Friday, May 30, 2014

Roger Federer survives tough battle into 4th round at Roland Garros

Roger Federer completed a record-breaking win at Roland Garros on Friday, reaching the fourth round for the 12th time. It bettered the record set by Guillermo Vilas, the 1977 champion, who reached the Last 16 on 11 occasions.

"At the start of my career, clay was not my favourite surface," said Federer. "I got my best results in indoor courts or hard courts, so people thought at that time that I was only a fast-court player. But that's not the case, so I'm very happy with this record, and I'm enjoying it."

Fourth seed and 2009 champion Federer extended his record to 5-0 against No. 31 seed Dmitry Tursunov with a 7-5, 6-7(7), 6-2, 6-4 victory in three hours and seven minutes. He is now three match wins shy of 200 clay-court victories (197-60 overall).

Tursunov saved three set points from 0/40 at 5-6 in the second set, before going on to seal the tie-break. He led 4/1 in the tie-break and missed a backhand down the line at 6/5. Federer did not convert a set point opportunity at 7/6, before Tursunov levelled at one-set all at 8/7 with a forehand winner.

Tursunov called it a "fairly even battle" prior to suffering a groin injury after the changeover of the second set. "Good for him that he was able to figure out what bothers me and kind of build his game plan around that," he said. "He's a tough player to play against when you're healthy, so definitely makes thing a little bit tougher."

Federer, who reached the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters final (l. to Wawrinka) last month, will now compete against No. 18 seed Ernests Gulbis on a clay court for a third time. Federer leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 2-1. Gulbis won their last clay meeting, 2-6, 6-1, 7-5 at the 2010 Internazionali BNL d'Italia.

"Clearly he has to be confident after winning a tournament last week and now backing it up again here this week and cruising through, really," said Federer. "I'm aware of the challenge ahead of me, and difficult match I think because I have had some tough matches with him in the past."

Gulbis maintained his record of never having lost to Radek Stepanek by posting a 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 win, in just under two hours.

Gulbis lost three of his first service points and hit 19 aces for his 30th match win of the year. His best Grand Slam championship result came at 2008 Roland Garros, when he fell in the quarter-finals (l. to Djokovic).

“It’s [the] first time in like six years [that] I have been in this room as a participant, not a spectator,” said Gulbis, smiling. “It is that long.

“I'm very pleased. Today, I served well. He had only one break point. I served, [on] average, one to two aces a game. Any opponent is going to have trouble with that."

On Saturday, he improved to 6-0 in ATP World Tour finals by lifting the Open de Nice Côte d'Azur crown (d. Delbonis).

When asked how he would play against Federer, Gulbis kept his cards close to his chest.

“Game plan? I don't want to tell all my cards. But I have a game plan. I know how I'm going to play him.”

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Kim Clijsters to play Legends event at Roland Garros

PARIS – The immovable force meets the unstoppable object, and something has to give.

How can we all be staying the same age and yet the senior players – the legends, as they like to call them – keep getting younger and younger at Grand Slam events?

The newest entry into the "barely retired but already out there with the fogies" department is Kim Clijsters, who has been around the grounds supporting countrywomen Yanina Wickmayer and BFF Kristen Flipkens this week.

She's 30.

But Clijsters will be back on court for real as a legend. And she's playing doubles with Martina Navratilova.

That's a treat.

Here are the teams scheduled to compete during the second week, when the singles dwindle down but the courts of Roland Garros continue to buzz with doubles, juniors and former stars.

American Lindsay Davenport has often played these events with Martina Hingis in recent years but as we know, Hingis is a little busy on the kid's tour these days. Davenport teams up with old (not OLD old, but former) partner Mary Joe Fernandez in a Tennis Channel/ESPN2 cooperative effort.

Kim Clijsters (BEL) / Martina Navratilova (USA)
Iva Majoli (CRO) / Anastasia Myskina (RUS)
Conchita Martinez (ESP) / Nathalie Tauziat (FRA)

Lindsay Davenport (USA) / Mary Joe Fernandez (USA)
Nathalie Dechy (FRA) / Sandrine Testud (FRA)
Natasha Zvereva (BLR) / Jana Novotna (CZE)

Yeah I do feel old considering I'm almost 3 years her senior :D.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Roger Federer dismisses qualifier to reach 3rd round at Roland Garros

