2014/04/19

Swiss Countrymen Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka to Meet in Monte Carlo Final

Federer sets

(April 19, 2014) It will be an all-Swiss battle for the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters crown on Sunday as Roger Federer beat an injured defending champion Novak Djokovic and Stanislas Wawrinka stopped David Ferrer to set up the final.

Federer who came in as a wild card defeated Djokovic 7-5, 6-2. Djokovic was dealing with a wrist injury since the beginning of the tournament and it was heavily bandaged for his match on Saturday. The world No. 2 Djokovic was toe-to-toe with Federer until the end of the first set, after that Djokovic appeared to be in pain.

Wawrinka dominated David Ferrer in first set and held steady at the end of the second set for a 6-1, 7-6(3). Ferrer played an aggressive game hitting 31 winners past Ferrer.

Sunday’s final will be the first all-Swiss final since 2000 when Marc Rosset beat Federer in Marseille. It will be No. 3 Wawrinka versus No. 4 Federer as the pair meet in a final for the first time. Federer leads their head-to-head 13-1 overall, with his only loss coming in Monte Carlo in 2009.

Wawrinka hopes to win his first Masters Series title and third title overall for 2014. Federer is looking for his first title in Monte Carlo, he lost three straight finals to Rafael Nadal from 2006-2008.

 

 

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Nadal and Federer Move into Third Round of Monte Carlo With Easy Wins

 

Nadal

Rafael Nadal

(April 16, 2014) The top seeds had easy wins on Wednesday at the Monte Carlo Masters. No. 1 Rafael Nadal rebounded from 1-3 down in the first set to stop Teymuraz Gabashvili 6-4, 6-1.  Roger Federer took just 52 minutes to put out Radek Stepanek 6-1, 6-2, while countryman Stanislas Wawrinka destroyed Marin Cilic 6-0, 6-2 in 45 minutes.

Eight-time Monte Carlo champion Nadal will face Andreas Seppi in the third round while Federer will take on Lukas Rosol.

The Associated Press reported that Federer, whose wife Mirka is expecting their third child, said he would skip tennis to be with his wife when she gave birth.

“So we’re just waiting. It’s a priority for me trying to be there, trying to support my wife,” Federer said to the Associated Press on Wednesday at the Monte Carlo Masters. “I’ve played enough tennis matches. Missing a tournament or missing a match wouldn’t change anything for me.”

MONTE CARLO RESULTS – WEDNESDAY, 16 APRIL 2014

Singles – Second Round
[1] R Nadal (ESP) d [Q] T Gabashvili (RUS) 64 61
[3] S Wawrinka (SUI) d M Cilic (CRO) 60 62
[4] [WC] R Federer (SUI) d R Stepanek (CZE) 61 62
[8] M Raonic (CAN) d Y Lu (TPE) 67(4) 62 61
[10] F Fognini (ITA) d R Bautista Agut (ESP) 76(6) 64
[11] T Robredo (ESP) d J Benneteau (FRA) 46 60 61
[12] G Dimitrov (BUL) d [Q] A Ramos (ESP) 46 63 64
[15] N Almagro (ESP) d N Mahut (FRA) 76(3) 63
G Garcia-Lopez (ESP) d [17] A Dolgopolov (UKR) 61 75
A Seppi (ITA) d P Andujar (ESP) 76(5) 57 64
L Rosol (CZE) d [Q] M Llodra (FRA) 64 64
[LL] P Carreno Busta (ESP) d G Monfils (FRA) 63 76(6)

Doubles – Second Round
[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) d L Rosol (CZE) / R Stepanek (CZE) 64 76(4)
[3] I Dodig (CRO) / M Melo (BRA) d [WC] J Chardy (FRA) / G Simon (FRA) 62 67(3) 13-11
R Bopanna (IND) / A Qureshi (PAK) d [7] L Kubot (POL) / R Lindstedt (SWE) 63 60

Doubles – First Round
[WC] R Arneodo (MON) / B Balleret (MON) d J Rojer (NED) / H Tecau (ROU) 26 63 10-8

