Sunday, August 31, 2014

Martina Hingis through to U.S. Open doubles 2nd round

Tennis - Once upon a time, the Williams sisters and Martina Hingis were battling it out in the final stages of the Grand Slams. Now, the trio are back again competing for silverware at the US Open - but this time in the women's doubles event.

On Thursday, Venus and Serena Williams combined to score an upset win over the seventh seeded duo of Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic to move into the second round of the doubles event, hours after Serena had advanced to the third round of the singles draw with a convincing win over fellow American Vania King.

Meanwhile, Martina Hingis, whose appearances are restricted to the doubles events only these days, partnered with Flavia Pennetta to advance when their opponents Andrea Petkovic and Magdalena Rybarikova retired while trailing 1-6, 0-3, Hingis and Pennetta will next meet the 15th seeds Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Lucie Safarova.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Roger Federer cruises into 3rd round at U.S. Open

Roger Federer eased past rocket-serving Aussie Sam Groth in straight sets on Friday night in New York, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4, to set up a third-round encounter with Spain’s Marcel Granollers.

Though Groth was able to hit 147 MPH on the radar gun, it didn’t keep Federer from making inroads into the big Aussie’s service games. 

At one point during the match Federer wowed the lively night session crowed by blocking a 142 MPH serve for a clean winner.

“What I like about these kind of matchups is there's always going to be something unusual that's going to happen, unusual shot-making,” Federer said. “You have to react rather than just always play percentage tennis. You just hope to get the other odd ball back, and then all of a sudden it drops short; you've got to run up to it. Whenever somebody is at the net or you're at the net, there's always something of the unknown that's going to happen a little bit more.”

Federer broke serve five times on eleven opportunities, which should have facilitated a rout for the Swiss maestro, but Groth managed to stay close to Federer in each set.

Federer broke for 4-3 in the opener with a magnificent backhand pass and served the set out to take the early lead.

After trading breaks in the second set, Federer would score the late break in the ninth game, then hold to love for a two sets to love lead.

In the third, Groth would threaten by moving ahead 4-2 when Federer netted a backhand, but Federer would respond to take the next four games to seal the victory in one hour and 48 minutes.

“To be honest, for me, I was trying not to get caught up in the whole Roger act out there,” Groth told reporters after the match.

He added: “I feel I should have won the third set. Game points at 4-2, game points at 4-All. I didn't execute when I needed to.”

Federer moved into a tie for 7th place on the all-time US Open win list with 69. He’s now two behind Pete Sampras and Bill Tilden, who are tied for 5th, and four behind Ivan Lendl.

Groth had never faced a top ten player before.

Federer improved to 24-1 in night session matches on Arthur Ashe Stadium with the win.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Roger Federer amazes Chris Evert, Brad Gilbert and Patrick McEnroe with his longevity

Roger Federer will play his 60th consecutive Grand Slam at this year’s US Open, which is the most consecutive Grand Slam tournaments played by any man in the Open Era, and Federer’s not only playing, he’s considered to be one of the top two favorites to win the whole event.

That subject was discussed during an ESPN conference call on Friday by Chris Evert, Brad Gilbert and Patrick McEnroe, each of whom confessed to being blown away by not only the fact that Federer is still playing beyond his 33rd birthday (August 8), but that he’s thriving, staying clear of injuries and moving better than he has in years.

“The thing I love about him,” said Evert, “is his temperament is so easy going that he won’t get mentally burned out because he just lets losses and things roll off his back. He’s relied mostly on his physical talent rather than I think the intensity of a Nadal, for instance. Somebody like Nadal or Djokovic I think would burn out mentally. He forgets about the match once it’s been played. That’s why emotionally and mentally he’s been able to sustain that high level.”

Heading into his 15th US Open appearance (which is more than any other active player), Federer has been in good health all season long, unlike his top rivals. With Nadal missing the US Open due to a wrist injury, Djokovic battling a tricky wrist injury that hampered his form during the clay season and Andy Murray recovering from hip surgery that was undergone in 2013, Federer has somehow managed to remain relatively unscathed physical.

“What’s amazing about him is in 15 years he’s had no surgeries, no major injuries,” said Brad Gilbert. “He had this thing last year, 18 months, with his back. He didn’t miss any significant time. That’s first and foremost, that he’s had no serious injuries. He seems to be able to play without barely even sweating, not to mention he’s about one of the only guys that plays on clay, you look at his socks, he doesn’t have any dirt on his socks.”

Avoiding getting dirty, so to speak, is what will eventually set Federer apart from his current rivals, says Evert. She also believes that his style of play—short and sweet and aggressive—will help him prolong his career even further.

“On the physical side, his game is so efficient, his body is efficient,” Evert said. “He doesn’t try to wear you down with 18-ball rallies. He’s pretty much a quick-point player. I think physically, you know, he doesn’t get involved in the long, drawn-out matches, so that helps to preserve his body. I think he’s a different temperament. Nadal, Djokovic and even Murray are completely different. I think their bodies and their minds will give up on them a little earlier than Roger’s will.”

“I think seeing Federer close up as we did in Cincinnati, which obviously he won again for the sixth time, you just marvel at him,” said Patrick McEnroe. “His movement is so phenomenal.”

Federer, who has amassed 80 career titles to go with his 17 Grand Slam titles, is bidding to become just the fifth man in the Open Era to have won two major titles after the age of 30 at this year’s US Open. As the second seed he will begin his bid for a sixth title in New York with a first-round encounter with Australia’s Marinko Matosevic.

“He’s obviously done an amazing job of taking care of his body, listening to his body,” Gilbert said. “Another thing that he’s really done smartly probably over the last seven, eight years, he plays an incredibly wise schedule. He doesn’t overplay. He seems to plan his schedule for the entire year and sticks to his schedule and listening to his body. He certainly is the Cal Ripken of tennis and what he’s doing should be a landmark for players to emulate how he’s been able to stay healthy and keep himself in the mix.”

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Roger Federer teams with Michael Jordan to create new tennis shoes

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(Photo: Nike)

There’s going to be plenty of attention on Roger Federer’s footwork when he kicks off his 2014 U.S. Open against Marinko Matosevic Tuesday night, but it won’t be for the usual reasons.

The 17-time Grand Slam winner will be debuting his new shoe, the Nike Zoom Vapor 9 Tour AJ3, which will certainly look familiar to classic sneakerheads or anyone who happened to be an NBA fan in the late 1980s.

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Federer’s latest model channels the Air Jordan 3, which debuted in 1988. Federer told For The Win via email through a Nike rep that he really got into basketball, soccer and tennis when he was seven years old, the same year the Jordan 3 was released. When he was looking to do a collaboration with the brand’s most legendary pitchman, those were the model of Jordans he liked the most.

Legendary Nike designer Tinker Hatfield, who crafted a bulk of the Air Jordan shoes and has worked on some of Federer’s previous signature models, designed both the Air Jordan III and Zoom Vapor 9 Tour AJ 3 as well.

