Federer Thinks He Can Win Australian Open

“I’ve always believed that I’ve improved over the last 10 years, that I’ve not gone backwards,” Federer said.

“I’ve been able to win it 10 years ago so I always feel that, as I move forward, I am a more complete player, a better player. That’s why I always believe that I can win if my body’s holding up and mentally I’m really hungry.

“And that is the case right now. I’m really healthy, I’m training extremely hard the last six weeks and I had some success coming back at the end of (the) year.

“That was quite important for me and for my confidence because I was really in a difficult spot from Wimbledon all the way til Basel (the Swiss Indoors in October).

“With my back issue I couldn’t train the way I wanted to.”

“(In Melbourne) I really hope to be playing my absolute best, which I really think is possible,” he said.

“Then anything is possible for me. It’s just important that I play better against the top guys. I’ve not been bad this year. I just didn’t land enough wins and that’s something I want to improve for this (coming) year.”

“I have been to the Hopman Cup and Sydney and Adelaide, and now Brisbane and I’m looking forward to playing in Pat’s arena (named after Pat Rafter),” he said.

“I have high hopes that Brisbane will be very successful for me.”

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/sport/tennis/roger-federer-in-special-exhibition-match-at-rod-laver-arena/story-fnbe6xeb-1226782843798#

Hopefully Pinkerer 2.0 shows up in Australia

Sounds pretty promising, doesn’t it? And all this talk would have meant nothing if Roger did not make at least semis in London. It must be said that Roger is being extremely optimistic here, but you wouldn’t expect anything less from him. Of course he is going to be as optimistic as possible. Anything else would not make sense for a champion like him. You gotta believe in yourself is you are going to rise high. You gotta think big. Is Roger a better player right now then he was 10 years ago? Highly doubtful. But it’s not gonna hurt him to believe it or state it. If you keep telling yourself something you start believing it after a while too, and the body follows. It’s called auto-suggestion and it is an extremely effective way to get results. Whether Roger is conscious or not of using auto-suggestion I don’t know, but he has always used it.

He keeps telling himself and the world that he is better than ever and it has worked for him. The numbers don’t lie. He now even says he can play his absolute best in Melbourne, even though he stated earlier that it will take until April to catch up with lost training. It is clear to me what he is doing. I think Brisbane will be an important event for him. If he can win it he could have a good result in Melbourne. It is similar conditions and it will just give him a little confidence boost before the first major of the year. The draw in Mebourne will of course be important as well. Roger says that he was not bad this year but that he lacked wins and that he needs to play better against the top guys. Well that is certainly gonna be the case if he has harbors hopes of winning a 5th Australian Open.

He may have to beat the big 3 back-to-back to win the title, unless he is drawn in Ferrer’s quarter. Who knows how Murray will fare after his injury though. At the very least Roger will probably have to beat Djokovic and Nadal to win the title, which is a tall order especially in Melbourne. Roger knows to give himself the best chance to win he must be as optimistic as possible, especially if the odds are stacked heavily against him. It’s nice to see his general optimism anyway whether it is realistic or not. There is just a new feel to what lies ahead, a feeling that 2014 is a new beginning and will be something good. I don’t expect Roger to win the Australian Open, although you never know. I just wana see a solid start from him to the year that gives me hope that 2014 can be something really good. All else is gravy.

What say you?

 

Posted in Uncategorized.

36 Comments

  1. I believe him when he says he can win the AO. I have always believed he as at least 2 slams that he can win. The questions arise in the form of Nadal and Djokovic. Hopefully he will have figured out answers by then.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Djokovic and Nadal are tough on Plexicushion. Roger lost both his meetings with Nadal there and is 1-2 vs Djokovic, having lost the meeting with Djokovic 2.0 in straight sets. It is a tall order to beat them and Roger would have to come up with something special to do so.

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    Omkar Naik Reply:

    Nopes. By a stroke of luck the Melbourne courts are rumored to be significantly faster in 2014. Maybe that will help him.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I don’t believe rumors.

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  2. I believe him. That doesn’t mean he will win, but it’s definitely possible.

    He does seem to use some form of auto-suggestion, insofar as he makes an effort to look on the bright side of things. Long ago he made a conscious choice to always try to look for the good in any situation and by now it has become a habit. This doesn’t mean deluding oneself, only seeking to recognize the good points instead of always obsessing about the bad things (many of which you can’t change, in any case). Even if you’re in prison, you can still find good things about your situation.