SCHEDULE – THURSDAY, 17 APRIL 2014

COURT CENTRAL start 10:30 am
[9] J Tsonga (FRA) vs [10] F Fognini (ITA)
[1] R Nadal (ESP) vs A Seppi (ITA)
L Rosol (CZE) vs [4] [WC] R Federer (SUI)
[LL] P Carreno Busta (ESP) vs [2] N Djokovic (SRB)

COURT DES PRINCES start 10:30 am
[11] T Robredo (ESP) vs [8] M Raonic (CAN)
Not Before 12:30 pm
[3] S Wawrinka (SUI) vs [15] N Almagro (ESP)
[12] G Dimitrov (BUL) vs [6] D Ferrer (ESP)
[5] T Berdych (CZE) vs G Garcia-Lopez (ESP)

COURT 2 start 12:00 noon
M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL) vs [5] D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB)
[6] M Llodra (FRA) / N Mahut (FRA) vs M Mirnyi (BLR) / M Youzhny (RUS)
After suitable rest – [Alt] R Bautista Agut (ESP) / A Seppi (ITA) vs [WC] R Arneodo (MON) / B Balleret (MON)

COURT 9 not before 1:00 pm
After Suitable Rest – [PR] S Bolelli (ITA) / F Fognini (ITA) vs [2] A Peya (AUT) / B Soares (BRA)
J Cabal (COL) / R Farah (COL) vs [8] J Benneteau (FRA) / E Roger-Vasselin (FRA)

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Roger Federer Takes Wild Card to Play Monte Carlo Masters

(April 8, 2014) Roger Federer has taken a wild card to play in the Monte Carlo Masters. Federer is returning to the event for the first time since 2011.

The world No. 4 and 17-time major champion has never won the event in his career. The closest he came was being a losing finalist to Rafael Nadal from 2006-08.

The Monte Carlo Masters begins on Sunday.

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Novak Djokovic Moves into Sony Open Final After Kei Nishikori Withdraws with Left Groin Injury

 

Kei Nishikori withdrawal

(March 28, 2014) A little over an hour before he was to play his semifinal against Novak Djokovic, Kei Nishikori pulled out of the Sony Open citing a left groin injury. Nishikori just scored back-to-back three-set wins over No. 4 David Ferrer in the fourth round and No. 5 Roger Federer in the quarterfinals.

For Djokovic, who automatically advances to the final against the winner of the Rafael Nadal – Tomas Berdych match, it’s his second walkover her received in Miami this year. Florian Mayer was forced to pull out before his match in the third round.

Nishkori announced his withdrawal on Facebook and Twitter:

 

“I really felt the last match against Roger, the quarterfinal,” Nishikori told media. “I had it before Indian Wells, and I hurt it in Delray. It wasn’t 100% yet.

“Yeah, it’s really sad, of course, semifinal in a big tournament. Was really playing well and beating Dimitrov, David, and Roger. I was really excited to play here the semis.

“But, you know, unfortunately I couldn’t moving side to side. Just tried to warm up today, but I couldn’t move.”

“I’m going to go back to see a doctor in Japan and see how bad it is.  And I don’t know if I can play or not, but I will try.”

“t was a great run for me to beat two top 10 guys,” Nishikori said.  “And Dimitrov was also playing well this year.  And four good players to beat, it was a good week for me.

“So I have a lot of confidence, and it’s pretty unfortunate to get injured, but this was a very exciting and positive week for me.”

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Kei Nishikori Rallies to Upset Roger Federer at Sony Open

Kei Nishikori

Kei Nishikori

(March 26, 2014) No. 5 Roger Federer let a set and a break lead slip and a game Kei Nishikori came back for the upset win 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 on Wednesday night to reach the semis of the Sony Open. For Japan’s Nishikori, it’s his second straight day with a victory over a top five player as he won a match against No. 4 David Ferrer on Tuesday after saving four match points. It’s his second straight win over Federer, over whom he now has a 2-1 record against.

He has also snapped Federer’s semifinal run streak at seven straight tournaments in stopping him in Wednesday’s quarterfinal.

