Federer Puts 2013 Season in Perspective and Says He Will Test New Racquets Again

Marco Falbo: Roger Federer, you are ending 2013 ranked No. 6, after starting it ranked No. 2. How do you assess your season that has just ended?

Roger Federer: It was a very difficult year. It may have begun well with the semi-final in Australia, and it ended well. But it would be better to forget the months from March to October, despite the quarter-finals at Roland Garros and the win in Halle. My back problems began at Indian Wells in March; after the match against Ivan Dodig, I shouldn’t have kept playing, the games against Stanislas Wawrinka and Rafael Nadal were too much. After that, I fell behind with my training and was unable to catch up again because my back problems soon returned. In the summer too, it would have been better to have given up in Hamburg and Gstaad. These problems cost me a lot of time and threw me off course.

Was 2013 a lost year?

No year is lost. In the circumstances, it was actually an interesting season. It’s no joke being injured, of course. But I had to get through it, I had to question everything. Along with the back problems, I had other setbacks of a kind I had seldom had in the previous ten years. But nonetheless it was an interesting experience – to see how different people reacted, and how I dealt with this situation myself. Sometimes, I could hardly move properly, and yet was sharply criticized by some people.

After always reaching at least the semi-finals at 36 Grand Slam tournaments in a row, you lost in the second round at Wimbledon to Sergiy Stakhovsky. Was that the low point of your year?

Of course, that defeat was one of the biggest disappointments of my season. I went to Wimbledon convinced that I could win the tournament for the eighth time. But it wasn’t a complete surprise for me. Because I hadn’t played really well in Paris. Then Wimbledon was the start of the bigger problems.

Haven’t these unaccustomed defeats against low-ranked players taken away your enjoyment of tennis?

Defeats are part of tennis. What matters is how you react. What is also important for me is that I am honest with myself. I am the sort of person who often questions everything; I did the same when things were going really well for me. That’s why I am not affected much by the criticism, which I don’t think is justified.

Where do you see yourself in terms of your performance? Have you come up against certain limitations, or do you think that you are still capable of top performances?

I can see no reason why I shouldn’t play better again in 2014, and have some great wins. I have still got some major goals, because I certainly haven’t forgotten how to play tennis; after all, I was still number one in the fall of 2012, and at the end of the season, once my back was better, my results also improved. I reached the final in Basel and the semi-finals at Paris-Bercy and the World Tour Finals, and beat top-ten players without playing my best tennis. If my serve or my forehand had been a bit more solid, the results could have been much better.

You achieved some of your best wins at the indoor tournaments. You contested 13 matches in three weeks, and beat top players such as Juan Martin Del Potro twice, Richard Gasquet, and Grigor Dimitrov. Were you surprised?

The end result is good, even though I would have liked to win a tournament. But that would perhaps have been asking too much, after such a year. After all, I was able to concentrate again fully on my tennis and on tactics for three weeks, and my body didn’t give me any problems. In the preceding months, that had been different. That is a big step, and makes me want more. My self-confidence has also returned. By the end, everyone around me was talking positively again, the mood was much better than in the summer. That boosts my morale for the coming year, and it’s a big relief. The fun has definitely returned.

What are your specific goals for 2014?

I would like to win about five tournaments again and play in great finals, that’s where I have most fun. My ranking is less important to me, unless it’s about being number one. But it would be good to be in the top four or top eight, to get good seedings.

Are there any changes in your planning in 2014?

Yes, they’re already being prepared. I’m concentrating fully on my training; for once I won’t be participating in any show tournaments, in contrast with 2012 when I went to South America. What is important is that I can train hard in Dubai in December without any setbacks. I think that it will take until April for me to catch up completely with my training. For once, I’ll be opening the new season at the ATP tournament in Brisbane, after which it’s the Australian Open.

Will you be testing rackets with bigger heads, as you did in the summer when you even contested two tournaments with one?

I will, for sure. Because this summer’s tests don’t tell us much because I wasn’t able to play properly in Hamburg and Gstaad because of my back problems.

Stanislas Wawrinka has become a top ten player. Might that mean that you would be more willing to appear in the Davis Cup again? In particular, will you be there against Serbia in the first round in February 2014?

