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Federer wins 10th Basel title

Roger Federer won his 10th Swiss Indoors Basel title, defeating Alex De Minaur 6-2, 6-2 to secure what the Swiss legend described as "an unbelievable" success at the home-town tournament.

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Federer to play 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Roger Federer will go for gold in 2020. The Swiss star confirmed that he will compete for Switzerland at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

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Federer wins 10th Halle title

Roger Federer made history in Halle, defeating David Goffin 7-6 (2), 6-1 to win a record 10th Noventi Open title. It is the first time that Federer has earned 10 crowns at one tournament.

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Federer wins fourth Miami Open title

Roger Federer produced a championship masterclass under the Florida sun, dominating reigning champ John Isner 6-1, 6-4 to win his fourth Miami title.

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Federer makes history in Dubai, wins 100th title

Roger Federer made history at the Dubai Duty Free Championships, defeating reigning Next Gen ATP Finals champion Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-4 to win his 100th tour-level title.

Swiss team: Federer 'not finished' with Davis Cup

Roger Federer might play in the Davis Cup again, although the 17-time Grand Slam champion won't represent his country before the U.S. Open in September.

Switzerland captain Severin Luethi told The Associated Press that Federer hasn't written off the team competition, which his country has never won. Federer is skipping the first round series at home this week against defending champion Czech Republic.

''He is for sure not finished with Davis Cup,'' Luethi said.

Still, by not making his Davis Cup plans clear in recent months, the 31-year-old Swiss star has been the target of some criticism at home.

Federer opted last October to schedule more rest periods and time with his family this season, said Luethi, who is part of the player's entourage on tour.

''He could really plan until, let's say, the U.S. Open more or less,'' he said. ''For him, it's sure that he doesn't play the first two ties.''

Switzerland can earn another home series in the quarterfinals in April, against Austria or Kazakhstan, by beating the Czechs on indoor hard courts in Geneva. The semifinals and relegation playoffs follow the season's final Grand Slam at Flushing Meadows.

Federer ''didn't take a final decision to say, 'I'm not ever playing Davis Cup again.' He just decided for the first half of the year now that he is not playing, then we have to see what he is going to decide,'' Luethi said.

Federer's two-week break comes after losing a lengthy five-setter to Andy Murray in the Australian Open semifinals last Friday.

''There was maybe a small chance if he had lost in the first or second round or something,'' that the second-ranked Swiss would reconsider, Luethi said earlier at a news conference. ''But otherwise, it was not even a discussion anymore in Australia.''

With Federer already expressing enthusiasm about the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, one factor luring him back to Davis Cup could be earning Olympics eligibility in accordance with International Tennis Federation rules.

However, one of the game's greats could expect to get a wild-card Olympics entry even without committing to the Davis Cup.

''It's tough to believe that if he would not play Davis Cup, he would not have a chance to play in Rio", Luethi said.

Federer is scheduled to play in the Netherlands at the Rotterdam indoor event starting Feb. 11.

Date: 29th January 2013, Source: AP

Federer among sport's greatest says Agassi

When it's all said and done, Andre Agassi believes tennis superstar Roger Federer ranked alongside the likes of Jack Nicklaus and Michael Jordan as one of the greatest athletes of all time.

As with every rare Federer defeat, the doubters have been quick to relegate the Swiss master to yesterday's hero following his five-set Australian Open semi-final loss to Andy Murray.

But just as Murray and world No.1 Novak Djokovic were preparing to meet in a second straight grand slam final, Federer was plotting another successful season, unfazed by those declaring a changing of the guard in men's tennis.

"Nothing has changed," the 17-times grand slam champion and world No.2 said before leaving Australia."

"I've played these guys, what, 60 times? The three guys around me in the rankings. So we know each other really well. We play each other very close very often. Keep on trading wins and losses."

"Novak has done probably the best job getting more wins than losses. That's why he's ranked where he is."

"I enjoy the matches with Rafa (Nadal), Novak, and also Andy again on Friday night. It's nice playing five sets against him. It was tough tennis. I enjoy that."

"So I go from here with a good feeling for the year. I didn't play a tournament leading in, so now obviously I know where my level is at."

"Also knowing I have even more time to work on my game, work on my fitness this year, it's something I'm excited about."

But regardless what the future holds for Federer, Agassi says the 31-year-old's legacy as a sporting immortal is secure.

Himself a four-times Australian Open champion like Federer, Agassi said the brilliant Swiss belongs in the conversation with Nicklaus, Jordan and company as one of sport's greatest ever.

"I'm biased in a sense that I think that tennis is one of the most comprehensive sports when it comes to endurance, when it comes to athleticism, when it comes to speed, when it comes to eye-hand," Agassi told AAP.

"It engages every part of what an athlete needs to be and I think the standard of athlete in tennis is finally now starting to make that recognised by people in other sports."

"So I am biased with what I think tennis brings to the table and I think what Roger's done in tennis is as commendable as what we've seen with Nicklaus in golf, or what we've seen with Jordan in basketball."

"The guy has single-handedly separated himself from a world-class field year after year after year in a way that's probably never been done."

Agassi, the sport's oldest-ever world No.1, says he has long given up being surprised about anything Federer achieves and believes even at almost 32 he is at the top of his game.

