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Federer beats Nadal to win 18th Grand Slam

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

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Federer hopes to play '2 to 3 more years'

Roger Federer says he hopes to play for at least another two to three years and that his "mindset is for the long term" in assessing his tennis future.

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Federer and Nadal to team up in Laver Cup

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

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Swiss street named in Roger Federer's honour

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

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Roger Federer attends Oscars in Hollywood

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

Federer: "I have to keep going and stay aggressive"

It’s fair to say that Roger Federer hoped for a lot more when he stepped onto Rod Laver Arena on Thursday night to face Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open semi-finals. It wasn’t to be for the Swiss. He lost 1-6, 2-6, 6-3, 3-6. Subjected to a staggering display from Djokovic, especially in the first two sets, the racquet was largely taken out of his hands.

But Federer’s self-belief is far from dented after the four-set defeat.

“I have self-confidence as well,” said the Swiss. “That doesn't fade away very quickly. I know it's not easy. I never thought it was easy.

“It doesn't scare me when I go into a big match against any player who's in their prime right now. But of course you need to prove yourself. You need to have all that going. It's disappointing, but at the same time I'm going deep in slams right now. I'm having great runs. I thought I had a tough draw here, so I'm actually pleased where my level's at at the beginning of the season.”

Federer has been beaten by Djokovic in his past three Grand Slam outings, finishing runner-up to the Serb in the finals at Wimbledon and the US Open. He was also defeated by Djokovic in the 2014 Wimbledon final. Indeed, if it weren’t for Djokovic dominating on the ATP World Tour in recent years, Federer could well have added to his Grand Slam haul of 17 trophies.

“Novak right now is a reference for everybody,” said Federer. “He's the only guy that has been able to stop me as of late, and Stan when he was on fire when he was in Paris. It's okay. I wish I could have played a bit better tonight, and who knows what would have happened. Today Novak was very, very good. There's no doubt about it.”

The crowd on Rod Laver Arena were stunned into near-silence by Djokovic’s performance in the first two sets of his 45th meeting with Federer. In his finest performance of the tournament so far, the Serb was worlds away from his fourth-round battle with Gilles Simon, in which he made 100 unforced errors. For the first two sets against Federer, Djokovic committed just six unforced errors and gave the Swiss no break point opportunities.

Once the Serb had the first set, it was always going to be an uphill battle for Federer, who had only once before in 22 wins against Djokovic come from a set down.

“I know how important the first set is against Novak, especially at this time right now when he's World No. 1. When he gets on a roll, it's tough to stop. He's always played very well throughout his career with the lead. Even more so now when his confidence is up.

“Of course I wanted to do well. Of course I had a game plan. Of course I had ideas what I should do. I couldn't quite get it done. Maybe parts of my game, maybe parts of his game just matched up in a tough way and the first set ran away very quickly.”

What Federer can credit himself with is managing to halt Djokovic’s momentum - when he was barely missing a ball - and clawing his way back into the match, much to the delight of the crowd.

“I've seen Novak play this well before,” said Federer. “It's tough when it's from the start because obviously you’ve got to try to stop the bleeding at some point. He returns very well, like Andre Agassi. He can get one or two sets all of a sudden. Those sets run away very quickly.

“Before you can really do something, a lot of tennis is being played and it's tough to get back into it. I found a way. Started to play better myself. Made a bit of a match out of it, which was nice.

“Margins are small out there. Even in a match like tonight where the first two sets run away. You can't get discouraged. You have to keep going, stay aggressive. I think my game started to come more and more.

“My rhythm, my timing, all that, was a bit off in the beginning. He took advantage of that and did an unbelievable job for a long, long time tonight.”

Date: 28th January 2016, Source: ATP

Federer's fire burns bright for more Grand Slam glory

It's been three-and-a-half years since Roger Federer won his 17th Grand Slam championship at 2012 Wimbledon. Yet the Swiss star's fire still burns brightly for more glory.

"It's part of the reason why I guess I'm still playing," admitted Federer, after he reached his 12th semi-final at the Australian Open. "I feel like I'm competitive at the top. I can beat all the guys on tour.

"It's nice now that in the last three Slams that I've been as consistent as I have been. I'm playing good tennis, fun tennis - for me anyway. I really enjoy being able to come to the net, more like back in the day. So I'm very pleased. It would mean a lot to me to win another title, no doubt about it."

Since beating Andy Murray for the 2012 Wimbledon title, Federer has finished runner-up to Novak Djokovic in three major finals (2014-15 Wimbledon, 2015 US Open).

In his straight sets win over Tomas Berdych on Tuesday, Federer played aggressively, winning 24 of 29 (83 per cent) at the net and striking 48 winners. It had all the hallmarks of Stefan Edberg, his coach from 2013 to 2015, who worked side-by-side with Severin Luthi, the Swiss Davis Cup captain.

