Q: When Mardy Fish was in here, who you’re playing next, he was asked about playing a long match and then playing doubles. Fish said something like, Oh, I can’t imagine he’ll actually play doubles. Did you think about pulling out of doubles?
Roger Federer has described his defeat to Juan Martin del Potro as ‘one of the biggest losses in my career’. As he looked ahead to an opening round meeting with the Argentine at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, Federer reflected on a painful defeat in the 2009 US Open final when he was within two points of victory, and also on his loss to del Potro in their most recent match at the 2009 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
“I thought both matches were really good. They were both very close,” said the World No. 3. “There was a lot on the line in both matches, qualifying for the semis in the World Tour Finals. And then US Open obviously having all the chances, it was a tough one to lose, definitely one of the bigger losses in my career, I think, because I really think it shouldn’t have gone away.”
Federer acknowledged that since those two meetings, del Potro had gone through a ‘rough patch’, undergoing wrist surgery in 2010 and being limited to just three tournaments that year. Meanwhile, the Swiss won five titles from nine finals during del Potro’s injury-marred season, including triumphs at the Australian Open and Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
This season, they have similar records - Federer entering the second-round clash with a 40-10 mark and one title, del Potro with a 38-12 match record and two titles.
“It’s been different roads, but here we are,” said Federer, the two-time defending Cincinnati champion. “In the first round it’s obviously unusual to play such a good player in the first round, but we’re going to try to be as ready as we can be.”
Federer is looking for a much-needed title, currently mired in a seven-month title drought since winning Doha in the opening week of the season. He has reached two other finals since at Dubai and Roland Garros.
“I am obviously aware when things are going better or so so,” admitted the 30 year old. “I think you have to be aware of those moments. It’s no good to have illusions so you can tell yourself, Nah, you’re playing great, but you’re actually not, or you’re playing badly but you’re actually playing well. I think I’m obviously aware of where my game is at.
“It maybe doesn’t look like I’m making changes, but I’m definitely making adjustments… For me, I think it’s tweaking little things here and there in a match when it’s not going so well. If it’s not working, then you have practice to go back to and get ready for more. That’s my approach, really.”
He even opened the door to the possibility of changing his racquet. “Should I change racquet head size? Should I change strings? It’s always something that is in my mind. Why not use the great technology they have instead of just saying, I’m so happy with what I have; don’t even talk to me.”
Federer stated that while he felt pressure coming into this ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament as the defending champion, he also drew confidence from his previous success in Cincinnati, where he has won four titles.
“It’s nice coming back to a place where you did play well,” he said. “That gives you confidence, even though I haven’t played a lot the last few weeks and months. You can draw from the year before and the year before that maybe even where you remember you played so well here. Crowds kind of like to see you here.
“All these things can have a positive effect on your game. But important is to get through that first round. This is not just a simple first round.”
The victory marked Tsonga’s second straight win against the Swiss; he rallied from two sets down to hand Federer his first Grand Slam loss with a two-sets-to-love lead in the Wimbledon quarter-finals.
Tsonga defeated Federer in the quarter-finals two years ago at the Rogers Cup in a surprising comeback, as Federer blew a 5-1 third set lead to fall 7-6(5), 1-6, 7-6(3). Federer said he lost the match just as much as the Frenchman won it. But the 17-time ATP World Tour Masters 1000 champion felt differently in defeat Thursday, praising Tsonga’s play and execution. “Two years ago he didn’t really deserve the victory. I believe he played a lot better today, and he deserved it today,” assessed Federer.
“Two years ago I think he was lucky to pull out the win. Tonight he played well and he played extraordinary shots as we know he can do. I was not able to do that.”
Federer says he wasn’t shocked by Thursday’s result, given his recent loss to Tsonga at the All England Club. “He beat me at Wimbledon… so I don’t know how much of a surprise it is,” said Federer. “He’s playing well. I thought if he was going to play well again, me not at my best, he could do it again. It’s not like he’s beating me the first time.”
The Swiss is keeping his focus short term, and will practise again in Montreal before heading to the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, where he is the defending champion. “For the time being, the focus is here, not elsewhere,” Federer said.
