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Federer beats Del Potro for eighth Basel title

Roger Federer won his eighth Basel title, battling back to defeat the surging Juan Martin del Potro, 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-3 to clinch his ATP World Tour-leading seventh title of the year.

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Federer crushed Nadal to win Shanghai Masters

Roger Federer was at his ruthless best, streaking to the Shanghai Rolex Masters title with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Rafael Nadal. Its his 27th Masters title and second in Shanghai.

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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.

Federer to play Berdych in Dubai semis

Roger Federer, a five-time titlist in Dubai, beat fellow 31-year-old Nikolay Davydenko of Russia for the 19th time in 21 meetings, 6-2, 6-2 in 54 minutes, to conclude play on day four. Federer is now 37-4 at the ATP World Tour 500 tournament and goes onto face third-seeded Czech Tomas Berdych in the semi-finals. The Swiss is bidding to win his 77th singles title this week.

“I was very happy, it was a good match for me,” said Federer. “I served well from the start. Then, also, I thought I had good timing on the return in particular after missing a lot of returns in the first match versus Malek Jaziri. And the second match, obviously, he was serving bigger, [Marcel] Granollers. Today, I thought I was really striking it well, and then [the] virtue of that, was that I getting the first strike in and then I was able to control the baseline more.”

“I haven't seen Berdych play much this year,” admitted Federer. “He's obviously a good player. He's got amazing power, one of the strongest guys out there on tour. We'll see tomorrow how it goes. I haven't seen him play at all here this tournament. I need to just focus on my game, I guess.”

Date: 28th February 2013, Source: ATP

Maradona meets Federer and Del Potro

Argentine footballing legend Diego Maradona met Roger Federer and Juan Martin del Potro on Wednesday at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. Maradona, an Ambassador for the Dubai Sports Council, is a big tennis fan, and was a keen observer at the 2011 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

"Tennis can't be amazing without Roger; The balls which come out of his racket make all people happy." said Maradona.

In meeting with Federer, Maradona declared, “You are the No. 1”. The 1986 World Cup winner had earlier played a few points on court with countryman Juan Martin del Potro.

"It's a pleasure to share moments with Diego," said del Potro. "All the Argentinian people love him, and he's our No. 1 sports representative in the world. To hit some balls with him here in this stadium, it's amazing for me."

"He played really well, not like football, but he can hit the balls with me. It was a funny moment for both of us. He loves tennis. He knows also Federer and Djokovic."

Date: 27th February 2013, Source: ATP

Federer reached Dubai quarterfinals

Roger Federer inched closer to a sixth Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships title on Wednesday as he advanced to the quarter-finals with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Marcel Granollers. The Swiss’ backhand and reflexes were razor sharp as he broke serve once in each set to prevail in 71 minutes.

World No. 2 Federer is chasing his first ATP World Tour title since August, when he won his 76th tour-level crown at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati defeated Djokovic as 6-0, 7-6. Federer has a 36-4 record at this ATP World Tour 500 hard court tournament, having lifted the trophy in 2003-05, ’07 and last year, beating Andy Murray in the final.

“I think I was sharper today,” said Federer. “I had a clearer plan. I knew what I could and couldn't do.  So that automatically carves out sort of the things you might want to attempt. I was a bit more confident overall.  I knew what I wanted to do and I was able to do it, so I'm happy.”

On Thursday Federer will resume his rivalry with Nikolay Davydenko, over whom he holds an 18-2 Head to Head record. The Russian, a finalist at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha at the start of the season (l. to Gasquet), defeated Victor Hanescu 6-4, 7-6(2) in one hour and 48 minutes.

“I'll never disrespect a guy like Nikolay,” said Federer of Davydenko, who has dropped from a career-high No. 3 to No. 46 in the ATP Rankings. “He's done too much in the game. That's why I know it's a dangerous round next match. I know what he can do on his absolute best day because I was one of the guys that got crushed by him as well during that time. I expect him to come out and play that way.”

Date: 27th February 2013, Source: ATP

Federer begins title defence at Dubai Championships

Roger Federer opened his Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships title defence on Monday with a 5-7, 6-0, 6-2 victory over Tunisian wild card Malek Jaziri. Federer improved to a 35-4 record at this ATP World Tour 500 hard-court tournament, having lifted the trophy in 2003-2005, ’07 and last year with victory over Andy Murray.

