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Old 01-16-2010, 09:08 AM   #886
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FEDERER TO STAR IN HAITI FUNDRAISERS

By Matt Somerford, Press Association Sport, Melbourne

World number one Roger Federer and other leading tennis players will play a series of exhibition games on the eve of the Australian Open to raise funds for the victims of the Haiti earthquake.

Federer made the announcement on Saturday with players set to play doubles matches on Sunday at Melbourne Park.

"I had the idea that we could do something, you know, to help Haiti after the tragic earthquakes," the Swiss said.

"So I spoke to some other top players. They all said 'yes', we should do something.

"So we're going to play doubles or mixed doubles tomorrow, also with top women's players (and) try to fill up the stadium.

"I think there will be a donation at the door of Aus$10 to come and see us play.

"I think it is something as a tennis family we're very happy to do.

"I know it's no the eve of the first grand slam of the season, so it's for some not so easy maybe to mentally separate, but I think it's a great initiative."

Haiti was devastated by Tuesday's earthquake, measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale, and the Red Cross has estimated the death toll as being between 45,000 and 50,000 but it is thought millions more have been injured, orphaned or made homeless.
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Old 01-16-2010, 09:11 AM   #887
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On Roger's facebook

Roger Federer Tomorrow at 2pm, with other top players, we are going to have a fun exo at Melbourne Park to help raise monies for relief efforts in Haiti from the devastating Earthquake. Entry fee is a minimum donation of $10. Should be fun and its for a great cause. Hope to see some of you there!
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Old 01-16-2010, 09:38 AM   #888
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An interview with:

ROGER FEDERER


January 16, 2010

Q. Can you tell us more about what you're doing for the people of Haiti tomorrow.

ROGER FEDERER: I had the idea that we could do something, you know, to help Haiti after the tragic earthquake. So I spoke to some other top players. I got some connections, you know (smiling). They all said, Yes, we should do something.

So we're going to play doubles or mixed doubles tomorrow, also with top women's players, try to fill the stadium. This is where you guys can help. Maybe put it out in the press. I think there will be a donation at the door of $10 to come and see us play.

I think it's something as a tennis family we're very happy to do. I know it's on the eve of the first Grand Slam of the season, so it's for some not so easy maybe mentally to separate, you know, a few things. But I think it's a great initiative.

Happy we can go through it, have some fun tomorrow. Maybe nice day also for families to come and see some top players play.


Q. Chosen your partner yet?

ROGER FEDERER: I haven't chosen yet. I'll pick wisely (smiling).


Q. How has being a father affected your preparation?

ROGER FEDERER: It's been good. Flight to Australia was good. I was surprised. I was expecting much worse. The girls are feeling good. Mirka is doing well, too. You know, if they're all doing well, I'm always much more relaxed, as well.

We've been enjoying our time over here. Preparation's been going smooth, you know, the way I wanted. I could get the practice session in and also spend some quality time with them. So it's been a fun week.


Q. Although it doesn't seem like probably 12 months have passed since you were last in that chair, could you reflect to what's happened to you and your game, et cetera, in the intervening period.

ROGER FEDERER: The last 12 months?


Q. How different you feel coming back here.

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, I feel great, you know. New start to the season is in a way always refreshing and exciting. Everything sort of starts at zero, you know, except the rankings, which is a good thing, thank God.

No, look, I think the players feel great. Most importantly obviously I'm focused on my game. I think I put in a lot of work, you know, last year trying to get back to No. 1. Also in the off‑season I try to work extremely hard. Because the year before, you know, I think I lacked that a bit through illness and everything. So I think I'm back where I want to be.

Also my game's following. I maybe wasn't as successful as I wanted to be, you know, the last few tournaments, but I was able to reach No. 1 in the world. But obviously the back‑to‑back with the French and Wimbledon was, you know, an amazing accomplishment for me.

On top of that, you know, on the personal note, that I was able to sort of handle everything at the same time was quite fascinating actually for me as well.

I'm excited now traveling the world, you know, as a family. It's a first for me, as well. Like I said before, it's going really well. It's really inspiring.


Q. You made some comments about Tiger. How difficult has it been for you as a friend to see him going through all that in such a public way?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, just following it from afar, you know. All I can say, I'm not going to talk about his personal life, but I wish him all the best, you know, getting back, you know, hopefully on the golf course, resolving his problems, and see how he goes.

But yeah, that's about it.


Q. There's been a lot of talk about him being a role model and that being a bad example. How do you take your position as a role model as a top tennis player? Do you feel you have to stay extra squeaky clean?

ROGER FEDERER: No, I mean, I just try to be myself, not change for the press or the public or the fans, you know. If they like me, that's great. If they don't, you know, that's too bad.

But, you know, I think most important is that there's a lot of fair play involved when I play the game, respect for the game, respect for the opponent, you know, be polite to every meet. I think those are key things my parents have taught me. You know, I try to do the same thing.

Sure, you know, I'm doing a lot of press conferences, and not being able to hide on the tennis court is not an easy thing sometimes. But I think I've done well over the years. I still enjoy doing it even though there's more enjoyable things than doing press conferences. It's just part of it, you know (smiling).


Q. Do you still get anxious before a big tournament? If so, on a scale of 1 to 10, how anxious do you feel?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I think the first thing you arrive and you're, Okay, let's relax, get over the jetlag, practice a little bit. It's nice getting back on Rod Laver Arena, for instance. From yesterday to today on I feel it's moving closer. I do get, you know, the sense of now also knowing who I play against, when I play, sort of the mind goes into preparing. This is really when I feel I'm getting excited.

Yeah, I mean, I definitely do get very excited for many big events, many tournaments, trying to prove myself over and over again, and see if the hard work paid off. Playing in front of a nice crowd is always something special because in the off‑season there's maybe two people hanging at the fence just walking by and seeing you practice. But, you know, this is where it's special and you can get some momentum during the match because of the spectators. That's really what I'm looking forward to live again this week or the next two weeks.


