Tag Archives: federer

Roger Federer says he does not lack ambition despite taking two months off

Don't view my break as a lack of ambition… I still want to win more titles, warns Federer

By
Mike Dickson

PUBLISHED:

18:46 GMT, 12 March 2013

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UPDATED:

18:46 GMT, 12 March 2013

Roger Federer’s back is creaking again and soon he will be taking nearly two months off, but the Wimbledon champion insists that neither of these factors should be seen as his ambition waning for more titles.

Once he is finished at this week’s $10 million BNP Paribas Open Federer will retreat until May for practice and family time, and byhis return he is unlikely to still be world No 2.

Andy Murray, who earlier this morning was due to face Taipei’s Yen Hsun Lu in the third round, is closing and could usurp the great Swiss if he were to significantly outperform him at this first Masters event of the season.

Fully focused: Roger Federer says he does not lack ambition

Fully focused: Roger Federer says he does not lack ambition

Federer concedes that the forthcoming break will not help his ranking in the short term but believes it will make him more dangerous for the summer’s three Grand Slams: 'If you play well then you can manage your schedule, but with the rankings you do need to win the tournaments you actually play. I know when I’m playing well I always have a shot.

'My schedule is not in set in stone, maybe if I lost early here or won the tournament it could change my mindset but I doubt it because what I want to do is practise hard. I’m really eager for that because I haven’t been able to practise as much as I would have liked in the last two years.

Taking a break: Federer is set to take two months off

Taking a break: Federer is set to take two months off

'This year the priority is a big build up then coming back really strong for the Masters events in Madrid and Rome before Roland Garros.'

Federer’s back suffered one of its periodic tweaks during his third round victory over Ivan Dodig, but he feels he will be fine to face compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka today.

Victory in that could give him a much-anticipated clash with Rafael Nadal, but first the Spaniard has to overcome the season’s most improved player in Ernests Gulbis.

The colourful Latvian is very talented but has revelled in being an international playboy for the past three years. Now pledging to at least cut down on the drinking, smoking and carousing he has got himself fitter, and the result has been a 12-match winning streak.

Lance Armstrong drug confession saddens Roger Federer

Armstrong has damaged all sports… not just cycling, says 'saddened' Federer

By
James Andrew

PUBLISHED:

05:37 GMT, 20 January 2013

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UPDATED:

05:37 GMT, 20 January 2013

Roger Federer has expressed his sadness at American cyclist Lance Armstrong's admission that he cheated his way to seven Tour de France wins and believes it will have a negative impact on all sport.

Armstrong confessed in a televised interview with chat show host Oprah Winfrey this week to using banned performance-enhancing substances to establish himself as one of the biggest names in sport.

'What a sad story,' 17-times grand-slam winner Federer said after reaching the fourth round of the Australian Open.

Sad times: Roger Federer says Lance Armstrong's confession has hurt all of sport

Sad times: Roger Federer says Lance Armstrong's confession has hurt all of sport

'I don't know what to say. It just really saddens me to see that someone did this for such a long time.

'Obviously he's hurt his sport in a big way, even though he helped it in the beginning. But now the burden they live under, all other sports maybe as well.

'I'm an active athlete right now and it's not fun times really to be in sports to a degree. I guess all I needed to see was the first few minutes of the interview and then I knew what was the deal, and the rest I don't really care.

Coming clean: Disgraced cyclist Armstrong reveals all to Oprah Winfrey

Coming clean: Disgraced cyclist Armstrong reveals all to Oprah Winfrey

'It's just very saddening this story, to be honest.'

Serena Williams, who has won 15 grand slam titles, earlier admitted she had been 'glued' to the televised confessional.

'I think as an athlete, as someone that works really, really hard since I was four or three, I think it's a sad day for all athletes in general,' the American said.

Lance Armstrong

Roger Federer

Questions: Federer fears that Armstrong's admission will lead to people questioning other great athletes

'But I think overall it's even more disappointing for the people that were adversely affected through everything. You can only just hope for the best for them.