"I do feel really good at net since a few years now," said Federer. "It's where it all sort of started for me when I came on tour. I know how it works up there. I still think there's room for improvement. Every player manages to defend or pass it differently. The question is, 'Do you come in off a low ball because you're being dragged in, or are you coming in on your terms? How do these people return?'

Federer was speaking following 7-6 (4), 6-2, 6-4 victory against Czech sixth seed and two-time Australian Open semi-finalist Berdych at Melbourne Park.

The Swiss great was a class above on Rod Laver Arena as he made it 12 wins in as many quarter-finals in Melbourne to earn a final-four showdown with Djokovic.

"I think I played well overall. Wished maybe I didn't get a break here or there. At the same time Tomas was pushing for it, he was looking for it, so clearly it can happen," Federer added.

"He's got a lot of power. He knows how to do it. So I was happy that on both occasions, first and third, I was able to react quickly. The second set, when I did have the break, I was able to roll with it.

"I think the first set was tough. It was the one that took the longest, had the most importance of all the sets, in my opinion. It was definitely key to the rest of the match because I think it maybe might've taken some energy out of Tomas. Who knows? If not physical, also mental. It's always tough to lose the first set in best of five in a breaker in my opinion."

Date: 26th January 2016, Source: ATP and Omnisport

Federer outplays Berdych to reach Australian Open semis

No. 3 seed Roger Federer booked a trip to his 12th Australian Open semi-final on Tuesday in Rod Laver Arena, simultaneously extending his record for the most final-four appearances in Melbourne in the Open Era, via a 7-6 (4), 6-2, 6-4 win over Tomas Berdych on Australia Day.

“I’m very, very happy. Tomas has caused me a lot of problems over the years,” said Federer, who notched his 80th win at Melbourne Park, making the Australian Open his most successful Grand Slam in terms of matches won. “He’s one of the guys who makes you a better player. He’s beaten me on the biggest courts around the world.”

“He was playing really, really aggressive, without any mistakes, without any unforced errors,” said Berdych. “He was just too good today. I mean, that's it. That's the way that he needed to play this time. He did it, I would say, quite accurately today.”

Federer and Berdych traded breaks in the third and fourth games of the opening set. Berdych saved a set point serving at 4-5, 30/40, but the No. 6 seed couldn’t hold off Federer in the tie-break. The 17-time Slam champ carried the momentum into the second set, converting service breaks in the first and seventh games to further distance himself.

They again swapped breaks in the second and third games of the final set. But with Berdych serving at 4-all, he was broken for the fifth time, giving his opponent a chance to serve out the match in two hours and six minutes. Federer finished with 48 winners to 26 unforced errors. His aggressive attack resulted in 24 of 29 (83%) successful net points.

“I do feel really good at the net since a few years now,” said the Swiss. “It's where it all sort of started for me when I came on tour. I know how it works up there. I still think there's room for improvement. Every player manages to defend or pass it differently. The question is, do you come in off a low ball because you're being dragged in, or are you coming in on your terms? You would assume that these are not stats you can keep up. It's okay. As long as you're coming in on the right plays, it's okay to be beat.”

“I think he's still on a pretty high level, playing great tennis,” Berdych told reporters. “He's just proving how great a player he is, how difficult at this time it is to play him. To face Roger in the quarters, it's quite difficult.”

Tuesday’s quarter-final marked their seventh Grand Slam meeting, and their third at the Australian Open. Federer remains unbeaten against the 6'5'' Czech in Melbourne, including rallying from a two-set deficit in 2009. He now holds a 16-6 advantage overall in ATP Head to Head encounters.

Federer had lost their past two meetings at a major - in four sets in the quarter-finals at both Wimbledon in 2010 and the US Open in 2012.

Berdych, who was bidding to reach the semis for the third consecutive year, was also aiming for his 550th tour-level win. Just six active players have reached that milestone - Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, David Ferrer, Andy Murray and Tommy Haas. He has now lost 13 of his past 14 matches against Top-3 competition.

Federer, 34, is the oldest man to reach the semi-finals at a Grand Slam since Andre Agassi (35) at the 2005 US Open.

Date: 26th January 2016, Source: ATP

Federer cruises into Australian Open quarters

Four-time former champion and third seed Roger Federer will play sixth seed Tomas Berdych in the Australian Open quarter-finals. Federer has a 15-6 ATP Head to Head series lead against the Czech, who earlier on Sunday defeated No. 24 seed Roberto Bautista Agut.

"I have to play well," said Federer. "I think the court suits him. I think this sort of flatter bounce and faster court is good for his serves, good for his returns. It's a fast court and I think for his kind of game it's good."

Federer recorded his 79th match win at Melbourne Park, venue of the Grand Slam championship, with a 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 victory over No. 15 seed David Goffin, in a match that finished at 12:17 a.m. local time on Monday. He is now through to his 12th Australian Open quarter-final (47th overall).

