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Roddick, Clijsters among Tennis Hall of Fame inductees

em>By Jimmy Golen, Associated Press /em> NEWPORT, Rhode Island (AP) — Looking around the International Tennis Hall of Fame, Andy Roddick thought about all the things he is not. Not as good as the historic greats, especially Americans who preceded him into the Newport shrine like John McEnroe, Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi. Not as good as the modern Big Four — Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray — who stood in the way of him winning more than one Grand Slam. 'I'm not the best of all time. I'm not going to win Wimbledon. I'm not the best of my generation. I'm not the most well-behaved. I'm not the most polished,' Roddick said in a speech Saturday that was sometimes funny and sometimes poignant. 'I'm also never going to take this honor for granted,' he said. 'I may not be a lot of things, but from this day forward, I'm never going to be anything less than a Hall of Famer.' Known for his powerful serve and his often biting wit, Roddick was inducted into the Hall along with Belgian star Kim Clijsters, six-time Paralympic medalist Monique Kalkman-van den Bosch and journalist and historian Steve Flink. Tennis instructor and innovator Vic Braden, who died in 2014, was inducted posthumously. Clijsters won four Grand Slam singles titles and 31 overall, including the 2009 U.S. Open as an unranked, wild-card entry after coming out of retirement following the birth of her daughter. 'Sorry, guys, but it's different,' said Hall of Famer Chris Evert, who presented Flink for induction. Evert said she developed a friendship with Flink over his career, which started when he was a researcher for Hall of Fame tennis writer Bud Collins. He went on to write books and magazine articles and provide tennis commentary on TV and radio. Evert spoke in awe about Flink's recall for long-ago matches, and how he would interrupt her at press conferences when she got details about her own record wrong. 'Steve Flink is being inducted today for a lifetime of making tennis the center of his world,' she said. Kalkman-van den Bosch discussed fighting cancer at the age of 14 and fearing that she would never play tennis again. Her friends pushed her around on a court in her wheelchair so she could she feel like she was still involved with the sport. 'I'm so fortunate to have tennis in my life,' she said. 'It's been magic for me.' Roddick thanked his several coaches and his father and his wife, Brooklyn Decker, who sat in the stands near fellow model Chrissy Teigen and her husband, singer John Legend. He also congratulated his fellow inductees, joining those who praised Clijsters as a person. 'I have a simple way of putting it,' he said. 'If you have a problem with Kim Clijsters, I blame you.' Roddick also spoke of sneaking into the players' lounge at the U.S. Open when he was 8 years old and playing video games with Sampras, too scared to speak. Eleven years later, they were on the same Davis Cup team. And he said he doesn't play 'the 'what-if' game' and wonder what he might have done if he hadn't overlapped with the Big Four. 'It (stunk) being in your vacuum at times. I still consider myself lucky,' said Roddick, who lost to Federer in a Grand Slam final four separate times. 'I got to guard (Michael) Jordan. I went the distance with (Muhammad) Ali. I pitched to Babe Ruth. I feel like I know what it must have been like to watch Picasso. I saw it all. 'I won a couple times — not a lot, but a couple,' he said. 'The big four guys really (angered me) most of the time when I played them. But I'm absolutely proud to have my life and career associated with such quality individuals.' And he said at the pre-ceremony news conference that when he woke up that morning, the first text he saw was from Federer. 'He makes it extremely hard not to like him as a person,' Roddick said. The inductees took a tour of the museum on Friday, where they got to see their mementos alongside those of some of their heroes. Roddick took special pleasure in seeing the racket Arthur Ashe used when winning Wimbledon in 1975, or the one Rod Laver used at Forest Hills. 'It's almost like your childhood flashes through your head,' Clijsters said. 'It's very humbling. I'm just trying to take it all in.' Wearing a white button-down shirt embroidered with trucks that his 22-month-old son, Hank, picked out, Roddick noted that as an inductee he now gets to vote on future candidates. And he joked that he would take advantage of his new power to pay Federer back for all of the defeats. 'I might vote against him,' he said with a smile.   .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports4 hr. 9 min. ago Related News

