February 28, 2011
After posting a successful year which saw him win the Wimbledon doubles title and finish the season ranked No. 57 in the world, German tennis star Philipp Petzschner has continued his stellar play in 2011 by winning the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament with partner Jurgen Melzer, and most recently advancing to the quarterfinals of the singles draw during the Dubai Duty Free Tennis event.
Possessing one of the most fluid serves in the game, Petzschner discusses his goals for the remainder of the year; how he sees the future of German tennis, and which up-and-coming youngster he feels will have the biggest breakthrough this season.
Q) At this stage of your career, are you concentrating more on your singles results or your doubles events with teammate Jurgen Melzer?
A) First of all I’m only trying to play tennis and have fun with it, but of course I’m concentrating a lot more on my singles even if I’m more successful in doubles at the moment.
Q) After reaching a career high of No. 35 in the world on the ATP World Tour in September of 2009, what kind of ranking goals have you mapped out for yourself in 2011?
A) I want to get [back] to the top 30 and see where it leads [me] from there.
Q) How much did winning Wimbledon with Melzer in 2010 help the confidence and the belief in your game?
A) A lot of course. Winning the biggest tournament in tennis is a great thing and [it] gives you confidence and belief in your game.
Q) John McEnroe has gone on record as saying that he believes that your service motion is the best that he’s ever seen. Can you discuss the elements of your serve that have led you to having such a successful motion? Did you spend a lot of time as a junior developing your delivery?
A) I mean words like this from John McEnroe is an honor, but as anybody else of course I try to practice serving a lot because it’s a key shot in tennis and especially in my game.
Q) To a degree, Germany has not produced the level of singles champions that it once did when Boris Becker and Michael Stich were winning Grand Slam events. Can you provide your thoughts on the state of the men’s game in Germany, and if you believe that the country will once again produce great singles champions?
A) I guess it’s just a matter of time until we create a big champion again. I think we have a lot of really good players in our country but [we're] just missing a top player who boosts up our energy as well.
Q) What would you deem your favorite surface on Tour at this point, considering that you have had great results on all the major surfaces?
A) I’ve always loved playing on grass, especially [at] Halle and [at] Wimbledon.
Q) After being on Tour for 10 years, what significant changes have you seen in the level of play within the top 100? Is the competition on the men’s circuit as strong as it’s ever been?
A) I think the tennis is improving every year and the top 100 are getting better and better.
Q) Which player do least like to face on Tour and why?
A) I think [Rafael] Nadal is the toughest opponent you can face because he just never gives up and is such a great fighter.
Q) Which up-and-coming player from the group of Milos Raonic, Richard Berankis, Alexandr Dolgopolov, Bernard Tomic and Grigor Dimitrov can you see making the biggest impact on Tour?
A) I think Raonic can be a really tough player. When his serve is on he can be hard to beat.
Q) Finally, if you could share one funny locker room story, what would it be?
A)There are too many to pick one but whatever happens in the locker room stays in the locker room.
February 28, 2011
Former world No. 1 and 13-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams has told the New York Times that she intends on returning to the pro Tour for the French Open. Williams has been sidelined with a foot injury since winning her fourth Wimbledon title last July.
February 28, 2011
MIAMI, Fla. (www.sonyericssonopen.com) – The Sony Ericsson Open, one of the largest and most prestigious tennis tournaments in the world, has announced that ESPN2 will join Tennis Channel and CBS this year in broadcasting an event-record 77 hours of domestic coverage of the 2011 tournament.
Broadcast coverage begins March 26 on Tennis Channel and moves over to ESPN2 beginning March 30; both the women’s and men’s final will broadcast live on CBS April 2 and April 3, respectively (complete schedule below).
Tennis Channel will kick-off coverage with a 13-hour live broadcast of both men’s second round and women’s third round matches on Saturday, March 26 beginning at 11:00 a.m.