Roger Federer has become the first man in tennis history to record 60 or more match wins at all four Grand Slam championships.
Fourth seed Federer extended his winning streak to 20 matches against qualifiers at Grand Slam championships on Wednesday when the 2009 Roland Garros champion beat Diego Sebastian Schwartzman.
Federer notched his 60th match win at Roland Garros with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win against the World No. 109, who was making his first appearance at a major, on Court Suzanne Lenglen.
“I think it was kind of tough all the way through for me," said Federer. "I didn't feel relaxed for the entire match… He managed to put pressure on me and keep the pressure on me.”
The 32-year-old Federer is 73-11 at the Australian Open, 60-14 at Roland Garros, 67-8 at Wimbledon and 67-9 at the US Open.
Elsewhere, eighth seed Milos Raonic advanced to the Roland Garros third round in a 7-6(4), 6-4, 6-1 victory over Jiri Vesely, who received the 2013 ATP Star of Tomorrow Award presented by Emirates. He will next face No. 29 seed Gilles Simon.
Two weeks ago, Raonic equalled his best clay-court result in a semi-final run at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia (l. to Djokovic). Vesely, 20, advanced to his first ATP World Tour semi-final last week at the Dusseldorf Open (l. to Karlovic).
Last year’s semi-finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the No. 13 seed, entertained French support by beating Jurgen Melzer 6-2, 6-3, 6-4.
Jerzy Janowicz, the No. 22 seed, will next face Tsonga after a 7-6(4), 7-6(4), 6-4 win over Jarkko Nieminen.
“Jerzy is a difficult player,” said Tsonga. “You never know exactly what to expect on court. He's rather unpredictable. He's very tall, he strikes hard. So you have to find a way to neutralise him and it's not always that easy.”

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Martina Hingis talks fear of failure, media struggles & tunnel vision

Former world No. 1 Martina Hingis is coaching and playing doubles with current No. 17 Sabine Lisicki at the 2014 French Open*. She also sat in the player box of promising young Swiss star Belinda Bencic during her first round match against Venus Williams, advising the 17-year-old in the Roland Garros players’ lounge following her loss.

Off the court, she’s busy promoting her Tonic Tennis clothing line. It’s a busy schedule, particularly for someone who officially retired from the game (for the second time) in 2007.

It’s difficult to believe the 2013 International Tennis Hall of Fame inductee is only 33 years old, just one year older than fellow Swiss Roger Federer.

Even she admits she’s packed more into those years than most people experience in a lifetime. In many ways, her renewed presence on the WTA Tour is a fresh start for Hingis after an unceremonious exit from the game and a messy split from her husband of three years.

She declined to comment on the status of that relationship, but multiple references to “moving on” allude to her forward-thinking mindset.

In her in-depth interview with Tennis Now, Hingis discussed her media struggles as a teen, relationship with her mother, anti-doping violation and fear of trying something new.

Knowing what you know now, what advice would you have given yourself at 14 when you were playing your first professional matches?

Maybe be more selfish. Sometimes when you travel a lot, week in and week out, you always want that private life to be part of it, and it’s very difficult to have a relationship. On the men’s side, it’s much easier. They just travel with their girlfriends. I would compromise in moments where I shouldn’t have. That’s my only regret.

On the media side, no one can prepare you when you’re thrown into that at 14. Some of my answers were not diplomatically correct. As a teenager, you get a few hits on your hand and then you learn, but you don’t always make friends. On the other hand, because I was pretty direct and said what I thought, that gave a little spark to who I was. Today, everything is politically correct and people try not to say the wrong things.

Did you feel a lot of pressure as a teenager on the tour?

I didn’t really feel pressure because I knew what I was capable of doing. I knew there were only two or three players out there who could beat me: the Williams sisters, Lindsay Davenport and Jennifer Capriati.

Sometimes I was too distracted by other things. I had my horses, my other sports. I sometimes I felt like I was missing out on things. If you really want to make it to the top, you have to have tunnel vision. All the distractions are there right in front of you and they are reachable when you’re at the top of the game. You know, going to Miami, going out and all of this.

You were forced out of the game due to that one positive test in 2007 and the subsequent two-year ban. Do you feel like you were robbed of what your career could have been?

I think I already had my time. The two years of playing (after the first retirement) were kind of a bonus. Even today, what happened there [with the doping violation], it was for the wrong reasons. I always fought against [the accusations]. You can go only so far.

I know you spent a lot of time and money trying to clear your name. How do you feel about the way things ended up?

