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Federer beats Djokovic for seventh Cincinnati title

Roger Federer won the 41st clash of titans against rival Novak Djokovic, claiming his seventh Western and Southern Open crown 7-6(1), 6-3.

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Federer opens Malawi children's project

Roger Federer swapped his tennis racket for a pair of scissors to cut the ribbon at a new childcare centre in Malawi funded by his foundation.

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Roger Federer has been named the world’s most marketable sports star, edging out Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and LeBron James in the Top 20 list.

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Federer rules Halle for 8th time

Roger Federer further cemented himself as the king of grass at the Gerry Weber Open, capturing an unprecedented eighth Halle title and 15th overall crown on the surface.

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Federer wins inaugural Istanbul Open crown

Roger Federer won his 85th ATP World Tour title at the inaugural TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Open, beating third seed Pablo Cuevas 6-3, 7-6(11).

Roger Federer's US Open 2015 Outfit

Roger Federer's US Open 2015 Nike Outfit.

Date: 26th August 2015

Federer beats Djokovic for seventh Cincinnati title

Roger Federer won the 41st clash of titans against rival Novak Djokovic, claiming his seventh Western & Southern Open crown 7-6(1), 6-3 on Sunday.

Federer captured his 87th tour-level title and 24th at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 stage. Having beaten World No. 2 Andy Murray in the semi-finals, it marked the first time he had toppled the No. 1 and No. 2 players in the ATP Rankings in consecutive matches en route to a title. Federer will reclaim the No. 2 spot from the Scot when the new rankings are released on Monday.

"Now I've got the confidence, I've got the matches, and I'm actually still feeling really fresh even after this week, because the matches have been rather short," Federer said. "I think I moved well. I was explosive moving forward. Volleys were good. I think from the baseline I was hitting my forehand very well."

He passed up the Montreal Masters won by Murray last week, preferring to rest and prepare at home.

"It's great, I didn't expect it, to be quite honest. I knew I had a chance, but I still felt more guys were going to have a better shot than I had because they had played Montreal before," Federer said.

"Usually that helps. But I've realized over all the years that it's just really difficult to win back-to-back Montreal and Cincinnati, or Toronto and Cincinnati.

"I chose to roll the dice a little bit and see how things were going to go. If they went great here then it was a great plan.

"If not, I was going to go back and practice and be really motivated for the US Open to start."

Federer takes home $731,000 and 1,000 ATP Rankings points, adding to Cincinnati titles won in 2005, '07, '09-10, '12 and '14. The Swiss finishes the week not conceding a break of serve in 49 service games.

"I tried to really mix it up on his second serve and I was hoping to serve good enough myself to keep me out of trouble," Federer added during an interview with ESPN following the match. "He had that one bad game at the beginning of the second set, which made the difference in the match.

"I've seen Novak adapt to my play over the years and he's also improved a lot. His movement and his backhand and forehand are always so solid. There aren't many errors coming out of his forehand wing now. Our rivalry has definitely evolved."

Djokovic, meanwhile, was vying to complete the Career Golden Masters, falling to 0-5 in Cincinnati finals (2008-09, '11-12). A 24-time ATP World Tour Masters 1000 champion, he falls to 54-26 in tour-level finals.

"It’s now the fifth time I’ve been in this final. I guess I’ll have to wait until Roger retires,” Djokovic joked.

"I think he's more aggressive here than in any other tournament because the surface and conditions allow him to play very fast," said Djokovic. "He generally copes well with the fast balls, the fast game. He likes this rhythm.

"It was right tactics for him. I knew coming into the match he was going to be aggressive. No question about it. So I tried to handle it. I did well until the tie-break in the first set. After that, he was just the better player.

"I made some double faults, dropped my service game. The way I played this week, it's great I managed to reach the finals."

Federer owns a 21-20 edge in their ATP Head to Head rivalry, exacting revenge on Djokovic following the Serb's victory in their most recent meeting - the 2015 Wimbledon final. Djokovic is 3-2 this year, also claiming wins on the clay of Rome and hard courts of Indian Wells. Federer's other victory came in the Dubai title match.

After the match, Federer assessed his game going into the year's final grand slam.