    It’s very hard to maintain such a mentality in the face of adversity and all the voices of the naysayers. It’s all too easy to start listening to external voices while totally ignoring your own. And once you just start mindlessly believing what other people say about you, you’re finished because you have accepted their image of you as what you really are. You have let them define you instead of defining yourself.

    And I have to disagree with you on one point, Ru-an. I think the Federer of today is a much better player than the Federer of 2006. Younger Federer had more raw speed and power, but his current self is a much smarter shotmaker, has smoother and more refined movement, and has so much more big match experience that he would be able to tie his younger counterpart in knots. The only hope the younger Federer would have would to be to try to make it into a slugfest and wear his older self down physically.

    It’s true that the Federer of today has a smaller margin for error and is going to be less consistent than his younger self, but with proper preparation and scheduling he can partially compensate for this and allow himself enough time to rest while keeping his game sharp and helping him peak at the right times.

    It was definitely a good move for him to play Brisbane instead of Doha, it gives his body time to acclimate more thoroughly to Australia instead of having to quickly adjust after flying across half a dozen time zones from Qatar.

    If he gets a good result in Melbourne (whether or not he wins) he can build on that through the spring hard-court season and then hopefully he can do well during the summer run on clay and grass.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Well I think in 2012 we could have made a case for Roger being on par with his prime self, but after 2013 I’m less likely to buy into that theory. The physical decline is obvious but the biggest decline is mental. In his prime he had an untouchable aura while these days that aura has been shattered. The absolute confidence is gone and he frequently caves in under pressure. Not only has he lost speed and power, but the supreme confidence which he had in his prime is the biggest loss. It was called his prime for a reason. Take a look below and the difference will be obvious:

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    Tom Reply:

    AAAH RU-AN! The peRFection, it burns!!
    Absolutely agreed though, I’m just slightly too young, I only just missed prime Fed (but I’ve caught up through many hours of viewing don’t you all worry) and yeah I honestly thought for a bit that 3.0 was an encore of his prime, and in many ways it was, but this is another level.
    Prime Fed is the reason why the levels of belief Roger is capable of instilling in his fans go from the totally legit to the downright ridiculous. (US Open 2013 anyone?) That’s not a bad thing though, it’s just what the magic of Prime Fed can do to any seemingly sensible soul, mine included, guilty as charged. In my defence, when Roger was my age he had naff hair and a temper that would make Gonzo proud, so I think I’m good!

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    veronica Reply:

    Great comment Steve! Now I know who to bring along if I had to watch a difficult match….. YOU!! You never waver and always sensible. How DO you do it Steve?! – year after year; loss after loss after loss after loss….???!!!!!

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  3. I guess let’s see how it goes in Brisbane first and then we can discuss. I guess nothing less than a trophy in his hands would suffice, correct!

    Let’s hope for the best!

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  4. It’s good that Roger tries to put confidence in himself, this is a trait all champions have…even likes of Nadal or Djoker. The self-belief is important so long it’s doesn’t turn into a monster.

    On a different, just want to wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. May 2014 brings all us joy and Federer win another GS yahoooo!!!!!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Dippy same to you.

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  5. Roger on his Facebook: “Stefan Edberg just finished doing a training week with me and my team. It was great spending time with one of my childhood heroes!”

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    Ru-an Reply:

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    Wilfried Reply:

    Strange coincidence or not ? Stefan Edberg is the first name that came to my mind when Roger Federer split with P. Annacone, and not renowned coaches like Darren Cahill or Stefanski. I went even looking on the internet to find out if Stefan had some experience in coaching tennis players.
    I’m happy Roger had some practice time together with Stefan, because I think he can learn a few things of that fellow.

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    Tom Reply:

    http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2013/12/19/edberg-keen-coach-federer-if-asked

    “The idea of the camp was that I would give my views and come up with some feedback. He wants to try some new things”

    “I think he will be coming back. He’s a great player and all the pieces are in place, he can definitely win some more grand slam titles”

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  6. I totally said in another comment I was thinking more about Roger winning Brisbane! Nice to see you agree with me Ru-an haha
    Seriously though we were saying we shouldn’t get our hopes up too much for AO… but these are strong words from Roger… Roger’s struggles this year have had a lot to do with his back, so if he says he’s healthy… then maybe we should?
    Then again Djokovic is still ridiculous on Plexicushion regardless of whether RL Arena is faster this year. Thinking about it they haven’t played best of 5 sets in ages… since Wimbledon 2012? Blimey!
    I’m sticking with what I said before, let’s bag this title in Brisbane and go from there. ALLEZ!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Right Tom if he doesn’t win Brisbane he can forget about winning the AO.