They changed the rules after me. That tells the whole story, pretty much. A lot of things have changed. I wished they had been already in place when I was having those issues, but oh well. It helped for the others. [Note: After the Hingis case, the ITF allowed anti-doping tribunals to reduce ban length from the formerly standard two-year time frame, depending on the case).

Do you think you were treated fairly by the ITF? Should they be more worried about systematic doping than traces of cocaine?

I think people know that I always said I never took anything. I stood up for me.

If you hadn’t had those injury issues before your first retirement, do you think you would be doing what Serena Williams is doing now?

Although we’re almost the same age, I started younger. She didn’t always play a full schedule. I played between 20 or 22 tournaments a season, and she had half of that. They paced themselves differently. From 16 to 22 was craziness, week in and week out. I was able to experience other things after that. I don’t have the physical capacity that the sisters have. Sometimes, if you want to do athletics, you have to have those genes.

Personally, you’ve had some ups and downs in the past year. Has tennis helped steady you?

Definitely. It’s always something that I can hold on to. Things come and go, but tennis was always there for me.

Now that you’re a coach, do you appreciate your mother more? What is your relationship like now?

Oh yes. My poor mom! I see the players now – it’s grueling and you have to motivate them. It’s more mental than the tennis. You have to be patient, but you still have to push at the same time. My mom was a friend, mother and coach in one.

You’re still close?

More now. I’m very happy that I can always call her to get some tips and ideas on how to get better as a coach. She has so much more experience that I do. She worked with little kids and the pros.

How would you describe your personality?

I’m very impatient when I want to get something. I always want to win no matter what. I hate to lose. I’m also careful with trying out new things. Every time I tried a new thing, I was crying and saying, “I don’t want to do this!” Today, I’m happy I did all that: skiing, horses, racquetball, squash, badminton, ping-pong. But every time I try a new thing, I’m almost scared of it because I’m not going to be as good as I was in tennis. I’m always going to be compared to that, and it’s hard to be No. 1 at something else.

When you think back on your tennis career, what sticks out at the highlight?

The first tournament that I won. I won Filderstadt as a 16-year-old and got a Porsche Boxster. My mom was really happy. It was her present for two years, and then I took over. I won the car, but I couldn’t even drive it. It was a manual. The year before, Iva Majoli won it and drove it into the net of the court because she forgot about the clutch. It was a ‘96 model, and I had it for 10 years. It was my baby.

*Lisicki retired from her singles match after sustaining a wrist injury in an on-court fall. She had not yet made a decision to play doubles at the time of this article.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Roger Federer's twin girls love watching their daddy play at Roland Garros

Don't they look like little Parisian Mademoiselle's with their polka-dot dresses & sunglasses. So cute ♥. And very stylish too Mirka knows her fashion.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Roger Federer's French Open campaign off to good start

PARIS -- With his twin daughters watching from the stands, Roger Federer moved into the second round of the French Open after a 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 win over Lukas Lacko on Sunday.

Federer has played in only two clay-court tournaments this season. He reached the final in Monte Carlo but missed the Madrid tournament when his second set of twins, boys Leo and Lenny, was born.

His first match after their birth was a loss in Rome.

On Sunday, with the clay court hard and damp due to days of rain and overcast skies, the fourth-seeded Federer was back to himself, winning five of his 11 break points.

"I was happy seeing, getting early signs out of the match that I was actually playing well and I was going to get my chances I was looking for," Federer said. "My personal life, as we know, it's all great, so I'm happy the family is here."

Federer's twin girls, Myla Rose and Charlene Riva, will turn 5 in July. They were sitting in Federer's box along with his wife Mirka at the start.

The French Open is the only Grand Slam tournament to start on Sunday, and Federer played the second match on Court Philippe Chatrier, the main stadium at Roland Garros.

"I wasn't nervous actually going into the match. It's more just like those hints of fear, maybe yesterday, maybe this morning at one point, just for like five seconds, `Oh, I really hope I don't have to pack my bags today,' that kind of feeling," Federer said.

Eighth-seeded Milos Raonic of Canada also advanced, beating Nick Kyrgios of Australia 6-3, 7-6 (1), 6-3.

Raonic is the youngest man in the top 10 of the tennis rankings, and Kyrgios was the youngest man in this year's French Open draw at 19.

"I was a bit nervous going out in the first set. That's normal, I think," said Kyrgios, a former top-ranked junior player who won the junior Australian Open in 2013.

