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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.

Roger Federer pledges to battle on

Roger Federer is refusing to panic after his shock Australian Open third-round exit and has defended his busy schedule at the end of last year.

The world No.2 was dumped out in four sets by unseeded Andreas Seppi on Friday, suffering his earliest exit in Melbourne since 2001.

The result brought to mind his second-round defeat to Sergiy Stakhovsky at Wimbledon in 2013, which prompted questions of retirement.

However, the 33-year-old says he will simply rest up before practising ahead of a tournament in Dubai next month.

"This is a feeling I've had for 15 years," Federer told a press conference. "To me I don't read anything into that. It's just not the best feeling to have.

"It's not like I'm playing shocking or I'm feeling shocking. It's like one of those things you look back and maybe, yeah, I didn't feel so good.

"But if you win, you never even question it. If I were you, I wouldn't read very much into that."

Federer's exit comes after a whirlwind end to the previous campaign that saw the 17-time grand slam champion win the Davis Cup with Switzerland before jetting off to play in the inaugural International Premier Tennis League.

Asked if he thought his end-of-season commitments may have been behind his defeat to Seppi, Federer replied: "Not really. I was actually very happy that it was the way it went, because it allowed me to stay within the rhythm and take the break after the Australian Open.

"I was playing very well in practice. I was playing very well in Brisbane. I was playing great in the practice leading into the tournament. So I don't want to say that I peaked too early, but I definitely was hitting the ball very well.

"I still believe I'd still be in the tournament, that I'd still have a chance to go very deep. Like I said at the very beginning of the tournament, I truly believe that.

"But then again, margins are small, and sometimes these things tend to happen. Clearly I'll have a look at it, but I don't think I did anything wrong honestly.

"I wanted to go to India. I wanted to go back to Switzerland for Christmas. I practised as hard as I possibly could. Can't do more than that. Sure, the year ended late, but one week later than normal. At the end of the day, honestly I'm confident that what I did was the right thing."

Date: 24th January 2015, Source: ESPN UK

Federer: I couldn't really get the whole game flowing

Roger Federer admitted he “couldn’t really get the whole game flowing” on Friday when he suffered his earliest exit at the Australian Open in 14 years.

“Maybe my rhythm was missing,” said Federer, after his loss to Andreas Seppi. “I was aware that this could be a tough match, so I wasn't mistaken this time around.

“I guess it was just an overall feeling I had today out on the court that I couldn't really get the whole game flowing. Was it backhand? Was it forehand? Was it serve? It was a bit of everything.”

But the four-time champion was full of praise for Seppi, who broke a 23-match losing streak against players in the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings with the third-round victory.

“We’ve played some good matches in the past,” said World No. 2 Federer. “He hits a good ball, forehand and backhand, so I knew that on a quicker court where he gets more help on the serve it was potentially going to be tricky. And I felt, for some reason, yesterday and this morning it was not going to be very simple today.”

Federer lost 6-4, 7-6(5), 4-6, 7-6(5), committing 55 unforced errors and hitting nine double faults.

“I wish I could have won the first set; then things would have been different. But I definitely wanted to go into the match, play aggressive, play the right way, play on my terms, but it was just hard to do. For some reason I struggled. It had things to do with Andreas' game and with my game as well. You put those things together, then all of a sudden you're playing a match you don't want to play.

“But it just broke me to lose that second set. And actually the fourth, I should have won it, too. It was just a brutal couple of sets to lose there.”

Federer will next play at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, where he is a six-time champion.

Date: 23rd January 2015, Source: ATP

Seppi stuns Federer in Australian Open thrid round

Andreas Seppi caused the biggest upset of the 2015 Australian Open on Friday.

In a stunning performance, World No. 46 Seppi recorded one of his greatest victories to knock out second seed and four-time former champion Roger Federer 6-4, 7-6(5), 4-6, 7-6(5) for a place in the fourth round.

“To beat Roger first time, especially in a Grand Slam, best-of-five, is a special moment for me,” said Seppi. “Of course, at the beginning, I just went on the court to enjoy the match and to play my best tennis… I was pretty calm. I have to say, from the beginning and also in the important moments.”

It ended a 10-match losing streak against Federer, who saw his run of 11 straight semi-final appearances at Melbourne Park come to an end. Federer last lost in the Australian Open third round in 2001 (l. to Clement).

“It was just a bad day,” admitted Federer. “I wish I could have played better, but clearly it was tough losing the first two. I had chances to get back into it. I let it slip, I mean, both times in some ways. I guess I won the wrong points out there today. I knew how important that second set tie-break was, so clearly that hurt, losing that one. The end wasn't pretty. It wasn't easy to play with the shadow. But it was the same for both of us. It was just a disappointing loss.”

Seppi struck 50 winners - seven fewer than Federer - and saved seven of 10 break point opportunities for victory in just under three hours. It broke a 23-match losing streak against players in the Top 10 of the Emirates ATP Rankings and his first win over a World No. 2 since he beat Rafael Nadal at the 2008 ABM AMRO World Tennis Tournament.

The Italian now plays Nick Kyrgios, who booked his place in the fourth round for the first time when he defeated Malek Jaziri 6-3, 7-6(6), 6-1.

