Roger Federer took part in a clinic with some very lucky kids at the Qatar Open in Doha on Monday. Here are some photos from the clinic and his press conference.
What is Nike’s subliminal message with this butterfly tee shirt? Is it Muhammad Ali, metamorphosis, or glitter and fairytale princesses? You decide.
Roger in sweat pants with a shopping cart filled with balls. Like he could be any old tennis pro down at the public courts. . .
A little slight of hand.
Roger feeling good at Monday’s press conference:
Federer had some interesting things to say on Monday re: his return to number one, his plans for the future and his keys to staying healthy. He also claimed to love the game more than anyone else and credited his fans for keeping him motivated. Nothing new, exactly, but still nice for Fed Fans to hear. Quotes via the Gulf Times:
On being No. 1:
“Obviously I would like to stay the No 1 in the world, it’s an obvious goal. There is no secret behind that because getting from No 2 to No 1 was hard with Rafa playing so well and other guys being around.”
“I consider this as a major accomplishment of my career and so I’d like to stay there as long as possible and try to finish the year as No 1. If I stay fit then I can win more tournaments, as last year I could only focus on big tournaments. I hardly played in smaller events, so this year I would like to play more and get more confidence and carry the momentum.”
On the joy of playing under pressure:
“I don’t think pressure will ever be gone when I’m playing tennis because I want to do well for myself, my team and my fans. There will always be expectations from me. Maybe, at times, you can be relaxed and will play a bit more freely. I think I play better whenever there is a bit more pressure. It is something I would like to put on me before every match.”
On his motivations:
“Well, I think you just have to go back to the roots. How did I become a great player? Why I’m still in the game? I like being around and love the game maybe more than anybody around. I really enjoy competition and traveling around the world.”
“It’s also the hard work I have put in before the game, for the record and the success. Now the travel has become more enjoyable because I have so many fans around the world. I’m not coming here the first time, so the people know me here and it is the same elsewhere. That’s really a lot of fun for me and that motivation is enough.”
On the health of the competition:
“Rafael and Djokovic are much younger than me, six to seven years and have a long way to go. You have to see where they will stand when they are my age now. It is normal for every player to have injury worries.”
“There are going to be normal niggles and in the course of time, they may come back. It is important to listen to the signals and that’s one thing that I have done very well.”
“When I became world No 1, there were lots of things going for me. There were opportunities to go and chase money and tournaments around the world, but I said, ‘I’m not going to do that’ and thought about the big picture. I’m very happy about my decision making over the years.”
Roger will play his first match in Doha on Tuesday, when he faces Christophe Rochus at the Qatar Open. Click here for live streaming options.
Click here to visit the tournament website, which is completely useless as far as I can tell.
Some people have mentioned that all the kids at Roger’s clinic were boys. I looked around today, and saw that Rafa did a clinic, too. And this one had girls in it!