As of Monday, Roger Federer is the first player ever to win $50 million dollars in prize money. Just another reason that he is the World No. 1 in Happy :
Q. You were just talking about young players, but what do you think the young Roger Federer who was trying to win the Orange Bowl and trying to somehow figure out the pro tour and get a rhythm, the young boy, what do you think he would think of Roger Federer today with all your records, all your accomplishments, your fame? What do you think his thoughts would be on Roger today?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I think I’ve come a long way. I didn’t ever expect to be this successful. I knew I had something special in me, more talent that other players. Maybe the belief, you know, that I could play at a very high level on any given day. But I knew I had many problems of showing that day in and day out, because I struggled a lot in practice. So I think where I’ve come, it’s absolutely amazing. Yeah, I mean, if my career to end today, you know, I’m a happy man. I achieved everything I could ever ask for, really.
Roger had a great win over Devin Britton today – an American serve and volleyer who managed to break Roger a couple of times in the process. To GTT reader/professor Alista, who taught Britton at Ole Miss, I say: extra credit, maybe?
There’s nothing like a guy who just played Roger Federer for the first time – he gives us Fedophiles everything that we’re hoping for in the post-match presser. Enjoy this:
Q. Was there a danger of trying to think who you’re playing instead of thinking about your own game?
DEVIN BRITTON: Yeah, it’s hard not to think about who I’m playing, you know. (laughter.) It was yeah, I didn’t start really thinking about my own game until late in the second set. You know, it’s such a pretty game. It’s fun to watch, you know. (laughter.)
Q. When you got that break in the second set, the first break, the crowd was going wild, up 3 1, then you proceed to lose the next six games. What was going on in your mind when you get the break? What happened?
DEVIN BRITTON: I was pretty excited after the break, and I got broken at Love. I think I lost 13, 14 straight points after that. You know, I was just I was excited, and I think the nerves came back a little bit. I was thinking, I’m up a break. This is awesome. Then it only lasted about 30 seconds.
Q. Is he even better than you anticipated? I mean, you probably expected him to be Roger, but was it even more impressive in person?
DEVIN BRITTON: Yeah, I mean, watching on TV I don’t think you can really tell exactly. I mean, he obviously looks unbelievable on TV, but playing against it was even more tough, you know. It was so scarey. I was pretty scared.
Q. You said a few things that his game was pretty out there and that it was also kind of scarey, but what are the two or three things that are the most astonishing things about Federer’s game?
DEVIN BRITTON: I think he serves unbelievably well. You know, he places it well. I don’t think a lot of people realize how big he serves. His forehand is just crazy. I tried to keep it away, but sometimes I just hit it there just to see it. (Laughter.) You know, it was everything he does is unbelievable.
Q. So you think you’re going to have some bad dreams about that forehand?
DEVIN BRITTON: No, I’m going to have great dreams about it. It’s so pretty, you know. Any dream about that would be good.
Q. You’ve seen him obviously on TV, et cetera. In facing him, what did you think of his game? Everything you read about?
DEVIN BRITTON: He’s the best. No weakness. I mean, I didn’t know what to do. I was just trying to play my game and see what happens, but, you know, he was pretty controlling of the points. You know, he’s No. 1 in the world for a reason.
Q. When you were out there, did you ever say to yourself, I mean, this is unreal, this is a dream I’m outplaying Fed?
DEVIN BRITTON: The extended changeovers I had time to think about it. It was pretty much all I’m thinking about on the changeovers. You know, this is pretty cool. I was sitting out here on Ashe and playing against Federer. This is awesome.
Q. When you broke him limb, was there a thought, Hey, maybe I can actually…
DEVIN BRITTON: Yeah, I thought that for, you know, 10, 15 seconds before he broke me at Love the next game. You know, it was fun for the 10, 15 seconds. It was probably the best seconds of my life.
Kim Clijsters was another big Day One story, beating Viktoriya Kutuzova 6-1 , 6-1. That’s a beat down, folks. Clijsters says she’s ready for a tougher challenge:
Q. Serena said Saturday that she’s shocked that you haven’t lost a step. Do you agree with that assessment? Do you feel exactly the same, or almost?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I wouldn’t say exactly the same. I still feel like I can improve. But I’m definitely comfortable where I am right now, and I think it’s always a matter of just trying to work on those little things and just. You know, assessing every match that I play, just looking at how did I feel out there, where do I feel like I can improve, and really taking those, you know, those particular points and taking those out on, you know, on to practice and just really trying to work on that again. Just the match rhythm I think is something I have to get used to. Okay, matches like this today I didn’t really get tested, so, you know, that’s the biggest key is playing those tough matches and seeing when it becomes close and how do I react in those kind of situations. And I would like to have more of those matches. I’m glad I didn’t have to do that today. But I would like to get more of those matches, yeah.