“I played two matches. I feel good physically. New York is in one month. It’s far away. If you want to talk about the US Open, I can tell you I feel good mentally and I’m playing well, if that’s the goal for everybody else, but it’s not mine right now.”
Federer is still looking for his second tile of the year, after starting his season by winning the ATP World Tour 250 event in Doha (d. Davydenko).
here have been a couple of memorable matches between Roger Federer and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the past little while. Say Wimbledon, earlier this year. Tsonga came back from two sets down to record a thrilling five-set victory over Federer. Or the Rogers Cup two years ago, when Federer had Tsonga on the ropes, up 5-1 in the final set, only to lose the match in a tie-breaker.
But this? Nothing like this. This will be memorable for all the wrong reasons.
In third-round action of the Rogers Cup action Thursday night, Tsonga and Federer split two close sets and then the bottom fell out on the Swiss star and No. 3 tournament seed in the deciding set. Tsonga won the first five games of the third set and eventually knocked Federer, a two-time champion, out of the tournament with a 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-1 victory.
The capacity crowd tried to cheer on Federer in the third set, but Tsonga’s level was too high. On a cool night, Tsonga broke Federer’s serve in the second and fourth games of the final set and for a time there, it wasn’t even certain if the Swiss great would get a game.
In the end, the powerful Frenchman served out the match in routine fashion. Tsonga, the 13th seed, will now meet Spain’s Nicolas Almagro in the quarter finals. Almagro knocked off France’s Richard Gasquet in the other evening match by a 7-6, 6-3 count.
For Federer, it marked yet another disappointing loss in a year in which he has won just a single title – in Doha at the start of the year. The only other time this season that he didn’t reach at least the quarter-finals in a tournament came in Rome in May when Federer lost in the third round to Gasquet.
On Wednesday, it took Roger Federer of Switzerland 1:17 to defeat his courageous rival Vasek Pospisil of Canada in two sets of 7-5 and 6-3.
There were only two break chances in the entire match � one in each set. Federer, a 16-time Grand Slam champion, was able to capitalize on both.
Pospisil held on until 5-6 in the first set, right before Federer caught his first break point.
In the second set, Federer broke Pospisil early on and then coasted to victory. But in the end, the Swiss had only good things to say about the young Canadians serve.
Pospisil hit eight aces in the match versus two for Federer, but Pospisils return game didnt stand up to his opponents shots. The wildcard only won 15% of points on his return game and couldnt get a service break.
In the third round, Federer will face world no. 16 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France, who beat the Swiss last month in the quarters at Wimbledon and stopped his streak in 2009 at the Rogers Cup in Montreal.
No doubt that the world no.3 will be out for revenge on Thursday.
My beloved and favorite male tennis idol, inspiration, and the only man you will ever catch me crying for and throwing a tantrum for when it comes to tennis. I’ve watched your achievements. I’ve watched your downhill spirals. I’ve watched your moments of achievements and happiness, and I’ve…
This will be the season Liverpool judges its £35m investment in Andy Carroll and he appears primed to leave his mark. He left it on the scoresheet, defenders’ ankles, their ribs and the referee’s notebook against Valencia.
A previously lax pre-season ended well for Kenny Dalglish’s team against the third best team in Spain as Liverpool recorded their first clean sheet of the summer – having conceded 15 goals in five matches beforehand – and witnessed their centre-forward rouse himself into form in front of the watching Fabio Capello. “I was delighted with Andy’s performance, absolutely delighted,” said the Liverpool manager. “You can see he’s over his knee injury problems and he was flying about out there. He can train properly now, and hopefully we will see the benefits of that.”
The reason in parting with £20m for Stewart Downing became evident within five minutes of the former Aston Villa midfielder’s Anfield debut as he delivered two delightful crosses from the left. His first picked out Daniel Agger and though no Liverpool forward pounced on the Dane’s header across the goalmouth, nor when Downing’s low centre evaded Carroll moments later, his supply is tailor-made for a forward of the England international’s stature. “With Andy up front and Stewart hanging them up in the box, you can see why people will get excited,” added Dalglish.