The Swiss overcame a slow start, surrendering his serve in the 11th game as World No. 128 Jaziri, playing his first ATP World Tour match since October 2012, clinched the opening set with a backhand winner down the line.

Federer responded to losing the first set by sweeping through the second with ease, as Jaziri failed even to earn a game point until he trailed 5-0. Even so, it was Jaziri who earned the first opportunity in the final set, holding a break point to lead 2-1. But he made an error on his return and Federer recovered to win that game and then from 2-2 the number two seed gave up just three points in the last four games and won 12 of the last 14 games to prevail in 90 minutes.

"I had rocky starts to the tournament here in previous years," said Federer. "And, you know, I played somewhat fast so there was not much rhythm out there. I think we were both not playing really well in the beginning."

"We were both missing a lot of first serves, or him in particular. I think because I couldn't take advantage I went from not so good to really not so good, and then he got better naturally, which I was hoping to do as well."

"It important to sort of react and make sure I didn't panic," said Federer. "But, of course your mind starts to wander, especially in a match where there is hardly any rallies. He's going for broke on every return. All you're trying to do is get into some rallies, and you're missing a lot yourself."

"It was a difficult match for me out here tonight, but I'm happy I found a way and got a day off now so I can work a little bit on the game. Just maybe the pressure is off a little bit, and then automatically I will play a lot better in the second round."

''I give everything today. I did my best,'' said Jaziri.

Date: 25th February 2013, Source: ATP

Federer: I have game to be World No. 1 again

As he prepares to defend his Dubai Championships title, Roger Federer said he is playing ''excellent tennis'' and is confident he can overtake Djokovic for the top spot.

It will be a challenge given that he plans to scale back his schedule in 2013. He wants to take several weeks off before the start of the clay season.

''Absolutely realistic, if you play great,'' Federer said of returning to No. 1, a spot he last held for 17 weeks until Oct. 29, breaking a record of 286 weeks at the top held by Pete Sampras.

''Time will tell,'' Federer said. ''I know it's possible. I know it's possible to win tournaments. But right now, a big focus is on making sure every tournament I enter that I'm perfectly prepared, like for here, for Australia, for Indian Wells.''

Federer also brushed aside talk of retirement, making it clear he remains healthy and hungry to win more trophies, including another Grand Slam title - preferably Wimbledon, which he has won seven times. He is going for his sixth title in Dubai.

"I strongly believe I have more Slams in me," he said. "Which Slam do I favour - does Wimbledon over-weigh the rest? Maybe, but looking back there have been amazing moments with each Slam."

"It depends how long I play. But I don't want to be depending on that. I am trying to be smart with my schedule. I am practicing more."

"Your prime is 23 to 27 or 28 so for me it's very challenging - and exciting. I need to make the right decisions. I have family and not many guys have that."

The 17-time Grand Slam champion added to his total with a Wimbledon title in 2012 but lost in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open and the semifinals of this year's Australian Open.

''I want to give myself the best possible chance to play as long as I can,'' Federer said.

''Eventually, it will be clear that it is time to stop, but the time is definitely not now,'' he said. ''But then again, things change very quickly. You have to be ready for it and open to it. I'm not naive that I can play for 15 more years, but I would like to give myself a chance to play for many more years to come. I'm happy with where my body is at.''

Federer said the recent focus on a Djokovic-Murray rivalry made sense to some degree. But with four different players winning the four Grand Slam events last year, he said it was premature to turn the men's game into a two-man competition.

''Yes, they have played more often than not, and they have played in some big matches and very often the matches have been very good. So naturally that is what the media looks at. I understand that,'' he said. ''It's all a question of how you see things. Rafa also has not been involved in this whole process the past seven months, so you don't want to jump the gun too quick.''

Date: 24th February 2013, Source: AP

Q&A - Federer's heart is in South Africa

Roger Federer was back in South Africa for the first time in eight years and it was not long before he was surrounded by a swarm of three-year-old toddlers tugging at his shirt and hankering to play a game of tennis.

Unlike many of the fans the 17-times grand slam champion usually encounters, these children hold a special place in the Swiss champion's heart as his charitable foundation is helping to educate them.

