Monday, July 30, 2012

Federer goes 2 for 2

Well, my worry about the rematch with Julien Benneteau was definitely for nothing today.  I guess, in retrospect, to think that Benneteau could match the performance that he had against  Roger at Wimbledon a few weeks ago is kind of crazy.  He really didn't have a lot to offer today in his meek 6-2 6-2 loss today and Fed sailed through nicely without having to expend much energy.  The next opponent up on Wednesday is Dennis Istomin.  Though he can be a pretty hard hitter, I would think it would be a match without too much anxiety.

The doubles match between Federer/Wawrinka and Nishikori/Soeda was a lot of fun!  Though Roger and Stan lost the first set in a very close tiebreak, they came back in the 2nd and were strong to finish it off.  The parts I got to see had some really great plays.  I also have noticed Roger shows more emotion on the court when he's playing doubles, smiling sometimes, letting out some big yells when he's excited and and showing a little more disgust with himself for messing up.  I'm sure, since Stan the Man lost to Murray in singles, that Roger will want to do  his best to keep Stan in the competition.

Here's a video clip of an awesome point in the 3rd set, best point of the tournament according to Justin Gimblestob.

There weren't any big upsets for once.  Caroline Wozniacki played a 20 minute game with, I think, 13 deuces that turned out to be very important in her win today.  It was great that she was playing more aggressive tennis, hitting many more winners than normal.  And the Americans all did well today.  The Djokovic Roddick match will be interesting tomorrow, as well as Tsonga Raonic.  Lots to look forward to this week, that's for sure!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Upsets for some, but not Roger!

The first day of Olympic tennis started with some upsets.  Tomas Berdych went out meekly in straight sets, slipping and sliding around on the newly planted grass on Centre Court.  Other upsets included Fernando Verdasco, Li Na and Sam Stosur, to name a few.  

Roger Federer looked like he was going to have a relatively easy straight sets win against Allejandro Falla.  However, already up a break in the 2nd set he squandered three match points on Falla's serve and then got broken trying to serve for the match.  Committing quite a few unforced errors, he somehow managed to hand over the 2nd set.  Then, though he broke early in the 3rd set he was broken again.  My blood pressure was rising at that point, knowing that anything could happen on a grass court in a best of 3 sets match.  However, though nerves must have a played a part for Roger in letting his led slip away, he was able to hold onto them to gain another break and this time put things away.  He seemed quite relieved in his post-match interview.

His next match doesn't get any easier, having to come face to face with the guy who almost beat him a few weeks ago.  Hopefully being tested early will be a help rather than a hindrance and give him more confidence going into what could be another tricky match.  And hopefully the desire to have a singles gold medal around his neck will push him to his best in the upcoming matches rather than causing him to tighten up and give away important points.  Come on Roger, you can do this!

Friday, July 27, 2012

And here we go!

Just to clarify once again, though I love watching all kinds of tennis matches and players, my #1 is Roger Federer.  So even though I'm an American and maybe should be cheering for guys like John Isner or Andy Roddick to win medals, Roger is my guy and I want gold for him above anyone else.  Now that we got that straight, a short look at his draw.  While I was happy to see that David Ferrer would be his projected semifinal opponent rather than Andy Murray, and that Berdych, Tsonga and Raonic were all on the other side of the draw, I was a little distressed to see his first two rounds.  As most know by now, his first round opponent, Falla, was up two sets and a break on him two years ago at Wimbledon.  His potential second round opponent, Benneteau, was up two sets on him a few weeks ago.  In both cases, if it were the Olympics, he would have been out.   Obviously he is well aware of this and he knows he has to come out of the blocks strong.  Hopefully the fact that he just had great success on grass will carry over and get him through these first couple matches.  I feel like if he can win those, his chances for a medal, hopefully gold, are very strong.

The bottom half of the draw is quite challenging with all those big hitters I mentioned earlier.  No one has an easy ride to the finals, that's for sure.  Nothing is a sure thing even for the very strongest and highest ranked players, so it should be a very interesting week-and-a-half.  I'm curious to see how Novak Djokovic plays, as he certainly hasn't been the Djoker of 2011.  I'm sure he is anxious to remedy that.

