Federer Interview: “Tomic would make a mistake to think about me”

Q.  Your focus is obviously on your first round opponent.  A lot of people have been talking about the potential matchup with Bernard Tomic.  How have you seen his progression, his hopes for this year?

ROGER FEDERER:  I mean, obviously you would think he’s definitely going to go up in the rankings than down after last year’s season, which was a bit of a rollercoaster for him.

I didn’t see anything at the Hopman Cup.  I saw, yeah, 30 minutes maybe in Sydney.  I don’t know what I can tell you, but I’m sure he plays similar to when he was playing well last year.

He’s a good player.  We know how talented he is, what he can do.  It’s obviously tricky playing him in Australia.  He usually plays his best over here.  Even the pressure you might think it’s a problem.  That’s what people usually say.  But I always say it’s best to be playing at home.  You have confidence that you believe you can upset top guys.  I’m sure he believes in that, as well.  He’s also got his work cut out, you know, in the first few rounds.  He will be making a mistake about thinking about me in the third round because he also has to get there.

Q.  Is he a player you can see jumping into the top 10 in the next 12 months?

ROGER FEDERER:  I think we should go step by step, see how it goes.  Let’s speak in a year’s time.  Everybody wants to jump from   what’s his ranking 60   to 10 in a year.  It’s hard to do.  10 is a big ask.  Don’t forget how tough the top 10 players are right now.

Yeah, let’s go step by step.

http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/news/interviews/2013-01-12/201301121357973590311.html

This whole interview was interesting so go ahead and check it out. I quoted the part about Tomic because that is a potential match that has everyone talking. Roger says he feels well rested after not playing any events before the first major like he usually does, and that sometimes it’s good to mix things up. Remember it’s not the first time he doesn’t play an event before a slam. He has done this at Wimbledon and the US Open as well. After the exhos in America I was glad to hear that he is not gonna play any warm up events. Sometimes spending time on the practice court and just working on a few things can be very productive as well. Like Roger says, it’s not the same as the pressure of competition, but he has done it before and knows how to handle it. He just needs one match to get back into it, and although his first round opponent in Melbourne can obviously play a bit, I think it won’t be too tough.

His first round will be good preparation for his second round with Davydenko, which in turn will be good preparation for his match with Tomic, etc. Hopefully he can keep raising his game with each round. But obviously it’s never that straight forward. You gotta love the last line from Roger in the first question I quoted. At first glance he is just stating the obvious, but knowing Roger there is probably a little dig in there. He has obviously seen how cocky Tomic has been of late, and he is not gonna let the opportunity to remind Tomic what he is up against pass him by. He is already piling up the pressure on Tomic. Tomic has already been talking about his possible match with Roger in the third round, as if he has already made the third round. So it’s a good ploy to remind him that he is not there yet. Tomic is confident and cocky, but even he will feel the heat from the GOAT.

Tomic won his first title in Sydney today, beating Anderson 6-3, 6-7(2), 6-3 in the final. He also beat Djokovic in the Hopman Cup. So yes he is probably as confident as he has ever been. Roger won’t beatas easily as he did last year if they play. I think that is obvious. Roger has always been very good at piling on the pressure on his opponent in the media, whether intentionally or not. And now he is at it again. It is important because he has all the experience in the world, while Tomic has a lot to learn. He needs use that, and he is. He is just reminding Tomic of that fact. It doesn’t mean it will have an effect on Tomic, but he has to put it out there. Even if Tomic does make it to the third round, he may just feel a little more pressure early on, and pressure always take a toll. Tomic has Mayer in the first round, and then the #27 seed Klizan.

