Roger Federer In 2006 Or 2017? Swiss Great Picks Which Year Was Better For Him

Roger Federer recently answered questions from tennis fans during a video chat and said he would choose 2006 over 2017 as the year of his great professional triumphs because he was “barely losing” and was a “great mover” then. Asked who was his favourite WTA player, the Swiss great said it would be Belinda Bencic, as she is his “best friend” on the women’s tour and she’s been the best partner. He also added the names of Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka to the list. The ATP Tour tweeted a short clip of the chat between Federer and his fans.

Federer 2006 or Federer 2017?

We got @rogerfederer to answer your fan questions

— ATP Tour (@atptour) June 5, 2021

During the chat, Federer was asked which year he would pick: Federer in 2006 or Federer in 2020.

“Good question. I would probably think 2006. Some of my best years when I was barely losing. Okay. In 2017 I also had a wonderful year. I’d pick 2006 over 2017,” the Basel-born professional tennis player said.
After watching the clip, a lot of people commented on it.

@Larry__Charlie our age old question finally addressed

— Scooby (@Sco_obz) June 5, 2021

One user said Federer in 2006 was strong, but in 2017 he was amazing “especially for the new approach” against Rafael Nadal, who has equalled Federer’s 20 Grand Slam wins.

2006 was very strong, but 2017 was amazing specially for the new approach against Rafa… unbelievable

— LaMary (@mary_mag76) June 5, 2021

2006 was better, 2017 much more special!

— Haris Aftab (@harisaftab07) June 5, 2021

Watch the detailed video of the conversation here:

Federer was asked who he would choose as the best WTA player. The 20-time Grand Slam champion did not take much time in naming compatriot Belinda Bencic.

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“Belinda, obviously,” he said. “She is my best friend on the women’s tour. Having played all the Hopman Cups with her, she’s been the best partner. Hopefully, we can partner up again at the Olympics.”

Federer then added Ashleigh Barty and Naomi Osaka to the list and said they were “exceptional players.” And finally, he said, “We are not going to forget about Serena, obviously. She is the queen, so all good there”.

“I Deserve No.1 Ranking”, Says Ashleigh Barty

Miami Open winner Ashleigh Barty insisted she is a worthy world number one on Saturday after defeating Bianca Andreescu to retain her crown. The 24-year-old Australian star served notice of her determination to be a force this season with a 6-3, 4-0 victory as Andreescu retired with a foot injury in the second set. Barty, assured of holding on to her No.1 ranking before Saturday’s final, had faced sniping from some players over her continued presence at top spot.

The Queenslander has benefited from a tweak into the way rankings are calculated which takes into account the disruption caused by last year’s pandemic shutdown. However, Barty shrugged off the criticism on Saturday following her Miami win, rejecting a suggestion that her latest title “proved” she deserved her No.1 status.

Congratulations to World No.1 Ash Barty on her 2nd #MiamiOpen title! pic.twitter.com/MMxu1jqFQA

— Miami Open (@MiamiOpen) April 3, 2021

Barty said: “I never have to prove anything to anyone… I know all the work that I do with my team behind the scenes… I know there has been a lot of talk about the ranking, but I didn’t play at all last year and I didn’t improve any of my points whatsoever.”

“Yes, I didn’t drop, but I didn’t improve any. I didn’t play any at all. There were girls who had the chance to improve theirs, so I felt like I thoroughly deserve my spot at the top of the rankings.”

Barty, the 2019 French Open champion, has held the No.1 ranking since September of that year, despite skipping the rescheduled US and French Opens in 2020 to remain in Australia.

“The year we had in 2019 was incredible, incredible for us, and, you know, to be able to build on that now since the restart for us has been great… We come out here and do the best that we can regardless of what anyone is saying. So I never feel like I have to prove anything to anyone.”

Barty added that she was unfazed by critics who have suggested that Naomi Osaka, winner of last year’s US Open and this year’s Australian Open,  was more deserving of No.1 status.

