Former No.1 opens up on Roger Federer’s negative attitude

Three-time defending champion Roger Federer was in great shape at his beloved Wimbledon in 2006, passing four opponents in straight sets to advance to his fifth quarter-final. After dominating wins over Richard Gasquet, Tim Henman and Nicolas Mahut, Federer proved too strong for the no. 14 Tomas Berdych, beating the Czech 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 in one hour and 23 minutes. Unfortunately, Berdych struggled with his shoulder, and that reduced him to an ace and more than 40% points lost behind the opening shot, breaking four times out of seven opportunities offered to Roger. On the other hand, the Swiss lost 14 points in 14 service games, rejecting the only break opportunity and staying ahead to enter the last eight and extend his Wimbledon winning streak. Tomas sprayed a forehand error in the seventh game of the first game to suffer a break, and Roger sealed the set with a winning volley and another return game at 5-3. Berdych broke at 3-4 in set number two, allowing the Swiss to close the set with an ace in the next and build two massive sets to love the lead in less than an hour. The Czech stayed in touch until 4-4 in the third set before Federer broke it with a return winner and sealed the deal with a serve winner a few minutes later. “It was an uncomfortable match today as Berdych struggled with a shoulder injury. He annoyed him while he served early, and that was a big factor. I played better in the previous games, which has to do with Tomas’s game. I am pleased to have had a quiet day at the office. I can play on grass and dominate my rivals. I play aggressive tennis against him in the final in Halle and he fights with my variety. He didn’t serve well, and that led us to rallies where I had the upper hand. The courts are not the same as a week ago, which is normal. They are drier and the bounce is a bit higher. Rafa and I played three clay court finals this spring and also in Dubai.”

Mats Wilander comments on Roger Federer

Seven-time Grand Slam champion and former World No. 1 Mats Wilander weighed in on Roger Federer’s form and chances at Wimbledon. The Swede said he found it “alarming” that the eight-time Wimbledon champion was pointing the finger at his own attitude. “I actually saw him show it one time against Gustavo Kuerten at Roland-Garros, where he looked not interested to be there and was willing to hit the grass courts,” Wilander said. “So, I think that he’s most probably felt like that before but for him to actually point the finger at himself – that’s alarming. I think what happens when you do that, the thing we never talked about, it puts a green light in the locker room to the rest of the field like ‘wow, even Roger Federer doesn’t feel like fighting to the very end with a good attitude these days.. so you know what Roger, you are 39, I am 21, I’m going to be out there for five hours if I have to. Even if you’re Roger Federer,” the Swede added.

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