ESPN2 will begin its coverage Wednesday, March 30 at 1:00 p.m. with eight total hours of live action. ESPN2’s broadcast will conclude Friday, April 1 with live coverage of both men’s semi-final matches. The first semi-final match will begin at 1:00 p.m. with the nightcap starting at 7:00 p.m.
CBS will broadcast live coverage of the women’s final on Saturday, April 2 at 12:30 pm, and the men’s final on Sunday, April 3, at 1:00 pm.
Close to 2,400 hours of Sony Ericsson Open matches were broadcast worldwide last year to more than 153 million viewers.
To see all the action in person, tickets to the Sony Ericsson Open are on sale now and can be purchased by phone (305-442-3367) or via the internet at www.sonyericssonopen.com.
Roanic, Harrison, Tomic, Nishikori, Vandeweghe and McHale Granted Wildcards into BNP Paribas Open Main Draws
February 28, 2011
Indian Wells, Calif., February 28, 2011 – Rising stars Milos Raonic, Kei Nishikori, Ryan Harrison, Bernard Tomic, Coco Vandeweghe, and Christina McHale were granted wildcards into the main draws for the BNP Paribas Open, to be held March 7-20, 2011 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, it was announced today by Steve Simon, tournament director. Veterans James Blake, Vania King, Jill Craybas and Sania Mirza were also given wildcards into the main draws.
Raonic, currently ranked No. 37 on the ATP World Tour (from No. 156 at the end of 2010), advanced through qualifying at the Australian Open this January and proceeded to blaze into the fourth round. Just a few weeks ago the 20-year old Canadian captured his first ATP World Tour title in San Jose and reached the finals at Memphis in back to back weeks. With his results he became the highest ranked Canadian singles player in the history of ATP Rankings (since 1973).
In addition, three other up-and-coming stars who have been granted wildcards are Kei Nishikori of Japan, who captured a title in 2008 at Delray Beach and reached the semifinals there last weekend, which helped him climb to No. 62 in the world; American Ryan Harrison, who advanced through qualifying at the US Open last fall and in the first round defeated top 20 star and defending BNP Paribas Open champion Ivan Ljubicic; and Australian Bernard Tomic, who reached the third round of the Australian Open earlier this year before falling to World No. 1 Rafael Nadal. Eighteen-year olds Harrison and Tomic are the two youngest players ranked in the top 200.
They are joined on the men’s side by American veteran and former World No. 4 James Blake, who will be seeking to conjure up memories of 2006 when he made the finals of the BNP Paribas Open. The 10-time winner on the ATP World Tour battled injuries throughout 2010, but is starting to get healthy and looking to climb the rankings.
On the women’s side a host of Americans have been granted wildcards into the main draw including youngsters Coco Vandeweghe, Christina McHale, Lauren Davis, and Sloane Stephens. Vandeweghe, from San Diego, was part of the US Fed Cup team that competed in the finals against Italy last November. A few weeks ago she reached the quarterfinals of Memphis. McHale, who reached the semifinals at Quebec City last fall, also helped the US Fed Cup team to the finals last year by assisting in a win over France early in 2010. Stephens played through qualifying at the BNP Paribas Open last year and made it to the second round of the main draw. Davis finished 2010 as the No. 3 ranked junior in the world.
In addition, veterans Vania King, who captured two Grand Slam doubles titles in 2010, (w Shvedova) at Wimbledon and the US Open, and reached the semifinals at Strasbourg in singles; Jill Craybas, who reached the third round of the BNP Paribas Open and the quarterfinals of multiple Tour events in 2010; and Sania Mirza, a former top-30 ranked Indian star, also received wildcards into the main draw. There is one remaining women’s wildcard to be granted.
Qualifying draw wildcards were given to four men’s players including 1999 BNP Paribas Open champion Mark Philippoussis, who is attempting a comeback. The Aussie reached the finals of Wimbledon (2003) and the US Open (1998) and reached a career high ranking of No. 8 in the world. American Ryan Sweeting reached the quarterfinals at Delray Beach last week and also reached the third round of Wimbledon last year. Steve Johnson is the No. 1 singles and doubles player on the University of Southern California (USC) tennis team that captured back-to-back NCAA championships the last two years. Greg Ouellette is a former Southeastern Conference Player of the Year and last season he captured three titles on the ITF circuit.
