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Old 07-31-2012, 03:05 PM   #1801
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Old 08-18-2012, 08:23 PM   #1802
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Roger Federer will play DC for Switzerland against The Netherlands in Amsterdam 14-16 Sept. 2012 (Source: Swiss TV during SF Cincy)
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Old 08-19-2012, 02:13 PM   #1803
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TNX1.0E6TOPCA View Post
Roger Federer will play DC for Switzerland against The Netherlands in Amsterdam 14-16 Sept. 2012 (Source: Swiss TV during SF Cincy)
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Old 08-19-2012, 06:19 PM   #1804
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Good year for the Dutch. They got to see him play twice this year.
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Old 08-19-2012, 07:13 PM   #1805
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Good year for the Dutch. They got to see him play twice this year.
Exactly!
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Old 08-20-2012, 12:21 PM   #1806
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TNX1.0E6TOPCA View Post
Roger Federer will play DC for Switzerland against The Netherlands in Amsterdam 14-16 Sept. 2012 (Source: Swiss TV during SF Cincy)
Thanks for sharing this good news

Can't wait for the event
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Old 08-21-2012, 12:35 PM   #1807
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http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/Ten...-Forehand.aspx

interesting analysis at ATP...

Quote:
BRAIN GAME ANALYSIS
Brain Game: Roger Gives Novak The Runaround
Cincinnati

by Craig O'Shannessy

20.08.2012

Craig O'Shannessy breaks down the Western & Southern Open final in Cincinnati.

Making Roger Federer hit a backhand is not as simple as hitting a ball to the Ad court. In fact it is more likely to result in a Federer forehand, which is exactly what happened in Federerís victory over Novak Djokovic in the final of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati Sunday.

Federer dominated Djokovic 6-0, 7-6(7) and it was his persistence to turn backhands into forehands in the Ad court that orchestrated his stunning victory. Djokovic directed 108 shots to the Ad court in the match - all intended for Federerís backhand wing. What seemed like common sense for Djokovic was actually a beautifully disguised trap set by Federer, whose forehand is more lethal when standing in the ad court than the deuce court.

Federer turned 58 shots in the Ad court into forehands, leaving him hitting only 50 backhands for the match. It makes it hard for Djokovic to attack Federerís backhand if Federer simply refuses to hit it. Overall, Federer hit more than two out of three (67%) groundstrokes as forehands for the match.

Federer hit more forehands standing in the Ad court (56%) than he did in the deuce court (44%) for the match. Itís often hard to pinpoint the genius of Federer but that stat is as good as any to understanding why he has spent more weeks at No. 1 than any player in the history of the game.

Federer hit three of his 10 forehand winners for the match standing in the Ad court but, more importantly, was able to control the flow and direction of the rallies and apply the most amount of pressure to Djokovicís formidable groundstrokes.

Djokovicís normally feared backhand produced only two winners and contributed 11 errors for the match. Six of the errors came from a Federer forehand, five of which were runaround forehands from the Swiss in the Ad court.

Djokovicís forehand returned seven winners and 12 errors and also felt the pressure of Federerís runaround forehand. Nine of the errors came from a Federer forehand and again the majority (five) were when Federer was standing in the Ad court.

Federer looks for three immediate benefits when he turns a backhand into a forehand in the Ad court.

The first is an upgrade. Forehands in general produce around 75% of all groundstroke winners from the back of the court, so the shot immediately becomes more potent.
The second is a doubling of the target area. It is difficult to take a rally backhand down the line to hurt the opponent as it leaves him exposed cross-court on the next shot if it is not hit with authority. But by upgrading the weapon from a backhand to a forehand, Federer can go down the line as well as cross court.
The third is the freezing effect. The open-stance forehand in the Ad court has great disguise so the opponent must wait until the ball comes off the strings to see where it is going, effectively removing the key element of anticipation.

Federer understands these concepts as well as anyone on tour and effectively only plays half a court (the Ad court) while the opponent has to respect and play the entire court. Itís almost impossible to take a backhand down the line against Federer with a neutral to defensive backhand and not be on the run on the next shot.

In the second set of the match Federer hit more runaround forehands (42) in the Ad court than deuce court forehands (27) Ė which were both more than the amount of backhands he hit (26).