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Also involved in the collaboration process? Michael Jordan himself.

The NBA Hall of Famer said that he was intrigued when he heard about Federer’s interest in wearing a Jordan tennis shoe.

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“About a year ago, I heard that Roger wanted to design and wear a Jordan shoe on the court. I have followed Roger’s career and have been a big fan for some time now,” Jordan said via a Nike rep. “I definitely thought this could be a really unique and special collaboration and when I heard that Roger wanted the shoe to be modeled after the Air Jordan 3, I was in. To me, this collaboration is not just about style. I really wanted Roger to get involved and understand what he needed from the shoe itself to perform at his best while still having the look and feel of a Jordan sneaker.”

Jordan, who posed for a selfie with Federer during a meeting Monday night in New York City, will be in attendance at the Billie Jean King Tennis Center for the on-court debut of Federer’s new shoes.It will actually be the first professional tennis match Jordan has ever attended in person.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Roger Federer off to a good start at U.S. Open

Darth-Federer is back! :)

I stand corrected he does have black ones these are so much better

WHAT HAPPENED: Radiating rediscovered confidence, with a larger racquet, two new twins under his roof in Switzerland and coach Stefan Edberg in his corner, 33-year-old Roger Federer is – suddenly – a favorite to win the US Open. In his opening-round match under the lights against the unheralded Australian Marinko Matosevic, the second-seeded Federer was close to his imperious best before playing a scratchy third set. The Swiss needed a final-set tiebreak to win 6-3, 6-4, 7-6.

“It was a bit more difficult in the third set than I wanted,” Federer said on-court after the win.

Moving forward in classic Edberg style, Federer won 22 of 30 net points. Looking to volley has been part of Federer’s game plan to shorten points since he began working with Edberg last year.

Perhaps even more impressive than Federer’s net play Tuesday night was the magic he created with less-vaunted parts of his arsenal: feathery touch lobs and cracked topspin backhand winners.

“I came up with some really good passing shots tonight,” said Federer.

Throughout the match, Matosevic rushed the net nearly as much as Federer, in a tacit acknowledgement that he stood little chance playing from the backcourt against his free-swinging opponent. Matosevic, currently the 79th ranked paleyer in the world, had a much better showing than the only previous time he faced Federer, when he went down 6-1, 6-1 in Brisbane in January of this year.

Basketball Hall-of-Famer Michael Jordan was in attendance inside Arthur Ashe Stadium, and Federer wore sneakers that are the result of a collaboration with the six-time NBA champion. For his first test in New York this season, Federer dismissed Matosevic in the same manner Jordan's Chicago Bulls did to the local New York Knicks in the 1990s.

WHAT IT MEANS: Last year Federer frequently looked a step slow, and predictions of his demise abounded. But the veteran came into Flushing Meadows having reached four consecutive finals, including the title at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati weeks after coming oh-so-close to snatching his eighth Wimbledon crown earlier in the summer.

The keys to his reinvigorated game have been Federer’s improved health – the Swiss has said he feels 100 percent, with no lower-back issues – and, as a result, his improved court movement.

One potential danger evidenced in this victory was Federer’s inability to break serve, converting on just 3 of 14 opportunities. That has been a problem in the past and is something the Swiss will need to improve upon in later rounds.

I like the shoes but, he really should have made them in black as well, otherwise it just doesn't work with the Darth-Federer black.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Martina Hingis playing U.S. Open doubles

WASHINGTON -- Anticipation involves risk.
Positioning means determining the best place to hedge this risk.

On the tennis court, Martina Hingis has mastered this with a delicate touch.

It has been 14 years since Hingis last held the No.1 singles ranking, yet she moves like a ballerina on the court. Her footwork is not so much lightning-quick as flowing and graceful.

"She's so smart, just the smartest tennis player," Hall of Famer Billie Jean King said. "The way she plays is just so intelligent. She knows how to play and develop a point better than anyone. Watching Martina play is to see a clinic in how to play tennis."

With a single Hingis drop shot, she still reminds you of the player who won the U.S. Open at 16 in 1997 at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

"I have a saying: 'selection of shot equals talent,'" King said. "The selection of her shots is amazing. Martina is the epitome of that. And she can execute. Not only can she think where she wants the ball to go, she can actually do it. Some people think right; they just can't execute. Martina can do both.

"What it really comes down to, though, is her tennis intelligence. The way she develops a point shows her intelligence. I can't think of a smarter player, ever."

Now she's back at the U.S. Open, paired with Italy's Flavia Pennetta in doubles. As a warm-up for the Open, they lost in the quarterfinals to Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci in Montreal 6-2, 3-6, 10-1.

Even at the start of her career, Hingis was special. Tennis might never have had a better prodigy.

She began learning the game at 2 from her mother, Melanie Molitor.

At 12, Hingis became the youngest player to win a junior title in a Grand Slam tournament.

By 13, she turned pro. When Hingis won the 1997 Australian Open at 16, she became the youngest Grand Slam champion in more than a century.

By 18, Hingis had five Grand Slam singles titles. But at 22, she was out of tennis because of severe ankle problems requiring ligament surgery.

Hingis returned to a full schedule of competition in 2006. She had an impressive comeback season, winning her first Grand Slam mixed doubles title and two WTA singles titles.

However, by the fall of 2007, her body was breaking down. She also tested positive for cocaine and was suspended for two years.

As a member of the Washington Kastles of World TeamTennis this summer, Hingis looked like an artist enamored and invigorated by her craft.

"Winning with my teammates, that's the highlight," she said. "Just like anybody, I am motivated by playing well, making good deals and victories, of course. That's my motivation."

During the circuit's month-long season, she seemed to buy into the team-first approach.

"TeamTennis gave me both the life and the energy to come back to the sport," she said. "When I came back last summer, I wanted to get back the feeling of completion, of winning with a teammate. I just missed that."

Her peers are happy to see Hingis back in action.

"The way she sees tennis and understands it — I've never seen anyone like that," said Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova, who teamed with Hingis in the 2013 U.S. Open.

Hantuchova played for the San Diego Aviators in WTT this summer.

"Obviously, it's so great for the game to have her back. Whenever she's around, she brings that special thing that she has in her. Playing with her or against her has always been a huge honor."

Added Hingis, "In the U.S., you appreciate great sports, and you have a long tradition with tennis. American fans are very knowledgeable, so I love competing in front of them. It's different than in Switzerland — it's not just about the individual; it's more about team. I like that."

Hingis' touch and finesse translate well to doubles.

In 1998, she became the fourth woman in history to sweep the calendar-year Grand Slam doubles titles and overall has nine Grand Slam doubles titles.

These days, you won't find her lacking for teammates.

She plays doubles with a host of partners: Germany's Sabine Lisicki, Australia's Anastasia Rodionova and Russia's Vera Zvonereva, among others.

