Roger Federer out for revenge against Stefanos Tsitsipas in Dubai final

Federer has looked impressive on his way to a 10th Dubai final. (Reuters)
Updated 04 March 2019

Roger Federer out for revenge against Stefanos Tsitsipas in Dubai final

  • Swiss star was beaten by Greek wonderkid at the Australian Open in January.
  • Federer looking to win his 100th tour title.

LONDON: Roger Federer is out for revenge when he faces Stefanos Tsitsipas in Saturday’s Dubai Tennis Championship final.
The Fed-Express stormed into the showdown — his 10th at the Aviation Club — with an impressive 6-2, 6-2 win over Borna Coric. The final will be a repeat of the Australian Open fourth round encounter which saw Tsitsipas beat the Swiss star for the first time, and that is still playing on Federer’s mind.
When asked if the Dubai clash will be a revenge match, the 20-time Grand Slam winner replied: “Maybe a little bit.
“We already played a couple times this year, in the Hopman Cup and then the Australian Open. Obviously I was horribly disappointed and upset that I missed as many breakpoints as I did, had all the opportunities I had.
“That match kind of hurt in some ways. But, you know, it’s part of the game. He did very well to get out of those tricky situations.”
Since the win over the Swiss Tsitsipas has been spoken about as tennis’ next big thing. He has backed that up by winning in Marseilles last week and this week’s run to the Dubai final. And Federer is only too aware of the threat the Greek wonderkid poses.
“What I like about him is how he’s able to take the ball early time and time again,” the 37-year-old said.
“Serve, takes it early, comes to the net. He does that all the time. Then on the backhand side, he has more air, which gives him a bit more margin, to be honest.
“Yeah, for a big guy, he moves well. I mean, no surprise nowadays all the big guys move well. I don’t know how they do it. Back in the day, big guys, men’s, not good movers. Now that’s changed since I came on tour.
“It’s nice to see all the qualities that he has. Like I said, he has different ways to win points, which makes it hard to play against.”
Federer is going for his record-extending eighth title in Dubai and has looked as impressive as ever on the way to the Tsitsipas showdown. And he is feeling good about his game as he goes in search of his 100th title.
“I hope I’m going to play well,” Federer said.
“I’m more focused just on my own game, to be quite honest, than him. “Probably reaching a hundred titles. We’re still far from it, it seems. I’m just going to try to focus and play good tennis.
“I was really happy with my play today in terms of feeling was definitely by far the best one. So that was good.”


Saudi figure skater nurtures Olympic dream

Malak Al-Shaya says when in the ice rink everything feels ‘magical’ around her. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 04 August 2020

Saudi figure skater nurtures Olympic dream

  • The 13-year-old hopes to emulate the Russian figure skaters Elena Radionova and Alexandra Trusova

JEDDAH: A Saudi teen who picked up ice skating three years ago at a friend’s birthday party is now dreaming of taking part in the Olympic Games.

“It all started at my friend’s birthday party three years ago where we ice skated and I fell in love with the sport. I started going every day after that. My mom signed me up for classes when she saw my love for the sport,” Malak Al-Shaya told Arab News.
She said: “My mom was the one that encouraged me. At that birthday party, my mom and the coach said I was a natural because I just went for it.”
She came 4th at the Houston Invitational 2020 in March. She said that she will work harder next year to win first place.
The 13-year-old hopes to emulate the Russian figure skaters Elena Radionova and Alexandra Trusova who inspired her and even to get to the Olympics.
“I’ll work on ice and off ice. I want to be like Alexandra Trusova, who makes it look so elegant,” she said.

Gliding on the ice, Al-Shaya said she feels like everything is “magical.”
The young figure skater is aware that the sport is not the most popular in the Kingdom, but she encourages those wishing to master it.
“Just go for it. If you are willing to work hard you can achieve anything,” she said.
She has received a lot of encouragement on social media to pursue her passion in figure skating.
Al-Shaya’s mother, Eman Al-Damegh, shared her daughter’s love story. “At that birthday party, it was the first time Malak ever ice skated. After that, my kids used to ask me to take them ice skating every day,” she said.

FASTFACT

• Malak Al-Shaya won 4th place at the Houston Invitational 2020.

• Al-Shaya started ice skating three years ago.

• The teen’s coach says her speed is impressive, and it takes them years to teach a student to reach the speed that she is naturally able to control comfortably.

She said that her daughter came from a background, which lacked the facilities for the sport, but was “a natural” straightaway.
“She had never been ice skating before, she started it at such a young age. We used to live in Qassim where there were no ice skating arenas at all,” said Al-Damegh.
She added: “The moment Malak set foot inside the rink, she just took off. I was so surprised, she didn’t hesitate at all, she was so daring that day. And there I was wondering what would happen on ice (before she started).”
According to her proud mother, Al-Shaya has all the capabilities required for this sport and possesses the sense of daringness that skating requires.
The teen’s coach told Al-Damegh that her daughter’s speed was impressive, adding that it takes them years to teach a student to reach the speed that she is “naturally able to control comfortably.”