This was not one of Djokovicís best matches, especially in the first set where he did not win a game. He hit 17 backhands and 14 forehands in the opening set Ė including only five runaround forehands in the Ad court. Everything was off for the former No. 1.

Even though Djokovic relies more on his backhand than Federer does, he too looks to upgrade to hit forehands at every opportunity in the Ad court. Djokovic hit seven forehand winners and only two backhand winners for the match but was not nearly as relentless at turning backhands into forehands as Federer was.

While Federer hit 58 run-around forehands for the match, Djokovic only managed 20 Ė giving Federer close to a 3-1 ratio with this key tactic. This greatly impacted the number of backhands both players hit in the match.

Federer hit 53% of his forehands standing in the Ad court (58 forehands 50 backhands) while Djokovic only managed 19% in the Ad court (20 forehands Ė 81 backhands). This gives Federer more control of the rallies, better court position closer to the baseline, and much more use of a bigger weapon from the back of the court.

Look for Federerís forehand, particularly hit from the Ad court, as a key tactic in his pursuit of a sixth US Open title in New York beginning next week.

Craig O'Shannessy is the founder of the Brain Game , a tennis analysis website that uses extensive tagging, metrics and formulas to uncover the patterns and percentages behind the game.

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Old 08-21-2012, 02:16 PM   #1808
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Old 08-22-2012, 05:48 PM   #1809
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I thought this was a pretty nicely-written article on Fed/Novak Cinci Final

Quote:
MASON – Novak Djokovic showed up 20 minutes late to the Western and Southern Open final here Sunday. By the time he arrived, the guy calling himself Novak Djokovic had lost the first set to Roger Federer. We don’t know who that Djokovic was.

It couldn’t have been Novak. Novak has five Grand Slam titles, including three last year, in one of the best years a tennis player has ever had. Novak is the No. 2-ranked player in the world, 25 years old and in the prime of his tennis life.

Maybe it was Fred Djokovic of Bayonne, N.J. or Ralph Djokovic, or Ralph Kramden, re-inventing himself. It wasn’t Novak. Novak wouldn’t play so poorly in a title match that a TV announcer would offer a running commentary on his absence from the first set.

“Apathetic,’’ Jim Courier decided on CBS, after an especially lame first serve. “Not engaged at all mentally,’’ Courier said a few minutes later. “Certainly not committed to the task.’’

And so on.

By the time Novak found Center Court, he’d lost the first set, 6-0. He’d won all of 10 points. In the whole set. Anyone can do that.

“One of the worst starts of your career, I suppose,’’ was the first “question’’ posed to Djokovic, by an international media heathen.

Novak made no excuses. When you lose a set in 20 minutes, there is no need. “Yeah, terrible set,’’ he said. Djokovic said he never found his rhythm. He said Federer was terrific, which he was. Federer came into the interview room a few minutes later, and seconded his foe’s observations.

“Novak had a hard time finding his range on the serve and the baseline,’’ Federer said.

Possibly.

Just as likely, Djokovic had a hard time finding his motivation. This was the fourth week in a row he’d played, including the Olympics. He’d reached the finals here. He was pleased. “I really didn’t expect to get this far. It’s a great result,’’ Djokovic decided.

In that first set, the result was something less than great. Federer whapped forehands that Djokovic fielded like he was wielding a frying pan. That was when he reached them. “He’s kind of conceding, as opposed to fighting,’’ Courier noted. “Right now, he’s a shell out there.’’

Federer was very good, but given the resistance, it was hard to tell precisely how good. He didn’t lose his serve the whole week. He played with a relaxed fury, and a confidence that has soared since he won Wimbledon to reclaim the No. 1 world ranking that for so many years seemed his birthright.

“I didn’t have a letdown even after securing all my goals for myself,’’ Federer said.

Djokovic made a legitimate appearance in the second set. He’s a demonstrative guy, usually, yelling self-exhortations and offering fist pumps after especially good shots. He didn’t do any of that in the first set. As Federer explained, “It’s hard to fist pump if you make a great shot and it’s five-love against you. That’s a wasted emotion.

“He never got that opportunity to really go crazy. That’s to my credit.’’

