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Roger Federer hits crazy overhead winner with wicked spin (Video)

Roger Federer grinRoger Federer is so good that even when he mishits a ball, it still goes in for a winner.

Fed is playing doubles at the Brisbane International with Nicolas Mahut (you know him from his marathon match with John Isner) and the two beat Jeremy Chardy and Grigor Dimitrov (Maria Sharapova’s boyfriend) in three sets. At one point, Federer retreated to return a lob and hit an overhead for a winner. But the winner was unconventional; he hit the ball off the frame of his racket with so much backspin that the ball barely cleared the net and then bounced back over to Federer’s side.

All Federer could do was give an embarrassed grin.

H/T Bryan A. Graham

Novak Djokovic: Roger Federer is moving slower

roger-federerRoger Federer is still a very fine tennis player, but it’s clear that he is in the downside of his career. He is 32 and currently ranked No. 6 in the world. This year he failed to reach the quarterfinals of a major for the first time since 2004, as he was ousted in the second round of Wimbledon and fourth round of the US Open.

Though he is still respectful of Fed’s abilities and talents, Novak Djokovic explained bluntly what one of Federer’s problems is.

“From my point of view he hasn’t been moving as well this year and I guess that’s one of the reasons he hasn’t had much success,’ Djokovic said of Federer this week at the ATP World Tour Finals in London. “He is moving maybe slower than he used to but he is still striking the ball really well and on his day is capable of beating anyone.”

Djokovic would know — he just beat Federer in three sets in the semifinals of the Paris Masters. The two will also play for the second time in four days because they’re both in Group B for the London event. Juan Martin del Potro and Richard Gasquet are also in Group B, while Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer, Stanislas Wawrinka and Tomas Berdych are in Group A.

Like Djokovic said, Federer is still capable of beating anyone when he’s on, but he just doesn’t have the consistency that he had during his prime. That’s to be expected for someone his age. Hopefully he doesn’t hang on too long past the point of being unable to win majors, because few want to remember him as being anything other than one of the best players in the world.

Roger Federer doesn’t like Grigor Dimitrov having ‘Baby Fed’ nickname

Grigor Dimitrov Roger Federer

Grigor Dimitrov has a style of game similar to Roger Federer, which has led to him receiving the nickname “Baby Fed.” But as we’ve found out recently, neither party is too fond of the name.

Federer beat Dimitrov 6-3, 7-6 in Basel last week for the first meeting between the two. After his win, Federer told reporters he hopes people will stop calling Dimitrov by that nickname.

“I hope people don’t call him Baby Fed so often anymore,” Federer told Swiss reporters after his victory, via The New York Times. “At first it’s funny, but it gets annoying.”

Was Federer saying that because he feels like Dimitrov has his own identity and doesn’t need to be nicknamed after another player? Or because Dimitrov isn’t even close to his level? Maybe it’s a bit of both.

Whatever the case, we know that Dimitrov also doesn’t like the nickname.

“All the comparisons, I think that I definitely want people to stop with that,” Dimitrov told CNN in May. “Of course we have some similarities here and there and I’m flattered to hear that. Actually I thought it was really cool at the beginning. But with time I’ve realized that I’m trying to build up my own style and when I’m on court to do my own shots.”

Dimitrov, who is also dating Maria Sharapova, is currently ranked No. 22 in the world. But keep in mind that the furthest the 22-year-old has reached in a grand slam is the third round. Federer was 22 when he won his first major and took off from there. Maybe Dimitrov will find similar form.

Racket clap to Beyond the Baseline

Andre Agassi puts Roger Federer in class above Pete Sampras

Roger Federer racketRanking the greatest athletes in the history of a sport is a complex task that always leads to debate. Many say Roger Federer is the greatest tennis player of all time, while others like John McEnroe are giving their vote to Rafael Nadal. Some go back in history and point to Rod Laver, and some may throw Pete Sampras into the discussion. But if you ask Andre Agassi, Federer, Laver and Nadal are in a different class from Sampras.

Agassi, who won eight majors and is one of only three players in the Open Era to win all four grand slams, joined HuffPost Live on Monday and broke down the greats of all time.

Agassi had a notorious rivalry on and off the court with Sampras and termed Pete his “nemesis,” though he stated Pete was the “best of his time.” However, Agassi says he puts Federer (and Nadal and Laver) in a class above Sampras, despite Sampras winning 14 grand slams.