Seppi broke Federer to love to go up 5-4 and coolly saving three break points in the ensuing game. Unlike Wednesday's script against Simone Bolelli, when he came back to win in four sets, Federer was unable to stop the Italian from establishing a two-sets lead. After trading breaks early in the second, Seppi once again broke for a 5-4 lead. With a little help from the net cord, Federer got back on serve, but his opponent still went on to claim the tie-break.

Said Seppi, “After the first set, I felt, ‘I am there, I am hitting the ball very well.’ I started to believe that I can do more. I think the second set tie-break was very important. It worked out pretty well.”

Looking to rally from two sets down for a 10th time in his career, Federer launched his comeback with a break early in the third. But Federer struggled to make inroads in Seppi’s game in the fourth set, which ended with two stunning forehand winners. Seppi struck an inside-out forehand winner to set up match point at 6/5 in the tie-break and then hit a forehand slice off-balance down the line to complete a famous victory.

Federer came into the Grand Slam championship having won his 83rd tour-level title at the Brisbane International, which marked his 1,000 career match win. Only Jimmy Connors (1,253) and Ivan Lendl (1,071) have more match wins in the Open Era (since 1968).

Date: 23rd January 2015, Source: ATP

Sampras 'amazed' by relentless Federer motivation

Pete Sampras has long admired Roger Federer's talent for striking and stroking a tennis ball. Now he also has a great appreciation for how Federer - a 33-year-old father of four - still has such love and enthusiasm for playing the sport.

"It's amazing that Roger is still going. He has done everything in the game and then some, and yet he still has that motivation to travel and to win," Sampras told ESPN.

Federer's longevity is such that his victory over Canada's Milos Raonic in this month's Brisbane final took him to 1,000 career victories, making him only the third man in history, after Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl, to bring up four figures.

Should he reach 1,007 before leaving Melbourne Park this fortnight, he will become the first man of the modern age to score five Australian Open titles.

"Am I surprised that Roger is still up there? Yes and no," said Sampras. "I don't doubt Roger's ability. That's still there. He's been playing well. But it's the mental side. I'm just amazed that he still has the motivation, that he is still travelling and still winning events."

It is Sampras's analysis that Federer responded with class and dignity to the suggestions in 2013 that the Swiss should consider retirement. Federer's reaction in 2014 was to come extremely close at Wimbledon - he lost a pulsating five-set final to Novak Djokovic - to winning what would have been his 18th Grand Slam title, and his first since 2012.

When he arrived in London last November for the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals, it was still mathematically possible for him to finish the year as the world No.1 (as it turned out, Djokovic did).

"I don't think Roger's a vindictive guy," added Sampras. "I'm sure he heard the suggestions that he should retire in 2013 and he dealt with it. I don't think that Roger is one of those personalities who is in your face.

"He lets his racket do the talking. He lets his hard work do the talking. It's by working hard that he has been able to do what he has done. He's got healthy. His level dropped off the last couple of years, but he has got his confidence back."

There were several reasons for Federer's revival last season, including that he did not have the back problems of 2013 (even if he withdrew from the final at the O2 because his back had seized up). He also switched to a larger racquet. But, Sampras argued, Federer wouldn't have had such success if he hadn't hired Stefan Edberg as his coach.

"First of all, Stefan is a great guy. He's easy to hang around with and he knows the game so well. He's been around the tour for years, and he knows what it's like to be out there," Sampras said.

"Stefan was an aggressive player, and I'm sure he is giving little insights to Roger about how to be more aggressive, and how to use his athletic ability. So Roger has been coming in a bit more, shortening the points a little bit more, chip-and-charging, serve-and-volleying.

"Stefan has been adding a little bit here and there, and that's helping Roger at this stage of his career. They've been trying to add some things. Stefan is very smart and knows what's going on. It's obviously a good match-up."

Date: 22nd January 2015, Source: ESPN UK

Is it a bee? Is it a blister? Federer doesn't know

The mystery affliction that affected a finger, or fingers, on Roger Federer's right hand had still not been solved more than an hour after he saw off a spirited performance from Italian journeyman Simone Bolelli at the Australian Open on Wednesday.

The 33-year-old Swiss sought treatment on his hand after the first set.

Federer said it did not look like a blister and he had thought he may have been stung by a bee, but was still examining his hand after the 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 victory.

"I don't know what that thing is," the 17-time grand slam winner told reporters in a media conference while staring intently at the tips of his fingers. "It's the weirdest thing.

"I feel it on the tip of my finger. Just felt really odd starting after the break, and for three, four games, it was the funniest feeling I have.

"I feel like it's numb and swollen. I never had this pain before - it was disturbing me.

"Actually it went away, but now I feel it again. I don't know what the feeling is."

Federer declined to have the finger taped by medical staff because it would have just looked "bigger and weird".

"You can't see anything," he said laughing while staring intently at his hand.

"But it is definitely swollen and it's funny. I don't know what it is. As long as it's not getting bad, it's okay."

Date: 21st January 2015, Source: Reuters

Federer tested by Bolelli in Melbourne

World No. 2 Roger Federer overcame a difficult start to move into the Australian Open third round with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 win over Simone Bolelli in Melbourne.

Following Maria Sharapova’s near-upset on Rod Laver Arena in the previous match, Federer came out and immediately fell behind 1-4. The 48th-ranked Bolelli took a set off of the Swiss for the first time in four ATP Head to Head meetings as he converted on his third set point opportunity.

