam," said Federer, who won the Australian Open in 2004. "To lose in the semi would be a big disappointment."

The Swiss star broke Kiefer early in the first set to go up 3-1, at one point sprinting from the baseline for a drop shot and flicking a backhand around the post and down the line for a clean winner.

In the same game, Federer reached another drop shot and sent a lob over Kiefer's head that the German hit long.

Kiefer won the second set after breaking Federer at 5-6. The German wasted his first opportunity with a weak forehand into the net, but Federer sliced a backhand wide on the next.

Federer committed only two unforced errors in the third set -- after 26 in the first two sets -- to retake control. With Federer serving at 5-0, Kiefer saw his only break point vanish on a shot that was called long but that TV replays showed was on the line.

Kiefer held serve to start the final set, but Federer then won five straight games. Kiefer saved two match points while serving at 1-5, then a third as Federer served in the next game. Federer finished it off with a serve that Kiefer whacked into the net.

"I really turned it up when I had to," Federer said. "The third and fourth sets were excellent."

Swiss flag T-shirts were scattered around Rod Laver Arena, and the crowd was clearly behind Federer against the testy Kiefer, who repeatedly questioned calls.

Kiefer was fined earlier in the tournament for swearing and was warned twice about obscenities in the quarterfinals.

The atmosphere is likely to be much different in the final against the unseeded Baghdatis, a Greek Cypriot who has a huge following among Melbourne's large Greek population. But Federer has a 3-0 record against Baghdatis, including a victory earlier this month in Doha, Qatar.

"I'm really looking forward to playing Marcos," Federer said. "Thank God I've played him three times; it makes me relax a little bit. I think the way I'm playing now is a good level. We'll see if it's enough."

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/tennis/01/27/bc.ten.australianopen.ap/index.html

LCeh
01-28-2006, 05:21 AM
The transcripts are finally up. :)

Kiefer's interview:

R. FEDERER/N. Kiefer

6‑3, 5‑7, 6‑0, 6‑2

Q. How do you assess your performance tonight? How do you sum it up?

NICOLAS KIEFER: Well, I mean, I think was great match. Especially first two sets was unbelievable tennis. Was tough start in the third set. I mean, I served pretty good and then he hit three unbelievable returns and I got broke. And then once he's ahead, it's not easy.

And I tried to stay in the whole time. I mean, we were solid games, but I just couldn't make it. Then in the end, he was just too good.

Q. Your first Grand Slam semifinal. How is that going to set you up for the rest of the year?

NICOLAS KIEFER: Well, I mean, first I have to realize it. I mean, just short time after the match. I have to sleep over it and then I think next few days I will realize it.

No, I have to say it was great start of the year. Also with my new coach, we worked a lot. I think it's on one hand side it's a great result, but on the other hand side, of course I am disappointed because my goal was to beat Roger. But then when it came to the important points, maybe I took too much risk. But to beat this guy, you have to take a lot of risks; you have to play at your limit.

Well, I can say I lost a lot of energy in my first rounds. Maybe it pays off in the end.

Q. How do you feel physically now?

NICOLAS KIEFER: Very tired.

Q. And emotionally tired? How much pressure does it put on you mentally to play Roger?

NICOLAS KIEFER: No, I mean, that's ‑‑ that's the moment you are practicing for, you are working for, you work hard to measure yourself with the best guy in the world. Unfortunately, I couldn't do it again. But that's my goal: to keep on working and to try next time.

Q. You mentioned looking ahead. How easy do you think it will be to come down from this and come back to, you know, presumably you have Davis Cup and things coming up?

NICOLAS KIEFER: No, I mean, I think I had great, great two weeks. This is what I also have to see. Of course on the one hand side is the loss tonight against Roger. But on the other hand side, I have to think ‑‑ I have to see the good things, and this was for sure.

I didn't play my best tennis in the first few rounds but I was fighting unbelievable and that's the reason why I won my matches. It showed me today by fighting, it's not easy to beat Roger. You have to play also your best tennis, you have to play at your limit, and this is almost tough for me because of course I was tired, I had to try to take all my energy, I was trying for every point. But at the end, I just couldn't make it. Of course, disappointed, but I lost so much energy in the last few days.

Q. It's been a very good tournament for Germany. Does that give you confidence for Davis Cup and for German tennis?

NICOLAS KIEFER: No, I mean, I'm looking forward for Davis Cup tie. I mean, we still have two weeks, and now I'm gonna use next days to recover little bit. I mean, we have a great team. I mean, of course it's tough, tough tie against France. But we have a home match finally after many years. We play in Halle. I mean, it's my favorite place. I feel like home. It's not far away from home. I think it's gonna be great week and hopefully ‑ cross fingers ‑ successful weekend.

Q. Presumably you can expect a good reception after what you have take done here?

NICOLAS KIEFER: Well, I mean, at the moment I'm pretty disappointed and tired and just mentally very, very tired.

But I think over next few days I'm gonna realize and I can look back and say, Great four weeks in Australia. I lost to the best player in the world, and he showed it in the big moments. Was tough.

Q. Does it mean that you will not be coming to Zagreb or not?
NICOLAS KIEFER: I am going to think about it. Doesn't look like.



--------------------------------------------------

Roger's interview:



R. FEDERER/N. Kiefer

6‑3, 5‑7, 6‑0, 6‑2

Q. Looking forward to the final, what pleased you most about your game tonight?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, the third and fourth set were excellent. So I'm happy after the tough start I thought I had, you know, getting used to conditions that sort of finally I got it right in the end ‑ not just for that match, but I guess also for looking ahead.

Q. Has that been a part of the process of this tournament, just trying to slowly get it right, each and every time being pushed a little bit harder?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, maybe it was good to be pushed so much by Tommy and Nikolay. Like I said, I didn't think I played too bad up until now. I'm really happy to be back in the finals. This is what my hope was, you know, at the beginning of the tournament because, like I said, you know, it's a long road to make it here. So now that I'm in the finals, feeling good also physically after a couple of tough matches, it's a good feeling. Now I'm excited, you know, even though I haven't thought about the match yet.

Q. When do you start thinking about the match?

ROGER FEDERER: I guess on the day of the final. No, no, I guess tomorrow night or so.

Q. What will you do in between times?

ROGER FEDERER: Come for a light hit tomorrow, you know, just keep the rhythm going. Maybe, you know, if I think there's a few things to work on, you know, with Tony, I'll do that tomorrow.

But I guess there's not much I can change now (smiling). I got to be happy the way I'm playing now and, you know, just try to play well. You know, just, again, sleep plenty and recuperate as much as I can to maybe get some vital energy, you know, for, who knows, maybe a tough match.

Q. You're very popular here. How do you think the crowd will be on Sunday night?

ROGER FEDERER: Oh, fair. Really, I believe, you know, the Australians are very, very fair when it comes to sportsmanship. They love the sport here, so I expect a fair match.

Q. How much do your emotions fluctuate during a difficult match?

ROGER FEDERER: Rather nervous, actually, going into this match. I don't know why, but that's okay. Just had sort of a strange feeling going into this match. Not a negative one, but just like a big excitement because I knew, you know, I'm so close for maybe another Grand Slam.

You know, I work so hard, you know, to get there and then to lose in the semis would be sort of a big disappointment. So maybe I was a little bit worried about the disappointment, who knows.

But once, you know, I got that first break, I was very relieved. So I think that was maybe the moment I've been waiting for for the entire tournament, to really get nervous. That was the moment.

Q. How do you feel about the scheduling where he gets an extra day of rest?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I would have had last year, so I know what it means. I don't think it makes much difference now. If I would have had an incredible tough five‑setter tonight, you know, I guess then I would be a little bit against it, you know. But the way it is right now, it's okay.

Q. How much do you think Marcos has improved since the last time you played him?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, in two weeks he's improved incredibly. I beat him in Doha (smiling).

Seriously, I mean, I think we're all surprised he got so far because, like I said on court, you know, there's other very talented youngsters who I thought will make the break before him. But he proved us all wrong, you know.

