Federer says he's underdog [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Federer says he's underdog

nobama
08-15-2005, 11:44 AM
Federer says he's underdog (http://news.cincypost.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050815/SPT09/508150324/1035/SPT)

MASON, Ohio - The guy is considered, by pretty much everyone on the planet, to be the best player in the world. He has a 58-3 record this season. Tennis analysts say that by the time Roger Federer's career is complete, he could be viewed as the best ever to play the game.

It was slightly strange then to hear him cast himself as an underdog in tonight's 7:30 first-round match against American wild card James Blake in the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters.

Remember, this is a guy who won Wimbledon in June, who has triumphed in seven other tournaments this season, who is nearly unbeatable when he reaches the finals of an event. Still, Federer refuses to put pressure on himself. He prefers a different approach.

"In a way," Federer said Sunday, "I have nothing to lose."

Considering Federer has been ranked No. 1 for 81 straight weeks, that's an interesting comment. But if you search for it, you can see the point Federer is making.

His record in this tournament isn't impressive - in fact, it's downright awful - but the top-seeded Federer wants to prove that he's recovered from the foot injury that has kept him off the court since Wimbledon and that he can perform well at the Lindner Family Tennis Center, perhaps the only place on earth where he's struggled consistently.

"I tried to get in as early as I could," said Federer, 24, who arrived in Mason on Thursday in order to begin improving his 1-4 career record here. "I'm giving myself a chance to get over jet lag and giving myself a feel for the tournament. I haven't really gotten the chance to get a feel for the tournament, because every time I played here, I left straightaway."

Federer also had the chance to arrive here early, because he didn't play in last week's Masters Series event in Montreal because of the injury. That withdrawal allowed him to rest his foot, on his doctor's advice, and prepare himself mentally for rejoining the ATP Tour after a six-week absence.

"I'm not worried, but I am anxious to see how I'm doing," Federer said. "Matches are always different than a practice. So far it's been good, even though Cincinnati, in the last couple of years, hasn't been the best tournament for me."

That's a bit of an understatement. Last year, coming into the tournament on a 23-match winning streak, he fell to Dominik Hrbaty in three sets. In 2003, he was knocked out in the second round by David Nalbandian, who is 2-0 lifetime against Federer. In 2002, he was beaten in the first round by Ivan Ljubicic, and in 2000, he says, "I was a nobody."

As Blake attests, Federer is somebody now.

"I could play a decent match and lose," said Blake, ranked No. 56 in the world. "It's possible. He's the best, for sure, right now, and by the time he's done, he could be considered the best of all time."

Blake, though, could give him a test.

After losing four straight matches earlier this summer, Blake made the final of last month's Washington event before falling to Andy Roddick. In the process, he beat Radek Stepanek, then-ranked No. 20, in the second round to earn some much-needed confidence.

Plus, if you consider Federer hasn't played in quite a while and hasn't ever performed well here, Blake has the ability to give Federer a tough match.

"Hopefully, he's a little rusty, and I'm going to try to take advantage of that," Blake said. "I'll try to get a quick start. But the guy has had a lot of rest, and he's very professional about his workouts. I'm sure he's coming in here in shape and ready to get you. But like I said, he hasn't played for six weeks."

Federer isn't that worried. His foot is feeling good, and he's feeling relaxed.

"It was a fine time to give the foot a rest," Federer said. "You look down the road, and it's tough to have the chance to give it a rest - the only chance would be after the season. But then it's hard, because you only have two or three weeks to get ready (for the new season). It's tough, but I'm happy I did it now. I feel fresh, mentally and physically and with everything else."

oneandonlyhsn
08-15-2005, 11:46 AM
His record in this tournament isn't impressive - in fact, it's downright awful - but the top-seeded Federer wants to prove that he's recovered from the foot injury that has kept him off the court since Wimbledon and that he can perform well at the Lindner Family Tennis Center, perhaps the only place on earth where he's struggled consistently.

Oh Fed :devil: plz do well this time

nobama
08-15-2005, 11:49 AM
Dominant Federer looking to future (http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050815/SPT/508150379/1078)

MASON - Sitting in the locker room at the Lindner Family Tennis Center Sunday, Roger Federer, the world's No. 1 player, saw a reflection of his past and what he hopes will be his future.