Federer showed the children how to play tennis, joined them in a game of hopscotch and read out stories to a captive audience before sitting down with Reuters to chat about the pressures faced by top athletes, being in his South African mother's homeland, and what he hopes to achieve during the 10th anniversary of the Roger Federer Foundation.

REUTERS: Your trip here has coincided with the bail hearing of paralympian Oscar Pistorius. Pistorius's story has put a particular spotlight on sporting heroes. Do you think there's a lot of pressure put on professional athletes?

FEDERER: Everybody handles it (pressure and stress) differently. My success came gradually, which was helpful, even though I was always considered a great talent, someone who could become world number one. So it wasn't a huge surprise that I made it to world number one and won Wimbledon, but for me it was.

To handle that stardom, the red carpets, the photo shoots, people all of a sudden recognizing you and following you in everyday life, it's a bit weird. It's strange and it can have funny effects on you in terms of do you like it or don't you like it. Some people run away from it, some people embrace it, I found a good middle ground.

It's tricky, especially (because) people love fairytale stories; take you down, put you back up, put you down. And obviously the more famous you become, the more great everything seems when things goes well, and the worse they seem when things don't go so well.

I realized that when I was world number one, I would play an average match and people would say ‘you played so well, it's unbelievable'. And when I would play incredibly they would say ‘oh my god, we've never seen this tennis before in my life'. So it's always an exaggeration, the whole thing, and that's what we live in, unfortunately.

REUTERS: How important is it to take time out?

FEDERER: For me vacation and family time is as important as training. So I try to take to take at least 10 days if not two weeks of holiday. After the Australian Open in January I took two weeks of vacation, all I did was spend time with my family.

I couldn't handle this daily stress of people recognizing me, signing autographs, doing press, playing matches, the pressure, people always in my face.

I need to get away from it all. So that when I do come back to the game, I'm hungry, and I'm in the mood to sign autographs, I'm in the mood to do interviews. Not that it becomes a drain and it becomes a burden, because when it's that, the fun goes away then you stop, it's just as simple as that.

REUTERS: It's been a decade since you set up the Roger Federer Foundation which funds pre-school and primary education in Africa and Switzerland. What are you doing to mark the anniversary?

FEDERER: We were thinking of doing different things. Most important was that I definitely do the trip this year, that has been my number one priority. I went to Ethiopia a few years ago but I really wanted to come back to South Africa.

My heart is in South Africa, through my mum. My mum being from here, me spending a lot of time here as well, I feel most connected to this part of the world.

Obviously I would like to see other ones projects in the five other African countries as well, but coming here, being able to do something in South Africa and also visiting my family was important.

The 10 years are important to us. I still feel we're in the beginning of everything. Ten years sounds like a long time but it's changed a lot in terms of the kids we're able to reach and the money we're able to put out there to help.

In this regard I was thinking of doing another 'Match for Africa' again which I did two or three years ago with Rafael Nadal when I was able to raise up to $3 million. I don't know if this year will be the year to do it but I hope to.

REUTERS: Is it important for people in your kind of position to 'give back'?

FEDERER: Sometimes it's not always about the money. If people were willing to give time, to talk, to inspire, to help; because at the end of the day it comes down to the people who help the kids get smarter and get better at the end of the day.

Of course you need money to be able to do that sometimes, not everywhere in the world, but here particularly you do, its clear, its visible.

REUTERS: Is it important to do it?

FEDERER: I think you have to do what you feel is right to do. I don't think there's a certain obligation, but it would be a missed opportunity if you didn't because, let's not forget how incredibly lucky... I can only speak for myself; how incredibly lucky I feel that I made my hobby my job and my dream at the end of the day.

Sometimes with little effort I can raise so much awareness or raise so much money in one event, that other people would take a long long time to raise - I feel I would be selfish if I were to not share that with other people.

REUTERS: Your twin daughters are almost four years old now. Does having a family make you better or slow you down?

FEDERER: I thought it would maybe slow me down a bit just because everybody says so. I'm happy that again I was able to prove that its possible to have a family and play well. Not only do I have a family but I have twin girls, so it was super intense in the first years, it's still very intense now. But I made it work. I have an incredible wife who is so supportive and is willing to travel.

At (the) Rotterdam (tournament last week) I was by myself, and I didn't feel the same. Maybe that's one of the reasons I didn't play well, who knows? I miss them much.

