Sunday, December 29, 2013

Roger Federer going back to the bigger racket (again) in Australia

On the same day he announced he’d be taking it old school by hiring Stefan Edberg to join his coaching team, Roger Federer revealed he’ll also be starting 2014 with a bit of the new.

As noted by Christopher Clarey of The New York Times, Federer recently confirmed he’ll play with a larger, 98-inch racket head in Australia.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion used a 90-inch racket to win each of his majors. Last summer, he briefly dabbled with a 98-inch model before going back to his regular racket prior to the North American hard court season.

He explained his decision to the Swiss-German daily Basler Zeitung. (Note: The quotes have been translated.)

I’m going to play in Australia with a similar model as in my first attempt. Actually, I wanted to switch back after the U.S. Open again, but then I had so much to do with myself and my game, that I kept it on hold. Now, I had more time to make more small changes and together with my supplier company Wilson worked on the fine details of the racket.

[...] But now I have the feeling that this is the right time for a change in the racket. I’ve played through two and a half weeks with the new model and am confident. The racket is very good in the hand. But the truth will come out on the court. We’ll see how it affects me in the tournaments in Australia.

Larger rackets tend to produce more power and are more forgiving on mishits. The disadvantage is that players say they lose control when the size of the head increases.

Pete Sampras famously stuck with his 85-inch Wilson Pro Staff throughout his career. Upon his retirement, he started using the larger racket during exhibitions and has said he wishes he could have made the change during his prime.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Friday, December 27, 2013

Stefan Edberg, Roger Federer's new coach?

Roger Federer has announced that he will work with his childhood idol, Stefan Edberg, for 10 weeks in 2014.
Edberg will join Severin Lüthi starting at the Australian Open, which begins on 13 January.
"I am happy to announce that beginning in Melbourne, Stefan Edberg will join Severin Lüthi on my coaching team," said Federer in a statement on his website. "Severin, who has been part of my team for the last seven years, will do most of the weeks and Stefan has agreed to work with us for at least 10 weeks starting at the Australian Open in Melbourne. Stefan was my childhood hero, and I am really looking forward to spending time and learning from him."
Earlier this month, Edberg took part in a training week with Federer in Dubai.
"I'm really excited to be part of Roger's team and I hope together we can bring out his best tennis," said Edberg, a six-time Grand Slam singles champions and former World No. 1.
Federer has been without a second coach since he parted company withPaul Annacone in October.
Lüthi added, "Roger will play a full schedule next year so we both wanted to make sure we had a solid team in place. I want to continue to improve and innovate Roger's game and I really look forward to be working with Stefan. Like Roger, I have a tremendous amount of respect for Stefan and I am sure he will bring a lot to our team as Roger continues to chase titles in 2014."
During the off-season a number of former ATP World Tour players have entered into agreements to coach current stars.
Novak Djokovic announced that he will be coached by Boris Becker earlier this month, while Michael Chang will oversee Kei NishikoriMarin Cilic has appointed Goran IvanisevicRichard Gasquet will team up with Sergi Bruguera and Ivan Ljubicic will coach Milos Raonic.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Song of the Moment: David Thibault- Blue Christmas

I found this earlier this week, leave it to a Canadian to perfectly impersonate Elvis. Amazing!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Roger Federer & his wife Mirka expecting another baby in 2014

Already in the swing of parenting, Roger Federer is getting ready for a larger family.

The tennis star says on Twitter that he and his wife, Mirka, are expecting another child next year.

Twins Charlene and Myla were born in July 2009, and Federer wrote Wednesday, “Mirka and I are very happy to share the news” that the couple’s daughters “will be big sisters in 2014!”

Federer’s agent, Tony Godsick, confirmed to The Associated Press the tweet is legitimate.

The 32-year-old Federer has won a record 17 Grand Slam singles titles and spent more weeks at No. 1 than anyone else in the history of the ATP rankings.

Congrats to them both! (hope it's a boy)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Roger Federer looks at life after tennis launches management firm

While Roger Federer is focused on training for the upcoming season, he is also preparing for life after tennis.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion has started a boutique agency with his American agent Tony Godsick. The firm is called Team8 and has already secured Juan Martin del Potro as a client. The young Bulgarian player Grigor Dimitrov is also rumored to have signed with Team8, according to Sports Illustrated.

Team8's website is stark and unrevealing for the time being. The firm is based out of Ohio, and Team8's Twitter bio is simply "Sports & Entertainment".