She added: “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. That’s absolutely fine. I can’t control what anyone else thinks or what anyone else says. I feel like we deserve to be top of the rankings.”

“It doesn’t ever really get to me. I mean, it’s just what people say and I can’t change their opinion, so it doesn’t stress me out at all.”

Barty, who opted to remain in Australia last year after the WTA season resumed following the pandemic shutdown, is now looking forward to a crowded schedule. She will play the WTA event in Charleston next week as part of preparations for the European clay court season where she will play in Madrid, Stuttgart and Rome before aiming to regain her French Open title at Roland Garros.

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Barty remembered her performances in 2019 and said:

“In 2019 throughout each week that I played, I felt like I got better and better on the clay and obviously grew in confidence and grew in experience… If it turns out we have a great clay court season, that’s fantastic, and if we don’t, then it’s not the end of the world.”

Wimbledon 2021: Watch Nervous Matteo Berrettini See Girlfriend Ajla Tomljanovic Play At Wimbledon

Wimbledon, the oldest and the most prestigious tennis tournament, is currently underway. When you take part in The Championships, it can give you moments of extreme excitement as well as nervousness. It can’t be denied, though, that sometimes watching a game leaves you more anxious than being on the court and defeating your opponent. On July 6, the official handle of Wimbledon shared a video from the Round of 16 game between Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic and Britain’s Emma Raducanu. In the stands was Ajla’s boyfriend Matteo Berrettini, a professional tennis player from Italy. In the 20-second clip, Matteo was seen pulling the iron railing, making even the commentator laugh. Matteo, calm down. Still, a long way to go, but his girlfriend Ajla is going well here,” the commentator said.

In the video, though, Matteo looked visibly tense and nervous during the match, which Ajla dominated, winning the first set 6-4 and leading the second 3-0 before Raducanu retired after facing breathing difficulties. “Watching is a lot more tense than playing, right Matteo Berrettini?” read the caption.

Watching is a lot more tense than playing, right @MattBerrettini? #Wimbledon pic.twitter.com/EMELcW6ltC

— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 6, 2021

Twitter users loved the reaction of the commentator. Some found Matteo’s gestures during the game “cute”.

This user, for instance, said that the commentator laughing at Matteo and telling him to calm down made it all “exponentially funnier”.

Commentator laughing at Matteo and telling him to calm down makes it exponentially funnier https://t.co/d9CXb0XgHU

— rachel (@tennisbish) July 6, 2021

Here’s a user who found the 25-year-old Italian’s reaction “cute”.

So cute https://t.co/YlI5j3A1IY

— Sabine Lisicki Fans (@SLisickiFansacc) July 6, 2021

Check out some of the other reactions:

Calm down Matteo https://t.co/eI9gNEZFYT

— J (@Mojojojhom) July 6, 2021

What a Cutie Pie…

https://t.co/uYqvG7tgLr

— GAME. SET. CHAMPIONSHIP (@deeblock847) July 6, 2021

He’s great, can he be my bf? I have a thing Italians

— Halfpint (@Lofty2467) July 6, 2021

Lol don’t break the railings

— Mira (@Mira52510707) July 6, 2021

LMAO she really said “matteo calm down” https://t.co/GhkWdoT8Nc

— basil (@tsitsipxs) July 6, 2021

Wimbledon in its next tweet said that Matteo might go through the same emotions when Ajla faces world number 1 Ashleigh Barty. We don’t know if that happened, but Ajla’s dream run at The Championships came to an end on July 6 when Ashleigh beat her 6-1, 6-3 to set up a semi-final clash against Angelique Kerber.

The Italian will be going through it all over again as @Ajlatom takes on world No.1 Ash Barty on Centre Court…#Wimbledon

— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 6, 2021

However, the tournament continues for Matteo, who faces Canada’s Auger Aliassime, in the quarter-final clash on July 7.