"I was ranked No.1 possibly even at 33," Agassi said.

"When I was ranked No.1 at that age, I felt better than when I was 25. I felt like I was a better player."

"Given that, I would assume that Roger probably feels like a better player because he's smarter. He's dealing with tougher competition. He might not win like he used to. But he himself now would beat himself from back then."

"That would be a fair assumption."

Date: 27th January 2013, Source: SMH

Federer: "No regrets from me after a tough loss"

Roger Federer insisted that physically he felt fine, and his movement was perfectly in order. But after Friday night’s 6-4 6-7(5) 6-3 6-7(2) 6-2 loss to No.3 seed Andy Murray – notable for his fadeout in the final set after snaring the fourth – it’s hard not to believe that conditioning played a part in the result.

Yet so many times, Federer played shots out of position, tangled up, a step slow. Tugged about the court by his more aggressive opponent, the Swiss’ usually exquisite footwork and cat-like movement simply weren’t as evident. There were times during a limp fifth set – which spanned just 30 minutes – that Federer didn’t even attempt to run down balls. It was a similar story at the Olympics, when after defeating Juan Martin del Potro 19-17 in an epic third set, he came out flat for the gold medal match – against Murray – and was summarily beaten.

Sportingly, the Swiss wasn’t buying into suggestions that fatigue played a part in his demise, despite never before in his career having played back-to-back five-set matches at a major.

“I was hoping to do a bit better, but overall obviously I'm pretty pleased with the tournament. I played good tennis. I'm moving well and was fit in the 10 sets I played, the last two matches,” he said.

“The Tsonga match tired me a little bit, but it's not an excuse for me tonight to say that I lost because of that. But obviously I wish I could have come in fresh like Andy, as well. Then again, he beat me fair and square tonight. No regrets from me.”

“I think it was an open match for both players. There were times we could have played better. It's a game of chess out there.

So if he generally felt fine, what was behind such a lacklustre start, and an uncharacteristically error-strewn performance? He finished the four-hour battle with 60 unforced errors (13 more than the Scot) to 43 winners, almost 20 less than Murray’s tally. Some of that was undoubtedly the pressure being heaped on him by the third seed, who smacked 21 aces to five and who was especially damaging on the move, striking several jaw-dropping passing shots and running winners.

“I think overall he probably created more chances than I did. I had difficulties … getting into his service games time and time again unlike I usually do against him,” Federer reflected.

“It's normal that with time and with age you learn, you become more experienced, become physically better … obviously with Murray’s win I think at the Olympics and the US Open, maybe there's just a little bit more belief or he's a bit more calm overall.”

“It seems like he has more peace when he plays out there, and in the process he has better results, I guess.”

It’s never pleasant to sound like you’re writing somebody off, but at 31 years old, one wonders just how much age now plays a factor in Federer’s physical health. The world No.2 has enjoyed a remarkably injury-free run throughout his career, and reportedly puts special emphasis on his recovery. But in the past three years at Melbourne Park, younger foes have gotten the better of him, all at the semifinal stage. In 2011 it was Novak Djokovic, 2012 it was Rafael Nadal, and now Murray.

Yet the Swiss has stated he intends to play on until the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. A truncated schedule – beginning this year – is designed to ensure he reaches that goal. Despite yesterday’s setback, he has no plans of changing that plan, or how he approaches his matches.

“I’ve played these guys, what, 60 times, the three guys around me in the rankings. So we know each other really well. We play each other very close very often. Keep on trading wins and losses … I enjoy the matches with Rafa, Novak, and also Andy again yesterday. It's nice playing five sets against him. It was tough tennis. I enjoy that,” he said.

“So I go from here with a good feeling for the year. I didn't play a tournament leading in, so now obviously I know where my level is at. Also knowing I have even more time to work on my game, work on my fitness this year.”

“It's something I'm excited about.”

Date: 26th January 2013, Source: Australian Open

Federer lost to Murray in a 5 set epic match

It took Andy Murray over four years to be able to upend the great Roger Federer at a major, but he pulled it off in brilliant fashion, overcoming the Swiss 6-4 6-7(5) 6-3 6-7(2) 6-2 in exactly four hours to earn himself a meeting with top seed Novak Djokovic in Sunday night’s final.

In an extremely physical and complicated contest between two of the game’s smartest tacticians on a brisk Friday evening , Murray was able to emotionally regroup after he failed to serve the match out at 6-5 in the fourth set.

More fit than he was three years ago when Federer bested him in the Melbourne final and certainly mentally tougher after his standout 2012, when he won the Olympic gold medal as well as his first major at the US Open, Murray played an airtight fifth set, winning 16 of his 19 service points and pouncing on his foe’s serves during his return games.

He won the contest when a seemingly exhausted Federer – who has just come of a brutal five-set win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Wednesday night’s quarterfinal – flew a forehand long.

One of the world’s most accurate returners, Murray immediately began to get on Federer’s serve in the first set and broke him to 2-1 when he forced him into a forehand error. While Murray was in command of numerous baseline rallies as he played deep and with precision, Federer had trouble breaking down the Scot’s defensive wall, even with his ferocious forehand.