In front of him on the television, Federer watched the first set of the Tennis Masters Series Canada final between teenage phenom Rafael Nadal and ageless wonder Andre Agassi.

Two years ago, Federer broke on the scene, as Nadal has this year, by winning several titles. And if his body and game hold up, there may be a day 10 years from now when Federer is still winning tournaments as Agassi, 35, is doing.

But in the present, there is no comparison to Federer, 24, who plays James Blake in the first round of the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters today. Federer is a player without an equal on the ATP Tour except - it seems - when he plays here.

The ATP's most dominant player since Pete Sampras is only 1-4 all-time in Cincinnati, having lost in the first round last year. But after taking a month and a half off and getting here Thursday night for extra practice, Federer said he is fresh enough finally to make an extended appearance here.

"That, I think, could change this year because I've been here earlier," Federer said. "I've had really good preparation. It's the only tournament I'll play prior to the U.S. Open, so it's a really big, important tournament."

In just about every other city on the Tour, Federer has nothing to prove, with 30 career titles, five of them Grand Slams and seven of them Masters Series championships. This season, only Nadal has come close to keeping pace with the Swiss star who has been called everything from the greatest player ever to a genius with a racket.

Federer brings a 58-3 record in 2005 into the W&S Masters and has won eight singles titles, including a third straight Wimbledon.

"At the moment, there is big domination from my side," said Federer, who added coach Tony Roche to his support group this season but still operates without an agent. "Nadal is the one that has definitely stepped up to show how good he can play.

"Otherwise, the last two years, you look back and I've been playing well and dominating. But every week, I feel like I have to prove it again. I know I could lose in the first round but I still expect to win from my side. There's always pressure as No. 1 in the world."

That's where Federer has been for 81 straight weeks since Feb. 2, 2004, at the top, and spoken of by his competitors in revered tone.

"It's like what Tiger Woods did to golf five, six years back," said No. 5 Andy Roddick, who is 1-9 all-time against Federer after losing to him in the Wimbledon final, in what Federer regards as his best-ever performance. "And Federer has made everyone else have to get better. I work harder now than when I was No. 1 just because I have to keep pace with him."

Nadal defeated Agassi in three sets Sunday to claim his ninth title of the season, one better than Federer, who still holds a commanding lead in the ATP rankings.

"At the moment Roger Federer is the best player in the world," Nadal said. "And my objective for now is to try to keep my position."

Federer admires the young Spaniard, who has surged 49 spots in the rankings this season to No. 2 and is one of three players to have defeated Federer this season. Whereas Roddick was widely mentioned as the main challenger to Federer, that honor has transferred to Nadal, who is adept on clay and hardcourt surfaces.

"He's got the intimidation factor because of all the matches he wins and the different style he brings to the game as a lefty with a lot of spin," Federer said. "I think next year will be a very interesting year for him to see how other players cope with him and to see how he himself handles the pressure. But I have no doubt he will be around for a long, long time."

Longevity would help Federer attain a goal that has thus far eluded him: an Olympic gold medal. London's successful bid to host the 2012 Summer Olympics was heartwarming for Federer, the world's pre-eminent grass-court player, as Wimbledon will be the tennis site. By then, however, Federer will be nearly 31.

"Andre is causing us problems because he is 35 years old," Federer said. "We thought we could retire at 29, 30 or 31. But that's not the case anymore.

"I was really pleased when London got the Olympics. Hopefully I will still be playing tennis then."

PamV
08-15-2005, 11:56 AM
" Last year, coming into the tournament on a 23-match winning streak, he fell to Dominik Hrbaty in three sets. In 2003, he was knocked out in the second round by David Nalbandian, who is 2-0 lifetime against Federer. In 2002, he was beaten in the first round by Ivan Ljubicic, and in 2000, he says, "I was a nobody.""

At the time it didn't seem like losing to Hrbaty was a big deal because Federer had just won Toronto and he was far ahead in points. They make it sound worse than it is. The article states that Nalbandian has a 2-0 H2H over Federer, but it's actually 5-2 with Federer winning the last two meetings.

skel1983
08-15-2005, 11:56 AM
NO way he is underdog!!!

