swiss tennis

Did partying cost Roger Federer his win over Novak Djokovic?!? We are not sure…

By Bob Stockton

Could a late night drinking binge from Roger Federer be the reason behind his collapse against Novak Djokovic in Saturday’s epic US Open semifinal?

There were reports that a man looking strinkingly similar to Federer partying at the Whiskey Blue bar the W hotel drinking Macallan scotch and exhaustingly posting for photographs with adoring fans.

The truth is that Federer was snuggly in bed while Darren Cellemme of Hoboken, N.J. – a spitting image look-a-like of the five-time US Open champion – was playing the part of the Swiss tennis-playing maestro at the “Get Served” Party sponsored by Macallan Scotch and The Daily.

Cellemme was discovered by representatives of the U.S. Tennis Association in 2009 while tending bar at Charley O’s on 45th and 8th in Manhattan and has been featured in many news reports around the world and various promotions.

“It’s uncanny, really,” said Cellemme of his resemblance. “There’s not a day that goes by when someone doesn’t say, “Hey, you know who you look like?”

Cellemme fooled many attendees at “Get Served” and at one point caused for a small mob of cell phone camera toting admirers to rush the W Hotel lobby glass door to get glimpse and photo of the guy they believed to be Federer.

The following day, Federer lost one of the most famous US Open matches of all time, losing a two-sets-to-love lead and blowing two match points in losing to Djokovic 6-7 (7), 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 in the men’s semifinals.

All guests at “Get Served” were given a free year-long subscription to The Daily Ipad news application and copies of the New Chapter Press book “Roger Federer: Quest for Perfection.”

Randy Walker and Roger Federer look a like

(photo caption: Randy Walker, publisher of the book ROGER FEDERER: QUEST FOR
PERFECTION (www.RogerFedererBook.com) with Roger Federer look-a-like Darren
Cellemme)

How The Federers Met: Roger and Mirka 10 Years Ago at the Olympics

It was 10 years ago on September 27, 2000 that Roger Federer concluded his participation at the Sydney Olympic Games when he was defeated by unheralded Arnaud DiPasquale of France 7-6 (5), 6-7 (7), 6-3 in the bronze medal match in men’s singles.

Despite losing this important match – the only time Federer has been this close to winning and Olympic medal in singles (he did win Olympic gold in 2008 in doubles) – the 2000 Olympic Games was a pivotal point in Federer’s life. It was at these Sydney Games 10 years ago this week where Federer and his now wife Mirka met and became a couple. Rene Stauffer, in his book ROGER FEDERER: QUEST FOR PERFECTION ($19.95, New Chapter Press, www.RogerFedererBook.com), describes Federer and his “Olympic Experiences” in this exclusive book excerpt.

The Swiss Olympic tennis team was in shatters at the start of the Sydney Games. Martina Hingis and Patty Schnyder both withdrew from the women’s competition at the last minute. Marc Rosset, the 1992 Olympic champion was also a late withdrawal, costing Federer an opportunity to play Olympic doubles. The Swiss Olympic Committee was furious. Tennis players were depicted as pampered and spoiled athletes who didn’t appreciate the true value of the Olympic Games.

The Swiss tennis team shared living quarters, socialized and dined with fellow Olympians from the Swiss archery, judo and wrestling teams in the Olympic Village, where Federer had the privilege of occupying a single room.

“That was the best event I ever attended,” Federer said years later as he embellished his long-time fascination of the Olympic Games. The contrast to the monotony of life in the hotels could hardly be bigger. The Opening Ceremonies, the interaction with athletes from other sports, the atmosphere in the Olympic Village and the feeling of belonging also made an impression on Mirka Vavrinec, a member of Switzerland’s women’s Olympic tennis team. “The Olympics are fantastic, unbelievably beautiful, unparalleled,” Vavrinec gushed of the Olympic experience courtside following a practice session. She also had nice things to say about Federer, the youthful star of the Swiss team, who was three years her junior—“I had no idea he was so funny.”

Mirka was born an only child in Bojnice, in the Slovakian part of Czechoslovakia in 1978. Her parents fled the Communist country with her when she was two-years-old to make a new life for themselves in the Swiss border city of Kreuzlingen on Lake Constance. Her father, Miroslav, a former javelin thrower, and his wife, Drahomira, ran a jewelry shop. In the fall of 1987, when Mirka was nine, Miroslav took his family to nearby Filderstadt, Germany where Martina Navratilova happened to be competing in a WTA Tour event.