Murray won the first set when he crushed a forehand that Federer could only push back into the net.

Both men upped their levels in the second set and engaged in a number of long and intriguing rallies from inside the baseline. The Swiss tried to break down Murray’s weaker forehand side, while the Scot went at Federer’s backhand. They traded speeds and spins, charged forward on and off, and heartily defended with their backs against the wall.

However, the 25-year-old Murray still seemed to have slight edge in rallies until they went into the tiebreaker. Murray inexplicably blew three straight forehands to go down 1-3, but then he managed to claw back to 5-5. However, while approaching the net, Murray had to leap high in the air to hit a forehand volley and he bounced it short, which allowed Federer to paste a backhand crosscourt winner. He then committed a forehand error, and the Swiss grabbed the set.

Six months ago in the Wimbledon final, Murray had won the first set and was ahead in the second before Federer grabbed it 7-5 and then blitzed him the next two sets. But the Australian Open is not played on grass, and Murray is more secure on outdoor hard courts. Once again, he was the player consistently controlling the action.

He broke Federer to 3-2 and never looked back, winning the third set by stepping to his left and crushing a forehand down the line and then booming an ace.

But Federer hasn’t managed to win a record 17 Grand Slams for nothing, and with his back against the wall, the 31-year-old showed all of his champion’s mettle.

Murray won a very tense 10-minute game to tie the set 4-4, and he was clearly pumped up, bellowing at the top of his lungs.

At 5-5, he broke the Swiss to love with a forehand crosscourt winner and looked to be in the driver’s seat when, trying to serve the match out at 6-5, he hit a gorgeous forehand down the line and smiled in delight, appearing to believe that he was well on his way to victory.

Federer did not take kindly to the grin and his game rose in response. Down 15-30, he nailed an overhead at Murray’s body and then walloped a one-handed backhand down the line winner behind Murray that kissed the outside of the line to gain a break point. A shaky Murray then blew an easy forehand crosscourt, and a second tiebreaker was on.

Brimming with confidence, Federer flew through the breaker, nailing a series of winners and then watching Murray miss two returns he would normally handle.

But Murray is no longer the same player who broke down in tears after Federer beat him in straight sets in the 2010 Melbourne final, and he quickly broke Federer to 2-0 when the Swiss framed a backhand long. From that point on, Federer looked like he had lost a bit of speed off the ground, and he couldn’t touch Murray on his service games.

Serving at 2-5,15-30, the four-time Australian Open champion saw Murray blast a forehand return winner that he didn't even bother to chase down. He managed to fight off one match point with a serve winner, but then he missed an easy groundstroke to hand the Scot the match.

Date: 25th January 2013, Source: Australian Open

Federer privileged to play late at night

Roger Federer may have expended more time and energy on the court than he would have liked to on Wednesday evening against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the Australian Open quarter-finals, but the 31 year old is taking greater satisfaction away from edging the 2008 runner-up in five sets, as opposed to advancing in three.

“All the straight-set matches eventually become a bit of a blur, no doubt about it; whereas the five setters stand out more,” Federer said. “I've had some great ones over the years here at the Australian Open. I love watching night session tennis. Whenever it goes deep into a match, I don't want to miss it.”

“I'm sure there's other tennis fans out there who like to see me and Jo-Willie battle it out. So I always feel it's a privilege to be playing so late at night, on a centre court, the crowd getting into it. We were really playing good tennis, so it was even more enjoyable in the process.”

Federer was pushed to five sets for the first time since his third-round match at Wimbledon last year, where he was two points away from defeat on six occasions to another Frenchman, Julien Benneteau. As fate would have it, Federer battled back to win the exciting encounter. The Swiss maestro went on to lift his 17th major trophy, and in the process, regained the Emirates ATP No. 1 ranking for 17 weeks, surpassing Pete Sampras for the all-time record.

“There's some positives to take out of a five-set match. I did play very well today, but I had moments as well where I could've done a bit better,” Federer assessed. “I toughed it out. That also gives you confidence when you have to go through those matches. The physical stamina was there, the focus was there till the very end. So it does give you a lot of confidence moving forward from here.”

In defeating Tsonga, Federer reached the semi-final stage at Melbourne Park for the 10th year in a row. Federer credits his steadiness in Australia to having faith in his off-season training regimen.

“I've always been super consistent in the beginning of the year, so I can build trust in that preparation and the process will decide whatever I want to do,” said Federer. “I know I will more likely than not play good tennis… with my ways of being able to adapt, it gives me some flexibility, which is important.”

For a place in the final, the four-time former champion with take on third-ranked Andy Murray. The Scot holds a 10-9 lead in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, but is yet to taste victory over Federer at a major tournament.

Tsonga was completely at a loss, however, when asked to explain why he could play such a close five-set match against 17-times grand slam champion Federer and yet not break the cabal of the "Big Four" in men's tennis.

"To be honest, I have no idea," he said. "You know, if you have some advice for me, I will take it because I don't know. I don't know what is the difference.

"I'm just working hard. I do my best. I mean, that's it. Maybe I'm less talented for the moment."

"In tennis, you know, you cannot lie," he added. "If they are number one, number two, number three, number four, it's because they deserve it and because they are the best players at the moment."