And, sweet guy that he is, Roger has given his doubles partner Stan Wawrinka the opportunity to represent Switzerland by carrying the flag in the opening ceremony.  This also works out well for Fed given that his first match is tomorrow.  It's really too bad they choose to have the opening ceremony late at night, which prevents many of the tennis players from even attending.  Don't understand why they can't do it earlier.  But the reason they are there is to compete to their best ability athletically, not to go to a big ceremony, so Roger is making the right decision to skip the big event and be prepared for tomorrow.

Hopefully he and Stan can do well in doubles again this year too, but the focus, in my mind and I'm sure his too, is on getting a singles medal.  Go for the gold, Roger!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Roger Federer: Triumph through adversity

I was thinking this morning about the song by Kelly Clarkson "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" in relation to Roger Federer.  Think back to the last two majors of 2011.  First there was the quarterfinal loss to Tsonga, his first time ever being up two sets and losing.  Very disappointing.  After the usual misery for a few days I was able to get past that one, though, and think positive thoughts for things to come.  Then came the devastating semifinal loss to Djokovic, first being up two sets, losing the next two, but up a break, serving for the match, two match points, only to lose.  Depression set in for a while after that one, that's for sure.  Then came his six week break to think things through, and the results he has had since coming back speak for themselves.  

As hard as it is to say, I think he actually needed those difficult losses.  There were times during 2010-11 when it seemed like he was just kind of passing off his losses, maybe not quite taking them seriously enough.  After his U.S. Open loss, after talking about it with Mirka, he realized he needed to do some thinking about what was happening in those moments when he wasn't coming through like he used to.  We will never know what things he changed in his thinking or playing that made the difference, but he has shown himself once again to be an incredible champion to be able to learn from the difficult moments, turn things around and come back stronger than ever.

 We all know the concept of learning from adversity (though I know I certainly don't like it!).  In Roger's case I'm pretty confident in saying that he actually needed the adversity to push him again to the next level.  To come back from those difficulties to once again win Wimbledon and especially to get back to #1 in the world has been a joy to participate in as one of his committed fans.  If he could add a gold medal to the accomplishments, well, I can't even think of a strong enough word to describe the emotions.  I'm so proud of him for the way he has fought through the tough times and I hope with all my heart he and all his fans are listening to the Swiss national anthem next Sunday.


Monday, July 23, 2012

They're back!

The London Olympics are getting close now!  The tennis players are arriving at Wimbledon and beginning their practices.  Local hero Andy Murray got the opportunity to carry the torch today:

I'm sure that was a special moment for him.   He then got to pass the torch to Venus Williams, which has to be a triumphant moment for her with all she has been through!  

Here is a picture of friends-rivals Novak Djokovic with Murray, who both have to feel their medal chances are pretty good:

And, of course, Roger Federer is back at his beloved Wimbledon grounds, looking pretty hot in more ways than one:
It was announced today that although Federer had been granted the privilege of carrying the Olympic flag for Switzerland for the third time, he deferred this time, wanting another athlete to have the opportunity (isn't he a sweet guy?!!).  How awesome that the honor was given to his good friend and gold medal partner Stan Wawrinka!!

And I can't let the day go by without saying happy 3rd birthday to sweet Myla and Charlene!  Amazing it has been three years already since the exciting news was announced that Roger and Mirka had not one, but two new babies!  I'm sure they have some special plans for their little girls today.  It won't be long before they're old enough to actually sit and watch Daddy's matches in the player box.


Friday, July 20, 2012

While we wait...

There are actually quite a few tournaments going on right now, and I have been catching some of the action.  Enjoyed watching the first Japanese ATP quarterfinal with Go Soeda playing some amazing tennis, and looking forward to watching Andy Roddick play against Michael Russell tonight.

But while it's fun to start getting into the U.S. Open series, the Olympics at Wimbledon is the drawing card right now, and I can't wait to see how Roger Federer is going play after his amazing 17th Grand Slam win and his climb back up to the #1 ranking.  So while we wait, I though I would post one of the many You Tube videos of his out-of-this world shots:

This video was made before his latest win, so the info at the end is outdated.  But the shots sure aren't and can't help but amaze.  