The situation is the same as two years ago. I’ve long known that Wawrinka could beat the best players, he hasn’t had to prove anything to me for a long time. In the next few weeks I will make a decision about the Davis Cup. But at the moment I have no idea what it will be. But I am happy for Stan that things are going so well for him. It was a fantastic end of season, with two Swiss players in the semi-finals of the World Tour Finals. And neither of us knew right up to the final tournament at Paris-Bercy whether we would even qualify.

Novak Djokovic said in London that you were still very strong but that you had become a bit slower and didn’t move as well as in the past. What’s your response to that?

What he says is true. But it would also be strange if I could move wonderfully and at my best after a year when I couldn’t train enough and in between times lost quite a bit of my self-confidence. I don’t feel that I am as fast as in my best years, either. But despite that I can still compete with the best. That makes me feel positive. For months, I played while being afraid of back pains and got into bad habits in the process. On court, I was orientating myself to the back rather than to the front, I lost my usual aggressiveness. And somehow I became a different player. Now I need time to get all of that out of my system again.

Why did you split from your American coach Paul Annacone after more than three years? And what do you expect from a new coach?

It was a mutual split. We talked to each other in Dubai before the tournament in Shanghai and both of us had the feeling that it was the right moment. The split went as well as it possibly could. Paul will remain a good friend and we’re still in close contact with each other. In Severin Lüthi, I still have a coach who has been extremely helpful for me for a long time. But I don’t know if he can or wants to be on the road with me for 40 weeks next year. At the moment, I don’t know if I am going to appoint a new coach at all. I’m very happy with my team.

How do you assess the situation at the top, with Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic as numbers one and two?

The two players’ achievements this year have been massive, and they are clearly better than the others. I think Nadal is the right number one, because he won two Grand Slam titles. I’m looking forward to seeing how the two of them start next season, they are quite clearly the ones to beat.

Roger Federer: "It Boosts My Morale for 2014"

Thanks to Veronica(yes, she’s finally back) for telling me about this article. Also today is officially the 5th anniversary of my blog so I thought it would be fitting to make another post. This was a very nice interview Roger had with Credit Suisse because it summed the 2013 season up nicely and gave us an idea what the future holds. Although we already know the back problem played a big role in his 2013 season it is still important that he emphasized it again. He doesn’t like to make excuses and neither do I. I often criticized him but the fact that he talks so little about injuries makes it easier to do so, and also the fact that I assume when a player steps on the court they are ready to play. So to a certain extent it’s his own fault that he got criticized. It has now become clear that there were some instances where he should not have played.

Hopefully he learned a lesson from this and listens to his body more in the future. It’s nice to see Roger thinks his results can improve a lot in 2014, and it just makes sense that it can happen given that he is physically better. Hopefully the improvement we saw during the indoor season was just the beginning and that he will keep improving in 2014. That would make sense too because the indoor season was only 3 events, and it would take more time than that to get back to his best after he struggled since after the Australian Open. He thinks he can win something like 5 tournaments in 2014, which I think is a fair estimate if his level keeps improving. The main thing is to regain the confidence in his body, which in turn will lead to improved footwork, forehand, and serve. A lot of the movement has to do with confidence.

Certainly the footwork, serve, and forehand are key areas in his game if he wants to regain former glory, and like he says it will take about until April before he can catch up on lost training. I wasn’t expecting an awful lot in the first few months of the year anyway. Australia is so damn slow these days that it’s hard for him to do really well there. Having said that I’d like to see him start well in Brisbane and still make a good showing in Melbourne. Someone said he will not play Rotterdam this year but his schedule is not out yet so we don’t know for sure. Personally I’d like to see him play Rotterdam and Dubai and then of course Indian Wells. He can skip Slowami again as far as I’m concerned and come back in Madrid. Hopefully by the time Indian Wells comes around things can start clicking again for Roger and he can do some damage there before the clay season.

