Federer Seeks Record 15th Major
June 26, 2009
NEW YORK — The 30th anniversary of “Breakfast at Wimbledon,” one of the great traditions in sports, highlights NBC Sports extensive coverage of The Championships, Wimbledon beginning this Saturday 3-6 p.m. ET and continuing this Sunday 1-4 p.m. ET with early round action. The network will present high definition coverage of more than 38 hours over nine days concluding with live high definition coverage of “Breakfast at Wimbledon” with the Ladies’ Final Saturday, July 4 at 9 a.m. ET and the Gentlemen’s Final, Sunday, July 5 at 9 a.m. ET.
Host Ted Robinson anchors NBC Sports coverage from Wimbledon, joined by three-time Wimbledon champion John McEnroe and Mary Carillo, with interviews and essays from Jimmy Roberts. Robinson, McEnroe and Carillo will be available for a conference call on Tuesday, June 30 at 3 p.m. ET. Conference call info to follow later this week.
For NBC Sports, this is the 30th anniversary of “Breakfast at Wimbledon” and the 40th anniversary of NBC’s Wimbledon coverage from the prestigious grass courts at the All England Lawn Tennis Club.
On the men’s side, Roger Federer is seeking his record 15th Major singles title and sixth Wimbledon title. With Rafael Nadal out with a knee injury, among Federer’s competition could be No. 3 seed Andy Murray of Great Britain and two-time Wimbledon runner-up Andy Roddick.
MCENROE ON FEDERER: “Obviously Roger is playing incredible tennis but it looks like his draw will be difficult. He could play either Robin Soderling or Ivo Karlevic in the Round of 16 and Fernando Verdasco or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the quarterfinals. All four are difficult and are contenders at Wimbledon.
MCENROE ON FEDERER ATTEMPTING TO BREAK MAJOR RECORD: “I think it is great for tennis that it is happening here at Wimbledon. He says this is his favorite surface and he says he loves it here. It just shows you how quickly things can change because it was only a few months ago that people were writing him off, and then he wins the French for the first time and he is on his way to breaking the record.”
ROBINSON ON EXPECTATIONS FOR FEDERER: “Having won five Wimbledons already and losing his sixth in what was the greatest match ever last year, Roger is going to enter this Wimbledon as an odds on favorite to win his record breaking 15th major. It puts a little more pressure on his shoulders.”
MCENROE ON OTHER CONTENDERS: “Andy Murray has potentially two difficult and tricky matches but if he gets by he has a good chance to go to the finals. With Nadal out of the tournament it leaves potentially an opportunity for Roddick, if he is healthy and plays well.”
ROBINSON ON RODDICK: “He is playing much better this year than he has in the last few years. He is coming off his best French Open and that should help his confidence. If they ever do get to meet, he has played Roger better the last couple of times, so that at least gives Roddick some glimmer of hope.”
MCENROE ON MURRAY: “Murray has beaten Roger the last four times they have played and he is the most likely candidate to take him if they are to meet in the final.”
ROBINSON ON MURRAY: “Murray has had a great year, he is up to No. 3 in the world and the obvious story of a Brit trying to win again – which hasn’t happened in 70 years since Fred Perry won – will have massive repercussions. If Murray makes it into the second weekend he is going to become an incredible story there.”
ROBINSON ON WHO ELSE TO LOOK FOR: “I don’t really know how his game is going to translate to grass but Del Potro was ridiculously close to playing in the finals of the French Open. He had Federer completely backed into the corner in the semis and wasn’t able to finish him but there is clearly a lot of talent there. The other guy that I would think to have a really good chance to make a mark at this Wimbledon is Fernando Verdasco, who is just an incredibly talented. He played one of the greatest matches in the history of the sport against Nadal at the Australian Open this year.”
ROBINSON ON NADAL’S ABSENCE: “It’s definitely disappointing and the crucial question is, is it short term or long term? The sport and tennis fans will all be able to absorb a short-term absence from Rafa but if its long term then is obviously severely damaging to the sport, to the fans, to the incredible rivalry that he and Federer have crafted the last three years in particular. If it’s a significant knee problem then we all are concerned about that because no one wants that and tennis can’t afford a long-term absence of Nadal.”
MCENROE WEIGHS IN ON TOP WIMBLEDON MATCHES EVER: “My match vs. Bjorn Borg in the 1980 final is the best match I have played in.”
The best matches McEnroe has seen:
On the ladies side, defending champion Venus Williams is seeking her sixth Wimbledon singles title, her third straight and her fourth in five years. Since her first title in 2000, Venus has appeared in seven of the nine Wimbledon finals. Her main competition will come from her sister Serena, a two-time champion who Venus defeated in the final last year in straight sets and the No. 1 seed Dinara Safina of Russia.
ROBINSON BREAKS DOWN THE LADIES: “On the ladies side it’s two people, Venus and Serena in that order. There’s no question that Venus is the queen at Wimbledon, having won here five times. She steps on that court as if this was where she was born to play tennis. Venus and Serena have been so dominant at Wimbledon that it’s difficult to see anybody derailing that. When they are focused, fit and healthy they are the dominant players on the woman’s tour at the majors. I would be shocked if they don’t make it to the final.”
LIVE AT WIMBLEDON: NBCSports.com is your online companion for NBC Sports coverage of Wimbledon. Live at Wimbledon a joint venture of NBC Sports and the All England Lawn Tennis Club and powered by Microsoft Silverlight will offer live streaming of up to four concurrent courts, on-demand replays of the best matches from every day of The Championships, alternate camera angles for NBC Sports semifinal and final match coverage, daily video highlights, and Golden Moments from the Wimbledon archive.
Live at Wimbledon is available throughout The Championships, Wimbledon with on-demand coverage. Live streaming of NBC Sports coverage and additional matches will begin this Saturday, concluding with the Ladies’ Final on Saturday, July 4 at 9 a.m. ET and the Gentlemen’s Final on Sunday, July 5 at 9 a.m. ET.
WIMBLEDON ON NBC SPORTS MOBILE: Again this year, NBC Sports provides live mobile coverage of The Championships, Wimbledon. Starting Saturday, June 27 (3-6 p.m. ET) and extending until the end of the championships, tennis fans can watch NBC’s coverage on either NBC 2Go or NBC Sports Mobile, including live coverage of every exciting point of the Gentlemen’s and Ladies’ Finals. Plus, tennis fans will be able to get news and scores right on their cell phones with the NBC Sports Mobile Web site or exclusive text alerts; users can just text the word TENNIS to 51515 or visit http://mobile.nbcsports.com.