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    veronica Reply:

    Tom, you and Grumpy and a few others as well, are wonderful new additions to this blog. Really enjoy all your comments!! Yes, nothing but a win in Brisbane would do. As for AO, I just wanna see Roger play the monsters close. If that happens, then some REAL action should happen by the summer, right?!! Allez!

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    Tom Reply:

    Thank you Veronica, very kind much like the main man himself. I wish you a very happy Christmas!
    Now that we’ve agreed on the assignment of title 78 to see if we can seriously talk about AO chances, all we can do is wait… with something like two weeks to go until the FedExpress pulls into Brisbane, I can barely contain my excitement!
    Oh and something I’ve just thought about, if he plays with a larger frame in Brisbane, he might do with the Tsonga exo? Perhaps pulling some party tricks with a new stick may increase his confidence with it… then again since it would be a larger head, he’d have to be more careful with those tweeners haha!

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  7. When Pete Sampras played his last US open, I watched him beat Agassi in the finals. I had never seen Pete play that well in years. Every serve was spot on and untouchable, even for the best returner at that time across the other side who was playing in the zone as well. Verily, Agassi would have beaten anyone other than Sampras that day. And the serve wasn’t the only aspect of Sampras’s game that was on. His groundstrokes were precise and powerful; and his volleys – flawless. Intent matched focus and it all came together to win him his 14th grand slam title.

    Of couese, it didn’t come easy. After a mediocre season or two, and with people calling for his retirement, something jolted him into action around the second half of that US open winning year. He made it very clear to Paul Annacone that he – Sampras – would win a slam that year and that Annacone would watch him do it. Pete Sampras epitomised Edgar Albert Guest’s wonderful poem ‘It Couldn’t Be Done’

    There comes a time – usually towards the evening of a legend’s career when he/she makes peace with the knowledge that an illustrious career is at nearing completion. And I believe thatt frees up the mind and lightens loads in ways we can’t think of. Like a philharmonic ensemble executing a complex, enthalling work of genius in perfect harmony of various musical instruments, it all comes together – fitness, form, consistency and the confidence to execute. It happened for Pete Sampras. It will happen for Roger Federer.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Great comment Grumpy. I remember that USO final well. I was an Agassi fan and it was extremely frustrating to watch Sampras save break points in the 4th set with unbelievable backhand half-volleys at the net. He was an immovable object that day. The focus, determination, and desire was at its peak. That’s why Annacone said he thinks Roger will win another slam. He saw what Sampras did and he knows the minds of these greats. When their games click and they have made their minds up to win they can’t be stopped.

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    Wilfried Reply:

    Nice and very well worded comment, Grumpy. I like your thoughts.
    But there is one slight note I’d like to make though, and I hope you don’t mind.
    Pete Sampras may have made it very clear to P. Annacone that he could and would win another slam, sure, but I can’t imagine him having proclaimed his conviction from the rooftops. He probably kept his opinion for himself and for his coach.
    In any case it is not very wise to put your cards and thoughts open on the table when your opponents don’t do it as well, and certainly not when your main and most difficult opponent excels in playing poker and disguise.
    Besides times have changed in comparison with the area in which Pete was competing with his rivals.
    Racket technology has speeded up the game and at the same time surfaces have generally slowed down, to such an extent that Roger won’t be able to bail out of trouble with aces or unreturnable serves. Unless he can go back to the sources of his genius and regain the edge he used to have during his prime, he’ll have to come out on top in long rallies.
    Roger might be withholding us some important elements of information as well that make his remarks more plausible, but as long as he doesn’t reveal them to us, I think it is wiser to not being carried away by the tenor of his interview I think.

