Fed­erer eyes Wim­ble­don af­ter clinch­ing 18th Grand Slam ti­tle

The Herald - Herald Sport - - UPDATE - TOM ALLNUTT

ROGER FED­ERER was as sur­prised to win his 18th Grand Slam ti­tle at the Aus­tralian Open as he was to clinch his first at Wim­ble­don in 2003.

Now the Swiss is tar­get­ing the All Eng­land Club for ma­jor tri­umph No.19 af­ter he ousted old ri­val Rafael Nadal in five thrilling sets in Mel­bourne.

Fed­erer beat Nadal 6-4 3-6 6-1 3-6 6-3 to win his fifth Aus­tralian Open ti­tle and complete an in­cred­i­ble come­back fol­low­ing six months out with in­jury.

Vic­tory also means Fed­erer climbs to 10th in the world rank­ings af­ter he started the tour­na­ment 17th and with feint hopes of mak­ing the quar­ter-fi­nals.

“This came as a huge, huge sur­prise. I guess maybe like 2003 Wim­ble­don, it’s to­tally different, but it was a big, big sur­prise,” Fed­erer said.

“I thought I could prob­a­bly be dan­ger­ous for a top guy, maybe beat one, and then that would prob­a­bly be it, just be­cause the body would start aching – which it did. Or my level would drop – which it didn’t.”

Even for Fed­erer, the French Open is likely to prove out of reach given he has never en­joyed play­ing on clay and the sur­face will be par­tic­u­larly bru­tal on his body.

Nadal, the nine-time cham­pion at Roland Gar­ros, world No.1 Andy Mur­ray, reign­ing cham­pion No­vak Djokovic and 2015 winner Stan Wawrinka will all sit higher in the peck­ing or­der.

It means the 35-year-old’s best chance of seal­ing his next Grand Slam suc­cess is on the grass of Cen­tre Court this sum­mer.

“Yeah, Wim­ble­don over Roland Gar­ros, yes,” Fed­erer said.

“On the grass I’ve got a lot of tour­na­ments there, I play Stuttgart and Halle. So I guess Wim­ble­don, I know I have a bet­ter shot there. But at the French Open, if you’re not in the draw you can’t win it so I hope to be in the draw this year, not like last year.

“The US Open ac­tu­ally I also think I have a good chance to do well there, but let’s en­joy this one first.”

Fed­erer will first take some time off to re­cover phys­i­cally from his drain­ing run at Mel­bourne Park, be­fore con­tin­u­ing the hard-court sea­son in Dubai, In­dian Wells and Mi­ami.

The knee in­jury that prompted last year’s sab­bat­i­cal ap­pears not to have resur­faced but Fed­erer did have to put up with pain in his thigh and groin against Wawrinka and Nadal.

SPORTINBRIEF

ICE HOCKEY Fife Fly­ers last night re­leased the ex­pe­ri­enced Czech Republic-born de­fence­man David Turon,

The 33-year-old much-trav­elled, for­mer Toronto Maple Leafs draft pick, who played 38 games for Dundee Stars last sea­son, has scored three goals and as­sisted in five oth­ers in 30 out­ings for Fife this sea­son.

A Fly­ers spokesman said: “We have been car­ry­ing an ex­tra im­port re­cently but are now sit­ting at full im­port quota.”

Fife en­ter­tain bottom club Ed­in­burgh Cap­i­tals on Satur­day (7.15pm) and fourth-placed Not­ting­ham Pan­thers on Sun­day (6.30pm).

Mean­while, Dundee Stars coach Marc Le­feb­vre said the 6-5 shootout win over Scot­tish ri­vals Brae­head Clan on Sun­day at The Dundee Ice Arena was “mas­sive for the club”.

Stars bounced back from a 4-1 sec­ond-pe­riod deficit and the Cana­dian coach said: “The boys showed great char­ac­ter and they kept chip­ping away.” HOCKEY A dou­ble hat trick by Vikki Bunce saw Dundee Wan­der­ers de­feat Milne Craig Western 8-2 in the semi-fi­nal of the women’s in­door first di­vi­sion cham­pi­onship,

Wan­der­ers’ op­po­nents in the fi­nal will be Grove Men­zieshill in an all-Tay­side af­fair. Grove saw off Ed­in­burgh Univer­sity 4-3.

With the score poised at 2-2 mid­way through the sec­ond half, the turn­ing point came with two goals in as many min­utes by Grove teenager Katie Stott to give them a two-goal cush­ion.

In­ver­leith are on course for their fifth cham­pi­onship af­ter see­ing off Grange 7-4 in the men’s semi-fi­nal.

The game was on a knife edge at 4-4 with five min­utes to go, but Derek Sal­mond scored to put In­ver­leith a goal ahead. Grange then re­placed their goal­keeper with an ad­di­tional out­field player to res­cue the tie but it only al­lowed Pa­trick Christie to net two late on.

The other semi also went to the wire with Grove Men­zieshill and Bro­mac Kel­burne locked at 5-5 with less than two min­utes left. In a dra­matic fin­ish, Kel­burne de­fender Josh Cairns was sent to the sin bin, al­low­ing Ross Macpherson and Ben Cro­mar to score for a 7-5 vic­tory for Men­zieshill.

SPORTONTV

Football Pre­mier League, Liverpool v Chelsea – BT Sport 1 1900; Cham­pi­onship, Brent­ford v As­ton Villa – Sky Sports 1 1930; Coppa Italia, TBC – Sky Sports 5 1940. Ten­nis WTA, St Peters­burg Ladies’ Tro­phy – BT Sport 1 0800. Cycling Tour of Dubai – Eu­rosport 2 1000. Win­ter sports Win­ter Univer­si­ade – Eu­rosport 1 0700 and Eu­rosport 2 0930.

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