Probably not a bad idea for Roger to play Davis Cup against Serbia after the Australian Open either. It is extra matches and he needs that. Finally it doesn’t look like Roger is very keen on getting a new coach at this point which is kind of what I’ve been suggesting. Actually I have left out probably the most important news of all which is that he will be testing new racquets again! I thought that was great news, and I thought that since he went back to his old racquet and had some good results with it indoors, that he would stay with it. You may remember the post I made before Roger decided to test a new racquet suggesting he does just that. But my suggestion was that he waited until the off season to do so. Well that is going to happen now anyway. He should have just listened to me! Anyway I am excited about it and I hope he will find a racquet that gives him more power and consistency from the base line.

What say you?

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  1. Hi Ru-an, feel a bit sheepish being the first one to comment with not much technical knowledge of the game tennis. Being an enthusiastic tennis fan, a loyal Roger fan and a big fan of Ru-an’s Federer Blog I shall try my best.
    Am glad you posted this Credit Suisse interview with Roger, well covered in all areas of Roger’s tennis year 2013. Thank You. Roger learned the hard way, but he learned, and he should have listened to you about the new racquet idea and use. He sounds very positive, it should be an exciting year for you, Ru-an, and all of Fedfans.
    Today is your 5th Anniversary, many more years to come, and especially my best to you in Thailand.
    We wish Roger much success in 2014.

    Katyani Reply:

    Hey dear Dolores, please don’t feel sheepish. You are not the only one. By far. Trust me, it can be much worse. For instance: ME !!! I love to watch tennis (because of Roger). I love to watch Roger play tennis. But to be very very honest…. I still can’t see the difference between a forehand and a backhand !!! And I also comment !!! Do you know how it is for me to comment on this site with everyone, really everyone, beeing so technical and having so much knowledge about tennis?? So dear Dolores, see, even you know much more about tennis than I do !!! You are such a sweet lady….

    Dolores Reply:

    Hi Katyani! Oh, thank you for your kind words, do appreciate them. Well, guess we are not alone in tennis technicality knowledge, but we all love watching tennis. I have learned a lot from Ru-an about the game of tennis in reading his blog. Also, so many good commentators come to his blog, enjoy reading them all. Remember, Katyani, Roger will rock in 2014, your prediction. Hopefully, we all will rock with him.
    Best to you,

    veronica Reply:

    Yes, grandma Dolores is THE sweetest, isn’t she?! Such a classy lady. So good that you are keeping really well, Dolores, judging from the consistency of your comments and especially urging Ru-an on when times were down. As long as you keep tapping at your keys, Nan, (that’s grandma in Aussie language)Roger will surely win more slams!!

    Ru-an Reply:

    Well I’m not gonna lie, she has been more active and supportive than her younger counterpart in the last few months. Haha nice to have you back Veronica.

    Veronica Reply:

    “Not gonna lie” hahaha! Just love it when you “tell me off” in your Ru-an way!! Btw, have I ever told you I love your name.? ( and Jiten’s too!) Very unique or is it just a common SA name?. Is it pronounced roo wan or roo arn or completely something else?

    Ru-an Reply:

    ;-) It has become pretty common in SA but the way mine is spelled is unique. Agree Jiten is a cool name too, and thanks! The pronouncement depends on the country you come from. Americans pronounce their r’s in the middle of their mouths, while the French does it in their throats, and the Spanish in the front of their mouths. Ha! The Spanish also called me Juan. Of the two examples you gave I would say it’s more like roo wan. I think in SA it’s usually spelled Roehan or Ruan. The hyphen makes mine kinda unique. I think it’s fitting as I have always seen myself as pretty unique with a strong sense of individuality.
    Forgot to say that in Afrikaans the r would be pronounced like the Spanish who roll their r’s. Also it would sounds different in Afrikaans than from the other languages ad accents. Spanish would probably be the closest though. Feels like I just wrote a book about the pronouncement of my name lmao.

    Veronica Reply:

    You will make a good teacher, Ru-an! That was a MOST clear explanation! And the hyphen definitely makes it unique. I guess when it comes to your name, I need to roll my tongue and pronounce it like how Nadal (Spanish) would roll it – LRoo- wan!

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yes your tongue must vibrate in the front of your mouth when you say the R! Haha.

