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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 to skip 2018 clay season and French Open

Roger Federer knows better than anyone, at 36, it is as much about keeping a spark of motivation alive as it is about managing his body. Defeat then to the 175th-ranked Thanasi Kokkinakis in his opening match at the Miami Open, comes with a silver lining - the chance to rest and reinvigorate that hunger in time for the grass-court swing.

The loss prompted an announcement that, for the second consecutive year, he would skip the clay-court season, including Roland Garros. It proved a masterstroke in 2017 as he went on to claim a record eighth Wimbledon title.

Federer will hand over the No. 1 ATP Ranking to Rafael Nadal on April 2, having spent 309 weeks at the top during his career. That in itself presents a new goal for the season ahead - to reclaim his place at the top.

“Yeah, I decided not to play,” Federer said of the upcoming clay-court season. “I didn't play great last week either, I felt, overall. Nothing new, in my opinion. I'm trying to figure things out, so. I have time now.

“I'm a positive thinker. I feel like every match is another opportunity. Especially after losing one, clearly I'm down right now. I'm disappointed. I'm frustrated a little bit that I couldn't find a way. It's unfortunate how it goes.

“It's pretty simple at the end of the day. You go back to the practice court or go on vacation, you really take a break, get away from it all. When you come back to the practice court to work, whatever it is, you do it at 100 per cent.”

The 21-year-old Australian's 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4) victory drew high praise from the Swiss. This was an opponent Federer had spent time training with at his Dubai base, a player who had endured more than his share of injury hurdles in his young career.

“Look, he's a cool guy, a cool demeanour,” Federer said. “He's been to Dubai to practise with me a couple of times. I knew him very well. We have worked very hard together. I've always liked his game.

“I'm happy for him that on the big stage he was able to show it, centre court, Miami, people watching, beating me. It's a big result for him in his career. I hope it's going to launch him, really getting his ranking up.”

Not since 2014 when he lost the Monte-Carlo final (l. to Wawrinka) and first round in Rome (l. to Chardy) had Federer fallen in back-to-back matches. Coming off a narrow defeat in the BNP Paribas Open final (l. to Del Potro), a match in which three championship points went begging, Federer admitted that he struggled to sink his teeth into his opening match in Miami.

Still there was plenty to be upbeat about. His semi-final victory over Borna Coric in Indian Wells gave Federer his best start to a season (17-0).

“Honestly, in the third set anything could have happened. I feel like I wasn't feeling good. The ball, I wasn't feeling. With my movement, things weren't absolutely working,” Federer said.

“I felt like the third set could be a tricky one, of course. I feel like every time I had chances, something bad happened for me, wrong decision making by me, good decision making by him. Who knows what happened. It just felt like I could be paying the price for opportunities missed.

“Look, it's disappointing. I don't know why I could never get to any level that I was happy with today. Sometimes you have these matches. Sometimes you find a way through. I just couldn't get it done today.

“He was just a bit better than me today. What exactly that was, I think you probably have to break it down to the key moments. He was a bit more relaxed. I was in search mode the whole match. I never got going.”

Date: 25 March 2018, Source: ATP

Federer reflects on losing championship points against Del Potro

Titles have never defined who Roger Federer is, although, if they did, they'd have a lot to say for him. The Swiss right-hander was three times a swing away from winning his 28th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown and his 98th tour-level title on Sunday against Juan Martin del Potro during the BNP Paribas Open final in Indian Wells. But Del Potro erased all three championship points and captured his maiden Masters 1000 title 6-4, 6-7 (8), 7-6 (2).

Federer, however, long ago learned to achieve contentment in life, despite some on-court disappointments here and there. The 36-year-old Swiss said he achieved such peace years ago, shortly after he began to make his mark on the ATP World Tour and at Grand Slam tournaments.

“I have been content for a long, long time on the Tour. I guess ever since I became world No. 1 back in 2004 and won Wimbledon in 2003, my life was complete as a tennis player. Those were my dreams as a little kid,” he said.

