We caught up with Roger Federer after his loss to Jo Wilfried Tsonga at the Montreal Masters.
1) How does it feel to hit 30?
Not so good, actually, but, of course, I’m not going to say that despite my having my worst year (in terms of majors) since 2002.
2) How’s it going at Montreal?
Not good at all. I thought that Tsonga would take the hint and realize it’s Rogers’ Cup but no. Now they all enjoy taking the mickey out of me. And Nadal (chuckling).
3) Will this affect your US Open preparation?
No, not at all. You saw how I played prior to the French Open and yet I made the finals at Roland Garros.
4) Is retirement on the cards?
I’m still young, I float like a butterfly and sting like a bee (occasionally). Don’t count me out till I’m 35 and then I’ll join Pete (Sampras) on the Champions’ tour.
5) How does Mirka feel about you continuing your touring ways?
As long as I babysit the kids, she has no complaints. (Luckily, the diapers changing phase is past).
Do say: You’re still No.3.
Don’t say: 16—no more.
Disclaimer: The character(s) are real but the interview is fictional.
|I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.|
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“Something is not going well for me here in Toronto.”
Marion Bartoli has no real excuses for her early exit at the Rogers Cup bowing out to Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan. This is the second time Bartoli crashed out in the first round here; she lost to Alona Bondarenko of Ukraine in 2009.
What she really meant:
“I definitely can’t say that things are going swimmingly well for me in Montreal, can I?”
What she definitely didn’t:
“I’m not coming back unless I get a first round bye next year.”
The hiring of Paul Annacone as coach appears a masterstroke in hindsight. Federer’s results and ranking since have shown an upward trajectory.
He has reached two consecutive finals: The Rogers Cup and Cincinatti Masters, winning the latter.
A new resilience and a willingness to slug it out with the best of them exemplify Federer’s ascendant star. He expects no easy wins and is willing to stay the course. This was so not the case earlier when Federer’s opponents were overawed by his reputation and gifted away easy victories.
The mortality of Federer has unlocked a new stream of consciousness in his opponents that there is life in professional tennis despite his looming presence.
As to how Annacone has added luster to Federer’s glory, the answer is still in the realm of speculation.
Roger, what is it? Is it validation? Is it motivation? Is it technical? Or is he a trophy coach?
Either way, Annacone is there to egg Federer on to his sixth US Open title.