Ok, I can't help but put one more - how about some of his tweeners:

Can't wait to watch him play again!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Nadal out!

Wow, it was rather shocking to hear the news this morning that reigning gold medalist Rafael Nadal has pulled out of the Olympics, claiming he is not in condition yet to compete.  "I've waited until the final moment of my preparation and my training, but I cannot do it."  "It is one of the saddest days of my career. You can imagine how difficult it was to take this decision."  Nadal fan or not, you can't help but feel bad for him to have to miss such a huge event as this, not to mention no longer getting to have the honor of carrying the Spanish flag in the opening ceremonies. 

While neither Federer or Djokovic would wish this for their co-competitor, they would have to admit this makes their road to the gold easier.  Granted, they each still have to get through the early rounds to be in contention, and that can be one of the most difficult parts.  There aren't many easy matches in this 64-man draw, and things can get away quickly in best of 3 matches, as confirmed by Roger Federer not yet having any medal in singles in his previous visits to the Olympics.  However, this new development will, I'm sure, put even more fire into each of them to make sure they are on the podium listening to their national anthem.  And not to mention the number 1 ranking again is on the line, with Federer only 75 points ahead in the race.  

Of course, this doesn't even address the upcoming hard court season.  Likely this is related to Rafa's continued issues with knee tendinitis, and hard courts are the worst for this condition.  Makes things even more interesting, being that he has a lot of ranking points to defend from last year's final at the U.S. Open.

In the meantime, though, anticipation is building and I am anxiously awaiting next Friday's opening ceremonies in London!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

New Congratulations Video with Roger Federer

This interview was just done on the day of the 287 week record!  Great to see Roger looking so relaxed after vacation.  Enjoy!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Roger Federer ATP Tribute videos

Here is the tribute by the ATP for Roger beating the record for weeks at #1:

And this 17 Grand Slams Tribute video can't help but bring goosebumps and tears to the eyes of Federer fans:

I'm just loving all the recognition that's being shown to his amazing accomplishments!  Not getting tired of it in the slightest - much deserved!!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Such a sweet number - 287!

Many congratulations to the amazing Roger Federer, not only the greatest of all time in tennis, but the man who some are claiming as the greatest athlete ever!   Tomorrow he officially breaks the all time record held by Pete Sampras for weeks at #1 in the world!

I still remember the sinking feeling a couple years ago when Roger lost to Tomas Berdych in the quarter finals at Wimbledon when realization hit that he was going to lose the #1 ranking again to Rafael Nadal when he was oh so close to breaking the all time record.  And with the run Rafa was on at the time, going on to win his first U.S. Open title, and Roger not having the results we were all used to, it was looking increasing less likely that he was going to be able to get back there, especially with the rise of Novak Djokovic in 2011.

However, many people forgot that we were talking about Roger Federer!  The man who had won 16 major titles knew it was still very possible to take that record, and he knew how to get it done.  After finding his focus once again after the severely disappointing loss to Djokovic in the semis (for the 2nd year in a row after hold match points!), he raised his game and began winning title after title, culminating in the so-sweet victory at SW19 last Sunday, bringing him back to #1 once again.

Though it certainly would have still been sweet to break the record back then, it would have seemed just a natural result, one more to add to the already amazing record book.  But to have it almost out of reach for a couple years, thinking maybe that would be one record he just wouldn't hold, and then to come back when so many had written him off, is just completely incredible!  It kind of makes those difficult years worth it, and the respect for him all the higher.  

How long will he hold #1 now?  So much will depend on the Olympics.  I certainly am dreaming of the gold, and seeing how many more weeks we can add onto the already amazing 287!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Accomplishments of the last 9 months

It's still feeling a little strange not to be turning on the TV the moment I get up in the morning with anticipation to see what the next story line is in the Wimbledon saga.  While I realize there are some smaller tournaments on this week that I could catch some tennis action from, to be honest they pale in comparison to what we just witnessed and it feels better, at least for a few days, to give myself a little breather in preparation for the excitement to come in the mid to late summer, which there will be plenty of!

