2014/04/24

Roger Federer to host “A night with Roger Federer and Friends” at Rod Laver Arena

federercharity

(November 11, 2013) Roger Federer is set to appear in Rod Laver Arena for a gala charity exhibition match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga January 8, 2014.

 

“It’s going to be called “A night with Roger Federer and Friends”, it’s going to be very entertaining, and it would be great if you could be part of it,” Roger Federer said as he announced the event in a news release.

 

“Good acts, entertainment, music, light-show, clearly the match – I hope that’s what you’re coming for, to see me play against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. We’ve had some great exhibitions in the past where we really light up the crowd. I know I’m going to be playing good tennis and it’s a great way to kick off the Australian Open.

 

“I’m celebrating ten years since my first victory in Australia, and I’m celebrating ten years of the Roger Federer Foundation. I spoke with Tennis Australia to see if we could do something a bit fun, a bit different as well, and I hope that’s why people are going to join in the action.

 

“I hope it’s going to be a sell-out night and we will raise awareness and raise a lot of money if possible and just have a good time. That was the idea behind it and it is all coming true. I’m looking forward to the day that I step on to Rod Laver Arena and do it.

 

“You can get involved by going to get a ticket … they are on sale this Thursday. I hope there are still some left because they’re very hot and very exclusive,” Federer joked.

“The foundation is very personal to me clearly. We are celebrating the tenth year of the Roger Federer Foundation on the 23 December, I can’t believe it’s actually been ten years, but we try to help kids, particularly in  Southern Africa to have a quality education and so far we’ve been able to help 50,000 over the course of the last ten years … we have big goals for the future to hopefully help one million kids by 2018 so it’s really something I’m looking forward to, to try and help as many kids as possible have a quality education in the future.

 

“My Mum’s from South Africa so I was in touch with poverty quite early and I saw also other great athletes, inspirational people, do many great things for other people.

 

“As I was quite young when I had success on the tennis tour I wanted to start [charity work] early, because I remember a quote, I think it was from Andre Agassi, he always said “I wish I would have started earlier”, so you know what, I said I want to start really early, learn a lot about it, I’m still not done learning, I learn something every single day when it comes to the foundation and even from tennis, but it’s something that’s very important to me, it’s very personal, and it’s hopefully going to follow me for many, many years to come.”

 

A night with Roger Federer and Friends is presented by Rolex, a major supporter of the Roger Federer Foundation.

 

The event will take place at Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne Park, on Wednesday 8 January 2014.

 

Ticket prices start at $64.90 and a variety of packages, including courtside seating and hospitality options, are also available.

 

Tickets go on sale at 12:00 noon (AEDST) on Thursday 14 November at www.ticketek.com.au or telephone 132 849.

 

Proceeds from the event will go to the Roger Federer Foundation and the Australian Tennis Foundation.

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Harrison Given Lesson By Djokovic at Australian Open

Novak Djokovic at Desert Smash

By Jaclyn Stacey

 

(January 16, 2013) MELBOURNE PARK, Australia – Novak Djokovic barely raised a sweat in defeating young American Ryan Harrison 6-1 6-2 6-3 in one hour and 31 minutes on Rod Laver Arena in the day three night session at the Australian Open on Wednesday night.

 

Djokovic outclassed his opponent in every way tonight, putting together an almost perfect performance to keep his title defence hopes alive.

 

“This was definitely a better performance than the first round. You know, I managed to play in a very high level already in the second round of a Grand Slam, which is very encouraging for next challenge.”

 

Harrison was given a lesson in tennis by a player at a completely different level to his own and has seen just how far he has to go. After the match he spoke about his experience against the world number one.

 

“Yeah, he played really well. Kind of getting broke in that first service game, giving a guy that’s that good a little bit of a lead and letting him front run is just not the ideal way to start. I guess your first service game you want to at least stay in it. From then on out, he just had his foot on the gas pedal.”

 

“It was tough because his balls were landing so hard and deep. Whenever your game plan is to try and take control of a guy and you’re not getting balls to hit, you know, if I try to lace balls from six, eight feet behind the baseline I just look stupid and crazy.”

 

“So it’s just something where I know that level now. I’ve played him three times now. I played some of the best guys in the world. I’m not there yet. I know how to get there. I just got to keep working at it.”

 

Djokovic says so long as Harrison remains committed and confident in achieving his ambitions he will do the hard work to get there.

 

“Well, we all know that the hard work and dedication pays off in the end.  So I’m sure, knowing him for last two years, that he’s gonna put on these hours on the court and off the court being very professional, committed.”

 

“So that’s why I think they rate him as one of the up and coming rising stars from the United States. They put a lot of hopes into him.”

 

“But it’s a process. And tennis has changed. It’s much more demanding nowadays with I guess the competition that is around the tour and many quality players.”

 

“It’s more difficult to make that breakthrough for a youngster. He needs patience and he needs to believe in himself and wait for a chance.”

