Roger Federer Book Author Rene Stauffer Comments on Federer’s US Open Victory

NEW YORK, N.Y., September 10, 2008 – The following is a question and answer session with Rene Stauffer, the author of the book The Roger Federer Story, Quest for Perfection ($24.95, New Chapter Press, www.rogerfedererbook.com), on Roger Federer’s victory at the 2008 US Open. Playing on the 39th anniversary of Rod Laver winning his second Grand Slam and on the sixth anniversary of Pete Sampras’ fifth US Open title and his 14th and final major title, Federer continued his assault on tennis history by winning the US Open for a fifth straight year, defeating Andy Murray of Britain 6-2, 7-5, 6-2 in Monday’s men’s singles final. While winning his 13th major singles title, Federer becomes the first man to win five straight U.S. men’s singles titles since American Bill Tilden won six straight titles from 1920 to 1925. Federer is now just one major singles title shy of tying Pete Sampras for the most major men’s singles titles with 14.

QUESTION: With this victory, can you say that “Roger is back?”

RENE STAUFFER: Absolutely, although he was never really gone. A lot of fans and media people tend to over react and read too much into single tournaments or results. He had spoiled everybody by winning so many major tournaments over the last four years – and that’s why the reactions (to his losses at major tournaments) this year were so strong. But Roger’s career is defined by Grand Slam tournaments more than ever, and he continued his run this year. He stands at 18 Grand Slam tournament semifinals in a row and was part of 13 of the last 14 major finals – even though he had a case of mono in early 2008, which shattered his whole preparation and made what was already a tough year with the Olympics even more difficult.

QUESTION: Does Roger feed off of a lot of the talk of people writing him off, saying that he is no longer the top man in tennis?

RENE STAUFFER: Maybe a little more than he is ready to acknowledge. It was a bitter learning experience for him this year to realize how fast people tend to switch opinions, how changeable sport fans can be, how little respect he got from some media and certain people. But he is too proud to let this bother him, and he tried with success to stay positive and in the best possible frame of mind to give himself more chances. He really showed his mental strength in the last few months.

QUESTION: Just how rattled was Roger after losing at Wimbledon and losing his No. 1 ranking and how satisfying is this win at the US Open?

RENE STAUFFER: Since he realized that the Wimbledon final made tennis history and lifted tennis to a new popularity, he digested the defeat much better than expected. Right after the final, he had said in interviews with the Swiss press that he was devastated and that it could not get any worse than that. However, he realized that Rafael Nadal deserved the No. 1 ranking much more, but Roger gave the right answers, since in his first tournament as No. 2, he won his fifth U.S. Open.

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QUESTION: How important was winning the Olympic doubles gold medal for his confidence coming into the US Open?

RENE STAUFFER: That was the key to this title. The gold medal gave him back the inspiration and motivation, the confidence and the joy of playing tennis. He said after beating Murray that winning the doubles in Beijing put him on a cloud and that he refused to come down in New York.

QUESTION: Roger now has 13 major men’s singles titles and is alone in second place all-time – one shy of Pete Sampras’s record of 14. Do you think Roger will break Sampras’ record and if so, where will he do it?

RENE STAUFFER: I am convinced that he will break it. I would not be surprised if it happened 2009, but would not be worried for him if not. As Sampras said, every year with a Grand Slam tournament title is a good year. And Roger has four chances every year, so the odds are looking good, since he only turned 27. When Pete won his 13th major title, he was almost 29.

Stauffer is an esteemed Swiss tennis journalist who has covered Federer since the budding tennis champion was a 15-year-old. The Roger Federer Story, Quest for Perfection chronicles Federer’s life as tempermental junior player, through his early struggles on the ATP Tour and his break-through win at Wimbledon in 2003 and through all of his major tournament titles. The book also focuses on his values, how he has been marketed, his relationship with the media as well as his numerous charitable pursuits.

Published by New Chapter Press, the book has met with many positive reviews from the international media. The Toronto Globe and Mail called the book “excellent” while Britain’s Daily Telegraph called it “an intimate and insightful portrait.” Wrote Tennis.com of the book; “It’s accessible and sketches out his career development very logically. At the same time, it throws in enough about his personality and the rest of his life to flesh out the tale without turning it into it a flabby puff-piece.”

The Roger Federer Story is not an authorized book by the Federer family, but has been well-received by his inner circle. The five-time Wimbledon champ’s mother, Lynette Federer, uses the book as an encyclopedia on her son’s career. “It’s useful for me, because I often am asked about things and I don’t know for sure without checking,” she told Zurich’s Tages-Anzeiger. “Now, I will always know where I can look them up.”

Stauffer is one of the world’s leading tennis journalists and the highly-respected tennis correspondent for Zurich’s Tages-Anzeiger and Sonntags-Zeitung. A sports writer since 1981, Stauffer worked for the Swiss newspapers Blick and Sport, before joining Tages-Anzeiger in 1993. After first writing about Federer in 1996, Stauffer has traveled the world covering Federer and his many triumphs.

“When I first saw Roger Federer play tennis when he was a 15-year-old, I didn’t think that I would even write his name in my newspaper, let alone a book about him,” said Stauffer, who opens the book with his “Encounter with a 15-year-old” chapter when on Sept. 11, 1996, he first came upon Federer at the World Youth Cup tennis event in Zurich. “I am very happy I wrote this book, since a lot of readers told me that they find it very entertaining and educational about Roger and his career.”

New Chapter Press (www.newchapterpressmedia.com) is also the publisher of The Bud Collins History of Tennis by Bud Collins and Boycott: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games by Tom Caraccioli and Jerry Caraccioli. New Chapter Press is an independent publisher of books founded in 1987.