Federer coy over Olympics; Ostapenko claims Eastbourne title, Kerber delighted with ‘Bad’ reasons - GulfToday

Federer coy over Olympics; Ostapenko claims Eastbourne title, Kerber delighted with ‘Bad’ reasons


Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko celebrates with the trophy after winning the Eastbourne title. Reuters

Roger Federer is still not sure whether he will compete at the Tokyo Olympics, saying on Saturday that he and his team plan to “reassess the situation after Wimbledon.”

Speaking to reporters in a video conference from the All England Club before the grass-court Grand Slam tournament begins Monday, Federer said that how things go over the coming fortnight will affect his plans for the next couple of months.

“Obviously, if I play really good here or really bad, I think it has an impact on how everything might look for the summer,” he said.

“Still, my feeling is I would like to go to the Olympics. I would like to play as many tournaments as possible.

“But I think we decided now let’s just get through Wimbledon, sit down as a team, and then decide where we go from there.”

Wimbledon ends on July 11. The Tokyo Games - which were postponed a year because of the coronavirus pandemic - are scheduled to open on July 23.

At least two top men’s tennis players will not be at Wimbledon or in Japan: Rafael Nadal, who said his body needs to rest and recover, and Dominic Thiem, who recently injured his right wrist.

Federer, who shares the men’s record of 20 Grand Slam titles with Nadal, has won two Olympic medals for Switzerland: a silver in singles at the 2012 London Games, which held the tennis competition at the All England Club, and a gold in doubles with Stan Wawrinka at the 2008 Beijing Games.

His 40th birthday is approaching on Aug. 8, and Federer said that changes the calculus when it comes to figuring out a schedule, too.

“In previous years, it was definitely easier,” Federer said. “At the moment, things are not as simple as in the past. With age, you have to be more selective. You can’t play it all.”

Meanwhile, Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko claimed her first title for nearly two years with a dominant 6-3, 6-3 win over Anett Kontaveit to win the Eastbourne International on Saturday.

Ranked 43 in the world, former French Open champion Ostapenko was handed a wildcard to the Wimbledon warm-up event and could be a contender on the grass at SW19, where she was a semi-finalist in 2018.

Kontaveit had won the two previous clashes between the pair, but Ostapenko never looked back after racing into an early 5-1 lead in the first set.

Just one break of serve was required in the second to secure the fourth tour title of her career.

Elsewhere, Angelique Kerber gave herself a confidence boost ahead of Wimbledon, which starts Monday, by winning her first tournament in three years to take the WTA Bad Homburg grass-court title.

Kerber, a former world number one, beat Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-2 in Saturday’s final to win her first title since victory at Wimbledon in 2018.

After losing two finals in 2019, this is Kerber’s first tournament win since beating Serena Williams to win Wimbledon, when she claimed her third Grand Slam title.

“It means a lot to me today. This is my surface, I felt very comfortable on grass and I’m just happy to have finally won a tournament again,” said Kerber, whose family was watching in the stands.

“To be able to do all this in front of my friends and family is even nicer.”

In a separate development, Ashleigh Barty will wear a special dress when she plays on Centre Court on Tuesday in tribute to her fellow indigenous Australian Evonne Goolagong Cawley 50 years after she won her first Wimbledon title.

Barty said she had asked Cawley if she was okay with her drawing inspiration from the 1971 Wimbledon and French Open champion’s “iconic scallop dress”.

Barty said she hoped her dress will have a similar impact on the “next generation of indigenous youth” as Cawley’s had had on hers.

“It’s a really special anniversary for a lot of Australians, but for indigenous Australians in particular,” said Barty of the 50th anniversary of Cawley’s triumph.

“I think this is a really special one. For me to be able to wear an outfit inspired by Evonne’s iconic scallop dress is really amazing.

“I wanted to make sure she was okay with it. Before we had put in the process of creating my version of her iconic dress, I wanted to make sure she was okay. Called her and asked her. She was really excited.”


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