Roger Federer rushes to opening victory

Roger Federer made an impressive start to his sixth title at the GERRY WEBER OPEN. In the first round, he beat Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen comfortably 6-4, 6-4. It was his 26th victory in a row on the Halle grass.

The 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2008 GERRY WEBER OPEN winner only struggled a little at the very beginning. Many were surprised to see Nieminen earn two break points in the second game: “I had two double faults, which is usually enough for two matches,” said Federer. But it was enough of a wake-up call. Two strong serves later and an ace for good measure, then a volley from the base line made it 1-1.

The grass court king was still testing some of his shots early on, but the time for experimentation was over at 4-4. The Swiss broke serve, defended another break point in the 10th game and then sealed the set with an impressive appearance at the net: like a wall, his cat-like reflexes volleyed him to a 6-4 win.

In the first game of the second set, an exchange at the net was symbolic of the game. He had Nieminen running as if his life depended on it, diving twice over the green surface, repelling what he could, but he just could not reach the ball for a third time: Federer took the point. For all of his efforts, the Finn, who has recently settled in at the GERRY WEBER BREAKPOINT in Halle, got nowhere. The early break to 2-0 sealed the outsider’s fate. He has never won a single set against Federer.

Nieminen, who is currently trying to make his game a bit more aggressive, can at least be proud of having lasted over an hour. With the clock on 61 minutes, Federer’s eighth ace flew past his ear to seal a 6-4, 6-4 result. The Swiss was not really unsettled by the long wait before the game either, a delay caused by the lengthy games from Kiefer and Kohlschreiber. “That is normal. I was in the lounge and watched a bit of Kohlschreiber,” he said. That could come in useful too since they could meet in the quarter-finals. Federer will learn tomorrow who he will meet in the second round since rain delayed the end of the game between Okun and Falla.

Interview with Roger Federer after defeating Jarkko Nieminen:

Q: Are you happy to be back on grass?
FEDERER: Sure, it’s always nice. I think that any surface change actually has something nice about it. Grass is the most special one because we only play one month on it. So, every day you get a chance to play on this surface is somewhat a special day, because it’s so rare and it’s so different to the other ones. I feel it’s something you want to savour as long as you are on the surface.

Q: Did you watch the final on Sunday?
FEDERER: No, I was practicing.

Q: Were you rooting for the Swedish guy?
FEDERER: No, the better one wins. My call was that Rafa would win in straight sets, which he did. He was the best by far this year on clay from the start in Monaco, or there were even Davis Cup matches in February. He didn’t lose a set as far as I remember. So, he completely deserved the French Open as well.

Q: The past 52 weeks you won two Grand Slams and made one final and the guy, who is No. 1, won only one Grand Slam. Do you think the ranking system is fair?
FEDERER: Well, I think it’s fair but tough. You can’t always predict how long do I want to be No. 1 in the world. It’s something that comes and goes very quickly. It’s tough on the player that rankings change so quickly and so drastically sometimes. We’ve gotten accustomed to me or Rafa, but especially me, is number one in the world, it’s pretty easy to stay at the top and it’s something that comes very naturally almost. But it’s not if you look how quickly things change. I’m still the holder of two Grand Slam titles and a couple of Master’s 1000 and so forth. Then you realize it’s not that simple. It’s great for the media because they make a big huge deal out of the rankings. Because, today he’s great, like Rafa last year. Everything before the French he was incredible. One and a half month later, he doesn’t have a French or Wimbledon title anymore and people start like, will he ever come back, will he ever play tennis again after his knee problems. But all he did is miss six weeks of tennis and they make a huge deal out of it. I think whoever is No. 1 in the world deserves it because it’s a ranking over 365 days and it proves that the press was wrong. They wrote him off, saying he was not playing well. But he must have some results in the system which were finals, maybe not titles but he put himself in a position that if he was going to win big titles again, he was going to make Number 1 in the world. Hope this makes sense.

Date: 08.06.2010, Source: Gerry Weber Open


Post a Comment