Federer was unable to capitalise on his double break point chance at 3-2 in the second set, before finally breaking Bolelli’s defences in the Italian’s next service game. He opened the third set with another break and never looked back, closing out the victory in just over two hours.

"Happy I'm still in the tournament, because there for a while today it wasn't looking very good because Bolelli was playing very well," admitted Federer. "But it's always a good feeling fighting your way out of a match, like now, and winning the last three sets convincingly and actually playing really positive tennis. I served very well.

"The important thing is that you play the right way early because it's not always that easy. Today I had to do some adjustments because he was doing things very well. By figuring things out, it's a great feeling to have once you've got it. Then you're able to play consistently well, because actually he didn't have many opportunities on my serve. You always expect yourself to create opportunities, which I was finally able to do. Conditions were playing fast, and it's not so easy if you serve well to break."

The four-time Australian Open champion next faces Italian Andreas Seppi who beat the 29th seed Jeremy Chardy 7-5, 3-6, 6-2, 6-1. Federer is bidding to become the second man in history, following Roy Emerson, to win five Australian Open titles. His last victory at Melbourne Park came in 2010, when he defeated Andy Murray in the final.

The 33-year-old Federer has reached 11 successive Australian Open semi-finals, also winning the title in 2004 (d. Safin), 2006 (d. Baghdatis) and 2007 (d. Gonzalez). Last year, he was beaten in the final four by Rafael Nadal.

Federer has started 2015 with a perfect 6-0 record. In the first week of the season, he became the third man in the Open Era to reach 1,000 match wins as he captured his 83rd tour-level title in Brisbane (d. Raonic).

Date: 21st January 2015, Source: ATP

Federer not immune to Swiss franc shock

Swiss great Roger Federer said he is not immune to a decision by his nation's central bank to abandon the franc's exchange rate floor, joking that he must now win more matches.

The franc has jumped some 15 percent against the euro since the Swiss central bank stunned markets last Thursday by abandoning the minimum rate of 1.20 francs against the European common currency.

Federer, a 17-time Grand Slam winner and the biggest earner in his sport, joked: "Does it mean I've got to win now?" when asked for his thoughts on the matter at the Australian Open on Monday.

More seriously, he said it was a big concern.

"Switzerland's an interesting place. It's small but quite powerful in some ways," said the 33-year-old, who lives in his homeland with wife Mirka and their two sets of twins.

"Clearly it had an impact on me, too, no doubt about it. Things were going up all the time, so it's normal have it reset.

"But the way it was done, maybe there were some question marks behind that because nobody saw it coming.

"I'm not the expert, so I don't know exactly what you want me to tell you. But I guess for export or tourism it's not ideal, but we'll see how we'll adjust to it now," he added.

Experts have warned that an overheated Swiss franc could have "dramatic" consequences for the country's economy.

The Swiss National Bank imposed an exchange rate floor more than three years ago to stop the franc from appreciating too much against the European single currency.

But it has now raised the white flag, letting the franc float in a move that was felt around the world.

The franc has strengthened about 10 percent against the Australian dollar compared to last year's Australian Open.

Date: 20th January 2015, Source: AFP

Federer routs Lu to reach Australian Open second round

Cooling temperatures in the Melbourne evening forced Roger Federer to rethink his tactics in a clinical 6-4, 6-2, 7-5 rout of Taiwan's Lu Yen-Hsun under the lights of Rod Laver Arena on Monday.

In ominous form after winning the Brisbane International in the leadup, the 33-year-old Swiss was impenetrable on serve and charged around the court to preserve his unbeaten record in the first round at Melbourne Park in his 16th appearance.

As the game progressed into the evening, however, Federer found the Taiwanese got more and more into the match, giving him a decent first round workout despite the comparative ease with which the Swiss master managed to advance into the second round.

"I thought I was playing very well through the first couple of sets, I was returning and able to dominate the plays from the back," Federer told reporters.

"He started to serve better in the third set and conditions slowed down a bit. Because of the coolness and the night coming in, I felt it was hard to generate stuff and it became a very interesting third set.

"Instead of sort of just steamrolling through him he really made it tough for me."

The type of match was probably exactly what Federer needed in the first round of the season opening grand slam.

He continued with the things that were working well, like his serve, and worked on the aspects of his game that he may need to introduce more as he progresses through the tournament.

"I was holding my service games very comfortably," he added. "Until probably 5-2 in the second set was the first time he had any play on my service game.

"I started to mix it up and trying out things because I had to toward the end of the third.

"I adjusted to the conditions, because it did play different at 7:00 than it did at 8:30. A drastic change, in my opinion."

The 47th-ranked Lu exploited the slowing pace of the balls to make the third set a contest, but lost serve in the 11th game before Federer sealed the match in less than two hours.

"Winning first round, it's always a bit of a relief," added Federer. He will play Italian Simone Bolelli in the next round who was a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 winner over Juan Monaco.

Federer’s coach, Stefan Edberg, the 1985 and 1987 Australian Open champion, was celebrating his 49th birthday on today.

Date: 19th January 2015, Source: Reuters

Federer: "I feel I'm playing very well and ready for Australian Open"

Having just notched his 1000th match win as he simultaneously won the title at the Brisbane International, Roger Federer enters Melbourne as the second seed in a quest for his fifth title.