But, again, he beat quality players and he totally deserves to be in the final, you know. Maybe he's changed something in his game ‑ I don't think so ‑ because time is just too short. But, you know, definitely helps me that I've played him already once this year, so I know what to expect.

Q. Nobody knows exactly how it will feel to play his first Grand Slam final. You remember yours, your first? What were the emotions you went through before? Were you more pumped up? Were you more worried to lose badly or whatever?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I went into my Grand Slam final being sort of a favorite against Philippoussis, I thought, because of the great semis I played against Roddick back in 2003 in Wimbledon. So I guess that is already different circumstances: he's not going to be the favorite.

So if that's going to change anything, I don't know. I think he's relaxed enough not to get too worried about all this stuff, it seems. So I expect him to play a good match. That's what I have to expect. But I just have to make sure my performance is good and make it as hard as possible for him to win. So that's what I'm concerned about.

Q. Looked to some of us like you may have another gear left in you. Do you feel there's another gear left in you?

ROGER FEDERER: I hope there's another gear, seriously. I don't know. I think the way I'm playing now, it's a good level. We'll see if it's going to be enough.

Q. Roger, do you believe write about you?

ROGER FEDERER: You hope I do or you hope I don't?

Q. What do you think about Tommy Haas' assessment that Courier had his tongue up your bottom?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I was seriously a little surprised. I don't hear him when I'm playing because he's commentating. I don't have earphones on, you know, and listening to what he says. Afterwards, I only speak to him briefly on the court, you know. I guess it's his job, you know, to commentate. And if he commentates nice about me, I mean, obviously I think that's nice.

But, seriously, I don't think that was ‑‑ there is an issue, you know, between them. They're good friends. So I was a little surprised, but that one will be forgotten very quickly. That was in the heat of the moment.

Q. What do you think the press is saying about you?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, they've been coming to understand who I am, what kind of a person I am. It's made things easier for all of us, you know, so we don't have to fight each other all on a daily basis. I've kept it good for me, too, by winning a lot, you know, not giving them too much firepower. So I'll keep it this way as long as I can, you know.

No, but it's been all right, you know. I think being No. 1 for such a long time, you go around and ask people what they think, then you go to experts, and then you go to former players, and then you go to rivals, then you go to all the players. All of a sudden all of them are giving a lot of compliments, you know. It's very nice to hear, you know, but I think they don't really mean much now anymore, you know, sometimes because I always got to keep on performing and performing. That's what really I am thinking about when I go out on the court. And with my team, we think about the next match, not about what I still have to achieve to be a legend or a great, whatever. I have a long way to go, I know that.

Q. There's a common expression, "It's lonely at the top." Is it?

ROGER FEDERER: No, I don't know. No, not really, no. To be honest, no.

Q. How was the meeting with Laver?

ROGER FEDERER: It was nice. Yeah, I mean, I really enjoyed it. Tony was there, too, so it was very relaxed. It's just nice, you know, to sort of ‑ I've spoken to him ‑ get a feel for what kind of a person he is.

I was positive, surprised obviously. Not that I had a bad, you know, feeling about him or anything, you know. He was really what I expected, you know, a great person, great man. Like I said, it was a great honor to meet him. I hope it's gonna be many more times, you know. Hopefully in Indian Wells maybe again. He's going to be there hopefully.

Q. Was the conversation purely tennis?

ROGER FEDERER: No, it was more about how he's doing, where he's at. Same with me. So not purely about tennis, no.

Q. Did he say something you will always remember, some phrase?
ROGER FEDERER: No, not really. I mean, just more the moment I think which will be remembered for me.

SUKTUEN
01-28-2006, 07:04 AM
Roger Do not afraid Evey one!

nobama
01-28-2006, 09:29 AM
http://www.ohio.com/mld/beaconjournal/sports/basketball/13734853.htm

Federer too nice to grab headlines
By Tom Reed
Roger Federer has an image problem.
He is too good, too charitable, too respected, too mild-mannered, too well-liked by peers to be embraced by the average American sports fan.
Federer also is too Swiss. Corporate America thinks nothing of outsourcing good-paying jobs, but is fiercely provincial in its myth building.
It's why some aren't sure if Federer is the world's best tennis player or the subject of Michael Moore's documentary Roger & Me.
For the record, Federer, 24, is on the verge of winning his seventh Grand Slam title in the past three years at the Australian Open. He is arguably the most dominant male athlete within a pro sport -- and easily the least appreciated.
He is Tiger Woods without the fanfare.
Federer won Wimbledon and the U.S. Open a year ago, a season that saw him post an 81-4 record. He finished fifth in the Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year voting. Who was counting ballots, Jeb Bush?
Cleveland-based sports marketing giant IMG has been retained in hopes of enhancing Federer's image. The company's findings are proprietary, but here is an amateur analysis of his shortcomings.
He plays tennis. He plays men's tennis. He never has admitted to competing ``wasted,'' a la Bode Miller. He doesn't have a rock star girlfriend like Lance Armstrong.
All the guy does is win. In a nation in which fans run across eight lanes of rush-hour traffic to hear the latest dirt on Terrell Owens, that's not enough. Especially when the debate concerns men's tennis.
No sport, except maybe boxing, has fallen further off the American radar.
Gone are the fiery personas of John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors. Pete Sampras exited quietly. Andre Agassi is more a sentimental than legitimate favorite. Andy Roddick has been unable to carry the American mantle.
Agassi reportedly said Federer is the most talented player he has ever faced, but the magnitude of the statement resonates only with hardcore fans. Think about this: Tennis might be the only American pro game in which the women's version is more popular than the men's.
Maria Sharapova. Lindsay Davenport. Mary Pierce. The Williams Sisters. It's not the women who have Venus envy.
Federer made a combined $14 million a year ago in prize money and endorsements, or $1 million less than Sharapova, the world's fourth-ranked woman.
The females have rivalries and animosity. The men have Rafael Nadal. He sounds more like a hair-care product than the world's No. 2-ranked player from Spain.
Federer has appeared vulnerable at times in the Australian Open, but he continues to play best when it counts the most. The three-time Wimbledon champion kills opponents with precision shot-making and kindness. Federer is among the most likable players on the circuit.
No racket smashing. No abusing linesmen. No clashes of ego. When the usually placid Federer shouted ``Come on,'' to himself in a five-set, quarterfinal win over Germany's Tommy Haas this week, the outburst became news. It's the closest he has come to a McEnroe moment.
We're talking about an athlete who can conduct news conferences in four languages. An athlete who donates time and considerable money to underprivileged South African children.
Yeah, this guy needs an image makeover all right.
Mike Tyson, washed up as seaweed in the morning tide, could announce his return to the ring tomorrow and grab headlines for a week. Federer is hardly the Baddest Man on the Planet. He just plays like one... in his green apple bandana.
Nobody is asking you to set the alarm for 3:30 a.m. Sunday to watch the Australian Open final against Marcos Baghdatis. But as a new season unfolds, take some time to familiarize yourself with one of sports goodwill ambassadors.
Federer doesn't have Tiger's charisma or bank account, but he has the same dominating presence. He is an astonishing 6-0 in Grand Slam finals.
Sports fans should learn to acknowledge excellence regardless of nationality.

SUKTUEN
01-28-2006, 09:38 AM
thanks

Minnie
01-28-2006, 04:19 PM
Thanks for the articles!

I like this quote from Tony:
"Hitting a heavier ball, keeping the intensity up during points," is another problem, apparently. But let's be honest, Roger's 'heavy' ball doesn't often come back.

He'd better be listening to Tony.

That's what I thought! I assume by his performance against Kiefer he did listen. He seemed to be making a point in the 3rd by taking it 6-0 .. I thought he seemed bit tetchy at the start of that match, I have never heard Roger say "Yeah, right" to a linesman when a net call was made. I've heard in the past what a hard taskmaster Tony is and that he's not backward in saying exactly what he thinks. When I watched the match with Davydenko there was a shot on camera of an exasperated look across Tony's face!!

LCeh
01-28-2006, 04:35 PM
This has nothing to do with Roger, but :o

Q. How important has Camille been to your success?

MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Important, I mean, it's great to have her on. She's a great person. I mean, she helps me a lot. We're having a lot of fun together, so that's great.

