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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.

Federer to face Nishikori in Miami quarterfinals

Roger Federer, the two-time Key Biscayne titlist and fifth-seeded player in the 2014 Sony Open Tennis had the Stadium Court crowd on the palm of his hands while clinching a spot in the men’s quarters, thanks to a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Richard Gasquet.

With plenty of pro-Federer support at his back, the Swiss star needed just 49 minutes to notch career victory No. 44 in Key Biscayne - second all-time behind Andre Agassi (61) - and run his record to 12-2 against Gasquet. But most pressing, Federer is just three wins shy from capturing third title in Key Biscayne, and his first since defeating Ivan Ljubicic in 2006. The win sets up a Federer-Nishikori match after the No. 20 seeded Japanese player pulled off a thrilling victory over No. 4 David Ferrer 7-6(7), 2-6, 7-6(9).

Coming into Wednesday’s match, Federer had 9 straight set victories over Gasquet with the first coming on the Hamburg clay in 2005. It was no different this time around as Federer won 88% (22-25) of his first serve points and added 5 of 6 break points. Federer took the first set in 24 minutes.

"The wind was the same for both of us, but I've had a lot of experience playing in it," Federer said. "I made him work for his points.

"It was a great match for me and I'm very pleased," said Federer, who broke five times and committed only eight unforced errors.

"Things went well on the court today. I served well. I made my returns I had to and stayed aggressive, so I didn't let him just make errors. I forced him to do stuff. It was a good match for me. The first set he had a chance to come back into the set,” said Federer. "I think that, you know, ended up being the key for the match almost for him.

"So, I think I played a good match. Just kept under pressure and hoped to win the match as quick as I could eventually, because you never know if there is going to be a change in condition or he’s going to start playing better, me worse."

On a recent resurgence, Federer, who slipped back into the Top 5 last week, is in line to face rival Novak Djokovic in the men’s semifinal. Despite losing to Djokovic in the finals of Indian Wells, Federer is playing some of his best tennis in recent history, evidenced by his run to the finals in Brisbane followed by semifinals showing in the Australian Open where he took down Andy Murray and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Last year, Federer became the oldest player to finish a season inside the Top 10 since Agassi (32) in 2005. He finished in the Top 10 for a 12th consecutive year, the first player since Pete Sampras to pull off the feat. But past history is the last thing on his mind, especially with Nishikori, a former practice partner, on deck. Federer expects a strong effort from a player he believes has matured, both physically and mentally over the last seven years.

"He had obviously a very difficult match with Ferrer, but a great one which everybody watched in the locker room and the player restaurant.," said Federer. "It was one of those thrilling end to the matches, you, know, into the tiebreaker with match points saved. It had the whole drama. Kei did a good job getting it done at the end.

"Clearly I think it's an advantage at this point now that I had a quick match today and he had a really brutal match against Ferrer. Can I take advantage of it? Can he recover quickly? We will see tomorrow. But I'm sure we will see him out on the court, and he will give it everything he has. He always has."

Date: 26th March 2014, Source: Sony Open Tennis

Roger Federer: I worked harder than rest of the world's top eight to recover my form

Roger Federer puts his return to form down to working harder than the world's best during the off-season after recovering from a lingering back injury.

The 17-time grand slam champion endured the toughest season of his career in 2013, failing to reach the final of a major for the first time since 2002 and sliding to seventh in the ATP rankings, his lowest position in the standings in over a decade.

His ranking slipped to eighth despite reaching the semi-finals of this year's Australian Open, but his results in 2014 have been far more impressive, with final appearances at all three ATP tournaments he has played so far this year, including victory in Dubai.

Now back up to fifth in the rankings, Federer puts his recent revival down to hard graft in the short break between last season's Barclays ATP World Tour Finals and his arrival in Brisbane for the first tournament of 2014.

"December was crucial," Federer told the Daily Mail. "I don't want to say this in a cocky way but I believe I worked the hardest from the top eight in the off-season. Many guys went off to play exhibitions, or were in the Davis Cup. I had time, I put my head down and worked and I did it without any setbacks.

"I played three straight weeks without any problems, ending at the O2 Arena. I thought if I could handle that and then all the December work and emerge in good shape with no problems that would be a great platform."

Federer, who has brought Stefan Edberg - a player he idolised growing up - into his coaching set-up, admitted that his second-round exit at Wimbledon at the hands of Sergiy Stakhovsky forced him to question his game, ultimately leading to a change to a racket with a larger head.

"It was one of the season goals and when I fail I reassess: why did it happen? Is it training, mental, my team, is it just me? Do I need to change?" said the 32-year-old.

"For me it was hard in itself because I truly believe I could have done something there. I wasn't in pain. I had won less than two weeks before on grass in Halle. I think I would have at least have made the semis, but Sergiy Stakhovsky played well. Returning to Wimbledon this year I have much higher hopes."

Federer and Edberg met in New York last August at a gala celebration for the past No 1s in ATP Tour history.

"We actually ended up being the last two guys to leave. I wanted to have the chance to speak to him for 10 extra minutes. But it wasn’t until after I decided to split from Paul Annacone, my previous coach, that it came to my mind to approach him, maybe because I had seen him in New York.

"It’s inspiring working with him. He is more like a mentor than a coach. He doesn’t do every week - I want it to be special with him whenever he is around because he is my childhood hero.

"But people go a bit far about his influence, every time I’m at the net they say, "That’s got to be Edberg". It’s not like everything I do now is because of Stefan, it’s something deeper than that."

Date: 25th March 2014, Source: ESPN and Daily Mail

Federer reaches Miami fourth round

Roger Federer produced yet another dominant performance at the Sony Open Tennis on Sunday.

The fifth seed and two-time former champion lost just seven of his service points in a 6-3, 6-3 victory over qualifier Thiemo de Bakker in 63 minutes.

Federer, who won 49 of his 52 service points against Ivo Karlovic in the second round, improved to a 43-12 record in Miami, where he lifted the 2005 (d. Nadal) and 2006 (d. Ljubicic) trophies. He is attempting to capture his 22nd ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title.

The Swiss will next look to improve on his 11-2 Head to Head record against ninth seed Richard Gasquet, who saved all five break points he faced to defeat No. 17 seed Kevin Anderson 6-3, 6-4 in just over 90 minutes. Federer beat Anderson en route to the BNP Paribas Open final last week.

“We have played many times now and I'm not sure how he's playing right now,” said Federer, looking ahead to his match against Gasquet. “I have to find a little bit. He's got great game [ad] gives himself time, sort of that extra second of time on each shot - forehand and backhand.

"He's a good all around player. With the wind and the slower conditions, it works quite well for him. I think it's going to be a tough match for me.”

Federer won the first set in 34 minutes, hitting nine winners and converting one of his five break point opportunities against de Bakker. He hit a further 14 winners in the second set, which included two service breaks.

Federer, 32, has compiled a 21-3 match record this year, which includes lifting his 78th trophy at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships (d. Berdych). He also finished runner-up at the Brisbane International (l. to Hewitt) and at Indian Wells (l. to Djokovic).