Date: 23rd January 2013, Source: ATP

Federer outlasts Tsonga to reach semifinals

Roger Federer has progressed to the semifinals of the Australian Open for the 10th consecutive year, the No.2 seed outlasting Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6(4) 4-6 7-6(4) 3-6 6-3 in their quarterfinal on Wednesday night. The 31 year old is through to contest his 33rd Grand Slam semi-final.

"It was a tough close for sure, but the whole match was tough. Any set could have gone any way," the 31-year-old said in a courtside interview.

Going into the match, Federer had not even dropped serve, let alone a set, throughout the tournament, winning all 57 of his service games in his first four matches. The Swiss faced a much sterner test in 2008 runner-up Tsonga, though, and needed three hours and 34 minutes to progress.

"It was a tough match from the start really. A lot of ups and downs on both sides obviously," said Federer. "I'm very happy. It was a good match. I enjoyed it. Could have been four. Could have been three. I could have lost it. So at the end, I'm just happy I won in five."

"I toughed it out. That also gives you confidence when you have to go through those matches. The physical stamina was there, the focus with there till the very end. So it does give you a lot of confidence moving forward from here."

He is looking to lift the trophy for the fifth time this week after success in 2004 (d. Safin), 2006 (d. Baghdatis), 2007 (d. Gonzalez) and 2010 (d. Murray).

"I'm young, you know, I'll recover quick - compared to the seniors, of course," Federer joked. "I'm looking forward to it. Andy is a great guy, a great player."

Federer looked in ominous form at the start of his 12th contest with Tsonga, breaking immediately and holding twice for a 3-1 lead. Tsonga did what no player had achieved so far this tournament and broke the Federer serve to level at 3-3. But the Swiss was on form in the eventual tie-break, wrapping up the 50-minute opening set as Tsonga netted a backhand when trailing 4-6.

Errors crept into Federer’s game at crucial times in the second set. They proved costly when Tsonga broke for a 4-3 lead before serving out to 15 to level the contest. Breaks were exchanged at the start of the third set and in the subsequent tie-break it was again Federer who had the advantage. The Basel native broke for a 6-4 lead with a scorching backhand winner and the pressure told on Tsonga as he miscued a backhand volley in the next point.

After holding from 0/40 down in the third game of the fourth set, Tsonga attacked Federer again, showing a positive attitude throughout the set. The Frenchman broke for a 4-2 lead and, despite immediately relinquishing the advantage, shook off the poor service game to break Federer again, this time decisively.

Seventeen-time Grand Slam champion Federer raised his level in the fifth set, though, and Tsonga could not match him. Federer broke for a 3-1 lead and had four match points in the eighth game, but was denied as the resilient Tsonga stayed in contention. There was no mistake when he served at 5-3, though, and he clinched his fifth match point with a winning overhead.

"I kept my level of concentration really high all times. He was very aggressive. He didn't miss a lot in the fifth set. I mean, it makes a difference," assessed Tsonga. "I just gave my best today, so I'm proud of that. But I'm not happy to lose, and I already look forward to the next tournament, the next Grand Slam, to try another time. I sent a good message. I'm here, I'm playing well, so you can count on me in the next game."

Federer goes onto face World No. 3 Andy Murray, who cruised past Jeremy Chardy in straight sets earlier in the day. It is a rematch of the 2010 final at Melbourne Park, when Federer ran out a straight-sets winner.

"I don't go into it with a mindset that I've never lost to him in slams," said Federer. "He's beaten me so many times. He's beaten me more times than I've beaten him. I like the matches with him. I think a lot of them are very close. I very often have come up with some great play against him in the slams when it mattered. But we'll see if I can produce it again."

Date: 23rd January 2013, Source: ATP and Reuters

Federer topples Raonic to reach 35th successive major QF

Roger Federer advanced to his 35th consecutive Grand Slam quarter-final on Monday night in Melbourne as he defeated Canadian Milos Raonic 6-4, 7-6(4), 6-2.

"Obviously times have changed. Conditions have slowed down. That gives you an opportunity to maybe be more consistent in all four majors," said Federer. "Maybe I'm taking away things from me a little bit. But I truly believe things are a bit easier to play more consistent today."

"Tonight was a very solid night, so I'm very happy," continued Federer. "If I can maintain such a level of play, obviously I'm happy I give myself a chance of going deep in this tournament, which is obviously the goal.”

The Swiss is bidding to become only the second man in history, after Roy Emerson, to win five Australian Open titles. He lifted the trophy at Melbourne Park in 2004 (d. Safin), 2006 (d.Baghdatis), 2007 (d. Gonzalez) and 2010 (d. Murray).

Against Raonic, Federer was on top of his return game, limiting the 6’5’’ Canadian to winning just 50 per cent of points behind his second serve. He broke the famed Raonic serve three times and did not face a break point himself. Indeed, the Swiss has not dropped a service game in his four matches so far.

"I thought I had a good night," reflected Federer. "I was focused on what I wanted to do and was able to come through. Important obviously was first to focus on my own serve before even thinking about how to return Milos'. But I did a good job tonight. As the match went on, I started to feel better."