Q. What do you plan to do tonight?

MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Tonight?

Q. Yeah.

MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Nothing. Really go sleep. Just eat and go sleep.

Q. Have you been given any sort of orders from management over whether sex is on the menu?

MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Sorry?

Q. Will sex be on the menu tonight?

MARCOS BAGHDATIS: I cannot answer that question, sorry.

nobama
01-28-2006, 04:39 PM
I wonder what Roger would say if he was asked that question. :lol: What a stupid question. :retard:

bokehlicious
01-28-2006, 04:46 PM
Great article Mirkaland... I really hope Roger will never change. I hope he doesn't care about what the average American sport fan think about him. He plays the way he like, he enjoys his life, all other things are not important !

yanchr
01-28-2006, 04:56 PM
This has nothing to do with Roger, but :o

Q. How important has Camille been to your success?

MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Important, I mean, it's great to have her on. She's a great person. I mean, she helps me a lot. We're having a lot of fun together, so that's great.

Q. What do you plan to do tonight?

MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Tonight?

Q. Yeah.

MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Nothing. Really go sleep. Just eat and go sleep.

Q. Have you been given any sort of orders from management over whether sex is on the menu?

MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Sorry?

Q. Will sex be on the menu tonight?

MARCOS BAGHDATIS: I cannot answer that question, sorry.
More proof of Roger's comment on media: CRAP :retard:

nobama
01-28-2006, 06:15 PM
http://www.peterbodostennisworld.com/

Well, I’m pretty well fried after this most eventful and controversial women's final, but I want to say a few words about Roger Federer before I call it quits for the night.

A number of you have expressed your disappointment about the lack of posts on the Mighty Fed, and all I can say is that I feel your pain. Try to feel mine, too: The guy is the calm at the center of the Grand Slam storm. He survives, round after round. He’s my money in the bank, in lots of different ways.

But you’re right – you need at least an update of some kind. Well, here’s what I’m thinking, 24 hours before the men’s final. The Mighty Fed has played slightly below par. He’s appeared a little dour and cranky on court, and he’s certainly exposed his vitals to a number of marksmen capable of putting the bullet on the target: Haas, Davydenko, even Kiefer, for two sets. None of them were able to squeeze one off.

But here’s the interesting thing about Federer: He doesn’t see it exactly that way. In his presser after yesterday’s Kiefer match, he said:


Well, maybe it was good to be pushed by Tommy and Nikolay. Like I said, I didn’t think I played too badly up until now . . . . I guess there’s not too much I can change now. I got to be happy with the way I’m playing and you know, just try to play well.

Translation: I’m not playing great, but the only thing worse than being a little off your form is worrying about it and making an issue of it. You’ve got to dance with the one who brung you, and hope that it will be enough to win, or that you’ll get a little better and make your life easier.

The Mighty Fed is the coolest customer out there since Bjorn Borg, another reticent soul whose cabal was small, very loyal, impossible for an outsider to penetrate. Ever notice how Federer seems to exist in a different space and operate on slightly different time schedule than the rest of us? Well, he’s shown a great facility for keeping it simple, for focusing on the things that are of paramount importance to him (winning Grand Slam titles is chief among them), avoiding controversy, keeping his eyes on the long-term prize: greatness. He knows how to impose his will and vision on the world around him, as much as he imposes his game on his opponents.

Some years ago, I was talking with Boris Becker about Pete Sampras. Boris was the exact opposite of Borg, Federer, and Sampras, in that he seemed to thrive when his life was complicated or controversy raged around him. But Boris said, “Pete has a great talent for shutting out the world, for building a wall around himself so that nothing gets in the way of his mission, which is to win Grand Slam titles. That has made his life less interesting, maybe, but also easier.”

Well, the Mighty Fed has that same talent. He doesn't date starlets. He has no reality show. In fact, if you watch him closely during matches, he appears almost to exist in a different reality. His opponent hits a winner after a great rally, bringing the crowd to its feet, and Fed is lurking at the back windscreen, lost in thought, immune to the disappointment, trepidation, or anger that another player would be feeling at that moment. In fact, he looks like a guy looking for his wristwatch in the grass. Hmmmm… I was sure I had it on until I was standing here . . .”

This ability serves him well, and it kind of goes hand-in-hand with his sense of his own worth. Did you ever notice how he can get almost, well, [prickly when someone points out that this or that opponent has either beaten him, or appears to be playing well enough to beat him?

At Indian Wells last year, he pointedly corrected a reporter who implied that he was embroiled in rivalries with a number of players, including Marat Safin. They’ve got to win more for it to be a rivalry, he said, half-jokingly.

After his last match here, he was quick to note that he was relieved that he’d had some experience of Baghdatis’ game, having played him three times in the past – most recently a few weeks ago in Doha. Translation: Get outta here, dude, I tagged the guy all three times we’ve played and it can’t be like he got that much better in two weeks!

Generally, Federer is very diplomatic; the defensiveness he sometimes shows when he feels he’s being underestimated is transparent and funny. The message: Yeah, I’m a nice guy, but I’m not going to let anyone shortchange me or take advantage of my good nature. I’m the big dog and let’s not forget it.

Looking at the matchup tomorrow, I find it hard to see how Baghdatis can win. My gut tells me that Federer wants to start the year with a shot at achieving a Grand Slam. He’s been playing within himself, surviving, letting the tennis player’s equivalent of a heavyweight fighter’s fury build inside.

There’s a storm gathering, folks, and it’s inside this intensely devoted and experienced Grand Slam champion. He’s swept all else away, all distractions and questions and controversies. The other day, in an extraordinarily frank exchange with the press corps, he said:


Well, they’ve {the press} been coming to understand who I am, what kind of a person I am. It’s made things easier for all of us, you know, so we don’t have to fight all on a daily basis. I’ve kept it good for me, too, by winning a lot. You know, not giving them too much firepower. So I’ll keep it this way as long as I can, you know . . .

Boy, does this guy have all the bases covered. I know he hasn't been holding anything back, consciously, but I also think he's been pacing himself with astonishing, spontaneous success. I get the feeling that he’s got another gear left to shift up to here in Melbourne. I asked him about that, point blank. He answered:


I hope there’s another gear, seriously. I don’t know, though. I think the way I’m playing now, it’s a good level. We’ll see if it’s going to be enough.

Translation: I’ll be as good as I need to be.

lunahielo
01-28-2006, 06:27 PM
Go Roger!!
Pay no attention to all of the published crap. Just keep on playing your
beautiful game. Many (lots) of us in the USA have enough sense to know what you're all about. And we like it.
It's classy.
Take out the Bagman tonight!!! :)
luna

yanchr
01-28-2006, 06:57 PM
http://www.peterbodostennisworld.com/

Well, I’m pretty well fried after this most eventful and controversial women's final, but I want to say a few words about Roger Federer before I call it quits for the night.

A number of you have expressed your disappointment about the lack of posts on the Mighty Fed, and all I can say is that I feel your pain. Try to feel mine, too: The guy is the calm at the center of the Grand Slam storm. He survives, round after round. He’s my money in the bank, in lots of different ways.

But you’re right – you need at least an update of some kind. Well, here’s what I’m thinking, 24 hours before the men’s final. The Mighty Fed has played slightly below par. He’s appeared a little dour and cranky on court, and he’s certainly exposed his vitals to a number of marksmen capable of putting the bullet on the target: Haas, Davydenko, even Kiefer, for two sets. None of them were able to squeeze one off.

But here’s the interesting thing about Federer: He doesn’t see it exactly that way. In his presser after yesterday’s Kiefer match, he said:


Well, maybe it was good to be pushed by Tommy and Nikolay. Like I said, I didn’t think I played too badly up until now . . . . I guess there’s not too much I can change now. I got to be happy with the way I’m playing and you know, just try to play well.

Translation: I’m not playing great, but the only thing worse than being a little off your form is worrying about it and making an issue of it. You’ve got to dance with the one who brung you, and hope that it will be enough to win, or that you’ll get a little better and make your life easier.

