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Old 06-06-2009, 12:13 PM   #256
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Default Re: Roger news and articles

At French Open, Federer Makes Case for Greatness


A win at the French Open would give Roger Federer a career Grand Slam.

By CHRISTOPHER CLAREY

June 5, 2009

PARIS — Men without any Grand Slam singles titles have made Roger Federer work long and hard here for the chance to win his 14th and for the chance to stake a claim to being the greatest tennis player ever.

After Jose Acasuso and Tommy Haas, the latest would-be spoiler at this unpredictable French Open was Juan Martín del Potro, a fast-rising Argentine seven years younger and five inches taller than Federer.

Del Potro, seeded fifth at age 20, frequently made Federer look underpowered and overwhelmed in their semifinal on Friday. But Federer, lunging into the corners, still found a way to solve the big riddle: employing just about every tool on his Swiss army knife of a game to break del Potro’s rhythm, including drop shots in abundance.

After five sets and 3 hours 29 minutes, Federer leaned on the net looking as relieved as he was content after his 3-6, 7-6 (2), 2-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory. Now, his opponents in Sunday’s final will be Robin Soderling of Sweden and Pete Sampras.

Sampras played and won his last tournament at the 2002 United States Open and holds the record with 14 major singles titles.

“It’s always fun to see people try to break records,” said Paul Annacone, Sampras’s longtime coach, in a telephone interview from London on Friday. “Obviously, I didn’t think Pete’s record would be caught so quickly. But Roger has just had such an amazing run. He’s such a class act, and it couldn’t happen to a better guy.”

Annacone said that view is shared by Sampras, who has become friendly with Federer in retirement through playing exhibitions. “I talked with Pete two weeks ago in L.A., and he said he didn’t think the record would be caught that quickly either, but he said, ‘Roger is a great guy and great player, so hats off if he gets there and passes it because I know how hard it was to do.’ ”

If Federer beats Soderling, he will have accomplished one feat that Sampras never quite managed: a complete set of Grand Slam singles titles. Sampras, despite occasional triumphs on clay elsewhere, advanced to only one semifinal at the French Open and never reached the final.

This will be Federer’s fourth straight final in Paris and the first in which he will not have to worry about Rafael Nadal’s left-handed topspin forehand kicking high to Federer’s one-handed backhand.

“Maybe you’ll miss him, but not me,” Federer said to reporters. “I’ve played him 20 times. It’s nice to play someone else, too. I know that I’ll be playing him plenty more times in the future.”

Without Nadal, Federer might already have won multiple titles in Paris, but without Federer, Nadal might already have won Wimbledon more than once. Playing the game of what-if in tennis is diverting but far from conclusive, which is also true of comparing greatness across eras.

“I think if he wins, you’d have to say Federer’s record is the greatest of the Open era,” said Brad Gilbert, the American commentator and coach. “But the greatest of all time? I really don’t think you can say that. Too much has changed to really compare.”

The Open era began in 1968 and allowed professionals to compete without restrictions in the four Grand Slam tournaments, which had been open only to amateurs, or at least to those who were able to hide their tennis revenue.

In the two decades after World War II, many top amateurs made their names and then quickly turned professional to join barnstorming tours like those run by the American star Jack Kramer. The result was that until 1968 very few players had the opportunity to amass large numbers of Grand Slam singles titles, with Roy Emerson of Australia, who remained amateur, being one of the exceptions by winning 12 over all.

To cite just two examples, Pancho Gonzalez of the United States and Lew Hoad of Australia, who both make many experts’ lists of greatest players, had brief amateur careers. Gonzalez won just two United States Open singles titles; Hoad won four major singles titles.

Rod Laver, the Australian left-hander nicknamed Rocket, is often considered the greatest player because he was the only man to complete the Grand Slam twice by winning all four major singles titles in the same calendar year. Laver did it in 1962 as an amateur and in 1969 as a professional.

He won 11 major singles titles in all but was ineligible to play them as a professional from 1963 to 1967. Many argue that Laver would ultimately have won far more than 14 if he had been eligible to play Grand Slam events during that five-year period, but the flip side is that he would have faced stiffer competition if other professional stars had also been eligible.

“Laver and those guys weren’t going for any record,” Gilbert said. “They didn’t know any record existed like Grand Slams in a career. It didn’t mean anything to them.”