“I felt good out there. I was moving well, had good anticipation and reaction today, which was key obviously on the return.”

Said Raonic, "In the conditions, he's playing well, not missing much. As soon as you let up a little bit with a shorter ball or anything, he's taking advantage of it. He's doing a lot of things well. That's Roger. Just sort of swept me off the court."

The 31-year-old Federer, a winner of 17 major titles, goes onto face World No. 8 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Wednesday. The Frenchman trails Federer 3-8 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.

Date: 21st January 2013, Source: ATP

Federer sees off Tomic, faces Raonic next

World No. 2 and four-time Australian Open champion Roger Federer claimed his 250th Grand Slam championship win on Saturday night in Melbourne as he ended the hopes of Australian No. 1 Bernard Tomic with a 6-4, 7-6(5), 6-1 victory in the third round.

"I had to be able to bring the whole repertoire to the court today, defence and offence, which I enjoy," said Federer, adding that Tomic had vastly improved.

"I've never seen him play offensive tennis against me in the past," commented Federer, adding that Tomic needs to work on maintaining his level of play for the entire season. "We play 10, 11 months of the year, it's about bringing it every single day."

Tomic came into the clash in confident mood, having won his first ATP World Tour title at the Apia International Sydney (d. Anderson) a week earlier, and looked set to split sets with Federer when he led 4-1 in the second set tie-break.

17 time Grand Slam champion Federer fought back, though, and won six of the next seven points to take a commanding lead in the match. From there, he broke Tomic twice in the third set to wrap up victory in just under two hours. The Swiss converted only three of his 16 break points, but hit 46 winners and 11 aces.

"I thought it was a really good match," said Tomic. "The first two sets we played really good tennis. It came down to one point, I think. I was pretty satisfied with my tennis. I was competing out there, trying to hang in there with him. He just came up with good stuff when he really needed it the most."

"He deserved to win, he is the best and greatest tennis player in history. You learn every time you see him playing. I nominate him to win the Australian Open, I'm sure he has many chances to achieve the title. It is good to lose from a hero."

The 31-year-old Federer is bidding to add to his Australian Open trophies in 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2010 and goes onto face another upcoming ATP World Tour star, Milos Raonic. The Canadian No. 13 seed, who revealed he had been suffering from a fever the past two days, fired 23 aces to defeat Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-6(4), 6-3, 6-4 in one hour and 52 minutes.

"He's obviously got one of the best serves in the game," Federer said, describing Raonic who has landed 71 aces this week compared to Federer's 23. "You always feel, especially after an off season like the one we've just had, he's maybe improved again a few things," said Federer, who is ready for the unexpected.

Date: 19th January 2013, Source: ATP

Roger Federer sets up Bernard Tomic showdown with easy win

Roger Federer tossed aside old rival Nikolay Davydenko in straight sets to set up a third-round showdown with Bernard Tomic.

The 17-time grand slam champion had few problems with the quirky, 40th-ranked Russian, winning 6-3 6-4 6-4 in a minute shy of two hours on Rod Laver Arena.

The win set up what should be a tournament highlight on Saturday, an intriguing match-up between the four-time Australian Open champion and the confident, 20-year-old home hope Tomic.

"It's a similar situation to last year, it's just a round earlier, I guess," Federer said, referring to last year's straight-sets win over Tomic in the fourth round.

"It's nice to see Bernard playing better again, he had a rough end to the season last year, so he's had a wonderful start this year and I hope he can keep it and get back to a big ranking."

Federer stretched his record over Davydenko to 18-2 with a dominant performance containing three service breaks from 13 break point opportunities.

The world No 2 is on a run of 34 straight grand slam quarter-finals and is on course to face defending champion Novak Djokovic in the final next week.

Federer is bidding to become only the second man in the history of the Australian Open to win the title a fifth time, following Australian Roy Emerson's six victories in the 1960s.

Federer soon had Davydenko under pressure, breaking the Russian's service in the sixth game, and he cruised to the opening set in 42 minutes.

He followed up with a service break in Davydenko's opening service game to take the second set in a similar time and broke him again in the first game of the final set to steam home.

Roger Federer wore black shoes, with pink trim and pink shoelaces in his second round win over Nikolay Davydenko.

Talking to former World No. 1 Jim Courier afterwards, Federer joked, “It was time for a change from the red, blue, black and white ensembles. It is nice to experiment with the colours. I hope people like it? I wore a pink shirt a few years ago, so I hope this does well too."

Date: 17th January 2013, Source: The Australian

Federer glides into round two

Roger Federer opened his Australian Open challenge - and his season - with a routine straight-sets victory over France's Benoit Paire.

The second seed came to Melbourne having played no warm-up tournaments, but showed no signs of rustiness as he kicked off his bid for a fifth Australian Open title with a 6-2 6-3 6-1 win over the world number 46 in just 83 minutes.

For Paire, who deals more in spurts of inspiration than the sustained brilliance of Federer, it was a painful experience and by the end he looked keen to get off court as quickly as possible.

Federer said: "Benoit's a good player, a good talent. I haven't played a match this season yet. You're not sure how you're going to play and that's why you're relieved when you get through the first one."