Djokovic did rally in the second set. He looked like a different player. Reasons for that were as cosmic as reasons for his first-set no-show. “Novak did a good job staying with it,’’ Federer offered.

He still couldn’t break Federer’s serve. Nobody could, not all week. At 4-3, Djokovic screamed primally, but it wasn’t for a triumph. He missed a forehand, long. Unlike in the first set, Djokovic held his serve throughout the second set. After falling behind 3-0 in the tiebreak, he took a 4-3 lead with a gorgeous passing shot, followed by a fist pump.

Finally engaged, perhaps Djokovic could steal the second set and make the decisive third set compelling. He might have, had he been playing someone other than Federer, who comes to play all the time.

Federer won the tiebreak, 9-7, on a lasered forehand.

Djokovic is a great player. Federer is a great champion. Sunday’s final showed us the difference.

“Maybe playing four weeks in a row got to me mentally,’’ Djokovic decided. He was already looking forward to the U.S. Open, in two weeks. “It’s New York and we move on,’’ he said.

Novak should be fully engaged there. He wasn’t here.
Writer: Paul Daugherty
http://news.cincinnati.com/article/2...n-beat-Federer

PS: Before any fight starts, my feeling is that the writer was a little tongue-in-cheek with the "lack of motivation" comments
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:09 AM   #1810
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Old 08-27-2012, 06:06 PM   #1811
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Roger Federer Actually Likes Tennis

A Winner of 17 Grand Slam Titles, the World's No. 1 Player Is at the Happiest Point of His Career

By TOM PERROTTA



Roger Federer hits a ball during Saturday's Arthur Ashe Kids' Day at the U.S. Open

New York

There's no shortage of emotional baggage in elite tennis. Overzealous parents. Towering egos. Self-righteousness. Persecution complexes. A tendency to fixate on absurd grievances. The sport beats up the body and tortures the soul, makes rational people scream, swear and smash rackets into the ground. All great players, it seems, hate it at one time or another, even despise itójust ask John McEnroe or Andre Agassi.

And then there's Roger Federer, whose talent and temperament have produced something tennis has never seen: an eternally happy mega star.

"It's true," Federer said in an interview late Saturday afternoon in the garden behind Arthur Ashe Stadium, after nearly 2Ĺ hours of news conferences, radio interviews, television interviews, pictures and autographs, enough attention and talking to give any man a headache and laryngitis (he was still smiling and sounded fine). "I'm a very positive thinker, and I think that is what helps me the most in difficult moments."

Federer, 31 years old and No. 1 in the world again, plays Donald Young this evening in the first round of the U.S. Open, and he's a favorite to win what would be his 18th Grand Slam title.

"I'm playing much better than I thought I wouldóother guys are in their prime right now and I'm world No. 1, so I guess I did some things right," he said. "I have two wonderful kids, an incredible wife and it's just great. I feel very fortunate that I'm going through this part of my life now, that I can enjoy it so much more."

Before he won Wimbledon this summer, Federer had, at least by his standards, struggled on the sport's premier stages.

He hadn't won a major title since January 2010, his longest Grand Slam drought since he won his first Wimbledon in 2003. In that stretch, he lost four matches at majors to Novak Djokovic, including two after holding match points at the U.S. Open (at last year's tournament, Federer had two match points on his serve in the fifth set, after squandering a two-set lead). At Wimbledon in 2011, he lost a two-set lead against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Rafael Nadal, Federer's longtime rival, defeated him in another French Open final (2011) and an Australian Open semifinal (2012).

Yet for all those stinging losses to younger rivals and past defeats, like the memorable 2009 Australian Open final that left him in tears, there haven't been any of the letdowns or funks that have crippled other players (see Marat Safin). With Federer, there's no angst. "The last thing I want to happen is that it drains me," he said.

"He's had these sort of crushing losses in big matches," Patrick McEnroe said during a conference call last week. "He could easily look back and say, 'Man, a couple of swings here or there, and I would have 21 majors.' But he somehow managed to just let it happen, no big deal, I'm moving on."

Federer's latest defeat came in the gold medal match at the Olympics against Andy Murray, who won in three convincing sets and ended what will likely be Federer's best chance to win a gold medal in singles (he'll turn 35 during the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio).

