Australian tennis legend Laver says Federer is the greatest player of all time. Federer has won a record 17 Grand Slam titles and occupied the No. 1 spot for 302 weeks in a gilded career that has had many to proclaim him as the finest in history.
There is one man in history, still playing today, who has raised the question more than ever. This man of course is the Swiss maestro Roger Federer. So, is he really the best player of all time?
Tennis superstar Roger Federer has long been considered one of the kindest guys in sports. A recent Twitter posts by a young fan, however, takes Federer's sainthood to a whole new level.
Federer has been at the top of the tennis world for a decade and now he is as powerful as ever as a celebrity thanks to his arsenal of sponsors, widespread appeal and media visibility.
Was 2013 a lost year?
Haven't these unaccustomed defeats against low-ranked players taken away your enjoyment of tennis?
After eclipsing Sampras's record of 14 Grand Slam titles back in 2009 at Wimbledon, Roger Federer seems to have left idol Pete Sampras behind in an aspect of life too it seems. The American says that he is mighty impressed with the fact that Federer travels with his wife and kids when he is on tour, and seems to be very happy doing that.
Date: 28th November 2013, Source: Tennis Earth
We all consider Roger Federer to be a guy who doesn’t show his emotions a lot of times, but Pete Sampras has a different outlook. The American believes that the Swiss Maestro is a real prankster when he isn’t playing a match and loves to have fun like everyone else does.
He further continued, “I first became friends with Roger during that tour. I didn’t know Roger that well before then. On the first day, we were both shy, and we weren’t really sure how to act around each other, but once we got past that, it was great, and we realised that our personalities are similar. Roger is a bit of a prankster - that’s a side to people that people don’t tend to see. With modern technology, it’s easy to stay in touch with Roger. We email and text and call. It’s become a good friendship, and I’m sure we’ll stay in touch after Roger stops playing.”
Date: 27th November 2013, Source: Tennis Earth
“I’ve been in this game for more than 40 years, and there has never been a player who has made me as emotional as Roger has, not even close. And I’m not the only one. I have sometimes looked around when Roger is on court, and seen that others were affected in the same way. There would be a whole bunch of us getting choked up. I’ve never been as emotional watching a tennis match as I have done after Roger has lost. This may sound strange, but his losses affect me much more than my own defeats.
“I was watching him play Tommy Robredo in the fourth round of this year’s US Open, and I had to walk away. I could see that Roger was going to lose, and I just couldn’t watch any more. I didn’t want to feel what I was going to feel. And his defeat to Sergiy Stakhovsky, in the second round of this year’s Wimbledon Championships, wasn’t that awful? It’s the defeats at grand slams that affected me the most.
“Roger is a special breed - some of those defeats just rolled off his back, but I never found them easy to take. And I haven’t really spent that time with the guy. I hardly know him. I’m not a stalker, I promise you.”
Date: 27th November 2013, Source: The Tennis Space
Seventeen-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer will lead a strong men’s field, which features Top 20 players Kei Nishikori, Gilles Simon and Kevin Anderson alongside a raft of rising talent.
Brisbane International 2013 runner-up Grigor Dimitrov returns to the Sunshine State looking to go one better in 2014, but will be forced to overcome a world class field including local hopes Lleyton Hewitt (SA), Marinko Matosevic (Vic) and 18-year-old wildcard Nick Kyrgios (ACT) in his pursuit of the title.
Brisbane International Tournament Director Cameron Pearson said the 2014 field was one of the strongest in the event’s history.
“The calibre of the field assembled for Brisbane International 2014 is one of the greatest on record, and we’re certainly looking forward to welcoming the world’s top players to Queensland Tennis Centre in December,” he said.
“To have Roger Federer and Serena Williams headline the event, and a line-up that features four of the world’s Top 20 men and six of the Top 10 women, is a remarkable result and testament to the high regard the players have for the tournament.
“It’s thanks to the incredible support the event receives from Queensland tennis fans that so many of the world’s leading players have chosen to start their 2014 campaigns here in Brisbane, and consider the tournament their ideal lead-in to the Australian Open.
“Tennis fans can certainly look forward to eight days of world class action from some of the biggest stars of the game in 2014.”
Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games Jann Stuckey said she looked forward to seeing the world’s top tennis players step onto Pat Rafter Arena in December for one of Queensland’s most highly anticipated sporting events.
“We look forward to welcoming some of the biggest names in world tennis to Brisbane International 2014, now in its sixth year, and wish all the players the very best,” Ms Stuckey said.