"It was good and I was surprised it went as fast as it did," said Federer. "To win the first two sets within 50 minutes is the best thing that can happen out there, especially with a late start and against a quality player. So I was very happy. It was important to keep the momentum going, keep staying aggressive and trying to get the match done in three. I was able to do that. I was very pleased."

The Swiss required just 21 minutes to clinch the opening set, hitting three aces and losing just three of his service points. He broke in the fourth and eighth games of the opener. Goffin, who had posters of Federer on his bedroom wall growing up, attempted to re-group but he was unable to do so. Federer capitalised on the fast court conditions to maintain his dominance in the second set and two breaks of serve - in the first and fifth games - of the third set extinguished Goffin's hopes.

"It's always tough to play on a court that you've never played on, like Rod Laver Arena," said Goffin. "It was tough to feel my timing from the baseline. He was playing really good from the beginning. When you start to feel better after two sets, one break down, it's tough to come back."

Federer hit 39 winners, including seven aces for victory in 88 minutes.

At 34 years, 176 days, Federer is the oldest man to reach the Australian Open last eight since Andre Agassi (34 years, 276 days) did so in 2005. Federer recorded his 300th Grand Slam match win on Friday against No. 27 seed Grigor Dimitrov.

Federer improves to 1,066 match wins, five victories shy of equalling Ivan Lendl (1,071) at No. 2 in the Open Era match wins list. Jimmy Connors leads overall with 1,254 match wins.

Date: 24th January 2016, Source: ATP

Roger Federer becomes first man to win 300 Grand Slam matches

Roger Federer climbed into rarefied territory on a rainy Friday at the Australian Open. With a 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 third-round win over 27th seed Grigor Dimitrov in Rod Laver Arena, the No. 3 seed clinched the 300th Grand Slam match win of his storied career, becoming the first man to reach the milestone.

Only Martina Navratilova (306) stands in front of him.

“It's very exciting, I must tell you,” said Federer of the milestone. “Like when I reached 1,000 (tour-level match wins) last year, it was a big deal for me. Not something I ever aimed for or looked for, but when it happens, it's very special. You look deeper into it, I guess, where it's all happened and how. So it's very nice. I'm very happy.”

Despite being the first man to notch 300 match wins at Grand Slam tournaments, Federer found success to be a long and winding journey.

“I made a lot of mistakes,” said Federer as he reflected on his early career, one which saw him upset Pete Sampras on the Wimbledon Centre Court at age 19. Following that unexpected win, the ponytailed wunderkind needed to wait two more years before fulfilling his immense promise and capturing his first Grand Slam title on the same court.

“I wish I could have maybe been tougher when I was younger in practice, but I guess that's just how it needed to be,” said Federer, who was eliminated in the first round of 2003 Roland Garros by underdog Luis Horna before finally putting it all together weeks later at SW19. “It needed to be genius or horrible. I needed to have that wide spectrum. I needed to make mistakes to become the player I am today.

“I think it's really important. It's okay to make mistakes.”

The final win over Mark Philippoussis was a long time coming for the then-21 year old, but Federer stressed the important of patience for young guns looking to take that step today.

“There's more professional tennis players than ever,” he said. “The depth is greater. Talent takes you only so far. You have got to be patient. You can't expect to win Slams at 16, 17, 18 anymore these days, or skyrocket through the rankings, unless you're out of this world.

“The spotlight's on you when you're a teenager. You have to react very quickly to all the things that are coming at you. That's why I think it's always very interesting to follow a teenager growing up on the tennis tour. It’s too bad that we don't see more of them, because they still are so young and are just themselves.”

Federer stressed the importance of being surrounded by quality people during that process.

“I had unbelievable coaching, support team, parents, wife, and everybody around me throughout,” Federer noted.

“Marc Rosset was a big influence on me because he guided me around the tour a little bit, showed me where to string a racquet and where to book practice courts,” said Federer of his compatriot, a towering net-rusher who was ranked No. 9 in the world and who won gold at the 1992 Olympic Games for Switzerland. “Maybe if you're not sure how to handle the press, whatever it was, you could always ask the right people.”

Now an elder statesman of the game at age 34, Federer is no doubt thrilled with how his career has unfolded. But there is a wistful tone in his voice when he thinks back to the time when he was a raw, long-haired kid, ready to take on the world.

“Eventually you figure out how to handle yourself on and off the court. But I think the process is always very intriguing. It's been amazing. I've been truly privileged to have the experience.”

The 48-minute first set went in Federer’s favour behind a service break at 3-all, the only interruption the opening, then closing, of Rod Laver Arena’s retractable roof due to rain. But the Bulgarian Dimitrov, who after three straight-sets losses took his first set off Federer in the Brisbane quarter-finals earlier this month, would get another to level the match at a set apiece, his aggressive play paying dividends against the 17-time Slam champ.

