González, a Chilean who has produced his strongest year in a so far lukewarm career, was matter-of-fact in explaining his running out of gas. “I can play better, but today that was all that I have,” he said.
González, who had spoken of the physical challenge of playing this far into an event-crammed season, added: “At this level always you feel pain. But, no, today I was really, really tired. I mean, with my body, I feel really like heavy. It was really hard to me to move to one side to another.”
...“With the break I could play a little bit more relaxed,” Federer said of the fast start in the first set. “He’s not the fastest from the back of the court. That’s why he must serve really well.”
STUART — Lawyers for the ex-wife of golf great Greg Norman will not be allowed to question retired tennis star Chris Evert about trips she took on Norman's jet, a judge ruled this afternoon.
Roger Federer shows his class to set up Rafael Nadal showdown
- Barry Flatman, The Times (Online)
Now Federer walks out to face his great rival Rafael Nadal to register a final place in his bid to win this calendar-ending prize for the fourth time in five years. Nodding in honest admiration of what excellence he witnessed, the Spaniard could only admit: “If he plays like that, then I have no chance.”
Federer has many qualities and being modest and humble about his brilliance is one of them but there are times when he cannot hide his pride. “I was impressed with my own performance actually,” he admitted almost self consciously after his 6-4, 6-2 triumph.
“I was pleased with my variety. I came into the net nicely, volleyed some good shots. I was really happy the way I came forward. I served and volleyed and had a high per cent of first serves.”
...“It seems like most times we play he's on top of his game, which is a little annoying,” said Roddick, mindful of the fact that players such as David Nalbandian who have given Federer repeated problems of late play a more mobile running style. “I guess I just have to figure out what about my game brings out the best in him and try to adjust.”
Federer did not quite believe what he was saying either as he tried to sum up Roddick as an opponent. "Andy has been trying many, many different things out against me," he said slowly. "It's dangerous for me to play against him, especially with the guy having such a big serve. Today I read it well.
''Sometimes conditions are quicker; sometimes they're slower. Today was in my favour. I was impressed with my own performance actually."
Roddick, though, still has a fighting chance. He, too, is into the semi-finals where he will play David Ferrer, the only man who is yet to lose a match here. Should Roddick win, there is every likelihood that he will play Federer in the final - and the prospect of two thrashings in three days is bound to fill his heart with joy. "I'm never going to give up," Roddick said. "Obviously, you'd be a fool to think you're the favourite. You realise the chances are getting slimmer the more he gets on a roll. I guess I just have to figure out what about my game brings out the best in him and try to adjust."
In a repeat of last year's semi-final, Federer's path to that match is blocked by Rafael Nadal, the runner-up in the Gold Group. A couple of days ago Federer seemed wary of taking on Davydenko but after yesterday's performance the old swagger is back and he is positively relishing the thought of putting the world No 2 in his place. "I think if I'm on top of my game indoors, I'm the favourite for the match," Federer said simply. ''It's going to be entertaining, I think."
Federer spells double trouble for battered Roddick - The Guardian
There were any number of stupendous shots in Federer's win, so much so that it was tempting to think that the Federer who had struggled in his previous two round-robin matches, losing the first against Fernando González of Chile, was a Chinese fake... "Let's not overrate this win over Andy," said the world No1 generously, "because we both knew we were qualified and we could both play freely."
There is no doubt that Roddick's suspect backhand has improved significantly under the tutelage of Jimmy Connors, although it is rumoured that in a week of splits the two may be about to part.
...The Lawn Tennis Association is calling on the help of the Serbian world No4, Ana Ivanovic, to set a much needed example to young British players. The LTA has done a deal for Ivanovic to train at the £40m National Tennis Centre in Roehampton next month.
Ivanovic, in return, has agreed to practise with lowly ranked British players and offer them an insight into the workload and commitment required to be a world-class player. She might also give the often pampered locals a perspective on how fortunate they are to come from one of the richest tennis nations in the game and be so generously financed by a governing body which receives around £25m each year via the surplus profits from Wimbledon.
Some super-talented men begin their ascent up the ladder at the age of 18 (Rafa Nadal), some at 19 (Pete Sampras,) some at 21 (Roger Federer), but it's rare to find a guy making a serious charge at the age of 25.
Todd Martin, who flew up at the age of 24, comes to mind, but the American went to college before joining the tour, while Spain's David Ferrer has been hacking away at his craft on tour since he's been 18 and only began to show super impressive results this year.
...Jimmy Connors is watching Shanghai from at home in Santa Barbara, but has been watching live (1 am, ouch!) and has been in contact with Andy and his brother, John... John McEnroe will not be on the Versus Network team that will broadcast Davis Cup final as the two parties couldn't agree on a contract. Jimmy Arias will handle the color, Leif Shiras will be courtside and Bill Patrick will do the play by play.
A player who preferred to keep things in the family, Davydenko's go-to person always had been his brother, Eduard. But shortly after the brouhaha about the Sopot match began, the introverted Davydenko realized he needed the assistance of a savvy personality capable of navigating tricky, tangled webs. That led to his befriending of Ronnie Leitgeb, the director of the Portschach, Austria, tournament, who started his career as a journalist before going on to coach and manage former French Open champion Thomas Muster's career for 16 years.
The crafty Leitgeb, who came on board in September, definitely has the smarts and the resources to do a competent job of proactively protecting Davydenko. Already, Davydenko was exonerated by the ATP this week in his appeal of a $2,000 fine for "lack of best effort" in his loss to Marin Cilic last month at the St. Petersburg tournament.
"It's a very difficult situation for him, and we have to try to solve the problem," Leitgeb said. "I'm hoping that we can solve this problem by the end of the year so he can start the New Year fresh. The only thing he can say is that he doesn't know anything either and that he doesn't know what is going on and this has nothing to do with him."
Haas tells German news services
that the medical tests he underwent for poisioning did not detect anything
and too much time had passed in between. Last week, German teammate Waske
said he had been told that Haas was poisoned in Russia during the September
Davis Cup semifinals.
Haas will, however, will undergo another surgery on his right shoulder that
will keep him off the court for six weeks. He expects to play the Australian
...Jamie Murray's coach, Louis Cayer, tells French-language Canadian
newspaper La Presse that he will work with Andy Murray during the off-season
and also at his first tournament of the year in Qatar.
"But if he wants a full-time coach, it will be difficult for me to accept,"
added Cayer. "I don't want to leave my LTA post, which gives me job
security, and I have promised to do 14 toruaments with his brother Jamie
next year. It's true that Jamie and Andy play the same tournaments, but to
coach two players of this caliber at the same time is very hard."
Home advantage a major Cup boost for America, says Blake - Reuters
Blake would love to have the opportunity to seal victory for the U.S. in the fifth and final match.
"I want to have that chance if I get there," he said. "I want to be the one that our team is counting on. I feel like I performed when needed.
I've never really been put in the position to be tested in that fifth match. Andy has been the best closer of all time for American tennis."
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