“I have no doubt this exceptional line-up of tennis talent will attract bumper crowds to Brisbane for the event.
“The Queensland Government is proud to support Brisbane International 2014 as part of its goal to double the annual overnight visitor expenditure from $15 billion to $30 billion by 2020.”
The official ATP field for Brisbane International 2014 is as follows:
Player - Emirates ATP Ranking
Roger Federer (SUI) - 6
Kei Nishikori (JPN) - 17
Gilles Simon (FRA) - 19
Kevin Anderson (RSA) - 20
Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) - 23
Jurgen Melzer (AUT) - 27
Feliciano Lopez (ESP) - 28
Dmitry Tursunov (RUS) - 29
Jeremy Chardy (FRA) - 34
Julien Benneteau (FRA) - 35
Marin Cilic (CRO) - 37
Jarkko Nieminen (FIN) - 39
Robin Haase (NED) - 43
Denis Istomin (UZB) - 45
Sam Querrey (USA) - 46
Nicolas Mahut (FRA) - 50
Adrian Mannarino (FRA) - 60
Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) - 61
Marinko Matosevic (AUS) - 62
Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) - 67
Igor Sijsling (NED) - 69
Nick Kyrgios (AUS) - 186 [WC]
WC - wildcard
Date: 21st November 2013, Source: ATP
Four-time Australian Open champion and winner of a record 17 Grand Slam singles titles, Federer will take on his friend and foe, world No.10, charismatic Frenchman and Australian Open finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, in what promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime tennis and entertainment event.
“It’s going to be called “A night with Roger Federer and Friends”, it’s going to be very entertaining, and it would be great if you could be part of it,” Roger Federer said as he announced the event today.
“Good acts, entertainment, music, light-show, clearly the match - I hope that’s what you’re coming for, to see me play against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. We’ve had some great exhibitions in the past where we really light up the crowd. I know I’m going to be playing good tennis and it’s a great way to kick off the Australian Open.
“I’m celebrating ten years since my first victory in Australia, and I’m celebrating ten years of the Roger Federer Foundation. I spoke with Tennis Australia to see if we could do something a bit fun, a bit different as well, and I hope that’s why people are going to join in the action.
“I hope it’s going to be a sell-out night and we will raise awareness and raise a lot of money if possible and just have a good time. That was the idea behind it and it is all coming true. I’m looking forward to the day that I step on to Rod Laver Arena and do it.
“You can get involved by going to get a ticket … they are on sale this Thursday. I hope there are still some left because they’re very hot and very exclusive,” Federer joked.
Federer is passionate about the work of the Roger Federer Foundation, which will share in the proceeds of this special event.
“The foundation is very personal to me clearly. We are celebrating the tenth year of the Roger Federer Foundation on the 23 December, I can’t believe it’s actually been ten years, but we try to help kids, particularly in Southern Africa to have a quality education and so far we’ve been able to help 50,000 over the course of the last ten years … we have big goals for the future to hopefully help one million kids by 2018 so it’s really something I’m looking forward to, to try and help as many kids as possible have a quality education in the future.
“My Mum’s from South Africa so I was in touch with poverty quite early and I saw also other great athletes, inspirational people, do many great things for other people.
“As I was quite young when I had success on the tennis tour I wanted to start charity work early, because I remember a quote, I think it was from Andre Agassi, he always said “I wish I would have started earlier”, so you know what, I said I want to start really early, learn a lot about it, I’m still not done learning, I learn something every single day when it comes to the foundation and even from tennis, but it’s something that’s very important to me, it’s very personal, and it’s hopefully going to follow me for many, many years to come.”
A night with Roger Federer and Friends is presented by Rolex, a major supporter of the Roger Federer Foundation.
The event will take place at Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne Park, on Wednesday 8 January 2014.
Ticket prices start at $64.90 and a variety of packages, including courtside seating and hospitality options, are also available.
Tickets go on sale at 12:00 noon (AEDST) on Thursday 14 November at www.ticketek.com.au or telephone 132 849.
Proceeds from the event will go to the Roger Federer Foundation and the Australian Tennis Foundation.
> More information on tickets and the event
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Date: 12th November 2013, Source: Tennis Australia
Following a 7-5, 6-3 defeat to rival Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals of the ATP World Tour Finals on Sunday, the six-time champion reflected on his satisfying finish to a tumultuous 2013 and outlined his goals and ambitions for the year to come.