Tenth-seeded John Isner hit 23 aces and got the only break of serve he needed in the third set of a 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4), 7-5 victory over 130th-ranked Pierre-Hugues Herbert to also reach the second round.

The 6-foot-10 Isner, best known for playing the longest match in tennis history at Wimbledon in 2010, took 2½ hours to eliminate Herbert, a wild-card entry from France.

Isner saved both break points he faced and converted the only one he earned.

The American's best showings at Roland Garros were a pair of third-round finishes in 2010 and 2013.

Other men's winners included No. 6 Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic, No. 15 Mikhail Youzhny of Russia and Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Roger Federer feeling stronger and ready for Roland Garros

Roger Federer might have two sets of twins to look after now, but that hasn’t stopped him from training hard for Roland Garros, which begins on Sunday. In fact, the extra responsibility made him stronger.
“[Leo and Lenny] sleep that much that I don’t feel bad yet [about] going out of the room and coming back,” admitted Federer on Friday. “Because I was [at] home and it gave me more time to train, I think I have become a touch stronger in the last few weeks and months really.
“Things are fairly normal. Clearly, there is a bit more happening… but Mirka takes care of most of it. I hold them as much as I can, but I clearly also want to go out and about with the girls [Charlene and Myla Rose].”
Despite a loss to Jeremy Chardy in the Internazionali BNL d’Italia second round last week, Federer insists that he is confident of a strong performance in Paris. His run to the final at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters is still fresh in the memory.
“Playing well in Monaco [in April] was helpful in the sense that when I went to training I knew what I needed to work on,” said Federer. “I feel like I'm in good shape. I feel very strong.
“After Rome, it was more just staying in the rhythm and relaxing again before Paris, Halle and Wimbledon. It's an important stretch now for me, and I don't want to come into this tournament uninspired or tired… For me it's really about being fresh mentally more than anything at this point.”
Federer, who picked up the 2009 Roland Garros title (d. Soderling), has been drawn to face Lukas Lacko in the first round. 
“I know he likes having a good rhythm,” said Federer, looking ahead to the clash. “He hits early. I practised with him several times.
“I'm very confident if I need to go deep in a match or play tough matches in a row. We'll see also how it's going to be with the weather. I heard it's going to be quite difficult, especially the first week.”

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Martina Hingis big draw for Hong Kong Open says tournament organizer

Martina Hingis is being chased by organisers of the Hong Kong Tennis Open, hoping the former world number one will provide star power for the city's return to the big time in September.

Hingis, 33, who made a winning comeback in doubles last August after retiring from the WTA Tour in 2007, has been approached to play at the US$250,000 WTA Championship at Victoria Park from September 8-14.

"We have been in contact through her management agency and she is looking at her schedule. Hopefully, she can find some free time from her own commitments, as well as coaching, to return to Hong Kong," said Kenneth Low, managing director of Hong Kong Tennis Open.

"Martina will be a huge draw and it would be great for Hong Kong to have her as a tournament ambassador and also if she can play, whether it is only doubles, to inspire the local juniors."

Hingis, a five-time grand slam singles winner who has played in Hong Kong in the past, returned to competitive tennis last year partnering Daniela Hantuchova to win the Southern California Open. She also coaches German world No 17 Sabine Lisicki.

"We are looking at inviting players who can inspire the future generation in Hong Kong and Martina fits the bill perfectly," Low said.

The biggest hurdle is the tournament's positioning right after the US Open. If Lisicki performs well at that tournament - last year she was runner-up at Wimbledon - and reaches the latter stages, it will prevent Hingis from making a firm commitment.

Organizers faced a similar problem as they tried to woo top-ranked Chinese player Li Na. They have confirmed China No 2 Peng Shuai, who is ranked number one in the world in doubles.

Hong Kong's return to the world of professional tennis after more than a decade features a 32-strong singles draw as well as a smaller doubles competition. There will also be a 32-strong qualifying event for the singles.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Roger Federer through Google Glass

Ever wondered what it feels like to play tennis with Roger Federer? Or even better, as Roger Federer?
The Swiss offers fans the opportunity as he and coach Stefan Edberg don Google Glass during a light practice session. The ‘smart eyeware’ tracks their unique points of view, from the serve and rally through to the handshake at the net and autograph signing.
"It was really fun shooting this video,” said Federer. “It's not often you get to explore new angles of watching tennis. I hope fans enjoy this new perspective.”
The video was made in collaboration with Google during a visit to the Mountain View, California, campus earlier this year.