Carroll was central to the outcome and mood of a fractious friendly. With six minutes gone he was sent clear by an under-hit back-pass from Valencia’s veteran captain, David Albelda, and opened the scoring at the second attempt after his initial shot through the legs of goalkeeper Diego Alves struck a post and rolled across the line. He then placed the contest on simmer with a dreadful lunge on the Valencia central defender, Adil Rami, having been riled by referee Martin Atkinson’s refusal to penalise the France international for an earlier trip.
Rami and Carroll squared upfor a contest that would enrich the heavyweight boxing division as players from both sides raced across the pitch, before Liverpool’s No9 received a yellow card that on an competitive occasion would have been red. He was also the victim of swift retribution as Albelda took his captain’s responsibilities too far and planted his studs into Carroll’s thigh, although the striker showed no lasting effects. Club and country did lose Glen Johnson, who pulled up lame with a thigh injury after only seven minutes.The full extent of the problem will not be known until an assessment at Melwood on Sunday.
This was Anfield’s first look at £47m worth of midfield investment and they produced a mixed review. Liverpool lined up in a 4-4-1-1 formation with Alberto Aquilani playing off lone striker Carroll and in front of a midfield of Jordan Henderson, Jay Spearing, Charlie Adam and Downing. While Downing impressed with his delivery and movement and Adam worked diligently in the centre, Henderson had a quiet game on the right and will do well to dislodge Dirk Kuyt from that position when his former club Sunderland open the Premier League season at Anfield.
Focus on Valencia was largely concentrated on the Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur target Juan Mata, who, with the exception of a well-taken volley that Jamie Carragher diverted wide, was overshadowed by Pablo Piatti, the visitors’ £7.5m summer signing from Almeria. The usual procession of second-half substitutions inevitably ruined the rhythm of the contest but Sotirios Kyrgiakos made it a good evening for Liverpooland their pony-tailed contingent when he turned in from close range in the dying moments.
On Thursday, September 22nd, we are playing a historic tennis match at the Taipei Arena in Taiwan. It will be the first time that both of us visit Taiwan, a country with a proud tennis history in Asia. As we learned about Taiwan before confirming our visits shortly after the devastating earthquake that hit Japan earlier this year, we learned that both Taiwan and Japan are islands, both countries rely on nuclear power and both have suffered from devastating earthquakes over the years. Having visited and played in Japan on many occasions, we thought it would be very appropriate to ad a charity component to our match in Taipei, as a way to raise funds for the many that have and are still suffering from the earthquake and tsunami and nuclear catastrophe in Japan in 2011.
By bidding and ultimately purchasing the autographed items and experiences on this website, you, the tennis fans of Asia, will have the opportunity to not only own these items and enjoy these once in a lifetime experiences, but also help out in a small way the many people in Japan that are still suffering the consequences of a horrific natural disaster.
Please give generously and with heart and we promise you all a night to remember in Taipei on September 22nd.
Steven Gerrard’s injury problems have not been eased by the summer break and he will miss the start of the new season after his troublesome groin injury became infected.
Liverpool’s captain is in hospital, for a course of antibiotic treatment. The 31-year-old has not played since March and he is out of Liverpool’s first three Premier League games, against Sunderland, Arsenal and Bolton. He also looks likely to miss England’s Euro 2012 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Wales. Liverpool’s trip to Stoke on 10 September has been pencilled in for a return.
Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are the top two players in men’s tennis and are often the main attractions at tournaments. They hit dazzling winners, make superhuman-like defensive saves, and give maximum effort in the matches that they play.
They also happen to be two of the most habitual violators of the ATP time rules, sparking debates about how much leniency should be allowed to players, with many tennis fans on both sides of the conversation.
Between points, Nadal is measured, deliberate in his actions. In a sport that hinges on control and maintaining the mental edge, directing the pace of the match in this fashion can serve to give a player a crucial advantage. As a 10-time Grand Slam champion, Nadal is the master of subtly controlling the pace of the match in this way, but it is when it becomes a not-so-subtle extension of the allotted time between points that it becomes a problem for some players and fans.