"Good, regardless of whether I would have won or not," said Federer. "I was well prepared. I had a good Wimbledon, a good offseason, recovered well and trained really hard. I knew I was going to be ready for the US Open."

How the Final was won:

Federer had adopted an ultra aggressive mentality in cruising through the draw thus far, and the Swiss carried that same approach into Sunday's final. He won 40 per cent of return points entering the encounter and pressed for an early break immediately. Djokovic saved a trio of break points in the third game and another after a six-minute fifth game.

The opener would proceed to a tie-break, where Federer would snatch an early mini-break. A majestic looping backhand clipped the baseline to give the Basel native a 3-1 lead. He would not look back, taking 10 of the last 11 points to claim the first set. He hit 20 winners and won 16 of 21 net points to win the opener in 52 minutes.

Federer would continue applying pressure on the Djokovic serve as the match progressed, surging to a 3-0 lead in the second set after the top seed double faulted to hand the initial break to the Swiss. He would hold serve to the finish line, striking 32 winners and seven aces in total.

Date: 23rd August 2015, Source: ATP, AFP and Reuters

Federer and Djokovic to clash for Cincinnati crown

Roger Federer continued his quest for a seventh Western & Southern Open title and a return to No. 2 in the ATP Rankings, turning aside Andy Murray 6-4, 7-6(6) on Saturday.

The Swiss, who sits at No. 3 in the ATP Rankings, is hoping to wrestle the No. 2 spot away from the Scot with a successful title defence in Cincinnati. Murray surged to the second position with his run to the Montreal title last week.

"It would be great to win another Masters 1000, especially here in Cincinnati," said Federer who has beaten Djokovic in two Cincinnati finals. "Going for my seventh here is just great. It's wonderful to be another finalist because coming here now I'm perfectly prepared for the final.

"I've been practicing and away from the game since Wimbledon. It's not that long, but in tennis terms one month is a long time. I'll give it all I have tomorrow. It's going to be tough. Couldn't ask for a tougher opponent than Novak.

"Hopefully I can take advantage of the fact that I'm fresh and ready to go."

Federer pounced early on Saturday, earning a quick break in the third game of the first set. He would consolidate for 3-1 and pressed for a second break with a 0/30 peek at Murray's next service game. He would eventually claim the opener in 38 minutes with a forehand winner down the line - his 14th winner of the set.

Both players would ride their serves to a tie-break in the second set, where 23-time Masters 1000 champion Federer converted on his second match point at 7/6 after grabbing the decisive mini-break with a crisp drop shot half-volley winner. He dominated the longer rallies throughout, winning 12 of 17 of nine shots or more and has now earned 35 straight service holds in the rivalry, dating back to Cincinnati last year.

Federer is eyeing an 87th tour-level crown. He is a perfect 6-0 in finals in the American city. The Basel native now owns a 14-11 edge in the ATP Head to Head series against Murray, having previously dominated their lone encounter this year in the Wimbledon semi-finals. He has won the past 10 sets played in the rivalry, spanning five consecutive wins since 2014.

The second seed will renew his titanic rivalry with Novak Djokovic, which is knotted at 20 wins apiece, on Sunday. It will be their fifth encounter of the year, with Federer winning on the hard courts of Dubai and Djokovic emerging in Indian Wells, Rome and Wimbledon.

"I feel okay," said Murray. "I've done well to recover from some tough matches. It's good. The positive about losing today is I get the opportunity to have an extra days' rest and recovery. I need that.

"I didn't feel too bad on the court. There wasn't many long rallies today, which helped. I served well, so I was able to get a lot of free points there.

"Maybe the first shot after the return he was just a little bit slow there. Against Roger, he's extremely dangerous off the first shot of the rallies. A good example of that is the 5-all point in the tie-break. I hit a pretty good return and just couldn't quite get to that ball and hit a good shot there."

Date: 23rd August 2015, Source: ATP

Federer sets Cincy SF clash against Murray

Roger Federer continued to fire on all cylinders in his quest for an unprecedented seventh Western & Southern Open crown, notching match win No. 40 in Cincinnati.