Former top 30 German star Sabine Lisicki, three young Americans, Madison Keys, Madison Brengle and Maria Sanchez, and rising Puerto Rican junior Monica Puig, were granted wildcards into the women’s qualifying draw. Lisicki won a WTA event at Charleston in 2009 and reached No. 22 in the world, Keys became one of the youngest winners in WTA history two years ago when she won her first career WTA match at Ponte Vedra when she was 14 years old, Brengle has multiple ITF circuit titles to her name, Sanchez is currently the top ranked player in women’s college tennis and plays for USC, and Puig recently reached the finals at the Australian Open Junior Championships.
There are two more qualifying draw wildcards to be distributed and will be given to the men’s and women’s winner of the BNP Paribas Open Pre-Qualifier, which begins tomorrow in Indian Wells and runs through March 6. Between the men and women, the Pre-Qualifier had a record 145 entries.
February 28, 2011
In this week’s edition of Movers and Shakers, Nima discusses the prominent return of former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro to the top 100 this week. The Argentine’s productive February included winning a Tour title in Delray Beach, as well as reaching the semifinals in Memphis and San Jose.
What do the skills of champion show us? Are we impressed by their speedy serves and quick feet around the baseline, or do we simply marvel in the way that they win matches they shouldn’t, and handle their star power with class and poise?
For Tandil sensation Juan Martin del Potro, the rebuilding of his once mighty career has been anything but easy. Losing the entire 2010 season because of an untimely wrist injury, del Potro was forced to watch the defense of his US Open crown from his couch in Buenos Aires, while reminiscing about the joy he had experienced in New York 12 months earlier.
Returning to the Tour briefly in Tokyo and Bangkok last fall, del Potro was immediately shown the exit doors by Feliciano Lopez and Oliver Rochus, respectively. Focusing on the health of his wrist instead of rushing back into tournament play, del Potro decided to pull the plug on the rest of the year and return in 2011 fresh and eager.
Declaring himself fit and ready to begin a full calender this season, del Potro was cautious in warning his fans and fellow players that his return to the top would be a slow and difficult task. Losing in the second round of the Auckland event in January, del Potro took a hard hit in the rankings after Marcos Baghdatis sent him packing after two matches at the Australian Open. Dropping down into bush league territory at No. 485 in the world, del Potro would have to summon all of his quick snap forehands and grit to overcome his ranking slide.
Beginning his optimistic February in San Jose, California, del Potro raced to the semifinals before being ousted by top seed Fernando Verdasco. Even though his week was cut short by the powerful strokes of the Spaniard, del Potro defeated former world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt in the quarterfinals, and picked up 90 ATP points in the process. Breaking the top 300 with his Silicon Valley showing, del Potro shifted his attentions to Memphis, TN. and a potential crack at 500 tour points.
Winning three straight set matches to once again reach the semifinals, del Potro would see his event shortened by the blistering serves of Andy Roddick in the final four. While another Tour level final had eluded him, del Potro would see his ranking catapult to No. 166 the following week.
While a ranking climb of over 300 spots in two weeks would satisfy nearly any player in the world, del Potro was adamant on continuing his winning ways by playing his third consecutive tournament in Delray Beach, Florida. Having the dynamics of outdoor play thrown in the mix after feeling the refuge of the roof over his head for two weeks, del Potro would have to deal with Flordia’s heat and humidity—along with a competent field—in order to re-enter the top 100.
Not losing a set in five matches along the way to his eighth career title, del Potro rushed past five opponents ranked inside the top 76 during the week-long tournament. With only one of his 10 sets going past a 6-4 scoreline in Florida, del Potro proved that his game and confidence were worthy of a top 100 spot.