A record 10th final in Basel and impressive 11th semi-final in 12 appearances at the season finale are building blocks that the Swiss says will drive him to work harder moving forward.
“I think it was a stronger finish than I thought it was going to be in Basel, Paris and London,” Federer said. “I'm more positive now looking ahead than I would have been a few months ago where I wasn't quite sure what to expect after the US Open.”
Perhaps the most galvanising aspect of Federer’s recent form has been his ability to play pain-free after a season plagued with back issues. The 32 year old identifies his improved health as a key factor to his rejuvenated state on the court, “physically and also mentally”.
“Beating two Top 10 players is a good thing for me after not having beaten any for almost seven or eight months,” Federer added. “Considering the back issues I've had, I'm pleased that I'm pain free for a long period of time now with a lot of tennis.
“What I learned is that I can play three weeks pretty easily. I played a lot of matches as of late, a lot of three setters, a lot of tennis. From that standpoint, it’s very satisfying knowing that the body can do it, the mind can do it, life allows it to happen.”
As the 77-time titlist on the ATP World Tour looks to build on his lone crown of the season, on the grass of Halle, the Swiss will begin his 2014 campaign just three match wins behind Guillermo Vilas for third place on the all-time list.
“I think always the end of the season carries over in some way, shape or form, good or bad. Clearly you look at the whole season as a whole. But then again, it's just about hard work, about relaxing a little bit, recovering from all the inflammations you might have in your body, because those also need to disappear to start the next season as physically good as you can; mentally refreshed.”
As the Basel native embarks on his 17th season on the ATP World Tour, he has no plans of hanging up his racquet anytime soon. As Federer puts it, “Tennis is something that’s always there in your DNA.”
“For me, it's pretty simple: This is what I used to do as a little boy. It's almost like I started walking at the same time I started playing tennis in some ways. It's like one of those moments where you're happy out on the court, you're happy improving, happy trying to change things, adjusting now. As long as I have this choice, I'll keep on playing.”
Federer will open his 2014 season at the Brisbane International, in January, in his first ever appearance at the tournament.
Date: 10th November 2013, Source: ATP
It was the fifth time that Nadal and Federer had played one another at the season finale. Federer had previously won all four matches - twice in Shanghai (2006-07) and twice in London (2010-11) - at the eight-player championship.
Nadal looked to be making inroads into Federer’s serve as early as the third game, when the Swiss lost three straight points from 40/0. Federer was attempting to keep as close to the baseline as possible, as Nadal targeted his single-handed backhand.
Nadal showed great mental strength at 2-3 when he saved three break points during a game where the forehand striking of both players was exceptional. By contrast Federer’s next service game lasted 68 seconds.
The first of three straight service breaks in the pair’s 32nd meeting came at 4-4, when clever court-craft by Nadal saw him draw Federer to the net in order to strike a forehand winner down the line.
Federer won a 30-stroke rally at 30/30 in the following game, when a powerful forehand beyond Nadal earned him a break point, which he converted when Nadal hit a forehand long.
Nadal bounced back from the set-back, showing great physical strength at 15/40 on Federer’s serve to wrestle back a crosscourt forehand that the sixth seed snatched at to hit a forehand into the net.
"I think Roger played really aggressive, that's my feeling," said Nadal. "At the beginning, his serve worked very well. My feeling is in the first set, he played very well. So in my opinion until 4-4, he was playing better than me.
"I saved a few break points, very important ones, and then I played a good game when I had the break… The key of the match was probably at 5-5, after he had the break back in the first set, when I was serving for the set. I got the break another time to be 6-5 in my favour. That was very important."
At 6-5, Nadal closed out a hold to love with his eighth forehand winner to end the 43-minute set. Federer, who needed to be aggressive struck 11 winners and committed 15 unforced errors in a high-quality opener.
"I went for it when I had a chance for a break point in the first set," said Federer. "Maybe I shouldn't have, but I did. I just struggled to stay consistent enough throughout the match and that's why he deserved to win. He was better today."
In the second set, leading 1-0, Federer missed a mid-court forehand at 30/30 on Nadal’s serve. It was a half chance, but Federer was not quite in position to strike it cleanly.
Federer committed another forehand error in the fifth game to give Nadal the break. At 4-3, Federer missed a mid-court forehand again when Nadal was serving at 30/30.
Nadal tightened up his game and at 5-3, created one match point opportunity at 30/40. Federer serve and volleyed, but Nadal’s backhand return was low enough to get Federer into trouble. He hit a backhand volley long to end the 80-minute encounter.