Federer didn’t wait long to assert himself in the third set, breaks coming in the second and sixth games for a 5-1 advantage. A game later he was ahead two sets to one. A forehand error from Dimitrov at 2-all, 30/40 in the fourth and final set would give Federer a seemingly insurmountable lead, and the Swiss went on to clinch the contest in two hours and 40 minutes. He finished with 47 winners, including 13 aces.

“That was my goal, to react quickly after the second set because I struggled a little bit,” said Federer. “But then found my way back, then was able to take charge of the match. It was important. Conditions, again, were very different indoors than they were against Dolgopolov in the second round. Even night session plays different.

“Just got to manage these conditions a bit. I'm pleased. Wasn't easy. I didn't expect it to be against Grigor. It was a tough round, so I'm happy.”

Federer advances to play No. 15 seed David Goffin of Belgium, a 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(2), 7-5 winner over No. 19 seed Dominic Thiem of Austria. The 25-year-old Goffin is through to the fourth round of a major for the third time, having also reached the last 16 at 2012 Roland Garros (as a qualifier) and 2015 Wimbledon.

Date: 22nd January 2016, Source: ATP

Federer missing Edberg but excited by Ljubicic challenge

Roger Federer admits he is "missing" his former coach Stefan Edberg but says he is "excited" about working alongside Ivan Ljubicic.

Ljubicic joined long-time mentor Severin Luthi on the team following the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London after Edberg left to spend more time at home.

The Swede enjoyed two years with Federer and made a big impact, reviving the veteran's attacking instincts by rushing the net on his opponent's second serve and helping him play some of his best tennis in 2014 and 2015.

"Of course I miss him. It's normal. He was a great asset on the team. Nicest guy ever," Federer said.

"I have got used to Ivan now being on the team for the last sort of month or so. It's not that different anymore like it maybe was at the very beginning.

"But it was always very special of course looking up to the player box and seeing Stefan there. It always felt somewhat surreal to have him support me and be there for me. That's why I had a great time with him.

"It was his birthday yesterday. I congratulated him for that. Hopefully we can speak in the next few days and see how he's doing. We had a great time.

"Looking ahead, I'm excited with Ivan and Severin and the rest of the gang."

Federer said he was also working on his defensive game under the guidance of new coach.

"I did put in the hard yards in the off season, but then again, I like to work on my strength most of the time," he said.

"The offensive part of my game, serve and volley, taking the forehand early, using my backhand as a variation.

"But, of course, the defensive part is the base. You also need to have that to be able to play the transition game, which I have played so well throughout my career.

"To go from defence to offence in the blink of an eye, it's something I did so well for so many years."

Date: 20th January 2016, Source: SkySports and AFP

Federer too strong for Dolgopolov

Roger Federer had practised with Alexandr Dolgopolov as recently as the off-season in Dubai. So the No. 3 seed knew good and well that the 35th ranked Ukrainian had the fitness, the speed and the tennis IQ to makes things difficult for him in the second round in Melbourne.

The Swiss kept that all in check on Wednesday in Rod Laver Arena by simply serving his way past his 27-year-old challenger, charting 25 aces and winning 88 per cent (43 of 49) of his first-serve points in a straight-sets 6-3, 7-5, 6-1 win. He will next face 27th seed Grigor Dimitrov in a third-round blockbuster after the Bulgarian got past Argentine Marco Trungelliti 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, 7-5.

Even after all these years, Federer explained, he’s still fine-tuning his service game. And the hard work clearly paid off on Wednesday.

“I think it's a very important part of the game,” said Federer, who moved to within one win of 300 career victories at the majors. “I think everybody should work on it, to be honest. It's the only shot that we can actually really control. The rest we are reacting to. I thought today I did serve very well. Maybe it just matched up well, maybe Dolgopolov wasn't seeing it as well.

“But also conditions are fast during the daytime, so that helps to be able to serve through opponents. It's also harder to return, clearly. I'm happy I got the crucial first break in the first set. I think it was a big set for me. Then second set was the key, because it was close for a while.”

The first opening came in the sixth game of the first set, Federer breaking the Ukrainian at love with a clean backhand winner. Serving for the set at 5-3, he fired three aces to take the set in 26 minutes.

The second set remained on serve through 10 games when three straight errors from Dolgopolov handed a break to Federer, who then stepped up to the service stripe to secure a commanding two-sets-to-love lead. Three breaks in the final set were just too much for Dolgopolov to overcome in the 92-minute loss.

“I'm a big fan of his game,” said Federer of Dolgopolov. “He's explosive; got a great return, especially on the second serve. He's got all the shots. Just for him it’s managing how to use what at what time. I'm very pleased with this win. I think it's a tough second round. In my opinion, he's better than a lot of the guys who are ranked ahead of him.”