The Mighty Fed is the coolest customer out there since Bjorn Borg, another reticent soul whose cabal was small, very loyal, impossible for an outsider to penetrate. Ever notice how Federer seems to exist in a different space and operate on slightly different time schedule than the rest of us? Well, he’s shown a great facility for keeping it simple, for focusing on the things that are of paramount importance to him (winning Grand Slam titles is chief among them), avoiding controversy, keeping his eyes on the long-term prize: greatness. He knows how to impose his will and vision on the world around him, as much as he imposes his game on his opponents.

Some years ago, I was talking with Boris Becker about Pete Sampras. Boris was the exact opposite of Borg, Federer, and Sampras, in that he seemed to thrive when his life was complicated or controversy raged around him. But Boris said, “Pete has a great talent for shutting out the world, for building a wall around himself so that nothing gets in the way of his mission, which is to win Grand Slam titles. That has made his life less interesting, maybe, but also easier.”

Well, the Mighty Fed has that same talent. He doesn't date starlets. He has no reality show. In fact, if you watch him closely during matches, he appears almost to exist in a different reality. His opponent hits a winner after a great rally, bringing the crowd to its feet, and Fed is lurking at the back windscreen, lost in thought, immune to the disappointment, trepidation, or anger that another player would be feeling at that moment. In fact, he looks like a guy looking for his wristwatch in the grass. Hmmmm… I was sure I had it on until I was standing here . . .”

This ability serves him well, and it kind of goes hand-in-hand with his sense of his own worth. Did you ever notice how he can get almost, well, [prickly when someone points out that this or that opponent has either beaten him, or appears to be playing well enough to beat him?

At Indian Wells last year, he pointedly corrected a reporter who implied that he was embroiled in rivalries with a number of players, including Marat Safin. They’ve got to win more for it to be a rivalry, he said, half-jokingly.

After his last match here, he was quick to note that he was relieved that he’d had some experience of Baghdatis’ game, having played him three times in the past – most recently a few weeks ago in Doha. Translation: Get outta here, dude, I tagged the guy all three times we’ve played and it can’t be like he got that much better in two weeks!

Generally, Federer is very diplomatic; the defensiveness he sometimes shows when he feels he’s being underestimated is transparent and funny. The message: Yeah, I’m a nice guy, but I’m not going to let anyone shortchange me or take advantage of my good nature. I’m the big dog and let’s not forget it.

Looking at the matchup tomorrow, I find it hard to see how Baghdatis can win. My gut tells me that Federer wants to start the year with a shot at achieving a Grand Slam. He’s been playing within himself, surviving, letting the tennis player’s equivalent of a heavyweight fighter’s fury build inside.

There’s a storm gathering, folks, and it’s inside this intensely devoted and experienced Grand Slam champion. He’s swept all else away, all distractions and questions and controversies. The other day, in an extraordinarily frank exchange with the press corps, he said:


Well, they’ve {the press} been coming to understand who I am, what kind of a person I am. It’s made things easier for all of us, you know, so we don’t have to fight all on a daily basis. I’ve kept it good for me, too, by winning a lot. You know, not giving them too much firepower. So I’ll keep it this way as long as I can, you know . . .

Boy, does this guy have all the bases covered. I know he hasn't been holding anything back, consciously, but I also think he's been pacing himself with astonishing, spontaneous success. I get the feeling that he’s got another gear left to shift up to here in Melbourne. I asked him about that, point blank. He answered:


I hope there’s another gear, seriously. I don’t know, though. I think the way I’m playing now, it’s a good level. We’ll see if it’s going to be enough.

Translation: I’ll be as good as I need to be.
Sorry for the long quote, but

:worship: :worship: :worship: I agree with every word here about Roger. Maybe it is not so pleasing to read in the first hand, but in my eyes, it is very insightful and to-the-point. I think he/she digged out the deepest thing in Roger's mind, which maybe Roger himself even doesn't realize.

Thanks for it mirkaland :wavey:

LCeh
01-28-2006, 07:16 PM
Generally, Federer is very diplomatic; the defensiveness he sometimes shows when he feels he’s being underestimated is transparent and funny. The message: Yeah, I’m a nice guy, but I’m not going to let anyone shortchange me or take advantage of my good nature. I’m the big dog and let’s not forget it.

Quoted for truth.

I love that about Roger. He is not going to agree with you if he feels differently. If he thinks he is the favorite, he will say he is the favorite. Not arrogant, not overly modest, just how it should be. :)

nobama
01-28-2006, 07:27 PM
I like what he said about the way Roger handles himself when not playing his best. Roger just hopes it's good enough to get him through and as he goes a long in the tournament hopefully he'll get better. I like that he doesn't get rattled, for the most part doesn't let things affect him.

PaulieM
01-28-2006, 07:29 PM
bodo has said some things about roger(actually a lot of people) that i've taken issue with(most notably about roger needing to put up at wimby or shut up about wanting to be great etc.) but he was on the mark this time.

PaulieM
01-28-2006, 07:35 PM
He finished fifth in the Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year voting. Who was counting ballots, Jeb Bush?
The men have Rafael Nadal. He sounds more like a hair-care product than the world's No. 2-ranked player from Spain.
:lol:
thanks for all the articles. :)

MissMoJo
01-29-2006, 12:53 AM
This has nothing to do with Roger, but :o

Q. How important has Camille been to your success?

MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Important, I mean, it's great to have her on. She's a great person. I mean, she helps me a lot. We're having a lot of fun together, so that's great.

Q. What do you plan to do tonight?

MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Tonight?

Q. Yeah.

MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Nothing. Really go sleep. Just eat and go sleep.

Q. Have you been given any sort of orders from management over whether sex is on the menu?

MARCOS BAGHDATIS: Sorry?

Q. Will sex be on the menu tonight?

MARCOS BAGHDATIS: I cannot answer that question, sorry.

I'd like to know what kind of journalist would ask a question like this. How disgusting and creepy.

Skyward
01-29-2006, 03:07 AM
http://www.peterbodostennisworld.com/

he’s certainly exposed his vitals to a number of marksmen capable of putting the bullet on the target: Haas, Davydenko, even Kiefer, for two sets.

Thanks for the articles. Did Bodo watch Roger's matches with Kiefer in the past? :rolleyes:

PamV
01-29-2006, 03:50 AM
I'd like to know what kind of journalist would ask a question like this. How disgusting and creepy.

I wonder what country that journalist is from?

PamV
01-29-2006, 04:12 AM
http://www.peterbodostennisworld.com/



The Mighty Fed has played slightly below par. He’s appeared a little dour and cranky on court, and he’s certainly exposed his vitals to a number of marksmen capable of putting the bullet on the target: Haas, Davydenko, even Kiefer, for two sets. None of them were able to squeeze one off.

But here’s the interesting thing about Federer: He doesn’t see it exactly that way. In his presser after yesterday’s Kiefer match, he said:


Well, maybe it was good to be pushed by Tommy and Nikolay. Like I said, I didn’t think I played too badly up until now . . . . I guess there’s not too much I can change now. I got to be happy with the way I’m playing and you know, just try to play well.

Translation: I’m not playing great, but the only thing worse than being a little off your form is worrying about it and making an issue of it. You’ve got to dance with the one who brung you, and hope that it will be enough to win, or that you’ll get a little better and make your life easier.



I think Bodo is missing it. For one thing Roger has said time and time again that lots of people think he must always play in 5th gear and that he's just going to blow opponents off the court every time in straights. That's not how it is. Just because he didn't win the matches with Haas, Davydenko, and Kiefer in straights does not mean Roger has been playing badly.

In particular he was playing fantastic against Kiefer. Didn't Bodo pay attention to the 3rd and 4th set of that match? In fact didn't Roger have an easier time with Kiefer than he usually does?

Does Bodo think Roger can play like he's from another planet all 7 rounds? I should think he reserves something and only uses what he needs to so he has something left for the final. That's common sense.

PamV
01-29-2006, 04:55 AM
Roger has lost 4 sets so far in the tournament and although that's more than he's lost in any other GS that he has won.....it's still doesn't look like he's played badly. I've seen some incredible shot making from Roger this tourney. The Davydenko match produced a lot of errors, true but that match started at midnight, so I think Roger was tired in that one.