Federer and Godsick parted with IMG this summer but without any mention of launching their own venture. Federer is not expected to be an active partner at Team8 while he is still playing. His image has thrived during his long career in the limelight, largely free from any scandal.

The Swiss player's wide appeal and unprecedented success make him an excellent figure to build a brand around. Having him in a key role will make it easy for Team8 to attract athlete clients, but the agency also hopes to represent entertainers, according to The New York Times.

Federer has plenty to focus on in the near future after his ranking slipped to No. 7 this past season, which is the lowest it has been since 2003. With everything he has achieved, it is remarkable that his ambition on and off the court never seems to flag.

Last year alone, he earned $71 million and holds the record for most prize money won in tennis at just less than $80 million as of the end of the 2013 season.

At 32 years old, Federer has reached the tennis age where retirement questions plague every press conference and back problems force him to pull out of tournaments. While it will be interesting to see how he fares in business and which clients he attracts, his continued success on court and a strong finish to a peerless career are paramount for his fans.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Roger Federer believes he can win in Australia

His critics have been quick to write him off, but Roger Federer is adamant he can win the Australian Open to claim a magical 18th grand slam crown.

Federer has fallen to No.6 in the world and won just one grand slam title from his past 15 attempts - after accruing an incredible 16 during the most dominant six-year reign in tennis history from 2004-10.

Father time is also catching up with Federer, with the men's all-time grand-slam record holder turning 33 in 2014.

Yet the Swiss master earnestly believes he can land a fifth Open title at Melbourne Park next month to join fellow sporting immortals Jack Nicklaus and Michael Phelps in the record books.

Nicklaus won an unmatched 18 golf majors during his career, while superfish Phelps has 18 Olympic swimming gold medals to his credit.

Despite being overtaken by Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray in the rankings, Federer believes he's a better player now than ever and that he can challenge the big three in Melbourne.

"I've always believed that I've improved over the last 10 years, that I've not gone backwards," Federer said on Friday.

"I've been able to win it 10 years ago so I always feel that, as I move forward, I am a more complete player, a better player.

"That's why I always believe that I can win if my body's holding up and mentally I'm really hungry travelling the world and playing matches.

"And that is the case right now. I'm really healthy, I'm training extremely hard the last six weeks and I had some success coming back at the end of (the) year.

"That was quite important for me and for my confidence because I was really in a difficult spot from Wimbledon all the way til Basel, I'd say, with just finding my confidence."

Federer's remarkable run of 34 consecutive grand slam quarter-final appearances came to a shuddering halt at Wimbledon, where he lost in the second round to world No.116 Sergiy Stakhovsky.

A back injury hindered him for several months as he also suffered shocking defeats to world No.114 Federico Delbonis and the 55th-ranked Daniel Brands.

But the former No.1 rediscovered his mojo late in the season to make the semi-finals of the World Tour finals.

Federer has opted to launch his season in Australia at the Brisbane International for the first time and is confident he'll be hitting his straps come the Australian Open starting on January 13.

"Moving along on to Melbourne, I really hope to be playing my absolute best, which I really think is possible," he said.

"Then anything is possible for me. I really believe that.

"It's just important that I play better against the top guys. I've not been bad this year. I just didn't land enough wins and that's something I want to improve for this year."


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Song of the Moment: Can't Hold Us-Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

I think I mentioned before that I really don't enjoy rap or hip-hop. But I think Macklemore is becoming an exception.

And I don't pay much attention to main stream radio these days but something about the melody in this one is irresistible.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Roger Federer answers fan questions on Twitter

Roger Federer punctuated his off-season with an #AskRF session over the weekend. The 32 year old answered light-hearted questions about everything from his favourite fruit, to his drawing skills, to what he would say to Kobe Bryant upon the basketball player's return from an injury layoff. Fans also asked about what the Swiss player would be giving his wife, Mirka, for Christmas.

During the two-hour conversation, Federer shared a picture of his family's Christmas tree (which his twins helped to decorate) and responded to questions from John McEnroe and Patrick Rafter. Federer also paid his respects to former South African President Nelson Mandela, who passed away last week.

Federer plans on playing his first tournament of 2014 in Brisbane.

@rogerfederer: You. Me. #AskRF. In 2 hours. #itsaparty. See you then?