The Czech-born Navratilova dominated women’s tennis and, like the Vavrinecs, defected from Czechoslovakia. When in Filderstadt, she warmly greeted the Vavrinec family. “We got to stay a few days with her,” Mirka said of the trip. Navratilova asked her if she played tennis. Mirka said no, “I do ballet.” The eight-time Wimbledon champion (she would go on to win her ninth title in 1990) advised her to try tennis. She said that Mirka’s good physique

and athletic talent would serve her well on the tennis courts. Navratilova put out feelers and asked the former top Czech player living in Switzerland, Jiri Granat, if he could test and coach the girl.

Navratilova’s instincts were correct. Mirka immediately showcased great skills with a tennis racquet. But not only that, she also had grit and endurance. Tennis instructor Murat Gürler, who tutored her in her early years, recalled that she was “completely into it” when it came to tennis. Mirka told the Swiss tennis magazine Smash in 1994, after winning the Swiss juniors’ title for 18-year-olds at the age of 15, “Tennis is my life, but it certainly can’t be easy to work with me because I can be really stubborn.”

Her ambition and her uncompromising nature were tremendous. In 1993, following a tournament in the city of Maribor in Slovenia, she convinced her coach to take her to a tournament in Croatia. The trip required travel through a part of Croatia where there was still fighting in the Balkan civil war. The two passed through destroyed villages, tanks and burned cars. She was afraid, but her ambition was greater.

Mirka ranked among the top 300 in the world by the time she was 17. A protracted heel injury in 1996 kept her off the circuit for months, causing her ranking to fall over 300 places. She valiantly fought back to No. 262 in the rankings by the end of 1997 and looked euphorically to the future. “I really want to place in the top 30 in the world rankings,” she said.

Mirka meanwhile obtained a Swiss passport. The only connections she still had to her native land were a few relatives still living in Slovakia as well as the confused mix of German and Slovakian spoken at home. She maintained loose ties to Navratilova and was fortunate to find a patron, the Swiss industrialist Walter Ruf, who helped her to survive financially on the women’s tennis circuit.

Thanks to her ambition and her endurance—as well as to her backhand that some even considered the best in the world—Mirka cracked the top 100 in the world rankings for the first time in 2000. She luckily received a wildcard

entry to play at the Olympic Games in Sydney, even though her ranking did not qualify her to play.

While Mirka won only two games in her first-round match against eventual silver medalist Elena Dementieva of Russia, Federer began to rack up victory after victory. Benefiting from an Olympic men’s field without Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras, and upset losses by US Open champion Marat Safin, Tim Henman and Michael Chang in his half of the draw, Federer won four straight matches and found himself in the semifinals. It was his best result of his career to date and surprisingly, it came at an outdoor event

At age 19, Federer was in position to become the youngest Olympic gold medalist in modern tennis. However, he played cautiously against the German Tommy Haas, ranked No. 48 (12 places behind Federer) in the semifinals and decisively lost. He did, however, still have a chance to win the bronze medal, but instead of registering a lifetime achievement of winning an Olympic medal, Federer suffered one of his greatest disappointments, losing to Arnaud DiPasquale of France, ranked No. 61 in the world. Despite being up 3-0 in the first-set tie-break, Federer lost seven of the next nine points to lose the tie-break 7-5. In the second set, Federer fought off a match point in the tie-break at 6-7 and won the tie-break two points later. Federer broke DiPasquale, who began suffering from cramps, to take a 2-1 lead in the final set, but the Frenchmen rallied to win the two-and-half-hour match 6-7 (5), 7-6 (7), 6-3.

“Considering how the match was going, I should never have lost,” Federer said, hardly able to hold back the tears. “I really wanted to be standing on the podium. Now I have nothing to take home except my pride.” But Federer, who had recently said “I would choose tennis over a girlfriend” would leave Sydney with more than his pride. His friendship with Mirka blossomed into romance. Mirka said at first she wasn’t aware that he had taken a romantic interest in her. “He didn’t kiss me until the last day of the Olympic Games,” she admitted.

They parted ways for now. She followed the women’s tour to Japan and then to Europe. However, the relationship became more intense over the next few months. The public still had to wait a long time until stories and official pictures of the new “dream couple” surfaced. When a newspaper disregarded Federer’s request to please keep his new relationship under wraps, he reacted angrily. “I don’t think that this has to come out in public,” he complained. “I spoke with my girlfriend and she didn’t want this exposed either, because then we would both just have to talk about our relationship and not about our tennis anymore.”