The amount of time that Nadal takes between points can extend well beyond the 25-second limit sanctioned by the ATP tour, frequently by a full 10-15 seconds. Although it is common for many players—Roger Federer included—to exceed the limit by a few seconds during their matches, Nadal is known for doing so on a noticeably larger scale.
Djokovic has been guilty of similar transgressions. The Serb, who boasts a nearly perfect record this year, is also known for his excessive bouncing of the ball before serving. Because Djokovic struggled with his stamina earlier in his career, the ball bouncing allowed him to catch his breath between points in addition to keeping his opponents off-balance.
Although habits can be quite hard to break, to his credit, Djokovic has worked to improve in this area, taking less time between points than he once did, as those who watch his ball bounces have seen the number decrease significantly. Still, during the notable Roland Garros semifinal match against Federer in June, Djokovic was warned that he was taking too long between points, and the Serb responded fiercely, angry at the umpire inserting himself into the match at a crucial moment.
In addition to the questions regarding the time that Nadal and Djokovic take between points, Nadal’s fourth-round match against Juan Martin Del Potro at Wimbledon this year also reignited discussions about the ITF injury time-out rule, which allows for a three-minute medical time-out. Before the first-set tiebreaker, which Nadal went on to win, the Spaniard took a nine-minute time-out to have his heel looked at and taped by a trainer. Del Potro needed a medical time-out of his own later on, although his did not last nearly as long, meaning that both players interrupted play with a time-out at one point during the match.
Some believe that players should be allowed the medical treatment that they need—especially during such a blockbuster match as the one between Nadal and Del Potro—as spectators want to see the best-quality tennis possible. After all, how much can a few minutes’ difference make? But the timing of Nadal’s time-out, which occurred at such a critical point in the match, arguably magnified the impact of his having exceeded the allowed time limit. And on that note, there are those who argue that fitness is a part of the game and should be rewarded, with all players forced to adhere strictly to the limit.
Overall, the time certainly adds up, and if officials were to keep all players within the designated time limits, it would not only speed up the matches but would also keep the playing conditions as balanced as possible. All players should be held to the one clearly enforced standard.
I was walking around in a Target store, when I saw a cashier hand this little boy some money back. The boy couldn’t have been more than 5 or 6 years old. The cashier said, “I’m sorry, but you don’t have enough money to buy this doll.” Then the little boy turned to the old woman next to him: ”Granny, are you sure I don’t have enough money?” The old lady replied: ”You know that you don’t have enough money to buy this doll, my dear.” Then she asked him to stay there for just 5 minutes while she went to look a round. She left quickly. The little boy was still holding the doll in his hand. Finally, I walked toward him and I asked him who he wished to give this doll to. “It’s the doll that my sister loved most and wanted so much for Christmas. She was sure that Santa Claus would bring it to her.” I replied to him that maybe Santa Claus would bring it to her afterall, and not to worry. But he replied to me sadly. “No, Santa Claus can’t bring it to her where she is now. I have to give the doll to my mommy so that she can give it to my sister when she goes there.” His eyes were so sad while saying this. “My sister has gone to be with God. Daddy says that Mommy is going to see God very soon too, so I thought that she could take the doll with her to give it to my sister.” My heart nearly stopped. The little boy looked up at me and said: “I told daddy to tell mommy not to go yet. I need her to wait until I come back from the mall.” Then he showed me a very nice photo of him where he was laughing. He then told me “I want mommy to take my picture with her so she won’t forget me. I love my mommy and I wish she doesn’t have to leave me, but daddy says that she has to go to be with my little sister.” Then he looked again at the doll with sad eyes, very quietly. I quickly reached for my wallet and said to the boy. “Suppose we check again, just in case you do have enough money for the doll?” “OK,” he said, “I hope I do have enough.” I added some of my money to his without him seeing and we started to count it. There was enough for the doll and even some spare money. The little boy said: “Thank you God for giving me enough money!” Then he looked at me and added, “I asked last night before I went to sleep for God to make sure I had enough money to buy this doll, so that mommy could give it to