@rogerfederer: Let's do this! #AskRF

@BeaRomero27: Are you on vacation or have already started training again? #AskRF

@rogerfederer: Training really hard and enjoying myself. Ready to start the season @BrisbaneTennis in a few weeks! #SeeYouThere #AskRF

@shankerer: And what is Mirka getting for Christmas? :) #AskRF

@rogerfederer: A hashtag

@Nigogu: Tomorrow, @kobebryant returns after 8 months [of injury layoff]. What would you say him today? #AskRF

@rogefederer: @Nigogu @kobebryant I would say, 'it’s great to have you back pal'

@Sashasimba123: How long can you hold your breath underwater? #AskRF

@rogerfederer: 42 seconds. I’m not very good #giveortake

@Sashasimba123: What is your favorite fruit? #AskRF

@rogerfederer: strawberry, apple, mango

@mikebn77: You've shown the ability to recall various points within past matches. For most it's a blur. Have you always been able to do this? #AskRF

@rogerfederer: yes but every since i hit 1000 matches on tour. it seems like it's getting more blurry #AskRF

@bktinoco: how many countries have you been to? Do you have to get a new passport like every month? #AskRF

@rogerfederer: believe it or not, as we speak i'm getting a new passport because mine is full of stamps. Been to ~55 countries so far! #AskRF

@abby_schofield: whats ur favourite pizza topping ?? #AskRF

@rogerfederer: My favorite pizza is a called a #FatTony, which was a special one we had in Shanghai. Or the #ElRey #AskRF

@Lodema57: #AskRF Do you read your Twitter account everyday?

@rogerfederer: I try and keep in touch with my fans as much as possible #AskRF

@xxxxannaaa: Can you draw? #AskRF

@rogerfederer: Not very well #ShouldStickToTennis #AskRF

@crazyfedfan: Who is the funniest? You, Sev or Mirka? #AskRF

@rogerfederer: Seve is the funniest looking #FunnyGuy #AskRF

@fan_federer: Doesn't your phone black out from all these mentions? #AskRF

@rogerfederer: I have 4,500 unanswered questions in the last 45min. It slows my phone down. #HEEEEEEEEELP!!! #AskRF

@MGLovesTennis: Have the twins tried to do anything to the tree? #AskRF

@rogerfederer: they helped decorate it #helpfultwins #AskRF

@Sofia_P_018: Can you at least give a shout-out to Canada? #AskRF

@rogerfederer: What's up there #Canada! #AskRF

@KishoreRF: Do you like Colombian coffee? #AskRF

@rogerfederer: I'm actually drinking some now at the house #CafeDeColumbia #AskRF

@BlessTheGOAT: Do you ever look at your dad and think 'OMG that's me in thirty years?' #AskRF

@rogerfederer: Yes, very often #epicMustache #throwback #AskRF

@danisway_8: Are you a good dancer? #AskRF

@rogerfederer: I try to be but it always ends up embarrassing #askRF

@MoquiZikasse: i'm a big fan and i'm 8. Can you answer me please ? it'll make my day #AskRF

@rogerfederer: Enjoy yourself. Train hard. Hope to see you on tour one day! #AskRF

@Abhi422: have you ever walked into a glass window/wall? #AskRF

@rogerfederer: I was once in a glass maze. I thought I had it at one point, so I started walking quickly towards the exit and then #BOOM

@FedererFan24: #AskRF is blowing up on twitter! @rogerfederer this is a very cool idea. If you could pick your next slam title, where would it be?

@‬rogerfederer‪:‬ Working overtime so it happens at the @AustralianOpen !

@sarahmd17: What are you looking forward to the most in Brisbane? #AskRF

@rogerfederer: The atmosphere @BrisbaneTennis. The nature/outdoors, the beach and a tournament i've never been to! #ExcitedRF

@maramsad95: say some thing about this great man ever

@rogerfederer: Mandela was an inspiration to everyone.I have great admiration for his tolerance & forgiveness & all he did for the people of SA

@RuttenMartijn: What is the lowest temperature you ever played tennis in? For me it is around -5 Celsius, do you do better? ;) #askrf

@rogerfederer: I think it was around 5 degrees Celsius in Hamburg against Gastón Gaudio i think #AskRF

@julkensxo: If you could become a dinosaur,which one would you like to be? #AskRF

@rogerfederer: I've always like the stegosaurus #roomtocarryfriendsonmyback

@rogerfederer: OK guys, thanks so much for tuning in to #AskRF. It was fun as always! See you next time