"Today someone asked me, do you have to win the U.S. Open to put the Olympic disappointment behind you? I was like, 'Are you for real?'" Federer said. "I'm so happy I got the medal. I genuinely believe it was the best result I could have done, Murray was better than me, that's it, boom, I go on vacation."

How did Federer become this way? He says it wasn't winning that did it. No, it was the realization that petulance and a lack of regard for his career and his opponentsóand the unhappiness that came with itówere holding him back. He recalled one match in 1999 in Miami, where he received a wild card less than a year after he had won the Orange Bowl and became the top-ranked junior in the world.

"I almost have to apologize for this," Federer said. "I got on court and I was like, 'I hate this sport, I cannot play.' And I lost like 7-5, 7-6 and I was not even trying." (Let the record reflect the accuracy of his memory: He lost 7-5, 7-6(4) to Kenneth Carlsen.)

"I hated practice, couldn't stand some matches: 'Oh my god, look at this guy, he only rolls the ball into play, or he only goes for broke, I can't stand this, today I'm not in the mood.' I went through all of that so much early on, that I think this is why I'm happy," Federer said. "Crumbling under the pressure was good for me."

After a near-perfect summer, Federer says he's at the happiest point of his career. His record of 17 major titles seems out of reach for anyone else; so does his most recent record, for most weeks at No. 1 (293 and counting). Traveling with his wife, Mirka, and twin daughters is easier now, as the twins have long since learned to sleep through the night and no longer wear diapers. At the end of this season, Federer is planning an exhibition tour through South America, where he has never played as a pro.

"It's such a big market and they love sports so much, this is an incredible trip for me," he said. "I said OK, I'll do four, five, potentially six exhibitions, a lot of tennis."

Federer has already played a lot this year, 63 matches in all. He doesn't expect to keep up that paceó"I have family, I need to be able to plan long term," he saidóbut he doesn't intend to slow down very much, either, or love the game any less.

"I think actually maybe the next few years are going to be more enjoyable than the last couple," he said.

Source: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...YWORDS=federer
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Old 08-27-2012, 06:10 PM   #1812
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Federer on Tennis and Everything Else

By Tom Perrotta



Roger Federer, the worldís No. 1 tennis player, spoke with The Wall Street Journal on Saturday before the start of the U.S. Open.

All great players seem to have this period in their careers where they hate tennis, or struggle with being No. 1. You always seem happy. How is this?

For me, it was always exciting being around the top. It doesnít matter if it was top 10, or five or three or one. For me, the fact never changed that I love being in that position.

For me, the hard part I guess is why I embrace No. 1 so much. Itís because I had a hard time in the beginning. I remember, I almost have to apologize for this: I won the Orange Bowl back in 1998, came to Miami and got the wild card into the Masters 1000, the Super 9 back then. I got on court and I was like, ĎI hate this sport, I cannot play.í And I lost like 7-5, 7-6, and I was not even trying. And I would go through such fluctuations of emotions. I hated practice, couldnít stand some matches: ĎOh my god, look at this guy, he only rolls the ball into play, or he only goes for broke, I canít stand this, today Iím not in the mood.í So I think I went through all of that so much early on. That I think this is why Iím happy.

I was talented. People were going to say I was going to be world No. 1 and a Grand Slam champion or a future Sampras ó fine. But having to deal with all of it and actually crumbling under the pressure was good for me. Thatís why Iím so impressed by the Novaks and the Murrays and the Nadals. I donít really remember any long letdowns. Maybe they had them when they were younger ó I donít remember them that much ó but they were such great teenagers. I did [well] too, but either I was great, or I was awful. So for me, being No. 1 is like, how can you not enjoy this?

Was that just being young and immature?

Maybe I also had an ideal of, itís always going to be center court, itís always going to be 50,000 people and youíre always going to win.

So you expected things to come easilyÖ

And they donít at all. Thereís a lot of hard work behind that.

Youíve had some tough losses in the last few years: two against Djokovic here with match points, another at Wimbledon against Tsonga when you were up two sets. You seem to put those behind you pretty easily. How?