Currently standing at No. 89 in world, del Potro appears in prime position to reach the top 20 by year’s end. His game has quite a few X-factors that make for a great champion, and although the health of his wrist will remain a question mark for the foreseeable future, I’m quite confident that the lanky Argentine has learned from his share of hard lessons, and gained a greater appreciation for his talents and sacrifices.
I can’t speak for the world’s current top 10 who will have to deal with the experience and weight of shot from the del Potro during the upcoming Masters events in North America and Europe, but I’d have to say that it’s great to see a legitimate challenger to the top spot in the world playing some good ball again.
Rebuilding the budding star that won the US Open back in ‘09 won’t be easy, but if the month of February has shown us anything, it’s that Juan Martin del Potro’s strides back to the top of rankings are indeed long and meaningful.
That’s it for me this week’s, tennis fans. Check back in a week’s time for a look back at the first-round Davis Cup ties that will go on this weekend.
February 28, 2011
Delray Beach International Tennis Championships—Delray Beach, Florida
Argentine Juan Martin del Potro captured his first title since winning the US Open in 2009 at the Delray Beach event on Sunday.
Defeating No. 6 seed Janko Tipsarevic 6-4, 6-4 in the championship match, del Potro continued his stellar comeback on Tour, which has included reaching the semifinals in Memphis and San Jose during the month of February.
Winning 64 percent of his total service points during the two set match, del Potro struck five aces and broke serve on three of five occasions.
Capturing his eighth career title, del Potro leapfrogged back into the top 100 in the world rankings to his current spot of No. 89.
The Tandil native had this to say following his victory.
“Janko had the control in the first set, but I was focused on my serve because it was only a break. If I get a break soon, maybe I can come back to fight that set, and that’s what happened,” said del Potro. “I served very bad at 5-4, he had the opportunity to break my serve, but I improved a little bit my game, my forehand started to work; that helped me to close the set.”
Del Potro will next see action at the Indian Wells event in Palm Springs, California.
Tipsarevic was denied his first career title in three finals.
Quotes courtesy of ATP World Tour.
February 27, 2011
Abierto Mexicano Telcel–Acapulco, Mexico
Top seed David Ferrer defended his Acapulco title by defeating No. 3 seed Nicolas Almagro 7-6 (4), 6-7 (2), 6-2 on Saturday evening.
Needing a tough two hours and 41 minutes to capture his 11th career title, Ferrer converted on his fifth match after Almagro netted a backhand.
Preventing Almagro from winning his third-straight title in as many weeks, Ferrer added his 500 level title to his Auckland crown at the beginning of the year.
Ferrer will fly to Belgium on Monday to begin his preparations for next week’s first-round Davis Cup tie.
February 27, 2011
N. DJOKOVIC/R. Federer
Q. Last night you said it was catastrophic.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I know.
Q. And you turned around and were brilliant. How do you explain that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, well, I guess I raised up to the occasion. I was aware of the challenge that is expecting me on the court, and I was aware of the fact that I need to be on top of my game in order to beat Roger.
So the focus was there. It was different conditions than yesterday, which — I was just a different player there. I was serving really well, especially the first set, holding my serve except that one game when I got broken, you know, confidently through throughout the whole match.
Just the perfect performance overall.
Q. Was it not difficult to adapt from hotter, faster conditions to what you had tonight?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No.
Q. You didn’t get your ass kicked.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No. (Laughing.) It was good for me. As I was saying, I was playing here couple years back already day and night, and it wasn’t really difficult to get used to it, as you could see.
Q. This was an easier win than last year. You struggled in several of your matches last year.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah. Yes, well, I’m a different player in last year. I have a serve. (Laughter.) Last year the serve was not there and I was struggling a lot. I was using a lot of energy.
Now I get to have some free points, which is important.