Mirka’s career, however, didn’t work out as hoped. She managed to reach the third round of a Grand Slam tournament at the 2001 US Open, losing to future world No. 1 Justine Henin-Hardenne, but the price she had to pay for her victories was high. Like her Swiss colleague, Martina Hingis, Mirka encountered problems with her feet—despite several operations and rest. Her career-high ranking was achieved on Sept. 10, 2001 when she ranked No.

76 in the world, but a torn ligament in her right foot prevented her from further improving and forced her into a hiatus that lasted for months. The 2001 US Open was her last great success on the tennis tour—with the exception of the Hopman Cup in Perth in January of 2002 where she was able to celebrate a victory over Argentina alongside her boyfriend. Shortly afterwards, at the age of 24, she played her last match on the WTA Tour in Budapest. She was forced to have another operation and was once again on crutches. It was still quite some time until she finally realized that her career was really finished. Her record as a professional concluded with 202 victories and 159 defeats—including the lower-level challenger and satellite events—with overall earnings of $260,832.

The abrupt and premature end of her career cast her into a depression. “It’s not easy when you do something you like your entire life and then have to quit it from one day to the next,” she said later in an interview at Wimbledon. “I fell into a deep hole. The most difficult part was when I was home for eight months and couldn’t do anything. I had a lot of time to think and watch tennis on television. Roger was my greatest support back then. He gave my tennis life back to me. When he wins, it’s as if I win as well.”

Roger Federer In Paperback

NEW YORK, June 29, 2010 – – ROGER FEDERER: QUEST FOR PERFECTION, the updated and re-released book that chronicles the incredible tennis career of Roger Federer, has been officially re-released in paperback by publisher New Chapter Press.

ROGER FEDERER: QUEST FOR PERFECTION ($19.95, New Chapter Press, www.NewChapterMedia.com) was written by Rene Stauffer, the esteemed Swiss tennis journalist who has covered Federer since the budding tennis champion was a 15-year-old. The book chronicles Federer’s life as a tempermental junior player, his early struggles on the ATP Tour, his break-out win at Wimbledon in 2003 through his record-breaking 15th major singles title at Wimbledon in 2009. The book also focuses on his values, how he has been marketed, his relationship with the media as well as his numerous charitable pursuits.

Federer made his statement for being considered as the greatest tennis player of all-time in 2009 when he defeated Andy Roddick 5-7, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (5), 3-6, 16-14 to win his sixth Wimbledon singles title and capture his 15th major singles title, surpassing the all-time men’s record of 14 set by Pete Sampras. Four weeks earlier, Federer defeated Robin Soderling 6-1, 7-6 (1), 6-4 to win the French Open, moving him into exclusive company as only the sixth man to complete a “Career Grand Slam” – winning all four major tournaments over a career. Federer’s major trophy mantle, that now numbers 16, currently includes the 2009 French Open title, six Wimbledon titles (2003-2007, 2009), five U.S. Open titles (2004-2008) and four Australian Open titles (2004, 2006, 2007, 2010).

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.

New Chapter Press is also the publisher of “The Bud Collins History of Tennis” by Bud Collins, “The Education of a Tennis Player” by Rod Laver with Bud Collins, “Boycott: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games” by Tom and Jerry Caraccioli, “Acing Depression: A Tennis Champion’s Toughest Match” by Cliff Richey and Hilaire Richey Kallendorf, “Jan Kodes: A Journey To Glory From Behind The Iron Curtain” by Jan Kodes, “The Lennon Prophecy” by Joe Niezgoda, “Bone Appetit, Gourmet Cooking For Your Dog” by Susan Anson, “The Rules of Neighborhood Poker According to Hoyle” by Stewart Wolpin, “People’s Choice Cancun – Travel Survey Guidebook” by Eric Rabinowitz and “Weekend Warriors: The Men of Professional Lacrosse” by Jack McDermott, among others. Founded in 1987, New Chapter Press is an independent publisher of books and part of the Independent Publishers Group. More information can be found at www.NewChapterMedia.com.

Roger Federer, Rod Laver And Tennis History Books For The Holidays

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Roger Federer, Rod Laver and Tennis History are on sale as New Chapter Press recommends all four of its tennis titles as Holiday gifts for tennis fans.

The Roger Federer Story, Quest for Perfection ($24.95, www.rogerfedererbook.com) was written by Rene Stauffer, the esteemed Swiss tennis journalist who has covered Federer since the budding tennis champion was a 15-year-old. The book 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 his pursuit of Pete Sampras’ record of 14 major singles titles. The book also focuses on Federer’s values, how he has been marketed, his relationship with the media as well as his numerous charitable pursuits.

