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Federer wins historic 8th Wimbledon crown

Roger Federer won a record eighth title at Wimbledon, when he claimed his 19th Grand Slam championship trophy. He defeated Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-1, 6-4.

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Federer demolishes Zverev to win 9th Halle title

Roger Federer started perfectly and never looked back in the Gerry Weber Open final in Halle, sprinting to a 6-1, 6-3 victory against rising star Alexander Zverev.

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Federer defeats Nadal to win 3rd Miami crown

Roger Federer extended his run of dominance in 2017, clinching his third title of the season 6-3, 6-4 over Rafael Nadal at the Miami Open.

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Federer beats Wawrinka for 5th Indian Wells title

The incredible comeback continues. Roger Federer won a record-tying fifth BNP Paribas Open crown as he defeated Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 7-5 in an all-Swiss final at Indian Wells.

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Federer hopes to play '2 to 3 more years'

Roger Federer says he hopes to play for at least another two to three years and that his "mindset is for the long term" in assessing his tennis future.

Federer: I can win more Grandslams

Despite losing in the quarter-finals of Wimbledon for the second straight year on Wednesday, Roger Federer remains upbeat about his chances to claim one or more Grand Slam titles in the future. When asked whether or not he sees himself hoisting another major title, a confident Federer said, “I think I definitely can, yes. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't the case.”

Federer won the first two sets against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, but his French counterpart stormed back to hand the Swiss his first loss in 179 Grand Slam matches when holding a two-sets lead. The No. 12 seed rallied to win 3-6, 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 and Federer credited Tsonga’s ability to step up when it counted. “I really did play well, and I also thought Jo played an amazing match, as good as I've seen him play for such a long period of time. You can only respect that,” said Federer. “It was a great match from both sides. To talk bad about this match would be unfortunate.”

After breaking Tsonga in the opening game, Federer did not see another break point. The six-time Wimbledon champion believes there wasn’t much more he could do to reverse the outcome of the match “I can't blame my poor returning or my poor serving or my poor movement or anything like that in this match, and that makes it a bit easier to digest.”

Added Federer, “I'm actually pretty pleased with my performance today. It's kind of hard going out of the tournament that way, but unfortunately it does happen sometimes. At least it took him sort of a special performance to beat me, which is somewhat nice.”

The Swiss, who last won a major title at the Australian Open in 2010, is looking to capture a Grand Slam Championship for the ninth straight year, and will have one more chance to extend the streak at the US Open. In comparing his form to the past season, Federer finds that he is playing just as well, if not better.”The game is there. I'm happy. I'm healthy. I feel much better than sort of a year ago. That's very encouraging,” Federer assessed. “Even though I took a tough loss today, I don't feel discouraged in any way. I think that's key right now, to not let anything get to me.”

His attention now shifts to the Davis Cup, where Switzerland will square off against Portugal from 8-10 July for a chance to play in the World Group Playoffs. “I'll work harder than ever, the way I usually do, and hopefully come back extremely strong for Davis Cup first of all, and then for the American summer again.”

Federer has won 11 summer-hard-court titles since 2003, which include five triumphs at the US Open, four titles at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati event and two trophies at the Rogers Cup in Canada.

Date: 30.06.2011, Source: ATP

Federer upset by Tsonga in Wimbledon quarterfinals

Six-time champion Roger Federer was upset in the Wimbledon quarterfinals for the second straight year Wednesday, squandering a two-set lead for the first time at a Grand Slam tournament and losing to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 3-6, 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.

Federer barely looked challenged while winning the first two sets against the 12th-seeded Frenchman. But the Swiss star, who had been 178-0 in matches in which he had won the opening two sets at a major tournament, was broken one time in each of the last three sets.

“It’s kind of hard going out of the tournament that way, but unfortunately it does happen sometimes,” said Federer, who was playing in his 29th straight major quarterfinal. “At least it took him sort of a special performance to beat me, which is somewhat nice.”

Federer may be right. The 16-time Grand Slam champion finished the match with only 11 unforced errors, half as many as Tsonga, but it didn’t help him get close to breaking Tsonga’s serve when he needed it.

Federer was seeking to equal Pete Sampras’ record of seven Wimbledon singles titles. He breezed through his opening four matches, losing only one set, and played his usual elegant game against Tsonga.

“It's the second year running that the talk has been about me equalling Pete's seven Wimbledons. I didn't feel that makes it particularly special. I love equalling any record Pete has made, but it's not the driving force behind my motivation really. I love Pete. It's always nice doing stuff that he did. But at the end of the day I'm trying to win a tournament.”

In the first set, Federer earned his one and only break point of the match in Tsonga’s first service game, and converted it. He held the rest of the way, and then won the second set in the tiebreaker.

But Tsonga finally got his first break in the third set, and another in the fourth and another in the fifth.

“He can come up with some good stuff and some poor things at times,” Federer said. “He had basically good return games along the way in the third, fourth, and fifth. I think especially the third set, the break I get is very unusual. He chips back a couple, they stay in.”

Those were the Frenchman’s only three breaks, and they were just enough to send Federer home early again.

Federer has won six titles at the All England Club, including five in a row from 2003-07. He lost to Nadal in the 2008 final in what is considered by many to be one of the greatest matches ever, and then beat Andy Roddick for the championship a year later, winning 16-14 in the fifth set.

"But the game is there. I'm happy. I'm healthy. I feel much better than sort of a year ago. That's very encouraging, really. Even though I took a tough loss today, I don't feel, you know, discouraged in any way. I think that's key right now, to not let anything get to me."

Date: 29.06.2011, Source: AP, ESPN and ATP

Wimbledon 2011 Quarterfinals preview

Six-time former champion Roger Federer has a 4-1 lead over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the recent Queen's Club runner-up (l. to Murray). The pair has not met on grass courts before, but Federer has beaten the Frenchman twice this season at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in January and the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome.

The 26-year-old Tsonga is appearing in the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the second straight year (lost to Murray in 2010). He has reached two major semi-finals at the 2008 and 2010 Australian Opens. Tsonga is attempting to become just the fifth different Frenchman to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals since 1968. Richard Gasquet was the last Frenchman to reach the semi-finals in 2007 and Cedric Pioline is the only Frenchman to reach the final here (l. Pete Sampras) in the Open Era. Henri Leconte (1986) and Sebastien Grosjean (2003-04) also fell at the penultimate hurdle. Tsonga plays here ranked No. 19 in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings, but is seeded No. 12 because the tournament takes into account players’ previous grass court performances when determining seeds. If he defeats Federer, he is projected to move to around No. 13. His career best ranking was World No. 6 in November 2008. Tsonga has won eight matches against Top 3 players in 20 previous match-ups. His most recent victory over a Top 3 player came when he defeated No. 1 Nadal in the Queen’s Club quarter-finals three weeks ago.  Tsonga’s 2011 highlights include two runner-up finishes, at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam (l. Soderling) and Queen's Club.