I'm happy that I'm able to combine both at the same time. Nine, 10 years ago I never thought of me being a dad, playing tennis, winning the big titles.

In the dream or vision, you always see yourself with the trophy, but you never see yourself with the trophy looking at your kids like what happened at Wimbledon last year. I'm happy I had the opportunity to live through that, those memories will be with me for a lifetime.

NB: The Roger Federer Foundation supports 40 pre-schools in Limpopo province and spends over $3 million a year on educational projects in South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Ethiopia and Federer's home country Switzerland.

Over 50,000 children benefited from the foundation's efforts in 2012 to improve quality education in pre-schools and primary schools.

Date: 22nd February 2013, Source: Reuters

Federer plays big brother to village children

"Big brother Roger," as the village schoolteachers call him, smiles at the small children and asks them to guess which sport he plays.

Most of the bright-eyed three-year-olds have no idea who their visitor is but one, quicker than the rest, pipes up: "You play tennis!".

Delighted, Roger Federer turns his palms up to reveal a badly calloused right hand punished by 23 years of holding a racquet, showing the children the difference from the smoother left one.

There are few parts of the world where the man considered as the greatest ever tennis player and holder of a record 17 grand slam titles is not instantly recognized.

Here, in rural South Africa where he is visiting one of the village pre-schools his charitable foundation supports, the Swiss is unfamiliar to the children but commands their attention and curiosity.

In a small, cool, classroom, the toddlers sheltering from the heat stand with heads tipped upwards and eyes fixed on the towering champion as he hits a tennis ball against a wall, demonstrating how to swing a racquet.

Federer looks composed in the sweltering heat of Limpopo province, on the border with Zimbabwe, even though his bright red shirt, wet with sweat by noon, gives him away.

Deep in the densely vegetated village some 20 kilometers from the nearest paved road, the ground is parched and dust flies into the air as brightly-costumed Venda women dance to entertain their world-famous guest.

"My heart is in South Africa, through my mum," Federer, the son of a Swiss father and a South African mother, told Reuters.

"My mum being from here, me spending a lot of time here as well, I feel most connected to this part of the world."

The Roger Federer Foundation supports 40 pre-schools in the area and spends over $3 million a year on educational projects in South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Ethiopia and Federer's home country Switzerland. Over 50,000 children benefited from the foundation's efforts in 2012 to improve quality education in pre-schools and primary schools.

BROKEN EDUCATION SYSTEM

"When I travelled the world, I definitely saw poor countries, people who told me it was so hard for them to get an education," said Federer, who was visiting two pre-schools in the Limpopo province with his mother this week to mark the 10th anniversary of his foundation being founded.

"I always liked the idea of education because in our world going to school is the most normal thing in the world. We sometimes forget what a privilege it is, to go to school."

South Africa has a broken education system, inherited from decades of inferior education for the majority black population under the apartheid system.

Nineteen years into democracy and the new government is still overwhelmed by the task, with some high-school leavers managing pass rates of only 30 percent.

In this place, a decent education remains beyond the reach of many children and some 80 percent of the community is unemployed, the village chief's representative said.

For a man who has earned close to $80 million in prize money alone thanks to his exploits on a tennis court, Federer has never forgotten the value of a good education.

Federer admits he did not always do his best at school, saying: "I used to have many more regrets when I was younger, because I was a bit crazy.

"At school, I wouldn't always learn for my tests as much as I should have. I think that's why today I'm so dedicated to both things, so people don't do the same mistakes as I did, even though I was able to turn the corner in time."

The father of twin daughters, Federer added: "I like to be an idol for kids, I do. For me it's important to be a good role model and I live accordingly.

"But I'm not changing for it, I do it because I believe in it and because it is natural."

During his three-hour visit to the pre-school in Govhu, Federer held a captive audience as he read the story of the 'Gingerbread Man' out to the 30 or so children who sat around him.

As his visit comes to an end, Federer leaves with the words of the village school principal echoing in his ears: "If it is possible, please, come back to us again."