    Ru-an Reply:

    Don’t feel sheepish Dolores. You took the initiative to comment first and I’m glad you did. Don’t blame Roger for not listening to me either. He probably doesn’t know I exist! But yeah with the back problem especially it would have been better to wait until year end. Thanks for the well wishes. I hope to have you around here for many years to come too.

    Dolores Reply:

    Thank you, Ru-an, for your good wishes, your good thoughts, too. Ah, don’t be so sure that Roger does not know about your existence….I have more positive thoughts on this.

    Chris Reply:

    GOATs should know about GOATs! By the way, Ru-an, you and Roger lost a great countryman today, my thoughts are with SA. And the same day the Times magazine announces that Miley Cirus or whatever she is called is among the most influential people in the world. My thoughts are with the world.

    Ru-an Reply:

    Lol. Yeah Mandela obviously played a massive role in the peaceful transition from apartheid to democracy. If it wasn’t for him it would probably have been civil war, so I’m very grateful. I just hope now that he’s gone things don’t get out of hand too badly. But I’m leaving the country anyway. From a white person’s point of view things continue to get worse. There is no reason for me to stay here. Far as I’m concerned white people had no business here anyway. Africa belongs to black people. Maybe some white people like it here but it’s not for me.

  2. Again Ru-an, congrats with the 5 year anniversary !!! I loved the interview Roger gave and also what you wrote.

    But…. I disagree with one thing you wrote “So to a certain extent it’s his own fault that he got criticized”. I don’t think that is the case. Me, I am just proud of him that he did NOT say anything much in the beginning of the year or in the summer about the backpain.
    For me personally, I rather have people criticise me than for them to think I make excuses. Beeing criticised means you can still OVERCOME that. Making excuses all the time about backpain makes you a soure loser. I think Roger does really not want to be considered a bad loser even if it means that people think he plays less good. But I do believe he did not forsee the fact that even his own fans would criticise him. I think that is the reason that he came clean about the backpain. He might have thought that it would be obvious for people to see that he had backpain because of the way he played. But when they did not see that and wrote that he might have lost the edge, that is when I think he told the truth.
    And Ru-an, lets be honest. What would we all think if Roger would make an excuse like backpain about every match he lost??? We would not like that too right?? So, for me, I am glad he told it later on and I am more glad that he learned the lesson that he should listen to his body more and sooner.
    Great things are to come from Roger. I always love his interviews.

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Katyani. When someone shows up on the court it means they are ready to play. No excuses. But clearly he was not ready to play. So this time the mistake was his. He admitted himself he made a mistake…

  3. I too lack technical tennis knowledge, but love reading your posts about Roger. I love tennis and the GOAT and appreciate YOUR knowledge so thanks again for your blog, Ruan. Congrats on five great years!

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Karrie. It would be boring if everyone had loads of technical knowledge because I wouldn’t have much to share with people!

  4. Ruan,

    I, too, do not have a technical knowledge of tennis but I love Roger and I love your amazing and knowledgeble blog.

    I read your blog faithfully and look forward to each and every one. Congratulations on your 5 year anniversary.

    You are a treasure!

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Gemma very nice of you to say. I try.

  5. The man is an icon, simply amazing! The cool, grounded, realistic self-assessment, giving credit to his doponents, assuming full responsibility for his decline, instead of blaming others, and his optimistic, self-assured outlook to the next season, great! Loved to read this interview. And yes, he should read this blog and listen to Ru-an a bit more. Not that I mean he should read the comments, me hardly knowing the difference between Squash and tennis against Nadal. You hit the wall and the ball comes back! After reading this, I start to look forward to 2014!

    Ru-an Reply:

    The interview made me feel good too which is why I shared it. Nice to see you guys reacting positively to it too.

    rahan Reply:

    There is NO difference between Squash and tennis against Nadal.

    veronica Reply:

    Hello Swiss Elf! (is your icon an elf?!!) Thanks for your welcome…. sort of! Looks like the cheekiness continue. Say, you ain’t a true Swiss, are you?! I was in Switzerland and the men there are SO serious. But I like them. True gentleman, giving up seats and helping with my luggage, going all out to help a damsel in distress, etc,etc! “No difference between squash and tennis”, “forcing the GOAT to play with a pan” and “re-invents with other equipment rather than going gluten-fee” Hehehe! You crack me up! Hey, what’s all this bashing on Nole’s gluten-free miracles?! I’m seriously buying his book! Hehe!