Federer is bidding to reach his 29th Grand Slam championship semi-final and move into second place on the list of most Open Era major semi-final appearances, behind Jimmy Connors (31). Nadal is the next active man on this list in 10th place with 15 semi-final appearances. Only five other men have even played the last 29 Grand Slam championships (including this one): Lopez (38), David Ferrer (35), Fernando Verdasco (33), Tomas Berdych (32) and Albert Montanes (29). The Swiss superstar is bidding to equal William Renshaw and Pete Sampras' record of seven Wimbledon titles by winning his 17th Grand Slam title overall. He would become the sixth man to win seven titles at any Grand Slam event: Richard Sears, Bill Larned and Bill Tilden all won seven titles at the US Championships. Federer is bidding to win his 60th match at Wimbledon to overtake John McEnroe and move to fourth on the Open Era list of most Wimbledon wins, trailing only Sampras (63-7), Boris Becker (71-12) and Connors (84-18). Last year, Federer failed to reach the Wimbledon final for the first time since 2002. He lost in the quarter-finals to eventual runner-up Berdych 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4. The 29 year old holds the Open Era record for the most career grass-court titles with 11. In addition to Wimbledon, his other five titles were won at 2003-06 and 2008 Halle. His last grass court title came at the All England Club in 2009. Federer is the second most successful active player on grass, having won his 100th match in the fourth round. He has a 100-14 career record on grass, behind only Hewitt with 104-27. Federer can overtake Rafael Nadal and move to No. 2 in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings if he wins the tournament and the Spaniard fails to reach the final.

Date: 29.06.2011, Source: ATP

Federer quick to defend Hewitt

Roger Federer has leapt to the defence of Lleyton Hewitt following suggestions the Australian has become a fading force in men's tennis.

Asked if he welcomed the emergence of an Australian "for a change" in the form of Bernard Tomic, the 16-time major champion was instantly riled.

"You talk like Lleyton isn't around any more. Be careful," Federer said.

Federer says he had seen only a few points played by Tomic after the Gold Coast teenager advanced to a quarter-final against Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon.

On the topic of Australian players, Federer insisted Hewitt is "still around".

"For me, he still remains a great champion, always will be," Federer said of the 2002 Wimbledon winner.

Beaten in the second round at the All England Club, Hewitt's year has been hampered by an injured foot on the back of a succession of injuries in recent years.

"I'm sure he's never going to say what was actually the problem with him," Federer said.
"But he can really battle through tough moments. That's why I admire him as a player and his work ethic."

Date: 28.06.2011, Source: ABC AU

Federer wins 100th grass court match; Tsonga next

Six-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer survived an early scare before working hard to defeat Mikhail Youzhny 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 at The Championships on Monday evening to reach his 29th successive Grand Slam quarter-final.

The Swiss third seed dropped his first set of the tournament as Youzhny clinched a close tie-break, but he responded strongly by breaking the Russian twice to take the second set and level the match.

With the momentum on his side, the Swiss raced to a 5-0 lead in the third set. A resurgence from Youzhny saw him recoup one of the breaks, before Federer closed out the set in the ninth game for a commanding lead. The Basel native then broke at the start of the fourth set and went on to close out victory with another service break in the ninth game after just over three hours.

“I thought even though I lost the first set it was good tennis,” reflected Federer. “He didn't have a break point. I played a good breaker actually. I thought overall we played a good match from start to finish. Good rallies, good atmosphere; it was fun.”

The victory marked Federer’s 100th grass-court win. He is the second most successive active player on grass, trailing only Lleyton Hewitt (104-27). It was also his 223rd win in Grand Slam play (223-32), moving him ahead of Ivan Lendl into No. 3 on Open Era wins list behind Jimmy Connors (233-49) and Andre Agassi (224-53).

The 29-year-old Federer is bidding for a record-equalling seventh Wimbledon title this year after victories in 2003-2007 and again in 2009, and is looking to win his first major title since the 2010 Australian Open (d. Murray). Three weeks ago he finished runner-up at Roland Garros (l. to Nadal).

For a place in the semi-finals, Federer will face 12th-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who dismissed the No. 7 seed from Spain, David Ferrer, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(1) in just over two hours. Tsonga hit 37 winners and converted three of his nine break point opportunities.

Federer takes a 4-1 career lead into the clash with Tsonga, beating the Frenchman most recently during the clay-court swing at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome.

Date: 28.06.2011, Source: ATP

Roger Federer dismisses Nalbandian in front of Sachin Tendulkar

Roger Federer moved into the fourth round of Wimbledon Saturday with a 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 victory against No. 28 seed David Nalbandian. "I thought today was a particularly good performance by my side, on my serve again," assessed Federer. "I think I played a great match."

The six-time winner of The Championships won 41 per cent of his return points, breaking the Argentine five times to take the match in one hour and 46 minutes. He is yet to drop a set in the tournament. "I'm using basically everything in my arsenal, the slice, the drive and so forth," said Federer. "I've been playing really well. I've gotten through the matches comfortably and that's very nice."

Federer increases his head-to-head lead over Nalbandian to a 12-8 record and improves to 3-2 in Grand Slam clashes, having now played each other at all four majors. Nalbandian was appearing at the All England Club for the first time since 2008.

The Swiss is looking to reach his 29th straight major quarter-final and can keep the streak alive with a win over 18th-seeded Mikhail Youzhny, who came from a set down to defeat No. 16 seed Nicolas Almagro 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(3), 6-3 in two hours and 43 minutes. Federer has never lost to the Russian, holding a commanding 10-0 lead.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the 12th seed, overpowered Fernando Gonzalez 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 to advance to the second week of Wimbledon for the third time. The Frenchman cracked 48 winners, 27 more than Gonzalez and hit 29 aces to knock out the Chilean in one hour and 19 minutes.