Date: 23rd March 2014, Source: ATP

Federer outlasts ace king Karlovic in Miami opener

Fifth seed Roger Federer defeated the ATP World Tour’s ace-leader this year, Ivo Karlovic, 6-4, 7-6(4) on Friday for a place in the Sony Open Tennis third round. It was his 20th win in 23 matches this year.

Federer, who is making his 15th appearance at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 hard-court tournament in Miami, lifted the trophy in 2005 (d. Nadal) and 2006 (d. Ljubicic). He will next play Thiemo de Bakker who defeated No. 28 seed Fernando Verdasco 7-6(4), 6-7(3), 6-2.

Federer broke Karlovic in the fifth game and only lost one point on serve in the 29-minute opener. It came at 5-4, 40/0. Federer lost just one of his service points en route to the second set tie-break. He is now 11-1 lifetime against Karlovic, after victory in 75 minutes. Vogue Editor-In-Chief Anna Wintour watched from Federer's box.

"I made sure I had a lot of first serves in, made sure I stayed aggressive from the baseline," Federer said. "I think it worked really well, hardly any unforced errors.

"I was able to move Ivo around and I was able to maintain that throughout the match, which was key. I could focus a bit on returning while then holding serve, which is important against Ivo."

Federer led from the start against Karlovic, making the surprising choice to receive after winning the toss and earning the lone break of the match in the opening game.

''I just felt like, you know, let him go first and see how it goes,'' Federer said. ''It worked well today because I got the early break right away. That relaxed me for the rest of the first set clearly, but still he hung around.''

He said playing Karlovic presents unique challenges that he enjoys.

''Physically it's super easy. There are no long rallies,'' Federer said. ''It's just more like a penalty shootout in soccer.''

The longest point was the last one, and when Karlovic pushed a backhand into the net on the 10th stroke, Federer hopped happily in celebration and threw a fist.

''I'm very relieved and happy to be through,'' he said. Federer missed the tournament a year ago as he rested with back pain.

Date: 21st March 2014, Source: ATP, AFP and AP

Confident Federer on the right track

According to Roger Federer, his season is on the right track. The 32 year old returned to the Top 5 in the ATP Rankings on Monday after his runner-up finish at the BNP Paribas Open (l. to Djokovic) and he hopes to continue the upward trend this week as he chases after his third Sony Open Tennis title.

“I'm happy to be healthy again, and I'm playing good tennis. That leads the ranking into the right direction,” said Federer in a press conference ahead of the second ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event of the year. He re-entered the Top 5 for the first time since September 2013.

“I have been playing well now for the last seven tournaments. It started at the end of last year, and now I feel I found a good level, a good form. But as you know, you have to keep on working and keep on trying hard.”

Federer’s dedication has borne fruit so far this season, with the Basel native reaching the semi-finals or better in his four events. Much like his title win in Dubai, which involved beating Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals, Federer knows that every tournament will involve a tough road to the trophy.

“Every tournament starts from scratch,” Federer said. “I don't get like the old wildcard into the semis or anything like that. [That] doesn't exist. I have to put in the hard work and hope I'm going to have another successful tournament here in Miami.”

Federer, the Miami fifth seed, has compiled a 19-3 season record in 2014. He has fully recovered from the back injury that hampered his game one year ago.

“Clearly you've got to be healthy to be able to play good tennis and get to the balls. If you're not going to get to the balls, then you won't be able to hit it and then the racquet doesn't matter. I need the quick feet, and I think I found that again.”

The 21-time Masters 1000 champion plans to stay aggressive on court as much as the surfaces allow. In Miami, where he won back-to-back titles in 2005 and 2006, Federer opens his 2014 campaign against the hard-serving Croatian Ivo Karlovic, against whom he has a 10-1 record in their ATP Head 2 Head series. The two last played each other at the 2012 Australian Open.

“Already last week [in Indian Wells] I haven't been able to come to the net as much as I wanted to. That's something I need to make sure I work on, that I do keep an aggressive playing style from the baseline.”

Federer also attributes part of his renaissance to a completed transition to a newer, larger racquet, a delicate process that took him months to incorporate into his game.

“I feel I do have easier power [with the racquet]," he said. "It's actually a big switch, bigger than people think it is, because it's a much bigger head frame, it's wider beam, and I really enjoy this new racquet.

“I think it's also part of the reason that I am playing so well right now.”

Date: 21st March 2014, Source: ATP

Roger Federer: The fire still burns

Roger Federer’s fire to win is burning once again.

Novak Djokovic may have successfully exacted revenge on the Swiss maestro in Sunday’s BNP Paribas Open final, after a three-set defeat in Dubai two weeks ago, but an upbeat Federer was not discouraged and expressed his desire to continue building on a great start to the season.

“A few weeks ago, months ago, a few people said I couldn't play tennis anymore,” Federer said.  “So for me I need to focus on my own game, my own routines, hard work, make sure I keep a good schedule for myself, for my family and enjoy it.

“At the same time, that fire, wanting to win, is important and right now I have that. I think I have a really good balance right now.”

A four-time champion in Indian Wells, Federer was seeking to claim his 22nd ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown and join Marin Cilic as the only players with 20 match wins in 2014. While his 11-match win streak was halted on Sunday, the 32 year old’s morale was far from broken. Following a start to the season that exceeded expectations, Federer says he’s “just happy to be playing well again.”

Federer added: “You don't just forget how to play tennis. Age is just a number. It's nothing more, really. That's how I see it, anyway.

“If you see the angle that last year was difficult, especially this time around last year in Indian Wells, that I'm able to turn it all around now and I'm really playing nice tennis. I truly believe that playing good tennis it's maybe sometimes a little easier to lose this way. Because I really did believe I was playing good tennis. It was a solid match. It was good also movement wise. My serve was around. It was an overall good performance.”

“Personally, I'm very happy. I think I'm playing great tennis now and I'm really enjoying myself,” Federer said.

“Of course, I would have liked to have more won a few more points at the end but Novak made it tough, so congratulations to him for winning.”

Federer is projected to ascend to No. 5 in the ATP Rankings on Monday, his first Top 5 position since 24 June of last year. As the Basel native embarks on a cross-country journey to Miami for the second ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event of the year, the Sony Open Tennis, he admits a return to World No. 1 would be “a big deal,” but remains focused on the task at hand.

“I got very, very close,” Federer said about the final. “It's encouraging for Miami and for the rest of the season, no doubt.”

Date: 17th March 2014, Source: ATP

Djokovic denies Federer to win Indian Wells title

Novak Djokovic rallied past Roger Federer 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(3) for his first title of the year and third at the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday.

Djokovic and Federer were squaring off for the 33rd time, with the second-seeded Serb snapping Federer's 11-match win streak. The Swiss now holds a 17-16 lead in their closely contested ATP Head 2 Head series, with Djokovic exacting revenge after dropping their most recent encounter 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 just two weeks ago in the Dubai semi-finals.

