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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys!! Just received my issue of TENNIS in the mail and indeed, Roger is the coverboy!! I have 6 images from the magazine here (love my digital camera :D) and will eventually put up a transcript of the article. I haven't even read it yet, but I knew you guys would be thrilled to hear the news, so I rushed home to put it up! :)

The magazine will be available in stores in March.

Let's start with the cover, shall we?
 

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TennisHack said:
I'll put up a transcription as soon as I get a chance! Enjoy, guys! :)

Thanks for this, Hackie sweetie!! It makes my day [which was otherwise lovely with the beautiful sun -- just a little disappointment blip w respect to our Rogi]! ;)

What can I say? Rogi just makes me smile... the little cutie! He's like a little boy or a little puppy who did sth bad and you try to scold him but he's so CUTE that you just can't stay mad at him!! [oh boy Rogi, that smile does it all the time!]

I think my sis will check out Chapters after work today for me, just in case the mag is there! She can buy one and I'll buy one too!! :D

Back to gazing at Rogi... :angel:
 

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Thanks Hackie :):) I only just got in not long ago and saw the result :( oh dear
 

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RogiFan said:
Ah, Legolas... :( I know it's hard... Rogi will surprise us one day and just WIN it all! ;)
I know, once Rogi can't be defeated ;) Hopefully it starts next week. :D
 

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Good one, Hackie!!!

All the more reason why the artful Dodger, err, Roger, shouldn't have lost that match to Sluiter today!!! grrrrr...
 

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TH, Thanks so much for posting the mag pics here for everyone to see! I got the mag today too and have already read the article. It's a REALLY good article! Whoever this Cindy is, she did a good job w Rogi. The caps under the pics are kinda cute, like Roger is a good sport, but sometimes he can lose focus. uh, yeah!

I liked this sentence- "When the brutal workout on Key Biscayne ended, Federer peeled off his soaked shirt to reveal the smooth, virtually hairless chest of a man still in the making." :)
 

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Lily said:
TH, Thanks so much for posting the mag pics here for everyone to see! I got the mag today too and have already read the article. It's a REALLY good article! Whoever this Cindy is, she did a good job w Rogi. The caps under the pics are kinda cute, like Roger is a good sport, but sometimes he can lose focus. uh, yeah!

I liked this sentence- "When the brutal workout on Key Biscayne ended, Federer peeled off his soaked shirt to reveal the smooth, virtually hairless chest of a man still in the making." :)
Hi Lily!

Now that I know Rogi actually WON today vs. Sluiter to get to the Semis in Marseille, I feel a LOT better!! Legolas, did you know that??

Anyway, Cindy commentated in Stuttgart01 and other TMS tourneys that year -- ooh! They still have the Feb. issue up here! But I'm going to check it out tomorrow somewhere... [I'll brave the frigid temperatures just for Rogi!]

As for that sentence... very detailed description! [but Rogi does not have a hairless chest... not at all, unlike most of those New Balls guys -- I've looked at it very closely. :drool: Rogi has a nice chest... not too much hair nor too little... [I'm a very detail-oriented person!;) ]
 

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Tennis Hack, Thanks so much for sharing this with everyone. When I picked up my copy I was sososososo thrilled. And I love that picture of him, the second one that you showed... and all of them. I told everyone on the official site about the magazine, so maybe they will also come here to see it if they know about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The Artful Roger
Don’t be fooled. Switzerland’s Roger Federer is a polite, introspective young man, but he plays a flamboyant, aggressive game that could carry him to the very top of the sport.

By Cindy Shmerler

ALTHOUGH it was late August and Sweltering in New York City, the players’ dining room at the US Open looked like a terminal at O’Hare during a blizzard. Bodies and gear were strewn everywhere, every available seat was taken, and all the tables were occupied by players, coaches and camp followers. Everyone was swept up in the buzz of the last major championship of the 2002 season.

Everyone, that is, but the No. 13 seed, Roger Federer. The 21-year-old Swiss sensation and Grand Slam champion-in-waiting sat slumped in an oversized chair at a big wooden dining table in a remote corner, oblivious to the chaos. All he was waiting for at the moment was the bowl of pasta with which his Swedish coach, Peter Lundgren, had finally appeared. Lundgren slid it across the table to his protégé.

Federer fresh from a post-practice shower, wore his shoulder-length brown hair pulled into a ponytail, enhancing the already marked prominence of his nose. He has thick eyebrows, a la Pete Sampras, and hits of adolescent acne. But his imperfections seem inconsequential when he smiles. And Federer smiles often, even as he tried to assess how a year that began with so much promise – he won the Australian Open tune-up and came within a point of making the quarterfinals in Melbourne before losing to Tommy Haas 8-6 in the fifth – had spiraled out of control, leaving him winless in his last two Grand Slam appearances. Once again, pundits had started questioning if he would ever realize his potential.