This is dork-tastic! :D

Friday, May 16, 2014

Roger Federer returning home to family after Rome defeat, back for Roland Garros

Roger Federer will be quickly reunited with his family after an opening-round defeat to Jeremy Chardy in Rome, his first tournament after becoming a father to a second set of twins just over a week ago.

Federer returned to Rome after missing Madrid for the births, which were a week earlier than expected. Federer, who dropped a third-set tiebreaker to the Frenchman, said he was frustrated walking off the court, but, "now I just want to go home."

Before the tournament, the 17-time Grand Slam champion said he had not found it easy to leave his wife, Mirka, and the kids, back at Switzerland.

He told the Daily Telegraph, "It’s an unbelievable time, so much more interesting than just winning a tournament or anything. That is so, like, secondary. It’s really exciting times now and you just want to be in touch and know everything that’s going on. I’m calling her all the time and she’s calling me and it’s really, really beautiful."

Federer also talked about his surprise at finding out that the two were expecting twins once more.

"Wow, I can’t believe it, it’s really happening again," he said. “But I always felt that there was a chance. My sister Diana has twins, a boy and a girl. And my grandmother on my mum’s side was a twin apparently. So I guess that we jumped a generation.

"It is pretty extraordinary. But I don’t feel special because of it. In fact I believe that it’s more to do with Mirka, but the doctors might tell you otherwise."

He added that they are waiting to see if the new arrivals, Leo and Lenny, are identical twins, like their older sisters. In the meantime, the family has been overwhelmed by messages and visitors.

"I got so many messages and congratulations. It’s nice to see that people are happy for me, and especially for Mirka, because she did the hard work," he said. "At the same time, people who know us, they try to give new parents some space because it is so intimate. We have had a lot of friends coming to visit the boys and Myla and Charlene, and also Mirka in particular. It has been very nice. I have loved it."

Federer will now return there before setting out for the French Open, where he hopes the whole family will join him. He is fully prepared to take on the challenge of traveling with four kids.

"I’m aware it’s going to be a lot of work," said Federer. "My plan is that they can also come on tour, and this time around at least we kind of know how to handle kids on the road."

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Roger Federer's Rome comeback cut short by Chardy

World No. 47 Jeremy Chardy saved one match point as he stunned Roger Federer 1-6, 6-3, 7-6(6) in the second round of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia on Wednesday in Rome.
"Beating Roger, for sure, is the best win ever," said Chardy. "For me, he's the best player, he's like a legend. Normally, you cannot have an idol when you play, but I really like the way he plays. So, for me, it's really good to win today.

"Today it was a difficult match. The conditions were really difficult, a lot of wind. I played a really bad first set, he played a really bad second set. After that, the third set was a good fight. I made an amazing shot on the match point and in the end I won. It was the perfect scenario to beat Roger."

The Frenchman notched his first Top 10 win of the season (1-6 mark) and the eighth of his career (8-28) as he edged Federer in two hours and seven minutes in testing conditions at the Foro Italico. 

The fourth-seeded Federer had fought back from a 2-4 deficit in the final set to force a tie-break and held match point at 6-5 after Chardy double faulted. 

With Federer stranded in the mid-court, though, Chardy hit a winning forehand pass to level at 6-6 and converted his first match point as Federer hit a service return long.
The 32-year-old Federer was playing his first match since he and his wife, Mirka, welcomed their second set of twins, Lenny and Leo, eight days ago. 

He was bidding to win the elusive Rome crown for the first time, after three runner-up showings in 2003 (l. to Mantilla), 2006 (l. to Nadal) and 2013 (l. to Nadal). The loss marks Federer’s earliest defeat of the season; he has a 28-6 match record.
"I think we both struggled to win today and in the end a shot here or there decided the match," said Federer. "He gave me a double fault to give me match point. I missed my first serve, which was crucial, but credit to him to give it a go. A passing shot is a tough one for me to take. Credit to him for fighting his way back into the match."

The 27-year-old Chardy improved to a 16-11 mark in 2014 after winning back-to-back tour-level matches for the first time since reaching the Buenos Aires quarter-finals in February (l. to Almagro). 

The Frenchman goes on to face Croatia’s Ivan Dodig, who dismissed Czech Lukas Rosol 6-1, 6-2 in 74 minutes.