Dolgopolov’s best Grand Slam result came at the Australian Open in 2011, when he reached the quarter-finals (l. to Andy Murray). He defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Robin Soderling in five sets to become just the second Ukrainian man to reach the last eight at a major.

Date: 20th January 2016, Source: ATP and AFP

Federer storms into Australian Open second round

Roger Federer was in ruthless form on Monday evening in Melbourne as he surged through to the second round of the Australian Open with a 6-2, 6-1, 6-2 victory over Nikoloz Basilashvili in just 72 minutes.

The Basel native rifled 31 winners to just nine from his opponent and converted eight of his 14 break points.

"That was a good match," said Federer. "I'm really pleased how I was able to play. Definitely gives me a bit of a lift in confidence because this year I haven't been able to play properly yet. I had some decent matches in Brisbane, but it was all under a cloud knowing that I wasn't 100 per cent.

"But this was a match where I was able to focus on my game, on tactics, all that stuff. So it was nice to play that way."

The 34-year-old Federer is looking to become the third man in history to win five Australian Open titles, following Roy Emerson (six) and Novak Djokovic (five). The Swiss lifted the trophy at Melbourne Park in 2004 (d. Safin), 2006 (d. Baghdatis), 2007 (d. Gonzalez) and 2010 (d. Murray); he also finished runner-up in 2009 (l. to Nadal).

Federer opened his 2016 campaign in Brisbane, where he battled through the flu to reach his 136th tour-level final, finishing runner-up to Milos Raonic.

The third seed next faces a stiffer test against 35th-ranked Alexandr Dolgopolov, a hard-hitting Ukrainian with two tour titles.

"I think it's going to be very tough, to be honest. I know him very well. This is going to be a different challenge than the first round. This was more of an unexperienced player today, but still dangerous and still a good player," said Federer, who practised with the mercurial 27-year-old in the off-season in Dubai.

"But Dolgopolov is a different player, a different level. He's got the fitness, the power, the speed, tennis IQ, all that."

Date: 18th January 2016, Source: ATP and Reuters

Refreshed Federer aims for fifth Australian Open title

The cough is gone, the cold is almost a thing of the past and Roger Federer feels fit and fresh ahead of the Australian Open 2016.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion, four times a winner at the Australian Open, struggled with flu during his run to the Brisbane International final before falling to Milos Raonic, but he is nearing full health just in time for his opening match against Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili on Monday.

“The last couple days I've been able to practice normally,” Federer said. “I'm relieved that since Thursday now I'm better.”

Having reached the semifinals or better for 11 consecutive seasons at Melbourne Park, Federer fell to his earliest exit since 2001 last year, when Andreas Seppi stunned him in the third round.

Since then, however, the Swiss has lifted his game to age-defying levels, reaching consecutive Grand Slam finals at Wimbledon and the US Open for the first time since his eight-final run between 2008 and 2010.

“I would think the Australian Open is the one where players come in maybe most inspired,” Federer said. “It's also been my most consistent Slam maybe until last year. I always played very well here. I don't know if it's the conditions or the court speed. It's a good place for me to start the year.

“So we'll see how it goes. But off-season went well for me. Had no setbacks, which was crucial. I was able to work very hard, which was nice.”

Having ended his two-year coaching partnership with Stefan Edberg, Federer arrives in Melbourne with one-time contemporary Ivan Ljubicic overseeing his preparations at a major for the first time and is pleased with his work with the Croatian since December.

“We always got along well, even though he's the only guy to beat me in Basel and Gstaad,” Federer joked, before denying that he had gone back to the drawing board to find ways to beat world No.1 Novak Djokovic at the Grand Slams, having lost his last three final appearances against the Serb.

“I'm more focused about my own game than any other player,” he said.

“Last year I did quite well against Novak. Of course, I got to keep it up. I always believe there's new things you can learn, but there's always sometimes a way of staying motivated, staying hungry. Someone like Ivan can also help do that.

“But I can do a lot by myself, but I need my support team to push me the last one per cent, five per cent, 10 per cent, whatever it is, because I'm not in the same mood every single day.”

Federer paid tribute to fellow 34-year-old former world No.1 Lleyton Hewitt ahead of the Australian’s final campaign at Melbourne Park, reflecting on Hewitt’s upper hand in their rivalry as teenagers.

“Lleyton made me figure out my game and made me definitely a better player, as well. I enjoyed the battles with him,” Federer said. “I wish him well here.

“We were supposed to play the juniors here, the doubles together, in '98. He won Adelaide, that was the difference. He got a wildcard in singles, doubles and mixed here in the pros. I played the juniors, lost in the semis in the singles and the doubles.

“He dumped me,” Federer said to laughter. “He was a big shot after winning Adelaide. I understood.”