'Unfortunately, I think a lot of people now look and are like, okay, if somebody that great (has been cheating) what about everyone else in every other sport'

Dedicated: Serena Williams says the Armstrong saga was a sad day for athletes

Dedicated: Serena Williams says the Armstrong saga was a sad day for athletes

Rory McIlroy signs Nike deal in Abu Dhabi to set him on way to billion dollar prize

Billion dollar Rory! Nike deal sets McIlroy on his way to UK record haul… but Ryder Cup storm clouds threaten his Abu Dhabi party

By
Derek Lawrenson

PUBLISHED:

22:48 GMT, 14 January 2013

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UPDATED:

23:09 GMT, 14 January 2013

Dude, is that your real hair

Watch the first Nike advert featuring both new signing Rory McIlroy and original superstar Tiger Woods.

Rory McIlroy took a major step to becoming the United Kingdom's first billion-dollar sportsman after he was officially unveiled as a Nike athlete.

At a press conference in Abu Dhabi filled with glitz and glamour, the Northern Irishman, 23, signed a $25million-a-year (about 15.5m) contract that, alongside tournament earnings and appearance fees of similar magnitude, could see him break the 10-figure earnings barrier before he finishes his glittering career.

Jack Nicklaus was 46 when he won his last major and the legendary Arnold Palmer is still raking in $20m (about 12.4m) a year in sponsorship despite now being in his eighties.

Just done it: Rory McIlroy has signed a sponsorship deal with Nike that will see him net 155m

Just done it: Rory McIlroy has signed a sponsorship deal with Nike that will see him net 155m

Just done it: Rory McIlroy has signed a sponsorship deal with Nike that will see him net 155m

If McIlroy can avoid the scandals that have affected other Nike athletes such as Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong and keep his form, that gargantuan billion-dollar figure is clearly within range.

McIlroy was welcomed into the fold by fellow Nike superstars Wayne Rooney, Roger Federer and Woods himself. Messages of support from the trio were played on a big screen behind where McIlroy and Cindy Davis, president of Nike Golf, were sitting.

Spectacular: McIlroy's image was projected onto water at a glitzy ceremony in Abu Dhabi on Monday

Spectacular: McIlroy's image was projected onto water at a glitzy ceremony in Abu Dhabi on Monday

Spectacular: McIlroy's image was projected onto water at a glitzy ceremony in Abu Dhabi on Monday

No details of the Nike deal have been revealed but the initial contract is believed to be worth up to $25m a year and could run for a decade. That equates to around $68,000 (over 42,000) a day but McIlroy vowed not to let the staggering sums of money distract him from his game.

Rory the cleaner's son mops up

Read Derek Lawrenson's verdict on the sponsorship deal that everyone is talking about…

'I don't play golf for money, I am well past that,' he said. 'I am a major champion and world No 1, which I have always dreamed of being, and I want to keep on living the dream. If I haven't won another major by the end of this year I am going to be very disappointed.'

McIIroy's megabucks deal heralded what promises to be a momentous week in Abu Dhabi, with Europe's Ryder Cup captain due to be announced on Tuesday.

The Holywood star reiterated his backing for Paul McGinley but there are plenty of whispers that the 15-man Tournament Players' Committee, who have the vote, might go for Scot Colin Montgomerie on home soil at Gleneagles next year.

If that happens, McIlroy might find himself leading a revolt among the men who were at Medinah.

Welcome to the big time: McIlroy joins Tiger Woods in earning a huge sum as the face of Nike's golf division

Welcome to the big time: McIlroy joins Tiger Woods in earning a huge sum as the face of Nike's golf division

Andy Murray is as fast as Usain Bolt over first 10 metres

Murray is as fast as 100m world record holder Bolt… well, over the first 10 metres

saw Murray's confidence soar with victories in the Olympics and the US Open” class=”blkBorder” />

On a roll: 2012 saw Murray's confidence soar with victories in the Olympics and the US Open

His peak condition will come in useful over the next two weeks at the Australian Open, with high temperatures sure to add strain to what is already an exhausting tournament.

Last year’s final was only seven minutes shy of six hours as Nadal and Djokovic battled it out, and it wasn’t the first time that the Slam has seen a match last longer than five hours.

The tournament kicks off on Monday, with Murray seeded third and seeking his second Grand Slam title. Robin Hasse, ranked 54th in the world, will be the first obstacle in the Scot’s way.

With Rafael Nadal absent due to a virus and Novak Djokovic in the other side of the draw, Roger Federer is the biggest threat to Murray’s chances of making the final. The pair could meet in the semis, but before that Murray may have to overcome sixth seed Juan Martin del Potro.