"He was playing more consistent," said Federer, who ended his season with a 45-17 match record. "He was playing more solid. I just couldn't come up with the shots when I needed them, forehand or serve, moving forward."
Date: 10th November 2013, Source: ATP
Del Potro broke Federer in the first and fifth games of the first set, as Federer committed seven forehand errors to trail 1-5. Federer staged a rousing comeback, but despite hitting 15 winners and clinching nine of 10 net points won, del Potro saved two break points to seal the 41-minute opener.
Del Potro seized control of the match when Federer hit a backhand into the net at 1-1, 15/40 in the second set. Federer walked to his chair with his head bowed.
It proved to be a temporary blip as Federer broke del Potro to love in the sixth game after a double fault. Without any further chances against serve, a tie-break was inevitable. Federer opened up a 4-1 lead in the tie-break and clinched the 50-minute set with his seventh ace.
With del Potro serving first in the decider, the pressure was on Federer. When he buckled in the second game at 15/40, after he struck his 18th forehand error, del Potro went on to take a 3-0 lead.
"I was probably slightly angry more than thinking it's going to be over soon," said Federer, when asked about how he felt at 0-3 in the third set. "It's one of those moments today, because I kind of fought back the whole match - the first, second set. Here we go again."
But Federer drew on his reserves to fight back to 3-3 for a very tense finale.
At 5-5, 15/40, del Potro mis-timed a forehand to gift Federer the chance to serve for the match. Federer saved a break point in the next game and clinched victory with his 10th ace. The match lasted two hours and 26 minutes.
"I wasn't in many of Juan Martin's service games, so I kind of felt like probably I will get one more chance to break back. It's exactly what happened," said Federer. "Once on even terms, I was able to play a little bit more freely.
"For the first time I was almost feeling like I was kind of in the lead. It was a great finish. I was very happy. To get the victory was a great feeling, so I was very happy."
Federer hit 13 of his 39 winners in the third set, when he lost four of his first service points.
"I think I got two chances to win the match," said del Potro. "I broke his serve in the second set and in the third one. But he played great when I was up, and he deserved to come back in both sets. But at the end, when you have to be focus and find the winners, I made the mistakes and he was there really focused to take the chance. I think that was the key of the match."
"I just have to have the right mindset to give it one last go, maybe play with a little less pressure than I have in previous matches with him," said Federer.
"I just feel like I need to look at it more as being an underdog a little bit because of circumstances, because of my year, because of his year. Maybe that free swinging is what I kind of need to do a little bit more tomorrow."
Federer's schedule has been a heavy one with a final appearance in Basel, then a semi-final run in Paris before arriving in London for his 12th consecutive appearance at the ATP's annual season-ender.
Despite feeling the strain, Federer said he will be ready to fight tooth and nail with Nadal, who had Saturday off.
"I don't get a day off, I've got to back it up and be ready to go again tomorrow."
"I see the light at the end of the tunnel. There's two more matches and that's it," said Federer, who is looking for a seventh title at the tournament and third since it moved to London in 2009.
"We know each other that well. He's going to do exactly what he needs to do, I'm going to try to do what I need to do. Hopefully it's going to match up good for me.
"If not, he deserves it. He's had a wonderful season. We'll see how it goes," added the ever-popular Swiss.
An added bonus for Federer is that fellow Swiss and close friend Stanislas Wawrinka is also through to the semi-finals in his first appearance at the tournament.
Wawrinka faces defending champion Novak Djokovic in Sunday's second semi-final with the intriguing possibility of an all-Swiss final still a possibility.
"I don't know if I'm more excited that I won or we're both in the semis, to be honest," added Federer, who won Olympic doubles gold with Wawrinka in 2008. "I'm very happy for Stan.
"I was hoping to be there, too, make both of us get to the semis. Here we are playing the best two players of the season. I think it's incredibly interesting for the two of us, for Swiss tennis, for the Swiss media.
"I think we're gonna speak to each other a little bit later and I'll tell him a few things that I know and he'll hopefully tell me a few things he knows this week about the players we're playing."
The 32-year-old Swiss native is the oldest to reach the semi-finals in the season finale since Andre Agassi (33) in 2003. Agassi lost to Federer in the final.
This is also the second time the Big 3 of Nadal, Djokovic and Federer have reached the semi-finals together at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. In 2010, Federer defeated Djokovic and Nadal beat Andy Murray in the semi-finals. Federer defeated Nadal in the final.
Date: 9th November 2013, Source: ATP and Reuters