tennis10sBalls.com

A Day In The Life Of Multitasking Roger Federer By Alix Ramsay

Roger Federer of Switzerland in action against Kyle Edmund of Great Britain during the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California, USA, 13 March 2019. The men's and women's final will be played, 17 March 2019. EPA-EFE/RAY ACEVEDO
Roger Federer of Switzerland in action against Kyle Edmund of Great Britain during the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California, USA, 13 March 2019. The men’s and women’s final will be played, 17 March 2019. EPA-EFE/RAY ACEVEDO

 

 

As if it was not hard enough at the age of 37 to try and win your 101st career title while, at the same time, keeping the missus and the four little ‘uns happy and spending enough quality time with your mum and dad who just happen to be here as well – as if all of that was not a fulltime job, now the world expects you to be the paterfamilias of both tours.

 

Roger Federer, he of the large family and the 100 titles, is already helping and advising Belinda Bencic whenever she feels the need of a little guidance (he must be doing something right because Belinda is in the quarter-finals) and after he had squashed Kyle Edmund 6-1, 6-4 on Wednesday, he was immediately asked to give his thoughts on the big, blond man from Yorkshire. What was Kyle doing well? What was he doing badly? What did the future hold for the quiet Englishman?

 

Poor old Rodge did not have a huge amount of material to work with. This was his first match against Edmund and what had been on show on the main court had not been particularly promising. Edmund made a tight and edgy start which allowed Federer to play his favourite game as the front runner. The second set was a bit closer but that was mainly because it was Fed’s turn to get tight as the finish line hove into view.

 

Yet Federer knew full well that Edmund was a much better player than that. A semi-finalist at the Australian Open last year, his progress from that point had been hampered by recurring bouts of illness in 2018 (he had his tonsils out at the end of the year and that seems to have solved that issue) and a knee problem for the past couple of months.

 

But getting into town early, the Brit won the Indian Wells Challenger before the BNP Paribas Open began and won two good, solid matches this week before running into Fed. With a big serve and a thumping forehand, Edmund on song is tough man to beat.

 

“He didn’t have the best start, so that cost him the first set,” Federer said patiently (he always gives good quote no matter what you ask him, however trivial the question). “Second set, it was definitely better. I think he probably struggled throughout a little bit. He never really got going. Conditions are tough with the glare, and the jump of the ball is sometimes hard to find the rhythm and timing.

 

“Being able to belt the ball like he does needs either a good start or good conditions, and he didn’t quite find that.

 

Roger Federer of Switzerland acknowledges the crowd after defeating Kyle Edmund of Great Britain during the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California, USA, 13 March 2019. The men's and women's final will be played, 17 March 2019.  EPA-EFE/JOHN G. MABANGLO

Roger Federer of Switzerland acknowledges the crowd after defeating Kyle Edmund of Great Britain during the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California, USA, 13 March 2019. The men’s and women’s final will be played, 17 March 2019. EPA-EFE/JOHN G. MABANGLO

“I’m sure I profited a little bit from it, but again, I was able to keep him uncomfortable throughout the match. So that’s why I think the last game was big for him. Not to break for me obviously, but for him it could have turned things around. I was relieved I got through that one.”

 

But what the Brits really wanted to know was whether their man was as good as they hoped he was. Fed knew that; he had met the British press pack before.

 

“Look, I see what he’s got,” he said. “He’s got everything in the game. It’s just a matter of keeping improving, keep plugging away, and then he will make big results again. He knows that.”

 

Deep down, Kyle does know it but it did not cheer him up that much after his clumping. He wanted to do better; he knew he could have done better. But he didn’t and it hurt. Still, there is Miami to look forward to: another Masters 1000 with big money and big points up for grabs. And what he has achieved on this side of the country in the past couple of weeks has set him up nicely for that.

 

“Putting today aside, it was a very, very positive few weeks for me with the Challenger and winning two matches against decent players, and the way I won and controlled the match and how I was on court,” Edmund explained.

 

“Very positive. It’s been, like, two weeks of competitive tennis since the Australian Open and since my body’s felt in a good place again. So that is positive that it was coping and feeling good, and I was feeling confident in myself with my body. Those are all ticked boxes and my game was getting better and better and in a good place.

 

“So, you know, that is a positive leave from Indian Wells, and there is lots of stuff to work on from today, as well.”

 

Roger, meanwhile, was pondering his quarter-final with Hubert Hurkacz who beat Denis Shapovalov 7-6, 2-6, 6-3. The 22-year-old Pole is ranked No.67 in the world and looked more surprised than anyone else that he had done so well. He didn’t stop smiling all day.

 

“You can’t choose who you’re going to play,” Federer said. “Shapo would have been fun, too. But Hurkacz, the same thing. He’s also up and coming, so that’s fun. Kyle, the same thing. I have never played him before other than practice.

 

“It’s nice to see what they have in the matches and really get a sense how much more we will see of them. For me, at a top level, I like it that I’m not playing the same guys every single week.”

 

And it is even nicer to beat them, too. It is no wonder that Bencic, when asked who she would like to be for just one day thought of her mentor. “Roger Federer!” she replied. “Oh, God…” Federer said. “She basically knows already what my day looks like.”

 

And with that, Federer’s duties as tennis’s GOAT were done and it was back to the wife, the kids and parents. His other job as provider, protector and entertainer were just about to begin for the day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *