Interesting quote from Pete Sampras in the Sunday Telegraph:
“I think Roger is going to put together a number that’s going to take a long time to beat, it’s going to be a big, big number,” the American said in an exclusive interview with The Sunday Telegraph.
“I dominated Wimbledon for a long period of time and now Roger is dominating Wimbledon. I think he can win eight Wimbledon titles, and nine’s definitely possible too; that would put him in ‘Martina Land’, level with Martina Navratilova on her nine women’s titles. Roger could win 10 Wimbledon titles. I think that’s possible, though it could be a stretch.”
Roger could tie Pete’s best-ever total of seven Wimbledon titles with a win this year. But that would just be icing on the cake, he says:
“What I want to experience again is lifting the trophy,” Federer was quoted in Sunday’s Independent. “I want to feel the atmosphere, the great crowds here. If No 7 comes along that’s great, but I don’t need to be on the same level with Pete. Beating every record Pete set is not my goal. He’s a good friend. It’s not the ultimate drive for me.”
Roger also explains his puzzling form of late:
“Winning the Australian Open was massive for me, proving to me that I could win a Grand Slam on hard courts again, even when guys like Rafa [Nadal], [Andy] Murray, [Novak] Djokovic, [Nikolay] Davydenko and [Juan Martin] Del Potro were playing such great tennis on that surface.
“I’ve struggled since, but I think that’s more because I haven’t played enough. [After Australia] I didn’t play until Indian Wells and Miami and when I was in the US I only played four matches in one month. It’s been a slow season for me, but I feel that now I’m really picking up my game again.”
Gotta love the headline from the Daily Mail (thanks, Judy!) “Roger Federer says he’s Mr. Invincible” Well, not quite:
“What keeps me motivated is the thought of being able to relive the moment of lifting the Wimbledon trophy again,” said Federer yesterday. “I know I can beat anybody on any given day and dominate any tournament. I’d love to leave behind records that could stay unbroken for as long as possible.”
And in case Rafa’s reading, of course:
“Ranking is always a big priority for me, and I want to finish the year at No 1. I can make my first move at Wimbledon to get it back from Rafa.”
Rafael Nadal on his own impressive numbers:
Q. You’ve won seven Grand Slam titles now. Same as McEnroe, one more than the likes of Becker. Are you interested in that type of thing? Do you have an eye on how many you can go on and win, like Roger getting the 16?
RAFAEL NADAL: I go day to day. I am not thinking about 16 and these crazy things. I think about the first match here. I have seven. That’s more than what I dreamed six years ago or five years ago. So I am very happy about my career.
But, you know, four months ago, everybody says don’t know if I going to be another time at the top. Four months later, not everything change. Wasn’t too bad four months ago, and wasn’t too good right now, so…
You know, is moments of your career, you have a lot of good moments, you have a lot of bad moments. Important thing is have enough motivation to keep working hard all the days with humble and trying to be better player than before. So that’s what I did, and I gonna try to continue doing this.
Venus Williams turned 30 years old on Thursday and is playing in her 50th Major. Even she’s impressed:
Q. This is your 50th Grand Slam. What do you think about that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, that’s right. It’s awesome. It’s exciting. I think tennis players are very addicted to tennis. I think anyone who loves this game, they always make it a part of their life. So I think I’m one of those people I’m addicted to tennis and I’m addicted to the majors.
This was a strange one – I imagine the reporter was hoping Venus would break down and say, “No way am I curtsying to your dumb old queen!” Better luck next time, bub:
Q. Our queen is likely to be here on Thursday, and Serena is likely to be on Centre Court. Is she going to curtsy or not?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don’t know. I don’t know.
Q. Do you think it’s important to respect that tradition or do you think there’s a fair chance…
VENUS WILLIAMS: I might not be the best one to comment on it because I’m an American. I’m not well versed on English tradition.
Q. If you’re told the Queen is there to watch one of your games, will you curtsy yourself?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Hopefully I won’t get nervous. That would be my focus.
But I guess I’ll cross that bridge if it ever comes.
Q. You can’t say for sure, the equivalent of a man bowing to somebody, you wouldn’t necessarily curtsy to the Queen?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don’t want to talk about curtsying anymore. I don’t understand that tradition. I don’t I don’t really want to talk about that. I’m not educated on that. So thanks.
Maria Sharapova is obviously practicing her curtsy in the mirror:
Q. The queen is going to be here on Thursday. There’s an issue of whether to curtsy. What would you do?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I’ve never had the honor to curtsy before. I think I was probably too young for that and the rule kind of went away. So, uhm, it would be kind of fun. Yeah, I’d love to do it. I think it would be an honor for all of us, yeah.
Andy Roddick on the unsurprising resurgence of Lleyton Hewitt:
Q. Can Lleyton Hewitt be a contender for the title again?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I’ve always put Lleyton in the top echelon of guys on grass. You know, a lot of people talk about how well I played over the weekend last year, but I barely beat Lleyton in the quarters.
That was a match I felt fortunate to get out of. It’s not surprising to see Lleyton Hewitt playing well on a grass court, you know. I’m sure the tournament in Halle kind of maybe opened some people’s eyes. But inside the locker room, I don’t know if anyone was super shocked that he’s in form on this surface.
Oh, and don’t say American’s don’t care about World Cup:
Q. Venus Williams said she doesn’t really understand the rules of football or soccer. Do you understand the rules and have you been following the World Cup?
ANDY RODDICK: Yes and yes.
Q. Impressions then?
ANDY RODDICK: I understand the rules of football so well that apparently when two Slovenian guys mug an American guy the American guy gets called for a foul. That’s how well I understand the rules.
Q. Did you watch the England game last night?
ANDY RODDICK: I did not watch the England game last night, no. I decided to take advantage of no traffic and go into the city and have some dinner. You’d be amazed how quickly you can get down there when an England game is on.
Interesting quote from Andy Murray on playing with nerves:
Q. You were telling us a few nights ago the nerves do kick in here.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, that’s great. I love it.
Q. How have they been?
ANDY MURRAY: No, right now I’m not nervous. I’ll be nervous probably the night before the match. And then, yeah, when I get on the court, you know, I’m sure I’ll be nervous at the start. But being nervous is one of the best things for a sports person. You know, it shows that you care, that you’re ready to play. If there’s no nerves, that’s when I get worried. If I don’t have that adrenaline… I feel like I play my best tennis when I have the adrenaline, when I’m nervous. I hope, come Tuesday, I’m very nervous when I go on the court.
I know I’m getting butterflies! Roger Federer and Alejandro Falla will kick off the Centre Court action on Monday at 1:00pm, local time. Click here for the Wimbledon TV Schedule and here for live streaming.