Celebrity Watch

Middle Saturday saw guests from the world of sport invited to watch the Centre Court play from the Royal Box. The guest list included Martina Navratilova, triple jump Olympic gold medallist Jonathan Edwards, Olympic swimmer Mark Foster, Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar – who later met Roger Federer, gymnast Beth Tweddle, Dame Kelly Holmes, Sir Roger Bannister, Sir Steve Redgrave and 1966 World Cup winner Sir Geoff Hurst.

Sachin Tendulkar tweets "Spent an hour with Roger Federer chatting on the balcony of Wimbledon Royal box. What a humble guy! And by the way he knows a lot about cricket!!"



Date: 27.06.2011, Source: ATP

Federer signals title intent with dominant display

After the dramas on Centre Court earlier Thursday, World No. 3 Roger Federer expended minimum fuss to secure his place in the Wimbledon third round, dismissing France’s Adrian Mannarino 6-2, 6-3, 6-2.

The Swiss is chasing a record-equalling seventh Wimbledon men’s singles title and stayed on course as he hit 38 winners to just 10 unforced errors and broke Mannarino’s serve five times in the 88-minute rout.

"I think I served great in the beginning and was able to sort of keep that going for the remainder of the match," said Federer. "From the baseline I think I was solid, so it was a really good match. I think the French Open was just proof that I'm in good shape and physically and mentally in a good place. Unfortunately, I couldn't win it, but I didn't get pulled down by losing in the finals. I hope I can make a run here."

Six of the 29-year-old Federer’s Open Era record 11 grass-court titles have come at the All England Club, with victories over Mark Philippoussis in 2003, Andy Roddick in 2004-2005 and 2009, and Rafael Nadal in 2006-2007.

The Basel native is bidding to win his 17th Grand Slam championship, what would be his first since defeating Andy Murray in the 2010 Australian Open final. Three weeks ago, Federer finished runner-up to Nadal in the Roland Garros final, and, having injured his groin in Paris, did not play a grass-court event in preparation for Wimbledon for just the third time in his career.

Federer goes on to face Argentina’s David Nalbandian, against whom he has a 10-8 career record. It will be their first grass-court meeting.

Looking ahead to the clash, Federer said, "We had some really close matches, big matches actually against each other. I'm looking forward to that match. I think it's a wonderful third round. I wish I could have had an easier one maybe, but I know the danger against him. He can prove his point. If he's weaker or stronger than three years ago or eight years ago, we'll find out. But I'll be as well prepared as I can be and hope I can beat him."

Date: 24.06.2011, Source: ATP

Federer: "I can go extremely far in Wimbledon"

Roger Federer believes that his 2011 Wimbledon destiny remains firmly in his own hands, hinting that his best form – if he can produce it when it counts - will be good enough to beat chief rivals Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic for a record-tying seventh title. In a candid admission Tuesday, Federer contrasted his confidence on grass with his assessment of his recent run at Roland Garros.

"It feels like if things go well for me, I can go extremely far here; whereas at the French Open I feel it's a bit more on other opponents' racquets. But here I feel it's a bit more on mine."

Accompanying that self belief is the pressure of knowing that this is likely Federer's best chance of the year to win a Grand Slam title. "I've won the tournament six times. That's why I'll always play with some pressure here at Wimbledon just because of the occasion and what it means to me. I was nervous going out in today's match really," admitted Federer.

After breaking through for his first Grand Slam title in 2003 at the All England Club, Federer has amassed 16 Grand Slam titles, six of which have come at Wimbledon. Should he claim this year’s title, he’ll tie Pete Sampras’ Open Era record of seven crowns, a record Federer would be proud to share with the American. "Obviously tying Pete in any stats means you're right up there with maybe the greatest, one of the greatest players of all times, and that's always a nice thing."

Added the Swiss, “Winning Wimbledon alone without any records is amazing. Whatever it is, it's positive. Right now I just won my first match, so six more to go. I have to take it one at a time.”

Federer, who is making his 13th consecutive appearance at Wimbledon, made his major mark at The Championships in 2000, when he stunned Sampras in five sets to knock out the four-time defending champion. Reflecting on that match, Federer noted that the conditions have changed dramatically since his famous victory over Sampras 11 years ago. "The conditions have slowed down immensely over the years," said Federer.

"The surfaces are much slower now, so you need to find different ways of winning the point, which is fine. I like to grind it out and go through 10, 20 shot rallies sometimes to win the point and break the opponent's will down. The game has definitely changed with strings and balls over the last 10 years."

Date: 22.06.2011, Source: ATP

Federer starts strong and past Kukushkin

Six-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer opened his quest for a record-tying seventh crown with a 7-6(2), 6-4, 6-2 win against Mikhail Kukushkin Tuesday at the All England Club.

"It feels like if things go well for me, I can go extremely far here; whereas at Roland Garros. I feel it's a bit more on other opponents' racquets," said Federer. "But here I feel it's a bit more on mine. That's why I'll always play with some pressure here at Wimbledon just because of the occasion and what it means to me really. I was nervous going out in today's match really."

After a close first set, the Swiss pulled away from his unseeded opponent, breaking Kukushkin three times in seven opportunities to take the match in one hour and 42 minutes. The World No. 3 was dominant on serve, winning 89 per cent of his first serve points, hitting 11 aces in the process.

"I thought I played a good match," said Federer. "Tough conditions. It was really windy out there. I think he played a good match and made it competitive, which I thought was fun. The first rounds here at Wimbledon on Centre Court are never easy. They're somewhat nerve-wracking because you don't get a chance to practise on the Centre Courts here. So I'm happy I was able to come through in three sets this time around."

Seeded outside the top two for the first time since 2003, when he won his first Wimbledon trophy as the No. 4 seed, Federer is looking to equal Pete Sampras’ Open Era record of seven Wimbledon titles; William Renshaw also claimed seven crowns from 1881-1889. Tuesday’s win sees the 16-time major champion improve his record at the event to 56-6.

The Swiss next faces 55th-ranked Frenchman Adrian Mannarino, who came back to defeat qualifier Conor Niland 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(7), 4-6, 6-4. Niland, the first Irishman to play in the Wimbledon main draw since 1984, had built a double-break lead in the fifth set before Mannarino roared back to take the final five games.

Date: 21.06.2011, Source: ATP

Roger Federer is my tip for the title, says Boris Becker

It might be 18 months since Roger Federer last won a major title, but I still make him one of the favourites for Wimbledon. He is sure to have been focusing on it for weeks. The smaller tournaments might not figure on his radar anymore, but when the Grand Slam events come along, he is a real threat.