I keep ruminating over all that has been accomplished with Roger Federer's win on Sunday.  On top of the obvious ones I (and thousands of others) have already talked about extensively (17, 7, 1) I am amazed with the way he has taken the challenge of raising his game to the level necessary to get back to the very top once again, over the two rivals who, between the two of them, have ruled the grand slam world for the last 2 1/2 years since his last major win.  After two heartbreaking losses last year from 2 sets up, he took the challenge of making the adjustments necessary, and look what he has done since then.  Last year he came back and won a 500 level tournament, a Masters 1000 and once again the World Tour Finals which, might I add, is against just the top 8 in world (I always wonder why he doesn't get more credit for this!).

Although he had a disappointing loss against Nadal in Australia, he went on and continued to win a couple 500 level tournaments and two more Masters 1000s, certainly more than what the former world #1 was accomplishing.  He had put himself in a position to get back to #1 in the world.  I think he knew what he was doing by not using all his energy getting to another final of the French Open, in which he would have to play once again the King of Clay, and save himself for what he had a very good shot at - his precious Wimbledon.  Djokovic can have his win in the semis of RG!

If I'm counting right Roger has won 8 titles since last year's U.S. Open (3 500s, World Tour final, 3 1000s and a grand slam).  No one else on tour has even come close to this level of accomplishment.  What a last nine months this has been for Fed fans, to see their hero go through heartbreaking adversity, work through the difficulties, and come back with incredible triumphs.  Victory is all the sweeter, especially to such an amazing degree, after the winless periods.  I couldn't be more proud of him in his successes in fighting back and proving so many wrong who had written him off.  We'll see how the next months play out.  It's easy to get greedy and want him to continue to win everything.  Maybe he will and maybe he won't.  But even if he doesn't nothing can take away what he has achieved.

There are some pictures floating around of Roger and Mirka on a sailboat on their vacation.  I'm going to choose to give them their privacy by not posting them myself this time, but I hope they're having a very relaxing and refreshing time.  They certainly deserve it!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

That's why we love him!

I found an ESPN article by Rick Reilly that compares the careers of Roger Federer and Tiger Woods.  Most of it is talking about things such as how many majors they have, etc., which is all great, but here's the part that I was so impressed with:

"Life: The question was "Who's greater?" Greatness is more than what happens on stage. Both men are great athletes, but greatness is as greatness does. Greatness is also in the way you carry it, the way you treat fans and colleagues and waiters. I've never met anybody in tennis more polite and giving and generous than Federer. He treats the woman who cleans the hotel the same as the guy who owns it. I remember once when Federer and I were escorted into a room for my 15 minutes with him. He'd just finished his match, and he was drained. There was a leather recliner and a stool. He took the stool. And nothing I could say would talk him off it.

At the same time, I've never met anybody in golf less interested in others than Woods. If Federer acts like a reluctant god, Woods acts like a hand-picked one. There's a reason that, when Woods is done with people, they tend to rat him out. The Coach. The Caddie. The Girlfriends. You get treated like a beer can somebody's kicking along the road, you want to kick back. Is it just a coincidence that the Federers are still seen socializing with Woods' ex but not with Woods himself?

Tiger Woods still has 9½ years to rise to the place Federer is now. I hope he does.

Maybe his golf will get there, too."

Although I love his tennis so much, a big part of the reason that I'm such is fan is because of the person he is.  You can tell he truly cares about people.  I remember reading that when James Blake was in the hospital years ago, the only tennis player he heard from was Roger.  So many of the tennis players talk about the type of person he is off court, which is why he has won the Sportsmanship award over and over.  And look at the work he does with his foundation, going to the sites numerous times in his busy schedule.

The other thing I love is that he is a family man.  Can you imagine him doing something like what Tiger did?  Absolutely not!   It truly is an honor to be the fan of such a classy person, whose legacy will live on way after he retires.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Roger's CNN interview

Even though I finally figured out how to embed some videos into the body of the blog, I can't figure out how to do all of them yet.  I want to share this video though, so the link will have to do.  There are tons of Federer interviews out there right now (you could see how many he had to do on my previous post with his media blitz), but some are more fun than others, and in this one he talks about his kids along with talk about the match.  Enjoy!