Q. Do you like this court surface? What sort of difference do you feel?

ROGER FEDERER: I like the surface a lot, yeah. I think it's very fair for every playing style. Slice stays low. Kick bounces up. You can play with spin. You can play from beyond the baseline. You can play in the court. If that's the case, I think we found a good sort of a court for a tournament, especially a big one.

So I think it's a fair, you know, surface. Also when it's hot, you know, the ball bounces more. When it's cool, it's a bit tougher to hit winners. But you have to construct the point a bit more.

Yeah, I think it's a very nice surface.


Q. You're a real fan of tennis and often stay up late to watch matches at the US Open. Having the kids now, is that going to cramp your style a bit?

ROGER FEDERER: We'll see. At the US Open actually it went fine, but they were still even younger than now. They're still very young. But, yeah, I mean, if they're up, I'll take care of them. If they're sleeping, maybe I'll have to catch some sleep, as well. We'll see how we figure it out here in Australia depending on their jetlag and mine.

But, yeah, I like watching the tennis especially from bed, the night sessions, you know, it's exciting. Obviously not until 4:30 in the morning like Lleyton likes to do the stuff sometimes (smiling).

But, no, I'm also anxious to see how everything's going to be these next couple weeks.


Q. The changes in your life, what are you going to do with the schedule this year? I'd like to get a comment from you as to some people saying you may not have the hunger now that you have a family to go after the big tournaments. What would you say about that?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, the schedule is, what is it, the Australian Open, then we got Davis Cup, then I got Indian Wells and Miami, then we for to clay. We have Rome, Estoril and Madrid, the French, Halle, Wimbledon, so forth.

You know, similar schedule I had the last few years. With the clay sometimes I switch around a few things here and there. So that's about the plan. Not massive changes.

With the hunger, I mean, of course, there's always going to be speculation I think. Once you have a family, they look at the history and see, Oh, some players didn't win when they had family and so forth. But I think there's not much you can, you know, compare really because normally as guys you have kids later on, you know, because in the beginning you play, you travel so much, it's not so easy to create a family when you're traveling so much. But the hunger is still there. I'm working as hard as I have been.

I haven't been just baby‑sitting, you know. I also like to go out in the morning, you know, put in the big hours. I feel my game's really where it's supposed to be. I can only put in the best effort I can and hope that the results will follow.


Q. When you said Davis Cup, did you mean Dubai?

ROGER FEDERER: Playing Dubai and not Davis Cup, yeah.
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Old 01-16-2010, 02:04 PM   #889
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Thanks for all the articles It's always interesting to read what Roger has to say.

A link to the following interview has been posted on GM (and surprisingly not been moved to the Federer forum as usual):


Huge thanks and a big ďMUWWWAH!Ē to French reader ďwhynotmeĒ for translating this fantastic article that was written for the French sports daily, LíEquipe - I believe itís only in the print version but not online. Whynotme posted the article in the comments section of the ATP draw post and, man, itís so good, I just had to post it on its own. (Long time readers will also remember ďwhynotmeísĒ keen insights into Rafael Nadalís ďPoulidor SyndromeĒ problem at the French Open last year.)

Of course Federerís opinion on the Tiger Woods scandal is of general interest (is it?) so I put it in the headline. But really, the best stuff in this article is Rogerís no bullshit thoughts on his goals, present and future, and his opponents, past and present. Unlike many interviews, I think thereís some new insight in here Ė and NO diaper questions!

So please enjoy, and a big ďMERCI!!!!Ē to whynotme!


Tuesday January 5th, 21h30, Roger Federer is chatting on the backseat of the car that drives him back from the stadium to the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Doha. The interview has been suggested to him unexpectedly and he said : ďNo problem, just get in the carĒ. When this kind of things happen, you donít ask the driver if heís got his driving license; you just jump in the car. Here we go. Federer is beginning his 12th year on the tour. But this one is different: ĎItís the 2nd half-time of my careerí he says. Grand Slam titles record? Done. Roland-Garros? Done. So whatís left?

Q: For the first time since a long time, you start the season not having to answer those 2 questions: ĎAre you going to break Samprasí record any time soon?í and ĎAre you finally going to win Roland-Garros?í Do you miss them?

RF: (he laughs) Now Iím done with unpleasant questions! Frankly, itís relaxing. A year ago, I was No. 2 in the world, I was about to lose the final in Melbourne and people were relentlessly questioning me.

Q: Now that youíve won at least once each of the Grand Slams, now that you hold the Grand Slams titles record, donít you feel a sense of emptiness?

RF: Itís the end of a period. Within one month last year, between RG and Wimbledon, I reached those 2 great goals. I think it changed my life, but I never felt Ďemptyí afterwards. Iíve never woken up one morning asking myself: ĎWhat do I do now?í Weíre lucky because tennis is a very dense sport. Thereís the rankings, Grand Slams, Masters 1000, head-to-headsÖ Sometimes I motivate myself just by thinking about the history I have with one player. [whynotme - Murray at the end of last year? LOL]

Q: You havenít felt the need to think about what happens next, about your goals?

RF: No. The desire to play comes naturally. What I often do is that I go back to the beginning: why did I chose tennis as a kid? Why did I work so hard during all those years? What do I like so much when I play tennis? And the answers come easily. Itís simple: I donít really think there is someone who loves tennis more than I do.

Q: But donít you feel like a burden has disappeared?

RF: Yes and no. Personally I think the pressure is always there, and itís a good thing. Itís a different pressure, but it has not disappeared. Anyway, if one day thereís nobody to put pressure on me anymore, Iíll still be there to put it on myself. I donít even remember having played a match without feeling any pressure.

Q: You like challenges [whynotme - they do not mean Hawk-Eye ], so here are some. Tell us if youíre motivated by them.

RF: OK, here we go.

Q: You need 2 more Masters 1000 to beat Agassiís record of 17.

RF: Mmmmmh. Iím not really excited by that. Masters 1000 have been existing only for 20 years, and I donít know how many of them great players from the past could have won. So this record does not mean much.

Q: Another challenge. If you stay world No. 1 after RG, youíll beat Samprasí all-time record of 286 weeks.