Billie Jean King Cup: Ankita Raina Shows Great Resillience Before Going Down To Jelena Ostapenko In Opening Singles

Ankita Raina shook off a jittery start to put up a valiant fight against 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko before losing the tight opening singles as India trailed 0-1 in the World Group Play-offs of the Billie Jean King Cup in Jurmala, Latvia on Friday. Playing like she always plays this tournament, Ankita, ranked 174th, gave a mighty scare to world no 52 Ostapenko before losing 2-6, 7-5, 5-7 in two hours and 16 minutes.

Producing high-quality tennis, both the players tested all aspects of each other’s game and eventually Ostapenko’s experience of playing high-stake games pulled her through.

The onus to bring India back is now on 621st ranked Karman Kaur Thandi, who will take on wold no 47 Anastasija Sevastova in the second singles.

The match was littered with breaks with the two players fighting hard in the match that kept oscillating.

She plays her best tennis in Billie Jean King Cup and Friday was no different as Ankita put her much superior opponent under the pump.

Initially she was struggling with her first serve and did not have much control over her strokes but after losing the first set Ankita opened up.

She started to stroke freely. The released pressure gave her the liberty to go for her shots, earn points and put Ostapenko in some trouble.

Three successive breaks marked the beginning of the match with Ankita getting broken at love in the very first game of the opening singles.

Ostapenko’s range of shots meant that Ankita was running on both the flanks to retrieve the balls.

The Indian was one point away from going 3-0 up in the second set but dropped serve from 40-15. She went 5-2 up but allowed Ostapenko to make it 5-5.

A forehand error by Ostapenko gave Ankita a set point but the Latvian served well to save that.

The Indian had three set points in 12th game and converted the second one when Ostapenko hit a forehand wide, going for a cross-court winner.

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Ankita broke back in the fourth game as Ostapenko was struggling with her back. Down 0-40 in the fifth, Ankita held with Ostapenko’s error helping her.

She dragged it to the final set which was neck-and-neck 5-5. At 30-all Ankita lost her serve to give her rival a chance to serve out the match.

Australian Open: Controversial Off Court, Sublime On It, Novak Djokovic Is On A Mission To Make History

It’s been a turbulent 12 months in the life of Novak Djokovic, but the world number one can put it all behind him by winning a record-extending ninth Australian Open title against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev on Sunday. The world number one has always been a polarising figure for fans and pundits alike, with his on-court mastery tempered by a knack for controversy away from the arena. Since winning his 17th Grand Slam in Melbourne a year ago ago, he has rarely been out of the headlines, mostly for the wrong reasons. He began 2020 on a high, leading Serbia to lift the inaugural ATP Cup, and then fought back behind to beat Dominic Thiem in five sets to lift his eighth Australian Open crown. But the coronavirus pandemic meant the world’s tennis tours were suspended in March.

Three months later, Djokovic took it upon himself to launch his ill-fated Adria Tour.

The tournament in Belgrade had 4,000 spectators packed in while players shook hands and took selfies with fans, and ball kids handled sweaty towels — all during a global shutdown.

Djokovic and players including Thiem and Alexander Zverev were heavily criticised for partying shirtless at a heaving Belgrade night club.

The inevitable happened. Djokovic, his wife Jelena and players Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki all caught Covid.

Djokovic was then branded “tone deaf” for launching a breakaway Professional Tennis Players Association in August just as the sport was attempting to stagger back to its feet.

Days later, Djokovic was kicked out of the US Open after hitting a line judge in the throat unintentionally with a ball he slapped away in anger during the fourth round.

The distressed female oficial needed treatment on court and Djokovic apologised. “I’m extremely sorry to have caused her such stress. So unintended, so wrong,” he said.

The Covid-delayed French Open rolled around and Djokovic reached the final, where his shot at becoming the first man to win all four Grand Slams twice since Rod Laver in 1969 ended in further humiliation when he suffered a 6-0 “bagel” to Rafael Nadal on his way to a straights-sets defeat.