The four-time champion (’04, ’06, ’07, ’10) starts his 16th Australian Open campaign against Yen-Hsun Lu, against whom he owns a 2-0 ATP Head to Head Series record. Federer was drawn in the same quarter as No. 6 seed Andy Murray and the same half as 2014 runner-up and No. 3 seed Rafael Nadal.

“There were many changes that took place in the six months leading into the Australian Open,” Federer said, naming his racquet and coach, Stefan Edberg, as adjustments made leading into last year’s tournament. “This time around, I've played so well. Also I was able to win Brisbane last week. Makes me feel more secure this year coming into the Aussie Open.”

Admittedly not feeling his best last year due to a back injury, Federer reached the semi-finals (l. to Nadal). This year, the Swiss said he’s “very pleased how things have gone now the last six months”.

“I think I'm serving more consistent and stronger than I ever have,” said Federer. “I definitely think the racquet has helped me with that as well a little bit. I think my backhand is working better than it has in the past as well. My concentration is there - better than it's ever been - because I feel, over time, you always want to improve. I feel I'm playing very well. If it's the best ever, I'm not quite sure.”

The 33 year old with 83 ATP World Tour singles titles to his name acknowledged changes he has had to make in the recent part of his career when it comes to training and fitness, saying “less is more”.

“It's changed just because you're more careful not to get injured,” he said. “Quality is more important than quantity. Whereas when you're younger, you’ve got to put in the hours, you’ve got to put in the work. Doesn't matter if you're tired; you’ve just got to get through it, get match tough, go through the grind. Eventually you have experience, you know what you need to get ready for a tournament.”

Good quality practises is what the World No. 2 stressed as important, adding; “I am 33, so things are a bit different today than they were 10 years ago.”

Despite his numerous accolades, Federer joked there is one thing he doesn’t excel at - an Australian accent.

“No, I'm not very good at that.”

Coverage from Melbourne begins at 10am (11pm GMT and 6pm EST) on 16 January, and at 12:00pm (1am GMT, 8pm EST) on 17 January. The 2015 Australian Open main draw runs 19 January - 1 February.

Date: 17th January 2015, Source: ATP and Reuters

Roger Federer's Australian Open 2015 Outfit

Roger Federer's Australian Open 2015 Nike Outfit

Date: 15th January 2015

Federer feeling the tiredness after big week in Brisbane

An off-season that wasn't an off-season and a tight schedule to start the year are starting to catch up with Roger Federer.

Hitting the ball as sweetly as ever, the 17-time grand slam champion overcame a first round hiccup to win the Brisbane International, then got on a plane the next morning before overcoming Lleyton Hewitt in a shortened five-set "Fast4 Tennis " exhibition match in Sydney on Monday night.

Now he just seems overcome.

"Clearly I am hurting from the last four matches and the last week," he admitted.

"After a final and a thousand matches usually it is `aah, that feels good' but the next day, bang, you have to come on court and play Lleyton and it is not so easy. But that's why I am really looking forward to rest now."

The good news is the Swiss feels he is in great form and is physically well despite the tiredness.
The bad news is he doesn't think he's had much of a break.

After a 73-12 season with five titles and a move back up to No 2 in the world, he polished off the year with a first Davis Cup win.

And then it seems, some more training.

"The off-season didn't feel like an off-season to be quite honest," he said.

"And I am not saying that to joke around in any way. I only had eight days off and went back into practice."

That included some time with Australian young gun Thanasi Kokkinakis in Dubai, a charity match in Switzerland and then another trip to the middle east to train with rising Belgian David Goffin.

"My year end comes after the Australian Open which I can't wait to come around," he said.
"But I can wait for another three weeks."

Federer will head straight to Melbourne now where he'll link up with his family but practice isn't on the agenda again until Thursday.

He might even sneak another day off after that before he makes a tilt at a first Australian Open title since 2010.

Date: 14th January 2015, Source: Stuff NZ

Federer feels “funny emotions” after 1000th match win

Roger Federer has never been one to dwell on the past, briefly enjoying wins and lamenting losses before moving on to the next challenge. But with his win over Milos Raonic in the Brisbane International final marking his 1,000th ATP World Tour victory, the Swiss is taking time to savour his accomplishment.

“It feels very different to any other match I've ever won because I never thought about reaching 500 or 800,” Federer said of the 6-4, 6-7(2), 6-4 battle. “All those numbers didn't mean anything to me, but for some reason 1,000 means a lot because it's such a huge number. It's funny emotions right now, but clearly very proud and happy.”

Though the current World No. 2 entered the Brisbane final with a comfortable 7-1 record over Raonic, the score remained tight until the very end of the two hour and 13 minute match. It turns out the extra effort only sweetened the result.

“It means so much more than just running away with it and maybe winning 6-4, 6-4,” he said. “I guess I was much more happy having to go three sets in the end rather than winning in straight.”

Taking the confidence gleaned from his 83rd tour-level title, Federer is setting his sights on the Australian Open, where the four-time champion fell in the semi-finals to Rafael Nadal in 2014. When asked if he has another Grand Slam in his tank, the 33 year old did not mince words.

“I do believe that,” Federer said. “Then again, it's just talk. In the end, I've got to do the running. I've got to do the clutch play when it matters the most, like tonight… Clearly I do believe I have a shot in Melbourne, otherwise I would go home on Tuesday.”

