from La Gazzetta dello Sport
by Vincenzo Martucci
translated into English by Mauro Cappiello
In Dubai, Roger emulates his coach and redeems himself against Nole. "An important step forward in the right direction. It gives me confidence." Final against Berdych.
Great, great, incomparable, still exciting Federer. At 32, pushed by his new coach Stefan Edberg, he returns to be the classic attacker of his beginnings, risks and looks for the point at the net. "The court was fast and I tried to be very aggressive, I hope I can make some volleys like Stefan, but I played according to my means." Thus, in Dubai the best match of the first two months of the year was staged, with the best Roger in the last couple of seasons, the most offensive and perky, and the semifinal in the desert gives the best possible surprise for tennis, with a success in three sets for the king of kings, now world number 8, on number 2 Novak Djokovic. To redeem the three consecutive blows against the champion from Serbia, dusting off the 2012 Cincinnati success and reinforcing - 17-15 - the head-to-head record. "I started badly. But, thanks to the crowd, I ended up playing well. And I enjoyed it."
It was since the 2012 Wimbledon semi-finals, on his beloved grass though, that Roger hadn't been as focused and determined against Nole. And most importantly, convinced he could upset the deadly regularity of his inexhaustible opponent. It was a long time since he had last played so well on the important points, such as the break point against him on 2-2 in the second set (with a perfect backhand passing), such as the three in his favor, 3-2 for him, 0-40 on the Serb's serve, that he took with a backhand down the line.
So he levels up the 3-6 of the first set with a 6-3. And, under the eyes of the rival's coach, Boris Becker, exposes Novak's nerves.
This time, however, the defending champion, lost his usual landmarks, forced to look for an always different shot and then get out of the trench of the baseline, misses, aims at the target that often haunts the net, and gives the break at the start of the third set with a double fault due to confusion. In the words of the local 4-time champion: "Roger played better in the second half of the match, I've made too many mistakes and I have not moved well."
He takes two break points to reopen the match, but he sees the door slam in his face from Federer's serve (76% of points with the first). And, demoralized, gives the unthinkable 4-1, and then the final 6-2 for the 17 Grand Slam record holder. Today, against Tomas Berdych, he will look for the sixth title in Dubai, where he winters every year.
- Stefan Edberg & Tony Pickard Mr Class and his teacher
- "Federer should skip the claycourt season," says former coach Edberg
- "Federer is exceptional, but tennis needs a new name too"
- "I am a happy person"
- Federer criticizes young players: "I wish they volleyed more"
- Federer satisfied with Edberg advise
- Indian Wells, Edberg and Federer training. What a show!
- Edberg defeated Wilander: "He learned from Federer"
- Edberg with Federer at least until the end of 2014
- Stefan Edberg in Indian Wells with Federer!
- Aggression the key for Federer
- "My best tennis is just around the corner"
- Why Federer's Faith in New Coach Edberg Will Pay Off
- Goodbye Australia, but "Fedberg" duo works!
- Federer drawing from Edberg effect ahead of Nadal semi