For me, the last thing I want to happen is that it drains me. Today, someone asked me, ĎDo you have to win the U.S. Open to put the Olympic disappointment behind you?í I was like, ĎAre you for real?í The Olympic disappointment? Iím so happy I got the medal. I genuinely believe it was the best result I could have done, Murray was better than me, thatís it, boom, I go on vacation, take a few days off, pack for another few months on tour and itís behind me. And I look back with incredible pride having gotten the medal for Switzerland and an amazing summer.

Letís not kid ourselves: Iím doing just fine. Iím doing great right now. Letís not go into the whole negative part. Iím a very positive thinker, and I think that is what helps me the most in those difficult moments.

Is that something youíve had to learn to do, or have you always been that way?

I think it comes naturally, but itís important also to be realistic at times ó not just say everything is great. Not everything is great always, Iím aware of that. And thatís why I have to question myself at the best of times. I question myself when things are not going so great. I question myself: ĎHow could we do better planning, practice, vacationing, organization? What can be improved?í Without being nuts about it, but thereís always little things you can improve. In some ways, you have to be almost a perfectionist a little bit, and I try to be that, but in a natural way and not a crazy, thought-through way.

Your health has been incredible over the years. You hear some players say itís a gift, just how you are, graceful and all. How much is that and how much is hard work?

Thatís just not true. No doubt about it, maybe a little luck in the beginning of a career. I saw a girl today, her foot buckled, and just like that you might have to have reconstruction and who knows how your careerís going to end up then. I think you need a little bit of luck when youíre an amateur and still unprofessional, really, or just trying to do it, because maybe that can lead to more injuries later on in your life. But I think 80% of the guys donít have that happening to them.

And then itís about dealing with how much energy do you have, how do you practice, who do you surround yourself with ó all these things come into play. How much you listen to your body, can you say no to certain money offers that are going to carry you throughout the world to make you go I-donít-know-where to play, which you shouldnít be doing. Iíve never had a problem saying no. Iíve left so much stuff on the table, itís mind boggling. But I just said, ĎI am looking at the long term.í If you look at the short term, you will make mistakes. I said, ĎI have to have short-term goals, but Iím looking at the long-term plan, and that has served me really well over the years.í

How did you come to manage playing and doing what it takes to be you while having twin daughters?

Learn by doing, great wife, great set up ó just trying to deal with it as well as you can, seeing if you can combine the two together. Is it better for Mirka to stay home or not? That was a big question for a long period of time. The moment they donít feel well, you think youíve done something awfully wrong, but itís normal for kids to get sick. But we blame it maybe on other things: ĎHow could that happen? We tried everything to not make it happen.í But itís just normal, and of course you panic, of course you try to manage it.

Of course itís cost me a lot of sleep, and maybe because of those times, maybe I did lose the occasional match more. But who cares? Who cares? I tried, and Iím still playing great. Iím playing much better than I thought I would ó other guys are in their prime right now, and Iím world No. 1, so I guess I did some things right.

Now here I am. I have two wonderful kids, an incredible wife and itís just great. I feel very fortunate that Iím going through this part of my life now, that I can enjoy it so much more. Itís not just only about hitting forehands and backhands.

Would you and Mirka like to have more kids?

I was so happy when we had two right at once. I couldnít believe it that it was twins. I guess it was a shock, but it was a positive one. I was like, ĎWow, I donít know much about twins, honestly,í so youíre like, what does that mean? How are they going to be? And now I see how they play together, itís just the best. So now weíll see how it goes. Probably talk about it again next year, see how things are. We wanted to get them out of the nappies. Now finally itís calming down, it seems like.

Have they picked up rackets yet?

Yeah, but nothing significant. I just hope they get into sports eventually. I think thatíd be great. Itís a great lifestyle ó a good learning process.

How much does Mirka sacrifice to make all this happen?

Itís all me for her. I admire her every day that she is willing to do this. I tell her, ĎI think you should take a week here or a week there, take care of yourself a bit more, because you are putting in an incredible amount of work here.í But she says, ĎLook, Iím not happy when youíre not around.í And thatís as good as it gets for me, and Iím obviously also not the same person when she and the kids are not around. So we try to manage it. Itís good to have a balance. We try to make it work that we have time by ourselves, time with the family, time with our friends in this busy, busy life that we live.

How much have you been apart?