"It was an interesting end to the match, no doubt," said Federer. "But I think he played well. At the end he made sure he kept the ball in play and I might have made a few too many errors when it really mattered. But I think he made a crucial sort of 20 minutes, half and hour midway through the second set and third set where things could have gone either way. But credit to him for toughening it out and winning that second set and getting the breaker in the third."

"As I said before the match today, very few points will decide a winner, and that's what happened," said Djokovic. "Roger is playing in a very high level.... He just played better than he did in the last 13, 14 months. I needed to really be in the top of my game and very concentrated the last moment in order to win. That's what I've done. Very proud of my achievements during this tournament."

Here is how the final unfolded.

FIRST SET - Federer 6-3

The early stages of the final mirrored the second and third sets of their previous meeting in Dubai, with Federer attacking with deep penetrating returns off a shaky Djokovic serve. The Serb misfired on eight of 12 first serves and double faulted twice in his opening service game to hand the opening break to Federer after a forehand sailed long.

Federer maintained a similar pattern from the baseline as he did in the Arabian Desert, injecting significant pace behind his backhand and attacking with conviction with a bevy of serve and volley points and heavy groundstrokes.

The four-time champion would hold for 4-1 with a stellar cross-court passing shot off a Djokovic approach and hammered a pair of clutch service winners for 5-2. He would secure the first set with a hold to love.

Two days after winning 89 per cent of second serve points against Kevin Anderson in the quarter-finals, Federer once again protected his second serve with exceptional efficiency (75 per cent in the first set).

SECOND SET - Djokovic 6-3

Federer maintained his calm, calculating demeanor early in the second set, escaping from a pair of troublesome service games as Djokovic pressed for the break.

Djokovic played with more energy as the set wore on, using his trademark agility to create opportunities off the four-time champion’s serve.

After holding from deuce in the seventh game, Djokovic conjured two break points at 15/40, converting on his second opportunity after Federer pulled a forehand wide.

The Serb would not be rattled by a 0/30 opening for Federer while serving for the set at 5-3, holding his nerve and reeling off four straight points to snatch the set 6-3.

A reversal of fortunes after an error-strewn first set, Djokovic fired three aces and 11 winners and benefitted from a drop in Federer’s serve efficiency.

THIRD SET - Djokovic 7-6(3)

Djokovic continued to make in-roads in Federer’s service games in the third set, creating a break point in the opening game. The Basel native would fight to hold, but was not so fortunate in his next service game, surrendering a critical break for 1-2 after staving off two break points.

In contrast with the early stages of the match, a more aggressive Djokovic hit his spots down-the-line with his forehand and refused to allow Federer to crash the net.

A double fault and a booming return winner off a Djokovic second serve gave Federer a 15/30 look to get back on serve, but the Belgrade native dug in his heels, holding for 5-3.

The Indian Wells faithful rose to their feet as Federer laced a forehand pass into the corner for a 0/40 lead with Djokovic serving for the match two games later. A day after twice failing to close out John Isner in straight sets, the World No. 2 would be broken once again, misfiring wide on a forehand to give Federer the break for 5-5.

With a fifth title in the Coachella Valley in sight, Federer would dramatically win 12 of 13 points to edge ahead 6-5.

Djokovic held to force a tie-break as tensions on Stadium court reached a pulsating crescendo, with both players rising to the occasion in rallies.

Djokovic was granted a mini-break on the opening point of the deciding tie-break when Federer overcooked a backhand. The Swiss could not overcome the ensuing onslaught from the second-seed, succumbing 7-3 after a backhand found the net.

Djokovic won just exactly one more point than Federer, 99 to 98.

"When I served for the match, he played a fantastic game. I couldn't do much about it. I managed to regroup and get into the tiebreak," said Djokovic.

Federer collected $500,000 and 600 points, and will climb three spots to No. 5 in the Emirates ATP Rankings on Monday. He next travels to Miami for the Sony Open Tennis.

Date: 17th March 2014, Source: ATP

Federer to renew rivalry with Djokovic in Indian Wells

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic will lock horns with a title on the line for the ninth time when they duel in Sunday’s BNP Paribas Open final.

It will be their second meeting in Indian Wells, with Djokovic prevailing in their 2011 semi-final encounter, and while Federer leads the Head 2 Head rivalry 17-15, the Serb is looking forward to the challenge.

“He played great in Dubai," said Djokovic. "We had a tough, interesting match in semi-finals. Whenever we play each other it's always a huge challenge for both of us and very few points can decide the winner,” said Djokovic. “I do not expect anything less tomorrow. I just hope for myself that I will be able to perform on a high level, because I'm going to need to do that in order to get a chance to win against him.”

Federer will be looking to win a 22nd ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title and his first since 2012 in Cincinnati.

Djokovic survived a 7-5, 6-7(2), 6-1 battle with John Isner in the semi-finals. The two-time champion (2008, ‘11) will be seeking his 17th trophy at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 level, which would pull him even with Jimmy Connors and Andre Agassi for fifth on the all-time titles list in the category.

“Every single match that we play against each other is always at the later stages of tournaments because we're at the top of the men's game for last seven, eight years,” Djokovic added, referring to Federer. “So it's always tense. It's always emotional. It's always close.

“I don't think that especially in the last 15 matches we played against each other there was a clear favourite, I would say. We played a lot of great matches in Grand Slams and (ATP World Tour) Masters 1000 series events. I look forward to it. It's always a challenge in every way for me to win against Roger.”

Federer is coming off a three-set triumph over Djokovic in the semi-finals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships just a couple weeks ago. The Swiss went on to register a second consecutive comeback victory over Tomas Berdych in the final and has not lost since.

“I think we have had great matches always. I think we have played here as well before, if I'm not mistaken,” said Federer, following his convincing 6-3, 6-1 win over Alexandr Dolgopolov in Saturday’s first semi-final. “So it's one of those matches I think we both know what to expect going into, and even more so maybe now that we have just played in Dubai and also in Paris and London at the end of last year.

“So we played quite a bit recently, which helps both of us with some info. We don't have to go way back. I think he's fresh and eager to really try and win this if he makes the finals clearly, because he hasn't played many tournaments yet this season. I think he really wants it, and that's going to be a challenge for me to accept that and fight that with good play myself.”

Date: 16th March 2014, Source: ATP

Roger Federer reaches Indian Wells final

Roger Federer will play for his fifth title at the BNP Paribas Open, after ending the run of Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov in the semi-finals Saturday in Indian Wells. The Swiss raced to the 6-3, 6-1 victory in 61 minutes.

The seventh-seeded Swiss went on a five-game run to build a set and 2-0 lead. He converted on his first break point chance and closed out the opening set in 30 minutes with his sixth ace, then broke Dolgopolov to start the second set. He consolidated the break by winning a 20-point fifth game, and closed out the match with a break at love.

"It feels good winning again here so many matches," said Federer. "I think it's nice winning anyway (smiling). It just solves a lot of problems and makes you feel better, happier."

Federer has yet to drop a set this week, and extended his winning streak to 11 matches. He won his 78th title ahead of Indian Wells at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, where he defeated Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals and Tomas Berdych in the final.

