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#pounditFriday, November 27, 2020

Roger Federer

Klay Thompson and Roger Federer plan epic ping-pong match

Roger Federer

Roger Federer is one of the greatest tennis competitors of all-time. Klay Thompson is one of the greatest shooters in the history of basketball. So, any athletic competition between these two would be a treat.

It appears there is potential for a legendary ping-pong match between the two. It started with Warriors coach Steve Kerr relaying a conversation between the athletes that happened last week in Shanghai.

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ESPN captures perfect shot of Del Potro celebrating win over Federer

Juan Martin Del Potro

Juan Martin Del Potro pulled off a major quarterfinals win over Roger Federer at the US Open on Wednesday night, and ESPN captured the perfect shot of him celebrating.

Del Potro won in four sets, 7-5, 3-6, 7-6, 6-4, closing out the match with a big forehand winner. Del Potro took off his headband after winning, met Federer at the net for a nice embrace, and then he lifted his arms to the sky.

The placement of ESPN’s cameras that allowed them to get that shot was impressive.

The image was reminiscent of the iconic Andy Dufresne pose from “The Shawshank Redemption.”

The victory marked Del Potro’s sixth against Federer.

“I played my best match of the tournament,” he told ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi afterwards.

Del Potro moves on to the semifinals where he will face Rafael Nadal, spoiling a heavily anticipated match between Roger and Rafa.

Roger Federer had wild night celebrating Wimbledon title

Roger Federer

Roger Federer won his 19th Grand Slam and his eighth Wimbledon singles title Sunday. The man is simply a legend.

And it appears he celebrated his latest Wimbledon title in legendary fashion. His celebration was so wild that it inspired the Washington Post to use “lit” in a headline.

“Yeah, my head’s ringing,” Federer said Monday. “I don’t know what I did last night. I drank too many types of drinks, I guess.”

Sunday night brought the the annual champions’ dinner and dance in London. Federer, 35, is a father of four, but that didn’t stop him from having a blast Sunday night.

“After the ball we went to — what would you call it? I guess it’s a bar,” Federer said. “And there were almost 30 to 40 friends that were there. We had a great time. Got to bed at 5, then woke up, and just didn’t feel good. The last hour or so I’m somewhat okay again. I’m happy with that.”

The man stayed out until 5 a.m. drinking “too many types of drinks” with his friends. Federer was operating on an empty stomach, too; he said he hadn’t eaten.

“There was no music, but it was a great dinner,” Federer said. “I always feel bad that we arrive so late. By the time I got there they were already on the main course, which is a bit unfortunate in my opinion. But I was happy to be there again. It never grows old.”

May Roger Federer win Grand Slams forever.

10 takeaways from the Australian Open

Roger Federer

The first major of the 2017 tennis season is in the books, and for many it represented a throwback to the old days.

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer met in the men’s finals, while the Williams sisters faced each other in the women’s final.

It was a big tournament for the 30-plus crowd as many veteran greats showed a resurgence, while some of the previous top players in the world are giving reasons for fans to be concerned.

With that in mind, here are 10 takeaways from this year’s Australian Open.

10. Novak Djokovic needs to get his head right

No player disappointed in Melbourne this year more than Novak Djokovic.

The Australian Open is his tournament. He has won it six times and entered 2017 having won it five of the previous six years. That means he was 40-1 at the Australian Open since 2011 entering this year’s tournament. And then he went out and lost to Denis Istomin in the second round of the tournament, marking one of the biggest upsets there of all time.

This defeat has many asking “what’s wrong with Djokovic?”

Keep in mind that Djokovic also lost in the third round at Wimbledon last year to Sam Querrey, which was his worst major finish since 2009. He lost in the first round of the men’s singles event at the Olympics. He lost in the finals of the US Open to Stan Wawrinka. And he lost the world No. 1 ranking to Andy Murray.

Djokovic and coach Boris Becker parted ways at the end of the year, which seemed like a warning sign. Under Becker, Nole enjoyed the most success of his career. He won six of 12 possible majors during which Becker coached him, including holding all four titles at the same time.

After Nole was upset by Istomin, Becker questioned his former pupil’s focus and mentality.

“I didn’t recognize him today, his mentality,” Becker told the New York Times after the loss to Istomin.

“Obviously the second half of last year, there was a different priority,” Becker said. “Novak was the first one to admit that, and I think that was the main reason for me to stop this because I thought my job isn’t that important anymore obviously. Having watched the match today, I felt he tried and he played five sets and four and a half hours, but I didn’t see the intensity, didn’t see the absolute will to win, didn’t see him mentally going crazy.

“He always was very nonchalant about it, and that is not the Novak that I know. I’d rather see him break a racket or pull the shirt or something, for him to get emotional. I thought it was very even keel the whole match through, and that was unusual, and I don’t know what to make of that.”

Does Djokovic still have the burning desire to be the best in the world? Or does he have other priorities now? If it’s the latter, then that will open the door for some new blood to step up.

9. Mirjana Lucic-Baroni was one of the coolest stories

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Roger Federer gets huge hug and kiss from wife Mirka after win

Roger Federer wife Mirka

After Roger Federer pulled down grand slam win No. 18, none other than his wife Mirka was there to celebrate with him properly.