The Swiss has ridden an ultra aggressive game plan in cruising into Saturday's semi-finals, downing Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 6-4. He dominated proceedings in the first set, firing 12 winners and claiming 83 per cent of total service points, snagging the lone break in the sixth game after Lopez fell in a 0/40 hole. The second seed dropped only four points on serve in the opener.

Federer had not faced a break point all tournament, but trailing 2-3 in the second set his serve would come under siege at 0/40. True to form, he would reel off five straight points to hold and immediately broke to 15 in the next game for a 4-2 advantage. He would close out the match after just 62 minutes, striking a total 26 winners, including eight aces.

A 23-time ATP World Tour Masters 1000 champion, Federer now owns a 12-0 ATP Head to Head against the Spaniard, having conceded just one break of serve in their previous seven meetings. He has claimed each of the past 10 sets played as well.

The pair enjoyed a lighthearted moment at the post-match handshake, with Lopez exclaiming, "You were flying all over the court." Federer responded: "I have a few more years left in me."

"I did feel good, especially in the first set," said Federer. "In the second set a little less maybe. It was also an important game to hold being down Love-40. That's exactly the kind of match it can become. As an experienced tennis player, I'm aware that matches can turn around extremely quickly.

"It's good I got out of that game and was able to break right away and then bring it home. Things tend to get away from you super fast against big servers, especially on a surface that's faster like here. I'm very happy with the match."

The Basel native is making his 15th appearance in Cincinnati, one of six tournaments he has won six times or more. The second seed, who owns a 40-8 record in the American city, reached the semi-finals for the fifth time since 2009.

Lopez, who had spent five and a half hours more on court than Federer entering Friday's encounter, was coming off a titanic third-set tie-break win over countryman Rafael Nadal in the third round.

Federer will face third seed Andy Murray in Saturday's semi-finals after the Scot rallied from a set down to turn aside Richard Gasquet. He owns a 13-11 edge in their ATP Head to Head, most recently notching a 7-5, 7-5, 6-4 win in the Wimbledon semis.

Date: 22nd August 2015, Source: ATP

Federer races past Anderson

Six-time champion Roger Federer has eased through to the Western & Southern Open quarter-finals with a convincing 6-1, 6-1 victory over Kevin Anderson on Thursday. The No. 2 seed had not dropped a set to the South African in three prior meetings and this would be his most dominant display yet. He required just 54 minutes to book a clash with unseeded Feliciano Lopez after the Spaniard upset Rafael Nadal to deny a 34th instalment in the Federer v Nadal rivalry.

Federer raced to 5-0 in the opening set before Anderson was able to get on the board. The 34-year-old would go on to claim the result on his fourth match point when Anderson’s forehand found the net. It was one of those nights when everything seemed to fall into place for the Swiss great.

“Definitely felt better than other days. Felt good on the return, felt good on the serve, seeing just the ball really well,” Federer said. “It's a pleasure to play that way because it doesn't happen very often that you feel this good. So you've got to enjoy it, but then, unfortunately, you have to quickly put it behind you and look forward.”

Federer revealed he had trained with his opponent only last week and knew it could have potentially been much more difficult against the big-serving 29-year-old. He said nothing, though, replicated the conditions of actual match play.

“I played a great match and I'm very pleased, because I knew that tough challenge ahead,” he said. “I had practised with Kevin last week here. I lost both sets I played with him in practice, so I was really happy that I was able to turn it around tonight.”

Federer finished with 23 winners and just eight unforced errors to Anderson’s 12 winners and 21 unforced errors. He moved to within two victories of reaching a seventh Cincinnati final - which he would enter with a perfect 6-0 record. First he must get past Lopez. He carries a perfect 11-0 record against the Spaniard.

“Played a lot against him in my life. We go way back to the European Championships, under-16 and under-18 where I lost both times against him,” Federer said.

“Then on the Tour I don't think I lost against him, but we played on all different conditions, and we know each other obviously very well because of that. It was a tough match for him tonight; played a good ’breaker. Obviously everybody knows how well he can serve. He also beat Raonic here, now Rafa. Clearly he's on a run.”