He will beat Blake 19 out of 20 times in my eyes, if he is feeling good he will win comfortably no doubt.

nobama
08-15-2005, 12:00 PM
At the time it didn't seem like losing to Hrbaty was a big deal because Federer had just won Toronto and he was far ahead in points. They make it sound worse than it is. The article states that Nalbandian has a 2-0 H2H over Federer, but it's actually 5-2 with Federer winning the last two meetings.Doesn't matter though. When your the #1 player it is a big deal if you go out in R1. And if he goes out early this year it will be a big deal again. Certainly so if Nadal goes deeper in the tournament than he does.

PamV
08-15-2005, 12:02 PM
NO way he is underdog!!!

He will beat Blake 19 out of 20 times in my eyes, if he is feeling good he will win comfortably no doubt.

He shouldn't be the underdog, but maybe he is refering to his past Cincy record not being good. What's Blake's record at Cincy?

nobama
08-15-2005, 12:11 PM
He shouldn't be the underdog, but maybe he is refering to his past Cincy record not being good. What's Blake's record at Cincy?I'm not sure what Blake's record is. But Roger isn't stupid. He knows his record in Cincy and that he hasn't played in six weeks. So of course he's going to downplay his chances or say he's the underdog to take the pressure off. Rafa did that against Agassi and he's still out there saying that Roger's the best, the one to beat (part of that is just because Rafa's a classy guy).

Papakori
08-15-2005, 12:14 PM
What's Blake's record at Cincy?
He reached R16 in 2003, R32 in 2002 and R16 in 2001 with a win over Clement when he was 12 in the world

PamV
08-15-2005, 12:15 PM
Doesn't matter though. When your the #1 player it is a big deal if you go out in R1. And if he goes out early this year it will be a big deal again. Certainly so if Nadal goes deeper in the tournament than he does.

I am just saying LAST year when Roger had won 3 majors, and just came from winning Toronto...it certainly didn't matter much about Cincy. At the time Roger didn't look down hearted at all about losing to Hrbaty, it looked like he wanted to get out of there.

THIS year it would be a big deal if he lost to Blake R1, but I was refering only to what the article discussed. I felt like they gave it a flavor of that Roger tried with all his might and couldn't manage in Cincy when if fact he didn't seem to care that much about it last year. If Nadal lost R1 in Cincy would that seem like a big deal after he just won Montreal? It doesn't seem so....because people would label that as due to fatigue.

PamV
08-15-2005, 12:18 PM
I'm not sure what Blake's record is. But Roger isn't stupid. He knows his record in Cincy and that he hasn't played in six weeks. So of course he's going to downplay his chances or say he's the underdog to take the pressure off. Rafa did that against Agassi and he's still out there saying that Roger's the best, the one to beat (part of that is just because Rafa's a classy guy).

Of course this is all typical. At RG both Roger and Rafa said the other one was the favorite. They both wanted to be the underdog.

Scotso
08-15-2005, 12:23 PM
Uh... right.

tennisman.
08-15-2005, 12:31 PM
NO way he is underdog!!!

He will beat Blake 19 out of 20 times in my eyes, if he is feeling good he will win comfortably no doubt.


Are you insane?
Federer will beat Blake 100 out of 100 times

Scotso
08-15-2005, 12:32 PM
Are you insane?
Federer will beat Blake 100 out of 100 times

You're not giving your man good karma here.

Nimomunz
08-15-2005, 01:15 PM
i think this is bullshitting by federer. i hate bullshitting :mad: someone as talented as him shouldnt play the woe-is-me card. everyone who knows shit about tennis is just snickering here. now i really want blake to win so fed can be right again!

PamV
08-15-2005, 01:24 PM
i think this is bullshitting by federer. i hate bullshitting :mad: someone as talented as him shouldnt play the woe-is-me card. everyone who knows shit about tennis is just snickering here. now i really want blake to win so fed can be right again!

Really how would you like Federer to answer questions about his first round? Would you like him to say...."Hey, what an easy first round....I could beat Blake with a blindfold on." I think most players downplay their chances and try to sound humble.

