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Federer: "I enjoyed clay court season and Roland Garros"

“I think I surprised myself maybe with how deep I got in this tournament and how well I actually was able to play throughout. I definitely enjoyed the clay-court season and Roland Garros.”

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Federer wins fourth Miami Open title

Roger Federer produced a championship masterclass under the Florida sun, dominating reigning champ John Isner 6-1, 6-4 to win his fourth Miami title.

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Federer makes history in Dubai, wins 100th title

Roger Federer made history at the Dubai Duty Free Championships, defeating reigning Next Gen ATP Finals champion Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-4 to win his 100th tour-level title.

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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 becomes oldest ATP World No.1

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

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