Roger Federer talks about win and family

Monday, July 9, 2012

More thoughts on the Maestro's incredible win

Roger looking dapper in his tux with the trophy
 As the great victory has continued to marinate in my mind over the last 24 hours, here are some of my additional thoughts since yesterday's post.

I realized I hadn't even mentioned Roger's level of play in my excitement of what his accomplishment means in so many different realms.  But along with the 17, 7 and 1 that everyone is talking about (and what about 75 titles?), another amazing feat that stood out to me is that in my opinion he is starting to look much more like the Federer of old.  There have been quite a few times in these last couple years that he really did look as if he was losing a step compared to the other guys, and that his game was dropping, even if just a small degree.  However, over the last nine months there has been so much encouragement with the titles he has won and his obvious motivation to continue winning.  In this tournament we have seen some of the amazing mastery in the early rounds, then those couple scary rounds, and now these last couple matches looking just amazing.  Yesterday the way he was able to raise his game after the slow start and then play some absolutely beautiful, and may I say genius tennis that we had become accustomed to in times past.  The beauty of his game when he is playing his best is just astounding, gliding, almost dancing around the court.  I remember one rally where they must have done five cross court forehands each back and forth, and each of his forehands was different in one way or another, one a high looping one, another with his wrist laid way back, another fired hard.  It's just amazing his variety with just one shot.  And his overhead smashes were beautiful, not to mention the touch on his drop shots, or the short angled forehands barely across the net.  My husband, who was gone for the match and just watched highlights, on one of those short angled forehand winners, said "What was that?!"  That about says it with much of what he was doing.  Incredible!!

What do the next few months hold?  Could this be what he needed to get him back not just to winning the smaller tournaments, but to winning even more grand slams again?  Though I'm not necessarily expecting it, I could see him come back and winning both the Olympic gold and the U.S. Open.  I know, probably dreaming, as the other guys are going to have much to say about that.  But I do think now that he has experienced this victory again, that he might not be stopping at 17!  Is it possible for him to reach 20?

On another note, how could anyone but the most hard hearted not feel for Andy Murray as he was giving his tearful speech.  Even though, of course, I didn't want him to win, I still can't help but feel bad for him.  He played the best he ever has in a major final and yet it still just wasn't enough.  Surely he must have felt he had a chance, especially after winning the first set and having break points in the second set.  It must have been heart rending to once again come up the runner up, only this time being in front of his home crowd.  You could tell Roger felt for him too.  I do believe Andy will win one eventually.  

Here is a fun video of all the press responsibilities Roger has after these wins.  He seems to be in a pretty good mood though, as would be expected!

One last thing, for today anyway.  I thought the following was an exceptionally well written article with good quotes from Roger, so instead of me trying to repeat some of this I will just let you read it from the link below: 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Roger and fortune cookie success!

Oh, such sweet victory!  How do I even go about  expressing the emotions of what has taken place today?  There are so many amazing things that happened with this win - 7th Wimbledon, 17th major title, and #1 in the world once again to break the record.  Which is the best?  They are all so incredible at a month from 31 years old!  People were so in awe of Rafael Nadal winning his 7th French Open.  Well, Roger has equaled it with 7 Wimbledons.  And he has shown, by most people's estimation I'm sure, that he is the GOAT.  I'm just in awe of what he has been able to accomplish.

I have to share my story that happened earlier in the week, though.  My husband and I went for Chinese food on the 4th of July and I got a fortune cookie.  Before I opened it I told myself that this was going to tell me if Roger was going to win or not.  Here is what it said:

In case you can't read the small print it says "Your lucky number for the week is seven."  Wow - I couldn't believe it!  Now I'm not one to believe in fortune cookies.  In fact, prayer is something I rely on very much.  But I think sometimes God has a sense of humor and just wanted to reassure me.  Not that I didn't have my moments of tension, because I certainly did, especially in that 2nd set, but I also felt kind of a calm certainty that he was going to come through.  I thought that was pretty amazing, and that fortune will definitely stay on my Federbear!