 

Djokovic plays Radek Stepanek in the third round on Friday who earlier had an easy straight sets win over Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 6-2 6-2 6-4.

 

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Tipsarevic Grinds Down Veteran Hewitt to Progress at Australian Open

Janko Tipsarevic

By Jaclyn Stacey

(January 14, 2013) MELBOURNE PARK,  Australia – Eighth seed Janko Tipsarevic ground out victory in just over three hours against former world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt in a thrilling three set encounter on Rod Laver Arena in Monday’s evening session 7-6(4), 7-5, 6-3.

 

“I cannot tell you how happy that I am, first of all, that I managed to win, and second of all, to win in straight sets.”

 

An electric atmosphere for the first Australian Open 2013 night session greeted the players in the hotly anticipated first round matchup between the two time grand slam champion and the world No. 9.

 

With both players coming into the tournament on the back of some confidence building title wins, the scene was set for a thrilling match that was predicted to go the distance. Hewitt lead their head-to-head 3-1 before the match with their last meeting being played in 2007 before Tipsarevic became a prominent top 10 player.

 

Hewitt and Tipsarevic are well known for being fighting competitors who play with a lot of intensity and the tight match was a great example of this. The two matched each other blow for blow, producing scintillating rallies and groundstroke winners. Hewitt was more willing to come into the net and his decision to do so often paid off as he was able to surprise Tipsarevic and generate some superb angle volley winners.

 

The first set was evenly matched with neither player able to break serve. Tipsarevic had an opportunity to break with Hewitt serving at 5-5 but the Australian’s determination got him over the line as he saved the break with an ace. The crowd became more involved in the match from this point, stirred on by Hewitt saving a break point and employing his trademark ‘C’MON!’

 

Tipsarevic remained focussed and driven in the first set tie-break, taking a 4-0 lead before closing out the first set 7-6(4).

 

Competing in his 17th consecutive Australian Open, Hewitt was not disheartened following the first set loss and fired up immediately to go ahead two breaks points.

 

Tipsarevic leveled the match at 5-5 after being gifted the second of two break point opportunities as Hewitt sent his shot beyond the baseline while serving for the second set. He then held and broke Hewitt again to take a two sets to love lead in the match.

 

Tipsarevic started the third set in a much stronger fashion than he did in the second, holding his first service game before grinding out a break against Hewitt in a tough second game to lead 2-0.

 

With Tipsarevic serving at 3-1 Hewitt had the opportunity to break back and did so on his second opportunity, demonstrating his never say die attitude and ending a rally with an aggressive lob forehand that swept past Tipsarevic and landed deep in the court to put the set back on serve.

 

While Hewitt remained focused, determined and driven throughout the contest, Tipsarevic was able to take advantage of Hewitt’s consistent height and speed in his hitting and put away more winners. Hewitt fought hard to stay in the match but Tipsarevic managed to claim a break to lead 5-3 in a heartbreaking moment for the patriotic crowd.

 

Completely in control of the third set, Tipsarevic then confidently served out the match, sealing victory 7-6(4) 7-5 6-3.

 

In his post match news conference Tipsarevic said “I think I was a little bit too passive in the first and the beginning of the second set. But luckily I was able to get out of trouble with my serve. I was serving really well I think all throughout the match.”

 

“But when I really started playing well was I think when I was a double break down in the second set. That’s when I realized that if I  continue running, pushing, relying on my first serve, that I will not be able to beat this guy in a  best-of-five-set match.” 

 

“Especially because it was a night session match, it was getting colder, the serve was not going as fast as it did in the first set. I stepped up, I started to hit, I started being closer to the line, my backhand down the line was making more damage later in the match.” 

 

Tipsarevic was full of praise for his more experienced opponent, marveling at Hewitt’s ability to continue to play at such a high level at his age and after dealing with so many injuries.

 

“I think Lleyton Hewitt is as tough as it gets for a first round Australian Open first Grand Slam of the year. With all the respect to all the other guys who are potential threats, like Davydenko or Monfils or Dimitrov or whatever, I think this is as tough as it gets, knowing that he plays really good tennis here, knowing that he won Kooyong last week, beating Raonic, Berdych, and Del Potro in the same tournament, even if that was an exhibition event.”

 

The win continues a run of great form for Tipsarevic coming off his most successful season in 2012 in which he won the title in Stuttgart and was runner-up in Chennai, the tournament he won just over a week ago to kick start his 2013 season.

 

Tipsarevic will play Slovakia’s Lukas Lacko in round two who  defeated Gilles Muller in straight sets  earlier on Monday 6-2 6-4 7-6(3).

Jaclyn Stacey is a Melbourne based freelance journalist covering the Australian Open tournament as media for Tennis Panorama News.  Follow her Australian Open updates on @TennisNewsTPN. Follow her personal twitter @JackattackAU.

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