    Alex Reply:

    “Doponents” lol. I c what you did there

  6. Thanks for posting this great interview, Ruan, and giving your opinion about it.
    When Roger Federer tried out ‘his’ new racquet this summer he was struggling mightily with himself and the opponents, like someone who’s trying to survive in the eye of a hurricane.
    A blend of forces was pulling him down, but we couldn’t exactly grasp what it was, only guess.
    Most observers and fans were left completely confused by the spectacle and thought Roger would never ever pick up that new frame again.
    But he might indeed do it like I always have thought myself.
    Because Roger is not like his rivals.
    He doesn’t move like them, doesn’t think like them and doesn’t plan like them.
    He moves forward in circles, not in recurrent cycles like his nemesis.
    Because by picking up his racket again, he’s turning back to the point where he once was before, not just to be pulled down again of course, save us of that.
    But to be heading away of that point to new zones where he hasn’t been before, and leave us wondering.

    wilfried Reply:

    my apologies for two errors against english grammar in my comment. It should be: save us ‘from’… and heading away ‘from’.

    Chris Reply:

    You seem to be a talented proof-reader, can I hire you? I read your interesting comment and did not pay attention to form (grammar), because content was more interesting! I wonder if changing rackets could boost his performances. Why can’t they just speed up the courts again instead of forcing the GOAT to play with a pan?

    Wilfried Reply:

    Your reply made me smile.
    I can’t comment quickly in English unfortunately without making mistakes against the grammar.
    I agree with you that they should speed up the courts, but I don’t think they are going to do this anytime soon.
    The new racket could boost Roger’s performances in my view, if he finds a way to obtain enough control with it to cut down on his errors. He’ll need to stay healthy though and regain his former foot speed to be able to stay in the rallies with the very best and set up well to return their powerful shots.

    Chris Reply:

    Je comprends :-) but many readers here are not native speakers and would ignore your grammar if you did not point it out. I hope Roger reinvents himself with other equipment, rather than going ‘gluten-free’

    veronica Reply:

    Wilfried! Your peRFection is endearing! Truth! Ha!

  7. Are you back in SA now? I might be heading to Maputo next year, but I’m not sure, the police there just discovered kidnapping as a good side business and Renamo plays civil war again. This planet has a lot of troubles. Hope you’ll enjoy Bangkok, find a girlfriend there and stay out of troubles, they are also having political struggles there

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yeah I’m back in SA. I’ll be going to Thailand in January. Hopefully never to return. I wouldn’t visit Africa is I was a European. Better safe than sorry. It’s uncivilized and dangerous here.

  8. Hi Ruan, Yes, this is a good interview. I knew Roger was struggling with back issues most of the year. It’s a relief that it’s out there.
    I spent some time in Africa in the late 70’s. It is a beautiful place. I found the most anger towards white people in the English speaking former colonies. French, not so much. Yes, a dangerous place if you don’t know what’s safe or not. Too bad things didn’t evolve into a safer nation in SA.
    All the best in Thailand. I’ll be off to Australia this spring.

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yes South Africa is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Both Roger and Agassi agrees. You are right about the French speaking colonies. You just wana avoid the places that are hostile toward white people and where crime is rampant. I just hate to hear of tourists getting killed over here because they simply do not understand how dangerous it can be. I have been attacked myself. I was lucky that I just ended in the hospital. It could have been worse. You going to the AO then?