Hall of Famer Roddick asked more about '09 loss than '03 win

em>By Howard Fendrich, Associated Press /em> More people want to ask Andy Roddick about a Grand Slam final he lost than the one he won. Yes, that 16-14 defeat in the fifth set against Roger Federer at Wimbledon in 2009 seems to spark more conversations than Roddick's straight-set victory at the 2003 U.S. Open, the last time any American man won a major championship. 'For better or worse, it's going to be the '09 Wimbledon final. It's the match people want to talk about. I'll be in a coffee shop and people want to talk about it. People will tell me where they were and where they were watching it,' Roddick said in a telephone interview Friday, the day before he is inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island. 'It's a proud moment for me. To go on the biggest stage and — I know I didn't come up on the right end of it, but I don't know that I could have played or executed a game plan better than I did for 4½ hours,' he said. 'It's definitely the one I hear about the most and talk about the most and kind of think about the most.' On Saturday, Roddick and another former No. 1 player, four-time major champion Kim Clijsters, will headline the Hall's Class of 2017. Also being enshrined this year: Monique Kalkman-van den Bosch, a four-time Paralympic medalist in wheelchair tennis; journalist and historian Steve Flink; and tennis instructor Vic Braden. Roddick and Clijsters were moved by the opportunity to tour the hall with family and friends on Friday. 'When I walk through there and I see the history of our sport from when I was a little girl — Steffi Graf and Monica Seles and Arantxa Sanchez — and just a few meters over, there's my picture or my trophy, it feels very special,' Clijsters said. 'But it's also very hard to understand and have it sink in.' Both played their last singles matches in 2012 at the U.S. Open, an important site for their careers. Clijsters won titles in New York in 2005, 2009 — with her daughter, Jada, prancing around the trophy in Arthur Ashe Stadium — and 2010, along with the Australian Open in 2011. In addition to winning his Grand Slam trophy at Flushing Meadows, Roddick was the runner-up there in 2006 to — yes, that's right — Federer. Roddick's trio of runner-up finishes at Wimbledon in 2004, 2005 and 2009 all came against Federer. 'I gave myself a lot peace of mind when I decided I wasn't going to compare myself to Roger,' Roddick said with a chuckle. The key to Roddick's success was his big serve — he once held the record for fastest at 155 mph (250 kph) — and big forehand. But he worked to improve other aspects of his game, including his fitness, backhand and volleys. 'A great competitor. Always getting the most out of himself,' said Lleyton Hewitt, a two-time major champion whose career overlapped Roddick's. 'Left it all out on the court every time he stepped out there. Looked like he did all the hard work, as well, to try and prepare himself as well as possible.' Roddick spent much of his career dealing with questions why his generation wasn't as successful as previous groups of American men, such as Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi in the 1990s, or John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors before that. Now it's Roddick whose name comes up in that sort of context: When Sam Querrey reached the Wimbledon semifinals this month, it was noted he was the first man from the U.S. to get that far at a major since Roddick's tight-as-can-be loss to Federer in 2009 at the All England Club. After that match, fans at Centre Court chanted Roddick's name, an unusual homage to someone who didn't win. 'That's obviously the one that haunts him,' said Patrick McEnroe, Roddick's former U.S. Davis Cup captain. 'He was so close. It was arguably the best match he ever played.' Roddick helped the United States end a 12-year David Cup drought by winning the 2007 title. 'He was one of those guys that got the most out of his ability,' McEnroe said. 'I would say he overachieved. He was a great server, one of the greatest servers ever. But he wasn't a great tennis player. And I think he would tell you that. He wasn't a natural player, where he could just hit shots. He had to work extremely hard. So because of that, to me, he overachieved (by) getting to No. 1 in the world and winning a major.'   .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 22nd, 2017Related News

Pliskova, Murray lead direct-entry fields for US Open

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) — New WTA No. 1 Karolina Pliskova and top-ranked man Andy Murray headline the direct entry lists for the U.S. Open. Pliskova, the 2016 runner-up at Flushing Meadows, is joined by four past U.S. Open champions: Angelique Kerber, Venus Williams, Sam Stosur and Svetlana Kuznetsova. Other past Grand Slam champions in the field: Garbine Muguruza, Petra Kvitova, Francesca Schiavone, Victoria Azarenka and Jelena Ostapenko. There are 13 Americans among the 99 women receiving direct entry, more than any other country. Six-time U.S. Open champion Serena Williams (pregnant) and Bethanie Mattek-Sands (knee surgery) are among the women who will not be competing in New York. Azarenka, Sloane Stephens, Anna-Lena Friedsam, Alja Tomljanovic and Sabine Lisicki used a special ranking to get into the main draw. Murray, who won his first major title at the U.S. Open in 2012, is joined by these other past champs in the field: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka, Marin Cilic and Juan Martin del Potro. Using protected rankings to get in: Andreas Haider-Maurer, Thanasi Kokkinakis, John Millman, Dmitry Tursunov and Ricardas Berankis. Main-draw play at the U.S. Open begins Aug. 28.   .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 20th, 2017Related News