“One good thing about me,” Federer said, without a trace of irony, “is that I forget matches, even bad matches, very quickly. I get sad about not having played well, but I don’t really get pissed off. By the time I get back to the hotel, it’s completely forgotten and I’m fine again.”

Unfortunately, neither Federer’s fans nor his critics forget quite so readily. They’ve been conditioned to expect the best ever since Federer’s striking, silky-smooth game earned him the International Tennis Federation’s No. 1 junior ranking in 1998 and, by extension, billing as the game’s next star. Instead, they’ve watched Federer’s halting progress with frustration, especially in his native, star-starved Switzerland.

As Rene Stauffer, tennis correspondent for the Zurich-based newspaper Tages Anzeiger says, Roger is different from Martina Hingis [a native of the Slovak Republic]. He really is ours, he’s the guy from next door – he was even a ball boy at the Basel tournament. Roger can become a national hero, but not if he just stays in the Top Fifteen [he ended 2002 ranked No.6]. They want him to win Grand Slams. And this may be a problem, because he doesn’t have [Lleyton] Hewitt’s fighting spirit. We haven’t seen him put his heart down there on the court.”
 

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Discussion Starter #18
That Federer can be so highly touted and still trigger so many questions about his competitive makeup is a tribute to his pure talent. He moves like Sampras and strikes the ball with comparably clean strokes, seemingly generating power at his leisure. An inventive all-court player, Federer has every shot in the book, including a reflex volley reminiscent of John McEnroe at his best.

Federer has shown flashes of greatness. He almost single-handedly knocked the United States out of the first round of the Davis Cup in 2001, and almost five months later he snapped Sampras’s 31-match Wimbledon win streak. Early last year, he upset Hewitt en route to the final at Key Biscayne (where he lost to Andre Agassi). That May, however, Federer, who lost his first 11 pro matches on clay, beat Gustavo Kuerten and Marat Safin on that surface, in the same week, to win his first Tennis Masters Series title, in Hamburg, Germany.

“This guy is the real deal, and his game is the whole package,” says US Davis Cup captain Patrick McEnroe. “He can hit from anywhere on the court and he moves with elegance. His volleys are impressive. He knows every angle out there. Sampras may have more serving firepower, but Roger strikes the shot in the same effortless way.”

Agassi adds, “He’s young and explosive and has a powerful game. He has some of the best hand speed on the tour and he knows how to put pressure on you. There are a lot of things he does well.”

Still, Federer has fallen from the high wire at the Slams (he didn’t reach a quarterfinal until the eighth major of his career), showing an infuriating talent for following up his biggest successes with inexplicable losses. For instance, the week after his triumph in Hamburg, he was ushered out of Roland Garros on opening day by Moroccan journeyman Hicham Arazi. Worse yet, a few weeks later at Wimbledon, Federer was upset by Mario Ancic – ranked No. 154 in the world – in straight sets.

“I never really felt I was playing well on grass,” Federer said of that debacle. “I never felt comfortable. I practiced with Tim Henman the day before and I got by butt kicked. Maybe that was on my mind a little, too.”

Those comments may be more noteworthy for what they reveal about Federer’s fragile psyche than his game. As Lundgren admits, “Roger just panicked at Wimbledon. For the first time ever, he started to feel the pressure and he got very uncomfortable on the court. After, he felt sad and empty.”

While in Canada a month later, Federer had his first brush with a different kind of sadness when he learned that his mentor, 37-year-old Australian coach and Swiss Davis Cup captain Peter Carter, had been killed in a car accident in South Africa. Federer says, “Peter wasn’t my first coach, but he was my real coach. I made trips with him. He knew me and my game, and he was always thinking of what was good for me.”

The one-two punch of frustration in tennis and Carter’s death bewildered Federer, who still wasn’t far removed from the warm cocoon provided by his family and life in the decidedly low-key Basel.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
THE FIRST junior match Roger Federer ever played, in Basel, turned out to be against a fellow named Reto Schmidli, and it was a 6-0, 6-0 rubout. Federer describes that match as “special” because it is the only double-bagel of his career. The remarkable thing about this revelation is that Federer actually lost the match.

It is typical of the easygoing Federer to give a rive his due – other top pros would have deleted the word “Schmidli” for their mental hard drives. But as fellow pro Jonas Bjorkman, among others, observed, “Roger, he’s a really great guy. He respects people.”

