Tag Archives: Roger Federer

Andy Murray: Keeping His Eye On The Prize

World number three Andy Murray returns to match play this weekend at Indian Wells. He could take over the number two spot in the ATP rankings by reaching the finals. But there’s a catch. This changing of the guard can only take place if world #2 Roger Federer loses before the semis. Wonder what the odds of that happening are?

At any rate, to help things along, third seeded Murray has a first round bye  and will play either Evgeny Donskoy or Tatsuma Ito on Saturday or Sunday. On second thought, that bye may not be any help at all. Andy hasn’t played a match since his loss to Djokovic in the finals of the Autsralian Open in January. Most would say that a couple of tune-up matches would be beneficial to any player looking to get back in the mix. We will see.

The Indian Wells Masters, also know as the BNP Paribas Open, will see Murray, Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal at the same tournament for the first time since last year’s Wimbledon.

Keeping his eye on the prize, the Scot could face Kei Nishikori in the fourth round, Juan Matin del Potro in the quarter finals, Novak Djokovic in the semis, and Rafa in the finals (if Federer loses).

As for Nadal, he returned to action last week on clay in Latin America and came away with a championship trophy in Mexico. For me, his success was a gimme on that surface, but I’m not so sure his rehabilitated knee is ready for the likes of the top three on the hardcourts of Indian Wells. Personally, I think a Murray/Nadal matchup would be very interesting and highly entertaining. I’ll be pulling for the both of them.



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Federer to play less, but hopes to play in 2016 Olympics

SAO PAULO — Roger Federer says he won’t play as often in the next few years but wants to compete in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The 31-year-old Swiss star intends to be more mindful about the tournaments he plays to make sure he can keep playing at a high level.

“I have to make sure that I take care of my schedule, of my body, of my mind,” he said Thursday. “Hopefully, I can still stay on tour for many more years and hopefully play the Olympics here in three and a half years or so, so I have to look far ahead and not just the next six months.”

The winner of 17 Grand Slams is in Sao Paulo for exhibition matches involving Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka, Serena Williams, Caroline Wozniacki, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Tommy Robredo, Tommy Haas and Thomaz Bellucci. The Bryan brothers, Bob and Mike, are also participating. Federer plays Bellucci, Brazil’s top-ranked player, on Thursday.

Federer has competed in four Olympics, winning a doubles gold in 2008 and a singles silver this year. He would love to make it to the Rio Games.

“There is a lot of passion for sports here,” he said. “It’s a hot place to play tennis right now.”

Federer, who ended the season ranked No. 2, said this year was difficult because of additional commitments that kept him from practice and his family.

“I’ve played a lot of tennis. It’s been a big challenge, especially with the Olympics and the Davis Cup this year,” he said. “I found my way back to world No. 1 and it took a lot of sacrifices. I’d like to be home a little bit more often and in a relaxed fashion.”

Still, he said it was a rewarding season.

“I’m very happy that I’m still playing at a very high level,” said Federer, who won six titles this year, including Wimbledon. “I had one of my best years on tour this year, and one of the most emotional ones, of course. Next year tournament victories will probably be more important than the rankings, that’s why I need to make sure I practice a lot next year.”

Federer played 19 tournaments in 2012, two more than top-ranked Novak Djokovic. No. 3 Andy Murray also played 19 and Rafael Nadal, nursing a knee injury, played only 11.

“I’m not going to play 25 tournaments, but every tournament that I will be playing I’ll be emotionally attached to it because I either won there before or because I’ve been there many times or because I love the city or the country and the fans,” he said. “Today I’ve reached a point in my life that I can pick and choose where I want to play and how much I want to play.”

One of the tournaments he left off his 2013 schedule was Miami, the Masters event in March he has played since 1999 and won twice.

“Miami was a tough decision for me,” he said. “But I have to take some time off, first of all, but most importantly, I need to practice. This year I couldn’t practice at all. Something had to go in the calendar and that was Miami, unfortunately.”

Federer said he thinks he will need two Grand Slams and five to eight titles in other tournaments to get back to No. 1.

“It’s difficult,” he said. “But I’m happy to set that challenge and I’ll give everything I have.”

Source: Tennis.com

Posted by Steven White, Author of “Bring Your Racquet: Tennis Basics for Kids”


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Roger Federer: Second on a list of the world’s most respected people

The Guardian, London

In a study by the US-based Reputation Institute last year, Roger Federer was named second on a list of the world’s most respected people. Behind him was Bill Gates (third), ahead of him only Nelson Mandela. It is fair to say the Swiss tennis star has a reputation to maintain.

With that in mind, there is a lot riding on the Roger Federer Foundation (RFF), which partners local non-governmental organizations to support education projects for children living in poverty.

Many find it unthinkable that a high-profile sportsman like Federer would pursue such a project for reasons other than PR, or to maximize sponsorship returns. Yet, as the world’s fifth highest paid athlete he seems beyond such concerns. If anything, says the foundation’s CEO, Janine Handel, Federer’s altruism potentially jeopardizes the very thing that puts him in a position to make a difference in the first place — his standing.

“If you do charity and you’re a prominent person, it’s very important you do it right,” she said. “It’s a reputational risk you are taking.”

Handel, in London for a debate about whether tennis does enough to help society, insisted what the world needs is not more money but better invested money.

“Philanthropy is not just about money, it’s about quality, how you invest in social issues, the impact you have in the field,” she said.

For 54,000 children in Malawi who will benefit from an early education initiative run by the RFF, that is good news. The project, which began in 2010 in partnership with Credit Suisse and is being implemented in conjunction with ActionAid Malawi, will run for a decade. Its aim is to harness the potential of 80 childcare centers in six districts, where almost 250,000 children aged six to 11 fail to enrol in school.

Personal experience tends to shape the philanthropic activities of tennis players — think Nevada-born Andre Agassi’s education foundation in Las Vegas, or the Guga Kuerten Institute, which works with disadvantaged children in the former world No. 1’s native Brazil — but a packed year-round schedule leaves few opportunities to visit developing countries. It does not help that so few tournaments are staged in poor countries.

“It comes down to what’s viable commercially, what fits in the calendar, and what the appetite for tennis is in a given region,” said Justin Gimelstob, a player representative on the ATP World Tour directors’ board, who described a visit to the Arthur Ashe Tennis Centre in Soweto as “heartbreaking and inspiring.”

“How do you tie the facility in Soweto to the opulence of the US Open? How do you manage those opposite forces?” he asked.

In the absence of easy answers, the ATP is focusing on supporting the efforts of individual players, which only adds to the importance of organizations like the RFF.

Posted by Steven White

Author of Bring Your Racquet: Tennis Basics for Kids


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