  9. Yes, while in Africa I had machine guns pointed at me more than once. I suppose it won’t change anytime soon. People in the world think everything is just great now with a democratic government. We have many SA’s in Canada who tell me differently. Maybe you could immigrate here. Many people have.
    No, I’m not going to the AO. My kids are not too far from Brisbane. I don’t think they will end up at the tournament. How insane is that. A chance to see Roger play and you’d rather go surfing!

    veronica Reply:

    Sue! you shouldn’t be out wondering on your own!!! Ha! I know a SA lady from church who has fled SA eventhough she is a black. She said even among the blacks there are diffculties and different classes. Really difficult country there. With Mandela’s passing, there might be unrest as his existence, eventhough frail, was the glue needed to hold the country together. But now, you never know….

    veronica Reply:

    Btw, Sue, no surprise with your children’s choice. Aussies would rather surf, cycle, play Aussie football than tennis. In fact, tennis is not a very popular sport here. Maybe it was more so in the days of the Aussie legends like Laver, Newcombe, Cash, etc, even Hewitt, I don’t know; but today, it is not that popular. But AO is always very enthusiastically attended because Aussies are generally very sporty (maybe coz of sunny weather. We get sun 365 days in the year, even in winter!)and we just love sports; all kinds of sports, whether playing or watching them! So eventhough the attendance and cheering at AO are outstanding, it doesn’t mean tennis is a popular sport here.

    Ru-an Reply:

    That says a lot about the Aussie sporting culture for you. Tennis isn’t big there yet it’s my favorite slams because of the fan’s enthusiasm and laid back attitude. Can’t remember the last time there was a rain delay either.

    Ru-an Reply:

    True you have white, black, and colored. The coloreds are scared of the blacks too. They are out of control.

    Ru-an Reply:

    Wow that’s crazy. I haven’t been at gun point at least. Friends of mine have though. People in the world have no clue. They think of South Africa as a liberated, democratic country. This is far from true. If you are white for instance your education doesn’t matter. You could be the most well qualified person in the country but if the other applicant is black and have zero qualifications they will get the job. How do you run a country like that?
    Don’t think I’ll ever immigrate to Canada. As a South African I’m used to warmer weather. Cold weather is something I don’t deal well with. I’ll immigrate to somewhere where there are no winters. Maybe to Thailand!

  10. Hey! Ru-an! Sorry to bombard you with so many comments today! You know how inconsistent I can be – one day gone; next day, a million comments! haha! Forgive me. Was so busy last week,couldn’t get round to congratulating you on your blogs’s actual birthday (darn! that Swiss Elf ALWAYS beat me to it!) Anyway, as they say, “make hay while the sun shines”. I’m making hay today so bear with me and all my comments as I might be out of here for a while – got a pesky project round my neck and can’t seem to get my head round it, ha! I re-read your five years post, it was so good! And it was so good to read this interview again too! You can’t keep the man down, can you? Has an answer for everything, any situation, any question! And that attitude – so positive, yet realistic, you just gotta love Roger and take your hat off to him. Btw, there will be endless careers out there waiting for him when he’s finished playing : Arbitrator, negotiator, ambassador, politician, inspirational speaker, etc. In retrospect, I think Roger got a little panicky when he made the decision to play the 2 clay tourneys using the new racket. He was trying to forget his loss too quickly, reacted too emotionally to the loss and wanted to prove to himself and maybe fans and media as well that he still has it together. He wasn’t listening to his body as keenly as he has always done. Glad he realise his mistake and I’m sure he can only make the right decisions from now on as far as his health is concerned. I believe this bad decision has some bearing on the split with Annacone; although the split was mutual and friendly. Roger said his “untraining” and training can only be caught up by April. Which means we can look forward to exciting times in the summer! Yay! But even in AO, I am positive he would be making waves. It would be ideal if he wins Wimby as his last slam. But I still hold on to my “delusional” but nonetheless, “undying” dream of Roger adding 1 more to every slam : AO and USO because it has been centuries already since he won one! And FO, because he is actually very good on clay and I don’t want FO to be a one slam wonder for Roger! And of course cap it all with Wimby as the holder of most Wimby titles won! Now isn’t that the grandest dream of all : 21 slams at the end!! Thailand maybe in a bit of an unrest. I hope you will be safe, Ru-an. I still remember that time you were beaten up in SA. What a horror for you and all of us here!! We didn’t have a clue what was happening with you. You disappeared for so long!!! Praying for a safe journey for you and a successful transition to Thai life!!