"It's good that I'm multicultural — that helps," said Hingis, who is Swiss but was born in what is now Slovakia.

After she retired, Hingis coached at the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy in Paris, working with Rodionova and others. In 2014, she began coaching Lisicki.

While in Paris, Hingis' former compatriot and sometime doubles partner Hantuchova persuaded her to pick up a racket again.

"She's been my idol since I was a little kid," Hantuchova said of Hingis. "She has always been such a huge influence on my career. She understands me very well because we are from the same part of the world. ...

"We were born about 20 minutes apart in the same part of Slovakia. We go out for dinners when we're not too busy with the schedules. We've stayed close friends. We always keep in touch. I will always admire her."

In March, Hingis and Lisicki won the Sony Open in Miami.

King says she thinks Hingis can win in New York again in doubles.

"I think she loves this, playing doubles," King said. "In doubles, can she win? Oh, yeah. She's amazing."

Hingis enjoys returning to the U.S. Open, where she last played in singles in 2007, losing to Victoria Azarenka in the third round.

"The U.S. Open, it's a great stage," Hingis said. "It's the biggest tournament: size, prestige, everything. If you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere, right? It's always such a great time. The vibe in the city, the people, they just appreciate great sports."

She's optimistic she still has what it takes to be a champion.

"Can I win a Slam again? Well, that would be like a dream. That's why we're out here, to win titles," she said. "A Grand Slam, yeah, that's definitely what I'm aiming for at the end of the day, right? I wouldn't mind. Sign me up. I'm ready."

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Stars are aligned for Roger Federer's next Grand Slam

The stars are aligning in a way that suggests that Roger Federer will put a potential capstone on his extraordinary career in some 20 days with a triumph at the U.S. Open. Make what you want of the theory. Dismiss it as outlandish. Call it insulting to his fellow contenders. Characterize it as the delusion of an undeclared Federer partisan. It’s okay by me and irrelevant to the topic anyway.

The topic being the fact that Federer is going to win his 18th Grand Slam title at Flushing Meadows, and there isn’t a danged thing the haters or his rivals can do about it. If it’s any consolation, just think how good you’ll feel if I’m wrong about this, and you thereby earn the right to puff up your chest and squawk like a rooster.

The funny thing is, I don’t even like making predictions. I’ve said it before: I’m interested in seeing and understanding what happens, not predicting it. But this time around, the case is just too compelling. And wouldn’t it be just terrific if a player who’s been an absolute paragon in this game fired at least one more majestic salvo?

Federer has come close, but he’s won just one Grand Slam title since the spring of 2010, that one in the summer of 2012. In the interim, he’s always been in the hunt—most recently a few weeks ago at Wimbledon, where he lost a close final to a younger, higher-ranked man in deep need of a win, Novak Djokovic. More important, Federer been competitive at almost every major, a quarterfinalist or better at 15 of the 18 majors since he won the 2010 Australian Open.

So Federer has been biding his time, awaiting his opportunity, keeping the faith. He’s seen Djokovic go soft again, and Rafael Nadal drop out. And now?

“I could have just not played here and gone into the Open feeling good about my chances,” Federer remarked after he backed up his runner-up finish in Toronto with a win in Cincinnati. “Now I feel even better, you know.

“On the flip coin, what was the other plan? Practice? Take a few days off? But then I have to grind it out in practice. I still believe matches are the best practice right now. I'm not going to fly back to Switzerland. I can just enjoy New York for what it is and go out to the practice courts and do the opposite of what I had to do last year.”

In 2013 Federer had three-hour practice sessions in New York, and he even pushed himself through practice sessions after some matches. He doesn’t feel he needs to do that this year. “I know my game is where I want it to be,” he said. “It's about just keeping that level up right now.”

But 2014 is a lot different from 2013 in many other ways, the most conspicuous being the absence of Nadal, a gift that just kept giving when the Spaniard’s decision to skip the tournament because of a lingering wrist injury ensured that Federer would receive the No. 2 seed. Federer won’t have Nadal’s 23-10 career advantage and 9-2 recent edge to worry about.

With the seeding bump, he also won’t need to fret about facing Djokovic until the final (Federer leads their head-to-head, 18-17; they are 2-2 this year). Djokovic didn’t even make the quarters in Toronto or Cincinnati. His game is in disarray. That’s three stars drifting into place, right there.

Among the other things that Federer won’t have to worry about, either, are major threats nearby. While Djokovic can grouse about a potential quarterfinal meeting with Andy Murray, Federer probably would be more than happy to face the only other Grand Slam champion in his half of the draw for a spot in the final—that unseeded, struggling veteran being Lleyton Hewitt. Superstitious types probably need not worry. Hewitt’s first round opponent is No. 6 seed Tomas Berdych.

Only one man has beaten Federer in a U.S. Open final in six opportunities. That was in 2009 when, in a resounding upset, Juan Martin del Potro won his first and to date only Grand Slam title. But like Nadal, del Potro is out of commission with a bad wrist. And you say you don’t believe in the music and movement of the celestial orbs?

The gods of the draw have put an interesting mix of stylish players in Federer’s path, like No. 17 seed Roberto Bautista Agut and No. 15 Fabio Fognini. But those types always need to bring two lunches to the fray because Federer will eat their first one, guaranteed. Ivo Karlovic could be a third-round stumbling block, and while giants with atomic serves are always dangerous, they’re like the proverbial broken clock that’s right twice a day. Nobody remembers how often they’re eliminated by the elites, just the odd upsets they pull off.

On form, Federer would meet up-and-coming Grigor Dimitrov, the No. 7 seed, in the quarterfinals. The next most dangerous opponents lurking in Federer’s quarter probably are the two talented Frenchmen, No. 12 Richard Gasquet and No. 20 Gael Monfils. But Gasquet has an abdominal strain and Monfils is more showman than assassin of champions.

The most dangerous obstacle for Federer might be Roger Federer, or at least the one who took a horrific fourth-round loss to Tommy Robredo last year, or who allowed David Ferrer to run off with thesecond set of the Cincinnati final last week. The Robredo match seemed significant because it came during a period of struggle for Federer, and looked like it might be a nail in the coffin of his career. But a lot has happened to Federer since then, all of it good. Before Robredo, his worst loss since he first won the U.S. Open in 2004 was to Berdych in the 2012 quarterfinals. The only player who’s been more consistent than Federer at the U.S. Open is Nadal at Roland Garros.

Still, one of the perils for an aging champ, as we saw in Federer's loss to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the Toronto final, is that his game simply goes away more frequently, and for longer periods. One minute it’s there, and the next it’s gone. Poof! Just like that. The next thing he knows, he’s asking himself, “How did that happen?” There’s nothing Federer or anyone else can do about that, except remain vigilant. Nature, though, will run its course no matter what.