In turn, nearly everyone holds Federer in high esteem, from his peers to the game’s young fans, for whom he signs nearly every piece of paper or giant tennis ball thrust toward him. As Rene Stauffer says, “Roger lives that saying, ‘It’s nice to be important but it’s important to be nice.’ This is a guy who buys drinks for photographers and thanks reporters who show up to his press conferences.”

This sort of thing flies well with the civil Swiss, for whom Federer is a perfect antidote to the outspoken, tart Hingis. OK, Federer may have a borderline-alarming passion for American professional wrestling, and he’s neither a teetotaler nor a shut-in while on the road (on one notable occasion, Dominik Hrbaty and two hockey-playing buddies, one being LA Kings star Ziggy Palffy, showed the impressionable Federer the ropes of LA’s nightlife). But in the ways that really matter, Federer is a solid, well-mannered young man, modest and friendly – a good burgher.

Although Basel is a commercial center with a rich, 2000-year history, the oldest university in Switzerland, cathedrals, more than 30 museums, and the internationally renowned Theater Basel, Federer finds it “nondescript.” In fact, he describes Basel as a place of “no’s” – as in “no lakes, no mountains, just a big river [the Rhine] that flows through the middle of the city.”

Federer grew up 10 minutes from Basel proper, in suburban Munchenstein. His father, Robert, met Roger’s South-African-born mother, Lynette, while on a business trip for Ciba-Geigy, South Africa (they both still work for the pharmaceutical giant). Roger has a 23-year-old sister, Diana, who is a nursing student.

The only thing about the area that seems to tug at Federer’s heartstrings is his family and friends. While most people of his age – and financial wherewithal – lust for their own digs, Federer recently invested fifty-fifty with his parents in a new, bigger home in the nearby hillside town of Bittmingen. (He also shares an apartment near the Swiss national training center in Biel.)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
“My family is the ting I miss most on the tour,” Federer admits. “Why should I have my own place? Who is going to clean it for me?”

Given those priorities, it’s easy to understand how Federer ending up dating a fair approximation of the girl next door, WTA pro Miroslava Vavrinec, who is Swiss (by way of the Slovak Republic). They met during the opening ceremonies of the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. Those Olympics, in which Federer narrowly missed winning a bronze medal, provide such sweet memories for him that a lot of the wall space in his bedroom is eaten up by a giant photograph of the opening ceremonies. “My parents and girlfriend want to put up pictures of me in the house, but I’m not ready for that,” he says. “But I do ask photographers for pictures of the nice places I play, like the US Open. I prefer that.”

Federer was introduced to the game by parents who at best were weekend hackers. His earliest tennis-related memory is of watching his idol, Boris Becker, battle Stefan Edberg on television in the 1988 Wimbledon final. When Becker lost, Federer wept. His boyhood friends encouraged Federer to switch allegiances to Edberg on the grounds that Becker was “kind of weird,” but Federer stayed the course. “Over time, though,” he says, “I learned to appreciate Edberg.”

As a youth, Federer was far more like the fiery German than the cool Swede. “I was hotheaded, always acting bad on the court, throwing my racquets like ten meters in front of me, or into the curtain,” Federer says sheepishly. “My parents hated it. When I acted badly and lost, they would say nothing during the car ride home, which was the worst. But I just couldn’t keep my emotions under control.”

It’s hard to imagine the calm, soft-spoken Federer of today broadcasting his woes and thowing tantrums. But he remained a brat until Carter and, later, Lundgren convinced him that emotional outbursts were a waste of energy.

Carter, the Swiss Davis Cup coach at the time of his death, worked with Federer from ages 10 to 14, and then off and on until early 1999, when Lundgren took over. At 15, Federer was tucked under the wing of the Swiss federation and farmed out for two full years to a national training center, then at Ecublens, near Lausanne. The facility was more than two hours by train from Basel, and in the French (as opposed to Basel’s German) region of the nation. That complicated young Roger’s life in more ways than one.

“I never liked the school to begin with,” Federer says. “But it was the worst at Ecublens because I couldn’t speak the language and I didn’t know anybody. And of course, they were making fun of me.”

But Federer flourished at tennis, slashing his way through the junior ranks. In 1998, his last year as a junior, Federer won the Wimbledon singles and doubles and the prestigious Orange Bowl title. A year later, he had cracked the ATP Top 100, and he won his first title as a pro, at Milan, in 2001. The FEDERER EXPRESS headlines were too tempting to resist, even though they didn’t exactly represent truth in advertising: Delivery was – and still is – pending.
 
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