No. 21 Nishikori has now advanced to his second ATP Masters 1000 semifinal.

In fact Federer was up a break twice in the second set but couldn’t close out the win.  Federer had his serve broken for the first time in the tournament by Nishikori who broke it four more times. Federer committed 39 unforced errors during the match versus 29 winners.

“Just couldn’t find my rhythm on the serve today, which was surprising, especially after how well I’ve played and served, especially this week, but I think it didn’t take off the way it did during the daytime,” Federer said after the match.  “You could expect that, but then plus the temperature drop had something to do with that.

Roger Federer

Roger Federer

“In the dark, for some reason, I just ‑‑ you know, I haven’t played many matches this year, or maybe lately.  Only one against Tommy Haas in Indian Wells and maybe the switch didn’t work that well for me.

“But still, you know, I had the set and a break, and then another break again, so it’s a bit frustrating.  But I think Kei did well to stay with me and then, you know, not allow me to get that, you know ‑‑ that I could hold my serve and then maybe feel comfortable.

“He right away made me feel uncomfortable and stayed with me, so he was more consistent in the second and third, and those are the ones he won.  At the end it’s his credit, of course, as well.”

“Feeling good, of course, you know, to beat Roger, and it’s second time to beat him,” the 24-year-old said.  “It was different conditions.  It was, you know, tough to play on the court, both of us.

“But I thought I really played well, especially in the third.  I was hitting both deep and striking well.  Everything was going well.  You know, there was couple of tough moments, but, you know, I was fighting through and happy to win today.

“He (Federer) wasn’t making a lot of first serves today,” Nishikori explained.  “I don’t know.  Maybe because the wind.  I don’t know.

“So I was trying, you know, to step in his second serve, and my return was going well.  That was the key for the game today.”

Federer said that she sees a bright future for the Japanese player.

“I think Kei does really well controlling the ball,” said the 32-year-old. “He has great technique, especially on the backhand, very simple, very short back swings, so he does a really nice job of having good timing.

“Then the forehand can be sometimes a bit off, but I think he does a good job, you know, with his feet.  He’s a quick mover.  Same with the his serve.  I think he’s done a good job using that to his advantage now.

“I think he’s serving better this year, and I see him moving up the rankings.  Clearly, I mean, with this tournament anyway but also in the future.  I predict he’s going to be top 10 in a short while.”

Nishikori will play Novak Djokovic on Friday for a spot in Sunday’s final.

Federer will go home and prepare for Davis Cup in Geneva the weekend of April 4-6.

 

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“Big Four,” Nadal, Djokovic, Federer and Murray Advance to Sony Open Quarters

 

(March 25, 2014) No. 1 Rafael Nadal, No. 2 Novak Djokovic, No. 5 Roger Federer and No. 6 Andy Murray all reached the Sony Open quarterfinals on Tuesday while No. 3 Stanislas Wawrinka and No. 4 David Ferrer were upset.

Nadal had no problems dismissing Fabio Fognini 6-2, 6-2. Nadal only lost only three points during the match has dropped a total of only nine games in the three matches played so far at the Sony Open.

“First three matches I was able to find the right rhythm on court, playing aggressive, playing with no mistakes, so today was a little bit strange match,” Nadal said.

“I am sorry for Fabio.  I think he felt a little bit, I don’t know how to say, but he felt a little bit close to the hip, something from yesterday.  So was not easy for him to play that match.

“But anyway, I think I managed well the situation.  The wind, it was hard tonight, and I was manage to do well.  So I think I played the right match.”

Novak Djokovic pushed past Tommy Robredo 6-3, 7-5. In a bit of good sportsmanship, Djokovic gave back a point which was called out, which was indeed in.

“I mean, for me, it’s something as normal,” Djokovic said about giving the point back.  “I don’t want to talk about the nice gesture that I have done.  I don’t like to talk about myself, you know.  I let everybody else to judge.