Date: 21st February 2013, Source: Reuters

Roger Federer visits project in South Africa

Roger, in his capacity as President of the Roger Federer Foundation, and his mother Lynette visited the Hlukani and Govhu crèches in the Limpopo Province of South Africa today. They were given a warm reception by the children, parents, caregivers and official representatives from various authorities. The Roger Federer Foundation has partnered the locally organized READ Educational Trust since 2010. The aim of the Trust is to promote good quality education in 40 crèches for children between 4-6 years old situated in rural and remote areas in Northern Limpopo. During his visit Roger learned all about the current curriculum and saw for himself the children’s daily activities.

“It's very important to me to have the opportunity to do a trip like this… I'm very excited to see the help that the Roger Federer Foundation has provided over the years… Now that I am here I can see it for myself, which is very exciting.”

Federer spent several hours with children at the pre-schools, playing games such as hopscotch, reading, colouring and helping some to take their first swing of a tennis racquet.

“The Roger Federer foundation supports this particular project because it is in the poorest neighbourhood in South Africa,” said Federer, who holds the record for 302 weeks as ATP World Tour No. 1 “We feel these kids need the most help to succeed later on in life.”

Link: Photo Gallery of Federer's project visit to Limpopo Province, South Africa

Watch the video here:



Date: 20th February 2013, Source: RF Official

Federer hopes to meet Mandela on foundation visit

Roger Federer is travelling to South Africa at the weekend and hopes to meet Nelson Mandela during his stay. The Swiss star will travel to Johannesburg to visit one of his foundation’s projects.

"I'm really hoping to be able to meet Nelson Mandela. We have been reaching out to him," Federer told South African Press. "It would be amazing and a dream come true. I only have a few days, but I want to visit one of the projects of the foundation. I'm looking forward to it since I haven't been to South Africa in some time."

Federer’s foundation supports nine projects in Africa and benefits 14,000 children in South Africa, the country of his mother’s birth. Federer also visited Africa in 2010, when he travelled to Ethiopia to see the work of his foundation.

On his return from South Africa, Federer will compete at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, where he has won the title five times.

Date: 16th February 2013, Source: ATP

Benneteau stuns Federer to reach semis

Julien Benneteau beats Roger Federer for the second time in his career on Friday evening as he topped the 17-time Grand Slam champion 6-3, 7-5 in the quarter-finals of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.

The defeat ended top-seeded Federer's quest to become the first man to win the Rotterdam tournament three times.

The Frenchman set the tone by breaking Federer in the match's first game, pouncing on a backhand that hit the net to power a backhand pass down the line for the game.

He looked to have stumbled in the 4th game when he served two double faults to allow Federer to break back, but Benneteau broke again in the 7th and 9th games to take the set.

He raced to a 4-1 lead in the second set before Federer again reeled off three straight games. The Swiss 17-time Grand Slam champion looked like he was on his way back when he forced three break points at 5-5, but Benneteau grittily held service.

Summing up his sloppy play on the night, Federer served his fourth double fault to give Benneteau match point and the Frenchman immediately took it to win.

"I started bad, but fortunately got back into the game. But when you get broken as much as happened to me, you won’t get the job done. I don’t want to leave, I want to play. I feel bad for the fans who don’t get to see me now. Hopefully this wasn’t my last time here." said Federer.

"It is one of the biggest wins, for sure," the 39th-ranked Frenchman said. "To play against Roger, Friday night, full house, it's a dream and I played like in a dream."

It was the first time in 28 consecutive quarter finals Federer lost to a player from outside the top twenty. The last time was in 2008 in Rome, when he misjudged Radek Stepanek.

Date: 15th February 2013, Source: ATP, ESPN and Rotterdam

Federer's glitz of press conference

Lunch at 5 PM? No problem for Federer:

World No. 2 Roger Federer has been burning the midnight oil this week in Rotterdam.
The combination of travelling to defend his title without his family and playing in the night session at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament has resulted in Federer operating under an unusual schedule.

“I've had breakfast at 12, lunch at 5pm and dinner at 11pm,” Federer joked with the media on Thursday. “It's shifted over. You have to be used to this when you're a tennis player.”

“It's been very quiet. I'm going to bed really late like I did in Australia at two in the morning and waking up at 11 or 12. So it's a different schedule. I'm not doing a whole lot more than making sure I have an easy week with a lot of sleep. I think it's important in cold weather to make sure you sleep and stretch enough and warm up correctly for the matches.”

