Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who have faced each other in eight major finals, plan to team up as doubles partners next year during the inaugural Laver Cup.
Roger Federer will kick off his 20th season as a professional at the Hopman Cup next year, returning to the international team tournament in Perth for the first time since 2002.
Roger Federer will miss the Rio Olympics and the remainder of the 2016 season, including the US Open, in order to fully recover from the knee surgery he underwent earlier this year.
Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer has inaugurated a street bearing his name before 1,500 admirers in Biel, canton Bern.
Roger Federer stepped out onto the red carpet at the 88th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles.
“It was a difficult first set and a tricky third set, of course,” said Federer. “I had to save a couple of set points. I know it could have gone different. I think I was a bit more consistent than in the first match against Melzer, where I ended up losing that second set after leading. I think I had a little bit better concentration. I didn't know much about Noah Rubin going in except the info I got from my coaches. I was prepared and I was ready to battle. I was able to get the win, so I'm very happy.”
The Swiss star hit 17 aces and won 82 per cent of his first-serve points. Federer had to work in the third set, though. He fell behind 2-5 against the American, who failed to convert two set point chances on Federer's serve in the eighth game.
Federer faces a familiar foe in the third round: 10th seed Tomas Berdych, who beat American Ryan Harrison 6-3, 7-6 (6), 6-2 in just over two hours. Federer leads their ATP Head to Head rivalry 16-6.
But the Swiss master said he would need to play better against big-hitting Berdych, despite winning their last five meetings, including a comfortable quarter-final victory at Melbourne Park last year.
The No. 17 seed opens up against a qualifier and is guaranteed to play another qualifier in the second round should he advance. Having not played a competitive match since Wimbledon, Federer said he can’t afford to take any of his opponents lightly.
“It would be good to know who I play. Once it's out, it's a good thing because then you can start actually mentally preparing for the Australian Open,” said Federer. “Is it a lefty, a righty? It's a big deal. Is he a big server, a grinder? A bit of an unknown here the first round. Having not been playing, that's the part of the draw I care about most.”
Should he advance past his difficult section of the draw that includes No. 10 seed Tomas Berdych and fifth seed Kei Nishikori, Federer could square off against top seed Andy Murray in the quarter-finals. The Swiss maestro leads their ATP Head to Head rivalry 14-11 and has won their past five matches. But Federer acknowledged the Brit would be a much different opponent after reaching No. 1 in the ATP Rankings at the end of last season.
“It definitely feels different because everyone comes up to you and says you’re the best. You start walking around a bit differently. Just feel more confident overall in your shots. Usually when you win, it solves everything,” said Federer of becoming No. 1. “Then you come to a point where you have to remind yourself how hard you had to work to actually get there. It's going to require that plus more to stay there. But I feel like because Andy is not 18 years old, he knows all about that.
“I'm super happy for him. He deserves it,” added Federer. “He's been in there for a long time. He's had some tough losses, some great wins over the years. He never quite strung it together so that it would pay off, but this time it did. It's great for him and great for the sport.”
Federer is eager to get used to that winning feeling again, but has already enjoyed being back around the familiar atmosphere of tennis tournaments. Although he relished the time at home with his wife and their four children, returning to competition was always at the forefront of his mind.
“You do miss the matches. You miss the feeling of winning, walking onto a stadium, seeing the guys. It's like an extended family to some extent,” said Federer. “You walk around and you see faces you haven't seen in a while. It's just nice to see everybody again.
“I have a lot of friends on the tour because I'm the returning guest everywhere I go for 20 years,” he added. “It feels good to see those familiar faces every single year. It's something I couldn't quite enjoy the last six months. That's probably what I missed the most.”
Date: 14 January 2017, Source: ATP
Federer said late last year he wanted to play at least two more years, with speculation over his future having increased after a knee injury in 2016.
But Laver, an 11-time grand slam champion, believes the Swiss maestro can continue to perform at the top for even longer.
"He's going to play another couple of years. I've heard him talk about it, he thinks two to three years," he told Omnisport.
"When I look at longevity, he's never had injuries, he's got a knee injury that gave him one little slip here in Australia last year.
"For me, without injuries, with his game, he can play well for a good three years.
"Not to put myself in his category, but I played until I was 37, 38 back in our era. I would love to see him play another three years."
Laver lauded Federer's contribution to the sport, with the 35-year-old having won a record 17 majors - although the last of those came in 2012.
"Federer has been a huge voice in the game of tennis with his ability on the court, the way he reacts to people off the court," he said.
"He's probably one of the most popular athletes, of all athletes, in the world. You see it everywhere.
"Looking at Perth and 6,000 people turn up to watch him practice at the Hopman Cup. That's unheard of."
Federer, who missed two grand slams last year, will be aiming for his first Australian Open title since 2010 when the event begins in Melbourne on Monday.