"I think the results are better than I thought they would be... so that's very encouraging and super positive, really," said Federer. "Now it's just a matter of keeping that up, taking the right decisions not to overplay, not to underplay, and enjoy yourself. Because at the end of the day, it's also very important.

"But having the fire and wanting to win every single match you go out there and in the practice trying to improve as much as you can, I think I've got the good balance right now, so it's very encouraging."

The 28th-seeded Dolgopolov had posted three straight wins over seeded players, including an upset of World No. 1 and defending champion Rafael Nadal in the third round, to reach his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi-final. He was attempting to become just the sixth player - and first outside the Top 30 - to defeat Nadal and Federer at the same tournament.

"I was ready physically, mentally," said Dolgopolov. "I wasn't nervous much, but I wasn't sharp enough. My concentration was going away for maybe one, two points every game, and you can't afford to have that in these matches."

In Sunday's final, Federer will face two-time BNP Paribas Open champion Novak Djokovic, who defeated top American John Isner 7-5, 6-7(2), 6-1. Federer leads their Head 2 Head series 17-15, including a victory two weeks ago in the Dubai semi-finals.

"It's one of those matches I think we both know what to expect going into, and even more so maybe now that we have just played in Dubai and also in Paris and London at the end of last year," said Federer. "I think he's fresh and eager to really try and win this because he hasn't played many tournaments yet this season. I think he really wants it, and that's going to be a challenge for me to accept that and fight that with good play myself."

Federer is undefeated in finals at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, winning three straight titles from 2004-06 and claiming a tournament-record fourth crown in 2012 with victory over Isner.

The Swiss, who will re-enter the Top 5 with his effort this fortnight, will be looking to win a 22nd ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title and his first since 2012 in Cincinnati.

Date: 16th March 2014, Source: ATP

Roger Federer says 'No' to on-court coaching

Roger Federer has restated his position against on-court coaching after being asked about the idea at Indian Wells.

"Yeah, I hope we stay far away from that idea," he said.

On-court discussion with coaches is currently banned at ATP Tour events, but female players are allowed to call for a coach under certain circumstances.

Federer warned against rules changes in tennis following an effortless 7-5, 6-1 quarterfinal victory over South Africa's Kevin Anderson at the Indian Wells Masters - a win that will see the Swiss star return to the top five of the world rankings.

"If it does happen, it's hopefully after I'm done playing," the 17-time grand slam champion told reporters after the match.

"I really don't think it's necessary. I don't think it's fair, maybe, because not everybody can afford a coach's just not right. We'll see girlfriends walking out, we'll see parents walking out."

"It's not going to be pretty, you know. It just won't. It will look amateur-like, in my opinion."

Federer's comments came after a coaching call appeared to not have quite the required effect in one of the day's two women's quarterfinals.

Italian Flavia Pennetta was one set up against American starlet Sloane Stephens, and leading 5-4 in the second set, when she called for her coach.

The Italian proceeded to lose the following three games, and the set, before rallying to take the match 6-4, 5-7, 6-4.

The rules, introduced in 2009, allow for discussion at one changeover each set, and in between sets.
Federer - once also a vocal opponent of the Hawkeye ball-tracking review system - defended the sport as a one-on-one battleground.

"It's cool to figure it out yourself," added the 32-year-old.

"You can look over to your coach for comfort and support, but other than that, I think tennis should be one of those unique sports where you don't get coaching."

Date: 15th March 2014, Source: CNN and

Peya/Soares stop Federer/Wawrinka to reach final

Second seeds Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares ended Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka’s doubles run at the BNP Paribas Open, defeating the Swiss duo 6-4, 6-1 on Friday afternoon in Indian Wells to set up a final with top seeds Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan.

The Austrian-Brazilian duo broke Federer’s serve to clinch the opening set and won six straight games to close the semi-final match.

Federer and Wawrinka had been looking to reach the Indian Wells final for a second time, following their runner-up finish to Alexandr Dolgopolov and Xavier Malisse in 2011.  Federer, a four-time singles champion at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament, will face Dolgopolov in the semi-finals Saturday.

Peya and Soares were finalists in January in Doha and Auckland, and will look to win their ninth title overall and second at an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament. They won their first last August in Montreal (d. Fleming/A. Murray), in between losses to the Bryans in the Masters 1000 finals at Madrid and Paris.

Peya and Soares’s lone victory against the Bryans came in last year’s Valencia final, a match they won 13-11 in the Match Tie-break.

Date: 14th March 2014, Source: ATP

Roger Federer fans make sure 'genius' sign travels the globe

Tennis fans have been in awe of what Roger Federer has accomplished over the years on the court, but off the court there’s a special banner that travels with him to several tournaments every year.

The “Genius Banner” as it’s known, which states “Shhh!! QUIET! GENIUS AT WORK” is often seen waving or hanging in the audience during Federer’s matches.

The banner’s origin is right here at Indian Wells.

The red banner was initially created by a group of loyal Federer fans who came up with the slogan from something they read in the newspaper after he won his third consecutive tournament at Indian Wells. After discussing it in a fan forum at, a group of four women decided to make a banner and bring it to Miami the following week. It’s taken off since.

Now whenever Federer plays an important match anywhere on the globe, someone in the network of Federer fans is tasked with the job of bringing the banner. An inner circle of about 15 reliable fans take care of the flag throughout the year.

In Indian Wells, that person is Kathy Woodward.

“Roger really appreciates it. He looks for the banner in the stadium and it shows the dedication fans have for him. We’re hoping it’ll go to the Tennis Hall of Fame or if he has a museum one day that would be a wonderful spot for the banners,” said Woodward, a freelance writer from Pasadena, who was waving the banner Wednesday from the upper bleachers of the Main Stadium as Federer beat Tommy Haas 6-4, 6-4.

Once the BNP Paribas Open ends, it’s Woodward’s responsibility to ship it to France, to a designated Federer fan there who will bring it to the French Open. When the ATP returns to Cincinnati, it will be Woodward’s duty again to wave the banner in Ohio.

Avid Federer fans know the story of the banner as evidenced by what happened to Woodward on Monday.

“Earlier in the week this guy jumped over the row next to me and said ‘Oh my god, oh my god, my dream is to get a picture with this banner. I see it on TV, I looked for it all the time. Can I please get a photo?’ ” she said. “I was shocked but so happy. I’m happy fans look for it and are accustomed to seeing it. It’s becoming a signature for Roger’s matches.”

After a year of worldwide travel, the first banner was presented to Federer in Miami in 2007.
A new second version, made of hemmed fabric and hand painted lettering, was then sent off to Rome with Roger’s signature in the white cross. Full of signatures, the second banner was retired at the end of 2009 after the World Championships. Woodward gave Federer the flag in Indian Wells in 2010.

The third banner debuted at the Australian Open in 2010, where Federer won his 16th Grand Slam title. That one was presented to Federer in 2012, the same year the fourth and current banner made its debut.