Mirka gave Roger the heartiest of embraces, and topped it off with some big kisses:

Her extreme love shown for Roger in that clip makes all the sense in the world.

Federer is 35, had not won a major since 2012, and here he comes off a six-month layoff and wins the Australian Open. Not just that, but he beat longtime nemesis Rafael Nadal to do it.

Mirka travels with Roger and supports him on tour, which is very difficult for a family — especially one that has four kids (two sets of twins). She’s probably heard all about his wonders whether he would ever win another major. She knows how much he had to come back from — especially at his age. That’s what makes this major so special for them.

Roger Federer: Beating Rafael Nadal again would make for ‘sweetest’ major win

Roger Federer

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are meeting in a major final again, and that’s quite meaningful to at least one of them.

Federer has not won a Grand Slam title since Wimbledon in 2012, and defeating Nadal would be his 18th career major championship. By his own admission, it would be very special to him.

Federer vs. Nadal is one of tennis’s great rivalries, and at this point in their careers, it’s something of a throwback to its heyday between 2005 and 2009. We’ll see if there’s any gamesmanship like this when the two men meet for the ninth time in a Grand Slam final on Sunday.

Roger Federer wants harsher drug testing in tennis

Roger Federer short hair

Roger Federer has long been a proponent of harsh drug testing in professional tennis, and he says he would like to see even more testing.

“I definitely think that tennis is doing a lot better than we have in the past,” Federer said from Miami this week. “You could always do more testing. You could ask someone here in 50 years’ time and he’ll say we could still do more. You could be tested four times per day.”

Federer also wants blood samples to be kept for 10 years for retroactive punishments.

Federer’s comments come in the wake of Maria Sharapova’s positive test for meldonium at the Australian Open. Federer says he has no reason to believe his fellow players are cheating, but he wants lots of testing to ensure the sport is clean.

One of Fed’s complaints is that when he is in Switzerland, he says he is tested regularly. However, when he is at his home in Dubai, he says he is rarely tested. He says he was only tested once there in 10 years.

If players are looking to exploit loopholes in drug testing, maybe they should take a close look at Federer’s comments and move to Dubai.

Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer competing to be first $100 million tennis player

Novak Djokovic celebration

With the Australian Open just around the corner, both Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer will have the opportunity to do what no tennis player has done before: break the $100 million barrier in on-court earnings.

According to NDTV Sports, Djokovic enters the season with just over $94 million to his name, while Federer has claimed $97.3 million in career winnings.

On the surface, Federer seems more likely to surpass the $100 million mark first, especially given that the winner of the Aussie Open will claim a $3.85 million prize. However, Federer, at age 34, hasn’t won a major since 2012, while the 28-year-old Djokovic is the reigning men’s champion at the event.

For both men, it is a matter of when, not if, and nobody else even threatens their chances. Rafael Nadal’s career earnings are at $75 million, while Serena Williams has earned around $74 million in the less lucrative women’s game. It will definitely be a subplot to watch once everyone convenes in Melbourne in just over three weeks.

Roger Federer wife, Novak Djokovic wife battle for cheers

It wasn’t just Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer battling at the US Open on Sunday; their wives were also dueling.

Throughout the US Open finals, ESPN’s cameras kept flashing to Mirka Federer and Jelena Djokovic for their reactions to the action. At times they were tense, but the rest of the time they were their husbands’ biggest supporters as they clapped following good points.

Here are both wives as they cheered on their husbands at various points in the match:

Roger Federer wife Mirka

Novak Djokovic wife Jelena

Mirka was joined in the Federer box by Roger’s dad and coach Stefan Edberg. Coach oris Becker was also in Djokovic’s box along with Jelena.

Federer’s children — two sets of twins — must have been at home. Ditto with Djokovic’s son, who was born last year, months after Nole and Jelena got married during the summer. The Djokovics have been dating since 2005, while the Federers have been married since 2009. Cool fact: Roger’s wife Mirka used to be a professional tennis player and the two met at the 2000 Olympics.

Boris Becker: Roger Federer SABR attack is disrespectful

Novak Djokovic Boris Becker

Boris Becker and Roger Federer are clashing once again.

Becker, who is the coach for world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, commented on one of Federer’s new tactics and called it almost disrespectful to the other player’s serve. The tactic involves Federer coming to the net after returning serve. It has been nicknamed “SABR,” which is an acronym for “Sneak Attack By Federer.”

“It’s almost disrespecting the other guy’s serve. Everybody talks about that’s his new strategy – he comes in. It’s within the rules,” Becker told Sky.

“If he would have played a [John] McEnroe, [Jimmy] Connors, [Ivan] Lendl or even me, we would have said: ‘Roger, in all honesty I like you very much [but] I’ll go straight at you.’ In my generation guys would not have accepted as it is now.”

It seems clear that Becker and Federer are not the best of friends. In his book, Becker said Djokovic and Federer do not like each other. That led to a reaction from Federer, who was not too happy. No doubt Becker is somewhat in Federer’s head about the matter and strategy.