While adding more Grand Slam hardware to his collection is a top priority, chasing Jimmy Connors’ career wins record of 1,215 is not.

“The goal is to remain in the game as long as possible. For that I need to stay injury free. I need to be hungry and motivated. For the moment I am, so that's more of a concern than reaching that number.”

With congratulations from around the world flooding in on social media following the Brisbane final, Federer has plenty of time to reflect on his 1,000 wins before it’s back to work. Just don’t ask him to remember them all.

“I probably remember 800 of them, at least. I hope I do,” he told the Brisbane media with a laugh. “Don't start testing me.”

Date: 12th January 2015, Source: ATP

Federer beats Hewitt in short-form exhibition

Roger Federer fought his way to a tough win over old rival Lleyton Hewitt in the "One Night With Federer and Hewitt" exhibition in Sydney on Monday.

The Swiss world number two continued his unbeaten run into the new season with a 4-3, 2-3, 3-4, 4-0, 4-3 win over the Australian in the short-form contest.

Coming off a four-match winning run in Brisbane, where he took the title in three sets over Milos Raonic on Sunday, Federer started where he left off.

The match featured an experimental style of play, with sets being won after four games, no deuces and play allowed to continue after lets on serve.

The shorter breaks between the changes of ends certainly worked, speeding up the pace considerably.

The format has been piloted at clubs across Australia and is being billed as the Twenty20 of tennis, a reference to the fast and furious form of cricket that has proved a huge hit.

Great friends off the court, Federer and Hewitt have one of the most enduring rivalries in tennis. The pair, both aged 33, have faced each other 27 times since 1999, with Federer winning 18 of them.

Federer was pushed all the way by his evergreen rival, the contest going its full allotment of five shortened sets.

Both players looked in good touch. On plenty of occasions in the first set and a half Hewitt told Federer his shots were "too good" before the world number 86 found some rhythm to get back into the contest.

Hewitt, who lost in the opening match of the Brisbane International against compatriot Sam Groth in his only other hit-out of the year so far, will now head to his home town of Adelaide to play an exhibition match against Czech Tomas Berdych.

This will round out his formal preparations for the Australian Open.

Federer is expected to head straight to Melbourne for the year's opening grand slam.

Photo Gallery: One Night With Federer and Hewitt

Date: 12th January 2015, Source: AFP

Federer's desire propels him to 1000 match wins

Sporting immortality long assured, Roger Federer has added another jaw-dropping achievement to one of tennis’ greatest careers.

By lifting his 83rd tour-level title at the Brisbane International today, Federer joined a very exclusive club. The Swiss followed in the footsteps of Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl as the only players in the Open Era (since 1968) to have reached the 1,000 match wins milestone.

The feat reflects dedication, commitment, longevity and, most importantly, desire.

“To be the best, year-after-year, takes a good team of support with coach and trainer,” says Pete Sampras, a six-time year-end No. 1 in the ATP Rankings, who recorded 767 match wins. “It’s having to play through times when you aren’t playing well and trying to find a way to win those matches you have to win.”

Connors conjured through intensity; his fun came from the battle, and he became the first to achieve the feat in early 1985. He retired with a record 1,253 match wins. Lendl, the father of modern tennis, who out-psyched and dictated, got to the mark at Basel in October 1992.

“You work hard and prepare hard to play consistently,” says Lendl, who notched 1,071 career match wins. “I remember when I played over 100 matches per year in the 1980s and never thought about it. Obviously, getting to 1,000 wins is more difficult than it seems. It’s really rare. But I looked at it as a by-product of winning so many matches and being consistent for that long.”

Both Connors and Lendl, like Federer, combined a relentless hunger and consistency that have become the hallmarks of modern professionalism.

Rod Laver and Ken Rosewall, who both recorded more than 1,000 match wins in their careers during the amateur, pro tour and Open Eras of the sport, are certain as to the reasons why Federer has been able to consistently beat the very best.

Laver, who won 200 titles during a 24-year career, insists that it is because of Federer’s “anticipation, strategy and fitness, along with being able to play on all surfaces”.

“By staying healthy and injury free, you can stay in good shape,” says Rosewall, who competed globally from 1951 to 1980. “He maintains his desire to play, because he loves to compete. For what he has achieved, Federer competes with a lot of pressure. He is one of the icons of tennis.”

Physically unchanged since his ATP World Tour debut at Gstaad in 1998, the lean Swiss has also continually evolved as a player to stay ahead of his rivals and at the top.

Just take Federer’s decision in late 2013 to hire one of his childhood idols, Stefan Edberg. Laver believes, “Stefan has been a great help, giving Roger a little more confidence at the net, and where to place your volleys.” Federer looked to improve an under-used aspect of his game in order to prolong his record-breaking career.

At 33 years of age and with two sets of twins to look after, he shows no signs of letting up. He remains a standard-bearer for excellence and is followed by example. In 2015, his 18th season as a pro, he continues to make sporting history.

Date: 11th January 2015, Source: ATP

Federer claims 1000th win with Brisbane title

Roger Federer claimed his 1000th match win on Sunday as he defeated Milos Raonic 6-4, 6-7(2), 6-4 in the final of the Brisbane International.

The 33-year-old Federer is just the third player in the Open Era to achieve the feat, joining Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl. His milestone was celebrated on court after the match by Rod Laver and Roy Emerson.