[Read more...]

Roger Federer reveals his big career regret

Roger Federer has had a brilliant tennis career. He has won a record 17 majors and held the world No. 1 ranking for a record 301 weeks. He is considered by many to be the best player ever. But despite all his success, Federer does have one regret.

Roger Federer racketIn an interview with FOX Sports’ Andy Roddick, Federer was asked if there was anything he regretted. Surprisingly, Federer said there was one thing he wished he had done differently.

“I wish I could have maybe realized my potential two years earlier, started to work really hard earlier … understand what I was trying to achieve, what was possible. But at the same time, I think all of that was good for me later on. I got all the stuff out early — the anger, the sadness, the pressure. I had to deal with so much I felt like between 16 and 22 that later on, that made me the player I am today.”

Unlike some other players who won majors as teens — like Boris Becker, Pete Sampras and Rafael Nadal to name a few — Federer was nearly 22 when he won his first major. But after capturing Wimbledon in 2003, Federer went on possibly the most dominant run in tennis history by winning 11 of 16 majors from 2004-2008. Like he said, going through the tough times earlier in his career probably made him the player he became.

Also in the interview, Roddick and Federer talked about Roger’s win over Andy at Wimbledon in 2009. That was the first time the two discussed the match, and Roddick specifically mentioned that he was impressed with Federer’s behavior after winning. Instead of celebrating and making Roddick feel badly, Andy says Federer was very considerate of his opponent and behaved in a sportsmanlike way.

“The moment is probably tougher for you than it was happier for me,” Federer explained. “I think it’s so important to respect your fellow athletes and competitors and I know how hard you tried and how difficult it must be.”

Roddick said he appreciated how considerate Federer was in the locker room after the match. The story is significant because Novak Djokovic’s father recently said Federer’s character away from the court does not match his status as the greatest player. Roddick would likely disagree with that statement.

Roger Federer wearing pink shoes with blue outfit at US Open

Roger Federer pink shoes

Roger Federer had an interesting look for his first-round match at the US Open on Tuesday. Federer was wearing mostly white and blue, but he had a third color mixed in — pink on his feet.

The 17-time major winner generally has his shoes, shorts, shirt, and headband color-coordinated when he steps on the court. Nike also frequently customizes his outfits for grand slam events, giving him special bags, jackets and shoes that represent his accomplishments. This time around, the swoosh decided to change things up with the shoes.

Federer’s white shorts do have tiny pink stitching by the zipper, and his night time shirt has pink stitching around the buttons and logo on the sleeve. But those minor additions are barely visible, so the atomic red pink shoes really stand out. At least at the US Open the bright colors are allowed, so Fed won’t encounter a problem like he did at Wimbledon.

Below is a look at his planned US Open outfits:

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Roger Federer switching back to old racket for US Open

Roger Federer racketRoger Federer was experimenting with a larger racket after losing early at Wimbledon, but the 32-year-old says he is going back to his normal racket for the US Open.

Federer is out of the top four in the world rankings for the first time in 10 years and currently ranked No. 7 in the world. The Swiss sensation lost to Sergiy Stakhovsky in the second round at Wimbledon, ending his incredible streak of reaching 36 consecutive quarterfinals at grand slams. The Wimbledon upset was his worst performance at the tournament since 2002 (he’s won the tournament seven times since then).

Federer decided to switch things up and began playing with a racket that had a larger head. His new Wilson prototype is 98 square inches in head size, compared to the 90 square inch head he normally uses. Fed played with the prototype in Hamburg, where he lost in the semis, and in Gstaad, where he lost his first match (both were clay court tournaments).

Federer lost to Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals of the Cincinnati Masters event last week and confirmed that he is changing back to old reliable.

“I just felt like, you know what, I’m going to play with the old racquet through the US Open right now, and I’m going to do more racquet testing when I have, again, some more time after the U.S. Open,” Federer told reporters last week, via Beyond the Baseline. “Yeah, I was playing for a month with the black one, but it’s a prototype. At the end, I just felt like, you know what, right now I feel like I need to simplify everything and just play with what I know best.”

That’s probably a smart move. The racket change seemed like it was made out of desperation after a stunning and disappointing loss. He’s wise to stick with the racket he knows best for the major and then make a change after the grand slam season is over, if he feels he wants to change it up. Federer may be declining while Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray are improving, but he still should be good for at least a quarterfinal run at Flushing without messing with his equipment.