Date: 12 January 2017, Source: Sportal
The 35-year-old Federer was playing his second match since returning from a six-month layoff - having been sidelined since Wimbledon with knee and back injuries.He led 5-2 in the first set, but ran into an opponent whose first-serve percentage exceeded 80 percent midway through the final set.
There wasn't much between the two throughout.
In the second set, Federer only lost four points on serve, but found himself in a second tiebreaker.
In the third, he remained calm as he saved two break points in his second service game; and another before taking a 5-4 lead.
But Zverev wouldn't go away - and with first serves consistently over 200km/h he showed why he's gaining so much attention in world tennis.
He now he holds a 2-1 record over Federer, downing him in Halle, Germany before Wimbledon last year.
“Who really cares, as long as I am playing injury-free and feeling good,” Federer said.
“I actually pulled up really good after the first match and the mixed, the next day, so this one will feel different.
“I’ll feel muscle pain, which is also one of the reasons why I came here, to have that pain in my body, so hopefully if I do have a tough match at the beginning in Melbourne I don’t have to go through it as extreme over there.
“I’m very happy. I have played five good sets so far. I am very pleased.”
“It was good to play two and a half hours. It is a great number to compete in, which is why I was really pushing to win the second set, to extend the match and get me into a tough, long match.”
In the end it turned out to be a winning evening for Federer and Swiss partner Belinda Bencic against Germany. Bencic beat Andrea Petkovic 6-3, 6-4 in their singles match, and then Federer and Bencic combined in mixed doubles to beat Zverev and Petkovic 4-1, 4-2 in the Fast4 format.
A place in Saturday’s final is now at stake for Federer and Bencic - the winner of the Switzerland and France tie on Friday night earns the opportunity to compete against USA.
Date: 4 January 2017, Source: AP and AAP
The 35-year-old Federer said it was the kind of feeling he missed the most while he was sidelined.
"It felt good putting the match shirt back on, and serving first, and then trying to serve it out at the end.
"They are the moments I miss the most, even though those are the ones that make you nervous.
"That’s what you play tennis for. I thought for a first match it was great, because my expectations were obviously quite low."
Federer, speaking with reporters on a conference call, said he's played “very well” in practice matches with fellow players Lucas Pouille of France, Borna Coric of Croatia and Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Federer also said he doesn't regret sitting out six months of the season. The Swiss legend last played in July at the Wimbledon semi-finals (l. to Raonic in five sets).
“I do believe it could be very beneficial for the future of my tennis career that I've had this six-month layoff,” Federer said. “I feel rejuvenated, refreshed. Maybe mentally I needed this rest more than I thought I would. Maybe also my body needed a rest more than I thought I would.”
The 88-time tour-level titlist had never taken off so much as a few weeks in a season before this year. But 2016 was far from a regular campaign for the 35-year-old father of four.
In February, for the first time in Federer's career, he had to undergo surgery. A day after losing in the Australian Open semi-finals, Federer tore a meniscus in his left knee while preparing a bath for his twin girls. The right-hander returned to competition two months later, in Monte-Carlo, and, the following month, played the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome.
But Federer then missed another month of the season before making his return on the grass in Stuttgart. He'd play only two more tournaments, including Wimbledon, before later announcing he wouldn't play again until 2017.
“It was really about taking a tough decision to say, 'I give myself time, I deserve to give myself time.' I take six months off in a 20-year career, it's OK. If you look at six months off in a 12-month season it sounds like there's no chance I'm ever going to take six months off,” Federer said. “But I tried to look at the big picture. At least one thing I know now is I have no regrets. I feel I did everything this year to get my body back in shape and now only time can tell.”
Resting for so long assured Federer that he wouldn't need a second surgery on his left knee. “That for me was No. 1 and crucial. I just needed it to rest really,” he said.
After Wimbledon, he tried to play again in August but decided against seriously testing his knee. “I played again, very quick. There was a bit of a reaction in the knee and that's when you realise... we knew it was too early,” he said.
The time off had upsides as well. “It was great to spend more quality time with the kids, or me with more energy rather than having to worry, 'Careful, I have a match tomorrow' or 'I need to go to bed' or in the morning 'Don't wake me up' kind of thing because daddy needs to sleep a little bit,” Federer said.
Federer returns to action at the Hopman Cup, starting on 1 January 2017, which he will play in for the first time since he teamed up with his now wife Mirka in 2002. He will partner compatriot Belinda Bencic, 19, at the international team tournament in Perth.
Federer said his goal was to get fully fit and he was looking forward to a few matches in Perth before the year's first grand slam - Australian Open starts later in the month in Melbourne.
“This year is unique because maybe this is the year more than any time before where I do need matches at the beginning of the season. Matches have a different intensity about it and your body reacts according to it. I’ve played over 15 sets in practice the last few weeks and I feel I am there. It’s been a great preparation,” Federer said.
Federer, who has won 24 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles and 17 Grand Slam crowns, said he thinks his 18th Grand Slam title could come next season.