Sunday, June 24, 2012

Spirit of Wimbledon

Wimbledon is a tournament that thrives on rivalries. Roger Federer and his challengers. Discover the last of a four-part documentary series about the spirit of Wimbledon. Discover more about Wimbledon on

Friday, June 22, 2012

Federer fifth for Forbes

Forbes Magazine has identified Roger Federer as the fifth highest paid athlete in the world. Forbes estimated that Federer earned $52.7m in total earnings in the past year, with $45m of that coming from endorsements.

“Federer has the most impressive endorsement portfolio in sports, with nine sponsors that collectively pay him more than $30 million annually, including long-term deals with Nike, Rolex, Wilson and Credit Suisse,” writes Forbes.

“He also commands more than $1 million per exhibition event. Federer is widely perceived as the greatest tennis player ever. He holds the records for most singles Grand Slam wins (16) and career prize money ($71 million). He appeared in a staggering 18 out of 19 Grand Slam finals between 2005 and 2010.”

World No. 2 Rafael Nadal is 16th in the Forbes list with an estimated $33.2 million in earnings, including $25 million in endorsements.

Ahead of the 30-year-old Federer in the list of the World’s 100 Highest-Paid Athletes, are No. 1 Floyd Mayweather (total earnings: $85m), No. 2 Manny Pacquiao ($62m), No. 3 Tiger Woods ($59.4m) and No. 4 LeBron James ($53m).

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Federer in for no 1

Wimbledon is shaping as a battleground for the World No. 1 ranking, with Novak Djokovic ,Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer all in contention to hold top spot after The Championships.

Djokovic, who has held the No. 1 South African Airways ATP Ranking since July 4, 2011 after winning his first Wimbledon title, must reach the final to ensure that he remains ahead of his rivals. Because of his stunning start to the 2011 season, when Djokovic headed into Wimbledon with a 41-1 match record, the Serb has had a mountain of points to defend during the first half of this year. Although he defended his Australian Open and Sony Open Tennistitles, those have been Djokovic’s only triumphs of the season; in 2011 he won seven crowns during the same period.

Federer can retake No. 1 if he wins the Wimbledon title and Djokovic does not advance beyond the semi-finals. It has been more than two years Roland Garros 2009) since Federer last held top dog status on the ATP World Tour. He enjoyed a 48-week run at World No. 1 the last time, taking the top ranking back from Nadal following his 2009 triumph. He first ascended to No. 1 on February 2004 and held the position for a record 237 consecutive weeks. All up, the Swiss has held the No. 1 ranking for 285 weeks during his career, just one week shy of Pete Sampras all-time record of 286 weeks.

Nadal, who ceded the No. 1 ranking to Djokovic when he lost the Wimbledon final last year, can reclaim top spot if he wins The Championships for a third time and the Serb does not go beyond the quarter-finals.

Federer has vaulted back into contention for No. 1 after a strong finish to last season and an impressive 2012 campaign. Last year Federer lost to Djokovic in the semi-finals of US Open (after holding two match points) and won his last three tournaments of the year: Basel, The ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title in Paris and the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. In his nine tournaments this year Federer has failed to reach the semi-finals or better only once (Miami) and has won four events: ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles in Indian Wells and Madrid, and ATP World Tour 500 titles in Rotterdam and Dubai.

The table below shows how many South African Airways ATP Rankings points each player will have after 2012 based on which round he reaches.

























Monday, June 18, 2012

Haas prevents Federer's 7th Halle

Tommy Haas defeated second seedRoger Federer 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 to win Gerry Weber Open, Halle on Sunday.

It was Gerry Weber Open record champion Federer who made the better start. Haas, who like his Swiss opponent had only had his serve broken once on the way to the final, lost his very first service game, but at 3-1 down, he started to find his way into the match. In the fifth game, he crowned his comeback by breaking back to make it 3-3, and from that moment on, he was the most aggressive player. Haas to k more risks while the World Rankings number three committed more and more unenforced errors and had to defend the first two set points. The decision was then made in a tie break when Haas, was forced onto the back foot again, but after another rousing comeback, he converted his fourth set point.

Federer tried to raise the tempo in the second set. In the second game, the Swiss failed to take two break points and then he struggled more on his own serve than the German. The logical conclusion was that Haas broke to make it 5-4 at the end of one of the most spectacular rallies. Subsequently, the Wimbledon semi-finalist from 2009 held his nerve, served with the same consistency and benefited from one of the many unenforced errors from Federer to win his first match point. But Federer was a fair loser.