Woodward hopes the fourth banner lasts until Federer retires.

The banners have traveled more than 17,000 kilometers which includes 16 cities and nine countries. The banner is not allowed at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open due to its size. However one time the banner was snuck in to Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York after the banner carrier wrapped it around her waist and waived it after Federer had won a match. Some notables who have signed the banner include Federer’s wife Mirka, Tony Roche and Rod Laver.

Woodward said she’s thankful the banner hasn’t been lost over the years. However they had a scare in 2012 when the banner was stuck in Italian customs for four months and they wanted 300 euros to get it out. Eventually, the banner was recovered but Woodward said jokingly that they won’t send it to Italy again.

Date: 14th March 2014, Source:

Roger Federer: "Fans can count on me"

Ahead of contesting his eighth semi-final at the BNP Paribas Open, four-time champion Roger Federer reflected on how his season has unfolded thus far compared to 2013.

"Last year was difficult," said Federer, who beat Kevin Anderson under the lights on Thursday. "I'm just happy playing enough matches where you feel like you have momentum, you have some confidence, and you're enjoying it at the same time. Last year, that wasn't always the case."

The 32 year old, projected to move up to No. 5 in the ATP Rankings after the quarter-final victory, expressed satisfaction with the state of his game.

"Things are easier now, and I'm able to take advantage of the fact that I'm just healthy.

"There is a sense of calmness and confidence to my game," Federer added. "Also that grit and that feeling of wanting to win badly, which was hard to find at times last year."

The seventh seed is one of two players in the Top 10 remaining in the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 field, and could face second seed Novak Djokovic on Sunday in the title match. It would be a re-match of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship semi-final two weeks ago. First, he needs to beat Alexandr Dolgopolov in the semi-finals.

"It's nice proving it to myself, the team and my fans that they can still count on me. It's nice giving yourself opportunities to win a tournament, no doubt about that."

Federer remains on course to lift his 79th tour-level title and his 22nd ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown.

Date: 14th March 2014, Source: ATP

Federer up to World No. 5 after reaching Indian Wells SFs

Roger Federer will play Alexandr Dolgopolov for the first time in more than three-and-a-half years on Saturday in the BNP Paribas Open semi-finals.

Seventh seed Federer defeated No. 17 seed Kevin Anderson 7-5, 6-1 on Thursday night at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, venue of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament.  With the result he moves up to No. 5 in the ATP Rankings and into the Indian Wells semi-finals for the eighth time.

Federer is attempting to capture his fifth singles title at Indian Wells. This year, he is also looking to lift the doubles trophy with Stanislas Wawrinka. The pair will compete in the semi-finals on Friday against second seeds Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares.

Anderson, who was competing in his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 quarter-final, first came under pressure at 2-2 in the first set when he saved four break points. Federer converted the first of his five break point opportunities in the set at 6-5, with Anderson serving at 0/40 – when Federer drilled a backhand low to Anderson, who struck a backhand volley into the net. Both players each hit nine winners in the set, but Anderson committed 16 unforced errors.

Federer ran through the second set, which lasted 23 minutes, with service breaks in second and fourth games en route to a 5-0 lead.

"I gave myself chances and started with a few more returns in play, I guess, at 5-all," said Federer, on how he won seven straight games. "I was also… feeling good movement wise and feeling good absorbing his pace and also being aggressive myself. I think the combination in those 10 minutes, all worked out for me. It was big to win the set and then to go on to break early in the second. Then getting a double break was like a bonus. From then on I was home basically. It was a really good match for me, basically."

Last week, Federer won his 78th tour-level title at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships last week (d. Berdych). The Swiss moved clear of John McEnroe (77 titles) into third place on the Open Era title leaders list, behind Jimmy Connors (109) and Ivan Lendl (94).

Dolgopolov, who beat Rafael Nadal in the third round, Fabio Fognini in the fourth round and Milos Raonic in the quarter-finals, last played Federer in October 2010 at the Swiss Indoors Basel.

Dolgopolov, the world number 31 from Ukraine, has reached the semi-finals of an elite ATP Masters tournament for the first time.

Federer said he had practised with Dolgopolov late last year and before the Dubai tournament, and is looking forward to facing him again.

"He was playing really well in practice," Federer said. "He really takes the ball early. He likes to take advantage of the fact when there is a short ball he just smashes it, and he's got a great serve.

"Definitely going to be some interesting shots out there."

Date: 14th March 2014, Source: ATP and AFP

Federer cruised into Indian Wells quarter-finals

Roger Federer reached the quarter-finals for the ninth time at the BNP Paribas Open, capitalising on three of his 11 break points to record his 45th match win at the season's first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament. He improved to a 13-3 Head 2 Head record against the 35-year-old Haas, the oldest player in the Top 100 of the ATP Rankings who played an impressive and solid match.

Wimbledon champion Andy Murray and Australian Open winner Stanislas Wawrinka both fell in the fourth round.

In a tournament full of surprises, Federer struck a blow for the old world order with a 6-4, 6-4 win over German Tommy Haas.

"I've always really enjoyed playing Tommy over the years, it's been 13, 14 years. I hope this isn't his last time at Indian Wells."

Federer next faces Kevin Anderson who defeated Stanislas Wawrinka 7-6(1), 4-6, 6-1 on Wednesday afternoon.

Federer, who lifted the trophy at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships ahead of Indian Wells, said he would not be taking Thursday night's quarter-final against Anderson lightly as he looked to extend his recent winning streak to 10 matches.

"I know how tough he is," Federer said of Anderson. "He's the best here usually in the States, outdoors on the hard courts. That's when he's had his biggest success. I'm aware that this is not going to be an easy match just because he's not ranked in the Top 10."

Federer and Wawrinka returned to action later Wednesday, and teamed up to defeat reigning US Open champions and No. 4 seeds Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek 6-3, 6-7(6), 10-4 in the doubles quarter-finals on Stadium 2.

Date: 13th March 2014, Source: ATP

Federer anticipating new addition to his family

Roger Federer says he is ready for a new addition to the family. His wife, Mirka, is expecting their third child sometime this year.

The couple had twin girls, Charlene and Myla, in 2009.

"I think after having twins we're somewhat prepared," Federer said after reaching the fourth round at Indian Wells. "I think we know what it's all about now, you know... how to set up the rooms, sleepless nights, kind of thing.

"So I think from that standpoint we're much more relaxed about the next baby.''

Though he would not reveal more details, Federer said the family was anticipating its newest member.

"For us it's exciting times right now," he added. "Myla and Charlene are happy to to welcome a little boy or girl so it's good fun right now. It's good times."

Date: 11th March 2014, Source:

Federer, Wawrinka pull double duty in Indian Wells

Swiss duo Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka reached the quarter-finals of the BNP Paribas Open on Monday in Indian Wells with a 7-6(3), 7-6(4) victory over Ernests Gulbis and Milos Raonic. Both Federer and Wawrinka had reached the singles fourth round earlier in the day.