“But for me that’s something that is absolutely normal if I am not able to ‑‑ if I judge that I couldn’t win the point, that I had no chance to get that ball back in the court, or if I see the ball is good, I’m going to tell him to challenge it or that it’s very close.

“For me it’s something that is part of the sport and fair play that, you know, I think I expect everybody else to do the same.  Of course, not everybody else is the same, but for me that’s something that’s normal, just a normal, natural reaction.”

Djokovic will play Andy Murray next in the quarterfinals. Murray beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4, 6-1.

“Andy is a defending champion,” Djokovic said of a potential match-up with Murray.  “He won a couple of Grand Slams, Olympic gold medal, and obviously he’s the player who can, you know, play big‑time tennis on a big stage.”

Murray who had back surgery last year, appeared to be some pain during his win over Tsonga, despite winning easily in 73 minutes.

“My game is getting there.  I mean, the last six sets I played have been very high‑level tennis.  Again, very few errors and aggressive tennis.  You know, coming forward, taking my opportunities to hit winners, and come to the net when I had the chance.

“Yeah, I’m playing better each match, and I hope that continues.  You know, last couple of weeks have been difficult for obvious reasons.  But, you know, hopefully I’m coming out the other side of that now and keep playing better.”

“It was sore, but I still moved well throughout the rest of the match, which is a good sign.  Was probably moving better at the end of the match than I was at the beginning, so that’s probably a good sign.”

Roger Federer only needed needing 49 minutes to defeat No. 9 seed Richard Gasquet 6-1, 6-2. Federer hit 25 winners during the match to Gasquet’s 8.

“I think I played well.” Federer said. “I served well.  I made my returns I had to and stayed aggressive, so I didn’t let him just make errors.  I forced him to do stuff.  It was a good match for me.”

Federer will play Kei Nishikori who saved 4 match points before upsetting fourth seed David Ferrer 7-6 (7), 2-6, 7-6 (9).

“He had obviously a very difficult match with Ferrer, but a great one which everybody watched in the locker room and the player restaurant,” Federer said.  It was one of those thrilling end to the matches, you know, into the tiebreaker with match points saved.  It had the whole drama.

“Either one could have won, but in tennis always one guy’s got to win.  Kei did a good job getting it done at the end.  I only played him twice but practiced with him many times, so we know each other well so there are no real secrets out there.

“Clearly I think it’s an advantage at this point now that I had a quick match today and he had a really brutal match against Ferrer.  Can I take advantage of it?  Can he recover quickly?  We will see tomorrow.

“But I’m sure we will see him out on the court, and he will give it everything he has.  He always has.”

In another upset on the day, No. 22 Alexandr Dolgopolov stopped three seed Stanislas Wawrinka 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 to reach the quarterfinals.

Also advancing to the quarterfinals were Milos Raonic and Tomas Berdych who eliminated the last American man, John Isner 6-3, 7-5

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Federer Makes Quick Work of de Bakker at Sony Open

Federer fh

(March 23, 2014) Roger Federer took just 63 minutes to reach the fourth round of the Sony Open against Thiemo De Bakker winning 6-3, 6-3 on Stadium Court on Sunday.

Federer played a very clean match with 23 winners to 11 unforced errors, with no break points against him, going for 14 at the net.

Over the past two matches Federer has won at least 90% of his first and second serve points. He was asked if his new racquet has been a factor in his serve statistics.

“I definitely think some of it, for sure,” Federer said.  “I think it just gives me easier power, especially on the first serve.  And I think as time now goes by, I’m getting a better feel for how is the ball going to react, you know, how much spin do I need to put on to stay really accurate and put it really close to the line.

“Because that’s something I also struggled with last year and sometimes before.  It’s just to keep the pace up and keep accuracy up.  Right now I’m doing a good job.

“But then again, you know, this wasn’t Andre Agassi on the other side, or Djokovic.  It’s just important for me to keep that up and remind myself it’s going well so far.

“But you also need to put in the effort again, time and time again.  Then it’s not just to serve.  You know, people think, Oh, he’s winning all these points on first and second serve.

