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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.

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Federer in fine form as Switzerland win Hopman Cup

Roger Federer became the most successful player in Hopman Cup history when he led Switzerland to a 2-1 win in an enthralling final of the mixed teams tournament in Perth.

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Federer beats Raonic for Stuttgart title, his 18th on grass

Roger Federer claimed his 98th tour-level title and 18th grass-court trophy, displayed his unrivalled superiority on grass with a 6-4, 7-6 (3) victory over Milos Raonic in the Mercedes Cup final in Stuttgart.

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Federer cruises past Dimitrov to claim Rotterdam title

Roger Federer celebrated his return to the top of the world rankings with his second title of the season, swatting aside Grigor Dimitrov 6-2, 6-2 in the final of the ABN AMRO World Tournament in Rotterdam.

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Federer becomes oldest ATP World No.1

Roger Federer guaranteed his return to No.1 in the ATP Rankings after beating Dutchman Robin Haase 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 to reach the semi-finals of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.

Federer enjoys impressive start to new season

Roger Federer started preparation for his Australian Open title defense in style with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Cameron Norrie at the Hopman Cup on Sunday.

The 37-year-old Federer sent his 23-year-old opponent from Britain back to reality in a one-sided match lasting just 57 minutes.

The No. 91-ranked Norrie had defeated Greece's No. 15-ranked Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets on Saturday in one of the biggest victories of his career, but was outclassed in his first match against Federer.

“This was a great start but obviously a long way to go here and in Melbourne,” Federer said. “It's nice that I'm feeling as good as I am and played a wonderful match against Cameron.”

Federer started the match nervously and dropped the first three points, but dug out of a hole with trademark clutch serving. He discovered his groove by dominating Norrie's serve and broke in the second game with a powerful cross-court backhand winner.

Federer moved the British player around by crisply hitting the lines as he won five games in a row to take control of the set. Norrie saved two set points in the sixth game to get on the scoreboard and earn applause from the near capacity crowd.

Norrie seemed momentarily inspired as he gained two break points before Federer once again recovered to close out the first set in 31 minutes.

The 20-time Grand Slam singles champion broke immediately in the second set and looked sharp as he cruised to an easy first-up victory in the tournament as defending champion Switzerland went on to beat Britain 3-0 in Group B.

Belinda Bencic defeated Katie Boulter 6-2, 7-6 (0) in the women's singles to clinch the match before Federer and Bencic teamed up to prevail over Norrie and Boulter 4-3 (4), 4-1 in the mixed doubles in the Fast4 format.

Federer's appearances at the past two Hopman Cups laid the groundwork for successful Australian Open campaigns.

“It was very good. I came out of the blocks quick. I wasn’t missing any rhythm. I’m happy in all aspects of my game that things were working - foot work, offensive play, serve, return - it was all there. It was a great match for me.”

Although thrilled with his first-up performance, Federer doesn’t want to get too carried away just yet.

“It’s still early days, but I feel like I’ve played some sets and points in practice, so you kind of know where you are,” Federer said.

“I guess what you’re seeking here is confirmation to see is everything there that you thought there was, or is there any fixing still to be done in the coming weeks. We are still learning.”

Date: 30 December 2018, Source: AP and Hopman Cup

Roger Federer: 'It's been a historic season'

There was a lot on the line for Roger Federer at the 2018 ATP Finals. The Swiss had a chance to not only extend his record to seven titles at the season finale, but lift his 100th tour-level trophy, becoming just the second player to do so (Jimmy Connors, 109).

But Federer fell short in the semi-finals at The O2 on Saturday, losing against Alexander Zverev 5-7, 6-7 (5). Perhaps the fact that at 37, Federer had a chance to reach his 11th championship match at the ATP Finals speaks even louder than the disappointment of losing.

“I must tell you I'm very proud that at 37 I'm still so competitive and so happy playing tennis. From that standpoint, as disappointed as I might be about this match, if I take a step back, I'm actually very happy about the season,” Federer said. “It's been a historic season in some ways. Got back to World No. 1. For me, that was a huge moment in my life, to be honest, in my career because I never thought I would get there again.”

In January 2017, Federer fell to No. 17 in the ATP Rankings after missing six months due to a knee injury. The Swiss hadn’t been placed that low in more than 15 years. But Federer battled back, and this February, after winning the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament for the third time, he returned to the top of tennis’ proverbial mountain, becoming the oldest player to attain top spot and set the record for the longest period between stints as World No. 1.

Throw in a 20th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open and two more tour-level triumphs in addition to Rotterdam - in Stuttgart and Basel - and Federer still had a strong season, despite falling short in London.

“Pete Sampras once upon a time said, ‘If you win a Slam, it's a good season’. So my season started great. I played super well in Australia again. So obviously I can't wait to go back there in a couple of months,” said Federer, who finishes his year with a 48-10 record.

“The second half of the season could have been better, maybe. I also have high hopes to always do well. So I'm happy I gave myself opportunities again in that second half of the season. I maybe lost a couple of too-close matches that could have changed things around for me a little bit.”

There was plenty of build-up surrounding the possibility of Federer claiming a historic 100th title at the prestigious season finale after claiming victory No. 99 at home in Basel. But Federer was quick to throw a light-hearted response back to a reporter who said after the Swiss’ loss to Zverev that, “you need 100 titles”.

“I don't need it, but go ahead,” Federer said with a smile. “I will breathe air also if I don't.”

Federer will finish the year at No. 3 in the ATP Rankings, the 14th time he has ended a season inside the Top 3. Federer even made personal history in 2018 with a career-best 17-0 start before losing in the BNP Paribas Open final.

“Five years ago, where was I? I was probably fighting with back pain in '13, not sure if I was ever going to figure that back pain out again because I had it for almost probably four or five months of the season. It really rocked my tennis for a bit,” Federer admitted. “Here I am having actually a pretty good season physically, as well, won another Slam, got back to World No. 1. So, yes, you can see it as a very, very positive season. That's probably how I will look back on it, as well.”

If nothing else, Saturday’s defeat will serve as more motivation for Federer. He saw that he was once again in contention for one of the sport’s crowning jewels, the ATP Finals title. And now, Federer can begin the process of chasing after it once again.

“I'm here now. So I'm a little bit disappointed there because I believe I was close. Being close makes me believe I can keep going, I can win again. That's uplifting in some ways,” Federer said. “But because I know I could have won, I'm also disappointed because I aim high. From that standpoint, I'm a little bit disappointed now, which is normal. Overall I'm happy how the season went. There are many positives, to be quite honest. So I'm excited for next season.”

Federer has now won four titles or more 14 times in his career. And at the ATP Finals, he has advanced to the semi-finals or better in 15 of his 16 appearances.

Date: 18 November 2018, Source: ATP

Federer defeats Anderson to win group

Roger Federer walked onto Centre Court at The O2 on Thursday knowing he needed a strong performance if he wanted to advance to the semi-finals at the ATP Finals for the 15th time.

And Federer responded in a big way, defeating fourth seed Kevin Anderson 6-4, 6-3 to not only guarantee that he would move on to the last four in London, but that he would win Group Lleyton Hewitt with a 2-1 record.

The week might not have started off well for the 37-year-old Swiss, who shockingly fell in his opening match against Kei Nishikori in straight sets, the first time he has fallen in two sets at the event in round-robin play. But Federer bounced back to beat Dominic Thiem and now Anderson without dropping a set.