Federer and Wawrinka are pairing up at an ATP World Tour event for the first time since reaching the Indian Wells final three years ago (l. to Dolgopolov/Malisse). The 2008 Olympic gold medalists edged first-time pairing Gulbis and Raonic in 87 minutes, setting a clash with fourth seeds Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek, who defeated Jonathan Erlich and Richard Gasquet 6-3, 7-5.

Date: 11th March 2014, Source: ATP

Federer, Wawrinka stay on course for their quarterfinal match up

Four-time champion Roger Federer edged Russian Dmitry Tursunov 7-6(7), 7-6(2) on Monday afternoon at the BNP Paribas Open to reach the Round of 16.

The 32-year-old Swiss will meet the German veteran Tommy Haas in the fourth round who defeated Japan’s Kei Nishikori 7-6(3) 6-2 in the last match on Stadium 1 Monday night.

Federer won his third straight tie-break in the desert, including his defeat of Frenchman Paul-Henri Matheiu in his second-round opener. Federer and Tursunov both capitalized on two of their three break points during the one hour, 45-minute match, their first encounter since the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

"Now I feel like I'm in a good place. Zen on the court," said Federer. "I know what my solid level is. Even if I won 6 and 6 today, I just feel like I was calm and served for the set. Okay, got broken. Still managed to stay calm. Down a set in the second; stayed calm and came back. So those are the moments where you feel there is confidence around somewhere."

World No. 8 Federer came to Indian Wells on the heels of his triumph at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, and extended his winning streak to eight matches.

No. 3 seed Stanislas Wawrinka moved one step closer to a rematch in the desert with his compatriot Federer, needing just 49 minutes to dispatch Andreas Seppi 6-0, 6-2 and advance to the Round of 16.

Wawrinka improved his perfect record in 2014 to 13-0 with the victory. The 28 year old, who currently sits at a career-high No. 3 in the ATP Rankings, fired seven aces and did not face a break point against the Italian. Wawrinka broke serve on five occasions to clinch his 95th win at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 level.

When asked if he could have played any better in the first set, the Swiss smiled, exclaiming, "maybe, maybe not."

"Today was an amazing match," the Australian Open champion said. "Can't complain. Playing that great, it's good. That level, it depends a little bit who you play, but I'm really, really happy with my match today. I'm moving really well, and every time I can play aggressive it makes a difference."

Wawrinka will face another red-hot player Kevin Anderson next. Anderson, who was a finalist in Delray Beach (l. to Cilic) and Acapulco (l. to Dimitrov) last month, improved to 13-4 in 2014 with a 4-6, 6-0, 6-3 victory over lucky loser Evgeny Donskoy. The World No. 18 will vie for career victory No. 150 when he battles Wawrinka for the fourth time in their Head 2 Head series.

Date: 11th March 2014, Source: ATP

Federer battles into third round at Indian Wells

Roger Federer carried his strong form from one desert to another, ousting Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-2, 7-6(5) in his opening match at the BNP Paribas Open.

A week after registering a record sixth crown at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, Federer embarked on his quest for a fifth title in Indian Wells. The Swiss extended his impressive 2014 record to 15-2, defeating Mathieu for the seventh time since they first met 11 years ago.

The champion in 2004-06 and 2012, Federer claimed his 43rd match win in Indian Wells and 284th at ATP World Tour Masters 1000 level, converting on three break point opportunities and firing nine aces to defeat Mathieu.

''It's important to win,'' he said. ''It's a lot different from Dubai. You have to force a bit more, but I'm satisfied. I enjoy the game in a totally different way than I did years ago," said Federer.

Roger opened the match with a break and was never under pressure on his own serve. Scoring another break to reach a 5-2 lead he easily booked the first set. The French qualifyer put up more of a fight in the second set, holding serve until 3-3, when Roger broke his serve. But serving for the match at 5-4, Roger was not able to hold serve and so things had to be decided in a tie-breaker. Our champ fell 1-3 behind at first, but eventually brought everything together to wrap up the match in two sets after 1h 31minutes of play.

Federer’s reward is a third round encounter with Dmitry Tursunov following the 31 year old’s 7-6(4), 6-4 triumph over Juan Monaco. Tursunov saved 10 of 12 break points faced to set up a fourth Head 2 Head meeting with Federer. The Russian trails 0-3.

Date: 9th March 2014, Source: ATP and RF Official

Federer and Wawrinka advance in doubles

It was standing room only on Stadium 2 Friday afternoon when Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka reunited as a doubles team to defeat sixth seeds Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi 6-2, 6-7(4), 10-6 at the BNP Paribas Open.

Federer and Wawrinka, who won the 2008 Beijing Olympics doubles gold medal for Switzerland, reached the 2011 Indian Wells final (l. to Dolgopolov/Malisse). The duo had not teamed up since a Davis Cup tie versus The Netherlands in September 2012.

Bopanna and Qureshi drop to a 10-5 match record this season. Six days ago, the ‘Indo-Pak Express’ lifted the Dubai trophy (d. Nestor-Zimonjic) and Federer picked up his sixth crown (d. Berdych) at the event.

Federer, the seventh seed, opens his campaign for a fifth Indian Wells singles title against Paul-Henri Mathieu in the second round, while third seed Wawrinka plays Ivo Karlovic. Wawrinka is playing in his first ATP World Tour tournament since lifting the Australian Open trophy in January.

"We are very happy to have won today, and give ourselves another match in a couple of days," said Federer.

"I don't know if it was sold out, but it felt like very, very full. You're not probably going to achieve that on center court (where capacity is 16,100) for a doubles. But that was a perfect setup, a feeling, and we can thank the tournament and (owner) Larry Ellison for building such a court so quickly," said Federer.

"It's nice to see the game grow and seeing people coming out and enjoying it. It's great. I really had a great time out there with Stan today."

Wawrinka, who admitted he did not train for "maybe 10 days, 15 days," until last week, said, "I am really looking forward to my match tomorrow and for the rest of the season… It's really important that I keep trying to improve. It took me time to really realise what I did in Australian Open."

"Still when I'm saying that I won a Grand Slam it's still strange for me, but that's why it was good to be home during three weeks," Wawrinka said. "It was good to be with the family, to take more time for myself."

Wawrinka, who won his maiden grand slam in Melbourne in January, was asked how it felt to be not only the world No.3, but the Swiss No.1.

"It's not the first time I have been asked that question," he joked. "But Roger is the greatest player of all time, so it doesn't matter."

Wawrinka is the No. 3 seed and could meet No. 7 Federer in the quarterfinals and top-seeded Rafael Nadal in the semifinals.

Date: 8th March 2014, Source: ATP and AP

Roger Federer eager for desert delivery

There is something about the allure of a desert setting that energises Roger Federer.

A week after adding a record sixth crown at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, the most decorated player in BNP Paribas Open history seeks a fifth title in his return to Indian Wells.

“I’m excited to play here in Indian Wells,” said Federer on Thursday. “I’m happy to see the hard work is paying off and the decisions I made midway through last year were the right ones. I am playing nicely now and pain-free, which is the goal. Winning cements that feeling. It’s more fun and it gives me confidence. It makes me more eager to play more and win more.”

