World No.3 Roger Federer has expressed his satisfaction at the change to this year’s ATP calendar which will now see the Rome Masters take place after the Madrid equivalent.
The Swiss, who was surprisingly knocked out of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters by Jurgen Melzer earlier this week, will now take a fortnight off the court to perfect his game before returning for the Madrid show piece commencing on May 1.
And Federer is delighted that the Madrid event has traded places with Rome in the ATP calendar due to it being played at fairly high altitude. This, for many, had become a problem for the players to adapt back to normal conditions when the tournament in the Spanish capital finished just a week prior to the start of the French Open at Roland Garros.
“We were never really happy that Madrid had the second slot because of the pre-French playing in altitude, it wasn’t a smart thing. Now we have it in a better way, which I think some players are happy about.
“This year it changes around that Madrid has the first slot, which I think is clearly better for everybody,” explained Federer.
Federer will be keen to get back on track in two weeks time and he will be joined in Madrid once again by main rivals Nadal, Djokovic and Murray in what should be a mouth watering dress rehearsal for the events to come at the French Open – the major which Federer finally conquered in 2009.
Roger Federer has stepped out in style in Melbourne ahead of the Australian Open, joining VIP guests for an intimate evening 38 floors above picturesque Southbank in the Crown Towers. A global ambassador for Moët & Chandon, Federer reflected on his outstanding seasons in 2004 and 2006, which are two grand vintages for the premier champagne maker.
The Australian Open is living up to its “Happy Slam” reputation for No. 7 seed Tomas Berdych and his model girlfriend Ester Satorova. The two announced their engagement Tuesday during a Channel Seven interview on a beautiful day in Melbourne.
Dusan came along to help us when we got started. He knew we all were a group of hardcore tennis players, teachers, coaches, fans, collectors, historians, and a writer or two and mostly tennis runs in our blood types .... ( Gussy was wrong you don't need to be Jack K. to have TENNIS in your blood )
Serena Williams got off to another of her slow starts here; that seems almost standard operating procedure these days. She was down a break for most of the first set -- and then she got things together. She needs a lot more to assure the #1 ranking, though. Vera Zvonareva at least earned enough points that she ought to hit the Top 200.