    Katyani Reply:

    Hey Veronica…. I guess you are really back !!! Man, so many comments, but please keep them coming. It was quiet without you.
    And I will do you one better !!! Roger will end with 25 GS !!!
    He will win Wimby 3 times, AO 2 times, USO 2 times and RG 1 time !!!
    But…. the best thing will be Wimby 3, AO 3, USO 3 and RG 3 !!! In total another 12 GS !!! How about that??? And ofcourse he will win WTF 3 or 4 times…
    You see, what faith and hope in our Goat can make you dream???

    Veronica Reply:

    You are the worst dreamer, Katyani!! 25! You must be mad!! Haha! Btw, I replied some of your other comments in earlier post. Hope you saw it.

    Katyani Reply:

    No Veronica, don’t make the mistake of counting Roger out !!! I think he will get to 25 !!! He knows he can get more GS, so I hope he will make it to 25. And you know what they say, hope makes the world go around …. or something.
    Veronica, please forgive me if it seems like I have not responded to your comments. I have 3 days to work. BUSY days. Then I have vacation. Yessssssssss, looking forward to that. So after that I will read the articles and comments better !!!
    Be aware, I am coming……
    Ps: you are so sweet…..

    Ru-an Reply:

    Hi Veronica no problem with the bombardment of comments. Rather that than you staying away for several months! Your comments can be long though so I can’t always respond to everything you said. I do read it all though. Agree with your thoughts. I like your optimism too. One more of each slam would be great because it would all be records(5th AO, 2nd career slam at FO, 8th Wimby, and 6th USO). But from my point of view I’d be happy if he just wins one more slam. It doesn’t matter which one but I guess Wimby seems fitting. Thai people seem pretty peaceful and welcoming to me so I’m not worried about unrest and stuff. I’m used to it here anyway. It can only be better. Thanks for the well wishes.

    veronica Reply:

    You’re right, Ru-an. It can only get better after SA!! Like your positive and realistic attitude, so like our Roger! How do you do it, Ru-an? All that hard stuff you had to go through and are still going through and you still remain sane, hopeful and chirpy!! OK, enough of all that softie, stuff! Yeah, I suppose I can understand why AO is your favourite slam although it is the least prestigious of the 4. It is certainly well organised, people are really enthusiastic (without being rowdy like the French at FO), every Aussie goes to watch AO, from your great grandmother to your little baby sister!! It’s a great mix of all walks of life. I don’t think it is that evident in other slams. There’s also a special feeling in the air, you can’t miss the positive, laid-back, happy Aussie vibe. And Aussies are one of the friendliest people in the world, easy-going, non-judgemental and accepting of all kinds of people. Of course I am biased being Aussie! And of course there are also nasty Aussies! hehe! Sydney, our sister state is trying very hard to compete with Melbourne as the sports center for Australia; and China seems to be trying hard to get AO over there or create a 5th slam. Therefore, I suppose this provides great motivation for Melbourne to make AO an outstanding event every year.

    Ru-an Reply:

    Hmmm I suppose that is what you call character Veronica. But I can’t be the one to judge my own character. Yes I’ve been through some very hard stuff. I suppose what kept me going was always the thought of something better, something worth suffering for. I think the hard times are important because that is who makes you what you are. If you can navigate it successfully it makes you incredibly strong and prepares you for much bigger things in life. Anyway I sometimes feel like I’ve met you before. Like you know me om a pretty personal level. I guess it’s just how you remember stuff and how good you are with people. It’s something I admire in you and a quality which I am trying to cultivate.
    As for the AO I wouldn’t say it’s the least prestigious anymore. It used to be but these days I think it’s every bit as prestigious as the others, with the exception of perhaps Wimbledon. It is better organized than the USO and FO, and it’s got a roof!

  11. Good comments, Veronica. Who knows what really went down with Roger and Annacone. Maybe he didn’t want Roger to play after Wimbly.
    Well, 2 of my kids are Fed fans for sure. They know if they liked Nadal, I would disown them. Hopefully, they will get to Brisbane.
    I won’t be going to IW this year because of my trip to Australia.
    I was in many countries in Africa. Never alone but very scary at times because of the fragility of the governments there.

    Ru-an Reply:

    Right Sue the governments in Africa is a disaster. It’s never democratic. Always dictatorships or corruption. It’s funny how mankind originated from Africa but it remains the most uncivilized part of the world. It hardly evolved at all!

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