Federer speaks about injury & ranking drop

Switzerland’s Roger Federer reacts during a break in the Swiss Open second round tennis match against Germany’s Daniel Brands in Gstaad yesterday. – Reuters pic, July 25, 2013.

Its been a long and dry summer for Federer fans who watch on as Roger struggles with back injury and uncharacteristic losses.  Just one year ago Roger Federer raised his game to defy critics who called for his retirement and end throughout 2009 & 2010.  First the back issues:

“I’ve had serious problems with the back, I had to get some anti-inflammatories last week in Hamburg due to the pain,” he said after yesterday’s loss, his third of the summer against an opponent ranked outside the top 50.

“I will have to do a lot of exercises and see how it all feels. My main priority now is to fix my back. I would love to be able to train at 100%,” said the former world number one.

“I’ll have to see if the rehab is enough to let me play in Montreal. If it is, I’ll go; if not, then it gives me another week.”

Second his drop in ranking and desire to win?

“I don’t think my ego would suffer if one day I was no longer in the top 10,” Federer told Le Matin. “There’s a moment when the rankings aren’t that important anymore. Honestly, I don’t even know what my current ranking is.  Today, my ranking isn’t that important to me anymore.”

“I don’t think my ego would suffer if one day I was no longer in the top 10,” Federer told Le Matin. “There’s a moment when the rankings aren’t that important anymore. Honestly, I don’t even know what my current ranking is.  Today, my ranking isn’t that important to me anymore.”

“In terms of rankings at least. Lleyton Hewitt is a great example in my mind. Whether he’s 170th, 20th or fifth, his ranking isn’t important to him. He just takes a lot of pleasure in playing.”

“I don’t have any problem with critics,” Federer said. “But I expect people to be honest. This situation is not new for me. In 2009 and 2010, people were already saying, ‘He’s won everything, now he’s done.’ The more people comment, the greater the probability that someone will say something stupid.”

I admire the positive attitude Roger Federer has about the sport.  Though he has played more matches than almost everyone current on the ATP tour, his love for playing Tennis still shines through.  Tennis is a tough sport on the body.  He has done a masterful job managing the pain and balance it takes to continue to play and continue to win.  I believe we are far from over for Federer. Even though the reality of wear and tear is hard to deny we are still talking about the most talented and majestic tennis player who ever picked up a racquet.  As long as Roger Federer is content to play, I am very content to watch and learn.

 

Roger Federer talks of Hamburg Defeat

“I think he was a bit better than me today,” said Federer, a four-time former winner of the bet-at-home Open – German Tennis Championships.  “Both sets could have gone either way. So, it’s clearly a pity I couldn’t win either of the sets because I was starting to feel better towards the end of the match. But unfortunately I couldn’t push him further and create more chances today.

“I think the conditions were totally different to last night. It was wet and heavy last night, under the lights,” said Federer, who had battled past Florian Mayer on Friday evening. “It’s a quick turnaround to quick conditions today and a totally different opponent. But that’s no excuse.”

“I don’t think it had much to do with the racket today,” said Federer. “I tried everything I could at this tournament. It’s been a difficult week throughout. But I’m happy I fought through many matches. It gives me the matches I was looking for.

“I was clearly hoping, after winning a tough one yesterday, to somehow get through today and then give myself an opportunity to win the title tomorrow. It’s disappointing, but defeats like that happen sometimes.

“I had a great time. I really enjoyed playing in front of the people here in Hamburg on the Centre Court where I’ve had so many nice moments in my career. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it to the finals, but nevertheless, I did have four good matches and these are the kind of matches I need.”

This tweet caught my eye:

.@rogerfederer loss No 114 @FedeDelbonis 1st time lost in back-to-back tournament outside Top 100 since ’02 @Wimbledon (Ancic),Gstaad (Stepanek).

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R. Federer
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Semifinals
F. Delbonis
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Jul 20, Completed

VIDEO Roger Federer discusses new racquet

After his first match against Daniel Brands where he beat the hometown hero on his 26th birthday, Federer talked about his new racquet and the process in which it came about.

“I’m pleased how it’s playing. I kind of knew it from practice, so it wasn’t like just jumping into the water, but I’m very happy that under match conditions I was feeling comfortable with it. I’m satisfied.” said Roger

“I’ve been very close on numerous occasions to change racquets in a bigger way. But then very often, time was the issue. Maybe also just the records of Grand Slams – I was always keeping on playing quarters and semis – so then it was also a bit more difficult to change it because of the time.

“This time around, all of a sudden I just had the extra 10 days, two weeks I was looking for, and I really was very serious about it. Wilson flew to Switzerland and we went through the whole process and I was very happy how things went over there.” said Federer.

to add humor to this big change – a twitter account has been set up called @FedsNewRacquet which has posted fun comments like

Once you 98″ you never go back 😉 #exciting #Team98

iamkringlozano  posted “I am now being followed by @FedsNewRacquet. Can’t wait to be smashed, served, and volleyed by a big head. I like it rough.”

witty banter indeed! Would be genius if it was set up by Wilson themselves?? Perhaps another @PseudoFed account?  Let us know what your guess is in the comments below!