Even in the professional era, there are pitfalls to comparisons, because the Australian Open was once undervalued and regularly snubbed by leading players because of logistics and its Christmas-holiday time slot. Bjorn Borg, the five-time Wimbledon champion and six-time French Open champion, played the Australian only once in his career, losing in the third round in 1974. Jimmy Connors played it twice, winning in 1974.

Sampras played it 11 times, winning it twice. Andre Agassi, Sampras’s longtime American rival, played it nine times and won it on four occasions. Federer has played it 10 consecutive times and won it three times.

The comparison game is indeed tricky, and it also bears mentioning that the Davis Cup, the men’s team competition that began in 1900, was long considered a must for a great tennis player. Federer has yet to win it for Switzerland while Sampras won it twice for the United States.

What is clear is that if Federer wins on Sunday, he will belong on every short list of Grand Slam tennis greatness. Only five men have won all four major singles titles during their careers: Fred Perry of Britain, Don Budge of the United States, Emerson, Laver and Agassi. Budge and Laver are the only men to have completed true Grand Slams, and Agassi is the only man to have won his titles on three different surfaces, because he played after the Australian Open and the United States Open switched from grass to hardcourts.

If Federer wins, his achievement at all four majors will be without equivalent. He has won three titles and reached four finals in Australia. He has reached the final four times in Paris. He has won five titles and reached six finals at Wimbledon. And he has taken five titles at the United States Open.

He has achieved all this in a seven-year span and is still just 27.

“It is amazing,” Annacone said. “If he wins in Paris and someone tells me he’s the greatest ever, I can totally understand why they would say that. But the most exciting part is it’s still an unfinished book. Let’s enjoy the rest of the book.”

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/06/sp...ederer.html?em
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Old 06-06-2009, 12:34 PM   #257
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great article doris
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Old 06-06-2009, 02:18 PM   #258
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omg... so much pressure they put on poor rog...


French Open - Agassi: Win would make Fed the best

Roger Federer will undoubtedly become the greatest tennis player to have graced the sport if he wins the French Open, according to Andre Agassi.

Agassi, one of only five men to have achieved the career grand slam, said he expected Federer to join the select club by beating Sweden's Robin Soderling in the Roland Garros final.

"It ends the discussion of where he fits in the history of the game," the American said during a visit to Roland Garros with his wife Steffi Graf.

"If it wasn't for (four-times champion Rafael) Nadal, he probably would have won a handful of these things, so nobody would underestimate where he deserves to fit in this game.

"This is going to mean so much to him, to have that hole filled. It's something he's going to earn tomorrow and I think it will change his life."

If Federer completes the feat, he will join Don Budge, Fred Perry, Roy Emerson, Rod Laver and Agassi as the men who have won all four majors.

It will also give Federer a record-equalling 14th grand slam crown, putting him level with Pete Sampras.

Agassi said winning the Musketeers' Cup in 1999 defined his life, even though he won seven other major trophies during his career.

"It changed my career and as result my life," he said.

"It's probably the most profound moment in my career, getting over obstacles and doubts I had coming to win here," said Agassi, who was beaten in two finals before he completed his collection.

"Tomorrow there's a chance to see history and I think Roger being the second best clay courter over the last five years, earning a spot in the final four different times, deserves this more than I did.

"It would be privilege for the game to see history being made and in some ways it feels like destiny for him and it's going to be pretty exciting.

"He's extraordinarily talented and talk about grace on court, watching him play is something special to see and if he does it tomorrow, he'll know what an accomplishment it was."

if u remember, henman said the same few days ago
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Old 06-06-2009, 02:26 PM   #259
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Federer Rallies Past del Potro in French Open Semifinals
Looking for Career Grand Slam, Swiss Player to Take On Upstart Soderling


By HOWARD FENDRICH
The Associated Press
Friday, June 5, 2009; 6:04 PM

PARIS -- Fresh off a ragged, rugged, five-set French Open semifinal victory Friday, Roger Federer was leaving for the night when a dozen or so fans drew his attention.

They wanted photos and autographs, and Federer obliged, signing hats, a poster, even one guy's white polo shirt. As Federer ambled off, a man shouted: "Win on Sunday! Please!"