Federer seems to be in a situation comparable to the one that faced his pal Pete Sampras in the two years before he left the game. Sampras eventually did so in burst of glory with a win at the 2002 U.S. Open. Federer’s dilemma is far less desperate—Sampras was coming off a long title drought and took first- and second-round losses at, respectively, the French Open and Wimbledon. Federer, by contrast, has remained within comfortable striking distance at the Slams. He could futz around for a couple more years before he’s obliged to gaze upon any major as Armageddon.

But take a look up at the stars tonight and think about it: Wouldn’t a Federer win in New York be refreshing, not only to his fans, but to those who love tennis? It would certainly be the best thing that could happen to Federer at this stage in his career, but it would also be a great thing for the game itself.

Roger Federer receives favorable draw at U.S. Open

Top-seeded Novak Djokovic will face a difficult draw at the 2014 US Open, as the draw revealed that he could face top-ranked American John Isner in the round of 16 and potentially Andy Murray or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the quarterfinals. - 

The 2011 champion will open his bid for a second US Open title with Diego Schwartzman of Argentina, and could face his first seeded opponent in the third round in the form of Spain’s Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.

Since Wimbledon, Djokovic has struggled, going 2-2 with two round of 16 defeats in Toronto and Cincinnati.

In the bottom half of the draw Roger Federer could be headed for a quarterfinal matchup with rising Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov.

Federer will open his bid for a sixth US Open title with Marinko Matosevic of Australia, and will face either Sam Groth of Australia or Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the second round. The highest seed Federer could face before the quarterfinals is 15th-seeded Fabio Fognini of Italy.

Potential men’s semifinals, if the seeds hold, at the US Open are: Djokovic-Wawrinka and Federer-Ferrer.

With all that said he's still got other opponents that could be equally as dangerous, but there's no denying that his odds improved with this draw.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Roger Federer & wife Mirka out and about with twin sons in NYC

He recently added another trophy to his mantel piece after facing David Ferrer on the tennis court.

But spending time with his true prized possessions, Roger Federer enjoyed some family time in New York City on Tuesday afternoon.

Joined by his wife Mirka and three month old twins sons Leo and Lenny, the 33-year-old sporting ace headed out to grab a bite to eat on Madison Avenue.

The couple were joined by their nanny who was seen pushing the twin's stroller as the tennis star and his wife walked by closely.

Very much daddy cool and embracing the sunshine, Federer wore a pair of pastel blue shorts with a navy shirt and a pair of suede brogues while donning a pair of aviator shades.

Also opting for the summer look, Mirka, 36, teamed purple floral trousers with a white T-shirt and sandals as she wore her brunette hair back in one.

The family were seen making various stops around the city and picked up some beverages while out and about. 

Federer recently claimed his sixth Western and Southern Open title in Cincinnati.

After beating David Ferrer 6-3 1-6 6-2 in the final big event before the US Open, the Swiss player proved victorious once again.

However a surprising opponent by the name of Anna Wintour recently called Roger out and has nominated him to take part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Roger Federer talks to Sports Illustrated

It was once a victory tour. Each year at this time, from 2004 to ’08, Roger Federer would roll through New York City, put on a two-week magic show and leave with the U.S. Open trophy. 

Now it’s more of a ... well, a what? It’s not a farewell tour. Federer, 33, has no immediate plan to ­retire -- just as the rest of us wouldn’t if we were still among the top three practitioners in our line of work. It’s not even a nostalgia tour. 

Last week he won the Western & Southern Open title and, having come within a few games of winning an eighth Wimbledon last month, Federer is a prime contender in Queens.

Before taking his 5-year-old twin daughters swimming in a Toronto hotel pool during the Rogers Cup two weeks ago, Federer sat down with Sports Illustrated. Over an espresso and a bottle of sparkling water, he marveled at his past, enthused about his present and pondered his future. But not too much.

SI: What’s it like to be Roger Federer right now?

Federer: First of all, I can’t believe how old I am. Time goes by way too quickly on the tour. I can’t believe it’s already August. Time feels like it’s on fast-forward. But I’m in a great place. Feeling so much better than I did last year. Family’s great.

SI: When you leave home—

Federer: It’s always a test: Would I rather stay at home, or am I happy to go on the road again? I was so happy to get back on the road [in preparation for the U.S. Open]. I love Switzerland. We had a great time there, caught up with friends and family ... but [my wife] Mirka and I love packing things up and traveling again. We always see its positives. The organization is the toughest thing.

SI: Different players have different relationships with the sport. Someone like Andre Agassi had an on-again, off-again thing. Did you ever fall out of love with tennis?

Federer: I struggled early in my career. I wouldn't want to go to practice or I would play for 45 minutes and feel so flat or not enjoy it. Why am I doing this? Can I do it tomorrow? Those kind of feelings.

In a way, I'm happy I had so much of [the lethargy] early, between 16 and 21, but it was tearing me up as well. I would come out on court at 9 in the morning for practice. There was the other guy, the professional, jumping up and down, really sweating, because he's been practicing. I'm rolling this way from bed. My coach told me to practice at 9. Here I am. One hour later, you're down 6-1, 4-1. It's over. It wasn't worth it. Like, What am I doing?

I had so many of these moments that I [finally] said, "I'm not going to waste practices anymore, I'm not going to do this anymore, I'm going to be professional." In the process, I started to really enjoy it.

Today I love practice. My favorite is when nobody's watching. I feel I can be a clown or how I really am. When there's a crowd, I feel I'm being watched. People are taking pictures. People are filming. People are analyzing. So I go more into the zone: OK, let's make this a good practice, let's try to work on what we wanted to do. I still enjoy it, though, because people are happy they can see me and I can do what I love.

SI: Most of us who have kids know you have to recalibrate your workday. How has the adjustment been?

Federer: It has a huge impact on your life. I mean, 24/7 you think, What are the kids up to? Like right now I know what my four kids are doing. In an hour it’s a different situation, maybe they’re going to have dinner, we need to put them to bed, I can go back and read good-night stories. The train is going at the same time even though you’re not with them.

I miss the family when I'm not with them. At the same time, I know it’s not always possible to be with them. That’s fine. I’m happy it didn’t pull me away from tennis. That’s the first worry I had five years ago. I thought I was not going to be able to practice as much as I need to. Then I thought my schedule was going to be cut by maybe 30 percent. But it didn’t happen. I play full schedules and am able to manage it. That was a surprise for me.

SI: You once told me you don’t like being alone. Has that changed?

Federer: I love having people around. I love having an open house at the hotel or in my place. People can always come around. I felt super odd when I went to Shanghai by myself last year or to Monaco this year. I get back to my room and there's nobody there. So I give keys to my coach and physio. Just come by.

SI: What has been the biggest change, 33 versus 23?