Rafael Nadal preparing for comeback

Nadal not focused on results as former world No 1 prepares for comeback

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UPDATED:

11:35 GMT, 22 December 2012

Rafael Nadal will not worry about results as he makes his latest comeback from persistent knee problems.

The 26-year-old Spaniard won the French Open this year but missed the last six months of the season after playing at Wimbledon when he knew he was not fully fit.

Now he is ready to return at an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi next week, although he admits his knee is still not 100 per cent and his focus is not on results.

Coming back: Nadal in action against Thomaz Bellucci during Wimbledon in June

Coming back: Nadal in action against Thomaz Bellucci during Wimbledon in June

'I am not nervous,' he told The Times. 'The only thing is the knee.

'The rest of the things – I can play better, I can play worse – it doesn't matter how I play tennis in the next month or month and a half.

'For me my goal is not Abu Dhabi, it is not Doha, it is not the Australian Open – my goal is to try to be fit, to be 100 per cent recovered with my knee and 100 per cent fit in my personal performance by Indian Wells and Miami [in March], to try to arrive to Monte Carlo and the clay-court season in good shape.'

He added: 'It will take time. The people have to know when you are outside of the competitions and haven't played for a long time, you will have problems to come back to your best.'

Wary: Nadal admitted his troublesome knee is not yet 100 per cent

Wary: Nadal admitted his troublesome knee is not yet 100 per cent

Since Nadal last swung a racket in anger, there is a new grand-slam winner on the scene with Andy Murray having beaten Novak Djokovic in the US Open final shortly after seeing off Roger Federer to win Olympic gold.

It was not east at Flushing Meadows, as Djokovic roared back from two sets down to level at 2-2, but Murray held his nerve to win the trophy as Nadal felt he would.

'I really thought Andy would win because the tennis owed him something,' said Nadal. 'That was my feeling.

'The Olympics was a big change and with the calm of winning that at home, you go to a grand-slam final and you feel that Andy, before the match, believed he was favourite.

'If you really believe in yourself, it doesn't matter if you were leading by two sets to love and the opponent comes back.'

Roger Federer plays with Gabriel Batistuta and Boca Juniors

Federer's at it again: After swapping skills with Pele, tennis ace plays with lethal ex-Argentina striker Batistuta

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UPDATED:

01:18 GMT, 14 December 2012

Fresh from showing off his silky smooth skills with Brazilian legend Pele, Roger Federer was at it again, this time with lethal ex-Argentina striker Gabriel Batistuta.

The world tennis number two swapped skills, and shirts, with 'Batigol' in a game of football-tennis at the home of Boca Juniors, the Bombonera stadium.

Argentinian World number seven Juan Martin Del Potro was also inside the stadium, just hours before the pair played their second exhibition match in the city of Tigre.

Roger Federer, Juan Manuel Del Potro and Gabriel Batistuta (left to right) pose for photos inside Boca Juniors' Bombonera stadium

Roger Federer, Juan Manuel Del Potro and Gabriel Batistuta (left to right) pose for photos inside Boca Juniors' Bombonera stadium

Control: Roger Federer (right) and Juan Martin Del Potro (left) took part in a game of football-tennis just hours before their second exhibition match in the Argentinan city of Tigre

Control: Roger Federer (right) and Juan Martin Del Potro (left) took part in a game of football-tennis just hours before their second exhibition match in the Argentinan city of Tigre

Swiss tennis player Roger Federer heads a ball next to Argentinian Juan Martin Del Potro and Argentinian former footballer Gabriel Batistuta

And the Swiss superstar had kind words to say about his Argentinian rival, whom he holds a 13-4 record over, although Del Potro has won the last two.

'He is already among the best,' Federer told ESPN. 'Now he just has to train hard and stay on the same path.

'He was number four, he's now number seven, but he could be number one. Sometimes the difference is in the small details.'

Federer is on tour in South America, visiting Brazil, Argentina and Colombia.

His next tournament will be the Qatar ExxonMobil Open on 2nd January before the Australian Open begins on 16th January.

Swap: Federer was at it last week swapping shirts and gifts with Brazilian legend Pele (left)

Swap: Federer was at it last week swapping shirts and gifts with Brazilian legend Pele (left)

Rodger Federer meets Pele in Brazil

Gifts for the great: Pele and Federer swap shirts as they meet in Brazil

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UPDATED:

00:22 GMT, 11 December 2012

One legend met another as tennis star Roger Federer and former Brazil great Pele rubbed shoulders over the weekend.