The last three years, maybe three weeks, maybe four? Really not much, so I consider myself so, so fortunate that thatís the case. And of course that we have the means to make it work with the girls, so Iím happy and feel fortunate.

What goals are left for you?

In tennis thereís many things you want to do again and achieve, and play for as long as you can. Maybe do something youíve never done before. I donít know what that could be right now, but maybe thereís things like that.

And then as excited as I am about whatís to come in the next five years, say, of tennis, Iím just as excited about whatís to come afterward. I think the mix is really a good one for me right now. Iím not worried to stop, but I donít want to stop. I really want to push forward and play more, keep on playing, not play more than the 21 tournaments that Iím already doing, just maintaining it and enjoying it, doing the utmost I can. Itís a really good time in my life right now.

And it feels like also the media room has calmed down a little bit where itís not like, ĎWhen are you going to leave? Youíve achieved everything, get out,í that kind of thing. I feel like many people now want to see me. I always knew it would kind of come around, and I think actually maybe the next few years are going to be more enjoyable than the last couple.

What is the plan after this? Are you going to, say, play doubles until age 39?

No, no, no, no. I guess, when youíre done, youíre done.

I think itís nice that we have a senior tour in place, not that I want to play that, but I think itís nice for the afterlife to have a little slight option if you want to do that a little bit from time to time to see your old buddies that you saw on tour so often ó thatís nice.

But Iíve always been interested in some sort of a business. I signed many long-term deals as well with my great partners I have, so thatís going to continue. Iíll have more time for my foundation, and the kids are going to go to school eventually. It depends on how flexible we are for the traveling part still. I can never sit still with my wife and my kids, but itís nice also to settle a little bit eventually. So Iím definitely looking forward to that, growing up in Switzerland, having a really nice time over there.

What advice would you give to someone who is trying to be you? A 15- or 16-year-old, coming up in tennis?

Hard work will be rewarded, number one. Number two, youíre going to have your ups and downs, like I explained. Learn from those. Number three, love what youíre doing, feel fortunate that you actually do have the opportunity to do what youíre doing, because many other players, people, kids would like to be in your situation. Donít forget how fortunate you really are. And then just really enjoy, go out there and have fun. Have a blast.

Source: http://blogs.wsj.com/dailyfix/2012/0...erything-else/
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Old 08-28-2012, 03:19 PM   #1813
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Old 08-29-2012, 01:20 PM   #1814
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eden View Post
There's no shortage of emotional baggage in elite tennis. Overzealous parents. Towering egos. Self-righteousness. Persecution complexes. A tendency to fixate on absurd grievances. The sport beats up the body and tortures the soul, makes rational people scream, swear and smash rackets into the ground. All great players, it seems, hate it at one time or another, even despise it—just ask John McEnroe or Andre Agassi.

And then there's Roger Federer, whose talent and temperament have produced something tennis has never seen: an eternally happy mega star.

"It's true," Federer said in an interview late Saturday afternoon in the garden behind Arthur Ashe Stadium, after nearly 2Ĺ hours of news conferences, radio interviews, television interviews, pictures and autographs, enough attention and talking to give any man a headache and laryngitis (he was still smiling and sounded fine). "I'm a very positive thinker, and I think that is what helps me the most in difficult moments."
I love this part : so true

I think people who criticize Fed don't realize how unbelievable it is to be like that
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Old 09-02-2012, 10:37 PM   #1815
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Nice article from Australian newspaper
Quote:
Peter Carter: The coach who moulded Roger Federer

* by: Will Swanton
* From: The Australian
* September 01, 2012 12:00AM


BOB and Diana Carter decline to be photographed.

Unassuming and dignified, they expect the story to be focused elsewhere. Originally, they are right. The intrusion is designed to explain Roger Federer's heavy heart at the Olympics and US Open. To illustrate the thoughtfulness and decency of one of the world's greatest athletes on the 10-year anniversary of the death of his most influential coach.

To pay tribute to the impact on Federer's retro and flawless technique of his late Australian mentor, Peter Carter, and demonstrate how the shock of attending Carter's funeral a decade ago in Basel, Switzerland, triggered the quiet resolve and inoffensive arrogance behind a tennis career beyond compare.