Federer said that's why he still enjoys most things about the tour life. “That's why retirement can wait, and I'm just really enjoying the ride. I'm really having a good time on the Tour,” Federer said.

It's easy to forget that Federer has had tough moments during his career, times that have taught him how to stay positive regardless of the outcome on the court. After falling to Del Potro in the season's first Masters 1000 final, Federer spoke at length about his attitude.

“I think staying positive through the tough moments is really key. Because you're always going to go through ups and downs in your career, or as a person for that matter. Not every day is sun shining. It's sometimes a bit of a struggle and important that you take the right decisions, you surround yourself with the right people, you're happy with what you have,” Federer said.

“Of course you can always try to want more and have more and everything, but you might never be happy when you search for things like this.”

Federer's outlook has helped him move on from losses. His 17-match win streak to start the 2018 season - the longest of his career to begin a year - was snapped against Del Potro. But the World No. 1 knows he won't have a lot of time to dwell on the match. The season's second Masters 1000 tournament, the Miami Open presented by Itau, starts on Wednesday. Federer is the defending champion there, too.

I feel frustrated, you know, that I let an opportunity like this go by. Serving 40/15, any game I probably win - I don't know what the stat is - 90-something per cent,” Federer said of his lead at 5-4 in the third set.

So it should sting, like you said, for a bit. The question is how long? It won't be long, but it's disappointing talking about a great match like this, losing, even though I was right there.

Obviously there is not too much time to dwell over it. Like I said, I'm happy for Juan Martin. It's a tough one. And I still had a good week here. I still see the positives at the end of the day.

It was a great match, honestly. Good fun. Good intensity. We enjoy that. And also it was tough and fair on the court. It was Juan Martin and myself. At the end you saw we are appreciative of the finals that we played against each other, which I think is really important for both of us.

Date: 19 March 2018, Source: ATP

Federer powers past Chung; Reaches Indian Wells SF

World No. 1 Roger Federer equalled his best start to a season to stay on course for a sixth Indian Wells title. Federer booked his semi-final spot and extended his season win streak to 16 straight matches with a 7-5, 6-1 victory over South Korea's Hyeon Chung on Thursday.

The last time Federer started 16-0 unbeaten streak was 12 years ago in 2006.

Switzerland's Federer recalls parts of that streak but not all the tournaments he played in to get there.

"Twelve years ago, a long time ago. I don't know. What was I doing back then?" he asked. "I don't even remember what tournament I played first up and won.

"I guess I had a similar good start to the year. Back then I was on this massive streak of winning 40-plus matches. It had already started the year before that, which this time it didn't. I had to get it going again in Australia.

"It's a great start. Hopefully I can do one more and beat my best streak on Saturday."

It was Federer's second win against the 21-year-old Chung this season, and they had a crowd of all-time greats watching. Tennis legends Rod Laver and Pete Sampras looked on, as did Bill Gates, Federer's philanthropic partner, and actor Will Ferrell.

Thursday's quarter-final was more competitive than Federer and Chung's Australian Open semi-final, which Chung aborted down 1-6, 2-5 because of blisters. But the reigning Next Gen ATP Finals champion, like everyone else on the ATP World Tour this year, had no lasting answer for the five-time BNP Paribas Open champion, who improved to 11-1 in Indian Wells quarter-finals.

By making the semi-finals, the Swiss right-hander guaranteed himself another two weeks at No. 1 in the ATP Rankings and will extend his record reign to 308 weeks.

Federer will next meet Croatia's Borna Coric, who reached his maiden ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi-final by beating Kevin Anderson of South Africa 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (3) earlier Thursday. Federer won their lone ATP Head to Head matchup, a 6-2, 6-1 rout at the 2015 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

Federer, just as he had done in Melbourne, jumped out to an early lead against Chung, who was playing in his first Masters 1000 quarter-final. The top seed broke in the second game and led 3-0. But Chung grew more comfortable under the lights against Federer, and the South Korean broke back for 3-3.

