New York: Swiss tennis great Roger Federer on Friday said he has high hopes heading into the US Open, noting that his form and fitness are the best they have been in several years.The 38-year-old five-time champion has not won this hard-court Grand Slam event since 2008, but reached the final in 2015 and is on the shortlist of title favorites once again this year.“We were saying on the practice court two days ago that this is probably the best I’ve felt in years coming into the US Open again, which is encouraging,” the world No. 3 said at a press conference three days before the start of main-draw action, Efe news reported.“I’m not putting extra pressure on myself. I know it’s going to be tough,” he said, recalling that he was dealing with back issues in 2017 and did not play the tournament because of injury in 2016.Roger Federer won five consecutive US Opens from 2004 to 2008 and was on the verge of winning a sixth straight title in 2009 when he squandered a lead and ended up losing in five sets in that year’s final to Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro.He acknowledged on Friday, however, that those days of absolute dominance are behind him.“I’m not coming in as the overwhelming favorite like maybe I did back in 2006 or 2007. I’m very much aware of how I need to approach this tournament mentally.”Besides the Del Potro loss, Federer has had his share of other disappointments at Flushing Meadows over the past decade, having twice lost to Serbia’s Novak Djokovic – in the 2010 and 2011 semifinals – after holding a pair of match points.Federer also lost to Djokovic in a close four-set match in the 2015 final, a year in which the Swiss was in sublime form and did not lose a set until the final Sunday.The Swiss suffered an even more painful loss to the Serbian star a few weeks ago in the Wimbledon final, when he squandered two championship points on his own serve before falling in a fifth-set tiebreaker.Federer had defeated Spanish great Rafael Nadal in the semifinals and thus was one point away from beating both of his arch-rivals in the same Grand Slam tournament for the first time in his career.To win an Open Era-record sixth US Open title, he might have to run that gauntlet once again, although at this year’s Flushing Meadows Federer could face Djokovic in the semifinals and Nadal in the final.A Federer-Nadal match at the US Open would be a first for those two all-time greats, who are in first and second place in all-time Grand Slam singles titles with 20 and 18, respectively. IANSAlso Read: Roger Federer has mixed feelings about Miami Open venueAlso Watch: Religious procession by Sikh community people arrives in Biswanath Chariali
Published on November 21, 2015 at 11:47 pm Syracuse (3-0) skated by another inferior opponent on Saturday, this time beating Elon (2-2), 66-55, in the Carrier Dome.The Orange shot a cold 2-for-8 from 3 in the first half and attacked the rim more in the second, which was the same adjustment it made against St. Bonaventure on Tuesday. And aside from the offense trending toward the paint, here are three things we learned from a game that, for Syracuse, was too close for too long.1. Trevor Cooney is still being guarded tightly, he’s just better at dealing with itCooney took just three 3s against Elon, making one in the second half on a kick-out from Michael Gbinije. But the fifth-year senior is adjusting his game accordingly, and going to the rim when teams take away his space on the perimeter.“That’s how it’s going to be, and I got that one open look and knocked it down which was good,” said Cooney, who finished eight points, six rebounds and four assists. “Overall, I’m happy that I was able to get to the rim and get to the basket and make plays. I just have to do it more often and try and find the open spots to try and get opportunities.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textStill, it sounded like SU head coach Jim Boeheim wants to get Cooney more good looks from the outside in the coming games. That depends on a few factors, including the shooting of Gbinije and Malachi Richardson — who shot just 1-for-6 from 3 on Saturday — and SU’s bigs becoming more viable scoring threats in the low post. More production across the board will mean teams won’t be able to key on him, and it’s a dilemma he’s faced in past seasons.But the difference now is that Cooney is more comfortable with the ball and, consequentially, more comfortable taking on defenders off the dribble. Elon also didn’t switch on on-ball screens as frequently as St. Bonaventure did, which allowed Cooney to attack his recovering man in pick-and-roll situations.“We’re not getting him good looks,” Boeheim said. “Mike got him one good look and he made it. We’re just not getting him those. People are staying with him and sticking to him, and that’s when we’ve got to get other offensive production from other people.”2. Tyler Roberson can shoulder a rebounding load as Syracuse figures out center situationBoeheim bluntly said he didn’t see much out of Roberson in the Orange’s season-opening win over Lehigh, and the junior forward has since elevated his game.He turned in one of the best, if not the best, game of his college career against Elon, notching a double-double of 20 points and 16 rebounds. More importantly, Roberson’s nine defensive rebounds was a good sign for a team still figuring out how to manage minutes at center.“Well he’s got to rebound and play defense,” Boeheim said, simply outlining Roberson’s most important jobs. “We’re creating opportunities for him by him screening and rolling, getting out of the way and moving.”Starting center Dajuan Coleman, still getting back to form after missing 22 months to injury, played 10 minutes and grabbed just one rebound. Boeheim continually yelled at him from the bench to be more active on the glass. In Coleman’s place, freshman Tyler Lydon played 35 minutes and Boeheim admitted that the Phoenix took some advantage of his slim 210-pound frame.Lydon grabbed a respectable seven rebounds, but it was Roberson who carried the thin frontcourt.3. Boeheim wants to play Gbinije on the wing more, but doesn’t have the right guard depth Against the Bonnies, lineups with Gbinije playing the wing of the 2-3 zone were particularly effective defensively. Boeheim said after beating Elon that he wants to play Gbinije in that spot, but that his reserve guards aren’t allowing him to do so.Gbinije also picked up three first-half fouls, which didn’t allow his coach to tinker with his lineups as much.“Ideally if Mike stays out of foul trouble I’d like to see him at the forward a little bit, we’re better defensively that way,” Boeheim said. “But we have to get somebody playing better at the guard spot to do that. That’s a hope. Mike helps our defense when he’s back there.”The two off-the-bench guards are sophomore Kaleb Joseph and freshman Franklin Howard, both of whom played fewer than 10 minutes against the Phoenix.Joseph came into the season being touted by his coaches and teammates as an improved shooter, but his perimeter defense has kept his playing time to a minimum. Howard is still getting his feet wet in his first college season, and missed two field goals while scoring his only (and first career) point at the foul line in the first half. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+
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