But then we spend two hours in the home of Bob and Diana at Nuriootpa, outside Adelaide, flicking through photo albums, shedding tears for their son, shaking from the enormity of their memories, and all previous plans are shelved.
The most influential people in Sport

Yes, Federer is peerless. Yes, Peter Carter, who began coaching the Swiss star as a nine-year-old and took him to the brink of international stardom, was abundantly influential, personally and professionally, until fate intervened in the most callous and cruel fashion. But only when you are actually sitting in the presence of these people can you view the full and unedited picture.

Bob and Diana speak with trembling emotion and affection about their boy, and they have nothing but praise for the still-supportive and generous Federer. But before the end of the first round of coffees, sandwiches and biscuits from Diana, does your heart bleed for them.

"It never gets any easier," Bob says. "Never."

August sends a shiver down their spines. It is a decade since Peter was killed at the age of 37 in a car crash in South Africa. August 1 was the day he died. August 9 was his birthday. Federer turned 31 a day earlier.

Bob and Diana went through their own private ritual on August 1 to honour a son who is remembered as an unfailingly upright and caring individual. From the testimonies of all those who crossed paths with Carter as a player and/or sculptor of the pre-teenage and teenage Federer, moulding and shaping him from the impressionable ages of nine to 18, the picture is painted of a man with nothing but decent bones in his body.

"I think a lot of people did like him," Bob says. "He was a pretty easy bloke to get along with and I'm ... " A pause.

" ... I'm proud of him for that. Ah, dear. It's a tough old time."

August 1, 2002: Carter was a passenger in a Land Rover near Kruger National Park. Three reasons for the trip. A belated honeymoon with his wife, Silvia von Arx, tied to a celebration for her having beaten cancer. July 31 was her birthday. She was travelling in the car ahead of Carter's vehicle, which swerved off the road to avoid a head-on collision with a min-van, barrelling through the railing of a bridge and plummeting into a river bed, landing on its roof.

The police statement read: "Carter and the driver, a South African, were killed instantly when the roof of their vehicle was crushed."

Federer was in Toronto, Canada, for a tournament. Informed that night, he left his hotel and ran through the streets, bawling and hysterical. He had recommended South Africa as the holiday location.

"I'm very shocked and very sad," he said. "Peter was a very close friend of mine. I was with him every day when I was a boy. Peter was very calm but he was funny with a typical Australian sense of humour. I can never thank him enough for everything he gave me.

"Thanks to him I have my entire technique and coolness. He wasn't my first coach, but he was my real coach. He knew me and my game and he always knew what was good for me."

Federer, a Catholic, returned to Basel to attend the funeral at the centuries-old St Leonhard's Church. The same clergyman had married Peter and Silvia at the same parish a year ago.

According to Federer's mother, Lynette, the impact on him was profound. The first time he dealt with the death of someone close. "Any defeat in tennis is nothing compared to such a moment," Federer said.

Respected coach and former player Darren Cahill grew up with Carter. Born and bred in Adelaide.

"Not a day has gone by in the last 10 years that I haven't thought about Carts," Cahill says. "He was a loyal mate. A guy you could count on for clear and fearless advice, but he tended to play it a bit carefully when it came to things involving him. He knew it and played up to it, leaving us in fits of laughter most of the time, which was typical Peter.

"He was the guy who would water-ski with his ears plugged up for fear of busting an eardrum only to emerge from the water after a fall with two busted eardrums and water gushing out of his nostrils, all with a smile on his face.

"I'd like to think he was a part of my family but the simple fact was that most families that spent time with him adopted him as one of their own. Being a country boy that played great tennis, he spent most of his time away from home in the city chasing his dreams on the tennis court.

"He played a big part in many people's lives and for those of us, the lucky ones, that shared his friendship, he is still terribly missed."

After his coach's funeral, Federer played a Davis Cup match against Morocco with 'CARTER' stamped on the back of his shirt. It was late 2002 and he was yet to win a major. He told his Swiss teammates in Casablanca: "We must win this for Peter. We must." A switch was flicked. This was the turning point of his career.

Steeled with determination, he fell into an on-court trance, the calculated cool of an assassin. Previous attempts to temper his rage had made him almost comatose on the court. Now he found the perfect brew of inner fire and outer peace. He must win for Carter.