From there, however, Federer didn't let up, mixing slice with power to break Chung in the 12th game and, in the second set, winning six of seven games to advance. The 36-year-old finished with 32 winners compared to eight from Chung.

"I'm happy I found a way. Started off really well, struggled afterwards, found my game back again and was able to protect it, saving big break points early on in the second set. I think that was the key to the match, those 10 to 15 minutes where I broke at the end of the first and then saved break points early in the second,” Federer said. “I'm very happy. It was a good match. I played well."

The 21-year-old Chung was upbeat about his Indian Wells run. On Monday, he will become the highest-ranked Asian player in the ATP Rankings, surpassing Japan's Kei Nishikori. Chung is projected to rise to a new career-high of No. 23.

Date: 16 March 2018, Source: AFP and ATP

Federer breezes into quarters at Indian Wells

It was tighter than perhaps Roger Federer would have liked, but the No. 1 player in the ATP Rankings still pushed his way past the confident and big-hitting Jeremy Chardy on Wednesday, and is now only one win away from matching his best start ever.

The 36-year-old Swiss was untouchable on serve at the BNP Paribas Open, winning 90 per cent of his service points (44/49), including 100 per cent of his first-serve points (25/25), to beat Chardy 7-5, 6-4 in a packed Stadium One. It's only the fifth time Federer has won a match (not by retirement) without losing a first-serve point.

The five-time champion improved to 15-0 in 2018, with every match occurring on hard court. Even more remarkable, Federer has still lost only three sets this year (36-3 in sets).

If he can repeat his Australian Open semi-final victory and beat Hyeon Chung of South Korea in the Indian Wells quarter-finals, Federer will match his previous best start to a season, which came in 2006, when he was 24 years old (16-0).

It's been great. But, look, it's a totally different year, many years after,” Federer said. “Felt like I found my range, my rhythm early in the year. So many years I felt good actually in Australia already. I don't know if it's Australia per se or taking the benefits from the hard work I put in into the new season.

Then also Rotterdam was great. I was very happy that I was able to win the tournament there, not just get to the semis and get World No. 1. So that was nice.

And here now I'm relieved that I was able to win three matches already. Because in a big, tough draw like here at Indian Wells, you're never quite sure what to expect. So I'm just happy I'm on a good run.”

Chardy was loaded with confidence ahead of their fourth-round tangle. In his second-round match, the Frenchman had come back from a set and 4-1 down to beat Italian Fabio Fognini, and he used that momentum to achieve his best showing in Indian Wells.

But although Chardy played aggressively with his forehand and defended his serve well, erasing three of five break points, he could never find a way into Federer's service games. The top seed never faced a break point and broke exactly when he needed to - in the 11th game of the first set and in the ninth game in the second.

“You can't plan for these runs to happen. Either they happen or they don't. Sometimes you need a bit of luck to keep the runs going. And this year it's just been really good, solid matches,” Federer said. “We'll see how long it lasts really. This might be the last day. So we'll see. It's just how it goes. Don't jinx it.”

His next opponent, Chung, has continued his impressive start to the season. The reigning Next Gen ATP Finals champion recorded his 15th win of the year by beating Uruguay's Pablo Cuevas 6-1, 6-3. Last year, Chung didn't reach 15 wins until the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Montreal in August.

Federer will go for win No. 61 at the BNP Paribas Open against Chung. He has now recorded 60 wins at six tournaments.

Federer is one victory away from guaranteeing that he will maintain his No. 1 spot in the ATP Rankings next Monday. If he loses against Chung, the Swiss will fall to No. 2 and Rafael Nadal will regain the top spot.

Date: 15 March 2018, Source: ATP

Federer cruises past Krajinovic at Indian Wells

World number one Roger Federer needed just 58 minutes to dispatch Filip Krajinovic at the BNP Paribas Open in California on Monday, mixing overpowering serves and pinpoint groundstrokes to advance to the fourth round of the tournament.

