One Word Costs Federer $1,500

Friday, September 18, 2009

Roger Federer’s choice of words during the United States Open final will cost him $1,500.

That’s decidedly less than Serena Williams’s $10,500 outburst during the women’s semifinal, in which she said something threatening — she does not remember what — to a line judge ($10,000) and abused her racket ($500). Williams apologized to fans and said she wanted to give the lineswoman “a big old hug.”

It’s all part of $31,500 in fines meted out to players at the Open, according to a United States Tennis Association spokesman.

The penalty for Federer, one of Switzerland’s 300 wealthiest people, is the same as the fines issued to Vera Zvonareva ($1.4 million in earnings this year) and Daniel Koellerer ($223,707) for using profanity. It represents 0.005 percent of the more than $25.9 million Sports Illustrated estimates Federer made last year in tennis earnings and endorsements.

Federer argued a call with the chair umpire during the final against Juan Martin del Potro, using a profanity that was picked up by the CBS microphones on the court for the live broadcast of the match.

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Federer wary of the new Soderling at US Open

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

He may have defeated him 11 times out of 11, but Roger Federer will take nothing for granted when he takes on Robin Soderling in the US Open quarter-finals on Wednesday.

His win streak against the Swede stretches back five years, but Federer says Soderling, a former top junior who has struggled to fulfill his potential on the senior stage, is a changed player this year.

"He has become mentally and physically stronger. And then he knows the game better today than he used to," the top seed and defending champion said.

"These are already three amazing improvements. That's what makes him a great player today."

Federer has good reason to be fullsome in his praise of the 26-year-old Swede as it was his shock win over Rafael Nadal in the French Open that kicked opened the door for Federer to clinch his own immortality in the sport.

Having lost to Nadal four years running in Paris, the feeling was growing that the Swiss star might never complete the career Grand Slam he needed to validate his claim to be the greatest player of all time.

As it turned out, Soderling was the player on the other side of the net on that damp and overcast day in Paris when Federer finally won the French crown.

A month later, Federer regained his Wimbledon title to become the outright Grand Slam title record-holder with 15.

Soderling, who reached the last eight when Nikolay Davydenko abandoned with a thigh strain when trailing 7-5, 3-6, 6-2, admits ruefully that "he beat me a lot of times" but he believes that every dog is due his day.

"We've had a few very good matches, and I had some good chances to actually win in a couple of them," he said.

"So of course, to me, he's the best player of all time, but if I can play well, hopefully I have a small chance."

On paper the Novak Djokovic-Fernando Verdasco quarter-final, also scheduled for Wednesday, is a much more evenly balanced encounter with the fourth-seeded Serb, the 2008 Australian Open champion and the losing finalist here in 2007, going up against the 10th-seeded Spaniard, who has broken through this year with a run into the Australian Open semi-finals.

Djokovic, with new American coach Todd Martin in his corner, agreed that Verdasco was playing the best tennis of his career.

"He has gained a lot of strength. He feels confident on the court," Djokovic said. "He hits the ball very well. He improved his game a lot generally comparing to the last couple of years."

But he feels that his own game is coming around after a slight slump that saw him lose his world No. 3 status to Andy Murray.

"I have had some ups and downs this year, but I believe I can get far in the tournament the way I was playing in the first two rounds and today was very satisfying," he said after his straight-sets demolition of Radek Stepanek in the fourth round.

The other quarter-final ties, which will be played on Thursday, will be decided later Tuesday with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga taking on Fernando Gonzalez, Gael Monfils going up against Rafael Nadal, Juan Martin del Potro against Juan Carlos Ferrero and Andy Murray faced with Marin Cilic.

 

 

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Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic advance at US Open

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The opening match at Louis Armstrong Stadium Saturday did two very different things for the players involved. For Novak Djokovic, the No. 4 seed, it kept alive his quest for his first U.S. Open title. For Jesse Witten, ranked 276th, just being there rekindled his desire - not to mention his ability - to continue playing the sport.

"It makes me want to keep playing," Witten said, but even more importantly, "it gives me some money to keep playing. Now I can afford it for the rest of the year, at least."