After claiming the title Haas said: "This has been one of the best weeks of my career, but I reckon I won't really appreciate what's happened until this evening.

"If someone had said to me beforehand that I was going to beat Roger Federer, probably the best player of all time, I would have thought they were mad!"

Federer was magnanimous in defeat, saying: "Tommy has performed well throughout, I'm thrilled for him. I knew that it would be a tough match. To begin with, I wasted a few chances, but it was still a great week for me. Tommy was the better player after that and he deserves this win, truly."

Federer has already enjoyed a memorable week at the German town in North Rhine-Westphalia after the main pathway up to the tennis stadium was named after him.

The 16-times grand slam champion is unlikely to be too concerned about failing to clear the final hurdle here as he would have fine-tuned his game for Wimbledon during the four matches he has played here.

Source: Reuters and Gerry Weber Open

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Federer edges at Garry Weber near to 7th WIMBLEDON

I have been following Roger’s progress at Halle over the last week and I am delighted at what I have seen. Not that I ever doubted him. I saw a lot of negativity from fans after the French Open which was unnecessary. I never felt Roger was going to win the French Open or even make the final. The hunt for major #17 really starts here. I felt it was important that he did well at Halle after the French Open just because people were starting to write him off like they usually do when he doesn’t win everything in sight.

The match against Raonic was always gonna be key. He was probably the most dangerous player in the draw after Nadal. Roger lost the first set in a tie break but got the break right away in the second set. Then it was just a question of holding serve to even things up at a set all. The third set went to a tie break again and this time Roger got the job done pretty comfortably. It was a serving contest and one that Roger simply had to win. Losing to Raonic after the French Open would have been almost a disaster. It’s amazing how Roger keeps beating these youngsters. He showed once again that Roger 3.0 went nowhere and that the ability to win the close matches is still there.

People just overreact way too easily. The big surprise of the tournament was of course that Nadal lost to Kohlschreiber in the quarters. Big upset. That pretty much gave Roger the title as long as he got past Raonic. Roger beat Youzhny easily today as the win against Raonic would have given him a lot of confidence. He will face Haas in the final who I am glad to see doing so well after time out of the sport. So I feel Roger pretty much has this title in the bag now. One more match but he should be able to take care of business. If he does so it would be just what was needed at this point. In a sense the French Open was a disappointment and needed to be put behind him.

Well Roger has lost Halle now and will be a strong favorite for Wimbledon. I said before that the US Open might be his best chance at a slam this year but we all know how special Wimbledon is for Roger. It is where he won his first slam and it would be peRFect if he can possibly win his last slam there and equal Sampras’ seven Wimbledon titles. I say ‘possibly’ because he can still win more than one slam if he keeps 3.0 level up. Well it’s been nice catching up with you guys. Happy the clay court season is behind us and that we are onto the grass!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Religious Experience

"If you've never seen [Roger Federer] play live, and then do, in person, on the sacred grass of Wimbledon, ... you are apt to have what one of the tournament's press bus drivers describes as a "bloody near-religious experience." It may be tempting, at first, to hear a phrase like this as just one more of the overheated tropes that people resort to to describe the feeling of Federer Moments. But the driver's phrase turns out to be true — literally, for an instant ecstatically." -- David Foster Wallace, from the special to New York Times' Play Magazine, "Roger Federer as Religious Experience"

"To bear witness ... is to evoke some sort of spiritual experience that occurs only a handful of times in a lifetime - if you're lucky. To try to describe the way Federer plays tennis is like trying to describe how Nureyev danced or Heifetz played the violin. Common words or images cannot do justice." --The Age

"Part of the pleasure of the Federer experience comes from watching people watch him. On Sunday, a spectator is propelled by awe out of his seat when confronted by a short cross-court forehand that lands and runs almost parallel to the net. Later, a fellow simply bows in Federer's direction, as if applause is an unsatisfactory response. ... Some sigh, exhale, cry "Oh my God". It is an opera of exclamation. Cynics who believe they have seen everything need to watch Federer. ... How, how, we ask, as if mind is still disputing what the eyes have seen. With other players, even in other sports, we sometimes see their shots as beautiful, we wish we could play like that. With Federer we accept almost that we can never play like that, his shots arrive from another dimension, it is too much to wish for." -- Rohit Brijnath, The Hindu