 

UPDATE PseudoFed has released this picture of “himself” playing with the new racquet

Tennis Technology: Racquets of the Big 4 Federer Nadal Djokovic Murray

Just read this really great article called “Tennis Racquet Technology: How The Big 4 Differ” which outlines the racquets of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Andy Murray.  This article gives you great insight into how the technology of each racquet suits the players style and form.  It also addresses tennis string tensions and string types as well.

Roger Federer

The Wilson BLX Pro Staff 90

Novak Djokovic

Head YOUTEK Graphene Speed Pro

Rafael Nadal

Babolat AeroPro Drive

Andy Murray

Head YOUTEK IG Radical Pro

 

Key Points

  • Roger uses the smallest racquet on tour
  • He also strings at the lowest tension of the top 4 to offset the loss off power caused by the frame he uses
  • Federer’s racquet has the thinnest beam and is the most “traditional” compared to the others making it harder to play with
  • Nadal strings at 55 lbs on both crosses and mains whatever the court surface or conditions
  • Djokovic has the densest string pattern to suit his flat hitting style
  • Federer, Murray and Djokovic all use a gut and synthetic set up on their strings, Nadal uses full poly

Read the full indepth article here

Marathon Man Mahut

Unless you were living in a cave during Wimbledon 2010 you would have undoubtedly heard of the marathon fifth set in the match between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut which finished 70-68 in the fifth set lasting over eleven hours in total with both players hitting over 100 aces each. Everyone was talking about it, even non-tennis fans were talking about it the next day and it even made the national news in the UK. Tennis never makes the national news unless its Andy Murray or another British player. This goes to show just how much of a big deal this match was to the British public. Even now three years on, whenever either Isner or Mahut’s name is mentioned commentators always talk about that match above anything else that both have achieved in their careers.

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John Isner and a despondent Nicolas Mahut after the last point was played in 2010

This match broke many records including the longest tennis match ever, the longest set ever as well as the highest number of combined aces in a match amongst other records. The quality of tennis suffered majorly well before the 30 game mark in the fifth set and after that it got a little bit ridiculous. The only thing positive about the match lasting so long was that it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see grand slam tennis pushed to its extremes, which is probably never going to happen again in the future of Wimbledon or during either of the other two Grand Slam events that implement the no tiebreaker rule in the fifth set.

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The commemorative plaque which is now adorned on court 18 to remember the 2010 match

Fast forward to July 2013 at the ATP 250 tournament in Newport, Rhode Island in the USA, in the semi finals there is a chance for the commentators to get what they have been salivating about since the draw came out  –  an Isner-Mahut final.  They did play on grass again at the Wimbledon Championships the following year in the first round but this was much much quicker with Isner coming away the victor once again but on this occasion it was a lot easier winning in straight sets in a mere two hours and three minutes. A sprint compared to the marathon fifth set alone which lasted eight hours.

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The grass rematch in 2011 which ended before teatime

For the final to happen, John Isner needs to beat Australian grass court legend former Wimbledon champion Lleyton Hewitt. This is not a task to take lightly for any player especially not Isner who had to pull out of Wimbledon this year during his second-round match vs Adrian Mannarino with a knee injury. Only two weeks later Isner may not be 100% and to beat Hewitt on grass you need to be as near to your best as you can be. Nicolas Mahut is already through to the final having beat American first time Newport semi-finalist Michael Russell earlier today. Adding to this is the fact that Mahut may have to play a total of four matches today as he is also still in the doubles draw with fellow Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin, because of torrential rain yesterday the doubles are also backed up with the players having to play both the semi-finals and the final today. Mahut may well decide that singles is more important and withdraw from the doubles semi final to give himself time to prepare for the potential final between either Hewitt or Isner or he may decide to play given that hes got this far.

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Mahut and Roger-Vasselin at the Metz tournament

Nicolas Mahut has to be feeling good about his chances of winning Newport especially after having a fantastic grass court season this year with Nicolas picking up his first ever ATP singles title in ‘s-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands defeating Stanislas Wawrinka in the final in straight sets in very impressive fashion.

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Nicolas Mahut with his first ATP singles champion trophy after winning ‘s-Hertogenbosch 

One thing is for sure, whoever he faces be it Hewitt or Isner, Mahut will give it everything hes got as always and his serve and volley grass court tennis will be a joy to watch.

What will happen in the final is anyone’s guess with all three of the potential winners playing well this week on the grass courts of Newport, one thing is fairly certain though – There will be a winner by nightfall.

Bryan Brothers acheive Golden Slam 1st time in History

The Golden Slam so named for the Olympic Gold Medal and ALL FOUR major Grand Slam wins was achieved at Wimbledon with their 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win over Ivan Dodig and Marcelo.  This makes the 35 year old indentical twins from the sunshine state of California the 1st and only men’s doubles team in the open era to hold all four major titles at the same time.