Date: 21st August 2015, Source: ATP

Federer serves up win in Cincy opener

Roger Federer got off to a winning start in his Western & Southern Open title defence, downing Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4, 6-4 on Tuesday evening.

Federer made his first serves count in winning 95 per cent of such points, despite serving at just 43 per cent for the match. He fired six aces and 24 winners, while not facing a break point, to prevail after 69 minutes. The Swiss dropped just three points on serve in the second set, improving his Head to Head to 4-0 against the Spaniard. He was also ruthless on return, averaging 2.4 metres inside the baseline to return Bautista Agut's serve.

The Basel native is making his 15th appearance in Cincinnati, bidding for his seventh title (2005, '07, '09-10, '12, '14). Last year, he defeated David Ferrer to improve to 6-0 in finals in the American city.

"It was a good win for me, it can only get tougher from here. I haven't played in a long time and I felt a bit rusty at times in the first set. I need matches right now, so it was good to start well here. I'm happy I got through this first one. Now I know what it's about, " said Federer.

"It's the first round of the hard court season for the next six plus months or so," said Federer. "I have things in mind to work on for the hard-court season. No. 1, you have to be fit and tough, because you can stop on a dime and move the other direction, which on other surfaces is not so easy to do.

"Here in Cincy it plays pretty quick, so why not move forward a bit. You have to just pick the right times and keep your opponent off balance. I think it is a good play for me."

Cincinnati is also one of six tournaments the World No. 3 has won at least six times, along with Halle (8), Dubai (7), Wimbledon (7), the ATP World Tour Finals (6) and Basel (6). He has won 38 of 46 matches played here and will seek to add yet another with a third-round meeting against Kevin Anderson or Jack Sock.

Federer is 41-7 in 2015, with titles at the 250 level tournaments in Brisbane and Istanbul and the 500 level events in Dubai and Halle. He is seeking to emerge victorious at all three ATP World Tour levels for the second straight year and fourth time since 2010.

Date: 19th August 2015, Source: ATP and AFP

Federer: I am a better player now than a decade ago

One week after celebrating his 34th birthday, Roger Federer arrives as the defending champion in Cincinnati of the belief he is a better player now than he was a decade ago.

Considering his dominance of the 2005 season, it should be cause for concern for his younger rivals. The Swiss player made the assessment on the eve of his 2015 campaign in Cincinnati, where he returns as a six-time champion.

A decade ago he was consolidating his dominance of the game, winning Wimbledon and the US Open crowns with four ATP World Tour Masters Series 1000 titles among his 11 titles for the year - the most a player had landed in one season in more than 20 years. He finished the year with an 81-4 win-loss record. On paper, his numbers this season may not stack up to that impressive run but his game has developed in the years since.

“I think I'm a better player now than when I was at 24 because I've practised for another 10 years and I've got 10 years more experience,” Federer said. “Maybe I don't have the confidence level that I had at 24 when I was winning 40 matches in a row, but I feel like I hit a bigger serve, my backhand is better, my forehand is still as good as it's ever been, I volley better than I have in the past. I think I've had to adapt to a new generation of players again.”

He opted to skip last week’s Rogers Cup in Montreal, having last year reached the final in Canada where he fell to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. He was keen to avoid back-to-back events, instead choosing to focus on defending the title at one of his most successful stops on tour, having never lost a final in Cincinnati. Despite losing his No. 2 position in the ATP Rankings to Andy Murray, Federer is the tournament’s No. 2 seed this week and arrives fresher than he did 12 months ago.

With more than one-third of players in the Top 100 30 years or older, he  admits that he is surprised the next generation has not yet taken over.

“We definitely had a very good generation of players,” he said. “I still remember my junior years. My year, 1981 and also 1982 and 1980, we were all very strong. It's nice to see that so many actually made the Tour. Personally, I'm surprised to see how many of them are still hanging in there and still playing.”

The 17-time Grand Slam champion puts it down to two main reasons. “Number one, it was a good generation,” he said. “Number two, the generation that usually pushes players out wasn't as strong as maybe other ones. I'm talking about the players who are 25 years old right now. That generation only had a few players and the same thing for age 20 right now. There are some good ones, but not like 30 of them when we came along. I think those are usually the guys that push the older guys out. So we're able to hang on. It's nice to see because in a few years, many of them won't be around anymore.”