"We’re used to you lose, you leave and you don’t hang around. So from that standpoint, I think it was more straightforward for me today," Federer said on court after his win. "I’ve always wanted to go out with a bang today and win the match. If I go through, great, if I don’t well I don’t deserve to be through and that’s okay, too. I’m happy I’m still alive."

Federer came out focused early against Anderson, who was 2-0 in his ATP Finals debut, breaking first. But the second seed played a sloppy service game and struggled to pinpoint his serve like usual to give that break back.

From there, though, Federer locked down his game, and did well to win 68 per cent of second-serve return points against the big-serving Anderson to triumph in 77 minutes. The 99-time tour-level champion did everything in his power to keep Anderson from getting in a rhythm, hitting dagger-like backhand slices short in the court to elicit mishits from his opponent, and to bring Anderson into the net without the 6'8" right-hander necessarily wanting to journey into the forecourt.

"Unfortunately I had a rocky service game myself after that first service break. I didn't let that frustrate me or disappoint me. I kept on plugging away, kept on trying," Federer said. "I think my attitude was good today. I think I had an aggressive playing mindset, a good variation as well with my slice. I think it was just a good match from my side."

With Thiem’s victory over Nishikori in straight sets earlier in the day, Anderson was already guaranteed to become the first South African to move into the semi-finals at the season finale since the tournament began in 1970. So Federer will face the second-placed competitor in Group Guga Kuerten, while Anderson will clash against that group’s winner.

"I’m very happy. First match was tough against Kei, never got going. And with the back against the wall, maybe it’s easier for me to play, I’m not sure. But I fought hard," Federer said. "In the end, I played some good tennis today and I’m very happy. Kevin’s had a wonderful year, and so have the other two guys. It’s been a fun group, with many different kinds of players in the group. I’m thrilled. Thanks for the support, of course, and I’m excited to be in the semis."

The win is even sweeter for the Swiss, as Anderson came from two sets and a match point down against Federer in this year’s Wimbledon quarter-finals to earn perhaps the biggest win of his career en route to the final at SW19. Federer now leads Anderson 5-1 in their ATP Head to Head series.

Federer broke Anderson four times in the match. The South African had not faced a break point in his first two matches at the season finale.

"I'm feeling great," Federer said. "I'm very happy that I still have energy left in the tank. Mentally, I feel fresh."

Date: 16 November 2018, Source: ATP

Federer downs Thiem to keep ATP Finals bid alive

Roger Federer defeated Dominic Thiem 6-2, 6-3 in his second round-robin match of Group Lleyton Hewitt play to maintain his hopes of advancing to the semi-finals of the prestigious tournament for the 15th time in 16 appearances.

Just two days after a shocking straight-sets defeat against Kei Nishikori - the 37-year-old’s first round-robin loss in two sets in 46 group-play matches at the ATP Finals - Federer had to beat Thiem if he had any hopes of moving forward. And the second seed gave himself a chance, breaking the Austrian four times without facing break point himself to even his ATP Head to Head series against Thiem at 2-2.

Federer’s struggles against Nishikori on Sunday evening stemmed from a slew of uncharacteristic errors. But the Swiss was locked in from the first point against Thiem, giving the sixth seed a heavy dose of his backhand slice to goad the Austrian into overplaying with his groundstrokes. That kept Thiem out of rhythm early, provoking a number of unforced errors. And that gave Federer the lead and with it, plenty of confidence.

Thiem interestingly tried to come to net, especially early, to put the pressure on the 99-time tour-level champion. But this year's Buenos Aires, Lyon and St. Petersburg winner made mistakes at the net, failing to convert those opportunities using the element of surprise.

It was only fitting that the match ended on a missed forehand volley by Thiem, giving Federer the win after 67 minutes. Federer lost just three first-serve points, and captured  47 per cent of return points against Thiem in their first meeting since 2016 in Stuttgart. Thiem entered the season finale in 10th place on the ATP World Tour in first-serve points won, clinching 76.4 per cent of those points. But he was only able to win 56 per cent of them at The O2 on Tuesday evening.

Federer is now 16-0 in his second round-robin matches at the ATP Finals, while Thiem falls to 2-1. The Swiss is trying to avoid early elimination at the tournament for the second time (2008).

Federer will now play Kevin Anderson, the leader of Group at 2-0, in the final match of group play. While Federer has won four of five ATP Head to Head meetings against the South African, Anderson stunned the eight-time Wimbledon champion in the quarter-finals at SW19. Prior to that match, Anderson had lost all eight sets he had played against Federer, with none of those sets going to a tie-break.

"It's never easy to play against him, especially indoors. He deserved that win at Wimbledon but hopefully I'll get my revenge. Important for me is to play a good last match here in the round-robin, try to beat Kevin. He has been playing great. He has had a wonderful season," Federer said of his Anderson rematch.

Federer has now earned 37 of his 56 wins at the ATP Finals in straight sets, and he owns a 56-14 record at the event.

Date: 14 November 2018, Source: ATP

Federer loses ATP Finals opener to Nishikori

Roger Federer suffered a shock straight-sets defeat to Kei Nishikori at the ATP Finals on Sunday, severely denting his bid for the 100th title of his illustrious career.

The Swiss, who has won the season-ending event a record six times, produced an uncharacteristically error-prone and fractious display in the round-robin match as the Japanese seventh seed prevailed 7-6 (4), 6-3.

The result means Federer is now in danger of failing to qualify for the semi-finals for just the second time in 16 appearances at the event.

"I felt we both struggled, you know, throughout the first set," he said. "You could tell it was sort of a first round. I had my chances maybe a bit more than he did.

"Then I started to feel better in the second set. I think we both did. The level went up. Unfortunately I couldn't keep the lead that I got early. That was important, I think, at the end. That was the key of the match, that sort of 10-minute swing at the end of the first through to maybe 1-1 in the second."

Federer, 37, has beaten Nishikori in Shanghai and Paris in recent weeks but despite having the backing of a full house at the O2 Arena, he never really settled into a groove.

The Swiss great made 20 unforced errors in the first set and Nishikori capitalised, forcing a tie-break in which he raced to a 6/1 lead before sealing it 7/4.

Federer, showing real urgency, broke Nishikori immediately at the start of the second set but it proved a false dawn as he lost his own serve immediately. Nishikori broke again in the sixth game and kept his nerve, serving out for victory.

"I'm glad to win, it is never easy to play with my idol, it is always a big challenge against him, so it was great to win today. I lost to him twice in the last two months so I played more aggressively and things started working, especially in the second set. There were some lucky points but I played well today," said Nishikori.

Overall the statistics made grim reading for Federer, who made a total of 34 unforced errors against 19 winners.

Federer will next play sixth-seeded Austrian Dominic Thiem on Tuesday in the round-robin group. Thiem lost to first-time qualifier and fourth seed Kevin Anderson of South Africa during the afternoon session.

Date: 12 November 2018, Source: AFP and AP

Federer eager to finish 2018 with success in London

Heading into the ATP Finals, Roger Federer took a moment to reflect on his 2018 season as he looks to end his year with a milestone 100th tour-level trophy at The O2 in London.