Federer: The game has evolved. Racket technology and especially string technology have had a big impact. More and more guys play from the baseline. I’ve had to adjust to that. Back in the day, in a nutshell you'd have about 30 percent of the guys serving-and-volleying, 30 percent playing aggressively and 30 percent retrieving. Now it's all pretty much the same. Everybody has a good serve, forehand, backhand. Usually don't volley very well. So you get stuck in the same rallies more often, which is way more predictable, which is easier. But maybe it's not as fun sometimes as it used to be when one day you played the retriever, then you play the aggressive guy. I like the change.

Then [another change is] just how do you manage your experience? Because experience can be a very good thing, but sometimes it can also be a hindrance. You’re not playing as freely, you’re playing the percentages too much. It becomes too calculated. I like to play free-flowing­ tennis. I have to remind myself to play like a junior sometimes.

What would you say?

SI: The biggest change for me? Social media, probably—

Federer: Social media, right!

SI: You really seem to have taken to it.

Federer: Yeah, it took me awhile. I started with Facebook slowly. Then Twitter -- I started last year at the French. Took a lot of convincing. I didn’t quite understand the idea. Everybody uses social media differently. Some use it as information coming to you. Some guys are really open and say, “Look, I’m having an espresso right now,” which to me is like, What?

Then I just said, "If I do it, it needs to be me." My idea was to give people extra insight nobody else has. Feed them something they didn’t know. People like what I’m saying. I think it’s been actually quite nice.

SI: You set the tone.

Federer: Then let's say I read the press sometimes. At the end of an article, those seem very mean quite often.

SI: Comments? Yeah, don’t read those. It’s like you see the decline of civility in real time.

Federer: Yeah. That's how I thought it would be on social media. But it's not so bad. It's actually super supportive.

SI: There is an easy trope: Federer is so efficient, Swiss, punctual, precise. Do you feel your Swiss heritage expresses itself in your game? Do you feel Swiss culture is part of your personality?

Federer: Switzerland is a very interesting place because of the four languages we speak. I've lived in many places in Switzerland, and everywhere it's different. Every half hour you drive, the accent changes. I don't want to say people are different, but it's a very diverse place.

So I think, Who is the real Swiss? It's a tough question to answer. But it is an amazing place to grow up. It gave me the freedom I needed. In that sense, I was very fortunate.

Switzerland has always been very supportive. The people don't lose it. When you do something really big, they keep you grounded. Everybody is supposed to be equal. I love that about Switzerland.

At the same time you think, Why can't we be more euphoric sometimes? Why can't we go crazy? We do, but very rarely. We come right back to who we really are. From that standpoint, it's actually a very comfortable place to live.

SI: You hear that you're so artistic. What kind of art inspires you?

Federer: When I was younger, I didn't understand how you can get inspired by things. But then I met certain people, went to art galleries, listened to certain music. You drift off a little bit. That's happened to me more often recently. Maybe it's because I feel like I need more motivation and inspiration to be able to perform well, whereas in the beginning you're so excited, a kid in a candy store. I'm playing against the guys I saw on TV? You don't need any more inspiration than that when you're younger.

SI: What do you like?

Federer: I like modern art. It's been good for me to have an open mind, to not just think tennis. That's one of the things I've done so well over the years: When I finish my practice, I switch off the moment I get in the car.

SI: What are two things that have nothing to do with tennis and family that you like to do?

Federer: Catching up with friends. Going for a coffee. When I'm on vacation, it's going to the beach, just listening to the waves. It's very quiet [in those moments], which is nice because I live this busy life.

SI: What’s one thing you’re looking forward to when you’re no longer playing tennis?

Federer: I had to put playing other sports on the back burner because I'm too scared to get injured. I used to play squash, badminton, basketball, soccer and go skiing. Now my family clearly has taken up that part in my life.

SI: Whenever you do retire, is there part of you that says, I did these wondrous things, made this magic on the tennis court, what am I going to do in my next phase that’s going to compete with that?

Federer: I don’t see it that way. Tennis for me is isolated. It’s been this most incredible journey. Yeah, something that gave me all these opportunities to travel and do all these cool things. I never thought it would be like this. I thought it was going to be a little bit of press, maybe the odd sponsor. It's been so much more.

Maybe we'll be doing an interview in 20 years and I'll say, "I did the most incredible things after tennis." [When I’m done] I will do quite different things, but I’d like to stay in tennis. And my foundation. I’ll have more time to travel, to do projects, do some more fund-­raising. ... I don’t know where it’s going to take me. I feel like I don’t want to think too far ahead. The more I think about life after tennis, the closer I am to the end. I don’t want to be there. I can figure it out once it’s all said and done.

SI: You said earlier that you have the experience, you play the percentages, you don't play like a junior. Do you ever think, I'm 23, I'm just going to go out there—

Federer: Nothing to lose?

SI: Nothing to lose.

Federer: Not every shot, not every point.

I remember this moment: I think it was against Alex Radulescu in Toulouse, second round of qualies, 1998. I think it was 5-all in the second-set tiebreaker, maybe second serve. He was serve-volleying first, second serve. I think, I'm going to go inside backhand, Becker style. And I just drilled the backhand in the corner. 6-5. Served it out. 7-6, 7-6. Went on to make the quarters.

Sometimes I wish I said, "At this particular point, I'm just going to go crazy." I sometimes do, but it's more forced than it was back in the day when you say, "This is what I'm going to do and I know it's going to work."

SI: How do you sort of out-think yourself and convince yourself to do that?

Federer: I know I can hit great shots. But it's something that goes against logic. One-in-10 [chance] back in the day, one was enough. But today one out of 10 is not enough.

That's where confidence comes in. Either we talk too much about it or not enough, but confidence is a huge thing in tennis, sports in general. It's a hard thing to explain, but it really does make you win or lose sometimes.

Last year, for instance, I lost my confidence. Instead of serving it out, you won't. Or instead of making that break point, you won't. You just won't get lucky because you've played too passive.

SI: You're open about it.

Federer: Yeah. [Confidence] has a much bigger place in sports than we sometimes think. Same with home-court advantage. When you have home-court advantage, I feel like you dare to try things out, and risk pays. It makes your opponent nervous if he feels he's against the crowd. You feel like it's going to pay off if you play aggressive.

SI: But you have home-court advantage every time you play.

Federer: Quite often. So it's definitely been helpful.

SI: We talk about the Federerization of tennis. You have a big impact on the whole culture. How much is this intentional that your ethic has affected things?

Federer: I just needed to get my losing in check. I needed to figure out how to lose, not in style, but keep it together. I used to always break down crying when I was younger. That became embarrassing to a degree at one point.

The problem is that once you're in the limelight, once you've won the big one, been world No. 1, you're supposed to always be humble and good. Sometimes I feel like it's gotten to be too much. Like everybody has leaned toward, I'm not the favorite. The other guy played great. It's always the same thing from everybody. I miss the feistiness sometimes because I do believe there is a place for feistiness in the press room, on the court. As long as you play by the rules. But that's why we have the umpires. They keep us in line.

