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Federer beats Nadal to win 18th Grand Slam

Roger Federer defeated his great rival, Rafael Nadal, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 in the Australian Open final to win his 18th Grand Slam championship.

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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.

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Federer and Nadal to team up in Laver Cup

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who have faced each other in eight major finals, plan to team up as doubles partners next year during the inaugural Laver Cup.

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Swiss street named in Roger Federer's honour

Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer has inaugurated a street bearing his name before 1,500 admirers in Biel, canton Bern.

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Roger Federer attends Oscars in Hollywood

Roger Federer stepped out onto the red carpet at the 88th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles.

Why Roger Federer can win a fourth Madrid Masters title

The original member of the "Big Four" is missing from the Monte Carlo.

Unlike Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray, Roger Federer chose to skip the first clay court Masters event of the year, and will next be seen competing at the Madrid Masters in the first week of May.

The Swiss has gained millions of fans and admirers all over the globe, but as he nears the twilight of his career, some are wondering if the 17-time Grand Slam champion still has what it takes to succeed on the very biggest stages. Since storming to the Wimbledon title last July, and following it up with a commanding victory over Djokovic in Cincinnati, Federer hasn't won a title, and hasn't looked at his best in 2013.

As he gears up for his first clay court tournament of the season, Federer's followers will be hoping for an uptick in their hero's form. Here, then, are three reasons why the legend can win the Madrid Masters title for the fourth time in his career.

1. He will be well-rested

At 31 years of age and with one of the best playing records in the history of the sport, Federer has earned the right to exempt himself from as many Masters series events as he wants. The Basel-born star took advantage of that by opting not to play in Miami last month, meaning he will have had seven weeks off before the start of the Madrid Masters.

Such a hiatus can only be good for Federer. When we last saw him on court, he was struggling with a back injury in Indian Wells, and went down tamely to arch-rival Rafael Nadal. The extended break will not only give him ample time to recover, but also allow him to fine-tune his clay court game away from the glare of fan and media attention.

Playing a tournament involves so much more than simply taking to the tennis court - travel, media commitments and various admin duties can be draining for a player. Having avoided the tour circus for a month and a half, Federer will arrive in the Spanish capital rested, rejuvenated and ready to produce his best tennis.

2. He has a superb record at the Madrid Masters

It is often said that players have "favourite" tournaments, those at which they always tend to hit peak form. Wimbledon is such a tournament for Federer, and Madrid is another. In nine appearances at the Madrid Masters, he has never lost before the quarter-finals. Moreover, he has reached five finals and won three titles at the event, both records.

Granted, the Madrid Masters used to be played on indoor hard courts, but Federer has still outperformed everyone else since the change of surface in 2009. That year, he did what so few players have been able to do: beat Nadal on clay. Although he was defeated by the Spaniard in 2010 and 2011 in Madrid, both losses were closely fought affairs.

Last year, after edging Milos Raonic in a third set tie-break and posting comfortable straight sets wins over Richard Gasquet, David Ferrer and Janko Tipsarevic, Federer was at his fighting best in the final, winning a 158 minute battle with Tomas Berdych 3-6, 7-5, 7-5. Fully at ease in the Caja Májica stadium, and with the memories of countess victories fresh in his mind, the world number two will be confident that he can shine again in Madrid.

3. His biggest rivals are not at their best

There is of course some time to go before the tour swings into Madrid, and Djokovic, Nadal and Murray could indeed hit top form before then, but as things stand, there are questions marks surrounding the form and fitness of Federer's main challengers.

Djokovic suffered an ankle injury during Serbia's Davis Cup tie with the USA, and was a major doubt for Monte Carlo right up until he played his first match. He was then below par during the first two rounds, losing the opening sets against both Mikhail Youzhny and Juan Monaco. Time will tell if the Serb's decision to play on his fragile ankle might jeopardise his prospects for the remainder of the clay court season.

Andy Murray, who is determined to perform better on the dirt this year than he has done in previous seasons, looked far less comfortable in his first clay court tournament of 2013. His 6-1, 6-2 thrashing at the hands of Stanislas Wawrinka in Monaco was simply an ugly match; the Scot made 24 unforced errors and won only 48% of first serve points. While it is unlikely that Murray will play as badly in Madrid, the Scot has a lot of work to do if he hopes to challenge for the title there.

Yet again, Rafael Nadal remains the biggest obstacle in Federer's quest for glory. Since the Madrid Masters switched to clay courts, the Matador has reached three finals and won the title once. Able to count on the full support of the crowd, he will definitely be the man to beat. However, the King of Clay was pushed to three sets by Grigor Dimitrov in Monte Carlo, reminding other players, including Federer, that he is not entirely invincible on his favourite surface. And with the 500 series event in Barcelona on his schedule for next week, Nadal could play up to 10 matches in 14 days, an onerous task even for a player who isn't susceptible to knee tendonitis.

It is fair to say that a lot will have to go right for Roger Federer if he is to win a fourth title in Madrid. He will need to shake off any lingering rust very quickly, and hope for a favourable draw, because with the rankings as they are currently, he could face Djokovic, Murray and Nadal in succession. But there is no doubt that a successful title defence is possible. Another Madrid Masters trophy would put Federer back in the centre of the winners' circle, and make him a top Roland Garros contender into the bargain.

Date: 23rd April 2013, Source: Eatsleepsport

Federer confirms he’s playing Swiss Indoors Basel


Roger Federer says he will play at the Swiss Indoors Basel in October, ending speculation he'd skip his hometown tournament because of a contractual dispute.

“I’ve played in Basel over the years, whenever I was not hurt. Everyone knows how much this tournament means to me, and that is still true. I’ve been a ball boy, played in the qualies and even as a junior I hit with Andre Agassi.” says Federer to Swiss daily Tages Anzeiger.

“I’ve experienced many memorable moments in this unique atmosphere with the great fans, and I am pleased extremely to be able to experience this year. I can play in Basel also no contracts or arrangements, if I feel like it, and I did.”

The five-time champion says he never said that he wouldn't play in Basel. He says he's trying ''to make this complicated issue simpler.''

Federer's contract with the event ended last year. Swiss media reported that Federer's management sought a seven-figure fee and couldn't reach an agreement with tournament organizers.

“To compete on home soil is very special for me because I’m on the road all year. I do not want to miss this chance.”

Date: 10th April 2013, Source: DPA and AP