After a stunning 2017 season which saw the Swiss capture seven titles, including Grand Slam crowns at the Australian Open and Wimbledon, Federer was clear that his 2018 season has been a success as he heads into the elite eight-man event. After defending his Australian Open title to win his 20th major trophy in January, Federer has lifted three further titles this year and compiled a 46-8 tour-level record.

"If I would have known that last year, this would have been the season, I would have taken it," said Federer. "I am very happy that I won a Grand Slam. I am very happy that I played as well as I did throughout the season. Maybe Wimbledon and the US Open didn't go the way I was hoping, but those were really the only two disappointments of the season.

"I won a bunch of tournaments again and played great at the Australian Open. Again, I won my home tournament in Basel... I have just had a really solid season. I stayed injury free also, for most of the year, so I am actually very happy with this season so far."

With a record six titles at the ATP Finals, second-seeded Federer is eager to capture his first trophy at the season-ending tournament since 2011. Including his debut in 2002, the 99-time tour-level champion has competed in 15 of the past 16 editions of the event. Only in 2016, after cutting his season short to aid rehabilitation from knee surgery, has the Swiss not appeared at the season finale.

"I love playing this event. I always have, ever since I qualified for the very first time back in 2002," said Federer. "It was a massive highlight in my career to be amongst the best eight and I actually had a great run too, that first time in Shanghai."

Two of Federer's six triumphs in the unique competition have come in London, having lifted back-to-back titles at The 02 in 2010 and 2011. Playing in front of a packed crowd, in a world-renowned venue, has always provided Federer with the perfect end to a successful season. More than 250,000 fans attend the event annually, with global viewership figures reaching an average of 95 million viewers each year.

"Here at The O2 we have really had some great crowds, a beautiful, great venue and also some good matches too," said Federer.

Having hosted the event since 2009, when Nikolay Davydenko defeated Juan Martin del Potro in the championship match, the 10th edition of the event begins with questions over the future location of the tournament. With a contract in place until 2020 at The O2, plans for the future of the event, from 2021 onwards, will be announced early next year. Alongside a number of interested cities, London will be up for consideration when the ATP World Tour makes its decision not before March 2019.

"If the tournament stays I think it is definitely a good choice," said Federer. "I don't know what the options are. I think the options are clearly important to look at. If The O2 is happy and the crowds keep coming here to this venue and the Tour has a good deal, why not stay here?

"I don't see a reason to change, unless there is somewhere else. A city that really wants it badly and is really willing to come in and support the Tour in a major way for many years to come. I have enjoyed playing in a city that knows tennis very well and has got a strong media following. It has been a good place for us players to showcase our talents."

Date: 10 November 2018, Source: ATP

Federer: "The level was good from my side"

Despite admitting to some regrets after falling in a final-set tie-break to Novak Djokovic [ 6-7 (6), 7-5, 6-7 (3) ] in the Paris Masters semi-finals on Saturday, Roger Federer remained upbeat about his progress, as he looks to end his season on a high at the ATP Finals in London.

The 37-year-old Swiss, who was aiming to move one win from collecting his 100th tour-level title, was making his first tournament appearance in the French capital since 2015, but eventually fell to his great rival after three hours and three minutes. Federer's outside chance of finishing 2018 as year-end No. 1 in the ATP Rankings also came to an end.

"I think the level was good from my side," said Federer. "Clearly I have some regrets. When you lose a close match like this you always have. Wherever they are in the match.

"But, overall, it was a good tournament. I can look back and think it was definitely worth it to come to Paris. The welcome was great. I played some good tennis, so I can be happy."

Federer also took the time to praise Djokovic, who has won 22 consecutive matches, ahead of his final meeting against Russian Karen Khachanov on Sunday. Djokovic will be aiming to collect his third successive ATP World Tour Masters 1000 trophy, which would bring the 31-year-old level with Rafael Nadal's record haul of 33 titles at the level.

"Novak is obviously on a roll. You can feel it," said Federer. "He protects his serve very well. I think I did the same as well. And at the end it came down to a few things here and there.

"I'm happy with my game. It's better than last week in Basel. There I won the tournament and here I played in the semis and it needed somebody of Novak's calibre to beat me. So, that's all right. I'm looking forward to a rest now and a good preparation for London."

With added confidence, following on from capturing a record ninth crown at the Swiss Indoors Basel last week, Federer has every reason for positivity as he switches his focus to the season-ending ATP Finals in London from 11-18 November. The six-time champion is chasing his first trophy at the event since 2011 and remains well aware of the challenges the elite eight-man event presents.

"Last week, I obtained the title in Basel and it gave me a lot of confidence. I saved a lot of break points. I wasn't tense. I wasn't nervous. So I got used to playing matches again," said Federer. "We're going to play against the Top 10 from the first match in London. It's not simple. My body is in shape. Mentally I felt tough. So, it's a good thing as well. And I reached the semi-finals in Paris. I can still be satisfied."

Date: 3 November 2018, Source: ATP

Federer to face Nishikori in Paris quarter-finals

Roger Federer began his pursuit of tour-level title No. 100 on Thursday, beating 13th seed Fabio Fognini 6-4, 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals of the Paris Masters.

"I think both of us were far from our best, but we fought with what we had and at the end I think I maybe served a bit better in the important moments than Fabio did. Off the baseline, it was tough. He takes the ball early and can really redirect really well. But I’m very happy because it means I’m moving on in the tournament."

Federer, who received a walkover into the Round of 16 due to Milos Raonic's withdrawal, is trying to triumph in Bercy for the second time in his career. The Swiss has now moved into the last eight at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in five of his past six appearances.

The 27-time ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titlist is gaining momentum ahead of his 16th appearance at the ATP Finals. Federer, currently No. 3 in the ATP Rankings, will try to lift a record seventh trophy at the season finale in London, to take place at The O2 from 11-18 November. The 37-year-old improves to 45-7 in 2018, making at least the quarter-finals in 10 of 12 events this season.

Federer now leads Fognini 4-0 in their ATP Head to Head series, winning all 10 sets they have played. The 99-time tour-level champion has won nine of those 10 sets by a margin of 6-4 or greater, coming out victorious on Thursday in just 73 minutes.

Federer did well on return, continuing the momentum he gained winning the title at last week’s Swiss Indoors Basel. The third seed won 46 per cent of his return points to eliminate the Italian, who captured three ATP World Tour titles this season. Federer will next face No. 10 seed Kei Nishikori, who beat seventh seed Kevin Anderson.

He said he was trying to play in Paris without pressure and that his major concern was regaining the ATP World Tour title in London later this month.

"If it turns out well, good. If it doesn't, well, too bad. I tried. It's good to play in a relaxed manner for once, to find something in my game that could help me out for London," he said.

"I didn't come here to win Paris, actually. My objective is London. If I can do well here in Paris, all the better. But I'm not there yet. We'll just wait and see."

The Swiss beat Nishikori three weeks ago at the Shanghai Masters in straight sets. The Japanese star, however, will be motivated by trying to keep his dreams of qualifying for the ATP Finals alive.

Date: 1 November 2018, Source: ATP and Reuters

Federer wins 99th title, beats Copil in Basel final

Roger Federer won his 99th tour-level title on Sunday, defeating Marius Copil 7-6 (5), 6-4 to triumph in front of his home crowd at the Swiss Indoors Basel for the ninth time.