RF: This is an important record to me. When I beat Connorsí record (consecutive weeks as world No. 1) I already thought it was really great. Staying in the front that long when you know who is behind you, itís not easy. By the way, my main goal this year is to finish the year No. 1 in the world. It has been so hard to get that ranking back.

Q: So you want to stay No. 1. What else?

RF: To win more tournaments. Last year, I won 4 of them. They were big ones, but I have to be able to do better. I lacked titles in smaller tournaments. True, I had to withdraw several times, because of an injury or because I needed some rest (Dubai, Halle, Tokyo). So I focused entirely on big tournaments, and I donít really like it. Before I withdraw from Tokyo last year, I had told Seve (Luthi): ĎIím going there to serve-and-volley on 1st and 2nd servesí. Because I thought it could help me later.

Q: Speaking of later, when do you think youíll end your career?

RF: To calm down everybody, I said Iíll play until the 2012 Olympic Games in London. But itís a minimum. I donít think Iíll stop there. I see myself playing after, but differently. Iíll try to play some new tournaments, to do some exhibitions in South America, where Iíve nearly never been to.

Q: Youíre in the top 10 since youíve entered it in October, 2002. Do you think todayís top 10 is stronger than back in 2002, with Safin, Hewitt, Novak, Henman, Grosjean, Ferrero?

RF: Tough question. Iím not so sure. Nowadays, the guys have less weaknesses but maybe also less main strengths. Before, players were more surprising, with more varied games. It was harder to dominate on a specific surface. Nowadays playing conditions are been standardized and the players as well. Often, when I watch players like Davydenko, Del Potro or Djokovic, I wonder what their best shot isÖ

Q: If you had to chose one player that is going to reach a new milestone in 2010, who would it be?

RF: If I had to chose only one, it would be Murray. He has built himself cleverly, he won a lot of Masters 1000, he already has a lot of experience. That being said, Del Potro never won a Masters 1000 but still won the US Open. A year ago, I would never have said predicted that. He was not really using the strength of his serve, unlike now. Heís improved so much.

Q: And what about the winner of the World Tour Finals, who just beat you 2 times in a row?

RF: Oh, Davydenko! I can tell you Iím going to follow him very closely in Melbourne. The Australian Open is going to show us if he can keep up with this rhythm, and if he can beat us in best-of-five matches. This is so interesting!

Q: Monfils, Tsonga, Simon, Gasquet, youíre interested?

RF: A lot. We all know they have a big potential. Letís say they confirmed it last year. Now, they need to make a breakthrough and therefore to be less injured. Richard is going to go up quite fast. The big question is how far?

Q: Nadal has not won a tournament since Rome last year, in May. Some think heíll never be what he once was.

RF: This is bullshit ['conneries' in French]. It reminds me what people said about me last year. Iíve seen Rafa play in Abu Dhabi and in Doha: he lacks absolutely nothing. Granted, heís not won in a long time. But look at those who beat him: Del Potro, Murray, Davydenko, Djokovic, SoderlingÖ Theyíre not bad! Think about it: had he played Wimbledon last year and not lost 2,000 points from his victory in 2008, where would he be right now? He came back from injury, so itís normal that he lacked confidence. But to me, the really great Rafa is still to come.

Q: You never had any serious injuries. The Australian Open is your 41th GS tournament in a row. Is it hard work or luck?

RF: Both. Iím expecting myself to be fit in big tournaments. You cannot just come at Grand Slams with a small injury. Ladies can handle the 3 first rounds while healing, men just canít. My style of play helps me to last longer. Most of the time, I decide how the point is played, I make the other one run. When Rafa takes 45 minutes to win a set, I can take 30. I worked really hard when I was a junior to build myself an efficient armor. Now, I work less hard, but more precisely.

Q: Youíre 28 and you canít recover as fast as before. Is it why you hired Stephane Vivier, a French physio?

RF: Heís from Marseille on top of that! (he laughs) Itís true that your age matters. Until this season, I always had masseurs, and I wanted to work with a physio. He had worked a long time with the ATP and I didnít want people to think that I was stealing him, like ĎSorry guys, but Iím Federer. Now heís mineí. I think everybody took it well.

Q: What do you mean by Ďworking more preciselyí?

RF: When youíre young, you donít warm up. You play on your PlayStation and when youíre called to play the match, you leave. Now, I consistently take a 10-minutes muscle warm-up right before the match. I strengthen my back nearly everyday because Iíve had problems in the past. Iíve always felt my back wasnít strong enough.

Q: And what about your sleep? Word is that you sleep like a log.

RF: True! If I donít sleep 11 or 12 hours a day, itís not right. If I donít have that amount of sleep, I hurt myself. When the twins cry and Iím in a tournament, I put my earplugs in and I go back to sleep.

Q: You withdrew from the Davis Cup 1st round. Is it because itís against Spain, in Spain, and on clay?

RF: Not because itís Spain. Just because itís on clay. Between Dubai and Indian Wells, it just doesnít fit. It saddens me, but I know why I took that decision.

Q: Some said it was self-centered and unpatriotic. People thought that after having beaten Samprasí record you would be able to play the Davis CupÖ

RF: People have to understand that itís just not possible to do everything. Had I made another choice, maybe I wouldnít have won RG last year. Do people prefer me to play the Davis Cup or to hold the GS record? Donít Swiss people prefer having me as the world No. 1? If I play it and then it costs me in the rankings, people will always be there to tell me: ĎHo, hum, youíre not no1 anymore!í

Q: Is it really impossible to do both?

RF: I consider that a Davis Cup round amounts to take out one Masters 1000. And Iím not ready to do that. I still favour my individual choices; time will come when this changes. You also have to understand that I do not have a team as abundant as Rafaís with Spain. Iím not complaining. Itís just a fact. Rafa hasnít played the quarterfinals and the semifinals last year. But people saw him as the star in the finals. They just forgot he wasnít there before.

Q: Have you spoken to Tiger Woods since his problems were revealed?

RF: Yes, he is my friend and I told him I was there to support him. Itís really tough for him and his family to see their intimate problems flaunted everywhere.

Q: Have you learned something from the magnitude of this story?