German veteran Tommy Haas set a third-round clash with third seed Stanislas Wawrinka after beating Igor Sijsling 7-6(6), 6-1. 

Victory for Haas avenged the defeat he suffered to Sijsling in the Madrid first round last week. 

The 36-year-old right-hander will play Wawrinka for the first time in eight years, winning their one previous FedEx ATP Head2Head contest in 2006 on hard court in Doha.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Martina Hingis & Sabine Lisicki lose in 1st round of Italian Open in Rome

ROME, Italy - Tuesday's biggest doubles match at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia saw No.5 seeds Cara Black and Sania Mirza barely escape Martina Hingis and Sabine Lisicki's upset bid.

Black, a two-time Rome doubles winner, and Mirza are second on the Road To Singapore leaderboard, with a season that has seen them win their third WTA doubles title in Oeiras and reach the final at Indian Wells and Stuttgart. Hingis, a former singles and doubles champion here, and Lisicki earned most of the points that have put them in 10th place on the leaderboard by capturing Miami, where they defeated Black and Mirza in straight sets in the semifinals.

The second encounter between them was tight all the way through, and in fact both teams finished with 59 points. But down 8-7 in the match tie-break, Black and Mirza won three straight points to pull out the 6-4, 2-6, 10-8 triumph. They are no strangers to success in match tie-breaks, as they are now 11-3 in them. Also now 16-4 as a combination this season, they are set to face Daniela Hantuchova and Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in the second round.

Winning their first round match in a much more one-sided fashion were Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond. The recently reunited duo, whose nine WTA titles together include the 2011 US Open and WTA Championships, were 6-2 6-2 victors over Chan Hao-Ching and Chan Yung-Jan in 56 minutes. They have each won this title before with other partners.

Jelena Jankovic and Alisa Kleybanova rallied from a 5-3 first set deficit and a 4-2 second set deficit in their 7-5, 6-4 win over Svetlana Kuznetsova and Samantha Stosur. Interestingly enough, Jankovic plays Kuznetsova in the second round of singles on Wednesday.

Also advancing were Anabel Medina Garrigues and Yaroslava Shvedova, who currently stand eighth on the Road To Singapore leaderboard and next take on top-seeded Hsieh Su-Wei and Peng Shuai.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Roger Federer happy to be in Rome but missing his new born sons

Roger Federer is missing his newborn twins but decided to compete at this week's Italian Open in Rome after getting the ok from his wife.

The current World No. 4 withdrew from last week's Madrid event after his wife Mirka Federer gave birth to twin boys. Though speculation grew that Federer might also skip Rome, Federer returned to the Italian capital in time to compete at the ATP 1000 event.

Speaking to press on Tuesday, Federer explained the process leading up to his decision. "Everything happens all of sudden on Tuesday. Then I spoke to the team, I spoke to Mirka, asked all of them what they think I should do and they told me to come here and play. So I said ok, if you don’t want me around, I’ll go away! I miss them a lot already, it’s a different type of week, but I’ll get through it and I hope I can play some good tennis here,"

Federer said. A three-time finalist including last year, Federer spent his off week training in Switzerland along with young Australian talent Nick Krygios. Though looking forward to playing again. Federer stressed that being back on tour was not his main priority. "To be honest being back on the tour is the least important thing,"

Federer said. "I couldn’t be happier…for those who have kids it’s the best thing…they know what I am talking about. It’s hard to leave all the family, but I’ll see them soon, shortly. The boys are healthy and Mirka is good too. It’s a great time in our lives."

Federer said at some point he hopes to travel with his wife and all four of his children while on tour, though he wasn't sure when that would happen. Federer is scheduled to play his second round match against France's Jeremy Chardy later in the week.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Roger Federer ready for Rome

Roger Federer has arrived in Rome ahead of competing at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia this week.

The Swiss had held off deciding on his participation until the last minute, following the birth of his second set of twins, Leo and Lenny, last Tuesday.

Tweeting on Monday, Federer first said, “Thanks to all the people who wrote such super nice msg's the last few days! #meloveyoulongtime,” before adding, “Oh and btw ciao tutti, I just arrived in bella Italia! Looking forward to Rome #mostamazingcity.”

The 32-year-old Federer is playing for the first time since finishing runner-up at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters last month (l. to Wawrinka).