The Swiss, who was a ball boy in Basel as a child, has now won 20 consecutive matches there, extending his career record to 71-9. Federer has lifted the trophy at the ATP World Tour 500-level tournament in four consecutive appearances, and the 37-year-old has reached the final the past 12 times he's played the event.

"It's been a magical week. It was dream run for me. To come through and win again here in my hometown, never knowing if this might be your last time that you had the opportunity to play a final, maybe win for the last time here in my city, it obviously means a lot to me and it becomes very emotional," Federer said.

The victory brings Federer within one title of the century mark, which only Jimmy Connors, with 109 tour-level singles titles, has reached. The top seed also leaves Basel with his fourth trophy of the season, a feat he has now accomplished 14 times.

Federer entered the match having never lost a tour-level final to anyone placed as low in the ATP Rankings as No. 93 Copil. But the Romanian, who earned his first two Top 10 wins earlier in the week against No. 6 Marin Cilic and No. 5 Alexander Zverev, showed no fear.

For the third time in four days, Federer fell behind an early break. Copil entered the match leading all players at the tournament in service games won (48/50) and break points saved (19/21). But Federer battled through the ensuing tie-break to take the lead.

The Romanian dug in, though, once again breaking early in the second set en route to a 4-1 lead. Copil dazzled the Swiss crowd with a number of impressive one-handed topspin backhand lobs for clean winners, and his booming serve frustrated the home favourite.

But Federer would not be denied by the 28-year-old. After breaking the two-time ATP World Tour finalist twice more, the second time when Copil missed a forehand wide by just milimetres, Federer closed out his title at the first time of asking, triumphing after one hour and 34 minutes.

"I was tense today. I was nervous. But it started more throughout the game, because I couldn't really get my game going the way I was hoping for it to go against Copil," said Federer, who adds 500 ATP Ranking points and €427,765 in prize money. "But he did very well. I think he came out and he played nice tennis. Thankfully I was really good this week by taking my opportunities, especially on the return of serve, and I think that's what got me the victory this week."

It was a dream week for Copil, who adds 300 ATP Ranking points, which will send him to a career-best of World No. 60 on Monday. The Romanian, who was trying to become the 14th first-time winner on the ATP World Tour this year, leaves Basel with €209,715 as the runner-up.

"I would love for it to be the beginning of my career at this level," said Copil. "I played good tennis. It was an amazing week. Coming here, I was fighting in order to play and to stay in the Top 100... after this week, I've just gained a lot of confidence in myself and I saw that I can play a much higher level of tennis and I could keep it up."

Federer will try to claim a record seventh title at the ATP Finals, to take place at The O2 in London from 11-18 November. If he triumphs, it will be the Swiss’ first title at the season finale since 2011.

Date: 28 October 2018, Source: ATP

Federer dominates Medvedev to reach Basel final

Roger Federer snapped back into form on Saturday as he defeated Daniil Medvedev 6-1, 6-4 to reach a 14th final at the Swiss Indoors in his hometown of Basel. The Swiss has made the final in Basel in 12 straight appearances, improving his record in semi-finals at the tournament to 14-1, with his only loss coming in 2002 against David Nalbandian.

"I'm very happy. I think it was my best performance this week," Federer said. "I'm starting to really get to understand the conditions and it was consistent, my most consistent match by far. The results show it as well, so I'm very happy."

The 37-year-old is not only on the verge of his ninth Basel triumph, but he can lift his 99th tour-level trophy. Federer is second on the all-time singles titles list, trailing only Jimmy Connors, who was victorious 109 times in his career.

The Swiss played his best match of the week against Medvedev, who has captured his first three ATP World Tour titles this season. After saving a break point in the first game of the match, Federer cruised through the first set in just 20 minutes and he would take a 6-1, 5-1 lead.

While Medvedev, who had won 22 of 27 tour-level matches heading into the match against Federer, broke the top seed to stay alive, the eight-time tournament champion served out the semi-final at the second time of asking. It was especially impressive considering Medvedev pushed Federer to three sets in their first ATP Head to Head meeting two weeks ago at the Shanghai Masters.

"I don't think Daniil maybe played as well as in Shanghai. Conditions are different, maybe also his legs were a little bit heavy. He's played a lot of tennis the past few weeks, so I understand," Federer said. "For me, it goes on. I'm really super-excited to be in another final here in Basel and I hope I can defend my title tomorrow."

In the final, Federer will face surprise finalist Marius Copil, who earned his second Top 10 win of the week with a stunning three-set victory against second seed Alexander Zverev in the semi-finals. Earliar Copil defeated Marin Cilic in second round. It is the Romanian’s second ATP World Tour final, after finishing runner-up in Sofia earlier this year.

"I watched some against Cilic, he played great. Saw some against Zverev, he played great, too. He plays Federer, he plays great? I'm not sure. But anyway, I'm excited," Federer said. "He played a great match against Zverev. He served great when he needed to and then he had good variation from the baseline."

In 150 tour-level finals, Federer has never lost to someone ranked as low as Copil, who is currently World No. 93. The Swiss fell in championship matches to players ranked No. 87 twice, against Davide Sanguinetti at Milan in 2002 and Tommy Haas at Halle in 2012. Only one Basel champion - Jiri Hrebec, who captured the title in the tournament’s first edition in 1975 - did not break into the Top 10 in his career.

Federer now has 70 match wins in Basel, including victories in 56 of his past 59 matches at the event.

Date: 27 October 2018, Source: ATP and AFP

Federer overcomes slow start to beat Struff

Roger Federer had to hurtle another slow start on Thursday at the Swiss Indoors Basel, but the eight-time champion pulled it together quickly to reach another quarter-final in his hometown. The top-seeded Swiss stayed unbeaten (4-0) against German Jan-Lennard Struff, dismissing the 6'5” right-hander for the third time this year 6-3, 7-5.

"I was ready for Struff to come out and swing. I didn't know how aggressive he was going to play or how much serve and volley he was going to do. But unfortunately, I didn't have the best first two service games. But he also played well, I must say. He connected well, he came out with a plan and it worked for him," Federer said. "In the second set it was close throughout, but I think I was able to clean up my game a little bit. I'm obviously happy I got through today."

Federer stretched his Basel winning streak to 17 and is two matches away from reaching his 14th final and his 12th in as many appearances. The 37-year-old was broken in the third game when he overplayed a forehand, and Struff, who was holding with ease behind 224 km/h serves, pushed his lead to 3-1 before Federer settled to take five straight games and the set behind the home faithful.

The 28-year-old Struff composed himself in the second, but serving at 40/40, 5-5, he threw in a pair of loose errors, including a double fault on break point. Federer, who's already qualified for the ATP Finals, to be held 11-18 November, will next meet Frenchman Gilles Simon, who beat last week's Stockholm Open finalist Ernests Gulbis 7-6 (4), 7-6 (0). Federer leads the pair's ATP Head to Head series 6-2.

"I'm happy that I improved after a rocky, slow start today, to play well after that. I think the crowd was really into it. They were excited that I came back from being a break down," Federer said. "I'm excited for the next round, so I'm actually quite happy how I'm playing right now."

Date: 25 October 2018, Source: ATP

Federer survives scare to beat Krajinovic in Basel opener

Roger Federer had to shake off some rust, but the eight-time champion eventually rediscovered his “Basel” gear and leaned on the home crowd to advance 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 on Tuesday against Serbian Filip Krajinovic.