This was a match between two players who work in the same business but whose professional lives bear virtually no resemblance - although as Djokovic admitted, their skill levels were barely distinguishable Saturday the end, thanks largely to a couple of faulty service games from Witten at the most pivotal times, Djokovic survived in four sets that took nearly 3-1/2 ours, 6-7 (2), 6-3, 7-6 (2), 6-4.

So it's on to the round of 16 for Djokovic, where he'll face 15th-seeded Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic. For Witten, it's on to Tulsa, where he'll recede back onto the challenger circuit and leave behind the packed house that was chanting his name throughout the morning. The U.S. Open ride is over for him and all the college buddies from Kentucky who had been crashing on his hotel room floor this week.

And what will he miss most about the U.S. Open?

"They do the laundry every day," Witten said. "It's really nice."

Witten, 26, won five qualifying matches in five days just to earn a spot in the main draw; the day before qualifying began, Nike cut him from its sponsorship rolls. In his postmatch press conference Saturday someone asked whose logo Witten was now wearing. "This? This is just a white T-shirt," he said. "I bought this, I think it was like 10 bucks. It's comfortable."

ROGER THAT: Five-time defending champ Roger Federer made a mess of the first set but cleaned up from there against Lleyton Hewitt, winning 4-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 in the day's first match at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Hitting shots off his racket frame and spraying them everywhere, Federer, serving with a 4-2, 40-love lead, turned it into a lost first set with a whopping total of 23 unforced errors. But he smoothed it out to beat Hewitt for the 14th straight time and up his Open win streak to 37 matches

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Federer, Nadal on opposite sides of Open draw

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal could meet in the U.S. Open final for the first time.

The No. 1-seeded Federer and No. 3 Nadal were drawn into opposite halves of the field for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday. They have played in seven major finals as Nos. 1-2, including at each of the other three Grand Slam tournaments, with Nadal holding a 5-2 edge.

But because Nadal recently fell to third in the rankings, there was a possibility the two men who have dominated tennis in recent years would wind up on the same side of the bracket in New York.

Instead, 15-time Grand Slam champion Federer has No. 4 Novak Djokovic and No. 5 Andy Roddick in his half. Federer, who is seeking a sixth consecutive U.S. Open championship, edged Roddick 16-14 in the fifth set of the Wimbledon final in July.

The potential men's quarterfinals are Federer vs. No. 8 Nikolay Davydenko, and Roddick vs. Djokovic in the top half; No. 2 Andy Murray vs. No. 6 Juan Martin del Potro, and Nadal vs. No. 7 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the bottom half.

Nadal could face Murray in the semifinals for the second straight year at the U.S. Open; Murray upset Nadal in 2008 to reach his first Grand Slam final.

Nadal's first Grand Slam action since his fourth-round loss at the French Open will start with an intriguing opponent: Richard Gasquet, the former top-10 player coming off a 2 1/2-month suspension for testing positive for cocaine.

Federer starts off against American wild-card recipient Devin Britton, an 18-year-old who won the NCAA singles championship for Mississippi in May.

Federer, trying to become the first man since the 1920s to win the tournament six years in a row, could play two-time major champion Lleyton Hewitt in the third round, U.S. Davis Cup player James Blake in the fourth, and French Open runner-up Robin Soderling or U.S. Open Series winner Sam Querrey in the quarterfinals.

 

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Roger Federer wins Cincinnati Masters title

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

With a dominant first set on Sunday, Roger Federer showed that he's in top-of-the-world form after his time off to become a father. A 6-1, 7-5 victory over Novak Djokovic brought him the Cincinnati Masters title, his first championship since his twin girls were born last month.


"That's the special part, especially winning for the first time as a dad," Federer said. "It gets me going emotionally a little bit, because I know it's been a wonderful summer."

His stellar season can get even better beginning next week at the U.S. Open. The Swiss star has won the last five titles there, and his performance on Sunday at Mason, Ohio, suggested he's fully capable of another. Djokovic hadn't lost a set all week, but was never in the title match.

Federer took control right away, breaking Djokovic's serve in a second game that lasted 13 minutes and 22 points overall. The 22-year-old Serb kept up better in the second set but knew he was headed for his fourth runner-up finish in a Masters tournament this year. 

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