The Moroccan duo of Younes el Aynaoui and Hicham Arazi were eminently capable but Federer caned them both. Identical scorelines: 6-3 6-2 6-1. The count-down was on. He used to think tennis was life and death. Proof had arisen to the contrary and Casablanca became the psychological blueprint for the rest of his playing days.

He won his next Wimbledon in the same trance-like state to begin his history march.

"I can't say that it did me good," Federer said of Carter's funeral. "But I was close to him in thought once again and I could say goodbye in a dignified setting. I felt somewhat better, especially in matters concerning tennis."

"I think something might have hit him then," Diana says.

"I'm sure of it," says Bob.

Carter met Federer when he accepted a coaching job at the T.C. Old Boys Club in Basel. Lynette Federer introduced her nine-year-old son with three infamous words: "This is Roger."

Carter telephoned Bob and Diana that night and told them: "Have I got a good one here." Federer was a hot-tempered teenager and Carter became his voice of reason.

Federer was racked with self-doubt and Carter engendered faith. Federer would hide under the umpire's chair and cry after losses, but Carter kept telling him that greatness might just be possible. The only person who beat Federer was Federer.

From that flawless Davis Cup fixture in Casablanca, few people beat him again. The rest is history and lore and legend. Federer has 17 grand slam titles, the world No 1 ranking, a place in sporting immortality.

The 18th of Federer's 75 tour titles was significant for the date it was achieved: August 1, 2004. Wearing a black shirt, serene and pumped to the eyeballs because both were now possible, he monstered Andy Roddick in straight sets and declared: "I dedicate this to Peter - and Peter alone."

The trust and connection had been so strong that a 19-year-old Federer refused to play Davis Cup for Switzerland unless Carter replaced Jakob Hlasek as captain. It seemed impossible. Carter was Australian. Regardless, Federer received his wish. "They were more than coach and pupil," Bob says. "Wouldn't it have been wonderful if Peter had been here to see everything Roger has done since."

Carter's job coaching the young Federer totally consumed him, according to Cahill.

"He knew what he had in his hands," says Cahill. "He knew the kid was pretty special. He also knew the enormous responsibility that came with the job.

"Roger's demand for Carts to be the unofficial Swiss Davis Cup captain was a telling and true reflection of the bond between the two.

"In the tennis world, an Aussie guy running the Swiss Davis Cup team, well that stuff never happened. It was a huge feather in Peter's cap and he was quite humbled by it. We were all incredibly proud of him. Quite honestly, he was the Rod Laver of mates."

Bob and Diana Carter burned the midnight oil to watch Federer win Wimbledon this year. Ditto for his Olympic campaign.

"Roger is just a very decent human being," Bob said.

Every December, an email from Federer arrives with flight details, accommodation bookings and courtesy car arrangements for the Australian Open. Bob and Diana have been Federer's guests of honour at Melbourne Park every year since 2005. All expenses are taken care of. They sit in Federer's box, stay at his hotel, attend the celebration and commiseration parties. And they talk about Peter.

"We're always very pleased to be there," Bob says. "Every year we go at his cost, it's just amazing, plane fares and courtesy cars. He really looks after us. I hope he knows how much we appreciate that. He used to have us there for two weeks, but we were stuffed! It was so tiring we could hardly get home. We just go for the finals now."

Federer's everlasting embrace of Bob and Diana began at a Davis Cup match between Australia and Switzerland in Melbourne in August, 2003. The tie was played in Peter's honour; Bob and Diana were courtside.

"It was the first time we'd seen Roger after Peter's death and the funeral," Bob says. "We had only met him once, when he was 17. That Davis Cup weekend was very, very emotional because it was when we really got to know Roger. He took us into an empty room, on our own, and we had a really good and long talk.

"That's where he got to know us, too. We told him ... we said to him, Roger, just do the best you can, mate. Peter always thought the world of you. He thought you might be something pretty special.

"It was good for all of us. Roger was able to get all the emotion of Peter's death out and we were able to do the same. Since then, the relationship we've had with Roger has helped us a lot.

"It was difficult to talk to him in the beginning, difficult for everyone, but we were all able to say the things we really wanted to say. It has been wonderful to be able to stay in touch with him. We've taken a lot of joy from everything he has achieved."
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