There are so many quotes I could put of what Roger has said after the match which I haven't even had a chance to read or hear yet, but I'll go with this one:  "I feel better here [at Wimbledon] than anywhere else. I don't know why. It's a unique and special place"  That it is.  And can you imagine the confidence going into the Olympics now?  Imagine the sweetness of adding Olympic gold to what he has achieved.  Another sweet joy to dream of in the next few weeks while Roger takes a much deserved vacation.

I will end it with a couple sweet pictures of his precious girls, who got to come into the players box for the award ceremony.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Williams sisters double delight

What a day it was for Serena Williams!  Whether you are a Serena fan or not, there is a very human element that has to be taken into account here.  With all that she has been through in the past two years since her last Wimbledon title with the freak cut by glass on her foot, which took so long to heal, and then the tremendous scare with the pulmonary embolism in which she feared for her life, to come back and win Wimbledon for her 14th major title is just an incredible story.  Though part of me was definitely cheering for Aga Radwanska, who I have come to really like, I couldn't help but shed a few tears myself at Serena's joy as she appreciated this incredible blessing in her life.

The first set I felt some feelings of definite disappointment and dread for Aga as she struggled so hard to get just one game on the board.  It was with relief and then excitement that I saw her really start to turn things around and make it a match.  While it was obvious Serena was tightening up as the possibility of the title became more of a probability, you could tell Radwanska was also feeling much more comfortable and able to employ more of the crafty play she is known for.  It was great to see her pull out that second set, to make this first grand slam final more of a pleasant memory to look back on, unlike similar ones by, say Vera Zvonerava, which were basically blow-outs.  But in the end Serena was able to bring her power game once again and take home her 5th Wimbledon title, tying her sister Venus.

Speaking of Venus, her sister hasn't been the only one to have health issues.  As everyone knows, Venus was diagnosed with Sjoegren's syndrome last year.  Having rheumatoid arthritis myself, which has similarities to that disease, I can sympathize with what she has had to work through and I applaud her for her tremendous effort and determination.  Though she lost early in singles, she did get her ranking up high enough to reach her goal of playing in the Olympics in three weeks.  I also have to give huge kudos to Serena.  Due to all the rain she has had to play an incredible amount of tennis the last several days trying to catch up with all the doubles matches missed.  She could have pulled out of the doubles and saved herself for the singles.  However, she stuck with it and she had the joy and satisfaction of also getting to see her sister win a Wimbledon title.  Sisterly love to a great degree, I would say.  The hug and obvious happiness they shared at the end was inspiring.

I am waiting with bated breath for tomorrow's men's singles final.  Should be an amazing match with the highest emotion on both sides.  History in the making no matter what the result (though there is only one result that I am looking for).  Hopefully looking forward to doing my happiest post to date tomorrow afternoon.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Joy and Ecstasy!

Can a Federer fan feel more joy than what I am feeling right now?  Roger Federer into his 8th Wimbledon final with a chance to take his 7th title.  Oh the rapture when that last Djokovic return hit the net and Roger raised in his arms in victory.  The feelings of heart pounding, sweaty palms, changing emotions between ecstasy and dread followed me through the match.  But in the end the GOAT was able to pull it off against a somewhat uncomfortable looking Novak Djokovic.

The fact that Roger will go back to #1 in the world with a win on Sunday would be such an amazing feat at a month from his 31st birthday.  For those like me who have been frustrated with those who have not exactly written him off, but at least implied he is being far surpassed by the two who have held rank over him for the last year or more, it would be a particularly sweet victory, almost an "I told you so."  What a way to cement his legacy.

I have seen quite a few reactions before this match that if Roger could beat Novak, it would be almost an automatic win for him in the final.  Not so fast, though!  Andy Murray would have amazing crowd support, and an equally amazing determination to not lose one more final, this time at his home tournament (of course, amazing pressure at the same time!).  And don't forget it was Jo Wilfred Tsonga who beat Roger here last year.  When he gets on a roll we know what can happen!