I did like in Montreal though when Gilbert asked Agassi how he planned to beat Nadal. Agassi replied, "I'm not a fan of coaching my opponent about what he has to do to beat me." That was good because I am so tired of hearing all the players say, "I'll just have to play my game and not let him dictate, and maybe get lucky." I always wonder why anyone would announce what their strategy is going to be.

nobama
08-15-2005, 01:58 PM
i think this is bullshitting by federer. i hate bullshitting :mad: someone as talented as him shouldnt play the woe-is-me card. everyone who knows shit about tennis is just snickering here. now i really want blake to win so fed can be right again!You hate Federer is more like it.

Nimomunz
08-15-2005, 02:05 PM
he should say that i think blake has a very good chance and i plan to do my best. yada yada yada............ thats humble but not self-deragotory.

You hate Federer is more like it.
:rolleyes: i'm done trying to negate that statement!!

Blaze
08-15-2005, 02:10 PM
he should say that i think blake has a very good chance and i plan to do my best. yada yada yada............ thats humble but not self-deragotory.


:rolleyes: i'm done trying to negate that statement!!

Then just go and do his interviews for him and then the world will be at peace

World Beater
08-15-2005, 02:26 PM
In the article, nowhere does he mention he is the underdog against blake. The comment he made "I have nothing to lose" is with reference to his record at the tournament, not necc with blake

PamV
08-15-2005, 02:35 PM
In the article, nowhere does he mention he is the underdog against blake. The comment he made "I have nothing to lose" is with reference to his record at the tournament, not necc with blake

Right, it's actually just the writer of the piece that chose to paraphrase what Roger said and made it into "Fed says he's the underdog". It also seems to me that the article is more about Fed's feelings on the whole tournament not just about his meeting with Blake. So this is all getting blown out of proportion.

LaTenista
08-15-2005, 02:49 PM
Honestly I don't think Federer will ever be an underdog in a match again. He'll always be expected to win every match he plays, if will just depend on who/where he plays to see how much of a shot the other guy has to pull out the win. Nadal just entered this club by beating Agassi for the Montreal shield yesterday.

World Beater
08-15-2005, 03:02 PM
Honestly I don't think Federer will ever be an underdog in a match again. He'll always be expected to win every match he plays, if will just depend on who/where he plays to see how much of a shot the other guy has to pull out the win. Nadal just entered this club by beating Agassi for the Montreal shield yesterday.

Sorry I have a lot of respect for what nadal has done. But even he has ways to go before he enters this apparent club with federer.

Blaze
08-15-2005, 03:14 PM
Honestly I don't think Federer will ever be an underdog in a match again. He'll always be expected to win every match he plays, if will just depend on who/where he plays to see how much of a shot the other guy has to pull out the win. Nadal just entered this club by beating Agassi for the Montreal shield yesterday.

Yet when Fed mentions this bit of information he is called arrogant. If he say he has nothing to lose, then he's lying. Which one is it :confused:

skel1983
08-15-2005, 03:17 PM
Fed is the one guy who does not talk bullshit, he tells it how it is, he feels with the matches Blake has had this summer and the experience of the hard stuff, Roger feels this is a match where he feels he is under pressure from the off.

Roger doesn't talk bulls*** as some off you have implied, i mean at Wimby he openly says he is better than anyone on that surface, even though most guys are modest about there achivements and record's, he says it how he see's it.

yanchr
08-15-2005, 03:32 PM
Fed is the one guy who does not talk bullshit, he tells it how it is, he feels with the matches Blake has had this summer and the experience of the hard stuff, Roger feels this is a match where he feels he is under pressure from the off.

Roger doesn't talk bulls*** as some off you have implied, i mean at Wimby he openly says he is better than anyone on that surface, even though most guys are modest about there achivements and record's, he says it how he see's it.
You are so damn right. I was about to quote this saying about Nadal of him highlighted by Mirkaland:

"He's got the intimidation factor because of all the matches he wins and the different style he brings to the game as a lefty with a lot of spin," Federer said. "I think next year will be a very interesting year for him to see how other players cope with him and to see how he himself handles the pressure. But I have no doubt he will be around for a long, long time."