Federer, who won the pair's only previous encounter in straight sets, was immediately into his stride as he broke in game one, then produced a wonderful pick-up at net in his opening service game, going on to save two break points to hold for a 2-0 lead.

Paire held twice and matched his opponent in patches, but Federer broke again for 5-2 then served out in style.

Paire was unruffled, though, and opened up set two with back-to-back aces to help take the first game.

But normal service was resumed as Federer broke for 2-1 then held to love to take a firm grip on the second set.

Paire held to stop the rot as Federer sent a backhand long, but he struggled to make any impact on the Swiss player's delivery as the set progressed with serve.

Federer produced a textbook serve-volley point for 5-3, but failed to take a set-point chance as Paire held on to make him serve for the set.

Federer broke to open the third and, with all hope lost, Paire came out swinging, but he was missing more than he was hitting and the tactic served only to hasten his demise.

Even when Paire did show good touch at net with an acute backhand, Federer was there to pat the ball into the open court - a point which gave him a 4-0 lead.

Paire finally held for 4-1, then, produced the unlikeliest of break points - his first since Federer's opening service game of the match - but could not convert it.

Paire's game descended into trick shots as he attempted - unsuccessfully - a volley between his legs as he served to stay in the match.

Staying in the match looked like the very last thing he wanted, though, and Federer closed it out at the second attempt.

Afterward, the Swiss, who will next face either Israel's Dudi Sela or former world number three Nikolay Davydenko or Russia, explained his decision to play no warm-up matches.

"I've had a few busy years since I had kids," he said. "I just wanted to cool down a bit. It's nice to enjoy the off season. I hope it's the right decision, we'll see how it goes. I'm confident in my play."

Date: 15th January 2013, Source: Sportinglife

Federer, Hewitt — symbols of longevity

They’re both 31, both turned pro in 1998 and both are still going strong. In the brutally demanding world of tennis, Roger Federer and Lleyton Hewitt are inspiring symbols of longevity.

Remarkably, the veteran Swiss star and his Australian counterpart are both lining up for their 55th Grand Slam at the Australian Open this week, more than any other current player.

Since they kicked off their careers in 1998, their paths have crossed repeatedly, but injuries have hampered Hewitt’s progress with just two Grand Slam successes to Federer’s 17.

Mutual respect

The Swiss has won 76 ATP Tour titles to Hewitt’s 28, and earned US$57 million more than the Australian in prize money. But the respect between the two, who both now have young families, is mutual.

On the eve of the Australian Open, Federer hailed Hewitt’s resilience and said he had nothing but praise for the Australian, who has dropped down the rankings to 81 but won the Kooyong Classic warm-up tournament on Saturday.

“I am one of the guys who has always believed in Lleyton, even though people were writing him off and being negative and all that stuff... The guy has given everything and more to Australia, to tennis,” he told Australian Associated Press.

“I can’t stand it when they did that to Lleyton. The guy has given everything and more to Australia, to tennis.

“He’s done a lot. So I admire that he’s still playing, that he loves it.

“We’re in a similar situation now with both of us having a family. Rankings are not important for him, but he knows he can hang with the best and he can cause upsets and still win tournaments.

“And as long as he feels that way, I hope he keeps on playing and I hope he stays injury-free for once for an entire year because that then would give him great opportunities more often than not during the year.”

Record run

Hewitt is playing in a record 17th consecutive Australian Open, three more than closest challenger Federer, and is proud to have lasted the distance alongside perhaps the greatest player ever to have graced a tennis court.

“I’ve missed a lot more Slams than Rog, too. I started before him,” he said. “I’ve had a few more injuries than Rog and had to come back from a few surgeries, which is pretty tough.

“But to play 17 Australian Opens in a row, main draw in singles, is something not easy to do. To be fit, I haven’t been 100 per cent for all of them, but in terms of the staying power, being able to play through generations, is something I’ll look back on and be pretty proud of.”

Neither man has any plans to retire, with Federer playing fewer tournaments in 2013, focusing on the majors, to help extend his shelf-life.

“Longevity has always been something that’s been important to me,” he said.

“I’ve planned the season accordingly this year again, that I will not miss the majors because of injury.”


Hewitt, long known for his tenacity and passion, also shows little sign of calling it a day.

Asked if the thought had crossed his mind that this Australian Open could be his last, he replied simply: “No.”

Date: 14th January 2013, Source: Agencies

Roger Federer at home at the Australian Open

Roger Federer will launch his bid for a record fifth Australian Open men's crown buoyed by a poll that ranked the Swiss tennis ace the most admired athlete in the country.

For the third year running Federer upstaged Australia's football, cricket and swimming stars in a gemba Asset Study (gES) which surveys Australians' attitudes and opinions towards more than 200 Australian and international sporting icons.

"Australians are very attracted to athletes who are seen as competitive and humble and Roger embodies these attributes," gemba director Rob Mills told AAP.

The study aims to understand which athletes are most admired by Australians.

"Asset Power'' is gemba's key indicator of an athlete's ability to engage Australians and measures awareness and likeability of that athlete within the community.

Federer, who begins his Australian Open campaign against young Frenchman Benoit Paire on Tuesday, was humbled to have out-polled the likes AFL superstar Buddy Franklin and Test cricket captain Michael Clarke to be voted the most popular athlete in Australia.