Federer, who is off to a strong start in 2014 with 14 victories in 16 matches, admitted that he is playing more freely and thinking clearer than he was during a taxing 2013 campaign. Consecutive comeback wins over Novak Djokovic and Tomas Berdych were exactly what the Swiss needed entering the first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event of the year.

“It’s nice beating Novak, but for me what stands out is winning a tournament and holding a trophy in my hands,” Federer added. “It was an added bonus to beat him on a hard court. He’s had a great last six months or so. This was a big win for me. So was beating Berdych. He’s been having a great season so far. It’s nice to win and beat so many Top 10 guys now in two months.”

A champion in 2004-06 and 2012, Federer will be looking to add to his 21 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles. Only Rafael Nadal has won more (26) and while the Spaniard enters as the top seed and defending champion, Federer relishes the opportunity to battle his long-time rival and is ready for the challenges ahead. “Winning definitely helps with the confidence to play at a very good level. Now it’s important to get through this tournament in a good way physically. Mentally, I’m really motivated to be playing here in Indian Wells.”

Federer is the only player to complete the March sweep of Indian Wells and Miami twice (2005-06) and he expressed his drive and determination to “come close to doing something like that again.”

“These two Masters 1000 are important to me,” Federer said. “I had amazing trips here, winning back-to-back. Those were really good times back then. I’m keeping up the hard work and we’ll see how things are going to go. The most important thing now is that I’m playing consistently well in practice and in matches.”

The No. 7 seed opens his campaign in the Coachella Valley with qualifier Paul-Henri Mathieu after the Frenchman ousted fellow qualifier Robby Ginepri 6-2, 6-3 on Thursday. Federer and Mathieu first met 11 years ago, in Rome in 2003. The Basel native owns a 6-0 Head 2 Head advantage.

Date: 7th March 2014, Source: ATP

Resurgent Federer adds to Indian Wells buzz

Roger Federer will seek to back up his Dubai title win on Saturday with a record fifth Indian Wells crown starting this week which if successful would be his 79th career title.

Federer, though, will face a top class field with defending champion Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic as the top seeds.

The $12 million ATP and WTA hardcourt event begins on Wednesday for the women -- where Maria Sharapova is the defending champion -- and Thursday for the men.

Federer won titles at Indian Wells from 2004-2006 and again in 2012 and showed top form in reaching the Australian Open semi-finals and taking his sixth Dubai crown which included beating Djokovic in the semi-finals and coming from behind to beat Tomas Berdych in the final.

"I think this is how you win your first title again after a while, and then hopefully from here on it's easier, especially closing out," Federer said.

"There is a lot of pressure. Sometimes I have been disappointed with my play when it really mattered. I was able to deliver when I had to. I was able to come up with the goods. It was one of those tournaments I kind of need this way right now."

The 32-year-old Swiss star will have Stefan Edberg with him as coach, one of four former Indian Wells winners on hand to guide others, with Michael Chang helping Japan's Kei Nishikori, Boris Becker working with Djokovic and Ivan Ljubicic coaching Canada's Milos Raonic.

"It has just been nice spending time with him," Federer said. "It's clearly inspiring at this point just hearing him speak about the game."

Federer battled nagging injuries much of last year but sees himself in a strong position to go far in events and add to his record total of 17 men's Grand Slam titles, the most recent of them in 2012 at Wimbledon.

- Federer confident -

And based upon hard work in the off-season, Federer says he has a new spark of confidence.

"I feel I am in good enough shape at least now and that's very encouraging," he said.

"I feel my best tennis is around the corner. I've said that quite a few times, but I feel like this time it's really the case. I wake up with zero pain. I'm excited playing tournaments. It's a good start to the season."

Date: 5th March 2014, Source: AFP

Federer: Top players are almost too nice to each other

Roger Federer has called for top tennis players to "go after each other" and says he wonders how close his relationships with them will be when he stops playing.

Despite being on good terms with Rafael Nadal, and admitting he is closer with him than other leading players such as Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, Federer says that it is difficult for today's professionals to be friends.

In an interview with Australia's GQ, Federer said of tennis relationships: "I'm not sure how close we are as friends. I'll be interested how much we'll stay in touch once everything is said and done and we're off the circuit. We're not going to dinner, if you know what I mean.

"I don't want to say today's players are too soft, but we're almost too nice to each other sometimes. It's good when players go after each other a bit. As long as it stays within the rules and it's fair, that's OK. You have to be a bit tough."

The Federer-Nadal rivalry became one of the game's greatest after the Spaniard burst onto the scene in 2004.

They have faced each other in a record eight Grand Slam finals, including the epic five-setters at Wimbledon 2007 and 2008 finals.

Nadal leads the head-to-head count 23-10, winning the most recent meeting in the semi-finals of the Australian Open in January.

Federer added: "I've done and lived the most with Nadal. From five-set matches on court, to promoting a tournament in Qatar, to doing foundation work together in the 'Match for Africa'. And I've gone to dinners with him.

"I know his family the best, as well. I know his mum, dad and sister. Yeah, our bond goes further back than the one I have with Novak or Andy. And for that reason I feel closest and most connected to Rafa."

Federer has emerged from an injury-induced slump in 2013 to win his first title for nine months by beating Novak Djokovic and Tomas Berdych back-to-back at the Dubai Championships last weekend.

Federer, who only won one title in 2013 and struggled with a back injury, admitted he was battling pain throughout the campaign.

"I went through that weeks and months, like every day I hoped there was going to be a little improvement," he said.

"I only started to feel that improvement halfway through sort of the US Open maybe, so it was a long time. I was fighting it all the way from Indian Wells really."

Date: 3rd March 2014, Source: ESPN UK

Federer wins sixth Dubai Championships title

Roger Federer won the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships for the sixth time on Saturday as he rallied from a set and a break down to defeat Tomas Berdych 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.

"I was happy I was able to use momentum, win that second set, and then it was a tough opening period in the third, wasting the Love-40 game on Tomas' first service game," said Federer. "Then saving break points myself. Anything could have happened there.

"Things definitely went my way out here tonight, but I have had a lot tougher matches in the last one and a half years, so this is nice to get a lucky break again."

''He's the greatest player of all time and he'll never give up and give you anything for free,'' Berdych said. ''I knew that and thought I was ready for it, but my execution wasn't good enough to hold it to the end.''

Federer won his 78th tour-level title, taking him above John McEnroe to standalone third in the all-time title leaders list. The Swiss has won at least one ATP World Tour title every year since 2000, equaling Ivan Lendl’s record. Saturday’s victory saw him pass the $80m mark in career earnings.

Federer received 500 ATP Rankings points and $465,830 as he improved his Head to Head lead over Berdych to 12-6. Federer has a 42-5 event record in Dubai, previously lifting the trophy in 2003-05, 2007 and 2012. He improved to a 14-2 record through the first two months of the season, finishing runner-up in Brisbane (l. to Hewitt) and reaching the semi-finals at the Australian Open (l. to Nadal).