Roger plans his years around these four trophies, and the results show how successful he has been. He reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open and performed brilliantly at Roland Garros, ending Novak Djokovic’s 43-match winning streak to reach the French Open final. He seems to be enjoying the way the spotlight has moved on to Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, and he would love to surprise a lot of people at this year’s tournament.

The great thing about Roger Federer is his versatility. He has made changes to his game throughout his career - anything that will help him stay ahead of the chasing pack. You have to do that otherwise your opponents start reading you. Over the last year or two, he has become more aggressive. He likes to keep the rallies short and that stands to reason. He will be 30 in August and when you get to that age you don’t run around as much as you did at 24 or 25.

The biggest improvement Roger has made is in his serve. Out of the ‘big four’ men (himself, Rafa, Novak and Andy Murray) he has always been the best server, but now this lethal weapon is even more deadly than ever. He has won 447 games (88 per cent) on serve this season, second only to Milos Raonic.

I think his latest coach Paul Annacone has played a role there. Annacone worked with Pete Sampras so he knows what a good serve looks like. Roger has an elegant motion, a very simple technique, and it is very effective even in the wind. When he comes to the grass courts, he collects more free points than any of his main rivals.

Wimbledon will always represent his best chance of adding to that extraordinary tally of 16 major titles. He doesn’t like long rallies where the ball is bouncing high under heavy topspin — Nadal’s strongest suit - so the lower bounce of the grass courts will play into his hands. Grass is a technician’s surface — perfect for a guy who has more all-round technical ability than the other three main contenders. He has the serve, the volley, the groundstrokes and his trump card, the backhand slice, which is at its most effective when the ball is staying a bit low.

That sliced backhand will be Roger’s key tactic, allowing him to keep the baseliners off balance. He can play it a little bit shorter than an ordinary topspin backhand, landing it in no-man’s land and drawing his opponent forward. For Nadal, a left-hander, he would usually look to hit it down the line. For the two right-handers, Murray and Djokovic, he would probably play it crosscourt — although the whole idea is to keep the other guy guessing.

Then, if they take up the challenge and come to the net, he can pass them.

Another Wimbledon title for Roger would put him alongside Sampras’s record of seven victories in this tournament. When you compare Federer and Sampras, there is little to choose between them. They are both great champions, and the sign of that is how well they play in the finals of Grand Slam tournaments.

There are plenty of players who look great in practice and play their best in the first or second rounds of the tournament. But the longer it goes on, the worse they get. Federer and Sampras are the other way round: they don’t look anything special in practice, and they can be vulnerable in the first couple of rounds, but as the tournament goes on it is more and more difficult to compete with them. In the big matches, they don’t just play against their opponents, they are playing for their places in the history books.

Look at Sampras’s record in the Wimbledon final — seven wins from seven attempts. You can’t get any better than that. Federer has won six out of seven, and it took the legendary final of 2009, arguably the best match ever played at this tournament, to break his perfect run.

When it comes to their strengths and weaknesses, Sampras’s serve was the best I’ve seen. His power game was outstanding: he would just blast you off the court.

Federer is different. His serve is very good, as we’ve said, but he’s not up there with the real rocket men. The key to his game is that he doesn’t have an area of weakness. At the baseline, he is as comfortable as anyone, and he has that great reflex volley.

Look at Sampras at Roland Garros, and he always struggled. Whereas Federer hasn’t just won the French Open once, he has reached four other finals. His game is universal.

Who is the greatest? I have a lot of respect for Rod Laver, Bjorn Borg and Jimmy Conners, and then there were a couple of outstanding guys from my era in Sampras and Andre Agassi. You can’t easily compare and say who is the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time). But what you can say is that Roger Federer has been more successful than any other player. And it wouldn’t surprise me if he added another Grand Slam title to his tally in a fortnight’s time.

Date: 20.06.2011, Source: Telegraph UK

World's Biggest Shave - Roger Federer



High precision grooming on a grand scale. Gillette created and then shaved a giant image of tennis ace Roger Federer in a field in London.

Date: 20.06.2011

Federer expecting close-run Championships

Six-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer believes The Championships this year will be a close-run contest, with all of the World’s Top 4 feeling confident about their grass-court games. Andy Murray comes into Wimbledon having just won his second Queen’s Club title, Rafael Nadal is a two-time Wimbledon champion, while Novak Djokovic has reached the semi-finals at the All England Club twice.

"I think that's maybe something that's a bit different than in the past, where maybe one of the top four guys wouldn't feel so comfortable on grass," said Federer on Saturday at his pre-tournament press conference. "But this year it seems like all of us are, which is a good thing.

"I think as time went by, [Rafael] Nadal showed how good he was; won a couple times here in the meantime. [Andy] Murray's game is very natural for this surface. I think [Novak] Djokovic has always been great, but nothing extraordinary yet. But with the run he's on, obviously there's a lot of possibilities for him as well here."

The Swiss comes into Wimbledon fully recovered from the groin strain he picked up in reaching the Roland Garros final, where he finished runner-up to Nadal after ending Djokovic’s 41-match unbeaten start to the year in the semi-finals. More records are on the line for Federer at Wimbledon, with the chance to equal Pete Sampras’ tally of seven titles at the All England Club.

"Obviously that’s something very special and important at this point really," said Federer. "I feel good about myself, about my body. I'm happy about my game, and I am happy it showed in Paris. Obviously I come into this tournament very confident.

"After that I hope I get into the tournament a bit better than last year where I almost lost in the first round (against Alejandro Falla). That's the concern I have right now, not trying to break all these different records. I mean, it's nice they're somewhat close, but still they're far. I still have a lot of work to put in these next couple of weeks."

The 29-year-old Federer is a winner of 11 tour-level grass-court titles and has reached the final at Wimbledon in seven of the past eight years; his only blemish on that record was a quarter-final loss to Tomas Berdych last year. Preparing for his 13th assault on The Championships, Federer is unconcerned by a lack of grass-court match play leading in, and is pleased with the transition he has made from the clay in practice.

"The first time I hit here on Monday, very easily, like right away after 10 minutes, it feels so natural for me to play on grass," he said. "I hope that feeling is going to pay off by going deep and then hopefully winning the tournament here."