“But there are rallies after that.  It doesn’t just stop right after you’ve hit a serve.  So important it’s how do you back up your serve.  I think that’s also what I’m doing well now.”

 

Federer will play Richard Gasquet in the fourth round.

“We have played many times now in the past, and I’m not sure how he’s playing right now,” Federer said.  “I really don’t know.  I have to find out a little bit.

“I’m not sure about his results as of late, so I have to check a little bit.

“He’s got great game, you know.  Gives himself time, sort of that extra second of time on each shot, forehand and backhand.

“I played him in London recently at the World Tour Finals in ‑‑ I think it was our second‑round group match maybe.  I played a good match against him, but, you know, he’s overall good player.  Can serve well.  Can volley well.  He’s got nice shots, forehand and backhand.

“So he’s a good all‑around player, and I think he’s done well here in the past.  With the wind and the slower conditions, it works quite well for him.

“I think it’s going to be a tough match for me.”

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Stanislas Wawrinka Back to Winning Ways at the Sony Open

Stanislas Wawrinka

(March 22, 2014) Stanislas Wawrinka improved his record to 14-1 on the year defeating Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-0, 3-6, 6-3 in his opening match on Stadium Court at the Sony Open.

The match was a bit of a test for the No. 1 Swiss player who is participating in the Key Biscayne event for the first time since 2011.

“I start well really first set.  It wasn’t going that well, but I was positive, ready.

“Problem is I still have some up and down mentally.  I was negative in the second set a little bit stupidly, but then I’m really happy the way I start the third set.

“Was important to come back strong, to move well again, to play aggressive, to push him, and was important to get the break early.

“I think then was okay.  I’m happy to win.  That’s the most important.  First one here, it’s never easy.  The condition was really slow today, really humid.  You need to get through.  That’s it.  That’s the most important, just winning matches.”

The Australian Open Champion is very happy with his reception in Key Biscayne.

“It’s been great,” Wawrinka said.  “I have been here since one week.  I was practicing since Monday here.  A lot of fan(s), a lot of people from South America, they always come to watch the practice.

“It’s normally a really good crowd.  They make a lot of noise.  They are really happy to be here.  The reception was great for me.

“I didn’t come last two year, so it was even bigger.

Now that Wawrinka has won a major, he was asked about his additional goals.

“Well, there is one goal that I have since many years,” Wawrinka said.  “It’s the Davis Cup.  Now Roger (Federer) is playing, so we know that we are a strong team to do something.  Well need to be careful, but we have a good chance to make a big result this year, and that’s so far the most important.”

Wawrinka and team Swirzerland will play host to Kazakhstan April 4-6 in the Davis Cup World Group quarterfinals.

“I need to focus on what I did before to win the Australian Open,” Wawrinka continued.  “That means I need to focus with my coach, try to improve my game, try to be 100% every day on the court, try to always fight, always try to be at my best in every matches.

“And if I do that, I know I’m going to have some great results this year.”

Wawrinka will face Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin in the third round.

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Roger Federer Returns to Sony Open with a Win Over Ivo Karlovic

Federer on court-001

(March 21, 2014) Roger Federer returned to the Sony Open on a winning note beating hard-serving, 6-foot-11 Ivo Karlovic 6-4, 7-6 (4) on Friday. Federer missed playing last year’s event in Key Biscayne and was entertained by a video tribute on the stadium scoreboard.

 

With a giggle and a laugh, the 17-time major champion told the crowd that it looked like a farewell video. “I miss one year, and you make me feel guilty,” he said.

 

Federer committed a mere 3 unforced errors during the match. In addition he won 49 of his 52 service points.

 

“I think I was able to play a very clean match on my service games throughout, make sure I had a lot of first serves in, make sure I stayed aggressive from the baseline, had an opportunity,” Federer said.

“I think it worked really well, hardly any unforced errors, I was playing with margin, was able to move Ivo around, and I was able to maintain that throughout the match, which was key.

“Like this I could focus a bit on returning while then holding serve, which is important against Ivo.”

“I’m very relieved and happy to be through,” Federer told media.

 

So what’s it like to play the big-serving Karlovic?