The 37-year-old Swiss won his 16th consecutive match at the Swiss Indoors Basel, since losing the 2013 final to Juan Martin del Potro. Federer is trying to reach his 14th hometown final and capture career title No. 99.

“It was a bit more of a hard-fought victory, but they feel good too, especially knowing that I have the day off tomorrow, so it's no problem having played three sets today,” Federer said.

The World No. 3 wasn't his usual self throughout the match, and especially at the start. Federer shanked forehands and missed whenever he stepped into the court in the beginning. The top seed faced two break points, at 15/40, 1-2, but saved both and broke immediately after, slapping a second-serve return for the first break of the match.

From 1-2 down, Federer won the next seven games against the 2017 Paris Masters finalist. But Krajinovic relaxed in the second and broke Federer, who struggled to find his forehand all match (23 unforced errors), in the eighth and 10th games to take the second.

Behind the red-and-white clad home crowd, however, Federer upped his first-serve percentage and advanced, despite being broken while first serving for the match at 5-3. The Swiss landed only 47 per cent of his first serves.

Federer struggled to find his usual precision, racking up 38 unforced errors, he also had six double faults and hit 10 aces.

“I didn't serve very well today. I think I was misfiring the corners, I was not hitting the lines enough. Clearly you make your life more difficult, but still I was up 6-2, 3-1, break points, so things could have ended very quickly today, even though I didn't have the best serve percentage stats. But maybe that's exactly what caught up to me eventually,” Federer said.

“It's just getting used to it. This is where the first rounds can be tricky.”

He will next meet German Jan-Lennard Struff, who beat Aussie John Millman 7-6 (3), 6-2. Federer has won all three of their ATP Head to Head meetings, including two earlier this year at the Australian Open and Wimbledon.

Date: 24 October 2018, Source: ATP

Federer upbeat after semi-final loss in Shanghai

Borna Coric advanced to his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final on Saturday, upsetting top seed and defending champion Roger Federer 6-4, 6-4 to reach the championship match at the Shanghai Masters. And while the loss is disappointing, the top seed is taking positives from his first event since the US Open.

“I must say I felt overall actually pretty good. So I'm happy about that,” Federer said. “It's definitely something I can build on now for Basel and then for London and maybe Paris. I'm happy how the body has felt this week.”

Federer, who is next scheduled to play at the Swiss Indoors Basel (begins 22 October), a tournament he has won eight times, will drop to No. 3 in the ATP Rankings on Monday, with Novak Djokovic ascending to the No. 2 spot. But the Swiss did well to battle through two tough three-setters against Daniil Medvedev and Roberto Bautista Agut in Shanghai before showing some of his best form in ousting red-hot Kei Nishikori in the quarter-finals.

“I'm actually happy. I feel like I'm explosive out there, returning well. Serving, I think, it's okay, could be even a little bit better. I don't think I played a match where I didn't get broken, so that's something a bit more unusual for me,” said Federer, who has already guaranteed his spot at the ATP Finals. “But regardless, I think the court allowed for great ball striking. I felt like I got some great rhythm, whereas in Cincinnati I came out of the tournament, I was, like, ‘I don't know where my game is. It's the finals. Not bad. But I couldn't tell you if I'm hitting the ball well or not'.”

Perhaps the one thing the Swiss will focus on moving forward is holding serve. The 37-year-old began the week fifth all-time in service games won at 88.8 per cent. This week, he was victorious in 41 of 50 service games, a rate of 82 per cent. Coric broke Federer twice in the semi-finals.

“He didn't give me many chances on his serve, and for me to stay with him, I should have maybe done a better job on my own serve,” Federer said. “But then again, it wasn't bad either. And then in the rallies, I thought he had more punch than me. Maybe it's a lot of tennis this week, but quite honestly, I'm happy how I'm playing. This was a good week again. I'm happy about my reaction after the US Open.”

As simple as it sounds, Coric was simply the better player on Saturday evening. For Federer, there’s no big secret about it.

“I thought he was better. I think he had more punch on the ball. He served better,” Federer said. “I think that's it.”

“It's one of the best matches I have ever played. I was just feeling through the ball,” Coric said. “I think I served the best in my life, for sure. I was going for the angles. I was going for the body. Everything was going in. No, that's much above my standard level. I mean, my standard level nowadays is better than in the last year, that's for sure. But again, to say this is my normal level, no, it's not, for sure.”

Date: 15 October 2018, Source: ATP

Federer survives Bautista Agut test

Two-time former champion Roger Federer was once again forced to dig deep for victory at the Rolex Shanghai Masters on Thursday. Having edged past Daniil Medvedev on Wednesday, it was the turn of 2016 runner-up Roberto Bautista Agut, who made Federer sweat over one hour and 52 minutes. But the top-seeded Swiss triumphed 6-3, 2-6, 6-4.

Federer broke Bautista Agut’s serve in the first game of the second set, but the Spaniard’s forehand began to fire. Federer, a winner of 98 tour-level titles, trusted his game and continued to attack, winning 11 of 12 net points in the decider, which saw him break Bautista Agut in the ninth game.

“I'm actually quite happy,” said Federer. “I thought that Bautista really had to raise his level of play in that second set to stay with me. I mean, he really caught fire, I thought. I served, I think, 80 per cent in that second set and got broken twice. At the end he got tight. I'm happy that, because of my match yesterday, I was able to stay maybe calmer, even this time around, and come up with a really good game to break at 4-4 and then serve it out was great. I was very happy.”

The Swiss superstar, who is one of four players - also Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro - that are battling to finish 2018 at year-end No. 1 in the ATP Rankings, will next challenge eighth-seeded Japanese Kei Nishikori in Friday’s quarter-finals. Federer leads ATP Finals contender Nishikori 5-2 in their ATP Head to Head series.

“As we know with Kei's game, once he finds his range and his rhythm, he's very tough to play,” said Federer. “I’m not sure if fast courts suit him better or not, because I feel like he actually plays well on clay, grass, hard. He can do it all. But I think it's going to be a tough match tomorrow. I'm excited to play against him, because I haven't played Kei a whole lot in my career. I hope it's going to help me that I played against Medvedev and also Bautista Agut, two really good baseliners, to be honest.”

World No. 2 Federer, who earlier this year became the oldest No. 1 in the 45-year history of the ATP Rankings aged 36 on 19 February, is bidding to lift his 28th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title this week.

Federer broke serve in the fourth game of the first set and completed the 30-minute opener with a backhand volley winner on the first of his three set point chances. Having won Bautista Agut’s serve in the first game of the second set, Federer looked in complete control.

But 2016 finalist Bautista Agut had other ideas and won four straight games for a 4-1 advantage. The Spaniard’s forehand did the damage as Federer came forward to the net, but Bautista Agut finished the second set with a backhand return. Federer had won all 16 sets in their previous seven meetings.

But it was Federer who tightened his game at the right opportunity to break Bautista Agut’s serve in the ninth game, with a superb forehand, prior to closing out his 37th match win of the season.

Date: 11 October 2018, Source: ATP

Federer makes shaky start to Shanghai defence

Defending champion Roger Federer survived an opening scare at the Shanghai Masters on Wednesday, fighting past Russian Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.

The Swiss extended his Shanghai win streak to seven against the 22-year-old, who was fresh off the biggest title of his career in Tokyo (d. Nishikori). Medvedev forced the two-time Shanghai champion to fight before Federer eventually broke in the ninth game of the decider and served out the match.