Date: 18.06.2011, Source: ATP

Wimbledon: The Draw

The draw for Wimbledon is out! Roger will start against Mikhail Kukushkin (ATP 60) from Kazakhstan, against whom he has never played before. In the second round, he could take on France's Adrian Mannarino (ATP 53) or a qualifier. After that David Nalbandian (ATP 24) could be up. Both players have not played against Roger since 2008. In the next round, our champ could meet Nicolas Almagro (ATP 15) or Mikhail Youzhny (ATP 17). In the quarterfinals, a meeting with David Ferrer (6 ATP) is possible.

In the semifinals, our six-time Wimbledon champion could again face Novak Djokovic (ATP 2). They just met in Paris when Roger ended Djokovic's winning streak of 41 wins in series.

Date: 17.06.2011, Source: RF Official

Federer remains a formidable threat in Wimbledon

Roger Federer has already reached targets and set standards which only a few may ever challenge, but to return to the final of the French Open in June 2011 was an assurance to him of where he stands and to everyone else in the game that he still represents a formidable threat.

When Federer beat Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals in Paris, he not only brought to an end a sequence of victories by the Serb totalling 43 matches stretching from last winter and into the early summer, but he may have seriously upset the balance at the very top of the game in which he believes he still has a major part to play.

Federer raised his racket arm in triumph, his index finger pointing to the sky, after defeating Djokovic and although he could not halt Rafael Nadal in the French final he has put on hold any further suggestions that his life at the top may be under threat.

"It was just important to get to another Grand Slam final," he said, "and to keep playing well. I am feeling better physically than I have for a long time, so that's been very positive."

Federer would not have enjoyed losing to Nadal as the Spaniard won the French title for a sixth time, but there were plenty of bonus points throughout his run at Roland Garros to underline that he is ready for Wimbledon, ready to end the misery of losing in the quarter-finals to Tomas Berdych last year after being in seven finals in a row.

Federer says of Wimbledon: "This is where it all started for me, in 2003, or even with Sampras in 2001, so that is why I always enjoy coming back. It's obviously a huge priority now, that is always for me number one goal for the season."

When Federer won over Sampras in the quarter-finals ten years ago, he had had two first-round losses at Wimbledon. But, inspired beyond all reasonable expectation, he took out Sampras in five sets, thus ending beyond any argument the 31-match winning streak which Sampras owned. For Sampras there was no coming back, then or any other year.

So where Sampras had stood, so did Federer. Sampras had won 14 Grand Slams and Federer eventually overtook him here at The Championships in 2009 with his 15th major, making him the all-time leader - a record which he extended to 16 with his Australian Open triumph in 2010.

So what now? Federer will be 30 on 8 August and will know that the clock may tick a little more urgently from that point, possibly affecting some of the factors in his make-up which have put him where he is in the game. Grand Slam titles have been won by men over 30 - the left-handed Australian Rod Laver did so twice at Wimbledon and the US Open in 1969 - but it remains a huge ask within the modern professional game.

Federer knows how to take care of himself and when he looks back on the 2011 French Open, can reflect that in beating Djokovic, he defeated the form player of the year in a Grand Slam semi-final and that he may now be back where he wanted to be.

But Federer also knows that the 2012 Olympic Games are just around the corner, and in tennis terms will be played out on the same Wimbledon courts where he has already earned his huge reputation. Of course Federer will be one year older when the Olympic medals are decided, but clearly he relishes the Olympic atmosphere and how it inspires people across all sports. He carried the Swiss flag at the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004 and again in Beijing in 2008. Thousands of other competitors loved the fact that one of the world's best tennis players was in their midst, day by day.

But the singles medals at the Olympics have not come Federer's way. In the humidity of Beijing it was Nadal who took the gold medal at his first attempt. Djokovic took the bronze. And Federer? He went home to Switzerland with a gold medal for the doubles, won with Stanislas Wawrinka after a great campaign.

So can Federer remain in shape, physically and mentally, for two more Wimbledon Championships, and one more shot at an Olympic medal? It is a challenge for which, at the moment, he seems more than well-equipped.

Date: 14.06.2011, Source: Wimbledon

Federer will fancy Wimbledon chances

Roger Federer’s runner-up showing at this year’s French Open will have done much to restore the great man’s confidence after an indifferent start to 2011.

And the Swiss star will really fancy his chances of ruling supreme at Wimbledon once again this year, particularly as his rivals have so far failed to step up to the plate on the grass at Queen’s Club and Halle.

Federer’s decision to withdraw from the Gerry Weber Open this week certainly caused a fair amount of controversy and cast the 29 year-old into a bad light amongst tournament directors and a number of tennis fans.

However in deciding to once again take a  mini break from the sport, Fed could well have further boosted his chances of lifting a seventh title at SW19.

Following unexpected defeats to Jurgen Melzer and Richard Gasquet on the clay, Federer invested a fair amount of time on the practise court and took himself out of the spotlight to focus on how he could improve his game.

His resurgent form at the French Open demonstrated that he still has the ability to identify weaknesses in his game, but more crucially, that he still possesses the desire and hunger to rectify any problems and adapt his talents despite his ageing years.

Both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have swooped to overtake Federer in recent times, showing whole new levels of technical ability and fitness that have reaped the rewards in terms of Grand Slams.

But Federer still remains as the most naturally gifted grass court player in the world – and even when he has lost the Wimbledon title to Nadal, it has been largely down to the Spaniard’s excessive work rate and endurance rather than a case of being outclassed.

If Federer can successfully transform his Roland Garros form onto the grass, then he is still the man to beat at the All England Club.

Date: 12.06.2011

Is less more for Roger Federer?

It was the third set of his French Open final against Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer was looking pretty good. He was likely thinking that Nadal was showing signs of tiring, while he still had some energy to burn.

Not bad for a 29-year-old playing a guy who just turned 25. True, the Spaniard had been doing more running in the match, but Federer had been through a long and arduous four-setter with Novak Djokovic a couple of days before.

Of course, we all know what happened in the fourth set -- Nadal clawed back from a 0-40 deficit in the first game to win six of the next seven games, romping home to his sixth French Open title.

Still, that third-set feeling was not something Federer expected coming into the tournament. In the three months leading up to the French Open, he played 24 matches in six tournaments, taking part in the Dubai tournament and the nonmandatory Monte Carlo Masters in addition to Masters events at Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid and Rome. Last year, he played 14 matches in five events in this period.

"I was really tired after Rome," Federer told reporters in French after the final in Paris on Sunday. "Sometimes after Miami I'd take ten days off in the past, but this year I didn't.