If another guy like Roddick or Hewitt had Roger's match results so far people would say they were playing great. It must be annoying to Roger to hear the questions implying he hasn't played well when he probably thinks he did play pretty well although....not like he's from another planet. I don't think he could sustain playing like that constantly.

TenHound
01-29-2006, 08:34 AM
Bodo loathes Roger - the guy he works for calls Roger "Mr. Sickeningly Perfect". Bodo really gets off on Thuggy's pathetic macho histrionics. Don't take anything he says about Roger seriously. Just consider him a specimen of what writes sports news here in the belly of the Empire, and appreciate the Brit. press all the more.

SUKTUEN
01-29-2006, 10:27 AM
thanks

nobama
01-29-2006, 12:41 PM
Maybe this was some of the reason for Roger's tears tonight? It wasn't a walk in the park, it was hard work, but he did what he needed to in the end. Hopefully people are now realizing how hard he's worked to accomplish what he has and not take things for granted.

SUKTUEN
01-29-2006, 12:53 PM
I cry with Him~!!!!

Congrat Roger ~!!!

You are the REAL TENNIS KING~! :worship:

Stevens Point
01-29-2006, 01:38 PM
Maybe this was some of the reason for Roger's tears tonight? It wasn't a walk in the park, it was hard work, but he did what he needed to in the end. Hopefully people are now realizing how hard he's worked to accomplish what he has and not take things for granted.
I think so. And some of the reason was the presence of Rod Laver and that the legendary player presented the trophy to him.. When he thanked Laver at the end of the speach his emotion came out again. Roger hugged him twice, and right before leaving for the locker room, there was a photo shooting of Roger with him again...

PaulieM
01-29-2006, 01:51 PM
From the Age:
Champ's temperament the key to more slams - Laver

By Linda Pearce
January 30, 2006


THE great Rod Laver believes Roger Federer's superb finals temperament has enhanced his prospects of breaking the 14-slam record of Pete Sampras, also describing the Swiss he first met last week as an outstanding ambassador for tennis.

"(It's) certainly amazing how well he plays in the finals; I wouldn't bet against him," Laver said of 24-year-old Federer, who last night contested his seventh major singles final, having won the first six. "He's got so much talent. There's a lot of ingredients that go into being a tennis player: the temperament, to start with, the stroke production. Court positioning and anticipation, I think, is something that he seems capable of doing a lot more than other players.

"A lot of other players go back a little deeper on the baseline and slog away and hit heavy groundstrokes, but Roger seems to just move around the baseline. As soon as they make a mistake, he sits on top of them and he's got a wide-open court because he's not back very far, and doesn't allow a player to get back into play. I think just his court coverage is quite unusual, uncanny. He doesn't seem to be out of position."

Laver, who won 11 grand slam titles despite missing five years in his prime after joining the professional ranks in the 1960s, said he had rarely seen Federer play live, but has come to believe that if the world No. 1's backhand is in good shape, so, generally, is his game.

"The main thing is that he looks like he's enjoying the game, and it's not pressure," Laver said.

"He's just playing the game, and when it doesn't work, he tries something else. He finds a way to win.

"But if you have to grind out all the matches all the time, mentally you're going to get drained and the desire starts to ebb. I was fortunate because I learnt the game as an amateur, just loving the game and playing and enjoying it, then coming up slowly and travelling overseas until I turned professional at 24. I think age is not really an issue when you're looking at someone like Roger. He could be 31, 32 and be winning matches, if the desire's there."

Laver, 67, who presented the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup last night to the winner of the men's final on the court named in his honour, was introduced to Federer by his old friend Tony Roche at Melbourne Park last week.

The California-based left-hander was struck by how well Federer speaks about the game. "It's a credit to tennis that Roger's in it," said Laver, who had a knee replacement nine months ago but is looking forward to soon playing socially again.

Yet it was not, Federer said, a purely tennis conversation. There were some social niceties and general chit-chat. "I really enjoyed it. Tony was there, too, so it was very relaxed," Federer said. "It's just nice, to … get a feel for what kind of a person he is. He was really what I expected, you know, a great person, great man. It was a great honour to meet him."

SUKTUEN
01-29-2006, 01:53 PM
Laver thankyou so much !!!

Thanks for your kind to Roger~!!!

PaulieM
01-29-2006, 01:53 PM
Marcos's fairytale ends
By Patrick Miles
January 30, 2006

ONCE again, there were some glimpses of human frailty from Roger Federer last night, but after withstanding Marcos Baghdatis's brave and bold opening, the Swiss assumed command and won his seventh grand slam singles title.

Sweet victory ... Roger Federer.
Pic: Shannon Morris
The wings that had borne Baghdatis to his first Grand Slam final were broken on the wheel of Federer's finesse.

It was a less than commanding performance from Federer until the young Cypriot ran out of steam and ground to a halt, allowing the Swiss to take the match 5-7 7-5 6-0 6-2.

It was fitting that the most revered man in the sport presented the trophy to his heir apparent in the stadium named in his honour.

Before the match, Rod Laver, the only man to achieve the grand slam twice, had suggested that Federer would eclipse Pete Sampras's record of 14 grand slam titles.

"That's a pretty good start, and he's 24," Laver said of Federer's haul of seven. "It's certainly amazing how well he plays in the finals. I wouldn't bet against him."

For a man who plays with such emotion and who likes to ride the mood of the crowd, Baghdatis was a remarkably calm presence as he took the match up to and away from the top seed in the first set.

From the start, it was the Swiss genius who was strangely tentative, committing a string of unforced errors, as well as mistakes created by the pressure from his unseeded opponent.

The Mediterranean island where the Baghdatis journey began was bewitched by the televised feats of the 20-year-old, while outside the stadium masses of fans decorated in blue and white and watching the big screens cheered him on.

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After an exchange of service breaks in the first set, the Cypriot forced the issue at 5-5, creating two break points, the second of which was converted when Federer smacked a backhand long.

Serving for the first set, Baghdatis began with an ace and finished when Federer netted a return of serve.

The Swiss star was broken again in the first game of the second set and faced two more break points at 0-2.

The first was forged when Federer, faced with an open court, failed to move his feet and flipped a lazy half-volley over the sideline. Although he clung on to his serve, and broke back for 2-2, there was an uncharacteristic fragility in his endeavours.

During the day, Laver provided his astute observations about the man most likely to join him in the tennis pantheon.

"He's got so much talent," Laver said of the Swiss. "There's a lot of ingredients that go into being a tennis player: the temperament to start with, the stroke production.

"Court positioning and anticipation, I think, is something that he seems capable of doing a lot more than other players.

"A lot of other players go back a little deeper on the baseline and slog away and hit heavy groundstrokes. But Roger seems to just move around the baseline. As soon as they make a mistake, he sits on top of them and he's got a wide-open court because he's not back very far and doesn't allow a player to get back into play.

"I think his court coverage is quite unusual, uncanny. He doesn't seem to be out of position.

"I guess he concentrates very well, too.

"His backhand keeps his game. If his backhand is in good shape, I think he just seems to roll."

For a time last night, Baghdatis managed to put the brakes on Federer's advance.

Faced with the possibility of a two-set deficit, the Swiss was urging himself on and berating himself when he committed an error.

Frustration crept into Federer's countenance as Baghdatis kept a tight lid on his ebullient nature.

But just as it seemed that Federer, who lost only four times last season, had met his match, he tightened his return game and grabbed a break and the set in one fell swoop.

It required an overrule on set point, however, by French umpire Pascal Maria, who disagreed with the line judge's call of "in" on a forehand by Baghdatis.

The Cypriot questioned the verdict but kept his cool.

From 5-5 in the second set, Federer reeled off 11 straight games, including a treble break, and normal service was resumed.

Down two sets to one, the confidence of Baghdatis was dented by the master's touch.

It was only the sixth time in a Grand Slam event that the top seed was challenged by an unseeded player. On each occasion, the favourite prevailed, and Federer was determined to maintain the trend.

After heroic performances against Andy Roddick, Ivan Ljubicic and David Nalbandian in the semi-finals, Federer presented a new dilemma for Baghdatis, one he was unable to solve.