“Physically it’s super easy,” Federer said.  “There are no long rallies.  It’s just like more penalty shootout like in soccer.  I don’t want to say you pick sides, but it’s about quick reaction, not getting frustrated and feeling that the returner is the one who has got less pressure.

“I quite like it.  I enjoy it.  It’s just uncomfortable at times when it comes to the crunch of the sets and you have break points and you know like this is probably your only chance in the set or you know that probably next four or five games you won’t see any more break points, or even for the rest of the match.

“So it just can be quite difficult or overwhelming.  But if you’re in the right mindset mentally, it can also be enjoyable.  That’s how I approach the match, anyway.”

Federer last won the Key Biscayne tournament in 2006

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Fashion Statements in Notes and Quotes at the Sony Open

 

Fashion statements

 

(Match 20, 2014) On Thursday at the Sony Open some of the players were asked about their “fashion” and “style” on and off-court. Here is what some of them had to say.

Serena Williams

The world No. 1 sported Miami Dolphins colors on court on Thursday. The 17-time major champ is a co-owner of the NFL team.

Actually, we’re playing ‑‑ Nike and I wanted to pay homage to my team that I co‑own, so it was like, We should totally do the Dolphin colors.  Just have something really fun for Miami.  You know, Dolphins are great, so just, Go Dolphins, go Fins.

 

Djokovci inpress

Novak Djokovic

The World No. 2 was asked about his inspiration in designing his outfits.

You mentioned Andre Agassi.  I mean, he definitely revolutionalized the fashion in tennis.  He was the first one to dress differently and to have some kind of statement on the court.

Well, I have been through a process in my career, as well.  I had different dragons and wings on my shirts (smiling).

But I’m at a different stage right now.  Of course I’m very much involved in giving ‑‑ trying to give my input as much as I can to design my own clothes.  I’m fortunate to have a really good team of people and designers from Uniqlo Company who represents me the last two years.

There is various, I will say, inspirations behind the certain designs for different periods of the year depending on color of the surface, depending on the time of the year, depending where we go, color of Serbian flags, so forth and so forth.

So there are different sources of inspiration we are trying to put into the design and kind of create something that looks nice on the court.

 

Roger Federer

Roger Federer

The Swiss No. 2 and 17-time major champ had a question posted to him about his process of picking out colors and styles and if he had any fashion advice.

Well, normally, look, it’s great to see fans wearing the RF cap, you name it, or Nike in general.  It’s like a tag of approval maybe in a way that they enjoy what I’m wearing.  They feel like they’re connected to me, which I do feel is the case.

The hard part is deciding today what I’m going to wear for US Open next year.  It’s kind of hard, you know, sometimes to put myself in the right mind and mindset to know, Am I going to like, you know, stripes in one‑and‑a‑half years?  I’m not sure, you know.

Right now I maybe do, but maybe one‑and‑a‑half years maybe not so cool.  That’s the hard part when we work together with Nike.  But I really enjoy the process, and it’s nice to be part of it rather than just getting stuff and then not liking or loving stuff.

It has that element where you can be part of it.  My advice probably is you’ve got to make sure you wear the clothes and not the clothes wear you.  It’s quite simple in a, way but don’t wear something you totally feel uncomfortable with, but, you know, take some chances.  Play around a bit.

I felt very uncomfortable in suits when I was younger, so what I just started doing was wearing suits when I was going to dinner.  I used to overdress a little bit so I got used to wearing suits.  Now wearing a suit is like wearing a track suit for me.  So it’s all good.

 

Murray in press

Andy Murray

Andy Murray was asked how players showcase through fashion and individual styles.

This is a tough question for me.  I don’t really know how to answer it (smiling).

To be honest, I mean, I just like wearing on the court what’s comfortable.  So long as the products work well, then that’s the most important thing for me.

I mean, adidas, the way they work is they tend to have their ‑‑ they have their own colors, so all of the players wear a fairly similar kit; whereas some of the other companies, you know, it’s more sort of individual.

So you see that player’s sort of style or what they like a little bit more.

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