Federer now holds 4-1 match record against Top 10 players in this season.

It was a tense battle from beginning to end, with Federer having to rally from a set and break down to overcome Berdych. Berdych was on an 11-match winning streak, the best of his career, and he was chasing his second title of the season after recently winning in Rotterdam.

Breaks were exchanged in the opening stages of the match before Berdych broke decisively in the sixth game to ultimately take the opener. Federer found himself deeper in trouble when he was broken again at 2-2 in the second set, but he responded by once again breaking back immediately. Seizing the momentum, Federer then broke to love in the 10th game to level the match.

The Swiss went all out at the start of the third set, looking to capitalise on his change in fortunes. He had a 0/40 opportunity on Berdych’s serve in the second game, but the Czech reeled off five straight points to level. Federer then saved a break point of his own in the following game before finally getting his break in the fourth game as a Berdych forehand landed long.

Berdych was able to save two match points on his own serve in the eighth game. But the Czech couldn't stop Federer from serving out. Then Federer went on to claim the victory in just under two hours.

"It's like one of those things you just kind of hope it turns for the better," said Federer of being down in the second set. "At that point you're just telling yourself to serve well, give yourself maybe a few good opening points on Tomas' serve, and then you hope the points play out the way they need to be played out at that very moment, because it's basically in his hands. If he serves well, it's difficult, or the margins are extremely slim at that point.

"So once you do get back, it's important to not then relax and think, oh, the hardest part is done, it's only about the beginning actually. So I was happy I was able to use momentum, win that second set, and then it was a tough opening in the third, you know, wasting the Love- 40 game on Tomas' first service game. Then saving breakpoints myself. I mean, anything could have happened there.

"I was able to stay calm and once I got back on even terms I started to play better. I really enjoy playing against Tomas, who is a great player"

"I would say many things went wrong," lamented Berdych. "The match started pretty well. I had really many chances, and then I basically just gave him the game and that's it. It's very disappointing for me the way I handled that situation. I was in the better shape and playing really well and made my chances, but unfortunately I didn't execute it in the end."

"Roger Federer proved once again what a truly great champion he is, overcoming a very strong performance from a player who just last month reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open and then earlier this month won his ninth career title in Rotterdam," said Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman of tournament owners and organisers Dubai Duty Free.

"The final between Roger Federer and Tomas Berdych was a fitting end to what has been a wonderful festival of tennis that has thrilled not only the many thousands of fans who have flocked to the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium, but millions around the world who have watched some fantastic competition on television and other media," said Tournament Director Salah Tahlak.

Date: 1st March 2014, Source: ATP and Dubai

Brilliant Federer defeats Djokovic to reach Dubai final

Roger Federer will bid for a sixth title at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Saturday after claiming a thrilling 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 win over defending champion Novak Djokovic in one hour and 46 minutes. Federer was hyper aggressive, hitting his backhand with conviction and backing up big serves with a lot of net approaches.

He will face Tomas Berdych, who reached his second straight Dubai final with a 7-5, 7-5 win over Philipp Kohlschreiber.

Federer, who had not beaten Djokovic since the final of the 2012 Cincinnati Open, denied Djokovic the 550th match win of his career. Federer now leads Djokovic 17-15 in their Head to Head series.

The opening set between Federer and Djokovic was as close as it could get, with Djokovic making the better start by breaking Federer in the second game but then having to fight off a break point against him when up 3-1. Djokovic then had an opportunity to take charge when he held a break point to lead 3-2 in the second set, but Federer held off the threat and then earned his first break of the match to lead 4-2.

Federer increasingly looked the stronger player from then on. He led 1-0 in the final set when Djokovic doubled-faulted, saved a break point in the next game and then broke again in a lengthy fifth game to lead 4-1. In a final act of defiance Djokovic held two break points as Federer served for victory, but Federer held on to claim the match.

"It's nice to be in the finals here in Dubai again. I think I was able to play a bit more aggressively as the match went on," said Federer. "He got the crucial first break, which is always big when top guys play each other, and he's better than anybody with the lead. So I knew I was in a bit of trouble after the first set and not looking good at all, because he has a tendency to really run with it and play more freely on your serve. He plays very dangerous.

"It was just a matter of trying to play consistent but remain aggressive. Sometimes being also overly aggressive to see if it works. If it doesn't, then you can always pull back a little bit. Clearly it was close, but I think I got the right balance, just the right balance. Then I started to serve very well, something I haven't been able to do really this week yet. I knew to have a chance today I needed to serve well. So I'm just very happy I was able to deliver that."

The sell-out crowd were noisy in their appreciation of both players, and Federer soaked up the atmosphere.

"I think it was a very enthusiastic crowd, polite crowd, and it was a dream playing in an atmosphere like this," he said. "I mean, they were already trying to create a Mexican wave sort of five games in. I don't know if that was because Novak was leading or it tried to pump me up. But anyway, I thought it was a great atmosphere out here tonight and I hope for something similar tomorrow."

Djokovic admitted that Federer had been the better player in the latter part of the match and that he deserved his victory.

"Well, great to him for coming back in the match. Congratulations," said Djokovic. "I lost to roger, it's not a bad loss. He deserved to win. He played in the second part of the match better and was more aggressive and played all around the court really well."

Later the 32-year-old was asked when he might be back to his best again, after a difficult 2013.

"I hope it's now," he said. "It's all happening. Beating Novak on the hard courts here in Dubai, it's tough. This is a big step in the right direction for me. It gives me a lot of confidence."

Berdych enters the final on a 11-match winning streak. He arrived in Dubai having won his first title in over a year at Rotterdam two weeks ago.

''I think he's playing very well right now,'' Federer said. ''This is a big match for him tomorrow as well. I will try to stop him and play a good match myself.''

The Basel native began working with Stefan Edberg as his coach at the start of the season, as well as using a larger racquet head. The changes saw him reach the Brisbane final and the Australian Open semi-finals and have given back to Federer some of the belief in himself he felt he was lacking on the big points in matches.

"The close moments sometimes that decide matches, that's where you just need that extra confidence or that extra mental belief that you're going to win instead of lose. I think that's what I've got back right now. That's why I think I have been playing consistently well for some months again.

Physically I'm doing very well again, still holding up perfectly, and clearly it's been a lot of tennis now again this week. I just hope I can finish it well tomorrow."

Federer has not been joined in Dubai by Edberg this week and said they did no more than exchange text messages in the lead up to the semi-final. Federer is accompanied this week by Swiss Davis Cup coach, Severin Luthi.

"I would like to focus on the work with Stefan," explained Federer. "In three days I will see him. He will be in Indian Wells, and that's what I'm looking forward to. When I'm with him, I'm really with him. When I'm away from him, I want him to enjoy his life.

"So I'm sure this victory makes him very happy. I hope he likes what he sees. From my standpoint, I'm just very happy things are working out with Stefan and Severin and everybody involved and that my results remain positive, which is important right now at the beginning of the season."

Date: 28th February 2014, Source: ATP and Dubai