Federer has been heavily influenced by Australians throughout his life and career and the 17-times grand slam champion admitted he thought of one particular Aussie, his late coach Peter Carter, every year upon arrival for the season-opening major.

"Peter's parents always come around every year to watch me play, which is nice," Federer said.

"I feel very welcome here. I know the people well. I have good feelings here, good friends. So it feels sort of a home away from home to a degree."

Federer hasn't played competitively since losing to world No.1 and two-time defending Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic in the final of the World Tour Finals in November.

But the second seed doesn't consider his build-up a gamble.

"It's been very relaxing, the last one and a half months, he said. Not many appearances, no press almost. Just focusing on getting ready mentally and physically really."

"I went to South America, played some (exhibition) matches there, which was good for me, because I didn't play any tournaments leading up to this event. That was good to do that after a few weeks of vacation."

"Now I feel fine. I arrived really early, two, three days earlier than in the past, which has been quite nice. I feel like I have an extra two, three days of a cushion, which is honestly good to have before a slam sometimes."

"I'm hoping for another good year.''


1. Roger Federer (tennis)
2. Glenn McGrath (cricket)
3. Rafael Nadal (tennis)
4. Ricky Ponting (cricket)
5. Cadel Evans (cycling)
6. Michael Clarke (cricket)
7. Samantha Stosur (tennis)
8. Mike Hussey (cricket)
9. Mark Webber (motor racing)
10. Kim Clijsters (tennis)

Date:13th January 2013, Source:

Roger Federer: Malawi kids deserve your Love & School books too

“So far 10 schoolhouses for over 2,000 children have been built,” the Roger Federer Foundation notes. “There is a severe lack of school buildings in the rural areas of Malawi. Often over 120 children share one single classroom and poorly trained teachers do not know how to actually teach with hardly any educational material at hand. The consequences of these conditions are a poor educational background of many children as well as very high dropout rates, despite 8 years of compulsory primary education.”

The Roger Federer Foundation has teamed up with Credit Suisse on this effort. Credit Suisse also notes the following: “Over the next 10 years, around 54,000 children should benefit from a new early childhood education project set up by the Roger Federer Foundation (RFF).”

Notably, Roger Federer’s mother was born in South Africa, which makes him especially attracted to work in Africa, but his charity has also helped out victims of the tsunami caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, victims of Hurricane Katrina, victims of the 2010 - 2011 Queensland floods, and many more.

Date: 13th January 2013, Source: Planetsave

Federer raring to begin in Melbourne

Roger Federer declared he is “ready to go and eager” to begin his campaign for a fifth Australian Open title. The Swiss elected to prepare for the first major of the year through practice, rather than tournament play, but is confident in his game and experience to be sharp from the offset.

“Of course, maybe somewhere you do feel more pressure going into the first round,” said the 31 year old, who faces France’s Benoit Paire in his opening match. “I have a lot of experience.  I feel like if I'm playing well in practice today, at this age, I know where my game's at. There's not going to be any negative surprises because a lot is on your racquet: you do serve, you do move the way you do, and nobody can take away from you. I'm ready to go and eager. That to me right now dominates.”

The Australian Open has a recent history of being the stage for breakthrough performances, with the likes of Marcos Baghdatis (2006), Fernando Gonzalez (2007) and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (2008) reaching the final. Federer, who ultimately stopped both Baghdatis and Gonzalez on their giant-killing runs, believes 2013 could offer up another new name into the latter stages of a major championship. Not since Juan Martin del Potro at the 2009 US Open, has a player ranked outside the Top 4 in the Emirates ATP Rankings won a Grand Slam title.

“There's always other guys just outside of the Top 10 who I feel can always make a run for it,” said Federer. “Obviously with Rafa not in the draw, that might mean for some of the players they only have to beat one of us, of the top three, maybe none.  Who knows what the draw is going to do to us? But I think that there could be some guys making deep runs at this tournament.

“I think many of the Top 10 guys have had a very good season,” continued Federer. “Look at how great David Ferrer's season was, we know the talent of Tsonga, Tomas Berdych won Davis Cup. Del Potro seems solid. He seems back as a contender for a slam.”

Federer played his part in one of the most openly contested seasons in recent years on the ATP World Tour in 2012. With all four majors boasting a different champion, Federer captured his 17th Grand Slam championship at Wimbledon as he reclaimed the No. 1 spot in the Emirates ATP Rankings for 17 weeks. The Basel native also counted three ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crowns among his haul of six titles in 2012.

“I'm hoping for another good year,” said Federer. “They're all different in many ways because this last one was very emotional.  Obviously getting back to World No. 1 was a major goal of mine for last year.”

“I know I won't win all the tournaments I'll enter, but it's important that I enjoy it and I try as hard as I can and put myself deep in the tournaments like I did last year really. I had very few early losses last year, and I hope I can keep up that good streak I have going.”

Date: 12th January 2013, Source: ATP

A tough road for Federer in Australian Open 2013

All eyes were on the placement of the No. 3 seed when the singles draws for the 2013 Australian Open were held Friday morning in Melbourne.