RF: This is instructive. The tabloids are going crazy, sponsor contracts are falling apartÖ Iíve always been aware that the image you patiently construct for an entire career can be ruined in a minute. It scares you a bit, but thatís the way things are. Tiger needs calm. And soon heíll become the wonderful golfer that we know again.

[this last question is a translation from some American media - whynotme]

*end*

whynotme: ďThereís also a comment on Federerís training with Monfils yesterday in Melbourne and a guy in Monfilsí team said: ĎThey were playing really well. During the 1st set, Roger was literally flying on the court. I felt like he was playing without his racket! When you see him playing like that, with so much ease, you start thinking that he could really play until his mid-30s.í
So apparently no problem with the wrist!Ē

Source: http://www.gototennisblog.com/2010/0...d-tiger-woods/
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Old 01-16-2010, 02:51 PM   #890
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http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/spo...-1225820392079

Federer takes Tiger's top spot

By Jessica Halloran
From: The Sunday Telegraph
January 17, 2010



Roger Federer's wholesome image has seen him surpass Tiger Woods as the most sought after corporate spokesperson. Source: The Sunday Telegraph


TIGER Woods is narrating Roger Federer's life. He starts with a baby photo of the tennis master and tells us he was born in Switzerland.

The golfer then talks over footage of a feisty six-year-old chasing a tennis ball around on the clay and notes how he could have become a soccer pro.

More vision unwinds of a teenage Federer throwing racquets. Woods notes: "He found his cool and became a champion."

As you watch this Nike ad from 2007, it's terribly hard not to erase the present. With the implosion of Woods's private life late last year, the Federer brand remains untarnished and untouchable. The tennis star is the last man standing on top of sport's corporate ladder.

After being named the tour's most popular player in 2004, Federer graciously thanked everyone and finished with this catchphrase: "It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice."

It's an adage Federer still lives by and those close to him say it's the key to his corporate appeal. Federer is a quiet, private champion. There is no jet, no luxury yacht and, thankfully, no penchant for nightclub hostesses. And he totally respects the history of his sport and the legacy that has been passed to him.

However, Federer is very aware that the image he has constructed can disappear in a minute. His good friend Woods is a reminder of that.

Federer told French sports daily L'Equipe that he expressed his support for the world's best golfer, and said Woods's troubles were "instructive".

"The tabloids are going crazy, sponsor contracts are falling apart," Federer said. "I've always been aware that the image you patiently construct for an entire career can be ruined in a minute. It scares you a bit, but that's the way things are."

Federer said Woods needs "calm" and predicted he will return "as the wonderful golfer we know".

Tennis great John Newcombe rates some soccer players ahead of Federer on the corporate ladder, but he acknowledges the Swiss star has an X-factor about him.

"Because of his image he's becoming more and more credible in the world market," Newcombe said. "There are only so many top sportsmen now that companies can look closely at, on a moral side, that remain clean cut."

It's understood that Team Federer's ethos is focused on marketing their client's "greatness".

In September, Woods was named by Forbes magazine as sport's first billion-dollar athlete. While we've all been gasping at the 10-figure man, the Swiss master has been quietly building a sporting empire of his own.

Federer has signed the biggest and longest deals in tennis history.

In 2008, he signed a 10-year deal with Nike worth more than $100 million. He has signed unprecedented six-decade sponsorship deals with the likes of Rolex, Gillette and most recently signed on with Credit Suisse until 2019. He commands $1 million-plus for an exhibition match and speaks four languages, which makes him even more attractive to companies and fans around the globe.


Federer's manager Tony Godsick avoids interviews and politely declined one with The Sunday Telegraph last week.

But it is understood Federer is very involved in his business. He meets often with his management and while tennis comes first, he is very hands-on.

Those close to him say he's very smart and aware of what is happening in his business. He is also a perfectionist. The smallest things count. Like the RF insignia on his Nike tennis uniform.

Federer enjoys being part of the business process because he knows he won't be swinging a racquet forever. He has formed a close relationship with the chief executives of his sponsor companies in order to learn more about the business world.


After being introduced in 2006, the two sporting giants became friends. Woods travelled to watch Federer play and saw him win the US Open.

Woods once said only the likes of Federer and basketball great Michael Jordan were able to share his experience of being the best player of their generation in a sport.

But at last count Woods had lost a bundle of big-name sponsors after a host of women admitted they'd had affairs with the world's best golfer. General Motors was the latest to bail out last week. All of Woods's vehicles will be returned, including the Escalade he crashed in November, which sparked his freefall.

Last year, Federer amicably parted company with one sponsor. Why? "Federer is a class too high for us," a spokesman for Swiss dairy company Emmi said.

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Old 01-16-2010, 05:18 PM   #891
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Old 01-17-2010, 08:48 AM   #892
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http://www.usatoday.com/sports/tenni...50932835_x.htm


Federer and Co. stage fundraiser for Haiti victims


By Jocelyn Gecker, Associated Press Writer

MELBOURNE, Australia ó Roger Federer and other leading tennis players devoted the eve of the Australian Open to a fundraiser for Haiti earthquake victims in an exhibition match Sunday that offered a rare glimpse at the camaraderie behind their on-court rivalries.

The event dubbed "Hit for Haiti" raised more than AU$200,000 ($185,000), an amount that organizers expected would increase.

Federer, who has won a record 15 Grand Slam titles, teamed up with reigning Australian Open champion Serena Williams and Australia's Lleyton Hewitt and Samantha Stosur. Their opponents were 2009 winner Rafael Nadal, 2008 winner Novak Djokovic, Andy Roddick and U.S. Open champion Kim Clijsters.

The players wore microphones on court, adding to the entertainment of a mixed-doubles match featuring player substitutions. Commentating as they lunged, lobbed and smashed, they displayed their athleticism and personalities.

There was the eloquent and debonair Federer who played the role of master of ceremonies. It was Federer's idea to hold the match, which he helped organize a day earlier. There was the good-natured Clijsters cracking jokes, playful Nadal with his sideways grin and wisecracking Roddick.

To the delight of the crowd, Roddick mocked Williams' infamous meltdown at the U.S. Open when a line judge called her for a foot fault during a crucial point in her semifinal loss to Clijsters.