"I've trained and practiced a lot after Monte Carlo. I decided to play Monte Carlo because I was fit. I played a lot from Dubai until Rome. I didn't take a longer break."

He arrived in Paris feeling the effects. "I hoped I could practice more here, but I was so tired that I said, 'OK, I'll practice just what is enough,'" he said. "I could never hear the alarm clock in the morning ringing, I was so tired.

"At the beginning of the tournament, I didn't think I could manage this way, but after two matches, I thought, OK, I feel better. I'm in the tournament."

The rest was (almost) history; a reminder of what the 16-time Grand Slam champion can still produce. And for Federer and his camp, perhaps an encouraging sign that doing "just what is enough" remains enough.

"Overall, I thought it [the final] was a very high level match," said Federer's co-coach, Paul Annacone, in an interview with ESPN.com. "Rafa, you have to give him credit. He did what he always does on clay. Makes you hit one extra ball, and puts the ball [in] parts of the court where it's very difficult to attack."

The win over Djokovic in the semifinals was even more satisfying. "Everyone's talking about how that's one of the highest level matches they've ever seen," Annacone added. "So, I feel good about it. And I think that proves he's still there, and he's worked really hard to stay there and maintain that level, so I don't think there's any reason why he can't keep repeating that."

The well-respected coach, who also saw Pete Sampras through the late stages of his career, challenges the assumption that Federer's age spells physical decline. "I think a lot of that is a fallacy, too," he said."The strength and conditioning people, if you talk to [them] -- at 29 years old, he can still do it. There's no question."

But, he added, "I think it's harder to do it for 40 weeks, over 11 months.

"The idea is to structure your schedule so you're playing your best tennis here, and in Wimbledon, New York, and you know, if you do that, things will go just right. So, it's a matter of trying to manage all that stuff, which he does really well."

Grand Slams also pose different challenges from regular tournaments because the matches are longer -- best-of-five sets rather than best-of-three -- but players get days off between matches because the event lasts two weeks instead of one. Recovery, not endurance, is often the biggest issue for players as they get older.

"It's better for the body to recover, but it's three out of five sets. So, it's a longer workload over a longer period of time," Annacone said of the Slams. "But it's always nice to have a day off."

Even with the day off and his comments about feeling physically good in the final, Federer felt his French Open campaign took enough of a toll for him to pull out of his regular grass-court event in Halle, Germany, this week. "My body and especially my groin need a rest after the French Open," he said in a statement. "After talking with my team this morning, I feel that it is too big a risk to take a chance and aggravate it before Wimbledon."

In an interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper last month, Federer also indicated that he might pare down his schedule next season. After saying he opts to play nearly all the Masters events instead of more smaller events because "it's good for tennis," he added, "But I wonder if I'll be back at Indian Wells next year or go directly to Miami."

Federer, whose twin daughters are now almost 2, later continued, "I see myself mentally capable of playing for many years. … For me, it's just important to keep a balance between training, matches, holidays, family life."

With the ascendancy of Nadal and now Djokovic, Federer's mindset is also changing. For perhaps the first time since he became a top-flight player, Federer went into his semifinal against Djokovic saying he didn't have much to lose. "Sure, I'd love to be again in the Grand Slam final because I haven't achieved that in a few slams," he said. "But nothing major for me as long as I keep on giving myself chances."

This more selective and opportunistic approach means the tennis world might be seeing less of the Swiss maestro in the seasons to come. But, as at the French Open, less could turn out to be more.

Date: 08.06.2011, Source: ESPN

5 times Halle Champion pulls out

Dear Fans

I've unfortunately decided to pull out of The Gerry Weber Open in Halle, Germany. I am very disappointed as its one of my absolute favorite tournaments on the ATP Tour, but my body, especially my groin, really needs a rest. After talking with my team this morning, I feel that its way to risky to take a chance on aggravating it even more before Wimbledon.

I send my very best wishes to all my fans in Halle, and again I am so sorry I can't go this year. But I will see you next year.

Yours,
Roger

Date: 07.06.2011, Source: RF Official

Roger Federer turns focus to Wimbledon

Roger Federer fell one match short of winning his first Grand Slam title since the 2010 Australian Open, losing to World No. 1 Rafael Nadal Sunday at Roland Garros – the Spaniard claimed his sixth title in Paris with a 7-5, 7-6(3), 5-7, 6-1. But after a great two weeks of tennis on the red clay at Roland Garros, which saw Federer hand Novak Djokovic his first loss of the season in the semi-finals, the 29 year old has sent a message to his fellow competitors that he still possesses the game and drive to win another major title, or more. “It was just important to get to another Grand Slam final, keep on playing well,” Federer said Sunday. “I'm feeling better physically than I have in a long time, so that's been very positive.”

The Swiss, holder of 16 Grand Slam titles, was appearing in his first major final since defeating Andy Murray in the championship match at Melbourne Park last year, and was aiming to win his second title of the year after starting his season with a triumph in Doha. Having lost to Djokovic in three meetings this year prior to Friday’s semi-final victory, Federer is approaching the loss to Nadal with a positive outlook. “Today was a very good match. Overall obviously I'm very happy about the tournament,” assessed Federer.

“Also, after this sort of tough weekend I feel really good, so that's been positive, too.  Sure, it was a huge match with Novak. I'm happy about that win… Obviously you should be disappointed after losing in a Grand Slam final. I feel that a little bit today.”

Federer’s attention quickly shifts to the grass-court season, a stretch he’s dominated the past eight years, winning six Wimbledon crowns and five titles in Halle. It’s a part of the year the Swiss looks forward to most, with Wimbledon high on his list of priorities. “This is where it all started for me back in 2003; or even with Sampras earlier in '01. So that's why I always really enjoy coming back,” said Federer. “That's obviously the huge priority right now, to win Wimbledon in a few weeks time. That's always, for me, the sort of No. 1 goal of the season.”

Last year, the Swiss was surprised by Lleyton Hewitt in the Halle final, snapping a 15-match win streak against the Australian, a stretch spanning nearly seven years. Then, at Wimbledon, Federer failed to progress to the final at the All England Club for the first time since 2002 after bowing out to Tomas Berdych in the quarter-finals. The World No. 3 is slated to play in Halle and will square off against Hewitt in a blockbuster first-round match. Hewitt has struggled with injury all season long, playing just four tournaments. The former World No. 1 and two-time Grand Slam champion last played at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells in March, losing to Yen-Hsun Lu in the first round.