He reached the final in Rome last year (l. to Nadal) and also finished runner-up in 2003 (l. to Mantilla) and 2006 (l. to Nadal).

The Basel native is looking to win his 22nd ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown and will open his campaign against Jeremy Chardy.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Roger Federer has 'every intention' of playing the French Open in a few weeks

Exhale, Fed Fans.

Even with the birth of his second set of twins on Tuesday, Roger Federer expects to play the 2014 French Open later this month. His agent Tony Godsick told Christopher Clarey of The New York Times:

“Assuming that everything goes well and the kids are healthy and Mirka is doing well, he has every intention of playing Roland Garros. The question is what he plays before that, if anything. Time will tell. He is training and hasn’t missed a beat in training.”

Federer has played in every Grand Slam since the turn of the century. An appearance at the French Open would be his 58th in a row, extending his all-time record.

Mirka Federer gave birth to twin boys on Tuesday evening. Her husband withdrew from this week’s tournament in Madrid earlier in the day. Last month, he said he’d miss the French Open to be with his family.

Given the timing, it appears that won’t be necessary. The year’s second Grand Slam begins May 25 in Paris, 19 days after the birth of Leo and Lenny.

Godsick didn’t say whether Federer would play in next week’s Rome Open, which is the final major French Open tune-up. Federer’s first match wouldn’t be until Tuesday or Wednesday.

If he doesn’t play Rome, there are two tiny events the week before the French Open in Dusseldorf and Nice. Federer would have to weigh the need for another clay-court tuneup (he’s only played one such event this year) against competing in a tournament the week before a major.

When Mirka had the couple’s first set of twins in 2009, Roger returned to the court two weeks later in Montreal. He lost in the quarterfinals of that event before rolling to a victory in Cincinnati. Six weeks after the birth of the twin girls, Federer was in control of the 2009 U.S. Open final against Juan Martin Del Potro, but would go on to lose the match.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Martina Hingis talks to Mutua Madrid website after 2nd round loss in doubles

After being sent out of the 2014 Mutua Madrid Open doubles competition alongside her partner Sabine Lisicki, the Swiss player talked about her time in the Caja Mágica in an exclusive interview with the tournament’s official website, in which she promised to return.

Martina Hingis is has been sent out of the 2014 Mutua Madrid Open, but her plan is to come back next year. The Swiss, who currently coaches the in form Sabine Lisicki, evaluated her participation in the competition with us in an exclusive interview in which she spoke fondly about her time in Madrid.

Hello Martina. You just played and lost in the Mutua Madrid Open with Sabine Lisicki. How was the experience?

Well obviously [Pavlyuchenkova and Safarova] played really well, they’re the defending champions here. Of course I’m a little bit disappointed but there are more tournaments to come and Sabine will be playing in the singles competition tonight so hopefully she can do better there.

How special was it for you to play against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova?

It’s always a little bit strange having to play her. We played against each other in Miami when she had a different partner. But it’s always special, especially since we teamed up last year when she went on to win the title here while I was helping her. We know each other very well and that can be a bit of a disadvantage.

Sabine is playing really well now in singles. What are your thoughts on her progress?

She’s been training very well so far and we’ve had the chance to work together a bit over the past few days and she’s playing much better. Hopefully she’ll have a good match tonight.

Which players do you see as the favourites to win here in Madrid?

Well I hope that it’s Sabine [laughs]. If she wins tonight then her next opponent, Simona Halep, will definitely be a bigger challenge for her. Then of course there is Serena Williams who looks she’s on the right track again.

And finally, what are your thoughts about the Mutua Madrid Open?

Well I wish they had this tournament when I was playing. I only got to play in the indoor event when I qualified for the WTA Championships here. I’m happy that at least I had the chance to play here in the doubles. It’s a great event and I’m happy to be here. Hopefully I’ll do better next year.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Roger Federer & wife Mirka welcome twin boys!

Roger Federer and wife Mirka are celebrating the arrival of their second set of twins today.
Federer tweeted the arrival shortly before 10pm CET/4pm ET.
Using the hashtags #TwinsAgain and #Miracle, Federer tweeted: Mirka and I are so incredibly happy to share that Leo and Lenny were born this evening!
The Federers' first set of twins, Charlene and Myla, were born July 23, 2009.
Just today Federer announced that he had withdrawn from the Mutua Madrid Open to be with Mirka as her due date neared.
Well that was fast! LOL.  Congrats to the proud parents, and Myla and Charlene on becoming big sisters!. 
Welcome to the world Leo & Lenny (future tennis stars in the making I'm sure).  Wonder if they're identical like their sisters?.