Slam retirements

Controversy is never far away from Djokovic, who whipped up another storm after players flew in to quarantine ahead of the Australian Open.

Nick Kyrgios led a wave of criticism of the Serb for issuing a list of requests that reportedly included players being given private homes with tennis courts.

“Djokovic is a tool,” Kyrgios tweeted, as Australia’s media savaged the Serb.

Once the action began all seemed well as Djokovic won both his singles matches in the ATP Cup and his first two at the Australian Open.

But in the third round he looked like he might have to pull out before somehow overcoming an abdominal injury to beat American Taylor Fritz in five sets.

Djokovic’s ability to thrive among the greats is not in question, but there have often been doubts about the size of his heart after a series of big-tournament retirements.

At Wimbledon in 2007, he retired with a back injury in the third set of his semi-final against Nadal.

He also quit at the 2006 and 2007 French Opens, while at the 2009 Australian Open, where he was defending champion, he pulled out of his quarter-final with Andy Roddick citing heat exhaustion.

He quit in a 2017 Wimbledon quarter-final against Tomas Berdych with a right shoulder injury. He pulled out again at the 2019 US Open with a left shoulder problem when two sets down to Stan Wawrinka.

But Djokovic can also find bravery in the face of adversity.

He could barely walk at times as he beat Fritz in five painful sets, and then grimaced in pain through matches against Milos Raonic and Zverev despite having not trained.

By the time he beat Aslan Karatsev in the semi-final he proclaimed his fitness was the best it had been all tournament.

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He now stands on the cusp of an 18th Grand Slam title and could by the end of the year be neck and neck with Roger Federer and Nadal who have 20 each.

If he could bookend a torrid 12 months by lifting the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup for a third year in a row and ninth time in all on Sunday, people might just start to forget all the controversy in between.

Novak Djokovic Survives Frances Tiafoe Scare To Stay In Australian Open Hunt

Pumped-up defending champion Novak Djokovic survived a serious scare on Wednesday from dangerous American Frances Tiafoe, who pushed him to four gruelling sets before the world number one prevailed. The Serbian top seed looked in control after taking the first set, but lightning-quick Tiafoe, who reached the quarter-finals two years ago, refused to go quietly. He bounced back to take a close second set before Djokovic dug deep to emerge a 6-3, 6-7 (3/7), 7-6 (7/2), 6-3 winner and continue his relentless march towards a ninth Australian Open title.

“Very tough match. when the sun was on the court, it was very warm. A lot of long rallies,” said Djokovic. “A great fight from Frances, a great match on his part.”

“But it’s not the first time I’ve been in that kind of situation, I know how to handle this type of circumstance.”

He will next play another American, either Taylor Fritz or Reilly Opelka.

Djokovic, who dropped only six games in his opening round clash, had never played Tiafoe, but quickly adapted.

On a hot day, with ice towels being used for the first time at the tournament, he immediately broke to race into a 3-0 lead, but some uncharacteristically poor serving allowed the energetic American back in the set.

It was a stumble that rattled Djokovic who quickly broke again, pumping his fist in the air as he screamed at his box.

Neither player gave an inch in the tight second set, with Tiafoe’s mix of power and unusual shots appearing to put Djokovic off his game as he came out on top in a tiebreak.

The Serb moved up a level in the third set, but so did Tiafoe as they traded blows until too many unforced errors ensured Djokovic took the set.

They went shot-for-shot in the fourth until a glorious backhand gave Djokovic the crucial break for 4-3, with a frustrated Tiafoe slapped with a warning for swearing then double-faulting to hand the top seed the match.

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Djokovic, chasing an 18th Slam crown to close in on the 20 held by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, has won a record eight times in Melbourne.

It was the scene of his maiden Grand Slam triumph in 2008 and he is unbeaten on the famous blue courts, since his shock defeat by South Korea’s Hyeon Chung in the 2018 round of 16.