Federer is yet to be tested this week, winning his first two matches in straight sets with relative ease. But the 31 year old isn’t looking past his quarter-final opponent, Julien Benneteau, a player he has shared memorable clashes with before.

“I’m aware that he plays me tough and well. I know I’m in for a tough match,” said Federer. “He’s a really good player. He can take it to you by returning, serving and moving well. He’s a good anticipator. He’s won his matches convincingly, so he knows where his game is at and he’s found his range.”

For all those backhands, Roger says thanks a million:

For all those players who directed a million balls to Roger Federer's backhand, the Swiss superstar says thank you.

Federer is known for possessing a deadly forehand, but over the years, his backhand has continued to get better. The 17-time major champion credits his opponents for improving the shot, something he could not have done with practice alone.

“My coaches taught me a one-hander. A two-hander was never an option really. So I stuck with it,” said Federer. “Thankfully to all my opponents over the years who have played a million balls to my backhand, it's actually gotten pretty good. I can really thank them in a big way for improving my backhand. Practice can only get you so far. I improved by playing. And as I was getting stronger, I was able to put more topspin on the ball. The slice is easy on the body and it's always been my favourite shot to hit as a little kid.”

When asked what he would recommend to kids playing today, Federer joked, “Probably a double-hander (laughter). But I would love to see more one-handers for sure. We don't have many around anymore.”

“I want to try to win. That’s why I’m here,” Federer said. “I’m focusing at the task at hand. Right here, right now, the focus is trying to win this tournament, no matter how physical it’s going to get.”

Date: 15th February 2013, Source: ATP

Federer reaches Rotterdam quarterfinals

Our Champ continued into the quarterfinals at Rotterdam completing a 6-3, 6-4 win over Thiemo De Bakker in just over an hour.

It was another consummate performance from Roger and he played some exhilarating tennis winning 92% of his first serves on the way to taking the first set. De Bakker tried to fight back but was overwhelmed by a dramatically in form Swiss champ and did not stand a chance against the imperious shot making from Roger. The second set went with serve until the champ broke in the 3 rd. game and De Bekker was unable to contain our Roger’s ground strokes being forced in to making mistakes. This was vintage Roger and he absolutely deserves his place in the last eight.

Federer: "This is one of the nicest indoor stadiums in the world. The Dutch public is always enthusiastic and has knowledge of sport in general and tennis in particular. Thiemo de Bakker served good, he is an excellent player. He can be much higher on the ATP-ranking than he is now. "

Next up is Julien Benneteau (ATP 39) in the quarters.

Date: 14th February 2013, Source: RF Official

Federer cruises into 2nd round in Rotterdam

Defending champion Roger Federer cruised into the second round of the ABN AMRO tournament on Wednesday, beating Grega Zemlja 6-3, 6-1.

Federer, a two-time winner at the indoor hard court tournament, had taken a two-week break after the Australian Open.

Zemlja started strong, dropping only one point on his first two service games and forcing two break points on Federer's serve in the fourth game.

But Federer switched gears on the 64th-ranked Zemlja, saving both break points. He broke in the next game and again in the ninth to take the opening set.

The second set was brief, with Federer closing out the match in 58 minutes. Federer conceded it took a while to hit his stride at the indoor Ahoy arena.

"My start wasn't so well because it was warmer on the court compared the training sessions I had the previous day," Federer told reporters.

"It was also a bit difficult to see the ball in the beginning and while that might sound strange, there also is some pressure of playing a first round."

''Hall play is different. It's warmer, so the ball flies more and it takes a bit of getting used to,'' he said. ''The first ones are never easy. But I'm happy to be back and playing well.''

The Swiss will next face Dutch wild card Thiemo de Bakker in the second round.

Date: 13th February 2013, Source: AP

Federer calls for biological passports to detect doping

Roger Federer has called for the introduction of biological passports in tennis similar to those used in cycling to detect possible doping.

"A blood passport will be necessary as some substances can't be discovered right now but might in the future, and that risk of discovery can chase cheaters away," the 31-year-old Swiss said on the opening day of the World Indoor Tournament in Rotterdam.

"But there also should be more blood tests and out of competition controls in tennis," he added.

According to figures on the International Tennis Federation website (www.itftennis.com), sport's governing body carried out only 21 out-of-competition blood tests in the professional game in 2011.