Date: 16th January 2016, Source: Australian Open

Roger Federer's Australian Open 2016 Outfit


Roger Federer's Australian Open 2016 Nike Outfit

Date: 12th January 2016

Federer impressed by Raonic's improvement

For those at the Brisbane International, the 2016 final was déjà vu - Roger Federer vs. Milos Raonic. Last year, the Swiss notched his 1000th match win in clinching the title over the Canadian. This time, the 25 year old would turn the tables, exacting revenge 6-4, 6-4 on Sunday.

Federer admitted he was too inconsistent and could not find his rhythm, but acknowledged Raonic's improved tactics and consistency. For the Swiss, it was a completely different match-up from their 10 previous encounters.

"His consistent power is something that's so impressive," said Federer. "The focus he brings to every single serve. I've always said it's amazing that he can do that.

"For a big guy he moves well. He's improved his fitness the last few years. Also tactically he's better now than he's ever been. He's made a conscious effort of playing close to the baseline, which before when he was working with the Spanish coaches he was way back.

"I think like this it's more on his racquet and it's probably not a bad thing. I thought he was playing really good tennis here last year and in also Indian Wells when I played him. I was quite impressed how good he was. Unfortunately he got injured and he had some issue which then didn't allow him to play anymore since. So it's a great start for him. I'm very happy for him."

Never one to make excuses, Federer revealed he has been experiencing a lingering cough and sore throat over the past week. Despite the ailment, he says he is happy to reach the final and kick off the new season with new coach Ivan Ljubicic.

"I'm very happy how the first week went. We just discussed quickly the week. We were both thrilled that I got to play as many matches as I did here this week, because we saw how bad I was doing on Tuesday.

"I've still got a cough and the throat is a bit weird. Definitely got to make sure I get over it as quickly as possible. As long as I keep on playing and doing all that stuff it's not going to go away faster. So I am going to rest up tomorrow. I also have to see, but then probably hit the practice courts again. In practice you can manage how hard you're going to do it. Obviously health is No. 1 priority.

"The good thing is the off-season was great. I have a base there, so I think within three to four days I should be back at 100 per cent, if things progress normally, which I think they are now."

Federer, who appeared in a hard-court final for a record 17th consecutive year, will make a 17th straight appearance at the Australian Open next week. Seeded third, the Swiss is bidding for a fifth title at the first Grand Slam of the year.

Date: 10th January 2016, Source: ATP

Federer to face Raonic in Brisbane final

Roger Federer raced past Dominic Thiem in his first career ATP Head to Head against the Austrian on Saturday at the Brisbane International 6-1, 6-4, setting up a rematch of the 2015 final against Canada’s Milos Raonic. It marks the Swiss’ third straight trip to Brisbane’s trophy match.

“I think it was my best match of the tournament,” said Federer, who totaled 12 winners to just 10 unforced errors in the hour-long affair. “I thought I hit the ball pretty well, but that’s usually how it goes. You always play better toward the end. Nobody cares how you played at the beginning, as long as you got there. I’m very excited to be back in the final. It’s going to be special playing Milos again tomorrow.”

The defending champ was in control from the very start at Pat Rafter Arena, where he raced out to a 5-0 lead in the 22-minute first-set before Thiem managed to get on the scoreboard.

Like Federer, the No. 8-seed boasts a sweeping one-handed backhand, which he used to good effect in his quarter-final upset of No. 3 seed Marin Cilic. But the 22-year-old, who finished 2015 as the youngest player in the Top 20 of the ATP Rankings, was rarely able to use it to hurt his veteran opponent in the semi-finals.

Federer converted service breaks in the first and seventh games of the final set, as the unforced errors began to mount for Thiem (he finished with 26). With the loss, he fell to 1-10 against Top-10 competition.

Federer, 34, defeated Raonic in last year’s title match, which served as his 1,000th career victory on the ATP World Tour.

“Big serving guys are always just tricky,” said Federer of his match-up with Raonic, against whom he is 9-1 in ATP Head to Head meetings, his lone loss coming in the ATP Masters 1000 Paris quarter-finals in 2014. “I don't know if it's that I don't like to play them - I always embrace the challenge of playing big servers. I have a really good record against them. I usually do a good job of getting the ball back and then finding a way. Sometimes it’s worked and sometimes it hasn't. But I have no problems playing against him. Clearly, I respect his game. I think he's made a lot of progress in the past few years.”

Date: 9th January 2016, Source: ATP

Federer overcomes illness, Dimitrov in Brisbane

Roger Federer will challenge Dominic Thiem on Saturday for a place in the final of the Brisbane International. It will be a first-time meeting for the duo.

Top seed and defending champion Federer, vying to capture his 89th tour-level title this week, worked hard to beat Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-7(4), 6-4 on Friday night. The Swiss is now 4-0 lifetime against Dimitrov, including a victory in last year's Brisbane semi-finals.

Federer converted his third set point opportunity to clinch the 36-minute opener. Dimitrov survived two break points in the sixth game of the second set, then broke Federer to 15 en route to a 5-3 lead. Federer bounced back prior to a tie-break, which saw Dimitrov win five of the first six points.