An attack of leg cramps in the second game of the fourth set did not help his cause, and the massage he received during the changeover at 0-3 could not alleviate his pain.

For the man ranked No.54 in the world, though, there will be sporting pleasure to come as he makes his inevitable rise in the order.

Federer's win secured his second Australian Open title, the first coming in 2004. He lost in the semi-finals last year to Marat Safin.

PaulieM
01-29-2006, 01:58 PM
Federer Wins His Seventh Grand Slam Title

By PAUL ALEXANDER
The Associated Press
Sunday, January 29, 2006; 8:05 AM

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Roger Federer won his seventh Grand Slam title Sunday, overcoming an early challenge from unseeded Marcos Baghdatis to win the Australian Open 5-7, 7-5, 6-0, 6-2.

Federer's experience under pressure showed as the top-ranked stepped up his game in the second set and won 11 straight.

The 24-year-old Federer won the Wimbledon and U.S. Open titles last year. He will try to win his fourth straight major later this year on clay at the French Open _ the only Grand Slam he has never won.

The Swiss broke down in tears after receiving the champion's trophy from Rod Laver, the last man to sweep all four Grand Slams in the same year, in 1969.

"I guess it's all coming out now," Federer said. "I've had some hard speeches, but this one is a little rough right now."

Federer then thanked Laver, his voice breaking one last time, and embraced the 67-year-old Australian.

"I was so happy," Federer said later. "Then I had to go up on stage and speak. This is really too much for me sometimes. It's just a dream come true every time I win a Grand Slam."

Baghdatis, a Greek Cypriot who had Melbourne's large Greek population behind after him knocking out four seeded players, had never gotten past the fourth round at a Grand Slam event before this year.

"It's a dream come true," Baghdatis said after having to playfully shush his cheering fans. "It's just amazing. I love everybody watching in Cyprus. Kisses."

The atmosphere at Rod Laver Arena was electric as the 54th-ranked Baghdatis tried to beat the most dominant man on the ATP Tour for the first time in four attempts.

For a while, at least, it looked possible.

Baghdatis was solid early, shaking off errors with stinging baseline winners. And it was normally implacable Federer who blinked first.

Serving at 5-5 in the first set, the Swiss fended off two break points before committing back-to-back forehand errors _ the latter after he halted his service motion after a fan shouted, "Settle, Roger, settle!"

Flashing his infectious smile and using his racket to bounce the ball once between his legs before each serve _ a move that he picked up from watching Federer _ Baghdatis held easily to finish off the set as the crowd roared.

He broke Federer again to start the second set and had two break opportunities to go up 3-0 before Federer fought back to level at 3-3.

Baghdatis, a former junior world champion, had three game points at 5-6 to force a tiebreaker, but Federer rallied to break on a forehand from Baghdatis that was ruled long. The Cypriot, who questions calls infrequently, did so again. But TV replays showed the ruling was correct.

Federer, who also won the Australian Open in 2004, ran off 27 of the 37 points in the third set to take control.

Baghdatis had played two consecutive five-setters and three overall in the tournament, and the wear and tear started to show. He suffered a cramp in his left calf in the second game of the fourth set, and the brilliant winners came less often as the errors piled up.

Federer won his 11th consecutive game to go up 3-0.

Getting treatment on his calf at every changeover, Baghdatis tried to rally one last time and had a break point with Federer serving at 4-2 that would have gotten him back on serve, but Federer held, then broke for the eighth time. A forehand across court set up match point, and Baghdatis netted a backhand to finish it.

Federer is drawing comparisons to Pete Sampras, who won 14 Grand Slams in his career and was the last man to win three consecutive majors (Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in 1993, and the Australian Open in '94).

Their birthdays are four days apart, and they won their seventh Grand Slams at the same age.

"It's quite scary if I compare it," Federer said. "I'm on the same road but I've got to maintain it. It would be great to challenge it, but it's not my first priority."

The stadium was filled with plenty of red-and-white Swiss flags, but the dominant colors in the crowd were Greece's blue and white.

Signs of "Go Marcos, You Rule" were mixed with "We Luv You Federer."

SUKTUEN
01-29-2006, 01:59 PM
YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHH

PaulieM
01-29-2006, 02:09 PM
one last one:)
Federer excels with seventh Grand Slam title
January 29 2006 at 02:04PM

By Martin Parry

Melbourne, Australia - Roger Federer is undoubtedly the best player of his generation and looks set for more years at the top after winning his seventh Grand Slam title here on Sunday.

His 5-7, 7-5, 6-0, 6-2 Australian Open victory over Marcos Baghdatis makes him the first player to win three successive Grand Slam tournaments since Pete Sampras won at Wimbledon and the US Open in 1993 and the Australian Open in 1994.

Of the seven Grand Slam finals he has reached, the Swiss champion has won them all.

At 24, he is now set on a Tiger Woods-like pursuit of the ultimate goal in his chosen sport. For Woods it is the 18 major titles of Jack Nicklaus. He currently stands on 10.

For Federer it is the 14 Grand Slam titles of Sampras. The man from Basel now has seven.

His idol Rod Laver, considered perhaps the greatest tennis player ever, who won 11 Grand Slams, says Federer was like no one else he'd seen, and would bet on him hauling in Sampras.

"He's got so much talent. There's a lot of ingredients that go into being a tennis player: the temperament to start with, the stroke production," said Laver, who presented Federer with the trophy Sunday.

"Court positioning and anticipation, I think, is something that he seems capable of doing a lot more than other players.

"As soon as they make a mistake he sits on top of them and he's got a wide open court because he's not back very far and doesn't allow a player to get back into play.

"I think just his court coverage, is quite unusual, uncanny. He doesn't seem to be out of position. (And) if his backhand is in good shape, I think he just seems to roll."

After an outstanding junior career, Federer first showed his abilities on the big stage in 2001 when he defeated title-holder Sampras in the fourth round at Wimbledon.

But he stalled briefly, losing a number of ATP Tour finals in 2002 when he was also staggered by the death in a car accident of his first coach Peter Carter.

He hit rock bottom by his own admission with a first round defeat to Luis Horna in the 2003 French Open, but that was just the kick up the backside he needed.

One month later he took Wimbledon by storm defeating Mark Philippoussis in straight sets in the final for his first Grand Slam title.

Federer then captured the season-ending Masters Cup defeating Andre Agassi (twice), Andy Roddick, Juan Carlos Ferrero and David Nalbandian, all players who had given him trouble previously.

That was the launching pad for one of the greatest years in the history of tennis. He won 11 ATP titles in 2004 including Wimbledon again and the US and Australian Opens as well as defending the Masters Cup.

Last year, despite losing in the semi-finals at the Australian and French Opens, Federer continued his domination, compiling an overall match record of 81-4, with another 11 titles.

He defended Wimbledon when his performance in the final against Roddick was rated one of the finest ever at the All-England club and became the first man to win both that tournament and the US Open in consecutive years since Don Budge in 1938.

He has now drawn level with John McEnroe, John Newcombe, Mats Wilander and Rene Lacoste in the all-time list of Grand Slam winners, surpassing Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg.

Next up for Federer are Agassi, Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl, Fred Perry and Ken Rosewall, who all have eight.

Laver, the only player to win the Grand Slam of the four majors twice, in 1962 and 1969, believes Federer still has plenty more majors in him.

"Certainly amazing how well he plays in the finals. I wouldn't bet against him," he said.

The Australian Open was his second successive title this year after winning in Doha and the 35th of his career. - Sapa-AFP

Mrs. B
01-29-2006, 02:14 PM
Thanks, Paulie! i'm looking forward to all the articles here of his 7th Slam! :) :) :)

SUKTUEN
01-29-2006, 02:31 PM
many chinese articles too~!

Mrs. B
01-29-2006, 03:27 PM
Roger's Rollercoaster
by Amanda Buivids
Sunday, 29 January, 2006


When the laboured backhand from Marcos Baghdatis cannoned into the middle of the net on Rod Laver Arena, world No.1 Roger Federer catapulted his arms skyward and gave an uncharacteristic yelp of joy.