Cycling's governing body the UCI carried out more than 3,314 out-of-competition blood tests in the same year.

The UCI introduced biological passports in 2008 to track any blood changes in riders against an original profile which could mean they had taken illegal substances.

"I didn't get tested on blood after the Australian Open and I told the responsible people over there that it was a big surprise for me," said Federer.

"But there also will be more funding needed to make all the tests possible and the Grand Slam tournaments should help to finance that as it is in their best interest to keep the sport clean and credible."

Federer said he had the impression that his sport was clean.

"The past years we had something like one case a year and often it had to do with unintentional mistakes made by players," he said. "But even then they should not make those mistakes and know the rules and live by them."

Defending champion Federer begins his quest for a third Rotterdam title against Slovenian Grega Zemlja on Wednesday.

Date: 12th February 2013, Source: Reuters

Long day for Roger Federer in Rotterdam

Roger Federer is the absolute crowd puller at the 40th edition of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament. Thedefending champion from Switzerland arrived on Saturday in Ahoy Rotterdam and has a busy schedule. A brief summary of the Monday of Roger Federer:

10.00: A quiet morning in his room in The Manhattan Hotel. It is calm before the storm. A busy day awaits the number two of the world.

14:00: For some weeks now, an immense racket decorates the Hofplein in the centre of Rotterdam. A photo opportunity of Roger Federer and tournament director Richard Krajicek seems only logical. On location the Swiss regularly blows in his hands to stay warm. When the photographers are ready, he quickly gets back in the car; it's a cold Monday afternoon in Rotterdam.
 
14.15: A short drive to the Boompjes. There are some banners on the banks of the Maas river. On behalf of the municipality of Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb and sports Alderman Antoinette Laan reward Federer, as winner of last year’s edition, with a flag.

14.42: Arrival at the players entrance of Ahoy Rotterdam. Federer makes a quick visit to his dressing room and comes out with his sport clothes and bags. He takes them upstairs, because a press conference with the international press is on the programme.

15.07: "Hello everybody.” Roger Federer greets his friends of the press. He is, like always, friendly to the media: "I feel at home in Rotterdam. This is one of the best indoor tournaments in the world with a very strong field and always lots of spectators."

16.00: Court 1 is almost completely surrounded by fans. 1,600 spectators are waiting for Roger Federer, who is going to train with David Goffin. The Belgian player is right on time and waits in the back with his coach. They are not alone. There is a queue of hundreds of people, who want to see the tennis legend.

16.33: Roger Federer enters Court 1. He is followed by camera crews and photographers. Goffin and Federer are exchanging balls in a relaxed manner. A record number of photos is taken. Nice memories for the fans.

17.47: The muscles are warm after a tough workout. On his way to the players lounge Federer lets some fans take a picture with him. In the lounge the Swiss meets Frenchman Benoit Paire. Federer congratulates him with his place in the final in Montpellier. His tennis outfit goes into the laundry basket and after a refreshing shower he pulls on some classy clothes.

18.30: A short visit to the ABN AMRO lounge where he is invited as a guest of the sponsor.

18.40: His first autograph session during the tournament. On Tennis Plaza hundreds of spectators are waiting for a signature of the best player in history.

19.22: The official opening of the tournament on the centre court with Esther Vergeer and Roger Federer. An impressive video with all of Federer’s Grand Slam victories is displayed. Vergeer and Federer slam some tennis balls into the audience. The Swiss remains modest: "I hope to win some matches this week."

19.59: Roger Federer leaves the catacombs of Ahoy Rotterdam. "It was a busy day, but that’s fine with me. Otherwise I might have done nothing. I'm glad I could help promote the tournament. I’m very flexible, it's no problem for me to do everything in one day.”

Date: 11th February 2013, Source: Rotterdam

Federer's manic Monday in Rotterdam

It was just another manic Monday for Roger Federer in Rotterdam. The World No. 2 participated in a number of activities on and off the court as he prepares to defend his ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament title.

“They asked me if I could do most of the things today, and I said that’s no problem for me. Sometimes, it’s easier for me to do it all in the same day,” said Federer. “I’m happy to help get the tournament promoted.”