SI: Do you wish there was more friction?

Federer: I do, more aggressive characters. That's why I like the guys who are a bit cocky or confident. It's important to be that way as well. Not silly about it, but still really believing.

I was like that when I was younger. But my hero was [Stefan] Edberg [now Federer's coach]. He was very humble. Even [Michael] Jordan, he always seemed like he was this elegant guy in victory and defeat. I don't know what the perception of him was in the States, but that's how I saw him. I wanted to be like that eventually.

I just said I need to not go overly crazy when I win. But trends have gone the other way. When you win, everybody lies on the floor now, runs into the crowd. Sometimes I wish everybody wouldn't go crazy. Back in the day, it was a handshake and a jump over the net.

But I understand the pressure is so great on us today, the focus is so big. Everybody is like, What is he going to do? I understand that people want to share their emotions, especially in our sport when you're out there by yourself without the chance to celebrate with teammates during a match. I just want the game to be represented the right way. Tennis is a very classy sport, and nobody is bigger than the game. Players come and go.

SI: This is a different life than you led 10 years ago.

Federer: Entirely.

SI: Are you any less fulfilled than you were 10 years ago?

Federer: Less fulfilled? I think I can enjoy it so much more off the court. On the court, I was probably enjoying myself more when I was winning five to 10 tournaments a year. I miss going to every second tournament and winning it, leaving with the trophy. It was an amazing feeling, I must tell you.

But today in my personal life, away from it all, I feel so much happier. I don’t feel so stressed because I don’t feel this need to prove myself to everybody. Running around, being invited to a photo shoot, a gala. It would all freak me out, all this show business. It was really uncomfortable. It took me a while to get used to it, to that attention, that whatever I said was going to be picked up. I would feel mis­understood. I would sometimes feel on edge because it was all new. At the same time, it’s an unbelievable experience, wanting to defend a title, wanting to be successful. You forget about all these bad times eventually.

SI: I wrote this recently: You really like being Roger Federer, however demanding it may be at times.

Federer: Yeah. I mean, otherwise I would stop. I would say, "I’ve had enough of this."

SI: You have a wife and four children.

Federer: Yeah. I promised them we'd go in the pool.

SI: Can you do that?

Federer: Not before matches.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Roger Federer qualifies for 13th consecutive ATP World Tour Finals

A resurgent Roger Federer has qualified for a record 13th consecutive ATP World Tour Finals in comfortable fashion, in marked contrast to 2013 when he squeezed in the week before the end-of-season tournament in London.

The 33-year-old claimed his sixth Western and Southern Open title in Cincinnati on Sunday with victory over Spain’s David Ferrer, the final key warm-up event before the US Open begins on 25 August.

The result was good enough for him to become the third man to qualify for the eight-player tournament, behind Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, the world No1 and No2.

“It’s always one of the big goals I set myself at the beginning of the season,” Federer, a six-time Finals winner, said in a statement.

“It’s always an absolute honour being part of the best eight. Getting a chance to win an extra trophy at the end of the season – which is so prestigious, one of the biggest ones we have in the game and one I’ve done so well at – is a great feeling.“

The 17-time grand slam champion battled in 2013, winning just one title, suffering a shock second-round exit at Wimbledon and dropping outside the world top four for the first time in a decade. Now back at No3, he has confounded those who said his career was coming to an end, going down in five sets to Djokovic in the Wimbledon final and winning three titles.

“Returning to the season finale is something I’ve been a part of since 2002, so to do it again is a privilege and I will try to play my very best there,” he added. “I hope I can save some of my best for last.”

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Roger Federer wants more friction on the ATP Tour...or does he?

According to SI’s Jon Wertheim, Roger Federer wants to see more friction on the ATP Tour.

Well, provided that the players are humble, and, um, classy. As Wertheim says, Federer does seem a bit conflicted on the matter. Still, his thoughts are pretty interesting. Here’s what he had to say:

Question (from Wertheim): Do you wish there was more friction?

“I do, more aggressive characters. That's why I like the guys who are actually a bit cocky or confident. I like that. I think it's important to be, as well. Not silly, but still really believing, you know.

“I was like that when I was younger. But for me, my hero was Edberg He was very humble. Even [Michael] Jordan--I only know the surface of Jordan--but to me he always seemed like he was style, classy. I don't know if he was not like that here in the States. I don't know what his perception was. But that's how I always saw him, this elegant guy in winning and defeat. I wanted to be like that eventually … But trends have gone the other way. When you do win, everybody lies on the floor now, runs into the crowd. Sometimes I wish everybody wouldn't go crazy. Back in the day it was a handshake and a jump over the net. I understand how it used to be … But, I mean, I just want the game to be represented the right way. I think tennis is a very classy sport. I think it is important at the end of the day to stay humble because nobody is bigger than the game. The game will always be bigger than anybody. Players come and go. If you know that, that's fine, you know.”

So, to summarize: Friction, good. Humble, better (or should we say “Betterer?”)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Kim Clijsters London Tennis event with Elton John & Bellie Jean King

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Billie Jean King and Elton John will host a tennis match at Royal Albert Hall in London.

The longtime friends will coach teams that feature former No. 1-ranked Kim Clijsters and John McEnroe and Britain's Tim Henman and 2013 Wimbledon runner-up Sabine Lisicki.

King's World Team Tennis Smash Hits event will be held Dec. 7 and benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

John says the aim is "an AIDS-free future" and "access to lifesaving treatment to more people living with HIV in Africa."

King says it's the first time the event will have a "global presence" and she's pleased to bring "this wonderful evening of tennis to a new audience."

The Smash Hits program, which has raised $12 million since 1993, will be held on the final night of a Masters tennis tournament.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Roger Federer 6-time Cincinnati Open Champion!