Pausing for a moment before sliding into a car, Federer turned and, with a quick wave of his skilled right arm, replied, "OK." Ah, if only it were that simple. For all his accomplishments, for all his trophies and records, Federer now wants - needs? - to do something he never has: win a final at Roland Garros.

By coming back to beat No. 5-seeded Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina 3-6, 7-6 (2), 2-6, 6-1, 6-4, Federer moved within one victory of his first French Open championship - and of so much more.

If he can beat No. 23 Robin Soderling of Sweden on Sunday, Federer also will tie Pete Sampras' career mark of 14 Grand Slam singles titles. And he will become only the sixth man with a career Grand Slam, at least one title from each of tennis' four majors.

"There's still one more step," Federer said.

He's come exactly this close in the past, losing each of the past three French Open finals to Rafael Nadal, along with a semifinal four years ago. But this time, Nadal is not around to torment him, having been stunned by Soderling in the fourth round.

"Obviously," Federer said, "it's nice to see someone else for a change."

Since the start of the 2005 French Open, Federer is 0-4 against Nadal at Roland Garros, 29-0 against everyone else. Similarly, over the course of his career, Federer is 2-5 against Nadal in Grand Slam finals, 11-0 against all other opponents.

Federer just so happens to have a 9-0 career record against Soderling, who will be playing in his first Grand Slam final. He'd never been past the third round in 21 previous majors but reeled off the last five games of a 6-3, 7-5, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4 victory over No. 12 Fernando Gonzalez of Chile in Friday's first semifinal.

Does Soderling believe he has a chance against Federer?

"He's going to be the favorite, by far," the big-serving Soderling said. "But I think Nadal was the favorite against me as well."

Soderling's first Grand Slam championship match will be Federer's 19th, matching Ivan Lendl's record, and the Swiss star's 15th in the past 16 major tournaments.

Then again, Federer held similar edges in experience and head-to-head matchups against del Potro, a 20-year-old playing in his first major semifinal. Federer was in his 20th consecutive Grand Slam semifinal - double the second-longest streak any man compiled - and had won all 12 previous sets across five matches with del Potro.

Yet early on, the 6-foot-6 del Potro played fantastically, using his long legs to speed around the court and his long arms to whip winners punctuated by loud grunts.

"He came out of the blocks really strong," Federer said.

Federer did not, even slapping himself in the face after one poorly executed point. Five miscues by a suddenly tight del Potro in the tiebreaker ceded the second set, and it took Federer 2 1/2 hours to convert a break point.
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When he did, it put Federer ahead 3-1 in the fourth set and really got him going. He broke del Potro twice more to level things at two sets apiece.

"A five-set match is a test," Federer said.

The light was fading, the wind was swirling, and the temperature dipped below 60 degrees. Not surprisingly, Federer dealt with the conditions better than del Potro.

"That match escaped me," a subdued del Potro said. "I really wanted to be in that final, and now I'm going to have to watch it on TV."

After double-faulting to hand Federer a 4-3 lead, del Potro trudged to the sideline with head bowed, while many spectators rose to yell, applaud and serenade their man: "Roh-zher! Roh-zher!"

Three games later, Federer served it out, closing with consecutive forehand winners. He whirled around and glanced at the guest box - at his pregnant wife, at his parents, at pal Anna Wintour, Vogue's editor-in-chief - then walked to the net, placed both hands on the tape and leaned over, looking at the clay court that has bedeviled him in the past.

Surely he was thinking: One more to go. One more to go.

"It feels great coming through tough matches like this," said Federer, who also needed five sets to get past Tommy Haas in the fourth round. "It's more emotional. It's more satisfaction."

Del Potro threw an arm around Federer and told him, "Everybody wants you to lift the trophy."

Well, certainly not Soderling. He and Gonzalez both were in their first French Open semifinal, and you could tell.

At the outset, Gonzalez's game was as shaky as his voice had been during a prematch TV interview. Soderling seemed tense, too, facing three break points over his first two service games.

But then Soderling began looking a lot more like the man who upset Nadal, winning 31 of the next 38 points on his serve. When Soderling eventually faced another break point, in the second set's 10th game, he smacked a 133 mph ace.

Down 2-0 in sets, Gonzalez did not wilt. Instead, Soderling faltered, getting broken in the last game of each of the next two sets. In the fourth, Gonzalez lost an argument over a line call and sat on the court to wipe away the shot's mark in the clay, leaving the back of his black shorts smeared with dirt.