"It's a special moment, no doubt about it," said Federer upon receiving a commemorative award from Laver. "I've played a lot of tennis over the years, so to get to 1000 wins tonight really means a lot to me. I'll never forget this match."

"It's a little bit tough standing here, in front of so many Grand Slam champions; it's an honour," said Raonic in the on-court ceremony. "We all know today was a significant milestone for Roger. When we were warming up, I heard all those titles; I honestly thought he was playing for 2000 match wins today! I think he needs to step it up!"

Federer extended his lead over Raonic to 8-1 in their ATP Head to Head series as he captured his 83rd title in his 125th tour-level final. The Basel native has won at least one ATP World Tour title each year since 2001.

Federer hit 15 winners to just three unforced errors in an impressive opening set. He broke Raonic in the third game, out-maneuvering the Canadian on the baseline. The Swiss carried his momentum into the second set as he quickly opened up a 2-0 lead, courtesy of a double fault from Raonic.

But the Toronto native fought back. With Federer up 30/0 on serve at 2-1, Raonic reeled off eight straight points to get back in contention and lead 3-2. In the eventual tie-break, Raonic won seven successive points from 0-2 down to level the match, clinching the tie-break with an unreturned serve.

In an enthralling final set, Federer saved five break points and Raonic saved four before succumbing in the 10th game. A double fault handed Federer match point at 30/40 and he converted as Raonic’s forehand found the net in the following point.

"Looking back, it's almost nicer winning this way through a tight match with nerves and humid conditions against a great player in a final," said Federer. "It means so much more than just running away with it with the score maybe 6-4, 6-4, which was looking very likely at one stage. I guess I was much more happy having to go three sets in the end rather than winning in straight."

Federer had finished runner-up to Lleyton Hewitt in the Brisbane final one year earlier. He has an 83-42 record in tour-level finals.

The 24-year-old Raonic was bidding to win his seventh ATP World Tour title and dropped to a 6-8 mark in finals.

Raonic said he did everything he could but didn't quite have the answer to beat Federer. Still, he didn't mind being part of the big occasion.

"It was a great tennis match. I stayed out there, competed, gave it my all," said Raonic. "I gave myself a chance after being down a set and a break. I think it just shows the development I've been able to make over the last little while. You put me in that same situation few months and weeks ago and I think I could be out of that stadium pretty quickly.

''It's great to see because you know how much he's done for tennis. He turned pro I think it was like 10 years before me,'' Raonic said. ''It's great to see everything he's done for tennis. The fans he's brought, the media attention he's brought... he's definitely the most popular tennis player of all time.''

Date:11th January 2015, Source: ATP and AP

Federer to face Raonic in Brisbane final

Top seed Roger Federer will face Milos Raonic in the final of the Brisbane International after dismissing Grigor Dimitrov 6-2, 6-2 on Saturday.

World No. 2 Federer is looking to become just the third player in the Open Era to claim his 1000th tour-level match win, joining Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl.

The Swiss takes a 7-1 ATP Head to Head lead into the final against Raonic, though Raonic recorded his first win over the 33 year old last November at the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris. When they met two weeks later at the ATP World Tour Finals, Federer prevailed in straight sets.

Federer finished runner-up to Lleyton Hewitt on his debut in Brisbane last year and is looking to win his 83rd tour-level title in his 125th final.

After the first semi-final saw Raonic edge Kei Nishikori in two hours and 33 minutes, Federer required just 53 minutes to beat the fourth-seeded Dimitrov. The Basel native won 75 per cent of his service points, only coming under threat in the final game as he served for the match. He broke Dimitrov four times as he moved to a 3-0 mark in their ATP Head to Head.

"I was able to play straightforward tennis, like yesterday, just really aggressive," said Federer. "Against a really good player, it's a great result. Happy I didn't waste much energy like this. I'm fresh for the finals. Probably got a slight advantage over Milos in that regard."

"His game is based more on the serve, but he's making improvements from the baseline and taking bigger cuts at the ball now," Federer said of Raonic.

"He's not just waiting for mistakes from the opponents, like he did at the beginning of his career more often."

Federer led the ATP World Tour in 2014 with 73 match wins, capturing five ATP World Tour titles.
The 23-year-old Dimitrov dropped to an 8-34 mark against Top 10 opponents. The right-hander finished 2014 at a year-end high of No. 11 in the ATP Rankings and with a personal best 50 match wins.

Raonic conceded he would have to be on top of his service game once again if he is to beat Federer.

"I've got to serve well, that's always been a key," he said.

"The last few matches I started poorly against him. I would get broken right in my first service game, which is not the way to really go about things, especially against a top player and especially against Roger."

Date: 10th January 2015, Source: ATP and AFP

Federer tells next generation the Big Four aren't finished yet

Roger Federer knows the next generation of tennis players are closing in fast on the Big Four, the so-called elite quartet who have dominated the last decade of men's tennis.

Federer himself has not won a grand slam title since 2012 and the other members of the troupe, Rafa Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, have all been battling injuries and illness.

Their drop in form and ailments have coincided with the rise of a new crop of players challenging in the majors, a sign that perhaps their era is coming to an end.

Stan Wawrinka won last year's Australian Open and Marin Cilic won the U.S. Open - marking the first time since 2003 that two players outside the Big Four won grand slam titles in the same season.