Roger Federer celebrated his 80th singles title on Sunday at the Western & Southern Open, overcoming a second-set charge from David Ferrer to prevail 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 in the first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final to feature two players over the age of 30.
Federer, 33, improved to a perfect 6-0 in Cincinnati finals and to a 16-0 FedEx ATP Head2Head record against the 32-year-old Ferrer. He snapped a four-match losing streak in Masters 1000 finals, including a runner-up finish last week at the Rogers Cup in Toronto (l. to Tsonga), to claim his 22nd crown at this level.
"I'm very happy about the week," said Federer. "Just overall it went from good to great. Just really pleased that I was able to back up a tough week last week already."
In the fourth 30-over final of the season, Federer broke for a 5-3 lead when Ferrer double-faulted, and then saved four break points in the next game to close the set. Ferrer, in turn, saved four break points to start the second set before seizing control. He raced out to a 5-0 lead and claimed just his fifth set in 16 career meetings against Federer. 
Federer regained the lead as he broke to go up 3-1 in the decisive set. He wrapped up the victory on serve after one hour and 42 minutes, prevailing at an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament for the first time since his Cincinnati triumph two years ago. He also won here in 2005, '07, '09 and '10.
"I really thought I was feeling better again towards the end of the second set, like he felt better at the end of the first," said Federer. "I carried that over into the third and served great and was able to come up with some really good plays. Just overall I think I played a great match at the end."
The Swiss lifted his third trophy from seven finals this season, adding to his victories in Dubai and Halle, and joined Jimmy Connors (109) and Ivan Lendl (94) as players to clinch 80 or more titles in the Open Era.
In his opening match against Vasek Pospisil earlier this week in Cincinnati, Federer made history as the first player to win 300 matches at the Masters 1000 level. His 22 Masters 1000 titles is second to Rafael Nadal’s 27 in the leaders list.
With his final showings in both Toronto and Cincinnati, Federer strengthened his place at No. 2 in the Emirates Airline Bonus Challenge standings, behind Canadian Milos Raonic. He will next head to New York for the US Open, where he will compete for an Open Era-record sixth title.
"Especially now I come in with great confidence," he said. "I can really rest now, rather than having to work on stuff, so it's just about maintaining. That's also really good for the mind... I know my game is where I want it to be. It's about just keeping that level up right now."
Is it time for the U.S. Open yet?!, because I think Roger is ready :) (one week to go) CANNOT wait.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Roger Federer defeats Raonic to reach 6th Cincinnati final

Roger Federer notched his third consecutive straight-sets victory over hard-serving Milos Raonic on Saturday in Cincinnati, 6-2, 6-3, to claim a spot in the Western and Southern Open final where he’ll meet David Ferrer.

Federer jumped on Raonic from the onset, breaking the Canadian in his first service game, then rallying from 40-15 down to break again in the eighth game to claim the set.

“Round by round I’m playing better. It’s what I like to see from myself,” said Federer. “I hope I have something left for the final tomorrow.” 

After rallying back from 40-0 love down in the eighth game of the second set, Federer would use his chip backhand return to great effect, dropping one right on the line to take Raonic out of position and force the error which gave the Swiss a break for 5-3 and a chance to serve for the match. 

He would hold, closing the match with a service winner to the backhand side of Raonic that the Canadian netted. Federer finished with 19 winners against only 8 unforced errors for the match. Federer will face David Ferrer in Sunday’s final. 

Though the Swiss maestro owns a 15-0 record against Ferrer, he’s well aware that the Spaniard is a dangerous opponent regardless. 

“He beat Rafa in Monaco,” said Federer. “We played against each other last week, and I was close to losing that one especially early in the third set he was the better player.” Federer will bid for his sixth Cincinnati title and his 80th career title against Ferrer. Notes, Numbers>>> 

Federer became the first player in ATP history to earn 300 Masters wins earlier in the week. On Sunday he’ll bid for his 22nd Masters 1000 title, which is second only to Rafael Nadal’s 27. 

Federer has never lost a Cincinnati final. Sunday’s final is the first ATP Masters final to feature two players aged over 30 (Federer is 33 and Ferrer is 32). It’s also the first Cincinnati final in the Open Era to feature two 30-plus aged players.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Roger Federer too good for Murray moves into semis to face Raonic again in Cincinnati

Roger Federer beat Andy Murray 6-3 7-5 in the Cincinnati Masters quarter-final to set up a final-four clash with Canadian Milos Raonic.

A turnaround in the second and decisive set saw British No 1 Murray hit the self-destruct button, relinquishing a 4-1 lead over his Swiss counterpart to lose 7-5.

Murray could have little complaints, though, as Federer looked in superior form to the man six places adrift of him in the world rankings.

Federer couldn't capitalise on six break points early on. The World No 3 did, however, pounce on the seventh, taking the fourth game to move into a 3-1 lead in the opening set.
It continued that same way as Federer took the first set 6-3. His first serve proved deadly, winning 83 per cent compared to Murray's mediocre 56.

Murray had to improve and at first, he looked like he had. The 27-year-old cut a different figure in the second set, breaking his Swiss counterpart twice to establish a very health 4-1 lead.

That, though, didn't last long. Federer won four consecutive games to make it 5-4 and a frustrated Murray could only turn and mutter to himself in the aftermath.

The World No 9 looked defeated - mentally and physically - after letting his advantage slip.

Federer sat just two points away from winning the quarter-final clash, and an outrageously-good backhand from the seven-time Wimbledon champion sent Murray sprawling to move him one away.

Murray could find no answers to Federer, who sealed the win with another break in the final set.

If he continues playing like this, he's a shoe in for the title in New York. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Roger Federer into the quarters in Cincinnati faces Murray next

If you have a taste for the kind of good old-fashioned tennis shootout that has gone the way of dinosaurs in recent years, you couldn’t help but grin at the end of Roger Federer’s third-round win over Gael Monfils tonight.

When was the last time a three-set men’s match ended after just an hour and 48 minutes? This one ended 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, after an unbridled and often spectacular display of shotmaking by both men. Monfils is not always a player who likes to get down to the nitty-gritty, preferring oftentimes to indulge in the kind of showmanship that can be detrimental to his cause. Not this time; he played positive, aggressive, no nonsense tennis, relentlessly attacking Federer’s backhand. And he might have succeeded in that strategy if Federer were not equally committed to avoiding games of cat and mouse.

Federer started slowly, yielding a break in the first game. Monfils held for 2-0, but then Federer reeled off four straight games to lead 4-2. But nothing comes as easily to Federer as it once did, and Monfils broke again to get back on serve at 3-4, and held the next game.

Serving next, Federer uncorked a pair of unreturned serves and a patented inside-out forehand winner to take the game with ease. With Monfils serving to stay in the set, Federer pressed the attack in spite of the pressure the Frenchman was applying to his backhand. A forehand service return winner started off the game, and Monfils followed with a silly drop shot attempt off Federer’s next service return. Unable to break down the Federer backhand, Monfils then smacked an inside-out forehand error to give Federer triple set point.

Unrelenting, Federer approached behind a sliced backhand and charged forward, forcing a backhand error. Set to Federer, 6-4.

Federer had chances to break after three consecutive holds at the start of the second set, and his failure to convert either chance had a devastating effect. A backhand error wasted a break point and ultimately led to a Monfils hold for 2-all. Federer then held serve, and had another break point in the sixth game.

On that occasion, Monfils hit a gigantic, unreturned second serve, and continued to serve his way out of trouble for 3-3. It was a portent for Federer, and while he went on to hold for 4-3, Monfils’ pressure was beginning to tell. Monfils held the eighth game for 4-all, then worked his way to break point in the next game. He converted it when the men engaged in a furious rally ending with a backhand rally error by Federer.

Monfils had collapsed in the first set when he served to stay in it, but with the 5-4 lead this time, he stepped up and played a terrific game. From 30-all, he made a sizzling backhand pass for set point, and won it with a down-the-line backhand winner clocked at 92 M.P.H. The men were at a set apiece, and the match was merely an hour and 10 minutes long.