"Did you really call a foot fault on me in a charity match?" Roddick reprimanded a line judge. "You realize Serena's over there, right?"

The camera panned to Williams sitting on the sidelines shaking her head and laughing, as the packed 15,000-seat stadium erupted in laughter. Williams has been touchy on that subject since her arrival in Australia last week -- the profanity-laced, finger-pointing tirade cost her a record fine of $82,500.

Federer tried three times to show off the shot from his U.S. Open victory against Djokovic that he has described as the greatest of his life: a between-the-legs, back-to-the-net winner from the baseline. On Sunday, it worked once and sunk into the net twice.

Djokovic displayed his powerful serve, acing Williams on one point and prompting her to comment: "You look really good acing girls."

Later, Nadal smashed a winner at Williams' feet, evoking a piercing shriek from the world's No. 1-ranked women's player.

"Don't scare me like that Rafa," she said, drawing support from teammate Federer who assured her, "I'll get him back."

At one game break, Clijsters massaged Nadal's sore thigh. She did not interact with ex-fiance Hewitt -- both of them are now married with kids.

In the end, Federer's so-called Red Team beat the rival Blue Team 7-6 in their one-set match that lasted an hour and a half. The teams were named for the colors of Haiti's flag.

"It was a fun afternoon for all of us. But most important is that we can help Haiti," Federer told the center court crowd after the match ended.

Some players made separate contributions, organizers said, including 2008 Australian Open winner Maria Sharapova ($10,000), American John Isner ($5,000) -- after he won the Auckland tournament -- and Marcos Baghadits ($5,000) -- after he win in Sydney.

Seats cost AU$10 -- a fraction of the normal price for a Grand Slam match -- and fans lined up from early morning, waiting hours to get tickets for the afternoon match.

"It was electric in there," said Melbourne resident Helen Forrest, 63. "This was just really fun and a really good way to see the other side of the players."

Zaggy Dean, a 40-year-old real estate photographer from Melbourne, called it a worthy cause.

"I'm devastated about this tragedy. It's one of the poorest countries in the world," he said. "This was a great opportunity."
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Old 01-17-2010, 12:04 PM   #893
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Old 01-17-2010, 01:54 PM   #894
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Roger Federer has a swag of records but history shows few fathers win majors

Courtney Walsh
The Australian

TO witness Roger Federer at his peak is to view tennis near perfection.

The extent of his mastery of the sport needs no recounting, for if there is a record, Federer has broken it.

Only the Grand Slam in a calendar year has eluded him. The Swiss champion fell agonisingly short in the Australian Open final loss to Rafael Nadal, which reduced him to tears, and he was overrun late by Juan Martin del Potro in the US Open final.

The last time he fell short of qualifying for a grand slam quarter-final was in Paris in 2004. His astonishing consistency is something no other player -- not even his great rival Nadal -- can boast.

And, perhaps frustratingly for anyone who has picked up a racquet, Federer makes the game look simple and some outstanding opponents look ordinary. Ask Andy Roddick and del Potro how they felt after being crunched by the world No 1 in recent Australian Opens.

The ease, though, betrays the time Federer devotes to perfecting his game.

Australia's great female champion Margaret Court told The Australian recently that her coach would insist she hit 100 perfect shots in a row to complete a drill. Shank the 92nd and the drill would begin again at zero.

Federer takes a similar approach according to Roger Rasheed, the Australian coach of talented Frenchman Gael Monfils. Rasheed watched in growing astonishment last week as his charge worked with Federer, who practised every shot in his vast array until he perfected it.

Rasheed, who also coached one of Federer's early rivals, Lleyton Hewitt, likened the right-hander's meticulous practice regime to the methods adopted by professional golfers on the driving range.

"You look at golfers and they go through all their clubs when practising and then go to the green for a few putts," Rasheed said.

"Roger Federer is a similar case. He goes through every shot he has in his bag for 20 to 30 minutes.

"I'm talking about all the shots. The slice, the forehand, the drop shots, the trajectories of every shot and the different parts of the court where he wants to land the ball.

"He just keeps going and you can see him working the entire court over till he perfects it. Not too many players would go to that extent and practise like that."

That, Rasheed says, helped explain Federer's greatness but also revealed the 28-year-old's desire had not waned. It is something the reigning French and Wimbledon champion expanded on during a weekend interview.


"Most importantly, obviously, I'm focused on my game," he said.

"I think I put in a lot of work, you know, last year trying to get back to No 1. Also in the off-season I try to work extremely hard. Because the year before, you know, I think I lacked that a bit through illness and everything. So I think I'm back where I want to be.

"I maybe wasn't as successful as I wanted to be, you know, in the last few tournaments, but I was able to reach No 1 in the world. But obviously the back-to-back with the French and Wimbledon titles was an amazing accomplishment for me."

It was in those "last few tournaments" -- he lost consecutive matches to Russian Nikolay Davydenko, a rival who had never before proven a problem -- that again raised questions as to Federer's appetite for success.

Despite his incredible record, Federer has from time to time been written off. Some reckoned his French Open loss to Nadal in 2008 would forever haunt him. Or that the tears at losing last year's Australian Open final, on the back of ceding his Wimbledon title to Nadal, were that of a broken man whose dominance was over.

This time it is John McEnroe raising the questions. The American legend is not questioning Federer's status -- he believes the Swiss star is the greatest to have graced a court -- but believes that fatherhood will begin to take a toll.

McEnroe is speaking from experience. Following the birth of the first of his five children, the American never again held a grand slam trophy aloft.

"He is amazing, Federer. The guy to me is the greatest player that has ever lived," McEnroe said.

"But he has not got anywhere to go but down. I mean, he has already broken every record and at some stage you have to level off.

"I was so amazed that last year, after losing here in the final, he was able to rebound and win the French for the first time and then break that record at Wimbledon and still get . . . within two points of winning the US Open.

"I see him winning a few more majors. I just think it is going to be more difficult and I don't think he will dominate in the way he did."

Federer is aware that history has recorded few fathers as grand slam champions but does not believe the birth of twins following his Wimbledon victory will diminish his chances. And he said the hunger is still there.