But Federer is not convinced that the changing of the guard is imminent. On the contrary, the 33-year-old Swiss believes last year's results were an anomaly and normal service will resume in 2015.

"We have had some injuries, it's not because we didn't play well or that we maybe dropped a bit," he told reporters at the Brisbane International on Friday.

"Rafa had his issues, Murray had surgery on his back, I've had a tough year in '13. The only guy who was really consistent was Novak... and he took care of it and took advantage of it to some extent. He was still there when it mattered the most."

Djokovic finished 2014 ranked number one in the world. His season featured a second title at Wimbledon, where he beat Federer in an epic final.

Nadal won the French Open for a record ninth time before injuries stalled his season. Federer won five ATP tournaments, including the Cincinnati and Shanghai Masters events and finished year ranked second.

"Rafa was still there again on clay. I was consistent last year. I think Murray is on his way back. He still made the Masters, even though he didn't play so well for sometime," Federer said.

A new wave of players also emerged last year. Kei Nishikori made the U.S. Open final while Milos Raonic and Grigor Dimitrov reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon.

The young trio have all made a strong start to 2015, joining Federer in the semi-finals at Brisbane while Djokovic and Nadal suffered early defeats at the Qatar Open.

Federer is impressed by his young rivals but not ready to anoint them just yet, saying they may have to wait a little longer than most people think.

"It's still a bit early to say. We'll see again what's going to happen this year," he said.

"I do believe there is a group of guys right there that can make a break again and can do special things. I just think it's too early to say in the season just because Novak and Rafa lost in Doha that there is something on the horizon.

"I don't read into any of those results. I think they are going to be tough to beat, and favourites for the Australian Open, to be honest."

Date: 9th January 2015, Source: Reuters

Federer into Brisbane semifinals in just 41 minutes

Roger Federer will take on Grigor Dimitrov in the semi-finals of the Brisbane International on Saturday, as he edges closer to becoming the third player in the Open Era (since 1968) to record 1,000 career match wins.

Twenty four hours after battling back to beat John Millman, Federer calmly defeated another Australian wild card, James Duckworth, 6-0, 6-1 in 41 minutes.

"I was very happy the way I played," said Federer. "I played aggressive, served well, and then especially on the return I kept the pressure on time and time again. Next thing you know, it was like I was running away with the score."

Federer lost just six points in the 16-minute opener and he had won eight straight games before Duckworth held serve to 15 for 1-2 in the second set. He won 25 of his 30 service points overall.

“It was a rough night,” said Duckworth. “We all have days that aren't as good as others. It was a bit of a combination of things: me not playing great; didn't probably hit the ball as well as I had the last two matches, and Roger was seeing the ball pretty big… He didn’t do too much wrong tonight.”

Federer is now just two match wins shy of 1,000 career match wins. Should he lift the trophy on Sunday, he would join Jimmy Connors (1,253) and Ivan Lendl (1,071) as the only players to accomplish the feat.

On Thursday night, Federer recovered from a set and 1-3 deficit to beat Millman in just over two hours.

"I'm very happy," admitted Federer. "I saved energy and stress and nerves and everything, because yesterday was quite nerve wracking and physically difficult because it was first match of the season. You're always going to be a bit tense in that match."

Federer and Dimitrov are often compared due to their styles, particularly the single-handed backhand, and they're both anticipating a great semifinal.

''I'm aware of the challenge,'' Federer said. ''He's clearly expecting big things from himself this year, I would assume.

''So, it's an opportunity for him more than for me, but I still think it's going to be a tough and good match for both of us.''

Federer has beaten Dimitrov in the Swiss Indoors Basel quarter-finals for the past two years.

''I'm always excited when I get to play a match like that against a player like that,'' Dimitrov said. ''I have quite a bit of experience behind me now. I've learned from each match that I've played against him. I like my odds.''

Date: 9th January 2015, Source: ATP and AP

Federer pushed hard to win the season opener

Roger Federer was pushed all the way in his 2015 ATP World Tour season opener at the Brisbane International on Thursday.

Federer fought back from a set and 1-3 deficit to beat World No. 153 John Millman 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 in two hours and two minutes, during the night session.

“I was under a lot of pressure and I thought I got quite lucky,” said Federer on-court. “He was playing great tennis until maybe the last couple of games. I had to fight very hard. Credit to him for pushing me to the edge.

“I didn’t play badly, but maybe felt a bit tired at times. The first match of the season you never know quite what to expect. I am sweating like crazy. I am happy we had a good match and I got through in the end.”

Federer saved three set points from 0/40 at 4-5, but was broken on Millman's fourth opportunity after he missed a swinging forehand volley. Federer committed 21 unforced errors in the set.

Millman led 3-1 in the second set, before Federer started his comeback. He broke Millman and then came back from 0/40, on his serve, to level at 3-3. He saved four of five break points to come through the second set.

Federer, who finished runner-up last year, broke Millman at 3-3 in the decider.

He is now just three match wins (997) shy of 1,000 victories, a feat that he could achieve by lifting the 83rd trophy of his career on Sunday. Only Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl have reached the match wins milestone in the Open Era (since 1968).

Federer next meet another Australian James Duckworth, who will contest his first ATP World Tour quarter-final. Duckworth saved two match points against Jarkko Nieminen to prevail 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-3 in two hours and four minutes.