Federer went to Pele's residence in Brazil to exchange gifts with one of the finest players in football history.

Pele was given a signed tennis shirt with a personal message from Federer, while in return he offered a signed 1960s-era blue Brazil shirt.

Exchange: Pele and Roger Federer swap gifts and then engage in a warm embrace (below)

Exchange: Pele and Roger Federer swap gifts and then engage in a warm embrace (below)

Hugs: Pele and Federer

Federer in a Brazil shirt

Football or tennis Federer with an over-sized tennis ball

It's gone to his head! Federer kicks an over-size tennis ball (right) at the Gillette Federer tennis exhibition

'I love playing tennis and today one of the greats of the game dropped by to say hello,' Pele wrote on his Twitter page.

'Roger Federer, you are a champion on the court and in life.'

Federer said on Facebook: 'Today I had the great honour of meeting the legendary Pele.'

He is in South America to play in the Gillette Federer tennis exhibition tournament.

The Sao Paulo competition also
involves Maria Sharapova, Caroline Wozniacki, Serena Williams and
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, among others.

Just for fun: Federer and Tommy Haas of Germany share smiles

Just for fun: Federer and Tommy Haas of Germany share smiles

On the ball

Balls in hand: Federer

Andy Murray turns football pundit on FIFA website

Match point of the day! Andy Murray turns football pundit

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UPDATED:

10:56 GMT, 7 December 2012

Andy Murray, US Open champion and Olympic tennis gold medallist, is interrupting his pre-season training in Miami to become a football pundit for the day.

FIFA have persuaded Murray to take over their Twitter feed @FIFA.com at 4.30pm on December 11 to take questions from fans about his passion for football.

Ask Andy: FIFA posted this image of Andy Murray on their twitter account to preview the webchat

Ask Andy: FIFA posted this image of Andy Murray on their twitter account to preview the webchat

According to FIFA, Murray supports Hibernian as well as Barcelona and Arsenal and is also a fantasy football enthusiast.

Murray’s most controversial views on football came at the 2006 Wimbledon Championship during the World Cup when he was asked who he would be supporting during the tournament. He infamously replied: 'Anyone who England are playing.'

Scotsman Murray insisted his comments had been taken out of context and had only been part of his friendly banter with Tim Henman.

Down and out: Andy Murray reflects on his loss to Switzerland's Roger Federer during the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena

Down and out: Andy Murray reflects on his loss to Switzerland's Roger Federer during the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena

The idea for Murray to talk about football came following discussions between FIFA and the world No 3’s management team XIX, who are keen for him to branch out from just talking about tennis.

Football and boxing are Murray’s other two favourite sports.

Twitter uses have to tweet their question to @FIFA.com and must include the hashtag #AskAndy by 4pm on December 9.

Hod rod: Murray played a friendly match against Andy Roddick at the Miami Tennis Cup earlier this month, as he begins preparations for the Australian Open

Hod rod: Murray played a friendly match against Andy Roddick at the Miami Tennis Cup earlier this month, as he begins preparations for the Australian Open

Meanwhile, Heather Watson has banned herself from playing football before the Australian Open next month after the British No 1 sprained her ankle in a kick-about this time last year and had to pull out of the warm-up events.

Rafael Nadal back in practice in bid to regain fitness for Australian Open

Nadal gets back on the practice court in bid to regain fitness for Australian Open

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UPDATED:

13:39 GMT, 20 November 2012

Rafael Nadal has returned to the training court and started hitting balls again for the first time since the latest in a series of knee injuries forced his withdrawal from the U.S. Open.

The 11-time grand slam champion, who has not competed since being stunned by Czech Lukas Rosol in the second round at Wimbledon in June, completed a session under the supervision of coach and uncle Toni Nadal at an indoor facility in his home town of Manacor on the island of Majorca.

Nadal, 26, hopes to be back to full fitness in time for the Australian Open in January.

Absent friend: Rafael Nadal hasn't played since losing at Wimbledon in June

Absent friend: Rafael Nadal hasn't played since losing at Wimbledon in June

Shock: Nadal was beaten by Lukas Rosol

Shock: Nadal was beaten by Lukas Rosol

The Spaniard, whose athletic, aggressive playing style places huge demands on his muscles and joints, has been sidelined several times by knee problems during his 11-year career.