“In the third set I really started to figure it out, as well, how aggressive or how tactical I wanted to make the match, and by trying everything, I found a solution at the end, which was a great feeling to have, so I was very happy,” Federer said.

The top seed was keen on taking advantage of the quick conditions in Shanghai, serving and volleying, chip and charging and forcing Medvedev into the corners with his backhand slice. Federer won almost 70 per cent of his 42 trips to net (29/42).

But as the match progressed, he was struggling to put away points against Medvedev, who often made the Swiss volley from his shoelaces and passed him with looping forehands. “It was just tougher to get into his service games,” Federer said.

Medvedev said it had been a dream to play Federer, having narrowly missed out on prior chances. And the three-time ATP World Tour champion wasn't awed by the moment.

But he stumbled while serving at 4-4 in the third. Medvedev shanked a forehand on double break point, and Federer served out the match, celebrating with a “Come on!” and a stare to his box.

“I really feel parts of the victory belong to the fans here in Shanghai. I thought they were phenomenal for the first round and they understood I was in trouble and I appreciate that,” Federer said.

“I like when the crowds cheer. If they cheer for me, that's better, but if they cheer for the opponent, that's okay, too, as long as there is a great crowd. But I'm very thankful and very happy when I see everybody's having a good time. Thankfully I'm used to it. Good, big crowds, loud crowds.”

The 37-year-old was particularly impressed by a legion of fans in the upper deck that sported matching “Allez Federer” banners.

“You very rarely get a chance to see a group of guys getting together like this, sitting in a row, I don't know, a hundred, and a few rows up, as well, and holding up massive banners. It's not what tennis usually is about. It's splintered, splintered groups all around the stadium.

“I feel like that's very unique here in Shanghai. They devote their time and creativity, almost like a football fan, and they are all together there to support me,” Federer said.

“So I appreciate that they take the time to think of me also when I'm not here in Shanghai, and when I do show up, they are so excited and so happy, and that obviously gives me a lift, a big one. I can't thank them enough.”

The top seed is going for his 28th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title this week and is looking to stay No. 2 in the ATP Rankings. He'll guarantee the latter if he can win his third Shanghai title, and second seed Novak Djokovic does not reach the final.

Federer will next meet Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut, who beat American Mackenzie McDonald 3-6, 6-4, 6-1. Bautista Agut beat Djokovic in the 2016 semi-finals before falling to Andy Murray in the Masters 1000 final.

“I have a lot of respect for him. He's just a tough guy, you know. So you have to bring it. Could be similar like today. A lot of long rallies potentially,” Federer said.

Date: 10 October 2018, Source: ATP

Federer: "I like this part of the season"

Defending champion and two-time titlist Roger Federer, who returns to competition this week at the Shanghai Masters, says that he is looking forward to the final weeks of the 2018 ATP World Tour season. The Swiss superstar has won 24 of his 98 career crowns on indoor courts.

“I like this part of the season,” said Federer. “It's always been a good swing for me. Maybe the conditions get faster, I'm not sure. It's helpful I have a home tournament (Swiss Indoors Basel) and the ATP Finals. I have been very successful, so clearly I hope for something similar again this year.”

The 37-year-old Federer, who lost to Australia’s John Millman on 4 September in the US Open fourth round, has already qualified for the ATP Finals for a record 16th time. He will join Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro, who have also booked their places at The O2 in London from 11-18 November.

“I have also had some rest after the US Open,” said Federer. “I feel like I'm where I want to be. I know that this is where I could be playing a lot of tennis, depending on how I play. There is still, obviously, some goals left for the season.”

Reflecting on 2017, he added, “Last year was a fairy-tale from start to finish, basically. It was just a small disappointment at the end, at the ATP Finals, not maybe giving myself the chance to be in the final, losing to Goffin. I was a bit disappointed with my play there. That was probably the first time in the whole season that I felt that way. But Goffin also came out and played a great match.

“This year, for me again, honestly, it's been a great season: winning the Australian Open, getting back to World No. 1 in Rotterdam, playing a good final in Indian Wells and playing a decent grass court season. I didn't play great in Cincinnati, but made the final there.

“I'm just really happy. I'm healthy. I have won another Grand Slam again this year. I always say when you win a Slam in any season, it's actually a very good season already. So, I feel like there is still a lot more to play for.”

Federer, who has a 36-6 match record in 2018, opens his campaign for a third Shanghai crown (2014, 2017) against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev, who captured last week’s Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships trophy (d. Nishikori) in the second round.

Date: 9 October 2018, Source: ATP

Federer: "I couldn't get any air and struggled to breathe"

Five-time former champion Roger Federer said that the hot and humid conditions at the US Open got the better of him on Monday night, but he was also full of praise for John Millman after the Australian’s fourth-round victory.

“I just thought it was very hot tonight,” said Federer, who lost 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7), 7-6 (3) on Arthur Ashe Stadium. “It was just one of those nights where I guess I felt I couldn't get any air. There was no air circulation at all. For some reason I just struggled in the conditions tonight. It's one of the first times it's happened to me.

“I do believe since the roof is on that there is no air circulation in the stadium. I think just that makes it a totally different US Open. Plus conditions maybe were playing slower this year on top of it. You have soaking wet pants, soaking wet everything.

“John was able to deal with it better. He maybe comes from one of the most humid places on earth, Brisbane. I knew I was in for a tough one. Maybe when you feel like that, as well, you start missing chances, and I had those. That was disappointing. But at some point, also, I was just happy that the match was over.”

The Swiss superstar suffered his earliest exit at a Grand Slam championship since a third-round loss at the 2015 Australian Open (l. to Seppi). “I've trained in tougher conditions,” said Federer. “I've played in the daytime at 120º F. Some days it's just not the day where the body can cope with it.”

Millman booked a place in his first major quarter-final by breaking a 10-match losing streak against Top 10 players in the ATP Rankings (now 1-10 lifetime). Federer had led 6-3, 5-4, 40/15 on his serve, but he was unable to convert two set points. Millman will now prepare to meet two-time former US Open champion Novak Djokovic on Wednesday.

“I thought the match was tough, said Federer. "I wish I could have led two sets to love and then maybe the match would be different and I would find a way. Because I did have my chances all the way till the end. It was just tough. I thought John played a great match in difficult conditions.

“I love his intensity,” added Federer, who had trained with 29-year-old Millman for a few days ahead of the grass-court swing in June. “He reminds me of David Ferrer and those other guys that I admire a lot when I see them; when I see how they train and the passion they have for the game.

“He's got a positive demeanour about himself on and off the court. I think he's got a great backhand that he can protect very well down the line and cross-court. When you attack there in the wrong way, he will punish you every time for it. He has options, now especially where it's a bit slower, to return in and return back. I think against Novak, he just has to bring it again and try to worry Novak.”

Date: 4 September 2018, Source: ATP and AFP

Federer thrashes Kyrgios in US Open

Five-time champion Roger Federer pulled out all the stops in a 6-4, 6-1, 7-5 victory over Australian Nick Kyrgios on Saturday to reach the fourth round of the US Open in just one hour and 44 minutes.