Date: 8th January 2015, Source: ATP

Federer to reduce workload as he aims for more grand slams

World No 2 Roger Federer will play less tournaments in 2015 as he hunts for an 18th Grand Slam title in Australia.

Many critics were writing Federer off after a testing 2013 as he struggled with a back injury, but the 33-year-old stormed back last season to win more matches - 73 - than any other player on the men's tour.

And the Swiss superstar is set to kick off the new year at the Brisbane International on Thursday in buoyant mood with a fresh outlook on his playing schedule.

"I’m not sure if I’m going to play as much this year," Federer told Sky Sports. "I will have to win even more matches because I will most likely play less tournaments - we’re talking a couple here and there.

"I can definitely play another good season. I finished so strongly in the last six months so there’s no reason to think negatively at this point. At the same time, I know how well prepared all the other players are."

Federer, who claimed five ATP Tour titles last year, will play his first game of the tournament against John Millman in the second round in Brisbane.

With Novak Djokovic sitting at the top of the rankings, Federer is still motivated by claiming top spot again and impressing in Melbourne with the year's first Grand Slam starting on January 19.

"I would love to win the Australian Open," Federer added. "It would get me really close to being world No 1, plus it would mean I would win another Grand Slam.

"But if that wasn’t possible, then I would probably dream of winning Wimbledon once more. I just want to stay healthy and play good tennis and enjoy myself."

Date: 8th January 2015, Source: Sky Sports

Roger Federer back in Brisbane

He may be carrying a relaxed demeanour but don’t be fooled - Roger Federer means business.

The Swiss Maestro touched down in Australia on Saturday and was at his casual best when fronting the media on the banks of the Brisbane River.

However, when asked the clichéd question about overcoming potential off-season rust at the beginning of a new year, Federer made his intentions clear for the season-opening tournament.

“I’m never a player that feels I need time to get going,” he said.

“I don’t see this as a preparation necessarily, I’m playing here to win.”

“The 2014 tournament really kicked off a great season for me, I’ve practised well and I’m eager and healthy and to be back here in Brisbane and Queensland is great.”

His performance in his Brisbane International debut last year is evidence the 17-time Grand Slam champion is a man of his word.

The 33-year-old didn’t drop a set en route to the final, progressing past Jarkko Nieminen, Marinko Matosevic and Jeremy Chardy with minimal fuss.

However, he was upset by Lleyton Hewitt in the final, with the Aussie turning back the clock in a three-set win.

Although disappointed with the loss, there was a sense of respect to go down to someone of the same vintage.

“I was close and was the big favourite going into the final. I just lost rhythm at the very end of the tournament,” Federer said.

“I’d love to win but I was happy for Lleyton last year and I think that overweighed my disappointment to some extent.”

With wife Mirka and both sets of twins in tow, Federer has put doubles on the backburner in Brisbane to ensure he has enough time to fulfill his obligations off the court.

He even had time to make a passing quip about his younger days on tour.

“I’d like to get out and about, just not to hotels and clubs. I’ve done that enough as a junior and now I see it a bit differently, actually want to get a feel for the place.”

“Maybe I can go a bit further away outside the city itself.”

A busy year saw Federer net the most wins of any player on the ATP Tour - and a winning percentage of 86 - coupled with the unbridled joy of guiding Switzerland to Davis Cup success for the first time in their history.

“For me the season didn’t really stop; exhibitions matches in India later in the year,” he said.

“I’ve been keeping quite busy, didn’t have a big break after Davis Cup, but I’m eager to get going again.”

Federer has an opening round bye and is set to meet Australian wildcard John Millman or a qualifier in the second round.

Date: 3rd January 2015, Source: Brisbane

Federer "unbelievably pumped" for 2015 season

Roger Federer is hoping to start his 2015 ATP World Tour season with the title at the Brisbane International.

“I would love to win this event,” Federer told reporters Saturday on the banks of the Brisbane River. “I was close last year, after I had had a good week. I always like lifting trophies in a place that I have never been able to. I am unbelievably pumped up for this week. It’s a really good field, with a lot of promising players.”

Should the Swiss superstar win four more matches and lift his 74th tour-level title in Brisbane, he would become the third player in the Open Era (since 1968) to reach the 1,000 match wins milestone. Only Jimmy Connors (1,253) and Ivan Lendl (1,071) have done so.

Federer, who finished runner-up to Lleyton Hewitt in last year’s final on his Brisbane debut, added, “I really had a great time here as a player and also as a family here last year. I couldn’t wait to be back. It really kicked off a great season for me in 2014. It was a good one to basically to the end, with victory in the Davis Cup.”

The World No. 2 compiled an ATP World Tour-best 73-12 match record on the 2014 season, including five ATP World Tour titles, and helped Switzerland win its first Davis Cup crown.

“Overall, it was a great season for me,” admitted Federer, who works with Severin Luthi and Stefan Edberg. “I was consistent and I was playing positive, attacking tennis, the exact way I want to play. I gave myself quite a few chances at the Slams. I want to go one step further, because being close is not quite good enough.”

He will play his first match of 2015 against wild card John Millman or a qualifier in the Brisbane second round on Wednesday night.

Kei Nishikori, Milos Raonic and Grigor Dimitrov also compete at the ATP World Tour 250 tournament this week.

Date: 3rd January 2015, Source: ATP