Q. What has surprised you the most about how well you’ve done so fast in your comeback?
KIM CLIJSTERS: I think the focus, and mentally wise you know, I know physically and tennis wise I’ve done everything possible to get back into shape. So I knew that in my practice I’ve worked really hard to get there. I know when I am out there, whether it’s 5 All in the third or something, that’s not going to be an issue. But what I think where I was the most surprised is how comfortable I felt out there from the beginning.
Serena Williams beat fellow-American Alexa Glatch in Monday’s first round, 6-4, 6-1. The great thing about Serena is you can ask her about anything – from tennis to VW vans. Here she is running the gamut:
Q. Finally, what did it feel like when six of you in that van sort of went down and sort of descended on the park and sort of took it over as your own?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It was great. I love going to trunk tournaments. We used to travel in the bus, Volkswagen buses, really old. Sometimes we’d barely get there. We would get there, and I remember I used to always go watch play Venus play and I desperately wanted to be on the court. When I finally got my chance, I knew that’s where I belonged. I still belong there, so I’m glad to still be there.
Q. I know fashion is hot for you right now, but are you still pursuing acting?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, I’m into writing. I would love to do acting, but I haven’t been able to get a job. I figure if I write my own script then I can star in it. That’s what I’m trying now. I can’t be I haven’t been cast recently. It’s tough out there.
Q. If you were writing the story about the 2009 US Open women’s draw, what would be your lead?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, what would be my lead? Are you trying to get this for your story? (laughter.) Just making sure. Well, Serena’s back where she belongs.
Venus Williams was not as comfortable, needing three sets, a visit from the trainer and “a lot of prayer” to take care of Vera Dushevina in her first round night match – which lasted almost 3 hours. She’s struggling with the same patella tendinitis that bothered her at Wimbledon.
Andy Roddick, who played the second night match – starting after 11pm – breezed past German Bjorn Phau: 6-1, 6-4, 6-2. Here’s what he said at the conclusion of the match, which ended at 12:45 a.m.:
“The later, the better. These are the hard-core fans.”
“I guarantee half the people out there were probably here all day, too. They have to be pretty passionate and really enjoy what they’re seeing and the whole experience of it. It’s 1 in the morning. I guarantee you, they all have to work tomorrow. They certainly have to get up earlier than I do.“
Andy really understands us fans, don’t you think? I’m setting my coffee maker right after I’m done with this post – no biggie!
Kohlschreiber, Robin Soderling, Roger’s friend Marco Chiudinelli, Olivier Rochus, Gicquel, Robredo (in four sets over Donald Young), Kendrick (yay!), Stepanek, Davydenko, Youzhny, Hewitt, Isner and Blake (in his first match win since June) advanced on the men’s side.
Azarenka, Maursemo, Hantuchova, Zvonareva, Pennetta, Mattek-Sands, Kirilenko, King, Medina Garrigues, Schiavone, Craybas, Wozniak, Chakvetadze, Martinez Sanchez, Na Li, A. Radwanska, Flipkens (over Dokic), Bartoli, Mirza, and Sam Stosur all advanced on the women’s side.
By the way, click here to read an interesting take on the most “underreported” story in tennis, which begins like this:
What if I told you about two white brothers from a trailer park on the tattooed side of the tracks? Their father decides — against all logic — to teach them a rich man’s sport, golf, even though he’s a complete chop himself. They become great on the weedy public courses, turn pro and dominate the sport. Just wipe the Tour up. Golf harrumphs in disbelief.
Then the two brothers grow disinterested with golf and get into motorcycle building. They nearly stop playing altogether.Then they grow disinterested with being disinterested and decide, What the hell, let’s go thump again. So they crush all new saps, until it’s obvious nearly every major is going to be won by one or the other.
Can you guess who ESPN’s Rick Reilly is talking about?
Enjoy Day 2 of the US Open!