His latest injury was diagnosed as a partial tear of the patella tendon and an inflammation of the Hoffa's fat pad and after the shock defeat at Wimbledon he was unable to defend his Olympic title at the London Games.

As well as the U.S. Open, which he won in 2010 and lost to Novak Djokovic in last year's final, Nadal missed the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London and Spain's Davis Cup final defeat to Czech Republic at the weekend.

His absence deprived tennis of one of its 'big four' (Nadal, Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray) for the second half of the season.

Nadal had played some of his best tennis in the first six months of 2012, losing narrowly to Djokovic in the final of the Australian Open and winning a record seventh Roland Garros title on his favoured clay.

Andy Murray to turn back on SPOTY and focus on fitness for Australian Open

Murray to turn back on SPOTY and focus on peak fitness for Australian Open (but the British Fed fans probably haven't helped)

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UPDATED:

22:34 GMT, 12 November 2012

Andy Murray's never-ending quest for
peak performance means he is likely to shelve plans to attend next
month's Sports Personality of the Year event, despite being among the
favourites to win the award.

It is the desire to fulfil his pre-season training block properly that lies behind the probable decision, although the somewhat lukewarm support he received from the home crowd in the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals against Roger Federer might have made him wonder if it is worth the bother anyway.

Federer, even by the standards of his universal popularity was acclaimed surprisingly ahead of Murray at the O2 Arena on Sunday.

Time to reflect: Andy Murray was beaten by Roger Federer but has had the greatest year of his career, winning the US Open and Olympic gold medal

Time to reflect: Andy Murray was beaten by Roger Federer but has had the greatest year of his career, winning the US Open and Olympic gold medal

Murray was preparing to take a week’s holiday before turning his attention to the boot camp he undertakes in Florida every year to prepare himself for the rigours of January’s Australian Open.

Following discussions this week with coach Ivan Lendl he is now expected to forego the BBC’s celebration of a remarkable sporting year and stay in Miami, concentrating on the intense spell of physical training that will be the platform for his drive to win another Grand Slam in 2013.

‘That period of the year for me is so, so important,’ he said after going down surprisingly easily to Federer. ‘For all of the players it is the same because we don’t have breaks in the year like other sports do for two or three months at a time.

‘The first tournaments of the year are in one of the hottest places you can play, in the middle of the Australian summer, and missing three or four days of training — if I were to get tired in the fifth set of a match in the final of the Australian Open and struggled physically for the last 10 or 15 minutes, who knows

‘Those three days could make that little bit of difference. That is the reason why I probably won’t be going.’

Surprisingly comfortable: Federer ended Murray's run at the O2 Arena

Surprisingly comfortable: Federer ended Murray's run at the O2 Arena

Although it has been a breakthrough season with victories in the US Open and the Olympics, Murray has ended it with a 56-16 record and, in terms of that bald statistic, it is only his fourth best since turning professional. Hence his determination that 2013 sees better performances through the whole year. ‘Consistency, I think, is the next thing,’ he said. ‘The first tournament of the year through till the last one.

‘My clay-court game needs to get better. I need to make some changes to the way I prepare for that part of the season. There have just been a few too many times, especially at the beginning of the year, where my intensity and focus were not where they needed to be.

‘I think because I had never won a Slam, every time I lost in one I was almost straight away looking to the next one and not focusing on everything that was going on in between.’

If Murray was upset that he did not receive Olympics-style support on Sunday night then he was not showing it, although he is entitled to wonder why his home crowd were so sympathetic to a 31-year-old who has won everything and could hardly be called a plucky underdog.

Adored: Federer received the bulk of the support during the win over Murray

Adored: Federer received the bulk of the support during the win over Murray

Federer is, however, a special case. Last year a global survey of 50,000 people judged him to be the second most admired and trusted person in the world after Nelson Mandela, and he strikes a particular chord in the UK after his success at Wimbledon.

Nonetheless, it was not just the many Swiss fans present who booed when Murray went to change his racket in the tiebreak. You would hope that, as Murray goes forward next year to try to add to his Grand Slam tally, he would enjoy more wholehearted support from his home crowd.

As a result of this week Murray will have slightly closed the gap on Federer in the rankings.

Remarkably Djokovic, who has spent much of this season listening to adverse comparisons with what he achieved last year, will end it with a huge lead as No 1.

No system is perfect but the tennis rankings rarely lie: once again, overall, the 25-year-old Serb has been the world’s outstanding player.