And, then you thought he was going to cry.

He wearily leaned on the net, tore off his lime green headband, looked at his box, congratulated his vanquished opponent and walked back to his chair.

And you thought, for a just a split second, he was going to cry.

But it was when someone asked him to say something that he did. He cried.

His presentation speech will be remembered for what he didn't say - or rather couldn't say in front of those fans at Melbourne Park and millions around the world.

He was unable to get his words out. He was crying and emotional after his 5-7 7-5 6-0 6-2 win.

"I hope you know how much this means to me …" he said while juggling tears with the hefty-sized Norman Brookes Challenge Cup.

He revealed afterwards in his media conference that they were tears of relief rather than joy.

He reflected on the moment in the match when Baghdatis, who had dominated earlier with an imposing aggressive game, was beginning to falter physically.

The 20-year-old stumbled in the fifth game of the final set with cramp and required medical attention at the change-of-ends with the score looking ominous at 4-1 in Federer's favour.

"I think after seeing, he was struggling all of a sudden with the cramp on his calf muscle, I knew I was in very good shape, but I had to stay focused," Federer explained.

"So many things go through your head about the win already because you think, 'Well, now nothing can go wrong'."

"But as we saw, it was still quite a long way to the finish line. I was getting I think emotionally ready for that sort of, which normally you shouldn't, but I can't block it out. I'm also just human."

"And I guess, when I won, I was so relieved that I got through it. I wasn't emotional in the first minute, except the relief."

"It only came out later when I was standing there with Marcos waiting for the ceremony. I was very relaxed. Once I got up on stage, it all changed."

The growing sense of his role in the history of tennis is not lost on the Swiss right-hander.

He was presented the champion's trophy by Rod Laver, the only man to win the Grand Slam twice, in the stadium named in his honour.

Winner of 11 Grand Slam titles, Laver is also the last man to win all four majors - back in 1969. Federer spoke to Laver for the first time last Thursday when he was introduced to the US-based Australian by coach Tony Roche.

Federer's 2006 Australian Open inches him closer to the record of Pete Sampras who won eight Grand Slam finals contested from Wimbledon 1995 until 2000 - 1995 Wimbledon, 1995 and '96 US Opens, 1997 Australian Open, and 1997, 98, 99 and 2000 Wimbledon crowns.

On Sunday night he equalled Sampras' record of three consecutive Grand Slams.

Sampras won the Wimbledon and US Open trophies in 1993 and the Australian Open in 1994.

The triumphant gaze towards his box after the final also had emotional as well as historical significance. The family of his former coach and friend, Australian Peter Carter, was watching from the stands.

Carter, who had assisted Federer throughout his junior career and his first Grand Slam breakthrough at Wimbledon in 2003, was tragically killed in a car accident in the same year.

"It's always very emotional, you know, winning here, because of Peter, then Tony (Roche)," he said.

"It's very nice to share the moment with them, you know, obviously. So I think it means a, lot to them, too. Very happy that they still enjoy watching tennis after how much he was into tennis, too."

"They could just walk away from the game and say, 'Look, we'd rather not face it anymore', you know, because of how much he loved the sport. But I'm happy they come out and they really, really support me. It's very nice."

It is only on the rarest of occasions that we are privileged to witness the game's most consummate and complete player reveal his human side.

Miniscule cracks began to appear through the cool and calm exterior in the second week of the Open, particularly during his fourth round five-set contest against unseeded Tommy Haas and No.5 Nikolay Davydenko in the quarter-finals.

Federer was clearly under pressure, but he constantly re-assured us that things about him and his game - were normal. He told us it was hard to win Grand Slams, and not to put too higher expectations on his supposed infallibility. Stop saying I'm infallible …

"I thought I played great from the first round on till third set against Haas. From then on, it was a bit of a struggle," he said.

"I think if I could have closed out Haas maybe earlier, the whole tournament would have been much more of a great run if I would have ended up winning the tournament."

"But that made me struggle to maybe lose two sets in a row. Looking back, I maybe never really played my best except the first two sets against Haas. After that, it was kind of gone for a while."

"It was hard, you know. I really had to battle. I was physically a little tired after a tough couple of matches there. I was happy the way I bounced back against (Nicolas) Kiefer and also for the finals today."

"So it was a different type of Grand Slam victory, and I think that's why it was so emotional in the end for me."

http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/news/articles/2006-01-29/200601291138545987085.html

nobama
01-29-2006, 03:35 PM
"I thought I played great from the first round on till third set against Haas. From then on, it was a bit of a struggle," he said.

"I think if I could have closed out Haas maybe earlier, the whole tournament would have been much more of a great run if I would have ended up winning the tournament."

"But that made me struggle to maybe lose two sets in a row. Looking back, I maybe never really played my best except the first two sets against Haas. After that, it was kind of gone for a while."

"It was hard, you know. I really had to battle. I was physically a little tired after a tough couple of matches there. I was happy the way I bounced back against (Nicolas) Kiefer and also for the finals today."

"So it was a different type of Grand Slam victory, and I think that's why it was so emotional in the end for me."See, I knew the tears had something to do with this. I'm sure he'll skip DC, but I'd like to see him skip Rotterdam as well. Just rest his body and mind for a while. Then play Dubai to get some match practice in before IW and Miami.

Mrs. B
01-29-2006, 04:11 PM
another one from the Age
Federer to vie with the game's greats
By Linda Pearce
January 30, 2006



ROGER Federer's most significant opponent these days is history, and the record books should beware. The Swiss has now won each of his first seven grand slam tournament finals, the first player to do so since the 1800s, when the tennis world was a far different and significantly less competitive place.

Federer last night added a second Australian Open title to his three from Wimbledon and two from the US. Although the French is still missing, it will surely come and so, in the meantime, will talk of the coveted grand slam most recently won by Rod Laver in 1969.

Already, Federer has won the same number of major singles titles as the record-holder Pete Sampras had done at the same age, meaning that only 10 men have now won more, and a further eight - including John Newcombe, John McEnroe and Mats Wilander - as many.

The top seed last night shrugged off the challenge of unseeded Marcos Baghdatis on Rod Laver Arena, emerging from an edgy start to prevail 5-7, 7-5, 6-0, 6-2 in two hours 46 minutes. Much as he did against Nicolas Kiefer two nights earlier, Federer saw off the underdog's brave challenge and then crushed him mercilessly.

"I hope you know how much this means to me," a tearful Federer said after accepting the trophy from Laver. The pair embraced, which was fitting, for only Sampras and Federer have won three consecutive major titles since Laver did it for the second time so many years ago.

"I guess it's all coming out here. God! I've had some hard speeches but this one is a little rough right now."

After the requisite thanks, Federer broke down again when thanking Laver, whom he hugged again before leaving the podium.

Baghdatis earlier had accepted the runner's-up plate and spoke of "a dream come true". "I'm in the final, I played the final, I lost, it's just amazing," said the former world No. 54, who will have more than halved his ranking to 26th when the new list is released this morning.

While Baghdatis eventually stumbled in a growing puddle of errors and the shadow of Federer's brilliance, he showed no early sign of nerves in his first grand slam tournament final, and no hint of being overawed by an occasion so much grander than any he had experienced before.

This, remember, was just the Cypriot's sixth major, and across the net was the world's greatest player, who is rapidly becoming one of the best of all time.

The match was played before about 15,000 members of a final-day crowd of 18,806 that confirmed a new tournament attendance record of 550,550, up more than 6000 on last year. It was played outdoors, on yet another balmy summer night, and it was a final no one would have predicted 14 days earlier.

It was Baghdatis who made the running, breaking serve in the fifth and 11th games while dropping his own just once, and closing out the first set in 43 minutes. He immediately struck again to open the second, Federer surrendering the advantage with a loose forehand that hit the tape and sat up, begging to be hit.

We have seen Federer as frontrunner these past two weeks, and we have seen him on equal terms with both Tommy Haas and Ivan Ljubicic. But how would he react when behind? Only once before has he lost the first set of a grand slam final, against Andy Roddick at Wimbledon in 2004.