Q. Without getting too technical, tell us what you’ve done with the serve.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Look, you know, it’s been a hard work and it’s been a long process. Yeah, I been asked a million times about my serve in the last 12 months. Why did you change? I didn’t want to change. It just happened like that. I had some trouble with the shoulder, and I just got into the bad habit motion, some different motion than the one that was working for me quite well in 2008 and 2009.
Look, it’s behind me. Now I have my serve back, and I’ve been working really hard. I knew it’s all mental. I needed to believe that it’s going to come back, and it did.
Q. It if you look back two or three years, are you going into the matches with Federer differently now?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, over the years I guess you’re getting more experience and you know what to play in the important moments. We know each other so well. We played so many times. I mean, I just know that really couple of points here and there will decide the winner always, and who is mentally calm or stronger focused.
You know, as I was saying, I needed to be on top of my game to win against Roger. Rafa or any top player you play against, you really have to be focused from the start, first to last point, because any time it could turn around.
Q. You talked before the tournament about how you felt like you played every tournament like you did in Australia Australian Open. Is that how felt tonight?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I have this feeling in my head, and it’s really important to know for me that I can perform this well. This match has probably been one of the best that I played this year. I want to keep it up, definitely.
I feel physically well, fit, mentally motivated to do even more coming up to Indian Wells and Miami where I haven’t done well in the last years. So I really want to work hard and get some good results in the U.S.
Q. What are your thoughts on how Federer played?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: He made a lot of unforced errors. It was obvious he wasn’t feeling good on the court. You have those days. It’s normal. Even for somebody like him who’s always playing so well in the later stages of the tournament, it happens.
On the other side, I’ve played great and made him always play an extra shot, so…
Q. It must give you confidence that you brought out those errors in his game. It was quite uncharacteristic of him to make as many mistakes.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, you know, I had to put him out of his comfort zone. That’s what I did. I returned well; I served really well; from the baseline I was working the ball well, changing pace of the ball.
I guess that was the reason he made a lot of mistakes.
Q. Apart from playing consistently at this very high level, do you have any other targets?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, you know, I want to take one tournament at a time, you know. I’ve been talking about my goals too many times in the past years, and right now I just want to be playing consistently well. That’s all I want.
I want to keep up the good form that I have, being fit, and just taking care of my health and my physical condition. I’ve done it really well in last two months, and this is the goal basically.
I know that if I feel and play this way, I have a good chance to stay in top 3.
Q. You’re going to play Davis Cup?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, that’s a question mark now. I’m still under the impression of winning tonight. I will decide in the next two days.
Q. You talk a lot about the mental game. For you to win two in a row against Roger after ending last year as you did against him, what does it mean for you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Any time I win against Roger it’s a great success, you know, because he’s such a great player. He’s been No. 1 for so many years, and, you know, won so many titles. So it’s a huge challenge any time you play him, especially in the later stages of the tournament.
We all know how mentally strong of a player he is. To be able to win against Roger in straight sets as I did tonight is incredible, but I want to keep on going. I know that I have qualities to do even more, and that’s what I want.
Q. You’re quite an expressive player, and you look at your group and…
NOVAK DJOKOVIC. …chat with them.
Q. What were you talking about today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, no, tonight there wasn’t that much communication. Sometimes there is a lot. There is too much. I mean, it’s not a dialog, it’s monologue basically. I’m talking to them and they’re looking at me. They say, Okay, what do you expect me to tell you now?
But I guess it’s a part of my personality. Everybody is different. I’m very emotional. When I’m winning, I like to have a positive energy; when I’m losing, sometimes I break a racquet. But it’s all part of my character. I haven’t broken a racquet in a while, and my coach is very happy about it (smiling.)
But, yeah, as I said, sometimes it’s frustration; sometimes it’s just saying, Come on, let’s go. It’s these kind of things. It’s not a science.
Q. When you were broken early in that second set, you made this kind of motion with your hands. I think that’s what he was talking about. What happened there? Did you tighten up?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I felt in one game I just suddenly changed. My groundstrokes got a little bit slower and maybe lost a little bit balance. But I managed to regain my focus in and next two games, and it was all better.
