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.
Boris Becker revealed he was approached by a representative of Novak Djokovic to be head coach as long ago as October and the actual day at the China Open in Beijing that the Serb lost his world no.1 ranking to Rafael Nadal.
The recently retired Xavier Malisse has been named as the new coach of fellow Belgian Ruben Bemelmans. Or that if The X Man gets a bit fitter like the other 30 plus year old players that he will still play singles and doubles as well. After all he and Ruben make a great doubles team.
Aussie teenaged young guns Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis might be getting much of the hype as the local tennis summer approaches. But keen observer Peter McNamara is tipping his own former pupil, 26-year-old Matt Ebden, to make a run for glory long before the hot-handed youngsters.
Peter McNamara, half of one of Australia’s great doubles teams and now a respected coach as well as Mansour Bahrami’s ‘straight man’ on the ATP Champions Tour, will have his patience tested over Christmas as he waits for confirmation of a new role with Tennis Australia.
Former great Stefan Edberg has left the door wide open for a possible coaching collaboration with Roger Federer, with the Swede telling local media that he is ready to work with the 17-time grand slam event champion if asked.