2 sets of twins talk about a handful!. Travelling on tour is gonna get interesting for the Federer family :D. 

Monday, May 05, 2014

Roger Federer pulls out of Madrid to be close to pregnant wife

Three-time champion Roger Federer will join Novak Djokovic on the sidelines at this week's Mutua Madrid Open. The 17-time Grand Slam champion announced on his Facebook page that he'd be skipping the event to be with his wife Mirka, who is expecting the couple's third child.

“I’ve decided to withdraw from Madrid to be with my wife Mirka during these next few exciting weeks for our family,” Federer wrote. “I apologize to my fans and hope to be back in Madrid next year. I’ll be training near my home, and am excited to rejoin the Tour soon!”

We must be getting really close to the due date if Roger actually pulled out, I predict late May early June birth for Fed baby #3 :).

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Martina Hingis 1st round doubles success in Madrid

MADRID, Spain - Martina Hingis and Sabine Lisicki shook off a first set loss to beat No.7 seeds Alla Kudryavtseva and Anastasia Rodionova in the first round of the Mutua Madrid Open on Sunday.

The first set was a see-saw affair, with four-time WTA titlists Kudryavtseva and Rodionova losing the first two games, winning three straight, losing one and then winning three straight again to seal it.

But Hingis and Lisicki then grabbed the momentum, taking the first four games of a second set they would cruise through.

They had to make a bit of a comeback in the match tie-break, where from 4-1 down they won five points in a row and eventually finished off the 3-6, 6-2, 10-6 victory.

A key stat was second serve return, as Hingis and Lisicki won 12 of 19 such points and Kudryavtseva and Rodionova just four of 16.

"We actually started well," Lisicki said. "We lost a bit of focus and then regained it in the second set and played quite well in the match tie-break."

This was Hingis and Lisicki's fifth match against a seeded duo in their seven matches together.

"They're a good doubles team," said Hingis, who was making her Madrid debut. "We always seem to play seeds in the first round. We don't get easy draws, but I think we can go out there and play against anybody. It's good to get the first win. Now we're in the second week of the tournament!"

Match tie-breaks, which early in Hingis' return to the doubles circuit last summer seemed to trouble her, are clearly no longer an issue. She and Lisicki have now won the last three they've been in, including two en route to the Miami title in their last outing.

The win was especially significant, in that Kudryavtseva and Rodionova came into Madrid in seventh place on the Road to Singapore leaderboard and Hingis and Lisicki were in 10th, and only eight spots are available.

Next up for Hingis and Lisicki are defending champions Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Lucie Safarova. Hingis has worked with Pavlyuchenkova in a coaching role in the past.

Also winning their opener were eighth-seeded Germans Julia Goerges and Anna-Lena Groenefeld, 6-3, 6-4, over Janette Husarova and Zhang Shuai.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Roger Federer & Rafa Nadal to play Wimbledon warm-up in Halle

World No. 1 Rafael Nadal and defending champion Roger Federer will compete at the 2014 edition of the Gerry Weber Open, to be held 9-15 June in Halle. The ATP World Tour 250 grass-court event will feature its strongest field in tournament history.
“We are happy about Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, two legends of this sport,” said Tournament Director Ralf Weber. “It will be a thrilling showdown of the top two players, but with some strong competition. This shows with the cutoff because with only players in the Top 53 in the world, we have the best collective [Emirates ATP Ranking] of all time for the main field.”
In addition to Nadal and Federer, the entry list includes two-time champion Tommy HaasMilos RaonicRichard GasquetKei NishikoriGael Monfils, returning finalist Mikhail Youzhny and Jerzy Janowicz.
“The road to the tournament victory has gotten much more difficult in recent years because there are so many top players in the field,” said six-time champion Federer, who will be making his 12th tournament appearance. “The spectators can look forward to an extremely strong tournament, I am certain of that.”
Nadal will be making his third main draw appearance in Halle, and reached the quarter-finals on his last visit in 2012. “I urgently want to have a successful start to the grass court season. Halle is a tremendously organised tournament with a great audience. Everybody wants to play their best tennis,” he said.
The Gerry Weber Open will be recategorised as an ATP World Tour 500 tournament in 2015, along with the Aegon Championships at the Queen’s Club in London.