Friday, August 7, 2009

Montreal Masters - The Draw and Other News

by Savannah

Christopher Clarey posted the following on the NYTimes online sports site about the Federer family's first trip to a tennis tournament.
“I was obviously only going to do this if everything was safe and good,” Federer said Friday morning in his first interview since he won Wimbledon last month. “Mirka went through a check yesterday. The babies have been at the hospital for 10 days, and everything is perfect. So we’re doing it. Big family. Big trip. On the bandwagon. I’m really excited to see how we’re going to manage it.”

For most of the world’s new parents, the idea of taking infant twins on a long-haul journey in their third week of life would not be cause for rejoicing. Not with the baby carriers, economy-class seating and dread-filled seatmates to manage.

But Federer, for all his down-to-earth appeal, does enjoy his privileges. Although he often crosses oceans on commercial airplanes, Friday’s transatlantic flight was made in private jet with a baby nurse on board to help Mirka and Roger negotiate the trip and the jet-lagged nights to come.

“That’s a big help,” Federer said. “But Mirka is really hands-on. It’s great to have the help, but I think it’s all been working well since we came home for three or four days. Mirka doesn’t mind getting up in the night, doesn’t mind feeding the babies at whatever time, changing the nappies. For her, if she can’t do it, it’s like she’s missing out on something.”

Federer has done his best not to miss much himself. With impeccable Swiss timing, Mirka gave birth in the fallow tennis stretch between Wimbledon, where Federer broke the record for Grand Slam singles victories, and the United States Open, where he will be trying to win his sixth straight men’s singles title.

“We didn’t completely just aim for a certain window, so for it to happen during this period of time, we got lucky,” Federer said of the twins’ arrival date. “Because I was scared. You know how it is. After Week 25, you never know when a baby can come, so at the beginning of the French Open, I was thinking that, ‘We have to get through two Grand Slams, and Mirka has to be there. We’re not in Switzerland. It could happen anytime really.’ ”

The Federers found out Mirka was pregnant in January during a tournament in Doha, Qatar, and learned that she was expecting twins after a doctor’s appointment in the middle of the Australian Open later that month. Federer said he was thrilled at the prospect but uncertain what such momentous news might do to his tennis game.

In his next match, he overwhelmed Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina, 6-3, 6-0, 6-0, in the quarterfinals. “It was like, O.K., seems like it’s not affecting me,” Federer said, with a laugh. “That was a good start. It gave me confidence.”

The interview took place in a chic Asian-fusion restaurant in a hotel near his apartment here, where you could see cows grazing nearby. He also has a home in the Swiss Alps, in Lenzerheide, and another residence in Dubai where he frequently trains. Many factors have contributed to Federer’s midseason resurgence: a healthy back, Rafael Nadal’s struggles and perhaps the slight increase in mobility that came when Federer dropped nearly 10 pounds from March to May. But he has not ruled out the possibility that having Mirka’s impending delivery occupy his thoughts did not in some way help him, too.

“The thing is I really thought it was going to do the opposite effect,” he said. “That I was going to be feeling under pressure, because I’d be feeling like I better win some more Slams before the babies came, and then apparently it’s so hard to win Slams.”

“Maybe there was just this little extra at 30-all or at 30-40 against Tommy Haas at the French Open,” he said. “And maybe all those little things come into play, because so many things are happening, and in tennis, defeat and victory are so close to each other. Sometimes those little things can give you a little lift without you knowing it.”

Federer publicly announced Mirka’s pregnancy at the Indian Wells tournament in March, but he decided, on medical advice, not to mention at first that they were expecting twins, although they did inform family and close friends.

“The next thing you know, I’m seven months through the year and at the end, nobody’s really asking me questions about if it’s twins or not,” Federer said. “And then I said, ‘All right, I’ll just play along until the very, very end.’ ”

Which meant that through the many interviews and news conferences in Paris and London, Federer continued to refer to the impending arrival of “the baby” and, as if out of habit, lapsed into the singular on occasion on Friday, too.

“I had to really battle myself,” he said. “I had a couple where I said, we’re really excited to have some babies, and I was thinking, ‘Is that already giving it away?’ ”’

But after delivery by caesarean section, the tennis world has its latest set of identical twins to go with Bob and Mike Bryan of the United States.