"I'm excited now travelling the world, you know, as a family. It's really inspiring," he said. ""I'm working as hard as I have been. I haven't been just baby sitting. I feel my game's really where it's supposed to be."


http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/sport/roger-federer-has-a-swag-of-records-but-history-shows-few-fathers-win-majors/story-e6frg7mf-1225820590450"]http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news...-1225820590450[/url]
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Old 01-18-2010, 08:02 AM   #895
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Old 01-24-2010, 03:42 PM   #896
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Hunter Hewitt stalks the hunted


GREG BAUM
January 25, 2010.

ROGER Federer and Lleyton Hewitt have played one another more than any other pair of contemporary players and have already met in this tournament, by *****. In the first round Marco Chiudinelli, Federer's hitting partner and lifelong friend, played Hewitt's hitting partner, wildcard Marinko Matosevic. As you might expect, Federer's man won.

Tonight, Federer and Hewitt meet for the 25th time, each cast in a familiar role: Hewitt as the underdog and Australia's sole remaining hope, Federer as the overlord and partypooper, but no one's idea of an anti-hero; he is too nice a guy, and too appealing a tennis player, for that.

Walking to the practice court yesterday, a young woman who works for Indian television asked to be photographed with him. A security guard shook her head sternly, but Federer obliged, and with a smile. There was no one around to impress and it was not as if he needed another friend. It was just that she asked. At the end of his session, he signed dozens of autographs, including one for a woman who had hung a heart-strewn banner over the fence announcing herself as ''your biggest loyal Myanmar fan''.

Federer is a hero to the world, which means he can and does beat local heroes without prejudice to his standing.
He has beaten Andy Roddick and Andre Agassi at the US Open, Tim Henman at Wimbledon and Hewitt at the Australian Open (and many other places besides) and his favour has continued to grow. His reality is that he is always playing and beating someone's favourite, yet somehow enjoying even their favour.

He beat Chiudinelli at their only meeting in a tournament last year in Basel, their hometown, yet Chiudinelli's loyalty is unwavering. ''He's one of my best friends; that says it all,'' he said. ''I can talk to him about anything.'' Federer is offensive only in the way he plays tennis.

Hewitt is more divisive, but the divide is narrowing as he grows. He and Federer are less than six months apart in age, but Hewitt emerged first, which meant he came among us unformed and the rough edges left many grazes. By the time Federer came to prominence, he seemed more rounded and worldly. He still does.

But Roddick, a contemporary of both and a man who has dealt with rough and smooth, put it into a perspective on Friday when asked about his maturing. ''This is the natural flow of events, even when you're not a tennis player,'' he said. ''Obviously you're going to be probably a little bit more put together when you're 27, as opposed to when you're 20 or 21. I just did it all in front of you.'' The same might be said of Hewitt.

Federer and Hewitt practised an hour and a court apart yesterday, and their sessions were as contrasting as their journeys. Federer hit with Chiudinelli because he enjoys his company as well as his tennis. Fans packed the court, five-deep, with more craning over the parapet from a neighbouring match court.

Federer rehearsed all his strokes assiduously, but matter-of-factly. He knows he can gain little from practice now, but knows also what he can lose if he slackens; he said so last week. For fans, though, the session gave a glimpse, for instance, of the way his wrist whips through his forehand, generating immense power; television, with its cruel foreshortening, can never quite convey it. Session done, Federer gave a cheery interview to Swiss television.


Hewitt's session was less widely advertised than Federer's, the crowd smaller, the silence louder. Hewitt was all grunts and ''sorry, mate''; hard work has always been his motif. Matosevic a late bloomer, had been drafted by the Hewitt camp before he played Marcos Baghdatis because they wanted a hitting partner with a range of shots. It hadn't worked; Matosevic was too nervous and sprayed the ball everywhere. Yesterday, it was different. Tasked to approximate Federer, Matosevic did as well as could be expected of a 180th-ranked player.

''I thought: 'Hit heavy spin', because Roger obviously hits heavy off his forehand,'' Matosevic said. ''I tried my best. Obviously, Roger hits it hard, so I tried to hit as hard as I could.''

As Hewitt prepared for Federer, Matosevic gained an insight into Hewitt. ''Just how flat he hits the ball,'' he said. ''It stays so low. I've hit with [Gael] Monfils, [Fernando] Gonzalez, [Tomas] Berdych. His balls are different. They stay so low off the ground, so flat, unlike any other ball I've faced. And he's so fast. Amazing player. He wants to win every point. It's really hard to win points out there against him. Tough as nails.'' They played a set and Hewitt won it 6-1 (but the one was a break of serve).

So it was that Federer concentrated on himself, Hewitt concentrated on Federer. This was necessarily so between hunter and hunted. Hewitt won eight of their first 10 matches. The eighth was an epic comeback in five sets in a Davis Cup semi-final on Rod Laver arena in 2003, two months after Hewitt had been dethroned as world No. 1.

When they next met, at the Australian Open the next year, Federer won, and proceeded to win the tournament and the No. 1 ranking. It was the first of a string of 14 wins over Hewitt, for the loss of five sets. As a rivalry, it lacks one essential: the unknown. Yet, when they last met, at last year's US Open, Hewitt won the first set and led in the third, and played so well that former Australian Open tournament director Paul McNamee, courtside, was certain he would win.

Tonight, Hewitt is in-form, injury-free and fighting fit, a rare combination latterly. In a sense, he cannot lose. But Federer doesn't lose.

http://www.theage.com.au/sport/tenni...0124-msml.html
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:05 PM   #897
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Federer trounces Hewitt to march into quarter-finals
1 hour, 11 minutes ago

MELBOURNE, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Roger Federer extended his winning streak against Lleyton Hewitt to 15 matches on Monday, easing into the quarter-finals of the Australian Open for the seventh year in a row.

The world number one was at his ruthless best against his old rival, racing to a comprehensive 6-2 6-3 6-4 triumph in less than two hours in front of a packed Rod Laver Arena.