Date: 06.06.2011, Source: ATP

Roger defeated in final

Roger was defeated 5-7, 6-7, 7-5 and 1-6 by Rafael Nadal in the final of the French Open today.

"It was an exceptional performance by Rafa. He's beaten me again. I'm sad but I am happy to play him," Roger said. "He is the best player on clay but I am proud of the way I have played over the last two weeks but I couldn't do enough against him. It was important to get into another grand slam final."

Roger started strong, breaking Nadal in the second game and taking a 5-2 lead. But it was just when Roger was serving for the set that Nadal found his rhythm and won the following five games to take the first set. The Spaniard continued to play almost without errors into the second set, but Roger managed to hold onto his service games and then break to level 4-4 - only to be broken again in return. Play was suspended for a few minutes due to rain - with Roger coming back onto the court to break Nadal and bring the set into a tie-break - which Roger unfortunately clearly lost.

Roger seemed to change his game in the third set and was at his best at 5-5 to go on and book the set onto his account. He continued well into the fourth set and had several break-points, but it was Nadal who made use of the chances he was given and left no doubt that he wanted the match to come to an end.

Roger will now open the grass court season this week at the tournament in Halle (GER).

Date: 06.06.2011, Source: RF Official

Federer, Nadal anticipate "Special" final

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer will meet for the eighth time in a Grand Slam final when they contest the Roland Garros championship match on Sunday in Paris. Nadal has won five of those matches and leads their overall FedEx ATP Head2Head 16-8.

“I am happy to play against Federer, because it is always an honour to play against the best player in history. Playing against him always represents something very special,” declared Nadal in his pre-final press conference on Sunday. “I know I have to play at my highest level to have chances to win, because he is playing fantastic. After the victory of yesterday he must feel very confident.”

“It always seems to me that Rafa needs to be in a French Open final to make it special, and I got the match I guess I was hoping for,” said Federer after his extraordinary semi-final win over Novak Djokovic on Friday evening. “After beating Novak, it's in a way a gift that I get the chance, and I'm looking forward to it.”

It will be the pair’s first meeting in a major final since the 2009 Australian Open, when Nadal prevailed in five sets. They will clash in the Roland Garros title match for the fourth time after Nadal defeated Federer in three successive finals from 2006-2008. In 2008 Federer was handed his worst ever defeat, in terms of games won, as Nadal triumphed 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 in the most one-sided Roland Garros final since 1977.

“I'm happy I never got sort of a letdown just because he has beaten me here and just that I never stopped believing,” said Federer. “That's why I got the Roland Garros [title] in 2009, which remains one of my most special wins, really, in my career. And I have another opportunity to beat Rafa here and get the French Open title. I've got to play some extraordinarily special tennis.  I'm aware of that.”

The 29-year-old Federer is chasing his 17th Grand Slam championship and his first since the 2010 Australian Open (d. Murray). Having already broken the Open Era record in the men’s game, the Basel native has now set his sights closing the gap on the five female players who have won more major singles titles than him.

At the age of 25, Nadal is bidding to equal Bjorn Borg’s record and become just the second man in history to win six titles on the Parisian clay. The Spaniard has a staggering 44-1 record at Roland Garros, winning titles from 2005-2008 and again in 2010; his lone loss came at the hands of Robin Soderling in the 2009 fourth round.

“All I know is that I need to play my tennis; to play very well, to strike perfect shots each time, so that I can have all possible opportunities to win and make him realise that it's not going to be easy to play against me.”

Despite Federer’s victory over Djokovic in the semi-finals, Nadal’s position atop the South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings remains on the line in Sunday’s final. Nadal will retain the No. 1 spot if he wins, but will be usurped by Djokovic should Federer triumph.

ESPN's preview: Patrick McEnroe breaks down the French Open Final between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.



Date: 04.06.2011, Source: ESPN and ATP

Federer snaps Djokovic's winning streak; Plays Nadal in blockbuster final

Third seed and 2009 titlist Roger Federer ended Novak Djokovic's 41-match unbeaten streak in 2011 with a 7-6(5), 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(5) win over the second seed on Friday for a place in the Roland Garros final.

Federer now has a 175-0 record after winning the first two sets of a Grand Slam championship match. The Swiss superstar will next meet his long-time Spanish rival, World No. 1 Rafael Nadal, the five-time champion. Nadal will remain World No. 1 if he beats Federer in Sunday's final. A Federer victory will see Djokovic rise to No. 1 in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings for the first time.

 "I really wanted to make it as physical as possible, which I was able to make happen," Federer said of his win, which snapped a three-match losing streak against Djokovic. "I was really happy with the way I played. I thought it was a great match from both sides."

The 29-year-old Federer has advanced to his 23rd Grand Slam championship final (16-6 overall) and his first since winning the 2010 Australian Open (d. Murray). Federer beat Robin Soderling for the 2009 Roland Garros title, having finished runner-up to Nadal in 2006-08. "I have another opportunity to beat Rafa here and get the Roland Garros title," Federer said. "I've got to play some extraordinarily special tennis. I'm aware of that. But I obviously took a huge step today, and hope I can get everything together for the final."

Federer converted just four of 25 break point opportunities against Djokovic. It will be a ratio he'll be looking to improve versus Nadal. In the 2007 final, Federer converted one of 17 opportunities in a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 loss.

There were four breaks of serve through the first seven games. The standard of tennis was exceptional in the 70-minute opener. Federer saved two set points at 4-5 through clever service placement. The set was decided by a tie-break. Federer took a 4-2 lead, but two mis-timed forehands took second seed Djokovic to 5-4. But Federer recovered and converted his first set point chance at 6-5 when Djokovic hit a forehand into the net. Federer hit 18 winners to 14 for Djokovic.

Federer opened up a 4-1 lead in the 45-minute second set as he began to win the mental battle. Djokovic, somehow, saved four break points in the sixth game and four set points to hold for 3-5. Federer remained cool on serve, saving one break point with an ace in the next game. When Djokovic hit a backhand into the net on set point, the Serbian could only look up to his coach Marian Vajda and shake his head.

Maybe he knew about Federer's record in winning the first two sets in major play? Certainly, Djokovic looked as if he wanted to snap that streak when Federer's level dipped slightly early in the third set. The World No. 2 took a 3-0 lead by reclaiming control of baseline rallies. He survived two gutsy service holds before clinching the 37-minute set with a hold to love.