He is not seeded himself, so on paper he is actually expected to lose. It is therefor not a given that he will win. Tomic is expected to win on his current form and his record in Australia, but it’s not gonna be a walkover. And of course Roger himself has a little player called Davydenko to deal with in the second round, so it doesn’t help to look past the first and second round much. Draws are just a framework as I always say. Nothing about it is a given. So actually for Roger it is just about that first round with Paire, and making sure he passes that in confident fashion. I just like how he handles the questions about Tomic, kinda downplaying all the hype that is surrounding him right now. No, I love it. Tomic is becoming way too cocky and he needs to be put in his place, both in the media and on the tennis court.

Hopefully they meet in the third round and Roger gives him a good schooling like he did last year. Ok maybe that won’t be possible, but beating him in four sets under the current conditions would be just as pleasing.

 

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9 Comments

  1. I have read alot of people talking about the potential third round clash between them, but I don’t get the hype. If federer shows up in decent form, I see him winning in straigh sets. The only way the match could become competitive is if federror shows up imo. Tomic doesn’t really have anything in his game that could trouble RF.

    PS: Love the quote. Don’t think roger meant any harm with it just stating the truth. If a writer from the new york times is to be believed Tomic hit back.

    @BenRothenberg : Bernard Tomic, on his potential meeting with Roger Federer in the third round, started thusly: “If he gets that far…” #ausopen 39 minutes ago

    Some people are probably to sensetive.

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  2. Fed absolutely decimated Tomic last year at the AO after Bernie was on a hot streak. Who’s to say Tomic doesn’t have two matches before Fed where he plays 10 sets and he’s toast, just like last year? And as for the quote that Fed gave, it’s true. Tomic has Mayer and Klizan in his way and you can only win one match at a time. If he already thinks he’s ready to beat Federer in a THIRD ROUND, then he is in for a haunting realization.

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  3. Roger is a maestro at piling press pressure on his opponent – classic case is Mugray. Tomic is a young punk playing into Roger’s hands by taking ahead about his 3rd round match. He totally forgot that his first 2 opponents are no pushover too. Can’t wait for Monday.

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  4. It is rather presumptious of Tomic to be looking ahead that far. Young, cocky, forgetting that he should ignore all the hype around him at his home slam. Reminds me of the USO and all the American hype that happens every year. However, he is cocky enough to do some damage. Let’s see how he handles the pressure.

    I much prefer players who make it clear they’re only considering their next opponent.

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  5. The AO 2013 could be the start of a new phase in Roger’s career as a top player, a phase in which he will be training more and competing less. More time for training means more time for reflection, more time for experimenting with new patterns and tactics, and looking for new weapons to have at his disposal in order to beat the Super Baseliners.
    But these sessions can’t evoke the real tensions and inner emotions a top athlete goes through during real competition, those that emerge in tight competitive circumstances and that make you lose or win a match.
    So it seems as if Roger is bringing himself in a more delicate position, as each time he’ll have to return to the “real world “ of competition, after longer periods of training and rest.
    Will this new approach bear fruit in terms of major victories over his main rivals?
    Well, I think it might.
    Because the way I see it, Roger’s had some very special “Federer moments” in South America, him offered by his South American fans, moments that I would like to describe as peak experiences in terms of his inner emotional life and his world of dreams. I think Roger will not easily forget the emotional welcome and love he got from his fans over there. This love will remain at least for some time source of new energy and mental peace and help Roger to overcome the problems presented by the Super Baseliner’s game. We might soon see more diversification in the use of Roger’s groundstrokes and more composure and mental focus in his matches when under severe pressure. And mental confusion induced by the spectacular feats of his physical superior opponents will become a thing of the past. Roger won’t get intimidated anymore and won’t need to intimidate himself.
    As for Roger’s pre-AO interview, it shows his maturity and discernment. The type of match-ups will decide about how Roger’s performance will evolve during the tournament. Benoit Paire’s game suits Roger’s game. So it normally should enable him to have a good start in the tournament. And whoever comes next will find a tough opponent in the newborn Roger Federer

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    Veronica Reply:

    Excellent comment, Wilfred!! Exactly my thots as well. I feel last year was roger getting back on his feet again; he’d been somewhat lost last couple years. This year he will be consolidating everything and we may see a new roger – new shots, new answers to the baselines and power hitters, new consistency/fewer errors, better returns, new fitness. He finally seems ready for this phase of his game; no more mental inferiorities, no more doubts, no more “suicidal stubbornness”, no more chasing records but let the records chase him,no more proving himself. The record weeks at no. 1 was, i think, the last personally meaningful record for him to actively pursue. He can now FINALLY be able to play truly freely. He is all about enjoying beating the younger generation now without distraction.