Federer began the afternoon by visiting the Giant Tennis Racquet in Rotterdam’s city centre with tournament director Richard Krajicek. There, Federer unveiled his own 2012 winner’s flag during a flag parade at Boompjes with the mayor of Rotterdam, Mr. Aboutaleb, in celebration of the tournament’s 40th anniversary.

Federer then returned on-site for his pre-tournament press conference, four television interviews, a practice session with David Goffin and an autograph opportunity for fans at the Tennis Plaza. In the evening, Federer dressed up in a suit to visit with sponsors and then took part in the tournament’s opening ceremony on centre court with Krajicek and wheelchair tennis star Esther Vergeer.

“In doing the press, there’s some flexibility to do it,” Federer said. “Some love it on the Saturday or Sunday before, others like it on the Monday. It really depends on when you’re playing. I’m very flexible. We talk about this a few weeks ahead of time and then when I get here, things are clear.”

Federer holds a 21-5 record in Rotterdam, lifting trophies in 2005 and 2012.

“I had a wonderful time here last year. I'm very happy to be back,” said Federer. “I feel very welcome here when I come. The people are always friendly, so I really enjoy it.

“There’s a tradition and the history of it being one of the best indoor tournaments in the world. The draw is very tough here. There are many great players.”

The top seed opens his campaign against Slovenia’s Grega Zemlja.

Date: 11th February 2013, Source: ATP

Roger Federer happy to see Rafael Nadal return

Roger Federer has welcomed the return of Rafael Nadal, but will not spend much time worrying about his rival's progress.

The Swiss ace will instead concentrate on his own game with a Wednesday AEDT start at the Rotterdam World Tennis tournament.

The top seed, who is defending his trophy at the Ahoy stadium, put in a full day of public relations and photo op work before getting down to another serious training session yesterday.

The world No.2 said he has arrived relaxed after taking time off with his family in his homes in Dubai and Switzerland.

"I saw a few pictures of Rafa, last week," said Federer, who joked: "I see he's still a left-hander - and his shirts looked good."

But beyond the obvious natural curiosity, the 31-year-old with 17 Grand Slam titles has plenty on his own plate as he begins a run of events this week to be followed by the Dubai Open and the Indian Wells Masters next month in California.

"I'm happy to see him back and playing on the Tour," said the two-time Rotterdam champion, "That's a good thing."

"He seems to have good energy. I was surprised he lost a final against a player ranked outside the top 50. It's nice to see him playing well again.

"I'm sure he got a lot of information about his game last week (in Chile). He knows now how much strain he is putting on his body and how he is dealing with it."

While Nadal plays on clay in Sao Paulo, Federer will be bidding to make it a trophy hat-trick in Rotterdam, when he begins in the first round against Slovenia Grega Zemlja.

Federer takes the top seeding ahead of Argentine Juan Martin del Potro, whom he beat for the title a year ago. France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is seeded third.

Federer took the opportunity to rebut criticism that he has abandoned Switzerland to its Davis Cup fate by opting out of the tie which his nation lost to the champion Czech Republic a week ago.

"Davis Cup is always difficult and I don't take that decision easily, I don't feel good when I see the doubles team play (a record) seven hours and then lose. That was one of the worst things for me.
"But I can't have it all or win it all. I have to take the decisions that are right for my career. I try to communicate with the team but that always boomerangs back at you."

"I hope I can play more in the future, but it's been tough the last few years. I also have a family and you have to understand that as well."

Date: 11th February 2013, Source: AFP

Federer returns in Rotterdam; Draw released

Roger Federer returns to ATP World Tour action this week at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, which marks his second event of the season.

The Swiss superstar has a 21-5 record at the ATP World Tour 500 tournament. He has won two Rotterdam titles in 2005 (d. Ljubicic) and 2012 (d. del Potro).

Federer trained for one hour with Juan Martin del Potro on Centre Court Sunday afternoon and then met this year’s ball kids for photos.

Roger will play Grega Zemlja (ATP 60) in the first round of the ATP-500 tournamant in Rotterdam.

It is the second time that Roger meets the Slovenian - our Champ clearly won their first match in Doha last year. Roger could meet Mikhail Youzhny or Thiemo De Bakker in the round of the last 16. The other top seeds are Juan Martin Del Potro (ATP 7), Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (ATP 8) and Richard Gasquet (ATP 10).

Date: 10th February 2013, Source: RF Official and ATP