Federer hopes to defend title

LONDON – Roger Federer has learned not to take anything for granted......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: SportsJul 18th, 2017Related News

Federer tells AP he 'can't think too far ahead' nowadays

em>By Howard Fendrich, Associated Press /em> LONDON (AP) — Roger Federer has learned not to take anything for granted. That's why he said what he did during the trophy presentation after his record-breaking eighth Wimbledon championship: 'I hope this wasn't my last match. And I hope I can come back next year and try to defend the title.' Some wondered whether that meant Federer was considering retirement. Hardly. What he meant, Federer explained Monday, was simply: 'I can't think too far ahead.' 'I didn't think about what I was going to say. It just came out that way, to show the people that, yes, of course I hope to defend my title and, of course, I wish to be back here next year. But we just don't know if it's really going to actually happen,' he said in an interview with The Associated Press at the All England Club the morning after beating Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 in the final. 'We have to wait and see.' He didn't always take that approach, back when he was in his 20s and reached a record 10 Grand Slam finals in a row. Things are different these days. 'At 25, when you win, you're like, 'All right, I'll see you next year!' because it's normal. You're going to be playing, for sure. The body's going to be fine, most likely. And if not next year, well, then the year after that, you know?' Federer said as he walked through the hallways of Centre Court in gray pants and a white zippered warmup jacket. 'But I can't really think two years ahead now. Let's be honest.' First of all, there's the no-way-around-it matter of his age: Federer turns 36 on Aug. 8; he is the oldest man to win Wimbledon in the Open era, which began in 1968. And then there's what happened about 18 months ago: A father of four, he was preparing a bath for his twin daughters when he turned and felt a 'click' in his left knee. In February 2016, he had the first operation of his career, arthroscopic surgery to repair torn cartilage. Federer returned to the tour that March, then missed the French Open because of lingering back problems, ending his record streak of 65 consecutive Grand Slam tournament appearances. After a semifinal loss at Wimbledon a year ago, he took the rest of the season off to let his body heal, missing the U.S. Open, Rio Olympics and every other event. 'I've seen how quickly things can change,' Federer said. 'Filling a bathtub for my girls changed the whole next 1½ years of my tennis life, really.' These past six months turned out OK, though. Federer is 31-2 with a tour-leading five titles in 2017. That includes his 18th Grand Slam trophy at the Australian Open — ending a 4½-year drought without a major title — followed by his 19th at Wimbledon, where he became the first man since Bjorn Borg in 1976 to win the tournament without dropping a set. 'Everything he does is exceptional,' said Jonas Bjorkman, Cilic's coach. 'Obviously, he's unique in many ways.' Federer himself is surprised at how well this year has gone so far. He says he certainly didn't expect to win both majors he's entered (he sat out the French Open again, using another break during the clay-court circuit to recharge before the brief grass portion of the season). Now he moves on to the hard courts, including the U.S. Open, which starts Aug. 28. 'I have a hard time thinking I could win three Slams in one year. It just sounds totally surreal to me,' said Federer, who did collect trios of major titles in 2004, 2006 and 2007. 'But I'll prepare myself the best way possible, so that I will have the best chance to really excel there in New York.' His voice sounded deeper than usual, a bit of after-effect from celebrations into the wee hours that included the Wimbledon champions' dinner and drinks with a group of more than 30 friends at a bar. Federer said he didn't get to sleep until 5 a.m. Here he was, about 6½ hours later, returning to the arena to pose for group photos with 200 members of the tournament's staff — groundskeepers and others who sat in a corner of the stands while he took a spot on a courtside ledge, Wimbledon's gold trophy beside him. 'Everybody say, 'Swiss cheese!'' Federer said, drawing laughter. Then he posed on the court for a few last pictures, steps from a small green sign with white letters instructing, 'Keep off the grass.' So, yes, expect him back on that turf in 2018. Just remember not to take his excellence for granted. He won't. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 18th, 2017Related News