The Education of a Tennis Player ($19.95) is the newly-updated and re-released memoir of Rod Laver, co-written by Tennis Hall of Famer Bud Collins. The book is Laver’s first-hand account of his 1969 Grand Slam season, capped off by his 7-9, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 win over fellow Australian Tony Roche in the final of the U.S. Open on September 8. Laver also writes about his childhood and early days in tennis, his 1962 Grand Slam and offers tips on how players of all levels can improve their game. He also shares some of the strategies that helped him to unparalleled success on the tennis court. This book will be available in traditional book stores and internet retailers in the Spring, 2010, but is available immediately via www.TennisWarehouse.com, the International Tennis Hall of Fame (www.TennisFame.com) or directly via New Chapter Press (www.NewChapterMedia.com or [email protected])

The Bud Collins History of Tennis ($35.95, 784 pages) is the ultimate compilation of historical tennis information written by Colllins, the world’s most famous tennis journalist and tennis historian. The book includes year-by-year recaps of every tennis season, biographical sketches of every major tennis personality, as well as stats, records, and championship rolls for all the major events. The author’s personal relationships with major tennis stars offer insights into the world of professional tennis found nowhere else.

On This Day In Tennis History ($19.95, 528 pages), is a fun and fact-filled, this compilation offers anniversaries, summaries, and anecdotes of events from the world of tennis for every day in the calendar year written by Randy Walker. Presented in a day-by-day format, the entries into this mini-encyclopedia include major tournament victory dates, summaries of the greatest matches ever played, trivia, and statistics as well as little-known and quirky happenings. For more information on this title, go to www.tennishistorybook.com.

New Chapter Press is also the publisher of Boycott: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games by Tom Caraccioli and Jerry Caraccioli, The Lennon Prophecy by Joe Niezgoda, Bone Appetit, Gourmet Cooking For Your Dog by Susan Anson, The Rules of Neighborhood Poker According to Hoyle by Stewart Wolpin, People’s Choice Cancun – Travel Survey Guidebook by Eric Rabinowitz and Weekend Warriors: The Men of Professional Lacrosse by Jack McDermott, among others. More information on New Chapter Press can be found at www.NewChapterMedia.com

Federer Wins Record-Tying 14th Major Singles Title and Career Grand Slam at 2009 French Open

NEW YORK, June 7 – The career and childhood of Roger Federer is chronicled in the book THE ROGER FEDERER STORY: QUEST FOR PERFECTION, the first U.S. published book about Federer, who Sunday completed a career sweep of all four Grand Slam tournaments and tied Pete Sampras’ men’s record of 14 major singles titles.

Federer finally captured his first title at the French Open Sunday, defeating Sweden’s Robin Soderling 6-1, 7-6, 6-4 in the men’s singles final. The win marked Federer’s 14th career major singles title, equaling the all-time men’s record set by Pete Sampras from 1990 to 2002. The victory also placed Federer in exclusive company as only the sixth man to complete a “Career Grand Slam” – winning all four major tournaments over a career – joining Fred Perry, Don Budge, Rod Laver, Roy Emerson and Andre Agassi. Federer’s Grand Slam trophy mantle, that now includes the 2009 French Open, also includes five Wimbledon titles (2003-2007), five U.S. Open titles (2004-2008) and three Australian Open titles (2004, 2006, 2007).

THE ROGER FEDERER STORY: QUEST FOR PERFECTION ($24.95, New Chapter Press, www.rogerfedererbook.com) was written by Rene Stauffer, the esteemed Swiss tennis journalist who has covered Federer since the budding tennis champion was a 15-year-old. The book 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 beyond. The book also focuses on his values, how he has been marketed, his relationship with the media as well as his numerous charitable pursuits.

“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.”

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.

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.” Other positive reviews have included noted tennis reporter Charlie Bricker of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, who wrote, “It’s a virtual encyclopedia of Federer’s career. There’s material in there I’ve not seen anywhere else. Fantastic.” Wrote leading tennis website Tennisreportersnet, “It could have easily been called the Encyclopedia Federer.”

The Roger Federer Story is not an authorized book by the Federer family, but has been well-received by his inner circle. The 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.”

Founded in 1987, New Chapter Press (www.newchapterpressmedia.com) is an independent publisher of books that is part of the Independent Publishers Group (IPG). New Chapter Press has also published THE BUD COLLINS HISTORY OF TENNIS, ON THIS DAY IN TENNIS HISTORY and BOYCOTT: STOLEN DREAMS OF THE 1980 MOSCOW OLYMPIC GAMES.