Andy Murray was placed into the same half of the draw as No. 2 Roger Federer, leaving the top-seeded Novak Djokovic, the defending champion here, with the potentially much easier task of a possible semifinal meeting against No. 4 David Ferrer. Djokovic does have the highest-ranked possible quarterfinal opponent in No. 5 Tomas Berdych. Rafael Nadal is skipping this year’s tournament because of lingering injury problems.

Federer has a difficult draw to get through long before reaching any matchup against Murray. A four-time champion here, Federer opens against the unpredictable Frenchman Benoit Paire, and in the second round he could face Nikolay Davydenko, a veteran who made the final in Doha earlier this month. In the third round Federer could play the Australian Bernard Tomic, who notched a win over Djokovic in the Hopman Cup in his second match of the year, and advanced this week to the semifinals of the Apia International in Sydney. In the fourth round Federer could face the hard-serving Canadian Milos Raonic, the 14th seed, before a possible quarterfinal against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the seventh seed.

Conversely, Ferrer happened into a fairly open section, drawing the least daunting projected quarterfinal opponent in No. 8 Janko Tipsarevic. That portion of the draw would seem to leave open opportunities of a deep run for several promising young players, including the 23-year-old Kei Nishikori of Japan and the 22-year-old Jerzy Janowicz of Poland. Tipsarevic has one of the most difficult and high-profile first-round matches in the tournament, squaring off against the local veteran Lleyton Hewitt. The 31-year-old Hewitt is playing the Australian Open for the straight 17th time.

Link: Australian Open 2013 draw

Date: 11th January 2013, Source: The New York Times

Federer bullish about Australian Open chances

Roger Federer insists he does not care if people are writing off his chances for the Australian Open.

Federer will be seeded second for the first grand slam of 2013, but arrives at Melbourne Park having not played a competitive match in over two months.

While his rivals Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray returned to competitive action last week, Federer will be looking to become the first man since Andre Agassi in 1995 to win the Australian Open without playing a warm-up tournament.

But he is confident the extended break has left him refreshed and ready to return to action and insists he still has what it takes to add to his tally of 17 grand slams.

"If I'm second favourite, fourth favourite or eighth or whatever it might be it doesn't change much for me," Federer said. "I know if I'm playing well I can win tournaments."

"I love the pressure of playing the new generation who are coming up and improving quickly and I have to work harder than to stay at the top, or with the best."

"Longevity is the word here that I am looking for and that is what I am striving for this year in 2013 to hopefully keep on playing for many years."

Date: 8th January 2013, Source: ESPN

Family and practice leave Federer ready for another slam

Weeks of practice and family time have left Swiss maestro Roger Federer fit and refreshed ahead of what the 17-times major winner believes could be an unpredictable Australian Open in the absence of old foe Rafa Nadal.

Federer, 31, opted to skip his usual Australian Open warm-up tournaments in the Middle East this year and instead spent it working on his game and parenting, all part of a shorter 2013 schedule that he hopes will extend his career but has left him hungry for matches.

"I am very happy that the year is starting. It's a bit of a different preparation for the Australian Open this year but I'm confident I am mentally refreshed, which I am, and physically I am fine and that I will play a good Australian Open," Federer told reporters in Singapore on Friday.

"I have been practicing really hard the last few weeks and didn't play a leading up tournament this year just because I thought practice is very important for me coming up in the next year, year-and-a-half."

The world number two's last match on Tour was back in November when he was defeated in the final of the ATP Tour Finals in London by Serbia's Novak Djokovic.

With only some exhibition matches in South America since, some questioned the move to go straight to the Australian Open but Federer, who won the last of his four Australian Open titles in 2010, said rest was required.

"It is key to always have a healthy schedule, it is difficult to do as they (the tournaments) are spread out basically from January to October-November," he said.

"It is hard to say I'm going to take one or two months off and practice hard while there are 10 to 15 new tournament winners on the Tour and you are sitting at home."


Federer said he had never been scared to take such decisions.

"For me, in the long run, I want to stay healthy and enjoy what I am doing, I want to have fun, I want to be excited and motivated coming back to the Tour," he explained.

"For that I really need to get away from it all, which I have done for the last two or three weeks now after an incredible busy South American trip and an incredible busy year so it is important for me to have the family time."

While the Swiss seemingly manages his career like clockwork, avoiding injury and ensuring he is always suitably refreshed to add to his record grand slam haul, the same cannot be said of Spaniard Nadal.

The 11-times grand slam champion has not played since losing in the early rounds at Wimbledon last year as his troublesome knees continue to require rest, forcing a late withdrawal from the Jan 14-27 Australian Open.

Federer said the continued absence of Nadal was an opportunity for one of the other players in the men's draw to break the Federer-Djokovic-Nadal domination, like Briton's Andy Murray did at the U.S. Open in September.

"I think it is an exciting one, we have had four different grand slam champions in the last year and everybody seems in great shape," he said, acknowledging that defending champion and world number one Djokovic was the favorite.

"Obviously with Rafa not around it is unfortunate, we would love to see him back so we were all hoping he was going to come back, but it creates opportunities for many other players with one less guy who normally runs through 90 percent of the guys so it is an interesting Australian Open."

Date: 4th January 2013, Source: Reuters