From 2-2 in the deciding set, Federer won two straight games but could not clinch any of his three match point chances on Dimitrov's serve at 3-5, 0/40. Dimitrov won five straight points, before Federer closed out to love for victory in two hours and eight minutes. Federer won 27 of 35 points at the net.

"I thought I played really well considering, and caught sort of a second wind in the third set," said Federer. "I had to focus hard, so I thought I was able to relax again midway or at the beginning of the third at some stage, and the break came at the right time, so that was good. I thought he served actually very well. I took advantage of the fact of getting maybe too many second serves in the third."

Federer overcame the effects of a recent illness and conceded he was not 100 per cent during the match.

"It was tough in a way. The body is not quite ready, you know, physically it was difficult. So it's good to get through it without any issues," he said.

Earlier in the evening, eighth seed Thiem knocked out third seed Marin Cilic 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-4 in two hours. Thiem finished last year as the youngest player (22) in the Top 20 ATP Rankings at No. 20. He was also the first Austrian to place in the Top 20 since Jurgen Melzer (at No. 11) in 2010.

Looking ahead to his match against Thiem, Federer said, "I was very impressed with what I saw. I think he's got a great big backhand. Maybe likes slower courts, like to set up his shots. I guess you've got to take time away from a him. Like a Stan version in some ways if you compare him to one the top guys. He likes to play from far, but he's making a nice effort trying to play on the baseline as well. He uses a lot of spin as well on his serve. We'll see how it goes tomorrow.

"I thought it was a good win for him to beat Cilic today, because Cilic was looking good for a while there and these are the matches the young guys have got to win to take it to the next level, and that’s exactly what he’s doing."

Date: 8th January 2016, Source: ATP, AFP and Brisbane

Federer races through season opener

Roger Federer began his 2016 ATP World Tour season on Thursday night by beating qualifier Tobias Kamke 6-2, 6-1 in just 55 minutes at the Brisbane International.

Federer has won his first tour-level match of the season each year for 18 straight seasons, since his ATP World Tour debut when he lost to Lucas Arnold Ker at Gstaad in 1998.

"I'm extremely pleased I was able to win today," said Federer, who was contesting his first match since Ivan Ljubicic replaced Stefan Edberg as his coach. "I was extremely happy with the work that Stefan was doing," said Federer. "He's been incredible. To get two years out of him was amazing, that was willing to take it on and give it a shot.

"When Ivan got available towards the end of the season, that's when I called him up. I thought he could be someone very interesting and exciting for my game, for my team. He could match well. He knows everybody. He is also a dad. He still plays very well. He's played against most of my opponents. He's played me a bunch and knows my game very well. He's now also been a coach for a couple years, which I thought was important. He's done very well with Milos Raonic, so very excited he's on the team. Today was our first win together, so that was nice as well."

Top seed Federer, who beat Raonic in last year's final, is attempting to capture his 89th tour-level title this week. He is also bidding to lift his ninth trophy in the month of January (also 2002 Sydney, 2005-06, '11 Doha, 2006-07, '10 Australian Open and 2015 Brisbane).

Federer has a 3-0 ATP Head to Head record against his quarter-final opponent, Grigor Dimitrov, who defeated Viktor Troicki earlier in the day. Federer beat Dimitrov in last year's semi-finals.

"Tomorrow is going to be tougher. It's earlier in the tournament. Okay, maybe just one round earlier. In practice, in December, it's been great. I have been hitting the ball well. I am where I want to be. Then again, tomorrow we'll see. Grigor's had a tough grind today, but he's extremely match tough. I expect him to be fresh again tomorrow. I played him quite aggressive last year and that worked well."

Federer contracted a flu-like illness off his family in the days leading up to the tournament.

"The way I started to feel late last night and today, with the speed of the court and all that, I felt like I’m happy to give it a go," he said.

"I guess I got some kind of flu. My whole family had it. I was the last guy to get it, so I knew what I was getting into when I was not feeling well."

Federer, who had a bye in the first round, said he asked tournament organisers for a later start to give him extra time to overcome his illness.

"So I started to feel a little bit better. That’s why I came out on Wednesday for a hit, just to see how things are. I was happy. There was no need to push it at all. I am not somebody that needs to play much before matches."

Date: 7th January 2016, Source: ATP and Brisbane

Fatherly Federer stays a kid at heart

There are no New Year’s Resolutions for Roger Federer - at least, not when it comes to his tennis.

“To me it’s more about family when it comes to resolutions,” he told reporters. “I want to be a good dad and be patient with my children. I want them to enjoy life and just stay kids for as long as possible.”

But perhaps there is something to be found in Federer’s fatherly approach to his game. Now 34, the defending Brisbane International champion is staying a tennis kid at heart for as long as he can, and enters 2016 as the world No.3, still much apart of the Grand Slam conversation.