Gonzalez went up 3-0, then 4-1 in the fifth set, and would say: "I really thought I was going to win."

Turned out he wouldn't win another game.

"Didn't look good," Soderling said. "I just tried harder, and all of a sudden, it all worked again."

Sounds easy enough. With six-time French Open champion Bjorn Borg, a fellow Swede, watching from the front row, Soderling hit one last forehand winner - his 31st - to stretch his career-best winning streak to nine matches. Soderling dropped to his knees and folded his body forward, covering his face with both fists.

"The way he came through today was impressive," Federer said. "He's playing the tennis of his life."

Asked if he'll miss seeing Nadal across the net Sunday, Federer smiled.

---------------

source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...63.html?sub=AR
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Old 06-06-2009, 03:56 PM   #260
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Default Re: Roger news and articles

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Originally Posted by Mrs. B View Post
"That match escaped me," a subdued del Potro said. "I really wanted to be in that final, and now I'm going to have to watch it on TV."
DelPo

Quote:
Del Potro threw an arm around Federer and told him, "Everybody wants you to lift the trophy."
So that's what he said


Quote:
Asked if he'll miss seeing Nadal across the net Sunday, Federer smiled.
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Old 06-06-2009, 04:02 PM   #261
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GOD Please Bless Roger play his BEST tennis tomorrow!!

PLease my LORD!!!!!!!!!!!

ALLEZZZZZZZZZZZZZ Roger!!!!!!!!
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Old 06-06-2009, 04:07 PM   #262
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Originally Posted by SUKTUEN View Post
GOD Please Bless Roger play his BEST tennis tomorrow!!

PLease my LORD!!!!!!!!!!!

ALLEZZZZZZZZZZZZZ Roger!!!!!!!!
"you must spread reputation to give SUKTUEN more points,..blalba "

GOOO !!!
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Old 06-06-2009, 04:16 PM   #263
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"you must spread reputation to give SUKTUEN more points,..blalba "

GOOO !!!
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Old 06-06-2009, 06:16 PM   #264
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oh god i can't read these articles

TOO MUCH PRESSURE
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Old 06-06-2009, 07:09 PM   #265
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oh god i can't read these articles

TOO MUCH PRESSURE
I love how we feel the pressure even though its roger that's playing. Don't worry, everything will be fine.
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Old 06-06-2009, 07:41 PM   #266
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Hopefully Roger is tuning out the media and ignoring everything. I heard he chose not to do a pre-final interview. Smart man.
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Old 06-06-2009, 08:03 PM   #267
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Default Re: Roger news and articles

Apparently roger's advice helped Kuznetsova

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/tennis/8087350.stm

And Kuznetsova, who moved to Spain as a 13-year-old, said that Federer had helped by backing her return to Russia.

Kuznetsova revealed: "He said - 'Look you can only depend on yourself. You can control it. If you can concentrate and live in Moscow, do this.'"


Roger
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Old 06-06-2009, 09:12 PM   #268
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Originally Posted by icedevil0289 View Post
I love how we feel the pressure even though its roger that's playing. Don't worry, everything will be fine.


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Originally Posted by icedevil0289 View Post
Apparently roger's advice helped Kuznetsova

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/tennis/8087350.stm

And Kuznetsova, who moved to Spain as a 13-year-old, said that Federer had helped by backing her return to Russia.

Kuznetsova revealed: "He said - 'Look you can only depend on yourself. You can control it. If you can concentrate and live in Moscow, do this.'"


Roger
Aw. Maybe that's one of the reasons she's a Roger fangirl? I remember Ana Ivanovic also saying Roger gave her advice, which really helped. (Though, it was more him saying something really obvious to her, something which everyone had been telling her, but because it was Roger, she really listened. )

Roger should give Dinara some advice, too. She could really use it.
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Old 06-06-2009, 09:24 PM   #269
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Default Re: Roger news and articles

ive read alot of ana ivanovic interviews on serbian newspaper and she always says the best for roger. ^^
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Old 06-06-2009, 09:25 PM   #270
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Hopefully Roger is tuning out the media and ignoring everything. I heard he chose not to do a pre-final interview. Smart man.

Really? I'm v glad to hear that. Who needs the media anyhow?
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