Roger Federer sights focused on ninth Wimbledon title

The Swiss maestro is still after more titles and Grand Slams. (AFP)
Updated 08 February 2019
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Roger Federer sights focused on ninth Wimbledon title

  • 20-time Grand Slam star still hungry for more glory.
  • Fed-Express targets Wimbledon and US Open titles.

GENEVA: Shaking off his defeat in the Australian Open Roger Federer claimed he is “motivated and looking forward to the future” with a tilt at a ninth Wimbledon title uppermost in his mind.
After his last 16 loss to Greek young gun Stefanos Tsitsipas in Melbourne last month, the Swiss 20-time Grand Slam champion was quick to brush aside suggestions it was the beginning of the end.
In Geneva on Friday to launch the third edition of the Laver Cup, Federer mapped out his goals for the season with the hunger of a man carrying half his 37 years.
“Wimbledon obviously, also now Dubai, Indian Wells and Miami,” he said.
“I really would like to make a good season start, maybe that could launch the clay season and Wimbledon but I think Wimbledon yes, the US Open and after also the Laver Cup and the World Tour Finals at the end of the year.”
He said his failure to defend his Australian Open title changed nothing and his aim was the same as always — to beat Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
“I continue my career...I’m motivated, I feel good and I’m looking forward to the future.
“The goal is always to have a level of play high enough to beat Rafa and Djoko and as soon as it is so high so you can play against them and maybe win, that means that the classification will normally follow.”
Djokovic, who dispatched Nadal in two sets to win in Melbourne, tops the rankings from Nadal with Federer slipping from third to sixth.
“For me, the classification at 37 years is not anymore the priority,” shrugged the Swiss great.
For the September 20-22 Laver Cup, Bjorn Borg captains Europe with John McEnroe in charge of Team World.
Federer is hoping his compatriot Stan Wawrinka plays.
“We won the Olympic title together (in Beijing, 2008). With a bit of luck we can be reunited again in Geneva.”


Simona Halep positive despite Dubai defeat by Belinda Bencic

Updated 21 February 2019
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Simona Halep positive despite Dubai defeat by Belinda Bencic

  • Former world No.1 blames three-set loss on tiredness after nine matches in 13 days.
  • Halep has high hopes for the rest of 2019, saying her game is in good shape.

LONDON: Simona Halep is still certain a good year lies in store for her despite losing to Belinda Bencic in the Dubai quarterfinals.
The Romanian former world No. 1 was the favorite to win her second title in the emirate but ran out of steam as her Swiss opponent ran out 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 winner.
It was Halep’s ninth match in just 13 days and she admitted tiredness had caught up with her.
“It was really difficult physically. I was tired,” the world No. 2 said.

Bencic came from a set down to beat the favorite in the last-eight encounter in Dubai. (AFP) 


“After the second set, I felt like I’m getting cramping a little bit. It’s normal. I was sweating a lot.”
While, her fatigue was clear for all to see, Halep was not using it as an excuse, admitting Bencic, who has now beaten her in two of their three matches, was the deserved winner.
“Yeah, she played well. She played very well. In the end, she was a little bit stronger,” the Romanian said.
Having lost in the Qatar final last weekend and failed to make the last-four in Dubai you might think Halep would be disappointed with her Middle East stint. She was, however, far from glum and revealed she is looking forward to landing more titles to add to her collection during the rest of the year.

Cheerio from Halep after her defeat to the Swiss. (AFP) 


“I think were three good weeks. Tough weeks. A lot of tension, a lot of pressure. Also the Fed Cup,” she said.
“I take only positive things. I had great matches. My level is good. Physically also I’m good. But day by day I had to play, so is not easy.
“I’m confident for the next tournaments.”