A year ago in Brisbane the Swiss won his 1000th career match while capturing an 83rd title, setting up for a year that included two major finals at Wimbledon and then the US Open. It is the kind of launching pad he would like to duplicate here in just over a week’s time.

“People like to talk about this tournament as a preparation for bigger things, but I don’t really see it that way,” Federer said. “Every tournament I play is important to me. Playing in Pat Rafter Arena with the crowds here in Australia, it’s always very exciting for me. This is a tournament I want to win. The draws are tough here. I told them they make it hard for me to defend my title.”

The top seed here, Federer gets a bye into the second round.

He is slated to meet his 2014 US Open conqueror Marin Cilic, the No.3 seed, in the semifinals should their seeds hold. Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic are the other seeded semifinalists on the bottom half of the draw.

“They love their tennis here in Brisbane and I’ve been quite successful in the last couple of years,” said Federer, who lost to Lleyton Hewitt in the 2014 final. “This is a great place for me to start my year.”

Having had former world No.1 Stefan Edberg by his side the past two seasons, Federer switched gears in the off-season, bringing on former world No.3 Ivan Ljubicic as his coach.

“I know Ivan really well,” Federer said. “What I like about him is that he’s really direct. He lets you know what he thinks. He has good insight. He’s played against a lot of the players still on tour, and he knows my game really well.”

Another player that knows Federer’s game well is Hewitt; the Aussie making his final farewell to tennis this summer.

Federer tips his proverbial cap to the former world No.1 for helping form him as a player, with the two tangling in the latter rounds of Grand Slams five times. In 27 career meetings, Federer has an 18-9 edge.

“I’ve been a big fan of his throughout and he’s been a true challenger of me throughout my career,” Federer said. “He got the better of me a lot at the beginning. I learned a lot from him, how feisty he was and how tough he was mentally and physically. He’s one of the reasons I am the player I am today because I took a different route than him. I learned how to work hard like him.”

Unless they clash in Melbourne, however, Hewitt’s win here two years ago will be their last meeting.

“I’ve always enjoyed the matches with him, and I’ve always enjoyed watching him,” Federer added. “He’s a true professional. I hope he does well this summer, in Melbourne in particular.”

Date: 3rd January 2016, Source: Brisbane

Federer looks to Brisbane as 2016 launch-pad

Roger Federer said on Saturday he was looking at defending his Brisbane International title as a launch-pad to the new season.

The 17-time Swiss grand slam champion arrived in Australia Saturday with Sunday's Brisbane International tournament as his lead-up to this month's Australian Open in Melbourne.

Federer, 34, who won six titles including Brisbane last year and reached the final of both Wimbledon and the US Open, is up against world No.8 Kei Nishikori, No.14 Milos Raonic and No.28 Grigor Dimitrov in this year's Brisbane tournament.

"The likes of Nishikori, Raonic and Dimitrov want to move now finally into the top four or five and for us, the top guys, it's about hanging on where we are right now," Federer told reporters.

"I've been playing really well for over one and a half years - ever since I came back from my back problems in 2013.

"That's been very encouraging and now I'm just more confident than I was maybe a year ago as well."

Federer won the last of his 17 grand slam crowns at Wimbledon in 2012 and he still believes he has another major title within him.

Novak Djokovic dominated last year with three grand slam titles, and while the wait for an 18th slam title is stretching out, Federer said he was not voverly concerned.

"I've come so close, I've played very well, but I don't feel any frustration because of it," he said.

"I'm still happy with how I'm playing. It was Novak's year, he played so well there's only so much you can do if somebody's so dominant and he's got sky-high confidence.

"It's unfortunate, a pity for me, but at the same time I don't feel sorry for myself. I've won so much throughout my career, I feel like if I keep pushing forward it might happen.

"If not, it's okay."



It is Federer's third trip to the Brisbane International and not only did he win last year's title but he joined rare company by picking up the 1000th match win of his ATP career in the process.

"It's an absolute pleasure to be back in Brisbane," Federer said at the launch event for the Citycat Transport system. "I had a wonderful last two years here and was not going to miss it again as long as I am playing tennis. My family really enjoys it here and the people are super friendly. They love their tennis here in Brisbane."

"Winning my 1000th match here last year was thrilling," added Federer. "It was so fitting to do it in the final with Roy Emerson and Rod Laver there."

Federer has a bye into the second round this year where he is due to face either Australian wildcard Ben Mitchell or a qualifier.

Beyond on-court results, the Swiss would like to continue to find a happy medium between work and family in 2016.

"For me, it’s more about family when it comes to New Year’s Resolutions," said Federer, a father of four who frequently travels with his children. "I want to be a good dad, be patient with my kids and enjoy life as long as I can."

Date: 2nd January 2016, Source: AFP and ATP