Date: 18th August 2015, Source: ATP

Rested Federer tries for 7th Cincinnati title

Roger Federer has spent the last few weeks in Switzerland, practicing and resting for the final push of the season. He's back on the ATP Tour at one of his favorite stops.

The 34-year-old Swiss star is trying for an unprecedented seventh title in Cincinnati this week while getting his game in shape for the U.S. Open. The time off has helped.

"I'm fresh and obviously eager to play and can't wait for the tournament to start, really," Federer said after practice Sunday morning. "But practice has been going very well. I'm very happy with how I'm feeling."

Federer decided to sit out the Rogers Cup last week, avoiding back-to-back tournaments. Last year, he was the runner-up at the Rogers Cup, flew to Cincinnati and beat David Ferrer in three sets at the Western & Southern Open.

Federer is 6-0 when he reaches the finals in Cincinnati, where he's very comfortable with the courts and has a good feeling because of his career success. This time, he's also rested.

"Last year I came in tired from five straight matches in Toronto, arrived late, wasn't sure if I was going to play, decided to play and thankfully I did," Federer said. "I ended up winning here. Now I have had plenty of time."

Federer faces a tough path in his quest to successfully defend his Western & Southern Open crown, with Rafael Nadal in his quarter, a semi-final duel with third seed Andy Murray also looming large. While top seed Novak Djokovic has Stan Wawrinka as a potential quarter-final opponent on the other side of the draw.

Champion in 2005, ‘07, ‘09-10, ’12 and ‘14, Federer is seeded second and will face either Roberto Bautista Agut or Pablo Cuevas after receiving a first-round bye. He is 3-0 in his ATP Head to Head against Bautista Agut and holds a 2-0 record against Cuevas.

Date: 17th August 2015, Source: AP and ATP

Federer withdraws from Rogers Cup in Montreal

World number two Roger Federer has withdrawn from next month's Rogers Cup in Montreal.

A spokeswoman for Tennis Canada, Valerie Tetreault, wrote in an email to The Associated Press that Federer ''wants to make sure he will be in top shape for'' the U.S. Open, the year's last Grand Slam tournament, which begins August 31.

“I am disappointed that I won’t be playing in Montreal because it’s a tournament and a city that I really enjoy and has incredible fans. My family and I have always received first class treatment from Tournament Director, Eugène Lapierre, and his team and I hope to be back in the future,” said Federer.

Federer, a 17-times grand slam singles champion, has twice won the elite ATP World Tour Masters event - in Toronto in 2004 and 2006. He also reached the Montreal final in 2007 and finished runner up last year in Toronto. Federer has played the Canadian ATP Masters 1000 event eleven times in his career.

“We are obviously disappointed to have Roger withdraw as it is always a privilege to watch him play,” tournament director Eugene Lapierre said in a statement. “We also understand his decision because, above all, he has always been very loyal to our event and we would love to see him play tennis for many more years to come.”

Jerzy Janowicz of Poland will take Federer's place in the main draw for the August 10-16 Rogers Cup.

Date: 30th July 2015, Source: AP and Reuters

Federer and Wawrinka in Swiss Davis Cup return

Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka have made themselves available for Switzerland's Davis Cup World Group playoff match against the Netherlands in September.

"We are of course very happy for this positive decision so early in the day," a post on the SwissTennis website read. "It will allow us to prepare for this playoff under the best of conditions."

The two Swiss stars won Switzerland's first Davis Cup crown last November when they defeated France in the final in Lille.

But they missed the first-round defeat against Belgium this year to concentrate on the Grand Slam events, Wawrinka taking full advantage to win the French Open.

There was also the matter of qualification rights for next year's Rio Olympics, with both players needing to play at least one Davis Cup tie before next summer to be eligible.

The winner of the tie from September 18-20 in the week after the US Open will stay in the 16-strong World Group with the loser dropping down to the second tier.

SwissTennis said that a decision on where the match would be played in Switzerland would be taken at a later date.

Date: 25th July 2015, Source: AFP