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  8. Great comments going on here, guys! 1)Roger is a unique champion. He sees a half glass full ALL the time. In his hey days, being favourite in a tournament didn’t put more pressure on him; instead, Roger basked in the attention. And has anyone seen a more comfortable no. 1 sitting on his throne, looking like he belonged there forever?! It’s his winning formula, at least that is what he believes since he realised early on in his career that negativity didn’t help him at all and he made a decision to leave all that behind; in up times and in down times. 2)Roger is very articulate and expresses his thoughts really well. Some of his quotes are priceless; like the one Ru-an quoted in his last post. I completely believe what he said in that quote although there were many matches where I thought he didn’t look like he was playing for the love of the game at all!! But that maybe due to playing hurt (injury) and not being able to enjoy some matches some of the time only means he is human. He can’t be on a high all the time!! 3)In a 1999 interview, a question was asked of young Roger, “People qualities most admired?” Roger replied, “That they smile a lot. Friendly. Helpful. And I don’t like it when somebody lies. Because I never lie”. After I read this interview, I understood a little. Roger does not know how to lie because he doesn’t lie. So when he feels good and is honest about it, people sees it as arrogance/delusion. 4)Which brings us to this interview. I believe the message that Roger is sending here. I believe his back is fine again and he is really hungry. Sometimes Roger’s optimism can be over the top. But I don’t think he is in this one. There’s a real good vibe about this one. I expect good things next year. 5)However, having said all that, I do agree with Wilfried that Roger should learn to arrest some of his optimism and instead allow his racket to do most of the talking. Like Wilfried, I really hope he has something up his sleeve as there is so much “promise” in his optimism here. 6)I think Roger’s statement that he is a better player than before is a little misunderstood. Afterall he did say he is not as fast as in his best years. I think what he meant was he has more experience now, he feels he is more matured and therefore become more complete and better. This doesn’t necessarily mean he is playing better than his prime. OK guys, this is too long already! Ru-an, is this FedExpress 4.0?!! Guardian Angel has broken a wing, can’t “fly” as fast as you! Hehe!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Good comment Mirka. 1)Roger is a very positive person that’s for sure. 2) He is definitely not always enjoying himself out there. The body language doesn’t lie. 2013 was a bit of a tough year though so one shouldn’t judge by that alone. 3) Right on about telling the truth as well. That is one of the main reasons I’m a Fedfan. I like to be honest and despise lying. I feel like I have that in common with Roger and I appreciate that quality in him. 4) Agree with this point as well. Not only does he sound very positive but I believe it is a fact that things have reached a turning point. 5) At this stage of Roger’s career it may be wise to come under the radar a bit more. That is what he did in his last couple of slam wins. I think the AO is a difficult slam for him to win so I think he figured he may as well say he can win it, since he doesn’t have much to lose. 6) As far as this point goes I stand by what I said. I think he is just using auto-suggestion. It’s not so much a question of whether something is true or not. It’s what you think is the truth, since the mind has powers beyond what we can possibly imagine. I have observed this with all great champions. It is almost like they are lying to themselves. Yet it works like a charm!
    We will have to see about Fed 4.0. He may just be round the corner. In the mean time get that wing in a cast.

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    veronica Reply:

    Yeah, I agree about auto-suggestion.It totally works. But couldn’t he be more “quiet” about it and suggest it just to himself?! Ha! And especially not shout it out loud to Spanish Poker Experts! haha! But maybe it works that way for him. He doesn’t seem to mind the pressure of high expectations as he “provokes” his fans and the media! But he is an aggressive player afterall. Aggression is the name of his game and Courage is his name!! Btw, don’t you all think Brisbane is a brilliant move?! I think Brisbane may also be testing ground for his new stick! What do you guys think? New or old?! The suspense is killing me! As you rightly expected Roger to salvage his season with the indoors, Ru-an, he has done exactly that. And now I think his body must be close to 100% as he is just oozing with confidence, excitement and enthusiasm. Most important of all, the hunger is back!! And we all know what hunger can do for Roger! (remember 2012??!!) Still, talking is one thing, carrying it out is another; especially with the top 3 in their primes right now. Is it even possible to beat the plexicushion monsters back to back and maybe even Murray too?! Roger must get his movement back as close as possible to his best; his bread and butter (forehand and serve) must be firing; and he must REMEMBER to play his all court game. Common Roger!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I like to take a more conservative approach Veronica. Yes he finished the season well in comparison with the rest of 2013 but he didn’t win a tournament in the indoor season. I think it will give him confidence the way he was able to turn things around but the AO is very difficult for him to win. Maybe the AO should be seen as a kind of testing ground for the new racquet and getting a solid start to the new season. Then maybe around April he can start excelling again. I’m just cautious to say he’s got his full confidence back now after an average indoor season by his own high standards. Don’t mean to be a killjoy. I’m just cautious to expect too much and then he loses earlier at the AO than we’d like to see. But in general I’m positive about 2014.