Playing for a third consecutive day due to weather delays in Indian Wells, the 36-year-old Swiss showed no sign of wear en route to a 6-2, 6-1 thrashing of the Serbian in the pair's first ever meeting.

Federer, who had looked slightly off his game in his rain-disrupted third round match against Federico Delbonis, was his dominant self on Monday, winning 89 percent of his first service points while cracking six aces to just one double fault.

Krajinovic had no answer for Federer's serve or relentless return game and ended up winning just 31 of the match's 93 points.

"I was playing aggressive and feeling like he was not loving my slice, and then also mixing in with drop shots eventually," Federer said.

"I think really I was able to mix up my game nicely, make it difficult for him there. At the same time, have fun with my game, play variation, but for the most part try to stay on the offensive, as well. I think it was a good match."

With rivals Rafael Nadal, Stan Wawrinka and Andy Murray electing not to enter the tournament, and Novak Djokovic, Kei Nishikori and Tomas Berdych are eliminated, the path appears clear for the Swiss to win a record sixth Indian Wells title.

Despite the promising outlook, Federer insisted he was taking it one match at a time.

"You can't really look ahead to semi-finals, finals and speculate about who you could play," he told reporters.

"I think that would be a mistake. I am on a good run right now and I want to maintain that. I have to stay sharp."

Next up for Federer is a meeting on Wednesday with France's Jeremy Chardy, who upset his countryman Adrian Mannarino 7-5, 4-6, 6-1 earlier on Monday.

Federer holds a 3-1 ATP Head to Head series edge against Chardy, with three of their four meetings having come at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 level. The Frenchman's lone victory came on red clay at 2014 Rome in a match that went to a third-set tie-break.

If Federer should continue his run of good form and advance to the final at Indian Wells again, it will be his fourth consecutive appearance in the title match (2014, 2015, 2017).

Date: 13 March 2018, Source: Reuters and ATP

Federer opens his bid for 6th Indian Wells title

In his first tournament since returning to the top spot of the ATP Rankings, Roger Federer overcame a spirited effort from Argentina's Federico Delbonis to advance to the third round at the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday.

Federer prevailed 6-3, 7-6 (6) in a match that was carried over from Saturday evening due to rain. Four games were played in the second set when the skies opened at 10:30 PM local time. Upon resumption on Sunday, Delbonis did well to force a tie-break, but Federer was too strong in the end. He closed out the win after one hour and 41 minutes, saving all three break points faced.

It was the Basel native's 450th match at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 level, improving to 351-99. Making his 17th appearance in Indian Wells, he kicked off his bid for a sixth tournament title.

"It is interesting, when you go from night to day and you know there is a difference," said Federer. "So naturally it's all a change. Here now you play the same guy the next day, so you can really compare how different conditions are. It was actually quite interesting.

"They play very different. In the nighttime, the ball is much more deader. The surface doesn't react so much. The ball doesn't travel so fast. Even though I served my five aces yesterday, I hit none today. So talking about faster, I just think there is more bounce to it, especially if you play someone who has a lot of spin like he has and kicks the ball around a lot. It's been a long time since I have been interrupted at night and have to come back the next day."

Delbonis entered the encounter with hopes of springing the upset,  having claimed their lone previous encounter in Hamburg in 2013, but that was quickly quashed by the top seed. Federer, who returned to World No. 1 at the ATP World Tour 500 event in Rotterdam last month, is assured of remaining at the pinnacle of the ATP Rankings should he reach the semi-finals in Indian Wells.

Federer remains ruthless in 2018, extending his win streak to 13 straight since the start of the season. Champion at the Australian Open and ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament, he has dropped only three sets from 35 played this year.

Still looking to adjust to the high-bouncing conditions in the desert, Federer will look to improve on his 40 unforced errors when he faces 25th-seed Filip Krajinovic in the third round. It will be their first meeting. Krajinovic, who reached the final at the Rolex Paris Masters last year, defeated American qualifier Mitchell Krueger 6-2, 6-2 on Saturday.

Date: 12 March 2018, Source: ATP