I didn't quote it earlier because I think it will ignite another flame but, I really think Federer just said what he actually thinks. You didn't hear him pour huge praise on this impressive young guy, not after he lost to him, not after Nadal has proven to all that he can do well on hard court. I feel that's the thing in his mind that he has doubt like many here that he will have a same year next year and that he doen't quite enjoy his tennis, while surely doesn't mean he is denying his uprise and potential. You can call anyone bullshitting but not him, thinking he can absolutely be more diplomatic than he is now.

1sun
08-15-2005, 03:54 PM
no matter wot he says, hes the favorite for the tournment and theres pressure on him to win it. if he loses early there will be big talk of nadal getting the no1 spot.

tangerine_dream
08-15-2005, 04:15 PM
Roger seems pretty desperate to throw all the pressure off his shoulders these days.

jacobhiggins
08-15-2005, 04:19 PM
Nah, he's just being honest, until he does well here at this tournament then people can say it's a jinxed tournament for him, he'll win it though!

ExpectedWinner
08-15-2005, 04:24 PM
It's Josh Katzowitz, the author of the article, says that the Federer is underdog. In Federer's quotes I don't see this word. He's just talking about his preparations.

Becool
08-15-2005, 04:43 PM
He's not the underdog..
It doesn't matter his past in Cincy
He has won before in this surface, so he shouldn't say this

skel1983
08-15-2005, 04:51 PM
That's Federer, he doesn't take anything for granted, he is so modest, if he is the best like he is on Grass he will tell you that, but the guy has not played on this surface since march, so he feel's that he has something to prove before he can really say he is favourite.

Clara Bow
08-15-2005, 05:46 PM
Another great interview by Federer. I think he is one of the most flat-out honest players on the tour. He says when he is doing good, and when he is not. He does not use false modesty, but is yet is not an unwarrented braggart.

He calls as he sees and I just love it.

nobama
08-15-2005, 07:06 PM
Roger seems pretty desperate to throw all the pressure off his shoulders these days.Maybe Roger should just fall off a cliff and die so people here no longer have to be annoyed by him. ;)

nobama
08-15-2005, 07:09 PM
Another great interview by Federer. I think he is one of the most flat-out honest players on the tour. He says when he is doing good, and when he is not. He does not use false modesty, but is yet is not an unwarrented braggart.

He calls as he sees and I just love it.Ah, you must be one of the annoying Fedtards. The nerve of you actually saying something nice about him...

WF4EVER
08-15-2005, 07:59 PM
If James has any chance of beating Roger this is absolutely the perfect time. Roger hasn't played since Wimby, in a tournament where he is bound to feel some uncertainty because of his poor record here and James managed to get to the Washington final which at least gives him some hard court matchplay.

I hope Roger's feet are fully healed, he already said he's well rested mentally and physically, and I hope he comes out ready to turn that 1-4 record on its head. Plus going into the USO he really should have some matches under his belt. It's been a long six weeks but I'm glad he's back and I want to see him winning again.

Go Roger!

nobama
08-16-2005, 12:03 AM
This was posted on Roger's website - an interview he gave either yesterday or today. It was posted by a swiss fan, so I'm not sure who he gave the interview to. I'm glad to see he's hungry. Hope he eats Blake for dinner tonight :devil:

http://www.rogerfederer.com/en/fanzone/forum/topicview.cfm?uTopicID=5374&uPage=5
well, he spoke about that he was in dubai for two weeks and then began to practise with paganini and roche to be ready for the us hardcourt season.
he said, that this is an advantage for him, coz he had lots of time to prepare very well the condition and everything else.
he feels 100% motivated and said he's more hungry than any time before, he wants to win this tournament and nothing else.
he said, that it was of course very hard for him, to sit at home and watch in the telly all the tournaments which he couldn't participate. and then he said, I love
that remark: 'I'm so glad when I'm back on the tour and can also decide who will be the winner of a tournament'

Seleshfan
08-16-2005, 12:24 AM
"I could play a decent match and lose," said Blake, ranked No. 56 in the world.

:haha: If James plays a "decent" match by his standards, he will lose.

yanchr
08-16-2005, 05:00 AM
'I'm so glad when I'm back on the tour and can also decide who will be the winner of a tournament'
:eek: This is cool :worship: So he'd better live up to his words