Federer up to ATP No. 3 after Wimbledon; Muguruza WTA No. 5

em>By Howard Fendrich, Associated Press /em> LONDON (AP) — Roger Federer's eighth Wimbledon title pushed him back up to No. 3 in the ATP rankings on Monday after he ended last season at No. 16. And, because he sat out the last half of 2016, his points will only continue to accumulate, making a return to No. 1 a real possibility. 'I'm playing for titles at this stage of my career. Rankings, not so much, unless I'm as close as I am right now,' said the 35-year-old Federer, who also clinched a berth in the season-ending ATP Finals, held in London on Nov. 12-19. So I just have to check the situation, if it's worth it to run after it or not.' Garbine Muguruza's first championship at the All England Club returned her to the WTA's top 10 at No. 5, a rise of 10 spots, while runner-up Venus Williams goes from No. 11 to No. 9. Karolina Pliskova became the 23rd woman to be ranked No. 1, a debut for her that was guaranteed last week, based on results at Wimbledon. She had been No. 3, and swaps positions with former No. 1 Angelique Kerber. Serena Williams has not competed since January because she is pregnant. By losing rankings points she earned last year, including a title at Wimbledon and runner-up finish at the French Open, she went from No. 4 to No. 15 on Monday — leaving her out of the top 10 for the first time since April 1, 2012. The rankings count points from the preceding 52 weeks, which is why Pliskova is able to take over at No. 1 despite losing in the second round at the All England Club. Pliskova, a 25-year-old from the Czech Republic, has never won a Grand Slam title — she's not the first player to top the rankings without that achievement on her resume — although she was the runner-up to Kerber at last year's U.S. Open and a semifinalist at Roland Garros last month. Kerber lost in the first round at the French Open, then the fourth round of Wimbledon. Simona Halep had a chance to be No. 1 this week but lost to Johanna Konta in the Wimbledon quarterfinals. So Halep continues at No. 2, with Konta going from No. 7 to No. 4. Federer's placement is his highest since he was No. 3 in August 2016, at the start of his half-year hiatus from the tour. He has spent a total of 302 weeks as the ATP's No. 1 player in his career, a record. One of Federer's coaches, Severin Luthi, was asked about aiming to return to the top spot. 'If it comes, for sure, it's amazing,' Luthi said. 'But for him, (winning majors is) more important.' Andy Murray held onto No. 1 despite losing in the quarterfinals of his title defense at the All England Club, ahead of No. 2 Rafael Nadal, who lost in the fourth round of Wimbledon after winning the French Open. Novak Djokovic remained at No. 4, while Stan Wawrinka dropped two spots to No. 5 after a first-round exit. Wimbledon runner-up Marin Cilic stayed at No. 6.   .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 18th, 2017Related News

Federer believes he can play until he's 40

Federer believes he can play until he's 40.....»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsJul 17th, 2017Related News

Federer plans to defend Wimbledon title in 2018

Federer plans to defend Wimbledon title in 2018.....»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsJul 17th, 2017Related News

Federer salutes injured 'hero' Cilic

Federer salutes injured 'hero' Cilic.....»»

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Federer: The oldest the best

Swiss champ beats Cilic, claims record 8th crown.....»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: SportsJul 17th, 2017Related News

Wimby champion Federer wants to play until he’s 40

Wimby champion Federer wants to play until he’s 40.....»»

Source: Thestandard ThestandardCategory: SportsJul 17th, 2017Related News

Marin Cilic in pain, tears in Wimbledon final against Federer

LONDON — In pain and in tears, Marin Cilic never really had a chance......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: SportsJul 17th, 2017Related News

Federer wins record 8th Wimbledon men s singles championship

LONDON — After Roger Federer closed out a Wimbledon final that was more of a coronation than a contest with an ace, he sat in his changeover chair and wiped.....»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: SportsJul 17th, 2017Related News

Roger Federer dominates Marin Cilic for record 8th Wimbledon title

Roger Federer dominates Marin Cilic for record 8th Wimbledon title.....»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsJul 16th, 2017Related News

'It's magical': Federer sheds tears of joy after Wimbledon triumph

'It's magical': Federer sheds tears of joy after Wimbledon triumph.....»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsJul 16th, 2017Related News

Federer swings into immortality with Magic 8

LONDON –Roger Federer’s wait for No. 8 at Wimbledon is over......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: SportsJul 16th, 2017Related News

Federer wins 8th Wimbledon title, beating Cilic in final

Federer wins 8th Wimbledon title, beating Cilic in final.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJul 16th, 2017Related News

Federer into 11th Wimbledon final, faces Cilic for title

Federer into 11th Wimbledon final, faces Cilic for title.....»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsJul 16th, 2017Related News

Muguruza new Wimbledon queen

Federer also out to rewrite history.....»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: SportsJul 15th, 2017Related News

Federer into 11th Wimbledon finals, faces Cilic for title

Federer into 11th Wimbledon finals, faces Cilic for title.....»»

Source: Manilatimes_net Manilatimes_netCategory: NewsJul 15th, 2017Related News