“It just feels like we’re adding nuts and whipped cream and cherries to our great career,” Bob Bryan said. “We said that a few years ago: If we retire today, we feel like we’ve done it all. Let’s go have some fun and add to whatever this is.”

“I didn’t think anything could feel as sweet as the gold medal, but this one just feels like there’s a cap, a lid, or a ribbon around our career,” Mike Bryan said. “It’s pretty cool. It’s something we never dreamed of, to try to win four in a row. It’s too hard to dominate in doubles. Maybe we had a little luck involved along the way. We just took them one at a time. It just added up.”

They plan to keep doing the Bryan Bump all the way through at least 2016 at the Rio Olympics. “This is going to be a great one to kind of just celebrate and enjoy and really let sink in what we’ve done,” Bob Bryan said.

from their facebook page

 

“It’s hard to even dream that we’d have the slam, all four at one time,” said Mike Bryan. “It all started back after we won the gold. It just felt like a huge pressure was released. Went on to win the Open and had a great summer. This year we’ve been on an amazing tear. Never had a streak like this. Especially at 35, I feel like we’re hitting our peak.

“In the context of our career, it is probably up there at the top. I didn’t think anything could feel as sweet as the gold medal, but this one just feels like there’s a cap, a lid, or a ribbon around our career. It’s pretty cool. It’s something we never dreamed of, to try to win four in a row. It’s too hard to dominate in doubles. Maybe we had a little luck involved along the way. We just took one at a time. It just added up. Now we got to try to suit back up for the calendar slam.”

Serena Williams beaten. All the Champions have fallen

Sabine Lisicki has done the unthinkable~  Beaten Serena Williams the world champion and No#1 player of the WTA.  No one could have expected that Serena would lose as she was in form and looked to have a clear path to the trophy with both Sharapova and Azeranka out of the way.  Lisicki was crying emotionally after winning the match even in the post match interview.

Screen Shot 2013-07-01 at 7.24.30 AM (2)

Now with Serena out all the Champions have fallen.  Rafael Nadal was first out Roger Federer second Maria Sharapova 3rd and now Serena Williams.  All other champions dropped out due to injury built up through the year or earned on this slippery grass surface.  SW19 has taken its toll on tennis and although it is often thought of as the dream of all tennis players, this year has created many nightmares for players as Wimbledon dashes their hopes.  The few champions left in the game are Djokovic and Kvitova

On the bright side, we are seeing good tennis from players whom we may have never heard of and possibly will not hear from again as all giant killers have lost their following match.  For up and coming players the heavens have opened and a chance to go deeper than they ever have.  Like any novelty, it’s fascinating to watch although I think many people have dropped off watching or caring for Wimbledon.  There is no favorites any more. Good luck to all the upcoming players.

UPDATE: Serena Williams drops 1720 ranking points at Wimbledon….Maria Sharapova now less than 2700 points from the top position

UPDATE: This picture shows how gracious Serena Williams was in defeat.  She also waited patiently for Lisicki to exit Wimbledon court together. Very impressive for someone who hates to win as much as she does!

Update: Rafa Nadal is bounced out of Wimbledon

Rafael Nadal lost to Steve Darcis during the men’s first round of Wimbledon on Monday. Ben Stansall/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The ghost of Lukas Rosal was haning heavy over center court this mornig as In an amazing turn of events one of the greatest tennis players in history has been bounced out of Wimbledon for a second year in a row.  This time Rafael Nadal’s loss came at the hands of Steve Darcis from Belgium who ranks #135 in the world.  This time he lost in straight sets and not in 5 like 2012.  This year it was played outdoor which favors Rafa instead of a closed roof which may have given Rosal an edge.  This is Nadal’s first ever loss in the first round of a Grand Slam.  Ever.

The match only lasted 2 hours and 54 minutes which is short by epic Nadal Djokovic standards but Rafa was clearly unable to do many typical shots and chase down balls as he is known for.  His knee started showing real signs of wear in the 2nd set and Rafa ran around his backhand like a dog around a fire hydrant.  Having trained very little for Wimbledon after his grueling and successful clay campaign, the mighty spin master was uncomfortable on the surface.

“Sometimes you play well and you have the chance to win,” said Nada “Sometimes you play worse and your opponent plays well and you lose. I just want to congratulate Darcis. I think he played a fantastic match. At the end it is not a tragedy. That is sport.”

“Two weeks ago I was in a fantastic situation, winning a fantastic tournament [at Roland Garros]. Two weeks later, I lost here in the first round. That’s the positive and the negative thing about this sport. It is tough losing in the first round. I tried my best. Was not possible. That’s all I can say, just congratulate the opponent. At the end, it’s not a tragedy. That is sport.”

Steve Darcis talks to the press after his magnificent first round win over Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon 2013.