Monday, June 06, 2011

Federer turns focus to Sampras total

Posted by Admin On 7:48 PM

Roger Federer turned his focus to equalling Pete Sampras' tally of seven Wimbledon title after pushing Rafael Nadal all the way in the French Open final. The 29-year-old had been written off as a vanishing force in men's tennis after going more than a year without reaching a grand slam final but he shaped some of the best clay-court tennis of his career at Roland Garros.

His semi-final victory to end Novak Djokovic's winning start to the season was particularly impressive and he surely had chances against Nadal before going down 7-5 7-6 (7/3) 5-7 6-1. While clay has always been Federer's least favorite surface, his attacking game is perfectly suited to grass, and he appears in good shape to regain the trophy he last won in 2009.

He said:That's obviously the huge priority right now, to win Wimbledon in a few weeks' time. That's always the figure one goal in the season.This is where it all started for me back in 2003, or even with (the fourth-round win over) Sampras in 2001. So that's why I always really enjoy coming back.

Last year was a difficult one for Federer, who saw his record of reaching at least the semi-finals of 23 successive grand slams ended at Roland Garros while he was beaten by Tomas Berdych in the Wimbledon quarter-finals.

Hiring Paul Annacone as coach certainly seemed to make dissimilarity and he had match points to beat Djokovic in the semi-finals of the US Open before ending the year by winning the ATP World Tour Finals in London.

Federer felt his consequences at the French Open had been coming, saying:I've been sure for almost a year now.I think I lost some confidence maybe through the French Open and Wimbledon last year but I was in the finals of Halle during this period so I didn't feel like I was running after confidence.It was significant to get to another grand slam final and keep on playing well. I'm feeling better bodily than I have in a long time, so that's been very positive.

Nadal's victory earned him a 10th grand slam title, putting him joint sixth on the all-time list and only six behind Federer, who is almost five years the Spaniard's senior. The 29-year-old is adamant that is not added pressure, though; maintain he does not worry about his place in history.

He said:Who cares where you stand? It's when it's over and you can't do anything any longer, that's when you're proud of what you talented.That's why I'm happy for him that he's won these grand slams and these contest. He can prove to people he can play good tennis. This is what counts. Ten grand slams is a lot. He knows this, I know this, and everybody knows this. It's really good for him.

Nadal will head to Queen's Club later today to begin practicing on grass and is likely to play his first AEGON championship match on Wednesday. He goes into Wimbledon as the defending winner aiming to win back-to-back titles at Roland Garros and the All England Club for the third time.


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