“I was thinking that they’re going to be playing tricks on us like crazy,” Federer said of his daughters. “But they don’t look the same at the moment. I thought right away I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference, but you know, one is a bit lighter than the other one, so it’s not automatically the same right away. I can tell them apart very easily now, and Mirka, too.”

Federer said he spent nearly three weeks at the hospital, sleeping in the same room with Mirka, who was checked in early, and later sleeping in the same room with Mirka and the twins. He still found time last week to practice for six straight days near the hospital with the Austrian player Stefan Koubek.

“I was sometimes very tired, don’t know if it was more from practice or from not getting the sleep you usually get,” he said.

Very nice piece that answers a lot of questions. It was not as revealing as one that was posted on a French language web site in Quebec that told what the tournament was asked to do in order to accommodate the family. It was posted last night on Twitter before today's announcement that Roger Federer would play.

Federer is undecided. But if the No. 1 worldwide choses not to come you can't blame Eugène Lapierre and the Montreal organization. learned that Lapierre had responded to the request to find a pediatrician on call 24 hours for the Federer twins born on July 24.
This favor was granted to the man who made history at Wimbledon by winning a 15th major title. In addition luxurious homes were offered to the family and more ...
A champion both in and outside court he is not one to make demands on promoters or
tournaments, let alone the public. But the new father has changed.
Obviously Lapierre found that pediatric care to reassure Mirka, the mother of twins. "I know Roger wants to come play in Montreal. His agent (Tony Godsic) said he worked hard in training and that his level of play is up, "said Lapierre, who sleeps with his cell phone so as not to not miss
a from Switzerland.

For the original French click the link. The translation was done by Google and cleaned up by me so please excuse any grammatical errors made.

The Montreal Draw

[1] FEDERER, Roger SUI vs BYE
WAWRINKA, Stanislas SUI vs KIEFER, Nicolas GER
[16] STEPANEK, Radek CZE vs Q/SE

[9]SIMON, Gilles FRA vs WC DANCEVIC, Frank CAN
SELA, Dudi ISR vs Q/SE
[7] TSONGA, Jo-Wilfried FRA vs BYE

[3] MURRAY, Andy GBR vs BYE
LU, Yen-Hsun TPE vs CHARDY, Jeremy FRA
HEWITT, Lleyton AUS vs Q/SE
[13] MONFILS, Gael FRA vs SAFIN, Marat RUS

[11] GONZALEZ, Fernando CHI vs BERDYCH, Tomas CZE
GARCIA-LOPEZ, Guillermo ESP vs MATHIEU, Paul-Henri FRA
[8] DAVYDENKO, Nikolay RUS vs BYE


[5] RODDICK, Andy USA vs BYE
MAYER, Leonardo ARG vs ZVEREV, Mischa GER
[10] VERDASCO, Fernando ESP vs LOPEZ, Feliciano ESP

[14] CRO CILIC, Marin vs YOUZHNY, Mikhail RUS
Q/SE vs Q/SE
[4] DJOKOVIC, Novak SRB vs BYE

[6] DEL POTRO, Juan Martin vs BYE
Q/SE vs Q/SE

[15] ROBREDO, Tommy ESP vs Q/SE
[2] ESP NADAL, Rafael vs BYE

The Los Angeles Women's Tennis Championships

Zheng Jie defeated number one ranked Dinara Safina in three sets 7-5, 4-6, 6-4. Zheng, when on, can beat anyone. Zheng faces Samantha Stosur today.

Some feel that the way is now clear for Maria Sharapova to win. We'll see.

This afternoon Sabine Lisicki announced on Twitter that she has withdrawn from Cincinnati. This comes after she retired from her match in Los Angeles with an injury.
@ Sabinelisicki I pulled out of Cincinnati. Flying back home to Florida tomorrow. Hope it will get better soon.

This man was spotted practicing on the courts in Montreal.

1 comment:

oddman said...

Yay! How nice to see that Man From Mallorca out on the practice courts. Keep smiling, Rafa - great to see you back!