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    Rosa Maria Reply:

    Ru-an, Wilfried, Veronica,

    I was thinking exactly in your line off thoughts, as if Roger will feel in “state of grace” after the SA tour. Well, you said it perfectly.

    But, I just have a question for you:

    Roger said already, a couple of times, that this will be a TRANSITION YEAR for him
    From his presser:

    “Q. At the end of every year we say last year can’t possibly be better than the year that just finished. How do you think 2013 can outdo 2012?

    ROGER FEDERER: Well, it’s difficult. There’s no Olympic Games. There’s an opportunity less there. But I’m hoping for another good year. They’re all different in many ways because this last one was very emotional. Obviously getting back to world No. 1 was a major goal of mine for last year.

    So this year it’s maybe more of a transition year for me, you know, making sure I practice enough, I rest enough, to look at the longevity aspect, the tournaments I enter, that I’m in full force. That’s really what counts for me. So every tournament I play, I want to put myself in the position to win it.

    I know I won’t win all the tournaments I’ll enter, but it’s important that I enjoy it and I try as hard as I can and put myself deep in the tournaments like I did last year really. I had very few early losses last year, and I hope I can keep up that good streak I have going.”
    and also in the Singapure interview.

    What do you think he meant by that???

    Is he refering to all this thing you mentioned??

    Thanks for your attention and hope you understand qhat I mean, because I know my english is not that good to express myself.

    For that reason, I just always read you, but never wrote here before

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    Wilfried Reply:

    Holá
    Nice to see you commenting, Rosa María, despite the effort it takes for you to write in English.
    I often can’t word my thoughts in English well enough either, which I regret, but that’s the way it is unfortunately.
    As for your question with regard to the transition year, Roger didn’t explicitly say what he understands by it, but when I put all the pieces together of what he did say, I think we may conclude from it that 2013 will be a year in which Roger intends to spend more time with his family, will cut down the amount of tournaments he participates in, will train more and won’t set any specific career goals in the short term apart from preparing himself as well as possible for the tournaments in which he does participate. These things were planned in my opinion before he went to South America.
    The rest of my comment (Federer moments, peak experience, inner emotional life, etc…) reverberates my individual perception – through the prism of my personal life experience – of the footage I saw with regard to his tour in South America. Roger seemed deeply moved by the welcome he received, at least in comparison with his normal sedate demeanor. It looked like a profound experience for him of which the full meaning for himself and all of us will have to sink in. I’m convinced though that it will have positive repercussions for his tennis and make him play better, as there is still areas in which he can improve. But it will take time. I wrote “soon” in my comment lack of a dictionary, but it should read “in a not too distant future”.
    I hope I’ve answered your question.

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  6. What a fun post, Ruan! The perfect way to whet our appetite before it all begins! In fact it has already begun! Just LOVE the way roger talks about these kind of things – honest, experienced, diplomatic yet with some “sophisticated” bite!! Just love love love it!! Remember AO 2010 his comment about the british not winning a major for 150 thousand years – classic!! Tomic is actually not over hyped. He is pretty good. If he gets down and do some serious work and gets his head right, I can see a future champ in him. He is very talented, has the power and his movement and fitness is improving. But he has still a long way to go and it will do him good to show some respect to the maestro. He is brimming with confidence and I think it will be a closer match this year than last year. Although it was just an exho, Djoko looked bit lost there playing tomic in hopman cup.

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