Hewitt, the last local player left in the draw, won eight of his first 10 matches with Federer but has not beaten the Swiss since 2003, and the gulf between the current and former world number ones has never looked wider.

Federer can expect a tougher match in the next round against Nikolay Davydenko after the Russian advanced to the last eight with a fighting 6-2 7-5 4-6 6-7 6-3 victory over Spain’s Fernando Verdasco.
__________________



~~~Roger Federer (16 GS): Wimbledon 2003, AO 2004, Wimbledon 2004, US Open 2004, Wimbledon 2005, US Open 2005, AO 2006, Wimbledon 2006, US Open 2006, AO 2007, Wimbledon 2007, US Open 2007, US Open 2008, Roland Garros 2009, Wimbledon 2009, AO 2010 ~~~

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Old 01-25-2010, 02:52 PM   #898
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Old 01-28-2010, 05:48 PM   #899
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The last sporting hero

Jake Niall
January 29, 2010

Next month, when Tiger Woods is pondering his next move, possibly from the Mississippi sex addiction clinic he is purported to be visiting, Roger Federer will be in Ethiopia, where the Roger Federer Foundation will be working to improve the lives of disadvantaged children in the region.

Federer, from what one can gather, would be embarrassed by any comparison. Woods arguably should be. In any case, the gulf that has opened between Tiger and Roger in terms of public credibility leaves the planet's greatest tennis player without a peer in the global sporting pantheon.

Federer might well be the world's last sporting hero; the last active sporting icon who hasn't damaged his brand.

That Federer isn't a brand is one of the reasons he's endured. Whereas Tiger was packaged and sold - the bland private product too good to be true - Roger has never been presented to the public as something that he wasn't. He has not been presented as a product, in part, because he has never allowed commerce to interfere with tennis. Until quite recently (2005), Federer was managed by his dad, with his then girlfriend, now wife, Mirka often handling media requests. Now he has IMG, the same management as Tiger, but there's never been a sense that Federer's image is contrived.

Roger isn't spun. ''He's not a brand. He's a player,'' said Paul McNamee, the former tournament director of the Australian Open.

Stories of Federer's obliging nature are often told by those who see him regularly, and even some who've dealt with him sporadically. Nicola Arzani, the ATP's senior vice-president of media and marketing, estimated that Federer spent ''at least'' 30 minutes with media every day that he played, and he does interviews in a minimum of three languages, French, English and German. When he wins a grand slam event, Federer's interviews will stretch on for hours; after the 2007 Australian Open final, he did not finish in the media room until 3.30am.

Colin Stubs, who runs the Kooyong event before the Australian Open, recently sought Federer's counsel when he wanted to discover more about the Middle East events that were eating into the January calendar. Federer, a regular at Kooyong, gave him a good half an hour of his time. ''He's very approachable,'' McNamee said, ''but there's a time and place for everything.''

Arzani said Federer takes his duties very seriously - especially the foundation work and his role as head of the player council. ''We've never had the No.1 player in the world so involved,'' Arzani said. ''It's a lot of work.''

The media's interest - including the new phenomenon of mobile phone stalkerazzi - makes it difficult for anyone of sporting significance to get away with much. Michael Phelps was going swimmingly until he was accused of smoking dope at a party as a result of a picture taken on a mobile phone.

Andre Agassi, retired and rehabilitated from his early mullet-brat incarnation, has undone his own reputation by telling the truth about his illicit drug-taking (and lying). Lance Armstrong has had to fend off unproved allegations of drug cheating; Usain Bolt? Let's wait and see.

Bolt and Armstrong, even if clean, are in sports with chequered records, and, as such, some acclaim is automatically withheld.

Michael Jordan hurt himself with an apparent gambling addiction. Shane Warne's long and highly entertaining rap sheet needs no elaboration. Others who've passed the character test aren't quite at Federer's level of performance. Jack Nicklaus certainly was a great, but is now long gone from active service. Ditto Muhammad Ali.

Earl Warren, the former chief justice of the US Supreme Court, famously said of sport's appeal: ''I always turn to the sports section first, which records man's accomplishments. The front page has nothing but man's failures.''

That was in the '60s, and these days, sadly, it is the failings of the athlete, as much as his achievements, that command our attention. Federer, perhaps, is an exception - a pure sportsman who can be appreciated, lauded, for his freakish skills, without worrying about baggage off the court.

Federer benefits from his Swiss neutrality and his nation's inoffensive nature. Would he be different if he were American? Would he have been as good as an Australian, as his parents considered? No one can say. Certainly, a Swiss passport enabled him to enjoy a greater level of anonymity earlier in his career, than he might had been afforded in the US.

Federer, from what is on public record, is a busy family man, and in his six or seven years of intense public scrutiny, there's not been one significant blemish. No financial misdeeds, no drugs and, touch Woods, nothing in the Warne/Tiger territory. He has twin daughters now, and his cred, especially in many women's eyes, is enhanced by his choice of woman, Mirka not being a model, actress or songstress (she is a former tennis player).

The tag ''low key'' comes up quite a bit in conversations about Federer. Whereas Tiger's arrival in town was trumpeted like a royal visit - and it attracted far more attention than Prince William - Federer treats his trips to Melbourne as if he is visiting relatives. So much of what he does is made to seem natural, regulation stuff.

Arzani described Federer's position in the game as beyond ambassador. ''He's also like a statesman.''

Indeed, Walter Bagehot's 19th century definition of a statesman could be applied to this great, untainted champion: A man of common opinions and uncommon abilities.

http://www.smh.com.au/sport/tennis/t...0128-n1r0.html
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Old 01-28-2010, 06:47 PM   #900
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I was about to post the same article but then find this slightly different version. Interesting.

There's only one Roger Federer

JAKE NIALL
January 29, 2010



Next month, when Tiger Woods is pondering his next move, possibly from the Mississippi sex addiction clinic he is purported to be visiting, Roger Federer will be in Ethiopia, where the Federer Foundation will be working to improve the lives of disadvantaged children in the region.

Federer, from what one can gather, would be embarrassed by any comparison with his fallen friend. Woods arguably should be. In any case, the gulf that has opened up between Tiger and Roger in terms of public credibility leaves the planet's greatest tennis player without a peer in the global sporting pantheon.