On that occasion, Federer had some timely assistance through a rain delay that helped him reassess and regroup; this time, he saw only a clear night sky and a rampaging opponent who held two points for a double break in the second set before he could be reeled back in.

The common theme in the three major deciders in which Federer has lost a set is that his opponents - Roddick, Andre Agassi at last year's US Open, and now Baghdatis - have come out aggressively, playing like winners and letting Federer make some mistakes, which last night, at least for a time, he did.

Federer struggled early on serve, started out shakily on his forehand, and hit only four backhand winners for the match. Baghdatis played fabulous defensive tennis when it was needed, making his opponent play and play, but nor did he retreat when there was a chance to attack.

It was only at the end of the second set that the momentum swung, Federer taking the last two games, and all six in the third.

As we have seen so may times before, Federer was able to raise his level when it mattered, chipping, charging and winning the last five points of the second set after Baghdatis had cruised to 40-0 on serve.

Chair umpire Pascal Maria overruled the baseline judge on set point, calling a forehand long that allowed Federer to split sets.

And then, in almost a blink, the champion was in front, where he is so comfortable and familiar, and, for Baghdatis, there would be no coming back. The first-timer cramped in the fourth set and sought a massage at 0-3, but it merely delayed the inevitable.

Baghdatis had ridden his huge wave of local support past the second seed (Roddick), the fourth (David Nalbandian) and the seventh (Ivan Ljubicic), among others, but there is only one Federer, and Finals Federer is in another class again, winning 26 of his past 27, a run broken only at last year's Tennis Masters Cup.

Baghdatis had told his coach, Guillaume Payre, three weeks ago in an Auckland hotel room that if he won the Australian Open, he would retire from tennis. Payre had responded that, if that occurred, he would stop working as well. The pair cannot toss their racquets away just yet, but can be proud of two exhilarating weeks.

They also will be well rewarded, for while Federer pockets $1.22 million for winning his third consecutive major, the runner's-up cheque of $610,000 is considerably more than Baghdatis has won throughout his short career.

And it was money well-earned, for as much as it is Federer's title, the irresistible star of the fortnight has been Baghdatis. A charismatic new star has arrived in a manner that few who witnessed it will ever forget.

It was Baghdatis who made the running, breaking serve in the fifth and 11th games while dropping his own just once, and closing out the first set in 43 minutes. He immediately struck again to open the second, Federer surrendering the advantage with a loose forehand that hit the tape and sat up, begging to be hit.

We have seen Federer as frontrunner these past two weeks, and we have seen him on equal terms with both Tommy Haas and Ivan Ljubicic. But how would he react when behind? Only once before has he lost the first set of a grand slam final, against Andy Roddick at Wimbledon in 2004.

On that occasion, Federer had some timely assistance through a rain delay that helped him reassess and regroup; this time, he saw only a clear night sky and a rampaging opponent who held two points for a double break in the second set before he could be reeled back in.

The common theme in the three major deciders in which Federer has lost a set is that his opponents - Roddick, Andre Agassi at last year's US Open, and now Baghdatis - have come out aggressively, playing like winners and letting Federer make some mistakes, which last night, at least for a time, he did.

Federer struggled early on serve, started out shakily on his forehand, and hit only four backhand winners for the match. Baghdatis played fabulous defensive tennis when it was needed, making his opponent play and play, but nor did he retreat when there was a chance to attack.

It was only at the end of the second set that the momentum swung, Federer taking the last two games, and all six in the third.

As we have seen so may times before, Federer was able to raise his level when it mattered, chipping, charging and winning the last five points of the second set after Baghdatis had cruised to 40-0 on serve.

Chair umpire Pascal Maria overruled the baseline judge on set point, calling a forehand long that allowed Federer to split sets.

And then, in almost a blink, the champion was in front, where he is so comfortable and familiar, and, for Baghdatis, there would be no coming back. The first-timer cramped in the fourth set and sought a massage at 0-3, but it merely delayed the inevitable.

Baghdatis had ridden his huge wave of local support past the second seed (Roddick), the fourth (David Nalbandian) and the seventh (Ivan Ljubicic), among others, but there is only one Federer, and Finals Federer is in another class again, winning 26 of his past 27, a run broken only at last year's Tennis Masters Cup.

Baghdatis had told his coach, Guillaume Payre, three weeks ago in an Auckland hotel room that if he won the Australian Open, he would retire from tennis. Payre had responded that, if that occurred, he would stop working as well. The pair cannot toss their racquets away just yet, but can be proud of two exhilarating weeks.

They also will be well rewarded, for while Federer pockets $1.22 million for winning his third consecutive major, the runner's-up cheque of $610,000 is considerably more than Baghdatis has won throughout his short career.

And it was money well-earned, for as much as it is Federer's title, the irresistible star of the fortnight has been Baghdatis. A charismatic new star has arrived in a manner that few who witnessed it will ever forget.

It was Baghdatis who made the running, breaking serve in the fifth and 11th games while dropping his own just once, and closing out the first set in 43 minutes. He immediately struck again to open the second, Federer surrendering the advantage with a loose forehand that hit the tape and sat up, begging to be hit.

We have seen Federer as frontrunner these past two weeks, and we have seen him on equal terms with both Tommy Haas and Ivan Ljubicic. But how would he react when behind? Only once before has he lost the first set of a grand slam final, against Andy Roddick at Wimbledon in 2004.

On that occasion, Federer had some timely assistance through a rain delay that helped him reassess and regroup; this time, he saw only a clear night sky and a rampaging opponent who held two points for a double break in the second set before he could be reeled back in.

The common theme in the three major deciders in which Federer has lost a set is that his opponents - Roddick, Andre Agassi at last year's US Open, and now Baghdatis - have come out aggressively, playing like winners and letting Federer make some mistakes, which last night, at least for a time, he did.

Federer struggled early on serve, started out shakily on his forehand, and hit only four backhand winners for the match. Baghdatis played fabulous defensive tennis when it was needed, making his opponent play and play, but nor did he retreat when there was a chance to attack.

It was only at the end of the second set that the momentum swung, Federer taking the last two games, and all six in the third.

As we have seen so may times before, Federer was able to raise his level when it mattered, chipping, charging and winning the last five points of the second set after Baghdatis had cruised to 40-0 on serve.

Chair umpire Pascal Maria overruled the baseline judge on set point, calling a forehand long that allowed Federer to split sets.

And then, in almost a blink, the champion was in front, where he is so comfortable and familiar, and, for Baghdatis, there would be no coming back. The first-timer cramped in the fourth set and sought a massage at 0-3, but it merely delayed the inevitable.

Baghdatis had ridden his huge wave of local support past the second seed (Roddick), the fourth (David Nalbandian) and the seventh (Ivan Ljubicic), among others, but there is only one Federer, and Finals Federer is in another class again, winning 26 of his past 27, a run broken only at last year's Tennis Masters Cup.

Baghdatis had told his coach, Guillaume Payre, three weeks ago in an Auckland hotel room that if he won the Australian Open, he would retire from tennis. Payre had responded that, if that occurred, he would stop working as well. The pair cannot toss their racquets away just yet, but can be proud of two exhilarating weeks.

They also will be well rewarded, for while Federer pockets $1.22 million for winning his third consecutive major, the runner's-up cheque of $610,000 is considerably more than Baghdatis has won throughout his short career.

And it was money well-earned, for as much as it is Federer's title, the irresistible star of the fortnight has been Baghdatis. A charismatic new star has arrived in a manner that few who witnessed it will ever forget.

Sjengster
01-29-2006, 04:34 PM
That article's a trifle repetitive, isn't it? ;)

artlinkletter
01-29-2006, 04:37 PM
Hahaha, i scrolled through the last article and thought to myself how damn long it was.

Mrs. B
01-29-2006, 05:32 PM
That article's a trifle repetitive, isn't it? ;)

Ms. Pearce couldn't get enough of the Fed. ;)

yanchr
01-29-2006, 05:45 PM
Thanks for all the articles. I always love them when Roger wins Grand Slams ;)

yanchr
01-29-2006, 05:46 PM
Ms. Pearce couldn't get enough of the Fed. ;)
:lol: That's exactly what I think seeing her name