It looks to be an amazing day of tennis on Sunday.  Until then those who are Federer fans can bask in the glow of victory and dream of the title two days from now!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Another royal performance + Fed girls sighting

The likes of Prince William, Kate, Andre Agassi & Steffi Graf, and Rod Laver were treated to a special display today as Roger Federer put on another masterclass performance, beating Youzhny 6-1 6-2 6-2 and improving to a 14-0 head to head record against him, not to mention gaining entry into his 32nd major semifinal.  The numbers are just staggering as to what this man has achieved!

While my hopes for a 7th Wimbledon crown went way downhill two days ago with Roger's medical timeout for back injury and his obvious difficulty with movement around the court and serving abilities, today I am starting to feel some renewed hope.  Along with his normal beautiful shots we have gotten used to, I was very impressed today with his defensive skills and his ability to turn defense into offense.  There were several times he looked completely out of a point, but he was able to turn it around and end up hitting a winner out of nowhere.  Very encouraging as we think ahead to his match on Friday against Novak Djokovic.  Roger really seems to raise his game when royalty is in the house.  Can someone please invite the Queen to Friday's match?!!!

And as a special treat, Myla and Charlene were somewhere in the vicinity for Daddy's match, along with the lucky ladies who get the privilege of watching out for Roger and Mirka's little princesses.

And here's a You Tube link of them at the match.  So sweet!

Monday, July 2, 2012

What to think?

Federer fans were in for another unexpected surprise today.  After having watched him come back from two sets down last week in what could have been his earliest exit in a major in many years, his fans felt incredible relief when he pulled it out.  I think we were all expecting and longing for an easy match today.  What everyone was unprepared for was a back injury of some type or another that started to bother him early in the first set.  The scary part was when he not only called the trainer, but actually went off court to receive treatment.  It was obvious watching him serve, move tentatively around court, and hit his forehands with less authority, that he was struggling.  Somehow, though, he managed to pull off the first set in a pretty easy tiebreak, along with a 2nd set that he cruised through.  He was starting to look better as the pain medication was most likely kicking in.  I was unprepared though for the 3rd set loss, and when he got broken in the 1st game of the 4th I started having unpleasant daydreams of last year's Tsonga match.  Once he managed to break back he seemed to take more control of the match again and managed to pull off a victory.

What does this mean going forward, though?  Here's what he had to say in  his press conference regarding his back:  ''Honestly I'm not too worried,'' he said. ''I've had bad backs over the years. They go as quick as they came. But, of course, I have to keep an eye on it now. Two good nights' sleeps, and I'll be 100 percent on Wednesday. I'm pretty convinced, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to pull out the match the way I did today.''  While I'm happy to hear his positivity, though, I'm not so sure.  While I think he will be able to get through his quarterfinal match again Youzhny, who he has never lost to, my optimism of his taking his 17th grand slam trophy just went down tremendously.  After watching how well Djokovic was playing today, Roger would need to be at his best to beat him.  While he may be feeling better, will he be able to be at the level necessary to beat the current #1?  Feeling some serious disappointment about this new development.

If you would like to hear more of what he had to say in his press conference, here is a transcript of it:

press conference

It was too bad they were only able to get three of the men's matches completed today.  Definitely a disadvantage for those who will have to play three days in a row.  Hopefully the weather will be more cooperative tomorrow.

In women's news, they were thankfully able to complete all of the Round of 16 today.  Surprisingly Maria Sharapova went out in straight sets to Sabine Lisicki, meaning she will lose her #1 ranking, while Serena was able to hang on in a tight three setter.  The biggest match in the quarterfinals, in my opinion, will be Serena vs. Petra Kvitova.  Wow, that one could certainly go either way!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Roger Federer interview

In the few minutes that I had on this non-tennis middle Sunday I thought about trying to come up with a summary blog, but life got in the way and I took advantage of getting to do some other things before the excitement starts up again.  

But I thought I could at least put up this interview of Roger Federer with Sue Barker from the BBC, which I thought was enjoyable, for those who haven't had the opportunity to see it:

Sue Barker interviews Roger