In the wake of Tiger's fall and the tarnishing of so many other sporting superstars via sex, drugs and other less salacious failings, Federer might well be the world's last sporting hero. Or, to put it less emphatically, he could be the last active sporting icon who hasn't damaged his brand, the one who remains relatively pristine in terms of what we think of him.

Conversely, that Federer isn't a brand is one of the reasons he's endured. Whereas Tiger was packaged and sold - the bland private product too good to be true - Roger has never been presented to the media, and public, as something that he wasn't. He's not been presented as a product, in part, because he has never allowed commerce to interfere with tennis. Until quite recently (2005), Federer was managed by his dad, with his then girlfriend and now wife Mirka often handling media requests (he's often been without a coach, too). Now he has IMG, the same management as Tiger, but there's never been a sense that Federer's image is contrived.

Roger isn't spun.

''He's not a brand. He's a player,'' said Paul McNamee, the former tournament director of the Australian Open and one of several tennis insiders who vouch for the no-frills courtesy and generosity they have received from the Fed, whom a colleague watched, with a touch of wonder, as he agreed to be photographed alongside a young girl after a practice session the other day. No one was watching, said the journo, and if he'd declined the girl's request, who'd ever know or care (besides one journo)?

Federer would know.

Stories of Federer's obliging nature are often told by those who see him regularly, and even some who've dealt with him sporadically. Nicola Arzani, the ATP's vice-president media and marketing, estimated that Federer spent ''at least'' half an hour with media every day that he played, and he does interviews in a minimum of three languages, French, English and German. When he wins a grand slam event, Federer's interviews will stretch on for hours; after the 2007 Australian Open final, he did not finish in the media room until 3.30am.

Colin Stubs, who runs the Kooyong event before the Australian Open, recently sought Federer's counsel when he wanted to discover more about the Middle East events that were eating into the January calendar. Federer, a regular at Kooyong, gave him a good half an hour of his time. ''He's very approachable,'' said McNamee. ''But there's a time and place for everything.''

Arzani said Federer takes his duties very seriously - especially the foundation work and his role as head of the player council. ''We've never had the No. 1 player in the world so involved. It's a lot of work.'' Federer, said Arzani, ran a tight ship, and made sure he was well-informed of his subjects.

Federer's leadership was evident when he was the instigator of the ''Hit for Haiti'' benefit that filled Rod Laver Arena the day before the Australian Open. Once Roger had agreed to put on a show for the earthquake victims, the supporting cast - Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams, Andy Roddick, Lleyton Hewitt and Novak Djokovic - were obliged to follow.

WHILE athletes are paid ludicrous sums of money today - with trappings such as private jets - one less happy by-product for them is that very few of those in the celebrity slipstream manage to navigate public life without a major misstep.

The media's interest - including the new phenomenon of mobile phone stalk-arazzi - makes it damn difficult for anyone of sporting significance to get away with much. Michael Phelps was going swimmingly until he was nabbed smoking a bong at a party as a result of a picture taken on a mobile phone.

Andre Agassi, retired and rehabilitated from his early mullet-brat incarnation, has dented his own reputation by telling the truth about his illicit drug-taking (and lying). Lance Armstrong has had to fend off unproven allegations of drug cheating; Thierry Henry, never in the Woods/Federer league, did flat-out cheat on the field, denying Ireland a spot in the World Cup. Usain Bolt? Let's wait and see. Bolt and Armstrong, even if clean, are in sports with chequered records, and, as such, some acclaim is automatically withheld.

Michael Jordan hurt himself with an apparent gambling addiction. Shane Warne's long and highly entertaining rap sheet needs no elaboration. Others who've passed the character test aren't quite at Federer's level of performance. Jack Nicklaus certainly was a great, but is now long gone from active service. Ditto Muhammad Ali.

Earl Warren, the former chief justice of the US Supreme Court, famously said of sport's appeal: ''I always turn to the sports section first, which records man's accomplishments. The front page has nothing but man's failures.''

That was in the '60s, and these days, sadly, it is the failings of the athlete, as much as his achievements, that command our attention. Federer, perhaps, is an exception - a pure sportsman who can be appreciated, lauded, for his freakish skills only.

Federer benefits from his Swiss neutrality, and his nation's inoffensive nature. Would he be different if he was American (would he have been as good as an Australian, as his parents considered?)? No one can say. Certainly, a Swiss passport enabled him to enjoy a level of anonymity earlier in his career, than he might had been afforded in the US, where corporate interests and media pressures make it harder to remain self-contained, to live the ''normal'' family life that Woods projected.

Federer, from what is on public record, is a busy family man and in his six or seven years of intense public scrutiny there's not been one significant blemish. No financial misdeeds, no drugs and, touch Woods, nothing in the Warne/Tiger territory. He has twin daughters now and his cred, especially in many women's eyes, is enhanced by his choice of woman, Mirka not being a model, actress or songstress (she is an ex-tennis player). Federer has many trophies, but his wife is not one of them.

In his teens, Federer did throw racquets around, question calls and displayed far more anger than he does now. McNamee recalled that Peter Lundgren, the unflappable Swede who succeeded Federer's seminal coach, the late Peter Carter, told him that Roger had to be ''held back'' and allowed to develop into the player and person he would become. Federer, remember, did not win that first Wimbledon until a month shy of his 22nd birthday. McNamee felt that this postponement of his destiny assisted Federer, keeping him grounded. The tag ''low key'' comes up quite a bit in conversations about Federer. Whereas Tiger's arrival in town was trumpeted like a Royal visit - and attracted far more attention than Prince William - Federer treats his trips to Melbourne as if he is visiting relatives. So much of what he does is made to seem natural, regulation stuff.

Arzani, a long-time close associate, described Federer's position in the game as beyond ''ambassador,'' adding, ''he's also like a statesman''.

Indeed Walter Bagehot's 19th-century definition of a statesman could be applied to this great, untainted champion: A man of common opinions and uncommon abilities.


http://www.theage.com.au/sport/tenni...0128-n1st.html
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