With barely one hour of daylight left, the fourth set began. Djokovic fought back from 0/30 at 2-3, just as Federer looked to be hitting peak form again. At 4-4, Federer could not hit a first delivery into court. Finally on the 14th point of the game, Djokovic hit a deep return and Federer mis-timed a forehand into the net. The momentum switched back to Federer when he broke back for 5-5. Federer saved two break points in an edgy 11th game. Both players received a standing ovation as they walked to their chair.

Djokovic cancelled out Federer's early advantage in the tie-break. But from 3-3, Federer won three straight points including two aces. Djokovic saved two match points, but Federer closed out his 219th win at a major championship (219-31) with his 18th ace of the match at 9:37 p.m. local time. He now leads Djokovic 14-9 overall. "He played really good in the important moments," assessed Djokovic. "I congratulate him for a great performance. He really played well. We were, I think, part of a very good match, and it feels bad losing."

Federer hit 48 winners. Djokovic, who had been unbeaten in 43 matches since the Davis Cup final in December 2010, struck 40 winners including seven aces. He committed 41 unforced errors to 46 for Federer, who was the last player to beat Djokovic at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London in November 2010.

Date: 04.06.2011, Source: ATP

Federer, Djokovic ready for highly anticipated clash

Reigning Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal summed up the highly anticipated semi-final clash between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. “The best player of the world today against the best player of history,” said the World No. 1. “It’s gonna be, in my opinion, a fantastic match.”

This marks the third straight Grand Slam tournament that Djokovic and Federer will be going head-to-head for a place in the final, but this one holds perhaps the most significance. A victory for Djokovic would extend his perfect season record to 42-0, tying John McEnroe’s record best season start. More importantly, it would see the 24 year old become the first player to break the seven-year stranglehold of Federer and Nadal atop the South African Airways ATP Rankings.

“I know [Djokovic] has a lot on the line,” said Federer, who first debuted at World No. 1 after winning the Australian Open title in 2004. “I’m looking forward to that match. I think we usually play pretty well against each other.”

Federer leads Djokovic 13-9 in the FedEx ATP Head2Head series (2-1 on clay), and holds the distinction as the last player to have beaten the Serbian. Since that loss in the semi-finals of last November’s Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, Djokovic has been won 43 straight matches – with three of those victories coming against Federer this season.

Djokovic has also won their past two Grand Slam encounters – saving two match points in a five-set thriller at last year’s US Open and cruising to a straight-sets win in Melbourne – to narrow Federer’s edge at majors to 4-3.

This, however, will be their first meeting at Roland Garros. Djokovic has never advanced beyond the semi-finals at the clay-court Slam, while Federer reached four consecutive finals from 2006-09, claiming the title after three runner-up finishes to Nadal.

Going into the semi-finals, the 29-year-old Swiss is the only player remaining who has yet to drop a set during the fortnight, despite having arguably the most difficult draw. Of the four semi-finalists, Federer was the only one to encounter three seeded players – No. 29 Janko Tipsarevic, No. 14 Stanislas Wawrinka, No. 9 Gael Monfils.

“It was a tricky draw and I’m happy that I made my way through to the semis,” he said. “I’ve never diverted from my plan of focusing on myself and I’m very happy with the way I’m playing. For me the plan is to try and take a step further and reach the final of the French Open.”

Djokovic’s biggest test came against 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro, whom he defeated in four sets in the third round.

When he takes the court against Federer, it will be his first match since Sunday’s fourth-round win over Richard Gasquet – courtesy of a walkover against Italian Fabio Fognini in the quarter-finals.

Djokovic downplayed the long layoff in an interview with John McEnroe, welcoming the break after a busy season. “I’ve played a lot of tennis, so I don’t think rhythm wise, I’m going to be affected,” he said.

Djokovic will be looking to reach his fifth Grand Slam final and Federer his 23rd. After reaching 18 of 19 Grand Slam finals between 2005 Wimbledon and the 2010 Australian Open, Federer has now gone four majors without contesting the title match – his longest drought since winning his first Wimbledon title in 2003.

“He’s a great player, a great champion,” said Djokovic. “But I’ve been playing the best tennis of my life, and I need to get out there and believe that I can win. That’s the only way I can get a positive outcome.”

Date: 03.06.2011, Source: ATP

Federer sets blockbuster SF with Djokovic

Roger Federer will attempt to curb Novak Djokovic’s 43-match winning streak when the pair meets in a blockbuster semi-final clash at Roland Garros. Federer earned his place in the last four after ousting remaining French hopeful Gael Monfils 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(3) on Tuesday in Paris.

The 29-year-old Federer is the last player to have beaten Djokovic, dismissing the Serb in straight sets in the semi-finals of the 2010 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in November. Since then, Djokovic has won seven successive tour-level titles and steered Serbia to victory in the Davis Cup final in December.

Federer leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 13-9, but since beating Djokovic in London has lost to him in their past three matches, including in straight sets in the Australian Open semi-finals in January.

The match holds extra significance for the 24-year-old Djokovic, who will rise to World No. 1 in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings if he reaches the final in Paris.

Gusting winds led to difficult conditions at Roland Garros on Tuesday, but it was Federer who mastered the elements better to overcome Monfils and reach the semi-finals in Paris for the sixth time.

After recovering from a slightly slow start, in which the ninth-seeded Monfils broke to lead 2-1, Federer levelled at 3-3 before breaking again in the 10th game to take the first set as Monfils miscued a forehand wide. It was the Frenchman’s turn to recover an early break deficit in the second set, but Federer regained his lead in the sixth game courtesy of a Monfils double fault and went on to take a two-set lead.

With Monfils growing increasingly frustrated by the conditions, Federer capitalised on his momentum to break in the first game of the third set. However, a lapse in concentration from the Swiss proved costly as Monfils took advantage to level at 2-2 and found some of his best tennis throughout the set as he fended off Federer’s advances to force a tie-break. The Frenchman’s inconsistency proved his undoing in the tie-break, though, and a near-faultless Federer claimed victory in two hours and 34 minutes.

"Novak is been playing fantastic this season, so I know I have to play some of my best tennis," Federer said. "I have a couple of days to prepare for that and come up with a good game plan."

“Playing against him is always difficult. I knew the stakes were high. He’s young, he’ll have more opportunities. I have to take the few that I still have,” the 16-times grand slam champion, who won his only Roland Garros title in 2009, said courtside.

Date: 31.05.2011, Souce: ATP, Reuters