The second-seeded Swiss improved to 3-1 against Kyrgios in his first Grand Slam meeting with the Aussie, who was expected to pose a threat after pushing Federer to three sets in their last two ATP meetings, eight of the nine sets they had contested went to tie-breaks.

"I'm very happy to have won, I'm happy it was three sets. I enjoy playing against Nick, he always keeps you on the edge and it's quite entertaining also for the opponent. I think he didn't come up with the foods when he really had to, and I was good, I think, by making him hit that extra shot," Federer said. "Things worked well for me today."

Federer is into the fourth round in Flushing Meadows for his 17th consecutive appearance, improving his record at the year’s final Grand Slam to 85-12. The Swiss star has only failed to reach the Round of 16 here once, on debut in 2000, when he advanced to the third round before losing to Juan Carlos Ferrero.

This year's Australian Open, Rotterdam and Stuttgart champion, who is bidding to lift his first US Open title since 2008, recovered from 3-3 (0/40) down in the first set, saving four break points, before securing a crucial break of serve in the 10th game with a chip backhand return as Kyrgios attempted to serve and volley.

"I thought Nick was inspired. He knew what he wanted to do. I din't quite, off the baseline, get the right balance going," Federer said. "It was important to somehow get out of it and stay within 4-3 and probably look at a tie-break. But I was able to break earlier, which was clearly great because I had no sniff on any of his service games in the first three or four. I didn't get discouraged, and I think that was also the key today."

Federer was also dominant on serve, dropping just five points on his first delivery through two sets. He also did a good job of keeping Kyrgios from controlling play with his forehand by playing aggressively himself, hitting 51 winners to just 24 unforced errors.

While it was not the decisive blow, it became clear in the third set at 3-3 that it was simply the 37-year-old’s day. Federer sprinted forward to a ball and shoveled a forehand around a netpost for a winner - surely the shot of the day - leaving Kyrgios with his mouth wide open in disbelief.

"I was trying to tell him that the shot wasn't that good," Kyrgios said, smiling. "No, it was almost unreal. Almost got to the point where I wanted him to start making shots like that, and I finally got it.

"It was unbelievable. I'm probably going to place it on Instagram."

Federer will next face another Aussie in John Millman, who beat Mikhail Kukushkin 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 to reach the fourth round at a Grand Slam for the first time. The Swiss was victorious in their only previous ATP Head to Head meeting, which came in a three-setter three years ago in Brisbane.

"He's a real hard-working player," Federer said of Millman. "He's just come to Switzerland to train with me and he's a great guy."

Date: 2 September 2018, Source: AFP and ATP

Federer sets Kyrgios clash at US Open

Second seed Roger Federer defeated a frustrated Benoit Paire 7-5, 6-4, 6-4 at the US Open on Thursday to set up a third-round match against Nick Kyrgios as the Swiss continues his quest for a record sixth title at Flushing Meadows.

Despite the straight sets win Federer was far from flawless, especially in the third set when he saw a 4-1 lead evaporate and fell 5-4 behind due to some uncharacteristically poor serving. But he bounced back to see off the bearded Frenchman, who acted erratically throughout - screaming wildly, tossing his racket and kicking the ball after sending it into the net.

"I think it was a bit sort of up and down," said Federer. "I think it's always tricky against Benoit, because there's a lot of tactics going on. Never quite the same point. Sometimes he plays very deep in the court, then he plays up in the court. That's maybe why you draw errors out of each other rather than winners at the end. The match maybe doesn't look at good. Plus he covers the court very well. Sometimes you have a tendency to overplay, as well. But overall I'm happy. I think it was not a bad performance by any means by me. I can be pleased, so it's all good."

A decade removed from his last title in New York, the five-time champion (2004 to 08) avoided his earliest exit in 18 visits to Flushing Meadows. He prevailed after one hour and 56 minutes, striking 27 winners and notching his 35th match win of 2018.

Federer and Kyrgios will meet for the fourth time in their budding ATP Head to Head rivalry, with the Swiss claiming the two most recent encounters - on the hard courts of Miami last year and on the grass of Stuttgart this year. All three of their meetings have resulted in third-set tie-breaks. In fact, eight of the nine sets played were decided by tie-breaks.

"We've had some brutal matches over the years. We enjoy playing against each other," said Federer. "He has one of the best serves in the game and he's super talented."

Date: 31 August 2018, Source: ATP and Reuters

Federer flies through first round at US Open

Ten years ago, Roger Federer completed a dominant reign at Flushing Meadows, lifting his fifth consecutive US Open trophy in 2008. And while he hasn’t entered the New York winners’ circle since, the Swiss showed on Tuesday evening that he could have another championship run in him a decade later.

Federer cruised by Japanese Yoshihito Nishioka 6-2, 6-2, 6-4, remaining undefeated in opening-round matches at the year’s final Grand Slam (18-0). If the Swiss claims his sixth victory in New York, he will become the winningest and oldest US Open champion in the Open Era. It would also give him 99-tour-level titles in his career, only trailing Jimmy Connors, who owns 109.

"Thankfully I wasn't too nervous tonight. I felt good. I felt like I had a good preparation week. No hiccups there. I think that settles my nerves there," Federer said. "When you do walk out onto Arthur Ashe Stadium, you feel like people are there to see the show, enjoy themselves. Sure, they come for the tennis, but it's also sort of a bucket list, wanting to be there... it's great to have played also a good first round against an entertaining first-round opponent."

Federer has not lost in the first round of a major since 2003 Roland Garros, a stretch of 58 Slam appearances. Fifty-three of those first-match victories have come in straight sets. He clinched the triumph when Nishioka hit a return long after one hour, 52 minutes.

The 37-year-old is fresh off an appearance in the Western and Southern Open final, where he fell just short of picking up his eighth trophy at the event, losing to Novak Djokovic. Federer has won three titles this year, earning his 20th Grand Slam championship at the Australian Open and prevailing in Rotterdam and Stuttgart.

Federer next faces Benoit Paire, against whom he has won all six of his ATP Head to Head meetings. There will be intrigue, though, as Paire held two match points against Federer in Halle this year. The Frenchman beat Austrian Dennis Novak 7-6 (6), 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (5) in three hours and five minutes.

Nishioka put up a fight in Arthur Ashe Stadium, unleashing some late forehands down the line to the delight of the crowd, showing how he climbed as high as No. 58 in the ATP Rankings last year by earning his only break of the match as Federer served for the second round at the first time of asking. But Federer’s baseline-hugging play proved too much to handle, as the second seed hit 56 winners to just 32 unforced errors.

"I don't know how nervous he was going in. But I've been in tough matches against left-handed players over the years, like Rafa. I know what left-handed players can do," Federer said. "But at the end of the day the aura, it doesn't win you the match every time. You have to go out there, you have to work hard. I just finally stopped sweating. I also put in a lot of effort. You have to bring it every single time."

Date: 29 August 2018, Source: ATP

Federer: "Winning US Open would mean the world to me"

Roger Federer, a decade removed from the 2008 triumph that marked his fifth straight US Open title, is eager to hoist a trophy at Flushing Meadows again.

“It would mean the world to me,” Federer said. “It's even a bigger priority this year, the US Open, than it has been last year. Not that it wasn't last year, but Wimbledon was key for me last year.”

Federer won at SW19 last season. But even after gaining momentum by reaching the 2017 final in Montreal, Federer fell short in the quarter-finals of the US Open against Juan Martin del Potro. A sixth championship victory in New York was not to be.