Q. Is there a reason for the change of kit and trainers today? You’re in full black and different trainers.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Not really. I’m just trying to help Sergio Tacchini sell the other shirts as well, the black ones. I don’t know.
Q. During your previous match between you and Roger, normally if you won the first round then you will won to the end. Do you consider it a coincidence, or…
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I didn’t understand about the first round.
Q. First set.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Whoever wins the first set between us wins the match?
Q. Yeah. Do you consider it coincidence or…
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I’m not thinking about that, to be honest. You know, it is advantage if you win the first set, and, you know, getting into the continuation of the match with that advantage.
But still, I don’t think — both of us have been in situations where we were losing first sets and winning the matches, or vice versa, so it’s not something I really think of.
Thank you, guys.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
February 27, 2011
N. DJOKOVIC/R. Federer
Q. What are your thoughts on that?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, missed match for me, really. Started bad and then kind of got into the match, but things are over in a hurry sometimes in best-of-three-set tennis.
I must have felt like Davydenko felt in Doha. You know, you never really get into the match. If you do, you have no cushion. You just feel like even though you might be in the lead or get yourself together, it’s still never safe.
No, look, I think Novak played well. Obviously disappointing end as well to the match. I guess you can’t win them all. I played so well in Doha in the finals, in London in the finals, in Basel in the finals. I guess I had to mess one up. It’s a pity, but, look, Novak played great.
Q. Has his serve improved a lot in the last year, would you say?
ROGER FEDERER: Um, well, he’s always been serving okay, you know. He’s had definitely ups and downs. I mean, he’s never going to serve like Roddick, like me neither. You know, we just have different assets. We can place the ball well and mix it up well. He does a good job of that as well. I’ve always been surprised how well he does against Rafa with his serve.
But maybe also different players suit him better. He goes through phases where he serves better, and then times where it’s harder to serve. Conditions obviously vary as well.
I always felt like his serve was okay. He had sometimes I think was double faulting a bit more often than other times, but that kind of happens, too.
Q. You talked a couple days ago about the difficulty of controlling the ball in these conditions. A few flew tonight, didn’t they?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I guess I definitely didn’t do them out of nowhere. I definitely made those errors because Novak was pushing or I just felt I had to do a bit more than normal.
But, still, you know, maybe we all struggled throughout the week. Maybe also Novak, you know, a return here, a backhand here on breakpoint he also missed that floats away from us.
So like I said, it’s always tough conditions here. Maybe even though you make the semis or the finals, maybe you’re never quite comfortable. I think those are the conditions, and I think we both did well considering. It was, yeah, a good start to the match today, and that kind of carried him through.
Q. Usually what do you do before playing the match?
ROGER FEDERER: Um, usually I always have pretty much the same routine. You know, I get to the courts rather early so I’ll have enough time to shower, to eat, have time to tape up my ankles and warm up the right way so I don’t get injured or anything, so nothing stupid happens. Sometimes catch up with some friends at the court or family.
Q. Playing cards?
ROGER FEDERER: Sometimes. Not every week. Depending on where I am.
ROGER FEDERER: Today for instance.
Q. Did you win at cards?
ROGER FEDERER: I also lost. Bad day all around. (Smiling.)
Q. What’s the inclination now? Is it to take a little bit of time off to reflect, or is it to get out to the States as quickly as possible and prepare for the hardcourt season?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, few days off, few days preparation, and then fly over to the west coast and get ready over there. Not that much time. There is enough time to sort of relax from having played five days in a row again. That can be tricky and tough sometimes after having not played for, what was it, three weeks.
Thank God my first couple of the matches weren’t brutal physically, so I didn’t take away too much muscle pain from it. That’s why I actually ended up playing the tournament feeling actually fine, which I’m happy about.
I won’t need as much rest maybe as predicted after having played five days in a row. No, I’ll get ready and get or the west coast and get ready over there.