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    veronica Reply:

    Btw, Ru-an, I meant YOU when I said FedExpress 4.0, not Roger. You are moving so fast now, I broke my wing just trying to catch you!!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Ah ok I wasn’t quite sure what you meant! I am blogging a bit since I have time and soon I won’t be able to blog as much. I passed a million views yesterday as well!

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    Wilfried Reply:

    I beg to react to some of your points, Ruan.
    Point 3: About honesty and telling the truth. To me honesty is an important value but respecting other people’s feelings has equal moral value. The latter implies that you can’t always be completely honest with people (without necessarily being a liar). For instance my parents’doctor evaded telling my mam the truth that my dad was dying from cancer. He told her only very late the full truth because she wasn’t emotionally ready for it yet. In the orient (Asia in general)it is very important not to say things in a too straightforward way, particularly when your words have a critical or somewhat negative message. It’s better to prudently proceed by going in circles to the core. Never in a straightforward way though.
    Point 4, 5,6 : Roger is probably on a turning point, but that’s not yet a fact at this moment. It needs to be confirmed with a good performance at Brisbane and the AO. Keeping a low profile seems for Roger at the moment the best strategy to me. But why changing this approach when you feel your chances of winning have diminished ? Openly challenging a stronger enemy is never the way to go in my view, not at an individual level nor at a collective one. Western democracy for instance would never have emerged or survived if the ancient Greeks would have faced the much stronger Persians – during their second invasion of Greek territory – in an open contest. The Greeks would have been crushed by them. Roger’s territory has also been invaded, first by Nadal, then by Djokovic and Murray. He can’t afford now anymore to face them in a straight open contest I think, because his small edge in technical superiority doesn’t compensate enough for his physical inferiority. He needs to find a smart way to counter this reality, if not he’ll get a check. Auto suggestion might help him to regain his former excellence, but will it suffice to break down the defensive walls the grinders will put up to frustrate him with at the AO?

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Right on both accounts Wilfried. One should try to never criticize people but instead first find something positive to say and then adding what they can improve upon. As for Roger I agree that he should keep a low profile. I guess old habits die hard.

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  9. Got your magic No eh Ru-an well done young man! Just shows how we all like to follow your blog even if we don’t post. I also hope that Roger does well in Australia. Since tennis has been quiet these last few weeks I have been watching some of Fed’s earlier matches with Safin and other greats and truly
    what more can we say about Roger Federer he’s just been the most fantastic player to follow…just touched by magic! Now after waxing so lyrical I’ll just have to go and make myself a cup of tea(high life eh?). Seasons Greetings to you Ru-an and all your followers.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Haha a cup of tea is exactly what I’m gonna make now too. Green tea to be exact. Seasons greetings to you as well and thanks!

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  10. Hey guys, hope you don’t think I have forgotten about you all and you Ru-an, it is just that after working months every day late in the evenings and Saturdays, now that I finally have vacation, I am first kind of “enjoying” it, but I will read the articles and comments soon and then I will comment a lot myself. So please wait for it, even you dear Veronica !!!
    But two things: first CONGRATS Ru-an on reaching one million views yesterday. Wow !!!
    Second, I just read on Bleacher that Novak has appointed Boris Becker as his head coach?? Any thoughts??
    What will he be able to teach Novak? Novak already knows how to play it all? Good move or not??
    Will Novak become totally unbeatable??

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    Wilfried Reply:

    I was wondering where you got lost, Katyani. Don’t stay away too long from Ruans federerblog OK!? .-)

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    Katyani Reply:

    Hey Wilfried, you are so sweet. No, I will not stay too long away from the blog, I am just… enjoying my vacation a little bit too much !!
    I know you understand this: Fijne Kerstdagen en een Gelukking en Voorspoedig 2014 !!!

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    Wilfried Reply:

    Dag Katyani,
    Dank je wel. Ik wens je eveneens een vrolijk kerstfeest en veel geluk en voorspoed in 2014 voor jou en je geliefden. Je bent net als Veronica een zonnetje op deze blog.

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