“Not feeling 100 per cent last year was hard. I knew from the get-go it was not going to be possible for me to win. Everything would have had to fall into place,” Federer said. “Guys would have had to retire against me or played the worst match of their life against me, and maybe then I would have had a chance. But in the later stages of a tournament, it’s not feasible anymore.”

Federer reached the final at last week's Western and Southern Open, where the seven-time champion competed in his first tournament since Wimbledon. He opted not to play in Toronto, and the Swiss found enough of a rhythm to reach his eighth final in Cincinnati. But he couldn’t get past Novak Djokovic, who completed the Career Golden Masters, in the final.

“I think what I did was the right thing. I truly believe it. I think I was not even close playing my absolute best in Cincinnati and still making a final is still a really good result,” Federer said. “The final was not good. I was not happy with how I played, but I think there was some tiredness that led into that. And Novak was good. So it was just a match, one you want to forget, no problem. But in the big scheme of things it actually was a good tournament for me, get all the matches under the belt, get match tough again so when I do show up here I actually feel I'm ready, and I am ready, and that's what counts for me.”

Federer won 41 consecutive matches at the US Open starting from the launch of his 2004 campaign through the 2009 final, in which he had a two sets to one lead against Del Potro before succumbing.

“I just got on a roll, I guess for a long period I think I was not losing much, and when I came to the Open, I had all the answers for all the guys, all my opponents, all conditions, wind, night, day. I really embraced everything about New York,” Federer said. “I think that's why I rarely had bad tournaments here in New York, because I like playing here. I think the court speed is good for me. I'm happy in this country. I'm happy in New York. My personal experience with the five in a row was an unbelievable one. So I'm very proud of that accomplishment.”

Now, Federer will hope to create new memories. He begins his tournament against Japanese Yoshihito Nishioka.

“So the last two years - especially two years ago when I couldn't play at all - have just been difficult. I'm really excited and happy to be back here healthy again and feeling good,” Federer said.

“I’ll take it one match at a time and see what happens.”

Date: 25 August 2018, Source: ATP

Federer falls short in Cincy, credits Djokovic

Roger Federer fell in a championship match at the Western and Southern Open for the first time on Sunday, losing 4-6, 4-6 to former World No. 1 Novak Djokovic. But instead of looking at his own performance after the match, he was full of praise for Djokovic, who completed the Career Golden Masters.

Federer was full of praise for Djokovic after the final: “Congratulations Novak on writing history today. It's an amazing effort not just today but your whole career to get to this point. It's an amazing achievement. You should be very proud. Well done.”

Federer knows just how difficult it is to win at this level, claiming 27 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles in his career. World No. 1 Rafael Nadal (33), Djokovic (31) and Federer (27) are the only players to capture more than 20 since the series was created in 1990. Djokovic is the first player to triumph at all nine Masters 1000 events.

“He's a great champion and this is what this should be about, this press conference, not about me missing second-serve returns. It's about him making history,” Federer said. “We can go into whatever points you want, but I think that's what the headline should be about. This is an amazing accomplishment, and I hope he's extremely proud and extremely happy about this moment.”

Every match at this level is tough. Case in point: all six of Djokovic’s opponents this week were inside the Top 33 of the ATP Rankings. Four of the five - Grigor Dimitrov, Milos Raonic, Marin Cilic and Federer - have cracked the Top 3 in their career.

“I think it's extremely difficult to win a Masters 1000. These tournaments don't come easy. You saw my performance today. It's just a long week. It's tough, grueling. The best players are playing. You play against tough guys early on in the draw, so you don't have much time to find your rhythm and actually almost work on your game throughout the week,” Federer said. “He's done that maybe better than anybody. So it's a great credit to him. I think it's an amazing accomplishment.”

It wasn't a bad week for Federer, either. He fell short on Sunday, but it was the World No. 2’s sixth final from eight tour-level events in 2018. The Swiss is now 33-5 on the season, and will set his sights on the US Open, which he has won five times.

“I’ve just got to come up with a lot of energy, and then hopefully I also have a chance after 10 years to do something special again at the Open,” Federer said. “I still think this US Open draw, as well, is going to be quite entertaining, and I can't wait for the US Open to come around.”

But for now, it’s Djokovic’s moment. Federer could sit and nitpick why he was only able to win 47 per cent of second-serve points, why he was broken three times after putting together a streak of 100 consecutive holds in Cincinnati, or why the Serbian was able to win 78 per cent of second-serve points. But he won’t.

“It was definitely not my best day on the return”, Federer, who won just four of 18 second-serve return points, added. “That's it. It was just awful. But it's okay. He served well. But missing every second serve on the forehand side, I don't know what that was about. I don't even want to look for reasons why it happened. I just think it did. Novak totally deserved to win today. This was not good enough. It's okay. Good week, but I'm happy it's over and I need to rest. So it's all good.”

“Roger wasn't obviously at his best. He missed a lot of returns. He had a difficult time moving. He was not really playing as well as he did in previous matches this week, but at the same time, I thought I was solid. I didn't allow him to come to the net and be aggressive too much and I tried to kind of hold ground and protect the line”, Djokovic said.

“It's much easier said than done when you're playing Roger, especially in these conditions where he loves playing here. Everything happens really, really fast and there is not much time to think or to construct the points, so you really need to be alert all the time, especially against him.”

Federer suffered his first defeat in a Cincinnati final, falling to 7-1. He had defeated Djokovic in three previous championships, in 2009, 2012 and 2015. Moreover, the Swiss was denied his 99th tour-level crown, which he will now look to seize at the US Open.

Date: 20 August 2018, Source: ATP

Sad Federer hopes new Davis Cup lives up to promises

While unsure of the wisdom of this week's sweeping David Cup reform, Roger Federer has called on tennis officials to make good on promises regarding the new-look competition.

"I feel sad about it, you know, not to have the Davis Cup as it used to be. It will never be the same for the next generation," the 20-time Grand Slam winner said on Saturday at the Cincinnati Masters.

"I just hope that every penny of that mass of money will be paid for the next generation," Federer said.

Kosmos, an investment group led by Barcelona football star Gerard Pique with Japanese and Chinese support, will spend $3 billion over 25 years on the new event, which will do away with four rounds at home and away venues around the world throughout the year, culminating with the final between the last two teams standing.

Instead there will be a one-week shoot-out among 18 nations, to be played in November at rotating venues.

With nearly two decades in the game, the 37-year-old Federer has a long memory back to another mega-deal gone wrong which could have seriously damaged the ATP Tour.

"We've seen a similar situation way back when with the ATP Tour and it set us back in a big way," he said. "I don't want that to happen again."

That incident in 2000 stemmed from the bankruptcy of the Swiss ISL promotion firm that had promised to pay the Tour $1.2 billion over a decade for the rights to the elite Masters events.

ISL suddenly went bust and the deal never came to fruition, although the ATP recovered nicely to its current dominating state in the men's game.

Federer won the Davis Cup with Switzerland over France in 2014 and played almost uninterruptedly from his 1999 debut until age 34 in 2015.

"Clearly the ITF has never historically involved the players," he said of the decision. "The solution is definitely flawed in some ways.

"I'm all for innovation, and got to give them a chance to some extent. It will be interesting to see how it's going to work."

Date: 18 August 2018, Source: AFP