my sister. He heard me!” “I also wanted to have enough money to buy a white rose for my mommy, but I didn’t dare to ask God for too much. But He gave me enough to buy the doll and a white rose.” “My mommy loves white roses.” A few minutes later, the old lady returned and I left with my basket. I finished my shopping in a totally different state from when I started. I couldn’t get the little boy out of my mind. Then I remembered a local newspaper article two days ago, which mentioned a drunk man in a truck, who hit a car occupied by a young woman and a little girl. The little girl died right away, and the mother was left in a critical state. The family had to decide whether to pull the plug on the life-sustaining machine, because the young woman would not be able to recover from the coma. Was this the family of the little boy? Two days after this encounter with the little boy, I read in the newspaper that the young woman had passed away. I couldn’t stop myself as I bought a bunch of white roses and I went to the funeral home where the body of the young woman was exposed for people to see and make last wishes before her burial. She was there, in her coffin, holding a beautiful white rose in her hand with the photo of the little boy and the doll placed over her chest. I left the place, teary-eyed, feeling that my life had been changed forever.. The love that the little boy had for his mother and his sister is still, to this day, hard to imagine. And in a fraction of a second, a drunk driver had taken all this away from him. Now you have 2 choices: 1) Reblog this message. 2) Ignore it as if it never touched your heart
"If he is playing very good, I have to play unbelievable. If not, it’s impossible, especially if he’s playing with good confidence. When he’s 100 percent, he’s playing in another league. It’s impossible to stop him. I fight. I fight. I fight. Nothing to say. Just congratulate him." Rafael Nadal
"We are witnessing history. This is the most dominant athlete on planet earth today." Jim Courrier
"For me Roger is the greatest player ever who played the tennis game. It’s always good to see him play and win and we are going to see so much more of Federer in the future, he is going to win more grand slam tournaments." Bjorn Borg
"I never played anyone playing that fast. He doesn’t have any weaknesses at all. He really deserves to be called the best player of all time." Robin Soderling
"You guys are brutal. Absolutely brutal. The guy has only made two Grand Slam finals this year. I would love his bad year. I would love it." Andy Roddick
"For me, in my prime, I felt unbeatable. In Roger’s days, he’s unbeatable. It’s really hard to put one guy over the other. Having said that, I think Roger is dominating the game much more than I ever did. I think he’s going to go on and pass 14 and win 16, 17, 18 majors. I think he’s going to break all records." Pete Sampras
"Roger is just the greatest player of all time. He is the most beautiful player I’ve ever seen and I don’t ever get tired of watching him. Rod Laver is my idol, Pete Sampras is the greatest grass court player ever, but Roger is just the greatest player of all. I think we can all appreciate how incredible he is even more lately, because he’s shown a bit more emotion on court and he’s become a father so he seems a bit more human, more relatable. That makes what he’s doing seem even more amazing." John McEnroe
"Yes, I really hit with him when he was 15, during a tournament in Basel, and I knew then he would be good, but not this good. If he stays healthy, it will actually be a miracle if he doesn’t win more Grand Slams than Pete [Sampras]. The way he picks his shots is unbelievable. He is fast, he has a great volley, a great serve, great backhand, great everything. If I was his coach, what can I tell him? He is a magician with a racket. Even when he is playing badly, which is rarely, he can still do things with his racket nobody else can do." Goran Ivanisevic
"Roger’s got too many shots, too much talent in one body. It’s hardly fair that one person can do all this, his backhands, his forehands, volleys, serving, his court position. The way he moves around the court, you feel like he’s barely touching the ground. That’s the sign of a great champion." Rod Laver
"He’s the best I’ve ever played against. There’s nowhere to go. There’s nothing to do except hit fairways, hit greens and make putts. Every shot has that sort of urgency on it. I’ve played a lot of them (other players), so many years, there’s a safety zone, there’s a place to get to, there’s something to focus on, there’s a way. Anything you try to do, he potentially has an answer for and it’s just a function of when he starts pulling the triggers necessary to get you to change to that decision." Andre Agassi
"He is capable of hitting shots which other players don’t even think about trying. He has so many skills." Ivan Lendl
"He put tennis, the bar very high. It’s incredible what kind of game he can play." Marat Safin