Q. The relationship with Paul, you’ve spoken on the phone here, or has Severin done it all?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, when Severin is with me I speak with Paul on the phone; when Paul is with me I speak with Severin on the phone.
Q. Has Paul been able to watch the matches in the U.S.?
ROGER FEDERER: Yes, he has seen them. Yeah, I mean, sometimes obviously time change is a factor, but he doesn’t care too much. He gets up whenever it’s needed. Communication has been good between the three of us. They also talked when they had to. I’m happy with the harmony in the team.
Q. When you start a match and you play the first two or three games and get broken, do you feel is it going to be a bad one or…
ROGER FEDERER: Not necessarily a bad one, but maybe a tough one. Even though I expect a tough one also at 0-0 or 2-All in the first set. You definitely feel like Novak is a good frontrunner and things are going to get harder. He’s got more chances on my serve to just go for broke a bit more, and I have to make sure I stay with him. So momentum changes early then.
It’s a pity I wasn’t able to hang on a bit longer, and especially in the second set to push him a bit more. What happened to Gasquet last night happened to me today. You know, all of a sudden just things happen really quickly here on these kind of surfaces, this kind of surface.
Yeah, I knew it was going to be a tough match regardless if I got broken or not the first game.
Q. You obviously dominated him in the latter half of the year last year, and then lost to him in Australia and here. Do you take anything away from that?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, we’ve had it kind of come and go in spells a bit against each other. I definitely feel he’s playing well. I thought he was already playing well at the end of last year. We had a couple real close ones. This one has been one of the rather disappointing matches for me against him.
You know, I can’t play great every time either. So it’s been a tough one, but I’m not too disappointed. It’s another final for me. I tried tonight. Just didn’t really happen for me tonight.
But it’s better than the last few years here in Dubai. I didn’t play many matches here the last few years. So this is big going into Indian Wells and Miami with a bit more tennis and confidence really.
Q. Are there aspects of your game that you intend to work on specifically when you get to the States?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I feel like I need more practice, you know, just a little bit here and there. I mean, it’s going to be different conditions again. It’s going to be flying but it’s going to be slower.
So it’s going to be a challenge to balance those two things in Indian Wells. And then Miami is going to be really slow. They’ve really slowed down conditions there drastically over the years, I thought. And with the humidity the ball doesn’t fly as much.
But I really feel like I need some good practice. Just a lot of hitting, exercises, then maybe also some more points. Even though I feel like I’ve played enough tennis here in terms of points. But I do feel like the game needs a bit of practice. I haven’t had that much after all.
End of the season was sort last year, and then obviously I needed more of a thorough rest after the Australian Open so I last until Wimbledon and so forth.
So hopefully I get some good practice in.
Q. If you look at it long-term, do you think it’s going to be between you and Djokovic and Rafa? Is it going to be like three people fighting for the top?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, what can I tell you? At the moment it looks like it, but Soderling hasn’t been playing bad himself if you look at his win/loss record this year; Murray was in the finals again at the Australian Open, so he’s obviously in the conversation.
After that, you have guys tearing apart a few of the clay court tournaments in other parts of world. So I think the top 5 players have played really well the last six months. Someone always has to win one tournament. At the end of the day, we’ve been able to share those a little bit to be honest.
So I don’t feel it’s a three-horse race right now. Rafa still is the favorite. He’s won three of the four slams. Novak maybe has not lost a match yet this season, but the season is still really short. I’ve been playing well. Murray has been playing well.
I mean, I don’t know. I think we’ll know more sort of after Wimbledon. But I don’t expect any crazy changes at the top. They’ve all been around for a while and know how it works. We’ll see how it goes.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
February 27, 2011
Delray Beach International Tennis Championships–Delray Beach, U.S.A.
No. 6 seed Janko Tipsarevic defeats Kei Nishikori 6-4, 6-4; Juan Martin Del Potro defeats No. 2 Mardy Fish 6-1, 7-5.