But just as Federer had let Monfils off the hook in the second set, Monfils committed the same sin in the third. After each men held to start things off, Monfils had two break points at 15-40 in the third game. Federer won both, the second with a serve-and-forehand approach winner combination. An inside-out forehand winner and an unreturned serve to Monfils’ backhand vouchsafed Federer to 2-1.

The two then took turns holding until Monfils served at 3-4. At 15-30, they had one of the most explosive exchanges of the match. With both men at the net, Federer fended off one point-blank pass and put away his second chance with a backhand winner. He wasted the first break point with a sliced backhand error, but during the next one he worked his way inside the court and drew the bead on an inside-in forehand winner that Monfils couldn’t even start for.

In the blink of an eye, Federer was serving for it at 5-3.

Monfils pushed Federer to 30-all in that final game, but Federer refused to waver. He took Monfils’ next return moving in behind his backhand, and put away a forehand volley. At match point, he blasted a serve at Monfils’ backhand, and the return never cleared the net.

The stats attest to the aggressive way both men played. Federer hit 34 winners to Monfils’ 27, and 33 errors to Monfils’ 35. Most telling, Federer approached the net a whopping 44 times, winning 26 of his forays. That may not be a spectacular success rate, but it enabled Federer to keep the match from becoming a track meet against one of the most gifted athletes in the game.

This was the most fun match I've seen in a while. So many amazing rallies.

Glad Roger came out the winner. Next one will be tougher, but not impossible.

Aga Radwanska also got through easily over Lisicki, Wozniacki next. That should be a good one!.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Roger Federer continues winning moves into 3rd round in Cincinnati

Canadian Vasek Pospisil pushed Roger Federer to a third set at the Western & Southern Open before falling to the tournament's second seed in Cincinnati on Wednesday.

Federer beat Pospisil 7-6 (4), 5-7, 6-2 in the second-round match on centre court to become the only man to reach 300 wins at the Masters 1000 level.

"It's a nice, round number," Federer said. "I've had some more important ones over the one today. Nevertheless, it's nice to reach such milestones."

The Swiss star didn't take control until the middle of the third set, when he broke Pospisil twice for a 4-1 lead. Both players were sloppy in the breezy conditions.

"You just hope to get through the first match in tough conditions," Federer said. "It's important to stay calm even though it's frustrating for much of the match."

The Swiss star, third in the ATP world rankings, is coming off an appearance in the finals of the Rogers Cup in Toronto. Federer lost that match to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Pospisil beat Radek Stepanek in the first round in Cincinnati a week after losing his opening match at the Rogers Cup. He had 33 winners and 37 unforced errors against Federer.

Pospisil played tough against Federer, forcing a tiebreaker that he ultimately lost on a forehand error. Pospisil secured the second set whenFederer missed on a forehand cross-court.

The third set was all Federer, with Pospisil broken twice on the way to the loss.

Men's No. 5 seed Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., is in action later Wednesday against American Robby Ginepri. Women's seventh seed Eugenie Bouchard of Westmount, Que., plays Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Elsewhere Wednesday, top-seeded Serena Williams won an opening match that was as close as it gets, rallying in both tiebreakers to move on.

Williams needed an hour and 54 minutes to beat Samantha Stosur 7-6 (7), 7-6 (7) on Wednesday, showing a little more poise on the toughest points.

"It's good when you play a lot of close matches and you come out on top — I'm defeated, I'm down and I come back and win," she said. "That's very good."

Most of the top players advanced, though not without a struggle.

Andy Murray took little more than an hour to beat Joao Sousa 6-3, 6-3. John Isner, who reached the finals last year, also advanced with a solid 6-3, 7-6 (1) victory over Marinko Matosevic.

Murray is still trying to get back into form from back surgery last September. He also made a break with coach Ivan Lendl in March that was a big adjustment.

"It's been a tough year," Murray said. "There have been a few things happen. Obviously coming back from surgery is hard. To me now, that isn't in any way an excuse. Now I have had enough time to get over it. Obviously with Ivan, that was also tough."

No. 4 Tomas Berdych converted only one break point while losing to Yen-Hsun Lu 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

There was an upset in the women's draw. Third-seeded Petra Kvitova had trouble with her serve and lost to Elina Svitolina 6-2, 7-6 (2). Kvitova had nine double-faults and made just 52 per cent of her first serves.

Aga Radwanska continued winning as well, she advanced easily into her next round :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

R.I.P. Robin Williams :(

July 21,1951- August 11, 2014

Thank you for the timeless childhood memories, I will cherish them always.

R.I.P. Robin Williams :(.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Roger Federer feeling good for Cincinnati Open despite Toronto loss

Roger Federer, like everyone else, has his share of ‘off’ days.
“I was not playing good enough,” he said following his loss to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the Rogers Cup final on Sunday in Toronto. “If you can't hit forehands or whatever, it’s just… it wasn't my day.”
Federer and Tsonga each hit 26 winners during the one hour, 47-minute match, but the Swiss finished with 37 unforced errors to Tsonga’s count of 18. He was also unable to create a break point chance against the Frenchman, who won 94 per cent of his first-service points. 
“I definitely felt much further away from victory than he did,” said Federer. “Naturally because of the scoreline – I mean, he was in the lead – but I just didn't feel like I was playing good enough to win today. It was just really frustrating the way I felt out there.
“I fought. I mixed it up, and I was hoping to sort of sneak in a set and then maybe he would get a bit nervous or maybe would play a bad game. But I just couldn't create enough opportunities. So I think he deserved to win at the end of the day.”
Entering Sunday afternoon’s final, Federer had played three straight matches in the night session, including a pair of battling wins against Marin Cilic in the Round of 16 and David Ferrer in the quarter-finals. Though he was quick to give credit to Tsonga, he also called it a difficult transition.
“I think it was the overall day conditions that were tough for me,” he said. “It was faster than in the night, all my previous matches, so I think the turnaround was tough.
“I didn't start poorly,” Federer added. “I think actually the beginning of the match was actually my best part of the match.  So from that standpoint I was happy how I was feeling and playing. But then that it actually start to drop off rather than get better, that's what disappointed me the most today.”
Despite the loss, the Swiss drew positives from his performance in his first tournament since a runner-up finish at Wimbledon.
“I'm overall pretty happy that I made the final in my first tournament back on hard courts,” he said. “Had a few tough matches which clearly gave me a lot of information. I know what I need to work on the next few days and next few weeks, which is good to know what I need to do other than feeling lost. I don't feel that way…
“There were things I could have done better, but overall it was a positive week. I go away from this feeling good about my chances next week and also at the US Open and for the rest of the season. It's another good tournament for me, which I'm happy about.”
Federer will continue his Emirates Airline US Open Series campaign next week at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, where he is a five-time champion.