Scoop Malinowski, who contributes to the Tennis Frontier, has released his new book “Facing Federer“.
Here is the third of three excerpts:
“Roger is different. He’s the new generation. He was comparable to Marcelo Rios, very talented, he has great hands, but the difference was Roger had the big serve, big return. He could make winners out of anything basically. And even out of defense. And Roger is just one of a kind. It’s always a special feeling to play Roger or any No. 1 in the world. Because he’s the best player in the world and you want to be at your best. If you can beat him you become a part of the history of tennis. Because you don’t often meet a No. 1 in the world. And if you beat him, everybody says Wow, congratulations. You make the news. All the friends suddenly text you. It’s just such a good feeling. Also you can do it for yourself because you can prove that your own tennis can play against the top player in the world. And this is the point of tennis. If you can prove, not only to yourself, but also to the other people that you are learned on the level, you’re really playing at the top. And people are looking to you, that you are the one that can play tennis.”
Question: What was your most memorable match against Federer?
Dominik Hrbaty: “Probably in Cincinnati when I beat him as the No. 1 in the world. But there was also one in Wimbledon that was our last meeting. Because it was after my surgery, I didn’t play well and this was the only time that he beat me. Because I beat him two times before. We were very good friends with Roger and he was always joking about when he was going to beat me. And in Wimbledon, that match, we sit on the bench together, which is very unusual. On the last changeover I came over and sat with him. And I told him, ‘Roger, finally you beat me. So this is the day.’ And we had a good laugh. It’s not only about competition, sports and tennis is about friendship and also about, you know, making the thing that you will remember for the rest of your life.”
2000 Paris Masters, Round of 64, Hrbaty: 4-6, 6-2, 6-2
2004 Cincinnati Masters, Round of 64, Hrbaty: 1-6, 7-6, 6-4
2008 Wimbledon, Round of 128, Federer: 3-6, 2-6, 2-6
You can purchase the whole book at Amazon:
Cover Photo: Carine06 (Creative Commons License)